Balancing Casters vs Fighters


Advice

251 to 300 of 663 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | next > last >>

You dishonor your teacher, thread.


Athaleon wrote:
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.

Schroedinger's Magic Item Emporium is pretty much the default rule of the game, if you get to a big enough city. And yes, you can choose to wander the world from major city to major city for the purposes of shopping, and you can commission an item. Meanwhile, as an adventurer, you get money, so that part is kosher.

But I agree, comparing a Fighter that exists in a quantum state of simultaneously owning every magic item they could possibly own is not fair play.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Omnius wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
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.

Schroedinger's Magic Item Emporium is pretty much the default rule of the game, if you get to a big enough city. And yes, you can choose to wander the world from major city to major city for the purposes of shopping, and you can commission an item. Meanwhile, as an adventurer, you get money, so that part is kosher.

But I agree, comparing a Fighter that exists in a quantum state of simultaneously owning every magic item they could possibly own is not fair play.

and yet he still manages to fall behind, thus illustrating the core principal being argued over in a thread that has nothing to do with arguing over whether it does or does not exist.

the premise is clear - under the acceptance of the principal, how does one attempt to rectify it? no, it isn't simple. no, it isn't easy. but its a conversation that we can't even have properly if we get bogged down in arguing whether the principal exists in the first place.

so please, future posters, even if you don't necessarily agree with the principal at the root of the discussion, bring forth your ideas as if you did agree.

otherwise we're just chasing our own tails here, really.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Omnius wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
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.

Schroedinger's Magic Item Emporium is pretty much the default rule of the game, if you get to a big enough city. And yes, you can choose to wander the world from major city to major city for the purposes of shopping, and you can commission an item. Meanwhile, as an adventurer, you get money, so that part is kosher.

But I agree, comparing a Fighter that exists in a quantum state of simultaneously owning every magic item they could possibly own is not fair play.

Fighter suffers pretty hard under the yoke of WBL. They have mandatory costs to pay (primary weapon, secondary weapon, armor, possibly shield, etc.), while casters tend to have much more flexibility in how their wealth is distributed, as well as more ways to spend that wealth. There are also still limitations on the likelihood of any given location having certain items, and costs associated with buying/commissioning an item, which a caster can more easily get around or reduce.

The biggest thing though is looking at those real examples. The 8th level fighter vs. 8th level wizard, for example. Like we saw, the Fighter can't actually afford Improved Initiative, and he has mandatory costs, like armor and weapons, that are going to eat up a significant portion of his cash on hand. Meanwhile, the wizard doesn't actually need/want armor, so that's already nearly a 50% bump in available cash for magic items. Combine that with an additional 25% - 50% bump for crafting feats and the reality is that the fighter at that level is barely going to be able to afford any items outside of his mandatory scaling needs and the wizard can have veritable stacks of baubles, boots, trinkets, gloves, scrolls, etc. In theory the fighter has all of these feats available and just as much access to magic items as the wizard, but when you start drilling down to actual characters in a real game you see that the fighter is hemmorrhaging feats and cash and having to sacrifice swaths of combat potential for half-power variants of magical abilities. Meanwhile, the caster seems squishy and limited by his number of spells, but then you start funneling that wealth into consumables like scrolls and wands, magic items, etc. and you may start to see that both his ability to contribute over the length of the working day and his ability to leverage the advantages of magic items are all much greater than the fighter's.

There was another one of these threads awhile back where someone tried the "Schroedinger's wizard" defense, and the results were the same- someone was able to immediately build the supposedly fictitious wizard (with lots of class resource to spare), while the fighter couldn't even cover basic functionality like flight without cutting into his weapon and armor budgets, diluting his stats, and losing his only advantages trying to play catch-up. Fighter sounds good in theory when you're talking about how he has "so many feats" and "great proficiencies", but those feats get eaten up fast (as we've seen), and those proficiencies are also taxes that he needs to maintain level after level.

Priyd wrote:


so please, future posters, even if you don't necessarily agree with the principal at the root of the discussion, bring forth your ideas as if you did agree.

otherwise we're just chasing our own tails here, really.

That would go a long ways. If you don't believe there is a disparity, why chime into a thread attempting to fix said disparity?

There are other issues that come into play, like people having different ideas about the nature of the disparity, but if you fundamentally don't believe it exists and you're not open to discussion about how it's impacting other people's games, what are you hoping to accomplish by jumping into a thread like this?


Ssalarn, Priyd, the only thing I was commenting on was the magic item shop. Not the rest of it. I've been hard core on the side that casters are too powerful, martials aren't effective, and there are no easy fixes throughout this and other similar threads; you don't need to sell me on it.

My suggestion on how to fix it is on the first pace of this thread.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Omnius wrote:

Ssalarn, Priyd, the only thing I was commenting on was the magic item shop. Not the rest of it. I've been hard core on the side that casters are too powerful, martials aren't effective, and there are no easy fixes throughout this and other similar threads; you don't need to sell me on it.

My suggestion on how to fix it is on the first pace of this thread.

I wasn't arguing your point, just chiming in in agreement and elaborating a bit on some of what you alluded to, like the difference between "I have access to magicmarts" and "I have a relatively fixed amount of resource I can actually spend at magicmarts".

I actually very much appreciated a lot of your ideas on addressing the issue, especially your call out for Spheres of Might (and not just because I wrote a significant portion of it!). A lot of the work I did in SoM was to tackle the fundamental issues that martials face, both through talents and through offering new classes that have a firmer foundation to draw from. One of the things I really wanted to do when I was writing the Alchemy sphere, for example, was help facilitate martials having better access to those things like acid flasks and healing salves that are fairly iconic to the ideas behind how martials interact with, and thrive in, a magical world. When I wrote the Commander class for SoM, the Logistic Specialties were both a way of directly addressing the martial weakness in narrative capabilities, and a call-back to older editions of the game where non-magical classes could accrue such renown that their reputation in the game world had a mechanical impact and could influence events at a national or continental level; where fighters used to get keeps and vassals and rogues got guilds and information networks, the commander gets contacts that can perform various services covering everything from scouting to extraplanar travel. The blacksmith class I wrote gets to craft as well as / better than a caster and has unique wealth manipulation by virute of his Thunderous Blows and Reforge class features. So on and so forth.

I think fundamentally, issues of martial/caster disparity boil down to 2 points-

1) Magic is almost always martial++
For example, if two characters want to sneak into a fort, one a caster and one a rogue. A caster has access to spells like vanish and invisibility that allow him to enter and stay in Stealth more easily, while also providing him a +20 (!!!) bonus on his Stealth checks. The rogue's largest advantage is generally going to be actually having Stealth as a class skill (for a +3 "edge"). Gaining a climb speed from magic provides you a +8 bonus on climb checks and removes many of the hazards involved in climbing, gaining a swim speed grants you a +8 bonus on swim checks and removes many of the hazards of swimming, etc.
One of the things I've liked about other books is how they handle these by scaling out the benefits of the spells. Instead of hard static bonuses, you get gradual scaling bonuses based on caster level. Not only does this help alleviate the "I can do anything you can do better" nature of spellcasters, but it encourages teamwork. If your baseline invisibility effect is just concealment and a bonus equal to caster level on Stealth checks like in Spheres of Power, you're going to be less prone to just casting the spell on yourself, and more inclined to cast it on the rogue since that class skill bonus + your spell bonus is going to be more appealing. When the bonus is +20 to +40, there's less incentive to use it on someone else because your check is going to be so huge the likelihood of failure is miniscule to nonexistent. Flipping a lot of these "utility" spells so that they offer smaller bonuses and are better used to enhance martial abilities rather than being so potent they can simply replace them goes a long way.

2) Nothing can tell the GM what happens, except magic

Also known as narrative influence, this is the biggest area where martials lose out, and it's everywhere. For example, say my fighter wants a unicorn. I have to tell the GM I want a unicorn, the GM has to decide if he even feels like letting me have a unicorn, and then I probably need to go on some quest or find the mystical unicorn-mart to go obtain my unicorn. Meanwhile, my wizard decides he wants a unicorn, casts planar ally, and gets a unicorn. Another example- my fighter wants a castle. He tells the GM he wants a castle, the GM decides whether or not the fighter gets a castle, then the fighter undertakes whatever quest the GM dictates to go get his castle. Meanwhile my wizard casts create demiplane and permanency and get his own plane of existence, to which he can add castles, moats, or whatever else he feels like. There's this fundamental disconnect where, in many ways, the martial is subject to the whims of the story, but the story is subject to the whims of the caster. When I first started playing D&D the casters literally decided what adventures we were going to have based on where they could take us and what they needed; that wasn't entirely a fault of the system, but the system wasn't blameless either.

This is actually a lot more difficult to solve than the "magic is martial++" issue, and attempts to fix it are often met with some pretty heavy resistance. For example, the commander class from SoM I mentioned earlier. His logistic specialties specifically say things like "You use your information network to find an established portal within X travel distance" and "Your storied military career allows you to call on skilled specialists who can assist you with XYZ tasks". These are going to be much stronger narrative tools than martials (other than maybe the vigilante) normally get, but they also infringe on the GM's world without the excuse of magic, which seems to get a lot of push-back. "You can't just say there's a portal within 5 miles of this city, I wrote it myself and there's no such portal!" Well... Shouldn't there be? Magical world and all that. Besides, a wizard could literally just teleport everyone without having to go through the process of leveraging contacts and traveling to the portal. You could argue that this is tied to a third issue, "Magic always gets a free pass", but I think that it's fundamentally about a mindset that was not part of the original game, where martial characters aren't "allowed" to say something happens in the game but casters are "because magic". If you remove that mindset and introduce broader and more versatile mechanics that give martial characters their own unique way to influence the game world, you'll erase a significant chunk of disparity, and you'll do it in a way that's consistent with the history and tropes of the game.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ssalarn wrote:
Fighter sounds good in theory when you're talking about how he has "so many feats", but those feats get eaten up fast (as we've seen)

THIS SO MUCH. Like let's say you put in the fighter only feats of WS, GWF, GWS, AAT and AWT feats as class features instead of feats You'd realize he doesn't really have more feats than anyone else.

Spoiler:

lv1 weapon focus
lv2 AAT (via fighter's retraining)
lv4 WS
lv6 AWT
lv8 GWF
lv10 AWT
lv12 GWS

This gives us 3 AAT (counting the ones at lv7 and 11) and 3 AWT.
we can spend 2 AAT and 1 AWT to get skills and 1 AWT for reflex saves this gives us basically matching the slayer.

we have +4 to attacks and +6 to damage with our weapon. This is competing with slayer's studied target. We have +1 to attack and +3 damage compared to the slayer. meaning we can open up two feats to just be +1 damage ahead.

And over the slayer we do have heavy armor that's 1 feat opened up.

Now since the slayer can get WF and 3 feats from class so we pull those back up and the fighter is now 1 feat down. (we aren't going to give any edge to slayer for not needing to qualify for these feats)

So fighter is 1 feat down with 1 open AWT and AAT, bravery, moving full speed in heavy armor as all of his class features to compare to a slayer with sneak attack, bonus to skills from studied target and stalk, track and swift track, 1 free slayer talent, 1 free advanced slayer talent.

So like, having lots of feats as your class feature when you're then "required" to spend those feats to buy back class features that others get for free means that now you just don't have class features nor a feat advantage.

Grand Lodge

Every conversation about the fighter comes down to "AWT fixes that". But, being slightly better at skills means having a bad will save for a few more level. Patching holes takes time.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think the fighter vs feats problem is actually a result of approaching feats in what seems to me like a very backwards way.

"The fighter gets a feat every level."

"Clearly we should make lots and lots of big chains of feats so that the fighter is more appealing since he can afford them!"

In practice, I kinda feel like feats are bloated and overcomplicated BECAUSE a class that gets bonus feats instead of class features exists. Which is a problem that doesn't need to exist, really. If more feats, like Two Weapon Fighting, Vital Strike, and most things with an X/Improved X/Greater X progression instead scaled with BAB, it would be good for gameplay. Not only would you greatly reduce the number of feats that don't need to exist and bring the ones that do more in line with spells (Remember the time you needed to re-learn fireball every couple levels to make it stronger? Me neither!) it would make the Fighter more appealing because while less feat-laden classes like the paladin might be able to more effectively master a fighting style, the fighter could master LOTS of fighting styles at once. Which seems better than the current model where Mr. Bonus Feats is using a lot of said bonus feats to pay his taxes while the other guys are resenting the fact that many of these taxes seem to exist entirely because Mr. Bonus Feats has so many bonus feats to begin with.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ssalarn wrote:
For example, say my fighter wants a unicorn. I have to tell the GM I want a unicorn, the GM has to decide if he even feels like letting me have a unicorn, and then I probably need to go on some quest or find the mystical unicorn-mart to go obtain my unicorn. Meanwhile, my wizard decides he wants a unicorn, casts planar ally, and gets a unicorn.

Well said sir!

Now I want a unicorn!


Fergie wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
For example, say my fighter wants a unicorn. I have to tell the GM I want a unicorn, the GM has to decide if he even feels like letting me have a unicorn, and then I probably need to go on some quest or find the mystical unicorn-mart to go obtain my unicorn. Meanwhile, my wizard decides he wants a unicorn, casts planar ally, and gets a unicorn.

Well said sir!

Now I want a unicorn!

Leadership is your friend


The Sideromancer wrote:
Leadership is your friend

Err... I was thinking more of, "I want some unicorn on rye bread with mayo". It is dinner time here after all.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Sideromancer wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
For example, say my fighter wants a unicorn. I have to tell the GM I want a unicorn, the GM has to decide if he even feels like letting me have a unicorn, and then I probably need to go on some quest or find the mystical unicorn-mart to go obtain my unicorn. Meanwhile, my wizard decides he wants a unicorn, casts planar ally, and gets a unicorn.

Well said sir!

Now I want a unicorn!

Leadership is your friend

An excellent example of disparity at work right there! Ignoring for a moment that leadership is available to everyone, not just martials, lets focus on the fact that this is pretty much the martial character's only way to get a unicorn. Then lets read the top of the page you linked-

"With the GM's approval, this cohort can be a similarly aligned monster rather than a humanoid with the appropriate number of class levels."

"With the GM's approval". There's no such line in planar ally or planar binding requiring the cleric or wizard to ask the GM if he can call a unicorn, it simply allows him to do so. There is a fundamental assumption at the heart of modern Pathfinder that if you have magic, you can get what you want by casting the spell. If you don't have magic, you have to ask for what you want from the GM and hope they're feeling inclined to accommodate. Spells like planar ally and planar binding are right there in the CRB, so even a "Core Rulebook only" game is going to feature this disparity.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Sideromancer wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
For example, say my fighter wants a unicorn. I have to tell the GM I want a unicorn, the GM has to decide if he even feels like letting me have a unicorn, and then I probably need to go on some quest or find the mystical unicorn-mart to go obtain my unicorn. Meanwhile, my wizard decides he wants a unicorn, casts planar ally, and gets a unicorn.

Well said sir!

Now I want a unicorn!

Leadership is your friend

You could use Leadership to get a Unicorn mount, OR you could use Leadership to get a caster cohort who can summon you a Unicorn mount. Which option do you think is better? Therein lies the problem.


Vancian casting is such an odd thing that I am struggling to really say that wizards are super free individuals either. If the wizard wants to do x thing, he needs to find the one spell, exactly one spell that lets him do it. Match two items, maybe turn someone older, made a machine malfunction. The wizard does not just get magic. If the wizard truly had unbound magic at his disposal, he could just do whatever he wanted.

This is kinda s~%$e balancing advice, but lowered expectations? Not even to just martial character, but all of them. Maybe sometimes arcane spells are alike to self-fulfilling prophecy, where GMs eventually learn to make challenges with the arcane spell list in mind because they have subconsciously eliminated the outside of the box.

If you look at the core spells, they fall into two categories for me:
1.) Spells you use to clear the dungeon as player
2.) Spells GM uses to make encounters and traps

Bestow curse is a trap. Animate Dead is so the evil necromancer has a reason for skeleton posse. Dominate Person exists to kill players, to me it was written especially so monsters dominate players. Player races are all humanoids, dominate monster happens to be 4 levels high spell, so worth. Core wizards don't actually get much self-expression, which I feel is true agency over "can I fly or not?". Self-expression is something what both wizard and fighter lack to me opinion.

I would balance the disparity by making people play more newer classes with lot of identity to them, so people get tools to self-express the themes of their characters.

Also Ssalarn, while I liked the talents in SoM, some of the classes felt really locked in and inflexible. Commander and Secret of Ways probably got so much flak because it was really specific power, almost comical. Portals to other worlds are a dramatic device in the narrative, and the ability trivialized it. Now, there is argument to be made that maybe these things ought to be trivialized. Or maybe we have ruined the majesty of these basic illusions so much that we no longer hold them in any high value. How casual ought plane travel to be in the minds of the player's immersion?

Just kinda random thoughts built over bit by bit.


Envall wrote:
Animate Dead is so the evil necromancer has a reason for skeleton posse. Dominate Person exists to kill players, to me it was written especially so monsters dominate players.

But those work as strong options for players too. Cast Dominate Person on a Fire Giant, and your level 9 wizard has the obedience of a monster roughly as powerful as a level 9 Fighter for 9 days.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ssalarn wrote:
The blacksmith class I wrote gets to craft as well as / better than a caster and has unique wealth manipulation by virute of his Thunderous Blows and Reforge class features. So on and so forth.

Blacksmith is hilarious in its interactions with Greater Sunder. Accrue bonuses to sunder CMB and damage, then grab an adamantine hammer. Much of the time, you'll ignore hardness and the object's hit points will be less than the extra damage you're getting, and greater sunder deals overflow damage to the enemy, and you're more likely to beat an enemy's CMD than AC on a sunder attempt, so you hurt the enemy more and more reliably by sundering their equipment than actually attacking them normally. Cue full attack where every attack is a sunder and the enemy is now unarmed and naked and more damaged than if you just hit them in the face a bunch. :P

Envall wrote:
Also Ssalarn, while I liked the talents in SoM, some of the classes felt really locked in and inflexible. Commander and Secret of Ways probably got so much flak because it was really specific power, almost comical. Portals to other worlds are a dramatic device in the narrative, and the ability trivialized it. Now, there is argument to be made that maybe these things ought to be trivialized. Or maybe we have ruined the majesty of these basic illusions so much that we no longer hold them in any high value. How casual ought plane travel to be in the minds of the player's immersion?

Planar travel is already trivial. Prepare plane shift. As a standard action, you go to another plane. Woo.

That is far more trivializing than consulting with experts who calculate that in four days' time at the stroke of midnight as the light of the full moon strikes the pool atop crescent hill, the stars shall align such that Stardrop Falls shall flow upward and coalesce into a portal to the faerie realms.


Omnius wrote:


Planar travel is already trivial. Prepare plane shift. As a standard action, you go to another plane. Woo.

That is far more trivializing than consulting with experts who calculate that in four days' time at the stroke of midnight as the light of the full moon strikes the pool atop crescent hill, the stars shall align such that Stardrop Falls shall flow upward and coalesce into a portal to the faerie realms.

Yes, but are you not trivializing the fact of being that strong to even cast plane shift? This is the kind of border where I think the fact that some spells are more worldbuilding than character options comes into play. Gate spell is pure narrative device. It is how you explain all those doomsday portals that summon the cyberdemon or what-not. Soul Bind is a spell of dramatic event.

For supporting the disparity claim, I could say that wizards potentially get access to the narrative toolbox which story elements are taken from, but that presumes they stay alive long enough to get there. These days it is the rule that they get there alive, but that I would say is a new trend.

You could say, some spells cause the disparity because they were never written for player use in the first place.


Envall wrote:
Omnius wrote:


Planar travel is already trivial. Prepare plane shift. As a standard action, you go to another plane. Woo.

That is far more trivializing than consulting with experts who calculate that in four days' time at the stroke of midnight as the light of the full moon strikes the pool atop crescent hill, the stars shall align such that Stardrop Falls shall flow upward and coalesce into a portal to the faerie realms.

Yes, but are you not trivializing the fact of being that strong to even cast plane shift? This is the kind of border where I think the fact that some spells are more worldbuilding than character options comes into play. Gate spell is pure narrative device. It is how you explain all those doomsday portals that summon the cyberdemon or what-not. Soul Bind is a spell of dramatic event.

For supporting the disparity claim, I could say that wizards potentially get access to the narrative toolbox which story elements are taken from, but that presumes they stay alive long enough to get there. These days it is the rule that they get there alive, but that I would say is a new trend.

You could say, some spells cause the disparity because they were never written for player use in the first place.

I don't know the system talked about, but does this Commander or whatever have his portals sooner than plane shift is accessible?


Envall wrote:
For supporting the disparity claim, I could say that wizards potentially get access to the narrative toolbox which story elements are taken from, but that presumes they stay alive long enough to get there. These days it is the rule that they get there alive, but that I would say is a new trend.

Since when is adventuring to high levels a new trend? Besides, one could just easily play a Fighter from level 1 to 6 (or whatever) and retire him or commit suicide-by-monster have him sacrifice himself heroically, and roll up a Wizard. Or roll up a new caster whenever the previous one dies.

Quote:
You could say, some spells cause the disparity because they were never written for player use in the first place.

Then don't make them player options in the Player's Handbook / Core Rulebook. I've always said that things like Teleport, Gate, Plane Shift et al. are each the stuff that entire settings are written around. Just look at the Tippyverse.


Teleport, Gate, and Plane Shift were specifically the spells I was thinking about when I decided to remove those things as spells and turn them into Occult Rituals. Sure ,sometimes you will have to let the party hop from plane to plane, but it should be a little more involved (and risky) than "be a 9th level cleric".

Plus, rituals are the sort of thing you can get the whole party (and associated NPCs) involved in. If the Party needs to teleport to another continent before anybody in the party could cast the spell, it's better to have the party participate in the ritual than "have the spell cast on them".


It's okay for any run of the mill player piloting a wizard to have absolute system Mastery, and to know every niche spell that can solve any problem.

But any player piloting a fighter is expected to be just as much of an idiot as the internet assumes all fighter characters to be. Reading? That's for nerdy wizards. Fighters fight, they don't read, neither do their players. Therefore all fighters have all the problems that are solved, but cannot solve them because all fighter players don't read the options that improve the class?

That's where most of these problems come from.

Fighters have several options that bring them up to par both in and out of combat, we just need to have better expectations of ourselves. I tried, I'm still working on that guide. There's just a lot of magic items.


With all the talk of fighters and WBL, how do casters fair? With the costs of scribing all of their spells, having multiple spellbooks, back up copies and such, how much would they really be spending on that?


master_marshmallow wrote:

It's okay for any run of the mill player piloting a wizard to have absolute system Mastery, and to know every niche spell that can solve any problem.

But any player piloting a fighter is expected to be just as much of an idiot as the internet assumes all fighter characters to be. Reading? That's for nerdy wizards. Fighters fight, they don't read, neither do their players. Therefore all fighters have all the problems that are solved, but cannot solve them because all fighter players don't read the options that improve the class?

That's where most of these problems come from.

Fighters have several options that bring them up to par both in and out of combat, we just need to have better expectations of ourselves. I tried, I'm still working on that guide. There's just a lot of magic items.

Ceteris Paribus: Assume the same system mastery for each player. I just love all the examples of people saying "casters aren't OP because a Fighter has a limited capacity to do a few of those things if you optimize it". Okay, then the Wizard can take Sacred Geometry, or make a permanent Demiplane that's Timeless WRT Magic (so spell durations don't run out), Summon/Bind/Etc some creature, Possess it, cast all his buffs, cast Astral Projection, and go adventuring that way.

Blindmage wrote:
With all the talk of fighters and WBL, how do casters fair? With the costs of scribing all of their spells, having multiple spellbooks, back up copies and such, how much would they really be spending on that?

At high levels? 6,750g to make a Blessed Book with a Bookplate of Recall, plus spell access costs. A good breakdown of these expenses can be found here


Athaleon wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

It's okay for any run of the mill player piloting a wizard to have absolute system Mastery, and to know every niche spell that can solve any problem.

But any player piloting a fighter is expected to be just as much of an idiot as the internet assumes all fighter characters to be. Reading? That's for nerdy wizards. Fighters fight, they don't read, neither do their players. Therefore all fighters have all the problems that are solved, but cannot solve them because all fighter players don't read the options that improve the class?

That's where most of these problems come from.

Fighters have several options that bring them up to par both in and out of combat, we just need to have better expectations of ourselves. I tried, I'm still working on that guide. There's just a lot of magic items.

Ceteris Paribus: Assume the same system mastery for each player. I just love all the examples of people saying "casters aren't OP because a Fighter has a limited capacity to do a few of those things if you optimize it". Okay, then the Wizard can take Sacred Geometry.

Dude what?

What is your point? What point can even possibly be made in any of these threads anymore?

I'm serious, the main arguments about this come down to system mastery, and mode of play. Fighters have just as much variable tools as wizards, and not all combat feats are even designed to be damage boosts anymore. There's a whole bunch of feats that can take a fighter's bonus combat feat slot that are niche and can be swapped out by a large number of means. Skill variety, feat utility, the works are all options more or less exclusive to the fighter now.

Schrodinger's Fighter and Wizard both exist in the game now. Do they need to be balanced? No. This is 3.x, you will never have balance because the game was not designed around balance. The propensity for players to seek balance is the reason the other editions happened. 5th ed really balances the classes pretty well against each other, it just removes system mastery from being part of the game. 4th edition I've never played, but what I've heard about it is that it turns the game into "WoW on Paper," though as stated I cannot corroborate this opinion beyond reporting it.

I'm not saying gtfo of Pathfinder, but it is important to understand the basics of the game. So few fixes are needed to bring the fighter up to par, it really just requires that you read. Maybe for PFS you have to pay for the books/pdfs, but you have that problem with any class in PFS basically, if you want an up to date build. Also, the fighter should not be defined by what one facet of players experience, same with any other class. PFS is not the only way to play the game.

What even is narrative power? Arguing niche anecdotes will get us nowhere.

I've literally built a wizard that transcends time and space before. Fighters don't need to be able to do that for the game to be fun for the player.


Athaleon wrote:


Blindmage wrote:
With all the talk of fighters and WBL, how do casters fair? With the costs of scribing all of their spells, having multiple spellbooks, back up copies and such, how much would they really be spending on that?
At high levels? 6,750g to make a Blessed Book with a Bookplate of Recall, plus spell access costs. A good breakdown of these expenses can be found here

Ok, so to have access to: at lvl 18

Core + APG + UM + UC using 4 Blessed Books (717 spells)
Would cost: 126,415 for one copy of each.
Let alone this note at the end of the article:
Quote:
So what’s the downside of all of this? The one factor which is not reflected above is time. It takes one hour to attempt to learn a new spell and one hour per spell level to copy a new spell into a spell book. In this case, the number of pages required to record all spells is also the number of hours required to copy all spells. If all four hardcover volumes of Pathfinder RPG spells are in use at your table, it will take an Archmage about three months to learn every spell from all four books. It will then take a little more than a year (3,069 /8 =383 days, broken into 8 hour blocks of time), flat out, to record all of the spells in all four hardcover books, if he or she does nothing else for eight hours a day and is always successful in learning a spell on the first roll.

Assuming you'd want to back up your 4 books of spells, each set of copies would take that much time again.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Envall wrote:

Yes, but are you not trivializing the fact of being that strong to even cast plane shift? This is the kind of border where I think the fact that some spells are more worldbuilding than character options comes into play. Gate spell is pure narrative device. It is how you explain all those doomsday portals that summon the cyberdemon or what-not. Soul Bind is a spell of dramatic event.

For supporting the disparity claim, I could say that wizards potentially get access to the narrative toolbox which story elements are taken from, but that presumes they stay alive long enough to get there. These days it is the rule that they get there alive, but that I would say is a new trend.

You could say, some spells cause the disparity because they were never written for player use in the first place.

If players are not meant to use these spells, why are players, by the rules, in no uncertain terms given free access and use of these spells? The power to tell the GM, "No, I am doing this thing that alters the nature of the world itself?" And how is it fair that one group gets to do that, but the other does not? I propose that if an ability is explicitly given to the player as an available option, then it is there as an available option. Otherwise, we have literally no common ground for discussion.

And even in the old editions, surviving that long was an expectation. Not for every character, but for some. And some is all it takes. But that was terrible game design, and claiming "balance" because the game is completely broken in different ways at different levels is not good game design, because you have a game inclined toward negative play experience at every level. You're only playing at one level at a time, after all, separated by weeks if not months of play. If the game is wildly unbalanced at any given level, that's a problem through multiple sessions. But even if it were as you say, it's not a "new trend." It's been seventeen years since 3rd edition came about. It isn't new anymore.

Chess Pwn wrote:
I don't know the system talked about, but does this Commander or whatever have his portals sooner than plane shift is accessible?

Two levels prior, and it's more limited and costly to them. Commanders get a logistical ability at levels 7, 13, and 19. One of the options you can select is to be able to roll Diplomacy to gather information and consult experts to get information of either an existing portal or a naturally occurring and possibly temporary rift, with timeframe and capacity limited based on your skill check result, starting at a week out and maximum 10 people at a result of 15.

master_marshmallow wrote:

It's okay for any run of the mill player piloting a wizard to have absolute system Mastery, and to know every niche spell that can solve any problem.

But any player piloting a fighter is expected to be just as much of an idiot as the internet assumes all fighter characters to be. Reading? That's for nerdy wizards. Fighters fight, they don't read, neither do their players. Therefore all fighters have all the problems that are solved, but cannot solve them because all fighter players don't read the options that improve the class?

That's where most of these problems come from.

Fighters have several options that bring them up to par both in and out of combat, we just need to have better expectations of ourselves. I tried, I'm still working on that guide. There's just a lot of magic items.

No.

The level of system mastery required to make a highly, highly effective Wizard is very low, and doesn't even require venturing past the core rules.

It's not a matter of having The Perfect Spell, but of having a number of reliable and flexible options. If you keep a control spell for every save, plus some terrain, mobility, and summoning effects. Things that make sense just looking at the wizard spell list. And if you make poor choices selecting spells, you can prepare different spells tomorrow, and learn more spells cheaply when you get back to town, making them more forgiving. You are very powerful and effective out of just the core rulebook.

The Fighter is frequently about going to a specific splat for a specific feat or alternate feature designed to patch this or that aspect of the class, and spending all available zots and money to try and cover your bases toward a specific end, such that you need a far greater level of system mastery to make a decent muggle, and even then, you are far more limited than the mage. And if you make a mistake, it can be very costly if not impossible to fix.

And for an equal level of system mastery, investment, and effort, the mage can pull still farther ahead.

Blindmage wrote:

Ok, so to have access to: at lvl 18

Core + APG + UM + UC using 4 Blessed Books (717 spells)
Would cost: 126,415 for one copy of each.

Most spells are not worth knowing, cutting down the cost tremendously. But even if you specifically go after the spellbook...

1) Attacking a Wizard's spellbook, as a GM, is abusive play. If you succeed, and destroy the Wizard's spellbook, and they don't have a backup, you have told the player they are not allowed to play. If there is not a table agreement that the book is safe, it can lead to disruptively paranoid play habits that do not contribute positively to the game and result in adversarial GMing.

2) While the Wizard is the go-to example, the Druid is the more extreme case, as they can outshine the muggles more directly and visibly as they handle the front line far better as bear-summoning bears with a pet bear, with full utility casting besides, and they need no spellbook. Same goes for most of the other full casters.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
master_marshmallow wrote:
What even is narrative power?

Not much -- only the crux of what we're discussing. Ssalarn did a great job of summarizing it above, but it's worth reading the many, many other threads about it. (Someone once credited me with coining the term, BTW, but I'm not sure that's actually merited.)

Until you understand what it means, though, you can't meaningfully discuss the caster/martial disparity.

master_marshmallow wrote:
5th ed really balances the classes pretty well against each other, it just removes system mastery from being part of the game.

5e did little to meaningfully balance the classes (esp. at higher levels), and in some cases made the disparity worse. What it did was to shift system mastery to DM fiat, which is fine if that's what you want in a game, but a lot of people consider it a big step backwards.


Well, for the super short version...

"Narrative Power is the ability to meaningfully interact with and change the story".

Characters who frequently have the solution to a problem or can adjust the narrative in more ways have a lot of narrative power. Characters who only have one or two things they are statistically effective at have little narrative power. The "interaction" bit is important - players get involved with the game when they have an opportunity to interact with situations. Otherwise, they're just sitting and waiting for a time when they can do something. Being more involved is generally more fun.

Magic, because of its many applications in and out of combat, has a lot of narrative power. Swinging a sword generally doesn't. The problem with Fighters isn't that they're bad at killing things in combat, because they aren't. It's that they often have little narrative power (especially in comparison to other classes) when the right answer isn't "hit it with my sword".


Chess Pwn wrote:
So like, having lots of feats as your class feature when you're then "required" to spend those feats to buy back class features that others get for free means that now you just don't have class features nor a feat advantage.

Hence some of the house rules in my campaign:

1. Fighters get Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, and Greater Weapon Specialization for free at the appropriate level if they have Weapon Focus.
2. Fighters gain an extra general feat per level (on top of what exists, so effectively two feats per level overall).
3. They also get 4 skill points, considering raising it to 6.

Now they actually have a ton of feats available.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Envall wrote:
Vancian casting is such an odd thing that I am struggling to really say that wizards are super free individuals either. If the wizard wants to do x thing, he needs to find the one spell, exactly one spell that lets him do it.

That's fundamentally not true though. Magic is far more versatile and flexible than anything else. A few examples:

Detect Poison: Reveals the presence of poison, allowing the character to detect poisonous enemies and tainted food. Useful in and out of combat.

Grease: Can be used as a control effect to prevent enemies from traversing an area, to disarm an opponent and keep them disarmed, as a defensive boost to protect from grapples, and to help you escape from a variety of situations. Useful in and out of combat.

Alter self: Grants bonuses to Dex or Str, can grant darkvision, low-light vision, scent, or a swim speed. Can be used for infiltrating enemy strongholds. Useful in and out combat.

Glitterdust: Lowers stealth skill checks, blinds creatures, reveals invisible creatures and objects. Can be used for both in and out of combat purposes.

Summon monster I-IX, planar ally, planar binding: Can provide healing, flight, swim speeds, teleportation, and pretty much any other effect you could want. Useful in and out of combat.

We haven't even left the CRB yet and you've got a handful of spells spanning all levels of play that can address virtually any situation, all of which are multipurpose.

Quote:
The wizard does not just get magic. If the wizard truly had unbound magic at his disposal, he could just do whatever he wanted.

See above. He's limited only by familiarity with his own spell list.

This is kinda s#~@e balancing advice, but lowered expectations? Not even to just martial character, but all of them. [...] Core wizards don't actually get much self-expression, which I feel is true agency over "can I fly or not?". Self-expression is something what both wizard and fighter lack to me opinion.

I would balance the disparity by making people play more newer classes with lot of identity to them, so people get tools to self-express the themes of their characters.

Even many of the newer classes don't have that much identity or limitation. An arcanist gets his spells a bit slower but can do anything the wizard can do, and has even less direction for how he chooses his spells. A wizard at least has the backbone of an arcane school ensuring that at least one of his spells each level matches a thematic set. I don't like that they have the ability to cherrypick spells the way they can; I think it doesn't make a lot of sense that a wizard who gains 9th level spells can suddenly know meteor swarm despite never having cast or learned a single fire or earth spell previously.

Quote:


Also Ssalarn, while I liked the talents in SoM, some of the classes felt really locked in and inflexible.

Out of curiosity, in what way? Pretty much every SoM class has far more points of customization than any martial core class.

Quote:
Commander and Secret of Ways probably got so much flak because it was really specific power, almost comical. Portals to other worlds are a dramatic device in the narrative, and the ability trivialized it.

This is an excellent example of "Nothing can tell the GM what happens, except magic". A wizard can kill a dragon and wake up the next day with the ability to travel to the other side of the world or another plane of existence and no one bats an eye, but a martial character who leverages his influence and experience to consult with an array of local experts for a less reliable result is comically trivializing a "dramatic narrative device".

Quote:
Now, there is argument to be made that maybe these things ought to be trivialized.

Better argument, these things have already been trivialized by spellcasters, so why are we pretending they're more special than they are when they're things that half the classes in Pathfinder (not including non-Paizo classes) can already do? You don't have to have a fighter in your group, but if you don't have a wizard or cleric there's whole swaths of the game that you can't interact with. There are entire adventure paths that you can navigate with a party of all wizards, but not a party of all fighters.

Quote:
Or maybe we have ruined the majesty of these basic illusions so much that we no longer hold them in any high value. How casual ought plane travel to be in the minds of the player's immersion?

As a function of level, planar travel is readily available to most spellcasters by 9th level. That means that in a classic cleric/fighter/rogue/wizard party, 50% of the group is expected to have access to planar travel. If you feel that breaks immersion, then you're playing the wrong iteration of the game by about 4 generations.

Quote:

Yes, but are you not trivializing the fact of being that strong to even cast plane shift? This is the kind of border where I think the fact that some spells are more worldbuilding than character options comes into play. Gate spell is pure narrative device. It is how you explain all those doomsday portals that summon the cyberdemon or what-not. Soul Bind is a spell of dramatic event.

For supporting the disparity claim, I could say that wizards potentially get access to the narrative toolbox which story elements are taken from, but that presumes they stay alive long enough to get there. These days it is the rule that they get there alive, but that I would say is a new trend.

Wizards haven't been particularly squishy and limited since 3rd edition, so calling it a "new" trend is barely accurate even if you're measuring time in generations of the game. Reductions in casting times, ever-growing spell lists, more benefits being added to races, etc. have largely removed most of the real weaknesses wizards used to contend with. An elven wizard with a longbow is only going to be a fraction less accurate than a fighter and will see the benefits of feats like Point-Blank Shot with both their weapon attacks and their ray spells. By the time the fighter is truly taking a meaningful lead in basic combat, the wizard is moving on to 2nd level spells.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Blindmage[/quote wrote:


With all the talk of fighters and WBL, how do casters fair? With the costs of scribing all of their spells, having multiple spellbooks, back up copies and such, how much would they really be spending on that?

Significantly less.

All the maths and stuff for the summation at the end:

The majority of spells you're going to want to keep on scrolls are going to be 1st to 2nd level utility options. Compare 12.5 gp for a 1st level scroll and 75 gp for a 2nd level scroll to the cost of a 7th level fighter's +3 breastplate (9,350 gp), and the wizard can afford to scribe 748 1st level scrolls or 124 2nd level scrolls (with a little cash to spare). Or some combination of the two. For the cost of the fighter's +2 greatsword (8,350 gp), the wizard can afford 556 spell books, or can scribe into his spellbook up to 835 1st level spells, 208 2nd level spells, 92 3rd level spells, or up to 52 4th level spells. More likely some combination of the above.
A single spellbook inscribed with twice the number of spells a 7th level wizard can memorize (8 cantrips, 8 1st level spells, 6 2nd level spells, 4 3rd level spells, and 2 4th level spells) has only used up half its capacity and costs a total of 1,055 gp to purchase and transcribe. That means that for notably less than the cost of the fighter's armor, the wizard can have 8 back-up spellbooks. Given that the wizard only needs to reference his spells when preparing them and shouldn't be walking around carrying the book in his hands, I think that's pretty clearly an excessive number of spellbooks, but end result-
For the cost of the fighter's sword and armor, the wizard can have 8 back-up spellbooks (he gets the first one with his cantrips and 3 first level spells free, along with 2 spells per level), 62 2nd level spell scrolls, and 374 1st level scrolls. With enough cash left over for a minor magic item. Note that those are all extremely excessive numbers too; it takes 16,000 experience to go from 7th level to 8th level on a medium progression, and (assuming a party of 4) a CR 7 encounter grants 800 xp per character, a CR 8 encounter grants 1,200 xp, a CR 9 encounter grants 1,600 xp, and a CR 10 encounter grants 2,400 xp. Assuming a "normal" adventuring day for a party involves two CR7 encounters and a CR 9 encounter, with a "boss fight" day involving a CR8, a CR9, and a CR10 and occuring once per three sessions, it'll take about 25 encounters total to go from level 7 to level 8. Assuming the wizard uses two 1st level scrolls per encounter (including out of combat spells like mage armor and heightened awareness and one 2nd level scroll for every encounter above CR7, that's about 15 2nd level scrolls and 50 1st level scrolls.

So-

Wizard

Total cash spent on scrolls for a 7th level wizard: 1,750 gp

Total cash for two back-up spellbooks: 2,110 gp

Remaining WBL: 19,640

Fighter

Total cash spent on +3 breastplate: 9,350 gp

Total cash spent on +2 greatsword: 8,350 gp

Remaining WBL: 5,800

So even assuming that the wizard needs multiple backup spellbooks and is literally using scrolls of mage armor and heightened awareness before every single encounter (unlikely since at least the mage armor spell should be seeing him through multiple encounters), and a 2nd level scroll on a little less than 1/2 of the encounters, he still has more than three times as much cash available compared to the fighter. Not to mention he's going into every encounter with a pretty stacked arsenal since he's using scrolls for all the buffing spells.


Can we see those numbers with some crafting feats thrown in?

We can assume Scribe Scroll and Craft Wondrous for the wizard, and Craft Magic Arms & Armor (armor only) and Craft Wondrous (profession:tailor).

In both cases, the class is more or less guaranteed their "must have" gear for the class to function.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

master_marshmallow wrote:

Can we see those numbers with some crafting feats thrown in?

We can assume Scribe Scroll and Craft Wondrous for the wizard, and Craft Magic Arms & Armor (armor only) and Craft Wondrous (profession:tailor).

In both cases, the class is more or less guaranteed their "must have" gear for the class to function.

The numbers already include Scribe Scroll for the wizard since he gets it for free. Are you wanting to factor the other crafting feats in for the wizard as well?

If "Craft Magic Arms & Armor (armor only) and Craft Wondrous (profession:tailor)" was intended for the fighter, it doesn't work unless there's some more options besides Master Craftsman you're failing to include. Master Craftsman requires you to pick a skill and then that must be the skill used for the crafting check. Crafting magic armor requires the Craft (armor) skill, so if you select that for the fighter there aren't going to be many wondrous items you can create, and if you select Profession (tailor), you're not going to be able to create armor. Even if you do take Master Craftsman (Craft (armor)), you still end up with less than half the free cash the wizard has, and you burned up nearly half your feats to still not have anywhere near the wizard's wealth or options. Plus those craft DCs are going to get rough quick. You can't take 20 on crafting checks and you're going to be adding a lot of +5's to the DCs since you don't have spells or most other prereqs.


Ssalarn wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Can we see those numbers with some crafting feats thrown in?

We can assume Scribe Scroll and Craft Wondrous for the wizard, and Craft Magic Arms & Armor (armor only) and Craft Wondrous (profession:tailor).

In both cases, the class is more or less guaranteed their "must have" gear for the class to function.

The numbers already include Scribe Scroll for the wizard since he gets it for free. Are you wanting to factor the other crafting feats in for the wizard as well?

If "Craft Magic Arms & Armor (armor only) and Craft Wondrous (profession:tailor)" was intended for the fighter, it doesn't work unless there's some more options besides Master Craftsman you're failing to include. Master Craftsman requires you to pick a skill and then that must be the skill used for the crafting check. Crafting magic armor requires the Craft (armor) skill, so if you select that for the fighter there aren't going to be many wondrous items you can create, and if you select Profession (tailor), you're not going to be able to create armor. Even if you do take Master Craftsman (Craft (armor)), you still end up with less than half the free cash the wizard has, and you burned up nearly half your feats to still not have anywhere near the wizard's wealth or options. Plus those craft DCs are going to get rough quick. You can't take 20 on crafting checks and you're going to be adding a lot of +5's to the DCs since you don't have spells or most other prereqs.

The Master Armorer option grants both feats. That shouldn't bar the player from qualifying for and taking the feat proper, should it? Perhaps it's a table variation thing, because that's how my table has always seen it.


There's also Cipher Script to factor in.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

master_marshmallow wrote:
There's also Cipher Script to factor in.

For cutting the wizard's cost down? Yeah.

The wizard doesn't even need it though, which just further emphasizes the disparity. The fighter is hemorrhaging resources and (in the case of trying to stack Master Armorer and Master Craftsman separately) trying to leverage hazy rules interactions to still not catch up.

Master Armorer mentions not needing to meet the prerequisites for Master Craftsman and Master Craftsman can't be taken more than once, so I wouldn't expect taking it and Master Armorer to be legal at most tables, but YMMV. I believe Master Armorer essentially locks you in to the Craft (armor) skill for Master Craftsman.

Fundamentally though, none of the "What about this!" or "What about that?" add-ons are going to change the basic imbalance. Wizard has free scribe scroll, inherently more skill points due to being Int based, has fewer "must haves", and being an actual caster gives him advantages in crafting that the fighter is always going to struggle compared to due to facing constant DC increases to cover prereqs he can't meet (or constant expenditures paying for services or scrolls and another skill tax). For every feat the fighter can throw at the issue, the wizard has an option of their own, so the fighter is going to be constantly chasing the wizard, but for every resource he spends the wizard has a matching resource or natural advantage. It's ultimately not worth the chase. You can accept that you'll always have less influence on the story than a caster, or end up with a mediocre fighter who's a less-than-mediocre crafter that still has notably less ability to affect the flow and direction of the game world than his truly magical peers.

Pathfinder is kind of like Full Metal Alchemist in that there's a law of equivalent exchange; you don't get something without giving something up, so at the very base of the system classes that start out with less aren't going to be able to catch up to classes that start with more. To an extent, and for the fighter specifically, I think you're better off accepting that it's a losing race and either playing a different class if you're not okay with the fighter's natural shortcomings as regards narrative influence, or using a 3pp solution that tackles the fighter from different angles than core is going to be able to address.


Skill points should probably be raised for martial characters that don't favor intellect. Rogue's are doing okay at their 8 per level, but they have a LOT they need to handle that they aren't necessarily equipped to in a raw statistical sense. Most Rogues favor some blend of dexterity and/or strength, but are often expected to handle the bulk of Charisma skills unless there's someone better suited on hand or the wizard, too concerned with knowing everything and crafting fancy magics to bother developing anything resembling interpersonal finesse, just tosses a silent stilled Dominate Person and calls it good. Plus EVERYONE needs Wisdom skills, like PERCEPTION, THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL IN THE GAME.

Paladins, Fighters, and Chained Monks? 2 per level. just 2. what are you supposed to do with 2 skill points? not much. granted you can always get smarter, but then you cripple your ability to perform in fields dictated by your actual main stat (Charisma, Strength, and Wisdom respectively). God forbid you have sub-10 intellect and actually LOSE skill points per level. And relying on feats and traits to make up the difference doesn't help much, as a lot of classes are actually extremely feat-tight to make work.

So spread skill points out across multiple stats instead of only benefiting Wizards, Witches, and Maguses (Magi?) without hindering performance in your hostile-territory roles to make skill gain a little less unequal in the long term of a campaign, and boost up the really really low skill classes to make a bit more versatile of a start.

And perhaps consider also raising the cap on skill ranks from equal to level to say...level+3 for a class skill, level+1 for a cross-class skill. as a rough example.

none of this fixes the issue late game, but it should make for a more even narrative power curve earlier on. i expect things to not start getting too out of hand until around 10th level or so.

the best part is, wizards, magi, and witches would have the same degree of access to all of this, so they would be perfectly capable of engaging in mundane play without wasting spells on most challenges. the more skills-oriented classes would be "better" at it for a while, but depending on what spells they're willing to use up they could level the playing field or even slightly surpass the martial - but only for a very limited time frame, so rather than something you always do, it becomes something you do when experiencing difficulties to "brute-force" your way through.

its just a thought.


One potential solution to the skill disparity is to grant each class two categories for skills points: General, and Primary. The Paizo skills granted by level are all Intelligence-based. If you're smarter, you know more skills. I think we've solidly established that this hurts martial classes that don't rely on Intelligence for their abilities. Therefore, you can give them the skill ranks that Paizo assigns as their "General" skills. Then each class gains 0+ primary skill ranks based upon the most important stat for their class, which can only be used on skills that are based upon that stat.

Perhaps the fighter gains 4 "Primary" skill ranks per level that can only be used on Strength-based skills (like Climb or Swim), while the Monk gains 3 per level that can only be used on Wisdom-based skills (like Perception or Sense Motive), and the Paladin gains 2 skill ranks per level that can only be used on Charisma-based skills (like Diplomacy or Bluff). The wizard, being Intelligence based anyway, only gains 0 skill ranks per level to be used on Intelligence-based skills from his primary skill category. This reflects the notion that the fighter is going to naturally learn a few things as a part of their training and role that the wizard wouldn't have time to learn due to their time spent in the study of arcane magic (which is supposed to be complex and research-intensive) over the study of other things. Alternatively, you could designate that primary skill ranks can only be assigned to class skills, as opposed to Ability-based skills.

This would address imbalances in skill sets that could be tailored by class. The rogue might gain 0 primary skill ranks per level since they're the clear winner in the skill game anyway. It would encourage classes to play to their strengths and not favour spellcasters over martials, thusly decreasing the disparity gap. It won't solve all problems, but it would at least address that particular one.

Best wishes!


Ssalarn wrote:
This is kinda s#~@e balancing advice, but lowered expectations? Not even to just martial character, but all of them. [...] Core wizards don't actually get much self-expression, which I feel is true agency over "can I fly or not?". Self-expression is something what both wizard and fighter lack to me.

I really need to get around to my rework of the Wizard which turns them from "Guys who get all the magic, and we are told that they study magic" to "Scholars who study Magic". Though I suppose I could just be lazy (and or efficient) and make a collection of Scholar Knacks for each of the schools of magic.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Milo v3 wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
This is kinda s#~@e balancing advice, but lowered expectations? Not even to just martial character, but all of them. [...] Core wizards don't actually get much self-expression, which I feel is true agency over "can I fly or not?". Self-expression is something what both wizard and fighter lack to me.
I really need to get around to my rework of the Wizard which turns them from "Guys who get all the magic, and we are told that they study magic" to "Scholars who study Magic". Though I suppose I could just be lazy (and or efficient) and make a collection of Scholar Knacks for each of the schools of magic.

Pssst.... I wasn't the one who said what you quoted up there.

That being said, there are some scholar knacks and such in Champions of the Spheres for turning them more into studied ritualists with some magical abilities as opposed to the core-style wizard.


Also, I'm gonna have to advocate y'all read the rules on Stamina Tricks, specifically the option "free for fighters".

Stamina on its own does two things: it gives the fighter a much needed class based resource for improving accuracy (bringing it up to standards with better, newer classes), and gave them a narrative device in a class feature, requiring pacing and timing to be a factor in decision making.

It does two important things when interacting with feats as well. First, not all Stamina Tricks are based on spending stamina, some of them are flat bonuses that apply so long as you maintain stamina, making it function like a "grit" based on CON and on what feats you have. Some have durations, some reduce action costs, some add additional daily uses, there's a whole spectrum. The other important thing is that in every combat feat printed up to that point in the RPG Line the feats that had INT 13 as a prerequisite can be taken despite that prerequisite but it only functions so long as you maintain one point of Stamina. The only feat they missed was Whirlwind Attack.

To;Dr Unchained included essentially two new class features for the fighter in the stamina pool, by having a new class resource and in bypassing feat prerequisites much like the newer classes (specifically the Brawler and Swashbuckler).

Plus the feats for it are pretty good too, I'd love to see someone make a build around it.

F*** me, I'm probably gonna have to do it.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Ssalarn wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
This is kinda s#~@e balancing advice, but lowered expectations? Not even to just martial character, but all of them. [...] Core wizards don't actually get much self-expression, which I feel is true agency over "can I fly or not?". Self-expression is something what both wizard and fighter lack to me.
I really need to get around to my rework of the Wizard which turns them from "Guys who get all the magic, and we are told that they study magic" to "Scholars who study Magic". Though I suppose I could just be lazy (and or efficient) and make a collection of Scholar Knacks for each of the schools of magic.

Pssst.... I wasn't the one who said what you quoted up there.

Just realized the issue, I misplaced some quotes in one of my posts so it looked like I was stating the above instead of responding to it.


I actually really dislike stamina. It's a lot of effort for super tiny combat buffs on a class which doesn't even need more combat buffs.


Milo v3 wrote:
I actually really dislike stamina. It's a lot of effort for super tiny combat buffs on a class which doesn't even need more combat buffs.

While I agree with the premise that it's not shoring up the Fighter's glaring weaknesses, it's actually not bad if you properly follow the rules for it. It lets fighters do some cool stuff during combats, and that stuff can be done in-between combats assuming minutes of rest are plausible while out on the field.

The problem is that the numbers are a little skewed to warrant the added stuff (especially in the higher levels), and in the lower levels it's hardly usable for some of the cool stuff you can do. (Even in the higher levels, utilizing Rapid Shot would only be good for one or two Full Attacks with even a basic archer.) I mean, you only get one or two points starting out, and several of the feats you'll possess require 5+ points just to use them for, as you say, some minor benefits. Some don't require as much and give more unique usage to their effects, but those are few and far between, and several of them are quite niche.

If it was actually part of the Core Fighter from the beginning and was rebalanced/tweaked to fix certain things, it would make for a very solid addition to the base Fighter class.

Shoring up their out-of-combat stuff? That would require a whole new rewrite of the class (AKA unchained version), and possibly a class-name change...


Milo v3 wrote:
I actually really dislike stamina. It's a lot of effort for super tiny combat buffs on a class which doesn't even need more combat buffs.

Wait, what?

Did he not read it?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
master_marshmallow wrote:

Wait, what?

Did he not read it?

I have read it, it's nearly all small combat buffs. The problem with the fighter isn't needing more numbers in combat.

The only issue is actually helps resolve is "Gives more actions in combat beyond attack and move or full-attack", but most people I know who actually play Fighters do it because they want simplicity rather than complexity and there are already so many third-party options for complex martials and they do it better than Fighter + the combat stamina subsystem (and don't bother saying but third-party isn't first-party material, because GMs who are the types to consider allowing optional rules from Unchained are the exact same types of GMs who allow third-party).


Milo v3 wrote:
I have read it, it's nearly all small combat buffs. The problem with the fighter isn't needing more numbers in combat.

Y'know, I keep reading this, and then in my campaign I see several other full BAB classes crushing the Fighter in terms of raw numbers (better damage and/or better AB and/or better AC and/or better HP). Especially Bloodragers and Paladins. Hell, even Hunters seemed to crush Fighters at actually Fighting, even without casting any spells that last 1 minute per level or less.

Grand Lodge

Balkoth wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
I have read it, it's nearly all small combat buffs. The problem with the fighter isn't needing more numbers in combat.
Y'know, I keep reading this, and then in my campaign I see several other full BAB classes crushing the Fighter in terms of raw numbers (better damage and/or better AB and/or better AC and/or better HP). Especially Bloodragers and Paladins. Hell, even Hunters seemed to crush Fighters at actually Fighting, even without casting any spells that last 1 minute per level or less.

Fighters need duleing gloves to keep there numbers on par with other classes and estate a little behind. Rangers, paladins, and cavilier will spike higher damage. Bloodragers and bard have more hp and better saves for much lower armor class. Animal companions are amazing at most levels when you put them a pc it is hard to keep up.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Seriously, short of giving fighter magical equivalents by proxy (bag of any magic item) (use-activated item of any spell) (no wbl for martials only)..when spells > feats > skills I am at a loss.

I'd would prefer that everyone have fun...and admit that that Pathfinder isn't 100% equal for everyone in everything.

I played a vital-strike fighter and had fun...and no he did not keep up with the full casters. My guy has a baseball bat and the caster has an instant delivery REI outdoor sporting good catalog (a.k.a. spellbook) where he could order better fighters than myself. :)

251 to 300 of 663 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Balancing Casters vs Fighters All Messageboards