Why are spells so OP broken roflstomp face?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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aceDiamond wrote:
What class is balanced? What, in everyone's mind is the perfectly balanced class in the game? I'm just so confused by these sorts of threads, I no longer have a baseline.

Bard, inquisitor, and alchemist. Probably magus and paladin as well. They can contribute at all levels but don't run into the silliness full casters can do. They tend to have a broad variety of situations they can be useful in while still being able to have a focus.

I won't say that these classes are perfectly balanced, but I think the 2/3 casting classes form a good baseline.


Actually it still works on things over 6 hd, they are just stunned for a round.

Note that being stunned is a REALLY bad status effect, especially on humanoids with weapons


Spells can be really powerful or absolutely useless depending on what you have to deal with. Spells are only game breaking when used in a situation that permits them to be. If you know what spells to have on hand then yes you will feel powerful. Because of easy access to a wide variety of spells and lack of options for the spell less it does make spells seem pretty great. If you want to challenge someone it's easier when they have less options.

Of course the bigger issue is people tend to not enforce the limitations built into the magic system very well. It requires more system mastery on the GM's part but if the players are close in skill then you can certainly run the game in such a way that all the players contribute equally.


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aceDiamond wrote:
What class is balanced? What, in everyone's mind is the perfectly balanced class in the game? I'm just so confused by these sorts of threads, I no longer have a baseline.

IMHO, Inquisitor is the best balanced class in the game, but other well balanced classes are Alchemist, Barbarian, Bard, Magus (although they can be a bit cheesy sometimes) and Paladin. Ranger is almost there, but could use a small buff.

Vanilla Summoner could use a nerf to its spell list and some evolutions could use a revision (pounce for 1 evolution point is ridiculously cheap), but other than that they would be okay... Sharing item slots with their eidolon is a huge weakness at mid/high levels.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
CWheezy wrote:
Note that being stunned is a REALLY bad status effect, especially on humanoids with weapons

Of course, as you get up in level you run into fewer humanoids with weapons and more huge monsters with natural attacks. Same reason disarm specialists decline as you level.


Yeah it also will have a low save DC. PFS loves humans to fight though so it would probably work for your whole career


Lemmy wrote:
Vanilla Summoner could use a nerf to its spell list and some evolutions could use a revision (pounce for 1 evolution point is ridiculously cheap), but other than that they would be okay... Sharing item slots with their eidolon is a huge weakness at mid/high levels.

The summoner spell list definitely needs to be toned down. It's just dumb that they get greater invisibility before bards. But for pounce, I'd rather it was more accessible for martial classes in general to get. Even then, pounce could cost an extra point or two and I'd still pick it up with my summoners.

CWheezy wrote:
Yeah it also will have a low save DC. PFS loves humans to fight though so it would probably work for your whole career

And a level dip in oracle ups the HD limit. You can easily have colorspray (appropriately metamagicked) be your go-to spell for a long time.


Quote:
What class is balanced? What, in everyone's mind is the perfectly balanced class in the game? I'm just so confused by these sorts of threads, I no longer have a baseline.

Mpppfffff....

That's a tricky one. It depends on a lot of stuff. If by balance you mean a well presented/built class i would say...the Inquisitor and the Bard. Although it's a bit of personal preference too i think.

I for once, could never play something without even a tad of magic and I also value flavor way too much.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
“All night long”? How many 2nd level spells could you cast? I mean, what with buffs, etc, and 4 encounters per day, a normal sorc would be lucky to cast one CS per encounter.
Colorspray is a 1st level spell. A 1st level sorcerer knows two first level spells and can cast 4 or 5 per day, depending on whether their Charisma is 20. She doesn't have the spells known to be casting lots of buffs. 4 or 5 colorsprays per day is enough to get you through a full day of encounters. I mean, you're looking at a DC ≥15 Will save. Most creatures you encounter at 1st level are rather likely to fail that. If necessary, you fall back on cantrips and bloodline abilities to handle foes that aren't worth spending a colorspray on. It's not that hard to go a full day.

Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st, and every spellcaster I have seen keeps Mage armor up. So, that's 4 1st, one of which is mage armor, that leaves two spells.

And yes, a lot of CR2 critters have only a +2 or less to will. Which means they make their save a significant %. Since it's pretty much you're down if they fail, it's not that much of a game breaker. A Wolf took my sorc down easy=peasy, even tho he had mucho HP for a Sorc. Sure, he only had a will save of 11, but he made it. Then hit, trip, then dead next round.


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Quote:
Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st, and every spellcaster I have seen keeps Mage armor up.

Well, this explains a lot about your biases at least.


DrDeth wrote:
Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st,

20 point-buy, human sorcerer: S 7 D 12 C 12 I 12 W 10 C 20. Make minor tweaks as you will. Or play a gnome (you can get the exact same stats as the human) and enjoy a +1 to the DC of your color spray. Without spending any feats or anything, that's DC 17 at 1st level. Smart tactics and allies help out here as well.

And if you pick the arcane bloodline, your bonded object means you get six 1st level spells at 1st level.


If you are an oracle you don't use mage armor


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st,

20 point-buy, human sorcerer: S 7 D 12 C 12 I 12 W 10 C 20. Make minor tweaks as you will. Or play a gnome (you can get the exact same stats as the human) and enjoy a +1 to the DC of your color spray. Without spending any feats or anything, that's DC 17 at 1st level. Smart tactics and allies help out here as well.

And if you pick the arcane bloodline, your bonded object means you get six 1st level spells at 1st level.

Ifrits and Variant Tieflings can get a "22".

The hard part is getting the correct D100 roll on the alternative traits list to get an extra +2 for "24"... ;)


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st,

20 point-buy, human sorcerer: S 7 D 12 C 12 I 12 W 10 C 20. Make minor tweaks as you will.

Well, heck with a 100 pt buy I can have 18's across the board. With a 15pt standard buy, a 18 costs you 17 of your available 15 pts. Of course, you can get there by dumping like mad, but like I said "Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st". You have to assume standard around here, I mean some campaign allow super high rolls, other only 10pt buy.

Allies can't help you much if the foe makes his will save, unless you can play with init. With many spells, you can cast from the back rank, not so with color spray, you have to be out front.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
CWheezy wrote:
Yeah it also will have a low save DC. PFS loves humans to fight though so it would probably work for your whole career

Oh yeah, in PFS you're probably good. You can also fix the DC problem with Heighten Spell at the cost of some tactical positioning.


DrDeth wrote:
Well, heck with a 100 pt buy I can have 18's across the board. With a 15pt standard buy, a 18 costs you 17 of your available 15 pts. Of course, you can get there by dumping like mad, but like I said "Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st". You have to assume standard around here, I mean some campaign allow super high rolls, other only 10pt buy.

Comparing 20 point-buy to 100 point-buy is just absurd. That said, you couldn't have straight 18s with 100 point-buy: that would take 102 point-buy ;)

Anwyay, 20 point-buy seems to be the standard when talking about things. It's what's used in PFS. If you want a 15 point-buy: gnome sorcerer S 5 D 12 C 12 I 10 W 10 C 20. That low of a strength score is a little unfortunate, but not a big deal.


DrDeth wrote:
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st,

20 point-buy, human sorcerer: S 7 D 12 C 12 I 12 W 10 C 20. Make minor tweaks as you will.

Well, heck with a 100 pt buy I can have 18's across the board. With a 15pt standard buy, a 18 costs you 17 of your available 15 pts. Of course, you can get there by dumping like mad, but like I said "Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st". You have to assume standard around here, I mean some campaign allow super high rolls, other only 10pt buy.

Allies can't help you much if the foe makes his will save, unless you can play with init. With many spells, you can cast from the back rank, not so with color spray, you have to be out front.

Standard is 4d6 drop the lowest by the way.

Which equates to about 20 point buy.

Ability Scores wrote:
Standard: Roll 4d6, discard the lowest die result, and add the three remaining results together. Record this total and repeat the process until six numbers are generated. Assign these totals to your ability scores as you see fit. This method is less random than Classic and tends to create characters with above-average ability scores.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Well, heck with a 100 pt buy I can have 18's across the board. With a 15pt standard buy, a 18 costs you 17 of your available 15 pts. Of course, you can get there by dumping like mad, but like I said "Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st". You have to assume standard around here, I mean some campaign allow super high rolls, other only 10pt buy.

Comparing 20 point-buy to 100 point-buy is just absurd. That said, you couldn't have straight 18s with 100 point-buy: that would take 102 point-buy ;)

Hey, my 100pt build guy gets a racial modifier too! ;-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
That said, you couldn't have straight 18s with 100 point-buy: that would take 102 point-buy ;)

95, actually. You only need to buy five 18s and one 16.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

In my opinion, it's not the spells that are overpowered, it's the way that some of us play our arcane casters and the way different GM's handle us.

I run PFS games every weekend. Unless my scenario tactics specifically tell me target melee PCs I tend to attempt to move intellegent creatures around the sides to get to the casters and ranged PCs. Intellegent creatures should know where the greatest threats are. Even if you can't get the proper positioning to attack you may end getting the casters to fall back to where they will start encountering problems with targeting.

As a PFS player, I play a very cagey wizard. Cast and move back, rinse and repeat. My casting may seem overpowered because my team keeps me screened. Kinda like a quarterback with a good defensive line. If my wizard ends in melee range of anything, even a kobold, we have issues.

On the other hand, I know a guy who plays a wizard who has a death wish and like to use cone-spells, those being close range. This tends to lead to hime being unconscious and bleeding a lot.

Arcane casters aren't overpowered, we just make a great group better.


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LoneKnave wrote:
Quote:
Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st, and every spellcaster I have seen keeps Mage armor up.
Well, this explains a lot about your biases at least.

Yeah, I definitely think it does. There are some very different perceptions about the game as a whole and two very different schools of thought here.

Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st,

20 point-buy, human sorcerer: S 7 D 12 C 12 I 12 W 10 C 20. Make minor tweaks as you will. Or play a gnome (you can get the exact same stats as the human) and enjoy a +1 to the DC of your color spray. Without spending any feats or anything, that's DC 17 at 1st level. Smart tactics and allies help out here as well.

And if you pick the arcane bloodline, your bonded object means you get six 1st level spells at 1st level.

Baseline is 15 point buy, so lets go ahead and get that out of the way. Laying that issue aside though, I think this shows a lot of the difference between players like Death and myself and players like you Vivianne.

I would never consider tanking every other score down to 12 or less to have a 20 starting casting stat. My interest is not in crushing encounters as quickly and optimally as possible. I regularly play wizards with high charisma scores. My current wizard has a 15 strength. I think there is an entirely different mindset at work here.


Peter Stewart wrote:
LoneKnave wrote:
Quote:
Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st, and every spellcaster I have seen keeps Mage armor up.
Well, this explains a lot about your biases at least.

Yeah, I definitely think it does. There are some very different perceptions about the game as a whole and two very different schools of thought here.

Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st,

20 point-buy, human sorcerer: S 7 D 12 C 12 I 12 W 10 C 20. Make minor tweaks as you will. Or play a gnome (you can get the exact same stats as the human) and enjoy a +1 to the DC of your color spray. Without spending any feats or anything, that's DC 17 at 1st level. Smart tactics and allies help out here as well.

And if you pick the arcane bloodline, your bonded object means you get six 1st level spells at 1st level.

Baseline is 15 point buy, so lets go ahead and get that out of the way. Laying that issue aside though, I think this shows a lot of the difference between players like Death and myself and players like you Vivianne.

I would never consider tanking every other score down to 12 or less to have a 20 starting casting stat. My interest is not in crushing encounters as quickly and optimally as possible. I regularly play wizards with high charisma scores. My current wizard has a 15 strength. I think there is an entirely different mindset at work here.

Maximizing your "key" stat is like rule 1 in... any RPG, TT or VG. For Wizards that key stat is INT. I mean you can play with a different mindset and thats fine... but "maximize your key stat" is like the defining RPG outlook, so you have to admit your mindset is a bit different from the standard.


Peter Stewart wrote:

Baseline is 15 point buy, so lets go ahead and get that out of the way. Laying that issue aside though, I think this shows a lot of the difference between players like Death and myself and players like you Vivianne.

I would never consider tanking every other score down to 12 or less to have a 20 starting casting stat. My interest is not in crushing encounters as quickly and optimally as possible. I regularly play wizards with high charisma scores. My current wizard has a 15 strength. I think there is an entirely different mindset at work here.

Deth. :-)

But yes, we agree. In fact my current Sorc, who I consider rather maxed, bought a CHA of 16 with +2 for Human. This is with a rather generous point buy from my DM, which does come to about 20pts*. So, yes, I have no problem with a 20pt buy (and even prefer it, but in my own game there's no points back for dumping), but the assumption is a 15pt buy unless stated otherwise.

Anzyr- while I see your point, there's a world of difference between maximizing your key stat and dumping everything to squeeze it up to super-max. Besides non standard PC's can be fun, like my last sorc, who was a Dwarf- who after trying that whole "step in from of the tank and color spraying the wolves" passed thru those same wolves digestive track. But I replaced him by a dwarf paladin, who is doing just fine, thankyouverymuch, despite having a racial-2 to his key stat. And, he's fun to play.


Peter Stewart wrote:
Baseline is 15 point buy, so lets go ahead and get that out of the way. Laying that issue aside though, I think this shows a lot of the difference between players like Death and myself and players like you Vivianne.

I posted a 15 point-buy sorcerer above. She still has 20 Charisma.

Peter Steward wrote:
I would never consider tanking every other score down to 12 or less to have a 20 starting casting stat. My interest is not in crushing encounters as quickly and optimally as possible. I regularly play wizards with high charisma scores. My current wizard has a 15 strength. I think there is an entirely different mindset at work here.

I prefer to run games at 25 point-buy. It lets players make sure their mechanically important stats are high while giving them enough wiggle room that they can fulfill their character concept. I also prefer to start games above 1st level. Small differences in stats matter more at lower levels. At 1st level, for example, a 20 instead of a 19 in Cha gives a sorcerer a 25% increase in her spells per day. At 10th level, assuming a +4 headband, that 26 vs 25 only represents a ~3% increase in her spells per day. Starting at higher level makes a 19 (or even an 18) instead of a 20 a more attractive option.

Higher point-buy also gives MAD classes a relative boost, which I like. (Honestly, I feel using 15 point-buy as a baseline is just going to make spellcasters look more powerful. But if that's what you want, more power to you.)

Really, if you don't want your players minmaxing their stats in order to be effective, you shouldn't play with a low point-buy. It forces plays to dump stats. I like players being able to choose to play wizards with high strength, so I run games with higher point-buy. It gives me the best of both worlds.


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Vivianne Laflamme wrote:

I prefer to run games at 25 point-buy. It lets players make sure their mechanically important stats are high while giving them enough wiggle room that they can fulfill their character concept. I also prefer to start games above 1st level. Small differences in stats matter more at lower levels. At 1st level, for example, a 20 instead of a 19 in Cha gives a sorcerer a 25% increase in her spells per day. At 10th level, assuming a +4 headband, that 26 vs 25 only represents a ~3% increase in her spells per day. Starting at higher level makes a 19 (or even an 18) instead of a 20 a more attractive option.

Higher point-buy also gives MAD classes a relative boost, which I like. (Honestly, I feel using 15 point-buy as a baseline is just going to make spellcasters look more powerful. But if that's what you want, more power to you.)

Really, if you don't want your players minmaxing their stats in order to be effective, you shouldn't play with a low point-buy. It forces plays to dump stats. I like players being able to choose to play wizards with high strength, so I run games with higher point-buy. It gives me the best of both worlds.

Right, so we're basically speaking a different language.

My point is not that I play low point buy. I don't. My point is that the idea that I need or should have an 18+2 starting stat as a caster doesn't even enter my mind. It isn't an assumption about the game I make or one that I think is assumed by the game or game designers, because there are things far more important to me for any given character than having the most theoretically efficient character build.

Depending on the point buy and other factors I could easily start with a 14 or 16 base casting stat and may or may not add a racial bonus to it (more likely with 14, less likely with 16) so I can achieve another goal - perhaps a high intelligence on an oracle or a high charisma on a wizard. First and foremost I'm concerned with the character that I'm presenting conceptually rather than mechanically. Maybe on a rare occasion that concept calls for an 18+2 base stat, but again such is not my assumption nor is it an assumption of the designers when they build APs and put out bestiaries.

Proceeding forward with the assumption that an 18+2 starting stat is the default is going to lead you to skewed conclusions - among them that DCs for instance are stacked for casters. They aren't. Rather the game is designed in such a way that one does not have to dump everything into their casting stat to be effective, while also allowing through monster customization (especially with treasure) for higher degrees of optimization for players, NPCs, and monsters.

To reiterate - the game does not assume you make the most extreme theoretically powerful choices for your character at every turn, nor should it. It isn't a tactical wargame or even a competitive game of any sort. The only winning that occurs happens when everyone gets together and has fun telling a cooperative story. It isn't bound within a strict framework like a computer game locked within the limits of its engine and code. It is a vibrant and flexible system that can stretch to accommodate an awful lot of gaming tables while still leaving everyone mostly happy.

The munchkin, power gamer, optimizer, or whatever perspective that it is in some way superior to put up the biggest numbers possible or dominate the baseline as effectively as possible has very little meaning unless it brings everyone in your group happiness. If so, there is no problem. If not, why don't you all scale back and enjoy the game for what it is or move on to something where number crunching produces more meaningful results rather than simple headaches for everyone else, be it people you play with (especially GMs), designers who have to field dozens of questions every month about combos of questionable legality within the RAW, or forum posters who have to deal with the optimization crowd running across the boards yelling that this and that is broken or overpowered and needs to be changed in some massive way? Go show off how you break the system on an MMO or something where you have a leaderboard or something similar.

The whole 'OP casters' argument reminds me of the people who screamed that TESV (Skyrim) was broken because you could rapidly level up enchanting, smithing, and alchemy to create unstoppable characters, or abuse the Infinium glitch to power level, or take advantage of the lesser restoration bug to produce skewed numbers. I don't understand what the point is of that entire line of thinking. It isn't a problem when played casually, and can be avoided even when playing in a hardcore way. There is no benefit to using such glitches because there is no prize or achievement or leaderboard for completing the game. If it makes your game better do it, if not don't. In either case it seems like more of a personal problem.

At least that's my two cents on it.


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Peter Stewart wrote:
LoneKnave wrote:
Quote:
Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st, and every spellcaster I have seen keeps Mage armor up.
Well, this explains a lot about your biases at least.

Yeah, I definitely think it does. There are some very different perceptions about the game as a whole and two very different schools of thought here.

Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
Pretty hard to get a CHA of 20 @1st,

20 point-buy, human sorcerer: S 7 D 12 C 12 I 12 W 10 C 20. Make minor tweaks as you will. Or play a gnome (you can get the exact same stats as the human) and enjoy a +1 to the DC of your color spray. Without spending any feats or anything, that's DC 17 at 1st level. Smart tactics and allies help out here as well.

And if you pick the arcane bloodline, your bonded object means you get six 1st level spells at 1st level.

Baseline is 15 point buy, so lets go ahead and get that out of the way. Laying that issue aside though, I think this shows a lot of the difference between players like Death and myself and players like you Vivianne.

I would never consider tanking every other score down to 12 or less to have a 20 starting casting stat. My interest is not in crushing encounters as quickly and optimally as possible. I regularly play wizards with high charisma scores. My current wizard has a 15 strength. I think there is an entirely different mindset at work here.

"I can't stand the thought of having a weakness" is all I got out of that.

That and "I have trust issues" are what I tend to see when someone is all, "I can't have a stat under 10," or other such junk.

I'm sure the problem is with me and my perspective though.

How dare I be willing to play a guy that's generally average and maybe less than average in some ways, who is above average (or even exceptional) in others.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:
I would never consider tanking every other score down to 12 or less to have a 20 starting casting stat.

"I can't stand the thought of having a weakness" is all I got out of that.

That and "I have trust issues" are what I tend to see when someone is all, "I can't have a stat under 10," or other such junk.

I'm sure the problem is with me and my perspective though.

How dare I be willing to play a guy that's generally average and maybe less than average in some ways, who is above average (or even exceptional) in others.

I didn't say there was anything wrong is having low stats. I said I wouldn't consider doing so simply to maximize my mechanical benefit. There is a whole world of difference between "I'd like to play a clumsy fat merchant's son who developed sorcerous powers" and "Ok, I need an 18 Charisma, so I'll dump 3 points of Dex and 2 points of strength to get the extra points, then shift 3 points into Con for extra hit points..."

I didn't even say there was anything wrong with tanking your other stats to get a 18+2 starting stat. I personally don't like the idea of letting character optimization drive character creation. If you do, and it works at your table, more power to you.

What I do take offense is people trolling around the board claiming X and Y because they have made choice Z that is not the standard, not the assumption made by designers, and should in no way be taken as the baseline. I find saying "my wizard with a 20 starting intelligence dominated encounters" to be as meaningless as saying "my wizard with a 10 starting intelligence is useless". Both are equally far away from what the game is designed around.


Peter Stewart wrote:

I didn't even say there was anything wrong with tanking your other stats to get a 18+2 starting stat. I personally don't like the idea of letting character optimization drive character creation. If you do, and it works at your table, more power to you.

While much in your post is rather contentious, I just wanted to talk about this bit here. The idea that maximizing one's stats is indicative of character optimization driving character seems to be false (I may have misinterpreted your post). For example, I often start by coming up with a character concept, and attempting to optimize that character concept. In that sense, maximizing my character's stats is being driven by the character I created. Yes, there are times when some stats will get dumped in order to make this character concept come to life in the most mechanically sound way. However, this process helps me flesh out a character much more, and here we see character creation and optimization playing together to create a fleshed out character.

Then again, I really enjoy characters that are somewhat lopsided. They feel more real to me.


Peter Stewart wrote:


Baseline is 15 point buy, so lets go ahead and get that out of the way.

But it's not. Doesn't matter who asserts it, you or the CRB, when the statement doesn't match observed reality. Off-hand, I'd say that most people, or at least more people, play 20 point buy.

Peter Stewart wrote:
It isn't a tactical wargame or even a competitive game of any sort.

Like hell it isn't! Those things are not all that the game is, but they are aspects of the game.


Pupsocket wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:


Baseline is 15 point buy, so lets go ahead and get that out of the way.
But it's not. Doesn't matter who asserts it, you or the CRB, when the statement doesn't match observed reality. Off-hand, I'd say that most people, or at least more people, play 20 point buy.

It does matter who asserts it. Paizo does in their APs. So, if you play with a 20 point buy or higher then you need to expect an easier time than if you didn't. It can skew the perspective that some abilities are too strong. To ignore this is to veer into more of a house rule debate and takes away an objective source of discussion.


Core Rule Book, Generating Ability Scores wrote:


Standard: Roll 4d6, discard the lowest die result, and add the three remaining results together. Record this total and repeat the process until six numbers are generated. Assign these totals to your ability scores as you see fit. This method is less random than Classic and tends to create characters with above-average ability scores.

Which again, comes out to about 20 point buy. Technically about 22 or something.


Scavion wrote:
Core Rule Book, Generating Ability Scores wrote:


Standard: Roll 4d6, discard the lowest die result, and add the three remaining results together. Record this total and repeat the process until six numbers are generated. Assign these totals to your ability scores as you see fit. This method is less random than Classic and tends to create characters with above-average ability scores.
Which again, comes out to about 20 point buy. Technically about 22 or something.

You can't have it both ways here. You can't argue for point buy which lets you get an 18+2 consistently, then justify that point buy with rolling that is statistically likely to produce results closer to the elite array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) - and which has like a 10% chance of an 18.

Whether you go from the CRB baseline for generating stats or 15 point buy for APs you're coming up with a relatively small number of players who start with an 18+2 casting stat once you go outside of the hyper optimization crowd.


Peter Stewart wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Core Rule Book, Generating Ability Scores wrote:


Standard: Roll 4d6, discard the lowest die result, and add the three remaining results together. Record this total and repeat the process until six numbers are generated. Assign these totals to your ability scores as you see fit. This method is less random than Classic and tends to create characters with above-average ability scores.
Which again, comes out to about 20 point buy. Technically about 22 or something.

You can't have it both ways here. You can't argue for point buy which lets you get an 18+2 consistently, then justify that point buy with rolling that is statistically likely to produce results closer to the elite array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) - and which has like a 10% chance of an 18.

Whether you go from the CRB baseline for generating stats or 15 point buy for APs you're coming up with a relatively small number of players who start with an 18+2 casting stat once you go outside of the hyper optimization crowd.

Practically speaking, 4d6 tends to be exactly between the elite array and the point buy 18 in highest +.

Heroic array, your highest ability (before racial) is +2. 4d6, it is >50% likely to be at least +3, and may, much less commonly, arrive at the +4. And as pointed out, 4d6 tends to be higher overall as well than heroic array, as well as being higher in the highest score. So there is a statistically significant difference.

at least one 18 9.34%
at least one 17 30.07%
at least one 16 56.76%

That said... the 18 casting stat does seem a lot more common with point buy. Period. whether that is 15 point buy or 20 point buy.


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The balancing point for the classes would be the Adventure Paths paizo releases. if certain classes breeze through the majority of adventure paths and another class has great difficulty contributing to the same adventure paths, then you have a problem of balance.

Remember, SKR himself said that he hid many "water balloons" in his game to make the real choices look good in comparison.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:


Really, if you don't want your players minmaxing their stats in order to be effective, you shouldn't play with a low point-buy. It forces plays to dump stats. I like players being able to choose to play wizards with high strength, so I run games with higher point-buy.

Yeah, in my experience optimizers still dump stats, no matter what point buy you give them.

In my game, I give the players a high point buy, but there's no points back for dumping. Thus, if you really want a 8 CHA for RP reasons, you can have it. Strangely, no one ever chooses to dump stats then. Odd, isn't it? I mean, all the Min/Maxers here state loudly that the reason for their dumping is not the extra 4 or whatever points, but for RP reasons, but....


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Eh, if I want to roleplay a character who's foolhardy and a bit oblivious, I can do that with 7 Wis or 10 Wis. If I'm not getting any extra points for 7 Wis, then I'll go with 10 Wis. I'll roleplay the same character but be slightly more mechanically effective.

Anyway, I think characters with a dump stat are more interesting than characters without. A character is defined as much by their flaws as by their virtues. But that doesn't mean I'm going to mechanically cripple my character for nothing. Even if my character isn't "optimized"/"minmaxed"/whatever, they should still be Pareto optimal.


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DrDeth wrote:
In my game, I give the players a high point buy, but there's no points back for dumping. Thus, if you really want a 8 CHA for RP reasons, you can have it. Strangely, no one ever chooses to dump stats then. Odd, isn't it? I mean, all the Min/Maxers here state loudly that the reason for their dumping is not the extra 4 or whatever points, but for RP reasons, but....

No it is not odd at all. It is pretty natural.

It is like "If my player want to play a really smart Int 18 I let them, but then they cain no exttra spells and, extra skill, they do not gain any benefits from high Int. Strangelly nobody play a int 18 character."


On the topic of maxing your "key" stat, most casters really only need their casting stat to be not just viable, but very good. Obviously a high Constitution after you max your casting stat helps, but a high CON helps anyone. Its just that unlike say Monks, Casters don't need to try pump a lot of stats, making pushing their one stat that *really* matters just common sense.


Arent the main OP spells the summoning, and polymorph spells? Or does PF fix those, compared to 3.5?


Psikerlord wrote:
Arent the main OP spells the summoning, and polymorph spells? Or does PF fix those, compared to 3.5?

Polymorph spells got nerfed pretty hard, but summoning can still be ridiculously powerful.


DrDeth wrote:
I mean, all the Min/Maxers here state loudly that the reason for their dumping is not the extra 4 or whatever points, but for RP reasons, but....

While I do not see myself as min/maxer I am called it sometimes. And I have to say that for me it depends. Sometimes I dump a stat because I want it to be low, sometimes because I need the points and most often I do not dump at all.

But when I build a dwarf/duerga with a class that doesn't need cha I sometimes think: So I could play this guy with a cha of 6 or I could go all the way and give him cha 3. Doesn't matter much anyways.


Umbranus wrote:


But when I build a dwarf/duerga with a class that doesn't need cha I sometimes think: So I could play this guy with a cha of 6 or I could go all the way and give him cha 3. Doesn't matter much anyways.

That's when your DM declares your foe is actually a psychic and he Ego Whips your dwarf to 0 CHA, lol.

That's the only thing I can remember that does CHA damage though.


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Spells in 3rd edition are just the best solution to any given problem. In a high magic setting that's not a bad thing in itself, but problems tend to arise for a few major reasons:

Some classes (Wizard and Cleric, the Tier One Operators) allow one character to have access to all the solutions. Rather than force further specialization among Wizards, Pathfinder went the other way and actually softened the restrictions on opposition schools.

The counters to these classes tend to be all-or-nothing propositions. The DM could deny these classes their prep time, but that would effectively reduce that person to an NPC. Not an attractive proposition at any real table. At high levels, Wizards have backup spell books hidden away, and they will have finagled some way to escape to their own personal demiplane at an instant's notice. Of course the DM is omnipotent and can circumvent these too, but at this point you might as well just tell that player "No".

Many classes, in contrast, don't get any sort of access to these high level solutions for high level problems. The classic quip is that a Wizard's career goes from fighting bandits, to political intrigue, to stopping world-ending threats, to apotheosis. Mundanes never graduate from the first step, they just keep fighting bigger bandits. Even then, they are tremendously dependent on magic items and support from spellcasters. High level mundanes might as well be called Gear Mages.

As trite as it may sound, try replacing the word "spell" with the word "solution" for a while, and you'll have your answer. Being a mundane fighting class is the water balloon of all water balloons.


Yeah, to people saying otherwise, 20 PB is baseline for APs and Pathfinder Society. You can easily start with a 19 or 20 in your casting stat without dumping anything else with 20 PB.


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OgreBattle wrote:
Umbranus wrote:


But when I build a dwarf/duerga with a class that doesn't need cha I sometimes think: So I could play this guy with a cha of 6 or I could go all the way and give him cha 3. Doesn't matter much anyways.

That's when your DM declares your foe is actually a psychic and he Ego Whips your dwarf to 0 CHA, lol.

That's the only thing I can remember that does CHA damage though.

Not every one's GM is a Jerk. And writing lol in such a comment doesn't look very grown up.

If the adventure has something that deals cha damage so be it. But none of the gms I game with would insert such a monster just to punish a single player. We are mature enough that the gm can just tell me if he doesn't like my pc before the game starts.


meatrace wrote:
Yeah, to people saying otherwise, 20 PB is baseline for APs and Pathfinder Society. You can easily start with a 19 or 20 in your casting stat without dumping anything else with 20 PB.

No. There are many times where developers have stated their base assumption for APs is 15 point-buy. It doesn't matter what "everyone else" might do. That's what those campaigns are made with in mind.


Really? You're contending whether Pathfinder Society assumes 20 PB?

Page 7 of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play Guide wrote:

"Pathfinder Society uses the "purchase" system for generating ability scores, as explained on pages 15-16 of the Core Rulebook. Pathfinder Society uses the "High Fantasy" choice of 20 points, aloowing you to build a solid PC at 1st level."


meatrace wrote:

Really? You're contending whether Pathfinder Society assumes 20 PB?

Page 7 of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play Guide wrote:

"Pathfinder Society uses the "purchase" system for generating ability scores, as explained on pages 15-16 of the Core Rulebook. Pathfinder Society uses the "High Fantasy" choice of 20 points, aloowing you to build a solid PC at 1st level."

Technically it looks like he's saying that Adventure Paths assumes 15 point buy.

Pathfinder Society uses 20 point buy.

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