Spells Not Scaling Automatically per Caster Level


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Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
ryric wrote:
Before we declare that the sky is falling over this, let's think about what spells in PF1e actually scale.

Let's analyze a bit your argument on the basis of what we know today (tomorrow that could change).

Quote:


There are:
Damaging spells. These very often add missiles/rays/damage dice as the caster levels, up to a point. Builds based around damage are hit hard by this change.[/quote+

Fully agreed.

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Buffs/debuffs. Some of these scale with level, like barkskin or greater magic weapon. Some only scale duration with level, like bull's strength or mage armor. I'm not sure there's much of a change here, even with the ones that scale.

AFAIK, there is a lot of variation here. Several of them will not exist in PF2.

The benefit given by the others will not scale at all with caster level, only with spell level.

Barkskin or greater magic weapon, if they will exist at all, will give a fixed benefit at starting spell level. If they scale they will scale with spell level.
So far there have been any example of a spell duration scaling with level.

Quote:


Would you use a wand of it in PF1e? Then it's probably worth using even without free scaling.

Maybe, but for how many spell a wand is a good alternate solution?

Quote:


Utility/adventuring spells. Most of these scale AoE and range and that's it. A few like knock and neutralize poison have level dependent effects, but they didn't in D&D editions so it's easy to take that back out. For most the level scaling barely matters - who cares if water breathing's duration scales - either it lasts long enough for the adventure or it doesn't. So if they set the duration correctly it will be ok.

actually now we know something about spell like those. To cure a disease with a good chance of success you will need to heighten it. They work for same level effects.

AoE don't seem to scale with caster level. Again, heightening it probably will work.

Quote:
SoS/SoD spells: These mostly don't level scale anyway. These might actually be improved by adding in free "heighten" so the caster can pump spell DCs if they like.

Actually those spell have been buffed and weakened at the same time. The base effect has been rebalanced and generally reduced, but the DC increase with the caster level, so the Color spray cast by a level 1 wizard that has a 50% of giving a level 1 target a miss chance has a 50% of giving a miss chance to a level 10 target when cast by a level 10 caster.

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We all know the duration of hold person is often "the rest of the target's life," not "1 round/level."

Only if that person is a single opponent against multiple opponents. Otherwise there are plenty of ways to avoid that.

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Honestly, I could imagine playing PF1e with level scaling turned off and it would barely impact most casters.

We play very, very differently, then. In my games it will affect the casters a lot.

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Sure, magic missile would obsolete quickly, but in general you'd use your high level slots for fighting and slowly turn your lower level stuff into utility and buffs.

And that is the problem, you assume that the buffs will stay basically the same, while what has been showed so far say the opposite.

Quote:


Obviously YMMV, these are just my thoughts on the matter.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KingOfAnything wrote:
This seems normal and good to me. Open with a fireball, then help the fighter clean up with some telekinetic projectiles. If you want to save your top slots for single-target boss-killers, you may need to spam a few lower-level fireballs to wear down the group.

This doesn't feel right to me; I don't want Wizards and Sorcerers to play like Kineticists, which is how they'll feel if lobbing cantrips is what you do 90% of the time. I want big ticket spells to dominate their presence, tempered by limited resources.

Setting aside personal preference in how I'd prefer the class to play, though, it's highly unlikely fireball would be a smart opener if this is the meta we're looking at. Something with more long-term effect - battlefield control, buffs, debuffs, etc - would be vastly more powerful if battles are going to be more ponderous. That's not so much a statement based on experience in Pathfinder (or rather, only Pathfinder), but experience playing games in general. To paraphrase a maxim that exists in multiple games: the only hit point that matters is your last one. So long as there is no difference in efficacy based on hit points remaining, direct damage spells will be primarily useful as finishers, not openers.

thaX wrote:
The point I am trying to make is that this is not as intuitive as it seems to the veteran player, and has always been a bit of an odd way to do magic. Almost every other system, including the brand in the latest edition, has moved past the prepared caster mechanic.

Magic is necessarily arbitrary, because magic isn't real. It's fictional, and how it works ultimately is up to the whims of the author or game designer. Video-games have established certain mechanics (mana being the most common) to represent how spellcasting works, and by and large vancian casting never took off in video games outside of those explicitly based on the D&D ruleset. A lot of younger gamers have never seen a vancian casting system as a result. It's not so much that it's not intuitive, it's just a system they haven't seen before.

Captain Morgan wrote:
You know, it occurs to me that the lower number of spell slots and greater emphasis on at-will abilities makes the casters feel a little closer to the witch paradigm.

I was thinking more kineticist (mainly because a lot of this discussion is revolving around blasting) but Witch is probably a bit more apt.

Witch was always my least favorite of the full arcane casters, so that doesn't exactly bode well, but we'll see how it plays.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Deadmanwalking did some calculation about disintegrate vs a level 11 fighter with a dexterity build. Mark then explained that attack rolls for spellcaster get a undisclosed bonus, so here we have an amended version of what Deadmanwalking wrote and a comment.

Amended Deadmanwalking posts:

Assuming a lightly armored Dex-based character, a 11th level PC will have a +17 or so Fortitude Save (11 Level + 2 Con + 3 Armor +1 Expert Save). Their AC will be around 32 (11 Level +5 Armor +5 Dex +1 Expert), while their Touch AC will be 30 (2 points lower from armor). Both those are approximations, but decent ones.

Assuming a Wizard has Expert in their spells by 11th (a reasonable guess since Clerics have it at 12th) the Wizard has a +20 attack (11 Level +5 Int +1 Expert +3 *rod of spell focusing*) and crits only on a 20. They have a Save DC of 27 (+11 Level, +5 Int +1 Expert).

Our Greatsword guy still has a +3 weapon and a Str of 20, they have a +21/+16/+11 'full attack' (11 level +2 Proficiency +3 Sword +5 Str), for 4d12+5 damage (averaging 31 points). They critical only on a 20.
So let's compare DPR vs. the ligtly armored guy above. The Greatsword DPR remains 27.9 just as it is at 10th level, since AC and to-hit have gone up identically.

Disintegrate deal 40 DPR is vs. a hard to hit foe and it peaks higher vs. low TAC targets, it's suddenly very good (a +20 vs. TAC 27 gives a DPR of 52.88 and almost double the Fighter).

Comment:
I want to make a different evaluation.

A 11th level fighter has probably about 130 hp (8 for race, 110 for class, 22 for con 14).
Our wizard cast disintegrate.

55% chance of doing nothing.
40% chance of hitting
5% chance of a critical hit

After a normal hit there is a save for half damage: DC 27, save bonus +17. With a 1 the target fail critically and get double damage, with 2-9 he fail and suffer normal damage, with a 10+ he save and with a 20 he saves critically. If he saves he suffer half damage, AFAIK if he saves critically he still get half damage.

After a critical hit the target success is reduced by a rank. So he critically fail and suffer duble damage on 1-9, he fail normally with 10-19 and save with a nat. 20.

Average damage of 10d12 = 65.

Normal hit:
55% chance of dealing 33 hp of damage
40% chance of dealing 65 point of damage
5% chance of dealing 130 point of damage

Critical hit:
5% chance of dealing 33 damage
50% chance of dealing 65 points of damage
45% chance of dealing 130 points of damage

End result:
55% chance of doing nothing.
22,25% chance of dealing 33 points of damage (slightly better than 1 round of greatsword attacks)
18.5% chance of dealing 65 points of damage (slightly better than 2.5 rounds of greatsword attacks)
4.25% chance of dealing 130 points of damage (target on death door)

So a spell that should do above average damage for a single target blasting attack (it require both a to hit and a save) and require two actions to perform will do nothing 55% of the time, the equivalent of 1 round of attacks 22% of the time and get ahead (by a good margin) 23% of the time when compared to a round of attacks by a greatsword user that can repeat that as long as he has HP.

Honestly that “77% of the time your spell, that you can repeat at most 5 times if you are specialized in the right field and use every resource to re-use it, do very little or nothing” bother me.

As a wizard you are gambling your life on your most powerful spell being strong enough on keep you alive in a battle against an equivalent foe(1) and helping in battles against stronger foes.
As now TAC go up almost as fast as normal AC the damage against stronger foes will drop rapidly (they both increase TAC and saves at every level). If that is one of the strongest direct attack spells for its spell level, I question what will do a weak spell.

It seem that direct blasting has been made irrelevant in PF2.

Note (1) that don't mean killing him on the spot, but giving him a good level of damage, so that your companions have a good chance of killing/stopping him, or, if alone, he will think before pressing on his attack.

If that math is corrected you need 3 disintegrate to have a 55% chance of downing your opponent.


Why...are you firing a disintegrate at something you have a 55% chance of missing? If someone's fortified so heavily that you have a 55% chance of missing his TAC, perhaps a different spell would be more appropriate.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dasrak wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
This seems normal and good to me. Open with a fireball, then help the fighter clean up with some telekinetic projectiles. If you want to save your top slots for single-target boss-killers, you may need to spam a few lower-level fireballs to wear down the group.

This doesn't feel right to me; I don't want Wizards and Sorcerers to play like Kineticists, which is how they'll feel if lobbing cantrips is what you do 90% of the time. I want big ticket spells to dominate their presence, tempered by limited resources.

Setting aside personal preference in how I'd prefer the class to play, though, it's highly unlikely fireball would be a smart opener if this is the meta we're looking at. Something with more long-term effect - battlefield control, buffs, debuffs, etc - would be vastly more powerful if battles are going to be more ponderous. That's not so much a statement based on experience in Pathfinder (or rather, only Pathfinder), but experience playing games in general. To paraphrase a maxim that exists in multiple games: the only hit point that matters is your last one. So long as there is no difference in efficacy based on hit points remaining, direct damage spells will be primarily useful as finishers, not openers.

My assumption was a player who was single-mindedly playing a "blaster" and avoiding high level control. And a fireball can be a good open if you spend a top slot on it. We've seen encounters where a crit fail will kill a monster outright (a lower level monster as appropriate for a mob encounter). Dead is the best form of crowd control, after all.

Most of the assumptions I've seen have put cantrip use closer to 60% to 75% spells cast in a day. You rely on cantrips a lot less if you take care to make use of your lower level slots for those effective control and utility spells.


Cyouni wrote:
Why...are you firing a disintegrate at something you have a 55% chance of missing? If someone's fortified so heavily that you have a 55% chance of missing his TAC, perhaps a different spell would be more appropriate.

I am pretty sure that the wizard actually has a 55% chance of hitting (45% chance of missing) while a fighter would have a 45% chance of hitting that same enemy. Either way, I think it is unlikely that the attacking wizard is targeting that Dex character's weakest defense.

The 55% miss chance is for a fighter attacking regular AC.

If the enemy has +17 to con saves and a 20 in Dex, I am betting that character's will saves ain't gonna be that great.


Dasrak wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
This seems normal and good to me. Open with a fireball, then help the fighter clean up with some telekinetic projectiles. If you want to save your top slots for single-target boss-killers, you may need to spam a few lower-level fireballs to wear down the group.

This doesn't feel right to me; I don't want Wizards and Sorcerers to play like Kineticists, which is how they'll feel if lobbing cantrips is what you do 90% of the time. I want big ticket spells to dominate their presence, tempered by limited resources.

Setting aside personal preference in how I'd prefer the class to play, though, it's highly unlikely fireball would be a smart opener if this is the meta we're looking at. Something with more long-term effect - battlefield control, buffs, debuffs, etc - would be vastly more powerful if battles are going to be more ponderous. That's not so much a statement based on experience in Pathfinder (or rather, only Pathfinder), but experience playing games in general. To paraphrase a maxim that exists in multiple games: the only hit point that matters is your last one. So long as there is no difference in efficacy based on hit points remaining, direct damage spells will be primarily useful as finishers, not openers.

thaX wrote:
The point I am trying to make is that this is not as intuitive as it seems to the veteran player, and has always been a bit of an odd way to do magic. Almost every other system, including the brand in the latest edition, has moved past the prepared caster mechanic.
Magic is necessarily arbitrary, because magic isn't real. It's fictional, and how it works ultimately is up to the whims of the author or game designer. Video-games have established certain mechanics (mana being the most common) to represent how spellcasting works, and by and large vancian casting never took off in video games outside of those explicitly based on the D&D ruleset. A lot of younger gamers have never seen a vancian casting system as a result. It's not so much that...

Bummer that you don't like the witch-- most people seem to love it. I could see why a witch model would be better in core-- it is a lot easier to learn. Maybe we will hey something closer to the original wizard or sorcerer model in splat books, who knows.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Why...are you firing a disintegrate at something you have a 55% chance of missing? If someone's fortified so heavily that you have a 55% chance of missing his TAC, perhaps a different spell would be more appropriate.

I am pretty sure that the wizard actually has a 55% chance of hitting (45% chance of missing) while a fighter would have a 45% chance of hitting that same enemy. Either way, I think it is unlikely that the attacking wizard is targeting that Dex character's weakest defense.

The 55% miss chance is for a fighter attacking regular AC.

If the enemy has +17 to con saves and a 20 in Dex, I am betting that character's will saves ain't gonna be that great.

Dam, part of the math was still those done before adding the "undefined bonus to the spellcaster attack"

So yes, with a +20to hit ws TAC 30, it is a 55% chance to hit.

That change the numbers to:

45% chace of doing nothing
50% of a normal hit
5% for a critical

and the final results

45% ofdoing nothing
27.75% of doing 33 points of damage
20.25% of doing 65 point of damage
5% of doing 130 points of damage

Still more than a 72% chance of doing little more than the damage that a greatsword wielder do in 3 attacks in 1 round.

You still have a 51% chance of dealing 66 or less hp of damage with two disintegrate.

As soon as the target TAC fall under 30 it start to change, but then you are using your highest spell against targets that don't even are at the same level as you.

Note that TAC now is close to normal AC. The armor used for the example has a difference of 2 points between AC and TAC.

And with 3 spells +1 specialist spell as your highest level you haven't the space for spell that target different saves, at least non damage dealing spells (if any damage dealing spell that targeta will save exist at all).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
KingOfAnything wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
This seems normal and good to me. Open with a fireball, then help the fighter clean up with some telekinetic projectiles. If you want to save your top slots for single-target boss-killers, you may need to spam a few lower-level fireballs to wear down the group.

This doesn't feel right to me; I don't want Wizards and Sorcerers to play like Kineticists, which is how they'll feel if lobbing cantrips is what you do 90% of the time. I want big ticket spells to dominate their presence, tempered by limited resources.

Setting aside personal preference in how I'd prefer the class to play, though, it's highly unlikely fireball would be a smart opener if this is the meta we're looking at. Something with more long-term effect - battlefield control, buffs, debuffs, etc - would be vastly more powerful if battles are going to be more ponderous. That's not so much a statement based on experience in Pathfinder (or rather, only Pathfinder), but experience playing games in general. To paraphrase a maxim that exists in multiple games: the only hit point that matters is your last one. So long as there is no difference in efficacy based on hit points remaining, direct damage spells will be primarily useful as finishers, not openers.

My assumption was a player who was single-mindedly playing a "blaster" and avoiding high level control. And a fireball can be a good open if you spend a top slot on it. We've seen encounters where a crit fail will kill a monster outright (a lower level monster as appropriate for a mob encounter). Dead is the best form of crowd control, after all.

Most of the assumptions I've seen have put cantrip use closer to 60% to 75% spells cast in a day. You rely on cantrips a lot less if you take care to make use of your lower level slots for those effective control and utility spells.

A critical for a fireball in a level 3 slot don't kill a Ogre (creature 3) or a Redcap (creature 5).

So even if you are high level and have a reflex save DC that they have a good chance of failing critially, you end softening them up, never killing them (unless you roll an average of 5 on your 6 d6).

That was true in PF1 for the redcap, but not for the ogre.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Why...are you firing a disintegrate at something you have a 55% chance of missing? If someone's fortified so heavily that you have a 55% chance of missing his TAC, perhaps a different spell would be more appropriate.

I am pretty sure that the wizard actually has a 55% chance of hitting (45% chance of missing) while a fighter would have a 45% chance of hitting that same enemy. Either way, I think it is unlikely that the attacking wizard is targeting that Dex character's weakest defense.

The 55% miss chance is for a fighter attacking regular AC.

If the enemy has +17 to con saves and a 20 in Dex, I am betting that character's will saves ain't gonna be that great.

Dam, part of the math was still those done before adding the "undefined bonus to the spellcaster attack"

So yes, with a +20to hit ws TAC 30, it is a 55% chance to hit.

That change the numbers to:

45% chace of doing nothing
50% of a normal hit
5% for a critical

and the final results

45% ofdoing nothing
27.75% of doing 33 points of damage
20.25% of doing 65 point of damage
5% of doing 130 points of damage

Still more than a 72% chance of doing little more than the damage that a greatsword wielder do in 3 attacks in 1 round.

You still have a 51% chance of dealing 66 or less hp of damage with two disintegrate.

As soon as the target TAC fall under 30 it start to change, but then you are using your highest spell against targets that don't even are at the same level as you.

Note that TAC now is close to normal AC. The armor used for the example has a difference of 2 points between AC and TAC.

And with 3 spells +1 specialist spell as your highest level you haven't the space for spell that target different saves, at least non damage dealing spells (if any damage dealing spell that targeta will save exist at all).

I suppose. I will note that you have given a situation where a fighter only can hit their second attack on a 16/17 and their third attack on a natural 20.

The wizard may be better served by switching to a Will save based spell while the fighter may need to resort to a grapple or something.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
This seems normal and good to me. Open with a fireball, then help the fighter clean up with some telekinetic projectiles. If you want to save your top slots for single-target boss-killers, you may need to spam a few lower-level fireballs to wear down the group.

This doesn't feel right to me; I don't want Wizards and Sorcerers to play like Kineticists, which is how they'll feel if lobbing cantrips is what you do 90% of the time. I want big ticket spells to dominate their presence, tempered by limited resources.

Setting aside personal preference in how I'd prefer the class to play, though, it's highly unlikely fireball would be a smart opener if this is the meta we're looking at. Something with more long-term effect - battlefield control, buffs, debuffs, etc - would be vastly more powerful if battles are going to be more ponderous. That's not so much a statement based on experience in Pathfinder (or rather, only Pathfinder), but experience playing games in general. To paraphrase a maxim that exists in multiple games: the only hit point that matters is your last one. So long as there is no difference in efficacy based on hit points remaining, direct damage spells will be primarily useful as finishers, not openers.

My assumption was a player who was single-mindedly playing a "blaster" and avoiding high level control. And a fireball can be a good open if you spend a top slot on it. We've seen encounters where a crit fail will kill a monster outright (a lower level monster as appropriate for a mob encounter). Dead is the best form of crowd control, after all.

Most of the assumptions I've seen have put cantrip use closer to 60% to 75% spells cast in a day. You rely on cantrips a lot less if you take care to make use of your lower level slots for those effective control and utility spells.

A critical for a fireball in a level 3 slot don't kill a Ogre (creature 3) or a Redcap (creature 5).

So even...

Those are pretty bad examples. You wouldn’t use a fireball in either situation. Use it on monsters below your level that don’t have unusually high health instead.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Those are pretty bad examples. You wouldn’t use a fireball in either situation. Use it on monsters below your level that don’t have unusually high health instead.

Assuming you even do know a given monster has unusually high health. Which, unless the "identify creature" function is more robust in PF2 than its predecessor, you wouldn't know unless you've read the monster's statblock and are failing to separate player and character knowledge.


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Given that being a fat stack of meat is essentially the ogre's special ability it would be important for that information to come up in a knowledge check, yeah. Something to look out for and potentially critique in the playtest.

The Exchange

Captain Morgan wrote:
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.)

Quote:
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...

1) My point is not irrelevant. In order to arrive at a conclusion of whether or not upcasting is effective you need to measure it against something. PF2 spells with upcasting are weaker than PF1 spells without upcasting. That is a fact. PF1 fireball with empower (upcasting spell to level 5 is 15D6. PF2 upcasting is 10D6. That's a 50% drop in out put.

2) Multi-casters should not have to suffer a downgrade in spell level power no more than multi-class martials suffering a downgrade in attack power. If its not a concern for multi-class martials to be on same attack power effectiveness as a true martial than mult-class casters should be just as effective in regards to spell power.

3) You are moving the goal posts with your third point. If its unfair for me to compare PF1 to PF2 casting then you cannot argue that PF1 magic weapons and feats make my assumption inaccurate. Also, my comparison was a standard sword vs a standard dagger. If all enchantments on your backup weapon are the same or within one step of your primary weapon. The net reduction is that small.

4)No, you said it in another post about feats. Feats are always on powers. There should be no reason for power attack to scale. There should also be no reason for sneak attack, laying on of hands or other powers to scale if spells do not scale. These are all class abilities of characters and if one set is good enough at that level you get them for your whole career than other classes powers should mimic this same formula.

The Exchange

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Why...are you firing a disintegrate at something you have a 55% chance of missing? If someone's fortified so heavily that you have a 55% chance of missing his TAC, perhaps a different spell would be more appropriate.

I am pretty sure that the wizard actually has a 55% chance of hitting (45% chance of missing) while a fighter would have a 45% chance of hitting that same enemy. Either way, I think it is unlikely that the attacking wizard is targeting that Dex character's weakest defense.

The 55% miss chance is for a fighter attacking regular AC.

If the enemy has +17 to con saves and a 20 in Dex, I am betting that character's will saves ain't gonna be that great.

Dam, part of the math was still those done before adding the "undefined bonus to the spellcaster attack"

So yes, with a +20to hit ws TAC 30, it is a 55% chance to hit.

That change the numbers to:

45% chace of doing nothing
50% of a normal hit
5% for a critical

and the final results

45% ofdoing nothing
27.75% of doing 33 points of damage
20.25% of doing 65 point of damage
5% of doing 130 points of damage

Still more than a 72% chance of doing little more than the damage that a greatsword wielder do in 3 attacks in 1 round.

You still have a 51% chance of dealing 66 or less hp of damage with two disintegrate.

As soon as the target TAC fall under 30 it start to change, but then you are using your highest spell against targets that don't even are at the same level as you.

Note that TAC now is close to normal AC. The armor used for the example has a difference of 2 points between AC and TAC.

And with 3 spells +1 specialist spell as your highest level you haven't the space for spell that target different saves, at least non damage dealing spells (if any damage dealing spell that targeta will save exist at all).

I suppose. I will note that you have given a situation where a fighter only can hit their second...

What if the target is an undead or constructs? Will saves are not always your primary option

The Exchange

edduardco wrote:
Talek & Luna wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Meirril wrote:
At a certain, fundamental level from a game designers point of view, spells that grow more powerful with the leveling of the caster (to the point that they are equal with higher level spells) is wrong. That is just bad design. A 5th level spell should be far more powerful than a 3rd level spell, but a 9th level wizard casting fireball does as much damage as a cone of cold, and if that fireball was made into a 5th level slot it could be more powerful than a 5th level spell! This is bad! This is horrible design! This...has finally been addressed.

Then what is the point of Heightening?

The more I think about it the more I feel that Heightening for blasting is a poor mechanic, it makes spells consumes resources in a very inefficient way, a level 3 spell heightened to level 5 is going to be inferior to an actual level 5 spell despise consuming the same resources.

I completely agree. There are only two reasons that heightening works and works poorly IMHO in 5e.

1) Everyone is a spontaneous caster

2) Everyone gets less spells to prepare or know per level

I really don't care if someone at Paizo dreamed up upcasting before someone at WOTC did. WOTC got their model out first and so everyone has to be compared to their model. Its like the keypad. The first keypad for type writers was not the most ergonomic developed. Other later models were much better. Howver, people were used to the first keyset so that is why all typewriters and keyboards use the inferior model. Paizo has to adopt to the reality of upcasting and adjust to it because WOTC got their model out of the gates first

IMO Heightening or upcasting in both PF2 and 5e is a nerfed version of 3.5 Psionics Augment applied to spell slots, although PF2 nerf seems harder from what was revealed in another thread about Sorcerers.

I agree with your assessment


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Talek & Luna wrote:
1) My point is not irrelevant. In order to arrive at a conclusion of whether or not upcasting is effective you need to measure it against something. PF2 spells with upcasting are weaker than PF1 spells without upcasting. That is a fact. PF1 fireball with empower (upcasting spell to level 5 is 15D6. PF2 upcasting is 10D6. That's a 50% drop in out put.

You are now comparing PF1 blasting with feats to PF2 blasting without feats. You've moved even further from being relevant to PF2 9th level spells vs PF2 upcast 3rd level spells.

Quote:
2) Multi-casters should not have to suffer a downgrade in spell level power no more than multi-class martials suffering a downgrade in attack power. If its not a concern for multi-class martials to be on same attack power effectiveness as a true martial than mult-class casters should be just as effective in regards to spell power.

Martials DO lose attack power. Higher level features are better than lower level features for all but the poorest designed classes-- at least in PF1. (Again, this tangent is irrelevant when we don't know how multiclassing works in 2e yet.)

Quote:
3) You are moving the goal posts with your third point. If its unfair for me to compare PF1 to PF2 casting then you cannot argue that PF1 magic weapons and feats make my assumption inaccurate. Also, my comparison was a standard sword vs a standard dagger. If all enchantments on your backup weapon are the same or within one step of your primary weapon. The net reduction is that small.

I was trying to use PF1 terms because they seem to be what you understand. PF2 is a different game, and 5% bonus to hit is much more significant than it was in PF1. This remains my point, and it has always been my point. No goal posts have shifted.

Quote:
4)No, you said it in another post about feats. Feats are always on powers. There should be no reason for power attack to scale. There should also be no reason for sneak attack, laying on of hands or other powers to scale if spells do not scale. These are all class abilities of characters and if one set is good enough at that level you get them for your whole career than other classes powers should mimic this same formula.

So you're saying that feats and spells both shouldn't scale. Does that mean martials should get as many feats as casters get spells? Which for a wizard can technically be as high as "all of them?" Because yeah, if fighters can get ALL the feats, then I agree feats don't need to scale.

Alternatively, maybe you are feats and spells are apples and oranges comparisons and the dots you are trying to connect don't actually work out.

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
So you're saying that feats and spells both shouldn't scale. Does that mean martials should get as many feats as casters get spells? Which for a wizard can technically be as high as "all of them?" Because yeah, if fighters can get ALL the feats, then I agree feats don't need to scale.

Any proof that spellcaster will be able to get "all the spells"? It was specifically stated that there are spells that are available only if you find them in game or research them and that spells will have different level of rarity.

Somene cited the druid character sheet presented at the banquet having a "spell know" section. So it is hardly "know" that spellcasters can have all the spells.

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Fuzzypaws wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Those are pretty bad examples. You wouldn’t use a fireball in either situation. Use it on monsters below your level that don’t have unusually high health instead.
Assuming you even do know a given monster has unusually high health. Which, unless the "identify creature" function is more robust in PF2 than its predecessor, you wouldn't know unless you've read the monster's statblock and are failing to separate player and character knowledge.

Ogres have unusually high healt, redcaps don't. They are creature 5, the equivalent of a level 5 character (not a PF1 CR 5 monster). And they have 55 hp, the equivalent of a character that receive 8 hp/level, like a rogue or cleric.

8 hp for race, 5*8 for levels con 12 for +1*5 = 53 hp.
Hardly an high hp monster.

BTW, the ogre is the equivalent of a level 3 character, not a monster with a CR appropriate for challenging a group of 4 level 3 characters.
4 ogres are a same level encounter for 4 characters of level 3.
So it is supposed that each level 3 character can handle a ogre.
A blasting wizard has no chance here, maybe a control one can do it, but control spells base effects are being weakened.


Diego Rossi wrote:

BTW, the ogre is the equivalent of a level 3 character, not a monster with a CR appropriate for challenging a group of 4 level 3 characters.

4 ogres are a same level encounter for 4 characters of level 3.

Are you sure about this? It doesn't seem accurate that an ogre in PF2 is supposed to be a quarter of the threat that an ogre in PF1 is.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That is what I get from the blogs. I can be wrong.


Diego Rossi wrote:
That is what I get from the blogs. I can be wrong.

Well, if you throw an encounter of four CR 3 enemies at a level 3 party...you should have about a 50% chance of wiping out said party, with equivalent CR of 7. I'm pretty sure the same is applicable for PF2, and would be the equivalent of an AP-ending boss fight.

So technically, yes, it's a same-level encounter, but same-level encounters have a pretty good chance of wrecking a fresh party.


Diego Rossi wrote:
BTW, the ogre is the equivalent of a level 3 character, not a monster with a CR appropriate for challenging a group of 4 level 3 characters.

In the PF1 system, a level 3 character is considered a CR-appropriate challenge for a group of four level 3 PCs. (Which is why same-CR battles are pretty trivial for a group that knows what it's doing.)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
BTW, the ogre is the equivalent of a level 3 character, not a monster with a CR appropriate for challenging a group of 4 level 3 characters.
In the PF1 system, a level 3 character is considered a CR-appropriate challenge for a group of four level 3 PCs. (Which is why same-CR battles are pretty trivial for a group that knows what it's doing.)

He is APL-1, an easy challenge. To have a CR of the same level of the party APL he need PC level wealth, but a NPC with character level wealth in reality is more powerful than a PC with the same wealth, as the NPC can go nova with equipment and spells, while a PC need to conserve them.

How many PCs guzzle a potion of Shield of Faith at CL 18 every encounter and how many NPCs guzzle it down just before their single encounter with a group of PCs?
I recall several NPCs using thousands of gp of consumables before an encounter with PCs, while the PCs do that only if they are sure that it is a boss fight.

Generally low level PC prefer a ring of deflection +1 to buying a scroll of magic circle against evil. The scroll has higher effect against the right opponent but, at most, it last a few hours.
A NPC build for a single fight will easily do the opposite.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
So you're saying that feats and spells both shouldn't scale. Does that mean martials should get as many feats as casters get spells? Which for a wizard can technically be as high as "all of them?" Because yeah, if fighters can get ALL the feats, then I agree feats don't need to scale.

Any proof that spellcaster will be able to get "all the spells"? It was specifically stated that there are spells that are available only if you find them in game or research them and that spells will have different level of rarity.

Somene cited the druid character sheet presented at the banquet having a "spell know" section. So it is hardly "know" that spellcasters can have all the spells.

I've been going with the assumption that rarer spells are harder to get, but nothing prohibits having them if the DM drops them for you to find. That may not be the case, but I don't think it matters a lot for my example. "All" can be replaced by "many" to illustrate the same point. Our current evidence is that a martial gets 1-2 class feats and 1-2 class features at 1st level. A wizard gets at least one class feat, a school power, and 8 1st level spells known.

Spells and feats are valued differently, and trying to pretend like they are equal investment is bananas.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
So you're saying that feats and spells both shouldn't scale. Does that mean martials should get as many feats as casters get spells? Which for a wizard can technically be as high as "all of them?" Because yeah, if fighters can get ALL the feats, then I agree feats don't need to scale.

Any proof that spellcaster will be able to get "all the spells"? It was specifically stated that there are spells that are available only if you find them in game or research them and that spells will have different level of rarity.

Somene cited the druid character sheet presented at the banquet having a "spell know" section. So it is hardly "know" that spellcasters can have all the spells.

I've been going with the assumption that rarer spells are harder to get, but nothing prohibits having them if the DM drops them for you to find. That may not be the case, but I don't think it matters a lot for my example. "All" can be replaced by "many" to illustrate the same point. Our current evidence is that a martial gets 1-2 class feats and 1-2 class features at 1st level. A wizard gets at least one class feat, a school power, and 8 1st level spells known.

Spells and feats are valued differently, and trying to pretend like they are equal investment is bananas.

Questionable argument. "The potential to know a lot of spells mean that the two or three spell +specialization you can memorize of each level must not scale,while the 1-2 class features and 1-2 feats of the martial should scale."

Rewritten that way they have the difference is way smaller at level 1: 2 spell, +1 specialization spell (3 total uses in a day), +1 feat (unlimited uses) and 1 class feature (multiple uses) vs 1-2 feats (unlimited uses) and 1-2 features (multiple uses).
The spellcaster get 4 cantrips too, the martial get variable levels of weapon proficiency and armor proficiency.
The difference isn't as clear cut as you make it.


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thaX wrote:
I hope we get some details with the Sorcerer preview soon, to compare. The tightrope of balance between the mechanics is always tricky, especially since it never needed to be done in the first place. Wizards should have nipped this Vancian Casting off the vine in 3.0, but instead had two "Mage" classes put into the book instead. Other than using Cha as a caster stat, the Sorcerer was not needed and was incomplete as it was in the PHB. (No Bloodlines)

While I agree that the Sorcerer needed more "oomph" compared to the Wizard and PF1E did exactly that with bloodlines, I want to break a lance for the class before Pathfinder as well. It still is the class I enjoyed most playing back in 3.0 and I am very happy at the moment to be able to play it again in my current Pathfinder game.

And, yeah, I cannot wait for the Sorcerer preview. I really want to know how the devs handled some of the more glaring issues (like only two skillpoints and getting your bloodline spell one level later than the Oracle).


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KingOfAnything wrote:
My assumption was a player who was single-mindedly playing a "blaster" and avoiding high level control. And a fireball can be a good open if you spend a top slot on it.

It becomes an issue if high-level control effects are objectively better than high-level blast effects. Yes, killing someone is a very effective way of ending the threat they pose, but this presumes your spell actually has the power to kill them. The numbers we've seen so far suggest even critically failed saves will struggle to get kills against all but the weakest monsters (which, as a practical matter, were in save-or-die territory to PF1 blasts even with only token optimization).

Captain Morgan wrote:
Bummer that you don't like the witch-- most people seem to love it

I wouldn't say I dislike it, just that it's my least favorite of the primary arcane casters.

KingOfAnything wrote:
Those are pretty bad examples. You wouldn’t use a fireball in either situation. Use it on monsters below your level that don’t have unusually high health instead.

You may call them bad examples, but most spells don't require idealized circumstances to be effective. If blast spells are balanced such that they only work well when fighting large groups of weak monsters, and even then only if those monsters have lower-than-average hit points, and even then require a critically failed save to shine... that's not going to be a very good spell.

Captain Morgan wrote:
You are now comparing PF1 blasting with feats to PF2 blasting without feats. You've moved even further from being relevant to PF2 9th level spells vs PF2 upcast 3rd level spells.

While I agree such a comparison muddies the water, it's always worth keeping in mind that PF1 blasting was legitimately underpowered without those feats. So if we're comparing PF2 blasting to unoptimized PF1 blasting, we are comparing against a mechanic that was underpowered.

Diego Rossi wrote:

That is what I get from the blogs. I can be wrong.

My takeaway was that monster level is just the new terminology for CR. Aside from the Ogre's unusually high hit point total, both it and the Redcap are pretty close to PF1 guidelines for monster creation (presuming their level = CR). We don't know what the guidelines for encounters are. It could be that due to stronger PC's, the expectations for what they can take on is also increased.


Dasrak: I was not asserting that blasting would be good in PF2. I was correcting Talek & Luna about several false assertions: That a fighter switching to a non-optimal weapon group reduced damage by merely 5%, and that we had a 9th level blast spell to compare to a 3rd level fireball heightened to a 9th level slot.

This was a conversation about whether heightened spells should be as powerful as spells that simply are higher level. Rather than continue to address this argument, T&L then began an irrelevant tangent about how PF2 spells compare to PF1 spells, which has nothing to do with how PF2 spells compare to PF2 spells.

I have included the relevant post below, and bolded where they went off the rails of what was actually being discussed. A conversation on the merits of blasting in PF1 and PF2 is all well and good, but it is not a valid response to an assertion that PF2 9th level spells should be stronger than 3rd level spells in 9th level slots.

Talek & Luna wrote:
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.

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Dasrak wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Those are pretty bad examples. You wouldn’t use a fireball in either situation. Use it on monsters below your level that don’t have unusually high health instead.
You may call them bad examples, but most spells don't require idealized circumstances to be effective. If blast spells are balanced such that they only work well when fighting large groups of weak monsters, and even then only if those monsters have lower-than-average hit points, and even then require a critically failed save to shine... that's not going to be a very good spell.

Not all blast spells are best against large groups of weak enemies, that's just fireball and other area-of-effect spells. You don't need ideal circumstances to be effective, just use an appropriate spell for the circumstance in which you find yourself. Against your single-target foes, use a single-target spell.

Try stacking level-appropriate spell such as cone of cold up against a group of redcaps instead of fireball.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
magnuskn wrote:
thaX wrote:
I hope we get some details with the Sorcerer preview soon, to compare. The tightrope of balance between the mechanics is always tricky, especially since it never needed to be done in the first place. Wizards should have nipped this Vancian Casting off the vine in 3.0, but instead had two "Mage" classes put into the book instead. Other than using Cha as a caster stat, the Sorcerer was not needed and was incomplete as it was in the PHB. (No Bloodlines)

While I agree that the Sorcerer needed more "oomph" compared to the Wizard and PF1E did exactly that with bloodlines, I want to break a lance for the class before Pathfinder as well. It still is the class I enjoyed most playing back in 3.0 and I am very happy at the moment to be able to play it again in my current Pathfinder game.

And, yeah, I cannot wait for the Sorcerer preview. I really want to know how the devs handled some of the more glaring issues (like only two skillpoints and getting your bloodline spell one level later than the Oracle).

With the slowed access to spell I agree. If, as it seem, they will get access to the new tier of spell at the same level, they need a different oomph, not more.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dasrak wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
My assumption was a player who was single-mindedly playing a "blaster" and avoiding high level control. And a fireball can be a good open if you spend a top slot on it.

It becomes an issue if high-level control effects are objectively better than high-level blast effects. Yes, killing someone is a very effective way of ending the threat they pose, but this presumes your spell actually has the power to kill them. The numbers we've seen so far suggest even critically failed saves will struggle to get kills against all but the weakest monsters (which, as a practical matter, were in save-or-die territory to PF1 blasts even with only token optimization).

I think that the blast spell that aren't memorized in the two highest level of spells will be worse in most circumstances than control spells.

The DC of the spells will increase forever, so control spells will stay as relevant as they where initially against strong opponents and become better against weak opponents.

Lower level blast spell damage will always stay the same if you don't heighten them, so after a few level their damage will be trivial when compared to the strong monsters. The increase in attack roll and DC will make them stronger against weak monsters, but generally weak monsters aren't the problem while gaming. "I will deal with the giant rats" don't make you a hero when the party is 10th level. "I will give the giant 1 round of miss chance if he save" will (and if I have got it right, that is the effect of a saved Color spray).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
KingOfAnything wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Those are pretty bad examples. You wouldn’t use a fireball in either situation. Use it on monsters below your level that don’t have unusually high health instead.
You may call them bad examples, but most spells don't require idealized circumstances to be effective. If blast spells are balanced such that they only work well when fighting large groups of weak monsters, and even then only if those monsters have lower-than-average hit points, and even then require a critically failed save to shine... that's not going to be a very good spell.

Not all blast spells are best against large groups of weak enemies, that's just fireball and other area-of-effect spells. You don't need ideal circumstances to be effective, just use an appropriate spell for the circumstance in which you find yourself. Against your single-target foes, use a single-target spell.

Try stacking level-appropriate spell such as cone of cold up against a group of redcaps instead of fireball.

Why Cone of cold a level 5 spell learned at character level 9 is an appropriate level spell against a Redcap, a monster level 5 creature?

You need to be 4 level above him to be on par?

Liberty's Edge

At this rate, maybe they shouldn't include Fireball or Ogres in PF2 amirite?!

/s


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Diego Rossi wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Those are pretty bad examples. You wouldn’t use a fireball in either situation. Use it on monsters below your level that don’t have unusually high health instead.
You may call them bad examples, but most spells don't require idealized circumstances to be effective. If blast spells are balanced such that they only work well when fighting large groups of weak monsters, and even then only if those monsters have lower-than-average hit points, and even then require a critically failed save to shine... that's not going to be a very good spell.

Not all blast spells are best against large groups of weak enemies, that's just fireball and other area-of-effect spells. You don't need ideal circumstances to be effective, just use an appropriate spell for the circumstance in which you find yourself. Against your single-target foes, use a single-target spell.

Try stacking level-appropriate spell such as cone of cold up against a group of redcaps instead of fireball.

Why Cone of cold a level 5 spell learned at character level 9 is an appropriate level spell against a Redcap, a monster level 5 creature?

You need to be 4 level above him to be on par?

It's not an appropriate level spell against a Redcap, it's an appropriate level spell against a large group of Redcaps. (Or so the argument goes, I haven't actually looked at the stats.)

And apparently blasting spells are only considered useful if they actually drop creatures outright. Doing a whole bunch of damage to a group so that they can then be dropped in one hit by others apparently isn't worthwhile.


Talek & Luna wrote:
What if the target is an undead or constructs? Will saves are not always your primary option

Then that sounds like a real tough enemy for everyone! I bet that jerk is gonna be immune to critical hits too (which will skew the math slightly towards save-based blasting DPS vs. attacks against AC which tends to have a lower chance of critting in general).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KingOfAnything wrote:
Try stacking level-appropriate spell such as cone of cold up against a group of redcaps instead of fireball.

Sure, why not;

Redcaps have 55 HP and +11 reflex saves

Cone of Cold is 11d6 damage.
For a single blast, a critically failed save has a 98% chance to kill
For two successive blasts, the Redcap dies 94% of the time if it fails both saves and 14% of the time if it fails one but succeeds the other. (after accounting for fast healing)

We don't yet know what PF2 DC's will look like exactly, so let's be thorough and take DC 22, 25, and 28 as sample points.

DC 22:
5% chance to critically succeed
45% chance to succeed
45% chance to fail
5% chance to critically fail
= 77.5% pre-save damage = 29.8 average damage
~5% chance to kill with only one blast
~34% chance to kill within two successive blasts

DC 25:
5% chance to critically succeed
30% chance to succeed
50% chance to fail
15% chance to critically fail
= 95% pre-save damage = 36.6 average damage
~15% chance to kill with one blast
~55% chance to kill within two successive blasts

DC 28:
5% chance to critically succeed
15% chance to succeed
50% chance to fail
30% chance to critically fail
= 117.5% pre-save damage = 45 damage
~29% chance to kill with one blast
~75% chance to kill with two successive blasts

And now PF1 Empowered Fireball with no further optimization:
10d6*1.5 averages 52.5 damage and rolls enough damage to kill the Redcap 40% of the time on a failed save.
On two successive blasts, the Redcap dies 100% of the time if it fails both saves and 93% of the time if it fails one save. (Again, fast healing accounted for)

DC 22:
50% chance to succeed
50% chance to fail
= 75% pre-save damage = 39.4 average damage
~20% chance to kill with one blast
~71.5% chance to kill within two successive blasts

So PF2 matches PF1 damage in this case with a 4-5 DC advantage. Comparisons like these do not fill me with hope. These numbers were not particularly good in PF1, either, and most characters who made use of them had feat and class feature support, and also made extensive use of lower-level spells. PF2 numbers are even lower by default, and you don't have lower-level spells to fall back on.


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I'm also going to be the constant reminder that 2E is supposed to be less rocket-taggy than 1E, not more. And that it's aiming to resolve the problem where spellcasters above a certain level basically had infinite spells because low-level ones always scaled up.

Looking at the above analysis, the expected DC for a PF2 cone of cold (level 9) should be at a minimum DC 24 from some napkin math. 10 + 9 level + 4 stat + 1 expert. It's more likely to be at least DC 25 thanks to stat increases by that point, but that's a different story.

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Diego Rossi wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Those are pretty bad examples. You wouldn’t use a fireball in either situation. Use it on monsters below your level that don’t have unusually high health instead.
You may call them bad examples, but most spells don't require idealized circumstances to be effective. If blast spells are balanced such that they only work well when fighting large groups of weak monsters, and even then only if those monsters have lower-than-average hit points, and even then require a critically failed save to shine... that's not going to be a very good spell.

Not all blast spells are best against large groups of weak enemies, that's just fireball and other area-of-effect spells. You don't need ideal circumstances to be effective, just use an appropriate spell for the circumstance in which you find yourself. Against your single-target foes, use a single-target spell.

Try stacking level-appropriate spell such as cone of cold up against a group of redcaps instead of fireball.

Why Cone of cold a level 5 spell learned at character level 9 is an appropriate level spell against a Redcap, a monster level 5 creature?

You need to be 4 level above him to be on par?

Not a redcap. A mob of redcaps. Stop trying to use area spells against single targets and you'll have a much better time.

Dropping a quarter of the enemy group, and significantly damaging the rest with a single spell is what an effective blaster looks like.


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Cyouni wrote:
I'm also going to be the constant reminder that 2E is supposed to be less rocket-taggy than 1E, not more. And that it's aiming to resolve the problem where spellcasters above a certain level basically had infinite spells because low-level ones always scaled up.

We're talking about nova'ing with your highest level spell slots against a mob of APL-5 enemies. This is an extreme situation, and if blast spells produce only adequate results under those conditions they will hardly be usable under more typical conditions.

The fact is that area of effect damage is better if there are more enemies, and if they are individually weaker. However well the spell does against a group of APL-5 enemies, it will be relatively less effective if I slightly increase the strength of those foes, or slightly decrease their numbers. APL-5, at least by PF1 standards, is towards the extreme end of what you can use as a credible foe. As a result, we expect the outcomes in this case to be towards the extreme end of favorability.

In order for blast spells to be good in a general case, they need to be excellent in extreme cases. This is not excellent, not for your highest level spell slot. This is passable at best.

Cyouni wrote:
Looking at the above analysis, the expected DC for a PF2 cone of cold (level 9) should be at a minimum DC 24 from some napkin math. 10 + 9 level + 4 stat + 1 expert. It's more likely to be at least DC 25 thanks to stat increases by that point, but that's a different story.

... and 25 was my mid-point estimate (22 being low, 28 being high).

KingOfAnything wrote:

Not a redcap. A mob of redcaps. Stop trying to use area spells against single targets and you'll have a much better time.

Dropping a quarter of the enemy group, and significantly damaging the rest with a single spell is what an effective blaster looks like.

If we were talking about a 3rd level slot, or about an encounter with something like 4x CR 8 encounter versus our APL 10 party then I'd agree with you, but we're not. We're talking about leading with your highest-level slots against something like a 10x CR 5 encounter. That is an unusually extreme case, one in which the blaster should dominate by virtue of having exactly the right spell prepared to exploit the encounter.

It's all well and good to salivate over double damage on critically failed saves, but every other spell benefits from this too. Something like a Cloudkill spell is probably going to straight up kill on a critically failed save... and it provokes a new save every round.


Dasrak wrote:
Something like a Cloudkill spell is probably going to straight up kill on a critically failed save... and it provokes a new save every round.

Have you seen the new cloudkill spell? If not, then what are we talking about here?

I can make up mechanics for that spell that could be balanced against blasting or really anything at all.

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
thejeff wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Those are pretty bad examples. You wouldn’t use a fireball in either situation. Use it on monsters below your level that don’t have unusually high health instead.
You may call them bad examples, but most spells don't require idealized circumstances to be effective. If blast spells are balanced such that they only work well when fighting large groups of weak monsters, and even then only if those monsters have lower-than-average hit points, and even then require a critically failed save to shine... that's not going to be a very good spell.

Not all blast spells are best against large groups of weak enemies, that's just fireball and other area-of-effect spells. You don't need ideal circumstances to be effective, just use an appropriate spell for the circumstance in which you find yourself. Against your single-target foes, use a single-target spell.

Try stacking level-appropriate spell such as cone of cold up against a group of redcaps instead of fireball.

Why Cone of cold a level 5 spell learned at character level 9 is an appropriate level spell against a Redcap, a monster level 5 creature?

You need to be 4 level above him to be on par?

It's not an appropriate level spell against a Redcap, it's an appropriate level spell against a large group of Redcaps. (Or so the argument goes, I haven't actually looked at the stats.)

And apparently blasting spells are only considered useful if they actually drop creatures outright. Doing a whole bunch of damage to a group so that they can then be dropped in one hit by others apparently isn't worthwhile.

1) both spells are area spells and fireball attack at a long range, so I don't see why cone of cold is better, beside the higher damage. But if 5d6 of extra damage are enough to justify 2 extra levels ....

2) It is not "kill outright", but be meaningful.

5th level caster against Redcaps:
DC 10+5 (level) + 5 (int) + 1 expert = DC 21; 6d6= average damage 21
Redcap hp 55, Reflex save +11

Save critical failure with 1, critical success with 20, normal save with 10.

Effect: 5% of the redcaps are unharmed, 50% suffer 11 hp of damage and can still survive a couple of hits from a martial, 40% suffer 21 points of damage and will be disabled by two hits from a martial, 5% suffer 42 point of damage and will go down with a hit from a martial.

Essentially 50% of the targets suffer damage on par with a single, mediocre, attack from a martial.
40% suffer damage equivalent to a solid hit from a martial or a mediocre hit with a weapon that target the Redcap weakness.
5% the equivalent of two solid hits.

9th level caster against Redcaps:
DC 10+9 (level) + 5 (int) + 1 expert = DC 25;
Fireball 6d6= average damage 21
Cone of cold 11d6= average damage 38.5
Redcap hp 55, Reflex save +11

Save critical failure with 1-4, critical success with 20, normal save with 14.

Fireball effect:
5% of the redcaps are unharmed,
25% suffer 11 hp of damage and probably will not survive a couple of hits from a 9th level martial but probably will survive one, a mediocre action advantage against the effect at 5th level thanks to the probable better performance of the martial.
50% suffer 21 points of damage and will be disabled by two hits from a martial or a very good hit. Maybe a slight action advantage against the 5th level caster. Again the real difference is the martial.
20% suffer 42 point of damage and will go down with a hit from a martial.

What is changed? the number of enemies that will go down with a single attack from the martial has increased from 5% to 20%. If the martial get a very good roll on the damage he cold incapacitate some of the other redcaps one strike earlier.

Cone of cold effect:
5% of the redcaps are unharmed,
25% suffer 20 hp of damage and probably will not survive a couple of hits from a 9th level martial but probably will survive one. Ouch, the same effect of fireball.
50% suffer 38.5 points of damage and will be disabled by one hits from a martial. A clear advantage here.
20% suffer 77 point of damage and die.

What is the difference from fireball, a spell 2 level below?
20% of the enemies will die instead of being 1 strike away from dying.
50% of the enemies will be one strike away from dying instead of two
for the others nothing has changed.

The benefit of a spell two level above is that 70% of the time a martial will have to use one less attack (granted , 20% of that is because the target is dead instead of near death). Against foes 4 level below yours.

Against foe of your level? Probably it will have exactly the same effect spread of a CL 5 fireball against Redcap. No death even when the target fail critically the save and a negligible effect against about 50% of the targets.

Balanced if you can get 3-4 targets in a area of effect, but in more common situations where getting two targets in the AoE without hitting your friends is a good result, decidedly weak.

If all the party is willing to move as you ask you can get more than two targets fairly often, but then we enter the "I should play at the beck and call of the wizard!?" territory.

Ninjaed by Dasrak
AFAIK a 15 is a critical failure as it is 10 points below the DC, so a roll of 4 is a critical failure.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cyouni wrote:

I'm also going to be the constant reminder that 2E is supposed to be less rocket-taggy than 1E, not more. And that it's aiming to resolve the problem where spellcasters above a certain level basically had infinite spells because low-level ones always scaled up.

Looking at the above analysis, the expected DC for a PF2 cone of cold (level 9) should be at a minimum DC 24 from some napkin math. 10 + 9 level + 4 stat + 1 expert. It's more likely to be at least DC 25 thanks to stat increases by that point, but that's a different story.

90% of rocket tag is Save or Sucks/Save or Die spells, not direct damage spells.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

I'm also going to be the constant reminder that 2E is supposed to be less rocket-taggy than 1E, not more. And that it's aiming to resolve the problem where spellcasters above a certain level basically had infinite spells because low-level ones always scaled up.

Looking at the above analysis, the expected DC for a PF2 cone of cold (level 9) should be at a minimum DC 24 from some napkin math. 10 + 9 level + 4 stat + 1 expert. It's more likely to be at least DC 25 thanks to stat increases by that point, but that's a different story.

90% of rocket tag is Save or Sucks/Save or Die spells, not direct damage spells.

The point still stands: it is pointless to discount blasting based only on its ability to kill a creature in one round, especially given the fact that save-or-dies are also going to be limited and martials are not necessarily going to be murdering creatures in one round either.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
KingOfAnything wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Those are pretty bad examples. You wouldn’t use a fireball in either situation. Use it on monsters below your level that don’t have unusually high health instead.
You may call them bad examples, but most spells don't require idealized circumstances to be effective. If blast spells are balanced such that they only work well when fighting large groups of weak monsters, and even then only if those monsters have lower-than-average hit points, and even then require a critically failed save to shine... that's not going to be a very good spell.

Not all blast spells are best against large groups of weak enemies, that's just fireball and other area-of-effect spells. You don't need ideal circumstances to be effective, just use an appropriate spell for the circumstance in which you find yourself. Against your single-target foes, use a single-target spell.

Try stacking level-appropriate spell such as cone of cold up against a group of redcaps instead of fireball.

Why Cone of cold a level 5 spell learned at character level 9 is an appropriate level spell against a Redcap, a monster level 5 creature?

You need to be 4 level above him to be on par?

Not a redcap. A mob of redcaps. Stop trying to use area spells against single targets and you'll have a much better time.

Dropping a quarter of the enemy group, and significantly damaging the rest with a single spell is what an effective blaster looks like.

If that was true. The level 3 fireball will not drop anyone even with the higher DC. Cone of cold will drop 20% of the targeted redcaps. You are really arguing that they will be so kind that they will place 5 of them in the AoE of a cone of cold?

If that is the argument, a fighter with a cold iron battelaxe will attack (with a sweep bonus) a second redcap every time he get a critical hit as they will be so nice to be placed in a row in front of him.
Fighter 9+5 str + 2 master +2 weapon = 18 against AC 20. 45% of his hit are critical. 2d12+14 damage = 27. It depend on how good is that swing bonus that Bonner cited, but even without it he has a 9% change of dealing 2 critics with 2 attacks on the primary redcap and try 2 additional attacks (dealing 1d12+14 if he hit with a normal hit) on the second.
Pretty good for an area attack that can be repeated "forever" if the enemies are so kind as moving in a line formation.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

I'm also going to be the constant reminder that 2E is supposed to be less rocket-taggy than 1E, not more. And that it's aiming to resolve the problem where spellcasters above a certain level basically had infinite spells because low-level ones always scaled up.

Looking at the above analysis, the expected DC for a PF2 cone of cold (level 9) should be at a minimum DC 24 from some napkin math. 10 + 9 level + 4 stat + 1 expert. It's more likely to be at least DC 25 thanks to stat increases by that point, but that's a different story.

90% of rocket tag is Save or Sucks/Save or Die spells, not direct damage spells.
The point still stands: it is pointless to discount blasting based only on its ability to kill a creature in one round, especially given the fact that save-or-dies are also going to be limited and martials are not necessarily going to be murdering creatures in one round either.

Really? Check the axe murderer in the example above.

Even without the sweep bonus to hit, he get a 20% chance of dealing 2 critical to two adjacent redcaps with his first action.
And then a 50% chance of delivering a a hit and 15% of a critical on the second attack.
And he still has a third attack with a 40% chance of dealing a hit.

Paizo Employee Designer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

I'm also going to be the constant reminder that 2E is supposed to be less rocket-taggy than 1E, not more. And that it's aiming to resolve the problem where spellcasters above a certain level basically had infinite spells because low-level ones always scaled up.

Looking at the above analysis, the expected DC for a PF2 cone of cold (level 9) should be at a minimum DC 24 from some napkin math. 10 + 9 level + 4 stat + 1 expert. It's more likely to be at least DC 25 thanks to stat increases by that point, but that's a different story.

90% of rocket tag is Save or Sucks/Save or Die spells, not direct damage spells.
The point still stands: it is pointless to discount blasting based only on its ability to kill a creature in one round, especially given the fact that save-or-dies are also going to be limited and martials are not necessarily going to be murdering creatures in one round either.

For the cone of cold example, if you come across 4/6/however many redcaps that are all arranged so you can even use your favorite non-damaging attack/control spells on them (which tend to have a smaller area and be harder to coordinate than fireball or cone of cold), there aren't any comparable level 5 options that are going to do a non-damage instakill, even on a critical failure, while as Diego noted, cone is definitely a damage instakill on a crit-failure (even level 4 fireball, at 56 damage, kills on a crit-failure on an average or better roll). Can you debuff them, take away their actions, put up a wall, hold them in place, or the like? Absolutely, and in my most recent playtest encounter (bizarrely enough against against a bunch of advanced redcaps [level 6 a la advanced simple template] and other critters with a party on the cusp of 10th and 11th levels, which you might recognize if you've run Shattered Star) one famously unlucky redcap was taken out of the fight for three whole rounds by a 5th level area control spell, which might as well have killed it as the monk flew up and mopped up all its buddies up on the balcony before it could become relevant again, but cone of cold could have killed it straight off and would have hit even more of the redcaps than the control spell did if the spellcaster had that spell.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Have you seen the new cloudkill spell? If not, then what are we talking about here?

No, I have not seen cloudkill. It's an iconic spell that I expect to return, and it has had the power to outright kill weak enemies. Killing a 5th level enemy on a critically failed save is, if anything, a very conservative estimation of its power. If it's worse then that... well, honestly it wouldn't be cloudkill anymore.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
I can make up mechanics for that spell that could be balanced against blasting or really anything at all.

Sure, you could nerf the spell into some weaker semblance of itself, but it wouldn't be cloudkill anymore. Cloudkill is a cloud that kills.

Diego Rossi wrote:
90% of rocket tag is Save or Sucks/Save or Die spells, not direct damage spells.

PF1 blasts can be optimized up to that level, though. I think it's a valid concern that people don't want that level of extreme power, but we're nowhere near that level of power in any of these discussions.

Mark Seifter wrote:
there aren't any comparable level 5 options that are going to do a non-damage instakill, even on a critical failure, while as Diego noted, cone is definitely a damage instakill

So does this mean cloudkill is gone?

Paizo Employee Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Are there any CR 5 monsters that PF1 cloudkill can instantly kill on a failed save? (that is, those with fewer than 6 HD). I checked all of them in the first Bestiary and there aren't any in there, but there might be one somewhere.

Huh, actually, PF1 cloudkill's effect on 6 HD is actually possibly uncertain due to appearing both "4 to 6" and "6 or more" so maybe they can? I've always played it as 6 or more uses the 6 or more line.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Mark, the calculation for the axe murderer above are approximately correct?

Diego flee from the discussion as it is 1.48 AM from him and going to bed at 3 AM for the third night in a row isn't good.
;-)

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