Magic Weapons Damage Dominance

Magic Items

I've seen a few discussions on the forums about how caster classes feel like their damage just doesn't compete. One discussions a player had was when he could cast disintegrate, which at the level you obtain is severely limited in the amount of times you could cast it. In comparison to their party's fighter with a magic weapon appropriate for that weapon, the damage difference was negligible and the fighter just had to swing his sword which he could do as many times in a day as he wanted really.

This and the discussions on casters damage output being low made me a bit concerned but I wonder if there was a fix that could be applied so that casters still had their place as a nuke and the disparity between martials and casters was a smaller gap. Ironic considering for the history of RPG's casters usually dominate especially at high levels.

So a system the new edition has is resonance points. What if magic weapons were tied to resonance points. I love the change to them in that they do more damage and feel incredibly special. But what if they added that attack bonus and half the damage dice of their level for every swing but you could use a resonance point to up the damage of the sword to max dice potential or for weapon variety, they would have much more effects the weapon could do for resonance points so that high level weapons aren't just there to be a big club.

So for example a +4 sword would add +4 to hit and 2 damage dice, but for a resonance point do the full 4 damage dice effect.

Just some thoughts. Maybe the problem that I perceived reading other posts isn't a big deal in reality except for a few scenarios or maybe this isn't a solution in the right direction.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Using resonance to power up strikes seems like a recipe for 5 minute adventuring days to me. It'd also be something that would heavily skew battles against NPC's, since they'd have enough resonance to do it constantly in every fight.

I'm much more inclined towards the ABP suggestion, where potency runes are eliminated and bonus damage dice just become something all characters get at specific levels.

Pfi wrote:
Ironic considering for the history of RPG's casters usually dominate especially at high levels.

Caster dominance in PF1 was due to the number of options at their disposal, not raw power. In the roles that martials could excel (like DPR) they were fairly well-balanced with casters. The problem was more that martials didn't have much outside of that niche, while casters could easily pick up a huge arsenal of spells to be powerful and effective in any aspect of play they desired. Since martials didn't get very many options there and were often so skill-starved that the intelligence-based wizard did that better too.

PF2 is a game system where DPR is king, and spells tend to be more subtle in that they tilt probabilities one way or the other rather than changing outcomes on their own. This means casters don't solve problems, they just give a slight edge to the martials or skill monkeys in solving the problems. Even if this technically works, it's a bit like playing the grease monkey while the fighter gets to play the race car driver. You may be an important part of the operation, but most of the time you're doing it from the sidelines while the other guy hogs the glory. In some ways this is worse than the PF1 caster/martial imbalance, since fighters at least got to flex their DPR muscles every time a combat encounter came up.

But what part of the spectrum needs to change? The casters need more power to contribute to DPR or the martials need less power?

I was thinking that just hacking at something shouldn't be consistent top damage. Then you can go into characters trying to get the best bonuses for those heroic strikes.

Mind you the resonance system needs some big changes to so tying a fix to it is asking for another fix.

Unless the bonus damage from level applied to spells, would non-spellcasters still have a massive damage advantage?

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Remember that Paizo can (and do, and will) release new spells, more powerful spells, with every single book. It's impossible to fix non-casters once mages can deal equal/better damage on top of having infinite utility.

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In PF1 "consistently dealing damage" was the one thing "people using weapons" were reliably better at than "people using spells", so I don't know if that really needs to change.

If the concept of "legendary weapons" (that let even a total newbie rip through dragon hide like tofu) and "legendary warrior" (who could dish out similar hurt with a random twig nearby) is to coexist...
I'd have extra weapon damage dice scale off the higher of your proficiency or item bonus. Just like many others proposed before.

And there are extra proposals to help with niche protection, scale of importance between tools / training, and such;

* Damage does not scale with proficiency by default, but the so called "martial" classes (Barbarian, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue) have odd-level class features that explicitly allow this. In case the "caster" classes want it too, multiclass feats give this feature slower than the full "martial" class.

* Proficiency-based damage dice scaling can be not-quite linear. For example, Expert giving +1dx, Master giving +3dx (instead of 2), and Legendary giving +1d5 (catching up with the best potency runes via skill alone).

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