D&D 5e Spell Preperation


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rainzax wrote:

Sorry to pejor.

Chalk it up to my strong preference for Prepared casters, and my excitement that they remain in the game, alongside Spontaneous casters.

I'll leave with this. If you are nerdy enough to frequent these sites and post your opinions and argue, consider stepping off from your own moralistic arguments when you introduce new players into the game. Paizo took the high road here: They held an open playtest, presented creative alternatives to established precedents, wrote feedback surveys, analyzed those feedback surveys, and steered their design in that direction. This means they probably know what they are doing, and as a result, created a game that many (different) people can enjoy.

And never underestimate the intelligence of new players. Even if they are just "coming over from 5e" (indeed, many of them are), or, if this is their first RPG ever (indeed, the hobby is expanding it's audience). Some of them, even without having yet learned the rules, are ready to jump full-straight into Wizard. Others can play Sorcerer.

Cheers!

You have a massive misunderstanding. You seem to think that playing a Wizard requires more intelligence than other spellcasting classes, which shows that you have a massive bias and that you don't respect the people who disagree with you.

This is both insulting to to people who disagree with you, and is causing you to misunderstand their argument as some kind of desire to 'dumb down' the Wizard, or make it 'lazy' as you like to put it, instead of a desire to make it a more dynamic class while also synchronizing the rules to another similar system in order to facilitate people transferring over from one to the other.

Verdant Wheel

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Donovan Du Bois,
I admit to my bias. But I reframe:

Ability score joke aside (it does require more Intelligence to play a Wizard...), my bias is that Prepared casters require more frequent and higher-stakes fictional decision-making. It's slightly more stressful. Some people don't want this additional "stress" in their game, and would rather relax. Some classes are more complex, some are less complex. I am mapping this complexity into play experience. In short, playing a Wizard doesn't require more intelligence, it requires more attention.

In your OP, I disagree with you on two accounts. First, that Hybrid playstyle should have been the default playstyle, replacing Prepared playstyle altogether.

Second, that doing so would "help" new players. At the risk of being anecdotal - perhaps I am just lucky - the new players I have met who have joined my PF1 games over the years - half of whom were brand-brand new and half of whom were introduced via 5e - did not always need to play lower-complexity classes as their first characters to have fun and contribute to table dynamics. Some folks simply want less complex characters, some want more complex characters. What our table did do was explicitly describe these differences in complexity, and how they mapped into actual play, so that they could make their own informed choice.

This boiled right down to: If you are okay with doing "homework" between sessions, Wizard may be the class for you. Some people like this kind of homework!

I would actually counter and say that the type of thinking expressed in the OP undervalues what folks who are newer to the hobby bring to the table - especially in terms of their capacity to understand game mechanics. Because my experience has been the opposite.


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rainzax wrote:
Ability score joke aside (it does require more Intelligence to play a Wizard...), my bias is that Prepared casters require more frequent and higher-stakes fictional decision-making. It's slightly more stressful. Some people don't want this additional "stress" in their game, and would rather relax. Some classes are more complex, some are less complex. I am mapping this complexity into play experience. In short, playing a Wizard doesn't require more intelligence, it requires more attention.

I disagree. You actually have LESS active choices to make and thus require less attention. As soon as you cast a spell, it is removed from your list of possible choices, slowly draining you of your versatility and requiring less decision making on your part.

rainzax wrote:

In your OP, I disagree with you on two accounts. First, that Hybrid playstyle should have been the default playstyle, replacing Prepared playstyle altogether.

Second, that doing so would "help" new players. At the risk of being anecdotal - perhaps I am just lucky - the new players I have met who have joined my PF1 games over the years - half of whom were brand-brand new and half of whom were introduced via 5e - did not always need to play lower-complexity classes as their first characters to have fun and contribute to table dynamics. Some folks simply want less complex character, some want more complex characters. What our table did do was explicitly describe these differences in complexity, and how they mapped into actual play, so that they could make their own informed choice.

You keep insisting that prepared casters are more 'complex' while other classes are less complex. That is a fundamental bias that is coloring your entire train of thought. Beyond that, I never mentioned new players in my post. I specifically said it would help players who are moving from 5e because it would be the same system. I didn't say that for any other reason than "it would be quicker to pick up and play if the systems are the same"

rainzax wrote:

This boiled right down to: If you are okay with doing "homework" between sessions, Wizard may be the class for you. Some people like this kind of homework!

I would actually counter and say that type of thinking expressed in the OP undervalues what folks who are newer to the hobby bring to the table - especially in terms of their capacity to understand game mechanics. Because my experience has been the opposite.

Once again, I never mentioned new players at all, you have mapped that onto the argument because you believe that prepared casting is 'more complex'.

However, I do always advocate for more player choices, and I think this is an excellent opportunity to appeal to that ideal. In game design I think opt-in complexity is better than opt-out, so for this thought experiment let's rework all prepared casters to use the 5e hybrid system by default.

Next, we add a new level 1 class feat to the wizard;

Vancian Spell Preparation - Feat 1
Through rigorous study or personal preference, you have learned to be exacting in your spell preparation. When you prepare your spells each day, you prepare exactly one spell for each spell slot you are able to cast. Once you cast that spell, both the spell and the spell slot are lost until you prepare spells the following day, although you may prepare a spell multiple times using multiple spell slots, as desired. Because preparing spells in the manner is so exacting in its use of your magical energy, you gain an extra spell slot of each spell level you are able to cast.

This creates opt-in complexity and gives the player a small bonus for preparing their spells the hard way, while maintaining synergy with 5e and removing a system some players find troublesome.


Donovan Du Bois wrote:
rainzax wrote:
Ability score joke aside (it does require more Intelligence to play a Wizard...), my bias is that Prepared casters require more frequent and higher-stakes fictional decision-making. It's slightly more stressful. Some people don't want this additional "stress" in their game, and would rather relax. Some classes are more complex, some are less complex. I am mapping this complexity into play experience. In short, playing a Wizard doesn't require more intelligence, it requires more attention.

I disagree. You actually have LESS active choices to make and thus require less attention. As soon as you cast a spell, it is removed from you possible choices, slowly draining you of your versatility and requiring less decision making on your part.

There's more decisions to make each morning (when the wizard has to choose what spells they have available for the day compared to the sorceror who made their choice when they levelled up).

Trying to put a scale on it (no matter the name of the axis) is misleadingly one-dimensional, in my mind. I think the two approaches to spellcasting are different - some people will prefer one and some will prefer another.


I agree people should be able play a intelligent, book loving character without putting needing to actually spend hours reading though the books. "Just play a sorcerer" is not the best solution.

But on the same page (or in the same chapter), I want to have the more intricate options as well.

Verdant Wheel

Yeah I cop to that.
I believe that Wizard is far more complex than Sorcerer.

Donovan Du Bois wrote:

Vancian Spell Preparation - Feat 1

Through rigorous study or personal preference, you have learned to be exacting in your spell preparation. When you prepare your spells each day, you prepare exactly one spell for each spell slot you are able to cast. Once you cast that spell, both the spell and the spell slot are lost until you prepare spells the following day, although you may prepare a spell multiple times using multiple spell slots, as desired. Because preparing spells in the manner is so exacting in its use of your magical energy, you gain an extra spell slot of each spell level you are able to cast.

I would take this feat in your game. And then do my best to make sure that extra slot pays off or die trying!


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Edge93 wrote:

For my current games, I've been houseruling that Wizards have sort of Arcanist-style casting (they prepare the number of spells they normally would but then can cast spontaneously from them instead of having to pick exactly how many uses of each spell) and also allowing not spontaneous Heightening but rather Undercasting. So say they prepare Lightning Bolt at level 6, they can cast it from any slot down to 3 but can't go the other way.

To balance it spontaneous casters have been given full spontaneous Heightening. So it results in Sorcerers have by far the most options for their best spell slots while prepared casters also have pumped versatility.

And it's worked quite well in my games. Casters haven't felt like they are overshadowing Martials and the prepared caster and spontaneous casters have seemed balanced against each other.

That said, I don't know if I'll use this houserule in future games. The base system is simpler and my houserules sometimes cause things to take a little longer in combat than they need to.

Now this is why the Internet is so useful despite the normally toxic atmosphere...

I'm definitely proposing/using this house rule when I get the chance to play/run.


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Prepared and spontaneous spellcasters have very distinct and different ways to be played. It's true that, if you have a fixed party with no great modifications of the setting they are extremely similar. Now, if you play, for example, PFS, you don't have at all the same gameplay.

Spontaneous casters are all about few extremely solid choices. Their spells are part of their design: If you take Fireball, it's character defining and you will very often take feats/abilities increasing the specific spells you have taken.
Prepared spellcasters are a lot about group and mission adaptation. In general, I make my spell list after the briefing and all the character presentations, trying to fill the holes in the party while maximizing my spells for the task at hand. I even played my Magus with only Fireballs and Magic Missiles, going from melee striker to artillery because the party was cluttered by melee frontliners. Prepared casters tend to take feats/abilities that can be used with a lot of different types of spells.

I don't see the point of considering one better than the other. There are 5 choices of casters, it's very easy to create whatever character you like with your preferred style of casting. And I don't count MCing which allows you for even greater flexibility.


Lightning Raven wrote:

There was a survey. Sadly the majority of answers was in favor of keeping the vancian system.

As someone currently playing a Cleric for almost a year (regularly) and reading the spell list all the time to find new tools and answers to help my party, I can say: The vancian system should've been gone.

There's already a good precedent with Arcanists, PF2e should've kept the change and they could easily find ways to change the sorcerers while they're at it, after all Sorcerers now can be divine, occult, arcane or primal and that's a huge change nobody was expecting... I'm pretty sure nobody would complain if there was only Arcanist casting (almost like 5e, without heightening) in the game but spontaneus casters were similarly overhauled to compensate.

The survey never actually asked that question. The survey asked something like "On a scale of Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree, do you think that wizards are flexible and powerful".


Kyrone wrote:

The main problem becomes the spontaneous versus prepared casting, in 5e Sorcerer is just a inferior to Wizard with less spells know and fixed list.

I think that in the internal playtesting of PF2 they tried that method and if it had gone forward Sorcerer would not have been a class.

We just made sorcery points recharge on a short rest.

That way sorcerer knows less spells but can cast more or have them heavily influenced by metamagic skills.


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Mekkis wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:

There was a survey. Sadly the majority of answers was in favor of keeping the vancian system.

As someone currently playing a Cleric for almost a year (regularly) and reading the spell list all the time to find new tools and answers to help my party, I can say: The vancian system should've been gone.

There's already a good precedent with Arcanists, PF2e should've kept the change and they could easily find ways to change the sorcerers while they're at it, after all Sorcerers now can be divine, occult, arcane or primal and that's a huge change nobody was expecting... I'm pretty sure nobody would complain if there was only Arcanist casting (almost like 5e, without heightening) in the game but spontaneus casters were similarly overhauled to compensate.

The survey never actually asked that question. The survey asked something like "On a scale of Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree, do you think that wizards are flexible and powerful".

Did you answer the open question surveys? It straight up asked about that. I can't remember if they used D&D5e style of casting or liking it to arcanist style (around that time, there were plenty of discussion on this topic even).


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breithauptclan wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
prepared spell casters get to prepare a number of spells, and then can spend a spell slot to cast any appropriately leveled spell.

So, Starfinder's method of spell preparation.

Which as other people have pointed out, would likely make the sorcerer redundant. In Starfinder there is is only one method of spell preparation, and only two casting classes - one for each spell list.

It wouldn't make Sorcerers redundant. You just give them MP instead of spell slots.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:

Does anyone else think that Pathfinder second edition should have gone with the D&D 5e method of spell preparation?

Absolutely not.

I'm so thankful that they allowed Prepared Vancian casting to persist I could cry.

I love the ability to play a Batman type spellcaster who pulls out exactly the right spell for the situation, or needs to improvise if things don't go according to plan.

I also love the ability to play a sorcerer style caster when I want to, so I can pick out my spells based on my character rather than pure utility, and not get pressured into changing every day to help the group.

People say that Vancian casting isn't well represented in other media, so it would be no big loss if it went away, but I'd like to kindly remind those people that I've been playing with Vancian casting in my favorite hobby for my entire life. I don't particularly care if video games don't use it a bunch, because I like my Pathfinder and D&D way, way more.

I'd also like to go on a slight tangent and remind people that homogenization is a blight upon roleplaying games in general. As a game designer, it's exceedingly easy to say "This element is needlessly clunky, we should either smooth it over or cut it out". On paper, decisions like this are really easy to make, because you have a list of principles of good game design and when things appear to violate them you can cite a reason as to why you made a change.

The trouble is that you can quickly kill off variety, flavor, and nuance by trying to make things easy, smooth, and balanced. This is precisely the reason Paizo ran the playtests, because they didn't want to make changes that didn't hit the right "feel" with the people who would actually play the game.

People who hate Vancian casting aren't left out in the cold in this edition. They can make Spontaneous casters. They can wait for the inevitable Hybrid casters that will be coming. If prepared casting isn't to your personal taste, consider that there are people like me who are sincerely happy it's still around, and we're not trying to have your favorite playstyle excised from the game.


WatersLethe wrote:
I love the ability to play a Batman type spellcaster who pulls out exactly the right spell for the situation, or needs to improvise if things don't go according to plan.

You can still do that with 5e style preparation.

WatersLethe wrote:
The trouble is that you can quickly kill off variety, flavor, and nuance by trying to make things easy, smooth, and balanced. This is precisely the reason Paizo ran the playtests, because they didn't want to make changes that didn't hit the right "feel" with the people who would actually play the game.

Many, many players who 'actually play the game' did not play the playtest and so had no input.

WatersLethe wrote:
People who hate Vancian casting aren't left out in the cold in this edition. They can make Spontaneous casters. They can wait for the inevitable Hybrid casters that will be coming. If prepared casting isn't to your personal taste, consider that there are people like me who are sincerely happy it's still around, and we're not trying to have your favorite playstyle excised from the game

Why do your tastes matter more than mine? Why don't you have to consider my opinion? I can make a sorcerer, but they don't have the abilities I want to play, so I actually am out in the cold.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

One thing I want to bring up is the idea that vancian casting isn't represented in Golarion stories. It is the corner stone of their most written about fictional spellcaster, Varian.


Strill wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
prepared spell casters get to prepare a number of spells, and then can spend a spell slot to cast any appropriately leveled spell.

So, Starfinder's method of spell preparation.

Which as other people have pointed out, would likely make the sorcerer redundant. In Starfinder there is is only one method of spell preparation, and only two casting classes - one for each spell list.

It wouldn't make Sorcerers redundant. You just give them MP instead of spell slots.

I personally think that the true difference between different casting classes should be reflected by their unique spells and non-spell abilities. If the same spells shared between classes are cast differently, then it should be reflected through different advantages and drawbacks. In Pathfinder 1e, for instance, psychic magic feels different from arcane or divine magic because a psychic caster does not need to use verbal or somatic components, but must be in a tightly controlled mental state. So even if a wizard and a psychic are casting the same spell, say, detect thoughts, the wizard would be making gestures and speaking words of power, while the psychic just stares deep into the target's eyes and maybe glow a little bit.

Bards in 2e feels sufficiently different from occult sorcerers precisely for that reason, as when bards cast spells, they play an instrument or tell a story. Both classes are spontaneous, yet distinct.

I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to make wizards and sorcerers distinct like that, even if we have slots or mana points for everyone.

For people who still enjoy Vancian preparation, a feat or archetype would cover that fantastically.


Donovan Du Bois wrote:
In game design I think opt-in complexity is better than opt-out

I completely agree.

Even as someone who wants the complex options, it makes a lot more sense for the default to be simple, and op-in to be more complex.

Quote:

Next, we add a new level 1 class feat to the wizard;

Vancian Spell Preparation - Feat 1
Through rigorous study or personal preference, you have learned to be exacting in your spell preparation. When you prepare your spells each day, you prepare exactly one spell for each spell slot you are able to cast. Once you cast that spell, both the spell and the spell slot are lost until you prepare spells the following day, although you may prepare a spell multiple times using multiple spell slots, as desired. Because preparing spells in the manner is so exacting in its use of your magical energy, you gain an extra spell slot of each spell level you are able to cast.

Works for me.

To bad we can't go back in time and fix it for PF2 (Also, wizards don't get a level 1 feat). But it's not to late to add a "Flexible Casting" feat/architype. Better late then never.

Might as well also add in...
Fluid Casting "You get mana points instead of spell slots..."

PolyArcana "You know all the spells and cantrips, but can only cast a particular spell once per day. (So if you cast fireball, you cannot cast another fireball until you rest.) If you cast a cantrip, you cannot cast it again until you take 10 minutes to refocus."


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
I love the ability to play a Batman type spellcaster who pulls out exactly the right spell for the situation, or needs to improvise if things don't go according to plan.
You can still do that with 5e style preparation.

Not in the same way, no. There's a bunch of granularity missing when you can prepare one spell that's good in all sorts of situations, and fall back onto using it all the time if your other prepared spells don't come up.

Donovan Du Bois wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
The trouble is that you can quickly kill off variety, flavor, and nuance by trying to make things easy, smooth, and balanced. This is precisely the reason Paizo ran the playtests, because they didn't want to make changes that didn't hit the right "feel" with the people who would actually play the game.
Many, many players who 'actually play the game' did not play the playtest and so had no input.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Are you implying that Paizo should not have made decisions based on Playtest feedback? As one of the people who took the time to playtest and answered the polls, I certainly am glad that I was one of the voices they listened to.

Donovan Du Bois wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
People who hate Vancian casting aren't left out in the cold in this edition. They can make Spontaneous casters. They can wait for the inevitable Hybrid casters that will be coming. If prepared casting isn't to your personal taste, consider that there are people like me who are sincerely happy it's still around, and we're not trying to have your favorite playstyle excised from the game
Why do your tastes matter more than mine? Why don't you have to consider my opinion? I can make a sorcerer, but they don't have the abilities I want to play, so I actually am out in the cold.

I never said my tastes matter more, in fact, that appears to be your stance.

Whereas my position allows for people to play different styles, your position removes a style of play altogether.

Paizo has said that if they had gone the 5e route, they would likely have merged Sorcerer and Wizard. How likely do you think it would be for them to later add Prepared casters?

With the way things are now, Spontaneous casters and Prepared casters are available, with Hybrid casters a near certainty. I do believe that this caters to more tastes than simply sticking with one style. You may have to wait a bit for an Arcanist to suit your specific needs, however.


And a few other fun ideas.

Spell Chain: "Choose the next several spells you will cast, and put them in an order you will cast them..."

Semi-Wild "Choose 4 spells. Roll a d4 to determine which spell you cast..."


WatersLethe wrote:
Not in the same way, no. There's a bunch of granularity missing when you can prepare one spell that's good in all sorts of situations, and fall back onto using it all the time if your other prepared spells don't come up.

Which is somehow worse than being useless because you didn't metagame and prepare only the spells you would need for the scenario you are running. I just don't see how that is better for players or the GM.

WatersLethe wrote:
I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Are you implying that Paizo should not have made decisions based on Playtest feedback? As one of the people who took the time to playtest and answered the polls, I certainly am glad that I was one of the voices they listened to.

I'm saying that they should continue to iterate on feedback even after the playtesting is over because many players didn't playtest and so their opinions were not taken into account

WatersLethe wrote:

I never said my tastes matter more, in fact, that appears to be your stance.

Whereas my position allows for people to play different styles, your position removes a style of play altogether.

Except it doesn't, I've given an entire possible scenario for bringing back granular casting for those who want it, without forcing it on those who don't.

WatersLethe wrote:

Paizo has said that if they had gone the 5e route, they would likely have merged Sorcerer and Wizard. How likely do you think it would be for them to later add Prepared casters?

With the way things are now, Spontaneous casters and Prepared casters are available, with Hybrid casters a near certainty. I do believe that this caters to more tastes than simply sticking with one style. You may have to wait a bit for an Arcanist to suit your specific needs, however.

Spontaneous and Prepared casters are also available if you use 5e method of spell preparation.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Not in the same way, no. There's a bunch of granularity missing when you can prepare one spell that's good in all sorts of situations, and fall back onto using it all the time if your other prepared spells don't come up.
Which is somehow worse than being useless because you didn't metagame and prepare only the spells you would need for the scenario you are running. I just don't see how that is better for players or the GM.

I can clearly see you do not like Prepared Vancian casting. Your error is in assuming your opinion is universal or objective.

Donovan Du Bois wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Are you implying that Paizo should not have made decisions based on Playtest feedback? As one of the people who took the time to playtest and answered the polls, I certainly am glad that I was one of the voices they listened to.
I'm saying that they should continue to iterate on feedback even after the playtesting is over because many players didn't playtest and so their opinions were not taken into account

You seem to be implying that there is an untapped majority that sides with you. If you could provide evidence that supports this, that would go a long way. In any case, they had to make a decision at some point, and they did with the best data they had available.

Donovan Du Bois wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

I never said my tastes matter more, in fact, that appears to be your stance.

Whereas my position allows for people to play different styles, your position removes a style of play altogether.

Except it doesn't, I've given an entire possible scenario for bringing back granular casting for those who want it, without forcing it on those who don't.

I don't think you quite grasp the complexity of the problem when they were designing the game. While your proposed feat would grant buy-in complexity, it has a heavy impact on the system as a whole.

1. They would be extremely unlikely to write a feat like the one you suggested. That kind of dramatic change of a class's core feature is more in the Class Archetype space.

2. It would have been confusing to include without full support in the rest of the rules. They would have had to update base spellcasting to 5e and gone back through with a fine tooth comb to make sure such an optional ruleset didn't have unexpected consequences. Even if they had the time to do that, it would still feel tacked on.

3. It would have been a feat tax on a system of spellcasting which already has built in drawbacks.

Donovan Du Bois wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

Paizo has said that if they had gone the 5e route, they would likely have merged Sorcerer and Wizard. How likely do you think it would be for them to later add Prepared casters?

With the way things are now, Spontaneous casters and Prepared casters are available, with Hybrid casters a near certainty. I do believe that this caters to more tastes than simply sticking with one style. You may have to wait a bit for an Arcanist to suit your specific needs, however.

Spontaneous and Prepared casters are also available if you use 5e method of spell preparation.

Let's clarify: 5e style is "Hybrid" or "Arcanist" casting. Wizard is Prepared Vancian. Sorcerer is Spontaneous Vancian.

5e does not allow Prepared Vancian casting.

Please refrain from making statements about the value of Prepared Vancian casting unless you can produce some really dramatic survey results indicating Pathfinder players are greatly opposed to it. The only surveys we have so far indicate lots of people liked having it around.


sherlock1701 wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Frogliacci wrote:
If we actually look at fantasy fiction and video games, Vancian casting and even spell slots would look strange at best and utterly outdated at worst.

Chrono Cross. That is the only video game that I have ever encountered that had the same style of spell preparation.

And yes, it is rather strange to have that in a video game.

And since it is for the original PlayStation, it is also a very old game at this point.

Final Fantasy 3 also used spell slots. Many the games based on D&D have as well, and Pathfinder Kingmaker of course. Dark Souls 1 and 2 both used prepared limited spells. Not Vancian per se, but the same basic idea. PoE too for some classes.

Final Fantasy 1 did too. Before tge remames removed it in favor of a simpler MP system and spells gated by level requirements.

Glad they did it.
Wish Paizo had done the same.

All in all, I think the community would benefit most by having more options.
So I say that Arcanist should return.
And when Class Archetypes are rolled out, each casting class should have an archetype that swaps their casting style for each of the other two.

Spontaneous and Hybrid Wizards!
Prepared and Hybrid Bards!
We've got 'em all!!


Can we get for once a mana point system by default??


Igor Horvat wrote:
Can we get for once a mana point system by default??

If I recall, the answer to that will likely be a resounding "no", due to some combination of the developers thinking that that much freedom of choice leads to choice paralysis on the part of the players and them thinking that players of casters should HAVE to use a variety of spells as opposed to using whatever spell fits the situation, even if the caster has been using that spell over and over again already (a gameplay style that spell slots can impose far better than a mana point system).


Igor Horvat wrote:
Can we get for once a mana point system by default??

Nice one :D


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I actually kinda prefer the vancian system because it means characters with potentially long lists of available spells like Druids, Clerics, or Wizards, do not require the player to be checking the whole list all the time, which to me seems easier on new players and players who aren't that invested in the system.


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Everyone keeps going back to the playtest survey and how the devs made decisions based on it. What I think Donovan Du Bois is getting at with his comments is that a survey's results are only as good as they are representative. Surveying only those players who are most likely P1 players already, already experienced with and invested in Vancian, and committed enough to partake in the playtest, is far from representative of all players, and certainly is not representative of potential players. Essentially those results are as limited as the the people they've surveyed and should not be relied upon.


RussianAlly wrote:
I actually kinda prefer the vancian system because it means characters with potentially long lists of available spells like Druids, Clerics, or Wizards, do not require the player to be checking the whole list all the time, which to me seems easier on new players and players who aren't that invested in the system.

That's exactly the opposite of what should be happening. The benefit of preparing spells, specially for those with the whole list available, is having all tools available when needed, which in turn either prompts a read of the list or the player should at least be aware of some niche options.

For example: My party is currently on Skull and Shackles Book 4 and in order to scout the area, which our party knew there was a high possibility of encountering undead and ghosts, I prepared Aura Sight, a spell I never did before because we often wouldn't have that amount of fore-knowledge about a place (our GM can be very stingy with knowledge).

By encouraging players to choose a select few spells not only wastes the benefits of the style, but also further makes my point that this system doesn't encourages experimentation.

You either make each slot count with the broader and straight forward spells or you risk preparing something that will never come up, specially if this risk is taken with your highest level spells.


Does a mana system require the caster to have access to their entire spell list at all times? Or is there a separate 'choose your spells' step?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zman0 wrote:
Everyone keeps going back to the playtest survey and how the devs made decisions based on it. What I think Donovan Du Bois is getting at with his comments is that a survey's results are only as good as they are representative. Surveying only those players who are most likely P1 players already, already experienced with and invested in Vancian, and committed enough to partake in the playtest, is far from representative of all players, and certainly is not representative of potential players. Essentially those results are as limited as the the people they've surveyed and should not be relied upon.

What's the alternative? Hiring a polling company to cold-call random people to ask them about RPG design? Paizo used the best method available to them, which was always going to include opt-in participants.


Donovan Du Bois wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Not in the same way, no. There's a bunch of granularity missing when you can prepare one spell that's good in all sorts of situations, and fall back onto using it all the time if your other prepared spells don't come up.

Which is somehow worse than being useless because you didn't metagame and prepare only the spells you would need for the scenario you are running. I just don't see how that is better for players or the GM.

Your missing the part were failing is fun for some people. It's not always about just being awesome and winning (which is cool too depending on the story you are telling.) It's about having a magic system that is intentionally more punishing and complex then good quick fun game design, because in setting "Magic is hard". Some people enjoy stories of difficulty or sand box styles about the life of an adventurer, as opposed to other styles (neither of which is better it's just a preference, which can even change with mood).

Does this make it the right pick? Depends on there target audience. Obviously more complexity is pretty much PF2e's selling point over D&D 5e's keep it simple, quick, light, and fun design so odds are you won't win over sales by playing in to 5e's strengths.

Ultimately I play many versions of games (D&D 4e/5e, PF2e, Exalted, and some others occasionally). If I want detailed prepared focused game-play (heavy equipment tracking, preparation, survival, attrition) I will play PF2e, if it wasn't heavy on that I'm not sure I would play it over the other options (hard to say for sure, since it would still be very different game in a whole new direction).


Fumarole wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
Everyone keeps going back to the playtest survey and how the devs made decisions based on it. What I think Donovan Du Bois is getting at with his comments is that a survey's results are only as good as they are representative. Surveying only those players who are most likely P1 players already, already experienced with and invested in Vancian, and committed enough to partake in the playtest, is far from representative of all players, and certainly is not representative of potential players. Essentially those results are as limited as the the people they've surveyed and should not be relied upon.
What's the alternative? Hiring a polling company to cold-call random people to ask them about RPG design? Paizo used the best method available to them, which was always going to include opt-in participants.

No, you take every result with a heaping pile of salt. The point of my comment is that using the survey results as if they represent all of Paizo's potential market and is the be all end all of useful data is inherently flawed. Given the asinine complexity and frustration factor of Vancian Casting, it isn't too big a leap to say it's likely more off-putting than attractive to new, non-Paizo, players.

Paizo could have say found a couple dozen people interested in playing RPGs and tried and teach them two different casting systems and then asked them for their feedback. In that situation, I'd bet money you get a different result and a 5e style of casting will vastly outperform P2's Vancian.

Of course I could be wrong, but I'll rely on years worth of experience teaching new people both Vancian and non-Vancian styles of casting,and teaching people transitioning form 3.P to 5e. Though to be fair, none of the people I know that disliked Vancian style casting and made the move to 5e are even considering switching back to P2, so there is that.


Igor Horvat wrote:
Can we get for once a mana point system by default??

Psionics has had that as default in most games.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Zman0 wrote:

No, you take every result with a heaping pile of salt. The point of my comment is that using the survey results as if they represent all of Paizo's potential market and is the be all end all of useful data is inherently flawed. Given the asinine complexity and frustration factor of Vancian Casting, it isn't too big a leap to say it's likely more off-putting than attractive to new, non-Paizo, players.

Paizo could have say found a couple dozen people interested in playing RPGs and tried and teach them two different casting systems and then asked them for their feedback. In that situation, I'd bet money you get a different result and a 5e style of casting will vastly outperform P2's Vancian.

Of course I could be wrong, but I'll rely on years worth of experience teaching new people both Vancian and non-Vancian styles of casting,and teaching people transitioning form 3.P to 5e. Though to be fair, none of the people I know that disliked Vancian style casting and made the move to 5e are even considering switching back to P2, so there is that.

But they did do focus group testing. They also used statistical models to try to help account for biases in their playtester feedback. Crucially, they had to make a decision, and they made one based on feedback as well as their own experience and intuition. I guarantee you that they took an adequate amount of salt with each playtest survey.

Just because it doesn't align with what you would have done in their shoes, doesn't mean that they blindly followed faulty playtest data.

If you had actual data showing how their decision was wrong, and could show that they had that data back when they made their decision, then your point would make a lot of sense. Since you don't have that kind of info, all you're doing is backseat, hindsight, amateur game developing.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Does a mana system require the caster to have access to their entire spell list at all times? Or is there a separate 'choose your spells' step?

Most I've seen give you a set list. Maybe let you pick a spell when you level.

I have not seen any that have daily preparation or otherwise swap them. (Maybe swap 1 when you level up). Since you have extra flexibility in how you cast, it is usually balanced by losing out on what you cast.
But that does not mean you couldn't have that, and find some other method to balance.


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My hope is that since we're not going to get a lot of lists, we can instead get a number of different kinds of casting with which to apply those lists.

Like I am here for casting so unprepared I cannot even choose what spell I am casting until I start casting it (you choose targets after knowing whether it's a fireball or a healing spell), assuming the rest of the class chassis makes this viable.


I'd like to raise a point again about the false distinction.

Not liking the Vancian casting method doesn't mean you think hybrid is better, and the other way around.

Personally, I intensely dislike the hybrid method - it's the least interesting of the 3, and it caters to the players that don't want to bother with thinking about their character choices.

Furthermore, I don't see anyone pointing out that they actually already gave you a way to play Hybrid caster by using Imperial bloodline and taking Arcane Evolution feat.


WatersLethe wrote:
Zman0 wrote:

No, you take every result with a heaping pile of salt. The point of my comment is that using the survey results as if they represent all of Paizo's potential market and is the be all end all of useful data is inherently flawed. Given the asinine complexity and frustration factor of Vancian Casting, it isn't too big a leap to say it's likely more off-putting than attractive to new, non-Paizo, players.

Paizo could have say found a couple dozen people interested in playing RPGs and tried and teach them two different casting systems and then asked them for their feedback. In that situation, I'd bet money you get a different result and a 5e style of casting will vastly outperform P2's Vancian.

Of course I could be wrong, but I'll rely on years worth of experience teaching new people both Vancian and non-Vancian styles of casting,and teaching people transitioning form 3.P to 5e. Though to be fair, none of the people I know that disliked Vancian style casting and made the move to 5e are even considering switching back to P2, so there is that.

But they did do focus group testing. They also used statistical models to try to help account for biases in their playtester feedback. Crucially, they had to make a decision, and they made one based on feedback as well as their own experience and intuition. I guarantee you that they took an adequate amount of salt with each playtest survey.

Just because it doesn't align with what you would have done in their shoes, doesn't mean that they blindly followed faulty playtest data.

If you had actual data showing how their decision was wrong, and could show that they had that data back when they made their decision, then your point would make a lot of sense. Since you don't have that kind of info, all you're doing is backseat, hindsight, amateur game developing.

Oh, they focus tested Vancian vs 5e style prepared spellcasting? I must have missed the Devs discussing that. Care to point me to where that was discussed? I didn't accuse them of blindly following the playtest data, but accused the playtest data of being of little worth in relation to a legacy issue such a Vancian Casting.

I got a little peak behind the curtains to some of their decision making and honestly, they're human and fallible. Feedback needs to be interpreted and I have a feeling it was less their experience and intuition and more like personal preference, internal biases, and fear of changing legacy that drove some decisions. I mean, there is a reason they are still using ability scores when the only thing that matters are the modifiers, even if they've started moving towards getting rid of them with monsters. If you need other examples of fallibility, look to their botching of the Item bonus and assumptions of proficiency as it related to Monster Skills and especially Perception in the playtest. Those issues should have never made it to the playtest print.


Zman0 wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Zman0 wrote:

No, you take every result with a heaping pile of salt. The point of my comment is that using the survey results as if they represent all of Paizo's potential market and is the be all end all of useful data is inherently flawed. Given the asinine complexity and frustration factor of Vancian Casting, it isn't too big a leap to say it's likely more off-putting than attractive to new, non-Paizo, players.

Paizo could have say found a couple dozen people interested in playing RPGs and tried and teach them two different casting systems and then asked them for their feedback. In that situation, I'd bet money you get a different result and a 5e style of casting will vastly outperform P2's Vancian.

Of course I could be wrong, but I'll rely on years worth of experience teaching new people both Vancian and non-Vancian styles of casting,and teaching people transitioning form 3.P to 5e. Though to be fair, none of the people I know that disliked Vancian style casting and made the move to 5e are even considering switching back to P2, so there is that.

But they did do focus group testing. They also used statistical models to try to help account for biases in their playtester feedback. Crucially, they had to make a decision, and they made one based on feedback as well as their own experience and intuition. I guarantee you that they took an adequate amount of salt with each playtest survey.

Just because it doesn't align with what you would have done in their shoes, doesn't mean that they blindly followed faulty playtest data.

If you had actual data showing how their decision was wrong, and could show that they had that data back when they made their decision, then your point would make a lot of sense. Since you don't have that kind of info, all you're doing is backseat, hindsight, amateur game developing.

Oh, they focus tested Vancian vs 5e style prepared spellcasting? I must have missed the Devs discussing that. Care to point me to where that was...

Certainly a whole lot of assumptions about how they developed the game and how you feel and no actual data backing up your feelings.


Vlorax wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Zman0 wrote:

No, you take every result with a heaping pile of salt. The point of my comment is that using the survey results as if they represent all of Paizo's potential market and is the be all end all of useful data is inherently flawed. Given the asinine complexity and frustration factor of Vancian Casting, it isn't too big a leap to say it's likely more off-putting than attractive to new, non-Paizo, players.

Paizo could have say found a couple dozen people interested in playing RPGs and tried and teach them two different casting systems and then asked them for their feedback. In that situation, I'd bet money you get a different result and a 5e style of casting will vastly outperform P2's Vancian.

Of course I could be wrong, but I'll rely on years worth of experience teaching new people both Vancian and non-Vancian styles of casting,and teaching people transitioning form 3.P to 5e. Though to be fair, none of the people I know that disliked Vancian style casting and made the move to 5e are even considering switching back to P2, so there is that.

But they did do focus group testing. They also used statistical models to try to help account for biases in their playtester feedback. Crucially, they had to make a decision, and they made one based on feedback as well as their own experience and intuition. I guarantee you that they took an adequate amount of salt with each playtest survey.

Just because it doesn't align with what you would have done in their shoes, doesn't mean that they blindly followed faulty playtest data.

If you had actual data showing how their decision was wrong, and could show that they had that data back when they made their decision, then your point would make a lot of sense. Since you don't have that kind of info, all you're doing is backseat, hindsight, amateur game developing.

Oh, they focus tested Vancian vs 5e style prepared spellcasting? I must have missed the Devs discussing that. Care to point me
...

Actually, I was lucky enough to have pretty substantial private conversations with one of the Devs during the playtest about certain back-end issues, namely the above mentioned item bonus, item bonus assumptions, proficiency assumptions, and how they negatively affected Monster Skills and Perception. Even a good bit about legacy decisions and conventions and "sacred cows" got brought up. That afforded me substantial insight to how things work and don't work behind the scenes.

Now, I have no knowledge about their Vancian decisions, and I wish I did, but the Devs are not infallible Demi-gods acting with near omniscient survey information as some would lead us to believe. They're people, and people make bad decisions and mistakes sometimes. Taking the position that sticking with Vancian Casting is a mistake and alienates a great deal of potential customers is not an outrageous position to have.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Zman0 wrote:
...the Devs are not infallible Demi-gods acting with near omniscient survey information as some would lead us to believe. They're people, and people make bad decisions and mistakes sometimes. Taking the position that sticking with Vancian Casting is a mistake and alienates a great deal of potential customers is not an outrageous position to have.

No one said they were infallible demi-gods. However, your insistence that you know the Correct Decision they should have made despite not having any data at all (not even fallible playtest data) means that you're positioning yourself as an infallible demi-god.

Your whole argument is boiling down to:

1. You don't believe the playtest data, but don't have any contradictory data to support that feeling.

2. The devs are worse at making games than you.

3. Catering to 5e players should have been a highly valued goal.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Zman0 wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
Everyone keeps going back to the playtest survey and how the devs made decisions based on it. What I think Donovan Du Bois is getting at with his comments is that a survey's results are only as good as they are representative. Surveying only those players who are most likely P1 players already, already experienced with and invested in Vancian, and committed enough to partake in the playtest, is far from representative of all players, and certainly is not representative of potential players. Essentially those results are as limited as the the people they've surveyed and should not be relied upon.
What's the alternative? Hiring a polling company to cold-call random people to ask them about RPG design? Paizo used the best method available to them, which was always going to include opt-in participants.

No, you take every result with a heaping pile of salt. The point of my comment is that using the survey results as if they represent all of Paizo's potential market and is the be all end all of useful data is inherently flawed. Given the asinine complexity and frustration factor of Vancian Casting, it isn't too big a leap to say it's likely more off-putting than attractive to new, non-Paizo, players.

Paizo could have say found a couple dozen people interested in playing RPGs and tried and teach them two different casting systems and then asked them for their feedback. In that situation, I'd bet money you get a different result and a 5e style of casting will vastly outperform P2's Vancian.

Of course I could be wrong, but I'll rely on years worth of experience teaching new people both Vancian and non-Vancian styles of casting,and teaching people transitioning form 3.P to 5e. Though to be fair, none of the people I know that disliked Vancian style casting and made the move to 5e are even considering switching back to P2, so there is that.

Enough salt to just fiat in the opposite direction? come on, as a 5e player up until the beginning of the month, I sincerely think that vancian casting has some real benefits that function as a good answer to some issues in that system.


WatersLethe wrote:
Zman0 wrote:

No one said they were infallible demi-gods. However, your insistence that you know the Correct Decision they should have made despite not having any data at all (not even fallible playtest data) means that you're positioning yourself as an infallible demi-god.

Your whole argument is boiling down to:

1. You don't believe the playtest data, but don't have any contradictory data to support that feeling.

2. The devs are worse at making games than you.

3. Catering to 5e players should have been a highly valued goal.

I never said I am infallible Demigod. But I am saying it is a legitimate argument to make about 5e style casting vs Vancian. Does the argument work the opposite way. Did Wizards drop Vancian because of their playtest data? Which is arguable going to be better than Paizo's. Or did they use all their big data to make 4e the perfect game for the market? Oops, that wasn't quite so good... How about 5e? Much better. Acting like Devs for major systems can't make mistakes and misread the market is ridiculous on its face, especially when we're discussing one particular subsystem of the whole game.

1. I am arguing that the playtest data is is flawed due to selection bias which in this particular case is nearly impossible to correct for.

2. I have never said that. Of the two P2 devs I've had any interactions with, I respect one of them immensely and do not think very highly of the other at all.

3. Only if converting 5e players to P2 is a goal and is contrasted to catering to P2 Playtesters who are arguably already a lock, regardless.

Also, got that link to the Playtest and focus group data analyzing Vancian Casting that utilized statistical modeling to account for their obvious and problematic selection bais?

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Seems the thread kind of devolved into edition warring (skirmishing?) about PF Second Edition and 5E. I'm going to just go ahead and close it up.

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