Weapons vs Spells

Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion

One of the people I play PACG with loves to play a spell caster, and typically wants to nuke stuff. With the new core rules, having a used spell be in recovery for the rest of the turn is a bit of a sore point for them. I found the post where it explains why recovery is applied to all spells with a recovery kind of effect. I explained how that’s to prevent a spell caster from being a one-trick pony, hitting everything with the sledgehammer; to which they countered with, “What about weapons?”.

Why is it okay to approach any combat with the most powerful weapon you have, but not the most powerful spell? How does using the same weapon mean that your choices mean something when the same doesn’t apply to spells?

A weapon can be used for every encounter, and every combat check in the same turn, but a spell can only be used for one combat check per turn, then has to go through recovery before the card is placed somewhere that the player can attempt to retrieve it.

Am I misunderstanding how often a weapon can be used?

This is the post I’m referring to about recovery: https://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo6sgpd?Core-Principles-Conversion-i n-the-Pathfinder-ACG

Thanks in advance, I would love to shed some light on the thoughts behind this, so that I can attempt to reason with this player.

Being able to reuse the same spell during the same turn would make spellcasters quite overpowered.

The general PACG design ethic (as well as every RPG ever made?) is that spells are stronger than weapons, but they can be used less frequently. That's the trade-off. On average, spells do significantly more damage than weapons.

By the way, there are a few spells that can be displayed and used multiple times during the same turn. Examples: Wall of Light and Chain Lightning. Multi-use spells are generally weaker than other spells of the same level, because of the multi-use benefit.

If your fellow Pathfinder wants to play an at-will spellcaster, they might use someone like Core Seoni who can turn any card into a spell. (Characters from other base sets have similar abilities.)

P.S. Recovery was partly introduced to prevent infinite loops that break the game. Such as card-drawing spells/items that are discarded, then immediately fished out of the discard pile to be played again. When a spell/item is in recovery, it can't be used again until the following turn - and the loop is broken.

P.P.S. The pre-Core rules generally only let you play the same spell once per turn as well. So no real change there. Though there were a few pre-Core spells that could also be displayed for a full turn: Wall of Fire, Aqueous Orb, Body of Flame, etc.

I know nothing about pre-Core as I'm new to PACG, but from what I've seen, most weapons only get the full bonus or effect if you reload/recharge/discard them. The idea that you can use a weapon over and over again is closer to getting a bonus die on all combat checks rather than the full effect of a spell.

The Core Set (or is it Curse of the Crimso Throne ?) also has a tier 0 staff that can be used like you would a weapon to use your Arcane or Divine Skill +1d4 (and a few keywords like Fire), with an option to discard a spell for +1d8, so it works like a weak weapon, but for some spellcasters that relly on a high magic skill for combat, this staff is very useful. In my group, a player is using Varian who has the SWORD mastery, one weapon in his deck (usually a rapier) and acrobatics at 1d8+1 to use as his combat skill with the rapier, yet once he get the staff, with his Arcane skill staring at 1d12+2 (one of the best in the game), the weapon quickly become obsolete. Sure, for big fights a normal attack spell will add some additionnal dice and/or effects, but this staff really help.

Of course other spellcasters might not have such high magic skill compared to other alternatives.

@Rowen2003 - I feel ya. I have been playing PACG since it kicked off. I have always felt most casters are limited by combat. I think this is a trade off for the Utility they gain from spells. In addition, while spells might get lost on a failed recovery, They still get to be recharged and recycled into the deck on a success. Melee types can get caught with stacks of weapons in their hand and most weapons do not have a recharge option. So they can clog their hand.

With some more experience you will see that they did a fairly good job of balancing the game. I would like to see more options like Wall of Fire, Aqueous Orb, Ring of Fire, and Body of Flame added into the game. Its not easy for most casters to get access to several of these spells.

Slacker2010 wrote:
I have always felt most casters are limited by combat.

It helps to add spell feats and increase your hand size. That way, you're more likely to draw an attack spell in the first place.

There's also the trick of frequently shuffling your deck (e.g., Staff of Minor Healing) to mix recharged spells back into your deck so that you can redraw them more quickly.

Melee types can get caught with stacks of weapons in their hand and most weapons do not have a recharge option. So they can clog their hand.

Not necessarily. :) You can always optionally discard cards before resetting your hand, though some folks are reluctant to do so.

Melee characters typically have smaller hand sizes (plus armor in case of damage), so discarding a few cards typically isn't a big deal. So if you have 3 weapons in hand, throw one away or give it to another character. It won't be missed.

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