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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Greg.Everham wrote:
No one wants to talk about how good Quick Preparation appears to be? Hot swapping Wizard spells in a relatively short amount of time removes about the only thing close to a weakness that they had.

Yeah I'm going to take this feat as soon as I can, every time. Being able to say "I have a spell for that!" is super useful, especially if it's the end of the day, or if you've just found out that the Boss is weak to this one specific thing. It encourages collecting weird and esoteric spells with diverse effects, saves, etc, which is exactly the flavor of Wizard I want.


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I like the new Phantasmal killer. Great design.

The more I think about it, the more I believe the 4 degrees of success is the best thing in PF2.


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About the Arcanist: I hate to admit that, but...
Hybrid classes were cool. However, they were created by a necessity: correcting certain flaws in the multiclass system - flaws being certain combinations who were very cool but didn't combo'ed together. We know nothing about multiclass, perhaps they won't even be a thing...

The problem of giving every Wizard Arcanist-style spellcasting is obvious: it would destroy the Vancian magic system. I would not like that. But as an option - like the Arcanist was in PF1 and this feat seems to be now - it's cool :)


Bardarok wrote:
Any chance of an arcane healing for wizards in PF2? I can see why you would make it worse than cleric healing or something like that but it always seemed odd to me that masters of arcane lore can't figure out arcane healing when the bard can.

Been asking this since 3.0 dropped in 2000. All I ever heard was "If you want arcane healing, play a bard." Totally missing the point.


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So let's see... The wizard gets 4 spell slots per spell level (or effectively 4 for the universalist with the 4th being a pearl of power), prepared from what's in their spellbook. On top of that, it gets either a bonus feat, or a school power with spell points. That appears to be pretty much it for class abilities.

The cleric gets 3 spells per spell level, presumably prepared from the entire Divine list as always. They effectively get enough extra spell spots from Channel for heal/harm to make it 4, though. They get a domain power using spell points. On top of that, they can be expected to have better weapon and armor proficiency and more hit points than the squishy wizard.

Both classes get metamagic, unless for some reason some metamagic is cleric specific, other metamagic is wizard specific, etc.

The wizard is slightly more versatile but the cleric does appear to come out ahead in this exchange again. It can cast as many spells per day while being tougher and better at combat, and having free access to its entire spell list.

I doubt the wizard getting 4 cantrips (presumably only one or two more than the cleric can prepare) makes up for that.


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Sculcuvant wrote:
Greg.Everham wrote:
No one wants to talk about how good Quick Preparation appears to be? Hot swapping Wizard spells in a relatively short amount of time removes about the only thing close to a weakness that they had.
Yeah I'm going to take this feat as soon as I can, every time. Being able to say "I have a spell for that!" is super useful, especially if it's the end of the day, or if you've just found out that the Boss is weak to this one specific thing. It encourages collecting weird and esoteric spells with diverse effects, saves, etc, which is exactly the flavor of Wizard I want.

Compare to having your old number of spell slots (with bonus for high Int), leaving those extras empty, and taking the Quick Study discovery. This is a downgrade from basic PF1 capability.


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Well, the only one thing I didn't like was the Quick Preparation feat. I hope it has some limits or counter-balances, or this better be left entirely for another class. I think that it's way too good as it is.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Are there even pearls of power in PF2 ?

So many staple items reimagined. I like that

Paizo Employee Designer

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N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
It is still possible that some kind of carefully prepared 9-7-5-3-1 chain of prebuffs could allow you to gain a problematically big advantage....
Probably? How about guaranteed that a couple of months after this class is out, maybe even weeks, people will have figured out these optimal casting chains. If it's "probable" you should take it as a given when designing the class and not hope that most people don't figure it out (even if they won't).

I said "possibly," not probably. If we thought something was probably problematic, we would not include it. We haven't really seen a chain that would be worth it enough to make up for the opportunity cost that you now don't have any of your arcane bonds left for the day, but I'm definitely willing to acknowledge that one is possible, and the eyes of thousands will see more combinations than the four of us could see. If such a chain exists, I agree with you it will only take the massive brain trust of the player base weeks to find it. So why not let them find it during the playtest? If so, then of course we will amend or drop the feat, not publish it unchanged and hope people don't figure it out. That would defeat the purpose of playtesting it.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
We hope that will make them more exciting and useful in a wide variety of circumstances.

A couple of weeks ago,, I believe the issue of martial / caster disparity was acknowledged. One of the downside of casting is that you had to pick spells and then sometimes those spells weren't useful/needed. Now, it sounds like that will no longer be an issue because you can always heighten some lower level spell. From reading this blog and the tenor of Paizo's response,, it appears that Paizo has gone out of its way to make casters even more capable and you're quite excited about it.

So where is the counter-balance? Where are those things that stop Wizards from covering everyone's roll in the party and then some?

I'm sure you're aware of a certain high tier scenario where the players have to battle some high level caster. That scenario has a hard mode that essentially TPKs frequently. Well, a player posted that he and a group of casters were going to attempt it. He talked about his prep and the prep of the other PCs. He completed the scenario and said it was way easier (on hard mode) than he had thought. The casters were able crush it due to the spells at their disposal. No one's done the same thing with a group of martials, that I'm aware of. Certainly not six Fighters or six Rangers or any mix of the two.

What has changed in 2e so that six casters can't routinely do stuff that six martials can't even dream of doing?


Mewzard wrote:
thflame wrote:

Choosing between Counter Spell and a Familiar seems odd to me.

Can a wizard still counter spell the old way? (Prepare an action to do so)

Also, can a wizard pick up a familiar later if they pick counter spell at first level?

Why wouldn't you be able to pick either option later? You don't have to pick any of those at first level if you don't want to, but nothing implies they're locked to level 1.

Hell, one of the Devs specifically noted you could pick up both familiar and arcane bond, which used to compete. No reason you can't have both here as well.

Also, reaction countering spells would be vastly better than preparing an action only for the opposing wizard doing something else.

Arcane Bond is a guaranteed base ability of a wizard. Counterspell and Familiar are feats. The reason why you can have both an Arcane Bond AND a Familiar is because one is given to you for free and the other is a feat.

We also have zero confirmation that you can pick lower level class feats later in place of higher level ones.


I don't understand the disconnect regarding specialist casters.

Taking an illusionist as an example, there doesn't seem to be a difference between three spells plus an illusion spell and four spells one of which has to be from the illusion school.

What am I missing?


Igwilly wrote:
Well, the only one thing I didn't like was the Quick Preparation feat. I hope it has some limits or counter-balances, or this better be left entirely for another class. I think that it's way too good as it is.

It's a worse version of PF1 capability ( more slots, leaving some empty slots and Quick Study) that required only moderate system mastery (which was maybe a higher bar for the Wizard than elsewhere) to know about and use effectively. Here it takes ten times as long but is easily findable in core and doesn't require you to calculate the trade off between an empty slot and filling it with something you can't swap out later.


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thflame wrote:

Arcane Bond is a guaranteed base ability of a wizard. Counterspell and Familiar are feats. The reason why you can have both an Arcane Bond AND a Familiar is because one is given to you for free and the other is a feat.

We also have zero confirmation that you can pick lower level class feats later in place of higher level ones.

Wouldn't it defeat the entire purpose of making classes have open choices if you made it so that feats can only be taken at exact levels?

Hell, current Pathfinder lets you take feats at any level past the minimum, why would 2E change that?

The only level one locked feats that we know of specifically are Heritage Feats, and they're supposed to represent the stuff you're born with.


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To put it bluntly, if there's ever a combat situation where it's a good idea to cast a "free" first level spell when you have ninth level spells available then I think we have bigger balance issues to be concerned with.


Mark Seifter wrote:
I said "possibly," not probably.

Apologies. I did not mean to change the word you used, but was thinking that if it was possible, then it was probably going to happen and had that word in my head. Again, I didn't intend to misquote you or put words in your mouth.


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ElSilverWind wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Well, at least the wizard gets more spells per day than the cleric, one way or another.

You made the universalist just directly better than a specialist, because their bonus spell slots per day from the focus are far more flexible than the specialist slots. It comes down to the specialist only gets 1 extra spell per day over the universalist which is not as good as the universalist's huge flexibility, and the school power which is probably not going to be as good as some of the feat options. Not particularly happy with that.

The Universalist is pretty great (whereas in PF1 it was definitely a poor choice compared to a specialist), but I don't think it's far and away better than the specialist because of an interesting nuance of how the focus spells work.

Compare a universalist who prepared fireball, haste, and dispel magic to a transmuter, evoker, illusionist, or abjurer who prepared fireball, haste, dispel magic, and invisibility sphere. If the adventure needs either an extra fireball, an extra haste, or an extra dispel magic, the universalist is set, but if the adventure needed the invisibility sphere, the specialist had the advantage. Getting to pick from a list of three to double is definitely better than adding a fourth (particularly if the specialist ever decides to double up), but then the specialist gets that extra spell on top. I feel that they are pretty comparable options.

I’m a bit confused by this and would appreciative of some clarification. So I have this right,

Universalist: Dispel Magic, Fireball, Haste + choice of Dispel Magic, Fireball, or Haste.
Evocation Specialist: Dispel Magic, Haste, Invisibility Sphere + Fireball

Unless I’m misreading this, it comes across that Universalists will be casting multiple uses of the same spell because how Arcane Bonds work, while Specialists are more suited to having a wider selection of spells...

Yes but the Universalist will still be the better choice when it comes to raw spells as there has always been spells you want to cast several times a day because of how useful they are. Summon Monster, Haste, Mirror Image and so on. The universalist in the example is already better of because he can provide haste in another combat. Whereas Invisibility Sphere might be useful, but still situational.

So far the school powers will make the difference (Diviner's Fortune has already been nerfed by removing attack rolls). If the school powers don't keep up with the power of added flexible spells (and thats a tough cookie) the universalist strikes me already as more powerful. Especially since building up the school powers taxes on additional feats.

Getting the an advanced school ability versus for example the ability which was described to get out additional spells out of every arcane focus spells, is hardly a choice for higher level universalist who have an abundance of those. Assuming Focus Conversation is a level 10 feat you get a flexible spellslot for every spelllevel below 4. At level 11 you get one for every spelllevel below 5.

Different Topic, I think its a wasted opportunity to make the familiar bound to classes and not turn it into a ritual. Which could be more easily referenced in other classes (Witches and Alchemists for example). Putting the familiar progress into class feats will also complicate things more for other classes who have easy access to an familiar. There will be a lot of "This class gets an familiar, grab the other book and read about wizards even if you dont want to play one.". I hope there is another solution for this.

Also familiar could have been made more easily available for non-caster classes. Rangers looking for another scout, to turn into true beastmasters, Rogues looking for an additional skill set or access to spelllike abilities, Powergamers... ahem players with a broad fantasy inspired by comical sidekicks who wanted to have a talking faerie dragon clutching onto a wand as their backstory relevant companion.

I am concerned about depth here, you know.

Dark Archive

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Tels wrote:

Okay, so, please tell me you guys have added in limiters so the Focus Conservation feat doesn't totally break the Universalist?

Obviously don't have all the text, but what is written above is that Focus Conservation allows you to only partially drain your arcane focus to cast a spell, and then you can use the rest of that energy to cast spells 2 levels lower in succession. So a 9th level arcane focus becomes a 9th, 7th, 5th, 3rd, and 1st level slot.

But what about the Universalist who has an arcane focus for every spell level? Can he turn his 9th level slot into 5 spells as I indicated above? Then turn his 8th level slot into 8th, 6th, 4th, and 2nd level slots? And so on, and so on.

Because if so... might as well just give Universalist infinite spells, because that's what it will feel like while in play. But seriously, if that's how those two abilities interact, it will make a Universalist crazy powerful, which is a nice change of pace to how they have pretty much always been the worst choice of wizard.

We thought it might be broken, so we tested it extensively with a universalist at 9th level. The timing requirements on it are pretty strict, so it turned out to be much harder to use than it seemed, with a result that was awesome but balanced (remember, if you use this in combat, you almost definitely will never be able to move from your spot, and your magic is dwindling round by round to get the most out of it). It is still possible that some kind of carefully prepared 9-7-5-3-1 chain of prebuffs could allow you to gain a problematically big advantage as a generalist from double casting the 7th, triple casting the 5th, quadra casting the 3rd, and penta casting the 1st, so if you're willing to test a really high level generalist and challenge the player to break this feat, I will be grateful.

Challenge accepted.


Xenocrat wrote:


It's a worse version of PF1 capability ( more slots, leaving some empty slots and Quick Study) that required only moderate system mastery (which was maybe a higher bar for the Wizard than elsewhere) to know about and use effectively. Here it takes ten times as long but is easily findable in core and doesn't require you to calculate the trade off between an empty slot and filling it with something you can't swap out later.

I don't quite remember where one can get that, but I don't particularly care about what combo was possible in PF1. Having to prepare spells is a core weakness to the Wizard, and anything like this feat should be carefully analyzed.

It's not like PF1 was perfectly balanced, anyway.


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N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
We hope that will make them more exciting and useful in a wide variety of circumstances.

A couple of weeks ago,, I believe the issue of martial / caster disparity was acknowledged. One of the downside of casting is that you had to pick spells and then sometimes those spells weren't useful/needed. Now, it sounds like that will no longer be an issue because you can always heighten some lower level spell. From reading this blog and the tenor of Paizo's response,, it appears that Paizo has gone out of its way to make casters even more capable and you're quite excited about it.

So where is the counter-balance? Where are those things that stop Wizards from covering everyone's roll in the party and then some?

I'm sure you're aware of a certain high tier scenario where the players have to battle some high level caster. That scenario has a hard mode that essentially TPKs frequently. Well, a player posted that he and a group of casters were going to attempt it. He talked about his prep and the prep of the other PCs. He completed the scenario and said it was way easier (on hard mode) than he had thought. The casters were able crush it due to the spells at their disposal. No one's done the same thing with a group of martials, that I'm aware of. Certainly not six Fighters or six Rangers or any mix of the two.

What has changed in 2e so that six casters can't routinely do stuff that six martials can't even dream of doing?

This.

If wizards are going to be able to do anything they want with magic, whats the point in playing a martial?

I'm okay with wizards being able to warp reality, turn into a dragon, conjure armies, rain down hellfire, and dominate cities, but those should all be different wizards who, when they need to do something else, are about as useful as an old guy with a stick.


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Ssalarn wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

[...]This can also be seen as an alternate side of the Summon Monster coin, where the lists were never updated even five bestiaries later.

Is this particular aspect of core vs later content being kept in mind this time?

I think that with the summon monster spells, that's more "feature" than "bug". If the summon spells get expanded alongside every bestiary that gets dropped, their power grows exponentially as you increase the combinations of abilities that you can access using the spell. Arguably, certain spells really shouldn't automatically expand with later materials, and any expansion that does happen should be very deliberate.

I simply used a "you (mostly) get to pick your summons" house rule:

You get two when you learn a "Summon X" spell that have to be summonable with that spell, (with a restricted list if you are learning from another caster¹), one more when you gain a level and it is possible to learn more, (either as a reward² or through research). These picks are subject to GM vetting³ but are wider in scope, (you want to summon Entropic creatures rather than Celestial? sure). You also get any faith-based summons as bonus selections, (although those are subject to divine approval).

This way you aren't stuck with a short list of Bestiary 1 creatures but a new Bestiary coming out isn't a power jump.

1: i.e. You can't learn how to summon a fire elemental from someone who doesn't know how.

2: Either a mundane reward of "you found his summoning notes and can learn how to demand the service of a..." or a more direct one of "thank you for freeing me from that binding, I grant you the service of some of my pets in battle."

3: I am very much not of the school that says players should be able to pick whatever they want just because it happens to be in the rulebook. Cue someone freaking out over the possibility of a player ever being told "no".

Liberty's Edge

Wermut wrote:
Yes but the Universalist will still be the better choice when it comes to raw spells as there has always been spells you want to cast several times a day because of how useful they are. Summon Monster, Haste, Mirror Image and so on. The universalist in the example is already better of because he can provide haste in another combat. Whereas Invisibility Sphere might be useful, but still situational.

The issue with this analysis, as I mentioned before, is that it ignores that, at their max spell level, Specialists still gain one use of Arcane Focus, which makes them flat out better at the highest level of spell they can cast (by one spell, but still).

Exo-Guardians

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So if I'm reading this right. Wizards are being given less spells per day, in exchange for have a tad more flexibility and power with those limited spells.

This does concern me a bit for the inevitable fate of my dear Fighter, as it looks easy for the party Wizard to use his newfound flexibility to replace the Fighter earlier and make the gap between magic users and mundane adventures feel even wider.

It's just a feeling though, I'd have to see how this plays out when the playtest dros


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Igwilly wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:


It's a worse version of PF1 capability ( more slots, leaving some empty slots and Quick Study) that required only moderate system mastery (which was maybe a higher bar for the Wizard than elsewhere) to know about and use effectively. Here it takes ten times as long but is easily findable in core and doesn't require you to calculate the trade off between an empty slot and filling it with something you can't swap out later.

I don't quite remember where one can get that, but I don't particularly care about what combo was possible in PF1. Having to prepare spells is a core weakness to the Wizard, and anything like this feat should be carefully analyzed.

It's not like PF1 was perfectly balanced, anyway.

Having half as many spells is a core weakness of the PF2 Wizard. Not allowing some way to swap out prepared spells is just going to exacerbate the "rest now, try again tomorrow" issue when you run into a problem that can be solved by an unprepared spell that's in your book. The arcane bond was nerfed so that you can't pull one out in combat, allowing ten minutes between non-consecutive encounters to do an adjustment is good design given the other restrictions they already imposed.

MER-c wrote:

So if I'm reading this right. Wizards are being given less spells per day, in exchange for have a tad more flexibility and power with those limited spells.

This does concern me a bit for the inevitable fate of my dear Fighter, as it looks easy for the party Wizard to use his newfound flexibility to replace the Fighter earlier and make the gap between magic users and mundane adventures feel even wider.

It's just a feeling though, I'd have to see how this plays out when the playtest dros

PF1 Wizards already had this flexibility. I don't see where you're getting "more power" from.


Xenocrat wrote:


Having half as many spells is a core weakness of the PF2 Wizard. Not allowing some way to swap out prepared spells is just going to exacerbate the "rest now, try again tomorrow" issue when you run into a problem that can be solved by an unprepared spell that's in your book. The arcane bond was nerfed so that you can't pull one out in combat, allowing ten minutes between non-consecutive encounters to do an adjustment is good design given the other restrictions they already imposed.

No, I don't agree with that. Spell preparation is a core weakness of the Wizard. You talk like Wizards were balanced in PF1. And 3 spells per spell level (at base) is already good.

Liberty's Edge

thflame wrote:
If wizards are going to be able to do anything they want with magic, whats the point in playing a martial?

The trick, I think, is to make a Martial character's Skill Feats on par with equivalent level spells. That allows the Wizard to have the advantage of tailoring their spell load out, but the disadvantage of limited uses per day and having to select what they can do, while the martial character only has so many tricks, but can use them at will whenever they like.

Throw in Rituals (which are available to non-casters), and this becomes even more interesting, since they seem able to allow even otherwise 'martial' characters to access the versatility of casters but only at the cost of time and effort.


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I complain when I don't like something.
I have nothing to say in the face of the coolness here.


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Xenocrat wrote:


PF1 Wizards already had this flexibility. I don't see where you're getting "more power" from.

The thing is, you're assuming PF1 Wizards were balanced and don't need a nerf. They do.

Right now, they already have a lot of spells. Removing from them this one big weakness is just too good.

The more I think about, the more I'm worried about this feat. It is the only one thing I don't like about this article.

Exo-Guardians

It's a feeling like I said, I won't really know until I get the chance to read the book.

I'm not a super math heavy person, I have to play things out to really judge their strengths.


Mark Seifter wrote:
If such a chain exists, I agree with you it will only take the massive brain trust of the player base weeks to find it. So why not let them find it during the playtest? If so, then of course we will amend or drop the feat, not publish it unchanged and hope people don't figure it out. That would defeat the purpose of playtesting it.

First, thank you for responding. I appreciate your not only acknowledging my concern, but taking time to respond.

If I thought it was "possible" that some class ability was liable to be problematic, I would hope that I would rather it not be possible. I guess I don't understand why allow such a thing if it's even possible?

I envision that playtesting is about tweaks and fine tuning as opposed to a search for game-breaking exploits or proof of concept.. Or rather, I would hope that the lack of these exploits being discovered would not be viewed as assurance that they don't exist.

Another reason not to let it be play tested is that it might be immensely popular and then you're going to have to deal with expectation if you realize that it is problematic. Worse, there may be a tendency to downplay the significance of the problem on account of its popularity.

Yet another problem with expecting play testing to provide any proof is that the players won't have all the moving pieces. As new spells come out and new abilities and feats and multi-class options come out, you increase the likelihood of something that might be possible becomes reality.

Finally, I'm not convinced playtesters are necessarily looking to break the game. There's going to be a learning curve and most players are simply going to see if they like the classes as opposed to can the find something that is unbeatable. I'd be very curious to hear what the threshold would be for it to be acknowledged as a problem.

So I still don't understand why you would let something ride that could possibly be a problem instead of saying we don't want anything in the game that could be this type of problem. It would seem if you're flirting with the edge, you're already too close because something will take it over.

Of course you guys know all this, so I am not trying to pretend I've thought of something you haven't. I guess I am trying to understand the risk vs reward curve you guys operate with.

Grand Lodge

Quote:
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.

Impressive getting a (free?) Heal spell on yourself on top of casting another spell.

I wonder if the cleric gets a similar feature.


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Igwilly wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:


PF1 Wizards already had this flexibility. I don't see where you're getting "more power" from.

The thing is, you're assuming PF1 Wizards were balanced and don't need a nerf. They do.

Right now, they already have a lot of spells. Removing from them this one big weakness is just too good.

The more I think about, the more I'm worried about this feat. It is the only one thing I don't like about this article.

They've nerfed the number of spells (one less base, plus no bonus spells).

They've nerfed the arcane bond (can't pull a spell out of your book).

They've nerfed the familiar (only two abilities per day).

They've nerfed the ability to pickup a new prepared spell during the day (Quick Study arcane discovery took 1 minute to fill a slot, Quick Preparation feat takes 10 minutes to swap out slot)

You sound like someone who didn't know the arcane bond ever existed being really mad that they now have a free Pearl of Power effect.


Haven't they improved the overall number of spells per day by accounting for ritual casting? So really a caster is only missing out on a bit of hair trigger uses, but have had their overall casting utility increased?


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With regard to the Focus Conservation feat, if it proves problematic they could easily just keep it basically the same but you can only use it once per spell. So your 9th level spell turns into a 7th on the next turn and then stops there, instead of proceeding to also become a 5th, 3rd and 1st buff chain. That seems like an easy enough fix.

And honestly probably one that should be implemented even if it proves okay with CRB spells. Because it's not just going to be used with CRB spells. It's going to be used with the next 10 years of spells from splatbooks and adventure paths, so it's pretty much inevitable it will break in time even if by some miracle the CRB itself is balanced.


N N 959 wrote:
I'm sure you're aware of a certain high tier scenario where the players have to battle some high level caster. That scenario has a hard mode that essentially TPKs frequently. Well, a player posted that he and a group of casters were going to attempt it. He talked about his prep and the prep of the other PCs. He completed the scenario and said it was way easier (on hard mode) than he had thought. The casters were able crush it due to the spells at their disposal. No one's done the same thing with a group of martials, that I'm aware of. Certainly not six Fighters or six Rangers or any mix of the two.

What scenario is this?


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Stone Dog wrote:
Haven't they improved the overall number of spells per day by accounting for ritual casting? So really a caster is only missing out on a bit of hair trigger uses, but have had their overall casting utility increased?

We have almost no information on what has been moved to rituals or what they cost. The fact that you can cast a Resurrection ritual an infinite number of times per day is not a meaningful increase to your adventuring spell slots, even if it doesn't have a big material component or other cost attached.

If you can cast Overland Flight or Scrying as a ritual, the situation changes somewhat.


Xenocrat wrote:
Aramar wrote:

Generally speaking I'm excited to try out the Wizard, but counterspell gives me some of concerns mentioned earlier. I don't think I've ever seen any overlap of uncast spells of the party caster and opposing caster, so even as a reaction the ability would never be used.

Broadening it to schools might be too powerful, but somewhere there should be a middle ground.

People think of it defensively used against offensive spells, but you can also use it to negate utility spells.

That Efreeti in the last preview blog wants to cast 4th level Invisibility (nee Greater Invisibility)? Well, lots of Wizards will have it prepared and might find it very helpful for their party to negate that action and keep it from disappearing.

An almost dead outsider is about to Teleport away from your party and seek revenge? You don't have to waste an offensive action and spell slot on Dimensional Anchor (if it still exists), you just expend your own Teleport and get a free round to put it down for good.

I'm not forgetting the utility spells. But they have same problem; the wizard still needs to have prepared them and, importantly, not have cast them earlier.

And my experience is only my own, but it's a set of circumstances I've seen arise only rarely if at all.


Xenocrat wrote:
Igwilly wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:


PF1 Wizards already had this flexibility. I don't see where you're getting "more power" from.

The thing is, you're assuming PF1 Wizards were balanced and don't need a nerf. They do.

Right now, they already have a lot of spells. Removing from them this one big weakness is just too good.

The more I think about, the more I'm worried about this feat. It is the only one thing I don't like about this article.

They've nerfed the number of spells (one less base, plus no bonus spells).

They've nerfed the arcane bond (can't pull a spell out of your book).

They've nerfed the familiar (only two abilities per day).

They've nerfed the ability to pickup a new prepared spell during the day (Quick Study arcane discovery took 1 minute to fill a slot, Quick Preparation feat takes 10 minutes to swap out slot)

You sound like someone who didn't know the arcane bond ever existed being really mad that they now have a free Pearl of Power effect.

To be fair, from what I understand from the forums/community; Familiars were very good when they could use Wands/Scrolls. Basically had a mini spell caster or at the very least could give the wizard stuff mid combat by using it's actions.

Heck I don't even know if the Familiar Archetypes were that commonly used for Wizards as opposed to other classes/cases.

So if there's some kind of "Advanced Familiar" feat or they can use Magic Items, it's not that big of a nerf I feel.


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N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
It is still possible that some kind of carefully prepared 9-7-5-3-1 chain of prebuffs could allow you to gain a problematically big advantage....

Probably? How about guaranteed that a couple of months after this class is out, maybe even weeks, people will have figured out these optimal casting chains. If it's "probable" you should take it as a given when designing the class and not hope that most people don't figure it out (even if they won't).

Quote:
so if you're willing to test a really high level generalist and challenge the player to break this feat, I will be grateful.
I wouldn't rely on play testing to figure these things out. Why not make sure it can't be broken rather than hope it isn't?

Misquoting 'possible' as 'probable' doesn't help you make an argument. No one, not even a very gifted game designer, is going to be able to run through every possible combination, so the best possible approach is to challenge others (who think differently than the designer) to find flaws and exploits in playtest.

Years ago, I was fairly heavily involved in a game where the designers thought they had things worked out, the limited test group came up with results matching the expected outcomes... and within a month of the official publication, tactics outside what the designers had anticipated required scrapping the entire system and reworking it. And these were designers, and playtesters, who had been working on that system for DECADES.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


The trick, I think, is to make a Martial character's Skill Feats on par with equivalent level spells.

I have a different idea. Why not make it so there things that spells can't do that some feats/abilities/skills can, and vice versa. Rather than trying to eliminate the need to have different classes in a group, why not reinforce that?

Yeah, I know this is problem for PFS and homebrew were everyone wants to play a Barbarian, but the idea of no class having any area of the game in which that class clearly shines, is disheartening. You know what the difference between the white pieces and the black pieces in chess? One side goes first.


MerlinCross wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Igwilly wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:


PF1 Wizards already had this flexibility. I don't see where you're getting "more power" from.

The thing is, you're assuming PF1 Wizards were balanced and don't need a nerf. They do.

Right now, they already have a lot of spells. Removing from them this one big weakness is just too good.

The more I think about, the more I'm worried about this feat. It is the only one thing I don't like about this article.

They've nerfed the number of spells (one less base, plus no bonus spells).

They've nerfed the arcane bond (can't pull a spell out of your book).

They've nerfed the familiar (only two abilities per day).

They've nerfed the ability to pickup a new prepared spell during the day (Quick Study arcane discovery took 1 minute to fill a slot, Quick Preparation feat takes 10 minutes to swap out slot)

You sound like someone who didn't know the arcane bond ever existed being really mad that they now have a free Pearl of Power effect.

To be fair, from what I understand from the forums/community; Familiars were very good when they could use Wands/Scrolls. Basically had a mini spell caster or at the very least could give the wizard stuff mid combat by using it's actions.

Heck I don't even know if the Familiar Archetypes were that commonly used for Wizards as opposed to other classes/cases.

So if there's some kind of "Advanced Familiar" feat or they can use Magic Items, it's not that big of a nerf I feel.

They were plenty good just for a bonus to the best skill in the game, as a scout, and as a way to get a +4 bonus to initiative or a +2 bonus to a save. It was two free feats before you took into account anything the familiar itself could do.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Another question regarding Phantasmal Killer, what's this "mental" damage thing? Will their be monsters/PC options to get mental resistance?

Not an official reply, but since resistance is now a general ability you can apply to anything (unlike the current DR/energy resistance thing), it seems reasonable that mental resistance is indeed a thing. Of course, it might still be uncommon - at least until the PF2 occult rules come out.


Look, I know from experience that no one wins an internet discussion, and I've made my point clear. But let me say that:
Wizard shouldn't be the ones with always the right spell for the problem. Because this means that they solve all the party's problems! That is the core of the caster vs martial imbalance.
All the things you listed, they don't make the Wizard weak by any measure. They still have scaled cantrips and rituals.
Now, I'll give you some reason because the blog post wasn't clear about how this feat actually works (something rather expected). However, I'll still keep my eyes vigilant for this one feat. If it is so good as I initially thought, then I'll speak against it for sure. I play a Wizard (when I play one) to be useful to the party, not to overshadow them ^^


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I like the change to Arcane Focus, casting a spell again that you've already cast that day... vs. P1E casting ANYTHING in your spellbook. The new way feels like it hews closer to Prepared Casting, hinging on what you actually prepared, vs. P1E way which blew open the doors to be "full Spontaneous" for that spell (probably better given Spellbook likely has more spells than Sorceror Spells Known, and benefit of Spontaneous doesn't hinge on EVERY spell being spontaneous, just the rare corner cases that classic standards couldn't cover)

This isn't Wizard-specific, but the spell entry's wording re: casting components feels very off. It doesn't make sense to repeat "Casting" multiple times after the initial bolded "Casting" heading, and the use of "Casting" for that heading seems questionable to me.

I think it would be clearer and more logical (and shorter!) if it just read: "Components Somatic, Verbal". "Components" sounds like a list of concrete things, much more than abstact, non-discrete "Casting". But regardless, "Casting" doen't need to be repeated adjacent to every type of component, it makes it tedious to read: if we already know this is a list of components (or "Casting(s?)"), why repeat that? Is a list of Feat Pre-Requisites conveyed as "Feat Pre-Reqs: Power Attack Feat, Mobility Feat"?

I also don't undersstand why the "Icon"/glyphs are repeated immediately adjacent to the full terms of Verbal, Somatic, Material which they stand for. I am leaning towards simple & typographic style Circle-V, S, M as the symbols to be used when appropriate, but I just don't see reason to double print them next to full terminology here. If you want to use them here, don't re-print full term next to them. Or if you want to use full term here, don't use the Icons/glyphs. Glyphs do seem useful for the consolidated class spell lists which include only brief spell description. I get the feeling Paizo wants to print them adjacent to re-enforce "learning" the glyphs, but that is solution to un-necessary problem IMHO. The glyphs should be so simple they aren't a chore to learn: thus why I lean towards Circle-V, S, M because everybody can trivially understand those. "Artistic" icons might look cool on their own, but I don't think are best choice systemically.


Brian Adams wrote:


Misquoting 'possible' as 'probable' doesn't help you make an argument.

I didn't apologize to make an argument. I apologized because Mark corrected me and obviously thought that made a difference in what he was saying.

Quote:
No one, not even a very gifted game designer, is going to be able to run through every possible combination, so the best possible approach is to challenge others (who think differently than the designer) to find flaws and exploits in playtest.

There's a categorical difference between not being able to find an exploit and a priori recognizing a specific design decision is ripe for one.

Quote:
Years ago, I was fairly heavily involved in a game where the designers thought they had things worked out, the limited test group came up with results matching the expected outcomes... and within a month of the official publication, tactics outside what the designers had anticipated required scrapping the entire system and reworking it. And these were designers, and playtesters, who had been working on that system for DECADES.

Hence my post, Brian. Mark already acknowledged a problem could result and it's just a function of someone finding a spell progression??? Are we crossing our fingers that no one will find it? We know how that worked out for the Death Star(s).


Starfox wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Another question regarding Phantasmal Killer, what's this "mental" damage thing? Will their be monsters/PC options to get mental resistance?
Not an official reply, but since resistance is now a general ability you can apply to anything (unlike the current DR/energy resistance thing), it seems reasonable that mental resistance is indeed a thing. Of course, it might still be uncommon - at least until the PF2 occult rules come out.

Bards might potentially also have a lot of spells or abilities that inflict mental damage. The daze cantrip might inflict mental damage with an additional daze rider on a failed save. Offbrand mind flyers will probably inflict mental damage with their mind blast. Etc. It's just a damage type, that which got codified as psychic damage in 4E/5E at The Brand.

Save bonuses and penalties with respect to "mind-affecting effects" would certainly still be around, and would work on any mental effect with a save, like charm etc.


This is the preview I've been looking forward to the most, and gotta say I'm not disappointed in the least. I think it'll be interesting to convert my Wizard to 2E and see what kind of options I have to play with.

Paizo Employee Designer

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N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I said "possibly," not probably.
Apologies. I did not mean to change the word you used, but was thinking that if it was possible, then it was probably going to happen and had that word in my head. Again, I didn't intend to misquote you or put words in your mouth.

No worries. It did change the meaning of what I said a lot in this particular case, but I figured you misread it, not that you were trying to put words in my mouth.

In this case, possibly was meant towards the direction of "We can't think of everything, and I acknowledge there could be something we missed, so there's a chance" whereas probably would imply I thought it was more likely than not.

Dark Archive

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N N 959 wrote:
These reply chains get too long:
Mark Seifter wrote:
If such a chain exists, I agree with you it will only take the massive brain trust of the player base weeks to find it. So why not let them find it during the playtest? If so, then of course we will amend or drop the feat, not publish it unchanged and hope people don't figure it out. That would defeat the purpose of playtesting it.

First, thank you for responding. I appreciate your not only acknowledging my concern, but taking time to respond.

If I thought it was "possible" that some class ability was liable to be problematic, I would hope that I would rather it not be possible. I guess I don't understand why allow such a thing if it's even possible?

I envision that playtesting is about tweaks and fine tuning as opposed to a search for game-breaking exploits or proof of concept.. Or rather, I would nope that lack of these exploits being discovered would not be viewed as assurance that they don't exist.

Another reason not to let it be play tested is that it might be immensely popular and then you're going to have to deal with expectation if you realize that it is problematic. Worse, there may be a tendency to downplay the significance of the problem on account of its popularity.

Yet another problem with expecting play testing to provide any proof is that the players won't have all the moving pieces. As new spells come out and new abilities and feats and multi-class options come out, you increase the likelihood of something that might be possible becomes reality.

Finally, I'm not convinced playtesters are necessarily looking to break the game. There's going to be a learning curve and most players are simply going to see if they like the classes as opposed to can the find something that is unbeatable. I'd be very curious to hear what the threshold would be for it to be acknowledged as a problem.

So I still don't understand why you would let something ride that could possibly be a problem instead of saying we don't want anything in the game that could...

That's the whole purpose of testing: to find if something IS possible. There's a difference between something being possible and it being possible that something is possible. In the first case, the outcome can be attained. In the second, there's a chance that the outcome can be attained. We're living in the second. So testing is needed to see if the outcome (breaking the feat) is attainable. If it is, next it has to be determined if it's a problem. If the feat is able to be broken frequently to great effect, that's a problem. If it is only able to be broken under certain circumstances that don't arise often and don't crowd out the usefulness of the rest of the PCs, it may not be a problem.

The design team is more limited in its ability to look at things than the player base. They DON'T think the things they're releasing are broken, else they wouldn't be releasing it. They're also fallible humans, so they can be wrong. And that's the whole point of the playtest. We get to put eyes on the prize and see if we catch anything they miss.

If it ends up as broken, problematic, and popular then it probably will have to be changed. However, this early in development there's a chance that they can tweek it in a way that keeps it strong without being overpowered. Hell, maybe the problem lies more with the spell combinations than the feat.
IMO, this is a better approach than deciding after the fact that something is overpowered. Just look what happened to the poor Jingasa.

This is always my biggest fear, but I feel like historically Paizo have erred on this side of caution when releasing new material. Few of the options presented in newer books feels like it's really power creep.
Besides, why hamstring something because it MIGHT be a problem in the future? Haven't you seen Minority Report?

I think you're underestimating the power gamers. I know several people, myself included, are going to try and make the most ridiculous OP characters possible with the new rules, just to see what the new system will allow.
Plenty of people are going to do as you described as well. Takes all kinds.

Because it's a playtest. It can be better to try something that fails than to not try it at all.

I could be wrong about all of this, because I'm (obviously) not on the design team. But we clearly have a different perspective on things.


There looks like a lot of great stuff here for the wizard. Still far too early to know if it is balanced or not.

I prefer the sorcerer and bard for my arcane casting, but this is very cool.

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