Are Summoners pathfinders CoDZilla?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Ok, let's do this.
Somebody please write a list of problems a Tier 1 need to be able to solve. Including defeating magic inmune/high SR monsters, Spy, move around, convince someone or whatever.

Then we try to see if a sorcerer or summoner can do all of them with a single build. And we can check the druid, cleric and wizard as well


gustavo iglesias wrote:

Ok, let's do this.

Somebody please write a list of problems a Tier 1 need to be able to solve. Including defeating magic inmune/high SR monsters, Spy, move around, convince someone or whatever.

Then we try to see if a sorcerer or summoner can do all of them with a single build. And we can check the druid, cleric and wizard as well

Here you go. Its a link to quiet a few examples, explanation of what the tiers are, and a list of where each class stands. Meant for 3.5, but I'm sure its still worth the read. Oh! And here's a second discussion.


gustavo iglesias wrote:

Ok, let's do this.

Somebody please write a list of problems a Tier 1 need to be able to solve. Including defeating magic inmune/high SR monsters, Spy, move around, convince someone or whatever.

Things Tier 1 needs to be able to solve:

  • All the things
  • All the other things
  • Yes, those too
  • Yes, even that


Arguecat wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Ok, let's do this.

Somebody please write a list of problems a Tier 1 need to be able to solve. Including defeating magic inmune/high SR monsters, Spy, move around, convince someone or whatever.

Things Tier 1 needs to be able to solve:

  • All the things
  • All the other things
  • Yes, those too
  • Yes, even that

So summoners qualify. Sounds about right.


Ashiel wrote:
Arguecat wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Ok, let's do this.

Somebody please write a list of problems a Tier 1 need to be able to solve. Including defeating magic inmune/high SR monsters, Spy, move around, convince someone or whatever.

Things Tier 1 needs to be able to solve:

  • All the things
  • All the other things
  • Yes, those too
  • Yes, even that
So summoners qualify. Sounds about right.

Except they don't? Check the spoiler in the second post in the link I had earlier, the one that explains how each tier handles a situation.

Edit: its not even about "Could you solve it" its also about how many ways you can and at once.


MrSin wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Arguecat wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Ok, let's do this.

Somebody please write a list of problems a Tier 1 need to be able to solve. Including defeating magic inmune/high SR monsters, Spy, move around, convince someone or whatever.

Things Tier 1 needs to be able to solve:

  • All the things
  • All the other things
  • Yes, those too
  • Yes, even that
So summoners qualify. Sounds about right.

Except they don't? Check the spoiler in the second post in the link I had earlier, the one that explains how each tier handles a situation.

Edit: its not even about "Could you solve it" its also about how many ways you can and at once.

I only see 3 questions there. In how many ways do a Summoner need to do each one of those 3 to qualify?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
MrSin wrote:
Thalin wrote:
Let's say they have enough spells to "switch out" some. It doesn't matter too much; the Summoner actually has jokers. Need to get under something? Eidolon can burrow. After level 9, I can do shadow evocations and true seeing via assorted summons. And my tricks (overland flight / dim door) get me past many GM "gotchas". Only if I need to scry up do I shrug and admit a failing; but there are few on-level effects a summoner cannot deal with between summons and evo surges.

Doesn't matter when your talking about tiers. You have a lot of tricks, but your eidolon can't do what magic can. You have a lot of magic, but you can not literally be prepared for everything. You also talk about spells like its something the other classes don't have, and for the 100th time your still not prepared for everything. The summoner without evolution surge just doesn't have it. The wizard without dimensional door can learn it, the cleric without cure can prepare it the next day, etc.

Kolokotroni wrote:
In a typical adventure (IE the paizo adventure paths i've played in) I'd rather have a druid and a summoner along, then a wizard and a cleric.
That's fine, however its a personal opinion and has nothing to do with tiers or CoDzilla.

Who is more prepared?

The guy that say: "I need to rest till tomorrow to change my spells" and/or "I will use scroll X and a charge from my wand" to resolve this problem
or the guy that say: "I dismiss my edidolon and call creature X to resolve this problem" and/or "I cast Greater Evolution to give my eidolon the needed power X."?


gustavo iglesias wrote:
I only see 3 questions there. In how many ways do a Summoner need to do each one of those 3 to qualify?

As many as the tier 1 wizard, and all at once, or he could be like the sorcerer and it could depend on what spells he has chosen. I mean, don't get me wrong, summoning and evolution surge are great and open spells, but that's something all those full casting classes could do in both editions, and sorcerer, favored soul, etc. still ended up in tier 2. They are highly dependent on what they've chosen, but the wizard. druid, or cleric is not. The wizard/druid/cleric could have a completely different choice of spells every day of the week, but the sorcerer who specialized in spells that are widely varied and capable of doing lots of things is just stuck with those spells all 7 days of the week.

Tiers aren't CoDzilla though, CoDzilla was another thing. CoDzilla was a full casting + full BAB monster that robbed the martials of their role and may very well be capable of steamrolling through encounters and missions. In 3.5 you could have a flying dinosaur riding a flying dinosaur shooting lazers and summoning the forces of nature to destroy everything in its path and it would have so many buffs you would just have to stare in awe. It was also SAD and had very little need for equipment, so gear just turned into perks.


Midnight_Angel wrote:
Umm... Transmogrify, anyone?

At 1,000 gp a pop go for it.


Probably the guy who has an effectively infinite number of simulacrums (limited only by amount of time they feel taking off) of every creature, in addition to half level copies of themselves.... but I'm just guessing here.


MrSin wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
I only see 3 questions there. In how many ways do a Summoner need to do each one of those 3 to qualify?
As many as the tier 1 wizard, and all at once

And how many are those? Has the druid exactly the same number?

I think you are stuck woth 3.5 tiers, and PF have a different ecosystem. PF sorcerer >>>>> 3.5 sorc


gustavo iglesias wrote:
MrSin wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
I only see 3 questions there. In how many ways do a Summoner need to do each one of those 3 to qualify?
As many as the tier 1 wizard, and all at once

And how many are those? Has the druid exactly the same number?

I think you are stuck woth 3.5 tiers, and PF have a different ecosystem. PF sorcerer >>>>> 3.5 sorc

Oh? How have the tiers changed? The changes to the class don't really matter, unless suddenly sorcerer can change his entire spell list on the day to day. To my knowledge they can't, nor can the summoner, but the wizard still can.


PF Sorcerers are better than 3.5 sorcerers this is true. However, unless your rocking paragon surge, they still don't enter the vaunted realms of being tier 1. That being said said a paragon surge sorcerer is absolutely tier 1.

Edit: MrSin, Sorcerers can change their list with a standard action and a 3rd level spell slot via Paragon Surge, which is enough to get them to tier 1 despite lagging a level behind on new spell levels. Mind you this specific to half-elves and those treated as half-elves.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Leisner wrote:

True Seeing/constant is still a SLA. By strict RAW, the summoned monster cannot use it. You might be able to argue for it, but it is not RAW.

PRD wrote:
A summoned monster cannot summon or otherwise conjure another creature, nor can it use any teleportation or planar travel abilities. Creatures cannot be summoned into an environment that cannot support them. Creatures summoned using this spell cannot use spells or spell-like abilities that duplicate spells with expensive material components (such as wish).

but

PRD wrote:
Spell-Like Abilities: After listing the caster level of the creature's spell-like abilities, this section lists all of the creature's spell-like abilities, organized by how many times per day it can use the abilities. Constant spell-like abilities function at all times but can be dispelled.

So the constant ability is already active when the creature appears.

By a strict reading of the summoning rules you dispel his constant ability he can't reactivate it, but the summoning rule don't block him from having it active when he appear.


Anzyr wrote:
Edit: MrSin, Sorcerers can change their list with a standard action and a 3rd level spell slot via Paragon Surge, which is enough to get them to tier 1 despite lagging a level behind on new spell levels. Mind you this specific to half-elves and those treated as half-elves.

I know, you have to grab expanded arcana feat using paragon surge. Its extremely specific, and I wouldn't think its RAI. Its definitely not their entire list on the day to day either. I also know you can be human and add 20 new spells in 20 levels, and that there are now quiet a few items to expand the sorcerer's spell know, and that summoner gets access to a few of these goodies as well. Not a big fan of paragon surge > expanded arcane, its one of the few things in the game I see as abusive.


It is not their entire list day to day, its better than that. It is literally whatever spell you need *right now* at the low cost of a standard (possibly swift) and 3rd level slot. It is extremely specific yes, but it is definitely enough to get PF Sorcerers into Tier 1. Human Sorcerers while good are still stuck with a fixed list (and thus Tier 2 status).


Anzyr wrote:
It is not their entire list day to day, its better than that. It is literally whatever spell you need *right now* at the low cost of a standard (possibly swift) and 3rd level slot. It is extremely specific yes, but it is definitely enough to get PF Sorcerers into Tier 1.

It would be enough if every sorcerer could do it, and if it gave access to spells of the highest level you could cast. However its not. Every wizard can learn spells from books, and every druid/cleric/wizard can prepare a whole new spell list everyday, possibly from the entire spell list of his class.

By the same logic, I could argue Samsaran change all classes radically, except not everyone plays a Samsaran...


Diego Rossi wrote:
Leisner wrote:

True Seeing/constant is still a SLA. By strict RAW, the summoned monster cannot use it. You might be able to argue for it, but it is not RAW.

PRD wrote:
A summoned monster cannot summon or otherwise conjure another creature, nor can it use any teleportation or planar travel abilities. Creatures cannot be summoned into an environment that cannot support them. Creatures summoned using this spell cannot use spells or spell-like abilities that duplicate spells with expensive material components (such as wish).

but

PRD wrote:
Spell-Like Abilities: After listing the caster level of the creature's spell-like abilities, this section lists all of the creature's spell-like abilities, organized by how many times per day it can use the abilities. Constant spell-like abilities function at all times but can be dispelled.

So the constant ability is already active when the creature appears.

By a strict reading of the summoning rules you dispel his constant ability he can't reactivate it, but the summoning rule don't block him from having it active when he appear.

Doesn't the Spell like abilities section only prevent the summoned creature from using Spell-Like abilities that use expensive material components? If that is the case, then it seems you should be pretty safe:

PRD, Universal Monster Rules wrote:
Spell-like abilities are magical and work just like spells (though they are not spells and so have no verbal, somatic, focus, or material components).

No material component means there is no expensive material component to worry about. The only issue here would be spells with expensive material components.


Anzyr wrote:
Human Sorcerers while good are still stuck with a fixed list (and thus Tier 2 status).

I disagree. The Human Sorcerer comes out with enough spells known to cover pretty much any situation another prepared caster could cover. With such a large spell list it isn't hard to come up with a spell list that gives you extreme flexibility.


I'm not arguing every Sorcerer is Tier 1, merely that Sorcerer who are able to use Paragon Surge qualify for Tier 1 status. If you would like treat Sorcerers with Paragon Surge and those without separately for tiering, that is fine (much like StP vs. regular erudites). But some PF Sorcerers are Tier 1. As a sidenote, while very useful, Samsaran changes are minor in comparison to Paragon Surge and could never be enough to change tiers.


I would place the Paragon Surge abusing Sorcerer in high Tier 1. I would place the Paragon Surge abusing Oracle who has spontaneous access to both the Cleric and Wizard lists in their own special Tier 0.

An ordinary Human Sorcerer who takes the favoured class bonus to grab a 50% increase in spells known has the potential, depending on spell selection, to be Tier 1.


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Caedwyr wrote:

Doesn't the Spell like abilities section only prevent the summoned creature from using Spell-Like abilities that use expensive material components? If that is the case, then it seems you should be pretty safe:

PRD, Universal Monster Rules wrote:
Spell-like abilities are magical and work just like spells (though they are not spells and so have no verbal, somatic, focus, or material components).
No material component means there is no expensive material component to worry about. The only issue here would be spells with expensive material components.

No:

"Creatures summoned using this spell cannot use spells or spell-like abilities that duplicate spells with expensive material components (such as wish)."

Emphasis mine.
It isn't the SLA itself that has to have a costly material component (as they don't have material component), but the spell they duplicate.


Let me put this another way. Summoner's aren't Tier 1 because shutting down a summoner isn't that hard. They don't have a good way of handling flying, invisible opponents (True Seeing doesn't work for summons, as it has an expensive material component). Barring dimensional travel stops summons from appearing. Anti-magic field makes summons vanish. Protection from [Alignment] stops all natural attacks from creatures of that alignment. Summons typically have poor saves against equal CR enemies. Etc, etc, etc.

There are so many ways to do this that it doesn't require DM fiat to shut down the summoner's main strength. They are just too dependent on one trick that has lots of counters at lots of spell levels.

Tier 1 classes on the other hand have a ton of tricks. They can start investigating the BBEG based merely on having rumors about him. If they have more than that they'll get major details which can lead to spying in the local area and finding out more. All quite under the radar.

Clerics can commune to find out tons of information, and have other great divinations. Wizards have it rougher, but can use Contact Other Plane multiple times to ascertain the same information -- Summoners and Sorcerers will lack the intelligence to make CoP a safe spell to use repeatedly, which is needed to weed out lies and random answers.

That's not even getting into the plethora of illusions and defensive spells these classes have. And no, you don't need every spell in the books, or even half the spells. Most spells are junk. Wizards do need to buy some here and there, but other tier 1s get it all for free. Further, there are not huge amounts of ways to shut down tier 1s, because they are not heavily reliant on one kind of trick.

Summoners are good. Summoners are strong. Summoners, however, are not tier 1s. Easiest way to handle 95% of their abilities? Just up the CR on encounters. Campaign problems sorted. This does not work on tier 1s. Extreme DM intervention with custom magic, etc, etc, is not needed.


andreww wrote:

I would place the Paragon Surge abusing Sorcerer in high Tier 1. I would place the Paragon Surge abusing Oracle who has spontaneous access to both the Cleric and Wizard lists in their own special Tier 0.

An ordinary Human Sorcerer who takes the favoured class bonus to grab a 50% increase in spells known has the potential, depending on spell selection, to be Tier 1.

I concur entirely on the Paragon Surge with both Sorcerer and Oracle tier placings. My reason for keeping human Sorcerers out of Tier is one is largely that Psions were tier 2 under the 3.5 tier system despite being incredibly flexible and having a very reasonable amount of power known. However, their limited power known kept them in Tier 2 and I would approximate that to PF human Sorcerers. That being said, psionics being weaker then magic was also holding them back from tier 1 and I admit an argument could be made for PF human sorcerers being tier 1.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
MrSin wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Ok, let's do this.

Somebody please write a list of problems a Tier 1 need to be able to solve. Including defeating magic inmune/high SR monsters, Spy, move around, convince someone or whatever.

Then we try to see if a sorcerer or summoner can do all of them with a single build. And we can check the druid, cleric and wizard as well

Here you go. Its a link to quiet a few examples, explanation of what the tiers are, and a list of where each class stands. Meant for 3.5, but I'm sure its still worth the read. Oh! And here's a second discussion.

JaronK solutions are laughable.

Example 1)
Spectral hand an shivering touch to kill a dragon ...
How he think to keep his wizard and the hand alive after the first round? the hand as 1d4 hit points and can be destroyed by spell, breath weapons, attacks by magical weapons (and a dragon with DR/magical cont as a magical weapon) and so on.
After the dragon has destroyed the hand he need to recast both the spectral hand and shivering touch as the hand deliver spell you cast, not spell that are already active.
1 second and 1 third spell to do 3d6 damage. Great.

Alternative solution: "Mind Rape/Love's Pain" maybe can work, but you are using a 9th level spell and doing yourself 1d6 point of intelligence damage. Smart.

His solution are all based on an unlimited level wizard while negating that luxury to the other classes.

2) this set of solutions is in reality a guideline. Curiously it work for plenty of people that can do the same things using skills and mundane systems that aren't defeated by a simple detect magic.
It seem to forget that sawing throw exist and that you notice when something is trying to affect your mind.

3) "Locater city bomb" as a solution. Our guy is made of pure cheese.
The other solutions are again based on the "unlimited character level concept".

Is that the basis for the vaunted tier system? I am impressed, but in a negative way.


Drachasor wrote:
invisible opponents (True Seeing doesn't work for summons, as it has an expensive material component).

It is, however, on their spell list.

As is Glitterdust and See Invisibility.


Diego Rossi wrote:


Example 1)
Spectral hand an shivering touch to kill a dragon ...
How he think to keep his wizard and the hand alive after the first round? the hand as 1d4 hit points and can be destroyed by spell, breath weapons, attacks by magical weapons (and a dragon with DR/magical cont as a magical weapon) and so on.
After the dragon has destroyed the hand he need to recast both the spectral hand and shivering touch as the hand deliver spell you cast, not spell that are already active.
1 second and 1 third spell to do 3d6 damage. Great.

Just a note on this. Quicken the Spectral hand and cast a maximized shivering touch. Shivering Touch did DEX damage not HP damage adn dragons have notoriously bad Dex. So in one round you did 18 dex damage to the dragon leaving it paralyzed.


Diego Rossi wrote:

JaronK solutions are laughable.

Example 1)
Spectral hand an shivering touch to kill a dragon ...
How he think to keep his wizard and the hand alive after the first round? the hand as 1d4 hit points and can be destroyed by spell, breath weapons, attacks by magical weapons (and a dragon with DR/magical cont as a magical weapon) and so on.
After the dragon has destroyed the hand he need to recast both the spectral hand and shivering touch as the hand deliver spell you cast, not spell that are already active.
1 second and 1 third spell to do 3d6 damage. Great.

Quickened hand. Shivering Touch is empowered or maximized. The Dragon loses all of its Dex and can't move. It's defeated all in one round.

There is some cheesy stuff there, but a lot of it works just as very straightforward implementations of spells and rules. Heck, some of the cheesy stuff is straightforward too.

Edit: Swordsaged...


Diego Rossi wrote:

JaronK solutions are laughable.

Example 1)
Spectral hand an shivering touch to kill a dragon ...
How he think to keep his wizard and the hand alive after the first round? the hand as 1d4 hit points and can be destroyed by spell, breath weapons, attacks by magical weapons (and a dragon with DR/magical cont as a magical weapon) and so on.
After the dragon has destroyed the hand he need to recast both the spectral hand and shivering touch as the hand deliver spell you cast, not spell that are already active.
1 second and 1 third spell to do 3d6 damage. Great.

Alternative solution: "Mind Rape/Love's Pain" maybe can work, but you are using a 9th level spell and doing yourself 1d6 point of intelligence damage. Smart.

His solution are all based on an unlimited level wizard while negating that luxury to the other classes.

2) this set of solutions is in reality a guideline. Curiously it work for plenty of people that can do the same things using skills and mundane systems that aren't defeated by a simple detect magic.
It seem to forget that sawing throw exist and that you notice when something is trying to affect your mind.

3) "Locater city bomb" as a solution. Our guy is made of pure cheese.
The other...

Many of those doesn't even exist in Pathfinder, btw


Leisner wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
invisible opponents (True Seeing doesn't work for summons, as it has an expensive material component).

It is, however, on their spell list.

As is Glitterdust and See Invisibility.

Or some monster with Scent.


Leisner wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
invisible opponents (True Seeing doesn't work for summons, as it has an expensive material component).

It is, however, on their spell list.

As is Glitterdust and See Invisibility.

True. Just pointing out that summons don't work for it. Unfortunately, the Summoner lacks the best counters to True Seeing, See Invisibility, etc.

Nicos wrote:
Leisner wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
invisible opponents (True Seeing doesn't work for summons, as it has an expensive material component).

It is, however, on their spell list.

As is Glitterdust and See Invisibility.
Or some monster with Scent.

It is quite possible to be outside the range of scent. And scent is that hard to counter in other ways. It's not bad, just not great.


MrSin wrote:
Tiers aren't CoDzilla though, CoDzilla was another thing. CoDzilla was a full casting + full BAB monster that robbed the martials of their role and may very well be capable of steamrolling through encounters and missions. In 3.5 you could have a flying dinosaur riding a flying dinosaur shooting lazers and summoning the forces of nature to destroy everything in its path and it would have so many buffs you would just have to stare in awe. It was also SAD and had very little need for equipment, so gear just turned into perks.

Darn good point.

And while the summoner can do a lot of the stuff a CoDzilla could, they can't do it at once. If you want to be a melee monster summoner, you go for a Synthesist, and then you can't use your awesome summons, and you don't have that large a spell list, nor that many spells per day. On the other hand, if you do use your awesome summons, you aren't going to be much use in combat yourself.

And just to expand on my invisibility comment before. Summoners are actually quite good anti-invisibility classes. Small earth elementals get tremorsense 60ft. Coupled with that (and the ability to speak Terran to communicate with them, linguistics is vital for people using Summon Monster), Glitterdust is amazing in revealing invisible and stealthy characters.


MrSin wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
MrSin wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
I only see 3 questions there. In how many ways do a Summoner need to do each one of those 3 to qualify?
As many as the tier 1 wizard, and all at once

And how many are those? Has the druid exactly the same number?

I think you are stuck woth 3.5 tiers, and PF have a different ecosystem. PF sorcerer >>>>> 3.5 sorc
Oh? How have the tiers changed? The changes to the class don't really matter, unless suddenly sorcerer can change his entire spell list on the day to day. To my knowledge they can't, nor can the summoner, but the wizard still can.

You missed my two questions. How many does the wizard have? And does the Druid has exactly as many? If he doesn't, why is he tier 1 regardless? Can you be a tier 1 if you have, let's say, 2 less ways than the wizard (or the cleric, or druid, or whoever is the tier 1 class with more ways to solve those 3 problems)? What about 3 less ways? What if you can do problems 1 and 3 with 3 less ways, but problem 2 with 6 more ways?

The sorcerer doesn't change his entire spell list day to day. But if he is properly built, he doesn't need to. That's the difference with 3.5 sorcerers. In 3.5 sorcerers had few spells, so they couldn't cover all their bases. In PF, they have a huge amount of spells, and that cover all their bases. They have the human bonus, the paragon cheese, the bloodline extra spells and powers, ring of knowledge, pages of spells, the mnemonic vestment+scroll combo, and the feat that gives them 1 spell of their max level or 2 of lower level.

Yes, the wizard *could* learn all spells. In Theoryfinder, they always do. In Practicefinder, they *never* have all the spells. I cannot stress this high enough: real wizards *never* have all the spells in their spell books in a real game. Specially at level sub20, and specially true at level 12 or less (which is where PFS happens to play).


Diego Rossi wrote:
JaronK solutions are laughable.

Yes, the other classes could do the same things. He said that. The difference is the wizard had all of their options available, but the sorcerer was limited to what was on his list. The sorcerer had to decide based on what he had, did he have floating disk? Shivering touch? Iron wall? The wizard had access to all of those, the sorcerer only did if he had them.

The fact he used broken combinations doesn't change the big point. Your comparing nigh' unlimited power to unlimited potential. Which is were tier 1 and 2 happen to be. Full casting, but the difference in what is available.

I swear I'm repeating myself by now...

back to CoDzilla?


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MrSin wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
JaronK solutions are laughable.

Yes, the other classes could do the same things. He said that. The difference is the wizard had all of their options available, but the sorcerer was limited to what was on his list. The sorcerer had to decide based on what he had, did he have floating disk? Shivering touch? Iron wall? The wizard had access to all of those, the sorcerer only did if he had them.

The fact he used broken combinations doesn't change the big point. Your comparing nigh' unlimited power to unlimited potential. Which is were tier 1 and 2 happen to be. Full casting, but the difference in what is available.

That's where the fallacy lies. The wizard does NOT have access to all of them. Only to the spells he has

1) learned through leveling
2) bought with gold
3) got as treasure
Wizards DON'T have access to all spells. They have access to the spells in their spellbooks.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Yes, the wizard *could* learn all spells. In Theoryfinder, they always do. In Practicefinder, they *never* have all the spells. I cannot stress this high enough: real wizards *never* have all the spells in their spell books in a real game. Specially at level sub20, and specially true at level 12 or less (which is where PFS happens to play).

The wizard doesn't know every spell in every game ever. The wizard however has the potential too. That's the thing that makes him tier one. Sorcerer only knows the spells he knows. He doesn't find a scroll or spellbook and learn every spell in it to prepare for the next day. The tiers are about potential when your talking about tier 1. Its very possible none of those classes will break your game at all, and they may even be underpowered depending on the build and who is playing them.

Again, when people argue this they tend to ignore the existence of the other classes in tier 1. Clerics and Druids DO know their entire spell list. Sorcerer does not, nor does fighter, nor does summoner.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Drachasor wrote:

Let me put this another way. Summoner's aren't Tier 1 because shutting down a summoner isn't that hard. They don't have a good way of handling flying, invisible opponents (True Seeing doesn't work for summons, as it has an expensive material component). Barring dimensional travel stops summons from appearing. Anti-magic field makes summons vanish. Protection from [Alignment] stops all natural attacks from creatures of that alignment. Summons typically have poor saves against equal CR enemies. Etc, etc, etc.

Wait...Summoners dont have a good way of handling flying invisible opponents? What are you talking about. They have a giant stompy monster that can both fly, and see invisible things... not to mention, fly, see invisibilty and glitter dust are on their spell list. So is True Seeing. Not to mention I am skeptical about the always on true seeing being included in the exception about spell like abilities. I dont think that is the intent of that line. But that is entierly besides the point. He can just give his eidolon see invisibily or use evolution surge to give him blindsense or whatnot.

Quote:


There are so many ways to do this that it doesn't require DM fiat to shut down the summoner's main strength. They are just too dependent on one trick that has lots of counters at lots of spell levels.

Protection from alignment stops summons, but not the eidolon, or any of the summoners excellent control spells. Antimagic field stops ALL tier 1 characters, so its a moot point. Not to mention in that anti magic field he has better hp, attack, and armor then the wizard does.

And baring dimensional travel? Are you talking about planar lock? Thats a friggan 8th level spell and literally doesnt apply to most games. In the vast majority of play that actually happens, baring preventing summons isnt possible. And sure you can use dismisal or banishment to get rid of the eidolon, but at the same level you have ACTUAL save or lose spells that if a wizard or cleric failed the save they'd be dead, instead of just without their pet until they could summon him back (potentially in as little as a round) or they can just summon other stuff in the mean time.

Quote:

Tier 1 classes on the other hand have a ton of tricks. They can start investigating the BBEG based merely on having rumors about him. If they have more than that they'll get major details which can lead to spying in the local area and finding out more. All quite under the radar.

Clerics can commune to find out tons of information, and have other great divinations. Wizards have it rougher, but can use Contact Other Plane multiple times to ascertain the same information -- Summoners and Sorcerers will lack the intelligence to make CoP a safe spell to use repeatedly, which is needed to weed out lies and random answers.

Yes, divination magic is in theory really really good. But the truth of the matter is that most dms actively discourage this sort of stuff because it turns camapaigns on its head. I dont put stock in them because if the dm doenst just handwave it away he is going to use every trick he knows of to keep you from just finding out who the bad guy is with a spell.

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That's not even getting into the plethora of illusions and defensive spells these classes have. And no, you don't need every spell in the books, or even half the spells. Most spells are junk. Wizards do need to buy some here and there, but other tier 1s get it all for free. Further, there are not huge amounts of ways to shut down tier 1s, because they are not heavily reliant on one kind of trick.

Best defensive spell in the game is summon eidolon. I literally cant imagine something better then putting a giant overpowered beat stick between you and the enemies. Particularly one who's well being you are not overly concerned with (ala a party member).

As for illusions, while very useful, are not the end all. They certainly help you get through things, but there is no challenge that can ONLY be solved by an illusion.

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Summoners are good. Summoners are strong. Summoners, however, are not tier 1s. Easiest way to handle 95% of their abilities? Just up the CR on encounters. Campaign problems sorted. This does not work on tier 1s. Extreme DM intervention with custom magic, etc, etc, is not needed.

Except the CR of encounters isnt what Tiers are about. Combats are part of the tier system but they arent the end all. And actually upping the CR of encounters works fine on clerics and wizards, because it kills them when they are in their squishy low levels before they get to the high levels where they are able to dominate the campaign. Summoners are much harder to kill. And as for how a dm 'solves' wizard and cleric problems, its easy. End the campaign at level 12, problem solved. Heck end the game at level 6 (see E6/E8 movements). Seems like an easy fix to me.

And according to everything paizo has said the vast majority of play happens at low levels, where wizards and clerics are far from the cream of the crop. So maybe wizards and clerics are the hypothetical tier ones. But in terms of actual gameplay its summoners and druids.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Wizards DON'T have access to all spells. They have access to the spells in their spellbooks.

Your right, they don't have access to every spell at all times. I never said they do. They do however have the potential to learn them, which depending on your campaign may not be far fetched. The archivist and Erudite Psion are also on the tier one list for the same reason. The sorcerer, favored soul, and other spontaneous casters however are not for the reason they don't have the potential to learn anymore than they know from leveling.


MrSin wrote:
The wizard doesn't know every spell in every game ever. The wizard however has the potential too. That's the thing that makes him tier one. Sorcerer only knows the spells he knows. He doesn't find a scroll or spellbook and learn every spell in it to prepare for the next day.

No. He finds a scroll and can use it 1/day without wasting it, thanks to the Mnemonic vestment. And he doesn't have to wait to the next day memorize it.

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Again, when people argue this they tend to ignore the existence of the other classes in tier 1. Clerics and Druids DO know their entire spell list. Sorcerer does not, nor does fighter, nor does summoner.

Fine. I would accept that if Cleric and Druids were tier 1, while Wizards weren't. But the fact is, wizards are considered tier 1, despite the fact they don't have every spell and every solution. Only a handful of them (the ones he actually DID found and DID learn and added to their spellbooks). Sorcerers and Summoners also have a handful solutions to every problem. The question is, how many need those handful solutions be to make the class tier 1? Because it's obvious you doesn't need *all* of them (like clerics and druids have). The wizard, for example doesn't have all of them. Just a handful, the ones in their spellbook


MrSin wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Wizards DON'T have access to all spells. They have access to the spells in their spellbooks.
Your right, they don't have access to every spell at all times. I never said they do. They do however have the potential to learn them, which depending on your campaign may not be far fetched. The archivist and Erudite Psion are also on the tier one list for the same reason. The sorcerer, favored soul, and other spontaneous casters however are not for the reason they don't have the potential to learn anymore than they know from leveling.

Technically, Erudites are generally regarded to be Tier 2. The exception is the Spell to Power Erudite which is tier 1.

Edit: Minor grammar.


MrSin wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Wizards DON'T have access to all spells. They have access to the spells in their spellbooks.
Your right, they don't have access to every spell at all times. I never said they do. They do however have the potential to learn them, which depending on your campaign may not be far fetched. The archivist and Erudite Psion are also on the tier one list for the same reason. The sorcerer, favored soul, and other spontaneous casters however are not for the reason they don't have the potential to learn anymore than they know from leveling.

Sure, through adventuring, a wizard has the potential to find a scroll and learn any spell. He could find the gold, and buy it to learn it too.

In 3.5, the sorcerer could never learn anymore than they know from leveling, that's true also.

However in Pathfinder, sorcerer have the potential to find any spell in a scroll, and casting it forever through a Mnemonic Vestment. They also have the potential to add any spell to their list, through rings of Knowledge, or pages of spell knowledge, which didn't exist, as far as I know, in 3.5.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
MrSin wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Wizards DON'T have access to all spells. They have access to the spells in their spellbooks.
Your right, they don't have access to every spell at all times. I never said they do. They do however have the potential to learn them, which depending on your campaign may not be far fetched. The archivist and Erudite Psion are also on the tier one list for the same reason. The sorcerer, favored soul, and other spontaneous casters however are not for the reason they don't have the potential to learn anymore than they know from leveling.

Sure, through adventuring, a wizard has the potential to find a scroll and learn any spell. He could find the gold, and buy it to learn it too.

In 3.5, the sorcerer could never learn anymore than they know from leveling, that's true also.

However in Pathfinder, sorcerer have the potential to find any spell in a scroll, and casting it forever through a Mnemonic Vestment. They also have the potential to add any spell to their list, through rings of Knowledge, or pages of spell knowledge, which didn't exist, as far as I know, in 3.5.

Keep in midn those options are far more expensive than a wizard scribing a spell into his spellbook.

Also keep in mind that wizards do not necessarily have to copy from scrolls. Pulling a spellbook off the cold dead hands of another wizard is another option, or simply being buddies with another wizard. HEck I've always insisted on playing wizards that came from an oranization of wizards for the sole purposes of being able to share knowledge wiht my fellow wizards and become more powerful as a result (it was also more fun).

It's doable for a sorcerer but also harder. Much harder.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
No. He finds a scroll and can use it 1/day without wasting it, thanks to the Mnemonic vestment. And he doesn't have to wait to the next day memorize it.

That's not the same as knowing the spell and being able to prepare it any day you want. Nor can it let you pick up say, 2 scrolls and learn both of them!

gustavo iglesias wrote:
The wizard, for example doesn't have all of them. Just a handful, the ones in their spellbook

Which is still more than the sorcerer most likely, especially if your GM allows you to purchase scrolls.

I see you don't like the way tiers are done. That's fine, but you didn't decide how they work or come up with the idea yourself so its kind of hard for you to change what they are.


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So from the guys that helped to build the tier system.
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Pathfinder Tier System

Tier 1: Cleric, Druid, Witch, Wizard, Oracle (with Paragon Surge), Sorcerer (with Paragon Surge);
Tier 2: Psion, Oracle, Sorcerer, Summoner, Bard (Magician w/ Paragon Surge);
Tier 3: Alchemist, Bard, Inquisitor, Magus, Psychic Warrior, Wilder;
Tier 4: Barbarian, Fighter, Gunslinger, Ninja, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Soulknife;
Tier 5: Cavalier, Expert, Monk, Samurai;
Tier 6: Aristocrat, Commoner, Warrior;

Whats funny. The Min/Max kings at the min-max boards are actually arguing whether the Summoner is a Tier 2 or 3 lol. As others have stated though. The question wasn't what tier it is. The question was about CODzilla. There where only TWO classes in 3.5 that did CODzilla well. Clerics and Druids. PF killed both.

Clerics lost Divine Metamagic and Persistent Spell Metamagic. No longer a CODzilla.

Druids got a severely nerfed version of Wildshape. No longer a CODzilla.

There has been not class that could do what the old 3.5 Cleric and Druid could do in PF. This was by design. No more 24 hour buffed to high heaven Clerics crushing people in melee while saving their 9th level spells for "O crap" moments. No more stat dumping Druids that shift into a Massive Combat form, use Natural spell to cast a few Summons, and have a 20 HD beast Pet making the Fighter look dumb.

Side Note: The Cleric CODzilla didn't come into its own till a few years after 3.5 from what I remember. Divine Metamagic, and the rods didn't come out in Core. What that means... that just cause there is no CODzilla now in PF doesn't mean it might not rear its head again. Its just one PF expansion book away. One feat or magic item that lets the Cleric or the Druid go back to being Melee powerhouses while retaining all the rest of their versatility. PF will release more material. If I was a betting man I would say its going to happen again.


MrSin wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
No. He finds a scroll and can use it 1/day without wasting it, thanks to the Mnemonic vestment. And he doesn't have to wait to the next day memorize it.
That's not the same as knowing the spell and being able to prepare it any day you want. Nor can it let you pick up say, 2 scrolls and learn both of them!

It does. You can have all the scrolls in the world, and cast any of them, without burning it. You can't cast two in a day, unless you change your dress. But you have the potential to cast any spell in the game, if you have all the scrolls.

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gustavo iglesias wrote:
The wizard, for example doesn't have all of them. Just a handful, the ones in their spellbook

Which is still more than the sorcerer most likely, especially if your GM allows you to purchase scrolls.

Sure. That's why I'm asking how many does it need to be able to do to qualify. Which you never answered.

Fact 1) The wizard has a limited amount of ways to solve problems, restricted by their spellbook
Fact 2) The sorcerer has a limited amount of way to solve problems, restricted by their spells knowns (including gear)
Fact 3) The wizard does know *more* ways than the sorcerer (Because of the nature of the spellbook)
Fact 4) the wizard does know *less* than the cleric, who knows *all* the possible ways (Because of the nature of divine spells)
Fact 5) Wizard is tier 1, like the cleric. So, to be Tier 1, you don't need to know *all* possible solutions. Because the wizard doesn't know all of them, and he is tier 1 like the cleric.

Nobody has disputed any of those. Now, we know that, to be tier 1, you need to be able to solve all kind of problems in a number of ways which is greater than 1, but lower than "all". That's why wizard is tier 1, even if he doesn't know all the ways. If we know which one is that number, we can check if the Sorcerer (or Summoner) is able to enter in tier 1 or not.

If we never set that number, then it's only achievable by the nebulous Schrodinger wizard, which "may" have the spell in the spellbook to solve it.

This starts to remind me that Family Guy show where Peter Griffin thought that a box was a better prize than a yatch, because a box can have anything inside. It could even have the keys of a yatch!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragonamedrake wrote:

So from the guys that helped to build the tier system.

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Pathfinder Tier System

Tier 1: Cleric, Druid, Witch, Wizard, Oracle (with Paragon Surge), Sorcerer (with Paragon Surge);
Tier 2: Psion, Oracle, Sorcerer, Summoner, Bard (Magician w/ Paragon Surge);
Tier 3: Alchemist, Bard, Inquisitor, Magus, Psychic Warrior, Wilder;
Tier 4: Barbarian, Fighter, Gunslinger, Ninja, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Soulknife;
Tier 5: Cavalier, Expert, Monk, Samurai;
Tier 6: Aristocrat, Commoner, Warrior;

Whats funny. The Min/Max kings at the min-max boards are actually arguing whether the Summoner is a Tier 2 or 3 lol. As others have stated though. The question wasn't what tier it is. The question was about CODzilla. There where only TWO classes in 3.5 that did CODzilla well. Clerics and Druids. PF killed both.

Clerics lost Divine Metamagic and Persistent Spell Metamagic. No longer a CODzilla.

Druids got a severely nerfed version of Wildshape. No longer a CODzilla.

There has been not class that could do what the old 3.5 Cleric and Druid could do in PF. This was by design...

Yay.

*casts "Slay thread"* :)


gustavo iglesias wrote:
It does. You can have all the scrolls in the world, and cast any of them, without burning it. You can't cast two in a day, unless you change your dress. But you have the potential to cast any spell in the game, if you have all the scrolls.

So you basically get to cast a spell from a scroll? Like everyone with UMD? Or, I could be a wizard, and every spell we ever find is now mine for the taking. Or I could be a prepared divine caster, and every spell on my list is mine.

gustavo iglesias wrote:
Sure. That's why I'm asking how many does it need to be able to do to qualify. Which you never answered.

I linked the explanation of tiers, I really can't be any more specific. The sorcerer really doesn't have near the potential that the wizard has. That's the end of it. Drake did post a tier list with paragon surge included.


gustavo iglesias wrote:

Nobody has disputed any of those. Now, we know that, to be tier 1, you need to be able to solve all kind of problems in a number of ways which is greater than 1, but lower than "all". That's why wizard is tier 1, even if he doesn't know all the ways. If we know which one is that number, we can check if the Sorcerer (or Summoner) is able to enter in tier 1 or not.

If we never set that number, then it's only achievable by the nebulous Schrodinger wizard, which "may" have the spell in the spellbook to solve it.

Thats the whole point of the Tier system. The Tier System is not specifically ranking Power or Versitility (though those are what ends up being the big factors). It's ranking the ability of a class to achieve what you want in any given situation.

Its all about "Potential". Wizards have what most consider the best spell list. They also have the "Potential" of knowing any spell on his list. Its why he is considered the poster child Tier 1. The only class that was thought to possibly be a "Tier 0" was the 3.5 Artificer because he had the "Potential" to know any spell from any list.


MrSin wrote:
So you basically get to cast a spell from a scroll? Like everyone with UMD? Or, I could be a wizard, and every spell we ever find is now mine for the taking. Or I could be a prepared divine caster, and every spell on my list is mine.

Except that you don't burn the scroll when doing so allowing you to create a library of situationally useful spells that you aren't going to need very often. You know like a wizard sticking up his spellbook and scribing those to have them on hand but without it actually costing you very much because they are never used up.

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I linked the explanation of tiers, I really can't be any more specific. The sorcerer really doesn't have near the potential that the wizard has. That's the end of it. Drake did post a tier list with paragon surge included.

Except that PF has changed the Sorcerer and they now have access to far more spells known. As such they can be created to be able to deal with a much larger array of situations, enough to allow them to be considered Tier 1.

Clerics and Druids have access to all of their spells however there are significant areas, notably in transportation and charm/control in which they struggle without particular feat/domain choices and yet they are still considered Tier 1.

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