My impression of the playtest material was that someone was trying to recreate the Warlock's Eldritch Blast from Complete Arcane, but losing all the fluidity and ease of play you get from the various blast Invocations and tacking on a bunch of things you don't care about like detecting magic. (I mean, detecting magic is something Pathfinder Sorcerers can do at will and for free. We really don't need a whole system for making a 4th level version of it.... heck, we don't even want players the option to blow a slot this way because it's a huge waste of a slot.)
So if you want to see Words of Power evocations done right, just look at the Warlock from Complete Arcane. I mean, the numbers of spells you can actually create is really quite limited unless you want to be tossing around effects that you could have had many levels ago and burn higher level slots to juice them up a little. This means the entire document could just be replaced by those small numbers of spells because the value of being able to change a crappy damage effect to a slightly bigger or even different area for a higher level slot is actually worse than just using a higher level spell that is better in all ways.
You must have been reading some other thread because no on has offered a build that can do the three things being proposed at the same time:
1. Protect the wizard and make monsters not just ignore the fighter (thus filling a tanking role). The level 20 build offered can't make the check to hold the the CR 20 monsters... at best a TWF build can get a round of attacks while the monsters take a move and then fly or teleport.
2. Have a massively high AC so that thing only hit on a 20 basically.
3. Do a massive amount of damage and kill a level-appropriate monster in one round.
Now, there are builds that do one of those things.... and none that do all three.
On the other hand, I showed how a single Wizard or a group of Wizards can beat three challenges that were offered (though they might take small amounts of damage or lose more spells than is deemed efficient). This led to pages of arguments as people who didn't read Scent tried to tell me it did things it didn't and a whole argument about house-ruling Charm. It's interesting to note that no one mentioned again that those were wins for Wizards.
Now, the way to do the argument is to set the challenges beforehand and then offer the builds. The problem is that even my suggestion for builds led to half a page of flaming.
For some reason people think that because people are arguing that Wizards are better than fighters that it's some kind of argument that Wizards can do anything. We are instead arguing that focused for those three roles, the Wizard is better.
They also seem to think that "you get surprised and lose initiative and so take two rounds of attacks" is somehow a fair scenario for any character. I mean, even a tricked out Fighter is going to get torn apart in that scenario.
"Asking for a build" is flamewar bait because you can tailor a build for any scenario and tailor any scenario to beat a build. That's what I've learned here.
The "auto-win" spells are rarely spells that directly cause an enemy to keel over. Sure, some of those spells do work that way, but they are only auto-win when you are targeting a bad save on a monster.
The real auto-winners are ones that don't even have saves and they cause the enemy to waste actions. For example, let's say you are in a cave and are fighting something with no ranged attacks and you cast Black Tentacles. Chances are good that the enemy is now spending several turns moving towards you while you pepper them with ranged attacks. Now, some of your ranged attacks will be spells and the monsters will be making some saves against those, but the fact that you are attacking them and not facing a counter-attack is an auto-win in most people's book.
BTW, the lowest level save or die is Sleep because you Coup De Grace the enemy after they fail a save.
Also google "moving goalposts."
The problem doesn't exist because no one has ever claimed that spellcasters can cast constantly, or that they can beat everything.
Please do a google search on "Strawman Argument". Then come back.
You can bullrush yourself with the spell which is a way around things that stop normal movement or trigger off normal movement. You can also avoid AoOs. Then you take a move when you are out of range.
My only mistake was not checking a Balor's CMD. It's much higher than his own Telekinesis can affect.
My real mistake was letting various distractions derail my point, which is that Wizard are much better at meatshielding than Fighters and not that Fighters are completely ineffective or that WIzards are gods.
So offer up a level 20 fighter build that is better than a level 20 Wizard at protecting a party. That's the challenge. Then we can see how things shake out with some CR 18-22 monsters. PRD only.
If it doesn't derail into a bloody flamewar we can try other levels.
A Balor has a +28 to his check vs a base target of 24 for casting greater teleport defensively, so even with penalties his basic Casting Defensively check is an auto-succeed.
The Teleport Tactician has an AoO, which has to hit. If it hits and you can still do decent AoO damage after the Balor might fail his check.
Or he might just use his own Telekinesis to move himself in a way that it unstoppable by feats or class features and then cast where he doesn't have to make a check. Whatever.
Bored now. Thanks for making DnD boring.
What's your point?
Your non-Core feats only give the Fighter an AoO...... and none of those monsters actually fail to escape because making a casting defensively check is really easy even with those penalties AND they can still just take a move and cast.
I declare weak sauce.
Abraham spalding wrote:
Stand Still requires a combat maneuver check. The Tarn Linnorn has a CMD of 64.
What's your fighter's CMB?
A level 20 Expert with Skill Focus can have a check on Knowledge: Arcana of +22 even with an Int of 3. If he's getting a circumstance bonus due to a library or books and has a research assistant, that check goes even higher.
Sounds like a sage to me. But then, I only read the rules.
Sure, lets do level 20.
At CR 20, three of the four monsters in the PRD cast greater teleport. They move past the fighter without a second thought.
The only one left is the Tarn Linnorn. It can't be tripped, has Freedom of Movement and a fly speed of 100. It moves past the fighter and takes one AoO. It also has DR 20/cold iron so probably only takes 30 points of damage which is less than 10% of it's HPs and tiny compared to it's Regen 15.
So at level 20, the Fighter can't stop ANY CR 20 monster in the PRD from ignoring him (barring templated monsters specially designed to fail this test).
I also feel that my point has been entirely proved on the Int 3 Sage matter. The people who think Fighters can "Tank" at all also seem to think that despite having very high checks on Knowledge skills based on level and feats spent, you can't be a sage because obviously you don't know anything because you have a low Int. It's a patten of non-rational thinking that ignores evidence combined with an preconceived ideas about how the game should be played.
Sorry, but saying that Fighters are tanks because they should be doesn't change the fact that they aren't.
K, every argument you are using has tons of loopholes. Does your DM not play your monsters appropriately at all? It seems to me like all your monsters are metagamers in an RPG, endowed with knowledge of numbers, the precise nature of all their foes, and the like. I mean, you go from 'there is no way a Fighter can have an AC high enough to evade a CR appropriate attack' to 'why would a monster try to swing at the heavily armored character it's going to miss?
So intelligent monsters see fireballs and other spells coming off of enemies and can't reason out that they are spellcasters? They see heavily armored guys and can't assume they'd be harder to kill?
I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who buys that.
Remember, PCs can have INTs as low as 3 and still be considered intelligent enough to use complex and even cunning tactics. The rules don't say "Low INT characters have to use simple tactics" or that a PC with an Int of 3 can't make strategic plans or has to only attack the thing in front of him.
Remember, you can have a sage with an Int of 3 as long as he has a lot of ranks in his Knowledge (a -6 to a skill means little with you have 20 ranks and bonuses from feats and the like). Int is not actually intelligence, but more memory and patience to sit down and learn things by repetition.h
The most basic tactical reasoning would tell me that attacking the heavily armored guy is not going to be as productive as attacking the lightly armored guy, and not playing the monsters that way is just coddling your players.
Now animals do reason that way. It even makes sense that Golems and other Int 0 creature follow pre-programmed responses even when those don't make sense.
But it is clear the fighting guy's ability to "tank" is based almost entirely on DM pity. The number of abilities they have to bring to bear is vanishingly small and/or unreliable and that's a simple fact that can't be disputed. It's also a fact that lots of monsters have great movement abilities or ranged attacks that render a melee fighter irrelevant (and arguments like "hey, my fighter can use Step Up to force casting defensively and ready actions to foil spellscasting fall blatantly short when monsters can just take a move and cast). Even arguments about monster motivations fall apart under the slightest scrutiny.
But I think people have made the mistake to think that my criticism of the game is a criticism of them. I think fighting guys should be powered up to match their spellcasting peers so that DMs don't have to play monsters like MMO bots. I think it'd be great if fighting guys could actually play the role they think they are playing. I think DMs should focus more on story and less on making fighting guys think they are useful.
I think we get a richer experience for it.
You seem to be joking. Monsters intelligent enough to have language should ignore the lightly armored foes that are observably casting spells that are obviously dangerous so they can waste their actions on the heavily armored foes they can't hit?
Perhaps you are the one is not being challenged by the DM.
And yes, fighters do occasionally have the ability to actually control a monster. Rarely.
Pathdfinder made it a lot harder to successfully Trip and Grapple in their new system (and take a look at the number of monsters in the PRD who can't even be tripped).... and grappling means you aren't damaging in a meaningful way... and hoping for a crit at extremely high levels(13th-17th) when the Wizard is blasting things willy nilly and has more slots than he can use....
You're grasping at straws and seem to be basing your calculations on Hill Giants and Trolls when the enemies of the world look more like dragons.... fast and with more than enough abilities to ignore the Fighters of the world.
I mean, a demon simply teleports around a Fighter to attack whoever he wants.... a beholder fires multiply ranged save or dies or other battle ending spells.....heck, even hill giants can simply throw rocks.
My suggestion is to play in some tournaments with other DMs and other players. When there isn't a DM catering monsters to your weaknesses, the game plays quite differently.
Dire Mongoose wrote:
Quicken spell is very expensive, and by the time you can use it you shouldn't. For example, around 9th level you still need those 5th level slots.
Around 15th and 16th level when it's more viable, you can get your swift action back by wearing lesser armor and using more magical equipment for your AC. Of course, by then it's just silly because few enemies even last a full round.
Basically, unless you've found a way to get Quicken for free it's not worth it.
But the monster doesn't know what a particular Wizard can do, making them an infinitely more terrifying threat than a Fighter.
A Fighter can only kill you. A Wizard can potentially turn you into a slave, a statue, kill you, trap you, turn you into a fluffy bunny.... the list goes on and on and that's only the things they actually can do. In the setting, they probably tell much worse tall tales about Wizards.
Sure it does. Why waste attacks on a heavily armored guy who MIGHT wound you when there are scary lightly armored Wizards who can steal your soul also attacking you? Do you want to waste attacks not hitting the heavy armor guy?
Anything smart enough to see "Wizard" is not taking out the impossible to hit guy first.
Most monsters are smart. I'm not even joking. There is a good chance your griffin is as smart as your fighter. I mean, the Griffon can understand Common even if it doesn't have a mouth to speak with. It could be a playable character.
I do understand your point though, and I'd expect animals or mindless creatures like vermin to respond to the nearest and not most dangerous threat... but then I'm not threatened by vermin or animals.
2. The monster has to go around the Fighter. It can not go through the fighter. This means AoO and no charging. Pull out some miniatures and game paper and see how having an obstacle that hits you for siginficant damage can be problematic.
Pull out your own minis, dude. Walking around a Fighter is easy and all it costs you is an AoO that might not hit (heck, you might not even get that if the monster has Acrobatics). Considering that preventing you from doing a Full attack is in it's best interest I think it might do that.
The monster can also Overrun you as part of a charge, and depending how far off the RNG it's CMD is that might be a better option.
3. The Damage while casting was in response to you saying you may not worry about the casting on the defensive penalties and just take the AoO. I may have misunderstood you, but that was how I read what you were saying you were going to do. Casting on the Defensive isn't easy in Pathfinder (15+level of the spell) until you get to high levels, and even then it isn't 100%. So you always risk doing absolutely nothing on your round but being vulnerable if you fail the check.
Casting on the Defensive? Have you ever seen someone play a spellcaster?
You move and cast. Always. You do that because casting defensively is a chance to lose the spell AND you might get AoOed AND you are in range of monsters who might full attack you. None of those are good and it's better to just take a potential AoO and definitely get a a spell off.
4. If sacrificing 4 feats means nothing to you, more power to you, sir. But you can't get there until 7th level, at the earliest. And if as a wizard you don't see the value or swift actions...well then again you've burned 4 feats on armor so maybe you don't have the feats to use on metamagic anyway.
At low level you can't use much metamagic and at medium to high level you have enough feats.
Seriously, have you even looked at spellcasters?
Look, it works like this: you don't need a good check because failure simply means you take the AoO. Getting any check at all is a bonus, so if your Dex is only 12 or 14 it doesn't matter.
And as a Wizard you have a lot of skill points... far more than you can spend on useful things.
Anything I missed?
Yes, you missed the part where the Fighter can't prevent the monster from using spells or ranged attacks or special attacks. So like the main offensive abilities of like 80% of published monsters.
Yeh, you really will.
The Wizard is lightly armored and can STEAL YOUR SOUL. The Fighter is heavily armored and almost impossible to hurt and MIGHT wound you.
Taking a full attack while attacking a much more dangerous enemy that you have a chance at hurting certainly beats dying to a full attack against an enemy you can barely scratch because it's covered head to toe in Full Plate.
Anything with an Int of 3 or better will be making rational choices.
Ok, let's outline all your mistakes at one at a time:
The monster is stopping to hit me, because I'm hitting him in the face with a sword.
No he's not. He can do whatever he wants, and he actually has an incentive to not let you full attack him.
This is not an MMO and there are no hate mechanics.
Also, the monster can't charge through me, because I am an enemy, so it can move, but probably not move and attack.
Yeh, it can move and attack, even if that attack is just to attack the Fighter and then move on to the Wizard. The Fighter can't stop that because none of his abilities do that.
Then on Round 2 it can charge because the fighter is not going to be able to reposition himself in front of the monster again.
Of course, this is if the monster is not faster than 30 or flying or any other thing that makes it super easy to ignore the Fighter.
And if you damage while casting, you have penalties to cast.
Reread these rules, since they only apply when you are casting a full round spell or someone readies an action to interrupt you or you are taking continuous damage like from a spell effect.
You can cast standard action spells and not even worry about losing a spell in most circumstances (see list above).
And are you taking arcane spell failure chances in armor or have you taken 4 feats (light armor proficiency, Medium Armor Proficiency, Arcane Armor Training, Arcane Armor Mastery) and not worrying about your swift actions? Not to mention movement and armor check penalties for wearing that armor.
So? Pathfinder doesn't have any good Swift action spells and four feats is nothing when compared to the giant stack of AC you get.
Speaking of which, what is your acrobatics skill? I mean you get points for your high Int, but only 2...
Reread the Pathfinder skill rules. Cross-classing means you don't get a +3 bonus. Unlike 3.5, you don't have to spend skillpoints for 2 to 1. So at 8th level you have 8 ranks and it cost you 8 skill points.
And really, who cares? If you roll well you avoid the AoO automatically and if you fail the roll the AoO happens (and still has to hit your AC and is still pretty meaningless because even a Wizard can take a few hits).
So yeh. You think Fighters can do something they can't. They can't be meatshields unless your DM decides to play along.
And why is the monster stopping? How did you buy that round?
Basically, you are saying that the DM has stopped and decided to make your Fighter relevant by stopping the monster.
As a Wizard, you might be taking that Acrobatics check (remember, this is Pathfinder so the skill is Acrobatics and not Tumble). You cross-class it because this is Pathfinder and cross-classing is awesome AND you are a wizard and have lots and lots of skill points and you expect to be provoking AoOs sometimes.
Maybe you just take the AoO. Who cares? Taking a single attack is par for the course in combat. The monster might miss and the AoO won't stop your move. This is Pathfinder and chances are good that you have a lot of HPs and are wearing a magic mithril Breastplate.
And you never summon on round 1.... because it's a full round action and you should be buffing or using combat control to buy yourself and the party several rounds of attacks or blanket resistances to attack like blindness. Summons are just for flat damage when a monster is already boned by your other spells or you are doing a surprise attack.
Just by taking a move you can reduce a monster's attacks on you to 1-2 a round, and maybe even 0 attacks if you move faster than the monster and can consistently make a Acrobatics check, and the whole time you can cast spells.
Round 1? I don't know how you play, but monsters rarely start combat in the square next to the Wizard and still have actions for attacks.
And I'm sorry, but I must have missed the monsters with 30' reach. A single move is more than enough to get enough breathing room to cast a buff or battlefield control spell that will give several rounds of breathing room to do whatever you want. Sometimes all you need is a 5' step.
Now you have to tell me how a fighter is supposed to protect a Wizard? Unless every single combat map has a chokepoint, it's not going to stop melee attacks (and some monsters still have Reach you know) and even in a chokepoint map they can't do anything about spells or ranged attacks.
I can tell you how a Wizard does it. He uses battlefield control spells to funnel melee monsters away or puts up barriers so that ranged attacks and spells can't target him. Sometimes he casts a spell like Blink and gets a 50% immunity to physical damage AND spells.
But how does a Fighter do it!?!?!?!
Fighters can't protect Wizards. They can't control the movement of monsters, they can't force the monster to attack them instead, and only in the most contrived chokepoint maps can they even be a speedbump to a monster's choice of target. They can't even stand in front of a Wizard and provide cover against arrows or spells.
Luckily, spellcasters don't need protection. A move or a 5' step are all that spellcasters need to get the range on a monster that they need to cast spells. Battlefield control spells and even low level buffs mitigate total damage taken over a battle more than any meatshielding a fighting guy might do.
Except our whole argument is that we can replace the Fighter with another Wizard and get more soaking, leading to fewer rests and less resources wasted.
The Wizard soaks by using spells to control the battlefield, use summoned minions, giving the monsters conditions that make it hard to do damage (like blindness), or just using spells like Blink for a 50% damage reduction and 50% spell immunity above and beyond AC and saves.
Dire Mongoose wrote:
You don't have to be invulnerable to be better than a fighting guy.
Sure, as a spellcaster like a Wizard you are going to have a bad CMD..... so who cares? When you get grappled you take some damage for a round while the three other spellcasters in the party kill the thing.
People keep strawmanning this argument by saying "your Wizard isn't invulnerable" when we are talking about parties of spellcasters being better because individually any one spellcaster is bringing more to the party than any one fighting guy.
Posting a Wizard build is only meaningful if you post the fighters they are competing with too. It's especially meaningless considering that we are talking about full parties.
PS. Wizards have familiars that can scout out a lot of the dangers. I mean, how many monsters are going to suspect the crow flying overhead is the forward scout of an enemy?
Thanks for a showing a perfect example.
Poster A says: "Wizards and other spellcasters are much better than fighting guys."
Poster B says: "You say Wizard's can do everything against everything! Prove it with a build!"
Poster A says: "No, I didn't say that. Why are you stawmanning me? I just said that Wizards and other spellcasters are objectively better."
Poster A says: "Well, of course you could, but I'm not arguing that Wizards can do everything because that's obviously not true. I just said that Wizards and spellcasters are better than fighting guys in all ways."
Poster B: "See! He can't even post a build because he knows I could beat his character!"
Poster A: "OK, I'm not following this thread anymore because you are not arguing rationally."
Poster B says: "Haha! He left so I declare victory again!
There seriously is a limited number of times you need to do that before you realize it's a trap. For reference, see in the earlier part of the thread where a post offered three situations and tried to get me to beat them with one Wizard when I was talking about a party of spellcasters. That ended up not being productive.
These threads are useful at all because sometimes you get useful information. For example, there was a guy who said that he had an all martial party go through one of the APs, and that was good information.... of course, then we found that that his "all martial party" was backed up by four spellcasters and the absolute maximum amount of stat points.
It used to happen all the time, and epic flamewars resulted.
Personally, I've never seen anyone give up a deeply held belief on a messageboard. The best you can hope for it that you lay out your arguments and people use that information to look more closely at their own games.
People will either accept the evidence or they won't, and I think most gamers have learned to not bait the trolls.
On that note, I'll avoid this thread from now on.
Yeh, and a Rogue without an adamantine weapon or two at that level should turn in his toolkit and black underwear. (Heck, even a few adamantine arrows or flasks of acid would work).
Sure, some rogue-type monsters might have some issues, but that's an edge case and I don't really mind if sometimes monsters get completely boned for being weird.
How is it overpowered? A Wall of Stone is at best a 1-2 turn speedbump before the enemy puts a hole in it. At worse, it wastes one enemy's turn and the rest come streaming through the hole.
Stefan Hill wrote:
You've missed the point entirely.
The myth is: fighting guys can fight at 100% effectiveness as long as they have HPs.
I then proved this wrong. Ability damage and many other effects can reduce a fighter's effectiveness in combat. The only condition where the myth holds true is when the fighting guy is facing enemies with no abilities that grant any kind of condition.... so maybe CR 1 goblins with clean weapons (because weapons with poop on them might give the fighter filth fever and then he's taken ability damage).
It's not an argument that Wizards are innately better(though in other parts of the thread I've stated that too); it's an argument that fighting guys are equally subject to diminishing effectiveness as they face more combats.
People seem to think that in some idealized adventure they will have some super AC and have to deal with the occasional HP damage with a potion and just school everything. The truth is that even with a super AC someone is going to cast Bestow Curse on you or poison you or something and you'll need spellcasters to heal you because your fighting effectiveness is now crap.
The ten-minute workday applies to everyone.
james maissen wrote:
As I said before, the movement is unworkable as well which is why I proposed a different solution in my first post in the thread..
james maissen wrote:
I think people would just never use the hemisphere option again except to enclose themselves.
I mean, I can understand how a Fireball can be saved against. I mean it's fire following magic physics, so it might be sheets washing over a circular area inside the AoE that can be dodged..... but randomly choosing a hole is more metagaming than I'm comfortable with.
I was replying to the myth that fighting guys can fight all day at 100% effectiveness as long as they have HPs. Clearly, even CR 1 enemies can drastically decrease their effectiveness.
It's obvious that casters lose effectiveness as they run out of spells. What was your point? Did you somehow think I was arguing otherwise?
Stefan Hill wrote:
Fighting guys lose fighting effectiveness when they take ability damage since they might lose access to feats.
So when facing CR a 3 shadow or a CR 1 Giant Spider, a few lucky hits and missed saves and suddenly your Power Attack and Cleave and maybe Great Cleave will go offline. A few hits by a giant wasp and your Rogue may lose access to Two weapon Fighting and associated feats.
Negative levels or even spell effects can cripple fighting guys since they have no recourse. I mean, after you next medusa fight try to convince someone that the petrified guy is at 100% fighting effectiveness.
Arcane spellcasters don't really hit their stride until they get 3rd level spells unless they stick to the short list of killer spells, and don't get really crazy until they get 4th and 5th level spells. If they are tossing around something lame like magic missiles they might be very weak indeed. For the simple sake of variety I'm sure your spellcasters probably had spell lists that were all over the place.
Also, blowing Leadership on meatshields is a big reason why they had so much trouble. Arcane meatshields are summoned monsters and animated dead.... cohorts are supposed to be casters.
But it's not surprising to me that a party of fighting guys backed up by a whole party of spellcasters does well. They don't have many weaknesses at low levels and the spellcasters come into their own at the levels that stabbing people is no longer viable.
It's a serious fallacy to think that spellcasters fall quickly to encounters.
Heck, clerics run around in full plate and tower shields. Spellcasters have spells for temporary HPs, stat boosts, and blanket immunities like blink or dependent immunities like improved invisibility or mirror image. They have summons and animated minions (I know that in my last big campaign my animated Manticore was tanking more than the fighters.).
Spellcasters can also control the battlefield to a much greater degree, controlling when and where enemies can attack. That saves a lot more lives than 25% more HPs and a few points of AC.
They also can spend a greater percentage of their treasure on protection items because they don't need magic weapons and ammo.
Plus, spellcasters have the only real means of escape from encounters and often the only meaningful forms of stealth.
If anything, fighting guys fall faster than spellcasters. I mean, things like trolls are murder if you go toe to toe with them and trading blows with Dire animals is just dumb when you can just fly and kill from range with a bow you aren't even proficient in.
Wizards also get better spells because they get the next spell level a class level earlier. For example, at 7th level a Sorcerer's best spell level is 3rd, while a Wizard also has 4th level spells.
If you actually count up actual spells including bonus spells, you'll find that with the additional spell level a specialist Wizard sometimes has even more total spells per day than a Sorcerer. Only past level 10 is a Sorcerer getting an absolute number of additional spells.
james maissen wrote:
That's a weird option. How do you determine where that hole is if the affected person is in the center of a 30' hemisphere?
Not every Wizard is willing to burn his super-limited store of feats just to keep the fighting guys happy.
He also needs gold and supposedly raw materials to craft things.... so getting back to a major city is still assumed for crafters.
I find that players rebel if they can't return to a major city after every adventure to sell loot. Gold doesn't help you win adventures unless it's converted to magic items you can use.
That being said, when doing pre-published adventures you'll find that the majority of items you find are suitable for fighting guys.... so you end up stacking that equipment on them. Useful potions and wands are rarely placed as treasure in the AP, for example, or they get expended during the combats where they show up.
Once teleport shows up, having access to a major city is rarely an issue.
And if you aren't letting PCs sell loot and buy magic items, you aren't playing Pathfinder or DnD. This assumption is hardcoded into the both variants, and playing some hardcore version where they can't get magic items makes life for fighting guys quite hard.
Spellcasters don't care. I mean, a cleric can just have level-appropriate magic armor and weapons and a Wizard has all the utility he will ever need... any potions or scrolls he gets are just bonuses.
To the OP, you are correct in noticing that it is an unworkable and incoherent rule.
I'd suggest not giving a save unless the wall is forming in a creatures square, and then let a successful save let them determine which side they end up on (their choice).
The alternative is to let creatures get weird and free combat movement to put them outside of the affected area; that option seems unworkable and upsetting to players and DMs alike. I mean, imagine players giving other players free combat movement using a Wall of Stone.... that's just terrible.
anthony Valente wrote:
Gah. Do you understand how quickly that gold gets flushed down the toilet once you buy magic armor, a magic shield, a magic weapon, and then basic stat boosters. +save items, and/or AC items? At +2 weapon is 8K... a +2 armor or shield is 4K each.... a ring of protection +1 is 2k and a +2 is 8K.... a amulet of natural armor is 2K for a +1 and 8k for a +2.... a Cloak of Resistance is 1K for a +1 and 4K for a +2.... a Belt of Giant Strength +2 is 4K.... your personal share of 25K is going to be gone quite fast.
I mean, in an ideal world some of that combined 100K is spend on potions and wonderous magic items that solve problems, but in truth all of that treasure is needed to keep fighting guy PCs from falling over in each and every combat.
In the last big game I played, my Sorcerer didn't even take any treasure until about 6th level because we needed to keep stacking magic items onto the fighting guys to keep them from dying in every combat.
You do get XP for trivial tasks. That's what being good at the game or just lucky gets you. Otherwise, you penalize characters for making decent characters or good choices.
I mean, you don't get more XP if you suck. If you run into a fight with no buffs or healing and take a lot of damage with a final boss you get the same XP as you would if you cast a Flesh to Stone on round 1 and killed him before anyone else acted. The fact that in the first scenario you fought like a chump and burned all your resources doesn't get you a boost in XP. By the same token, getting lucky or being good is not a valid reason for the DM to strip XP from you.... otherwise you are telling your PCs that they should not be smart about facing challenges or else you will punish them.
And it works the same with traps or diplomacy or any other challenge in the game that grants XP. Only video games require monster deaths or disarming the trap to get the XP because video games can't determine when you have advanced the narrative.
The problem is that since the vast majority of parties have fighting guys with spellcasters, not killing the monster is not even an option so it has become the default win condition. I mean, fighting guys can't in most cases sneak past the monster, use diplomacy, or otherwise choose some other option than murder with extreme predudice.
Personally, I think fighting guys lessen the game because of that fact.
I'd argue that those spells are not heavily situation dependent. I mean, Solid Fog is great in just about any battle.
Chaotic Evil as an alignment does not mean you backstab people for no reason. "Stupid Evil" is not an official alignment.
So yes, your DM might require a Charisma check to stop attacking your friends, but after that your people will stop attacking and calling for additional saves after that is just pure Gygaxian retribution.
I understand how quickly a single Charm effect can unravel a DM's plot, but this is the game everyone at the table agreed to play and boning players who try to use their abilities as intended is just asking for player rebellion. (Remember that once a DM rules this way he has to stick to it or else appear arbitrary; this means that players who get charmed by any one of the dozens of charming monsters will pull the same BS stunt of "oh, but she has to command me to not attack her minions!")
Then you toss her into the next battle with another Cha check, because betraying her old allies for her new friend is a rational reason to a Chaotic Evil creature.
PS. Erineyes have telepathy. She totally knows what you are saying.
Final point before this thread gets all flamey.
Basically, lots of spells are better than Enervation.
Take Color Spray. It's only 1st level and stuns targets in range for 1 round. Even if the enemy saves half the time, you can cast it four times in a four round battle and expect to reduce enemy damage output by an average of 50%.
But I'll stay away from the 1-3rd spells that are better thsn Evervation.
How about Solid Fog. Even in it's neutered Pathfinder form it can split enemy forces for a round by preventing ranged attack AND keeping them in the Fog for a round, wasting several enemy's actions that round. Heck, just making it pop so that the enemy are just in it and you aren't means they take -2 to hit and don't get a 5' step (and you don't face those problems.) Spell Resistance also doesn't affect this, unlike Enervation that has a miss chance AND SR check.
How about Wall of Ice? Again, this is another spell that wastes enemy actions and give you rounds of not being attacked as you concentrate fire or buff, except it also damages enemies breaking through AND can be used as a bridge.
Really, the list goes on and on. Animate Dead for turning high-end enemies into meatshields? Black Tentacles for grappling death AND difficult terrain (also no SR and no save). Greater Invisibility for immunity to targeted spells and 50% miss chance on most attacks? Resilient Sphere for perfect party protection mid-combat or perfect chokepoint blocker?
Charm Monster? Any chance to take an enemy and turn it into combat fodder for ever a single extra combat is awesome. Hands down.
Yeh, when you are reducing enemy effectiveness by half or more with all the other 4th level spells, a average of 12.5 damage and a -2.5 to all rolls from a spell that has a miss chance and SR check is weak sauce.
Stefan Hill wrote:
Less resting actually hurts fighting guys more because they can't heal and they burn through spellcaster buffs and healing faster.
It's a myth that fighting guys can fight all day. They fight for exactly as long as the healing holds up. A little ability damage or some negative levels and no Restorations and suddenly the fighting for the day is over.
Heck, once the spellcasters are out of good spells and the fighters start taking a lot more damage, even HP damage becomes a serious issue.
But how are they going to find you? True Seeing has a range of 120 feet and D-door can take you 740 feet at that level. The Erinyes can't find you if you go invisible and out of range, so as long as your D-Door gets you out of sight you can cast Invisibility without the thing even knowing where you went.
That distance is far enough that even on a featureless plain they can't even hear you casting.
The win condition for this fight is "don't fight the Erinyes because it has the jump on you", or at least wait an hour until the summoned demons get sent home before you go back to fight so that you are the one getting a surprise round.
- Charming an Evil outsider as a party is a good way to get the rest of your party killed. Sure, the caster will be friendly to YOU. But if you've got four wizards trying to charm it, she'll still kill the three who are unsuccessful. And handily. Sure, it would be evil for her to ignore your pleas to the contrary, but she's Evil. So that kinda works.
Ok, a DM who wouldn't let you convince a charmed monster to stop attacking the party is a black swan. I'm sure they exist, but you'll be hard pressed to find one.
Go ask ten people who DM a game and get back to me. I'd be surprised if you find even one who would play that way (or would have any players if they played this way).
- Sending in Air elementals vs. Hill Giants is bad. A Hill Giant can easily one-shot an air elemental. I wouldn't feel confident in sending fewer than four small elementals per hill giant (eight in this case). That's too many spells for one encounter, in my opinion.
The Air Elementals are there to pick up the object. Who cares if a giant kills one as long one of the remaining picks it up and brings it to you? They do it as whirlwinds since they can pick up the greased object that way.
Remember, the win condition for that fight is to get the object.
That being said, I'll concede that Unseen Servant would be better and less resource-intensive. The only issue is that as a Wizard I probably will never have that spell.
- Invisibility doesn't defeat scent. They can still smell which direction you're in with a move action and take another move action to move towards you. If they pass within 5 feet of you, they know where you are. And they can track you. DM's being what they are, the trolls will likely show up at the worst possible time.
Draw a map for yourself. Put the trolls on it and you. Then make them burn a move action to find your direction.
That leaves them needing to burn their standard to actually move.... which leaves them with no actions left to attack you.
That's above and beyond the fact that you can just move beyond the distance they can get with a single move or a charge and fire spells at them or just avoid them entirely.
It does defeat traps. They never trigger because you aren't even touching the door or the wall since you are in the Ethereal Plane.
You can even just pop into the space in the wall next to the door and zag back to the other side of the door. There are no rules that say that you have to pass in a straight line.
Abraham spalding wrote:
Also: K Scent can pinpoint, it just doesn't negate the 50% miss chance -- basically it's a weaker version of blindsense.
Here's text from the PRD.
The creature detects another creature's presence but not its specific location. Noting the direction of the scent is a move action. If the creature moves within 5 feet (1 square) of the scent's source, the creature can pinpoint the area that the source occupies, even if it cannot be seen.
So basically, unless you end a turn in a square next to a creature with Scent, or they Ready an Action to attack things they Scent and can't see, they can't actually pinpoint you in any meaningful way (though if you stood in one place, they might find you in 3-4 turns.... so you don't do that).
In the example, the party/solo can walk right past the Trolls while invisible since we can assume that creatures who have no idea you are coming will not be Readying Actions to attack things they might Scent but can't see.
As for Enervation, I guess I can't explain to people how throwing down a 4th level spell for a -2 to stats is pointless when monster stats tend to be very high or very low AND you have access to better effects that do things like remove an enemy's ability to act and/or outright kill them or turn them to your side. Sigh.
Fair enough. Change that then to "Summon 1-3 small Air Elementals who bring the object to you."