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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Xenocrat wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

We still have no evidence that casters are over all weaker at any level. Until we see that Cantrips rules we will not know.

As a system optimist I'm hoping the end result will be: Casters nova potential is slightly reduced but their consistency over time is improved.

No amount of perpetual cantrip damage will replace all the spell slots that are no longer available for utility and battlefield control.

Fighters can use their weapons all day now confirmed as no longer a usable argument in C/MD arguments.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Bluenose wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

We still have no evidence that casters are over all weaker at any level. Until we see that Cantrips rules we will not know.

As a system optimist I'm hoping the end result will be: Casters nova potential is slightly reduced but their consistency over time is improved.

No amount of perpetual cantrip damage will replace all the spell slots that are no longer available for utility and battlefield control.
Fighters can use their weapons all day now confirmed as no longer a usable argument in C/MD arguments.

If the damage is reasonably close to what a fighter will do without spending feats.

An interesting question is:
Someone making a mundane attack suffer a -5 if it is the second in the round, a -10 if it is the third, a spellcaster casting 3 one action cantrips that require an attack roll suffer the same penalty?
And if he is using a spell that allow multiple attacks rolls if you heighten it or spend more actions casting it?

I suppose they will suffer from the modifier, but that will be (again) something that increase the power of control wizards when compared to blaster wizards.

If they don't suffer from the penalty the damage from single action spells/cantrips would have to be way lower to maintain some form of balance.

Maybe all the damage dealing spell/cantrips with a to hit requirement will be two actions long to avoid this problem or the "I cast a 2 action Save of Suck and an 1 action damaging cantrip".

Liberty's Edge

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Diego Rossi wrote:
Someone making a mundane attack suffer a -5 if it is the second in the round, a -10 if it is the third, a spellcaster casting 3 one action cantrips that require an attack roll suffer the same penalty?

Mark confirmed that they do suffer such penalties. He also confirmed that this makes combining a spell with an attack roll with one that requires a Save a valid tactic.

So that's a thing that exists.

He also noted Heal's low damage when used offensively as specifically because it's potentially a one action spell and the damage has to be balanced around the fact it can potentially happen three times a round. Which means the damage of two action spells can be quite a bit higher since they can only happen once a round at most.


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Diego Rossi wrote:


Control wizard win on blaster wizard by a wide margin unless most of the blasting spells have riders effects.

It is probably early to make this assumption. Mark has pretty much said that a lot of the control options are being carefully reigned in to avoid one spell-victory type of encounters, and specifically called out color spray and grease as spells that will still be functional, but not what they used to be. So far, the developers have been very coy about showing us anything beyond offensive damage spells.

I am suspecting that wizards generally are going to be very good against lower level enemies and struggle to keep up against end bosses (hence why multiple developers have suggested why magic missile will retain some utility at higher levels for casters even though its damage is blatantly subpar of anything that successfully hits its target.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
"black tentacles scale pretty strongly": It say "the tentacles use your caster level as their base attack bonus and receive a +4 bonus due to their Strength and a +1 size bonus". That mean that they attack as a fighter of the character level with +5 strength.

That would be true when a 20 STR fighter could grapple everyone in a 20 feet radious at 200 feet range, create a zone of difficult terrain, and mantain those succesful grapples without getting the grappled condition himself and being able to do some other things in the following turns instead of spending a standard action to mantain the grapple.

Until then, just comparing the bonus is not a fair comparison at all.

Yeah, that spell can be brutal, I used it to great effect against a party years ago, it was fun for all involved, not a rocket-tag encounter, you know how it can get with spells/casters in certain parties.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Unicore wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


Control wizard win on blaster wizard by a wide margin unless most of the blasting spells have riders effects.

It is probably early to make this assumption. Mark has pretty much said that a lot of the control options are being carefully reigned in to avoid one spell-victory type of encounters, and specifically called out color spray and grease as spells that will still be functional, but not what they used to be. So far, the developers have been very coy about showing us anything beyond offensive damage spells.

I am suspecting that wizards generally are going to be very good against lower level enemies and struggle to keep up against end bosses (hence why multiple developers have suggested why magic missile will retain some utility at higher levels for casters even though its damage is blatantly subpar of anything that successfully hits its target.

My point is that control spells based on failing a DC or hitting the target continue to grow and stay useful for the whole life of the character as the DC/to hit increase with the caster level and stay at least on par with the target defenses while the spell stay in the same spell slot. Being affected by color spray is as relevant at level 1 as at level 20.

On the other hand a damaging spell used in the same spell slot do a fixed amount of damage. After you have reached the point where the target always suffer a critical hit or always critically fail it stop growing.
2d10 can be a good level of damage for a 1st level spell against a CR1 creature.
Against a CR 10 creature probably it is negligible.
Against a level 20 creature it will be a scratch.

So against that CR20 creature, what is more useful?
A spell that will give it a miss chance if it make the save and has a DC that is on par on its saves
or a spell that will cause it 2d10 of damage and has a to hit on par with its AC?

Both would use a 1st level spell slot, but one has lost most of its usefulness the other hadn't.


Isn't this the same as it ever was? except now instead of being a game winner early and useless later on, color spray is mildly effective at all levels. If it is deep in the boss fight and it seems very very injured, a first level magic missile could easily be win spell too, especially if the party has been struggling to get its hits in. Early in the fight, against a boss, I don't think any first level spell is probably going to be appreciated as the go to spell by the rest of the party.


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It would be cool if a wizard could be built to fill a lot of different niches but not be great at everything. This is certainly asking for some serious time invested in class and spell design.

Imagine if an abjurer could bring enough defense abilities to a party that it could make up for bring low damage and control.

Or a necromancer that has some minions, but can do some front line damage and be tankier from draining life. Throw some debuffs at the enemy as well.

Or a conjuration wizard that could bring enough minions to clog up the grid, and some area denial and enough damage to be effective, but not outshine any of the damage dealers.

Or a blaster. That can blow spells and outshine the other damage dealers, especially in area of effect situations, but then under-performs when is running low on spells.

Or an enchanter that befuddles creatures weakening their attacks, and turn foe against one another. Provide moral based buffs (if such things exist).

Or an illusionist. That could appear to be doing all of the above, but mostly it just confuses and bewilders the enemy.

Or divination that could, hm, dunno. Find out stuff? Like enemy weaknesses and strengths. Do some more insight based buffs and debuffs.

The universalist could be more geared to do a bit of everything.

It would be interesting if some metamagic type effects and other powerful class abilities were linked to proficencies, and proficencies were linked to schools. That way, the really cool stuff kicked in far earlier for the specialist's school (or maybe at all), but they could not do nearly as well in the other styles of magic.

I think this would be very cool, but also require a lot of work be Paizo. I think they are up to the challenge though.

I love casters, but I think the lack of balance in PFe1 caused problems at times, and definitely detracted from the game. Mind you there are some pretty outrageous things melee and ranged can do if given the chance, but rarely (especially melee) did they have that chance.

Grand Lodge

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Excaliburproxy wrote:
No, a fighter should not have more skill points than a bard. The whole concept of a bard is extreme versatility. A jack of all trades. Fighters are extreme combat engines. The only way to balance them out is to make them poor in out of combat situations. Now if you say that a bard cannot reach legendary proficiency in as many skills I would be fine with that but there is no way a caster with genius intelligence should barely be equal to an average intelligence martial character for balance or relevance reasons. Intelligence has to count for something in this game.

Class Balance "Out of Combat"

Although i agree that a bard should have more skill points than a fighter I strongly disagree about "making them poor in out of combat situations" to balance them out. In PF1 they have included good skills and bad skills into their class balance equation but it is poor game design if characters don't have fun during large parts of the game.

The game should have some balance for each encounter whether out of combat or not. If a bard couldn't contribute at all in combat players wouldn't play bards. It wouldn't be fun. Yet that is what we've done with fighters, clerics, and sorcerers in PF1 while they are out of combat. Unless their 1 skill is needed they are bored outside of combat...bad design.

And to be fair, the skill system isn't very believable in PF1.
When a bard or rogue is in the group they completely dominate all non-combat encounters. They are better than everyone, even the classes who focused on 1 skill. Bards shouldn't be better than wizards at knowledge Arcana. Bards are supposed to be jack of all trades sages who have heard and tell people's stories, but they don't actively work with or discover magical arcana like a wizard would.

In conclusion ;)
The game should be designed for everyone to have fun whether its in combat or not.
I would like to run out of combat encounters and NOT have half the group get up and browse the store because their character can't contribute.
And i would like all pcs to at least feel pretty good at doing 1 or 2 skills so they aren't eclipsed by a bard or rogue at all times.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Unicore wrote:
Isn't this the same as it ever was? except now instead of being a game winner early and useless later on, color spray is mildly effective at all levels. If it is deep in the boss fight and it seems very very injured, a first level magic missile could easily be win spell too, especially if the party has been struggling to get its hits in. Early in the fight, against a boss, I don't think any first level spell is probably going to be appreciated as the go to spell by the rest of the party.

Not exactly. If control spells stay useful for the whole life of the character a 10th level wizard get 5 levels of useful spells, 15 spells plus 5 specialist spells. The level 10 blasting wizard get useful spells are those of level 4-5 (6+2), level 2-3 spells are so-so and level spells are practically useless as blasting spells. 8 good plus 8 so-so and 4 weak spells is very different from 20.

To return to Magic missiles 3d4+3 will only "use up" 1 round of fast healing from the Redcap.

As both wizards will have to use slots for utility and defensive spells the blasting wizard endurance will be noticeably lower.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gorignak227 wrote:


The game should have some balance for each encounter whether out of combat or not. If a bard couldn't contribute at all in combat players wouldn't play bards. It wouldn't be fun. Yet that is what we've done with fighters, clerics, and sorcerers in PF1 while they are out of combat. Unless their 1 skill is needed they are bored outside of combat...bad design.

In my experience most of the off combat fun is about players (GM included) interactions, not rolling dices to see if using a skill do something. And in players interactions what count are the players, not the stats.

Most GMs I know give modifiers to social skill checks based on the players actions, don't go "You have meet a nice gils, roll dice to see how it go."


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Unicore wrote:
Isn't this the same as it ever was? except now instead of being a game winner early and useless later on, color spray is mildly effective at all levels. If it is deep in the boss fight and it seems very very injured, a first level magic missile could easily be win spell too, especially if the party has been struggling to get its hits in. Early in the fight, against a boss, I don't think any first level spell is probably going to be appreciated as the go to spell by the rest of the party.

Colorspray is never useless unlike sleep. It causes unconsciousness regardless of level. Now extended Colorspray (wand or Metamagic) is better useage, but never useless.

Even sleep resistance is useless to it since it isn't a sleep effect.

Liberty's Edge

Diego Rossi wrote:
...blasting wizard endurance will be noticeably lower.

That's actually a good point, I'm not sure how they'll address that (though I hope they will). My guess is two things will help alleviate this problem. The first is that scaling cantrips favors blasting cantrips over control: it's far easier to balance a damaging cantrip that scales with levels than a control cantrip, because of the at-will nature of it. I can see a pure blaster mage relying a lot more on buffing their cantrip use than a controller mage.

Second (and in my opinion, likely to be the bigger influence) is going to be powers and spell point use. My bet is on the best blaster (at least in core) being the Sorcerer, and I'm really hoping to see them be the master of spell points and powers. But either way, my bet is that a lot of the staying power of blaster mages will come from spammable blasting powers.


Talek & Luna wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:


PF1 spells at lvl 1 that would be better in PF2 (assuming they stay the same, or similar), are things like Charm, Color Spray, Snow Ball, Ear Piercing Scream, Ray of Enfeeblement, Touch of Blindness or Snapdragon Fireworks.

You cannot make that assumption because blast spells like magic missile and cone of cold have been previewed and are worse than their PF1 equivalents.

1) Yes, I can make that assumption, because the spells I mentioned are not blast spells, so the fact that blast spells are (allegedly) not as good as their PF1 counter part has no bearing on my claim. The spells I mentioned are control/debuff spells, which in PF2 will autoscale their DC, making them better than in PF1.

2) It's not true that spells like magic missile and cone of cold are worse than their PF1 equivalent. Magic missile at lvl 1 in pf2 outright DESTROYS magic missile at lvl 1 in PF1, doing 3 times as much damage. It becomes worse at higher levels, but it has the ability to be heightened. In the case of Cone of Cold, you are missing the crit chance, which is something you did not have in PF1.


You can't look at spells in a vacuum, you need to compare them to the creatures they will target.

I've already done the math, and PF1 blasting is clearly superior, people can write otherwise but the math is exceptionally clear.

Now there could be other factors as we are getting a very limited preview, but the information so far provided is a hard nerf for almost all blasting.


Trimalchio wrote:

You can't look at spells in a vacuum, you need to compare them to the creatures they will target.

I've already done the math, and PF1 blasting is clearly superior, people can write otherwise but the math is exceptionally clear.

Now there could be other factors as we are getting a very limited preview, but the information so far provided is a hard nerf for almost all blasting.

And other people have done math which contradicts you.


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Trimalchio wrote:

You can't look at spells in a vacuum, you need to compare them to the creatures they will target.

I've already done the math, and PF1 blasting is clearly superior, people can write otherwise but the math is exceptionally clear.

Now there could be other factors as we are getting a very limited preview, but the information so far provided is a hard nerf for almost all blasting.

Wait a moment. How can you claim that you can't compare spells without comparing them to the creatures they target, and right after that claim that PF1 are superior even if we don't have the playtest bestiary out


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Pf1 magic missile cast by a 1st lvl wizard vs a skeleton:

1d4+1 hp vs 4 hp. 50% chance to kill

PF2 magic missile cast by a 1st lvl wizard vs a skeleton

3d4+3 hp vs 6 hp. 100% chance to kill

Maybe we should wait a bit more before claiming the math is "exceptionally clear". The sample size is way too small to cherry pick.

Liberty's Edge

Trimalchio wrote:

You can't look at spells in a vacuum, you need to compare them to the creatures they will target.

I've already done the math, and PF1 blasting is clearly superior, people can write otherwise but the math is exceptionally clear.

Now there could be other factors as we are getting a very limited preview, but the information so far provided is a hard nerf for almost all blasting.

Having also done math...huh? PF2 Blasting does higher DPR than baseline PF1 blasting by quite a bit, and all indications are that at any but the lowest levels, monster HP isn't notably higher (indeed, at high levels, it's lower than it was in PF1).

Blasting is 'worse' vs. Ogres very specifically because in PF1, Ogres have average CR 3 HP, while in PF2 they have way more than that. But that's a change in a particular monster (and has been specified as such by Mark Seifter) rather than some blanket change in monsters in general (indeed, PF1 also has monsters like that, Ogres just aren't one of them).

So...no. You are clearly and demonstratably wrong.


Gorignak227 wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
No, a fighter should not have more skill points than a bard. The whole concept of a bard is extreme versatility. A jack of all trades. Fighters are extreme combat engines. The only way to balance them out is to make them poor in out of combat situations. Now if you say that a bard cannot reach legendary proficiency in as many skills I would be fine with that but there is no way a caster with genius intelligence should barely be equal to an average intelligence martial character for balance or relevance reasons. Intelligence has to count for something in this game.

Class Balance "Out of Combat"

Although i agree that a bard should have more skill points than a fighter I strongly disagree about "making them poor in out of combat situations" to balance them out. In PF1 they have included good skills and bad skills into their class balance equation but it is poor game design if characters don't have fun during large parts of the game.

The game should have some balance for each encounter whether out of combat or not. If a bard couldn't contribute at all in combat players wouldn't play bards. It wouldn't be fun. Yet that is what we've done with fighters, clerics, and sorcerers in PF1 while they are out of combat. Unless their 1 skill is needed they are bored outside of combat...bad design.

And to be fair, the skill system isn't very believable in PF1.
When a bard or rogue is in the group they completely dominate all non-combat encounters. They are better than everyone, even the classes who focused on 1 skill. Bards shouldn't be better than wizards at knowledge Arcana. Bards are supposed to be jack of all trades sages who have heard and tell people's stories, but they don't actively work with or discover magical arcana like a wizard would.

In conclusion ;)
The game should be designed for everyone to have fun whether its in combat or not.
I would like to run out of combat encounters and NOT have half the group get up and browse...

I agree with this idea that the skills and skills points should be pretty close across all classes.

In addition, for the argument comparing spells to swords...spells are still a limited resource and now for the big picture:

Big picture - the martial characters have higher hit points, better ways to mitigate damage and better armor classes.

Wizards have well, their limited number of spells.


By using the previewed stat blocks.

I can do the math again...

PF1 level 9 wizard casting fireball vs ogres

Fireball does 9d6, level 3 spell slot, with save DC of 19+, ogres have 30hp and ref +0

PF2, fireball reportedly does 6d6, save DC of 24? ogres have 60 hp and ref +3 (ogres take double damage on 11 or less)

Please keep reading the above until you fully understand, because simply repeating in wrong doesn't change the basic facts we have.
~~

Let's talk MM.

Although the action economy is different, we can still make some comparisons.

At level 1 PF2 MM is arguably better as you can use essentially a full round action to do more damage, however PF2 hp inflation makes this somewhat dubious, but still on average MM at level 1 is better in PF2

At level 3 they are about the same, PF1 you spend one standard action and deal 2d4+2 and PF2 you can spend actions to do less, the same, or more, how inflation probably making this a wash.

Level 5 PF1 becomes superior and then just runs away with it. You begin doing the same or more damage for less actions, without spending higher level spell slots, in an environment that doesn't have hp inflation.

So please bring up a valid counter point instead of just repeating something that isn't true.


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I don't know how to explain to you that the ogre is a very specific circumstance where it's mechanics have been changed to a fat stack of HP. The ogre's health point pool is not indicative of anything other than that being what makes ogres somewhat unique.

Liberty's Edge

Trimalchio wrote:

By using the previewed stat blocks.

I can do the math again...

PF1 level 9 wizard casting fireball vs ogres

Fireball does 9d6, level 3 spell slot, with save DC of 19+, ogres have 30hp and ref +0

PF2, fireball reportedly does 6d6, save DC of 24? ogres have 60 hp and ref +3 (ogres take double damage on 11 or less)

Please keep reading the above until you fully understand, because simply repeating in wrong doesn't change the basic facts we have.

I address this above: The issue there is that Ogres have transitioned from an average HP monster to a really high HP monster for their level, not that blasting has gotten weaker.

Indeed, DPR wise, the Ogres in PF1 take 31.5 damage on average, while the PF2 Ogres take 30.45 and only a point of damage less, and that's with a severely underleveled spell (at 8th level, the PF2 Fireball still has superior DPR, for example).

Trimalchio wrote:

Let's talk MM.

Although the action economy is different, we can still make some comparisons.

At level 1 PF2 MM is arguably better as you can use essentially a full round action to do more damage, however PF2 hp inflation makes this somewhat dubious, but still on average MM at level 1 is better in PF2

At level 3 they are about the same, PF1 you spend one standard action and deal 2d4+2 and PF2 you can spend actions to do less, the same, or more, how inflation probably making this a wash.

Level 5 PF1 becomes superior and then just runs away with it. You begin doing the same or more damage for less actions, without spending higher level spell slots, in an environment that doesn't have hp inflation.

So please bring up a valid counter point instead of just repeating something that isn't true.

Low level blasting spells do indeed fall off if you don't Heighten them. This is a fact in PF2. It means nothing about blasting as a strategy, especially with damaging cantrips as an option, it just means that you'll be doing it with different spells to some degree.


6d6 is on average 21.

Please get the basic math correct if you want your position to be taken seriously.

There has been multiple indications of hp inflation, for example PCs get Max hp for their class now. The ogre stat block is 50% of the stat blocks unless people can link more.

Using a higher level spell slot to achieve the same effect is strictly worse, how can anyone argue otherwise, and this is before we admit that PF2 wizards get _less_ spells.


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It's kind of like watching:

"This grocer is ripping us off! Look at the size of the apples he used to sell compared to he ones from this week!"

"Those were oranges."

"Look, I don't know how to make this clearer: That fruit is MASSIVELY smaller than the fruit he was selling last week! And I know our dollars' purchasing power hasn't changed, so there's only one clear conclusion: He's ripping us off!"

"THOSE WERE ORANGES."

To which I say: Until the grocer opens the ENTIRE grocery store in August, this entire conversation is fun, but pointless, because we won't see the other types of apples or oranges available, or the notice that a hurricane destroyed the Apple and Orange crops this month, OR perhaps we might actually stumble over the grocers accidentally mispricing the produce and ask them to fix it.

Now, I'm having citrus cravings...


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The average of 6d6 is not the average damage of Fireball in PF2 because Fireball has a chance of being doubled to 12d6.

Please get a basic understanding of how PF2 works if you want your position to be taken seriously.

Liberty's Edge

Trimalchio wrote:

6d6 is on average 21.

Please get the basic math correct if you want your position to be taken seriously.

Do you...actually understand how DPR works? Half the time they critically fail and take 12d6 instead. Therefore the DPR is between 21 (the damage when they fail) and 42 (the damage when they critically fail). So the average damage is right around the mid-point of 31.5 (actually, slightly lower because they can succeed at the save on a 20).

Though, actually, I was in a hurry and did get the math wrong (I assumed they took no damage on a 20 rather than half damage in PF2, and forgot that a 20 always succeeds in PF1, resulting in half damage).

The actual DPR for PF2 is 30.975. While that for PF1 is 30.7125. So the PF2 DPR actually is higher at 9th level (it falls behind at 10th).

Trimalchio wrote:
There has been multiple indications of hp inflation, for example PCs get Max hp for their class now. The ogre stat block is 50% of the stat blocks unless people can link more.

There have been explicit statements from Designers that the HP of monsters is now on par with PCs of the same level, which is a bit higher than monster HP at low levels in PF1, but way lower at high levels.

Ogres have also been explicitly stated as at really high HP for their level (though a Level 3 Con 18 Dwarven Barbarian comes pretty close to matching them).

Trimalchio wrote:
Using a higher level spell slot to achieve the same effect is strictly worse, how can anyone argue otherwise, and this is before we admit that PF2 wizards get _less_ spells.

Cantrips level automatically, and you get School Powers as well (which also level somewhat automatically, from what we've heard). I'd expect that a lot of the time at higher levels when you would've been using an underleveled spell in PF1, you'll be using a Cantrip.


Not sure what to say, argument by false analogy isn't exactly compelling.

For the ogres to critically fail they need to to roll -10 vs the DC.

PF1 DC for level 9 wizard is going to be 19+, they need to roll 19 or 20. That is 10%

PF2 DC is estimated to be 24, they need to roll 12 or more not to critically fail, that is 45%

10% < 45%

Liberty's Edge

Trimalchio wrote:

Not sure what to say, argument by false analogy isn't exactly compelling.

For the ogres to critically fail they need to to roll -10 vs the DC.

PF1 DC for level 9 wizard is going to be 19+, they need to roll 19 or 20. That is 10%

PF2 DC is estimated to be 24, they need to roll 12 or more not to critically fail, that is 45%

10% < 45%

Right...I was actually assuming they only succeeded on a 20 in PF1. But there are no critical failures in PF1, while there are in PF2, which effects damage numbers profoundly. That's not an analogy of any sort, it's how math works.


If you actually model PF2 damage correctly you will see it is bimodal, the actual likelihood ofdamage being 30 is actually very very tiny.

About half the time you will have a distribution clustered around 41, otherwise damage will cluster around 20. Neither of which kills the PF2 ogre.

In comparison PF1, 90% of the damage clusters around 31, 10% around 16, and 30dmg kills the PF1 ogre.

Do please review your statements because they are incorrect and do not facilitate accurate dialogue.

Liberty's Edge

Trimalchio wrote:
If you actually model PF2 damage correctly you will see it is bimodal, the actual likelihood ofdamage being 30 is actually very very tiny.

This is absolutely true. It's not necessarily super relevant to what I'm saying, but it's true.

Trimalchio wrote:
About half the time you will have a distribution clustered around 41, otherwise damage will cluster around 20. Neither of which kills the PF2 ogre.

This part is only true due to PF2 Ogres being an entirely different monster design from PF1 Ogres with way more HP than will be typical. It's very likely that the 42 damage option will very likely kill most Level 3 Creatures.

Trimalchio wrote:
In comparison PF1, 90% of the damage clusters around 31, 10% around 16, and 30dmg kills the PF1 ogre.

Right. Because the PF1 Ogre is at normal HP for its level. The PF2 Ogre is not.

Trimalchio wrote:
Do please review your statements because they are incorrect and do not facilitate accurate dialogue.

My statements are not incorrect. Nor is the math faulty. The math is standard DPR math, which is simplified, but it's also, well, standard as a measure for damage.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Trimalchio wrote:
Do please review your statements because they are incorrect and do not facilitate accurate dialogue.
My statements are not incorrect. Nor is the math faulty. The math is standard DPR math, which is simplified, but it's also, well, standard as a measure for damage.

You are arguing with a wall, they are never going to understand so you should probably just drop it.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
There's never been any good reason for Fighters etc to have so few skill points.

The reason, much like everything else that's weird in the game, is legacy issues.

Back in AD&D, fighters hit things, wizards cast mighty spells, clerics cast somewhat less-mighty spells and hit things a little. But thieves didn't have spells, and they weren't very good at fighting - what they had was thieving skills. To be precise, eight of them: climb walls, move silently, hide in shadows, listen at doors, pick pockets, open locks, find/remove traps, and read languages. That's why, when 3e rolled around, rogues got 8 skill points to the 2 that fighters, clerics, and wizards got. 3.0 was also a lot stingier with skill points for non-rogue classes - no-one else in the PHB got more than 4, and those that did were generally ones those with a significant rogue element (bard, ranger, monk).

But people really liked the skill system, and were annoyed that most classes had such limited access to it. I can't really blame them, because a lot of the skills are things you'd imagine certain types of characters being pretty good at, such as a druid being good at both Survival, Knowledge: Nature, Knowledge: Religion, etc.) They also interpreted "2 skill points per level" as "has 2 skills maxed", which I don't really think was the intention - one of the reasons 3e characters got quadruple skill points at 1st level (instead of PF's +3 to class skills for having 1 rank in them), was so they could spread them around a little. So gradually the skill system became more generous: first a bunch of classes got more skill points in 3.5e along with some less-useful skills being folded into others (e.g. Innuendo incorporated into Bluff), and in Pathfinder some more skill combination took place (e.g. Search, Listen, and Spot becoming Perception), further devaluing the rogue's role as a skill monkey. Pathfinder compensated by giving the rogue a bunch of other neat things (rogue talents).


You can keep saying the ogre is somehow unique... But they are half my sample size, unless someone cares to provide more stat blocks.

Even the redcap, if you compare how it is a level 5 creature vs PF1 CR 6 monster, has more hit points for it's relative level and fast healing 10. Also the PF2 redcap is very unlikely to critically fail a ref save.

Finally we know PCs will have more hp.

All available evidence points towards hp inflation.


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Trimalchio wrote:

You can keep saying the ogre is somehow unique... But they are half my sample size, unless someone cares to provide more stat blocks.

Even the redcap, if you compare how it is a level 5 creature vs PF1 CR 6 monster, has more hit points for it's relative level and fast healing 10. Also the PF2 redcap is very unlikely to critically fail a ref save.

Finally we know PCs will have more hp.

All available evidence points towards hp inflation.

Except the developers of the game saying monster HP won't be as high at higher levels. But yeah if you ignore that you can totally assume it will be higher in PF2.


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Trimalchio wrote:
You can keep saying the ogre is somehow unique...

We're not saying the Ogre is unique...

The designers have said the Ogre is unique. I believe it was Mark, though it may have been Jason.


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dysartes wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:
You can keep saying the ogre is somehow unique...

We're not saying the Ogre is unique...

The designers have said the Ogre is unique. I believe it was Mark, though it may have been Jason.

Mark did so in this thread:

http://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lkst&page=5?Wizard-Class-Previ ew#236

Liberty's Edge

Linkified for everyone's convenience.


'high for their level' is not that same thing as unique, not even close.

I would be surprised by the bizarre interpretation people in this forum tend to give otherwise plain meaning, but it happens so frequently that I've come to other conclusions on why that is.

Liberty's Edge

Trimalchio wrote:
'high for their level' is not that same thing as unique, not even close.

Nobody said unique. People said unusual. Which is exactly what 'high for their level' means, in this context.


While I have my own issues with how blasting scales in PF2 between lower level spellslots becoming useless sooner in conjunction with less spell slots overall, Deadmanwalking is definitely correct here.

The Ogre is explicitly called as an unusual bag of hit points - as you might expect from a Giant, a large sized brute. No, it won't be unique, but neither will it be common. I'd guess probably only 15-20% of monsters will have very high HP for their level, the classic brute types. Probably another 15-20% will actually have low HP for their level, leaving the other 60-70% to have average HP ranges for their level.

And at the very least, at the level you get them blasting spells do at least somewhat more damage in PF2 than in PF1. So they can hold on for at least a little bit before falling behind. There's also the issue that you shouldn't be using an area spell like fireball or cone of cold to deal with a singular monster like an ogre unless you're fighting a pack of them or an ogre with a pack of other enemies, or it's being presented as a low-level boss or you're just out of other spells. Something like this is what single target spells are made for, and I would certainly hope that a single-target blast would do a lot more damage than an area spell of the same level. If that turns out not to be true, then we will definitely have a problem, but I'm at least giving them the benefit of the doubt on that.

You can also follow up a 2-action spell like fireball or (insert single target blast here) with a 1-action cantrip. So you can blast the pack of enemies or the boss, then use your other action for the turn to cantrip-blast for free to further whittle down an enemy on its last legs or at least keep driving down the bag of hit points.


Trimalchio wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:
'high for their level' is not that same thing as unique, not even close.
Nobody said unique. People said unusual. Which is exactly what 'high for their level' means, in this context.

Just do a control F for the word unique.

Why do you straight up just say something utterly dishonest? You could literally just look at the 10 posts above your post.

It's really incredibly rude.

If you read what Mark said in the link, he says that cone of cold can be expected to one shot most creatures CR 5 and down when they crit fail their save and they have a nonnegligible chance of critically failing in general.


Okay so where's the next blog?


I'd rather just talk about the game, but im asking you to at least try and have a reasonable conversation.

~~

Hp inflation seems pretty much confirmed from the stat blocks and PC max hit points, I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary.

My frustration with the blasting nerf is that the PF1 wizard casting fireball wasn't the problem with caster / martial disparity, it was the wizard casting a dazing fireball, or the spell perfection feat chain, or auto win spells like maze, and so on.

Blasting away with cone of cold, which incidentally is a very sub par spell, should probably do d8s and have a status effect, was so far down the optimization list that it needed a boost if anything.

I wish these blogs talked more about design considerations and decisions based on that, often times these posts don't address many of the concerns I've seen brought up, not to say PF2 won't address them, but I'd like to see a more explicit discussion of it.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Okay so where's the next blog?

No playtest specific blog today or Monday due to Paizocon


Emeric Tusan wrote:
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Okay so where's the next blog?
No playtest specific blog today or Monday due to Paizocon

Except... you know... this one.


Trimalchio wrote:

I'd rather just talk about the game, but im asking you to at least try and have a reasonable conversation.

~~

Hp inflation seems pretty much confirmed from the stat blocks and PC max hit points, I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary.

My frustration with the blasting nerf is that the PF1 wizard casting fireball wasn't the problem with caster / martial disparity, it was the wizard casting a dazing fireball, or the spell perfection feat chain, or auto win spells like maze, and so on.

Blasting away with cone of cold, which incidentally is a very sub par spell, should probably do d8s and have a status effect, was so far down the optimization list that it needed a boost if anything.

I wish these blogs talked more about design considerations and decisions based on that, often times these posts don't address many of the concerns I've seen brought up, not to say PF2 won't address them, but I'd like to see a more explicit discussion of it.

You know what else was a big problem in PF1? Rocket tag. A fighter could full attack most enemies to death and a wizard could do it with a save or die. The health numbers have to go up. Maybe you are worried that blasts can’t compete with status effects/save or dies but you don’t know what those look like.

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