Wizard Class Preview

Monday, May 21, 2018

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

Wizard Features

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

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

DIVINER'S SIGHT

Concentrate, Divination, Fortune

Casting [[A]] Verbal Casting

Range 30 feet; Targets one willing living creature

Duration end of your next turn or until dismissed

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

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

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

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

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

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Wizard Feats

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

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

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

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

Spells

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

MAGIC MISSILE SPELL 1

Evocation, Force

Casting [[A]] Verbal Casting or more

Range 120 feet; Targets one creature

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

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

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

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

PHANTASMAL KILLER SPELL 4

Death, Emotion, Fear, Illusion, Mental

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

Range 120 feet; Targets one living creature

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

Success The target is frightened 1.

Critical Success The target is unaffected.

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

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

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

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
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...

To stay on the same tone:

"Dude, you know that an hightened spell use a high level slot?"

If you had read my post you would have noticed that the 9th level version of MM, cast at its maximum power, is unable to bring down a Ogre, a level 3 creature.
MM in PF1, even if cast at its maximum power, has the same limit, but it use a 1st level spell slot.
Seeing as an actual spell in its hightened form has little utility against a low level enemy, I suppose that an eventual damaging cantrip will do even less.

End result, and the reason for my tirade, the wizard is pigeonholed again in the two roles: party buffer and/or SOS/SOD guy.
At the end it seem that it will keep everything that the "martials sucks" guy hate while being even more behind if he want to play other roles.

Extra skills for high intelligence: check, he has them;
Narrative power when not fighting: high int, extra skill = plenty of rituals. Check, he has them;
"I have buffed you guys, now kill the enemy": probably it is still true, even if we haven't seen that kind of spells;
"I have reduced the enemies to pieces of unthinking tofu, go and deal the hp of damage need to kill them". Yes, till here.
"I will deal enough damage to kill one of the small fries". Not here.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:


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

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

Can I bitterly laugh at that reply?

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

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

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

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:


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

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

Can I bitterly laugh at that reply?

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

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

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

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.

All true, but a 9th spell slot, even if it is an hightened spell, should do a little more that heavily damage a single low level monster.

Essentially, it is a mop up badly damaged monsters, so that the martials will not have spend an attack on them. But probably damaging cantrips will be able to do the same. And needing a to hit will probably make them stronger as there are high chances of getting a critical hit.


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Even still that's what the play test is for.

Shadow Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I share the sentiment if not the tone. The relatively low damage from magic missile, even heightened, has me concerned about wizards as blasters. I like the image of a wizard blasting his foes from on high. Yet using up a very limited resource like a 9th level spell and getting an average damage below the hp of a level 3 monster is underwhelming. Even if heightened to one missile per level heightened this still means as a 9th level 9d4+9 per action, average 32-33 damage per action or about 100 for all 3 actions to a max of 135. Is that too high? Id hope level 9 or 10 spell would exceed this. I can see the issue of longer, drawn out combats rearing its head again.


Yeah, as I've said before, the 5th Ed playtest demonstrated, a great deal can change between the initial playtest and the final product (for better and worse).


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Well I noticed that combat spells like produce flame and shield are cantrips now but are there still utility cantrips like light, mage hand, etc.?

I wonder what other first level spells are cantrips now?


Dragon78 wrote:

Well I noticed that combat spells like produce flame and shield are cantrips now but are there still utility cantrips like light, mage hand, etc.?

I wonder what other first level spells are cantrips now?

I know some spells are going to be rituals.

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Weather Report wrote:
Yeah, as I've said before, the 5th Ed playtest demonstrated, a great deal can change between the initial playtest and the final product (for better and worse).

As did the original pathfinder playtest years before that. Dont give poor old wizards hasbro more credit than theyre due.


Cat-thulhu wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Yeah, as I've said before, the 5th Ed playtest demonstrated, a great deal can change between the initial playtest and the final product (for better and worse).
As did the original pathfinder playtest years before that. Dont give poor old wizards hasbro more credit than theyre due.

Not sure how I am giving them more credit than they deserve, whatever that means in this case, hence "for better and worse", but I suspect there is something else going on ever there.


Weather Report wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Yeah, as I've said before, the 5th Ed playtest demonstrated, a great deal can change between the initial playtest and the final product (for better and worse).
As did the original pathfinder playtest years before that. Dont give poor old wizards hasbro more credit than theyre due.
Not sure how I am giving them more credit than they deserve, whatever that means in this case, hence "for better and worse", but I suspect there is something else going on ever there.

Yeah it kind of confused me too.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:

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?

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.

So, if I spend one 1st-level spell slot and then use my highest-level/better spell in the next round (or even in the same round, if we have the option to cast [i/]true strike[/i] with only one action), can I ensure that my best spell will probably crit?!?

That seems nice and exciting, but I don't know if it's good to the game, since if I choose to "wait 1 round", I can finish the combat with a crit (depending on the spell's crit effect, of course) of my best spell spending only an additional 1st-level spell slot.

For example: if a 19th-level wizard spend a 1st-level true strike and in the next round he use his better spell that require an attack roll ensuring it will be a critical hit, would this broke the game?


Bruno Mares wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:

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?

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.

So, if I expend one 1st-level spell slot and then use my highest-level/better spell in the next round (or even in the same round, if we have the option to cast [i/]true strike[/i] with only one action), can I ensure that my best spell will probably crit?!?

That seems nice and exciting, but I don't know if it's good to the game since, if I choose to "wait 1 round", I can finish the combat with a crit (depending on the spell's crit effect, of course) of my best spell spending only an additional 1st-level spell slot.

For example: if a 19th-level wizard spend a 1st-level true strike and in the next round he use his better spell that require an attack roll ensuring it will be a critical hit, would this broke the game?

I think we can expect true strike to work differently in PF2. otherwise best 1st level spell period.


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More Magic Missles to cast at the darkness. Finally!


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think we should be worrying about heightened magic missiles showing that blasters are going to be crap. They aren't an actual representation of a 2-9th level blasting spells. They are an example of a spell with a specific niche that can be heightened to extend that niche somewhat.

As for the adventuring day being shortened. I don't think it will be. Unless Cantrips scale really poorly a player can use them throughout the day rather than spend actual resources. I doubt they'll be better than an actual slot, but they'll likely be damn better than sitting there with a crossbow.

Silver Crusade

Dragon78 wrote:

Well I noticed that combat spells like produce flame and shield are cantrips now but are there still utility cantrips like light, mage hand, etc.?

I wonder what other first level spells are cantrips now?

Light is mentioned in the Spells Blog. I don't recall seeing a mention of Mage Hand yet.


11 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Blog wrote:
(Remember, that [[A]] code you see indicates that this is an action, and it will be a snazzy icon in the final rulebook!)

Thanks, but no thanks. There's no advantage to using an icon rather than the [[A]] (I still have no idea what the various Bestiary icons mean, and I'm a long-time gamer).

I actually think that the [[A]]/[[R]] works better: in addition to the sight-impaired accessibility issues already raised, it's easy to indicate whether something's more than one action: [[A]], [[2A]], usw.

I like what the rest of the blog has to say, though. Sorry to nit-pick on the one thing I (really, really) don't like.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:


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

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

Can I bitterly laugh at that reply?

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

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


Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Paizo Blog wrote:
(Remember, that [[A]] code you see indicates that this is an action, and it will be a snazzy icon in the final rulebook!)

Thanks, but no thanks. There's no advantage to using an icon rather than the [[A]] (I still have no idea what the various Bestiary icons mean, and I'm a long-time gamer).

I actually think that the [[A]]/[[R]] works better: in addition to the sight-impaired accessibility issues already raised, it's easy to indicate whether something's more than one action: [[A]], [[2A]], usw.

I like what the rest of the blog has to say, though. Sorry to nit-pick on the one thing I (really, really) don't like.

The videogame generation would have a rather easy time with it, especially the MMORPGers where you have to indentify a debuff or a icon in no time, or just know that the "Rabit-with-a-little-red-across" does wonders for your abilities.

Or pull the examples from Magic the gathering where the icons of resources is a must-know.

In PF2 the closest example would be the MTG example, you spend 2 "Action" on "Ability" and use 1 "Action" on "Movement" etc.


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Rek Rollington wrote:
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?

Quicken might just be gone. You can already cast two (or three!) spells per round by mixing 1-2 action spells, and even squeeze in a free concentration spell with a feat. At best I'd expect a way to reduce an action on a spell that is 3-4 (after other modifiers) actions. And the 20th level Spell Combination sounds like a way to combine two 3 action spells in one round, which might be the only thing in that vein.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Also, lemme just say that I'm really excited for the school powers. Diviner's Sight is awesome at just one action. Get your roll- if it's really good, use that damaging spell that targets full AC, if it's middling, hit 'em with a touch AC spell instead, and it wasn't good enough, just ignore it.

That 8th level necromancy power, though. Spend your spell points to get hitpoints back from your school spells. I'm thinking it'd be really good on life-draining spells to boost your healing.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the enchantment powers are!


QuidEst wrote:
Also, lemme just say that I'm really excited for the school powers. Diviner's Sight is awesome at just one action. Get your roll- if it's really good, use that damaging spell that targets full AC, if it's middling, hit 'em with a touch AC spell instead, and it wasn't good enough, just ignore it.

I think you might have missed that Diviner's Sight doesn't work for attack rolls.

Quote:
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.

It's interesting that Perception check and skill check are listed seperately. I know they already said Perception is no longer a skill, but I didn't really think about the necessity to spell it out seperately.


Dracoknight wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Paizo Blog wrote:
(Remember, that [[A]] code you see indicates that this is an action, and it will be a snazzy icon in the final rulebook!)

Thanks, but no thanks. There's no advantage to using an icon rather than the [[A]] (I still have no idea what the various Bestiary icons mean, and I'm a long-time gamer).

I actually think that the [[A]]/[[R]] works better: in addition to the sight-impaired accessibility issues already raised, it's easy to indicate whether something's more than one action: [[A]], [[2A]], usw.

I like what the rest of the blog has to say, though. Sorry to nit-pick on the one thing I (really, really) don't like.

The videogame generation would have a rather easy time with it, especially the MMORPGers where you have to indentify a debuff or a icon in no time, or just know that the "Rabit-with-a-little-red-across" does wonders for your abilities.

Or pull the examples from Magic the gathering where the icons of resources is a must-know.

In PF2 the closest example would be the MTG example, you spend 2 "Action" on "Ability" and use 1 "Action" on "Movement" etc.

I would prefer:

Bite (icon/1 action)

Than:

Icon/1 Action, Bite


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Blave wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Also, lemme just say that I'm really excited for the school powers. Diviner's Sight is awesome at just one action. Get your roll- if it's really good, use that damaging spell that targets full AC, if it's middling, hit 'em with a touch AC spell instead, and it wasn't good enough, just ignore it.

I think you might have missed that Diviner's Sight doesn't work for attack rolls.

Quote:
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.
It's interesting that Perception check and skill check are listed seperately. I know they already said Perception is no longer a skill, but I didn't really think about the necessity to spell it out seperately.

So I did! So, mostly defensive then, but you can help your buddy out with their skill-check based combat shenanigans. Verbal action means it's not a great social option unless you get Conceal Spell. (I do really like that all the powers can have metamagic applied to them now!)

I hadn't thought about needing to list Perception separately, but that's good. General skill bonuses (e.g. Tears to Wine) applying to it was an issue sometimes, so now things can either just be skills, or include Perception if it's appropriate.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think they should make Perception a saving throw, tbh. It fills a similar roll now.

Alternatively, I wouldn't mind if Fortitude, Reflex, and Will(power) became passive only skills in the same sense as perception. Mark mentioned a few blogs ago that it would be awkward to call for a "Fortitude Save roll", but I think calling for a "Fortitude check" or a "Reflex check" in response to an enemy caster rolls off the tongue.

BUT without the full rules I can't know if that wording change might interact weirdly in other places, so I'll assume they have reasons beyond what they said before.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:

I think they should make Perception a saving throw, tbh. It fills a similar roll now.

Alternatively, I wouldn't mind if Fortitude, Reflex, and Will(power) became passive only skills in the same sense as perception. Mark mentioned a few blogs ago that it would be awkward to call for a "Fortitude Save roll", but I think calling for a "Fortitude check" or a "Reflex check" in response to an enemy caster rolls off the tongue.

BUT without the full rules I can't know if that wording change might interact weirdly in other places, so I'll assume they have reasons beyond what they said before.

You don’t roll will for initiative. You can’t initiate a will save. Perception wouldn’t fit in with the existing saves.

If saves became skills, everybody would spend their skills and skill feats on saves instead of actual skills.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
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.

~~~~~

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.

I agree on changing the name (I push "mana" at every opportunity) but powers are spells. The explanation I've been using is that:

1) spells are an action you can take using magic. By default, spells need to be cast from a spell slot.
2) Some spells are cast using spell points instead of a slot, and are cast as if they used your highest level spell slot. These are powers.
3) Some spells require neither points nor slots, and also are cast as if you used your highest level slot. These are cantrips/orisons.

The missing piece that I'm curious about is how classes without slots, like paladins, calculate their powers.

As an aside, I assume at some point in the future there will be a class or feat that allows you to prepare a power in your spell slots. "But Animated!" you might cry, "Why would you use a slot to cast a spell that is designed to be underpowered in most cases?" Well my freind, what if that power still automatically heightened, even when cast from a first or second level slot? Such a feat might be good to the point of broken if a wizard could do it, but if we eventually get half-casters again, maybe not for them.

If you can't tell, I'm a little excited about this system. Even if I agree spell points is a less than ideal name.


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I like the flexibility!

How will societies respond to this growth of concealed casting? It seems as though they should--something that responds to the increased presence of Resonance in the area or a person.

I could see nobles buying indicators for their guards (not unlike radiation indicators that common workers wear in industry), that would change to black if the guard's resonance was increased--a warning sign that magic was involved, though not where or what. More advanced ones could turn a certain color, to indicate the school of magic. Other indicators might only respond to certain schools.

Some sort of "resonance indicator powder" that blackened with resonance was increased in an area, such as a court room or villain's hall, could be seen as useful.

This reminds me of another question that I've had come up. If we assume adepts are a thing, and hedge wizards--there would more minor magic users about the world. What would someone with a bit of means but not a lot use to protect themselves against magic?

Will we see more "basic protection charms"?

Obviously, there are nobles, but--"commoner protections" exist everywhere in classic storytelling. A widower might be cautious and have invested to purchase a charm against being swayed by any of the collectors showing up to pounce her property. A youth being given a charm before heading off into the woods that night.

These seem like simple things that wouldn't need a lot of rules at their core. Others might be more creative and powerful--such as it might be a charm type that's difficult to overcome unless an additional action is used when casting.

I'd like to see "commoner's options" out there if there is space for it. Just a few lines, sketched. Maybe it's a place for the expanded alchemy, who knows.

One way to mitigate the power and effect that magic may have (and has had throughout 3.x/PF's history) is to provide creative challenges--but challenges that make sense, storywise. For example, the wizard might suspect the guards are wearing a few protection charms, or could ID them with a check, and may need to work with the rogue to get around that, or just be smarter in what she casts.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I might refer to powers as “bonus spells” and see how that goes with my players. The simplification of having them just be spells is great, though. Can I apply metamagic? Yeah, it’s a spell. Does it provoke from the Fighter? Yeah, if it’s not verbal-only. Can I use my 1st level necromancy school power in combination with my 8th level school power to heal up without touching my spell slots? Yeah, it’s a necromancy spell that isn’t a cantrip and is a spell of your highest level. You’ll blow through your spell points quickly, but it’ll save your hide in a pinch.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
I agree on changing the name (I push "mana" at every opportunity) but powers are spells.

Mana is good, I was thinking of it, but it's somehow not very PF1/D&D (aesthetically), especially its association with M:tG.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I must say, with the now clearly more limited spell slots per day for all casters, the "15 minutes workday" dilemma of d20 adventuring seems much more in the forefront in my mind for PF2 than it was just a while. Even with school powers and cantrips. I hope we get a blog on resting and spell recovery soon, to see if Paizo thinks that this is a problem or if they are purposefully designing their new edition around shorter adventuring days.

Mark Seifter wrote:

Weirdly, sorcerers didn't have as much of an advantage over specialist wizards in slots per day as it seemed they did in PF1, and actually had fewer spells per day at some levels.

Odd levels starting at 3rd: PF1 sorcerers don't have the new top wizard spell level, and PF1 specialists do, with 3-4 spells at that level depending on Int. The sorcerer has 2 more spells of the specialist's third-highest level, and 1 more spell of all other levels.

Even levels: PF1 sorcerers have equal spells of the specialist's highest level, 2 more spells of the specialist's third-highest level and 1 more spell of other levels.

Not being ahead of the specialist in top level spells at any level, not even the even levels, was a little sad for the sorcerer.

This comment transmits the intent to me that sorcerers will lose the disadvantage they had in regards when they get level two and higher spells. While I'm happy about this, I wonder in which way they'll have to pay for it in terms of balance. Hopefully their already limited versatility won't get nerfed into the ground.

Given that we got the wizard now, I fear the sorcerer preview will be here only in mid-July, shortly before the actual playtest releases. I hope to be wrong, given that sorcerers are my absolutely favorite class in the current game. ^^


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Counterspelling still sucks and is unlikely to be used.

Good! Since players almost always have the action economy advantage, having one player to be able to shut down the enemy boss caster is bad for having an interesting fight. Being able to shut down some spells with just a reaction is already a very strong addition to all the other stuff a full caster can do.

Shadow Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Cat-thulhu wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Yeah, as I've said before, the 5th Ed playtest demonstrated, a great deal can change between the initial playtest and the final product (for better and worse).
As did the original pathfinder playtest years before that. Dont give poor old wizards hasbro more credit than theyre due.
Not sure how I am giving them more credit than they deserve, whatever that means in this case, hence "for better and worse", but I suspect there is something else going on ever there.
Yeah it kind of confused me too.

I suppose i just get tired of everything being compared to 5e, may not have been the intent, sorry. Having played 5e for a while im just unimpressed and dont see how it can be held up as a great achievement in gaming. I just find 5e with its bounded accuracy numbers to be a very flat game, it has its place but my group just found in lacking in growth. Without the brand name i think it would actually get a fairly cold reception but it has that name behind it.

I wouldnt be surprised if wizards announcd a rerelease of their 3rd ed stuff in light of pf2, just for the fans of course.

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Counterspelling still sucks and is unlikely to be used.

^

Good! Since players almost always have the action economy advantage, having one player to be able to shut down the enemy boss caster is bad for having an interesting fight. Being able to shut down some spells with just a reaction is already a very strong addition to all the other stuff a full caster can do.

Got to 100% agree here. Counterspells as easy reactions just kicks the GM where it hurts most, at least limiting it to the same spell puts a bit of a limit tomthe power.


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"Powers are spells that are cast with (insert term here), and subject to all feats, abilities and effects that affect spellcasting" seems like a clear enough phrasing that lets them call spell-like and supernatural abilities "powers," and lets then use a term for the pool other than "spell points." It lets a power behave like a spell and interact with casting feats, while remaining more distinct.

Any number of good names have been proposed. We just need to avoid the eternal player confusion conga line for the next 10 years of some spells that use spell slots and other spells that use spell points.

Grand Lodge

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I love playing wizards. The initial increase of spells known at first level will be a nice change of pace and allow wizards to contribute more. Although cutting the amount of spell slots down so much isn't a good thing; it'll be interesting to see how this does in the playtest. Will wizards be nerfed to a small selection of spell slots in order to utilize scrolls more? It's nice to have more options of spells to choose to prepare, but if you've only got a couple castings per day, why bother.

EDIT: I see Jason's post and reading further show there will be a plethora of options to increase spell slots, so I'm ok with that!

Hopefully the arcane school powers will be useful throughout the wizard's adventuring career. The Diviner's sight seems cool, but wouldn't it become less effective the higher level the party gets? "Even if you don't roll so great, it might still help avoid a critical failure on a vital saving throw." For example, let's say the fighter gets this cast on him. The caster rolls a 10. The fighter then needs to roll a saving throw for some sort of spell effect. If the fighter's saving throw modifier is small, he may consider taking the rolled 10 and maybe failing if a critical effect that may be possible would be worth negating. This sound about right?

Is the arcane focus, once used to cast the "free" spell, still something that can be used as a material focus?

I like the option of spell slot increase choice. Should be interesting to see which of the two people tend to pick. This should help casters who prefer certain spells at certain levels! Although as I read the comments, I may be reading this wrong.

Chances at getting more than 1 school?

Do the "metamagic" feats alter the level of the spell like it does with PF 1? The Effortless Concentration Feat is very interesting, indeed, although I'd be curious which spells will require concentration and if they've been modified with this feat in mind. Quick Preparation as core is cool, too, and probably a must-have. Any more info on if Quick Prep had prereqs? Spell Combo feat? Yes please.

Still not a fan of how the Success/Failure layout is composed. Would seem intuitive that the highest result would be the top line (Crit Success) while the lowest result would be bottom line (Crit Fail); also, though, intuitively the most-rolled result could be the top line as it is now (Success), but then the possible most failed roll is stuck in the middle of the pack. Am I the only one that sees this differently?

Anything you can give on us the type of familiars? I would hope templates could be used that can be placed on creatures of the wizard's choice, sort of like how the Starfinder summoning system works.

Getting rid of prohibited schools is a good move.

I'm liking the crit success/fail possibilities for spells, but the math will grind a bit.

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I was kinda hoping that magic missile would no longer be an auto hit..

Why?! This is a classic spell that is useful only for that very reason (besides, in PF 1 it still needed to overcome SR.

AnimatedPaper wrote:


Prepare cantrips? I didn't see that coming, but it makes perfect sense.

Cantrips had to be prepared in PF 1.

Thebazilly wrote:

Looks pretty neat! I like the option of counterspelling as a reaction, it might make people actually use it.

I still don't think it'll be used too much because the spell being countered still needs to already be memorized by the caster.

quirthanon wrote:
Why are the ranges on the spells static? Do they no longer change with caster level? And if they don't these seem rather short for what was PF1 medium range spells.

They've pretty much bought in on the spell effectiveness by spell level rather than caster level. Probably makes sense since the math on those things was a hassle.

Fuzzypaws wrote:

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.

Ya, I guess it would depend on the power of the school that one gets. If it's the diviner power, that power likely loses effect the higher level the party gets.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:


You are right, that 9th level spell is going to be better than a 9th level magic missile, but that is the point. It is usually not the best option, but there are circumstances where it will be.

This. Being a wizard isn't about "max damage" it's all about options. That spell "toolkit" is what makes the wizard the best class!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Weather Report wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
I agree on changing the name (I push "mana" at every opportunity) but powers are spells.
Mana is good, I was thinking of it, but it's somehow not very PF1/D&D (aesthetically), especially its association with M:tG.

Fair, but on the plus side, it's at least familiar with most gamers AND has the advantage that it doesn't accidentally reference a 3.5 casting option, which can't be said of either "spell points" or "power points".

And there's the fact that Power Points and Spell Points are used in Psionics and Spheres of Power, which are arguably the two most popular 3pp variants to magic in pathfinder. Paizo is under no obligation to make room for others to play in their sandbox, but if they don't have to step on them, however unintentionally, why not avoid it?

Edit: Weirdly enough, Mana actually is a term used in Golarian. At least, we can infer that it is. After all, the "Mana Wastes" had to have gotten that name from somewhere, but I can't recall it ever being used on the mechanics side. This might be a way of introducing it in a thematically appropriate manner.

Kind of too bad Wish doesn't use your spell points, or mana would have been perfect.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I like the new Wizard Class preview, and the increased modularity of the system. I’m fascinated though with the question of how the Sorcerer will pan out. One thing that I loved in 1E was the baked-in flavor of both sorcerer bloodlines and oracle mysteries. Each had a way of making a character feel distinct and different, and I loved how they provided spontaneous casters with a sense of focus — something that I could build backstories in my head around.

The wizard schools still don’t feel distinct to me yet. Will wizard schools have more flavor and texture in 2e? More importantly, will sorcerors and oracles (y’all hinted that there would be oracles - remember?) retain some of the unique flavor that made them so appealing?

Hmm

PS On Magic Missile and D4s.

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

PPS I am with Fuzzypaws when it comes to the question of using distinctive language. The number one thing that PF2 could do going forward is have a one true glossary so that we don’t have confusing terms that either sound somewhat alike or worse, are the exact same term that means different things depending on what book you’re looking at.

PPPS Back to PaizoCon packing!


I am concerned with the fact that diviner’s sight takes an action to maintain. Really, I am concerned that such mechanics are going to be ubiquitous for spells with meaningful durations. I know that is a leap though and I generally like most of the design decisions that I have seen.

If the concentration mechanic is used judiciously, I can see a lot of interesting mechanical choices. For instance, save or suck spells are not quite as damning if they take up your actions to maintain (and that kind of limitation can make blasting a more viable alternative).

Grand Lodge

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thflame wrote:


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

PF 1 and PF 2 have this: they're called sorcerers.


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Hmm wrote:

PS On Magic Missile and D4s.

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

Oh heck, thank you, this is so much better than a d4 <3


Excaliburproxy wrote:

I am concerned with the fact that diviner’s sight takes an action to maintain. Really, I am concerned that such mechanics are going to be ubiquitous for spells with meaningful durations. I know that is a leap though and I generally like most of the design decisions that I have seen.

If the concentration mechanic is used judiciously, I can see a lot of interesting mechanical choices. For instance, save or suck spells are not quite as damning if they take up your actions to maintain (and that kind of limitation can make blasting a more viable alternative).

The "action to maintain" seems like just an option to salvage your roll and use it on a skill/perception check on your next turn if a save opportunity didn't come up between turns. The natural expiration would otherwise seem to be at the beginning of your next turn, rather than the end.

Most likely you cast it and either (1) use a skill/perception check immediately, or (2) use it as insurance against a save attempt before your next turn.

If you choose (2) and it doesn't happen you either use an action to concentrate and choose (1), let it expire and save the action, or spend a spell point and an action to buy another round of (2) insurance.

Shadow Lodge

magnuskn wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Counterspelling still sucks and is unlikely to be used.
Good! Since players almost always have the action economy advantage, having one player to be able to shut down the enemy boss caster is bad for having an interesting fight. Being able to shut down some spells with just a reaction is already a very strong addition to all the other stuff a full caster can do.

How likely is it to be even one spell though? How likely is it that the opportunity cost of picking up Counterspell is going to outweigh the other class feats?

As far as I can tell right now, without seeing the playtest materials, it's just yet another trap option meant to make the rest look good.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Answering a couple questions from the long post:

Metamagic doesn’t seem to increase spell level.

We will get a bonus familiars blog post thanks to people who donated $4,600 to a charity event Paizo was in.

While crit success, success, failure, crit failure seems like it would be better, they’ve done a lot of testing and found that there are some subtle advantages to this layout. There’s a thread discussing it.

Shadow Lodge

I wonder if Chromatic Wall is just a damage dealing Prismatic Wall based around dragon...


Dragonborn3 wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Counterspelling still sucks and is unlikely to be used.
Good! Since players almost always have the action economy advantage, having one player to be able to shut down the enemy boss caster is bad for having an interesting fight. Being able to shut down some spells with just a reaction is already a very strong addition to all the other stuff a full caster can do.

How likely is it to be even one spell though? How likely is it that the opportunity cost of picking up Counterspell is going to outweigh the other class feats?

As far as I can tell right now, without seeing the playtest materials, it's just yet another trap option meant to make the rest look good.

It will also become less viable the more spells get released. That said, it could be that readying dispel magic in your highest level slot let’s you counter all lower level spells.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Counterspelling still sucks and is unlikely to be used.
Good! Since players almost always have the action economy advantage, having one player to be able to shut down the enemy boss caster is bad for having an interesting fight. Being able to shut down some spells with just a reaction is already a very strong addition to all the other stuff a full caster can do.

How likely is it to be even one spell though? How likely is it that the opportunity cost of picking up Counterspell is going to outweigh the other class feats?

As far as I can tell right now, without seeing the playtest materials, it's just yet another trap option meant to make the rest look good.

I think you’re being too pessimistic.

If you suspect there’s a succubus at work, just prep Suggestion and Dominate if you have it- then you substantially lower the challenge of the fight by costing her a turn. Suppose there’s a boss fight. You’ve prepped spells to flee if things go badly. Now those spells also let you prevent the boss from using those escape methods. At the very least, you can repeatedly counter Shield and cost enemy casters AC.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Counterspelling still sucks and is unlikely to be used.
Good! Since players almost always have the action economy advantage, having one player to be able to shut down the enemy boss caster is bad for having an interesting fight. Being able to shut down some spells with just a reaction is already a very strong addition to all the other stuff a full caster can do.

How likely is it to be even one spell though? How likely is it that the opportunity cost of picking up Counterspell is going to outweigh the other class feats?

As far as I can tell right now, without seeing the playtest materials, it's just yet another trap option meant to make the rest look good.

It will also become less viable the more spells get released. That said, it could be that readying dispel magic in your highest level slot let’s you counter all lower level spells.

Metagame, NPCs really favor core spells. In-game, certain spells are widely known and used.

There will definitely be more broad counterspelling options available, though, just without the benefit of not costing your actions.

Grand Lodge

Deadmanwalking wrote:
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.

Gawd, it's so tiring explaining to caster-haters this exact sentiment. Martials can do this unlimited times per day, whereas casters are limited. Get over yourselves.

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