Why are spells so OP broken roflstomp face?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 418 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I mean, I see at higher levels how magic can break things. But from levels 1-12ish I dare say even up until 15th. spells ARE a huge boon, but they are a VERY limited resource up until level 10ish, and even then are not "plentiful" several of the more useful spells can be purchased as items or wands. I just don't see the "omg broken so brokes" ideology that seems so rampant in PF forums. ( at level 18-20 Casters CAN be ridiculous, THIS I agree with)


Dazing Spell is a gamebreaker.

Pumping DCs and casting stuff like Slow or Icy Prison is pretty gamebreaking.

The Blockbuster Wizard puts out damage that makes full martials look really bad. With augmented Fireballs of any energy type.

Grand Lodge

10 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Your slang and misspelling gives the impression of a 12 year old posting.

I just wanted you to know, as many may not take your thread, and posts very serious because of it.

Silver Crusade

what slang and or misspelling in my post? I typed spells, fixed it now, but other than that please point it out.


Well, I see what the OP means, and in general I agree. I have seen no issues with spellcasters dominating the game now thru 13th level.

Mind you, I did briefly play in one game where the DM allowed massive pre-combat buffs (even of round per level spells) , a one encounter day, and that encounter lasted 1-3 rounds. I guess if your campaign is like that, then spellcasting is OP. Nova!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Read your thread title.

Also, I commented prior to your edits.

Just wanted you to have a successful thread with helpful advice.

Moving on...

Casters simply have more versatility, are less item dependent, and require less investment to specialize.

As such, they can be very strong late game.


incoming influence the narrative post in 3,2...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ignoring the "op" thing for a while, spells tend to be so niche stealing that is not cool anymore.

The wizard stealing the rogue job even once a day is enough if the day only needed the rogue once.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

They break the rules. That is their purpose.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Nicos wrote:

Ignoring the "op" thing for a while, spells tend to be so niche stealing that is not cool anymore.

The wizard stealing the rogue job even once a day is enough if the day only needed the rogue once.

Let's not bring up the Rogue here.


It's a complicated feature but when used right, can produce many and various effects and ,in many cases, way too effective ones. Given the right circumstances, a single "charm person" can turn around and change a whole adventure, important event, the outcome of an encounter etc. Of course, experienced GMs know how to handle such things , via direct or indirect counters,conditions etc.

Too much versatility squeezed in this mechanism and many spell descriptions leave space for potential ab-use.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Nicos wrote:

Ignoring the "op" thing for a while, spells tend to be so niche stealing that is not cool anymore.

The wizard stealing the rogue job even once a day is enough if the day only needed the rogue once.

Let's not bring up the Rogue here.

Ok, if the wizard is ou tdamaging the monk even if it only 5 times at day is enough if there is only 5 encounters per day.

Happy now?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Nicos wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Nicos wrote:

Ignoring the "op" thing for a while, spells tend to be so niche stealing that is not cool anymore.

The wizard stealing the rogue job even once a day is enough if the day only needed the rogue once.

Let's not bring up the Rogue here.

Ok, if the wizard is ou tdamaging the monk even if it only 5 times at day is enough if there is only 5 encounters per day.

Happy now?

Why the snark?


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Nicos wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Nicos wrote:

Ignoring the "op" thing for a while, spells tend to be so niche stealing that is not cool anymore.

The wizard stealing the rogue job even once a day is enough if the day only needed the rogue once.

Let's not bring up the Rogue here.

Ok, if the wizard is ou tdamaging the monk even if it only 5 times at day is enough if there is only 5 encounters per day.

Happy now?

Why the snark?

It was more like a joke. I suppose is hard to transmit that kind of thing by written language.


Simple:

Casters are there to do the things that mundane classes can't do.
However they are also just as good if not better at doing the only things that non-casters do.

Ex.

A fighter is standing at the city gate as the only defense against the invading army.
He gets ignored or slaughtered by the first 20 or so.

Same situation with a full caster.
The army dies due to manipulation of the battle field or hitting MANY people at once for guaranteed damage even if you do make the save.

OR

The Ranger/monk/ninja/ext, is going to scout a manor to see what is going on before the whole party enters. He takes 30 mins with about 10 skill checks.

The Full caster just uses invisibility/silence or clairvoyance/scry and does it better and faster.

Silver Crusade

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Read your thread title.

Also, I commented prior to your edits.

Just wanted you to have a successful thread with helpful advice.

Moving on...

Casters simply have more versatility, are less item dependent, and require less investment to specialize.

As such, they can be very strong late game.

the thread title was meant to be that way, and the only thing I edited was speels to spells. anyway. verstility yes, but.. its limited. just how many times can you have that spell, how many spells can you prepare? what if you needed that spell twice, but only have 1 prepared? stuff like this comes up regularly for me (I have moved around a lot, so it wasn't just 1-2 groups.)

BUT I do see the point, as at upper levels whenyou have plentiful slots this becomes more prominent.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

In part it has to do with a magic system that stands outside of setting narrative.

In fiction Magic almost always has in setting rules. Sometimes the author spells out those rules rather specifically sometimes they are hand waved a bit but there is a list of Can and Can't do.

D&D/Pathfinder magic has a system of magic but no narrative to confine or restrict it. As a result magic is "I wave my hands and stuff happens"

Because magic is defined only by game mechanics that is the only thing that exists to restrict it, when in fact a setting narrative would provide a better framework for establishing limits.

A Man with a Sword or a Knife has very simple and understandable limits, because they are the same limits we see in our world. It's very easy to say what is and isn't possible for a Martial character because their abilities are grounded in the world we know. Magic on the other hand has no real world reference point unless you take the view of it being advanced Science.

Science however has rules that are a part of our world.

Magic needs the same.
"It's Magic, I don't gotta explain nothing" is what leads magic to be outrageous.

Take Invisibility - Game mechanic wise we have no one can see you +40 bonus to stealth and feel free to laugh at those non-magic types trying to hide.

but no setting narrative to accompany it or limit it.

In Zelazly's Amber series of books, Invisibility works by bending light around the caster. It has the down side of preventing light from reaching the caster. The more light you bend the more difficult you are to detect, but the harder it becomes for you to see anything.

The setting narrative establishes the benefits but also the limits. If you applied that to our version of the spell and the game mechanics you could rule it as a trade off. + to stealth in exchange for - to perception

Silver Crusade

Whisperknives wrote:

Simple:

Casters are there to do the things that mundane classes can't do.
However they are also just as good if not better at doing the only things that non-casters do.

Ex.

A fighter is standing at the city gate as the only defense against the invading army.
He gets ignored or slaughtered by the first 20 or so.

Same situation with a full caster.
The army dies due to manipulation of the battle field or hitting MANY people at once for guaranteed damage even if you do make the save.

OR

The Ranger/monk/ninja/ext, is going to scout a manor to see what is going on before the whole party enters. He takes 30 mins with about 10 skill checks.

The Full caster just uses invisibility/silence or clairvoyance/scry and does it better and faster.

what happens if invisibility gets dispelled? Its immune to scrying? Why wouldn't the mage just cast invisibility on the rogue? a rogue with a ring can do that. thas also 2 spell slots used right there alone.

fighter ex. Just how many spells did the wizard bring for damage? why can't the archers hurt him? (also, lets make the fighter a paladin) the paladin can take a beating and keep on dishing it out.


rorek55 wrote:
Whisperknives wrote:

Simple:

Casters are there to do the things that mundane classes can't do.
However they are also just as good if not better at doing the only things that non-casters do.

Ex.

A fighter is standing at the city gate as the only defense against the invading army.
He gets ignored or slaughtered by the first 20 or so.

Same situation with a full caster.
The army dies due to manipulation of the battle field or hitting MANY people at once for guaranteed damage even if you do make the save.

OR

The Ranger/monk/ninja/ext, is going to scout a manor to see what is going on before the whole party enters. He takes 30 mins with about 10 skill checks.

The Full caster just uses invisibility/silence or clairvoyance/scry and does it better and faster.

what happens if invisibility gets dispelled? Its immune to scrying? Why wouldn't the mage just cast invisibility on the rogue? a rogue with a ring can do that. thas also 2 spell slots used right there alone.

fighter ex. Just how many spells did the wizard bring for damage? why can't the archers hurt him? (also, lets make the fighter a paladin) the paladin can take a beating and keep on dishing it out.

Dispelling and immunity to scrying are effects coming from spells too...Access to that and you are good. You can't access to that and the enemy can?Too bad for you.

A wizard will probably know the enemies (and which enemies too) are coming and he will be prepared accordingly. Archers?How far can archers shoot or see without any magical means?

Silver Crusade

archers can shoot just about as far as you can throw a fireball.

Dispelling a rogue can do with a sneak attack (admitably, after some heavy investment) Or a paladin with that amazing sword holy avenger. or a wand! (I think)

that wizard may well be able to survive the battle, but what about the rogues that army sent in to deal with such threats BEFORE the battle :P

(ok, the what ifs are getting rid. I see your point, I just hope you see mine and we can agree to disagree in this I guess, but lets stop the what ifs before bad things come XD)


So, you are sayign that spell can defeat other spells?

Silver Crusade

Nicos wrote:
So, you are sayign that spell can defeat other spells?

yes and no

yes, a spell may be needed to defeat another spell
no, because you don't always have to be a caster to have access to spells.

and no, because those archers are just as deadly to the wizard as he is to them, (partly due to the fact that there are more of them but eh, unless its a zen archer, then you have fun with that)

also, I had a monk once that had a positive bonus to hear things while sleeping at around level 8ish IIRC. (thats a -20)


Quote:

archers can shoot just about as far as you can throw a fireball.

Dispelling a rogue can do with a sneak attack (admitably, after some heavy investment) Or a paladin with that amazing sword holy avenger. or a wand! (I think)

that wizard may well be able to survive the battle, but what about the rogues that army sent in to deal with such threats BEFORE the battle :P

(ok, the what ifs are getting rid. I see your point, I just hope you see mine and we can agree to disagree in this I guess, but lets stop the what ifs before bad things come XD)

I can't see the part where i use "what if" or the one we we disagree except for... the "army of rogues". Really?

Quote:
So, you are sayign that spell can defeat other spells?

Yup.

Quote:

es and no

yes, a spell may be needed to defeat another spell
no, because you don't always have to be a caster to have access to spells.

and no, because those archers are just as deadly to the wizard as he is to them, (partly due to the fact that there are more of them but eh, unless its a zen archer, then you have fun with that)

also, I had a monk once that had a positive bonus to hear things while sleeping at around level 8ish IIRC. (thats a -20)

I can't see why they are a bigger threat because of numbers and i surely cannot understand the bolded part as an argument.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Whisperknives wrote:

Simple:

Casters are there to do the things that mundane classes can't do.
However they are also just as good if not better at doing the only things that non-casters do.

Ex.

A fighter is standing at the city gate as the only defense against the invading army.
He gets ignored or slaughtered by the first 20 or so.

Same situation with a full caster.
The army dies due to manipulation of the battle field or hitting MANY people at once for guaranteed damage even if you do make the save.

OR

The Ranger/monk/ninja/ext, is going to scout a manor to see what is going on before the whole party enters. He takes 30 mins with about 10 skill checks.

The Full caster just uses invisibility/silence or clairvoyance/scry and does it better and faster.

First example -- falls apart on impact, we've had this one out multiple times already.

Second example -- More an example of people not paying attention to what the spells state... silence is a horrible scouting spells since you can't listen to what is going on around you and people notice when they can't hear anything around them all of a sudden. Scry requires a target can be noticed, allows a save throw, is a small area spell, takes a long time to use, etc. and clairvoyance has its own issues.

Silver Crusade

Arch_Bishop wrote:
Quote:

archers can shoot just about as far as you can throw a fireball.

Dispelling a rogue can do with a sneak attack (admitably, after some heavy investment) Or a paladin with that amazing sword holy avenger. or a wand! (I think)

that wizard may well be able to survive the battle, but what about the rogues that army sent in to deal with such threats BEFORE the battle :P

(ok, the what ifs are getting rid. I see your point, I just hope you see mine and we can agree to disagree in this I guess, but lets stop the what ifs before bad things come XD)

I can't see the part where i use "what if" or the one we we disagree except for... the "army of rogues". Really?

Quote:
So, you are sayign that spell can defeat other spells?

Yup.

Quote:

es and no

yes, a spell may be needed to defeat another spell
no, because you don't always have to be a caster to have access to spells.

and no, because those archers are just as deadly to the wizard as he is to them, (partly due to the fact that there are more of them but eh, unless its a zen archer, then you have fun with that)

also, I had a monk once that had a positive bonus to hear things while sleeping at around level 8ish IIRC. (thats a -20)

I can't see why they are a bigger threat because of numbers and i surely cannot understand the bolded part as an argument.

1)what IF the mage knew what he was fighing, and WHO he was fighting. You cannot assume the mages knows all the time, if ever, what he is going to be up against.

2) as stated yes, but most of those are actually rather easy to come by.

3) the basics is, my monk still has a decent chance to "see"/"hear"/notice the invisibled mage, sense I have hardly EVER seen mages put points into stealth, much less more than 1.


Even as a limited resource a well-placed Sleep or Color Spray can end a low CR fight before it even starts.

Silver Crusade

mkay, thats the first "combat" done for the day, you have at least 1-2 more to go and a boss fight! (usually, sometimes more, sometime less)

and honestly, I have never seen a color spray end a fight, (diminish the threat greatly? yes, end? not unless its like all of 2 guys)


rorek55 wrote:

mkay, thats the first "combat" done for the day, you have at least 1-2 more to go and a boss fight! (usually, sometimes more, sometime less)

and honestly, I have never seen a color spray end a fight, (diminish the threat greatly? yes, end? not unless its like all of 2 guys)

I personally would equate "diminish greatly" to "end" but that is my own opinion. Also as a minor aside a Heavens Oracle Color Spray is pretty freaking sweet.

My own argument for spells being "OP" is that they are only as good as the players ability to manage their resource and use it efficiently, there are enough low level spells to trivialize "most" lower level encounters.


I was never the best at grammar but I feel like something is off with about forty percent of the sentences in this thread.

In regards to the topic; I also never have too many problems with full casters until late levels but overall spells do a lot of things that can easily solve problems making them hard to challenge without making the situation feel hopeless.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Hiya

Arch_Bishop wrote:
It's a complicated feature but when used right, can produce many and various effects and ,in many cases, way too effective ones. Given the right circumstances, a single "charm person" can turn around and change a whole adventure, important event, the outcome of an encounter etc.

*sigh* The game isn't about, specifically, a series of "encounters". It's about what story those series of encounters tell. Just because the story goes off in a different direction that the one the module/GM planned for doesn't mean the wizard suddenly "broke it". It's just a different story...and one that is usually more surprising than the original.

Quote:
Of course, experienced GMs know how to handle such things , via direct or indirect counters,conditions etc.

Experienced GM's know how to go with the flow and adapt to the story the *player characters* are writing. Inexperienced GM's are the ones that "handle" it by (usually) blatant manipulations that more or less force the story on the players and their campaigns. IME at any rate.

Quote:
Too much versatility squeezed in this mechanism and many spell descriptions leave space for potential ab-use.

Abuse? I can see "abuse detrimental to a particular GM's campaign", sure. For example, if a GM's campaign has 'mental affecting' spells as some sort of evil-never-to-be-used type thing, then spells like ESP, Telepathy, Dominate, Charm, etc. would likely be considered "abuse" if someone used them all the time.

Anyway, as for the original Q...we played 3.x for about a year (I'm still stunned we lasted that long!). During that time we found spellcasters (specifically arcane casters) to be woefully innefective. One player really tried to make a wizard that was overpowered...didnt' work. All that it took was one or two bad rolls and blammo...dead wizard. Eventually he did make a character that 'broke' the campaign; a half-golem/half-minotaur hulking hurler. Sick, sick, sick! At that point we stopped.

But it wasn't because magic was uber-powerful...it was the opposite; because magic-defenses became uber-powerful.

^_^

Paul L. Ming


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Umm... You do realize that immunity to magic is literally something that 3.5 wizards laugh at right? That golems are jokes to a wizard in both 3.5 and PF? That SR: No spells exist and are some of the best spells a wizard can cast?

Also just because the GM can "adapt" the story around a charm person ending an encounter in a single spell doesn't mean the party didn't just solve the encounter and get xp with one spell. They do that enough times and they'll level up and have more spells.

@rorek55 - You are woefully underestimating how many spells a caster has at say 5th level. A specialist (and you *are* a specialist) gets 1 extra slot, proper INT gives you another, and if you are Bonded Object you have another of your highest slot. For a 5th level character thats 4 3rd level spells. That's 1 per encounter for the day. They also have 4 (5 if they have a headband of intellect+2) 2nd level spells, so thats two rounds of casting per encounter. And lets not forget the 6 1st level spells. That's 15 spells per day. And this number keeps going up, until you have more spells then there are rounds of encounters.


pming wrote:

Hiya

Arch_Bishop wrote:
It's a complicated feature but when used right, can produce many and various effects and ,in many cases, way too effective ones. Given the right circumstances, a single "charm person" can turn around and change a whole adventure, important event, the outcome of an encounter etc.

*sigh* The game isn't about, specifically, a series of "encounters". It's about what story those series of encounters tell. Just because the story goes off in a different direction that the one the module/GM planned for doesn't mean the wizard suddenly "broke it". It's just a different story...and one that is usually more surprising than the original.

Quote:
Of course, experienced GMs know how to handle such things , via direct or indirect counters,conditions etc.

Experienced GM's know how to go with the flow and adapt to the story the *player characters* are writing. Inexperienced GM's are the ones that "handle" it by (usually) blatant manipulations that more or less force the story on the players and their campaigns. IME at any rate.

Quote:
Too much versatility squeezed in this mechanism and many spell descriptions leave space for potential ab-use.

Abuse? I can see "abuse detrimental to a particular GM's campaign", sure. For example, if a GM's campaign has 'mental affecting' spells as some sort of evil-never-to-be-used type thing, then spells like ESP, Telepathy, Dominate, Charm, etc. would likely be considered "abuse" if someone used them all the time.

Anyway, as for the original Q...we played 3.x for about a year (I'm still stunned we lasted that long!). During that time we found spellcasters (specifically arcane casters) to be woefully innefective. One player really tried to make a wizard that was overpowered...didnt' work. All that it took was one or two bad rolls and blammo...dead wizard. Eventually he did make a character that 'broke' the campaign; a half-golem/half-minotaur hulking hurler. Sick, sick, sick! At that point we stopped....

If the WIZARD in your group in 3.5 could not pull his weigh, either he was a complete idiot, to did not know anything about how to play a character.

Shadow Lodge

I played a couple of scenarios of pathfinder society as a sorceress.
My initiative score was basically when the encounter ended.
Color spray all night long.

I would correct your statement and exclude the 1-4 levels as the ones with no powerful magic. As long as our enemies are at east blinded by a color spray that spell is overpowered as hell


3.5 wizards were the bomb, in pf they still are. I ran through expedition to castle ravenloft as an abjuration specialist with the character concept of "I don't like that stop it." It worked, it worked really well. Of course spells are powerful but they are an expendable resource, and a lot of people weigh the pros and cons of casting a spell right then. After all what if you need that spell later? The 15 minute workday is something that is the greatest boon a full caster can have, but that is a situation that should be avoided.


Ok, the power of spells is entirely a system thing. In pathfinder/d&d 3.5, they are powerful, and it was a conscious choice by the designers.

In dungeon world, spells are easy to use, but of VERY limited use.
In the dragon age rpg, there is a chance of spell failure (always), less spells, and spells arent quite as powerful (then again, I've only played at low levels).
In warhammer fantasy roleplay, you can cast all day, but the spells suck & the more you cast the more chances you will go insane.
In d&d 4.0, they gave everyone powers (and power structures) near-equivalent to magic ones.

It's really a system thing. I enjoy a system where magic is supreme. Others dont. The system has safeguards (reccomending minimum 4 encounters/day, limited spells, etc.) but if the boards have taught me anything is that people LOVE to forget/ignore those safeguards, which leads to mounds of trouble. It's not perfect, but at least the designers tried to balance.


That spells are a limited ressource is true but as all the casters have other abilities beside spells that's not as bad as people often make it. During most fights casters can use one or two relevant spells and after that fill up with other stuff.
The strongest caster in this department is the witch. She can contribute to fights all day long using only her hexes, saving her spells for when it matters. But the other full casters can have abilities like that, too if they want to.


I don't think there are any roflstomp spells in Pathfinder. Everything with devastating effect has a save or requires an attack roll. It pits everything on your target being weak in some way. Those weaknesses aren't something you control. You can give temporary penalties but that's it. A simple ring of evasion can let you take 0 damage even from those 200+DPRing evocation specialists. Then, there's spell resistance which trips up pretty much everything else that has a "bad" effect for the enemy and doesn't allow a save. Good AC, saves, and SR is common in higher level play where anything approaching OP resides.

Liberty's Edge

williamoak wrote:


It's really a system thing.
...
The system has safeguards (reccomending minimum 4 encounters/day, limited spells, etc.) but if the boards have taught me anything is that people LOVE to forget/ignore those safeguards, which leads to mounds of trouble. It's not perfect, but at least the designers tried to balance.

Very much this.


Fomsie wrote:
williamoak wrote:


It's really a system thing.
...
The system has safeguards (reccomending minimum 4 encounters/day, limited spells, etc.) but if the boards have taught me anything is that people LOVE to forget/ignore those safeguards, which leads to mounds of trouble. It's not perfect, but at least the designers tried to balance.
Very much this.

It's sooooo common. Like the crafting feats; everyone says they're OP, and if you're going by the CRB alone, sure. But they made an EXCELLENT little section in ultimate campaign that gave great guidelines on how to limit it/make it balanced (a crafting feat= about 25% WBL boost, any "savings" come out of crafter's WBL). There was even a discussion I got into about high level playability where SKR chimed in about how he saw that several stereotipically "broken" high level tactics simply didnt work (like scry & fry) because people interepret very "openly", pass over sentences, or forget the general rules.

The game is FAR from perfect, but there has been significant efforts to balance.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
williamoak wrote:
he system has safeguards (reccomending minimum 4 encounters/day, limited spells, etc.) but if the boards have taught me anything is that people LOVE to forget/ignore those safeguards, which leads to mounds of trouble.

By limited spells, do you mean limited spells per day or do you mean limited spells known? If the former, that really isn't much of a limitation past level 3 or so. Bonus spells from a high ability score, pearls of power, scrolls, wands, etc. all make limited spells per day a joke. If the latter, those limits only exist for spontaneous casters. (But not really, cf. pages of spell knowledge.) Druids and clerics know all their spells. Wizards and witches have cheap and easy access to new spells known. The cost to copy to spell from someone else's spellbook is cheap. Scrolls are well within the price guidelines for even small towns. If all else fails, a high enough level witch or wizard can just teleport to somewhere they can get extra spells known.

As for encounters per day, that's an awful way to balance classes. That doesn't work for every type of game. Sometimes, only one combat encounter in the whole week is what makes sense for the story. Even Paizo APs don't cleave to this standard very well. Kingmaker, for example, is full of adventuring days with only one combat. This is a bad way to balance classes because it requires the campaign to be structured in a certain way. GMs shouldn't be forced to run a certain kind of game in order for the system to be balanced.

That said, it's still not much of a safeguard. As I said above, limited spells per day stops being an issue for spellcasters past a certain point. They can easily get through many encounters in one day and still have resources left over. Even at low levels, prudent use of cantrips can stretch meager resources quite a ways. A 1st level wizard who uses the daze cantrip against unimportant enemies and saves their four 1st level slots for significant threats can go quite a while before needing to rest.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
williamoak wrote:
he system has safeguards (reccomending minimum 4 encounters/day, limited spells, etc.) but if the boards have taught me anything is that people LOVE to forget/ignore those safeguards, which leads to mounds of trouble.

By limited spells, do you mean limited spells per day or do you mean limited spells known? If the former, that really isn't much of a limitation past level 3 or so. Bonus spells from a high ability score, pearls of power, scrolls, wands, etc. all make limited spells per day a joke. If the latter, those limits only exist for spontaneous casters. (But not really, cf. pages of spell knowledge.) Druids and clerics know all their spells. Wizards and witches have cheap and easy access to new spells known. The cost to copy to spell from someone else's spellbook is cheap. Scrolls are well within the price guidelines for even small towns. If all else fails, a high enough level witch or wizard can just teleport to somewhere they can get extra spells known.

As for encounters per day, that's an awful way to balance classes. That doesn't work for every type of game. Sometimes, only one combat encounter in the whole week is what makes sense for the story. Even Paizo APs don't cleave to this standard very well. Kingmaker, for example, is full of adventuring days with only one combat. This is a bad way to balance classes because it requires the campaign to be structured in a certain way. GMs shouldn't be forced to run a certain kind of game in order for the system to be balanced.

That said, it's still not much of a safeguard. As I said above, limited spells per day stops being an issue for spellcasters past a certain point. They can easily get through many encounters in one day and still have resources left over. Even at low levels, prudent use of cantrips can stretch meager resources quite a ways. A 1st level wizard who uses the daze cantrip against unimportant enemies and saves their four 1st level slots for significant threats can go quite a while before needing to rest.

As i said, it aint perfect. The game was built with certain expectations in mind (I dont know them all, but I've gleaned a few). Table/player variation blows most those out of the water unfortunately. They built the best they could with what they had (and I do believe they where very restricted by 3.5's legacy), and they give guidelines. It's the best you can do to "balance" short of playing a board game (which I generally find too restrictive).

And, well, encounters per day may be a horrible way to balance classes, but the system is entirely built around it. All clases (excluding fighters, rogues, maybe rangers) are built around it. We cant really escape this design decision.

I also believe it's impossible to have a "universally balanced" system. But that's a whole other discussion. The fact that the system evolves as well means that you arent in a sufficiently controlled environement to take into acount all the effects of what you add.

The only system I've seen that doesnt revolve around an "adventuring day" of some sort is warhammer fantasy roleplay. And to be honest, it seems to have gone the other direction with magic, punishing mages as much as possible for their heresy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't think the system is balanced around the idea of having a roughly constant number of encounters per adventuring day throughout all levels. In particular, if this was the goal, why do characters get extra uses of per day abilities as they level? This is especially silly for stuff like the inquisitor's judgement, which is only used once per encounter. Getting your fifth daily usage of judgement at 13th level just means you can now use it in 5 encounters per day, instead of 4 encounters per day. See also smite evil, rounds of rage and bardic performance, spells per day, etc. If the game were balanced around having such a number of encounters per day, then we would expect to see the recommended number of encounters increase with the parties level. A 15th level party has more resources, so they should be balanced around a greater number of daily encounters than a 5th level party.

To my knowledge, there is no such recommendation. I actually just looked through the CRB and the Gamemastery Guide. I could easily have missed something, but I didn't find any explicit guideline about encounters per day. I can find plenty of advice and guidelines about building single encounters and how to tie encounters together in the plot, but I was unable to find anything saying that the game expects this number of encounters per day.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:

I don't think the system is balanced around the idea of having a roughly constant number of encounters per adventuring day throughout all levels. In particular, if this was the goal, why do characters get extra uses of per day abilities as they level? This is especially silly for stuff like the inquisitor's judgement, which is only used once per encounter. Getting your fifth daily usage of judgement at 13th level just means you can now use it in 5 encounters per day, instead of 4 encounters per day. See also smite evil, rounds of rage and bardic performance, spells per day, etc. If the game were balanced around having such a number of encounters per day, then we would expect to see the recommended number of encounters increase with the parties level. A 15th level party has more resources, so they should be balanced around a greater number of daily encounters than a 5th level party.

To my knowledge, there is no such recommendation. I actually just looked through the CRB and the Gamemastery Guide. I could easily have missed something, but I didn't find any explicit guideline about encounters per day. I can find plenty of advice and guidelines about building single encounters and how to tie encounters together in the plot, but I was unable to find anything saying that the game expects this number of encounters per day.

The number I've seen thrown around most often is that a APL=CR encounter should consume about 25% of the partie's limited use resources. I've yet to have a chance to read through the gamemastery guide though. Then again, most of what I've said is extrapolated from what I've seen in play/what others have said on the forums. I'd better shut up before I get too far above my own head.

Although I'd be interested in seeing how you think they tried to balance the use/day system. I still think it's built around an arbitrary "adventuring day", but I hardly have the experience to be any kind of authority.


Scarletrose wrote:

I played a couple of scenarios of pathfinder society as a sorceress.

My initiative score was basically when the encounter ended.
Color spray all night long.

I would correct your statement and exclude the 1-4 levels as the ones with no powerful magic. As long as our enemies are at east blinded by a color spray that spell is overpowered as hell

Color Spray is a great spell. Doesn’t work on several classes of monsters Undead, constructs, oozes, plants, most swarms and nothing over 6HD. It’s also a “save or suck” with a VERY short range, so if the monster makes his save, he should be able to crunch the Spellcaster. That cone and 15' range mean you have to be out front to cast, not behind the tank, etc.

“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.


Quote:
*sigh* The game isn't about, specifically, a series of "encounters". It's about what story those series of encounters tell.

The Spellcaster tells the story (if he wants).

Quote:
Just because the story goes off in a different direction that the one the module/GM planned for doesn't mean the wizard suddenly "broke it". It's just a different story...and one that is usually more surprising than the original.

I don't use the words "broke/broken/op" etc, because i don't like them. When i said "produce very effective things, too effective sometimes" i was referring to the potential power of these lowly level spells.

I ,too, strongly believe, the game shouldn't be static and player decision (even via spells) should change/alter the story.

Quote:
Experienced GM's know how to go with the flow and adapt to the story the *player characters* are writing. Inexperienced GM's are the ones that "handle" it by (usually) blatant manipulations that more or less force the story on the players and their campaigns. IME at any rate.

In the games i participated, never have i experienced players that tried to "broke" (if you want to use this word) the game, but you can if you want. I don't think the OP talks about personal experience. Believe me, if you would want to do that, spells are the best way to go.

Quote:
Abuse? I can see "abuse detrimental to a particular GM's campaign", sure. For example, if a GM's campaign has 'mental affecting' spells as some sort of evil-never-to-be-used type thing, then spells like ESP, Telepathy, Dominate, Charm, etc. would likely be considered "abuse" if someone used them all the time.

Abuse as in, exploiting the text of the spell, finding "holes", and go by the infamous "RAW" thing. Not even considering many spells allow you to do crazy stuff without even trying, plain and simple.

Not wanting to get to higher level spells, lets look at another spell.
Take for example what Scarletrose's said:

Quote:

I played a couple of scenarios of pathfinder society as a sorceress.

My initiative score was basically when the encounter ended.
Color spray all night long.

I would correct your statement and exclude the 1-4 levels as the ones with no powerful magic. As long as our enemies are at east blinded by a color spray that spell is overpowered as hell

A lowly 1st level spell that can end encounters, just by winning initiative.

What other class features can do that?And a class feature at its core, at the same time.

Quote:

Anyway, as for the original Q...we played 3.x for about a year (I'm still stunned we lasted that long!). During that time we found spellcasters (specifically arcane casters) to be woefully innefective. One player really tried to make a wizard that was overpowered...didnt' work. All that it took was one or two bad rolls and blammo...dead wizard. Eventually he did make a character that 'broke' the campaign; a half-golem/half-minotaur hulking hurler. Sick, sick, sick! At that point we stopped.

But it wasn't because magic was uber-powerful...it was the opposite; because magic-defenses became uber-powerful.

I think this has nothing to do with the class or spells in general (especially in 3.X, where the wizard was at his best)but mostly with the person playing the class or using the spells.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
williamoak wrote:
The number I've seen thrown around most often is that a APL=CR encounter should consume about 25% of the partie's limited use resources.

Right, the idea is that it should consume such a portion of the party's limited resources. But that's not quite the same as saying the game is balanced around 4 encounters per day. There's a limit on how quickly resources can be used. Casters can only cast so many spells per round. Bards can only go through rounds of performance so quickly. Paladins aren't going to smite more often than there are targets to smite. Inquisitors can only use judgement once per combat. For consumables, it doesn't really matter whether you use them today or tomorrow. As long as you still have resources left, you're at roughly the same power level as if you were completely full on resources. Hence, you end up with a limit on how many encounters you have per day, but that doesn't really affect the challenge of each individual encounter.

The reason I think a "rogues are balanced because they can still contribute at their full strength in the fourth encounter in the day when the cleric and wizard are low on spells" paradigm is bad is that the game doesn't work like that. Uses per day scale too quickly and items help to avoid the issue. Even if it worked like that at one level, it wouldn't at other levels due to the scaling nature of limited use resources. If the rogue were balanced from the perspective of this paradigm at 6th level, then it would be more powerful below 6th level and less powerful below above 6th level.

williamoak wrote:
Although I'd be interested in seeing how you think they tried to balance the use/day system. I still think it's built around an arbitrary "adventuring day", but I hardly have the experience to be any kind of authority.

I think the game is built to be balanced around a single encounter, with daily resources setting a limit on how many encounters can happen per day. I don't like the scaling nature of use per day abilities because it doesn't fit with this paradigm for balancing things. I'd rather than every paladin of every level gets, say, four smites per day (but higher level paladins have more powerful smites). Now, the downside of this is multiclassing. Under this system, a paladin 4/bard 4 would have a lot of the advantages of paladin 8 and of bard 8. Her smite would do slightly less extra damage, but she'd still add her Charisma to damage and have the same number of uses per day. Her performances would be weaker but she'd have the same number of rounds. Similarly for spells. By multiclassing, this character would have more resources than a single-class character.

I don't think there's really a solution to this that keeps per day abilities. I like how Fantasy Craft handles this (though I don't have enough experience running/playing in games of that system to say too much about how it works out in practice). Limited use abilities are either per encounter (what Fantasy Craft calls scenes), per session, or per adventure (recommended to be about 3 sessions). In this way, the game can be balanced around what actually happens when it's played and isn't tied to in-universe time. No matter what level you are, it doesn't matter whether these two encounters are an hour apart or a day apart.


I seem to think that most of these threads circle around over- and underpowered classes, abilities, etc. You have people saying all casters are overpowered, martials are underpowered, and the monk, the fighter, and the rogue give leprosy upon reading their class abilities. If I might, I'd like to derail things for a second to get a look at the bigger picture.

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.


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.

1 to 50 of 418 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Why are spells so OP broken roflstomp face? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.