"Correct" Math vs Fun Math

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Ultimatecalibur wrote:
Tridus wrote:

The real problem here is that there's only a narrow range of numbers where you won't wind up with a specialist banging out critical successes and everyone else banging out critical failures frequently. That leaves the game keeping everyone in that narrow range, and thus it doesn't feel like you're progressing at all or that your "legendary" skill character is actually particularly better than the guy who took the basic two day course in how to do the same thing.

No the problem is tied to two major factors: Factoring gear into DCs and Poorly Zeroing DCs.

Consider that there are 3 primary factors that determines the chance someone succeeds or fails on an at level check. They are Ability, Training and Gear.

• Ability - The characters Ability score bonus. This variable goes between -1 and +7. A 9 number spread.
• Training - The characters training in the skill. This currently varies between -4 and +3. An 8 number spread
• Gear - The characters gear. Due to how badly designed armor is this varies between -5 and +5, an 11 number spread. On checks not influenced by ACP the gear modifier is between -2 and +5, an 8 number spread.

All 3 combined leads to a spread a 26(23) number spread of -10(-7) to +15. A 26 number spread with a d20 random variable means that a check cannot be designed to test both extremes. If gear isn't factored in we end up with a 17 number -5 to +10 spread that can have checks test both extremes and gear becomes a benefit.

The recently updated DCs are badly zeroed as the zeroes on most DCs shift as levels rise assuming characters have gear and ability scores that they may not have. Medium DCs start at an assumed bonus of +2 and then grow to an assumed bonus of +6, Hard DCs start at +4 and end at +9, Incredible go from +5 to +13, and Ultimate start at +7 and end at +17. Instead of an increase letting you succeed at harder checks they let you maintain the same level of difficulty.

A character optimized for a skill will end up with a +15 bonus (+7 from ability, +3 legendary training, +5 item).

Some skills can get a bigger bonus. Demoralize can get to 16 (because it has a feat for +2 but only goes to a +4 item) or 17 against orcs and goblins; Craft can get to +17. Goblins can get to +16 with Handle Animal with wolves or goblin dogs, and I'm sure there are other such little oddities.

That means you sometimes keep up with Ultimate dcs, always beat Incredible dcs and rolls all over Hard dcs (the treadmill, not the actual checks). That is without consumables, buffs or anyone assisting you. I don't think there is a problem with that. Ultimate dcs are outliers, who cares.

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N N 959 wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
You realize that all L1-L5 play in 1e is totally dominated by martials.
False. The L1 PFS scenario I played, the sorcerer dominated the social encounters. In the L5 goblin Wizard and Bard completed the skills challenge. The wizard was MC with Rogue, but needed his spells to do the physical challenges.

Your comment is irrelevant. You clearly forgot to read "1e" in the sentence you quoted.

N N 959 wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
Casters barely have any slots, DCs, meaningful number of caster level, or anything requisite to drop in combat. They only contribute via skill checks and being able to use a CLW wand?
At low levels, no class is well rounded. Casters are hardly alone in that department.

A two hander with a reach weapon trivializes encounters from L1-5 in 1e more than a fireball spec'd evoker does at higher levels. Whether you can play tactically given scenario conditions may be something 'you' need to work on.

N N 959 wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
Being a caster in 1e from L1-L5 is awful.
It can't be that awful as casters are ridiculously popular in PFS. You know what must be awful? Samurai.

Most people I have seen GM their caster through level L1-5 BECAUSE they are awful to play. Maybe take your blinder's off and look at the 3-4 spells a L1 caster has for 3 encounters vs. the 2 handing martial with his infinite ammo beat stick.

I agree the samurai is bad and so does everyone in existence. Just play a cavalier and use tien weaponry like everyone else. Paizo makes a whole host of 'bad' class and archetype designs. Lots of people still use Barbarians, Bloodragers, Fighters, Unchained Rogues, Monk/UnMonks, swashbuckler, paladins, rangers, cavaliers, and the whole litany of 3/4 bab 6th level casters. Don't become fixated on picking the 1e samurai and 2e ranger when it is known that they aren't well built.

N N 959 wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
It isn't until L5 or L6 with L3 spells that they can really contribute and finally get to have fun.
Fun? You must mean pwn scenarios to such a high level that a party is actually stronger without martials.

Yes, you've made it quite clear that you hate 1e casters and can't conceive of people playing nicely together at a table. I hope you don't turn away new players with your spite. I hope people aren't buffing you with haste using a precious 3rd level slot, or using condition removal spells (e.g., removing stat damage with lesser restoration with a 2nd level slot) so can play your martial at peak capacity. If they are, they somehow must have forgotten how selfish they MUST be (since they decided to be a caster) and should have instead rebuilt their entire character around spewing min-maxed fireballs. People have 'free will' and most people playing like having fun 'with' others not at the expense of others. If that doesn't describe the people you play with, maybe find some new people to play with.

N N 959 wrote:
No, I'm comparing what casters could do to what they can do now, which is exactly the problem Paizo intends to fix in PF2. In the past, that barrage would have ended the encounter and then some.

So you agree they are apples vs. oranges because they are two completely different systems with different math (i.e., refer to the title of this thread)? Thus the motivation of someone knowledgeable of the math system couldn't possibly be "this worked in 1e to end encounters thus I shall end this encounter instantly in 2e". Thank you for agreeing with me.

N N 959 wrote:
Rangers did not get an "overhaul" they got two feats that give one extra attack...under specific conditions. That hardly counts as an overhaul by any stretch of the imagination.

Your right, the word overhaul is incorrect. I was attempting to point out that even Paizo recognizes these classes are not working/functioning as intended. Whether their changes were sufficient will be play tested and maybe we can get more substantial changes.

N N 959 wrote:
How fortunate that you can change your spells more frequently than you change your underwear. Paizo comes out with new spells, no retraining or starting over needed.

Except in combat or if you are a spontaneous caster. Its not as versatile as a martial being able to pick up any weapon off the ground and swing it with ease.

N N 959 wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
The resulting game play has always been the same. Disappointment from people playing casters. They are visibly having little or no fun because they have little to no impact on the game play.
Yeah, casters were trivializing martials. Now, not so much. How could most people who enjoyed that kind of power and versatility not be disappointed?

Yes, you've made it quite clear that you hate 1e casters and can't conceive of how anyone who ever played a 1e caster could desire game balance. I think less than 10% of my PCs are full casters, does that disqualify me from providing rational feedback during the playtest? Have you ever played a full caster in 1e or do you only pick poverty vow monks/samurai as your martial class so you can have a badge of honour for using bad class designs? Your extrapolation of this generic bad guy 1e caster mentality is a straw man argument, so you should stop making it.

N N 959 wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
The first fight of the other L5 PFS scenario is a straight slap in the face to a caster because the thing is immune to magic (even conjuration spells are no longer exempt from this).
That's false. The first encounter is not completely immune to magic. The goblin wizard in our encounter did more damage to it than anyone else. He also had other spells that dramatically reduced damage taken.

Lets read what the scenario says for this creature:

Immunity to Magic The golem is immune to spells and magical
abilities other than its own, though certain spells bypass this
immunity.

• Healed by Electricity Any electricity magic that targets the golem makes it lose the slowed condition and gain HP equal to half the electricity damage the spell would have dealt. If the golem starts its turn in the area of electricity magic, it regains 2d4 HP.

• Harmed by Fire Any fire magic that targets the golem causes it to take 6d8 damage instead of the usual effect. If the golem starts its turn in the area of fire magic, it takes 3d4 damage.

• Slowed by Cold Any cold magic that targets the golem causes it to be slow 1 for 2d6 rounds instead of the usual effect. If the golem starts its turn in the area of cold magic, it’s slow 1 for that round.

• Vulnerable to Flesh to Stone A flesh to stone spell affects
the golem normally.

Funny thing about the encounter is that the GM specified information would never give you the above information.

The scenario states:
DC 21 Arcana, Occultism, or Religion check to Recall Knowledge realizes that flesh golems are healed by electricity;

Furthermore if you happen to roll well when investigating the room::
When the flesh golem barged into the workshop (urged onward by its Arclord master), it triggered a pair of traps at the workshop’s entrance: a fireball trap that had little effect on the magic-resistant golem, followed by a burst of adamantine-edged shrapnel. A PC can recognize the scorch marks as those caused by a fireball spell by succeeding at a DC 18 check to Identify Magic.

So if you are perceptive when entering the encounter you are actually rewarded with a 'false trail' of information that would lead you to believe that such a spell would have no effect since the thing is still kicking.

So if you happen to be an extremely lucky goblin wizard who I am sure is all about 'fire' then you are fine. But every other spell (tangle-foot, a summon spell, magic missile, spiritual weapon, and especially electricity all make casters completely neutered). So you want casters to again cycle finite resources, wasting turns, and only perchance being 'lucky' in selecting the right one off scenario spell to have success in a combat? I watched a sorcerer basically sit their shooting crossbow bolts in this encounter because he spent 3 spell slots and 2 separate can-trips on it with literally no mechanical effect. The scenario doesn't even provide you a way to KNOW what will work because if you succeed on your recall knowledge check you only get the above 1 piece of information. Its setting up PCs to fail. Again, a surefire way to make someone sit around and lose excitement for 2e. Maybe you should investigate whether the people you play with are reading the scenarios ahead of time and meta-gaming too much if they are always having wild successes.

N N 959 wrote:
I played a level 7 PFS scenario as a Paladin. I sat around the entire scenario until the BBEG combat at the end. The casters and M/C casters solved all the problems. My biggest contribution? Channel healing, LOL. My big contribution was channel healing the casters.

Yea and I have watched a 1e L7 Paladin lancer smite evil, charge, and easily one shot the BBEG on more than one occasion. I fail to see your point? Without watching you play I can't ascertain whether the reason you aren't able to contribute is because you build bad PCs/don't play tactically OR if you you only play with min max power gamers (who also seem to always be casters) at your local PFS lodge.

What I can say is that in spite of being able to build good PCs and play tactically in 2e that the MATH of the game does not support fun play. That is the context of my posts and the context of this thread.

N N 959 wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
Maybe you should stop portraying people who want to play casters as people who only want to be the "star" of the one man party show
When they consistently insist on solving every problem and trying to shut down every combat, because they can....yeah, I think the description fits. My favorite is the use of summoned monsters to disarm traps, even when we have a Rogue.

Have an adult conversation with them out of game to say that you would like them to help others, you included, have fun at the table instead of steam rolling the game. If they aren't receptive then you should definitely find 'new people' to play with. It would also be valuable to self reflect on whether your PCs are poorly built or whether your game play style is a good match. I've watched a rogue try to sneak behind furniture in combat for 4 full rounds and get mad at the table because he didn't get to do his thing when the combat ended in 3 rounds (despite him putting the party in peril by upping the APL and not contributing to combat due to poor tactical choices).

N N 959 wrote:
You mean PF2's version of UMD? Sorry, that's not even in the same universe as versatility/utility casters get from spells, on top of the damage.

Its exactly the same. You can use wands and Staves. Want to heal yourself, grab a staff of healing. Want that wand of grease, there you go. Consumables are intended to increase versatility by letting you stock corner case items to use when those situations/threats arrive. Being unwilling to use it just makes your PC worse off, it doesn't threaten whether martials can be versatile (just not the ones you play). Not to mention it takes 2 of 11 feats to get up to 3rd level spells from one list by MC into a caster class. Something martials can more readily do than casters at this point. As well all of the DPR calculations are showing that martials outpace casters in 2e because they have more actions for which to attack AND because of the increased accuracy from increased weapon proficiency/easily applied flatfooted condition.

N N 959 wrote:
Sorry, I don't believe that casters from PF1 can be objective about balance. You want compromise, and that's not the same thing.

Yes, you've made it quite clear that you hate 1e casters. What I don't understand is if you hate casters so much why you aren't playing in exclusively low magic homebrew campaigns or using alternative RPG systems where magic doesn't exist or is curtailed. Pathfinder is a high magic, high fantasy game where people want to play casters because of the environment, lore, etc. It isn't from some deep seeded need to be an all powerful god wizard. I would think that most people who have been playing RPGs for a while will have played a caster at some point and thus have a value added opinion. If people playing casters in 2e aren't having fun that is a reflection of the system (i.e., 2e non-fun math), not because they lost shiny toys from 1e. To assume otherwise as you are doing a logical fallacy and not constructive.

If it was true that 1e casters CAN'T be objective about balance then I am sure the ENTIRE Paizo team would be disqualified from working on the game by virtue of them having played a caster in 1e.

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Red Griffyn has not responded directly to my remarks, probably because my statements supported his. Red Griffyn did say one thing that serves as a counterpoint to one of my statements. I had pointed out that relying heavily on spells that allowed Reflex saves was putting all the eggs into one basket. Yesterday, in comment #85 Red Griffyn said,

Red Griffyn wrote:
I decided that I wanted to try out a blaster based PC. Something I have never done in 1e because I prefer battlefield control or party buffing. However, control spells and buff spells are so nerfed (i.e., just bad choices) that I couldn't bring myself to pick any of them.

Heroism in PF1 gives gives a +2 morale bonus for 10 minutes per level. Heroism in PF2 gives a +1 conditional bonus for 10 minutes. That looks half as good; however, +1 matters more in PF2 due to critical hits and I believe that hidden in the rules a +1 to checks also creates a +1 to the target's DCs, such as AC, too. I don't think Heroism is nerfed. The math in PF2 is different enough that if can create false impressions of nerfing.

Nevertheless, that does excuse the excessive focus on Reflex saves. The Reflex saves were invisibly nerfed by the new 4-tiers math that gave the boss evasion on critical saves, the buff spells looked nerfed because their math was adjusted for the 4-tiers system, and the numbers are hard to judge without a conversion chart that no-one has written yet (I'm working on it).

Red Griffyn wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
The resulting game play has always been the same. Disappointment from people playing casters. They are visibly having little or no fun because they have little to no impact on the game play.
Yeah, casters were trivializing martials. Now, not so much. How could most people who enjoyed that kind of power and versatility not be disappointed?
Yes, you've made it quite clear that you hate 1e casters and can't conceive of how anyone who ever played a 1e caster could desire game balance. I think less than 10% of my PCs are full casters, does that disqualify me from providing rational feedback during the playtest?

N N 959 has not said "full casters," so he might view 7 out of the 11 Pathfinder 1st Edition core classes--Bard, Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger, Sorcerer, Wizard--as game-dominating casters. With around 65% of the classes counting as casters, I am not surprised that casters play a dominating role in most adventures.

Red Griffyn wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
The resulting game play has always been the same. Disappointment from people playing casters. They are visibly having little or no fun because they have little to no impact on the game play.
Yeah, casters were trivializing martials. Now, not so much. How could most people who enjoyed that kind of power and versatility not be disappointed?
Yes, you've made it quite clear that you hate 1e casters and can't conceive of how anyone who ever played a 1e caster could desire game balance. I think less than 10% of my PCs are full casters, does that disqualify me from providing rational feedback during the playtest? Have you ever played a full caster in 1e or do you only pick poverty vow monks/samurai as your martial class so you can have a badge of honour for using bad class designs? Your extrapolation of this generic bad guy 1e caster mentality is a straw man argument, so you should stop making it.

I liked the versatility of spellcasting. It offers opportunities for support. The most popular spell of the skald in my Iron Gods campaign was Timely Inspiration, an immediate-action +1 to a d20 roll by another player.

Apparently, some glory-seeking caster players left a lasting impression on N N 959. It is a shame that he does not see casters as most people play them. They can be great team players. Yet even team players like to show off their firepower on occassion.

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Red Griffyn wrote:
Yes, you've made it quite clear that you hate 1e casters and can't conceive of people playing nicely together at a table.*** Have an adult conversation with them out of game to say that you would like them to help others,

I don't blame the players. Players are going to use the tools at their disposal, as they should. I blame the tools. Any game that requires the players to self-nerf is broken. I absolutely want players to bring the full effect of their class to adventure. But the 1e caster was over the top...by a country mile. You've admitted to how ridiculous it got at lvl 10 in another thread. Paizo admits to it being out of control.

Quote:
A two hander with a reach weapon trivializes encounters from L1-5 in 1e more than a fireball spec'd evoker does at higher levels.

Yup. A THF barbarian does massive damage at low levels. 2-3 shoting end bosses. And that's all it does. Big single target damage. Maybe some intimidation if you want to waste a feat. Yup, martials can have schtick and be good at it. But that's all they get. One schtick and they are stuck with it (Brawlers being a slight exception). Martials are often forced to dedicate their builds to that one approach. That's the antithesis of flexibility/versatility. And then there's that dreaded Will save...

But now, in 2e, it sounds like that thing is now going to be useful at higher levels. Casters are no longer able to consistently save or suck the BBEG's into submission. They did it in my PFS adventure, but I'm encouraged to hear about a scenario where it didn't happen.

Quote:
Except in combat or if you are a spontaneous caster. Its not as versatile as a martial being able to pick up any weapon off the ground and swing it with ease.

Yup, spontaneous casters rank below prepared casters in the tier of power. Sucks to be 1b on the Tier system. Makes you wonder why Sorcerer is so incredibly popular?

As far as picking up any weapon and swinging it with ease, really? You're going with that? I'll admit, grabbing that rusted horse-chopper can be the difference between a TPK and clean bill of health....well, not really. But next time I find a +5 vorpal weapons on the floor, I'll let you know. Even when scenarios have magic weapons, specifically to help you defeat the bad guys, your character may not be set up to use it. What's far more prevalent are wands and scrolls. My archer with archery feats isn't going to benefit from a +2 axe when he lacks the armor and the STR to leverage it. The reality is that Martial proficiency is completely unnecessary. After level 5, Martials generally use one weapon and that's it.

In 2e, marital proficiency is even less valuable since all the damage is in the weapon. This is actually a nerf to martial combat flexibility. 2e really locks martials in to one weapon group.

Quote:
If people playing casters in 2e aren't having fun that is a reflection of the system (i.e., 2e non-fun math), not because they lost shiny toys from 1e.

Satisfaction/fun is a function of expectation. The expectation over a decade of 3.5/PF is casters are supposed to be dominant as you go up in level. I had this conversation at my FLGS during the playtest and the guy across from me insisted, "casters are supposed to be powerful." When I tried to have a conversation about that power level, it was like talking to a wall. There was only one mindset and that was the magic is supposed to be the most powerful thing in the game. Well, this is a game, so magic can be whatever the designers think it should be.

Quote:
To assume otherwise as you are doing a logical fallacy and not constructive.

No, its not a logical fallacy. It's fundamental human psychology. Almost nobody who has power and has had power, is happy when its taken away from them. It's irrelevant that people play other classes, when they sit down with their 1e caster, they expect a certain type of game experience and that experience has been predicated on the absurd levels of efficacy and versatility that was afforded in 1e. If that was what made the game fun, then there is no getting around the fact that losing that power is going to be less fun.

Quote:
If it was true that 1e casters CAN'T be objective about balance then I am sure the ENTIRE Paizo team would be disqualified from working on the game by virtue of them having played a caster in 1e.

Paizo has admitted the 1e caster problem is detrimental to the game. As professional game designers, their success is a dependent on their ability to set aside their biases to do their job. And despite that, there's a functional reason why they make these decisions in a group, to try and guard against groupthink and bias.

Look, I get it. The class isn't fun. I feel the same way about the Ranger. I'm trying to get Paizo to fix the class in a way that I think will make it fun. Paizo probably doesn't agree with me. Maybe they think this single-target fighter with nearly useless flavor abilities is what people want to play. *shrug* Maybe it is.

But when it comes to casters, the fact that you are complaining so loudly makes me think they may have gotten it right. Because I didn't' really think Paizo had the political will/courage to truly fix the problem. I think bringing casters down to earth is going to open up the game for martial classes and not make them jack-a-lopes at high level. Do know how many pure Fighters I've played with in PFS games past level 5 in over 50 games? Zero. Do you know how many arcane casters? Probably one or two for each scenario.

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Mathmuse wrote:

Red Griffyn has not responded directly to my remarks, probably because my statements supported his. Red Griffyn did say one thing that serves as a counterpoint to one of my statements. I had pointed out that relying heavily on spells that allowed Reflex saves was putting all the eggs into one basket. Yesterday, in comment #85 Red Griffyn said,

Red Griffyn wrote:
I decided that I wanted to try out a blaster based PC. Something I have never done in 1e because I prefer battlefield control or party buffing. However, control spells and buff spells are so nerfed (i.e., just bad choices) that I couldn't bring myself to pick any of them.
Heroism in PF1 gives gives a +2 morale bonus for 10 minutes per level. Heroism in PF2 gives a +1 conditional bonus for 10 minutes. That looks half as good; however, +1 matters more in PF2 due to critical hits and I believe that hidden in the rules a +1 to checks also creates a +1 to the target's DCs, such as AC, too. I don't think Heroism is nerfed. The math in PF2 is different enough that if can create false impressions of nerfing.

Counterpoint, while the +1 matters more to make up for the +2 of PF1e, the lack of stacking (Morale bonuses in PF1e were a lot less common than Conditional bonuses are in the playtest) and the fact that the duration is at best 1/4th of what it was before (you can get Heroism at bare minimum CL 4, more generally CL 5 or 6, not to mention just generally scaling CL beyond the baseline) I would argue it is still a nerf. In PF1e a single casting of Heroism (especially at higher levels) could frequently last an entire day, now (especially with the 10-minute rest-promoting rules added/modified in the 1.3 update) it's lucky to last a couple fights. Not nearly as heavy-handed as some spells, but still a nerf.

Also +1 boosts to checks do boost the related DCs too, so skill-based DCs, Perception DCs, Save DCs, and Attack DCs if those ever wind up being a thing would be boosted, but nothing about Heroism touches AC (or other DCs such as spell DCs.) In this particular case the application of that rule mostly matters for things like combat maneuvers.

Mathmuse wrote:
N N 959 has not said "full casters," so he might view 7 out of the 11 Pathfinder 1st Edition core classes--Bard, Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger, Sorcerer, Wizard--as game-dominating casters. With around 65% of the classes counting as casters, I am not surprised that casters play a dominating role in most adventures.

I mean classes that spells are their main source of agency. This definitely not the Paladin or Ranger. The 1e Bard is a bit of a tweener, but outside of glitterdust, I've not seen Bards shut down encounters like all the wizard/sorcerer/druid/summoner (of old) permutations. Clerics are really much more support, IME. They are more like a safety net for the all-caster party. I've not done too much high level play with the Occult classes, so I don't have a strong gauge on their power levels, but they definitely show up and are popular for M/Cing.

Shinigami02 wrote:
Counterpoint, while the +1 matters more to make up for the +2 of PF1e, the lack of stacking (Morale bonuses in PF1e were a lot less common than Conditional bonuses are in the playtest) and the fact that the duration is at best 1/4th of what it was before (you can get Heroism at bare minimum CL 4, more generally CL 5 or 6, not to mention just generally scaling CL beyond the baseline) I would argue it is still a nerf. In PF1e a single casting of Heroism (especially at higher levels) could frequently last an entire day, now (especially with the 10-minute rest-promoting rules added/modified in the 1.3 update) it's lucky to last a couple fights. Not nearly as heavy-handed as some spells, but still a nerf.

Yeah, reducing the number of spell slots, the duration of spells, the stacking of diverse bonuses, the effect on a critical save, and the auto-scaling of spells was much more of a nerf than spellcasting should have. All I would have wanted was a higher spell level on some spells that bypass encounters, such as Teleport.

Plus, for one of my characters, that duration on Heroism mattered a lot. Val Baine, an NPC party member in my Iron Gods campaign was the party's mundane-item crafter, where mundane meant adamantine and mithral. The crafting DCs were pretty high, and she used every trick she could find to boost her skill (technically, valet is an illegal archetype on a clockwork familiar, but I swapped out another ability on the familiar in place of Speak with Others of its Kind). Heroism was on her bloodrager spell list, and its +2 morale bonus applied to crafting. But as an 11th-level bloodrager, she could cast it only twice for only 220 minutes (3 hours, 40 minutes) of adamantine crafting a day, then 240 minutes (4 hours) at 12th level, and finally with 4 spell slots at 13th level for the full 8 hours per day.

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Red Griffyn wrote:
Yes, you've made it quite clear that you hate 1e casters and
...
Mathmuse wrote:
Apparently, some glory-seeking caster players left a lasting impression on N N 959. It is a shame that he does not see casters as most people play them. They can be great team players. Yet even team players like to show off their firepower on occassion.

I want to address this directly since Red has tried to create a false narrative and it appears others are buying into it.

I have no issue with the players who play casters. They aren't doing anything wrong. They are using the tools at their disposal and trying to succeed. Damn straight.

When I sign up for PFS scenarios at level 5 and above, I will sometimes opt out if there are no casters in the group. I have zero "hate" or anger to people who play casters to their fullest ability. And I certainly am not going to tell another player to tone it down.

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the problems you speak of OP happen because of the system using an out dated back bone known as a d20

change it to 2d6 or 2d10 and then you well get a nice bell curve.

in a 2d6 system, an untrained person attempting a basic dc of 10, should have a +3 modifier for what ever reason.
rolling a 7 or more 58% of the time to pass the test.

your chance roll goes as follows:
number/chance/percantage chance/chance succeeding if minimum
2 = 1/36 = 2.8% = 100%
3 = 2/36 = 5.5% = 97.2%
4 = 3/36 = 8.4% = 91.6%
5 = 4/36 = 11.1% = 83.3%
6 = 5/36 = 13.9% = 72.2%
7 = 6/36 = 22.1% = 58.3%
8 = 5/36 = 13.9% = 41.7%
9 = 4/36 = 11.1% = 27.8%
10 = 3/36 = 8.4% = 16.7%
11 = 2/36 = 5.5% = 8.4%
12 = 1/36 = 2.8% = 2.8%

in this system auto crits happen half as often (as do auto fails)
but you don't need these huge numbers, you can remove the add level to the proficiency
having the following system for skills:

untrained +0 (-2 or 3 if requires training)
apprentice +1
professional +3
expert +4
master +5

dc's would be

5 hard to fail
6 easy
7 normal
8 medium
9 challenging
10 hard
11 difficult
12 superior
13 extreme
14 masterful
15 godlike

so in such a system an untrained villager trying to make a bow which is a hard task

would have a 16% chance to do so
where as an intelligent character with int 14 (+2) and a master at making bows has a 97.2% chance of making the bow

as to the other point if you want to raise the floor so to speak you are taking away both realism and fun, the scores need to be compacted not raised with level, you need to stop raising dc's first, yes the rogue will always sneak passed the guards and find it trivial, he should, he should only have a 3-10% chance of failing, its his job, it should be on the rogue to help the others, sneak somewhere else, distract the guards so the others can make it.
it should not be an auto succeed for a lvl 15 wizard to sneak passed a level 1 guard

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Hakon007 wrote:

the problems you speak of OP happen because of the system using an out dated back bone known as a d20

change it to 2d6 or 2d10 and then you well get a nice bell curve.

There is an official variant for this (3d6):

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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Hakon007 wrote:

the problems you speak of OP happen because of the system using an out dated back bone known as a d20

change it to 2d6 or 2d10 and then you well get a nice bell curve.

There is an official variant for this (3d6):

thank you, I wonder how this would work with 2d10, 3d6 just seems to fat a curve, bit of overkill

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N N 959 wrote:
Do know how many pure Fighters I've played with in PFS games past level 5 in over 50 games? Zero. Do you know how many arcane casters? Probably one or two for each scenario.

I've seen more than a few pure fighters in PFS play, but they do tend to be combat maneuver, particularly trip or overrun, specialists. On the other hand, I don't see many pure arcane casters. I've got a 10th level conjuration specialist wizard that I play, and it's one of the only pure wizards that I ever see at the PFS tables around here. I see a few more pure sorcerers, and there's one level 11 arcanist.

I see a lot of mixed characters - bloodragers or warpriests who are primarily melee but also have some spell casting, arcane tricksters or shadow dancers with add some (or lot of) arcane spell casting to their rogue abilities, and so on. I think that at least in PF1e, the binary martial v caster distinction doesn't make a lot of sense as there's a lot of grey area between these two extremes, and most of the characters I see are in this grey area.

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Hakon007 wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Hakon007 wrote:

the problems you speak of OP happen because of the system using an out dated back bone known as a d20

change it to 2d6 or 2d10 and then you well get a nice bell curve.

There is an official variant for this (3d6):

thank you, I wonder how this would work with 2d10, 3d6 just seems to fat a curve, bit of overkill

I suspect that Hakon007 wanting the bell curve of 3d6 or the triangular curve of 2d10 is out of a desire for diminishing returns, where low bonuses have an effect but high bonuses don't have an overwhelming effect.

Unfortunately, since the D&D and Pathfinder math works by adding bonuses to the dice rolls, a bell-shaped curve would have the opposite effect. The bonuses don't effect the dice rolls themselves; instead, they enable low dice roll values to have a higher effect. So an overpowered creature with a high bonus operates lower in the curve where bbell-curve pickings are fat while the ordinary characters operate higher in the curve where bell-curve pickings are thin.

For example, imagine the overpowered antagonist has a +2 over the protagonist. Our protagonist can hit on a roll of 10 with a critical hit on a roll of 20, a 5% chance. Our overprivileged antagonist, however, hits on a roll of 8 with a critical hit on a roll of 18 or more, a 15% chance. The +2 gives him three times as many crits.

Let's change to 3d6 rolls instead. We also have to adjust the numbers a little, since no-one rolls a nat 20 on 3d6. Our protagonist can hit on a roll of 7 with a critical hit on a roll of 17 or more, a 1.9% chance. Our antagonist can hit on a roll of 5 with a critical hit on a roll of 15 or more, a 9.3% chance. The +2 gives him five times as many crits.

The chance of rolling an 18 on 3d6 is 1/216, a 17 is 3/216, a 16 is 6/216, and a 15 is 10/216. For the protagonist, the 1.9% chance comes from 1/216 + 3/216 = 0.018518.... For the antagonist, the 9.3% chance comes from 1/216 + 3/216 + 6/216 + 10/216 = 0.092592.... Not only does the antagonist have two more numbers in his sum, but those two more numbers are bigger than the protagonist's numbers.

With a straight d20 roll, the chance of rolling an 18 is 1/20, a 17 is 1/20, a 16 is 1/20, and a 15 is 1/20. The chances stay constant, so the antagonist will get more numbers, but not fatter numbers.

GURPS uses a 3d6 system and its bell-shaped curve. In GURPS, the rolls are against a specific number on the dice themselves. No bonuses alter the rolled number. A GURPS roll for the protagonist might be everything 14 or lower is good (GURPS uses a lower-is-better system), while the antagonist might get that everything 16 or lower is good. So the two extra numbers for the antagonist are 15, which as 10/216 chance, and 16, which has 6/216 chance. The antagonist with his +2 advantage is reaching into diminishing returns at the tail end of the bell-shaped curve rather than reaching into expanding returns closer to the fat center of the bell-shaped curve.

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N N 959 wrote:
When I sign up for PFS scenarios at level 5 and above, I will sometimes opt out if there are no casters in the group.

Are you serious? In the 200ish tables I've sat at PFS at all levels of play is utterly dominated by weapon combat - maybe not pure martials, but people who "do combat" by hitting things with a weapon.

There's the occasional fast bomber or dragon sorc that do significant damage, but mostly a caster summons something that never hits or does a minor debuff, and then an archer or 2her goes and makes it completely irrelevant by crapping out 120 damage

You know when I have to softball GMing? Parties that do not have a significant weapon damage dealer...

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Megistone wrote:

But you heal more HP. People keep forgetting (or just avoid considering) that.
I would still like an option to "undercast" Treat Wounds, but it's NOT like your DC increases for nothing.

I'm aware. That's why I worded it the way I did. Treating a papercut (aka restoring 5HP) gets harder because reasons. It's silly. If the other 50 I'm getting at higher level is overheal, I don't care about it anyway.

It would make more sense if treat wounds healed based on your check result and there was no other result (total check / 2, or something). No crit success (which makes no sense whatsoever with mundane first aid), no crit failure, and no failure.

Frankly, I think adding crit failure conditions to so many things is a major mistake of the system. It goes against the goal of having more players able to participate in skill checks by putting a severe punishment on those crit failures and makes them far too likely, which just forces you to have the best person do it alone to avoid someone else totally botching it up.

(As an aside, we started dd3 a couple days ago, and more than half the rolls I did were all d20+11. It's weird having so many things I'm doing all have such a narrow range of modifiers. A couple of things were a bit higher and acrobatics was way lower, but there is very little variety in what I'm rolling.)

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Tridus wrote:
... Frankly, I think adding crit failure conditions to so many things is a major mistake of the system. It goes against the goal of having more players able to participate in skill checks by putting a severe punishment on those crit failures and makes them far too likely, which just forces you to have the best person do it alone to avoid someone else totally botching it up. ...

This. The worst thing to hear at a table of players is "don't help me!". And I started hearing it more and more often as Doomsday Dawn went on. The risk that your helper critically fails is just not one that most people want to take after a while. So nearly every skill check turned into solo time, instead of group time.

That is where this particular subsystem fails at the most basic function of the overall game - cooperative gameplay. If, at the end of the day, the rules punish players for working together towards the goals of the story, it's counterproductive.

plaidwandering wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
When I sign up for PFS scenarios at level 5 and above, I will sometimes opt out if there are no casters in the group.
Are you serious? In the 200ish tables I've sat at PFS at all levels of play is utterly dominated by weapon combat - maybe not pure martials, but people who "do combat" by hitting things with a weapon.

You're right. I was totally wrong. Martial / caster disparity is a myth.

Someone notify Paizo..

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Requielle wrote:

The worst thing to hear at a table of players is "don't help me!". And I started hearing it more and more often as Doomsday Dawn went on. The risk that your helper critically fails is just not one that most people want to take after a while. So nearly every skill check turned into solo time, instead of group time.

That is where this particular subsystem fails at the most basic function of the overall game - cooperative gameplay. If, at the end of the day, the rules punish players for working together towards the goals of the story, it's counterproductive.

QFT. There's nothing more dispiriting than crit failing an Aid or Assist, so players rapidly stopped even trying. Sometimes a crit fumble is funny, but not for Aid or Assist. It just feels dreadful.

Hakon007 wrote:
the problems you speak of OP happen because of the system using an out dated back bone known as a d20
The d20 is the draw, you change that to other sets of dice or cards and it’s not a game I’m interested in. Not counting Dread.
Quote:
he should only have a 3-10% chance of failing, its his job,
I’d be more okay with 10-30%, basically never failing doesn’t seem as fun. Or to put it the other way, not everyone likes having no challenge.
Quote:
it should not be an auto succeed for a lvl 15 wizard to sneak passed a level 1 guard

Why not?

Ronnam wrote:
Requielle wrote:

The worst thing to hear at a table of players is "don't help me!". And I started hearing it more and more often as Doomsday Dawn went on. The risk that your helper critically fails is just not one that most people want to take after a while. So nearly every skill check turned into solo time, instead of group time.

That is where this particular subsystem fails at the most basic function of the overall game - cooperative gameplay. If, at the end of the day, the rules punish players for working together towards the goals of the story, it's counterproductive.

QFT. There's nothing more dispiriting than crit failing an Aid or Assist, so players rapidly stopped even trying. Sometimes a crit fumble is funny, but not for Aid or Assist. It just feels dreadful.

Conversely, not having them will lead to 1st Edition’s issue of just do piling Aid Anothers on a Main to effectively bypass all challenges with little issue.

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Rysky wrote:
Ronnam wrote:
Requielle wrote:

The worst thing to hear at a table of players is "don't help me!". And I started hearing it more and more often as Doomsday Dawn went on. The risk that your helper critically fails is just not one that most people want to take after a while. So nearly every skill check turned into solo time, instead of group time.

That is where this particular subsystem fails at the most basic function of the overall game - cooperative gameplay. If, at the end of the day, the rules punish players for working together towards the goals of the story, it's counterproductive.

QFT. There's nothing more dispiriting than crit failing an Aid or Assist, so players rapidly stopped even trying. Sometimes a crit fumble is funny, but not for Aid or Assist. It just feels dreadful.
Conversely, not having them will lead to 1st Edition’s issue of just do piling Aid Anothers on a Main to effectively bypass all challenges with little issue.

Under Pathfinder 2nd Edition rules, Aid gives a +2 circumstance bonus and circumstance bonuses don't stack. Piling on Aid bonuses can no longer happen.

Having multiple people take an Aid action does increase the chance of a critical success (+4 circumstance bonus), but it will never go past +4.

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Mathmuse wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Ronnam wrote:
Requielle wrote:

The worst thing to hear at a table of players is "don't help me!". And I started hearing it more and more often as Doomsday Dawn went on. The risk that your helper critically fails is just not one that most people want to take after a while. So nearly every skill check turned into solo time, instead of group time.

That is where this particular subsystem fails at the most basic function of the overall game - cooperative gameplay. If, at the end of the day, the rules punish players for working together towards the goals of the story, it's counterproductive.

QFT. There's nothing more dispiriting than crit failing an Aid or Assist, so players rapidly stopped even trying. Sometimes a crit fumble is funny, but not for Aid or Assist. It just feels dreadful.
Conversely, not having them will lead to 1st Edition’s issue of just do piling Aid Anothers on a Main to effectively bypass all challenges with little issue.

Under Pathfinder 2nd Edition rules, Aid gives a +2 circumstance bonus and circumstance bonuses don't stack. Piling on Aid bonuses can no longer happen.

Having multiple people take an Aid action does increase the chance of a critical success (+4 circumstance bonus), but it will never go past +4.

Ahhhhh, okies. If there’s a cap then I don’t see much reason for Criticla Failures on Aiding.

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Rysky wrote:
Ronnam wrote:
Requielle wrote:

The worst thing to hear at a table of players is "don't help me!". And I started hearing it more and more often as Doomsday Dawn went on. The risk that your helper critically fails is just not one that most people want to take after a while. So nearly every skill check turned into solo time, instead of group time.

That is where this particular subsystem fails at the most basic function of the overall game - cooperative gameplay. If, at the end of the day, the rules punish players for working together towards the goals of the story, it's counterproductive.

QFT. There's nothing more dispiriting than crit failing an Aid or Assist, so players rapidly stopped even trying. Sometimes a crit fumble is funny, but not for Aid or Assist. It just feels dreadful.
Conversely, not having them will lead to 1st Edition’s issue of just do piling Aid Anothers on a Main to effectively bypass all challenges with little issue.

Aid another no giving a typed bonus is one of the best things in the system, I have seen too many characters invest to that magical +10 threshold and don't even get me started on bloody bodyguard builds.

I also like the mechanic used in some PFS scenario of letting everyone roll and use the highest role as the main check and everyone else as aids if they managed to beat the DC, so I am not 100% sold on the potential penalty, but some part of me just feels that there should be some penalty if the idiot barbarian just said something insanely stupid to the person the group is trying to use Diplomacy on.

EDIT: Also not entirely sure about the act of preparing to aid another, but that is another issue.

Gorbacz wrote:

A lot of things look "fun" on paper but aren't that "fun" in practice.

Take the classic 3.5/PF situation, where I have +15 to a skill with my Slayer, which makes me feel that the math is fun because double digits and I hit high numbers and I got rewarded for being specialised. And I'm better than the Cleric, because with her crap skill point count and ACP and whatanot she's at +5 to that skill.

BUT

it also means that the GM has a very hard time making a challenge for a group when one person is at +15 and the other are at +5. Such challenge is either impossible for them or trivial for me. If it's trivial, well, where's the challenge, if it's impossible - woe be to the party if I don't turn up for the game, or if my PC gets kidnapped by the bad guys, or if for any other reason my super-specialised ability is unavilable. Bummer.

With PF2 math, most common challenges (eg. sneaking among sleepy orcs, climbing a cliff, swimming upstream) can be attempted by the entire party, not just by one or two super-specialised PCs. Does that take away some fun out of hyperspecialisation? Sure it does. But on the other hand, it allows more challenges where the entire party can succeed, leaving them less dependant on hyper-specialist, discourages gamey character advancement ("OK we need everybody to max Perception and now we need to split Knowledges, Sense Motive, Stealth, Diplomacy etc. among us so that we have everything maxed out) and leads to fewer situations where the party is split because only the specialist stands a chance, while others are a dead weight or worse, a liability.

And woe be to a PF1 party that has turbo-optimizers mixed with people who don't powergame at all. The discrepancies in math between those quickly reach the levels where frustration arises as the former feel dragged down by the latter while the latter feel pressurised to keep up with the former.

Lowering the floor does take some empowerment out of the game, but it does that for the sake of being more a collective experience and less...

Gorbacz wrote:

Well, a 50/50 success chance (against level-appropriate challenges) is at least consistent and doesn't discriminate, unlike the "will always succeed/will never succeed" of PF1. Melee-oriented PF1 characters (except Rogues and Monks) would ALWAYS hit due to +atk scaling up faster than AC, but they would *never* grapple (unless hyperspecialised after a massive dumpster dive through sourcebooks) against anything bigger than Large. Repeat for several other dichotomies, add the binary pass/fail nature of things and you end up with an optimizers heaven and a casual players' nightmare. Wheee, so much fun, as long as you have way too much free time in your life to twink your character. And as long as everybody at the table does the same. And people wonder why 5E has pretty much beaten Pathfinder to the ground.

But PF1 is not going anywhere away, you can still have your +37 Diplomancer or archerdin.

After running a lot of PF1 (and a lot of it in organized play) I very much have to agree, from what I hear from my players who had the system mastery to get some insane results out of PF1 they want to feel a bit more competent and specialize a bit more.

Potentially increasing the proficiency modifier a bit might work, but right now I am much happier with was PF2 can be, even if it is a bit rough arround the edges right now.

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Mathmuse wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Ronnam wrote:
Requielle wrote:

The worst thing to hear at a table of players is "don't help me!". And I started hearing it more and more often as Doomsday Dawn went on. The risk that your helper critically fails is just not one that most people want to take after a while. So nearly every skill check turned into solo time, instead of group time.

That is where this particular subsystem fails at the most basic function of the overall game - cooperative gameplay. If, at the end of the day, the rules punish players for working together towards the goals of the story, it's counterproductive.

QFT. There's nothing more dispiriting than crit failing an Aid or Assist, so players rapidly stopped even trying. Sometimes a crit fumble is funny, but not for Aid or Assist. It just feels dreadful.
Conversely, not having them will lead to 1st Edition’s issue of just do piling Aid Anothers on a Main to effectively bypass all challenges with little issue.

Under Pathfinder 2nd Edition rules, Aid gives a +2 circumstance bonus and circumstance bonuses don't stack. Piling on Aid bonuses can no longer happen.

Having multiple people take an Aid action does increase the chance of a critical success (+4 circumstance bonus), but it will never go past +4.

I didn't play PFS, so I can't speak as to whether this was a problem in Society play - but it didn't happen around our table. Probably because none of us as GMs allowed multiple people to aid a single check. Maybe we misunderstood the rule, but I think we always assumed that it didn't stack. Then again, we usually only allowed one other PC to attempt to help, so we didn't get the 'everybody tries to help until you get the +2, so why not just always give a free +2' situation.

• PC Sven: I'm going to chat with the constable to see if he'll let us search the crime scene! <rolls diplomacy>
• PC Harold: I'm going to compliment his obviously well-trained horse! <rolls to aid another>
• PC Wanda: I'm going to flirt with the strong, handsome lawman! <rolls to aid another>
• PC Dagmar: I'm going to mention that we helped defend that caravan, so we're totally trustworthy! <rolls to aid another>
• GM: The constable is distracted and confused because everyone is talking to him at once - and also vaguely annoyed because everyone is talking to him at once.

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Requielle wrote:

I didn't play PFS, so I can't speak as to whether this was a problem in Society play - but it didn't happen around our table. Probably because none of us as GMs allowed multiple people to aid a single check. Maybe we misunderstood the rule, but I think we always assumed that it didn't stack. Then again, we usually only allowed one other PC to attempt to help, so we didn't get the 'everybody tries to help until you get the +2, so why not just always give a free +2' situation.

• PC Sven: I'm going to chat with the constable to see if he'll let us search the crime scene! <rolls diplomacy>
• PC Harold: I'm going to compliment his obviously well-trained horse! <rolls to aid another>
• PC Wanda: I'm going to flirt with the strong, handsome lawman! <rolls to aid another>
• PC Dagmar: I'm going to mention that we helped defend that caravan, so we're totally trustworthy! <rolls to aid another>
• GM: The constable is distracted and confused because everyone is talking to him at once - and also vaguely annoyed because everyone is talking to him at once.
• Core Rulebook, Skills, Aid Another wrote:

Aid Another

You can help someone achieve success on a skill check by making the same kind of skill check in a cooperative effort. If you roll a 10 or higher on your check, the character you're helping gets a +2 bonus on his or her check. (You can't take 10 on a skill check to aid another.) In many cases, a character's help won't be beneficial, or only a limited number of characters can help at once.

In cases where the skill restricts who can achieve certain results, such as trying to open a lock using Disable Device, you can't aid another to grant a bonus to a task that your character couldn't achieve alone. The GM might impose further restrictions to aiding another on a case-by-case basis as well.

In Pathfinder 1st Edition, I often invoke the last sentence of the first paragraph of Aid Another and either limit how many characters can aid in the skill check or limit the maximum possible Aid Another bonus, if the possible effect of the aid would become unrealistic. I tell the players in advance, because players inventing stories to explain their aid, stories much better than complimenting the constable's horse, could budge me to allow more.

Aid Another in the combat section has no such limits. However, the aiding characters are in easy reach of the opponent, so they pay by taking a risk.

This is in a home game, not PFS.

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N N 959 wrote:
plaidwandering wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
When I sign up for PFS scenarios at level 5 and above, I will sometimes opt out if there are no casters in the group.
Are you serious? In the 200ish tables I've sat at PFS at all levels of play is utterly dominated by weapon combat - maybe not pure martials, but people who "do combat" by hitting things with a weapon.

You're right. I was totally wrong. Martial / caster disparity is a myth.

Someone notify Paizo..

Ok I bothered to read all your back and forth, in first edition I played primarily martials I only learned casters when I started playing with newer people so they could play a simpler martial characters, so before I get ahead of myself yes there was martial/caster disparity and we agree that’s a problem, what we disagree on is the solution, I decided to try a sorcerer out since I never got to play one in 1st edition another player chose Wizard since he’d only ever played a cleric and no other caster in 1E, we both dropped our highest level slots against a ‘level appropriate’ enemy only for it to critically pass both saves, now some people think casters had too much power and options so I can get behind reducing either output or the amount of casting but in this instance both have been hit, any spell that requires a save is bad which hilariously has led to magic missile being the damage go to in the playtest, what I have always advocated for is not the gutting of casters but the improvement of the other classes.

The big argument I hear is if you improve martials instead of nerfing casters it becomes ‘too anime’ or ‘that’s unrealistic’
Who cares? It’s a high fantasy game, any world where a guy can turn invisible by playing a flute has room for a guy who can do equally insane physical acts, why can’t this be considered why do either casters or martials have to be weak?
Honestly just seems like a lot of people who want to watch the other side get punished for some hidden slight against them where 1E was the delivery device.

To summarise I think casters having less spells is fine, but they should still feel powerful, right now you can’t even really be the ‘lore keeper’ since most characters are just as good as you at a skills unless they’re untrained, additionally I see no reason martials have to subscribe to reality, if martials being a bit too ‘anime’ is worse than half the players not wanting to play I think there’s a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Aid another no giving a typed bonus is one of the best things in the system, I have seen too many characters invest to that magical +10 threshold and don't even get me started on bloody bodyguard builds.

You must have been doing it wrong then:

In cases where the skill restricts who can achieve certain results, such as trying to open a lock using Disable Device, you can't aid another to grant a bonus to a task that your character couldn't achieve alone. The GM might impose further restrictions to aiding another on a case-by-case basis as well.

So - yeah if your character can't make the strength check on a 20 - you can't aid on a 10. If you can't make the diplo check on a 20 - you can't aid on a 10.

Building for a +10 doesn't matter - most of the checks that everyone piles on for - don't work like that. This is frustrating in so many ways - in another thread I read how someone can't wing monsters in PF2 because every one of them had a gimmick. You know another system that every monster has a gimmick in? PF1 - only they are buried as feats and not called out in the stat block. You wonder how often people use awesome blow or charge through or trample because if it's not listed in the 'special ability' of the monster apparently people just wing it - then complain that the monsters are too easy - the only thing I've really had a hard time with is hit bonuses not working out at the high end of the CR system.

Tezmick wrote:
...so before I get ahead of myself yes there was martial/caster disparity and we agree that’s a problem, what we disagree on is the solution.

I'm not sure who is "we" because last I checked, I don't have any PMs from Paizo asking me for my input on how to fix the problem.

As far as solution, we're never going to get consensus on that. What's more, I'm sorry, I don't the think the majority of people who enjoyed playing casters are going to be happy with any substantive nerf, because that's what was a needed, a substantive nerf. Not lip services or a rebalancing, but a flat out reduction of efficacy. Never, in all my time spent on gaming forms, have I seen a group get nerfed and be happy about it, never.

Quote:
now some people think casters had too much power and options so I can get behind reducing either output or the amount of casting but in this instance both have been hit

For the record, I advocated a dramatic narrowing of versatility, but keeping the power levels intact. Give casters one school with 10th levels spells, the other caps at level 4. But clearly Pf2 is about nerfing everyone's power, so that nerf bat hit everyone, casters did not get an exemption.

This go-around with Red G was precipitated by my posting that I was encouraged from his anecdote where three casters above level 5 didn't flat pwn the entire scenario and definitely needed the help of a melee based PC. Yes, I call that progress. In my level 5 PFS adventure, the three casters didn't really need the help of the two martials. The first encounter, maybe a little bit more than the other...maybe.

I believe that if casters are no more valuable to the party than any other class, it's going to improve the desirability of pure martial classes into the higher levels and improve the player base.

And getting down to brass tacks, I think Paizo's made it clear, they want to narrow the power band for all kinds of reasons that revolve around keeping the game manageable at higher levels. I think they want to reduce the ability of system mastery to trivialize the game. That puts the crosshairs squarely on casters.

On the bright side, maybe Paizo is posturing. They've overnerfed casters early, so when they give you back a bunch of stuff, you are all super grateful, despite having still been nerfed. Negotiation 101.

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For a number of years we've been house-ruling Aid Another in PF1 like this:

For most checks, up to two characters can aid. Their target number is 10 plus half the lead character's skill.

For checks where the real hazard is that someone fails--Stealth always, sometimes Climb, Bluff and Disguise--all characters must aid, but instead of adding +2 if they succeed, they subtract the party size if they fail. (For Stealth and Climb it's party size plus armor check penalty of the character who failed.) This means that really big groups have trouble Stealthing even with a stealthy leader, as when someone fails it's quite bad.

The leader is allowed to reduce their skill to make the roll easier for the other characters, but then their primary roll is reduced as well. "Darn it, you're noisy. I guess we have to go over the roof, because you'll never make it through the back corridor clinking like that."

The math is mildly annoying but in every other way I love this rule. It means that being the second-best at something does help, but it avoids "large parties always find what they're looking for" that you get if everyone rolls individually.

If the party really wants more than one character to get a primary roll, they have to split up. It's common to form two groups for Stealth and take different routes in as this reduces the penalties.

As GM I occasionally rule that Aid is not possible--only one PC speaks the NPC's language, only the character with Darkvision can see the clues, etc.--but generally we use Aid Another a *lot* out of combat. I personally never use it combat though some of my players do. (As a GM, bookkeeping those random +2's is too much of a pain--we tend towards large numbers of NPCs in battles.)

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Mathmuse wrote:
Requielle wrote:

I didn't play PFS, so I can't speak as to whether this was a problem in Society play - but it didn't happen around our table. Probably because none of us as GMs allowed multiple people to aid a single check. Maybe we misunderstood the rule, but I think we always assumed that it didn't stack. Then again, we usually only allowed one other PC to attempt to help, so we didn't get the 'everybody tries to help until you get the +2, so why not just always give a free +2' situation.

• PC Sven: I'm going to chat with the constable to see if he'll let us search the crime scene! <rolls diplomacy>
• PC Harold: I'm going to compliment his obviously well-trained horse! <rolls to aid another>
• PC Wanda: I'm going to flirt with the strong, handsome lawman! <rolls to aid another>
• PC Dagmar: I'm going to mention that we helped defend that caravan, so we're totally trustworthy! <rolls to aid another>
• GM: The constable is distracted and confused because everyone is talking to him at once - and also vaguely annoyed because everyone is talking to him at once.
• Core Rulebook, Skills, Aid Another wrote:

Aid Another

You can help someone achieve success on a skill check by making the same kind of skill check in a cooperative effort. If you roll a 10 or higher on your check, the character you're helping gets a +2 bonus on his or her check. (You can't take 10 on a skill check to aid another.) In many cases, a character's help won't be beneficial, or only a limited number of characters can help at once.

In cases where the skill restricts who can achieve certain results, such as trying to open a lock using Disable Device, you can't aid another to grant a bonus to a task that your character couldn't achieve alone. The GM might impose further restrictions to aiding another on a case-by-case basis as well.

In Pathfinder 1st Edition, I often invoke the last sentence of the first paragraph of Aid Another and either...

I kinda run the same way and my group's GMs kinda do the same? It's dependent on what the characters are doing. Trying to convince the village elder to give us some help, yeah that makes sense for the party to each be allowed to say their piece to help convince them. But a character having to present evidence before a king or court should probably be standing alone. Disarming a trap in a dungeon, well if the team can gather around it without setting it off, sure. Gathering around a locked door to aid in picking it... well no one's watching for guards now and pretty sure 4 human sized figures around a door is going to draw attention sooner than later.

plaidwandering wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
When I sign up for PFS scenarios at level 5 and above, I will sometimes opt out if there are no casters in the group.

Are you serious? In the 200ish tables I've sat at PFS at all levels of play is utterly dominated by weapon combat - maybe not pure martials, but people who "do combat" by hitting things with a weapon.

There's the occasional fast bomber or dragon sorc that do significant damage, but mostly a caster summons something that never hits or does a minor debuff, and then an archer or 2her goes and makes it completely irrelevant by crapping out 120 damage

You know when I have to softball GMing? Parties that do not have a significant weapon damage dealer...

your maths are off because the bonus doesn't change the dice result, both the protagonist and antagonist have the same auto crit chance regardless of dice roll

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Tuning monsters and characters to succeed a little more often than half the time, and taking a step back on Skills for some standardization would be a good idea.

John Mechalas wrote:

Moving the goal posts to between a 60% and 75% success rate for a level-appropriate challenge would work … highly specialized should be able to succeed at such a task 3/4 of the time.

… critical failures … need(s) to be lowered to DC-15. And a natural 1 needs to stop being an auto-failure. The idea that someone who is skilled at their job outright fails 5% of the time on easy tasks is absolutely ludicrous …

Agree. Some seem to have forgotten that the balance in an encounter is how often each side succeeds and to what effect, not just how often the characters succeed. In skills, sometimes there are severe consequences of failing, or a whole series of rolls that must succeed. It's a d20 - it's very random. If actions fail ~half the time, and when they succeed, do incremental damage, the game drags. A look at hazards and many monsters is all it takes to realize they are geared to succeed more than half the time. As one of my friends is fond of saying - just one of the monsters needs to defeat a character once, while the PCs have to defeat all of them, every day.

I believe that the problem with skills is that they just haven't been thoroughly rung out the way combat has over the past nearly 40 years. They need a lot more paper and text, because it's not just a damage result against hit points. d20 skills are a relatively recent addition, particularly, when the goal is to get each player participating (not simply the rogue). That's why I agree with the suggestions to double or triple the proficiency bonus, and cut the level bonus substantially (quarter or one-fifth) - so that the game can gain some bulk to support skill challenges. There were some really good ones in 4th edition (and some really bad ones)...and I prefer the PFPT skill distribution to classes even better, and the focus on chosen expertise.

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The reaction to Aid Another is one of the subtle things that I like best about PFPT. However, I would suggest Paizo listen, hard, to this...

Requielle wrote:
The worst thing to hear at a table of players is "don't help me!".

Occasionally and with the right combination of personalities and history, an aiding another fail is funny. With Paizo's "Gaming is for All" on page 5, critical failure on a DC-10 result causing distrust is a Critical Fail of intent.

Having Aid Another as a reaction is a great PFPT idea, but all that potential good will is ruined by too-frequent penalties.

Elsewhere, it's been suggested to move Critical Fail to DC-15. That's a pretty easy houserule, particularly if you add DC+15 as the Critical Success threshold - letting hazards and boss monsters that are supposed to be 'a little tough' have a substantially greater chance of a critical hit, discourages heroic roleplay even if it doesn't kill characters. Hazards start out far too damaging to ever crit (the level 1 Average of 9 with a +10 to hit, is 75% of a responsible but low hit point 6+6 build).

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Previloc wrote:
As one of my friends is fond of saying - just one of the monsters needs to defeat a character once, while the PCs have to defeat all of them, every day.

Yes, and this ties into why critical hits favour monsters more than PCs.

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Hakon007 wrote:
plaidwandering wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
When I sign up for PFS scenarios at level 5 and above, I will sometimes opt out if there are no casters in the group.

Are you serious? In the 200ish tables I've sat at PFS at all levels of play is utterly dominated by weapon combat - maybe not pure martials, but people who "do combat" by hitting things with a weapon.

There's the occasional fast bomber or dragon sorc that do significant damage, but mostly a caster summons something that never hits or does a minor debuff, and then an archer or 2her goes and makes it completely irrelevant by crapping out 120 damage

You know when I have to softball GMing? Parties that do not have a significant weapon damage dealer...

your maths are off because the bonus doesn't change the dice result, both the protagonist and antagonist have the same auto crit chance regardless of dice roll

I think Hakon007 wanted to reply to my comment where I denoted two characters as "protagonist" and "antagonist" and clicked the reply button for the comment below mine.

I admit that I was talking solely about the +/-10 critical system and ignoring the natural 1 and natural 20 criticals that depend on the actual die roll. Yes, the critical hits that rely on the value rolled on the die are not directly affected by the +2 bonus. There can be a small indirect effect, which Pathfinder 1st Edition corrected with the confirmation roll.

But those nat-1 and nat-20 criticals are also not affected by the shape of the probablity curve, so what do they have to do with a discussion about the shape of the probability curve? That is why I ignored them by chosing DC values that put the highest die roll into the +10 crit range regardless. My math is valid.

Instead, my error was when I said, "I suspect that Hakon007 wanting the bell curve of 3d6 or the triangular curve of 2d10 is out of a desire for diminishing returns, where low bonuses have an effect but high bonuses don't have an overwhelming effect." I had guessed why Hakon007 wanted 3d6 or 2d10 instead of 1d20. Apprently, I guessed wrong. I now have no idea what Hakon007 wants.

N N 959 wrote:
plaidwandering wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
When I sign up for PFS scenarios at level 5 and above, I will sometimes opt out if there are no casters in the group.
Are you serious? In the 200ish tables I've sat at PFS at all levels of play is utterly dominated by weapon combat - maybe not pure martials, but people who "do combat" by hitting things with a weapon.

You're right. I was totally wrong. Martial / caster disparity is a myth.

Someone notify Paizo..

At mid to high levels casters rule, nobody is disbuting that. At low level casters just run out of steam unless the game has very short adventuring days. So yes color spray can trivalize encounters, likewise optimized burning hands builds. But once they've used their trick a few times they're dead weight. I've seen this many times in games I've run and these sorts of casters aren't a problem.

Maybe PFS has distorted your view of things? PFS GMs have to play the adventure as written and moreover the scenario designers can't assume any particular party composition so the adventures (from what I've seen and heard) usually aren't that difficult.

FangDragon wrote:
\At mid to high levels casters rule, nobody is disbuting that.

It would appear that plaidwandering is disputing that.

Quote:
Maybe PFS has distorted your view of things?

Or maybe non-PFS has distorted yours?

Quote:
PFS GMs have to play the adventure as written and moreover the scenario designers can't assume any particular party composition so the adventures (from what I've seen and heard) usually aren't that difficult.

I would say that is inaccurate if not outright false. Difficulty is a function of several factors:

1) Difficulty is primarily a function of circumstance/context. Two different parties can play the same scenario with the same GM and one could be a TPK, the other a cake walk. It all depends on the classes involved and the skill of the players.

2) GM's: Deaths would happen a LOT more if GMs weren't softballing. There are so many cases where a GM will let things slide or simply break the rules. Oddly, just as many deaths may be caused by GMs not following the rules. But in truth, there is a disincentive to kill off players, as there should be. The game can be challenging without players dying during every adventure. I hardly think this is unique to PFS.

3) Some seasons were objectively more deadly. Season 4 was, ime, one of the hardest seasons on average. I've noticed that the early seasons 0 and 1, were not as well balanced (shouldn't come as a surprise).

What you may be trying to convey is that PFS, in normal mode, is not set up to challenge min/maxers. PFS did introduce a "hard mode" for some scenarios, but I don't know how popular that's been. Most players don't want that kind of stress. I can tell you that I played Port Godless in a PbP session and it was so stressful and challenging that I had to take a break for like six months. One of the most grueling experiences I had. It was fun, but if every scenario were like that, I couldn't play PFS with random players.

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Mathmuse wrote:

Heroism in PF1 gives gives a +2 morale bonus for 10 minutes per level. Heroism in PF2 gives a +1 conditional bonus for 10 minutes. That looks half as good; however, +1 matters more in PF2 due to critical hits and I believe that hidden in the rules a +1 to checks also creates a +1 to the target's DCs, such as AC, too. I don't think Heroism is nerfed. The math in PF2 is different enough that if can create false impressions of nerfing.

Nevertheless, that does excuse the excessive focus on Reflex saves. The Reflex saves were invisibly nerfed by the new 4-tiers math that gave the boss evasion on critical saves, the buff spells looked nerfed because their math was adjusted for the 4-tiers system, and the numbers are hard to judge without a conversion chart that no-one has written yet (I'm working on it).

I respect that the math is tighter in this game, but I'm not saying that it is nerfed due to the mechanical bonus being reduced. Buffs are largely nerfed and unappealing primarily because changes in spell duration. In 1e, a 10 minute spell could run you through 1-3 combats based on encounter proximity (e.g., a small-medium dungeon crawl) and delay between encounters (either to loot/search the room or cast spells like mending). The actual downtime between combats in 1e probably tops out at 2 minutes at higher levels, thanks to the speed of out of combat healing/consumables. I have GM'd tables where people have managed to buff up at the dungeon entrance then accidentally chain pull the entire dungeon (thus a round 1 round/level or 1 min buff like haste/divine favour were able to last past 1 combat).

However, the after combat downtime in 2e has been lengthened to a minimum of 10 minutes. That includes activities to identify magic items, search the room, detect magic, use treat wounds to heal, etc. I would expect with treat wounds that people will be spending anywhere between 20-50 minutes between encounters to heal themselves unless a very generous cleric decides to burn a channel. Personally I like that the downtime expectation has been increased. I think that it is more balanced and realistic. However, with this increased downtime, the majority of buffs simply don't last a sufficient amount of time to ever cover more than 1 combat.

Lets take Heroism for example. This is a 3rd level spell on most lists in 1e, so when I get it I can usually have it running for 50 minutes at a minimum. On any character with whom I will be buffing myself or others with spells I usually get a lesser metamagic rod of extend, so this duration is doubled. 100 minutes vs. 10 minutes is a world of difference, especially when 20-50 minutes is required between encounters. That takes this buff and many other buffs from the realm of 'preventative' to 'reactionary'. Casters are further penalized via the additional in combat actions required to buff vs. buffing out of combat.

A whole host of staple preventative spells are now 100% reactionary (if they were even carried over to 2e) including:
- Heroism
- See Invisibility
- Protection from Energy / Communal
- Resist Energy / Communal
- Freedom of Movement
- Spider Climb / Communal
- Magic Vestments
- Greater Magic Weapon
- Longstrider
- Air Walk
- Shield Other
- Magic Circle against X
- Comprehend Language / Communal
- Heroes Feast
- Heightened Awareness
- Greater Longstrider
- Water Breathing
- Life Bubble
- Tongues
- MANY 1 min/level spells with a rod of extend like blur, mirror images, etc.

As it stands some of these spells are only 1 minute in duration down from 10min/level or hours/level. That means as a party we can't be rewarded in the same way for thorough investigation/careful interaction with the gaming world. For example, after hours of research and careful preparation the group determines that there is indeed a dragon in the cave. They identify it is a red dragon and as such would like to have some resist energy (fire) up when you face it. However, as a party buffer and perhaps healer I can't proactively rely on the 2e version that lasts 1 minute duration and only targets 1 PC because there could be 2-3 encounters before we ever face the dragon. It could take 2 minutes just to walk through the initial entryway of the cave to the first room, invalidating the ability to pre-buff. This is a huge nerf and why almost all buff spells are completely unappealing at this junction.

Buff spells are further weakened by severely reducing the number of targets in the spells. Many of my casters have communal protection from energy/evil, or spider climb, etc. They are handy party utility spells that I can throw out to really help the team in case we run into something that dominates PCs, has surprise energy attacks, etc. In 2e, most buffs have been reduced to single target unless you heighten them 2+ levels. That largely makes it impossible for 1 spell slot to impact more than 1 PC at a time and is woefully short of impacting the entire party when things like resist energy must be heightened to 7th level before it can effect 5 party members (still 1 party member short in my books).

In 1e it was widely agreed that the most effective use of your action economy in combat was to 'kill the monster' vs. heal a PC because damage dealt far outpaced the capability to actually heal said damage (obviously healing up death or low hp to avoid death on a hit are slightly different). Now they've forced this same debate onto almost every buff in the game. Is it more worthwhile for me to give you resist fire 5 for 1 minute (1 target vs. 1 breath weapon on the entire party) OR is is more effective for me to put a 1D8+4 TAC cantrip into the monster and hope it loses 3 actions by dying 1 round quicker?. It is clearly the latter option. Which is better, a +1 conditional heroism to one target or just let a bard cast inspire courage which gives the same bonus to hit to everyone in the party? Again it is clearly the latter option.

Given the state of things, my personal opinions is that most buff spells are at best corner case spells now and will serve very little in game function (except to take up valuable spell slots). This removes/reduces an entire genre of builds from the game (i.e., the utility/buff/support caster). This was the go to for people to avoid heal bots because they could prevent damage before it happened, make a martial kill things faster, and still have some in combat options because they achieved those first two goals ahead of combat.

The one thing that isn't clear to me at this junction from my playtest experience so far is whether the 'attack/kill/control' spells are ALSO so bad because the monster's saves are so ridiculously high (thus having almost no likelihood of actually working) that all the spells are equally balanced as bad choices. Intuitively I still feel like trying to throw down some damage will be better than stocking my spell list with ineffectual corner case buffs. I also think this is the conclusion many people will come too when they try to weigh a 6d6 AOE fireball vs. a 10 minute +1 conditional bonus to 1 PC.

I haven't talked to anyone who didn't agree casters needed to have their power ceiling dropped. In 2e the power floor has also been dropped for everyone. However, the power floor drop for casters is so dramatic that everyone I've play tested with has the same feelings. There just isn't a 'safe option' in spell selection because they all seem so weak (spell duration, mechanical bonus, number of PCs, etc.). You finally pick spells and when cast them they have almost no effect in game because the monsters are OP. Paizo needs to address this because it has turned off a lot of people I play 1e with from 2e. Many of which don't want to even play test anymore and are writing off 2e overall.

As stated before there are many caster nerfs. The list below are things I think could be done to help bring casters back from obscurity in 2e.

1. Less spell slots (30-50% less than 1e).

- Give back 1 spell slot per level to casters. Merge MC feats for basic spell casting/extra slots.

2. Mechanically weaker spells (less damage, weaker bonuses, tiered failure effects where the good effect is only on a crit fail, etc.).

- Increase the number of PCs targeted by buffs to promote people playing support casters.
- Some of the Crit fail effects should just be the 'fail effects' as some of these spells don't implement much of a debuff at all.

3. Massive spell duration nerf (getting rid of most long term buffs).

- Pick key buff spells that reward preventative play and good RP in the world by giving them a minimum of 1 hour duration (~1-2 combats) instead of only being 1 minute long. I'd recommend some scaling duration to keep low level spells relevant.

4. Spell level changes (i.e., later access).

- No Change

5. Monster save vs. spell DC are heavily weighted in favour of monsters (especially for CR equivalent or greater threats) - i.e., non-fun math.

- Provide a 15% relative increase in DC vs. Saves for PCs across the board and slowly curve towards 25% at higher levels. That will actually keep the monster fail rate at around 50% for a min maxed caster and mean when you target a monster's bad save it CAN crit fail on a 1-3 (i.e., reward players for interacting with you game world and being prepared).

6. Less feats (8 vs. 11).

- Give them back all 3 feats or at least the L1/L12 feat so they can pick up MC without giving up 'every' class feat in their main class. Potentially give martials another feat if you feel it isn't balanced.

7. Bad feat levels (screws up multi-classing due to lack of a L12 feat).

- Move 12th level MC feats to L10 (if not giving the casters back their feats).

8. Weaker action economy for a 2-3 action spell vs. 1 attack (melee or ranged) (throw in multiple attacks and martials are out damaging casters easily).

- If spells were better as per the above I think this would be okay to remain unchanged.

9. Concentration required for any summon based spell is a big action tax.

- Reduce concentration checks to only be required to redirect 'minion' traited spells to attack new targets. A 1 action tax to prevent your spell from fizzling out isn't fun or engaging. Let these things have some autonomy.

10. Lack of scaling on non-cantrips quickly making most low level spells obsolete.

- I'd like to see some more scaling options that don't depend on heightening. At least some duration scaling for buffs as previously suggested.

11. Delayed proficiency in casting, whereas various martials get some of these bonuses earlier (e.g., fighter/Paladin for weapon/armor proficiency bumps).

- Push back 2 levels for each caster class and give them back their feats.

12. Worse Saves.

- No Change

13. Less relative HP from level increases vs. other classes.

- No Change

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It seems a lot of spells have problems with meta-magic rods, feats, etc so why not modify those instead of the spells?

MDC

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Red Griffyn wrote:
Lots of good stuff I wish I could have formulated so eloquently myself.

Amen.

This is everything I want and can think of in order for spellcasters to become valuable again at any given table.

Someone mentioned in this thread that casters being no more valuable than martial characters will increase the desirability of said martials.

That's not how it is right now: non-multiclassed spellcasters are less valuable than anything else and, as a result, my playest group now consists of 4 martial characters (Fighter, Paladin, Rogue, Monk) and one multiclassed Cleric/Fighter.
Nobody wants to try a pure spellcaster again until they (hopefully) are fixed, after having played one themselves. :/

dnoisette wrote:
Someone mentioned in this thread that casters being no more valuable than martial characters will increase the desirability of said martials.

That was me.

Quote:

That's not how it is right now: non-multiclassed spellcasters are less valuable than anything else and, as a result, my playest group now consists of 4 martial characters (Fighter, Paladin, Rogue, Monk) and one multiclassed Cleric/Fighter.

Nobody wants to try a pure spellcaster again until they (hopefully) are fixed, after having played one themselves. :/

And Paizo has to know that this perspective is skewed because the playtest consist of people who are mostly familiar with casters from PF1. Of course those people are going to find casters unplayable. Go look at the shapechanging Druids. It's the same thing. They were used to being able to shape change for hours. Now, it's been reduced to a battle at time and they hate it. Duh.

There's no way for Paizo to bring casters down to earth and have those same players remain happy. It isn't going to happen. If I'm Paizo, I'm doing it because I believe that in the long run, it will make for a much better and fairer game.

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dnoisette wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:
Lots of good stuff I wish I could have formulated so eloquently myself.

Amen.

This is everything I want and can think of in order for spellcasters to become valuable again at any given table.

Someone mentioned in this thread that casters being no more valuable than martial characters will increase the desirability of said martials.

That's not how it is right now: non-multiclassed spellcasters are less valuable than anything else and, as a result, my playest group now consists of 4 martial characters (Fighter, Paladin, Rogue, Monk) and one multiclassed Cleric/Fighter.
Nobody wants to try a pure spellcaster again until they (hopefully) are fixed, after having played one themselves. :/

Except for clerics. If you enjoy the support role then clerics are still viable.

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thorin001 wrote:
Except for clerics. If you enjoy the support role then clerics are still viable.

My players agree, which is why the only remaining spellcaster in the party is a Cleric. :)

N N 959 wrote:

Go look at the shapechanging Druids. It's the same thing. They were used to being able to shape change for hours. Now, it's been reduced to a battle at time and they hate it. Duh.

It's not just the fact that a use of wildshape lasts only for 1 minute.

It's also the inability to do so much as drink a potion (let alone cast a spell) while it lasts, which forces you to pop out of your form and then burn another one again to get back into the fight when your HP are low (+ the loss of actions for doing so, 1 to end the first form, 2 to cast the new one).

Surely, considering your concerns with Rangers and the action economy loss of Hunt Target, you can sympathize.

This essentially means you can have 1-2 encounters a day before sitting on your hands (because a Druid with max STR has no more than 4 uses of wildshape per day until level 15, or level 8 with a specific selection of feats).

My one player that tried the Druid and ditched it had not even played Pathfinder 1st edition before.
He came to the game a new player, tried a Druid, then tried a Barbarian and then told me he's never playing a spellcaster again in this edition.
He had no preconceived notions about what a Druid should be, he just found it less effective than his Barbarian and later, his Paladin.

So much for your argument that "Paizo has to know that this perspective is skewed because the playtest consist of people who are mostly familiar with casters from PF1", I guess.

You think that casters have been brought down to a power level comparable to martial classes.
I think the nerfs were way worse than that and make them less valuable than just having another Fighter in the party.

We're going to have to agree to disagree.

Have no fears, in the end, I am growing more and more confident from the devs' posts here that Paizo will follow your stance.

I will then stop playing, others will as well and the Pathfinder community will shift to something else while we, older greedy spellcaster players, all move on to another game.

Time only will tell if this was a smart move, from a business standpoint.
I don't think it is, because I met enough new players in my gaming career who immediately wanted to be a Wizard -without knowing if this was a powerful option or not-, but I might be wrong.

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I don’t think it’s been mentioned here, but after playing part of the lvl 12 playtest I think the numbers have finally gotten so big that doing the math at the table is no longer very fun. Instead it requires scratch paper and a calculator. I have no idea from level to level if my hit bonus is any good or my AC or spell DC either.

I feel like this edition wasn’t designed for pen and paper, but for a digital tactical RPG where everything outside of combat is basically a cut scene showing a far more mundane magic less world. I feel like the balancing has focused too much on encounter mode at the expense of every other part of the game.

I understand that people want to make skill and proficiency have a place at the table instead of everything handled by scrolls, wands, and godlike casters. But I do have to agree that forcing a low magic campaign on everyone has not been pleasant.

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Red Griffyn wrote:

A whole host of staple preventative spells are now 100% reactionary (if they were even carried over to 2e) including:

- Heroism
- See Invisibility
- Protection from Energy / Communal
- Resist Energy / Communal
- Freedom of Movement
- Spider Climb / Communal
- Magic Vestments
- Greater Magic Weapon
- Longstrider
- Air Walk
- Shield Other
- Magic Circle against X
- Comprehend Language / Communal
- Heroes Feast
- Heightened Awareness
- Greater Longstrider
- Water Breathing
- Life Bubble
- Tongues
- MANY 1 min/level spells with a rod of extend like blur, mirror images, etc.

As it stands some of these spells are only 1 minute in duration down from 10min/level or hours/level. That means as a party we can't be rewarded in the same way for thorough investigation/careful interaction with the gaming world. For example, after hours of research and careful preparation the group determines that there is indeed a dragon in the cave. They identify it is a red dragon and as such would like to have some resist energy (fire) up when you face it. However, as a party buffer and perhaps healer I can't proactively rely on the 2e version that lasts 1 minute duration and only targets 1 PC because there could be 2-3 encounters before we ever face the dragon. It could take 2 minutes just to walk through the initial entryway of the cave to the first room, invalidating the ability to pre-buff. This is a huge nerf and why almost all buff spells are completely unappealing at this junction.

Okay... this is basically the same issue as with the 'big 6' 'must have' magic items. An item that grants you a leg up on the competition is a boon. An item that merely stops you from falling of the treadmill is a tax.

You used to have more spell slots, but many of those got earmarked for all those 'must have' 'all day on' buff spells. This had two effects:

1) It reduced the number of spell slots you had actually free to use as required.

2) Since your buffed stats now became the default, in order to still challenge you, encounters had to be buffed accordingly. So to still maintain the same level of challenge, all the advantages you got from all that pre-buffing were effective made null and void!

In effect, all you did was spend spell slots to... not fall off the treadmill.

Now Paizo seems to make an effort to get away from both 'the big 6' and from having 'mandatory always-on' buff spells. Instead they seem to be aiming for buff spells that are only situationally useful, but are actually useful in their specific situation. So that casting them makes an actual difference instead of merely maintaining the status quo.

The question then is, did they succeed or did they overcompensate? If spells no longer have the staying power to last 'all day', then at least they can no longer define the new default power level. So far so good. Now it will be up to us to figure out if the spells still offer enough of an advantage, situational it may be, that casting them is better, IN THEIR SITUATION, then taking another action.

This, of course, needs to be tested. Playtested.

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Red Griffyn wrote:

However, the after combat downtime in 2e has been lengthened to a minimum of 10 minutes. That includes activities to identify magic items, search the room, detect magic, use treat wounds to heal, etc. I would expect with treat wounds that people will be spending anywhere between 20-50 minutes between encounters to heal themselves unless a very generous cleric decides to burn a...

I would definitely agree that a few buff spells need to last ~30 min, so you can at least search the room and maybe run into another encounter with it still active. Helps keep that adventuring day long if it takes you longer to run out of spell slots.

I had another random thought. What about all spells auto-heightening like cantrips? Too much? Not enough because spells are still lackluster?

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Lycar wrote:

Okay... this is basically the same issue as with the 'big 6' 'must have' magic items. An item that grants you a leg up on the competition is a boon. An item that merely stops you from falling of the treadmill is a tax.

You used to have more spell slots, but many of those got earmarked for all those 'must have' 'all day on' buff spells. This had two effects:

This is a good point - the 'engineering' is solid - but it feels like you are driving a potato. A potato might be a great car - with awesome gas mileage - but if you product is supposed to engender 'fun' you need more 'Maserati' than potato.

In other words - I think this misses out on the fact that in a co-operative game - you can have a *ton* of fun by giving other players a boost - and frankly after the early levels there aren't many spells that even qualify as a buff anymore.

I did find it amusing that a cantrip level power (and what is considered a standard mechanic in another game) is now limited to 9th level spells and only once a round... that is 'advantage/disadvantage' - the 9th level spell Foresight gives you that - I can't say I really agree with some of the power levels they think things are.

Honestly if I was going to remove spells from the game for being too powerful - I would have taken haste/slow out before I touched displacement.

dnoisette wrote:

My one player that tried the Druid and ditched it had not even played Pathfinder 1st edition before.

He came to the game a new player, tried a Druid, then tried a Barbarian and then told me he's never playing a spellcaster again in this edition.
He had no preconceived notions about what a Druid should be, he just found it less effective than his Barbarian and later, his Paladin.

Yes, we've known since 1e that casters don't dominate at lower levels (thought Druids can rip it up with companions).

Quote:
So much for your argument that "Paizo has to know that this perspective is skewed because the playtest consist of people who are mostly familiar with casters from PF1", I guess.

Lol. So your one player disliking a Druid disproves the notion?

Quote:
I will then stop playing, others will as well and the Pathfinder community will shift to something else while we, older greedy spellcaster players, all move on to another game..

Yup. No doubt looking for that feeling of total pwnage that you had in 1e. I don't play 5e or any of the other RPGs, so I hope you find it.

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I don't think it is, because I met enough new players in my gaming career who immediately wanted to be a Wizard -without knowing if this was a powerful option or not-, but I might be wrong.

Then they won't have any expectations of dominating the game at high level, and they might not have a problem with it.

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Surely, considering your concerns with Rangers and the action economy loss of Hunt Target, you can sympathize.

I thought someone might bring this up. Actually, it's categorically different. My issue with the Ranger is that the class lacks thematic purpose. The Ranger's flavor serves no needed purpose in the game. Cover Tracks? Track at normal movement? Move through difficult terrain at 11th level? Why? What purpose does any of that really serve? None. My issue with Hunted Target wasn't that it nerfed the Ranger, it was that it has turned the Ranger into a single-target focus killer. It doesn't even simulate hunting...lol.

Despite getting nerfed like many other classes, the Ranger wasn't dominating 1e at any level. So while fundamentally I agree, we are talking about transitioning players, I don't see how the changes to the Ranger are more attractive. But...maybe they are. Maybe people want the class to have a singular vision that it lacked in 1e.

I'm going to repeat myself: I don't expect you to be happy about the rebalancing of the casters, but the fact that you are unhappy suggests that the changes are substantive, and that's what Paizo needed to do.

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