Does Spellcasting need a broader rethink?


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thejeff wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Daily powers? By that metric any not unlimited ability is "Vancian".
Not at all, every 1st-level 4th Ed character has a daily fire-and-forget spell/power.
Okay, so any once a day power is "Vancian".

Not sure about that, but in 4th Ed, daily powers work out very much like Vancian spells slots (pseudo-Vancian?). A 1st-level 4th Ed character has a spell they can cast once a day, and it is then forgotten, just like a Basic or AD&D wizard.


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LordVanya wrote:

The Earthdawn system sounds kind of interesting.

I'm going to have to look into it more.

The best thing about Earthdawn is that there are no pure martials, a Warrior adept is using magic to hit things more accurately even if he doesn't invoke any of his talents, and everyone has a Durability talent that magically reinforces their body to justify their HP.


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Xenocrat wrote:
LordVanya wrote:

The Earthdawn system sounds kind of interesting.

I'm going to have to look into it more.
The best thing about Earthdawn is that there are no pure martials, a Warrior adept is using magic to hit things more accurately even if he doesn't invoke any of his talents, and everyone has a Durability talent that magically reinforces their body to justify their HP.

I've said before a bunch that Paizo would be doing itself a favor by just cutting the middleman and saying every PC is an Adept/*Golarion term here*. Eliminates the silly paradigm where people keep shackling the not-casters to pseudo realism and we can actually make Master/Legendary stuff cool rather than the largely banal spread that's currently around.


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Mary Yamato wrote:
In our PF1 games we have been using what I think is the Arcanist system under discussion (we call it "Diamond Throne" as that's where we picked it up). You have a certain number of spells per level that you can prepare each day, and a certain number you can cast, chosen freely on the fly from among the ones you prepared. We allow you to keep a preparation slot open and take 10 minutes to prepare a spell in it if you choose (I basically never do this, but my spouse does).

Yes, that's effectively the Arcanist system in question.

Quote:
We have a short list for each class of spells you always have access to without preparation (we call them "birthright spells"). This behaves like PF1 clerics' ability to use any slot to cast Cure. For clerics this short list contains the Cure spells and the major condition removers: Dispel Magic, Remove Curse, Neutralize Poison, Cure Disease. This in my opinion makes clerics a lot more fun to play, because you can prepare some interesting spells and not worry that this is causing you to fail as a healer in a crisis.

Yes, it does. If you want people to have healing, it's good to make it so it doesn't box them into being "the healbot" who isn't capable of doing anything else.

Clerics in the playtest can do some of this with Channel and class feats (and a Staff of Healing in the focus playtest rules).

Quote:
While it may not be essential to the success of this approach, we also limit the number of spells a character can choose among when preparing (8-10 spells a level, usually) to reduce choice paralysis and make characters more different from each other. Birthright spells don't count against this limit.

Commonly it's a similar number to how many you can cast. So if you have 3 slots at level 4, you can prepare 3 spells. The main thing that changes is if you want to cast one of them twice, you can without preparing two copies of it.

But those numbers can be tweaked pretty easily.

Quote:

I would house rule this into PF2 like a shot if I were going to play PF2. My PF2 cleric is super boring because he has to prepare the stuff on that short list, which takes up essentially all his slots. Otherwise it's "Sorry guys, I'll be a healer tomorrow" which does not really work in many scenarios.

I don't know why convert casting was dropped. I liked it and thought it was a major positive aspect of PF1. I find myself really resenting having to prepare Heal.

PF2 Clerics should not typically prepare heal. Channel is auto-heightened Heal several times a day. It's pretty much the only reason to play a Cleric at all.

But when you think you might need Heightened Restoration, preparing that in advance and guessing how many times you'll need it with such a tiny number of spell slots? That gets limited and frustrating real fast.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Daily powers? By that metric any not unlimited ability is "Vancian".
Not at all, every 1st-level 4th Ed character has a daily fire-and-forget spell/power.
Okay, so any once a day power is "Vancian".

Not sure about that, but in 4th Ed, daily powers work out very much like Vancian spells slots (pseudo-Vancian?). A 1st-level 4th Ed character has a spell they can cast once a day, and it is then forgotten, just like a Basic or AD&D wizard.

Except that it's a power, not a set of slots. You pick one at character creation (and can replace it as you go up levels), not a different one every time you prepare them.

It simply being a once a day thing isn't enough to make it Vancian, unless you're using a very broad definition of Vancian. 4E wizards get closer, since they do get to pick from a short list of daily power spells every day. I'd say that aspect of their class is Vancian, but since the rest of their abilities aren't and that's not the main focus of the class, I don't really think of the class that way.


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I actually feel 4E was on the right track here. There is no point in keeping track of daily uses of bread-and-butter attacks. Its only your most powerful attacks that need to have limited uses.

The thing 4E and PF2 does wrong here is that the at-will powers/cantrips are too crappy. You HAVE top use your limited resources in every fight to stay relevant. Naturally, that makes a restriction on the number of powers you can do frustrating. 4E had encounter powers, that could only be used once per scene - powers on this magnitude should have been at will and the game would have worked better.

So, have a set of 3-5 powerful abilities you can use 1/day each, and a set of powers you can use at will, and that are actually sufficient in all but the hardest encounters.

This idea does not work well for utility magic, some kind of short rituals would probably work better there.
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Furthermore, I am of the opinion that Table 10-2 should be destroyed


thejeff wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Daily powers? By that metric any not unlimited ability is "Vancian".
Not at all, every 1st-level 4th Ed character has a daily fire-and-forget spell/power.
Okay, so any once a day power is "Vancian".

Not sure about that, but in 4th Ed, daily powers work out very much like Vancian spells slots (pseudo-Vancian?). A 1st-level 4th Ed character has a spell they can cast once a day, and it is then forgotten, just like a Basic or AD&D wizard.

Except that it's a power, not a set of slots.

Power/spell/prayer/exploit/hex/discipline/evocation, whatever; regardless, they have powers/spells that they fire-and-forget, and that is very Vancianesque.


Starfox wrote:

I actually feel 4E was on the right track here. There is no point in keeping track of daily uses of bread-and-butter attacks. Its only your most powerful attacks that need to have limited uses.

The thing 4E and PF2 does wrong here is that the at-will powers/cantrips are too crappy. You HAVE top use your limited resources in every fight to stay relevant. Naturally, that makes a restriction on the number of powers you can do frustrating. 4E had encounter powers, that could only be used once per scene - powers on this magnitude should have been at will and the game would have worked better.

So, have a set of 3-5 powerful abilities you can use 1/day each, and a set of powers you can use at will, and that are actually sufficient in all but the hardest encounters.

This idea does not work well for utility magic, some kind of short rituals would probably work better there.

Interesting; I house-ruled 4th Ed so that Daily powers are Encounter, and Encounter powers are Recharge 5-6.

I also think 4th Ed should have grouped Powers by Source, not Class. The game only needs 4 classes: Controller, Defender, Leader, and Striker, you could then choose your Power Source, and Build.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Daily powers? By that metric any not unlimited ability is "Vancian".
Not at all, every 1st-level 4th Ed character has a daily fire-and-forget spell/power.
Okay, so any once a day power is "Vancian".

Not sure about that, but in 4th Ed, daily powers work out very much like Vancian spells slots (pseudo-Vancian?). A 1st-level 4th Ed character has a spell they can cast once a day, and it is then forgotten, just like a Basic or AD&D wizard.

Except that it's a power, not a set of slots.
Power/spell/prayer/exploit/hex/discipline/evocation, whatever; regardless, they have powers/spells that they fire-and-forget, and that is very Vancianesque.

You're missing the distinction I'm making, but the digression has gone long enough already.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
I also think 4th Ed should...

4E had lots of issues and solutions that are outside the scope of a PF2 discussion. But its interesting that you back then implemented something similar to what I only came up with now, in retrospect.

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Furthermore, I am of the opinion that Table 10-2 should be destroyed


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I'd rather see something along the lines of Words of Power for the magic system. Honestly I'd rather something along the lines of Spheres of Power, but that isn't happening. Vancian casting is one of the biggest bug bears in the system. It seems silly to change so much else but keep that. As I said at the beginning, if they are going to change things, then change them.


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The idea I think that is best to borrow from 4e would be that utility spells have their own spell slots. That way they could keep "utility overload" from complicating game design. Even classes that would have the highest utility to general ratio (probably bards and clerics), could have a ratio of 1:2.

If wizards picked a school, then school spells could count as general or utility for that wizard.


thejeff wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Daily powers? By that metric any not unlimited ability is "Vancian".
Not at all, every 1st-level 4th Ed character has a daily fire-and-forget spell/power.
Okay, so any once a day power is "Vancian".

Not sure about that, but in 4th Ed, daily powers work out very much like Vancian spells slots (pseudo-Vancian?). A 1st-level 4th Ed character has a spell they can cast once a day, and it is then forgotten, just like a Basic or AD&D wizard.

Except that it's a power, not a set of slots.
Power/spell/prayer/exploit/hex/discipline/evocation, whatever; regardless, they have powers/spells that they fire-and-forget, and that is very Vancianesque.
You're missing the distinction I'm making,

No, I get the the distinction you are trying to make, I just think it's pedantic (cutting the cheese as thinly as possible) and therefore not really applicable.


Starfox wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
I also think 4th Ed should...

4E had lots of issues and solutions that are outside the scope of a PF2 discussion. But its interesting that you back then implemented something similar to what I only came up with now, in retrospect.

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Furthermore, I am of the opinion that Table 10-2 should be destroyed

I also omitted +1/2 level and implemented the Inherent Bonus variant from the DMG2, really helped.

I agree about Table 10-2.


Starfox wrote:


The thing 4E and PF2 does wrong here is that the at-will powers/cantrips are too crappy.

...

So, have a set of 3-5 powerful abilities you can use 1/day each, and a set of powers you can use at will, and that are actually sufficient in all but the hardest encounters.

Honestly that just sounds like the current situation in PF2. The difference being your method explicitly shows that a character has limited nova potential, while in PF2 I see people trying to prepare everything from Meteor Swarm down to Burning Hands (not a good idea btw).

Then your idea has the benefit of the utility being at-will rather than preprepared slots, but people here have already commented plenty about Vancian casting. I will say that swapping spells at midday would probably be enough for my group in most cases.

Currently, I think cantrips are slightly weak, but super close to where they need to be. In most cases, I'd just say to upgrade the damage die one step. Personally, I hope cantrips never approach 5e Eldritch Blast power without a notable restriction.

Exo-Guardians

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Part of the issue with Eldritch Blast is that it gets so much support from Warlock that by the end of things you have a 300ft force spear that either pushes or pulls and does other effects, making any other cantrip worthless by comparison because none of them get that kind of support


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Mary Yamato wrote:
In our PF1 games we have been using what I think is the Arcanist system under discussion (we call it "Diamond Throne" as that's where we picked it up).

I started reading this post and was going to chime in and say it sounds just like the system we use. Gee, I wonder why it sounds so familiar?

It goes without saying that I'm fond of this house rule.

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Someone mentioned flat checks and now I'm playing with the idea of all casters having one special slot per spell level that can be used to spontaneously cast any spell of that level, but it locks once utilized. By spending actions to focus (flavored by the type of caster - recall the fleeting arcane words, call upon your deity's grace, recapture the harmony of the eternal symphony, ask a stick for a favor), you can make a flat check to unlock one of these slots, the difficulty of which depending on how many actions are taken that round-

One action: DC 20 flat check
Two actions: DC 15 flat check
Three actions: DC 10 flat check

Success unlocks a single spell slot of your choosing, allowing you to use that slot to cast another spell with no limitations on number of times per day (beyond that of material component expenditure, for spells with nontrivial components).

Something like that could be an interesting variant on the system, giving casters a bit more freedom to expend spells in or outside of combat without being able to spam magic endlessly (because chances are the best you can average is a little better than one spell every other turn).

EDIT: And now that I look at it more closely, I misread the proposed system and basically suggested the same thing just in more explicit 2E terms. XD Oops.


MER-c wrote:
Part of the issue with Eldritch Blast is that it gets so much support from Warlock that by the end of things you have a 300ft force spear that either pushes or pulls and does other effects, making any other cantrip worthless by comparison because none of them get that kind of support

Yes, the Warlock class (an appeal to 4th Ed fans), Eldritch blast, and Devils Sight are some of 5th Ed's biggest blunders.

I have despised the Warlock class since its debut in 3rd Ed's Complete Arcane; since when is a warlock a leather clad person that pew-pews laser beams from their hands?

Exo-Guardians

What if we did more of an Inheritance Cycle style where magic takes as much energy as the mundane task you are replacing. Thus making it risky to try and one shot an entire horde of enemies because you might kill yourself in the process


MER-c wrote:
What if we did more of an Inheritance Cycle style where magic takes as much energy as the mundane task you are replacing. Thus making it risky to try and one shot an entire horde of enemies because you might kill yourself in the process

Spellcasting tied to HP depletion?

Exo-Guardians

Vic Ferrari wrote:
MER-c wrote:
What if we did more of an Inheritance Cycle style where magic takes as much energy as the mundane task you are replacing. Thus making it risky to try and one shot an entire horde of enemies because you might kill yourself in the process
Spellcasting tied to HP depletion?

It would be interesting, like you can cast a normal spell of your caster level but if you want to heighten it you take an amount of damage equal to the level you heighten it to or your character level


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
thflame wrote:

I'll say that 5e is proof enough that Vancian magic has run it's course.

Especially if PF2 is supposed to be simpler, Vancian magic needs to die.

That could cause the game to be considered dead, for some.

For those that hate Vancian, why have you been playing D&D/PF1 all this time if you do not enjoy it, and why should the game change after 44-years because you have not liked it, when many like it and consider it integral to the D&D/PF experience?

Sorry for the late reply.

I houseruled Vancian magic out of my PF games. Clerics and Druids cast like Sorcerers and Wizards cast like Arcanists.

(Clerics and Druids also get a few nerfs to compensate.)

I find it MUCH more thematic that the wizard memorizes a short list of spells and casts from those spontaneously, as opposed to whatever mental gymnastics you have to pull to explain Vancian magic.

5e was my first time ever seriously playing a wizard, because they use Arcanist style casting.


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MER-c wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
MER-c wrote:
What if we did more of an Inheritance Cycle style where magic takes as much energy as the mundane task you are replacing. Thus making it risky to try and one shot an entire horde of enemies because you might kill yourself in the process
Spellcasting tied to HP depletion?
It would be interesting, like you can cast a normal spell of your caster level but if you want to heighten it you take an amount of damage equal to the level you heighten it to or your character level

One of the few things I came away from Shadowrun really liking about the system was the spellcasting system.

It wouldn't work here, but it definitely works sort of like the Inheritance type. But I like it more as you can use basic probability to clearly cast at whichever level of risk you're up for.

TL;DR you pick which spell to cast, and how many to cast at once. Pick the level of each spell (spells don't have levels by defaults, costs relative to their level), roll for each spell, and then roll a resistance check (shadowrun so dicepool. More dice you have, the more confident you can be of what exactly your tolerance is) against backlash from casting for every single spell you cast then. Below a certain amount of unmodded backlash it's nonlethal damage, above it it's lethal damage (both damage tracks accrue penalties for things you do). You can take more backlash in exchange for casting spells with a lesser action, or later unlock methods of reducing the backlash (e.g. with somatic or verbal concentration techiques, or a magical focus)

Exo-Guardians

Elleth wrote:

One of the few things I came away from Shadowrun really liking about the system was the spellcasting system.

It wouldn't work here, but it definitely works sort of like the Inheritance type. But I like it more as you can use basic probability to clearly cast at whichever level of risk you're up for.

TL;DR you pick which spell to cast, and how many to cast at once. Pick the level of each spell (spells don't have levels by defaults, costs relative to their level), roll for each spell, and then roll a resistance check (shadowrun so dicepool. More dice you have, the more confident you can be of what exactly your tolerance is) against backlash from casting for every single spell you cast then. Below a certain amount of unmodded backlash it's nonlethal damage, above it it's lethal damage (both damage tracks accrue penalties for things you do). You can take more backlash in exchange for casting spells with a lesser action, or later unlock methods of reducing the backlash (e.g. with somatic or verbal concentration techiques, or a magical focus)

If we wanted to bring that to Pathfinder you could have it be burn based, you still use actions to cast a spell and you still have spell levels but instead of casting each spell from a slot you allocate your actions to do so, spells up to the minimum at the normal level of the spell don't risk backlash, but let's say you cast Heal at third level you then have to roll a check for it, let's say it's your class DC and you get your fort save to it, you can roll your check and on a success you don't take extra damage, on a failure you take nonlethal damage you can't recover save by resting, like Burn, and on a critical failure the spell fails and you take Lethal damage equal to the non lethal backlash you would have otherwise taken, let's say we use the burn formula so 1 point of Backlash is nonlethal damage equal to your character level, and if you take an amount of backlash equal to your caster spell level so 3 points for third level spells and what not, you can't cast spells anymore until you recover from the backlash.


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thflame wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
thflame wrote:

I'll say that 5e is proof enough that Vancian magic has run it's course.

Especially if PF2 is supposed to be simpler, Vancian magic needs to die.

That could cause the game to be considered dead, for some.

For those that hate Vancian, why have you been playing D&D/PF1 all this time if you do not enjoy it, and why should the game change after 44-years because you have not liked it, when many like it and consider it integral to the D&D/PF experience?

I houseruled Vancian magic out of my PF games.

Neat, it would seem you don't like D&D/PF, seems to be a common theme, for those that want a different game.


citricking wrote:
Individual spells being weak at low levels and strong at higher levels causes lots of problems for the balance of spellcasters in combat. This causes buffing/debuffing spellcasters to be comparatively weaker at low levels and stronger at higher levels compared to classes that rely on weapon attacks whose power level grows much less dramatically.

This is a good point, and one of the things I actually like about PF2 spells is that duration are static - usually 1 minute - regardless of the caster's level. At level 1, when you get Summon Monster, it actually has a meaningful duration. This was not true in PF1.

What I don't like is that these durations cannot be heightened. Having effects like polymorph that only last for 1 minute even at higher levels is just sad. The choice between using a level 3 monster for 1 minute or a level 1 monster for 1 hour (by heightening the spell 2 levels) is meaningful for a level 5 spellcaster - either can be a good option depending on the situation.
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Furthermore, I am of the opinion that Table 10-2 should be destroyed


bro1017 wrote:
I will say that swapping spells at midday would probably be enough for my group in most cases.

This is actually a way for prepared casters to work without changing the number of spell slots; let them use downtime to prepare new spells. If spontaneous casters got a larger number of known spells and the same ability to recover spell slots, this might actually make the current number of slots playable.

Since we are now expected to spend a number of 10-minute intervals to repair dents and Hit Points, it makes sense that casters can use this time to recover spells. If the GM wants a game where recovering resources is not possible, that follows naturally from simply adding time pressure.

My main objection to the low number of spell slots in the current rules is that it creates 10-minute days. This way, we instead get (a number of) 10-minute recovery periods. Quite nice, I like it!

I think the time cost should be such that your highest level spells (or spell slots) take a pretty long time to recover, but lower level spell slots should be quite expedient - this to prevent casters from using their highest level spells in every fight.
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Furthermore, I am of the opinion that Table 10-2 should be destroyed


Corrik wrote:
I'd rather see something along the lines of Words of Power for the magic system. Honestly I'd rather something along the lines of Spheres of Power, but that isn't happening. Vancian casting is one of the biggest bug bears in the system. It seems silly to change so much else but keep that. As I said at the beginning, if they are going to change things, then change them.

Spheres is a pretty good system. It's pretty clear right now that my group will not be going to PF2 so I am actually putting together a couple of campaign settings based around the Spheres of Power and Might books. One that is a standard style of setting and another that is a Greek Odyssey campaign with a mix of Cthulhu mythos stuff. The Casting and Martial traditions have been a lot of fun for world building and capturing the feel of each setting. There are a few things in PF2 I plan to steal for these games but overall my PF2 is pretty much PF1 with Spheres + a couple of things from PF2.

While I think Vancian does need to be core I do hope Paizo gives some options down the line. but if they don't 3pp most likely will


Belisar wrote:
This is my main gripe with the Wizard/Cleric/Druid approach of preparing spells in specific spell slots. This way, many of the niche spells will never be actively prepared to not block spell slots for the more commonly used spells.

If I remember right, there is actually a rule in PF2 that lets you change what spell you have in a certain slot, as long as you have not cast the spell to be exchanged. So this problem is already fixed.

Of course, this increases the versatility of prepared casters compared to spontaneous casters. IMHO, spontaneous casters in PF2 need help.


Starfox wrote:
Belisar wrote:
This is my main gripe with the Wizard/Cleric/Druid approach of preparing spells in specific spell slots. This way, many of the niche spells will never be actively prepared to not block spell slots for the more commonly used spells.
If I remember right, there is actually a rule in PF2 that lets you change what spell you have in a certain slot, as long as you have not cast the spell to be exchanged. So this problem is already fixed.

Where? I've never seen that.


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Tridus wrote:
Starfox wrote:
Belisar wrote:
This is my main gripe with the Wizard/Cleric/Druid approach of preparing spells in specific spell slots. This way, many of the niche spells will never be actively prepared to not block spell slots for the more commonly used spells.
If I remember right, there is actually a rule in PF2 that lets you change what spell you have in a certain slot, as long as you have not cast the spell to be exchanged. So this problem is already fixed.
Where? I've never seen that.

I think he's referring to the Wizard feat that lets you swap out a prepared spell with 10 minutes study. It's not a general rule or available to other classes.

Exo-Guardians

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Tridus wrote:
Starfox wrote:
Belisar wrote:
This is my main gripe with the Wizard/Cleric/Druid approach of preparing spells in specific spell slots. This way, many of the niche spells will never be actively prepared to not block spell slots for the more commonly used spells.
If I remember right, there is actually a rule in PF2 that lets you change what spell you have in a certain slot, as long as you have not cast the spell to be exchanged. So this problem is already fixed.
Where? I've never seen that.

It's a Wizard feat, it lets them take ten minutes to exchange a single spell


So, something a bit more than 5th Ed's:

Arcane Recovery
You have learned to regain some of your magical energy by studying your spellbook. Once per day when you finish a short rest, you can choose expended spell slots to recover. The spell slots can have a combined level that is equal to or less than half your wizard level (rounded up), and none of the slots can be 6th level or higher.
For example, if you’re a 4th-­‐‑level wizard, you can recover up to two levels worth of spell slots. You can recover either a 2nd-­‐‑level spell slot or two 1st-­‐‑level spell slots.


Vic Ferrari wrote:

So, something a bit more than 5th Ed's:

Arcane Recovery
You have learned to regain some of your magical energy by studying your spellbook. Once per day when you finish a short rest, you can choose expended spell slots to recover. The spell slots can have a combined level that is equal to or less than half your wizard level (rounded up), and none of the slots can be 6th level or higher.
For example, if you’re a 4th-­‐‑level wizard, you can recover up to two levels worth of spell slots. You can recover either a 2nd-­‐‑level spell slot or two 1st-­‐‑level spell slots.

This is going partway, but I see no real reason not to go all the way. The idea is after all to extend the adventuring day. If you can now regain Hit Points just by expending time, why not spell slots? After recovering their Hit Points, the martials will want to continue the adventure as they are basically back to full. Casters that are low on spell slots have no such recourse, and might be forced to endure half an adventure without spells. Effectively they become bystanders. Not fun, not fair.

This problem is unavoidable if some characters are mainly limited by a resource that can be recovered freely (Hit points) and others by a resource that cannot be recovered during the day (spells, power points, ki, et al). This was actually a problem with the Cure Light Wounds wand in PF1 - it made parties push on so far that spell slots could run out, particularly at low levels. The solution is either to allow ALL kinds of resources to be recovered, make resources effectively unlimited (like spell slots in high-level PF1), or simply to lower the expectations on how long an adventuring day is. I prefer the first solution: "to allow ALL kinds of resources to be recovered".
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Furthermore, I am of the opinion that Table 10-2 should be destroyed


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

3rd Party Elements of Magic is also a good one.

The caster learns how to do certain magic effects, and is a point build system for spells along with mana. Your character keeps a number of specific spells memorized, and can cast from them with Spell Points.


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Starfox wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

So, something a bit more than 5th Ed's:

Arcane Recovery
You have learned to regain some of your magical energy by studying your spellbook. Once per day when you finish a short rest, you can choose expended spell slots to recover. The spell slots can have a combined level that is equal to or less than half your wizard level (rounded up), and none of the slots can be 6th level or higher.
For example, if you’re a 4th-­‐‑level wizard, you can recover up to two levels worth of spell slots. You can recover either a 2nd-­‐‑level spell slot or two 1st-­‐‑level spell slots.

This is going partway, but I see no real reason not to go all the way. The idea is after all to extend the adventuring day. If you can now regain Hit Points just by expending time, why not spell slots? After recovering their Hit Points, the martials will want to continue the adventure as they are basically back to full. Casters that are low on spell slots have no such recourse, and might be forced to endure half an adventure without spells. Effectively they become bystanders. Not fun, not fair.

This problem is unavoidable if some characters are mainly limited by a resource that can be recovered freely (Hit points) and others by a resource that cannot be recovered during the day (spells, power points, ki, et al). This was actually a problem with the Cure Light Wounds wand in PF1 - it made parties push on so far that spell slots could run out, particularly at low levels. The solution is either to allow ALL kinds of resources to be recovered, make resources effectively unlimited (like spell slots in high-level PF1), or simply to lower the expectations on how long an adventuring day is. I prefer the first solution: "to allow ALL kinds of resources to be recovered".

This is actually where I reach my "it doesn't feel like PF anymore" limit. Casters big spells are a limited resource. Using them effectively is part of playing a caster well, and really is the fundamental difference between them and martials.

A game where spells are per encounter powers instead, and you're going to be able to keep restoring them, is a fundamentally different game. That doesn't make it a bad game by any means, but it's just not the same thing anymore. It also tends to have to put more restrictions on magic, because if I can Finger of Death constantly, that has to be more limited than if I can only do it once or twice a day.

Exo-Guardians

Regaining spell slots on a short rest is not even close to a good idea, aside from not being pathfinder, we open up a can of worms that gave us such hilariously unbalanced gems as Warlock and 5e Sorcerer, or Torag forbid, the multiclass of the two.


MER-c wrote:
Regaining spell slots on a short rest is not even close to a good idea, aside from not being pathfinder, we open up a can of worms that gave us such hilariously unbalanced gems as Warlock and 5e Sorcerer, or Torag forbid, the multiclass of the two.

Warlock dipping is probably the most revolting thing about 5th Ed (the justifications for Paladins dipping into Warlock for 2 levels are hysterical).


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I really like the idea of casters regaining lower level spells on a short rest, or preparing different spells in slots of those levels. The type of spell they can quicken. It gives them a neat option for 10 minute downtimes, opens up flexibility, helps avoid silly-short adventuring days, etc.

But I do want their top spells to be the big bombs that mean something when spent and are hard to regain.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
thflame wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
thflame wrote:

I'll say that 5e is proof enough that Vancian magic has run it's course.

Especially if PF2 is supposed to be simpler, Vancian magic needs to die.

That could cause the game to be considered dead, for some.

For those that hate Vancian, why have you been playing D&D/PF1 all this time if you do not enjoy it, and why should the game change after 44-years because you have not liked it, when many like it and consider it integral to the D&D/PF experience?

I houseruled Vancian magic out of my PF games.
Neat, it would seem you don't like D&D/PF, seems to be a common theme, for those that want a different game.

Why do you keep insisting that people who don't like Vancian don't like D&D or Pathfinder at all? And to your other point, it has changed. 4e had the equivalent of replacing spells with those uses-per-day class powers, and 5e shifted everyone to Arcanist casting. PF 2e is actually one of the last holdouts of true Vancian casting.

Vic Ferrari wrote:


Yes, the Warlock class (an appeal to 4th Ed fans), Eldritch blast, and Devils Sight are some of 5th Ed's biggest blunders.

If you need further proof that the Warlock was a blunder, look up the Coffeelock build. You can get infinite spell slots by multiclassing Warlock/Sorcerer.


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Vancian casting in previous versions had some pretty good support through the rest of the game, and that support is now missing in PF2. Normally you'd have the spells you want to use prepared, and the spells that you occasionally need to use as scrolls, wands, and whatever else. Resonance has cut into that quite a bit, you now have a pool of spells that you had better be sure you can use, and a pool of resonance that probably needs to be reserved for healing potions or utility spells from scrolls or staves. Durations have also been cut so you aren't able to cast as a precaution unless you've decided to sprint ahead at that point.

Essentially, I don't think the low amount of spells, the low durations, vancian casting, and resonance are each a problem on their own, but I do think they all paint casting into a corner leaving it really unappealing.


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Changing to 5e-style casting would solve so many issues I have with magic in the playtest. That is, Arcanist-style preparation and casting as well as spontaneous spell heightening.

This would also necessitate a change in Sorcerers, which I am all for. As it stands now Sorcerers are not unique enough. Bloodlines with specific spell lists are a step in the right direction, but they need more. 5e gave them Metamagic; doing something similar would be nice.


Mechagamera wrote:

The idea I think that is best to borrow from 4e would be that utility spells have their own spell slots. That way they could keep "utility overload" from complicating game design. Even classes that would have the highest utility to general ratio (probably bards and clerics), could have a ratio of 1:2.

If wizards picked a school, then school spells could count as general or utility for that wizard.

IDK, I'm a big fan of 4th edition D&D, and tentatively a fan of PF2, but I think that would make the two systems too similar. I'm enjoying how my spellcasting players can go from full combat spells to total utility depending on the threats facing them (or how they want to approach their challenges).

As long as the damage spells and utility spells are roughly balanced in general (fighting a monster isn't always better than Fly, Invisibility, or Charm, and vice-versa), I'm okay with a player focusing heavily on one side of the spectrum.


Tridus wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:

Why do you keep insisting that people who don't like Vancian don't like D&D or Pathfinder at all? And to your other point, it has changed. 4e had the equivalent of replacing spells with those uses-per-day class powers, and 5e shifted everyone to Arcanist casting. PF 2e is actually one of the last holdouts of true Vancian casting.

I'm surprised he isn't in here complaining about how people who don't want to bring THAC0 back hate D&D. Because that's how he sounds.

Not at all, that's a hyperbolic, dishonest comparison.

Wanting some type of Vancian/spells per day deal, is not even the same thing as insisting we return to THACO, please...


thejeff wrote:
Remembering he was arguing earlier that 4E daily powers were Vancian.

Vancianesque, very, every 1st-level 4th Ed character (pre-Essentials) has 1 daily power/spell, that they fire-and-forget.

I appreciate the attempts at gang culture, through.


RazarTuk wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:


Yes, the Warlock class (an appeal to 4th Ed fans), Eldritch blast, and Devils Sight are some of 5th Ed's biggest blunders.
If you need further proof that the Warlock was a blunder, look up the Coffeelock build. You can get infinite spell slots by multiclassing Warlock/Sorcerer.

Yep, the Sorlock, just horrendous. The class sticks out like a clunky stain in the PHB. I have despised the class since its debut in 3rd Ed's Complete Arcane. The image put me off right away, and the concept was even worse, so we have an unshaven, leather-clad, edgy guy, that shoots laser beams from his hand...doesn't sound very warlocky, to me.


ClanPsi wrote:
Changing to 5e-style casting would solve so many issues I have with magic in the playtest.

You might already know, but the 5th Ed system debuted with the Spirit Shaman class, in 3rd Ed's Complete Divine. We had one in my Planescape campaign, very cool class, especially if dealing with Elementals and/or Fey.

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