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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Tags: Ezren Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds Wizards
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Liberty's Edge

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ChibiNyan wrote:
4 characters of any class focus firing a target of equivalent level before it gets initiative will kill them pretty much all the time.

If they hit and the enemy doesn't have defenses that apply (like mirror image, DR, miss chance or ridiculous AC)? Sure. The issue with Magic Missile is that it automatically works. No roll to hit, no way for the PCs to escape having this done to them, no way to mitigate its effects with clever tactics. Nothing. It's unbeatable.

If it's both unbeatable and does damage on par with spells that aren't...then we have an issue.

ChibiNyan wrote:
4 Wizards using lv9 spells aren't supposed to kill 1 guy of equivalent level now? So a Wizard by himself using all 4 of his most precious lv9 slots in the same fight isn't supposed to take out a tough enemy? It probably takes less time than that for any martial to pull that off with their basic routine.

With Magic Missile? You probably shouldn't be able to do that, no. Magic Missile has issues if it can do this due to its certainty. Other spells doing it on average is fine, and indeed expected, but getting killed inevitably without a roll or ability to resist tends to feel deeply unfair to PCs, and if it can be done to NPCs it can be done to PCs too.

It also necessitates being able to do this in fewer spells if using spells that actually are susceptible to Resistance or Saves, and much fewer than the two you get if you assume Magic Missile does only half the damage of equivalent spells, and we're back to rocket tag.

ChibiNyan wrote:
Think we need to evaluate what it means for a wizard to use his "most powerful spell" in a fight, and what impact should be expected of it. They can only do this around 3 times, so I would hope a fully dedicated damage wizard can get more damage than his fighter buddy does in 1 turn by using his most valuable resource. If the answer is "no", then it's back to 1E strategies.

It's actually more like 4 times. 5 for a specialist. But yes, it should have a big impact. And, indeed, Magic Missile can have exactly such an impact if dealing with a foe who has an AC the Fighter needs an 15+ to hit on their first attack or nearly unbeatable DR or the like.

It should not have an impact equivalent to a non auto-hit spell on foes with reasonable AC and a lack of DR. That is not its role.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
There's still going to be a lot of times that you want to cast a heightened spell because it's just an excellent option period, or the main way to create a particular effect, like heightening a summon spell or heightening invisibility to have it stick even if you go on the offense (like greater invisibility in PF1).

Of course there will be situations where you will want to cast a Heightened spell instead of a higher level Prepared spell, based on the situations you find yourself in.

There are a near limitless number of examples of such.

However, the issue is not, "There are times you will want to cast..."
The issues is "How often will you want to prepare a Heightened spell in place of a higher level spell?"

I imagine the answer to that question is, "never."

(tl;dr - If Heighten could happen on-the-fly, this wouldn't be a concern at all. However, it seems we can't Heighten on the fly, which makes it a massive concern.)

Liberty's Edge

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Neo2151 wrote:
I imagine the answer to that question is, "never."

Given that Heightened Invisibility is the equivalent of greater invisibility and Summon Monster IX is now Heightened Summon Monster this is pretty obviously wrong.

They may well be less common than spells inherently of the level in question, but assuming they won't happen? That's pretty clearly incorrect.


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Hmm wrote:

PS On Magic Missile and D4s.

I used to hate d4s. Then I got myself these lovely dice. They’re called ‘Triple Fours’ and they’re basically twelve-sided dice that have the numbers 1-4 repeated three times each. I bought these dice so I would not be driven crazy rolling four sided dice in Starfinder Starship combat! They have made such a difference to me. They roll well and feel good in my hands. I wish that all four sided dice were built like this. I love them!

Those seem pretty good. I suppose the same kind of thing could be done with the D8 and D20 shapes but with the numbers repeated twice or five times respectively, it's probably been done somewhere. Another option would be a d4 Long Die like the Crystal Dice from Crystal Caste. They roll much nicer than a tetrahedron. Of course everything rolls nicer than a tetrahedron.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Wow. Coming late to this party for once, and trying to catch up with the thread is exhausting and gave me a headache.

This all looks fantastic to me. Simply fantastic. I've been kicking around character ideas in preparation for a friend's game that I've been invited to join in at high level - and this blog makes me so disappointed that the wizard I'm making isn't a second edition wizard.

So there it is. The only gripe I can come up with from this one is that it's not fully available yet :D

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Xenocrat 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.

And a party of 4 17th level barbarian will probably kill the same boss in 1 round. I doubt that the first attack of your "average" level 17th barbarian will do less than 55 point of damage.

Same for 4 ranged weapon specialists.

Magic missile require to target that boss. Darkness/invisibility/mundane absence of light/hiding will stop it.
Probably the shield spell.
Brooch of shielding or an equivalent.
There are good chances that there will be some high level shield feat that block/deflect damaging targeted spells (we have something similar now).

If 4 17th level wizard are the problem, the way more common 17 5th level wizards are the same problem. They will do 374 points of damage in the same situation.

It has to be balanced against parties of four wizards. If four wizards focus magic missile on a boss at low levels where it's a relevant spell, they're going to very reliably delete a boss in 1-2 rounds. Doesn't matter if it saves, if it has high AC, if it takes cover, it's going to die.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
I imagine the answer to that question is, "never."

Given that Heightened Invisibility is the equivalent of greater invisibility and Summon Monster IX is now Heightened Summon Monster this is pretty obviously wrong.

They may well be less common than spells inherently of the level in question, but assuming they won't happen? That's pretty clearly incorrect.

Fair enough, I could have been more specific.

The issue quoted is dealing with Magic Missile, and the concern is the comparison between damage-dealing spells.

There is a world of difference between heightening an Invisibility into a new effect, and heightening a dps spell into the same effect with a different numerical value.
I thought it was clear we were discussing the latter.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Neo2151 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
I imagine the answer to that question is, "never."

Given that Heightened Invisibility is the equivalent of greater invisibility and Summon Monster IX is now Heightened Summon Monster this is pretty obviously wrong.

They may well be less common than spells inherently of the level in question, but assuming they won't happen? That's pretty clearly incorrect.

Fair enough, I could have been more specific.

The issue quoted is dealing with Magic Missile, and the concern is the comparison between damage-dealing spells.

There is a world of difference between heightening an Invisibility into a new effect, and heightening a dps spell into the same effect with a different numerical value.

While this is true, there's still the opportunity cost of learning a spell that needs to be considered in the equation. The blog doesn't mention how many spells a wizard can add to their spellbook "for free" beyond first level. If that remains 2, like it was in first edition, then there could conceivably be some hard decisions about which ones to take right now and which ones can wait until you can find a scroll to buy or loot. If you can get by with heightening your fireball another time or two in order to have phantasmal killer added to your arsenal instead of another, better AOE that might be worthwhile.

Liberty's Edge

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That's fair to some degree. On the other hand, from the information we have a Cone of Cold (as a 5th level spell) does all of 1d6 more damage than a Fireball Heightened to 5th level (it does probably also hit a bigger area, but that's a mixed blessing).

So it depends on how much you have in the way of resources and time to pick up new spells. Doing 11d6 rather than 10d6 is worth grabbing a new spell for if you're in a situation to spend money on it, but not worth investing one of your two free spells for leveling up (assuming that number remains the same).

EDIT: Semi-ninja'd. Ah, well. I think this still adds something.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook 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.)

1st ed. AD&D, he was the narrator in several articles in Dragon in the '80. And the Forgotten Realm box was printed in 1987.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Most of the settings were in 2nd edition, like Planescape, Spelljammer, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft and Dark Suns.

Eberron was the only setting that was new in 3.5, though Pathfinder was around in some form before Paizo broke off from the magazines that were brought inhouse for 4th edition.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
thflame wrote:
Nobody complains about a wizard at level 1. The most debilitating thing they can do at that level is probably cast Sleep. (Interestingly enough, I heard a story where a famous DnD player (I think it was Spoony?) was asked to run a game at some convention for new players. He decided to take liberties with a scenario and swapped out "Magic Missile" for "Sleep" on an NPC wizard encouter that was CR 1. He TPK'd the entire party by coup de grace-ing them with a quarterstaff. Needless to say, he wasn't asked to DM for that convention again.)

Ayup. "Leaping Wizards". ^_^

I should go watch that again...


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I see a lot of cool things, but I also think: what an occasion we are (seemingly) missing!
Proficiency for each school of magic would have been a perfect parallel with weapon groups, allowing Wizards to have a lot of customization.
You could have the character start as Trained in each school (universalist), or already Expert in one and Untrained in two/three/four others (specialist); from there, develop as you desire.


Diego Rossi wrote:
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.)
1st ed. AD&D, he was the narrator in several articles in Dragon in the '80. And the Forgotten Realm box was printed in 1987.

And he's been powered up in every single edition since that first appearance, with the exception of 4e. 2e added more levels, and a full set of psionic combat abilities in case he had to deal with a psionic enemy, and a version later in that edition had the prototype Chosen powers, 3e added multiple previous classes, and even more levels, and the latest upgrade to being Chosen. It's almost as if the requirement that Elminster be able to Gary Stu everything he wants is written into the fabric of the Realms.


Bluenose wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
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.)
1st ed. AD&D, he was the narrator in several articles in Dragon in the '80. And the Forgotten Realm box was printed in 1987.
And he's been powered up in every single edition since that first appearance, with the exception of 4e. 2e added more levels, and a full set of psionic combat abilities in case he had to deal with a psionic enemy, and a version later in that edition had the prototype Chosen powers, 3e added multiple previous classes, and even more levels, and the latest upgrade to being Chosen. It's almost as if the requirement that Elminster be able to Gary Stu everything he wants is written into the fabric of the Realms.

Fun fact: Elminster isn't even in the top 5 of "most powerful casters" of the Forgotten Realms. ;)

Anyway, he was 26th level Magic-User in 1st, a 29th level Wizard in 2nd, he maintained "29th level wizard" in 3rd edition by being 24 Wizard/5 Archmage, and then got a bunch of random useless levels to fill out his "before he became a wizard" backstory (1 Ftr, 2 Rog, 3 Clr - 3.X was really big about bloating character builds with pointless levels just to showcase story points).
4th Edition was the first time he drastically changed power levels by being dropped down to a 19th level Controller. I don't believe he has any 5E stats.
As for the Chosen template, it was much better in 2E than in 3E - 3E downtuned "extra powers" like the Chosen stuff, the Magister abilities, Spellfire, etc.

So he hardly keeps growing in power, and he's hardly a Gary Stu. He's that grumpy old Sage that knows everything and wants to be left alone, but will give helpful info to characters who need it when he sees fit.
Kinda like most powerful NPCs in most games across D&D history. ;)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
thflame wrote:
Nobody complains about a wizard at level 1. The most debilitating thing they can do at that level is probably cast Sleep. (Interestingly enough, I heard a story where a famous DnD player (I think it was Spoony?) was asked to run a game at some convention for new players. He decided to take liberties with a scenario and swapped out "Magic Missile" for "Sleep" on an NPC wizard encouter that was CR 1. He TPK'd the entire party by coup de grace-ing them with a quarterstaff. Needless to say, he wasn't asked to DM for that convention again.)

Ayup. "Leaping Wizards". ^_^

I should go watch that again...

OMG I remember that now XD

Poor Spoony, poor 1st level PCs...


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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.

I mean, if a wizard is avoiding common spells to avoid being counterspelled, I think the strategy of counterspelling is already reaping benefits. Not saying counterspell is (or should be) a go-to strategy for every wizard out there, but it's at least a viable alternative.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
nogoodscallywag wrote:
thflame wrote:


I was REALLY hoping that Vancian magic would go die in a fire. D&D has slaughtered that sacred cow, we can too. Preparing spells is fine, but it's much more simple of you let players cast spontaneously from the list they prepared.
PF 1 and PF 2 have this: they're called sorcerers.

Dude, It looks you've totally been playing sorcerers wrong all this time!

Sorcerers don't get to prepare spells, the class you're looking for in PF1 is the Arcanist. Which doesn't yet exist in PF2.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
4 characters of any class focus firing a target of equivalent level before it gets initiative will kill them pretty much all the time.

If they hit and the enemy doesn't have defenses that apply (like mirror image, DR, miss chance or ridiculous AC)? Sure. The issue with Magic Missile is that it automatically works. No roll to hit, no way for the PCs to escape having this done to them, no way to mitigate its effects with clever tactics. Nothing. It's unbeatable.

If it's both unbeatable and does damage on par with spells that aren't...then we have an issue.

ChibiNyan wrote:
4 Wizards using lv9 spells aren't supposed to kill 1 guy of equivalent level now? So a Wizard by himself using all 4 of his most precious lv9 slots in the same fight isn't supposed to take out a tough enemy? It probably takes less time than that for any martial to pull that off with their basic routine.

With Magic Missile? You probably shouldn't be able to do that, no. Magic Missile has issues if it can do this due to its certainty. Other spells doing it on average is fine, and indeed expected, but getting killed inevitably without a roll or ability to resist tends to feel deeply unfair to PCs, and if it can be done to NPCs it can be done to PCs too.

It also necessitates being able to do this in fewer spells if using spells that actually are susceptible to Resistance or Saves, and much fewer than the two you get if you assume Magic Missile does only half the damage of equivalent spells, and we're back to rocket tag.

ChibiNyan wrote:
Think we need to evaluate what it means for a wizard to use his "most powerful spell" in a fight, and what impact should be expected of it. They can only do this around 3 times, so I would hope a fully dedicated damage wizard can get more damage than his fighter buddy does in 1 turn by using his most valuable resource. If the answer is "no", then it's back to 1E strategies.

It's actually more like 4 times. 5 for a specialist. But yes, it should have a big impact. And, indeed, Magic Missile can have exactly such an impact if dealing with a foe who has an AC the Fighter needs an 15+ to hit on their first attack or nearly unbeatable DR or the like.

It should not have an impact equivalent to a non auto-hit spell on foes with reasonable AC and a lack of DR. That is not its role.

As all argument where you bring the topic to excess there is as much falsehood as truth in what you say.

Magic missile: " No roll to hit, no way for the PCs to escape having this done to them, no way to mitigate its effects with clever tactics. Nothing. It's unbeatable."
Hiding = no targeting them
Invisibility = no target
Brooch of shielding (if it still exist) = damage is mitigated (and in PF1 it cost very little)
Possible new magic items (5e has a item that reduce force damage, Companion D&D had a button that absorb MM)
Possible feats
The wizard wanting to live: spending your 3 action casting a spell that will deal less than half of the hp of a same level wizard, less than 1/4 of the hp of a level 17 fighter mean that you are a static target for the whole round. Not a good idea, unless you have some serious meat shield.

Note that currently a heightened MM deal an average of 15*3.5=52.5 hp of damage (I mistyped that number in another post), not enough to kill a creature with a challenge level fourteen points lower (an ogre has a CR of 3!).
Actually, requiring a to hit make a spell stronger, as there is a chance of a critical and probably feat to increase the to hit.
For some reason Paizo has chosen not to touch the sacred cow "MM automatically hit (if the target is visible)". That could be enough to warrant a damage reduction, but not on the level of making it useless .

Let's remove heightened from the equation. Wizard with MM against CR0 opponent:
- Skeleton 1 casting action avr. 3.5 damage, max 5 - damaged
- Skeleton 2 casting actions avr. 7 damage, min 4, max 10 - almost certainly killed
- Skeleton 3 casting actions avr. 10.5 damage, min 6, max 15 - certainly killed
- Zombie 1 casting action avr. 3.5 damage, max 5 - damaged
- Zombie 2 casting actions avr. 7 damage, min 4, max 10 - damaged
- Zombie 3 casting actions avr. 10.5 damage, min 6, max 15 - damaged
CR 1 rogue 6 class, 6 race, con 1 = 13 hp.
- Rogue 1 casting action avr. 3.5 damage, max 5 - damaged
- Rogue 2 casting actions avr. 7 damage, min 4, max 10 - damaged
- Rogue 3 casting actions avr. 10.5 damage, min 6, max 15 - damaged, killed on an above average roll

Note that all the high level examples are done spending a whole round casting magic missile, 3 actions.
The counter arguments sound as if people where considering only 1 attack from the martial. In a "act first" situation in PF2 a martial has a very good chance of getting 2 and maybe even 3 attacks, or a special attack.

When I see a spell that can be used 4 times at most if you use all your resources for it and it is not even guaranteed to remove a 1 CR lower opponent at its basic level (or a 14 CR lower opponent if heightened), I have very serious doubt about the feasibility of a blaster mage without a lot of supporting feats.
As thing stand in the usual development cycles, after a time a lot of options will appear to bolster damage and combining them will allow damage dealing monsters.
So the end result will be weakling or monsters, but nothing in between.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
thflame wrote:
Nobody complains about a wizard at level 1. The most debilitating thing they can do at that level is probably cast Sleep. (Interestingly enough, I heard a story where a famous DnD player (I think it was Spoony?) was asked to run a game at some convention for new players. He decided to take liberties with a scenario and swapped out "Magic Missile" for "Sleep" on an NPC wizard encouter that was CR 1. He TPK'd the entire party by coup de grace-ing them with a quarterstaff. Needless to say, he wasn't asked to DM for that convention again.)

Ayup. "Leaping Wizards". ^_^

I should go watch that again...

Three geeks in robes jump out of the bushes...


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thflame wrote:
Nobody complains about a wizard at level 1. The most debilitating thing they can do at that level is probably cast Sleep. (Interestingly enough, I heard a story where a famous DnD player (I think it was Spoony?) was asked to run a game at some convention for new players. He decided to take liberties with a scenario and swapped out "Magic Missile" for "Sleep" on an NPC wizard encouter that was CR 1. He TPK'd the entire party by coup de grace-ing them with a quarterstaff. Needless to say, he wasn't asked to DM for that convention again.)

Just to set the record straight...

While Spoony was at a convention, he was running for the RPGA which was the precursor to PFS.

RPPGA required you run the scenario as written, just like PFS. He was given a group of power gamers who were basically steam rolling everything using a well know hyper powerful multi-class combination.

He didn't TPK the party. He killed 2 of the PCs. There were a group of Wizards and he swapped out 2 spells. He took off 2 Magic Missiles and replaced them with Sleep and Charm Person.

He didn't Coup De Grace anyone, because that wasn't a thing. He did charm person the rogue who backstabbed one of the other party members though, killing him, while the Wizards were easily killed the party killed the rogue.

The RPGA got angry because he killed 2 PCs (like a lot of PFS scenarios, RPGA games were mostly easy mode) that were facilitated because he altered the spell lists. That was a violation of RPGA rules.

I imagine the same thing would happen in PFS if a rogue GM at PaizoCon altered the spell lists to increase the lethality of the scenario.


Wermut wrote:

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.

Who needs spells? The best rogues in the game are both spellcasters which is really one of the most bizarre game decisions Paizo makes. Usually, there is a class that often can replicate the exact purpose of another class and often does it better.

Quote:

I imagine the same thing would happen in PFS if a rogue GM at PaizoCon altered the spell lists to increase the lethality of the scenario.

Fun fact. There is actually a scenario where the big boss knows every single spell in the game even if they weren't released at the time of when the scenario is written. :D


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:

It certainly sounds that way, but hopefully it'll make more sense in context.

I have a feeling it will take a LOT of context for that to make sense though.

I’m also in the camp of those wishing Sorcerer’s could heighten any spell.

But regarding the request for some of the context/reasons for why they’re not doing this in the playtest, I found this comment by Mark Seifter to be helpful. (Mark actually has several interesting posts about the different options in this thread.)

The short version: they found the free ability to heighten spells leading to a lot of decision paralysis.


Megistone wrote:

I see a lot of cool things, but I also think: what an occasion we are (seemingly) missing!

Proficiency for each school of magic would have been a perfect parallel with weapon groups, allowing Wizards to have a lot of customization.
You could have the character start as Trained in each school (universalist), or already Expert in one and Untrained in two/three/four others (specialist); from there, develop as you desire.

I like this idea! Remove "spell focus", "greater spell focus", "spell penetration" and so on (PF1 has waaay too many feats) and just make them part of your school proficiency.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Megistone wrote:

I see a lot of cool things, but I also think: what an occasion we are (seemingly) missing!

Proficiency for each school of magic would have been a perfect parallel with weapon groups, allowing Wizards to have a lot of customization.
You could have the character start as Trained in each school (universalist), or already Expert in one and Untrained in two/three/four others (specialist); from there, develop as you desire.

I like this idea! Remove "spell focus", "greater spell focus", "spell penetration" and so on (PF1 has waaay too many feats) and just make them part of your spell proficiency.

I would be seriously surprised if they aren't doing this. It really make sense with the rest of the design philosophy of combining similair sub-systems to one set of easy to remember and globally applicable rules.


At first I read the part about school powers and thought there was a list you can choose from until I noticed it said "take a look at the nifty power you can pick up" which was pretty disappointing. Still, I'm really hoping PF 2e will be more flexible with its wizards than 5e.

Necromancers and diviners don't get to do much divination and necromancy until they get 3rd level spells (for diviners, magic items are super rare early on, detect magic is a ritual that everyone uses anyway, DM has to go out of his way to put in intelligent beings that can't speak common, but they can read thoughts I guess. Necromancers get generic debuffs that could literally be transmutation spells and no one would bat an eye). On the other hand PF had a huge SRD worth of spells from many different sources.

Diviner school features were better with enchantments and transmutation save-or-sucks or replaced divinations (ahem see invisibility, in darkness, or in the ethereal plane as an ability when it's meant to be a spell) or made them cheaper as if they were a tax rather than cool powers. They were just fluffed universalists honestly. Necromancers were forced into the raise an undead army trope (at least pathfinder was flexible and let you have one big baddy since it measured skeletons in HD not numbers of stock mooks), abjurers had this weird "I'm a taaanky maaage" thing going on for a majority of the game when I'd rather focus on protective spells for others like magic circles to keep out spirits, stopping evocationists from burning things down or banishing demons.

Really hoping it'll be easy to port pathfinder 1e spells to pathfinder 2e, or that from the get go the spells will be really diverse. And that iconic spells like scrying (like some sort of see/hear through a single wall), fireball (firebolt in 5e) and animate dead (animate a single bone that dies in one hit and deals 1d2 damage) will have equivalents in early levels or at least give wizards more than combat spells like grease, sleep, and magic missile (when creating the character, not as in more spell slots or something) as the only spells worth preparing (everything else is either a ritual which I agree in making free, or it's so rare it's not worth precious slots unless you get a day's notice)


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Neo2151 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
There's still going to be a lot of times that you want to cast a heightened spell because it's just an excellent option period, or the main way to create a particular effect, like heightening a summon spell or heightening invisibility to have it stick even if you go on the offense (like greater invisibility in PF1).

Of course there will be situations where you will want to cast a Heightened spell instead of a higher level Prepared spell, based on the situations you find yourself in.

There are a near limitless number of examples of such.

However, the issue is not, "There are times you will want to cast..."
The issues is "How often will you want to prepare a Heightened spell in place of a higher level spell?"

I imagine the answer to that question is, "never."

(tl;dr - If Heighten could happen on-the-fly, this wouldn't be a concern at all. However, it seems we can't Heighten on the fly, which makes it a massive concern.)

Probably the only time I might would be when facing a foe with a weakness to force damage, or there was a feat to admixture another type of damage with my magic missiles. 1d4+1 isn't a lot of damage, but if it could do that damage and also trigger the 150hp monster's weakness 5 to force, that's a lot more interesting. Wouldn't outright kill it, but it would bring it down to where the fighter could finish it off with a hit or two.

Edit: I should note that from what we've seen, weakness 5 on a 150 hp creature might be too low. Weakness 10 or 15 might be more accurate. If its 15, the same cast might bring three of the creatures to half health or less, or bring two to the brink of death. I said 5 because I think we've been told force is a relatively rare weakness, so the size of it might be smaller when it does appear.


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Megistone wrote:

I see a lot of cool things, but I also think: what an occasion we are (seemingly) missing!

Proficiency for each school of magic would have been a perfect parallel with weapon groups, allowing Wizards to have a lot of customization.
You could have the character start as Trained in each school (universalist), or already Expert in one and Untrained in two/three/four others (specialist); from there, develop as you desire.

In other words more nerfing, practically making Universalist suck again, not thank you.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
edduardco wrote:
Megistone wrote:

I see a lot of cool things, but I also think: what an occasion we are (seemingly) missing!

Proficiency for each school of magic would have been a perfect parallel with weapon groups, allowing Wizards to have a lot of customization.
You could have the character start as Trained in each school (universalist), or already Expert in one and Untrained in two/three/four others (specialist); from there, develop as you desire.
In other words more nerfing, practically making Universalist suck again, not thank you.

Seeing how the difference between ranks isn't that huge I wouldn't call having +2 to all but the specialist school stuff and being only 1 behind the specialist a nerf for the Universalist. I mean, so long as you intend to cast spells from more that one school. In fact the Universalist seems to come out in top of that trade.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:
Note that currently a heightened MM deal an average of 15*3.5=52.5 hp of damage

Just as a comparison to PF1 a Maximized, empowered, intensified MM does an average of 52.5 damage in a level 7 spell slot instead of a level 9.

Add a quickened, maximized, intensified MM also for another 35 using a level 9 slot and 4 17th level PF1 wizards can kill a lot worse in one round.


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edduardco wrote:
Megistone wrote:

I see a lot of cool things, but I also think: what an occasion we are (seemingly) missing!

Proficiency for each school of magic would have been a perfect parallel with weapon groups, allowing Wizards to have a lot of customization.
You could have the character start as Trained in each school (universalist), or already Expert in one and Untrained in two/three/four others (specialist); from there, develop as you desire.
In other words more nerfing, practically making Universalist suck again, not thank you.

Why nerfing? I'm just suggesting an idea, it all depends on the implementation of what proficiency would do and how you can increase it when leveling up.

Untrained could mean that you just can't cast those spells, meaning that you are excluding one quarter to one half of the Wizard spell list.
And a universalist of course will reach higher levels of proficiency, maybe in a few schools at a time; on the other hand, a specialist could choose to delay her growth on the school she chose at first level to bring others to Expert level, or to become Trained in the ones she missed.
School powers may be tied to proficiency levels, and unlocked that way.
I find it more customizable, more fun (proficiency in each school could do different things than just give a +1 DC); of course the actual rules should be written in a way that makes sense and is balanced.


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Toblakai wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Note that currently a heightened MM deal an average of 15*3.5=52.5 hp of damage

Just as a comparison to PF1 a Maximized, empowered, intensified MM does an average of 52.5 damage in a level 7 spell slot instead of a level 9.

Add a quickened, maximized, intensified MM also for another 35 using a level 9 slot and 4 17th level PF1 wizards can kill a lot worse in one round.

Yeah, but then you are comparing someone who has spent 3 or 4 feats on it. So for apples to apples we need to compare your figures above to the damage a PF2 blaster can do with a 9th level magic missile with 3 or 4 feats dedicated to blasting... Which obviously we can't do yet.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Toblakai wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Note that currently a heightened MM deal an average of 15*3.5=52.5 hp of damage

Just as a comparison to PF1 a Maximized, empowered, intensified MM does an average of 52.5 damage in a level 7 spell slot instead of a level 9.

Add a quickened, maximized, intensified MM also for another 35 using a level 9 slot and 4 17th level PF1 wizards can kill a lot worse in one round.

Yeah, but then you are comparing someone who has spent 3 or 4 feats on it. So for apples to apples we need to compare your figures above to the damage a PF2 blaster can do with a 9th level magic missile with 3 or 4 feats dedicated to blasting... Which obviously we can't do yet.

Also there is no telling what a level 17 archer can do or a level 17 barbarian.

I wonder if a Magic Missile performs like this heightened to level 9 what a damage cantrip does. Since by logic it has to be weaker than a spell using a spell slot, even if the spell is a heightened level 1 spell.


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Wermut wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Toblakai wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Note that currently a heightened MM deal an average of 15*3.5=52.5 hp of damage

Just as a comparison to PF1 a Maximized, empowered, intensified MM does an average of 52.5 damage in a level 7 spell slot instead of a level 9.

Add a quickened, maximized, intensified MM also for another 35 using a level 9 slot and 4 17th level PF1 wizards can kill a lot worse in one round.

Yeah, but then you are comparing someone who has spent 3 or 4 feats on it. So for apples to apples we need to compare your figures above to the damage a PF2 blaster can do with a 9th level magic missile with 3 or 4 feats dedicated to blasting... Which obviously we can't do yet.

Also there is no telling what a level 17 archer can do or a level 17 barbarian.

I wonder if a Magic Missile performs like this heightened to level 9 what a damage cantrip does. Since by logic it has to be weaker than a spell using a spell slot, even if the spell is a heightened level 1 spell.

Maaaaaybe. As has been pointed out, magic missile is an exception, not the rule. It deals reliable and stable damage, not high damage. The norm for blasters and martials alike in PF2 seems to be throwing huge handfuls of dice with big swings based on the 4 degrees of success. Magic Missile breaks that paradigm. So a 9th level cantrip might hit harder, but have a moss chance, or might hit slightly less hard but have the chance to crit.

We still don't really know what single target spell damage looks like, just that it will be higher than magic missile and AoE spells of equivalent level.

Liberty's Edge

Diego Rossi wrote:

As all argument where you bring the topic to excess there is as much falsehood as truth in what you say.

Magic missile: " No roll to hit, no way for the PCs to escape having this done to them, no way to mitigate its effects with clever tactics. Nothing. It's unbeatable."

Y'know what? I'm sorry for the lack of clarity: Magic Missile is not literally unbeatable. It is, however, rare enough that it's effectively unbeatable the vast majority of the time, which is still very relevant from a game balance perspective. Most of the stuff you list is very specific and must be acquired specifically. Not every main villain should need to be either invisible or wearing a brooch of shielding, y'know?

Diego Rossi wrote:

Note that currently a heightened MM deal an average of 15*3.5=52.5 hp of damage (I mistyped that number in another post), not enough to kill a creature with a challenge level fourteen points lower (an ogre has a CR of 3!).

Actually, requiring a to hit make a spell stronger, as there is a chance of a critical and probably feat to increase the to hit.
For some reason Paizo has chosen not to touch the sacred cow "MM automatically hit (if the target is visible)". That could be enough to warrant a damage reduction, but not on the level of making it useless .

The Ogre has more HP than the listed CR 5. It's a bad example of how many HP a CR 3 will have. That said, 9th level Magic Missile also doesn't kill the CR 5 in question.

And it depends on circumstances whether needing to roll to hit (or needing the enemy to save) makes a spell stronger or weaker. Versus low CR foes? It absolutely does. Versus people 3 or 4 Cr higher than you? No, it makes it weaker.

The people you can't effect otherwise are who Magic Missile is for, and it looks really nice DPR-wise vs. such foes.

Diego Rossi wrote:

Note that all the high level examples are done spending a whole round casting magic missile, 3 actions.

The counter arguments sound as if people where considering only 1 attack from the martial. In a "act first" situation in PF2 a martial has a very good chance of getting 2 and maybe even 3 attacks, or a special attack.

The third attack is barely worth it vs. high level foes. The second depends, but average DPR can vary.

I actually did a little DPR analysis in the blasting thread at 10th level vs. various foes. It came to 27.9 for a Fighter full attacking an equal level foe (or thereabouts). The 31.5 from a 5th level Magic Missile is higher DPR than that. Which is also higher than Cone of Cold's 21.175 vs. that single foe (Cone of Cold pulls ahead if you can hit two people with it).

That's vs. a foe you need an 11 to hit (with your first attack) and has no DR. Imagine what the difference looks like on a foe you need a 15 to hit and has DR.

Diego Rossi wrote:

When I see a spell that can be used 4 times at most if you use all your resources for it and it is not even guaranteed to remove a 1 CR lower opponent at its basic level (or a 14 CR lower opponent if heightened), I have very serious doubt about the feasibility of a blaster mage without a lot of supporting feats.

As thing stand in the usual development cycles, after a time a lot of options will appear to bolster damage and combining them will allow damage dealing monsters.
So the end result will be weakling or monsters, but nothing in between.

We don't know any of this, or how it works. Even my DPR calculation above is pretty speculative (and involves nobody having any damage enhancing Feats).


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Wermut wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Toblakai wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Note that currently a heightened MM deal an average of 15*3.5=52.5 hp of damage

Just as a comparison to PF1 a Maximized, empowered, intensified MM does an average of 52.5 damage in a level 7 spell slot instead of a level 9.

Add a quickened, maximized, intensified MM also for another 35 using a level 9 slot and 4 17th level PF1 wizards can kill a lot worse in one round.

Yeah, but then you are comparing someone who has spent 3 or 4 feats on it. So for apples to apples we need to compare your figures above to the damage a PF2 blaster can do with a 9th level magic missile with 3 or 4 feats dedicated to blasting... Which obviously we can't do yet.

Also there is no telling what a level 17 archer can do or a level 17 barbarian.

I wonder if a Magic Missile performs like this heightened to level 9 what a damage cantrip does. Since by logic it has to be weaker than a spell using a spell slot, even if the spell is a heightened level 1 spell.

My guess, for at least the damage cantrips it'll be Heighten (+2) for +1d#. This way telekinetic projectile will be doing 5d10 damage in a ninth level slot. Which isn't too shabby considering you'd have to invest a lot of gold to get a ranged weapon that did the same damage.


Malk_Content wrote:
Wermut wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Toblakai wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Note that currently a heightened MM deal an average of 15*3.5=52.5 hp of damage

Just as a comparison to PF1 a Maximized, empowered, intensified MM does an average of 52.5 damage in a level 7 spell slot instead of a level 9.

Add a quickened, maximized, intensified MM also for another 35 using a level 9 slot and 4 17th level PF1 wizards can kill a lot worse in one round.

Yeah, but then you are comparing someone who has spent 3 or 4 feats on it. So for apples to apples we need to compare your figures above to the damage a PF2 blaster can do with a 9th level magic missile with 3 or 4 feats dedicated to blasting... Which obviously we can't do yet.

Also there is no telling what a level 17 archer can do or a level 17 barbarian.

I wonder if a Magic Missile performs like this heightened to level 9 what a damage cantrip does. Since by logic it has to be weaker than a spell using a spell slot, even if the spell is a heightened level 1 spell.

My guess, for at least the damage cantrips it'll be Heighten (+2) for +1d#. This way telekinetic projectile will be doing 5d10 damage in a ninth level slot. Which isn't too shabby considering you'd have to invest a lot of gold to get a ranged weapon that did the same damage.

Mhm saving gold isn't the issue. We'll see how it plays out, but I if there is no investment required into doing baseline damage through cantrips what could be done (gosh I wanna see how Dragon Disciple turns out x_x).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Toblakai wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Note that currently a heightened MM deal an average of 15*3.5=52.5 hp of damage

Just as a comparison to PF1 a Maximized, empowered, intensified MM does an average of 52.5 damage in a level 7 spell slot instead of a level 9.

Add a quickened, maximized, intensified MM also for another 35 using a level 9 slot and 4 17th level PF1 wizards can kill a lot worse in one round.

But in PF1 ogres have 30 hp, not 60, A human skeleton has 4 hp, not 6, a zombie 12 hp, not 20 and PC have average hp for their dices, not maximum. The only creature that we know that has lost hp is the redcap, 55 in PF2 vs 60 in PF1, but it get fast healing 10 instead of 3.

So most enemies get an hp increase of 50% or more, wile all the spell we know do less damage after we have got a few levels more than the minimum to get them (MM in a 1st level slot do more damage till you get to level 4, then it is on par with a level 5 and 6, then it start to lose, fireball is stronger when the wizard get it at level 5, on par at level 6, then it start to lose damage).

And you aren't using your metamagics efficiently. Try an intensified, empowered MM. Level 5, 42 hp of damage. And you are still able to move.
Way, way better than a 9th level spell that require you to stand still.
If you want to stay mobile, you deal only 35 hp of damage with a 9th level MM in PF2.

But all that is pretty irrelevant.
The basic question is:
We are meant to be able to play blasting mages without hyper specializing or we will end like in PF1 with Save or sucks/Dye mage and hyper specialized blasting mages?
The reply seem to be "you will have to hyper specialize do do a decent level of blasting".


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Megistone wrote:

Untrained could mean that you just can't cast those spells, meaning that you are excluding one quarter to one half of the Wizard spell list.

And a universalist of course will reach higher levels of proficiency, maybe in a few schools at a time; on the other hand, a specialist could choose to delay her growth on the school she chose at first level to bring others to Expert level, or to become Trained in the ones she missed.
School powers may be tied to proficiency levels, and unlocked that way.
I find it more customizable, more fun (proficiency in each school could do different things than just give a +1 DC); of course the actual rules should be written in a way that makes sense and is balanced.

If that doesn't count as nerfing to you we clearly have a very different concept of what nerfing means. Also, that sounds utterly horrible and unfun to me, I would never play such a game.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
Toblakai wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Note that currently a heightened MM deal an average of 15*3.5=52.5 hp of damage

Just as a comparison to PF1 a Maximized, empowered, intensified MM does an average of 52.5 damage in a level 7 spell slot instead of a level 9.

Add a quickened, maximized, intensified MM also for another 35 using a level 9 slot and 4 17th level PF1 wizards can kill a lot worse in one round.

But in PF1 ogres have 30 hp, not 60, A human skeleton has 4 hp, not 6, a zombie 12 hp, not 20 and PC have average hp for their dices, not maximum. The only creature that we know that has lost hp is the redcap, 55 in PF2 vs 60 in PF1, but it get fast healing 10 instead of 3.

So most enemies get an hp increase of 50% or more, wile all the spell we know do less damage after we have got a few levels more than the minimum to get them (MM in a 1st level slot do more damage till you get to level 4, then it is on par with a level 5 and 6, then it start to lose, fireball is stronger when the wizard get it at level 5, on par at level 6, then it start to lose damage).

And you aren't using your metamagics efficiently. Try an intensified, empowered MM. Level 5, 42 hp of damage. And you are still able to move.
Way, way better than a 9th level spell that require you to stand still.
If you want to stay mobile, you deal only 35 hp of damage with a 9th level MM in PF2.

But all that is pretty irrelevant.
The basic question is:
We are meant to be able to play blasting mages without hyper specializing or we will end like in PF1 with Save or sucks/Dye mage and hyper specialized blasting mages?
The reply seem to be "you will have to hyper specialize do do a decent level of blasting".

But magic missile does more damage now (at level 1) and cantrips do more damage now. A 3 action magic missile can now auto-kill a skeleton and that was not true before. It is a corner case, but MM now is a better spell for killing skeletons than before. It is always going to be relatively better when an enemy has high defenses and lower HP.

Similarly, status effects are going to be relatively better when enemies have lower saves and higher HP (and the higher its AC).

Generally, single target DPS spells (of which we have no examples) will like be better the lower an enemy's saves are and the lower its heath is.

etc. etc.

I don't think we have seen enough to say that blasting spells are "no good" without specific specialization, especially if we don't know what status effect spells will look like.


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Diego Rossi wrote:

But all that is pretty irrelevant.

The basic question is:
We are meant to be able to play blasting mages without hyper specializing or we will end like in PF1 with Save or sucks/Dye mage and hyper specialized blasting mages?
The reply seem to be "you will have to hyper specialize do do a decent level of blasting".

If "a decent level of blasting" equates to you soloing difficult encounters with blasts, then I'm pretty sure that's never going to happen. There was a specific note that they're trying to avoid the rocket tag that was so pervasive in PF1.


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Diego Rossi wrote:

The basic question is:

We are meant to be able to play blasting mages without hyper specializing or we will end like in PF1 with Save or sucks/Dye mage and hyper specialized blasting mages?
The reply seem to be "you will have to hyper specialize do do a decent level of blasting".

We already know that save or suck/die spells are going to be changed significantly by the new "4 degrees of save" (i.e. critically save, save, fail, critically fail). So nothing like PF1.

We don't yet know how blasting will work. I also don't know what you mean by "a decent level of blasting" - are you looking for the wizard to single-handedly one-shot the BBEG? I think that's unlikely to happen. It's a co-operative game, after all, and I think the rest of the party might like to feel that they are making a contribution to the fight.

EDIT: ninja'd!

Shadow Lodge

Wermut wrote:
Mhm saving gold isn't the issue. We'll see how it plays out, but I if there is no investment required into doing baseline damage through cantrips what could be done (gosh I wanna see how Dragon Disciple turns out x_x).

I'll be surprised if Prestige Classes make it into the playtest at all, let alone PF2.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Wermut wrote:
Mhm saving gold isn't the issue. We'll see how it plays out, but I if there is no investment required into doing baseline damage through cantrips what could be done (gosh I wanna see how Dragon Disciple turns out x_x).
I'll be surprised if Prestige Classes make it into the playtest at all, let alone PF2.

The basic concept of prestige classes- that your character concept evolves into something more appropriate for a higher power level- was a solid one, even if d20's implementation of it was weak. Something to let basic fighters pivot into death knights and rogues end up as star thieves would be good to bake into the core of the game.

You're probably right that Paizo isn't pursuing that, though. It would be significant enough to at least earn a bullet point on promotional material, and there hasn't been any talk about it at all.


Cyouni wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

But all that is pretty irrelevant.

The basic question is:
We are meant to be able to play blasting mages without hyper specializing or we will end like in PF1 with Save or sucks/Dye mage and hyper specialized blasting mages?
The reply seem to be "you will have to hyper specialize do do a decent level of blasting".
If "a decent level of blasting" equates to you soloing difficult encounters with blasts, then I'm pretty sure that's never going to happen. There was a specific note that they're trying to avoid the rocket tag that was so pervasive in PF1.

No need to worry because a level 9 wizard can't even reliably blast a group of level 3 monsters with a level 5 spell.


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Trimalchio wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

But all that is pretty irrelevant.

The basic question is:
We are meant to be able to play blasting mages without hyper specializing or we will end like in PF1 with Save or sucks/Dye mage and hyper specialized blasting mages?
The reply seem to be "you will have to hyper specialize do do a decent level of blasting".
If "a decent level of blasting" equates to you soloing difficult encounters with blasts, then I'm pretty sure that's never going to happen. There was a specific note that they're trying to avoid the rocket tag that was so pervasive in PF1.
No need to worry because a level 9 wizard can't even reliably blast a group of level 3 monsters with a level 5 spell.

Wasn't there just some math upthread showing that Cone of Cold was plenty capable of clearing out Ogres in its area because the damage was very likely to be doubled?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Trimalchio wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

But all that is pretty irrelevant.

The basic question is:
We are meant to be able to play blasting mages without hyper specializing or we will end like in PF1 with Save or sucks/Dye mage and hyper specialized blasting mages?
The reply seem to be "you will have to hyper specialize do do a decent level of blasting".
If "a decent level of blasting" equates to you soloing difficult encounters with blasts, then I'm pretty sure that's never going to happen. There was a specific note that they're trying to avoid the rocket tag that was so pervasive in PF1.
No need to worry because a level 9 wizard can't even reliably blast a group of level 3 monsters with a level 5 spell.

Oh look, you've been mechanically proven wrong. Are we done with this hyperbole yet?

Liberty's Edge

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Cyouni wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

But all that is pretty irrelevant.

The basic question is:
We are meant to be able to play blasting mages without hyper specializing or we will end like in PF1 with Save or sucks/Dye mage and hyper specialized blasting mages?
The reply seem to be "you will have to hyper specialize do do a decent level of blasting".
If "a decent level of blasting" equates to you soloing difficult encounters with blasts, then I'm pretty sure that's never going to happen. There was a specific note that they're trying to avoid the rocket tag that was so pervasive in PF1.
No need to worry because a level 9 wizard can't even reliably blast a group of level 3 monsters with a level 5 spell.
Oh look, you've been mechanically proven wrong. Are we done with this hyperbole yet?

In fairness, I mostly skipped the math on Ogres in that post. If you want it, it's as follows:

Ogres have a +3 Reflex Save. They need an 11 to fail (rather than critically fail) vs. a Save DC of 23 (sort of a level 9 minimum). So half take double damage (average 77) and almost certainly die.


Compare this to PF1 and all the math leads to one conclusion: a major nerf to using blasts when blasts were already widely acknowledged to be a sub par option.

Even the 'math' shows that of the ogres in the blast only die about 50% of the time, again this is a level 3 monster against the best spell of a level 9 character.

Not sure why people are so agressive, this is rather obvious, blasting as previewed is strictly worse then in PF1, the reason we have playtests is to point this out. And I'll repeat for the 5th time, the issue appears to me to be mostly too many hit points on the ogre, but it's hard to say without seeing hit points for other Giants etc.


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Trimalchio wrote:

Compare this to PF1 and all the math leads to one conclusion: a major nerf to using blasts when blasts were already widely acknowledged to be a sub par option.

Even the 'math' shows that of the ogres in the blast only die about 50% of the time, again this is a level 3 monster against the best spell of a level 9 character.

Not sure why people are so agressive, this is rather obvious, blasting as previewed is strictly worse then in PF1, the reason we have playtests is to point this out. And I'll repeat for the 5th time, the issue appears to me to be mostly too many hit points on the ogre, but it's hard to say without seeing hit points for other Giants etc.

I think you are missing a broader point here: what is blasting weak compared to?

Are you saying it is weak as compared to debuff spells? We haven't seen any debuff spells, really.

Are you saying it is weak compared to a full attack from a fight? I don't think that is exactly true mathematically since spells can do things like attack many creatures (and unrevealed single target spells might do solid spike damage).

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