Lockewood's Helpful Hints!: Blasting, and Proficiency, and Heightening, OH MY!!!


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


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A note to the developers:
Sorry that we all are only throwing negative comments your way...That is the nature of a Playtest, constructive criticism.
I have striven to be polite about it though and hope that we can patiently and calmly hear out each others arguments before coming to a solution.

That said, lets get on to the topic at hand! The main focus of this post will be Blasting...But the changes I'm suggesting are far more broad then that. Many people have approached this problem and argued over minor parts...I'm going to try not to.

A couple things to note first before I address my suggestion:

1: Proficiency doesn't do much in regards to spells apart from increasing the DC.

2: Heightening has replaced a spells ability to grow more powerful with Caster Level

3: Heightened spells are made to not be as powerful as a spell of the level they are Heightened to.

Now, I'm not going to ask you to remove Proficiency or Heightening as I see potential in them...But I will be asking, not demanding, for some small tweaks if it is possible.

Let's talk about number 2: I liked spells advancing with caster level and I will explain why. (remember, I'm not asking you to change it back)

First of all, I liked that spells improved as you leveled because lower level spells weren’t strictly inferior to higher ones, just different. (Note that this was true of non-blast spells as well. Things like Jump, True Skill, and Enlarge Person stayed useful even after stronger spells came around)
Blasts were a special case because lower leveled spells can achieve greater damage through metamagic, even considering the level increase.

So while Fireball was the go-to damage spell, Fire Snake could do interesting things like curving around walls and people and Delayed Fireball can do yet another interesting thing.
It was a higher level spell for a reason; while you could buff a Fireball’s damage into the skies it was still just a Fireball. A higher level spell has something intrinsically more complicated than just more intense damage.

The problem that occurred, was that the damage of lower leveled spells started far outstripping the utility of the higher spells. In part this was because Metamagic Rods work best on spells below level three, the other part was that metamagic just added so much damage to a spell.

Notice, the problem wasn't that it did more damage, just the extent of the difference. Thus, higher damage is not the problem.
For instance, Intensified Shocking Grasp may do more damage than Scorching Rays...But you have to touch the guy... Scorching Rays is still valuable because it can attack multiple targets at a distance.

The problem with Heightening, is that the current system has, basically, the same spell with a bit more damage at each level. Nothing terribly interesting happens when it becomes a higher level spell. This also makes lower leveled versions of the spell just seem like an inferior replacement.

...

So what do I suggest?

I advise a sort of hybrid system. I suggest that individual spells get a little more powerful as your spellcasting proficiency increases. (This addresses notes 1 and 2)

So, in the case of blasts, when you reach Expert Proficiency your spells will gain a bit of a damage boost to keep them relevant over cantrips. Then, you can heighten them to gain, not only further damage, but also something worthy of a higher tier.

For instance, Fireball gaining the option of being Delayed once it’s been heightened past a certain level. Or maybe, Scorching rays can add additional rays and become Contagious, then have the option of merging them all together into a Fire Snake?

This has what is, in my opinion, the added benefit of reducing the amount of necessary fire spells. Only a handful of each type of spell is needed. Each spell is just a chassis for a Mage to learn and improve on. The same chassis will be used for a higher spell but overhauled.

Now it might be best if higher options, like upgrading Scorching Rays to Fire Snake, did a bit less damage then using it the normal way in exchange for the versatility in targeting added to the new form. But don’t overdue this or people won’t us it. The math part I will leave to you guys because only you can make that part work.

One last thing, I would also advise that a 5th level Fireball be equal in power to a normal 5th level spell as opposed to the current model. This was done intentionally because you wanted to incentivize taking higher level spells instead of just reusing your old spells.

In my opinion though, at least for a spontaneous caster, a 5th level Fireball already is a higher level spell of its own. After all, you have to learn it as a separate spell anyways. Therefore, it should be treated as a 5th level spell in all ways.

Of course, if you’re worried that Wizards learning all levels of a spell would make this overpowered, then just make them learn it individually like everyone else. Each level is unique now so it actually feels like a new spell!

Good Evening

P.S. If someone has further insight, questions, or clarifications then please do not hesitate to write. It feels as though we argue so much that we aren't willing to come up with any solutions or new ideas...


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Lockewood wrote:
First of all, I liked that spells improved as you leveled because lower level spells weren’t strictly inferior to higher ones, just different. (Note that this was true of non-blast spells as well. Things like Jump, True Skill, and Enlarge Person stayed useful even after stronger spells came around)

Yeah, removing caster level scaling makes it so only damage (and healing, summoning, polymorph) spells get worse as you gain levels, buffs stay the same in power (debuffs too, now that DCs aren't tired to spell level).

Lockewood wrote:
In my opinion though, at least for a spontaneous caster, a 5th level Fireball already is a higher level spell of its own. After all, you have to learn it as a separate spell anyways. Therefore, it should be treated as a 5th level spell in all ways.

Glad to see others agree with this.

If they want to make spell levels increase in power instead of just keeping up, they could have something like:
level 1 damage: 10
level 2 damage: 21
level 3 damage: 33
level 4 damage: 47

instead of just:
level X damage: 10*X


citricking wrote:
Lockewood wrote:
First of all, I liked that spells improved as you leveled because lower level spells weren’t strictly inferior to higher ones, just different. (Note that this was true of non-blast spells as well. Things like Jump, True Skill, and Enlarge Person stayed useful even after stronger spells came around)
Yeah, removing caster level scaling makes it so only damage (and healing, summoning, polymorph) spells get worse as you gain levels, buffs stay the same in power (debuffs too, now that DCs aren't tired to spell level

That is not entirely true. (Though I do agree that blasting spells get the worst of it)

Let's take Resist Energy as an example. It gives 5 energy resistance and affects one person. When Heightened, it gives 10/15 energy resistance and affects 2/3 people.

According to the system I made above two things would happen.

1:Resist Energy's resistance would increase with proficiency instead of caster level. This let's the un-heightened one still be a useful single target buff. (Though, it might be necessary to make it's energy resistance still a little less than the heightened variants)

2:Something more expansive would happen as you Heighten it, possibly in addition to more resistance. For instance, it can affect more targets or multiple energy types at once. Something that makes it feel like a higher level spell.


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Lockewood wrote:
citricking wrote:
Lockewood wrote:
First of all, I liked that spells improved as you leveled because lower level spells weren’t strictly inferior to higher ones, just different. (Note that this was true of non-blast spells as well. Things like Jump, True Skill, and Enlarge Person stayed useful even after stronger spells came around)
Yeah, removing caster level scaling makes it so only damage (and healing, summoning, polymorph) spells get worse as you gain levels, buffs stay the same in power (debuffs too, now that DCs aren't tired to spell level

That is not entirely true. (Though I do agree that blasting spells get the worst of it)

Let's take Resist Energy as an example. It gives 5 energy resistance and affects one person. When Heightened, it gives 10/15 energy resistance and affects 2/3 people.

According to the system I made above two things would happen.

1:Resist Energy's resistance would increase with proficiency instead of caster level. This let's the un-heightened one still be a useful single target buff. (Though, it might be necessary to make it's energy resistance still a little less than the heightened variants)

2:Something more expansive would happen as you Heighten it, possibly in addition to more resistance. For instance, it can affect more targets or multiple energy types at once. Something that makes it feel like a higher level spell.

With this idea, I'd have the proficiency and heightening effect be on separate tracks, in that (in regards to Resist Energy)
  • Heightening makes it bestow a higher level of defense (+5 per 2 levels?)
  • Proficiency causes it to target more people (2 more per tier above trained)
I also think if they went this route, that they'd need to shuffle around when a caster is granted their proficiency increases, as having them all end-loaded makes this theoretical system have a very strong "feels bad man" effect for anyone below level 12. All in all, I LOVE this idea of making casters scale in a very fluid manner that makes a TON of sense fluff wise ("I'm REALLY good at handling this ball of power, I'ma smack multiple people with it!")


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While I'd prefer there to be some incentive to use newer, flashier, more expensive higher level spells as your character levels up... You do make a good point about spontaneous casters having to relearn a spell multiple times at higher levels. I had blocked that bit of stupidity from my mind.

If they retain relearning spells over and over, then yes, they are competing directly with other spells of that level. As such they should be made just as strong as other spells of that level. And all spellcasters, spontaneous and prepared alike, should have to play by the same rules and relearn the spell multiple times at higher levels.

If they get rid of that stupid mechanic, and let everyone heighten the spells they know without restriction, then heightened spells should remain less powerful than actual spells of that level. Because then they are more versatile while also being less expensive and easier to learn than higher level spells.


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Lockewood wrote:
citricking wrote:
Lockewood wrote:
First of all, I liked that spells improved as you leveled because lower level spells weren’t strictly inferior to higher ones, just different. (Note that this was true of non-blast spells as well. Things like Jump, True Skill, and Enlarge Person stayed useful even after stronger spells came around)
Yeah, removing caster level scaling makes it so only damage (and healing, summoning, polymorph) spells get worse as you gain levels, buffs stay the same in power (debuffs too, now that DCs aren't tired to spell level

That is not entirely true. (Though I do agree that blasting spells get the worst of it)

Let's take Resist Energy as an example. It gives 5 energy resistance and affects one person. When Heightened, it gives 10/15 energy resistance and affects 2/3 people.

Well Resist Energy gives resistance, which becomes a smaller and smaller portion of your health as you level. So it's the same as damage/healing in terms of getting worse as you level.


I apologize upfront that I am unfamiliar with typical reply methods...So I will have to address you individually instead...

To Mr. Nick1wasd:
I completely agree that they would need to move the proficiency increases around, but finding the correct place has to do with the games tight math...So I figured I'd leave the specifics to them.
However, what levels would you suggest?

Also, as far as which part is progressed by Proficiency or Heightening...I was mimicking what they did in the first edition... A single spell increase in power by itself...But a higher level version of that spell, Communal Resist Energy, has something inherently more complex to it... Resist Energy is still just as good if you are only targeting one person though. Which kept lower level slots useful.

Thank you for your kind words on my idea.
Good day!

To Mr. Fuzzypaws:
That's just the beauty of it, the newer, flashier, more expensive spells 'are' what you Heighten it into.

I took the liberty of looking at the other thread addressing this and would like to address Mr. Ryric's worry.

In Mr. Ryric's words:
"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."

Going by my system, Fireball 'is' the Heightened upgrade of Burning Hands though... Each type would only need a handful of spells.
So instead of having a bunch of fire spells at each level, you have 2-4 base spells that can be upgraded into many versatile forms.

Burning Hands->Fireball->Delayed Fireball
Scorching Rays->Contagious Rays->Firesnake
Etc. (I'm just spitballing here)

This would mean that a specialist would focus on a handful of spells... And would spend the rest of his spells known diversifying into other fields... Maybe they'll learn another element...Or some support spells...Or become a part time Illusionist.

I don't really think that's a bad thing. Plus it makes Heightening feel more powerful than just some more numbers...It makes blasting feel flexible too which is a nice benefit.

Thank you for commenting, if you have more to say please do!
Good day!


The thing about this is it makes the spells significantly longer and more complex. The print space that takes up is offset by collapsing spells into each other.

This makes it harder to pick between spells, though again that's offset if you reduce. But the big problem is that spells begin to be more and more unwieldy to actually use.

One of the big issues with Caster level in PF1 was that it was a fiddly concept a lot of people got tripped up on, and it turned every spell into an algebra equation. Adding proficiency scaling might not be as bad but it runs into the same issue.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of more flexible spell casting, but I worry it might be better suited to something like words of power than vancian or Neo vancian casting.


First off, thank you Mr. Morgan for commenting! I'm always happy to hear new thoughts. (Well, there are some circumstances where I'm not but let's not get into that)
Let's see if I can figure out how to do that reply thing I always see you guys doing... (I did)

Captain Morgan wrote:
The thing about this is it makes the spells significantly longer and more complex. The print space that takes up is offset by collapsing spells into each other.

I agree with you that this adds a level of complexity to spellcasting, but I think people may have over-focused on simplification in this edition...

The first edition was very complex and needed simplification for the newer players but I think we've reached the point, in magic at least, where adding just a little complexity will give a lot of charm to the system.
Also, the final book will be longer and they mean to overhaul magic anyway...So I'm hoping this won't be too much of a problem.

Captain Morgan wrote:
This makes it harder to pick between spells, though again that's offset if you reduce. But the big problem is that spells begin to be more and more unwieldy to actually use.

Could you extrapolate on this thought? If I know the problem I may be able to tweak things to streamline the thing...

Captain Morgan wrote:
One of the big issues with Caster level in PF1 was that it was a fiddly concept a lot of people got tripped up on, and it turned every spell into an algebra equation. Adding proficiency scaling might not be as bad but it runs into the same issue.

From my observations, a subjective thing, I've found that people get tripped up on caster level because all their class features change every level without their class telling them. (I know that it does, in fact, tell them, but not many people want to read the fine print.)

The benefit in using proficiency, is that:
It only happens three times.
The class tells you when it happens.

So spells will hopefully be like this:
Resist Energy
This spell does 'flavor stuff etc. etc. etc.' and blocks 5 points of energy.
Expert: 10 points
Master: 15 points
Legendary: 20 points ( these numbers aren't suggestions but examples)

That's not too much additional space. Also, the class right out tells you "You're an Expert now!" so then you look to the Expert line... I hope.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of more flexible spell casting, but I worry it might be better suited to something like words of power than vancian or Neo vancian casting.

I think I know what you're getting at but could you, once again, extrapolate on this?

In general, I'm not trying to add anything to the system. I'm just taking two things already in the system, Proficiency and Heightening, and trying to make them more wondrous and exciting.

Good day and a Happy Thanksgiving!


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Lockewood wrote:

First off, thank you Mr. Morgan for commenting! I'm always happy to hear new thoughts. (Well, there are some circumstances where I'm not but let's not get into that)

Let's see if I can figure out how to do that reply thing I always see you guys doing... (I did)
snipped for space...

Could you extrapolate on this thought? If I know the problem I may be able to tweak things to streamline the thing...

Happy to share. Confession: I was VERY intoxicated when I posted that last night, and looking at it today I can see why it would need clarification.

So the average PF1 spell had several points you had to calculate things based on your caster level, CL: duration, range, and damage being the most obvious. PF2 does not have these things. It has the spell, and it has its heightened entry(s). (H)

Adding Proficiency (P) seems like it would take the place of CL, but we then basically have P and H in the same entries and you've combined some of the complexity of both versions. Now, you could make P apply to less things than CL did, but the more variables you enter, the harder to balance, use in play, and pick between.

Quote:

Captain Morgan wrote:

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of more flexible spell casting, but I worry it might be better suited to something like words of power than vancian or Neo vancian casting.
I think I know what you're getting at but could you, once again, extrapolate on this?

In general, I'm not trying to add anything to the system. I'm just taking two things already in the system, Proficiency and Heightening, and trying to make them more wondrous and exciting.

So in a words of power type system, as I understand it, you have spell building blocks. Instead of having spells like fireball, burning hands, and lightning bolt, you have a fire and a lightning component, either of which you can plug into a line, cone, or burst shape.

Which is a pretty cool idea, but is pretty separate from how casting has always worked. I think my preferred solution might look more like class feats that scale like Cat Fall does. I think having proficiency do more is cool, but I think there might be better places to plug it in than directly into every spell.

Happy Thanksgiving! (Little distracted with holiday shenanigans myself, so hopefully all that makes sense.)


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I agree with the concept of having wizards need to go through a step to learn heightened versions of spells. I'm not against them potentially using their lower level version as the pattern to learn the higher level version once they have reached the level where they can learn the heightened version of a spell they know. (even giving them a bonus as they already are familiar with the family of the spell)

If they fail their check, have them be able to check again next level.

Now, if people are choosing these spells individually, I agree that heightened spells shouldn't be horrible higher level spells. I might not say they need to be in the top tier of such spells for that level, but it makes sense for them to be at least basically comparable in some of the power aspects, given that it is a spell of that level.

I have to say, I'm not certain I like the idea of Fireball being the heightened version of burning hands. It is easy to see they are likely in the same 'extended family' but it is too easy to draw similarities to whole tree's of different spells that two spells on opposite ends are probably easily viewed as being too different to be part of the same spell.

As to using spell-casting proficiency to allow another form of scaling on spells. I find the idea interesting. Of course there is an additional impact that certain spell levels will end up starting at a higher level of proficiency, and that might throw off some scaling as well, or at least make things a little more complicated.

If they did go that route, they could have an entry:
Heighten (+ Expert) : change/bonus to the effect.

I'm not completely sold, but it might help boost some heightened spells a little more naturally.


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Captain Morgan wrote:


Happy to share. Confession: I was VERY intoxicated when I posted that last night, and looking at it today I can see why it would need clarification.

So the average PF1 spell had several points you had to calculate things based on your caster level, CL: duration, range, and damage being the most obvious. PF2 does not have these things. It has the spell, and it has its heightened entry(s). (H)

Adding Proficiency (P) seems like it would take the place of CL, but we then basically have P and H in the same entries and you've combined some of the complexity of both versions. Now, you could make P apply to less things than CL did, but the more variables you enter, the harder to balance, use in play, and pick between.

That makes sense, though I'm hoping that, for the reasons I wrote above, this won't be as much of a problem as Caster Level..

Quote:

Captain Morgan wrote:

So in a words of power type system, as I understand it, you have spell building blocks. Instead of having spells like fireball, burning hands, and lightning bolt, you have a fire and a lightning component, either of which you can plug into a line, cone, or burst shape.

Which is a pretty cool idea, but is pretty separate from how casting has always worked. I think...

Yeah, Words of Power wasn't exactly new player friendly...

I figured, if Burning Hands, when Heightened to level 3, would gain the option of being cast as a burst rather than a cone then that wouldn't over-complicate things... Hmm... I'm going to ask you and Mr. Loreguard a question in just a minute so stick around. :)

Quote:

Loreguard wrote:

I have to say, I'm not certain I like the idea of Fireball being the heightened version of burning hands. It is easy to see they are likely in the same 'extended family' but it is too easy to draw similarities to whole tree's of different spells that two spells on opposite ends are probably easily viewed as being too different to be part of the same spell.

... I'm sorry, I hate to keep asking people to do this, but could you please expand on this thought?

...

Now, a couple questions for the both of you! (And anyone else who thinks they can help)

How would you improve on this design to alleviate the problems you see? What would you change? Which parts did you like or dislike?

Thank you both for posting!
Good Day.


Lockewood wrote:


Now, a couple questions for the both of you! (And anyone else who thinks they can help)

How would you improve on this design to alleviate the problems you see? What would you change? Which parts did you like or dislike?

Thank you both for posting!
Good Day.

Might I just say you are one of the jolliest people I've ever run across on these forums. I would like to think that things like range/AoE/duration would be good axes (plural of axis, ain't English fun?) of tuning for proficiency, while heightening would be target amount/sheer effect (damage, heal, speed, ect. ect.). I do think that making spell turn into other spells at different levels would clutter thing up like Words of Power, unless they did it in progressive steps like in Ars Magica 5 (one of my favorite systems to read, haven't had the chance to play in it though), then it might just be a wonderful thing that would also be n00b friendly.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

As to what I'd change.

As I mentioned, have knowledge of spells be more consistent. If sorcerers are required to re-learn a spell at different levels so should wizards. It seems backwards to say that Sorcerer's need to 'learn' the spell at the new level because it is a new spell, when wizards just prepare the spell they know at the higher slot and it automatically works. Given sorcerers are supposed to be the more spontaneous caster it feels backwards. I understand they felt like they were trying to 'balance' the concern that heightened spells would give sorcerers extra options for their slots, and the fear they had to keep that number of options far lower than what a prepared caster had at any one time. I just feel it is both cumbersome, and counter-intuitive.

To stay in line with what they want to do however, the thing that makes the most sense, is make wizards learn them.

Going in a different direction, that would really honestly require going the opposite way. (you learn a spell, and what slot it is cast in is not tied to the specific knowledge of it)

With this method, you have a core spell. The heightening lists may be longer. Because there may be additional heightening or other metamagic options, which might be opened by casting proficiency.

You might have an entry for Acid arrow like:
Heightened (+2) 1d8 extra damage and 1d6 extra persistent damage.
Heightened (+1 Expert) Extend range +30'
Heightened (+2 Master) +1d extra damage and die size becomes d12 and persistent damage becomes 1d8.
Heightened (+2 Legendary) Increase number of targets +1 (each gets its own to-hit roll)

A high really level caster with legendary casting could choose to apply one of the third, and the fourth to make Acid arrow a 2(+2+2) sixth level spell that would do 2d12 acid damage +1d8 persistent damage against two targets by way of two rolls. (note: I'm not saying that is proper scaling, just showing some example of options)

With this idea, a general caster starts with a spell with certain abilities. As they advance, and have higher spell slots they can use basic heightens. As they get more skilled in their magic they may gain additional heighten type of abilities. You might even make a metamagic feat that might unlock certain types of heightens early. Such heightens could be tagged 'Enlarge', 'Extend', 'Reach', Widen etc. And if you have that 'feat' it generally opens up that heighten irrespective of casting proficiency.

With this framework, it would become necessary for knowledge of the spell be singular, as it would be hard to imagine how many spell known slots a sorcerer could use up with a single spell if these options existed.

My aim, I'd try to make heightened spells slightly less advantageous than full new spells of that level. But it seems like they could/should feel like they are worth heightening in circumstances.


Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to this, I tend to make mammoth sized posts and I've been busy. (To Mr. Nick1wasd, this post ended up longer than I expected so I'll be replying to you in the next one)

Right! Now first I would like to go over Mr. Loreguard's comments in greater detail than I first did. (I must confess that I misread his initial comment and so missed his point...)

Loreguard wrote:

I agree with the concept of having wizards need to go through a step to learn heightened versions of spells.

.........Abbreviated.....
Now, if people are choosing these spells individually, I agree that heightened spells shouldn't be horrible higher level spells. I might not say they need to be in the top tier of such spells for that level, but it makes sense for them to be at least basically comparable in some of the power aspects, given that it is a spell of that level.

Agreed.

If we look at the book we see this:
A ninth level fireball does 20d6 fire damage with a range of 500 feet in a 20 foot burst.

Meteor Swarm, a ninth level spell, summons four meteors that each do 4d10 bludgeoning damage in a 10 foot burst and then 19d6 fire damage in a 40 ft burst. Range is also 500 feet.(The meteor's cannot hit the same targets though.)

The level of difference is...Quite amazing really. This isn't the level of Fireball being a 'backup spell' that helps in a different situation... The Meteor Swarm is just significantly better in almost every way. (By the way, the situation in which it is not better is when you are trying to not cause collateral damage. In which case Fireball probably wasn't the best choice either...)

What I'm hoping for, is not only that the damage is a bit more comparable, but also that each has it's own flair or niche.

For instance, the Meteor Swarm can summon multiple independent attacks, Fireball has more focused damage in a smaller burst but also can be Delayed and used in bulk for a mass explosion.
Even if one does more damage, each should have it's own use.

Loreguard wrote:
I have to say, I'm not certain I like the idea of Fireball being the heightened version of burning hands. It is easy to see they are likely in the same 'extended family' but it is too easy to draw similarities to whole tree's of different spells that two spells on opposite ends are probably easily viewed as being too different to be part of the same spell.

I was actually going by a sort of theme... (Sorry, the next section is my not so great attempt to mix fluff and crunch)

So Burning Hands/Fireball is a Spell that's all about Evoking large amounts of fire in an area. You don't 'summon' fire or draw it up from somewhere like Burning Sphere or Volcanic Eruption. No, you are just tossing fire around with no inborn aiming mechanism built in apart from "Toss it at that general area".
At first, you're just spewing fire around,(Burning Hands) once you've Heightened to level three the spell has a little more structure and 'can' be thrown to explode,(Fireball) later you 'can' set a fuse on it so that it blows up a little later.(Delayed Fireball)

Scorching Rays/Firesnake is a Spell which is more about a controlled burst of flame. Again, you don't summon it or call it down from heaven...You evoke it.
So at first you just shoot and guide little rays of fire,(Scorching Ray) then when you've Heightened to level 5 or so, you 'can' fuse your rays together and guide the whole line of fire in a very controlled area spell.(Firesnake)

I emphasized 'can' because I think you should still be able to use it the old way. Just the advanced structure of a higher level spell lets you do some more interesting things with it.

Spells outside blasting are even easier:
Spiritual Weapon/Spiritual Guardian
Obscuring Mist/Solid Fog
Prismatic Wall/Sphere
Invisibility/Invisibility Sphere
Etc.

Now of course, like you say, this could be overdone. Like many things in life, a balance must be struck. That's why I'm asking you guys to make sure I'm doing this correctly.

Loreguard wrote:

As to using spell-casting proficiency to allow another form of scaling on spells. I find the idea interesting. Of course there is an additional impact that certain spell levels will end up starting at a higher level of proficiency, and that might throw off some scaling as well, or at least make things a little more complicated.

If they did go that route, they could have an entry:
Heighten (+ Expert) : change/bonus to the effect.

I...Hadn't considered that certain spells would start off at a higher proficiency... Thank you, that's a good point.

Loreguard wrote:
I'm not completely sold, but it might help boost some heightened spells a little more naturally.

Thank you once again for considering it, I'll try to tackle your next post when I have time to look over it more carefully and think through it...


nick1wasd wrote:
Lockewood wrote:


Now, a couple questions for the both of you! (And anyone else who thinks they can help)

How would you improve on this design to alleviate the problems you see? What would you change? Which parts did you like or dislike?

Thank you both for posting!
Good Day.

Might I just say you are one of the jolliest people I've ever run across on these forums.

Why thank you!

nick1wasd wrote:
I would like to think that things like range/AoE/duration would be good axes (plural of axis, ain't English fun?) of tuning for proficiency, while heightening would be target amount/sheer effect (damage, heal, speed, ect. ect.).

Hmmm...That makes a certain kind of sense, experience lets you modify the spell while adding raw power...makes it more powerful.

The reason I did it the other way was so that lower level spells would still be useful in different circumstances...

Let's look at blasting, first and second level spells will later be out-damaged by cantrips and so it's usually not worth spending disposable power on.
For buffing, if Resist Energy only blocks 5 points while communal blocks 15 then Resist Energy isn't really scaling with the rest of the game and might eventually become obsolete.
For healing, let's say that higher proficiency lets you heal at a distance. If a low level healing spell still only heals a pittance it might not be used anyway.

My hope, was that by tying a little power to proficiency, low level blasts would continue to out-damage cantrips, buffs would still be useful, and low level healing slots might keep some use...

You've reminded me to make sure the crunch and fluff match...I'll have to think on this.

nick1wasd wrote:
I do think that making spell turn into other spells at different levels would clutter thing up like Words of Power, unless they did it in progressive steps like in Ars Magica 5 (one of my favorite systems to read, haven't had the chance to play in it though), then it might just be a wonderful thing that would also be n00b friendly.

That sounds promising! If I may ask, how did Ars Magica 5 do it? I might see if I can ste- I mean borrow some of their ideas!

Thank you for posting and have a good day!


Lockewood wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
I do think that making spell turn into other spells at different levels would clutter thing up like Words of Power, unless they did it in progressive steps like in Ars Magica 5 (one of my favorite systems to read, haven't had the chance to play in it though), then it might just be a wonderful thing that would also be n00b friendly.
That sounds promising! If I may ask, how did Ars Magica 5 do it? I might see if I can ste- I mean borrow some of their ideas! Thank you for posting and have a good day!

Well the first thing to understand is that Ars Magica doesn't have "health" in the traditional sense, you take "wounds" that apply a cumulative penalty, and you get knocked out if this total reaches a certain number (light wounds are -1, med wounds are -3, heavy wounds are -5. Reaching con*blah in negitives makes you go sleepy-bye). Second is that spells are cast from 2 components (Form/Technique. Hows it's used and what you're using, example: Creo Igni: make fire: FIREBALL; Perdo Vis: remove magic: dispel magic; rego terra: control stone: pick up a rock and chuck it at someone) and casting them uses skills. Thirdly... EVERYTHING IS A SKILL! Skills, skills, skills. Skills for swinging a sword, skills for dodging, skills for casting fire magic, separate skills for ice magic. And within this paradigm, there exists a mechanic called "magnitude", essentially spell level, but not quite (proper "spell level" is the total you need to roll with your magic skills to make the spell go off) and you have this little table that denotes range and target amount and it goes like "Range:self +0 mag; range poke +1 mag; range throw 30' +2 mag; range literally across the country +5 mag" and "target 1 +0; target few people +2; target 100s +4". I hope you get the idea. With that exposition out of the way, you have Ars' version of Cure/Inflict: Creo/Perdo Corpus (make/remove flesh respectively), so you have in "Creo Corpus" (each combination of magic has it's own section with example magic): "Heal: light (mag 1) med (mag 2) heavy (mag 3)" So you can make: "Ranged poke medium heal single target: mag total: 3" (2 action heighten +2 Heal if you would), "Centered on me box of light heal: total mag cost: 2" (3 action no heighten Heal) and a bunch of other wacky combos, it's a VERY dynamic system that can lead to choice fatigue if you're not cautious, but is very rewarding once implemented. I would link the PDF, but I'm not sure how okay Paizo would be with me pointing someone to a competitor on their own territory :P


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nick1wasd wrote:
Lockewood wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
I do think that making spell turn into other spells at different levels would clutter thing up like Words of Power, unless they did it in progressive steps like in Ars Magica 5 (one of my favorite systems to read, haven't had the chance to play in it though), then it might just be a wonderful thing that would also be n00b friendly.
That sounds promising! If I may ask, how did Ars Magica 5 do it? I might see if I can ste- I mean borrow some of their ideas! Thank you for posting and have a good day!
Well the first thing to understand is that Ars Magica doesn't have "health" in the traditional sense, you take "wounds" that apply a cumulative penalty, and you get knocked out if this total reaches a certain number (light wounds are -1, med wounds are -3, heavy wounds are -5. Reaching con*blah in negitives makes you go sleepy-bye). Second is that spells are cast from 2 components (Form/Technique. Hows it's used and what you're using, example: Creo Igni: make fire: FIREBALL; Perdo Vis: remove magic: dispel magic; rego terra: control stone: pick up a rock and chuck it at someone) and casting them uses skills. Thirdly... EVERYTHING IS A SKILL! Skills, skills, skills. Skills for swinging a sword, skills for dodging, skills for casting fire magic, separate skills for ice magic. And within this paradigm, there exists a mechanic called "magnitude", essentially spell level, but not quite (proper "spell level" is the total you need to roll with your magic skills to make the spell go off) and you have this little table that denotes range and target amount and it goes like "Range:self +0 mag; range poke +1 mag; range throw 30' +2 mag; range literally across the country +5 mag" and "target 1 +0; target few people +2; target 100s +4". I hope you get the idea. With that exposition out of the way, you have Ars' version of Cure/Inflict: Creo/Perdo Corpus (make/remove flesh respectively), so you have in "Creo Corpus" (each combination of magic has it's own section with...

.... I may need some time to digest all that...

By- Lockewood the Overwhelmed :)


Lockewood wrote:

.... I may need some time to digest all that...

By- Lockewood the Overwhelmed :)

I understand completely, it look me 3 weeks and 4 read throughs of the source book to understand it, and even then I don't have all the info down pat.

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