Caster-Martial Disparity Battleground - No Crying.


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I am my group's DM. I believe that wizards are better than every other class. Realistically, nothing short of divine intervention can stop a properly motivated wizard.

All one has to do is reach the point where you can create a lair by willing it into existence (I'm sure there are several ways to do this, Wish comes to mind). Hide, study, scry, study, steal resources from powerless mundane folk, study, hire adventurers to sneak in somewhere you can't scry, study while they work...

Eventually, there's no spell a wizard can't cast, and practically no way he can't know what he needs to do. Martial might means little to him because he can create an army of iron/stone/clay/flesh/etc warriors to serve him. He can summon beings from different planes of existence and strike bargains with them for service, or knowledge, or more power.

The possibilities are limitless. More so if he worships a god of [arcane] magic who gives half a crap about his followers.

Personally, I don't mind that wizards are like that. I have known DMs who abuse it (as PC and DMPC). It's 'realistic' so to speak. A fighter can be the best swordsman in the world with supernatural reflexes and strength, but against the might of the an arcane caster, he's a joke.


Dragonsong wrote:
Curse you EL for making the most non-popcorn popcorn thread so far.

No one is more surprised than I am. I tried to make it a train-wreck, and it comes out constructive. Pity this was never attempted earlier.


Edit, quoted wrong poster.

CLEARLY ME BARBARIAN WHO WANDER INTO WRONG PART OF THREAD. ME APOLOGIZE FOR INCONVENIENCE.

But the way it played out fit the backstory completely. The drow had been beaten before and wanted revenge in a very personal way. The drow, like Khan, wanted her opponent to know who had beaten her. And her build was set up entirely for beating Varsuvius in a one-on-one spell duel.

What's personal about flesh-to-stoning your arch-nemesis? Then there's no taunting, no monologuing, no demonstrating your superiority before you grind the upstart into the ground slowly.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Fear not, Cirno will find it soon.


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Andy Ferguson wrote:

Guys the barb is on a dire bat (flying, blindsense) and prismatic sphere is centered on the wizard, so if two balors, one human enter, no human leave, that would suggest that int may have been a dump stat for the wizard. Also, he already said he killed you, so you lost. Caps lock beats logic.

Fine Fine. But refuse to scream. My magic is better than that. I will fill in the logistics for those who fail to read the tiny print on spells. (Can't you just take it for granted that I can figure out how to close the gap and be flying? I am a freaking wizard after all). So If he gets a mount I get someway of flying (phantom stead or something else). So, round starts and I go first (Of course. Already explained that to the mathematically challenged meat pop.) We quicken Teleport/dimensional door/pick a poison right up next to our flat footed horrible will saves because I haven't raged barbarian. Now we time stop: 1 - prismatic sphere 2- gate balor 3 - gate balor. Now we leave the prismatic sphere (we can do that) and leave you inside of it with 2 balors. I leave you in the flying thunder dome of purdy colors and re iterate the maniacal laughing.


Gorbacz wrote:
Fear not, Cirno will find it soon.

And we shall welcome his condescension with open arms... because that is the type of thread we've made.

Seriously, this conversation pollutes other threads. Let's have it! Here! Until it makes us sick.


Under many conditions, casters > martial
Under other conditions, martial > casters
Under all conditions, casters + martial > casters only
Under all conditions, casters + martial > martial only


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But fighters have shiny stuff...

Teamwork is what the designers had in mind (even back in the 3.0 days). Any individual character can do cool stuff and be a shining single example of power. What's more significant in my opinion is making the TEAM feel powerful.

I am the guy who plays the druid who wildshapes into a form that the mounted specialized fighter can ride. I am the wizard who greases the bad uglies and then levitates the invisible rogue so that she can rain sneak attacks from above. I am the warrior who steps specializes in trip and repositions so the rogue can get good hits. I AM THE TEAM PLAYER.

We rarely have a death when I play. Strategy and teamwork are my focus. No I don't ever do the most damage, but I save the day often. Which is better...fighter or wizard. Ask a powergamer of either, they will have the answer. Give me any class and someone who understands advantages, and we will seem nigh indestructible.

And best of all, its rare that anyone complains about being useless or underrated. I love this game. Pathfinder 4ever.


Foghammer wrote:
All one has to do is reach the point where you can create a lair by willing it into existence (I'm sure there are several ways to do this, Wish comes to mind). Hide, study, scry, study, steal resources from powerless mundane folk, study, hire adventurers to sneak in somewhere you can't scry, study while they work...

I use urgent time limits. Actually, I just enforce the ones that are implicit in the Rise of the Runelords AP. At around 10th level, it is evident to the Wizard and every NPC who knows him that he is a prodigy, to be relied upon to defeat armies and foil ancient evils.

He gets some time to craft and research, but it is almost always time stolen from something else. And the player is aware that his enemies are using that same time.

My Wizard PC would like nothing more than to hibernate in a lair and send hirelings about to do his dirty work. The situation doesn't call for it, though, the situation calls for heroism, and despite his wizardly status, he still has plenty of that. :)

Foghammer wrote:
Eventually, there's no spell a wizard can't cast, and practically no way he can't know what he needs to do. Martial might means little to him because he can create an army of iron/stone/clay/flesh/etc warriors to serve him. He can summon beings from different planes of existence and strike bargains with them for service, or knowledge, or more power.

This sounds like indulgent GMing to me. Basic enforcement of the availability rules combined with time constraint (and the ever important reactive NPC wizards) prevent him from having every spell. He can find any spell he wants, but the time and money are better spent elsewhere. If he wants to foil an enemy caster by picking up a new spell apropos to the task, he'd damn well better private sanctum the whole transaction. The enemy wizard might be scrying. He might not. I roll percentages to decide. :)

Now, it's easy for me to take apart your examples post-hoc. Chances are I would not be so prepared as a GM in real time. In that light, I welcome your rebuttals... but note that part of making this work is a discussion with the player about harboring these expectations.

Two high level wizards countering over several adventures is like chess. You can't play chess with someone without first explaining the rules. Well, you can, but then there's no fun in trouncing them.


Trinam wrote:
LANCE AM DRILL TO PIERCE HEAVENS.

Who the hell do they think you are?!


Charender wrote:

Summon monster is a great HP sponge and roadblock, but as far is damage goes it is kinda weak. If you have augment summoning and superior summoning, then your summons almost become a decent source of damage. A lot of wizard will not have either of those feats.

Example, summon monster 4 gives you one CR3 celestial lion. If you are casting summon monster 4, you are level 7, and probably facing CR8 or 9 encounters. A pouncing CR3 lion against most CR8 opponents generates what we affectionately refer to as a flurry of misses.

At level 9, with augment summoning and superior summoning, you can use summon monster 5 to give you 1d3+1 celestial lions, but by that point you are facing CR9 and 10 opponents. The lions need 18+ to land a hit.

I put a master summoner build in the DPR thread. If you have augment summoning and superior summoning and you buff your summons with mass bull's strength, then you start doing some real damage, but without those feats and buffs, most martial character will just ignore your meat shields in favor of going after the source. If I have mobility, I won't even bother to tumble because your summons will need a natural 20 to hit me with an AoO.

I can give you an example from my Saturday game. I play a level 8 Witch with 26 intelligence (18 base +2 elf +4 threefold aspect +2 from level 4 and 8). My hex DC is 22 (10+4+8).

If I were to want to kill someone solo I'd do this:
Round 1: Evil Eye, -4 to saves
Round 2: Misfortune Hex
Round 3: Slumber Hex
Round 4: Summon Monster 4 (rhinoceros)
Round 5: Rhinoceros coup de grace the helpless opponent for an average of 32 damage, Fort save of 42 or die.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:

Seriously though

Is C-M D still something that bothers people? Do you still encounter people who have this perception, or try to act on it?

I don't often hear the case that Pathfinder has "fixed" the disparity. To me it seems like some people really like to play casters, and they think that other people are silly for not wanting to play casters...

Is this a flaw in the game's design, or merely arrogance on the part of caster-advocates?

Yeah, this is the same old conversation. So? Let's do it.

Its not a game design flaw, its a matter of personalities. For me at least its not even about the power. I have played lots of non-optimal casters, in fact one of my favorite all time characters was a war-mage, a caster that exclusively did one of the least effective things a mage can do. For me its about variety. Non-casters without a major overhaul (or tome of battle) will never reach the variety of play experience that casters have. That to me is just way more fun.

That and I am an arrogant prick, so the idea of being able to bend space and time to my will appeals to me.


Cibulan wrote:


If I were to want to kill someone solo I'd do this:
Round 1: Evil Eye, -4 to saves
Round 2: Misfortune Hex
Round 3: Slumber Hex
Round 4: Summon Monster 4 (rhinoceros)
Round 5: Rhinoceros coup de grace the helpless opponent for an average of 32 damage, Fort save of 42 or die.

So what happens if the enemy makes a saving throw on round 1, 2, or 3?


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Me like to weigh in on discussion at hand. Me gilman, cavalier. Me not shout like stupid barbarian because me have positive charisma score modifier.

Me not level 20 yet, so not know about flying dire bat mount, but me know that not all of stupid wizard make it to level 20. Wizard in Gilman's party is only level 5. No have fly spell. No have prismatic sphere, no gate, no sneaky tricks him get from blood and sweat of Gilman protecting him scrawny ass while stupid wizard keep nose in book. How stupid Raistlin live to level 20 if Caramon not there to keep him from wetting pants when village bully ask him for lunch money? Hmmm?

Me tell you what, we martial classes all form union, no more protect scrawny wizards at low levels. Next time you get menaced by house cat at level one, you on you own stupid wizard. Me laugh while you get killed by flanking goblins.

NO MORE WIZARD LIVE TO LEVEL 20 IF GILMAN AND UNION FRIENDS NO PROTECT HIM!

Me have new name for low level wizard. Him now called "10' pole" we throw in room to see if there trap.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:

I often get the feeling that discussions of caster superiority and adversarial balance analysis are the province of players. Players who never GM.

Anyone else get that sense?

(too much coffee and I'm feeling like a total prick today, watchout!)

You sir have never gmed a cleric, druid, wizard, beguiler party. When the casters show up in force, the gms tend to notice the disparity. I once gmed for a party like that and damn did it change my opinion of things. 4 optimized casters controlled by experienced player equals a frustrated gm.


Kolokotroni wrote:
For me its about variety. Non-casters without a major overhaul (or tome of battle) will never reach the variety of play experience that casters have. That to me is just way more fun.

That's right, I'm plugging these feats again.

Kolokotroni wrote:
That and I am an arrogant prick, so the idea of being able to bend space and time to my will appeals to me.

I respect the admission, and the self-awareness. I think the correlation between arrogant players and caster players is really significant to the discussion. The people making the case for caster superiority are invariably people who know the system extremely well.


I think that pathfinder has done a good job of shifting the disparity to higher levels but there is not way to stop what basically become rocket-tag at high levels. When a wizard can win in one round there is not much you can do to counter that. I think that a major problem that GMs have is using too few encounters per day. A wizard excels at the 1-2 encounters per day. Go nova, rest, repeat. It when you extend the encounter day to 6-8 encounters that the wizard has to then sit back and decide if a spell is worth this encounter. This is when melee starts to bridge the disparity.


Lab_Rat wrote:
Andy Ferguson wrote:

Guys the barb is on a dire bat (flying, blindsense) and prismatic sphere is centered on the wizard, so if two balors, one human enter, no human leave, that would suggest that int may have been a dump stat for the wizard. Also, he already said he killed you, so you lost. Caps lock beats logic.

Fine Fine. But refuse to scream. My magic is better than that. I will fill in the logistics for those who fail to read the tiny print on spells. (Can't you just take it for granted that I can figure out how to close the gap and be flying? I am a freaking wizard after all). So If he gets a mount I get someway of flying (phantom stead or something else). So, round starts and I go first (Of course. Already explained that to the mathematically challenged meat pop.) We quicken Teleport/dimensional door/pick a poison right up next to our flat footed horrible will saves because I haven't raged barbarian. Now we time stop: 1 - prismatic sphere 2- gate balor 3 - gate balor. Now we leave the prismatic sphere (we can do that) and leave you inside of it with 2 balors. I leave you in the flying thunder dome of purdy colors and re iterate the maniacal laughing.

Excellent, so you win init, quicken DD, time stop, prismatic sphere, gate Balors, who step through portal, and become time-stopped. All creatures in a time stop are immune to your spells. So you can lose line of effect to them by going outside of the prismatic sphere, or you can stay in there, gaining line of effect, and being in melee range of the barbarian.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
Cibulan wrote:


If I were to want to kill someone solo I'd do this:
Round 1: Evil Eye, -4 to saves
Round 2: Misfortune Hex
Round 3: Slumber Hex
Round 4: Summon Monster 4 (rhinoceros)
Round 5: Rhinoceros coup de grace the helpless opponent for an average of 32 damage, Fort save of 42 or die.
So what happens if the enemy makes a saving throw on round 1, 2, or 3?

I never said it was full-proof :)

If he saves against Evil Eye, he's still affected.
If he saves against Misfortune, I'd continue with Slumber.
If he saves against Slumber, I'd probably bugger out (Flight Hex) and try again the next day.

For defenses I have Flight Hex (Fly for 8 minutes a day), Mirror Image (trickery patron), and scroll of greater invisibility (UMD: 13).

I think people that say that casters are invincible go too far, they simply have more powerful options than non-casters.


Kolokotroni wrote:
You sir have never gmed a cleric, druid, wizard, beguiler party. When the casters show up in force, the gms tend to notice the disparity. I once gmed for a party like that and damn did it change my opinion of things. 4 optimized casters controlled by experienced player equals a frustrated gm.

You're correct.

Who brought the direct damage there (I am guessing Druid)? Were they as good as a fighter would have been? Was this PF or 3.5?

Much of what I have said about timers and reactive NPCs and whatnot falls apart when we start talking about all-caster parties. I'm not sure how I would approach that as a GM. I would probably selectively enforce the caster drawbacks for each class, one at a time, so that everyone got a chance to feel powerful. I would also jack up the challenge to account for the fact that an all-caster party will be that much more versatile.

It's a solid point.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

To play a fighter is to play the game.
To play a wizard is to understand the rules.
To understand the rules, and play a fighter, is to understand the game.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
So what happens if the enemy makes a saving throw on round 1, 2, or 3?
Cibulan wrote:
I never said it was full-proof :)

Fair enough, I never said it was a bad plan. :)

Still, seems within the realm of "balance" to me.


I think at low levels things like this are not a problem espicially without a 15 minute adventuring day. If the 15 minute adventuring day is not used then this is not a problem.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Foghammer wrote:
rant

To sum it up:

"WITH UNLIMITED RESOURCES A WIZARD WIN"

It is not true for everyone?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gilman the Dog wrote:

Me like to weigh in on discussion at hand. Me gilman, cavalier. Me not shout like stupid barbarian because me have positive charisma score modifier.

Me not level 20 yet, so not know about flying dire bat mount, but me know that not all of stupid wizard make it to level 20. Wizard in Gilman's party is only level 5. No have fly spell. No have prismatic sphere, no gate, no sneaky tricks him get from blood and sweat of Gilman protecting him scrawny ass while stupid wizard keep nose in book. How stupid Raistlin live to level 20 if Caramon not there to keep him from wetting pants when village bully ask him for lunch money? Hmmm?

Me tell you what, we martial classes all form union, no more protect scrawny wizards at low levels. Next time you get menaced by house cat at level one, you on you own stupid wizard. Me laugh while you get killed by flanking goblins.

NO MORE WIZARD LIVE TO LEVEL 20 IF GILMAN AND UNION FRIENDS NO PROTECT HIM!

Me have new name for low level wizard. Him now called "10' pole" we throw in room to see if there trap.

Now, now, gilman, you know full well that us casters love you and you friends. And the wizard's consortium would be happy to negotiate a mutually beneficial collective bargaining agreement with you and your friends in your union. You after all our BSFs, or Big Special Friends. And we recognize not only the wonders of your companionship in the hard world of adventuring, but also the valuable service your union provides.

I have taken the liberty to draw up a contract, preliminary ofcourse, and subject to approval by your union that lays a groupwork of the services we are eager to provide in exchange for your union's services. Examples include competative magic item rates on crafted items, and of course the warping of time and space in order to make your job of hiting things with heavy or sharp things substantially easier. But that is of course only the beggining. I see a bright future for the BSF union and the Wizards Consortium.


doctor_wu wrote:
If the 15 minute adventuring day is not used then this is not a problem.

Like we said in the last thread, barring wholesale banning of half the spells lists, the only way to enforce this is to use a finite number of gimmicks that get progressively more stale, annoying, and ham-handed the more you use them.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:
So what happens if the enemy makes a saving throw on round 1, 2, or 3?
Cibulan wrote:
I never said it was full-proof :)

Fair enough, I never said it was a bad plan. :)

Still, seems within the realm of "balance" to me.

I think it is a good plan that has served me well so far. We car currently fighting undead (immune to mind-affecting) and I've been screwed.

It is totally balanced, there is a lot of room for something to go wrong. I was just replying to the poster talking about casters doing damage. They don't do it through Lightning Bolt, they do it with SoL/SoD + some other creature with teeth.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
Things in which he is correct, mostly.

I didn't make myself clear in that you assume I am speaking in the context of a wizard PC, but this swings both ways. A PC is more or less required to adventure for the game to be playable. If the PC doesn't go out and adventure, then what's the point, right? But NPC wizards can be reclusive and roguish. Certainly there are those who could seek them out and try to destroy them before they become "too powerful" or some such, but how do they know to look for him? How do they know where to look, or where to begin?

The argument is made that teleporting isn't fool-proof, but one can't discount the fact that a wizard could choose to steal his resources from people in places all over the world and leave no trail and no pattern. A wizard with only a 19 Int (required only to cast the highest level spells) is going to be immensely intelligent, and will not fail to completely confound even the most wizend tracker, bounty hunter, or mercenary (except PCs, in the event that this wizard is the BBEG).

Spells per day may limit them to a certain amount of progress each day, but in a game where the rules can allow a party to theoretically reach levels 7-10 in a week of game time, what is time to a wizard? He can probably freeze it anyway, or create a demiplane where time flows so slowly as to make it insignificant.

Again, these are not things I have problems with. I accept these things as a part of the game world. But I subscribe to the school of thought that NPCs should not be able to do things PCs can't do. So yes, if a PC wizard wanted to do these things, he would simply sit the adventure out, and watch stuff unfold until he reached the point in his study that he was ready to use his magic in practical matters.

Call it generous, but I think it makes perfect sense.

Also, the discussion about wizards running out of spells and fighters being able to deal damage all day: someone else already brought it up, but fighters have hit points to worry about. Your invisible flying wizard doesn't have to worry as much about those, and the occasional blow can be taken between battles. Once a fighter is out of HP [read: dead], he won't be dealing any damage.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
You sir have never gmed a cleric, druid, wizard, beguiler party. When the casters show up in force, the gms tend to notice the disparity. I once gmed for a party like that and damn did it change my opinion of things. 4 optimized casters controlled by experienced player equals a frustrated gm.

You're correct.

Who brought the direct damage there (I am guessing Druid)? Were they as good as a fighter would have been? Was this PF or 3.5?

Much of what I have said about timers and reactive NPCs and whatnot falls apart when we start talking about all-caster parties. I'm not sure how I would approach that as a GM. I would probably selectively enforce the caster drawbacks for each class, one at a time, so that everyone got a chance to feel powerful. I would also jack up the challenge to account for the fact that an all-caster party will be that much more versatile.

It's a solid point.

This was 3.5, but I also ran a one shot all caster party when playtesting the summoner (summoner, druid, wizard, cleric) and the effect was the same.

As for the damage, it came from the druid, his AC, and summons. Lots of summons. But really maybe half the encounters actually ended because of damage. With 4 casters the disparity becomes pretty clear. HP was no longer the yard stick by which encounters were measured. Ability drain/damage, save or lose effects, and battlefield control generally were what made encounters end.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
rant

To sum it up:

"WITH UNLIMITED RESOURCES A WIZARD WIN"

It is not true for everyone?

A wizard such as I described does not have unlimited resources, just more ease of access to a greater amount of resources. Fighters can't slow down time and cross dimensions to find allies.


Andy Ferguson wrote:
Lab_Rat wrote:
Andy Ferguson wrote:

Guys the barb is on a dire bat (flying, blindsense) and prismatic sphere is centered on the wizard, so if two balors, one human enter, no human leave, that would suggest that int may have been a dump stat for the wizard. Also, he already said he killed you, so you lost. Caps lock beats logic.

Fine Fine. But refuse to scream. My magic is better than that. I will fill in the logistics for those who fail to read the tiny print on spells. (Can't you just take it for granted that I can figure out how to close the gap and be flying? I am a freaking wizard after all). So If he gets a mount I get someway of flying (phantom stead or something else). So, round starts and I go first (Of course. Already explained that to the mathematically challenged meat pop.) We quicken Teleport/dimensional door/pick a poison right up next to our flat footed horrible will saves because I haven't raged barbarian. Now we time stop: 1 - prismatic sphere 2- gate balor 3 - gate balor. Now we leave the prismatic sphere (we can do that) and leave you inside of it with 2 balors. I leave you in the flying thunder dome of purdy colors and re iterate the maniacal laughing.

Excellent, so you win init, quicken DD, time stop, prismatic sphere, gate Balors, who step through portal, and become time-stopped. All creatures in a time stop are immune to your spells. So you can lose line of effect to them by going outside of the prismatic sphere, or you can stay in there, gaining line of effect, and being in melee range of the barbarian.

Umm....I spend any additional time stop time to Instant Summons some popcorn (I am a wizard, everything is Instant Summonsed in my pad). Time stop ends. I do not plan on casting further spells on the barbarian. He is inside a prismatic sphere that he can not leave without dire consequences with 2 called Balors. I do not need line of effect. If he lives through this then maybe I will pay him a bunch of money to work for me (Even wizards need some meat shields and a meat shield who can defeat 2 Balors on his own is pretty impressive.)


Charender wrote:

You show me a level 15 caster that can handle 20 encounters a day and still have the same performance in encounter 20 that they had in performance 1. Casters may have all them flashy spells, but they ain't go no endurance when it comes time to go the distance.

Are you asking for 20 encounters of equal CR or lower?

Because no 15th Fighter can have same performance at 20th encounter of equal CR because he would be dead.

Now, if you are sending them against CR -3 their level (CR 12's x 20) then it might be possible for both to live.

Assuming you mean CR 15's , starting off both fight: 1 x very old black dragon (hope the fighter has Flight)
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/dragons/dragon/chromatic- black/black-dragon-very-old

Spells alone will be an issue for Mr. Fighter, can he see invisible (because instead of dimension door he could have G. Invisibility)?


Kirth Gersen wrote:
doctor_wu wrote:
If the 15 minute adventuring day is not used then this is not a problem.
Like we said in the last thread, barring wholesale banning of half the spells lists, the only way to enforce this is to use a finite number of gimmicks that get progressively more stale, annoying, and ham-handed the more you use them.

Unless you find players that hate the 15 minute adventuring day and do not want to rest in the dungeon. I know a player like that and I do not rest in dungeons or after a few encounters that often.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
doctor_wu wrote:
If the 15 minute adventuring day is not used then this is not a problem.
Like we said in the last thread, barring wholesale banning of half the spells lists, the only way to enforce this is to use a finite number of gimmicks that get progressively more stale, annoying, and ham-handed the more you use them.

This isn't true though.

Rope trick is good, but you can no longer hide the rope, so hopefully you aren't waking up to an ambush. Mansion leaves a shimmery door, so same ambush problem.

If you are facing level appropriate foes, they have the same reset mechanics as you. Need different spells, plane shift to a plane with a faster time frame, and hope that your enemies don't do that as well. Or push on, with limited resources, and your enemies may have to as well.


Kolokotroni wrote:


As for the damage, it came from the druid, his AC, and summons. Lots of summons. But really maybe half the encounters actually ended because of damage. With 4 casters the disparity becomes pretty clear. HP was no longer the yard stick by which encounters were measured. Ability drain/damage, save or lose effects, and battlefield control generally were what made encounters end.

Exactly. Anyone with a little experience under their belt understands that HP is just a timer for how many rounds you can be 100% effective in combat. There is no middle ground, its either 100% or 0%. Once you see this, spells that remove players from combat in 1 round are obviously the most powerful choices.

I think for melee classes to be more effective there needs to be a downside to loosing HP. There needs to be some benefit for the fighter to go in a spend multiple rounds trying to do what the wizard does in 1.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
rant

To sum it up:

"WITH UNLIMITED RESOURCES A WIZARD WIN"

It is not true for everyone?

It does not appear to be. My foe is in a demi-plane of his own creation. I am a fighter if I cannot find A CASTER to send me there I must find a MAGIC McGuffin to transport me there. In both cases it can be argued that magic must be used to fight magic.

But does bring up where FASA did it right. In Earthdawn all of the disciplines (classes) use magic to augment their abilities as its a high magic high fantasy world. A lot of d20 based systems suffer from a reluctance to acknowledge the high magic therefore cognitive dissonance occurs where magic items made by casters somehow do not mean you are bringing magic to bear to resolve an issue


Andy Ferguson wrote:

If you are facing level appropriate foes, they have the same reset mechanics as you. Need different spells, plane shift to a plane with a faster time frame, and hope that your enemies don't do that as well. Or push on, with limited resources, and your enemies may have to as well.

Generally, there are more enemies than PCs in an adventure. That means the enemy's "reset values" are normally binary: dead or not-dead. Yes, an occasional enemy can escape, regain spells, and come back after them, but that's an exception rather than the rule.


Andy Ferguson wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
doctor_wu wrote:
If the 15 minute adventuring day is not used then this is not a problem.
Like we said in the last thread, barring wholesale banning of half the spells lists, the only way to enforce this is to use a finite number of gimmicks that get progressively more stale, annoying, and ham-handed the more you use them.

This isn't true though.

Rope trick is good, but you can no longer hide the rope, so hopefully you aren't waking up to an ambush. Mansion leaves a shimmery door, so same ambush problem.

If you are facing level appropriate foes, they have the same reset mechanics as you. Need different spells, plane shift to a plane with a faster time frame, and hope that your enemies don't do that as well. Or push on, with limited resources, and your enemies may have to as well.

One rule that I have never seen enforced in my games played is this: If a wizard uses spells during their 8 hours of rest not only does the encounter extend his rest period needed but those spells count against his NEW spell per day.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
barring wholesale banning of half the spells lists, the only way to enforce this is to use a finite number of gimmicks that get progressively more stale, annoying, and ham-handed the more you use them.

Reactive NPCs never get old, Kirth. And they bring adventure timers with them!

I've got to ask you to get into specifics here, because honestly there is no better cure for the 15MAD than a proactive NPC caster, and I really do not see that getting stale, annoying or ham-handed unless these qualities describe the GM him/herself.


Lab_Rat wrote:

Umm....I spend any additional time stop time to Instant Summons some popcorn (I am a wizard, everything is Instant Summonsed in my pad). Time stop ends. I do not plan on casting further spells on the barbarian. He is inside a prismatic sphere that he can not leave without dire consequences with 2 called Balors. I do not need line of effect. If he lives through this then maybe I will pay him a bunch of money to work...

So your plan is to summon two uncontrolled Balor's and then leave them on the same plane as you? That doesn't sound like beating the Barbarian, that sounds like beating yourself, as the Balor's now come after you.

Mostly I'm just poking fun at you, but it does kind of indicate a lot of the tactics that get bandied about for high level, may not work. There having been people claiming that summon monster replaces martials, and it was pointed out that you generally summon monsters that are several CR below what you should be facing. Someone suggested that they witch is fine in combat if they get a 4 to 1 action ratio. There have been several suggestions that casters do well because it's impossible for anything to make saves against there mighty power, which doesn't seem to bear out.


Once an arcane caster hits double digits, the chances of him being left alone very long are very small. Rival casters, demigods, and extraplanar beings are going to be aware of his existence, and enough of them will be either demanding his time or attacking him that he is spending as much time on countering his enemy's moves as he is plotting his own; it will only get worse as he gets more powerful. That's one reason why of all the Forgotten Realm icons, the one I can stand is Elminster; the reason for that is he knows better than to try to solve much directly because that would allow his opponents an opening he can't afford to give them. He may be a walking demigod, but all of those "pawns" under him serve a real and critical purpose; they have freedom of movement and action that he doesn't. It's important to note that while god wizards can technically do just about anything, the catch is they have to do so through other people the vast majority of the time and relying just on magic to keep those people loyal is dangerous. This is where dumping charisma and wisdom can come back to bite them in the rear, as both are required to manage people effectively.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lab_Rat wrote:
Andy Ferguson wrote:

Guys the barb is on a dire bat (flying, blindsense) and prismatic sphere is centered on the wizard, so if two balors, one human enter, no human leave, that would suggest that int may have been a dump stat for the wizard. Also, he already said he killed you, so you lost. Caps lock beats logic.

Fine Fine. But refuse to scream. My magic is better than that. I will fill in the logistics for those who fail to read the tiny print on spells. (Can't you just take it for granted that I can figure out how to close the gap and be flying? I am a freaking wizard after all). So If he gets a mount I get someway of flying (phantom stead or something else). So, round starts and I go first (Of course. Already explained that to the mathematically challenged meat pop.) We quicken Teleport/dimensional door/pick a poison right up next to our flat footed horrible will saves because I haven't raged barbarian. Now we time stop: 1 - prismatic sphere 2- gate balor 3 - gate balor. Now we leave the prismatic sphere (we can do that) and leave you inside of it with 2 balors. I leave you in the flying thunder dome of purdy colors and re iterate the maniacal laughing.

Fine, please dimension door near my barbarian. Make me happy.

You know, dimension door has this little piece in the description of its effect: After using this spell, you can't take any other actions until your next turn. .
So you can't take any action and are at 5' from a barbarian.

Say adjeu.

Teleport, time stop, prismatic spehere Gate balor Gate Balo.
Gate Fail, Gate Fail. The sphere blocks all spells, even yours.

Teleport, time stop [no sphere] gate
Gate fail, again. You can't affect other creatures during time stop.
Time stop: While the time stop is in effect, other creatures are invulnerable to your attacks and s[b]pells[b];
Calling effect of gate: y naming a particular being or kind of being as you cast the spell, you cause the gate to open in the immediate vicinity of the desired creature and pull the subject through, willing or unwilling.
As long as time stop last the calling effect don't work.
You must concentrate to keep the spell up. So after the end of time stop you are adjacent to the barbarian, your turn has ended and you are concentrated on a spell that now will call a creature, but outside your turn, so it will not act.
Again the barbarian turn you to pulp.

People feel that spellcaster are super powerful because they or the GM fail to apply the limitations built in the spells.


Cibulan wrote:
Charender wrote:

Summon monster is a great HP sponge and roadblock, but as far is damage goes it is kinda weak. If you have augment summoning and superior summoning, then your summons almost become a decent source of damage. A lot of wizard will not have either of those feats.

Example, summon monster 4 gives you one CR3 celestial lion. If you are casting summon monster 4, you are level 7, and probably facing CR8 or 9 encounters. A pouncing CR3 lion against most CR8 opponents generates what we affectionately refer to as a flurry of misses.

At level 9, with augment summoning and superior summoning, you can use summon monster 5 to give you 1d3+1 celestial lions, but by that point you are facing CR9 and 10 opponents. The lions need 18+ to land a hit.

I put a master summoner build in the DPR thread. If you have augment summoning and superior summoning and you buff your summons with mass bull's strength, then you start doing some real damage, but without those feats and buffs, most martial character will just ignore your meat shields in favor of going after the source. If I have mobility, I won't even bother to tumble because your summons will need a natural 20 to hit me with an AoO.

I can give you an example from my Saturday game. I play a level 8 Witch with 26 intelligence (18 base +2 elf +4 threefold aspect +2 from level 4 and 8). My hex DC is 22 (10+4+8).

If I were to want to kill someone solo I'd do this:
Round 1: Evil Eye, -4 to saves

I charge you and start smashing your face.

If I make the save, the effect expires before you can cackle to extend it, and you effectively just wasted a round.
Quote:


Round 2: Misfortune Hex

I spend another round smashing your face, how many HP do you have. Even with misfortune in play, and full round attack from a martial character is going to hurt unless you have defensive buffs up.

Quote:


Round 3: Slumber Hex

Did I mention I am undead/elven blooded/golem/dragon/insert something immune to sleep here?

Quote:


Round 4: Summon Monster 4 (rhinoceros)

A 1 round action, I hope you don't fail your concentration checks.

Quote:


Round 5: Rhinoceros coup de grace the helpless opponent for an average of 32 damage, Fort save of 42 or die.

So you have a CR4 creature with a base +8 to hit against an opponent who is CR7 with around 22-26 AC who may or may not be asleep. Further, there is no way as a DM that I would allow a creature with an int of 2 to perform a coup de grace.


Diego Rossi wrote:


You know, dimension door has this little piece in the description of its effect: After using this spell, you can't take any other actions until your next turn. .
So you can't take any action and are at 5' from a barbarian.

Say adjeu.

People feel that spellcaster are super powerful because they or the GM fail to apply the limitations built in the spells.

There is a feat that lets you act after Dimension door (Ultimate Combat made it).

Charender wrote:


So you have a CR4 creature with a base +8 to hit against an opponent with a 22ish AC who may or may not be asleep. Further, there is no way as a DM that I would allow a creature with an int of 2 to perform a coup de grace.

Sorry, real life animals do it. I don't care if you can't believe animakls are so smart, but Coup e Grace has no Int limit.

Your houserules have nothing to do with how the game works.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Charender wrote:


So you have a CR4 creature with a base +8 to hit against an opponent with a 22ish AC who may or may not be asleep. Further, there is no way as a DM that I would allow a creature with an int of 2 to perform a coup de grace.

Sorry, real life animals do it. I don't care if you can't believe animakls are so smart, but Coup e Grace has no Int limit.

Your houserules have nothing to do with how the game works.

Why not just slumber hex from round 1 with cosmoptheous familiar and improved initiative. With this you can get a +10 initiitive at level 1 with the slumber hex at level one if human.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Starbuck_II wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


You know, dimension door has this little piece in the description of its effect: After using this spell, you can't take any other actions until your next turn. .
So you can't take any action and are at 5' from a barbarian.

Say adjeu.

People feel that spellcaster are super powerful because they or the GM fail to apply the limitations built in the spells.

There is a feat that lets you act after Dimension door (Ultimate Combat made it).

Charender wrote:


So you have a CR4 creature with a base +8 to hit against an opponent with a 22ish AC who may or may not be asleep. Further, there is no way as a DM that I would allow a creature with an int of 2 to perform a coup de grace.

Sorry, real life animals do it. I don't care if you can't believe animakls are so smart, but Coup e Grace has no Int limit.

Your houserules have nothing to do with how the game works.

Read what I added to the post above.

His combo still don't work even if he can cast the spells (like he can do if he use teleport instead of dim door).


Cibulan wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Cibulan wrote:


If I were to want to kill someone solo I'd do this:
Round 1: Evil Eye, -4 to saves
Round 2: Misfortune Hex
Round 3: Slumber Hex
Round 4: Summon Monster 4 (rhinoceros)
Round 5: Rhinoceros coup de grace the helpless opponent for an average of 32 damage, Fort save of 42 or die.
So what happens if the enemy makes a saving throw on round 1, 2, or 3?

I never said it was full-proof :)

If he saves against Evil Eye, he's still affected.
If he saves against Misfortune, I'd continue with Slumber.
If he saves against Slumber, I'd probably bugger out (Flight Hex) and try again the next day.

For defenses I have Flight Hex (Fly for 8 minutes a day), Mirror Image (trickery patron), and scroll of greater invisibility (UMD: 13).

I think people that say that casters are invincible go too far, they simply have more powerful options than non-casters.

An archer fighter would tear a lot of your defenses apart. Flight doesn't help against ranged attacks. With rapid shot + boots of speed, you are looking at 4 shots a round. How many mirror images do you get? If you are going to use UMD to burn a scroll, the fighter can do that too, and see invisibility is cheaper, has a lower DC to use, and lasts longer.


Charender wrote:

I charge you and start smashing your face.

If I make the save, the effect expires before you can cackle to extend it, and you effectively just wasted a round.

Round 2: Misfortune Hex

I spend another round smashing your face, how many HP do you have. Even with misfortune in play, and full round attack from a martial character is going to hurt unless you have defensive buffs up.

Round 3: Slumber Hex

Did I mention I am undead/elven blooded/golem/dragon/insert something immune to...

So you completely stack this hypothetical situation in your favor and that's suppose to prove something?

-You charge? I can fly, we're level 8, so most likely you cannot.
-You stand and beat on me while I do nothing? You ignore my mirror image, greater invisibility and flight how?
-You are now immune to my shtick, how convenient. If we're talking convenience, you're now a raging barbarian without a reach weapon and a low will save. That's convenient for me.

If you had bothered to read the rest of the thread you would have seen my defenses and my admittance that this is not full-proof and that I said it struggles against certain things. But even then, I still have the rest of my spells (I only used one).


I wonder how much of the precieved disparty has to do with the fact that a martial character will pick up an ability or a feat, and it's pretty easy to figure out the ins and outs. While a caster grabs a whole new level of spells, and familiarizing yourself with all that as a GM is rough, making sure that you are following all the rules of all the 6th level spells you cast can be hard for GM's and players, much harder then grasping how Come and Get Me works, or Flurry.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It occurred to me that a nice campaign setting feature would be that high level characters are scarce on the Material Plane because their very presence causes things to start awakening/springing from nothing, to ravage the world/seek out the strong souls that caught their attention.

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