Wizard Class Preview

Monday, May 21, 2018

With Paizocon getting underway in just a few days, we wanted to round out our previews by looking at the final class that you will be able to play at the show. So, without further delay, it's time to look at the wizard!

Wizard Features

If you are building a wizard, everything starts with your key ability, Intelligence. Having a high Intelligence gives you a boost to the DCs of your spells, and it gives you more skill choices at 1st level.

At 1st level, you begin play with a spellbook containing 10 cantrips and eight 1st-level spells, giving you a wide variety of spells to draw upon when you prepare your magic each morning. Starting out, you can prepare four cantrips and two 1st-level spells each day. In addition, you also select your arcane school at 1st level, which grants you one extra spell slot of each level that you can use only to prepare a spell from your chosen school. You can compare this to the cleric, who doesn't get extra spell slots, but instead gets a narrow ability to cast extra heal or harm spells. Your school also grants you a school power that you can cast using a pool of Spell Points. Take a look at the nifty power you can pick up from choosing divination as your school. (Remember, that [[A]] code you see indicates that this is an action, and it will be a snazzy icon in the final rulebook!)

DIVINER'S SIGHT

Concentrate, Divination, Fortune

Casting [[A]] Verbal Casting

Range 30 feet; Targets one willing living creature

Duration end of your next turn or until dismissed

You glimpse into the target's future. Roll a d20. When the target attempts a Perception check, saving throw, or skill check, it can use the number you rolled instead of rolling, and the spell is dismissed. Casting it again dismisses any active diviner's sight.

Even if you don't roll so great, it might still help avoid a critical failure on a vital saving throw.

You can forgo selecting an arcane school, instead choosing to be a universalist. This grants you a bonus wizard feat and extra uses of your arcane focus.

Speaking of which, all wizards gain the ability to place some of their power into a designated item called an arcane focus. You can drain the power from that focus once per day to cast any one spell that you have already cast without spending another spell slot. Universalists get to use this ability once for each level of spell that they can cast!

As a wizard goes up in level, they gain more spells that they can cast (either one extra spell of their highest level, or two of a new level) and their proficiency at spellcasting also increases. They start as trained, but rise to the rank of legendary at 19th level.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Wizard Feats

Wizards have never had too many class features to choose from to help distinguish them from one another, so when it came time to design feats for the wizard, it was a clear opportunity to add some variety to the class.

Lets start out with a few classic concepts. At 1st level, you can pick up a feat that allows you to spend your reaction to counterspell any spell someone else casts as long as you currently have that spell prepared. If that isn't to your taste, you can take a wizard feat to recruit a familiar instead. Every day, you can select a pair of abilities to give this loyal companion, some of which grant you boons as well. At high levels, your familiar can even grant you an additional spell slot, as long as it is 3 levels lower than the highest-level spell you can cast. At 8th level you can select from a series of feats that enhance the power of your arcane school, increasing your pool of Spell Points and granting you an extra spell you can cast using that pool. One of my favorites is the necromantic power called life siphon, which lets you draw some of the magic from a non-cantrip necromancy spell you cast to regain 1d8 Hit Points per level of the spell.

Not surprisingly, the wizard also has a lot of feats to choose from that modify the spells that you cast. While many of these metamagic feats will be familiar to veterans of the game, allowing you to extend the reach or widen the area of a spell, for example, others are new. Conceal Spell lets you add an action to a spell as you cast it to hide the fact that you are casting. Focus Conservation is an action you can add to any spell that you cast by draining your arcane focus, and it lets you drain your arcane focus again the next round, casting another spell as long as it is 2 levels lower than the spell you just cast. Better still, you can keep using this feat as long as you have lower-level spells to cast. For example, if you start out draining your focus to cast cone of cold (a 5th-level spell dealing a wicked 11d6 cold damage to all your enemies), you could follow it up next round with a fireball. If you use the feat again, you could drain focus again on the following round, casting any 1st-level spell you had already cast.

As a wizard rises to the highest levels of power, their feats grant them more and more options when determining how to best utilize their spells. Effortless Concentration gives you a free action at the start of each round to concentrate on a spell you have cast, freeing you up to use all 3 actions normally. Superior Focus gives you another use of your arcane focus. Quick Preparation lets you swap out spells you have already prepared in just 10 minutes. At 20th level, you can pick Spell Combination, which lets you combine two spells into one terrifying attack that you can unleash on one unfortunate foe.

Spells

One of the biggest ways you can customize your wizard is in your spell selection, so it's probably worth looking at a few signature wizard spells to see how they work. Let's start with one of the most iconic spells of them all.

MAGIC MISSILE SPELL 1

Evocation, Force

Casting [[A]] Verbal Casting or more

Range 120 feet; Targets one creature

You send a dart of force streaking toward a creature that you can see. It automatically hits and deals 1d4+1 force damage. When Casting this Spell, you can increase the casting by a Material Casting action, a Somatic Casting action, or both. For each component you add, increase the number of missiles you shoot by one. You choose the target for each missile individually.

Heightened (+2) You shoot one additional missile with each action you spend.

Magic missile shows off a couple of interesting options in the wizard's arsenal. Casting a spell can be done in a number of ways using a variable number of actions. While most of the time this is through metamagic feats, it can also come from the spell itself. Adding casting actions to magic missile gives you more missiles to throw. In addition, a wide variety of spells can be prepared using a higher-level spell slot, giving you a better effect without having to refer to an entirely different spell. (You can find out more about that in the All About Spells blog.) That means you can prepare magic missile as a 9th-level spell and spend three actions casting it for 15 missiles!

Another important aspect of picking spells for your wizard is to balance what saving throws they allow and what effects you can get depending on the results of the save. For that, let's take a look at a spell that might instantly kill a foe.

PHANTASMAL KILLER SPELL 4

Death, Emotion, Fear, Illusion, Mental

Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting

Range 120 feet; Targets one living creature

You create a phantasmal image of the most fearsome creature imaginable to the target. Only the spell's target can see the killer, though you can see the vague shape of the illusion as it races forth to attack. The effect of the killer is based on the outcome of the target's Will saving throw.

Success The target is frightened 1.

Critical Success The target is unaffected.

Failure The target takes 8d6 mental damage and is frightened 2.

Critical Failure The target is so afraid it might instantly die. It must attempt a Fortitude saving throw; if the target fails, it is reduced to 0 Hit Points and dies. On a successful Fortitude save, the target still takes 12d6 mental damage, is fleeing until the end of its next turn, and is frightened 4.

Heightened (+1) The damage on a failure increases by 2d6 and on a critical failure by 3d6.

This spell is perfect for removing a lower-level foe from a fight, but it has the chance of greatly hampering a higher-level foe as well. The frightened condition reduces by 1 each turn, but it applies a penalty to almost all of your checks and rolls until it does. You will find interesting choices like these throughout the arcane spell list. While most will be familiar to a Pathfinder veteran, there are a lot of new spells to explore as well, from grim tendril to chromatic wall, so your wizard will be ready for anything.

Well, that wraps up our look at the wizard. If you want to give this class (or the alchemist, cleric, fighter, paladin, or rogue) a try, make sure to stop by PaizoCon (this weekend), the UK Games Expo (early June), or Origins (mid-June), as we'll be running demos during all three conventions!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

Note: Due to PaizoCon, there will not be a Pathfinder Playtest Blog on Friday, May 25th or Monday, May 28th.

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Mark Seifter wrote:


If we wanted to, we could probably weaken the initial magic missile to 1 missile for 2 actions and 2 missiles for 3 actions and then heighten it like most other damaging spells (increasing the missiles by 1, or 2 for 3 actions, for every +1 spell level increase). This alteration is actually more powerful starting at spell level 4 if you spend all 3 actions, but it has a lot of drawbacks. First off, it doesn't allow you to spend 1 action, which is a neat flexibility that the current version has that can help you drop an opponent that's just barely standing after your 2-action spell. Second, it's usually much worse for the 2-action version as well (they equalize at spell level 9). Finally, it makes magic missile a weaker spell at the actual level when you first get the spell in exchange for a boost that only starts to appear 3 spell levels of heightening down the line and only for 3 action casts.

Why not another spell rather than change MM:

Call it Macro Missile (it can the cousin of Magic Missle)
1 missile for 2 actions and 2 missiles for 3 actions and then heighten it like most other damaging spells (increasing the missiles by 1, or 2 for 3 actions, for every +1 spell level increase)

I think letting us test both cousins would be good for the playtest anyway.


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shaventalz wrote:

Two questions regarding actions:

1) Can you spend multiple rounds casting a high-cost spell? For instance, somatic+verbal+material Magic Missile AND Conceal Spell? A sort of "it takes twice as long, but I'm out of combat so who cares" type of situation.

2) Magic Missile's "Heightened" section says you get one additional missile for each action you spend. What happens with something like Conceal Spell? Would a 2-action-plus-Conceal spell heighten similarly to the 3-action version? Is it intended to, or is that wording that should be cleaned up somehow?

For (2) I think it clear that they intend it to be every action spent on the spell casting, not additional actions adding other features outside the spell description. It's the sort of thing that shouldn't confuse people, but if the people prove inadequate a FAQ can handle it.


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Honestly, how many big spells does a Wizard need to feel useful?
They already have scaling at-will cantrips (not particularly to my taste, but I can go for it) and people still want a huge number of spells. It's like being able to cast high-damaging spells every turn of every combat!
I'll suggest an idea: try to be a little more cautious about casting your non-cantrip stuff and the Wizard will not be reduced to a 2-encounter wonder (like they ever were that).


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:


3. If a Spell does not allow a saving throw, does that mean there is no Spell Critical Success (ie, a magic missile would only ever do 1d4 damage as there is no way for someone to roll a natural 1 on a save against it)?

3) Correct, this makes such spells incredible boss slayers but poor options when fighting a really crappy foe almost as likely to critically fail than to succeed (or more likely for you to critically hit its touch AC than to miss; than difference here than requires 'more' instead of 'almost' is that a miss does no damage and a successful Reflex save is usually half).

Can I bitterly laugh at that reply?

"incredible boss slayers" don't sound true at all if the bosses have hp on par (for their level) to example give in the monsters blog. At max power (hightened to 9th level and using 3 actins) magic missiles will not kill an ogre. I suppose a boss monster for a 17th level player will have a bit more hp than a ogre.

Quote:
A level 0 skeleton has 14 AC, 6 HP, and since it's made of bone, resistance 5 to slashing and piercing damage. A level 0 zombie, on the other hand, has 11 AC, 20 HP, and weakness 5 to slashing damage

Maybe a zombie is a boss enemy at level 1? To kill it you need 2 magic missiles and 6 casting actions.

Yep, an ogre is not a lvl 17 boss, and it's clear from your example that a 9th lvl MM cannot kill a lvl 17 boss.

If your expectation was that 1 single 9 level spell should kill a lvl 17 boss... maybe your expectation was too high? Specially if Paizo's design goal is to make encounters that last beyond the Wizard's initiative.

I don't expect a caster to be able to OHKO a level appropriate enemy, except in specific circumstances with setup like exploiting an elemental weakness on a debuffed foe. But a level 17 ANYTHING should be able to OHKO any level 3 enemy, even with a suboptimal-but-reliable option like magic missile.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think Diviner's Sight would work better as a reaction or with a longer duration

Scarab Sages

Xenocrat wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
thflame wrote:

I'm honestly having difficulty thinking of a book/movie/video game where casters are as powerful as they are in 3.P without the caster(s) being enemies or the BBEG.

Even Gandalf and Merlin didn't have an answer for everything, and they are the top 2 examples of wizards in fiction.

If a wizard had as much power in a story as 3.P wizards do, the story wouldn't be interesting, except maybe as an example of having a walking Deus Ex Machina and why that's considered bad writing.

Wheel of Time

Raymond Feist's Riftwar books
R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series
Malazan Book of the Fallen

People aren't bored by real life war stories of infantry just because in the grand picture they're just glorified guards and support for the artillery inflicting most of the casualties.

Elminster
Well he is a 3.P caster, so he can't be a counterpoint.

He appeared in novels and in Forgotten Realms product well before 3rd edition. So that can't be a counter-counterpoint.

Liberty's Edge

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
I don't expect a caster to be able to OHKO a level appropriate enemy, except in specific circumstances with setup like exploiting an elemental weakness on a debuffed foe. But a level 17 ANYTHING should be able to OHKO any level 3 enemy, even with a suboptimal-but-reliable option like magic missile.

They couldn't in PF1. Not with a no frills, no metamagic, magic missile (which averaged about 17.5 damage on the highest level people possible...which is a smaller percentage of a PF1 Ogre's HP than 52.5 is of a PF2 Ogre's). And the probably can take out average Level 3 Monsters. The PF2 Ogre is especially durable to make up for low AC and lack of tricks (in other words, the exact opposite of the type of foe you should use Magic Missile on).

And in many ways that's what we're dealing with here. The no frills version. We have no damage enhancing metamagic options, no Sorcerer Bloodlines, no Quickened Spell. No nothing. Just 'Heighten' which is the basic replacement for improved caster level.

Assuming that we will get absolutely no damage enhancing tricks is a weird assumption to make, to be honest. And comparing PF2 without such tricks to PF1 with them strikes me as a bad mistake.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yeah an ogre is an especially bad target for magic missile. Use a targeted or save spell and you get critical damage practically guaranteed.

Grand Lodge

Mark Seifter wrote:


It's a lot harder to assume exactly what a "generic martial character" is doing at a given moment than it is to determine the results of a specific spell. A 9th-level greatsword wielding character with 18 Strength, no special abilities whatsoever, and a solid magic greatsword who is thrown into this encounter is probably going to move up, hopefully into a flank, make an attack with a solid chance to crit the ogre, which will be in range to one-shot the ogre on a good damage roll, and then either move up to another ogre or swing again and deal solid damage to a second ogre if they're adjacent (or to the same ogre if it survived). An actual martial character could be doing something more complicated than that, though, also without spending resources. Either way, they are not going to outshine the wizard who threw a max level AoE spell into this AoE friendly fight, as it should be.

THIS. BOOM.

Jhaeman wrote:
I don't care so much how the spells are cast, but more on whether attention is paid to make sure whatever spells exist don't completely usurp the skill sets of other PCs. If charm person is too easy, there's not much point in being really good at Diplomacy; if invisibility is too easy, there's not much point in being really good at Stealth; if spider climb is too easy, why did I invest in . . . etc., etc. These sorts of low-level "automatic win" utility spells have always annoyed me.

Well that's why you have a good party balance and communicate with the people you play with. Now PFS on the other hand being what it is, it's not the fault of the spell system if you mismatch. You could just as easily get with a group of all heavy AC fighters with no rogue or cleric and end up in a trap/social scenario. Blaming low level utility spells isn't an argument.

thflame wrote:


I don't care if a wizard has access to invisibility, or Spider Climb, or Charm Person, but when they can have access to ALL of these, plus the ability to dish out good AOE damage and single target damage (compared to what their martial counterparts can do) then we have a problem.

LOL. There is a real tradeoff! The wizard can only do these things a limited number of times PER DAY! Whereas a fighter can multi attack all day long. That's the tradeoff!

N N 959 wrote:

I didn't read all of the Fighter blog comments, but I didn't see these types of examples.

You should always read the comments; often people ask pointed questions the the Paizo team usually do their best to answer them in the comments!


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
I don't expect a caster to be able to OHKO a level appropriate enemy, except in specific circumstances with setup like exploiting an elemental weakness on a debuffed foe. But a level 17 ANYTHING should be able to OHKO any level 3 enemy, even with a suboptimal-but-reliable option like magic missile.
They couldn't in PF1. Not with a no frills, no metamagic, magic missile (which averaged about 17.5 damage on the highest level people possible...which is a smaller percentage of a PF1 Ogre's HP than 52.5 is of a PF2 Ogre's).

You're comparing a 1st-level PF1 slot to a 9th-level PF2 slot, though. The complaint is that <thing> cast by a 17th-level wizard using his most powerful slot can't kill a level 3 <thing>.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
I don't expect a caster to be able to OHKO a level appropriate enemy, except in specific circumstances with setup like exploiting an elemental weakness on a debuffed foe. But a level 17 ANYTHING should be able to OHKO any level 3 enemy, even with a suboptimal-but-reliable option like...

Why? Do you think a lvl 17 fighter should OHK someone with a hand crossbow? Because they don't in PF1, and I doubt they will in PF2. Using the wrong spell for the wrong situation will not give you the desired outcome, and that's not a bug, that's a feature. I'm pretty sure the Wizard WILL be able to OHK ogres with his Meteor Swarm.

People asking that every spell heightened at 9th slot should be as good (or close to) a 9th lvl spell in a 9th lvl slot, are basically saying that at high level, the viable spell selection of a wizard should be the entire book. It doesn't matter if you pick lvl 1 magic missile, lvl 2 acid arrow, lvl 3 lightning bolt, or lvl 5 cone of cold, all of them should be equally good at a 9th lvl spell as a, say, meteor swarm (let's talk just about blasting for now). That makes the flexibility of the wizard exponentially better: there is no need to learn Chain Lighting, because you can use Lightning bolt at lvl 6 and be just as good as with a Chain Lighting, freeing the 6th lvl spell learnt for something else.

Magic Missile is a fine spell that is pretty good for its level, and that keeps relevant at higher levels (for example, force vs incorporeal, force vs creatures with several elemental inmunities or resistance, as a readied spell that never misses and break concentration when casting a spell, and so on). It's not meant to replace lvl 9 evocation spells, nor should it be.

Liberty's Edge

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shaventalz wrote:
You're comparing a 1st-level PF1 slot to a 9th-level PF2 slot, though. The complaint is that <thing> cast by a 17th-level wizard using his most powerful slot can't kill a level 3 <thing>.

But that's a terrible comparison, as we've been told that each level of spells is, in fact, better than the next lowest one Heightened up. Which means any actual 9th level spell will be more powerful than a Heightened Magic Missile. Almost certainly a lot more powerful.

I can definitely imagine putting Magic Missile in a 9th level slot anyway (if fighting, say, someone who's almost impossible to hit with great saves, or a ghost), but it's not actually representative of 9th level spells at all.


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nogoodscallywag wrote:
LOL. There is a real tradeoff! The wizard can only do these things a limited number of times PER DAY! Whereas a fighter can multi attack all day long. That's the tradeoff!

That's only a trade off if the wizard faces more of those challenges than times he is able to cast the spells. If there is only 1 chasm, and the wizard can ignore it with 1 cast of Dimensional Door, the wizard has effectively trumped the Climb Skill for the adventure. ONLY in adventures where the GM put ANOTHER chasm after the first one, was it a problem that the spell was spent (Assuming the spellcaster was not able to use another spontaneous spell slot, an arcane bond feature, or read a scroll he made for cheap cost with his free Scribe Scroll feat)


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Gorignak227 wrote:

Is the wizard still a SAD class?

I just realized that there wasn't any mention of any extra attributes needed for the wizard...

I assumed that they were trying to make all the classes a little more MAD after seeing that Cleric still requires charisma.

I don't think the difference between MAD and SAD is going to be that big of a deal since there isn't as much opportunity to sacrifice your weak stats to boost your strong ones with the new character building system. I could be wrong, and if I am I'll be sure to make note of it once the playtest comes out.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:


I don't expect a caster to be able to OHKO a level appropriate enemy, except in specific circumstances with setup like exploiting an elemental weakness on a debuffed foe. But a level 17 ANYTHING should be able to OHKO any level 3 enemy, even with a suboptimal-but-reliable option like...

One thing I like about this new system is that level X alone is not the end all be all metric of what a creature is. For low-level parties, an Ogre is designed to be a serious solo threat that will take a long time to drop.

But the ogre is also designed to be a decent meat sponge, even for higher level encounters. They have low AC, high Attack, high damage and a lot of hit points, with no special defenses.

Why, at level 17, would casting your auto-hit spell be any kind of option for that enemy. With the lower saves and defenses, I think any damaging cantrip is going to be a better option, especially if it uses an attack roll or a saving throw to do its damage. The wizard will have plenty of good options for dealing with low defense high HP enemies. Magic Missile was never that.

At level 17, that magic missile is a utility combat spell for targeting impossible to hit enemies (either because of saves, AC, or defensive powers like resistance or ethereal) especially ones that might have nasty abilities that are provoked by critical misses, or for getting that guaranteed hit on some one when it is absolutely crucial to hit (disrupting a spell or ritual for instance). Even if PF1, the vast majority of level 1 spells cease to have any value by the time you hit level 12, much less 17. Sure there are some utility ones, and people might be used to thinking of magic missile as a good default level 1 spell at higher levels, but I am sure that other level 1 spells will fill in the gaps.

We haven't even seen what the evoker gets or how that works, but I think blasting generally should require more investment than just spell selection and a tactical component of hitting the right enemies with the right spells to maximize damage instead of just focusing on having one default signature spell.

Liberty's Edge

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Arachnofiend wrote:
Gorignak227 wrote:

Is the wizard still a SAD class?

I just realized that there wasn't any mention of any extra attributes needed for the wizard...

I assumed that they were trying to make all the classes a little more MAD after seeing that Cleric still requires charisma.

I don't think the difference between MAD and SAD is going to be that big of a deal since there isn't as much opportunity to sacrifice your weak stats to boost your strong ones with the new character building system. I could be wrong, and if I am I'll be sure to make note of it once the playtest comes out.

Indeed. This is only added to by the fact that you have to raise 4 stats whenever you raise Ability Scores. Those 4 stats may not all start out as high, but they all go up at the same rate.

In fact, if stats have a point of diminishing returns on going up (which I'm more suspicious is going to be the case than I used to be), the lower ones may go up even faster.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tangent101 wrote:
It's a nice-in-theory concept. Using Reactions for it helps it become something that doesn't just waste the Wizard's actions. But in practice it is not nearly as useful as the alternatives.

This implies that you have experience using counterspell as a wizard using the playtest rules.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Because I think people will keep bringing up the x minutes adventuring day until we get one, can one of the devs give an example of the Heighten text for a couple of cantrips?


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
I don't expect a caster to be able to OHKO a level appropriate enemy, except in specific circumstances with setup like exploiting an elemental weakness on a debuffed foe. But a level 17 ANYTHING should be able to OHKO any level 3 enemy, even with a suboptimal-but-reliable option like magic missile.

They couldn't in PF1. Not with a no frills, no metamagic, magic missile (which averaged about 17.5 damage on the highest level people possible...which is a smaller percentage of a PF1 Ogre's HP than 52.5 is of a PF2 Ogre's). And the probably can take out average Level 3 Monsters. The PF2 Ogre is especially durable to make up for low AC and lack of tricks (in other words, the exact opposite of the type of foe you should use Magic Missile on).

And in many ways that's what we're dealing with here. The no frills version. We have no damage enhancing metamagic options, no Sorcerer Bloodlines, no Quickened Spell. No nothing. Just 'Heighten' which is the basic replacement for improved caster level.

Assuming that we will get absolutely no damage enhancing tricks is a weird assumption to make, to be honest. And comparing PF2 without such tricks to PF1 with them strikes me as a bad mistake.

Except a 10d6 fireball will very reliably wipe out a host of PF1 ogres, certainly a 15d6 cone of cold. And a 5d4+5 MM will reliably mop up any ogre that happens to save vs the fireball.

Again the issue clearly is the PF2 ogre hit points is way offz, especially when combined with the smaller damage output.


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Mark Seifter wrote:


In other words, the portion of my post that triggered the "as it should be" in terms of doing less damage was the "without spending resources" not the fact it was a martial character doing it.

Apologoies, Mark, but I find myself coming back to this. For me, it's not that the Wizard can out damage just about any generic martial, it's that the Wizard has the flexibility to do that, and also do massive single target damage the very next spell. Or, choose spells that dominate for one setting and then change those spells the next adventure and dominate a completely different set of obstacles. Granted, there's a question of the quality of information that proceeds preparation, regardless, no random martial has that type of flexibility.

At the risk of repeating the same mantra, saying that a martial can do X if they spend the resources, isn't really a fair counter. Even if a PF1 martial could find an AoE build that could out damage a full caster, the martial is pot committed to that build. A caster is not.

In recent thread, Pandora talked about this as character "agency." Her complaint with the Fighter was that it lacked the agency of full casters. My response is that no class should have that type of agency.

Has there been any thought to restricting what spells can do? Why not put serious boundaries on spells and take away all the skill duplicates? Or, be far more restrictive on how many schools of magic a wizard can cast from. Sure, they can always have an offensive cantrip, but if they want skill duplication, then they don't get Evocation/Illusion/Divination. If they wand Evocation, then they don't get three other schools to cast from, scrolls/wands included.

Again, for me, it's not about the highest level of power, its the breadth of that agency, even if it is from day to day and not encounter to encounter. Fewer spells doesn't really address this.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Ultrace wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Elminster
Well he is a 3.P caster, so he can't be a counterpoint.
Is he? He first showed up in the early 90s, didn't he? And 3.0 didn't even come out until 2000. I think it's pretty clear he was intended to represent 2.0 (although I don't know much beyond the early stuff so it's possible the nature of his portrayal changed after 3.0/3.5.)

Doesn't matter when Elminster was introduced, he was and always will be its creator's self insert and the epitome of a Mary Sue (Gary Stu?) character.

According to Greenwood Elminster is a fighter/cleric/rogue/wizard/archmage/chosen of Mystra. He's supremely powerful with his magic, immortal, has bedded the Goddess of Magic, got her to do his bidding more than once, slept with a few of the 7 sisters, which he was supposedly the guardian of.
Elminster would be THE poster child for the CMD if it were not for the fact he's such a blatant self insert that he's well beyond the concept of CMD and in a whole category of his own.


N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


In other words, the portion of my post that triggered the "as it should be" in terms of doing less damage was the "without spending resources" not the fact it was a martial character doing it.

Apologoies, Mark, but I find myself coming back to this. For me, it's not that the Wizard can out damage just about any generic martial, it's that the Wizard has the flexibility to do that, and also do massive single target damage the very next spell. Or, choose spells that dominate for one setting and then change those spells the next adventure and dominate a completely different set of obstacles. Granted, there's a question of the quality of information that proceeds preparation, regardless, no random martial has that type of flexibility.

At the risk of repeating the same mantra, saying that a martial can do X if they spend the resources, isn't really a fair counter. Even if a PF1 martial could find an AoE build that could out damage a full caster, the martial is pot committed to that build. A caster is not.

In recent thread, Pandora talked about this as character "agency." Her complaint with the Fighter was that it lacked the agency of full casters. My response is that no class should have that type of agency.

Has there been any thought to restricting what spells can do? Why not put serious boundaries on spells and take away all the skill duplicates? Or, be far more restrictive on how many schools of magic a wizard can cast from. Sure, they can always have an offensive cantrip, but if they want skill duplication, then they don't get Evocation/Illusion/Divination. If they wand Evocation, then they don't get three other schools to cast from, scrolls/wands included.

Again, for me, it's not about the highest level of power, its the breadth of that agency, even if it is from day to day and not encounter to encounter. Fewer spells doesn't really address this.

I really like this. But I think many, MANY, won't.


N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


In other words, the portion of my post that triggered the "as it should be" in terms of doing less damage was the "without spending resources" not the fact it was a martial character doing it.

Apologoies, Mark, but I find myself coming back to this. For me, it's not that the Wizard can out damage just about any generic martial, it's that the Wizard has the flexibility to do that, and also do massive single target damage the very next spell. Or, choose spells that dominate for one setting and then change those spells the next adventure and dominate a completely different set of obstacles. Granted, there's a question of the quality of information that proceeds preparation, regardless, no random martial has that type of flexibility.

At the risk of repeating the same mantra, saying that a martial can do X if they spend the resources, isn't really a fair counter. Even if a PF1 martial could find an AoE build that could out damage a full caster, the martial is pot committed to that build. A caster is not.

In recent thread, Pandora talked about this as character "agency." Her complaint with the Fighter was that it lacked the agency of full casters. My response is that no class should have that type of agency.

Has there been any thought to restricting what spells can do? Why not put serious boundaries on spells and take away all the skill duplicates? Or, be far more restrictive on how many schools of magic a wizard can cast from. Sure, they can always have an offensive cantrip, but if they want skill duplication, then they don't get Evocation/Illusion/Divination. If they wand Evocation, then they don't get three other schools to cast from, scrolls/wands included.

Again, for me, it's not about the highest level of power, its the breadth of that agency, even if it is from day to day and not encounter to encounter. Fewer spells doesn't really address this.

I think your proposed solution could work, and might even be desirable for some (me included) but I feel as though we have already let the toothpaste out of the tube with regards to wizard powers.

Any realistic measures of bringing casters in line with martials will either require HUGE nerfs to casters, a not-so-easily justifiable (lore wise) boost to martials, or some combination between those.

There is a significant portion of people who either don't care that casters are better than martials, vehemently deny it, or think that casters SHOULD outshine martials. Any attempt to bring casters in line with martials is going to be met with a good deal of outrage.

Something I will tack on, though: I see that damaging spells are balanced with respect to a martial having a magic weapon. What super expensive items do wizards have to have to pull off their super spells? I mean, if you are going to require a fighter to dish out some serious coin for a magic weapon, should a wizard not have to spend a comparable amount on, say, his arcane focus?

Perhaps a low level wizard can get away with a cheap wand (10gp in PF1 coinage?), but if that wizard wants to cast 9th and 10th level spells, they should have to purchase a +9/+10 arcane focus that costs about as much as a +9/+10(effective) weapon.


Gorignak227 wrote:

Diviner's Sight and other 1 round effects

Can we make these 1 round effects a little more flexible and have it as an optional 1 time use over a 1 minute duration or another design that maximizes quality of life?

What I see here is an action that only affects the round you are in, but that gives the wizard something thematic to do without expanding a spell. This is what you do instead of using a cantrip, and expecting aboput as much of a result. Remember, fighters will only be making 1 or 2 attacks a round, giving them an extra die on that ups the chance of a hit/crit significantly.


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N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


In other words, the portion of my post that triggered the "as it should be" in terms of doing less damage was the "without spending resources" not the fact it was a martial character doing it.

Apologoies, Mark, but I find myself coming back to this. For me, it's not that the Wizard can out damage just about any generic martial, it's that the Wizard has the flexibility to do that, and also do massive single target damage the very next spell. Or, choose spells that dominate for one setting and then change those spells the next adventure and dominate a completely different set of obstacles. Granted, there's a question of the quality of information that proceeds preparation, regardless, no random martial has that type of flexibility.

At the risk of repeating the same mantra, saying that a martial can do X if they spend the resources, isn't really a fair counter. Even if a PF1 martial could find an AoE build that could out damage a full caster, the martial is pot committed to that build. A caster is not.

In recent thread, Pandora talked about this as character "agency." Her complaint with the Fighter was that it lacked the agency of full casters. My response is that no class should have that type of agency.

Has there been any thought to restricting what spells can do? Why not put serious boundaries on spells and take away all the skill duplicates? Or, be far more restrictive on how many schools of magic a wizard can cast from. Sure, they can always have an offensive cantrip, but if they want skill duplication, then they don't get Evocation/Illusion/Divination. If they wand Evocation, then they don't get three other schools to cast from, scrolls/wands included.

Again, for me, it's not about the highest level of power, its the breadth of that agency, even if it is from day to day and not encounter to encounter. Fewer spells doesn't really address this.

I don't agree, if you ever read through guides and class builds of casters you will notice that all those state one thing about all: specialize.

Yes a wizard can do amazing damage (with intesified spell, toppling / rime, spell mastery and spell focus in evocation). There isn't enough room to get also everything for decent save or suck spells or summoning.

Yes the same mage can cast charm person, knock and invisibility sphere. Will he have a lot of those spells slotted, probably not.

Fewer spells actually address this, as the wizard will prepare spells for his role and for basic self defense/utility: mage armor, mirror image, fly, stoneskin and so on. Besides spells that are expected of him: identify, glitterdust, haste, teleport.

There are not enough slots to replace the rogue. Besides every wizard worth his 6 wisdom and 20 intelligence knows that the next trap will poke him in bad places. Whatever spells he has prepared.

So the problem of agency you describe is not a problem of every-caster-can-do-everything, but more a these-classes-can-be-build-to-fill-out-a-lot-of-different-roles. Those builds still have to commit to those roles and are inside their class fantasy. So I would argue its not a caster class problem, its an image problem martials have.


Tallow wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Well he is a 3.P caster, so he can't be a counterpoint.
He appeared in novels and in Forgotten Realms product well before 3rd edition. So that can't be a counter-counterpoint.

He was obviously not a 3e caster before 3e existed. But in the 1e and 2e days, he was still a D&D character.

shaventalz wrote:
2) Magic Missile's "Heightened" section says you get one additional missile for each action you spend. What happens with something like Conceal Spell? Would a 2-action-plus-Conceal spell heighten similarly to the 3-action version? Is it intended to, or is that wording that should be cleaned up somehow?

Hopefully there is a general rule somewhere that actions added for metamagic do not also count for the spell's own action benefits, for those spells that have built in variable numbers of actions.

_
glass.


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nogoodscallywag wrote:
Now PFS on the other hand being what it is, it's not the fault of the spell system if you mismatch. You could just as easily get with a group of all heavy AC fighters with no rogue or cleric and end up in a trap/social scenario. Blaming low level utility spells isn't an argument.

This is not the fault of the system... This is the fault of Janet in the Pathfinder Society's Human Resources Department.

Because she reads, "High society dinner party to garner favor with Taldorian nobles," and says... "A Barbarian named Thunks, a Goblin named Stink Foot, a Blind and Deaf cursed Oracle named Scourge, and a Wizard with absolutely no social skills who signed his application to the Society by throwing a Fireball at it... Brilliant! They're perfect! Let's send them!"

And dont get me started on her descendant Linda who works for the Starfinder Society, she's just as bad.


thflame wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


In other words, the portion of my post that triggered the "as it should be" in terms of doing less damage was the "without spending resources" not the fact it was a martial character doing it.

Apologoies, Mark, but I find myself coming back to this. For me, it's not that the Wizard can out damage just about any generic martial, it's that the Wizard has the flexibility to do that, and also do massive single target damage the very next spell. Or, choose spells that dominate for one setting and then change those spells the next adventure and dominate a completely different set of obstacles. Granted, there's a question of the quality of information that proceeds preparation, regardless, no random martial has that type of flexibility.

At the risk of repeating the same mantra, saying that a martial can do X if they spend the resources, isn't really a fair counter. Even if a PF1 martial could find an AoE build that could out damage a full caster, the martial is pot committed to that build. A caster is not.

In recent thread, Pandora talked about this as character "agency." Her complaint with the Fighter was that it lacked the agency of full casters. My response is that no class should have that type of agency.

Has there been any thought to restricting what spells can do? Why not put serious boundaries on spells and take away all the skill duplicates? Or, be far more restrictive on how many schools of magic a wizard can cast from. Sure, they can always have an offensive cantrip, but if they want skill duplication, then they don't get Evocation/Illusion/Divination. If they wand Evocation, then they don't get three other schools to cast from, scrolls/wands included.

Again, for me, it's not about the highest level of power, its the breadth of that agency, even if it is from day to day and not encounter to encounter. Fewer spells doesn't really address this.

I think your proposed solution could work, and might even be desirable for some (me included) but I feel as though we have already let the toothpaste out of the tube with regards to wizard powers.

Any realistic measures of bringing casters in line with martials will either require HUGE nerfs to casters, a not-so-easily justifiable (lore wise) boost to martials, or some combination between those.

There is a significant portion of people who either don't care that casters are better than martials, vehemently deny it, or think that casters SHOULD outshine martials. Any attempt to bring casters in line with martials is going to be met with a good deal of outrage.

Something I will tack on, though: I see that damaging spells are balanced with respect to a martial having a magic weapon. What super expensive items do wizards have to have to pull off their super spells? I mean, if you are going to require a fighter to dish out some serious coin for a magic weapon, should a wizard not have to spend a comparable amount on, say, his arcane focus?

Perhaps a low level wizard can get away with a cheap wand (10gp in PF1 coinage?), but if that wizard wants to cast 9th and 10th level spells, they should have to purchase a +9/+10 arcane focus that costs about as much as a +9/+10(effective) weapon.

So which item can a wizard buy to become even more incredible powerful? That a wizard doesn't buy weapons to do what he does is part of the system. It could be balanced so I don't disagree. But there is no point in arguing that making a wizard spend more money would balance him, as he already can't spend this money to become more powerful.


Spell Manifestations, Saving Throws, Skills, and Character Knowledge

Situation
An NPC casts a non-flashy spell on me (say, Charm), not using the Concealed Spell metamagic feat, from the middle of a crowd of other NPCs whom I am aware of.

Questions
1) If I pass my save, do I know I succeeded in resisting a mental attack?
2) If so, do I know who attempted the mental attack?
3) Would having training in a certain skill (say, Arcana or Spellcraft) give me more / different info?
4) What if I failed my saving throw?
5) What about my party-members standing next to me - do they perceive the mental attack in the above situations? Which?

I have my own Houserule answer to these questions - naturally - and am curious if these are being "decided" by this second edition ruleset, or if they will remain within the purview of the magical tone and norms (if you will) a DM is at liberty to set (or, if you have as clever players as I, must definitely reconcile to progress forward narratively).

Cheers!


Wermut wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


In other words, the portion of my post that triggered the "as it should be" in terms of doing less damage was the "without spending resources" not the fact it was a martial character doing it.

Apologoies, Mark, but I find myself coming back to this. For me, it's not that the Wizard can out damage just about any generic martial, it's that the Wizard has the flexibility to do that, and also do massive single target damage the very next spell. Or, choose spells that dominate for one setting and then change those spells the next adventure and dominate a completely different set of obstacles. Granted, there's a question of the quality of information that proceeds preparation, regardless, no random martial has that type of flexibility.

At the risk of repeating the same mantra, saying that a martial can do X if they spend the resources, isn't really a fair counter. Even if a PF1 martial could find an AoE build that could out damage a full caster, the martial is pot committed to that build. A caster is not.

In recent thread, Pandora talked about this as character "agency." Her complaint with the Fighter was that it lacked the agency of full casters. My response is that no class should have that type of agency.

Has there been any thought to restricting what spells can do? Why not put serious boundaries on spells and take away all the skill duplicates? Or, be far more restrictive on how many schools of magic a wizard can cast from. Sure, they can always have an offensive cantrip, but if they want skill duplication, then they don't get Evocation/Illusion/Divination. If they wand Evocation, then they don't get three other schools to cast from, scrolls/wands included.

Again, for me, it's not about the highest level of power, its the breadth of that agency, even if it is from day to day and not encounter to encounter. Fewer spells doesn't really address this.

I don't agree, if you ever read through guides and class builds...

You've never read the original God Wizard Guide, have you. All those other guides exist because Treantmonk broke the "do everything" Wizard very early in Pathfinder's run time, every guide that's come after it has been for people who don't want to manage a God Wizard and just want to spam fireball.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Gorignak227 wrote:

Is the wizard still a SAD class?

I just realized that there wasn't any mention of any extra attributes needed for the wizard...

I assumed that they were trying to make all the classes a little more MAD after seeing that Cleric still requires charisma.

I don't think the difference between MAD and SAD is going to be that big of a deal since there isn't as much opportunity to sacrifice your weak stats to boost your strong ones with the new character building system. I could be wrong, and if I am I'll be sure to make note of it once the playtest comes out.

The only SAD class is Alchemist.

Everyone else, even Wizards, needs at least Charisma for scrolls, potions, wands, etc.


HWalsh wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Gorignak227 wrote:

Is the wizard still a SAD class?

I just realized that there wasn't any mention of any extra attributes needed for the wizard...

I assumed that they were trying to make all the classes a little more MAD after seeing that Cleric still requires charisma.

I don't think the difference between MAD and SAD is going to be that big of a deal since there isn't as much opportunity to sacrifice your weak stats to boost your strong ones with the new character building system. I could be wrong, and if I am I'll be sure to make note of it once the playtest comes out.

The only SAD class is Alchemist.

Everyone else, even Wizards, needs at least Charisma for scrolls, potions, wands, etc.

Even Alchemists aren't SAD because they rely on a physical stat for their offense (probably dexterity for bomb throwing but if poison ends up working out I could see STR Alchemists coming out of the woodwork).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Fumarole wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
It's a nice-in-theory concept. Using Reactions for it helps it become something that doesn't just waste the Wizard's actions. But in practice it is not nearly as useful as the alternatives.
This implies that you have experience using counterspell as a wizard using the playtest rules.

Your response implies you know all the spells Wizards will have and have learned they will be massively limited so there's only a half dozen spells for each level so a Wizard could easily have memorized the spell... oh wait, that's not how magic in Pathfinder works, is it. There's dozens of spells for each spell level. Nearly a hundred for the low level stuff... so. How do you know which ones to memorize to counter them? Any Wizard worth his books will avoid the common spells so to avoid being Counterspelled.


N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I'm sure you're aware of a certain high tier scenario where the players have to battle some high level caster. That scenario has a hard mode that essentially TPKs frequently...

A bit off-topic here, lets not derail the thread... but this is SO opposite of my experience of PF1. A lone caster very rarely survives more than a single round against a party of martials.

Edit: the quote got misplaced, I was commenting n someone speaking about how a high level NPC wizard could cause a TPK.


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Tangent101 wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
It's a nice-in-theory concept. Using Reactions for it helps it become something that doesn't just waste the Wizard's actions. But in practice it is not nearly as useful as the alternatives.
This implies that you have experience using counterspell as a wizard using the playtest rules.
Your response implies you know all the spells Wizards will have and have learned they will be massively limited so there's only a half dozen spells for each level so a Wizard could easily have memorized the spell... oh wait, that's not how magic in Pathfinder works, is it. There's dozens of spells for each spell level. Nearly a hundred for the low level stuff... so. How do you know which ones to memorize to counter them? Any Wizard worth his books will avoid the common spells so to avoid being Counterspelled.

You're really gonna just not prepare Haste because it might get Counterspelled? Is that really the position you're taking right now?


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Starfox wrote:
Gorignak227 wrote:

Diviner's Sight and other 1 round effects

Can we make these 1 round effects a little more flexible and have it as an optional 1 time use over a 1 minute duration or another design that maximizes quality of life?
What I see here is an action that only affects the round you are in, but that gives the wizard something thematic to do without expanding a spell. This is what you do instead of using a cantrip, and expecting aboput as much of a result. Remember, fighters will only be making 1 or 2 attacks a round, giving them an extra die on that ups the chance of a hit/crit significantly.

Look again, it doesn't work on attack rolls, only skills, perception (which isn't a skill) checks, and saving throws. However, there are probably some skill options out of combat (traps) and in combat (maneuvers) that would be worth it even if you don't want to buy saving throw insurance.

Grand Lodge

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Gorignak227 wrote:

Is the wizard still a SAD class?

I just realized that there wasn't any mention of any extra attributes needed for the wizard...

I assumed that they were trying to make all the classes a little more MAD after seeing that Cleric still requires charisma.

I don't think the difference between MAD and SAD is going to be that big of a deal since there isn't as much opportunity to sacrifice your weak stats to boost your strong ones with the new character building system. I could be wrong, and if I am I'll be sure to make note of it once the playtest comes out.

Indeed. This is only added to by the fact that you have to raise 4 stats whenever you raise Ability Scores. Those 4 stats may not all start out as high, but they all go up at the same rate.

In fact, if stats have a point of diminishing returns on going up (which I'm more suspicious is going to be the case than I used to be), the lower ones may go up even faster.

This does make taking a MAD class a little easier to swallow but its a little painful till you get past your gangly and poorly attributed early levels.

I think Kyra would really appreciate having that extra CON instead of CHR when she's casting Shield Other on someone.

Liberty's Edge

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Trimalchio wrote:
Except a 10d6 fireball will very reliably wipe out a host of PF1 ogres, certainly a 15d6 cone of cold. And a 5d4+5 MM will reliably mop up any ogre that happens to save vs the fireball.

A 10d6 Fireball can reliably wipe out a host of PF2 Ogres as well. Well, about half of them anyway (a 10th level Wizard has a Save DC of 25 or so at a minimum so more than half critically fail and take 70 damage... A 17th level Wizard probably has a DC of 33+ and they can't even manage to fail, so they all die to critical failures pretty close to unavoidably).

Trimalchio wrote:
Again the issue clearly is the PF2 ogre hit points is way offz, especially when combined with the smaller damage output.

No it isn't because they have nothing else. Most Level 3 Creatures probably have more like 40 HP, higher AC and maybe saves, and perhaps somewhat less damage. Plus reactions and special abilities.

The Ogre is a thug with nothing going for them but high HP for their level. That's a valid thing to have around and I'm perfectly happy to see it. It just makes using them for damage comparisons less than ideal.

Liberty's Edge

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Gorignak227 wrote:
This does make taking a MAD class a little easier to swallow but its a little painful till you get past your gangly and poorly attributed early levels.

You have more stat points in PF2 than PF1 as well. The default almost certainly gives the equivalent of 18-22 point-buy, which is a leg up from the default 15 point buy of PF1. You can't dump much, but this at least makes up for that.

I don't think it's gonna be a huge hardship, really.

Gorignak227 wrote:
I think Kyra would really appreciate having that extra CON instead of CHR when she's casting Shield Other on someone.

Eh. Charisma gives her more HP at low levels than Con would. After all, by the time she has 2nd level spells, each point of Cha mod gives her either 3d8+Wis single target healing or 1d8+Wis area healing. Each point of Con Mod just gives 3 HP.


Wermut wrote:
I don't agree, if you ever read through guides and class builds of casters you will notice that all those state one thing about all: specialize.

I doubt the majority of people who play PFS read guides on how to build their character. I doubt the majority of people who play PF read guides. In my experience most guides (if not all) are about hyper-optimization for a specific task. They exist because someone figured out how to increase the scalar on a functional vector, or, recreate some iconic fictional character via game mechanics. So I don't agree that there is need to specialize in anything other than casting. Sorcerers are a little different by nature, but I assume that most people play Sorcs because they inherently want to blast, or spam highly useful spells like Glitterdust or Haste.

Quote:
Yes a wizard can do amazing damage (with intesified spell, toppling / rime, spell mastery and spell focus in evocation). There isn't enough room to get also everything for decent save or suck spells or summoning.

You realize that your bar for "enough room" starts at a point far beyond what martials have in the way of effective agency right? Martials are essentially limited to combat and a handful of skills. There's no True Seeing, Inviso, Charm Person, Gaseous Form, Protection from Evil, and god knows how many other options even available to the average martial.

In combat, you might have a couple of nifty tricks. A debilitating strike, turning the ground around you in to Difficult Terrain, Scent, demoralizing enemies. But it's the same thing every time. You find out you're going to clear a crypt? You don't get Hide from Undead, you can't pick up Smite Evil. Yeah, you can spend a bunch of money on potions/oils. But usually you have someone in your face already, like a Huge Elemental with Combat Reflexes, and you're stuck with what you started the encounter with.

Quote:
Yes the same mage can cast charm person, knock and invisibility sphere. Will he have a lot of those spells slotted, probably not.

The point is not that he has all those spells at the right time, the point is he has the option of having those spells at the start, from day to day. If caster knows he's with a party fo squishies, he can load up on defensive spells and tank. If the tanking is covered, he can load up on damage spells. If there's no one with skills, he can go do that. The Fighter, the Barbarian, the Ranger, or even the Rogue? Not so much, in fact, not at all. The Brawler has some nice tricks. But they aren't the game changers that spells are. Your Brawler can't decide that this dungeon he's going to load up on Haste and spam it every encounter.

Quote:
Fewer spells actually address this, as the wizard will prepare spells for his role and for basic self defense/utility: mage armor, mirror image, fly, stoneskin and so on. Besides spells that are expected of him: identify, glitterdust, haste, teleport.

No, it doesn't address what I'm talking about: agency. Fewer spells means you dominate less, but it doesn't change the fact the Wizard can choose how you want to contribute far beyond what any martial can do. Why do Wizards get to do whatever they want from scenario to scenario? Why shouldn't they be locked into a playstyle like the rest of the martial world?

Quote:
There are not enough slots to replace the rogue

If that's specifically what you want to do, sure there are. I've played PFS scenarios and there simply aren't that many traps in any given scenario outside of something like Bonekeep.

Quote:
Besides every wizard worth his 6 wisdom and 20 intelligence knows that the next trap will poke him in bad places. Whatever spells he has prepared.

Unless it's gaseous form, or he flys over the spell or summons a creature to trigger it.

Quote:
So the problem of agency you describe is not a problem of every-caster-can-do-everything, but more a these-classes-can-be-build-to-fill-out-a-lot-of-different-roles. Those builds still have to commit to those roles and are inside their class fantasy.

No. In PFS, I'm not seeing Wizards having to commit to any specific builds in order to be competent at whatever they choose to be. Sure, at low levels, it's less obvious. As the levels get higher, and higher, it gets worse and worse.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Starfox wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I'm sure you're aware of a certain high tier scenario where the players have to battle some high level caster. That scenario has a hard mode that essentially TPKs frequently...
A bit off-topic here, lets not derail the thread... but this is SO opposite of my experience of PF1. A lone caster very rarely survives more than a single round against a party of martials.

At first level? Absolutely. A single lvl 1 human fighter archer should end the career of any lvl 1 wizards if he so wanted. A GM I refrain from having archers focus on wizards at first level or that would mean a lot of dead wizards and I understand killing players is not my job.

After lvl 1... weeeeell martials can (more or less, it depends) deal with spellcasters until lvl 5. After that spellcasters have the edge by a WIDE margin and it keeps increasing.

That's somehow besides the point though: the problem is not that the wizard can defeat a martial in a thousand different times. The problem that, in PF1, after a certain lvl the wizard can outshine everyone in the party besides other 9th lvl casters and can solve 99% of situations by himself thanks to scribe scroll, a host of lesser spells, rods of metamagic and big spells of DOOM.

THIS is the problem and a huge part of the reason why D&D 3.+ and PF1 break after about lvl 12.


gustavo iglesias wrote:


People asking that every spell heightened at 9th slot should be as good (or close to) a 9th lvl spell in a 9th lvl slot, are basically saying that at high level, the viable spell selection of a wizard should be the entire book. It doesn't matter if you pick lvl 1 magic missile, lvl 2 acid arrow, lvl 3 lightning bolt, or lvl 5 cone of cold, all of them should be equally good at a 9th lvl spell as a, say, meteor swarm (let's talk just about blasting for now). That makes the flexibility of the wizard exponentially better: there is no need to learn Chain Lighting, because you can use Lightning bolt at lvl 6 and be just as good as with a Chain Lighting, freeing the 6th lvl spell learnt for something else.

Why do Chain Lightning and Delayed Blast Fireball need to be their own spells? Why can't chaining and delayed explosion be unique metamagic effects tied to the Lightning Bolt and Fireball spells?

Why can't Fireball have "Heightened (7th): You may Delay the Fireball's explosion up to 5 rounds. If you wish to Delay do you must Concentrate each round. If you ever stop Concentrating or after Delaying for 5 rounds the Fireball immediately explodes." as part of its write up?

The problem with Wizards (and other spell casters) has never been number of spells known, its always been what individual spells do.

Magic Missile is also fairly easy to fix so that it doesn't feel like a waste in higher slots. It just needs additional Heightened effects (like "Heightened(4th): Each bolt deals 2d4+1 damage." and "Heightened(8th): Each bolt deals 2d6+1 damage.") added.


We don't know how much a PF2 fireball does, but it likely isn't 10d6 if the level 5 cone of cold spell does a static 11d6.

You have access to other monster stat blocks? How do you know know average hit points?

The level 3 ogre has 20% more hp then the level 5 redcap. It has double the PF1 ogre, in comparison the PF1 redcap 60 hp. It seems pf2 hp is all over the place.


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thflame wrote:
I think your proposed solution could work, and might even be desirable for some (me included) but I feel as though we have already let the toothpaste out of the tube with regards to wizard powers.

Yes, I agree to some extent, but if you're going to fix PF1, then commit to fixing it. If Paizo wants 2e to stick around for 10+ years (maybe they don't) then do it right. Sure, you're going anger some. But if the game is fixed, then it should more than make up for it as more people enjoy the game into higher levels.

Quote:
There is a significant portion of people who either don't care that casters are better than martials, vehemently deny it, or think that casters SHOULD outshine martials. Any attempt to bring casters in line with martials is going to be met with a good deal of outrage.

Sure. It would be more political to boost Martials. But the problem with that is now you're raising the bar on many levels. Lowering the overall effectiveness of high level parties, by bringing the full caster down to earth, is going to have cascade benefits for GMs and players. And when I say full casters, I don't just mean wizards.

I'm hoping Paizo has the political will to really reign in casters, but I am not going to hold my breadth. I think there is something unavoidable when it comes to a class that uses magic that makes a designers eyes light up with all the cool things you can do. I fear its contrary to the creative element to restrict things, even if that would be the best course of action.

Admittedly this blog is about promoting the improvements, so I don't expect Paizo to broadcast all the corrective measures. I'm hopeful that they are there. I'm also open to the idea that low level play for casters had room for improvement.

Rethinking my idea, I would love to see a playtest where full casters got one Primary School and one Secondary school (spells use 1 level higher slot). All other schools are off limits via wands or scrolls. Force casters to actually commit to a playstyle.


Tangent101 wrote:
I still say that Counterspell is fairly useless. Given the significantly limited number of spells available, you're not going to get to utilize it very often - whereas the Familiar gives multiple abilities over time. Hmm, which seems more likely to be used?

You don't get just one class feat; you get another every other level. So how can you be sure that there are a whole bunch of wizard feats that are better than counterspelling?


Ultimatecalibur wrote:


Why do Chain Lightning and Delayed Blast Fireball need to be their own spells? Why can't chaining and delayed explosion be unique metamagic effects tied to the Lightning Bolt and Fireball spells?

Why can't Fireball have "Heightened (7th): You may Delay the Fireball's explosion up to 5 rounds. If you wish to Delay do you must Concentrate each round. If you ever stop Concentrating or after Delaying for 5 rounds the Fireball immediately explodes." as part of its write up?

Even if you include chained and delayed as part of the heighten (something I might agree with), there is still ice storm, cone of cold, horrid wilting, polar ray or mentor swarm, which are pointless if a heightened fireball works equally well and you can use the spell learnt to get Mass Invisibility or Charm Monster or Stoneskin.

Quote:
The problem with Wizards (and other spell casters) has never been number of spells known, its always been what individual spells do.

Disagree. Even from the 3.5 era in the char op forum in WotC, "whatever you do, a wizard do better" was a motto. It is not only do e spells that are broken. It is the fact that they can prepare fue almost anything. Making a single damage spell learnt be worthy in all spell slots does not help.

Quote:
Magic Missile is also fairly easy to fix so that it doesn't feel like a waste in higher slots. It just needs additional Heightened effects (like "Heightened(4th): Each bolt deals 2d4+1 damage." and "Heightened(8th): Each bolt deals 2d6+1 damage.") added.

yes, there are a lot of ways to make Mm never get obsolete and become the go to option for single target damage at all levels. I don't think that is a good goal, tho. Heightened spells should be worse than higher level spells, because you don't waste an opportunity cost to learn them again


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Ultimatecalibur wrote:


Why do Chain Lightning and Delayed Blast Fireball need to be their own spells? Why can't chaining and delayed explosion be unique metamagic effects tied to the Lightning Bolt and Fireball spells?

Why can't Fireball have "Heightened (7th): You may Delay the Fireball's explosion up to 5 rounds. If you wish to Delay do you must Concentrate each round. If you ever stop Concentrating or after Delaying for 5 rounds the Fireball immediately explodes." as part of its write up?

Even if you include chained and delayed as part of the heighten (something I might agree with), there is still ice storm, cone of cold, horrid wilting, polar ray or mentor swarm, which are pointless if a heightened fireball works equally well and you can use the spell learnt to get Mass Invisibility or Charm Monster or Stoneskin.

Quote:
The problem with Wizards (and other spell casters) has never been number of spells known, its always been what individual spells do.

Disagree. Even from the 3.5 era in the char op forum in WotC, "whatever you do, a wizard do better" was a motto. It is not only do e spells that are broken. It is the fact that they can prepare fue almost anything. Making a single damage spell learnt be worthy in all spell slots does not help.

Quote:
Magic Missile is also fairly easy to fix so that it doesn't feel like a waste in higher slots. It just needs additional Heightened effects (like "Heightened(4th): Each bolt deals 2d4+1 damage." and "Heightened(8th): Each bolt deals 2d6+1 damage.") added.
yes, there are a lot of ways to make Mm never get obsolete and become the go to option for single target damage at all levels. I don't think that is a good goal, tho. Heightened spells should be worse than higher level spells, because you don't waste an opportunity cost to learn them again

Arguably Magic Missile should be one of the weakest single target or multi target damage options a Wizard has available of the non-cantrip spells. Why?

Simple:

Magic Missile requires no attack roll and always hits. This means it can't crit, yes, but it also always deals its damage no matter what.

Magic Missile allows no save. This means, again, it can't crit, but it also always deals its damage no matter what.

Vs any ray spell:
They can miss, and some have saves on top of it.

Vs any other damage spell:
They require a save that can reduce, or eliminate, the damage.

Magic missile should never, ever, be the go to.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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With the new counterspell rules, I envision my players being very happy with the ability to more easily shut down bad guys using dimension door or teleport to get away before the killing blow.

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