Spells Not Scaling Automatically per Caster Level


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Sounds more like undercasting from Starfinder, which is more balanced than overcasting.


ChibiNyan wrote:

This is how it is in 5e. I have never played high-level 5e so maybe someone else can chip in.

It does make one think that all those billion lower level slots you keep gaining become kinda redundant if the spells in them are so weak. I guess they can still have utility (Unless you're a Sorc).

I've only played 5e a bit, but I've read through the player's handbook a couple of times. Although you can make a spell stronger by increasing it's level, it is still almost always weaker than the higher level spell. For example, using a 3rd level slot, you could cast a 5d4+5 magic missile against one guy, or an 8d6 fireball against the whole room.

This feels like a heavy nerf for blaster mages that are already sub-optimal, while leaving the fight enders, like black tentacles and confusion, intact.

But I'll wait and see before I get too upset. I'm hoping that cantrips will get an auto-scaling upgrade and be the wizard's default options for those non-serious fights.


WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

This is how it is in 5e. I have never played high-level 5e so maybe someone else can chip in.

It does make one think that all those billion lower level slots you keep gaining become kinda redundant if the spells in them are so weak. I guess they can still have utility (Unless you're a Sorc).

I've only played 5e a bit, but I've read through the player's handbook a couple of times. Although you can make a spell stronger by increasing it's level, it is still almost always weaker than the higher level spell. For example, using a 3rd level slot, you could cast a 5d4+5 magic missile against one guy, or an 8d6 fireball against the whole room.

This feels like a heavy nerf for blaster mages that are already sub-optimal, while leaving the fight enders, like black tentacles and confusion, intact.

But I'll wait and see before I get too upset. I'm hoping that cantrips will get an auto-scaling upgrade and be the wizard's default options for those non-serious fights.

What it did was make single classed casters stronger than multiclass casters. As a 10/10 wizard cleric, I have access to all 9th level spell slots, but I only have access to 5th level spells. So in order to use those higher spell slots, I have to upcast. Meanwhile, the dedicated wizard or dedicated cleric has access to 9th level spells. I have more spell options that are overall weaker (I have access to both cleric and wizard spell lists), they have fewer spell options that are stronger.

It's a rather elegant trade off - do you want fewer more powerful spells or lots of slightly weaker spells.

Both options are viable in play, and it's questionable as to which is more optimized.


Bloodrealm wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
This particular change does make me hope the Kineticist is quick to make a conversion. When I'm trying to be a Blaster (which is my preferred magical playstyle, even if it is typically far from optimal), I don't want to be forced into converting all my low-level spells into utility... I want to blast. So I'll save casting for (the rare occasions) when I want to be a buff bot or save-caster or something, and pray that Kineticist comes back soon so I can still be a full-time blaster from 1-20.

I doubt they'll bring the Kineticist back considering they'll probably just roll everything from the PF1 non-core classes into feats or feats or feats or other feats instead of making whole new classes, but Gather Power was an excellent mechanic, especially if you LOVE the idea of incantations with spells. Having a single Standard action to cast something small, taking a whole turn to cast something bigger, and up to 2 whole turns to cast your coolest stuff is a great way to implement a spellcaster with build-up tension.

NOTE: I'm not saying Kineticist should have been a spellcaster. I like all-day-available stuff! I mean that Kineticist can easily be flavoured as a spellcaster and I would suggest it for anyone who likes throwing around deadly elemental awesome as their primary ability.

While we're on the subject, I guess PF2 kills the hopes of a lightning/electricity-focused Kineticist archetype...

Besides what someone else has said about how they've already said they are bringing in other classes.... honestly I can't see Kineticist as building off any of the Core classes. Maybe it could be done with a Sorc, but it would require a massive overhaul, since pretty much the entire point was using "magic" without using "spells". And in fact, between the fact that not being tied to spell slots is a cool thing and the issues already pointed out with trying to focus on blasting with the spell system, I would be horribly disappointed if they did make Kineticists a function of a caster class.


There are a lot of variables that have to be taken into consideration before deciding that "blaster wizards are even more useless now" or any of the other premature declarations. Lots of things intersect to create the final result, and they have to be taken together as a whole to see how good casters (or any variation of caster) will be. Just because 5E made really bad decisions as part of its spell system (ie, fireballs only getting +1d6 per extra spell level) doesn't mean PF2E is bound to the same decisions.

Mark said that spells are going to start at higher base values of damage. That's great and good to hear. Moving on...

How fast do hit points scale? If monsters get +10 HP every level, a blast spell falls behind faster than if HP scales slower.

Do cantrips scale in damage as you level up? It'd be lovely if they do, but at the same time, if at-will cantrips scale and low level limited-resource blast spells don't, that will both be weird and leave a bad taste in the mouth. If, on the other hand, it's more that a high-level wizard or a wizard with a high-level implement is just able to add a few extra dice to everything, then the low-level blast spell might always stay ahead of the scaling cantrip.

I'm assuming they're not going to repeat 5E's mistakes, e.g. with the aforementioned Fireball spell. I'd expect that as, say, a Fireball is being cast at progressively higher spell slots, it's not only gaining more than just 1 extra die of damage per spell slot but also increasing in blast radius, gaining the ability to set things on fire, and so on to make it more comparable to actual higher level spells.

I expect that debuff spells aren't going to be super strong at level 1 and balanced only by their DC or by arbitrary target HD limits. I would expect color spray to only blind at 1st level rather than also stun or knock unconscious. At higher spell slots, it will pick up stronger effects in addition to longer range and broader area.

How do debuffs work "on failure" in this edition? If the target passes their save or you fail to beat their defense (however it works in PF2E), is that it and you wasted your turn by casting that spell? Or is there a consolation prize? One thing I really liked about 4E is that debuffs were rarely ever a noprize. Even if you didn't land the actual debuff, you usually got to do damage or there was a weaker version of the debuff. So, does Color Spray now do "radiant damage" regardless of landing the debuff? And/or, is Color Spray able to land weaker debuffs when the target saves (like dazzled instead of blinded)?

I'm going to assume just like damage doesn't scale with caster level, duration also won't scale with caster level. This can be good, honestly, assuming they peg durations at a reasonably high place. A 2 hour Alarm spell is worthless, an Alarm that lasts at least 8 hours even when cast by a 1st level caster is actually worthwhile. Likewise, I'm happier with Mage Armor when it doesn't wear off after just one floor of a dungeon.

How many spells can be cast with a variable number of actions, like the example we've been told of Magic Missile being cast with 1-3 actions to get more missiles? If it's only a couple spells, they would stick out like a sore thumb and maybe should get standardized to a common barometer of power like everything else. If it's actually a lot of spells that can use variable casting time, this would actually be pretty great and give spellcasters tons of flexibility depending on their turn-to-turn needs.

How do touch and ray spells work? Do you provoke AoO for casting a touch or ray spell like in PF1E? Are spells grouped into categories that will interact with weapon-proficiency-boosting feats or are they exempt from improvement via feats?

Can touch and ray spells still crit? Can spells in general crit? If so, how is a crit handled with a spell when a spell probably does way more dice of damage than a melee attack?

How flexible are prepared casters vs spontaneous casters? Do wizards, clerics and druids function like the arcanist now? I'd love this, honestly, as long as the "spontaneous casters" don't get crapped on in the process and get a lot more spells known than a wizard can prepare per day, or get other major abilities to make up for their comparative lack of flexibility.

How does metamagic work? I'm betting (hoping) it's not the same as in 3.5 / PF1E. Now that we have heard about Resonance, I'm actually betting that casters will probably spend Resonance to apply metamagic feats to spells instead of raising spell level... or alternately some other resource, maybe equal to (x points per day per metamagic feat you have). This would again be great for flexibility, and could salve some of these peoples' concerns.

And so on. Really, unless Mark or someone else wants to step in and address a lot of these points, we're just going to have to wait for the playtest book and see. I'm generally optimistic though. Paizo has to know what stuff people didn't like about 5E, and I don't see them repeating the same mistakes.


deuxhero wrote:

Star Wars: Saga Edition (Which I refer to here a lot because it actually fixed a lot of the problems of 3.x instead of keeping them for needless tradition) fixed the whole "HP damage is useless because 100 HP and 1 HP are just as deadly" by giving everything a threshold (based on fort score) that if you do more damage than it takes penalties till they recover. Some, if not all, editions of DSA/The Dark Eye use a vaguely similar idea with wounds being inflicted by large HP damage effects.

Saga Edition also had a good number of rider abilities available. You could do stuff like move characters around with Bantha Herder or Bantha Rush, knock them prone with Battering Attack (Alternatively you can take Improved Bantha Rush and choose "up" as the direction you push them giving them falling damage and knocking them prone if they aren't trained in acrobatics as a side effect. That one likely wasn't intended.), or lower their attack ability with Improved Suppression Fire.

I wanted 4E to be more like SWSE/fixed 3.5. Instead we got 4E which is a decent enough game in its own right I suppose but not what I want from D&D.

I picked Pathfinder because I thought it was better than 4E, not because Pathfinder is the best D&D ruleset ever. I don't think there is a best D&D ruleset ever but 5E, 2E and B/X are up there IMHO. Basic becuase its basic, 2E for the setting and rule variants, 5E because its overall very good but some things are a bit clunky and/or I have different preferences.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

4e did have some of the things from Saga that did not help the game, the Trained or Suck skills being the foremost in mind.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
Do cantrips scale in damage as you level up? It'd be lovely if they do, but at the same time, if at-will cantrips scale and low level limited-resource blast spells don't, that will both be weird and leave a bad taste in the mouth. If, on the other hand, it's more that a high-level wizard or a wizard with a high-level implement is just able to add a few extra dice to everything, then the low-level blast spell might always stay ahead of the scaling cantrip.

In 5e, the solution to this problem is that 1st-level spells are significantly stronger than cantrips. The baseline for an arcane cantrip is 1d10 damage, or 1d8 for a divine one. Some do less but add a special effect (e.g. Shocking Grasp dealing 1d8 but nullifying the target's reactions for a round, making it a good get-out-of-melee spell), and there's one that deals more but at the cost of a 10 ft range. At levels 5, 11, and 17, cantrips deal one more die of damage. By comparison, a 1st-level Magic Missile deals 3d4+3 no questions asked, and Chromatic Orb deals 3d8 with an attack roll. You need to get to 11th level for your cantrips to start competing with your 1st level spells, and I don't see it as a problem at that level. By then, use your 1st level spells for utility or control instead.

Quote:
I'm assuming they're not going to repeat 5E's mistakes, e.g. with the aforementioned Fireball spell. I'd expect that as, say, a Fireball is being cast at progressively higher spell slots, it's not only gaining more than just 1 extra die of damage per spell slot but also increasing in blast radius, gaining the ability to set things on fire, and so on to make it more comparable to actual higher level spells.

My preference, which I don't think they've quite done in 5e, would be to have up-cast spells deal damage comparable to spells that "truly" are higher level, but that the true high-level spells would have larger areas, inflict conditions, control the battlefield, and so on.

That said, using Fireball as an example of damage scaling in 5e is slightly unfair, because Fireball and Lightning Bolt are deliberately placed off the regular damage curve because of their iconic status. If you're going to compare up-cast lower-level spells to actual higher-level spells in 5e, Ice Storm or Flame Strike are more fair comparisons.


Benjamin Medrano wrote:
The person who came up with the magic system had never read 5e when he came up with it. Parallel development, and while it's similar, it's not necessarily the same.

Pathfinder Unchained was published back in 2015. I'm seeing a lot of Unchained options in these PF2 sneak peeks.

The Exchange

Upscale casting is the worst for a class with a maximum of 3 spells per level. If you got lots more higher level spells than up casting would work fine. With the trickle of spells you get in PF2 playtest it is nothing but a huge nerf regardless of the type of spell you are using

The Exchange

WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

This is how it is in 5e. I have never played high-level 5e so maybe someone else can chip in.

It does make one think that all those billion lower level slots you keep gaining become kinda redundant if the spells in them are so weak. I guess they can still have utility (Unless you're a Sorc).

I've only played 5e a bit, but I've read through the player's handbook a couple of times. Although you can make a spell stronger by increasing it's level, it is still almost always weaker than the higher level spell. For example, using a 3rd level slot, you could cast a 5d4+5 magic missile against one guy, or an 8d6 fireball against the whole room.

This feels like a heavy nerf for blaster mages that are already sub-optimal, while leaving the fight enders, like black tentacles and confusion, intact.

But I'll wait and see before I get too upset. I'm hoping that cantrips will get an auto-scaling upgrade and be the wizard's default options for those non-serious fights.

I agree with you 100%. Its like the designers have a grudge against the iconic damage spells & are trying to make them as unappealing as possible.


Talek & Luna wrote:
WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

This is how it is in 5e. I have never played high-level 5e so maybe someone else can chip in.

It does make one think that all those billion lower level slots you keep gaining become kinda redundant if the spells in them are so weak. I guess they can still have utility (Unless you're a Sorc).

I've only played 5e a bit, but I've read through the player's handbook a couple of times. Although you can make a spell stronger by increasing it's level, it is still almost always weaker than the higher level spell. For example, using a 3rd level slot, you could cast a 5d4+5 magic missile against one guy, or an 8d6 fireball against the whole room.

This feels like a heavy nerf for blaster mages that are already sub-optimal, while leaving the fight enders, like black tentacles and confusion, intact.

But I'll wait and see before I get too upset. I'm hoping that cantrips will get an auto-scaling upgrade and be the wizard's default options for those non-serious fights.

I agree with you 100%. Its like the designers have a grudge against the iconic damage spells & are trying to make them as unappealing as possible.

5E damage spells have been ramped up in damage though so they hit harder out the gate and are weaker than 3.x spells at higher levels.

Magic missile starts out at 3 missiles 1d41 fireball and lightning bolt are 8d6 (level 5).

Problem is 5E monster kinda have 4E hit points at low levels rather than AD&D or 3E type hit points. Ogres have 59 hit points, Hobgoblins 11 IIRC, Orcs 15 something like that. CR 2 and 3 critters are hitting 50-60 hp, CR 5 and 6 is often over 100.

Its not like damage spells are actually broken (since 2E perhaps or 3.0) although to be better in 3.x overhauling the way saves work would indirectly make them a lot more attractive.

You could probably have the damage spells be the same as 2E to PF1 how good they are depends on the save system used and NPC hp.

5E kicks the crap out of 3.x in terms monster design (divorcing BAB/proficiency from HD and tying it to CR is genius IMHO) and monster HD by size vs 3.x type is an improvement.

I don't recall Warmages being OP in 3.5.


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From what I posted in the All About Spells Thread:

In D&D 3.x/PF1 you get scaling of many spells for approximately 5 levels, and then they become capped, although you can use the Intensified Spell feat to extend the cap upwards. Nothing wrong with combining Heighten Spell and Intensified Spell and letting you extend the cap further in exchanging for additional levels of heigntening, but having the cap be immediate unless you heighten seems kind of harsh. Having a few levels of scaling with caster level even makes thematic sense: When you first learn to use a spell, you probably won't be able to make the most efficient use of it, and as you get better at it, you manage to squeeze more effect out of the same amount of magical energy. Eventually, you are squeezing out all you can, and to get more effect, you have to put more in. D&D 3.x/PF1 actually reflects this, although inconsistently and incompletely. Rather than throwing this away, I'd like to see it made more complete and consistent.

I just don't want to throw out scaling with level completely. I'd rather have something in between -- D&D 3.x/PF1 actually do have something in between, but don't do it consistently with respect to application or fleshing out.


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Reminder that spell casters will also have less spells more than likely.

Well that is to say, Cleric has fewer spells slots and they try to make up for it with the Domain spells(Can we cans those UP? I mean they don't take spell slots or do they, stupid spell point system making me confused).

So I can see all the spell casters having less spells total but having some ability/feature that gives them extra spells.

We'll see how the new spell and abilities that aren't spells but are now so no more Supernatural confusion, balance is later. Not highly hopeful but we'll see.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Spell Powers by default automatically "upcast," except for the ones that let you spend more points for more power.

Here's the post where Mark addressed that


ok hit hte wrong button to post.... but no matter.

you did read it, it said in the 2.0 playtest right, not yet set for 2.0 real rules right?


ChibiNyan wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Personally, I love it. You still get more powerful as a spellcaster, you just don't outstrip everybody who's not a spellcaster just by levelling up. One of the biggest problems in previous editions was the "quadratic Wizard, linear Fighter" issue, where a Fighter levels up and only gains a single increase in power, while a Wizard that levels up not only gets new, more powerful spells, but every single other spell they have also gets more powerful. Fighters go 1, 2, 3, 4, while Wizards go 1, 4, 9, 16. This is a problem, and removing automatic spell power scaling fixes that in a big way. In practice, what this likely means is that mages will use their highest level spell slots for their show-stopping, battle-ending magic that can be used a few times a day, and then focus on using their lower level slots for more utility effects and the like. I'm a big fan of this approach.
It does contribute towards the 20 minute adventuring issue. If I can only cast my good blast like 2-3 times a day then I'm always a lv1 wizard.

ChibiNyan is 100% right, and this is why the whole nerf-cloth-wearing-casters movement needs to be very careful. Sadly, it would appear that the developers are fairly far down that road already. The fact that cloth armor was not mentioned in the armor update is an implied communication that the attention is on the melee players. The melee players get nice new attributes even while rogues and warriors can poison and swing their swords all day long (and even craft magical weapons and perform rituals!)...Not true for the wizards.

I still have a wait and see attitude, yet my attitude is getting very skeptical.


Desferous wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Personally, I love it. You still get more powerful as a spellcaster, you just don't outstrip everybody who's not a spellcaster just by levelling up. One of the biggest problems in previous editions was the "quadratic Wizard, linear Fighter" issue, where a Fighter levels up and only gains a single increase in power, while a Wizard that levels up not only gets new, more powerful spells, but every single other spell they have also gets more powerful. Fighters go 1, 2, 3, 4, while Wizards go 1, 4, 9, 16. This is a problem, and removing automatic spell power scaling fixes that in a big way. In practice, what this likely means is that mages will use their highest level spell slots for their show-stopping, battle-ending magic that can be used a few times a day, and then focus on using their lower level slots for more utility effects and the like. I'm a big fan of this approach.
It does contribute towards the 20 minute adventuring issue. If I can only cast my good blast like 2-3 times a day then I'm always a lv1 wizard.

ChibiNyan is 100% right, and this is why the whole nerf-cloth-wearing-casters movement needs to be very careful. Sadly, it would appear that the developers are fairly far down that road already. The fact that cloth armor was not mentioned in the armor update is an implied communication that the attention is on the melee players. The melee players get nice new attributes even while rogues and warriors can poison and swing their swords all day long (and even craft magical weapons and perform rituals!)...Not true for the wizards.

I still have a wait and see attitude, yet my attitude is getting very skeptical.

Yeah, the previews have not been very comforting for casters, I hope we don't end having PF martial edition.


AnimatedPaper wrote:

Spell Powers by default automatically "upcast," except for the ones that let you spend more points for more power.

Here's the post where Mark addressed that

So they are upcast until they aren't?


edduardco wrote:
Desferous wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Personally, I love it. You still get more powerful as a spellcaster, you just don't outstrip everybody who's not a spellcaster just by levelling up. One of the biggest problems in previous editions was the "quadratic Wizard, linear Fighter" issue, where a Fighter levels up and only gains a single increase in power, while a Wizard that levels up not only gets new, more powerful spells, but every single other spell they have also gets more powerful. Fighters go 1, 2, 3, 4, while Wizards go 1, 4, 9, 16. This is a problem, and removing automatic spell power scaling fixes that in a big way. In practice, what this likely means is that mages will use their highest level spell slots for their show-stopping, battle-ending magic that can be used a few times a day, and then focus on using their lower level slots for more utility effects and the like. I'm a big fan of this approach.
It does contribute towards the 20 minute adventuring issue. If I can only cast my good blast like 2-3 times a day then I'm always a lv1 wizard.

ChibiNyan is 100% right, and this is why the whole nerf-cloth-wearing-casters movement needs to be very careful. Sadly, it would appear that the developers are fairly far down that road already. The fact that cloth armor was not mentioned in the armor update is an implied communication that the attention is on the melee players. The melee players get nice new attributes even while rogues and warriors can poison and swing their swords all day long (and even craft magical weapons and perform rituals!)...Not true for the wizards.

I still have a wait and see attitude, yet my attitude is getting very skeptical.

Yeah, the previews have not been very comforting for casters, I hope we don't end having PF martial edition.

Oh, boo hoo. The most interesting thing they could come up with for a high level fighter was "you're numerically a bit better at blocking a very specific type of AOE effect", the previews haven't been very comforting to anybody.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:

Spell Powers by default automatically "upcast," except for the ones that let you spend more points for more power.

Here's the post where Mark addressed that

So they are upcast until they aren't?

Basically yes. It was kind of a struggle to not say almost exactly that. I was worried you’d think I was making fun of you.


Arachnofiend wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Desferous wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Personally, I love it. You still get more powerful as a spellcaster, you just don't outstrip everybody who's not a spellcaster just by levelling up. One of the biggest problems in previous editions was the "quadratic Wizard, linear Fighter" issue, where a Fighter levels up and only gains a single increase in power, while a Wizard that levels up not only gets new, more powerful spells, but every single other spell they have also gets more powerful. Fighters go 1, 2, 3, 4, while Wizards go 1, 4, 9, 16. This is a problem, and removing automatic spell power scaling fixes that in a big way. In practice, what this likely means is that mages will use their highest level spell slots for their show-stopping, battle-ending magic that can be used a few times a day, and then focus on using their lower level slots for more utility effects and the like. I'm a big fan of this approach.
It does contribute towards the 20 minute adventuring issue. If I can only cast my good blast like 2-3 times a day then I'm always a lv1 wizard.

ChibiNyan is 100% right, and this is why the whole nerf-cloth-wearing-casters movement needs to be very careful. Sadly, it would appear that the developers are fairly far down that road already. The fact that cloth armor was not mentioned in the armor update is an implied communication that the attention is on the melee players. The melee players get nice new attributes even while rogues and warriors can poison and swing their swords all day long (and even craft magical weapons and perform rituals!)...Not true for the wizards.

I still have a wait and see attitude, yet my attitude is getting very skeptical.

Yeah, the previews have not been very comforting for casters, I hope we don't end having PF martial edition.
Oh, boo hoo. The most interesting thing they could come up with for a high-level fighter was "you're numerically a bit better at blocking a very specific type of...

To be honest Arachnofiend, I think the shield mechanics and weapon talents sound pretty fun. The rogue preview was neat, and the cleric has some neat new things to play with too! The equipment and weapon changes sound neat. Really, I'm pretty excited about most of what they have revealed, but, for instance, even in the weapons post, the switching items in your hands stuff...so a wizard can carry a staff or cast spells...I see it as another nerf for cloth-wearing casters.

The Exchange

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JRutterbush wrote:
Personally, I love it. You still get more powerful as a spellcaster, you just don't outstrip everybody who's not a spellcaster just by levelling up. One of the biggest problems in previous editions was the "quadratic Wizard, linear Fighter" issue, where a Fighter levels up and only gains a single increase in power, while a Wizard that levels up not only gets new, more powerful spells, but every single other spell they have also gets more powerful. Fighters go 1, 2, 3, 4, while Wizards go 1, 4, 9, 16. This is a problem, and removing automatic spell power scaling fixes that in a big way. In practice, what this likely means is that mages will use their highest level spell slots for their show-stopping, battle-ending magic that can be used a few times a day, and then focus on using their lower level slots for more utility effects and the like. I'm a big fan of this approach.

The old quadratic casters vs linear fighters is not a true argument as far as I am concerned. First off, fighters are not linear. Yes, they get scaling attack bonuses, but they also get an attack every interval of 5 during this progression (+20/+15/+10/+5). They also have feats& class abilities that impact this progression in a number of ways and access to magic items such as weapons & gauntlets/belts plus spell buffs to change this number dramatically. If all you got as a fighter was 2D6+6 from great sword plus strengthx1.5 then yes the linear correlation would be true. You might be able to argue that due to DM oversight you were kinda gimped on acquiring magic but in PF as long as you had a caster as a crafter you were ok. They even released a martial crafting feat in their mythic adventures book so crafting is really not an issue nor does it seem to be in PF2.

Since casters do not have add on options that do not raise the level of a spell (metamagic feats) or magical items that enhance their spells like a la magic items you need for the spells to increase in level to be effective. 15D6 is overkill for a fireball at 5th level. Its an appropriate amount of damage for a 15th level wizard. Just like 2D6+34 X 5 is inappropriate for a 1rst level fighter its about right for a 20th level fighter. The only way to avoid a spell scaling situation is to have higher level spells dramatically outpace lower level spells and honestly I don't see delayed blast fireball dramatically out pacing fireball. It would have to do enough damage to make it pointless to need fireball, such as somewhere around 24D6 (4xbase fireball damage) to compensate. Its nowhere near that damage now at 15ht level let alone 20th in PF1.

Also, how do you square an invoker removing low level spells because they don't scale? Would you gimp out a fighter and say only his three highest attacks matter so don't bother trying to improve the last two? That could be done with high level monsters by configuring their armor class so that only the first two hit under optimal circumstance by say requiring a 8 & 13 to hit, thereby making the last two attacks require an 18 & natural 20 regardless of enhancements. This is not fun and ruins feat choices, magic item choices and generally gimping the martials. If its unfair to restrain martials this way its unfair to restrain casters in the same way by limiting their spell selection.
Lastly it really weakens the notion of a master mage when apprentice Bob can cast the same magic missile as the Arch-Mage Raistlin. There should be degrees of difference between the effects of a spell when cast by a novice and a master. To put it in perspective, a squire should not get as many attacks as a master swordsman. There should be more to being a master than having an easier attack roll than a novice. If a novice could strike as often as a master but less accurately then it does not say much about the master. The same notion should apply to masters of the magical arts as well.

The Exchange

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Arachnofiend wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Desferous wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Personally, I love it. You still get more powerful as a spellcaster, you just don't outstrip everybody who's not a spellcaster just by levelling up. One of the biggest problems in previous editions was the "quadratic Wizard, linear Fighter" issue, where a Fighter levels up and only gains a single increase in power, while a Wizard that levels up not only gets new, more powerful spells, but every single other spell they have also gets more powerful. Fighters go 1, 2, 3, 4, while Wizards go 1, 4, 9, 16. This is a problem, and removing automatic spell power scaling fixes that in a big way. In practice, what this likely means is that mages will use their highest level spell slots for their show-stopping, battle-ending magic that can be used a few times a day, and then focus on using their lower level slots for more utility effects and the like. I'm a big fan of this approach.
It does contribute towards the 20 minute adventuring issue. If I can only cast my good blast like 2-3 times a day then I'm always a lv1 wizard.

ChibiNyan is 100% right, and this is why the whole nerf-cloth-wearing-casters movement needs to be very careful. Sadly, it would appear that the developers are fairly far down that road already. The fact that cloth armor was not mentioned in the armor update is an implied communication that the attention is on the melee players. The melee players get nice new attributes even while rogues and warriors can poison and swing their swords all day long (and even craft magical weapons and perform rituals!)...Not true for the wizards.

I still have a wait and see attitude, yet my attitude is getting very skeptical.

Yeah, the previews have not been very comforting for casters, I hope we don't end having PF martial edition.
Oh, boo hoo. The most interesting thing they could come up with for a high level fighter was "you're numerically a bit better at blocking a very specific type of...

I completely disagree Arachnofiend. I was stoked to play a fighter after the preview. Three attacks per round at level 1 and the ability to absorb mitigate damage with a shield is awesome! I can't wait to be a roman legionnaire type with my tower shield and short sword, attacking twice and blocking! It will be awesome!


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If what you're excited about is three attacks per round, then you don't get it and you never will. It's not about numbers. It's never been about numbers.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
If what you're excited about is three attacks per round, then you don't get it and you never will. It's not about numbers. It's never been about numbers.

It's, in fact, pretty telling that "universal system improvements that affect everyone" such as everyone having more actions per turn and being able to actively defend yourself look "exciting" for martials while "specific changes that only affect magic but change it radically" such as rituals, universal built-in heightening, ability to adapt spells on the fly by using more or less actions and automatic scaling for many cantrips are deemed as "boring" and "not enough" for mages.

It speaks volumes about how wild the difference is between what people think of martials and casters and where the baseline is set for each of them.


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I was really, really disappointed when I had my suspicion confirmed, that they removed spells scaling by level.

So many people have already said how this has been in 5th Edition DnD and you can pretty easily just go through the numbers in your head.

This is exactly not how you solve the balance issue between casters and martial characters...

At the core, it is about trade-off.
If two characters both fill a similar function (dealing damage, doing battlefield control, soaking up attacks, solving various out of combat problems), there should be balance to their pros and cons at their respective job.

One thing of course always is what other functions they also fill, but assuming balance there (with both having equally valuable other areas where they contribute), we would want to have a relatively steady level of trade-off at every character level.

Scaling Cantrips I personally like because they mirror scaling attack damage.
But combining that with fixed damage spells leads to a weird thing where it always centers around the highest spell slots.
Cantrips outclass the level 1 damage spell at some point and then you have no use for such a spell ever again.

Could we not instead have a system, where a level 1 spell always does at least X% more damage than a cantrip?
It would not be all that hard and I think it would smooth out damage a lot more than slowly having damage spells of low levels peter out into uselessness.

My experience from other systems usually is that the way to deal with the imbalance between the magical and non magical is not such a tough issue.
And damage usually will always be the easiest part of it, given how quantifiable it is.


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Gonna be experimenting a lot with Blasters during the playtest. The other builds seem fine I guess, since utility/debuff spells don't require heightening just to keep up their effectiveness. There is a real risk blasting will be weak (again, but even worse), specially compared to other builds and martials.

I implore anyone else that is worried about the power level of blast spells to let it be known during the playtesting period! Blating, after all, is just about numbers, which is the easiest thing to change in a game.


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I am a little curious why people think that having a scaling cantrip that will outpace lower level spells = bad blaster design. If anything, this seems like a great idea to me because who really wants to play a caster that is nothing but blaster, and especially so as a wizard? If you get a spammable blast spell, maybe you don't need every single spell on your list to do exactly the same thing?


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My favourite part is DCs scaling by character level (in 3rd Ed/PF1 I houserule spell DC's at 10 + 1/2 HD + spellcasting mod).


thflame wrote:

For example, if Fireball, a level 3 spell, cast at level 9, is similar in power to, say, Meteor Swarm, a level 9 spell, then everything is alright.

If, on the other hand, a level 9 Fireball is effectively a Level 3 Fireball plus a free coupon for a cup of mead at the tavern per extra spell level, the we have a problem. (but at least we can drink our sorrows away)

In other words, all spells cast at a given level should have comparable power, even if they can be cast at a lower level.

A bit late, but I think I disagree with this.

Let's take 5e Fireball and Meteor Swarm.

You can upcast a Fireball and cast it as a 9th level spell (14d6 damage) or you can cast Meteor Swarm as a 9th level spell (40d6 damage).

Now, you have a finite number of spells known, so which do you take?

Meteor Swarm is 'obviously' better, right?

...but only as long as you have a 9th level slot free to cast it from. The Fireball could be more useful overall, because you can use any spell slot from level 3+. If you need to disperse an army, you can fling a dozen fireballs at them from your lower level slots, and still have your 9th level slot free to cast Wish or Time Stop. If you took Meteor Swarm instead of Fireball, you get one use and then it's gone.

The damage gain for upcasting is probably a bit too low (hopefully PF2 will balance it better if they're taking a similar approach), but if a 9th level Fireball was as good as a Meteor Swarm, Meteor Swarm would be completely pointless.


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I think everyone who is unhappy with the Heightened Spells mechanic are focusing on the wrong thing - unless I'm mistaken, your 1st-level spells will have the same save DC as your 9th-level spells. This means that while you may not have room in your top couple spell level slots for your favorite blasts, those blasts aren't just collecting dust. So you're losing 2d6 by not having Fireball in your highest spell slot - who cares? I know that in PF1, a mechanic that let you deal 7 less damage with a spell while increasing its save DC by 2 would have been worth its weight in gold.


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2Zak wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
If what you're excited about is three attacks per round, then you don't get it and you never will. It's not about numbers. It's never been about numbers.

It's, in fact, pretty telling that "universal system improvements that affect everyone" such as everyone having more actions per turn and being able to actively defend yourself look "exciting" for martials while "specific changes that only affect magic but change it radically" such as rituals, universal built-in heightening, ability to adapt spells on the fly by using more or less actions and automatic scaling for many cantrips are deemed as "boring" and "not enough" for mages.

It speaks volumes about how wild the difference is between what people think of martials and casters and where the baseline is set for each of them.

Martials are at Power Level 2. In this new edition, we're going to bring them up to 4.

"Yay! Woohoo! Awesome power upgrade for martials!"

Casters are at Power Level 6. In this new edition, we're going to bring them up to 6.5.

"Boo! Not enough! This is going to turn into Pathfinder: Martial Edition. Lame!"


Maybe Gish/multiclassing wont be so bad in PF2E eh?


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thflame wrote:
For example, if Fireball, a level 3 spell, cast at level 9, is similar in power to, say, Meteor Swarm, a level 9 spell, then everything is alright.

I disagree. Fireball would make then Meteor Swarm (and every blast spell in every spell slot) obsolete then.

In order to have Meteor Swarm, you pay an opportunity cost. If you learn Meteor Swarm, then you miss Time Stop. Or Wail of the Banshee, or Gate, or whatever. If you just slot the old, trusty Fireball you have been using 15 levels and get the same result, then what is the point to pick Meteor Swarm? Just pick Disjunction, or Summon Monster IX, or Prismatic Sphere, or ANYTHING. That way you can slot Fireball if you feel you need a blast, and whatever else you picked instead of meteor swarm if you don't.

A 3rd lvl spell making all other blasts obsolete is a bad idea. A blaster should invest in blasting spells, not just pick Fireball as 3rd level and forget every other blast

Shadow Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Thats an excellent point gustavo.

I dont see any issue with the spell scaling here at this time. It lowers the disparity between casters and martials without directly affecting the utility of either. Since DC now scales with level for all spells those low level spells will have have higher DCs when used later in the wizards career. This means more save fails, or more importantly critical fails. That critical fail is double damage remember. That 5d6 is 28 damage in a 20’ radius with a DC of 18 (10+lvl+stat?), against lower level enemies that lower level spell can be 56 damage against ALL foes in a 20’ radius. When cast as one of your lower level spells when you reach level 9 that DC is probably 24, now those lower levels creatures are far more likely to fail/critical fail AND higer levels enemiies still have a good chance to fail as well. Of course if im not happy with my blast spell i could just leave the damage to the martial and use haste, protection from energy, stinking cloud to control the battlefield, vampiric touch to heal myself and damage my foe, slow to rob my enemies of actions etc etc

Additionally if i learn cone of cold as one of my two 5th level spells, my damaging ones, and i run into a creature immune to cold i can upcast my fireball, yes its less damage on paper but the DC is equivilent, and my foe isnt immune to it! If my martial runs into a creature highly resistent to physical damage his damage also drops dramatically and he can then...ah then...power attack?

The comparison of “running out of sword” is a silly distractior. fighters cant dominate foes, teleport, turn invisible, summon tentacles to grapple foes in a large area, attack all foes in a 30’ radius in a round or a 120’ line for that matter. They dont hit without rolling to do so, cant claim a 50% miss chance, or buff all their allies at once. Magic has much more utiliy, its not about just blasting.

Martials and casters fill a different niche in the game so im perfectly ok with the potential changes as we see them at the moment. If after playtesting the casters are left for dead then the feedback will reflect that.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

To me, my biggest issue with Wizards is that they can do almost everything without much constraint. I am hoping the wizard class feats are about specialization. If you want to be a blaster, by default you will need to invest in appropriate class feats. If you take the right feats, you will be good at blasting, but maybe not that hot in other spell niches.


Cat-thulhu wrote:

Thats an excellent point gustavo.

I dont see any issue with the spell scaling here at this time. It lowers the disparity between casters and martials without directly affecting the utility of either. Since DC now scales with level for all spells those low level spells will have have higher DCs when used later in the wizards career. This means more save fails, or more importantly critical fails. That critical fail is double damage remember. That 5d6 is 28 damage in a 20’ radius with a DC of 18 (10+lvl+stat?), against lower level enemies that lower level spell can be 56 damage against ALL foes in a 20’ radius. When cast as one of your lower level spells when you reach level 9 that DC is probably 24, now those lower levels creatures are far more likely to fail/critical fail AND higer levels enemiies still have a good chance to fail as well. Of course if im not happy with my blast spell i could just leave the damage to the martial and use haste, protection from energy, stinking cloud to control the battlefield, vampiric touch to heal myself and damage my foe, slow to rob my enemies of actions etc etc

Additionally if i learn cone of cold as one of my two 5th level spells, my damaging ones, and i run into a creature immune to cold i can upcast my fireball, yes its less damage on paper but the DC is equivilent, and my foe isnt immune to it! If my martial runs into a creature highly resistent to physical damage his damage also drops dramatically and he can then...ah then...power attack?

The comparison of “running out of sword” is a silly distractior. fighters cant dominate foes, teleport, turn invisible, summon tentacles to grapple foes in a large area, attack all foes in a 30’ radius in a round or a 120’ line for that matter. They dont hit without rolling to do so, cant claim a 50% miss chance, or buff all their allies at once. Magic has much more utiliy, its not about just blasting.

Martials and casters fill a different niche in the game so im perfectly ok with the potential changes as we...

While I agree with most of this, prepared casters will need to prepare heightened versions of spells ahead of time. It is unclear how lineage spells will effectively allow spontaneous casters to adapt on the fly like you describe in your firrball/cone of cold scenario, but I'm hopeful.

I do very much think needing different blasting spells is a good thing and was a major flaw in PF1, and I'm pretty cool with spells not scaling.

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yeah. I had actualy forgotten that, If i had one critique then it would be the need to prep ahead of time to upcast. I would have little issue with upcasting on the go, and may test the idea in the playtest to see id if OP, i suspect not.

Is it the case then thata spontaneous caster will need to learn spells at higher levels or can they upcast on the fly?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Seems to me to be another way PF2 is turning into 5E in Golarian.

There may be a market for 5E in Golarian, but if I wanted to play 5E I could play 5E in Forgotten Realms over in Adventure League.


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Cat-thulhu wrote:
Is it the case then thata spontaneous caster will need to learn spells at higher levels or can they upcast on the fly?

Apparently, spontaneous casters don't get to upcast.

Nathanael Love wrote:
Seems to me to be another way PF2 is turning into 5E in Golarian.

I'm sure there'll be plenty of differences between D&D5 and PF2... One of them being that pure Vancian doesn't exist in the former (prepared casters work similarly to the PF1 Arcanist). Another being a bigger gap between characters of different levels. Casters being toned down doesn't look like a big problem to me...


Cat-thulhu wrote:

Yeah. I had actualy forgotten that, If i had one critique then it would be the need to prep ahead of time to upcast. I would have little issue with upcasting on the go, and may test the idea in the playtest to see id if OP, i suspect not.

Is it the case then thata spontaneous caster will need to learn spells at higher levels or can they upcast on the fly?

It’s a mix. Spontaneous casters will get a couple spell lines they know all of, but then they’ll need to learn individual spell levels for the rest.


Cat-thulhu wrote:

Yeah. I had actualy forgotten that, If i had one critique then it would be the need to prep ahead of time to upcast. I would have little issue with upcasting on the go, and may test the idea in the playtest to see id if OP, i suspect not.

Is it the case then thata spontaneous caster will need to learn spells at higher levels or can they upcast on the fly?

From what we have been told, sorcerers will do both. A certain portion of their spells will be assigned to be up cast freely, but they will have to learn others at specific levels. What percentage of spells known fall into each category, and indeed spells known/spell slot totals, are still a mystery.

As for up casting on the fly: I'd agree if I had evidence you could let prepared casters do that and still leave spontaneous casters competitive. Which is how I feel about keeping wizard style casting vs switching everyone to arcanist style casting. Theoretically, it should be doable, but 5e failed at it pretty hard. Sorcerers feel pretty awful to me over there.


Cat-thulhu wrote:

Yeah. I had actualy forgotten that, If i had one critique then it would be the need to prep ahead of time to upcast. I would have little issue with upcasting on the go, and may test the idea in the playtest to see id if OP, i suspect not.

Is it the case then thata spontaneous caster will need to learn spells at higher levels or can they upcast on the fly?

Not only can spontaneous casters not upcast their regular spells known, they apparently can't undercast, either. Instead they get a limited number of special spells known (legacy spells?) that they know at all possible levels.


can someone point a link to the spontaneous casting stuff?


gustavo iglesias wrote:
can someone point a link to the spontaneous casting stuff?

It was a Mark Seifter comment, probably in the "all about spells" blog comments.


It was originally mentioned in the twitch stream, and Mark has offered some other clarifications since. One thing I'll note is that he said the exact number of lineage spells is something they are keenly interested in working out during the playtest.


MMCJawa wrote:
To me, my biggest issue with Wizards is that they can do almost everything without much constraint. I am hoping the wizard class feats are about specialization. If you want to be a blaster, by default you will need to invest in appropriate class feats. If you take the right feats, you will be good at blasting, but maybe not that hot in other spell niches.

I get this sentiment, but the trick is making sure that any given thing requires balanced resource investment to specialize in. Which is tricky, because even coming up with each "thing you can specialize in" with things as fluid as magic is tricky.

For example, you can make a good blaster in PF1, but it requires way more investment than other casting styles. That is kind of lame.

Quote:
am a little curious why people think that having a scaling cantrip that will outpace lower level spells = bad blaster design. If anything, this seems like a great idea to me because who really wants to play a caster that is nothing but blaster, and especially so as a wizard? If you get a spammable blast spell, maybe you don't need every single spell on your list to do exactly the same thing?

This is a good point, IMO.


Captain Morgan wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
To me, my biggest issue with Wizards is that they can do almost everything without much constraint. I am hoping the wizard class feats are about specialization. If you want to be a blaster, by default you will need to invest in appropriate class feats. If you take the right feats, you will be good at blasting, but maybe not that hot in other spell niches.

I get this sentiment, but the trick is making sure that any given thing requires balanced resource investment to specialize in. Which is tricky, because even coming up with each "thing you can specialize in" with things as fluid as magic is tricky.

For example, you can make a good blaster in PF1, but it requires way more investment than other casting styles. That is kind of lame.

That may be by intent though, since blasters most directly compete with non-caster combatants.

More likely it's semi-accidental dating back to unanticipated consequences in the shift from AD&D to 3.x. Increases in hit points weakening blasting and changes in saves making SoS/D spells much better.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
thflame wrote:
For example, if Fireball, a level 3 spell, cast at level 9, is similar in power to, say, Meteor Swarm, a level 9 spell, then everything is alright.

I disagree. Fireball would make then Meteor Swarm (and every blast spell in every spell slot) obsolete then.

In order to have Meteor Swarm, you pay an opportunity cost. If you learn Meteor Swarm, then you miss Time Stop. Or Wail of the Banshee, or Gate, or whatever. If you just slot the old, trusty Fireball you have been using 15 levels and get the same result, then what is the point to pick Meteor Swarm? Just pick Disjunction, or Summon Monster IX, or Prismatic Sphere, or ANYTHING. That way you can slot Fireball if you feel you need a blast, and whatever else you picked instead of meteor swarm if you don't.

A 3rd lvl spell making all other blasts obsolete is a bad idea. A blaster should invest in blasting spells, not just pick Fireball as 3rd level and forget every other blast

I think this just compounds the weakness of blasters, rather than balance them. Allow me to explain.

The Grease spell has the same power at level 1 than 20, the save scales to keep it relevant on the 1st level slot.

Blasters need to put their blasts on the higher level slots they can afford. Any damage spell on a 1st level slot is useless, and fireball on the 3rd level slot has a short shelf life. So what they gotta do is upcast to keep up, right? So we just put the fireball on the 9th lev- OH, it's still useless. I guess Blasters just gotta both max out their high level slots with blasts AND constantly learn new spells to put in those slots as well. This is just to maintain the power level theyve had since probably level 5. (killing enemies at the same rate that fireball was killing them at level 5). Double whammy here.

Meanwhile the Grease guy, if he decides he wants to be able to blast a bit, can just learn 1 high-level blast and be better since he didn't waste spellbook space on the low-level ones. Instead he has the same lv1 spells that are still useful years later.

EDIT: And I don't even wanna know what happens to Grease, Color SPray and Fly when heightened to level 9. I bet they don't look nearly as bad.

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