Balancing Casters vs Fighters


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Grand Lodge

Ssalarn wrote:


Fighter: "Haha sucker! My mighty fighter initiative has allowed me to run up and make a powerful charge attack against you! I'm 10% more likely to connect with this single attack!"

Enemy: "Cool. Now I don't have to move and can make a full attack against you. Thank goodness you dumped all those resources into letting me eat you faster."

Also, this is basically the same thing as the first point.

This. Have a reach weapon. Ready an attack, and take an aoo (against medium non reach enemy). Now you're an attack a head instead of being way behind.


Bodhizen wrote:

Incentives for the martial to act first:

Reduce your opponent's hit points to 0 (or below).
Use a Combat Maneuver to handicap opponents before they attack.
Ready an action before the opponents act.
Attack with a ranged weapon before the opponents get in threatening range.
Not being flat-footed when the enemy Rogue attacks you.
Make your attack before the opponents ready to attack you begin their attacks.

Your list isn't exclusive to spellcasters, good sir.

Best wishes!

A martial isn't likely to kill something round 1 since they have a hard time reaching enemies.

Most martial's don't invest in combat maneuvers.
A readied action is just needing to be before the enemy, not everyone.
Attacking with a ranged weapon isn't happening unless your a ranged person. Otherwise you needed a feat to quickdraw your weapons to do an attack that is likely not worth making since it's not your primary attack style.
Martials have AC and their flat-footed is often like 1 less than their normal AC, meaning they are ready for rogues to miss them and they have more HP to take the blow.

And you're missing the number one buff for martials that causes them to wait around, HASTE! So many martials will wait for haste for their attacks and before moving to make sure they are in range of the spell, and it's one that isn't likely to be up before combat.

Dark Archive

Cant you just close the disparty by having your wizard casting fly on your fighter?How is fighter is good at killing things while casters are good at others seem bad to you?This is a team game.Do teamwork it is funnier that way.


Lausth wrote:
Can't you just close the disparity by having your wizard casting fly on your fighter? How is fighter is good at killing things while casters are good at others seem bad to you? This is a team game. Do teamwork it is funnier that way.

What if the wizard was wanting to help the team by casting a wall or slow or some other spell? The wizard isn't the personal attendant of the fighter.

And even more, this isn't just a combat issue. Sure the wizard castes haste and fly to have the fighter win fights. But then it's also the wizard shortcutting fights because it can teleport past them or be invisible or to get allies, etc. I've seen many a fighters feel like they were unneeded in the party because the caster's had many solutions to problems that made them better than him, and combat he was better, but not enough to feel like he was NEEDED for them to win. The fighter felt like a drain since he was ALWAYS needing other to provide him with tools to do his job.


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Priyd wrote:


does the caster have fun holding back when he could clearly do more just to "let" someone else act?

Yes.

Quote:


or does he find it boring and a waste of his powers?

No.

Quote:


does the martial have fun KNOWING that he was "allowed" to have an action only on the good graces of the caster, who could full well have ended an encounter themselves already, effectively if not literally?

Yes.

Quote:


or does he feel growing resentment, that simply by virtue of selecting a class he enjoyed that his role boils down to "carry the caster's loot"?

No.

If the answers for your players are different, maybe you as a group are not cut out for a collaborative game.

Dark Archive

Well ı guess force those fighters to optimize isnt a very good suggestion.It is just wierd how a fighter isnt needed.How the wizard is supposed to do damage better than a fighter?What would they do, cast disintegrate?Empowered intensified fireball?Like seriously what?

EDİT:I guess they have battering blast but that spell needs some serious investment in terms of caster levels.


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The answer to "It's a team game!" is always Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit.


Lausth wrote:

Well ı guess force those fighters to optimize isnt a very good suggestion.It is just wierd how a fighter isnt needed.How the wizard is supposed to do damage better than a fighter?What would they do, cast disintegrate?Empowered intensified fireball?Like seriously what?

EDİT:I guess they have battering blast but that spell needs some serious investment in terms of caster levels.

Intensified Empowered Maximized Delayed Blast Fireball with Quickened Empowered Intensified Delayed Blast Fireball will result in approximately 150+0.5(25D6+25)+1.5(25D6+25)+10, applicable to Acid, Cold, or Electricity as well. On average, the above equation equals approximately 300 damage on a Save DC of 32 for 150 damage if both saves are made. This does take 2 9th level slots and some Metamagic Rod "cheese," but the damage they can do without it is maybe 1/3rd less than what we have now.

For Battering Blast, proper investment with an Arcanist will kill a Tarrasque in a single round out of raw damage that is almost impossible to negate, and that can be done over 10+ times per day.

Well, unless you have high Touch AC, but most enemies that aren't humanoids or humanoid outsiders will have garbage Touch AC.

Dark Archive

Athaleon wrote:
The answer to "It's a team game!" is always Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit.

I dont know how to summon that many angels in a round man.


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Lausth wrote:

Well ı guess force those fighters to optimize isnt a very good suggestion.It is just wierd how a fighter isnt needed.How the wizard is supposed to do damage better than a fighter?What would they do, cast disintegrate?Empowered intensified fireball?Like seriously what?

EDİT:I guess they have battering blast but that spell needs some serious investment in terms of caster levels.

A wizard doesn't need to "do damage better than a fighter" They just need to win fights. A flesh to stone, a color spray followed by a coup de grace, summons, all of these are ways for a wizard to win fights after he's decided the fights.

And there are MANY casters (Magus, cleric, warpriest, inquisitor, etc.) that do damage REALLY good, good enough that the slightly more a fighter MAY do isn't needed. And Many ways to get an animal companion or other pet that does the job too (druid, hunter, summoner, animal domain, sylvan bloodline, feats). When all enemies are blind and allies are hasted it's really easy to finish them up.

take a martial party of monk, rogue, and fighter and you'll notice the lack of spells and the solutions they provide to problems.
take a caster party of wizard, cleric, druid, and you can easily never feel a lack.


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Lausth wrote:
Cant you just close the disparty by having your wizard casting fly on your fighter?How is fighter is good at killing things while casters are good at others seem bad to you?This is a team game.Do teamwork it is funnier that way.

Teamwork is more fun when it's actually teamwork. Not one person being obligated to buoy the other. If everyone is capable of functioning on their own, then comes together such that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, that's when you have actual teamwork.

Dark Archive

Darksoll ı read about that guide aswell.


Lausth wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
The answer to "It's a team game!" is always Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit.
I dont know how to summon that many angels in a round man.

You're going on about how the Fighter is still needed to deal HP damage to actually put down the baddies. Summoning is one way for the caster to do it, other than blasting, incapacitating->CDG, incapacitating them such that HP damage is no longer required, enchanting one into attacking the others, or bypassing the fight entirely.

Wizards and Sorcerers aren't normally good at using weapons to chip away hit points but there are lots of casters who can: The full Divine casters, the 6/9 casters, and the Sorc/Wiz-based gishes like Eldritch Knight and Dragon Disciple (who can now do it with no loss in caster levels). We always hear about how you shouldn't min-max and grub for every +1 to hit and damage. Very well, and I agree: An unbuffed Cleric can't pull the same DPR as a Fighter but his to-hit and damage are good enough to get by—and meanwhile he has a huge list of things the Fighter can't do (or can only do with difficulty and by spending a lot of money).


Avoron wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Stamina tricks don't really DO a hell of a lot most of the time.

Well, except for that one combat trick that allows level 8 or 9 fighters to duplicate an excellent wizard capstone.

Any guesses?

Heh, fair point. Although with the number of the combat feats they printed stamina tricks for it was statistically likely at least one or two good ones would be in there SOMEWHERE.

I just wish most of them didn't seem to be things like "spend 4 stamina to have +1 to hit/spend 2 stamina to ignore how overly restrictive we made Weapon Focus and everything related to it for one turn."

Dark Archive

I thought about making series of points....but it seems like you guys get me quite wrong.(BTW stop calling a 9th level metamagic fest spell a chese)There are many ways a player can do damage in PF.Whether it is a melee cleric, inqusitor,metamagic fest crit fishing magus(spell slinger /eldritch archer magus does more damage) they are all damage sources just like fighter.They all have advanteges and disadvanteges.You know what they have in common.They all can do enough damage in a single round to kill the bbeg.Which is why i said just teamwork.There is a limit to what even a wizard can do in a single round.And at high level play combats are quite short.(ussually one round it may get longer.Depends on what your dm want to do in that combat)I never said you cant do more damage or cant shutdown a bbeg better than your fighter.Your dm can shut down anybody.There are times when fighters shine and there are times when wizards shine.I mean sure you can shut down x many encounters with your spellcaster.That however doesnt mean a fighter(or any other martial) isnt needed.You have 4-5 people on your team.They cant cover everything all the time come on.


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nighttree wrote:
A high level caster is supposed to be more powerful than a melee character.

Except in a level-based game, a high-level character is supposed to be more powerful than a low-level character. That's what "character level" means, and it's one of the things that makes this particular cooperative game fun to play.

If one person gets to play Iron Man, and the other three have to be Larry and Curley, and Moe -- well, three people aren't going to be having any fun anymore when Ultron shows up. The way to ensure they all have fun is to allow the other three to play, say, Thor and the Hulk and Captain America. Or, conversely, you can make Iron Man trade in his character for Shepp, and make sure Ultron never shows up.

But you can't really mix-and-match and still maintain any pretense of this being a cooperative team game.


Moonclanger wrote:
But not the quick fix Mr Spencer is looking for.

I don't think Mr Spencer is looking for a fix. AlastarOG already pointed this out: behavior strongly suggests he just wants to troll people by repeating a bunch of tired myths and then spewing lame sarcasm at anyone who's a sucker enough to try and patiently rebuke them yet again.

Dark Archive

There are so many points ı can make.....but a fighter(or any other damage source character) isnt needed?No.Just no.


Lausth wrote:
There are so many points ı can make.....but a fighter(or any other damage source character) isnt needed?No.Just no.

Damage may be needed, but damage can be the Cleric or the Druid's pet (or the shape shifted Druid herself) or any of a bunch of half caster classes. Even wizard's summons can do the job in a pinch, especially if you've got a full party of caster types. A blaster caster with a summoner and battlefield control type can cover what's needed.

Dark Archive

This is pathfinder.Any class can do most of the x things.BTW can some on give me melee cleric's damage?(I am not saying a clerics needs to be melee cleric to do damage)Comparing druids pet to a fighter is meh.Not as good as fighter.You mean the buffs of druid and items of druid's companion right?A blaster caster has a limit.Depending on the campaign can be very easy to shutdown or kill.


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Lausth wrote:
There are so many points ı can make.....but a fighter(or any other damage source character) isnt needed?No.Just no.

I've pointed this out a couple times, but the role the fighter fills in a party is having decent strength and AC and doing damage with multi-attacks.

The basic assumption of how the game thinks the Druid is supposed to be played is a caster who is accompanied at all times by a creature with decent strength, AC, and damaging multi-attacks, shapeshifts into a creature with decent strength, AC, and damaging multi-attacks, and is particularly adept at conjuring creatures with decent strength, AC, and damaging multi-attacks. The Druid needs to go out of his way to avoid his spells and class features stepping all over the fighter's niche. Similarly, the summoner is a mage that's walking around with a diet Fighter in his pocket as a class feature and can summon monsters that are also diet Fighters without even using spells per day.

It's not good for giving classes particular niches if you then turn around and hand the things you have nonmagical classes for to magic users and justify this by "but the magic-user MIGHT not infringe on another class's niche because he wants to use his spells on something else." In an all-mage party, a battle cleric and bruiser druid are probably going to be pretty good damage sources if they know how to use their classes effectively, with the side perk that they also have very powerful resources for tasks besides dealing damage.

Dark Archive

I think pazio is giving those things because people should be able to build characters however they want while consulting their dm and other friends.As a dm it always annoys me when ı see some of my players feels like being forced play a rogue because of trapfinding.Then ı always show them other things they can use againts traps.Similarly ı dont want my players to be forced into playing a fighter for this x feat or ability.I think pazio is doing that "giving specific classes niches to other classes" for that reason.

That being said with all the available content out there.Fighters hardly need anymore powerups.I have a fighter that does +32 1d10+40 with high crit range aoo triggers and 9 maybe 10 possiable attacks in a turn and ı can fly when ever ı want to.Mutation warior is a cool archtype and that is at level 12.That damage isnt even close to the highest a fighter can do.


Avoron wrote:
Merm7th wrote:
They can spend a point to add 20+lvl to any physical roll and succeed at the seemingly impossible.
Wow, a +20 bonus to Acrobatics! So fighters will finally be able to master the world-shaking power of jumping eight or nine feet in the air!

At 5th lvl that would be an average of 12 feet using one point and jumping from ground lvl. At 10th it would average 15 feet. That would allow the fighter to hit the 20' square which is enough within most dungeons. Outside they launch themselves off a climbed obstacle.


Merm7th wrote:
Avoron wrote:
Merm7th wrote:
They can spend a point to add 20+lvl to any physical roll and succeed at the seemingly impossible.
Wow, a +20 bonus to Acrobatics! So fighters will finally be able to master the world-shaking power of jumping eight or nine feet in the air!
At 5th lvl that would be an average of 12 feet using one point and jumping from ground lvl. At 10th it would average 15 feet. That would allow the fighter to hit the 20' square which is enough within most dungeons. Outside they launch themselves off a climbed obstacle.

You're doing the opposite of helping your own point here.


Ssalarn wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:

Casters do not generally have better initiative than fighters nor anywhere near the options available to boost initiative.

Uhm, I would disagree. Martials need feats to do all their stuff, while there's no feat a caster needs, so I see Improved Initiative on casters way more often. Plus, wizards and sorcerers in particular rarely have must-have stats outside of their casting stat, so Dex is usually a strong stat for them. Then you look at all the spells that can boost initiative- alter self, anticipate peril, cat's grace, elemental body, heightened awareness, battlemind link, beast shape, embrace destiny, eaglesoul, fey form, storm sight, vermin shape, magical beast shape, hunter's blessing, form of the alien dragon, etc., not to mention class features like the Divination arcane school's Forewarned ability, the Tactics subdomain's Seize the Initiative, the inquisitor's Cunning Initiative, Grant the Initiative from the Tactics Inquisition, the initiative bonus from the Dreamspun Bloodline.... I mean, I could go on for a really long time, but long story short, casters have so many ways to pump their initiative it's not even funny, and it pretty much always requires significantly less resource than a martial needs to spend for similar results, assuming they even can get remotely close to the same initiative numbers a caster can reach (very unlikely without some archetype stacking, multiclassing, and a significant investment of resources that have to be redirected from more impactful functions).

You'd be wrong. (Generic fighter)

Archer/dex build
Dex +5-10 depending on level
Improved Initiative +4
Trained initiative + dueling gloves +6
Sprightly Armor +5

Niche:
Eldritch Guardian familiar +4
If Dexbuild: Dueling enchantment +4
If traits: Reactionary +2


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Merm7th wrote:
Avoron wrote:
Merm7th wrote:
They can spend a point to add 20+lvl to any physical roll and succeed at the seemingly impossible.
Wow, a +20 bonus to Acrobatics! So fighters will finally be able to master the world-shaking power of jumping eight or nine feet in the air!
At 5th lvl that would be an average of 12 feet using one point and jumping from ground lvl. At 10th it would average 15 feet. That would allow the fighter to hit the 20' square which is enough within most dungeons. Outside they launch themselves off a climbed obstacle.

This reminds me of a monk (in 3.5 though) I played that moved at 250ish Km/h and had Jump of 60ish and tumble of 30ish (but in 3.5 you didn't need more than 15 in tumble unlike PF where you need as much as you can). While running my jumps became 100ish. All of this at 8-9th level, what did all of this mean? nothing, fly was still better, feather fall was infinitely better, and actually due rules everytime I jumped I fell prone (you can ignore the first 10' with tumble 15, but the rest means d6, thanks to monk I got an extra of 20', but if I jumped more than 40' which I did, meant I was falling prone) rules that PF maintain. But I was pretty good at withdrawing and fleeing that's for sure.

All I wanted was a char that didn't need magic and spells items to do awesome stuff but even what I did was above human, was still worse than low level spells or cheap wands.

As for something mentioned above:
"It's a teamwork game!"
Says the quarterback to the waterboy. Except in this situation the waterboy doesn't become the hero at the end of the movie and is still the waterboy

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Ryan Freire wrote:


You'd be wrong. (Generic fighter)

Archer/dex build
Dex +5-10 depending on level
Improved Initiative +4
Trained initiative + dueling gloves +6
Sprightly Armor +5

Niche:
Eldritch Guardian familiar +4
If Dexbuild: Dueling enchantment +4
If traits: Reactionary +2

>.>

<.<

Sooo... Which part was I wrong about? The part where dumping a ton of resource on your minimum 17th level fighter barely allowed you to get to the same numbers as a caster using numbers for 8th level? Most of your initiative boosters don't even kick in until at least 7th level and you have to sack part of your Armor Training on a Dex-heavy build so it's costing you AC. An apples to apples comparison shows that at the same level the fighter can actually pull those numbers, the (non-archetyped, comparatively naked) wizard's initiative is well over +30. If the wizard picks up his own dueling weapon (absolutely no reason he couldn't or shouldn't), and spends half the amount of wealth the fighter spent on his armor and other items on some initiative boosting gear, he'll surpass 40, and he won't have lost any combat effectiveness or problem solving functionality. So better numbers, better scaling, more use across the life of play, and a smaller percentage of total class resources for the caster. The fighter has to burn through permanent resource in the form of feats and class features he could be using to improve his combat abilities (2 feat for the Eldritch Guardian archetype, 2 for Improved Initiative and Sprightly Armor, 1 instance of Armor Training upgrades) to still have a worse initiative at every level than the wizard.


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This thread is starting to drown in platitudes.

On the topic of making the ruleset just RUN BETTER, I adopted one guideline. "NPCs never stay in air for more than 1 round". This is not even about "because fighters can't fly" issue, this is how much it sucks to play flying units on a flat battle map, how tedious the flying rules are at times, how uninteractive up-high-hovering enemies are, etc.

You know how in MMOs flying enemies just come and hover in front of your face and stay there when they attack you? That is somewhat optimal to just running your combat scenario in a pleasant fashion. Only time when I had the dragon actually just stay in the air for longer times was when everyone had just played Dragon's Dogma and I improvised some quick "Shadow of the Colossus" rules which brought it down to the ground pretty fast. Oh, or doing one of those MMO-style breath attack runs? That is pretty classic too even if easy to avoid.

Sometimes I feel sympathy for the wizard too. Maybe the wizard player DOESN'T want to memorize Fly. Maybe he has been memorizing fly on his arcane characters for 10 years in a row and it is time to stop.

I tend to think that at this point, Pathfinder is to DnD what modern format is to MTG. PFS even has a ban list, like modern.

Just some general feelings I guess.


Kageshira wrote:


"It's a teamwork game!"
Says the quarterback to the waterboy. Except in this situation the waterboy doesn't become the hero at the end of the movie and is still the waterboy

And my point would be, enjoying a collaborative game and getting to be the hero are different things. If you don't like games where you don't get to be the hero, fine, don't play them, but don't call them broken just because they are delivering a different sort of reward. (And yes, I am saying, from experience, that playing a support character who does not get to be the hero can be entirely satisfying for people.)


BS your 8th level wizard has a +28-32 constant initiative count


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Kageshira wrote:


"It's a teamwork game!"
Says the quarterback to the waterboy. Except in this situation the waterboy doesn't become the hero at the end of the movie and is still the waterboy
And my point would be, enjoying a collaborative game and getting to be the hero are different things. If you don't like games where you don't get to be the hero, fine, don't play them, but don't call them broken just because they are delivering a different sort of reward. (And yes, I am saying, from experience, that playing a support character who does not get to be the hero can be entirely satisfying for people.)

I feel the point is that there are tons of useful people on the team even if they aren't "the hero" like the linemen and receivers and stuff are all useful to the team, even if not the star. The waterboy isn't really needed to the team to function. So the big boys are working as a team. And the tag-along gets to watch them be a team and doesn't help the team.


Late to this thread (and kind of glad to be) and just had to add my opinion -

The true problem with pure casters in the number of Save or S*ck spells and the ridiculous ways you can apply bonuses to your save DC and penalties to the targets saves.

Example: played a level 7-9 PFS game and we had stacked up a total of -8 to the creatures die roll for rolling saves & the pure caster had at least another +4 to his save DC for feats. (We checked and everything stacked!)

I think Starfinder has kind of found a happy middle ground for this in making these types of spells just do massive damage.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
BS your 8th level wizard has a +28-32 constant initiative count

he said at the comparable level of the lv17 fighter that's needed to reach all the numbers you listed.

elf 2, dex 2, trait 2, improved init 4, scorpion 4, heightened awareness 4, 500gp ioun stone 1 = +19. Diviner +8 puts us to 27.
So here's the lv17 basically naked wizard with +27.

+23 is what this reaches at lv8.

If you add in expected gear for the lv17 wizard we'd have +6 belt and +4 inherent. That's +5 init. Grab the dueling weapons that's +5 so a 37. Just a little more and we'd reach the 40 he mentioned.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Chess Pwn wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
BS your 8th level wizard has a +28-32 constant initiative count

he said at the comparable level of the lv17 fighter that's needed to reach all the numbers you listed.

elf 2, dex 2, trait 2, improved init 4, scorpion 4, heightened awareness 4, 500gp ioun stone 1 = +19. Diviner +8 puts us to 27.
So here's the lv17 basically naked wizard with +27.

+23 is what this reaches at lv8.

If you add in expected gear for the lv17 wizard we'd have +6 belt and +4 inherent. That's +5 init. Grab the dueling weapons that's +5 so a 37. Just a little more and we'd reach the 40 he mentioned.

A wand of anticipate peril gets you to +42. Cheap, renewable, and lasts long enough you can just hit yourself with a fresh charge whenever the old one runs out. Have the elf drop keen senses and weapon familiarity for Fleet-Footed and you're up to a +25 walking around initiative by 8th level, +30 with anticipate peril (and that also raises that level 17 number up to 44) and probably still have a better Perception score than the fighter thanks to having more skill points and divination buffing spells. Throw in a +1 dueling dagger (very affordable for the wizard at 8th level) and you're at +34 at level 8.

Your typed bonuses are:
dueling= enhancement
anticipate peril= insight
Reactionary= trait
Fleet-Footed= racial
cracked dusty rose ioun stone= competence

Everything else looks to be untyped, so it all stacks up and uses resources the wizard will want to invest in anyways, like Craft Wondrous Item and Craft Magic Arms and Armor, since those resources will be useful for a variety of other purposes.

And all of that, of course, is largely focused on the wizard, specifically. We didn't really look much at classes like the inquisitor, cleric, or bard, who can add sacred bonuses to the mix as well as having their own initiative boosting class features, or the magus, who can also get the ability to qualify for Sprightly Armor in addition to all of the magical initiative boosters, or the arcanist who can splice in bonuses from multiple other classes to surpass even the diviner wizard. The only initiative boosting benefit that's truly unique to the Fighter is Trained Initiative, which caps out at +6 at 17th level with a magic item. Most spellcasters can meet or beat that easily with class features- diviner wizard has +6 automatically by 12th level, an inquisitor's cunning initiative should be at +6 by about 10th level, dreamspun sorcerer can pull a +6 from familiar + bloodline by 7th level, rangers pull a +6 to initiative in their favored terrain by 13th level and can use terrain bond at the same level to treat any terrain as their favored for essentially an entire adventuring day, etc.

And of course, the Fighter is still losing weapon groups, feats, and instances of armor training. Meanwhile the casters are largely able to supply their bonuses either through highly versatile crafting feats that they'd want to take anyways, or from benefits baked automatically into their chassis. Plus if the caster casts first it's generally a net positive, while a fighter who acts first is often abandoning the advantage since he probably doesn't have any idea what action to ready nor any enemies within reach to full attack.


Spells are of middling reliability for initiative boosts in actual play, they look cute on paper and fall off when you need them in play.

Throwing generic items out there is a wash, your generic items are just as easily used by any class, whereas your primary caster isnt likely carrying around a dueling weapon the way a martial might.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Ryan Freire wrote:
Spells are of middling reliability for initiative boosts in actual play, they look cute on paper and fall off when you need them in play.

Opinion presented as fact. The only two spells I used for the above post are both 1st level, have durations of 10 min / level and 1 min /level with additional benefits for exploration. There's no reason you shouldn't be benefiting from at least heightened awareness while adventuring.

Quote:


Throwing generic items out there is a wash, your generic items are just as easily used by any class

Except it's far easier for the caster to obtain said items and they can typically afford them long before the non-caster can through crafting. You can get limited crafting on a fighter through Master Craftsman, but that limits you to items you can craft from a single skill, imposes an additional skill tax the fighter can't really afford, and involves spending another feat on "not fighting" as a fighter. You'll continue to diminish any strengths you have trying to play catch-up, while each resource the caster spends is launching them farther ahead.

Quote:
whereas your primary caster isnt likely carrying around a dueling weapon the way a martial might.

"You can't factor in generic items!" "My fighter is more likely to have a generic item than your wizard because I said so!"

...

There's no reason a wizard wouldn't be more likely than a fighter to have a dueling weapon. He can make it cheaper himself, wizard has more incentive to carry around a finessable weapon like a dagger regardless of build (fighters with greatswords, earthbreakers, dwarven waraxes, etc. aren't going to be using dueling), and the benefits of the dueling enchantment are actually very nice on the wizard, who doesn't have any must-have items.

Strip out all of the other variables and focus solely on what's unique to each class-

At 8th level the wizard gets a +4 from his familiar (fighter can only match this by sacking fighter benefits for an archetype), and +4 from Forewarned for a total of +8. Fighter has +4 from Sprightly armor and +1 from Trained Initiative, and that's assuming he has +4 armor and Quick Draw so we're already nerfing the wizard by not giving him the same expectations of available equipment as the fighter. So even when you give the Fighter a 16k gp head start, he's still falling behind. Start spending that 16k on items for the wizard (like spending 8,801 on a +1 dueling dagger and 500 on an ioun stone), and the wizard rapidly starts pulling even farther ahead.

Fighter's unique initiative bonus: +5
Sunk costs-
1) 1 feat Advanced Weapon Training
2) 1 feat on Quick Draw
3) 1 feat Sprightly Armor
4) 1/2 WBL on +4 armor
Number of books required to achieve this total: 3 (CRB, AMH, WMH)

Wizard's unique initiative bonus: +8
Sunk costs-
1) Chose Divination school specialization for arcane school (also gained 1 extra spell per level and a variety of other abilities)
2) Selected familiar as arcane bond (which also offers improved action economy, the Alertness feat, the ability to communicate with animals of the familiar's kind, and other benefits)
Number of books required to reach this total: 2 (CRB, B4)

Not only does the wizard come out ahead on raw initiative, each time he boosted his initiative he got a stack of other abilities to go with it. The fighter had to take Quick Draw just to make sure he could consistently get the benefits of Trained Initiative. In any environment where you're required to have access to the books, the fighter also needs two splatbooks on hand while the wizard can pull his options from core books most GMs will already have on hand, so the fighter doesn't just have more sunk resource in-game, he's also costing more money out of game as well, for weaker results. The fighter's already sunk almost half his wealth into his armor just to get a lower bonus than the wizard and still needs to spend some feats on actually fighting (especially if you're trying to use the example of an archer fighter; with 3 feats already burned, covering Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Deadly Aim, Rapid Shot, Manyshot, and Clustered Shots is going to eat pretty much every remaining feat), so when you start adding in other feats, traits, spells, items, and other options to further pump those scores the fighter is going to run out of resource long before the wizard does.


He doesn't actually have to take quick draw, if he's ABLE to draw it he gets the bonus.

Also you should give a hard look at eldritch guardian, the archetype costs aren't onerous in the slightest two feats and bravery turns into a will save bonus, saving a feat.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Ryan Freire wrote:

He doesn't actually have to take quick draw, if he's ABLE to draw it he gets the bonus.

Also you should give a hard look at eldritch guardian, the archetype costs aren't onerous in the slightest two feats and bravery turns into a will save bonus, saving a feat, take a mauler familiar and

If you're going to assume the fighter is more likely to have Trained Initiative available than the wizard is to have a spell up, he needs Quick Draw. And those two feats you're giving up for Eldritch Guardian are your first and 2nd level feats. So at 8th level with 2 feats spent on AWT and AAT options and 2 feats lost to your archetype, you have all of four feats to actually spend on archery, and part of your initiative bonus won't come up in every fight without Quick Draw. So by 8th level your "archer" finally has Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Deadly Aim and Rapid Shot, which pretty much every other archer had about 3 or more levels sooner, and that's assuming you're willing to take the hit on Initiative Training. Grab Quick Draw to make sure you can leverage the feats you've taken to their fullest and you need to drop either Rapid Shot or Deadly Aim. You've sacrificed pretty much every advantage you had as a fighter to try and play catch-up with the wizard, who will leave you behind once again the moment he applies any buffs, system mastery, or even just starts spending his own class resources, and since you've burned up so many of your feats you're not even going to be able to compete with the wizard in raw single-target damage unless you're in some kind of 48 hour endurance slog. Even then, whether or not you're going to be able to catch up to the wizard's damage output is questionable. The wizard will still have better initiative (he actually has a feat to spend on Improved Initiative and still hasn't used nearly as much of his resource as the fighter) and now he's even going to be competing with the fighter at the one thing the fighter had going for him before, raw damage output.

You've also blocked yourself out of the dueling enchantment by choosing to play an archer, which didn't come up earlier but should have. Since the wizard can just carry whatever weapon gives him the best benefits and the fighter becomes increasingly dependent on his chosen combat style, that's yet another reason why the wizard is more likely to have a dueling weapon than a fighter.

It's not that Eldritch Guardian is a bad archetype (I'd take it all day long on a greatsword fighter), it's just that initiative is one of the many games that's stacked against the fighter and it's not worth trying to play catch up. You're better off focusing on building your combat style and maybe splashing in some AWT/AAT or Bravery feat options here and there to round your poor saves and broaden your versatility while accepting that other people are usually going to go first and there's going to be big swaths of the game you're just not good at compared to your peers.

That's part of the fundamental problem with band-aid fixes- they have to be paid for, and the fighter doesn't have such a wealth of options that he can afford to buy his way up into the functionality of the casting classes. His exchange rate for each effect is just worse. If he wants to craft, he needs a feat just to qualify for the option to spend more feats on actual crafting feats, then he has to pump a skill with skill points he doesn't really have to try and use DC escalation to replace the spells he can't use in the crafting process. Fighter wants a familiar, he needs to give up his level 1 and 2 bonus feats, compared to the wizard who got a familiar with the full spread of functionality as part of his class at 1st level (along with his arcane school, Scribe Scroll, cantrips, and spells). The fighter sacrificed a disproportionate amount of his resource to not-quite-catch-up to the wizard, which is what usually happens whenever a fighter tries to leave his niche. With his sole strength being combat damage, there's just so little incentive to devote resources to anything else, other than to splash in some defensive buffs so he can actually be a bigger threat to the enemy than he is a liability to the party. The more you chase after options to patch up the fighter, the more you have to wonder why you didn't just play a ranger, paladin, barbarian, slayer, etc. instead. At least those classes have magical abilities and/or other options like 6+Int skill points on a big class skill list baked in to help them play on the field with the full casters.

I like the idea of the fighter. I think there's a lot of games it can fit into very well with minimum issue. But when you're talking about class potential, it's way down towards the bottom, in many ways weaker than even the core monk and rogue, at least as far as its ability to tackle well-rounded adventures goes, and even when you leverage the full spread of splatbooks and band-aids that are out there for it, it still doesn't have the ability to reach the potential of a cleric, wizard, or druid. That's not just a fighter issue, really, because there are so many options in Pathfinder that the floor and ceiling of character performance are ridiculously far apart, and you just can't get near that ceiling without powerful magic. The less magic you have, the more you have to fake it, and faking it is pretty much never as good as the real thing.


Ryan Freire wrote:

He doesn't actually have to take quick draw, if he's ABLE to draw it he gets the bonus.

Also you should give a hard look at eldritch guardian, the archetype costs aren't onerous in the slightest two feats and bravery turns into a will save bonus, saving a feat.

That's wrong. The archetype just adds mind-affecting to the things that Bravery works against but changes it from Bravery to do it. That means you can never take Armed Bravery and just turn it into a blanket bonus to Will saves. Yes, mind-affecting are some of the worst Will saves to make. They're not the only ones. Of special note here is Glitterdust, Unholy Blight (and its counterparts), and Blasphemy (and its counterparts). Glitterdust is because it's a Wizard staple. Unholy Blight and Blasphemy are because every @#$%ing high level outsider seems to have them. Having recently played someone with a poor Will save and a bonus against mind-affecting I can tell you the situation where it doesn't apply comes up a lot more than you'd think.

Oh, also Slow, Plane Shift, the second part of Baleful Polymorph, most illusions, and all the Cure/Inflict (including Heal and Harm).

There's also a feat (a combat feat no less) to give you exactly the same benefit.


Ssalarn wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:

He doesn't actually have to take quick draw, if he's ABLE to draw it he gets the bonus.

Also you should give a hard look at eldritch guardian, the archetype costs aren't onerous in the slightest two feats and bravery turns into a will save bonus, saving a feat, take a mauler familiar and

If you're going to assume the fighter is more likely to have Trained Initiative available than the wizard is to have a spell up, he needs Quick Draw.

Nothing about trained initiative requires quick draw, there is a benefit if he has quick draw, but it is not a requirement. All he needs is the hand free to draw the weapon. If he has quick draw he gets to draw it as part of the initiative roll. You have misread or misunderstood the ability.

Its things like this along with a failure to grasp why generic initiative boosting magic items are a wash when comparing two classes ability to increase initiative and the automatic assumption that a spell will be both chosen over other options and up and active for more initiative rolls than not, especially as it dismisses the spell the first roll you use it on kind of shows how you'll always face schrodingers wizard, which for some reason has a weapon with the dueling enchantment, something that makes sense for a fighter, but doesn't for a wizard except to exist in an argument on a forum.

Edit: and yknow what F@## it, here's another controversial fact, Crafting feats aren't reliably accessed. You don't get them in PFS, there are plenty of GM's who ban them outright and there are even more who don't run campaigns with enough downtime to make efficient use of them in the crafting of anything much beyond potions and scrolls.

Silver Crusade

Ryan Freire wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:

He doesn't actually have to take quick draw, if he's ABLE to draw it he gets the bonus.

Also you should give a hard look at eldritch guardian, the archetype costs aren't onerous in the slightest two feats and bravery turns into a will save bonus, saving a feat, take a mauler familiar and

If you're going to assume the fighter is more likely to have Trained Initiative available than the wizard is to have a spell up, he needs Quick Draw.

Nothing about trained initiative requires quick draw, there is a benefit if he has quick draw, but it is not a requirement. All he needs is the hand free to draw the weapon. If he has quick draw he gets to draw it as part of the initiative roll. You have misread or misunderstood the ability.

Its things like this along with a failure to grasp why generic initiative boosting magic items are a wash when comparing two classes ability to increase initiative and the automatic assumption that a spell will be both chosen over other options and up and active for more initiative rolls than not, especially as it dismisses the spell the first roll you use it on kind of shows how you'll always face schrodingers wizard, which for some reason has a weapon with the dueling enchantment, something that makes sense for a fighter, but doesn't for a wizard except to exist in an argument on a forum.

Edit: and yknow what F*#& it, here's another controversial fact, Crafting feats aren't reliably accessed. You don't get them in PFS, there are plenty of GM's who ban them outright and there are even more who don't run campaigns with enough downtime to make efficient use of them in the crafting of anything much beyond potions and scrolls.

Dude...Heightened Awareness is a FIRST level spell which can easily last HOURS. Cast it at the entrance of the dungeon: you get +2 on Perception and Knowledge while out of combat; dismiss it when rolling Initiative for a +4 on the roll; at the end of the fight cast it again. So it's pretty much sensible to assume persistent +2 on Perception, +2 on Knowledge and +4 on Initiative for wizards of a certain level. This is what 1st level spells are for after a certain point in the game.

Crafting feats are a completely different matter, and in Ultimate Campaign there are guidelines to limit double WBL for everyone:

Ultimate Campaign, p. 173 wrote:

As a guideline, allowing a crafting PC to exceed the Character Wealth by Level guidelines by about 25% is fair , or even up to 50% if the PC has multiple crafting feats.

If you are creating items for other characters in the party, the increased wealth for the other characters should come out of your increased allotment. Not only does this prevent you from skewing the wealth by level for everyone in the party, but it encourages other characters to learn item creation feats.


Use Unchained Action Economy.
Casters largely stay the same, hybrid classes benefit, martials benefit. However, needs fixing with house rules, there are big threads about it in the forum.


I was under the impression that Hybrid classes were wrecked by Unchained Action Economy. Or so i heard. I admit that I haven't looked into it too much beyond some hearsay when it first came out.


Kaouse wrote:
I was under the impression that Hybrid classes were wrecked by Unchained Action Economy. Or so i heard. I admit that I haven't looked into it too much beyond some hearsay when it first came out.

Depends on which hybrid class.

I did not feel like my warpriest was that destroyed by it. 1 act spell casting is still pretty nice, even if it is not a "free action" anymore.

or I guess depends on what people mean with "wrecked" anyway.


Gray Warden wrote:


Dude...Heightened Awareness is a FIRST level spell which can easily last HOURS. Cast it at the entrance of the dungeon: you get +2 on Perception and Knowledge while out of combat; dismiss it when rolling Initiative for a +4 on the roll; at the end of the fight...

Thats my point, the spell gives an initiative boost for ONE encounter. How many are you going to memorize? How many slots you going to burn on it? A cheap wand only lasts 10 minutes. What in gods name makes it a fair comparison to always in effect initiative bonuses that you KNOW will be available when the dm calls for a roll?

Silver Crusade

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Ryan Freire wrote:
Gray Warden wrote:


Dude...Heightened Awareness is a FIRST level spell which can easily last HOURS. Cast it at the entrance of the dungeon: you get +2 on Perception and Knowledge while out of combat; dismiss it when rolling Initiative for a +4 on the roll; at the end of the fight...

Thats my point, the spell gives an initiative boost for ONE encounter. How many are you going to memorize? How many slots you going to burn on it? A cheap wand only lasts 10 minutes. What in gods name makes it a fair comparison to always in effect initiative bonuses that you KNOW will be available when the dm calls for a roll?

Are you kidding me? At 8th level (which I think was the reference level in the example) Wizards have at least 6 (generic, aka non-school specific) 1st level spell slots, plus at least 2 effective slots from Pearls of Power (1k gp each, so less than a +1 weapon in total), for a total of 8+ effective 1st level spell slots. After spending one at the beginning of the day for their daily Mage Armor, what are they going to do with the remaining 7+ slots? Cast Burning Hands?

At CL 8 one cast of Heightened Awareness lasts 1h 20min, or 2h 40min with a Lesser Extend Rod (3k gp which, TOGETHER with the aforementioned PoP, costs about half as much as a +2 weapon, which in my opinion is the bare minimum a Fighter should have by that level), which is more than enough to cover the time between one encounter and the other. Not to mention that each level will add more and more time to the duration of the buff, making it even more reliable.

Since in one day there are usually at most 4 encounters (or 4 worth spending resources on), 4 casts are more than enough to grant and effectively permanent +4 to Initiative (and +2 to Perception and Knowledge checks).

So, to conclude: How many are you going to memorize?. TWO, re-castable, if needed, using two PoP. And with 3+ spell slots to spare, +1 from Arcane School.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Ryan Freire wrote:
Nothing about trained initiative requires quick draw, there is a benefit if he has quick draw, but it is not a requirement. All he needs is the hand free to draw the weapon. If he has quick draw he gets to draw it as part of the initiative roll. You have misread or misunderstood the ability.

Edit

I had a discussion about the Trained Initiative ability with another rules-savvy individual. While I believe the being able to draw the weapon clause is a direct referal to the later benefits to make sure it works right (you don't have the ability to draw the weapon while making an initiative check without Quick Draw), I'll concede the point that the ability could work with a sheathed weapon sans Quick Draw. Given that I factored it in as a given with all the previous math anyways, it changes very little other than the fact that the theoretical fighter has the feats of a 4th level archer instead of a 3rd level archer at 8th level.

Quote:
Its things like this along with a failure to grasp why generic initiative boosting magic items are a wash when comparing two classes

As noted, crafting allows a caster to break their WBL by 25-50%. This is why generic magic items matter more for the wizard- he can afford more of them, as I laid out already, and he has a much greater facility to obtain them for himself rather than having to find one available or pay a spellcaster to provide them.

Quote:
ability to increase initiative and the automatic assumption that a spell will be both chosen over other options and up and active for more initiative rolls than not, especially as it dismisses the spell the first roll you use it on kind of shows how you'll always face schrodingers wizard, which for some reason has a weapon with the dueling enchantment, something that makes sense for a fighter, but doesn't for a wizard except to exist in an argument on a forum.

Here's the issue with your "Schroedinger's wizard" argument- I've been talking about the same wizard this entire time. Every option I've discussed has been perfectly viable at the level I've been discussing it, with all of the options perfectly compatible and available. You're the one pulling numbers from all over the place and pretending that the fighter is going to have feats in his build that he doesn't have room for, as we already covered in previous posts. Wizards get Scribe Scroll for free and qualify for crafting feats, so I don't even need to fill my spell slots up with things like heightened awareness (though I can), I can just supplement with scrolls until I can afford a wand and then let that see me through an entire level or more of play. I've talked about two wizards, level 8 and 17, who don't need to dedicate more than a fraction of their resources for any of the effects I've talked about. You've been talking about a Fighter who's whatever level presents the best numbers, even if he couldn't possibly afford all of those options at the points we're trying to discuss.

As to whether dueling makes sense on a wizard- you're projecting personal preference and treating it as rules. I almost always apply enchantments like dueling, defending, and spell storing to my wizard's weapons. While a fighter needs to chase enhancement bonuses to overcome DR and maintain his accuracy and damage (especially if he's dumping so much resource into non-combat options), the wizard treats the weapon as a handy place to hang useful abilities. An ability that increases the wizard's initiative regardless of whether or not he uses it and increases his CMD if he ever finds himself in a pinch (also making it harder to disarm his wands or staves) is prime material for a wizard weapon. A dagger in one hand and a staff or wand in the other isn't just a good idea, it's iconic to fantasy. Gandalf is one of the original wizards and he went sword and staff everywhere.

Quote:


Edit: and yknow what F%+$ it, here's another controversial fact, Crafting feats aren't reliably accessed. You don't get them in PFS, there are plenty of GM's who ban them outright and there are even more who don't run campaigns with enough downtime to make efficient use of them in the crafting of anything much beyond potions and scrolls.

And your fighter can't use any of the archetypes, AWT options, AAT options, or magic items you've been discussing without buying $100 worth of books for PFS. You're really grasping at straws with the "if you homebrew everything the wizard doesn't get those options!" argument here.

And besides all of that- I literally just showed that the wizard's base class, core line only, build without any crafting feats and all generic items removed still has a better initiative than the fighter with AAT and AWT options along with half his WBL spent. Even if you allow all of your house-rules, deny the wizard his WBL while allowing it for the fighter, and deny that the wizard will be benefiting from his specialty school spells, he still comes out ahead. Your Schroedinger's fighter tied a rock around the wizard's ankles before challenging him to a swimming contest and still lost.

Silver Crusade

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Ssalarn wrote:
Your Schroedinger's fighter tied a rock around the wizard's ankles before challenging him to a swimming contest and still lost

Oh my god I'm crying xD

Thank you sir.


It's like I said: Schroedinger's Fighter always has Schroedinger's Magic Item somewhere in his Schroedinger's Handy Haversack. He looted it from Schroedinger's Dungeon, or else looted enough gold from there to buy it from Schroedinger's Magic Item Emporium.

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