Why are wizards considered overpowered?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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andreww wrote:
Moonclanger wrote:
MR. H wrote:
I hate to lift the veil for you, but that may just be your GM deciding what is fair.

To quote one of my earlier posts, I have come to "the conclusion that if people consider the wizard overpowered it's probably down to the way they play the game."

Although since my group only plays PF for the adventure paths it's down to the scenario writers rather than the GM.

If opponents in an AP are routinely making saves against moderately competent spellcasters on a regular basis then that strongly suggests an element of fuding on your GM's part. AP's are definitely not written with high or even moderate levels of optimisation in mind.

Well, of the four APs we've played to date, I've GM'd two of them, and I made no changes to either. Perhaps my group just doesn't optimise to the same extent as yours. Those of us who've GM'd know we don't need to. And we certainly don't use all the splat books, although the number we use tends to grow with each campaign.

Also we're a large group - six players plus a GM - so xps and wealth have to be divided between more characters, so we soon fall a level behind the four-man group APs are written for.


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First Edition Level Progression

This includes all classes from 1E (andreww omitted the Illusionist, Assassin, and Monk [which actually makes his case stronger]).

My counterpoint to this (as an aside, this is ludicrous in a great way that we're discussing FIRST EDITION) is that while the Magic-User does speed up in the mid-level game, the slow-going low-levels, coupled with its squishiness (d4 HD, +2 CON cap) and few spells (no bonus INT spells, no cantrips, no scrolls) made for many dead wizards at low levels.

Also, when XP becomes linear for all classes at high levels, the Magic-User has the largest requirement, even, finally, outstripping the Paladin in XP needs.

Finally, I posit that the leveling of the XP playing field is but one reason why the Wizard is considered overpowered (see previous posts for other reasons).

Liberty's Edge

Pretty sure what I have to add isn't anything new and likely I missed it somewhere in the 252 other answers. But here's mine.

Wizards are considered overpowered usually by GM's because most PC's specialize in one of three area's.

Conjuration - Good Aligned / Necromancy - Evil Aligned (IE/Summoning)
Evocation - Good or Evil Aligned (Blowing things up)
Enchantment - Good (Charm Spells to make friends) / Evil (Dominate to make slaves)

Rarely do I see the 4th option Illusion/Transmutation for Battlefield Control with making Encounters for foes or changing Terrain. The most common I've seen is Evocation, I've yet to see anyone create an Abjurationist adventurer outside of an NPC.

Now Cleric's can also be quite broken if done in the right vein. Channeling Negative Energy as a Neutral (L, TN, or C) Selective Channel and Quick Channel (uses 3 Channels to channel once as a move action and again as a standard action) Which can be done at level 1 if your human a wizard needs to be level 11 to take the feat Selective Spell really which means the Cleric get's a 'fireball' early on that can be used to harm enemies (Take versatile Channel and you can even heal just at 2 level penalty on dice effect)

Domain Versatility is the same as Choosing a school for a Wizard.

All in all Cleric's and Wizard's are only overpowered if they know what they're stepping into and can prepare in advance for it.

Every class has this ability to get very powerful, it all just depends on what the player is striving to make the character into. I've certainly played my fair share of Wizards & Sorcerer's, and I might add
if a GM ever feels if a wizard is too powerful, replace it with Alchemist and have Sorcerer's be word caster with only there bloodline spells popping up as 'real' spells from core, then you might find the fighters more in the lime light.... for awhile.


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Trinam wrote:

Psst. Friend. Compadre. Amiga. Amerigo Vesspucci.

Cite your sources.

Seriously.

It makes you sound credible.

Which you don't right now.

Also watch your quote buttons, I think you overwrote one of the {/quote}s

Edit: Nevermind, you got the quote thing. Good on you.

The traits he’s referring to are Wayang spell hunter and magical lineage

One of the bloodlines is Orc haven’t the foggiest what the other is
Varisian tattoo is another way to boost CL.

He’s/she’s right, the sorc you’re referring to was clearly using a s&@+ build to do such little damage

Battering Blast sorc with Orc bloodline and bloodline mutation has some of the best single target damage

Spell focus
Mage tattoo
Spell specialisation
Both the above traits
Empower, Quicken, Maximize
Spell perfection

Would be a Level 15 build CL 21

So 4 force balls each doing 5D6+10

Spell level 3 -2 for traits +2 for empower +3 maximise, effective spell level 6
Using a level 3 slot because of perfection.

So maximised Damage is 160
Empower Damage is average of 20D6+40x0.5 = 55

So 215

Cast a second using a lesser rod of quickening, single target damage of 430. Now the orbs cas of course miss, but they can also crit and they hit touch, so pretty reliable.

For a chain lightning build you’re gonna be doing just Magical lineage so the only meta you’re applying is Empower but you can be crossblooded with dragon so with CL20

You’re doing 20D6+60x1.5=195
Quickening rod
390.
Now of course they get saves but even if they make em both they’ve taken 195, so assuming every save is made a properly built blaster with chain lightning should be doing more damage than a barb if they hit two targets, or one if they fail there save.

These numbers could be boosted higher with CL boosting items and blood intensity.

A lot of what Lady-J says seems unrealistic but in the blasting department all you’re showing is that you’re deciding to pick arguments with people on subjects about which you’re woefully under informed.


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Michael Talley 759 wrote:
I've yet to see anyone create an Abjurationist adventurer outside of an NPC.

Glad to meet you! I've been playing an Abjurer, Zilv shalee of House Medri, in a Drow campaign. He's 11th level now. Zilv buffs. Zilv cleanses. Zilv counters. Zilv has yet to do a single point of damage.

The secret of his success is his tagline, "No one fears the abjurer."


And the last wizard I played was an elven abjurer. As I saw it, my job was to protect the party from hostile magic. However unlike Zilv, Ariel did plenty of damage. She reached 15th level before the campaign came to a premature end.


I’ve theory crafted a Oracle who focuses on abjuration, but never got to play her.


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Go Abjuration! It's a great school for wanting to be alive.

Personally I think really what it comes down to is that xp levels are now consistent meaning wizards that used to need a lot of xp to level in older editions. They can do things equal to people that had a more natural learning curve.

In a way, when 3.0 came out, I loved that. It made sense to me that a wizard learns by being a wizard at the same rate a monk did by being a monk against the same foes and obstacles.

Now, looking back, maybe I was naive. Maybe it wasn't about reaching that level but what you could do when you reached it that matters more.

That being said wizards are amazing...

In a white room.

And that is the general conceit of playing one. That IF you could have a spell that could counter something, OF COURSE YOU have it memorized.

Hell, let's look back at this very thread. All the spells listed as a "well a wizard could do X so.." and it's literally every school listed. No opposition schools here! No sir! Because it's all boiling down to theory craft. Of course your wizard is 17th level or higher. Of course he is a divination school initiative boosted school. Of course we don't mention what opposition schools he has because that would mean stating what schools cost double and no... No wizard actually USES those schools for 2x the cost so best to never bring it up.

Is the wizard powerful? Yes. When he's allowed to reach that level. Which means heavily counting on the entire party to get him there.

And that's what it boils down to. What is the wizard. A controller and quick solution to certain problems. And everyone else around there is trying to keep him alive to do it. Wizards don't front line for a reason, so pointing at the people who keep them free of move and able to function without issues (healing when hurt, shooting down ranged so they can fly, grappling or tripping people sneaking by for melee attacks). It's a party game. Wizards job is to deal with mobs, party is there to help keep them around to do it.

Frankly, if every wizard turns into an a!!$*#~ at level 13, and says "I'm so great nothing can stop me" then barbarians at level 1 should make the statement "I power attack the wizard before he grows into an obnoxious a&!~&#$" every... single... game.

The reason they don't? I guess in some weird way a barbarian somehow has more civility than the average wizard.

TLDR; bragging about being the role that people help so he can pull the trigger makes no sense given how much he needs to be alive to pull that trigger. Quarter backs make plays, but do poorly when linebackers get tired of them talking crap and stand to one side.


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Cavall wrote:
And that is the general conceit of playing one. That IF you could have a spell that could counter something, OF COURSE YOU have it memorized.

Unfortunately, I've had a few players guilty of this exact thing.

Which is why I have a table rule that players of all prepared casters (like the wizard) will provide the DM with a default spell list.

This is the character's generic, "I'm going out to buy some milk" spells that they prepare on any given day. If they want to prepare different spells, the player has to inform me.

If they don't, they've got their default list. I've had to be a hard-oss a couple of times about it, but the players have learned and it has completely eliminated this problem.


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Mykull wrote:
Cavall wrote:
And that is the general conceit of playing one. That IF you could have a spell that could counter something, OF COURSE YOU have it memorized.

Unfortunately, I've had a few players guilty of this exact thing.

Which is why I have a table rule that players of all prepared casters (like the wizard) will provide the DM with a default spell list.

This is the character's generic, "I'm going out to buy some milk" spells that they prepare on any given day. If they want to prepare different spells, the player has to inform me.

If they don't, they've got their default list. I've had to be a hard-oss a couple of times about it, but the players have learned and it has completely eliminated this problem.

I think that's fair. There's been a few times as my witch it was tempting to say I had a spell I didn't memorize that day, and frankly with hexes helping out they actually come out better than wizards for spells per day. Granted later on a few blank spots can really help speed things up, but at early levels (up to even 8th I'd say) that's a huge investment.

In the end I did what you did. I made 3-4 lists, and just used that for my "this is what I expect to do today" spells. It was serpents skull AP so i had one for exploring, charming/control and damage, all mixed with a healthy dose of buffs. I was hedge witch so I was group healer so luckily that saved me from memorizing heals.


Lady-J wrote:

{. . .}

if you did something called math you would see that many of the numbers actually are achievable take the above example of the numbers your blaster sorc should be pulling on a regular basis you go cross blooded and blood havoc for +3 damage per die, then with the spell specialization you have +2 caster level to you favorite spell so 17 caster levels 17d6 with fireball because you are also using intensify bloodline mutation 17*3.5=59.5, 17*3=51, 59.5+51=110.5, 110.5*1.5=165.75 average damage for the sorcerer, next we have disintegrate at 34d6, 34*3.5=119, 34*3=102, 119+102= 221, 221*1.5=331.5, or battering blast at 3 attacks at 9d6 for 27d6 total, 27*3.5=94.5, 27*3=81, 81+94.5=175.5, 175.5*1.5=263.25

for a total of 165.75 average damage on a fireball, 331.5 average damage on disintegrate and 263.25 average damage on a battering blast which falls into my claim of 150+damage per target in an aoe situation on a failed save and 250+ damage vs a single target for a level 15 caster

I remembered the Orc Bloodline giving you +1 damage per die regardless of damage type, but what's the other Bloodline that isn't element-specific?


Nobody seems to know, making the entire argument (sans what Chromantic Durgon <3 has said which are all very salient points and going in my Sorcerer folder) entirely moot.

Therefore I am still clearly the winner, despite yet again deciding to argue about things that I have only half paid attention to!


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Lady-J wrote:

{. . .}

if you did something called math you would see that many of the numbers actually are achievable take the above example of the numbers your blaster sorc should be pulling on a regular basis you go cross blooded and blood havoc for +3 damage per die, then with the spell specialization you have +2 caster level to you favorite spell so 17 caster levels 17d6 with fireball because you are also using intensify bloodline mutation 17*3.5=59.5, 17*3=51, 59.5+51=110.5, 110.5*1.5=165.75 average damage for the sorcerer, next we have disintegrate at 34d6, 34*3.5=119, 34*3=102, 119+102= 221, 221*1.5=331.5, or battering blast at 3 attacks at 9d6 for 27d6 total, 27*3.5=94.5, 27*3=81, 81+94.5=175.5, 175.5*1.5=263.25

for a total of 165.75 average damage on a fireball, 331.5 average damage on disintegrate and 263.25 average damage on a battering blast which falls into my claim of 150+damage per target in an aoe situation on a failed save and 250+ damage vs a single target for a level 15 caster

I remembered the Orc Bloodline giving you +1 damage per die regardless of damage type, but what's the other Bloodline that isn't element-specific?

orc and goblin are the two bloodlines that give general boost to damage per die regardless of damage type


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Trinam wrote:

Psst. Friend. Compadre. Amiga. Amerigo Vesspucci.

Cite your sources.

Seriously.

It makes you sound credible.

Which you don't right now.

Also watch your quote buttons, I think you overwrote one of the {/quote}s

Edit: Nevermind, you got the quote thing. Good on you.

The traits he’s referring to are Wayang spell hunter and magical lineage

One of the bloodlines is Orc haven’t the foggiest what the other is
Varisian tattoo is another way to boost CL.

He’s/she’s right, the sorc you’re referring to was clearly using a s+&$ build to do such little damage

Battering Blast sorc with Orc bloodline and bloodline mutation has some of the best single target damage

Spell focus
Mage tattoo
Spell specialisation
Both the above traits
Empower, Quicken, Maximize
Spell perfection

Would be a Level 15 build CL 21

So 4 force balls each doing 5D6+10

Spell level 3 -2 for traits +2 for empower +3 maximise, effective spell level 6
Using a level 3 slot because of perfection.

So maximised Damage is 160
Empower Damage is average of 20D6+40x0.5 = 55

So 215

Cast a second using a lesser rod of quickening, single target damage of 430. Now the orbs cas of course miss, but they can also crit and they hit touch, so pretty reliable.

For a chain lightning build you’re gonna be doing just Magical lineage so the only meta you’re applying is Empower but you can be crossblooded with dragon so with CL20

You’re doing 20D6+60x1.5=195
Quickening rod
390.
Now of course they get saves but even if they make em both they’ve taken 195, so assuming every save is made a properly built blaster with chain lightning should be doing more damage than a barb if they hit two targets, or one if they fail there save.

These numbers could be boosted higher with CL boosting items and blood intensity.

A lot of what Lady-J says seems unrealistic but in the blasting department all you’re showing is that you’re deciding to pick arguments with people on subjects about...

metamagic mastery feat lets you choose one meta magic feat and reduce its cost by 1 spell level so you can pick one spell for wang spell hunter and one spell for magical lineage and have those 2 spells be able to use empower for free


Lady-J wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
Lady-J wrote:

{. . .}

if you did something called math you would see that many of the numbers actually are achievable take the above example of the numbers your blaster sorc should be pulling on a regular basis you go cross blooded and blood havoc for +3 damage per die, then with the spell specialization you have +2 caster level to you favorite spell so 17 caster levels 17d6 with fireball because you are also using intensify bloodline mutation 17*3.5=59.5, 17*3=51, 59.5+51=110.5, 110.5*1.5=165.75 average damage for the sorcerer, next we have disintegrate at 34d6, 34*3.5=119, 34*3=102, 119+102= 221, 221*1.5=331.5, or battering blast at 3 attacks at 9d6 for 27d6 total, 27*3.5=94.5, 27*3=81, 81+94.5=175.5, 175.5*1.5=263.25

for a total of 165.75 average damage on a fireball, 331.5 average damage on disintegrate and 263.25 average damage on a battering blast which falls into my claim of 150+damage per target in an aoe situation on a failed save and 250+ damage vs a single target for a level 15 caster

I remembered the Orc Bloodline giving you +1 damage per die regardless of damage type, but what's the other Bloodline that isn't element-specific?

orc and goblin are the two bloodlines that give general boost to damage per die regardless of damage type

And NOW. Now we finally come full circle.

Goblin is a 3PP from Kobold press, meaning that... well, let me grab this and perhaps things will be more clear.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
To continue with my conspiracy theory night I got going. I theorize Lady-J is actually playing a compleltly different game then the rest of us but no one herself included is aware of this. She might be from a different dimension very similar but with key differences. Somehow she is posting in ours. I expect some sort of dimensional rift located solely in her computer.

We can now conclusively prove that Vidmaster7 is correct and Lady-J is actually playing a compleltly different game than the rest of us.

Lady-J, it's time to come clean...

You're secretly a Kolbold Press PR person performing a viral marketing campaign to make us want to buy and use their totally awesome 3PP, aren't you?!


Okay, so the Goblin Bloodline is 3rd Party -- but actually, I just thought of a Paizo (but not PFS) alternative: Ditch Crossblooded, and go Orc Bloodline with VMC Wizard (Evocation (Admixturer))(*). At level 7, this gets you Intense Spells, which gives you +1 point per 2 levels (which often but not always works out to the same as +1 point per damage die(*)) and the Admixture ability, which conveniently lets you get around Elemental Immunities (or even bothersomely high Elemental Reistances) several times per day without needing to invest in Elemental Spell. Before this, also gets you a Familiar, and eventually gets you a Wizard Arcane Discovery; unfortunately, level 11 is (almost) wasted on a Cantrip. Not sure if this leaves you enough feats to do what you need, but I think if you are Human (note that you also want the FCB that gives you extra spells known), you might just make it.

(*)Now we're talking about Sorcerers instead of the original topic of Wizards, but since this thought uses VMC Wizard, I'll take the time to point out that VMC Wizard is often one of the better VMCs.

(**)Intense Spells is good for most AoE spells, but lacklustre for single-target nukes.


VALIDATION!!!!


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Cavall wrote:

Go Abjuration! It's a great school for wanting to be alive.

Personally I think really what it comes down to is that xp levels are now consistent meaning wizards that used to need a lot of xp to level in older editions. They can do things equal to people that had a more natural learning curve.

In a way, when 3.0 came out, I loved that. It made sense to me that a wizard learns by being a wizard at the same rate a monk did by being a monk against the same foes and obstacles.

Now, looking back, maybe I was naive. Maybe it wasn't about reaching that level but what you could do when you reached it that matters more.

That being said wizards are amazing...

In a white room.

And that is the general conceit of playing one. That IF you could have a spell that could counter something, OF COURSE YOU have it memorized.

Hell, let's look back at this very thread. All the spells listed as a "well a wizard could do X so.." and it's literally every school listed. No opposition schools here! No sir! Because it's all boiling down to theory craft. Of course your wizard is 17th level or higher. Of course he is a divination school initiative boosted school. Of course we don't mention what opposition schools he has because that would mean stating what schools cost double and no... No wizard actually USES those schools for 2x the cost so best to never bring it up.

Is the wizard powerful? Yes. When he's allowed to reach that level. Which means heavily counting on the entire party to get him there.

And that's what it boils down to. What is the wizard. A controller and quick solution to certain problems. And everyone else around there is trying to keep him alive to do it. Wizards don't front line for a reason, so pointing at the people who keep them free of move and able to function without issues (healing when hurt, shooting down ranged so they can fly, grappling or tripping people sneaking by for melee attacks). It's a party game. Wizards job is to deal with mobs, party is there to help...

Yeah, I've killed the God Wizard myth on these boards already.

I issued a challenge to face what my players faced. Told them exactly what my players knew. Made them post their spell list before beginning on a theoretical encounter by encounter.

The player stacked limp lash a few times, color spray, a few others.

Encounter 1: He wasted a color spray on a zombie.

Encounter 2: The limp lashes weren't able to significantly effect the encounter.

Encounter 3: The Wizard "player" stopped responding to the thread.

Why? 2 of the 4 encounters he was unable to dominate them. Even if he could dominate encounter 3-4 he still only managed 50% of them.

That means the theory is shot.

God Wizard requires theory crafting. You need to know in advance *exactly* what you're facing to pick the appropriate counters. If you have to show your spells first at least a full 2/3 are rendered useless 9/10 times.


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^^^^^ Yeah theory crafting and actual game play are very different things^^^^


HWalsh wrote:
Cavall wrote:

Go Abjuration! It's a great school for wanting to be alive.

Personally I think really what it comes down to is that xp levels are now consistent meaning wizards that used to need a lot of xp to level in older editions. They can do things equal to people that had a more natural learning curve.

In a way, when 3.0 came out, I loved that. It made sense to me that a wizard learns by being a wizard at the same rate a monk did by being a monk against the same foes and obstacles.

Now, looking back, maybe I was naive. Maybe it wasn't about reaching that level but what you could do when you reached it that matters more.

That being said wizards are amazing...

In a white room.

And that is the general conceit of playing one. That IF you could have a spell that could counter something, OF COURSE YOU have it memorized.

Hell, let's look back at this very thread. All the spells listed as a "well a wizard could do X so.." and it's literally every school listed. No opposition schools here! No sir! Because it's all boiling down to theory craft. Of course your wizard is 17th level or higher. Of course he is a divination school initiative boosted school. Of course we don't mention what opposition schools he has because that would mean stating what schools cost double and no... No wizard actually USES those schools for 2x the cost so best to never bring it up.

Is the wizard powerful? Yes. When he's allowed to reach that level. Which means heavily counting on the entire party to get him there.

And that's what it boils down to. What is the wizard. A controller and quick solution to certain problems. And everyone else around there is trying to keep him alive to do it. Wizards don't front line for a reason, so pointing at the people who keep them free of move and able to function without issues (healing when hurt, shooting down ranged so they can fly, grappling or tripping people sneaking by for melee attacks). It's a party game. Wizards job is to deal with mobs,

...

What is the god wizard myth?

I think you are arguing against a theory that doesnt exist if you think the claim is that wizards can always handle every situation. That is not the claim that is made. The claim is that a wizard can handle almost every situation, which is not the same as he can do it 100% of the time. Of course this also assumed a high level wizard. I wasn't even going to mention that but someone would have brought up 1st level wizards, and I would be facepalming. I try to avoid facepalming.

edit:In addition even if wizards could always provide a solution all you would have proven is that the person is terrible at spell selection, and overall skill if he even tried to prove a wizard could solve any problem by stacking color spray and limp lash. He was likely limited by it being a low level encounter since you mentioned zombies. That is when he should have bowed out.


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^Certain popular guides sound an awful lot like they're claiming that Wizards can handle every situation, with just enough skirting around "always" to avoid getting sued . . . .


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Wizards are only overpowered if the conditions are right. If the GM runs level appropriate, rather than party customised, encounters then the wizard will find they have a fewer number of appropriate spells per day. Vary the number of encounters per day then the wizard will be less sure whether they can afford to cast the useful spell or to save it for when it is really needed. Vary the types of encounter and the wizard will be less sure of what spells are needed.

A wizard with no useful spells is a liability to the group and being a liability is the antithesis of being overpowered. Mitigating this by loading up with self preservation spells is still a hinderance to the group as the party is effectively a man down, even if the wizard survivies.


I've heard the counter argument to this and apparently its scrolls. Whats your guys opinion on those?


Vidmaster7 wrote:
I've heard the counter argument to this and apparently its scrolls. Whats your guys opinion on those?

They're great, if you know which ones to make and have the time to do so. Downtime tends to be a scarce commodity in the games I participate in.


Ah so another IF they have X amount of prep time scenarios.

My complaint with the god wizard argument I've seen is apparently they can do everything with prep time but if I give an example of a character trying to do things in a mundane fashion like actually talking to people and building things apparently that doesn't count cause the rules don't specifically say I can do that. That irritates me. So you can have 1000 outsiders bound to you with planar ally but If I tried to recruit an army I'm not following the rules?


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Certain popular guides sound an awful lot like they're claiming that Wizards can handle every situation, with just enough skirting around "always" to avoid getting sued . . . .

Hm? Which ones? I must admit, it's been a bit since I read through it fully, but from what I recall Treantmonk advocated leveraging your party members as a resource to maximize the effectiveness of your spells and leverage your spells to maximize the effectiveness of your party members so that you don't run out of spells trying to do too much too fast, and he's the trope-namer here as far as I am aware.

Hugo Rune wrote:
Wizards are only overpowered if the conditions are right. If the GM runs level appropriate, rather than party customised, encounters then the wizard will find they have a fewer number of appropriate spells per day. Vary the number of encounters per day then the wizard will be less sure whether they can afford to cast the useful spell or to save it for when it is really needed. Vary the types of encounter and the wizard will be less sure of what spells are needed.

You say you're going away from customizing, but your argument ultimately boils down to "ride herd on the Wizard," like was argued earlier in the thread.

Vidmaster7 wrote:

Ah so another IF they have X amount of prep time scenarios.

My complaint with the god wizard argument I've seen is apparently they can do everything with prep time but if I give an example of a character trying to do things in a mundane fashion like actually talking to people and building things apparently that doesn't count cause the rules don't specifically say I can do that. That irritates me. So you can have 1000 outsiders bound to you with planar ally but If I tried to recruit an army I'm not following the rules?

Either you're in GM adjudication territory, Here there be houserules/homebrew, or you're using the Kingdom Building and/or Mass Combat rules where you're burning money/BP to make an army and such an army doesn't really interact with the game very well outside of Kingdom Building/Mass Combat.

Whereas, yeah, plug in the variables for planar binding or simulacra or Trompe L'oeil and you get some number of creatures serving your will, entirely within the main body of rules. Admittedly, high numbers of bound outsiders would also get into some grey territory as to when it would attract attention and what kind of attention it would get.

Grey areas and GM calls are much harder to talk about to establish a shared frame of reference than, well, the RAW. Which is part of why most discussions online are either more conceptual or are pretty hard RAW with maybe the occasional suggestion as to potential houserules or homebrew to consider taking a look at.


^Treantmonk's guide is sort of intermediate in that regard -- it partly qualifies, but I was thinking more of guides like the one recommended back up here.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Treantmonk's guide is sort of intermediate in that regard -- it partly qualifies, but I was thinking more of guides like the one recommended back up here.

Hyperliiiinks. My greatest nemesis on the boards.

Thank you.


wizards are basically the batman of the pathfinder universe if you give them enough prep time they will crush literally everything in their path


Right and the god wizard arguments seem to ignore that their is a grey area. You have to acknowledge that just because your not casting a spell that specifically says it does x (Which mind you planar ally still has some grey area too) does not mean you can't do something in the game. It goes back to play style. I've seen this argument occur over and over It always seems to ignore that your players and play style heavily effect whether something works or not. Like caster martial disparity. Almost anything A wizard can do a fighter can do with RP it just takes longer but that is always ignored or dismissed as the grey area. I disagree ITs a role playing game not a video game. The grey area is part of it.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Certain popular guides sound an awful lot like they're claiming that Wizards can handle every situation, with just enough skirting around "always" to avoid getting sued . . . .

That's not how I read the guide at all, at least not he parts that were serious, and not "tongue in cheek" aka joking around. Admittedly it is hard to convey tone of voice in print. Others have taken certain parts of it way too seriously before.


Hugo Rune wrote:

Wizards are only overpowered if the conditions are right. If the GM runs level appropriate, rather than party customised, encounters then the wizard will find they have a fewer number of appropriate spells per day. Vary the number of encounters per day then the wizard will be less sure whether they can afford to cast the useful spell or to save it for when it is really needed. Vary the types of encounter and the wizard will be less sure of what spells are needed.

A wizard with no useful spells is a liability to the group and being a liability is the antithesis of being overpowered. Mitigating this by loading up with self preservation spells is still a hinderance to the group as the party is effectively a man down, even if the wizard survivies.

By level appropriate do you mean "the GM is ignoring CR and doing whatever is needed to match the party"? I ask because an optimized party can shred encounters that are at the "appropriate" CR level.

If a wizard has no useful spells I'm going to doubt the skill of the player unless its a lower level party. As I've said before the perfect spell isn't needed, but he shouldn't be stuck doing nothing on a consistent basis.<----actual gameplay, not theorycraft.

As for self preservation spells unless the GM magically makes the time speed up he can stay buffed up long enough to clear dungeons. He should't have to keep casting them, but admittedly this is down to playstyle also, and so is how much a party rest. If the party tries to sleep in enemy HQ they should expect to be disturbed, but outside of that taking breaks at their choice is possible. Most parties wont want to go forward when the casters(divine or arcane) or out of(or low on) spells anyway.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
I've heard the counter argument to this and apparently its scrolls. Whats your guys opinion on those?

They take up time and/or money, and the wizard still has to know which ones to create or buy. They still don't allow wizards to solve every problem, but they can make things easier.


Lady-J wrote:
wizards are basically the batman of the pathfinder universe if you give them enough prep time they will crush literally everything in their path

Define "enough time" in reasonable terms. Even with more time there are things they won't know about unless they are expected to take days or weeks of downtime just casting divination spells. Even then "crush" is a strong word when combined with "literally".


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I don't know why this has continued so long. Wizards are absolutely overpowered. More specifically, there's too many spells and they do too much. They just have more options. There's spells to target touch AC, every save, CMD, retaliate to people who hit you, cause conditions, heck, there's a spell that just hits. Those may all be first level spells. In terms of what any individual wizard might be capable of, anything. Now, any specific wizard won't have every specific option but that doesn't change how people will perceive it. All it takes is the one time the wizard picked just the right spells to run roughshod over the table for an opinion to be formed. The fact that Schrodinger's Wizard is a thing should tell you how overpowered wizards are. If a wizard in a state of flux might be able to crush everything then they're overpowered. If we're not debating whether they can do it but instead how rare them preparing that combination of spells is, well, then they're overpowered. The fact that this isn't the first or last time we're having this discussion means they're overpowered. Feels like I'm doing a bit at this point. You might be a Wizard if...

So, short answer, Wizards have a giant selection of potentially encounter or scenario ending powers. They won't have the right one all the time but they almost always have one in their spell list and might be packing it. That potential means people will always consider them overpowered. And some stuff with how they learn spells versus sorcerers and spell list comparisons and a bunch of extra stuff. But it's basically just the Schrodinger potential.


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BOB BOB BOB.

BARBARIAN NOT SURE IF THAT AM NAME OR WHAT PEOPLE AM SAYING IN RESPONSE TO POINT. AM PROBABLY NAME, WHICH AM MAKING SITUATION MORE LIKE BOB BOB BOB BOB BOB BOB BOB BOB BOB. NOTE PROPER USE OF NAME REPETITION.

AM CONCLUSIVE POINT THAT WIZARD IN STATE OF FLUX AM NEVER SMASH BARBARIAN IN STATE OF EQUIVALENT FLUX, BECAUSE BARBARIAN AM ALWAYS WINNER ON LEVEL SO HARD THAT BARBARIAN AM GETTING ENTIRE UNIVERSE NERFED SO CASTY AM ABLE KEEP UP, FOLLOWED BY HAVING UNIVERSE RULES CHANGED AGAIN BECAUSE NERFING BARBARIAN AM BREAKING ENTIRE UNIVERSE.

WIZARD AM NOT STRONG ENOUGH FOR CLAIMING THIS FEET, SO CLEARLY BARBARIAN AM WINNER HERE, LIKE ALWAYS. AM ONLY EVER MORE EVIDENCE FOR BARBARIAN/NOT BARBARIAN DESTRUCITY.

Q.E.D. (WHICH AM PHD SPEAK FOR BARBARIAN AM ALWAYS WINNER.)


wraithstrike wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
wizards are basically the batman of the pathfinder universe if you give them enough prep time they will crush literally everything in their path
Define "enough time" in reasonable terms. Even with more time there are things they won't know about unless they are expected to take days or weeks of downtime just casting divination spells. Even then "crush" is a strong word when combined with "literally".

you haven't seen many batman with prep time discussions have you?


Bob Bob Bob wrote:

I don't know why this has continued so long. Wizards are absolutely overpowered. More specifically, there's too many spells and they do too much. They just have more options. There's spells to target touch AC, every save, CMD, retaliate to people who hit you, cause conditions, heck, there's a spell that just hits. Those may all be first level spells. In terms of what any individual wizard might be capable of, anything. Now, any specific wizard won't have every specific option but that doesn't change how people will perceive it. All it takes is the one time the wizard picked just the right spells to run roughshod over the table for an opinion to be formed. The fact that Schrodinger's Wizard is a thing should tell you how overpowered wizards are. If a wizard in a state of flux might be able to crush everything then they're overpowered. If we're not debating whether they can do it but instead how rare them preparing that combination of spells is, well, then they're overpowered. The fact that this isn't the first or last time we're having this discussion means they're overpowered. Feels like I'm doing a bit at this point. You might be a Wizard if...

So, short answer, Wizards have a giant selection of potentially encounter or scenario ending powers. They won't have the right one all the time but they almost always have one in their spell list and might be packing it. That potential means people will always consider them overpowered. And some stuff with how they learn spells versus sorcerers and spell list comparisons and a bunch of extra stuff. But it's basically just the Schrodinger potential.

Pretty much agree and seconded. Wizards are imo pretty powerful. More so in the hands of a player who knows which spells to pick and how to use them. The first few levels they are vulnerable yet once they get higher level spells they can end fights with a few spells or make themselves to kill.

Now in the hands of a player who refuses to listen to any advice and do his own thing than it's another story all together imo. I remember being a player where the player running the Wizard was in love with True Strike. It was such a waste of a caster. Cast True strike on Heavy Crossbow. Waste a entire round reloading. Cast it again. Refused to use cover or any defensive tactics or spell of any kind. The character ended up dying in the first few games. Ironically enough from a evil wizard. The npc was scouting with Invisibility. Cast Detect Magic saw that the PC had no defensive spells cast. Waited for the player to fire at a target. Hit the character with Magic Missile.

At this point you think the player who had the Shield spell would have cast it. No he decided to rely on True Strike. The first Magic Missile took off half his hit points. The second finished off the player character.

@ Hwalsh
You did not kill any myth.

I can say a class is not broken when I create a encounter by heavily stacking the deck in my favor. All you did is instead reinforce that Wizards are overpowered.


Merry Christmas! Santa wizard spent all night wearing his +2 int circlet of craft(toy) making. He is ready to make tons of toys with fabricate in a few minutes!

Hohoho. Now good boys and girls sit on Santa's lap and tell him how OP he is or he won't burry your village in toys!


The Thing From Another World wrote:
I can say a class is not broken when I create a encounter by heavily stacking the deck in my favor. All you did is instead reinforce that Wizards are overpowered.

I didn't stack anything. I ran the "OP" Wizard through the EXACT scenario I ran my players through without a single alteration.


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AM BARBARIAN wrote:

BOB BOB BOB.

BARBARIAN NOT SURE IF THAT AM NAME OR WHAT PEOPLE AM SAYING IN RESPONSE TO POINT. AM PROBABLY NAME, WHICH AM MAKING SITUATION MORE LIKE BOB BOB BOB BOB BOB BOB BOB BOB BOB. NOTE PROPER USE OF NAME REPETITION.

AM CONCLUSIVE POINT THAT WIZARD IN STATE OF FLUX AM NEVER SMASH BARBARIAN IN STATE OF EQUIVALENT FLUX, BECAUSE BARBARIAN AM ALWAYS WINNER ON LEVEL SO HARD THAT BARBARIAN AM GETTING ENTIRE UNIVERSE NERFED SO CASTY AM ABLE KEEP UP, FOLLOWED BY HAVING UNIVERSE RULES CHANGED AGAIN BECAUSE NERFING BARBARIAN AM BREAKING ENTIRE UNIVERSE.

WIZARD AM NOT STRONG ENOUGH FOR CLAIMING THIS FEET, SO CLEARLY BARBARIAN AM WINNER HERE, LIKE ALWAYS. AM ONLY EVER MORE EVIDENCE FOR BARBARIAN/NOT BARBARIAN DESTRUCITY.

Q.E.D. (WHICH AM PHD SPEAK FOR BARBARIAN AM ALWAYS WINNER.)

Hey, I never said barbarians aren't overpowered either. Just that wizards definitely are. Also I'm pretty sure that last paragraph was more than 60 seconds, you should have been smashing.


WHAT?

THAT AM SILLY.

BARBARIAN KNOW BARBARIAN NOT MAKING DIPLOMANCY CHECK. BARBARIAN NOT SMASH SELF.


Lady-J wrote:
wizards are basically the batman of the pathfinder universe if you give them enough prep time they will crush literally everything in their path

I would have said Dr. Strange (including with respect to attitude, and including the recent encounter with Thor and Loki), although I suppose you could make a good case that he's actually an Arcanist(*) or Sage Sorcerer.

(*)One of the variety that DIDN'T invest in Charisma.


HWalsh wrote:


I didn't stack anything. I ran the "OP" Wizard through the EXACT scenario I ran my players through without a single alteration.

In your play test you essentially put a creature that was immune to all the spells that the Wizard player choose. Then before designing the encounter made sure to read what spells the Wizard player was going to use. Both Limp Lash and Color Spray are useless against Undead. Hardly a unbiased test of how to kill a Wizard. I can do the same to a Wizard when given the spell list beforehand. While also not telling the player ahead of time that I plan to use a creature that be sheer coincidence just happens to be immune to all his spells. If I planned every single encounter that way I would no longer have any players. Most players don't mind if you target their weaknesses every now and then. Building encounters on purpose to make one or more players characters useless at the table on a constant basis. Is not going to have players remain at the table for too long. To win and get ahead the DM comes across as cheating. No one wants to play with a DM that cheats.

I can claim the gun rules are not broken because I can continually throw creatures with high Touch AC at a Gunslinger over and over. Or continually target the Gunslinger weapon.

You want to cheat and stack the deck in your favor go right ahead. Don't be surprised if someone calls you out on it.


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I think it's both correct to say that the caster-martial differential is weaker the number of encounters per-day, and that in downtime, noncasters have resources and abilities - albeit not always very mechanically elaborated ones - that they can turn to.

But it's also true that:

1) Stories with a high number of encounters per rest are a particular type of story - ones where the PCs are on a clock, or deep in a hostile environment like a dungeon. A lot of stories you likely want to tell are going to fall into this category, but a lot of stories you likely want to tell don't, too.

2) Casters can do everything non-casters can do with the minimally-ruled stuff. A fighter can call upon family allies from her background, or train subordinates, or run a business, or any of the various things a human can do. A wizard can attend to her worldly business with the benefit of message, zone of truth, an actually pretty elaborate crafting system, and so on. Of course there's nothing deeply wrong (modulo playstyle preference) with handwaving a lot of the means such that each player describes how they're doing what they're doing and the GM eyeballs success in a way that the fighter's methods are as good as the wizard's. But if so this isn't really a compensating factor so much as a place where mechanical balance is obviated by not mediating the story with the mechanics.

Both of these are sort of extensions of the fact that 3e was balanced around a blaster wizard, healbot cleric, skillmonkey rogue, and meatshield fighter having four encounters a day in a dungeon environment. Every step away from that - lateral thinking with spells, the fifteen minute adventuring day, problems to solve that aren't traps or combat encounters - increases the flexibility and power of spellcasting. Of course, this is only a problem if 1) you are playing outside 3e playtest assumptions and 2) you care about the balance of mechanical agency/you care about spotlight balance and the GM isn't actively managing that to compensate for mechanical agency/etc. Nothing's wrong with falling on either end of that, but there are enough people in both categories that "fighters and wizards are balanced perfectly fine!"/"no, they obviously aren't" is going to be an intuition that remains with us as long as this edition does, which, thanks to the OGL, will be forever.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
wizards are basically the batman of the pathfinder universe if you give them enough prep time they will crush literally everything in their path

I would have said Dr. Strange (including with respect to attitude, and including the recent encounter with Thor and Loki), although I suppose you could make a good case that he's actually an Arcanist(*) or Sage Sorcerer.

(*)One of the variety that DIDN'T invest in Charisma.

Actually, I'd see Dr. Strange as a ley line guardian witch.


Agreed, the OP wizard argument makes sense only with respect to the "I know what the encounter is ahead of time AND I have time to prepare for it."

Consider the following scenario(s). You are a L15 wizard of whatever school you want with WBL. You know that somewhere ahead of you on the day's travels are:

(1) a young adult blue dragon. (CR 12)
(2) a stone golem (CR 11)
(3) a Lich (as in d20pfsrd) (CR 12)
(4) 1 cloud giant. (CR 11)

You'll face 3 of the 4 challenges in a circular room 300' wide and 200' high - but you don't know who (the opponents are randomly chosen). You have one round to prepare before the first challenge and one round of rest between challenges.

The idea (and others could no doubt improve on the premise) is that once you take away foreknowledge of the event, the wizard really stands no better chance than anyone else (and is maybe a bit worse) in surviving the "gauntlet" strictly because of the variety of enemy.


The Thing From Another World wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


I didn't stack anything. I ran the "OP" Wizard through the EXACT scenario I ran my players through without a single alteration.

In your play test you essentially put a creature that was immune to all the spells that the Wizard player choose. Then before designing the encounter made sure to read what spells the Wizard player was going to use. Both Limp Lash and Color Spray are useless against Undead. Hardly a unbiased test of how to kill a Wizard. I can do the same to a Wizard when given the spell list beforehand. While also not telling the player ahead of time that I plan to use a creature that be sheer coincidence just happens to be immune to all his spells. If I planned every single encounter that way I would no longer have any players. Most players don't mind if you target their weaknesses every now and then. Building encounters on purpose to make one or more players characters useless at the table on a constant basis. Is not going to have players remain at the table for too long. To win and get ahead the DM comes across as cheating. No one wants to play with a DM that cheats.

I can claim the gun rules are not broken because I can continually throw creatures with high Touch AC at a Gunslinger over and over. Or continually target the Gunslinger weapon.

You want to cheat and stack the deck in your favor go right ahead. Don't be surprised if someone calls you out on it.

So if he puts an encounter that is not favorable to the wizard then he's cheating? no wonder people think wizards are op. wizards are op when you put in encounter they are strong against got it check.


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High level spells like Teleport, Plane Shift, Gate, etc. are things that whole settings are designed around, and usually only one at a time, because each one is a pretty big deal. They can easily catch an inexperienced GM off guard. A more experienced GM must take care to rein those spells in, e.g. by warding important locations against teleportation. These spells fundamentally change the nature of campaigns. The fact that a GM has to take steps to rein in casters is proof in itself that casters are overpowered—something in need of reining in. Once again we come back to the Oberoni Fallacy. There's a reason Rule Zero is the free space in Martial Caster Disparity Bingo.

What are the odds that the Wizard has the right spell at hand to solve a given challenge? It varies from player to player, and with the Wizard's level, ability to purchase more spells than the baseline, etc. Whatever those odds happen to be, they are higher than the odds of non-casters having access to that spell. It is erroneous to assume the Wizard always has the right spell to solve the problem at hand; the shorthand of this is Schrodinger's Wizard. Likewise, it is erroneous to assume the Fighter always has the right scroll and the ability to reliably activate it, or can solve the problem with skills that he has and the Wizard doesn't, or with low-level spells from some archetype that he has and the Wizard doesn't, or that he can solve the problem just as quickly and easily by hitting it. It's interesting to note that some of the same people who bemoan Pathfinder (and modern RPGs in general) placing a high emphasis on combat and character stats make their solution to martial/caster disparity "make the party do more combat, and make sure most of the problems can be solved by hitting them".


Quote:
While also not telling the player ahead of time that I plan to use a creature that be sheer coincidence just happens to be immune to all his spells. 

Do you even Wizard?

Now a DM has to tell wizards ahead of time what spells to memorize?

This is literally the exact reason why they have to memorize ahead of time, it's the ONLY downside to the class is trying to predict the day ahead of time.

Unless you're thinking "well he didn't know what he was getting into"

Quote:
I issued a challenge to face what my players faced. Told them exactly what my players knew.

Wrong. He just didn't prepare well for it.

Give me a break. Again. Great class in a white room.

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