Did wizards get nerfed?


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I'd sort of like to see examples of the "whoever wins initiative wins" thing myself. I know I run my games oddly, so it's probably something weird on my side, but I'm still curious how it manifests. That's probably best suited for its own thread.

edit: regarding missed spells and saved spells, there is the fighter feat certain strike, and attacks are two chances on the dice instead of one. The two types of attacks aren't easily comparable.


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Rysky wrote:
Uh, your spells aren’t designed to fail.

Which is why I said, "appears" as in: Comparing DC's to saves, and in play, saves happen more often than fails which makes it *appear* this way.

A successful save means the spell failed to have full effect. The incremental success ladder makes it so that my spells feel to be failing when the enemy consistently succeed at their saves. This is a design choice when Paizo decided that the d20 was going to be more important in this edition. My spells are, quite literally, designed with a higher intended chance of full or partial failure.

This also means that they're designed to have a full or partial chance of success, but we don't call it a partial failure when they take half damage because they succeeded at saving, my spell failed to have full effect.

Which is a long winded way of saying that the perception for me, as the player, is that my spells are consistently failing to take full effect despite being a valuable and limited daily resource that when it runs out I'm firing a fancy elemental crossbow, sorry I mean using cantrips.

Arachnofiend wrote:

You realize that any time your spells are half as effective swinging a sword would have done nothing, right

Like that's how rolls work

Spells get compensation on a miss because they're a limited resource but if you're always missing with spells then boy howdy would you feel useless playing a martial

Incorrect. There's a fighter feat that allows for minimal damage on misses, although I gather you meant usually rather than absolutely.

The fighter (and other martials) are spending a single action- or possibly two for some combat options- for a swing and can frequently try again in the same round. I can't try again with my spells in the same round, and eventually at all. I've tried a martial during the playtest. I didn't feel terribly useless when I missed because I could, unless I died, *always try again.*

At low levels on spell casters a few poor rolls means that you're relegated to cantrips until the martials run out of HP which depending on the party mix is quite a while and two action cantrips leave you fairly vulnerable to more nimble foes catching you because they can stride twice and still strike while you can only stride once and cast.

I can't speak of personal play experience from high level casters (I didn't hit that during the playtest and my campaign isn't there yet)but looking at it feels like I'll be throwing high level blasts on my current evoker followed by low and mid-level buffs which is at least somewhat interesting.


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I experienced the "who ever wins initiative wins" at higher levels a lot in PF1. but that description is a little misleading. As a diviner, with a focus on recon, teleportation, and protection, I was able to make sure that our party was able to bypass the vast majority of encounters in a dungeon. By level 15 we were locating the big bad villain with spells, teleporting (dimensional door) the party right in on top of them, and then teleporting out before the dungeon had time to rally in defense . The GM was playing the villains smart too. They responded, they attempted to counter, and we changed our tactics. It was fun. It also took us hours to resolve single rounds of combat and involved a lot of teleporting away by both sides trying to create traps for each other. It derailed APs pretty wildly and by the time we finished the campaign we were all exhausted with PF1 and it was the last campaign we ever played.

I appreciate a game that allows that play style to occur, but without creating limitations on it, it pretty much becomes the way the party feels they must play, because it is how smart villains will use their spells.

PF2 still allows for some of it, but having rarity restrictions and less spells that can instant win (like greater possession), goes a long way in letting more different styles of play possible without the GM having to be a hawk about what the players bring to the table.

Edit: Plus, play a diviner and you will always win initiative.


ErichAD wrote:
I'd sort of like to see examples of the "whoever wins initiative wins" thing myself. I know I run my games oddly, so it's probably something weird on my side, but I'm still curious how it manifests. That's probably best suited for its own thread.

Just as a quick example, there was one wizard boss a little while ago in my game. We were level 9, and he was CR 12 - a level 12 caster with a template.

He lost initiative. Had I felt particularly uncharitable that day, our actions would have ended the fight before he had the chance to take a single action. The Death cleric cast Enervation (4 negative levels), the Bard started dirge of doom, and then my witch cast Feeblemind, with the boss having an effective +4 Will against DC 20.

In reality, the Feeblemind happened a few rounds later, after I decided he'd cast enough high-level spells that he'd been enough of a threat.

Silver Crusade

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@Mabtik, then for starters I’d suggest not thinking of Successes as failures/partial-successes, but as Successes.

Critical Successes are nice, but they’re not guranteed or expected, and with the 4 degrees you’re getting more out of your spells than previously when it was all or nothing.


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I am with Mabtik on this one. Changing my perception so that 'half damage' or partial effect is good isn't a good solution.

Its like telling someone to enjoy settling for less. I would have been better with slightly less damage when the enemy fails their save if they didn't pass it more than 50% of the time. Its a bad design choice by Paizo. Imagine if your hit rate was consistency 45 or 35% (if casting against a stronger save) but you got partial damage on a miss.

Whats worse is casters get less interaction with the 3 action economy than martials, a lot could have been done to say you can cast a spell for 1 action and then heighten the save DC, level, damage or other aspect of the spell by spending a second action. Right now a caster is mostly still feels caught in the PF1 action economy while everyone else got an upgrade.

This isn't about power, this is about design choices that feel bad when you get them.

Silver Crusade

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That’s the thing though, you’re treating Critical Success as Successes and normal Successes as Failures, when the Critical Success is in fact something extra.

Just as when you Strike something the Critical Hit is a nice extra, it’s not a Failure if it’s “only” a normal hit and thus only “partial” damage of what you could have done.


Cyder wrote:
Whats worse is casters get less interaction with the 3 action economy than martials, a lot could have been done to say you can cast a spell for 1 action and then heighten the save DC, level, damage or other aspect of the spell by spending a second action. Right now a caster is mostly still feels caught in the PF1 action economy while everyone else got an upgrade.

But that's literally why all the metamagics and 1-action spells (of which there are a lot) exist...

Mystic Beacon literally is a 1-action spell that heightens the next damaging/healing spell the target casts by 1.

That's also why 3-action spells exist, like Black Tentacles. Decide whether to cast it or move, because odds are you're not doing both (unless you're hasted).


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Rysky wrote:
I suggest taking your own advice, as “whoever wins initiative wins” was a prevalent issue in higher levels and not something they’re making up.

It's 100% as real as a worthless PF2 wizard. That is it's 100% true to anyone who wants to believe it - even if it's not in the real world.


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Rysky wrote:

That’s the thing though, you’re treating Critical Success as Successes and normal Successes as Failures, when the Critical Success is in fact something extra.

Just as when you Strike something the Critical Hit is a nice extra, it’s not a Failure if it’s “only” a normal hit and thus only “partial” damage of what you could have done.

What I find irritating, coming from PF1 is that the iconic or expected outcome of a number of spells has been restricted to the 'nice extra' portion of the spell and a regular failure is some form of 'Take a minor debuff.'

Dark Archive

Would spells feel better if they only had a binary system: failing the save gives the failed result without a chance for critical and a successful result does nothing? Because that honestly seems a lot worse to me, but it would get rid of the perception that spells are meant to fail.

As for the argument that casters don’t interact with the three action system, I would have to agree. While most spells take up two actions, there are things they can do with the last one, such as move, take cover, cast a shield spell, intimidate to get a better chance to land a spell, feint to have a better chance to land an attack spell (if in melee), etc. Being reluctant to take advantage of an action or not thinking of the possibilities does not make wizards incapable of doing so.

One thing that I find irritating is that people dismiss the conditions as “minor debuffs,” but having played and succeeded on a number of saves, I can say that it sucks having those debuffing conditions, especially in boss fights. In boss fights, having a number of those little debuffs on one target will quickly add up to defeat. Having played both martial and caster, I don’t think casters’ use of spells that only end with these results are anything to scoff at and are as necessary as the fighter’s attacks in victory.

Wizards are supposed to be highly intelligent characters with tricks up their sleeves. If a wizard only has one trick and that trick is countered, that’s not an issue with wizards; that’s an issue with one specific wizard.


Kasoh wrote:
Rysky wrote:

That’s the thing though, you’re treating Critical Success as Successes and normal Successes as Failures, when the Critical Success is in fact something extra.

Just as when you Strike something the Critical Hit is a nice extra, it’s not a Failure if it’s “only” a normal hit and thus only “partial” damage of what you could have done.

What I find irritating, coming from PF1 is that the iconic or expected outcome of a number of spells has been restricted to the 'nice extra' portion of the spell and a regular failure is some form of 'Take a minor debuff.'

Yeah that's true... To me it was quite the opposite, most spells that i hated the outcome become more moderate and failing didn't mean it does nothing what did happen pretty often on pf1.

Silver Crusade

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Kasoh wrote:
Rysky wrote:

That’s the thing though, you’re treating Critical Success as Successes and normal Successes as Failures, when the Critical Success is in fact something extra.

Just as when you Strike something the Critical Hit is a nice extra, it’s not a Failure if it’s “only” a normal hit and thus only “partial” damage of what you could have done.

What I find irritating, coming from PF1 is that the iconic or expected outcome of a number of spells has been restricted to the 'nice extra' portion of the spell and a regular failure is some form of 'Take a minor debuff.'

1) A small number.

2) Said number was all-or-nothing one shot spells previously. If they made their save you got nothing. Now they can get a debuff.


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Narxiso wrote:

Would spells feel better if they only had a binary system: failing the save gives the failed result without a chance for critical and a successful result does nothing? Because that honestly seems a lot worse to me, but it would get rid of the perception that spells are meant to fail.

I don't think the sucess result is what makes it feel like the spells are meant to fail, it's more the different results plus the rate to hit spells versus at level enemies. Even the lowest save will have better than 50% chance to resist a spell many times. In a sense they are meant to fail (and the failed result still be useful).

To keep using your example, if you remove the crit fails and made a sucessful save make a spell do nothing, the spell would be underpowered and increasing the chance for the spell to hit would make it balanced again, and that would make the spell not look like it was designed to fail even if it would introduce other problems (more binary gameplay and making incapacitation spells even more useless versus bosses, because the incapacitate would always bring the failure into a sucess, that would then do nothing).


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Narxiso wrote:

Would spells feel better if they only had a binary system: failing the save gives the failed result without a chance for critical and a successful result does nothing? Because that honestly seems a lot worse to me, but it would get rid of the perception that spells are meant to fail.

As for the argument that casters don’t interact with the three action system, I would have to agree. While most spells take up two actions, there are things they can do with the last one, such as move, take cover, cast a shield spell, intimidate to get a better chance to land a spell, feint to have a better chance to land an attack spell (if in melee), etc. Being reluctant to take advantage of an action or not thinking of the possibilities does not make wizards incapable of doing so.

I feel like there's rp related stuff involved with some of that. For instance, I feel that yelling at an enemy like a grumpy idiot in the middle of a fight is unwizardly. My goblin wizard does it, but, you know, he's the type that would. Most wizards just aren't going to go around yelling "We're going to rip out your entrails and strangle you with them!" to scare people.

Dark Archive

Razgriz 1 wrote:
Narxiso wrote:

Would spells feel better if they only had a binary system: failing the save gives the failed result without a chance for critical and a successful result does nothing? Because that honestly seems a lot worse to me, but it would get rid of the perception that spells are meant to fail.

I don't think the sucess result is what makes it feel like the spells are meant to fail, it's more the different results plus the rate to hit spells versus at level enemies. Even the lowest save will have better than 50% chance to resist a spell many times. In a sense they are meant to fail (and the failed result still be useful).

To keep using your example, if you remove the crit fails and made a sucessful save make a spell do nothing, the spell would be underpowered and increasing the chance for the spell to hit would make it balanced again, and that would make the spell not look like it was designed to fail even if it would introduce other problems (more binary gameplay and making incapacitation spells even more useless versus bosses, because the incapacitate would always bring the failure into a sucess, that would then do nothing).

I don’t see the spell save DCs and different tiers of success as any intention of failure on spellcasters’ part. On the contrary, I see them as reasons to keep using spells as well as to encourage smart, tactical, and team-focused play. As spells almost always have some effect, casters will always have some incentive to cast spells that require saves. From the side of target, I find needing to critically succeed in order to not be hampered a threat worth seriously considering. On the other hand, the same cannot be said for martials, who have diminishing returns on each strike after the first (and I don’t think including certain strike is a fair argument, as it is a level 10 fighter feat that will usually only add strength damage, while competing with other really good feats).

With the prevalence of conditions that can lower creatures’ DCs, it would be all too easy to end encounters had save DCs not increased. Also, even with incapacitation spells, it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to land. If my understanding is correct, a few debuffs on even a boss creature and a lucky natural one could end an encounter (sickened and fear 2 would lower a save to be a critical fail, incapacitation will increase to failure, and the natural 1 would make it a critical failure). That aside, incapacitation is not that common of a trait for spells, only appearing on spells that are complete encounter enders, while the majority of combat useful spells do not have are only affected by higher creatures’ DCs.

Corwin Icewolf wrote:

I feel like there's rp related stuff involved with some of that. For instance, I feel that yelling at an enemy like a grumpy idiot in the middle of a fight is unwizardly. My goblin wizard does it, but, you know, he's the type that would. Most wizards just aren't going to go around yelling "We're going to rip out your entrails and strangle you with them!" to scare people.

There are other ways to intimidate than yelling something so elementary, especially for a wizard, such as an action of chanting in abyssal with the only intelligible words sounding like curses. “That’s (not) what my character would do” is not a good argument when all it takes is a little imagination. Also, intimidation is not the only thing a character can do to lower save DCs. It was just an example.


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Quote:
There are other ways to intimidate than yelling something so elementary, especially for a wizard, such as an action of chanting in abyssal with the only intelligible words sounding like curses.

And then you'd almost always get a negative 4 penalty on your intimidate check because you're speaking in a language most people don't know.

Quote:
“That’s (not) what my character would do” is not a good argument when all it takes is a little imagination.

Well I guess I have no imagination then. I can't imagine what I might shout in common (because again, it needs to be in common or at least a common language. Unless I take intimidating prowess which I probably don't have enough strength for. Or know that the thing I'm fighting speaks abyssal, etc)

Quote:
Also, intimidation is not the only thing a character can do to lower save DCs. It was just an example.

Sure, but most things that do so are spells. And two action spells at that. There's goblin song, which is fine for reducing will saves if you happen to be a goblin. Offhand I can't really think of anything else, actually.


Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Narxiso wrote:

Would spells feel better if they only had a binary system: failing the save gives the failed result without a chance for critical and a successful result does nothing? Because that honestly seems a lot worse to me, but it would get rid of the perception that spells are meant to fail.

As for the argument that casters don’t interact with the three action system, I would have to agree. While most spells take up two actions, there are things they can do with the last one, such as move, take cover, cast a shield spell, intimidate to get a better chance to land a spell, feint to have a better chance to land an attack spell (if in melee), etc. Being reluctant to take advantage of an action or not thinking of the possibilities does not make wizards incapable of doing so.

I feel like there's rp related stuff involved with some of that. For instance, I feel that yelling at an enemy like a grumpy idiot in the middle of a fight is unwizardly. My goblin wizard does it, but, you know, he's the type that would. Most wizards just aren't going to go around yelling "We're going to rip out your entrails and strangle you with them!" to scare people.

Try Illusory Creature for a more wizardly third action. Being a wizard you should be smart enough to know what the creature's weakness is, summon some sort of ranged attacker to plink away at it twice a turn.

It's a shame the other summon spells aren't very good, since ordering a companion is a pretty obvious third action for full casters. Those are some spells I'd say warrant a buff of some kind.


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Ckorik wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I suggest taking your own advice, as “whoever wins initiative wins” was a prevalent issue in higher levels and not something they’re making up.

It's 100% as real as a worthless PF2 wizard. That is it's 100% true to anyone who wants to believe it - even if it's not in the real world.

There are very very few 1 action spells, go and count them. Also that is again 2 of a limited resource for 1 outcome. Its not really a good example of interacting with the 3 action set.

Move cast and move again... not likely,
Move, skill check and... nope almost nothing I can cast.

The tactical combat options in terms of action economy are extremely limited for a caster.

The design of spells like Heal which was revealed early is exactly what I was hoping for more of, what we got was mostly what that had in 1e but with the added 'your spells will fail to get their 'success' effect in more than 50% of cases' it doesn't feel good. Imagine if melee combat was in more than 50% of cases you will do half damage or less.

For the record I am not seeing a Critical success as a normal success as said above. I am saying spells being rebalanced around
60% chance of successful full effect if target weakest save,
50% chance of successful full effect if targeting average save, and
40% chance of successful full effect if targeting strongest save.

Right now we have 55%, 45% and 35% respectively of our spells being 'successful' which feels terrible because the norm is your spell has the reduced and in some cases almost irrelevant effect. Its not like with the limited number of prepared spells or spells known a caster will even have a decent spell for the targets weakest save or even be successful in knowing what that save is.

I am not arguing for more damage, I am arguing for a play style for casters that has the tactical options and thought that martial play styles got.


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In all fairness to Narxiso, those "almost irrelevant" debuffs really do matter a lot more than you think they do. If you cast color spray, for example, even if the enemies save is successful, you just gave everyone in the party blur against that enemy. Yes a boss level enemy needs to actually fail the save to get that effect, but that's still not bad.

On a failed save, a normal enemy loses their round, which you're probably trying to target more than one enemy. That's a big deal. Of course, that's assuming you cast with one of your higher level slot, but still.

@arachnofiend I feel like I knew but forgot about illusory creature so thanks for reminding me. That's a cool spell for sure.


I think that being used to PF1 we sometimes miss how strong that 'full effect' is.
Let's put our wizard against an equal level opponent: chances to win the fight should be around 50%, depending on builds, circumstances, gear, and many other factors; but an equal level enemy is just that: equally powerful, more or less.
Landing a top-level spell with full effect often means that the fight is over. How often should that happen? Should our wizard feel entitled to reliably win the combat just because they expended a noticeable fraction of their daily resources?
If we give an equally large chance to win the fight in one round to our equally powerful opponent, we are just back to rocket tag: initiative is all that counts.
So, when our wizard wins initiative and opens with a powerful spell, how high should the chances of a 'critical' effect be? Not far from what they are now, I'd say, considering that you have two tiers of less powerful, but still useful, effects that are very likely to happen if you don't win the combat outright.


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Cyder wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I suggest taking your own advice, as “whoever wins initiative wins” was a prevalent issue in higher levels and not something they’re making up.

It's 100% as real as a worthless PF2 wizard. That is it's 100% true to anyone who wants to believe it - even if it's not in the real world.

There are very very few 1 action spells, go and count them. Also that is again 2 of a limited resource for 1 outcome. Its not really a good example of interacting with the 3 action set.

Move cast and move again... not likely,
Move, skill check and... nope almost nothing I can cast.

The tactical combat options in terms of action economy are extremely limited for a caster.

The design of spells like Heal which was revealed early is exactly what I was hoping for more of, what we got was mostly what that had in 1e but with the added 'your spells will fail to get their 'success' effect in more than 50% of cases' it doesn't feel good. Imagine if melee combat was in more than 50% of cases you will do half damage or less.

For the record I am not seeing a Critical success as a normal success as said above. I am saying spells being rebalanced around
60% chance of successful full effect if target weakest save,
50% chance of successful full effect if targeting average save, and
40% chance of successful full effect if targeting strongest save.

Right now we have 55%, 45% and 35% respectively of our spells being 'successful' which feels terrible because the norm is your spell has the reduced and in some cases almost irrelevant effect. Its not like with the limited number of prepared spells or spells known a caster will even have a decent spell for the targets weakest save or even be successful in knowing what that save is.

I am not arguing for more damage, I am arguing for a play style for casters that has the tactical options and thought that martial play styles got.

So for my own clarity’s sake, wizards would be fine if their DCs/spell attack bonus was 1 higher?

My experiences have mostly been at low level against severe and extreme encounters our party barely survived. Our spell casters have had a lot of spells saved against but even when it was a cantrip, when they got a crit off, it was much more game changing than when one of us marginals did. Learning what save to target takes time and is much more of a valuable meta skill than a mechanical in game one for now, which is weird, but one that has a big effect on caster efficacy.


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ErichAD wrote:

I'd sort of like to see examples of the "whoever wins initiative wins" thing myself. I know I run my games oddly, so it's probably something weird on my side, but I'm still curious how it manifests. That's probably best suited for its own thread.

edit: regarding missed spells and saved spells, there is the fighter feat certain strike, and attacks are two chances on the dice instead of one. The two types of attacks aren't easily comparable.

An 8th level alchemist can throw 6 bombs for 4d6+7 damage each with touch attacks, so 24d6+42 damage and 6 saves.

A level 10 Barbarian can pounce (nugh said).
A level 9 Kensai can crit on 15-20 (with 2+ confirmation) for 30d6 + 33 damage. Or make a full attack targetting touch AC for roughly the same damage.

Just make a search on the Internet. One shoting an opponent of your CR is the minimum you can ask to a PF1 character flagged as "damage dealer". And the most optimized builds where doing that on an area or on far higher level opponents.


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Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Quote:
“That’s (not) what my character would do” is not a good argument when all it takes is a little imagination.
Well I guess I have no imagination then.

That seems to be the case.

Have you ever felt intimidated before? Was it only in that situation?

Lots of things can be intimidating. A stranger intently observing your child. A previously locked door slightly ajar. The only person in the room with a gun chuckling to themselves.

Intimidation is the portent of threat. Is your wizard not a threat? Are they incapable of inflicting ailments their enemies would wish to avoid?

"What's your favourite animal?" as you wind up with a Bale Polymorph, or "Your agony will be brief" while the Fireball blazes into existence, or "Do keep your melting organs off my robes" to accompany a poisonous mist spreading from your hands.

You're magic, curse them out literally.


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Megistone wrote:

I think that being used to PF1 we sometimes miss how strong that 'full effect' is.

Let's put our wizard against an equal level opponent: chances to win the fight should be around 50%, depending on builds, circumstances, gear, and many other factors; but an equal level enemy is just that: equally powerful, more or less.
Landing a top-level spell with full effect often means that the fight is over. How often should that happen? Should our wizard feel entitled to reliably win the combat just because they expended a noticeable fraction of their daily resources?
If we give an equally large chance to win the fight in one round to our equally powerful opponent, we are just back to rocket tag: initiative is all that counts.
So, when our wizard wins initiative and opens with a powerful spell, how high should the chances of a 'critical' effect be? Not far from what they are now, I'd say, considering that you have two tiers of less powerful, but still useful, effects that are very likely to happen if you don't win the combat outright.

I think this gets to the heart of the problem, which is that PF1 players think their character should be able to fight enemies at PL+2 or +3 and not only reliably win, but even kill such an enemy outright if they fail a save. That's because this was how PF1 worked, the party was usually capable of fighting "above their weight class". That is not the expectation this edition, since the numbers are rebalanced and monster level works slightly differently than CR. You should not have an easy time taking out enemies above your level, such encounters should be severe or extreme and come with a real risk. It's core to the design of encounters in this edition, and incapacitation is a (perhaps rather heavy handed) way of enforcing that while still keeping the fun SoD spells of PF1.


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Artificial 20 wrote:
Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Quote:
“That’s (not) what my character would do” is not a good argument when all it takes is a little imagination.
Well I guess I have no imagination then.

That seems to be the case.

Have you ever felt intimidated before? Was it only in that situation?

Lots of things can be intimidating. A stranger intently observing your child. A previously locked door slightly ajar. The only person in the room with a gun chuckling to themselves.

Intimidation is the portent of threat. Is your wizard not a threat? Are they incapable of inflicting ailments their enemies would wish to avoid?

"What's your favourite animal?" as you wind up with a Bale Polymorph, or "Your agony will be brief" while the Fireball blazes into existence, or "Do keep your melting organs off my robes" to accompany a poisonous mist spreading from your hands.

You're magic, curse them out literally.

I dunno man, I'd feel like a complete cornball saying stuff like that.

Liberty's Edge

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If you don't want to say things, grab Intimidating Glare. That lets you just cast with extra scary colors or the like and Intimidate. It's also a really good Feat if you intend to do this regularly.


Corwin Icewolf wrote:
I dunno man, I'd feel like a complete cornball saying stuff like that.

The fact that you're not a Wizard with death lasers and reality-warping magic at your disposal might have something to do with this.


Since charisma is their key attribute, sorcerers are naturally better at Demoralizing. OTOH, with high Int and more trained skills, wizards can be better at identifying creature weaknesses.

EDIT: wizards are also much better than sorcerers at IDing magic items.


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SuperBidi wrote:
One shoting an opponent of your CR is the minimum you can ask to a PF1 character flagged as "damage dealer".

This is why it's a good thing encounters were not built around a single at level CR opponent.

That alchemist just went up against an enemy with resistance - oh no their damage is halved.

The barb hits something with a truckton of hit points.

The kensai hit something immune to electricity - suddenly he does 1d8/15-20/x2

Scary.


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Rysky wrote:

What I find irritating, coming from PF1 is that the iconic or expected outcome of a number of spells has been restricted to the 'nice extra' portion of the spell and a regular failure is some form of 'Take a minor debuff.'

1) A small number.

2) Said number was all-or-nothing one shot spells previously. If they made their save you got nothing. Now they can get a debuff.

It may be a small number of spells, but when I opened the PF2 spell chapter and looked for my favorites, they were either not there, or only got the effect I wanted on a critical failure, so perception bias did happen there, but I didn't feel motivated to keep looking after that disappointment.

And when I cast a spell in PF1, I knew it was an all or nothing gamble and I accepted that or picked a different spell. Getting a small debuff as the expected outcome instead of what I want the spell to do isn't a balm for that ache.


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Ckorik wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
One shoting an opponent of your CR is the minimum you can ask to a PF1 character flagged as "damage dealer".

This is why it's a good thing encounters were not built around a single at level CR opponent.

That alchemist just went up against an enemy with resistance - oh no their damage is halved.

The barb hits something with a truckton of hit points.

The kensai hit something immune to electricity - suddenly he does 1d8/15-20/x2

Scary.

First, you won't find many monsters to be resistant to Fire, Cold and Force. And even with Electricity immunity, the Kensai does a truck load of damage.

And anyway, the best way to deal with a "normal PF1 character" is just to win initiative with a "normal PF1 character". So, now, the Alchemist gonna do a Will Save against Dominate cast by a Kitsune Fey Sorcerer for a DC 30. Good luck.
Having monsters immune to characters as sole answer is the proof things are not going well :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A PF1 diviner gets to act in every surprise round and will have the highest initiative bonus imaginable. As long as the party stays close enough and the diviner spends their fourth level spells on dimensional door, It is literally impossible for any enemy to trap the party unless the party walks into an ambush where there is already an anti-teleporting effect in place. And if that anti-teleporting effect is magical, then it takes a fair bit of additional magic to hide that trap from the diviner who is very very good at seeing through magical traps.

Instead, through scrying, and especially greater scrying, arcane eye, prying eyes, clairvoyance, it is much more likely that the diviner knows everything that is happening within a mile radius of them and can prep the party to demolish the enemy. Yes this build does require at least 1 or 2 other party members to carry the combat slack, but greater possession is a pretty brutal end to the Big bad villain's chief body guard. I could not solo the encounters, but our 3 person party demolished the 6th book of carrion crown, even though the GM remade the final boss to be as powerful as possible and would frequently attempt to bring 3 or 4 encounters on us at a time.

In PF1 is nearly impossible for any number of enemies to beat a party with a well prepared high-level wizard without winning initiative. That was not something that benefitted the game.


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Narxiso wrote:


I don’t see the spell save DCs and different tiers of success as any intention of failure on spellcasters’ part. On the contrary, I see them as reasons to keep using spells as well as to encourage smart, tactical, and team-focused play. As spells almost always have some effect, casters will always have some incentive to cast spells that require saves. From the side of target, I find needing to critically succeed in order to not be hampered a threat worth seriously considering. On the other hand, the same cannot be said for martials, who have diminishing returns on each strike after the first (and I don’t think including certain strike is a fair argument, as it is a level 10 fighter feat that will usually only add strength damage, while competing with other really good feats).

I've talked to you about this in another thread, but honestly as I said there I'm not talking about the mechanics of the abilities so much as how they make me feel. Casting spells that have a stated condition of X, that is reduced on a successful save, makes me feel like I'm not getting full value out of the spell when it consistently lands for less than that. And looking at the mechanical math it really feels like that is an intentional design aspect of the game, one that I find demoralizing. When my party decides to stop and rest because I run out of useful spells and it's clear that they could keep going but they're stopping because I'm bored of throwing cantrips it doesn't get any better.

Mechanically I have a problem with the fact that I have nothing that I can do to move that chance of success that doesn't involve spending actions and making checks. If I wanted to be more likely to hit with a crossbow or dagger, I'd buy runes. Paizo removed those options from the game after the playtest as far as I can identify. So I'm left with taking options that may, but not certainly, reduce my opponents' save chances. The same goes for my damage, I could buy runes for my crossbow or dagger, but my spells can only be heightened.

I do feel it's fair to call the ability out as it breaks the mold of expected success. Just as it's fair to call out that magic gets a benefit for being a limited resource - I just feel like the benefit magic gets is actually a disguise for the fact that spell casters are supposed to be planning around their abilities being only partially effective. If I throw a fireball I need to be counting on only 0 to 50% damage. If I throw a slow I need to be counting on only Slowed for 1 round. This expectation of the target consistently saving is my problem point. A martial doesn't count on minimum weapon damage per hit, nor do they do so as an extremely squishy caster who's abilities seem determined to put them inside the 1-2 stride range of enemies OR have them use all three actions while standing still (Reach Metamagic + 2 Action Cast) and hope that the enemy isn't angry enough to spend a turn chasing them down.

As for diminishing returns on additional strikes after the first, that's still not entirely true. As they level Martial characters (fighters in particular) get access to increasingly interesting class feats that allow them to get more use out of their 3 actions per turn. Often times allowing multiple attacks at the same attack value. With the exception of Quickened Casting (that's limited to: Once per day, a spell at least 2 levels below max, and only reduces by 1 action so a three action spell is still 2 actions) Wizards in particular actually -lose- action economy to use their class feats. Metamagic adds an action to a spell locking the wizard in place in a highly mobile combat environment. The other spells allow for limited changes in how wizards function out of combat with magic but many of them seem to duplicate item abilities or skill feats which isn't terribly fun.

Total tangent, but I actually detest the heightened mechanic they have as I feel -again feel- like my wizard isn't really getting better at using magic as he levels. He gets access to more *powerful* magic, but he isn't getting more skillful at it. My magic missile will always be the same at level 1 and level 20 unless I heighten it. Meaning, from my perspective, that I'm throwing more power at the problem -not skill. Essentially every magic user appears to be Harry Dresden, if you're familiar with the series. I can throw power in to get power out, but I don't have an option to leverage finesse for more accuracy or to get more use out of the same level of power.

Rysky wrote:


change your perception

I'm not changing my perception of language to make the design mechanics of a game more palatable.


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Your save DCs and bonuses to hit go up as you level. So not an increase in power, but an increase in finesse, exactly like you just asked for. Can't help you with the rest though, you seem very intent on detesting as many aspects of magic in PF2 as possible.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
BellyBeard wrote:
Your save DCs and bonuses to hit go up as you level. So not an increase in power, but an increase in finesse, exactly like you just asked for. Can't help you with the rest though, you seem very intent on detesting as many aspects of magic in PF2 as possible.

That's power, not finesse. The spells gain no extra utility, effect, or viability (unless used on lower level foes) than they had when they were obtained. The only aspect of magic I actively detest is the heighten mechanics, as for the rest I'm seeking to obtain mechanical understanding and the ability to use them to achieve my in and out of character goals. You seem intent on applying the stated tangent to the entire post.


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SuperBidi wrote:


. So, now, the Alchemist gonna do a Will Save against Dominate cast by a Kitsune Fey Sorcerer for a DC 30. Good luck.
Having monsters immune to characters as sole answer is the proof things are not going well :D

Yes - the 'internet builds' that no GM would allow at a table really are ridiculous.

The real world where people who try to play those get told no, encounters work just fine.

It's funny how the 'internet builds' also show PF2 wizards as sucking - because in the real world they don't. That's exactly my point. The game wasn't balanced around Ravingdork's character emporium, and off the wall examples rarely survive actual group play beyond level 7 when the GM would show up in the forums for advice on how to tone things down.

Similarly - despite being a 'thing' for several editions - I've never once seen or heard of an actual Snocone wish machine, or the 'portable hole/bag of holding' arrowhead - outside of theorycrafting.

Skill bonuses that went wonky too fast... yes that was a real problem - the skill system was totally abusable. Feats and traits picked from a shopping list - yep - but even using the 'guide to guides' to make a character I've yet to pull one that made a broken character (using example builds).

Heck - I'll even go on record as saying personally, many of the complaints I saw *about kineticists* were from GM's that thought they did absurd damage per round - DESPITE THAT DAMAGE BEING "NORMALIZED" based on math DPR - because in the real world few players could ever achieve the 'normalized dpr' that everyone here on the forums assumed were a *given* due to playing the game rather than making a math character - and the fact that in a real battle the GM only has to tweak the battlefield slightly to make half the cheese tactics unfair.

When my player with the level 20 cavalier (mythic tier 3) was able to charge he lit up - and I didn't alter anything specificially against his character - it's just a fact that most fights stuff *got in the way* and he wasn't able to full on charge - when he did... yeah - he could one shot a even CR NPC - but even then... that was one... out of 6-8 of them. That's not an autowin.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Some spells do get additional effects as they heighten, which is more than what happened in P1 for the most part (i think there might have been some that gained extra stuff but the only one that comes to mind is Phantom Steed).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ckorik wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:


. So, now, the Alchemist gonna do a Will Save against Dominate cast by a Kitsune Fey Sorcerer for a DC 30. Good luck.
Having monsters immune to characters as sole answer is the proof things are not going well :D

Yes - the 'internet builds' that no GM would allow at a table really are ridiculous.

The real world where people who try to play those get told no, encounters work just fine.

That’s a rather big assumption there.

The rest of your post was on point though.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mabtik wrote:
I'm not changing my perception of language to make the design mechanics of a game more palatable.

Well then I don’t know what to suggest when you read Success as Failure instead of a Success.


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Rysky wrote:
Some spells do get additional effects as they heighten, which is more than what happened in P1 for the most part (i think there might have been some that gained extra stuff but the only one that comes to mind is Phantom Steed).

Duration, Damage (dice or flat value), Number of Targets, Range, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some spell specific modifiers such as Phantom Steed, were all improved as the wizard leveled while the spell stayed in the same spell slot. The wizard literally became better at using the spell as they leveled up and this is no longer true. All wizards cast identical level one magic missiles or burning hands. Apprentice or Archmage the spell is the same. Metamagic feats can adjust that slightly (Overwhelming Energy being the stand out) but that's an applied feat. The spell itself is still the same and that...bugs me.


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Rysky wrote:
Mabtik wrote:
I'm not changing my perception of language to make the design mechanics of a game more palatable.
Well then I don’t know what to suggest when you read Success as Failure instead of a Success.

Combat is adversarial. The opponents' success is my failure, or at least my net neutral. They Succeed at their save. My spell Fails to have full effect. The diminished return is an indicator of my opponents' success(es), and frequently worth less than what it feels that two actions & a limited resource should accomplish. It's a consolation, "Hey, your ability was totally wasted..." mechanic.


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Ckorik wrote:
Yes - the 'internet builds' that no GM would allow at a table really are ridiculous.

Arguing that a GM would just ban or otherwise restrict the broken stuff doesn't mean the broken stuff doesn't exist though.

In fact the idea that you need to ban a whole bunch of stuff to keep the game from falling apart is more of an argument in favor of the people you're saying are wrong.

Mabtik wrote:
It's a consolation, "Hey, your ability was totally wasted..." mechanic.

Why is that a bad thing though? I'm legitimately confused. A spell doing something like 90-95% of the time because it only doesn't work if the enemy crits their save is uh, really good.

Most of the time your spell is going to do something good or awesome, sometimes it's going to do something a bit weak but still functional and only very very rarely is it actually going to do nothing.

I can't fathom how we're twisting that of all things into a downside.


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Ckorik wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:


. So, now, the Alchemist gonna do a Will Save against Dominate cast by a Kitsune Fey Sorcerer for a DC 30. Good luck.
Having monsters immune to characters as sole answer is the proof things are not going well :D

Yes - the 'internet builds' that no GM would allow at a table really are ridiculous.

The real world where people who try to play those get told no, encounters work just fine.

None of those are optimized beyond the standards of PF1. That's not even near the level of optimization PF1 allows. Trying to frame any of those on the level of the theorycrafting things is ridiculous.

For another obvious example that's literally as simple as it can get: Paladin archer with Smite Evil.


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Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Quote:
“That’s (not) what my character would do” is not a good argument when all it takes is a little imagination.
Well I guess I have no imagination then.

That seems to be the case.

Have you ever felt intimidated before? Was it only in that situation?

Lots of things can be intimidating. A stranger intently observing your child. A previously locked door slightly ajar. The only person in the room with a gun chuckling to themselves.

Intimidation is the portent of threat. Is your wizard not a threat? Are they incapable of inflicting ailments their enemies would wish to avoid?

"What's your favourite animal?" as you wind up with a Bale Polymorph, or "Your agony will be brief" while the Fireball blazes into existence, or "Do keep your melting organs off my robes" to accompany a poisonous mist spreading from your hands.

You're magic, curse them out literally.

I dunno man, I'd feel like a complete cornball saying stuff like that.

Do you not feel like a cornball yelling "We're going to rip out your entrails and strangle you with them!" when playing a martial? Or do you feel gated from using intimidation as those classes too?

You don't have to say anything, except for "I roll for intimidate". If you want to spice that up by adding an in-character line you think of or recall, have fun, but doing so is optional. Browsing all written literature would likely turn up many examples proving it's possible for a wizard to be very threatening in a wizardly way. It can happen, it's mechanically enabled, if you want to imagine it try googling for famous wizard quotes, if not don't hold yourself to improvisational standards you feel uncomfortable with. You're allowed to survive dragons dousing you in acid without method acting.

Silver Crusade

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Mabtik wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Some spells do get additional effects as they heighten, which is more than what happened in P1 for the most part (i think there might have been some that gained extra stuff but the only one that comes to mind is Phantom Steed).
Duration, Damage (dice or flat value), Number of Targets, Range, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some spell specific modifiers such as Phantom Steed, were all improved as the wizard leveled while the spell stayed in the same spell slot. The wizard literally became better at using the spell as they leveled up and this is no longer true. All wizards cast identical level one magic missiles or burning hands. Apprentice or Archmage the spell is the same. Metamagic feats can adjust that slightly (Overwhelming Energy being the stand out) but that's an applied feat. The spell itself is still the same and that...bugs me.

Actually it is true, you are better at casting spells as you level up, you just use higher level slots cause it’s a stronger version now.

Previously the DC of the spell didn’t go up and they capped early for a lot, especially the low level spells.

Silver Crusade

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Mabtik wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Mabtik wrote:
I'm not changing my perception of language to make the design mechanics of a game more palatable.
Well then I don’t know what to suggest when you read Success as Failure instead of a Success.
Combat is adversarial. The opponents' success is my failure, or at least my net neutral. They Succeed at their save. My spell Fails to have full effect. The diminished return is an indicator of my opponents' success(es), and frequently worth less than what it feels that two actions & a limited resource should accomplish. It's a consolation, "Hey, your ability was totally wasted..." mechanic.

And if they succeeded at their save in P1 you got nothing.

Which happened more often since your DC was Spell level dependent rather than Caster dependent.

Now for a lot of spells even if they succeed they don’t get away unscathed.


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Squiggit wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
Yes - the 'internet builds' that no GM would allow at a table really are ridiculous.

Arguing that a GM would just ban or otherwise restrict the broken stuff doesn't mean the broken stuff doesn't exist though.

In fact the idea that you need to ban a whole bunch of stuff to keep the game from falling apart is more of an argument in favor of the people you're saying are wrong.

Mabtik wrote:
It's a consolation, "Hey, your ability was totally wasted..." mechanic.

Why is that a bad thing though? I'm legitimately confused. A spell doing something like 90-95% of the time because it only doesn't work if the enemy crits their save is uh, really good.

Most of the time your spell is going to do something good or awesome, sometimes it's going to do something a bit weak but still functional and only very very rarely is it actually going to do nothing.

I can't fathom how we're twisting that of all things into a downside.

Minor correction: Half the time my spell does something good, half the time it does something weak. Rarely is it ineffective or exceptionally effective.

As I said, it's mostly a morale/perception issue. It doesn't feel like a good return on investment to consistently expect my opponent to save against my spells and get the diminished effect. Please note, I don't expect them to consistently critically fail. I view both critical failures and critical successes as unexpected events. I do, however, generally expect my spells to hit for their listed basic failure effect. I normally play CC/status wizards as I find orchestrating my party's victory more fun than just blowing things up. Sleep, for instance, gives -1 Perception for one round if the target(s) succeed at their save. This isn't terrible as it means my party is more likely to go first or sneak past now, but it's a far cry short of "falls unconscious for 1 minute" and can have drastic changes on how the plan goes. The is exceptionally true if I'm supposed to assume 50% of the targets will fall asleep and 50% of them stay awake. -1 Perception isn't going to stop you from noticing half your friends have suddenly fallen asleep.

This mechanic persists across spells. Slow at level 5 feels like a really poor choice as a 50% chance to trade two of my actions for one of the opponent's which isn't attractive (although from what I understand of monster building it's actually decent on things designed as rapid attackers), but then I can heighted it to (to a level 6 spell at level 11) hit multiple creatures which is actually somewhat viable so that's nice...ish.

The largest problem with all of this is that martial characters have the ability to apply many (possibly all?- I haven't exhaustively catalogued all of them yet) of the diminished spell effects built into their existing abilities. If I'm satisfied with the reduced status effect, why wouldn't I just play one of those and apply it constantly? That's my problem. My character *feels* like a net negative on my party's resources and pacing which could be fixed by switching characters. I'm trying to find a way to manipulate the mechanics to change this and so far I've been unable to find a way to do so.


Artificial 20 wrote:
Browsing all written literature would likely turn up many examples proving it's possible for a wizard to be very threatening in a wizardly way.

"You shall not pass!" and the thing he did to spook Bilbo in the Hobbit.


BellyBeard wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
Browsing all written literature would likely turn up many examples proving it's possible for a wizard to be very threatening in a wizardly way.
"You shall not pass!" and the thing he did to spook Bilbo in the Hobbit.

Yeah, see, Gandalf can do intimidation. He's like the D&D wizard template.

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