Early level caster experience and the remaster


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Temperans wrote:
3-Body Problem wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Gandalf uses a weapon.

He uses it with enough proficiency to solo a Balrog. When exactly do PF2 casters get melee weapon skills on par with martial classes?

Quote:
Rand Al-thor used a weapon.

Rand used his sword better than most men who had trained their entire lives with one and was good enough with it that he would have been an equal, if not superior, to Lan or Perrin in pure melee combat if it was all he could do.

If we're going to get casters that have a reasonable claim to being on par with martial classes in using weapons, then I'd be for using such hybrid characters. We don't get that though. We get casters that are bad with weapons but are forced to use them because poor design means they can't actually be spellcasters full-time until they reach an arbitrary point of experience.

Its hilarious how often people bring up Gandalf when the dude is a literal god and the most magical thing he did was cast light.

Gandalf

Elrond

Saruman

Galadriel

Sauron

Every magic user in Lord of the Rings.

There is nothing off about a caster using a weapon. Most books casters can pick up a weapon and use it.

Even outside of the Lord of the Rings.

Bayaz

Elric of Melnibone


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SuperBidi wrote:
PF2 (and Starfinder) economy allows easy use of consumables as character power asks for a small portion of your wealth (especially for casters).

That's besides the point: the fact that I CAN waste money, shouldn't mean I HAVE to wase money. If the solution is 'blow money on scrolls' to make a class work well, it's not a solution for me. It's JUST like expecting my fighers sword to break every fight so I have to carry a golfbag of extras but they are cheap so it's not an issue right? :P

Some of us just don't enjoy using consumables more than necessary: I'm fine with the off McGuffin [like some potions/scrolls of waterbreathing for an underwater encounter] but as the go to for every fight? No thanks. What percentage of my wealth that playstyle would cost is meaningless IMO.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
The point is casters do use weapons. And you can use one to building it up along with a good combat stat as well to be damn good with a weapon compared to regular people.

Except you can't actually build those characters. PF2 simply isn't flexible enough to allow for them. You can build a generic good stuff Wizard who picks from the narrow selection of spells that aren't only good in very specific circumstances and who uses a weapon at low levels because apparently, spellcasters sucking at early levels is a sacred cow we Paizo won't slaughter. Paizo doesn't give any ability to really get creative in your build and as such the tactical gameplay may as well involve prebuilt characters.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Temperans wrote:
3-Body Problem wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Gandalf uses a weapon.

He uses it with enough proficiency to solo a Balrog. When exactly do PF2 casters get melee weapon skills on par with martial classes?

Quote:
Rand Al-thor used a weapon.

Rand used his sword better than most men who had trained their entire lives with one and was good enough with it that he would have been an equal, if not superior, to Lan or Perrin in pure melee combat if it was all he could do.

If we're going to get casters that have a reasonable claim to being on par with martial classes in using weapons, then I'd be for using such hybrid characters. We don't get that though. We get casters that are bad with weapons but are forced to use them because poor design means they can't actually be spellcasters full-time until they reach an arbitrary point of experience.

Its hilarious how often people bring up Gandalf when the dude is a literal god and the most magical thing he did was cast light.

Gandalf

Elrond

Saruman

Galadriel

Sauron

Every magic user in Lord of the Rings.

There is nothing off about a caster using a weapon. Most books casters can pick up a weapon and use it.

Even outside of the Lord of the Rings.

Bayaz

Elric of Melnibone

Lord of the Rings is just straight up not a good comparison. Half the people you mentioned are gods or related to gods.


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arcady wrote:
gesalt wrote:

3d4 vs 1d4+4 single target save cantrip

Yeah, real super. And yes, that's only single target on the EA.

One too many d's there. Should be:

2d4 vs 1d4+4

If it was 3d4, I still wouldn't like it because I like predictability - but it'd no longer be a math argument, I'd be a 'personal taste' argument.

This is not comparable. Because 2d4 avg damage is equals to 1d4+4 minimum damage.

He/She compared to 3d4 because their avg damage are more closer. Also the attribute bonus is progressive becoming +5 at level 10, +6 at level 17 and +7 at level 20.

Scarab Sages

Is anyone still using cantrips at L10, much less L17 & L20?


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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Is anyone still using cantrips at L10, much less L17 & L20?

How is that relevant to the poor early levels that most casters suffer through?


graystone wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
PF2 (and Starfinder) economy allows easy use of consumables as character power asks for a small portion of your wealth (especially for casters).

That's besides the point: the fact that I CAN waste money, shouldn't mean I HAVE to wase money. If the solution is 'blow money on scrolls' to make a class work well, it's not a solution for me. It's JUST like expecting my fighers sword to break every fight so I have to carry a golfbag of extras but they are cheap so it's not an issue right? :P

Some of us just don't enjoy using consumables more than necessary: I'm fine with the off McGuffin [like some potions/scrolls of waterbreathing for an underwater encounter] but as the go to for every fight? No thanks. What percentage of my wealth that playstyle would cost is meaningless IMO.

Martials needs to waste money to become stronger too. But I had to admit that they primary uses money with some permanent items while spellcasters need to burn money with consumable scrolls.

Anyway every thing point in the direction that casters still had to work as magical toolboxes but also now in lower levels are best fighting than casting.

NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Is anyone still using cantrips at L10, much less L17 & L20?

Depending from your tradition options that are pretty interesting to trigger some weakness and disable regen. Due you not having the "divination touch" and maybe not prepared the damage type spell you need to a specific situation. Cantrips may help in these cases.


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YuriP wrote:
Martials needs to waste money to become stronger too. But I had to admit that they primary uses money with some permanent items while spellcasters need to burn money with consumable scrolls.

Yeah, if the suggestion was for wands and staves, I'd see it in a different light: I'm not opposed to having to send cash on my character, just spending on disposables and/or having to keep disposables instead of trading them in to go towards the permanent items I need/want.


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See, wands and staves are things that I would feel weird about "seeding extra ones" in the loot piles. I can justify putting a half dozen "scrolls of lightning bolt" in a bucket for the players to find, provided nobody's using this as a downpayment on a sword.

I'm very curious how the talisman revamp is going to go.

Scarab Sages

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Temperans wrote:

I think the whole "well PF1 low level casters had it worse" is pretty disenginuous.

In PF1 absolutely nobody expects cantrips to be good for anything more than easy to land damage. PF2 decided to make cantrips scale at about half the rate of a martial's attack. But you know what else is different? A level 1 spell in PF1 was just as useful at lv 20 because eveything but DC scaled with level.

Yeah PF1 early caster game play was bad, but you got rewarded by getting increasingly stronger. PF2 early game just got worse, while keeping the same bad damage scalling.

DCs in 1E didn't scale off character level. They scale off spell level. DC was 10+ Spell Level + Ability Mod + Misc.

Without taking some specific options, a level 1 spell's DC don't go up automatically. Without taking feats, they'd only go up with ability score increases. Unless it was a creature's bad save, a level 1 spell would get worse as you leveled up (even before accounting for effects that are HD capped like Color Spray). Damage spells would have some limited scaling, but the DCs were fixed.

In 2E, DCs scale automatically based on character level, proficiency, and ability score. Spell level (or rank shortly) doesn't figure into the DC. Damage dice don't scale, so a level 1 spell is always gonna do mostly the same thing but the DC will scale with you.

Scarab Sages

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YuriP wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Is anyone still using cantrips at L10, much less L17 & L20?
Depending from your tradition options that are pretty interesting to trigger some weakness and disable regen. Due you not having the "divination touch" and maybe not prepared the damage type spell you need to a specific situation. Cantrips may help in these cases.

If all you need from cantrips is triggering weakness and disabling regen, then attribute bonuses don't make a difference.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I can justify putting a half dozen "scrolls of lightning bolt" in a bucket for the players to find, provided nobody's using this as a downpayment on a sword.

See, I'd find it hard to justify NOT using them as a downpayment on a real item I needed... We're in a catch 22. If for some reason I couldn't sell them, they'd sit at the bottom of my pack collecting dust until I could figure out how to get my money out of them.

Silver Crusade

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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Is anyone still using cantrips at L10, much less L17 & L20?

Absolutely.

One of the really cool things about cantrips is purely psychological. They actively encourage you to NOT throw a spell when the situation doesn't require a spell.

In PF1/5th ed/etc the player wants to do SOMETHING useful on their turn. Sure, the fight is basically over or its not too difficult so they REALLY should NOT throw a spell. But it is HARD to just "pass" or delay and not do anything. And its not fun.

Whereas in PF2 you can throw electric arc or ray of frost and still feel like you're contributing. And the bad guy sometimes crit fails and your electric arc puts them down :-).

I've thrown cantrips at level 20 when the situation really didn't need me to do anything more. Even at level 20 a spell slot is a valuable resource.

And, of course, there are times when a ray of frost is a BETTER option than any of your memorized spells. Maybe because of the range, maybe because cold is really useful, maybe you're out of your higher level damaging spells.


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I've had groups that refused to use consumables even when they're free and valueless. Sometimes I've ruled that they're going to disappear at the end of the session, just to see if that will actually get someone to quaff a potion.

Scarab Sages

pauljathome wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Is anyone still using cantrips at L10, much less L17 & L20?

Absolutely.

One of the really cool things about cantrips is purely psychological. They actively encourage you to NOT throw a spell when the situation doesn't require a spell.

In PF1/5th ed/etc the player wants to do SOMETHING useful on their turn. Sure, the fight is basically over or its not too difficult so they REALLY should NOT throw a spell. But it is HARD to just "pass" or delay and not do anything. And its not fun.

Whereas in PF2 you can throw electric arc or ray of frost and still feel like you're contributing. And the bad guy sometimes crit fails and your electric arc puts them down :-).

I've thrown cantrips at level 20 when the situation really didn't need me to do anything more. Even at level 20 a spell slot is a valuable resource.

And, of course, there are times when a ray of frost is a BETTER option than any of your memorized spells. Maybe because of the range, maybe because cold is really useful, maybe you're out of your higher level damaging spells.

Interesting. I've never played a caster past L10, but I generally get way more use out of spell slots than cantrips. I will admit that cantrips are better than using a crossbow or something.

Follow-up question: Does losing attribute modifier to damage make a difference at those levels? For electric arc, it's 5d4+5 at L10, 9d4+6 at L17, 10d4+7 at L10.

Silver Crusade

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NECR0G1ANT wrote:

Interesting. I've never played a caster past L10, but I generally get way more use out of spell slots than cantrips. I will admit that cantrips are better than using a crossbow or something.

Follow-up question: Does losing attribute modifier to damage make a difference at those levels? For electric arc, it's 5d4+5 at L10, 9d4+6 at L17, 10d4+7 at L10.

Don't get me wrong, at higher levels I use cantrips less and less often and certainly will not use them in all (or even most) encounters. But I still use them from time to time.

As to the follow-up question, don't know. The difference in damage gets (relatively speaking) less and less important as one goes up in level. I'd certainly guess that the difference will NOT affect my decision making in any noticeable way but its just a guess and only time and experience will let me know for sure.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Was losing ability to damage a necessary change? Does it improve early play experience for classes that are already weak early game and from many comments have the worst early game experience with the worst native survivability?

If losing ability to damage for cantrips was because it was too hard of complicated for people to remember the rest of the wizard caster kit is going to be way too hard to make effective.

Wizards need extensive knowledge of how the game, system, vulnerabilities, resistances work. They need to understand saves and which creatures are likely to have good and bad ones. They need to understand the value of trying to anticipate and prepare for a whole day of adventure and be lucky in that with a better understanding of tactics on when to use their abilities as it affects success or failure so much on a limited resource is far harder than basic rules comprehensive of add spellcasting modifier to damage.

Wizards require a very high skill floor to play and comprehension of hundreds of spells, creatures and rules to get what the average fighter or rogue gets without any of that. The reward for being great at all of that is to sometimes get a lucky crit or an enemy an unlucky save throw where you might turn the tide of a battle. Its a high skill floor with the pay off being you are good when an encounter is either designed to let the spells you have access to and prepared (or on consumables) shine . Martials and skill monkeys do not bear this burden? They get damage, survivability and now with skills being great awesome utility and far more access to consumables then ever before.

Is this really a good experience for new players? Does this fill the fantasy of a wizard?

Fighters can do high damage and tank, they can provide decent tactical support via athletics and intimidate with str to modifier via a skill feat.

Demoralise is as good as fear and can get higher levels of success (legendary prof + ability + item bonus) and get them earlier (expert comes on line at level 3, master at 7, legendary at 15, fear gets expert at 7, master at 13 and legendary at 19 and no item bonuses and costs limited resources...).

Everyone else gets tool box like utility with consumables, skills and feats, magic is by design not special so should not being the limiting factor.

Scarab Sages

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Cyder wrote:


Is this really a good experience for new players? Does this fill the fantasy of a wizard?

To the first, no. To the second, yes.

Wizard needed work regardless of attribute bonus to cantrip thing. After Witch its the caster with that's the most bare bones and its options are pretty underwhelming (even witch gets to steal spells from other traditions). Unless you're univeralist, it requires you to gamble on a spell school that may or may not be helpful and its focus spells aren't spectacular.

That said, the class fantasy of the wizard is 'person who pulls the right trick out at the right time' so yeah, trading lower base damage for a wide array of damage types, variable areas of effect, and built in scaling seems kinda fair.

Also, have they said that all existing spells were getting errata to remove the attribute bonus?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
YuriP wrote:
arcady wrote:
gesalt wrote:

3d4 vs 1d4+4 single target save cantrip

Yeah, real super. And yes, that's only single target on the EA.

One too many d's there. Should be:

2d4 vs 1d4+4

If it was 3d4, I still wouldn't like it because I like predictability - but it'd no longer be a math argument, I'd be a 'personal taste' argument.

This is not comparable. Because 2d4 avg damage is equals to 1d4+4 minimum damage.

He/She compared to 3d4 because their avg damage are more closer. Also the attribute bonus is progressive becoming +5 at level 10, +6 at level 17 and +7 at level 20.

But remaster electric arc is not 3d4, it will be 2d4.


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arcady wrote:
YuriP wrote:
arcady wrote:
gesalt wrote:

3d4 vs 1d4+4 single target save cantrip

Yeah, real super. And yes, that's only single target on the EA.

One too many d's there. Should be:

2d4 vs 1d4+4

If it was 3d4, I still wouldn't like it because I like predictability - but it'd no longer be a math argument, I'd be a 'personal taste' argument.

This is not comparable. Because 2d4 avg damage is equals to 1d4+4 minimum damage.

He/She compared to 3d4 because their avg damage are more closer. Also the attribute bonus is progressive becoming +5 at level 10, +6 at level 17 and +7 at level 20.

But remaster electric arc is not 3d4, it will be 2d4.

Thank you for proving my point that remaster cantrips are looking like a direct downgrade to current cantrips as far as hurrying up and getting whatever waste of time encounter you're using them in to finish.

I was being sardonic the first time I said it, but maybe they really are just niche protecting kineticist with this. I did remember thinking early on that EA+bard bow was competitive with fire kineticist impulse+blast initially. This would probably be how you bury it.


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3-Body Problem wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
The point is casters do use weapons. And you can use one to building it up along with a good combat stat as well to be damn good with a weapon compared to regular people.
Except you can't actually build those characters. PF2 simply isn't flexible enough to allow for them. You can build a generic good stuff Wizard who picks from the narrow selection of spells that aren't only good in very specific circumstances and who uses a weapon at low levels because apparently, spellcasters sucking at early levels is a sacred cow we Paizo won't slaughter. Paizo doesn't give any ability to really get creative in your build and as such the tactical gameplay may as well involve prebuilt characters.

Yes, you can. I've done it. You can build up.

You won't be the equal of an equal level martial, but you can certainly do plenty with a weapon combining it with casting. Try it sometime. You might find it a good use of your feats and stat bonuses.


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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Is anyone still using cantrips at L10, much less L17 & L20?

Magus.

Psychic.

I do use on some casters in trivial fights martials easily clean up just to do something on my turns combined with a weapon attack.


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graystone wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
PF2 (and Starfinder) economy allows easy use of consumables as character power asks for a small portion of your wealth (especially for casters).

That's besides the point: the fact that I CAN waste money, shouldn't mean I HAVE to wase money. If the solution is 'blow money on scrolls' to make a class work well, it's not a solution for me. It's JUST like expecting my fighers sword to break every fight so I have to carry a golfbag of extras but they are cheap so it's not an issue right? :P

Some of us just don't enjoy using consumables more than necessary: I'm fine with the off McGuffin [like some potions/scrolls of waterbreathing for an underwater encounter] but as the go to for every fight? No thanks. What percentage of my wealth that playstyle would cost is meaningless IMO.

Then it's just a question of personal taste, not one of efficiency. I don't like PF2 Bard design but I'd never say it's weak: it's just not for me. Since Starfinder, Scrolls (or Spell Gems) have become an integral part of spellcaster's power. Like it or not but don't dismiss it because you don't like it.

graystone wrote:
YuriP wrote:
Martials needs to waste money to become stronger too. But I had to admit that they primary uses money with some permanent items while spellcasters need to burn money with consumable scrolls.
Yeah, if the suggestion was for wands and staves, I'd see it in a different light: I'm not opposed to having to send cash on my character, just spending on disposables and/or having to keep disposables instead of trading them in to go towards the permanent items I need/want.

Wands are not for casters, they are meant to provide spells you can't cast normally. Buying Wands is straight up throwing money out the window, especially compared to scrolls who are roughly 5 times more interesting in terms of power per gold pieces.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Wands are not for casters, they are meant to provide spells you can't cast normally. Buying Wands is straight up throwing money out the window, especially compared to scrolls who are roughly 5 times more interesting in terms of power per gold pieces.

First time I've ever heard this. Granted, this is PF2's version, but if you have a once a day spell you always use, or an often but not always used spell, it can be nice. I know I'd love a wand of Mage Armour so I can free that slot for something more fun ...


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SuperBidi wrote:
Then it's just a question of personal taste, not one of efficiency.

It's a statement that scrolls aren't a fix for caster issues that everyone wants to use. I find it much more efficient to NOT toss away money on disposable items. I don't see wanting as many permanent items as possible as against efficiency and I'm sure not doing that by squandering gold on one off items: an individual coffee is cheap but if you instead of buying that cheap item every day, you save it and you'll end up with a respectable amount of cash a the end of the year.

SuperBidi wrote:
Since Starfinder, Scrolls (or Spell Gems) have become an integral part of spellcaster's power. Like it or not but don't dismiss it because you don't like it.

Has been integral for you maybe. I've seen lots of games that aren't using scrolls like candy so I can't see how you expect me to see it as a universal truth on how the game HAS to play.

graystone wrote:
YuriP wrote:
Martials needs to waste money to become stronger too. But I had to admit that they primary uses money with some permanent items while spellcasters need to burn money with consumable scrolls.
Yeah, if the suggestion was for wands and staves, I'd see it in a different light: I'm not opposed to having to send cash on my character, just spending on disposables and/or having to keep disposables instead of trading them in to go towards the permanent items I need/want.
SuperBidi wrote:
Wands are not for casters, they are meant to provide spells you can't cast normally. Buying Wands is straight up throwing money out the window, especially compared to scrolls who are roughly 5 times more interesting in terms of power per gold pieces.

Say what now? Casters don't use wands? News to me. And more interesting? Says you. Myself, something that I can use and doesn't vanish is infinitely more interesting to me than some bit of ephemera that isn't sticking around. As to the cost, the wand literally pays for itself if you cast its spell more often than the equivalent amount of scrolls of the same cost. How many people tout a wand of longstrider for everyone? You don't see people advocation a stack of longstrider scrolls instead right? There are plenty of spells that are useful but you don't want to fill up your combat slots. Again, from my point of view, you're never throwing money out with a wand as you always HAVE the wand when you're done casting from it [assuming you aren't foolishly reusing it in a day] while with a scroll... you're left with nothing but regret IMO.


graystone wrote:
Say what now? Casters don't use wands? News to me. And more interesting? Says you. Myself, something that I can use and doesn't vanish is infinitely more interesting to me than some bit of ephemera that isn't sticking around. As to the cost, the wand literally pays for itself if you cast its spell more often than the equivalent amount of scrolls of the same cost. How many people tout a wand of longstrider for everyone? You don't see people advocation a stack of longstrider scrolls instead right? There are plenty of spells that are useful but you don't want to fill up your combat slots. Again, from my point of view, you're never throwing money out with a wand as you always HAVE the wand when you're done casting from it [assuming you aren't foolishly reusing it in a day] while with a scroll... you're left with nothing but regret IMO.

In too many people's opinions, really. 'But I might need it later!' Especially at lower levels.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I lean towards scrolls over wands, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say one is always the right solution over the other. How many times will I actually use this? Is one important question to ask, but so is “how did I acquire this item?” And “do I want the ability to have this when I need it?”

Mage armor, for example. “I want to cast this every day.” Really? At level 15 you want to be casting level 1 mage armor? Not a heightened version? If you level up after casting that spell 2 or 3 times, do you want that spell eating into your spells per day 4 to 6 times before you can even afford the wand, than it leveling out of a level 1 slot 8 to 12 times later? ( the pricing here is very close as a wand is 12 times the cost of the scroll but also not available at the same time. Go just one or two days without casting it and the scrolls will come out cheaper.

For some players , “then I will sell it back,” becomes enough to make them want the wand. That is down to preference really and play style.

But let’s look at level 4 lightning bolt. How much longer will it extend a level 9 wizards adventuring day to cast this spell 1 extra time per day for 5 days, vs being able to just cast 10 extra lightning bolts, period, with no cap on their usage, probably starting 2, or possibly even 3 or 4 levels earlier? (Probably not 10 level 4 lightning bolts at level 5, but maybe 1). That is really what scrolls offer casters, the ability to really spam spell slot spells, sometimes even top level slots or better. I strongly recommend that players feeling heavily constrained by spell slot limits start off slow with a couple of extra low level scrolls of spells you know you would cast almost every encounter if you had them, but eventually, doing things like buying a rank 2 spell like dispell magic at level 2, and see how game changing it can be to be able to break the rules of the game and have access to powerful narrative spells a level or two too early.


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graystone wrote:
Say what now? Casters don't use wands?

Optimized casters don't.

A Wand gives you an additional spell per day and 2 for exceptional circumstances for 10 to 15 times the price of a scroll.
A small bunch of Scrolls (you don't need many, 2 or 3 scrolls of your highest level is enough) gives you 2 things:
- First, it's a buffer for the famous unexpected tough fight at the end of the unexpectedly long adventuring day. Because you have this buffer, you can be more liberal in your spell slot use. And thing is: The unexpected tough fight at the end of the unexpectedly long adventuring day is a rarity. So the result is just that you go to bed with more spells used, roughly 30-40% more than a caster without scrolls and you rarely use a scroll because of that. That's extra free spells, and more than the Wand can give you for half its price.
- Second, for life or death situations, you will cast as much as you can and you will end up using your scrolls (that's the main case when I use my scrolls). You will also overcharge your Wand (because it's a life or death situation so you don't really count your pennies). The Wand will give you 2 castings with half the chance to be broken for 10 to 15 times the price of a scroll.

The effect of Scrolls on your character is much bigger than the effect of Wands. Buying Wands of spells you can cast is a weak choice, you should buy Scrolls instead. But I get it, it's a bit hard to accept (it took me a bit of time to realize the effect of Scrolls on my character, but after saving the party from a TPK and a potential character death I was damn sure it was the optimized choice).


I agree that scrolls are good. Casters at all levels should have scrolls handy, either for niche spells they know but don't want to prepare, or just to have more juice when it's needed. I get that some people *really* dislike using consumables but the fact is scrolls are exceedingly effective at making casters last longer in exactly the way SuperBidi says.

This was also true in PF1, it's just that there was a case for wands as tools to cast a large number of low-level spells efficiently. Once that's been removed and with very few buffs being the sort that you cast once and have them last all day wands have become pretty inefficient.

I'm not a huge fan of wands in their current state and wouldn't mind seeing them tweaked in some small way to make them more useful outside of casting Longstrider and then going to the bottom of the caster's pack for the rest of the day.


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SuperBidi wrote:
graystone wrote:
Say what now? Casters don't use wands?

Optimized casters don't.

A Wand gives you an additional spell per day and 2 for exceptional circumstances for 10 to 15 times the price of a scroll.
A small bunch of Scrolls (you don't need many, 2 or 3 scrolls of your highest level is enough) gives you 2 things:
- First, it's a buffer for the famous unexpected tough fight at the end of the unexpectedly long adventuring day. Because you have this buffer, you can be more liberal in your spell slot use. And thing is: The unexpected tough fight at the end of the unexpectedly long adventuring day is a rarity. So the result is just that you go to bed with more spells used, roughly 30-40% more than a caster without scrolls and you rarely use a scroll because of that. That's extra free spells, and more than the Wand can give you for half its price.
- Second, for life or death situations, you will cast as much as you can and you will end up using your scrolls (that's the main case when I use my scrolls). You will also overcharge your Wand (because it's a life or death situation so you don't really count your pennies). The Wand will give you 2 castings with half the chance to be broken for 10 to 15 times the price of a scroll.

The effect of Scrolls on your character is much bigger than the effect of Wands. Buying Wands of spells you can cast is a weak choice, you should buy Scrolls instead. But I get it, it's a bit hard to accept (it took me a bit of time to realize the effect of Scrolls on my character, but after saving the party from a TPK and a potential character death I was damn sure it was the optimized choice).

So, as a GM, the impression I am getting is that it's better to give wands as loot while letting players buy a variety of scrolls?


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I don't have the gold to use wands or scrolls at low level with any consistent frequency.

I don't have the actions to use wands or scrolls at higher level. I always seem to be doing something else. I usually forget I have them.


Deriven Firelion wrote:

I don't have the gold to use wands or scrolls at low level with any consistent frequency.

I don't have the actions to use wands or scrolls at higher level. I always seem to be doing something else. I usually forget I have them.

Don't the new items designed to hold scrolls help with this significantly? Between having a few scrolls where they don't take that extra action to cast and having a familiar holding one or two that seem like they'd be most needed in a pinch it feels like you can partially solve this issue.


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3-Body Problem wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

I don't have the gold to use wands or scrolls at low level with any consistent frequency.

I don't have the actions to use wands or scrolls at higher level. I always seem to be doing something else. I usually forget I have them.

Don't the new items designed to hold scrolls help with this significantly? Between having a few scrolls where they don't take that extra action to cast and having a familiar holding one or two that seem like they'd be most needed in a pinch it feels like you can partially solve this issue.

Items to make scrolls easier?

With independent not functioning with valet, I don't bother with the familiar.

I would say the main reason I don't bother is I don't need to. I know some people like to be active every round. I'm perfectly content to land a slow and maybe a synesthesia, then sit back and use cantrips.

I've always played casters as stepping up as needed unless they are an aggressive blaster type, which I usually do for druids.

That definition The Raven Black posted for wizards is how I generally play, only problem is I don't play that way with wizards. I prefer a sorcerer or bard or cleric in that role. They do the "Silver bullet" spell thing better than a wizard since there are a handful of spells that are the best "Silver bullet" for every battle like slow or synestehsia.

Why waste your time casting when you stick one or two spells on the creature and then let the martials tear it apart?

Then I either roleplay my character reading a book or thinking about something interesting to do during the downtime or blast with cantrips. So the whole cantrips not doing ability damage is going to be pretty annoying.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
Items to make scrolls easier?

I was blanking on the name but:

https://2e.aonprd.com/Armor.aspx?ID=35

You could have two scrolls that don't need to be drawn if you were to invest in inscribed robes and an inscribed shield. It isn't exactly flexible but you could pack a fair bit of extra boom into those if you wanted to.

Quote:
With independent not functioning with valet, I don't bother with the familiar.

That's one of those rulings that is so stupid and mean-spirited towards players who wanted to get *some* use out of their familiars that I've chosen to ignore it.

Quote:

I would say the main reason I don't bother is I don't need to. I know some people like to be active every round. I'm perfectly content to land a slow and maybe a synesthesia, then sit back and use cantrips.

I've always played casters as stepping up as needed unless they are an aggressive blaster type, which I usually do for druids.

That definition The Raven Black posted for wizards is how I generally play, only problem is I don't play that way with wizards. I prefer a sorcerer or bard or cleric in that role. They do the "Silver bullet" spell thing better than a wizard since there are a handful of spells that are the best "Silver bullet" for every battle like slow or synestehsia.

Why waste your time casting when you stick one or two spells on the creature and then let the martials tear it apart?

Then I either roleplay my character reading a book or thinking about something interesting to do during the downtime or blast with cantrips. So the whole cantrips not doing ability damage is going to be pretty annoying.

Fair enough, if you're not needing the extra spells I can see why scrolls wouldn't feel all that useful to you especially when you value flexibility and action economy as much as you do.

Liberty's Edge

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I agree Wizard could use a boost and hopefully will get one in Remastered. I really do not think all casters need one.


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3-Body Problem wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Items to make scrolls easier?

I was blanking on the name but:

https://2e.aonprd.com/Armor.aspx?ID=35

You could have two scrolls that don't need to be drawn if you were to invest in inscribed robes and an inscribed shield. It isn't exactly flexible but you could pack a fair bit of extra boom into those if you wanted to.

Quote:
With independent not functioning with valet, I don't bother with the familiar.

That's one of those rulings that is so stupid and mean-spirited towards players who wanted to get *some* use out of their familiars that I've chosen to ignore it.

Quote:

I would say the main reason I don't bother is I don't need to. I know some people like to be active every round. I'm perfectly content to land a slow and maybe a synesthesia, then sit back and use cantrips.

I've always played casters as stepping up as needed unless they are an aggressive blaster type, which I usually do for druids.

That definition The Raven Black posted for wizards is how I generally play, only problem is I don't play that way with wizards. I prefer a sorcerer or bard or cleric in that role. They do the "Silver bullet" spell thing better than a wizard since there are a handful of spells that are the best "Silver bullet" for every battle like slow or synestehsia.

Why waste your time casting when you stick one or two spells on the creature and then let the martials tear it apart?

Then I either roleplay my character reading a book or thinking about something interesting to do during the downtime or blast with cantrips. So the whole cantrips not doing ability damage is going to be pretty annoying.

Fair enough, if you're not needing the extra spells I can see why scrolls wouldn't feel all that useful to you especially when you value flexibility and action economy as much as you do.

Inscribed. Interesting. It might make me use a scroll. I have to pay to inscribe it each time? Hmm. Not liking that as that can be very expensive. I'd rather spend on a permanent item.

Liberty's Edge

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In the end, even a permanent item will not be used an infinite number of times.

It is an amount of money paid to get a given result for a certain number of times before the campaign ends.

The difference with a consumable is mostly an illusion.

So, what matters is which is the best way to spend your PC's money to get the aforementioned result.

Consumables have a definite advantage in being one-use and thus cheaper, which makes them available earlier.


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The Raven Black wrote:

In the end, even a permanent item will not be used an infinite number of times.

It is an amount of money paid to get a given result for a certain number of times before the campaign ends.

The difference with a consumable is mostly an illusion.

So, what matters is which is the best way to spend your PC's money to get the aforementioned result.

Consumables have a definite advantage in being one-use and thus cheaper, which makes them available earlier.

I'm far more focused on building up armor, saving for an Apex item, and skill enhancing items. I mostly play APs. The money in APs isn't usually super high where I can casually spend money on consumables. If I find a useful scroll, wand, or staff in an AP, then I use it. Otherwise, sell everything and stock up on gold to build permanent items.

If I have a crafter and downtime, I make permanent items for a bit cheaper than they would normally cost.

That's how I do gold in campaigns. I don't spend a penny on a consumable until I have my main items and ready to buy upgrades at appropriate levels. Even the key items are real expensive.

Liberty's Edge

Deriven Firelion wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

In the end, even a permanent item will not be used an infinite number of times.

It is an amount of money paid to get a given result for a certain number of times before the campaign ends.

The difference with a consumable is mostly an illusion.

So, what matters is which is the best way to spend your PC's money to get the aforementioned result.

Consumables have a definite advantage in being one-use and thus cheaper, which makes them available earlier.

I'm far more focused on building up armor, saving for an Apex item, and skill enhancing items. I mostly play APs. The money in APs isn't usually super high where I can casually spend money on consumables. If I find a useful scroll, wand, or staff in an AP, then I use it. Otherwise, sell everything and stock up on gold to build permanent items.

If I have a crafter and downtime, I make permanent items for a bit cheaper than they would normally cost.

That's how I do gold in campaigns. I don't spend a penny on a consumable until I have my main items and ready to buy upgrades at appropriate levels. Even the key items are real expensive.

I understand. But you miss on remarkable items. Cat's eye elixir is my go to consumable for every character. With lesser antidote and antiplague not far behind.

And that's not even talking about healing potions and elixirs of life.


The main problem of consumable are psychological! Due the fact that they "burns" your money!

Many players dislike the idea of waste money with consumables specially if they risk not to be useful and need to be sold later. This primary makes then avoid to buy and secondary makes them fill like they was just carrying some extra money source to buy permanents.

The only way to solve this is making consumable really cheaper! Cheaper enough to player don't carry about buy them because they won't affect their budget too much. I believe that most players don't want to compromise more them 10% of their budged in the entire character's live with consumables.

But for other side if Paizo make consumables really cheap they risk to loose control specially for things like scrolls that can break their daily usage limits too much.

IMO its a thing that don't have solution now. In order to make consumable really attractive to players they need to break the entire concept of daily usage limits and focus only in per encounter/per round limit like was suggested by someone (sorry I don't remember the name of who made this suggestion) in another thread. Something to be made in a PF3. For PF2 this simply won't have a good solution.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

1st level scroll is 4gp. While no where near a guarantee, the extra flexibility and spellslot can definitely make THE difference in the early levels. This can free from the feeling of having to take mandatory spells (magic weapon) or allow you to have the perfect oh crap spell (illusory object).

Many of the things you spend your starting are consumable, whether it is heavy armor you are going to be replacing or moving to a composite bow.the assumption that spending money consumables at level 1 is a waste I feel is not engaging with the intended design of item economy.


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Parry wrote:
Many of the things you spend your starting are consumable, whether it is heavy armor you are going to be replacing or moving to a composite bow.the assumption that spending money consumables at level 1 is a waste I feel is not engaging with the intended design of item economy.

That's simply untrue: trading up your armor or bow nets you 1/2 your money back as it's NOT a consumable. A used scroll nets you exactly diddly-squat. AS such, they aren't comparable.


arcady wrote:
YuriP wrote:
arcady wrote:
gesalt wrote:

3d4 vs 1d4+4 single target save cantrip

Yeah, real super. And yes, that's only single target on the EA.

One too many d's there. Should be:

2d4 vs 1d4+4

If it was 3d4, I still wouldn't like it because I like predictability - but it'd no longer be a math argument, I'd be a 'personal taste' argument.

This is not comparable. Because 2d4 avg damage is equals to 1d4+4 minimum damage.

He/She compared to 3d4 because their avg damage are more closer. Also the attribute bonus is progressive becoming +5 at level 10, +6 at level 17 and +7 at level 20.

But remaster electric arc is not 3d4, it will be 2d4.

Yet this comparison is being made between Needle Darts and EA. But EA is a save cantrip while Needle is an attack cantrip.

Is more fair to compare it with Telecinetic Projectile that looks similar as damage type and Produce Flame/Ray of Frost because have similar damage.

The saves affects the avg damage due half-dmg.

Or the most correct that is compare Produce Flame vs Ignition at melee and range.

Here a correct comparison.
and
Low level graph to make more easier to see.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Parry wrote:
Many of the things you spend your starting are consumable, whether it is heavy armor you are going to be replacing or moving to a composite bow.the assumption that spending money consumables at level 1 is a waste I feel is not engaging with the intended design of item economy.
That's simply untrue: trading up your armor or bow nets you 1/2 your money back as it's NOT a consumable. A used scroll nets you exactly diddly-squat. AS such, they aren't comparable.

This is a distinction without a difference. Saving your 4 gold for 4 levels is a personal choice. It is painfully obvious that consumable use like this is built into the official adventure design.

Silver Crusade

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SuperBidi wrote:
graystone wrote:
Say what now? Casters don't use wands?

Optimized casters don't.

There are very, very clearly several exceptions to this.

The most obvious is the wand of L2 longstrider. I don't think I've ever seem a semi-optimized arcane or primal caster who doesn't put buying one of these as a quite high priority.

Other common exceptions are things like mage armor. Depending on the campaign (eg, wilderness campaign where you're wandering for days, or a campaign with slow advancement) its reasonably likely that a wand is far more cost effective than scrolls. And beats dedicating a spell to it.

Depending on campaign there are quite a few spells that you'll want on just about every single day and a wand is often the cheapest alternative.


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Parry wrote:
This is a distinction without a difference.

But there IS a difference, hence this satement is moot. You get money back from old armor and weapons and you DO NOT GET IT FOR USED CONSUMABLES!!! Not the same. Not even a little. It's about as 'apple vs orange' as you can get.

Parry wrote:
Saving your 4 gold for 4 levels is a personal choice.

But it's NOT just 4 gold. People aren't advocating using just ONE and only ONE scroll for their entire campaign: they are advocating for regularly buying and using scrolls, so it's for multiples of various levels of scroll which equals MUCH, MUCH more than a simple 4gp.

Parry wrote:
It is painfully obvious that consumable use like this is built into the official adventure design.

Maybe? If so, they missed the mark with me and others that aren't thrilled with consumables.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Another complication with consumable use that drives some players to frustration and Anger is the guidelines from the GMG make it clear that it doesn’t matter if the PCs are trying to penny pinch or spend their gold quickly on consumables, the GM should be checking in occasionally and giving more gold to players if they are too far under budget on equipment. So the real cost, according to the GMG of using more consumables should be finding more of them or otherwise getting a discount on them to make sure players aren’t falling behind on basic numbers. The difference between saving up to buy equipment a half level early vs waiting and finding one a level later can be the difference between getting to treat a top level spell slot like an focus spell instead of a once or twice a day ability.

This advice in the GMG runs into problems too with GMs who run APs “by the book” and give exactly as much treasure as the players find in the game without concern for if the players are spending gold narratively or giving it away, or if the players are failing perception checks often and not finding it. This is a real problem that should probably be clarified in the GMG when talking about running published material.

Liberty's Edge

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You folks are talking about a different phenomenon that is altogether separate from low-level caster problems now. The "Too good to use" or Elixir problem is a problem that stretches back to the very beginning of games that offer consumable items. This problem HAS no simple or easy fix, in fact, I'm apt to think that it is, in general, impossible to solve if Consumables of any real impact at included at all and therefore modern games should just completely avoid including consumables in their games (that aren't otherwise used as a resource for OTHER more important and mandatory things) because if you balance around them being available and frequently used then MOST people will actually be behind the curve as it is completely normal to hoard/refuse to use them when they are attained and if you do NOT balance around them it has the tradeoff of making the game feel fairer while at the same time creating a conundrum whereby Consumables are eventually figured out to be beneficial to provide an edge and are considered a "tax" that the players need to and hate to pay in order to be optimal.

I don't think short of a huge overhaul of things more befitting a true full edition change that Paizo can fix this behavior, period, it is ingrained in the human mind and psyche to collect valuable things and never use them, ignore that they exist because using up something that is destroyed that confers a benefit feels bad, or be grumpy because they feel they're being forced to spend money/resource on something they only ever gain a momentary advantage out of.


Unicore wrote:

Another complication with consumable use that drives some players to frustration and Anger is the guidelines from the GMG make it clear that it doesn’t matter if the PCs are trying to penny pinch or spend their gold quickly on consumables, the GM should be checking in occasionally and giving more gold to players if they are too far under budget on equipment. So the real cost, according to the GMG of using more consumables should be finding more of them or otherwise getting a discount on them to make sure players aren’t falling behind on basic numbers. The difference between saving up to buy equipment a half level early vs waiting and finding one a level later can be the difference between getting to treat a top level spell slot like an focus spell instead of a once or twice a day ability.

This advice in the GMG runs into problems too with GMs who run APs “by the book” and give exactly as much treasure as the players find in the game without concern for if the players are spending gold narratively or giving it away, or if the players are failing perception checks often and not finding it. This is a real problem that should probably be clarified in the GMG when talking about running published material.

On the bolded part, even dm that do adjust have vast difference in what "occasionally" means as a time frame: it can be levels between for some which an early permanent item can have some real impact for a good amount of time. Then there is the issue of mixed types of players: how does the DM correctly seed items for player A that used them every fight and make sure player B that saves and resells items doesn't end up with them and increasing their savings past the expected amount? It's problematic unless the entire group is on the same page: for myself, I'm rarely playing with players I know so being on the same page is often impossible.

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