Sargogen, Lord of Coils

Darksol the Painbringer's page

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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Scare to Death needed to be nerfed. In a game as balanced as PF2, it was an outlier far more powerful than it should have been.

Was it really, though? Since it already had Incapacitate, and required both a Critical Success against a Will Save DC, as well as a Failure of a Fortitude Save against an Intimidation DC (or Critical Failure with Incapacitate). And if you either did not Critically Succeed the check (quite likely, even against lower level enemies), or the enemy did not Fail (or Critically Fail with Incapacitate), which again, against Save DCs for monsters, isn't that likely, the effect wouldn't pass, and you couldn't use the effect again for basically the rest of the fight, since it has a 1 minute internal cooldown on it.

It'd be the same as if you cast Phantasmal Killer on an enemy at your highest Spell Slot. However, Phantasmal Killer also doesn't require investing a Charisma-based skill to Legendary and putting in a couple skill feats to make it work, and still does passable damage in addition to the Frightened condition on a Success (or Critical Success, because again, Incapacitate).

It also gets completely outclassed by Weird in the level following when Scare to Death becomes commonplace, since it affects more targets, does more damage, and isn't restricted by Incapacitate, making it even potentially effective against higher level enemies.

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In my opinion, a more elegant fix to this would have been to make the Fortitude Save have the Incapacitate trait. This way, on-level or stronger enemies are far less likely to fail (which requires a critical failure) and therefore die, but makes it relatively effective at clearing mooks (which would take 2 or 3 rounds otherwise).

I can say that I do appreciate them rectifying a Critical Success on the Fortitude Save doing nothing, but as another Rules Question thread points out, an enemy immune to Death effects benefits from (critically) failing the save if they aren't immune to Frightened, for example (such as a sentient Undead creature), it's kind of meh in its execution. A simple fix would be to still apply the failure effects on creatures immune to Death effects, but it's kind of a niche thing that it's easier to handwave than it is to require errata.

As it stands, Scare to Death sits as an "Improved Intimidate" feat that lets you combo it with a standard Demoralize if it's not enough. Which isn't the worst thing, since there are no options that let you Demoralize as part of other actions, or let you reset/ignore the Demoralize immunity timer (even if it's by design). But as far as it actually being able to "Scare to Death," it's almost as bad as Power Word Kill and similar effects.

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Dryades wrote:
Negative Essence wrote:
Your undead eidolon has a link directly to your life force, which grants it a twilight state between living and undead. This renders it a living creature and therefore susceptible to many ailments that bother only the living, though it does possess some resistances to these effects.

This with the Undead Eidolon having the Undead trait, AFAIK, makes it the only instance we've gained access to this unique combination of a living creature with the Undead trait. This is unlike Dhampirs which are just living. Both have negative healing though.

Pixel Popper wrote:
Harm most emphatically does heal the Undead Eidolon.

Interestingly, negative healing allows this to work out neatly no matter if you rule the Undead Eidolon as living, undead or both; same for Heal but the other way around (Heal ends up net damaging it like undead). Just looking at Harm's targets, the Undead Eidolon qualifies for both; it is living and a willing undead.

Let's say Harm does treat the Undead Eidolon as living and undead so both healing and damage apply:

- It heals because it's undead, but negative healing will make it heal either way
- It is dealt negative damage because it's living, but negative healing makes take no negative damage
- It net heals from Harm similar to undead

That said, I think the sheer fact it has negative healing means it should absolutely be treated as undead as far as healing and positive/negative damage goes, completely ignoring the thought exercise above.

However, what about effects that negative healing wouldn't address AKA not healing or positive/negative damage related? Should it be treated as both undead and living at the same time, instead of one or the other? Should that even be possible? It's a rather new and unique occurrence if so.

Honestly if nothing else, I'm just curious about this now: How would you all make a spell like Chill Touch interact with...

Chill Touch would do both effects, per RAW. But really, this "it's undead but not really" statement is just jank and doesn't work out correctly.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
It's sort of interesting that the basic complaint as the start of the thread is "ancestry implies you have ancestors, which isn't really the right term for poppets, and skeletons, and leshies, and fleshwarps, and automatons, and maybe conrasu- so is there a better term?" and we somehow ended up in the old "race vs. ancestry argument" that got thoroughly ended during the PF2 playtest, when "race" is absolutely not a better term for skeletons, automatons, poppets, fleshwarps, etc.

To which I would then fire back "And Ancestry is better?"

It's really only superior in terms of english pneumonic correlation (ABCs) and aversion to sensitive topics (because we should really consider banning the word "race" from the English language at this point); objectively speaking, it's synonymous with race in a casual conversation, which kind of defeats the purpose of it somehow being a better term.

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Temperans wrote:
Species and creature type master race (this comes out weird in this discussion) but hey it is what it is. But yeah, there will always be complaints regardless which word is used.

"Species" still implies some form of living being, which Skeletons, Moppets, etc. aren't (technically), so that rules it out.

I do like "creature type" as a means of identification, given how expanded PC options are these days, since it better encompasses the broad aspect of things, and is far more appropriately technical. Really, the only hang-up people might have with it is that it's not as elegant as a one word definition, but I find that with how broad the concept it, finding a single word to encompass it seems an insurmountable task, even if Paizo attempted to do so via Ancestry.

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siegfriedliner wrote:
I don't suppose we can bring this back to the very important if somewhat semantic question of what to call a diverse range of different types of beings in the speculative next interation of pathfinder.

We could, but honestly, all has been said on that matter that doing so is circular. As for it being important, that's a matter of perspective.

Sure, the other discussion is also circular, but it hasn't really reached a definitive end or conclusion, either, by comparison.

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nephandys wrote:

I noticed the Gray Maiden Plate Armor in Shadows at Sundown. It's Full Plate with only 16 Str requirement, 3 Bulk, and costs 35 gp. So -2 Str req and -1 Bulk from Full Plate and it only costs 5 gp more. It's not listed as Uncommon or Rare and has no Access requirement. This seems out of bounds power-wise to me and at a minimum it should have either the Uncommon/Rare tag or need to be a Gray Maiden to Access. It's always possible I'm missing something in my reading. Did anyone else notice this and what do you think?

Gray Maiden Plate

Seems absurd considering that another similar armor, Hellknight Plate, is just Uncommon Full Plate with a cooler name behind it, and some ancillary benefits if you took some specific Hellknight dedications. But nothing as finite and absolutely a power creep as this.

That being said, it seems likely that this should be a Rare tag with an Access via the Gray Maidens, or a Dedication requirement.

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ikarinokami wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

PF2 addresses some of the linear/quadratic issues by reigning in spell slots and high level powers... but I mean in terms of narrative capabilities and horizontal expansion, a high level caster still blows a fighter out of the water.

The biggest change is that the Fighter is now the undisputed king of Fighting and baseline skill options for most classes have improved.

It's much harder for a spellcaster to invalidate a martial... and in extremely combat focused games fighters will probably dominate, but especially at high levels some of those fundamental problems still exist, because spellcasters still expand outward much more than noncasters.

I don't think i agree with this. clerics are amazing, but I don't think magic is overall that amazing save for like wish. personally I think rogues and investigators with master and legendary skills can do way more than spells.

magic has very much become MMO magic. it's not underpowered, but it's very balanced, it's good for certain things like clearing out hordes of trash, or making it easier for the fighters and barbs to do their things. Casters even with the uncommon spells don't pose much of threat to the game narrative. high level rogues, now they do, some of those legendary skill feats are flat out crazy good.

Wish has the illusion of being powerful, but it actually isn't. Really, it's only as good as spells like Remove Curse, Dispel Magic, etc. Every other 10th level spell in the game has more use than Wish, et. al. does. Time Stop to buff up and get into a favorable position? Heck yeah. It's like Time Jump, but way, way better. And Time Jump is amazing for a 3rd level spell as-is. Enemy spellcaster throws something at you that you just can't protect against? There's always Nullify. Sure, you're taking up to 10D8 damage, but it's probably a heck of a lot less worse than whatever spell they were throwing out. Just ask for a quick Medic to patch you up on their next turn, and you should be fine. Indestructibility, for those times where you know you're gonna take an insane amount of HP damage. Cataclysm is meh, but if you want to just throw something that might stick, it's got you covered compared to Wish, which can do nothing, or completely backfire on you by comparison. Shadow Army is a neat control ability, especially with things like Slowed 1, Enfeebled 2 (to make the bad guys less painful), or Clumsy 2 if Synesthesia isn't available, but even if it is, this affects an entire group of enemies, not just one. So yeah, Wish, et. al. is actually a trap in this edition. (It technically always was, but now it's more obviously labeled as such.)

But yeah, Legendary Skills are far more impressive and reliable by comparison to Spells in this edition. I can just leap off of giant mountaintops and not die (Feather Fall only does so much), climb things without any need to worry about anything, while fending off potential vultures. (Yes, spellcasters have Fly, but again, not constant, and requires actions in-combat to maintain. Other forms of airborne-ness are just plain unfeasible.) I can just not breathe or eat or sleep anymore. (Not one spell encompasses this, not even Wish can.) I can hide in plain sight with no means of detecting me besides a Seek action, moving just as fast as anyone else in the group. (Disappearance does this, but isn't anywhere near as constant, and won't have as high of Stealth modifiers compared to a Rogue or Investigator if taken as skill feats themselves.) I can use any magic item I want with a passable check, meaning I can just use a spellcasters scrolls or wands or staves as needed, all without having any spells. I can stand up as a free action. So much crazy stuff that Skills can do that Magic can't even come close to replicating on the same level that Magic is pretty pitiful this edition. Short of crazy spells like Synesthesia or Heal, spells are just...blah.

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pauljathome wrote:

This point has probably already been made but I only dip into this thread from time to time as I mostly find it fairly tedious.

Let us assume that Wish said ONLY the following

A wish spell can produce any one of the following effects.
1) Duplicate any arcane spell of 9th level or lower.
2) Duplicate any non-arcane spell of 7th level or lower..
3) Reverse certain effects that refer to the wish spell

Would people still take that as a 10th level spell on a normal "I don't have particular knowledge as to what I'm facing" adventurer day?

I know that I would without hesitation. The incredible flexibility of that is more than worth the 10th level spell slot to me.

Anybody who would should pretty much drop the "But what does the other text accomplish then?" argument. As they agree its a perfectly good 10th level spell WITHOUT that text.

Some tables already run the spell like that. And I'm sure even with that, people may feel compelled to take it as a crutch.

The problem is that this is essentially houseruling the added clause(s) out of existence. The one is obviously problematic, serving as a disclaimer, but the other is a balance tool to use as compromise, and the other is designed for effects that a spell doesn't expressly cover. Such as Ice Comets.

I mean, if the GM doesn't feel comfortable running the Wish spell at their table as-is, and decides they want to nerf their impact on it's effect by simply sticking to the 3 clauses, fine. I just feel that, much like other houserules, it should be brought up in advance so the players are aware of what they're signing up for.

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AlastarOG wrote:

Options in the book have been tried tested and balanced through numerous applications of run throughs. A colossal amount of work has went into balancing them.

Designing spells on the fly is a fan of worms a lot of GM's, me included, don't want to open.

If you want to play a mage that can design spells on the flyz may I suggest Mage: The awakening? It's a great system that helps you set will to power in a typical mage way.

But for pf2e every houserule (because that is what that is) has to be weighed carefully and can expose you to Gm regret after.

That being said, you do what you want at your table, I just know if there's an option already printed that does exactly what the player wants, why not use it?

There's also a case of overthinking it, strawmanning, or simply glossing over things because reasons. Take a look at the Witch and Alchemist and tell me again that those classes are well balanced and tried through, because I can guarantee you that they are just bad, because they are built upon the worst options in the game (which are familiars and alchemical items, respectively). Some people can defend Alchemical Items, and I can see some that have use, but honestly, they are so easily forgotten that they could just not be in the game and I wouldn't care. Familiars are even worse than that. And it was decided that designing classes around these things was a good idea for power budgeting. To this day, Alchemist keeps getting buffed and buffed to make it more appealing, since from Day 1, Paizo dropped the ball on both classes.

It really isn't, depending on the spell. I technically designed Scorching Ray prior to it being printed, and other than some fine-tuning (and completely neutering the 1 action version of it), it functions relatively identical to my initial designs. It just takes a matter of understanding the power balance behind certain options at a given spell level. And given that 10th level is supposed to be the pinnacle of power, it would make sense that there isn't much restriction behind those things besides GM FIAT. Funny how Wish essentially has that kind of restriction.

Suggesting players who want to invent things for the game they play should just play different systems that are better equipped for it is like telling third party producers to make their own game. Incidentally, PF2 is a far easier system to acclimate to and adjust as appropriate, which includes things like making stuff up, compared to previous editions. The only one simpler than it right now is 5E, and that's simply because of its lack of character options/diversification, and its baked-in bounded accuracy rules.

PF2 is quite rigid in its rules scope, the odds of inventing houserules for things that don't work and end up creating problems later is slim to none. The most common thing I see for this are with things like Grapple (which tripped our group up quite a bit for the longest time) or Leaping/Jumping to strike an enemy that's in the air, but not having Flight to get up to them. Very rarely would something like Wish come up for that kind of comparison.

You are appropriating what somebody wants instead of understanding what it was that the person actually wants and finding something as close to that request as possible. These are not the same things. This means you know what the player wants more than the player does, which is patently absurd. You might as well be making their own character and their decisions for them, too.

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SuperBidi wrote:
Djinn71 wrote:
I'm pretty sure that by the wording of the Wish spell you do not need GM permission to produce an effect that is in line with the power of a 9th level arcane spell, you only need permission to exceed it.

An effect, singular. A cold-based Meteor Swarm is a bunch of effects and as such you can't do it with Wish.

You can wish for icy meteors to rain on the dragons but that's all. The GM is the only one responsible for the other effects (side effects) generated by your Wish. They can decide that the meteors don't do a single point of damage and as illogical as it seems this is still RAW.

You can't bypass the GM on the third clause of a Wish.

How is two effects (Meteor Swarm and Cold-based) "a bunch?" They're a duo or couple, at most. Nitpicks aside, this actually identifies a point of contention that stems our disagreements: Apparently, asking for a change to an effect counts as a separate effect entirely, and therefore isn't valid to work with Wish, which you claim produces only a singular effect ever. Which would then mean asking for an effect like "I wish this person back alive as a mortal" just results in reviving an undead creature back to being...well...undead. Because you asked for two effects here (resurrection and mortalfication), not one. And since you asked for the person to be back alive, they're simply back alive as they were before. Which is evil undead creature. Woohoo! This sounds like some textbook Antagonistic "Gotcha" GMing 101 going on here!

In my opinion, though, that would mean even Meteor Swarm, summoning 4 meteors down from the sky, has 4 separate areas which creates 4 separate distinct effects, which means a Meteor Swarm, by RAW, can't be Wished for since it's creating multiple effects, and not just one. You get only 1 giant elemental rock from the sky, not 4, that's 4 separate effects. This concept of "only one effect can be created, multiples don't count" discounts the idea that a given effect can't be changed or mutated in any fashion. Using the previous revive example, that means a creature made undead can't be revived as a living being in one breathe, even though the revivication serves as the means of mortalfication (because the undead creature isn't alive when resurrected either).

Now, even using the "produce an effect in-line with a level 9 Arcane/7th level non-Arcane spell," 4 giant elemental rocks coming from the sky to rain down on your foes, as a 9th level spell, is somehow not equivalent to 4 giant elemental rocks coming from the sky to rain down on your foes?

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SuperBidi wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Playing with two groups who rotate GMs regularly, I know my bounds fairly well.

I haven't judged you, just the situations you were presenting. I hope I haven't unwittingly crossed a line.

And in a similar way, I don't judge the GM situations you are describing. Mostly because I don't think a GM handling a situation badly means a player has the right to overstep.

From your words, it seems that you want some control over the GM handling of your Wish because you don't trust the GM ability to handle it properly. For me, it underlines a trust issue.

As a player, if I ever get to the level I can cast Wish, I'll certainly have a conversation with the GM on how they want to handle it and from there decide if I prepare it or not. The lack of guidelines around Wish means that you have to expect a lot of table variation.

I disagree. If a GM is handling a situation badly, players have the right to voice their concerns and frustrations to the GM instead of bottling them up and either exploding them in a negative fashion (which just creates an unpleasant experience for all involved), or nesting/encouraging mental health issues to occur otherwise (there's plenty of mental health issues in the world as-is, don't need to make more or worse ones), in an attempt to either understand or compromise with the GM about the kind of game they want to play. And just as well, a player has the right to leave that table if they find they can't reach an agreement with the GM, or no longer find it enjoyable to play. Your statement implies that players can't do this, no matter what, which isn't really fair, especially for situations far more egregious than "GM doesn't let me have my way all the time."

The reason why I want control is quite simple: It's my spell slot, is it not? A feature given to me be able to cast spells as I so desire, as described in the rules of spellcasting, and for each spell, is the definition of them being my spell slots. Not being able to cast my spells in the way I want when the rules permit me to means it both ceases to be my spell slot (because it no longer produces an effect that I wanted from it), and by consequence ceases to be something that I wanted to have happen because [reasons]. This is like me casting Fireball, but the GM saying I can't target a specific point with it because it's too powerful of an effect for that given spell level if I do, even if by the rules, it both makes sense and is permissible to do so. It's different if it's because the GM says I don't have line of sight or effect to that location because of creatures/obstructions in the way, for example, because the rules actually support that. But there's no rules excuse being provided outside of an opinion, one of which I disagree with fundamentally, and plenty of existing rules components, that they have used in their defense, actually work against them. "No printed spell functions that way, so it's not a feasible Wish?" Look at Burning Hands versus Chilling Spray, and tell me that there is no such identical compromise available in the game. Look at Heal versus Harm. Look at any Alignment-based effect and tell me that comparable opposite effects cannot exist in any fashion at a given level whatsoever because Paizo didn't invent it (yet).

At best, you can ask him what are some example effects that would be in-line with 9th level Arcane/7th level non-Arcane spells? Or you can just take your own advice and just assume the GM won't allow effects that are in-line with a 9th level Arcane/7th level non-Arcane spell, since it seems that's the obvious route to take. You don't, why not assume the GM doesn't too? I also suspect this is the route PFS would take with these spell effects, which practically neuters the spell even more than what it already is (even if by design).

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Lycar wrote:
Arcaian wrote:
But this is clearly different - Wish allows you to create an effect that has a "power level in line with an arcane spell of 9th level or lower". The question here is "does Meteor Swarm, but dealing cold not fire damage, have a power level in line with 9th level arcane spells" - if you answer yes, you have to be saying that the cold damage is the source of the increase in power level; the flexibility is being paid for by the 10th level spell slot.

You are forgetting that the flexibility already lies in being able to cast any arcane spell other then another 10th level spell, and on top of that any spell up to 7th level of spell lists you don't even have access to otherwise.

Now bending and twisting those spells on top of getting access to them in the first place may be more flexibility then the 10th level slot pays for.

The original question is: 'If in all the spells accessible by Wish, a player does find many that are a solution for the problem at hand, but not the ideal/optimal solution, is allowing the player to further bend and twist a spell to 'optimise' it covered by the Wish spell's power or not.'

Ultimately, every GM has to answer that for themselves, but I will say again, if only casters get to play that game, you are back at creating a caster/martial imbalance that PF2 tries so hard to avoid.

If that's all the flexibility that lies in Wish, then it wouldn't have the "Produce any effect in line with a 9th level Arcane or 7th level non-Arcane spell" clause. But it does, meaning that there is more flexibility involved besides what you're claiming. Is it GM FIAT, and therefore subject to table variation? Sure. But that doesn't mean the clause doesn't exist, or isn't a valid thing to ask a GM unless the GM expressly stated before hand that they will deny any such clause to come to pass. It can be argued that the GM's decision is "no effect can be in line with a 9th level Arcane or 7th level non-Arcane spell without them being actual spells," but since that is essentially nixing that clause entirely, it's practically houseruling at that point, since it means the clause doesn't exist or does nothing, either of which are paradoxical without a houserule present.

The question isn't worded correctly if the intent is to ask if they can bend the rules for an ideal/optimal solution when they are already provided a solution by the GM. By that point, several posters would have already said the GM has made their decision, nothing can change or argue otherwise, which makes it rhetorical by their definition. It's a bit of a heavy-handed question with that in mind. But really, that result can boil down more to a GM being less knowledgeable/experienced (though the less experienced might let something more egregious fly without recompense) or being purposefully antagonistic because they don't want a 10th level spell trivializing an encounter, than it is because of a preconceived notion of understanding how the spell works, and having experience of what limitations would or would not be acceptable to have.

Complaining that Casters can play that game and Martials can't is like Casters complaining why they can't ever earn Master or Legendary proficiency in weaponry or armor: It's called niche protection. Martials are far better damage dealers and skill monkeys than Casters can ever be. That's why Casters get spells to alter reality in exchange. And really, the ability to alter reality with spells is the sole draw a Spellcaster ever has in this edition. You take that away from them? There's no purpose to play them anymore from an optimized standpoint. At best they function as MCD options than they do primary class options, and that's just a feelsbadman mentality to have. In essence, they become an NPC class, because seriously, the amount of power NPC spellcasters have in this edition is beyond OP.

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SuperBidi wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The answer to my post

Your post is full of non conventional player positioning, ones that can become problematic if they are frequent.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
But in both cases, the GM is still stating what happens, and the player will either attempt to bargain

Well, it's no more bargaining, it's challenging a GM decision. It happens, but it's not at all normal. And if it's frequent it's an issue on the player side (that may come from a GM-player incompatibility, sometimes it's better to leave a table if you don't like the GMing).

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I'm far more respective of a GM's rules if they have the resources (or intent) to back themselves up than I am of a GM who decides something "just because."

Ouch, that's a bit violent (I assume you meant respectful and not respective). Sure, we all judge our GMs and there are some GMing ways we dislike. But the GM doesn't have to give you reasons on their GMing the same way you don't have to give them reasons on your playing.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I end up providing solutions for the table to use on unclear rules or corner case situations both to save time and to add extra perspective to the situation and to further rulings (even if because I do so reflexively). If the GM likes it, they might agree and use it. If the GM doesn't like it, they'll disagree and do something else. I'm generally fine with either one, since a lot of the time the GM doesn't really do anything absurd, and also because I don't have a stake in the race in question.

What you describe is a player positioning themselves as GM assistant, it's not a normal player positioning at all. There's nothing bad in helping a GM, but you need the GM consent as otherwise you are stepping on their toes.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
GM Shenanigans
Well, these are not shenanigans at all. You may dislike how a GM railroads the game or if the GM gives plot armor to their boss,...

Can be doesn't mean they are or that they will be. Playing with two groups who rotate GMs regularly, I know my bounds fairly well. So that's, like, your opinion, man.

How is asking a question about what you can do, one of which having an expectation behind it, challenging GM decisions, much less an act of violence? If asking what a GM decision is, is the same as challenging it, then a player is far more likely to simply research and know what they can and can't do instead of improvising along the way, which probably leads to way more memorable moments than just "I grab my back-up weapon and smack him in the face." It might even stump a GM who isn't knowledgeable. I've certainly done that before, many-a-time. We've turned it into a game at one of our tables, actually.

While yes, respectful is the term I should have used, I don't change my stance on the matter: A GM who knows the rules and can tell a player what they are by heart is one I'd rather be a player for, even if simply because they're knowledgeable of the rules and can tell a newer player what they are, accurately, all without having to stop the game to do so. Or even better, without me having to intervene and "step on their toes," in case they try to shirk the player or give them false information, so if they go to another table, it turns out they were playing the game incorrectly.

This is what a GM says when they believe that it's okay for GMs to do things like railroading adventures, or bias plot-armor NPCs from things that the rules say work differently, or even the classic "Gotcha" scenarios of PF1's Paladin codes. I don't consider that compelling or even fair GMing, but by your standards, it technically is, simply because the GM is the one who came to that decision, not the player. Even though a GM's justification for not liking that kind of player behavior stems from way more than just "I didn't come to that conclusion of my own volitions," which is actually the sole reason you've expressed distaste for "power bargaining" in the first place: Because you didn't come to that conclusion by your own choosing.

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AlastarOG wrote:

Darksol in your wish statement, if your gm described a dark, ominous and icy comet that smashed down and caused a heap of cold and negative damage on all the dragons and on top of that blinded them on a critical failure, would you be satisfied?

It's obviously eclipse burst instead of meteor shower, but since your wish was open ended you're either.

A: satisfied, you voiced a wish and it had a potent effect on the battlefield, it's not what YOU would have went with, but it was still meaningful.

B: entirely disagree and get annoyed that the Gm didn't go for the exact effect you wanted.

I think what superbidi and me are saying is that GM's get some leeway on wishes such as this based on their own common sense, as in scenario A.

Scenario B is the power grab scenario we are wary of, and is oftentimes emblematic of problematic behavior.

Honestly? Not very. And here's why:

An existing spell was reflavored to create something that it simply doesn't do, which is a dark comet coming from the sky. I could understand and accept it if the Negative damage was changed to Bludgeoning to compensate for the Wish request (it wouldn't do any more or less damage to the dragons, so no power grab here), and the "partial effect" clause was invoked, but none of that happened, so it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth from both a flavor perspective and a mechanical perspective. There's nothing "comet-y" about it outside of just saying "yeah, it's there, but it doesn't affect anything, it's just a heightened Eclipse Burst instead."

Furthermore, it's nowhere near as area-efficient as a higher level spell that is far more in-line with the effect I Wished for, which means there's still a bunch of Red Dragons on the way to fight us after casting it. At best, this can still be retconned with the "partial effect" clause (even if only to not trivialize an obvious encounter meant for us), but again, it's not used in this case, so still bad taste in mouth here.

What's even more interesting is that the spell would not be trivialized or even considered to be "dangerous" or a "partial effect" if the targets were White Dragons instead being affected by Meteor Swarm, for example. I'm genuinely curious why that instance would be 100% non-negotiable and unequivocally applied wholly by the rules, but the inversed instance in discussion would not.

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SuperBidi wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:
I am sorry, but I really, strongly disagree with your philosophy of GMing, SuperBidi.

It's because you haven't understood my point. All you describe is fine for me. For example, taking your examples:

"The Skeleton is clearly resisting my longsword's slashing and piercing damage, can I try and strike it with my pommel instead to do bludgeoning?"

The player asks for an action in game, and the GM gives the mechanical resolution to it:

"Sure, the sword's pommel can do that. But it isn't designed or optimized for it, so treat it like a shoddy mace, and your runes effect your attack since they're designed to work with the sword's blade."

So no power bargain as the GM is the only one to bring the mechanical resolution to the action.

Now, if in the same situation, the player question had been:

"The Skeleton is clearly resisting my longsword's slashing and piercing damage, can I try and strike it with my pommel instead to do bludgeoning and deal the same damage than usual?"

That would be very different as the player would ask both for an in game action and a mechanical resolution. And that is what I call a power bargain as now the mechanical resolution of the action becomes a discussion between the player and the GM and not the sole GM's responsability.

When the player asks:

"Can I cast a Cold-based Meteor Swarm?"

If the GM answers yes and reduces the number of damage dice to resolve the action I'm pretty sure the player would be mad because their question is carrying both an in game impact and a mechanical one. It's a power bargain.

But I feel my point is too subtle sometimes...

We knew what your point was. The problem is that we aren't simply players at your table left to accept what your ruling is, but other fellow GMs who simply disagree with the reasoning behind your rulings.

In the examples, these are all still power bargaining questions, because the player is asking these questions to see if switching their damage type on-the-fly with no rules behind it would be more sensible than what they are doing now. Since the player knows their sword is ineffective, they want to know if using their sword pommel (which isn't permissible by RAW except by improvised weapon rules at-best) would be more effective, because they want to deal with the situation better than what they already are, instead of, you know, actually having a bludgeoning back-up weapon to use.

A player asking if using their weapon improvised should be equally as effective as if it's used conventionally is just the same power bargain request as the first, but with an added expectation behind it from the player. A GM can certainly use rules to shatter those expectations, and really, the answer you gave to the first question is equally applicable to the second question with the expectation behind it.

"I don't want players power bargaining at my table" isn't much of a defense for denying an effect makes sense as the rules already account for this to begin with, and it also doesn't make sense for your claims when, in the next breath, you let a player state a wish like "I wish these Red Dragons face an immediate, frigid death," and then decide that's fair grounds for "Ice Shards Explode, They Die." (Or extremely wounded, or whatever the outcome is that results in red dragons bleeding out severely in your RP exposition.)

But when a player says "I wish an icy comet shower from the sky comes down on these Red Dragons," and a GM says "Your wish can't come to pass," compared to the previous Wish (which is far more open-ended and left to GM shenanigans), I'm not sure I see much of a difference in either Wish.

One is by ice shards in a nearby cave that don't honestly sound that effective, the other is by arcane magic manipulatively drawing comets in space to the dragons, which sounds far more effective and epic, given that well, it's a Wish spell. Both are essentially made-up shenanigans that could be expressed plausibly in the scenario, either by a nearby ice cavern, or by a nearby comet shower. In both cases, assuming the effects are somehow powerful enough, they should indeed result in the Red Dragons facing "an immediate, frigid death," one is just more specific (and cooler) about how it comes to pass. And honestly, if I'm being historically accurate, since dragons are just giant magical dinosaurs/lizards with wings, it would be more fitting that they die by random giant comet(s) from the sky than random ice shards from the ground in a cave somewhere nearby.

At best, you might conclude that the spell is forced to resort to the ice shards in the frozen cave and state the "partial effect" clause as your defense, as you deem the ability to summon ice comets from the sky too powerful (but molten meteors from the sky are totally fine I guess, because a spell for it exists?), but it's best for the GM to use existing rules to their advantage than it is for them to just decide something works because they want a specific outcome and to railroad their adventure(r)s, which is an equally feelsbadman moment for the players.

Heck, you can even say the damage from the spell, which doesn't kill them, is the result of the "partial effect" clause as well, because having a mere 9th level spell take out an entire horde of dragons is a bit overkill as well, unless they're maybe like, level 12 dragons.

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pauljathome wrote:

I think I'm getting a little confused in this argument.

Surely we all agree that
1) A wish can cast a meteor swarm. Its a level 9 spell
2) A spell where you get to choose the energy type when you cast it is more powerful than the identical spell with a fixed energy type. Note, I'm NOT saying how much more powerful, just that it is more powerful. So, a meteor swarm of varying energy types is more powerful than a meteor swarm. Maybe a lot more powerful, maybe slightly more powerful, but it is absolutely unequivocably inarguably more powerful.

So, if we agree with both of the above then what is the argument? At this point it is clearly a GM call whether it is SUFFICIENTLY more powerful to not be allowed. Who else can possibly make that judgement? Does anybody actually disagree with this?

As a (silly) couple of counterexamples, lets say that you wanted to use a wish to cast a Meteor Swarm that, in the event that the meteor swarm rolled absolute maximum damage, did one entire extra hit point of damage to one specific target for <in character reasons>. Again, clearly and inarguably this is more powerful than a Meteor Swarm. But it is such a tiny, tiny power up that most GMs would allow it. Or you want to cast a Meteor Swarm that does double damage. Clearly significantly more powerful and would be disallowed by most GMs. But in both cases its the GMs call. Who else can possibly decide?

So, clearly GM call whether cold Meteor Swarm is within bounds for a wish.

The argument is that there are plenty of in-game examples where spells of identical level that deal different types of damage that suggesting a change to a specific damage type (within the same realm of damage types) is unreasonable. Scatter Scree and Electric Arc, for example, target two creatures (or rather, Scree targets 2 areas, which usually only house 1 creature), and deals the same amount of damage, but have different damage types (electricity versus bludgeoning). Both have their minor differences (Scree more effective against swarms and battlefield control, Arc able to target in the air), but otherwise, from a pure damage standpoint, are identical. Look at Heal and Harm: Two spells that are direct opposites of each other. If only one effect existed, could I not use an inverse of it when I cast it via Miracle? Same could be done with several other Negative/Positive damage effects, or specialty Alignment-based effects. A GM can certainly rule no to any of those, that's not what's being contended. But their reasoning for doing so, which is where the contention really is, isn't really justified outside of personalized arbitration.

As for the whole "adding damage" thing, that's a strawman. Changing damage type doesn't inherently add damage, nor does it make it more powerful except by circumstances, such as exploiting weaknesses or avoiding resistances. This is like saying Holy is more powerful than Unholy because it's more likely to trigger against enemies, because there are more Evil enemies than Good enemies (if any). No, because there are far more Evil enemies than Good enemies, Holy appears to be more valuable. I can guarantee you that if that property was inverted, Unholy would be more valuable by proxy. Funny how that circumstance changes the subjective value and power of those property runes!

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breithauptclan wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

*holds phone up with dice rolling app*

You use your dice? Those are like kids' toys!

But they are fun kid's toys.

Well, other than the caltrop shaped d4s. Those are annoying.

Legos have finally met their match: Behold the mighty D4, the most deadly dice in the world, and is every bit Lego's equal.

But more seriously, complaining about rolling and counting dice, in a game of rolling and counting dice, is just plain silly.

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SuperBidi wrote:
Errenor wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:

Because it's the literal definition of what you are describing.
You create a houserule, in this case:

No, it's not and I don't:

You state a wish, making your greatest desire come true. A wish spell can produce any one of the following effects.
Produce any effect whose power level is in line with the above effects.

Nothing in the rules state that you are the one defining the effect. The GM is in charge of the world. When you make a Request to an NPC, you don't also explain the GM what would happen, you let them handle the NPC on their own. Why in that case do you need to state the wish and at the same time make the ruling on how it will be handled by the GM.

Errenor wrote:
Also, please answer the Losonti's question. It's interesting what you would say.

Well, the spell is not in line with a level 9 spell anyway. If it was in line with any other level 9 spell you would cast this one instead. It's because you want an effect stronger than any other level 9 spell in that case that you start creating your own spells.

And the fact that the spell is equivalent or worse than other level 9 spells in other situations is irrelevant to Wish as you will never cast it in other situations. So all the drawbacks of your spell are automatically cancelled. As such, it's not really a Cold-based Meteor Swarm, it's a Meteor Swarm that triggers any weakness and no resistance. Quite a higher level of efficiency.

Nobody is saying the GM can't define the effect, but stating that a player can't clearly express the intent they wanted with their Wish spell is equally absurd. And no, expressing intent is not the same thing as making a ruling.

So wait, you're really suggesting that, because of the circumstances, an identical spell of a different damage type is inherently more powerful than another spell, and therefore is an effect greater than that which you want to cast? This is like saying Electric Arc is more powerful than Scatter Scree because it deals an elemental damage type instead of a physical one, but both are spells that exist that are cantrips, and are placed at the same power level, which is a cantrip. Yeah, no, I'm not buying those shenanigans.

So if I used Wish to cast a 9th level Chain Lightning against enemies weak to Electricity, I couldn't do it because it's inherently more powerful by triggering a weakness that another 9th level spell couldn't, so I'd have to either use a different effect, or lower the spell level to accommodate that increase in circumstantial power? If I could cast a 10th level spell against enemies with Resistance, I might actually accept that compromise. But it's still a very stupid and arbitrary limitation on the Wish spell that's not listed in the spell description, because it doesn't fit either the partial effect or dangerous effect clause.

This is such a ridiculous argument that it wouldn't hold any water at any typical table. "If the effect you wanted existed as a 9th level spell, you'd have just learned/memorized the spell and cast it instead of using Wish." Thanks for demonstrating you only play with Schrodinger's Spellcasters. It sounds more like you don't run the Wish spell at your table (since they don't learn/memorize it, they don't need to after all) than it does that you've had bad experiences with the Wish spell with that mentality in mind. Even if your argument is instead "If the effect you wanted existed as a 9th level spell, you'd have just selected it and I wouldn't whine about your choice," this is just you waiting for Paizo to make it okay for that choice to exist, and you deciding that, if Paizo never publishes the spell, then it's not okay as an effect choice ever. Man, I bet if a Paizo developer had a dollar for every time a player said that, they'd probably buy out Paizo for themselves. It's also not really that defensible, because Paizo has certainly done wrong with published content, which is why errata exists. So no, saying Paizo didn't make it exist, so it doesn't exist, isn't a valid defense with a spell as encompassing as Wish.

This is even more absurd. "The circumstances you expressed are so corner-case that it would never come up in any other scenario in the game ever." Wish is specifically meant to duplicate spell effects and other effects whose power level is in line with those listed spell effects, and is designed with the flexibility of spell selection to circumvent drawbacks that come from having an incorrect type of spell prepared (such as by dealing the incorrect damage type, even with existing spells such as Horrid Wilting versus Meteor Swarm). Suggesting you can't use a spell for a primary reason it was created is the most absurd thing I've ever heard. And really, complaining about it being of a higher level of efficiency when you are burning a higher level spell slot for it is like whining that a 3rd level Magic Missile does more damage than a 1st level version of Magic Missile, when it's the same spell, but takes a higher level spell slot.

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Waldham wrote:

Hello, I have a question about the areas from effects (abilities, spells...)

Is it two dimensional, not three dimensional, except cylinder ?

If a creature is higher than the caster/opponent that create the effect didn't affecte by its effect ?

Thanks for your future answer.

All areas listed in the book are considered 3 dimensional. This means when you select an origin point for a burst, or use your own square as an origin point for an emanation, it radiates outward in all directions from that specified origin point. This includes both below or above you as well, meaning enemies using magical flight will fall if they are in your Antimagic Field emanation by being above you, or enemies with Ethereal Jaunt hiding underground from you would be popped up (taking respective damage for doing so).

You could probably ignore it for the Line area, but it's still technically 3 dimensional, since it would affect all creatures within a 5x5 cube if the line drawn intersects with it. It would also mean that creatures in the same 2D square on the battle mat, but of different elevations, would not both be affected by a given Line effect unless the Line chosen arcs upwards in a specific type of angle.

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AlastarOG wrote:
Losonti wrote:
What you're describing is a very far cry from "meteor swarm, but comets" and is also very clearly not an arcane spell. I'll ask this again, since nobody answered before: what is an effect that's in line with a 9th-level arcane spell or 7th-level non-arcane spell but isn't itself an exact duplicate of an already existing spell?

"I want this person to be brought back to life" which would be raise dead, but without the cost?

"I want this person to be in love with me" which is maybe rule as a variation of a high level charm spell but with the curse trait and a permanent duration on failed save ?

"I want this person erased from existence" which would be something like a no LOS no LOE disintegrate effect ?

Things like that is what I think this line means.

Raise Dead is very niche even for the levels it's acquired, so unless it's for an important nobility or high class figure that isn't very high in power, it's not worth it as a spell replication effect. Heck, based on RAW, you'd still have to provide the diamond component value for the chosen spell replication, since, while you utilize the action cost and components of Wish, you still duplicate the spell, which does not erase the Cost listed in the spell you duplicate. So, yeah, replicating an expensive niche spell sounds pretty weaksauce for use of a Wish spell. It also wouldn't work if you were too far away, didn't possess the material components, or its other restrictions weren't adhered to (being dead for too long, Pharasma telling you to screw off, or simply not wanting to return), meaning unless you are aware of the ramifications of what you're wanting to do (which is metagaming, I might add), it's such a trap and "Gotcha!" situation.

While people say that this Wish effect could be a Dominate effect, the problem is that this falls more under the lines of consensual mind control (that is, the person does want to be in love with them and feel like that's what they should do, even if in reality they don't have to make that choice) than it does forced mind control (that is, the person doesn't want to be in love with them, but is magically bound to follow the person's requests for love) that Dominate is usually used for. If the character you're using the effect on has high morals and is obviously against things like adultery, cheating, or just simply has no sort of feelings (or has strong negative feelings) for the caster whatsoever, the effect won't last very long (since the target will get free saves with each request and eventually just save out and no longer be affected). This is why Charm would be more effective, because it better fulfills the intended desires, and is more likely to invoke the proper result. Of course, another GM can say that forcing others to fall in love with you falls into the "produce greater effects" clause, since again, no existing spell does this effect (at least not specifically), in which case the love you're having them give you makes them love"sick," and they get an infectious disease and die way earlier than expected.

This last one definitely falls into the "produce greater effects" clause, in which case you probably caused a lot of time damage with this. It's kind of an inverse Grandfather paradox, in that your character, and every other character would be vastly changed, and in completely different circumstances, since the motivations and reasons behind certain events simply ceased to exist by demanding a big bad ceasing existence. Don't get me wrong, this would be great as an underlying theme or purpose behind a campaign, where some dufus used a Wish spell and completely ruined a chain of events from happening, and you're secretly tasked with cleaning them up, but when done as the result of trying to end an adventure cleanly and swiftly, it's just dumb and creates a lot of unneeded headache, in which case the GM will most likely pull in the "partial effect" clause and result in simply using a Disintegrate or some similar effect.

As an aside, even if we boiled the previous request down to a simple "I want this person dead," this just replicates the Power Word: Kill spell (9th level), which still requires a target to be within 30 feet of you (maybe 60 feet if you're a Metamagic Master Wizard with Reach Spell, but still a poor waste of a level 20 feat), and must still be of an appropriate level. And as you point out later, with a simple "Scry and Fry" tactic used against a simple mook (just to flex your power, for example), using Wish to accomplish this would indeed go well beyond the capacity of Power Word: Kill, since the range is 30 feet, and you need line of sight and effect to the target, which you wouldn't have while Scrying them.

Not gonna lie, all these specific requests and examples, and all of the restrictions you still need to adhere to with these chosen spells, really only reinforces the point that Wish is the worst 10th level Arcane spell in the game.

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SuperBidi wrote:

I think my words sounded more aggressive and confrontational than how I actually play it as a GM. I won't scream at a player because they ask for an alternate skill. It may become a problem if it happens too often. But most players understand quickly that asking for an alternate skill (outside Lores I may not know about) doesn't work with me and that interacting with the challenge is the best way to find alternate ways of bypassing it.

Also, I know a few players who are always up to grab some advantage one way or another, and I've witnessed a few players cheating (and they were good at it). As a GM, dealing with such players is exhausting.

In fact, the most important thing with "pushing for a houserule" is that there's an underlying question to it. When you ask "Can I make a Cold-based Meteor Swarm?" you actually ask 2 questions. The literal question and the underlying question which is: "Is the GM open to such shenanigans? Will I be able to do that again?"
Having a player testing your limits, your tolerance to shenanigans, is exhausting. You can choose to cast a level 9 Cone of Cold, you can choose to interact with the challenge and find a fun use of Wish, so why do you bring up a houserule and test how you can force it on the GM? Why do you put your GM in this position where they have to make a subtle judgment in the middle of a fight where they have so many things to handle already?

That's why I say it's an abusive use of Wish. Because for your GM, it's really hard to handle. And that's the case for every attempt at pushing a houserule. Some, like the skill example, are so common that most GMs have an answer to it. But the Wish one is so rare that chances are high your GM won't be prepared and may rule badly because of that.
If you want to make Cold-based Meteor Swarms with Wish, ask your GM outside the game, not during the game. They'll love you for that.

That is fair, but I still think it's a poor outlook on a fellow player if them asking a question about a given obstacle involving how to tackle it invokes some sort of name inscription on the GM's "poop list" in the future.

I also don't think players ask questions about tasks as a double meaning behind them as you imply, that's more of a construct of the Wish spell (which sets a precedent for future castings of the spell) than it is about learning more information about a task presented in the book/AP. If I ask if Thievery is a valid skill for a given challenge, and a GM says "Yes," "Yes, but...", or "No (because)", that's the answer for only that challenge in particular. The answers could change between challenges based on circumstances if challenges have distinct differences in them that make themselves known. Details, they are important.

As for the Wish thing, the player has to "test" the GM because the spell expressly says it requires GM adjudication for certain aspects of it's overall effect. Determining what non-existing spell effects are in line with 9th level Arcane/7th level Non-Arcane, as well as any potential misfortunes or reduced effects (such as forcing it to be Cone of Cold) from trying to extract that kind of power from Wish, is all GM FIAT, and is also very open-ended, by design. But really, a "Cold-based Meteor Swarm" isn't that unreasonable to rule as a permission provided from the Wish spell, since you can easily invoke the "partial effect" or "misfortunes" clause, such as by making it land unpredictably, reducing the number of "meteors," or reducing overall damage. It's really not complicated: I've stumped my GM with Disintegrate being used on unexpected things more than I have with Wish or even Time Stop.

You could also, as a GM, simply "ban" the Wish spell if you feel it is prone to abuse or wasting time configuring what desired effect they want, in the same vein a GM could "ban" spells like Create Food/Water in survivalist campaigns to make searching for food and water relevant to the game. But that would have to be discussed before the game starts, so players know what to expect.

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RexAliquid wrote:
Isn't physical damage defined as piercing/bludgeoning/slashing? I don't think bleed damage would ever interact with physical resistance.

The rules expressly state that bleed is a type of persistent physical damage, so it's actually piercing/bludgeoning/slashing/bleed.

Personally, I'd allow the bleed to trigger weakness if the strike that caused the bleed is from an appropriately materialized weapon/attack. It gives bleed effects a bit more value (since they don't scale very well in the later levels for PCs), and makes special materials more relevant in combat for players that double down on physicality. It's bad enough that special materials always fall behind on potency/striking runes due to level gating, crafting gating, and exclusive downtime, why kick a rule while it's down?

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I'd like to expand on Wish a bit further in another direction, and that is its use in actual play:

With how little I've had the opportunity to use it (acquired it 3 weeks ago), the Wish spell as a slot (whether it be prepared or known) is probably the worst form of consumable you can have, because it's the definitive "have your cake or eat it, never both," in the highest of stakes possible, which is where that phrasing has the most impact.

For context: If you treat the spell as if you're supposed to use it (or lose it), then it loses value by being in use (because it's a blanket catch-all spell) and gets burned too easily on things that probably didn't need it if you had better spells known/prepared, in which case when you come across a point where you did need it, and nothing else in your spell list would do, you're screwed by a poor use of the most flexible spell in the game, and there's very little you can do about it. (Wizards might be able to get away with it via Drain Bonded Item, but I don't think anything besides the 20th level feat interacts with 10th level spells in any way anymore, thanks to the errata.)444

Conversely, if you treat it as if you're not supposed to use it (and lose it anyway when you rest and re-prepare), then it's just a dead spell slot not doing anything of value for the party besides a placebo effect of "Don't worry, we still have our Wish spell, everything is fine," and given that 10th level spells are supposed to be the pinnacle of power, Wish being an iconic use of that for Arcane spellcasters, it just feels...awful to have in an actual play environment, because it's the epitome of decision paralysis. Is this the right time to use the spell? What if another better time comes later, and I don't have it with me to use then? Is there another, cheaper spell I can use so I don't have to waste it on something as stupid as walking through walls to avoid enemy detection?

Even when used correctly, such as a proper narrative tool, or being able to utilize an especially effective spell in combat, it's not a very worthwhile payoff. For a narrative tool, it's not often good, since Wish is called for usually when something very bad has happened, such as somebody being paralyzed by a Lich, or being horribly cursed, or some other crazy shenanigans. For a spell effect, as a prepared spellcaster especially, it feels like you didn't actually prepare your spells right, so you had to burn your biggest of spells to bail you out, instead of it boiling down to solid player tactics and preparation. And the thing is, if you're Schrodinger's Wizard, where you always do (or don't) have the right spells for each encounter or obstacle, the Wish spell is actually useless for them, because they don't need that blanket effect to protect themselves. There's always the narrative effect that their spells can't always replicate precisely, but a Schrodinger's Wizard can usually achieve their desired narrative effect with better spell preparation regardless of whether their spells directly or indirectly solve those narrative problems, which once again makes Wish a useless spell.

Combine that with antagonistic GMs who look for a way to screw the player over out of their precious 10th level spell slot, as well as there actually being powerful 10th level spell slots that Wish simply cannot replicate under any means (without said antagonistic GM getting involved, anyway), you're left with the following conclusion:

Wish is the absolute worst 10th level Arcane spell slot in the game, and you shouldn't have it unless you constantly need the crutch, or you like to change the narrative a lot (and often for the worse, because again, antagonistic GMs). Odds are, though, if you have acquired access to 10th level spells, it's because either the GM took pity on you (in which case you're probably never going to be in stakes where Wish becomes relevant), or you're so good that you don't need it as a crutch in the first place. Otherwise, odds are the campaign has ended in TPK because either you didn't prepare the proper spells, or because your GM made the game too hard that not even spells like Wish would save you anyway. Gotta love the gotcha scenarios, eh?

It's not an entirely surprising conclusion when put under that lens, though; it's the same reasoning behind why feats like Infinite Possibilities are horrible, because they're basically "Lesser Wish, but worse," and given that Wish is already a feelsbadman spell, taking feats to double down on that feelsbadman playstyle is just setting yourself up for failure.

Heck, even a spell like Time Stop, which I thought would be useless, actually had more use (and casts!) in actual play compared to Wish, and there was far more narrative reason for me to do so compared to a feelsbadman Wish spell. (It was technically a scroll from before I could cast 10th level spells, but I did already learn the spell from it, and the example otherwise still holds up, since I would have much rather had the Time Stop scroll than the Wish scroll.)

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roquepo wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Of course, this could just simply not be counteractable by any means except by waiting, for example, or require another 10th level slot because the counteract level is 11th now.
Personally I would deal with this situation exactly like this. There is no reason for an effect that is there just for narrative purposes to be subject of normal rules. If a player gets cursed as a byproduct of a Wish spell used to, let say, destroy a mcguffin artifact, I don't see why that curse has to work like any other normal curse in the game. If it is purely for roleplay, who cares about how tight the rules are?

The problem is that Wish is designed to function as both a narrative tool (many effects requiring the spell by name to negate or counteract it), as well as a mechanical option (replicating desired but unavailable spell effects), and both the GM and player need to come together to decide both what sort of effect it's meant to function as (again, either a narrative tool or a mechanical option), and to determine what the effect actually is. In short, if the player and GM can't come to terms with these effects, then Wish will always be a contended spell. Either the GM will be ran over by the player, or the player will be ran over by the GM (and decide never to cast it again, or that Wish is a useless spell made useless by the GM). In regards to consequences, anything that has unseen or long-term consequences should best be hidden until it's appropriate to reveal, but they also shouldn't be surprise "gotcha" moments, either. "Oh yeah, your Wish spell destroyed the evil macguffin, but it ends up killing your character in the process within the next 24 hours! Hahahaha! And fat chance another Wish spell will fix that!"

If I were GM, I would ask that if a player was thinking on using the Wish spell (or whatever is the equivalent to the other traditions), to look up comparable spell effects depending on what their desires are. If, for some reason, the spell doesn't quite cover what their desire is (such as not having a spell that appropriates it, or by wanting a separate desired effect of an existing spell), then we get to the "debate" portion of the effect, which is where the spell is discussed more as a narrative tool more than it is a mechanical option, in which case, that largely depends on how they word their wish.

Let me give you a real play example that I almost pulled off (but decided against because it seemed a poor use of that spell slot): We were infiltrating an off-limits area, and I came across a sealed room with no apparent means to open it. Since we were under patrol watch (they didn't arrive yet, but were on the way), and thereby pressured, I almost considered using the Wish spell to give me what I needed to go in and gather information. The wish I was wanting to use? "I wish I could move through walls undetected." The closest spell effect to this is the Ethereal Jaunt spell, which is a 7th level Divine and Occult list spell, which only lasts for 1 minute (and requires concentration to do so). As such, it's well within the limits stated for Wish. So, my 10th level spell slot would have let me move through walls for 1 minute while requiring concentration to do so. To put it bluntly, this is a pretty bad use of the spell, and I'm glad I decided against it, simply because I found another way through with a lower level spell (Dimension Door by peeping through the keyhole). Since the plan was to infiltrate rooms to search, being able to move through walls for only 1 minute simply wasn't feasible. The worst part is that technically speaking, as a character, I probably wouldn't know that, and would have still gone through with it knowing that later down the road I made a horrible mistake.

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RexAliquid wrote:
Engaging and interacting with the world and telling a story is much more desirable than solely interacting with the mechanics of the game.

Sure, but the problem is that you have GMs who think a player asking a genuine question like "Is Thievery a valid use for overcoming this task by using it for X/in X manner?" is simply trying to do badwrongfun by said GM via "cheesing the skill system", and since the GM has been scarred by that "oppressive" behavior in the past, the GM then shuts them out immediately, and then said player will either lash out in frustration (a bad thing to have happen at a table due to both wasting theirs and other players' time and energy accomplishing nothing but anger towards the game), submit to the idea that they can't contribute to the table without a GM's explicit "You may" (in which case you might as well be a GMPC at that point), or simply leave the table because they realize that particular gaming environment isn't for them (the only valid option there is, but counterintuitive if you wanted to play a game). Yes, no gaming is better than bad gaming, but that's just a defeatist stance, because it decides to acknowledge that there is no "good game" to take place, either.

I mean, it's not to say that such things don't happen at tables (again, the closest we got was Automatic Bonus Progression with the Magus' Arcane Pool abilities in PF1, nothing in PF2 has come close), but if you're genuinely trying to have said player at your table, it should take more than a simple honest question for you to shut down and send away players, especially if you aren't sure they are asking the question sincerely or for malicious purposes. Otherwise, you're just as hurtful and unhelpful as the same person you're afraid of threatening your table.

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AlastarOG wrote:

I guess we've been hurt before and we're not ready to trust again ?

For wish effects specifically however, while I do agree that they can be used for powerful narrative effects with added costs and curses or whatnot, this should not be a ''once a day'' thing because then that just means that your PC's are just learning remove curse (or restoration, or another wish to restore the destroyed magic item) to deal with the aftereffects of their daily spell slot doing more than its supposed to.

This is why I am very wary of allowing these to do anything outside of established materials, because they DO have that ''solve any problem for a great cost'' potential ON TOP of being a good flex spell to cast everyday for added versatility. They're already great! They don't need to be made even better by allowing you to cast a meteor swarm with slashing damage instead of bludgeoning and cold damage instead of fire damage (I assume most GM's would say no to it doing good and cold iron damage, but that would be well within the scope of effects described by other posters as allowed).

If my player wanted a specialised meteor swarm, I would simply suggest that we make it a 9th level eclipse burst, samish range, samish zone, samish damage. If the player would balk its probably because they want to do the grouping of meteors on a huge enemy, at which point I would just say to actually freaking cast meteor swarm, but then they would say ''well I wanted to exploit the cold weakness'' to which I would answer ''well sucks to be you, pick one'' because at this point its legitimately trying to have your cake and eat it too.

Sounds like something a macguffin is meant to accomplish if we need stakes like that, in which case that's a whole different power scope compared to what the assumed power level of this effect is.

Otherwise, if we are at the point where it's commonplace, we're 19th level minimum: We are the pinnacles of our power, to suggest that we can't do anything with that power because then it has no payoff or consequence is both false and absurd. Plenty of effects or issues stem from Wish et. al. Having to choose between using it or saving it for another situation is still a matter of consequence, especially if we're expected to use Wish to counteract several specific effects that demand it in particular.

And really, a GM expecting the worst out of their players and their mentalities all the time does not sound like a fun or equitable table experience.

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Fumarole wrote:
Being able to take a shielded tome into a situation where a shield would be suspect is not useless. Combine this with spirit sheath and your magus is fully prepared for combat while not appearing to be.

This is a pretty niche benefit and feels more like for GM tools than anything. Players aren't very likely to build towards always looking like they are helpless just to trick hapless fools or infiltrate neutral zones undetected.

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AlastarOG wrote:

Different tables have different tables, but I've had players arguing for 45 minutes that their interpretation is the only valid one and making the game a nightmare for everyone.

I don't play with them anymore, but its happened on more than one occasion. One of the perks of pf2e is that most things are pretty clear cut so as to disallow those annoying players from using ''things that aren't clearly labelled'' as a way to ignore set rules or simply have it their way.

Most of the time I've noticed these kinds of players don't play pf2e or dislike it as being ''too rigid'' which... you know... win win ?

The only time our group did anything like this was in PF1 with Automatic Bonus Progression and the Magus abilities, and it was honestly lame when we finally came to a conclusion. We've never come across that in PF2 yet, so as far as I'm concerned, this is a better rules set for avoiding that sort of thing.

But really, I presume that the people playing the game are adults. A simple "Can I use Thievery to un-stuck the door instead?" shouldn't be met with daggers and frustration from the GM straight out of the gate like Superbidi and you are suggesting is the norm. Otherwise, people won't ask questions or feel like participating, and it could be that they are asking because they want to participate, but reasonably can't due to not having the opportune skill to do so.

If you feel that the player's question or request is unreasonable, an equally simple "No, the skill is ineffective for this specific task." should suffice in deterring them from "cheesing" their skills, if you feel that is what is happening. And if that's not enough, then proceed to daggers.

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Arachnofiend wrote:
There's a pretty easy fix for Raise a Tome I think; instead of providing the +1 to RK, it just lets you RK as part of raising your shield-tome. Combining actions is always valuable, especially for a class as action starved as the Magus.

Would definitely be awesome, but unlikely since Magus already gets a feat like Magus' Analysis, which is already good because it recharges spellstrike when succeeding on the check.

The worst part is Raise A Tome's shortened description talks of "expediting your studies," but then doesn't actually make your "studies" expedited by reducing actions required for your "studies."

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Yeah, I feel like Tower Shields are way too niche for them to be viable combat options, and require too much to be at the same effectiveness as any other shield item. They're about as niche as Bucklers, and really, Bucklers are bad because they still effectively take a hand to use while raised even though they were written to somehow not do that, which doesn't give you any benefit compared to just having a shield in that hand in the first place. (You can still hold an object in the hand of a normal shield.)

Honestly, the only time a Tower Shield becomes viable is if you have access to a feat like the Fighter's 12th level Paragon's Guard, where you just spend 1 action to have a constant shield-raised benefit, thus you're back to "normal" shield activity compared to any other shield wearer; you "raise" (or more accurately, press) for another +2 as your final action, giving you the +4 AC that puts Tower Shields over the top compared to standard shields. Heck, the fact that Champions can't properly wield Tower Shields until 20th level by requiring a feat and a Blade Ally specialization makes it pretty OP, I guess.

That being said, it's still pretty sad compared to the viability it had in PF1. Right now, it's so clunky to use, and has zero item support, that it's just not viable under any circumstance. I would have settled with a simple +3 AC bonus, weighing 3 bulk, with the only option that gives more is pressing against an actual surface/structure of total cover (making the press tactic still useful by comparison), while keeping everything else (even that pesky movement speed penalty) as-is.

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FeudForThought wrote:

So, I have been looking at the Magus class quite a bit, and something that has been a sticking point for me is the Raise a Tome feat and the subsequent feat Shielded Tome.

Raise a Tome looks like a worse option compared to just picking up a cheap wooden shield, plus it has the possibility of creating an utterly devastating new player experience when a first-time player uses this with their spellbook and turns off their spellcasting by accident.

Shielded Tome... I don't even see how it's useful at all. It staples a book to a shield so you can use the stats of the shield while holding the book.

But there aren't any books that have an effect while you are holding them to my knowledge, so it's a feat that lets you turn a book into a real shield... instead of just using a shield in the first place!

Raise a Tome lets you gain a +1 to Recall Knowledge checks while holding the book, but is it *really* worth two class feats to get a situational +1 boost to a skill known to have balance issues?

My read on these feats is that they are trinket-text feats that seem to be designed to be thematic with little to no actual function beyond providing an aesthetic.

Can anyone here provide examples of how either of these feats might be useful? They seem to be utterly awful, and I feel like there *has* to be something more to them...

What am I missing?

It's even worse when you consider that a Magus actually has a Sparkling Targe specialization, which requires shields, which means feats like this don't actually work with the specialization. I mean, maybe Shielded Tome could work, but that still requires having a dead feat, for at least 2 levels, if not forever, and feats are supposed to do things that are meaningful for the character (otherwise they're not really feats). It might have made sense if either A. Shields actually had proficiency requirements (they did in the playtest) and Magi didn't have any, or B. Magi don't have a shield-oriented specialization. I mean, sure, the Sparkling Targe synergies would actually function with the Tome feats, but as you point out, there's no reason to use them compared to just an actual shield outside of the +1 bonus to Recall Knowledge.

In my opinion, these Tome feats would have been better spent working with the Shield cantrip in particular, such as by either counting as a separate source for the Shield cantrip, letting a Magus double-up on it, in a sense, or utilizing its effects for an actual pseudo-Shield "item," by giving it an artificial hardness when used in such a manner, instead of the garbage that it is now.

Those feats are probably almost on par with Armor Assist, Sow Rumors, and all those other little knickknacks that are almost pointless text: They're only as good as the table that would actually utilize them effectively. So, even if the feat(s) was/were "functional," if the table doesn't use the associated mechanics appropriately (or too well), that artificially improves or lowers the value of said feats.

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Spamotron wrote:
My big hope is that the expanded crafting rules have a fix for: "this item is super cool and really fits my character concept, but, it has a fixed DC and will be obsolete in two levels," problem.

Even an optional rule for this would be nice. Maybe it will be the next Free Archetype.

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SuperBidi wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
it really depends on the senses being used to detect the creature

I quote this sentence because it's just plain wrong. You don't need to detect the creature at all, you can even Dispel Magic on an undetected creature. For example by targeting the decoy of a Mislead.

Another example: A creature casts Bless and you are aware of it. Then it moves behind a wall, so you have no more line of effect nor line of sight on the creature. You can target the effect of Bless on a creature you have line of sight and effect on and dispel it. So you don't care if you can see/hear/touch the creature, it's just irrelevant.
Moreover, you rarely use sight to detect effects. If your friend is under Dominate, you'll use Sense Motive, if you are under the effect of Bane, you don't even use a sense beside your ability to know you are affected by an effect, if the enemy casts Bless and you recognized it, you don't use a sense again you just use your awareness of them having cast Bless.

This whole discussion on "senses" is pointless in case of Dispel Magic. You can force the player to locate the creature using a precise sense, but it's a houserule, not RAW.

Errenor wrote:
Also, an effect can't be Hidden, only creatures can. And creatures aren't targets of Dispel.
Yes. From an extremely legalistic point of view, there should never be a miss chance to Dispel Magic as it doesn't target creatures.

If you can't detect the creature, which is also where the effect is located, because the spell affects the creature, and is the effect, then you can't be sure that they went invisible until you see further activity from an unseen source, at the very least. If a creature simply casts Disappearance and tries to run away, how are you going to be aware that they simply didn't just Dimension Door out without further information telling your character what precisely just happened, such as from Recognize Spell, or from a Perception check succeeding at their Stealth DC and picking the right burst or cone area to investigate? I highly doubt metagaming and targeting an effect that you aren't certain is or isn't there, is an intended way to run a spell, suggesting that it is doesn't really help your case much.

Just as well, I don't buy that spell effects can't be hidden (not necessarily like the condition, but hidden in general), otherwise spells like Charm don't actually work as intended, and feats like Conceal Spell and Silent Spell actually don't do anything that they're intended for. Sure, the spells need to explicitly call that out, and you probably need feats for it to apply to any given spell, but saying it can't be done under any circumstance, especially if spells and feats make it so, is just plain wrong too.

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Perpdepog wrote:

I'm personally hoping for some archetypes that focus in on using certain kinds of items. A wand-focused archetype would be amazing.

There is also just the joy of getting and finding new stuff. I also get inspired by item descriptions to make characters, and they can also serve as adventure seeds for GMs. This is especially true of artifacts but not always.

Equipment-specific Archetypes would make sense, in the same vein as Talisman Dabblers, Trapsmiths, etc. Wands are just begging to get an archetype about them at some point, and this could be a good book to do it in. Maybe the basic dedication (we'll dub it Wand Focuser) lets you substitute a spell slot of equal or higher level to focus the magical power into the wand to "stabilize" one that's already Overcharged, so that you can recast it again without making a check or risking breaking it, with feats expanding upon what Wands can do for you, or reducing the risks of Overcharging the Wands, etc.

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I really hope more attention is paid to the overall budgeting of the "newer" items this time around, instead of the options just providing more of the same (or worse) junk.

For context: A lot of the Uncommon/Advanced weapons that came out in new books were strictly worse than most Common/Martial weapons. Now, Common/Uncommon isn't (usually) an indication of an increased power level, but Advanced should definitely be more powerful than Martial options, and actually warrant the feat costs for it sometimes, not unlike the Flickmace that floats that line pretty well (although it being tied to the Gnomish ancestry makes it more cheesy than what it is). It would be nice to have some visibly clear differences demonstrating why such weapons should be Advanced compared to a Martial weapon, and the options being sweetly balanced behind the proficiency gating, instead of having to crunch the numbers and realize the option is just strictly worse and isn't worth investing feats towards under any circumstance.

Armor and Shields definitely need more expansion and rebalancing (especially heavy armor for Druids; would be nice for a CRB errata to let Druids wear any proficiency of armor, but have the same restrictions as before, so Druids can wear that sweet, sweet Stoneplate or Dragonhide Full Plate), and I hope that they implement a lot of the more "natural" materials for these items, like the aforementioned Stoneplate, some sort of Bonemail, a Leaf Armor maybe, etc. Bonus points for a "Haz-Mat Suit", a Medium (or Light) Armor that gives a +3 bonus in place of your Constitution for Saves versus Disease and Poison, but I would understand if not for obvious reasons.

The Tattoos I don't care for that much, since it's pretty niche as-is, but it would be nice to actually have low level options for the Tattoo Artist feat to work with when picking it up and leveling with it, instead of it being dead for the majority of the game. After all, if Tattoo Artist actually has some interesting options, people would be more inclined to take the feat(s) for it.

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breithauptclan wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

I won't necessarily speak for Squiggit, but I can say that a player can certainly like the flavor of a Witch hexing their enemies, but hate how poorly those mechanics were executed, and I am obviously in agreement with that in regards to the Witch, because it is literally a complete 180 from what players were wanting or expecting the class to be.

Witches from PF1 were not iconic because of Familiars, they were iconic because of Hexes.

MmmHmm. Not going to say that Witch doesn't need some mechanical help.

But if your character concept is someone who is slinging around hexes, why not use a Hag Bloodline Sorcerer? Your first focus spell even has the word 'Hex' in it.

I can certainly see where Paizo got their inspiration for designing Hexes for the Witch in PF2; that Focus Spell is extremely bad compared to most other Sorcerer Focus Spells that are actually pretty decent. Yikes.

As for why not, it's simply because you're suggesting that a class that is specifically designed to be slinging hexes around is actually worse at slinging hexes around than a class that has a "subclass" choice to do so.

The fact that this is the case is just a fundamentally bad thing to have, which is precisely what Squiggit and others were getting at by bringing up liking a class' themes, but hating its design and execution. A Hag Bloodline Sorcerer, a Bard, and now also probably the Psychic, are better Witches than the Witch.

This would be like having Fighters, Barbarians, Rangers, and Gunslingers a better Martial than Swashbucklers. The worst part is, they totally are, and many people dislike that being the case, and often cite Swashbuckler mechanics and expectations as the reason for this coming to pass.

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SuperBidi wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
While this is all pretty sound by RAW, as a GM, I would still be inclined to warrant a flat check, simply because the effect is tied to the creature. If the creature isn't precisely pinpointed (because of the effect), neither is the effect, by comparison. Unless you have a precise sense on them, they aren't precisely pinpointed. Dispel Magic isn't an area of effect anymore, and does have a target line.

And that's fine. I was also expecting such a ruling from the GM. As a GM, I could make such a rule if the character is targeting an effect on an invisible target and that effect would be masked by Invisibility, but not if it's Invisibility itself as I find you are perfectly aware of the effect and can hardly be more aware of it (as any effect that sees through Invisibility would actually make you less aware of the effect instead of more aware of it).

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Just as well, Visible Invisibility sounds like an oxymoron. Suggesting an oxymoron is all you need to be able to dispel an effect is dubious.

Invisibility has an effect on your vision, it is "visible". It's an oxymoron but is also really true.

Anyway, visibility doesn't seem to be the proper sense used to Dispel Magic as most spells aren't visible. It would make the spell unusable otherwise.

Except by your arguments, that would make no sense, simply because an effect being based on sight, as you claim, does not affect your ability to, you know, affect it, with Dispel Magic. Furthermore, See Invisibility has a specific call-out stating that Invisible creatures are translucent shapes, meaning if the shape you see after it casting a spell, or an entity simply appearing, is described as that, you would most likely know that is from the result of See Invisibility, which tells you that the creature is Invisible. The real problem can then stem from if the creature is naturally invisible (in which case Detect Magic does nothing), or if the creature simply cannot be detected by usual means (as in the case of Disappearance).

Sure, artificially altering what others see (which would be the lack of your form being present) by modifying your own being would constitute an effect of a spell (which can also simply be an illusion, I might add, which See Invisibility would not help with), but in terms of being aware of that, it really depends on the senses being used to detect the creature, and if you know from character knowledge that an effect is indeed in place. After all, Abilities which give you senses usually describe what you use to locate creatures and such with said senses, and if it's a precise or imprecise sense. If I am given a precise sense of echolocation, which lets me hear minute noises and breathing, I can still pinpoint a creature's exact location with it (largely because it's precise), but that doesn't mean I can see the creature with my other precise sense (sight), which means I am still unable to actually see said creature. And that's nothing short of having a spell memorized/prepared, with a Recognize Spell feat for good measure.

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breithauptclan wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

breithauptclan wrote:
If you don't like Witch, play a Bard or Sorcerer or Wizard.
The problem becomes when you do like the Witch (or whatever) but playing a Druid or Bard is still the right option because Paizo was worried about someone having too much fun.

I am honestly very confused by this.

The point of my comment was that if you don't like the Witch mechanics, then play a similar class that will adequately represent your character.

So saying that you do like the Witch mechanics, but you don't like the Witch mechanics - and also don't want to represent your character with a different class...

I'm not sure what you are trying to say.

I won't necessarily speak for Squiggit, but I can say that a player can certainly like the flavor of a Witch hexing their enemies, but hate how poorly those mechanics were executed, and I am obviously in agreement with that in regards to the Witch, because it is literally a complete 180 from what players were wanting or expecting the class to be.

Witches from PF1 were not iconic because of Familiars, they were iconic because of Hexes. Who played a Witch in PF1 because they had a Familiar option? Nobody. Yes, even the Iconic Witch in PF1 had a Familiar, but it wasn't really the forefront of the Witch's features or capabilities, and the Iconic would probably be just as potent and capable with or without it. Who played a Witch in PF1 because they had Hexes? Everybody. It was literally their primary (and consequently, most powerful) class feature, so it makes sense that people would engage in what is their primary feature of the class, and people absolutely liked it (or hated it, depending on which side of the GM screen you were on, and if your dice were good or bad to you in those moments). Ergo, Paizo decided to drop the ball in PF2 and say Witches were the Familiar class, not the Hex class.

Familiars were garbage since well before Core, and it was an agreed-upon design decision from the Paizo developers that the Witch, who already had a previously established flavor of being a Hex Master, slinging curses that debilitate their enemies, should be a Familiar Master instead, a feature that is probably the lowest powered in the game, and doesn't even have any innate combat capabilities without some finagling or hoopla about it. It might have been viable if Familiars were as useful and versatile as their PF1 counterparts, but currently? Not a chance in Asmodeus' domain.

I mean, I won't say that Hexes weren't borderline broken in PF1 (looking at you, Fortune, Misfortune, and Slumber), but PF2 certainly had the tools and capabilities to rebalance them in a way that made them functional without them being game-breaking. Fortune/Misfortune can be a 1/day thing. Slumber can have the Incapacitate trait. And so on. Even a lot of the current implementations aren't bad, such as Cackle being a Focus Point to maintain a spell effect as a Free Action, and Patrons providing a Hex unique to them. But it just isn't enough to make the class stand out or fill the niche it was obviously intended to fill. Bards were the best buffers in the game in PF1. Witches were the best debuffers in the game in PF1. Now bards are both the best buffers and debuffers in PF2, and the Witch is just...there, doing a lot of the things other classes do, but worse, and for what? To have the word "Witch" written across the Class portion of your character sheet?

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SuperBidi wrote:
YuriP wrote:
OK but did you at last made a flat check? Because at last the effect is hidden.

No, I didn't. You don't need to target a creature to Dispel Magic, you need to target an effect. As such the notion of Hidden doesn't apply.

For example, if a creature casts Bane and I'm affected by it, I can target the effect on me, on my square, and remove the spell on them, on their square.
You don't need vision or whatever to Dispel Magic. You need to be aware of the effect.

Now, the GM has a say about how much you are aware of the effect. But knowing the square of the creature and considering that the spell has a very visible effect there's no reason to ask for any kind of flat check. And anyway, it would be GM interpretation, not RAW.

While this is all pretty sound by RAW, as a GM, I would still be inclined to warrant a flat check, simply because the effect is tied to the creature. If the creature isn't precisely pinpointed (because of the effect), neither is the effect, by comparison. Unless you have a precise sense on them, they aren't precisely pinpointed. Dispel Magic isn't an area of effect anymore, and does have a target line.

Just as well, Visible Invisibility sounds like an oxymoron. Suggesting an oxymoron is all you need to be able to dispel an effect is dubious.

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