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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4 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm hoping for some more options for learning spells, and some insight into what a class can and can not learn. Learning every spell in the world is the goal of my current Wizard.

In DND 3.x and PF 1, the Wizard looked like the class most dedicated to learning and casting spells. They are quite lean on features, having the worst attack bonus, poor hit dice, and a small pool of equipment proficiency. They have the most spells on their spell list, and in some cases they have more than double the spells of a given level than the Cleric and Druid. Their bonus feats and specialist class features only serve to reinforce their spell casting ability.

I hope that Wizards still get to be powerful spell casters in PF 2.


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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.

Doesn't some consideration have to be given for the future as the ruleset expands beyond core?

I assume that Paizo isn't going to stop releasing new rules content. PF1 has new spells released almost every month either in a new hardcover, a companion, or a campaign setting book. How many more spells are going to exist in PF2 a year after it's released? Two years?

This seems like an ability that is going to have a lot more potential to become broken as more and more new spells are introduced to the system and players start looking through a dozen different books for spells to chain together.

Shadow Lodge

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Volkard Abendroth wrote:

So: They stripped away what few class features wizard's had and then gave them back as class feats.

They seriously nerfed Phantasmal Killer, which now only forces the fortitude save if the will save is a critical failure.

Fear now only lasts 1 round/tier (?), not sure if this will apply to other sources of fear, but is phrased as a general mechanic.

Number of starting spells is decoupled from intelligence (though the number is increased). Gaining INT later in the campaign will no longer grant additional free spells.

The number of new spells wizards get as they level is decreased (10, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, etc.) The level of the spells gained is not specified (Highest level or new level).

Arcane Bond items no longer allow the wizard to cast any spell the wizard knows. They now function more like the Magus' Spell Recall.

Counterspelling still sucks and is unlikely to be used.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:

So: They stripped away what few class features wizard's had and then gave them back as class feats.

They seriously nerfed Phantasmal Killer, which now only forces the fortitude save if the will save is a critical failure.

Fear now only lasts 1 round/tier (?), not sure if this will apply to other sources of fear, but is phrased as a general mechanic.

Number of starting spells is decoupled from intelligence (though the number is increased). Gaining INT later in the campaign will no longer grant additional free spells.

The number of new spells wizards get as they level is decreased (10, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, etc.) The level of the spells gained is not specified (Highest level or new level).

Arcane Bond items no longer allow the wizard to cast any spell the wizard knows. They now function more like the Magus' Spell Recall.

Counterspelling still sucks and is unlikely to be used.

You're using up a significant resource on luck of the draw. If Wizards had two to three more spells for each spell level then yes, you'd see it used. If you had a Specialized Counterspell that could be used in that Reaction if memorized... you probably would see it used. But as-is?

The Familiar grants an added spell. Counterspell activates only when you are really lucky but takes away that spell from your own use. Hmm, which do you think 99% of players will take?

Shadow Lodge

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That's the problem. It's never been an option unless Dispel Magic was involved and even then a readied action to Magic Missile the caster was more likely to work in PF1.


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Eh I imagine their might be some feats to make counter spelling a bit better like their seems to be with everything else so far. However I do see the uses for it. Especially if I can counter your heightened fireball with my regular. (I don't actually know if you can or not) Plus it isn't as much of an investment for you to counter as it is for them to cast the spell depending on how many components they use.
I'll have to see more details.


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Tangent101 wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:

Counterspelling still sucks and is unlikely to be used.

You're using up a significant resource on luck of the draw. If Wizards had two to three more spells for each spell level then yes, you'd see it used. If you had a Specialized Counterspell that could be used in that Reaction if memorized... you probably would see it used. But as-is?

The Familiar grants an added spell. Counterspell activates only when you are really lucky but takes away that spell from your own use. Hmm, which do you think 99% of players will take?

And if turns out to suck in the playtest, that is something to comment on in the surveys. I do also expect it will basically never come up except for the very most common spells. So I'm expecting to recommend that you be able to use a spell of the same school (probably of at least one level higher for the increased flexibility) if you don't have the specific counter. With an upgrade feat for using a spell of the same level instead of higher level, and another to let you use a cantrip to counter a spell.

But who knows, we don't have the actual rules text of the feat so hopefully they've already accounted for that.


Gunny wrote:
Can you explain how you arrived at 15 missiles if cast as a 9th level spell? I can't figure out the math here.

Thats because of the Heightened +2: one more missile per action. That means that if you prepare magic missile as +2 level magic, you can throw one more missile, like this:

lv1: 1 missile
lv3: 2 missiles
lv5: 3 missiles
lv7: 4 missiles
lv9: 5 missiles

Thats per action. Spending all three actions casting it as a level 9 spell, you get 15 missiles.


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If it ends up too good however it will make using a caster as a boss and having it be any kind of challenge almost impossible.

Shadow Lodge

A good reason to avoid bosses that are alone then.


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Dragonborn3 wrote:
A good reason to avoid bosses that are alone then.

That still doesn't fix the problem. Your allies and the enemy wizard allies can both work to protect their wizard but you BBEG is still having everything counter spelled so might as well of put him as a class that could of done something.


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Will Counterspell have level of success and failure?

Shadow Lodge

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

Going off of the Fighter blog this does not seem to have happened. Not for some abilities at least. >.>


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Okay. Can you explain how Cantrips work please?

From what has been stated elsewhere, Cantrips and Orisons level up.

1. Do you need to use a higher spell slot to Memorize a Cantrip or Orison at the heightened level of ability?

2. If this is the case, are you able to memorize the four 0-level Cantrips/three 0-level Orisons along with the high-level Cantrip/Orison memorization? Or is it four Cantrips/three Orisons maximum no matter what spell level slot you use?

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

4. Assuming there are Touch Attacks/Rays that require a to-hit roll, would there be the possibility to gain a Critical Hit with the to-hit roll?

5. If so, does this mean there are no saving throws (or at least no critical failures) for these spells seeing there is already the potential to double the damage dice?

6. Can you Counterspell a Counterspell? Essentially could you have a Simulacrum or minion wizard whose purpose is to prevent the counterspelling of their master's spells?


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
A good reason to avoid bosses that are alone then.
That still doesn't fix the problem. Your allies and the enemy wizard allies can both work to protect their wizard but you BBEG is still having everything counter spelled so might as well of put him as a class that could of done something.

Counterspelling is really good in 5E with a certain build and this is basically what our experience was. Any time there was a caster of some kind among the enemies our party wizard would just force him to pass turn every round. He eventually switched to an evocation focus because even he wasn't having any fun with it, his build basically amounted to "my job is making less interesting things happen".

Paizo Employee Designer

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Tangent101 wrote:

Okay. Can you explain how Cantrips work please?

From what has been stated elsewhere, Cantrips and Orisons level up.

1. Do you need to use a higher spell slot to Memorize a Cantrip or Orison at the heightened level of ability?

2. If this is the case, are you able to memorize the four 0-level Cantrips/three 0-level Orisons along with the high-level Cantrip/Orison memorization? Or is it four Cantrips/three Orisons maximum no matter what spell level slot you use?

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

4. Assuming there are Touch Attacks/Rays that require a to-hit roll, would there be the possibility to gain a Critical Hit with the to-hit roll?

5. If so, does this mean there are no saving throws (or at least no critical failures) for these spells seeing there is already the potential to double the damage dice?

Most of these questions aren't about cantrips, but they seem like useful ones to answers anyways and we've mostly touched on these elsewhere at times.

1) Cantrips have cantrip slots. They automatically heighten to your max level.

2) There is no such thing as a 0-level spell, or a 0 level slot. Cantrips have cantrip slots.

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

4) Yes, see above.

5) Typically not, but sometimes a spell will have a save after the touch attack, and a critical hit causes the result of the save to be one degree worse (so if you crit and they would fail the save, they take the critical failure result; ouch!). This is true of, for instance, disintegrate, so if you can true strike into a disintegrate crit (or roll one naturally), that is really horrible news for your opponent.

Grand Lodge

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

Love the school power, I'm imagining the wizard using the Diviner's Sight power three times in the same turn to fortify his team as they prepare to charge a mummy or basilisk.

Will we rearrange the spell saves so that is lists Critical Success, Success, Failure, Critical Failure?

I'm very excited about the gradient of actions available with the three action system and the variable action spells/abilities.

Except you can only have Diviner Sight 1 active at a time


Mark Seifter wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:

Okay. Can you explain how Cantrips work please?

From what has been stated elsewhere, Cantrips and Orisons level up.

1. Do you need to use a higher spell slot to Memorize a Cantrip or Orison at the heightened level of ability?

2. If this is the case, are you able to memorize the four 0-level Cantrips/three 0-level Orisons along with the high-level Cantrip/Orison memorization? Or is it four Cantrips/three Orisons maximum no matter what spell level slot you use?

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

4. Assuming there are Touch Attacks/Rays that require a to-hit roll, would there be the possibility to gain a Critical Hit with the to-hit roll?

5. If so, does this mean there are no saving throws (or at least no critical failures) for these spells seeing there is already the potential to double the damage dice?

Most of these questions aren't about cantrips, but they seem like useful ones to answers anyways and we've mostly touched on these elsewhere at times.

1) Cantrips have cantrip slots. They automatically heighten to your max level.

2) There is no such thing as a 0-level spell, or a 0 level slot. Cantrips have cantrip slots.

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

4) Yes, see above.

5) Typically not, but sometimes a spell will have a save after the touch attack, and a critical hit causes the result of the save to be one degree worse (so if you crit and they would fail the save, they take the critical failure result; ouch!). This is true of,...

Mmmmm Tasty DM Fiat when a spell double crits, as rare as that might be! Even worse than Crit Fail!

Grand Lodge

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

I'm still not sure what to make of the constant number of spell slots. Lower level utility slots were always great in bulk. Resist Energy, extra Mage Armor for the Monk without worrying about Scorching Ray (which itself was still a nice 12d6 fire), lots of good buffs down there. I can see it as "oh hey we want you to need these less", but then that needs to be followed through on, or the complexity of gaining fire resistance just went to everyone else picking a class feat instead of the Wizard saying "hocus pocus fire nope-us"


Seems Paizo didn't get the main problem with the wizard:
"lack of spell/day at lower levels"
Once they run out of spell slots wizards are not really wizards anymore, but crossbow man with a low chance to hit. (Or they do ridiculous amount of damage with non-scaling cantrips (yeah 1d3 acid damage!!!)).

DnD5 managed to solve this issue by letting the cantrips scale with level.
This way wizards can still do something, even if they run out of spell slots.

Also the fact that you need to prepare magic missile in a higher slot to get more missiles is a little bit odd to me.
I really like the idea of "scaling spells", this way even low level spells can be relevant in high level games.

Also the counterspell mechanic is very odd: First you need the feat, then you have to know the exact spell the other guy is casting, had prepared it and have a action ready and then have to sacrifice your spell to counterspell it - so you have to fullfill 3 preq. and sacrifice two things (action and spell slot) to counter ONE action of an enemy - WTF...

So far PF2 has some nice idea, but overall I think Paizo is to much stuck in the old DND3/PF mentality to make it really something new and tackle the problems of DND3/PF


The blog sounds good. Looking forward to seeing what a Wizard can do in playtest.

I was hoping we'd get a sample cantrip or two spelled out in the Wizard blog, though. Knowing how well offensive cantrips scale would give some perspective about so many things.

Any additional information about cantrips coming up anytime soon?


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Tryn wrote:

Seems Paizo didn't get the main problem with the wizard:

"lack of spell/day at lower levels"
Once they run out of spell slots wizards are not really wizards anymore, but crossbow man with a low chance to hit. (Or they do ridiculous amount of damage with non-scaling cantrips (yeah 1d3 acid damage!!!)).

Cantrips have been confirmed to scale in PF2 for a long time. We just don't know how fast/well they'll scale.

Also, their base damage will be higher. I think one that telekinetically throws something at the target was mentioned, doing 1d10 damage at level one with the downside of targeting real AC instead of touch AC. I'd think a cantrip targeting touch AC could easily do 1d8. Elemental vulnerabilities are also more common in PF2. So hopefully no more crossbows needed at level 1.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Tryn wrote:

Seems Paizo didn't get the main problem with the wizard:

"lack of spell/day at lower levels"
Once they run out of spell slots wizards are not really wizards anymore, but crossbow man with a low chance to hit. (Or they do ridiculous amount of damage with non-scaling cantrips (yeah 1d3 acid damage!!!)).

DnD5 managed to solve this issue by letting the cantrips scale with level.
This way wizards can still do something, even if they run out of spell slots.

Also the fact that you need to prepare magic missile in a higher slot to get more missiles is a little bit odd to me.
I really like the idea of "scaling spells", this way even low level spells can be relevant in high level games.

Also the counterspell mechanic is very odd: First you need the feat, then you have to know the exact spell the other guy is casting, had prepared it and have a action ready and then have to sacrifice your spell to counterspell it - so you have to fullfill 3 preq. and sacrifice two things (action and spell slot) to counter ONE action of an enemy - WTF...

So far PF2 has some nice idea, but overall I think Paizo is to much stuck in the old DND3/PF mentality to make it really something new and tackle the problems of DND3/PF

You need to do more research. Your information seems out of date and your going on more assumptions then the average poster given the previews so far.


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Tryn wrote:

Also the counterspell mechanic is very odd: First you need the feat, then you have to know the exact spell the other guy is casting, had prepared it and have a action ready and then have to sacrifice your spell to counterspell it - so you have to fullfill 3 preq. and sacrifice two things (action and spell slot) to counter ONE action of an enemy - WTF...

I'm...not sure if you missed something here. Some of this is correct, but what you need is a reaction, which is not one of your three actions.

However, if you succeed, you spent 0 of your 3 actions (and your reaction, which you likely weren't using anyways if you planned to counterspell), to negate two or more of their actions.

I think one thing that's been missed in general is the usage of Counterspell to stop cantrips. Since they're a lot more dangerous, counterspelling them is higher value, not to mention being able to stop any detect magic. If you wanted to open up their defenses to use the arrow-method of counterspelling, stopping Shield is also pretty valuable.


I like it, though Wizards aren't my personal style I can see how much easier it'll be to build 'em and to help new players relearn the Class. I like the way a spell costs an [[A]], allowing multiple spells in a turn, similar to the '3 attacks' at level 1 IF you want.

Always exciting.


I still think counterspell should work more like the same school at the same spell level. instead of the exact same spell because how often does that work. At least you might have a chance of having a necromancy school spell such as ray of enfeeblement to counter vampiric touch.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

@Tryn, I just asked about something along those lines. It was answered shortly before your own post.

For Wizards it seems there will be four Cantrips available. They will be Cantrip spell slots and will level up with the wizard. If one of them is an offensive damage-dealing Cantrip then that means the Wizard always will have the ability to do some amount of damage with a spell - it might not be as much as say a Magic Missile spell of the same equivalent level (or might be that damage level but require a to-hit roll) but you still have that constant effect.

I know one such Cantrip was going to be Shield. Having Shield level up is a nice touch... though it does have me wonder if it will be less potent than the original Mage Armor spell at low levels (thus at 9th spell level of effect probably giving +9 to armor).

Liberty's Edge

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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The trick, I think, is to make a Martial character's Skill Feats on par with equivalent level spells.
Going off of the Fighter blog this does not seem to have happened. Not for some abilities at least. >.>

The Fighter blog mentions Skill Feats zero times.

How martials do in combat is relevant, but not super hard to adjust or the core of the Caster/Martial disparity. That's always been about the utility and out of combat effects, and since those are ,mostly in the form of Skill Feats, which are mostly Class-Agnostic, the Fighter blog revealed nothing about them.

Tangent101 wrote:

@Tryn, I just asked about something along those lines. It was answered shortly before your own post.

For Wizards it seems there will be four Cantrips available. They will be Cantrip spell slots and will level up with the wizard. If one of them is an offensive damage-dealing Cantrip then that means the Wizard always will have the ability to do some amount of damage with a spell - it might not be as much as say a Magic Missile spell of the same equivalent level (or might be that damage level but require a to-hit roll) but you still have that constant effect.

Well, we know that at least one cantrip (Telekinetic Projectile) does a full 1d10 damage at 1st level (though it attacks vs. normal AC), and that could easily go up quite a bit. So yeah, there seem to be options.

Tangent101 wrote:
I know one such Cantrip was going to be Shield. Having Shield level up is a nice touch... though it does have me wonder if it will be less potent than the original Mage Armor spell at low levels (thus at 9th spell level of effect probably giving +9 to armor).

I'd actually be surprised if Shield upgraded its AC bonus (which is only +1 at 1st level) to higher than +2 since magic shields with more than their base AC bonus (which maxes at +2) aren't available. No, what it'll upgrade is Hardness, and thus how much damage it can absorb and save you from.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Quote:
That means you can prepare magic missile as a 9th-level spell and spend three actions casting it for 15 missiles!

The average damage of those 15 missiles is 52.5. Not enough to kill a Redcap (creature 5) or an Ogre (creature 3). With a 9th level spell. That take 3 actions to cast.

I doubt it ever do enough damage to kill a enemy of your level. Same thing for cone of cold, probably. 11 dice = 38.5 points of damage as an average. Essentially it is still the same "damage dealing spells have little to no utility unless you have a plethora of feats and abilities that enhance them".

I don' count on damage dealing spells to be enough to defeat an high level foe, but I would like a 9th level spell that require your whole round to be cast to do more than slightly inconvenience a high level enemy. Or gravely damage a low level one.

If (creature 5) mean that it has the same level of power of a level 5 character, our wizard using hightened magic missiles can deal 21 hp of damage with one of his higher level spells at a redcap. That then heal 10 hp. I hope he can fly and stay out of range, as he will never get anywhere.
Against an ogre, that is a 2 creature level lower he would need 3 casting to kill it. While not moving. In the same length of time the ogre can use 2 actions to get close, attack and then do 3 attacks every round. Let's say that only 3 of those attacks hit and only one is a critical hit. 6d10+28 if I am not mistaken. 61 hp of damage. Essentially the ogre will do the same damage of the wizard.

It is better to remove all the tales speaking of powerful direct damage dealing spells as something that exist. The wizard job is to control the mind of others.


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Spell Points aren't used to fuel Spells. They're used to fuel "Powers" in all cases shown so far, which are only similar to spells in some ways. Why not cut down on potential confusion and call them Power Points? "Spell Points" sounds incredibly game-y and isn't natural-sounding anyway.

~~~~~

As an aside, the heighten wording on a lot of spells is concise and short, but at the cost of some of them being somewhat confusing. The math for heightened missiles didn't make sense to me until I noticed "with each action you spend" also counts the initial action used to fire the spell, not just the "extra" actions.


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Some thoughts.

Counterspell can be very good when it works. There are lots of scenarios where you are better off preventing an enemy spell and costing them actions than using the same spell yourself; I listed some earlier in the thread. The issue isn't the cost of the spell slot not granting favorable returns. The issue will be how often will you actually have that spell prepared in a context where it favors the enemy and not you, and whether this is often enough to warrant a feat. Not sure about this one, but I do think splat book content won't be a huge issue here. Even later APs favor core content, most likely because making people own every book is impractical. The issue will mainly be if your wizard favors those newer spells, but in that case Counterspell maybe isn't your first pick.

On Cone of Cold vs Ogres. Mark's analysis holds true from what I can tell. Some quick number crunching from what I know of PF2 indicates that a 9th level wizard will probably have a save DC of at least 24. The ogre has a +3 reflex save. That means it can only save for half damage if a nat 20 is an automatic success. And they have at best a 50% chance to critically fail for 22d6.Meanwhile, wizard's AC is probably be something like 22 before Bracers enter the equation, which means the ogres hit on a 12, or a 10 of they are flanking. (8 large enemies and the new flanking rules makes that a pretty safe assumption.) So Cone of Cold is guaranteed to do some serious damage to the group and probably kill a bunch, and that's good because the wizard really wants less of those ogres swinging at him.

Focus Conservation can be really potent. Operative word being can. You aren't moving or casting shield or doing anything but becoming a magical turret. You need to have a chain of spells thst are all useful to the current situation. And you need to have already cast all those spells. That is actually rather a lot of circumstances for something that your character could technically already do better by going nova with the slot consumption. Seems like it might be useful for a prebuff chain as Mark mentioned, and it could let the wizard potentially rip into the final boss of a dungeon after having already emptied most of the tank. But your chain can be shut down by anything that requires you to move; a simple cloud spell could mean it is over.

The universalist advantages don't seem as pronounced as some people are concerned about. If there's a spell at every level that is specifically worth casting twice, the specialist can prepare it twice.

Liberty's Edge

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Diego Rossi wrote:
I doubt it ever do enough damage to kill a enemy of your level. Same thing for cone of cold, probably. 11 dice = 38.5 points of damage as an average. Essentially it is still the same "damage dealing spells have little to no utility unless you have a plethora of feats and abilities that enhance them".

This analysis runs right into two issues:

1. Cone of Cold is an area effect spell, and Mark has specifically stated that pure damage spells that target one creature do more damage.

2. Magic Missile is a low level spell. Mark has specifically noted that higher level spells are better in terms of damage than lower level spells Heightened.

With those two things being the case, using Cone of Cold or Heightened Magic Missile as your barometers for how much damage a spell can do to a single target just sorta doesn't work.

Will blasting be overly weak? Maybe. But we lack the evidence to say one way or the other right now.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
Quote:
That means you can prepare magic missile as a 9th-level spell and spend three actions casting it for 15 missiles!

The average damage of those 15 missiles is 52.5. Not enough to kill a Redcap (creature 5) or an Ogre (creature 3). With a 9th level spell. That take 3 actions to cast.

I doubt it ever do enough damage to kill a enemy of your level. Same thing for cone of cold, probably. 11 dice = 38.5 points of damage as an average. Essentially it is still the same "damage dealing spells have little to no utility unless you have a plethora of feats and abilities that enhance them".

I don' count on damage dealing spells to be enough to defeat an high level foe, but I would like a 9th level spell that require your whole round to be cast to do more than slightly inconvenience a high level enemy. Or gravely damage a low level one.

If (creature 5) mean that it has the same level of power of a level 5 character, our wizard using hightened magic missiles can deal 21 hp of damage with one of his higher level spells at a redcap. That then heal 10 hp. I hope he can fly and stay out of range, as he will never get anywhere.
Against an ogre, that is a 2 creature level lower he would need 3 casting to kill it. While not moving. In the same length of time the ogre can use 2 actions to get close, attack and then do 3 attacks every round. Let's say that only 3 of those attacks hit and only one is a critical hit. 6d10+28 if I am not mistaken. 61 hp of damage. Essentially the ogre will do the same damage of the wizard.

It is better to remove all the tales speaking of powerful direct damage dealing spells as something that exist. The wizard job is to control the mind of others.

Dude, you know Magic Missile isn't a heavy damage spell right? It is no save, no miss force damage. It is for taking out ghosts or putting down an enemy knocked down to single digit health already, not one shotting ogres.

I don't know why people keep going on about magic missile as if it was actually the big blast spell. Was anyone actually using the scaling PF1 version in combat at level 17? I can't imagine many were. As is, a 9th level version of the spell might be cool in some very specific circumstances but it isn't meant to be a go to spell at that point.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Tryn wrote:

Seems Paizo didn't get the main problem with the wizard:

"lack of spell/day at lower levels"
Once they run out of spell slots wizard

You need to do more research. Your information seems out of date and your going on more assumptions then the average poster given the previews so far.

Aka "was this the first article you read?"


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Most of these questions aren't about cantrips, but they seem like useful ones to answers anyways and we've mostly touched on these elsewhere at times.

Yeah. It's late for me. I blanked on what else I was going to talk about and wanted a decent number of numbered items to ask about to I expanded my venue.

Thank you for answering this. This helps a lot. I was especially not expecting to hear about critical failures to saving throws of touch attacks.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Igwilly wrote:

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 :)

Well, yes. That would be the point.

But I prefer to call it a reworking of the past mechanic into a modern design, while keeping the spellbook and preparation side of things. Forgetting spells after they are cast is a great plot device, but was always a severe limitation for an RPG.

The Quick Preparation feat is an answer to this limitation, though why have it as a class feat instead of automatically getting it like Heighten seems like an oversight to me.

I wonder what the Sorcerer is going to be like, now that we know the Wizard is keeping his forgetful ways. I hope there is some sort of 3.5 Warlock type stuff going on instead of the adjusted Spontaneous Caster balancing act of getting higher level spell slots at a character level higher like in PF1, so second level spells at level four instead of three. Not sure if there would be much of a change between editions if the Wizard/Sorcerer classes are still the same class with the same spells and severely different mechanics. The Mage should be one class, and the Warlock/Kinetisis be the other.

All the above being said, I am glad that the magic system overall that is being done balances more with the rest of the crew. The spells scaling with level is a vast improvement over the relisting of higher level version of spells we have now. I do like the direction of how the casters will use the three action system and what they can do with Cantrips and such. The limits on spells (which isn't much different than now) per day is midigated by what the Wizard can do with other powers and spellpoints. Bonded Object, as mentioned, is weaker now, and renamed, but being able to get a familiar (with a feat) and having that option hardwired in is a vast improvement over having to choose between them.


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"The effect of the killer is based on the outcome of the target's Will saving throw."

This seems to be a slightly clunky way of listing what saving throw the spell demands (bleeds into proceeding text, no dedicated line entry).


Looking at the Magic Missle entry this is the first time I've felt compelled to ask how the heightened spells stack up against their naturally higher level counterparts. Does 5d4+5 force damage compare with a level 9 spell? Using PF1 as a yardsick, this feels underwhelming, like the die size should increase at Heighten +4 or something.


Felinus wrote:
Looking at the Magic Missle entry this is the first time I've felt compelled to ask how the heightened spells stack up against their naturally higher level counterparts. Does 5d4+5 force damage compare with a level 9 spell? Using PF1 as a yardsick, this feels underwhelming, like the die size should increase at Heighten +4 or something.

Read marks comments on this thread he addresses that issue.

Liberty's Edge

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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Felinus wrote:
Looking at the Magic Missle entry this is the first time I've felt compelled to ask how the heightened spells stack up against their naturally higher level counterparts. Does 5d4+5 force damage compare with a level 9 spell? Using PF1 as a yardsick, this feels underwhelming, like the die size should increase at Heighten +4 or something.
Read marks comments on this thread he addresses that issue.

Short version:

You get Heightened versions of your existing spells without investing resources so they aren't as good as new spells of that level (which require you to spend resources acquiring them).

Secondly, in most cases, Magic Missile is 15d4+15 (for north of 50 damage) as a 9th level spell. That's not huge for a 9th level spell, but it's a bit more than 5d4+5.

Thirdly, Magic Missile has always been a mediocre spell at best in terms of damage. Its advantages are auto-hitting and being verging on unstoppable. It's just X unstoppable damage. That's not worth your highest level slots, but I could easily see a Wizard with 9th level spells keeping a 7th level slot filled with it. The ability to just do 42 damage to someone or something that they can't get out of no matter what is a very handy trick to have.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Felinus wrote:
Looking at the Magic Missle entry this is the first time I've felt compelled to ask how the heightened spells stack up against their naturally higher level counterparts. Does 5d4+5 force damage compare with a level 9 spell? Using PF1 as a yardsick, this feels underwhelming, like the die size should increase at Heighten +4 or something.
Read marks comments on this thread he addresses that issue.

Short version:

You get Heightened versions of your existing spells without investing resources so they aren't as good as new spells of that level (which require you to spend resources acquiring them).

Secondly, in most cases, Magic Missile is 15d4+15 (for north of 50 damage) as a 9th level spell. That's not huge for a 9th level spell, but it's a bit more than 5d4+5.

Thirdly, Magic Missile has always been a mediocre spell at best in terms of damage. Its advantages are auto-hitting and being verging on unstoppable. It's just X unstoppable damage. That's not worth your highest level slots, but I could easily see a Wizard with 9th level spells keeping a 7th level slot filled with it. The ability to just do 42 damage to someone or something that they can't get out of no matter what is a very handy trick to have.

*Hands Deadman a cape*

Here you should wear this


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Questions about Counterspell:

1) Can you Counterspell without the feat if you prepare an action to do so?

2) Let's say I'm attempting to Counterspell a level 5 Fireball. Do I have to expend a prepared level 5 Fireball to counterspell, or will any Fireball spell I have prepared work?

Shadow Lodge

Wowie wrote:
Spell Points aren't used to fuel Spells. They're used to fuel "Powers" in all cases shown so far, which are only similar to spells in some ways. Why not cut down on potential confusion and call them Power Points? "Spell Points" sounds incredibly game-y and isn't natural-sounding anyway.

Because Paizo(or at least some people at Paizo) doesn't like the idea of Psionics and that system uses the term Power Points.

thaX wrote:
I wonder what the Sorcerer is going to be like, now that we know the Wizard is keeping his forgetful ways. I hope there is some sort of 3.5 Warlock type stuff going on instead of the adjusted Spontaneous Caster balancing act of getting higher level spell slots at a character level higher like in PF1, so second level spells at level four instead of three. Not sure if there would be much of a change between editions if the Wizard/Sorcerer classes are still the same class with the same spells and severely different mechanics. The Mage should be one class, and the Warlock/Kinetisis be the other.

From what I've seen in another thread most of a Sorcerer's spells known is going to be multiple instances of one spell in higher levels(if they want to Heighten it). Invisibility as a 2nd level spell and as a 4th level spell known was a given example. They have some feats that makes spells scale on their own, but this still seems like a huge spell back for them while Wizards remain all powerful. :(


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I think they should call them resolve and be done with it personally.


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thflame wrote:


So I take it that this means that wizards will be running out of spells somewhat frequently?

Wizards will have to ration their spells if they want to have them when they count?

Wizards that "go nova" are going to be near-useless later?

Wizards that want a ton of utility spells at the ready are NOT going to also be able to contribute to combat effectively (outside of whatever combat utility those spells offer)?

If these are true, then this would be awesome, but I have my doubts.

These are true in Pathfinder. By limiting spells more, all you do is shorten the Adventuring Day.


Mark, are you able to share with us how the quicken metamagic will work? The rest of the metamagic spells cost extra actions, what will the cost be of reducing the number of actions?


Quandary wrote:
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
What' a focus and how do I drain it?
I'm responding because I also didn't quite compute what that meant despite having just read it in the blog. The "focus" is basically Bonded Item reskinned, without free Magic Item Crafting but in terms of bonus 'spontaneous' spellcasting. Personally, I think it's an un-necessary confusing change of terminology, considering Focus is ALSO something used by casters (clerics). Arcane Bond is more clearly delineated IMHO.

I'm guessing that it's called focus the same as clerics as it will be possible to substitute material components with it.

On thw blog, this is the first class blog that I actually liked. While a clear power down from PF1 it still feels like a wizard.

Also first artwork I liked, at least conceptually.

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