Quadratic Wizard - Specific Spell Issues?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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It might be easier to make a list of spells that are both not problematic (either by being too powerful, too versatile, obsoleting skills, obsoleting whole challenges, and a number of other factors) and also not worthless. That narrows it down to about 5% of existing spells.

Though "problematic" is also sort of relative in that they wouldn't be so if it weren't ONLY spells that could do many of these things. It's more a combination of versatility and monopoly that makes the real problems.


BigDTBone wrote:

It's quadratic because the options increase linearly (as does the martial) but the power of those options increase geometrically (while the power of martial options increase linearly.)

That was true in TSR D&D. In 3.5 and PF martial power actually increases quadratically as well. The martial hits harder because of stat gain and expected gear and hits more because of iteratives. It's a much shallower quadratic, but it is still a quadratic with a positive multiplier on the x^2 term.


ryric wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:


However, "spotlight steal" is not what quadratic wizards are about. Quadratic wizards are about growing exponentially: each level, they do what they do, better than the previous level, and they do more things too. That means basically every spell that does something new, is a "quadratic spell". That includes things like Fly, Invisibilty, Teleport, Contact other plane, Summon monster (with new SLA), Gate, Make Whole, "Polymorph self" equivalents, etc

Limited Magic from Unchained would ameliorate some of that - it removes caster level and stat dependence from spells. Under that system all 1st level spells are CL1 with a save DC11, even if cast by a wizard 20 with a 36 Int. All 2nd levels are CL3 with DC13, and so forth - like default magic items. So spells don't get better as you level and casters are less encouraged to max out their casting stat.

SR really starts to suck, low level spells are easy to dispel, and wands of spells are just as effective as casting them. Heighten Spell becomes worthwhile as it pumps CL and save DC.

My impression of the limited casting system is that it nukes a whole swath of suboptimal-but-decent builds while only mildly weakening god wizards and martial full casters.

Anything that gets more or less negated by a save is basically useless (at level 7, a wizard's confusion spell has a 25% chance of working against most dangerous creatures of equal CL).

Anything that benefits greatly from a high CL kind of sucks (see:most blasts).

Anything that needs to make SR checks to work is made useless in the face of SR unless it is your highest level spell slot.

Anything that doesn't fall under one of these categories is still basically fine.

What falls under the last category: A large chunk of buffs, BFC and summons after SMIII becomes available. What is the optimal option with the old system and is barely weaker than before with the new system: buffs, BFC and summons after SMIII becomes available. Utility spells are barely affected as well - 5 minutes of flight is still plenty not to mention 5 minutes more than what a fighter gets.

Selfish Clerics and wildshape druids still fight better than a fighter while having bags of utility.

So the great stuff stays great, the good stuff gets inconsistently nerfed and everything else is a waste of ink. Progress, but not really.


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@ the OP

"Problematic" is way too subjective. There are probably 10 spells that I have issue with, but I can't say they are an issue for everyone. Everyone does not play the game the same way, so changing your game based on board arguments is not really a good idea, unless we are 90% or more in unison, and that almost never happens, and even then it might not be a problem for your game.

What you should do is list what you dont like in your games, and it will be easier to get a spell list of problem spells that is good for you.


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Atarlost wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:

It's quadratic because the options increase linearly (as does the martial) but the power of those options increase geometrically (while the power of martial options increase linearly.)

That was true in TSR D&D. In 3.5 and PF martial power actually increases quadratically as well. The martial hits harder because of stat gain and expected gear and hits more because of iteratives. It's a much shallower quadratic, but it is still a quadratic with a positive multiplier on the x^2 term.

No, the martial options increase as the sum of two lines (the increase of options and the increase in power of those options) while casters power increases as the sum of a line (number of options) and a parabola (power of those options.)

Think about it like this, when is the last time you saw a feat that required +17 BAB, and really encapsulated the type of power a 17th level character should have, vs when is the last time you saw a 9th level spell? Now also keep in mind that if that imaginary feat were to exist that the martial would be stuck with it everyday even if it wasn't helpful in a particular mission. The caster an take their very real, published, and supported 9th level spell slot and fill it with any spell they choose.


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Snowblind wrote:

Lets say they are a Teleportation Specialist (Opposed are Necromancy, Enchantment), and prepare the following

Level 0:Detect Magic, Whateverx3 
Level 1:Prot/Evilx2, Mage Armor, Enlarge Person, Shield 
Level 2:Invisibility, Glitterdustx2, Mirror Image 
Level 3:Stinking Cloud, Fly, Haste 
Level 4: Wall of Ice, Dimension Door 
1+ spell slots are open at every level. With quick study, prep time becomes a non-issue.

This wizard can fly, blind in an AOE(Glitterdust), make themselves more durable than many martials(Mage Armor+Mirror Image+Shield), reveal invisible creatures(Glitterdust), detect magical auras nearby(Detect Magic), turn invisible, make the entire party lightning fast while massively buffing martial damage (Haste), block LOS and cause nausea in an AOE (Stinking Cloud), Suppress mind controlling effects(Prot/Evil), Make a buddy Ginormous (Enlarge Person), teleport half of the party around a quarter of a mile(Dimension Door) and block advancing enemies with a wall of ice. I avoided taking SMIII/SMIV in order to prevent this list doubling in size.

With 1 minute of prep, this wizard can turn invisible(Invisibiliy), disable traps (Aram Zey's Focus), make people their best friend(Charm Person), understand and/or speak any language(Comprehend Languages, Tongues), Learn about a dead person from their blood (Blood Biography), Look like another creature(Disguise Self), be another creature (Alter Self), Create an extra-dimensional cubby hole (Rope Trick), Allow the whole party to stay up all night (Keep Watch), Allow the whole party to be invisible(Invisibility Sphere), Greatly increase someone's carry capacity(ant haul), unlock a door(knock), remove or suppress a magical effect(Dispel Magic), protect the entire party from mind control and summons(Prot/X) as well as much, much more. All of the above comes at the cost of 10-15gp/sl^2 to put the spell in a spellbook. The majority of the above comes from core as well, so most of it is going to be available in typical campaigns.

While I do great appreciate you going through the effort to make an actual Wizard instead of just throwing spell names around, this fairly reasonable spell selection is still made in a void. With no thought to a party composition or the equally important social dynamics of the players.

A lot of us recognize that some of the best Wizard spells work as group oriented multipliers (haste is a favorite) but we're quick to identify the Wizard as a class that simply invalidates other party members by design, not choice. Sure Arem Zey's Focus turns you into a potential Rogue, but it's often more efficient to simply send in an actual Rogue instead of blowing that self-only spell. Invisibility Sphere is hardly a spell people will complain about; how often has the melee beefcake with the -6 total stealth modifier made it so that sneaking as a group would be otherwise impossible? And Charm Person stops being all that special at around level 3 or 5, Kitsune Shenanigans aside.

That said, you still make a really strong point. There are so many things magic can do that noncasters cannot hope to emulate. I just happen to believe there's too much of a focus on Martial/Caster Disparity and not enough on Martial/Caster Synergy. Plus, those class-replacement spells can be a godsend in a small party that doesn't cover all the expected roles, or as a fantastic cover for missing roles in PUG style PFS scenarios.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Anzyr wrote:

LazarX believes that spell power is all in "weak GMs" and "nebulous interpretations" when this is explicitly not the case. Most people who advocate the strength of these spells are using them as they are both written and intended. But lets look backwards starting with the height of quadratic power.

Create Greater Demiplane - Sticking purely to the rules you basically get twice as many spells per day and can craft twice as fast.

Time Stop - Massive turn advantage to prepare buffs or surround an enemy with Explosive Runes.

Gate - Control two 25 HD (easy to hit 25 CL) or lower creatures and order them around.

Mage's Disjunction - Guaranteed Dispel with the chance to reduce all magic items in range to normal items for *minutes* per level in 40 ft. radius burst.

Aroden's Spellbane - Anti-antimagic field. Can also stop your caster from getting Mage's Disjunctioned.

Teleportation Circle - Continuous instantaneous movement between two points. Tippyverse ho~!

Astral Projection - Even ignoring the fact that this lets you use consumables without actually using them, this is one of the easiest ways for casters to turn death into an inconvenience.

Energy Drain - No Save, get 2d4 negative levels.

Mass Suffocation - Reliable mass Save or Die versus 10+ creatures (provided no 2 are more then 30 ft. apart.)

Shapechange - Multiple forms, long duration, easy access to both utility and combat forms.

Wish - Turn long casting time spells into 1 standard action! Raise your stats! Get access to other spell lists!

I'm not going to do a full list (oh man that would take forever), but that should be a decent start.

You shouldn't really *need* specific spells to see the power gap though. It really just boils down martials need to worry about things like distance, geography, armor class, actually having to roll dice to determine success and what not and casters... don't. Just look at what I've posted for example. Can the fighter remove all magic in a 40 ft. radius? Can they call on two powerful...

Virtually all of the spells you're talking about are ninth level spells, which means the earliest PC's are getting them is 17th level, assuming we're talking about Wizards. At that point, it's a given that D20/Pathfinder is a different and highly idiosyncratic game two levels before that.

Unless you're gaming entirely IN that demi=plane, you're not going to get "doubled spells per day", and at that high a level running out of spells is the least of your concerns.


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They are all 9th level spells. I chose 9th level spells because it's the easiest to highlight how meaningless martials are at that level. It is still part of the game and at that point in the game there is almost no value to being a martial. And you can use Create Greater Demiplane to get 2 days worth of spell prep, since you merely need to visit it for a few hours to re-prepare spells. Since that's only a few hours out of a day you have plenty of time to adventure during the remaining hours of "outside time".

Rosc wrote:


A lot of us recognize that some of the best Wizard spells work as group oriented multipliers (haste is a favorite) but we're quick to identify the Wizard as a class that simply invalidates other party members by design, not choice. Sure Arem Zey's Focus turns you into a potential Rogue, but it's often more efficient to simply send in an actual Rogue instead of blowing that self-only spell. Invisibility Sphere is hardly a spell people will complain about; how often has the melee beefcake with the -6 total stealth modifier made it so that sneaking as a group would be otherwise impossible? And Charm Person stops being all that special at around level 3 or 5, Kitsune Shenanigans aside.

Again, this isn't true. It's more efficient to have two Wizards, one of whom is using Aram Zey's Focus to handle the Rogues job. I mean if you are stuck with a Rogue in the party, then yes you should let them handle traps to recoup the lost resources of having a Rogue in the party. But that party is always going to be better off having a Wizard instead of a Rogue, because the Wizard can do the Rogues job with just one spells while *still* being able to turn reality upside down. Now you have two reality warpers, one of whom is only sacrificing 1 spell to cover an entire class, which is more efficient. The Wizard will also have more skill points then a Rogue (unless the Rogue wants to completely sacrifice any hope of being combat able) simply by investing in the stat the Wizard wants to max anyway. And that's before we get into spells that outright replace certain skills.


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ryric wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:


However, "spotlight steal" is not what quadratic wizards are about. Quadratic wizards are about growing exponentially: each level, they do what they do, better than the previous level, and they do more things too. That means basically every spell that does something new, is a "quadratic spell". That includes things like Fly, Invisibilty, Teleport, Contact other plane, Summon monster (with new SLA), Gate, Make Whole, "Polymorph self" equivalents, etc

Limited Magic from Unchained would ameliorate some of that - it removes caster level and stat dependence from spells. Under that system all 1st level spells are CL1 with a save DC11, even if cast by a wizard 20 with a 36 Int. All 2nd levels are CL3 with DC13, and so forth - like default magic items. So spells don't get better as you level and casters are less encouraged to max out their casting stat.

SR really starts to suck, low level spells are easy to dispel, and wands of spells are just as effective as casting them. Heighten Spell becomes worthwhile as it pumps CL and save DC.

The problem with the limited magic system is that it places no limits on saves... meaning even 9th lvl spells have a 5% chance to succeed against equal level opponents as CR 20 creatures tend to have saves in the 20's, and your piddly DC 19 is worthless.

Not to mention it takes your 15 minute work day and drops it a 5 minute work day as you now have even less reason to use lower lvl spells. It makes casters into JUST buff bots as any spell with a save becomes utterly useless, and even spells with no save that do damage are useless because they don't grow with CL. Your fireball is stuck at 5d6 damage, cut in half cuz nothing will ever fail the save.


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Quick note on demiplane-assisted spell recovery - it takes about around 12 & a half hours for recovery. 12 or slightly less hours to wait out the one day period to recover spells again (fortunately, the 1 (really 2) hours to rest gets folded into this time) and then 30 minutes for actually preparing.

So about half a day later, the wizard that ran away to recharge is finally back in the fray.

If the opponents of a 17th level wizard were unable to do anything useful with the entire half-day the party just gave them, you may need a better GM.

Quick note on Aram Zey's Focus - note that Aram Zey's Focus really only does a few things -
1) you get trapfinding, with a bonus to spot and disable traps equal to 1/4th your caster level (you count a rogue half your level, and a rogue gets a half-level bonus). So a 20th level wizard gets a whopping +5.
2) If you botch disarming a trap, you get a reroll that lets you avoid setting the trap off (but doesn't disarm it). When you have to do this, you lose a minute of duration.

And that's about it. A wizard that's actually trying to replace a rogue needs to invest a bit more than that to actually do it (like investing enough in disable device to actually pass checks).

The wizard most certainly CAN replace the typical rogue's role, but it costs him more (potentially a lot more, depending on how much of said role he's trying to cover) than just a 2nd level spell.

Okay, done now.


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Zhangar wrote:

Quick note on demiplane-assisted spell recovery - it takes about around 12 & a half hours for recovery. 12 or slightly less hours to wait out the one day period to recover spells again (fortunately, the 1 (really 2) hours to rest gets folded into this time) and then 30 minutes for actually preparing.

So about half a day later, the wizard that ran away to recharge is finally back in the fray.

If the opponents of a 17th level wizard were unable to do anything useful with the entire half-day the party just gave them, you may need a better GM.

Quick note on Aram Zey's Focus - note that Aram Zey's Focus really only does a few things -
1) you get trapfinding, with a bonus to spot and disable traps equal to 1/4th your caster level (you count a rogue half your level, and a rogue gets a half-level bonus). So a 20th level wizard gets a whopping +5.
2) If you botch disarming a trap, you get a reroll that lets you avoid setting the trap off (but doesn't disarm it). When you have to do this, you lose a minute of duration.

And that's about it. A wizard that's actually trying to replace a rogue needs to invest a bit more than that to actually do it (like investing enough in disable device to actually pass checks).

The wizard most certainly CAN replace the typical rogue's role, but it costs him more (potentially a lot more, depending on how much of said role he's trying to cover) than just a 2nd level spell.

Okay, done now.

How long do your dungeons crawl last that 12.5 hours out of a day means there is no time left? And lets not forget with Nap Stack we're looking at 2.5 hours for recharge (make sure you cast it on the Demiplane to speed up the "week" between uses).

On to why Rogue can be replaced by Wizard easily and improved:

He has more skill points then a Rogue (except at very early levels) unless the Rogue willingly tanks any hope of being useful in combat. So "invests in disable device" and "has a second level spell" is not much of a cost. Seriously what else do your spend your 12+ skill points a level on? So yes, even with Aram Zey's Focus a Rogue comes out to a whopping +5 ahead. At level 20. With no reroll ability.

What else is there to the Rogue's role? The face? A Wizard will be better at that provided they spend a trait to get INT to Diplomacy, since again the Rogue can't max CHA like the Wizard can max INT without completely tanking any hope of combat viability. So with the investment of two skills and a second level spell the Wizard is a comparable trap disarmer being only slightly behind and a better face.

Combat? I don't feel I need to explain why another full spellcaster is better then the Rogue at that. So, what role is left for the Rogue that hasn't been replaced by 2 skills, a second level spell and a trait? If you want to say Stealth, all we need to tack on is a third skill and another 2nd level spell. That's just sad.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Anzyr wrote:
But that party is always going to be better off having a Wizard instead of a Rogue, because the Wizard can do the Rogues job with just one spells while *still* being able to turn reality upside down.

I keep hearing that phrase a lot, but in the levels of 12 and earlier, I seem to be rather short on my turning reality upside down.

What you folks really seem to be talking about are campaigns that operate at levels 14 or higher, where 98 percent of us never reach.

GMing at those levels is a lot harder than the early game, and as a reult GM's tend to miss the subtler aspect of magic rules mechanics, often to the PC spell-caster's favor.

All those who think that the game revolves solely around arcane casters are invited to rethink those terms in games that top at 11th level or less, where PC's don't have access to 7th and higher level spells.


LazarX wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
But that party is always going to be better off having a Wizard instead of a Rogue, because the Wizard can do the Rogues job with just one spells while *still* being able to turn reality upside down.

I keep hearing that phrase a lot, but in the levels of 12 and earlier, I seem to be rather short on my turning reality upside down.

What you folks really seem to be talking about are campaigns that operate at levels 14 or higher, where 98 percent of us never reach.

GMing at those levels is a lot harder than the early game, and as a reult GM's tend to miss the subtler aspect of magic rules mechanics, often to the PC spell-caster's favor.

All those who think that the game revolves solely around arcane casters are invited to rethink those terms in games that top at 11th level or less, where PC's don't have access to 7th and higher level spells.

A Wizard is better then a Rogue from the start. They will be a better face (with a trait), be only +1-2 behind Rogues on Disable Device (and starting at third will have rerolls), and have spells that can actually end a fight rather then an unreliable damage boost.

And spells start to completely overtake the game as early as 5, more reliably around level 9, and have rendered martials obsolete by level 13.

Levels 1-4 is hard on *some* casters. But I would rather have a Druid/Summoner/Lunar Oracle then a Fighter any day of the week at those levels. And at level 5+ I'd rather have pretty much any caster over a Fighter. And certainly by level 7+. And as stated above I'd rather have pretty much *any* caster over a Rogue.


BigDTBone wrote:
Think about it like this, when is the last time you saw a feat that required +17 BAB, and really encapsulated the type of power a 17th level character should have, vs when is the last time you saw a 9th level spell? Now also keep in mind that if that imaginary feat were to exist that the martial would be stuck with it everyday even if it wasn't helpful in a particular mission. The caster an take their very real, published, and supported 9th level spell slot and fill it with any spell they choose.

It doesn't matter if a 17 BAB feat isn't as good as a 9th level spell. It's better than a 11 BAB feat.

What makes dominate monster more powerful than dominate person? Just the save DC that comes with the slot. It works in more situations, but the effect is the same. Blasts get higher dice caps, but that's lower level spells stopping scaling, not higher level spells scaling faster. Wish can duplicate higher level spells than Limited Wish, but that's an improvement of exactly the same order as the general improvement in spells by definition. Color Spray has a HD cap. Power Word Stun has a HP cap equivalent to a higher HD cap. Color Spray offers a save that most low level enemies will fail and is multitarget. PWS offers no save to compensate for the increase in outsider, dragon, and other strong willed enemies at higher CRs but is single target.

Casters get more options linearly. They're mostly not really better options. They're just the same options with higher caps. A few things are gated like fly and teleport. Martials also have gated things like on-crit feats.

There are some "should have been epic" spells shoved into 9th level, but 8th is pretty much like 7th is pretty much like 6th and so on.

I'm not saying martials are as good as casters. I'm saying that the problem isn't the exponents it's the scalars and mis-stating the problem gets you solutions that aren't solutions. And probably is also the cause of the Paizo staff's belief that the caster-martial disparity is the product of a dishonest agenda.


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Atarlost wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Think about it like this, when is the last time you saw a feat that required +17 BAB, and really encapsulated the type of power a 17th level character should have, vs when is the last time you saw a 9th level spell? Now also keep in mind that if that imaginary feat were to exist that the martial would be stuck with it everyday even if it wasn't helpful in a particular mission. The caster an take their very real, published, and supported 9th level spell slot and fill it with any spell they choose.

It doesn't matter if a 17 BAB feat isn't as good as a 9th level spell. It's better than a 11 BAB feat.

What makes dominate monster more powerful than dominate person? Just the save DC that comes with the slot. It works in more situations, but the effect is the same. Blasts get higher dice caps, but that's lower level spells stopping scaling, not higher level spells scaling faster. Wish can duplicate higher level spells than Limited Wish, but that's an improvement of exactly the same order as the general improvement in spells by definition. Color Spray has a HD cap. Power Word Stun has a HP cap equivalent to a higher HD cap. Color Spray offers a save that most low level enemies will fail and is multitarget. PWS offers no save to compensate for the increase in outsider, dragon, and other strong willed enemies at higher CRs but is single target.

Casters get more options linearly. They're mostly not really better options. They're just the same options with higher caps. A few things are gated like fly and teleport. Martials also have gated things like on-crit feats.

There are some "should have been epic" spells shoved into 9th level, but 8th is pretty much like 7th is pretty much like 6th and so on.

I'm not saying martials are as good as casters. I'm saying that the problem isn't the exponents it's the scalars and mis-stating the problem gets you solutions that aren't solutions. And probably is also the cause of the Paizo staff's belief that the...

Levitate is exponentially better than Jump

Fly is exponentially better than levitate.
Dimension Door is exponentially better than Fly.
Teleport is exponentially better than Dimension Door.
Plane Shift is exponentially better than Teleport.
Wish is exponentially better than Plane Shift.

Compared to:

Combat expertise
Dodge
Mobility
Spring attack
Whirlwind attack.

Or

Weapon focus
Weapon specialization
Greater weapon focus
Greater weapon specialization.

Then add insult to injury,

As a caster you don't have to take jump, levitate, fly, ddoor, and teleport, in order to get plane shift. You can just take plane shift.

Also, EVEN IF YOU DID have to take them, you aren't capped on the number of spells you can put in your book.

Fighters however MUST take combat expertise, dodge, mobility, and spring attack before they can take whirlwind attack AND they are very limited on the number of feats they get. (Generously, 22 across the whole game.)


That word. It does not mean what you think it means.

Levitate is not exponentially better than Jump. It's better, but two points only define a line.

The gap between fly and levitate is not bigger than the gap between levitate and jump. The gap between dimenson door and fly isn't either. The gap between teleport and dimension door is actually smaller: they're the same kind of movement, just the range changes. The gap between plane shift and teleport is again about as big as the gap between Jump and Levitate. Wish isn't part of the progression, it just duplicates lower level spells and gives inherent stat bonuses and reverses a few permanent effects like reincarnation's race change.

Taken all together they're a linear progression. It's a steep line, but it's a line.

Then you choose a Timmy chain as your fighter example. The whirlwind attack chain is designed to suck. You should be comparing it to Foresight.

Weapon focus/specialization is another bad example. It's equivalent to taking a spell focus tree, which scales the same way and is something casters do. It makes everything you do with a weapon or a conjuration spell better. You trade options (for example a wizard could instead take some social skill boosters for more options when magic would cause more problems than it solves or he could take spell focus conjuration and greater and augment and superior summoning and have higher DCs on all his conjurations and better summoned monsters) for power and sometimes it's a good deal and other times it isn't.

A better example of a fighter "spell" is a combat maneuver chain. Improved whatever is better than combat expertise. Greater whatever is better than improved whatever. It's as good at level 20 as at level 6. The fake scaling of dice caps in evocation or target limits in enchantment is comparable to the obsolescence of sunder, disarm, and trip.

The fighter gets a about 0.4 feat chains per level because of shared prerequisites. The sorcerer gets about 2.5 spells per level. They're both linear. One just has a steeper slope than the other.


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Atarlost wrote:

That word. It does not mean what you think it means.

Levitate is not exponentially better than Jump. It's better, but two points only define a line.

The gap between fly and levitate is not bigger than the gap between levitate and jump. The gap between dimenson door and fly isn't either. The gap between teleport and dimension door is actually smaller: they're the same kind of movement, just the range changes. The gap between plane shift and teleport is again about as big as the gap between Jump and Levitate. Wish isn't part of the progression, it just duplicates lower level spells and gives inherent stat bonuses and reverses a few permanent effects like reincarnation's race change.

Taken all together they're a linear progression. It's a steep line, but it's a line.

Then you choose a Timmy chain as your fighter example. The whirlwind attack chain is designed to suck. You should be comparing it to Foresight.

Weapon focus/specialization is another bad example. It's equivalent to taking a spell focus tree, which scales the same way and is something casters do. It makes everything you do with a weapon or a conjuration spell better. You trade options (for example a wizard could instead take some social skill boosters for more options when magic would cause more problems than it solves or he could take spell focus conjuration and greater and augment and superior summoning and have higher DCs on all his conjurations and better summoned monsters) for power and sometimes it's a good deal and other times it isn't.

A better example of a fighter "spell" is a combat maneuver chain. Improved whatever is better than combat expertise. Greater whatever is better than improved whatever. It's as good at level 20 as at level 6. The fake scaling of dice caps in evocation or target limits in enchantment is comparable to the obsolescence of sunder, disarm, and trip.

The fighter gets a about 0.4 feat chains per level because of shared prerequisites. The sorcerer gets about 2.5 spells...

No, weapon focus and great weapon focus form a line. Jump through plane shift is parabolic, as in it increases multiple variables in the equation which are multiplied. Number of targets, direction of movement, distance of movement, need to make a check, ability to leave the plane; are all scaled in power. It isn't a sum, it is a product. I don't even think quadratic is sufficient to describe the manner in which that power scales, it is much closer to x^3 or x^4.

Those are also pretty tame choices for how spell power scales. You really need to spend more time with spell lists and less time telling me I don't understand how to find the area under a curve.


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Anzyr wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Quick note on demiplane-assisted spell recovery - it takes about around 12 & a half hours for recovery. 12 or slightly less hours to wait out the one day period to recover spells again (fortunately, the 1 (really 2) hours to rest gets folded into this time) and then 30 minutes for actually preparing.

So about half a day later, the wizard that ran away to recharge is finally back in the fray.

If the opponents of a 17th level wizard were unable to do anything useful with the entire half-day the party just gave them, you may need a better GM.

Quick note on Aram Zey's Focus - note that Aram Zey's Focus really only does a few things -
1) you get trapfinding, with a bonus to spot and disable traps equal to 1/4th your caster level (you count a rogue half your level, and a rogue gets a half-level bonus). So a 20th level wizard gets a whopping +5.
2) If you botch disarming a trap, you get a reroll that lets you avoid setting the trap off (but doesn't disarm it). When you have to do this, you lose a minute of duration.

And that's about it. A wizard that's actually trying to replace a rogue needs to invest a bit more than that to actually do it (like investing enough in disable device to actually pass checks).

The wizard most certainly CAN replace the typical rogue's role, but it costs him more (potentially a lot more, depending on how much of said role he's trying to cover) than just a 2nd level spell.

Okay, done now.

How long do your dungeons crawl last that 12.5 hours out of a day means there is no time left? And lets not forget with Nap Stack we're looking at 2.5 hours for recharge (make sure you cast it on the Demiplane to speed up the "week" between uses).

On to why Rogue can be replaced by Wizard easily and improved:

He has more skill points then a Rogue (except at very early levels) unless the Rogue willingly tanks any hope of being useful in combat. So "invests in disable device" and "has a second level spell" is not much of a cost. Seriously what else...

Wow, that's sloppy of you. I know I'm wasting my time responding, but heh, it's the weekend, so I have some time to waste.

For god's sake, at least bother to be ACCURATE when you're spouting off. Otherwise you're doing nothing but trying to pick fights, not provide useful discussion.

Nap stack - while I my numbers above assume a ring of sustenance, a napstack also lets you crunch down the 8 hour rest window to 2 hours.

However, neither of those things overcome only getting a single allotment of spell slots per day. They only reduce your dead time spent doing nothing but resting prior to recovering spells per day.

So once you've fled back to your demiplane because you were trying to be a glory hog, blew all your good stuff early, and then dragged the party away "because wizards dictate the pace of the adventure!" (though if he actually abandoned the party halfway through the run instead, holy crap that group has problems)
(1) you have to sit around in the demiplane for about 20-22 hours (10 to 11 in the outside world; hopefully you're at least crafting or building something while you're making everyone wait on you) while you wait for a new day arrive;
(2) you then need to spend 2 hours of napstack/ring of sustenance nappy time (1 hour in the outside world), and
(3) then spending anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes prepping new spells (7 to 30 minutes in the outside world).

Meanwhile, your enemies have had half a day to proceed/react because you showed up, blew your wad, and then fled while leaving the job unfinished. Considering we're dealing with enemies for a 17th party, responses range anywhere from (1) trying to bust into your demiplane and crash it (might be impossible, might be as easy as a wish), (2) pulling in additional reinforcements and prepping the place for general anti-you tactics, (3) flattening the city you were supposed to be defending, etc.

The wizard really only gets to dictate the pace of the adventure if the GM is incredibly forgiving. Otherwise, there SHOULD be repercussions for that sort of behavior.

2) Rogue replacement - assuming he's really trying to completely replace a typical rogue (who's classically the trap & scout & face guy), he needs perception (not a class skill), disable device (not a class skill), diplomacy (not a class skill), bluff (not a class skill), sense motive (not a class skill), and stealth (not a class skill) - that's 6 of his starting 8 skill points, assuming a 20 int (which also means his dex, wisdom, and charisma are all mediocre at best) and human. If he's missing any of those, he's going to be inadequate at the roles he's trying to fill.

Seriously, a face with diplomacy and nothing else is a weak face, and I'm sure you know that, which is part of why I'm really annoyed with your response.

At this point, we're looking at a wizard who's only wizardly skills are, possibly, spellcraft and knowledge (arcana). Hopefully he's got someone else around who can fill in the various skill holes a wizard would actually be expected to fill.

Also, starting out he is pretty bad (+1 to +3 on checks) at the skills he's trying to cover.

Over time, sheer levels combined with magic items + burning spells will eventually compensate for his baseline ineptitude, but he's going to be a sad panda at low levels (where the trained bonus matters most).

Now, if he's being generated at a higher level and gets to skip the levels where he was a half-rate hack at everything he's trying to do, he'll be much better off.

If the player really wants to be doing those support roles as a wizard, he most certainly can; it just means a hefty investment that takes away resources and skills he'd use elsewhere as a more conventional wizard.

And obviously, the burden on him is less if other party members are trying to handle some of those roles instead (like a different wizard handling all of the face skills, and leaving scouting/traps to the first wizard, would significantly reduce the psuedo-rogue burden on both).

The all-caster party certainly works, but it takes planning, coordination, and sometimes substantial resource investment. It's rarely as easy as "I cast ______, I now replace ____."

It's usually much more like "I have _____, ______, ______, and _____, and cast ________, ______, _______, ______, _______, and _______, so with all of that I can do _____."


Can we all agree that since this is the OP's third thread on this and he claimed he couldn't find any of these threads after searching, despite the existence of billions, that maybe we should just get up and walk away. I don't think we're coming up with a definitive list everyone agrees on; heck some people think half of the second level spells are too powerful.


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Anzyr wrote:

Again, this isn't true. It's more efficient to have two Wizards, one of whom is using Aram Zey's Focus to handle the Rogues job. I mean if you are stuck with a Rogue in the party, then yes you should let them handle traps to recoup the lost resources of having a Rogue in the party. But that party is always going to be better off having a Wizard instead of a Rogue, because the Wizard can do the Rogues job with just one spells while *still* being able to turn reality upside down. Now you have two reality warpers, one of whom is only sacrificing 1 spell to cover an entire class, which is more efficient. The Wizard will also have more skill points then a Rogue (unless the Rogue wants to completely sacrifice any hope of being combat able) simply by investing in the stat the Wizard wants to max...

--------------------------------------------------

A Wizard is better then a Rogue from the start. They will be a better face (with a trait), be only +1-2 behind Rogues on Disable Device (and starting at third will have rerolls), and have spells that can actually end a fight rather then an unreliable damage boost.

And spells start to completely overtake the game as early as 5, more reliably around level 9, and have rendered martials obsolete by level 13.

Levels 1-4 is hard on *some* casters. But I would rather have a Druid/Summoner/Lunar Oracle then a Fighter any day of the week at those levels. And at level 5+ I'd rather have pretty much any caster over a Fighter. And certainly by level 7+. And as stated above I'd rather have pretty much *any* caster over a Rogue.

Numbers wise yeah, Wizards can pull ahead of classes at their core functions. I agree with your numbers. On paper, martials and rogues aren't much of a thing versus a wizard who aims in that direction as well.

My concern is the idea of a party with a dedicated rogue who also has a wizard who's doing it better. It would be an especially strong snub if the wizard was expending finite resources (wands, his spells for the day, etc) just to do what the rogue could do by using an infinite resource (mundane skill checks.) While the numbers line up, I'm just not seeing this kind of behavior happening in between players who would want to show up and be shown up by that same wizard every week.

While I'm sure no one is fearing some kind of Wizardocolipse where players decide that not playing a 6th or 9th level caster is an active detriment to the party regardless of optimization, I think that a group can have more fun if they don't sweat the details too much and the dedicated caster(s) don't go out of their way to rub it in other people's faces.


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Zhangar wrote:
Demiplane Stuff

It takes exactly 12.5 outside hours to re-prepare a new set of daily spells. During which time you also get a full days of crafting in. 12.5 outside hours is 25 inside hours which is a full day + 1 hour spell prep. You have 8 hours to craft, 8 hours to sleep and 8 hours to play children's cards games and you'll still be back in exactly 12.5 hours after you left. So your party members have to wait at most 12.5 hours. To completely reload your spells. Considering you can take down an entire dungeon with just one preparation of spells, this means you can now be downing twice the number of dungeons in one day. While getting in a free full day of crafting.

Obviously you don't leave *during* the dungeon (unless you have to in which case everyone else by default has to). You do that after you clear the dungeon but before you teleport to the next location. Get a dungeon in after breakfast and have time for another before dinner.

Zhangar wrote:
Rogue Stuff

Class skills are meaningless in Pathfinder. It's only a +3 bonus which casters can easily replace (and exceed) via spells. Since the Wizard is replacing the Rogue in the party, they can invest in all those skills without worry (and again past early levels they will have *more* skill points) since you would have another Wizard in the party to cover the knowledge skills and spellcraft. The trained bonus will hurt (somewhat) until level 5. But this is also when DCs are lowest. Also, the Wizard will be better then the Rogue at Diplomacy right off the get go, since they get to add their +5 INT to it, surpassing the class skill bonus.

And again, still so much better in combat. I think your problem is you are only looking at levels 1-4. Where the Wizard is still comparable to a Rogue, before overtaking them completely at 7th.


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Demiplane stuff:

We seem to be talking past each other.

My impression is that the demiplane discussion was in terms of the party fleeing an enemy complex and leaving to recover without actually finishing the job.

If they've actually won (which you're apparently now discussing), then the demiplane's only relevant if they have a second objective to hit that day. If there's no time pressure, then everyone with a resource pool getting their resources back about 9 hours earlier is just a bonus rather than something that genuinely matters.

Regardless, 12.5 hours a bit more than "a few" =P

Rogue stuff:

I pointed out that (edit: among other things) the skill point burden (and lack of class skills) is far less of an issue at higher levels.

And at no point am I denying that a wizard could replace a rogue, and you've been arguing about the combat aspect of it when I've never even brought it up.

Please actually read posts before responding to them.


Oh I read your post. And my points were specifically addressed to it. Since you seem to have missed some things I'll clarify here.

Demiplane stuff:

If they don't need to do anything else that day you can find a use for a full days worth of spells. I recommend stockpiling Explosive Runes. Or Animating a horde of undead. Or making Walls of Iron and then using Shrink Item on them for impromptu walls, bridges, barricades, etc. An additional full day worth of spells is very powerful.

Rogue Stuff:

I'm pointing out that it's not a "higher level" since those things will stop mattering around level 5. Unless level 5 is "higher levels" to you.

I'm pointing out that "in addition to all of this stuff" the Wizard has better combat ability, making them a more valuable party member.

Please ask for clarification if you don't understand something rather then assuming someone has not read your posts.


Demiplane:

But the party getting a full day worth of spells, crafting, shenanigans, is ultimately irrelevant if they aren't under time pressure to begin with. If the party has unlimited time for shenanigans, giving them twice as much time for it just lets them do it sooner.

Maybe that's your point?

Rogue stuff:

I'd say you'd have to go higher than 5 before you could comfortably replace skills with spells (and honestly, you're just replacing stealth; Aram Zey's Focus gives you a whopping +1 vs. traps at 5th level!); we'll assume someone actually suited for it is handling diplomacy, sense motive, and bluff).

Traps start at DC 20, and your wizard with his +7 perception check and +7 disable device (being generous and assuming the 20 int wizard has a 12 Dex and 12 wis, and has Aram Zey's focus going) isn't going to be doing that hot unless he's made additional investments to actually be good at his job. (Familiar instead of arcane bond item, eyes of the eagle, goggles of minute seeing, etc. He'll wind up needing to kit himself out much like a rogue would if he actually wants to be successful at the job.)

And if he's relying on spells - he's 5th level. He doesn't have all that many spells to dedicate to the job. A +2 int item for 22 int gives him an amazing FOUR 2nd level slots. He's going to be in trouble if he can't do everything in under 5 minutes.

Now, an actually higher level wizard can do all that much more comfortably, since he'll have extra spell slots to burn, better equipment, higher ranks, etc.

But 5th level? Nah. Not on his own, anyways, and struggling to keep that up for more than 5 minutes. (He might have a nonwizard around to cast acute senses on him, for example.)

I don't deny at all that it's doable, and could even be a pretty entertaining character. But I think you're grossly downplaying the effort and investment required to adopt an off-class role and actually be good at it.


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Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Can we all agree that since this is the OP's third thread on this and he claimed he couldn't find any of these threads after searching, despite the existence of billions, that maybe we should just get up and walk away. I don't think we're coming up with a definitive list everyone agrees on; heck some people think half of the second level spells are too powerful.

Too powerful? No.

Problematic? Yes.

It is an endemic problem to the system that casters have an "Anything you can do, I can do better" routine.

For example, a Fighter with a base 30 ft. speed can climb at a whopping 5 feet per round. 15 feet per round if he takes a -5 to his check.

Spider Climb lets the Wizard or whoever climb at 20 feet per round, 40 feet if they take a -5 to their Climb check. And they can always take 10, and don't lose their Dex to AC, and can climb on ceilings and places with no handholds. And get a +8 racial bonus to Climb checks.

The gap between these things is ENORMOUS. And it's really not that Spider Climb is too powerful, it's that the Climb skill is too WEAK.

And it comes down that way across the board between skills and spells.


Zhangar wrote:

Rogue stuff:

I'd say you'd have to go higher than 5 before you could comfortably replace skills with spells (and honestly, you're just replacing stealth; Aram Zey's Focus gives you a whopping +1 vs. traps at 5th level!); we'll assume someone actually suited for it is handling diplomacy, sense motive, and bluff).

My level 6 PFS seeker sorcerer isn't a wizard but he is an Int based primary caster. He is looking at:

Disable Device +16 with the innate ability to disable magical traps
Perception: +19 (+3 for traps)
Diplomacy: +19
All Knowledge skills ranging from +8-18
Spellcraft: +13

So out of combat he has a range of things he can do to support the party from primary trap detection and removal, face, knowledge expert and magic item identifier. He can operate as a scout with Invisibility, get to difficult places to reach with Monkey Fish and fool his enemies with Silent Illusion.

In combat he brings Haste, Glitterdust, Burst of Radiance Grease, Burning Hands (for swarms), Colour Spray, Ear Piercing Scream, Magic Missile, Liberating Command and a bunch of others.

His versatility has cost him all of one feat (Additional Traits) and some traits he would have taken anyway (Student of Philosophy, Fate's Favoured and 2 skill ones). Equipment wise it has cost him Eyes of the Eagle which he would have bought anyway and 100gp on Masterwork Thieve's Tools.


To take the thread in a completely different direction, if you have a problem with casters, I have found borrowing a 2nd ed D&D solution that helps enormously with casters of all varieties.

No bonus spell slots from high stats. (Yeah I know clerics and druids got extra spells from high stats but take it away from all classes to be fair.) This cuts down on their renewable resources and forces them to expend money either on rings of wizardry/pearls of power or similar items for their class.

Regards,
DRS


DRS3 wrote:

To take the thread in a completely different direction, if you have a problem with casters, I have found borrowing a 2nd ed D&D solution that helps enormously with casters of all varieties.

No bonus spell slots from high stats. (Yeah I know clerics and druids got extra spells from high stats but take it away from all classes to be fair.) This cuts down on their renewable resources and forces them to expend money either on rings of wizardry/pearls of power or similar items for their class.

Regards,
DRS

This sort of "balances" them, but not in the best way. For one, it reduces the fun of the caster player, which makes it a non-ideal solution. You still want casters to be fun, but less powerful (which generally means "less powerful spells").

For two, since the game expects you to have certain magic to overcome many challenges, it promotes the 15 minute adventuring day problem.

It's a quick and dirty solution that works to an extent, but from the perspective of trying to make magic "not problematic", it fails. It simply makes magic problematic less times per day.


Rynjin wrote:
DRS3 wrote:

To take the thread in a completely different direction, if you have a problem with casters, I have found borrowing a 2nd ed D&D solution that helps enormously with casters of all varieties.

No bonus spell slots from high stats. (Yeah I know clerics and druids got extra spells from high stats but take it away from all classes to be fair.) This cuts down on their renewable resources and forces them to expend money either on rings of wizardry/pearls of power or similar items for their class.

Regards,
DRS

This sort of "balances" them, but not in the best way. For one, it reduces the fun of the caster player, which makes it a non-ideal solution. You still want casters to be fun, but less powerful (which generally means "less powerful spells").

For two, since the game expects you to have certain magic to overcome many challenges, it promotes the 15 minute adventuring day problem.

It's a quick and dirty solution that works to an extent, but from the perspective of trying to make magic "not problematic", it fails. It simply makes magic problematic less times per day.

I agree martials need to be more powerful, but casters don't need to be less powerful at lower levels. Honestly, they should be able to shine sometimes. Also limiting an already limited resource would we be amazingly frustrating and boring at lower levels.


andreww wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Rogue stuff:

I'd say you'd have to go higher than 5 before you could comfortably replace skills with spells (and honestly, you're just replacing stealth; Aram Zey's Focus gives you a whopping +1 vs. traps at 5th level!); we'll assume someone actually suited for it is handling diplomacy, sense motive, and bluff).

My level 6 PFS seeker sorcerer isn't a wizard but he is an Int based primary caster. He is looking at:

Disable Device +16 with the innate ability to disable magical traps
Perception: +19 (+3 for traps)
Diplomacy: +19
All Knowledge skills ranging from +8-18
Spellcraft: +13

So out of combat he has a range of things he can do to support the party from primary trap detection and removal, face, knowledge expert and magic item identifier. He can operate as a scout with Invisibility, get to difficult places to reach with Monkey Fish and fool his enemies with Silent Illusion.

In combat he brings Haste, Glitterdust, Burst of Radiance Grease, Burning Hands (for swarms), Colour Spray, Ear Piercing Scream, Magic Missile, Liberating Command and a bunch of others.

His versatility has cost him all of one feat (Additional Traits) and some traits he would have taken anyway (Student of Philosophy, Fate's Favoured and 2 skill ones). Equipment wise it has cost him Eyes of the Eagle which he would have bought anyway and 100gp on Masterwork Thieve's Tools.

Oh absolutely (seeker's something a number of folks in my group have looked at playing, and I've had a sage sorcerer before); you also actually took the archetypes (and traits) for being good at those things.

An archetypes AND your bloodline is a bit more than a minor investment =D

2nd Edit: and you may have difficulties coping with a smooth criminal, with the whole lack of sense motive and bluff =D


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
DRS3 wrote:

To take the thread in a completely different direction, if you have a problem with casters, I have found borrowing a 2nd ed D&D solution that helps enormously with casters of all varieties.

No bonus spell slots from high stats. (Yeah I know clerics and druids got extra spells from high stats but take it away from all classes to be fair.) This cuts down on their renewable resources and forces them to expend money either on rings of wizardry/pearls of power or similar items for their class.

Regards,
DRS

This sort of "balances" them, but not in the best way. For one, it reduces the fun of the caster player, which makes it a non-ideal solution. You still want casters to be fun, but less powerful (which generally means "less powerful spells").

For two, since the game expects you to have certain magic to overcome many challenges, it promotes the 15 minute adventuring day problem.

It's a quick and dirty solution that works to an extent, but from the perspective of trying to make magic "not problematic", it fails. It simply makes magic problematic less times per day.

I agree martials need to be more powerful, but casters don't need to be less powerful at lower levels. Honestly, they should be able to shine sometimes. Also limiting an already limited resource would we be amazingly frustrating and boring at lower levels.

That's what I said.

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