Caster Level rules disagreement. (FAQ?)


Rules Questions


8 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Starfinder Superscriber

I just found out that there is a direct disagreement in the rules on what the term 'Caster Level' is defined as.

On page 330 (or here ) Caster Level is defined as...

Quote:
Your caster level (or CL) represents your aptitude for casting the spells you know, and it is equal to the total number of levels you have in spellcasting classes.

(emphasis added)

Not 5 pages later on page 335 (or here ) Caster Level is defined as...

Quote:
A spell’s power often depends on caster level, which is defined as the caster’s class level for the purpose of casting a particular spell.

I have always played/run the CL for everything as being the total of spellcasting levels per page 330 and wasn't even aware of this discrepancy until this morning. I tried checking the FAQ (not there), and doing a search here in the rules forum (didn't find anything).

I'm not here to argue for either of them, but these two things directly contradict one another and have a pretty big impact for any multi-class spellcasters, so can we get an official answer added to the FAQ?


Interesting find.

I would suspect that there is a typo / omission on page 335.

I will be sticking to the wording on page 330 until a FAQ changes that.

To me a 10th level mystic or technomacher will cast a 0 or 1st level spell better/farther/wider....etc., than will a 1st level technomancer or mystic/9th level (insert any non casting class here) combo.

It just make sense to me to rule it that way.


Hawk Kriegsman wrote:

Interesting find.

I would suspect that there is a typo / omission on page 335.

I will be sticking to the wording on page 330 until a FAQ changes that.

To me a 10th level mystic or technomacher will cast a 0 or 1st level spell better/farther/wider....etc., than will a 1st level technomancer or mystic/9th level (insert any non casting class here) combo.

It just make sense to me to rule it that way.

The indicated wording on 335 would indicate that a level 5 Technomancer / Level 5 Mystic would cast all spells at caster level 5, since both casting classes are at level 5.

A mystic 1 / soldier 9 with this wording would cast at level 1, as it should be. But a Mystic 1 / Technomancer 2 / Soldier 9 would cast mystic spells at caster level 1 and Technomancer spells at caster level 2, instead of both at level 3 like when reading the rules on 330.

I do agree that page 330 makes a lot more sense, and am pretty sure it was an oversight. Or just not a lot of thought put into multiclassing, like in a lot of places in the CRB.


Ok upon rereading it, I realized that I misread it the first time.

It did not occur to me that a multiclass could be a Technomacher/Mystic build. My bad.

So upon further thought, I will actually use the wording on page 335 until a FAQ changes it.

My argument is the same. A 10th level technomancer can cast his technomancer spells better, longer, wider, farther etc.. than a 5th level technomancer / 5th level mystic can cast his technomancer spells.

Ditto for a 10th level mystic casting mystic spells better than the 5/5 technomancer / mystic combo.

It is the inherent drawback in multi-classing. Lots of abilities, but master of none.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

OTOH, multiclassing already sacrifices a lot. It probably wouldn't break the game is a given character has only one caster level, based on the sum of his caster classes.


I agree. It makes sense thematically too. A spellcaster should be able to ise knowledge from both classes to bolster them. An accountant would be better at physics based on his profession than a fry cook.

And the benifit of caster level in starfinder is minimal.


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Losing out on higher level spells is punishment enough for a multiclass character. Letting them have their full caster levels won't break the bank.

Sovereign Court

I'm not really convinced that caster level isn't equal to "your class level in that caster class".

The first quote from page 330 comes from the middle of a section, but earlier in that section it says:

p.330 wrote:
Once you’ve chosen a spell to cast, take note of its spell level, and then determine the caster level at which you cast it. A spell’s spell level (also referred to as simply “a spell’s level”) defines at what class level you can cast the spell.

This brings in 'class level' again. I still think whatever experience you have as a mystic has no bearing on how well you cast technomancer spells. Your class level as a technomancer determines how good you are at technomancy.


RAW lean to agree. I want it the other way ;)


I tend to favor caster level as being the class level of the class that you are casting the spell with. Not the sum of the levels of any and all classes that grant any spellcasting ability.

That ruling does make multiclass spellcasters less powerful though. I think the other ruling would be a reasonable house rule.


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P.27 Multiclassing:

Casting spells is an exception—when determining caster level, a character adds together his levels from different spellcasting classes (such as mystic and technomancer).

Sovereign Court

Locotomo wrote:

P.27 Multiclassing:

Casting spells is an exception—when determining caster level, a character adds together his levels from different spellcasting classes (such as mystic and technomancer).

Well wadda ya know. That's pretty explicit.

This one definitely goes on the list of fundamental changes between Pathfinder and Starfinder that happened without any fanfare.

Of course, caster level doesn't matter nearly as much in Starfinder - spells rarely scale by level. It mostly matters for Spell Resistance and range, particularly close range spells. And I'm okay with those being a sum, it helps multiclasses casters stay relevant.


Locotomo wrote:

P.27 Multiclassing:

Casting spells is an exception—when determining caster level, a character adds together his levels from different spellcasting classes (such as mystic and technomancer).

Well done!

Relatively easy to miss upon reading page 27.

No FAQ needed.

I wonder how many other things have been overlooked by the Starfinder community?

Time to read the core rulebook again.


Starfinder Superscriber

FAQ is where they pull errata for future updates to the book. So it still needs a FAQ, because if pages 330 and 27 are right, then 335 needs to be corrected before their next printing to match.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Page 335 is indeed an outlier, and I've made a note to correct it—thanks!

(See also the glossary on page 512 for confirmation of the correct definition of caster level.)


Hurrah! Glad this is resolved.


Starfinder Superscriber

Yay!

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