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Deriven Firelion wrote:
...

Well, you do know that focusing on intelligence on a bard also leaves other stats lower. Going for intelligence on a bard comes with a steeper opportunity cost than for a wizard. While it’s not impossible (and far more forgiving than most other systems) to have intelligence on a bard, that does leave a defensive stat lower. It’s impossible to be great at everything. Did you know that?

It doesn’t sound like you gave the P2e wizard a try. It sounds like you tried to fit different parts into molds that they aren’t made for. Incapacitation is not nearly as big of a deal as you try to make it out to be. At worst, you can avoid using those spells. There are only 22 of them, and that leaves a whole swath of others to choose from, all of which can be useful in lower slots, especially if you’re not trying to do martial damage with them. There’s command, fear, goblin pox, and spider sting for level 1 spells that can be immediately useful in combat with many more that are buffs or utility at that level alone. And many others without incapacitation are available at later levels.

I don’t know what math you’re talking about showing that bards are designed better. In fact, I don’t see it at all in actual play. I played a bard as my first full release 2e character, and there were many times when I wished we had a wizard to fill in spots and cast in situations where my bard’s spells were not the most effective, such as against a room full of creatures before any martials stepped into the room or even in our last fight when there were three creatures far enough away that a terrain warp, fireball, or other control spell could have been useful. Yes, a bard can be built to fill in the role a wizard naturally fits, but without specific builds, bards can’t fill all of them, such as against anything with weak reflexes. As far as I can tell, they’re equivalent in usefulness, but the entirety of their roles slightly differ.

And by the way, while my group is only level 9 right now (one less than your level 10, if you didn’t know), our caster has been instrumental in our success so far. He may not cause the most damage, but he has completely reduced damage against the party and increased our damage against enemies, making fights go by faster. In fact, he’s my vote for group MVP. And he’s not a bard.

I’m just saying that I’d take a balanced party with a wizard any day, unless players are trying to do things in classes that they’re not designed to do and complain about it.

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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Quandary wrote:
None of which is a reason to stop bothering to cast. Even low power actions are beneficial compared to no actions. If the martials can defeat encounter without you doing anything, they can also do so without a bard. Adding powers to a wizard doesn't change whether or not martials can defeat an encounter alone. If they are consistently able to do so VS nominally hard encounters, it is because encounter is especially vulnerable to martial strengths or is otherwise unchallenging (which can include GM lack of tactical skill), so in fact they aren't being challenged if they manage just fine with one party member doing nothing.

They can win without a bard, but they feel the bard there far more than they feel the wizard there. They were making jokes about the wizards uselessness. Laughing at my burning hands and fireball spells when I had a low damage roll or the enemies critically their save. When my summoned creature did nearly nothing and was at best used for flanking, that made them give me the "useless wizard" look as well. I tried a lot of different ways to make the wizard seem good and it was all very underwhelming. 1st level spells don't scale very well at all even when you can start using 3rd and 4th level spells.

Imagine casting a crap 2d6 1st level burning hands because you're out of 3rd level slots or trying to use a 1st level charm on a higher level creature only to have it succeed with a basic saving throw success because of the Incapacitate trait.

Tiresome. Have you read summon and the incapacitate trait? They really weaken spells.

Quote:
A Wizard should also have 1-action Focus spell options, as well as skill usages, Shield and other item usages, moving to Flank or "draw" enemy actions to compensate, as well as weapon attacks which (without MAP attack spell) should have better modifier than average martial 2nd attacks, so certainly viable as 3rd action when compared as such and not to martial 1st or even 2nd attacks. If you're not using
...

None of this sounds like a wizard problem. It sounds like a group problem, undermining the wizard’s usefulness (or joking around with a friend based on rolls not in your favor). I have to agree with others about your spell usage. By the time a wizard has 3rd level and higher spells, (s)he should be using cantrips for secondary damage, while lower level spells should be used for buffs, debuffs, or utility. If the increase in damage of spells you can use all day is not wizardly, I’m not sure what would be. And while incapacitation spells are not as effective at lower level for higher level enemies, not many (22 out of all available spells or so) are affected by it, and even then, they’re not unusable against higher level enemies. They just suffer from high risk, high reward.

As for the assertion that wizard has nothing going for it, I don’t believe that is true. The primary stat aims at knowledge skill usage, while also improving their number of trained skills. Intelligence is also the crafting stat, which can supplement number of spells with scrolls or benefit the party when party level outstrips settlement level. Wizards being able to copy down their spells increases the availability of circumstantial spells. Since wizards aren’t paying for weapon upgrades, there’s no reason they shouldn’t load up on scrolls. Wizards also access the arcane spell list, the most diverse and versatile of the lists available at present. All of this together is what makes the wizard shine: the wizard should rationalize how to take an encounter down, use the best spell in his (or her) arsenal to exploit that knowledge, and if a spell with the appropriate save isn’t in the wizard’s prepared spells for the day, then there should be a scroll to use as a back up.

Also, if I’m not wrong, (some) wizards have an ability to change our spells over a ten minute break, while others can just increase their number of utility, buffing, or debuffing spells for a single higher tier one. Using these would make the class even more useful. That is not even considering the focus spells. With the exception of augment summoning, which is incredibly action intensive, all of the other focus spells look very useful: divine sight gives the equivalent of 5e’s advantage, call of the grave grants sickened (the best condition on an enemy in my opinion), charming words gives self protection even on 3/4 of the results, force bolt is guaranteed damage (more guaranteed than any martial’s attack) for one action, hand of the apprentice gives damage equal to a non-barbarian martial with appropriate runes (which I admit conflicts with using gold for scrolls), physical boost is a great buff, protective ward is a sustained buff to defense like the bard’s inspire defense but from level 1 (takes a little while to reach the entire battlefield, however, and warped terrain can help set up many different tactics with excellent battlefield control.

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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
NemoNoName wrote:

Ah, I see yet another cohort of "move along, everything is perfect in P2E land" people have commented already.

I'm not gonna get into those discussions again, however...

Ah yes the "I am above doing the thing, now watch me do the thing but close off anyone criticising me for doing the thing because I said I wasn't doing the thing" approach to discourse.

Always a good opener -nods-

NemoNoName wrote:
If this is true, this is horrible game design. It means there is no reward for picking the best save, only expected outcome. And if you don't (or can't, because for any one of million reasons you don't have the spell for correct save), the game is saying "go home, n00b".

The benefit is that saves get an effect on successes in many cases and cannot be buffed/interrupted as easily.

Look to a Tarn Linnorm and a level 20 character

Martials other than fighters are likely at master, have a +3 weapon +6 to their attacking stat. +29 (effective +31 with flatfooted from flanking). Against a 46AC they need a 17 or higher neat, 15 or higher with flanking. (now of course they get multiple actions, albeit with MAP and will almost certainly have status bonuses. But I won't go into debuffs to foe saves)

Spellcasters will have a DC of 44 most likely. Without any debuffs, the linnorm will need to roll a 13 or higher to save on the weakest, 12 or higher on the next, 8 or higher for the strongest.

Comparing that back to the martial
Neat: 20% chance to hit
Flat-Footed: 30% chance to hit

vs

Weakest: 60% (15% crit chance)
Middle: 55% (10% crit chance)
Strongest: 35% (5% crit chance)

Now, 2 actions usually so they do end up a bit closer, but then again the spells often do damage on a miss and have a higher base crit chance outside of the strongest save.

Again, there are lots of scenarios where these numbers can be adjusted through play. But from my experience so far it is easier to buff AC and ATK than buffing saves, and so many things decrease saves now....

While I agree with your viewpoint, I think you might be missing around six or seven to attack from martials (level (20)+ master (6)+ item bonus (3)+ stat mod (6 or 7 with almost necessary epic item)). That should put martials (non-fighters) at +35 or +36.

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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
On a side note i’m actually curious to how well a Druid healer would work. I haven’t really looked at the Leaf Order since the Playtest, but i never found their form of healing useless or even impractical. The amount and variation of Healing spells in the Primal list is sadly lacking though.

At the very least, the primal list affords adequate healing. In my current game of Age of Ashes, we have a fey sorcerer who applies the timeliest of healing, saving our party in many dire situations. All of our current members, having lost our fighter, do have healing, however, for emergency situations.

Our sorcerer’s other spells have also come in handy, making difficult fights far easier, and we do our parts (well, mostly because we are playing characters, not numbers, and I’ve played up the chaotic neutral firebrand many a time): I do damage and get in trouble, the Paladin reduces damage, tanks,and keeps me out of trouble, and the sorcerer handles the big trouble that we overlook and saves us when we think all hope is lost. We talk and come up with strategies not because we need casters to feel useful, but because our sorcerer casting “situational” spells proves useful in many different situations. He doesn’t have every spell on the primal list, but through his access to the spell list, he has been able to use some clutch scrolls that turned challenged in our favor, whether facing diseases, traps, or hazards.

Our sorcerer didn’t focus on crafting though, but I have invested into magical crafting. Unfortunately for the whole team, I don’t have a spell list, so We have to buy every scroll for spells we want that he doesn’t have. A wizard (as well as other prepared casters) doesn’t have that problem, as wizards only need to buy each spell once to create multiple copies of every spell on the arcane list (though the cost and time are limiting factors). The combination of factors that other spellcasters get seems to be what makes the wizard special.

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From a recent game, my group realized that one advantage of the wizard and other prepared casters is in item creation, specifically for those that need specific spells cast, such as scrolls and some property runes. Possibly most overlooked among the wizard’s abilities is scroll use to supplement spell slots and spells prepared. The wizard having the most extensive spell list allows wizards to be really powerful, especially in the event that a high level spell is given at a lower level as a reward or something. Even at-level scrolls are great, and with wizards being the natural candidates for crafting, them making scrolls for themselves when no appropriate ones are available on the market just makes sense to me.

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jdripley wrote:

Well, this all depends on their level and how many players you have. As well as how tough of a fight you want it to be.

I'll walk you through an example of how I would do it. I'm making some assumptions to fill in the blanks here - your specifics of party level and all of that are likely different, so you'll have to adjust according to level and number of players, but I think you'll get my method even with my assumptions.

Let's say for instance that you want this to be a Moderate challenge. I'm assuming there are multiple of these demiplane fights, and perhaps some hazards in the mage tower, so these aren't climax fights and they'll have to survive many of them. Thus Moderate seems to work.

Let's assume, I dunno, 3rd level? The XP budget for a moderate encounter is 80 XP. Let's also assume 4 PCs, so you wouldn't adjust those numbers. That means you're looking for a monster at Party Level +2 (You can find the charts that I'm getting these numbers from on page 489 of the core book).

Now, to the bestiary. We want an undead that is level 5. Bestiary page 350 has a huge chart with creatures by level. Page 353 has the level 5 monsters. And it looks like the Poltergeist is the only level 5 undead, so there you go!

But you could also use a level 4 undead with the Elite adjustment (bestiary page 6) which gives Ghost Commoner, Shadow and Vampire Spawn as possibilities. And you could also use a level 6 undead with the Weak adjustment (also bestiary page 6) which gives you Mummy Guardian, Vampire Count, Wraith and Zombie Hulk as options.

Make sense? I can be more specific to your particular needs if you post and let us know what level your players are and how many of them there are, as well as how challenging you want the fight to be.

The party is posted in the title: There are six level 3 characters.

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I’m thinking champion, bard, primal sorcerer, and rogue.

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Gaterie wrote:
Maelorn7 wrote:
Also the wizard already understood that his single target dmg will never ever get close to fighter and it is ok. The fighter will never be able to throw a nasty 6d6 fireball against 7 enemies at once, dealing ~140 dmg to them.

8 level-4 creature constitute a moderate encounter. 12 level-4 or 8 level-3 creature constitute a severe encounter - ie an encounter you're not supposed to do every day.

So:
- either this was an easy encounter with a lot of creature worth 0 xp, and you litterally accomplished nothing (there's a reason why level-5 creature are worth 0 xp).
- either it was a real encounter and the DM literally packed every enemy in a fireball area so you can insta-kill them with your wizard while the martials were elsewere.

So yeah... With some DM fiat, wizards are awesome... And they are awesome at accomplishing nothing...

Or in the proper circumstances, circumstances that would not be too unrealistic or hard to achieve, there were multiple enemies in an area where fireball was the most appropriate spell. There have been multiple times where our sorcerer was able to get multiple creatures (not 7 because I don’t think we’ve faced 7 enemies at once with this party). And that was not due to GM fiat; that was from players agreeing that taking out or weakening enemies was in our best interests, moving and positioning, random placement of enemies, and initiative. Now, we don’t all just make sure the sorcerer can do his thing, there have been multiple times where he has stepped into flanking to allow me to sneak attack, saving me a few rounds of damage as well (I have the lowest health in the party based on builds). My party plays as a team, and we employ tactics (sometimes erroneously because I’m playing the overconfident firebrand), but we succeed more than fail because we adapt, consider our options, and execute what we can.

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Hamanu_of_Urik wrote:

The bard typically maintains Inspire Courage and casts Daze from range. Druid is (IMO) conceptually confused and not optimized. I keep hearing the player says he is going the Wildshape route, but then I hear him say "I'm primarily a Wisdom based build". I would think a melee druid would be STR based, but I don't like to tell other players how to build their PCs or ask to look at character sheets. He also has a familiar and an animal companion, which I think is going to cripple his action economy.

Champion is using a shield and flick mace to say within 15 ft of mobs/PCs for his reaction. We have a dual wield rogue that sometimes joins us. I am playing a 2-handed greatsword Cleric of Gorum. With it just being myself and the rogue right next to the mobs we get boned if we can't get in and get out. Not enough PC targets to spread out the damage. Since I am the primary healer (healing font and battle medicine) I get stuck trying to get people back up when I could be casting magic weapon and/or true strike and trying to go for a big hit.

I think daze is a terrible choice unless it is all but guaranteed to get a critical. Using spells and other attack cantrips may be of better use. The bard casting soothe should also help out a lot. The Druid also seems like he is trying to do too many things: controlling companions is an action each. That doesn’t leave many actions to use spells, but I don’t think strength is necessary if the Druid’s changing shapes since he should be using the creature’s stats. The champions seems to be doing fine, but since he’s using a reach weapon, that makes it difficult for the rogue to get sneak attack without your support. The rogue should probably try to attack and move, which doesn’t help much with dual wielding, but nimble dodge could be another option. For you, I would honestly just play as you like. You shouldn’t have to play healstick if you don’t want to. Just tell the other players that your not just going to focus on healing instead of the build you went for. Also, if all the melee characters aren’t working toward getting adequate AC, you all will probably go down pretty often.

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Gaterie wrote:
Hamanu_of_Urik wrote:
The current party is composed of a bard (stays out of combat to buff), melee champion of Cayden Cailen, melee cleric of Gorum (specced into Medicine for Battle Medicine in-combat healing and out of combat treatment), and a Wildshape Druid. The current party level is 2 and we are playing The Fall of Plaguestone module.

3 casters and 1 martial, of course you're having hard time!

Try with this party composition: champion, fighter/bard, fighter/cleric, fighter/druid.

Note: when people want to show casters are balanced with martial, they cite level 4+ spells (and usually level 6+ uncommon spells). you can allow the PC to reroll as casters at level 10 - but no one should play a caster before level 10. The more caster you have at low level, the harder the game is.

Or, you know, change up tactics. Everything I’ve heard of Plaguestone measures it as extremely difficult. How the party handles combat is far more important in this game than any other I’ve played. Does the bard just cast inspire courage and nothing else? Does the cleric just run into combat without casting any spells? Does the Druid try any spells before shape shifting? If all the casters (aside from the bard) are only fighting like fighters, then they may want to change, but if they want to do caster things, they should use their spells. Maybe instead of changing form and running into combat, or changing form as soon as an enemy gets in melee, the Druid could cast goblin pox or fear. If the cleric runs into melee, is he casting bane or magic weapon? Is the bard using telekinetic projectile, grim tendrils, phantom pain (I love this spell), soothe (great healing when everyone else is martial) or ray of enfeeblement? Having an all-fighter party is not bad in and of itself, but that does not make having casters in that party instead any worse.

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Atalius wrote:
Narxiso wrote:

It seems that many people also forget that every debuff the fighter gets, the wizard or any other caster can as well. Spells are just easier to use and more efficient for them. Have we also forgotten that just like every other class, spell casters are not only limited to their class’ chassis: there are skill debuffs as well. Also, if we’re going to list every debuff that a martial can do, then I only think it’s fair to list out every damage type, utility, and buff that casters can do as well.

Atalius wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:

Pretty sure if you took a party with 1 martial, 1 rogue, 1 cleric, 1 wizard and replaced the wizard with another martial, party 2 would be superior.

I think you may be right, our party consists of a barbarian, a wild order druid/fighter MC, a ruffian rogue and a Bard and it works.
If that’s true then your party has not played with a range of enemy types, hazards, and otherwise. We have a sorcerer in our group, and if he was not around, we would not have been able to get through Book 2 of Age of Ashes without either losing a lot of time or the death of multiple characters, mine included. There were traps, hazards, diseases, as well as multiple creatures that only he could handle, and there were creatures that negated nearly all my character’s damage and that none of our strength focused characters could handle, while the sorcerer just changed into a dinosaur and shoved it into a hazard that killed it.
That's pretty cool, I'd say the Bard is just as capable as the Sorcerer no?

Yes, the bard is just as capable as the sorcerer. I may have misunderstood your post as agreeing that having two martials in the party is undeniably better than having a martial and a caster.

puksone wrote:


Maybe not a good example...the fighter is awesome in shoving.

We don't have a sorc or wiz in the group and just do fine.
Pf2 really allows a lot of different group compositions.

Fighter is good at shoving when (s)he doesn’t have to roll a 19 to get a success. Of course, it would not have been as dramatic if she focused on getting every advantage for maxing our athletics, but that would have required the player focusing on a different aspect of the game than the player wanted to. On the other hand, our sorcerer just uses a scroll to change and shove our opponent where it needed to be in order to do adequate damage.

“Age of Ashes Book 2”:
We were fighting a clay golem in Age of Ashes Book 2 and figured out that it resisted all of our damage and needed to be pushed into the water. Before that, there were all the dragon pillars, which were shut down with dispel magic.

That one spell that was not even prepared or known turned the entire encounter around.

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It seems that many people also forget that every debuff the fighter gets, the wizard or any other caster can as well. Spells are just easier to use and more efficient for them. Have we also forgotten that just like every other class, spell casters are not only limited to their class’ chassis: there are skill debuffs as well. Also, if we’re going to list every debuff that a martial can do, then I only think it’s fair to list out every damage type, utility, and buff that casters can do as well.

Atalius wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:

Pretty sure if you took a party with 1 martial, 1 rogue, 1 cleric, 1 wizard and replaced the wizard with another martial, party 2 would be superior.

I think you may be right, our party consists of a barbarian, a wild order druid/fighter MC, a ruffian rogue and a Bard and it works.

If that’s true then your party has not played with a range of enemy types, hazards, and otherwise. We have a sorcerer in our group, and if he was not around, we would not have been able to get through Book 2 of Age of Ashes without either kissing a lot of time or the death of multiple characters, mine included. There were traps, hazards, diseases, as well as multiple creatures that only he could handle, and there were creatures that negated nearly all my character’s damage and that none of our strength focused characters could handle, while the sorcerer just changed into a dinosaur and shoved it into a hazard that killed it.

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Kelseus wrote:

Let's take the Barbarian surrounded by 12 level 10 monsters. Ok you do 38 damage to every one of the 12 enemies. Great, but the average level 10 monster has 175 hp. So now its' their turn. With an average of +23 to hit, they probably hit on a 12? (10 + level 14 + 4 expert + 4 armor + 2 rune + 1 dex = 35 AC). They do an average of 2d8+10 damage per hit. So if each just take 3 actions to strike, you're looking at 36 attack rolls. That means there is guaranteed to be a 20 in there, maybe more than one.

First strike does 19 dmg x 12 strikes x .45 to hit = 102.5 damage.
Second strike 19 x 12 x .2 to hit = 45.6 damage
So in one round the Barb took 148 damage, that's assuming no crits, and they all still have a chance to move away.
Barb HP while raging maxes at 10 anc + (12 + 5 con x14 lvl) + 14 + 5 = 267, lets assume his resistance applies to all attacks so -8 per hit, that is still 54 and 24 damage for the first and second strikes respectively, meaning 78.
Barbarian can kill the 12 surrounding him in 5 rounds, but they kill him in 3 and a half. Assuming best case scenario for the Barb and the enemies having no resistances to the Barbs damage. Really less, because there is guaranteed to be one crit a round, and if they take their 3rd action to strike, probably 2 or 3.

So yes the barbarian can drop a fireball every round, but only for 3 because then he's dead.

Your math is a little off. I think you forgot that to use the feats to make this flawed fireball barbarian work requires rage and the titan mauler instinct ability, both of which decrease character AC. Therefore, I think it would be far more difficult for the barbarian to kill an enemy before succumbing to his wounds.

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There have been a ton of posts on the disparity between martials and casters already. It all boils down to the fact that casters are no longer the end-all be-all members of a party. They no longer always shut down combat completely or control the narrative. Yes, martials have great sustainable dpr, but they don’t have access to the same availability of versatile tools that casters have to cover as many different roles. That is not to say that martials can’t fulfill multiple roles in combat; it’s just easier for casters. Casters are just as necessary to the party, and if they aren’t useful, then someone is doing something wrong, whether that is a player or the GM. Also, if you haven’t been buying scrolls, wands, or staves with your money, then you haven’t been using your full potential as any caster despite not being necessary. Casters need to be played tactically like every other character in this game; they’re not gods with an entourage, at least not anymore.

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I would really like to see some more dual wielding support for rogues, a feat to draw two weapons at once, and shadow dancer and assassin archetypes.

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Can multiclassed bards not get a focus pool from the level one feat lingering composition? I didn’t even notice that. That completely destroyed all the builds I was thinking of.

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To answer OP’s question, I don’t think you should ever prioritize charisma over dexterity. Dexterity is too integral to the entire character. I think the key point of having the three types— demoralize, feint, and athletics—is to give options to target different saves with each style having two it’s proficient in: tumble for reflex, demoralize for will, feint for perception, and athletics for fortitude. Unfortunately, as is, I wouldn’t take swashbuckler over either the rogue or the fighter, as they both do the swashbuckling thing just as well, if not better with higher damage to boot (at least that’s how it appears, and I could be completely wrong). Still, the swashbuckler does a better job at doing what the Firebrand Braggart, so there’s that. Honestly, I’m just looking forward to the swashbuckler’s dedication to get flat-footed tumble on a rogue.

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I honestly took it because of the daring act feat chain, which would allow half a stride with no opportunity attack (6), making the opponent flat-footed (6), an attack (lvl10 feat), and maybe to get a creature flat footed longer while increasing AC on a critical success (12). What I didn’t realize is that aside from the last one, the swashbuckler’s level 1 tumble feat makes creatures flat-footed with a full stride for one action. With a second action to strike, it would be doing pretty much the same thing. What I also realized is that the firebrand braggart action (requiring two actions before another attempt at the skill gets the possible bonus) does not even synergies with daring act. Worse still is that the ability to move or even attack when the level 10 feat is taken is completely predicated on whether the skill check is successful, meaning a failed check is a loss of two actions. In addition, iirc, Firebrand Braggart is the only dedication that requires level 4 so far. It’s just too bad that it is a trap option (I’m level 8 and have never used any of the feats), which I thought was one of the things Pathfinder 2e was trying to get away from.

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We play with the rules as written. It makes it so a heal bot is not necessary and allows clerics to be more than group life support if necessary. As good as treat wounds is, it requires a feat to treat in battle once a day, so healing magic is still very useful in battle. Outside of combat, it serves as an option to save spell slots that can be of greater use put to something else or needed in a critical moment.

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Quandary wrote:

EDIT: (ninja'd / reworded)

Compare to Fighter's Reactive Shield: (also Level 1, so easy multiclass fodder)
Both grant +2 circumstance bonus (+1 with Buckler, but +2 if committing to normal Shield which occupies hand)
Reactive Shield allows triggering AFTER successful hit is announced, and applying circumstance bonus VS that attack.
Which may negate it, but you shouldn't know exact roll# so you're not sure if +2 AC would negate it, and don't know if it is crit yet(?).
Reactive Shield also continues to apply +2 circumstance bonus for Raised Shield to ALL other attacks until your next turn comes up.

Nimble Dodge only applies VS one attack, is used BEFORE attack is rolled, so may be wasted on natural Fails while 2nd attack then succeeds or even Crits.
(this feels like tedious design, with player perpetually announcing Reactions even when it's irrelevant VS attack that would fail normally)

While a Shield comes with tradeoffs, it also has advantages from applying to ALL attacks to allowing Shield Block (not VS same attack as Reactive Shield)
Since they are both circumstance bonuses, using Nimble Dodge de facto translates to giving up using potential benefits of a Shield.
(or at best, could be used just when you didn't Raise Shield, but that then is flatly worse version of Reactive Shield)

So IMHO allowing Nimble Dodge to trigger AFTER and apply VS successful hit is totally reasonable, and it SHOULD be Errata'd to work like that.

I didn’t realize that it was the same bonus as a shield. That just makes it even worse.

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I think it would play better with minis and a grid, but that by no means excludes theater of mind play. In fact, Knights of the , a popular game run by Jason B. on Geek and Sundry, is done through theater of the mind.

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Rysky wrote:

Uh, the incentive is that you can use your original Reaction for the other Reaction abilities you might have, such as Charmed Life or Attack of Opportunity.

And being a frontliner Cheat Death will certainly be "reliably" triggered.

Thanks, I was confused about the use of those feats as well.

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Bast L. wrote:
While my biggest issue with wizards (and sorcerers) is the reduction of utility (durations, effects, level bump, uncommon list), as an example of this low-accuracy being unfun, my level 4 party went up against a greater barghest in a game recently (solo boss). It was set up such that there was no real warning as to what it was ahead of time (no spoilers, but I didn't come up with this fight). The wizard used a flaming sphere. With a ref save of +15, the barghest has a 20% chance to fail. Now, it turns out, he's fire resistant 10, but even if it was a different spell, it's very likely to save. The sorcerer used Ray of Enfeeblement, but didn't manage to hit his AC 25, so the barghest never rolled his +17 fort save against it (2 chances to defend against that spell). Or with attack spells, like the shocking grasp the wizard used, it would be a 30% chance to hit.

My party played through that fight at level 4 as well, and we did not know what we were up against until it ended. As it was a singular encounter and the barghest being large, we figured it was a boss encounter. We just didn’t know that it was three levels higher (I didn’t find out until a week later). Anyway, I used mostly damaging spells in that encounter: phantom pain (which was succeeded against), grim tendrils (a lucky failed save), and telekinetic projectile (before errata changed the wording to spell attack so I was using dexterity). The party consisted of a barbarian, a rogue scoundrel, a cleric, and a bard. On most turns, the rogue and barbarian missed, leaving me as the highest or second highest damage dealer throughout the whole fight. Better yet, I did not take a single point of damage, while the rogue’s and barbarian’s hp drop would have left my character dead many times over. Even during the other fights, my character was comparable to both martials while I tried to fulfill any roles that were lacking.

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Mabtik wrote:
Quotes within quotes within quotes within quotes

I honestly wouldn’t think of it as stepping on anyone’s toes. Every character should be able to interact in the different modes of play. Also, if you choose intimidation, demoralize makes an enemy immune to that character’s attempt again for a certain amount of time, so more people having it helps the team. I would probably only pick up one or two social feats if your idea was to have a character who crafts, and using intimidation was just the simplest solution I could think of, not exactly the end-all-be-all for spell success.

In the combats you’ve experienced, have the enemies ignored your melee party members to move and attack you? If so, I’d use that against enemies or make liberal use of reach metamagic (I did wonder why most spells have such low range compared to bows as well). In my games while playing a spell caster, I took most damage from unoccupied ranged attackers and AOEs; the only time a melee combatant moved to engage me was after stepping over the melees’ unconscious bodies. I haven’t experienced your fear regarding this, but I think you’ll just have to act and react as the situation demands, and remember that although wizards have fewer health (especially elves, but not so much for low level dwarves comparatively), their ACs are comparable to non-heavy armored martials at equal level (maybe 1 lower with the right stats).

And my main point about perception wasn’t that it’s okay for wizards to fail 50% of the time because of a lesser effect on a successful save; it is that wizards should use whatever is available to them to get the best result. My perception is that a 50% success is only the starting line; it’s the teams duty to make success 100%, applying to wizard spells, attacks, and abilities.

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I didn’t notice this, as Omelette in the Knights of Everflame seemed to be making it with the best attack roll without considering MAP. I don’t think Jason has said anything about it either. I honestly wouldn’t take cleave if it is affected by MAP since Swipe isn’t.

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There’s a discord server that you can join: https://discord.gg/VRVWnKp

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Mabtik wrote:
Narxiso wrote:
My stuff
I've talked to you about this in another thread, but honestly as I said there I'm not talking about the mechanics of the abilities so much as how they make me feel... (and several other subsequent posts)

Yeah, we did, and you brought up really good points that I hadn’t thought about before. Unfortunately, the thread dissolved into something else and the conversation didn’t continue. I’m glad to see you’re back though.

Anyway, after our conversation, I thought about the many tools wizards have at their disposal and that a narrowed focus on wizards’ individual spells (and even individual schools) is probably not the best way to look at them (or even play them) after seeing how the caster in our group plays (a primal sorcerer, who has only used spells that are also on the arcane spell list aside from heal). In every combat, our sorcerer uses the most effective spell for that situation, and he has been a main reason we haven’t wiped so far. From what I’ve gathered, over specialization and over-reliance on one tactic is not going to serve a Wizard (or any character for that matter) well.

Instead, wizard characters must be adaptable, using their available spells and abilities to make the best of their situations (this may be easier for a spell substitution theorist). By this, I mean to adjust not only to the terrain and enemies, but allies as well. If all your allies rush into combat so that you can’t use any AoE damaging spell, try single target spells after demoralizing. Or try something like goblin pox and move away plinking enemies with reach spells. That’s the thing about wizards, their lower health is balanced by their ability to do battle from afar. And if creature(s) break off to attack you, you’re free to use those AoE spells. Wizards shouldn’t passively wait for the best conditions to use the spells or abilities they want, they should make those conditions, just like every other combatant should.

As for the perception that spells are meant to fail, all I can say is that spell success comes down to how you’re able to work the system for better outcomes, just as rogues need to make enemies flat-footed or two-handed barbarians need to first get into melee range and rage to make full use of their abilities. And you probably shouldn’t think of save success as a consolation, those lower effects are tactical incentives of using limited daily resources that have opportunity costs. Wizards are able to select a variety of tools for a variety of situations (even if specifically combat focused), while the martial build has to be more tailored by feat choice, as Bellybeard pointed out. However, there aren’t as many debuffs that martial characters can use throughout their careers, not to mention in a single day. I think not trying to make changes and making excuses (blaming the system? I can’t think of the correct word or phrase here right now) when there has been math done (by players and presumably the designers) as well as extensive playtest to check balance is insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Maybe trying out different spells, working to create better situations, or combining different actions would give you better results and change your perception.

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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:


1) Monsters. Better, worse, much the same? Keeping in mind that PF2 has only one Bestiary so far. PF2 monsters are no longer built like characters, which is ummm.... good and bad I guess? Is it still possible to take a squirrel, Awaken him to consciousness, and train him as an assassin? More generally, how flexible is monster construction? We seem to have done away with templates. I liked templates. How is this working out in actual play?

2) Treasure. The loot system looks VERY tight and very structured. Not sure I like this. Is there flexibility here? Does letting a first level character get a +2 sword unbalance the game badly?

3) Magic items. Haven't reviewed the new rules closely. Apparently the Wand of Cure Light Wounds is dead WOOO YES? What other major changes are here, good or bad?

Lots more, but those will do for now. As always, thanks in advance --

Doug M.

1. From what I’ve seen, monsters seem more appropriate for their levels, at least so far. Higher level opponents are dangerous, equal leveled creatures are challenging, while low level creatures are easier to manage until they overwhelm with numbers. Creatures seem more fine-tuned compared to the past where a level five party can take on a level 12 creature (I was in such a party). I don’t really know about monster construction though, as I haven’t fiddled with that.

2. To be completely honest, the magic item system is the thing I hate most about this edition. Magic items are completely necessary and are built into the system math. Giving a +2 item before the expected level will throw off the math, but I’m not sure exactly how much. On the inverse, I find the prospect of losing items at high level much more disagreeable, as martials rely on the magic of their weapons for six die of damage or more depending on the weapon type, and everyone relies on runes for 3 AC and +3 on saves at later levels, without which they are not comparable to equal level monsters even if they would be a PC half their levels if given the high level PC’s armor. This is the main reason I’m looking forward to the Game Mastery Guide.

3. As an aside on 2, I do like the changes to wands and staffs, being limited use items daily, while the greater focus is on consumables, caster’s spells, and skills. Having the medicine skill as a healing option makes adventures great and less reliant on a healing focus (it’s still great to have one as healing specialization is really good). Items are almost completely necessary for skills, however, to overcome many DCs later level.

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Razgriz 1 wrote:
Narxiso wrote:

Would spells feel better if they only had a binary system: failing the save gives the failed result without a chance for critical and a successful result does nothing? Because that honestly seems a lot worse to me, but it would get rid of the perception that spells are meant to fail.

I don't think the sucess result is what makes it feel like the spells are meant to fail, it's more the different results plus the rate to hit spells versus at level enemies. Even the lowest save will have better than 50% chance to resist a spell many times. In a sense they are meant to fail (and the failed result still be useful).

To keep using your example, if you remove the crit fails and made a sucessful save make a spell do nothing, the spell would be underpowered and increasing the chance for the spell to hit would make it balanced again, and that would make the spell not look like it was designed to fail even if it would introduce other problems (more binary gameplay and making incapacitation spells even more useless versus bosses, because the incapacitate would always bring the failure into a sucess, that would then do nothing).

I don’t see the spell save DCs and different tiers of success as any intention of failure on spellcasters’ part. On the contrary, I see them as reasons to keep using spells as well as to encourage smart, tactical, and team-focused play. As spells almost always have some effect, casters will always have some incentive to cast spells that require saves. From the side of target, I find needing to critically succeed in order to not be hampered a threat worth seriously considering. On the other hand, the same cannot be said for martials, who have diminishing returns on each strike after the first (and I don’t think including certain strike is a fair argument, as it is a level 10 fighter feat that will usually only add strength damage, while competing with other really good feats).

With the prevalence of conditions that can lower creatures’ DCs, it would be all too easy to end encounters had save DCs not increased. Also, even with incapacitation spells, it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to land. If my understanding is correct, a few debuffs on even a boss creature and a lucky natural one could end an encounter (sickened and fear 2 would lower a save to be a critical fail, incapacitation will increase to failure, and the natural 1 would make it a critical failure). That aside, incapacitation is not that common of a trait for spells, only appearing on spells that are complete encounter enders, while the majority of combat useful spells do not have are only affected by higher creatures’ DCs.

Corwin Icewolf wrote:

I feel like there's rp related stuff involved with some of that. For instance, I feel that yelling at an enemy like a grumpy idiot in the middle of a fight is unwizardly. My goblin wizard does it, but, you know, he's the type that would. Most wizards just aren't going to go around yelling "We're going to rip out your entrails and strangle you with them!" to scare people.

There are other ways to intimidate than yelling something so elementary, especially for a wizard, such as an action of chanting in abyssal with the only intelligible words sounding like curses. “That’s (not) what my character would do” is not a good argument when all it takes is a little imagination. Also, intimidation is not the only thing a character can do to lower save DCs. It was just an example.

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Would spells feel better if they only had a binary system: failing the save gives the failed result without a chance for critical and a successful result does nothing? Because that honestly seems a lot worse to me, but it would get rid of the perception that spells are meant to fail.

As for the argument that casters don’t interact with the three action system, I would have to agree. While most spells take up two actions, there are things they can do with the last one, such as move, take cover, cast a shield spell, intimidate to get a better chance to land a spell, feint to have a better chance to land an attack spell (if in melee), etc. Being reluctant to take advantage of an action or not thinking of the possibilities does not make wizards incapable of doing so.

One thing that I find irritating is that people dismiss the conditions as “minor debuffs,” but having played and succeeded on a number of saves, I can say that it sucks having those debuffing conditions, especially in boss fights. In boss fights, having a number of those little debuffs on one target will quickly add up to defeat. Having played both martial and caster, I don’t think casters’ use of spells that only end with these results are anything to scoff at and are as necessary as the fighter’s attacks in victory.

Wizards are supposed to be highly intelligent characters with tricks up their sleeves. If a wizard only has one trick and that trick is countered, that’s not an issue with wizards; that’s an issue with one specific wizard.

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Joey Cote wrote:


While I like that you cannot make a dump stat by taking negative values at character creation, I also dislike it a bit from RP perspective. No stupid elves, weak humans, unwise dwarves, etc.

These are possible with the voluntary flaw mechanic: take two ability flaws for one ability boost. You just can’t reduce anything below 8, which I find completely reasonable for a party, making sure that everyone is mentally and physically fit enough to carry their own weights, so to speak.

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Bast L. wrote:

So what is the purpose of a wizard now? Minor debuffs and (relatively, compared to buffed hit points) weakened blasting? People who wanted to blast played sorcerers. People who wanted to solve problems played wizards. Without utility spells, without worthwhile crafting, without anything unique or especially useful about them, why bother?

Serious question for those who've played a bit: would your party be much better with 3 fighters and a cleric, or a fighter, cleric, wizard, rogue?

A wizard just brings less damage, way less hp, less defense, and no utility. What's the point of the class? To AoE level -2 groups?

I guess they could counterspell a boss. Assuming the wizard has the counterspell feat, and the boss is casting a spell of lower level. Or you're level 12, and you use clever counterspell (2 feats now, a lot dedicated to this), and if the boss is a full caster, casting his highest level spell, you have to crit succeed if you're even level, or succeed at odd level (against level +3 full caster DC), possibly taking a -2 penalty (gm arbitrariness to negate), and also using one of your highest level slots. Sounds not great.

I'm really curious, what do you think a wizard brings to the table?

I’m going to have to agree with Rysky on this one. Your point on the usefulness of wizards is a gross understatement. I’ve been playing for two months, and without a doubt, casters are completely essential to the success of parties. Those “minor debuffs” when used intelligently (even if used sparingly) have saved many encounters from member loss or tpk. Just today, our dispel was used on a hazard in combat to stop it from causing the entire party from being blinded, and in another encounter, a fireball reduced every enemy low enough that they each fell with another follow up attack. Of course, each spell was useful in the right situation, but if one spell solves every problem, then there is no point in having any other magic.

And from what I’ve seen, crafting is very worthwhile for wizards, not because it controls the economic power of the party through a wizard being the sole resource for receiving magical upgrades, but because crafting is useful in other areas outside of arms manufacture, such as in construction. And wizards are the most likely candidates for high intelligence in any given party.

As for utility, wizard spells also grant that in spades. Now, however, utility is not an automatic win button for encounters and dangers, forcing characters to really think about opportunity cost instead of casting utility spells that last the entire day (hyperbole on my part) and completely overshadow any skill use. Wizard’s utility can also be supported with skill use as well, skills that they should have in spades since intelligence influences the number of trained skills.

Wizards are unique in the whole package approach of the character, not because of one specific thing. Of course, just like any other class, every wizard can be built differently while still maintaining effectiveness. Instead of looking at each part separately, it would be better to look at all the thing wizards can do together as well as how those parts interact with each other, the party, enemies, and the environment.

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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
perception check wrote:


I could go on, but I need to prepare for today's PF2 session, wherein our martials will hit things, I the wizard will cast my boring, static-DC spells (and will likely resort to hitting things), and the baddies will hit us back. In terms of combat, grappling into submission as an alternate win condition is suboptimal at best. Control spells as an alternate win condition are nonexistent. It's all about damage now. We hit things, the enemies hit us back, and when the dice allow for it, one side wins. Long live my d20.

Harsh. Anyone have a response to this?

Doug M.

As others have pointed out, there are a variety of options that make combat more engaging than 1e. Casters are no longer the end-all-be-all in groups, but that does not mean that they’re any worse than martials, unless you specifically ignore the attributes that can make a caster shine. The game encourages players to be proactive and reactive to gain an edge over opponents and to really make an effort to use the tools available to them (skills, feats, movement, spells, etc) instead of relying on passive and prebuff bonuses to guarantee success or failure. That is not to say that buffs are useless, as every little bonus or penalty can play a major effect on a character’s survival. Instead of knowing the best way to build a character in order to destroy encounters that DMs spend precious time to create in one round and make the rest of the party background characters, learning how conditions and modifiers work and applying them in the most appropriate situation to help the team is more important. Did I mention that the team being the focus instead of the individual (though every class can get into the spotlight) is also a benefit of this system?

One more thing to note about spell casters is that their lowest level spells also maintain a competitive spell dc equal to their highest level spell slots. Bards are also a really great class in this edition. .

As an aside, my opinion is completely biased as someone whose first experience in a full campaign was Pathfinder 1e as a rogue, and I can honestly say that despite trying the system out multiple times afterward, I hated it (mostly because I was bored of 5e’s lack of options). In most cases, I found that I was all-but useless unless I looked at a guide to create a character and hope that it was viable. Of course, I couldn’t compete with the casters, especially with all the new spells, and I didn’t find any enjoyment in needing help making a character after reading the rules. With Pathfinder Second Edition, unless specifically built with the intention to not be viable and basic understanding of the system, almost any concept within the rules (which have only been out a couple months) will be useful to the party, more so with smart play.

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I think it really is a way to keep the game interesting on both sides of the GM screen without creating a whole lot of work due to rocket tag, as incapacitation effects are encounter enders. With how the new system works, if casters didn’t have to worry about the incapacitation trait, the best course of action (as I’ve seen in all of my PF1 games with highest level slots) would be to only prepare those spells to take down the most dangerous enemy, while the rest of the party just does clean up, something that would once again lead to caster-martial disparity. Conversely, a number of incapacitating foes would be more dangerous than an equal level encounter of nonincapacitating foes, something that 5e focuses on.

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Mabtik wrote:
Stuff

Just another idea, until level 5 or so, I would focus on cantrip evocation damage and use goblin pox and demoralize to increase your chance of maximizing damage for the greatest period of time (or until the enemy spends an action and succeeds a saving throw, which is still lowered by the sickened condition). I would also see if you could switch out a cantrip or two for chill touch (targeting a save you don’t have for a cantrip) and telekinetic projectile (for a higher damage single target attack roll spell since you don’t want your allies to be struck by splash damage from acid splash, or do you?).

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Mabtik wrote:
Narxiso wrote:
I asked for something
You delivered

There is absolutely nothing wrong with your build whatsoever. It looks like what I’d expect from an evocation wizard in PF2, and the effectiveness of your spells would be greatly reduced with a party build of that sort (3 martials and a cleric who buffs), I’d reckon. I don’t really have anything that I think would make this a better evocation build (directly); all I have are a few suggestions.

From your character descriptions, I think it would be appropriate to choose a few more “arrogant” (my adjective of description) spells, partly because I think of wizards as ultimate, thinker type spell casters who excel at their specializations because they enable themselves and partly for flavor of what you’ve posted.

For starters, I would branch out into enchantment for spells like command (making the peasants and naysayers grovel) and fear (to show everyone who’s boss). I’d save command for bosses and use fear judiciously after exhausting the demoralize feat.

I’d also branch out more to necromancy spells, specifically goblin pox (no one would criticize a noble for a few serf deaths right?). Sickened is an amazing debuff, especially when paired with fear to make landing other spells and attacks more easily, and it requires an action to possibly remove. These should help with landing more evocation single target spells (though very slot spending at low levels). These are really the only spells that I think could be thematic additions from your description.

As for your class feats, I would really suggest that you take the bard multiclass (not for the buffing cantrips, for you’re a proud noble of destruction, not back seat character in a supporting role), but to take bardic knowledge. This way, you could use an actions every fight to glean useful information about enemies (especially since you’ll have the intelligence).

This is really a spoiler:
Also, while playing through Age of Ashes, at least the first book, we got loads of spell scrolls, and most were on the arcane spell list. And I mean I think I could have spent one or two every fight and would still have some left over. That should really help keep up with martial damage low levels and not fell like you’re running dry of spells.

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Dirge of doom is definitely my top pick, lowering all saves and checks within 30 feet. It’s a three feat investment with sorcerers though.

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Mabtik wrote:
Several posts

Unfortunately, that feat isn’t available in the rule book from what I’ve seen, which sucks since that would have been key to an evocations build.

I do think that if you’re using attack spells and aren’t getting the same buffs as the rest of the party, then it’s perfectly fair to feel the difference in accuracy. In my game, when I buffed, everyone was within range, except for one fight when the rogue dashed off far ahead of the party.

You honestly seem to be in an unfortunate situation with a party not wholly suited to your character’s fighting style. I don’t think that’s anyone’s fault, just circumstance. I hadn’t experienced anything like that, and my group’s sorcerer hasn’t really attempted anything big in combat in the one session that we played with our new characters.

As for buffing characters, I think the idea was to get away from prebuffing and focus on buffing for individual fights, especially tough ones. As for debuffing, I think the best for a first level spell would be Goblin Pox, as it gives sickened on a success (requires an action to reroll the save to remove the condition). Fear is also a good debuff, but at lower levels, I would try to use the intimidate first, as spell slots are precious then.

Would you mind posting your build and spells to get an idea about what your character is like? I’m not sure if I can help your situation, but I’d like to see what you’ve done.

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K1 wrote:
oholoko wrote:
K1 wrote:

Obviously you will be pick for critical on single target, axe for swipe and a polearms for reach.

Shifting rune is what you are looking for.

And as said above, a min max barbarian will definitely surpass a fighter from lvl 16.

I don't think so. I think it will depends on the AC, if the AC is too low if the AC is too high fighters also do more. If the AC is the average/low the barbarian will do a lot more. At least that's what i think will happen.

You don't get what I meant.

Starting from lvl 16 a barbarian will have the same attack of a fighter, by using the feat which gives him +2 circumstance hit on all attacks, until he remains under half hp.

And since a barbarian has a huge hp pool, extra hp from both toughnesd and dwarf mountain stoutness, and temporary hp on demand, this won't be a problem at all.

I think you’re making a lot of assumptions about how everyone will build their barbarians. I’m not sure if I would take that feat, as that is a -2 (or -3 if rage’s -1 stacks) to AC (-3 or -4 with giant slayer), which may not be worth it to many people. Also, for dragon barbarians, there the dragon transformation at that level. Also, collateral thrash is thematic for Hulk barbarians.

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K1 wrote:

Obviously you will be pick for critical on single target, axe for swipe and a polearms for reach.

Shifting rune is what you are looking for.

And as said above, a min max barbarian will definitely surpass a fighter from lvl 16.

I honestly wouldn’t wast a rune on shifting, especially since other runes can be put on that increase damage more often (as an aside, pick is great single target). Also, an optimal build probably would focus on more complementary feats for a specific weapon instead of spreading so thin. And with the cost of weapon upkeep, it wouldn’t be worth it to me to keep a set of each either.

Mabtik wrote:
Latest Post

Honestly, I didn’t even realize that there was no way to mitigate damage on allies within an aoe. I definitely though there was a feat available specifically for that (it may have been in the playtest and I just overlooked it not being present).

At least for early levels, I didn’t really see that much of an accuracy discrepancy between myself and the martials (granted we didn’t have a fighter) even after they got magic weapons, and this was with me using telekinetic projectile the way it is entered into fantasy grounds, being a ranged attack that uses dexterity instead of spellcasting modifier. My main role in the group was buffing with secondary being damage and healing, so I didn’t personally do debuffing, but another character did, and it worked out very well for our group. Even with my damage, I always felt like I was greatly contributing to the group with damage, defeating one of the stronger enemies in an AP while most of my group was just healed (conscious and ready to stand up to make and attack) up from dying. I would really like to know what you’ve been doing as a wizard and how you’ve been playing it, as I have not played wizard, just read through it a bit. I do disagree that blaster is the optimal (except to deal damage) way to play wizard, but I also think that prebuffing is terrible and another reason why I hate first edition.

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K1 wrote:

A fighter with a 2h axe is good both for single and aoe.

A fighter has a +2 hit and it will also gain a +1 circumstance from the sweep bonus in a swipe scenario.

A crit will delete the 2 opponents.

And a fighter is used to crit.

You should also consider that the calculations here are not only in the whitest room ever, but we are not considering somebody buffing the fighter .

Which is non likely to happens.

I agree that swipe is really good for a fighter in the correct situation, but I’m not too sure how often that situation will play out since swipe requires both targets to be in melee range and right next to each other. Still, it is an excellent feat when it can be executed. I don’t know if I would consider swipe an aoe (of course others might), in the same way that I wouldn’t consider electric arc an aoe.

As for the white room calculations, I’m not sure what you’d want. If you’re willing to do the calculations for every single class combination, feat choice, terrain variable, and possible action, I’d be more than happy to take a look. I would also like to point out that while fighter’s can be buffed, the same is possible for enemies as well as allies (including casters, and conversely, debuffs can be thrown around. For me, if I were playing a wizard, I would love if some gave my target the fear condition or paralyzed condition. If you’re saying that the math doesn’t show that fighters are superior because of white-room calculations, then I have to ask whether you think all the things that martials (especially melee martials) have to do in order to being our all their tricks.

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Mabtik wrote:


I understand that this is a white room math calculation, but I would hope that the assumptions made would reflect the class they're attempting to calculate, unfortunately this appears to be incorrect. As such it is mostly useless for assisting me in modeling Wizard expectations at the very least. Thank you for the math on the other classes, that appears to be useful for determining when class feats should be used to enhance damage and when it's okay to sit back and just make basic attacks.

I’d like to know what build of fighter you’re doing that makes it so much better than a wizard. From what I’m looking at, fighter’s have raw single target damage, while wizards have higher multi-target damage as well as greater versatility. For damage, I would make an evocation wizard with a bow and a bespell weapon, focusing on enemy weaknesses. That should put damage somewhere in the ballpark of fighter’s damage, especially when using a weapon that is level appropriate. Of course, I wouldn’t play a wizard just to have the best single target damage, debuffs, buffs, and aoe damage in the group. I would try to focus on spells or a play style that would be definitive of my character.

——————————————————————————————
I’ve also seen many people focus on the lower saving throw, but even when an opponent fails, the damage is halved on many of the damage spells. Those that require attack rolls may be best to use in conjunction with true strike, but that will only really be necessary at higher levels when lower level spells can be spared, as cantrips are awesome at low levels (1-4 or so). Pushing all spell DCs and attacks to the same levels as fighters would just make spell casting an obvious choice, as half damage on spell would be obviously superior than no damage on a failed attack roll, especially with the nigh-equal amounts currently. The current solution is to give casters a set number of tools that when used over a few encounters makes them about equal to martials. Having fewer encounters makes them more powerful, but more encounter makes them a little weaker (slightly), so a balance must be struck. And giving casters an at-will equal to martials in damage would just cause this edition to have the same “problems” as fourth edition.

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I would take polymath muse to use performance for demoralize (though it only affects the demoralize action, so if you want to be intimidating to coerce, you’d want to invest in the intimidation skill).

For background, I’d choose warrior for intimidating glare so that you aren’t penalized for not speaking the same language.

For class feats, at level 2, I’d pick up versatile muse: maestro to get lingering performance or multiclass into rogue; at 6, take dirge of doom; at 8, if you took a basic rogue feat at 4, I’d take the rogue’s dread striker.

For skill feats, I’d take intimidating glare (if you didn’t get it from background), battle cry at level 8 (polymath’s versatile performance allows you to pick up intimidation feats), and scare to death when you get legendary performance. Virtuosic Performer is also a must get as soon as possible.

Spells, though not all of them:
1: Fear, Phantom Pain, Grim Tendrils
2: Paranoia
3: Enthrall, Hypnotic Pattern

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Mabtik wrote:
Mellored wrote:
Temperans wrote:
So that probably should be 21 * 1.2 (not big deal just saying).

Yes, fixed.

I calculated correctly, so same answer.

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But, I'm curious where are you getting the extra +2 damage for barbarian, is it a rage power or something? Regular rage is only +2.

Draconic barb is what I've been using. "While raging, you can increase the additional damage from Rage from 2 to 4".

Other rages get other more conditional stuff, so that seems like the one easiest to compare.

And I guess I could do shield fighter vs shield animal barb.

Quote:
On that note if the barbarian is getting access to rage and other abilities, shouldn't the fighter get the use of at least 1 feat? But then again the equivalent to rage would be AoO and/or Shield Block.

Right. 0 feats for either.

Though, I guess fighter having OA should count for some damage. No idea how much though.

The zero feats for anyone is kind of my problem with your calculations. You're running what amounts to a bot that doesn't ever do anything but take the most basic actions with absolute minimal investment and comparing it to what is being referred to as "the optimal wizard build," followed up by dismissing differences in the numbers as Wizards having access to utility...only if my Wizard is blasting as frequently as you say there's zero room in the spell slots for those utility spells. I will grant that wands/scrolls/staves can stop-gap or resolve that problem, but so too do the magic items that a fighter can pick up and use without having to heavily invest in a magic using class while many of the items that used to be available to alleviate spell slot constraints have been removed from the game.

Basic Attack Routine versus Optimal Build seems disingenuous at best and deliberately or maliciously obtuse at worst. Currently, especially in the low level play I'm working through, my wizard (who is an evoker and so these numbers are particularly relevant to) feels *extremely* lacklustre....

If you’re willing to do the math for optimal builds at multiple levels for fighter, barbarian, wizard, cleric, bard, and sorcerer at different levels, I’d be glad to read through it (I listed a few because I think it’s good to have a few options of the supposed disparity between martials and casters). From what I’ve experienced playing a bard with another character as a cleric, there’s not much of a disparity, or at least, we always felt essential to the group in fulfilling whatever roles we wanted to: aoe damage (not me as the bard), single target damage, support, dot (damage over time), and debuffing.

Now, I’m playing a rogue, who through mostly use of skills almost soloed the monster that tpked our original team. Although skills aren’t casting, I’d like to make the point that having bigger numbers for to-hit is not the end-all, be-all that many people are making it out to be. An all fighter party will not be as effective as a party made up of varied classes, unless the adventure is just a slog through nigh-never ending opponents to fight on featureless maps, at least that is what I believe based on my experience.

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kaid wrote:


Cantrips are really nice and reasonable backup things to use but using weapons is still useful. Attacking twice and using one action to use one of the composition cantrips increases your chance of doing some damage on a turn. So going in to melee or using a bow or a sling staff are all perfectly viable for a bard. It is just that if all you want to do is play your bagpipe and do bard magic that is now a perfectly viable option this edition.

They’re a great back up and main source of damage at low levels, especially before striking weapons. I think I was doing higher damage with my telekinetic projectile than I would have with a bow though:

Spoiler:

Against a enemy needing a 10 to hit at level 1:
TP (3.5+5)*.5+(3.5+5)*2*.05=5.1 damage/round
Bow (3.5+1)*.5+ (3.5+1)*2*.05+(5.5)*.05+ (3.5+1)*.25+ (3.5+1)*2*.05+(5.5)*.05=4.825 damage/round
Bow w/lingering performance (3.5+1)*(.5+ 2*.05)+(5.5)*.05+ (3.5+1)*(.25+2*.05)+(5.5)*.05+ (3.5+1)*2*.05+(5.5)*.05=5.55 damage/round

Against an enemy where TP needs a 10 and a +1 striking bow needs a 9 to hit at level 4
TP (7+5)*.5+(7+5)*.1 =7.2
Bow (7+1)*(.5+ 2*.1)+(5.5)*.1+ (7+1)*(.3+2*.05)+(5.5)*.05= 9.625
Bow w/ lingering performance (7+1)*(.5+ 2*.1)+(5.5)*.1+ (7+1)*(.3+2*.05)+(5.5)*.05+(7+1)*(.05*2+.05)+(5.5)*.05=11.1

Bow would look the best after getting the runes, but it doesn’t do so much more damage that I think it’s worth the investment since I used a shield, had multiple damage types with telekinetic projectile, and spent most of my gold on healing potions. Also, damage increases again at level 5. The short bow does have greater range though.

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I think I might be playing a different game than most of the dissenters because I had a blast playing my bard. My initial idea was for a character who buffs and then runs into melee, but after realizing that telekinetic projectile does more damage without having to move, pull out a weapon, or decide if it was better to attack or raise my shield, I just started attacking from afar. Contrary to what I read on forums, the spell casting is great, even early levels. Up until the last fight, my priorities were: inspire courage, keep allies alive, attack, and defend, in that order (at least after the first couple of combats). Honestly, telekinetic projectile did so well, that I rarely used spell slots except to heal. And when I used them, they were for damage: grim tendrils and phantasmal pain, both of which have persistent damage effects on failed or critically failed saves and full damage on a success. Neither felt weak to me even when the boss (level +3) succeeded on my level 2 casting of phantasmal pain. Even with attacking not being a priority, my teammates praises that my damage were crucial to our success as well as the buffs and off-healing (we had a cleric). My only gripes were that I didn’t have a good reflex save damage spell nor any of the elemental damaging cantrips and that telekinetic projectile (according to fantasy grounds) uses dexterity instead of casting stat for attack rolls.

Anyways, great article, and I agree for the most part with your analysis considering my own experience.

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Porphyrogenitus wrote:
Michael Alves wrote:

That is why I included a table against Player Level+2 Enemy. It shows that even when taking all that loss of hit chance into account, the damage of the spells when they actually hit is so big that, plus the fact that it does half damage on a successful save it, compensates for all the lower chance of hitting.

...You are underestimating the lower level spells. Like I said in the article even level 1 debuffing spells can be crippling for enemies, and you will have plenty of those at higher levels. (7+?)
...

It really does seem like you’re looking at this in a vacuum. From my experience, spells work great even against higher level creatures. For instance, in a recent game with a level four party, I used three spells (two level 1 and one level 2) to fight against a greater barghest (cr 7). My first spell, a level 2 phantom pain was succeeded against, only resulting in 4d4 (I think 12) damage. My next attack, however, was a level 1 grim tendrils (after bad information from a teammate’s failed save), was failed against for 2d4 damage and 1 persistent, which only looks small without taking its full advantages into account: grim tendrils is a line spell. I only looked for persistent damage in case of a prolonged fight, as my main cantrip (telekinetic projectile) hits fairly hard without needing to get into combat or spend gold on increasing runes.

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Saros Palanthios wrote:
Chetna Wavari wrote:
They're three very passive players. One of them needs to take charge or get a new person who will take charge.
Does this get better? I just finished Knights of Everflame (loved it) and am thinking about getting into Oblivion Oath, but as a sometimes-GM I can't stand overly-passive players. Even in home games, the players are the cast, not the audience! That just goes double when your game is also a show.

No, unfortunately. The first few episodes were great since we had Owen K.C. Stephens‘ character Qundle, but since he died and Stephens left the company, it has been dropping, but the replacement for Qundle, the alchemist Professor Nikademus Thorne, is pretty active in engaging the story. The cast just seems to be going as the story takes them with few decisions being made by the party.

Spoiler:
Also, the character I found most interesting after Qundle, Zel, the Iruxi, lizard folk, is no longer in the party.

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I think shields are built the way they are and considered equipment outside of weapons and armor is due to balancing factor. Giving shields the ability to be upgraded with runes and have a bunch more fancy tricks would just make sword and board superior to other options. From an analysis I read soon after 2e was launched, a sword and board fighter wins most fights against a two-handed weapon fighter because of his defensive capability. I think adding more to shields would just make shield users the supreme choice for all characters.

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CorvusMask wrote:
Narxiso wrote:
logic_poet wrote:
A stupid, nameless owlbear cub, which in due course will surely murder the party if given the chance, somehow merits more compassion than the family of 3 people? Pharasma weeps.
I watched and thought the same thing, kind of. Yeah, I get that the guy stole for a week, but the fact that the owlbear is of greater concern than the wellbeing of the children made the character’s very off-putting with the exception of the lizard. I mean, the excuse that they have more important matters and “one person does not matter in the grand scheme of things” makes me really question this party’s morality. Carina does not seem much like a redeemer, full of kindness and forgiveness if she’s willing to let these people’s unfortunate fate become worse.

...Wait, she is supposed to be NG?

I completely forgot that she is a champion :p

And promising to let the children join the nights on their travels away from Tymon in case the man dies is little consolation. Now, I’m not saying that choosing to allow the man to accept his punishment is a bad course of action or even that I admonish them for that decision; I just hate that they compared it to “a greater good” course of action, while maintaining a greater deal of sympathy for the owlbear and people who they did not really interact as much with, such as the idea to start a revolution in Razmiran. I mean, they even stayed to help that loyal razmiranian lady in the woods, who was not related to them in the slightest, while on the run from the fanatical clergy, which could have put them at greater risk, and yet people whom they know and interacted with for days at a time, who experienced similar struggles to themselves, are left to die or face worse fates, plagued with the guilt that their father died because they were hungry, and will probably need to steal as well to survive. Gods, I miss Qundle.

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