The Martial's Edition ?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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So many people said that the 3.5 and pathfinder 1.0 were the caster edition of the game, where there were said to be omnicapable who made the martials who could just hit things redundant.

So hyperbola aside would people say that pathfinder 2.0 the martial edition, where cold steel is the force that 9 times out of ten rules the day ?

I mean this as much narrative as mechanically, do this editions meta feel more down to earth ?

Liberty's Edge

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I think casters and martials are pretty much mechanically equal this edition. Marials have higher raw stats in terms of things like to-hit, but casters have spells and those add quite a lot of versatility and power.

And the narrative hasn't changed that much, IMO.

Sovereign Court

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Considering how much easier it is for a caster to also use weapons properly, and for a martial to also get some spells, I'd call this the gish edition.

And if you see how many options elves have to get spells, "I remember when elf was a class" doesn't sound so ancient anymore.


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Ascalaphus wrote:

Considering how much easier it is for a caster to also use weapons properly, and for a martial to also get some spells, I'd call this the gish edition.

And if you see how many options elves have to get spells, "I remember when elf was a class" doesn't sound so ancient anymore.

Coming from 5e, where it seems most everyone wants to play a Gish without a lot of ways to build one, I personally welcome this.


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I'm not sure I really agree that weapon wielding casters are all that great this edition.

I mean, for a Wizard it's definitely a huge improvement over PF because half bab might as well have been no BAB, but no matter how much you invest in your weapon it's pretty much always going to be more in the territory of an okay third action than something you can rely upon (which is what a lot of people seeking to play gishes want).

I think it's more accurate to say that baseline competency is much higher, but high end competency is much lower when it comes to weapon wielding spellcasters (warpriests in 2e feel much worse than warpriests or martial clerics in 1e at swinging weapons).

Is it better than 5e? Maybe for a generic spellcaster, but I'd take a hexblade or bladesinger over anything PF2 offers any day if I wanted to build a gish.


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Actually I think that you can take a generalist Wizard and built him around Hand of the Apprentice. It'll take heavy investment, but you can get a really good weapon and just smash people with it. Note that they're the earliest way to get Critical specialisation effect.

I'm waiting for Character Guide, as I think Elven heritage for multiclassing will give you easy Weapon proficiency via Fighter dedication. Take Maul (or Pick for pure crit damage) and stack all the modifiers for fun action. As a bonus, if you crit, Maul drops the enemies prone, essentially wasting their action.

With class feats towards Focus points, restoring Focus points via Arcane Bond and familiar, you can certainly use that move many times a combat.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's the edition where people post non-joke "are Wizards too weak?" threads and nobody has made a "Rogues are a failure of existence, prove me wrong, you can't" thread so farz so I guess we're good.


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Is there a reason to play a full-caster instead of a fighter MC caster?

Silver Crusade

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

More than 1 spell of each level.


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Gaterie wrote:
Is there a reason to play a full-caster instead of a fighter MC caster?

You mean a fighter multiclassed to caster? Yes.

The reasons are

- Faster spellcasting proficiency progression up to Legendary and slightly higher Spellcasting ability modifier at most levels.

- 9th and 10th level spells - and spell slots for heightening!

- About 100-150% more spell slots (calculated at level 20).

- Higher level caster feats can be pretty good depending on the class. A multiclass character will have extremely delayed access to level 4+ feats and no access to feats beyond level 10.

- Actually gaining spells without burning nearly half of your class feats.


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What are the awesome utility spells you need more than 1/day (+scrolls, wands etc)?

I mean, is it that useful to cast floating disk or gaseous form 2/day? i'm not even sure a full caster would memorize it 1/day.

(caster proficiency is useful only when you cast spell using save or attack roll. ie, it's useless for a MC)


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Gaterie wrote:

What are the awesome utility spells you need more than 1/day (+scrolls, wands etc)?

I mean, is it that useful to cast floating disk or gaseous form 2/day? i'm not even sure a full caster would memorize it 1/day.

Well, you never said to limit any arguments on Utility spells.*

As for Utility spells that can be useful multiple times per day the first thing that comes to mind are things like Jump, Fly, Invisibility and Illusory Object/Creature, Dimension Door and Teleport.

And depending on your definition of "Utility" there's a good number of offensive and defensive buffs like True Strike, Blur, Mirror Image, False Life, Heroism, Freedom of Movement and Stoneskin .

Gaterie wrote:
(caster proficiency is useful only when you cast spell using save or attack roll. ie, it's useless for a MC)

While usually a minor concern, proficiency also helps you to Counteract enemy effects and makes your own spells harder to Counteract.

*So why the limit to Utility? Are you trying to build a weapon using character or a caster? If it's the former, a fighter MC caster will of course be the better choice.


Blave wrote:
Gaterie wrote:

What are the awesome utility spells you need more than 1/day (+scrolls, wands etc)?

I mean, is it that useful to cast floating disk or gaseous form 2/day? i'm not even sure a full caster would memorize it 1/day.

Well, you never said to limit any arguments on Utility spells.*

Martials are better at dealing damages and debuffing enemies. Why would I play a caster if my goal is to deal damages or debuff enemies?

So no, I don't limit arguments to utility spells. But before we talk about damages or debuffs, you'll have to convince me a caster may deal more damages or better debuff than a fighters.


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Gaterie wrote:
Blave wrote:
Gaterie wrote:

What are the awesome utility spells you need more than 1/day (+scrolls, wands etc)?

I mean, is it that useful to cast floating disk or gaseous form 2/day? i'm not even sure a full caster would memorize it 1/day.

Well, you never said to limit any arguments on Utility spells.*

Martials are better at dealing damages and debuffing enemies. Why would I play a caster if my goal is to deal damages or debuff enemies?

So no, I don't limit arguments to utility spells. But before we talk about damages or debuffs, you'll have to convince me a caster may deal more damages or better debuff than a fighters.

Casters are better at dealing damage to multiple enemies and destroying cannon fodder. if the caster knows which is the worst save of the creature/npc at issue, they will do better than a martial. its very well balanced. let's be real 3.0-pf1. where casters games with support from martials, now both martials and casters can shine equally.


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ikarinokami wrote:
Casters are better at dealing damage to multiple enemies and destroying cannon fodder.

Awesome.

In the other hand, the edition is fitted to make cannon fodders negligible and ignorable.

Quote:
if the caster knows which is the worst save of the creature/npc at issue, they will do better than a martial.

Hence:

1/ if the full-casters metagame (there is no way to know Fort is the strongest save of a zombi but the weakest save of a lich - both monster look exactly the same)
2/ if the full-casters prepare spells attacking every save (the last "awesome" wizard build I saw was targeting Ref only - but he was awesome according to pro-wizard nonetheless)
3/ If the full-casters are wizards (how many Fort/Ref spell does a bard get? how many Ref blast does a cleric get?).

Then the full-casters are awesome against the monsters no one cares about.

This is a very complicated way of writing "full-casters are useless", but in the end I agree with you.


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Gaterie wrote:
So no, I don't limit arguments to utility spells. But before we talk about damages or debuffs, you'll have to convince me a caster may deal more damages or better debuff than a fighters.

He does. Both in fact. He's just limited by his spell slots.

According to citricking's analysis, a Wizard using a max level 2d6/level damaging spell deals about as much damage as a ranger on most levels, even rivaling a fighter (using two basic strikes) at the highest levels. This is against a single target.

Against groups of enemies, a caster is obviously more effective. And against single targets, there are spells that deal more than 2d6/level. Stuff like Disintegrate, Shocking Grasp, Hydraulic Torrent and Phantasmal killer deal more damage and/or have additional effects, usually debuffs.

As for debuffs, there's plenty of those on most spell lists. Here's a selection of stuff onthe Occult list, which I would call the "most debuff-y" of all traditions.

- Synesthesia is occult exclusive but one of the most devestating effects in the game (barring instant death effects).
- Resilient Sphere will cost the enemy at least one action (and most likely his strongest attack) to get out of, even on a successful save. And on a failed save, the max damage of a Balor isn't even enough to cut through the Sphere in one swing.
- Slow will tip action economy in the party's favor.
- Hideous Laughter negates all reactions.
- Incapacitation spells can - when heightened - seriously hinder one or even multiple enemies.
- Mariner's Curse is a good debuff and potentially a death sentence for anyone with no access to healing magic.
- Mask of Terror frightens anyone targeting the enchanted creature for a potential reactive -2 to rolls and DCs.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

PLUS:

This edition is built so "cannon fodder" (Support creatures at pl-2 or -3) can be dangerous, especially since it supports having an actual decent number of such creatures -and all their actions - there to support your boss. Support creatures are can make a big difference in this edition.

The ability of magic to deplete multiple extra enemy actions is a valuable contribution to these kinds of encounters.

Even these enemies can crit on a 20 on most of their attacks, and having 4 mob monsters with 3 actions each means a pretty good shot of at least 1 crit and damage isn't that different between creature levels as to make that chance worthy of ignorance.


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Gaterie wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
Casters are better at dealing damage to multiple enemies and destroying cannon fodder.

Awesome.

In the other hand, the edition is fitted to make cannon fodders negligible and ignorable.

Quote:
if the caster knows which is the worst save of the creature/npc at issue, they will do better than a martial.

Hence:

1/ if the full-casters metagame (there is no way to know Fort is the strongest save of a zombi but the weakest save of a lich - both monster look exactly the same)
2/ if the full-casters prepare spells attacking every save (the last "awesome" wizard build I saw was targeting Ref only - but he was awesome according to pro-wizard nonetheless)
3/ If the full-casters are wizards (how many Fort/Ref spell does a bard get? how many Ref blast does a cleric get?).

Then the full-casters are awesome against the monsters no one cares about.

This is a very complicated way of writing "full-casters are useless", but in the end I agree with you.

There's plenty of ways to get save knowledge without metagaming. For one, just look at the creature. How fast is it? How physically tough is it? How smart is it? If the enemy seems to be bad at one of those things, then that's most likely their worst save. I'd say Recall Knowledge checks could also be used to find out.


Coming from the 5th, which has issues everywhere, i am pretty glad with this 3 action system and how classes and dedications work.

The only complaints, currently, are about the alchemist, which is still work in progress, and some dedications, like bard and sorcerer, which are underperformant.

There is other stuff which need either to be addressed or clarified, indeed.


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It's easy to know fort is the strongest save of a zombie and weakest save of a lich, they do not look or act the same at all. Zombies are slow moving and unintelligent, you can tell that just by observing them, so fort is highest save by elimination. Liches, unless they are purposely trying to pretend to be a zombie, will be talking or casting spells, will use equipment effectively, will probably be dressed in wizard robes, etc. They will appear as an intelligent spellcaster, and any adventurer in Golarion could tell you spellcasters usually are not as physically fit as warriors who train for peak fitness, hence high will and low fort. To suggest there's no way to tell them apart without metagaming is just silly, its obvious to the character with common sense and context.


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Don't forget that the Recall Knowledge action exists and tends to favor those with high Int scores.


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Gaterie wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
Casters are better at dealing damage to multiple enemies and destroying cannon fodder.

Awesome.

In the other hand, the edition is fitted to make cannon fodders negligible and ignorable.

Quote:
if the caster knows which is the worst save of the creature/npc at issue, they will do better than a martial.

Hence:

1/ if the full-casters metagame (there is no way to know Fort is the strongest save of a zombi but the weakest save of a lich - both monster look exactly the same)
2/ if the full-casters prepare spells attacking every save (the last "awesome" wizard build I saw was targeting Ref only - but he was awesome according to pro-wizard nonetheless)
3/ If the full-casters are wizards (how many Fort/Ref spell does a bard get? how many Ref blast does a cleric get?).

Then the full-casters are awesome against the monsters no one cares about.

This is a very complicated way of writing "full-casters are useless", but in the end I agree with you.

your logic is flawed. not doing better does make you useless. because even if you don't know the worst save, you will do about equal, because anytime the creature should crit fail, you are going to do super well. like I said, the game is extremely well balanced among martials and casters. that casters are no longer the overlords they were in 3.0-PF1 does not mean that they are useless or weaker than marshalls, they are infact about equal all things considered.


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It does seem weird their are no magical focus giving a bonus to save dc there was one in the playtest I wonder why they dropped it? 15% isn't the end of the world but it is pretty significant.

There seems a move away from Spells especially higher levels ones being events and just being actions, one spell won't turn an overwhelming battle. Spells are now more just a part of the cumulative of combat. Which is great from a balance perspective but will mean a few less movements of awesome.


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Gaterie wrote:


1/ if the full-casters metagame (there is no way to know Fort is the strongest save of a zombi but the weakest save of a lich - both monster look exactly the same)
2/ if the full-casters prepare spells attacking every save (the last "awesome" wizard build I saw was targeting Ref only - but he was awesome according to pro-wizard nonetheless)
3/ If the full-casters are wizards (how many Fort/Ref spell does a bard get? how many Ref blast does a cleric get?)

Well, I'd like to turn this around a little bit.

1) How do martials know which weapons to use against each enemy. If you don't have a magical bludgeoning weapon, you're likely doing half damage to that lich you mentioned. I mean its clearly a zombie, so you should be using a slashing weapon, no?

2) Martials generally attack AC to deal damage. They don't even get a choice normally. I suppose they can use athletics to target reflexes, but those maneuvers don't deal much damage. What is the martial's solution to dealing damage to unusually high AC enemies or high DR enemies?

3) How many feats does a martial actually get? Can all of them deal the damage of a fighter while having the defensive options of a champion?

I guess I'm asking, can you present your optimal martial build and see if there's anything it can't handle well (like that cleric without reflex blast spells - although they do get flame strike and blade barrier at high level). Lets say level 10. What equipment do you give it? A runed weapon of every damage type, both melee and ranged?

If you're going to say martials deal so much damage it doesn't matter, we could pick an enemy and see what its typical damage output is against a real enemy.

Liberty's Edge

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Gaterie wrote:

Martials are better at dealing damages and debuffing enemies. Why would I play a caster if my goal is to deal damages or debuff enemies?

So no, I don't limit arguments to utility spells. But before we talk about damages or debuffs, you'll have to convince me a caster may deal more damages or better debuff than a fighters.

Can Fighters inflict the Slowed condition or worse things with what's usually a 95% chance of success? Because Dominate can, and the Slowed condition is utterly brutal, even ignoring the chance of mind controlling the foe into attacking their own allies.

In fact, I don't think Fighters have any way to inflict conditions any worse than Frightened or Prone. Both of those are good conditions to inflict, mind you, but they can also only inflict them on single targets for the most part, and there are certainly more powerful conditions like Slowed and Paralyzed that only spellcasters can generally inflict.

Really, in terms of single target damage, martials tend to beat spellcasters a lot of the time (though even there using max level spell slots spellcasters are actually competitive due to enemies taking half damage even on a successful Save), but casters are so much better at debuffing (or buffing) that it's not even funny.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Gaterie wrote:

Martials are better at dealing damages and debuffing enemies. Why would I play a caster if my goal is to deal damages or debuff enemies?

So no, I don't limit arguments to utility spells. But before we talk about damages or debuffs, you'll have to convince me a caster may deal more damages or better debuff than a fighters.

Can Fighters inflict the Slowed condition or worse things with what's usually a 95% chance of success? Because Dominate can, and the Slowed condition is utterly brutal, even ignoring the chance of mind controlling the foe into attacking their own allies.

In fact, I don't think Fighters have any way to inflict conditions any worse than Frightened or Prone. Both of those are good conditions to inflict, mind you, but they can also only inflict them on single targets for the most part, and there are certainly more powerful conditions like Slowed and Paralyzed that only spellcasters can generally inflict.

Really, in terms of single target damage, martials tend to beat spellcasters a lot of the time (though even there using max level spell slots spellcasters are actually competitive due to enemies taking half damage even on a successful Save), but casters are so much better at debuffing (or buffing) that it's not even funny.

The wizard in my War for the Crown game has a slowed condition tip for other casters: When you see something dangerous that you are worried might be able to do a trample attack and you beat it in initiative, always cast some kind of control spell on it with slowed 1 as a success result. Even when I make the save, I can't count how many times his slowed 1 on a success has broken up what would have otherwise been a devastating three-action routine (four words for how he prevented multiple deaths in one boss encounter: scythe whirlwind strike boss).


I have seen slowed, enfeebled, scared and clumsy on the rogue and drained on the barbarian but there 10+ Feats and the slowed effect is only on a crit.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
scythe whirlwind strike boss

Is that who I think it is?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Ediwir wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
scythe whirlwind strike boss
Is that who I think it is?

Part 3? Yes.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Gaterie wrote:

Martials are better at dealing damages and debuffing enemies. Why would I play a caster if my goal is to deal damages or debuff enemies?

So no, I don't limit arguments to utility spells. But before we talk about damages or debuffs, you'll have to convince me a caster may deal more damages or better debuff than a fighters.

Can Fighters inflict the Slowed condition or worse things with what's usually a 95% chance of success? Because Dominate can, and the Slowed condition is utterly brutal, even ignoring the chance of mind controlling the foe into attacking their own allies.

In fact, I don't think Fighters have any way to inflict conditions any worse than Frightened or Prone. Both of those are good conditions to inflict, mind you, but they can also only inflict them on single targets for the most part, and there are certainly more powerful conditions like Slowed and Paralyzed that only spellcasters can generally inflict.

Really, in terms of single target damage, martials tend to beat spellcasters a lot of the time (though even there using max level spell slots spellcasters are actually competitive due to enemies taking half damage even on a successful Save), but casters are so much better at debuffing (or buffing) that it's not even funny.

Critical specialization for the brawling group inflicts Slowed. The Frost rune does as well.


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Strill wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Gaterie wrote:

Martials are better at dealing damages and debuffing enemies. Why would I play a caster if my goal is to deal damages or debuff enemies?

So no, I don't limit arguments to utility spells. But before we talk about damages or debuffs, you'll have to convince me a caster may deal more damages or better debuff than a fighters.

Can Fighters inflict the Slowed condition or worse things with what's usually a 95% chance of success? Because Dominate can, and the Slowed condition is utterly brutal, even ignoring the chance of mind controlling the foe into attacking their own allies.

In fact, I don't think Fighters have any way to inflict conditions any worse than Frightened or Prone. Both of those are good conditions to inflict, mind you, but they can also only inflict them on single targets for the most part, and there are certainly more powerful conditions like Slowed and Paralyzed that only spellcasters can generally inflict.

Really, in terms of single target damage, martials tend to beat spellcasters a lot of the time (though even there using max level spell slots spellcasters are actually competitive due to enemies taking half damage even on a successful Save), but casters are so much better at debuffing (or buffing) that it's not even funny.

Critical specialization for the brawling group inflicts Slowed. The Frost rune does as well.

On a critical hit and a failed fortitude save, sure. That's pretty bad odds compared to inflicting slowed 1 on a SUCCESSFUL save, and significantly worse debuffs on down.


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Hammer and Flail critical specializations are also effectively 1 round Slows for majority of cases.


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There's also the fighter's debilitating shot feat which slows on a hit, no save. Slowed with a range that doesn't put you in harms way is pretty nice, though it is 10th level.

Liberty's Edge

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Strill wrote:
Critical specialization for the brawling group inflicts Slowed. The Frost rune does as well.

Things that only apply on a crit aren't really comparable to something with a 95% chance of success.

Yes, Fighters can technically inflict Slowed in several ways, but doing something on a crit is not a reliable combat tactic, it's a nice bonus when it occasionally comes up.

ErichAD wrote:
There's also the fighter's debilitating shot feat which slows on a hit, no save. Slowed with a range that doesn't put you in harms way is pretty nice, though it is 10th level.

True. That's a much better argument than crit only effects. It's also much less than a 95% chance, and has no chance of doing anything worse than Slowed (though it does deal damage, I suppose). It's a decent debuff but still definitively inferior to the spell I was using as an example.


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Yeah it takes a crit roll and a save but it can be done forever. As opposed to 1/day/slot using a 6th lv uncommon spell only available to 2 lists and doesnt work vs targets lv 12 or higher, unless you heighten it, which means you cant use the better 7th+ lv spell(s).

If martials didnt need a save there would be even less reason to play a caster. I mean a martial gets those at ~lv 5 with almost no conditions besides the weapon type, while the caster waits for ~lv 12 with a ton of conditions.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Strill wrote:
Things that only apply on a crit aren't really comparable to something with a 95% chance of success.

Dominate has the Incapacitation trait, so it only has a 95% chance of success if the target is your level or lower, and you prepared Dominate in your highest-level slot. Otherwise, it's around a 45% chance of success.


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Martials are better against higher level creatures.
Casters are better against lower level creatures.

Not a bad way to split things.

Liberty's Edge

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Temperans wrote:
Yeah it takes a crit roll and a save but it can be done forever.

Sure. But a tiny chance of something happening isn't nearly as valuable as being able to decide when it happens. That's the reason the PF1 Magus was as powerful as it was, they got to decide when their burst damage went off rather than being at the mercy of the dice.

Temperans wrote:
As opposed to 1/day/slot using a 6th lv uncommon spell only available to 2 lists and doesnt work vs targets lv 12 or higher, unless you heighten it, which means you cant use the better 7th+ lv spell(s).

If there are better spells they're better. I'm not sure how saying 'There are better things than the good thing you've listed' is supposed to argue casters are bad...

Temperans wrote:
If martials didnt need a save there would be even less reason to play a caster. I mean a martial gets those at ~lv 5 with almost no conditions besides the weapon type, while the caster waits for ~lv 12 with a ton of conditions.

Getting a 5-15% chance of something is just not really comparable to getting an almost 100% chance of the same thing. Yes, Dominate has limits on its use, but its not the only good spell around, it was a single example. You take several different spells with different uses and limits and you can probably manage to have good options for most circumstances.

Strill wrote:
Dominate has the Incapacitation trait, so it only has a 95% chance of success if the target is your level or lower, and you prepared Dominate in your highest-level slot. Otherwise, it's around a 45% chance of success.

Absolutely true. But, again, you can either put it in your highest slot or take something better.


You could also just Use slow for the example, which doesn't have Incapacitation and is only 3rd level. And it still does much worse things on a failure than martials can inflict.

Really, slow is a helluva boss bane. Trading your 2 actions and 3rd level spell slots to make them lose even one action per round is well worth it when you start talking about something above your level which can utilize all 3 of its actions effectively.


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I think every caster except the wizard is balanced pretty well. Wizard is weak. Nearly every other class is very solid. Originally I thought the Champion was a little weak, but I was very wrong. In play the Champion is very powerful. The only class I've found to be lacking in quality options and interesting play as well as slightly inferior powers is the wizard. The only thing they have going for them is spell versatility. Which doesn't do a whole lot given they have the same number of slots and use the same spells as most of the other classes. You can't change out spells mid-combat, so you don't stand out as a wizard.

My bard and my other players alchemist and cleric do very well. They provide interesting and useful play options that have really stood out as useful in the game. Only the wizard has seemed incredibly underwhelming for a variety of reasons. I hope they do something to boost the wizard at bit to make them on par with the other classes. It's the only class that feels like the rogue or fighter in PF1. There is no reason to play one save for personal preference.


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Gorbacz wrote:

It's the edition where people post non-joke "are Wizards too weak?" threads and nobody has made a "Rogues are a failure of existence, prove me wrong, you can't" thread so farz so I guess we're good.

God I love that bag^


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

I think every caster except the wizard is balanced pretty well. Wizard is weak. Nearly every other class is very solid. Originally I thought the Champion was a little weak, but I was very wrong. In play the Champion is very powerful. The only class I've found to be lacking in quality options and interesting play as well as slightly inferior powers is the wizard. The only thing they have going for them is spell versatility. Which doesn't do a whole lot given they have the same number of slots and use the same spells as most of the other classes. You can't change out spells mid-combat, so you don't stand out as a wizard.

My bard and my other players alchemist and cleric do very well. They provide interesting and useful play options that have really stood out as useful in the game. Only the wizard has seemed incredibly underwhelming for a variety of reasons. I hope they do something to boost the wizard at bit to make them on par with the other classes. It's the only class that feels like the rogue or fighter in PF1. There is no reason to play one save for personal preference.

Wizards with spell blending and the right feats can have something like double the number of max and near max spell slots that other casters get. They also have the list that can easily target all three saves. Wizards look boring when theorycrafting, I suspect actual play may be very different.


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Garretmander wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

I think every caster except the wizard is balanced pretty well. Wizard is weak. Nearly every other class is very solid. Originally I thought the Champion was a little weak, but I was very wrong. In play the Champion is very powerful. The only class I've found to be lacking in quality options and interesting play as well as slightly inferior powers is the wizard. The only thing they have going for them is spell versatility. Which doesn't do a whole lot given they have the same number of slots and use the same spells as most of the other classes. You can't change out spells mid-combat, so you don't stand out as a wizard.

My bard and my other players alchemist and cleric do very well. They provide interesting and useful play options that have really stood out as useful in the game. Only the wizard has seemed incredibly underwhelming for a variety of reasons. I hope they do something to boost the wizard at bit to make them on par with the other classes. It's the only class that feels like the rogue or fighter in PF1. There is no reason to play one save for personal preference.

Wizards with spell blending and the right feats can have something like double the number of max and near max spell slots that other casters get. They also have the list that can easily target all three saves. Wizards look boring when theorycrafting, I suspect actual play may be very different.

They're boring to play. I did not develop my opinion theorycrafting. I developed it playing a wizard.

The extra spell slots don't do much if the spells themselves are limited and not very powerful. The only spells that stand out on the wizard are AoE spells. Those AoE spells don't do much damage if the enemy isn't set up for them and you're able to cast them while the party is engaged. Most of the time it's far better to let the party hammer them rather than do your pittance damage and then follow up with cantrips.

Play one more if you want to see the interactions. I'm not saying you won't occasionally do something useful, but your useful options and damage won't stand out more than other classes. Your extra spell slots won't stand out when the special ability options of the other classes.

For example, you might fire off an extra fireball or spell a day, while the druid's animal companion will in the aggregate do more damage than your extra fireball spell throughout an adventuring day as well as provide flanking for another party member while allowing the champion to use his defensive ability if the enemy tries to take out the pet. The druid will spend one action to allow his pet to gain two actions and still launch a cantrip, while you can't do the same with the wizard without a very weakly scaled summon spell. Summons spells limit some of the most effective abilities of the summoned creature by limiting their ability to cast their spell-like abilities by the level of the spell. Even a bard can use a Inspire Courage cantrip while casting an attack cantrip or spell. He boosts the entire party and casts a spell, while your wizard does what? Casts a shield spell on himself while using a cantrip?

The action economy and effectiveness of abilities makes bards, druids, and clerics far more useful than wizards. If they had made wizard focus spells single action spells, that would have been slightly better. But they didn't. Now the wizard is a good bit weaker in a party environment than other classes.

Go ahead and experiment in real play if you like. I did. I played the wizard and the bard and watched the alchemist and cleric play. They have far more flexible and useful action economy than the wizard. Wizard needs some tweaks to make them on par and a particular role.

I personally think the wizard's role should be number one magic damage dealer, but that's just me. Maybe give them a boost like cantrip specialization for damage or maybe slightly improved metamagic. They just don't have much that offers great options during actual play even though theorycrafting all their extra spell slots look good.

The wizard was nerfed as an individual class and ended suffering additional power loss by all the spell nerfs that limit the power of spells. When your best ability is being able to use lots of spells, but the spells are weaker than the innate abilities of other classes there is a problem.

All that being said the fact they made the other eight classes extremely balanced and interesting to play is pretty amazing. I've seen the ranger, cleric, wizard, bard, alchemist, and rogue played, every one of them seemed balance against each other and fun to play except the wizard. Slightly missing on one class during the design process is pretty damn good in my opinion. I think they could fix the wizard by making some of the focus spells a single action and putting in some useful single action cantrips. They need to be able to do something that is really interesting, unique, and effective at least every once in a while.


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I always thought sorcerer should be the damage dealing caster and wizard should be the Swiss army knife.


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Garretmander wrote:
Wizards look boring when theorycrafting, I suspect actual play may be very different.

I feel like you have that exactly backwards.

The theorycrafting hypes up the wizard. More high level spell slots. Always targeting someone's weakest save. The biggest spell list... but these all ignore the limitations on the wizard's own casting mechanics.

Just like in PF1, Wizard theorcrafting always seems to fixate on a hypothetical wizard who always seems to have just the right option ready and can add spells to their spellbook at will. Just like in PF1, the gulf between Schrodinger's wizard and the actual playable wizard is huge because whether or not you have the right spells prepared or whether or not you learn anything at all beyond the spells you get for leveling up is entirely campaign dependent and not at all reliable.

Unlike PF1, the spells are weaker, the math is tighter, the feats are less overbearing, the Wizard no longer has a spell level advantage over spontaneous casters and the gulf between the wizard list and other lists has shrunk considerably.

These are, of course, all changes that have a lot of good to them, because PF1 wizards were a mess, but the point is even in that game the gulf between theory and real play was huge and you're much less able to simply brute force your way past problems in this edition or bypass the decision making process, which in many ways exacerbates that gap.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I always thought sorcerer should be the damage dealing caster and wizard should be the Swiss army knife.

I feel like this should be related to your own choices within the class. It doesn't really make sense for a fey sorcerer to be a preeminent damage dealer and it doesn't really make sense for an evocation specialist wizard to be a bad one.


Yeah true but like overall.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Gaterie wrote:

Martials are better at dealing damages and debuffing enemies. Why would I play a caster if my goal is to deal damages or debuff enemies?

So no, I don't limit arguments to utility spells. But before we talk about damages or debuffs, you'll have to convince me a caster may deal more damages or better debuff than a fighters.

Can Fighters inflict the Slowed condition or worse things with what's usually a 95% chance of success? Because Dominate can, and the Slowed condition is utterly brutal, even ignoring the chance of mind controlling the foe into attacking their own allies.

Dominate is uncommon. ie you can't get it in an AP, except if the author included it.

Dominate has the "incapacitate" tag. ie only the useless mooks have 95% chance of being at least slowed.

Dominate is level 6, ie it's not possible to have it during most of the game. Let's be serious: if a class becomes useful at level 11 and is useless before, then no one will play it at level 1-10. People will play a fighter at 1-10, and reroll for a wizard at level 11. Non-masochist players can accept 2 or 3 levels of uselessness, not 10.

Dominate costs 2 action. Ie the wizard loses two action to remove 1 action from the opponent. It's useful because the wizard's action are worthless - it's a good deal to remove 2 actions of the wizard in exchange of the last attack of a monster. In the other hand, for a fighter, trip exchange actions on a 1-vs-1 basis - because the fighter's actions are worth more.

Look, i'm done, I did't see the usefulness of full-casters and I still don't see it now; if no one can explain it until now, I don't think anyone will be able in the next posts. I won't answer other people to explain why no-one memorize hideous laughter and why most of the spells indicated in this thread are useless. I concede, it's maybe a good idea to reroll your fighter at level 15 and play a wizard instead - I'll think about it in the next time we'll reach level 15, lol.


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Squiggit wrote:
Garretmander wrote:
Wizards look boring when theorycrafting, I suspect actual play may be very different.

I feel like you have that exactly backwards.

The theorycrafting hypes up the wizard. More high level spell slots. Always targeting someone's weakest save. The biggest spell list... but these all ignore the limitations on the wizard's own casting mechanics.

Just like in PF1, Wizard theorcrafting always seems to fixate on a hypothetical wizard who always seems to have just the right option ready and can add spells to their spellbook at will. Just like in PF1, the gulf between Schrodinger's wizard and the actual playable wizard is huge because whether or not you have the right spells prepared or whether or not you learn anything at all beyond the spells you get for leveling up is entirely campaign dependent and not at all reliable.

[...]

I agree with this, and i'll add:

In PF1, DC could be high enough, even when targeting a high save their was a good probability to land the spell.

In PF1 there were powerful low level spells (color spry, glitterdust...).

In PF1, skills did nothing and you needed magic to do anything unrealistic.

In PF1, there wasn't a rarity gate in front of utility spells.

In PF1, action economy favoured casters (no full-attack during surprise round, ability to cast a spell and move, etc)

in PF1, maybe the casters were OP (... Or not: I think 2/3 casters were the right balance point. i guess this is the reason those classes were removed ?).

Since the casters are always better in theorycrafting than actual play (due to preparation mechanic), they were invincible in theorycrafting and strong in actual play. In PF2, since every single way they were better than martial has been removed, they are weaker in every field - making them useless. They are "meh OK" in theorycrafting and far weaker in actual play - to the point people think exchanging actions on a 2-for-1 basis is awesome for casters.

Liberty's Edge

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I grabbed Dominate as an example purely because it was literally the first spell I thought of with a debuff effect even on a success. Not because it's uniquely good or anything. Lots of spells are good.

As someone noted previously, Slow is probably a better example.

That's a 95% chance of Slowed without the Incapacitate tag as a level 3 spell, and common. If you fail the Save, it's Slowed for a full minute. That's so much better than Fighter debuffs it's not even funny. As a 6th level spell, it can effect up to 10 targets. That's just silly good.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
That's a 95% chance of Slowed without the Incapacitate tag at level 3, and Common. If you fail the Save, it's Slowed for a full minute. That's so much better than Fighter debuffs it's not even funny. As a 6th level spell, it can effect up to 10 targets. That's just silly good.

That's wrong and you know it. That's pure theorycrafting.

You would be right if fights were usually 10-rounds-long - but it's not the case and you know it.

In a non-infinite-duration fight, assuming the creature fails the save, after one round it's worse than useless (you lose 2 actions, the creature loses 1), after two round it's useless (you and the creature lose 2 actions), it become slightly useful at round 3 (depending on how much you value "pay 2 actions right now - and a slot etc - so that the enemy will pay more action in the course of 3 rounds).

Now, you have to factor the chance the creature succeed its save.

And, more importantly, factor the fact the third action is the least useful action in a round (due to MAP, non-repeatable action, two-actions activities like spell, etc : most creature do the same damages with 2 or 3 actions). Maybe slow is useful if it's coupled with a tripping fighter - costing two action every round to the enemy - , and maybe it is the key to achieve a three-action lock. But all by itself, slow is worthless.

And once again, concerning level 6 spell, I'll think about a reroll when I'll play a campaign reaching level 15, lol.

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