18th Level Universalist Wizard - Wish 1 / day with no XP cost?!?


Combat & Magic

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As far as I understand things, spell-like abilities have no XP cost. Doesn't this give an 18th level Universal specialization Wizard (specialist ability: Wish 1/day) a free, no cost Wish once per day? And this didn't strike anybody at Paizo as unbalanced?!? With the XP cost, sure, I could see it making sense, but with no XP? Way too powerful, certainly for my games, and for almost any other game I've ever heard of.


This is a good point. If Wish is intended to have no cost or reduced cost, this needs to be specified. If not, it's a rather weak ability since you can only use it in dire emergency (and I would still suggest specifying the cost, just for clarity).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kvantum wrote:
As far as I understand things, spell-like abilities have no XP cost. Doesn't this give an 18th level Universal specialization Wizard (specialist ability: Wish 1/day) a free, no cost Wish once per day? And this didn't strike anybody at Paizo as unbalanced?!? With the XP cost, sure, I could see it making sense, but with no XP? Way too powerful, certainly for my games, and for almost any other game I've ever heard of.

It probably is unbalanced, and for precisely the reason you cite. There's some things in the Alpha that are more experimental than others... we've got WELL over a year before things are bolted to the ground, so there's plenty of time to fix things. It's the whole reason we're doing an open playtest, after all! :)

Maybe instead of wish, this power could be the ability to spontaneously cast any one spell you know? That's basically what wish does, after all, and giving a universalist a free spontaneous seems pretty neat. Maybe?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Assuming of course they don't revise Wish. :P

But I do find it funny that a Wizard can get +1 to each of his 6 attributes for free and then get a +2 to each of them for half the cost (since the first casting is free.)

Aside from breaking that model wish is potentially 1 free spell at 18th level isn't a big deal.

Hmm.. actually the ability to create items could kill economies.. but that might explain away magic shops. Somewhere there are retire wizards wishing magic items into exists for their grand children to sell to adventures looking for exotic items. :P

Edit- Dang it.. James just stole all my thunder. :P

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

My big issue isn't spell duplication, but the inherrent ability score bonuses. With this, all a Universalist Wizard would need is a week off and he'd have a +1 bonus to all six ability scores, for free. In terms of magic item prices, it would be the equivalent of 165,000 gp. Or he could sell his wishes for a like amount of money on the open market.

165,000 gp. Per week. Remember, Wish can do a lot of things, even in 3.5.

d20srd.org wrote:

A wish can produce any one of the following effects.

* Duplicate any wizard or sorcerer spell of 8th level or lower, provided the spell is not of a school prohibited to you.
* Duplicate any other spell of 6th level or lower, provided the spell is not of a school prohibited to you.
* Duplicate any wizard or sorcerer spell of 7th level or lower even if it’s of a prohibited school.
* Duplicate any other spell of 5th level or lower even if it’s of a prohibited school.
* Undo the harmful effects of many other spells, such as geas/quest or insanity.
* Create a nonmagical item of up to 25,000 gp in value.
* Create a magic item, or add to the powers of an existing magic item.
* Grant a creature a +1 inherent bonus to an ability score. Two to five wish spells cast in immediate succession can grant a creature a +2 to +5 inherent bonus to an ability score (two wishes for a +2 inherent bonus, three for a +3 inherent bonus, and so on). Inherent bonuses are instantaneous, so they cannot be dispelled. Note: An inherent bonus may not exceed +5 for a single ability score, and inherent bonuses to a particular ability score do not stack, so only the best one applies.
* Remove injuries and afflictions. A single wish can aid one creature per caster level, and all subjects are cured of the same kind of affliction. For example, you could heal all the damage you and your companions have taken, or remove all poison effects from everyone in the party, but not do both with the same wish. A wish can never restore the experience point loss from casting a spell or the level or Constitution loss from being raised from the dead.
* Revive the dead. A wish can bring a dead creature back to life by duplicating a resurrection spell. A wish can revive a dead creature whose body has been destroyed, but the task takes two wishes, one to recreate the body and another to infuse the body with life again. A wish cannot prevent a character who was brought back to life from losing an experience level.
* Transport travelers. A wish can lift one creature per caster level from anywhere on any plane and place those creatures anywhere else on any plane regardless of local conditions. An unwilling target gets a Will save to negate the effect, and spell resistance (if any) applies.
* Undo misfortune. A wish can undo a single recent event. The wish forces a reroll of any roll made within the last round (including your last turn). Reality reshapes itself to accommodate the new result. For example, a wish could undo an opponent’s successful save, a foe’s successful critical hit (either the attack roll or the critical roll), a friend’s failed save, and so on. The reroll, however, may be as bad as or worse than the original roll. An unwilling target gets a Will save to negate the effect, and spell resistance (if any) applies.

You may try to use a wish to produce greater effects than these, but doing so is dangerous. (The wish may pervert your intent into a literal but undesirable fulfillment or only a partial fulfillment.)

Duplicated spells allow saves and spell resistance as normal (but save DCs are for 9th-level spells).
Material Component

When a wish duplicates a spell with a material component that costs more than 10,000 gp, you must provide that component.
XP Cost

The minimum XP cost for casting wish is 5,000 XP. When a wish duplicates a spell that has an XP cost, you must pay 5,000 XP or that cost, whichever is more. When a wish creates or improves a magic item, you must pay twice the normal XP cost for crafting or improving the item, plus an additional 5,000 XP.

Now if it's specifically limited to the first 5 effects, it makes sense without an XP cost, but unless you want to just toss D&D's already dubious economic balance right out the window, I'd really re-do this one before the beta.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I agree that the Gp creation is more then potentially abusive and should be tweaked in some way. It would break the group economy is any game it was available in.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Rathendar wrote:

Regarding Kvantum:

A wizard cant get +5 to all ability scores with that power. the wish spells have to be cast in immediate succession to increase the stat bonus. You would have to have 5 Wish spells memorised or available that day in order to gain a +5 inherent bonus. A 1/day ability would only give you a 'free' +1 to all six of your ability scores, which is hardly overpowering for 18th level in that regard

Hence my ninja edit when I realized that you could only get a +1 per stat with this power.

But you can also sell the wishes on an open market at the equivalent of 27,500 gp per day. Per day.

Using them on every one of your party members may not be entirely unbalanced for ECL 18 PCs (assumption is 440,000 gp of gear at that level), and a +1 inherrent bonus per ability score is worth 165,000 gp, going by the price of Manuals and Tomes +1, but still, the ability to essentially create a free 27,500 gp magic item, or even a 25,000 gp nonmagical item each day, every day, for free is a bit much, assuming the goal of Pathfinder is to rebalance things a little bit better between spellcasters and their meat shields and trapbait.

(No, I don't have a fondness for spellcasters, not at all.)

Edit: Ninja edits for everyone!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

It is a lot of gold and definitely economy breaking but I think back to the characters that have made it past level 15 and can't remember any that actually needed gold anymore.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

hah! I read your post again after i made mine, and was like..."am i so spaced out i misread the whole thing?" I edited mine and your followup only showed up after that, Haha!

Damn you Ninja-kvantum!


This definately needs changing. A "cast any spell, spontaneously" might work as long as it specifies (not those with an experience cost).


costless wish is over the top.

I do agree however with the ability to spontaneously cast any spell known 1/day as long as they pay the exp and gp costs.


Depends on if they don't revise Wish to simply cost you years of age again. ;)


Geron Raveneye wrote:
Depends on if they don't revise Wish to simply cost you years of age again. ;)

breaks down when you get to Elves, what is a year or so going to matter to them.

The universal any one spell as James suggested seems a better idea.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'd think fitting the spontaneous casting ability within Wish's limits would make better sense - letting you cast any one arcane spell of 8th level or less or any one divine spell of 7th level or less.

Dark Archive

All DMs are evil wrote:
Geron Raveneye wrote:
Depends on if they don't revise Wish to simply cost you years of age again. ;)

breaks down when you get to Elves, what is a year or so going to matter to them.

The universal any one spell as James suggested seems a better idea.

Easy even that. A class-based Wish spell translates into 1/20th (less or more, depending on tastes) of irreversible aging towards the racial maximum.

This way, you can even keep the 18° level big gun spell bonus. A high level wizard is very very powerful, but he has to pay a really steep price for that.


I think a rewrite of Wish would be better - keep the class ability, kill off wish misuse.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Note me down for supporting a better wish. Though the "most powerful spell" as a spell-like ability without even a cost does strike me as a bit much of a good thing.

Dark Archive

Wish is quite a broken spell, a revision of the spell seems to be in order.(Also check he wishing for a wand of wishes exploit posted in another thread ) .


I really like the spontaneous casting of a spell you know. Or the ability to recall/spontaneously prepare x number of spell levels/day, which would be cool.


Yeah...the wish a day is a bit excessive.

I would prefer the "cast any spell you know" option, with "spell you know" being either one prepared, or one that is in your spellbook. With the option to apply metamagic feats.


I'm with Lilith, limiting Wish seems like the best way to go.


Another idea would be to make it a sort of 1/day pearl of power effect, but functioning for any spell level. So, you could recall any one spell cast that day.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

An easy fix for this problem (and all other related problems) is to rule that Spell Like Abilities used to benefit a PC retain their XP components (and possibly expensive material components) plus prohibit NPC's from using SLA with XP costs.

I use this as a house rule to prevent these types of abuses.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

I think that the way to go here is to give specialist wizards the wish only so far as it duplicates spells. No item creation, no stat boosts, just the ability to cast spells without preparation, including from other spell-lists.


I think it is foolish that spell-like abilities do not infer the same XP cost as casting spells. I'll bet they didn't cost XP because initially, PCs didn't have access to them, only monsters and the designers didn't want DM's to bother with considering how much XP a given monster had available to use the ability. Same for material costs.

If spell-like abilities are going to be brought into PC use, the XP cost/high material component/focus prices need to instituted to preserve balance.


I'm surprised that no one has caught the real problem with the 3.5 Wish when it becomes spell-like.

1. Spell-likes don't cost XP.

2. 3.5 Wishes can make magic items, and the only limit is that you pay the extra XP cost.

Conclusion: A spell-like 3.5 Wish can make magic items at no cost, so you could wish for a Ring of Wishes or a scroll with six Wishes. Infinite Wishes!


K wrote:

I'm surprised that no one has caught the real problem with the 3.5 Wish when it becomes spell-like.

1. Spell-likes don't cost XP.

2. 3.5 Wishes can make magic items, and the only limit is that you pay the extra XP cost.

Conclusion: A spell-like 3.5 Wish can make magic items at no cost, so you could wish for a Ring of Wishes or a scroll with six Wishes. Infinite Wishes!

Try that on your DM and let us know how it works out for you! I think you'll find some errors when you reread the spell.


ZDM wrote:
K wrote:

I'm surprised that no one has caught the real problem with the 3.5 Wish when it becomes spell-like.

1. Spell-likes don't cost XP.

2. 3.5 Wishes can make magic items, and the only limit is that you pay the extra XP cost.

Conclusion: A spell-like 3.5 Wish can make magic items at no cost, so you could wish for a Ring of Wishes or a scroll with six Wishes. Infinite Wishes!

Try that on your DM and let us know how it works out for you! I think you'll find some errors when you reread the spell.

Let's look at the relevant text:

"Create a magic item, or add to the powers of an existing magic item."

and

"XP Cost
The minimum XP cost for casting wish is 5,000 XP. When a wish duplicates a spell that has an XP cost, you must pay 5,000 XP or that cost, whichever is more. When a wish creates or improves a magic item, you must pay twice the normal XP cost for crafting or improving the item, plus an additional 5,000 XP." (Bold mine).

A spell-like has no XP cost.

So, it doesn't really matter if no DM would ever let you do it. Its a problem created when you make a Wish into a spell-like ability that needs to be addressed.

And thats what feedback is for, right? To correct problems?


James Jacobs wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
As far as I understand things, spell-like abilities have no XP cost. Doesn't this give an 18th level Universal specialization Wizard (specialist ability: Wish 1/day) a free, no cost Wish once per day? And this didn't strike anybody at Paizo as unbalanced?!? With the XP cost, sure, I could see it making sense, but with no XP? Way too powerful, certainly for my games, and for almost any other game I've ever heard of.

It probably is unbalanced, and for precisely the reason you cite. There's some things in the Alpha that are more experimental than others... we've got WELL over a year before things are bolted to the ground, so there's plenty of time to fix things. It's the whole reason we're doing an open playtest, after all! :)

Maybe instead of wish, this power could be the ability to spontaneously cast any one spell you know? That's basically what wish does, after all, and giving a universalist a free spontaneous seems pretty neat. Maybe?

Yes specifically limit and identify the spell-like ability.

IMO it is easiest to give it a new name and just treat it like a plain Arcane Miracle (Like a Gold Dragon with the Luck Domain) for spell duplication only.

P.S. Limited Wish (1,500 gp limit based on 300 exp good for making low level magic items or prorated partically charged items like wands for metaabuse by an artificer) and Gate (Efreeti, Noble Djinni, Planetars, Solars and Titans with Wish and Spell like abilities)are also very abuseable as spell-like abilities.

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