I want to talk about why DMs hate Wizards so much...


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Robb Smith wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Benicio Del Espada wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Teleport: No more travel/journey stories.

Travel: no more obstacles, no more interesting terrain.

I've often thought that teleport spells should be kicked up a level or 2, for just that reason. They're extremely powerful.
Wizards don't get teleport until 9th level right? That's a lot of levels. Moving into "high level" play at that point. Adapt.

Uhm, it's one thing to have the paradigm shifted by the addition of Fly, it's completely another to have any chance of a meaningful overland adventure removed by someone saying "we link hands and teleport".

I'll agree with you that the "burdens" of travel should not be something that HIGH level characters are concerned with, but 9th is not high. You're not even halfway through the prescribed max progression and still 7 levels before the d20 system generally begins to break down.

Plot device. Teleport mishap. Poof you're on an island....with angry pigmies staring at you.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:


Wizards don't get teleport until 9th level right? That's a lot of levels. Moving into "high level" play at that point. Adapt.

I haven't changed it in my games, yet, but it's a little early, I think.

I love high level play, weird as it is. You certainly have to adapt, and wizards are probably the best at forcing that, and that's fine.

I just think a couple more levels of less spectacular travel modes could make the game more fun to play. We all know that time pressure is important at high levels. If the wizard can bypass the crunch time at 9th, it can (not MUST) make things a little too easy a little too early.

I don't personally think 9 levels is all that many. God mode happens around 15+, in my experience, when all the characters are so blinged out you can barely hurt them, especially when you have multiple casters, weak spots magically covered, and contingency spells for the rare "oops" moments. It's not likely PF 2 will change a spell that's been 5th level forever, but it could make the game more fun.

When I play casters who can cast teleport, I always take it as soon as I can, no hesitation. First 5th level spell I want, any game, any time. There is no better spell at that level, IMO, and it changes the game radically. That's my first clue that it may be a little too good for the level.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:


Plot device. Teleport mishap. Poof you're on an island....with angry pigmies staring at you.

And then the wizards player gets angry at you because you are obviously railroading.

Obviously.


TarkXT wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:


Plot device. Teleport mishap. Poof you're on an island....with angry pigmies staring at you.

And then the wizards player gets angry at you because you are obviously railroading.

Obviously.

If the party is so drained they're on the verge of death, then it's a problem. Otherwise, no.


Coupled with the fact that:

1) There's a straight up roll for on-target/mishap/etc.
2) Only a stupid wizard prepares 1 Teleport if they intend to use it for travel and not escape. And if you say "oh, antimagic/teleport doesn't work here." you're not just railroading, you might as well call the island Amtrakia.


If a Wizard can end EVERY encounter within a round or two, the GM needs to add more variety to the types of encounters he sets AND needs to end the 15 minute work day.

I play a Wizard in one game. I love it. At level 4 (started at 3) I've spent most of my gold on scrolls, so I am that annoying wizard that has a spell for every situation - BUT there are 6 PCs in the party and the GM gives us a good variety of challenges, both in type of challenge and strength. Sometimes the fighter downs most of the bad guys in two rounds, sometimes my Wizard locks the Ogre out of combat (with grease) as the non-casters mop up the rest of the bad guys. Sometimes the most important PC is the Cleric who heals all of us with a healing burst of channelled energy (and sometimes it is worthwhile to heal bad guys too).

In the campaign where I GM the players all work together so well now that I find it difficult to hurt them much. With a Cleric, Bard, Wizard, Fighter, Monk and Rogue who all like to help each other (level 7) rarely does a combat encounter last more than 2 rounds. I have started to pull out lots of GMing tricks that I didn't think I would need to use till they were beyond level 12.

I love Wizards. If anything, it is the Figher with AC 28 that I hate. Or the Rogue with 5d6 Sneak Attack. Or the Monk with his Flurry of Blows/Shuriken.


Robb Smith wrote:

Coupled with the fact that:

1) There's a straight up roll for on-target/mishap/etc.
2) Only a stupid wizard prepares 1 Teleport if they intend to use it for travel and not escape. And if you say "oh, antimagic/teleport doesn't work here." you're not just railroading, you might as well call the island Amtrakia.

1. "But how could I not be familiar wiht that place! Blah blah blha blah blah!"

Granted they ahve to actually fail that roll. But how often does it come up? Not often enough to make it even a factor in many wizards cases. The wizard in my game intentionally spends hours in his inn room to become intimately familiar with it.

2. Soooo it was pointless from the start?

The only thing worse than blatant railroading is pointless railroading. That's the argument you get to look forward to.


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Familar huh? Well the villian hired his bubby the housemover to more your house tower what ever, You teleport to the third story and take 3d6 falling damage and what ever the party beats you for. CHOOOO CHHHOOO!!!! Eat that you teleporting SOB.


Mr.Fishy wrote:
Familar huh? Well the villian hired his bubby the housemover to more your house tower what ever, You teleport to the third story and take 3d6 falling damage and what ever the party beats you for. CHOOOO CHHHOOO!!!! Eat that you teleporting SOB.

While I find that hilarious you fail in not having a pit of acid built underneath it inhabited by half fiend acid sharks.


I have no issue with wizards ( I so rarely see anyone play them) I do think the spells need taken out back and rebalanced or shot.


TarkXT wrote:
Mr.Fishy wrote:
Familar huh? Well the villian hired his bubby the housemover to more your house tower what ever, You teleport to the third story and take 3d6 falling damage and what ever the party beats you for. CHOOOO CHHHOOO!!!! Eat that you teleporting SOB.
While I find that hilarious you fail in not having a pit of acid built underneath it inhabited by half fiend acid sharks.

Gotta think higher. Sphere of Annihilation to the face.


This is one of those ritual spells the game needs - two hundred and fifty cultists chanting in front of an Aztec pyramid to cover an area the size of the great lakes in a fog which blocks teleportation spells.


LilithsThrall wrote:
This is one of those ritual spells the game needs - two hundred and fifty cultists chanting in front of an Aztec pyramid to cover an area the size of the great lakes in a fog which blocks teleportation spells.

I don't know about sucha huge area but I've already made use of sucha thing.

Essentially Ogre witches used a ritual in which they sealed and entire mountain in an antimagic bubble ensuring that their superior gian tarmy could mash up dwarves without magic interference. Ntohing could teleport in. Nothing could teleport out.

Made for interesting times when the group had to infiltrate the army and deal with the witches.


LilithsThrall wrote:
This is one of those ritual spells the game needs - two hundred and fifty cultists chanting in front of an Aztec pyramid to cover an area the size of the great lakes in a fog which blocks teleportation spells.

There was a 9th level spell in 3.5 that blocked all teleportation into and out of a 20' cube per level. Not an enormous area, but it was permanent, so you could just keep adding them until you covered the area that you wanted. Halaster's Teleportation Cage, I believe it was called.


Ringtail wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
This is one of those ritual spells the game needs - two hundred and fifty cultists chanting in front of an Aztec pyramid to cover an area the size of the great lakes in a fog which blocks teleportation spells.
There was a 9th level spell in 3.5 that blocked all teleportation into and out of a 20' cube per level. Not an enormous area, but it was permanent, so you could just keep adding them until you covered the area that you wanted. Halaster's Teleportation Cage, I believe it was called.

Not the spell I'm looking for. Its nearly useless - especially for the level. Anti-teleportation spells need to cover very large areas so that the survival skill becomes important.


You know,

There's a great spell called Dimensional Anchor.

Almost every caster class gets it about level 7 or 8.

If you don't want your wizard to cast Teleport, they could cast Dimensional Anchor on him.

There's no saving throw. Just a ranged touch attack.

It lasts 7 or 8 minutes.

Just saying.


Haven't read the thread yet because I want to make sure I'm not biased by other responses at the time of mentioning why it is that I have ever had hate for Wizards.

I hate them because they let the party do things that otherwise couldn't have been done. I write my adventures based on whether or not there will be a wizard in the party... and if I guess wrong, then suddenly I have a problem I wouldn't have had otherwise.

Sometimes you have to re-write (party can't handle weapon resistant but magic vulnerable monsters), sometimes just adjust (NPC wizard to help out when needed, and hopefully not make the players feel one-uped), and sometimes you just want to tell a story that needs a wizard (request a player take on the wizard instead of their first choice of character).

Other than that, I count Wizard as my favorite class.


Its hard to stop a wizard from having a 15 minute workday when they want to. The wizard says "I'm out of spells, time to go back to the inn, who wants porkchops for lunch?" they port out and resume the dungeon the next day.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Its hard to stop a wizard from having a 15 minute workday when they want to. The wizard says "I'm out of spells, time to go back to the inn, who wants porkchops for lunch?" they port out and resume the dungeon the next day.

There's all kinds of ways to stop this.

Here are some
1.) The enemies in the dungeon retaliate by scrying the party and attacking them while they sleep (Nightmare might be used)
2.) The monsters, having discovered they're under attack, double the guard while the wizard is sleeping
3.) Deadlines (e.g. if the princess isn't rescued by noon, she's killed)

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

What do you do when the group has become bored of those three answers? Reset the game?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

TriOmegaZero wrote:
What do you do when the group has become bored of those three answers? Reset the game?

A forth answer is attack them while at the Inn, ... but after that ... pretty much.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

And on the third playthrough, when the players lampshade these tactics coming, what then?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

TriOmegaZero wrote:
And on the third playthrough, when the players lampshade these tactics coming, what then?
Lord Fyre wrote:
... but after that ... pretty much.

You realize that I was agreeing with you. Yes, this will force the group to reset the game (i.e., start over with New Player Characters and a new storyline.).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

By 'playthrough' I meant 'campaign'. What do you do when the players know all the tactics that will be used against their wizards to prevent the 15 minute day? Stop playing Pathfinder?

People like Kirth have seen these tactics since 1E. What do you do on the FIRST playthrough with him?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Robb Smith wrote:

I think a big part of it is that a well-crafted wizard just ends encounters.

To many wizards lock in on fireball and have to "suffer" through the low levels where they only have "terrible" spells like color spray, grease, and glitterdust. Oh, those poor things.

I think that Color Spray in and of itself is really a good indicator. Starting fresh out of the gate, a low level wizard is already basically ending encounters with 4 words out of the player's mouth, and it can be tedious and boring to the other players when it becomes 'alright... let's go slit their throats.. again."

I'll just say it like this: If enemy wizards were all run like PC wizards were run, it would be extremely rare for a to make it past 2nd level.

There is some reason why your enemies are all in a cone that start from the wizard hands and extend for 15 feet?

They are part of a phalanx?
Even animals know that it is best to attack from multiple directions.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Robb Smith wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Benicio Del Espada wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Teleport: No more travel/journey stories.

Travel: no more obstacles, no more interesting terrain.

I've often thought that teleport spells should be kicked up a level or 2, for just that reason. They're extremely powerful.
Wizards don't get teleport until 9th level right? That's a lot of levels. Moving into "high level" play at that point. Adapt.

Uhm, it's one thing to have the paradigm shifted by the addition of Fly, it's completely another to have any chance of a meaningful overland adventure removed by someone saying "we link hands and teleport".

I'll agree with you that the "burdens" of travel should not be something that HIGH level characters are concerned with, but 9th is not high. You're not even halfway through the prescribed max progression and still 7 levels before the d20 system generally begins to break down.

"Teleport: You may also bring one additional willing Medium or smaller creature (carrying gear or objects up to its maximum load) or its equivalent per three caster levels."

So the second you add a 5th creature to the mix (familiar, animal companion, mount, cohort) the wizard need to be 12th level.

"Teleport: You must have some clear idea of the location and layout of the destination. "
So: no teleporting on a description, no teleporting to a scryed room unless you know where it is (at leasts the city/general location).

You remember those limitations when the players use teleport?


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dont over react. a ninth level caster can only teleport themselves and three other people. and then not 100% reliably. scrying isnt usually a viable option as a teleport scouting tool and the percentages arent great.

gms that dont like casters dont like them either because they dont know how to gm them meaning they dont know what they are really capable of and how to help make it fun. or they are mad because alot of what the wizard can do is GM type stuff. playing god. manipulating reality, mind control, mental slavery bending matter to ones will etc.. many GMs feel the same twinge as a rogue does the first time a mage casts knock, spider climb or invisibility, they dont want someone else infringing on controlling their world. I think most of the time though its just the first one, the fact they dont know how to GM for Mages.


I'm echoing several posts here but I think rephrasing with a new presepctive..first, however, I am definitely am a fan of wizards.

From a DM planning perspective wizards may represent more work because they represent many variables. For example, when faced with an opponent in combat, the fighter will most likely turn to melee combat. The wizard, however, represents a multitude of variables, reflected in their spell options, which may impact the campaign arc in an unpredictable way. If a DM is not good at working around unplanned results in their campaigns, the wizard may be a stressful point of chaos in an otherwise orderly, masterfully planned campaign arc.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
thenobledrake wrote:

Haven't read the thread yet because I want to make sure I'm not biased by other responses at the time of mentioning why it is that I have ever had hate for Wizards.

I hate them because they let the party do things that otherwise couldn't have been done. I write my adventures based on whether or not there will be a wizard in the party... and if I guess wrong, then suddenly I have a problem I wouldn't have had otherwise.

Sometimes you have to re-write (party can't handle weapon resistant but magic vulnerable monsters), sometimes just adjust (NPC wizard to help out when needed, and hopefully not make the players feel one-uped), and sometimes you just want to tell a story that needs a wizard (request a player take on the wizard instead of their first choice of character).

Other than that, I count Wizard as my favorite class.

It don't sound like you are writing an adventure. It sound like you are writing a novel.

The players should not deviate from the plot, the plot is the story and the story should go as predicted.

Some player like to participate in telling a novel, some will hate to be constrained by its limits.
I am in the second group as you can easily guess.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
What do you do when the group has become bored of those three answers? Reset the game?
TriOmegaZero wrote:

By 'playthrough' I meant 'campaign'. What do you do when the players know all the tactics that will be used against their wizards to prevent the 15 minute day? Stop playing Pathfinder?

People like Kirth have seen these tactics since 1E. What do you do on the FIRST playthrough with him?

When the players get bored with the world reacting to their actions and with playing high fantasy we switch to another system and another GM for a new campaign.

I have some problem on why the players should feel entitled on being annoyed on the world reacting to what they do. If in the real world we try to storm an enemy position and we fail or fall back to regroup, the defenders try to upgrade and reorganize their defence. What they do depend on their resources and the time available, but as it is not a computer game they don't return to the starting positions waiting for the next attack.
Same thing for pathfinder.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Hmm. I wonder what Kirth's answer to that will be.


Robb Smith wrote:
I'll just say it like this: If enemy wizards were all run like PC wizards were run, it would be extremely rare for a to make it past 2nd level.

This is pretty much exactly how it goes. As a player, the vast majority of my characters since the red box have been wizards. I have a pretty good grasp of what wizards can and cannot do, and as a GM I do not coddle my players when they're up against a wizard. Now with a newer player or someone who just has never played a wizard before I'll go easy, but if I have someone who knows the ropes I'm more than happy to throw down.

In my experience and observation, a party with a wizard gone wild is thanks to the GM either not putting the necessary limitations on the PC. Whether that's saying "no, Munchkins-R-Us does not exist and if you want greater teleport you'll have to work for it" or up to and including an enemy NPC wizard on the field throwing out his own encounter enders like candy, forcing the PC wizard to play defensive or engage the wizard one-on-one, the GM has to know the magic game as well and work on the wizard's own level to properly balance them.


Diego Rossi wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
<post trimmed for brevity> I write my adventures based on whether or not there will be a wizard in the party... and if I guess wrong, then suddenly I have a problem I wouldn't have had otherwise.

It don't sound like you are writing an adventure. It sound like you are writing a novel.

The players should not deviate from the plot, the plot is the story and the story should go as predicted.

Some player like to participate in telling a novel, some will hate to be constrained by its limits.
I am in the second group as you can easily guess.

...no, I don't write a novel at all - I write an adventure.

When writing an adventure, I might think "It would be fun to include some sky battles, but getting knocked off an airship is a death sentence without magic."

So then I have to either a) include an NPC/item/other non-player device to facilitate survivable sky battles that don't just feel like ground battles, b) scrap the idea entirely should the player group not include a wizard, or c) request someone play a wizard to facilitate situations that I would like to have come up.

Also, if I write an adventure all about ancient magical lore and include all sorts of strange magical phenomena that require spell casting to interacting with them... should I just run it anyway regardless of the party composition so that I can make sure that I'm not "writing a novel"?

I think you have confused writing up an adventure that suits the party's abilities with writing up an adventure that consists of a single, iron railed, and inescapable plot-line... and I have to be honest, I have no idea why you thought that's what I was talking about.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

By 'playthrough' I meant 'campaign'. What do you do when the players know all the tactics that will be used against their wizards to prevent the 15 minute day? Stop playing Pathfinder?

People like Kirth have seen these tactics since 1E. What do you do on the FIRST playthrough with him?

I don't understand your question. Why should it matter to the enemy doubling the guard whether or not the players have seen it before?


Diego Rossi wrote:


When the players get bored with the world reacting to their actions and with playing high fantasy we switch to another system and another GM for a new campaign.

I have some problem on why the players should feel entitled on being annoyed on the world reacting to what they do. If in the real world we try to storm an enemy position and we fail or fall back to regroup, the defenders try to upgrade and reorganize their defence. What they do depend on their resources and the time available, but as it is not a computer game they don't return to the starting positions waiting for the next attack.
Same thing for pathfinder.

I could not have said it better.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Being that it's an out of game question, I understand your confusion.

In-game, how do you explain the hordes of guards the PCs kill? Once they've killed a small city's worth of mooks, when they ask where the villians get all these guards, what do you say?


TriOmegaZero wrote:

Being that it's an out of game question, I understand your confusion.

In-game, how do you explain the hordes of guards the PCs kill? Once they've killed a small city's worth of mooks, when they ask where the villians get all these guards, what do you say?

Unrealistic dungeon set-ups are a problem independent of the 15 minute workday. Of course the unrealistic dungeon set-up can be solved by teleporting in more troops.


Andy Ferguson wrote:
Unrealistic dungeon set-up are a problem independent of the 15 minute workday.

Ultrarealistic dungeons are a problem, too.

Freeze dried villains (just add water) are just one option.

Liberty's Edge

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

Being that it's an out of game question, I understand your confusion.

In-game, how do you explain the hordes of guards the PCs kill? Once they've killed a small city's worth of mooks, when they ask where the villians get all these guards, what do you say?

Unrealistic dungeon set-ups are a problem independent of the 15 minute workday. Of course the unrealistic dungeon set-up can be solved by teleporting in more troops.

LOL. with 4 passengers at a time you will have to use a lot of teleports to repopulate a dungeon.

It all depend on the manpower and resources of the BEEG.
- He is the king of a large country and can order his troops to move to his defence? how far are quartered those troops?
- He is a wizard/cleric? He can animate his dead or raise at least some of them? He can conjure reinforcements?
- He can build traps, create choke points, wall entrances?
- He can flee or retreat to a more defensible position?
- He can gather his troops and try a strike against the PC?

It is not necessary to have ultra detailed information about the BEEG, but the GM need to have an idea of his resources and what he can do to counter the PC and how fast he can do that.

You must make very clear to your players from the start that this is a world where the tactics they use aren't a novelty (unless they really are inventing something new).

Thousand of spellcasers have tried to dominate political figures in the world history. The political figures either have developed counter measures appropriate to their wealth and position or are already dominated.
A spell as lowly as Protection from evil already protect the target from domination by 1/3 of the alignments. Its variants allow you protection against 8/9 of the alignments.
A pathfinder with the correct ioun stone has the same effect against mental domination from evil creatures for less than 5.000 gp.
A crown or ring that do that against all alignment for about 20.000 gp would not be particularly strange. It has some problem as the spellcaster that want to use domination on the king could feel singled out, but if you make it very clear from the start that political figures or rich merchants tend to spend their money for that kind of protection he has very little ground to complain.

Same thing for teleport and so on. In a world where you risk scry and fry attacks you take your precautions.


At this point, I will happily point out that the numerous tangential issues attached to "wizard hate".

Most of the things mentioned apply to spell casters in general.

Some of them refer to dungeon design.

Some of them, paradoxically, are GMs complaining about their own deficiencies and blaming the players (15 minute workday).

Just please take note of how few apply to the wizard class uniquely.

@ToZ. I know you're being the diabolical advocate, but...

Baiting the gentleman upthread with "what do you do when you use up those three options": Enemy retaliation, pro-active NPCs, and timers are narrative tools. They are also flexible, and they need not be lampshaded. The situation is not nearly as hackneyed as you make it out to be with even just a little imagination. Sure it gets bad if you use the same device repeatedly, but that is true of any aspect of GMing.

To spice it up further (which is not to say the basics will fail) there are the weaknesses of each class which are there to be exploited from time to time. Spellbooks, sundered gear, paladins falling, dominated PCs, etc. These should not happen every game, but everyone gets their turn to suck at some point in the campaign. It only takes one such scenario to turn things on their head, so far as the 15-minute workday (which presumes smooth sailing for every adventure).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I also suspect a bit of innacuracy in the OP's title.

Maybe it should be more on the vein of "Why Does My DM Hate MY Wizard So much."


LazarX wrote:

I also suspect a bit of innacuracy in the OP's title.

Maybe it should be more on the vein of "Why Does My DM Hate MY Wizard So much."

I am offended by your disingenuous accusations. You're talking about a guy who dropped playing a Master Summoner because of how much of a pain it would be for the whole group.

My topic title is completely in response to the behaviors I've seen in the Advice forums (Which is where this thread was originally created) where I see several DMs asking for recommendations on how to deal with X or Y and somehow the conversation always includes a post or two about how wizards screw things up.

When I DM, I love wizards. I love casting grease and glitterdust on my PC party. I love giving my fighters reasons to learn to grapple.

I've only played in one campaign where I made the DM totally hate me, but that was because it was the first time he's played with a Wizard in his campaign... Ever. Everyone he played with played everything but the "god" wizard - when they were spellcasters they focused on blast spells because they grew up on Final Fantasy. When I walked in and started color spraying things in the face, he was a little perturbed... but he got over it.

My other DMs are good enough to create situations where my one or two spells turn the tide of battle, while still giving the other classes an important role to fulfill.

Right now I'm playing a Bard, and our team was "infiltrating" an orc base, which we screwed up and alerted the entire fortress. My sleep spells helped keep the crowds at bay while our Barbarian one-shotted the higher level orcs and our Magus burning hands down some of the crowds that weren't being controlled. When we got to the boss - a red drake - my illusion spell was the only thing that kept it from wiping our party right away, and the Magus took it down with her bow after the Rogue weakened it a bit.

We barely made it out alive, but it was epic, and there was no way any spellcaster could have "screwed things up" in that situation, no matter how well they were built.


KaptainKrunch wrote:

It seems like wizards are hated around here.

I see threads about sneaky ways to target the Wizard's Spell book.

I see DMs talking about "limiting" the Wizard's spells to control them...

Do you really think Wizards are that game breakingly powerful?

Come on, vent all your frustrations here.

Why? Because they do not know how to handle magic in their games. These DMs should be playing other games: D&D/PF is not right for them. Conan d20 has almost no magic, for example. They should play games like that.

Fifteen years DMing. And no problem with magic or spellcasters- Wizards, Clerics, Druids or whatever. You just have to know how to handle magic in your game. It is clear that maaaany people in these forums do *not* know.

How can give you problems weakened PFRPG magic? It's terrible! I never use the magic of PFRPG. True magic for my games, thanks.


Iridal wrote:
KaptainKrunch wrote:

It seems like wizards are hated around here.

I see threads about sneaky ways to target the Wizard's Spell book.

I see DMs talking about "limiting" the Wizard's spells to control them...

Do you really think Wizards are that game breakingly powerful?

Come on, vent all your frustrations here.

Why? Because they do not know how to handle magic in their games. These DMs should be playing other games: D&D/PF is not right for them. Conan d20 has almost no magic, for example. They should play games like that.

Fifteen years DMing. And no problem with magic or spellcasters- Wizards, Clerics, Druids or whatever. You just have to know how to handle magic in your game. It is clear that maaaany people in these forums do *not* know.

How can give you problems weakened PFRPG magic? It's terrible! I never use the magic of PFRPG. True magic for my games, thanks.

First Ed. Baby! Back when Invisibility lasted 24 hours, and Phantasmal Forces "killed" people.


No one in my group plays wizards. No one has played one in about a year now, and that one was a 4e wizard which did not have much feeling behind it. We have a Rogue 4 / Sorcerer 2 and a Sorcerer 5 / Fighter 1, but no wizards.

Being the GM in the games, however, I throw wizards at the party early and often, demonstrating the might of such a class. Hearing the groans of the players while they try and figure out how to counter act the wizards crowd control spells, and survive their damage spells, is just fun for me.


I don't think GMs hate wizards. I think wizards are harder to GM real challenge for, however, due to the amount of creative thinking that is built into the class design, and so tactics to use with them get discussed a lot.

Scarab Sages

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GMs don't hate wizards.

NPCs hate wizards.

And GMs have to adjudicate the actions of those NPCs.

Scarab Sages

I almost feel like there should be a separate thread for "How DM's can deal with powerful Wizardry". Here's my experience. Your mileage may vary:

First, there are certain mechanical issues that you need to be aware of:

Don't hand out powerful spells left right and center. This is why I prefer enemy witches and sorcerers as spellcasters: no spellbooks lying around to be copied. Captured spellbooks should be heavily trapped or in code or something, and finding them is a big deal.

No "buying" high-level spells. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't allow the wizard to research spells beyond his 2/lvl. If he's willing to spend a few weeks of game time doing it, then go ahead, but make it a roleplay thing where the player actually has to expend some effort along with the character. Give him occasional access to other wizards spellbooks so he's not starving for new spells - just be careful what you give him.

(*Note: I follow a rule of PC exceptionalism, where beyond 5th-7th level or so, the PC wizard is likely to be the highest level wizard around who isn't an antagonist or demigod of some sort. This also helps.)

Second, there are tactical considerations for designing encounters where a higher level wizard is present:

Always include multiple threats from multiple directions. If you must have a showdown with a single BBEG, then have additional threats come from the environment. This applies to ANY encounter, really, and has more to do with the action economy than facing a wizard.

Dispel Magic and Counterspelling are your friends. Any BBEG with any intelligence is going to keep one or more magical defense items or persons around solely to handle counterspelling duties and other magical defense.

Vs. Flying: Extreme Wind and weather will ground or inconvenience flyers, enemy flyers will harass them, decent archers will harass them. Low ceilings negate flying. Design verticality into your encounters so that flight becomes necessary for some of them.

Vs Teleporting: Dimensional anchors are good, but also just be scrupulous about the failure chances and so forth. Add in the occasional circumstance modifier. Also, just because the party teleported away doesn't mean the villains can't try to follow them with a teleport of their own.

Vs. Save-or-Suck: Redundancy of Villains is the best answer here. The Wizard only has so many spells.

Third, there's dealing with the 15 minute workday:

This is simple: make sure that the NPCs are working when the PCs are not. Villains should be able to use "Scry & Die" tactics as well. Or better yet - sometimes the Villains know they're licked and just beat feet while the party sleeps. When the PCs teleport back the next day, their target has moved on to set up shop somewhere else. Keep your bad guys smart and flexible.

Also, as the party goes up in level, combat encounters should probably begin to polarize between very easy and very hard. Spend more time on the hard ones and less time on the easy ones. Some encounters you can just hand-waive, or resolve with a single roll or two. "Did you surprise the Guards? Did you hit any of them? Okay, they're all dead. Moving on." Design a few encounters which are meant to be trivial and over quickly with the application of spells. Use them to drain the wizard's batteries (slightly) before getting to the meat and potatoes encounters.

Also, embrace the 15 minute workday yourself. Feel free to design multi-stage, elaborate encounters that evolve into enormous combats across multiple rooms against impossible odds. Chain encounters together into mega-encounters with only a round or two of downtime at most. Then take a break. Have the villains use 15-minute tactics as well.

Fourth: There are narrative concerns that can evolve from high wizardry.

Mostly, this comes down to high level spellcasting calling attention to itself. Anyone who does a lot of dimensional travel should not be surprised when high-level outsiders begin taking an interest in his life. Anyone who accrues significant amounts of arcane power should expect to become the target of social and political machinations to contain or blunt that power. Anyone who messes with the natural order of things too much should expect a visit from (as Aaron Williams might put it) the "Powers-What-Is".

Grand Lodge

For space sake, snipping a lot of good stuff...

Kolokotroni wrote:


It is not a matter of being antagonistic...

I had never thought of 5th level as being peak human ability, and agree to disagree on the fact that Aragorn, Boromir, Gimli, and Legolas were peak rather than beyond, as that is an interpretation of a literary work.

Now as to the cases of using spells at appropriate times, which all of your examples were, in my opinion appropriate, I am fine with the usage in all of those cases. What I am saying is that I have experienced, on many an occasion, uses when that was not the case. When we had no impending time limit, those parameters were not set except by the players themselves. Then what is the point other than to show off?

Anyway, I don't even know if you will respond to this, since I was gone for a while and almost 60 posts were up since you gave yours...

EDIT:
I also have always wanted to play a fighter (at higher levels, of course) that is super awesome with one weapon, but for some reason or another, no longer uses that weapon. He's still deadly with his other skills, but has the opportunity to fight at below his optimum, until he is forced to. Now most players think I am nuts to want to do so. Often asking, "Why would you nerf yourself like that?" It's about role-playing. To me, that's that same as the wizard that does go hog-wild with the spells.

Anyway have an awesome weekend!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Aeshuura wrote:

For space sake, snipping a lot of good stuff...

Kolokotroni wrote:


It is not a matter of being antagonistic...

I had never thought of 5th level as being peak human ability, and agree to disagree on the fact that Aragorn, Boromir, Gimli, and Legolas were peak rather than beyond, as that is an interpretation of a literary work.

Check out the article I posted on calibrating expectations. Compared to what Real life people can do with regards to 3.x 5th level is very close numerically to what the best of the best can do. He gives exampels of olympic long jumpers (in terms of the then jump now acrobatics skill) and albert einstein (in terms of how knowledge works). And while I agree that aragorn and co were beyond what humans can actually do, they were still relatively human. Boromir was brought low a single archer firing 3 arrows. Could 3 arrows from anyone bring down a 15th level fighter?

You are right that this is a matter of interpretation, but I think the way the game plays (as opposed to how we want it to play) and the creation of things like E6 supports my concept that once you leave 6th level you are talking superheroes and not classic fantasy characters.

Quote:

Now as to the cases of using spells at appropriate times, which all of your examples were, in my opinion appropriate, I am fine with the usage in all of those cases. What I am saying is that I have experienced, on many an occasion, uses when that was not the case. When we had no impending time limit, those parameters were not set except by the players themselves. Then what is the point other than to show off?

Expediance? Convenience? If you own a bike and a car and you need to go food shopping, you COULD do it by bike, or even walking, but it is much easier to use a car in the vast majority of cases right? Its not showing off to pull your pickup truck into home depot when you could have brought your sub compact is it? For a dnd/pathfinder caster, magic is a simple and constant part of their life. As much as an automobile or cellular phone is to you an I. So they use it. Sure the most dramatic use of my cell phone might be to dial 911 when my friend is having a heart attack. But i'll use it to order a pizza too if I want one rather then walk to the pizeria in many cases. I dont consider it showing off to order a pizza with my cell phone do you?

Quote:

Anyway, I don't even know if you will respond to this, since I was gone for a while and almost 60 posts were up since you gave yours...

EDIT:
I also have always wanted to play a fighter (at higher levels, of course) that is super awesome with one weapon, but for some reason or another, no longer uses that weapon. He's still deadly with his other skills, but has the opportunity to fight at below his optimum, until he is forced to. Now most players think I am nuts to want to do so. Often asking, "Why would you nerf yourself like that?" It's about role-playing. To me, that's that same as the wizard that does go hog-wild with the spells.

Anyway have an awesome weekend!

Well, personally I am not a fan of players who intentionally inhibit themselves because often they are as much trouble to a gm as someone who is munchkining the heck out of the rules in terms of balancing encounters for the party, but again and would council against it for someone in my group (though that is rather unlikely as we all optimize). But that is a preference.

To me a wizard using his spells as if they were mundane is the same as a fighter using his best weapon as if it was mundane. Asking a wizard not to use their spells (the vast majority of what the character can do) to solve problems is like marching up a single normal goblin to a 15th level fighter and saying, 'well if you try to bludgeon the goblin to death with a salomi instead of you're longsword it will make for a far more interesting story'. But we dont do that do we? Single warror 1 goblins stop showing up to fight, or when they do, they are not meant to be of consequence. So why not make the same kind of conceptual changes when a wizard learns fly or teleport?

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