Why All The Hate Towards Blasting?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

551 to 600 of 686 << first < prev | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | next > last >>

Dire Mongoose wrote:
Melissa Litwin wrote:


I beg to differ, sir! This is a bit off-topic, but ranger-archers could be ungodly amazing in 3.5, and Demonweb Pits was an ideal situation for them. You KNEW your enemy types! You could customize yourself as an evil-slaying, demon-slaying monstrosity of damage. My now-husband's Living Greyhawk ranger was the most effective demon-slayer I've ever seen: each arrow did just over 50 points of damage, and there were 5 arrows/rd.

Respectfully, among the local Living Greyhawk power-players (which I do not / did not count myself among) back in the day under 3.5 and LG rules, that wouldn't be considered very much damage at the levels at which 5 attacks per round were possible. The low-base-physical-stats no-combat-feats clerics were roughly doubling that damage per round.

LG wasn't even really the wild west of wide-open 3.5, either.

So, yeah, I would agree with the assertion that, relative to other options, archers weren't big damage factories in 3.5.

I very very rarely met any characters that routinely did 250 damage per round, assuming everything hit. Average was closer to 200 as one usually missed. My rogue did against sneak-attackable targets, the blaster wizard I played with did (since he hit multiple targets), but ... when I played outside my core group, ~150 seemed to be the average DPR for any melee type, buffed clerics included. Also, clerics took 2-4 rounds to buff, while the archer was self-contained and started the fight doing that much.

Also, this was level 15, not 16/17/18. We played after the retirement age got lowered to 16. Damage went up significantly if we got higher level.

@Wraithstrike: Damage was 1d8 base, +9 favored enemy and Improved Favored Enemy (forgot that feat), +3 Str, +3 enhancement bonus, +2 Weapon Spec, +2 Weapon Mastery, +1 Greater Bracers of Archery, 2d6 holy, 2d6 sacred, 2d6 bane (evil outsider). I guess that comes to an average of 45.5 damage per arrow, not quite 50.


Well, I'm convinced. If you ain't blastin', you ain't castin'!

The Exchange

Ravingdork wrote:
Color me impressed CP.

oops. Didn't include the +4 init from compsognathis familiar - so

+19 init.

Also included boots of dex +2 which didn't make it to the stat line


Ashiel wrote:
Impressive math stuffs

What you forget, what everyone seems to be forgetting, is that this is in an AOE. So yes, against a single target, it's only so-so. Put 4 CR 15s in a room and look at the DPR! The wonderfulness of the blaster caster is that they do ridiculous cumulative damage and allow the melee to mop up, or force defensive instead of offensive reactions from NPCs/monsters because OMG THAT HURT. This reduces party damage because foes only get so many actions per round, just like PCs, and forcing a defensive NPC posture is almost always beneficial for the PCs.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ashiel wrote:
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. :)

YW. Use it in good health. Thanks. This is my 4th or 5th most powerful build; made it as soon as UM came out. Been preaching it a lot with not too many believers. but you can fairly easily expect to lockdown 8-9 opponents in one round if you have need.

Feats are not put in the order I would select them. I'd probably put Improved Init first. Being an Elf, you also have +2 to penetrate CL.
I also didn't do anything with the familiar - and I would probably go evolved familiar.

Even slightly stronger (in my opinion) is Rime.
So, for example: Magical Lineage: SnapFire + Elemental + Rime = 2nd level spell that entangles for 1 rnd, recycling everyrnd.

Combine that with magic missile+toppling+elemental + lesser rod of quickening: you have entangled, prone opponents.

Or Combine toppling magic missiles with stinking cloud.
Or combine Sleet Storm (rimed) with toppling magic missile. So they are entangle, prone, in difficult terrain.


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

What is the point of crunching the numbers if you are are just going to move the goal posts to support your claims?

Ashiel wrote:
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 used traits because everyone else on these boards seems to. If you feel that they are not commonly used in games, feel free to exclude it in your numbers schemes.

Ashiel wrote:
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*).

Wow. I really thought the GP value was much higher (like 100,000 for a metropolis).

I would like to point out, however, that the base values tells you what items are immediately available AT THAT TIME. There is absolutely nothing stopping you from finding someone to craft it for you and "ordering it," so to speak.

Ashiel wrote:
So we would need to bend the build a bit.

I really wish you wouldn't. The build works fine.

Ashiel wrote:
...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).

I knew you were going to bring that up. A glove of storing solves this problem mighty quick.

Ashiel wrote:
That's true. However, this is an evoker, as requested, and he is intentionally basic...

Why? Why should he be simplified? A "basic" build of any kind will ALWAYS suck. Wizard is not a simple class. It is an advanced class. If you aren't going to treat it as such then there is little point in our discussion.

Ashiel wrote:
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".

The best case scenario is NOT dropping ANYTHING. Stop changing my build and then saying "your build doesn't work." Use MY build as shown and THEN prove your points.

Ashiel wrote:
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).

The resistance will bring the damage down, sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean my blaster ISN'T formidable anymore. Most intelligent creatures will retreat or change tactics if they suddenly lose over 1/3 of their hit points in a single round. Combine that with the rest of your party, which still has their actions, and this makes for an amazing character all around.

Ashiel wrote:
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.

This is the only really strong point you've made in your last post. This is where the build peaks in power, true, but the build remains viable even at lower levels, though it isn't nearly as strong. Mixing up spell selection and battle tactics also allows a mix-wizard (my term for a god-wizard who utilizes blasting and other tactics) also allows you to get to this point. A lesser wizard (such as a straight blaster, or a controller, etc.) would likely die long before obtaining their peak due to lacking versatility.

Ashiel wrote:

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.

For some reason I was ignoring the levels from the Spell Perfected metamagic feat, which is wrong. Still, it remains doable if you allow traits. We drop 1 spell level due to the trait, and another 3 or 4 for the metamagic rod. We don't have to give up anything as the effective spell slot is only considered 9th. If you don't allow for traits, then I would probably recommend giving up something other than intensified spell. Depending on the enemy, I might opt out of dazing and go for the extra damage if I suspect he will make the save anyways.

Ashiel wrote:
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.

Wish cheese? Huh? Where did that come from?

Also, why is a +6 headband suddenly so hard to get? It's a must have for EVERY kind of wizard! I've never heard of a wizard NOT getting one by 13th or 14th-level. It's possible to obtain one as early as 9th according to the Wealth by Level guidelines. I also see Craft Wondrous Item as crucial a feat as many others (unlike Craft Rod) and am hesitant to not take it on almost all of my spellcasters. Even if you don't take it, odds are one of your party companions will. Even if no one in your party can craft it, just order one. Again, the base numbers only exist to tell you what is already crafted and currently available for sale.

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

Except you CAN use multiple rods, on different spells, which is what I was doing. A rod of quicken and a rod of maximize is what I'd recommend I think, as knocking off those "effective spell levels" is paramount. Since you are using them only on 3rd-level spells, you can get away with ordering or crafting a bunch of lesser ones which helps to keep the costs down. If you are worried about not having enough hands to hold two rods AND cast spells, then a glove of storing will allow you to bring out the rod as you need it (using your move action to stow the other one away).

If there are any points of your post that I didn't address, it is likely because I thought you were right, or I didn't otherwise take issue with them.


Ravingdork wrote:
What is the point of crunching the numbers if you are are just going to move the goal posts to support your claims?

Goalpost? I don't really give a flying turkey if blasting is good or not. I have no desire to "prove you wrong". As I noted before, when I consider a build to be fit for gameplay then it needs to be capable of dealing with a lot of different issues.

Quote:
I used traits because everyone else on these boards seems to. If you feel that they are not commonly used in games, feel free to exclude it in your numbers schemes.

I noted both. Also, I meant to note the damage difference with the trait, which is about 18 damage vs a good save, and about 21.5 vs the weak save. Brings the overall DPR. So it's probably a trait worth having if it's what you want. On a related note about traits, I usually prefer Desperate Focus and Reactionary because they're general-purpose and are pretty much always useful.

Quote:

Wow. I really thought the GP value was much higher (like 100,000 for a metropolis).

I would like to point out, however, that the base values tells you what items are immediately available AT THAT TIME. There is absolutely nothing stopping you from finding someone to craft it for you and "ordering it," so to speak.

Technically this isn't true. There is nothing guaranteeing that you will be able to have a magic item crafted by commission. That is entirely within the realm of GM fiat, and may involve going on some quests or something to earn a few favors from the spellcaster capable of crafting the magic item. When dealing with builds, you are only really assured to be able to acquire anything within 16,000 gp or anything that you or your party can craft. That's why Craft Rod is a very important feat for any spellcaster who plans on using a lot of metamagic rods.

Quote:
I really wish you wouldn't. The build works fine.

You already noted it was built under a misunderstanding. If your build relies on Rods then you should seriously consider having a way to guarantee that you get those rods; which the easiest method of course is just crafting them yourself. Hence I dropped Imp. Initiative for Craft Rod since it was the least needed for the actual build.

Quote:
I knew you were going to bring that up. A glove of storing solves this problem mighty quick.

That's true if you drop your existing rod. Not a terrible deal, but you would have to drop a rod every round that you decided to do that. That means if you wanted to keep up your DPR over 2 rounds, you would need to use rod 1, drop it, get rod 2 from your glove, use it, use it again, drop it, pick up rod 1 and then use it again, which is a bit...odd to say the least. It also puts it at risk of getting destroyed easily, since if there was some magic kicking the poop out of my minions, you can believe that the moment that mage dropped his doohicky of mass destruction on the ground it would be getting a targeted dispel magic + shatter on my next turn.

Quote:
Why? Why should he be simplified? A "basic" build of any kind will ALWAYS suck. Wizard is not a simple class. It is an advanced class. If you aren't going to treat it as such then there is little point in our discussion.

Two reasons.

1) If you absolutely have to be a specific wizard/sorcerer hybrid build thingy to make blasting work, then blasting doesn't work, that specific build just forces enough specialization into it that it becomes somewhat viable. This is problematic, and an issue that control wizards do not face.
2) The more you go outside of core, the higher the chance that something you will need for your build will not be available at a given table, which lowers the value of the build overall IMO.

For example, it really doesn't matter if I'm a wizard, sorcerer, or witch, I can be a decent controller. I can decently control and even get some nice options for controlling with many different sorcerer bloodlines, and many different wizard schools. I'm not locked into absolutely being a orc-blooded / evoker specialist to be competent. I consider that to be a plus. It's not a game-breaker, but it is a bit disappointing if you have to be X, Y, Z to do something moderately well.

Quote:
The best case scenario is NOT dropping ANYTHING. Stop changing my build and then saying "your build doesn't work." Use MY build as shown and THEN prove your points.

I'm not really out to prove anything. I was just displaying some rough DPR for the spells that you were casting. You told me to use a 15th level evoker and specified specific metamagic feats you wanted. Even at 15th level your instructions were illegal without using 2 rods per round, which you need Craft Rod to guarantee that you will have, which is a feat you didn't have.

Pointing out issues isn't using your build incorrectly; but if you want, you can list me the exact way you desire the spells to be cast and how, and I will do the DPR calculations for your spells vs the standard and a grab-bag of enemies from the core bestiary (and no, I do not and will not cherry pick enemies to make your blasting look bad).

Quote:
The resistance will bring the damage down, sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean my blaster ISN'T formidable anymore. Most intelligent creatures will retreat or change tactics if they suddenly lose over 1/3 of their hit points in a single round. Combine that with the rest of your party, which still has their actions, and this makes for an amazing character all around.

My biggest issue is that 1/3 of their HP means they're still acting perfectly fine. Fiends can still bomb you with their own spells, toss up their own walls, greater teleport at-will to your squishies in the back row, preform a full-attack, move about as they please, etc. You're basically sacking 2 of your high level spells every round to do maybe 1/3 of their HP. I've seen your Flesh to Stone build Ravingdork; you can seriously just KILL THEM if you wanted to.

Seriously, using the same DC as the blasting, you can force 4 saves at a 55% chance per spell to just outright destroy some fool if it would be against their strong save, or 4 saves at an 80% chance versus their weak save. They are now part of your collection of stone. All you had to do with that was persistent flesh to stone, which can be done at level 13 if you use your trait, or level 15 if you don't. If you get into using various fun rods, you can even do stuff like bouncing the spell around (oh, you made your saves? Ok, your friend needs to try or die in your place).

Quote:
This is the only really strong point you've made in your last post. This is where the build peaks in power, true, but the build remains viable even at lower levels, though it isn't nearly as strong. Mixing up spell selection and battle tactics also allows a mix-wizard (my term for a god-wizard who utilizes blasting and other tactics) also allows you to get to this point. A lesser wizard (such as a straight blaster, or a controller, etc.) would likely die long before obtaining their peak due to lacking versatility.

Most god-wizards aren't in the business of lacking versatility. Likewise, the heavy emphasis on making blasting semi-viable also reduces your strengths in other areas. As I've noted several times, blasting is good for 1 thing, and 1 thing only - blasting. If blasting will not solve an issue, then you have a wasted spell. A god-wizard is more versatile, since they can generally instigate a victory over a larger variety of foes (immunity to their favorite spell is rarely a game-breaker for them) while also having the ability to more effectively evade permanent defeat (Ok, so you're getting overwhelmed, so it's time to run; you can now drop grease, black tentacles, sleet storm, solid fog, acid fog, waves of exhaustion, or anything else to slow pursuit and escape).

Quote:
For some reason I was ignoring the levels from the Spell Perfected metamagic feat, which is wrong. Still, it remains doable if you allow traits. We drop 1 spell level due to the trait, and another 3 or 4 for the metamagic rod. We don't have to give up anything as the effective spell slot is only considered 9th. If you don't allow for traits, then I would probably recommend giving up something other than intensified spell. Depending on the enemy, I might opt out of dazing and go for the extra damage if I suspect he will make the save anyways.

Fair enough.

Quote:

Wish cheese? Huh? Where did that come from?

Also, why is a +6 headband suddenly so hard to get? It's a must have for EVERY kind of wizard! I've never heard of a wizard NOT getting one by 13th or 14th-level. It's possible to obtain one as early as 9th according to the Wealth by Level guidelines. I also see Craft Wondrous Item as crucial a feat as many others (unlike Craft Rod) and am hesitant to not take it on almost all of my spellcasters. Even if you don't take it, odds are one of your party companions will. Even if no one in your party can craft it, just order one. Again, the base numbers only exist to tell you what is already crafted and currently available for sale.

That's easy. The highest you can assuredly purchase in game is a +4 headband. You can of course craft your own headband, and virtually every wizard without Craft Wondrous Item is a wizard who doesn't live up to his Int score; but since you didn't have Craft Wondrous, being able to say that you assuredly would have a +6 Headband is basically just wrong. The only way you would be able to acquire it would be if it showed up as a random magic item in your city, or if you acquired it during an adventure; both of which are not assured by any stretch.

As for the cheese, I was trying to be kind to blasting and show it at its best. In my last post I showed the DPR of both normal Int and Int buffed to +5 via spell-cheese (I actually do not mind +5 inherent mods at 13th level in my games since it doesn't really make that much of a difference in my games usually, but there are those who dislike such things). In my more recent post, I skipped normal and just went strait for the highest damage output in terms of save DCs.

The damage for normal Int wizards would be lower, of course.

Quote:
Except you CAN use multiple rods, on different spells, which is what I was doing. A rod of quicken and a rod of maximize is what I'd recommend I think, as knocking off those "effective spell levels" is paramount. Since you are using them only on 3rd-level spells, you can get away with ordering or crafting a bunch of lesser ones which helps to keep the costs down. If you are worried about not having enough hands to hold two rods AND cast spells, then a glove of storing will allow you to bring out the rod as you need it (using your move action to stow the other one away).

I reiterate: You need 1 hand free for casting unless you are using still spell (another +1 metamagic feat which you don't have), so you would need to drop a rod before you can draw the other rod to cast. This makes keeping up a high DPR using multiple rods something that you cannot do for very long, since you have to keep dropping and picking up the rods. That's probably A-OK in some sitatuations (standard action cast + rod, drop rod, move-action to draw or pickup rod, swift action to cast), but you run into a few other major issues.

1) You're dropping your rods which makes them prime targets for enemies to steal them, destroy them, or remove them from you via mundane and magical means, and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it.
2) You're burning 2 rod charges per round just to keep up your moderately strong damage output. That means after 3 rounds you are done, and need to draw entirely new rods out of your bag. This will get both incredibly expensive, and in some cases become an issue with action economy, since you cannot draw 2 rods during the same round.
3) Did I mention it was very expensive? Even assuming you take Craft Rod and craft your own rods so you can assuredly have them; that is 7,000 gp for every lesser maximize rod, and 17,500 gp for every lesser quicken rod you plan to use. If you battle for 6 rounds at this pace, you will go through 49,000 gp worth of rod-usage to keep this pace up.
4) It's resource intensive. You're casting 2 spells / round, none of which are particularly low-level in terms of slot-usage, and you're not actually taking out a foe or protecting your party when you do so, unless you're using dazing spell and they fail their save (but your save is a bit low due to metamagic).

Quote:
If there are any points of your post that I didn't address, it is likely because I thought you were right, or I didn't otherwise take issue with them.

Not problems man. Here, let's meet in the middle. You post the build and the spells you want checked, and I will do my half. That way there is not issue with this "goalposts" nonsense. However, please keep the item purchasing limits in mind while making the build, and keep in mind how you are going to acquire the magic items you feel are required for your build.

Melissa Nitwin wrote:
What you forget, what everyone seems to be forgetting, is that this is in an AOE. So yes, against a single target, it's only so-so. Put 4 CR 15s in a room and look at the DPR! The wonderfulness of the blaster caster is that they do ridiculous cumulative damage and allow the melee to mop up, or force defensive instead of offensive reactions from NPCs/monsters because OMG THAT HURT. This reduces party damage because foes only get so many actions per round, just like PCs, and forcing a defensive NPC posture is almost always beneficial for the PCs.

The problem, Melissa, is focus-firing is generally more effective, and in my experiences it is rare that blasting gets to capitalize on its AoE benefits to the fullest. The AoE portion only applies to how many enemies you can get in the AoE. If you can get many, then that is wonderful. However, the best we can do is determine the average DPR vs a single enemy and then apply it to multiple enemies if available.

However, if you are familiar with tucker's kobolds, you will understand that blasting is not always a good option. There are many times where tight spaces make the AoE a complete liability, or instances where you opponents will surround you, and thus you might be swarmed by weak enemies but you can only effectively damage a few. Or your enemies might bunch up around you (such as walking through a forest, only to have a group of enemies charge you from concealment during the surprise round), which can easily result in situations where you cannot effectively target your foes without blasting your allies.

There is also the issue of collateral damage. See, if you drop a fireball - especially a metamagic-boosted fireball - in a room, you are going to decimate everything in that room that isn't occupied. This means that blasting spells are also prone to sucking during actual gameplay, where the theorycrafting stops. If you are in a town, you might risk slaughtering civilians or destroying buildings (haste doesn't, stinking cloud doesn't, sleet storm doesn't, hell even black tentacles won't destroy a building, deep slumber doesn't, etc). It's also very sad when the party's wizard nukes a room with fireball and destroys all the party's treasure.

Think about it. Ravingdork's intensified empowered maximized fireball dealt around 116 damage to anything that failed its save. Even take 1/2 and applying hardness, that would deal about 48 damage to stuff made out of iron or steel. Anything softer is essentially burgermeat. That's easily enough damage to burn through a chest and every item sitting inside that chest, destroy all the tapestries, burn scrolls, destroy spellbooks, kill prisoners, and so forth.

There are so many in-game reasons why casting a AoE blasty-spell is a risky business with stuff that occurs in an actual honest to goodness game. It's also very dangerous, since if you do anything like convert the damage to acid via metamagic or admixture, you don't halve the damage to objects, which means you can accidentally vaporize objects, pillars, doors, and so forth. You really don't want to be the guy who the party is giving the evil-eye 'cause you just melted the support structures or beams of the building you were fighting in...


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ashiel wrote:
Here, let's meet in the middle. You post the build and the spells you want checked, and I will do my half. That way there is not issue with this "goalposts" nonsense. However, please keep the item purchasing limits in mind while making the build, and keep in mind how you are going to acquire the magic items you feel are required for your build.

I REALLY like that idea. I don't know how much time I have to dedicate to a build right now, but I will certainly post it as soon as I am able.

Ashiel wrote:

Think about it. Ravingdork's intensified empowered maximized fireball dealt around 116 damage to anything that failed its save. Even take 1/2 and applying hardness, that would deal about 48 damage to stuff made out of iron or steel. Anything softer is essentially burgermeat. That's easily enough damage to burn through a chest and every item sitting inside that chest, destroy all the tapestries, burn scrolls, destroy spellbooks, kill prisoners, and so forth.

There are so many in-game reasons why casting a AoE blasty-spell is a risky business with stuff that occurs in an actual honest to goodness game. It's also very dangerous, since if you do anything like convert the damage to acid via metamagic or admixture, you don't halve the damage to objects, which means you can accidentally vaporize objects, pillars, doors, and so forth. You really don't want to be the guy who the party is giving the evil-eye 'cause you just melted the support structures or beams of the building you were fighting in...

*jaw drops*

That is honestly something that I hadn't considered. Kinda' funny that you mention it though. All my friends LOVE fireball, but I've always preferred lightning bolt since it is more precise and easier to direct/control.


Ravingdork wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Here, let's meet in the middle. You post the build and the spells you want checked, and I will do my half. That way there is not issue with this "goalposts" nonsense. However, please keep the item purchasing limits in mind while making the build, and keep in mind how you are going to acquire the magic items you feel are required for your build.
I REALLY like that idea. I don't know how much time I have to dedicate to a build right now, but I will certainly post it as soon as I am able.

S'cool, take your time. ^-^

Get everything plotted out just like you want.

Quote:


Ashiel wrote:

Think about it. Ravingdork's intensified empowered maximized fireball dealt around 116 damage to anything that failed its save. Even take 1/2 and applying hardness, that would deal about 48 damage to stuff made out of iron or steel. Anything softer is essentially burgermeat. That's easily enough damage to burn through a chest and every item sitting inside that chest, destroy all the tapestries, burn scrolls, destroy spellbooks, kill prisoners, and so forth.

There are so many in-game reasons why casting a AoE blasty-spell is a risky business with stuff that occurs in an actual honest to goodness game. It's also very dangerous, since if you do anything like convert the damage to acid via metamagic or admixture, you don't halve the damage to objects, which means you can accidentally vaporize objects, pillars, doors, and so forth. You really don't want to be the guy who the party is giving the evil-eye 'cause you just melted the support structures or beams of the building you were fighting in...

*jaw drops*

That is honestly something that I hadn't considered. Kinda' funny that you mention it though. All my friends LOVE fireball, but I've always preferred lightning bolt since it is more precise and easier to direct/control.

Yeah man, I love lightning bolt as well, because it's a bit easier to manage in terms of collateral damage. It's also not horribly useless in tight spaces (such as Dungeons) because worst case scenaro you don't blast all 120 ft. in the line in front of you (however in pre-3E, it was actually hazardous in dungeons 'cause it would keep bouncing back and forth until it finished it's distance, which in some ways could allow you to wrack up some sick damage, but also meant it could fry you if you hit a wall and ricocheted it back at you).

I know this might sound weird but, I'm kind of the opposite school of thought, when you consider your "every caster should be a blaster" thread. See, I believe with %100 certainty that blasting spells can be very useful. In fact, lightning bolt is one of my favorites, along with magic missile, and disintegrate (since it went from SoD to blasting, sadly), but here's where our trains cross the rails...

I don't think blasting needs a lot of optimization to be effective. I do, however, feel that blasting needs a crapload of optimization do be effective at what people think it's supposed to be effective at. See, as-is, blasting is the most potent form of counterspelling in the entire game. A 5d6 lightning bolt is 17.5 electricity damage on average. A maximized 10d6 lightning bolt is 60 electricity damage. They have long-ish ranges (100 ft + 10 ft/level for magic missile, 120 ft for lightning bolt, 400 + 40 ft / level for fireball, etc) and are almost guaranteed to do SOME damage.

Here's an example of why blasting can be insanely good if used correctly. Say you've got some big bad who's about to cast a spell. You've hasted your party as a swift-action on your turn and then readied an action to cast a spell if you ID it and don't like it. Ok, your party is rocking socks, and then suddenly you see the big-bad is casting waves of exhaustion or gate or time stop or even greater teleport. Ok, you hit him with a maximized disintegrate. If he makes his save, it must make a DC 40 + spell level cocentration check or lose the spell. If he biffed the save, he takes 12 * caster level damage and can also kiss the spell goodbye.

At lower levels this is highly effective. Ready an action to cast fireball (5th level) and when the 9th level evil cleric with the undead army begins casting, drop the nuke. Ok, it's not really a nuke. It's really only about 17.5 damage, but clerics have bad Reflex saves usually, so if it sticks then he has to make a DC 27 + spell level Concentration check. Even if he has a +3 Wisdom, he fails 75% of the time. Congratulations, you just made him look like a tool.

Maximized clinging magic missile is a flat DC 35 + spell level or no casting for you. It can be done by 9th level, and you can buy a lesser rod of maximize in a metropolis with no problems.

See where I'm going with this?
If Blasting is going to be your go-to strategy, then you are going to need to OP-fu it like crazy, because honestly blasting isn't that effective against most enemies; just like swords aren't that effective vs skeletons. Can they work? If you hit hard enough, but it requires a lot more umph than just smacking them with a mace would; get it?

I can opt my god-wizardness, pad my saves, get a nice (or stupidly high) initiative, rock some HP, be happy with Heighten or Persistent spell as my only metamagic feats, prepare for all kinds of situations, and of course prepare a little light-blasting on the side for screwing with my spellcasting enemies, or for nuking un-attended objects.

Speaking of un-attended objects. Remember that issue with constantly dropping and picking up your rods? One of my wizards would have destroyed you after he saw you do that the first time. Why? Because that's when I would have used one of my blasts. It would be some sort of maximized 3rd level spell, possibly an AoE, readied for when you cast. When you cast, I'd hit you with my blast, forcing a concentration check, AND since it was an AoE, possibly destroy your item lying on the ground (it's unattended so it only gets a saving throw of 2 + 1/2 the caster level of the item, so failing it is highly probably).

EDIT: Against a steel rod (hardness 10, estimated 5 hit points as a 1-handed blade), a maximized fireball deals 20 damage on a failed save or 5 damage on a successful save. Enough to destroy the rod even if it made its Reflex save.

This is one of the reasons I'm also hesitant to use big AoE blasts anywhere that treasure can be out and about. You can literally end up setting entire rooms on fire; cracking your gems; incinerating cloth, rope, parchment or paper; melting blades; slagging armor; or turning the plot-hook letter on the desk that describes the next part of the big-bad's plan to ash and smoke.


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

I never claimed to drop anything, much less something as valuable as a metamgic rod. You did.

I'd just use my move action to stow it away properly.

My turn starts. I blast with one spell and rod (standard), put the rod away (move), pull out the next rod (free with glove of storing), cast quickened spell with rod (swift).

Next round I simply start with the quickened spell (swift), put the rod away (free), draw out the next rod (move), and cast my other spell (standard).

No dropping necessary.


Ravingdork wrote:

I never claimed to drop anything, much less something as valuable as a metamgic rod. You did.

I'd just use my move action to stow it away properly.

My turn starts. I blast with one spell and rod (standard), put the rod away (move), pull out the next rod (free with glove of storing), cast quickened spell with rod (swift).

Next round I simply start with the quickened spell (swift), put the rod away (free), draw out the next rod (move), and cast my other spell (standard).

No dropping necessary.

Putting an object away is not a free action to my knowledge. Dropping it on the ground is a free action, but I'd like to see where storing it or sheathing an item is a free action.

EDIT: In fact...

PRD - Combat wrote:
Drawing a weapon so that you can use it in combat, or putting it away so that you have a free hand, requires a move action. This action also applies to weapon-like objects carried in easy reach, such as wands. If your weapon or weapon-like object is stored in a pack or otherwise out of easy reach, treat this action as retrieving a stored item.

So yeah, illegal move there, my friend.


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

*sighs* Retrieving or storing an item from a glove of storing is a free action.

How did you miss that? I've said it like three times. :P


Ravingdork wrote:

*sighs* Retrieving or storing an item from a glove of storing is a free action.

How did you miss that? I've said it like three times. :P

Ahhh, good question. Not sure how I missed that. That would indeed prevent the issue of storing and retrieving your favorite rod. Good show.

I might have to use one of these with my god-wizards if I can't find something better for my hand-slots.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

While we're on the subject of metamagic rods.

Here's a 12th level wizard build I would consider.
Int 26 (20 base, +3 levels, +3 Int item)
Specialist (Any) but I prefer Diviners, Conjurers, Necromancers, and Transmuters. For this, let's go Conjurer (even though Diviner is more OP-fu) since I love spamming Conjuration spells, and ban evocation and necromancy. I'll be a human.

Feats: Spell Focus (Conjuration) (1st), Spell Focus (Transmutation)(b), Scribe Scroll (B), Craft Wondrous Item (3rd), Improved Initiative (5th), Greater Spell Focus (Transmutation) (B), Improved Familiar (7th), Opposition Research (Evocation) (9th), Quicken Spell (B), Persistent Spell (11th),

Equipment: Gloves of Storing (thanks Ravingdork), Lesser Rod of Maximize (15,000 gp), Lesser Rod of Persist (9,000 gp), +6 headband (18,000 gp), +5 cloak of resistance (17,500 gp), necklace of adaptation (4,500 gp), Lesser Rod of Dazing (15,000 gp), other gear...

Spell List
6th - Flesh to Stone (DC 25) x2, Disintegrate (DC 25) x2, Conjure Black Pudding
5th - Persistent Stinking Cloud (DC 22, 22), Polymorph, Overland Flight, Telekinesis (DC 24), Fickle Winds
4th - Elemental Shape I, Acid Pit (DC 23), Black Tentacles x2, Solid Fog
3rd - Stinking Cloud x1 (DC 22), Sleet Storm x1, Slow x 2 (DC 22), Haste x2
2nd - Mirror Image x2, Blur x2, Acid Arrow x 2
1st - Enlarge Person x2, Magic Missile x2, Feather Fall, Snapdragon Fireworks (DC 20)

Basic strategies...
Cast spells as are needed. Use damaging spells combined with maximize rod to screw with casters. When dealing with multiple foes, use metamagic rod of persist to make a slow multi-save (a pair of DC 22 Will-saves saves from up to 12 enemies or be slowed). Stinking cloud persisted combos with cleric's animated undead. Also combos well with my necklace of adaptation. Flesh to Stone is for enemies whom have been debuffed via Intimidate or negative levels, as well as anything which could just bite it with a 40% chance or less. Overland Flight is utility, Black Tentacles is for control and battlefield alteration, Acid Pit is the same and for destroying dropped items (and can be maximized to make the acid nasty). The conjure black pudding is intended to complicate the lives of enemies, and I would consider forcing it to split via ranged weapons. Fickle winds makes me immune to most ranged weapons. Telekinesis is for Fighter-dokens. Sleet storm is my no-save no-SR battlefield control. Mirror Image, and Blur are basic. I will also maximize acid arrow to inflict 8 acid damage every round, which can be annoying and force concentration DCs (but it's good for golems and such too). Maximized magic missile is my default anti-caster.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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.

Not according to the way you're twisting the core rules. A cantrip/orison is not a cantrip/orison once it's been modified by metamagic.

This has been gone over before and I believe it was James Jacobs who put it down.. If you're using a spell in any place other than a zero level slot, it gets expended when cast, even if it was a cantrip or orison before.


LazarX 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.

Not according to the way you're twisting the core rules. A cantrip/orison is not a cantrip/orison once it's been modified by metamagic.

This has been gone over before and I believe it was James Jacobs who put it down.. If you're using a spell in any place other than a zero level slot, it gets expended when cast, even if it was a cantrip or orison before.

I will believe you as soon as you show me in the rules. I checked this out a while ago.

Wizard wrote:
Cantrips: Wizards can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Wizard under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again. A wizard can prepare a cantrip from a prohibited school, but it uses up two of his available slots (see below).
Metamagic Feats wrote:
Effects of Metamagic Feats on a Spell: In all ways, a metamagic spell operates at its original spell level, even though it is prepared and cast as a higher-level spell. Saving throw modifications are not changed unless stated otherwise in the feat description.

Feel free to refute it, but I will ask for something besides a dev giving their opinion on it. Either something in the core rules or errata. Anything else is just dust and sound.


Ashiel wrote:


Metamagic Feats wrote:


Effects of Metamagic Feats on a Spell: In all ways, a metamagic spell operates at its original spell level, even though it is prepared and cast as a higher-level spell. Saving throw modifications are not changed unless stated otherwise in the feat description.
Feel free to refute it, but I will ask for something besides a dev giving their opinion on it. Either something in the core rules or errata. Anything else is just dust and sound.

RAW it's solid and I can't see anything wrong with it.

With RAI, especially if the developers of the game stated that it doesn't work, its pretty clear that you can't; however that comes down to what you want to allow in your game (and, of course, for theorycrafting/examples as it is currently RAW until/unless there was official errata).

The Optimizer in me wants to find a way to totally, like, abuse the Hells out of that, but I don't hate my GM that much. She already has enough reason to hate me in game without going that extra mile.

EDIT: Also, I'd be leery of adding that combo to any character that I would be playing as there is the possibility for that Official Errata Hammer(TM) to come down and smuck it.


ThatEvilGuy wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


Metamagic Feats wrote:


Effects of Metamagic Feats on a Spell: In all ways, a metamagic spell operates at its original spell level, even though it is prepared and cast as a higher-level spell. Saving throw modifications are not changed unless stated otherwise in the feat description.
Feel free to refute it, but I will ask for something besides a dev giving their opinion on it. Either something in the core rules or errata. Anything else is just dust and sound.

RAW it's solid and I can't see anything wrong with it.

With RAI, especially if the, you know developers of the game stated that it doesn't work, its pretty clear that you can't; however that comes down to what you want to allow in your game (and, of course, for theorycrafting/examples as it is currently RAW until/unless there was official errata).

The Devs have often disagreed. Hell, they've even got conflicting text in the FAQ. It's one of the reasons I don't put much stock in dev opinions and the FAQ until there is an official errata, or someone puts up some actual rules. Even earlier in this thread they noted that the developers had said different things regarding an issue.


Ashiel wrote:


The Devs have often disagreed. Hell, they've even got conflicting text in the FAQ. It's one of the reasons I don't put much stock in dev opinions and the FAQ until there is an official errata, or someone puts up some actual rules. Even earlier in this thread they noted that the developers had said different things regarding an issue.

True enough.

I seem to remember something involving James Jacobs, the Vital Strike feat chain, and Spring Attack...

~Duck&Covers~


ThatEvilGuy wrote:
The Optimizer in me wants to find a way to totally, like, abuse the Hells out of that, but I don't hate my GM that much. She already has enough reason to hate me in game without going that extra mile.

I honestly haven't seen much that is really abusive. It can be somewhat nice if you want to use some utility spells quickly (quickened detect magic is a fair option, as is quickened detect poison, or quickened dancing lights, etc) but most metamagic is a waste. For example, empower? 1d3*1.5 is pitiful. 3 damage maximized? Worse. How about stunlocking with Dazing Spell? Nope, 0 level means dazed for 0 rounds, so no dazing. Quickened Daze is useless at the level you get it. Quickened Mage hand can be somewhat cool for a Magus since they can disarm->toss a weapon; but it's basically an alternative (and thematic) method of getting an effect similar to Greater Disarm but without the +2 bonus.

Truly, the best way I've seen to abuse it is using some 3.5 metamagics like twin-spell, split-ray, and fell-drain, to create a cantrip that uses up a spell slot around 7th or so to toss up to 4 acid splashes for 1d3 damage and a negative level for each. Honestly...that's cute but not terrible impressive IMHO; AND it cannot be done in core PF.

EDIT: Especially when you consider that a Fighter can inflict 2-60 negative levels on a creature in any given round with a core magic weapon. Truly it would probably be more like 2-10, but negative levels are multiplied on criticals and it's on a greataxe so that's x3, and Fighters can auto-confirm criticals and get x4 multiplier, so that would be 2 negative levels per hit and 8 negative levels on a crit (that's also -40 HP in addition to the critical damage, so it's likely dead :P).


Ashiel wrote:


I honestly haven't seen much that is really abusive. It can be somewhat nice if you want to use some utility spells quickly (quickened detect magic is a fair option, as is quickened detect poison, or quickened dancing lights, etc) but most metamagic is a waste. For example, empower? 1d3*1.5 is pitiful. 3 damage maximized? Worse. How about stunlocking with Dazing Spell? Nope, 0 level means dazed for 0 rounds, so no dazing. Quickened Daze is useless at the level you get it. Quickened Mage hand can be somewhat cool for a Magus since they can disarm->toss a weapon; but it's basically an alternative (and thematic) method of getting an effect similar to Greater Disarm but without the +2 bonus.

Truly, the best way I've seen to abuse it is using some 3.5 metamagics like twin-spell, split-ray, and fell-drain, to create a cantrip that uses up a spell slot around 7th or so to toss up to 4 acid splashes for 1d3 damage and a negative level for each. Honestly...that's cute but not terrible impressive IMHO; AND it cannot be done in core PF.

Well, a heightened dazing acid splash in a 4th-level spell slot would give you unlimited possible dazes (and 1d3 acid damage!) but at a pitiful DC. But hey, it's unlimited (and locks down a 4th-level spell slot... which I'm pretty sure can be used for something more useful. I dunno. I'm trying out my first wizard in 10 years for my next campaign.)

EDIT: Duh, no it wouldn't. Gotta read the feat before I spout off nonsense. Stupid. Words.


ThatEvilGuy wrote:

Well, a heightened dazing acid splash in a 4th-level spell slot would give you unlimited possible dazes (and 1d3 acid damage!) but at a pitiful DC. But hey, it's unlimited (and locks down a 4th-level spell slot... which I'm pretty sure can be used for something more useful. I dunno. I'm trying out my first wizard in 10 years for my next campaign.)

EDIT: Duh, no it wouldn't. Gotta read the feat before I spout of nonsense. Stupid. Wording.

Heheheh. Like I said, it's cute, but really not at all impressive. It kind of reminds me of the Archmage prestige class, where you would give up a spell slot for some sort of special ability that was usually less powerful than a spell of that level but did fun things (like the one that lets you shape your spells; mmmm that was fun).


Ravingdork wrote:

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

Wow that, and the treantmonk dazing flaming sphere look like great Advices, more than what type of wizards is more powerful this type of conversation should be about interesting and useful ideas.

Even if blast were a weak options i still would like to play blasters, because they are funny to play

In his 3.5 guide treantmonk says that

"However, more specifically – recently I’ve given thought to “What if I decided to specialize in Evocation”. As a believer in Practical Optimization – it is worthy of a look. One thing I hate is accepting the Status Quo without question. When it appears that I’ve contributed to that status quo – it is doubly worth a double –check"

Change ther word Evocation to Blast, and give a try. people tend to think creative ideas when they can not use his normal ideas, this is what i do when i try to play weird character concepts


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

Here's my mix-wizard build, Ashiel. Please keep in mind that this was rushed, and could probably be better optimized. Still, I think it a pretty decent baseline for my mix-wizard. In the interest of speed, I ballparked his gear, but I should be within 5,000gp of the Wealth by Level guidelines. It still took me some time to do since he is nothing like the characters I am accustomed to building: He has 20-point buy ability scores (my group uses 25) and average hp. I also payed the market price on everything, even when it was self crafted (our group allows crafting prices out of starting funds in you have the proper feats).

So, without further ado...

Mix-Wizard Build:
Gwelwen Graug
Male venerable elf evoker 15
N Medium humanoid (elf)
Init
+9; Senses familiar’s alertness, low-light vision; Perception +19
Languages Celestial, Common, Draconic, Elven, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Sylvan; comprehend languages

DEFENSE
AC
18, touch 13, flat-footed 15 (+5 armor, +3 Dex)
hp 115 plus false life (15 HD)
Fort +12, Ref +11, Will +15; +2 vs. mind affecting effects
Immune magic sleep effects; SR 18

OFFENSE
Speed
30 ft. (6 squares), fly 40 ft. (good)
Melee by weapon +7
Ranged by weapon +9
Special Attacks intense spells +7, weapon familiarity (bows, longsword, rapier)
Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 15th, or CL 19th to overcome SR; Concentration +25)
8th-level (3/day) – mind blank, summon monster VIII, sunburst
7th-level (4/day) – dazing fire shield, greater age resistance (UM), prismatic spray, dazing wall of fire
6th-level (6/day) – chain lightning, disintegrate, flesh to stone, greater dispel magic, mislead, sirocco (APG)
5th-level (7/day) – dazing acid arrow, hold monster (P), overland flight, telekinesis, teleport, wall of force
4th-level (7/day) – charm monster (P), dazing magic missile, dimensional anchor, greater invisibility (2), wall of ice
3rd-level (7/day) – communal resist energy (UC), dispel magic, haste, lightning bolt, major image, ray of exhaustion, slow
2nd-level (8/day) – blindness/deafness, blur, false life (2), fog cloud, glitterdust, mirror image, shatter
1st-level (8/day) – grease, magic missile (4), mount, shield (2)
0-level (at will) – light, mending, message, prestidigitation
Prohibited Schools divination, enchantment

STATISTICS
Abilities
Str 10 (+0), Dex 14 (+2), Con 16 (+3), Int 30 (+10), Wis 15 (+2), Cha 11 (+0)
Base Atk +7; CMB +7; CMD 19
Feats Alertness (B) (with familiar nearby), Craft Wondrous Items (B), Dazing Spell, Empower Spell, Heighten Spell, Improved Familiar, Improved Initiative, Intensified Spell, Maximize Spell (B), Preferred Spell (fireball), Quicken Spell (B), Scribe Scroll (B), Spell Perfection (fireball)
Skills Fly +20, Knowledge (arcana) +28, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +28, Knowledge (local) +28, Knowledge (nature) +28, Knowledge (planes) +28, Knowledge (religion) +28, Perception +19 (+23 with familiar), Sense Motive +17 (+20 with familiar), Spellcraft +28 (+30 magic item identification), Stealth +17, Use Magic Device +15; Skill Modifiers +2 Perception, +2 Spellcraft to identify magic items
SQ arcane bond (mephit familiar), elemental manipulation (15 rounds/day), Elven magic, keen senses, ongoing spells, traits (magical lineage: fireball, warrior of old), versatile evocation (13/day)
Gear belt of mighty constitution +4, blessed books (2), headband of vast intellect +6 (fly, perception, stealth), lesser metamagic rods (maximize, quicken), robe of the archmagi (gray), spell component pouch
Spellbook As above and then some
Encumbrance light 33 lb., medium 66 lb., heavy 100 lb.; Weight Carried 17 lb.

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Elemental Manipulation (Su)
You can emit a 30-foot aura that transforms magical energy. Choose an energy type from acid, cold, electricity, and fire, and a second type to transform it into. Any magical source of energy of this type with a caster level equal to or less than your wizard level is altered to the chosen energy type. This includes supernatural effects from creatures with Hit Dice no greater than your caster level. For example, you could transform a white dragon’s frigid breath weapon (a supernatural ability), but not a fire elemental’s fiery touch (an extraordinary ability). If an effect lies only partially within your aura, only the portions within the aura are transformed. You can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to your wizard level. The rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Intense Spells (Su) Whenever you cast an evocation spell that deals hit point damage, add ½ your wizard level to the damage. This bonus only applies once to a spell, not once per missile or ray, and cannot be split between multiple missiles or rays. This damage is of the same type as the spell.
Ongoing Spells You have used the permanency spell to gain the following benefits: arcane sight, comprehend languages, and see invisibility. You have also used the contingency spell upon yourself. Should you ever fall to 25 hit points or less, or otherwise become helpless, you are immediately teleported to the nearest allied temple. Additionally, the following spells are often cast upon yourself: false life, greater age resistance, mind blank, and overland flight. These spell effects all function at caster level 15th and are noted in the above stats where appropriate.
Versatile Evocation (Su) When you cast an evocation spell that does acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage, you may change the damage dealt to one of the other four energy types. This changes the descriptor of the spell to match the new energy type. Any non-damaging effects remain unchanged unless the new energy type invalidates them (an ice storm that deals fire damage might still provide a penalty on Perception checks due to smoke, but it would not create difficult terrain). Such effects are subject to GM discretion. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.
Weapon Familiarity You are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), longswords, rapiers, and shortbows (including composite shortbows), and treat any weapon with the word “elven” in its name as a martial weapon.



Mix-Wizard's Familiar:

I chose a small air elemental because of his speed. I figured he could come out from total cover and blast/heal and then retreat behind cover all in one go. Other improved familiars might be much better choices for a variety of reasons.

Ferier
Air elemental familiar
N Small outsider (air, elemental, extraplanar)
Init
+7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +18

DEFENSE
AC
25, touch 14, flat-footed 22 (+3 Dex, +11 natural, +1 size)
hp 57 (15 HD)
Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +9
Defensive Abilities air mastery, improved evasion; Immune elemental traits; SR 20

OFFENSE
Speed
fly 100 ft. (perfect)
Melee slam +11 (1d4+1) or
by spell +11 touch
Special Attacks deliver touch spells

STATISTICS
Abilities
Str 12 (+1), Dex 17 (+3), Con 12 (+1), Int 13 (+1), Wis 11 (+0), Cha 11 (+0)
Base Atk +7; CMB +7; CMD 20
Feats Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative (B), Weapon Finesse (B)
Skills Acrobatics +7, Escape Artist +7, Fly +31, Knowledge (arcana) +16, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +16, Knowledge (local) +16, Knowledge (nature) +16, Knowledge (planes) +19, Knowledge (religion) +16, Perception +18, Sense Motive +15, Spellcraft +16, Stealth +25, Use Magic Device +15
SQ alertness, empathic link, familiar traits, share spells, scry on familiar, speak with master
Combat Gear arcane spell scrolls (fireball 2 [CL 10th], lightning bolt 2 [CL 10th], quickened fireball 2), potion of cure serious wounds; Other Gear spare spell component pouches (2)
Encumbrance light 32 lb. 4 oz., medium 64 lb. 8 oz., heavy 97 lb. 8 oz.; Weight Carried 4 lb.

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Air Mastery (Ex)
Airborne creatures take a –1 penalty on attack and damage rolls against an air elemental.
Alertness (Ex) While your familiar is within arm’s reach, you gain the Alertness feat.
Deliver Touch Spells (Su) If you and your familiar are in contact at the time you cast a touch spell, you can designate your familiar as the toucher. Your familiar can then deliver the touch spell personally. As usual, if you cast another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates.
Empathic Link (Su) You have an empathic link with your familiar out to one mile. You cannot see through your familiar’s eyes, but you both can communicate empathically. Only general emotional content can be communicated. You have the same connection to an item or place that your familiar does.
Improved Evasion (Ex) When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, your familiar takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.
Share Spells Any spell you cast on yourself also affects your familiar if it is within 5 feet at the time of casting. If the spell is continuous, it stops affecting your familiar if it moves farther than 5 feet away. Your familiar may accept such spells even if it would normally be an invalid target.
Speak With Master (Ex) You and your familiar may communicate verbally, using a private language no one else understands.

I went ahead and gave him the rod of quicken. I figured that even with the alleged 16,000gp limitations he would get lucky at least once in his career and end up with something suited to him.

As for the math, just pile on as much metamagic as you can to his perfected spell to eek out as much damage as you can in a single round. He's got a crap ton of knowledge skills so he can determine quickly what will and will not be effective BEFORE he begins casting (using versatile evocation to modify his spells as needed). He also has a familiar, which may use scrolls/wands from on high should he need additional blasting to finish off a foe or foes.

If you prefer not to use traits in your number crunch, then that's fine. I'll just have him give up one of the rods (since it won't help him much anyways at that point) and use the extra cash to add EVERY CORE WIZARD SPELL to his blessed books for added versatility. :D

I built him to be quick, nasty, and versatile. He will only blast first if he thinks he can kill most of his targets (or target) outright, or at least hurt his foe(s) to such an extent that the party can easily finish them off. He may blast anyways as a form of intimidation, hoping to deal enough damage to make the enemy not want to press the attack, but otherwise he is going to play it smart and use battlefield control, controlling, summoning, et al as necessary to get his whole team through the fight in one piece.

This is the mix-wizard build everybody. It's goal is to be the switch hitter of spellcasters. I hope you like it.

Scarab Sages

Raving Dork, could you post your build at level 1, lvl 5, and lvl 10,
And give tips and tricks on how to survive to lvl 15 at each of those points, including when and how you get each feat, and each magic item?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Black Lotus wrote:

Raving Dork, could you post your build at level 1, lvl 5, and lvl 10,

And give tips and tricks on how to survive to lvl 15 at each of those points, including when and how you get each feat, and each magic item?

If only I had the time. I would probably just play it similarly to a god-wizard at lower levels, using blasts only as necessary.

In this thread and the "Why Every Wizard Should Be a Blaster" thread a few posters posted some decent low level builds and strategies for blasters that were beyond what I could come up with. I recommend checking those out if you are interested in lower levels.


Veeeery nice Ravingdork. It looks good, and very solid, and I see that a lot of your blasty spells also have control-elements (such as Sirocco). I'll get a quick evaluation up ASAP.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
cp wrote:
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

...

I knew about elemental focus spells, but I never thought about applying them to magic missile because I assumed they the elemental spell feat work like the energy admixture feats in 3.5 where you swapped elemental damage, but by the wording of that feat you can replace any damage with an elemental type meaning I can even swap out negative energy for fire damage if I am fighting undead.

Not bad at all.

How does is work without using the diviner wizard though?
What normal equipment are you giving up?

This is a blaster I can get behind due to elemental spell, and then elemental focus in that order, but if I am restricted to only one build type that works that does not bold well for blasters in general, only for this one build.

The God wizard allows for more flexibility in the builds and can get similar results to each other.


Melissa Litwin wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Impressive math stuffs
What you forget, what everyone seems to be forgetting, is that this is in an AOE. So yes, against a single target, it's only so-so. Put 4 CR 15s in a room and look at the DPR! The wonderfulness of the blaster caster is that they do ridiculous cumulative damage and allow the melee to mop up, or force defensive instead of offensive reactions from NPCs/monsters because OMG THAT HURT. This reduces party damage because foes only get so many actions per round, just like PCs, and forcing a defensive NPC posture is almost always beneficial for the PCs.

..but we know offense out scales defense so to go defensive is only stalling. It is time to run(teleport, fly, etc) or go all out focusing all your power on one character. You might be able to take out a PC, and make the party rethink things.


Where is Desperate Focus found and what does it do.

PS:Sorry for the string of post. I keep promising myself I will see if someone has made my points for me, but I always forget.

edit:dispel magic + shatter = new lesson for an old dog. Thanks.

edit:RD the glove of storing just became an item on my wishlist radar. Tonight is full of knowledge. :)


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
wraithstrike wrote:

RD the glove of storing just became an item on my wishlist radar. Tonight is full of knowledge. :)

Crap! I forgot the glove of storing!!!

Guess he will have to give up his belt. :(

EDIT: On second though, he can give up one of his blessed books instead. I gave him two initially because I wanted him to know all core spells, but changed my mind halfway through the character creation process, making the second book superfluous.


wraithstrike wrote:

Where is Desperate Focus found and what does it do.

PS:Sorry for the string of post. I keep promising myself I will see if someone has made my points for me, but I always forget.

edit:dispel magic + shatter = new lesson for an old dog. Thanks.

edit:RD the glove of storing just became an item on my wishlist radar. Tonight is full of knowledge. :)

Desperate Focus is a magic trait and it gives a +2 trait bonus to all Concentration checks. Since Concentration is no-where near as easy in Pathfinder as it was was in 3.x, that +2 can mean the difference between life and death pretty regularly (it's basically a +10% success chance). Reactionary, likewise, is a +2 bonus to Initiative; favored again for the +10% buff to a frequently rolled (and life-saving/ending) check.

Also, to comment on something that Melissa mentioned...

Quote:
What you forget, what everyone seems to be forgetting, is that this is in an AOE. So yes, against a single target, it's only so-so. Put 4 CR 15s in a room and look at the DPR! The wonderfulness of the blaster caster is that they do ridiculous cumulative damage and allow the melee to mop up, or force defensive instead of offensive reactions from NPCs/monsters because OMG THAT HURT. This reduces party damage because foes only get so many actions per round, just like PCs, and forcing a defensive NPC posture is almost always beneficial for the PCs.

The problem with this approach, typically, is that you will now have a room with 4 CR 15s in it with maybe 1/2 HP, but you didn't actually stop any of them from doing anything (however, Daze spell is quickly appearing to turn blasting into a new control discipline). That means that the 4 CR 15s suddenly gang-rape a member of your party on their turn. For example, if you were fighting 4 Neothelids, then you'd wound all four of them for a bit, and then on their turn someone is getting slammed with 4 Psychic Crushes and 4 quickened suggestions. If a single psychic crush is failed, that party member drops to -1 Hp and is dying. They could potentially take out 1 party member per action, and toss suggestions at the last guy. Also, if they do save, they become sickened and get a -2 on the next save.

Alternatively, they could pull their own direct damage on your party. Four of them all breathing a cone of acid for a combined average damage of about 308 save for half (but with 4 saves at DC 27). Or they could all just charge the group and hit with a tongue attack, grapple with their +33 grapple, then swallow a party member whole.

Believe me when I say, I would sooooooo much rather turn their LoS off, stun, daze, or confuse them, etc.

EDIT: Also the SR 28 means the have a 65% chance to evade blasty-spells used against them by a 15th level mage, or a 55% chance vs a 17th level mage. Which means you might not even hurt them. However, stinking cloud ignores their SR, blocks their LoS making it hard for them to all insta-pwn your group with psychic crush, and can potentially remove them from the fight for 2+ rounds if they accidentally biff a saving throw.


Ashiel wrote:


Also, to comment on something that Melissa mentioned...

Quote:
What you forget, what everyone seems to be forgetting, is that this is in an AOE. So yes, against a single target, it's only so-so. Put 4 CR 15s in a room and look at the DPR! The wonderfulness of the blaster caster is that they do ridiculous cumulative damage and allow the melee to mop up, or force defensive instead of offensive reactions from NPCs/monsters because OMG THAT HURT. This reduces party damage because foes only get so many actions per round, just like PCs, and forcing a defensive NPC posture is almost always beneficial for the PCs.
The problem with this approach, typically, is that you will now have a room with 4 CR 15s in it with maybe 1/2 HP, but you didn't actually stop any of them from doing anything (however, Daze spell is quickly appearing to turn blasting into a new control discipline). That means that the 4 CR 15s suddenly gang-rape a member of your party on their turn.

Great minds think alike

wraithstrike wrote:
..but we know offense out scales defense so to go defensive is only stalling. It is time to run(teleport, fly, etc) or go all out focusing all your power on one character. You might be able to take out a PC, and make the party rethink things.

:)


Ravingdork wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

RD the glove of storing just became an item on my wishlist radar. Tonight is full of knowledge. :)

Crap! I forgot the glove of storing!!!

Guess he will have to give up his belt. :(

EDIT: On second though, he can give up one of his blessed books instead. I gave him two initially because I wanted him to know all core spells, but changed my mind halfway through the character creation process, making the second book superfluous.

No worries. Just take one blessed book and use secret page.


wraithstrike wrote:

Great minds think alike

:)

Hah, yeah. ^-^"

On a side note, I will say that a dazing fireball + quickened dazing fireball would definitely do veeeeery well against them. While the damage would be nearly negligible, the back to back spells would mean you should probably get at least one through, and their pitiful +4 Ref save means that they would probably get dazed for 3 rounds.

Honestly, I'm beginning to wonder if Daze spell is way too good. I will say I'm now looking at damage spells with far, far more interest, but it's not for the damage... :P


Ashiel wrote:
Technically this isn't true. There is nothing guaranteeing that you will be able to have a magic item crafted by commission. That is entirely within the realm of GM fiat, and may involve going on some quests or something to earn a few favors from the spellcaster capable of crafting the magic item. When dealing with builds, you are only really assured to be able to acquire anything within 16,000 gp or anything that you or your party can craft. That's why Craft Rod is a very important feat for any spellcaster who plans on using a lot of metamagic rods.

You are using the new settlement rules from the Gamemastery Guide. We haven't picked up that book.

We don't much get into that level of detail. As working folk we don't have a DM that has time to create adventures or side quests for something like purchasing items. So if they are in a big enough city that allows it, we let them purchase the item they want.

Quote:

Two reasons.

1) If you absolutely have to be a specific wizard/sorcerer hybrid build thingy to make blasting work, then blasting doesn't work, that specific build just forces enough specialization into it that it becomes somewhat viable. This is problematic, and an issue that control wizards do not face.

No one said they did. The blast build is very specific. Just as control build uses very specific spells to be effective. You can't cast any old spell and have it work, you work with a very specific set of spells to accomplish what you want to accomplish. A blaster build works with a very specific set of factors as well that are inherent in the build.

Quote:
2) The more you go outside of core, the higher the chance that something you will need for your build will not be available at a given table, which lowers the value of the build overall IMO.

I don't play with other groups. Doubtful I would play with a group that didn't allow every avaialable book not 3rd party. We don't use 3rd party material at our table, but everything from Paizo is fair game. Tables that didn't use all available books from Paizo I would not play with.

Problem handled.

Quote:
For example, it really doesn't matter if I'm a wizard, sorcerer, or witch, I can be a decent controller. I can decently control and even get some nice options for controlling with many different sorcerer bloodlines, and many different wizard schools. I'm not locked into absolutely being a orc-blooded / evoker specialist to be competent. I consider that to be a plus. It's not a game-breaker, but it is a bit disappointing if you have to be X, Y, Z to do something moderately well.

So you can play the same role over and over again. That is not appealing.

I get bored to tears with such repetition. That's why I come up with different builds and find ways to be effective rather than find the most effective build and play it over and over again.

Quote:

I'm not really out to prove anything. I was just displaying some rough DPR for the spells that you were casting. You told me to use a 15th level evoker and specified specific metamagic feats you wanted. Even at 15th level your instructions were illegal without using 2 rods per round, which you need Craft Rod to guarantee that you will have, which is a feat you didn't have.

Pointing out issues isn't using your build incorrectly; but if you want, you can list me the exact way you desire the spells to be cast and how, and I will do the DPR calculations for your spells vs the standard and a grab-bag of enemies from the core bestiary (and no, I do not and will not cherry pick enemies to make your blasting look bad).

I can't speak for Ravingdork. But with the build I posted I do not recommend mindlessly using the same blasting spells over and over again. I made the build to blast very well and do extraordinary blasting damage. But I did not make the build to mindlessly blast foregoing all other spells that might prove more effective under circumstances where blasting isn't ideal.

Quote:

My biggest issue is that 1/3 of their HP means they're still acting perfectly fine. Fiends can still bomb you with their own spells, toss up their own walls, greater teleport at-will to your squishies in the back row, preform a full-attack, move about as they please, etc. You're basically sacking 2 of your high level spells every round to do maybe 1/3 of their HP. I've seen your Flesh to Stone build Ravingdork; you can seriously just KILL THEM if you wanted to.

Seriously, using the same DC as the blasting, you can force 4 saves at a 55% chance per spell to just outright destroy some fool if it would be against their strong save, or 4 saves at an 80% chance versus their weak save. They are now part of your collection of stone. All you had to do with that was persistent flesh to stone, which can be done at level 13 if you use your trait, or level 15 if you don't. If you get into using various fun rods, you can even do stuff like bouncing the spell around (oh, you made your saves? Ok, your friend needs to try or die in your place).

He's probably already played that build and had fun with it. Time for him to play with another build.

Quote:
Most god-wizards aren't in the business of lacking versatility. Likewise, the heavy emphasis on making blasting semi-viable also reduces your strengths in other areas. As I've noted several times, blasting is good for 1 thing, and 1 thing only - blasting. If blasting will not solve an issue, then you have a wasted spell. A god-wizard is more versatile, since they can generally instigate a victory over a larger variety of foes (immunity to their favorite spell is rarely a game-breaker for them) while also having the ability to more effectively evade permanent defeat (Ok, so you're getting overwhelmed, so it's time to run; you can now drop grease, black tentacles, sleet storm, solid fog, acid fog, waves of exhaustion, or anything else to slow pursuit and escape).

This is not true at all unless you play a blaster like a raging moron.

As has been noted by you and treantmonk, there are various spells that can be used with no saving throw to great effectiveness. Some of those are even evocation spells like wall of force or the hand spells.

And the damaging component is also often effective with conjuration based direct damage, which is often used in support of evocation since summoning a creature to act as a sort of additional blasting platform is another tactic available to blasters.

Rather than dismissing the build as inferior, you should take some time to play with some blasting builds to see if you find one that is fun and interesting to you.

Quote:

That's easy. The highest you can assuredly purchase in game is a +4 headband. You can of course craft your own headband, and virtually every wizard without Craft Wondrous Item is a wizard who doesn't live up to his Int score; but since you didn't have Craft Wondrous, being able to say that you assuredly would have a +6 Headband is basically just wrong. The only way you would be able to acquire it would be if it showed up as a random magic item in your city, or if you acquired it during an adventure; both of which are not assured by any stretch.

As for the cheese, I was trying to be kind to blasting and show it at its best. In my last post I showed the DPR of both normal Int and Int buffed to +5 via spell-cheese (I actually do not mind +5 inherent mods at 13th level in my games since it doesn't really make that much of a difference in my games usually, but there are those who dislike such things). In my more recent post, I skipped normal and just went strait for the highest damage output in terms of save DCs.

The damage for normal Int wizards would be lower, of course.

The cleric usually takes Craft Wondrous Item in our groups. They can take such a feat as well.

Quote:
The problem, Melissa, is focus-firing is generally more effective, and in my experiences it is rare that blasting gets to capitalize on its AoE benefits to the fullest. The AoE portion only applies to how many enemies you can get in the AoE. If you can get many, then that is wonderful. However, the best we can do is determine the average DPR vs a single enemy and then apply it to multiple enemies if available.

DPR will vary by enemy to such large degree that unless you can run a DPR check for several adventure paths, I wouldn't put much stock in your analysis.

And if you're using AoE blast spells against single targets, then you're not maximizing your effectiveness.

Which is why I build blasters as sorcerers or wizards with Greater Spell Specialization or Preferred Spell. I rarely like to slot my favorite AoE blast spell if using a preparation caster and sorcerers have the obvious advantage of spontanous casting built into the class.

Which is why many blasting builds don't reach their apex of power until higher level, so they rely on standard wizard tactics at lower level while mixing in a few blasts that are far more effective than standard wizards.

Quote:
However, if you are familiar with tucker's kobolds, you will understand that blasting is not always a good option. There are many times where tight spaces make the AoE a complete liability, or instances where you opponents will surround you, and thus you might be swarmed by weak enemies but you can only effectively damage a few. Or your enemies might bunch up around you (such as walking through a forest, only to have a group of enemies charge you from concealment during the surprise round), which can easily result in situations where you cannot effectively target your foes without blasting your allies.

Clustering can affect many tactics. Which is why your party can help you set up. I love how the anti-blasting crowd seems to completely ignore the other party members in these discussions as though they play with a bunch of incompetents that are only effective because of the wizard. I don't play with a group like that.

If you have an effective forward scout, they can prevent ambushes and the like. In our group the forward scout (usually scouts) put us in a position to ambush and use terrain to our advantage.

One of our tenents as a group is we choose how the battlefield will be used. This is not something we leave only to the wizard, our entire group from the fighter to the cleric position to take advantage of the battlefield.

Do you really have such poorly designed forward scouts that you often get ambushed?

Some things our group does:
1. We rarely take the road.

2. Combat spacing with a forward scout usually 20 to 30 feet ahead within sight of the forward melee.

3. Constant half movement while trap checking.

4. Tag and drag. Monsters don't sit in their rooms unless they really are intending on doing so. Forward scout tags and drags them to our location. We want a continous fight the majority of the time as our fighters are generally optimized to butcher as they move.

Quote:
There is also the issue of collateral damage. See, if you drop a fireball - especially a metamagic-boosted fireball - in a room, you are going to decimate everything in that room that isn't occupied. This means that blasting spells are also prone to sucking during actual gameplay, where the theorycrafting stops. If you are in a town, you might risk slaughtering civilians or destroying buildings (haste doesn't, stinking cloud doesn't, sleet storm doesn't, hell even black tentacles won't destroy a building, deep slumber doesn't, etc). It's also very sad when the party's wizard nukes a room with fireball and destroys all the party's treasure.

We take this into account. Many times we have to have to avoid blasting in areas where you could start a serious fire or destroy buildings. This is why acid or cold are also preferred by me.

Quote:
Think about it. Ravingdork's intensified empowered maximized fireball dealt around 116 damage to anything that failed its save. Even take 1/2 and applying hardness, that would deal about 48 damage to stuff made out of iron or steel. Anything softer is essentially burgermeat. That's easily enough damage to burn through a chest and every item sitting inside that chest, destroy all the tapestries, burn scrolls, destroy spellbooks, kill prisoners, and so forth.

It is painful. Burns entire rooms up. Which is why we often choose how to use the battlefield.

Doubtful we drop fireball/i] into the baron's bedroom.

There are spells other AoE spells to hit with.

Quote:
There are so many in-game reasons why casting a AoE blasty-spell is a risky business with stuff that occurs in an actual honest to goodness game. It's also very dangerous, since if you do anything like convert the damage to acid via metamagic or admixture, you don't halve the damage to objects, which means you can accidentally vaporize objects, pillars, doors, and so forth. You really don't want to be the guy who the party is giving the evil-eye 'cause you just melted the support structures or beams of the building you were fighting in...

AoE blasting is risky. That is why you should carry a mix of spells.

A blasting build is versatile because it makes blasting more effective, while not limiting other capabilities.

Just as control wizards carefully choose spells,so too do blaster builds. You do have nifty things like [i]resilient sphere and wall of force accessible to evocation. And I still use many wizard staples like enervate, summon monster, haste and other such spells. Single target you should be doing other things unless you have free reign to hammer.

Using a blasting build does not change the need to know how best to use your spells. It makes blasting far more effective, which is very good a great deal of the time. I would say 70 to 80% of the time.

We run adventure paths. We run into tons of encounters with a lot of lower CR mooks. We run into very few encounters with high end CR monsters. The majority of the adventure paths seem to incorporate mostly lower CR encounters mixed with a few higher CR encounters. A good blast spell can help you tear right through them quickly, so you can get right to the big CR mook and tee off. Which is what the physical damage dealers like to do any way.

Then you can make your knowledge check, figure out what the enemy can do, and use your spells to greatest effect. Sometimes it might be best to add damage to finish the fight, sometimes it might be best to mitigate damage with a control spell. That is situationally dependent. But building a blaster build does not prevent the use of other tactics.

What's with the focus on initiative? I've never seen so many people so focused on initiative. I have never found initiative to be of great importance to a wizard in 3.0 unless you're dueling.

If I want to go first in a given round, I use the Delay action. There are few encounters that will be ended in the first round of an encounter. If you want to put your initiative at the start of the round, you can allow the round to play out, delay on your turn, and then enter the combat at the start of the next turn as the highest initiative. You may even have a better overview of the enemy and tactics your against.


Ashiel wrote:


Honestly, I'm beginning to wonder if Daze spell is way too good. I will say I'm now looking at damage spells with far, far more interest, but it's not for the damage... :P

I agree. They are good for battlefield control. I would not care if I only did 1 point of damage since that is all I need to lock someone down. Dazing got my attention when it first came out, but now with my new understanding of elemental spell it is more useful than I thought.


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

"Blasters suck because if they can't kill the four neolithids than the entire party will get wiped!" - VERY loosely paraphrased. :P

...well, duh, but that has nothing to do with the blaster and a lot to do with a GM who doesn't know how to set up encounters properly. Four neolithids are a CR 19 encounter and SHOULD pretty much wipe out a 15th-level group despite their class builds and party makeup.


Ravingdork wrote:

"Blasters suck because if they can't kill the four neolithids than the entire party will get wiped!" - VERY loosely paraphrased. :P

...well, duh, but that has nothing to do with the blaster and a lot to do with a GM who doesn't know how to set up encounters properly. Four neolithids are a CR 19 encounter and SHOULD pretty much wipe out a 15th-level group despite their class builds and party makeup.

Actually a CR 19 fight is boss fight.

More importantly your quote is very incorrect. The point of both my quote and Asheil's was that if the bad guys are still alive they will focus fire on the trouble make and probably kill them.


Quote:
Rather than dismissing the build as inferior, you should take some time to play with some blasting builds to see if you find one that is fun and interesting to you.

We already have. Why do you keep assuming we haven't? We have not tried every spell in the. Well I know I haven't, but I have used a lot of them.

Maddigan I have a question. What defines a blaster build, as opposed to a nonblaster build? This is to make sure we are on the same page. I think to most of us a blaster prepares a lot of blasting spells, and uses it as a primary and first option. I am starting to think you see it as a caster than can blast better than most castes because some focus has been put into it, but it is not necessarily the primary point of the build.


Treantmonk wrote:
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.

Empower Spell was confusing and weak before that ruling. The loose interpretation was from a thread with Ravingdork making a reasonable argument that a Bloodline bonus would be considered part of the spell. I know a more conservative actual ruling will probably rule against this interpreation, but we use the loose interpretation at the moment at our table. So blasting became rather potent again.

Empower spell is a rather poorly adjudicated feat as it is. They make it confusing with addional rulings on how it interacts with Maximize Spell and Intensify Spell.

Though I do still occasionally like Empower with ability damage/drain and negative level builds. For a couple of extra levels I can get a boost on ability damage. Since that is only way to boost those type of spells absent spell research to make improve versions at slightly higher level, I tend to take the easy path.

Empowered calcific tough for 1d4 x 1.5 dex damage for a lvl 6 slot useable multiple times is a nice option against a lot of creatures. With the new ruling it makes Empowered Ray of Enfeeblement and the like better.


wraithstrike wrote:
Quote:
Rather than dismissing the build as inferior, you should take some time to play with some blasting builds to see if you find one that is fun and interesting to you.
We already have. Why do you keep assuming we haven't? We have not tried every spell in the. Well I know I haven't, but I have used a lot of them.

I mean play an actual character through a series of adventures with a blasting build. Not theorize on a board. Play with the build to find one you like, then play it up to see it in action. I've played one blaster to level 18 and it was very effective.

I'd be lying to you if I said I killed everything. I ran into encounters where I couldn't blast. I also had plenty of encounters where I did nothing because it wasn't necessary. But I also had plenty of encounters where I shined like a beacon wiping things out. This was a conjuration based blaster build. Which didn't run into SR as much.

The wizard blasting build I'm just trying out and he is only lvl 5. So far he's done fairly well. His burning hands hits hard enough to wipe out a lot the CR 1 and 2 creatures we fight en masse right now. His magic missile can be used as a solid finisher.

Ran into a high SR serpentfolk which shut the build down. I have to look at ways to get around that particular weakness that doesn't exist for a conjuration based blaster.

I'm using conjuration to support evocation. Those are my two favorite schools. Opposition schools are enchantment and necromancy. Necromancy was hard to give up, enchantment not so much.

I tried a blaster build giving up illusion in the past using transmutation spells as my primary defensive school. Illusion is far superior for defense over transmutation as far as averting hits. So wasn't going to give up mirror image and displacement again.

Quote:
Maddigan I have a question. What defines a blaster build, as opposed to a nonblaster build? This is to make sure we are on the same page. I think to most of us a blaster prepares a lot of blasting spells, and uses it as a primary and first option. I am starting to think you see it as a caster than can blast better than most castes because some focus has been put into it, but it is not necessarily the primary point of the build.

Your second interpretation is correct. I consider a blasting caster a caster with a build focused on blasting that can blast better than any other caster. And does at times use it as a primary form of dealing with enemies, but does not blast all the time. A blasting caster still follows the old wizard aphorism "Use the tool that gets the job done".

That's why you will see Greater Spell Specialization as part of my wizard build. I don't even want to slot my favorite blasting spell. I don't want to have to slot my favorite blasting spell. I want to cast it spontaneously, so I can pick and choose what spell of a given level to get rid of to maintain my versatility.

If I couldn not at high level spontaneously cast my favorite blasting spell, doubtful I would play a blasting wizard. The high level game has so many variables that being too focused in one area would be a sure way to be a "waste of space" in some of the most important encounters.


Ashiel wrote:


Technically this isn't true. There is nothing guaranteeing that you will be able to have a magic item crafted by commission. That is entirely within the realm of GM fiat, and may involve going on some quests or something to earn a few favors from the spellcaster capable of crafting the magic item. When dealing with builds, you are only really assured to be able to acquire anything within 16,000 gp or anything that you or your party can craft. That's why Craft Rod is a very important feat for any spellcaster who plans on using a lot of metamagic rods.

There is a table for the highest purchasable spellcaster "jobs" in towns. Comparing this to the normal AP wizards and clerics you meet there who seem to all at least have brew potion and scribe scroll and often also have craft magic item you should be able to find someone who can craft magic items at around that highest spellcaster level you see in the table. And most items need no really high casters to create because the spellcraft roll is rather easy with a take 10 and if there is a spell which is too high level for him often you can even provide it.

Also if he casts any spell you like for money why should he require a quest to craft you an item? Its not like its extra effort for him. Its easy money actually for the crafter because he makes 500gp per day in pure profit. It doesn't cost XP anymore as I may mind you.

So any DM who wants special quests for having someone milking a cash cow should be interviewed about how reasonable his decision is.


Maddigan wrote:
clarification

Thanks. Now I see what the issue was. I agree that improved blasting can be a benefit then.


Cibulan wrote:
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.

It's on the official FAQ. I'll follow it until it is changed.

I generally like Sean K. Reynolds mechanical material. He's done some great work for the Forgotten Realms I greatly enjoyed.

The thing that is problematic with Empower spell is some say apply the Empower after the spell damage is rolled,while some say roll the additional dice. I wish they would come out with a very clear ruling on Empower since it is a feat that can be anything from attractive with SKR's ruling to worthless with Jason Buhlman's ruling. I don't know if it was Buhlman's intent, but he made Empower Spell a very unattractive and fairly worthless feat.

At 15th level with a 5th level spell slot you can cast an Empowered fireball for an average of 45 points or a Cone of Cold for 45 points with a 2 higher DC. For the most part it was a fairly worthless feat effective only at certain level points. The only thing that makes Empower Spell attractive is SKR's ruling.

Since I like Empower Spell to useful, I'm going with that ruling until I'm forced to do othwerise.

I don't even take Maximize Spell right now because of Empower Spell. I'm told that if I empower a spell on its own, I don't roll the additional dice. But if I empower a maximized spell, I roll the dice to determine the empowered part. How dumb is that.


Maddigan wrote:
Cibulan wrote:
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.

It's on the official FAQ. I'll follow it until it is changed.

I generally like Sean K. Reynolds mechanical material. He's done some great work for the Forgotten Realms I greatly enjoyed.

The thing that is problematic with Empower spell is some say apply the Empower after the spell damage is rolled,while some say roll the additional dice. I wish they would come out with a very clear ruling on Empower since it is a feat that can be anything from attractive with SKR's ruling to worthless with Jason Buhlman's ruling. I don't know if it was Buhlman's intent, but he made Empower Spell a very unattractive and fairly worthless feat.

At 15th level with a 5th level spell slot you can cast an Empowered fireball for an average of 45 points or a Cone of Cold for 45 points with a 2 higher DC. For the most part it was a fairly worthless feat effective only at certain level points. The only thing that makes Empower Spell attractive is SKR's ruling.

Since I like Empower Spell to useful, I'm going with that ruling until I'm forced to do othwerise.

I don't even take Maximize Spell right now because of Empower Spell. I'm told that if I empower a spell on its own, I don't roll the additional dice. But if I empower a maximized spell, I roll the dice to determine the empowered part. How dumb is that.

C wrote that before he knew it was official. The new ruling is the official one. :)


Maddigan wrote:

You are using the new settlement rules from the Gamemastery Guide. We haven't picked up that book.

We don't much get into that level of detail. As working folk we don't have a DM that has time to create adventures or side quests for something like purchasing items. So if they are in a big enough city that allows it, we let them purchase the item they want.

No, I'm not. I don't assume the use of the Settlement rules, nor have I bothered to use them. I was referring to the core rules, where there is a limit to the value of magic items. See the Magic Items chapter of your core rulebook, or scroll down to Purchasing Magic Items and have a look for yourself. The default assumption is that you can find most anyting that you want (at least a 75% chance) up to 16,000 gp in a metropolis; but no higher.

While it is entirely possible that there may be someone within the city who has the requisite knowledge, feats, and ability to craft greater magic items, you have entered into the realm of GM-fiat and plot-dependency, as the NPC may desire favors or greater than average payment given the demand.

This is one of the reasons I generally assume I can acquire up to a +2 weapon, +3 armor, +4 resistance item, +4 stat items, +2 deflection, +2 natural, +3 shield, etc. I carry around a lot of stuff like cold-iron, mithral, and adamantine weapons. I'm a big fan of different types of arrows, potions, wands, and other consumables. Honestly, the game really seems to benefit from this built-in limitation, since 9/10 times you can acquire most all your stat modifiers via long-duration buffs.

Alienfreak wrote:

There is a table for the highest purchasable spellcaster "jobs" in towns. Comparing this to the normal AP wizards and clerics you meet there who seem to all at least have brew potion and scribe scroll and often also have craft magic item you should be able to find someone who can craft magic items at around that highest spellcaster level you see in the table. And most items need no really high casters to create because the spellcraft roll is rather easy with a take 10 and if there is a spell which is too high level for him often you can even provide it.

Also if he casts any spell you like for money why should he require a quest to craft you an item? Its not like its extra effort for him. Its easy money actually for the crafter because he makes 500gp per day in pure profit. It doesn't cost XP anymore as I may mind you.

So any DM who wants special quests for having someone milking a cash cow should be interviewed about how reasonable his decision is.

Again, the default assumption is that you can easily find anything up to value X. Anything else is not assured. There is nothing that assures that they will work for you. Not everyone is interested in money, or they might not have the time (since the profit margin doesn't change, it doesn't really matter if they custom craft your +X sword or poop out a +2 sword for someone else). They may be backed up with existing requests. Maybe they realize they're the only guys in town who can do this for you, so they charge a premium because it's beyond the normal market.

Honestly, while it might be entirely reasonable for a GM to allow you to have an item crafted, it is also entirely reasonable that the NPCs might have something else they are doing, or would find your talents more to their liking than your gold (since gold is something they can easily acquire by peddling their magical arts).


Ravingdork wrote:

"Blasters suck because if they can't kill the four neolithids than the entire party will get wiped!" - VERY loosely paraphrased. :P

...well, duh, but that has nothing to do with the blaster and a lot to do with a GM who doesn't know how to set up encounters properly. Four neolithids are a CR 19 encounter and SHOULD pretty much wipe out a 15th-level group despite their class builds and party makeup.

Heheh, very loosely indeed. :P

She's the one who suggested blasting 4 CR 15 critters in a room. I grabbed one of the CR 15 critters I was going to do a DPR calculation with and used it as an example as to why sprinkling enemies with damage is inferior to focus-firing one down. Focus-fire, focus-fire, it dost earn the player's ire, when their balls of fire fail to mire, and their situation turns most dire.


Ashiel wrote:
Again, the default assumption is that you can easily find anything up to value X. Anything else is not assured. There is nothing that assures that they will work for you. Not everyone is interested in money, or they might not have the time (since the profit margin doesn't change, it doesn't really matter if they custom craft your +X sword or poop out a +2 sword for someone else). They may be backed up with existing requests. Maybe they realize they're the only guys in town who can do this for you, so they charge a premium because it's beyond the normal market.

I always read it the way that there is a 75% chance for every item below the community wealth plus those few random items you roll for to be ready for pickup. So like you walk into a store and just buy it...

Well... the table in the Core Rulebook assumes that there is always a spellcaster able to cast that level of spell (see the table) for money. So they seem to be highly interested in making money...

Anyways (because there a no strict rules for this) I would assume you shouldn't lay too many stones in the way of the PCs if they have the time to wait for the item campaign wise why shouldn't they get it?
They are gimped enough by selling the 36k intelligence headband (a example) with the wrong tied skill for 18k and then give a contract to someone to craft one for 36k again. So by not keeping the item they already lost half the value of it just to get a more tailored one...
On the contrary if you have the crafting feat you lose no money at all, rather make some if you for example take the hedge wizard trait. You sell it for 18k and it takes you 18k (or even 18k*0.95 so 17100) to craft it... you did spend a feat and save A LOT of money plus if you are a regular adventurer wizard you will have insane amounts of plus on any spellcraft check so you can easily craft most items with a safe take 10 in half of the regular time.

So even when letting the PCs contract anything in a town (ofc only things the town can make) it is still a huge money sink plus it will more likely need more time than making it yourself with the feat.


Ravingdork wrote:

"Blasters suck because if they can't kill the four neolithids than the entire party will get wiped!" - VERY loosely paraphrased. :P

...well, duh, but that has nothing to do with the blaster and a lot to do with a GM who doesn't know how to set up encounters properly. Four neolithids are a CR 19 encounter and SHOULD pretty much wipe out a 15th-level group despite their class builds and party makeup.

Generally if a party plays smart, a 15th level group should be able to handle a CR 19 encounter.

551 to 600 of 686 << first < prev | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Why All The Hate Towards Blasting? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.