How does Spheres of Power fit into Caster-Martial disparity?


Advice and Rules Questions


I haven't purchased it yet, and a key question I have is how powerful the system allows characters get compared to, say, a Wizard, so that I can form an understanding of whether allowing the system will make the disparity worse, better, or about the same.


I haven't tried it yet, but at first glance it seems a lot closer to feat trees in power. You get one talent at a time (rarely two, for some classes) and spend it on an option for your powers.

Also note that with a little feat investment, non-casters can become quite handy with sphere powers, too.


It lowers the disparity. Spheres of power is basically completely tier 3, with exception of summoning which can be tier 2 if you focus on it. It even has archetypes for the core PF classes that make them closer to tier 3.


So, implementing the system and requiring all spellcasters to use it would narrow the gap. Between that and the author confirming that the system will eventually end up on D20pfsrd, it seems that the two big reservations I had about the product are taken care of.


Link Here

There is a free Preview PDF. Be aware that a few things have changed from the preview to final release. A couple of the big ones being that Conjuration now requires a Spell Point to summon a Companion, and that Destructive Blast is now bludgeoning damage instead of Force, though Force is a selectable talent.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Spheres of Power progresses casters similarly to the way martials have to progress. The same way that a Fighter has to take Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, and Greater Trio if he wants to be good at tripping, a spherecasters who wants to throw fireballs would need to access the Destruction sphere, pick up the fire elemental blast option, and then learn the appropriate blast shape. You can't go from 1st to 5th level and expect to be a master of fire magic if you haven't been building towards it up to that point.

It goes a very long way towards eliminating martial/caster disparity, basically paring casters down into "Tier 3" territory.

Dark Archive

In addition to lowering the number of options that spellcasters have (the biggest problem with T1-2 classes), it also allows you to pick a niche and focus on it. And that means that you can build a hundred different Spheres Casters and end up with a hundred different characters that do a hundred different things. And that's awesome.


I was -> <- this close to talking about how you could rule an army of 506 HD day-long Companions at 20th level with a CL 30 equivalent Conjuration sphere if he has access to the Human favored class bonus for the Thaumaturge. 22 creatures of 23 HD each. Completely loyal. Completely customizable. Be prepared for your GM to ask you to play a Summoner instead.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

CalethosVB wrote:
I was -> <- this close to talking about how you could rule an army of 506 HD day-long Companions at 20th level with a CL 30 equivalent Conjuration sphere if he has access to the Human favored class bonus for the Thaumaturge. 22 creatures of 23 HD each. Completely loyal. Completely customizable. Be prepared for your GM to ask you to play a Summoner instead.

Pretty sure that doesn't work anymore, though I'd have to double check the updated release. I know limiting the number of conjured companions you could maintain at one time was one of the fixes though.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

i feel like there's a lot more flavor to be had mixing spheres with class abilities than there is with spell lists too. Really liked it and i'm seeing if i can retrain my current character to use spheres.


Another good thing about spheres is that they separate basic talents from advanced talents. Advanced talents include permanency, teleport without error, and other spell effects that really have a whole lot of narrative power. If you choose not to use advanced talents (like I do) you can still include high level spell effects as high casting time (and materials cost) rituals that duplicate the effects of standard PF spells.

Dark Archive

I wonder what merit there would be to combining the benefit of both Spheres and Heroic Paths of the Midnight Setting, knocking down high level spellcasting and the christmas tree effect with magic items/equipment. A list of converted Heroic Paths can be found here.

Additional conversion would be needed admittingly, since many Heroic Paths offer spells.


I've purchased it. Not sure my opinion on Advanced Talents so far, but I do want to use the system to replace all spellcasting (I do not consider Alchemists or Investigators to be spellcasters), tack on Path of War, find a good replacement for the magic item system (there are a few, so I have choices here), plug in my feat tax cut system, and run that ruleset.

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