Arcane Spellcasters in PF2E – quo vadis?


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Cleric can also intimidate (likely has decent cha). Druid will likely be commanding a companion. Both are thematically ok swinging a weapon too, I think you would agree.

Sorc is ok using intimidate. Bard has all kinds of crap to do. Thematically, he's fine swinging a weapon too.

So, we are just talking about the wizard. Out of FIVE casters, we are talking about ONE you have a THEMATIC issue with using weapons.

Wiz could recall knowledge, cast shield, use metamagic, etc. It could also move, draw out or use an item, interact with the environment, etc. I doubt shield block will be something the wiz has to trigger immediately either; gotta disagree there.

Despite all this, is using a weapon a good option for the wizard at times? Ya. And?

Its an option. Its not THE option. Its also an option that has been regularly used by said class in several other editions of the game.

Anywho, like I said before, we will just have to agree to disagree.


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Data Lore wrote:


Wiz could recall knowledge, cast shield, use metamagic, etc. It could also move, draw out or use an item, interact with the environment, etc. I doubt shield block will be something the wiz has to trigger immediately either; gotta disagree there.

Despite all this, is using a weapon a better option than all of those for the wizard almost all the time? Ya.

Fixed that for you.

I don't mind being able to use a weapon if I want, though it's not common that I want to. But all those options you mention, attacking with a weapon seems to be outright better in nearly all situations.

Dark Archive

Hmm.

People not doing what is best for their build argument.

Same could be said about 1e high level play.

I wouldnt try that.


Lausth wrote:

Hmm.

People not doing what is best for their build argument.

Same could be said about 1e high level play.

I wouldnt try that.

I don't think I understand what you're getting at here, but if you're saying there were similar thematic problems in 1e(like vow of poverty basically being a death sentence for any monk who swears one,) I agree, but I don't really see how that pertains to a discussion on 2e.


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Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Fixed that for you.

Please don't. I said what I said. Thanks.

Dark Archive

Didnt datalore just accused you of not using what is best for your character then blaming it on the system?

Well in pf 1e you can say the same thing for high level play.

EDIT:Oh it was yesterday.


GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Paizo heading for something closer to 5e is probably the less risky option, and fits their focus better since they like the more boardgamey style of play.
They are definitely not heading for something like 5th Ed, and 5th Ed is the least boardgamey edition of the game since 1989.
You clearly do not understand the full capabilities of 3.x.

Ha, I certainly do, but I appreciate the effort to dismiss, classic.

3rd Ed is without a doubt what brought the grid front and centre, you can play without, but it heavily favours grid/minis; there's even a 3rd Ed Miniatures Handbook (which lead to DDM, then 4th Ed).

2nd Ed, as originally designed, was to be played more coffee-house style, sitting around in armchairs, couches, all TotM, per David Cook. Player's Option went back to focusing on the grid, and some of those ideas/rules carried over to 3rd Ed. 4th Ed is even more grid focused than 3rd Ed (especially 3.5), which says a lot.

5th Ed defaults to TotM (like 2nd Ed AD&D), but has rules for grid/miniature play.


Cantrips/unlimited magic changes the scope of the entire Multiverse. I started my Planescape campaign with 3rd Ed, so, while I like 5th Ed, to convert the campaign to 5th Ed rules, would mean suddenly all these casters everywhere can cast spells all day (same if I converted to PF2). It's fine for a new campaign, but doesn't really fit with the established lore of many D&D worlds for wizards and such (magic is finite, you run out).


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Cantrips are also at-will in PF1e. That ship sailed long ago.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Cantrips are also at-will in PF1e. That ship sailed long ago.

Ah, yes, I was thinking original 3rd Ed (before those feats).


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I must say I am overwhelmingly disheartened after listening to yesterday's live Twitch.

Many things seem to be moving in the right direction and I am pleased that the game is developing in this way. It shows Paizo staff is willing to listen, change and improve on specific issues when they are brought up.

There seems to be one exception to that rule, however: spellcasters.

Yesterday night, I heard mentions of the Ranger receiving much needed love. I heard Rogues are given additional options as well and, while my initial response is that this wasn't immediately needed, more variety and customization is not something I will ever say no to.
I kept patiently waiting for Jason Bulmahn to address the elephant in the room. What is being done to help spellcasters?

Nothing came up for a while and I started to think to myself: "oh well, these things take time, it might be coming in a later update".
While reworking spells might not be possible during playtesting, I imagine it would not be too hard to test having spellcasters with more spellslots, for example.

Rogues are now given the ability to play as a Brute, a Duelist, or an Agile Fighter (essentially), in order to cater to Rogue players having different playstyles.

I can't help but notice we have been asking for the same thing: the ability to play as a Wizard, a Spellsword or a Battlemage. For some reason, this does not seem to be coming our way.

I know some people will immediately chime in to tell me that you can already have these different playstyles.
My answer to them is: Rogues could already favour Strength builds if they wanted or use Feint in combat.
However, the devs felt that the base class did not actively support these builds and are now introducing gameplay options that will enhance them.
That is what I'm asking for: real support to go pure spellcaster if I so desire, and this means, most of all, extra spell slots.

I digress though, so let's go back to yesterday's Twitch stream.

That there were still no mentions of spellcasters getting help was already frustrating...until it became much worse.

You see, at some point, Jason Bulmahn came to mention archetypes. He specifically called out the following: Bards, Wizards and Sorcerers are, in a large proportion, taking the Fighter dedication feat.
Mr. Bulmahn assumed this was solely for armour profiency and proudly announced the feat was getting nerfed.

That he would think that Bards, Sorcerers and Wizards took that feat for armour proficiency only is either the result of not reading these forums, not paying attention, or bad faith.

There are extensive posts on these forums that detail how using a weapon is now an essential part of playing a Bard, Sorcerer or Wizard effectively.
It's not just about armour, it's about becoming a martial character - in part. It's likely surveys from later chapters would have revealed people were also taking additional feats from that archetype and not their own, magic-enhancing class feats, because you do not need anything from your class apart from Magical Striker.

In short, Bards, Sorcerers and Wizard had one good build.
I'm not talking about decent, viable or can-work-around-that builds.
I'm talking about an actual strong build, that let's you feel heroic and bring your character to the forefront once in a while.

It was already a hotly debated thing that the most effective route to go down for Bards, Sorcerers and Wizards was the gish one.
Some people felt this was being forced upon them and it never is a good thing to have your playerbase so divided.

The good news is, this debate is no more. In order to achieve the same thing they used to, Bards, Sorcerers and Wizards will now be required to burn two extra general feats to get back heavy armour proficiency.
This means they cannot take Toughness to increase their low HP (keep in mind these characters are supposed to wade into melee combat), improve their low saves (they get the worse possible saves at character creation), boost their Perception, initiative, etc.
This makes them much squishier, especially in the lower levels.

Basically, Bards, Sorcerers and Wizards had one good thing.

And Jason Bulmahn was very happy to announce that this will be taken away from them.

At this point, I am not afraid to say that I genuinely feel some meeting at Paizo went like this: "Have you seen the forums? Someone found a way to make spellcasters work! They can do things on their own and take the spotlight once in a while! Unacceptable, quick, let's nerf that!".

Yes, my post is falling into the conspiration theory trap because I am now convinced there is indeed one going on.

This thread is always on top of the General Dicussion forums and yet, it has received nothing but the silent treatment.

I am aware it was acknowleged that the devs saw it.
Which is nice but this ranges from "We saw it, we understand your concerns and will try to address them" to "We saw it and we don't care, we intend for spellcasters to remain at the bottom of character optimization".

I am increasingly leaning towards the second category.

Yesterday night, I sat with my Wizard player and the others to try to help his character. We would offer advice to help him pick spells that would make him feel more useful.
My players came up with a list of spells they consider to be strong at the moment : Invisibility (H), Mirror Image, Magic Weapon, Enlarge, False Life, Blur, Color Spray and Magic Missile (first two spell levels only).

With the exception of the last two, these are all spells to help others shine.
The only acceptable role for a Wizard in 2nd edition seems to be that of a buffer.
God forbid they use a control spell or blast spell that has actual, strong impact.
This would make the player feel good about themselves and we don't want that for spellcasters.
One of these things is not like the other...

I hope I am wrong.
I hope it's the angry, frustrated part of me that has received no answer or acknowledgement whatsoever for nearly two months that is speaking.
I'm still praying for the next errata to come up with new and improved stuff for spellcasters, for a change.
This wasn't mentioned though and I'm no longer holding my breath.
I will download the new errata, read it, and if it has nothing for spellcasters at all but additional nerfs to their only good build well...
I was about to say I won't be disappointed because I will have seen it coming but I know I will be anyway.

One of my players, who rolled a Sorcerer for the main chapters of Doomsday Dawn, told me he would not be playing after Chapter 3.
He doesn't want to sit at the table doing nothing with his main character and I don't want to have a player who is just bored with the game.
I am considering dropping the playtest as well.
I feel like some of the issues I have given feedback for are being considered and the previous errata have helped somewhat.
This new errata seems to have some good stuff for the Ranger, though I will reserve my judgement until I have seen the actual mechanics in play.
Same with mundane healing.

But when it comes to arcane spellcasters, I feel I'm just hitting my head against a very hard brick wall.
I am increasingly convinced that Paizo will do nothing about them because they like it this way.
Spellcasters are the new Rogues of CRB 1st edition.

I'm sure this post will generate a lot of hate and, because I expect it, I will not be engaging in a discussion with people who tell me the situation is just fine.
It's great if you think it is. Have fun with the game you wanted, it seems you have won.
Tons of posts stating that arcane spellcasters are underpowered and need revision and the only thing we hear about them is additional nerfs to make multiclass a less viable option.
I got the message loud and clear.

My group and I will just finish Chapter 3 and I' guess we'll then move on to something else.
Even those of my players who never touch spellcasting classes agree that they feel bad for their fellow adventurers because spellcasters are lagging behind and by far.
Maybe something in this new errata gives us hope and makes us stay. I don't know.


dnoisette wrote:

I must say I am overwhelmingly disheartened after listening to yesterday's live Twitch.

Many things seem to be moving in the right direction and I am pleased that the game is developing in this way. It shows Paizo staff is willing to listen, change and improve on specific issues when they are brought up.

There seems to be one exception to that rule, however: spellcasters.

Yesterday night, I heard mentions of the Ranger receiving much needed love. I heard Rogues are given additional options as well and, while my initial response is that this wasn't immediately needed, more variety and customization is not something I will ever say no to.
I kept patiently waiting for Jason Bulmahn to address the elephant in the room. What is being done to help spellcasters?

Nothing came up for a while and I started to think to myself: "oh well, these things take time, it might be coming in a later update".
While reworking spells might not be possible during playtesting, I imagine it would not be too hard to test having spellcasters with more spellslots, for example.

Rogues are now given the ability to play as a Brute, a Duelist, or an Agile Fighter (essentially), in order to cater to Rogue players having different playstyles.

I can't help but notice we have been asking for the same thing: the ability to play as a Wizard, a Spellsword or a Battlemage. For some reason, this does not seem to be coming our way.

I know some people will immediately chime in to tell me that you can already have these different playstyles.
My answer to them is: Rogues could already favour Strength builds if they wanted or use Feint in combat.
However, the devs felt that the base class did not actively support these builds and are now introducing gameplay options that will enhance them.
That is what I'm asking for: real support to go pure spellcaster if I so desire, and this means, most of all, extra spell slots.

With the caveat that I fully understand that you are not looking for disagreement or back and forth on this, I wanted to offer that my 4th level Wizard, who I am also playing for the 7th level module, has never swung a weapon. I would have to look at the character sheet to know which weapon I picked, and what armor I have because I went with the default of the Wizard class. That is not intended as disagreement with you, but hope and point of comparative feedback!

My Wizard, so far, has not even thought of being other than a pure caster (I just remembered my weapon, it is a Staff of Healing). That has led to one tough spot where a critical hit would have taken off over half my hit points (but took less because Shield spell). Otherwise, all I have done is utility cast (Continual Light rings for the party using starting gold), Heal, Shield, Summon Monster, and Cantrips. Yes the cantrips do feel underwhelming at times, however they have never been a wasted action - and that is a big improvement in some situations. A tiny positive contribution still feels different, to me, than a whiff.

What I think I am hearing from you is that you would like more, and more impactful, Evocation options that cover different situations more effectively. That is useful feedback! I would just note, with the intention to help, that there is more for your group to explore that might still be fun, impactful, and retain interest in "pure casters."

I very much hope that Summoner is not the only path that can do that, but if it is, then there are larger problems that we can work to address with feedback after exploring them thoroughly.


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Last I checked, they have far more data than you do. If they had data which states that the vast majority of arcane spellcasters (or primal spellcasters, etc) find combat to be more difficult, or play to be unsatisfying, then I would assume they'd do something about it, or at the very least say something about it.

So far, based on results, that has not been the case.


I am less concerned about spell nerfs overall than I am about unfortunate wordings that I seem to find as I read through the spell lists.

Prismatic Sphere:

This spell can only be cast while flying or levitating and with 10' clear in all directions.

Spellwrack:

This description is one short sentence that gives a general overview but no details. The description does not even mention a duration.

It appears to me that the descriptions of spell functionality have been moved to the saving through entries in many spells, such as Spellwrack, and I do not like this at all.

-- Success: Per failure

What? What per failure?

-- , but the curse (and any persistent force damage from the curse) ends on its own after 1 minute.

The curse's duration should have been in the description block. Also, since there is no effect listed in the description or under this entry, nothing happens.

-- Critical Success: The target is unaffected.

So, just like Success, then? I can't spot any difference. This entry is redundant.

-- Failure: Whenever the target becomes affected

"Becomes." That is when the spell first affects the target and no other times.

-- by a spell with a duration, the target takes 1d12 persistent force damage

Since the Spellwrack description block lists no duration, and as noted above only lasts 1 minute if the target succeeds in making his/her saving throw, this damage will never happen because the spell ends the instant after it is cast and the target has saved (making it useless).

There are further parts about reducing the other spells durations and reducing checks that only confuse the situation further.

This spell must be rewritten. Perhaps:

Casting: V, S
Range: 30
Duration: 1 minute
Targets: 1 creature

This spell causes the target to take 1d12 force damage per round for every other persistent spell in place on the target. Count the total other spells in place on the target once each round after all other turns have been resolved, roll one 1d12 per other spell, and apply the damage.

Critical Success: No effect
Success: half damage
Failure: full damage
Critical Failure: double damage.

At least I think that is what the spell was meant to state. You can try and add back in the wordings for duration reduction for the other spells and DC check changes if you want.

=======================

I keep finding these problems. *This* is the depressing part to me about changes in spells, not a reduction in capabilities.


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You should also consider that they are in fact listening, not to the forums, but to the actual data they are getting from the player base at large rather than the vocal minority they see here on the forums.

They may see our anger here, but the survey data may indicate that other issues are higher up the priority totem. I actually thought that the issues with DC's becoming lower in 1.3 was very likely for casters in addition to the skill benefits.

It may be that wizard, bard and sorcerer balancing may be coming after they get martial dialed in where they want them. I don't have a heavy horse in this race as I can build a fairly effective gish no matter how I slice it.

I think Paizo is right to relegate caster balance to the backend though. Not because full spell-focused casters need to be last, but because they are so bloody complex. Barb, fighter, pally, Ranger and rogue are easier to balance, and easier to fix if they break something. Casters meanwhile have a multitude of options, so much so, that all of the things that could cause issues with a pf1e game were caused by magic.

Everyother class in the game has a something they cannot do as well as others. I hate to be the one to go there, casters need to join that sphere. Casters need a definable weakness. Maybe each needs a different weakness.

Personally? Casters don't need to be nearly as strong as they were last go around. Do I have the solution to the problem? Nope, experience tells me that casters shouldn't have utility, cc and blasting in spades. Maybe split between them but certainly not on one chassis like they did last time.

Paizo has a super unenviable job right now. They need to give casters an identity, without making reality shifting casters a thing again. You wanna be a utility mage, great, your damage is going down the tank then. You wanna blast the opponent to kingdom come? Goodbye cc spells. There needs to be a trade off. At level 20 there needs to be room for the other characters to do something other than buying the wizard/socerer time, assuming the maxed out caster doesn't go first and just break reality and win.

I really don't think casters are going to be even 60% as effective as they were in pf1e and that is totally okay, because that puts them in line with the rest of the classes for ability to shift a narrative.

Are they lowballed right now? Sure, we can agree to that, but I sincerely hope casters don't get as much as they had going last time.


magnuskn wrote:
Brain wrote:
I have only read the cantrips and 1st level spells and I generally agree with your conclusions. Only exception is that I think burning hands is one of the best AOE damage spells. It has the same damage as the 3rd level fireball but on a smaller area.

It deals 2d6 at first level and 6d6 at third level... it is literally a worse Fireball. So not sure why that makes it better for you.

Because I get it from levels 1 through 4, it is easier to use without hitting party members in melee, and I get it as an additional bonus for spending three actions summoning a Hell Hound at level 7.

Rereading through the thread, I did not notice a response to this, and feel the answer points out a perspective on the positives of the new system that the initial analysis is missing. It is not the only example, though in other specific spell cases I agree with the initial analysis as given.


Syndrous wrote:

You should also consider that they are in fact listening, not to the forums, but to the actual data they are getting from the player base at large rather than the vocal minority they see here on the forums.

They may see our anger here, but the survey data may indicate that other issues are higher up the priority totem. I actually thought that the issues with DC's becoming lower in 1.3 was very likely for casters in addition to the skill benefits.

Part 4 is also probably one of the better spots to get actual data on casters played to their full potential, given the scenario.


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RainOfSteel wrote:


Spellwrack:

This description is one short sentence that gives a general overview but no details. The description does not even mention a duration.

Spellwrack should probably be clearer, but I got the impression that unless otherwise stated it's permanent.

This would also fit with how the majority of other curse spells work, like feeblemind, Mariner's Curse (by my reading of it), Outcast's Curse, Spiritual Epidemic. Geas is a weird case, but it's a ritual. Geas and Celestial Brand seem to be the only curses that don't directly work like this.

In case it's relevant here:

Appendix 1: Traits wrote:
A curse is an effect that places some long-term affliction on a creature. Curses are always magic and are typically the result of a spell or trap.

Emphasis mine.

Overall Celestial Brand is a weird exception as it explicitly only lasts one round.


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Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Vic Ferrari wrote:

3rd Ed is without a doubt what brought the grid front and centre, you can play without, but it heavily favours grid/minis; there's even a 3rd Ed Miniatures Handbook (which lead to DDM, then 4th Ed).

2nd Ed, as originally designed, was to be played more coffee-house style, sitting around in armchairs, couches, all TotM, per David Cook. Player's Option went back to focusing on the grid, and some of those ideas/rules carried over to 3rd Ed. 4th Ed is even more grid focused than 3rd Ed (especially 3.5), which says a lot.

5th Ed defaults to TotM (like 2nd Ed AD&D), but has rules for grid/miniature play.

IIRC, the direct ancestor of the original D&D was Chainmail, a set of rules for miniatures battles.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

3rd Ed is without a doubt what brought the grid front and centre, you can play without, but it heavily favours grid/minis; there's even a 3rd Ed Miniatures Handbook (which lead to DDM, then 4th Ed).

2nd Ed, as originally designed, was to be played more coffee-house style, sitting around in armchairs, couches, all TotM, per David Cook. Player's Option went back to focusing on the grid, and some of those ideas/rules carried over to 3rd Ed. 4th Ed is even more grid focused than 3rd Ed (especially 3.5), which says a lot.

5th Ed defaults to TotM (like 2nd Ed AD&D), but has rules for grid/miniature play.

IIRC, the direct ancestor of the original D&D was Chainmail, a set of rules for miniatures battles.

That would be correct. The OD&D books assumed that you had both played chainmail and were thus familiar with its rules AND that you owned miniatures for it.

B/X, BECMI, AD&D all afterwards stepped into the ToTM pretty consistently until 3.X and 4e in that regard. There were some tactical elements involved mind you in each of them, but far less emphasized than their successor editions.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
dnoisette wrote:

There are extensive posts on these forums that detail how using a weapon is now an essential part of playing a Bard, Sorcerer or Wizard effectively.

It's not just about armour, it's about becoming a martial character - in part. It's likely surveys from later chapters would have revealed people were also taking additional feats from that archetype and not their own, magic-enhancing class feats, because you do not need anything from your class apart from Magical Striker.

This is a core issue - there are plenty of concepts that are about playing characters that don't use weapons. Not every wizard should need to be a gish type to be useful.

Right now the whole game seems to be about either hitting things with weapons, helping yourself hit things with weapons or helping someone else hit things with weapons.


Ed Reppert wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

3rd Ed is without a doubt what brought the grid front and centre, you can play without, but it heavily favours grid/minis; there's even a 3rd Ed Miniatures Handbook (which lead to DDM, then 4th Ed).

2nd Ed, as originally designed, was to be played more coffee-house style, sitting around in armchairs, couches, all TotM, per David Cook. Player's Option went back to focusing on the grid, and some of those ideas/rules carried over to 3rd Ed. 4th Ed is even more grid focused than 3rd Ed (especially 3.5), which says a lot.

5th Ed defaults to TotM (like 2nd Ed AD&D), but has rules for grid/miniature play.

IIRC, the direct ancestor of the original D&D was Chainmail, a set of rules for miniatures battles.

So?

Anyway, yeah, I see that response from a lot of 4th Ed fans (in defence), but the whole point of D&D was to not be Chainmail/a war-game, hence why they started a new game. I am not saying miniatures/grids were never used in pre-3rd Ed D&D, but 3rd and 4th Ed certainly made their use default.


ParcelRod wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

3rd Ed is without a doubt what brought the grid front and centre, you can play without, but it heavily favours grid/minis; there's even a 3rd Ed Miniatures Handbook (which lead to DDM, then 4th Ed).

2nd Ed, as originally designed, was to be played more coffee-house style, sitting around in armchairs, couches, all TotM, per David Cook. Player's Option went back to focusing on the grid, and some of those ideas/rules carried over to 3rd Ed. 4th Ed is even more grid focused than 3rd Ed (especially 3.5), which says a lot.

5th Ed defaults to TotM (like 2nd Ed AD&D), but has rules for grid/miniature play.

IIRC, the direct ancestor of the original D&D was Chainmail, a set of rules for miniatures battles.

That would be correct. The OD&D books assumed that you had both played chainmail and were thus familiar with its rules AND that you owned miniatures for it.

B/X, BECMI, AD&D all afterwards stepped into the ToTM pretty consistently until 3.X and 4e in that regard. There were some tactical elements involved mind you in each of them, but far less emphasized than their successor editions.

Bingo.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

3rd Ed is without a doubt what brought the grid front and centre, you can play without, but it heavily favours grid/minis; there's even a 3rd Ed Miniatures Handbook (which lead to DDM, then 4th Ed).

2nd Ed, as originally designed, was to be played more coffee-house style, sitting around in armchairs, couches, all TotM, per David Cook. Player's Option went back to focusing on the grid, and some of those ideas/rules carried over to 3rd Ed. 4th Ed is even more grid focused than 3rd Ed (especially 3.5), which says a lot.

5th Ed defaults to TotM (like 2nd Ed AD&D), but has rules for grid/miniature play.

IIRC, the direct ancestor of the original D&D was Chainmail, a set of rules for miniatures battles.

So?

Anyway, yeah, I see that response from a lot of 4th Ed fans (in defence), but the whole point of D&D was to not be Chainmail/a war-game, hence why they started a new game. I am not saying miniatures/grids were never used in pre-3rd Ed D&D, but 3rd and 4th Ed certainly made their use default.

I had a very dissimilar experience when it comes to D&D through the ages (except for 4e being very grid reliant). The various campaigns run in 3e and company were generally played gridless and honestly pretty imprecisely when it came down to things. Maybe some rough diagrams when the terrain was really complicated. Whereas the campaigns that used other editions had the grid as mandatory for all but the simplest of combats or explorations. What a strange difference in our experiences.


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Laser—Boards wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

3rd Ed is without a doubt what brought the grid front and centre, you can play without, but it heavily favours grid/minis; there's even a 3rd Ed Miniatures Handbook (which lead to DDM, then 4th Ed).

2nd Ed, as originally designed, was to be played more coffee-house style, sitting around in armchairs, couches, all TotM, per David Cook. Player's Option went back to focusing on the grid, and some of those ideas/rules carried over to 3rd Ed. 4th Ed is even more grid focused than 3rd Ed (especially 3.5), which says a lot.

5th Ed defaults to TotM (like 2nd Ed AD&D), but has rules for grid/miniature play.

IIRC, the direct ancestor of the original D&D was Chainmail, a set of rules for miniatures battles.

So?

Anyway, yeah, I see that response from a lot of 4th Ed fans (in defence), but the whole point of D&D was to not be Chainmail/a war-game, hence why they started a new game. I am not saying miniatures/grids were never used in pre-3rd Ed D&D, but 3rd and 4th Ed certainly made their use default.

I had a very dissimilar experience when it comes to D&D through the ages (except for 4e being very grid reliant). The various campaigns run in 3e and company were generally played gridless and honestly pretty imprecisely when it came down to things. Maybe some rough diagrams when the terrain was really complicated. Whereas the campaigns that used other editions had the grid as mandatory for all but the simplest of combats or explorations. What a strange difference in our experiences.

Definitely, but on the internet there's the whole "I have never seen a green gorilla." and someone will inevitably pipe up with "I see green gorillas all the time, and so does my wife."


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Elleth wrote:

In case it's relevant here:

Appendix 1: Traits wrote:
A curse is an effect that places some long-term affliction on a creature. Curses are always magic and are typically the result of a spell or trap.

Thank you for that information about other curses and the trait.

If a curse is permanent, then either the trait or the spell's description block must state it. If I have to interpret permanacy, the rules are lacking.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Laser—Boards wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:


So?

Anyway, yeah, I see that response from a lot of 4th Ed fans (in defence), but the whole point of D&D was to not be Chainmail/a war-game, hence why they started a new game. I am not saying miniatures/grids were never used in pre-3rd Ed D&D, but 3rd and 4th Ed certainly made their use default.

I had a very dissimilar experience when it comes to D&D through the ages (except for 4e being very grid reliant). The various campaigns run in 3e and company were generally played gridless and honestly pretty imprecisely when it came down to things. Maybe some rough diagrams when the terrain was really complicated. Whereas the campaigns that used other editions had the grid as mandatory for all but the simplest of combats or explorations. What a strange difference in our experiences.
Definitely, but on the internet there's the whole "I have never seen a green gorilla." and someone will inevitably pipe up with "I see green gorillas all the time, and so does my wife."

Sure we could take that position, but if we do that then that rather undermines both sides of the discussion unless someone happens to have the data for an appropriate random sampling of DM styles over the various editions for us to analyze. Without that everyone is just making unsupported assertions as to how wargameish or narrativly each edition was run. And if someone had that info they probably should have led with it in the first place.


Laser—Boards wrote:
Without that everyone is just making unsupported assertions as to how wargameish or narrativly each edition was run.

Not really, wargaming, narrative, and how things are run at specific tables, aside, 3rd and 4th Ed are more grid-focused than Basic and AD&D.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Laser—Boards wrote:
Without that everyone is just making unsupported assertions as to how wargameish or narrativly each edition was run.
Not really, wargaming, narrative, and how things are run at specific tables, aside, 3rd and 4th Ed are more grid-focused than Basic and AD&D.

Nah, that's just bad luck on your part. For the majority 3e was the least grid focused edition. While it might have seemed more grid focused to you that's just theory crafting/anecdotal experience and not what really matters which is how the games were actually run. Though I will agree with 4e relying heavily on having a grid.


Laser—Boards wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Laser—Boards wrote:
Without that everyone is just making unsupported assertions as to how wargameish or narrativly each edition was run.
Not really, wargaming, narrative, and how things are run at specific tables, aside, 3rd and 4th Ed are more grid-focused than Basic and AD&D.
Nah, that's just bad luck on your part.

Not at all, it's simply part of that edition, just crack open the PHB (especially 3.5).


Laser—Boards wrote:
For the majority 3e was the least grid focused edition.

Again, not at all, 3rd Ed is more grid-focused than previous editions, 4th Ed just took it up a notch (DDM being the bridge between the two).


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Laser—Boards wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Laser—Boards wrote:
Without that everyone is just making unsupported assertions as to how wargameish or narrativly each edition was run.
Not really, wargaming, narrative, and how things are run at specific tables, aside, 3rd and 4th Ed are more grid-focused than Basic and AD&D.
Nah, that's just bad luck on your part.
Not at all, it's simply part of that edition, just crack open the PHB (especially 3.5).

While I did already address your response, allow me to reiterate. Theory crafting doesn't really matter when the games doesn't actually play that way in practice. So like I said, just bad luck on your part.


Laser—Boards wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Laser—Boards wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Laser—Boards wrote:
Without that everyone is just making unsupported assertions as to how wargameish or narrativly each edition was run.
Not really, wargaming, narrative, and how things are run at specific tables, aside, 3rd and 4th Ed are more grid-focused than Basic and AD&D.
Nah, that's just bad luck on your part.
Not at all, it's simply part of that edition, just crack open the PHB (especially 3.5).
While I did already address your response, allow me to reiterate. Theory crafting doesn't really matter when the games doesn't actually play that way in practice.

Nothing to do with theory-crafting, it's simply how the game is designed, presented, and generally played.

Though, at this point, I think there is something else going on, so probably best to leave this exchange before it gets even more absurd.


Vic Ferrari wrote:

Nothing to do with theory-crafting, it's simply how the game is designed, presented, and generally played.

Though, at this point, I think there is something else going on, so probably best to leave this exchange before it gets even more absurd.

But like I said that's not how it's generally played. So even if we say that being grid focused is what one might expect in theory that's not how it works out in practice.

Yeah, based on the repetitive nature of the last few posts neither of us seem to be getting our points across so it's probably best to end here. It's been nice talking with you.


Laser—Boards wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

Nothing to do with theory-crafting, it's simply how the game is designed, presented, and generally played.

Though, at this point, I think there is something else going on, so probably best to leave this exchange before it gets even more absurd.

But like I said that's not how it's generally played.

Of course it is, maybe you played TotM, but that would be more the exception (some refuse to play that edition without a grid); 3rd Ed is much about the grid (5-foot steps, reach, difficult terrain, AoO, spell area templates, etc), a full on miniatures game spun off, leading to 4th Ed.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Laser—Boards wrote:
Without that everyone is just making unsupported assertions as to how wargameish or narrativly each edition was run.
Not really, wargaming, narrative, and how things are run at specific tables, aside, 3rd and 4th Ed are more grid-focused than Basic and AD&D.

3.x does not need a grid at all. It can easily be played without one with minimal issue.

$e however is grid reliant, as you can not really play without the grid without doing some serious fiat or new rules.

3.x was intended to cover a wide variety of styles, including with and without a grid.

4e was intended strictly with a grid since that had become the "norm."


GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
$e however is grid reliant, as you can not really play without the grid without doing some serious fiat or new rules.

Which edition is that?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
dnoisette wrote:

I must say I am overwhelmingly disheartened after listening to yesterday's live Twitch.

Many things seem to be moving in the right direction and I am pleased that the game is developing in this way. It shows Paizo staff is willing to listen, change and improve on specific issues when they are brought up.

There seems to be one exception to that rule, however: spellcasters.

Yesterday night, I heard mentions of the Ranger receiving much needed love. I heard Rogues are given additional options as well and, while my initial response is that this wasn't immediately needed, more variety and customization is not something I will ever say no to.
I kept patiently waiting for Jason Bulmahn to address the elephant in the room. What is being done to help spellcasters?

Nothing came up for a while and I started to think to myself: "oh well, these things take time, it might be coming in a later update".
While reworking spells might not be possible during playtesting, I imagine it would not be too hard to test having spellcasters with more spellslots, for example.

Rogues are now given the ability to play as a Brute, a Duelist, or an Agile Fighter (essentially), in order to cater to Rogue players having different playstyles.

I can't help but notice we have been asking for the same thing: the ability to play as a Wizard, a Spellsword or a Battlemage. For some reason, this does not seem to be coming our way.

I know some people will immediately chime in to tell me that you can already have these different playstyles.
My answer to them is: Rogues could already favour Strength builds if they wanted or use Feint in combat.
However, the devs felt that the base class did not actively support these builds and are now introducing gameplay options that will enhance them.
That is what I'm asking for: real support to go pure spellcaster if I so desire, and this means, most of all, extra spell slots.

I digress though, so let's go back to yesterday's Twitch stream.

That there were still no...

I only read the summary, since I am still away from home and have only access to my mobile phone. However, I found the proposed changes encouraging in many respects. It seems the level bonus math is not up for grabs, though, which I personally believe to be a mistake by the devs.

But I completely understand that you were disheartened by the lack of news around spells. However, going through the entire spell list and revising all of them would be a massive undertaking and hence I am a bit more willing to give them more time for it. My cut-off point is the end of the year, if we haven't seen something substantial until then, I'll assume they won't make the necessary revisions and give up on PF2E. Spells and caster classes are the “make or break“ point for me.


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magnuskn wrote:
But I completely understand that you were disheartened by the lack of news around spells.

I don't think I managed to get my point across properly if that is why you believe I feel so let down.

I guess it's a frequent issue when you don't write in your native language. :D

I understand that reworking spells is going to be a long process. While it would have been nice to hear that they were thinking about doing something, I did not seriously hope for it to happen.
I mentioned as much in my first post.

However, I also did not expect for Jason Bulmahn to state that the devs would promptly nerf the only good option that Bards, Sorcerers and Wizards currently have: multiclassing Fighter.

It felt like Mr. Bulmahn was saying, not in those exact words but heavily implied: "Hey Bards, Sorcerers, Wizards, did you really think you could get away with having the possibily to build a strong character, even though that requires an archetype?".

I've listened to this part of the video multiple times and I swear my father would talk to me in the exact same fashion when he found out after a while that I initially successfully hid one of my mischiefs.

It looks like us complaining about having to go down the gish path to make our spellcasters work somehow made the staff aware that they might not suck as much as they should.
So we're going to nerf that.

It's really this and not the lack of news regarding spells and magic nerfs that truly infuriated me.

Several players here have reported feeling weak and underpowered with their spellcasters. Building a gish was basically a pacth-up job, helping something bad work in the end.

They saw this and came to the conclusion that building a gish should not be an option either?!

How am I not supposed to interpret this for what it seems to be, that is, true disdain for spellcasters?


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It may be correct that they're leaving any changes to spells and spellcasters to the end of the playtest because that's a big and complex change, but in turn a big and complex change needs the most testing to see if it's an improvement and to weed out errors. If that's the plan it's a false economy.


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GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
3.x does not need a grid at all. It can easily be played without one with minimal issue.

Vic isn't saying that 3.X needs a grid.

Vic is saying that the simulationist design behind 3.X inherently favors a grid over ToTM. It doesn't mean that ToTM can't be done with 3.X or that it can't be done with a degree of simplicity.

I digress though, a bit off topic this particular subject seems to be in this thread. My apologies OP.


dnoisette wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
But I completely understand that you were disheartened by the lack of news around spells.

I don't think I managed to get my point across properly if that is why you believe I feel so let down.

I guess it's a frequent issue when you don't write in your native language. :D

I understand that reworking spells is going to be a long process. While it would have been nice to hear that they were thinking about doing something, I did not seriously hope for it to happen.
I mentioned as much in my first post.

However, I also did not expect for Jason Bulmahn to state that the devs would promptly nerf the only good option that Bards, Sorcerers and Wizards currently have: multiclassing Fighter.

How am I not supposed to interpret this for what it seems to be, that is, true disdain for spellcasters?

Not sure if you missed my response or are simply dismissing it, however your premise that those three classes have only one good option for builds is false, for many people that have played the playtest. My group, and many others, are providing positive feedback about other options for being a "pure caster," and the devs have that data.

If the magic system was finalized as is, I would be fine with that - but it is not what either of us want. It would be much better for us to synthesize our experiences and perspectives on where we can agree the magic system needs revision, as we started to with the idea that buffing / debuffing could use more and better options as a character path across the three classes you mentioned, particularly Bard.

Insisting that there is only one good option in the playtest and focusing exclusively on that, when other player experience and feedback is demonstrably different, prevents the constructive discussion that is more likely (I am guessing) to bring about changes that we would both like to see.


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dnoisette wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
But I completely understand that you were disheartened by the lack of news around spells.

I don't think I managed to get my point across properly if that is why you believe I feel so let down.

I guess it's a frequent issue when you don't write in your native language. :D

I understand that reworking spells is going to be a long process. While it would have been nice to hear that they were thinking about doing something, I did not seriously hope for it to happen.
I mentioned as much in my first post.

However, I also did not expect for Jason Bulmahn to state that the devs would promptly nerf the only good option that Bards, Sorcerers and Wizards currently have: multiclassing Fighter.

It felt like Mr. Bulmahn was saying, not in those exact words but heavily implied: "Hey Bards, Sorcerers, Wizards, did you really think you could get away with having the possibily to build a strong character, even though that requires an archetype?".

I've listened to this part of the video multiple times and I swear my father would talk to me in the exact same fashion when he found out after a while that I initially successfully hid one of my mischiefs.

It looks like us complaining about having to go down the gish path to make our spellcasters work somehow made the staff aware that they might not suck as much as they should.
So we're going to nerf that.

It's really this and not the lack of news regarding spells and magic nerfs that truly infuriated me.

Several players here have reported feeling weak and underpowered with their spellcasters. Building a gish was basically a pacth-up job, helping something bad work in the end.

They saw this and came to the conclusion that building a gish should not be an option either?!

How am I not supposed to interpret this for what it seems to be, that is, true disdain for spellcasters?

Well, since the devs are mum on their actual design goals, it's totally possible you are correct. I said somewhen in the past weeks that the rules looked like they were written as if to stop long forum discussions about their intent. As a corollary to that, it also seems to me that they want to counter forum memes like that Pathfinder 1E was the “caster edition“.

However, I think it behooves us to give them the benefit of the doubt for a while longer until we see actual changes to casters, not the nerf of the Fighter archetype (which also hits other classes).

ParcelRod wrote:


I digress though, a bit off topic this particular subject seems to be in this thread. My apologies OP.

No problem, a little OT always happens. Just make a new thread if it gets too extensive. :)


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Freagarthach wrote:


Insisting that there is only one good option in the playtest and focusing exclusively on that, when other player experience and feedback is demonstrably different, prevents the constructive discussion that is more likely (I am guessing) to bring about changes that we would both like to see.

There is only one good option for some players.

You think differently and won't be convinced otherwise.
I won't change my mind either which is why I'll leave it at that: some people only see one good option and even for those who see more than one (like you do), it definitely was one of these options to go gish and it's still a loss of one option in the end.

magnuskn wrote:


However, I think it behooves us to give them the benefit of the doubt for a while longer until we see actual changes to casters, not the nerf of the Fighter archetype (which also hits other classes).

It doesn't hit other classes as hard because they don't lose medium and heavy armour proficiency at the same time. They only lose one, heavy, because they were already proficient in light before they took the dedication feat.

I did say in my previous post that I am still eagerly waiting for the next update. I want to believe there is something in there that will lead me to trust that change is coming (for the best). :)

I want to be proven wrong, but two months will soon have passed and I still have no idea whether the devs intend to do anything about spellcasters.

I want to be patient, I want to give them the benefit of the doubt.
But it's becoming harder with each new errata that comes out and no word on issues brought up in this thread and others.

It doesn't help that, each time we finish a play session, the player who rolled a spellcaster this time will say "Yeah, the others were right, it was as bad as they said".

I've had two players so far try to prove the first one who dismissed arcane spellcasters was wrong and they could have fun playing as a Wizard.
Now, they will complain as well during and after the session that they feel worthless.
Not a great experience and it might have something to do with my current mindset.
I feel this issue is ruining the game for all of my players, and not just those who usually play as spellcasters. :|

This is why I'm getting so suspicious about Paizo's motives right now.
Surely, 3 players and myself are not the only people in the world who have answered the classes surveys and brought up the problem.
So why does it look like we were punished for reporting using the Fighter dedication feat?
And why is our discontent not being addressed?

If Paizo is not going to change anything about spellcasters, or will just nerf them more, I won't complain, it's their product in the end.
I just wished they would then come forward and tell us that they have seen our feedback but will not be making any changes because the game is already in the state that they want.
Then I will know that I and my group can now move on to something else and this will put our minds at ease. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can't really disagree on the last paragraph. I've said as much as well. It's only that after the announced changes I had the opposite reaction than you and got a bit more optimistic. I had several days in the preceding weeks where I was ready to throw in the towel, get the 1E books I was missing and get on with my life (a move which indubitably would lead to cheers in some quarters of the board). Paizo just bought themselves some more weeks with this update to keeping me a customer.


Reducing the armor proficiency on the fighter feat is a good way to determine whether its being taken to give non-martials something to do in the game, or whether its just being taken so that casters can save a spell slot that would otherwise be used on mage armor. It's a good way to modify things in order to get at the core problem.

I think it's an unnecessary test, as characters merely trying to save a spell slot would be more likely to pick up MC feats that give more spells, but there's no problem in being thorough.

But as always, it would be nice to know if this is where they want casters so I could walk away from the system.


ErichAD wrote:

Reducing the armor proficiency on the fighter feat is a good way to determine whether its being taken to give non-martials something to do in the game, or whether its just being taken so that casters can save a spell slot that would otherwise be used on mage armor. It's a good way to modify things in order to get at the core problem.

I think it's an unnecessary test, as characters merely trying to save a spell slot would be more likely to pick up MC feats that give more spells, but there's no problem in being thorough.

But as always, it would be nice to know if this is where they want casters so I could walk away from the system.

Not one of my medium/high level player casters use a heightened Mage armor, exept once that there was an emergency (whole party had their magic items stolen as an Intro to the story).

Bracers of armor are basically Leather armor+X for casters.

I see no reason casters shouldn't invest in their defence through item as every single other class.

Heightened Mage armor is a perk in case you are deprived of your Bracers, that's all.


Why shouldn't a mage have to invest in an item for A.C.? Because having everyone do the same thing the same way gets boring. I'd rather see a mage invest in the spell slot (So they can them choose which level spell slot to actually ezpend) and use rods and pearls of power to compensate for the resource expenditure.

I'm away from my books. Do these items actually exist at a comparable level to braces? Or are mages being pigeon holed into taking braces?


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John Lynch 106 wrote:

Why shouldn't a mage have to invest in an item for A.C.? Because having everyone do the same thing the same way gets boring. I'd rather see a mage invest in the spell slot (So they can them choose which level spell slot to actually ezpend) and use rods and pearls of power to compensate for the resource expenditure.

I'm away from my books. Do these items actually exist at a comparable level to braces? Or are mages being pigeon holed into taking braces?

Equally pigeonholed as martials taking magic armor.

You do understand how much more powerful an item that allows as an Option out of myriads to be equal to an equal level item would be right?

I mean, if you have an item that can be:
Either Bracers +2
Or fireball 1/day
Or cloak of invisibility
Or "insert any number of 1st/2nd/3rd level spell"

Even if it existed (they do not, and good riddance, they would be BiS), there could be no way in hell to be equal to "Bracers of armor +2" in item level.

Though

I agree that magical armor/weapons shouldn't have potency and only have properties, and potency should be a "character level/prof" thing so that not everyone would need +(level appropriate) weapon/armor

But making it that seem like it's a caster issue is wrong. The same exact issue (everybody requiring max level potency armor/weapon at all levels) is a generic pf2 problem that impacts both martials and casters exactly the same.

Actually, martials have it way worse than casters, since magical weapons being mandatory is much more prominent than spell duelist items (one affects damage and tohit, the other only tohit) AND casters at least only have 3 tiers of spell duelist (+1/+2/+3) as opposed to 5 tiers for martials (+1/+2/+3/+4/+5 weapon)


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dnoisette wrote:
However, I also did not expect for Jason Bulmahn to state that the devs would promptly nerf the only good option that Bards, Sorcerers and Wizards currently have: multiclassing Fighter.

Listening to the podcast, I felt that Bulmahn was missing the whys of multiclassing as fighter - that lightly armored classes are way behind in AC, and that in this edition this is lethal.

But that leads me to argue that AC is a hassle for all characters at low levels. Either you take a very high Dex, you wear heavy armor, or you have an AC that is not survivable.

In PF1, it was a choice between Dex and Con for surviability. You had a better AC or better hp. Today, its Dex all day and any day - Con is mainly useful for recovering from injuries faster. The Hp bonus is not enough to really affect survivability. A hurdle here is that heavy armor comes with some awful penalties. So the low-level choice is between having Dex or giving up all your physical skills and accepting a very slow speed. Even posts on fighters recommend not taking heavy armor until level 7 - if you have the Dex.

I loathe to say it, but Dex has become the survival stat. Which is sad as I love Dex characters and the glassjawedness they used to have. Today, you have high Dex and still get hit, but your hp is almost the same, so you are in the grind with everyone else.

Where does all this lead to? In my case, I think the monsters are just too accurate, which players MUST to adjust to. This is an adage for me; if you increase the pressure on the players by maging things harder, players will make gamist choices instead of role-playing choices. The game ends up as a miniatures wargame with characters being pawns, not heroes.

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