Fighters vs. Wizards -- Unbalanced = Broken?


General Discussion (Prerelease)

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Authority wrote:
Tremaine wrote:
Someone get me a kleenex, my makeup is running all over my psionic monk drow spiked chain wielding vampire.
You're simply utterly wrong. Please, I urge you, play a campaign sometime and see what actually happens.

I have played a many campaigns of 3.x and I have encountered caster supremacy in all of them, playing a pathfinder campaign now, with exactly the same issue, as I play fighters.

FIGHTERS, not min maxed chain weilding drow monks as you keep implying.

I find this situation infuriating to say the least.


How exactly are Drow Monks in any way, shape, or form optimal?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I have no idea, but The Authority seems to regard them as such and imply that I play them while wearing make-up, which if it isn't a personnal attack I don't know what is.


Must have gotten removed I suppose. Moving on.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

yes back to the purpose of this thread, what (if anything) needs to be done to bring the classes to a point where each is equally viable, useful and fun to play.

I ofc think that casters need reining in because the versatility and save or lose spells that they have, mean that they over shadow the non-casters very rapidly. This problem gets worse as levels increase and spell level, and available number of spells increases.


If you nerf the casters, you also have to nerf almost every monster or all you are going to do is bring about a TPK. After all, if the group is only able to deal with advanced situations because the caster has the right tool for the job, the caster no longer has the right tool for the job, and no one else has that tool instead... No one has the tool, no one can deal with it, and people die en masse. 1 - 1 = 0. And by advanced situations I mean such tactical genius (sarcasm) as 'enemy is standing atop a 30' wall, and non magic guy isn't ranged specced' or 'enemy begins 60' away, you are wearing full plate and therefore cannot attack until round 2'. We haven't even touched real advanced tactics yet, or any sort of enemy magic. Very basic situations the non magic guy simply cannot participate in. Without being specialized in ranged combat, he's going to be doing 1d8 + very small number with his long bow. After the first few levels, it is completely trivial. The non magic guys are decent for the first few levels. Better is debatable, but they at least work then.

Though there certainly are some problem spells that need to be dealt with, the real issue is that the ones lacking magic just simply do not have enough viable options available to them. Fighter boy can think tactical all he wants. He cannot actually follow through and act it. He's a one trick pony, if he's relevant at all. Even if he did, somehow get multiple tricks they'd end up almost the same and therefore countered by almost the same things anyways. A wizard who never casts anything but Scorching Ray and Fireball no matter what would suck pretty bad too. Even if he instead spammed a good spell such as Glitterdust, the fact still remains there are times where a single trick just is not relevant. Options are required to deal with a variety of enemies.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Crusader of Logic wrote:

If you nerf the casters, you also have to nerf almost every monster or all you are going to do is bring about a TPK. After all, if the group is only able to deal with advanced situations because the caster has the right tool for the job, the caster no longer has the right tool for the job, and no one else has that tool instead... No one has the tool, no one can deal with it, and people die en masse. 1 - 1 = 0. And by advanced situations I mean such tactical genius (sarcasm) as 'enemy is standing atop a 30' wall, and non magic guy isn't ranged specced' or 'enemy begins 60' away, you are wearing full plate and therefore cannot attack until round 2'. We haven't even touched real advanced tactics yet, or any sort of enemy magic. Very basic situations the non magic guy simply cannot participate in. Without being specialized in ranged combat, he's going to be doing 1d8 + very small number with his long bow. After the first few levels, it is completely trivial. The non magic guys are decent for the first few levels. Better is debatable, but they at least work then.

Though there certainly are some problem spells that need to be dealt with, the real issue is that the ones lacking magic just simply do not have enough viable options available to them. Fighter boy can think tactical all he wants. He cannot actually follow through and act it. He's a one trick pony, if he's relevant at all. Even if he did, somehow get multiple tricks they'd end up almost the same and therefore countered by almost the same things anyways. A wizard who never casts anything but Scorching Ray and Fireball no matter what would suck pretty bad too. Even if he instead spammed a good spell such as Glitterdust, the fact still remains there are times where a single trick just is not relevant. Options are required to deal with a variety of enemies.

Thats a better approach actually, thanks, now how to improve 'melee guy' (anyone else getting a Family Guy with swords image? :P. Will saves need looking at for a start, and more mobility options would be a good idea. Beyond that I'll have to think longer about this.


Tome of Battle did a decent job at this. They still get left behind by the enemies, but can keep up longer. For example, party caster could use a Standard action for Benign Transposition to put a Crusader in the enemies' face so he can do the melee thing. Then said Crusader uses White Raven Tactics which if done right means the caster gets his actions anyways, net cost Crusader's Swift action and cannot use WRT for a few rounds. That's a pretty good example of encouraging teamwork, but as the game that most of my feedback is based upon has shown me it still isn't enough to deal with basic system flaws like 'you cannot do anything meaningful outside melee range unless highly specialized in it, in which case you cannot deal with anything inside melee range as you cannot be specialized in both due to lack of resources'. Benign Transposition makes for a nice workaround until the enemy uses some sort of dimensional trap that puts teleporters into an Iron Maiden, instead. Then you can't use it, and melee guy can't do much but double move.

Highly specialized non casters should be awesome at what they do, not merely competent. That way, you can be less specialized in multiple things which you are competent at (but the specialist is still better). There's a good start.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Crusader of Logic wrote:

Tome of Battle did a decent job at this. They still get left behind by the enemies, but can keep up longer. For example, party caster could use a Standard action for Benign Transposition to put a Crusader in the enemies' face so he can do the melee thing. Then said Crusader uses White Raven Tactics which if done right means the caster gets his actions anyways, net cost Crusader's Swift action and cannot use WRT for a few rounds. That's a pretty good example of encouraging teamwork, but as the game that most of my feedback is based upon has shown me it still isn't enough to deal with basic system flaws like 'you cannot do anything meaningful outside melee range unless highly specialized in it, in which case you cannot deal with anything inside melee range as you cannot be specialized in both due to lack of resources'. Benign Transposition makes for a nice workaround until the enemy uses some sort of dimensional trap that puts teleporters into an Iron Maiden, instead. Then you can't use it, and melee guy can't do much but double move.

Highly specialized non casters should be awesome at what they do, not merely competent. That way, you can be less specialized in multiple things which you are competent at (but the specialist is still better). There's a good start.

I can agree with that approach, good ideas

Scarab Sages

Crusader of Logic wrote:
quite the encounter...

Ok, that will take me a little time to read. Thanks for taking the time.

The Exchange

does mirror image stack with invisibility. Since it's an illusion and requires visibility to be effective?

Sculpting spells - is this feat in the new pathfinder? (Havn't got the books with me now)

I'm just asking as some of these abilities are coming from splat books and not Pathfinder which I feel is adressing teh caster balance much more.


Jal Dorak wrote:
Summon monster spells last 1 round per caster level. If that's all the adventuring you do in a day, then yeah, send the fighter packing. You'll wish you had a fighter when you get ambushed by bodaks in the middle of the night.

I wanted to illustrate an example where IMO the fighter could feel frustrated. You are right in your statement that there always can be situations where the mage depends much on a fighter


Rob Godfrey wrote:


Ok, I'll have a tank, with 20 mg rounds, and 1 main gun round. You can have a leather jacket, an axe, and a petrol bomb.

my offensive power lasts will I run out of bullets, and you always have some because of the axe. Is that a fair situation.

Your example is clearly exaggerated for i don´t think the difference between the classes are that big. The mage don´t have the protection like a tank has against an axefighter.

And if the tank runs out of fuel in 1 Minute and out of shells in half a minute and if the tank can´t take out the fighter because he´s too agile (i speak of saves and magic items) then yes, it could be a fair situation.

Besides, you again describe a duell. Now ask the axefighter if he would rather have a tank at his side or a boy with a sling ?


Crusader of Logic wrote:
If possible, I'm actually stridently trying to outshit s*$+ninja.

Wow. Just, wow.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Daidai wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:


Ok, I'll have a tank, with 20 mg rounds, and 1 main gun round. You can have a leather jacket, an axe, and a petrol bomb.

my offensive power lasts will I run out of bullets, and you always have some because of the axe. Is that a fair situation.

Your example is clearly exaggerated for i don´t think the difference between the classes are that big. The mage don´t have the protection like a tank has against an axefighter.

And if the tank runs out of fuel in 1 Minute and out of shells in half a minute and if the tank can´t take out the fighter because he´s too agile (i speak of saves and magic items) then yes, it could be a fair situation.

Besides, you again describe a duell. Now ask if the axefighter would rather have a tank at his side or than a boy with a sling ?

Ask the mage if he would rather have the axe fighter or a druid. Even the PF slightly reduced pwer one.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Daidai wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:


Ok, I'll have a tank, with 20 mg rounds, and 1 main gun round. You can have a leather jacket, an axe, and a petrol bomb.

my offensive power lasts will I run out of bullets, and you always have some because of the axe. Is that a fair situation.

Your example is clearly exaggerated for i don´t think the difference between the classes are that big. The mage don´t have the protection like a tank has against an axefighter.

And if the tank runs out of fuel in 1 Minute and out of shells in half a minute and if the tank can´t take out the fighter because he´s too agile (i speak of saves and magic items) then yes, it could be a fair situation.

Besides, you again describe a duell. Now ask the axefighter if he would rather have a tank at his side or a boy with a sling ?

Also fighter saves aren't that good, in fact they are damn lacklustre except for fortitude.


The Authority wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:
If possible, I'm actually stridently trying to outshit s@%~ninja.
Wow. Just, wow.

Crusader of Logic never said that. I find it highly irritating that you put your opinion of other peoples posts back into their mouth. You've done the same with LN in another thread. Ok, LN can sound abrasive and wiseacre'ish at times but contrary to other people on this board: He never posts just to flame someone, does always backs up his point with good arguments and is able to accept different opinions.

Edit: Smurf


Wrath wrote:

does mirror image stack with invisibility. Since it's an illusion and requires visibility to be effective?

Sculpting spells - is this feat in the new pathfinder? (Havn't got the books with me now)

I'm just asking as some of these abilities are coming from splat books and not Pathfinder which I feel is adressing teh caster balance much more.

It doesn't stack. It isn't meant to. It's meant to provide another option. Invis for 'good luck finding me, much less hitting me'. Mirror Image for 'fine, no stealth? Plan B'. This is what makes casters good. If their first trick doesn't work, they have another. Compare to the non casters where if their first trick doesn't work, they're probably SOL. Only way you're beating a caster is if you can either counter everything they do (thereby meaning you are a better caster) or at least counter them enough times to get in some lucky shots and get them that way.

The Authority wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:
If possible, I'm actually stridently trying to outshit s#%%ninja.
Wow. Just, wow.

Ok, first of all, who the hell are you? No, don't answer that. That was a rhetorical question. I know who you are. You are a pretty famous troll on these boards who exists for no purpose save posting random, idiotic drivel completely out of context to instigate fights. Well, guess what Mr. Troll? I'm the Crusader of Logic. I get Smite Imbecile as a class ability, and I'm not the least bit afraid to use it to put useless idiots in their place. Now, do you something productive to add to this discussion so I can sheath my cluebat and go back to getting useful stuff done? I'm pretty sure you do not, but I'm asking anyways out of courtesy.


to address the OP und summarize the intention of my posts:

1) yes, i (and i think all of us here) agree that fighters and
spellcasters are unbalanced. But i think the question if this leads to a "broken" situation lies mostly in the hands of the GM and depends on players preferences and game style.

2) here we have multiple experiences. Some feel frustrated by unbalanced gameplay for years, others never experienced this as a problem. I myself met one or another situation where it was frustrating being a non-spellcaster, but especially with magic items i think a fighter can even out a lot. I want to remind you again that a fighter has much more money for buying magical equipment than a mage who must pay loads of money to add spells to theis spellbooks.

Sorcerers and bards don´t have this restriction, but are limited in their spell selection.

Clerics (and druids) are a different matter, for they have access to a huge spelllist.
But i found it always a bit odd why a deity should grant his cleric each and every spell. Why should Pelor grant any death spells ? Why would Nerull care for healing magic ? (i know, to keep his cleric alive, but as god of death would he really care for that ?)
So as a DM i often restricted the spells a certain deity would grant and all my players where fine with that for it enhanced the gaming experience a lot.

From a theologists point of view this is just logical: Magic is defined as the Manipulation of higher powers by certain spells and formulas.
Prayers ("divine magic") mean to communicate with a higher power and mayby to plead for something. It is a question of hierarchy: A mage controls and manipulates, a cleric serves and tries to do his gods wishes.


Wizards do not 'have to' buy spells to add to their spellbooks. Even with just the two free spells a level, they will have more spells known than a sorcerer at every single level of the game. Extra spells are a nice benefit sure, but they aren't required. There are also ways around the scribing cost.

Also, even full WBL tends to not be good enough. He can cover the staples after spending most of his WBL, but how about the utility stuff so that a flying enemy, or a forcecage, or some other relatively straightforward effect does not entirely negate him? He ends up running out of resources before he manages to cover both staples and utility.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Crusader of Logic wrote:

Wizards do not 'have to' buy spells to add to their spellbooks. Even with just the two free spells a level, they will have more spells known than a sorcerer at every single level of the game. Extra spells are a nice benefit sure, but they aren't required. There are also ways around the scribing cost.

Also, even full WBL tends to not be good enough. He can cover the staples after spending most of his WBL, but how about the utility stuff so that a flying enemy, or a forcecage, or some other relatively straightforward effect does not entirely negate him? He ends up running out of resources before he manages to cover both staples and utility.

and ofc, the mage can teach the spells he DOES know, in exchange for those he doesn't, and this ofc doesn't include the BBEG's spell book, or his lt's spell book or the random book that appears as loot, or.. you get the idea :p


Crusader of Logic wrote:

There are also ways around the scribing cost.

what ways would that be ?

Crusader of Logic wrote:


Also, even full WBL tends to not be good enough. He can cover the staples after spending most of his WBL, but how about the utility stuff so that a flying enemy, or a forcecage, or some other relatively straightforward effect does not entirely negate him? He ends up running out of resources before he manages to cover both staples and utility.

please clarify what WBL means ?

regarding the gear you need:
- something that lets you fly (winged boots e.g.)
- something that grants a dimension door effect against wall spells,
forcecages etc. (there are multiple items for that in the magic item
compendium)
- something to push up your saves (cloak of resistance)
- something to protect you from death spells or negative energy effects
(death ward on any armor,see magic item compendium)

please let me know if i forget something

and if you ask me if a fighter can afford such gear: yes, my group is very well equiped with all kind of stuff and believe me: it evens things out a lot.


Crusader of Logic wrote:
Wizards do not 'have to' buy spells to add to their spellbooks. Even with just the two free spells a level, they will have more spells known than a sorcerer at every single level of the game.

You took the time to point out that Wizard knows more spells than sorcerer in one of your thirteen posts over the last hour.

I rest my case.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Daidai wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:

There are also ways around the scribing cost.

what ways would that be ?

Crusader of Logic wrote:


Also, even full WBL tends to not be good enough. He can cover the staples after spending most of his WBL, but how about the utility stuff so that a flying enemy, or a forcecage, or some other relatively straightforward effect does not entirely negate him? He ends up running out of resources before he manages to cover both staples and utility.

please clarify what WBL means ?

regarding the gear you need:
- something that lets you fly (winged boots e.g.)
- something that grants a dimension door effect against wall spells,
forcecages etc. (there are multiple items for that in the magic item
compendium)
- something to push up your saves (cloak of resistance)
- something to protect you from death spells or negative energy effects
(death ward on any armor,see magic item compendium)

please let me know if i forget something

and if you ask me if a fighter can afford such gear: yes, my group is very well equiped with all kind of stuff and believe me: it evens things out a lot.

AFAIK WBL means 'wealth by level'

and if the fighter is spending a large section of his gear negating caster advantages, he is neglecing other parts of his role, i.e armour and damage out put.


Rob Godfrey wrote:

and ofc, the mage can teach the spells he DOES know, in exchange for those he doesn't, and this ofc doesn't include the BBEG's spell book, or his lt's spell book or the random book that appears as loot, or.. you get the idea :p

most of this lies in the hands of the DM, and you still have to pay the material costs to scribe learned spells into your spellbook


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Authority wrote:

I am an arrogant troll with no grasp that people who disagree with me may ( and usually do) have valid concerns that have occured in gameplay situations.

I rest my case.

Yup that sure is a strong case.........


Here is one potential way to ignore scribing costs: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#blessedBook

Thank you Rob for covering the WBL question, and my new pet stalker troll.


Rob Godfrey wrote:
Yup that sure is a strong case.........

And with one brilliant post Rob Godfrey proved that he was leagues above the common "trolls" that he likes to complain about and truly a member of the community.


Rob Godfrey wrote:

AFAIK WBL means 'wealth by level'

and if the fighter is spending a large section of his gear negating caster advantages, he is neglecing other parts of his role, i.e armour and damage out put.

thanks for the clarification.

What are you pointing out ? That you can´t have everything ? I can only tell from my own group and there the fighters are well equiped in many aspects. (that´s the intention of this thread: share your experiences about the OPs question, so this is mine).
Better armor and weapons can as much be part of the loot than spellbooks


Crusader of Logic wrote:

Here is one potential way to ignore scribing costs: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#blessedBook

have you noticed the prize of this item ? you could afford 125 lvl 1 spells or 15 lvl 8 spells for that money.

Also its mentioned that this book can never be part of random loot, so it´s also in the hands of the GM to hand it out.


I am pointing out WBL does not even allow them to cover all the basics. By the time they're done with the staples (damage, AC, saves) most of their cash is gone. MIC helps considerably, but they still end up with a lot of very basic situations that they just cannot handle well enough as they lack the right tool for the job.

Edit: "This well-made tome is always of small size, typically no more than 12 inches tall, 8 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. All such books are durable, waterproof, bound with iron overlaid with silver, and locked.

A wizard can fill the 1,000 pages of a blessed book with spells without paying the 100 gp per page material cost. This book is never found as randomly generated treasure >with spells already inscribed in it<."

Brackets mine. You can find it as random treasure, it just will not have spells in it. This doesn't matter though, as you can take every spell you do have, and scribe it in for free.

>38 Blessed book 12,500 gp<

Roll a 38 on Medium Wondrous Items. There you go.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Daidai wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:

AFAIK WBL means 'wealth by level'

and if the fighter is spending a large section of his gear negating caster advantages, he is neglecing other parts of his role, i.e armour and damage out put.

thanks for the clarification.

What are you pointing out ? That you can´t have everything ? I can only tell from my own group and there the fighters are well equiped in many aspects.
Better armor and weapons can as much be part of the loot than spellbooks

True, what I actually mean is that the aquisition of gear can turn very rapidly into an arms race. The melee combatants absolutly needing a piece of kit to negate a spell that the npc's may have, and if the npc's don't then damaging your abilitiies in other areas, if for instance you come against a caster who uses resricted terrain, and wall effects to evade, then your boots of flying are useless, and you would be better off with another item. If on the onther hand you have the 'other item' and you need to fly, then welcome to oops land.

At the same time that you are doing this the casters are broadening there spell selection, picling up items that hamper your abilities against them (meta magic items spring directly to mind).

This leads to a guesssing game and arms race that creates 'must have' items, this imho damages variety of in combat play style. Out of combat ofc characters are as different as you make them.


Rob Godfrey wrote:
True, what I actually mean is that the aquisition of gear can turn very rapidly into an arms race.

I grant you that point. D&D depends very much on the equipment you have and this can easily lead to an "arms race".

By the way i see the same problem with casters who must always have the right spell prepared at the right time. They also must balance their offensive, defensive and ulitity spells, much like a fighter has to pick the right gear.
I often got frustrated as a mage because i had not prepared a specific spell which i desperately needed at that moment.

But again the discussion postulates a confrontation between a caster and a fighter.

Think of a confrontation between two groups containing casters and fighters. That is a completely different situation


Casters have far more options, and those options are less permanent. Even the 'spells known' types can replace up to 9 or so with no harm, no foul. Try to replace an item, you immediately forfeit half its value. And this assumes you can just walk into House Cannith or whatever and buy whatever you want.

Caster guesses wrong, he's screwed for (maximum) 24 hours.

Melee guesses wrong, he never quite recovers.


Crusader of Logic wrote:

Casters have far more options, and those options are less permanent. Even the 'spells known' types can replace up to 9 or so with no harm, no foul. Try to replace an item, you immediately forfeit half its value. And this assumes you can just walk into House Cannith or whatever and buy whatever you want.

Caster guesses wrong, he's screwed for (maximum) 24 hours.

Melee guesses wrong, he never quite recovers.

agreed, but the caster HAS to choose every 24 hours. The fighter not.

Also, as you stated, his options are less permanent. This can be positive and negative.
The question is if this makes the game broken ?


The caster could go with the same loadout if he feels his current array covers all bases. He only changes if he feels the need. If the melee guy realizes his latest choice is useless, he's dependent on DM fiat for some sort of retraining (and even then, he may just hit the same problem again).

Also, caster guy can leave a few slots open. If he runs into something he can't cover, he takes 15 minutes to prepare the answer. Sure, if he needs it right now he's still screwed. So is everyone else. He can adapt much faster, so he still comes out ahead.


Crusader of Logic wrote:

The caster could go with the same loadout if he feels his current array covers all bases. He only changes if he feels the need. If the melee guy realizes his latest choice is useless, he's dependent on DM fiat for some sort of retraining (and even then, he may just hit the same problem again).

Also, caster guy can leave a few slots open. If he runs into something he can't cover, he takes 15 minutes to prepare the answer. Sure, if he needs it right now he's still screwed. So is everyone else. He can adapt much faster, so he still comes out ahead.

you´re absolutely right about casters being much more versatile in many situations. I think nobody doubts that.

The question remains in what situation this can be called "broken" or in what situations the fighter guy gets frustrated about it ?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Daidai wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:

The caster could go with the same loadout if he feels his current array covers all bases. He only changes if he feels the need. If the melee guy realizes his latest choice is useless, he's dependent on DM fiat for some sort of retraining (and even then, he may just hit the same problem again).

Also, caster guy can leave a few slots open. If he runs into something he can't cover, he takes 15 minutes to prepare the answer. Sure, if he needs it right now he's still screwed. So is everyone else. He can adapt much faster, so he still comes out ahead.

you´re absolutely right about casters being much more versatile in many situations. I think nobody doubts that.

The question remains in what situation this can be called "broken" or in what situations the fighter guy gets frustrated about it ?

Imho when the casters versatility can be maintained for so long, and is so effective, that the 'melee guys' are playing second fiddle for 90% of the time (meaning unless a very specific set of circumstances occur the caster(s) will always have the faster and more effective solution.)

edit: spelling (it probably still sucks, but got the errors I could see)


@Crusader of Logic:

reading your "battle log" i can understand the crusader getting frustrated:

He seems to be the only one who gets beaten up, while your casters blast from behind. No one seems to buff him properly, just the druid casts healing on him
It is the GMs task to present encounters that are balanced and don´t just focus on one fighter guy. Otherwise your crusader is overchallenged while the casters get away easily.

No wonder other players switch their character to become caster

edit: if i as a GM present one encounter after another where the casters get bashed and put under too much pressure (dispel magic, antimagic field, mage slayer, see invisibility, and so on) my players would change to play fighter classes.

And yes, i´m sure about that, for i experienced it quite this way.


Jal Dorak wrote:
Off the top of my head, invisible rogue versus wizard. That's gonna hurt without cleric and fighter support.

Wearing a Lesser Cloak of Displacement will allow you to mitigate the Sneak Attack damage, but you're still going to be in for a world of hurt.

If anything, I find that Clerics are the hardest to take down. Mighty spells + plate armor + decent HP = difficult fight.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sueki Suezo wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
Off the top of my head, invisible rogue versus wizard. That's gonna hurt without cleric and fighter support.

Wearing a Lesser Cloak of Displacement will allow you to mitigate the Sneak Attack damage, but you're still going to be in for a world of hurt.

If anything, I find that Clerics are the hardest to take down. Mighty spells + plate armor + decent HP = difficult fight.

even worse if they get that armour fortified to be immune to crits and sneak attacks.


Daidai wrote:

@Crusader of Logic:

reading your "battle log" i can understand the crusader getting frustrated:

He seems to be the only one who gets beaten up, while your casters blast from behind. No one seems to buff him properly, just the druid casts healing on him
It is the GMs task to present encounters that are balanced and don´t just focus on one fighter guy. Otherwise your crusader is overchallenged while the casters get away easily.

No wonder other players switch their character to become caster

edit: if i as a GM present one encounter after another where the casters get bashed and put under too much pressure (dispel magic, antimagic field, mage slayer, see invisibility, and so on) my players would change to play fighter classes.

And yes, i´m sure about that, for i experienced it quite this way.

That isn't entirely true. In Fight 5, he was the only one getting beaten up because the other melee was my cohort. The Crusader did more damage than my cohort, ergo he was a greater threat than said cohort and the enemies focused on the former instead of the latter. The melee guy taking the abuse... that's his job. If he can't take it, and deal with stuff, he can't do his job. Therein lies the problem.

He was buffed, more than anyone else. The buffs were not exceptionally relevant (we knew of them and they knew of us, so to prepare the druid protected people against fire but no one aside from the Crusader was hit with fire, and he's already immune). He also boosted some people's AC, which is why the Crusader survived one round against 4 fire elemental slam attacks, a dire tiger's routine, and a full attack from some high level melee NPC.

No one switched characters. The player of the skirmisher quit supposedly because 'he could no longer get into the mindset of the character' but I suspect was actually because 'he is doing nothing useful at all but looking pretty, and has refused to take advice to better utilize his abilities'. It was a new player who entered with the wizard.

If the enemies 'put pressure' on the casters in that way, it'd actually be doing them a favor. Let's see...

See Invis - counters Invisibility nicely. Switch to next trick.

Anti magic field - Ok, now a mid to high level caster has cast a spell on themselves which completely prevents them from doing anything meaningful. They then have to get within 10 feet of a caster to inhibit them at all. Meanwhile, caster is free to use Orbs, or just Fly and ignore them.

Dispel magic - Doing the caster a favor. You spend your action attempting to remove whatever long term buffs he has. He uses his action to attempt to destroy you and/or your friends. Winner of the action economy game = not the dispel caster.

Mage slayer - getting better here, and if combined with a lockdown build might actually work. But Mage slayer only stops spells, doesn't it? Spell trigger of teleportation, item of teleportation, whatever and he's out of the lock.

No one is singling out the fighter. If anything the enemies are singling out the casters (lots of Fortitude saves, attacks by Dread Wraiths, etc). Just the targets are smart and prepared, so they deal with it anyways. Melees can't keep up with simple tactics, much less fully intelligent enemies.

Example: Cloudkill + Forcecages trap. Crusader is immune to poison via a PRC ability (and actually has a lower save vs poison than I as a caster do if he wasn't, so he'd be more screwed otherwise). Other two melees aren't immune and have to save. Wizard is immune. Druid is immune. Cohorts are immune. Sure, the Crusader could have sat there all day and not cared. He still needed that caster Dimension Door to get out.

Edit: A stupid Wizard gets torn apart by Rogues. A smart one laughs as they are reduced to doing something like 1d6+3 damage a hit, then shows them a world of pain. Precision damage immunity is very easy to get, and completely shuts down that entire archetype.

Scarab Sages

Crusader of Logic wrote:
The encounter that I finally read...

Ok, wow. I've got a couple questions/clarifications...

1) Where is "greater mirror image" found? The way you described it, it sounds like a mirror image that "regenerates" images.

2) Do you and the druid always travel invisible? The whole encounter sounds odd to me. (It probably makes sense to you since you played it, but there still seem like there are some pretty big holes.) If you and the druid were invisible, then that would indicate that you were aware of the ambush. If the druids knew who they were ambushing, they should have known about you and the druid (regardless of the spellcasting). The fire elementals have a higher speed and should have been sent after you since you were the real threat against the druids in the first place. Then they should have been raining flame strikes down on you since it wouldn't affect the elementals at all (and is also not affected by miss chance or by illusions). Why are they even attacking the crusader who can't even touch them? It just seems to me that either you knew about the ambush (in which case the crusader should have had his shield) or you shouldn't have know about the ambush (in which case you shouldn't have been invisible).

3) How new to DMing is the DM? An EL 20 encounter is a bit high for 3 characters of your level. (Four if you count the skirmisher who doesn't seem to play his character right.) In addition, the EL probably should have been higher since the druids (for whatever reason) were prepared for you and had terrain advantage.

The whole encounter (to me) felt more like the DM was trying to prove something rather than tell a story. It also feels like the DM isn't helping the skirmisher figure out his character -- and changing to a wizard won't help that.


Daidai wrote:

Why must everyone be "balanced" ? ... [snip]

The problem is when EVERYONE around you wields some fancy magic and you are the only one being left behind.

Why must everyone be balanced?

I'm already immersed in a situation in which I'm surrounded by people that have more power than me, have better skills, and can do things I can never do. It's called my life. I'm not really into changing my fantasies of power into fantasies of being ordinary. And that's the real, long-term story problem with being a fighter.

Playing a high-level fighter is like you're a glorified cohort. DnD's version of an offensive lineman. The Kurt Rambis and Greg Kite of PCs.

There ARE a lot of people interested in playing fighters. The problem is that they think that they are going to be effective for the entire life of the game, rather than just during the opening act.


Moff Rimmer wrote:
There's no save versus sword in the @$$.

Sure there is: Stoneskin. Mirror Image. Displacement. Charm and Dominate Person. Transmute Rock to Mud. Glitterdust. Wall of Stone.

You get the point.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Moff Rimmer wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:
The encounter that I finally read...

Then they should have been raining flame strikes down on you since it wouldn't affect the elementals at all

Flame strike does affect fire elementals, half the damage it causes is holy, and not affected by fire resistance/immunity.


In my experience, Squirrelloid, the casters determine when the party rests for the day at high levels. When they are out of spells, we teleport back to their Fortress of Solitude and wait until the next day.

And Paizo assumes that in their modules: take a look at Crown of the Kobold King. They expect a 2nd level party to rest at least a half a dozen times before rescuing everyone. There's not a chance in the world that any party, no matter how smart, can run that gauntlet in one day... and any good RPer will want to, imagining what's happening to the captives. (Let's just say that I plan on running it with a 9th level bard PC, and 3 6th level NPCs and I anticipate that it will be challenging for them to accomplish in one day even then.)


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Gailbraithe wrote:
As far a I'm concerned, the only unfun part about playing a fighter in an 18th level party is that you have to sit and wait while the rest of the party picks spells.
God, yes. I had a wizard player, he'd sit there while everyone else took their turn, and then he'd say, "Oh, what shall I cast now", and take ten minutes looking up spell descriptions. And he always forgot what spells did what between sessions. I made him play a paladin the next time.

In an epic level campaign we're in, we basically say that if you take a while, your character uses the delay action while you decide. It's not a rule, but rather a rule of thumb.


Moff Rimmer wrote:


I keep waiting for examples and like someone else said, it seems to only happen in a perfect world for the wizard. I wonder if these people are actually playing with the memorization rules or if they are just playing it more like a sorcerer.

Really, all it takes is some preparation. You have your base list of spells. That base list includes a variety of "save or suck" battlefield control spells that hit F/R/W and a variety of defense spells with a melee nerfer. Then you construct a list of spells that you cast in order of casting based on how much time you have available to you to prepare. When in doubt, you can battlefield control spells to buy you time to find cover and to divide the enemy, making it much, much easier for your side to win. Then you construct several other lists: vs. undead spell list, vs. energy immune monsters, vs. SR creatures, vs. outsiders, vs. high Reflex save creatures, etc. Then you make cue cards for each of your spells, to speed decision-making.

All it takes is for the player to devote a rainy afternoon to polishing their wizard and they can be fast and awesome at the gaming table.


Daidai wrote:

to address the OP und summarize the intention of my posts:

1) yes, i (and i think all of us here) agree that fighters and
spellcasters are unbalanced. But i think the question if this leads to a "broken" situation lies mostly in the hands of the GM and depends on players preferences and game style.

If it requires special GM handling, isn't it automatically broken? You don't fix things that aren't broken, right? I think that logic, correct or not, is a foundational part of the split here.

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