Bards, Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, Wizards Are Now Useless


Classes

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Phantasmist wrote:
Also, I may be the only one but I liked hybrid (4th spell level) casters, why was paladin and rangers spells removed, or did I miss something.

Paladins and Rangers can archetype into cleric or druid to get access to spells. The benefit of it being that way is people who want to play non-caster paladins and rangers can do so.


I'd rather the option to do both be baked into both of those classes, I'd rather not be forced to multi-class just to play my 1e character who doesn't multi-class.

Anyway, I'd also am mixed on the idea that you will mostly be using your cantrips instead of casting daily spells. 5e does this and pathfinder 1e to some degree but I still used daily cantrips using a house rule of an hour rest to restore a previously cast spell. I also gave casters more low level spells and adjusted spell DC.

Dark Archive

The bards, clerics, druids, and even the sorcerers and wizards can also fall back on weapons if they want to conserve spell slots. Everyone attacks with their level + stat as bonus now, so there's nothing stopping the elf wizard with some weapon familiarity ancestry from picking up a magic weapon and hitting with it. The longbow is actually perfect for this because of its 1+ hand requirement.

At high levels, if the wizard really wants to conserve spell slots, he can use dragon form which lasts a minute and gives attack and damage regardless of how much investment he's put into strength.

Liberty's Edge

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Phantasmist wrote:
I'd rather the option to do both be baked into both of those classes, I'd rather not be forced to multi-class just to play my 1e character who doesn't multi-class.

This is a pointless distinction, since it's all done using class feats anyway. Basically, the Paladin can use class feats to gain some divine spellcasting, who cares if they call it multiclassing or not?

Dark Archive

JRutterbush wrote:
Phantasmist wrote:
I'd rather the option to do both be baked into both of those classes, I'd rather not be forced to multi-class just to play my 1e character who doesn't multi-class.
This is a pointless distinction, since it's all done using class feats anyway. Basically, the Paladin can use class feats to gain some divine spellcasting, who cares if they call it multiclassing or not?

This is a really good point. Your paladin likely already has a deity, and if he or she gains enough wisdom (easy now that you can gain four stat boosts every 5 levels), he or she can pick up some basic divine spellcasting. I imagine there will also be a sorcerer dedication once the actual game comes out which will be even easier for a paladin to qualify for.


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Mergy wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Phantasmist wrote:
I'd rather the option to do both be baked into both of those classes, I'd rather not be forced to multi-class just to play my 1e character who doesn't multi-class.
This is a pointless distinction, since it's all done using class feats anyway. Basically, the Paladin can use class feats to gain some divine spellcasting, who cares if they call it multiclassing or not?
This is a really good point. Your paladin likely already has a deity, and if he or she gains enough wisdom (easy now that you can gain four stat boosts every 5 levels), he or she can pick up some basic divine spellcasting. I imagine there will also be a sorcerer dedication once the actual game comes out which will be even easier for a paladin to qualify for.

Or hell a paladin could probably gain access to a bard archetype which would use charisma so they would likely already meet any requirements pretty easily and would give them access to a lot of the useful cantrip bard buffs. That could make for a very solid "commander" type paladin.


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Phantasmist wrote:
Also, I may be the only one but I liked hybrid (4th spell level) casters, why was paladin and rangers spells removed, or did I miss something.

Spell points works a million times better than 4th level spell casting.

The main goal here is that if you use 4th level spellcasting, you need to create special spell lists for these classes.

Paizo wants to create four spell lists (Divine, Primal, Occult, Arcane) and just allow people to dive into those.

The main benefit here is that they don't need to think "which class could take this spell and at what level?" every time they print a spell.


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Ok, people keep telling me it's better, but I don't like it, case closed. Sorry if this disagrees with your sensibilities, I don't like the new multi-classing system and don't want to forced into using it.

Stop gaining up on me for having a different play style.

I'm letting my post stand, but I'm not saying the whole ton of feats thing isn't viable, I just don't care for it.

Dark Archive

What is it about the system that goes against your playstyle? Can I ask what is functionally different between trading class abilities for archetype abilities and trading class feats for dedication feats?

Shadow Lodge

I think that deserves it's own thread if it's going to be discussed.


Mergy wrote:
What is it about the system that goes against your playstyle? Can I ask what is functionally different between trading class abilities for archetype abilities and trading class feats for dedication feats?

It's a fair question, but I just don't know if I like the class feats idea or the way prestige classes work now, since I believe the game is still in flux, they may not make to the end, and I'd rather use 1e multi-classing system (level by level multi-classing) even in if the multi-classing feats stay in it would be easier for me to house rule in the old multi-classing system without having to ad in spell-casting feats for the paladin and ranger.

Basically it makes it easier for me to house rule things I'm not found of, and basically cost you nothing, you can just ignore those feats.


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Phantasmist wrote:

Ok, people keep telling me it's better, but I don't like it, case closed. Sorry if this disagrees with your sensibilities, I don't like the new multi-classing system and don't want to forced into using it.

Stop gaining up on me for having a different play style.

I'm letting my post stand, but I'm not saying the whole ton of feats thing isn't viable, I just don't care for it.

what are you talking about

i'm explaining how spell points replaced 4th level casting and why spell lists were consolidated

in no way or shape i'm mentioning your playstyle

if you liked casting spells as a pally, just get spell points class feats

that's not a playstyle, that's the system

if you like the other system more, it's still there.


Secret Wizard wrote:
Phantasmist wrote:

Ok, people keep telling me it's better, but I don't like it, case closed. Sorry if this disagrees with your sensibilities, I don't like the new multi-classing system and don't want to forced into using it.

Stop gaining up on me for having a different play style.

I'm letting my post stand, but I'm not saying the whole ton of feats thing isn't viable, I just don't care for it.

what are you talking about

i'm explaining how spell points replaced 4th level casting and why spell lists were consolidated

in no way or shape i'm mentioning your playstyle

if you liked casting spells as a pally, just get spell points class feats

that's not a playstyle, that's the system

if you like the other system more, it's still there.

I said in a previous post, that I didn't see any alternative way of adding spells to a paladin and ranger other then multi-classing, I even asked if I missed it somewhere. I was told that it's unnecessary because you can multi-class into cleric. If I'm misunderstanding the rule that's my fault, but I honestly believed that was the only way. I honestly missed it saying otherwise.

You have to forgive me, I still in 1e way of doing things and thinking even if I did read the rules last night.

Dark Archive

Paladins get a number of 'spells' as feat choices and base class abilities which will mimic a great deal of the spells that paladins tended to cast anyway. Lay on hands, litany spells, and domain powers gives you the ability to cast spells while still using paladin feats.

And if you want more than that, you can cast up to 8th level wizard or cleric spells using the playtest multiclassing options. You don't lose anything but feats to do it.

EDIT: Rangers don't have spells at this point, so your only option in playtest is to grab a dedication. When the full rules are released, I'm going to be looking closely at a ranger with druid dedication.


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I'm more worried on the spell per se than the actual numbers. 3 spells per day per level would be ok if the spells where actually worth it. But let's see the spells.
No overland fly. Fly moved to 4°. Haste single target. Invisibility last 1 minute. Fireball deals 6d6. Scorching Ray is't even here anymore. And don't get me started on Unseen Servant lasting 1 minute. 1 f#%!ing minute.


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Add to the fact that monsters and characters alike have on average more HP now. If it maxed at 5-6 with no bonuses that would help but I am afraid that in an effort to stop the dreaded power gamer that the average caster is going to be less than fun to play. Will find out once I get a chance this weekend to play one.


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Mergy wrote:
The bards, clerics, druids, and even the sorcerers and wizards can also fall back on weapons if they want to conserve spell slots. Everyone attacks with their level + stat as bonus now, so there's nothing stopping the elf wizard with some weapon familiarity ancestry from picking up a magic weapon and hitting with it. The longbow is actually perfect for this because of its 1+ hand requirement.

Clerics of Gorum are insanely good battle casters at low levels.

1st level, Build for str 16, 16 or 18 wisdom (3 or 4 spell points). Greatsword for deity favored weapon

No class feat at first level, so this isn't perfect until second level (Emblazon Symbol), but it still functions quite well.

Zeal domain- weapon surge

Beginning of Combat: Cast Magic Weapon on greatsword, you're now attacking at +5, and doing 2d12+3 damage on every hit for 1 minute.

For when it matters, weapon surge (1 action, doesn't require free hand):
your +1 magic greatsword becomes, for your next attack, a +2 magic greatsword, you're now striking at +6 for 3d12+3 damage. At level 1.
If you want extra surety for a boss-mulching blow, you can start the round off with true strike.

Oh, and clerics have shield as a cantrip now (everyone but druid/primal sorcerers do, in fact), so you can also ablate some damage as needed. Especially after 2nd level and you take Emblazon symbol, which lets you take somatic and material casting actions with your sword (or rather, without a free hand).


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Nonalyth wrote:
So to be clear, what you want is for casters to DPS as well as a martial for free, while also having high burst and utility.

I was also pretty upset about spell slot limits until coming to this thread. Then I saw your comment and now I feel bad for being upset in the first place. Kudos.


JRutterbush wrote:
Ryuujin-sama wrote:
With how some view Cantrip damage, I have to wonder if they even looked at the Alchemist's bombs?

You're underestimating the power of persistent damage, I think. That's #d4 per round, with a very difficult check required to stop the damage: even if they sacrifice an action to lower the DC, it's still only a 30% chance per round to end the effect, and they're effectively Slowed 1 while doing so.

I'd say that's a great step up from a cantrip, myself. You apply that damage to one enemy, concentrate on ending another, and then you can go back and finish the (now heavily damaged) first enemy fairly quickly.

Acid flasks are amazing.

Maybe I am. But it has long been considered that DOT damage, Damage Over Time, is not as good as just straight damage. Admittedly it is hard to get rid of Persistent damage. But the Acid Splash has Persistent damage as well, even if only on a crit.

But again the Acid Flask costs Resonance to use for most, and Resonance to create for the Alchemist if they aren't buying them and using Resonance to use. The Acid Flask, which is the most Persistent damage of the Bomb options for the Alchemist, is a very limited resource unlike Cantrips like Acid Splash.

And of course the Spellcasters have bigger spells they can call upon to easily overshadow the Alchemist, who is already only barely comparing to Cantrip damage with their limited resource.


So with the heal spell it says that "you channel energy to heal the living or harm the undead". In this sentence it makes me believe that you can do one OR the other. Then if you look under the three action variant it says "This has the same effect as the two-action version, but it targets all living and undead creatures" in this sentence we see living AND undead. Does this mean that both situations happen? All players are healed and any undead within the burst area are harmed or does the cleric choose one or the other?

Also, is spontaneous casting not a thing anymore? So clerics cant swap out a spell for a healing spell or is there a feat?


Arrow17 wrote:


I agree with the OP. The spells are very weak and did not need to be knocked down like they were. Mage armor grants a weak +1 to AC. Shield offering a worse AC bonus than a real in game shield. Sleep having a good chance of not working at all in combat and easily disrupted when it does work. Magic missile far worse than it was previously. Protection from evil/good/chaos/law really dumbed down in effects. All very unfortunate choices by the game designers along with lesser spells. If the offered an either or scenario of weaker spells/more spell slots or more powerful spells/lesser slots I would be fine with it. Sadly the seem to be going with option three. Less slots and weaker spells. Pure caster hate and it is ugly to see

They did. Developers have known and admitted the Firball spell was over powered since the 70's. A Wizard prior to this interation, could wipe a whole party of equal level. It did not scale proportional to other damage spells. Now it does, balancing out what damage spells can do as a whole. This is merly one example of many spells that needed the rebalancing we are seeing now.


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Draco18s wrote:

They're not solid. Look at the numbers in my post above yours. Cantrips gain damage at 1/4 the rate of slotted damage spells and cap out at 5th level effectiveness. 2d8+INT can't even come close to comparing with 12d10. Sure, you could use the cantrip 100 times instead of the 5th level spell once, but generally speaking a 5th level spell once is enough.

Cantrips can't even be used twice in the same turn (unlike comparable damage melee and ranged fighters; cough Longsword 1d8+STR cough) due to the way the action economy works. Add onto that melee fighter's Stance, Open, and Push keywords the fighter actually gets more interesting while wizards and sorcerers got less.

On a related topic, I have experimented extensively with homebrew variant spellcasting rules for years - it is very important to not compare at-will abilities such as cantrips to limited resource abilities such as spells - if the cantrips rival spells in effectiveness, the spells are rendered obsolete.

It is also important that the at-will damaging ability of casters (who have a rack of spells as well), not necessarily match or exceed those of characters who lack the limited-use pool.

For the sake of comparison, let's look at a wizard using telekinetic projectile and compare that against his own spell slots and a fighter of the same level.

Comparison: 1st level:

Wizard Dex 16, Int 18
Fighter Str 18

At-Will telekinetic projectile +5 (1d10 [5.5]), 2 actions
2/day shocking grasp +5 (1d12+4 [10.5], touch), 2 actions
Power Attack + Greatsword +5 (2d12+4 [17]), 2 actions

Result: This is comparing apples to oranges, but for the sake of numbers, we can look at them. For the wizard, shocking grasp deals almost twice the damage of the cantrip, but requires them to be in melee, and burns resources.

The fighter, likely in heavy armor, is less concerned by being in melee and can comfortably hand out big stonking damage. But that is the effect of big weapons wielded by big people. At this point, the wizard is struggling on raw damage.

Comparison: 5th level:

Wizard Dex 18, Int 19
Fighter Str 19

At-Will telekinetic projectile +9 (2d10+4 [15]), 2 actions
2/day fireball DC19 (6d6 fire [21], 20ft burst), 2 actions
Power Attack + Greatsword+1 +11 (4d12+5 [31]), 2 actions

Result: The cantrip deals roughly half the damage of a fighter doing their One Big Hit with a magic greatsword (a mundane greatsword drops the damage to 19, barely more than the cantrip). A fireball is a most improvement in single-target damage, but more importantly is an AoE effect.

All told... the numbers are fair, given the respective roles and abilities of the classes.

Comparison: 10th level:

Wizard Dex 19, Int 20
Fighter Str 20

At-Will telekinetic projectile +14 (4d10+5 [27]), 2 actions
2/day 5th fireball DC25 (10d6 fire [35], 20ft burst), 2 actions
Power Attack + Greatsword+2 +20 (6d12+7 [46]), 2 actions

Result: Punching 27 damage with a cantrip, compared to 46 for the magic greatsword smashing fighter isn't too shabby. Fireball remains the clear-the-room spell, because an average of 35 damage in a big area is a lot - even compared to the fighter's Power Attack.

This seems reasonable, and I'd be keen to see how it plays.

Comparison: 15th level:

Wizard Dex 20, Int 21
Fighter Str 21

At-Will telekinetic projectile +22 (4d10+5 [27]), 2 actions
2/day 8th fireball DC31 (16d6 fire [56], 20ft burst), 2 actions
Power Attack + Greatsword+3 +25 (8d12+8 [60]), 2 actions

Result: At this point the cantrip has, sadly, stagnated, while the other abilities continue to advance in power. However, given that the wizard still has 3 slots of 1st to 7th level, I am unsure as to whether or not this is really an issue - I'd need to see it played.


Phantasmist wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Phantasmist wrote:

Ok, people keep telling me it's better, but I don't like it, case closed. Sorry if this disagrees with your sensibilities, I don't like the new multi-classing system and don't want to forced into using it.

Stop gaining up on me for having a different play style.

I'm letting my post stand, but I'm not saying the whole ton of feats thing isn't viable, I just don't care for it.

what are you talking about

i'm explaining how spell points replaced 4th level casting and why spell lists were consolidated

in no way or shape i'm mentioning your playstyle

if you liked casting spells as a pally, just get spell points class feats

that's not a playstyle, that's the system

if you like the other system more, it's still there.

I said in a previous post, that I didn't see any alternative way of adding spells to a paladin and ranger other then multi-classing, I even asked if I missed it somewhere. I was told that it's unnecessary because you can multi-class into cleric. If I'm misunderstanding the rule that's my fault, but I honestly believed that was the only way. I honestly missed it saying otherwise.

You have to forgive me, I still in 1e way of doing things and thinking even if I did read the rules last night.

Correct. Ranger, Bard and I think paladin originally had no spells. With this interation of magic, it makes far more sense the route they are going as there are only 4 spell lists and not countless spell lists per class.

The direction they are going with multi-class is more balanced. You also don't lose progression. Other systems you would pay a lot and not have a good return, or pay little and get huge returns.

Granted, it seems a bit crazy to have a rogue that is practically a full caster. Even with the action economy. The spells should be capped at 5 at level 20 for the non casters obtaining spells through feats. Granted if they went to 30th level, it would make sense to raise the cap to 9 and maybe 10.

They should certainly keep feats from secondary classes capped at half your main class level.


UltimateDM wrote:

So with the heal spell it says that "you channel energy to heal the living or harm the undead". In this sentence it makes me believe that you can do one OR the other. Then if you look under the three action variant it says "This has the same effect as the two-action version, but it targets all living and undead creatures" in this sentence we see living AND undead. Does this mean that both situations happen? All players are healed and any undead within the burst area are harmed or does the cleric choose one or the other?

Also, is spontaneous casting not a thing anymore? So clerics cant swap out a spell for a healing spell or is there a feat?

You either harm or heal not both. If you pick heal you are locked out of harm and visa versa. It is modeled off how good clearics used to destroy undead, while evil controlled and healed them.

It is also pretty cool how heal and harm are gated behind Cleric.


Isiah.AT wrote:

You either harm or heal not both. If you pick heal you are locked out of harm and visa versa. It is modeled off how good clearics used to destroy undead, while evil controlled and healed them.

It is also pretty cool how heal and harm are gated behind Cleric.

Thanks for the quick response. But are you talking about the harm and heal spells? I am actually referencing the positive energy portion of the spell that says you can use heal to heal the living or do damage to undead.


UltimateDM wrote:
Isiah.AT wrote:

You either harm or heal not both. If you pick heal you are locked out of harm and visa versa. It is modeled off how good clearics used to destroy undead, while evil controlled and healed them.

It is also pretty cool how heal and harm are gated behind Cleric.

Thanks for the quick response. But are you talking about the harm and heal spells? I am actually referencing the positive energy portion of the spell that says you can use heal to heal the living or do damage to undead.

Yes yes I was. To clarify the way I read it was if you burst the posative energy in 30 feet it heals the living and harms undead. Visa versa with negeative 30 foot burst. There are some feats that improve just your healing to living with posative or undead with negeative.

By the way, the healing and harming burst doesn't differentiate between friend or foe.


Raynulf wrote:
** spoiler omitted **...

While this is outside the time limit of the Pathfinder 2 raise dead, I should correct my math, as I misread the cantrip heightening entry.

The actual numbers for cantrips read:

  • 1st Level: +4 1d10 (5.5)
  • 5th Level: +9 1d10+4 (9.5)
  • 10th Level: +14 2d10+5 (16)
  • 15th Level: +21 3d10+5 (21.5)

    And that... is a little sad. I think in this system Gandalf would have it right; Just hit them with a sword.

    In fact, let's see what happens if you're an elf wizard who took Weapon Familiarity (Elf) and picked up a longbow, and weapon runes as they go, noting that attacking with a bow is merely 1 action.

  • 1st Level (Dex 16): +4 (1d8) [4.5]
  • 5th Level (Dex 18): +10 (2d8) [9]
  • 10th Level (Dex 19): +16 (3d8) [13.5]
  • 15th Level (Dex 20): +23 (4d8) [18]

    And that is merely taking one ancestry feat and using a standard longbow. If you were building for it, you'd mix in some Fighter multiclass feats and boost Strength in lieu of Wis/Cha, which would raise your bow damage to easily rival that of a cantrip, but have superior range and require only one action per shot.

    Similar numbers (just bigger) can be produced if you went the 'bladesinger' route by popping mage armor and shield and wading into battle with a rapier, or even bigger numbers via 'eldritch knight' route of Fighter Dedication, fullplate, shield and a greatsword.

    TL;DR: Damaging cantrips are best suited for when you have been disarmed or are otherwise unable to do something more effective. Unfortunately.

    As an aside, if cantrips heightened by 1 dice per spell level - which is roughly half what actual spells do - they'd likely be in a position where they'd actually compete with weapons, without rendering actual spell slots redundant, at least in my opinion. Happy to be proven wrong :)


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    Draco18s wrote:
    kaid wrote:
    Also with the cantrips auto heightening in general casters have some solid go to backup powers they can use whenever they want.

    They're not solid. Look at the numbers in my post above yours. Cantrips gain damage at 1/4 the rate of slotted damage spells and cap out at 5th level effectiveness. 2d8+INT can't even come close to comparing with 12d10. Sure, you could use the cantrip 100 times instead of the 5th level spell once, but generally speaking a 5th level spell once is enough.

    Cantrips can't even be used twice in the same turn (unlike comparable damage melee and ranged fighters; cough Longsword 1d8+STR cough) due to the way the action economy works. Add onto that melee fighter's Stance, Open, and Push keywords the fighter actually gets more interesting while wizards and sorcerers got less.

    Uhm... At 5th level your Acid Splash does 2d4+Int Persistent 3

    A 5th level character will probably have a +1 Weapon, that they had to pay for, and say a Shortbow, will do 2d6+0 Persistent 0, Deadly 1d10.

    Assuming you have an Int of +4 (and I suspect you will) that is 2d4+4 or an average of 9 damage, 3 persistent.

    A +1 Shortbow user will do an average of 7 damage.

    Granted you will only get to fire once, they can fire (up to) 3 times (granted though that 3rd hit isn't likely to hit, and they are shooting at a higher difficulty, and their second hit also isn't likely to hit...)

    And you get this attack for free... That... That isn't a bad weapon?

    It is basically a better version of a magic light crossbow. That you don't have to carry ammo for. That you use your casting stat to hit with. That does static damage based on your casting stat.

    7th level it is equal to a +2 Weapon.
    9th level it is equal to a +3 Weapon.

    How... How do you call this bad?


    HWalsh wrote:

    Uhm... At 5th level your Acid Splash does 2d4+Int Persistent 3

    A 5th level character will probably have a +1 Weapon, that they had to pay for, and say a Shortbow, will do 2d6+0 Persistent 0, Deadly 1d10.

    You're making the same error I originally did. When acid splash says "Heightened (5th)", they're referring to casting acid splash as a 5th level spell, not your character level.

    Thus, a 5th level wizard would cast acid splash as 1d4+Int ( typically 1d4+4). On a critical hit you deal 2 persistent damage.

    Vs 2d6+1 for Str 14 with a composite shortbow, and only a single action. On a critical hit (having more chances at them too), you deal an extra 1d10 damage.

    Edit: Taking this to higher level, a 9th level wizard would be tossing out an acid splash at +13 to hit (touch) and 2d4+4 [average 9] damage, with 3 persistent damage on a crit (for 4d4+8, Persist 3), with a range of 30ft and requiring two actions.

    Vs a 9th level 'arcane archer' style elven wizard with Str 10and master quality +2 longbow, with an attack line of +15/+10/+5 (3d8+0 [average 13.5]), and dealing an extra 2d10 damage on a crit (total 6d8+0+2d10 = average 38].


    Raynulf wrote:
    HWalsh wrote:

    Uhm... At 5th level your Acid Splash does 2d4+Int Persistent 3

    A 5th level character will probably have a +1 Weapon, that they had to pay for, and say a Shortbow, will do 2d6+0 Persistent 0, Deadly 1d10.

    You're making the same error I originally did. When acid splash says "Heightened (5th)", they're referring to casting acid splash as a 5th level spell, not your character level.

    Thus, a 5th level wizard would cast acid splash as 1d4+Int ( typically 1d4+4). On a critical hit you deal 2 persistent damage.

    Vs 2d6+1 for Str 14 with a composite shortbow, and only a single action. On a critical hit (having more chances at them too), you deal an extra 1d10 damage.

    Edit: Taking this to higher level, a 9th level wizard would be tossing out an acid splash at +13 to hit (touch) and 2d4+4 [average 9] damage, with 3 persistent damage on a crit (for 4d4+8, Persist 3), with a range of 30ft and requiring two actions.

    Vs a 9th level 'arcane archer' style elven wizard with Str 10and master quality +2 longbow, with an attack line of +15/+10/+5 (3d8+0 [average 13.5]), and dealing an extra 2d10 damage on a crit (total 6d8+0+2d10 = average 38].

    Even if that *is* the case... You are getting it for free and every Wizard should have a decent dexterity. Every Wizard can use a crossbow. Almost every Wizard can use a Shortbow, for either an ancestry feat, or a general feat. I mean, seriously, even Ghandalf had a sword.


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    pauljathome wrote:

    Um, am I missing something?

    Sure, the spell casters have less spells than in PF1.

    But not cripplingly so,

    At, say, level 7 they have 3,3,3,2
    As opposed to the (base) 4 3 2 1 in PF1
    Sure, in PF1 stat boosts would make that
    5 4 3 2

    11 vs 14 is hardly the end of the world.

    Especially when combined with better cantrips to handle the "well, this battle really isn't worth a good spell but I'm bored and want to be able to do SOMETHING" issue (I see lots of spell casters in PF1 basically wasting spells because they want to do SOMETHING even though the battle is already won)

    Spell casters have been reduced in power from PF1 (that is a clear and explicit design goal) but to say that they "are now useless" is hyperbole of an extreme nature

    I think you are right in almost everything. And what is hard for me is one of your last sentences:

    "Spell casters have been reduced in power from PF1 (that is a clear and explicit design goal)"
    I think this should be a warning to all spellcaster players: hey some of the "martials" have lobbied and now your characters will be less powerfull. This enough to give it a thought, so part of the design is to reduce my beloved characters:
    Why should I play it? Why? I just want to get back to PF1 because I was better.
    Additionally, they could have managed to keep options, like more spells but less powerful or something like that (like in D&D5) but now, the idea is to have fewer spells and less powerful. So fewer options and less relevant. Isn't it exciting?

    One thing your wrong is when you add the bonus (I had a wizard built on high intelligence - not maximized because it also had a starting 18 in wis so no optimized) and by level 8 he had like INT 30, that gives 3/2/2/2 more spells almost as much as the current maximum.
    And besides you are not taking into account the "spell tax" of buffing and utilities (not "tax" for me because I loved it) but adding endure, knock, fly, haste, detect undead and other similar spells, took me like 2spells/level. Keeping that rate (not too high) that would be half your spells just to do your job which is to find some magic, buff and protect, in PF2 we would have like half of our spells already locked.

    So now you are a wizard, you have fewer spells per level (and they do less), besides some cool effects have been eliminated just for what? You choose your spells for the day even though you don't know what you will face. Then during combat you don't know whether to used it because you don't know how many encounters you will have and how long will they take.

    Already in PF1 I spent most of the time idling during combats (maybe DM had a lot to do with that). But here it seems the specific intention that to please some "martials" casters should be cross-armed waiting for others to have fun because if we cast a spell then the fun is gon.

    And you hit bullseye here: some casters in PF1 wasted spells because they wanted to do something. I can tell you I was one of them, to feel I was part of something, that feeling will be gone now, that all I can ever do now in PF2 is "Ray of frost", ray of frost (I move away), ray of frost.


    Mergy wrote:

    The bards, clerics, druids, and even the sorcerers and wizards can also fall back on weapons if they want to conserve spell slots. Everyone attacks with their level + stat as bonus now, so there's nothing stopping the elf wizard with some weapon familiarity ancestry from picking up a magic weapon and hitting with it. The longbow is actually perfect for this because of its 1+ hand requirement.

    At high levels, if the wizard really wants to conserve spell slots, he can use dragon form which lasts a minute and gives attack and damage regardless of how much investment he's put into strength.

    That is an Idea, but, have you ever used a wizard or sorceror in melee?

    I did it once I was tired of the caster and didn't enjoy the game.

    He lasted one round, one round and it was level 14 or something, two hits from a martial, one of them a critical and my wizard was over.

    You are right that the rules now allow this, but it is exactly what the spellcaster players don't want, I want to cast spells, spells, if I wanted to use a longbow I would have made a fighter.

    The problem (I wrote a post yesterday about that) is that they are taking from wizards, sorcerors and druids what they like and giving them what they do not want.

    Taking: Fewer spells, less powerful, shorter in duration, concentration issues, resonance for magic items.

    Adding: +Attack, +AC, what for? Two spells for round, exactly to run out of spells in three rounds.

    Nice cool things: persistent spell, I like the flavour, for me it could make the same or less damage but it makes sense
    4 levels of damage, this is a good idea (still bad implemented) but it can make some spells useful, otherwise, having 8 spells per day, casting one to dominate some monster that has SR and a will save it is a waste of a slot.
    Metamagic directly, yes this is good and an upgrade, maybe the only one.
    Only one feat to create magic items, this was obvious, since it was pretty stupid to burn a feat to creat rings you could buy, and staff it was hands down idiotic.

    this is the edition of nerf the casters and goal accomplished!!!


    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Aadgarvven wrote:
    And you hit bullseye here: some casters in PF1 wasted spells because they wanted to do something. I can tell you I was one of them, to feel I was part of something, that feeling will be gone now, that all I can ever do now in PF2 is "Ray of frost", ray of frost (I move away), ray of frost.

    Hyperbole.

    You have spells, maybe not as many, but you can do a lot more than just cast Ray of Frost.

    You have 3 spells, counting draining your arcane focus, at first level and unlimited use of Cantrips. This includes things like Shield, Acid Splash, and Ray of Frost.

    You can use weapons (a novel concept) and you get class, skill, and general feats just like everyone else. You are, by far, not unable to use magic.

    By 5th level you have 3/3/2 spells per day, 4/4/3 spells per day as a specialist, and can drain your arcane focus for 1 additional spell per day (or if a Universalist you can drain it for 1 additional spell per day, per spell level, also giving you effectively 4/4/3).

    Sure, you won't be ending fights in one spell anymore. You will need other players to support you. That is why you have other players.

    If you think this is bad you would have died if you ever tried to play 2nd Edition AD&D.

    You know how many spells we had back then?
    At level 1? You had 1. You didn't get extra spell slots or anything. You have 1 spell and you had better darn sure save it for when it was needed.

    By level 5? You have 3/2/1

    That was it. No more, no less. AND WE WERE GRATEFUL!

    *Wanders off grumbling about kids today.*


    Hargert wrote:
    I am afraid that in an effort to stop the dreaded power gamer that the average caster is going to be less than fun to play. Will find out once I get a chance this weekend to play one.

    100% on target


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Seriously - Guys, this isn't bad.

    Just show some restraint for crying out loud.

    Use your Mage Armor at 1st, have a decent dexterity and rely on shield cantrip to bolster your defenses. Carry a crossbow for emergencies. Space your remaining 2 spells per day (one from Arcane Focus) out between the 3-5 encounters. Make sure you use spells when they count.

    By the time you hit 5th level you will have effectively 4/4/3 and a focus (or 4/4/3 with your focus) that is 11 spells per day. You only need to make those last between 3-5 encounters.

    Assume a 5 encounter day, use your level 1 slots for general non-com use, then spread your remaining 7 out through the encounters. Assuming the average encounter. Space your actual spells out a little. 3-5 encounters is 15 rounds on average. That is enough to cast one of your 2 highest level spells every other round or so.

    This ain't hard guys. We did it for years.

    Dark Archive

    Something to take note of: as it is currently, a lot of level 0 creatures have very high attack scores, and summon monster I lasts a full minute now. At low levels you could stretch those few spell slots by getting something with the same attack score as a fighter (less damage of course) and keep it going for 10 rounds of concentration. At high levels you're going to have plenty of spell slots anyway.

    I've also noticed that the DCs of your 1st and 5th level spells are exactly the same, so that grease spell actually always stays relevant.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Aadgarvven wrote:


    "Spell casters have been reduced in power from PF1 (that is a clear and explicit design goal)"
    I think this should be a warning to all spellcaster players: hey some of the "martials" have lobbied and now your characters will be less powerfull. This enough to give it a thought, so part of the design is to reduce my beloved characters:
    Why should I play it? Why? I just want to get back to PF1 because I was better.

    It's so weird to me to think of "spellcaster players" vs "martials". I like and play both. Nearly everyone I've played with regularly over the years plays both. The idea of some conflict between types of players where the martial side has gained an advantage and weakened the caster players is just foreign to me.


    HWalsh wrote:
    Even if that *is* the case... You are getting it for free and every Wizard should have a decent dexterity. Every Wizard can use a crossbow. Almost every Wizard can use a Shortbow, for either an ancestry feat, or a general feat. I mean, seriously, even Ghandalf had a sword.

    Not to keep hashing out the same topic, but a cantrip is no more 'free' than a weapon; A caster has to expend either one of their prepared cantrip slots, or one of their known cantrip slots in order to have a damaging cantrip, and given the utility that many other cantrips offer, that isn't an insignificant cost.

    It may be worthwhile having a damaging cantrip as backup, but certainly they're not something one would ordinarilly stock up in lieu of spells like detect magic or read aura. The fact that any wizard can use a crossbow is, to me, exactly why it is prudent to use a weapon, rather than consuming limited cantrip slots on lacklustre damaging abilities.

    But that is my 2c


    HWalsh wrote:
    Draco18s wrote:
    kaid wrote:
    Also with the cantrips auto heightening in general casters have some solid go to backup powers they can use whenever they want.

    They're not solid. Look at the numbers in my post above yours. Cantrips gain damage at 1/4 the rate of slotted damage spells and cap out at 5th level effectiveness. 2d8+INT can't even come close to comparing with 12d10. Sure, you could use the cantrip 100 times instead of the 5th level spell once, but generally speaking a 5th level spell once is enough.

    Cantrips can't even be used twice in the same turn (unlike comparable damage melee and ranged fighters; cough Longsword 1d8+STR cough) due to the way the action economy works. Add onto that melee fighter's Stance, Open, and Push keywords the fighter actually gets more interesting while wizards and sorcerers got less.

    Uhm... At 5th level your Acid Splash does 2d4+Int Persistent 3

    A 5th level character will probably have a +1 Weapon, that they had to pay for, and say a Shortbow, will do 2d6+0 Persistent 0, Deadly 1d10.

    Assuming you have an Int of +4 (and I suspect you will) that is 2d4+4 or an average of 9 damage, 3 persistent.

    A +1 Shortbow user will do an average of 7 damage.

    Granted you will only get to fire once, they can fire (up to) 3 times (granted though that 3rd hit isn't likely to hit, and they are shooting at a higher difficulty, and their second hit also isn't likely to hit...)

    And you get this attack for free... That... That isn't a bad weapon?

    It is basically a better version of a magic light crossbow. That you don't have to carry ammo for. That you use your casting stat to hit with. That does static damage based on your casting stat.

    7th level it is equal to a +2 Weapon.
    9th level it is equal to a +3 Weapon.

    How... How do you call this bad?

    And if their touch AC is significantly lower than regular AC then you crit more often doubling damage.


    HWalsh wrote:
    Aadgarvven wrote:
    And you hit bullseye here: some casters in PF1 wasted spells because they wanted to do something. I can tell you I was one of them, to feel I was part of something, that feeling will be gone now, that all I can ever do now in PF2 is "Ray of frost", ray of frost (I move away), ray of frost.

    Hyperbole.

    You have spells, maybe not as many, but you can do a lot more than just cast Ray of Frost.

    You have 3 spells, counting draining your arcane focus, at first level and unlimited use of Cantrips. This includes things like Shield, Acid Splash, and Ray of Frost.

    You can use weapons (a novel concept) and you get class, skill, and general feats just like everyone else. You are, by far, not unable to use magic.

    By 5th level you have 3/3/2 spells per day, 4/4/3 spells per day as a specialist, and can drain your arcane focus for 1 additional spell per day (or if a Universalist you can drain it for 1 additional spell per day, per spell level, also giving you effectively 4/4/3).

    Sure, you won't be ending fights in one spell anymore. You will need other players to support you. That is why you have other players.

    If you think this is bad you would have died if you ever tried to play 2nd Edition AD&D.

    You know how many spells we had back then?
    At level 1? You had 1. You didn't get extra spell slots or anything. You have 1 spell and you had better darn sure save it for when it was needed.

    By level 5? You have 3/2/1

    That was it. No more, no less. AND WE WERE GRATEFUL!

    *Wanders off grumbling about kids today.*

    Okay: Hiperbole, well I went to the other end, but using hyperbole is hyperbolic, ironically.

    This is what I said in other posts, they have reduced the spell power of the wizard (and other casters) and increased combat abilities (which is exactly what I/and many like me don't want) I play casters (when I do) to cast spells. If I want to mix it with combat, I would choose other specialities.
    Cantrip is the solution they found so that you don't run out of spells and I find it quite unappealing.

    Playing AD&D2, yes I did quite a few times, and the player's options spellcasting method of fatigue was the best ever in D&D, I remember one of the DM saying, but... you may end casting less spells, and I was, yes, but it will be worthy it will be caothic and it will be manageable, perfect. I was DM for another group and the wizard guy was even happier than me.

    Back in AD&D2, spells were meaningful, fewer but meaningful, I ended one fight using an enlarge on a boat, the boat became larger and the kraken couldn't get us anymore.

    And about finishing spells or doing damage you are getting (at least) me completely wrong. I am totally ok with no killing anyone or just an idea, give me a wizard that has twice the level of spells but couldn't cast on combat for reasons. I would choose it every day.
    0DPR and double spells, perfect.
    Indeed, I did never killed a single guy on my own (apart of minions) and that includes casting a maximized (I am awful with the dice) empowered disintegrate, cast against an undead cleric (I was l21 or the like).

    As I said before, half of my spells are usually used in buffing my colleagues, and utilities, not on damage, because this why there are other players that do it better than me.

    We could go on and talk how D&D3 spells sucked for limiting most uses of spells, like reduce to reduce person, what is that, I can no longer kill a person by reducing the key stone of a bridge?

    From 20 years till now, everytime the direction seems to be to make the game more Diablo, and less out-of-the-box, reduce the work of the DM and give the player less options, wizards are hit, but others as well.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    thejeff wrote:
    Aadgarvven wrote:


    "Spell casters have been reduced in power from PF1 (that is a clear and explicit design goal)"
    I think this should be a warning to all spellcaster players: hey some of the "martials" have lobbied and now your characters will be less powerfull. This enough to give it a thought, so part of the design is to reduce my beloved characters:
    Why should I play it? Why? I just want to get back to PF1 because I was better.

    It's so weird to me to think of "spellcaster players" vs "martials". I like and play both. Nearly everyone I've played with regularly over the years plays both. The idea of some conflict between types of players where the martial side has gained an advantage and weakened the caster players is just foreign to me.

    Indeed it is I have never had it before I came here and I started reading all this "NERF THE CASTER" outcry.

    Take a read through the posts, and look at all the posts about, hey reduce the power of the casters, reduce the number of spells, they got I lot of interesting spells to cast, give them less options.

    Luckily I got my friends to play but pathfinder is becoming less an option for the diminished reward in playing a wizard. But what I can tell you is that I am not going to join a PFS or something similar because of the animosity shown in this forum towards caster characters.


    Mergy wrote:

    Something to take note of: as it is currently, a lot of level 0 creatures have very high attack scores, and summon monster I lasts a full minute now. At low levels you could stretch those few spell slots by getting something with the same attack score as a fighter (less damage of course) and keep it going for 10 rounds of concentration. At high levels you're going to have plenty of spell slots anyway.

    I've also noticed that the DCs of your 1st and 5th level spells are exactly the same, so that grease spell actually always stays relevant.

    Thee duration of summon monster now makes sense.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Aadgarvven wrote:
    thejeff wrote:
    Aadgarvven wrote:


    "Spell casters have been reduced in power from PF1 (that is a clear and explicit design goal)"
    I think this should be a warning to all spellcaster players: hey some of the "martials" have lobbied and now your characters will be less powerfull. This enough to give it a thought, so part of the design is to reduce my beloved characters:
    Why should I play it? Why? I just want to get back to PF1 because I was better.
    It's so weird to me to think of "spellcaster players" vs "martials". I like and play both. Nearly everyone I've played with regularly over the years plays both. The idea of some conflict between types of players where the martial side has gained an advantage and weakened the caster players is just foreign to me.

    Indeed it is I have never had it before I came here and I started reading all this "NERF THE CASTER" outcry.

    Take a read through the posts, and look at all the posts about, hey reduce the power of the casters, reduce the number of spells, they got I lot of interesting spells to cast, give them less options.

    Luckily I got my friends to play but pathfinder is becoming less an option for the diminished reward in playing a wizard. But what I can tell you is that I am not going to join a PFS or something similar because of the animosity shown in this forum towards caster characters.

    I like to play casters. I think that they need to be weakened from PF1.

    It's not about caster players vs martial players, each side wanting to boost their own favorites and weaken the other side's. It's about wanting a better balance between them.
    Some certainly disagree about the problem and where the balance should be, but I still don't see it the way you describe it.


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

    I like to play casters. I think that they need to be weakened from PF1.

    It's not about caster players vs martial players, each side wanting to boost their own favorites and weaken the other side's. It's about wanting a better balance between them.
    Some certainly disagree about the problem and where the balance should be, but I still don't see it the way you describe it.

    This is exactly my feeling.

    It was easy for casters in PF1 to - even completely accidentally - totally outshine martials. I've been that caster, so many times that I don't let myself play casters any more because it's too easy to win every encounter for the party. There are plenty of examples out there of silly things like 17th level wizards soloing entire APL17 modules. When casters are THAT good, people who like playing martials end up having less fun, and the game should be about everyone having as much fun as possible.

    PF2e seems like it has made great strides in fixing that, and that has me excited. I'm really looking forward to possibly being able to play a caster without my entire group rolling their eyes because they know I'm going to steamroll everything.

    Wizards being forced to carefully consider where and when to use their spells is a good thing. Cantrips not competing with weapon damage is a good thing. Cantrips being worth using as a backup is also a good thing, though, and they could maybe be a little up from where they are now.

    So far in the playtest we have a big thread saying that casters are nerfed to oblivion, and a big thread saying that casters are still OP compared to martials.

    I think that means Paizo is moving in the right direction.


    I certainly like the accuracy (and thus crit chance) of touch attack cantrips at higher level. At higher levels, your damage in terms of damage dice may be lower than a weapon attack but you will probably have a proficiency bonus to your attacks on par with martial characters and you will be targetting a lower DC. If you have more than one attack cantrip available, you also have some choice in your damage (fire, acid, electricity, and so on) while martial characters will generally need to spend additional action switching between weapons.

    I have not done all the math but cantrips seem like a fine fallback damage for when you are running low on higher level spells and spell point abilities.


    HWalsh wrote:

    Seriously - Guys, this isn't bad.

    Just show some restraint for crying out loud.

    Use your Mage Armor at 1st, have a decent dexterity and rely on shield cantrip to bolster your defenses. Carry a crossbow for emergencies. Space your remaining 2 spells per day (one from Arcane Focus) out between the 3-5 encounters. Make sure you use spells when they count.

    By the time you hit 5th level you will have effectively 4/4/3 and a focus (or 4/4/3 with your focus) that is 11 spells per day. You only need to make those last between 3-5 encounters.

    Assume a 5 encounter day, use your level 1 slots for general non-com use, then spread your remaining 7 out through the encounters. Assuming the average encounter. Space your actual spells out a little. 3-5 encounters is 15 rounds on average. That is enough to cast one of your 2 highest level spells every other round or so.

    This ain't hard guys. We did it for years.

    If you go halfling for your caster such as a bard or a sorc and take halfling ancestry weapon feat you gain access to the halfling sling staff. It does damage equal to a heavy crossbow but only takes one action to reload so you can do 1d10 damage from a safe range when you are not slinging spells.

    Cantrips if you take a look at tk projectile when heightened to 9th spell casting level it works basically like a +4 sling staff or +4 heavy crossbow. That is not a bad fall back. If you have beter you should use it but for something you can do when bare naked lacking gear that is really solid.

    Also the utility cantrips are WAAAY better than they used to be. Shield cantrip is pretty much just universally good for when you need extra proection. Hell the light cantrip is really freaking nice now as well giving you easy to get long lasting non extinguishable light sources for the non low light folks.

    Bards I think the more I mess around with them seem like they are in a seriously good place. The way their inspiration stuff works means they can do their main bard job all day long no fuss no bother. Then on top of that they are full fledged spell casters which gives them some serious punch from spells and then top it off they are really not to shabby with weapons either and if you take elvish or halfling ancestral weapons you gain access to some seriously hard hitting ranged attacks that make good use of your likely already high dex.


    Cantrips do not actually have very high accuracy against same level opponents. You'll be hitting around 50-60% of the time for most enemies, and crit chances will never be high enough to rely on. They're cheap and flashy clean up for (slowly) punching out weak mooks, though.

    Offensive magic is pretty much dead from a reliability standpoint. Same level enemies are tuned to have their worst save succeed 50-55% of the time against an optimized PC, with the other saves made 65-70% of the time. Reflex and will are by far the most common bad saves, and you don't do much damage blasting even if they fail a reflex save, and you don't get much mental control even if they fail a will save. Ranged touch plus a save makes things even worse for the good Fortitude effects, like Enervate and Disintegrate.

    Buffing and control are the best uses of spells. Use summoned monsters to block off enemies (Summon Monster 6th elementals are good for this) and occasionally (they have a 30% hit chance on their first attack) do some damage. Use other spells to cause miss chances, wall of enemies, and defend your party. Directly attacking enemies, except with a debuff that still does something worthwhile on a successful save, is mostly a fool's game.

    This reddit thread has some useful analysis and discussion of the issues.

    To be honest, I can live with it this way. Since optimized DCs fail too much to be a smart strategy, put some extra attributes in your physical stats and engage in some combat. A bow allows somatic components as long as you have one hand free, so put your high Dex to use through that, go all defense/utility cantrips (except maybe Electric Arc), and concentrate on buffing, debuffing (without relying on failed saves), and crowd control spells.

    A Bard works very nicely for this, especially multiclassed with Fighter or Wizard. Either boost your melee/combat prowess, or add some extra spells/cantrips and maybe a couple of feats ending in Magical Striker, which combos well with Inspire Heroics or buff spells.


    I feel like a thing worth considering is that in case you make choices so that your spell points option is a useful one you can benefit from casting the maximum number of times every day, a level 1 caster with 18 in their casting stat in PF2 can cast 6 first level spells (2 from slots; 4 from domain, arcane school, order, etc.) compared to 3 in PF1. Like a level 1 Storm Druid gets to zap people 4 times and still has 2 spell slots. Moreover, tempest surge gets better appreciably so at level 7 a Storm Druid can potentially tempest surge for 4d12 damage 7 times per day in addition to spell slots.

    IMO there were two major problems with casters in PF1: both that they could entirely accidentally become too powerful at high levels, and that they were able to do very little at low levels. It's worth looking at how we're attempting to solve both problems. Like a level 1 Sarenrite cleric can now cast Heal up to 4 times, Fire Ray up to 3 times, and also has 2 other spells. At this level a barbarian might just have rage and sudden charge.


    PossibleCabbage wrote:

    I feel like a thing worth considering is that in case you make choices so that your spell points option is a useful one you can benefit from casting the maximum number of times every day, a level 1 caster with 18 in their casting stat in PF2 can cast 6 first level spells (2 from slots; 4 from domain, arcane school, order, etc.) compared to 3 in PF1. Like a level 1 Storm Druid gets to zap people 4 times and still has 2 spell slots. Moreover, tempest surge gets better appreciably so at level 7 a Storm Druid can potentially tempest surge for 4d12 damage 7 times per day in addition to spell slots.

    IMO there were two major problems with casters in PF1: both that they could entirely accidentally become too powerful at high levels, and that they were able to do very little at low levels. It's worth looking at how we're attempting to solve both problems. Like a level 1 Sarenrite cleric can now cast Heal up to 4 times, Fire Ray up to 3 times, and also has 2 other spells. At this level a barbarian might just have rage and sudden charge.

    Or a bard at level 1 can plink away with TK projectile and do the same damage as a heavy xbow or sling staff and still keep up their bard group buff. It opens up the option for if a bard just wants to honk away on a horn or play a harp and sit back in pure caster/party buffer mode that is an option right from level 1 now where in PF1 it really pretty much wasn't. You could do it maybe for an encounter possibly two and that is it.

    Shadow Lodge

    You also never needed to during low-levels in PF1, judging off my experience. Your mileage may vary, of course.

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