Casting: Vancian vs Arcanist / 5e style


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Scarab Sages

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Part of the reason I have a problem with Vancian spellcasting is the origins don't really fit with the kind of storytelling/worldbuilding it seems that Pathfinder is attempting to accomplish. In the original context Vancian spellcasting was this idea that a spell was a living entity that you housed within your mind, and that you expunged upon casting the spell.

While there may be a legacy connection to this idea, perhaps deserving of an archetype or something, it hasn't really been a part of the established lore ever. It's a case of mechanics and lore not being in sync, and doesn't match up with modern interpretations of magic in basically any setting. If PF2E is attempting to streamline and appeal to a larger audience, updating the way in which spells are cast could be a major way to make spellcasters appeal to a broader audience, and would make the reduction in spell slots seem more fair if you can use those spell slots more freely.


sadie wrote:

I've given up on playing prepared casters in PF1, because I could never get the knack of preparing the right thing each day. Too many game sessions would end up with:

"Hey, Cleric! Why don't you just cast X?"
"Because I didn't know I'd need it today. Ask me again tomorrow."
"Dude, it was obvious we'd need an X. How rubbish a Cleric are you?"

That kept happening all the way through that AP, even at high levels. So now Wizard, Cleric and other prepared casters are off my list. Arcanist-style casting doesn't eliminate that, of course, but it does cut down on it.

I'm open to counter-arguments, but the argument to nostalgia and tradition doesn't sway me. PF2 is our once-a-decade chance to actually fix things, so don't just hang onto the crusty old bits of D&D 3rd edition by default.

I like a resource management playstyle. Having to carefully pick a package to carry your team through is fun. It also gets interesting when you dont have the right spell and the group has to find another solution. The sorc gets spontaneous, but a slimmer selection so it too has to sometimes come up with unique solutions.

Acanist does not bother me. I do like variety and think all three casting types can exist. Its not about tradition for me but a playstyle id hope Paizo doesnt want to eliminate. I am glad vancian still exists, no matter how much you hate it.


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pjrogers wrote:
sadie wrote:
I'm open to counter-arguments, but the argument to nostalgia and tradition doesn't sway me. PF2 is our once-a-decade chance to actually fix things, so don't just hang onto the crusty old bits of D&D 3rd edition by default.

You kids with your D&D 3x. I like the "crusty" ancient bits of my AD&D1. And as someone who cooked a fine breakfast of corned beef hash and fried eggs yesterday, I'm a big fan of "crusty bits."

With that out of the way, it's my understanding that Pathfinder was created to "preserve" D&D in the wake of the 4th edition fiasco. I hope that Paizo continues to view its mission in this manner.

Once again, if you don't want to play a game which is as much as possible based on D&D, then play something other than PF. Please don't damage the game that I want to play through "progress" or idiosyncratic "fixes."

The whole point of a new addition is to make progress and implement fixes which makes the game more appealing to modern audiences. If you don't like the changes there is nothing stopping you from playing PF1 only (they will keep selling PF1 material as long as people buy it), or play AdnD or DnD 3e if that's what you have the materials. They are not that hard to find.


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Bardarok wrote:
The whole point of a new addition is to make progress and implement fixes which makes the game more appealing to modern audiences.

I'll just note that D&D4e was an effort to "make progress and implement fixes which makes [sic] the game more appealing to modern audiences" and leave it at that.


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pjrogers wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
The whole point of a new addition is to make progress and implement fixes which makes the game more appealing to modern audiences.
I'll just note that D&D4e was an effort to "make progress and implement fixes which makes [sic] the game more appealing to modern audiences" and leave it at that.

And so was Pathfinder 1e.


thflame wrote:


But DnD doesn't even use it anymore.

And in doing so, they managed to invalidate their sorcerer. Obviously, that doesn't mean it HAS to invalidate the sorcerer. Catharsis has some ideas to make it work. I just don't really like using 5e as the example when they didn't do a good job of it.

Quote:
I think there should be a variant rule to allow pure Vancian style casting for people that want it, but I think that the new standard should be the Arcanist. It's so much easier, especially for new players, and it makes a whole lot more sense intuitively.

You know, I'm not even sure that it is always easier to understand. "Fire and forget" has the advantage that once you have used your spell, you just cross it off your list. Your range of choice narrows with each cast, and it is pretty easy to track. (Slightly trickier if you are casting more than one of the same spell, I'll admit.) Now, this is just my own experience, and a small amount of anecdotal evidence, so I don't want to say it negates the many, many people here who seem to think the arcanist is easier.

Quote:
The biggest issues I had with Vancian magic stem from a old group. The party wizard was accused of "cheating" by essentially preparing spells on the fly (He was REALLY good at always having the right spell prepared. I can only remember 2 instances in a 40 level epic game where he uttered the words, "I didn't prepare that spell today."), so we had to make him write out a prepared list. The list was so big at later levels that he ended up using a computer (which opened up an avenue for distractions) and we quickly realized that he could easily modify his list at any time if he wanted to cheat and the effort required to make sure he didn't cheat wasn't worth the time it would cost. As a DM trying to run all of my stuff, I didn't (and still don't) want to keep track of a wizard's spell list just to make sure they don't cheat.

The thing of it is that Arcanist style casting doesn't actually solve this problem. People can still lie about what they prepared, and other people may draw that conclusion even if the player is honest. What actually impacts this is being able to prepare fewer different spells. In PF1, the arcanist had this going on, but so does the PF2 Vancian casters-- simply because they have less spell slots to fill.

Quote:

I've given up on playing prepared casters in PF1, because I could never get the knack of preparing the right thing each day. Too many game sessions would end up with:

"Hey, Cleric! Why don't you just cast X?"
"Because I didn't know I'd need it today. Ask me again tomorrow."
"Dude, it was obvious we'd need an X. How rubbish a Cleric are you?"

That kept happening all the way through that AP, even at high levels. So now Wizard, Cleric and other prepared casters are off my list. Arcanist-style casting doesn't eliminate that, of course, but it does cut down on it.

I'm open to counter-arguments, but the argument to nostalgia and tradition doesn't sway me. PF2 is our once-a-decade chance to actually fix things, so don't just hang onto the crusty old bits of D&D 3rd edition by default.

How does arcanist style casting cut this down? If you didn't prepare the spell, you didn't prepare the spell. The one advantage the arcanist has is that he can cast a prepared spell multiple times easier; and arcanist style cleric can only prep remove blindness once and then potentially be able to fix the entire party's eyes. Which is a serious advantage, I'll admit, since often if one character gets hit with a condition like blind or curse enemies will be trying to inflict it on the rest of the party as well.

On the other hand, leaving slots open also can let you fix this stuff close to on the fly. Would open slots be a thing in this new arcanist model? I don't think they are in 5e.


Everything in the game is getting a nice revision. Spellcasting needs to leave Vancian behind and do something innovative.

I'm pretty excited about so much the designers have shown. If they stay with Vancian, I'll just make my own homebrew, sad, but true.


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ummm yeah, " You kids and what not similar lines" , I find rude and abusive. please stop using it


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Steelfiredragon wrote:
ummm yeah, " You kids and what not similar lines" , I find rude and abusive. please stop using it

Apologies, I was attempting a bit of humor which obviously feel flat.


Bardarok wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
The whole point of a new addition is to make progress and implement fixes which makes the game more appealing to modern audiences.
I'll just note that D&D4e was an effort to "make progress and implement fixes which makes [sic] the game more appealing to modern audiences" and leave it at that.
And so was Pathfinder 1e.

No, I think your assertion is pretty much 100% incorrect. PF1 emerged out of a desire to preserve D&D3X at the time that WotC was introducing D&D4. Large sections of the PF CRB are word for word copies of text from the 3.5 SRD. To the degree that PF1 contained "fixes," they were of the most minimal nature.


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pjrogers wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
The whole point of a new addition is to make progress and implement fixes which makes the game more appealing to modern audiences.
I'll just note that D&D4e was an effort to "make progress and implement fixes which makes [sic] the game more appealing to modern audiences" and leave it at that.
And so was Pathfinder 1e.
No, I think your assertion is pretty much 100% incorrect. PF1 emerged out of a desire to preserve D&D3X at the time that WotC was introducing D&D4. Large sections of the PF CRB are word for word copies of text from the 3.5 SRD. To the degree that PF1 contained "fixes," they were of the most minimal nature.

No either your memory is flawed or you are being disingenuous to try and win an argument. They made significant changes between DnD 3.5 and PF to streamline the more clunky aspects of the game including adding CMB/CMD, reducing the total number of skills and making all skill ranks cost one skill point, removing xp costs for crafting and spells, and making cantrips at will abilities. Those changes are on par with switching the way prepared casters work from pure vancian to arcanist style.


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Bardarok wrote:


No either your memory is flawed or you are being disingenuous to try and win an argument. They made significant changes between DnD 3.5 and PF to streamline the more clunky aspects of the game including adding CMB/CMD, reducing the total number of skills and making all skill ranks cost one skill point, removing xp costs for crafting and spells, and making cantrips at will abilities. Those changes are on par with switching the way prepared casters work from pure vancian to arcanist style.

The things you mention are little more than tweaks or refinements, your talking about a pretty significant change removing vancian casting.

Any change to prepared casters has to not invalidate the spontaneous casters - without vancian at the other end of the spectrum, I'm not convinced there is enough to differentiate arcanist and full spontaneous sufficiently.


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dragonhunterq wrote:
Bardarok wrote:


No either your memory is flawed or you are being disingenuous to try and win an argument. They made significant changes between DnD 3.5 and PF to streamline the more clunky aspects of the game including adding CMB/CMD, reducing the total number of skills and making all skill ranks cost one skill point, removing xp costs for crafting and spells, and making cantrips at will abilities. Those changes are on par with switching the way prepared casters work from pure vancian to arcanist style.

The things you mention are little more than tweaks or refinements, your talking about a pretty significant change removing vancian casting.

Any change to prepared casters has to not invalidate the spontaneous casters - without vancian at the other end of the spectrum, I'm not convinced there is enough to differentiate arcanist and full spontaneous sufficiently.

I don't see how switching form pure vancian to arcansit is any more significant.

EDIT: I don't thing this argument on the relative magnitude of changes in past additions is going to go anywhere but just mark it down that at least one random internet person thinks that the changes are comparable.

As to the second point I agree the difference between spontaneous and prepared casters would need to be balanced differently. I think there is enough design space in class abilities, and skills. Class abilities and skills are all that differentiate the non-casting classes already. Of course we would need to see a draft in order to make such a distinction but I think it is something worth considering.


Personally, I am a big fan of Vancian style casting, but I'm always so much of a fan of the way D&D has done it traditionally.

I like arcanists and Earthdawn style casters, where you build a repertoire of ready spells and then you can shove energy into them through the day until you run out of juice.

I like the way prepared casters are described as preparing spells, where they are built up before hand and then the final casting just pulls the trigger when the spell is needed.

I like GURPS Ritual Path Magic, which is similar. Spells are bound into a limited number of charms that hold the magical effect until the charm is released.

I like sorcerers with their instinctive command of magic based on their magical heritage.

Where it tends to crumble up for me is when all the spells are packaged into neat little pseudo-valances. That is the after taste I am not a fan of.

What I'd like, but I know that I'm not going to get, would be sort of a blend of Earthdawn and 4e magic. A caster can create a certain number of spell matrix's per day and they can pour their power through those matrix's to create spell effects. You could build a matrix whenever you want, but once built it wouldn't dissolve until the renewal of dawn. Spells would simply have three grades; cantrips could be cast through a matrix as often as necessary, lesser magic would short out a matrix and wouldn't be used again till it was restored, greater magic would burn out a matrix and it couldn't be rebuilt for a day.

So a caster would have to make a choice. Load up on game changing Greater Magic, take along as many useful cantrips as possible, balance out a spell load with all three grades?

But that is just sharing a pipe dream, not a realistic desire or expectation for what Paizo would have done with PF2.

Liberty's Edge

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pjrogers wrote:
With that out of the way, it's my understanding that Pathfinder was created to "preserve" D&D in the wake of the 4th edition fiasco.

And D&D in that form (3.5) has successfully been preserved, and it will always be there, ever unchanging, for those who want it. That doesn't mean that the rest of us can't move on and try doing something new. If you really want the old 3.5 based stuff to stay the same, good news! It will. Just stick with PF1, and let those of us who want to experiment and break away from ancient traditions do that.


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pjrogers wrote:
If folks don't like D&D-style game mechanics, that's fine. Play another game

If you want non-D&D style preparation of spells, you can play this game called Dungeons & Dragons. You may have heard of it.

;)

Catharsis wrote:
None of those things are remotely as stupid as keeping a spell memorized for a whole day and then instantly forgetting about it once it is cast (unless you happen to have memorized the same entire spell twice).

Calling something stupid and demanding it be changed because it's stupid is a poor argument. The only retort I can use is "no it's not" because you've literally done nothing to support your argument because "it's stupid" isn't an argument that can be supported by facts.

Catharsis wrote:
Thing is, I like both the concept of a Wizard and that of a Sorcerer. I want both of them to be fun to play. As it is, I've played a Wizard in PF1 and found it taxing and often frustrating. I won't play one again, which I find a pity.

Would you play an Arcanist? They have the exact style of spellcasting you seem to be arguing for. If you aren't willing to play an Arcanist, what's the point of changing the wizard into something you've demonstrated you won't play.


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JRutterbush wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
With that out of the way, it's my understanding that Pathfinder was created to "preserve" D&D in the wake of the 4th edition fiasco.
And D&D in that form (3.5) has successfully been preserved, and it will always be there, ever unchanging, for those who want it. That doesn't mean that the rest of us can't move on and try doing something new. If you really want the old 3.5 based stuff to stay the same, good news! It will. Just stick with PF1, and let those of us who want to experiment and break away from ancient traditions do that.

So we should just strip everything out? turn it into something with no touchstones to the past? or nothing recognisable at all?

Because that's what you'd get if everyone who wanted to change something got their way - so change for changes sake isn't a compelling argument either IMO


BluLion wrote:
I'm down for either or. I'm just worried that if arcanist spell-casting becomes the new norm for prepared casters, sorcerers could end up becoming irrelevant for having an inferior spell-casting system, kind of like what happened in 5e

Frankly, the 5E situation could have been fixed IF,

1) Wizards could prepare #(Level/2 + INT) spells per day, AND,
2) Sorcerers learn way much more total number of spells somehow.

They did exactly the opposite, and came the facepalm situation as of now.


thaX wrote:
The thing to remember is that the Wizard and the Sorcerer need to be on an even playing field. The only way to do that is for both to have the same casting mechanic, one that is shared by all casters in the game. Then the differentiating factors for the Sorcerer can be expanded on and Bloodlines can shine without having to wait a level for higher level spells.

The wizard and sorcerer exist to cater for different player preferences. The posters in this thread who dislike playing wizards because of the paperwork involved aren't required to play wizards.

The issue with arcanist-style "prepared spontaneous" spellcasting is that it removes the reason to play a sorcerer in the first place. They're no longer on an "even playing field" - the sorcerer is obsoleted.

I agree that the spellcasting progression of the sorcerer is a holdover from 3.5e and I think it should probably be modified. I agree (and currently houserule) that bloodline spells should be available a level earlier.

But currently, when you compare a wizard and a sorcerer, the wizard has more flexibility at the start of the day, and the sorcerer has more flexibility by the end of the day. Let's maintain this distinction.


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It would be lame to make all the spellcasters like Arcanists. Leave the arcanist casting for the arcanists. They were doing it before 5e, so recognize.

Scarab Sages

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I love how, when someone wants to dismiss an argument about an RPG, it's generally accepted to default to "Well, 4e D&D did that, and we all know how THAT turned out."

4e had a LOT going for it in the right ways. Where it fell flat were combat duration (Damage not scaling appropriately with content, even with optimized builds, meant combat took too long) and lack of support for extra-combat activity were two of the big issues. That aside, the game was relatively well balanced between characters, particularly compared to 3.5/Pathfinder, had lots of avenues of customization throughout leveling, lots of races, and a very simple system that worked in a consistent manner from level 1 to level 30. It allowed for lots of different character archetypes, tons of classes and variants on those classes, and even included lots of racially oriented options that made race selection feel really important.

4e had some problems, but it also did lots of things really darn well. People need to stop dumping on a finely made game just because it was so different. If Paizo learns some lessons from 4e that helped make it work well (and from the Blog, they appear to be borrowing bits of it), GOOD. It wasn't an utter failure in every respect. People just complained because it was different.


Davor wrote:

I love how, when someone wants to dismiss an argument about an RPG, it's generally accepted to default to "Well, 4e D&D did that, and we all know how THAT turned out."

4e had a LOT going for it in the right ways. Where it fell flat were combat duration (Damage not scaling appropriately with content, even with optimized builds, meant combat took too long) and lack of support for extra-combat activity were two of the big issues. That aside, the game was relatively well balanced between characters, particularly compared to 3.5/Pathfinder, had lots of avenues of customization throughout leveling, lots of races, and a very simple system that worked in a consistent manner from level 1 to level 30. It allowed for lots of different character archetypes, tons of classes and variants on those classes, and even included lots of racially oriented options that made race selection feel really important.

4e had some problems, but it also did lots of things really darn well. People need to stop dumping on a finely made game just because it was so different. If Paizo learns some lessons from 4e that helped make it work well (and from the Blog, they appear to be borrowing bits of it), GOOD. It wasn't an utter failure in every respect. People just complained because it was different.

And yet its still despised and a huge pile of books sit moved from the new shelf to the bargain shelf at every LGS open at the time it was for sale because its a very well designed board game and didn't feel like a rpg at all to most.


Davor wrote:
I love how, when someone wants to dismiss an argument about an RPG, it's generally accepted to default to "Well, 4e D&D did that, and we all know how THAT turned out."

You are on a forum for a game who marketed itself (at least initially) as "NOT 4E!!!!!". Are you really surprised that "we don't want that because 4e had that" is a very real reason for people not wanting something? Many players came here initially because that is exactly what Paizo promised them they'd get. I realise it's a new edition, but for those who were lured here by the promise of "not 4e", having the new edition become 4e is going to be a turn off.

What game you like comes down to a matter of taste for a lot of aspects. You can't "logically" argue someone into liking a game they don't like. And turning a game they do like into one they don't like is going to be met with varying degrees of resistance.

Silver Crusade

I would prefer that the magic system be changed to a Mana system but James Jacobs does not like Mana for some reason. If I remember corectly he said it was too much work to keep track of. Fo instance a wizard would have His Intelligence+ Constitution + his [levelx4]. disintegration would cost 10 mana to disintegrate a creature 45 hp in size and for each extra 5 mana pumped into the spell an additional 15 hp would bee added to the total hp disintegrated will save and take half damage.
Mystic dart [1d8+int mod] range medium crit range 19-20x2. each time you double the mana the damage doubles for 4 mana you would do 3d8+ [3xint mod] want to stop a bad guy fast use a staff loaded 8x mystic dart 128 mana damage 8d8+32 [int mod of +4] sp;ell is ranged touch.

I am fine with either vancian or Arcanist. I am playing an arcanist in a mythic game and he rocks. if you want to have fun in a game try one out. I normally only play martial characters or semi casters like inquisitors.

Scarab Sages

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Two both responses: I don't think you guys are getting my point. I know some people don't like 4e. That doesn't mean the game didn't do some things well, and better than 3.5/Pathfinder. If PF2E learns from the blunders of 3.5/PF and happens to borrow some of the working elements of 4e, how is that a bad thing?

Arguing that a mechanic is bad BECAUSE it was in 4E is ridiculous. Arguing that 4E was bad because of a mechanic is fine. Arguing that a mechanic in its own right is bad is fine. For reference, 4E also had Fighters in it, but you don't see anybody complaining about that.


4e had lots of working mechanics. Those mechanics were known to work and work well when PF was published. They're still not liked. The more "working" 4e rules you put into the new game, the less it will feel like PF and feel like 4e. Those who dislike 4e aren't going to suddenly like it because the book says "Pathfinder" on the cover and put a 3.5e veneer onto the surface.

So yes "that was in 4e" is a valid criticism when we already have a number of 4eisms being out into the game (or perceived to be put into the game). One or two 4e rules isn't an issue. I think we are well past one or two though.

Scarab Sages

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John Lynch 106 wrote:


So yes "that was in 4e" is a valid criticism when we already have a number of 4eisms being out into the game (or perceived to be put into the game). One or two 4e rules isn't an issue. I think we are well past one or two though.

It's A criticism, but not of the mechanic, but rather, the company. If you want to say: "Hey, you said you wouldn't do ANYTHING like 4e D&D, and this is what you did!" That's a criticism. Since, to my knowledge, Paizo has never made any claims to the effect, then it isn't a valid criticism.

If it's a criticism of a mechanic, it's not a valid criticism, since it's not based in any way on an evaluation of the mechanic itself, but on its association.

The Exchange

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For wizard traditions, a thought on prepared casting might be that you could substitute spells prepared for any spell in your school of magic. For example, you have dispel magic, slow & fly prepared for third level and you are an invoker. You could cannibalize one of these prepared spells to cast an invocation/evocation spell you know that is also third level and that spell would be expended. You wouldn't get the same freedom as a sorcerer since you could only draw upon your school of magic. Generalist wizards that do not specialize in a school could not use this feature.

The Exchange

Ryan Freire wrote:
Davor wrote:

I love how, when someone wants to dismiss an argument about an RPG, it's generally accepted to default to "Well, 4e D&D did that, and we all know how THAT turned out."

4e had a LOT going for it in the right ways. Where it fell flat were combat duration (Damage not scaling appropriately with content, even with optimized builds, meant combat took too long) and lack of support for extra-combat activity were two of the big issues. That aside, the game was relatively well balanced between characters, particularly compared to 3.5/Pathfinder, had lots of avenues of customization throughout leveling, lots of races, and a very simple system that worked in a consistent manner from level 1 to level 30. It allowed for lots of different character archetypes, tons of classes and variants on those classes, and even included lots of racially oriented options that made race selection feel really important.

4e had some problems, but it also did lots of things really darn well. People need to stop dumping on a finely made game just because it was so different. If Paizo learns some lessons from 4e that helped make it work well (and from the Blog, they appear to be borrowing bits of it), GOOD. It wasn't an utter failure in every respect. People just complained because it was different.

And yet its still despised and a huge pile of books sit moved from the new shelf to the bargain shelf at every LGS open at the time it was for sale because its a very well designed board game and didn't feel like a rpg at all to most.

It truly pains me to write this Ryan but on your above quote I do have to agree with you. Ouch! That stings....


I want Vancian casting to stay in the game. I always thought that the balance between I have tons of spells but I might have guessed wrong was the best thing about wizards. If wizards only get 3 spell slots per level and no bonus spells for high int then you will be severely reducing the choices a wizard will have to make. They will only memorize the must have spells at every level and be considerably less fun to play.

I honestly always thought the Sorcerer was invented for those people that didn't want to have to deal with the complexity of memorizing spells.


Davor wrote:
It's A criticism, but not of the mechanic, but rather, the company.

Wrong. It's a criticism of the new edition.

Davor wrote:
If you want to say: "Hey, you said you wouldn't do ANYTHING like 4e D&D, and this is what you did!" That's a criticism.

I can see why you'd like to be able to restrict people to that argument, because as far as I know they didn't. But you can't.

Davor wrote:
If it's a criticism of a mechanic, it's not a valid criticism, since it's not based in any way on an evaluation of the mechanic itself, but on its association.

Here's the problem you seem to be stumbling over: Certain fans of Pathfinder didn't like D&D 4e.

Let's say D&D 4e had 100 mechanics in total, 80% of which worked. Let's now say Paizo implemented 75 of those mechanics. Your argument is that people could not be dissatisfied with the new edition overall unless they have a specific objective complaint about a specific rule.

Except of course, that's not how subjective things such as "this is a game I enjoy" work. A game can have a ruleset where every single rule is objectively superior to those of another game and yet people may still enjoy the other game more. This is a matter of taste. You can't logic or argue people into liking something they don't like.

"I don't like this rule because it reminds me of 4e and I didn't enjoy 4e" is a valid criticism. Put enough rules that remind someone of 4e and they're not going to enjoy the game if they didn't enjoy 4e.

I know it's not something you can argue against (because in some cases it's pretty undeniably true). Your going to have to accept people are going to express preferences that simply have to be accepted and can't be argued with. True Vancian Casting vs Neo-Vancian casting is one of those things. It's a preference (see how I brought this post back to being on topic?).

The only reason to get upset with it is if you think enough people will express the same dislike for something that you'll lose a rule element you enjoy. But if the 4e rules being implemented are objectively superior, surely it will be a minority who dislike them?


Does it actually say that a used spell is scoured from memory on use in any actual PF book? I'm curious if that is not just an extrapolation from the original source.

I always saw prepared casting as basically a ritual that you complete and leave "untriggered" until the moment you wish to cast. Thinking of it like this makes Wizardry seem more like Fullmetal alchemist transmutation with some added caster limits.


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I don't mind Vancian casting. I think with reduced slots it is easier to manage. There is a certain amount of skill involved in picking the right does for the day.

Arcanist style reduced this skill, but does retain some elements of it. Arcanist casting is obviously more powerful. Changing the cleric to arcanist style casting would require a rebalance.

Spontaneous casting gives the most flexibility in combat, but requires the most research at level up, given the limited spells known.

I think that having a cleric, an oracle and a third divine full caster with arcanist style casting would be the best way to resolve this.
That way the cleric still retains its traditional casting style and players can pick the style they want.

Scarab Sages

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John Lynch 106 wrote:


Catharsis wrote:
None of those things are remotely as stupid as keeping a spell memorized for a whole day and then instantly forgetting about it once it is cast (unless you happen to have memorized the same entire spell twice).
Calling something stupid and demanding it be changed because it's stupid is a poor argument. The only retort I can use is "no it's not" because you've literally done nothing to support your argument because "it's stupid" isn't an argument that can be supported by facts.

The arguments are common knowledge and have been mentioned already. No mage outside of Vance's books «forgets» how to cast a spell after they've cast it; that's why it feels so wrong. Gandalf may exhaust himself casting spells, but he won't just forget how to light the crystal on his staff just because he's already done it once while he's still well-rested. At least Vance has some lore behind it (spells being living entities hosted in the caster's mind), which D&D has never had (it's perfect memorization and then instant forgetting there...).

That said, I do like Stone Dog's description with spell matrices that burn out when used. It's a much more sensible justification than just «Was it Flame of Udûn or Ûdun? Ah, never mind, I'll look it up again tomorrow morning.»

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Would you play an Arcanist? They have the exact style of spellcasting you seem to be arguing for. If you aren't willing to play an Arcanist, what's the point of changing the wizard into something you've demonstrated you won't play.

Yes, I would rather play an Arcanist than a Wizard. I don't mind the limitation of having to prepare a spell list; what I find the most frustrating is having prepared the right spell, but needing two or more of them to succeed, and thus failing. Given the need to diversify a spell list to increase the chances of having the right spell prepared, this happens all the time. When an Arcanist has the right spell at hand, he can save the day until he's exhausted, which is pretty much universally how mages work in popular culture.

With Clerics, there's also the danger of converting a spell to healing that later would have saved the day. Also very annoying.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Albatoonoe wrote:
Does it actually say that a used spell is scoured from memory on use in any actual PF book? I'm curious if that is not just an extrapolation from the original source.

No. This is poor terminology from the AD&D era, and hasn't been used in official capacity from 3rd edition onwards. The term is still widely known and used because a lot of people's first introduction to vancian casting was the Baldur's Gate series, which used the term.

The proper term is "prepare", and has been for a very long time. Anyone making an argument based on memorization and forgetting is fundamentally misunderstanding what spell preparation represents. You don't forget spells when you cast them, you expend them. It's no different from scrolls being expended when used, and if you want to cast it twice from a scroll you need to scribe it twice. And yes, it's entirely appropriate that Wizard spellcasting mirrors the game mechanics for scrolls in this regard.


"common knowledge" is the laziest possible argument


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Question, where is the rule that you can break up your preparation and potentially prepare an unfill in a slot later on once you know what spell you need? I'm not arguing it isn't a thing, but I'm wondering where it is located.
How sure are we that we'll get that rule in the PF2 core rulebook?


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I don't have a core book on me but SRD has the relevant text and id assume its under a similar header in the magic section of the core


Catharsis wrote:
The arguments are common knowledge and have been mentioned already.

D&D magic isn't stupid. What a fun productive conversation.

Catharsis wrote:
No mage outside of Vance's books «forgets» how to cast a spell after they've cast it; that's why it feels so wrong.

Really? D&D has this unique form of magic (outside of a loose connection to work by a fantasy author) and because it's unique it's automatically bad?

D&D magic has always made sense to me. Arguments like "it's stupid because it's unique" are not persuasive.

Catharsis wrote:
Yes, I would rather play an Arcanist than a Wizard.

Good news is if the Arcanist isn't in core (and I'd like that style of magic to be included in core. It'll force Paizo to create a more unique sorcerer) then it will likely come back sooner or later.

Scarab Sages

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
D&D magic isn't stupid. What a fun productive conversation.

It was admittedly not a very constructive thing to say.

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Really? D&D has this unique form of magic (outside of a loose connection to work by a fantasy author) and because it's unique it's automatically bad?

No, it's bad because it frustrates players and denies them the air of competence that they expect from a highly intelligence master of magic. Imagine playing a Fighter whose main weapon breaks after each use. You might still be able to play such a game successfully, but you would feel bad for your character. It would be unique, and bad.

I'm glad to hear that the memorize/forget terminology that I was taught when learning 3.5 is apparently not a fundamental aspect of Vancian magic and can be reflavored to sound more sensible. I trust Paizo to seize the opportunity while they're at it.

Quote:
Good news is if the Arcanist isn't in core (and I'd like that style of magic to be included in core. It'll force Paizo to create a more unique sorcerer) then it will likely come back sooner or later.

By all means, let's make the Sorcerer more than just an admission that Wizard spellcasting is annoying to a large fraction of the player base.


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The way I've always handled pure Vancian is actually something kind of similar to how PF handles the Alchemist. During that hour or two that a wizard operating under pure Vancian is "preparing" their spells they are actually prepping handwaved "scrolls," a druid is scribing Nordic "runestones," and so on.

So the flavor is totally workable without Vance's weird crap. But I still prefer Arcanist style from ease of play at the table and to better represent the flavor of most spellcasters in most fantasy media.

Scarab Sages

Well, Wizards do need their material components... maybe preparing a spell involves building a magical construct on a physical anchor so as to be able to access it quickly later... plain bat guano doesn't just explode, after all. ;o)

It's a pretty undignified picture of spellcraft, though.


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Catharsis wrote:
No, it's bad because it frustrates players and denies them the air of competence that they expect from a highly intelligence master of magic.

Not everything in the game should be easy. Wizards are designed for players who like to anticipate what they'll face later on and prepare accordingly for it. The more resarch they do the more prepared they can be.

Not every character class should appeal equally to all players. In my circles wizard remains one of the most popular classes. The sorcerer is there for people who don't like that sort of playstyle while the arcanist exists for those who want it but want a more forgiving version of it.

Wizard can be considered hard mode, arcanist can be considered normal mode while sorcerer can be considered easy mode. Just because you have a preference of a particular difficulty level doesn't mean the other difficulties should be removed entirely.

Scarab Sages

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Wizard can be considered hard mode, arcanist can be considered normal mode while sorcerer can be considered easy mode.

Sounds to me like the default class should be «normal mode» and there should be an option to pick «hard mode» for those who want that sort of challenge. :)


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I'm not disagreeing with you on that point. I'd be happy for Neo-Vancian as default and Vancian as an archetype.


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Skerek wrote:

Vote here

Vancian is confirmed at this stage, but what kind of casting did you want? Why did you want that type of casting, why not the other kind?

I'm seeing a lot of people wanting Arcanist / 5e style casting so I'm wondering if there are people that are quietly contempt with the Vancian style casting or do the people just want Arcanist / 5e style casting.

I would have liked to see the Arcanist / 5e style casting but I'm not sure what would happen in regards to the Bard's and Sorcerer's spell casting if this were the case.

I would definitely prefer they go with Arcanist style. Especially if we're only ever getting 3 spells per day of any given level. I think going another step into a magic point system is a bit too flexible.


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funny thing about vancian spellcasting and balance.
well to say that vancian balances the wizard and what not out because they know all the spells in the game. this is not quite true, you see you are not supposed to know every spell in the game


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5E/Arcanist style all the way. If it's Vancian only for non-sorcs, I'm probably just going to end up ignoring the wizard, cleric, and druid again. Which is frustrating, because druids are interesting and clerics actually seem potentially cool this time round.

But anyway, I was thinking about it this morning, and had an idea for a compromise. What if there were a feat to unlock arcanist-style preparation? It's not ideal to me, but if Paizo is committed to keeping Vancian baseline, I wouldn't mind paying a single feat tax to be able to play prepared classes without a headache. They could call it "unorthodox preparation" or something and flavor it as being an experimental form of casting, maybe.


Steelfiredragon wrote:

funny thing about vancian spellcasting and balance.

well to say that vancian balances the wizard and what not out because they know all the spells in the game. this is not quite true, you see you are not supposed to know every spell in the game

umm I just realized that posting that might not have been a good idea. it might have been an incomplete thought....

while it is true, you are not suppsoed to know every spell in the game, vancian spellcasting still cripples the caster.


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Steelfiredragon wrote:


Steelfiredragon wrote:

funny thing about vancian spellcasting and balance.

well to say that vancian balances the wizard and what not out because they know all the spells in the game. this is not quite true, you see you are not supposed to know every spell in the game

umm I just realized that posting that might not have been a good idea. it might have been an incomplete thought....

while it is true, you are not suppsoed to know every spell in the game, vancian spellcasting still cripples the caster.

And yet while crippled it still manages to be viewed as one of the top three, if not the strongest class in the game. So i'm not sure what the issue is.

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