Options x Numbers: aka: "Why wizards are so friggin' powerful"


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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And when you think about it Hulks roar was enough to restart Ironman's heart. Its like he was able to stabilize him. Its a healing effect! A sonic ability that stabilizes people on the brink of death! Yes. Excellent. Of course its non magical and only replicates the 'heal skill' so it's still probably not powerful enough....

Maybe his breath should be strong enough to wake the dead. Like laying on hands but instead of heal its a ressurect and instead of hands its halitosis.

Welcome to page 7 everyone!


Lumiere, while I agree with your general point ("Fighters should be more versatile"), I think you're unfairly restricting Fighter's options for this comparisson.

Race and gear are part of what makes a character viable. You shouldn't say "yeah, but what do Fighters do without their magic sword?" anymore than you should say "What if the wizard loses his grimoire?". This is only a problem if the only way for a class to actually be versatile and/or effective is belonging to one or two specific races or having one or two highly-specigic gear (other than the basic weapon/armor/whatever).
I don't think Bracers of Falcon's Aim is nearly as cheesy as the good ol' Rod of Quicken. Or any other Metamagic Rod, for that matter.

Fighters shouldn't need to be human who pick extra skill ranks as their favored class bonus or invest in a completely tertiary atribute that does very little for them (Int) just to have average skill points per level.

Fighters shouldn't be easy targets for mind-controlling spellcasters. They should have someway of boosting saves. Paladins have Divine Grace and immunities, Barbarians have Superstition. Monks have great base saves and a few immunities (They suck at offensive options, though) and Guslingers, while have no save-boosting class feature, are not only SAD, but also focused on Dex and Wisdom.


Vincent Takeda wrote:

And when you think about it Hulks roar was enough to restart Ironman's heart. Its like he was able to stabilize him. Its a healing effect! A sonic ability that stabilizes people on the brink of death! Yes. Excellent. Of course its non magical and only replicates the 'heal skill' so it's still probably not powerful enough....

Maybe his breath should be strong enough to wake the dead. Like laying on hands but instead of heal its a ressurect and instead of hands its halitosis.

Welcome to page 7 everyone!

a shout that awakens and Resurrects the dead in a cone sized radius within 1 round per barbarian level would be an interesting rage power.


"Healitosis" level 2 necromancy - Heals 3d8+level points of damage, but leaves the recipient nauseated for 2d4 rounds...."


Lemmy wrote:

Lumiere, while I agree with your general point ("Fighters should be more versatile"), I think you're unfairly restricting Fighter's options for this comparisson.

Race and gear are part of what makes a character viable. You shouldn't say "yeah, but what do Fighters do without their magic sword?" anymore than you should say "What if the wizard loses his grimoire?". This is only a problem if the only way for a class to actually be versatile and/or effective is belonging to one or two specific races or having one or two highly-specigic gear (other than the basic weapon/armor/whatever).
I don't think Bracers of Falcon's Aim is nearly as cheesy as the good ol' Rod of Quicken. Or any other Metamagic Rod, for that matter.

Fighters shouldn't need to be human who pick extra skill ranks as their favored class bonus or invest in a completely tertiary atribute that does very little for them (Int) just to have average skill points per level.

Fighters shouldn't be easy targets for mind-controlling spellcasters. They should have someway of boosting saves. Paladins have Divine Grace and immunities, Barbarians have Superstition. Monks have great base saves and a few immunities (They suck at offensive options, though) and Guslingers, while have no save-boosting class feature, are not only SAD, but also focused on Dex and Wisdom.

some Int Based Abilities for the Fighter would be awesome. it would introduce a bit of multiple attribute dependency but as a few examples.

"Cunning Defense." [EX;] the fighter of 2nd level or higher is an intelligent master of timing. he adds an insight bonus equal to his intelligence bonus to Saving Throws, Armor Class and CMD

"Calculative Precision" [EX;] a fighter of 5th level or higher has learned to apply precision to his attacks. adding an insight bonus equal to his intelligence bonus to Attack Rolls, Damage Rolls and CMB

"Precise Maneuver" [Ex;] a fighter of 3rd level or higher never provokes attack of opportunity when performing combat maneuvers, in addition, if he has the improved maneuver feat for a given maneuver, he make make attacks of opportunity against those who perform that same maneuver, whether or not they have a feat or racial ability that negates it. for example, a fighter of 3rd level or higher with improved grapple i always entitled to make attacks of opportunity against a grappling creature, even if they have improved grapple, greater grapple or the grab ability.


ciretose wrote:


So it is the nature of Orge Magi to follow forever and ever...

This is my point. If you are telling my the Ogre Magi are following because the gold is good and they are treated well, great. That isn't magic, that is management.

But you aren't. You are allowing the dominate spell to be used as a slavery spell.

Which is your choice, you are GM and it is your game. But it is a loose reading with some handwaving.

If you define "against their nature" as doing anything for you at all because they wouldn't want to then yeah...sure. I'm playing loose with the rules. But that's dumb so no...I'm not.

No it isn't management. I will never be able to condense the 11 or so sessions we've played since he's dominated them, but for clarity...they are not good. They are thugs who make money by scouting for other thugs and sometimes killing people much weaker than them when they know the can get away with it and who participated in a larger event that got a lot of children killed. The character who dominated them is convinced (with good reason) that left on their own they will hurt innocent people.

He is not friends with these ogres. And they certainly aren't friends with him (seeing as how he killed several of their friends). He treats them well because that's just the way he is. But he isn't willing to just kill them (he had no choice with the others) and until some sort of reform can be made (which he is attempting) he is unwilling to see them on their way. And they KNOW that. They also know that the crimes they committed haven't made them any friends. They are wanted in two kingdoms and should they be caught...they will be executed. They aren't retards. They know they are safer if they just do what they are told, at least for now even if they don't want to.

So why dominate them at all you ask? Because they are opportunists. They had their chance to serve of their own free will and when an enemy army was approaching they just didn't tell anybody. They figured that the army would finish the wizard and his buddies off. Well they didn't. But had there been advance warning the casualties would have been trivial, as opposed to devastating (the lost half of their living forces and one PC). And now the ogres are dominated and forced to do the job the right way. They are CR 8 and he is a level 19 wizard in a party with 4 other level 19 characters and an army.

My interpretation of the spell is a literal one with no hand waving what so ever. And all of that is unimportant and I shouldn't have had to explain any of it because it doesn't add anything to the discussion we have been having.


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I don't pretend to have anything like a solution to the entire scope of the "the preponderance of spells let casters potentially be all things to all people" issue, but reflecting on the matter, there was one minor point that struck me. With regard to the "ick" factor of casters eclipsing the territory of other players, of casters showing up other classes "at their own game" I kinda feel it might help a bit if more spells functioned like "Disguise Other" and less like "Knock".

Both are 2nd level spells, and both involve a +10 bonus applied to a corresponding skill check. However, Knock can simply and flatly allow a Wizard to "go it alone", even possibly being a bit better than a Rogue with full skill point investment into one of their most iconic abilities, for no investment whatsoever on the Wizard's part other than the cost of obtaining the spell. Disguise Other, on the other hand, seems significantly more balanced to me, in that it still interacts with the skill in question to perform the effect. It just provides a bonus to it, and one that can be applied to anyone.

So imagine if what Knock did was actually to... say, just for example... make the outer shell of a lock or device it was cast on transparent, allowing anyone to see the exact mechanisms inside, and providing a +10 bonus to all Disable Device attempts against the object. That way, instead of suddenly lockpicking as though he suddenly had full ranks in the skill, it allows the Wizard to function marginally, or to function decently if he's actually made more of an investment, OR to stack onto the skill ranks of someone who really specializes in it and push it to even greater heights by cooperation.

That way, in the later case, when facing a particularly tough device, the result isn't one character or the other eclipsing the magical or mundane lock-opening abilities of their counterpart, but an exchange that allows them to both play a significant role in something that neither of them might have been able to do alone (and maybe even give a little fist-bump to each other once it's done).

That's just an off-the-cuff example, and would need more balancing to the range of actual lock/device DCs that might be in an actual campaign. The basic idea, though, is that magic and spells aren't quite so broken when they supplement rather than invalidate (or even overwhelm; I'm looking at you, Glibness) the underlying mundane skills that correspond to the same effect.

Liberty's Edge

So it is there nature to be slaves?

Also, how he is good and keeping slaves?

Do they also lower spell resistance each time he re-casts dominate?

Your interpretation of the spell is to allow it to be used to enslave, and being enslaved isn't apparently against the nature of the ogre mages.


Vincent Takeda wrote:
Hulk cant separate your laundry into whites and colors. Hulk can't cast haste. Hulk cant teleport. Hulk smash. Sure he's not the only one that can smash but when the class is called 'fighter' you get two guesses which thing he's good at.

But you know what Hulk can do besides smash?

He can jump really far (enough to give him flight-esque mobility, something the Fighter lacks), he can eat magic and soak damage like it's nothing (something the Barbarian can kinda do but the Fighter can't), put out fires by clapping his hands, and has an "off-switch" that turns him into a super genius on par with the likes of Reed Richards, Dr. Doom, and Tony Stark. Among other things.

And none of his abilities are magic.


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

some Int Based Abilities for the Fighter would be awesome. it would introduce a bit of multiple attribute dependency but as a few examples.

"Cunning Defense." [EX;] the fighter of 2nd level or higher is an intelligent master of timing. he adds an insight bonus equal to his intelligence bonus to Saving Throws, Armor Class and CMD

"Calculative Precision" [EX;] a fighter of 5th level or higher has learned to apply precision to his attacks. adding an insight bonus equal to his intelligence bonus to Attack Rolls, Damage Rolls and CMB

"Precise Maneuver" [Ex;] a fighter of 3rd level or higher never provokes attack of opportunity when performing combat...

Those are cool ideas. Although I think Fighters shouldn't need Int unless they want to. I'd like to see a "Cunning Fighter" archetype that actually rewards Int (Tactician is very underwhelming and Lore Warden gives up a lot of the classic Fighter abilities).

In my games I use the following house-rules for Fighters.

- 4 skill ranks per level:
- Perception is a class skill, as well as 2 other skills of the player's choice, chosen at Fighter level 1.
- Fighter have good will saves.

They also benefit from a few other house rules about scaling feats, mobility and skill utility. (e.g.: TWF scales with level, instead of costing 4~6 feats to work properly)

EDIT: BTW, considering your criticism of Nicos' Build, I'd like to know what you think of Fighty McCharming's build, who I posted at last page. I tried to make him feel like a classic Fighter while still being good at social encounters.


Lemmy wrote:

In my games I use the following house-rules for Fighters.

- 4 skill ranks per level:
- Perception is a class skill, as well as 2 other skills of the player's choice, chosen at Fighter level 1.
- Fighter have good will saves.

They also benefit from a few other house rules about scaling feats, mobility and skill utility. (e.g.: TWF scales with level, instead of costing 4~6 feats to work properly)

That sounds like a reasonable fix. IMO No non-int-casting class should have 2+int skills/level and no non-casting class should have only one good save.

I'm thinking your feat solution is less than ideal though. I think I'd rather have broad feats than deep feats.

On the one hand you can condense the maneuver feat chains into single feats and you'd still wind up with pretty limited characters. They would have more options at higher level, but they'd be a chore to play at lower levels, much like first edition quadratic wizards.

On the other hand you can widen the feats. Maybe you rest all the maneuvers on one feat. I think Improved Unarmed Strike is a good candidate, though some of the weapon ones would want alternate prerequisites. Make it give +4 dodge (possibly scaling with BAB) to AC against AoOs triggered by your combat maneuvers. Now your level 1 fighter (or monk) can perform combat maneuvers in general pretty well. Then your second tier maneuver feats are less wide, but still wide. Maybe improved sunder, disarm, steal, and dirty trick are under one feat and improved bull rush, drag, reposition, trip, and grapple are under another. You specialize a little. Some of your options will eventually go obsolete, but you will still be able to perform them against most humanoids. Your third tier feats are narrower still, but may still be combos. For example grapple and trip are pretty closely related and might stay a combo. Your fourth tier feats are stuff like rapid grappler and tripping strike. They're powerful and represent advanced specialization.

Feat trees with broad bases splitting into narrower branches with still narrower twigs would make low level combat fun and support more than the very simplest non-caster character archetypes from low level.


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ciretose wrote:

So it is there nature to be slaves?

Also, how he is good and keeping slaves?

Do they also lower spell resistance each time he re-casts dominate?

Your interpretation of the spell is to allow it to be used to enslave, and being enslaved isn't apparently against the nature of the ogre mages.

Ciretose, I agree that many spells are abused by people handwaving important drawbacks, but Dominate Person is about the most over-powered spell there is. If you want to claim that being affected by a spell is "against it's nature", and give the victim saves all the time, then it might be ok, but I would say that it stretching the rules as written. Here is the thing, dominate monster is a 9th level spell, at point at which the standard value of a spell is a caster literally wishing for something to happen. If all humainoids were weaker then "monsters" there might be balance, but that is certainly not the case. Against the right target the caster basically gets to turn an encounter worthy foe into his personal hand puppet, and keep doing it day after day after day. Unless you "just happen" to have enemy casters attempting to dispel and anti-magic field the dominated creature, it most likely will never overcome the dominate.

Again, it is important to follow all the rules when using a spell, but spells like dominate person are just... too good.


i'm impressed by Doctor Fighty Mccharming. he feels like a classic fighter, and is quite the diplomat too. the trait investment is no different than taking cosmopolitan, which i am fine with, and half elf is less vital to Mccharming than being human was to Nico's Tactician.


ciretose wrote:

So it is there nature to be slaves?

Also, how he is good and keeping slaves?

Do they also lower spell resistance each time he re-casts dominate?

Your interpretation of the spell is to allow it to be used to enslave, and being enslaved isn't apparently against the nature of the ogre mages.

If you say 'is it in their nature to do something other than what they would do if they had free agency?' then every single action that every single dominated creature ever takes at any point in time is one that grants a will save at +2. If the only time the dominated creature doesn't get free saves with bonuses is when the creature would have been willing to do the action anyway, then the spell is retarded. I am dismissing your "is it in there nature to be a slave?" question as a completely incoherent interpretation of the spell on the grounds that the spell removes agency as its effect thus making the target a slave as an inherent element of its successful casting.

He cannot fail to overcome their spell resistance. It doesn't matter.

EDIT: One sentence was a cluster f#&*. Fixed for clarity.

Liberty's Edge

Fergie wrote:
ciretose wrote:

So it is there nature to be slaves?

Also, how he is good and keeping slaves?

Do they also lower spell resistance each time he re-casts dominate?

Your interpretation of the spell is to allow it to be used to enslave, and being enslaved isn't apparently against the nature of the ogre mages.

Ciretose, I agree that many spells are abused by people handwaving important drawbacks, but Dominate Person is about the most over-powered spell there is. If you want to claim that being affected by a spell is "against it's nature", and give the victim saves all the time, then it might be ok, but I would say that it stretching the rules as written. Here is the thing, dominate monster is a 9th level spell, at point at which caster can literally wish for things to happen. If all humainoids were weaker then "monsters" there might be balance, but that is certainly not the case.

Again, it is important to follow all the rules when using a spell, but spells like dominate person are just... too good.

Read the spell. If you ask them to do something against their nature they get a new save at +2. They still may have to do it, but they get a save.

"Subjects resist this control, and any subject forced to take actions against its nature receives a new saving throw with a +2 bonus. Obviously self-destructive orders are not carried out."

If you are going to say being a slave is in their nature, you can ignore the new save.

Also, read the wish spell.

Dark Archive

claymade wrote:
So imagine if what Knock did was actually to... say, just for example... make the outer shell of a lock or device it was cast on transparent, allowing anyone to see the exact mechanisms inside, and providing a +10 bonus to all Disable Device attempts against the object. That way, instead of suddenly lockpicking as though he suddenly had full ranks in the skill, it allows the Wizard to function marginally, or to function decently if he's actually made more of an investment, OR to stack onto the skill ranks of someone who really specializes in it and push it to even greater heights by cooperation.

Bravo claymade!

This - a thousand times this!

Same with spider climb giving an extra bonus if it was cast on those with Climb in their class skill list, Invisibility on those with Stealth on their list, etc. A good number of the spells modified like this.

Side note on complementary spells project:
I am working on allowing only buffs to affect classes with prime stats in my AD&D 3rd edition, ex Bull Strength on Fighter (whose prime stats are STR or DEX and CON) gets 1d4+2 if he is a STR fighter, everyone else who gets it without a prime stat in STR just gets +1d4.
Spell DCs cap out based on level so the Wizard (prime stat INT + specialist stat if specialist) can cast Fox Cunning till the it rains knives, he doesn't get to break the spell level assigned cap to DC by having an increased INT - at best he gets a spike in his knowledge skills or maybe a re-check on a failed knowledge check. I love the second high stat requirement for specialist Wizards - brings them back to the MAD world. LOL

I don't have time right now to rebut WPharolin's superworld fail/"dig the ditch deeper" proposition, but I had to comment on this post.

The general concept of most spells functioning in a support capacity or complementary fashion vs. ability or class replacement should have been the design direction they went with in 3rd ed.

Liberty's Edge

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WPharolin wrote:


He cannot fail to overcome their spell resistance. It doesn't matter.

Spell Resistance

"The defender's spell resistance is like an Armor Class against magical attacks."

Under Armor Class

Armor Class

"Your Armor Class (AC) represents how hard it is for opponents to land a solid, damaging blow on you. It's the attack roll result that an opponent needs to achieve to hit you."

And finally
"Attack Roll

An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round. When you make an attack roll, you roll a d20 and add your attack bonus. (Other modifiers may also apply to this roll.) If your result equals or beats the target's Armor Class, you hit and deal damage.

Automatic Misses and Hits

A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on an attack roll is always a miss. A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a hit. A natural 20 is also a threat—a possible critical hit (see the attack action)."


ciretose wrote:


Read the spell. If you ask them to do something against their nature they get a new save at +2. They still may have to do it, but they get a save.

"Subjects resist this control, and any subject forced to take actions against its nature receives a new saving throw with a +2 bonus. Obviously self-destructive orders are not carried out."

If you are going to say being a slave is in their nature, you can ignore the new save.

Also, read the wish spell.

As I said, if you want to say that it is against a creatures nature to be under the affects of the spell, then you are finding something in the text that I'm just not seeing, or using a different definition of "nature".

If your point was that you have to follow what the spell description says objectively, and that balances the spell, I think that works for some spells, but not dominate person.

PS Just read the Wish spell description... pretty much puts to shame any other spell or ability of just about every class in the entire game. At 17th level casters get access to wish, what other class gets a similar ability ever?

PPS Don't say Miracle!


Well Invisibility already does give a bonus to those with ranks in Stealth, since it effectively only gives a +20 stealth if you make a noise I believe.

And I think some spells like Spider Climb should stay as they are. Unerring climbs will always be useful.

But the idea itself seems solid I guess. I dunno, I've never really had an issue with utility spells like that though up to a certain point.

Liberty's Edge

Dominate is a single target combat ending spell, as you can have something that was trying to kill you stop attacking you.

It does not have to be an enslavement spell, as having them take an action against there nature gives a new save. There is nothing in the spell that makes it an enslavement spell, and there is a very clear line that gives the GM control over defining what is or is not in a creatures nature.

If you choose to ignore that line and give the spell overwhelming power, it is your game. But again, you can't complain it is broken when you broke it by reading the spell so liberally that slavery is in the nature of Ogre Mages.


Atarlost wrote:

That sounds like a reasonable fix. IMO No non-int-casting class should have 2+int skills/level and no non-casting class should have only one good save.

I'm thinking your feat solution is less than ideal though. I think I'd rather have broad feats than deep feats.

On the one hand you can condense the maneuver feat chains into single feats and you'd still wind up with pretty limited characters. They would have more options at higher level, but they'd be a chore to play at lower levels, much like first edition quadratic wizards.

On the other hand you can widen the feats. Maybe you rest all the maneuvers on one feat. I think Improved Unarmed Strike is a good candidate, though some of the weapon ones would want alternate prerequisites. Make it give +4 dodge (possibly scaling with BAB) to AC against AoOs triggered by your combat maneuvers. Now your level 1 fighter (or monk) can perform combat maneuvers in general pretty well. Then your second tier maneuver feats are less wide, but still wide. Maybe improved sunder, disarm, steal, and dirty trick are under one feat and improved bull rush, drag, reposition, trip, and grapple are under another. You specialize a little. Some of your options will eventually go obsolete, but you will still be able to perform them against most humanoids. Your third tier feats are narrower still, but may still be combos. For example grapple and trip are pretty closely related and might stay a combo. Your fourth tier feats are stuff like rapid grappler and tripping strike. They're powerful and represent advanced specialization.

Feat trees with broad bases splitting into narrower branches with still narrower twigs would make low level combat fun and support more than the very simplest non-caster character archetypes from low level

I see your point. But remember, if you don't have to invest 4~6 feats just to make your chosen fighting style to remain relevant, you can use your feats for different stuff. Ona related not, I removed the Combat Expertise and Int 13 prerequisites from all combat maneuver feats. So A Paladin could learn to disarm/trip enemies just fine, but a Fighter will be able to do that plus grapple, steal, sunder, bullrush, etc...

I usually also erase feats that I think restrict characters instead of empowering them (e.g.:Strike Back).

Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
I'm impressed by Doctor Fighty McCharming. he feels like a classic fighter, and is quite the diplomat too. the trait investment is no different than taking cosmopolitan, which i am fine with, and half elf is less vital to Mccharming than being human was to Nico's Tactician.

Thanks. I have no problem with a character sacrificing a bit of her specialization to broaden her utility and options (My current druid character has the same traits as Dr.McCharming, but he has more skill points, better class skills, much better saves, Wild Shape and g~%@@@n full spell-casting!). My problem is when s character such as Dr.McCharming sacrifices so much of his potential (investing in skill traits and Int) just to be as versatile as a Gunslinger or Barbarian, who are not even that versatile themselves.

BTW, I like Nicos' build. Every player optimizes to a certain degree, and Nicos chose to optimize for skills, without sacrificing combat effectiveness, so it's not better or worse than a Fighter who get EWP: Falcata and the whole Weapon Spec feat chain (which I despise!), he just has different priorities.
If I wanted to optimize Dr.Charming's skill set, I'd probably make him human with the Focused Study alternate racial trait, keep the 12 Int, but use the favored class bonus to raise his CMD against grapple/trip while still having 5 skill ranks per level and 2 Skill Focus feats.

Liberty's Edge

Fergie wrote:


As I said, if you want to say that it is against a creatures nature to be under the affects of the spell, then you are finding something in the text that I'm just not seeing, or using a different definition of "nature".

If your point was that you have to follow what the spell description says objectively, and that balances the spell, I think that works for some spells, but not dominate person.

PS Just read the Wish spell description... pretty much puts to shame any other spell or ability of just about every class in the entire game. At 17th level casters get access to wish, what other class gets a similar ability ever?

PPS Don't say Miracle!

Read the actual Wish spell.

"Even wish, however, has its limits. A wish can produce any one of the following effects."

And then it lists

"Duplicate any sorcerer/wizard spell of 8th level or lower, provided the spell does not belong to one of your opposition schools.
Duplicate any non-sorcerer/wizard spell of 7th level or lower, provided the spell does not belong to one of your opposition schools.
Duplicate any sorcerer/wizard spell of 7th level or lower, even if it belongs to one of your opposition schools.
Duplicate any non-sorcerer/wizard spell of 6th level or lower, even if it belongs to one of your opposition schools.
Undo the harmful effects of many other spells, such as geas/quest or insanity.
Grant a creature a +1 inherent bonus to an ability score. Two to five wish spells cast in immediate succession can grant a creature a +2 to +5 inherent bonus to an ability score (two wishes for a +2 inherent bonus, three wishes for a +3 inherent bonus, and so on). Inherent bonuses are instantaneous, so they cannot be dispelled. Note: An inherent bonus may not exceed +5 for a single ability score, and inherent bonuses to a particular ability score do not stack, so only the best one applies.
Remove injuries and afflictions. A single wish can aid one creature per caster level, and all subjects are cured of the same kind of affliction. For example, you could heal all the damage you and your companions have taken, or remove all poison effects from everyone in the party, but not do both with the same wish.
Revive the dead. A wish can bring a dead creature back to life by duplicating a resurrection spell. A wish can revive a dead creature whose body has been destroyed, but the task takes two wishes: one to recreate the body and another to infuse the body with life again. A wish cannot prevent a character who was brought back to life from gaining a permanent negative level.
Transport travelers. A wish can lift one creature per caster level from anywhere on any plane and place those creatures anywhere else on any plane regardless of local conditions. An unwilling target gets a Will save to negate the effect, and spell resistance (if any) applies.
Undo misfortune. A wish can undo a single recent event. The wish forces a reroll of any roll made within the last round (including your last turn). Reality reshapes itself to accommodate the new result. For example, a wish could undo an opponent's successful save, a foe's successful critical hit (either the attack roll or the critical roll), a friend's failed save, and so on. The reroll, however, may be as bad as or worse than the original roll. An unwilling target gets a Will save to negate the effect, and spell resistance (if any) applies."

Which are all very nice, but limited.

As to dominate, it is very clear. I quoted the line from the spell that specifically says if you ask someone to do something against it's nature, it gets a new save.

I don't know how else they could have put it.

If, as a GM, you choose to define the nature of the controlled as "whatever the PC wants" that is your call. But don't complain about how overpowered it is when the spell gives you a limit and you ignore it.


ciretose wrote:

Dominate is a single target combat ending spell, as you can have something that was trying to kill you stop attacking you.

It does not have to be an enslavement spell, as having them take an action against there nature gives a new save. There is nothing in the spell that makes it an enslavement spell, and there is a very clear line that gives the GM control over defining what is or is not in a creatures nature.

If you choose to ignore that line and give the spell overwhelming power, it is your game. But again, you can't complain it is broken when you broke it by reading the spell so liberally that slavery is in the nature of Ogre Mages.

I just read the description of oni... not much in there about being paragons of personal freedom and abolition. In fact, I would guess most Lawful Evil outsiders like devils would never dream of enslaving each other.

Please don't take the sarcasm as anything but my poor attempt at humor. I highly respect Cirtose as a decorated veteran of many fighters-vs-wizard threads, and I just disagree about a handful of points, dominate person probably being the worst example in my opinion.

BTW I informally took spells like dominate and hold out of my game when I GM. I could just be way too nasty with vampires and aboleths and stuff.


i can understand fighters using alternative weapons, but i don't like it when for a given class, a specific race, build, item, or archetype is the only viable way to play it because it outshines all the other ways to play that class so badly it invalidates them.


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ciretose wrote:

Spell Resistance

"The defender's spell resistance is like an Armor Class against magical attacks."

Under Armor Class

Armor Class

"Your Armor Class (AC) represents how hard it is for opponents to land a solid, damaging blow on you. It's the attack roll result that an opponent needs to achieve to hit you."

And finally
"Attack Roll

An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round. When you make an attack roll, you roll a d20 and add your attack bonus. (Other modifiers may also apply to this roll.) If your result equals or beats the target's Armor Class, you hit and deal damage.

Automatic Misses and Hits

A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on an attack roll is always a miss. A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a hit. A natural 20 is also a threat—a possible critical hit (see the attack action)."

Caster level checks aren't attack rolls, being willfully obtuse isn't doing you any favors.


ciretose wrote:
Nothing I didn't already know

Let me be clear. HE CANNOT FAIL TO OVER COME SR. I wanna say that again so there is no mistake. HE CANNOT FAIL. Now, none of this matters. None of this addresses anything I have been saying in this thread about fighting men and nerds in pointy hats. But because you feel the need to find some flaw that isn't there, I have had to explain entirely irrelevant details about my home campaign that doesn't in anyway relate to the conversation.

I'm not trying to be rude. I've had debates with you in the past and I've enjoyed them because you have the ability to challenge me. But this isn't relevant to the discussion and I shouldn't have to explain my players actions to you.


claymade wrote:
I don't pretend to have anything like a solution to the entire scope of the "the preponderance of spells let casters potentially be all things to all people" issue, but reflecting on the matter, there was one minor point that struck me. With regard to the "ick" factor of casters eclipsing the territory of other players, of casters showing up other classes "at their own game" I kinda feel it might help a bit if more spells functioned like "Disguise Other" and less like "Knock".

History Lesson time!

Ok, I have made this point recently on the forum, but not in this thread, I don't think, so let me just explain quickly why spells like Knock, Disguise Other, and all those "magic does a skill check better and obsoletes the Rogue" exist in the first place:

Way back in the beginning, there were no Rogues. There were only Fighters, Clerics, and Wizards. There were no skill checks at all--only attribute checks (you tried to roll under your attribute on a d20 to succeed). Anyone could try anything just by rolling the appropriate attribute.

Sneaking around? Picking a lock? Climbing a wall? Yeah, absolutely, anyone could try them. If you had a good attribute, you had a pretty good chance.

Wizards got spells like Invisibility, Spider Climb, and Knock and they were automatically successful versions of sneaking around, climbing a wall, or picking a lock, and it was a good thing. See, there were no toes to step on with those spells. Everyone was equally good at that stuff (i.e. it was just based on your attributes), so nobody's character was defined as "the guy that snuck around, climbed walls, and picked locks." Having an option to spend a precious resource like a spell to automatically succeed on something that was generally only slightly better than a 50/50 for most people was great fun, and made the Wizard a useful character to have around early on.

Rogues didn't come until later (sure, it was pretty early in the game's history, but still not at the start), and when they did, they brought with them that percentile skill system. Suddenly, nobody else could do the things Rogues could do (for the same reason people hate Strike Back--because by having rules for X, you can't do X anymore without using those rules), and it was the Rogue's "thing" to sneak around, climb walls, and pick locks. Suddenly, those spells that were great in their original context became terrible spells for jerks that wanted to steal the Rogue's thunder.

I should stop before I start rambling, but my point is that those spells existed before they stepped on anyone's toes. The real problem is that people got so used to them being there that they felt iconic, and so when those toes presented themselves, nobody thought to remove these toe-stomping spells from the game because it wouldn't "feel right."

Personally, my desired goal would be the removal of the Rogue class (folding in the non-magical non-combat guy and the "sneaky fighter" guy into the Fighter), but the second most desirable outcome for me would just be to straight out remove those spells.

Edit: If it would really feel wrong to people, then what if they turned them into cantrips that basically gave you phantom ranks in the skill in question equal to your caster level for a swift (or even free) action that don't stack with any real ranks you have (take whichever is higher).

So, Spider Climb would give CL ranks in Climb, Knock in Disable Device, etc.


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
i can understand fighters using alternative weapons, but i don't like it when for a given class, a specific race, build, item, or archetype is the only viable way to play it because it outshines all the other ways to play that class so badly it invalidates them.

I completely agree with this. I even mentioned something like that in my previous post.

There is no problem in a class not being the most effective at a given role. The problem is when they have to go all that extra mile just to have average effectiveness at anything other than their main role.
If Dr.McCharming were a gunslinger or Ranger instead, he'd probably have much better skills and saves, and only slightly lower AC and damage.
Add my Fighter houserules and suddenly he gets 6 skill ranks per level, which is Ranger/Inquisitor level of skill versatility, and if he gets to use his traits for fighting stuff, like having better saves or initiative, so his effort really paid off. As it's, he invests a lot to be just average.
IMHO optinion, the one thing Fighters really excel at is switch-hitting. They are very capable of dealing with melee and ranged threats without sacrificing anything. They are well rewarded for investing in the attributes necessary for this role and his class feature actually help him with that.
Unfortunatelly, I don't think being good at direct HP damage from different distances is as useful as most people think.


Lemmy wrote:
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
i can understand fighters using alternative weapons, but i don't like it when for a given class, a specific race, build, item, or archetype is the only viable way to play it because it outshines all the other ways to play that class so badly it invalidates them.

I completely agree with this. I even mentioned something like that in my previous post.

There is no problem in a class not being the most effective at a given role. The problem is when they have to go all that extra mile just to have average effectiveness at anything other than their main role.
If Dr.McCharming were a gunslinger or Ranger instead, he'd probably have much better skills and saves, and only slightly lower AC and damage.
Add my Fighter houserules and suddenly he gets 6 skill ranks per level, which is Ranger/Inquisitor level of skill versatility, and if he gets to use his traits for fighting stuff, like having better saves or initiative, so his effort really paid off. As it's, he invests a lot to be just average.
IMHO optinion, the one thing Fighters really excel at is switch-hitting. They are very capable of dealing with melee and ranged threats without sacrificing anything. They are well rewarded for investing in the attributes necessary for this role and his class feature actually help him with that.
Unfortunatelly, I don't think being good at direct HP damage from different distances is as useful as most people think.

a switch hitter, is usually generally a melee combatant who uses ranged combat as a means of combating foes he/she cannot reach. they are melee first, ranged second.


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
a switch hitter, is usually generally a melee combatant who uses ranged combat as a means of combating foes he/she cannot reach. they are melee first, ranged second.

Yeah, I know that. And Fighters do it very well. They have enough feats to cover melee + archery + Iron Will.

Dr.McCharming is a good example of switch-hitting. He focuses on melee, but has some ranged capability as well.


WPharolin, if you don't mean Fighters and Wizards, don't say fighters and wizard. Say martials and casters, or something like that.


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

Want to be a beatstick?

even if you have a 3/4 B.A.B. character who uses spells to become a better beatstick, choosing spells that make you a better beatstick narrow down your options to near the level of a true beatstick. with the addition of multiple attribute dependency, less feats, and more expensive gear.

so remember that the caster beatstick, has reduced himself from a full caster, to become a beatstick. and will become just as boring. DCs will suffer, Metamagic will be fewer, and former dump stats will be no longer easily dumpable.

It's fairly telling that a caster can largely replicate the martial's job, and in doing so become WEAKER overall.


yeti1069 wrote:
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

Want to be a beatstick?

even if you have a 3/4 B.A.B. character who uses spells to become a better beatstick, choosing spells that make you a better beatstick narrow down your options to near the level of a true beatstick. with the addition of multiple attribute dependency, less feats, and more expensive gear.

so remember that the caster beatstick, has reduced himself from a full caster, to become a beatstick. and will become just as boring. DCs will suffer, Metamagic will be fewer, and former dump stats will be no longer easily dumpable.

It's fairly telling that a caster can largely replicate the martial's job, and in doing so become WEAKER overall.

but it is true, a caster who replicates a martial's job is no better than another martial. they might have some buffs that mimic certain useful utilitarian items. in fact, the rounds a caster beatstick spends buffing, feel so empty and unsatisfying. but it's a price you pay to play a martial with a few self heals.

the synthesist, who fuses with their eidolon, is a nasty martial beast as well, but they are more difficult to heal, and weaker than a core summoner.

and an oracle who focuses on replicating a martial's job, is far weaker than an oracle who focuses on casting spells at the high levels.


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

Want to be a beatstick?

even if you have a 3/4 B.A.B. character who uses spells to become a better beatstick, choosing spells that make you a better beatstick narrow down your options to near the level of a true beatstick. with the addition of multiple attribute dependency, less feats, and more expensive gear.

so remember that the caster beatstick, has reduced himself from a full caster, to become a beatstick. and will become just as boring. DCs will suffer, Metamagic will be fewer, and former dump stats will be no longer easily dumpable.

It's fairly telling that a caster can largely replicate the martial's job, and in doing so become WEAKER overall.

but it is true, a caster who replicates a martial's job is no better than another martial. they might have some buffs that mimic certain useful utilitarian items. in fact, the rounds a caster beatstick spends buffing, feel so empty and unsatisfying. but it's a price you pay to play a martial with a few self heals.

the synthesist, who fuses with their eidolon, is a nasty martial beast as well, but they are more difficult to heal, and weaker than a core summoner.

and an oracle who focuses on replicating a martial's job, is far weaker than an oracle who focuses on casting spells at the high levels.

My point was that it illustrates part of the issue being discussed here--a caster CAN fill a martial's job, but doing so makes them weaker. Or, looking at it another way: martials are weaker than casters.

However, the caster that fills the martial's role still probably has enough caster stuff (spells) leftover to still be a decent caster. That's a big problem.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
WPharolin wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Nothing I didn't already know

Let me be clear. HE CANNOT FAIL TO OVER COME SR. I wanna say that again so there is no mistake. HE CANNOT FAIL. Now, none of this matters. None of this addresses anything I have been saying in this thread about fighting men and nerds in pointy hats. But because you feel the need to find some flaw that isn't there, I have had to explain entirely irrelevant details about my home campaign that doesn't in anyway relate to the conversation.

I'm not trying to be rude. I've had debates with you in the past and I've enjoyed them because you have the ability to challenge me. But this isn't relevant to the discussion and I shouldn't have to explain my players actions to you.

Care to cite the page number where it states that a natural 1 is not a failure vs SR?


Lemmy wrote:
I see your point. But remember, if you don't have to invest 4~6 feats just to make your chosen fighting style to remain relevant, you can use your feats for different stuff. Ona related not, I removed the Combat Expertise and Int 13 prerequisites from all combat maneuver feats. So A Paladin could learn to disarm/trip enemies just fine, but a Fighter will be able to do that plus grapple, steal, sunder, bullrush, etc...

The paladin doesn't disarm/trip until level 3. The fighter doesn't disarm/trip/grapple/steal/sunder/bullrush until level 6.

My way you can use a variety of combat maneuvers earlier. You specialize to get the power stuff. This has the advantage of freeing up low level feats for non-chain stuff, and letting you do a bit of everything cheap (because in the maneuvers example you can do all improved maneuvers with 3 feats, all greater maneuvers with maybe another 4, but the top tier stuff like rapid grappler and bull rush strike you basically have to specialize.

I think starting with broad feats and specializing into narrower just gives more organic character growth. You try a bunch of stuff and then decide how to focus your training.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
shallowsoul wrote:
Care to cite the page number where it states that a natural 1 is not a failure vs SR?

Care to cite the page number where it states that it does?

As it's worded it could be either a skill check (which doesn't) or equivalent to a caster CMB check (which would) but there's nothing concrete either way really.


yeti1069 wrote:


My point was that it illustrates part of the issue being discussed here--a caster CAN fill a martial's job, but doing so makes them weaker. Or, looking at it another way: martials are weaker than casters.

However, the caster that fills the martial's role still probably has enough caster stuff (spells) leftover to still be a decent caster. That's a big problem.

considering an average of 4 fights a day, and that a caster filling a martial's role has to have a copy of each relevant spell they intend to use for each fight they intend to use it in. which devotes a massive amount of resources to buffs, that they probably have several long duration buffs active, and still have to worry about spells per day. i doubt a martially oriented caster has that many spells to devote to uses outside of combat. even the oracle, whom would seem to be flooded with slots. any magical equipment they compensate for lacking, also, requires spells.

they would have very limited resources remaining to do true caster stuff. both due to the heavy investment on buffs and other combat important spells, and due to their reduced DCs derived from investing in martial stats. a martially oriented caster is little different from a martial whom provides his own buffs and maybe a few minor self heals.


Matthew Downie wrote:
WPharolin, if you don't mean Fighters and Wizards, don't say fighters and wizard. Say martials and casters, or something like that.

I have stated numerous times that I have was using the term interchangeably. I have also used the terms martial and caster, fighting men, barbarians, nerds with pointy hats. Really there is no excuse for the confusion at this point. But to make sure that everyone is on the same page from this point on I am going to refer to martial characters as grunts and casters as magic-users.


I didnt read all messages but here's my opinion: Both are necessary. Wizards have more options with spells (i agree with you) but melee characters (with minor options) are the base for a group. With some heal you can go through a lot of enconuters, and they are always at full power until they die :) Wizards have more options, restricted to a precise number each day and spammed on 9 levels of power. People often look at the wizard's spell list and say "by the hell!! a wizard can do anything!!!" but you dont have ALL spells whenever you want, you shall create your tactic, you can leave open slots.. My brother always play fighters or barbarians; he kills everything and i play wizards as support and battlefield control. One day we met a big stupid monster that kill him and I killed the monster with a debuff and a unique spell. He sucked a lot and stressed me about the unbalance between martial characters and casters.. I asked him to create a wizard and try it. He comes back to is barbarian in less then an adventure :) With this example I want to explain this: RPG games reflect life sometimes. Some people love options, responsabilities, and someone else no. that's the fun of the game.. every class is powerful in his job. The problem is that with more options people think that wizards can do everything and this is wrong because you can do one or two thing /day.. If you want to tank all day long you cant be a blaster all day long.. the same for other roles.. I LOVE wizards, i play this class from the first edition of d&d.. i love options :)

Rafim, the Wizard :))

Liberty's Edge

@Roberta Yang -

Spell Resistance
"The defender's spell resistance is like an Armor Class against magical attacks."

I'm repeating the citation, because the irony of you overlooking it while calling me "willfully obtuse" makes me giggle.

If Spell Resistance is like an armor class against magical attacks, then magical attacks are like what to Spell Resistance?

Again, if you want to read the rules to create your broken wizard, just don't complain when your wizard is broken.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You're reading a lot more into "like an Armor Class" than it means. A caster level check to overcome spell resistance is not an attack roll; would you give a wizard a bonus on such a caster level check from a bard's inspire courage?

"Like an Armor Class" means "it's a thing you roll against", not "it is literally an Armor Class and you literally make an attack roll that behaves exactly like every other attack roll". As evidenced by, you know, the caster level check to overcome spell resistance never being referred to as an attack roll anywhere.

Liberty's Edge

WPharolin wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Nothing I didn't already know

Let me be clear. HE CANNOT FAIL TO OVER COME SR. I wanna say that again so there is no mistake. HE CANNOT FAIL. Now, none of this matters. None of this addresses anything I have been saying in this thread about fighting men and nerds in pointy hats. But because you feel the need to find some flaw that isn't there, I have had to explain entirely irrelevant details about my home campaign that doesn't in anyway relate to the conversation.

I'm not trying to be rude. I've had debates with you in the past and I've enjoyed them because you have the ability to challenge me. But this isn't relevant to the discussion and I shouldn't have to explain my players actions to you.

I enjoy debating with you as well. If there is a citation saying SR cannot fail, I will concede the point. What I see is SR works like Armor Class against Magic Attacks (As specifically described in the rule). The "Attack Bonus" equivalent for the spell resistance "Armor Class" is caster level, and I think we all agree that regardless of your attack bonus, you fail on a 1 and succeed on a 20.

My point is you read the limits on the rules as not particularly limiting, and as a result wizards in your game have these things they would not have in any game I have played.

It is a choice you made for your game. You have a right to make those choices if they work for your game. If everyone is having fun with the Ogre Mage slave menagerie who never fail the save and attack the wizard with cone of cold, that is awesome.

But it is also a function of interpretation of rules favorably to player power that if reversed would irritate the hell out of players.

Liberty's Edge

Roberta Yang wrote:

You're reading a lot more into "like an Armor Class" than it means. A caster level check to overcome spell resistance is not an attack roll; would you give a wizard a bonus on such a caster level check from a bard's inspire courage?

"Like an Armor Class" means "it's a thing you roll against", not "it is literally an Armor Class and you literally make an attack roll that behaves exactly like every other attack roll". As evidenced by, you know, the caster level check to overcome spell resistance never being referred to as an attack roll anywhere.

I think you are reading less into it than you want. But we can FAQ it if you like.

Liberty's Edge

Rynjin wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Care to cite the page number where it states that a natural 1 is not a failure vs SR?

Care to cite the page number where it states that it does?

As it's worded it could be either a skill check (which doesn't) or equivalent to a caster CMB check (which would) but there's nothing concrete either way really.

As worded, it is "Like Armor Class" with the spell being an "attack"

And rolling a 1 when attacking armor class results in failure. Again, if there is a citation saying otherwise I'll concede, but why create a mechanic that literally says it acts like armor class and not have it...well....act like armor class.

It's also an advantage to casters who roll 20s against impossible spell resistance, although obviously this is more rare.


But it already has very obvious differences to attacking armor class: you don't add any ability score modifier to a caster level check, and critical hits don't exist. There are enough major differences that you can't extrapolate such a specific equivalence from such a generic statement as "like".

Your interpretation actually makes wizards much stronger because if a caster level check to overcome spell resistance is in fact an attack roll, then it benefits from buffs like inspire courage, good hope, etc.

Liberty's Edge

Buffs only work on what is specifically listed, much in the same way an armor bonus will specific what type of armor, and not just armor in general. Although again illustrative of someone trying to find more ways to slip more power in while resisting areas that seem intended to limit power...

"Spell resistance is a special defensive ability. If your spell is being resisted by a creature with spell resistance, you must make a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) at least equal to the creature's spell resistance for the spell to affect that creature. The defender's spell resistance is like an Armor Class against magical attacks. Include any adjustments to your caster level to this caster level check."

So Spell Resistance acts like armor class against magical attacks. Literally, that is what it says. And rolling a 1 against Armor Class means...

But again, if you are going to consistently look for ways to increase the power of casters while handwaving away limits, casters will be really powerful in your games.

If you read the limiting factors as...well...limiting factors and include them in your game you end up with really powerful characters who can do lots of things.


It is explicitly stated that the only things that automatically fail on a natural 1 in Pathfinder are attack rolls and saving throws.

Are caster level checks to overcome spell resistance attack rolls? If so, they can be buffed by generic buffs to attack rolls.

Are caster level checks to overcome spell resistance not attack rolls? If so, they don't automatically fail on a 1.

Take your pick, or explain on what basis you are only sometimes kind of treating them as attack rolls.

Liberty's Edge

FAQ it. That was my suggestion.

I'm not going to argue with you, specifically. I've seen this movie before and it ends in a trainwreck.

Silver Crusade

I will open a FAQ thread in the rules section.

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