Spell Strength


Second Edition

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So if memory serves,someone has said since the playtest ended that spells were going to get juiced up from the playtest since they hit them with the Nerf hammer just a little too hard. Since then, have we heard at all what they did to actually fix the issue?


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
So if memory serves,someone has said since the playtest ended that spells were going to get juiced up from the playtest since they hit them with the Nerf hammer just a little too hard. Since then, have we heard at all what they did to actually fix the issue?

Almost all the damage spells got buffed before the end of the playtest. For other spells I believe they are looking at increased durations (so buffs lasting more than one combat might be more common), monster saves will be dropping a bit and casters will be getting a bit higher DCs.


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There are at least some duration improvements.


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We also saw in Oblivion Oath that Lay on Hand is now a flat number.
Also that there's no more "Touch Spell Attack", Chill touch is a direct fortitude save, and what would have been a ranged touch attack in the playtest/PF1 is now a spell proficiency roll using your caster ability.

So yeah, there will be a lot of things changed.


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What about casters getting more spells per level? What I remember from the playtest, even the Sorcerer received a pitiful amount of spell slots.


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Hobbun wrote:
What about casters getting more spells per level? What I remember from the playtest, even the Sorcerer received a pitiful amount of spell slots.

Gotta remember that cantrips scale fantastically well. Don't need so many slots when you can cast ranged greatsword at will.


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Hobbun wrote:
What about casters getting more spells per level? What I remember from the playtest, even the Sorcerer received a pitiful amount of spell slots.

This was definitely an issue on their radar-- I remember this question being on the surveys the released. I'm sure they would have made adjustments if their data showed most people thought spellcasters had too few slots, but I don't recall any statements from them to that effect. I wouldn't be shocked to hear most people were fine with this number of spells per day. Particularly the lower level slots. When you have 6th level spells, figuring out how to fill your copious 1st level slots feels a little silly.

There are also other things making up for less spell slots. Cantrips and powers help, but so do staves being so much better and magical items in general having more combat relevance.

I don't recall any one on Oblivion Oath saying "I'm out of spell slots" so we can't know for sure.


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Lesser amount of spell slots would not be as much of an issue for me if the system still worked how it did in 1e. However, with the need to burn higher level spell slots to heighten the spells it would only make sense to me to keep the same amount of spell slots from 1e, or at least very close to it. From what I recall with the Sorcerer, their slots max at 4. It was 6 in 1e, but those 2 are a huge difference, especially considering they also did away with the bonus spells slots due to your ability score.

On you saying that others not bringing this up during the playtest as an issue at all, actually surprises me a bit.


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Hobbun wrote:

Lesser amount of spell slots would not be as much of an issue for me if the system still worked how it did in 1e. However, with the need to burn higher level spell slots to heighten the spells it would only make sense to me to keep the same amount of spell slots from 1e, or at least very close to it. From what I recall with the Sorcerer, their slots max at 4. It was 6 in 1e, but those 2 are a huge difference, especially considering they also did away with the bonus spells slots due to your ability score.

On you saying that others not bringing this up during the playtest as an issue at all, actually surprises me a bit.

Spells scale so much better in PF2 than in PF1 without heightening I find insane anyone thinks otherwise.

In PF1 most spells become useless after a few levels, without further investment. In PF2 any non damaging spell stays exactly as relevant as it did when you got it without heightening.

Lets take Sleep for example. In Pathfinder 1 its DC never improves, making it useless as enemy saves increase and even if it did it would be useless once enemies regularly have HD above 4. In PF2 there is no HD cap and the save dc is the same as if you cast a level 9 spell. That level 1 spell is ALWAYS going to be useful, because putting something to sleep for a minute is always going to be useful.


on the topic of slots, there is also the fact that focus (formaly spell points) can be recovered mid day, meaning powers are more reusable as well. So you have cantrips for your defaults, powers for more boring but practical effects and your slots for more potent effects, especially with your highest level slots.


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Malk_Content wrote:
Spells scale so much better in PF2 than in PF1 without heightening I find insane anyone thinks otherwise.

Some do and some don't. For instance, mage armor doesn't scale one bit without heightening. Also don't gloss over the fact that heightening also often brings in new aspects to the spell and/or greatly buffs it like fly going from 1 min to 1 hour or darkness going to blind darkvision.

Malk_Content wrote:
In PF1 most spells become useless after a few levels, without further investment. In PF2 any non damaging spell stays exactly as relevant as it did when you got it without heightening.

Really? Off the top of my head, magic weapon becomes much less relevant once the party starts getting magic weapons to use. I sure there are more spells that lose ground as you level too.

So while I agree that scaling was better in the playtest, I'll disagree that you'll not need to heighten some spells to keep them relevant in the situation you find yourself in.


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Lower numbers of spell slots were complained about pretty significantly in the playtest forum but what Captain Morgan and Malk_Content said is largely correct. Plus in many of those discussions the people complaining didn’t seem to have actually played the playtest scenarios or just had bad experiences with it all around, not spell casting in particular. But then I may be biased because as Captain said, no one in my group, including myself, ever ran out of spell slots in the playtest except at the very end of the 5th scenario. Which was pretty intentional for that scenario, if you survived that long.

Edit: in that scenario I don’t think we actually ran out of slots, just out of spells that had any relevance. That might be splitting hairs but I felt it was worth being clearer on.


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An important note:
In the playtest, damage spells were buffed to the point Fireball went from 6d6 to 8d6 base damage.
In final, we’ve been told a lv3 Fireball will always deal 6d6 damage, leading me to believe those buffs were backtracked.
Instead, it was mentioned that higher success rate was highlighted as a better way to buff magic (but was hard to do in the playtest).


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Hobbun wrote:

Lesser amount of spell slots would not be as much of an issue for me if the system still worked how it did in 1e. However, with the need to burn higher level spell slots to heighten the spells it would only make sense to me to keep the same amount of spell slots from 1e, or at least very close to it. From what I recall with the Sorcerer, their slots max at 4. It was 6 in 1e, but those 2 are a huge difference, especially considering they also did away with the bonus spells slots due to your ability score.

On you saying that others not bringing this up during the playtest as an issue at all, actually surprises me a bit.

As mentioned, plenty of people griped about it on the forums, which is probably why they specifically put the question in their survey on whether we had the right number of spell slots. But people griping in the forums is not an accurate measure of how the public as a whole feels, and Paizo has hard data now to back up how many spell slots the majority of people want.

And also as mentioned you don't need to heighten lots of spells. You mostly need heightened blasts and some buffs, particularly the full blown polymorph spells. Plenty of utility spells and control spells retain their relevance, some more so thanks to low level spells DCs scaling better.

I think DMW put it best when he said that we had plenty of spell slots in the playtest, assuming you didn't try to play like a PF1 caster burning 1-2 spell slots every round.


Ediwir wrote:

An important note:

In the playtest, damage spells were buffed to the point Fireball went from 6d6 to 8d6 base damage.
In final, we’ve been told a lv3 Fireball will always deal 6d6 damage, leading me to believe those buffs were backtracked.
Instead, it was mentioned that higher success rate was highlighted as a better way to buff magic (but was hard to do in the playtest).

Were we given that example? I know they said they may have gone overboard on the blast spells but I don't remember them mentioning fireball reverting to 6d6 specifically.


We did, from Jason. Same game where we got “Kyra is a Warpriest”, however, so while it is an official source it might not be a reliable one.


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I haven't heard anyone talk about the other ways you were able to add spell slots in the Playtest. I'm actually rather surprised. A Ring of Wizardry and some Familiar abilities allow you to prepare or cast more spells within a certain limitation of spell level.

Scrolls now acted as prepared spells you could buy; and i believe you could craft them as a batch since they're considered consumable.

In the 1.6 update Sorcs were given a feat to allow then to spontaneously heighten all bloodline spells; and Wizards were given the ability to trade two spell slots of the same level for a spell slot up to two levels higher.

If some of these things made it into the final version i feel it's a rather huge buff for casters that will make the lack of a couple spell slots less noticeable.

Liberty's Edge

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Ediwir wrote:
We did, from Jason. Same game where we got “Kyra is a Warpriest”, however, so while it is an official source it might not be a reliable one.

In fairness, that version of Kyra probably was a Warpriest...that version just isn't the canonically preferred one.


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Raylyeh wrote:
Edit: in that scenario I don’t think we actually ran out of slots, just out of spells that had any relevance.

I think this is where I felt the reduced number of slots: versatility. I liked that you got a larger pool of lower level spells as you leveled up and it allowed you to put in spells a bit off the wall and not feel you're losing out. With the limited number of each level and the various recovery abilities focused on recasting spells you already used, there is a big drop in the different spells you can prepare and use unless you plan to to throw money at it with scrolls and staves.

Now can you play with the slots as they were? Sure but for me it makes it less fun/interesting to me that the game we're leaving. Now don't get me wrong, they did do a lot that I like with spells but slots wasn't one of them.

EDIT: I wanted to say that if you're going JUST by number of spells cast [instead of number of DIFFERENT spells], you can do quite well in the playtest. For instance a universalist with Focus Conservation is looking at 20 non-cantrip spells that can cast which is darn good as 7 of those can be 4th level spells.


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Yeah I totally inadvertently left an opening for the Vancian casting debate to walk in with that statement but I really would appreciate it if people don’t let that take over the thread. That wasn’t my intention.


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I can't say I ever had an issue filling my spell slots in Pathfinder 1e, even for 1st level slots. With my arcane casters (usually I've played Sorcerers/spontaneous casters) Magic Missile always served me well, no matter what level I was.

And it was useful at higher levels because it improved on it's own as I leveled. No needing to use higher spell slots to make it better. But really, do I want to burn a 6th level spell slot for Magic Missile to have it do good damage for my level, where I can just cast Disintegrate? Honestly, you should be able to do both (on different rounds).

That said, my perspective is coming from the playtest and I understand a lot of changes have been made on the power of spells. But it just still doesn't sit well with me in needing to burn higher slots to make my spells more powerful, to where they did it naturally before. But I plan to purchase the core rulebook and read it over in detail, as well as play a couple of the scenarios (and maybe the special) at Gen Con.


I remember the spells per spell rank was actually a bit higher than 5e's, especially the latter ones (since in 5e, the highest ranks only got one slot), and I never had a problem with this as I was always rather conservative with spellslots and relied on cantrips and cutting words most of the time as a bard unless it was the right moment for a actual spell. Then again, I never had to deal with true vancian spell-casting in that system. With normal Vancian magic, I guess the slots could be a tad restrictive, but with cantrips being stronger, I still think it shouldn't feel necessary to have more spellslots.


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BluLion wrote:
With normal Vancian magic, I guess the slots could be a tad restrictive, but with cantrips being stronger, I still think it shouldn't feel necessary to have more spellslots.

For me, the combination of stronger cantrips, lower slots and abilities to recast used spells will end up with the situation that you are going to find yourself ALWAYS casting the same handful of spells.

Rounds:
1- cantrip A
2- cantrip A
3- cantrip A
4- spell A [big monster shows up]

next combat
1- cantrip A
2- cantrip A
3- cantrip A
4- recast spell A [big monster shows up]

Next combat
replay 1st combat...

While I'm also conservative with my slots and am grateful that cantrips stay relevant in combat as you level, I don't want every combat to look like every other combat or you're just replacing the old trope of a wizard using a crossbow with cantrip and a favored spell or two: I'd rather have it that after a few levels I could go through several combats and not have to use the same cantrip and/or spell in any of those combats if I wished.


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graystone wrote:
BluLion wrote:
With normal Vancian magic, I guess the slots could be a tad restrictive, but with cantrips being stronger, I still think it shouldn't feel necessary to have more spellslots.

For me, the combination of stronger cantrips, lower slots and abilities to recast used spells will end up with the situation that you are going to find yourself ALWAYS casting the same handful of spells.

Rounds:
1- cantrip A
2- cantrip A
3- cantrip A
4- spell A [big monster shows up]

next combat
1- cantrip A
2- cantrip A
3- cantrip A
4- recast spell A [big monster shows up]

Next combat
replay 1st combat...

While I'm also conservative with my slots and am grateful that cantrips stay relevant in combat as you level, I don't want every combat to look like every other combat or you're just replacing the old trope of a wizard using a crossbow with cantrip and a favored spell or two: I'd rather have it that after a few levels I could go through several combats and not have to use the same cantrip and/or spell in any of those combats if I wished.

I always felt that in PF1 actually since most times you would do a weird metamagic combo so you needed a good spell for it xD

Pf2 normally i saw wizards and clerics buffing and using weapons most times.


oholoko wrote:
I always felt that in PF1 actually since most times you would do a weird metamagic combo so you needed a good spell for it xD

I think I only saw this with people playing magus. With the rest of the casting classes I mostly didn't see alot of metamagic. Most time one trick [spell] ponies don't work well in the long run.

oholoko wrote:
Pf2 normally i saw wizards and clerics buffing and using weapons most times.

I saw plenty of buffing in PF1 and weapon use was often seen by clerics: wizards/sorcerer often used weapons at the start but the more spells they got the less they used weapons.


graystone wrote:
oholoko wrote:
I always felt that in PF1 actually since most times you would do a weird metamagic combo so you needed a good spell for it xD
I think I only saw this with people playing magus. With the rest of the casting classes I mostly didn't see alot of metamagic. Most time one trick [spell] ponies don't work well in the long run.

Well most of the times i did see that, might been just my tables. I mean people had more spells, but they used one or two a lot more than the rest and lower spell slots were mostly replaced for something that made you more flexible.

graystone wrote:
oholoko wrote:
Pf2 normally i saw wizards and clerics buffing and using weapons most times.
I saw plenty of buffing in PF1 and weapon use was often seen by clerics: wizards/sorcerer often used weapons at the start but the more spells they got the less they used weapons.

Yeah... But i meant instead of using utility spells and putting buffs one time they were actually using the buffs during the fight and then using bows or crossbows. I guess it was because of the spell limit and cantrips being subpar to weapons.


oholoko wrote:
Well most of the times i did see that, might been just my tables. I mean people had more spells, but they used one or two a lot more than the rest and lower spell slots were mostly replaced for something that made you more flexible.

For myself, higher level spots tended to stay the same for the sole reason you had so few. Lower level spells tended to be where your utility and versatility was. Maybe a spell to avoid falling, one vs falling, one to avoid eating, one for... If I has 6 1st level spell slots, I had a different nifty/cool spell for each: I also loved cantrip and I most likely one of the few people that enjoyed adding more when you could like when you got to add a spell one level lower than you max at 1st. I find great joy in finding interesting things to do with prestidigitation.

graystone wrote:
Yeah... But i meant instead of using utility spells and putting buffs one time they were actually using the buffs during the fight and then using bows or crossbows.

You're pretty much describing what the entire schtick of the warpriest is. They combat buff and smack you around with a weapon. You don't see much in combat buff and weapon attack in PF1 because of spell there actually HAD a duration greater than 1 min. As to weapons, arcane casters mostly didn't because of BAB: without some way to get a huge bonus or targeting touch AC, they were fairly worthless after a while. Divine though could manage weapon attack if they wished.

The difference in PF2 is that those buff spells didn't trigger the multiple attack penalty, so you could easily cast and weapon attack: the weapon attack was basically a free attack so even if it wasn't a very good attack, there was no reason NOT to take it as you have a extra action to use on something and most spells take multiple actions.


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I have been repeatedly told that my playtest group wasn’t the norm but only our divine and occult casters ever used weapons much. Divine obviously because of a severe shortage of offensive spells and while occult does have some at higher levels there is a shortage of them for a few levels but the biggest reason is that both lists lack a good selection of attack cantrips. Our arcane and primal casters didn’t have that problem and only occasionally used a weapon. Usually using the 3rd action to keep moving, even more useful now that AoOs are on the rare side.
Cantrips might do a little less damage than a magic weapon of the same level (as they should since they are a gp investment) but it’s not painfully lower and many of them have useful rider effects and can potentially trigger weaknesses. When you have the money for them the spell duelist items help close the gap with magic weapons as well. Look at it this way, at worst attack cantrips are a free, scaling magic crossbow but are often much better.


Raylyeh wrote:
Cantrips might do a little less damage than a magic weapon of the same level (as they should since they are a gp investment) but it’s not painfully lower and many of them have useful rider effects and can potentially trigger weaknesses. When you have the money for them the spell duelist items help close the gap with magic weapons as well. Look at it this way, at worst attack cantrips are a free, scaling magic crossbow but are often much better.

IMO it's totally irrelevant how good or bad cantrips are when you're looking at weapon use. The thing is that those cantrips use up two actions. Now sure you can use it for other things, but if you don't HAVE to move why not get an extra attack? DO they keep moving even then they didn't need to instead? To me, the 3 action round combines with 2 action spells encourages having a weapon to take advantage of otherwise unused 3rd actions. Add to that magic striker type feats that encourage you even more

As to "told that my playtest group wasn’t the norm", I'd have to agree as I saw very few casters that didn't have a weapon to take advantage of that 3rd action.

Raylyeh wrote:
Cantrips might do a little less damage than a magic weapon of the same level (as they should since they are a gp investment)

IMO, this is looking at it wrong as it's cantrip damage PLUS weapon damage [even if you don't improve the weapon much].

Raylyeh wrote:
spell duelist items

I'm not sure how to rate these as they've murdered resonance and therefore necessitate a rework. Add to that that it's an 8th level item and you have lot of levels you aren't going to have the option to use one over a weapon. As far as the playtest, I don't recall anyone using these items.


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graystone wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
Cantrips might do a little less damage than a magic weapon of the same level (as they should since they are a gp investment) but it’s not painfully lower and many of them have useful rider effects and can potentially trigger weaknesses. When you have the money for them the spell duelist items help close the gap with magic weapons as well. Look at it this way, at worst attack cantrips are a free, scaling magic crossbow but are often much better.

IMO it's totally irrelevant how good or bad cantrips are when you're looking at weapon use. The thing is that those cantrips use up two actions. Now sure you can use it for other things, but if you don't HAVE to move why not get an extra attack? DO they keep moving even then they didn't need to instead? To me, the 3 action round combines with 2 action spells encourages having a weapon to take advantage of otherwise unused 3rd actions. Add to that magic striker type feats that encourage you even more

As to "told that my playtest group wasn’t the norm", I'd have to agree as I saw very few casters that didn't have a weapon to take advantage of that 3rd action.

Raylyeh wrote:
Cantrips might do a little less damage than a magic weapon of the same level (as they should since they are a gp investment)

IMO, this is looking at it wrong as it's cantrip damage PLUS weapon damage [even if you don't improve the weapon much].

Raylyeh wrote:
spell duelist items
I'm not sure how to rate these as they've murdered resonance and therefore necessitate a rework. Add to that that it's an 8th level item and you have lot of levels you aren't going to have the option to use one over a weapon. As far as the playtest, I don't recall anyone using these items.

I'll be honest if you aren't having to move regularily then your GM isn't really making the most of the system to provide tactical challenge. If an enemy is faster than a melee PC and relatively intelligent, it should be moving to make the PC use 2 or more actions to its 1 to catch up (or even if it isn't faster, but out numbered it can force multiple enemies to lose 1 action by using 1 of its). Casting PCs should be moving to stay out of trouble, terrain elements should encourage frequent movement etc.

And that third action can be used for things that aren't moving or weapon attacks. Stuff like metamagicing your cantrip for reach so you can stay safely away from enemies (or hit high fliers etc) or to ignore hefty resistances, controlling a companion or summon, preparing an Aid or Assisting (because increasing your Fighter's chance at scoring a crit is probably more worthwhile than your Wizard trying for a -5 attack), demoralizing an enemy (the most OP skill use in the game), using a shield, taking cover, seeking and probably dozens more.

Really making that extra attack at -5 seems like one of the worst uses of a casters third action unless they've made a build especially for it.


All of what Malk_Content said.


Malk_Content wrote:
I'll be honest if you aren't having to move regularily then your GM isn't really making the most of the system to provide tactical challenge. If an enemy is faster than a melee PC and relatively intelligent, it should be moving to make the PC use 2 or more actions to its 1 to catch up (or even if it isn't faster, but out numbered it can force multiple enemies to lose 1 action by using 1 of its). Casting PCs should be moving to stay out of trouble, terrain elements should encourage frequent movement etc.

IMO it seems quite forced if every caster can expect to have to move every single round... There are plenty of unintelligent foes, ranged foes, single foes and other reasons for them not single mindedly chasing down the caster.

Malk_Content wrote:
And that third action can be used for things that aren't moving or weapon attacks. Stuff like metamagicing your cantrip for reach so you can stay safely away from enemies (or hit high fliers etc) or to ignore hefty resistances, controlling a companion or summon, preparing an Aid or Assisting (because increasing your Fighter's chance at scoring a crit is probably more worthwhile than your Wizard trying for a -5 attack), demoralizing an enemy (the most OP skill use in the game), using a shield, taking cover, seeking and probably dozens more.

As far as metamagicing, I didn't see much of that. As far as a -5, the big benefit of the system is the ability to cast a buff spell and use the weapon without that -5. As far as assist, that requires being in melee so I really don't see that happening unless they are forced into melee. Add to that it's a melee attack so you have a good chance of giving them a -2 instead of a bonus. [unless built for melee for some reason] As far as Demoralize, it's cha and language based so isn't always that great. Now if you're sorcerer/bard with a common language, then sure.

Malk_Content wrote:
Really making that extra attack at -5 seems like one of the worst uses of a casters third action unless they've made a build especially for it.

A lot of the time it isn't with the -5 though. And even when it is, I saw plenty of rounds when it was that or not much else to do.


I think we are talking about 2 different kinds of casters. There’s the melee buff casters like clerics and some druids, bards and sorcerers where I agreed that weapon attacks are effective but I was switching gears to primary casters, wizards and the other druids, bards and sorcerers and their tactics and what Malk_Content said completely applies for them. Their weapon attacks are just going to be inferior to the point of near worthlessness and they are probably pretty squishy. That 3rd action is far better used doing just about anything else and the vast majority of the time there’s something actually useful you could do with it.

Edit: as a note to the demoralize option. Charisma tends to be decently high on many casters and at least in the playtest the DCs for succeeding were surprisingly low. Even a middling charisma with intimidate trained could usually manage. As to the language issue, there is a skill feat available right off the bat that lets you replace the verbal and language tags with the visual tag. Intimidating glare. It was easily one of the best skill feats in the playtest.

Liberty's Edge

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graystone wrote:
IMO it seems quite forced if every caster can expect to have to move every single round... There are plenty of unintelligent foes, ranged foes, single foes and other reasons for them not single mindedly chasing down the caster.

It's not all that forced. All you need is one melee foe coming after the caster and this becomes a super good idea for non-melee casters.

graystone wrote:
As far as metamagicing, I didn't see much of that.

Neither did I, though it's clearly more common as level rises.

graystone wrote:
As far as a -5, the big benefit of the system is the ability to cast a buff spell and use the weapon without that -5.

You can cast a buff and attack once, but using buffs is not the only viable strategy in combat. And even when you do buff, there are often alternatives for that third action (Malk_Content very reasonably mentions shields and cover, for example).

graystone wrote:
As far as assist, that requires being in melee so I really don't see that happening unless they are forced into melee. Add to that it's a melee attack so you have a good chance of giving them a -2 instead of a bonus. [unless built for melee for some reason]

This is pretty much true, yes. Or at least was in the playtest.

graystone wrote:
As far as Demoralize, it's cha and language based so isn't always that great. Now if you're sorcerer/bard with a common language, then sure.

There's a Skill Feat to make it not language based, and Intimidate is absurd enough mechanically that it's a fairly solid choice to take for any Cha character, just speaking in optimization terms.

graystone wrote:
A lot of the time it isn't with the -5 though. And even when it is, I saw plenty of rounds when it was that or not much else to do.

This can very easily be true if you build for weapon attacks. Building for weapon attacks makes your upsides for a second and even third attack decent, and disincentivizes building to utilize alternative options for your remaining action.

Characters who do not build for such attacks, on the other hand, can very easily build to do something else, and often quite a good something else, with their third action.


Raylyeh wrote:
I think we are talking about 2 different kinds of casters. There’s the melee buff casters like clerics and some druids, bards and sorcerers where I agreed that weapon attacks are effective but I was switching gears to primary casters, wizards and the other druids, bards and sorcerers and their tactics and what Malk_Content said completely applies for them. Their weapon attacks are just going to be inferior to the point of near worthlessness and they are probably pretty squishy. That 3rd action is far better used doing just about anything else and the vast majority of the time there’s something actually useful you could do with it.

You're thinking MELEE and I'm thinking RANGED. A bow is a weapon...

Deadmanwalking wrote:
This can very easily be true if you build for weapon attacks. Building for weapon attacks makes your upsides for a second and even third attack decent, and disincentivizes building to utilize alternative...

I wasn't implying that there weren't other things you could do with that 3rd action: I just found that I often had it open and a weapon attack worked fine for me to fill it. That and pretty much every other caster I saw used a weapon on a regular basis. [not every round mind you, just regularly]

Deadmanwalking wrote:
It's not all that forced.

I stand by my statement if it's every combat: I already agreed that sometimes you have to move, I just disagree with the implication that every combat requires you to be on the move every round.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Demoralize

I agree that if you build for it, it's an excellent option. I was talking about casters in general though.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Characters who do not build for such attacks, on the other hand, can very easily build to do something else, and often quite a good something else, with their third action.

I totally agree. I'm more thinking the levels I was playing, 1-8, where the caster really isn't built for any of 3rd action in particular.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Neither did I, though it's clearly more common as level rises.

I could see that, but I put it in the same category as the different builds we're talking about. They seem a bit troublesome to use as they make the spell take all your actions: reach spell requires you already be in range as you can't move beforehand. Same with Widen Spell as it requires you to move into the exact place the round before and hope no one moves.


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Casters with bow proficiency: bard (shortbow,) clerics of Erastil (longbow) and druids (shortbow) maybe? I don’t have the playtest manual on me. The SRD says no but I’m not sure that’s right. Otherwise you’re spending feats. So honestly not super common as whole. The other ranged options have reload actions so cantrips work just as well or better. Plus you potentially have to ready your weapon, another action.

I’ve said my piece and despite my playtest group apparently being odd it worked out very well so I really don’t care.

Whether this is relevant or not I’m not sure but I admit that my views may be a bit slanted. I’ve never particularly cared for gishes. The only one I’ve played in recent memory was a bloodrager. I’m actually quite happy that a primary caster bard seems much more viable in 2E. I might actually play one at some point.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Of course speaking of absolutes is bad. It shouldn't be every combat (as that gets boring in the opposite way) but should be regular enough that "stand and cast a spell then bow" isn't an optimal tactic. If we are getting into bows as well they have their own downsides that require you to move (short range on short bows, or penalty for being close on longbows) have less damage than melee and closer to Cantrip, don't inherently scale, don't inherently bypass resistances or target common weaknesses, don't carry useful effects (persistent damage, ability to target a save instead of AC), for many casters require extra feats to still have a lower hit chance etc.

The metamagic arguement is a bit weird if I'm honest. If your speed is less than 30, using Reach spell means you don't have to spend the move in order to hit an enemy you otherwise couldn't. Thats the whole point of it, you get to be further AWAY from the enemy not have to move closer. Widen spell is the same, it increases the area meaning you need less optimal positioning to make use of your aoe spells or with optimal positioning even greater use of your aoe spells. I mean widening a fireball increases the amount of squares it hits by 20. Thats far more likely to get you optimal coverage than moving 5 squares in any given direction (especially with a range of 500ft)

The point being that Cantrip scaling is good enough to balance out lower spell slots. I contend the list of pro's is.

Demoralize is excellent even if not overly built for it. At Expert for many casters your chances or pulling it off are higher than hitting the same enemy.


Yeah Demoralize is bonkers good. Even without a charisma focus, which 3 of the 5 casters have. A critical success on a Demoralize can alter the combat more than many spells.


Raylyeh wrote:

Casters with bow proficiency: bard (shortbow,) clerics of Erastil (longbow) and druids (shortbow) maybe? I don’t have the playtest manual on me. The SRD says no but I’m not sure that’s right. Otherwise you’re spending feats. So honestly not super common as whole. The other ranged options have reload actions so cantrips work just as well or better. Plus you potentially have to ready your weapon, another action.

I’ve said my piece and despite my playtest group apparently being odd it worked out very well so I really don’t care.

Whether this is relevant or not I’m not sure but I admit that my views may be a bit slanted. I’ve never particularly cared for gishes. The only one I’ve played in recent memory was a bloodrager. I’m actually quite happy that a primary caster bard seems much more viable in 2E. I might actually play one at some point.

Weapon Familiarity (Elf), Weapon Familiarity (Halfling) Feat 1, Unconventional Weaponry (human) Feat 1 are all feats you can pick from 1st without touching class feats. Wizards get crossbows. Sorcerers/druids get simple [crossbows and slings]. Clerics gets simple and theirs gods weapon.

While those with a reload aren't ideal, it's simple enough to load a crossbow/sling and fire of a show with it when you get the chance. Heck a dart, javelin, spear, dagger or even a club can manage a ranged attack if you want.


So you wait 2 days to prove what I said about needing to spend feats for bow proficiency and then mention a bunch of weapons that are worse than bows in most cases. Plus I already mentioned ones that have reload or need to be readied so more or less regurgitating my 1st paragraph with a positive spin. Yeah congrats. As far as I’m concerned this conversation is over. We aren’t going to agree on much at this point. If you think that using your 3rd action for weapon attacks is the best option no one is stopping you I was just throwing some alternatives out there that I think are preferable.


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Raylyeh, there's no need to act so resentful about it. The conversation was civil and polite, snide remarks seem uncalled for. As much as I agree with your points, graystone hasn't personally attacked you. Don't be angry.

In any case, I think if a wizard prefers by default to use a weapon as their 3rd action something isn't working right. As part of a gish build, sure, but otherwise wizards should suck with weapon attacks and favor their magic almost all the time. Sorcerers, I can see some bloodlines be inherently more favorable for gishing, and clerics of course should be decent at it (war priests, at least), while druids should probably stick to shapechanging before entering a melee - I don't think they should be any better than wizards with normal attacks. Bards are traditionally subpar but feasible in a pinch, as well.

So I hope the traditional vision for the classes is being reinforced by the mechanics and most of the time wizards and most sorcerers don't feel tempted to use a dagger or a crossbow on their 3rd action, at least not after 2nd-3rd level. In Oblivion Oath you can see Mykah using her staff against an enemy vulnerable to bludgeoning, but only once for now, and Qundle has never tried a weapon attack that I know of, but their spells also seem limited or weak. They're also 1st level, so I hope they get something juicy later on that they'll want to use more often. And that consequently we do too.


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Roswynn wrote:
In Oblivion Oath you can see Mykah using her staff against an enemy vulnerable to bludgeoning, but only once for now, and Qundle has never tried a weapon attack that I know of, but their spells also seem limited or weak. They're also 1st level, so I hope they get something juicy later on that they'll want to use more often. And that consequently we do too.

Pretty sure Qundle threw his dagger at a zombie in the first session, plus he also carries his spear.

But in fairness, he is a healer (and not our traditional sorcerer) — I wouldn't be upset if he hasn't chosen an attacking cantrip; ideally there should be a decent one for him to choose, but I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't have the spare slots to pick it up.

Mykah should definitely have a decent cantrip, but if the enemy was weak to bludgeoning, then hitting it with her staff makes sense.

Liberty's Edge

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Raylyeh, I'm afraid I have to agree with Roswynn that you seem a bit overly combative right now. I'd advise chilling out a bit.

Roswynn wrote:
In any case, I think if a wizard prefers by default to use a weapon as their 3rd action something isn't working right. As part of a gish build, sure, but otherwise wizards should suck with weapon attacks and favor their magic almost all the time. Sorcerers, I can see some bloodlines be inherently more favorable for gishing, and clerics of course should be decent at it (war priests, at least), while druids should probably stick to shapechanging before entering a melee - I don't think they should be any better than wizards with normal attacks. Bards are traditionally subpar but feasible in a pinch, as well.

Druids and Bards should, IMO, be solid in melee. They always have been before. Otherwise I'm mostly in agreement, though for Sorcerers it should depend on their spell list. If other Classes with the list can be solid in melee, then the Sorcerer should be able to be equally so. That lets out the Arcane list IMO, but includes the other three.

Roswynn wrote:
So I hope the traditional vision for the classes is being reinforced by the mechanics and most of the time wizards and most sorcerers don't feel tempted to use a dagger or a crossbow on their 3rd action, at least not after 2nd-3rd level.

I agree with this pretty much completely. I think the playtest is there for the most part.

Roswynn wrote:
In Oblivion Oath you can see Mykah using her staff against an enemy vulnerable to bludgeoning, but only once for now, and Qundle has never tried a weapon attack that I know of, but their spells also seem limited or weak. They're also 1st level, so I hope they get something juicy later on that they'll want to use more often. And that consequently we do too.

From what I could see, a lot of their ineffectiveness has stemmed from poor rolls more than anything plus not actually casting anything more than cantrips most of the time (Mykah has cast Magic Missile a few times...I'm not sure Qundle even has an offensive non-cantrip).

Ramanujan wrote:
Pretty sure Qundle threw his dagger at a zombie in the first session, plus he also carries his spear.

He threw a dagger once, yeah.

Ramanujan wrote:
But in fairness, he is a healer (and not our traditional sorcerer) — I wouldn't be upset if he hasn't chosen an attacking cantrip; ideally there should be a decent one for him to choose, but I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't have the spare slots to pick it up.

He actually does have an attack cantrip, and has used it more than weapon attacks (I believe two or three times).

Ramanujan wrote:
Mykah should definitely have a decent cantrip, but if the enemy was weak to bludgeoning, then hitting it with her staff makes sense.

She has Acid Splash, and would've been better off using it than making the staff attack vs. a rat swarm unless they've changed a lot. But she didn't know that.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Druids and Bards should, IMO, be solid in melee. They always have been before. Otherwise I'm mostly in agreement, though for Sorcerers it should depend on their spell list. If other Classes with the list can be solid in melee, then the Sorcerer should be able to be equally so. That lets out the Arcane list IMO, but includes the other three.

But druids now also have a very good spell list with lots of direct damage. They also shapechange, have animal companions... I can certainly be wrong here because I haven't played 1st edition, but the impression has always been that they're a bit too powerful when compared to other classes.

As for sorcerers... what's important to me is that the 4 spell lists feel very different, but equivalent, without having a lot of the same spells and excelling in some areas instead of others depending on their essences. But I meant that some bloodlines should make for good gishes - not just by virtue of their spell lists, but even more perhaps considering their themes and related powers. I don't feel it's necessary for a sorcerer with a divine spell list to be as good a weapon user as the cleric - the sorcerer could have the same spell list but excel in a different area - healing, skills, social scenarios, exploration, particular situations... it does matter that they're still able to contribute as much as the other classes, not that they necessarily can gish well.

I must confess my memory for many details of what has happened in Oblivion Oath up until now is not as good as I thought it was - I didn't remember Qundle throwing his dagger, nor Mykah casting magic missile (now that you mention it I wonder how I forgot) - and yes, they're using lots of cantrips (chill touch, acid splash, divine lance which didn't really happen) and rolling quite poorly.

I'm not sure whether Mykah would be better off acid-splashing the rats instead of using her staff - I mean, of course it would be more effective, but I fear at least the splash damage would hit the pcs currently in the same squares. No pain no gain I guess?

Liberty's Edge

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Roswynn wrote:
But druids now also have a very good spell list with lots of direct damage. They also shapechange, have animal companions... I can certainly be wrong here because I haven't played 1st edition, but the impression has always been that they're a bit too powerful when compared to other classes.

In PF1 they're pretty up there, yeah. In PF2, to have either an Animal Companion or meaningful combat shapeshifting you need to invest a huge percentage of your Class Feats into the one of those you chose. They're no more powerful than most other Classes. And their spell list is nice...if you like Evocation effects and healing. It's very good at those two things...outside those it's less impressive, and quite frankly evocation effects remain inferior to save-or-suck stuff, spell for spell, IMO.

They also have fewer spells per level than Sorcerers or Wizards, and no Class features that bolster them like Clerics do with Channel Energy. They're good, but much worse outside a handful of builds if they can't actually fight. Which, luckily, they can.

Roswynn wrote:
As for sorcerers... what's important to me is that the 4 spell lists feel very different, but equivalent, without having a lot of the same spells and excelling in some areas instead of others depending on their essences. But I meant that some bloodlines should make for good gishes - not just by virtue of their spell lists, but even more perhaps considering their themes and related powers. I don't feel it's necessary for a sorcerer with a divine spell list to be as good a weapon user as the cleric - the sorcerer could have the same spell list but excel in a different area - healing, skills, social scenarios, exploration, particular situations... it does matter that they're still able to contribute as much as the other classes, not that they necessarily can gish well.

Well, yes, but the problem with that is that combat is a huge part of the game. They need not be as physically combat capable as a Cleric if they are more capable in some other area of combat...but there needs to be that other area in regards to combat specifically since it's so important, something the playtest was distinctly lacking in regards to Divine Sorcerers especially.

Roswynn wrote:
I must confess my memory for many details of what has happened in Oblivion Oath up until now is not as good as I thought it was - I didn't remember Qundle throwing his dagger, nor Mykah casting magic missile (now that you mention it I wonder how I forgot) - and yes, they're using lots of cantrips (chill touch, acid splash, divine lance which didn't really happen) and rolling quite poorly.

Qundle's also got a very real tendency to spend actions on utility/support effects rather than damage. Which is fine, but makes it harder to tell how dangerous he'd be if he focused on offense.

Roswynn wrote:
I'm not sure whether Mykah would be better off acid-splashing the rats instead of using her staff - I mean, of course it would be more effective, but I fear at least the splash damage would hit the pcs currently in the same squares. No pain no gain I guess?

Yeah, fair. Though the splash damage is probably still only one point.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've always felt that it's a bit of a shame in PF1 that the notion of a wizard hitting someone with a staff past level 3 is absolutely absurd. I would love it if, regardless of class, spending an action to try to hit someone wasn't a guaranteed waste. In fact, if a wizard could do the same damage as their cantrips with their staff with only minimal investment, I'd be pretty happy.

In my opinion, casters only ever casting spells is too far in the realm of action RPG/mmorpg. It's needlessly reductive.

I also agree that Bards and Druids simply must have the option of being useful with weapons. If not, they're seriously letting down their prior incarnations.

Liberty's Edge

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WatersLethe wrote:
I've always felt that it's a bit of a shame in PF1 that the notion of a wizard hitting someone with a staff past level 3 is absolutely absurd. I would love it if, regardless of class, spending an action to try to hit someone wasn't a guaranteed waste. In fact, if a wizard could do the same damage as their cantrips with their staff with only minimal investment, I'd be pretty happy.

Well, if you grab a magic weapon and use a weapon type that you have a decent stat with (ie: dagger or crossbow with decent Dex, staff with decent Str, etc.), you can probably do this pretty well. You won't be any better than your cantrips without Feat and stat investment, mind you, but using a weapon isn't a flatly terrible choice as compared to a cantrip.

The cantrip's advantage is the lack of needing to buy a magic weapon (or, indeed, anything else), and attacking based off your casting stat, rather than being flatly superior to weapons wielded with a decent stat.

WatersLethe wrote:
In my opinion, casters only ever casting spells is too far in the realm of action RPG/mmorpg. It's needlessly reductive.

I'm fine with that being the default. It's a default you should be able to violate with a little investment, but needing some investment seems reasonable to me.

WatersLethe wrote:
I also agree that Bards and Druids simply must have the option of being useful with weapons. If not, they're seriously letting down their prior incarnations.

This I definitely agree with.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:
I've always felt that it's a bit of a shame in PF1 that the notion of a wizard hitting someone with a staff past level 3 is absolutely absurd. I would love it if, regardless of class, spending an action to try to hit someone wasn't a guaranteed waste. In fact, if a wizard could do the same damage as their cantrips with their staff with only minimal investment, I'd be pretty happy.

One of my first PF2e characters is going to be a high Strength/low Int Wizard, specifically to see how possible this is. And also because I think it's hilarious that's a viable character in 2e. :)


Deadmanwalking wrote:

In PF1 they're pretty up there, yeah. In PF2, to have either an Animal Companion or meaningful combat shapeshifting you need to invest a huge percentage of your Class Feats into the one of those you chose. They're no more powerful than most other Classes. And their spell list is nice...if you like Evocation effects and healing. It's very good at those two things...outside those it's less impressive, and quite frankly evocation effects remain inferior to save-or-suck stuff, spell for spell, IMO.

They also have fewer spells per level than Sorcerers or Wizards, and no Class features that bolster them like Clerics do with Channel Energy. They're good, but much worse outside a handful of builds if they can't actually fight. Which, luckily, they can.

Wait, don't they also have healing magic? Their essences are material and vital, aren't they? Although if this time Paizo managed to balance them I must say I'd be very impressed, that's no easy feat. I'm also interested in your assertion that save-or-suck spells are flat-out better than evocation... I know that was very much the case in the past, sure, but with the 4 levels of success/failure do you think that's still the case?

That they have fewer spells than sorcerers or wizards is very interesting, that escaped me, and I think that's a very good way to nerf them without making them suck.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Well, yes, but the problem with that is that combat is a huge part of the game. They need not be as physically combat capable as a Cleric if they are more capable in some other area of combat...but there needs to be that other area in regards to combat specifically since it's so important, something the playtest was distinctly lacking in regards to Divine Sorcerers especially.

Well, you're right, combat is indeed a huge part of the game, practically always. Which is not necessarily something I feel shouldn't have any alternatives... I hope we can focus at least partially on other narratives if we want to. Still, yes, it needs to be a combat function, so - dps, tank, healer, buffer, mezzer, cc, the usual. Agreed.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Qundle's also got a very real tendency to spend actions on utility/support effects rather than damage. Which is fine, but makes it harder to tell how dangerous he'd be if he focused on offense.

True. I do hope divine gets some cool spiritual effects bent on emulating outsiders, something like becoming a warrior angel and stuff like that for instance (other than calling down the gods' wrath on infidels of course).

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Yeah, fair. Though the splash damage is probably still only one point.

Absolutely.


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MaxAstro wrote:
One of my first PF2e characters is going to be a high Strength/low Int Wizard, specifically to see how possible this is. And also because I think it's hilarious that's a viable character in 2e. :)

Lucky for you that you can afford to base a whole character on a lark! Either you have more time than most of us to play, or, well, this idea really cracks you up ;)

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