How fix spell attack


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Deriven Firelion wrote:

This makes things look even worse since a barbarian can keep on swinging why you used a level 8 spell which you have 3 to 5 of to do 5 more DPR than a fury barbarian (weakest of the instincts).

To do that 5 more DPR, you have probably a 100 less hit points at level 15 and much weaker saves.

And you had to use a true strike on top of it just do that DPR.

That is sad.

This is a melee martial... it is supposed to be one of the top damage dealers in the game, that you can even out-damage it, for even a round, is a marvel...

In reality casters damage output over a fight should be equal to or slightly lower than the average damage of a Archer Ranger, gunslinger, or Archer fighter, etc...


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Ed Reppert wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Really, there is very little in this life that out damages searing light against an undead or fiend. I've routinely out damaged martials with it using level 6 slots...at level 15. No multiple attack penalty plus true strike means it's vastly more accurate than you might initially expect, and it's cheap as heck, too - easy to grab via deity spells.
This sounds like "my character worships X deity because X deity allows him to cast Y spell". Which makes me wonder why (or if) said deity would want the character as a worshiper in the first place.

Depends on the PC (and frankly on the deity, some would be thrilled you're being a power-hungry mercenary)

Oracle? It's not even clear that you worship the god. Sorcerer? Blessed Blood all but implies you're not worshipping the deity so much as you are descended from them or their servants.

And besides. It's not like your OOC reasons for worship are the same as your in character reasons for doing so. By that logic, your character "chose" to be a dwarf. And "chose" to be half-god (as a sorcerer say). And "chose" to be four feet tall. That's just not how RPGs work. The player made those choices, not the character.

OOC motivation really has no bearing on your roleplaying. You choose your deity as much as you "choose" your background, ancestry, and ability scores.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Barbarian comparison is disingenuous I feel. It completely glosses over the caster's numerous options available to them and focuses solely on a single means of directly causing damage. This skews the perception against casters making them look far weaker than they are in the reality of play. (And as has been pointed out, the fact that they got close to a top tier damaging class, should be an endorsement, not a condemnation.)


Calliope5431 wrote:
My understanding is that people hated losing the "agency" of rolling saves against harmful effects.

Easily fixed. There was an RPG published in the '90s that made ALL the rolls player rolls. You swing a sword, you roll your attack. You get a sword swung at you, the monster's attack is a flat value and you roll your defense against it. Etc. It gives up the 'symmetry' of NPCs being like PCs, but hey the game isn't about them. I found it interesting and refreshing. There's zero reason PF can't have players roll all saving throw related tests, regardless of who is the targeter and who is the targetee. It's easy enough to homerule even; you'd just need to adjust the NPC numbers to substitute +10 for each die roll (I think i have that math right).


I think you can use your spell attack, add 11 to targets saving values and use them as AC.
But it has more work as you need to reverse too the results.

A solution for emulating an attack could be let the player roll the unique ST for all the targets, in this case using your spell DC and normal saving values, so it would be like an attack then apply using each creature saving value for the final result. Notice that in this case the player wants to roll lower values, being "1" as if rolled a "20" when attacking.

In fact I don't dislike the idea, as mentioned earlier using your attack as attacking value then each target defense is a way I like as used in other games played.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah. I feel bad for introducing a red herring to chase down. The idea was "Holy crap! It can even reach barbarian levels!"

The idea that a caster should be able to consistently sustain multiple rounds of single target damage above a barbarian wielding its strongest possible weapon? I'm firmly opposed to it. It would mechanically annihilate any ranged martial, all without committing to using any hands to manage weapons.

The ranged monk are more clearly where the comparisons should be made, sacrificing power for their array of other abilities. And even solid focus spells compete with their melee 2 Strike rounds.

Re: "it's some idealized situation favoring the caster"

Thunderstrike vs. middle save is not idealized. It's far less idealized than a barbarian's Improved Knockdown + Reactive Strike. Even the ability to cast True Strike + Horizon Thunder Sphere is less idealized than assuming a Reactive Strike will happen. And that Thunderstrike vs. Middle Save roughly stays competing from rank 2 onward. So does True Strike + Horizon Thunder Sphere. It's not just some rank 8 thing. Rank 8 is just interesting because it's when casters get master proficiency and barbarians get their class damage boost. And caster vs. barbarian is so far from idealized in the first place!

Anyway, I was mostly intending to make a case for Unicore, that spell attack spells in pf2e have a place in the toolbox.


Yeah, one thing I like about this game is that there is not just one strategy that you can hammer every single encounter with. Players do best when they have multiple options to choose from depending on the circumstances they find themselves in or that their party creates.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Spell attack rolls from archetypes for all martial parties turns out to be surprisingly useful when a boss is physical resistance monster :'D


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Are we looking at 17d6 for 8th rank horizon or 10d8 for polar ray? Assuming a hit with true strike not crit
17-102
10-80
You can throw in dangerous sorcery for 8 more damage.
Add in the quicken casting and haste so you can move in closer cast then move away.
Or if big strong caster in melee range for the that turn ise the extra action economy to strike twice with a simple weapon youve put some money into. But its pretty limited in terms of what the extra actions allow damage wise if your have no investment in a weapon and an attack stat, also if its melee it could be pretty dangerous. Maybe you have bespell weapon for an extra d6. Maybe you have a str of 18 for +4 damage per strike. Probably would need to have spent some rounds casting defensive spells to survive longer in melee for this ideal damage round then get out.
Or this caster is like a lot of casters and is just going to have the spell for the round and thats it for damage. But a caster that is hasted using quickend casting is striking and has improved a weapon and attack stat can get even more damage in. Though its risky with so few hp and will be at a lower hit rate. But hey lets give them the benefit of teamwork and buffing like the team would for a martial and those strikes can potentially add more damage. And go ahead and use hero points since were throwing everything into this round.

The barbarian from tour example looking at the damage range, assuming at least one hit not crit not assuming any more than one hit but allowing for the range to include all possible hits.
1 strike 28-71
2 strikes 28 - 142
3 strikes 28 - 213
3 strikes +AoO 28 - 284
Throw in haste 28 - 355

There is no where for the caster to increase thier output if they arent striking but the barbarian has some “situational” opportunities expanded by feat selection that will open up the potential for much more damage than possible for the caster only casting the one spell for the round.
Once you start including all the buffs and debuffs and positioning to create an ideal turn for the barbarian like were doing for the caster the -5 and -10 strikes start to become real possibilities to add damage. With heroism +2, flanking or prone (lets let another character trip them so we can just strike)another 2, and frighten 1 you now hit with -10 attacks on a 16 or up. And since were throwing everything we have in this ideal round lets use hero points to increase the chance of hitting with the lower accuracy attacks.
I would also forgo the frost rune for keen at this point. As you add the situational benefits making more rolls at lower accuracy a possible hit that crit on a 19 starts to look really nice and more fun.
Not to mention the barbarian can actually stand there and take two rounds of beatings from a +2 monster and survive to dish out full damage rounds.
You can always calculate the average damage but the upward potential of damage for a martial far exceeds what casters can ever do in a round with only one spell attack and it tells a different story. When giving both characters an ideal situation and the benefits of teamwork its not even close if the caster is not specd for striking to add in some extra damage on top of their spell for the round. That is unless I am missing something.


Unicore wrote:

In my experience, the spell attack roll spell is not just for general damAge dealing, it is for doing a large chunk of damage in the middle or end of a fight vs a solo monster to either drop it, or knock it into a thread hold of “you either run or spend actions to save yourself.”

It isn’t for “maximum damage,” it’s a tool for “I need more damage than a successful save or 3 action magic missile against this creature…or in the case of acid arrow, it can sometimes be, “I want to sure to put persistent damage on this intelligent creature that doesn’t want to die a horrible death, even if they win.”

Too bad Electric Arc does just as much damage with half on a save, and is far more likely to occur than a critical success on the dice, even with True Strike. And can target 2 enemies. So the idea that it's a "finisher" type ability when its damage output is near identical doesn't make sense. Also, there are better mechanics to impose on this (such as bonus damage based on existing health, or if conditions are present.) Martial feats like this exist. No spells exist like this.

This really only rings true with spells like Telekinetic Projectile and Gouging Claw, which already have their issues.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Unicore wrote:
...in the case of acid arrow, it can sometimes be, “I want to sure to put persistent damage on this intelligent creature that doesn’t want to die a horrible death, even if they win.”
Too bad Electric Arc does just as much damage with half on a save...

Against a single target, I count heightened EA at 3d4+4 vs. AA's 2d8+1d6 persistent. Is my math wrong? EA < AA, even before adding in some fraction of the d6 for persistent damage over time.

It also progresses slower. 1d4 (+1) = 2d4 (+2), compared to AA's 2d8+1d6 (+2).


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

re: Bluemagetim.

If you assume everything hits hard without critting, then up to [16, 160] from 8th rank disintegrate, plus [9, 54] from a scorching ray, plus some kind of hasted weapon that does likely 5d6 so [5, 30]. Okay, so, 244 from range against any target within 60 feet, which means not having to put yourself at risk or feel committed to a single target by adjacency.

Anyway, yes, like I stated earlier, in the top ~15% of luck for the barbarian, it wins out DPR against True Strike Horizon Thunder Sphere. I included that in my initial reply here. The caster wins with those two spells for the next ~50-60% with equal luck. They both whiff the rest.

(What I mean by top 15% of luck is that if you reduced the barbarian's two strikes to a single d20 roll, it'd win on an 18 or better. The specific example caster round would win between roughly 6 and 16. For that single specific level that I have calculated the data for.)

Please stop comparing against the barbarian.

What have I done.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
AidAnotherBattleHerald wrote:

re: Bluemagetim.

If you assume everything hits hard without critting, then up to [16, 160] from 8th rank disintegrate, plus [9, 54] from a scorching ray, plus some kind of hasted weapon that does likely 5d6 so [5, 30]. Okay, so, 244 from range against any target within 60 feet, which means not having to put yourself at risk or feel committed to a single target by adjacency.

Anyway, yes, like I stated earlier, in the top ~15% of luck for the barbarian, it wins out DPR against True Strike Horizon Thunder Sphere. I included that in my initial reply here. The caster wins with those two spells for the next ~50-60% with equal luck. They both whiff the rest.

(What I mean by top 15% of luck is that if you reduced the barbarian's two strikes to a single d20 roll, it'd win on an 18 or better. The specific example caster round would win between roughly 6 and 16. For that single specific level that I have calculated the data for.)

Please stop comparing against the barbarian.

What have I done.

Its ok i wasnt going for being too argumentative, just tying to be fair to the poor barbarian.

I really like playing a caster that can fight so i am glad to see that 244.


Easl wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Unicore wrote:
...in the case of acid arrow, it can sometimes be, “I want to sure to put persistent damage on this intelligent creature that doesn’t want to die a horrible death, even if they win.”
Too bad Electric Arc does just as much damage with half on a save...

Against a single target, I count heightened EA at 3d4+4 vs. AA's 2d8+1d6 persistent. Is my math wrong? EA < AA, even before adding in some fraction of the d6 for persistent damage over time.

It also progresses slower. 1d4 (+1) = 2d4 (+2), compared to AA's 2d8+1d6 (+2).

Acid Arrow takes a spell slot, does an average of 9 damage, and does maybe 3.5 damage per round (so 12.5 damage total). Electric Arc does 8.5 damage per target per round, and can be done all day long, while still doing half damage on a successful save. Acid Arrow really only pulls ahead when the persistent damage kicks in for multiple rounds. Meanwhile, Telekinetic Projectile does 11 damage and can be spammed all day long as well.

Thanks for showing me that attack roll spell slots are pretty feelsbad, since you burned a spell slot to do 4 more damage on average (or even less if TKP/GC are being used), with maybe some future damage down the line if they don't just outright save out of it or die early.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bluemagetim wrote:

Its ok i wasnt going for being too argumentative, just tying to be fair to the poor barbarian.

I really like playing a caster that can fight so i am glad to see that 244.

Oh whew. I was so confused! <3


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I specifically added acid arrow as an example of a spell attack roll spell that has a different purpose than doing as much damage a possible, which is what I typically keep a spell attack roll spell on hand for. So no, it is not the end the fight quickly spell, it is a “put the intelligent enemy in a situation where fighting on, and risking taking damage at the same time, has a good chance of killing you even if you win” situation. If that situation is meaningless to the NPC or to the way the GM plays the character, then it is a bad spell. In other situations it can lead to enemies surrendering long before they get close to 0 so that they can try to stop the acid, or cause them to run/pull back and try to regroup/etc. action wise, that can be better than a slow spell. Not every spell attack roll spell is a “single target ded now” nail.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
I specifically added acid arrow as an example of a spell attack roll spell that has a different purpose than doing as much damage a possible, which is what I typically keep a spell attack roll spell on hand for. So no, it is not the end the fight quickly spell, it is a “put the intelligent enemy in a situation where fighting on, and risking taking damage at the same time, has a good chance of killing you even if you win” situation. If that situation is meaningless to the NPC or to the way the GM plays the character, then it is a bad spell. In other situations it can lead to enemies surrendering long before they get close to 0 so that they can try to stop the acid, or cause them to run/pull back and try to regroup/etc. action wise, that can be better than a slow spell. Not every spell attack roll spell is a “single target ded now” nail.

This is true not all encounters have to end up with a pile of corpses.

A lot of them will, but some don't have to.


I feel like anything smart enough to surrender or flee from having persistent damage from acid arrow is probably also going to do the same from just having multiple people trying to kill them at the same HP threshold.


Unicore wrote:
I specifically added acid arrow as an example of a spell attack roll spell that has a different purpose than doing as much damage a possible, which is what I typically keep a spell attack roll spell on hand for. So no, it is not the end the fight quickly spell, it is a “put the intelligent enemy in a situation where fighting on, and risking taking damage at the same time, has a good chance of killing you even if you win” situation. If that situation is meaningless to the NPC or to the way the GM plays the character, then it is a bad spell. In other situations it can lead to enemies surrendering long before they get close to 0 so that they can try to stop the acid, or cause them to run/pull back and try to regroup/etc. action wise, that can be better than a slow spell. Not every spell attack roll spell is a “single target ded now” nail.

No, but it doesn't offer much else in the way of utility. Ray of Frost reduces speed on a critical, making kiting/chasing down enemies more viable, Polar Ray inflicts a condition that makes Fortitude-based effects more reliable, Acid Arrow just inflicts a subset of damage at a later point, which is ultimately worse than simply adding the damage here and now.

A best case scenario is using it against an enemy either with a weakness to Acid (which isn't very prevalent), resistance to non-Acid effects, or whose regeneration shuts off from Acid (like a troll). I would almost include doing free damage against a harder-to-affect enemy, but that isn't inherently helpful since it still requires a more-than-favorable roll to hit them, and by that point, Magic Missile is much better.


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AidAnotherBattleHerald wrote:

re: Bluemagetim.

If you assume everything hits hard without critting, then up to [16, 160] from 8th rank disintegrate, plus [9, 54] from a scorching ray, plus some kind of hasted weapon that does likely 5d6 so [5, 30]. Okay, so, 244 from range against any target within 60 feet, which means not having to put yourself at risk or feel committed to a single target by adjacency.

Anyway, yes, like I stated earlier, in the top ~15% of luck for the barbarian, it wins out DPR against True Strike Horizon Thunder Sphere. I included that in my initial reply here. The caster wins with those two spells for the next ~50-60% with equal luck. They both whiff the rest.

(What I mean by top 15% of luck is that if you reduced the barbarian's two strikes to a single d20 roll, it'd win on an 18 or better. The specific example caster round would win between roughly 6 and 16. For that single specific level that I have calculated the data for.)

Please stop comparing against the barbarian.

What have I done.

Anyone want to do the investigator or swashbuckler math lol? Or perhaps alchemist or monk...


Unicore wrote:

In my experience, the spell attack roll spell is not just for general damAge dealing, it is for doing a large chunk of damage in the middle or end of a fight vs a solo monster to either drop it, or knock it into a thread hold of “you either run or spend actions to save yourself.”

It isn’t for “maximum damage,” it’s a tool for “I need more damage than a successful save or 3 action magic missile against this creature…or in the case of acid arrow, it can sometimes be, “I want to sure to put persistent damage on this intelligent creature that doesn’t want to die a horrible death, even if they win.”

Why would this be the case? What exactly in your mind is precipitating this necessity for you to use a prepared slot to have a spell attack roll spell to do a large chunk of damage in the middle or end of a fight? I'm not understanding the thought process. Why would this require an attack roll spell?


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The discussion here is spell attack rolls.

Posters like Unicore arguing something they can't prove: adding an item bonus to spell attack rolls would somehow make them overpowered.

A bunch of other posters are kind not focusing on the question we're discussing which is: will adding item bonuses to spell attack rolls make them overpowered?

I say no. I don't think they change a thing except possibly eliminate these types of threads because once the item bonus is in play, no more argument.

The fact is:

1. Spell attack rolls aren't as good as save spells.

2. We have an item in the game known as a shadow signet which in no way has shown to make spell attack roll spells overpowered.

3. We have a class in the game with the magus that hasn't shown spell attack rolls with item bonuses to hit to be overpowered. It instead creates a feast or famine class that either hits real hard or not at all. The main reason the magus is so good is because it combines a weapon strike with the possibility of crits as part of the spell attack roll with an item bonus.

What would be necessary for spell attack rolls with item bonuses to be a balance problem?

1. Far better attack roll spells. Spell attack roll spells target a single creature with rare exception. They require a hit roll against AC, the most consistently high defense of creatures. They do damage with maybe a rider like polar ray drained.

2. Spell attack roll spells are far more common for low level casters who have to use cantrips until they get enough spell slots or other abilities to focus more on spells and focus spells. So a +1 item bonus item would smooth over the low level caster experience for casters whose best damage spells are hydraulic push or briny bolt or horizon thunder sphere.

In summation, the following is true:

1. There is no proof item bonuses to attack roll spells would make them overpowered.

2. We have multiple examples attack roll spell improvements not changing the value of attack roll spells whether the shadow signet or the magus class that have not shown attack roll spells to be problematic in play.

3. The balance limiters in place already account for a caster that wants to go ham on damage using attack roll spells such as the 2 action average action cost, single target damage, limited spell slots, and AC being usually a strong defense. An item bonus to attack roll spells won't change this balance point.

4. The only class that can really take advantage of attack roll spells in a way that is overpowered is the level 20 Spell Combination wizard. They can do that with or without an item bonus to spells because the Spell Combination ability is what makes attack rolls spells so insanely potent for that build.

I don't see why some are so against adding item bonuses to attack roll spells. It doesn't do much but stop these types of threads by eliminating this particular reason as to why casters feel underwhelming at low level when they have to rely on attack roll spells more often than at any other time in their leveling experience.

Vigilant Seal

Deriven Firelion wrote:


In summation, the following is true:

1. There is no proof item bonuses to attack roll spells would make them overpowered.

2. We have multiple examples attack roll spell improvements not changing the value of attack roll spells...

In the past one of the game leads/designers has stated that adding a bonus to attack rolls would increase the spell DC, and make those spells over powered. I'm sure there's a way they could write it to only be to attack rolls so I'm not sure why that's been stated before.


Horgruff wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:


In summation, the following is true:

1. There is no proof item bonuses to attack roll spells would make them overpowered.

2. We have multiple examples attack roll spell improvements not changing the value of attack roll spells...

In the past one of the game leads/designers has stated that adding a bonus to attack rolls would increase the spell DC, and make those spells over powered. I'm sure there's a way they could write it to only be to attack rolls so I'm not sure why that's been stated before.

I would never support increasing spell DCs with an item or anything much really. If item bonuses to attack roll spells occur, it should be done independently from spell DCs. Attack roll spells are innately inferior to many high value Spell DC spells that should not be improved in anyway.

Improving spell DCs would make casters overpowered.


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Horgruff wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:


In summation, the following is true:

1. There is no proof item bonuses to attack roll spells would make them overpowered.

2. We have multiple examples attack roll spell improvements not changing the value of attack roll spells...

In the past one of the game leads/designers has stated that adding a bonus to attack rolls would increase the spell DC, and make those spells over powered. I'm sure there's a way they could write it to only be to attack rolls so I'm not sure why that's been stated before.

They sure managed it with kineticist's gate attenuator and all that took was (does not apply to DCs)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think Unicore’s argument was more that there are already situations where casting spell attack roll spells (let’s call them SARS) are favorable to saving throw spells, and an item bonus to SARS would just be an attempt to make more of those situations. I don’t think that is a great idea, especially at the cost of up keeping items, because SARS are not something any caster should be using so often that they need to spend a ton of gold keeping up with them. They are very much NOT as ubiquitous a part of caster builds as blasts are to Kineticists.

The shadow signet explicitly lets casters play the defense rock, paper, scissors game with SARS. It is not a flat bonus and it intentionally doesn’t interact with off guard. Those differences are big. And even though it is good, casters don’t need to go out and get it right away, like martials do with weapon runes.

Getting true strike thorough items is easy enough to be more useful to the game than item bonuses. Stacking all of it together is how SARS start to approach “too good at single target damage to ever use save spells,” and that is what I think needs to be avoided.


Unicore wrote:

I think Unicore’s argument was more that there are already situations where casting spell attack roll spells (let’s call them SARS) are favorable to saving throw spells, and an item bonus to SARS would just be an attempt to make more of those situations. I don’t think that is a great idea, especially at the cost of up keeping items, because SARS are not something any caster should be using so often that they need to spend a ton of gold keeping up with them. They are very much NOT as ubiquitous a part of caster builds as blasts are to Kineticists.

The shadow signet explicitly lets casters play the defense rock, paper, scissors game with SARS. It is not a flat bonus and it intentionally doesn’t interact with off guard. Those differences are big. And even though it is good, casters don’t need to go out and get it right away, like martials do with weapon runes.

Getting true strike thorough items is easy enough to be more useful to the game than item bonuses. Stacking all of it together is how SARS start to approach “too good at single target damage to ever use save spells,” and that is what I think needs to be avoided.

Problem I have is I have not seen a convincing argument this will occur in real play, just theoretical arguments.

I definitely have not seen this during any games I've run or played in. Even when the last wizard I DMed was focused on attack roll spells like Briny Bolt and Hydraulic Push. I've never seen continuous use of attack roll spells at higher level whether with true strike or not. There are better options.

I'm seeing insufficient proof this will occur. Same as the post way back when who claimed the shadow signet ring would break the game. Never happened. There is insufficient supporting evidence for this position.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Deriven, you answer your own question. Trying to always use SARS is not a viable strategy. They are a spell to use when tactically advantageous. Those situations already exist, and stacking a 4th way to exploit SARS starts to get into situations where suddenly “cast the same spell all the time” becomes more and more feasible. That is what the developers are trying to avoid.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Acid Arrow takes a spell slot, does an average of 9 damage, and does maybe 3.5 damage per round (so 12.5 damage total). Electric Arc does 8.5 damage per target per round, and can be done all day long...

So to be clear, EA doesn't do as much straight-up damage. Doesn't do persistent. And the delta in favor of AA gets bigger at each spell level that they are comparably heightened.

Yep, it uses a spell slot. All casters use spell slots to maximize damage. If you are now shifting the discussion to 'it gives you feelsbad to use a slotted spell if you want to get from mediocre damage to maximum damage,' well then maybe full caster just isn't for you, because ALL of them function that way. Or are you requesting the damage of spells like AA be increased, because if something uses a spell slot, it should be much much better than it currently is in comparison to EA? (...added to the earlier request for casters to get an increased chance to hit against AC)?

It really sounds like the ask here is for the key benefits of the kineticist (all day blasting at max damage, with higher accuracy) combined with all the benefits of a full caster. Which, in my opinion, is not a reasonable ask. Or that the ask is to keep the caster chassis benefits exactly as is but graft on a higher accuracy and higher damage for single target vs. AC situations. Is that it?


Easl wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Acid Arrow takes a spell slot, does an average of 9 damage, and does maybe 3.5 damage per round (so 12.5 damage total). Electric Arc does 8.5 damage per target per round, and can be done all day long...

So to be clear, EA doesn't do as much straight-up damage. Doesn't do persistent. And the delta in favor of AA gets bigger at each spell level that they are comparably heightened.

Yep, it uses a spell slot. All casters use spell slots to maximize damage. If you are now shifting the discussion to 'it gives you feelsbad to use a slotted spell if you want to get from mediocre damage to maximum damage,' well then maybe full caster just isn't for you, because ALL of them function that way. Or are you requesting the damage of spells like AA be increased, because if something uses a spell slot, it should be much much better than it currently is in comparison to EA? (...added to the earlier request for casters to get an increased chance to hit against AC)?

It really sounds like the ask here is for the key benefits of the kineticist (all day blasting at max damage, with higher accuracy) combined with all the benefits of a full caster. Which, in my opinion, is not a reasonable ask. Or that the ask is to keep the caster chassis benefits exactly as is but graft on a higher accuracy and higher damage for single target vs. AC situations. Is that it?

It's totally asking for kineticist.

Which is fine. Kineticist is the greatest class ever written for any RPG. But casters have to use their top 3 levels of spell slots. It's part of the way they work.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Can anyone say the lowest acceptable percent chance to hit at any given level that is considered unbalanced?
Yes these are not constant as you level but there is always a clear floor.
I ask because I think we don't feel the same about what is ok for spell attack to have pre buffs/debuffs when it is at its lowest base accuracy.

Liberty's Edge

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Bluemagetim wrote:

Can anyone say the lowest acceptable percent chance to hit at any given level that is considered unbalanced?

Yes these are not constant as you level but there is always a clear floor.
I ask because I think we don't feel the same about what is ok for spell attack to have pre buffs/debuffs when it is at its lowest base accuracy.

Since the devs have, until now and in spite of the posters clamoring for it here and on similar threads for a long time, not released an item that would increase accuracy for spell attacks for all attack spells and all casters, I honestly believe that anything better than what we currently have could be unbalanced.

If the designers of the game, who know it far better than any poster on the boards, feel the current situation is best, I trust them 100%.


The Raven Black wrote:
Bluemagetim wrote:

Can anyone say the lowest acceptable percent chance to hit at any given level that is considered unbalanced?

Yes these are not constant as you level but there is always a clear floor.
I ask because I think we don't feel the same about what is ok for spell attack to have pre buffs/debuffs when it is at its lowest base accuracy.

Since the devs have, until now and in spite of the posters clamoring for it here and on similar threads for a long time, not released an item that would increase accuracy for spell attacks for all attack spells and all casters, I honestly believe that anything better than what we currently have could be unbalanced.

If the designers of the game, who know it far better than any poster on the boards, feel the current situation is best, I trust them 100%.

IDK about unbalanced but it's clear that it's not the game they want to make. I respect the artistic integrity enough not to complain about spell attacks anymore. Futile efforts only serve to embitter people, and there's plenty of fun things in the system to appreciate


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Easl wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Acid Arrow takes a spell slot, does an average of 9 damage, and does maybe 3.5 damage per round (so 12.5 damage total). Electric Arc does 8.5 damage per target per round, and can be done all day long...

So to be clear, EA doesn't do as much straight-up damage. Doesn't do persistent. And the delta in favor of AA gets bigger at each spell level that they are comparably heightened.

Yep, it uses a spell slot. All casters use spell slots to maximize damage. If you are now shifting the discussion to 'it gives you feelsbad to use a slotted spell if you want to get from mediocre damage to maximum damage,' well then maybe full caster just isn't for you, because ALL of them function that way. Or are you requesting the damage of spells like AA be increased, because if something uses a spell slot, it should be much much better than it currently is in comparison to EA? (...added to the earlier request for casters to get an increased chance to hit against AC)?

It really sounds like the ask here is for the key benefits of the kineticist (all day blasting at max damage, with higher accuracy) combined with all the benefits of a full caster. Which, in my opinion, is not a reasonable ask. Or that the ask is to keep the caster chassis benefits exactly as is but graft on a higher accuracy and higher damage for single target vs. AC situations. Is that it?

It better do more straight up damage, it can only be done once per slot per day. Otherwise, what's the point?

The other issue is that we aren't factoring in the "differential." If Acid Arrow deals an average of 16.5 damage (it's 3d8 base, not 2d8), and Electric Arc does 9 damage per target on average, then guess what? In optimal circumstances, Electric Arc is still going to outperform it, and still have an effect on an enemy that succeeds (since the average hit chance of a spellcaster past 1st level is maybe a 40% chance), whereas if Acid Arrow misses, it does nothing. Slot wasted. Did we also mention you need to burn a second separate slot for it to maintain accuracy and by proxy DPR? Don't have to do that with Electric Arc, even if mostly because True Strike can't affect it. Just means we can use that slot for other better things, like Magic Missiles, Longstrider, Grease, etc.

If the solution is "just throw more spell slots at the problem," then it really defeats the purpose of characters being required to ration out their spells appropriately, which is precisely how a spellcaster is meant to be played. Playing a spellcaster like a Kineticist is going to lead to a bad time, as well as an unintended way to play the class. And all these "use Hero Points/True Strike" solutions undermine that premise.


Bluemagetim wrote:
Can anyone say the lowest acceptable percent chance to hit at any given level that is considered unbalanced?

I am not sure the question makes sense, since the complaints are relative ("I feel bad because I miss more often than the other guy") and because PF2E has heavily invested in the concept of 'characters use combat tactics to alter the chance to hit.'

In terms of data, right now "caster, casting at AC" varies between 0 and -3 compared to "martial, striking at AC," or -2 to -5 compared to a fighter. But it obviously makes a huge difference to play experience if that -3 is 35% vs 50% (equivalent enemy, no tactics) or 55% vs 70% (same enemmy after 4 points of debuff) or 55% vs 50% because you used a 1a RK action to find the low save, then targeted it.

There is also a style or perceptual difference which has nothing to do with % chance to hit. A martial tends to strike twice a turn (with some exceptions), a caster casts once but often to greater effect. This means the caster's highs will be higher and lows will be lower even in cases where their chance to hit is equivalent. It also means there will be more rounds where the caster misses. Because for a martial to get a 'total miss round' requires they miss on two dice rolls, but for a caster it only requires they miss on one. If, as a player, you do not think that the high highs are worth the low lows, then bumping up the chance to hit by 5-10% probably isn't going to alleviate that bad feeling table experience you get when a round goes by and your spell failed while the martial was able to do something, because there are still going to be more rounds when you miss your one attack compared to rounds when the martial has missed both their attacks. To make a single-attack caster hit in as many rounds as a two-attack martial, you'd have to give the caster something like a 3-5 point bonus to hit over the martial (with the exact bonus depending on where they sit on the 'attack bonus vs. defense DC' calculation).

Another way Paizo could make the play experiences more equivalent would be to give casters 1a blasts with lower, weapon-like damage amounts and an item bonus to hit like what martials get. Then casters using these 1a blasts should have about the same experience as martials; hitting in the same number of rounds for about the same impact. Which Paizo actually did, with the kineticist. That solution IS the kineticist. But they are very wary (IMO, rightly so, but obviously some people disagree with me) of simply attaching that extra capability to the current full caster chassis.

Dark Archive

Easl wrote:


In terms of data, right now "caster, casting at AC" varies between 0 and -3 compared to "martial, striking at AC," or -2 to -5 compared to a fighter. But it obviously makes a huge difference to play experience if that -3 is 35% vs 50% (equivalent enemy, no tactics) or 55% vs 70% (same enemmy after 4 points of debuff) or 55% vs 50% because you used a 1a RK action to find the low save, then targeted it.

As a quibble, its only ever 0 at first level. Its never as high as 0 again. Also at level 14 it goes to -4. So it is slightly worse on a the whole than you've used here.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

And this question is important because no matter the reason for balance, there can be a point that is too low to enjoy playing. We've hit that point with casters for enough people to have made these threads and not hit that point for those defending the current accuracy levels.


Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Calliope5431 wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Really, there is very little in this life that out damages searing light against an undead or fiend. I've routinely out damaged martials with it using level 6 slots...at level 15. No multiple attack penalty plus true strike means it's vastly more accurate than you might initially expect, and it's cheap as heck, too - easy to grab via deity spells.
This sounds like "my character worships X deity because X deity allows him to cast Y spell". Which makes me wonder why (or if) said deity would want the character as a worshiper in the first place.

Depends on the PC (and frankly on the deity, some would be thrilled you're being a power-hungry mercenary)

Oracle? It's not even clear that you worship the god. Sorcerer? Blessed Blood all but implies you're not worshipping the deity so much as you are descended from them or their servants.

And besides. It's not like your OOC reasons for worship are the same as your in character reasons for doing so. By that logic, your character "chose" to be a dwarf. And "chose" to be half-god (as a sorcerer say). And "chose" to be four feet tall. That's just not how RPGs work. The player made those choices, not the character.

OOC motivation really has no bearing on your roleplaying. You choose your deity as much as you "choose" your background, ancestry, and ability scores.

I don't think your argument holds water, so I'll just stand by what I've already said.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If the solution is "just throw more spell slots at the problem," then it really defeats the purpose of characters being required to ration out their spells appropriately, which is precisely how a spellcaster is meant to be played. Playing a spellcaster like a Kineticist is going to lead to a bad time, as well as an unintended way to play the class. And all these "use Hero Points/True Strike" solutions undermine that premise.

The HP/TS discussion takes as a premise that you will mix in vs. save spells when you can find a low save, and not use TS+vsAC spell as your single alway-on attack. You are absolutely right, playing a caster like a kineticist and simply trying to blast away at AC will likely lead to a bad experience. If that is what you want to do, play a kineticist.

Looking at the Sayer repost/requote (in the other thread), after you get out of the low levels a caster is going to have 3+ slots for 1st level spells on top of 3+ slots for the higher level combat spell they really want to cast. The devs say this is designed for 3 combat encounters per day. So it should be little problem to combo TS with a vs.AC spell once per encounter, if you as a player are really fixated on using that vs. AC spell as your go-to opener in every combat encounter per day. Does it use 2 slots per attack? Yes. But you have chosen a themed way to play your wizard which eschews tactics and vs save spells, so it should be neither surprising nor an indication of bad design if your self-imposed limitation based on theme requires a bit more caster resources to make it work.


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Bluemagetim wrote:
And this question is important because no matter the reason for balance, there can be a point that is too low to enjoy playing. We've hit that point with casters for enough people to have made these threads and not hit that point for those defending the current accuracy levels.

The folks doing most of the complaining like a 'big game hunting' style of encounter, with singular monsters several levels higher than the players. That does indeed put the caster on the 35% vs. 50% or even worse area of the 'attack vs defense' line. Assuming the caster wants to target AC, and assuming no tactics have been used to bump the targets' AC down a few notches. Also keep in mind that something like 75% of the caster's attack arsenal is vs. Save spells that give a partial effect on a regular miss...meaning you should add a full +50% to the caster's chance to 'contribute some effect' to the combat for that round.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

One way to look at this.
If spell casting is around 50% effective with teamwork then it will produce very different experiences for players even when playing as intended. For casters this happens mainly at certain levels.
Thats the point. You end up with a distribution of experiences that is wildly different for the same class. This is partly due to a low number of casts per day making the sample size of rolls very low.
Im not saying casters should have more spells but I am acknowledging that the set up has varied player experiences as a consequence.
These threads are not only a matter of user error and perception (which is a part of it) but of a design that yields inconsistent play experiences.


Easl wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If the solution is "just throw more spell slots at the problem," then it really defeats the purpose of characters being required to ration out their spells appropriately, which is precisely how a spellcaster is meant to be played. Playing a spellcaster like a Kineticist is going to lead to a bad time, as well as an unintended way to play the class. And all these "use Hero Points/True Strike" solutions undermine that premise.

The HP/TS discussion takes as a premise that you will mix in vs. save spells when you can find a low save, and not use TS+vsAC spell as your single alway-on attack. You are absolutely right, playing a caster like a kineticist and simply trying to blast away at AC will likely lead to a bad experience. If that is what you want to do, play a kineticist.

Looking at the Sayer repost/requote (in the other thread), after you get out of the low levels a caster is going to have 3+ slots for 1st level spells on top of 3+ slots for the higher level combat spell they really want to cast. The devs say this is designed for 3 combat encounters per day. So it should be little problem to combo TS with a vs.AC spell once per encounter, if you as a player are really fixated on using that vs. AC spell as your go-to opener in every combat encounter per day. Does it use 2 slots per attack? Yes. But you have chosen a themed way to play your wizard which eschews tactics and vs save spells, so it should be neither surprising nor an indication of bad design if your self-imposed limitation based on theme requires a bit more caster resources to make it work.

I don't view it that way myself: to me, the apparent approach to enemies should be: 1 action RK with proper skill, 2 action cantrip with appropriate spell to feel out the enemy/info. Then follow up with either a stronger spell if effective, or a different cantrip/spell if not.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Easl wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If the solution is "just throw more spell slots at the problem," then it really defeats the purpose of characters being required to ration out their spells appropriately, which is precisely how a spellcaster is meant to be played. Playing a spellcaster like a Kineticist is going to lead to a bad time, as well as an unintended way to play the class. And all these "use Hero Points/True Strike" solutions undermine that premise.

The HP/TS discussion takes as a premise that you will mix in vs. save spells when you can find a low save, and not use TS+vsAC spell as your single alway-on attack. You are absolutely right, playing a caster like a kineticist and simply trying to blast away at AC will likely lead to a bad experience. If that is what you want to do, play a kineticist.

Looking at the Sayer repost/requote (in the other thread), after you get out of the low levels a caster is going to have 3+ slots for 1st level spells on top of 3+ slots for the higher level combat spell they really want to cast. The devs say this is designed for 3 combat encounters per day. So it should be little problem to combo TS with a vs.AC spell once per encounter, if you as a player are really fixated on using that vs. AC spell as your go-to opener in every combat encounter per day. Does it use 2 slots per attack? Yes. But you have chosen a themed way to play your wizard which eschews tactics and vs save spells, so it should be neither surprising nor an indication of bad design if your self-imposed limitation based on theme requires a bit more caster resources to make it work.

I don't view it that way myself: to me, the apparent approach to enemies should be: 1 action RK with proper skill, 2 action cantrip with appropriate spell to feel out the enemy/info. Then follow up with either a stronger spell if effective, or a different cantrip/spell if not.

My approach is the opposite. Slots exist to be used. Since casters tend to have lower initiative than other PCs you can usually get a sense for monster resistances and weaknesses from the martials hitting them with flame runes, demoralize, bon mot and the like.

So I usually go for the most disruptive or damaging spells I have round 1, unless the fight is trivial. Round 2 and 3 I go for lower level spells that get the job done without blowing all my resources.

For instance, against an enemy squad I'd go for...

Round 1: 6th rank slow, crushing despair, 8th rank confusion, stinking cloud, or perhaps a wall spell
Round 2: Cone of cold, fireball, or chain lightning. Or more debuffing if I didn't land the first one (or if I used confusion and don't want to end it)
Round 3: pick off the survivors with true strike and chromatic ray, fireball if they're bunched up, or maybe cantrips

Against an enemy boss...

Round 1: hideous laughter or roaring applause
Round 2+: blow it up with chromatic ray, searing light, or horizon thunder sphere. Or synesthesia/slow.

Liberty's Edge

Calliope5431 wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Easl wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If the solution is "just throw more spell slots at the problem," then it really defeats the purpose of characters being required to ration out their spells appropriately, which is precisely how a spellcaster is meant to be played. Playing a spellcaster like a Kineticist is going to lead to a bad time, as well as an unintended way to play the class. And all these "use Hero Points/True Strike" solutions undermine that premise.

The HP/TS discussion takes as a premise that you will mix in vs. save spells when you can find a low save, and not use TS+vsAC spell as your single alway-on attack. You are absolutely right, playing a caster like a kineticist and simply trying to blast away at AC will likely lead to a bad experience. If that is what you want to do, play a kineticist.

Looking at the Sayer repost/requote (in the other thread), after you get out of the low levels a caster is going to have 3+ slots for 1st level spells on top of 3+ slots for the higher level combat spell they really want to cast. The devs say this is designed for 3 combat encounters per day. So it should be little problem to combo TS with a vs.AC spell once per encounter, if you as a player are really fixated on using that vs. AC spell as your go-to opener in every combat encounter per day. Does it use 2 slots per attack? Yes. But you have chosen a themed way to play your wizard which eschews tactics and vs save spells, so it should be neither surprising nor an indication of bad design if your self-imposed limitation based on theme requires a bit more caster resources to make it work.

I don't view it that way myself: to me, the apparent approach to enemies should be: 1 action RK with proper skill, 2 action cantrip with appropriate spell to feel out the enemy/info. Then follow up with either a stronger spell if effective, or a different cantrip/spell if not.
My approach is the opposite. Slots exist to be used....

I usually start the fight with my biggest slotted spell, as long as it seems appropriate. If possible, I RK first to make sure I won't hit an immunity.


Calliope5431 wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Easl wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If the solution is "just throw more spell slots at the problem," then it really defeats the purpose of characters being required to ration out their spells appropriately, which is precisely how a spellcaster is meant to be played. Playing a spellcaster like a Kineticist is going to lead to a bad time, as well as an unintended way to play the class. And all these "use Hero Points/True Strike" solutions undermine that premise.

The HP/TS discussion takes as a premise that you will mix in vs. save spells when you can find a low save, and not use TS+vsAC spell as your single alway-on attack. You are absolutely right, playing a caster like a kineticist and simply trying to blast away at AC will likely lead to a bad experience. If that is what you want to do, play a kineticist.

Looking at the Sayer repost/requote (in the other thread), after you get out of the low levels a caster is going to have 3+ slots for 1st level spells on top of 3+ slots for the higher level combat spell they really want to cast. The devs say this is designed for 3 combat encounters per day. So it should be little problem to combo TS with a vs.AC spell once per encounter, if you as a player are really fixated on using that vs. AC spell as your go-to opener in every combat encounter per day. Does it use 2 slots per attack? Yes. But you have chosen a themed way to play your wizard which eschews tactics and vs save spells, so it should be neither surprising nor an indication of bad design if your self-imposed limitation based on theme requires a bit more caster resources to make it work.

I don't view it that way myself: to me, the apparent approach to enemies should be: 1 action RK with proper skill, 2 action cantrip with appropriate spell to feel out the enemy/info. Then follow up with either a stronger spell if effective, or a different cantrip/spell if not.
My approach is the opposite. Slots exist to be used....

It mostly depends on the combat; obviously, going hard and fast off the bat is important, since, sooner bad guys go splat, the better, but that is if you either have optimal space/spell choice, or you know what the enemy is going to be. Mass Slow is good, but a range of only 30 feet has its limits, and it targets the most consistently strongest save. I've really only made use of it a couple times (one of which ended the encounter right there), even though in both instances it was quite effective, I can't approach every encounter with it, both for logistical as well as practical reasons.


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The most coordinated party I've ever seen was at high level using slotted spells as an alpha strike. Monk + rogue + maestro bard + wizard.

The bard and wizard comprehensively cut enemy formations to ribbons with 6th level slow, 8th level confusion, overwhelming presence, and wall spells.

The martials weren't exactly superfluous, but they were mostly on mop up patrol to deal with anything that survived the hail of save-or-lose that the casters could bring to bear at the start of every combat.

High level slotted spells are terrifying.


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Unicore wrote:
Deriven, you answer your own question. Trying to always use SARS is not a viable strategy. They are a spell to use when tactically advantageous. Those situations already exist, and stacking a 4th way to exploit SARS starts to get into situations where suddenly “cast the same spell all the time” becomes more and more feasible. That is what the developers are trying to avoid.

You have no idea what the developers are trying to avoid. Once again, this is an unproven, theoretical argument that has no basis in real game play. I don't know why you keep asserting it when it is a position you have not proven.

I think the reason Spell Attack spells fall off at higher level is they aren't as good as save spells. Most players look at them and say, "Not worth slotting." Then they take a higher value spell.

Thus spell attack roll spells find use mostly at lower level or a particularly good spell like searing light is usable against some kind of fiend.

Since casters feel far more powerful doing damage blasting groups, they would rather have high level AoE to blast groups. Then use single target control/debuff spells on boss monsters that have a powerful effect even on a success.

They tossed a bone to those wanting to use spell attack spells with the shadow signet. But that didn't make people use them more because casters at that level really don't care about attack roll spells since they have tons of better options.

I would guess that the majority of caster players complaining about attack roll spells are low level, under 10 and haven't reached the point where they are glossing over spell attack spells.

I know when I make a low level caster, my early quality spells are hydraulic push or a shocking grasp for good damage. I don't even slot or look at these spells after level 5 or so.

I think that is the more likely theory. There isn't a high demand for spell attack roll spells at higher level and it's not a priority fix for the designers. They would be better off tossing in some low level +1 item to make low level casters feel slightly better and calling it a day since the shadow signet ring already covers high level and Master level casters like a Summoner or Magus wanting to cast a ranged spell.

That is my theory backed up by my in game experience.


Calliope5431 wrote:

The most coordinated party I've ever seen was at high level using slotted spells as an alpha strike. Monk + rogue + maestro bard + wizard.

The bard and wizard comprehensively cut enemy formations to ribbons with 6th level slow, 8th level confusion, overwhelming presence, and wall spells.

The martials weren't exactly superfluous, but they were mostly on mop up patrol to deal with anything that survived the hail of save-or-lose that the casters could bring to bear at the start of every combat.

High level slotted spells are terrifying.

It sounds like the casters make the enemy weak and controlled and let the martials kill them.

That is what we do quite often as well. Makes life easy.

Which is exactly why I think Spell Attack is more of a low level caster problem. High level casters aren't going, "Dang. My spell attack missed" when they can slow some creature or crush it with a much, much better spell.

From what I recall the shadow signet came out around the time Master level casters came out. It was there because a Master level wave caster relies more on cantrips than a full caster. They wanted an item to let higher level wave casters land their attack roll spells. Full casters barely cared about the item because at high level, they aren't using spell attack roll spells that often.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:

The most coordinated party I've ever seen was at high level using slotted spells as an alpha strike. Monk + rogue + maestro bard + wizard.

The bard and wizard comprehensively cut enemy formations to ribbons with 6th level slow, 8th level confusion, overwhelming presence, and wall spells.

The martials weren't exactly superfluous, but they were mostly on mop up patrol to deal with anything that survived the hail of save-or-lose that the casters could bring to bear at the start of every combat.

High level slotted spells are terrifying.

It sounds like the casters make the enemy weak and controlled and let the martials kill them.

That is what we do quite often as well. Makes life easy.

Which is exactly why I think Spell Attack is more of a low level caster problem. High level casters aren't going, "Dang. My spell attack missed" when they can slow some creature or crush it with a much, much better spell.

From what I recall the shadow signet came out around the time Master level casters came out. It was there because a Master level wave caster relies more on cantrips than a full caster. They wanted an item to let higher level wave casters land their attack roll spells. Full casters barely cared about the item because at high level, they aren't using spell attack roll spells that often.

Somewhat, yeah. I'd have liked to have seen a dedicated blaster in that group too, since I think it could have served a similar role. On the other hand, rogue is completely absurd.

I'd agree that spell attacks definitely see more use at lower level. Though obviously some of them are also decent at higher level like searing light and chromatic ray. With the advent of thunderstrike I'm not sure how true that is now though.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I really don’t get your need for insisting that no one else is basing their analysis off of the data of play experience. There is a massive gap in spell attack roll spells between ranks 3 and 7, so of course those ranks see less people filling slots with them. I had a level 14 wizard true strike rank 7 shocking grasp crit a level 16 NPC caster for 120 points of damage. It seemed like that was about half their HP in one blow, and put them on the back foot, trying to retreat and recover. They were prone and adjacent to my caster at the start of my turn, so it was a particularly good circumstance. Wizards can pretty easily be sitting on a top slot or top-1 slot spell attack roll spell for the situation where it pops up. Honestly, now, I would go with horizon thunder sphere instead of shocking grasp as my spell attack roll to sit on, but it didn’t exist when I played this character. With spell substitution you can replace your SARS if you use it, or swap it out if you burn off other spells you are using more. It’s not even that big of a commitment for the day.

What would be terrible though is a player building a wizard only trying to spell attack roll everything. And I say that as some one playing an eldritch trickster wanting to play around with scrolls of scorching ray, and the slashing gust cantrip (it’s a new campaign so I haven’t gotten there yet). It is a free archetype game so I am planning on going the dread striker route with allies that like to demoralize and cast fear. But my rogue is still a martial character first and mostly going to use spell casting for utility, except when the situation to attack 2 or 3 off guard targets with no MAP presents itself.

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