Spellcasters = Win....how? I don't get it...


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
VS Scry. Or how will the mage know how to teleport to the NPC?
Why would he teleport directly to the NPC when the same city or at least the same area is enough?

Have they been to that city before? If not, then how do they Tport there?


DrDeth wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


The GM has planned an overland(by walking) trek to meet NPC X because ____. Someone has leveled up and chosen teleport.

Well, OK, but suppose the NPC (whom you have never met) makes his save? And it's only a 76% chance of getting there.

But yes, once a caster can cast Tport, you no longer plan for days of walking. Any decent DM knows this. Or you take preventative steps.

Why is the NPC making a save, ....
VS Scry. Or how will the mage know how to teleport to the NPC?

You misunderstood what I was saying. The GM intended for them to meet NPC X while walking. The caster teleports past the travel area.

He does not have to be someone the PC's know exist, but he could be there to move the plot along in a certain direction.


DrDeth wrote:
cnetarian wrote:

A level 1 sorc with the color spray spell, which can usually affect at least 3 opponents and often end a combat by itself, takes an opponent out if they don't save.

A 15' cone getting three foes and no friends in it? Unlikely. And then the level 1 sorc has to be within 15' (aka "a move") of three guys who just might make their save and if even one does= dead sorc. And it's very likely one will save, maybe two.

I suppose with a time limit on deciding actions, not using a template of cone effects & a sorc afraid of getting their skirt dirty it might be unlikely - far more commonly I see color spray users looking for a position to get a 4th of 5th opponent with the spell. Any opponent that is going to one-shot a level 1 sorc is pretty sure to also one-shot a level 1 fighter/barbarian/paladin/ranger/cavalier/whatever, so if the sorc doesn't get into danger range and take out multiple foes then front line dies and then we also have dead sorc, only it takes a few seconds longer.


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pming wrote:

...

Pretty much every time I see someone talk about pathfinder, and every time I play it, I find that pretty much every martial class lags behind spellcasters.

Can somebody please, for the love of [insert favored deity here] explain this to me and my group? We played 3.5e for about two years, and gave PF a shot as well (another 8 months or so; we still try it every now and then), and only ONE of us (group of about 9 total) stands by the "spellcasters = win" idea. He's attempted to 'proove' it to us, but ever time he tries he's using "perfect, single situations" to do it...never being able to back it up when we toss in normal, every-day campaigning situations at him....

A lot of it depends upon the group of players, the group of PC's, the GM, and the campaign.

I have been in groups that don't do a good job of protecting squishy casters.
I have had GM's whose intelligent opponents specifically target first anyone that is likely to be a caster. Just like PC's usually do.
In those 2 cases the caster must devote an awful lot of his capabilities just to keeping himself alive.

Some groups will allow the caster's player to talk out of character with the other players making detailed plans in the middle of a fight for 20 minutes to make sure no one is stepping into the wrong area or focusing on the wrong opponent. Some will not.

I have been in campaigns where the whole thing seems to comprise marathon race against the clock to stop X before Y. We've sometimes had to go for days without significant rest (using the fatigue rules). Well, the caster is now at a significant disadvantage since he can't replenish any of his spells.

I have seen groups of PC's that just don't work so well with a casters win button style.

A really successful caster does require more system mastery than a typical martial character to be the automatic win button.

Using a battle mat/grid does help many casters more than many martial characters.

Whether your style of 'what makes sense' instead of the rules has much influence depends entirely upon what makes sense to you. The case can certainly be made that nothing magic makes sense, so most of what a caster tries will not succeed. {shrug}

Obviously the above is just from my experience.
My opinion is that across several groups and several campaigns that there is a disparity between the martial characters, the hybrid characters, and the primary casters. At low levels the martial characters tend to be more powerful, at mid levels they are usually pretty equivalent, and at high levels the casters have more raw capability.

The differences of opinion are how big the disparity is and where the cutoffs for low, mid, and high levels of play are.
I personally do not view the disparity as nearly as large as many people on these forums.
For this discussion; I would put low level as 1-6, mid levels as 7-12, and high level as 13+.
Our campaigns also usually die out around level 15-16. So we avoid some of the issues with the level 9 'god' spells.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Simon Legrande wrote:

The rules in the book start with one saying "do with these rules what you will." What do you suppose a decent GM will do with the rules when everyone but the party wizard stops showing up to play?

Some people see RPGs as a game and they are there to win. Others see an interactive fiction that they enjoy taking part in and want the story to go on for as long as it can.

It shouldnt be required of gms to specifically counter or alter a specific set of rules in order to run the game. The game should work on its own, as it is presented by the proffessional game designers we all pay to make this stuff easier for us. Obviously, a gm can and should tailor the game to his own and his group preference. But there is a difference between altering the rules to fit a specific theme or setting, and dealing with a fundamental problem in the game.

And again I am not talking about trying to 'win' or even what people do or dont do at their table. I am talking about what is presented in the rules of the game. Thats the only common ground any of us here actually have.

Saying a gm can change/not use/fix those rules is valid, but meaningless to any actual conversation. Its like saying because he's batman in an argument about comic book characters. It may be true, but it doesnt make it right.

I concede the point that an experienced gm with cooperative players can manage the system to the point where it wont be an issue. But what I and I think everyone else would like to do is Identify, analyze and if possible come up with actual rules that solve the problem directly rather then hiding it behind clever gming.

Silver Crusade

Caimbuel wrote:
Mind you the wizard is a scary smart person that likes to let everyone have their time to shine, maybe because they know if they don't they will be playing alone. YMMV

Now this, this might be another hidden little gem in this discussion.

Is it that Casters are intrinsically OP, or that they attract players who are better at capitalizing on what they can do? Is it the Brian Van Hoose situation where Brian makes any class he plays intrinsically dangerous, but identifies more with the power and intellect of the spellcaster?

K177Y C47 wrote:

So.... the 3.5 Warlock?

I think the 3.5 Warlock was the beginnings of trying to end the crossbow wizard's supremacy. Aside from the spell per day bloat.

I think Pathfinder found the real solution to the issue, although still with the spell bloat. They just made cantrips/orisons unlimited use and bam..as many rays of frost as you want.


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pming wrote:
I'm getting the distinct impression that I'm old here... Are there any other players/GM's that have been playing D&D for, oh, lets set the bar lowish at 20 years that see the "spellcasters = win" thing?

Playing 35 years here. And, yes, I definitely see it. There are a couple things I should point out, that might influence opinions/discussion:

1. Most of my 1e games ended at or just after "name" level, at which point the casters are just starting to pull ahead. Remember, 10th-14th used to be very high level, reserved for stuff like Queen of the Demonweb Pits and Tomb of Horrors; you were taking on demiliches and demon queens at that level. The few times we tried playing to 18th level, casters dominated play even back then. If we quit all PF games at 10th level, the problem would be a lot less pronounced.

2. It's important to read the 3.0/3.5/PF rules as they are instead of how we remember 1e being. The nuts and bolts of the two games are only tangentially related. So, while you can play 3.X as if it were 1e, and largely miss all the imbalance problems, if you actually play 3.X it's often a different story. So in making comparisons, it's important to actually use the rules as written as a reference point. Yes, a good DM or casters playing with kid gloves can easily fix everything, but that's not the point. The point is that you're having to work against the system in order to get the system to work, which, to me, is less than ideal.


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Hey Kirth, you have any idea where I can find a set rules that address these problems? Do you know any one who has played with and actually found high level play rewarding for casters and not casters alike?

Above is said in humor.


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Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
For me it's not theory craft. I have played APs, home games and PFS. By about 5 or 6 a caster is able to keep up with the martials. By the time you start getting to about level 9 they have elapsed the martials. By about level 15 a martial stands no chance against them.

If that's not theorycraft, then I have to wonder what sort of game you're running where martials "stand no chance against" spellcasters. Is it a character-vs-character arena or something?

The reason this doesn't really happen in real play for many of us is because at some tables characters actually work cooperatively, rather than competitively. The notion of "which character could do this solo" never comes up, because characters never work solo.

Likewise, the notion of "I have spells that make me immune and you don't" never comes up for the same reason: spellcasters working as part of an adventuring group are just as likely to imbue the party martials with the same immunities.

Pathfinder (and its predecessors) is designed for characters to work as a team. Any class comparisons that pit characters against each other to determine which is best, is most certainly theorycraft in any game I've played in (well, since I was 12 years old, anyhow, when we did compete/battle/etc with each other, and one always had to keep their eye on the party thief).


wraithstrike wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


The GM has planned an overland(by walking) trek to meet NPC X because ____. Someone has leveled up and chosen teleport.

Well, OK, but suppose the NPC (whom you have never met) makes his save? And it's only a 76% chance of getting there.

But yes, once a caster can cast Tport, you no longer plan for days of walking. Any decent DM knows this. Or you take preventative steps.

Why is the NPC making a save, ....
VS Scry. Or how will the mage know how to teleport to the NPC?

You misunderstood what I was saying. The GM intended for them to meet NPC X while walking. The caster teleports past the travel area.

He does not have to be someone the PC's know exist, but he could be there to move the plot along in a certain direction.

Oh gosh, that's easy. Just have him meet them in the streets, or have the teleport go wrong, an d they meet him there.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Tired of the idea that all classes must be equal or something is wrong with the game.

Tired of the idea that all classes must be magical and have some sort of balanced "super" abilities.

Enjoy Pathfinder greatly and have never seen this problem in real life in any game.

So tired.


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Tired of people claiming problems they either don't see, or ignore, therefore don't exist.

So tired.


DrDeth wrote:
... or have the teleport go wrong, an d they meet him there.

That is GM Fiat, which I am not saying is a bad thing, but it does not address the issue. The NPC may also be someone who would not be in a town. Of course the GM can change the NPCs race or have him disguised etc etc, but I think you see my initial point well enough, and remember this is just an example that illustrates a bigger point. The specific example is not important other than to say that caster can alter things as mentioned in my previous posts.


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Mathius wrote:

Hey Kirth, you have any idea where I can find a set rules that address these problems? Do you know any one who has played with and actually found high level play rewarding for casters and not casters alike?

Above is said in humor.

Yup! It's this little known game called Pathfinder. [/sarcasm]

Mostly kidding. But yes, those few times I have played at really high levels, we all seemed to enjoy it equally no matter what class we played.

In all seriousness, we haven't got there yet, but we may be starting a DSP psionics instead of magic campaign in the near future. The little bit of play testing builds leads me to believe there may not be quite as much disparity at about level 15 or so (that is where we were doing our experiments). But it may also indicate I just don't yet have enough system mastery with the psionics system. That is always a possibility.
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Kirth Gersen wrote:

Tired of people claiming problems they either don't see, or ignore, therefore don't exist.

So tired.

Some of us it is not claiming the problems don't exist as much as it is our experience tells us the problem is not as big as some people on these forums claim.

I am not belittling your experience or at least not very much ;) if you have seen it to be a huge problem in actual play.

Most of the examples I have seen where it actually came up in play (as opposed to a special set-up situation) at least half of the issue has been something other than just the disparity between martials and casters.
System mastery, permissive GM's, permissive group, stupid PC's lack of consequences, etc...

I am NOT saying it never occurs or is not a problem. I'm just saying I don't think it is such a huge problem. Also, I haven't got any actual experience with a different system, that doesn't have the same problems, yet is still fun to play.


Kirth Gersen wrote:

Tired of people claiming problems they either don't see, or ignore, therefore don't exist.

So tired.

If a person doesn't experience a problem, then by definition there is no problem for that person. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist. People who continue to insist that a problem exists when only a subset of people experience a problem should not be in the habit of thinking they speak for everyone.

Do you next want to say that you can't help it that a group of people are too stupid to see the problem that clearly exists only for your group?


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I have good group of friends and the game is always fun. The issue is not actually with combat. I tend to think that all classes work well in combat. The problem is one of campaign design. Challenging martials is very easy, you just put interesting combats between them and their goal. As spellcasting increases the types of challenges that are interesting go down.

The narrow bridge example from above is a great example of a challenge that goes from frightening to trivial as magic is added it. At a certain point gravity is not a factor for the party anymore. If you write the adventure assuming that gravity is challenge and it is not then the encounter is boring. If you go the other way then it is unbeatable.

Where the line is on the amount of narrative power a party has varies so greatly that it makes many published adventures useless at the high levels. I have found the book 5 of most APs can be bypassed the with good and fun spell use. Book 6 is I have an app. "We need to save the world, why would I slog through all of that to do it?" Meanwhile the party fighter goes "Let me know when combat starts since I can't help until then"


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Simon Legrande wrote:
If a person doesn't experience a problem, then by definition there is no problem for that person. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist. People who continue to insist that a problem exists when only a subset of people experience a problem should not be in the habit of thinking they speak for everyone.

If a person experiences a problem, then by definition there is a problem for that person. If there is a problem then the problem, in fact, does exist. People who continue to insist that no problem exists when only a subset of people don't experience a problem should not be in the habit of thinking they speak for everyone.


Justin Sane wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
If a person doesn't experience a problem, then by definition there is no problem for that person. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist. People who continue to insist that a problem exists when only a subset of people experience a problem should not be in the habit of thinking they speak for everyone.
If a person experiences a problem, then by definition there is a problem for that person. If there is a problem then the problem, in fact, does exist. People who continue to insist that no problem exists when only a subset of people don't experience a problem should not be in the habit of thinking they speak for everyone.

I'm glad I didn't make the sort of comment I relied to then.


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Simon Legrande wrote:
If a person doesn't experience a problem, then by definition there is no problem for that person. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist.

"I am not experiencing AIDS, so by your definition it is not a problem for me. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist!"

Hopefully you can see a problem with this sort of logic.


Wizards are not an automatic win, far from it really. What a wizard brings is versatility at high level. They have much larger tool kits. Compare that to the fighter with a hammer and that's all he gets. Feats to go to making the hammer more effective but it's still just a hammer and when there are no nails to pound the fighter is out of luck. The wizard has something almost any situation.

As for class that = win I've seen fighter dish out so much damage that they tend to win fights faster more often than a wizard does. But then there are fights where the fighter is all but useless. That's rare for the wizard useless once they get high enough level.

Scarab Sages

Justin Sane wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
If a person doesn't experience a problem, then by definition there is no problem for that person. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist. People who continue to insist that a problem exists when only a subset of people experience a problem should not be in the habit of thinking they speak for everyone.
If a person experiences a problem, then by definition there is a problem for that person. If there is a problem then the problem, in fact, does exist. People who continue to insist that no problem exists when only a subset of people don't experience a problem should not be in the habit of thinking they speak for everyone.

I have a problem:

People keep using Schrodinger's wizard in their attempt to prove casters are overpowered.

By your definition, this becomes a real problem and people who deny this should not be in the habit of speaking for everyone.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Simon Legrande wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:

Tired of people claiming problems they either don't see, or ignore, therefore don't exist.

So tired.

If a person doesn't experience a problem, then by definition there is no problem for that person. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist. People who continue to insist that a problem exists when only a subset of people experience a problem should not be in the habit of thinking they speak for everyone.

Do you next want to say that you can't help it that a group of people are too stupid to see the problem that clearly exists only for your group?

If an ice cream shop has 20 flavors of ice cream. 5 of them contain ipecac. Does that mean that if your ice cream tendancies lead you to choose the other 15 flavors exclusively or almost exclusively there isnt a problem with the ice cream shop?


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Simon Legrande wrote:
I'm glad I didn't make the sort of comment I replied to then.

See, the thing is, for some groups, this *is* an issue. Posts, like yours, that claim "I have no issues, so you must be seeing things" are condescending, demeaning and insulting to us that actually experience the problem.


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Artanthos wrote:
People keep using Schrodinger's wizard in their attempt to prove casters are overpowered.

People keep bringing up actual game play to show how casters can be overpowered, and even post links. Then other people screw their eyes shut, ignore all that, and go back to claiming it's all Schroedinger theorycraft. Hmmmmm.

The Exchange

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I knew from the moment this thread began that it would end in self-righteous indignation from both sides. And it wasn't because I took a level of diviner. And now I'll predict the future: one of these posts of biting wit will go too far, Chris Lambertz will show up with her wand of lock thread, and we'll all hold life-long grudges at the other guy for getting our brilliant badinage censored.

Not sure if the original topic can be returned to without a new wave of vitriol washing the landscape, but can we at least explore the option?


I would love to play in high level game that is fun and have tried with several groups. The problem is that I tend to be caster that breaks that game. I do not want to have hold my character back so others can have fun. I do not want to make him less optimal. I do not want to have to overlook a solution that achieves the objective in 4 spells just so the fighter can bash some face. At the highest levels I am not sure shy I would ever allow a bad guy to take a meaningful action with the current rules set. It breaks the reality of the game for me that high level casters allow themselves to be attacked and some how did not see it coming. There are several ways they could see it coming that common in high level play and it makes no sense to me that they would not use them.

I want the game rules to hold me back so that I can go all out with my caster and the fighter can all out with his character and we all still have fun. I think that by 13th level I can make build that would be able to bypass most content in published adventures and can easily defeat those it can not.


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Hi all ok firstly I've just scanned this thread quickly but to my way of thinking the game is not a competition between players there is no winning as an individual just as a group .
If the party defeats the bad guys , solves the mystery , saves the realm whatever then they win as a group.
sure mages are powerful in a battle but they need support from others to stay safe especially when there getting sack time.
And remember what ever tricks and tactics players can come up with so can the DM


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So to divert discussion a bit...what would bring spellcasters down at high levels?

I think the main problem lies within certain spells just being kinda ridic. If there was a way to scale back on some of those, it might make things more manageable without making it unfun for new players with low system mastery. Although honestly I'm starting to believe the problem simply cannot be fixed without a complete overhaul of the system.

I will say, I love the 6th-level casters like inquisitor or magus. Not enough spells to break everything, but have spells to do cool stuff and some mundane backups. I can play them without worrying that I'll piss in someone's cheerios accidentally.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mathius wrote:

I have good group of friends and the game is always fun. The issue is not actually with combat. I tend to think that all classes work well in combat. The problem is one of campaign design. Challenging martials is very easy, you just put interesting combats between them and their goal. As spellcasting increases the types of challenges that are interesting go down.

The narrow bridge example from above is a great example of a challenge that goes from frightening to trivial as magic is added it. At a certain point gravity is not a factor for the party anymore. If you write the adventure assuming that gravity is challenge and it is not then the encounter is boring. If you go the other way then it is unbeatable.

Where the line is on the amount of narrative power a party has varies so greatly that it makes many published adventures useless at the high levels. I have found the book 5 of most APs can be bypassed the with good and fun spell use. Book 6 is I have an app. "We need to save the world, why would I slog through all of that to do it?" Meanwhile the party fighter goes "Let me know when combat starts since I can't help until then"

This is generally what I have been driving at. I have fun when I play pathfinder. Every single time. That doesnt mean there arent ways it could be improved, or issues that ought to be addressed.

As I have mentioned before the ability a supernatural character has to change the story over that of a mundane character is the issue in my opinion. DMs literally have to adjust what kind of story they are telling as the magical characters gain power. If thats not power, i dont know what is.


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tony gent wrote:
Hthere is no winning as an individual just as a group . If the party defeats the bad guys , solves the mystery , saves the realm whatever then they wins a group

Amen! And the great thing about a team is when everyone contributes more or less equally. When the Suns beat the Bulls in Game 3 of the '93 playoffs, Michael Jordan (the BBEG of basketball!) and Scottie Pippen (no slouch himself!) were both playing for the Bulls. But Barclay was a great all-around player, and together with Kevin Johnson hustling up and down the court, tirelessly, into triple overtime -- and Dan Majerle swishing in 3-pointers from every conceivable location -- the Suns turned the tide! One of the greatest games of basketball ever played.

Now imagine that Barclay instead had a bunch of elemntary school kids from down the block as his teammates. Yeah, we could maybe blindfold Pippen and bench Jordan to make it "fair," but that wouldn't be awesome basketball. At the end of the day, if these were still the playoffs and expected to be competetive, we'd basically be looking at Barclay playing, and a bunch of kids running around with him for the ride.

In PF, casters are great all-around, and they also make their team better. At high levels, warriors can really do only one thing, and they are massive resource sinks when it comes to compensating for that. In other words, they actively drag the team down. Past 10th level, you're pretty much always better off with a druid than with a fighter.

Silver Crusade

Justin Sane wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
I'm glad I didn't make the sort of comment I replied to then.
See, the thing is, for some groups, this *is* an issue. Posts, like yours, that claim "I have no issues, so you must be seeing things" are condescending, demeaning and insulting to us that actually experience the problem.

Putting on my devil's advocate hat here...

It might be more that a problem is supposed. Those who do not encounter said supposed problem look for potential causes or evidences of it (say by requesting actual table experiences here).

One side makes suppositions to the cause of the supposed problem, meets any disagreement with the old timey response of 'Shut up, you don't understand, you're not one of us ."

Its like trying to discuss whether or not the supreme intelligence of the kree's destruction was a good idea with someone and having them use an argument like 'you can't comment on that, you're not blue! Check your privilege earthling!' as if that has anything to do with anything.

There are no protected classes, and nobody with a special grounds to discuss an issue over someone else. Open debate and discussion is just that.

Now, on the other side of things, stating 'I don't detect a problem, ergo there is no problem' is similar.

So the best that can be accomplished here is to define precisely what issue, if any, there is, and how its defined.

From where I'm seeing this.

One side has come down saying 'casters are supreme' and making their argument based on certain theoretical scenarios and on suppositions arising from reading of the rules.

The other camp has attempted to say 'well, we don't really see a supposed supremacy in actual play, can you provide examples and perhaps we can figure out a reason for this apparent disparity' and been met primarily with complaints that they're attempting to sideline the first group.

Why don't we stop giving a darn about who's saying what, and focus more in on what our objectives are here.

The OP stated he didn't see the purported 'caster supremacy' in actual play.

He supposed that perhaps it was his use of gridless play, or perhaps his "1e style of play" that resulted in this.

We should focus on attempting to

1.) Identify disparities in actual blue-water games. This isn't hard science, so anecdotes supporting both sides from either camp are more helpful here then 'well, this spell is broken, so they win' 'nuh uh, we've got anti-spell + infinity' style discussions.

2.) Attempt to determine where potential disparities from people's anecdotal experiences may arise from (OP's 1e style, my 2e style, Kirth's system mastery, the color of the moon nearby, players viewing the system differently, the cost of tea in china, inverse relationship to Drizzt books published, etc.)

3.) Not act as if 'casters are op' or 'casters are not op' is an intrinsic axiom to this conversation. That's I feel is a different debate (I might be wrong). In this case, its a question of why does a player's perceived experiences at table, differ so considerably from what the forums seem to indicate should be the expected.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
FanaticRat wrote:

So to divert discussion a bit...what would bring spellcasters down at high levels?

I think the main problem lies within certain spells just being kinda ridic. If there was a way to scale back on some of those, it might make things more manageable without making it unfun for new players with low system mastery. Although honestly I'm starting to believe the problem simply cannot be fixed without a complete overhaul of the system.

I will say, I love the 6th-level casters like inquisitor or magus. Not enough spells to break everything, but have spells to do cool stuff and some mundane backups. I can play them without worrying that I'll piss in someone's cheerios accidentally.

I think it needs to go both ways. Some(or maybe a lot) of the narrative power of casters at mid to high levels needs to be curtailed, and some needs to be added to mundane characters.

The biggest problem though is effectively a sacred cow. There are too many spells that do too many things. WAAAAAy too many spells. Its like cell phone apps. Got a problem, theres a spell for that. Mundane characters have a set list of building blocks to work with (attacks, combat maneuvers and skills) that have their foundation in reality and can modify them with options. Casters have an infinate amount of building blocks(all the spells made for the game) that dont have any required connection to reality, to work with and can modify them with options.

One way or another that has to change. I firmly believe its impossible to even out the narrative power of the 2 sides without making a change in the fundamental way both sides get their 'stuff'. Either ditch the fighters are playing Lord of the Rings Mentality and say hello to some fantasy in your martial characters or drag magical characters back to gandalf levels of magic and have them too mostly focus on mundane means of problem solving, just dont forget to make them fairly good at that sort of stuff too (remember Gandalf actually kicked some serious tail in combat in addition to not casting very many spells).

Somewhere in the middle is what I hope for, but it still requires some fundamental ripping apart of the magic system in pathfinder.


wraithstrike wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
... or have the teleport go wrong, an d they meet him there.
That is GM Fiat, which I am not saying is a bad thing, but it does not address the issue. The NPC may also be someone who would not be in a town. Of course the GM can change the NPCs race or have him disguised etc etc, but I think you see my initial point well enough, and remember this is just an example that illustrates a bigger point. The specific example is not important other than to say that caster can alter things as mentioned in my previous posts.

Meeting him on the road is DM fiat, too. And since there's a 25% chance of a Tport going wrong, the DM has every right to roll it himself and assign a failure to it, just like he can decide that a door is trapped.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
If a person doesn't experience a problem, then by definition there is no problem for that person. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist.

"I am not experiencing AIDS, so by your definition it is not a problem for me. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist!"

Hopefully you can see a problem with this sort of logic.

Why, because a disease that kills people is exactly like a rules issue that only some people experience?

@Justin Sane, who is being condescending, the person who says "I don't ever run into the problem you're describing" or the person who says "there is a fundamental problem with the game regardless of whether you see it"? Which side is the one saying the other is doing it wrong?

People complain about anecdotal evidence, but that is the best measuring stick in this case. Your problems that I never see are not problems for me.

People say the GM should be setting up appropriate challenges for the party then complain about GM fiat being used to make it tough on the wizard.


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DrDeth wrote:
Meeting him on the road is DM fiat, too.

It definitely can be. When I write an adventure, though, I start with the main players and everything from there follows strict RAW -- their stats, what they can do, how many followers of what level they have, the whole shebang. Then people act as their intelligence and motives dictate. So if the PCs meet NPC X in the street, it's because the sequence of events put NPC X in that street at that time; a party with a speed of 20 feet rather than 30 feet might show up an hour after that NPC had already passed by.

I understand that a lot of DMs prefer to "move" encounters so as to always put them in the PCs' path, but when I'm the DM I always feel like that's cheating.

TL/DR: I see a problem when I DM because I play as a referee rather than interventionist god. That might be a critical consideration for some groups.


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Simon Legrande wrote:
Why, because a disease that kills people is exactly like a rules issue that only some people experience?

A disease that only kills people who get it -- and a disease that can be prevented, but it requires certain behaviors (or refraining from certain others). Rules issues only experienced by people actually using those rules, and that can be prevented, but it requires certain behaviors (or refraining from certain others). I don't mean to make light of a deadly disease here -- obviously the scale of problems is drastically different -- I'm just saying that, although I personally don't have AIDs, I feel that donating to research is a much better approach than denying it exists.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
pming wrote:
I'm getting the distinct impression that I'm old here... Are there any other players/GM's that have been playing D&D for, oh, lets set the bar lowish at 20 years that see the "spellcasters = win" thing?

Playing 35 years here. And, yes, I definitely see it. There are a couple things I should point out, that might influence opinions/discussion:

1. Most of my 1e games ended at or just after "name" level, at which point the casters are just starting to pull ahead. Remember, 10th-14th used to be very high level, reserved for stuff like Queen of the Demonweb Pits and Tomb of Horrors; you were taking on demiliches and demon queens at that level. The few times we tried playing to 18th level, casters dominated play even back then. If we quit all PF games at 10th level, the problem would be a lot less pronounced.

For 40 years here. Yes, it occurred but only at the highest, rarely played levels. Still, no matter what the Tank was a necessary part of the team- unless minions could handle it (and solo games with one PC and a army of minions were a "thing" in OD&D). Someone had to run interference for the Wizard. What with saves being so good, you often had to have a warrior do any actual killing.

Wizard could definitely "win" but what they couldn't do as much is take over a niche. Fiendish Gygaxian traps were everywhere and you needed a Thief. There were few spells that would turn a Wizard into a better warrior than the fighter.

Spells had to be hoarded.


Simon Legrande wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
If a person doesn't experience a problem, then by definition there is no problem for that person. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist.

"I am not experiencing AIDS, so by your definition it is not a problem for me. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist!"

Hopefully you can see a problem with this sort of logic.

Why, because a disease that kills people is exactly like a rules issue that only some people experience?

@Justin Sane, who is being condescending, the person who says "I don't ever run into the problem you're describing" or the person who says "there is a fundamental problem with the game regardless of whether you see it"? Which side is the one saying the other is doing it wrong?

People complain about anecdotal evidence, but that is the best measuring stick in this case. Your problems that I never see are not problems for me.

People say the GM should be setting up appropriate challenges for the party then complain about GM fiat being used to make it tough on the wizard.

I am just going to be nit picky here... AIDS does not kill you... and AIDS is not a disease... it is a symptom of the HIV. It can actually also manifest in suffers of Lupis as well, just not quite as strongly.

AIDS does nothing more than shut down your body's immune system, allowing other diseases to come in an kill you..

Effectively AIDS/HIV is like the Witch's Evil Eye/Misfotune. They TECHNICALLY don't kill you, but they make damn sure the next thing that comes towards ya does xD.


Hiya.

Well, as the OP, I'm going to have to say "Sorry for riling everyone up, no hard feelings".

I still am not convinced of the problem, mainly because I've never experienced it, and the examples I read sounded like the explanation of why spellcasters were over powered was because they can cast spells and non-spellcasters can't.

I agree some spells are overpowered (to some degree), and the perfect spell used in the right situation can easily change the course of an adventure/campaign/story/etc. However, that doesn't, in my eyes, make them "overpowering".

Like the other two or three folks on here who have never encountered this problem, I don't think we will ever really "get it" or "see it" until we get in on a game where we see it happening. I guess it's kind of like someone trying to explain how some strange creature looked...fifty people may describe the same thing, but the 3 people who haven't might not be able to fully grasp just what that strange creature actually looks like until they see it for themselves.

Thanks for the replies at any rate. It definitely gave me a few ideas on what to keep my eye out for in future PF games I run.

^_^

Paul L. Ming


Spook205 wrote:
Justin Sane wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
I'm glad I didn't make the sort of comment I replied to then.
See, the thing is, for some groups, this *is* an issue. Posts, like yours, that claim "I have no issues, so you must be seeing things" are condescending, demeaning and insulting to us that actually experience the problem.

Putting on my devil's advocate hat here...

It might be more that a problem is supposed. Those who do not encounter said supposed problem look for potential causes or evidences of it (say by requesting actual table experiences here).

One side makes suppositions to the cause of the supposed problem, meets any disagreement with the old timey response of 'Shut up, you don't understand, you're not one of us ."

Its like trying to discuss whether or not the supreme intelligence of the kree's destruction was a good idea with someone and having them use an argument like 'you can't comment on that, you're not blue! Check your privilege earthling!' as if that has anything to do with anything.

There are no protected classes, and nobody with a special grounds to discuss an issue over someone else. Open debate and discussion is just that.

Now, on the other side of things, stating 'I don't detect a problem, ergo there is no problem' is similar.

So the best that can be accomplished here is to define precisely what issue, if any, there is, and how its defined.

From where I'm seeing this.

One side has come down saying 'casters are supreme' and making their argument based on certain theoretical scenarios and on suppositions arising from reading of the rules.

The other camp has attempted to say 'well, we don't really see a supposed supremacy in actual play, can you provide examples and perhaps we can figure out a reason for this apparent disparity' and been met primarily with complaints that they're attempting to sideline the first group.

Why don't we stop giving a darn about who's saying what, and focus more in on what our objectives...

Of course the dismissiveness is on both sides. The "There is no problem crowd" throws around terms like Schrodinger's Wizard and 15 minute workday and claims that's the whole problem.

But it's basically intractable, which is why I suggested a playtest of some of the "wizards are uber" crowd playing casters and the "There's no problem" crowd GMing. Not really to prove anything one way or the other, but to see if either group has any revelations about the playstyle of the other that either causes or fixes the problem.


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DrDeth -- all good examples, and they all tie into my second point. A tank was more viable in 1e/2e because of the way initiative and tactical movement worked; they no longer work that way. Wizards couldn't casually end combats because saves scaled and DCs/target rolls didn't. A thief was needed because traps killed you, dead, and only a thief could find them. All of these are areas in which the rules of previous editions naturally led to balanced interdependent teams far better, in my opinion, than the current ones do.


From my own experience, I didn't saw this problem. Sure, caster can nova some encounter, but not all the encounter and I am the kind of DM who don't let the players rest too easily. I am running Rise of The Runelord now and my caster was put in ''auto-attack'' mode many time, and now he is really cautious about it and don't shine in ''low tier'' encounter any more.

The only change that I did was the casting time of teleport: it's now 1 hour. No more ''go back to house to grab my lunch and return to the dungeon'', and even going back for the night can be hard.

And for the record: this party is: Half-Orc pally (who roll an average of 4 on is D20. no kidding.), a Dwarf Fighter, a Ranger with a gun, a bard and a wizard.

In the other quest, the team is: Summoner/Paladin, Barbarian, Alchemist, Druid and Inquisitor. The barbarian is the carry of the group, and by far.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
Why, because a disease that kills people is exactly like a rules issue that only some people experience?
A disease that only kills people who get it -- and a disease that can be prevented, but it requires certain behaviors (or refraining from certain others). Rules issues only experienced by people actually using those rules, and that can be prevented, but it requires certain behaviors (or refraining from certain others). I don't mean to make light of a deadly disease here -- obviously the scale of problems is drastically different -- I'm just saying that, although I personally don't have AIDs, I feel that donating to research is a much better approach than denying it exists.

The problem is, you’ll only ever get people who run into the same problems to join you on your quest for fixes. You can try to convince others that any particular factor is a problem, but if they never actually experience it then there's really no reason for them to get behind you. If some part of this were a real-life matter of life and death, I can see your point. But this is just a hobby with as many different ways to play as there are people playing.


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K177Y C47 wrote:
I am just going to be nit picky here... AIDS does not kill you... and AIDS is not a disease... it is a symptom of the HIV.

Yes, indeed. Although for purposes of the example, it'll do. I could have chosen ebola instead, I suppose...


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Justin Sane wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
If a person doesn't experience a problem, then by definition there is no problem for that person. If there is no problem then the problem, in fact, does not exist. People who continue to insist that a problem exists when only a subset of people experience a problem should not be in the habit of thinking they speak for everyone.
If a person experiences a problem, then by definition there is a problem for that person. If there is a problem then the problem, in fact, does exist. People who continue to insist that no problem exists when only a subset of people don't experience a problem should not be in the habit of thinking they speak for everyone.

But how common is the problem? Do you have it? Who here says that the problem actually exists commonly in the games they run/play in?

We don't have the problem. I have seen it occur several times when spellcasters get 9th level spells, I must admit. But that is so rarefied and uncommon that we have to ask is it really a such a significant issue that the whole game has to be re-written?

Do Fighters need to have Fly and Teleport and Create Demiplane? Do we need to delete those spells? Or can the TEAM get along just fine with one member being able to do those things instead of everyone? With, say the fighter being the guy who loves dealing massive damage in combat but isn't interested so much otherwise? With the guy who plays the face loving those roleplaying encounters? Etc.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
DrDeth -- all good examples, and they all tie into my second point. A tank was more viable in 1e/2e because of the way initiative and tactical movement worked; they no longer work that way. Wizards couldn't casually end combats because saves scaled and DCs/target rolls didn't. A thief was needed because traps killed you, dead, and only a thief could find them. All of these are areas in which the rules of previous editions naturally led to balanced interdependent teams far better, in my opinion, than the current ones do.

True, but the problem arises when no one wants to play the thief.... now your stuck and someone needs to sacrifice their fun so that you can run through a dungeon. 1e/2e also created the idea of "we need a healer." but what happens when no one wants to be the party bandage and sit around just going " i guess Ill cast cure light wounds... yay.."


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Simon Legrande wrote:
The problem is, you’ll only ever get people who run into the same problems to join you on your quest for fixes. You can try to convince others that any particular factor is a problem, but if they never actually experience it then there's really no reason for them to get behind you.

Sure, but there's really no particular reason for them to oppose it, either. For example, if you never have a problem with simulacrum because you never actually use it, why should you be so up in arms against the spell being revised to prevent abuse?

In a lot of cases, I advocate changes that the people who don't see the problem would never even notice. Things like assigning a maximum total CR to summoned allies or controlled undead, for example. Or not allowing teleportation and scrying into castles and dungeons, by ruling that X thickness of stone blocks those effects. Those changes could improve play immeasureably for the people with issues, and not affect people without them at all.

But if I advocate them, I'm badwrongfun and must be stopped at all costs!


Kirth Gersen wrote:
K177Y C47 wrote:
I am just going to be nit picky here... AIDS does not kill you... and AIDS is not a disease... it is a symptom of the HIV.
Yes, indeed. Although for purposes of the example, it'll do. I could have chosen ebola instead, I suppose...

Now THAT is something that WILL kill you... and kill you it shall...

Sorry, I am actually now working on becoming a Pathologist... xD


Kirth Gersen wrote:
If they never haver a probelm with simulacrum because they never actually use it, why should they have a problem with the spell being revised to prevent abuse?

It's not quite the same thing. Probably all the player have seen a wizard in their party, so they did ''use the simulacrum'' before. And even then, they (we) didn't saw any problem, or at least not enough problem to change the class. So, is it surprising that we don't really see the good point of changing the class? No, not really.


DrDeth wrote:
Do Fighters need to have Fly and Teleport and Create Demiplane? Do we need to delete those spells? Or can the TEAM get along just fine with one member being able to do those things instead of everyone? With, say the fighter being the guy who loves dealing massive damage in combat but isn't interested so much otherwise? With the guy who plays the face loving those roleplaying encounters? Etc.

At some point the fighter needs to be able to fly, and eventually he'll need some means to bypass lengthy travel. If one person does all that for him, then that person is playing that part of the game, and the fighter isn't. That's maybe fair if, when you finally enter combat, the caster has no offensive capabilities whatsoever -- but when the caster can fight, too, now you have a situation in which only casters can deal with terrain, but anyone can deal with combat. This starts to happen well before 17th level.

Now, if we give the fighter the option to pick up a flying steed, and let it scale with his level like an animal companion so it doesn't die in every encounter, now he can fly -- but we didn't give him a fly spell. If we give him "army buddies" on another continent who can conduct operations on his behalf while he's somewhere else, we eliminate the need for him to be able to teleport. And so on. And, because spells are hard-written into the rules, so these options might be, instead of relying on DM generosity.

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