Blasting in PF2


Prerelease Discussion

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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Yeah, that's a cool solution.

Sadly it seems the actual spell is not as cool(at the moment).

Shinigami02 wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:
We don't know how much a PF2 fireball does, but it likely isn't 10d6 if the level 5 cone of cold spell does a static 11d6.
Unless something changed we do already know how much a PF2 fireball does, it was mentioned in a GameInformer interview with Jason Bulhman. Fireball is 6d6 at level 3, Heightened for 2d6 per spell level. So at level 9 you'll have 10d6 Fireballs with a 5th level Fireball.

Well, to be fair, we don't actually have the text of Fireball. Heightening it could do various things in addition to adding 2d6. Also, Heal's core function doesn't actually change from being Heightened, it just adds more damage dice, so Fireball in MuddyVolcano's hypothetical would probably also only add damage dice from Heightening and instead use different action costs to determine it's area of effect and such.

I don't especially think Fireball will follow MuddyVolcano's suggestion, but I don't think that's the end of the world either. It just means you'll need other spells to fill these other niches.

I mean, Harm is technically a blast spell, and will probably behave very similarly to Heal. So there will be SOME flexible spells like this. Also, Harm Novas sound like they will be really potent and fun even if it only deals damage like Heal does to undead, and I'm hoping it gets a little better since Heal tends to be more flexible. I'd be really surprised if Clerics got better, more flexible blasting than wizards and sorcerers.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Let's examine this real quick, using the info we now have.

Assuming a lightly armored Dex-based character, a 10th level PC will have a +19 or so Reflex Save (10 Level + 5 Dex + 3 Armor +1 Expert Save). Their AC will be around 31 (10 Level +5 Armor +5 Dex +1 Expert). Both those are approximations, but decent ones.

Now, let's compare DPR of a Fighter with a Greatsword to that of a Cone of Cold vs. that guy.

Assuming the Greatsword is +3, and the Fighter has Str 20, they have a +20/+15/+10 'full attack' (10 level +2 Proficiency +3 Sword +5 Str), for 4d12+5 damage (averaging 31 points). They critical only on a 20.

Their DPR is around 27.9.

Now, with Cone of Cold, a Wizard of the same level can expect a Save DC of 25 (10 Level +5 Int) and will do 11d6 damage.

Assuming half damage on a Save, no damage on a critical success, normal damage on a failure, and double on a crit failure that makes for a single target DPR of 21.175 (per target, mind you). But that's a high Reflex Save foe. Against a foe with, say, a +15 instead their DPR shoots up to 28.675 per foe and actually higher than the Fighter's total DPR.

Versus weaker foes (Ogres, for example) the Fighter will probably kill two, but the Cone of Cold will kill more than half of those it hits (which could be quite a lot). Versus Redcaps (a more mid-range foe), the Fighter will have a total DPR of 99.2, while the Cone of Cold will have an average DPR of 39.4625 per redcap (so higher DPR if you hit three of them...and that's a high Reflex enemy, if you reversed their Fort and Reflex that DPR rises to a hair over 51 points and you only need to hit 2 to exceed the fighter's DPR).

These results are mostly presented without comment, I just thought we should look at what blasting actually looks like so far. I will note that vs. swarms of minions, an area spell is gonna kill swaths of them (even the high Reflex Redcaps have a 1/5 chance to critically fail vs. a spell from a 10th level caster...and that's deadly).


Very interesting numbers, DMW (not that I bothered to check them or anything)! If I may add commentary on the Cone of Cold versus weak enemies though: I think it will be rare that a wizard with blow a top level spell on a bunch of weak foes (though maybe the party finds themselves against an array of 10 redcaps or some such shenanigans). I think we'd really want to either use lower level spell slots or cantrips for an actual efficacy comparison. A level 3 fireball (Spell DC 25) would only around half the damage we are talking about for a Redcap.

Then again, perhaps it is just silly to use reflex save spells on a creature with such a high Ref save to begin with.

I hope we get a cantrip blog on Friday.

Liberty's Edge

Excaliburproxy wrote:

Very interesting numbers, DMW! If I may add commentary on the Cone of Cold versus weak enemies though: I think it will be rare that a wizard with blow a top level spell on a bunch of weak foes (though maybe the party finds themselves against an array of 10 redcaps or some such shenanigans). I think we'd really want to either use lower level spell slots or cantrips for an actual efficacy comparison. A level 3 fireball (Spell DC 25) would only around half the damage we are talking about for a Redcap.

Then again, perhaps it is just silly to use reflex save spells on a creature with such a high Ref save to begin with.

I hope we get a cantrip blog on Friday.

Well, if they follow similar CR guidelines to PF1, you need 6 Redcaps to be a CR 10 threat, and large numbers of enemies are what you have an area effect spell for in the first place...

I will say that even at half that DPR, if you can hit all 6 Redcaps your DPR is around 120 and better than the Fighter's even with a Fireball (or 150 for lower Reflex Save enemies), though you won't kill any outright with the Fireball (while one is likely to die outright to Cone of Cold).


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Well, if they follow similar CR guidelines to PF1, you need 6 Redcaps to be a CR 10 threat, and large numbers of enemies are what you have an area effect spell for in the first place...

That is a very fair point and my mind was mostly considering spell use against lower CR encounters against a few lower CR enemies rather than on-CR encounters against many lower CR enemies. I also now realize that my aside about 10 redcaps really muddied the waters of my point.

Liberty's Edge

Excaliburproxy wrote:
That is a very fair point and my mind was mostly considering spell use against lower CR encounters against a few lower CR enemies rather than on-CR encounters against many lower CR enemies. I also now realize that my aside about 10 redcaps really muddied the waters of my point.

Gotcha. Though with less than 4 foes, I'm not sure area effect spells are worth it in the first place.

Actually, it occurs to me that Cone of Cold followed immediately by Fireball, followed by a 1st level Magic Missile to finish off a survivor is a really great chain for setting up Focus Conservation. That's an average of 1 dead in the first blast, and then probably another in the second then a third from the Magic Missiles. That's three spells, but it's one enemy dead a turn plus damage to others and two of them are minor-ish spells .

Also worth noting, in terms of DPR analysis, is the fact that a 5th level Magic Missile, at 31.5 DPR, actually exceeds Fighter Full Attack DPR vs. the Level 10 Enemy listed (and would exceed Fighter DPR even more vs. someone with relevant Resistances or higher AC than 31).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Where I would generally like to see damage for blasting magic is basically:

  • At-will cantrips should sit at roughly comparable to a fighter's attacks.
  • Area spells that use a limited resource (spell slots) should probably sit somewhere between 1.25x a fighter attack per-target for a wide area and 1.5x-1.75x a fighter attack for a narrow area, with crits going higher than that.
  • Single target spells that use a limited resource (spell slots) should probably sit somewhere around 2x-2.25x of a fighter attack, with crits going higher than that.

If they made magic crits 1.5x damage instead of 2x damage, then all those base damage values above could be raised by about +0.33x to +0.5x.

Remember that most spells will require 2 actions. The martial use 1 attack and then he has an available action. Even if the second attack has a low chance to hit, it is possible that it can be used to enhance the damage with specific attack actions or for other stuff.

How useful is using that action will matter.
A second attack at -5? If you need a 11 to hit with your first attack it is worth it. Or moving behind an obstacle to force the wizard to move and bur actions.
Or use a smokestick to block his LOS.
Alchemical items will be more powerful, so it is possible that we will get more low cost options.


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I had a thought, and wanted to toss it y'all's way. Is there any way you could see, based on what we know so far, to elegantly draw some parallels between a fighter's weapon capability in a weapon type, and subsequent bonus effects on a critical success, and an evocation specialist or diviner specialist and what they might get out of certain iconic spells?

I'm not sure if this is coming across well. It just seems to me that an evoker should be able to get a "critical success" on a fireball, in a way that was less likely for other specialists, and a diviner should get more from a critical on scrying.

It seems like this, combined with some of the flexibility we've seen in are like heal and harm, could offer flavorful and iconic flexibility, as well as a means to better define and reward the arcane schools.


MuddyVolcano wrote:

I had a thought, and wanted to toss it y'all's way. Is there any way you could see, based on what we know so far, to elegantly draw some parallels between a fighter's weapon capability in a weapon type, and subsequent bonus effects on a critical success, and an evocation specialist or diviner specialist and what they might get out of certain iconic spells?

I'm not sure if this is coming across well. It just seems to me that an eviler should be able to get a "critical success" on a fireball, in a way that was less likely for other specialists, and a diviner should get more from scrying.

It seems like this, combined with some of the flexibility we've seen in are like heal and harm, could offer flavorful and iconic flexibility, as well as a means to better define and reward the arcane schools.

Well, for blasting: almost all your blasting is going to come from evocation specialization. There might be one or two blast spells in conjuration or necromancy but those are exceptions rather than the rule. Cap'n Morgan has already brought up adding special effects on crits by elemental type, though. I think that is a neat line of thought, but I don't know if there is a meaningfully equivalent mechanic for divination/abjuration/etc. You rarely "crit" with a divination spell and while dealing fire damage is mostly the same across different kind of fire spells, I am sure that giving similar effects across abjuration spells is a harder design space to explore and make useful to abjuration specialist in general.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Where I would generally like to see damage for blasting magic is basically:

  • At-will cantrips should sit at roughly comparable to a fighter's attacks.
  • Area spells that use a limited resource (spell slots) should probably sit somewhere between 1.25x a fighter attack per-target for a wide area and 1.5x-1.75x a fighter attack for a narrow area, with crits going higher than that.
  • Single target spells that use a limited resource (spell slots) should probably sit somewhere around 2x-2.25x of a fighter attack, with crits going higher than that.

If they made magic crits 1.5x damage instead of 2x damage, then all those base damage values above could be raised by about +0.33x to +0.5x.

Remember that most spells will require 2 actions. The martial use 1 attack and then he has an available action. Even if the second attack has a low chance to hit, it is possible that it can be used to enhance the damage with specific attack actions or for other stuff.

How useful is using that action will matter.
A second attack at -5? If you need a 11 to hit with your first attack it is worth it. Or moving behind an obstacle to force the wizard to move and bur actions.
Or use a smokestick to block his LOS.
Alchemical items will be more powerful, so it is possible that we will get more low cost options.

Well, I bet a lot of you cantrips will be ranged so you will save some action economy on movement. Also as a balance point, it will likely be easier to switch between cantrips than it will be to switch between weapons so a wizard specializing in various "blast" cantrips may end up buying a lot of versatility with their two action cantrips versus a warrior's one action weapon attack.

That remains to be seen! I reiterate: I wanna see some cantrips this friday.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
MuddyVolcano wrote:

I had a thought, and wanted to toss it y'all's way. Is there any way you could see, based on what we know so far, to elegantly draw some parallels between a fighter's weapon capability in a weapon type, and subsequent bonus effects on a critical success, and an evocation specialist or diviner specialist and what they might get out of certain iconic spells?

I'm not sure if this is coming across well. It just seems to me that an eviler should be able to get a "critical success" on a fireball, in a way that was less likely for other specialists, and a diviner should get more from scrying.

It seems like this, combined with some of the flexibility we've seen in are like heal and harm, could offer flavorful and iconic flexibility, as well as a means to better define and reward the arcane schools.

Well, for blasting: almost all your blasting is going to come from evocation specialization. There might be one or two blast spells in conjuration or necromancy but those are exceptions rather than the rule. Cap'n Morgan has already brought up adding special effects on crits by elemental type, though. I think that is a neat line of thought, but I don't know if there is a meaningfully equivalent mechanic for divination/abjuration/etc. You rarely "crit" with a divination spell and while dealing fire damage is mostly the same across different kind of fire spells, I am sure that giving similar effects across abjuration spells is a harder design space to explore and make useful to abjuration specialist in general.

Just using concepts-on-napkin-math, would it? I'm just exploring this, here. PF2 will be standardizing the numbers across the board. An evoker might gain a standard bonus die on a c. success for spells w an energy type. For diviners, it may come down to learning additional details from a list, like alignment, or treating a relevant knowledge skill as higher in proficiency when analysing the results of/through the spell.

... Some would be, but due to standardization, I wonder, you know? It seems a little too me like a certain sorc bloodline that added a bonus number per die.

Anyhow, this is just exploratory handwavium. :3


MuddyVolcano wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
MuddyVolcano wrote:

I had a thought, and wanted to toss it y'all's way. Is there any way you could see, based on what we know so far, to elegantly draw some parallels between a fighter's weapon capability in a weapon type, and subsequent bonus effects on a critical success, and an evocation specialist or diviner specialist and what they might get out of certain iconic spells?

I'm not sure if this is coming across well. It just seems to me that an eviler should be able to get a "critical success" on a fireball, in a way that was less likely for other specialists, and a diviner should get more from scrying.

It seems like this, combined with some of the flexibility we've seen in are like heal and harm, could offer flavorful and iconic flexibility, as well as a means to better define and reward the arcane schools.

Well, for blasting: almost all your blasting is going to come from evocation specialization. There might be one or two blast spells in conjuration or necromancy but those are exceptions rather than the rule. Cap'n Morgan has already brought up adding special effects on crits by elemental type, though. I think that is a neat line of thought, but I don't know if there is a meaningfully equivalent mechanic for divination/abjuration/etc. You rarely "crit" with a divination spell and while dealing fire damage is mostly the same across different kind of fire spells, I am sure that giving similar effects across abjuration spells is a harder design space to explore and make useful to abjuration specialist in general.

Just using concepts-on-napkin-math, would it? I'm just exploring this, here. PF2 will be standardizing the numbers across the board. An evoker might gain a standard bonus die on a c. success for spells w an energy type. For diviners, it may come down to learning additional details from a list, like alignment, or treating a relevant knowledge skill as higher in proficiency when analysing the results of/through the spell.

... Some would...

I think what you are discussing would require adding rules to tons of spells that would be utilized only by casters with the appropriate specialization. It strikes me as doable but also would require a ton of design work and page count to make it happen.


Excaliburproxy wrote:


That remains to be seen! I reiterate: I wanna see some cantrips this friday.

I don't think we are seeing any blog post this friday since it is Paizocon.


Unicore wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:


That remains to be seen! I reiterate: I wanna see some cantrips this friday.
I don't think we are seeing any blog post this friday since it is Paizocon.

Yeah. I have seen that since.

The Exchange

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Let's examine this real quick, using the info we now have.

Assuming a lightly armored Dex-based character, a 10th level PC will have a +19 or so Reflex Save (10 Level + 5 Dex + 3 Armor +1 Expert Save). Their AC will be around 31 (10 Level +5 Armor +5 Dex +1 Expert). Both those are approximations, but decent ones.

Now, let's compare DPR of a Fighter with a Greatsword to that of a Cone of Cold vs. that guy.

Assuming the Greatsword is +3, and the Fighter has Str 20, they have a +20/+15/+10 'full attack' (10 level +2 Proficiency +3 Sword +5 Str), for 4d12+5 damage (averaging 31 points). They critical only on a 20.

Their DPR is around 27.9.

Now, with Cone of Cold, a Wizard of the same level can expect a Save DC of 25 (10 Level +5 Int) and will do 11d6 damage.

Assuming half damage on a Save, no damage on a critical success, normal damage on a failure, and double on a crit failure that makes for a single target DPR of 21.175 (per target, mind you). But that's a high Reflex Save foe. Against a foe with, say, a +15 instead their DPR shoots up to 28.675 per foe and actually higher than the Fighter's total DPR.

Versus weaker foes (Ogres, for example) the Fighter will probably kill two, but the Cone of Cold will kill more than half of those it hits (which could be quite a lot). Versus Redcaps (a more mid-range foe), the Fighter will have a total DPR of 99.2, while the Cone of Cold will have an average DPR of 39.4625 per redcap (so higher DPR if you hit three of them...and that's a high Reflex enemy, if you reversed their Fort and Reflex that DPR rises to a hair over 51 points and you only need to hit 2 to exceed the fighter's DPR).

These results are mostly presented without comment, I just thought we should look at what blasting actually looks like so far. I will note that vs. swarms of minions, an area spell is gonna kill swaths of them (even the high Reflex Redcaps have a 1/5 chance to critically fail vs. a spell from a 10th level caster...and that's deadly).

Its very subpar damage for a mid range blast spell against weak CR monsters. Cone of Cold has been nerfed from its PF1 version and this is a very bad thing

The Exchange

Excaliburproxy wrote:
I think what you are discussing would require adding rules to tons of spells that would be utilized only by casters with the appropriate specialization. It strikes me as doable but also would require a ton of design work and page count to make it happen.

Not only that but it will likely require a computer program to make it realistic to fit all of these changes on a sheet of paper.

This was an observation from one of my group members who has been following the blogs. It seems overly unnecessary to nerf these spells to only return them to their PF1 equivalents by combing through various feat options at each level to build spell casting up to what it was in PF1.

The Exchange

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
That is a very fair point and my mind was mostly considering spell use against lower CR encounters against a few lower CR enemies rather than on-CR encounters against many lower CR enemies. I also now realize that my aside about 10 redcaps really muddied the waters of my point.

Gotcha. Though with less than 4 foes, I'm not sure area effect spells are worth it in the first place.

Actually, it occurs to me that Cone of Cold followed immediately by Fireball, followed by a 1st level Magic Missile to finish off a survivor is a really great chain for setting up Focus Conservation. That's an average of 1 dead in the first blast, and then probably another in the second then a third from the Magic Missiles. That's three spells, but it's one enemy dead a turn plus damage to others and two of them are minor-ish spells .

Also worth noting, in terms of DPR analysis, is the fact that a 5th level Magic Missile, at 31.5 DPR, actually exceeds Fighter Full Attack DPR vs. the Level 10 Enemy listed (and would exceed Fighter DPR even more vs. someone with relevant Resistances or higher AC than 31).

What monsters are you fighting that have an AC higher than 31 at 10th level? You have to create NPC fighters with high amounts of magic items to get to that high of an AC by PF1 rules. I don't even think dragons approach that AC at CR10.

The Exchange

Captain Morgan wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Yeah, that's a cool solution.

Sadly it seems the actual spell is not as cool(at the moment).

Shinigami02 wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:
We don't know how much a PF2 fireball does, but it likely isn't 10d6 if the level 5 cone of cold spell does a static 11d6.
Unless something changed we do already know how much a PF2 fireball does, it was mentioned in a GameInformer interview with Jason Bulhman. Fireball is 6d6 at level 3, Heightened for 2d6 per spell level. So at level 9 you'll have 10d6 Fireballs with a 5th level Fireball.

Well, to be fair, we don't actually have the text of Fireball. Heightening it could do various things in addition to adding 2d6. Also, Heal's core function doesn't actually change from being Heightened, it just adds more damage dice, so Fireball in MuddyVolcano's hypothetical would probably also only add damage dice from Heightening and instead use different action costs to determine it's area of effect and such.

I don't especially think Fireball will follow MuddyVolcano's suggestion, but I don't think that's the end of the world either. It just means you'll need other spells to fill these other niches.

I mean, Harm is technically a blast spell, and will probably behave very similarly to Heal. So there will be SOME flexible spells like this. Also, Harm Novas sound like they will be really potent and fun even if it only deals damage like Heal does to undead, and I'm hoping it gets a little better since Heal tends to be more flexible. I'd be really surprised if Clerics got better, more flexible blasting than wizards and sorcerers.

What makes you confident that fireball will work correctly with feats given that both magic missile and cone of cold have been nerfed from the PF1 versions?

The Exchange

Mark Seifter wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
I wonder why he didn't mention that when he was involved in this thread. Elemental resistances being less prevalent and weaknesses being more common is a rather big deal.
Mark is very careful not to give out major system revelations in random forum posts. Especially ones that will be covered with a blog later in the planned reveal progression. He often collates information that's already been revealed, hints at things, or occasionally even reveals minor stuff...but major reveals in a non-Blog Thread? Probably not gonna happen.

Very much this. Not going to drop spoilers before the blog, but happy to mention things in their due time.

Also, PF2 weaknesses are particularly good for AoE or DoT effects, as they apply a static amount of extra damage (the 1.5x calculation on the last page is using PF1 vulnerability). So if you are fighting a bunch of monsters with weakness 25 to fire, even a tiny AoE that does minor fire damage to all of them is going to be very effective.

Well I hope that monsters have been reworked to include weaknesses to spell damage more often. I do not recall a lot of monsters have spell damage weakness in PF1. (Red dragons & fire elementals not vulnerable to cold for example) Even in the PF1 preview, zombies have a slashing vulnerability with no magic vulnerability while skeletons get both resistance to non-bludgeoning and fire attacks


Excaliburproxy wrote:
...

Haha, thanks for all of the thoughtful replies! I was worried for the same.

Though, let's keep some of these concepts in mind maybe, when the final playtest rules hit? Depending on how things are written, there may be some uses in a way that don't require so many individual edits.

I can't wait!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Talek & Luna wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
That is a very fair point and my mind was mostly considering spell use against lower CR encounters against a few lower CR enemies rather than on-CR encounters against many lower CR enemies. I also now realize that my aside about 10 redcaps really muddied the waters of my point.

Gotcha. Though with less than 4 foes, I'm not sure area effect spells are worth it in the first place.

Actually, it occurs to me that Cone of Cold followed immediately by Fireball, followed by a 1st level Magic Missile to finish off a survivor is a really great chain for setting up Focus Conservation. That's an average of 1 dead in the first blast, and then probably another in the second then a third from the Magic Missiles. That's three spells, but it's one enemy dead a turn plus damage to others and two of them are minor-ish spells .

Also worth noting, in terms of DPR analysis, is the fact that a 5th level Magic Missile, at 31.5 DPR, actually exceeds Fighter Full Attack DPR vs. the Level 10 Enemy listed (and would exceed Fighter DPR even more vs. someone with relevant Resistances or higher AC than 31).

What monsters are you fighting that have an AC higher than 31 at 10th level? You have to create NPC fighters with high amounts of magic items to get to that high of an AC by PF1 rules. I don't even think dragons approach that AC at CR10.

PF1 NPCs/monsters don't add their level to their AC. PF2 monsters probably do.

You can sort of see it in the monster stat blog. The CR 5 recap has an ac 4 points higher than the CR 3 ogre, even though neither lists having armor at all. But size modifiers and level would account for the difference. Dex does not, interestingly enough, or the redcap AC would be 7 points higher once you account for both size and the +5 to dex modifiers.

Liberty's Edge

Talek & Luna wrote:
Its very subpar damage for a mid range blast spell against weak CR monsters. Cone of Cold has been nerfed from its PF1 version and this is a very bad thing

Actually, at 10th level, the DPR of a Cone pf Cold vs. Redcaps assuming a Save DC of 23 in PF1 (5 Level + 8 Int) is only 28 points of damage. And none of them will die (while 1 in 5 die to the PF2 version).

So the DPR has actually gone up significantly.

It's lower than a Cone of Cold with all the additional stuff you can add via Feats and the like, but those could exist in PF2 as well, we just don't know.

Talek & Luna wrote:
What monsters are you fighting that have an AC higher than 31 at 10th level? You have to create NPC fighters with high amounts of magic items to get to that high of an AC by PF1 rules. I don't even think dragons approach that AC at CR10.

Fact: An AC of 31 is about the default AC expected of a 10th level Fighter PC (or the equivalent) with only a single magic item (a +3 Chain Shirt). This can be easily determined by basic math and the info we have.

Fact: Monsters have been specified as on par with such PC characters in terms of AC, HP, and the like.

Conclusion: An AC of 31 is a reasonable AC for a Level 10 enemy.

Which leads to the additional conclusion that a level 12 or 13 monster (like a main boss for level 10 characters) might well have an AC at least 2 to 4 higher.


Talek & Luna wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
I wonder why he didn't mention that when he was involved in this thread. Elemental resistances being less prevalent and weaknesses being more common is a rather big deal.
Mark is very careful not to give out major system revelations in random forum posts. Especially ones that will be covered with a blog later in the planned reveal progression. He often collates information that's already been revealed, hints at things, or occasionally even reveals minor stuff...but major reveals in a non-Blog Thread? Probably not gonna happen.

Very much this. Not going to drop spoilers before the blog, but happy to mention things in their due time.

Also, PF2 weaknesses are particularly good for AoE or DoT effects, as they apply a static amount of extra damage (the 1.5x calculation on the last page is using PF1 vulnerability). So if you are fighting a bunch of monsters with weakness 25 to fire, even a tiny AoE that does minor fire damage to all of them is going to be very effective.

Well I hope that monsters have been reworked to include weaknesses to spell damage more often. I do not recall a lot of monsters have spell damage weakness in PF1. (Red dragons & fire elementals not vulnerable to cold for example) Even in the PF1 preview, zombies have a slashing vulnerability with no magic vulnerability while skeletons get both resistance to non-bludgeoning and fire attacks

Casters have a telekinetic projectile cantrip they can use to take advantage of physical vulnerabilities. It'll scale up since it's a cantrip and I'm sure there will be other, higher level spells that also do physical damage as well.


Talek & Luna wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
I wonder why he didn't mention that when he was involved in this thread. Elemental resistances being less prevalent and weaknesses being more common is a rather big deal.
Mark is very careful not to give out major system revelations in random forum posts. Especially ones that will be covered with a blog later in the planned reveal progression. He often collates information that's already been revealed, hints at things, or occasionally even reveals minor stuff...but major reveals in a non-Blog Thread? Probably not gonna happen.

Very much this. Not going to drop spoilers before the blog, but happy to mention things in their due time.

Also, PF2 weaknesses are particularly good for AoE or DoT effects, as they apply a static amount of extra damage (the 1.5x calculation on the last page is using PF1 vulnerability). So if you are fighting a bunch of monsters with weakness 25 to fire, even a tiny AoE that does minor fire damage to all of them is going to be very effective.

Well I hope that monsters have been reworked to include weaknesses to spell damage more often. I do not recall a lot of monsters have spell damage weakness in PF1. (Red dragons & fire elementals not vulnerable to cold for example) Even in the PF1 preview, zombies have a slashing vulnerability with no magic vulnerability while skeletons get both resistance to non-bludgeoning and fire attacks

Mark has specifically said weaknesses will be more common in PF2.


That weakness is a lot lesser though, unless you have damage over time spell, or one that hits multiple times like say magic missile. Those sort of spells at least int PF1 were few and far between.

One key component that we are missing currently is the cantrips. As most spells will be 2 actions, so if there is a damaging cantrip that is 1 action, that is extra damage that won't cut into the precious spell slots that have been cut in half. However metamagic now seems to increase actions, so those two will be competing.(iirc correctly someone digged up a statement that you can't have something that would increase a task beyond 3 actions. Well combat tasks that is. So you are limited to one.)


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Actually, at 10th level, the DPR of a Cone pf Cold vs. Redcaps assuming a Save DC of 23 in PF1 (5 Level + 8 Int) is only 28 points of damage. And none of them will die (while 1 in 5 die to the PF2 version).

So the DPR has actually gone up significantly.

It's lower than a Cone of Cold with all the additional stuff you can add via Feats and the like, but those could exist in PF2 as well, we just don't know.

As I've stated repeatedly, these abilities were a problem. They needed to be overwhelmingly powerful to close the massive gap between their baseline performance and the expected contributions from a competent character. This turned blasting into something mostly reserved for specialist builds, and also created balance problems whenever those abilities could be stacked. The very existence of these abilities was a problem, and it would be much preferable to have the baseline damage of these spells be at a usable level so the abilities aren't necessary.

I'm probably beating a dead horse, but I think you'll agree that the comparison wouldn't look so rosy for PF2 if we were comparing PF2 Cone of Cold to a PF1 Empowered Fireball, or if we were making the comparison between the two cone of cold spells at 15th level. And that Empowered Fireball wasn't even particularly good.

In any case, I'm more less resigned on this one. If I end up being wrong then that'll be a pleasant surprise, but as of right now I have little hope for the likes of fireball or cone of cold to be viable spell options without significant optimization. This will limit the kinds of builds that can make use of such spells, make them newbie traps, and in general act as a needless barrier to entry to some of the most iconic spells.


Wultram wrote:
That weakness is a lot lesser though, unless you have damage over time spell, or one that hits multiple times like say magic missile. Those sort of spells at least int PF1 were few and far between

I actually don't think they were that few and far between... they just weren't usually very good in PF1 so folks tended to forget them. Off the top of my head, DoT stuff includes Acid Arrow, Call Lightning, Flaming Sphere, Blistering Invective, Spiritual Weapon, Touch of Combustion, Aggressive Thundercloud, Burning Gaze, Molten Orb, Spontaneous Immolation...

Multi hit spells include Magic Missile, Scorching Ray, Barbed Chains, Fiery Shurikens...

And that's just levels 1-2. Heck, there's a metamagic feat that makes any fire or acid spell DoT.

In PF1, you had very few reasons to ever use Acid Arrow over Scorching Ray, because Scorching Ray hit harder and delivered all its damage upfront so enemies died sooner. But you also had little reason to prepare Scorching Ray over Burning Arc, because the latter usually hit harder, hit multiple targets, and usually couldn't completely miss.

In PF2, DoT spells will quite likely be REALLY good when they trigger weaknesses. And we know single target spells like Scorching Ray will hit harder than their multi-target equivalents.

Also, we don't really have a ton of data on how much damage weaknesses do. It sounds like it will scale up with level. Mark mentioned elemental weakness 25 as something we could encounter, for example, which is pretty crazy if you hit that target with 3 or more scorching rays.

Liberty's Edge

Dasrak wrote:
As I've stated repeatedly, these abilities were a problem. They needed to be overwhelmingly powerful to close the massive gap between their baseline performance and the expected contributions from a competent character. This turned blasting into something mostly reserved for specialist builds, and also created balance problems whenever those abilities could be stacked. The very existence of these abilities was a problem, and it would be much preferable to have the baseline damage of these spells be at a usable level so the abilities aren't necessary.

I agree that having a lot of such abilities is a problem. I don't think there being a single Feat or three that help is gonna be broken. One obvious way to make them un-stackable is to make them metamagic, since in PF2 metamagic adds actions and you can't go over three actions.

Dasrak wrote:
I'm probably beating a dead horse, but I think you'll agree that the comparison wouldn't look so rosy for PF2 if we were comparing PF2 Cone of Cold to a PF1 Empowered Fireball, or if we were making the comparison between the two cone of cold spells at 15th level. And that Empowered Fireball wasn't even particularly good.

Empowered Fireball (which would be Save DC 21) has a DPR of 39.375 and right about on par with the Cone of Cold in PF2 at 10th level (and even levels favor PF1 spells, while odd favor PF2 ones).

And again, that's without anything to boost the PF2 spell.

But really, much more important to it being balanced is how its DPR compares to a martial character. If damage has gone down across the board (and DPR seems to have done precisely that) blasting can be comparatively much higher while still technically being the exact same number.

Dasrak wrote:
In any case, I'm more less resigned on this one. If I end up being wrong then that'll be a pleasant surprise, but as of right now I have little hope for the likes of fireball or cone of cold to be viable spell options without significant optimization. This will limit the kinds of builds that can make use of such spells, make them newbie traps, and in general act as a needless barrier to entry to some of the most iconic spells.

I think you're being a bit pessimistic. That doesn't necessarily mean blasting will be great, but the data so far actually seems to indicate it as at least a bit stronger comparatively.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Empowered Fireball (which would be Save DC 21) has a DPR of 39.375 and right about on par with the Cone of Cold in PF2 at 10th level (and even levels favor PF1 spells, while odd favor PF2 ones).

The average damage is deceiving since it's being pulled up by the low probability chance of a crit.

Due to the 2 point DC difference, there is a 10% chance the PF2 cone of cold will deal full damage where the PF1 empowered fireball will deal half damage due to a successful saving throw. In addition, let's generously give the PF2 spell a 20% chance to critically succeed. That means there are 30% of situations where the more favorable PF2 rules will give better results on the saving throw. However, in the other 70% of cases the two systems give the same result, and the higher base damage of the empowered fireball means it will deal more damage.

So the PF2 numbers may get a rare and juicy crit, and have a slightly higher chance of success in general, but the PF2's highest baseline damage means it gets better results 70% of the time. This is particularly important if we generate damage distribution after spellcastings attacks. Some back of the napkin math indicates the PF1 Empowered Fireball is looking at a 76% chance to two-shot a Redcap, while PF2 Cone of Cold has a 40% chance. (I did account for the 10 point fast healing, by the way). So yes, the average damage may be on par but PF1 Fireball is more consistent due to not relying on crits, and thus is more likely to kill monsters.

My original thinking when I did my number crunching for this thread was that time-to-kill would favor PF2 due to the crit chance, but after running so many numbers I've concluded it actually favors PF1's higher average damage since most of the time you're going to get average rolls that yield just ordinary success or failure.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
I think you're being a bit pessimistic. That doesn't necessarily mean blasting will be great, but the data so far actually seems to indicate it as at least a bit stronger comparatively.

I completely disagree. We can have this argument about the highest level spells, but on the whole the PF2 numbers are unambiguously much lower than their PF1 counterparts. Your lower level slots fall behind their PF1 counterparts precipitously; whatever you gain from the DC's continuing to progress, you lose twice as much from the damage remaining static. Virtually no amount of favorable changes to saving throws is going to reconcile the difference between a 10d6 fireball and 6d6 fireball.

Unless spell slot preservation/restoration mechanics are so ubiquitous that Wizard-types can expect to spam their highest-level slots all day long, blasters in PF2 will need to conserve their spellcasting power by mixing in lower-level spell slots much as PF1 blasters do. And those spells are much, much weaker than their PF1 counterparts.


We are also talking about what looks like a pretty nimble enemy, which makes it a pretty bad target for reflex saves. It also looks like an enemy meant to let martials shine against, since wizards probably won't be exploiting the cold iron weakness much. Against a slower enemy it has a higher chance to crit.

My current take is that blasts are going to each excel in their own niche a LOT more than PF1, as supported by comments like this. Single target spells will do "significantly more than AoE ones." AoE damage only looks a couple points behind a power attacking from a greatsword with power attack against a single target. Ergo, a single target blast will most likely be hitting harder than that greatsword.

It does indeed seem that lower level slots won't scale as well for blasting. At least compared to control stuff-- they still get higher and higher chances to crit. How much that will hurt will largely come down to how Cantrips and Powers scale-- but there's a lot of evidence suggesting the answer will be "pretty well." If powers essentially function as blasts at your second highest level, and cantrips hit about your third highest level, you are probably gonna be OK.

Liberty's Edge

Dasrak wrote:
The average damage is deceiving since it's being pulled up by the low probability chance of a crit.

It absolutely is. Of course, by the averages the Empowered Fireball will rarely kill enemies, while a critical failure vs. a PF2 Cone of Cold absolutely will.

Dasrak wrote:
Due to the 2 point DC difference, there is a 10% chance the PF2 cone of cold will deal full damage where the PF1 empowered fireball will deal half damage due to a successful saving throw. In addition, let's generously give the PF2 spell a 20% chance to critically succeed.

This is actually the real chance to critically succeed against a Redcap. Who are high Reflex Save opponents. This is, in short, not a generous chance. A generous chance would 35%, which is what you get on a low Reflex Save opponent (with the Redcap's Low Fort Save serving as evidence). Which would raise the number of 'better' results to 45% (35% of which are almost certain kills).

Dasrak wrote:
That means there are 30% of situations where the more favorable PF2 rules will give better results on the saving throw. However, in the other 70% of cases the two systems give the same result, and the higher base damage of the empowered fireball means it will deal more damage.

On area effect spells, spiking damage high on some opponents is actually really good, since the normal average damage killing them is a long shot at best. Double damage usually will kill them, though.

20% of the Redcaps hit with Cone of Cold in PF2 just die. 35% of similar enemies with lower Reflex Saves.

Dasrak wrote:
So the PF2 numbers may get a rare and juicy crit, and have a slightly higher chance of success in general, but the PF2's highest baseline damage means it gets better results 70% of the time. This is particularly important if we generate damage distribution after spellcastings attacks. Some back of the napkin math indicates the PF1 Empowered Fireball is looking at a 76% chance to two-shot a Redcap, while PF2 Cone of Cold has a 40% chance. (I did account for the 10 point fast healing, by the way). So yes, the average damage may be on par but PF1 Fireball is more consistent due to not relying on crits, and thus is more likely to kill monsters.

That 30% of the time (45% on low Reflex foes) includes a 20% chance of killing them in one attack (35% on low Reflex foes). That's actually a pretty big deal.

Dasrak wrote:
My original thinking when I did my number crunching for this thread was that time-to-kill would favor PF2 due to the crit chance, but after running so many numbers I've concluded it actually favors PF1's higher average damage since most of the time you're going to get average rolls that yield just ordinary success or failure.

Your damage is gonna average pretty reliably, yeah. But on area effect spells specifically NPC Saves will in fact not average like this. Over five saves, one really will be 4 or less on average.

Dasrak wrote:
I completely disagree. We can have this argument about the highest level spells, but on the whole the PF2 numbers are unambiguously much lower than their PF1 counterparts. Your lower level slots fall behind their PF1 counterparts precipitously; whatever you gain from the DC's continuing to progress, you lose twice as much from the damage remaining static. Virtually no amount of favorable changes to saving throws is going to reconcile the difference between a 10d6 fireball and 6d6 fireball.

Lower level slots absolutely fall behind (though crit chances go up, making them still valid vs. weaker foes). It seems likely that cantrips do something to make up for that, though, since we know they scale.

Dasrak wrote:
Unless spell slot preservation/restoration mechanics are so ubiquitous that Wizard-types can expect to spam their highest-level slots all day long, blasters in PF2 will need to conserve their spellcasting power by mixing in lower-level spell slots much as PF1 blasters do. And those spells are much, much weaker than their PF1 counterparts.

Again, I suspect this is what cantrips are for, and we haven't seen any of them at higher than 1st level yet, so we have no idea how good they are.


Captain Morgan wrote:
We are also talking about what looks like a pretty nimble enemy, which makes it a pretty bad target for reflex saves.

It's also a creature level 5 opponent, meaning against a 10th level party it's a weak creature that is only threatening in large groups and thus should be vulnerable to AoE damage.

I'll happily run some numbers for a single-target spell once we get one to know where the benchmarks are at. It'd be cool to do the same analysis I did for fireball for Scorching Ray.

We'll see what the power level of cantrips is, but if they're as powerful as your 3rd-highest level then the name of the game will probably be optimizing cantrips and ignoring spells for damage altogether. That one will probably have to wait until the playtest rules are released.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
This is actually the real chance to critically succeed against a Redcap. Who are high Reflex Save opponents. This is, in short, not a generous chance. A generous chance would 35%, which is what you get on a low Reflex Save opponent (with the Redcap's Low Fort Save serving as evidence). Which would raise the number of 'better' results to 45% (35% of which are almost certain kills).

Fair enough.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
That 30% of the time (45% on low Reflex foes) includes a 20% chance of killing them in one attack (35% on low Reflex foes). That's actually a pretty big deal.

The PF1 numbers also have a 20% chance to one-shot in this case with high damage rolls and a failed save.


Dasrak wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
We are also talking about what looks like a pretty nimble enemy, which makes it a pretty bad target for reflex saves.
It's also a creature level 5 opponent, meaning against a 10th level party it's a weak creature that is only threatening in large groups and thus should be vulnerable to AoE damage.

Well, let's say you've got a large group of them-- does 4 qualify? Mark mentioned 8 level 3 ogres would be a reasonable battle to expect, so it seems fair. A level 10 wizard's DC... that's 10+10(level)+6(INT)+1(Master.) = 27 Master by level 10 seems fair, as does 22 INT unless ability boosts have diminishing returns. Let's assume a Cone of Cold for 11d6.

Redcap has +11 reflex. It has a 25% chance to critically fail.

So 1 of these redcaps is gonna die. The other 3 are left at 16.5 health-- and you have 3 teammates who haven't taken their turn yet.

Even if we double the redcaps, you still kill two and then your teammates can probably still one round the 6 left even with normal attacks. Heck, the cleric can take them all out with a 3rd level fireball of one of his 5th level Harms.

By comparison, if we were fighting 10 ogres, they need a 14 on the dice to not critically fail. 7 of them just died from that alone, and your allies can certainly mop up the remaining 3.

That doesn't seem like a terrible place to sit, honestly. Especially sans feats. You aren't quite soloing the encounter but in burning a high level slot you have basically trivialized it. That's the thing, you gotta look at it from the encounter as a whole, which is designed to include several other people working in concert with you. AoE Blast damage seems healthy in respect to that.

By the way, if we compare this to a 10th level Cone of Cold out the box to a group of PF1 Redcaps, PF2 CoC looks waaaaay better. Those Caps can't critically fail so none die, have more HP, and have DR 10 which may mean your martial friends have a significantly harder time cleaning them up, especially if using melee and needing to move between targets. Heck, the save DC is probably only like 23 sans feats, which also means a higher likelihood they save for half. (Admittedly, the PF1 Redcap is CR 6.)

So it looks like out the box PF2 blasts can do pretty well compared to PF1 blasts, and will probably work very well in concert with other PCs to wipe out large groups. How will it compare to what a 5th level control spell can do? Not sure. Black Tentacles would have been pretty good for this encounter in PF1, but we don't know how spells like that are changing.


Other stuff to keep in mind: lower level blasts probably won't be the best against equal leveled opponents, but the rapid increase to DC means a higher chance to crit and just wipe out lower level enemies. Also, they may wind up being useful for triggering weaknesses-- perhaps fireball won't be as exciting, but acid arrow or flaming sphere might stay very relevant.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Let's examine this real quick, using the info we now have.

Assuming a lightly armored Dex-based character, a 10th level PC will have a +19 or so Reflex Save (10 Level + 5 Dex + 3 Armor +1 Expert Save). Their AC will be around 31 (10 Level +5 Armor +5 Dex +1 Expert). Both those are approximations, but decent ones.

Right on, those are big numbers for a 10th-level character; about AC, armour, and proficiency: if you wear amour, and are not proficient (Untrained), do you get the armour's AC bonus -2?

So, in the above example, the PC is wearing amour that grants +5 to AC, and the PC is an Expert in that type of amour?

Liberty's Edge

Weather Report wrote:
Right on, those are big numbers for a 10th-level character; about AC, armour, and proficiency: if you wear amour, and are not proficient (Untrained), do you get the armour's AC bonus -2?

That's probably correct, yes.

Weather Report wrote:
So, in the above example, the PC is wearing amour that grants +5 to AC, and the PC is an Expert in that type of amour?

Yes. It's intended as a Dex-based Fighter example (or maybe Rogue, I suppose, though I'm less positive that they'd have Expert Armor Proficiency).

For the record, I went with high Dex and light armor because that's the only armor we have actual stats for. I suspect a lower Dex and heavier armor would result in at least as good an AC score.

I'd thus expect that to be around the standard AC for a 10th level Fighter (possibly plus or minus a point or two depending on whether +3 Armor is available at that level and whether heavier armor gives better AC).


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Right on, those are big numbers for a 10th-level character; about AC, armour, and proficiency: if you wear amour, and are not proficient (Untrained), do you get the armour's AC bonus -2?

That's probably correct, yes.

Weather Report wrote:
So, in the above example, the PC is wearing amour that grants +5 to AC, and the PC is an Expert in that type of amour?

Yes. It's intended as a Dex-based Fighter example (or maybe Rogue, I suppose, though I'm less positive that they'd have Expert Armor Proficiency).

For the record, I went with high Dex and light armor because that's the only armor we have actual stats for. I suspect a lower Dex and heavier armor would result in at least as good an AC score.

I'd thus expect that to be around the standard AC for a 10th level Fighter (possibly plus or minus a point or two depending on whether +3 Armor is available at that level and whether heavier armor gives better AC).

Cool, so light armour can go as high as +5 +Dex mod?

Liberty's Edge

Weather Report wrote:
Cool, so light armour can go as high as +5 +Dex mod?

Non-magical light armor seems to max at +2 normal AC (that's what both Studded Leather and a Chain Shirt have in the Equipment Blog...the Chain Shirt also added +1 Touch AC but was noisy, which presumably gives a Stealth penalty).

I was assuming +3 Magic Armor, as that seems a likely amount for a level 10 character.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Cool, so light armour can go as high as +5 +Dex mod?

Non-magical light armor seems to max at +2 normal AC (that's what both Studded Leather and a Chain Shirt have in the Equipment Blog...the Chain Shirt also added +1 Touch AC but was noisy, which presumably gives a Stealth penalty).

I was assuming +3 Magic Armor, as that seems a likely amount for a level 10 character.

Ah, what's the highest + magic armour can reach?

Liberty's Edge

Weather Report wrote:
Ah, what's the highest + magic armour can reach?

+5, the same as magic weapons.

Magic Armor also now adds to Saves, which while it makes having it (or Bracers of Armor, which do the same) more essential, it does make the number of magic items you need notably lower.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Ah, what's the highest + magic armour can reach?
+5, the same as magic weapons.

Right on, classic, like AD&D, except those wacky +6 holy avengers you heard about but never saw!

Liberty's Edge

We now know how Disintegrate works. As a 6th level spell, it deals 12d10 damage to one opponent, requiring both a touch attack and a Save, but having no critical success effect on a save, and a crit on thye attack reducing the Save category by one. So, let's do that math.

Still 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 +17 attack (11 Level +5 Int +1 Expert) 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.

The Disintegrate DPR is about 19.5195.

Ouch. Yeah, that looks pretty s!#@ty and bad news for blasting in general if its representative (which we, of course, have no idea about). It is worth noting that something to increase the Wizard's attack bonus boosts that DPR quite a lot, and we have no idea whether such things exist...but such a boost on its own is probably not gonna be sufficient to save that spell's DPR.

You do have a third action to do some other damage if you want, but to be honest I'm skeptical it'll catch up with the Fighter's DPR (and indeed, if one action damage cantrips are even available).


Deadmanwalking wrote:

We now know how Disintegrate works. As a 6th level spell, it deals 12d10 damage to one opponent, requiring both a touch attack and a Save, but having no critical success effect on a save, and a crit on thye attack reducing the Save category by one. So, let's do that math.

Still 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 +17 attack (11 Level +5 Int +1 Expert) 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.

The Disintegrate DPR is about 19.5195.

Ouch. Yeah, that looks pretty s~+!ty and bad news for blasting in general if its representative (which we, of course, have no idea about). It is worth noting that something to increase the Wizard's attack bonus boosts that DPR quite a lot, and we have no idea whether such things exist...but such a boost on its own is probably not gonna be sufficient to save that spell's DPR.

You do have a third action to do some other damage if you want, but to be honest I'm skeptical it'll catch up with the Fighter's DPR (and indeed, if one action damage cantrips are even available).

Hmmm, that is discouraging. However, I feel I should point out that high dex characters are the worst targets for touch attacks and blasting in general since they have the best touch AC and reflex saves.

As another point of comparison, a 9th level druid using a heightened Dinosaur Form has a touch AC of 24. A 7th level casting of that spell has a touch AC of 29, but that looks like a bigger jump than the previous heighten bump. If big bruisers have touch AC more in those ranges, how does disintegrate look?

Liberty's Edge

Captain Morgan wrote:
As another point of comparison, a 9th level druid using a heightened Dinosaur Form has a touch AC of 24. A 7th level casting of that spell has a touch AC of 29, but that looks like a bigger jump than the previous heighten bump. If big bruisers have touch AC more in those ranges, how does disintegrate look?

An interesting question! We'll call it Touch AC 27 and the above stats for the Disintegrate user.

That comes to 35.965. Or thereabouts.

That's certainly much better. I'm not sure it's enough better to warrant a 6th level spell slot and remain...we'll call it concerned about single-target blasting if Disintegrate is representative (which it easily might not be, it does reduce people to dust, while another spell of the same level might not do so and involve either only a Save or only an attack roll...an attack roll only version has a DPR of 39.6 vs. TAC 27 and 29.7 vs. TAC 30, for example, while one with only a Save has 49.5 vs. a +17 Save, and 39.6 vs. a Save of +20).

As those hypothetical Save/Attack roll only numbers show, even a spell that did lower dice of damage could be very nasty if there is indeed only the one defense vs. it.


If touch AC is only 2 points lower than normal AC spell will actually be ahrder to hit without the bonus from weapons (witch is quite significant)

Liberty's Edge

Dekalinder wrote:
If touch AC is only 2 points lower than normal AC spell will actually be ahrder to hit without the bonus from weapons (witch is quite significant)

Yep. As noted that's the typical TAC for light armor, though. Heavy Armor probably has a somewhat lower one.


I'll also note that Disintegrate has additional utility for just straight up destroying most objects or 10 foot cubes of matter, walls of force, etc. I think it is one of the few things that can destroy the Indestructible Shield as well.

Jason seemed to think that spell was GREAT in the presentation, so I'm betting there's some stuff going on we haven't factored in yet.

Liberty's Edge

Captain Morgan wrote:
I'll also note that Disintegrate has additional utility for just straight up destroying most objects or 10 foot cubes of matter, walls of force, etc. I think it is one of the few things that can destroy the Indestructible Shield as well.

This is certainly true.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Jason seemed to think that spell was GREAT in the presentation, so I'm betting there's some stuff going on we haven't factored in yet.

Totally possible. We know that a Dominated Wizard nearly killed the whole PC group in a round, so blasting in general may have a bonus or three that we haven't seen yet.

Indeed, a Feat to increase blasting damage is one of the fundamental things I've been arguing as likely since the beginning of this thread. Purely as a hypothetical, Empower Spell as a Metamagic Feat would make all these two action spells 3 actions instead, but self evidently multiplies their DPR by 1.5.

That'd make Disintegrate over 53 DPR, and quite frankly probably kill anything you hit with it that failed its Save.

That specific example may well be unlikely, but having something seems very likely indeed.


Starfinder has a magic hack that boosts spell damage by half class level. We’ll probably at least see something like that, weak as it is.

Liberty's Edge

Xenocrat wrote:
Starfinder has a magic hack that boosts spell damage by half class level. We’ll probably at least see something like that, weak as it is.

Possible. Though PF2 seems to be aiming for more powerful magic than Starfinder just in general, so I'd expect something a tad better than that.

Something that adds Level would actually be great and a huge DPR enhancer, for example. Unlikely in precisely that format since nothing else adds Level to damage, but something on par seems like a reasonable possibility.

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