Woefully disappointed


Rules Discussion

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I've been a longtime PF1 player and our group recently made the shift to PF2. Sadly, it seems like the system is terribly unbalanced, and I'll start by saying that of particular note to me seems to be how the magic system and related casters appear to be tantamount to uselessness.

The issues I see are numerous, but I'll talk about a specific gripe as I think it is going to be the one that causes me to give up on paizo and maybe role playing all together, after more than a decade with my current group.

The issue I am confronted with comes with the many forms of disparity that is now created between casters and melee classes. I have always held adoration for Wizards, but the combination of the overall nerf to the magic system and added strength to all melee, to me seems to make them nearly useless, other than of course to be the group crafter (fun).

For a total of like 100gp (estimate here I know, but it's in the ball park) a melee character is gaining access to a rune that increases their chances to hit while also doubling their damage dice rolled. Additionally this bouns applies at all times and is never at risk of running out. There is literally not one item in the crb that contributes to gaining either a bonus to hit with spells, damage with spells, or affecting dcs of spells until very late in the game when you can pick up an spec item.

I'm having a hard time even seeing what is even nearly as useful as that for a caster until items are reaching th 15k GP mark.

Additionally, for spells to be effective they typically require a save or an attack roll. The former do usually have some brief and minor effect on a save, a brief and slightly more useful effect on a fail, and usually only do anything truly worthwhile on a critical failure. Which, against an equal level creature is at best a 15% chance. The later does some minimal damage on a hit, but nothing coming anything close to fighter swinging a long sword 3x and dealing 2 dice of damage every time he hits.

The added kicker here is that really as a caster you're relegated to using your actions casting only very rarely useful high risk low reward spells offensively, and doing so with typically at least 2 actions while melee clearly demonstrate that this game is not made with a need to consider playing a caster at all.

Any thoughts yall could offer to help me gain some perspective here would be great as I truly do want to like the game again.

At this point though, I am unable to see how this system is a colossal failure by the development team.


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Unfortunately for you, your opinion is in the minority. Lots of people have played with PF2 and enjoyed it, myself included.

There are a few awkwardness where I would like to see changes (staggered proficiency progression between classes, the missing caster attack/DC increase item, lack of DC increasing options in general), but the game itself is something I can see myself and my group playing for a long time to come.

Math-wise, martial DPR is very consistent, whereas caster damage is far more bursty and situational. That doesn't mean a caster can't change the course of a fight with 1 well placed spell. A well-placed Phantasmal Killer, Tempest Surge or Dominate can and will create a massive advantage vs. a single foe (and those are usually the hardest fights) for a short time, giving the rest of the party a chance to seize victory while their defenses are down (from Frightened or Clumsy or Stunned).

I would not call spells high risk low reward. Is the risk of failure higher than in PF1, especially vs. enemies of higher level? Yes. Does this make spells useless when compared with martial characters? Hell no.

If you're unable to see the merits of the system even after playing with it for a time, then I doubt anything said here will convince you otherwise. I wish you luck in finding a system more suited to yours and your group's needs. There's also always PF1 to switch back to if you're unhappy with the way things are going. Many people chose that option when 4e came out, and PF1 even arose from that same situation.

In this day and age where options are aplenty for tabletop RPGs, I see no reason why you need to force yourself to like one system. If PF2 is not for you, there are always other fish in the ocean. I can only speak for myself when I say that my friends and I found the system to meet our needs and more, and that we really enjoyed playing with it. Whether this anecdote factors into your decision re: PF2 and Paizo going forward is up to you to decide.

Cheers, and happy gaming!


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The system is far from being so unbalanced as the OP says. Is a very good system, with a solid math fundation. However, the OP is not alone on thinking that casters where overnerfed. Quite a good number of people thinks similar, just on a lesser scale. I hope that on the GMG could be some options to return some power to casters. I don't think they are unplayable (that seems an exageration on my experience) but while they can contribute to a team, they feel lackluster to me right now.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This is the first time I've seen the complaint that the game is unbalanced. Most complaints stem from the fact that it's too balanced.

If you are used to dominating every aspect of the game as a caster, then yes pf2 is going to be quite the shock. Every one in the party has opportunity to participate now.

Dark Archive

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There have been a ton of posts on the disparity between martials and casters already. It all boils down to the fact that casters are no longer the end-all be-all members of a party. They no longer always shut down combat completely or control the narrative. Yes, martials have great sustainable dpr, but they don’t have access to the same availability of versatile tools that casters have to cover as many different roles. That is not to say that martials can’t fulfill multiple roles in combat; it’s just easier for casters. Casters are just as necessary to the party, and if they aren’t useful, then someone is doing something wrong, whether that is a player or the GM. Also, if you haven’t been buying scrolls, wands, or staves with your money, then you haven’t been using your full potential as any caster despite not being necessary. Casters need to be played tactically like every other character in this game; they’re not gods with an entourage, at least not anymore.


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Pramxnim wrote:
Unfortunately for you, your opinion is in the minority.

More precisely, his opinion is in the minority among the people who are still playing PF2.

Pramxnim wrote:
A well-placed Phantasmal Killer, Tempest Surge or Dominate can and will create a massive advantage vs. a single foe (and those are usually the hardest fights) for a short time, giving the rest of the party a chance to seize victory while their defenses are down (from Frightened or Clumsy or Stunned).

lol.

"We try to play, but at level 5 our casters are still useless, i think we'll play something else.
- Look at this level 6 uncommon spell : it's very useful."

You really intended to convince someone ?


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Nice strawman, people.

Most of us complaining about casters (and especially Wizards), do not mind they've been nerfed, but the fact they have been overnerfed.

Pathfinder 2 is a wonderful game, but pure casters such as Cloistered Cleric and Wizard have been overnerfed. Spells have been so nerfed that any class that relies on spells alone (such as Wizard, compared to other mixed classes such as Bard or Druid) simply isn't fun to play. You have limited resource which has a comparatively small chance of doing something, and most times simply does a minor effect, or a relatively useful effect for super-short duration. Not to mention most of their features don't really interact well with the new flagship feature of the game, the three action system.


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The thing that casters are not fun to play is an opinion, not a fact.

Another thing people still don't properly understand, is that it is not on the single class, but in is a party facing an adventure.

On a standard party ( let's say cleric, wizard, fighter and Rogue ), the party has to consider many things before proceeding.

A fighter and a rogue could continue to hit forever, but if the rest of your party is out of spells ( or if you simply think casters used too many spells and would be wiser to rest ) there in no point in facing encounters with a discharged party.

The more the party proceed, the more the spells available per day ( eventually there will be consumables, daily items like wands, scrolls, items which give extra slots, and so on ), and so on.

You also won't be needing to buff your top dps to achieve even more damage. Instead you could consider to deal dmg on your own, even if buffing a melee would be more efficient.

On the other hand, encounters are not meant for full buffed melee characters, so you will be fine whatever thing you chose, if your strategy is ok.

The complain about casters are nonsense ( just cause they are different from what somebody could have been used )

If you really want to be a more efficient blaster, you could go for Draconic sorcerer and get 3 focus point for 3 dragon breath per rest.


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I just woke up and it's a bit too early in the morning to properly discuss the topic, but there is one part of your post that I feel the need to call out.

Woggins wrote:
The issues I see are numerous, but I'll talk about a specific gripe as I think it is going to be the one that causes me to give up on paizo and maybe role playing all together, after more than a decade with my current group.

This is perhaps the most overreactive and hyperbolic statement I have ever seen in an RPG discussion. Even if no one here can convince you to like PF2, 1st edition still exists. Other systems still exist. There's 5 editions of D&D, GURPS, the various White Wolf systems, etc. I just cannot wrap my head around this paragraph.


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Yeah, that's... kind of ridiculous, with all due respect.
Not every system is for everyone, and that's fine.
That's why there's so dang many of the things in the first place : if there was a magic universal recipe, it's been long enough since Chainmail that someone would have figured it out and we'd all be playing that, not the various hundreds (thousands?) of systems out there.

Bottom line is : No system is perfect.
Just chose the issues you're okay with and move away from the systems you don't want to deal with.

If you loved 1e and don't want to move to PF2, you don't have to. It's not like Paizo's gonna send goons to kneecap you and burn your old books, and there's enough material there to keep you entertained for a while.
If you want a system where magic is even more powerful than it ever was in PF1 and with zero concern for balance, those exist.
If you just want magic to have more of an edge than it does PF2, but with a cost to keep it in line, I'm sure that can be found. Fairly easily.
And if you want the look and feel of PF1, I recommend PF1.


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Currently playing a Warpriest I am not complaining so much about the power of spells but about the action economy. Due to 99% of all spells requiring 2 actions (some even 3) I feel hopelessly action starved in comparison to the melees. Want to do a AE heal? Neither can move nor raise shield nor attack. Do a normal spell? Chose to either move or raise shield or attack. Sustaining spells? Lol, you kidding? All the while our fighter is zooming around, using skills, multi-attacking or blocking as he sees fit. Caster gameplay is just so static.

The Exchange

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One of the main gripes with PF1 was the "Linear fighter/quadratic wizard" problem. After 7th level most of the time, the spellcasters would so far outshine the martials that playing a martial was tantamount to playing a henchman/henchwoman (Thus the abundance of capped spellcasters such as L6 games)

There is a game "Ars Magica" which makes the Wizard the star of the show and all other "classes" are supporting characters. PF2 was trying to move away from that.

You are correct that spellcasters have been nerfed but since they were FAR superior to martials in PF1, that is not a bad thing.


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I would like to know, what should be the chance of success for a spell that completely takes out an enemy of equal level, for it to be 'fun'?


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I think the biggest thing that could help casters is better skill feats for the knowledge skills.

Most of the other skills in the game have at least one or two skill feats that add a lift in a combat situation (even if just assurance for things like Feint).

If casters got something akin to battle medicine but for recalling knowledge as a free action once per target per day, that’d help reinforce their role while also giving them a leg up on what spell to choose.

I think the spells are fine though I’m still toying with the idea of incapacitation only downgrading the worst tier instead of every tier of success (like Phantasmal Killer). Overall though I think they’re in an okay spot. Need more play under the belt, but cantrips are really good.


I put in 5e style casting in my home game and it works well to give casters added flexibility. The change both reduces book keeping and makes casters more enjoyable to play. I made some other changes too that my players asked for but those can be ignored if you want stuff closer to stock.

The main items:
- Prepared casters can have up to base spell ability mod + level spells prepped.
- Spontaneous casters know base spell ability mod + level spells (sorcerer bloodline spells do not count against this)
- All casters can spontaneously heighten all thier spells by using higher level slots.

Lots of changes were needed to the wizard to balance out schools, fix feats, remove arcane bond, etc. The other classes needed far fewer changes.

Homebrew linked here.

Theres a customizable spell tracker for use with the homebrew in the linked thread as well.

Martials do not feel crappy with this change by comparison. But casters do feel more enjoyable and dynamic.


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I think the OP's gloom and doom is overly dramatic. However, I do agree that casters have been nerfed a bit too hard in 2e.

I used to enjoy playing divine casters in 1e, but the divine spell list sucks so bad in 2e, I won't play one anymore. That said, martial characters are so much more fun in 2e than they used to be. I love playing my Animal Barbarian.

I think the biggest issue is how crappy cantrips are: 1d4 damage, really? I think d6 or even d8 would've made casters much more relevant in combat.


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Cantrips are fine, imo. They measure up well (ie, worse but still useful) when compared to martial ranged options.


Data Lore wrote:
Cantrips are fine, imo. They measure up well (ie, worse but still useful) when compared to martial ranged options.

I can see that. I still think melee range cantrips like Chill Touch need to be buffed up though.


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Naw, because then the caster can cheat and just use reach spell on it.


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Data Lore wrote:
Naw, because then the caster can cheat and just use reach spell on it.

Which results in even worse action economy, 3 action casting instead of 2. That's a fair trade imo, not a cheat.


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ITT people automatically disregarding other's opinion. The post may be melodramatic histrionics, but it's no reason to insult or dismiss the OP like has happened with many "casters overnerfed" discussions.

Will see the classic things like "You only want to be OP", "that's just your opinion", "They deserve to suck after PF1", "go play something else", "they're actually the most fun and best classes, just fight only level -2 enemies", "you're just a grognard", "you don't understand the intricate math of PF2" and other points that make it difficult to have a good faith discussion on this topic.

It doesn't even matter if they're actually good or bad when playing levels 1-20, their mechanics may function but I also think casters are very "feel bad" because their gameplay amounts to gambling for fighting situations and hoping the rogue doesn't overshadow your utility spells. Being a buffer/healer (thing that 100% work and hard to replicate) does work, but it's not what many people want out of their caster.


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HumbleGamer wrote:

The thing that casters are not fun to play is an opinion, not a fact.

Pretty much everything ever said about the relative success of both editions at being a fun fantasy game is opinion and not a fact. This statement is meaningless, even as a condescending reminder: everyone already knows. RPGs aren't exact science.

As far as the party issue, most people (if not all) are already arguing in that context. Casters were overnerfed even relative to the party. It goes on and on. No one is arguing they should be able to solo the game. Don't worry, I already know that's just my opinion.

As for me, I don't like blasters and trying to compete with martials for DPR. Ironically, I feel blasting and buffing are the only things casters do well in this edition. Enchantment is still okayish but I miss the really incredible things you could pull off with it. Felt like it does when you crit with a scythe or greataxe. That kind of feeling. It just isn't the same now.

I still like PF2, though, it's a great game. I just *mostly* play non-casters in it.


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ChibiNyan wrote:
Being a buffer/healer (thing that 100% work and hard to replicate) does work, but it's not what many people want out of their caster.

Well, apart from pure HP even "healing" does not work 100% anymore. All "cure/remove" spells that did work automatically in the past are now subject to a counteract check and I know already how much it will svck to lose the one neutralize poison you happen to have memorized to a bad roll.


HeHateMe wrote:
Data Lore wrote:
Naw, because then the caster can cheat and just use reach spell on it.
Which results in even worse action economy, 3 action casting instead of 2. That's a fair trade imo, not a cheat.

Eh, I dunno, that wouldn't work at my table. If a martial cant easily exceed that at will from 30 foot range (the effective engagement distance of most dungeon crawls), then thats a problem for me. But if it works at your table, cool.

I will be releasing some cards soon with some InDesign templates. If you want to pump up melee cantrips, its trivially easy to make some 4x6 spell cards, give them to your players, and have at it.

As a GM though, I think cantrips are mostly fine. If anything, I nerfed Electric Arc since it stepped far too hard on ranged martial toes.


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First, I do truly appreciate those of you who took the time to respond to my lengthy post. I don't agree with all that was said of course, but I do acknowledge your opinions and the effort that you put into responding. Thank you.

A couple of comments in response to what has been put out there:

Re: statements akin to Wizards were busted in PF1/linear fighters-quadratic wizards. Yes, this was certainly true in a lot of respects, though i would think there has to be a balance somewhere between god status and supporting character (which is where I think that wizards currently are).

Re: a well placed spell can turn the tide of the battle and allow your party to capitalize. I agree with this statement, though I think that there are a whole lot more pieces to it that were not mentioned. The poster proposing this statement used spells like phantasmal killer or dominate.It is relegating the wizard to a position of saying, by definition, you are only situationally useful, please be hang tight until that one moment comes up. And then, hope that they fail the save. Which again, considering an =pl encounter, seems to be a little worse than 50/50 for a fail and 5-10% for a critical fail. (wizard dc at lvl 4 = 20). Its not useful to talk about the likelihood of those types of spells on lower level encounters because you don't usually need to do any de buffing or control actions on lower level creatures.

One of the pieces of my comment that has not been responded to yet that I was hoping to get some feedback on was regarding the way that the martial classes have relatively quick and inexpensive access to a dramatic increase to their damage through potency runes, while really the casting classes have nothing that increases either their damage, or their dcs. Anyone have any thoughts on this?


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Their damage increase level after level.

Also, and because of the 3 saving throws + spell attack, and how success and critical success work, a spellcaster won't be needing to upgrade anithing.

The enemy could have low

Fortitude
Reflex
Will

Or

AC

And depends the enemy, you decide what spell to use.


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Woggins wrote:


One of the pieces of my comment that has not been responded to yet that I was hoping to get some feedback on was regarding the way that the martial classes have relatively quick and inexpensive access to a dramatic increase to their damage through potency runes, while really the casting classes have nothing that increases either their damage, or their dcs. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

As far as damage goes, it is hard to see, but it is built into spell progression. You gain access to better spells in PF2. Yes, you have the added versatility of heightening lower ones, but they fall behind what higher level spells can do damage wise. Your best spells will be better than what a martial can do with two actions. Your lower level spells will only be so in very specific situations.

As far as DCs go, it is intentionally built in. Making your DC too dependent on things like items and spells to boost attributes made it too easy to have players who were too good at playing casters and able to dominate everything, but leave more casual players way behind, thinking they would be fine casting offensive spells with a casting stat of 14 and no feat or item investment. PF2 moved all variability in casting DC to attribute. If you want to mess around with boosting attack spells, you find ways to debuff your enemies. In play, it has been pretty fun at our game. The sorcerer managed to basically win us 2 boss encounters with careful tactics applied before hitting level +2 enemies with calm emotions, and allowed us fight them separate from their very powerful minions.

Grand Lodge

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In my games the melee characters are outshining the casters -- in combat -- due to both the action economy and the horribly flawed critical system.

The action economy has been somewhat addressed above: melee characters have far more options than casters who spend 2/3 or all of their actions each turn using their primary ability, spellcasting. In my experience the melee characters are able to additionally stretch the action economy to its limits by playing dual wielding PCs that limit the impact of the MAP:

* A fighter dual wielding shield boss w/ agile secondary weapon crits of most attacks against level, level-1. Consider: an extra +2 from expert training and he is making two attacks for two actions (Double Slice) at maximum MAP.
* Ranger w/ animal companion dual wielding can get +2 from their opponent being flat-footed, spend one action for two attacks at MAP max, max-2.

...and so on. Basically there's a lot of ways to gain bonuses that almost guarantee crits, and thus double damage, for the melee characters at least once per turn.

I've also found that the critical system slows down play because instead of the GM rolling an attack and checking hit vs. a single number, they now have to determine the range of success, a secondary math calculation. Even a minor calculation, it seems to slow down encounters significantly.

Grand Lodge Premier Event Coordinator

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Like all things, YMMV. I find 2E combat goes much quicker. The action economy system seems to encourage definitive actions. Course that could be due to the more limited available options at this point, but even 1st level PFS1 combat seems to take longer.

In most cases, the mental math to calculate the crit threshold does not seem to slow things down. Most people can do +10 so quickly it’s not a consideration. As a GM I find I don’t even think about crits. I just announce what AC I hit and my players do the math, telling me when it’s a crit. And since I don’t have to know what the critical multiplier is nor do I have to roll extra dice (deadly not withstanding) I find resolving crits to be quicker. Though I admit to only playing low level so far and the addition of higher level abilities and the addition of weapon specialization might affect things.


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Data Lore wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
Data Lore wrote:
Naw, because then the caster can cheat and just use reach spell on it.
Which results in even worse action economy, 3 action casting instead of 2. That's a fair trade imo, not a cheat.

Eh, I dunno, that wouldn't work at my table. If a martial cant easily exceed that at will from 30 foot range (the effective engagement distance of most dungeon crawls), then thats a problem for me. But if it works at your table, cool.

I will be releasing some cards soon with some InDesign templates. If you want to pump up melee cantrips, its trivially easy to make some 4x6 spell cards, give them to your players, and have at it.

As a GM though, I think cantrips are mostly fine. If anything, I nerfed Electric Arc since it stepped far too hard on ranged martial toes.

Oof that's harsh. 2e casters already border on useless, and Electric Arc was the only cantrip actually worth spending 2 actions to cast. The rest are a waste of actions.

Grand Lodge Premier Event Coordinator

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I disagree but YMMV


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Ubertron_X wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Being a buffer/healer (thing that 100% work and hard to replicate) does work, but it's not what many people want out of their caster.
Well, apart from pure HP even "healing" does not work 100% anymore. All "cure/remove" spells that did work automatically in the past are now subject to a counteract check and I know already how much it will svck to lose the one neutralize poison you happen to have memorized to a bad roll.

Just to clarify, most of those cure/removes you are referring to, were not a sure thing in PF1. True, they were automatic success in D&D 3.5 and earlier, but they have not been a sure thing for 10 years.


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Quote:
2e casters already border on useless

Not with my table's rules. But, hey, different strokes for different folks.

Like it says in the CRB, the official rules are there but every table has the power to mold those rules to fit its style and sensibilities.

Thanks to the modularity of the rules, its trivial to get them where you want them.


Data Lore wrote:
Quote:
2e casters already border on useless

Not with my table's rules. But, hey, different strokes for different folks.

Like it says in the CRB, the official rules are there but every table has the power to mold those rules to fit its style and sensibilities.

Thanks to the modularity of the rules, its trivial to get them where you want them.

Are you the guy that has the house rule where all spells are heightened to max level? If not, then what is different in your table?

The Exchange

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It is undeniable that the martials get runes to buff their hit and damage and that spellcasters have no comparable runes for a spell casting. It is also undeniable that spells often mimic runes as they heighten

The Wizard is more than a blasting rod. If you take a wizard and compare the raw blasting damage output - yes, it is less than the martial. BUT you are taking a class (the wizard) who shines in MANY other areas and trying to make it comparable to the main niche of another class (the fighter). Every class is supposed to have its niche where it shines. A Mage shines with multiple enemies, long range combat, area denial. The cleric is the tank from hell (so to speak) specializing in anti-undead (disrupting weapon, divine lance, shield other) or protection.

The question of whether the wizard was over nerfed is valid but there is also no denying that martials are now worth playing after level 7. What is the middle ground? Until the new system has been played through multiple types of scenarios, it is hard to tell if a class has been "over nerfed" or "appropriately nerfed." Saying that a scenario which is based almost primarily on damage racking means that wizards are too weak is not necessarily the best gauge


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Woggins wrote:

One of the pieces of my comment that has not been responded to yet that I was hoping to get some feedback on was regarding the way that the martial classes have relatively quick and inexpensive access to a dramatic increase to their damage through potency runes, while really the casting classes have nothing that increases either their damage, or their dcs. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

The get more powerful spells by leveling, getting higher level spells and spell slots and the ability to heighten spells into them.

Martial has to buy multiple runes, Potency and Striking, to add extra dice while casters get it automatically.


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Laran wrote:

One of the main gripes with PF1 was the "Linear fighter/quadratic wizard" problem. After 7th level most of the time, the spellcasters would so far outshine the martials that playing a martial was tantamount to playing a henchman/henchwoman (Thus the abundance of capped spellcasters such as L6 games)

There is a game "Ars Magica" which makes the Wizard the star of the show and all other "classes" are supporting characters. PF2 was trying to move away from that.

You are correct that spellcasters have been nerfed but since they were FAR superior to martials in PF1, that is not a bad thing.

From what I could gather, D&D wizards really started to become insane because of rulebook authors being overly biased and buffing them to the stars, while at the same time crippling the sorcerer as much as humanly possible. The D&D 3.5 system could legitimately be labeled unbalanced as a wizard could do virtually everything better than any other class except healing (and in PF1 even wizards had access to healing spells).

The main problem that arose was extensions bringing always more spells that prepared spellcasters could hoard to be even more unstoppable. PF1 tried to balance things out by skimming the spell lists but the magic system still had its fundamental problems, like save-or-suck spells that can cheese encounters and the prevalance of touch attacks that make most armor totally useless.

I'm glad now that magic no longer makes automatic top-tier classes. By the way, spellcasting was nerfed but at least casters no longer need to ditch their weapons to cast and can actually fight decently with them now that they don't get only half the scaling bonus on attack rolls that martial classes get. Using your weapons as a caster is not great, but not a waste of actions either.


ChibiNyan wrote:
Data Lore wrote:
Quote:
2e casters already border on useless

Not with my table's rules. But, hey, different strokes for different folks.

Like it says in the CRB, the official rules are there but every table has the power to mold those rules to fit its style and sensibilities.

Thanks to the modularity of the rules, its trivial to get them where you want them.

Are you the guy that has the house rule where all spells are heightened to max level? If not, then what is different in your table?

No, but I go 5e style where every caster can spontaneously heighten to use higher slots. Also, spells are not prepped individually either. So using a prepped spell uses a slot but doesnt "unprep" the spell.

Also, players can prep a number of spells by level. They are less restricted as to what they prep (so long as theyve learned it).

Its not about increased power but, instead, increased flexibility for casters and reducing book keeping.

Ill be putting up a new thread with all my table's resources laid out soon, for those interested.

I think this approach really improves casters without making them flat out more powerful.


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PF2 is a good idea but handed (for now) quite poorly. Casters are overly restricted, creature math are questionable , customization came by amputation, etc. And I've been quite appalled by a first wave of very very shy errata.
As of now, I play it cause friends are playing it, no more.


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The casters at my table haven’t seemed weak at all. A well-placed spell was the decisive factor in the big fight, in fact.

The two main factors helping casters that I have noted during play are:
1) Crit effects on spells are often some of the most crippling effects in the game. This means crit-fishing by going for weak saves can feel like going back to the 1E wizard glory days
2) So many things have effects on a successful save, so a caster is very unlikely to ever have a wasted turn


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Woggins wrote:

One of the pieces of my comment that has not been responded to yet that I was hoping to get some feedback on was regarding the way that the martial classes have relatively quick and inexpensive access to a dramatic increase to their damage through potency runes, while really the casting classes have nothing that increases either their damage, or their dcs. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

They don't need to, because that's baked into proficiency and higher spell levels. A level 7 caster has a DC of 25 or thereabouts. A level 7 fighter, an equal-level creature, has saves of something like +15/+14/+14, perhaps, and that's equipped properly and ballparking high. (16 Con, 14 Dex, 14 Wis on the fighter.) Using a level 3 fireball against a group of 4 of these fighters averages 16.2 damage to each of them, totalling 65.1 damage in that turn. And that's really not a optimal scenario for that wizard - that's a level 3 spell against an extreme encounter for the party. (Likely actual saves are +18/+15/+12 in some order, but we'll use this as an example for now.)

A properly equipped fighter with Double Slice (and master sword proficiency) might have +18 to hit vs AC 25, with 2d8+7 and 2d6+7 as damage. Assuming the fighter can get flanking off, they'll deal 33 damage in their turn. I should point out that's literally the best that fighter can do, and I think that comes up on the high end of martials.


And that’s assuming PvP. A vast majority of monsters have at least 1 weak save.


Henro wrote:
And that’s assuming PvP. A vast majority of monsters have at least 1 weak save.

This is the key.

Being able to choose between 3 saves or even a spell attack.


Ubertron_X wrote:
Currently playing a Warpriest I am not complaining so much about the power of spells but about the action economy. Due to 99% of all spells requiring 2 actions (some even 3) I feel hopelessly action starved in comparison to the melees. Want to do a AE heal? Neither can move nor raise shield nor attack. Do a normal spell? Chose to either move or raise shield or attack. Sustaining spells? Lol, you kidding? All the while our fighter is zooming around, using skills, multi-attacking or blocking as he sees fit. Caster gameplay is just so static.

This is true... I don't know maybe casters need more versatile spells actionwise. I mean my favorite spells right now in order are heal, magic missile, harm. Because i get options... They should probably make more of those so casters can choose the more 'bardic' route(The bards having 1 action cantrips often can do 3 actions a turn and not stick to the 2 action and raise shield).


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I don't have any actual experience playing a caster in 2e, my current character is a Barbarian, and he's been alot of fun. The Sorcerer in our group seems to be having less fun though, plinking away with trash cantrips like Daze. I kinda feel bad for him, but then again, we're low level. Maybe his character will get better at higher levels.

If we do another campaign, I think I'll play a caster just to get the experience and see how bad it really is. Looks bad so far though.


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HeHateMe wrote:

I don't have any actual experience playing a caster in 2e, my current character is a Barbarian, and he's been alot of fun. The Sorcerer in our group seems to be having less fun though, plinking away with trash cantrips like Daze. I kinda feel bad for him, but then again, we're low level. Maybe his character will get better at higher levels.

If we do another campaign, I think I'll play a caster just to get the experience and see how bad it really is. Looks bad so far though.

I haven’t had any sorcerers in my groups so far, though I imagine they would ideally rely more on focus spells than cantrips early game. Not all focus spells are created equal of course - perhaps your friend got one less suited for combat?

The druid in my group was pretty spell-starved early but didn’t seem to mind so much since he had an animal companion to order around. The big breakpoint was level 3 when his known spells almost doubled and he got level 2 spells. Levels 1-2 it seems very hard to solely rely on spells.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wait, you literally haven't played a caster yet, but you already concluded that it's going to be bad?

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