Which foes are stupid enough to not attack the casters first?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Could you tone it down Artanthos? We're all here to discuss a thing we like, you don't need to be hostile. You've been making a lot of short, rude posts. =/

Magi are not martials, for the same reason that bards and clerics aren't martials. Their primary function is not to trade hits, and without expending resources to temporarily strengthen themselves they don't fulfill the same niche that say, a paladin, barbarian, or ranger does. This is not to say that they can't be competent with weapons and produce significant physical damage output- they certainly can accomplish those things- but they don't do it all the time, they need to use their resources to match (or in some cases exceed) what a normal martial class does.

@DrDeth: They probably deal with SR much the same way physical characters deal with AC. Shrug, boost their numbers, and overcome it. In the benchmarks I provided above, the evoker is rolling +10 vs SR at 5th level (where most SR is going to be 11-16). +18 at 11th, and +27 at 15th. SR is generally only an issue for evokers at low levels, and even then it can be mitigated. A lesser piercing metamagic rod only costs 3,000 gp, and lets you throw three 3rd level or lower spells (any of your metamagicked fireballs) at +5 vs SR in emergencies.

Scarab Sages

Aratrok wrote:
Magi are not martials, for the same reason that bards and clerics aren't martials. Their primary function is not to trade hits, and without expending resources to temporarily strengthen themselves they don't fulfill the same niche that say, a paladin, barbarian, or ranger does. This is not to say that they can't be competent with weapons and produce significant physical damage output- they certainly can accomplish those things- but they don't do it all the time, they need to use their resources to match (or in some cases exceed) what a normal martial class does.

My magus can and does match most full martials, and I doubt Touch of Fatigue counts as expending resources. Not everyone builds a glass cannon with a 15 minute adventuring day. Some of us build for sustained high dps and durability.


Dude, seriously, you don't need to do that. Implying that other people are playing in a bad way is unnecessary. Different people enjoy the game in different ways. We can connect on standard assumptions and rules, and take what applies to our own games home.

I don't doubt that you can match most full martials with a magus. They've got good buff spells, and can burn arcane pool points to add Int to hit and make up (and often beat) the BAB gap. Note that I said they can use resources to match or exceed what normal martials are capable of. That doesn't make the character a martial though- their primary task is still not standing and delivering, trading hits, without expending resources. Oftentimes their task is to be a striker, applying burst damage to high value targets, or to perform sustained DPR unless a pressing need for control effects (like glitterdust arises), or simply to amplify what other people are capable of.


Artanthos wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
Magi are not martials, for the same reason that bards and clerics aren't martials. Their primary function is not to trade hits, and without expending resources to temporarily strengthen themselves they don't fulfill the same niche that say, a paladin, barbarian, or ranger does. This is not to say that they can't be competent with weapons and produce significant physical damage output- they certainly can accomplish those things- but they don't do it all the time, they need to use their resources to match (or in some cases exceed) what a normal martial class does.
My magus can and does match most full martials, and I doubt Touch of Fatigue counts as expending resources. Not everyone builds a glass cannon with a 15 minute adventuring day. Some of us build for sustained high dps and durability.

When I say "martial", I mean a character whose class is specifically geared towards martial combat from its core, such as a barbarian, paladin, ranger, or even fighter (though effectiveness varies). That's not saying that other classes cannot also do those things, but that is what those classes are.

A Cleric, Druid, Magus, even Alchemist, Bard, and Inquisitor can fill those roles, but those are not martials. The majority of their effectiveness will revolve around closing the gap between their combat abilities and a martial's, while a martial generally revolves around using abilities that either indirectly support their natural ability or widen the gap further.

For example, a martial character has the following raw advantages:
+20 (or +40) HP more than the next tier below.
+5 to hit more than the next tier below.
+1 attack more than the next tier below.
Superior BAB progression = superior returns from feats like Combat Expertise and of course Power Attack, as well as superior DCs on feats like Dazing Assault.

All other things being equal, a martial will have a better to-hit and HP than a non-martial with the same benefits. That said, a non-martial often uses a variety of personal buffs to close the gaps. For example, druids are very capable of filling in the role of a martial by shapeshifting into various animals with lots of primary natural attacks, and insanely good at tanking. Clerics, like Magi, are very good at buffing themselves and diving into the fray.

For lower BAB classes, that is to say "non-martials", buffs and abilities are more important than things like power attack. Power Attack is slower to provide good returns and widen's the gap in their to-hit department. For martials, they have better returns and more accuracy to spare. This is especially true as the game progresses and martials get class features that further their ability to hit things.

For example, a Paladin by 20th level is looking at +20 BAB, +8 Str, +5 weapon, +5-6 from divine power, +4 or +6 morale bonus, before smiting (which will add roughly another +10 to hit), +1 haste. That's a +46-56 bonus to attack rolls, and the paladin auto-confirms critical threats vs evil targets, and deals about +19 damage per hit with a 1-handed weapon (+39 w/ smite). If the Paladin doesn't mind taking the hit to accuracy (and he won't vs most enemies) he can drop his bonus down to +40-50 and add an extra +12 damage onto every attack. This would bring his attack routine to +40/+40/+35/+30/+25 at 1d8+31 when not smiting, and +50/+50/+45/+40/+35 at 1d8+51 when smiting. Again, auto-confirming every threat vs evil creatures to boot.

There are methods to get his numbers even higher with the right equipment, but this is baseline, 15 PB, standard equipment/buffs, 1 feat invested (unsanctioned knowledge), and I think serves as a decent demonstrational tool for what a good martial is capable of. Rangers and Barbarians are quite similar in their numbers.

While a non-martial can probably keep up with this if played well, they have less to gain from feats like Power Attack since the penalty to attack rolls is more of a hindrance, and is slower to boosts in damage.


That isn't to say that Power Attack is a definite for every character. A dual-wielding Paladin (probably with a light spiked shield so his hand remains free, or a spiked gauntlet, armor spikes, etc) might not even want Power Attack since he's going to be emphasizing throwing as much raw damage onto every attack and wanting to increase the accuracy of his +3 extra attacks.

Taking Power Attack out of the equation and dropping TWF, Double Slice, ITWF, and GTWF, our attack routine would instead come out to +44/+44/+44/+39/+39/+34/+34/+29 (8 attacks at +19) or +54/+54/+54/+49/+49/+44/+44/+39 when smiting for +39 damage on each hit, auto-confirming critical hits vs evil foes (smiting or not). However, such a Paladin might still wish to try to find room in his heart for Power Attack so he can pick up Dazing Assault, since each hit landed would also force a DC 30 Fort save vs losing 1 round of actions (essentially if the Paladin gets into melee with you, you are dead unless you are another meat-tank from hell).


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I don't like the implication that not attacking the caster first is stupid. It depends on way too many variables to even try to list them all.

Scarab Sages

Aratrok wrote:

Dude, seriously, you don't need to do that. Implying that other people are playing in a bad way is unnecessary. Different people enjoy the game in different ways. We can connect on standard assumptions and rules, and take what applies to our own games home.

I don't doubt that you can match most full martials with a magus. They've got good buff spells, and can burn arcane pool points to add Int to hit and make up (and often beat) the BAB gap. Note that I said they can use resources to match or exceed what normal martials are capable of. That doesn't make the character a martial though- their primary task is still not standing and delivering, trading hits, without expending resources. Oftentimes their task is to be a striker, applying burst damage to high value targets, or to perform sustained DPR unless a pressing need for control effects (like glitterdust arises), or simply to amplify what other people are capable of.

I'm not implying other people are playing in a bad way. All I'm saying is, don't make assumptions about how characters are built and run. 90% of the time, my kensai is run like a martial character. He stands on the front line and swings a sword, just like a paladin or ranger. His damage is not primarily spells, but stacking damage bonuses and crit fishing.

Scarab Sages

Ashiel wrote:


For example, a martial character has the following raw advantages:
+20 (or +40) HP more than the next tier below.
+5 to hit more than the next tier below.
+1 attack more than the next tier below.
Superior BAB progression = superior returns from feats like Combat Expertise and of course Power Attack, as well as superior DCs on feats like Dazing Assault.

Those numbers only exist at level 20.

My magus is PFS, where high level play is very rare. At level 8, the disparity between a magus and fighter, paladin or ranger is:

  • 8 hit points
  • 2 BAB

I have the same number of attacks as an equal level martial with two-weapon fighting. The difference in BAB is compensated for with a blade that has higher enhancement bonuses that other classes can afford at that level (Typically +3 keen, though occasionally +4 or +3 flaming as circumstances warrant. I've yet to exhaust my arcane pool.)


Artanthos wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


For example, a martial character has the following raw advantages:
+20 (or +40) HP more than the next tier below.
+5 to hit more than the next tier below.
+1 attack more than the next tier below.
Superior BAB progression = superior returns from feats like Combat Expertise and of course Power Attack, as well as superior DCs on feats like Dazing Assault.

Those numbers only exist at level 20.

My magus is PFS, where high level play is very rare. At level 8, the disparity between a magus and fighter, paladin or ranger is:

  • 8 hit points
  • 2 BAB

I have the same number of attacks as an equal level martial with two-weapon fighting. The difference in BAB is compensated for with a blade that has higher enhancement bonuses that other classes can afford at that level (Typically +3 keen, though occasionally +4 or +3 flaming as circumstances warrant. I've yet to exhaust my arcane pool.)

I think you missed the point. Yes, you can do a pretty good job of faking it, but you're doing just that. Faking it. Which isn't a bad thing, but it does not a martial make. A cleric can cast divine favor/power and fake it too, for example. It's a good, solid tactic.

That said, one must also accept that martials can (and should be) buffed as well. While it's very nice that you can enhance your weapon to a +3 enhancement by spending some resources, similar enhancements also function for other martial characters. Barbarians have their Rage, Paladins have their spells/weapon bond/smites, Rangers have their favored enemy bonus and animal companion, etc.

Martials generally have an edge when fighting, because that's what they do. That's more or less all they do. 3/4 casters can often keep up very well, especially in a situation where a team functions together, the martials are going to show their value. And that's a good thing, because the 3/4 classes like Magus, Bard, and Inquisitor all have things that make them good at things that martials aren't always so great at.

PS: 8th level is a particularly strong level for the Magus because it just got it's extra iterative attack, and the Magus has an unusual advantage over the other classes due to the special house rules of PFS that are in play. In a normal game, Paladins and Rangers are not nearly as hamstrung.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

i wanted to find out what the thread was still talking about...

I think people are splitting hairs over semantics.

Sovereign Court

Bandw2 wrote:

i wanted to find out what the thread was still talking about...

I think people are splitting hairs over semantics.

Of course they are - it's the internet.

At least they're being civil about it for the most part.


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Ashiel wrote:

That isn't to say that Power Attack is a definite for every character. A dual-wielding Paladin (probably with a light spiked shield so his hand remains free, or a spiked gauntlet, armor spikes, etc) might not even want Power Attack since he's going to be emphasizing throwing as much raw damage onto every attack and wanting to increase the accuracy of his +3 extra attacks.

Taking Power Attack out of the equation and dropping TWF, Double Slice, ITWF, and GTWF, our attack routine would instead come out to +44/+44/+44/+39/+39/+34/+34/+29 (8 attacks at +19) or +54/+54/+54/+49/+49/+44/+44/+39 when smiting for +39 damage on each hit, auto-confirming critical hits vs evil foes (smiting or not). However, such a Paladin might still wish to try to find room in his heart for Power Attack so he can pick up Dazing Assault, since each hit landed would also force a DC 30 Fort save vs losing 1 round of actions (essentially if the Paladin gets into melee with you, you are dead unless you are another meat-tank from hell).

Actually I think if a paladin is in front of you the last place you want to be from is hell.


Chaotic Fighter wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

That isn't to say that Power Attack is a definite for every character. A dual-wielding Paladin (probably with a light spiked shield so his hand remains free, or a spiked gauntlet, armor spikes, etc) might not even want Power Attack since he's going to be emphasizing throwing as much raw damage onto every attack and wanting to increase the accuracy of his +3 extra attacks.

Taking Power Attack out of the equation and dropping TWF, Double Slice, ITWF, and GTWF, our attack routine would instead come out to +44/+44/+44/+39/+39/+34/+34/+29 (8 attacks at +19) or +54/+54/+54/+49/+49/+44/+44/+39 when smiting for +39 damage on each hit, auto-confirming critical hits vs evil foes (smiting or not). However, such a Paladin might still wish to try to find room in his heart for Power Attack so he can pick up Dazing Assault, since each hit landed would also force a DC 30 Fort save vs losing 1 round of actions (essentially if the Paladin gets into melee with you, you are dead unless you are another meat-tank from hell).

Actually I think if a paladin is in front of you the last place you want to be from is hell.

Maybe I should have said meat-tank that survives hell. :P


chaoseffect wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

I didnt see Admixture in that list. But in any case, you have now spent all your feats on Offensive spells, and are doing a lot of damage in a very showy way- making yourself a glass cannon with a big target on you.

EXACTLY the spellcaster that the foes should focus on. Thus- a dead spellcaster. How much damage do you do @ -37hp? ;-)

Besides, what do you do if the foe has really good SR?

I agree with SR being an issue; I'd probably find room for Spell Pen and Greater Spell Pen personally. That aside, it's hard to make a one trick caster. Sure you spent all your feats to pump up Fireball, but at the end of the day you still know tons of other spells. If your primary plan, blow s*!~ up, isn't applicable (perhaps because of SR) there is nothing stopping you from just pulling out a completely different series of tricks to adapt... unless you are the type of "blaster" who thinks that as a sorcerer you need to spend all your spells known on endless variations of roll 1d6 per level, reflex for half.

Right, at least Spell Penetration (which my sorc has).

Yes, of course you know other spells. BUT- that sort of one trick pony has spent all their feats, etc on doing ONE thing.

The big benefit of being a spellcaster is utility.


Well, that's kind've the thing, isn't it? They've specialized into having a really good trick, but it doesn't preclude them from doing all of the other stuff casters generally do, or even just not preparing blasts that day (which is really easy is you take Preferred Spell- never prepare another fireball again!). And during downtime, they have the same ability other casters do for tricks like fabricate and planar binding.


DrDeth wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
DrDeth wrote:

I didnt see Admixture in that list. But in any case, you have now spent all your feats on Offensive spells, and are doing a lot of damage in a very showy way- making yourself a glass cannon with a big target on you.

EXACTLY the spellcaster that the foes should focus on. Thus- a dead spellcaster. How much damage do you do @ -37hp? ;-)

Besides, what do you do if the foe has really good SR?

I agree with SR being an issue; I'd probably find room for Spell Pen and Greater Spell Pen personally. That aside, it's hard to make a one trick caster. Sure you spent all your feats to pump up Fireball, but at the end of the day you still know tons of other spells. If your primary plan, blow s*!~ up, isn't applicable (perhaps because of SR) there is nothing stopping you from just pulling out a completely different series of tricks to adapt... unless you are the type of "blaster" who thinks that as a sorcerer you need to spend all your spells known on endless variations of roll 1d6 per level, reflex for half.

Right, at least Spell Penetration (which my sorc has).

Yes, of course you know other spells. BUT- that sort of one trick pony has spent all their feats, etc on doing ONE thing.

The big benefit of being a spellcaster is utility.

Except, you see you are failing to take into account one thing... a haste cast by a blaster caster IS STILL JUST AS GOOD AS HASTE CAST BY A GENERALIST WIZARD. Casters, unlike their conventional martial counter parts, can specialize to hell and back again and STILL be able to do all the other crazy things. There is nothing that says that just because you took all your feats to mazimize the efficiency of your fireball you are precluded from casting Summon Monster. And guess what? Fireball is only a 3rd level spell. That still leaves all you OTHER SPELL SLOTS TO DO STUFF WITH... unless you are seriously suggesting the wizard spells all spell slots from 3rd level up with nothing other than fireball... which would easily be one of the dumbest posts on this thread...


Or party wizard grabs craft feats and everyone gets supercharge instead of spell-perfection dazing spell boom-kin nonsense.


But that is not quite as satisfying as being able to roll a million d6 yourself xD...

And you lose out on the look on your GMs face when you tell him how muhc damage you just did :P


Or you can do both! You don't need to spend all of your feats on blasting to be good at it. It's pretty easy to slip Craft Wondrous Item in there.

Also you really don't need to be demeaning to people that like using blasters. It's a strategy that some people like. Just because you don't doesn't mean you need to be a jerk about it. :(


Aratrok wrote:

Or you can do both! You don't need to spend all of your feats on blasting to be good at it. It's pretty easy to slip Craft Wondrous Item in there.

Also you really don't need to be demeaning to people that like using blasters. It's a strategy that some people like. Just because you don't doesn't mean you need to be a jerk about it. :(

? Not sure what you are talking about.

I just find the whole picking a trait and 8 feats for ONE spell just so you can solo auto-win 90% of encounters eventually(late game), to be silly.

Nothing wrong with blasters, it's just when you turn a blast spell into a mass hard CC with an auto-fail high DC that devours through all SR that I start to throw the BS flag. That's not a blaster, that's a character built around a late game exploit.

It's not optimal since it takes forever to get going and it's so broken that you force the GM to have to auto-counter it if he/she wants to challenge the party at all.


Hey I am all for blasters! Personally I think it is an underappreciated type of caster. Sure you can play the BFC/Buffer wizard and use a few spells to make the fighter big.... Or you can use 1 spell and wipe out all the mooks and make the enemy within 1 attack away from death (assuming it didn't die in the blast as well).


Oh and to top it off, honestly I find buffer casters horridly dull in combat.

GM: Ok wizard its your turn.

Wizard: I cast haste on the fighter... next.

GM: Ok, Fighter what are you going to do?

Fighter: I am going go kill it! (Charge) (rolls dice and gets to go full dice rolling things)

(after battle)

(rest of Party)DUDE! That was so awesome XD That crit you did was pretty cool! And you like, took down that Beholder in like 2 attacks!

Wizard player: -.-.....


You called it nonsense and referred to it as a boom-kin thing, which I can only take as sarcastic given the reference to WoW in this context.

I dunno. Looking at the large amount of damage and calling it auto-win seems pretty shortsighted to me. What do you think of martial characters that are dealing hundreds of points of damage at that level? They aren't really breaking the game, so what's wrong with a magic user dealing that damage, except spread out more?


DrDeth wrote:


Yes, of course you know other spells. BUT- that sort of one trick pony has spent all their feats, etc on doing ONE thing.

And one more feat lets you do everything whilst also maintaining blasting power.

Again, this is another huge point to keep in mind when interacting with the Caster Martial disparity.

Our Wizard here just spent his whole career beefing up his fireball. Now he can prepare other junk AND still throw a fireball whenever he desires.


Aratrok wrote:

You called it nonsense and referred to it as a boom-kin thing, which I can only take as sarcastic given the reference to WoW in this context.

I dunno. Looking at the large amount of damage and calling it auto-win seems pretty shortsighted to me. What do you think of martial characters that are dealing hundreds of points of damage at that level? They aren't really breaking the game, so what's wrong with a magic user dealing that damage, except spread out more?

I called it boom-kin as a reference to it being fairly burst-y. Didn't really even think people would get miffed at a druid wow reference.

And it's not the damage. Lot's of damage would be nice. It's the auto-daze for several rounds that makes the combo nonsense.

That's why I don't really consider it blasting, it's just BFC + some damage.


Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Aratrok wrote:

You called it nonsense and referred to it as a boom-kin thing, which I can only take as sarcastic given the reference to WoW in this context.

I dunno. Looking at the large amount of damage and calling it auto-win seems pretty shortsighted to me. What do you think of martial characters that are dealing hundreds of points of damage at that level? They aren't really breaking the game, so what's wrong with a magic user dealing that damage, except spread out more?

I called it boom-kin as a reference to it being fairly burst-y. Didn't really even think people would get miffed at a druid wow reference.

And it's not the damage. Lot's of damage would be nice. It's the auto-daze for several rounds that makes the combo nonsense.

That's why I don't really consider it blasting, it's just BFC + some damage.

I optimized a Wizard once for Chain Lightning. Takes CR20 creatures at level 15 down to a sliver of health.


Aratrok wrote:

You called it nonsense and referred to it as a boom-kin thing, which I can only take as sarcastic given the reference to WoW in this context.

I dunno. Looking at the large amount of damage and calling it auto-win seems pretty shortsighted to me. What do you think of martial characters that are dealing hundreds of points of damage at that level? They aren't really breaking the game, so what's wrong with a magic user dealing that damage, except spread out more?

When have I ever said it is non-sense? Heck, if anything I am well known for being a caster lover.

And it is an auto-win when it comes to blasters. An optimized blaster cna pretty much wipe out most encounters with 2 rounds tops. The difference when it comes to the caster vs the martial is that:

1) The caster STILL have a plethora of options ON TOP OF HIS SUPER SPECIALIZED BUILD. A fighter that specializes solely on archery is barely competent at anything if he loses his bow. He can only do 1 thing. Shoot people. A blaster caster is still just at good at making pits, creating new planes of existance, and binding the very incarnations of good and evil to his whim as the next guy...

2) His damage is at a LONG range (unlike non-archer martials). So can very realistically blow you to smitheriens before you can get to him...

3) he only uses 1 swift and 1 standard action. He can do that damage with mearly a swift and standard action (normal spell+Rod of QUickening). He can still move around as he needs to. A martial does not have that luxury (unless he is mounted)

4) Dazing Spell is a thing... just saying...

5) He is not just killing 1 guy... he is killing EVERYTHING in a 30 ft radius explosion... Its like having a S&W .45 caliber vs a bunch of guys when your buddy is running around with a M-47 Automatic Grenade Launcher...

6) The Wizard is aiming at a target that tends to get progressively easier to hit.... Among most creatures, hitting reflex saves is much more reliable than trying to hit AC.


You didn't. I was responding to Marcus, who did call it "nonsense" in his post. We're cool. :P

I'd hardly say Dazing Spell is auto-confirm. You're still working off of the DC of a 3rd level spell, you could very easily be throwing a more threatening higher level control spell like mass hold monster, to go to the extreme where you're actually throwing that intensified empowered dazing spell.


Aratrok wrote:
I'd hardly say Dazing Spell is auto-confirm. You're still working off of the DC of a 3rd level spell, you could very easily be throwing a more threatening higher level control spell like mass hold monster, to go to the extreme where you're actually throwing that intensified empowered dazing spell.

Or it's chain lighting with spell perfection with magical lineage, greater spell focus, and greater spell penetration.

Start combat with heightened Dazing chain lightning then quicken chain lighting. Now pass that DC 34 reflex save or be dazed for 7 rounds.

You can't grab spell perfection until level 15 anyways, so why blow it on fireball?

Dark Archive

Just so we're clear, is the way you're doing this:

Wizard 13
Magical Lineage
Int 23 (+6)
Chain Lightning (SL6)
Heighten Spell Feat (SL8) (but in a 7th level slot)
Metamagic Rod (Dazing) (Effective SL 10, but irrelevant) (27k/140k ~19% WBL, or 60.75k/140k ~44% if Greater Rod)
DC 23 (10+6+8)

Spell Focus (Evocation) (Wizard 5)
Greater Spell Focus (Evocation) (Wizard 10)
Energy Focus (Electric)
Greater Energy Focus (Electric)

DC 27 (10+6+8+4)

Headband of Intellect +6 (18k/140k ~13% WBL)
DC 34 (10+12+8+4)

And then at 15, Spell Perfection lets you trade in the metamagic rod and raise the DC by another +1. Yes?

That's actually quite impressive.

I've not build a blaster mage since the days of 3.0, and I was completely underwhelmed at the time.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
PIXIE DUST wrote:


Or you know.. you can take out the guy with the RPG... you know, the weapon that takes out YOUR HEAVY ARMOR AND pretty much kills you by getting close enough...

Depends on what you're own job is. All you probably need to do is force the guy with the RPG into cover - that's what your grunts with firepower do. If you really want to disrupt a typical unit, shoot the command and communications. That means officers and radio-men.


Darkholme wrote:

Just so we're clear, is the way you're doing this:

Wizard 13
Magical Lineage
Int 23 (+6)
Chain Lightning (SL6)
Heighten Spell Feat (SL8) (but in a 7th level slot)
Metamagic Rod (Dazing) (Effective SL 10, but irrelevant) (27k/140k ~19% WBL, or 60.75k/140k ~44% if Greater Rod)
DC 23 (10+6+8)

Spell Focus (Evocation) (Wizard 5)
Greater Spell Focus (Evocation) (Wizard 10)
Energy Focus (Electric)
Greater Energy Focus (Electric)

DC 27 (10+6+8+4)

Headband of Intellect +6 (18k/140k ~13% WBL)
DC 34 (10+12+8+4)

And then at 15, Spell Perfection lets you trade in the metamagic rod and raise the DC by another +1. Yes?

That's actually quite impressive.

I've not build a blaster mage since the days of 3.0, and I was completely underwhelmed at the time.

I have never been entirely convinced that spell focus and energy focus actually stack as they are both feat bonuses to DC. If they do great, if not you really want to include Spell Penetration at the very least.

Heighten Spell is a waste unless you want to pick up Preferred Spell. You are far better off applying Persistent Spell instead. Persistent increases the chance of successfully dazing far more so than the +2DC you get from the equivalent level increase from Heighten.

If you want to see how effective Dazing, and save or suck in general can be can be have a read through my old Beastmass 2 post.

Scarab Sages

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andreww wrote:


I have never been entirely convinced that spell focus and energy focus actually stack as they are both feat bonuses to DC.

They don't stack. Feat bonuses don't stack unless they specifically state otherwise. (Greater _____ always makes specific allowances for stacking.)


On the issue of whether or not blasting or really any form of caster specialisation forces you to become a one trick pony I thought I would just examine the feat list for my level 18 test sorcerer. He has:

Quote:

Feats:Dazing Spell, Elemental Spell (Acid), Eschew Materials, Expanded Arcana, Greater Spell Focus (evocation), Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Initiative, Persistent Spell, Quicken Spell, Spell Focus (evocation), Spell Penetration, Spell Perfection (Chain Lightning)

Traits: Magical Lineage (Chain Lightning), Reactionary

Lets break those down. He comes armed with two feats for boosting evocation DC's. These apply to 5 of his spells but these are a good chunk of his primary direct damage and control, Fireball, Ball Lightning, Chain Lightning, Prismatic Spray and Sunburst so are hardly a waste. Elemental Spell (Acid) allows him to further deal with resistances and immunities although nowadays I would probably just give him Dragons Breath as a spell known.

Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration: Generic feats applicable to many spells and pretty much essential as you get to higher levels. Note he has a number of SR: No spells as well just in case.

Improved Initiative: Pretty much standard on any caster.

Metamagic: Dazing, Quicken, Persistent. Dazing can be applied to his various evocations or to conjurations like Hungry Pit. It adds significantly to his battlefield control options. Persistent has over 20 spells it can be attached to and Quicken adds huge amounts of versatility.

So out of his 12 feats he is arguably using three to primarily support dazing and two of those have wider application. Hardly pigeon holed.


On top of that you (can) have spells like Fly and Haste (very standard pick spells) which are always good and need 0 feat support.

And if you are human sorcerer, you got your FCB giving you an extra 17 spells (I am assuming you are not using your FCB on levels 1-3 since they will just net you cantrips...) on top of your normal amount of spells known..


Oh and if you really want to screw with the whole "purely focusing on something as a spell caster makes you lose versatility" non-sense lets look at a Illusionist based Sorcerer...

With a Sorcerer focused purely on illusions, your Spell Focus (Illusions) may as well also be Spell Focus (evocation) AND Spell Focus (Conjuration). With, I think it is Umbral Spell, every spell you cast effectively casts as a Darkness Spell as well, which in turn powers up your spells with the (darkness) discriptor or acts as a teleporty spot for you.

Scarab Sages

He is a one-trick pony. Every feat he has is dedicated to blowing things up.

No feats or traits are dedicated towards defenses, skills, utility or crafting


PIXIE DUST wrote:

On top of that you (can) have spells like Fly and Haste (very standard pick spells) which are always good and need 0 feat support.

And if you are human sorcerer, you got your FCB giving you an extra 17 spells (I am assuming you are not using your FCB on levels 1-3 since they will just net you cantrips...) on top of your normal amount of spells known..

Of course. You will also get another three free spells from the arcane bloodline which I generally recommend for anyone employing dazing for the increased DC's.

Personally I think a lot of the advice for dazing blaster is bad. Empower, Intensify, Crossblooded, these have no real place in a dazing focused set up. If you want to make maximum use of dazing then your priorities are making sure that the spell actually affects the target. That means primarily breaking SR, having varied elemental damage types you can apply it to and jacking up the DC.

I would prioritise Spell Focus and Spell Penetration for such builds far above empower or intensify.

That is not to say that you cannot deal encounter relevant damage with blasting, nowadays you absolutely can. To do so though requires a lot more investment, Intensify, Empower, Spell Specialisation, Bloatmage Initiate even, a level dip into crossblooded sorcerer alongside also needing spell focus and spell penetration. I actually don't think dazing is all that needed for the damage focused blaster as your primary goal is to inflict the dead condition on everything.

The dazing controller wants to bring along some bodies to kill things once they get their daze to stick. At least until you start trapping people in dazing walls of fire or blade barriers or hungry pits.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Artanthos wrote:

He is a one-trick pony. Every feat he has is dedicated to blowing things up.

No feats or traits are dedicated towards defenses, skills, utility or crafting

Actually his feats are devoted to spellcasting, his primary class feature.

What defensive feats do you think are actually worth taking for a sorcerer? Dodge? Mobility? Don't make me laugh.

As for skills he is a sage bloodline sorcerer. What extra skill points do you think he needs?

Quote:
Appraise +17, Bluff +24, Diplomacy +21, Disable Device +28, Disguise +21, Escape Artist +30, Fly +21, Knowledge (arcana) +36, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +31, Knowledge (engineering) +14, Knowledge (geography) +14, Knowledge (history) +14, Knowledge (local) +14, Knowledge (nature) +31, Knowledge (nobility) +14, Knowledge (planes) +34, Knowledge (religion) +31, Linguistics +14, Perception +34, Sense Motive +27, Spellcraft +43, Stealth +24

Finally he would certainly have crafting feats if he hadn't been built with the PFS rules in mind.

So if he is a one trick pony then that trick is casting all the spells as effectively as you can.


andreww wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

He is a one-trick pony. Every feat he has is dedicated to blowing things up.

No feats or traits are dedicated towards defenses, skills, utility or crafting

Actually his feats are devoted to spellcasting, his primary class feature.

What defensive feats do you think are actually worth taking for a sorcerer? Dodge? Mobility? Don't make me laugh.

Iron Will. Great Fort. Toughness, maybe.


DrDeth wrote:
Quote:
What defensive feats do you think are actually worth taking for a sorcerer? Dodge? Mobility? Don't make me laugh.
Iron Will. Great Fort. Toughness, maybe.

If I was playing in a CRB only game then maybe but nowadays with so much more content out there it is difficult to find space for such relatively marginal feats.

Even then I would probably prioritise a better mix of metamagic feats myself and add in things like silent and still spell to give more options over relatively small static bonuses.

Scarab Sages

andreww wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

He is a one-trick pony. Every feat he has is dedicated to blowing things up.

No feats or traits are dedicated towards defenses, skills, utility or crafting

Actually his feats are devoted to spellcasting, his primary class feature.

What defensive feats do you think are actually worth taking for a sorcerer? Dodge? Mobility? Don't make me laugh.

As for skills he is a sage bloodline sorcerer. What extra skill points do you think he needs?

Quote:
Appraise +17, Bluff +24, Diplomacy +21, Disable Device +28, Disguise +21, Escape Artist +30, Fly +21, Knowledge (arcana) +36, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +31, Knowledge (engineering) +14, Knowledge (geography) +14, Knowledge (history) +14, Knowledge (local) +14, Knowledge (nature) +31, Knowledge (nobility) +14, Knowledge (planes) +34, Knowledge (religion) +31, Linguistics +14, Perception +34, Sense Motive +27, Spellcraft +43, Stealth +24

Finally he would certainly have crafting feats if he hadn't been built with the PFS rules in mind.

So if he is a one trick pony then that trick is casting all the spells as effectively as you can.

If you're building for PFS, you're not building for level 20 with level 20 gear. You're building for level 7 or 8 with, at most, a +4 stat item until the very end of your career. You will need your skills to be effect in that level range.

Toughness is always a good defensive feat, at all levels of play, for all classes. Combat casting and Dimensional Agility are also useful on casters.


Artanthos wrote:
andreww wrote:


I have never been entirely convinced that spell focus and energy focus actually stack as they are both feat bonuses to DC.
They don't stack. Feat bonuses don't stack unless they specifically state otherwise. (Greater _____ always makes specific allowances for stacking.)

I'm not entirely convinced this is right.

There's no such bonus type as "feat bonus," and feat bonuses certainly stack with each other when we're talking about weapon attack bonus. For example:

Quote:
Critical Focus: You receive a +4 circumstance bonus on attack rolls made to confirm critical hits
Quote:
Desperate Battle: When no ally is within 10 feet of you and you are not receiving benefits from the aid another action, you gain a +1 morale bonus on melee attack and damage rolls.
Quote:
Weapon Focus: You gain a +1 bonus on all attack rolls you make using the selected weapon.

all stack with each other if I am trying to confirm a critical hit with my preferred weapon in a one-on-one duel.

Spell focus gives an unnamed bonus -- it stacks with everything.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Artanthos wrote:

He is a one-trick pony. Every feat he has is dedicated to blowing things up.

No feats or traits are dedicated towards defenses, skills, utility or crafting

I don't think you are getting it...

HE DOES NOT NEED TO WASTE HIS FEATS OR TRAITS ON THAT!!!!

You want to know what the funny thing is about spellcasters? They don't need to waste their time on feats for mundane things like that. Need to open a lock? You can disinigrate the door, Knock the lock, or turn incorporeal and just kinda walk threw it. Need to be stealthy? Invisibility +fly/overland Flight makes you one of the best stealth artists in the game. Defense? Mirror Image+Blur. Enough Said.

Crafting? So the wizard is "a one-trick pony" if he can't craft? What does that make the rest of the party, seeing as the mundanes don't quite qualify for craft unless they take Master Craftsman as well...

Utility. I mean REALLY??? You are SERIOUSLY arguing a full caster, OF ANY SORT. REGARDLESS OF FOCUS, IS NOT ONE OF THE MOST VERSATILE CHARACTERS IN THE GAME? A druid that focuses purely on Combat will still have access to his utility forms AND still have his spell casting. A battle cleric can still cast a true res as well as any other cleric and can still cast restoration just as well as a healbot cleric.


andreww wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:

On top of that you (can) have spells like Fly and Haste (very standard pick spells) which are always good and need 0 feat support.

And if you are human sorcerer, you got your FCB giving you an extra 17 spells (I am assuming you are not using your FCB on levels 1-3 since they will just net you cantrips...) on top of your normal amount of spells known..

Of course. You will also get another three free spells from the arcane bloodline which I generally recommend for anyone employing dazing for the increased DC's.

Personally I think a lot of the advice for dazing blaster is bad. Empower, Intensify, Crossblooded, these have no real place in a dazing focused set up. If you want to make maximum use of dazing then your priorities are making sure that the spell actually affects the target. That means primarily breaking SR, having varied elemental damage types you can apply it to and jacking up the DC.

I would prioritise Spell Focus and Spell Penetration for such builds far above empower or intensify.

That is not to say that you cannot deal encounter relevant damage with blasting, nowadays you absolutely can. To do so though requires a lot more investment, Intensify, Empower, Spell Specialisation, Bloatmage Initiate even, a level dip into crossblooded sorcerer alongside also needing spell focus and spell penetration. I actually don't think dazing is all that needed for the damage focused blaster as your primary goal is to inflict the dead condition on everything.

The dazing controller wants to bring along some bodies to kill things once they get their daze to stick. At least until you start trapping people in dazing walls of fire or blade barriers or hungry pits.

True. A lot of blasters though like the Dazing Spell Meta-magic though since their fireballs are still fairly low spell slotted and it allows them a nice de-buff in case their double fireballs don't just kill you outright xD.


PIXIE DUST wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

He is a one-trick pony. Every feat he has is dedicated to blowing things up.

No feats or traits are dedicated towards defenses, skills, utility or crafting

I don't think you are getting it...

HE DOES NOT NEED TO WASTE HIS FEATS OR TRAITS ON THAT!!!!

You want to know what the funny thing is about spellcasters? They don't need to waste their time on feats for mundane things like that. Need to open a lock? You can disinigrate the door, Knock the lock, or turn incorporeal and just kinda walk threw it. Need to be stealthy? Invisibility +fly/overland Flight makes you one of the best stealth artists in the game. Defense? Mirror Image+Blur. Enough Said. .

Mirror Image+Blur doesnt help vs most Will saves or Fort saves, and once you fail either, you are the LEAST versatile Character at the table.

My Sorc has Iron Will , Imp Iron Will (free-ish via bloodline) and Mythic Iron will. I dont think any of those are wasted in the least, esp in RotRL.

Even Improved Iron Will, which I think is marginal, helped me what I rolled that Nat 1.


Artanthos wrote:
andreww wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

He is a one-trick pony. Every feat he has is dedicated to blowing things up.

No feats or traits are dedicated towards defenses, skills, utility or crafting

Actually his feats are devoted to spellcasting, his primary class feature.

What defensive feats do you think are actually worth taking for a sorcerer? Dodge? Mobility? Don't make me laugh.

As for skills he is a sage bloodline sorcerer. What extra skill points do you think he needs?

Quote:
Appraise +17, Bluff +24, Diplomacy +21, Disable Device +28, Disguise +21, Escape Artist +30, Fly +21, Knowledge (arcana) +36, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +31, Knowledge (engineering) +14, Knowledge (geography) +14, Knowledge (history) +14, Knowledge (local) +14, Knowledge (nature) +31, Knowledge (nobility) +14, Knowledge (planes) +34, Knowledge (religion) +31, Linguistics +14, Perception +34, Sense Motive +27, Spellcraft +43, Stealth +24

Finally he would certainly have crafting feats if he hadn't been built with the PFS rules in mind.

So if he is a one trick pony then that trick is casting all the spells as effectively as you can.

If you're building for PFS, you're not building for level 20 for level 20 with level 20 gear. You're building for level 7 or 8 with, at most, a +4 stat item until the very end of your career. You will need your skills to be effect in that level range.

Toughness is always a good defensive feat, at all levels of play, for all classes. Combat casting and Dimensional Agility are also useful on casters.

...

Toughness is an ok feat. But there are MANY other feats that are much more useful...

Combat Casting is really meh.

Dimensional Agility is a really meh feat. Sure, its nice to have but not quite necessary. If you are playing a conjuration wizard (i.e. a wizard that needs 3 feats... spell focus (conj), Superior Summoning, and teh summoning feat that makes things stronger (i am having a brainfart right now... please leave a message after the tone)).

And to top it off, HOW THE HECK DOES TOUGHNESS MAKE YOU ANY LESS OF A 1 TRICK PONY????? Toughness literally does nothing but increase your HP. It has 0 other effects on your over all effectiveness at ANYTHING.

If your building for PFS then guess what? YOU CANNOT HAVE THE CRAFTING FEATS ANYWAY!

Oh and if you are not a Wizard or Sage sorcerer, you have 2+int skills and Int as a off-stat. So being a skill monkey was out the window a long time ago...

And to top it off, you are sounding really arrogant, like playing a blaster is bad-wrong-fun. Guess what? A blaster is no less a one trick pony than playing an Enchanter or playing an Illusionist or a Necromancer. You know what they call blasters? EVOKERS. I.e. people who SPECIALIZE IN EVOCATION. As in, the school that goes boom. You know what the funny thing is about a lot of newer players in particulair? Many of them like playing the wizard that goes BOOM...


Artanthos wrote:
Toughness is always a good defensive feat, at all levels of play, for all classes. Combat casting and Dimensional Agility are also useful on casters.

Toughness is marginal at best nowadays, its a small passive bonus compared to the number of excellent other feats around.

Combat Casting is garbage and has always been garbage. At low levels you shouldn't be anywhere near the front line as an arcane caster, if something does get in your face then the 5' step will deal with the majority of situations. In the mid levels you will make concentration checks fairly easily for any spell you need to disengage from a melee opponent. At high levels all defensive casting checks are basically auto pass. The benefit to grapple concentration checks is irrelevant as anything liable to grapple you will make it impossible to successfully cast regardless of the feat.

Dimensional Agility is utterly pointless for most full casters with the possible exception of shift using teleportation specialists depending on how your GM views shift.


DrDeth wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

He is a one-trick pony. Every feat he has is dedicated to blowing things up.

No feats or traits are dedicated towards defenses, skills, utility or crafting

I don't think you are getting it...

HE DOES NOT NEED TO WASTE HIS FEATS OR TRAITS ON THAT!!!!

You want to know what the funny thing is about spellcasters? They don't need to waste their time on feats for mundane things like that. Need to open a lock? You can disinigrate the door, Knock the lock, or turn incorporeal and just kinda walk threw it. Need to be stealthy? Invisibility +fly/overland Flight makes you one of the best stealth artists in the game. Defense? Mirror Image+Blur. Enough Said. .

Mirror Image+Blur doesnt help vs most Will saves or Fort saves, and once you fail either, you are the LEAST versatile Character at the table.

My Sorc has Iron Will , Imp Iron Will (free-ish via bloodline) and Mythic Iron will. I dont think any of those are wasted in the least, esp in RotRL.

Even Improved Iron Will, which I think is marginal, helped me what I rolled that Nat 1.

Iron Will is kinda meh on many casters... seeing as Will IS THERE ONE GOOD SAVE.

Sovereign Court

andreww wrote:


Combat Casting is garbage and has always been garbage.

For a pure caster - yes. It's not bad for a magus who actually wants to be in melee when he casts.

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