Casting Defensively - too easy?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Caster level check: d20 + caster level + Ability mod vs. 15 + 2x spell level.

Isn't that too easy?

A couple of examples...

5th level caster with average +3 in his relevant ability is casting his highest level spell.

d20 + 5 + 3 vs. 15 + 6
d20 + 8 vs. 21
You only need to roll 13 for you highest level spell without the Feat Combat Casting?
If you have Combat Casting [CC] that's only 9 required.

Chances are that the +3 is more likely to be +4 or +5 meaning you may only require an 11 without CC, 7 with.

Let’s look at a meat and potatoes level 2 spell for this guy with a +4 ability mod.
He needs 10 without CC, 6 with.

Level 15 caster with +5 in his relevant ability is casting his highest level spell.

d20 + 15 + 5 vs. 15 + 16
d20 + 20 vs. 31
You only need 11, or 7 with CC. If this dude is casting a level 5 spell he'll only need a 5, or 1 with CC.

Chances are that ability mod will more likely be +6 or +7, so now he only needs 9 without CC, or 5 with. And the 5th level spell requires a 3 without, or 1 with.

Anyhoo, you get the idea. I've noticed that in the games I run and play in, casting defensively almost never fails and that doesn't seem right somehow.

Anyone else feels it's a bit too easy?


stuart haffenden wrote:


Anyone else feels it's a bit too easy?

Nope, if anything seems a bit hard.

-James


Not really. If you have combat casting, you should seldom fail it. If you don't, you should still succeed more than 50% of the time. Remember, if you fail it, you lose your spell - you really shouldn't be losing half your spells when you're already in the very bad place of having an enemy right next to you as a caster. At least, that's how I see it.


I don't think so, if the caster fails he wasted a round doing nothing, only needing an 11 is 50% chance of spellfailure, if you take into account combat casting you can also take into account disruptive which raises the difficulty by 4, also it seems to me that disruptive stacks if your wizard is flanked by two drow warriors both with the disruptive feat he might have some serious trouble there. Anyway, it is pretty tough to cast your highest level spells away in melee, but fairly easy to cast lower level spells, most players will take this into account and cast spells with little risk to be disturbed, just because it doesnt fail doesnt mean it doesnt do anything either.


yes, i agree with you, casting within melee range should be very difficult, you are attempting to use both somatic and verbal components while some one standing right next to you is expecting you to cast a spell and doesn't want you to finish what you are doing.

it should be hard, that is why spellcasters are expected to stay back and use their magic.

Dark Archive

This is an improvement over 3.5 where it required a Concentration check (which most casters would smartly max at lvl+3 ranks) at DC 15+spell lvl. It did not take long before this was basically an automatic, especially with Combat Casting adding +4 to the check.

There needs to be some risk involved in casting while threatened and I think the Pathfinder rules fixed the issue while still granting a good chance of success for the caster.


I will say it is too bad the opponents skill isn't taken into account in a similar way as tumble/acrobatics now works, a seasoned fighter should give a wizard a harder time to cast his spells than a 1st level warrior.


Yeah it is an improvement over 3.5. In 3.5 it bugged me, here, it seems they have at least given a chance for failure.

Side note: I always thought it odd that a wizard could cast a touch spell defensively while threatened and a fighter without imp unarmed, couldn't make an avoidance role to avoid an attack of opportunity as well.


Ive houseruled that the DC should be 10 + (3*spell level). Makes it just a little easier at low levels and a little harder at higher levels.


I think its perfectly fair, considering spells are limited per day, can be counter-spelled, can be saved against, have to deal with spell resistance, and creatures who are resistant or immune to certain effects.

In other words, getting the spell out should be easy. Getting it through is where the difficulty lies.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Defensive casting is fine, move along. It was stupidly easy in 3.5, and was brought up to a reasonable shape in PF.


TheWhiteknife wrote:
Ive houseruled that the DC should be 10 + (3*spell level). Makes it just a little easier at low levels and a little harder at higher levels.

It is an ok ruling if you like the chance to cast your highest level spells more or less the same after level 10 or so.

basically level 1 to 4 level spells will be a bit easier, I find this advantageous because low level wizards are inclined to try something that makes sense to do, but wont because the mechanics suck for their level.

level 5 spells are unchanged, and 6+ will be a bit harder, makes up for the stat and casterlevel boosts they will get over the levels.


Gorbacz wrote:
Defensive casting is fine, move along. It was stupidly easy in 3.5, and was brought up to a reasonable shape in PF.

i don't mean to be disrespectful but why bother posting if all your going to say is drop the subject?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
northbrb wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Defensive casting is fine, move along. It was stupidly easy in 3.5, and was brought up to a reasonable shape in PF.
i don't mean to be disrespectful but why bother posting if all your going to say is drop the subject?

It sometimes helps when you know what the opinion of the majority is :) If one person posts "it's OK" I wouldn't be entirely convinced, but if 20 pile on it's pretty much clear what the common opinion is.


Nope; not too easy. It took a little getting used to, but I think it is about right (though at first glance the 10 + (3 x spell level) suggestion isn't bad, either).


northbrb wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Defensive casting is fine, move along. It was stupidly easy in 3.5, and was brought up to a reasonable shape in PF.
i don't mean to be disrespectful but why bother posting if all your going to say is drop the subject?

Except that isn't all he said; he responded to the OP's question.


i see what you are saying, and i understand if you don't think there is anything wrong with it. its just the way you stated it bothered me. sorry if i seemed disrespectful at all.


cdglantern wrote:

Yeah it is an improvement over 3.5. In 3.5 it bugged me, here, it seems they have at least given a chance for failure.

Side note: I always thought it odd that a wizard could cast a touch spell defensively while threatened and a fighter without imp unarmed, couldn't make an avoidance role to avoid an attack of opportunity as well.

The reason unarmed strikes provoke is because you are unarmed. When the wizard has a dangerous affect(spell) attached to his hand he is considered to be armed, and the fighter has to take that into account. If I can touch you and electrocute you(shocking grasp) I don't think you will look at my hands in the same light you would as a punch to the face.


I think concentration and specifically Casting Defensively are where they need to by. All other things being equal you have about a 50/50 chance to get something off. (Yes sometimes it is more and sometimes it is less.) Since you are limited to how many spells you have per day... and how many actions you get per round... loosing both of those due to a botched roll about half the time is plenty painful.

People who want to stop the wizard have several options. The can ready an action so if the target tries to cast defensively they have to roll once for the defensive cast... plus they get attacked by the readied attack and if they are hit have to make a normal concentration roll based upon damage and spell level. You can also grapple the target. If you are a fighter you can also take that feat that makes it hard to cast.

So lots of options for the caster and lots of options for the person trying to kill the caster. If one side focuses on feats to shut the other down they have a fair chance. If both focus on shutting the other down with feats you get to about a 50/50 chance one site will win.


wraithstrike wrote:
cdglantern wrote:

Yeah it is an improvement over 3.5. In 3.5 it bugged me, here, it seems they have at least given a chance for failure.

Side note: I always thought it odd that a wizard could cast a touch spell defensively while threatened and a fighter without imp unarmed, couldn't make an avoidance role to avoid an attack of opportunity as well.

The reason unarmed strikes provoke is because you are unarmed. When the wizard has a dangerous affect(spell) attached to his hand he is considered to be armed, and the fighter has to take that into account. If I can touch you and electrocute you(shocking grasp) I don't think you will look at my hands in the same light you would as a punch to the face.

And yet still little difference when the wizard or cleric may be casting a non offensive spell, within enemy reach, defensively. I think it is weird that they can do this and fighters can do nothing similar when acting.

ADD: I understand the rule completely, it just doesn't make any sense to me. It seems that if someone was trying to touch me with a glowing hand I would do everything within my power to lop it off, instead of just waiting there crossing my fingers.


cdglantern wrote:
SNIP It seems that if someone was trying to touch me with a glowing hand I would do everything within my power to lop it off, instead of just waiting there crossing my fingers.

As opposed to doing everything you can to lop off a hand holding a knife and trying to stick you with it? Both are dangerous and both can kill in a fantasy world. You choices are kill them first... or hold your action to try and disrupt it at a crucial moment. With a spellcaster you have that option... with someone holding a knife you don't.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

stuart haffenden wrote:

Caster level check: d20 + caster level + Ability mod vs. 15 + 2x spell level.

Isn't that too easy? ((snip for space reasons))

5th level caster with average +3 in his relevant ability is casting his highest level spell.

d20 + 5 + 3 vs. 15 + 6
d20 + 8 vs. 21
You only need to roll 13 for you highest level spell without the Feat Combat Casting?
If you have Combat Casting [CC] that's only 9 required.

According to your illustration: with CC, he has a 55% chance of success, without, only 40%.

Quote:


Chances are that the +3 is more likely to be +4 or +5 meaning you may only require an 11 without CC, 7 with.

I'm not sure what "chances" there will be that his caster stat will be 18-20 at level 5; that's either a min-maxed character or a high-power-level game in my group, but of course your mileage may vary. That is not a criticism--it means that that character is built well to do one thing (his spellcasting) or he's in a campaign where he's facing frequent enough challenges that there are plenty of other things going to cause him trouble. At any rate, you're looking at a 45% chance of success without CC, and 65% with, if I'm doing my math right (yes, it's multiples of five, but I'm an English major, I'm capable of messing that up).

Anyway, I'm not going to keep going down the line, but as the others say, generally speaking, an average person is often going to be facing, more or less, a 50% chance of spell failure (with some improvement at higher level if your spellcasting score). Look at it this way: your spellcaster could be running around in full plate (only 35% chance of spell failure) and have a better chance of casting a spell than if he's wearing a robe but standing in an enemy's threatened area.

Your analysis shows that buying that Combat Casting feat and boosting your spellcasting ability score improves your chances to 60-75% or thereabouts. I think that's alright, considering there is a tradeoff there--giving up a valuable metamagic or item crafting or other preferred feat, and possibly, if playing with a point-bought character, having lower ability scores across the board elsewhere. Which gives your character other problems like lower saves, hit points, and armor class. This last issue is highly dependent on how high the point buy is and how challenging the campaign is however, so it's a really hard variable to consider, admittedly.

As others have noted, casting defensively is much harder than it was in 3.5. It still might be easier for a character optimized to do it--but the character is optimized to do it and has taken tradeoffs to be able to do this well.

It's still not as hard, I guess, as in AD&D 2nd, when if someone hit you before you finished casting, the spell instantly fizzled. But I'd rather some kind of chance for it not to fizzle--I think more or less 50% is actually about right.

The main thing to watch in your game, I guess, is note what people's stats are, and are they at too much of an advantage because of the particular GMs/players' play style? It may be an issue with your game due to factors hard to consider here. And to be clear, because people always seem to read me wrong on statements like this--I don't mean, "you're doing it wrong." I'm just saying there may be factors like your game's character creation rules or something that makes this one thing work in an unexpected way, even though it may well make other things work beautifully.

It could also just be die roll luck. I know in my games my bad guys will always fail their defensive casting checks and my players will always succeed on theirs, and that has absolutely nothing to do with the rules written in the book. :) ;D

Other thing to bear in mind are the feats Disruptive and Spellbreaker--these can help swing the balance back in the favor of the meleeists, as the chance to cast defensively lowers and failure also means provoking an AOO anyway. If anything, those feats are too hard to qualify for, being both level dependent and Fighter only (they're basically "Fighter talents"). It might be mean of me, but I'd love to be able to give those feats to certain monsters... not all of them, that would be silly--but seems like certain outsiders and the like could be appropriately nasty (but in hopefully a challenging way, not an unfair one) if they had access to those feats.

Or maybe, for you, 50% is too high of a chance of a success. In that case, certainly try a x2.5 or x3 factor and let us know how it turns out.


cdglantern wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
cdglantern wrote:

Yeah it is an improvement over 3.5. In 3.5 it bugged me, here, it seems they have at least given a chance for failure.

Side note: I always thought it odd that a wizard could cast a touch spell defensively while threatened and a fighter without imp unarmed, couldn't make an avoidance role to avoid an attack of opportunity as well.

The reason unarmed strikes provoke is because you are unarmed. When the wizard has a dangerous affect(spell) attached to his hand he is considered to be armed, and the fighter has to take that into account. If I can touch you and electrocute you(shocking grasp) I don't think you will look at my hands in the same light you would as a punch to the face.

And yet still little difference when the wizard or cleric may be casting a non offensive spell, within enemy reach, defensively. I think it is weird that they can do this and fighters can do nothing similar when acting.

ADD: I understand the rule completely, it just doesn't make any sense to me. It seems that if someone was trying to touch me with a glowing hand I would do everything within my power to lop it off, instead of just waiting there crossing my fingers.

The casting defensively thing isn't him sitting there casting in front of you. The roll is to see if he can maintain his composure and the somatic components and the timing of the verbal components while avoiding you lopping his hand off. The round isn't taken turn-by-turn, and there's definitely a lot more going on each round than one attack or five foot steps. It's assumed that an "attack" is an misstep in their defenses or a possible opening, and the more attacks you have means you're so skilled that you can find five openings in an opponent's defenses in six seconds. You're a whirlwind of death!

I remember an old houserule we used to use from WFRP... any human opponent could have up to 3 attacks, but monsters, especially *skilled* monsters like the Von Carstein vampire family, could have up to 5 or 6. For each attack above 4 they had, they could deny you an attack-- they were so skilled that they could fight in such a way that gave you absolutely no openings. The second you saw their misstep and rose your sword, the Von Carstein had covered it and parried your blow on pure reflex without even trying. I loved the rule since it was really useful to threaten a "high level" WFRP party, and nothing beats telling the melee brute that the Von Carstein vampire was just completely removing him from combat on reflex without really noticing he was trying to hurt him.

Back to D&D... The thing about casting the touch spell and going for a punch is that a wizard with shocking grasp or a cleric with harm just has to brush you with his fingers to get you with it. Him succeeding in his touch attack is you failing to lop off his hand, again. You're trying to avoid him even touching or hitting you with his hand. A single pinky finger on your forehead could send you to another plane.

On the other hand, a fighter swinging with his hands without Imp. Unarmed Strike means that he isn't trained in pugilism-- he's at best an amateur boxer or a brawler. His swings and punches aren't lethal like a monk's because he doesn't know where to hit to kill you-- just where to hit to stun you. As you trade blows, the fact that you have a weapon and he doesn't means there will be missed possible parries or places where the extra 3ft. reach on your arm has its advantages-- that's why you get an AoO.

(Just imagine a monk flurry not like a pair of boxers trading blows but like a trained and lethal martial artist blowing you apart by snapping your joints, hammering pressure points and delivering strikes and chops to the eyes, throat, temple, etc. And he's not even bloodying his knuckles on the spiked full plate.)


Ice Titan wrote:
cdglantern wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
cdglantern wrote:

Yeah it is an improvement over 3.5. In 3.5 it bugged me, here, it seems they have at least given a chance for failure.

Side note: I always thought it odd that a wizard could cast a touch spell defensively while threatened and a fighter without imp unarmed, couldn't make an avoidance role to avoid an attack of opportunity as well.

The reason unarmed strikes provoke is because you are unarmed. When the wizard has a dangerous affect(spell) attached to his hand he is considered to be armed, and the fighter has to take that into account. If I can touch you and electrocute you(shocking grasp) I don't think you will look at my hands in the same light you would as a punch to the face.

And yet still little difference when the wizard or cleric may be casting a non offensive spell, within enemy reach, defensively. I think it is weird that they can do this and fighters can do nothing similar when acting.

ADD: I understand the rule completely, it just doesn't make any sense to me. It seems that if someone was trying to touch me with a glowing hand I would do everything within my power to lop it off, instead of just waiting there crossing my fingers.

The casting defensively thing isn't him sitting there casting in front of you. The roll is to see if he can maintain his composure and the somatic components and the timing of the verbal components while avoiding you lopping his hand off. The round isn't taken turn-by-turn, and there's definitely a lot more going on each round than one attack or five foot steps. It's assumed that an "attack" is an misstep in their defenses or a possible opening, and the more attacks you have means you're so skilled that you can find five openings in an opponent's defenses in six seconds. You're a whirlwind of death!

I remember an old houserule we used to use from WFRP... any human opponent could have up to 3 attacks, but monsters, especially *skilled* monsters like the Von Carstein...

Mr.Lantern was wondering why the touch attack itself did not provoke.


wraithstrike wrote:
Mr.Lantern was wondering why the touch attack itself did not provoke.

Eh, I figure it's like the warrior trying his best to not leave his own opening, or just going into straight evade mode. Nothing in my touch spell says I need to keep it in my hand! I'm a battery of negative energy! If I touch my shoe to yours, you're going to 1hp!


Ok, well thanks for all your comments.

It would seem that I'm in a minority. I wasn't looking at it in terms of how many spells one had and if making it harder would ruin their day, more in terms of...

"what the hell are you casting for, the guy next to you has a big sword"

In my eyes it should be harder. The way around not losing your spells is to not be next to the guy with the big sword when you cast them!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This is one of the first things I changed in my Pathfinder game.

The way things are structured it gets easier to cast your highest level spells. That means most of the hardship is on low level casters that have a tough time already. Once they hit Level 10+ it is almost a waste of time asking them to roll.

In my game the roll has been changed to DC 10 + 3/level

At level 1 the DC is 13 instead of 17

To cast a level 9 the DC is 37 from 33.

If the high level caster is threatened they have the option of casting a lower level spell. But if they are pressed they have a reason not to use the biggest toy in the arsenal.


stuart haffenden wrote:


In my eyes it should be harder. The way around not losing your spells is to not be next to the guy with the big sword when you cast them!

Actually you can cast without a check, you'll just provoke an AOO. The damage from that AOO (if it hits) could require a check on it's own of course.

If the check to cast defensively becomes too high then your odds are better just taking the AOO to hope it misses (or that you pass that check).

If the casting defensively check were just to decide whether or not you provoked (i.e. fail the check and you provoke) then I could see it being harder, but as it costs you the action and the spell I think if anything it's already too hard.

-James


stuart haffenden wrote:

Ok, well thanks for all your comments.

It would seem that I'm in a minority. I wasn't looking at it in terms of how many spells one had and if making it harder would ruin their day, more in terms of...

"what the hell are you casting for, the guy next to you has a big sword"

In my eyes it should be harder. The way around not losing your spells is to not be next to the guy with the big sword when you cast them!

The problem is that casters often dont have a choice, in fact there are a bunch of feats now in the core rules that make this more difficult. Not to mention the spell itself has it's own chance for failure (attack roles, saves, spell resistance etc). So you have two chances for your spell to do nothing. It still is a tough situation for a caster, but to make it much harder would mean its an extremely deadly situation. Sometimes you have to give preference to gameplay over reality.

The impact on gameplay would be overly negative (particularly at low levels) if you make casting defensively much harder, and the relative 'realism' gains would be slight. The guy is about to bend time and space to literally pull a miracle out of thin air. Why should there neccerily be additional difficulty doing this then a bard singing his song, or monk channeling his ki? If you are properly trained (combat casting) one would think casting in combat should be as easy as anything else.


Kolokotroni wrote:
stuart haffenden wrote:

Ok, well thanks for all your comments.

It would seem that I'm in a minority. I wasn't looking at it in terms of how many spells one had and if making it harder would ruin their day, more in terms of...

"what the hell are you casting for, the guy next to you has a big sword"

In my eyes it should be harder. The way around not losing your spells is to not be next to the guy with the big sword when you cast them!

The problem is that casters often dont have a choice, in fact there are a bunch of feats now in the core rules that make this more difficult. Not to mention the spell itself has it's own chance for failure (attack roles, saves, spell resistance etc). So you have two chances for your spell to do nothing. It still is a tough situation for a caster, but to make it much harder would mean its an extremely deadly situation. Sometimes you have to give preference to gameplay over reality.

The impact on gameplay would be overly negative (particularly at low levels) if you make casting defensively much harder, and the relative 'realism' gains would be slight. The guy is about to bend time and space to literally pull a miracle out of thin air. Why should there neccerily be additional difficulty doing this then a bard singing his song, or monk channeling his ki? If you are properly trained (combat casting) one would think casting in combat should be as easy as anything else.

Yes but you get to do wonderful things instead of just...

"I roll to hit... next"

I want a "wonderful things" tax!


stuart haffenden wrote:


Yes but you get to do wonderful things instead of just...

"I roll to hit... next"

I want a "wonderful things" tax!

If you want to stop them from casting, then ready to hit them when they cast... then they not only have to make a check to cast defensively but you get to hit them and make them roll a second check.

The caster risks loosing his action and his spell by casting defensively rather than simply take the AOO. I don't think it should be a long shot gamble, quite the opposite.

-James


stuart haffenden wrote:


Yes but you get to do wonderful things instead of just...

"I roll to hit... next"

I want a "wonderful things" tax!

I cant tell if this is serious or not. My sarcasm meter is off. Are you kidding?


Kolokotroni wrote:
stuart haffenden wrote:


Yes but you get to do wonderful things instead of just...

"I roll to hit... next"

I want a "wonderful things" tax!

I cant tell if this is serious or not. My sarcasm meter is off. Are you kidding?

I often speak in sarcasm!

But seroiusly, the spell casters do get to do far more interesting things than just "roll to hit" and I figure that part of their class involves not standing next to the guy with the big sword while casting unless they are kindly provoking an AoO so the fighter doesn't get hit when he moves up to the big ugly troll ;)


stuart haffenden wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
stuart haffenden wrote:


Yes but you get to do wonderful things instead of just...

"I roll to hit... next"

I want a "wonderful things" tax!

I cant tell if this is serious or not. My sarcasm meter is off. Are you kidding?

I often speak in sarcasm!

But seroiusly, the spell casters do get to do far more interesting things than just "roll to hit" and I figure that part of their class involves not standing next to the guy with the big sword while casting unless they are kindly provoking an AoO so the fighter doesn't get hit when he moves up to the big ugly troll ;)

Well i think you CAN do far more interesting things with non casters then 'i hit'. But I dont think it is reasonable to have a much more significant chance for failure just because the thing you are doing is more interesting. That is not a good game design, because that means boring characters are more successful then interesting ones. And that, a good game does not make.


Kolokotroni wrote:


Well i think you CAN do far more interesting things with non casters then 'i hit'. But I dont think it is reasonable to have a much more significant chance for failure just because the thing you are doing is more interesting. That is not a good game design, because that means boring characters are more successful then interesting ones. And that, a good game does not make.

Sure, there is much more to the game than combat encounters. But I still consider the spell caster trying to cast next to the guy with the big sword a foolish spell caster! Having said that I think Combat Casting will probably be taken early on by casters that want to get close to the action. You may be playing a touch spell specialist or a sorc with claw attacks for example.

So do you use the PF rules or something a bit easier?


stuart haffenden wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:


Well i think you CAN do far more interesting things with non casters then 'i hit'. But I dont think it is reasonable to have a much more significant chance for failure just because the thing you are doing is more interesting. That is not a good game design, because that means boring characters are more successful then interesting ones. And that, a good game does not make.

Sure, there is much more to the game than combat encounters. But I still consider the spell caster trying to cast next to the guy with the big sword a foolish spell caster! Having said that I think Combat Casting will probably be taken early on by casters that want to get close to the action. You may be playing a touch spell specialist or a sorc with claw attacks for example.

So do you use the PF rules or something a bit easier?

I use the pathfinder rules, in actuality my group has been using the pathfinder rules for concentration for like 3 years prior to pathfinder coming around. We had long ago adjusted the concentration rules in 3.5.


There are clearly two schools of thought about casting in melee.

One school, which traces its roots to 1E/2E, believes that casting in melee should be difficult/impossible. They believe that a caster should stay out of melee. If he is in melee, then there has been a tactical failure by his party. (For the record, I'm in this school.) They also do not complain that the rogue loses his usefulness if he is grappled by a colossal creature; neither should happen if the party is properly prepared and fighting smartly.

The other school believes that casting in melee should have risks, but should succeed a fair amount of the time. Casters will end up in melee, and, while not optimal, they believe that these casters should still be reasonably effective in that situation.

(There may be a third school who think it should be as trivial as it was in third edition. They do not appear to have a presence in this thread.)

The Pathfinder rules are a clear improvement over 3E, but do not go all the way back to the original difficulty. If you are of the second school, you probably think the current rules are about right. If you are of the first school, the current rules, while better than those of 3E, still appear too easy.

For those in the first school, there are a variety of simple house rules that could be implemented to increase the difficulty (10 + 3*level, 20 + 2*level or a caster level check (no stat bonus) of 15 + 2*level). You could even disallow Concentration checks to avoid the AoO.


There are also alot of cases where the concentration check can essentialy be near impossible. That large thing grapples your Wizard good luck beating his CMD with a concentration check.


stuart haffenden wrote:

Ok, well thanks for all your comments.

It would seem that I'm in a minority. I wasn't looking at it in terms of how many spells one had and if making it harder would ruin their day, more in terms of...

"what the hell are you casting for, the guy next to you has a big sword"

In my eyes it should be harder. The way around not losing your spells is to not be next to the guy with the big sword when you cast them!

If the monster in question is mobile and the DM is smart your distance away may not be an option. If casting in melee is hard to enough to make a feat almost mandatory I think it is hard enough. I actually think combat casting should be taken by any full caster, but I am sure there are those that disagree.


If anything it's too tough, not too easy. Even an ideal character is gonna blow a turn occasionally.


Casting defensively is pretty tough at low levels. I've seen players choose to take the AoO and hope to be missed rather than risk the check to cast defensively. Heck, even if you actually get hit you'll often have a better chance of getting the spell off than if you tried to cast defensively. For a 1st level spell you'd need to take over 6 damage to have a worse chance, and that's almost enough to drop a first level wizard.

Anyhow, the real answer was already suggested. If the guy with a big sword really doesn't want the wizard casting spells he should just ready an action to hit the wizard if he starts casting. If the big sword hits hard enough the wizard won't be casting anything, and the Combat Casting feat won't help with this. If you don't want the wizard 5 foot stepping away there's a feat for that too.

If melee guys determined to suppress casting get next to a caster it can be tough on him. If the melee guys aren't readying actions then they aren't really concentrating on suppressing casting. Of course archers can play this game at range, and both melee and ranged characters can potentially use Vital Strike to help make sure the spell is ruined.


For the argument of "realism" and "Why would you want to cast a spell with a guy with a sword right beside you?" I have some thoughts:

From the mouth of my character Ralph L'Mao:
"I cast spells. I call demons, angels and devils and MAKE them bow to my will. I can travel the planes and the world in a blink of the eye, surviving some of the most impossible environments while doing so. Please note the demons and angels obeying me -- Why in the world do you think I would fear YOUR small piece of steel, oh I'm sorry "Adamantine" pardon me while I simply melt your brain. Why in the world did you think it was a good idea to run up on a guy that can throw meteors at your head and stop your heart with but a word? This was a good idea to you why? And honestly a sword? I can call a wall of pure iron out of thin air -- I can unmake your sword -- and you -- in the same time it takes you to maybe hit me once. That's right, maybe -- because I'm not where you thought I was and the ground you are standing on isn't even real. That prismatic wall though very much is as is the trumpet archon I have to heal me if you manage to hit me.

So tell me again -- mere wielder of steel -- why was it a good idea to run up on a master of reality?

That's what I thought -- it wasn't, Good bye."

Shadow Lodge

Abraham spalding wrote:

For the argument of "realism" and "Why would you want to cast a spell with a guy with a sword right beside you?" I have some thoughts:

From the mouth of my character Ralph L'Mao:
"I cast spells. I call demons, angels and devils and MAKE them bow to my will. I can travel the planes and the world in a blink of the eye, surviving some of the most impossible environments while doing so. Please note the demons and angels obeying me -- Why in the world do you think I would fear YOUR small piece of steel, oh I'm sorry "Adamantine" pardon me while I simply melt your brain. Why in the world did you think it was a good idea to run up on a guy that can throw meteors at your head and stop your heart with but a word? This was a good idea to you why? And honestly a sword? I can call a wall of pure iron out of thin air -- I can unmake your sword -- and you -- in the same time it takes you to maybe hit me once. That's right, maybe -- because I'm not where you thought I was and the ground you are standing on isn't even real. That prismatic wall though very much is as is the trumpet archon I have to heal me if you manage to hit me.

So tell me again -- mere wielder of steel -- why was it a good idea to run up on a master of reality?

That's what I thought -- it wasn't, Good bye."

This from the guy who said he'd run from the guy with the sword because, while he knew what the dragon could do, he had no-frekkin idea what the sword was or what it's weilder was capable of? ;)

Great Intimidate check by the way, would be truly frightening agaist a group of sell-swords! XD

Grand Lodge

It's too hard at low levels when casters suck and don't really need to be punished anymore and becomes trivial at high levels when casters are gods. It would have been better to do 10+3*spell level or even better 5+4*spell level. That means at level 1, you only need a DC 9. Which should be an auto sucess with combat casting and +4 casting stat. By level 20, your looking at DC 41 for 9th level spells...which is soemthingthing difficult. So high level gets weaker, low levels suck less...sounds good to me.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That is the way I look at it.

A caster does not have allot of options at low levels so they deserve a break. At high levels he can use a lower level spell or pull a wand/staff on his opponents.

If you only have level 1 spells that is what you have to use. When you have 7-8-9 there are worlds of options and you should not be able to cast those in the face of a swordsman that is trying to stick you or it should be very hard.


dulsin wrote:
you should not be able to cast those in the face of a swordsman that is trying to stick you or it should be very hard.

If the swordsman is trying to stick you while you're casting that's readying an action, and if he readies an action he's got a good chance to disrupt your spell...

I guess it is possible that people have way different images of what casting a spell might look like. If you're doing magical jumping jacks in the middle of combat I guess that really could be a problem. The fact that you can still cast while grappled as long as you have one hand free makes me think that the somatic components can reasonably be limited to a single arm though. You could use the other arm to defend yourself or just to help you balance while you dodge to and fro.


dulsin wrote:

That is the way I look at it.

A caster does not have allot of options at low levels so they deserve a break. At high levels he can use a lower level spell or pull a wand/staff on his opponents.

If you only have level 1 spells that is what you have to use. When you have 7-8-9 there are worlds of options and you should not be able to cast those in the face of a swordsman that is trying to stick you or it should be very hard.

"Wait wait wait. When you were an apprentice I didn't mind because you know you needed a break. But now that you are an archmage capable of bending time and space you can't do this anymore, you aren't that good."

Sorry that doesn't make sense to me.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:

For the argument of "realism" and "Why would you want to cast a spell with a guy with a sword right beside you?" I have some thoughts:

From the mouth of my character Ralph L'Mao:
"I cast spells. I call demons, angels and devils and MAKE them bow to my will. I can travel the planes and the world in a blink of the eye, surviving some of the most impossible environments while doing so. Please note the demons and angels obeying me -- Why in the world do you think I would fear YOUR small piece of steel, oh I'm sorry "Adamantine" pardon me while I simply melt your brain. Why in the world did you think it was a good idea to run up on a guy that can throw meteors at your head and stop your heart with but a word? This was a good idea to you why? And honestly a sword? I can call a wall of pure iron out of thin air -- I can unmake your sword -- and you -- in the same time it takes you to maybe hit me once. That's right, maybe -- because I'm not where you thought I was and the ground you are standing on isn't even real. That prismatic wall though very much is as is the trumpet archon I have to heal me if you manage to hit me.

So tell me again -- mere wielder of steel -- why was it a good idea to run up on a master of reality?

That's what I thought -- it wasn't, Good bye."

This from the guy who said he'd run from the guy with the sword because, while he knew what the dragon could do, he had no-frekkin idea what the sword was or what it's weilder was capable of? ;)

Great Intimidate check by the way, would be truly frightening agaist a group of sell-swords! XD

Please note that's what he said to a certain dwarf after the dwarf got upset because he didn't heal her to full health right away after a fight (again was a wizard not a cleric) instead putting it thusly:

"Look as far as I'm concerned you and the other steel swingers are here to stop things from getting to me, Glim (the other wizard), the druid (didn't bother with his name) or her (points to the arcane trickster)... your lives are completely directed to that point, and if you fail I won't get you up again."

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