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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I can see countering spells like Dimensional door, Invisibility and other common utility spells being fairly useful, especially it only costs a reaction instead of a prepared spell. Counter spelling will probably be the domain of the Abjurer and the diviner (wizards built around blocking sells or figuring out what spells their enemies will be trying to cast) and not so useful to many other wizards. That feels about right.


I could definitely see Abjurers getting a school power that lets them spend spell points energy to counterspell in more versatile ways. At least to do the Dispel-style "roll to counter" as opposed to the autocounter of having the right spell at hand.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
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.

That sounds really cool, can you point me in the direction for more info on the area?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Agreed. A power that lets you spend points to counter an enemy spell seems pretty intuitive.

Although that would be annoying to encounter as a player. "The boss countered your fireball. Again. And your magic missile. And your attempt to blink." -wizard player screams in inarticulate rage-

Scarab Sages

Unicore wrote:

I can see countering spells like Dimensional door, Invisibility and other common utility spells being fairly useful, especially it only costs a reaction instead of a prepared spell. Counter spelling will probably be the domain of the Abjurer and the diviner (wizards built around blocking sells or figuring out what spells their enemies will be trying to cast) and not so useful to many other wizards. That feels about right.

I'm pretty sure Mark explained above that counterspelling does use a spell slot.


I wonder what spell level Chromatic Wall will be?

I noticed there is no mention of spell resistance in any spell we have seen.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:

Agreed. A power that lets you spend points to counter an enemy spell seems pretty intuitive.

Although that would be annoying to encounter as a player. "The boss countered your fireball. Again. And your magic missile. And your attempt to blink." -wizard player screams in inarticulate rage-

And that's perfectly fine once in a while. Not every enemy caster will be an abjurer that partly shuts down caster players, just like not every enemy monster will be a swarm that partly shuts down martial players. It's okay to have those sorts of enemies as long as they're not every enemy.

Tactics can get around that, too. Try to bait out the counter with one spell so you can slip another spell through, especially if you have a second caster on the team.

Shadow Lodge

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QuidEst wrote:
I think you’re being too pessimistic.

Going off previous products that failed to deliver, this is the best way to be. It results in either not being disappointed or being pleasantly surprised.


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Okay so universalist is so much better than specialist, that you have to be an idiot to choose specilization. At least based on the preview, unless they get access to some beyond amazing class abilities. And no the 1 extra slot at highest level is no where close making them equal.

Again spell slots are cut in half. So casters in PF2 are intended to be cantrip spammers and nothing more? At least warlock was fairly interesting with it's limitless magic.

And please please, get someone to look at the math of blasting. Because at the moment, it is worse than ever. Ok so everyone has WAY more HP, the damage is significantly less, weakness is much lesser effect than before, at best you can stack 2 metamagics(based on information so far) most likely for actual blasting spells it is 1 and just as a cherry on top your spell slots have been cut in half.


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Dragonborn3 wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
I think you’re being too pessimistic.
Going off previous products that failed to deliver, this is the best way to be. It results in either not being disappointed or being pleasantly surprised.

I have heard the key to a happy life is low expectations.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Weather Report wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
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.
That sounds really cool, can you point me in the direction for more info on the area?

Sadly, I don't have much myself, but Mana Wastes is a country in the inner sea world guide. It's kind of a no-man's land between Nex and Geb, and the result of a wish-fueled magic war between the leaders of those two countries centuries ago. Zones where magic simply doesn't work exist there, as well as spell scars and other hazards of major magic. Since the mana wastes is also the first region to develop firearms, much of the recent looks at the area revolve around that.

Doesn't look like a campaign supplement has been put out for that area yet, but the three regions have been referenced in "People of the Wastes" and a handful of scenarios, as well as the module "Wardens of the Reborn Forge."

Edit: forgot to mention, but since it IS called the Mana Wastes, I'll admit I've always imagined the conflict between the lords of Nex and Geb to have played out exactly like a MtG battle. Your comment upthread was what caused me to remember it's existence.


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nogoodscallywag wrote:
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.

You're not going to have enough high flat walls you need to climb up in one adventuring day where the wizard can't cover it with spider climb. Furthermore, in the PF1 paradigm the martial can't climb this wall anyways because skills suck.

You get over yourself, and enjoy your nerfs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Looking at the comments about half-casters, I started thinking about the Bard and then the Alchemist - both of whom are half-casters found in Pathfinder 1. Well, they did a significant redesign of the Alchemist to make it more of a thematic class, though some folk have groused because it's no longer the "alchemist of old" (ie, some folk hate change - then again, I hate the changes to the Cleric!).

So then... what do you think is going to happen to the Bard? When you consider the nature of the Bard, it is a support class with a musical theme... well, what if they eliminate the half-caster aspect and instead expand upon the Bardic Music? We might see the class with more song-like abilities in lieu of actual spellcasting.

This could go in some interesting directions. For instance, I suspect buff spells like Bull Strength or Cat's Grace will be going away. But what if Bards have music that can be played to bring about such buffs instead? For instance, a Cat's Grace effect could be brought about through a lively jig that brings a spring to your step. A Bear's Endurance could be brought from a slow even beat that calms the heart and focuses the body to push on even when fatigued. And on down the line.

In many ways, the Bard exists as a poor-man's cleric, providing healing and buffs and some fighting support, but losing the charm of what made the Bard popular to begin with. Well, while the Bard may be the jack-of-all-trades to many, they are also the songsmiths that inspire and allow folk to continue when all hope seemed lost. It would be interesting to see Bards shift away from the magical combination of wizards and clerics, and go a path truly their own, much like the Alchemist has.

---------

The problems with Focus Conservation could easily be fixed by instituting a "three-point limit" - so you could use it to recast three spells but that's it. Seeing it burns off focal points in doing so, it may also be something that leaves a Wizard with little reserve afterward, even at higher levels. In fact, higher level spells could burn through more of the focal points than lower level spells, and that could be another brake to avoid its abuse.

-------------

I still say that Counterspell is fairly useless. Given the significantly limited number of spells available, you're not going to get to utilize it very often - whereas the Familiar gives multiple abilities over time. Hmm, which seems more likely to be used?

Also, as someone else asked: can you use a lower-level version of a spell to Counterspell a Heightened version? For instance, could I use a level 3 Fireball to negate a Heightened level 9 Fireball, or even reduce its effectiveness (say reducing the damage of that level 9 Fireball by 5d6)?

Even if you could, I have to say it's still a fairly useless ability. An intelligent Wizard boss-encounter is going to have information on the players. They will have observed the PC Wizard counterspelling things and likely even know what types of spells the PC Wizard has... and could easily swap out his or her spells of that type so to eliminate that benefit. I mean, take Karzoug: his suggested spellcasting has him NOT using any of his Transmutation spells on the PCs (against their summons, sure, but not the PCs) due to their probably possessing items that significantly limit the effectiveness of Transmutation spells cast against them. If he saw the PCs also Counterspelled and could block Cone of Frost and other similar spells, then I could easily see him replacing those spells with others from his spellbook.

It's a nice-in-theory concept. Using Reactions for it helps it become something that doesn't just waste the Wizard's actions. But in practice it is not nearly as useful as the alternatives.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
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.
That sounds really cool, can you point me in the direction for more info on the area?

Sadly, I don't have much myself, but Mana Wastes is a country in the inner sea world guide. It's kind of a no-man's land between Nex and Geb, and the result of a wish-fueled magic war between the leaders of those two countries centuries ago. Zones where magic simply doesn't work exist there, as well as spell scars and other hazards of major magic. Since the mana wastes is also the first region to develop firearms, much of the recent looks at the area revolve around that.

Doesn't look like a campaign supplement has been put out for that area yet, but the three regions have been referenced in "People of the Wastes" and a handful of scenarios, as well as the module "Wardens of the Reborn Forge."

Edit: forgot to mention, but since it IS called the Mana Wastes, I'll admit I've always imagined the conflict between the lords of Nex and Geb to have played out exactly like a MtG battle. Your comment upthread was what caused me to remember it's existence.

Wow, some juicy stuff, very cool, thanks for this, and yeah, the wish-fueled war, ala Mishra and Urza!

Grand Lodge

N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
effectively without limit like PF1's casters turned out

Yes, that's half the problem. So I think many of us will want to see this addressed. But I'll point out that when it comes to spells that replace skills, you don't need them but once or twice an entire scenario.

And then you've got scrolls/wands, so if the caster really wants to one-PC it, they can more so than other classes (at least as far as PF1 was concerned). A wand of Knock goes a long way in obviating the need for a lock picker, both figuratively and literally as it doesn't come up that often.

In any event, it's reassuring that Paizo is not in denial about the PF1 Wizard. That's already a better starting point.

HA. I dare you to play any scenario with a level 1 wizard meant to be played with 4-6 characters and see how far you get.


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nogoodscallywag wrote:
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.

Did you read our other conversation on this topic? I brought up that often times a wizard's "limited" uses aren't all that limited, as wizards almost never run out of spells in 3.P. It doesn't matter that a fighter can swing a greatsword an infinite number of times if he only gets to swing that sword as long as the wizard has spells for combat. This is apparently a known issue that is being looked into.

Oh, and on your previous comment:

Quote:
Quote:
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.

I know. I play sorcerers all the time. I DON'T play wizards because of the bookkeeping involved with preparing spells. Most of the people I have known that did play wizards either "prepared their list on the fly" (aka cheated) or had to use an Excel Sheet to keep track of their spells.

I was hoping for something closer to the Arcanist, where you prepare a short list and cast from that list spontaneously.

There is also the issue that Vancian magic hasn't been Vancian since 1st edition. If we actually had wizards that cast like the casters in the Dying Earth Novels, you'd get maybe a dozen spells a day. (That would be a VERY powerful wizard.)

The idea behind Jack Vance's system is that he wanted wizards that were powerful, but had some form of limitation that kept them from trivializing any conflict in the story. So he came up with the idea that they had to prepare their spells, but that the number of spells was so limited that they had to be picky about what they prepared and when they cast them.

DnD and Pathfinder wizards haven't worked like that in decades. Wizards routinely finish an adventuring day with more than half their spells remaining, and even if they DO happen to run out of spells)or more likely spells they want to cast), they can either create a pocket dimension where they can rest a refuel at almost zero risk or they pull out their handy haversack of scrolls and wands.

Heaven forbid we let non casters have some fun.


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Wultram wrote:
Okay so universalist is so much better than specialist, that you have to be an idiot to choose specilization. At least based on the preview, unless they get access to some beyond amazing class abilities. And no the 1 extra slot at highest level is no where close making them equal.

They really aren't. A specialist in practice not only has one more spell slot at he highest level, but can prepare a greater variety of spells. Which is ironic, I grant you, but mechanically significant. Let's compare third level slots on a 10th level wizard:

Universalist: Haste + Fly + Fireball + (Either Haste, Fly, or Fireball)

Abjurer: Haste + Fly + Fireball + Dispel Magic

I don't think being able to cast one of the 3 a second time is strictly better than being able to have a fourth option prepared, especially when the Specialist still gets the recall effect once per day. Consider the following scenarios for if you have perfect preparation thanks to intelligence gathering:

If you need two castings of the same spell: Both wizards can prep two castings of that spell. Winner: Tie.

If you need one casting of four different spells: The Specialist wins, hands down.

If the specialist's school doesn't have a relevant option: The universalist wins, by virtue of being able to utilize the same spell a second time.

Realistically, there will probably be some surprises and there's not a good way to know whether having a a 4th option will be better than having one of three options twice.

Quote:
Again spell slots are cut in half. So casters in PF2 are intended to be cantrip spammers and nothing more? At least warlock was fairly interesting with it's limitless magic.

I find it interesting that this remains a consistent complaint, given how many of the feat options listed seem to effectively give you more spell slots. And that is without touching spell points and powers.

Quote:
And please please, get someone to look at the math of blasting. Because at the moment, it is worse than ever. Ok so everyone has WAY more HP, the damage is significantly less, weakness is much lesser effect than before, at best you can stack 2 metamagics(based on information so far) most likely for actual blasting spells it is 1 and just as a cherry on top your spell slots have been cut in half.

This has been responded to a lot by now, so I'm just gonna link to the thread.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2v32p?Blasting-in-PF2


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nogoodscallywag wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
effectively without limit like PF1's casters turned out

Yes, that's half the problem. So I think many of us will want to see this addressed. But I'll point out that when it comes to spells that replace skills, you don't need them but once or twice an entire scenario.

And then you've got scrolls/wands, so if the caster really wants to one-PC it, they can more so than other classes (at least as far as PF1 was concerned). A wand of Knock goes a long way in obviating the need for a lock picker, both figuratively and literally as it doesn't come up that often.

In any event, it's reassuring that Paizo is not in denial about the PF1 Wizard. That's already a better starting point.

HA. I dare you to play any scenario with a level 1 wizard meant to be played with 4-6 characters and see how far you get.

I dare you to play a fighter in a level 12+ scenario solo.

After that, grab a wizard and do the same and see who gets farther.

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

It's at about level 8 that the wizard starts stepping on toes and trivializing encounters. At level 12, it feels like the rest of the party is just there to support the wizard when it is useful to do so.


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nogoodscallywag wrote:
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.

Let's pretend for second that this was true: What use is it? If a party has a Cleric, Rogue, Fighter, and Wizard, how often are the the Fighter and Rogue actually going to keep going after the Cleric and Wizard have packed it in?

_
glass.


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Maybe you should continue the whole discussion when you have the playtest book and actual numbers instead of assumptions and experiences of pf1?


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nogoodscallywag wrote:
N N 959 wrote:


And then you've got scrolls/wands, so if the caster really wants to one-PC it, they can more so than other classes (at least as far as PF1 was concerned).
HA. I dare you to play any scenario with a level 1 wizard meant to be played with 4-6 characters and see how far you get.

1) The problem occurs at higher levels. I can't tell you where the break point is, but you'll note I'm making a comparison "they can more so than other classes."

2) At about 10th level, a group of four full casters is far more robust than a group of four martials. Once you add in scrolls and wands, there's almost nothing casters can't tackle. Is the same true for martials?

3) The real issue, imo, is the ability of full casters to trivialize encounters with very little personal risk as compared with martials. And this occurs whether the encounter is combat or non-combat, social or mechanical.

You made the counterpoint that martials get to use skills/abilities an unlimited time as compared to limited use for a wizard:

1) There are a number of class abilities that have limited use for martials;

2) In most scenarios, the number of encounters is so few (3-6 in PFS) that higher level casters are able to dominate all of them. So the technically limited amount of spells a full caster might have ends up being immaterial. Mark has already acknowledge that this occurs.

3) Unlike martials, full casters have scrolls and wands which can duplicate any spell that a caster may have. Martials don't have anything like that for their own limited use abilities and they typically cannot use scrolls or wands.

4) Martials, in order to do their thing, must expose themselves to direct danger. This tends to not be true for full casters which can use summoned animals, companions, invisibility, or any number of other tricks which reduce or eliminate their direct risk.

I'll concede that on average, in games below level 10, full casters don't consistently dominate in PFS. Mainly because they choose not to or lack the system mastery as players. But I can tell you, unequivocally, that once scenarios get into level 5 and up, casters have more influence on encounters outcomes than martials, on average. Spells like Glitterdust, Web, Fireball, Haste, are game changers more so than things like Shield Slam, Spring Attack, an extra d6 of sneak attack, <insert any Rage power>, etc.

Ask yourself, if you had to do a level 12 dungeon crawl, which do you think most people would choose:

6 full casters or 6 full martials?

Now ask yourself which group is more likely to survive the longest with fewer fatalities?


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I can see now that The Dark Eye rpg has been an influence in the design of PF II, at least when it comes to the Crit effects and conditions of spells, and that just puts a smile on my face.


While I do think casters >> martials and need to be reigned in, I will note there are some scenarios martials excel in. Namely, time sensitive objectives that force you to push on past the point of resource depletion, and getting ambushed. Casters don't tend to be as sturdy and are therefore more vulnerable to an alpha strike; smart enemies usually target the casters first as well because they can drastically turn the tide of battle.

Not that the role of "body guard for the character who actually matters" is a desirable balance point, mind you. Just that it isn't all bad for martials.

Grand Lodge

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Is the wizard still a SAD class?
I just realized that there wasn't any mention of any extra attributes needed for the wizard...

I assumed that they were trying to make all the classes a little more MAD after seeing that Cleric still requires charisma.


Gunny wrote:
Will each spell have a descriptor of what the material component will be? Or will we assume that material components are just some sort of arcane focus? I don't need the GM saying "oops, you forgot to buy your widget doodad - so you can only use 2 actions not three for your spell."

I'd really like to know what's up with material components too. This is at least the third thread where I've seen this raised and not answered...


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Catharsis wrote:
As for the art: Am I the only person who finds it uncanny-valley-creepy that Ezren's elbow is growing directly from his shoulder?

It's not just you.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Weather Report wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
I think you’re being too pessimistic.
Going off previous products that failed to deliver, this is the best way to be. It results in either not being disappointed or being pleasantly surprised.
I have heard the key to a happy life is low expectations.

No, I do not agree. I am a happy person who has high expectations of both myself and my gaming community. I don’t expect perfection, but instead give myself permission to treasure what’s going right and have a sense of humor about the rest.

My expectation — based on past experience with Paizo products — is that I will have fun with the game. I will have wonderful players because I almost always do, and I will enjoy the oddball little details that Paizo will put into their adventures. If there’s a mechanics issue that I find confusing, I expect that I will have a great deal of satisfaction doing a writeup for Paizo’s survey or these forums with ideas on how to improve it.

It’s possible to be both an optimist and a happy person.

Hmm


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Gorignak227 wrote:

Is the wizard still a SAD class?

I just realized that there wasn't any mention of any extra attributes needed for the wizard...

I assumed that they were trying to make all the classes a little more MAD after seeing that Cleric still requires charisma.

nope as the current info wizards are finally mad enough to considered playable and i hope it stays this way. so please no intelligence to resonance via class feature or feat.


I'm honestly having difficulty thinking of a book/movie/video game where casters are as powerful as they are in 3.P without the caster(s) being enemies or the BBEG.

Even Gandalf and Merlin didn't have an answer for everything, and they are the top 2 examples of wizards in fiction.

If a wizard had as much power in a story as 3.P wizards do, the story wouldn't be interesting, except maybe as an example of having a walking Deus Ex Machina and why that's considered bad writing.

Grand Lodge

khadgar567 wrote:
nope as the current info wizards are finally mad enough to considered playable and i hope it stays this way. so please no intelligence to resonance via class feature or feat.

I must have missed that.

Which other attributes do they require and for what class features?
Or are you just referring to resonance?


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Nekome wrote:
Gunny wrote:
Will each spell have a descriptor of what the material component will be? Or will we assume that material components are just some sort of arcane focus? I don't need the GM saying "oops, you forgot to buy your widget doodad - so you can only use 2 actions not three for your spell."
I'd really like to know what's up with material components too. This is at least the third thread where I've seen this raised and not answered...

At this point I think it's that clerics use a holy symbol, sorcerers use their blood, and wizards use their arcane focus to fulfill material components.

Only fans of terrible dad jokes should be sad about this.


I like the Diviner's Sight ability shown above, but I much prefer its name in 1st edition: Prescience. Also, I really hope we see 1st ed's Forewarned ability of the Divination school in 2nd ed.


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thflame wrote:

I'm honestly having difficulty thinking of a book/movie/video game where casters are as powerful as they are in 3.P without the caster(s) being enemies or the BBEG.

Even Gandalf and Merlin didn't have an answer for everything, and they are the top 2 examples of wizards in fiction.

If a wizard had as much power in a story as 3.P wizards do, the story wouldn't be interesting, except maybe as an example of having a walking Deus Ex Machina and why that's considered bad writing.

Wheel of Time

Raymond Feist's Riftwar books
R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series
Malazan Book of the Fallen

People aren't bored by real life war stories of infantry just because in the grand picture they're just glorified guards and support for the artillery inflicting most of the casualties.

Scarab Sages

Xenocrat wrote:
thflame wrote:

I'm honestly having difficulty thinking of a book/movie/video game where casters are as powerful as they are in 3.P without the caster(s) being enemies or the BBEG.

Even Gandalf and Merlin didn't have an answer for everything, and they are the top 2 examples of wizards in fiction.

If a wizard had as much power in a story as 3.P wizards do, the story wouldn't be interesting, except maybe as an example of having a walking Deus Ex Machina and why that's considered bad writing.

Wheel of Time

Raymond Feist's Riftwar books
R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series
Malazan Book of the Fallen

People aren't bored by real life war stories of infantry just because in the grand picture they're just glorified guards and support for the artillery inflicting most of the casualties.

Elminster


Tallow wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
thflame wrote:

I'm honestly having difficulty thinking of a book/movie/video game where casters are as powerful as they are in 3.P without the caster(s) being enemies or the BBEG.

Even Gandalf and Merlin didn't have an answer for everything, and they are the top 2 examples of wizards in fiction.

If a wizard had as much power in a story as 3.P wizards do, the story wouldn't be interesting, except maybe as an example of having a walking Deus Ex Machina and why that's considered bad writing.

Wheel of Time

Raymond Feist's Riftwar books
R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series
Malazan Book of the Fallen

People aren't bored by real life war stories of infantry just because in the grand picture they're just glorified guards and support for the artillery inflicting most of the casualties.

Elminster

Well he is a 3.P caster, so he can't be a counterpoint.


Gorignak227 wrote:
khadgar567 wrote:
nope as the current info wizards are finally mad enough to considered playable and i hope it stays this way. so please no intelligence to resonance via class feature or feat.

I must have missed that.

Which other attributes do they require and for what class features?
Or are you just referring to resonance?

Yes i was referring resonance and they currently need int, dex and cha as main stats unless we get feat for it to let them gain resonance from intelligence.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Jhaeman wrote:
I don't care so much how the spells are cast, but more on whether attention is paid to make sure whatever spells exist don't completely usurp the skill sets of other PCs. If charm person is too easy, there's not much point in being really good at Diplomacy; if invisibility is too easy, there's not much point in being really good at Stealth; if spider climb is too easy, why did I invest in . . . etc., etc. These sorts of low-level "automatic win" utility spells have always annoyed me.
Skill-adjacent spells like knock are now basically playing the same game as the skills do rather than an auto-success or unusual formula bonus, but using the spell slot as the cost for the privilege of using your spellcasting bonuses instead of the normal bonuses (likely better than your own skill bonuses, but not necessarily better than the rogue's). Sometimes you can also use the spell in tandem with the skillsy person in your party for a synergistic effect stronger than either alone. So for instance the spell pass without trace forces anyone tracking you to have to beat your spell DC or the normal DC with an increase, whichever is worse for them (almost always your spell DC is worse for them, but if you team up with a ranger hiding your tracks, then the other option is probably significantly better) as opposed to just auto-winning against skills characters trying to track you.

That seems a lot healthier for the game than the previous way of doing it. That way a ranger is probably still going to do counter tracking better than a wizard but it gives a wizard a good chance of performing that ability if needed and they prepare the correct spell for it. The auto win always trumping people who had the actual skills never felt great.


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.

It at least is a viable option now. I don't think it is something you do all the time but nice for clutch boss fights or if somebody in your party is near death stopping possible big AOE damage could be very worth it. Stop some guy from casting cone of cold and you basically just did the equivalent of a massive AOE heal on your group and negated that opponents turn while you can still act as normal otherwise. You can't do it all of the time but as an option when needed it is very handy.


Xenocrat wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Elminster
Well he is a 3.P caster, so he can't be a counterpoint.

Is he? He first showed up in the early 90s, didn't he? And 3.0 didn't even come out until 2000. I think it's pretty clear he was intended to represent 2.0 (although I don't know much beyond the early stuff so it's possible the nature of his portrayal changed after 3.0/3.5.)


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From a DM perspective, counterspell is a nice add-on to the action economy: something for the BBEG to do in the PCs' turn that could significantly change the course of the fight.

Especially satisfying if the party wizard is known for having a particular go-to spell!


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Mekkis wrote:
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.

Although with scaling cantrips it may be that your actual spell lots are your big finale type powers where your cantrips help fill out so you are not a two encounter wonder.


Wandering Wastrel wrote:

From a DM perspective, counterspell is a nice add-on to the action economy: something for the BBEG to do in the PCs' turn that could significantly change the course of the fight.

Especially satisfying if the party wizard is known for having a particular go-to spell!

LOL Well that can work ONCE. After that, it'd seem like a plan to always bring odd/off the wall spells for the end boss...


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Just that it isn't all bad for martials.

No, it's not all bad for martials, ime. But as the levels get higher and higher, it becomes all about the full casters. And I'm acutely aware that as a martial, I'm not particularly crucial to the outcome of the mission. Nor do I influence the difficulty.

Once you start getting into Tier 7+ in PFS, you almost have to have some type of full caster. When you're party needs Mass Fly, or Mass Resist Energy, that's not something you're getting from martials. You can bet on someone having inviso or fly and it's not really fair to expect every martial to have to burn a potion or two, when casters can cast one spell that helps everyone.

Does this really ruin my day? No. But it makes the game feel kind of pointless. I am noticing I am not that motivated to play high level PFS content without at least 2-3 full casters in at the table, where as I could not care less if we have martials.


Hmm wrote:


It’s possible to be both an optimist and a happy person.

Hmm

It's often related, actually.

People who worry for everything, spend their lives worrying for things that probably won't happen.


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Two questions regarding actions:

1) Can you spend multiple rounds casting a high-cost spell? For instance, somatic+verbal+material Magic Missile AND Conceal Spell? A sort of "it takes twice as long, but I'm out of combat so who cares" type of situation.

2) Magic Missile's "Heightened" section says you get one additional missile for each action you spend. What happens with something like Conceal Spell? Would a 2-action-plus-Conceal spell heighten similarly to the 3-action version? Is it intended to, or is that wording that should be cleaned up somehow?


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kaid wrote:
Mekkis wrote:
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.
Although with scaling cantrips it may be that your actual spell lots are your big finale type powers where your cantrips help fill out so you are not a two encounter wonder.

Pretty much. I hate to admit that, but scaling at-will cantrips go a long way to make the Wizard contribute to every encounter. Casting all your non-cantrip spells in two encounters is pretty much trying to be a spell machine-gun, so I'm not sorry about being reduced to cantrips for the rest of the day.


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graystone wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:

From a DM perspective, counterspell is a nice add-on to the action economy: something for the BBEG to do in the PCs' turn that could significantly change the course of the fight.

Especially satisfying if the party wizard is known for having a particular go-to spell!

LOL Well that can work ONCE. After that, it'd seem like a plan to always bring odd/off the wall spells for the end boss...

I can picture the (metagame) conversation now...

*Fighter player looks down wizard's list of prepared spells"

"Uh, Gary, you do realise it's the boss fight next, right? Shouldn't you have prepared Fireball or something?"

*Wizard player shakes head, eyes narrowed*

"No. That's just what they'll be EXPECTING me to do..."


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At least you get twice as many cantrips at any one time in PF2 as you do in 5E, and can know even more than that, at least as a wizard. So you have some versatility there, and can easily pick a couple utility cantrips to prepare alongside your blaster cantrip(s).


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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.

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.

Yep, an ogre is not a lvl 17 boss, and it's clear from your example that a 9th lvl MM cannot kill a lvl 17 boss.

If your expectation was that 1 single 9 level spell should kill a lvl 17 boss... maybe your expectation was too high? Specially if Paizo's design goal is to make encounters that last beyond the Wizard's initiative.

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