Why All The Hate Towards Blasting?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Wraithstike, the only reason such advanced formula was even developed for physical combatants was because of threads like that one Ironhide thread. We "blaster-fans" never had that. It makes sense that no one ever bothered to start similar threads for spellcasters too, much less figure out the complex mathematical calculations required to make it work, as blasting was never terribly popular on the forums to begin with...

...and really, blasting didn't really become viable until the APG's release not so long ago. Physical combatants have been viable since Pathfinder's release. I'm not at all surprised that a system for similarly measuring spells hasn't been truly developed yet.

I would very much like to see that changed.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Oh, and one more thing. I've got the 500th post. :D


Quickly, no, Blasting is not bad as a playing style. As a matter of face, spellcasters can overcome a lot of the damage reductions that the weapon users suffer from (i.e., damage reduction) and, on average, hit a lot easier than the weapon users do (with the exception of the Gunslinger). A spellcaster's only real problems as a Blaster are Energy Resistance / Immunity, which you can easily overcome with the Elemental Spell feat ... or by simply casting a different spell, and Spell Resistance, which plagues Controllers just as much as it plagues Blasters.

They say that the best Defense is a good Offense, and that's basically what the Blaster is all about. Yeah, I could MAYBE get a Hold Person / Monster off, and that could result in an auto-kill against the creature. However, dealing well over a hundred damage in a single turn often does that as well.

While we're on that, the whole "random issue" of blasting never really made sense to me. If I'm casting an Empowered Scorching Ray and a Quickened Scorching Rsy and rolling for the damage, what makes that any different from you hoping that your mark fails its Reflex save? Not a whole lot, really. Especially when you consider that a lot of the best blasting spells don't allow saving throws, and the ones that do either don't deal random damage (finger of death) or simply deal so much damage that even on your worst day, you're going to kill something (disentigrate).

Also, from my own personal experience, someone who builds their character as a blaster has an easier time of filling in for the role of controller than vice versa, especially if you happen to be a Sorcerer. As a controller, there aren't many feats or abilities that are essential to your build, and those few that are often overlap with many blasting spells. For an example, my Sorcerer specializes in Evocation and Transmutation effects (transmutation mostly because I love the disentigrate spell). So because I have Spell Focus (transmutation), in addition to getting +1 to my favorite spell, I also get a +1 to a bunch of other, nasty spells. Including reverse gravity, baleful polymorph, and slow. Meanwhile, as a blaster, in order to be effective, you really have to pick your feats for it. Empowered Spell, Quickened Spell, so on and so forth. I think anyone can get use out of Quickened Spell, but a Controller, who doesn't rely on numbers, probably won't take Empowered Spell. In the end, however, Empowered Spell ends up making for a huge portion of your damage as a blaster.

Ultimately, it's a playstyle choice. Some people are go-slayers and other people prefer to sit in the background and control the effectiveness of everyone else. Neither playstyle is wrong, but no one playstyle is truly more effective than the other in the hands of equally skilled players.


Ravingdork wrote:
Oh, and one more thing. I've got the 500th post. :D

I agree that before the APG blasting was not a good idea at all. I would not even use a blaster as an NPC unless I felt like holding.

PS:I think there is a hidden rule that says if you post the 499th and 500th post that the 500th post really goes to the next poster. Now I don't have any proof. You just have to take my word for it. :)

edit:Darn it. Golden-esque jumped post stealing plan.


Okay, since I don't know anything about Ravingdork's sorcerers, I decided to go with some evokers as he asked. As requested, I have also included the metamagic feats Dazing, Empowered, Maximized, and Intensified.

For the purpose of our experiment we will go with 12th level, since that was the level I was aiming for previously (though I did compare the effects vs CR 11 enemies, maybe 'cause I'm an ass like that :P), and 12th level is a nice even number (and we have access to 6th level spells, and enough levels to play with some metamagics).

Also, I shall include an option for wish cheese, since you can acquire a +5 inherent modifier at 11th level via spells like planar binding and simulacrum. Just to show I'm being fair. ^.^

12th Level Evoker (Human)
Int: 26 (20 base, +3 levels, +3 magic item
Super Int: 32 (20 base, +3 levels, +4 magic item, +5 wish cheese)
Save DC: 19 + Spell Level (+7 Int, +2 Spell Focus and Greater Focus)
Super DC: 21 + Spell Level (+11 Int, +2 Spell Focus and Greater Focus)
Feats: Spell Focus (Evocation), Greater Spell Focus (Evocation), Scribe Scroll (B), Empower Spell, Maximize Spell, Dazing Spell, Intensified Spell, Quicken Spell, Improved Initiative

Spells Slots (with cheesed Int)
6th = 3+1 (4+1)
5th = 4+1 (5+1)
4th = 5+1 (6+1)
3rd = 5+1 (7+1)
2nd = 5+1 (7+1)
1st = 5+1 (7+1)
0 = 4+1 (4+1)

Spells Prepared
6th - Maximized Fireball x2, Cold Ice Strike x 1, Dazing Fireball x2
5th - Fire Snake x 2, Empowered Fireball x 1, Cone of Cold x 2, Lightning Arc
4th - Quickened Ray of Fire x1, Quickend Ray of Frost x1, Intensified Fireball x2, Intensified Lightning Bolt x2
3rd - Empowered Magic Missile x2, Lightning Bolt x 3, Fireball x 3
2nd - Scorching Ray x4, Mirror Image, Resist Energy x3
1st - Magic Missile x 5, Mage Armor, Shield x2
0 - Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Prestidigitation, Light, Arcane Mark

Note 1: Ok, yes, I know, it's a bit overflowing with raw damage dealing stuff here, since most of the folks promoting blasting said it should have some control spells too, so feel free to drop a few different spells as desired.)

Note 2: If curious as to why I included Quickened cantrips, there's a very simple reason. I was assuming that that the wizard is an evoker, which means that you get +6 damage on every spell, so at this level a quickened cantrip is an easy +8-9 damage every round in addition to anything else you do (the quickened cantrip can be used at-will because it's still a cantrip). It's essentially to bank on a little action-economy.

Baseline CR 12 Examination:

Hp: 160-ish
Ref: +15 (if strong) / +11 (if poor)

Maximized Fireball
DC 22 (26 cheese): 35% / 15% (15% / 5%)
Damage: 42.9 / 56.1 (56.1 / 62.7)

Ice Cold Strike
DC 25 (30 cheese): 20% / 5% (5% / 5%)
Damage: 33.6 / 39.9 (39.9 / 39.9)

Dazing Fireball
DC 22 (26 cheese): 35% / 15% (15% / 5%)
Damage: 22.75 / 29.75 (29.75 / 33.25)
Chance to Daze (3 Rounds): 35% / 15% (15% / 5%)
Average Rounds Dazed: 1.95 / 2.55 (2.55 / 2.85)

Quickened Ray of Frost or Fire
To Hit: Assuming 95% w/no Penalties
Damage: 7.6

Total DRP (Maximized Fireball + Ice Cold Strike)
Damage: 76.5 / 96 (96 / 102.6)

Total DRP (Dazing Fireball + Ice Cold Strike)
Damage: 56.35 / 69.65 (69.65 / 73.15)

CR 11 Enemies Examination:

DPR Vs Air Elemental wrote:


Hp: 152
Fort: +14
Ref: +21
Will: +7
Recommended Spell: Maximized Fireball or Scorching Ray
Commentary: Air Elemental is a bad match-up for our evoker. He really has no good spells to bring against the air elemental except scorching ray, magic missile, or quickened ray of frost/fire due to the elemental's impressive reflex save. His touch AC also gives an average of about 45-50% reduction in touch spells assuming a +10 to hit.

Maximized Fireball
DC 22 (26 cheese): 95% (80%)
Damage: 33.9 (42)

Ice Cold Strike
DC 25 (30 cheese): 80% (65%)
Damage: 29.4 (35.7)

Dazing Fireball
DC 22 (26 cheese): 95% (80%)
Damage: 19.25 (24.5)
Chance to Daze (3 Rounds): 5% (20%)
Average Rounds Dazed: 0.15 (0.60)

Total DRP (Maximized Fireball + Ice Cold Strike)
Damage: 63.3 (77.7)

Total DRP (Dazing Fireball + Ice Cold Strike)
Damage: 48.65 (60.2)

DPR Vs Earth Elemental wrote:


Hp: 168
Fort: +15
Ref: +4
Will: +10
Recommended Spell: Dazing Fireball
Commentary: Against the Earth Elemental this wizard will dominate most assuredly. Due to the earth elemental's pitiful reflex save he is virtually assured to be stunlocked the entire battle due to Dazing Spell, and also takes the most out of any CR 11 creature from the blast spells, having no mitigation abilities at all. Have fun and blast 'till you drop!

Maximized Fireball
DC 22 (26 cheese): 10% (5%)
Damage: 54 (57)

Ice Cold Strike
DC 25 (30 cheese): 5% (5%)
Damage: 39.9 (39.9)

Dazing Fireball
DC 22 (26 cheese): 5% (5%)
Damage: 31.5 (33.25)
Chance to Daze (3 Rounds): 90% (95%)
Average Rounds Dazed: 2.7 (2.85)

Total DRP (Maximized Fireball + Ice Cold Strike)
Damage: 93.9 (96.9)

Total DRP (Dazing Fireball + Ice Cold Strike)
Damage: 71.4 (73.15)

DPR Vs Fire Elemental wrote:


Hp: 152
Fort: +14
Ref: +19
Will: +7
Recommended Spell: Dazing Ray of Frost or Ice Cold Strike or Dazing Scorching Ray (Admixture to Cold) or Maximized Fireball (Admixture to Cold)
Commentary: The fire elemental is a rough customer for our blaster. He is immune to everything that is Fire, but fortunately is vulnerable to Cold attacks. If you have warning you are going to encounter these, consider prepping dazing rays of frost. Their touch AC is pretty harsh (18) but their will save is bad enough that could could stunlock them effectively. If you are an admixture evoker, consider dazing admixture (cold) scorching rays, to punish them for their low Will saves (also potentially allows you to stun up to 4/round).

Maximized Fireball
DC 22 (26 cheese): 85% (65%)
Damage: immune (immune)
If Cold (Admixture): 58.5 (76.5)

Ice Cold Strike
DC 25 (30 cheese): 70% (45%)
Damage: 50.4 (66.15)

Dazing Fireball
DC 22 (26 cheese): 85% (65%)
Damage: immune (immune)
Chance to Daze (3 rounds): 0% (0%)
Average Rounds Dazed: 0 (0)
If Cold (Admixture): 34.125 (44.625)

Cone of Cold
DC 24 (28 cheese): 75% (55%)
Damage: 47.25 (59.85)

Total DRP (Cone of Cold + Ice Cold Strike)
Damage: 97.65 (126)

DPR Vs Demon, Hezrou wrote:


Hp: 145
Fort: +16
Ref: +3
Will: +9
SR: 22
Energy Resist: Acid 10, Cold 10, Fire 10
Immune: Electricity, Poison
Recommended Spell: Dazing Fireball
Commentary: The Hezrou is a funny sort of beast. On one hand it is horribly vulnerable to most blasting due to its horrendous Reflex save. I mean, really, it's god-aweful. However it's DC 22 spell resistance combined with it's energy resistance hurt the average damage per round seriously (it will be taking 0 damage roughly every other cast, while taking reduced damage when hit).

Do the the swingy nature of this, you could end up dealing huge amounts of damage relatively quickly (a few great rolls could put him down in a few rounds) but a few bad ones means you've been twiddling your thumbs for nothing. He's also immune to electricity and poison, so don't use Ball Lightning, Lightning Bolt, or Chain Lightning either.

Maximized Fireball
DC 22 (26 cheese): 5% (5%)
Damage: 18.5 (18.5)

Ice Cold Strike
DC 25 (30 cheese): 5% (5%)
Damage: 9.95 (9.95)

Dazing Fireball
DC 22 (26 cheese): 5% (5%)
Damage: 6.625 (6.625)
Chance to Daze (3 Rounds): 47.5% (47.5%)
Average Rounds Dazed: 1.425 (1.425)

Total DRP (Maximized Fireball + Ice Cold Strike)
Damage: 28.45 (28.45)

Total DRP (Dazing Fireball + Ice Cold Strike)
Damage: 16.575 (16.575)

Ok...phew...this is taking a lot longer than I thought, and I'm getting a headache. I'll add some more in my next post. This should get us started on a fairly decent DPR scale.


you got some math off, at very least in the initial part

Int: 26 (20 base, +3 levels, +3? magic item)
Super Int: 32 (20 base, +3 levels, +4 magic item, +5 wish cheese)
Save DC: 19 + Spell Level (+7 Int, +2 Spell Focus and Greater Focus)
Super DC: 21(23) + Spell Level (+11 Int, +2 Spell Focus and Greater Focus) Not that is so much important, at least imho

Second, you are using AOE spell against a single target. So you are using 3° level fireball 10d6 with save for 1 guy instead of schorcing ray 2° level 12d6 no save. For fireball to be whort over schorcing there must be atleast 2 enemy
Personally, i'd also skyp intensified for +2 against RI. And you are not counting in rods. Anyway i'm not enterly sure you can theorycraft everything but props for trying


Dekalinder wrote:

you got some math off, at very least in the initial part

Int: 26 (20 base, +3 levels, +3? magic item)
Super Int: 32 (20 base, +3 levels, +4 magic item, +5 wish cheese)
Save DC: 19 + Spell Level (+7 Int, +2 Spell Focus and Greater Focus)
Super DC: 21(23) + Spell Level (+11 Int, +2 Spell Focus and Greater Focus) Not that is so much important, at least imho

Second, you are using AOE spell against a single target. So you are using 3° level fireball 10d6 with save for 1 guy instead of schorcing ray 2° level 12d6 no save. For fireball to be whort over schorcing there must be atleast 2 enemy
Personally, i'd also skyp intensified for +2 against RI. And you are not counting in rods. Anyway i'm not enterly sure you can theorycraft everything but props for trying

Which wands do you suggest? I am assuming it is not wands that blast since spells that are DC based are not good for wands since the DC is normally very low.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I could be wrong about this but I was under the impression that it was ruled that once you use anything that makes a cantrip raise to a higher lvl spell slot means it no longer counts as a cantrip.


Ok, not posting anything else relevant to the DRP thing yet, but I wanted to say that I'm loving this Dazing Spell. This feat is going to make my control wizards even more disgusting than they already where.

Dazing Spell wrote:

Benefit: You can modify a spell to daze a creature damaged by the spell. When a creature takes damage from this spell, they become dazed for a number of rounds equal to the original level of the spell. If the spell allows a saving throw, a successful save negates the daze effect. If the spell does not allow a save, the target can make a Will save to negate the daze effect. If the spell effect also causes the creature to become dazed, the duration of this metamagic effect is added to the duration of the spell.

Level Increase: +3 (a dazing spell uses up a spell slot three levels higher than the spell’s actual level.

Spells that do not inflict damage do not benefit from this feat.

That's going to be sick. The following spells are my new Best Friends Forever thanks to this metamagic feat.

Acid Arrow (oh heck yes!), Snapdragon Fireworks, Magic Missile, Boiling Blood, Acid Pit, Black Tentacles, Wall of Fire, Acidic Spray, Cloudkill, and of course Acid Fog.

Acid Fog is probably the worst though. Sure it's a high level bit (9th level without a rod) but it's basically a solid fog + save vs daze every round. It'll benefit nicely from the Spell Focus (Conjuration) feat which most controllers will have, so the save DC will actually be pretty close to a 9th level spell. Admittedly, acid resistance hoses this option, but then again it's still a solid fog, so go-we!

I might have to look at a few damage dealing spells now, not for blasting but for control purposes. :)


Kevin Mack wrote:
I could be wrong about this but I was under the impression that it was ruled that once you use anything that makes a cantrip raise to a higher lvl spell slot means it no longer counts as a cantrip.

Not according to the core rules.


wraithstrike wrote:
Which wands do you suggest? I am assuming it is not wands that blast since spells that are DC based are not good for wands since the DC is normally very low.

Sorry i meant rod, i edited already, but not quickly enough


Ashiel wrote:

Ok, not posting anything else relevant to the DRP thing yet, but I wanted to say that I'm loving this Dazing Spell. This feat is going to make my control wizards even more disgusting than they already where.

Dazing Spell wrote:

Benefit: You can modify a spell to daze a creature damaged by the spell. When a creature takes damage from this spell, they become dazed for a number of rounds equal to the original level of the spell. If the spell allows a saving throw, a successful save negates the daze effect. If the spell does not allow a save, the target can make a Will save to negate the daze effect. If the spell effect also causes the creature to become dazed, the duration of this metamagic effect is added to the duration of the spell.

Level Increase: +3 (a dazing spell uses up a spell slot three levels higher than the spell’s actual level.

Spells that do not inflict damage do not benefit from this feat.

That's going to be sick. The following spells are my new Best Friends Forever thanks to this metamagic feat.

Acid Arrow (oh heck yes!), Snapdragon Fireworks, Magic Missile, Boiling Blood, Acid Pit, Black Tentacles, Wall of Fire, Acidic Spray, Cloudkill, and of course Acid Fog.

Acid Fog is probably the worst though. Sure it's a high level bit (9th level without a rod) but it's basically a solid fog + save vs daze every round. It'll benefit nicely from the Spell Focus (Conjuration) feat which most controllers will have, so the save DC will actually be pretty close to a 9th level spell. Admittedly, acid resistance hoses this option, but then again it's still a solid fog, so go-we!

I might have to look at a few damage dealing spells now, not for blasting but for control purposes. :)

Actually it geat really crazy whit a Persistent Dazing Ball Lightning. Double save or dazed 6 round, can target up to 5 creature for up to caster level round ^^ Or 5 times the same creature. That makes 10 saves. He will roll some 1-2 somewhere right?


Dekalinder wrote:

you got some math off, at very least in the initial part

Int: 26 (20 base, +3 levels, +3? magic item)
Super Int: 32 (20 base, +3 levels, +4 magic item, +5 wish cheese)
Save DC: 19 + Spell Level (+7 Int, +2 Spell Focus and Greater Focus)
Super DC: 21(23) + Spell Level (+11 Int, +2 Spell Focus and Greater Focus) Not that is so much important, at least imho

Second, you are using AOE spell against a single target. So you are using 3° level fireball 10d6 with save for 1 guy instead of schorcing ray 2° level 12d6 no save. For fireball to be whort over schorcing there must be atleast 2 enemy
Personally, i'd also skyp intensified for +2 against RI. And you are not counting in rods. Anyway i'm not enterly sure you can theorycraft everything but props for trying

I was admittedly hesitant to do a lot with scorching ray because I had done a lot with scorching ray in my previous post, and Ravingdork asked me to do some stuff with AoEs. The thing is, you need to be prepared to use some AoEs vs singular enemies because your slots need to be used for different things (if you absolutely must have groups vs solo then it's a waste), and because scorching ray is so easy to trivialize by this level.

I did note some instances where scorching ray is highly useful vs some of the elementals (but it's horrible vs the demon, so I left it out of the equation).

Also, I'm pissed at myself 'cause I forgot the +6 damage from evoker in pretty much everything. Oh well, it only added (on average) about +3-4 damage, but still. -.-


Dekalinder wrote:
Actually it geat really crazy whit a Persistent Dazing Ball Lightning. Double save or dazed 6 round, can target up to 5 creature...

Oh nice. A poor blasting spell just got leveled up to a nice control spell! I dig it! Also, I love the -4 penalty to the save for peeps wearing metal armor. Yummy...


Ashiel wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
I could be wrong about this but I was under the impression that it was ruled that once you use anything that makes a cantrip raise to a higher lvl spell slot means it no longer counts as a cantrip.
Not according to the core rules.

I am confused. Why does it matter if it counts as a cantrip or not if the metamagic feat still forces it to use a higher level slot?


wraithstrike wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
I could be wrong about this but I was under the impression that it was ruled that once you use anything that makes a cantrip raise to a higher lvl spell slot means it no longer counts as a cantrip.
Not according to the core rules.
I am confused. Why does it matter if it counts as a cantrip or not if the metamagic feat still forces it to use a higher level slot?

Catrips says

These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.

Even if they are metamagized they are still cantrip (0 level spell, metamagic does not change spell level). This mean that, while is sure use a 4° level slot, that slot is never ging to "empty". Ergo, infinite blast.


wraithstrike wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
I could be wrong about this but I was under the impression that it was ruled that once you use anything that makes a cantrip raise to a higher lvl spell slot means it no longer counts as a cantrip.
Not according to the core rules.
I am confused. Why does it matter if it counts as a cantrip or not if the metamagic feat still forces it to use a higher level slot?

Because legally as a cantrip you do not lose it when you cast it. Ergo, by using the Evoker's class feature to add +1/2 caster level to the damage, you can toss a quickened ray of frost or ray of fire each round more or less 'cause you can. A fairly decent (if low-powered) method of squeezing a little more average damage per round, interrupting a spell, or attacking without using up your spell slots.

EDIT: Since I often allow 3.5 material into my games by request, I have been quite amused with a player who has combined Fell Drain with Acid Splash. She walks around with a standard-action ranged-touch spell that ignores Spell Resistance and inflicts 1 negative level when she splashes you with it. :P

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah here we go

James Jacobs wrote:

The rules as intended and as they should be interpreted are that you only get to cast 0 level spells at will. Once they're prepared with higher level spell slots, they follow all the rules for how higher level spell slots work.

Allowing all cantrips to be cast at will despite that spell slot you used to prepare the spell is an interesting house rule, though.

EDIT: And do try to remain level-headed and non-insulting in this thread. We built the game for folks to have fun with, not as a matrix upon which to build and maintain flame wars.

James Jacobs wrote:
Yeah; this isn't a case of something needing errata. The game isn't broken here; the rules work as they should, but they're subject to interpretation since the writing itself wasn't as 100% precise as it could or should have been. This is a great example of a clarification of the rules that should (and probably will, eventually) get into a rules FAQ for the game. But it's not errata. Errata is stuff like correcting actual errors in the game, and there are certainly those in the rulebook and we're certainly doing our best to track them all down!
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Folks, James is right on here.

If you use a higher level slot, for any reason, be it because it is modified with metamagic, or you just prepared it in a higher slot, it is consumed when cast, just like any other spell. Only when it uses a 0-level slot, it is not consumed.

There is some poor wording there that I am going to correct the next time I am able.

And please folks.. play nice.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


Dekalinder wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
I could be wrong about this but I was under the impression that it was ruled that once you use anything that makes a cantrip raise to a higher lvl spell slot means it no longer counts as a cantrip.
Not according to the core rules.
I am confused. Why does it matter if it counts as a cantrip or not if the metamagic feat still forces it to use a higher level slot?

Catrips says

These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.

Even if they are metamagized they are still cantrip (0 level spell, metamagic does not change spell level). This mean that, while is sure use a 4° level slot, that slot is never ging to "empty". Ergo, infinite blast.

ok. I agree in that case that the cantrip is never use up. I never saw a ruling that said it stopped becoming a cantrip anywhere, only the ruling that metamagic feats do make it use up a higher level slot when they are applied.


I guess they should edit that cantrips applies to 0° level slot and not 0° level spells. Becous as it reads now, being a cantrip is tied to spell level and not to the spell slot. Which are 2 completely different things as everyone who dabbles in metamagic nows.


Kevin Mack wrote:

Ah here we go

James Jacobs wrote:

The rules as intended and as they should be interpreted are that you only get to cast 0 level spells at will. Once they're prepared with higher level spell slots, they follow all the rules for how higher level spell slots work.

Allowing all cantrips to be cast at will despite that spell slot you used to prepare the spell is an interesting house rule, though.

EDIT: And do try to remain level-headed and non-insulting in this thread. We built the game for folks to have fun with, not as a matrix upon which to build and maintain flame wars.

James Jacobs wrote:
Yeah; this isn't a case of something needing errata. The game isn't broken here; the rules work as they should, but they're subject to interpretation since the writing itself wasn't as 100% precise as it could or should have been. This is a great example of a clarification of the rules that should (and probably will, eventually) get into a rules FAQ for the game. But it's not errata. Errata is stuff like correcting actual errors in the game, and there are certainly those in the rulebook and we're certainly doing our best to track them all down!
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Folks, James is right on here.

If you use a higher level slot, for any reason, be it because it is modified with metamagic, or you just prepared it in a higher slot, it is consumed when cast, just like any other spell. Only when it uses a 0-level slot, it is not consumed.

There is some poor wording there that I am going to correct the next time I am able.

And please folks.. play nice.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

He is only saying if you use it in a higher level slot that use of the slot is expended. As an example let's say I am a wizard, and I prepare in my 2nd level slot for example. If I cast it out of that 2nd level slot then that 2nd level slot is expended even though it was only used for a cantrip.


Ashiel wrote:


Acid Arrow (oh heck yes!), Snapdragon Fireworks, Magic Missile, Boiling Blood, Acid Pit, Black Tentacles, Wall of Fire, Acidic Spray, Cloudkill, and of course Acid Fog.

Holy cow... snapdragon fireworks is rather awesome with it... as is the otherwise rather useless boiling blood spell... good finds!

I also find dazing spell impressive as a rod if you use it with your highest level blasting spell (for the DC) you have as a opener. It doesn't necessarily do a whole lot of dmg but disabling probably half of the important enemies for like MANY rounds is awesome and should be used on any possible situation.

Quote:


I was admittedly hesitant to do a lot with scorching ray because I had done a lot with scorching ray in my previous post, and Ravingdork asked me to do some stuff with AoEs. The thing is, you need to be prepared to use some AoEs vs singular enemies because your slots need to be used for different things (if you absolutely must have groups vs solo then it's a waste), and because scorching ray is so easy to trivialize by this level.
I did note some instances where scorching ray is highly useful vs some of the elementals (but it's horrible vs the demon, so I left it out of the equation).

Also, I'm pissed at myself 'cause I forgot the +6 damage from evoker in pretty much everything. Oh well, it only added (on average) about +3-4 damage, but still. -.-

SR is still a highly potential spell under the right circumstances...

1. Enemy has no resistance plus use a rare element (not fire) against NPCs.
2. Its best used in the first round before all the fancy protections go up and everyone is in melee
3. If the enemy had time to buff don't cast it one someone you would expect to be immune against it already (cleric with spell immunity; wizard with energy resistance if they know your favourite element)
4. Don't aim at the dex guy (though its a nobrainer) because his touch AC will eat up your dmg

If you do it right it enables you to rightout flatten the enemy tank in one round because how many tanks do have more than 200 HPs in the mid levels? This is also true for most monsters in that level range.
Plus if you stick to that rules you don't have to be a ray wizard (not that anything is wrong with that).

P.S.: you should also add a level of Sorcerer (Crossblooded Orc & Dragon) in your calculations ;). Damage numbers will skyrocket once you do it. Its by 150% more important for a blaster than being a evocation specialist...


Here are some of the rulings that made blasting more viable for wizards and even a cleric want to play with that:

Sorcerer: Do the bonuses granted from Bloodline Arcana apply to all of the spells cast by the sorcerer, or just those cast from the sorcerer's spell list? (page 72 of the Core Rulebook)

The Bloodline Arcana powers apply to all of the spells cast by characters of that bloodline, not just those cast using the sorcerer's spell slots.

General rule: If a class ability modifies your spellcasting, it applies to your spells from all classes, not just spells from the class that grants the ability. (The exception is if the class ability specifically says it only applies to spells from that class.)

—Jason Bulmahn, 10/21/10 Back to Top

This ruling with the cross-blooded sorcerer and wild-blooded sorcerer from Ultimate Magic allows an evocation caster to add up to +2 damage per die and Intense Spells to the same spell. For a standard six-sided die that is slightly over a 33% increase in damage prior to using Empower Spell.

The Bloodline options for this are:
1. Orc: This is number one if allowed. But this is from a companion and the Orc bloodline is generally considered overpowered since it offers the single best bloodline for a damage caster in the game.

2. Elemental (Primal): Bonus like Draconic, but would be considerd a separate source until I hear otherwise.

3. Draconic: +1 damage per die.

This new ruling in the Core Rulebook FAQ regarding Empower Spell from Sean K. Reynolds.

Empower Spell (page 122): If I use Empower Spell on a spell that has a die roll with a numerical bonus (such as cure moderate wounds), does the feat affect the numerical bonus?

Yes. For example, if you empower cure moderate wounds, the +50% from the feat applies to the 2d8 and to the level-based bonus.

Now some of us, and mind you this is a very loose interpretation that may or may not stick with most DMs depending on their feeling as to whether a bloodline bonus or Intense Spells becomes part of a spell when cast, allow Empower to work with the additional damage added per die from Bloodline and Intense Spells.

This further enhances blasting if your DM allows this loose interpreation. Though the primary component is the addition the cross-blooded and wild-blooded sorcerer, which is substantial. Both the cross-bloodead and wild-blooded sorcerer did not become part of the rules until Ultimate Magic. So blasting did not become on par as an option with current wizard builds until very recently.

You were incapable of reaching viable damage capacity prior to the addition of the Ultimate Magic. And were much better off sticking with standard tactics used by wizards since 3.0 made blasting a rather underpowered and unattractive option save for those times when circumstances made it useful such as destroying a lot of low level mooks.

I have played this "GOD" wizard as coined by treantmonk for years myself. Though I think of it more as a Field General since I rarely actually cast spells and stay quietly in the back until I see the need to coordinate the battle and apply the necessary magical tactic to turn it in our favor. Our group is usually strong enough that when I need to cast, I really need to cast.

We rarely carry all the consumables I see talked about on threads such as these. They aren't necessary due to group kill speed and optimization of the group healer. I can't believe how often in threads such as these I hear of the healer referred to as a sort of out of combat support class. We usually carry healing consumables like cure wands so the healer can better spend his spells on conditiion removers, buffs/wards, and a few other spells such as summons, wall of stone, and some of the other nifty attack spells they can get from domains.

We usually have the healer use planar ally over planar binding because planar ally is generally cheaper due to being able to summon extraplanar creatures specifically associated with a given deity. Which often means the priest and the gods goals are on the same page.

I can't believe this discussion carried on this long. I figured more people were up on the new rules including additions to the core like Ultimate Magic and Advanced Player's Guide.

I even recall a discussion not long ago about sorcerers versus wizards. And the sorcerer being inferior to the wizard due to limited spell selection. I was surprised that someone found this to be the case. But I understood they were speaking more of the core sorcerer versus the core wizard. I was thinking of a human arcane sorcerer built using the human option for extra spells from the Advanced Player's Guide which enhances Sorcerer spells known by roughly 50% to 70% depending on level. You can usually handle most encounters with 5 to 7 spells per level and the increased spell slots become a much bigger advantage. Along with Bloodline Powers, the human sorcerer becomes a much better option than previously, especially if you choose Arcane.

I find discussions such as this interesting. Though all the number crunching is fairly pointless. There are so many variables in the encounters faced over the course of a character's life that you can't possibly determine what would be more effective and when using a few encounters one way or the other. So much affects tactical planning for adventuring groups and the wizard is but one component. A powerful and versatile component, but still only one component. And given Pathfinder has a much larger set of options for non-wizards, it makes the number of variables even greater. It would take a gigantic book to analyze the level of variability to determine the effectiveness of a given tactic over the course of many adventures for an entire adventuring party.


Sorry missclick...

But Ashiel you might want to scrap those dazing fireballs and use a rod instead... the DC really matters for it and a rod gets 3 DC for free in this case...

Maddigan wrote:


Empower Spell (page 122): If I use Empower Spell on a spell that has a die roll with a numerical bonus (such as cure moderate wounds), does the feat affect the numerical bonus?

Yes. For example, if you empower cure moderate wounds, the +50% from the feat applies to the 2d8 and to the level-based bonus.

Wow this is sick :)

This brings an intensified empowered maximized Scorching Ray to 179.5 dmg average (7th level slot)
Or an intensified empowered fireball to 131.25 dmg (6th level slot).

Empower suddenly became super powerful


I only recently found Dazing Spell. I'm giving it a test run this adventure. I want to see if it trivializes encounters. There are so many options that make Dazing Spell attractive. I really want to see if I can finally make damaging cloud spells useful. Such clouds are usually fairly easy to evade. But if a target is continually dazed while in one, that could make damaging cloud spells like acid fog[/] useful as a combination damage/battlefield control spell.

Toss some acid resistance and an [i]echolocation on the old fighter, let him go to town on what is inside the cloud.


Maddigan wrote:

I only recently found Dazing Spell. I'm giving it a test run this adventure. I want to see if it trivializes encounters. There are so many options that make Dazing Spell attractive. I really want to see if I can finally make damaging cloud spells useful. Such clouds are usually fairly easy to evade. But if a target is continually dazed while in one, that could make damaging cloud spells like acid fog[/] useful as a combination damage/battlefield control spell.

Toss some acid resistance and an [i]echolocation on the old fighter, let him go to town on what is inside the cloud.

As I recently stated you might want to try out a rod of it if you have the cash. The higher DC really pays off...


Alienfreak wrote:

Sorry missclick...

But Ashiel you might want to scrap those dazing fireballs and use a rod instead... the DC really matters for it and a rod gets 3 DC for free in this case...

Maddigan wrote:


Empower Spell (page 122): If I use Empower Spell on a spell that has a die roll with a numerical bonus (such as cure moderate wounds), does the feat affect the numerical bonus?

Yes. For example, if you empower cure moderate wounds, the +50% from the feat applies to the 2d8 and to the level-based bonus.

Wow this is sick :)

This brings an intensified empowered maximized Scorching Ray to 179.5 dmg average (7th level slot)
Or an intensified empowered fireball to 131.25 dmg (6th level slot).

Empower suddenly became super powerful

This is a significant difference, I was unaware they had changed their minds on this.

Jason Buhlmahn had make the opposite clarification HERE which I thought was ridiculous. I didn't know it had been "common sense-ified"

I need to make a retraction then of something I said a few days ago:

Treantmonk wrote:
ALARM! You think "empower spell" is a good feat? I'm concerned.

I retract this statement. I need to do some thinking before I decide how good I think empower is, but it's certainly not useless as of the new FAQ.


I don't think Jason has changed his mind about this at all. He stuck with his ruling for years. This "change" in interpretation comes from Sean K Reynolds. I am not a fan (and many agree) of SKR's work with rules. This is the guy who brought us the new Vow of Poverty and said it was okay for it to suck. SKR is awesome with fluff, but not so much with rules. I'd stick with Jason's (the lead developer) original ruling, not SKR's.


Ashiel wrote:

Okay, since I don't know anything about Ravingdork's sorcerers, I decided to go with some evokers as he asked. As requested, I have also included the metamagic feats Dazing, Empowered, Maximized, and Intensified.

For the purpose of our experiment we will go with 12th level, since that was the level I was aiming for previously (though I did compare the effects vs CR 11 enemies, maybe 'cause I'm an ass like that :P), and 12th level is a nice even number (and we have access to 6th level spells, and enough levels to play with some metamagics).

Also, I shall include an option for wish cheese, since you can acquire a +5 inherent modifier at 11th level via spells like planar binding and simulacrum. Just to show I'm being fair. ^.^

12th Level Evoker (Human)
Int: 26 (20 base, +3 levels, +3 magic item
Super Int: 32 (20 base, +3 levels, +4 magic item, +5 wish cheese)
Save DC: 19 + Spell Level (+7 Int, +2 Spell Focus and Greater Focus)
Super DC: 21 + Spell Level (+11 Int, +2 Spell Focus and Greater Focus)
Feats: Spell Focus (Evocation), Greater Spell Focus (Evocation), Scribe Scroll (B), Empower Spell, Maximize Spell, Dazing Spell, Intensified Spell, Quicken Spell, Improved Initiative

Spells Slots (with cheesed Int)
6th = 3+1 (4+1)
5th = 4+1 (5+1)
4th = 5+1 (6+1)
3rd = 5+1 (7+1)
2nd = 5+1 (7+1)
1st = 5+1 (7+1)
0 = 4+1 (4+1)

Spells Prepared
6th - Maximized Fireball x2, Cold Ice Strike x 1, Dazing Fireball x2
5th - Fire Snake x 2, Empowered Fireball x 1, Cone of Cold x 2, Lightning Arc
4th - Quickened Ray of Fire x1, Quickend Ray of Frost x1, Intensified Fireball x2, Intensified Lightning Bolt x2
3rd - Empowered Magic Missile x2, Lightning Bolt x 3, Fireball x 3
2nd - Scorching Ray x4, Mirror Image, Resist Energy x3
1st - Magic Missile x 5, Mage Armor, Shield x2
0 - Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Prestidigitation, Light, Arcane Mark

Note 1: Ok, yes, I know, it's a bit overflowing with raw damage dealing stuff here, since most of the folks promoting blasting said it...

I have some comments about this build so I am going to use it as a skeleton and change things up some. I'm removing the wish cheese stuff because I have never been in a game where that would have been allowed using planar binding or simulacrum.

Ok, level 12 right? First thing is we take the cross blooded sorcerer, orc and draconic (black dragon is my favorite), then 11 levels of Admixture wizard.

Race: Human.

Int: 26 (20 base, +3 levels, +3 magic item)
(I'd probably go lower to start, putting an 18 in int to start hurts a lot of other stats.)

Save DC: 20 + Spell Level (+8 Int, +2 Spell Focus and Greater Focus)

Feats:

1) Sorcerer(1B) - Eschew Materials
1) Toughness
1) Human - Improved Initiative
2) Wizard(1B) - Scribe Scroll
3) Spell Focus (Evocation)
5) Greater Spell Focus (Evocation)
6) Wizard(5B) - Selective Spell
7) Dazing Spell
9) Persistent Spell
11)Elemental Spell (Acid)
11)Wizard(6B) - Empower Spell

Spell Perfection and Intensify spell are in the works. Quicken Spell and Spell Perfection will be the next two feats. Intensify doesn't pay off till you start reaching the caps anyway. And you have to be level 15 to take Spell Perfection as I read it.

The two Spell penetration feats are also going to be taken. Maybe it would have been a better idea to take those, and depend on rods for some of the metamagic feats, particularly since you lose one caster level to the sorcerer dip, but this is just to point out some things. Empower Spell will be in there too probably.

Spell Perfection is what really makes it work though. Pity you have to wait so late for it.

Traits: Magical Lineage - Fireball (very important), and something else.

Spells Slots
6th = 3 = 1(Wizard, "W") + 1(Evoker, "E") + 1(Int, "I")
5th = 4 = 2(W) + 1(E) + 1(I)
4th = 6 = 3(W) + 1(E) + 2(I)
3rd = 7 = 4(W) + 1(E) + 2(I)
2nd = 7 = 4(W) + 1(E) + 2(I)
1st = 7 = 4(W) + 1(E) + 2(I)
0th = Unlimited (but limited to those prepared)

Sorcerer

Spells Prepared
6th - Dazing Selective Fireball x 3
5th - Empowered Selective Fireball x 2, Dazing Acid Arrow X1, Dazing Flaming Sphere x 1, Overland Flight
4th - Resilient Sphere x 2, Improved Invisibility x 2, Empowered Scorching Ray x 2
3rd - Selective Fireball by 7
2nd - Scorching Ray x 4, Mirror Image x 2, Resist Energy x 1
1st - Magic Missile x 5, Shield x2
0 - Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Prestidigitation, Light, Ray of Frost

Sorcerer - some cantrips. 1st level spell will be Vanish. Cast it 3 times a day since I don't plan on more than a 10 charisma.

The way you did things, Intensified doesn't really pay off till you get some levels past 10 anyway. I'm not getting a lot of mileage out of quicken yet, but it is super important. The sky is the limit when you get spell perfection.

Okay some items to get. Mostly metamagic rods. The lesser ones. Quicken, Dazing, Persistent, Elemental Focus, Empower come to mind. Arcane bond will be a ring. I am partial to a ring of minor spell storing for spells from my opposed schools (Enchantment and Necromancy). The drow have to have some item for dealing with light sensitivity. Kill some and take their stuff.

The DC for Fireball is 23. The damage is 10d6 + 15 base (5orc 10 + Evoker bonus). When you switch it to acid it is 10d6 + 25. With no chance of hurting your party unless you have a lot of retainers.

You could just take a draconic bloodline with fire, but my impression is things are less resistant to acid. Of course there are more things vulnerable to fire than acid too I think.

I meant to spend some more time on this, but I have to go now. The resists and effects of saving against these spells must be considered.

The precise effects of the metamagic rods (and which ones you buy) need to be factored in as well.

Also if I spent a lot more time on this I could do much better I think.

But one thing that hits me, is that dazing spell is too good. You pretty much want to stick it on everything.


Alienfreak wrote:

Sorry missclick...

But Ashiel you might want to scrap those dazing fireballs and use a rod instead... the DC really matters for it and a rod gets 3 DC for free in this case...

Maddigan wrote:


Empower Spell (page 122): If I use Empower Spell on a spell that has a die roll with a numerical bonus (such as cure moderate wounds), does the feat affect the numerical bonus?

Yes. For example, if you empower cure moderate wounds, the +50% from the feat applies to the 2d8 and to the level-based bonus.

Wow this is sick :)

This brings an intensified empowered maximized Scorching Ray to 179.5 dmg average (7th level slot)
Or an intensified empowered fireball to 131.25 dmg (6th level slot).

Empower suddenly became super powerful

How does the rod add 3 to the DC?


Not all postings by Sean in the FAQ are his alone. Many times he talks with Jason, but since he is making most of the post there--(fact). It seems he is given responsibility to make sure it gets put on the site--(speculation).

With that said the 3.5 empower version had you empower (XdY+4) x 1.5

Pathfinder first ruled it to be (XdY x 1.5)+4.

They then changed it back, probably due to people not liking the nerf. I know when I had houseruled it back to the 3.5 version before they officially changed it.

Since Jason is the lead rules guy Sean can not really over rule him.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Ashiel, I think maybe there was a misunderstanding (in part because you couldn't find my sorcerer builds to use as a framework for my meaning).

You were supposed to stack all that metamagic on one spell, not spread them out over a bunch of spells.

Your numbers, at the moment, represent a poorly designed blaster. As written, your wizards couldn't even apply all that metamagic to a single 3rd-level spell.

Try a 15th-level wizard with Spell Perfection, a pair of metamagic rods, and the magical lineage trait. With such a build your character could literally throw out a dazing AND empowered AND intensified AND maximized, [3rd-level area blast spell] FOLLOWED WITH A empowered AND intensified AND maximized AND quickened [3rd-level area blast spell] every single round until it ran out of spell slots (thanks to greater spell specialization or preferred spell).

Please run the numbers again with that in mind (against a CR-appropriate numbers). I think you will find it makes a HUGE difference. I estimate it will deal an average of 232.5 damage prior to defenses along with a possible 3-round dazing effect to set up for later rounds.

Adding in the evoker's Intense Spells class ability will up the damage by at least 7 points per spell. Adding in an evoker's Versatile Evocation class ability makes energy resistance/immunity a non-issue.

Sorcerers are even more powerful, potentially adding an additional 37 damage (possibly more) PER SPELL at that level.

And we've only used up a pair of 5th-level spell slots on our mini-nova. With 8th-level spell slots and Preferred Spell (or similar feat), a well-designed blaster wizard could do this several times a day before defaulting to lower level spells/tactics.


The problem I see for sorcerers is the full round casting time on any metamagic'd spell.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sarrion wrote:
The problem I see for sorcerers is the full round casting time on any metamagic'd spell.

Which in no way prevents them from getting off that second quickened spell. Even if it does pose a problem (such as if they need to move to gain line of sight), then there are plenty of ways around it ranging from bloodline choice to feats and more.


Sarrion wrote:
The problem I see for sorcerers is the full round casting time on any metamagic'd spell.

It is a full round action, not a 1 round action. It just means they can only 5 foot step.

PS:I don't like that rule either.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I would also like to respond to those people who are getting googly-eyed over Dazing Spell. It's not as good as it appears. With a +3 slot increase, your spell DCs are rarely high enough to daze on-par CR creatures.

The only thing it really has going for it are (1) mook clean up, (2) its ability to be used on unconventional saves such as Reflex, and (3) the luck factor that sometimes nails you an easy win against a BBEG.

More often then not, though, it is a wasted use of metamagic and a higher spell slot.


wraithstrike wrote:

Not all postings by Sean in the FAQ are his alone. Many times he talks with Jason, but since he is making most of the post there--(fact). It seems he is given responsibility to make sure it gets put on the site--(speculation).

With that said the 3.5 empower version had you empower (XdY+4) x 1.5

Pathfinder first ruled it to be (XdY x 1.5)+4.

They then changed it back, probably due to people not liking the nerf. I know when I had houseruled it back to the 3.5 version before they officially changed it.

Since Jason is the lead rules guy Sean can not really over rule him.

You may very well be right, but I think you're giving them too much credit for consulting one another. SKR likes to post more than Jason, that's for sure but it doesn't mean he necessarily speaks for him. SKR likes to post, and he gets into stuff he shouldn't and says things without a filter. See the Facebook comment for example.

I think it's far more likely SKR was lurking, saw the question and chimed in without consultation. It wouldn't be the first time Paizo people did this. For example, James Jacob has said contradictory things about Spring Attack and Vital Strike that went against the final errata.

If it doesn't come from an official FAQ/errata, I'd say Jason's word on a subject trumps in any other. And in this case Jason has been firm (whether it was popular or not).


Cibulan wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Not all postings by Sean in the FAQ are his alone. Many times he talks with Jason, but since he is making most of the post there--(fact). It seems he is given responsibility to make sure it gets put on the site--(speculation).

With that said the 3.5 empower version had you empower (XdY+4) x 1.5

Pathfinder first ruled it to be (XdY x 1.5)+4.

They then changed it back, probably due to people not liking the nerf. I know when I had houseruled it back to the 3.5 version before they officially changed it.

Since Jason is the lead rules guy Sean can not really over rule him.

You may very well be right, but I think you're giving them too much credit for consulting one another. SKR likes to post more than Jason, that's for sure but it doesn't mean he necessarily speaks for him. SKR likes to post, and he gets into stuff he shouldn't and says things without a filter. See the Facebook comment for example.

I think it's far more likely SKR was lurking, saw the question and chimed in without consultation. It wouldn't be the first time Paizo people did this. For example, James Jacob has said contradictory things about Spring Attack and Vital Strike that went against the final errata.

If it doesn't come from an official FAQ/errata, I'd say Jason's word on a subject trumps in any other. And in this case Jason has been firm (whether it was popular or not).

James is not the rules guy so that was never official. I am sure Sean lurks enough to know what Jason said, and would not go around his lead dev. Even if he had done so Jason would have changed it back had Sean tried to go behind his back.

SKR saying things without a filter is not the same thing as "the boss's ruling was stupid. I will just change it and hope he does not change it back.", which is what the empower thing would have been.

The rule change would be like having insubordinate employee, and I am sure there are enough devs that would like to work at Paizo that having someone trying to pull rank on someone above them that finding a replacement would not be an issue.


You also can't cast a metamagic'd spell in the surprise round unless it is quickened or if you use a rod. I don't like the restriction at all.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sarrion wrote:
You also can't cast a metamagic'd spell in the surprise round unless it is quickened or if you use a rod. I don't like the restriction at all.

You can, but you only start casting it, actually finishing it on your initiative on round 1 with a standard action.

Means you could get a metamagic'd spell, a quickened spell, AND a move action off all in round 1. Not a bad deal if you win initiative.

Alternatively, you could get off a normal spell and a quickened spell in the surprise round followed by a metamgaic'd spell and a quickened spell in round 1. God help anyone on the receiving end of that 4-spell opening bombardment.

This is a real strength for wizards with Preferred Spell. They CAN spontaneously cast during the surprise round without increasing casting time.

It's SO good in fact, I may give up the extra damage from evoker to make a blaster with a diviner (to guarantee I go first).


wraithstrike wrote:

Not all postings by Sean in the FAQ are his alone. Many times he talks with Jason, but since he is making most of the post there--(fact). It seems he is given responsibility to make sure it gets put on the site--(speculation).

With that said the 3.5 empower version had you empower (XdY+4) x 1.5

Pathfinder first ruled it to be (XdY x 1.5)+4.

They then changed it back, probably due to people not liking the nerf. I know when I had houseruled it back to the 3.5 version before they officially changed it.

Since Jason is the lead rules guy Sean can not really over rule him.

Actually he can, at least officially he can.

First we must agree that the feat as written can be interpreted either way. If can agree on that, then a FAQ is the "official" ruling on the interpretation.

When we don't have an official ruling, then if a designer gives his opinion, we will generally follow the designers opinion, and we would probably weight that opinion higher for a lead designer if they did not agree on the interpretation.

However, Jason did not publish his opinion as FAQ. FAQ is the official ruling for rule interpretations, no matter who wrote it.

Now if the original rule was not subject to interpretation, then designer opinion or even FAQ doesn't matter. In order to change the interpretation, now errata is needed.

If you go to Empower Spell FAQ on PFSRD you will see the FAQ ruling, and JB's opinion below, crossed out. That's because there is no question officially which interpretation is official.


Treantmonk wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Not all postings by Sean in the FAQ are his alone. Many times he talks with Jason, but since he is making most of the post there--(fact). It seems he is given responsibility to make sure it gets put on the site--(speculation).

With that said the 3.5 empower version had you empower (XdY+4) x 1.5

Pathfinder first ruled it to be (XdY x 1.5)+4.

They then changed it back, probably due to people not liking the nerf. I know when I had houseruled it back to the 3.5 version before they officially changed it.

Since Jason is the lead rules guy Sean can not really over rule him.

Actually he can, at least officially he can.

First we must agree that the feat as written can be interpreted either way. If can agree on that, then a FAQ is the "official" ruling on the interpretation.

When we don't have an official ruling, then if a designer gives his opinion, we will generally follow the designers opinion, and we would probably weight that opinion higher for a lead designer if they did not agree on the interpretation.

However, Jason did not publish his opinion as FAQ. FAQ is the official ruling for rule interpretations, no matter who wrote it.

Now if the original rule was not subject to interpretation, then designer opinion or even FAQ doesn't matter. In order to change the interpretation, now errata is needed.

If you go to Empower Spell FAQ on PFSRD you will see the FAQ ruling, and JB's opinion below, crossed out. That's because there is no question officially which interpretation is official.

I understand what you are saying, but trying to use the letter of the law to get around the boss is not a good idea, especially he knows you know what he meant.

That is like if I am the asst. manager, and the manager never puts something into print, so I go put it in writing and pass it out to all the employees, but I also know what I wrote is the opposite of what he wanted. If I do this knowing there is a line waiting to get my job if it ever opens up is a bad idea.

PS: Jason or Stephan(is that his name) probably would have changed it back officially.


Well RD, Dazing spell does have a steep increase, but as Ashiel pointed out it has a certain appeal when combined with a spell that does damage over multiple rounds.

For example, hit with a dazing acid arrow, and the target must save for several rounds while you are free to do other things. 4 rounds at the minnimum level to cast. Snapdragon fireworks uses a move action each round to fire, giving you 9 rounds to add a daze chance to your standard action casting.


Ravingdork wrote:

I would also like to respond to those people who are getting googly-eyed over Dazing Spell. It's not as good as it appears. With a +3 slot increase, your spell DCs are rarely high enough to daze on-par CR creatures.

The only thing it really has going for it are (1) mook clean up, (2) its ability to be used on unconventional saves such as Reflex, and (3) the luck factor that sometimes nails you an easy win against a BBEG.

More often then not, though, it is a wasted use of metamagic and a higher spell slot.

I certainly think it is as good as it appears,

however, I don't think it's something you are going to be using universally.

I would only use it in cases where you are going to hit several creatures and therefore get several saving throws.

For example, I could see a 9th level wizard who is focused on blasting using a 4th level spell slot to spam magic missiles on 5 targets. Assuming the wizard has a high spell DC, we can assume that there is a good chance at least a couple of them would be dazed. The spell targeting Will is probably good versatility for a caster that tends to target Ref saves, and they will likely have DC boosts from spell focus and the like as well.

On the other hand, I could see a wizard not focused on blasting using something like a flaming sphere to get a Ref based save daze attack every round as a move action for as many rounds as their level. (energy resistance could foul this up though).

My big question about dazing spell is this: The feat says, "When a creature takes damage from this spell, they become dazed for a number of rounds equal to the original level of the spell."

So if we read that literally, then if you summoned a tiger with dazing spell, then had it charge, it could potentially have the same target making 4 saving throws in the same round, then up to 3 every round after that.

Obviously there is going to be errata prohibiting the use of Dazing Spell with summoning right? Otherwise it seems way too powerful. Imagine other broken stuff, like summoning multiple lantern archons with a dazing summoning spell...(to those that don't know, lantern archons have a ray attack that hits with a touch attack, and pretty much bypasses all defenses, including DR and SR, but does very little damage)


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My favorite uses of dazing spell are with fire shield and wall of fire.

The first kills full attacks in a heartbeat whereas the latter "hypnotizes" them in place while they cook for as long as I concentrate. I've roasted whole armies that way.

Even with high level NPC cavalry, their mounts often fail the saves required. :D


wraithstrike wrote:
Cibulan wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Not all postings by Sean in the FAQ are his alone. Many times he talks with Jason, but since he is making most of the post there--(fact). It seems he is given responsibility to make sure it gets put on the site--(speculation).

With that said the 3.5 empower version had you empower (XdY+4) x 1.5

Pathfinder first ruled it to be (XdY x 1.5)+4.

They then changed it back, probably due to people not liking the nerf. I know when I had houseruled it back to the 3.5 version before they officially changed it.

Since Jason is the lead rules guy Sean can not really over rule him.

You may very well be right, but I think you're giving them too much credit for consulting one another. SKR likes to post more than Jason, that's for sure but it doesn't mean he necessarily speaks for him. SKR likes to post, and he gets into stuff he shouldn't and says things without a filter. See the Facebook comment for example.

I think it's far more likely SKR was lurking, saw the question and chimed in without consultation. It wouldn't be the first time Paizo people did this. For example, James Jacob has said contradictory things about Spring Attack and Vital Strike that went against the final errata.

If it doesn't come from an official FAQ/errata, I'd say Jason's word on a subject trumps in any other. And in this case Jason has been firm (whether it was popular or not).

James is not the rules guy so that was never official. I am sure Sean lurks enough to know what Jason said, and would not go around his lead dev. Even if he had done so Jason would have changed it back had Sean tried to go behind his back.

SKR saying things without a filter is not the same thing as "the boss's ruling was stupid. I will just change it and hope he does not change it back.", which is what the empower thing would have been.

The rule change would be like having insubordinate employee, and I am sure there are enough devs that would like to work at Paizo that having someone trying...

I followed the SKR quote back to its source and saw that it is listed on Paizo's own FAQ page for the book. It is more official than I thought. I first saw it on d20pfrsd.com and as you know, they sometimes take forum posts and add them to their FAQ with the same weight as something official.

I was under the impression it was simply some forum post by SKR that Jason may not have even known he made, but since it is listed under the product FAQ it appears to be the official line.

Protest withdrawn, apologies.

The Exchange

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Ravingdork wrote:

I would also like to respond to those people who are getting googly-eyed over Dazing Spell. It's not as good as it appears. With a +3 slot increase, your spell DCs are rarely high enough to daze on-par CR creatures.

The only thing it really has going for it are (1) mook clean up, (2) its ability to be used on unconventional saves such as Reflex, and (3) the luck factor that sometimes nails you an easy win against a BBEG.

More often then not, though, it is a wasted use of metamagic and a higher spell slot.

Ravingdork, I competed in the Cheesegrinder olympics and did VERY well using a dazing wizard. This is just encounter after nonstop encounter - and these aren't just CR level encounters - a party of 5 11th level characters can face CR 16, 17 or higher.

You're wrong about the DC's not being competive, for three reasons.
1. You can target the opponents weak save.
2. You can take advantage of the Elemental Focus line.
3. Playing a control wizard with ridiculously high init to boot allows me to strongly focus Int and dex.

I posted the builds and the DC's before.

But here's an example at Level 11:

Elf Diviner 11
Dex:18
Int: 20 +2 +6
Con 12

1. SF
3. GSF
5. Elemental Focus
5b. Greater Elemental Focus
7. Elemental Spell
9. Dazing
10b Additional Traits (or Heightened)
11. Improved Init

Traits: Magical Lineage: Snapdragon Fireworks
Eastern Mysteries

If you wish, some refs may allow additional traits to take magical lineage: Magic Missile, and lore seeker (three spells gain +1 CL).

Equipment: Less rod of quicken 35K
Headband of Int +6 36k
Dusty Rose Ioun Stone 500
Boots of dex +2 4K

So you're about 6500 K under cap.

So init is : +5 Diviner, +4 Improved init, +5 Dex, +1 Ioun Stone = +15

Each round Toss off:

Dazing, magical lineage Snap dragon, quickened with lesser rod.
DC = 10+ 1 + 4 + 9 = DC 24. Wasn't that 4 higher than the dc for your fireball? Plus this is a spell that persists and can be redirected every round with a move action. One time (which ever fight you want) bump up the DC by 2 with Eastern Mysteries.

Heightened Elemental Magic Missile
DC = 10+6+4+9 = DC 29 Will Save (again you could toss it up to 31).

This is at 11th level.

The snap dragons fireworks will daze for 1 round - but it recycles with a move action. Magic Missile potentially dazes 5 opponents for 6 rounds each.

Once your opponents are doing nothing -your fighters can do the hp damage to them at no risk to themselves, at their leisure.

And, unlike a blaster wizard, I'm unaffected by fire resistance or immunity as I have changed the damage type to cold or sonic, and, in the case of incorporeal since I am still doing 1/2 force damage - affect them as well.

And Daze is not a mental effect.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Color me impressed CP.


Ravingdork wrote:

Ashiel, I think maybe there was a misunderstanding (in part because you couldn't find my sorcerer builds to use as a framework for my meaning).

You were supposed to stack all that metamagic on one spell, not spread them out over a bunch of spells.

The problem is that that's hard to do. It's true that there is a trait that allows you to reduce the metamagic cost with your favorite spell, but traits are not part of the core game; they are optional. They are about as much a part of the normal game as Hero Points are - that is to say: not at all.

I myself use Traits, but I didn't include them because no-one said anything about them, and I generally prefer that the basics be determined before we go very far with optional rules.

Likewise, there is a serious problem with the metamagic rod issue. You are going to need to take Craft Rod if you plan to use metamagic rods to their fullest, because the most expensive metamagic rod you can buy in the core game is the lesser rod of maximize. You cannot even purchase the rod of lesser quicken for example. The reason is because the most you can reliably purchase in a metropolis is 16,000 gp items or less, and everything else is purely up to chance (Hmmm, will one of these 3d4 random magic items be the rod you desire? *spins wheel*).

So we would need to bend the build a bit. Perhaps drop Improved Initiative for Craft Rod. That would probably be helpful. Of course, we also find that we cannot actually use more than one rod at a time, because honestly we just don't have enough hands to do the spellcasting and use more than one rod, which can be a bit of a pain (it means in most cases you will need to provide much of the metamagic yourself).

Quote:
Your numbers, at the moment, represent a poorly designed blaster. As written, your wizards couldn't even apply all that metamagic to a single 3rd-level spell.

That's true. However, this is an evoker, as requested, and he is intentionally basic so that we can see where our basis are at. In no situation could he actually 1-shot any of the enemies I matched him against, even though they were CR 11 vs his 12.

By default, empower is +2 spell levels, maximize is +3, intensify is +1. If we had a rod of maximize, and dropped empower and intensify on a fireball all by ourselves, we would result in the following "best case scenario".

Save DC 22
Maximum Damage: 126 damage (assuming maximize, empower, orc bloodline, and intensify all stack to their maximum potential - and I don't actually think Empower/Maximize has stacked this way since 3.0).
DPR vs Reflex Save: +15 (85.05)
DPR vs Reflex Save: +11 (94.5)

That's some impressive damage, but again is before spell resistance/energy resistance, or similar effects. Also, you cleverly noted that the wizard's admixture gets around energy resistance and immunity. Sadly, this is clearly false. Look at the demon I posted in the last one. Notice that he was immune to Electricity so I didn't bother with electrical spells at all, but he was equally resistant to Acid, Cold, and Fire (10 each).

Quote:


Try a 15th-level wizard with Spell Perfection, a pair of metamagic rods, and the magical lineage trait. With such a build your character could literally throw out a dazing AND empowered AND intensified AND maximized, [3rd-level area blast spell] FOLLOWED WITH A empowered AND intensified AND maximized AND quickened [3rd-level area blast spell] every single round until it ran out of spell slots (thanks to greater spell specialization or preferred spell).

If you need 15 class levels before your main strategy and everything you have been building up to is on par with what you could have been doing from level 1; I see a huge problem here.

Quote:
Please run the numbers again with that in mind (against a CR-appropriate numbers). I think you will find it makes a HUGE difference. I estimate it will deal an average of 232.5 damage prior to defenses along with a possible 3-round dazing effect to set up for later rounds.

Ok, 'cause you asked nicely.

At 15th level, strait wizard, no sorcerer, we have 8th level spell slots. At this point, we are in the "end game", and have everything short of doomsday spells such as Time Stop.

So let's use the iconic Fireball as our 3rd level AoE spell.
Assuming wish cheese and a +4 headband (the most expensive you can comfortably buy in a campaign), we will have a +11 to the save DC.

Fireball 3 + 1 (intensified) + empowered (+2) + dazing (spell perfection) + maximized (rod) = 6th level spell slot.
Fireball (Quickened) 3 + intensified (+1) + empowered (+2) + maximized (rod) + quicken (Spell Perfection). = 10th level spell slot. Oops, can't do it because spell perfection cannot allow the total to go above a 9th level effective slot, so even with the rod of maximize, we got diddly here. So instead we have to drop intensified at least, or else we cannot cast.

I guess it's true what they say. Blasting really is awesome if we misinterpret rules. :P

Anyway, our damage per round vs a generic CR 15 baseline with no abilities, resistances, or similar is...

Maximized Empowered Intensified Dazing Fireball + Maximized Empowered Quickened Fireball
Save DC 22
15d6 * 1.5 then maximized is 116.25.
10d6 * 1.5 then maximized is 77.5.

Vs Generic CR 15 with good Reflex: 116.25 (80% chance of successful save)
Vs Generic CR 15 with poor Reflex: 140.46 (55% chance of successful save)
With Sorcerer (Orc Bloodline 1): Add +7 to the 80% chance of success DPR, and +16.875 to the 55% chance of success DPR.

This is vs a generic CR 15 base stats with no resistances, spell resistances, buffs, or magic items (not even a potion).

Quote:
Adding in the evoker's Intense Spells class ability will up the damage by at least 7 points per spell. Adding in an evoker's Versatile Evocation class ability makes energy resistance/immunity a non-issue.

Not if you're you gave up that option for admixture. Also, since the extra damage is subject to being reduced on a successful save, it's not a +7 DPR per spell, but generally a bit closer to +3-4, as I noted in my previous post.

Quote:
Sorcerers are even more powerful, potentially adding an additional 37 damage (possibly more) PER SPELL at that level.

I'd hope to god they were. Given their limited spells known and other issues they have with versatility, forsaking more versatile spells for BLAST-LOLZ should end with them hitting like mac-trucks charging out of the 9th layer of hell. Anything less than absolutely destroying something not warded vs direct damage would be a crying shame.

Quote:
And we've only used up a pair of 5th-level spell slots on our mini-nova. With 8th-level spell slots and Preferred Spell (or similar feat), a well-designed blaster wizard could do this several times a day before defaulting to lower level spells/tactics.

Only if you have access to traits. In which case it actually takes a 6th level and 5th. If you allow the traits, then you can squeeze by with a 5th and 5th slot. However, we're getting into a veeeeery specific build at this point, and while your longevity increases, your overall DPR isn't really all that impressive.

Oh, did I mention you can't use multiple metamagic rods?


cp wrote:
*controlling via daze spell*

Like Ravingdork, I am quite impressed. Even without traits you could pull this off relatively early on (you might have to wait, at worst, until 13th level) and it looks to be a very effective - and resource saving - method of locking enemies down. Excellent control wizard idea. Much thanks for sharing. :)

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