Spells Not Scaling Automatically per Caster Level


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If spell DC + damage scale linear automatically, so must weapon accuracy + damage.

Which did not in PF1, at least to a psychologically respectable level. And don't even mention those totally unfair interative attack penalty, which spellcasters have no equivalent. An old artifact from AD&D 2E's maximum 2.5 weapon swings per turn haphazardly translated to the 3E system, then not fixed later during the 3.5E era just to spite non-magicals.

The Exchange

Captain Morgan wrote:
Talek & Luna wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Talek & Luna wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

A 9th level fireball which is weaker than meteor swarm is still a good option for a non blaster than suddenly needs to prepare a blasting option. A wizard that, say, learned Dominate monster and know will face an horde of mindless high level monsters. A 9th lvl fireball is a better option there, so he slots the third level spell he has been using 15 lvls and is essentially free, slot it in 9th slot, and get the job adequately done.

It should NEVER be the go to option for a dedicated 17th lvl blaster. That dedicated blaster should pick 9th lvl blasting spells

Fighters don't lose optimal fighting ability because they have to use a dagger instead of a longsword. Casters shouldn't suffer from upcasting either. The spell should do as much damage as a 9th level spell. Its other effects such as aoe radius should not be as good as a meteor swarm and it should not have the same riders but its damage should be within the ball park and upcasting does not allow this.

To put it in perspective of a fighter, it would be like a fighter suddenly losing half his attack bonus because the dagger is not his primary weapon.

Fighters do in fact lose optimal fighting ability when they are forced to use a backup weapon.

In the old PF rules yes, because a lot was tied up in specialization and expertise. In this edition, it does not seem to be the case so far. You don't suffer a reduction to your attack number because you switched weapons unless you switched from a magical to a non magical one.

False. From the Fighter blog:

"Next up, at 3rd level, you gain weapon mastery, which increases your proficiency rank with one group of weapons to master."

It looks like you gain legendary proficiency with this weapon group at 13th, but don't get it for all weapons until 19th. Also, item quality matters in addition to magic, and frankly either way your backup weapon is unlikely...

Yeah, ok. So mastery gives you a +1 difference in tier level for your longsword vs your dagger. If there was a 5% difference in damage output between a 9th level true spell and an upcast spell using a 9th level spell I would agree with you but someone else on this thread has run the math and it does not equate to a mere 5% difference.

With being able to craft your own magical weapons as a martial I can easily see your backup weapon being equal to your primary weapon in quality unless crafting is sub divided into tiers for each category . I.E> Legendary at sword crafting, mastery at axe crafting, expert at mace crafting, etc. I don't see this as being the case because that is a lot of tedious bookkeeping.

Contributor

Lausth wrote:
So basicly blaster Sorc/Wizard days are over?

No. Basically how blasty spells work is that they do the damage comparable to what they would have done at their max level. For example, in PF1 you could learn fireball at 3rd level but you would need to wait until 10th Level to do the full 10d6 damage. In PF2, the spell never improves with level but it does damage comparable to that full 10d6 as soon as you learn it.

A good example is magic missiles, which does 3d4 for two actions at 1st level, or strikes all enemies within range for three actions.

The Exchange

Cat-thulhu wrote:


comparing pf2 spells with pf1 spells is fairly meaningless dont you think? We know nothing about PW:kill in 2e, not. How PW in general work, not the level they may be. These AE efficient spells may even be relegated to higher levels than before?

Talek & Luna wrote:
So by your reasoning a martial's second and third swings should do less damage because he cannot swing as accurately as he could on his first swing? AMIRITE :) ?

Statistically speaking this is what happens, lower accuracy on the iteritive attacks means lower chances to hit so overall a lower damage output. Consider an AC 26 vs attack +15 martial. My first hit is effective 50% of the time so If my damage is 20 points and i hit only half the time my average damage is 10 points per round. My second attack at -5 is 25% chance to hit per round so 5 damage per round, less damage.

Talek & Luna wrote:
. The part about critical fails on saves is no big deal either. Lets put it this way. Lets say fireball does 5D6. A critical is a 100% increase in damage. A +5 sword is a 500% increase in damage and 1000% increase in damage if you crit. Blast spells need to increase in damage to be viable and I don't accept the argument that they are ineffective. I don't lobby to make dual wielding ineffective. Evocation spells should be treated better than they seem to be by playtest rules

That +5 sword represents what is probably a large investiment of wealth by that fighter. If pf2 has nothing that a spellcasting blaster can invest money in to improve his abilities I would see this as an issue, Isuspect there will be things though.

I woyld agree that a 1000% increase on a crit is a litle over the top and would like yo see...

It is not unfair to compare a PF1 spell with a PF2 spell. At 9th level I can cast magic missile, get 5 missiles and move with PF1 MM. In PF2 I would have to upcast magic missile to 3rd level to get six missiles and no move. Its a big difference and a huge nerf. If rogues went from 10D6 maximum sneak attack to 3D6 I would think you would have a right to make a comparison between PF1 rogue & PF2 even if you didn't have the full picture yet.

Statistically speaking, fighters missing on additional attacks is not a big deal due to various buffs from magic and circumstances in the game. I would expect that an attack landed with a -5 or -10 penalty would not be as solid of a hit as an attack with no penalty. Many fights have hits that hurt but are more of a glancing or set up blow rather than every hit in a fight being a finisher move. Martial damage does not support this. If a 9th level spell should be uber powerful compared to a 3rd level spell then it should hit like a 9th level spell regardless of how that 9th level spell was used.


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Talek & Luna wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

A 9th level fireball which is weaker than meteor swarm is still a good option for a non blaster than suddenly needs to prepare a blasting option. A wizard that, say, learned Dominate monster and know will face an horde of mindless high level monsters. A 9th lvl fireball is a better option there, so he slots the third level spell he has been using 15 lvls and is essentially free, slot it in 9th slot, and get the job adequately done.

It should NEVER be the go to option for a dedicated 17th lvl blaster. That dedicated blaster should pick 9th lvl blasting spells

Yes it should. It just cannot do what meteor swarm does but the damage should be comparable. Its a 9th level spell! You wouldn't expect a fighter rogue who acheived a higher enough base attack to miss out on excess iterative attacks because she has rogue levels in addition to fighter levels and therefore should be weaker because she is not a 'true' fighter.

No, it's not a 9th level spell. It's a 3rd level spell, that you put in your book at lvl 5, because you bought a cheap (compared to 9th lvl spells) scroll, from a small settlement, which was much more available than the 9th lvl spell Meteor swarm. It's a spell that you also picked at a much lower oportunity cost, because you do not need to sacrifice Time Stop to get it, and it's a spell that comes really often in enemy spellbooks during your 16 first levels, unlike Meteor Swarm. The cost of having fireball is not close in any way, shape or form to the cost of a Meteor swarm.

Your example made absolute no sense, but I'd give you another. You shouldn't expect your fighter's Vital Strike to do as much as your fighter's Improved Vital Strike, because the later is higher level.


Talek & Luna wrote:
Rek Rollington wrote:

I really feel this system is designed to make blaster casters think more about taking more interesting choices with their low level spells. You can do big damage with your highest spell slots, regular damage with your cantrips which frees up your low level spell slots for some variety since fhere’s point taking low level damaging spells other then maybe a few magic missles for a guaranteed hit to finish a low HP foe.

If I was making a blasting wizard with these rules I think it would have been a more interesting wizard I made when I first started playing 3.5/PF.

Why should I be forced to take more "Interesting choices"? What if I don't care about buffing my party or utility and just want to blast stuff. Stop saying that my fun is badwrongfun

Then do it. You have plenty of choices. At 5th level, you can use fireballs. At 9th, you have cone of cold. At 11th, you have chain lightning. At 17th, you have meteor swarm.

Use them, they are pretty good at the level you get them.

The Exchange

Bluenose wrote:
Talek & Luna wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
edduardco wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Talek & Luna wrote:
That's the most annoying part. Cantrips ARE quadratic but normal spells are not. Its a really bad idea that creates a lot of dissonance for me. The difference from a master casting a cantrip and an apprentice is readily apparent if both cast a cantrip. If they both cast a magic missile with a level 1 spell slot you cannot tell the difference between the two. I think that is really immersion breaking.
Why would a spell act differently when both casters expend the same amount of power for the spell? Same actions, same energy, same result. If the master wants to show off, they can use metamagic, or spend a higher slot for more power in the spell.
Well that is a design decision of how much do you want level to impact the game, for example, should a higher level caster be more efficient and get greater effect expending fewer resources than a lower level caster?

In my mental model of magic, higher efficiency is gained with higher level spells. You get more out of the same resource if you use a spell designed for that level of resource.

I don't have a good analogue for why a master caster can wiggle their fingers and say magic words the same way as an apprentice and somehow do it more efficiently. It just doesn't make much sense to me.

So by your reasoning a martial's second and third swings should do less damage because he cannot swing as accurately as he could on his first swing? AMIRITE :) ?
Attack rolls don't model single swings in any way. And they're already getting a penalty in the lower attack bonus. If they'd used to get higher damage from using a greatsword solely because they were higher level and each attack was deadlier then removing that would make for a comparable analogy with a lack of automatic scaling for spells.

Correct, attack rolls do not measure single sword swings. However, any fighter knows that swinging more often will decrease your accuracy. The faster something is going, the harder it is to control. So even a wizard or a non combatant could theorotically be swinging 10 times in six seconds but the chances of 9 out of those 10 swings being meaningful for a noncombatant in PF rules is zero, hence most non-combatants if they are lucky will never get more than 2 attacks in a round that count as a meaningful attack roll

The Exchange

gustavo iglesias wrote:
Talek & Luna wrote:
Rek Rollington wrote:

I really feel this system is designed to make blaster casters think more about taking more interesting choices with their low level spells. You can do big damage with your highest spell slots, regular damage with your cantrips which frees up your low level spell slots for some variety since fhere’s point taking low level damaging spells other then maybe a few magic missles for a guaranteed hit to finish a low HP foe.

If I was making a blasting wizard with these rules I think it would have been a more interesting wizard I made when I first started playing 3.5/PF.

Why should I be forced to take more "Interesting choices"? What if I don't care about buffing my party or utility and just want to blast stuff. Stop saying that my fun is badwrongfun

Then do it. You have plenty of choices. At 5th level, you can use fireballs. At 9th, you have cone of cold. At 11th, you have chain lightning. At 17th, you have meteor swarm.

Use them, they are pretty good at the level you get them.

Yes but they quickly fall out of favor once you exceed these levels. Let me put it into perspective for you. Power attack as stated in the playtest gets a bump in damage at a certain level to keep it viable. Why is this? If using your action to grant an extra die of damage for the first 10 levels of the game good enough then why do they need to increase its damage again? It should just always be a single extra die of damage. Why the 500% increase to damage for magic weapons? Why should sneak attack keep increasing as you level since you claim that the entry level where you get a power is good enough for that power throughout your career.


Talek & Luna wrote:

Yeah, ok. So mastery gives you a +1 difference in tier level for your longsword vs your dagger. If there was a 5% difference in damage output .

False. It is going to be more than a 5% increase on damage from a weapon change because of the crit likelihood.

Quote:
9th level true spell and an upcast spell using a 9th level spell I would agree with you but someone else on this thread has run the math and it does not equate to a mere 5% difference

Also false. We don't have 9th level spells yet to compare the blasting damage to. We do have a 5th level spell to compare to an upcast 3rd level spell: The former deals 11d6 while the latter deals 10d6. Cone of cold does 10% more damage than 5th level fireball, and unlike your Fighter example has the same chance to crit no matter which spell you prepare in the 5th level slot.

Also, magic rune potency will be adding additional die, so the damage will be substantially lower, which brings us to....

Quote:
With being able to craft your own magical weapons as a martial I can easily see your backup weapon being equal to your primary weapon in quality unless crafting is sub divided into tiers for each category . I.E> Legendary at sword crafting, mastery at axe crafting, expert at mace crafting, etc. I don't see this as being the case because that is a lot of tedious bookkeeping.

Let's assume this is correct, even though it is a based on a whole lot of nothing. The argument is that you can spend money to make your backup weapon equal your primary weapon. In which case... why can't the wizard spend money adding those higher level blasting spells to their spellbook?


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Talek & Luna wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Talek & Luna wrote:
Rek Rollington wrote:

I really feel this system is designed to make blaster casters think more about taking more interesting choices with their low level spells. You can do big damage with your highest spell slots, regular damage with your cantrips which frees up your low level spell slots for some variety since fhere’s point taking low level damaging spells other then maybe a few magic missles for a guaranteed hit to finish a low HP foe.

If I was making a blasting wizard with these rules I think it would have been a more interesting wizard I made when I first started playing 3.5/PF.

Why should I be forced to take more "Interesting choices"? What if I don't care about buffing my party or utility and just want to blast stuff. Stop saying that my fun is badwrongfun

Then do it. You have plenty of choices. At 5th level, you can use fireballs. At 9th, you have cone of cold. At 11th, you have chain lightning. At 17th, you have meteor swarm.

Use them, they are pretty good at the level you get them.

Yes but they quickly fall out of favor once you exceed these levels. Let me put it into perspective for you. Power attack as stated in the playtest gets a bump in damage at a certain level to keep it viable. Why is this? If using your action to grant an extra die of damage for the first 10 levels of the game good enough then why do they need to increase its damage again? It should just always be a single extra die of damage. Why the 500% increase to damage for magic weapons? Why should sneak attack keep increasing as you level since you claim that the entry level where you get a power is good enough for that power throughout your career.

Choosing a feat and choosing a spell are not equal levels of resource purchase commitment. Most characters get 1 class feat at 1st level. A wizard also gets that, plus 10 cantrips and 1st level spells. I can guarantee you will get more spells as you level than you get feats.


gustavo iglesias wrote:


No, it's not a 9th level spell. It's a 3rd level spell, that you put in your book at lvl 5, because you bought a cheap (compared to 9th lvl spells) scroll, from a small settlement, which was much more available than the 9th lvl spell Meteor swarm. It's a spell that you also picked at a much lower oportunity cost, because you do not need to sacrifice Time Stop to get it, and it's a spell that comes really often in enemy spellbooks during your 16 first levels, unlike Meteor Swarm. The cost of having fireball is not close in any way, shape or form to the cost of a Meteor swarm.

Wrong. A scroll with Fireball prepared as a 9th level spell and a Scroll of Meteor Swarm should have the same value. If there was a method that allowed Meteor Swarm to be scaled down to fit in a 1st level spell slot a scroll with Meteor Swarm prepared as a 1st level spell should cost as much as a basic Magic Missile scroll.

When you buy or create a scroll you are buying/creating a prepared spell slot.

Also Meteor Swarm could be a fairly common and well known spell, but few are able to cast it without a scroll.

Quote:


Your example made absolute no sense, but I'd give you another. You shouldn't expect your fighter's Vital Strike to do as much as your fighter's Improved Vital Strike, because the later is higher level.

Why should Vital Strike and Improved Vital Strike be two different feats/attacks?

A big part of 3.X's Martial/Caster disparity was due to many feats which should have scaled up with level not scaling at all.


Ultimatecalibur wrote:
Wrong. A scroll with Fireball prepared as a 9th level spell and a Scroll of Meteor Swarm should have the same value.

Why would a wizard buy fireball as a 9th level scroll to copy into his spellbook, when he can get the same exact spell as a 3rd level acroll? All he wants to do is copy it into his spellbook. No need to buy the more expensive version. Once it's in his spellbook, it doesn't matter that he bought it as a 3rd level scroll, he can now upcast it to 9th.


Also, I'll point out that a 9th level scroll in PF1 would have been CL 17. That would be significantly worse in the old system-- it caps AT 10d6,bere it would be 18d6.

But this doesn't feel relevant at all anyway. If you are going to town and buying a scroll, just guy the better scroll. It is (presumably) the same cost, you don't need to spend anything as permanent as a spell known, and it is more intuitive to buy stronger spells on your scrolls anyway over scaling up weaker spells, so I don't see people falling into the "trap."


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I would like to point out as someone who rarely uses Spellcasters (I usually die before I can do something fun), casters have it way too easy in PF1. Sorry for the long post, I just have 2 really big examples of why Spellcasters don't really need caster lv to dmg.

A well played 10th wizard can: teleport in, launch multiple ice storms (no scaling & no saving throw), then teleport out. In a matter of at most 4 rounds, it caused 10d6 damage, created difficult terrain, and gave a penalty to perception to people in 2 20 ft radiuses. And, this doesn't even use all the 4 & 5th lv spells a wizard gets.

Now what can a martial do in the same amount of time? They can move, attack up to 4 enemies (missing half the time), get beat silly by the rest of the enemies, and/or maybe withdraw if lucky.

What I'm trying to say is that just because a Wizard deals less damage vs single target from a heightened fireball in PF2, does not mean a wizard just lost everything else that makes it a Wizard, as other have stated (Teleport, Invisibility, Energy Resist, etc.).

Also comparing Spell damage to Martial damage is disingenuous at best. For the simple fact that martial can only damage so many thing a round (typically 1), that it doesn't compare to the amount of damage a Spellcaster can output when fighting groups. An unmodified Fireball can deal 5d6*# of enemy up to ~250 enemies for 20 ft radius = avg max damage of ~2,000 if they all make their save, in one turn. Against a group of 5 that drops to ~40 damage if they make their save.


I don't see much of a problem with it. One thing I could see, though I bet just as many people would be up in arms, would be that you only get maybe your best 2-3 spell levels worth of slots at any one time, but you get more spells in those slots (though fewer overall). So instead of having three slots of 1st through 5th at 10th level, you might get 5(?) slots of 4th level spells and 5 slots of 5th level spells. Then maybe at 11th, it goes 2/5/3 (for 4th/5th/6th respectively). If all spells scale based on slots, that would allow for automatic scaling without giving too many spells that could be cast at scaled power.

But honestly, I don't see too much of an issue with it as is. I think cantrips which automatically scale will be the workhorse of a caster's arsenal, while the highest 2ish levels of spell slots will be for your bigger threats, and the rest can be utility where casting it at the top slot is less of an issue.

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Talek & Luna wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Talek & Luna wrote:
That's the most annoying part. Cantrips ARE quadratic but normal spells are not. Its a really bad idea that creates a lot of dissonance for me. The difference from a master casting a cantrip and an apprentice is readily apparent if both cast a cantrip. If they both cast a magic missile with a level 1 spell slot you cannot tell the difference between the two. I think that is really immersion breaking.
Why would a spell act differently when both casters expend the same amount of power for the spell? Same actions, same energy, same result. If the master wants to show off, they can use metamagic, or spend a higher slot for more power in the spell.
For the same reason that a high level fighter hits for more accuracy then a low level fighter. Being a higher level gives you greater mastery over your chosen profession. Now if fighters never increased in attack bonuses and only differentiated from each other via feats I could understand your point about there being no difference between Talek the apprentice casting fireball vs Raistlin the Arch Mage casting a fireball

There is a difference. Just not in base damage. A master fighter gets better at hitting his foes, and a master caster does, too. A master's saving throws are going to be much more difficult to overcome than the apprentice's.

A trainee using a simple longsword will do the same damage as a master swordsman. An apprentice wizard will do the same damage with a simple fan of flames as the master. The masters will just be more likely to score a critical hit, and will effectively do more damage.


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Talek & Luna wrote:


Yes but they quickly fall out of favor once you exceed these levels. Let me put it into perspective for you. Power attack as stated in the playtest gets a bump in damage at a certain level to keep it viable. Why is this? If using your action to grant an extra die of damage for the first 10 levels of the game good enough then why do they need to increase its damage again? It should just always be a single extra die of damage. Why the 500% increase to damage for magic weapons? Why should sneak attack keep increasing as you level since you claim that the entry level where you get a power is good enough for that power throughout your career.

Because unlike spells, feats are a very tight pool to select. You only get 1 every few levels, and CANNOT pick anyone else in any other way, ever, so the ones you pick need to work for your entire career. Unlike Spells, which you get 2 per level every level, plus you can copy dozens of them from the spellbooks of dead wizards, and you can pay wizards to copy them in big settlements, or buy scrolls to copy them. Once you pick "power attack" over, say, "Weapon focus", you are pretty much stuck with it. Once you pick "Fireball" over, say, "slow", you can learn Slow the next day by picking up a scroll, and once you level up, you get 2 new options to pick slow, and at lvl 7 you get options for better spells than both Fireball and Slow.

Meteor swarm also does more than 500% the damage of Burning Hands, plus other benefits, like more range and AOE. If you want to blast things at lvl 17, pick the damn 9th lvl blasting spell. It's not that hard, really.


Ultimatecalibur wrote:


Wrong. A scroll with Fireball prepared as a 9th level spell and a Scroll of Meteor Swarm should have the same value. If there was a method that allowed Meteor Swarm to be scaled down to fit in a 1st level spell slot a scroll with Meteor Swarm prepared as a 1st level spell should cost as much as a basic Magic Missile scroll.

You did not get it.

I can buy a clvl 5 scroll with a lvl 3 spell, copy it in my book, then learn it in a 9th lvl slot. The cost to do so is much cheaper than buying a 17th clvl scroll with a 9th lvl spell, and it's also available in pretty much everywhere, instead of only in certain metropolis.


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The entire balance of Vancian magic rely on the fact that martials do less, but more often. At low level, a wizard can wreck an encounter with color spray or sleep, but can only wreck a few encounters before being useless.. Keyword in italics. A fighter can go on all day, so this is supposed to be balanced. Let's work with it for a while, as hypothesis.

Once the lvls go up, the wizard has more and more and more spells, each of them potentially able to wreck an encounter. Once the wizard has more encounter-wrecking spells than the adventuring day has encounters, there is no trade off. We can try to argue that a knife is balanced with a nuclear missile, because knifes can go all day long, and you only have a nuclear missile. But that argument cannot hold water if you compare a knife to the US nuclear arsenal, which is enough to end all possible wars at once.

PF2 realized this, so they will try to make Wizards less useless at some levels, like the first ones, with scalable cantrips, while also reduce the nuclear missile silo capability. Now, instead of dozens and dozens of encounter-wreckins spells at higher level, it's supposed to wreck encounters only with the few higher level spells. A blaster is supposed to clean up mobs of low level monsters, or deal high burst damage with single target spells like Desintegrate, at the expense of being expendable resources. Knifes vs grenades. To be balanced, you have to be able to run out of grenades, because if you have more grenades than encounters, you don't need knifes.

Blasting is still fine. It just need to keep up with the proper lvl spells. That's not a bug of the system, that's a feature, and a design goal.


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The wizard gets scaling at-will cantrips that will allow the wizard to blast all day. Why does the wizard need every single spell they memorize to do exactly the same thing? They don't, they can have trade offs. The "blaster caster" can have spell memorized that target different weaknesses and resistances, different lines of effect, and different amounts of damage. Maybe by 17th level, it makes more sense to take some True strike spells to make those level 9 blasts really hit hard?

Scaling spells vs Non-scaling spells is a matter of narrative choice. The developers have decided to make spells more like weapons, in that the spell is a static thing that gets more powerful by feat selection and proficiency mastery, not just inherently by being a spell. I appreciate this decision and think it will result in more tactical casters and spell selection that develops with the character: at 1-5th level, this first level spell is valuable, and this other first level spell is not, but that can change as my character is using first level spells to do different things.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:

Now, instead of dozens and dozens of encounter-wreckins spells at higher level, it's supposed to wreck encounters only with the few higher level spells. A blaster is supposed to clean up mobs of low level monsters, or deal high burst damage with single target spells like Desintegrate, at the expense of being expendable resources. Knifes vs grenades. To be balanced, you have to be able to run out of grenades, because if you have more grenades than encounters, you don't need knifes.

Blasting is still fine. It just need to keep up with the proper lvl spells. That's not a bug of the system, that's a feature, and a design goal.

The issue a lot of us have though is that only Blasting has to rely on their highest level spells to do their main thing. With the math being as tight as it is and the DC automatically scaling with the caster's level a low level buff, debuff, or control spell will probably still be at least about as useful at level 20 as it was at the level you got it. After all, something as simple as a +-1 is pretty much always going to be useful since everything scales at approximately the same rate. But using a damage spell in any slot lower than your highest two is going to be a waste unless it's for clean up. Now maybe this will be made up by having more (or more effective) damaging cantrips than any other combat type, but it still kinda hurts those of us who prefer to specialize our casters to be told that we have to ignore our preference for this type of casting.

There's also the fact that from what we've heard a chunk (we don't know how large a chunk yet) of Sorcerer spells known will only be castable at the spell level you learn the spell, so it also means that any sorcerer that wants to have blasting spells outside their (also unknown number) autoscaling spells will basically have to retrain their spells pretty much every couple of levels, as the blasting spells they put in there become useless now.


Shinigami02 wrote:


With the math being as tight as it is and the DC automatically scaling with the caster's level a low level buff, debuff, or control spell will probably still be at least about as useful at level 20 as it was at the level you got it. After all, something as simple as a +-1 is pretty much always going to be useful since everything scales at approximately the same rate.

People keep saying this, but I'm not entirely convinced it is true. At least not for debuff and control spells. In PF1, spell DC was only one thing that limited these spells at higher levels. Control spells like Grease or Wall spells lost a lot of power as flight became more common on enemies. The blinded condition loses relevance as enemies develop more special sense and AoE attacks, or other effects which don't care about miss chance. Create Pit loses power once enemies grow bigger than the pit. There are also flat out immunities-- we have been told they will be less common against damage, but I'm not sure if that will be the case for things like mind-effects.

Consider the list of 1st level spells with the most use at high levels according to Mark. Pretty much none of those are control or debuff spells-- the closest is Charm, which has always been more effective out of combat.

Buff spells may age a little a better-- you're right that a +1 seems unlikely to go out of style. But buff spells also include things which can help blasters like True Strike-- which Mark mentions as one of his favorite 1st level spells at higher levels.

Quote:
But using a damage spell in any slot lower than your highest two is going to be a waste unless it's for clean up. Now maybe this will be made up by having more (or more effective) damaging cantrips than any other combat type, but it still kinda hurts those of us who prefer to specialize our casters to be told that we have to ignore our preference for this type of casting.

This isn't necessarily true either, depending on how Weakness scales. If the values get high enough, then weak blasts can become very relevant, especially if they are multi-hit or DoT. You may be right in a vacuum, or you may not have the intel to prepare exactly the right spells for those scenarios. But this can also be true of control and debuff spells, as per earlier examples.

Quote:
There's also the fact that from what we've heard a chunk (we don't know how large a chunk yet) of Sorcerer spells known will only be castable at the spell level you learn the spell, so it also means that any sorcerer that wants to have blasting spells outside their (also unknown number) autoscaling spells will basically have to retrain their spells pretty much every couple of levels, as the blasting spells they put in there become useless now.

While I share some concerns about the sorcerer as a balance point, I think blasts aging well isn't exclusively a concern to them. A wizard may get slightly better mileage out of low level blasts they can heighten, but even they have reason to keep their spell list current since spells heightened to X level aren't as good as X level spells. Also, retraining doesn't sound nearly as difficult this time around.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

DCs going up don't just benefit control spells though. Damage spells will (for the most part) use DCs or hit-rolls, both of which the automatic scaling helps. Yes sleep retains it's relevance, but your blasts improve their ability to do double damage (or whatever bonus effect) as you level as well. It doesn't matter that your max level -3 blast spell doesn't autoscale in damage, so long as it does more than a cantrip and is at least as good as what a martial can do with those actions (likely, range, elemental damage, aoe or specials effects always being beneficial.)


MR. H wrote:
It would make the leveling process feel worse overall. Like I'm on a treadmill to stay relevant.

That's... that's how it is. Play something other than a full caster and you'll see that every other class is definitely "on the treadmill."


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Low level spells prepared in high level slots need to be strictly worse (not in every respect, but overall) than equivalent, naturally high level spells. The opportunity cost of learning one high level spell over another was mentioned already, but there's also a flexibility cost due to the lack of "downcasting". Burning Hands can be prepared in 1st to 9th level slots, so a 3rd level Burning Hands obviously cannot be as good as Fireball that can only be prepared in 3rd to 9th level slots, and a 9th level Burning Hands (or Fireball) obviously cannot be as good as Meteor Swarm that can only be prepared in 9th level slots.


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Also it is important to remember that blasting spells don't get worse as you level up. They stay just as good at killing the kind of monsters they could kill when you learned the spell (actually they get better because your odds of getting crits go up significantly as you level). You just have to learn new blasting spells to tackle the larger more powerful monsters you fight at higher levels, just like martial characters have to improve their equipment to be as effective.


I'm obviously going to have to wait and see the actual spell selection and monster selection when the books come out, but my line in the sand is that if a blaster has to keep upgrading to higher level spells to be effective, so should a controller. If at 13th level a controller can be just peachy locking down and beating level-appropriate enemies with 2nd and 3rd tier control spells, and gets to use all their higher level slots for amazing utility and buffs, while the 13th level blaster has to lean heavily into 5th-7th tier attack spells and doesn't get the same versatility as the controller... that's a problem. And I think that's what a lot of people are trying to express concern about, one way or another.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
I'm obviously going to have to wait and see the actual spell selection and monster selection when the books come out, but my line in the sand is that if a blaster has to keep upgrading to higher level spells to be effective, so should a controller. If at 13th level a controller can be just peachy locking down and beating level-appropriate enemies with 2nd and 3rd tier control spells, and gets to use all their higher level slots for amazing utility and buffs, while the 13th level blaster has to lean heavily into 5th-7th tier attack spells and doesn't get the same versatility as the controller... that's a problem. And I think that's what a lot of people are trying to express concern about, one way or another.

That's fair. I think we've already seen indications that this will be the case with tiered conditions. So high level casters using low level debuffs might have a good chance using low level spells to impose conditions like slowed 1 even on high level enemies, but for the more severe effect levels (perhaps stunned is the climax of the slowed ladder) they will either need repeated castings or use high level slots.


Turmoil wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
I'm obviously going to have to wait and see the actual spell selection and monster selection when the books come out, but my line in the sand is that if a blaster has to keep upgrading to higher level spells to be effective, so should a controller. If at 13th level a controller can be just peachy locking down and beating level-appropriate enemies with 2nd and 3rd tier control spells, and gets to use all their higher level slots for amazing utility and buffs, while the 13th level blaster has to lean heavily into 5th-7th tier attack spells and doesn't get the same versatility as the controller... that's a problem. And I think that's what a lot of people are trying to express concern about, one way or another.
That's fair. I think we've already seen indications that this will be the case with tiered conditions. So high level casters using low level debuffs might have a good chance using low level spells to impose conditions like slowed 1 even on high level enemies, but for the more severe effect levels (perhaps stunned is the climax of the slowed ladder) they will either need repeated castings or use high level slots.

I can also see heightened low level debuff spells getting more targets, or prolonging the duration. Ex: Instead of Slow 1 for 2 rds at lv 1, it could be Slow 1 for 8 rds at lv 4. A level 4 spell thou could then give Slow 2 for 2 rds.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
Also it is important to remember that blasting spells don't get worse as you level up.

This is only true in the most literal sense. In practice, a 14th level party won't do battle with a CR 8 encounter. So saying the spell has the same level of power it did when you were 8th level is kinda irrelevant, because you won't be fighting that level of opposition anymore. Relative to your typical opposition, the power of the spell drops off phenomenally. If PF2 has similar HP progression curve to PF1, it's about half as strong.

And if for some reason you do end up fighting an APL-6 encounter, the expectations are that much higher. In fact, any usage of daily resources would be a questionable move in such a situation, so the expectation is total domination. This is one of the reason why fireball was considered weak in PF1, because 10d6 just didn't meet those expectations. And PF2 fireball capping at 2x6d6 on a critically failed save isn't really any better. If I need a critical fail for my spell to be worthwhile against a foe so weak that I really shouldn't have needed to contribute at all in the first place... what is the point in even having that spell?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dasrak wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Also it is important to remember that blasting spells don't get worse as you level up.

This is only true in the most literal sense. In practice, a 14th level party won't do battle with a CR 8 encounter. So saying the spell has the same level of power it did when you were 8th level is kinda irrelevant, because you won't be fighting that level of opposition anymore. Relative to your typical opposition, the power of the spell drops off phenomenally. If PF2 has similar HP progression curve to PF1, it's about half as strong.

And if for some reason you do end up fighting an APL-6 encounter, the expectations are that much higher. In fact, any usage of daily resources would be a questionable move in such a situation, so the expectation is total domination. This is one of the reason why fireball was considered weak in PF1, because 10d6 just didn't meet those expectations. And PF2 fireball capping at 2x6d6 on a critically failed save isn't really any better. If I need a critical fail for my spell to be worthwhile against a foe so weak that I really shouldn't have needed to contribute at all in the first place... what is the point in even having that spell?

I throw much lower than APL challenges at my players all the time because the world doesn't necessarily level with the PCs.

But you seem to be missing that your DC increases with your level in PF2e, which means that there's a far higher chance of those foes critically failing because they crit-fail on DC -10.


Dasrak wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Also it is important to remember that blasting spells don't get worse as you level up.

This is only true in the most literal sense. In practice, a 14th level party won't do battle with a CR 8 encounter. So saying the spell has the same level of power it did when you were 8th level is kinda irrelevant, because you won't be fighting that level of opposition anymore. Relative to your typical opposition, the power of the spell drops off phenomenally. If PF2 has similar HP progression curve to PF1, it's about half as strong.

And if for some reason you do end up fighting an APL-6 encounter, the expectations are that much higher. In fact, any usage of daily resources would be a questionable move in such a situation, so the expectation is total domination. This is one of the reason why fireball was considered weak in PF1, because 10d6 just didn't meet those expectations. And PF2 fireball capping at 2x6d6 on a critically failed save isn't really any better. If I need a critical fail for my spell to be worthwhile against a foe so weak that I really shouldn't have needed to contribute at all in the first place... what is the point in even having that spell?

I think you are missing the point. A group of say 10 creatures makes up an APL-6 encounter, if you double the number of creatures it would take 2 Fireballs as opposed to 1. Triple the number and its now 3 Fireballs. So what if one Fireball can't deal with 3 times the number of an APL-6, its not what its meant for; And, if it could, whats the point of having lv 4+ magic? What about martials? They can still only barely deal with one opponent.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Also it is important to remember that blasting spells don't get worse as you level up.

This is only true in the most literal sense. In practice, a 14th level party won't do battle with a CR 8 encounter. So saying the spell has the same level of power it did when you were 8th level is kinda irrelevant, because you won't be fighting that level of opposition anymore. Relative to your typical opposition, the power of the spell drops off phenomenally. If PF2 has similar HP progression curve to PF1, it's about half as strong.

And if for some reason you do end up fighting an APL-6 encounter, the expectations are that much higher. In fact, any usage of daily resources would be a questionable move in such a situation, so the expectation is total domination. This is one of the reason why fireball was considered weak in PF1, because 10d6 just didn't meet those expectations. And PF2 fireball capping at 2x6d6 on a critically failed save isn't really any better. If I need a critical fail for my spell to be worthwhile against a foe so weak that I really shouldn't have needed to contribute at all in the first place... what is the point in even having that spell?

I throw much lower than APL challenges at my players all the time because the world doesn't necessarily level with the PCs.

But you seem to be missing that your DC increases with your level in PF2e, which means that there's a far higher chance of those foes critically failing because they crit-fail on DC -10.

I think Dasrak is aware that the DCs increase, but thinks if the enemies are that weak you don't need to spend resources on them. Of course, large groups of weak enemies can still get lucky hits, so wiping them out quickly saves some pain.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I throw much lower than APL challenges at my players all the time because the world doesn't necessarily level with the PCs.

Which is fine, but that's not going to be a seriously challenging encounter and most groups don't have the time or interest to play through one-sided beat-downs. Nothing wrong with doing it if it works for your group, or in the particular situation, but it's going to be unconventional and as I already said probably not something that's worth expending daily resources to overcome.

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
But you seem to be missing that your DC increases with your level in PF2e, which means that there's a far higher chance of those foes critically failing because they crit-fail on DC -10.

You seem to be missing that I'm comparing a PF2 crit fail to a PF1 regular fail. A critically failed save on a 6d6 fireball in PF2 only deals 2x6d6 damage, which is roughly on par with 12d6 and only 20% better than the PF1 10d6. A chance for +100% damage isn't actually so great when the PF1 numbers are 66% ahead to begin with.

Some back-of-the-napkin math:
PF1 10d6 with a 75% chance to fail save = 30.65 after-save average

PF2 6d6 with a 5% chance to crit succeed, 50% chance to fail save, and 45% chance to crit fail = 29.4 after-save damage

Temperans wrote:
I think you are missing the point. A group of say 10 creatures makes up an APL-6 encounter, if you double the number of creatures it would take 2 Fireballs as opposed to 1. Triple the number and its now 3 Fireballs. So what if one Fireball can't deal with 3 times the number of an APL-6, its not what its meant for; And, if it could, whats the point of having lv 4+ magic? What about martials? They can still only barely deal with one opponent.

I'm not following your point here. When we're talking about a CR 8 encounter, we're typically talking about creatures that are individually weaker than that total. Probably in the CR 3-4 range, although if you want a large number of them like 10 that would be more CR 1-2 range. In any case, we're talking about creatures far, far below the level of power of a 14th level party.

These are creature so weak that they only hit on a natural 20, deal little damage when they do hit, whose defenses are paper-thin and get hit consistently, and have so few hit points that they likely die in a single attack. Two tops. Put another way, these are not credible threats. A martial character could literally step up to them and just shrug off attacks while cutting through their numbers round after round. This is not a fight the party needs to take seriously.

As for fireball, its only purpose is to deal damage to large numbers of enemies. A large numbers of very weak foes is literally the best case scenario for an area of effect instant damage spell. If it's not meant for this situation, what exactly is it meant for? If it can't handle such weak foes in such an ideal situation, how is going to be useful anywhere else?

As for the martial comparison, well I already alluded to that. These are monsters so weak that the martials can step up to them and just eliminate them with impunity. A martial is not hard-done-by in this situation by any measure. If they happen to have some kind of area of effect or multi-attack technique, then the results would and should be devastating. Similarly, if a mage happens to have an area of effect spell prepared, and is willing to expend daily resources to use it, it should also be devastating in these situations.

As for the point of level 4+ magic... well, it's for stronger enemies. We're not talking about level-appropriate foes here. We're talking about extremely weak foes that you need only to barely lift a finger to defeat. Of course you aren't going to be using your higher-level spell slots against that.

Captain Morgan wrote:
I think Dasrak is aware that the DCs increase, but thinks if the enemies are that weak you don't need to spend resources on them. Of course, large groups of weak enemies can still get lucky hits, so wiping them out quickly saves some pain.

Very much so, which in turn requires that the spell actually be powerful enough to wipe out said enemies. That's where fireball (both in PF1 and PF2) fails.


Temperans wrote:
A group of say 10 creatures makes up an APL-6 encounter, if you double the number of creatures it would take 2 Fireballs as opposed to 1. Triple the number and its now 3 Fireballs.

Not if the creatures are standing close together.

The problem is that at higher levels you're more likely to be facing ten creatures with triple the hit points than you are to be facing thirty creatures with the same hit points.


Temperans wrote:
Turmoil wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
I'm obviously going to have to wait and see the actual spell selection and monster selection when the books come out, but my line in the sand is that if a blaster has to keep upgrading to higher level spells to be effective, so should a controller. If at 13th level a controller can be just peachy locking down and beating level-appropriate enemies with 2nd and 3rd tier control spells, and gets to use all their higher level slots for amazing utility and buffs, while the 13th level blaster has to lean heavily into 5th-7th tier attack spells and doesn't get the same versatility as the controller... that's a problem. And I think that's what a lot of people are trying to express concern about, one way or another.
That's fair. I think we've already seen indications that this will be the case with tiered conditions. So high level casters using low level debuffs might have a good chance using low level spells to impose conditions like slowed 1 even on high level enemies, but for the more severe effect levels (perhaps stunned is the climax of the slowed ladder) they will either need repeated castings or use high level slots.
I can also see heightened low level debuff spells getting more targets, or prolonging the duration. Ex: Instead of Slow 1 for 2 rds at lv 1, it could be Slow 1 for 8 rds at lv 4. A level 4 spell thou could then give Slow 2 for 2 rds.

That sounds like a balance problem - one of the reasons SoS casters can be overpowered in PF1.

If at low level I can use, say, Glitterdust to blind 65% of CR-appropriate opponents in a small area for three rounds with my highest level spell slot, that's reasonably balanced. But then what happens when I level up? I can still blind enemies, but now that only requires one of my lowest level spell slots, so I can do it in every encounter if I want. And if I use a higher level spell slot? Maybe I can cast something like Greater Forbid Action (or Wizard equivalent) which affects more creatures, has a longer duration, and prevents them from attacking entirely.

Low-level blasting spells tend to become weak and insignificant without special investment, and high-level blasting spells keep up just enough to remain relevant.

Meanwhile, low-level debuffs remain useful forever, and high-level debuffs end encounters or turn your enemies into useful puppets.

The Exchange

Captain Morgan wrote:
Talek & Luna wrote:

Yeah, ok. So mastery gives you a +1 difference in tier level for your longsword vs your dagger. If there was a 5% difference in damage output .

False. It is going to be more than a 5% increase on damage from a weapon change because of the crit likelihood.

Quote:
9th level true spell and an upcast spell using a 9th level spell I would agree with you but someone else on this thread has run the math and it does not equate to a mere 5% difference

Also false. We don't have 9th level spells yet to compare the blasting damage to. We do have a 5th level spell to compare to an upcast 3rd level spell: The former deals 11d6 while the latter deals 10d6. Cone of cold does 10% more damage than 5th level fireball, and unlike your Fighter example has the same chance to crit no matter which spell you prepare in the 5th level slot.

Also, magic rune potency will be adding additional die, so the damage will be substantially lower, which brings us to....

Quote:
With being able to craft your own magical weapons as a martial I can easily see your backup weapon being equal to your primary weapon in quality unless crafting is sub divided into tiers for each category . I.E> Legendary at sword crafting, mastery at axe crafting, expert at mace crafting, etc. I don't see this as being the case because that is a lot of tedious bookkeeping.
Let's assume this is correct, even though it is a based on a whole lot of nothing. The argument is that you can spend money to make your backup weapon equal your primary weapon. In which case... why can't the wizard spend money adding those higher level blasting spells to their spellbook?

Your arguements are flawed. We don't need current 9th levels spells to compare damage. Spell scaling tells you that these spells do not stack up compared to PF1 spells of appropraite level. Therefore, the spellcasting is a huge nerf.

Secondly, even if I can spend money to purchase a true 9th level spell, the arguement was that a multi-class caster using a 9th level slot does not equal a true 9th level spell in effect. This is incredibly obvious just by eyeballing upcasting damage effects.

Third, no its still a 5% difference in critical effect if the weapon is the same in all areas. Proficiency with a normal longsword and lesser proficiency in a normal dagger reward with the same 5% dip in critical hits.

Fourth. no feats are always on powers so balance is more of a concern for them than spells, hence why certain spellcaster feats require additional mitigation in the way of spell points. If feats were no big deal then spell points wouldn't be a tacked on mechanic to balance them out.

The Exchange

Captain Morgan wrote:
Talek & Luna wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Talek & Luna wrote:
Rek Rollington wrote:

I really feel this system is designed to make blaster casters think more about taking more interesting choices with their low level spells. You can do big damage with your highest spell slots, regular damage with your cantrips which frees up your low level spell slots for some variety since fhere’s point taking low level damaging spells other then maybe a few magic missles for a guaranteed hit to finish a low HP foe.

If I was making a blasting wizard with these rules I think it would have been a more interesting wizard I made when I first started playing 3.5/PF.

Why should I be forced to take more "Interesting choices"? What if I don't care about buffing my party or utility and just want to blast stuff. Stop saying that my fun is badwrongfun

Then do it. You have plenty of choices. At 5th level, you can use fireballs. At 9th, you have cone of cold. At 11th, you have chain lightning. At 17th, you have meteor swarm.

Use them, they are pretty good at the level you get them.

Yes but they quickly fall out of favor once you exceed these levels. Let me put it into perspective for you. Power attack as stated in the playtest gets a bump in damage at a certain level to keep it viable. Why is this? If using your action to grant an extra die of damage for the first 10 levels of the game good enough then why do they need to increase its damage again? It should just always be a single extra die of damage. Why the 500% increase to damage for magic weapons? Why should sneak attack keep increasing as you level since you claim that the entry level where you get a power is good enough for that power throughout your career.
Choosing a feat and choosing a spell are not equal levels of resource purchase commitment. Most characters get 1 class feat at 1st level. A wizard also gets that, plus 10 cantrips and 1st level spells. I can guarantee you will get more spells as you...

A character in PF2 is getting 2 feats at first level and 1 feat per level afterwards, minimum. Spells are a feature of that but with the exception of cantrips, cannot be spammed all day like feats. Certain spellaster feats are even more limited because they require spell points. If you are arguing that spells scalling is too powerful than any class ability such as sneak attack or feat like power attack should not scale either.

Choosing a spell is much more complex then choosing a feat because most spells are selective and do not apply in every circumstance. Sleep for example is powerful but worthless against undead and higher level opponents. Its a good choice for a lowbie caster but is outgrown quickly. Where as power attack retains its benefits from levels 1-20

The Exchange

Temperans wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Also it is important to remember that blasting spells don't get worse as you level up.

This is only true in the most literal sense. In practice, a 14th level party won't do battle with a CR 8 encounter. So saying the spell has the same level of power it did when you were 8th level is kinda irrelevant, because you won't be fighting that level of opposition anymore. Relative to your typical opposition, the power of the spell drops off phenomenally. If PF2 has similar HP progression curve to PF1, it's about half as strong.

And if for some reason you do end up fighting an APL-6 encounter, the expectations are that much higher. In fact, any usage of daily resources would be a questionable move in such a situation, so the expectation is total domination. This is one of the reason why fireball was considered weak in PF1, because 10d6 just didn't meet those expectations. And PF2 fireball capping at 2x6d6 on a critically failed save isn't really any better. If I need a critical fail for my spell to be worthwhile against a foe so weak that I really shouldn't have needed to contribute at all in the first place... what is the point in even having that spell?

I think you are missing the point. A group of say 10 creatures makes up an APL-6 encounter, if you double the number of creatures it would take 2 Fireballs as opposed to 1. Triple the number and its now 3 Fireballs. So what if one Fireball can't deal with 3 times the number of an APL-6, its not what its meant for; And, if it could, whats the point of having lv 4+ magic? What about martials? They can still only barely deal with one opponent.

The point of having 4+ levels of spells is variety. Not every situation requires a fireball. Martials deal with opponents fine unless they are intentionally made poorly. I've seem martials deal over 100 damage in a round. Nothing in PF2 previews makes me believe otherwise.

The Exchange

Captain Morgan wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:


With the math being as tight as it is and the DC automatically scaling with the caster's level a low level buff, debuff, or control spell will probably still be at least about as useful at level 20 as it was at the level you got it. After all, something as simple as a +-1 is pretty much always going to be useful since everything scales at approximately the same rate.

People keep saying this, but I'm not entirely convinced it is true. At least not for debuff and control spells. In PF1, spell DC was only one thing that limited these spells at higher levels. Control spells like Grease or Wall spells lost a lot of power as flight became more common on enemies. The blinded condition loses relevance as enemies develop more special sense and AoE attacks, or other effects which don't care about miss chance. Create Pit loses power once enemies grow bigger than the pit. There are also flat out immunities-- we have been told they will be less common against damage, but I'm not sure if that will be the case for things like mind-effects.

Consider the list of 1st level spells with the most use at high levels according to Mark. Pretty much none of those are control or debuff spells-- the closest is Charm, which has always been more effective out of combat.

Buff spells may age a little a better-- you're right that a +1 seems unlikely to go out of style. But buff spells also include things which can help blasters like True Strike-- which Mark mentions as one of his favorite 1st level spells at higher levels.

Quote:
But using a damage spell in any slot lower than your highest two is going to be a waste unless it's for clean up. Now maybe this will be made up by having more (or more effective) damaging cantrips than any other combat type, but it still kinda hurts those of us who prefer to specialize our casters to be told that we have to ignore our preference for this type of casting.
...

Wait a minute. Wasn't one of the arguments that Mark made for less caster slots and no bonus spells that those lower level spells remain more relevant for longer as you level up because of the save dc? It seems to me this statement is true only as long as you take the spells the designers WANT you to take because they KNOW whats best for you as a caster. I don't buy it.

A 9th level spell should be equal to a 9th level spell in performance. You don't see a fighter being downgraded from legendary swordsman to a master swordsman because she uses a longsword instead of a greatsword

The Exchange

Fuzzypaws wrote:
I'm obviously going to have to wait and see the actual spell selection and monster selection when the books come out, but my line in the sand is that if a blaster has to keep upgrading to higher level spells to be effective, so should a controller. If at 13th level a controller can be just peachy locking down and beating level-appropriate enemies with 2nd and 3rd tier control spells, and gets to use all their higher level slots for amazing utility and buffs, while the 13th level blaster has to lean heavily into 5th-7th tier attack spells and doesn't get the same versatility as the controller... that's a problem. And I think that's what a lot of people are trying to express concern about, one way or another.

+1. I couldn't have said it better myself.

It really seems the designers are bent on making casters into strictly controllers and everyone must play in their little sandbox to be effective.

The Exchange

Turmoil wrote:
Low level spells prepared in high level slots need to be strictly worse (not in every respect, but overall) than equivalent, naturally high level spells. The opportunity cost of learning one high level spell over another was mentioned already, but there's also a flexibility cost due to the lack of "downcasting". Burning Hands can be prepared in 1st to 9th level slots, so a 3rd level Burning Hands obviously cannot be as good as Fireball that can only be prepared in 3rd to 9th level slots, and a 9th level Burning Hands (or Fireball) obviously cannot be as good as Meteor Swarm that can only be prepared in 9th level slots.

Burning Hands won't be as good as fireball because the AOE is much less. The damage should be comparable. Same with fireball used in a 9th level slot. Its not going to hit the area that meteor swarm does nor should it without extensive metamagic help. It should, however pack as much damage as meteor swarm does because it is a 9th level spell


So you're just trying to exacerbate the "infinite spell caster" problem? Because really, you're just complaining at this point that spellcasters can't use level 1 spells fully effectively to eliminate things when they're level 15. If you remove that problem from control casters, and give that ability to blaster casters, then you have the exact same problem, just on a different type of caster.


Dasrak wrote:


I'm not following your point here. When we're talking about a CR 8 encounter, we're typically talking about creatures that are individually weaker than that total. Probably in the CR 3-4 range, although if you want a large number of them like 10 that would be more CR 1-2 range. In any case, we're talking about creatures far, far below the level of power of a 14th level party...

Well I started by saying Fireball is okay vs a CR 8 encounter of 10 creatures (the PRD gives 2d6 orcs as an option for a CR8 hill encounter). However, my point is that the power lv of a scaling Fireball in a system with crit failure could outpace even what an equivalent martial can handle without healing (which they typically get very weak versions of).

You said that a non scaling Fireball with 6d6 dmg does 29.4 after save dmg, I calculated a scaling Fireball (10d6) with PF2 saves = 33.25 after save dmg (using your percentages), 3 points higher than a PF1 fireball. The difference between all three:

  • PF1 dmg/DC = 1 low lv slot w/bad DC and okay dmg.
  • PF2 dmg/DC = 1 low lv slot w/good DC and decent dmg.
  • PF1 dmg/PF2 DC = 1 low lv slot w/good DC and great dmg.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
I'm obviously going to have to wait and see the actual spell selection and monster selection when the books come out, but my line in the sand is that if a blaster has to keep upgrading to higher level spells to be effective, so should a controller. If at 13th level a controller can be just peachy locking down and beating level-appropriate enemies with 2nd and 3rd tier control spells, and gets to use all their higher level slots for amazing utility and buffs, while the 13th level blaster has to lean heavily into 5th-7th tier attack spells and doesn't get the same versatility as the controller... that's a problem. And I think that's what a lot of people are trying to express concern about, one way or another.

This is only a problem if you think that mages should be able to be primarily damage dealers. A lot of people think they should, I am not convinced.

I think that there should be options for damage, but I think the key role for casters is buffing, utility, control and disabling. This is probably a minority opinion, but I think casters should have to work hard to keep up with damage. They already have so much at their disposal, to give them everything is poor design.


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Malthraz wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
I'm obviously going to have to wait and see the actual spell selection and monster selection when the books come out, but my line in the sand is that if a blaster has to keep upgrading to higher level spells to be effective, so should a controller. If at 13th level a controller can be just peachy locking down and beating level-appropriate enemies with 2nd and 3rd tier control spells, and gets to use all their higher level slots for amazing utility and buffs, while the 13th level blaster has to lean heavily into 5th-7th tier attack spells and doesn't get the same versatility as the controller... that's a problem. And I think that's what a lot of people are trying to express concern about, one way or another.

This is only a problem if you think that mages should be able to be primarily damage dealers. A lot of people think they should, I am not convinced.

I think that there should be options for damage, but I think the key role for casters is buffing, utility, control and disabling. This is probably a minority opinion, but I think casters should have to work hard to keep up with damage. They already have so much at their disposal, to give them everything is poor design.

I think that's a lot of it. There's a lot of fuss from some worried that direct damage might not be as easy a way to play a caster, compared to buffer/controller types.

I'm willing to accept this as a concern if they're equally worried about not being able to easily play controller martials.

Otherwise it comes across as "it's unfair that casters can't directly compete in the one niche martials are good at."


It is a pretty clear design philosophy of the new edition that every class will be using different, higher level stuff, as they level up. Weapons, alchemical items, armor, etc. It all scales and requires buying higher level investments. Lower level equipment can still be useful, but it is probably not in the primary weapon/armor/equipment slot. Spells are following the same format. If you are a fighter, and you want to be able to do more damage with a basic weapon, you have to invest feats to do so. It looks like spells are working the same way. This isn't nerfing the caster, it is making the world logically consistent.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:

I think that's a lot of it. There's a lot of fuss from some worried that direct damage might not be as easy a way to play a caster, compared to buffer/controller types.

I'm willing to accept this as a concern if they're equally worried about not being able to easily play controller martials.

Otherwise it comes across as "it's unfair that casters can't directly compete in the one niche martials are good at."

Well, speaking only for myself, I'd be interested in ways that martials can be played as effective control characters as well. Monks especially, but fighters that spec for it might also get a few tricks.

So, in a different thread, I was wondering if we would get an aoe cantrip. Probably short ranged, and not very high damage, but just something to add variety and mostly for cleanup. Specifically, I was looking for a way to emulate the old 3.5 Dragonfire Adept breath weapon. But now that I thought more of it, we probably can't have that, can we? Mixing saving throw spells with AC targeted attacks is going to be the way to effectively Gish given the iterative attack penalty and the way DCs scale, and doing it at will might be way too good even if the base damage was weak.


Talek & Luna wrote:
Your arguements are flawed. We don't need current 9th levels spells to compare damage. Spell scaling tells you that these spells do not stack up compared to PF1 spells of appropraite level. Therefore, the spellcasting is a huge nerf.

Irrelevant, because the specific point I was responding to was upcasting, not PF1 vs PF2.

Quote:
Secondly, even if I can spend money to purchase a true 9th level spell, the arguement was that a multi-class caster using a 9th level slot does not equal a true 9th level spell in effect. This is incredibly obvious just by eyeballing upcasting damage effects.

We don't know how multi-class casters will work in PF2. In PF1, they didn't wouldn't have the highest level slot in the first place. This is also irrelevant. (Though, even if it was the case, I'd point out that gaining access to a new spell list is a huge bump in versatility and there should be a trade-off in terms of power, which wouldn't happen if upcast spells are as good as high level spells.)

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Third, no its still a 5% difference in critical effect if the weapon is the same in all areas. Proficiency with a normal longsword and lesser proficiency in a normal dagger reward with the same 5% dip in critical hits.

Except you didn't say it would be critting 5% more often, you said it "was a 5% difference in damage output." A 5% boost to hit and a 5% boost to crit is more than a 5% boost to DPR when combined. In PF1 terms, this isn't just weapon focus, this is comparing a mundane heavy mace to a +1 Keen Morningstar. Having to switch from the latter to the former is a significant drop.

Quote:
Fourth. no feats are always on powers so balance is more of a concern for them than spells, hence why certain spellcaster feats require additional mitigation in the way of spell points. If feats were no big deal then spell points wouldn't be a tacked on mechanic to balance them out.

I didn't say anything about feats in the post you quoted, and you then went on to make separate replies to my posts that did talk about feats. Real talk, you seem to be losing track of the conversation a bit, and jumping between different points without any regards to what you are specifically quoting, including your own posts. This makes it really hard to keep going with you.


Re: AoE cantrip, Acid Splash actually splashes now.

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