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


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

401 to 450 of 1,001 << first < prev | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | next > last >>
Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you really wanted a level playing field between the Magicals and the Martials, quite frankly you all should have worked on making 4th Edition a better game rather than trying to stick to 3.5+ in the form of Pathfinder. Because nothing less than a rework on that level is the answer to this question if that's the kind of question you must ask.


Selk wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

Aha! Finally an Ashiel post about fighting games!

I knew it was a good analogy! Heh...

I'm not fond of the fighting game analogy. It encourages a blandly narrow view of this game. Class balance be damned, and double damned if the DM has an inkling of what makes a robust and engaging story, with multiple opportunities for all characters to contribute to -and shape- the outcome.

Less power = less fun? Bah, it's a conceit that has crept into this game that I think is playground balderdash *adjusts his purple hat*

Did you read my OP? Or just saw "Fighting game analogy" and thought "Pfff... Fighting games are for losers who just want combat! RPG are about exploring the world!"

Because I actually said:

"So, if in a game which involves combat and only combat, having more options with most often outweight having bigger numbers, what happens when you expand the game to involve non-combat situations? What happens when you expand it to involve pretty much every situation a GM can think of?
What happens is that having extra options becomes even more important, and number tend to mean less. Your number must be high enough to make you options effective, but after a while it doesn't matter.
A character who deals 300 damage per attack is just as good as one who deals 100000 damage per attack, but a character with 10 options is much, much better than a chracter with 5 options."

and

"Want to buff Fighters? Giving two extra skill points will help him more than giving him an extra 50 damage to their DPR."

I didn't even focus on combat options! Quite the opposite, actually. My point was about overall versatility. Which happens to include in-combat options.

I have no idea where you got the "less power = less fun" quote. I have much more fun playing with Inquisitors and Paladins than with Wizards and Clerics!

Sovereign Court

Lemmy wrote:
Selk wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

Aha! Finally an Ashiel post about fighting games!

I knew it was a good analogy! Heh...

I'm not fond of the fighting game analogy. It encourages a blandly narrow view of this game. Class balance be damned, and double damned if the DM has an inkling of what makes a robust and engaging story, with multiple opportunities for all characters to contribute to -and shape- the outcome.

Less power = less fun? Bah, it's a conceit that has crept into this game that I think is playground balderdash *adjusts his purple hat*

Did you read my OP? Or just saw "Fighting game analogy" and thought "Pfff... Fighting games are for losers who just want combat! RPG are about exploring the world!"

Because I actually said:

"So, if in a game which involves combat and only combat, having more options with most often outweight having bigger numbers, what happens when you expand the game to involve non-combat situations? What happens when you expand it to involve pretty much every situation a GM can think of?
What happens is that having extra options becomes even more important, and number tend to mean less. Your number must be high enough to make you options effective, but after a while it doesn't matter.
A character who deals 300 damage per attack is just as good as one who deals 100000 damage per attack, but a character with 10 options is much, much better than a chracter with 5 options."

and

"Want to buff Fighters? Giving two extra skill points will help him more than giving him an extra 50 damage to their DPR."

I didn't even focus on combat options! Quite the opposite, actually. My point was about overall versatility. Which happens to include in-combat options.

I have no idea where you got the "less power = less fun" quote. I have much more fun playing with Inquisitors and Paladins than with Wizards and Clerics!

I did read your OP before posting. What I took from it was that mechanical versatility (options) equal a more useful PC. I disagree. I think versatility is truly function of playstyle and the adaptability of the DM and that usefulness as measured by a character sheet is only the tip of the iceberg.

If you have more fun playing less powerful characters, what is the ultimate point of balancing wizards if it doesn't seem to directly correlate to fun...in a game?


Selk wrote:
I did read your OP before posting. What I took from it was that mechanical versatility (options) equal a more useful PC. I disagree. I think versatility is truly function of playstyle and the adaptability of the DM and that usefulness as measured by a character sheet is only the tip of the iceberg.

But it truly isn't. IF the GM decides to throw out a lot of the rules and go for a more "Just RP we're not gonna roll much" approach, sure, it doesn't matter as much.

But if you're playing the game as written, that doesn't matter. You could be the most creative, best RP-er in the world, but none of that is going to let your Fighter pass that Bluff check, or Diplomacy check, or Climb check if he doesn't have enough points to put into it.

The Wizard (or any other class, really) will always have more options. Therefore they will be more versatile, and in the game as-is, they will usually be more fun to play outside of combat.

Having more options is usually more fun.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

I would like the game to maintain some completely mundane character classes, and if that means they are overshadowed by the powers and abilities of other classes, so be it.

I know it might come as a shock to some players, but I don't always need to have my character be on a par with every other character. I sometimes enjoy playing lesser characters and contributing through sheer ingenuity, leadership and tactical mastery.

Then you could play the Warrior class.


johnlocke90 wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

I would like the game to maintain some completely mundane character classes, and if that means they are overshadowed by the powers and abilities of other classes, so be it.

I know it might come as a shock to some players, but I don't always need to have my character be on a par with every other character. I sometimes enjoy playing lesser characters and contributing through sheer ingenuity, leadership and tactical mastery.

Then you could play the Warrior class.

See, that's the thing. With my approach and appreciation, I can play ANY class, and I try to.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Selk wrote:
I did read your OP before posting. What I took from it was that mechanical versatility (options) equal a more useful PC. I disagree. I think versatility is truly function of playstyle and the adaptability of the DM and that usefulness as measured by a character sheet is only the tip of the iceberg.?

Sure if you throw away half the rules and just use role playing, no problem. But then, what's the point of using rules at all?

I like rules, they bring clear limits and common ground to the game. But the rules favor some classes much more than others, and I think the power gap shouldn't exist, or at the very least, be much, much less intense than it currently is.
I want to play a any class without the risk of feeling useless outside of combat and/or bored in-combat because my class doesn't offer me enough option to at least contribute in common situations.

Selk wrote:
If you have more fun playing less powerful characters, what is the ultimate point of balancing wizards if it doesn't seem to directly correlate to fun...in a game?

Because I'd like to play a game where I can choose any class without the risk of overshadowing/being overshadowed by another character.

Because variety is fun. And having balanced classes encourages variety.

I don't have more fun with those classes because they are less powerful than wizards, I have more fun with them because I find them to be more interesting, they just happen to not be as powerful as wizards.

IMHO, the game would be much more fun if every class had enough power to contribute in pretty much every situation, but trully shine at whatever they are supposed to excel at.


LazarX wrote:
If you really wanted a level playing field between the Magicals and the Martials, quite frankly you all should have worked on making 4th Edition a better game rather than trying to stick to 3.5+ in the form of Pathfinder. Because nothing less than a rework on that level is the answer to this question if that's the kind of question you must ask.

I think the martial/magic divide can be narrowed to keep the game working well until the high teen levels with about a paragraph of minor house rules.


If you are going to have a game where some classes can bend time and space to their will and others can't there is no way to "balance" that.

Can't be done. Pointless to try. It's like trying to say you can balance the power of mathematics with throwing a football.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

If you are going to have a game where some classes can bend time and space to their will and others can't there is no way to "balance" that.

Can't be done. Pointless to try. It's like trying to say you can balance the power of mathematics with throwing a football.

If I use my football to bean the math prof, that might do it.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

If you are going to have a game where some classes can bend time and space to their will and others can't there is no way to "balance" that.

Can't be done. Pointless to try. It's like trying to say you can balance the power of mathematics with throwing a football.

I disagree. Imho, The problem is that the classes taht alter the reality can do it without negative consecuences and can do it too much times per day.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

If you are going to have a game where some classes can bend time and space to their will and others can't there is no way to "balance" that.

Can't be done. Pointless to try. It's like trying to say you can balance the power of mathematics with throwing a football.

Depends on the football :D


LOL, disagree all you like Nicos. If you have some classes that can bend time and space to their will and some that can't, then no matter what you do you won't convince enough people that you have achieved "balance" because nobody will agree that the "negative consequences" are balancing.

I love this sort of thing. People act as though this hasn't been a Holy Grail of game design for decades and as if Wizards of the Coast didn't bet their product line on their "solution" which failed.

Go ahead and try. I'll just sit back and laugh.

The only way to balance things in a way that people will agree they are balanced is if every class more or less does the same thing, the same way and the descriptive fluff is just different.

Otherwise people simply won't agree that you've balanced the classes. The power of bending time and space is simply not possible to balance against mundane abilities. Cannot. Be. Done.

"I can teleport to another city."
"So, I can punch a hole through a door and when you teleport you are exhausted for two hours!"
"I can teleport to another city."
"Shut up."


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Nicos wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

If you are going to have a game where some classes can bend time and space to their will and others can't there is no way to "balance" that.

Can't be done. Pointless to try. It's like trying to say you can balance the power of mathematics with throwing a football.

I disagree. Imho, The problem is that the class taht alter the reality can do it without negative consecuences and too much times per day.

While that is true, there's a point where the negatives of a class will outweigh people's want of playing it. I know I refused to play casters in older editions because I disliked most of the negatives and thought the concept of XP cost was moronic. I also stopped playing any sort of divine caster because it was so common for the GM to try and screw me over with really poorly done morality choices.

Personally, I'd prefer casting be tied to Spellcraft (or Knowledge Arcana or some other skill) and the caster having to make a certain check to cast those spells, rather than some negative like using HP to cast or automatically losing your spell when attacked.


Odraude wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

If you are going to have a game where some classes can bend time and space to their will and others can't there is no way to "balance" that.

Can't be done. Pointless to try. It's like trying to say you can balance the power of mathematics with throwing a football.

Depends on the football :D

Sure, you can make a super powerful football if you like...

Of course you can only do that using math...


LazarX wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

If you are going to have a game where some classes can bend time and space to their will and others can't there is no way to "balance" that.

Can't be done. Pointless to try. It's like trying to say you can balance the power of mathematics with throwing a football.

If I use my football to bean the math prof, that might do it.

If you think beaning the professor "balances" math and physical skills, then congratulations, you've just promoted gorilla to the top of the heap of earthly primates.

Dark Archive

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

"I maybe able to teleport to another city - but i risk injury to the group and personal death each time I try."

"Uh...yeah, good luck with that. We'll pass on that option until we are really desperate"
"..........."

Fixed it for you.


Auxmaulous wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

"I maybe able to teleport to another city - but i risk injury to the group and personal death each time I try."

"Uh...yeah, good luck with that. We'll pass on that option until we are really desperate"
"..........."
Fixed it for you.

If making spell casting potentially fatal is your idea of "balancing" classes, then good luck with that too.

"We need a wizard."
"I'm sure as hell not going to play a class that has a % chance for a fatal brain aneurysm every time I cast a spell. Screw that!"

Yeah.. Really balanced that class didn't you?


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

LOL, disagree all you like Nicos. If you have some classes that can bend time and space to their will and some that can't, then no matter what you do you won't convince enough people that you have achieved "balance" because nobody will agree that the "negative consequences" are balancing.

I love this sort of thing. People act as though this hasn't been a Holy Grail of game design for decades and as if Wizards of the Coast didn't bet their product line on their "solution" which failed.

Go ahead and try. I'll just sit back and laugh.

The only way to balance things in a way that people will agree they are balanced is if every class more or less does the same thing, the same way and the descriptive fluff is just different.

Otherwise people simply won't agree that you've balanced the classes. The power of bending time and space is simply not possible to balance against mundane abilities. Cannot. Be. Done.

"I can teleport to another city."
"So, I can punch a hole through a door and when you teleport you are exhausted for two hours!"
"I can teleport to another city."
"Shut up."

I do not see a problem with some classes having acces to things others classes can not do.

That is was caster do, taht is what magic is supposed to do.

My concerns are when spellcster do not have to sacrifice anything to achieve/unleash that power.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

If you are going to have a game where some classes can bend time and space to their will and others can't there is no way to "balance" that.

Can't be done. Pointless to try. It's like trying to say you can balance the power of mathematics with throwing a football.

If I use my football to bean the math prof, that might do it.
If you think beaning the professor "balances" math and physical skills, then congratulations, you've just promoted gorilla to the top of the heap of earthly primates.

I'd put gorillas over most Humans when it comes to being decent with each other. Chimps on the other hand, are plain nasty.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

If you are going to have a game where some classes can bend time and space to their will and others can't there is no way to "balance" that.

Can't be done. Pointless to try. It's like trying to say you can balance the power of mathematics with throwing a football.

Good to know the ol' "If you can't make it perfect, it's impossible to improve" argument is still alive and kickin'.

And by good, I mean completely terrible.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nicos wrote:


I do not see a problem with some classes having acces to things others classes can not do.

That is was caster do, taht is what magic is supposed to do.

My concerns are when spellcster do not have to sacrifice anything to achieve/unleash that power.

Compared to martials they sacrfice overall health, protective armor, and combat ability.


Nicos wrote:


I do not see a problem with some classes having acces to things others classes can not do.

That is was caster do, taht is what caster are supposed to do.

And I do not see the problem with magic being more powerful than mundane, is magic afther all.

My concerns are when spellcster do not have to sacrifice anything to achieve/unleash that power.

Nicos, I don't see a problem either. I think the pursuit of class balance is, quite literally, a fool's errand. Even if it were actually possible (which I don't believe it is, spell casting is qualitatively different from swinging pointy sticks, not quantitatively) there is no way you could get the gaming community to agree that you had succeeded. Everyone has a different idea of what "balance" is.

Spellcasters are different from martial characters. In a very real sense they operate in a different dimension than martial characters do. It's as if you are trying to "balance" the ability of 3D beings with 4D beings. Just being able to move in four dimensions alone trumps almost everything you can do on three dimensions. To try to 'balance' that by throwing all sorts of arbitrary 'penalties' or 'costs' to offset it does not change the fact that the 4D character can still move in the fourth dimension.

To me this is as plain as day. It amazes me that people can't see it.

How many years are we going to have to try before it becomes axiomatic? How many more 4e experiences are needed before people realize that the pursuit damages the game more than it helps it?

Balance the classes for fun, not power. That's an achievable goal. Except for those people for whom power is all that matters, and frankly I don't care that much about them or their fun.


LazarX wrote:
Nicos wrote:


I do not see a problem with some classes having acces to things others classes can not do.

That is was caster do, taht is what magic is supposed to do.

My concerns are when spellcster do not have to sacrifice anything to achieve/unleash that power.

Compared to martials they sacrfice overall health, protective armor, and combat ability.

Eeeh no.

Wizards can have a lot of hit points without major ivenstment, protective armors can pale against protective magic and other magic items, and I do not see how a wizard(or fullspellcaster) have to sacrifice combat ability,I mean they maybe do not hit as hard with pointy sticks but they do not have to.

In the end fullspellcaster can have a lot of utility without sacrifice combat prowess.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

"I maybe able to teleport to another city - but i risk injury to the group and personal death each time I try."

"Uh...yeah, good luck with that. We'll pass on that option until we are really desperate"
"..........."
Fixed it for you.

If making spell casting potentially fatal is your idea of "balancing" classes, then good luck with that too.

"We need a wizard."
"I'm sure as hell not going to play a class that has a % chance for a fatal brain aneurysm every time I cast a spell. Screw that!"

Yeah.. Really balanced that class didn't you?

I agree with this wholeheartedly. While it's a great trope in fantasy, I despise classes that are walking self-destruct engines that get punished for simply using their powers. I'd prefer requiring a skill roll to cast over exploding like a 40K psyker any day of the week.


Rynjin wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

If you are going to have a game where some classes can bend time and space to their will and others can't there is no way to "balance" that.

Can't be done. Pointless to try. It's like trying to say you can balance the power of mathematics with throwing a football.

Good to know the ol' "If you can't make it perfect, it's impossible to improve" argument is still alive and kickin'.

And by good, I mean completely terrible.

Good to know the straw man argument where you claim someone is saying something they didn't say so you can argue against your own statement instead of the statement you are supposedly referencing is still alive and kickin'.

And by good, I mean completely terrible.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

If you are going to have a game where some classes can bend time and space to their will and others can't there is no way to "balance" that.

Can't be done. Pointless to try. It's like trying to say you can balance the power of mathematics with throwing a football.

Good to know the ol' "If you can't make it perfect, it's impossible to improve" argument is still alive and kickin'.

And by good, I mean completely terrible.

Good to know the straw man argument where you claim someone is saying something they didn't say so you can argue against your own statement instead of the statement you are supposedly referencing is still alive and kickin'.

And by good, I mean completely terrible.

So explain where exactly you weren't implying that?

You say it here too:

Quote:
Otherwise people simply won't agree that you've balanced the classes. The power of bending time and space is simply not possible to balance against mundane abilities. Cannot. Be. Done.

You're saying "It's broken but there's absolutely nothing we can do about it, don't try". You're implying that it's an all or nothing "Perfect balance is impossible, therefore improvements are impossible" scenario. Those two things are not equal. Perfect balance may or may not be impossible, but you can still improve the balance to the point that casters don't s@@# all over everyone else.

But, as you said earlier in this thread (or another), you simply DO NOT CARE about balance and think casters SHOULD be more powerful in all situations "Because magic".


Rynjin, I "wasn't implying that" specifically where I said "balance the classes for fun, not for 'power'."

I also never said it was "broken". In fact I said I was fine with it.

Dark Archive

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

"I maybe able to teleport to another city - but i risk injury to the group and personal death each time I try."

"Uh...yeah, good luck with that. We'll pass on that option until we are really desperate"
"..........."
Fixed it for you.

If making spell casting potentially fatal is your idea of "balancing" classes, then good luck with that too.

"We need a wizard."
"I'm sure as hell not going to play a class that has a % chance for a fatal brain aneurysm every time I cast a spell. Screw that!"

Yeah.. Really balanced that class didn't you?

Considering the fact that it worked in two other editions for 20 plus years - yeah, it really did balance the class.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Auxmaulous wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

"I maybe able to teleport to another city - but i risk injury to the group and personal death each time I try."

"Uh...yeah, good luck with that. We'll pass on that option until we are really desperate"
"..........."
Fixed it for you.

If making spell casting potentially fatal is your idea of "balancing" classes, then good luck with that too.

"We need a wizard."
"I'm sure as hell not going to play a class that has a % chance for a fatal brain aneurysm every time I cast a spell. Screw that!"

Yeah.. Really balanced that class didn't you?

Considering the fact that it worked in two other editions for 20 plus years - yeah, it really did balance the class.

Oh, really? So I guess you missed the part where the current game systems took that away because they realized most games were house ruling otherwise, or their game testing showed people didn't like it, and they wanted to sell a game that matched what people wanted.

Also, are you seriously arguing that AD&D and 2e wizards were "balanced?" Seriously? I mean please clarify this claim since this has a major bearing on your credibility on the issue of "class balance."

I played those games.

Dark Archive

Can't help it if loser powergamers want the reward without the risks. It worked for all of us who followed the rules and didn't hand wave all the badstuff that was too harsh - aka: adults who get the risk/reward paradigm when it comes to power and balance.

And yeah, unless you had a softball DM playing a wizard in 1st/2nd ed was hard at ALL levels.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Rynjin, I "wasn't implying that" specifically where I said "balance the classes for fun, not for 'power'."

There is always a measure of balancing for power. you cannot balance for "fun", fun is a subjective. You balance for "fun" by regulating power to teh point that everyone is roughly equal and more importantly, everyone has a SPECIFIC niche they're good at.

The problem is, some classes are good at specific niches in this game (Martials are good at combat, Rogues/Bards and the like are good at social interactions and skills, and so on), and some classes are good at a BROAD niche "Magic". The problem is that the "Magic" niche encompasses every other niche within it. Not quite overshadowing the specialized classes in each one, but being more than competent at every specific niche.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
I also never said it was "broken". In fact I said I was fine with it.

You said you were fine with it right after saying it was impossible to balance the two. Something is extremely wrong if something if balance is something that "Cannot. Be. Done."


1 person marked this as a favorite.

AD&D wizards were way better balanced against martials than 3.x/PF wizards. Pretty much every change since then has helped the wizard (closer hit die to fighters, better saves, way more spells per day, ability to cast defensively, long-term mage armor and other defensive buffs that make up for lack of armor, ability to craft, far easier access to new spells, longer spell lists that offer far more options, faster spell preparation, etc) but hurt the fighter (worse saves, can't move and attack properly, skill system heavily impairs out-of-combat usefulness, no longer get a keep and an army so are always seen as dude-with-pointed-stick instead of tactical warlord, etc).

System shock rolls were a stupid attempt at balancing certain spells, but don't pretend there weren't a dozen other things that made the martial-caster gap far narrower thirty-five years ago than it is today.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Auxmaulous wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

"I maybe able to teleport to another city - but i risk injury to the group and personal death each time I try."

"Uh...yeah, good luck with that. We'll pass on that option until we are really desperate"
"..........."
Fixed it for you.

If making spell casting potentially fatal is your idea of "balancing" classes, then good luck with that too.

"We need a wizard."
"I'm sure as hell not going to play a class that has a % chance for a fatal brain aneurysm every time I cast a spell. Screw that!"

Yeah.. Really balanced that class didn't you?

Considering the fact that it worked in two other editions for 20 plus years - yeah, it really did balance the class.

Many players and GMs house ruled some of those negatives away because it was honestly not very fun. My father actually had a Spellcasting skill in 3.5 instituted where you just rolled that skill to cast. If you passed, you cast. If you fail, you don't cast. No negative, no lost HP, no blowing up. You didn't even lose the spell. You simply just didn't cast it.

There's balance and there's fun. You have to really try to, erm, balance the two. Maybe this is from my work on video games, but I learned that balance via unmitigated drawbacks is poor design. If you have no option to overcome the issues of being a caster (for example, the misteleportation chance), then it makes being that particular class both less desirable and the player frustrated because there is no option to overcome that issue in any way. I'd prefer a skill or something that would be a drawback but reward the player for putting the rank, time, and effort into mitigating this drawback while still having it in there. Or else, you're just throwing a game mechanic that is seemingly punishing the player for making the choice of playing a caster.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Auxmaulous wrote:

Can't help it if loser powergamers want the reward without the risks. It worked for all of us who followed the rules and didn't hand wave all the badstuff that was too harsh - aka: adults who get the risk/reward paradigm when it comes to power and balance.

And yeah, unless you had a softball DM playing a wizard in 1st/2nd ed was hard at ALL levels.

It has nothing to do with powergaming and more with finding proper limitations on a class that reign in the power without seemingly punishing the player. I'm all for reigning some power back on casters with some limitations. However, I'd rather it be done in a less punishing, more mitigating way than done in previous editions.

Liberty's Edge

What *would* be fun is that all long-distance teleportation had the risks, but that they could be eliminated entirely by setting up a magical rune at the target location that would focus the spell onto itself. The rune itself would have the simple drawback that those who attempted to teleport in the nearby area (maybe a mile radius?) would land at the pad instead of their intended location, which is unlikely to be a huge issue.

This would allow the caster to have their teleportation spell but still be unwilling to use it for most destinations. Still a good way to flee, not a good way to attack.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Roberta Yang wrote:

AD&D wizards were way better balanced against martials than 3.x/PF wizards. Pretty much every change since then has helped the wizard (closer hit die to fighters, better saves, way more spells per day, ability to cast defensively, long-term mage armor and other defensive buffs that make up for lack of armor, ability to craft, far easier access to new spells, longer spell lists that offer far more options, faster spell preparation, etc) but hurt the fighter (worse saves, can't move and attack properly, skill system heavily impairs out-of-combat usefulness, no longer get a keep and an army so are always seen as dude-with-pointed-stick instead of tactical warlord, etc).

System shock rolls were a stupid attempt at balancing certain spells, but don't pretend there weren't a dozen other things that made the martial-caster gap far narrower thirty-five years ago than it is today.

Personally, I allow the keep and army using a hodgepodge of the Kingmaker Rules, the Stronghold builders guide, and the DMG2. Will eventually get Ultimate Campaign and add that to the mix. I make sure fighters in my game are anything but useless.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
StabbittyDoom wrote:

What *would* be fun is that all long-distance teleportation had the risks, but that they could be eliminated entirely by setting up a magical rune at the target location that would focus the spell onto itself. The rune itself would have the simple drawback that those who attempted to teleport in the nearby area (maybe a mile radius?) would land at the pad instead of their intended location, which is unlikely to be a huge issue.

This would allow the caster to have their teleportation spell but still be unwilling to use it for most destinations. Still a good way to flee, not a good way to attack.

This is actually a great example of a drawback that's risk can be mitigated with effort and planning.


If it is not possible to balance casters against non-casters (and I said "if" because I totally believe it is possible), then I want the books to say so--to admit that casters are better, so, at the least, the game is open and honest instead of being deceptive with its silence.

Ideally, the book would openly recommend that casters and non-casters not mix in the same party, complete with separate rules for CRs for caster parties and non-caster parties, and maybe a section in the DMG along the lines of "Really, don't do this if you want to be fair, but here's how to handle mixing them."

Casters in source material are either NPCs guiding and helping the non-casting protagonists, or they are the only protagonists, with non-casters being NPC henchmen/sidekick types. There is no source material that I am aware of (not specifically written with D&D in mind) that contains casters and non-casters as co-protagonists.


For all of you who continue to insist that casters and martials can be balanced, please explain to me why after more than 40 years nobody has done it in a way that is acceptable to the gaming community?

Have all of the game designers of three different generations of gaming been incompetent?

Or is there a more logical explanation?


AD&D balanced casters (and some other aspects of the game) by having characters "pay their dues" in order to become powerful later on in the game. First level casters were one of the worst classes in the game, and to this day, I doubt that anyone thinks that a 1st level wizard is a more "powerful" character then a 1st level barbarian.

Most folks would agree that the game is fairly balanced until almost 10th level, then casters start to walk away from martials. By 15th level (a level that hardly existed in AD&D), most folks would agree that the casters are more powerful.

I can't say I can fix things to work past 15th level, but it takes very little effort to make the game work well up until then. Limiting starting stats, and keeping some GM control over magic items fixes 80% of the problems, and most of the others could be fixed by changing a word or two here and there.

For example, make crafting your own magic items cost the same as the sale price.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

For all of you who continue to insist that casters and martials can be balanced, please explain to me why after more than 40 years nobody has done it in a way that is acceptable to the gaming community?

Have all of the game designers of three different generations of gaming been incompetent?

And there you go again with the same sort of generalization.

To you it's either "it's impossible" or "the game designers were incompetent" with no in between. Perhaps they didn't want to, in which case all this discussion is moot. Maybe they just didn't know how to do so, or didn't look too hard into it.

Or maybe they were pandering to their fanbase, who, like you, likes casters to be much more powerful than martial characters because it "makes sense".


Rynjin, I'm sticking with "impossible" which has been my argument from day one. I'm asking you what your explanation is since you discount "impossible".

So you think the answer is "pandering to the fanbase"?

How is that different in any practical way from my statement that "even if it is possible, the fan base will never agree that it's been achieved?"


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

For all of you who continue to insist that casters and martials can be balanced, please explain to me why after more than 40 years nobody has done it in a way that is acceptable to the gaming community?

Have all of the game designers of three different generations of gaming been incompetent?

Or is there a more logical explanation?

Balance has improved with every version of the game since Unearthed Arcana was added to AD&D. But every alteration was intended to be a new version, not a different game. You can only change so much and still call it the same game.

I think Pathfinder DID balance the casters/martials up to where the game essentially ended back in the AD&D days -10th level. I don't think Pathfinder could alter the rules enough to create some semblance of balance and keep backward compatibility with 3.5.

I think a "balanced" system won't include most 8-9th level spells, at least as they are currently written in the game. It may also have to eliminate a few aspects of the game that are considered "classic". Lots of people will complain bitterly that they can't cast Wish anymore, and that it's not the same without Time Stop, but same things must die for balance to live.

Yes 100% total balance will always be subjective, but a general sense that the game works well for all classes at all levels isn't that far off.


Fergie, I can agree with a lot of what you've said. The spells that really start to imbalance the game typically start around fourth level. I've always felt the game was more playable and more fun up until about level 12 when it starts feeling silly to me.

Yeah, one way to balance the game is to keep spellcasters from casting real magic. That's basically what 4e did by separating "spells" from "rituals". That way they at least tried to balance combat anyway.

But stopping the game when magic starts to pull away from martial abilities won't satisfy many gamers, and I do like the feel of the game even after casters have obviously left martials behind.

This is why I think it's impossible to balance and maintain any semblance of the concept of spellcasters being powerful cosmic-reality altering beings.

If all they can do is shoot some minor energy beams from their fingers you could replace them with laser beams and grenade launchers.


Oh, by the way, my first AD&D campaign ended with our characters at 16th level and we still had just scratched the surface of the top levels of power of those characters.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Rynjin, I'm sticking with "impossible" which has been my argument from day one. I'm asking you what your explanation is since you discount "impossible".

And all of that would be speculation on my part since, hey, I'M NOT PART OF THEIR TEAM. I threw out a few speculations regardless.

I know it's not impossible, it would just require a complete overhaul of how magic works and is perceived in this game. You can't fix it without changing the core of how magic works, which so far nobody has been willing to do for D&D/Pathfinder.

Casters do not need to be "powerful cosmic-reality altering beings" for magic to be both useful and balanced. There are plenty of games (mostly video games) where magic is both fun to use, has useful effects, and doesn't result in the game falling apart at high levels.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
So you think the answer is "pandering to the fanbase"?

It's possible. Even likely, in fact.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
How is that different in any practical way from my statement that "even if it is possible, the fan base will never agree that it's been achieved?"

Your statement (nobody will ever agree on what is balanced) is much different from my statement (Maybe they're afraid the vocal caster fans will cause an uproar if any significant changes were made).

That should be pretty obvious.


Rynjin wrote:


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
How is that different in any practical way from my statement that "even if it is possible, the fan base will never agree that it's been achieved?"

Your statement (nobody will ever agree on what is balanced) is much different from my statement (Maybe they're afraid the vocal caster fans will cause an uproar if any significant changes were made).

That should be pretty obvious.

Thus the qualifier "in any practical way" Rynjin. The two statements might be different but the RESULT is the same. The game designers will have to give the gamers what they want. I would say "that should be obvious" but I see no need to be insulting.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm actually a martial player (not big on caster classes) and even I don't want to see the 9th level spells taken away. I agree with the sentiment that balancing for power between casters and martial would become futile without sacrificing some loved concepts and spells from casters (wish, time stop). Honestly, I don't want to see a DnD game without Wish or Miracle or even Scrying. To me, those are cool staples from countless stories in fiction. Without them, it just wouldn't be DnD to me anymore. And there isn't a way for a martial character to replicate that kind of magic without a magic item, which to me makes sense.

However, I do believe that giving martials more options besides just slamming things with a sword is the better way to do things. I love some of the feats in Ultimate Combat and other places that allow me to do cool stuff. I love using Whirlwind Attack against a multitude of foes, or Archon Strike to protect my friends. The 4e Fighter marks are a cool idea and I pretty much replaced Antagonize with that. more of that kind of stuff would be great for martial classes. I'd even be cool with fighter-only feats that allow for more supernatural, cinematic fighting for those that want to be more like characters from myths, films, and cartoons. I feel that options over power is probably the best direction to go. Of course, I'd like to see my fighters with 4 + Int for skills :)


Odraude, your suggestions are sort of in line with what I think should be done. Give the martial characters more options that are FUN to use, and people will want to play them even if the spellcasters are still the only ones who can bend time and space to their will.

I think some of the stuff in 4e for the martial characters did this, but unfortunately they ended up having martial characters doing things that simply were not credible without magical powers. My purely martial ranger by level 20 was able to teleport himself once per encounter. With no explanation whatsoever, it was obviously "magic."

One thing I've contemplated over the years is that purely martial characters might have some innate magic resistance simply because they abhor magic. Martial/casting characters would have less resistance and pure casters would have no innate resistance.

Another idea I've played with is sort of the opposite, perhaps magical abilities are highly sensitive to magical auras and are actually impeded by the proximity of magical items. So magical items would naturally aggregate on martial characters while pure casters would avoid them like the plague. There might be a few thematically appropriate exceptions (wands and staves, maybe a few rings) but casters would simply not be able to become walking Christmas trees.

That way martial characters would gain abilities through magic items and the combination of martial abilities and magical effects granted through their items could, in fact, create something like balance.

401 to 450 of 1,001 << first < prev | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Options x Numbers: aka: "Why wizards are so friggin' powerful" All Messageboards