Red Dragon

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WWHsmackdown wrote:

casters can compitently go into melee, especially in battleform. They won't do it at martial lvls buts that's ok

But that's the thing. Do i just fool myself, pretending been good in melee, but in practice just been carried by others? Or been honest with myself roll either classic spellcaster, or martial?

I would prefer have more options. I might agree that making spellcasters so powerful in melee, that they can put any martials to shame is a bad idea (although monks historically always were very good). But give option at least make equal, situationally temporarily, but also consistently (not only on key battle form levels).

Guntermench wrote:

In short, as a spellcaster you spent your time learning how to hurl fireballs and lightning.

Martials learned how to hit stuff real good.

They do different things.

Well, at least you confess in the end that you simply hate melee casters, and not just want something fare.

And no, you spent your lifetime however you want.
Just like fighter can spend 50/50 learning martial arts and be spellcaster at the same time. Spellcasters can do the same.
D&D in particular even have rich lore of whole traditions like that. For example Bladesingers and Raumathari Battlemages.

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Guntermench wrote:
So in the end it comes
In the end it comes down to you are still a full spellcaster outside of wideshape.

In short, like i said: "go hurl fireballs in lightning, leave melee to fighters".

i don't know how you, but i hated D&D 4e with passion. And last thing i want is Pathfinder turning into one. Especially since Pathfinder was founded as alternative to "new route" WotC decided to take back in a days.

And no, it's ok loving "classic" spellcasters, who like hurl all kind of harmful energy around.
What is not ok, is trying persuade others that this should be the ONLY way of playing spellcasters. Especially since in older editions it wasn't.

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Guntermench wrote:

Martials will have at best what? 14 spells a day? Not reaching the same proficiency while having less than half the slots, and having those slots scale pretty slowly. Yet you want casters to reliably reach the equivalent of master weapon proficiency.

How does that matter, when spells still work at full potential?

At level 20 you will get 2 level-6 spells slots, 1 level-7 and one level-8.
That's enough to cast level-6 Heroism 4 times. Do you possibly need more? I highly doubt it.
So fighters and monks, who already have legendary proficiency, can get another +2. barbarians gets master +2 circumstance bonus, so still can benefit from heroism's status bonus. An monks can treat their first roll as minimum 10.
Where even druid at best get expert +2 status bonus. And heroism wouldn't help because... status bonus.

"But hey, Druids have elemental spells and all". Yeah, except if you use wildshape - your build surely is melee based, not spell-damage based. Not mentioning that normally you can't cast at all in Battle Forms.

So in the end it comes again to questioning yourself "should i keep sucking in melee, landing maybe half hits compare to our party fighter/barbarian/monk? Or should i just roll new character who will instead specialize in Lightning Storm?".
And where you surely can pick second option. It really sucks when game tells you "nope, melee is just not yours, go back to your fireballs and such".

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Guntermench wrote:

It's not a problem that casters can't tie martials in beating things to death. Temporarily getting pretty close, sure. Tie permanently with the option to just become a full caster again at will? No.

Well the martials can become spellcaster, permanently. Ironically making their martial prowess even deadlier.

You think your legendary proficiency in weapon not enough? Well, here yours +2 status bonus from heightened Heroism!
Spellcasters at best, and very situationally will get just equibalent of master weapon proficiency. Which is... fine. As long as it's more reliable, and not only on "specific levels".

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nephandys wrote:

You seem to be conflating your opinion with fact. It's a problem for you. It's not a problem for others. As you've suggested if you don't like it house rule it. Alternatively, play another game that allows you to achieve this fantasy.

I'd assume there might be a Shifter class or expansion on polymorph in the future but it's likely to come with heavily restricted casting similar to the Magus or Summoner.

It's absolutely far more than "only my problem".

If anything, topics about Battle Form keeps pop up on this forums more often than anything else.

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Guntermench wrote:
I don't see this as a problem. They're temporary power boosts to get casters close to martials. I fail to see the problem with a permanent version not doing that. When not transformed you're still a full caster.

And yet it is a problem.

And one thing where core system is flawed and you can't really do anything about it. Other then very heavily homebrew it (which likely cause myriad of other unexpected issues), like with D&D 5e.
But with PF2e you actually CAN quite easily "reverse-engineer it" and see that base mechanics DOES allow more "fluid" polymorph rules.
And once again, unlike nowadays WotC, Paizo still are often publish new materials. So all they need to do is give a little bit of room for optional extended polymorph rules in future books.

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Guntermench wrote:

Bluntly, I don't think they should be equal. That is the same as making martials obsolete. Why be only a martial when you can have full spellcasting when necessary and full martial ability when necessary?

Oh but they get so much more than that. Not only they get their weapon and armor proficiency PERMANENTLY, but they get access to their higher level feats (above level 10, which you can't get through multiclassing), and of course number of base class features. Which you either get either in super-nerfed form (via multi-classing), or not getting at all.

Plus. They also can multiclass into spellcaster. And unlike multiclassing into martials, multiclassing into spellcaster reeeeeealy buffs your character A LOT!

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Lycar wrote:

Personally I would prefer never.

In D&D 3.x and PF 1 casters made martials effectively obsolete. If you wanted to be good at melee, your best bet was to go CoDzilla.

Over-nerfing is not an answer. Don't make them better, just make them equal... situationally that is. And spells exist precisely for that. Right tools for right situations.

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Even Forgotten realms in the end got cultures influenced by real world ones. Although E.G. was unhappy about it.
Pathfinder cultures largely ARE influenced by real world cultures.

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Age basically matter only about character's backstory.
Where can they remember only what happened 3 years ago, with very limited travel one can have at such short period of time.
Or something that happened hundreds years ago, and possibly in great many parts of the world.

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HeHateMe wrote:
Personally, I'm more interested in the Undead book than a Dragon book. That said, dragons are very popular and I would be absolutely stunned if Paizo didn't produce a dragon themed book full of dragon themed character options.

I have no doubt they will, eventually.

They releasing new books for 2e just about as often as they used to for 1e.
Unlike for Wizards, who nowadays publish at best 10% of what they used to publish in the past.

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That is to say, in D&D there was era when dragons pretty much was kings and emperors. Well, at least in Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk.
But even then, lore for that era is nearly non-existant. It was so long ago (roughly 2 million years), that almost no records survived nowadays. Tiny bits of it was found only in magically enhanced ruins, that managed not to crumble over the ages, due to... well, been magical.

Then there is of course Eberron, where dragons have their own continent and society in current (in-game) days.

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It's opposite to positive energy. Which is basically a life force for all living beings... well, mostly. Positive energy actually ARE in rare cases capable of damaging living beings as well.

It's like matter and anti-matter. Except... not so volatile by interacting with each other.

If you looking for symptoms. Large tissue necrosis would be one of most obvious.

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For bear you can ask someone to carry animal barding for you, and put it on you after you polymorph into bear.
Obviously worth doing only if you can have at least one hour duration of polymorph (so, druid only), preferably permanent duration.

For dragon... even if polymorph would absorbed all your gear (and it's just always does), it wouldn't be transformed to suit dragon. So it would be as hell uncomfortable and ugly.
Best i can advise for Dragon Form is to cast Illusory Disguise on yourself after the transformation. And yes, standard battleform rules not allow you to cast any spell. But practically it come to simple old lore of been able to perform somatic and verbal components of spell, which you can't in majority of polymorph forms. With exception of dragon... since dragons, well, are damn renowned spellcasters. I am personally think that there should be no issue for character polymorphed into dragon to be able keep casting spells.

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Lucy_Valentine wrote:

I don't get it. If you want to play a melee dragon-type character, you have options. Like, dragon instinct barbarian, or fighter with a sorc dedication

Well, let me explain.

First edition pathfinder lived to the legacy of 3.5. Where you presented very broad variety of options. In particular you could be matrial-class with good spellcasting capabilities. As well as spellcaster who specialized in melee.
And if it would be just at least "mirrored" in second edition, where fighters do only only fighting, and spellcasters do only fireballs hurling (in short utter boredom of D&D 4th edition, which we all hate with passion). But thing is, martial classes still get roughly 60% of spellcasting capability of spellcasting class, they multiclass into. But spellcaster get 0% improvement when they multiclass into martial.

And before you will start with "oh look how much more damage you can do if you pick this, this and that feat!". How would that matter if you JUST... CAN'T... HIT?

Get it now?

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NemoNoName wrote:

Again, people here seem to assume that proficiency, in form of the to-hit numbers, are what makes martials distinct from spellcasters. That misunderstands the game engine *so much*.

In fact, the to-hit numbers are the least part of it. The whole system is so skewed that if you don't have the on-level to-hit, you're not merely weaker, you are completely out. Having appropriate to-hit is a prerequisite for making ANYTHING work.

So in short leave to-hit to martials, and make only spell-artilery out of spellcasters?

Where it's certainly most popular option among spellcasters, many ppl, including me, just finds utterly boring. Especially comparing it again with older editions, where you actually HAVE been giving a chance to do something more unique.
Also, AC is not the only form of defense.

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Squiggit wrote:

I mean that the first week PF2 came out we had a player maximize strength on his sorcerer, cast Glutton's Jaws, then proceed to miss a lot and go into dying a lot until he eventually decided that the best way to play his character was to just pretend he didn't have a focus spell and that strategy worked much better.

That's the problem.

One thing if devs for some reason would decide that spellcaster should serve only as classic spell-artillery, and healers. Which would be bad on it's own.
Another thing when devs provides means for spellcasters to actually be involved in melee combat. But it's just too underwhelming.
I understand intention been careful, not to turn game into "munchkin paradise" again. But in some areas second edition is just way over-restricting.

Not all bad though, there is certainly room to improve it via new spells, feats and archetypes.

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Temperans wrote:

Am I understanding correctly, that this whole multi-page argument exists because some of the caster focus spells are bad?

Welcome to off topic central. No, it didn't have anything to do with focus spells.

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Temperans wrote:

At level 13 when mastery comes online Elemental Form heightens to level 7 granting a +25 attack modifier, just behind a martial's expected +26 bonus.

What if i don't want elemental form?

Might come to surprise, but RP element is important in RPG game. I'v talked about it earlier, if ppl who want to roleplay in dragon form also suffer, especially when will try to use it on lvl 18-20. But lets say a druid who want to keep using bear(animal) form on high levels will suffer so much more.

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Riddlyn wrote:

Multiclass caster do not get to cast better than casters. They never get legendary casting and the chances of having casting at 22 is nearly impossible. So yeah no

They don't need legendary proficiency in DC. Hurling fireballs as a martial combatant would be an utter waist of magic potential.

They do however gets all kind of magical buffs for themselves, which they would normally rely to get from allies, or not get at all (in case spell works only on caster).

Once again, fighter multiclassing as a caster in this edition gets waaaaay stronger compared to Erdrich Knights from previous editions.
And yet for spellcasters we can't get something similar to Bladesinger or Raumathari Battlemage.

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Claxon wrote:

That's basically only going to be a druid who focuses in transformation.

Funny enough bit too specialized.

Druids in D&D/Pathfinder history of lore never specialized neither on dragons nor giants. That's why in 1st edition you could at best polymorph into magic beast (i... kinda can agree with that), but not into giant or dragon. In second edition there is no giant form... it's kinda "replaced" with enlarge person (which can turn you up to huge form in heightened version). But there is still dragon form, and weirdly enough druids for some reason have access to it via wild shape.
Same time dragon-bloodline sorcerer simply gets dragon form spell as bonus... that's it. Not even with +2 status bonus to attack, while using that specific form, similarly to bonus that druids get. And getting Dragon Disciple as a dragon-bloodline sorcerer also hardly do you any good. You get puny claws... with which you still constantly gonna miss... so at best those just for good look. And alternatively accessing dragon form through that archetype again doesn't add any additional benefits at all. Yeah, you can change into dragon. But you wouldn't be able to do much with it.

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And it seem topic instantly deranged from having one extra spell, to discussion about battleforms again :)

Thing is, what i proposed not even that powerful. Sure, sorcerer temporarily can up his proficiency from +4 to +6, and maybe even +8, but as usual with older edition Transformation spells -not gonna be able to use any other magic during spell duration.
If that's not enough... well, i am ok with adding something like save for possible fatigue effect after the spell wears out.

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Cyder wrote:

I don't get why battleforms are templates but summons are not.

I have no real issue with battleforms they do their job well enough and ensure the caster doesn't outclass martials.

What I don't get is why summons are different. I would prefer both are templates or both are 'pick a monster of type X and CR = or less than double the spell level -2 or whatever. Would make life simpler. Summons as a template could be better than being flatly restricted and easier for the GM to plan for rather than 1 of a 100+ options.

Alternatively battleforms could pick a specific monster and enable to caster to get a few cool benefits or unique abilities even if damage was lower.

I have to agree with you on that. If battleforms need bit more rebalancing (like for instance also allowing you to use your own armor class, if it's better than provided, and more fluent attack bonus increase per level), summons in 2e are just hot garbage :\

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Ascalaphus wrote:

This shouldn't really matter. When you're casting battleform spells heightened to your highest level slots, you get a to-hit modifier of about the same height as a martial of that level. It doesn't matter what your proficiency is.

Let's take a look.

Dragonform, level-6 spell, which you can pick on been level 11 arcane or primal spellcaster. It provides you with attack bonus of +22.
Now what martial classes can do on the same level. Pretty much all of them will have master proficiency with their weapon on that level. And they should have at least 18 in their primary stats (str or dex), more importantly, unlike for user's of battleforms, they CAN apply item bonuses to their attacks. AT level-11 they pretty much should have +2 weapons. So, 11+4+6+2=23. Now lets look what we will have on level 14. just one level before we will be able to get heightened version of dragon form. As dragon form user you still normally get +22 to attack. If you try to use your own as a sorcerer, you will get at most +20, druid wildshape, using his special status bonus can get it to +24.
while martial classes, even with +2 weapons (even though there are chance for that to acquire +3 weapon at this level) will get - 14+6+4+2=26, That's already a very sizable gap.

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WWHsmackdown wrote:
Casters can't compete with martials in melee prowess/ average damage per round. Full stop.

But they can...

Take a fighter (monk and even barbarian also will do), and pick "caster-class" dedication fit. Then 4 more feats, and you are nearly 2/3 efficient spellcaster.
Basically what earlier was known as Eldrich Knight... although actually more powerful. earlier EKs could at best access to level-4 spells. With standard multiclassing you get get fighter with access to level-8 spells.
So option is kinda there, but it's still mainly fighter, who secondary specialize in magic. There was option in earlier edition(s) (including D&D) where spellcasters could do the same. Both with prestige classes and spells.

It's all mater of balancing, and tbh there is nothing against it. Spellcaster classes still won't be able to do lots of things that martial-classes can. Most importantly they won't ever get access to feats above level-10... which are generally most efficient feats. Nor having access to powerful class abilities (like ranger's Masterful Hunter).

Probably most sad example right now to show is Dragon Disciple archetype.
To pick it, you have to be either barbarian with dragon instinct, sorcerer with dragon bloodline, or been a kobold.
For barbarian this archetype kinda pointless. You already can transform into dragon via rage. And more importantly, unlike with archetype, you can practically do it limitless times per day (just have to have one minute rest after each rage).
For sorceress though it's just as pointless as Dragon Form spell. Base attack provided by spell could be higher than what your normal (especially if you have low strength and dexterity on your own). But it's sill nowhere as high as what martial classes can achieve at that level. And even if you up your own str/dex, you might get your own attack bonus higher, but still not high enough. Main reason - you stuck with merely "trained" in unarmed proficiency.
Sure, melee attacks not the only thing that spell provides. You also can benefit from ability to fly, having weak dragon breath, slight resistance to one element, and overall ability to look impressive (for very short time). Still, to make spell really viable - you will have to consistently try and utilize it's melee attacks. And with just "trained" proficiency in unarmed (or base attack bonus that spells provides) - you bound to keep missing... a lot. Even with first attack.

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Earlier i talked about how battleform spells just not good enough, especially for classes like sorcerer or wizard, due to their low unarmed proficiency. It's just impossible to effectively compete in melee combat with classes like fighter, monk and barbarian. Those can easily both out-damage you in melee combat, and out-tank you.
This however can be change with re-implemintation of old spell (tenser's) transformation.
As i can see this spell in second edition Pathfinder, spell would simply temporarily give you master proficiency with all martial and simple weapon, and unarmed attacks. And as heightened (lets say as level 8) - legendary proficiency.
Other bonuses also will be welcomed, like upped fortitude save, and maybe slightly improved armor via status bonus. But main request still lies in improved attack bonus. And yes, IMO it have to be specifically improved proficiency bonus. Otherwise we again will stuck with situation where multi-classed fighter will get themselves both legendary proficiency in weapons, AND status bonus from spell(s), AND item bonus from items. While sorcerers/wizards in the end still get lower attack bonus due to stacking limitation.

P.S. Oh and yes. As of before, spell should prevent any further spellcasting during spell effect. 1 minute duration for the spell is perfectly fine.

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Deriven Firelion wrote:

This isn't true in regards to combat where we use these round by round abilities. There are numerous abilities that are useful all the time, every round, round after round. People tend to take those abilities in lieu of situationally useful abilities which are useful in a small number of situations.

So analyzing an ability according to how often you might find it useful is very important when comparing it to another ability which will be useful in far more situations, if not every single combat.

But that precisely why cackle exist - time management.

Historically most OP builds was when spellcasters managed to do more things, in less amount of time.
Original D&D 3.0e haste, that allowed yo to cast extra spell every round.
Earlier editions time stop, that allowed you pre-cast offensive spells, to put them in effect simultaneously as TS ends.
Simbul's Spell Matrix, that allowed you pre-cast multiple spells, and release them all at once at one target.
And so on.

Cackle perhaps not as OP, but it meant to do the same - saving you time, so you can accumulate more things at once, in shorter amount of time.

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Tbh, eldrich(arcane) trickster always were specialized in utility spells, that helped him greatly in "social" situations. Thievery, spying, sabotage, etc.
In combat magic also (used to be) supported him with utility spells like (improved) invisibility.
They never meant to be "better arcane artillery".

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Obscure demiplanes are really hard to get into. Even Gods can't just break into the Akashic Record, for example.

Those are not regular demiplanes. Such demiplanes created by gods or other equally powerful entities. With means of put extra protection to them. Something that players simply don't have access to.

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There surely ways to get in. Gods and other equally powerful entities wouldn't have a hassle to find way inside demiplane. Only thing is forbidden for then - is other godly realms. Unless they are invited of course. But taking that god's plane is source of his/her immortality, even most trustful gods would be super-paranoid of letting any other god in.

Pharasma doesn't have ultimate control on life-death cycle. Otherwise she would destroy all undeads (and other entities with unlimited lifespan) long time ago.
Where i bet she could personally put an end to some entity that not a god, in most cases she is likely too busy to do that.
So unless you personally insult Pharasma in some way - you unlikely should worry about her putting an end to you.

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Historically clone (spell) exist as a measure for arcane spellcasters, who distrust their "resurrection" been handled by anyone else but themselves. With reasonable downside of 1 week spellcasting.
On one side it's of course cool that as a ritual it now can potentially been handled by non-spellcasters.
On the other hand though... it requires 4 ritualist, and subject of cloning CAN'T bee one of ritualist. That alone negates secrecy of cloning, which often necessary (due to preference of cloning over a resurrection). Not mentioning that success of ritual obviously reduces with number of required ritual participants.
And of course 7 days takes only to perform ritual. Which alone reasonable time. But waiting 2d4 month afterward for clone to grown almost negate clone usefulness for a player character.

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In particular attack rating provided. It's fairly well balanced when facing enemies of your level (as of level to animal form vs level-3 enemies, and level-5 animal form vs level-9 enemies), providing you roughly 60% chance to hit on your first strike (with spells' attack rating).
However as soon as you start facing enemies of higher level - spells of (initially) lower levels start becoming nearly useless. Even with just two level difference you will start noticing how drastically efficiency drops.
That constantly forces you to pick new Battle Forms. Which bad on it's own at least roleplay-wise (what if character really prefers one particular form?), and in case of Wild Shape it gets even worse, as it forces you to pick only feats that gives you new battle forms for Wild Shape.

I think Battle forms needs more versatile spell-heightening mechanics. Perhaps even something like providing universal spell-card on how every battle form scales with attack and armor class, with ability to heighten it to every spell-level. With additional upscaling described for every particular battle form.
In short providing mechanics where you can heighten even lower battle form spells like Animal Form or Dinosaur Form up to level-10.

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Key worlds here are: "until its requirements (if any) are violated,"
So if stance requires to use only specified strike, and you pull out crossbow and shoot - you violate a stance and thus exit from it.

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Another small thing i feel like complained about. I feel like there strange misbalance on how sorcerers and druids gaining benefits with Dragons Form in particular.
Sorcerers just giving bonus spell for free... and that's it. Not like "hey, you have dragon blood in your vein, so here like... bonus duration for dragon form, and bonus stats you receive while in dragon form... and few extra tricks you can use with dragon form!". Nope, just throwing bonus spell at you. Something you could easily get on your own anyway.
At the same time, druids never really related to dragons anyhow, neither in D&D, nor in Pathfinder. Turning into animals - sure, turning into plants - sure, elementals - yes (at least i know some D&D lore make druids related to elemental planes, not sure about PF). Magical beast - eh, sure, why not.
But dragons?..
Yet they (can) get dragon form for their wildshape. More so potentially can get infinite duration for that. Where dragon bloodline sorcerers still enjoy just a one minute duration standard dragon form...