Daze Typo?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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I've been looking around the forums and finding a general feel of "Daze is underpowered and never worth it," and I was sitting there thinking "Well...yeah...But it's not a bad cantrip..." That is, until one of my friends pointed this out:

Daze wrote:
Heightened (+2) The damage increases by 1d6.

Emphasis: mine. I NEVER noticed that! So the way it is written is that a 3rd-level cleric does exactly the same amount of damage with daze as a 1st-level wizard does with telekinetic projectile. Yeah, there's stunned 1 on a crit fail and it's one of relatively few spells that deals mental damage (especially so early on), but at the highest levels, you're comparing a (assuming level 20 and +7 spellcasting modifier) 4d6+7 daze (average 21) with a 10d4+7 (average 32) divine lance, and while the latter is heavily alignment-dependent, the weakness-triggering to stuff like Fiends counterbalance that dependency. And that's only for the divine list's "blasting" cantrips, when you're comparing it to the wizard's (or weird human cantrip shenanigans) 10d6+7 telekinetic projectile, the average is literally twice that of daze at 42! I know 2e is a game of both debuffing AND DpR, but that just seems like a drastic difference that doesn't seem justified from being stunned 1 on a crit fail that will only come up against the mooks that are better left to a single swing of the fighter's sword, or the fringe cases where the BBEG happens to roll a nat 1. So...is this a typo?

I'm mostly asking for someone on the Dev team to clarify, even if it's something as simple as "We're discussing it for the next set of errata and I can't give a definitive answer," because most of the complaints I've heard from fellow players playing divine casters is that the divine list doesn't have any decent blasting spells, which I understand is not what the divine list is for, but still.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Wouldn't it max at 5d6? 1->3->5->7->9 = five total dice.

And honestly I wouldn't say daze is the worst cantrip - acid splash probably holds that title.


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While I agree Daze isn't great, one thing your math is leaving off is that Daze is a basic save, rather than an attack roll like TK projectile or Lance. It also has double the range of Lance.

Though Lance is also pretty bad so that's still not much of a defense.

MaxAstro wrote:
Wouldn't it max at 5d6? 1->3->5->7->9 = five total dice.

The spell does 0 dice at level 1. It basically has the same scaling as Acid Splash, except Splash does 1d6 at 1 and adds mod at 3 while Daze does mod at 1 and adds 1d6 at 3.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Daze is all about having the most powerful critical effect, on a cantrip that requires a will save (many monsters worst save). If it heightened at every spell level it would vastly overpower acid splash, telekinetic projectile, divine lance, and even produce flame. Only Electric arc would remain close to competitive.

A lot of people hate that cantrip spells are designed around casting for their critical effect, but stunned one IS that powerful, especially with a 60ft range and never having to worry about cover. The damage was always an "also" effect.


This highlights how balancing damage is easy but balancing effects is much more nebulous.

An at-will debuff is very unique, and this one happens to be a very potent effect to be always capable of trying - but that's a lot harder to quantify and agree upon the effect of than "it does X less damage than this other thing does." so to a lot of people it's just always going to look "weak."


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It's also the only nonlethal damage cantrip, so it has its niche.


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KingTreyIII wrote:
So the way it is written is that a 3rd-level cleric does exactly the same amount of damage with daze as a 1st-level wizard does with telekinetic projectile.

The cleric would need to be level 5 to do 1d6 damage (plus modifier) with daze since cantrips are heightened at half caster level rounded up.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
While I agree Daze isn't great, one thing your math is leaving off is that Daze is a basic save, rather than an attack roll like TK projectile or Lance. It also has double the range of Lance.

That makes this cantrip fairly useful as a heritage feat or multi class pickup. If your 2nd and 3rd strikes would be wasted, and you don’t have anything better to do with them, this is off the MAP and can do a useful debuff.

Liberty's Edge

I wanted to speak up to state as well that Daze is a fantastic option against well-armored opponents since typically Will is their worst Save. What you're really doing with the spell is fishing for a crit fail on the opponent's end and otherwise dealing some moderate damage even if they succeed.

Stunned is one of the best debuffs you can hit an opponent with in general since it wreaks havoc on the opponent action economy.


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Sure will is the bad save, but I do agree that the mooks this will work on are best left to the fighter. Stunned 1, sure I took their action, but I'm using TWO of mine to Rarely take one of theirs? 4d6+7 damage isn't much when high level monsters have over 300 hit points? Am I missing something?

If a spell is great 10 percent of the time and awful the other 90....why is it worth casting?

Edit: also, on a successful save, now you're doing half the terrible damage...

Liberty's Edge

You say half-terrible damage, I say guaranteed damage unless they Critically Succeed their bad save (Which typically only happens on a 17-20 die result).

Also, it's one of the only Spells in the game that can bestow the Stunned Condition to Enemies that are your Level or higher because it doesn't have the Incapacitation Trait.

It works out to "missing" on something like 10-15% of attempts dealing no damage versus a Spell Attack that would have something like a 40-60% chance to miss. I'm not sure why you're saying it's awful 90% of the time, it's RELIABLE 90% of the time if anything compared to Spell Attacks where you need to target the same type of weak-willed high AC creature.


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If all of the cantrips had the same purpose, there would only be one cantrip. Daze's purpose is to non-lethally disable troublesome NPCs.

Suppose a popular inn keeper is mad at your bard for making out with his daughter. He attacks you. What are you going to do, telekinetically put a dagger in his throat? Electrocute him? His daughter will not be happy if you do one of those things, and the towns folk will lynch you. Also, you're supposed to be chaotic good. Daze is the answer, as far as cantrips are concerned.

The stunned condition is cool, but its just a little benefit. The key, in my opinion, is the non-lethal trait. The 60 range is nice too.

Also, at 10th level, you are doing 3d6+5 non-lethal damage with it. That is enough to knock out most any given overly protective inn keeper, bothersome beggar, thieving urchin, surely drunk, or possessed villager.

If you want to keep people, ray of frost and electric are what you want, but when you don't want to kill, daze is what you want.


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Daze is a wonderful cantrip for throwing at tough melee bosses from far away. even if they are higher level than you, A brute like a troll is a level 5 monster with a +7 will save. At level 2 (a brutal level to face a troll) you probably have a DC of 18 or 19 meaning you have a 10 to 15% chance of stealing an action against a level +3 monster.

It can be tricky to know when to use it, and you face plant sometimes when you spend 2 or 3 turns spamming it and the enemy saves or crit saves each time and you've done a tiny little bit of damage, but it does something most of the time and does great things it crits.

I do understand how it feels counter intuitive to value a spell for its crit effect against bosses, when bosses are least likely to be crit, but a lost action for a solo creature is a big deal.


Just for completeness. The save is only vs the crit fail effect, not versus any damage?


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Just for completeness. The save is only vs the crit fail effect, not versus any damage?

It's a basic save, so half damage on a success, no damage on a crit success, and double damage on a crit fail.

Verdant Wheel

And it comes with the unique rider of, if they crit fail, they also get stunned. No additional save to try and prevent that.


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Wraax and Mr. Kitteh wrote:
And it comes with the unique rider of, if they crit fail, they also get stunned. No additional save to try and prevent that.

It still more or less is 2 of your actions versus 0.05 of his actions and low damage to boot.


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X Hums wrote:

Sure will is the bad save, but I do agree that the mooks this will work on are best left to the fighter. Stunned 1, sure I took their action, but I'm using TWO of mine to Rarely take one of theirs? 4d6+7 damage isn't much when high level monsters have over 300 hit points? Am I missing something?

If a spell is great 10 percent of the time and awful the other 90....why is it worth casting?

Edit: also, on a successful save, now you're doing half the terrible damage...

A bad will save doesn't mean a look. Lots of potent boss types have bad will saves, including most animals.


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X Hums wrote:
Stunned 1, sure I took their action, but I'm using TWO of mine to Rarely take one of theirs?... If a spell is great 10 percent of the time and awful the other 90....why is it worth casting?

PCs outnumber the Monsters in typical encounters, with exception.

This means making a one-for-one comparison is not a frame that fits most encounters.

A party of 5 PCs has 15 actions. Against one Monster this is 15-to-3. Against two Monsters it's 15-to-6. Against three Monsters it's 15-to-9, and so on.

That's the quantitative argument. There is also a qualitative argument to be made. A stunned Monster is often locked out from using it's Thematic Special Abilities (IE it's "best actions").

So, using the above Math, it's not really that bad. Add to that: It's a Cantrip, that does Mental damage, targeting Will save, at a 60-foot range, which does not require hands. Those are 5 additional things it's got going for it that make it a very flexible tool.


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rainzax wrote:
So, using the above Math, it's not really that bad.

At 15-3, trading 2 actions for 1 is a really good trade and a huge action economy boon. It means you're not 13-2, which means you've gone from 5 party actions per boss action to 6.5 party actions per boss action. A clear and obvious boon for the party.

But that's not what you're doing, because Daze isn't reliable. Numerically speaking, you're trading 2 actions for a [u]chance[/u] to deprive the enemy of 1... and since we're talking about bosses, that chance is likely going to be in the 5-10% range. So, statistically speaking, it's not 13-2, it's 13-2.95, which means reducing your net party action economy from 5:1 to ~4.5:1, rather than increasing it. To put it another way, you're not trading 2 actions for 1, you're trading, on average, 20-40 actions for 1.

Daze would need a ~40% crit rate to, on average, break even in terms of action economy.

That's not to say Daze is totally worthless. It's got good range, targets a common weak save and is one of only two non-MAP offensive cantrips (and not everyone gets EA), which means a martial spellcaster can Daze-Strike and skip out on worrying about MAP ruining their hit chances and can do it every round too, plus against lower enemies that stun rate goes up.

But fishing for stuns against bosses is a real desperation play because of how unreliable it is... and if you're desperate you should hopefully you have something better to do than cast cantrips.


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Squiggit wrote:
rainzax wrote:
So, using the above Math, it's not really that bad.

At 15-3, trading 2 actions for 1 is a really good trade and a huge action economy boon. It means you're not 13-2, which means you've gone from 5 party actions per boss action to 6.5 party actions per boss action. A clear and obvious boon for the party.

But that's not what you're doing, because Daze isn't reliable. Numerically speaking, you're trading 2 actions for a [u]chance[/u] to deprive the enemy of 1... and since we're talking about bosses, that chance is likely going to be in the 5-10% range. So, statistically speaking, it's not 13-2, it's 13-2.95, which means reducing your net party action economy from 5:1 to ~4.5:1, rather than increasing it. To put it another way, you're not trading 2 actions for 1, you're trading, on average, 20-40 actions for 1.

Daze would need a ~40% crit rate to, on average, break even in terms of action economy.

That's not to say Daze is totally worthless. It's got good range, targets a common weak save and is one of only two non-MAP offensive cantrips (and not everyone gets EA), which means a martial spellcaster can Daze-Strike and skip out on worrying about MAP ruining their hit chances and can do it every round too, plus against lower enemies that stun rate goes up.

But fishing for stuns against bosses is a real desperation play because of how unreliable it is... and if you're desperate you should hopefully you have something better to do than cast cantrips.

I'm glad somebody said it.


If you are using the cantrip daze against a boss monster, you have messed up your resource management more than a little. In general, do not, if possible, use cantrips against the boss monster. Instead use those actions to do something bad-ass, like cast that heightened 5th level sound burst, or cast heroism on the barbarian, or cast a 2 action heal (from well away from the boss monster) on the bedraggled rogue. What the heck you are doing casting daze on a boss monster in the first place!?!?

Silver Crusade

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Having the Boss lose an action is very tempting, especially if Will is their bad save.


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Rysky wrote:
Having the Boss lose an action is very tempting, especially if Will is their bad save.

Yeah, but I'd hedge my bets on something more reliable than daze. There's plenty of methods of costing a boss actions, including simply making them come to you.


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It also depends on what your other options are. A buddy of mine ran a Bard that had no other real offensive option, didn't bother picking up a crossbow or investing in any weapon. He was kinda role playing him as a pacifist if I recall correctly.

So his turn against any monster was pretty much using a Focus Cantrip then using Daze against most monsters. That or Aid Another actions or recall knowledge.

Probably not the min/maxed Bard method, but it worked out more often than not.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Against an enemy like a troll (and many other brutes), you really want to be targeting will saves. Even if you are choosing between a spell slot spell and a cantrip, if your spell slot attack spell targets fort or reflex, you probably are better off thinking about daze than a damage spell that doesn't include an obvious weakness. It can be difficult to have adequately diversified spell slots to attack every save, especially round after round. Sure you don't want to lead into the combat with daze, expecting it to be awesome every round, but it is a good spell to follow up with after getting off any kind of sustain or multi-round big spell.


beowulf99 wrote:

It also depends on what your other options are. A buddy of mine ran a Bard that had no other real offensive option, didn't bother picking up a crossbow or investing in any weapon. He was kinda role playing him as a pacifist if I recall correctly.

So his turn against any monster was pretty much using a Focus Cantrip then using Daze against most monsters. That or Aid Another actions or recall knowledge.

Probably not the min/maxed Bard method, but it worked out more often than not.

This is similar to my own Bard experience. I like daze better than TK Projectile because I don't want to rely on spell attack rolls, and I like nonlethal options. I usually Recall Knowledge and move on the first round, then spend the rest of the fight healing or spamming Daze. I keep moving if enemies chase me around, but usually I don't draw much aggro. It's satisfying and keeps turns short, though it doesn't feel great at levels 3-4 still doing 4 damage.


beowulf99 wrote:

It also depends on what your other options are. A buddy of mine ran a Bard that had no other real offensive option, didn't bother picking up a crossbow or investing in any weapon. He was kinda role playing him as a pacifist if I recall correctly.

So his turn against any monster was pretty much using a Focus Cantrip then using Daze against most monsters. That or Aid Another actions or recall knowledge.

Probably not the min/maxed Bard method, but it worked out more often than not.

I know when i played my bard i was doing party buffs and healing when needed but only so much spell slots at level 2. Bards only have two real attack spells and Daze does have a longer range and with PF2 people dont know what spells do automatically it makes it that much more tempting to cast daze to hurt something vs teleknetic projectile as that spell is much easier to tell something is up.

As to bards with weapons that boewulf mentioned. bards are stuck with two handed instruments if they want to get any item bonuses so they cant truly have a weapon in hand.

True it would be nice if daze did more damage and or scaled its damage better.


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beowulf99 wrote:

It also depends on what your other options are. A buddy of mine ran a Bard that had no other real offensive option, didn't bother picking up a crossbow or investing in any weapon. He was kinda role playing him as a pacifist if I recall correctly.

So his turn against any monster was pretty much using a Focus Cantrip then using Daze against most monsters. That or Aid Another actions or recall knowledge.

Probably not the min/maxed Bard method, but it worked out more often than not.

Was the rest of the party using nonlethal attacks as well? If not, how did the bard cope with it? Only the last attack matters when it comes to determining whether or not lethal/nonlethal damage kills it. If the entire party is using high damage lethal attacks, and the bard is using low-damage nonlethal attacks, is he not still contributing to the violent deaths of most creatures the party encounters?


beowulf99 wrote:

.

As to bards with weapons that boewulf mentioned. bards are stuck with two handed instruments if they want to get any item bonuses so they cant truly have a weapon in hand.

There’s a mask that grants item bonuses to acting (the best option for specialization) or comedy (second best) performances, and a scarf for dancing that require no hands. Plus the horn of blasting is a one handed instrument option.


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Another thing is that Daze does Mental damage, the only things that can get in the way of Mental damage is the Mindless trait (which, those tend to die through the normal means of sword), and "resist all (sometimes one type gets through)", so finding something that won't take full damage on a hit is rare, so it's guaranteed chip damage, it's almost as solid as Certain Strike, and Fighters all around love that feat. So consistent small damage, or 50/50 med/high damage is really the question you have to ask yourself. Also second longest range out of all damaging cantrips is pretty solid, sniping with 0lvl spells is pretty fun, almost as good as a short bow with elemental runes slapped on.


nick1wasd wrote:
Another thing is that Daze does Mental damage, the only things that can get in the way of Mental damage is the Mindless trait (which, those tend to die through the normal means of sword), and "resist all (sometimes one type gets through)", so finding something that won't take full damage on a hit is rare, so it's guaranteed chip damage, it's almost as solid as Certain Strike, and Fighters all around love that feat.

It doesn't undermine your overall point, but there are a few monsters that have specific resistance to mental damage, usually scary aberrations of the brain eating type. Edit: And qlippoth.

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