High level spells have too many dice?


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Does anyone else feel like high level spells require rolling too many dice?

A player cast Meteor Swarm last night, targeting all of the meteors on a single target. Each meteor does 4d10 bludgeoning damage and 19d6 fire damage. All together, that's 16d10 + 76d6 damage!

The game completely ground to a halt for about 10 minutes while the player had to add up 92 dice. Not fun!


Meteor Swarm's meteors can't overlap, and only affect a single target once - it says so in the spell description. So it's only ever 23 dice, which is still a bunch, but not something quite so ridiculous.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

FowlJ wrote:
Meteor Swarm's meteors can't overlap, and only affect a single target once - it says so in the spell description. So it's only ever 23 dice, which is still a bunch, but not something quite so ridiculous.

Wow, we totally missed that. That significantly reduces the amount of damage it can do to a single target!

You'd still need to roll that many dice, though, if you were targeting multiple opponents with different meteors.


The standard rule for area effects has always been to roll once and apply the result to all affected targets, though a quick glance doesn't reveal that being reprinted in the playtest book in particular - I'd guess that's still the intent, however.


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It might make sense to roll one meteor explosion's worth of damage and apply that to all meteors as an extension of the idea of rolling once for an AoE spell and applying the same damage to all.

Dang though, I'm honestly not sure how it took 10 mintes, that's over 6 seconds per die average. I know I count faster than most people but I can count dice up at 1 second average per die tops, barely slowing down if it's a bunch.

Do you ever try the trick where you separate the die results into sets of 10 or 20 (The actual rolls, not the number of dice, so like 2-3-5, 1-1-1-1-6, etc.), count the sets, and add the leftover?

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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10 minutes is a little bit hyperbolic, but it still completely killed the momentum of the game.

We have the same problem with healing spells. Adding up 17d8 just plain takes a long time. Our group really misses the 1st edition Heal spell with its flat amount of healing.


Tamago wrote:

10 minutes is a little bit hyperbolic, but it still completely killed the momentum of the game.

We have the same problem with healing spells. Adding up 17d8 just plain takes a long time. Our group really misses the 1st edition Heal spell with its flat amount of healing.

Heal was flat (even if technically, still scaled by caster level), but broken and outscaled every other sort of healing in the game. It was actually the only valid in-combat healing permissible due to its sheer power and scaling, which is silly in hindsight, and I'd rather not have a repeat of that.

While I do wish the healing spells in PF2 went with that scale (such as by healing 1[spell level] + X[spell level] + modifier), it's still strong enough as it is, despite its variable dice results.

Also, if adding up the dice is really a pain, then use app rollers to calculate the damage/result for you. I'm personally against this, simply because it similarly kills immersion for me, I have a personal distrust of using apps since they can be filled and riddled with errors that I would see right through, and me and my group can add up numbers fairly easily. But for those who cannot develop the mathematical skills, it's an option to consider.


And failing that I've heard the idea of rolling a few dice and taking the average of the rest.


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I really wish spells had flat bonuses for damage and healing. This would make adding them up much easier, and also make it very easy to have them do appropriate damage/healing for their level.

So you don't have to worry about something like "Chain lightning is 9d12 at level 6, 11d12 is too much and 10d12 is too little for level 7". You can have "level 6 chain lightning does 3d12 + 39 damage, level 7 chain lightning does 3d12 + 48 damage."


For me I would ask the players if they would just agree to do average rolls at that point.


Tamago wrote:

10 minutes is a little bit hyperbolic, but it still completely killed the momentum of the game.

We have the same problem with healing spells. Adding up 17d8 just plain takes a long time. Our group really misses the 1st edition Heal spell with its flat amount of healing.

This is why we play on Fantasy Grounds and Roll20. The more dice the merrier. Long live Octozillas and there 96D6 +92 damage.

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