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I think reading up on the changes to spellcasting is probably the biggest hurdle I have when it comes to trying PF2E, and I wonder what the community thinks about it.

Vancian casting is already very clunky and hard to work with (Schrodinger's Wizard aside) and PF seems to have tripled-down on that.

Simply put, upcasting spells for things like damage is pretty much always a bad idea, yes? A 6th level spell cast in a 6th level slot is always better than a 2nd level spell cast in a 6th level slot.
The one exception to this is spells that *must* be upcast to be effective - Dispel Magic and the like... But how on earth are you supposed to prepare upcast utility spells with anything even remotely resembling success? If you want to beat your foe's illusions or enchantments or whatever... it's just a crapshoot where you pray you prepped it high enough? Or you're required to put those spells as your Signature Spell (or other similar class ability), yes?

Maybe errata has softened things since last I looked, but it seems like spellcasting is just a mathematical nightmare (too many choices, too many possibilities to have to plan for, etc).
How does one deal with this? Or how is it not as bad a problem as it seems?

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Yes, I know there are a few exceptions of spells that cast with one action (Magic Missile, Cure Wounds, etc) but it seems like the vast majority of spells require two actions to cast, leaving you with one action a turn.
Mechanically, one action a turn is *very* similar to the old "Move Action" of edition(s) past; you can move, you can stow/retrieve an item, etc.

It reminds me of the Age of Conan MMO's release: There's this new and interesting chassis for non-magical characters in combat where you queue up your combo and then have to execute directional attacks to complete the combo - essentially very much more interactive than most MMOs where you just auto-attack and hit 1, 2, 3, repeat or whatever. Meanwhile, if you're a caster, you just press the button to cast your spells just like in every other game.
PF2 is looking like this to me. Non-magical characters have this new 3-action chassis to play with where maybe you want to attack more than once or twice, or maybe you want to move multiple times, and the mini-game of combat is just a lot more interesting and interactive than it was in 3.5 or PF1... but the casters are still just casting a spell and moving, etc.

Am I underestimating the number of single-action spell options?
If not, how do you make spellcaster tactics as new and enjoyable as non-caster tactics? Or is it just a matter of dealing with it being the same as before?

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While there is a very real argument that such a change would make a lot of lower level damage spells feel rather useless, I'd argue that they already do.
Low level damage spells have always, and continue even now, to feel really bad. Magic Missile is technically impressive (always hits, does hard-to-resist damage, does full damage to enemies that are typically harder to damage such as incorporeal enemies, etc.) but in action, mathematically, when dice hit the table, it pretty much always feels bad.
And I'm pretty sure I've seen enough of the arguments/math around up-casting damage spells to say that it's pretty much always a bad choice - you should just cast the higher level base spell as it will either do more damage, cover a better area, or simply both.

It really seems like the vocal minority that insisted that Wizards could do literally everything was taken too seriously, and spellcasting suffered for it.
No, casters didn't have an answer to everything. If they did, they could solo adventures, and that's just not happening. (I'd challenge anyone to show me a PF1 wizard/cleric/druid who could!)
Yes, they could do a lot of things that non-magical classes couldn't, but they weren't the gods that 3.5 made them. (And there's always the argument that if magic isn't fantastical, then what's the point of it?)

Captain Morgan wrote:

Aside from what others have said already, easy ressurection is rarely reflected in most works of fiction outside of D&D based settings. Even in settings where death is a revolving door it usually isn't as rote as D&D. No one stays dead in comics in practice besides Uncle Ben, but they still have a unique plot device for every ressurection. That way the veneer of death being final is maintained.

Even in Dragonball, where the same plot device is used to bring people back all the time, said McGuffin is something that intergalactic wars are fought over.

Ressurection being easy in D&D is basically just a holdover from when it was a lot easier to die. It's not that easy anymore, so we don't really need the same easy access.

I would argue it's actually pretty common, it just depends on how fantastical the setting is.

And Pathfinder is drastically more fantastical than older editions of D&D.

You already mention comics as a big one (yes, it's a plot device every time, but it still happens every. time.)
Anime and manga is another, where resurrection is relatively common with the mentioned example of Dragon Ball simply being the most egregious (and Dragon Ball absolutely does get to the point where it's so easy it's handled offstage as an afterthought.)

It's commonality being based on how lethal the game is or isn't doesn't really seem particularly relevant or at question here.
I'm just curious why it's availability is such a contentious point? Once upon a time, adventuring groups didn't go adventuring without a cleric. Now, that "role" has spread further than the cleric alone, but the strategy still stands - you bring the heals because when fighting Dragons, you'd still like to go home at the end of the day. And in a world with said Dragons, that's probably gonna require some Raise Deading. :)

Tender Tendrils wrote:
Another reason I think it makes sense to be rare is the implications to certain plots in a fantasy world - if you have a plot where say, the king dies, and there is a succession crisis of some kind, then resurrection rituals being uncommon kind of makes you wonder why it isn't standard practice to try and resurrect every monarch or powerful noble who dies - people with that much power and influence should be capable enough of tracking down people and items of uncommon rarity.

I feel like this problem exists no matter the rarity of the spell though.

It's a massive gaping hole in setting design of D&D settings that monarchs aren't just resurrecting through assassination attempts.
Because believe me, if you think the party is wealthy? Woah boy, the royalty makes you look like paupers!

So if, for instance, Golarion has resurrection spells but assassinated important people aren't being resurrected, it's up to the setting designer's to throw a bone as to why that is.
Are assassins smart enough to know what body parts are necessary for a Raise Dead to work correctly?
Is the idea that the vast majority of every population is very low level and the party (and villains) are extremely rare? (What a lonely setting for heroes that would be!)
Are resurrection attempts being foiled by subterfuge?
There's plenty of ways to explain away this problem, but it just... hasn't been explained away. Not usually. Not ever?

And I'm definitely not trying to point a finger at Paizo here - their not addressing it is just following suit in a looong list of other D&D settings who also potentially have this problem and haven't addressed it at all.
All it takes is a footnote in a lore book, but it's a pretty important footnote!

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I'm curious - why is the idea of resurrection magic any more or less fantastical than any other magic in the setting, in that it needs to be so much more rare or restricted?

Or is it actually just the unpleasant thought that you think players popping up again and again from death eliminates tension?
Can your players' party actually afford that? Why are you showering them in diamonds, etc?

Is this a legit problem at tables or is it armchair math gone crazy?

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It's a ribbon ability that hardly gives any value but is thematically really fun to have.
There's really no good reason to have to wait until you're almost done as a Ranger to sleep in armor and not get fatigued.
It's not like you aren't forced to camp safely because of the rest of the party, so it's not like you're really getting anything out of this. :P

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Backflipping sounds like Acrobatics, rather than Athletics (which merely determines the distance you can jump), and I doubt his Dex is great.

But yes, being Str 18 makes you very good at all Athletics stuff even if you're in Full Plate.

Flipping is kind of... acrobatic athletics.

You need to be very athletic to get the jump high enough, and acrobatic enough to complete the rotation correctly.

But since the game doesn't combine skills, I'd say athletics is the better fit in this case. :)

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Megistone wrote:
Second, many people view losing HP not as serious injuries, but scratches and flesh wounds, at least until you reach 0. A few rules reinforce this view: the fact that you still still have 100% functionality when down to 1 HP is an old example, and 2e introduces the 'wounded' condition when you stand back up after hitting 0.

This one right here is worth repeating, IMO.

You're not taking a longsword through the gut until you hit zero. What would be even more ridiculous than this kind of healing is the idea of taking 22 longsword attacks through your body before the 23rd one finally actually took you out. ;)

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Temperans wrote:
Harry Potter also has a similar feel with the muggle/wizard separation and costs of schooling.

I'd argue that every "Wizard" in HP is actually a Sorcerer, since you're either born with it (Wizard) or you can't ever do it period (Muggle).

Just reading the Vorpal enchantment again and remembering why I hate it: I need the most expensive magical enchantment in order to... target someone's neck?
Seems dumb, feels bad, yet been around for literally decades over various editions.

But even so, Vorpal only applies to heads. What about legs, arms, hands, eyes, etc?

How do you handle actual wounds and not just HP damage in your games?

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Strill wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:

This is actually starting to point out why class (im)balance made a ton of sense, and "fixing" it doesn't make much sense at all.

Anyone (literally anyone) can become a "Fighter." PC, NPC, doesn't matter. It's an open book for anyone who can pick up a weapon.
But look at how much defense is being given to Mages needing to be extra before they can even start?
Yet, in outcomes, they should be similar?

Not everyone can be a "fighter". A "fighter" is not just any old joe who picks up a sword. A "fighter" is a hero on the path to matching the likes of Achilles, Cu Chulainn, Jason, or Bellerophon. An NPC can train for combat, but that doesn't mean they're going to match a player character, no matter how hard they try.

Eeh, hard disagree.

The Fighter will never match up to those legendary folks because a) the mechanics don't support the kind of feats they are capable of, and/or b) because they became what they were through being much much more than just a Fighter (divine blood, magic, etc.)

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This is actually starting to point out why class (im)balance made a ton of sense, and "fixing" it doesn't make much sense at all.

Anyone (literally anyone) can become a "Fighter." PC, NPC, doesn't matter. It's an open book for anyone who can pick up a weapon.
But look at how much defense is being given to Mages needing to be extra before they can even start?
Yet, in outcomes, they should be similar?

None of it adds up. The only reasonable stance I can see is if outcomes should be similar, then entry level requirements should also be similar.
If you can find a mentor to teach you magic and you aren't an idiot (ie: have the requisite Int score necessary to cast spells), then wizardry can easily be in your future; just as if you can find a trainer and have the strength or agility necessary (the requisite Str/Dex to wield gear and not suck at hitting things) then a career as a warrior can easily be in your future.

Does this mean anyone can or should be able to do magic? Of course not, there's plenty of idiots (low Int people) in the world. But should it be especially exclusive or hard? Not at all.

Saying Conan was a Rogue is like saying Elminster is a Cleric.
Spending some of his career doing a thing doesn't make him specifically that thing. ;)

NemoNoName wrote:
Frankly, I think Conjuration has far too many "hats"; it has summoning, it has battlefield control spells, it has buff spells, it has damage spells... Grease is a big peeve of mine, it should've been Transmutation - change the property of the object rather than summoning the fat from the Plane of Lard.

Couldn't agree with you more.

The D&D spell list has needed a major overhaul on spells and what school they should really be in since 3.0, and no edition since, PF and PF2 included, has really truly tackled the issue, which is really unfortunate.
I think in this case, they saw that Transmutation was the most bloated of the arcane schools, so they thinned it out, but what they forgot to do was give it some bite.

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Dragonchess Player wrote:
However, a TWF barbarian is possible with two feats: Ranger Dedication and Basic Hunter's Trick (Twin Takedown).

My contention to this argument is simply, it proves my initial point right.

You aren't TWF as a Barbarian - you're TWF as a Barbarian/Ranger, because you had to step outside of your class (Barb) in order to pick up the combat style you wanted to play with (TWF), and it even took twice the investment to do it.
Continuing to look at Barbarian for a sec, the quintessential Barbarian is probably Conan, a character who commonly used a sword and shield in his stories. Yet the Barbarian class doesn't have Shield feats, so you can't even play the barbarian without MCing.

Having had more time to consider it, I think my issue boils down to the idea that "combat style" shouldn't be tied so specifically to classes, but should be more general.
Class Feats should focus on what class-specific gameplay you'd like to do, but in reality much of that gets sacrificed because class feats are used up on how you do combat.

Getting back to Ranger - If you want to play a Ranger that really feels like a Ranger (ie: tracking, animal interaction, knowledge of terrain and enemies, stealth, etc) you can absolutely do it, but you won't have feats left over to be any good at any combat style. If you want to be any good at a combat style, you have to sacrifice what makes the Ranger the Ranger.

Why is "training" necessary still? It seems outdated and awkward mechanically.

It certainly doesn't match anything resembling actual armor usage (where you used the best you could afford, and Plate was easier to wear than maille).

Weapon proficiency makes sense, because you actually have to train with weapons to be good with them.
Armor is just whatever you wear. It doesn't have peculiar quirks or attachments that require being knowledgeable - you just gotta put it on and hope you win before the heat stroke gets you.

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Do people really think the 1e Cleric was a one-man-wrecking-machine? Really?

I mean, didn't the Warpriest come along because the Cleric couldn't keep up? Sure they had all the tools to be OP, but they didn't have the action economy to get there fast enough.

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A lot of class comparisons are ending up with, "you won't be as good as a Fighter, but that's their shtick so it's fine."

Is that a Fighter's shtick? To take a fighting style and just be better at it than anyone else with that fighting style?
That doesn't sound right to me.

A dedicated archer Ranger should be just as good as a Fighter at archery. Where the Fighter should stand out is they should shine regardless of what weapon (within some sort of limits, obv) you put in their hands.
Bow breaks it's string? That's fine, he's excellent with a sword and shield too. Shield is sundered? No worries, he makes great use of that newly free hand for maneuvers or 2-handing.

I haven't looked too closely at how the Fighter class feats break down, but I'm curious how many styles they will strongly support.

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breithauptclan wrote:

For 'competent at' I would say that they don't feel that the build that the player is going for doesn't work at all and they can't do the thing that they want to do - but it isn't going to outshine a different class that is designed specifically for that.

So no, a ranger isn't going to be as good of a fighter as the fighter is. So when sitting next to an Archery Fighter, a ranger may feel a bit lacking.

So if an Archer Fighter dedicates themselves with most/all of their feats going to archery, and an Archer Ranger dedicates themselves with most/all of their feats going to archery, and the Fighter comes out better...

They're essentially identical except one is worse. The Ranger isn't bringing anything noticeably different from archery to the table - because that's how the feat game works.

breithauptclan wrote:

What does a ranger specialize in? What thing or things does a ranger do better than other classes can even hope to attain to with massive investment?

From looking at the class, it feels to me like that one thing is damaging one enemy. Singling out one target and attacking it to the exclusion of any others. And taking down that one enemy quickly.

Other classes can do similar, but not as well as a ranger can. Other classes can do lots of damage and can focus all that damage on one enemy. But I don't see any other class with class features and feats specifically designed to give bonuses to attack and damage against a selected target.

Except you've already pointed out how the Fighter is superior in combat to the Ranger by design. One target or multiple, it doesn't matter, the Fighter is superior.

Similarly for damage the Barbarian is superior by design. One target or many, the Barb is superior in dps by design.
The Champion is superior in defense by design...

What is the Ranger supposed to bring to the table that it's the best at? If it's truly attacking a specific target, then it's already failing.

Seems like the Shield cantrip is your only reliable defense.
The Divine list isn't very well suited to a non-armored caster any more than it ever has been, lacking options like Mage Armor, Blur, Mirror Image, etc. This wasn't an issue for Clerics previously, obviously, but it seems it might be one now.

If the Cleric is going to become more Mage-like, shouldn't the Divine list adapt to compensate a bit?

How would you keep your Priest alive (aside from casting Sanctuary and never attacking ^^ )?

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I could understand if the "combat styles" were what Class Feats were for, but they're also used for the flavorful RP stuff that used to come baked into the class chassis.
Whereas now the class chassis offers you (almost) nothing but proficiency upgrades and feats have to cover twice the ground they did before - except you still only get one every other level.

And again, maybe it's just because I've got Ranger goggles on (I just took a look at Alchemist and they have significantly less feat options per level to choose from, at least at a cursory glance) but when Exploration options have to compete with Combat options, that feels rough.

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I realize this is probably different from class to class based on what's available, but I've got a Ranger bug lately, so I've been looking at what that class can do, and I can't help but feel like you only get enough Class Feats to support 1 avenue of play-style.
Wanna be an archer? Whether you go bow or crossbow, you're gonna use up most of your feats. Ditto TWF. Same for an Animal Companion.
It'd be really fun to pick up some of the more thematic feats like Terrain Master, Camouflage, Sense the Unseen, etc. but... just not enough room for them.

Yes, this is a bit of an optimization argument, but still...
It feels like if you want to be really good at one thing it'll eat up the vast majority of your feat slots leaving veeery little left for other things.

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Crap, been too long to edit...

So I just want to clarify that, as far as "Agency" goes, I personally make a distinction between "player agency" and "character agency" where the former concerns things that take place outside of the game while the later concerns things that take place inside the game.

Sorry I wasn't more clear on that. :)

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We're seeing a lot of topics pop up with concerns about proficiency scaling issues for anyone trying to step even a little bit outside of what the class provides (Bards and Medium Armor, Wizards and a Martial Weapon, even things built into the class, such as a Dragon Sorcerer's prof with their claw attacks).
I've also noticed that since every class is so heavily tied to it's class feat options, you really can't adopt a playstyle that wasn't built specifically for the class. If you want to TWF as a Barbarian, for instance, you just can't as the feats that make it happen aren't available to you (yes, you can "technically" TWF with regular MAP attacks and two different weapons, but we aaaall know that's not what anyone means by TWF ;P ).

There is certainly a lot of new and interesting things with the new edition that are improvements over the old, but I'm getting the feeling that Classes specifically are essentially so rigid that you either play the way the rulebook tells you or you struggle to keep up, by design.

That seems anathema to D&D-esque gameplay.

How do others feel?

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It's worth pointing out that you *can* use metal weapons, so the substance isn't entirely anathema - only for armor and shields.

Which basically makes the whole issue even more muddied, imo.

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I don't believe 1st edition ever gave any sort of justification as to why druids had to avoid metal - it was 100% a holdover from older editions.

Now, in 2nd edition, it remains a holdover, still with no explanation.

So my question: why is it okay to kill the tree to work it's wood into armor or shields, but not okay to mine the ore to work into armor or shields?

How would Running Reload interact with the Reload 2 of a heavy crossbow? Does it let you simply reload with the action? It doesn't say it reduces reload time, but rather it just lets you reload.

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pauljathome wrote:

At least at low levels a crossbow ranger seems quite competitive to me.

1 shot a round for d10+d8+2 vs an archer doing 4 shots for d6+1 each. But with penalties of 0/-4/-8,-8. (assuming indoors so volley is an issue. Outdoors they're doing d8+1

And the xbow ranger gets to nearly dump STR if they wish

Am I safe in assuming the extra d8 above is coming from the Precision Hunter's Edge? If so, why isn't it granted to the archer as well?

Also aren't you basically saying, "the Ranger is specifically designed to make the crappy crossbow not as crappy if you pick the right choices,"?
That speaks more to the class than the weapon, doesn't it?

Also worth pointing out that d10 crossbow takes all 3 actions to load and fire - no movement for you until Ranger 4 at minimum.

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Am I wrong? It really seems like we're still in a situation where a 1-die upstep in damage is nowhere near good enough to make up for the longer reload time, and that's before considering bows got sweet upgrades (deadly, propulsive?) while xbows got nothing at all.

What gives? Will fantasy rpgs ever deliver a crossbow that doesn't feel like a drag to choose?

Reading the feat from Nethys, I'm having a hard time grasping exactly what damage is dealt.

For sake of argument, say a Ranger is using a longsword/shortsword combo and uses this feat, which activates when Ranger misses their initial attack with longsword - what happens?

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Here's the thing about guessing - it usually doesn't work without metagaming.

Yes, the lumbering troll probably has a lower Reflex save and a better Fortitude save.
How about the Vampire? The Fiend? And, as already mentioned, creatures with more alien physiology? How do you guess the weak save here? You just don't honestly, with Undead being my favorite example as they tend to have solid Will saves for literally no obvious reason, just as a quirk of the way they're designed.

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Pretty disappointing actually. :(

If you wanna TWF, you be a Ranger or a Fighter (or a sad Rogue who wishes they were better).
If you wanna TWF as a Barbarian, a Champion, or anything else really... well, too bad, no support.

Seems like Shield Block is never ever worth it, save the incredibly rare situation where ~5hp is the difference between life and death.

Grapes of Being Tired wrote:
The problem here is that you can also be NE and worship Asmodeus, and NE includes complete nihilists, selfish a$%*$+&s who couldn't give less of a damn about the law if it doesn't help them, and so on. If you're going to restrict Good/Evil, then you also need to restrict Law/Chaos. Asmodeus would be far less offended by someone who's all about the Law to the Letter but doesn't have a need to oppress anyone if the law is on their side, than someone who's just into being a dick for s#~!s and giggles and doesn't care about keeping his promises if he doesn't feel like it.

Personally I would agree that the Law/Chaos axis needs to be more restrictive for Clerics, so I'm on board with the first half of this, but in regards to the bolded part, why do you think that's true?

We're talking about Asmodeus here, most powerful Prince of Hell, one of the most powerful Fiends in existence, and absolutely as fundamentally Evil as he is fundamentally Lawful.
Your description here paints him as "Lawful Neutral, but sometimes a real prick about it," when in actuality he is looking to screw over every single solitary person who ever signs a contract with himself or an underling; but he'll do it in a way that is honest and in your face so that, when you inevitably skip the fine print, it's your fault when the time to pay comes and your eternal soul is dragged down to the Hells.

Aah, okay, well that makes me less worried!
(Missing that extra Druid info sucks tho - you'd think they'd at least link to it in the preview with it being that relevant and all <_< lol)

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rooneg wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
I very much hope you're wrong. If the shapeshifting druid is just "don't you wish you were as good as a Fighter" X/day, then... well, you should've just been a Fighter.
Umm, being almost as good as a fighter X/day and being able to cast a bunch of spells and do a bunch of other druidy things when you're not being almost as good as a fighter at doing the fighter's job seems like a pretty good deal. The whole point of having a fighter class is that they're the best at fighting in return for not getting to be good at a whole pile of other stuff.

Back when shifting was not tied to spellcasting, I wouldn't make the argument.

Now, however, you're using up those spell slots to assume your animal forms, which directly eats up your available "utility/non-combat" options.
Top it all with less spell slots available than there used to be.

Maybe I'm worrying over nothing, and the actual playtest material will show it won't be so bad, but with the tiny bit of info the previews have given us to go on, it sounds like "either you shift into animal forms for your combats, or you have spells to do other stuff, but you probably won't have enough to do both."

Xenocrat wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
I see Druidzilla is coming back. Aside from Strength(if Wild) you don't really need the other physical scores...
It's really limited in duration. You need your best slots to roughly meet a martial in base stats (but you won't have their special abilities) and if you buy more duration with lesser stats you won't be able to fight even that well.
Wild Shape sounds like free slots just for shaping, so your actual spells are free for other things. I'd be more worried about being behind, say, a fighter if one of the fighter's 14th level feats wasn't god awful. Being a point or two behind might be a bigger deal than it used to be, but not much.
You still have to burn two(?) actions casting one at the beginning of every fight (1 minute durations are probably the norm for combat forms) and then you have the base stats but none of the enhancers (Power Attack, babarian rage, etc.) so you're not actually as good. This seems to give you flexibility to be a backup frontliner at the opportunity cost of being able to cast spells during the fight. That seems fine.

I very much hope you're wrong. If the shapeshifting druid is just "don't you wish you were as good as a Fighter" X/day, then... well, you should've just been a Fighter.

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Right, but Mark's examples are exactly what you would use Control Weather to do. Kinda makes the spell pointless, no? (Or if not pointless, terribly unexciting.) :P

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I just wanted to say...
Casting Lightning Bolt outside of natural stormy conditions is both unnatural weather and potentially harmful to wildlife.

It also seems like a pretty staple action of a Storm Druid.

Also, basically any use at all of Control Weather. Making a thunderstorm worse than it already is isn't something you cast high level magic to do - making a tornado or four on a sunny day is *exactly* what you use high level magic to do!
And it's anethema...

So... Uh... Rewording plzkthx?

Also, I'm really not liking the sound of shape shifting being tied to Polymorph spells.
Prepared at the beginning of the day? Limited by number of times you can cast?
This makes the class fantasy of a shapeshifter basically impossible to fully realize... Unless I'm missing something.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Also, neo vancian carries a whole host of problems which are probably beyond the scope of this thread, but I think how bad the 5e sorcerer feels compared to the 5e wizard illustrates some of them.

A lil late coming back to the party, but this is nonsense.

Sorcerer problems in 5E are entirely about not having enough of their given resources (spell points, spells, etc) and have absolutely nothing at all to do with *how* their spells are cast.
The fact that a 5E Bard knows more spells than a 5E Sorcerer is a Sorcerer problem. Neo-vancian casting is not.

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So I'm confused...
Sorcerers don't get at-will heighten because that would lead to too much analysis paralysis...
But as they're designed now, they have "sometimes heighten" which will lead to the exact same kind of analysis paralysis. If anything, since you can't heighten very often, you won't have as much of an opportunity (through repeated effort) to learn which heightens are the right call and which ones aren't.

tl;dr - Analysis paralysis around heighten will be the same, if not worse, than if Sorcerer got to heighten at-will.
(As to the concern that if heighten was available at will it would lead to non-heighten spells falling by the wayside... That's a design concern; it shouldn't be a player concern. It feels like a sign that you just didn't design spells that don't heighten to be competitive.)

And for what it's worth, there are two kinds of players: Players who bother to do homework on what their class can do, and players who don't. The latter holds up game time regardless of class options, the former tends not to.
Stop trying to fix bad/lazy players with mechanics - that way madness lies. :P

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

Lots of cool stuff here, but I don't know that I'd agree with "Without a doubt, the most popular element of barbarians in Pathfinder First Edition is the totem". I don't think I've seen anyone choose one of these, either at the table or in a printed stat block, or if so, quite rarely.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing to include totems as a core part of the class, but it certainly wasn't the most popular element of barbarians.

You've played in a very different game than most I've played in or seen played either in real life or on the boards then. Totems (particularly Beast Totem) are nearly ubiquitous IME.

The only thing more ubiquitous was Superstition, which they are now making a Totem. Which is cool. :)

Eeeehhh... let's be intellectually honest here: "Pounce Barbarians" were incredibly popular, almost universally. The "I'm a totem warrior" part of it was very largely ignored. If the Beast line didn't give Pounce, we would have seen drastically different Barbarians.


How relevant are those points though? Do you MM an enemy spellcaster or do you Dispel?
How often are you facing off against incorporeal opponents? At very low levels it can be a huge deal, but you'll rarely see them at very low levels because of the high chance of TPK. At higher levels, there are better options available.
An archer hits at a good range too and has a much better outcome even considering miss chance.
Smart tactics/placement means you never really have to worry about AoEing your allies anyway.

I know in my personal gaming experience, I've always been happy to have a CL9 MM wand available for the rare incorporeal foe, but I've never ever wanted to prepare it. Ever. There's always a better spell for the slot.

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Rysky wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Why can't Magic Missile just become a cantrip? I think we all know in our heart-of-hearts that it's an incredibly under-performing spell and always has been. ;)
I have absolutely no idea how "always hits" and "under-performing" even go into each other's general vicinity.

Always hits with tiny damage that has never scaled well and can't crit.

That's how. ;)

Why can't Magic Missile just become a cantrip? I think we all know in our heart-of-hearts that it's an incredibly under-performing spell and always has been. ;)

Bluenose wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Ultrace wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Well he is a 3.P caster, so he can't be a counterpoint.
Is he? He first showed up in the early 90s, didn't he? And 3.0 didn't even come out until 2000. I think it's pretty clear he was intended to represent 2.0 (although I don't know much beyond the early stuff so it's possible the nature of his portrayal changed after 3.0/3.5.)
1st ed. AD&D, he was the narrator in several articles in Dragon in the '80. And the Forgotten Realm box was printed in 1987.
And he's been powered up in every single edition since that first appearance, with the exception of 4e. 2e added more levels, and a full set of psionic combat abilities in case he had to deal with a psionic enemy, and a version later in that edition had the prototype Chosen powers, 3e added multiple previous classes, and even more levels, and the latest upgrade to being Chosen. It's almost as if the requirement that Elminster be able to Gary Stu everything he wants is written into the fabric of the Realms.

Fun fact: Elminster isn't even in the top 5 of "most powerful casters" of the Forgotten Realms. ;)

Anyway, he was 26th level Magic-User in 1st, a 29th level Wizard in 2nd, he maintained "29th level wizard" in 3rd edition by being 24 Wizard/5 Archmage, and then got a bunch of random useless levels to fill out his "before he became a wizard" backstory (1 Ftr, 2 Rog, 3 Clr - 3.X was really big about bloating character builds with pointless levels just to showcase story points).
4th Edition was the first time he drastically changed power levels by being dropped down to a 19th level Controller. I don't believe he has any 5E stats.
As for the Chosen template, it was much better in 2E than in 3E - 3E downtuned "extra powers" like the Chosen stuff, the Magister abilities, Spellfire, etc.

So he hardly keeps growing in power, and he's hardly a Gary Stu. He's that grumpy old Sage that knows everything and wants to be left alone, but will give helpful info to characters who need it when he sees fit.
Kinda like most powerful NPCs in most games across D&D history. ;)

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
I imagine the answer to that question is, "never."

Given that Heightened Invisibility is the equivalent of greater invisibility and Summon Monster IX is now Heightened Summon Monster this is pretty obviously wrong.

They may well be less common than spells inherently of the level in question, but assuming they won't happen? That's pretty clearly incorrect.

Fair enough, I could have been more specific.

The issue quoted is dealing with Magic Missile, and the concern is the comparison between damage-dealing spells.

There is a world of difference between heightening an Invisibility into a new effect, and heightening a dps spell into the same effect with a different numerical value.
I thought it was clear we were discussing the latter.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
There's still going to be a lot of times that you want to cast a heightened spell because it's just an excellent option period, or the main way to create a particular effect, like heightening a summon spell or heightening invisibility to have it stick even if you go on the offense (like greater invisibility in PF1).

Of course there will be situations where you will want to cast a Heightened spell instead of a higher level Prepared spell, based on the situations you find yourself in.

There are a near limitless number of examples of such.

However, the issue is not, "There are times you will want to cast..."
The issues is "How often will you want to prepare a Heightened spell in place of a higher level spell?"

I imagine the answer to that question is, "never."

(tl;dr - If Heighten could happen on-the-fly, this wouldn't be a concern at all. However, it seems we can't Heighten on the fly, which makes it a massive concern.)

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The Raven Black wrote:
Lion was the most honorable though :-)

Not if you ask a Crane, Phoenix... or Scorpion. ;)

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