Pathfinder Second and Gishes


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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WatersLethe wrote:

I'd just like to point out that Starfinder is living proof that keying cool stuff off of a crit is a terrible idea if the crit chance is anywhere near 5%.

Gotta be reeeeaaaally careful not to overvalue things that happen only when the stars align. That is: a crit occurs, the target wouldn't have died from regular crit damage, the spent reaction wouldn't have dealt more damage later on, your target doesn't have an AoO to use against your triggered spell, etc etc

Here’s my take. Quicken Spell is a mid-level feat for 1/day and people want better action economy with better-than-Bard weapons from Magus, though.

That’s not leaving a whole lot of wiggle room to play around with, so unless you make Magus a focus caster (possibly unpopular) or give them their own spell list (breaks the mold and handles gnome/multiclassing poorly- might be necessary anyway), I feel like Spell Strike has to be limited in some fashion. I can see frequency or effectiveness.

What’s a balanced effectiveness? PF2 already lets you cast and attack as a full action. First-level action economy is “a conditional extra move”. Hmm, move, cast, strike as a full action? Feels a bit bad to have your whole turn dictated. Reduce casting one action if you did a move and a strike? That’s similar, no up-front commitment, and benefits from Haste.

What’s a balanced frequency? Well, limited per day feels really bad. Once per combat makes it like a poisoner Alchemist, which is reasonable to give a full-caster. On-crit has a nice effect of scaling down in frequency vs. bosses but increasing its usefulness, while letting you blow minions into smithereens.

Your point about AoO is good, and I didn’t account for that appropriately. Maybe the spell can’t be interrupted by the target, even if they damage you?


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Okay, let’s tackle this one at a time.

QuidEst wrote:
Here’s my take. Quicken Spell is a mid-level feat for 1/day and people want better action economy with better-than-Bard weapons from Magus, though.

Barbarian and Fighter can move twice their movement and make an attack for the cost of two actions.(Sudden Charge) Fighter gets Master(+6) proficiency with one group of simple and martial weapons by 3rd level.

Druids and Rangers can gain an animal companion which gives them an extra action every turn at 1st level.

Druid can get a d10 spell that’s auto heightened and costs a spell point instead of a spell slot at first level; and at second level can get a Summon Spell that gets auto heightening and works from spell points as well.

Monk literally gets two separate attacks for a single action at 1st level.

Paladins got access to 100g enchantments to use on a daily basis at 3rd level.

Rangers and Rogues are able to draw a weapon and attack with a single action, with the Ranger able to Stride and Reload a crossbow with a single action at 4th level.

‘Quicken Spell’ is very much over valued at 1/day in my opinion and under most situation i feel people will be too afraid to use it aside from gimmicks or specific build setups.

So the idea that, ‘people want better action economy with better-than-Bard weapons’ is, and i apologize if this sounds rude, but just plain ludicrous and unfounded.

QuidEst wrote:
That’s not leaving a whole lot of wiggle room to play around with, so unless you make Magus a focus caster (possibly unpopular) or give them their own spell list (breaks the mold and handles gnome/multiclassing poorly- might be necessary anyway), I feel like Spell Strike has to be limited in some fashion. I can see frequency or effectiveness.

I’ll ask this simply; why limit a feature that is made for a specific class and for a very specific use that already has, as i mentioned prior, between 3-5 limitations that must be fulfilled already?

QuidEst wrote:
What’s a balanced effectiveness? PF2 already lets you cast and attack as a full action. First-level action economy is “a conditional extra move”.

For certain this in anything but a balanced effectiveness. As for the full turn action, a Fighter and Barbarian can move up to three times their movement and still attack(Stride, Sudden Charge) or Stride twice their movement and get two attacks off(Sudden Charge, Attack) which amounts to 4 actions at 1st level for Fighter. This also isn’t including those with Animal Companions that actually get an extra action with one of the attacks not dealing with MAP if it comes from the Animal.

QuidEst wrote:
Hmm, move, cast, strike as a full action? Feels a bit bad to have your whole turn dictated. Reduce casting one action if you did a move and a strike? That’s similar, no up-front commitment, and benefits from Haste.

The turn feeling ‘dictated’ is completely speculative though, and not a critique on how the ability is balanced. As for ‘no up-front commitment’ . . . How is that a critique? A Fighter has ‘no up-front commitment’ and ends up getting the highest attack bonus quicker than any other class by a margin that can’t even be called ‘a close contest’. As for ‘benefits from Haste’, okay, a Fighter can Sudden Charge and Double Slice with Haste; that amounts to two move actions followed by a strike action, and two strike actions with only 1 attack penalty, AND if both hits land they get more damage on top of it; which at early levels can equate to an ADDITIONAL strike. So a Hasted Human at level 1 can get the equivalent of 5 actions in a single turn and still have an AoO, but if a Magus gains a single action from combining a spell and weapon strike, that if missed loses out on a precious little amount of spells, ends up with players trying to cheat the system somehow.

QuidEst wrote:
What’s a balanced frequency? Well, limited per day feels really bad. Once per combat makes it like a poisoner Alchemist, which is reasonable to give a full-caster. On-crit has a nice effect of scaling down in frequency vs. bosses but increasing its usefulness, while letting you blow minions into smithereens.

On-Crit will have the complete opposite effect of what you’re thinking. There were some interesting ideas you suggested, on of which i rather liked; but throwing spells against goblin fodder more often than the hobgoblin head honcho is like saying the wizard can cast meteor swarm on ants but is forced to use acid splash on the boss.


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There is a big difference of the action economy of the animal companion and sudden charge with the ones of Quickening Casting and a possible 2 action Spellstrike.

The NOVA potential, so I understand QuidEst point.

With Quickening you could just Meteor Swarm + Dissintegrate to trown like 50 dice in the table and no martial had an 2 action feat that let them do the same damage as an strike + cantrip and if the "magus" decided to pop an spell slot then the math go out of the tabble in favor to spellstrike.


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Alright, I will state my observations and opinions in order of things other people have brought up! People saying that cantrips should/shouldn’t be used with a theoretical spellstrike: cause SK to lower the heightening tier by 1 step, less damage, but you still get to do it. People saying it might gimp the action economy: Pumpkin brought up a lot of ways other classes cheese the action economy, it’s not that far out there for a Magi to 2 action Spell->+X sword wack given what other classes can do. Stances and spell combat: I like the idea of blending in stances into the way SK and SC would work, making SC a stance you hold, that gives some bonus of you make a spellcast and weapon strike in 1 turn, and/or making SK only work in aforementioned stance sounds fascinating, and would definitely play into the fluff of “IM DOING THIS DRAMATIC THING WHERE I CAST A SPELL AMD THEN HIT YOU A BUNCH OF TIMES!”. People complaining about nova potential: I would like to point out the the Magus was THE nova class is base PF until the kineticist came along, and even then Magi still gave them a run for their money, but the point was that Magi ran out of steam FAST, and once they ran dry, you should leave them at home for the rest of the dungeon raid because they’re nothing more than a liability at that point. And as a final point, I think the whole “slower progression” thing should really have some thought out into it, no one’s really giving numbers or suggestions as to how or in what way they should fall behind the curve. Me and my GM have been thinking: synced proficiency increases at levels 7 and 15, ending at Master for both. Let me know what you guys think of that final point, and if you have any similar or completely different thoughts!


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Kyrone wrote:

There is a big difference of the action economy of the animal companion and sudden charge with the ones of Quickening Casting and a possible 2 action Spellstrike.

The NOVA potential, so I understand QuidEst point.

With Quickening you could just Meteor Swarm + Dissintegrate to trown like 50 dice in the table and no martial had an 2 action feat that let them do the same damage as an strike + cantrip and if the "magus" decided to pop an spell slot then the math go out of the tabble in favor to spellstrike.

Wizards and Sorcerers would be able to Meteor Swarm + Dissintigrate (assuming the actions and Quickening would allow it). Fighter potentially has the ability to scale with a Magus’ Spellstrike Cantrip. Going with the same weapon, a Greataxe (d12), and comparing Power Attack to Spellstrike (chill touch).

1st level

Fighter - 2d12 = 2 min - 24 max

Magus - 1d12 + 1d8 = 2 min - 20 max

10th level

Fighter - 3d12 = 3 min - 36 max

Magus - 1d12 + 2d8 = 3 min - 28 max

20th level

Fighter - 3d12 = 3 min - 36 max

Magus - 1d12 + 4d8 = 5 min - 44 max

Both abilities only cost two actions and if they give power attack a third dice at higher levels then power attack alone will outscale Spellstrike with its most powerful touch range cantrip. This is excluding any damage modifiers such as strength mod or spell mod and any other Fighter Feat in the Playtest.

This is why i want to make sure about the damage before saying it’s too strong or too weak. It’s possible Barbarian and Champion will show similar results; hell, Rogue might show surprising results cause it gets free d6 against flat footed enemies. . . That moment you realize, a Rogue’s sneak attack scales for damage better that a theoretical spellstrike given free access to cantrips for extra damage.

I just want to say, i’m extremely glad for the push back with the idea of keeping balance in mind. There just seems to be this extremely odd idea that abilities that tweak the action economy are inherently unbalanced.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Pumpkinhead, while I completely agree with you about Quicken, there's another angle to consider: If Paizo thinks Quicken is finely balanced (which they seem to, since it didn't change from the playest) they are unlikely to publish anything that flatly obsoletes it.

So QuidEst does have a point.


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MaxAstro wrote:

Pumpkinhead, while I completely agree with you about Quicken, there's another angle to consider: If Paizo thinks Quicken is finely balanced (which they seem to, since it didn't change from the playest) they are unlikely to publish anything that flatly obsoletes it.

So QuidEst does have a point.

This is true. Quicken Spell is not for me to determine it’s worth; though interestingly it is more for the players to determine it’s worth than the developers, by how often the players pick it up and use it; this is the base argument for magical healing items in 1e and 3.5, but that’s a whole other tangent.

If it was a flat quicken, i could see a balance issue. Actually there are completely different balancing issues i’ve found since discussing and mulling this over so much; such as spellstriking Goblin Pox is a nightmare in my mind. But it’s a potential ‘quicken’ for ‘touch spells’ only. Not Fireball, not Magic Missle, not even for Acid Splash.

I can also see a balance issue with using a weapon with potency runes, or rather the ‘Striking?’ Property rune, and throwing casual shocking grasps on top of that, but instead the discussion gets stuck on 3 actions for the price of 2 is too much.

I feel i may be driving the thread much more than i ever intended to; in fact i feel this thread has lit the proverbial fire of inspiration of homebrewing a magus class when the rules come out. I do apologize for my bluntness and possibly coming off harshly. As i said, everything people have said here has helped add ideas and gain new perspectives and i hope i haven’t hindered that.


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I agree that this is already being too long, but my final thoughts.

About the Chill Touch damage of the example, in one of the Pathfinder Spoilers showed Divine Lance was a damage cantrip with Heightened (+1) to increase damage and we know that Acid Splash had damage increased too because of oblivion oath. So it's possible that Chill Touch have like 9d8 or even 10d8 at lvl 20.

And in the Moving away from the playtest on Paizocon they mentioned that one of the tests was the NOVA test and how that affected the balance between the martial and caster classes so they are being very careful with stuff like that, specially because they want the adventure paths going all the way to lvl 20 on 2nd edition.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

Pumpkinhead, while I completely agree with you about Quicken, there's another angle to consider: If Paizo thinks Quicken is finely balanced (which they seem to, since it didn't change from the playest) they are unlikely to publish anything that flatly obsoletes it.

So QuidEst does have a point.

If it was a flat quicken, i could see a balance issue. Actually there are completely different balancing issues i’ve found since discussing and mulling this over so much; such as spellstriking Goblin Pox is a nightmare in my mind. But it’s a potential ‘quicken’ for ‘touch spells’ only. Not Fireball, not Magic Missle, not even for Acid Splash.

It's also not even really a full Quicken for touch spells, since it doesn't actually drop the action cost, just gives you another attack along with it. Makes it more akin to the various "make an extra attack" abilities than Quicken's "Cast another spell".


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
(What other classes get.)

Most of the action economy improvements listed are "get a free movement under specific circumstances". I'm willing to lump "draw and strike" in there, since that's something that used to be a move action under the old economy. If Magus got "spell stride" to stride and cast as two actions, I'd call that balanced, but no one wants that as the core Magus mechanic. From your list, Monk is definitely the one that breaks my rule in two. So, Monk gets an extra attack, but they're at most a focus caster.

Animal companions do trade one action for two, but at reduced effectiveness and a separate weaker body as a liability.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

‘Quicken Spell’ is very much over valued at 1/day in my opinion and under most situation i feel people will be too afraid to use it aside from gimmicks or specific build setups.

So the idea that, ‘people want better action economy with better-than-Bard weapons’ is, and i apologize if this sounds rude, but just plain ludicrous and unfounded.

Quicken Spell lets you take two turns worth of casting in one turn. I think that's fair to limit per-day. It's true that's not what Magus is getting, though; Magus doesn't get to cast an extra time. I'm trying to give it it's due, but Haste, Monk, and Power Attack might be better comparisons.

I'll stick by ‘people want better action economy with better-than-Bard weapons’, though. Does anyone here think that Magus should spend two actions casting and use the third to attack? If not, then they want better action economy. Does anyone think that Magus should wait until level 11 to get expert in any weapons? If not, then they want better than Bard weapons.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
I’ll ask this simply; why limit a feature that is made for a specific class and for a very specific use that already has, as i mentioned prior, between 3-5 limitations that must be fulfilled already?

Because I'm assuming that Magus is already going to be a full caster (no bonus spells per day, though) with the Arcane list, light armor, likely better health than the Wizard, and faster weapons training progression than other casters. I don't think that your limitations are enough, or that they're all good ones to have. The open/flourish restrictions don't mean much, and two actions is what casting already takes. Requires spells is the restriction I'm playing around with removing, and "touch only" is a bad balancing point because it means spamming one spell and weakens as a balancing point once less restricted touch spells come out. Two attacks for MAP is pretty fair, though. All of my solutions do away with that, though, so they're weaker but give a more martial focus.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
What’s a balanced effectiveness? PF2 already lets you cast and attack as a full action. First-level action economy is “a conditional extra move”.
For certain this in anything but a balanced effectiveness. As for the full turn action, a Fighter and Barbarian can move up to three times their movement and still attack(Stride, Sudden Charge) or Stride twice their movement and get two attacks off(Sudden Charge, Attack) which amounts to 4 actions at 1st level for Fighter. This also isn’t including those with Animal Companions that actually get an extra action with one of the attacks not dealing with MAP if it comes from the Animal.

I mean to say, first-level improvements to action economy are getting an extra move under certain situations. Fighter and Barbarian can move three times and still attack or move twice and attack twice, but if they're within one move of the enemy, Sudden Charge does nothing for them. It's four actions, but two of them are movement and one is attacking. What are Magus's requirements on a four-action-equivalent spellstrike? Two casting actions and an attack? All three of those are what you always want to be doing.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
The turn feeling ‘dictated’ is completely speculative though, and not a critique on how the ability is balanced. As for ‘no up-front commitment’ . . . How is that a critique? A Fighter has ‘no up-front commitment’ and ends up getting the highest attack bonus quicker than any other class by a margin that can’t even be called ‘a close contest’. As for ‘benefits from Haste’, okay, a Fighter can Sudden Charge and Double Slice with Haste; that amounts to two move actions followed by a strike action, and two strike actions with only 1 attack penalty, AND if both hits land they get more damage on top of it; which at early levels can equate to an ADDITIONAL strike. So a Hasted Human at level 1 can get the equivalent of 5 actions in a single turn and still have an AoO, but if a Magus gains a single action from combining a spell and weapon strike, that if missed loses out on a precious little amount of spells, ends up with players trying to cheat the system somehow.

I'm sorry for being terribly unclear here. "Dictated" wasn't a balance criticism, it's acknowledging that I don't think that solution is a good one because I don't think people would like having spellstrike take all three actions. And by "no up-front commitment" (even more unclear), I meant that Magus doesn't need to decide at the start of their turn that they're going to spell-strike. If Spell-Strike hypothetically keys off of striding and striking in a turn, then it would benefit from Haste- going from "you must spend your full turn doing this" (bad) to "you translate the restricted action of Haste into an action of your choice" (good, but probably still bad game design). This was just me toying around with something like Sudden Charge and using all three actions.

None of my suggestions had spells wasted to no effect. With even save-or-suck getting changed to reduce wasted spells and poison sticking around on misses, I think this should be avoided as a balancing point where possible.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
On-Crit will have the complete opposite effect of what you’re thinking. There were some interesting ideas you suggested, on of which i rather liked; but throwing spells against goblin fodder more often than the hobgoblin head honcho is like saying the wizard can cast meteor swarm on ants but is forced to use acid splash on the boss.

Keep in mind, I'm allowing cantrips. Against minions, you get a cheap damage rider (sometimes just for gratuitous overkill). Against the boss, you can unload a strong spell and still get an extra attack in.

I'm definitely having fun! Part of my differences seem to be coming from a different balancing angle: avoid being too much of a "just better Wizard" without needing to nerf the spell list.


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It seems we’re talking on opposite sides of the fence, but that does help point out everything into clear detail. Kyrone brought out the point with Divine Lance; i haven’t been able to see the stats for it and not sure where to find it. It seems like a ranged Cantrip, but there is the possibility that Chill Touch could get a better Heightening scale. If that’s the case then the example i showed with Fighter’s Power Attack would become increasingly lopsided, and that would be bad design.

QuidEest brought up making more creative uses and Greystone wants to cast spells and have the option of SpellStrike regularly. MaxAstro brought up using Focus-Spells for Spellstrike so what if we made a couple of Powers that got close to mimicking a couple of Cantrips? I’ll also add that later feats can unlock the ‘true’ power of the Class Feature, but at least then it’s possible to limit it somewhat such as not using your two highest spell levels with the ability.

I feel this could give us more freedom in how we can tweak the ability, and the power scaling is limited to the class and proper feat investment.


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I know it's the one Cantrip we got, but i'm pretty sure Divine Lance deals "Good" typed damage which only affects evil creatures. I figure the damage form it is higher than other cantrips to account for the situational effectiveness.

Liberty's Edge

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ChibiNyan wrote:
I know it's the one Cantrip we got, but i'm pretty sure Divine Lance deals "Good" typed damage which only affects evil creatures. I figure the damage form it is higher than other cantrips to account for the situational effectiveness.

It actually does any damage type you share an Alignment with, but yes, Alignment damage is restrictive.

That's more likely its downside for being a Divine cantrip (ie: the worst list for damage cantrips, which lacked one entirely in the playtest) than an indication that other lists generally have cantrips with worse damage, though.

So it's possible that it does more damage than other cantrips, but pretty unlikely, IMO.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
I know it's the one Cantrip we got, but i'm pretty sure Divine Lance deals "Good" typed damage which only affects evil creatures. I figure the damage form it is higher than other cantrips to account for the situational effectiveness.

It actually does any damage type you share an Alignment with, but yes, Alignment damage is restrictive.

That's more likely its downside for being a Divine cantrip (ie: the worst list for damage cantrips, which lacked one entirely in the playtest) than an indication that other lists generally have cantrips with worse damage, though.

So it's possible that it does more damage than other cantrips, but pretty unlikely, IMO.

I'm not even sure alignment restrictions are that much of a downside. It won't hurt TN creatures, sure, but if your deity has good it will hurt most enemies in the average campaign and chaos or lawful will further broaden your options. In exchange, you also get a single cantrip that can trigger weakness damage on every fiend in the game, where an arcane caster needs to have 6 different energy types prepared to do the same. Plus a few undead and other especially evil enemies that will have some level of weakness good. (Or Resistance bypassing.)

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