Why All The Hate Towards Blasting?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Mistwalker wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:
Mistwalker wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:
Smokesticks are more reliable than wands. Your familiar will be using UMD, which just is never more than 95% reliable.
Why only 95% reliable? Unless I missed something or a change, with skills, there is no failure on a "1".
UMD is an exception to the rule. Natural 1 always fails with UMD, and you can't try to activate the same device for 24 hours.

I always read the "try again" section to mean that if you fail and it is a "1", then you cannot try to use it again for 24 hours. To my knowledge, that hasn't changed from 1st printing to 4th printing.

Is there a FAQ or Errata that I am missing?

Nope, reading it again, I think you are correct.


@Treantmonk: Interesting spells, mostly situationally useful. How do you ever kill anything? I've played with wizards who have spell lists like that, and maybe it was their playing ability, but they mostly- for lack of a better term- sucked. I do like the multiple wall spells, though again the player has to be very skilled to not hurt her party more than she helps.

Also, the prismatics are blasty/utility hybrid (in my book, anyway) as is the Flaming Sphere. Flaming Sphere, Polymorph Any Object, and the Prismatic spells have SR, unfortunately, which takes out a lot of the offense this list had.

SR sucks, it's common at higher levels, and it can be dealt with by either buffing the party or just dealing with it. Losing spells is annoying, but making a programmed image? That certainly won't kill anything and to me seems a mostly wasted spell slot. How does it help your party take down a Gargantuan dragon or a CR 21 daemon? That 6th level slot could be a Chain Lightning or a Freezing Sphere or a Disintegrate, which at least have a chance of being useful.

I also realize you specifically avoided spells with SR, which takes a lot of very good spells off of what your actual spell list probably is. But that spell list, quite frankly, isn't what I'd want to see a 20th level wizard walking around with ever, unless they were the wizard I was fighting.

The Exchange

Melissa Litwin wrote:

@Treantmonk: Interesting spells, mostly situationally useful. How do you ever kill anything? I've played with wizards who have spell lists like that, and maybe it was their playing ability, but they mostly- for lack of a better term- sucked. I do like the multiple wall spells, though again the player has to be very skilled to not hurt her party more than she helps.

Also, the prismatics are blasty/utility hybrid (in my book, anyway) as is the Flaming Sphere. Flaming Sphere, Polymorph Any Object, and the Prismatic spells have SR, unfortunately, which takes out a lot of the offense this list had.

SR sucks, it's common at higher levels, and it can be dealt with by either buffing the party or just dealing with it. Losing spells is annoying, but making a programmed image? That certainly won't kill anything and to me seems a mostly wasted spell slot. How does it help your party take down a Gargantuan dragon or a CR 21 daemon? That 6th level slot could be a Chain Lightning or a Freezing Sphere or a Disintegrate, which at least have a chance of being useful.

I also realize you specifically avoided spells with SR, which takes a lot of very good spells off of what your actual spell list probably is. But that spell list, quite frankly, isn't what I'd want to see a 20th level wizard walking around with ever, unless they were the wizard I was fighting.

Well, I'm not Treantmonk but I abscribe to the same line of logic.

How would I deal with a Gargantuan Dragon? With a DC 30+ quickened Reflex Save or Be Dazed for for 6 rounds SnapDragon. If he passes (nat 20) I'll try again with a DC 34 Snap Fire Dragon. As a penetrating elf, I'll pass the CR every time.

Agains a CR 21 Daemon, probably a quickened version of the same followed by an shadow projection on my azata familiar. Who will then antagonize (no save, no SR) and move into the ground. Depends on the daemon in question, of course.


Melissa Litwin wrote:
@Treantmonk: Interesting spells, mostly situationally useful. How do you ever kill anything?

I don't. My wizard is a general, killing is for the grunts.

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I've played with wizards who have spell lists like that, and maybe it was their playing ability, but they mostly- for lack of a better term- sucked.

I agree with you. It was probably playing ability. That's probably too general though, instead I would say they are inexperienced or need tips with tactical spells.

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I do like the multiple wall spells, though again the player has to be very skilled to not hurt her party more than she helps.

I potentially like walls more than summoning. Walls win fights.

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Also, the prismatics are blasty/utility hybrid (in my book, anyway) as is the Flaming Sphere.

Hybrid spells are awesome. If I like a blast, good chance it also controls or debuffs at the same time. You call them hybrid, I call them "Dual-threat"

Flaming sphere is definitely a blast, but it's a blast that I recommend in my guide. That was the challenge, pick spells I recommend that didn't require a check against SR, not spells that aren't blasts that ignore SR (the latter would have been MUCH easier, I'm pretty picky and don't recommend most spells.)

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Flaming Sphere, Polymorph Any Object, and the Prismatic spells have SR, unfortunately, which takes out a lot of the offense this list had.

Doh

I would say though, that the way I've seen PAO used, there is no SR. (Turning party members into trolls permanently, that kind of thing).

SR is technically effective against a prismatic wall/sphere, but not that effective.

You are correct on all counts though, I'm just making lame excuses.

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SR sucks, it's common at higher levels, and it can be dealt with by either buffing the party or just dealing with it.

Or casting non-buffs that ignore SR. Note that there are lots of spells on my list that aren't buffs. How about grease? glitterdust? Stinking cloud? Black Tentacles? Wall of Force? Rock to Mud? Dispel? Surely you don't consider these, as well as many more on my list buffs.

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Losing spells is annoying, but making a programmed image? That certainly won't kill anything and to me seems a mostly wasted spell slot.

Remember how I said walls win fights? Illusions win fights too. Once the battle is won, draining the opponents HP is just a chore best left for the lesser powers.

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How does it help your party take down a Gargantuan dragon or a CR 21 daemon?

Depends. If they have true seeing it doesn't help at all, if they don't, then I would remind you that illusions get no saving throw unless they are interacted with, or actively disbelieved.

The great thing about programmed image, is that it is, well programmed. It's like contingency for illusion spells. Maybe whenever your wizard says "boo", the illusion is triggered. That makes it essentially quickened for free.

If you want to see the many ways this could be helpful, check out the thread on Silent Image, then add lots of area, sound, smell, and no concentration, without the standard action to activate.

Programmed Image got my blue rating, the highest rating I give spells.

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That 6th level slot could be a Chain Lightning or a Freezing Sphere or a Disintegrate, which at least have a chance of being useful.

None of those are bad spells, but I don't recommend any of them. That said, if it's an aquatic adventure, freezing sphere will always make my spell list.

Disintegrate is highly overrated. Not only do you need to hit, but the enemy gets a saving throw (on what is traditionally the highest save for high CR creatures) and if they make it they take 5d6 damage.

Chain lightning is OK, if unspectacular.

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I also realize you specifically avoided spells with SR, which takes a lot of very good spells off of what your actual spell list probably is.

As I mention in my post, 2/3 of the spells I recommend made the list. The 1/3 I didn't list do face SR, but aren't the kind of spells you would like. Spells like slow, enervation, mass suggestion, waves of exhaustion, and confusion

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But that spell list, quite frankly, isn't what I'd want to see a 20th level wizard walking around with ever
Treantmonk wrote:
Also I should note that the above is NOT my recommended memorizations for your wizard. In actuality you want to take spells that are the most appropriate for your level, and in many cases you do want circumstantial spells memorized, and you will want multiple memorizations of the same spell. Furthermore, you don't want to completely exclude spells that are blocked by SR. It's just good to have plenty that aren't.
Quote:
unless they were the wizard I was fighting.

god wizards aren't solo combatants. If my wizard is the only character in the party, my suggestions would change greatly.

I go by the assumption that most wizards are members of a party, and therefore, I recommend the wizard should do what they do better than any other member of the party, gain tactical advantage to their side. Once the wizard divides and debuffs your party, and has your party swinging at shadows, the wizard's pet fighter can carve you up.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
cp wrote:

How would I deal with a Gargantuan Dragon? With a DC 30+ quickened Reflex Save or Be Dazed for for 6 rounds SnapDragon. If he passes (nat 20) I'll try again with a DC 34 Snap Fire Dragon. As a penetrating elf, I'll pass the CR every time.

Agains a CR 21 Daemon, probably a quickened version of the same followed by an shadow projection on my azata familiar. Who will then antagonize (no save, no SR) and move into the ground. Depends on the daemon in question, of course.

I seem to be missing something here.

How do you get a dazing of 6 rounds? Would not number of rounds of Daze be based off the the level of the spell, and for snapdragon, a 1st level sepll, so dazed for 1 round?

Even if you heighten it, you could only go to 5 rounds, without using rods, other feats or traits.


"Spells like slow, enervation, mass suggestion, waves of exhaustion, and confusion" I actually do really like. I'm less fond of confusion, because of chances of acting normally, but I consider all those top-notch spells and memorize at least some of them on my wizards.

Disintegrate isn't a great damage choice but it can be used as such. I love its utility for blasting walls and Walls of Force and just being an answer to quite a few situations.

As for Grease, Glitterdust, Black Tentacles, Dispel Magic: those are all really good spells. There aren't really spells that are bad on the list, overall, though as you note of course some are much better than others. It's more that it is an incomplete spell list, to me. Damage options are required, because sometimes you just need to kill things. Spells like Phantasmal Killer, while subject to a great many limitations, can just end fights that would otherwise be overwhelming. And yes, I am super fond of the APG spell Suffocation, though I'm not sure it counts as "blasting".

I guess where I am going, in a very muddled way, is that I don't see anything wrong with controlling or summoning or buffing or debuffing. Nor do I think a wizard should never do those things, because sometimes, even often, they are the right thing to do. I feel very strongly that blasting options are equally important, and that a wizard who memorizes no blasting is not doing as well as they could be. But I fully appreciate the non-blasty options as well.

Example: spell list of 8th level elven air wizard I am playing in Carrion Crown. Not fully optimized (familiar instead of bonded item, not an evoker)

Int: 26
Traits: Chance Savior (+2 Init), Focused Mind (+2 Concentration)
Feats: Scribe Scroll, Craft Wondrous Item, Elemental Focus (Air), Improved Initiative, Spell Focus (Necromancy), Toughness
Familiar: Compsognathus (+4 Initiative)

Standard spells memorized, including school (7/6/6/5)
4th: Dimension Door, *Ball Lightning, Phantasmal Killer, Greater Invisibility, Black Tentacles
3rd: Dispel Magic, Haste, Fireball (2), *Lightning Bolt, Slow
2nd: False Life, Blindness/Deafness, See Invisibility, *Gust of Wind, Rope Trick, Detect Thoughts
1st: Magic Missile (2), *Shocking Grasp, Mage Armor, Shield, Vanish, Open Slot
*Air spell

Barely half the list is actually blasty, if that, but this is what most wizards I build do. She's not the most focused blaster I've ever built, either, but definitely up there. At 9th, I'll start memorizing Glitterdusts, but for now that's an opposed school spell so it's really not worth it yet.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
cp wrote:
How would I deal with a Gargantuan Dragon? With a DC 30+ quickened Reflex Save or Be Dazed for for 6 rounds SnapDragon. If he passes (nat 20) I'll try again with a DC 34 Snap Fire Dragon. As a penetrating elf, I'll pass the CR every time.

How are you doing that? The spell is 1st-level and thus could only daze for one round. Sure you could keep using it to extend the effect, but the target gets more saves. Also, how on earth did you get DC 30+ with a 1st-level spell? Heighten Spell?


Melissa Litwin wrote:
I feel very strongly that blasting options are equally important, and that a wizard who memorizes no blasting is not doing as well as they could be. But I fully appreciate the non-blasty options as well.

This.

Wizards shouldn't be divided into "controller" and "blaster" camps. The wizard that doesn't use his spell list to his full potential is silly.

Now. I've resisted this thread so far on account of it tripling in size by the day. I'm a little late to the party. What have I missed? :P


Melissa Litwin wrote:
I guess where I am going, in a very muddled way, is that I don't see anything wrong with controlling or summoning or buffing or debuffing. Nor do I think a wizard should never do those things, because sometimes, even often, they are the right thing to do. I feel very strongly that blasting options are equally important, and that a wizard who memorizes no blasting is not doing as well as they could be. But I fully appreciate the non-blasty options as well.

This point is not far off what I've said in this thread and my guide all along:

Treantmonk's guide to wizards:being a god wrote:
I'm not saying you should never do pure blast. In fact, my own wizards usually have a blast or two at hand. I'm just saying that blasting is something you do after you've ensured tactical advantage in the combat.

If on round 1 you already have tactical advantage, of course you should blast away. However, if, for example, your party fighter can't reach the enemy, or, for example, the enemy is backed up by a powerful archer, or, for example, the enemy is set up in a position to employ hit and run tactics on you, or for example, a single strike from a powerful enemy could down a party member, or, for example, your party members find themselves flanked by sneak attack types...(etc...etc)

...then there is a better spell to choose on that round.


My next wizard is going to be a conjurer I think. That will give me summons, utility, and blasts all from one school of magic.


Treantmonk wrote:


god wizards aren't solo combatants. If my wizard is the only character in the party, my suggestions would change greatly.

I would love to see your advices for solo arcane caster. In a campaing I am currently playing, thres is just my 1st level sorcerer (fey bloodline) against the world.


Nicos wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:


god wizards aren't solo combatants. If my wizard is the only character in the party, my suggestions would change greatly.

I would love to see your advices for solo arcane caster. In a campaing I am currently playing, thres is just my 1st level sorcerer (fey bloodline) against the world.

How did this happen?


For some reason the master wanted one and only one player, so if i have to start the game alone i want to make friend quickly and who is better friend tan someone charmed?

and the game is more about social encounters and the like, but i also want to be good at battles(i mean maybe i don´t win the battle but i will be happy if i don´t die)

The Exchange

Mistwalker wrote:
cp wrote:

How would I deal with a Gargantuan Dragon? With a DC 30+ quickened Reflex Save or Be Dazed for for 6 rounds SnapDragon. If he passes (nat 20) I'll try again with a DC 34 Snap Fire Dragon. As a penetrating elf, I'll pass the CR every time.

Agains a CR 21 Daemon, probably a quickened version of the same followed by an shadow projection on my azata familiar. Who will then antagonize (no save, no SR) and move into the ground. Depends on the daemon in question, of course.

I seem to be missing something here.

How do you get a dazing of 6 rounds? Would not number of rounds of Daze be based off the the level of the spell, and for snapdragon, a 1st level sepll, so dazed for 1 round?

Even if you heighten it, you could only go to 5 rounds, without using rods, other feats or traits.

Dazing magical lineage snapdragon = 3rd level. Heighten to 9, 6 levels of heighten = 6 rounds of dazing, on a conservative basis.

The Exchange

Nicos wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:


god wizards aren't solo combatants. If my wizard is the only character in the party, my suggestions would change greatly.

I would love to see your advices for solo arcane caster. In a campaing I am currently playing, thres is just my 1st level sorcerer (fey bloodline) against the world.

In which case, charm person is your best friend. Literally.


cp wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:


god wizards aren't solo combatants. If my wizard is the only character in the party, my suggestions would change greatly.

I would love to see your advices for solo arcane caster. In a campaing I am currently playing, thres is just my 1st level sorcerer (fey bloodline) against the world.

In which case, charm person is your best friend. Literally.

Yeah, for know, later I will choose spell taht benefit from the bloodline arcana


Nicos wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:


god wizards aren't solo combatants. If my wizard is the only character in the party, my suggestions would change greatly.

I would love to see your advices for solo arcane caster. In a campaing I am currently playing, thres is just my 1st level sorcerer (fey bloodline) against the world.

1st level sorcerer solo?

Ouch.

I honestly don't know. I would suppose you better be prepared to do a melee/casting mixed. This really is out of my field of expertise.

I guess I would probably be looking at mage armor and shield as my spells and I would have a str of at least 12, probably 14.


Treantmonk wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:


god wizards aren't solo combatants. If my wizard is the only character in the party, my suggestions would change greatly.

I would love to see your advices for solo arcane caster. In a campaing I am currently playing, thres is just my 1st level sorcerer (fey bloodline) against the world.

1st level sorcerer solo?

Ouch.

I honestly don't know. I would suppose you better be prepared to do a melee/casting mixed. This really is out of my field of expertise.

I guess I would probably be looking at mage armor and shield as my spells and I would have a str of at least 12, probably 14.

Oh well, is quite the oposite XD,Str 9 , I have manage to survive putting to sleep everything that move. I will try to evade fight until I have a mini army of charmed slaves (or die trying)


Treantmonk wrote:

1st level sorcerer solo?

Ouch.

I honestly don't know. I would suppose you better be prepared to do a melee/casting mixed. This really is out of my field of expertise.

I guess I would probably be looking at mage armor and shield as my spells and I would have a str of at least 12, probably 14.

Interesting question. I agree you'd have to be able to melee reasonably well. I'd take those two spells, and maybe play an elf or half orc for the weapon proficiencies. Take toughness at 1st.

If you could survive to 3rd, an elf might do better to take weapon finesse at that level, then arcane strike at 5th, so you can do some extra damage when you have to fight. A half orc could just go straight to arcane strike at 3rd.

I'm not crazy about having claws, but that's a possible bloodline to consider. I'd probably take one that gives you a ray attack, and rely on a good melee weapon when it gets up close and personal.


Fey sorcerer solo adventure? You are a master of the mind. Wherever possible, recruit enemies rather than killing them. Keep them charmed and dominated as long as it takes to persuade them into serving you willingly.


Treantmonk wrote:
Melissa Litwin wrote:
I guess where I am going, in a very muddled way, is that I don't see anything wrong with controlling or summoning or buffing or debuffing. Nor do I think a wizard should never do those things, because sometimes, even often, they are the right thing to do. I feel very strongly that blasting options are equally important, and that a wizard who memorizes no blasting is not doing as well as they could be. But I fully appreciate the non-blasty options as well.

This point is not far off what I've said in this thread and my guide all along:

Treantmonk's guide to wizards:being a god wrote:
I'm not saying you should never do pure blast. In fact, my own wizards usually have a blast or two at hand. I'm just saying that blasting is something you do after you've ensured tactical advantage in the combat.

If on round 1 you already have tactical advantage, of course you should blast away. However, if, for example, your party fighter can't reach the enemy, or, for example, the enemy is backed up by a powerful archer, or, for example, the enemy is set up in a position to employ hit and run tactics on you, or for example, a single strike from a powerful enemy could down a party member, or, for example, your party members find themselves flanked by sneak attack types...(etc...etc)

...then there is a better spell to choose on that round.

I agree. I get what you're saying now. Not so much that blasting isn't viable, but you're speaking more about the GISH or BSF version of the blasting wizard where it's the first thing he tries even if the rest of the party is getting destroyed or ripped apart.

If you're blasting away when the party is getting ripped up, that's not too smart. You should definitely be eliminating flanks, countering ambush tactics, or doing what you can to control the battlefield or stop someone else from controlling it.

It also sucks when your party is the recipient of getting divided by wall spells and the like. That's why I always see a good healer as a must have. My healer can reach spells like life bubble and death ward for those times when someone might be too far away and under assault from negative drainers.

The wizard using an astradaemon as his summoned creature along with a quickened enervate and an energy drain can pretty much devastate somoene right off the bat during an ambush round. And then follow it up with more destruction if you can't get that death ward off. No one likes to get 3 to 20 negative levels in one round.


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Nicos wrote:

For some reason the master wanted one and only one player, so if i have to start the game alone i want to make friend quickly and who is better friend tan someone charmed?

and the game is more about social encounters and the like, but i also want to be good at battles(i mean maybe i don´t win the battle but i will be happy if i don´t die)

Truthfully I feel wizards are more suitable to solo games because of their skills, and the variety they can get in their spells. Sorcerers are strong casters but in a solo game you have no one else to fall back on for stuff you can't do; whereas a wizard can keep a scroll of knock and such around.

Now, in a solo game, you're probably facing smaller challenges than in your typical 4-person party, so you might be able to stretch your spells either way (sorcerers don't actually get more spells than specialist wizards; just some people want to think they do). However, if you're attempting to solo a series of adventures (say an adventure path), then you will likely end up in a high-risk/high-reward scenario (which means more XP/treasure) which can help alleviate the drawbacks if you spend your money wisely.

Likewise, cantrips are your friend at low-levels. You'll definitely want detect magic, prestidigitation, and detect poison. The first two can be important for finding traps, noticing ambushes, and pouring your drink under the table when someone slips you a mickey (remember that the detect spells penetrate many solid barriers, and you can identify spell effects and such with it, which can be important). You will likely also want a familiar because they can scout, grant the alertness feat (you need more Perception in a solo game), and can help with additional actions later on.

Also, in a solo-game, dipping 2 levels of Paladin (if appropriate for your concept) grants some moderate combat ability, a solid saving throw boost, access to paladin spells via wands and such (believe me when I say it's good to be able to use restoration, bestow grace, and similar spells). Also, having access to Grace via spell triggers or similar can be a life-saver, since even if your foe has step-up you can get away and cast.

There's also your spell-selection to consider. Normally I'd recommend summoning spells, but since you have no one to run interference for you, and no meatshields to hide behind, you place yourself at added risk unless you can get a surprise round (in which case you're trading your still losing your surprise round to begin casting and if they go before you, then you can still use the spell). What I would recommend instead is animate dead. Some might find it a bit squicky, but let's face it, a skeletal ox cheap at about 65 gp counting material components and makes for a mighty fine shield (plus it's nice to count the bodies of your enemies among the treasure hordes). This will give you a good balance, since your undead can help deal with stuff that you cannot charm, and can function as soft cover.

Definitely consider dipping some odd skills here and there. Drop 1 rank into anything that's a class skill, and consider dropping 1 rank into anything that isn't but needs a rank to attempt. This is doubly beneficial if you're a wizard with a familiar, as in many cases your familiar might even be better at it than you are (due to ability scores usually). Also, dropping enough ranks into something to take 10 and succeed on common DCs is a good idea (such as DC 15 heal to stabilize, or DC 12 survival to feed you and 1 person, etc). Masterwork tools (50 gp) are good for this (such as a survival kit, books on knowledge subjects, etc).

A big part of soloing is to think not merely as a role, but as if you were having to exist alone in the world. You want to be self sufficient whenever possible, and if possible you will want to try to fill out substitutes in common roles such as meat-shielding, healing, etc. Druids are arguably the best at this, but many classes can do it. The trick is taking advantage of everything you can.

Consider the following to be staples of the soloer's arsenal.

  • Antitoxin (+5 vs poison)
  • Antidisease (+5 vs disease)
  • Healing potions (your familiar can use these on you if something bad happens)
  • 1st level scrolls or partially charged wands (at around 15-25gp per charge or scroll, this can be a useful way of getting utility spells such as knock, disguise self, etc)
  • Masterwork tools (including a masterwork backpack)
  • Consider learning Alter Self since it allows you to assume the shape of any humanoid of medium or small size, which allows you to acquire a swim speed, stealth bonuses, natural attacks, and more. This spell can be exceptionally useful as a utility spell. You can also cast it on your familiar which can be interesting (also kinky benefits).
  • Attempt to acquire cheap magic items such as boots of striding (just striding, not springing), +1/3/5 enhancement items (to even out your odd scores when possible), and try to get stuff like energy resistance, death ward, and similar items. You should also have Craft Wondrous item so you can do this yourself.
  • Find some way to use Alarm at least 1/day for 8-9 hours, which can allow you to escape ambush scenarios, wandering monsters, and so forth.
  • Acquire a handy haversack ASAP.

    While it can probably be done with a sorcerer, there's a part of me that cringes since sorcerers are innately limited in their options. Wizards on the other hand are more likely to have a trick up their sleeve, and that makes them a bit more solo-friendly IMHO (getting scribe-scroll for free is nice too, and the bonus feats for crafting). Their Int synergizes well with skills. Elven wizards even get some nice proficiencies in addition to a +2 to overcome spell resistance (the +2 Dex and Int is nice too).

    There's also the fact wizards get better metamagic returns. See, metamagic is hard for a solo-sorcerer because of the full-round issue. There's just to much of a risk of you getting clobbered while you're trying to get an emergency spell off; but if you're going to solo as a caster, you are going to want to make dead certain that you can cast early, cast often, and remove as many foes from your immediate danger as possible (also consider carrying a scythe or a light pick for coup de grace).

    The guys here on this forum, including Ravingdork (shout out, woo!), have sold me on the awesomeness that is dazing spell. I'd highly consider trying to get this on spells that can work over multiple rounds. Snapdragon fireworks, flaming sphere, magic missile, and acid arrow are all good choices. If you have access to 3.5 material, I believe there is a feat called Metamagic School Focus in Complete Mage. Now I'm going from memory, but I want to say it reduces the cost of metamagic applied to your specialist school or a school with Spell Focus by 1 (minimum 1 or 0, I forget). It would be highly useful for getting a bit more out of your metamagic.

    Also, sorry if it sounds like I'm suggesting you request a class-change to wizard, but diviners are also very good for solo-runs. Their ability to always act during the surprise round and their massive initiative bonuses later on is worth its weight from a survivalist standpoint.

    Most Importantly: Remember to flee. Don't get cocky, don't ever consider a fight beneath you. Even if you are going up against an encounter that appears trivial, respect every fight. Always make sure you have an option to GTFO of the scene. This can be tricky at low levels, but it's better to run away. Even if you have to sacrifice your familiar to do it (the cost to re-summon your familiar is a better alternative to being dead).


  • Maddigan wrote:


    I agree. I get what you're saying now. Not so much that blasting isn't viable, but you're speaking more about the GISH or BSF version of the blasting wizard where it's the first thing he tries even if the rest of the party is getting destroyed or ripped apart.

    I've had no question that we are coming from similar positions since you posted all the personal examples of gaining the tactical advantage, and then blasting your enemy to oblivion.

    I would only slightly revise your statement to make it fit my recommended strategy exactly, I would add in that blasting isn't the right thing to do if your party is getting destroyed or ripped apart OR about to be destroyed or ripped apart. The latter being a prime situation for controlling the battlefield.

    Now in your case, an perhaps Melissa's, you are playing with a group who are all optimized, and once you have tactical advantage, one round later the battle is over.

    In my case, and probably at least some others, my character is optimized, but not necessarily those I play with. In those cases, tactical advantage needs to be maintained. This can occur over several rounds.

    Of course, by "tactical advantage" I mean a situation where your party is in position to "destroy and rip apart" the enemy, while they cannot do the same in return.


    A quick post to let Ravingdork know I haven't forgotten him or his wizard. I haven't had time to work out the DPR stuff due to some IRL stuff (my posting on the board has mostly slowed, in general). Just wanted to let him know, since we don't have a private message system.

    The Exchange

    Ashiel wrote:
    The guys here on this forum, including Ravingdork (shout out, woo!), have sold me on the awesomeness that is dazing spell. I'd highly consider trying to get this on spells that can work over multiple rounds. Snapdragon fireworks, flaming sphere, magic missile, and acid arrow are all good choices.

    Whaaaat? Dazing has been all me! Trying to get people to see the advantage of that feat. (as well as rime, elemental spell, elemental focus, greater elemental focus, and toppling).

    Note to Treantmonk: Haven't reviewed your optimization guide for a while, but I think you might want to revisit it based on my comments and including the traits

    Magical Liniear, Deadly Focus, and Lore Seeker.


    Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    Ashiel wrote:
    Just wanted to let him know, since we don't have a private message system.

    Yes we do.


    cp wrote:
    Ashiel wrote:
    The guys here on this forum, including Ravingdork (shout out, woo!), have sold me on the awesomeness that is dazing spell. I'd highly consider trying to get this on spells that can work over multiple rounds. Snapdragon fireworks, flaming sphere, magic missile, and acid arrow are all good choices.

    Whaaaat? Dazing has been all me! Trying to get people to see the advantage of that feat. (as well as rime, elemental spell, elemental focus, greater elemental focus, and toppling).

    Note to Treantmonk: Haven't reviewed your optimization guide for a while, but I think you might want to revisit it based on my comments and including the traits

    Magical Liniear, Deadly Focus, and Lore Seeker.

    Well, I was trying to let Ravingdork know that I'm not against him and his blaster casters. You and I were on the same side of the discussion most of this time; but yes, I should have definitely noted you as well; because honestly I hadn't looked at it much until your notation on it; and honestly your build looks like a blast. On an unrelated note, all your posts are awesome.

    So yes, kudos to you as well CP. ^.^


    Treantmonk wrote:
    stringburka wrote:


    Of course I do. But "damage reduction 20/non-fire" (aka fire resistance) can be solved via any of the ways to deal some other kind of blasting spell.

    Good, then we're on the same page.

    Quote:


    That's a bit like saying that you can't bypass DR/cold iron if you're using a non-cold iron weapon. Yes, it's true, but that's why you don't use it in those circumstances.

    That's true.

    Quote:
    There is immunity to certain types of physical damage.

    That doesn't really address the point I made regarding resistances to energy being higher on average.

    I would also point out that there are 4 types of energy, and immunities to one of them aren't that rare.

    Again, look at outsiders.

    Quote:
    That said, attack roll is usually better than save.

    Exactly

    Quote:
    I do however see evasion (and certainly improved evasion!) as fringe cases in style with ethereality.

    What about SR? Do you consider that "fringe" too?

    Quote:
    My point was that at levels 4-10, they perform viably but not more - like a TWF barbarian or whatever odd build's out there. Levels 10+, like ravingdork has proven, they become good builds right up with standard ones like a decently optimized sword and board fighter

    Perhaps for damage potential in a limited scope. Not round for round over an adventuring day. Also, not defensively.

    Quote:
    No. Killing 90% of the enemy force IS better than hindering their movement for a turn or two without killing a single one.

    Even if you bunch them exactly as a blast, with no spaces, you STILL aren't killing 90%

    Also, Sleet storm isn't just slowing them down, it's removing their ability to coordinate (no visibility) and giving them different movement speeds. That will stagger their approach.

    Since the rest of the party could probably defeat 10 goblins without a expending resources, it doesn't really matter if it is one group of 10, or 5 staggered groups of 10, the end result is the same.

    What...

    I am aware I'm reviving a dead thread to some extent, but...

    Treantmonk, when you do encounter combats, do you metagame-the-hell-out-of-them and dictate where and when the rest of the party will stand and act so it all fits into your control plan? Or do they make some of their own decisions? Yes I know you've said your guide is hyperbolic, but what I see in all of this is a distinctly possible systematic issue of tending towards that with so much focus on area-control. When you play with tactically-minded martial characters and/or other casters, can this be an issue (e.g fighters w/ high int, cavaliers, bards, etc)?


    dude, like over 6 years, on a HUGE thread to boot.
    If you have something to say make a new thread about it.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Now now, a little necromancy never hurt anyone but my competitors...


    Friend, Treantmonk's last post anywhere in this forum was over a year ago. Also, thread necromancy is rude; this would have been a more appropriate scenario for a private message. Granted, it probably would have gone unanswered, but it probably would have had better odds.

    However, over the years, I've found my own style and experiences tend to be similar to the venerable Treantmonk, I suppose I can carry on this conversation.

    An adventuring party is a team. Teams generally have a leader, and ideally, that leader has the strongest grasp of tactics. A grasp of tactics includes a grasp of your own and others' strengths and weaknesses in order to take a valid inventory of your resources. The ultimate conclusion in terms of tactics and decision-making is the same in an honest assessment regardless of whether the person making the decisions is a Wizard, a Fighter, or a Cavalier. A team will not make their decisions in a bubble without consideration of one another. There are many games I am not good at where I will defer to the judgment of others on, and other games that I am very good at, in which I become the source of sound judgment. This does not mean I am not making my own decisions. It means I am taking advice.

    You use metagaming as a pejorative, but statement of fact, very few people in this forum have spent years of their lives fighting giant demons with magical laser beams. The characters are highly experienced in the field and have been fighting, training, and coordinating together for a very long time. Table talk about tactics represents that the characters are a competent and coordinated combat unit. It is a metagame structure to better model an in-world structure most players are not equipped to manage.

    The Wizard as the "general" is not a description of the character, but of the function. They are best equipped to control the terms of engagement and render selected opponents irrelevant to the fight. The Wizard wins the fight, then the Fighter kills the enemy. It does not mean the Wizard is the boss and their player is treating everyone else on the team as their puppets.

    A Fighter, regardless of intelligence score, can just as readily understand this, as can your Cavalier, or your Bard, though the Bard is certainly equipped to get in on the general game with their own respectable control abilities, though of course leaning more toward support. If they are the in-character commander of the party, they should be directing similar tactics.


    Understood, apologies for thread necromancy.

    There's a fine line between when fun metagaming becomes endless strategizing or micromanaging. That IS a different topic and a different thread, and I'll readily admit I don't have a good answer for it. I've been in campaigns where I provided some 'tactical assistance' to greener players [as a fighter PC in that case] and others where I solicited advice from more experienced players and then started resenting it (yes, I know that's stupid).

    I did get a chance to read more of Treantmonk's posts on the subject in this thread, and it sounds like his defining experience that led to the guides was one in which he played a controller and was intentionally subtle about it. Which is interesting, and I could see how that could work well character-wise as a wizard. For my sorcerers I prefer a bit more flashiness and deliberately impressive spells...which I know is a bit of a cliche, but there it is.


    Groups who are good at tactics and, most notably, actual teamwork do not devolve into hours of bickering over points of minutia. Likewise, mature groups versed in teamwork can have those exchanges without smugness from the giving side nor offense on receipt.

    A simple, "I have a spell to bog down this group of enemies. I recommend focusing fire on that enemy before it does something scary," is generally adequate.

    As to Treantmonk, when I referred to him as 'venerable,' I did not use that term flippantly.

    He has not come to his conclusions based on an experience. He has been at this for a long, long time. He was well-established on the Brilliant Gameologist boards for his guides and insight before there was a Pathfinder, and I think he was a respected member of the Gleemax community before that, though I'm not a hundred percent on that.

    As to your flashy sorcerer, you are of course free to do so if you so choose. That does not make it the more practical option. Glory is not victory, after all.


    Quote:
    Also, thread necromancy is rude; this would have been a more appropriate scenario for a private message

    "Rude"? Come now; necro-threading doesn't wreck the servers or make it harder for anyone to browse. -- Certainly not on a forum that prides itself on the grappling a succubi being a sacred duty that will never end.

    He's a noob; we need to feed him to make him big and strong! Show him the ropes and set him to sparring.

    <dons "Thread-Necro Gym Mass-Builders" coaching shirt>

    ~ ~ ~

    Weathermancer, there's no way to be "alerted" when someone responds to your posts or drops your name (and oh hell yes that's a good thing), so unless someone is currently active in a thread (like, within days), it's unlikely they'll see follow-ups.

    Sovereign Court

    I'd Grapple a Succubus.

    I do agree, nothing wrong with necroing a thread that is still relevant.

    The information should be available, PMs don't do that.

    While the Fireball-slinging cackling pyromaniac "Chaotic Neutral" Sorcerer is fun, the question of "Optimal" still applies.

    Thus, I am dividing the thing into pros and cons for the Fireball spammer vs "Hit it very hard!" guy.

    Sorcerer/Wizard -

    Pro - Flexible - You can do more than make things dead. You have spells that can either control enemies (Web, Charm, etc.) and that let you do things that normal humans can't do (Fly sticks out here). You also get strong non-combat Skills, like Diplomacy and Knowledge and the Ability Score Modifiers to use them.

    Pro - Not in Melee - You are less likely to get a Mace in the Face.

    Pro - Not MAD- You can dump everything but your casting Ability Score, DEX (for AC and Initiative), and CON. You got a decent Will save, even with a 8 WIS. Sorcs can be dumb and Wizards ugly and its ok.

    Con - Energy Types - Certain enemies are immune or highly resistant to certain energy types (Fire is common). Unlike a Fighter, you can't just grab a cold iron or silver beating device.

    Con - Squishy - That d6 means death.

    Fighter -

    Pro - Very good at what he can do - He can't do everything, but he drops foes like a boss.

    Pro - Very durable - That d10 is beat only by the Barbarian's d12.

    Pro - More Flexible than you think - You do get Combat Maneuvers, like Trip (Trip spam casters) and Bull Rush.

    Pro - Strength - You can carry more stuff, like Silk Rope (something everyone needs) and tents.

    Con - No Magic - Unless you multiclass or get items, you can't fly.

    Con - One guy at at time - You do lots of damage, to one guy, so choose well.

    Con - DR - Unless you have some way of breaking DR (cold iron and silver are common DRs) or just that much damage, lower level monster DR is brutal


    Blasting usually isn't the best course of action, but there are still plenty of ways to build highly effective blaster builds. Between metamagic and certain spells, you can also get some great effects on top of solid damage. Spells like battering blast, ball lightning, the recently buffed hellfire ray, and so on. All are pretty nice spells that only get nicer when you start complementing them with things like toppling, dazing, or intensify.

    Irontruth wrote:

    The downfall of evocation for me is how much resistance someone can get from a 2nd level spell, Resist Energy. By 11th level it pretty much negates the majority of damage from most energy based spells. At the end of Rise of the Runelords, I was playing a paladin who was caster level 11, he was hit by a meteor swarm and took no damage.

    level 2 Abjuration > level 9 evocation

    Meteor swarm perhaps isn't the best example of a powerful evocation spell. It would have been much more impressive when it was first released.

    That said, you still should have been liable to take some damage from it unless you didn't get hit by the entirety of it. 4 meteors with 2d6 bludgeoning and 6d6 fire damage, where all fire damage is to a target is totaled before resistance, should still average out to 84 fire damage and 28 blugeoning, or 42 on 4 successful saves and 12 with resistance 30.

    EDIT: Didn't realize this was such an old thread.

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