Did wizards get nerfed?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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mcintma wrote:
Dracorage wrote:


I am surprised the Conjurer gets so well off! Perhaps just in comparison to the others? I just worked through some signature spells from 1e. Web got heavily nerfed, even a success is not really a... success. What is -10 ft to speed good for? Stinking cloud got also hit hard. I mean, the ongoing sickness after leaving the cloud deserved to be banned. But there is no real sickness any more. Just a ridiculous -1 on a failure. And last but not least, tiny hut is gone. But that wasn't meant to be the combat spell it was always used as, right? :)
Web is just sad and nerfed in all dimensions. A tiny 10ft burst of difficult terrain that *if* you luck out and they fail their save reduces speed by -10 for 1 whole round? Wooo, look out I am the mighty quadratic Wizard! I can do this again tomorrow, so shudder in despair! ;)

The illusionist is wondering why you couldn't just spend a focus point on that.


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Let's see...

10ft burst, difficult terrain, if fails the save -10 speed.

Average speed is 25ft, to move in difficult needs 10ft, so you can only move 2 squares in one action, to cross the spell area you need to move 4 squares so it needs to spend 2 actions to get out of the difficult terrain alone.

If the enemy fails the save it's -10 speed, meaning that together with the difficult terrain the enemy can only move 1 square, that means that even if they spend 3 actions they can't get out of the web area in that round.


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Any optimization tricks you've spotted yet for wizards, whether for them specifically or other spellcasters?

My favorite I just spotted is to get the best Staff of Divination you can, invest as big a spell in at as you can afford to, and have an absurd number of True Strike uses per day to fuel your spell attack roll spells and cantrips. Big DPR improvement.

Eligible spells:

Acid Arrow
Black Tentacles (first roll)
Disintegrate
Hydraulic Push
Polar Ray
Ray of Enfeeblement
Shocking Grasp
Telekinetic Maneuver

Cantrips:

Acid Splash
Produce Flame
Ray of Frost
Tanglefoot

Focus Powers:

Call of the Grave
Hand of the Apprentice


Dracorage wrote:
What is -10 ft to speed good for?

It can prevent the enemy from attacking, especially as the web is difficult terrain anyway. So a creature moving through the web is already moving at half speed, and then if they fail their save they move 10 feet less, so a creature with a 25 foot speed would be effectively reduced to 25-10=15/2=7 so they would move 5 feet with each action till they leave the web. Not actually that terrible, but it is very situational as to when it's a good tactic.

Edit: how did kyrone ninja me 24 minutes before my post? I must have taken way too long to write it, or forgot to refresh before posting...


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Kyrone wrote:

Let's see...

10ft burst, difficult terrain, if fails the save -10 speed.

Average speed is 25ft, to move in difficult needs 10ft, so you can only move 2 squares in one action, to cross the spell area you need to move 4 squares so it needs to spend 2 actions to get out of the difficult terrain alone.

If the enemy fails the save it's -10 speed, meaning that together with the difficult terrain the enemy can only move 1 square, that means that even if they spend 3 actions they can't get out of the web area in that round.

75% of squares are on the perimeter anyway so no Difficult Terrain need be crossed - once out of the web you no longer even suffer the -10 speed penalty! *If* you got unlucky and failed your save and are at center, 1 action to do damage frees the next square over and away you go.

In a chase situation, you were better off running for 2 actions than casting Web to delay foes.

I mean you could contrive a circumstance where Web is useful but it ain't likely to happen and plus the saves go your way, Like for plugging up corridors and missile firing an extra round against stupid foes who won't wait a minute around the corner for the spell to end, don't have missiles themselves, aren't otherwise immune to the spell, fail their saves, and so on.


If the enemy spend actions attacking, moving in the web or to avoid the web instead of attacking a PC then the spell did the job.


Web is a 2nd level spell. It's AOE competition at that level is Darkness, Glitterdust, and Obscuring Mist. It's not clearly worse than any of those in all situations. Bottlenecks and funnels are a thing on many maps.


NemoNoName wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:

Transmutation: Your combat ability in this school is largely from the Form spells, and you need to heighten them. Here's what's left at low levels:

1: Ant Haul, Fleet Step, Jump, Longstrider, Magic Weapon, Mending
2: Enlarge, Humanoid Form, Knock, Shrink, Spider Climb, Water Breathing, Water Walk
3: Earthbind, Feet to Fins, Ghostly Weapon, Haste, Meld into Stone, Shrink Item, Slow
4: Fly, Gaseous Form, Shape Stone
5: :-(

Yeah, this is pretty good relative to the other schools, on par with Conjuration. I'm not going to have a hard time finding something theoretically useful to fill a low level bonus spell in my career, and can carry some top polymorph combat forms in my top two levels of spells. The only thing I don't like here are the focus powers, but I don't love any of the wizard focus powers.

Hm, I guess if you focus at higher levels then lower levels can be left with this, sure. Problem is what to do while you are at those levels. Many of these spells are very situational, and frankly, I do not enjoy the idea of being "Magic Weapon" dispenser. There's a reason I do not play clerics.

With no school specific Spell Focus feat, there's no need to use or plan to use your specialist bonus spells for combat. A transmuter can easily fill his specialist slots with utility and put everything else into combat from other schools. Works fine with spell substitution, if you have the wrong utility spell you probably have time to take 10 minutes to swap it out for a different transmutation spell anyway.


mcintma wrote:
Kyrone wrote:

Let's see...

10ft burst, difficult terrain, if fails the save -10 speed.

Average speed is 25ft, to move in difficult needs 10ft, so you can only move 2 squares in one action, to cross the spell area you need to move 4 squares so it needs to spend 2 actions to get out of the difficult terrain alone.

If the enemy fails the save it's -10 speed, meaning that together with the difficult terrain the enemy can only move 1 square, that means that even if they spend 3 actions they can't get out of the web area in that round.

75% of squares are on the perimeter anyway so no Difficult Terrain need be crossed - once out of the web you no longer even suffer the -10 speed penalty! *If* you got unlucky and failed your save and are at center, 1 action to do damage frees the next square over and away you go.

That's a small part that whole situational thing I admitted that it has, but ime many battles take place in small rooms, hallways, etc. That, going first and the party fighter not being dumb enough to charge through it are all you need.

Also this:

Kyrone wrote:
If the enemy spend actions attacking, moving in the web or to avoid the web instead of attacking a PC then the spell did the job.

An enemy attacking a web is an enemy that takes a negative 5 when it attacks you if it even gets to you at all.


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Kyrone wrote:

If the enemy spend actions attacking, moving in the web or to avoid the web instead of attacking a PC then the spell did the job.

An enemy attacking a web is an enemy that takes a negative 5 when it attacks you if it even gets to you at all.

LOL I just realized it's a 3 action cast. You all are free to take it but that is one weak spell and waste of a slot or spell known IMO.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
Any optimization tricks you've spotted yet for wizards, whether for them specifically or other spellcasters?

I really like the stealth caster build I came up with. Occult sorcerer with invisibility and silence, Deception and Stealth maxed out, and the Conceal Spell and Silent Spell feats from the wizard class. Also take spells like magic aura and nondetection if you can get them.

Makes you really hard to target while you do all sorts of spellcasty things.


Ravingdork wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Any optimization tricks you've spotted yet for wizards, whether for them specifically or other spellcasters?

I really like the stealth caster build I came up with. Occult sorcerer with invisibility and silence, Deception and Stealth maxed out, and the Conceal Spell and Silent Spell feats from the wizard class. Also take spells like magic aura and nondetection if you can get them.

Makes you really hard to target while you do all sorts of spellcasty things.

Cool concept, but seems a roundabout way to do it instead of an illusionist wizard or a bard using Melodious Spell to hide a spell in a joke, poem recitation, or some other low key method at the highest possible bonus since it uses key stat and you have Virtuosic Performer to boost a particular performance type. If you need it to be silent mime and puppetry count as acting performances...


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mcintma wrote:
Kyrone wrote:

If the enemy spend actions attacking, moving in the web or to avoid the web instead of attacking a PC then the spell did the job.

An enemy attacking a web is an enemy that takes a negative 5 when it attacks you if it even gets to you at all.

LOL I just realized it's a 3 action cast. You all are free to take it but that is one weak spell and waste of a slot or spell known IMO.

well look at that. Yeah that does make one want to rethink that spell, so is darkness now that I look at it. Probably going to have to see what all is a 3 action spell now, most of them really shouldn't be. Then again, I was worried about not having a use for a third action as a caster, so whatever I guess...


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
...using Melodious Spell to hide a spell in a joke, poem recitation, or some other low key method...

Song and dance is low key? Me thinks I'd rather be a bit more discreet than that! lol.


Ravingdork wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
...using Melodious Spell to hide a spell in a joke, poem recitation, or some other low key method...
Song and dance is low key? Me thinks I'd rather be a bit more discreet than that! lol.

I feel like the idea would be to use the stage magician's technique of "misdirection" whereby you perform to get people to pay attention to one thing so they aren't looking where they would need to figure out what you are doing.

Be a contact juggler who just does it when they are standing around or something, people aren't going to watch the other hand.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'd rather be the unconscious drunk at the bar that nobody realizes is casting spells, or doing anything else for that matter.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
...using Melodious Spell to hide a spell in a joke, poem recitation, or some other low key method...
Song and dance is low key? Me thinks I'd rather be a bit more discreet than that! lol.

What's that mime doing...


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Ravingdork wrote:

I'd rather be the unconscious drunk at the bar that nobody realizes is casting spells, or doing anything else for that matter.

Acting is performance, yes? Act unconscious :p


Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

I'd rather be the unconscious drunk at the bar that nobody realizes is casting spells, or doing anything else for that matter.

Acting is performance, yes? Act unconscious :p

Act like you're just sitting there enjoying your drink, staring off into space as you remember the good old days in your youth before you became the Most Interesting Bard in the World.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

I'd rather be the unconscious drunk at the bar that nobody realizes is casting spells, or doing anything else for that matter.

Acting is performance, yes? Act unconscious :p

lol. Not sure how many of my GMs will let that fly.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

I'd rather be the unconscious drunk at the bar that nobody realizes is casting spells, or doing anything else for that matter.

Acting is performance, yes? Act unconscious :p
lol. Not sure how many of my GMs will let that fly.

I'm imagining this as use of Fascinating Performance.

"Joe, why are you staring at that drunk slumped over at the bar?"

"He just slumps with such...elegance. I can't look away!"

Although since mime is a subset of acting you can apparently freeze in such an arresting way that it hides your spellcasting actions by...not moving at all.


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Mime is such a relevant performance. I mean, it even has feat support!

House of Imaginary Walls


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Haven’t had experience enough to form an opinion, but I’ll categorize my thoughts under “I certainly hope so”


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Infinite Possibilities, the 18th level feat, has a lot more promise than I first thought. It’s basically limited wish, and has some interesting synergies.

First, use it in place of any spell you were going to prepare anyway heightened two or more levels. You can use your IP slot to cast that, but also anything else lower level from your book that will get full heightened benefits.

This solves the “how high do I prepare Dispel Magic?” problem.

Second, it also works very well for one clutch counterspell per day. Take Clever Counterspell and Reflect Spell, prepare an Impossible Spell in a 9th level slot, and you’ll have a good chance to shut down and return to sender anything as long as you have a diverse spell book with every trait covered. In this one respect you’re better than a Sorcerer at counterspelling.

There’s probably some other uses I haven’t thought of yet.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:

I wonder how many of those who are dissatisfied with the new incarnation of the Wizard (or other casters) have actually tried playing one for 12+ levels to see if they're actually fun to play in the framework of the new system (in the ~ 3 weeks it might have been out for some people)?

Or is it just dissatisfaction due to theorycrafting?
People just hate getting their toys nerfed. Doesn't matter if it ends up being better for the game or even better for their specific build, the initial reaction is always going to be outraged when you see that the thing you were doing before is going to be less effective now.

While I can only counter your opinion with an opinion, I expect you are wrong. Players probably outnumber GMs by 4:1 (maybe 3:1 if you include part-time GMs), but I'll wager most of the people who are providing commentary and preferences in this forum, or attempting to see what other folks think, are more GM-like. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the folks with strong opinions on these boards are actually GMs. So the "outrage" you are attributing to everyone with an opinion different than yours is probably attributed incorrectly. I don't feel any outrage at all for my toys being nerfed. At best I feel a slight annoyance that I have to houserule in non-trivial ways to ensure player choice is validated.

In my specific case, I had one player say they wanted to be an elf with lots of pets who loves nature (yes, she is a girl and no it doesn't make her a bad player to choose an option that makes her happy). She wanted to be pretty and not bad at anything, so she ended up with 18 WIS, 12 everything else (a poor min/max choice). Her background gave her animal training and her druid choice gave her an animal companion. I made a RAW mistake and allowed her to give her guard dogs a command ("sic 'em") that only took her one action, but that was what she wanted to do in combat. When I tried to fix my error it was a problem because her spell options were all bad. Her focus spell is heal animal and druid spells are fine in a vacuum, but let me turn to the other characters in her party...

Another player, who also wasn't min/maxing, but was playing to a specific vision that turns out to be pretty good in 2e (I refer to it as a Hulk Smash build) wanted to play a gnome with a huge weapon. He wanted lower INT because he is forgetful and stupid, which is why he avoids the bleaching... he forgets things so it always feels new. The flaw rules required he dump something else, so he dumped CHA. STR 18, CON 16, DEX 12, INT 8, WIS 12, CHA 10. He suited up in breastplate and found it difficult to make his big weapons work within cost and bulk constraints, so the only option he took that deviated from his vision was to swap out his first ancestry feat choice for gnomish weapons and start with a big gnome hooked hammer. We laughed about a podcast of Fall of Plaguestone because of how they got wrecked, but this gnome slaughtered everything (I would say "by himself," but the fighter was nearly as good). An important aspect of the character is that he is optimized for the new rules: He is itching for a fight, his weapon is always out, he will fly into a rage in a moment, etc. So when the wolves came, he was walking beside the wagon with weapon out. Rage, sudden charge, dead wolf.

A third player, also not a min/maxer, wanted to play a strong elf. It worked perfectly for plaguestone; she was forlorn and got the lost and alone background (not min/max choices), and STR 18, DEX 16, CON 10 (war wounds made her less tough), INT 12, WIS 12, CHA 10 (doesn't talk much, but likes intimidating glare). In real life she is susceptible to motion sickness, so she didn't want her character to be in the wagon, which is fine, so she was walking beside the gnome. Ready weapon, sudden charge, dead wolf.

My fourth player, who has recently asked to switch to retrain as a fighter/cleric, was a half-orc warpriest. STR 16, DEX 10, CON 12, INT 10, WIS 18, CHA 12. He basically acted like a light fighter because spells were not useful. He thought about using bless, but because of two powerful melee fighters in the group, fights always end too fast to make it matter.

So, in my experience, I had a cleric who quickly wanted to switch to a fighter (making two of them in a party of four) because losing out on what a fighter had basically just made him a weak fighter with spells equivalent to battle medicine (in his mind); and I have a druid who is only effective because we are breaking the RAW to let her command her trained guard dogs (essentially giving it two actions for one of hers), but who never casts spells. I cannot argue that their choices are sub-optimal. If the cleric cast bless instead of just swinging, it would have resulted in the fights taking one more round to finish and if the druid had to use her spells instead of guard dogs, she would be both less effective than every other party member; two actions to have a dog you have trained to "sic 'em" both move and attack is pretty lame.


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I played the boss of Rise of The Runelords, the first AP, agaisnt a full level 18 group, with over the top stats, well builded and played.

He is a Vanilla Transmutater, but I adjusted the spelllist of course, because he is a BBEG and a Wizard, master of magic and preparation.

With Anticipatied Peril, Aroden Spell Bane, Spell Protection, Mage Disjunction, some quick hard ass save or suck, he killed the party after 6 months of playing. It was juste boring, easy, and non fun.

Before that the Psychic of the group one shooted all the dragons in the Ap with Possession with stupid high DC without a sweat. Three dragons presented as worthy opponents got just shred without a sweat too.

At the end the game was blocked by question such as do Spellbane counter Spellbane while you are in an antimagic field bla bla bla....

It is a good things Spells got nerfed.All the cool things that the Unchained Rogue and the Monk of the group had come from the Psychic and the Oracle. And Monk & U Rogue are not top tier, but not trash classes either. As soon as Mage DIsjunction hit, fight was over.

The same happened in Iron Gods, where the Mage of the group just rekted the final boss with some clever spells combos.

In all serious talk, from our last three APs, we got at least 8 instances of spellcasters from the group or the ennemy wiping the opponents with a few hard save or suck and spell combos. At the end the question was just to know his this spell beats this other spell. And all the martials could do was to be enabled by caster. like Haste or Gre. Invisibility.

Magic had to be nerf. It should happenend 20 years ago to be honest. it was finally time. With 5E & PF2, magic got tuned down hard, and it is a good thing.


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SteelGuts wrote:

I played the boss of Rise of The Runelords, the first AP, agaisnt a full level 18 group, with over the top stats, well builded and played.

He is a Vanilla Transmutater, but I adjusted the spelllist of course, because he is a BBEG and a Wizard, master of magic and preparation.

With Anticipatied Peril, Aroden Spell Bane, Spell Protection, Mage Disjunction, some quick hard ass save or suck, he killed the party after 6 months of playing. It was juste boring, easy, and non fun.

Before that the Psychic of the group one shooted all the dragons in the Ap with Possession with stupid high DC without a sweat. Three dragons presented as worthy opponents got just shred without a sweat too.

At the end the game was blocked by question such as do Spellbane counter Spellbane while you are in an antimagic field bla bla bla....

It is a good things Spells got nerfed.All the cool things that the Unchained Rogue and the Monk of the group had come from the Psychic and the Oracle. And Monk & U Rogue are not top tier, but not trash classes either. As soon as Mage DIsjunction hit, fight was over.

The same happened in Iron Gods, where the Mage of the group just rekted the final boss with some clever spells combos.

In all serious talk, from our last three APs, we got at least 8 instances of spellcasters from the group or the ennemy wiping the opponents with a few hard save or suck and spell combos. At the end the question was just to know his this spell beats this other spell. And all the martials could do was to be enabled by caster. like Haste or Gre. Invisibility.

Magic had to be nerf. It should happenend 20 years ago to be honest. it was finally time. With 5E & PF2, magic got tuned down hard, and it is a good thing.

I have no doubt that's true, but breaking the game is different than just playing your vision. None of my players are trying to break the game, so hulk smash rules the day. At higher levels, there will undoubtedly be game-breaking tactics on the magical side, but if you just play the game as it seems to be intended, the spellcasters are simply too weak. There may be a math table somewhere that says I'm wrong, but I'm looking at it with my own eyes and I'm not bad at math, either. Maybe things will change at 4th level, but we have to get there first and so far it is very difficult to put it any differently than the spellcaster options (at least the animal druid and warpriest) under RAW are underpowered. It would be even worse with a wizard, of course. A party of four fighters who multiclass into cleric, wizard, bard, and druid is better than a party of cleric, wizard, bard, and druid.


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totoro, it seems weird to say that you have a weak wizard in your game and therefore feel wizards are weak, but when someone else reports the opposite experience in their own game you dismiss it out of hand as irrelevant and wizards still are too weak.

What makes your anecdote intrinsically more valuable than anyone else's anecdotes?

Obviously everyone is going to have their own subjective experiences, but you're treating it as an objective truth, which is bizarre in context.


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swoosh wrote:

totoro, it seems weird to say that you have a weak wizard in your game and therefore feel wizards are weak, but when someone else reports the opposite experience in their own game you dismiss it out of hand as irrelevant and wizards still are too weak.

What makes your anecdote intrinsically more valuable than anyone else's anecdotes?

Obviously everyone is going to have their own subjective experiences, but you're treating it as an objective truth, which is bizarre in context.

There isn't a wizard in my game. There is an animal druid and a warpriest. In any case, I said it was undoubtedly true that he built a spellcaster in 1e that was really powerful, so I'm not sure what you think I was dismissing.

My anecdote is intrinsically more valuable to me because that is what I see. Feel free to explain how the wizard in your 2e party is dominating the campaign at this stage. I could use a laugh.


I'm struggling to see the argument when your examples are:
- a buff cleric
- a druid that doesn't cast spells and only uses animal companion/level -1 guard dog

And comparing it to two martials instantly charging a level 1 wolf (that unless they crit, would not have oneshot solo even on max damage).


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Cyouni wrote:

I'm struggling to see the argument when your examples are:

- a buff cleric
- a druid that doesn't cast spells and only uses animal companion/level -1 guard dog

And comparing it to two martials instantly charging a level 1 wolf.

That was the start of plaguestone. The other fights went similarly. The cleric ignores spells because it is just better to attack because he has a 16 STR (and I let them switch to fighter with a cleric multiclass as a retrain because I agree the spells kind of suck). The druid doesn't cast because the spells kind of suck and if she didn't use the animals, her attacks would suck, too, given her 12 STR. I can only report what I'm seeing. If you theorycraft, people say "that's just theorycraft" and if you provide anecdotes people say "that's not the best example." I'm just calling it like I see it.

Forgot to mention: the wolves have 8 hp. The barbarian has giant instinct, which gives a total of +10 damage. Fighter gets +4 damage so 62.5% of killing the wolf on a hit with a longsword (6 or higher on d20), guaranteed on a crit (16 or higher on d20).


totoro wrote:
My anecdote is intrinsically more valuable to me because that is what I see.

That's fine, but you're acting like the terrible cleric in your campaign is some sort of objective commentary on the quality not only of that class as a whole, but other classes that aren't even in your game.

Quote:
I could use a laugh.

Does a pretty good job highlighting what I mean right here. The idea that your self-admitted terribly built cleric might not be the be-all end all of 2e is so beyond the pale for you you can't even comprehend the notion that there's anything else to the game. It makes discussion kind of pointless and just comes across as nonsense.


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swoosh wrote:
totoro wrote:
My anecdote is intrinsically more valuable to me because that is what I see.

That's fine, but you're acting like the terrible cleric in your campaign is some sort of objective commentary on the quality not only of that class as a whole, but other classes that aren't even in your game.

Quote:
I could use a laugh.
Does a pretty good job highlighting what I mean right here. The idea that your self-admitted terribly built cleric might not be the be-all end all of 2e is so beyond the pale for you you can't even comprehend the notion that there's anything else to the game. It makes discussion kind of pointless and just comes across as nonsense.

I never said the cleric was terribly built. Please enlighten me. How could I have suggested to my player a better way to build the cleric? Give me a spell that would have changed the way all of the encounters to date in the fall of plaguestone would have gone better if he had just chosen to prepare them. Or how could he adjust his attributes for better effect? Maybe his skill choices were wrong. I'm dying to know what he did wrong and I will dutifully report to my player that you have a solution to his (and my) observation that the cleric just didn't have any options that made him escape from under the shadow of the fighter and the barbarian.

I really don't know what you're on about. Every time somebody points out a problem with a class, you're there to say, but there's more to it or it's not an arena so it doesn't matter if the fighter can kill the wizard with ease. I'm running an official module using official rules and I have an observation and an opinion. Doesn't that make me qualified to post on a public forum?


totoro wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

I'm struggling to see the argument when your examples are:

- a buff cleric
- a druid that doesn't cast spells and only uses animal companion/level -1 guard dog

And comparing it to two martials instantly charging a level 1 wolf.

That was the start of plaguestone. The other fights went similarly. The cleric ignores spells because it is just better to attack because he has a 16 STR (and I let them switch to fighter with a cleric multiclass as a retrain because I agree the spells kind of suck). The druid doesn't cast because the spells kind of suck and if she didn't use the animals, her attacks would suck, too, given her 12 STR. I can only report what I'm seeing. If you theorycraft, people say "that's just theorycraft" and if you provide anecdotes people say "that's not the best example." I'm just calling it like I see it.

Forgot to mention: the wolves have 8 hp. The barbarian has giant instinct, which gives a total of +10 damage. Fighter gets +4 damage so 62.5% of killing the wolf on a hit with a longsword (6 or higher on d20), guaranteed on a crit (16 or higher on d20).

...are you actually complaining about the enemies that are level -1 dying quickly?

"The druid doesn't cast because the spells suck" is your proof for why the spells suck.

I actually can't even laugh at this.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
totoro wrote:
I never said the cleric was terribly built. Please enlighten me. How could I have suggested to my player a better way to build the cleric? Give me a spell that would have changed the way all of the encounters to date in the fall of plaguestone would have gone better if he had just chosen to prepare them. Or how could he adjust his attributes for better effect? Maybe his skill choices were wrong. I'm dying to know what he did wrong and I will dutifully report to my player that you have a solution to his (and my) observation that the cleric just didn't have any options that made him escape from under the shadow of the fighter and the barbarian.

I feel like you're basing your appraisal of the class on a few introductory encounters where the cleric found that they weren't as good as the Fighter at hitting wolves with weapons, which seems like a poor way to do it. Of course they're not as good as the Fighter at hitting wolves with weapons, the fighter is literally the best at hitting wolves with weapons, it's their whole reason for existing. What clerics get is a whole bunch of additional flexibility that the Fighter can't even come close to having. Expecting them to have that additional flexibility and still be as effective in combat as classes who basically devote all of their abilities to being awesome in combat is rather unreasonable.


Cyouni wrote:
totoro wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

I'm struggling to see the argument when your examples are:

- a buff cleric
- a druid that doesn't cast spells and only uses animal companion/level -1 guard dog

And comparing it to two martials instantly charging a level 1 wolf.

That was the start of plaguestone. The other fights went similarly. The cleric ignores spells because it is just better to attack because he has a 16 STR (and I let them switch to fighter with a cleric multiclass as a retrain because I agree the spells kind of suck). The druid doesn't cast because the spells kind of suck and if she didn't use the animals, her attacks would suck, too, given her 12 STR. I can only report what I'm seeing. If you theorycraft, people say "that's just theorycraft" and if you provide anecdotes people say "that's not the best example." I'm just calling it like I see it.

Forgot to mention: the wolves have 8 hp. The barbarian has giant instinct, which gives a total of +10 damage. Fighter gets +4 damage so 62.5% of killing the wolf on a hit with a longsword (6 or higher on d20), guaranteed on a crit (16 or higher on d20).

...are you actually complaining about the enemies that are level -1 dying quickly?

"The druid doesn't cast because the spells suck" is your proof for why the spells suck.

I actually can't even laugh at this.

I don't care if you laugh, but I'll explain. She quite reasonably prepared Magic Fang and Summon Animal, but there has been no real need to cast them because the fights are so easily handled by the fighter and the barbarian, with an assist from a buff cleric who also finds it more useful to attack (luckily, STR 16). Her cantrips are also quite reasonable: Detect Magic, Electric Arc, Light, Produce Flame. She can use Produce Flame to do 1d4+4 damage with 2 actions. The Barbarian has 1 less chance to hit and does 1d10+10 with 1 action. The fighter has 2 better chance to hit and does 1d8+4 with 1 action. Have I provided enough data for you to understand what I'm saying?

This is in an official module with encounter difficulty set to the appropriate level. I realize I can adjust the adventure to match my party, but only one of the players has much experience; three of them range from brand new to the game to modest experience. The fact the cleric is only good when he acts like a fighter and the druid is only good when we break the rules may seem unbelievable to you, but that's what is happening. I think you've just drunk the kool aid or are playing the odds (e.g., the designers made it this way, so it's probably balanced).


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rooneg wrote:
totoro wrote:
I never said the cleric was terribly built. Please enlighten me. How could I have suggested to my player a better way to build the cleric? Give me a spell that would have changed the way all of the encounters to date in the fall of plaguestone would have gone better if he had just chosen to prepare them. Or how could he adjust his attributes for better effect? Maybe his skill choices were wrong. I'm dying to know what he did wrong and I will dutifully report to my player that you have a solution to his (and my) observation that the cleric just didn't have any options that made him escape from under the shadow of the fighter and the barbarian.
I feel like you're basing your appraisal of the class on a few introductory encounters where the cleric found that they weren't as good as the Fighter at hitting wolves with weapons, which seems like a poor way to do it. Of course they're not as good as the Fighter at hitting wolves with weapons, the fighter is literally the best at hitting wolves with weapons, it's their whole reason for existing. What clerics get is a whole bunch of additional flexibility that the Fighter can't even come close to having. Expecting them to have that additional flexibility and still be as effective in combat as classes who basically devote all of their abilities to being awesome in combat is rather unreasonable.

That is a reasonable assumption, but I assure you I am not. We are well into the module at this point. I only described the first encounter. We are only at the cusp of 4th level, but this is what I've observed and no amount of poo-pooing what I have to say will change that. It isn't just "better at combat." The cleric did cast heal once, so I'm not saying they never get to do anything associated with their class. I'm saying that what they do is far less impressive, noticeable, and impactful on the game as a whole than what the fighter and the barbarian do.

Also, I am quite sure an encounter with undead would flip the script. I'm only theorycrafting, but heal looks like it could be really effective against the undead. That's not going to matter, though, because the module is going to be over after 4th level, and I have absolutely no doubt that the fighter will get all of the merit badges. (I only include the barbarian when talking about it in this forum because the magic sword the fighter has is skewing the results in the fighter's favor in the game.)

Based upon my experience, I am going to adjust the adventure path to ensure the spellcasters are the beneficiaries of the first magic items because fighters who get a magic sword pretty early make the spellcasters practically irrelevant. In my experience, of course.


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totoro wrote:
She quite reasonably prepared Magic Fang and Summon Animal

I can understand Magic Fang, but Summon Animal isn't actually reasonable when she already has 3 animals in tow: she's already in need of 5 actions to get all the animals to do anything, then the spell needs 3 extra actions to cast and an extra action every round after... IMO it's about the most unreasonable spell she could have picked with her overuse of actions in a round.


And if you cast Magic Fang, the animal companion is now effectively equivalent (possibly better) than the fighter at the one thing the fighter can do...and the druid still can throw cantrips constantly at people. Summon Animal is utility more than anything else, but can easily put a flanking buddy onto the field to create significantly higher hit/crit chances.
Cleric has Fear, Heal, Command, Ray of Enfeeblement, and Magic Weapon, all of which are constantly useful.

Forgive me if I don't find that to be terrible.

Maybe you should stop expecting the animal druid and the cleric to be blaster wizards/sorcerers.


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Cyouni wrote:
Maybe you should stop expecting the animal druid and the cleric to be blaster wizards/sorcerers.

Or make suggestion about spells that would work better than the ones they pick out because they sounded thematic vs ones that are actually useful. Hydraulic Push, for example, is 3d6 damage and can one shot a wolf with 8 if the complaint is that spells couldn't kill anything.


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Or, just not expect a level 1 caster to be equally useful at pure DPR as a martial.

A caster's 'standard' role is to buff/debuff, target weaknesses, or otherwise provide battlefield advantage (flanking buddies, go charisma for demoralize, various spells make a debuff on a save, AOE, etc.)

Casters able to infringe on a martial's schtick (or a skill monkey's shtick with the right spell), are the sort of poor design that plagued PF1.

That not every character and their mother is able to knock out a CR-1 enemy in one round is a design goal, not a design flaw.

Mostly, it sounds like your cleric player and druid player did not create the characters they want to play. The cleric wanted, from the beginning, to play a fighter, with some cleric stuff. It turns out that is best emulated by a fighter MC cleric, not a warpriest cleric.

The druid wanted to play an army commander, which it turns out (sadly in this case) is impossible in this edition, multi-minion command is a poor choice.


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As for my caster in PF2, I made two people have a critical hit with Guidance in the first part of Plaguestone, healed the Figther at almost all HP, used Shield to no bet one shot, and Charmed an NPC with used us a lot. At level one. With a Diabolical Sorcerer.

I strongly disagree that Magic is weak. Each little bonus is way more important in PF2.

That being said, I agree as so far than level 3 for our group, casters are a bit boring to play. You are useful, but I am more excited by martials, and that comes from someone who always go at least 6th spells in PF1 and just roll Bard or Cleric each time in 5E.

In PF2 gimme a Champion and a Barbarian all day long, damn they feel cool!

The spells do the job (Heal is very powerful BTW) but they lack the oompf of a 5E Guiding Bolt or the “no limit to my power” Hold Personn DC 16-17 at level 1 in PF2.

The fact is that the people in my group who always played casters preferred martials so far (me included), and the other half who always played martials and did not care at all about martials-casters disparity still want to play martials.

And we come back to the question of fun and balance. The nerf was needed in my opinion. But maybe the cost is too high, only time, play time, and futur material will tell.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

A lot of the changes to casters actually make me feel like playing a caster. It feels like it will be more engaging at the game table.

That being said I have been having some lonely fun building characters and martial characters feel more fun to build and level up because they are so distinct and choosing which class feats to pick feels like building a magic deck with balancing out reactions and different levels of action numbers.


graystone wrote:
totoro wrote:
She quite reasonably prepared Magic Fang and Summon Animal
I can understand Magic Fang, but Summon Animal isn't actually reasonable when she already has 3 animals in tow: she's already in need of 5 actions to get all the animals to do anything, then the spell needs 3 extra actions to cast and an extra action every round after... IMO it's about the most unreasonable spell she could have picked with her overuse of actions in a round.

I meant reasonable from her perspective. She is not a min/maxer and had a concept in mind, which was all about her animal friends. She chose the spells that seemed appropriate to her and I think her choices were reasonable from that perspective. There's this kool-aid drinking mindset going around that if only you had done something different, it would have been oh-so different. Why does my player have to choose some specific subset of spells that somebody on the Internet believes will change everything? Those mythological spells just don't exist, at least not at this level of play.


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totoro wrote:
I meant reasonable from her perspective.

I think what you're trying to say is that she picked what she saw as thematic for her character: That's 100% fine but as the DM you should prepare her by letting her know that because of her build, thematic in this case equals useless. You can't have it both ways: you can't let your players take a worthless, for her, spell and then complain that it was worthless... As I pointed out, if the player wanted a damaging spell that could have killed the wolves that they are there: bad picks doesn't equal spells are bad.

It's like in PF1 and a fighter picking a Acrobatic Spellcaster and Widen Spell at 1st and then complaining that feats are useless because they couldn't use them...


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(Wasn't a big selling point of this edition to eliminate trap option? Because this is sounding like a trap option and "one true build".)


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Temperans wrote:
(Wasn't a big selling point of this edition to eliminate trap option? Because this is sounding like a trap option and "one true build".)

No, it's a trap to take 3 animals that need 5 actions a round to control and then take a spell that has concentration... That's a FAR different thing that it just being a trap option: you have to actually take your character build into account if you want things to compliment it and not work against it. If you build a str 8, 16 dex wizard, it's not a trap for heavy armor or a maul to exist: it's just a bad idea for that character.


Cyouni wrote:

And if you cast Magic Fang, the animal companion is now effectively equivalent (possibly better) than the fighter at the one thing the fighter can do...and the druid still can throw cantrips constantly at people. Summon Animal is utility more than anything else, but can easily put a flanking buddy onto the field to create significantly higher hit/crit chances.

Cleric has Fear, Heal, Command, Ray of Enfeeblement, and Magic Weapon, all of which are constantly useful.

Forgive me if I don't find that to be terrible.

Maybe you should stop expecting the animal druid and the cleric to be blaster wizards/sorcerers.

Your statement has no basis in reality, particularly if you follow the rules for animal companion action economy. First, you have to spend two actions to cast Magic Fang, then every action you make the animal companion take requires an action. The druid's cat, after magic fang has been cast, has 4 hit points, hits worse than the fighter, and does less damage than the fighter. In what world does that mean the animal is effectively equivalent (possibly better) than the fighter at the one thing the fighter can do?

Fear is "useful" because it gives Frightened 1 even if the save is successful and Frightened 2 if the save is failed. Fear is the kind of spell where you roll the dice and say "this is close... barely hit. No, wait! You cast fear, right?" and there is the one time in the last 10 adventures where the spell actually mattered.

Command is even worse. The only reason it doesn't seem as bad as it is (spend two actions to have even odds of the target having to waste an action) is because the cleric is not a fighter. If the fighter had that power, he'd be crazy to ever cast it. Indeed, if I gave the fighter the option to cast Command at will, I believe it would be better to attack twice and raise shield almost every time. (Fear, too.)

Ray of enfeeblement is bad, too. First you have to spend 2 actions, then you have to hit, then the target still gets a save. If the stars align, the result isn't bad, but good luck getting there.

Heal is good, but you have all these other "options," so you have to pick one. You don't get all of the above; you get one per day. I'd recommend Magic Weapon because at least you can buff yourself prior to the fight and come close to matching the fighter for that one encounter... as long as the fighter doesn't have a magic sword.

The only spells the fighter would use if he good cast all of these 5 spells AT WILL would probably be heal, if necessary, and magic sword prior to the fight (until he found a magic sword). People keep saying spellcasters are good because of all these options, but I think a 1st level fighter with the ability to cast MORE 1st level spells than a 1st level cleric would be sorely tempted to just use his fighter abilities. Wasting 2 actions on one of these spells just isn't worth it.


graystone wrote:
No, it's a trap to take 3 animals that need 5 actions a round to control and then take a spell that has concentration... That's a FAR different thing that it just being a trap option: you have to actually take your character build into account if you want things to compliment it and not work against it. If you build a str 8, 16 dex wizard, it's not a trap for heavy armor or a maul to exist: it's just a bad idea for that character.

Idk that was the same argument people gave about multiclassing when someone got a bad build.

* I want to make sure its noted, I'm not trying to argue or criticize anything. Just something that caught my eye and I wanted to asked about, given how people have talked about the system.


graystone wrote:
totoro wrote:
I meant reasonable from her perspective.

I think what you're trying to say is that she picked what she saw as thematic for her character: That's 100% fine but as the DM you should prepare her by letting her know that because of her build, thematic in this case equals useless. You can't have it both ways: you can't let your players take a worthless, for her, spell and then complain that it was worthless... As I pointed out, if the player wanted a damaging spell that could have killed the wolves that they are there: bad picks doesn't equal spells are bad.

It's like in PF1 and a fighter picking a Acrobatic Spellcaster and Widen Spell at 1st and then complaining that feats are useless because they couldn't use them...

You are right. I made a mistake in the way I handled her animals. She doesn't have summon anymore and we are breaking the RAW to let her control her animals.

You say there are spells that let her kill the wolves. Do you mean shocking grasp? That only matches what the fighter can do, damage-wise, with worse to hit. That's once per day. She took burning hands instead of summon; there is the off chance she might someday be able to have as much impact as the fighter with it, but none of the encounters put three creatures in just the right place to let her come close to matching the fighter that one time per day.

You're obviously no chump when it comes to the rules, but I find it hard to believe nobody is experiencing what I am with spellcasters. The only thing cool about them is they get to use magic, but the impact of that magic is nothing compared to the fighter. Every encounter, I theorycraft what it would have been like if all of the players chose fighters and every encounter, 4 fighters would have ended the encounter faster with less damage taken. (In my specific experience, the barbarian took out the giant lightning serpent faster than a fighter probably could have, but that was a crit one-off.)

I'm glad none of my players are min/maxing, but the game should have been more balanced so as to make the classes seem a little more equivalent.

Edit: Just noticed you mentioned hydraulic push as the spell to kill a wolf. It's probably the best choice, but, gain, you can't match the fighter with even that spell and you only get to cast it once per day. Sudden charge gets the fighter just as far and the attack is more likely to hit, though hydraulic push is a little better damage. If the fighter could cast hydraulic push at will, he might choose to do it once in a while, but is still better off closing and attacking.

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