heightened spells should be equal in power to spells that start at that level


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


If you cast a spell at a level, it's power should be of that level.

Take for example lightning bolt and chain lightning. Chain lightning has much better targeting, and they do comparable damage, there's no reason to use a 6th level or higher lightning bolt when you have chain lightning. Also fireball is just way better than burning hands in the same way.

Spells like lightning bolt and burning hands need to have some advantage over those spells, or else why even have the option to cast them at the same level. Making them viable options at the levels you can cast them is a great way to increase caster options. You can still have more interesting effects/better targeting at higher levels, but casting the same spells with more power should be an option too.

Damage spells should change how much damage they do per spell level based on how good their targeting

So for example, you could have:

13 average damage per spell level: burning hands and lightning bolt
10 average damage per spell level: fireball
8 average damage per spell level: chain lighting

That way each spell is worth using. Some hit more targets, some do more damage to the targets they hit.

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The issue with this is, that by making heightened spells equivalent or even better than spells naturally at higher levels, you remove the incentive to spend a spell choice on those higher level spells. Choosing to know or learn, say, fireball uses up some sort of resource, and if burning hands heightened to level 3 is just as good, there is no motivation to spend one of your choices on fireball.


ryric wrote:
The issue with this is, that by making heightened spells equivalent or even better than spells naturally at higher levels, you remove the incentive to spend a spell choice on those higher level spells. Choosing to know or learn, say, fireball uses up some sort of resource, and if burning hands heightened to level 3 is just as good, there is no motivation to spend one of your choices on fireball.

Heightening isn't free, you have to spend a spell known for a third level burning hands. And a prepared caster would have to choose to prepare third level burning hands or fireball.

It would at least be a choice, with one not automatically better than the other. You could also know/prepare both, and there would actually be a reason for that.


No, they shouldn't, for the reasons ryric mentioned.


Counterpoint: this is a bad idea.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah, due to spells costing character resources to learn, heightened spells in fact must be weaker than natural spells of that level.

How much weaker is up for debate, though.


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Higher level spells have more opportunity cost, and cost more money to acquire. There is also a "rule of cool" and "variety" aspect where you want to incentivize people to actually use the cool new higher level abilities they just got access to, instead of continuing to spam Old Reliable through their whole career. So lower level spells in a higher level slot should not be quite as effective as a spell native to a higher level.

However, they don't have to fall behind quite as much as they currently do. There's an in between space where the heightening effects on spells can be better than currently presented, but still not as good as actual higher level spells.


Why exactly should some 6th level spells be weaker than other 6th level spells? Because that is what people are saying about heightened spells. It is a bloody 6th level slot and all 6th level spells should fall into the same power range.


thorin001 wrote:
Why exactly should some 6th level spells be weaker than other 6th level spells? Because that is what people are saying about heightened spells. It is a bloody 6th level slot and all 6th level spells should fall into the same power range.

There's a difference between 6th level spells and 6th level slots. A 2nd level spell heightened so as to be cast with a 6th level slot isn't in, fact, a 6th level spell.


It should be, they shouldn't make spells that aren't worth using on purpose.

You can gain access to new effects with higher level spells, you can't have a 30 foot burst until you get level 3 spells with fireball, and you can't only target enemies until you get level 6 spells with chain lightning. That's interesting enough, without making heightened spells not worth using at all.

Liberty's Edge

I'm tossing in the ring for getting rid of Heightening Spell altogether at this point and just Reprinting Higher level Version of those spells wholesale.

Really, this whole Undercasting/Overcasting 2nd Level Spell into a 5th Level Slot, but then Balancing it against a non-variable Spell headmath just makes my head spin.

This was IMO just 1 step too far, and frankly it is a GIANT headache to keep track of, even for professional GMs and software, Heightening in it's current form is (OPINION ZONE) dumb, hard to understand, and poorly justified.

I would GLADLY pay another $5 USD if they ditched the whole Heightening stuff, printed more Spells, and just made Different Feats to compliment the Classes which "lose out"


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citricking wrote:

It should be, they shouldn't make spells that aren't worth using on purpose.

You can gain access to new effects with higher level spells, you can't have a 30 foot burst until you get level 3 spells with fireball, and you can't only target enemies until you get level 6 spells with chain lightning. That's interesting enough, without making heightened spells not worth using at all.

Being a little behind the damge curve doesn't make a spell useless. 5th level fireball is only 2d6 behind Cone of Cold, it still provides some of the best range of any evocation spell ever, and sometimes you need fire for weakness/resistance purposes. And having having fireball means you can take something completely different with your 5th level spell slot, something to diversify your options beyond blasting.


Yeah, this is one area where I'm not concerned by perfect parity.


Captain Morgan wrote:
citricking wrote:

It should be, they shouldn't make spells that aren't worth using on purpose.

You can gain access to new effects with higher level spells, you can't have a 30 foot burst until you get level 3 spells with fireball, and you can't only target enemies until you get level 6 spells with chain lightning. That's interesting enough, without making heightened spells not worth using at all.

Being a little behind the damge curve doesn't make a spell useless. 5th level fireball is only 2d6 behind Cone of Cold, it still provides some of the best range of any evocation spell ever, and sometimes you need fire for weakness/resistance purposes. And having having fireball means you can take something completely different with your 5th level spell slot, something to diversify your options beyond blasting.

You quoted me, and it seems like you disagree with me, but I'm saying fireball should do less damage than cone of cold.

Spells with better effects like range/AoE size should do less damage. And if they're writing the spells to be used at that level, why not make it comparable to other options at that level. You should have a reason to select it. And a character who focuses on blasting should have an advantage from having different damage spells known, that are better in different situations.

So you want to make a lightning mage as a level 12 sorcerer. You get lightning bolt and shocking grasp as your heightened spells, and select chain lightning as your 6th level spell known. But you have no reason to cast 6th level lightning bolt or shocking grasp, and no reason to cast 3rd 4th or 5th level shocking grasp.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Heightened spells don't exist for the specialist who always buys the hot new spell in their specialty.

They exist so that the control wizard who picks up lightning as their only damage option can at least do some moderately relevant damage if they choose to.


Quote:

Heightened spells don't exist for the specialist who always buys the hot new spell in their specialty.

They exist so that the control wizard who picks up lightning as their only damage option can at least do some moderately relevant damage if they choose to.

Indeed. In fact, I'll go one further and say that heightened spells being as strong as higher level spells actually hurts the specialist. If 3 different blasts all have equal merit and you don't know which situation you are going to need, the only way to be fully prepared is to blow 3 spells known/prepared/spontaneously heightened. In order to be the best blaster you can be, you've just given up all your best resources to do about the same thing.

And in this example, if lightning bolt does more damage than chain lightning, then it severely reduces the incentive of getting the more exciting chain lightning. After all, you don't actually know how often Chain Lightning's targeting will be relevant, so why not take the more reliable damage and use that 6th level spell for Teleport instead?

citricking wrote:


So you want to make a lightning mage as a level 12 sorcerer. You get lightning bolt and shocking grasp as your heightened spells, and select chain lightning as your 6th level spell known. But you have no reason to cast 6th level lightning bolt or shocking grasp, and no reason to cast 3rd 4th or 5th level shocking grasp.

Also, this isn't strictly true. Heightened Shocking Grasp does better single target damage once you factor in the persistent, and you can true strike it for easier crits, is more likely to stick against metal targets. Heightened Lightning Bolt does better damage against dual targets, or however many targets you can get into a line. They are indeed better in certain (Very narrow) circumstances, which seems fine given the lower opportunity cost of learning them.

Also, this particular sorcerer may rarely find themselves using 6th level shocking grasp or lightning bolt... but if she picks them for Spontaneous Heightening, she's also given herself electric options to use her 2nd, 4th, and 5th level spells with. And then should she find herself fighting one or two boss targets that she wants to do max damage to, she can bust out those heightened 6th level spells.


If heightened spells were free I'd understand not wanting to make them as strong, but currently preparing a heightened spell as a prepared caster has the same cost as preparing a normal spell of that level. Except for spontaneous heightening that would be the same in terms of spells known for a spontaneous caster.

I'd rather they remove spontaneous heightening and prepared casters automatically knowing heightened spells if that slightly lower cost is the issue to you. Better that than having way less viable spells at each level.


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citricking wrote:
, but currently preparing a heightened spell as a prepared caster has the same cost as preparing a normal spell of that level.

As has been repeatedly pointed, this isn't true. Adding a spell to your spell book or repertoire had an additional cost that heightening (whether spontaneous or prepared) does not.

Edit: I mean, you can pick 1st level feats with your 10th level feat slots, that doesn't make it a good idea or represent a major balance problem.


Captain Morgan wrote:
citricking wrote:
, but currently preparing a heightened spell as a prepared caster has the same cost as preparing a normal spell of that level.

As has been repeatedly pointed, this isn't true. Adding a spell to your spell book or repertoire had an additional cost that heightening (whether spontaneous or prepared) does not.

Edit: I mean, you can pick 1st level feats with your 10th level feat slots, that doesn't make it a good idea or represent a major balance problem.

I said "preparing", I already addressed that difference in cost on the next line…

"I'd rather they remove spontaneous heightening and prepared casters automatically knowing heightened spells if that slightly lower cost is the issue to you. "


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citricking wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
citricking wrote:
, but currently preparing a heightened spell as a prepared caster has the same cost as preparing a normal spell of that level.

As has been repeatedly pointed, this isn't true. Adding a spell to your spell book or repertoire had an additional cost that heightening (whether spontaneous or prepared) does not.

Edit: I mean, you can pick 1st level feats with your 10th level feat slots, that doesn't make it a good idea or represent a major balance problem.

I said "preparing", I already addressed that difference in cost on the next line…

"I'd rather they remove spontaneous heightening and prepared casters automatically knowing heightened spells if that slightly lower cost is the issue to you. "

I still don't feel like you are addressing the purchase price cost difference - the character build cost of learning the higher level spell.

A low level spell should be less valuable than a high level spell.

You can heighten the low level spell, but it should still be less valuable than an actual high level spell. Otherwise buying the high level spell feels like wasted value.

Also, being able to heighten low level spells to a higher level and having them be just as effective and valuable as an actual high level spell means that the character power of spellcasters has gone up. Mostly in versatility. A mage can buy one or two damage spells and call themselves an effective blaster caster for the rest of their career. They can then branch out and get buff spells, debuff spells, movement spells, and other utility spell types - all while still being a fully effective blaster caster.

I agree with this:

MaxAstro wrote:

Heightened spells don't exist for the specialist who always buys the hot new spell in their specialty.

They exist so that the control wizard who picks up lightning as their only damage option can at least do some moderately relevant damage if they choose to.

Moderately relevant damage for heightened low level spells.


breithauptclan wrote:
citricking wrote:


"I'd rather they remove spontaneous heightening and prepared casters automatically knowing heightened spells if that slightly lower cost is the issue to you. "
I still don't feel like you are addressing the purchase price cost difference - the character build cost of learning the higher level spell.

But I'm directly addressing the purchase cost difference?

"I'd rather they remove [..] prepared casters automatically knowing heightened spells..."

Liberty's Edge

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Would it be too much for just move ALL Spells that can be Heightened over into the Powers Section and instead provide some OTHER way of letting them choose to spend SP for their "At-Level" effect of the Power while also letting them expend the Appropriate Spell Slot to cast it at the Level they wish?

Would it really be that bad if we allowed Spells to ALL be 100% Unique, not Heightening, one-off, iconic effects, and shift all of the "Variable Level Magic" into the Powers Section?

Clearly Heal is already about halfway to being a Power in its own right, and most of the other Spells that can be Heightened also fit the mold of a Magical "Power" especially since it is assumed that each individual has a different amount of personal Power themselves.

If we HAVE to keep this fiddly, confusing, and backwards system, can we at least please consolidate it to EITHER Spells or Powers so that we don't have to worry about learning ONLY the "Right" spells that will give you the most choices.

Everything that SHOULD come standard on a Spellcaster should be just unbolted from the X/day Spells Mechanism, the only thing keeping these Heightenable Spell Effects as-is does is muddy the water and require inelegant systems like Spont Heighten and "Undercasting" to fudge the difference.

DO something please, either ALL spells need Heighten Options, or NONE of the deserve them.


Spell heightening provides a few advantages to casters that aren't easily replaceable with another system:
- Diversity of available spells at the top level of spells a PC is capable of. This is critical for all the casters who have a limited spell repertoire or spellbook. If I just got to level 9 and I can know just 2 level 5 spells, it's a big opportunity cost to choose one of them to be about fire damage. If I know fireball already, I can heighten it to level 5, a decent substitute even if it does a little less damage.
- For spells that don't do damage, heightened versions are often what keeps them relevant at higher levels, without having to spend the opportunity cost of re-learning a higher version. For example, for a PF1 sorcerer who'd like to specialize in summoning, the summon monster line of spells becomes a huge tax, which is gone in PF2.

From the viewpoint of the rules' text size and ease of use, heightening is also a great boon. For all these reasons, I think the heightening concept is here to stay, and that's a good thing.

For the same reasons that others have discussed above, I don't think a heightened spell should have the same power as a spell of the higher level: Even if its casting cost is the same, its opportunity cost is a great deal lower. If it had the same power, the heightened spells would crowd the higher level ones out. Above, citricking suggested the removal of spontaneous heightening and prepared casters automatically knowing heightened spells: The problem with this idea is that it kills half of the value of heightening as I described it above.

I also don't buy the argument that heightened spells are useless unless they acquire power parity. To reuse the level 9 wizard example, let's say I decided to learn cone of cold and prying eye. Then, I find that the likely enemy of the day will be vulnerable to fire and resistant to cold: that's when I'm glad I can heighten my fireball.


citricking wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
citricking wrote:


"I'd rather they remove spontaneous heightening and prepared casters automatically knowing heightened spells if that slightly lower cost is the issue to you. "
I still don't feel like you are addressing the purchase price cost difference - the character build cost of learning the higher level spell.

But I'm directly addressing the purchase cost difference?

"I'd rather they remove [..] prepared casters automatically knowing heightened spells..."

In that case, I am not understanding what you are saying.

What it sounds like to me is that a 1st level Burning Hands spell is always a 1st level Burning Hands spell; it always does 2d6 damage; and it is always worthless to even know the spell at a character level above about 8th. No heightening available.

But I have a suspicion that this is not what you are proposing. Can you try explaining the proposal in more detail?


The point was raised in the other thread that under current rules casters, or at least spontaneous casters, have to actually learn heightened spells as entirely separate spells. Which does change the metric for comparison quite a bit.

Condensing my response:

If some casters have to learn heightened versions as entirely separate spells, then all casters should have to do so, and heightened spells SHOULD actually be fully as powerful as and completely on par with higher level spells.

If they let everyone heighten freely, prepared and spontaneous alike, then heightened spells are more versatile for less investment and shouldn't be as powerful as higher level spells.


breithauptclan wrote:


But I have a suspicion that this is not what you are proposing. Can you try explaining the proposal in more detail?

No no.

Spells CAN BE HEIGHTENED, but you have to LEARN the heightened version.

That thing wizards don't need to do, but sorcerers do? Make wizards do it to.


breithauptclan wrote:
citricking wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
citricking wrote:


"I'd rather they remove spontaneous heightening and prepared casters automatically knowing heightened spells if that slightly lower cost is the issue to you. "
I still don't feel like you are addressing the purchase price cost difference - the character build cost of learning the higher level spell.

But I'm directly addressing the purchase cost difference?

"I'd rather they remove [..] prepared casters automatically knowing heightened spells..."

In that case, I am not understanding what you are saying.

What it sounds like to me is that a 1st level Burning Hands spell is always a 1st level Burning Hands spell; it always does 2d6 damage; and it is always worthless to even know the spell at a character level above about 8th. No heightening available.

But I have a suspicion that this is not what you are proposing. Can you try explaining the proposal in more detail?

Proposed change for those worried about the cost being cheaper:

A wizard could learn a first level burning hands, and prepare it as a first level spell, then at level 3 they could learn it as a second level spell. If they didn't learn it as a second level spell they couldn't prepare it as a second level spell. And so on for third level spells and higher.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

The point was raised in the other thread that under current rules casters, or at least spontaneous casters, have to actually learn heightened spells as entirely separate spells. Which does change the metric for comparison quite a bit.

Condensing my response:

If some casters have to learn heightened versions as entirely separate spells, then all casters should have to do so, and heightened spells SHOULD actually be fully as powerful as and completely on par with higher level spells.

If they let everyone heighten freely, prepared and spontaneous alike, then heightened spells are more versatile for less investment and shouldn't be as powerful as higher level spells.

This makes sense, yes. I would prefer the second option by far, especially since this is what the druid and cleric get anyway. Hopefully this would bring sorcerers to a point where they're balanced with prepared casters. If this makes them too powerful, then some other limitation should be applied to heightening. Right now, the limit to spontaneous heightening for them feels rather contrived.


gwynfrid wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

The point was raised in the other thread that under current rules casters, or at least spontaneous casters, have to actually learn heightened spells as entirely separate spells. Which does change the metric for comparison quite a bit.

Condensing my response:

If some casters have to learn heightened versions as entirely separate spells, then all casters should have to do so, and heightened spells SHOULD actually be fully as powerful as and completely on par with higher level spells.

If they let everyone heighten freely, prepared and spontaneous alike, then heightened spells are more versatile for less investment and shouldn't be as powerful as higher level spells.

This makes sense, yes. I would prefer the second option by far, especially since this is what the druid and cleric get anyway. Hopefully this would bring sorcerers to a point where they're balanced with prepared casters. If this makes them too powerful, then some other limitation should be applied to heightening. Right now, the limit to spontaneous heightening for them feels rather contrived.

But the if the spells are not balanced at each level the Cleric and Druid still have this problem: heightened spells are worth using.

Personally I feel like Sorcerers are currently balanced with Wizards, preparing a set number of slots really is a hassle.


Again, there's a world of difference between "worth using" and "as strong as the strongest option at this level."

My two hander barbarian will always do the best damage with his great axe that's he blings out with the best runes he can afford as soon as he can afford them. His back up bow will probably pay a potency rune or two behind. Does that make the bow worthless? No, because sometimes the great axe won't work for a particular encounter.

Heightened spells (or at least damaging spells) are back up weapons.


Captain Morgan wrote:

Again, there's a world of difference between "worth using" and "as strong as the strongest option at this level."

My two hander barbarian will always do the best damage with his great axe that's he blings out with the best runes he can afford as soon as he can afford them. His back up bow will probably pay a potency rune or two behind. Does that make the bow worthless? No, because sometimes the great axe won't work for a particular encounter.

Heightened spells (or at least damaging spells) are back up weapons.

The backup weapon analogy is interesting, and mostly valid for damage dealing spells. But I think if we extend the analysis beyond raw damage, heightened spells are better than that. For example, things like heightened fly, enlarge, haste, invisibility, longstrider, confusion, web, slow, or dimension door are worth casting in their own right, not just as backup.

citricking wrote:
But the if the spells are not balanced at each level the Cleric and Druid still have this problem: heightened spells are worth using.

There are plenty of divine and primal spells that are worth heightening: some examples are fear, endure elements, restoration, water breathing, silence, heroism. And of course, summon monster and summon nature's ally.

citricking wrote:
Personally I feel like Sorcerers are currently balanced with Wizards, preparing a set number of slots really is a hassle.

The wizard vs sorcerer power balance can be debated, but the hassle of preparing spells doesn't compensate for anything in that respect. If the sorcerer is easier to play, that doesn't really improve his power.


gwynfrid wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

Again, there's a world of difference between "worth using" and "as strong as the strongest option at this level."

My two hander barbarian will always do the best damage with his great axe that's he blings out with the best runes he can afford as soon as he can afford them. His back up bow will probably pay a potency rune or two behind. Does that make the bow worthless? No, because sometimes the great axe won't work for a particular encounter.

Heightened spells (or at least damaging spells) are back up weapons.

The backup weapon analogy is interesting, and mostly valid for damage dealing spells. But I think if we extend the analysis beyond raw damage, heightened spells are better than that. For example, things like heightened fly, enlarge, haste, invisibility, longstrider, confusion, web, slow, or dimension door are worth casting in their own right, not just as backup.

citricking wrote:
But the if the spells are not balanced at each level the Cleric and Druid still have this problem: heightened spells are worth using.

There are plenty of divine and primal spells that are worth heightening: some examples are fear, endure elements, restoration, water breathing, silence, heroism. And of course, summon monster and summon nature's ally.

citricking wrote:
Personally I feel like Sorcerers are currently balanced with Wizards, preparing a set number of slots really is a hassle.
The wizard vs sorcerer power balance can be debated, but the hassle of preparing spells doesn't compensate for anything in that respect. If the sorcerer is easier to play, that doesn't really improve his power.

Yeah, heightened non damage spells are some of the best spells their are. So it's not that other spells are weaker for their level because they're a heightening option, just damage spells have this problem (this also seems to suggest the solution is having damage increase more than linearly, or gaining additional effects as well).

It's not the hassle that's the drawback for prepare casters, it's having a set number for a spell instead of as many castings as you want at the time.


citricking wrote:
Yeah, heightened non damage spells are some of the best spells their are. So it's not that other spells are weaker for their level because they're a heightening option, just damage spells have this problem (this also seems to suggest the solution is having damage increase more than linearly, or gaining additional effects as well).

That doesn't seem necessary. Linear increase is plenty. Besides, weapon progression is linear as well.

As for the heightened damage spells, as explained by Captain Morgan, they're backup, so it is appropriate that they would be a step or two behind main spells.

citricking wrote:

It's not the hassle that's the drawback for prepare casters, it's having a set number for a spell instead of as many castings as you want at the time.

Fair enough. However, that drawback has been dramatically reduced with update 1.6 where Quick Preparation is standard. Unless the devs walk that back (making a lot of people very unhappy since most wizards were taking it as a feat), the sorcerer needs something to get back to par.


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citricking wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
citricking wrote:


In that case, I am not understanding what you are saying.

What it sounds like to me is that a 1st level Burning Hands spell is always a 1st level Burning Hands spell; it always does 2d6 damage; and it is always worthless to even know the spell at a character level above about 8th. No heightening available.

But I have a suspicion that this is not what you are proposing. Can you try explaining the proposal in more detail?

Proposed change for those worried about the cost being cheaper:

A wizard could learn a first level burning hands, and prepare it as a first level spell, then at level 3 they could learn it as a second level spell. If they didn't learn it as a second level spell they couldn't prepare it as a second level spell. And so on for third level spells and higher.

Ah. Like the Starfinder method of learning multi-level spells then. If you want to cast the spell at the highest level, you have to learn it at the highest level.

At that point, yes, the level 3 Burning Hands should be equivalent to the level 3 Fireball. The fact that you can learn Burning Hands as a level 1 spell doesn't matter because the level 1 Burning Hands is a different spell (though in Starfinder you do learn the level 1 version for free when you learn the level 3 version).


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Captain Morgan wrote:

Again, there's a world of difference between "worth using" and "as strong as the strongest option at this level."

My two hander barbarian will always do the best damage with his great axe that's he blings out with the best runes he can afford as soon as he can afford them. His back up bow will probably pay a potency rune or two behind. Does that make the bow worthless? No, because sometimes the great axe won't work for a particular encounter.

Heightened spells (or at least damaging spells) are back up weapons.

No, cantrips are backup weapons.


I'm not even sure what a Magic Missile that's as powerful as Wish would look like.


gwynfrid wrote:
citricking wrote:
Yeah, heightened non damage spells are some of the best spells their are. So it's not that other spells are weaker for their level because they're a heightening option, just damage spells have this problem (this also seems to suggest the solution is having damage increase more than linearly, or gaining additional effects as well).

That doesn't seem necessary. Linear increase is plenty. Besides, weapon progression is linear as well.

Spells get more powerful as their level increases. A level 3 slow is as powerful at level 5 and level 11, a level 6 slow is more powerful. The same for fear or heroism. This is true for most spells, higher level = more powerful. Do you disagree with this?

For damage spells, increasing at a rate of damage = X*level is not increasing in power, it is just keeping up with the increasing monster HP. Do you disagree with this?

So damage spells need more than a linear increase in power to gain in power with spell levels. This is currently down by gaining access to new damage spells that are better than the old ones at higher levels. Do you disagree with this?

But this has the problem of the heightened low level spells being not of appropriate power for their heightened level. Do you disagree with this?

If you want heightened damage spells to be equivalent to equal level spells, they must increase in power. This could be done by having them increase in damage by more than damage = X * level, or gaining additional effects.

If you don't want them to be equal in power to spells of their level obviously nothing needs to be done. But I feel like they should, currently for a cleric or a druid there is no difference at all between a heightened and a not heightened spell.

Liberty's Edge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm not even sure what a Magic Missile that's as powerful as Wish would look like.

Well lets take a look Meteor Swarm: A 9th Level Spell

4d10 + 19d6 Damage in a 40ft Burst.

Now, with Wish we SHOULD be able to emulate some aspects (At LEAST the damage scale somewhat) for an example of what a Magic Missile-Wish might look like.

Now, it IS force, and not Bludgeoning or Fire Damage so there HAS to be a tick there, say get rid of the 4d10 altogether, and also drop the damage die to d4 since Force IS so powerful.

So we have 19d4 +1/die to distribute in a REALLY large range, if I were writing the spell, I would just shortcut things and have the Missile and have it automatically resolve as a regular MM does, but instead target EVERYTHING hostile in the Area. You are free to distribute each of the dice to any number of targets in the area, or simply barrage one enemy with a Super Wish-Missile.


citricking wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
citricking wrote:
Yeah, heightened non damage spells are some of the best spells their are. So it's not that other spells are weaker for their level because they're a heightening option, just damage spells have this problem (this also seems to suggest the solution is having damage increase more than linearly, or gaining additional effects as well).

That doesn't seem necessary. Linear increase is plenty. Besides, weapon progression is linear as well.

Spells get more powerful as their level increases. A level 3 slow is as powerful at level 5 and level 11, a level 6 slow is more powerful. The same for fear or heroism. This is true for most spells, higher level = more powerful. Do you disagree with this?

At face value, I don't, but in fact this depends what you mean with "more powerful". Obviously a level N+1 spell is more powerful than a level N spell. But monsters' powers also increase with level, and are meant to keep up, roughly, with the PCs. So, if you mean "more powerful relative to level-appropriate monsters" then I do disagree.

citricking wrote:
For damage spells, increasing at a rate of damage = X*level is not increasing in power, it is just keeping up with the increasing monster HP. Do you disagree with this?

No, assuming you mean "more powerful" = "more powerful relative to level-appropriate monsters".

We can check that linear increase is what the rules currently give us, under update 1.6. The current damage dealing spell definitions look like this:
Level 3, fireball: 8d6 - average 28
Level 3, lightning bolt: 5d12 - average 32.5
Level 5, cone of cold: 14d6 - average 49
Level 6, chain lightning 9d12 - average 58.5
Level 8, horrid wilting: 12d10 - average 66
Level 9, meteor swarm: 4d10+19d6 - average 88.5

So, damaging spells increase in power roughly linearly, at approximately 10 damage per level (one can argue that horrid wilting is underpowered, but this compensates for an incredibly large area of effect).

Note that the majority of heightened spells get increased at a rate of +2d6 damage (average +7) per level. So, indeed they're a bit less powerful than higher level spells.

citricking wrote:
So damage spells need more than a linear increase in power to gain in power with spell levels. This is currently down by gaining access to new damage spells that are better than the old ones at higher levels. Do you disagree with this?

Yes. As indicated above, currently the increase is about linear, and in my opinion it doesn't need to be faster than that. If it were faster, then a level 10 monster would be less of a challenge for a level 10 PC, compared to a level 5 monster facing a level 5 PC. That would distort the game's expectations, and at very high level it would make no sense at all.

citricking wrote:
But this has the problem of the heightened low level spells being not of appropriate power for their heightened level. Do you disagree with this?

Yes. This is not a bug, it's a feature, and a good one.

citricking wrote:

If you want heightened damage spells to be equivalent to equal level spells, they must increase in power. This could be done by having them increase in damage by more than damage = X * level, or gaining additional effects.

If you don't want them to be equal in power to spells of their level obviously nothing needs to be done. But I feel like they should, currently for a cleric or a druid there is no difference at all between a heightened and a not heightened spell.

I don't think I agree with this either. It's a bit harder to prove for divine spells, since few are direct damage-dealing, so most comparisons will be subjective. For primal spells, your point is demonstrably mistaken, since the damage dealing spells are the same on the primal and arcane lists.


gwynfrid wrote:
citricking wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
citricking wrote:
Yeah, heightened non damage spells are some of the best spells their are. So it's not that other spells are weaker for their level because they're a heightening option, just damage spells have this problem (this also seems to suggest the solution is having damage increase more than linearly, or gaining additional effects as well).

That doesn't seem necessary. Linear increase is plenty. Besides, weapon progression is linear as well.

Spells get more powerful as their level increases. A level 3 slow is as powerful at level 5 and level 11, a level 6 slow is more powerful. The same for fear or heroism. This is true for most spells, higher level = more powerful. Do you disagree with this?

At face value, I don't, but in fact this depends what you mean with "more powerful". Obviously a level N+1 spell is more powerful than a level N spell. But monsters' powers also increase with level, and are meant to keep up, roughly, with the PCs. So, if you mean "more powerful relative to level-appropriate monsters" then I do disagree.

citricking wrote:
For damage spells, increasing at a rate of damage = X*level is not increasing in power, it is just keeping up with the increasing monster HP. Do you disagree with this?

No, assuming you mean "more powerful" = "more powerful relative to level-appropriate monsters".

We can check that linear increase is what the rules currently give us, under update 1.6. The current damage dealing spell definitions look like this:
Level 3, fireball: 8d6 - average 28
Level 3, lightning bolt: 5d12 - average 32.5
Level 5, cone of cold: 14d6 - average 49
Level 6, chain lightning 9d12 - average 58.5
Level 8, horrid wilting: 12d10 - average 66
Level 9, meteor swarm: 4d10+19d6 - average 88.5

So, damaging spells increase in power roughly linearly, at approximately 10 damage per level (one can argue that horrid wilting is underpowered, but this compensates for an incredibly large area of effect).

Note that the majority of heightened spells get increased at a rate of +2d6 damage (average +7) per level. So, indeed they're a bit less powerful than higher level spells.

PCs get more powerful abilities, so do monsters. That doesn't mean the PCs abilities aren't getting more powerful, just that the monsters are too.

Damage increasing at a linear rate doesn't mean it's increasing in power, it's always doing about 1/4 of monster HP. Damage spells increasing in power mostly by having better AoE or targeting, fireball can hit a larger Aoe, Chain lightning doesn't hit allies, Weird hits everyone, meteor swarm has a very large AoE, and so on.

Quote:


Yes. As indicated above, currently the increase is about linear, and in my opinion it doesn't need to be faster than that. If it were faster, then a level 10 monster would be less of a challenge for a level 10 PC, compared to a level 5 monster facing a level 5 PC. That would distort the game's expectations, and at very high level it would make no sense at all.

Other abilities do gain power, and higher level monsters have stronger abilities too, weapon users also lose power as they level up.

Maybe you don't want to increase damage, but increasing damage isn't the only way to increase power.

Quote:


I don't think I agree with this either. It's a bit harder to prove for divine spells, since few are direct damage-dealing, so most comparisons will be subjective. For primal spells, your point is demonstrably mistaken, since the damage dealing spells are the same on the primal and arcane lists.

The is absolutely no difference between a cleric or druid knowing and preparing a heightened spell, vs knowing and preparing a spell that is not heightened (bar a very few abilities like the Magic domain power).


I'm not sure I understand everything in your latest remarks, but I think we've adressed the matter as completely as can be, and we've come to the point when to have to agree to disagree.

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