Justification about Cantripis


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Did we ever truly get answer as to why Spell-Attribute modifier was removed from Cantrip damage as a whole? It seems like Electric Arc's 2d4 is still one of the best cantrips in game and that boils down tot the fact it is a double whamy, 2 targets AND reflex save for half.

Playing the OG Pathfinder Core since it has released, changing Cantrips away from this makes an already bad initial action worse. There is a reason you have Attributers be added and that is to give a minimal for the max, people would rather have 5-10 then 2-12 for Telekinetic projectile because if you're forced to use it early levels and you roll double 1s on your 2d6, did you really contribute to that round?

While your great-axe fighter friend is not just more accurate but also hits harder by default, it feels bad. 1d20+9 to attack with and then 1d12+4, Minimal 5 with a max of 16. What makes them different if their ability to take multiple hits and still fight. unlike you as a caster.

We all know why people use Electric Arc, it's not because 2-8 damage is powerful It is because it's 2-8 damage, times 2 targets with a chance to succeed to reduce it by 1/2 from 2-8 to 1-4, still doing damage.

Perhaps if all Spells & Cantrips were using the Critical scale system it be much nicer, even attack roll Spells/Cantrips. Oh no, I missed his AC by 1, whelp at least I get to deal 1/2 damage so my slot wasn't wasted!


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

They published a blog with the reasoning weeks ago.

Also Electric Arc lacks any sort of riders, has low damage for single target, short range, triggers virtually no weaknesses, and cantrips are only really good in the early levels when high reflex saves are commons.

Also don't compare range cantrips to melee attacks, it makes you look silly. At least use Gouging Claw instead of Telekinetic Projectile.

Cantrips

We’ve made several revisions to damaging cantrips, with the broadest change being to use only damage dice rather than adding an attribute modifier. Like with most changes we made to the system, this was decided after examining multiple factors that were causing problems together.

Consistency with how other spells work. Most spells deal just dice for damage, and cantrips were an outlier. Making spells look and function more consistently across the board helps in understanding the rules, especially for new players.
Match their damage to our intended spell benchmarks. One-target cantrips were supposed to deal around 6 damage, with focus spells and spell slots dealing a bit more. Adding the spellcasting attribute modifier pushed all the damage numbers off their baseline.
Avoid penalizing characters who have damage cantrips from innate spells or multiclassing twice. Characters who got damaging cantrips from multiclassing or as innate spells from ancestry feats or the like often have a lower attribute modifier than a dedicated spellcaster and were dealing with both a lower chance of success and lower damage if they hit. This is a smaller issue, but often led to players being unhappy with their character options.
Cleaning up how cantrips work for monsters. This is another smaller issue, but a pain point for GMs. It was unclear how to apply the spellcasting attribute modifier for monsters with cantrips.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'll also note that cantrips aren't weapons where you usually only focus on one. Every casters gets at least 5 of them, at least 3 of which can probably be afforded for offensive options. I'm not convinced Electric Arc is a must prepare option anymore, but even if you think it is you'll still want the others to target fortitude and AC, bypass resistance, and trigger weakness, or just hit an enemy more than 30 feet away. That was true before the remaster, and it is especially true now that electric arc is nerfed and pretty much every other cantrip is buffed. (If not in raw damage, then in range or other effects.)


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The above makes the assumption that casters should be dealing similar DPR to that of martial classes with cantrips alone, which I think is worth challenging. Normally the comparison made with this kind of false equivalence is between casters and some generic ranged martial, which could perhaps have some merit at early levels, but in this particular case the desire seems to be to approach the damage and accuracy of a melee Fighter, i.e. the pinnacle of accuracy and baseline damage. If casters could do that and still have all of their slot and focus spells, there would be little reason to pick a martial class, as their key function would be made redundant by some small part of a caster’s arsenal.

Beyond that, my take on the above is: at-will DPR is not meant to be a strength of casters, and we need to stop asking for casters to cannibalize that strength from martial classes in 2e. Furthermore, the claim that casters are less accurate than martials with cantrips is untrue for the levels at which cantrips truly matter: for sure, spell attacks scale more slowly in accuracy than martial attacks, but at that point casters are already expected to rely on slot spells if they want to output meaningful damage, with cantrips being reserved for cleanup. At level 1, your spell attack will be just as accurate as the average martial’s Strike, and unlike the martial’s second Strike, you don’t even have to deal with MAP. I’d say the switch to dice from attribute mod helps smooth progression and make dice size changes cleaner too, as happened with the new Ignition cantrip, and while outliers like Electric Arc and Daze still exist, cantrips overall so exactly what they’re meant to.


ElementalofCuteness wrote:
While your great-axe fighter friend is not just more accurate but also hits harder by default, it feels bad. 1d20+9 to attack with and then 1d12+4, Minimal 5 with a max of 16. What makes them different if their ability to take multiple hits and still fight. unlike you as a caster.

I'd argue this is really only a level 1-3 or 1-4 problem. Rank 3+ spells aren't terribly behind other combat actions. You have also just used the game's combat specialist maxxed out for highest possible offensive output as your measuring stick. That's probably not the best metric.

PF2E developers envisioned casters as having broader and more flexible capabilities than an offense-maxxed fighter. Is that good game design, or simply and unnecessary and dissatisfying restriction on players who want to be best-in-class combatant AS a caster? This is an old argument, and one for which there are many heated debates. Agree or disagree with it, that's the design philosophy behind the decision...and it's why casters are not the dpr leaders for single target combat.

Quote:

We all know why people use Electric Arc, it's not because 2-8 damage is powerful It is because it's 2-8 damage, times 2 targets with a chance to succeed to reduce it by 1/2 from 2-8 to 1-4, still doing damage.

Perhaps if all Spells & Cantrips were using the Critical scale system

I would have to go look again at the remastered spells but I believe EA is kind of the 'new normal.' i.e. it is normal for a combat cantrip to do 2d4 to multiple targets in some way (cone, line, whatever), with half damage on a successful save. The cantrips that are single target or target AC (i.e. don't do half on a miss) do a bit more. So casters should have a bit more flexibility in terms of picking combat cantrips now, since they're a bit more standardized. Don't quote me on that though, I haven't really done a full assessment of them.

Re: critical scaling. Pathfinder DOES use a "beat by 10 = critical hit" system. That applies to spells too. Were you thinking 5e, that doesn't?


ElementalofCuteness wrote:
Did we ever truly get answer as to why Spell-Attribute modifier was removed from Cantrip damage as a whole? It seems like Electric Arc's 2d4 is still one of the best cantrips in game and that boils down tot the fact it is a double whamy, 2 targets AND reflex save for half.

I'm pretty sure it was clearly stated somewhere it was for #1 consistency, as normal spells never used + STAT. And #2 was to help casters dip into other casting classes without it being even worse of an investment. So a CHA caster can dip into Wiz, still needs the min INT, but isn't going to also have their cantrip damage lower. Further solidifying cantrips to be a consistent baseline backup option.

Unofficially, I do think there was a conscious effort to nerf cantrips a bit. The very first thing in the book about cantrips has always been

"A cantrip is a special type of spell that's weaker than other spells but can be used with greater freedom and flexibility."

Yet, especially w/ Electric Arc, cantrips in-game were used less like the emergency pistol they were supposed to be, and instead more like a primary baseline. How many casters have you seen skip carrying a runed weapon? How many have you seen bonk w/ a staff (1d8 when 2-H!).

Yes I absolutely insist that Electric Arc is still far too good after the remaster, but it's VERY difficult to nerf things in a ttrpg, especially popular things. At the very least, adding a clause to limit it in some way, like "the 2nd target must be within 15 unobstructed ft of the first." was certainly warranted. Yet, that ship has sailed. EA will always be the point of comparison for everything else now.

An example point of comparison that came up in the Alchemist thread was that of Crackling Bubble Gum which does the same damage as EA now, w/ a flat DC of 25 (-2 vs L9 Alch's Class DC), is a not friend-safe cone, 150gp, once per combat via Lozenge trait, ect.

That's not some old forgotten item, it's a Treasure Vault release. The devs thought they were giving the Alchemist something useful. And instead, it's harder to get the same 2-target damage than using EA. While using resources and being a lozenge.

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Cantrips were never supposed to compete with 0 MAP Strikes, not even for casters. Because EA gets 2x dmg most of the time, most of the time it does compete. When you've got martials of all stripes finagling their Ancestry / whatever in order to have EA, that's a clear sign it's too appealing. There should be *far* more variety, even among power gamers, around things like that.

When the game itself literally says "[cantrips are] weaker than other spells" people should pay attention.


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Trip.H wrote:
Cantrips were never supposed to compete with 0 MAP Strikes, not even for casters.

I do not believe this is true anymore. In fact, I think this is implicitly, if not explicitly, false. At least since PF1e, the assumption seems to be that cantrips were meant to replace wizards throwing darts or firing crossbows.

Also, the quoted texted reads to me like you're saying "the designers intent was not for cantrips to compete with 0 MPA strikes" - which if true leads back to my first point. It appears that it WAS their intent.

If you're saying that cantrips 'were never supposed' to function this way, but are appealing to some other standard or universal principle... then i guess *shrug*.

Trip.H wrote:
When the game itself literally says "[cantrips are] weaker than other spells" people should pay attention.

Cantrips are weaker than other spells.


Well, you can believe what you wish regarding the developer's intentions.

But Trip.H is accurate in quoting the rulebook. So if your beliefs disagree with the printed rules, I'm going to side with the printed rules.


ElementalofCuteness wrote:
Perhaps if all Spells & Cantrips were using the Critical scale system it be much nicer, even attack roll Spells/Cantrips. Oh no, I missed his AC by 1, whelp at least I get to deal 1/2 damage so my slot wasn't wasted!

I would like to mention Needle Darts, which was designed with much more intention as a "small pistol" in comparison to cantrips base design being a "purse pistol." (Meanwhile EA snuck through as a double-barred purse pistol)

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The catch for Needle Darts is to occupy a hand w/ metal (the devs begging casters to carry a weapon or shield), and in exchange you the the 3d4 + Hd4 damage w/ a 60ft range. Hand occupancy is a serious condition, but ND is clever in it being something you need to think and plan for, but will be mostly compatible.

To be honest, all the Secrets of Magic cantrips are great to compare as the second draft "we better know what we're doing" type of iteration.

Nothing nearly as busted as EA. All the asterisks* to getting above the 2d4 baseline are significant, but doable / common-ish. And the 2ndary rides, like Scatter Scree's terrain, are relevant more often.

And of course, there's Slashing Gust.

The "These *s are what a cantrip is supposed to demand to get to EA's damage numbers" spell.

Because yeah, 2 empty hands is *way* more of an ask than what ND does, and it's very hard to get casters to pick SG over EA, even with the little +s, range, ect.


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Finoan wrote:

Well, you can believe what you wish regarding the developer's intentions.

But Trip.H is accurate in quoting the rulebook. So if your beliefs disagree with the printed rules, I'm going to side with the printed rules.

...who are you responding to? It feels like me but, what you posted in no way contradicts anything I said in my post.

These are both true:
1.) The devs make a conscious and knowing decision to create cantrips that can completely replace mundane weapons for casters
2.) Cantrips are weaker than spells


Raiztt wrote:
Trip.H wrote:
Cantrips were never supposed to compete with 0 MAP Strikes, not even for casters.

I do not believe this is true anymore. In fact, I think this is implicitly, if not explicitly, false. At least since PF1e, the assumption seems to be that cantrips were meant to replace wizards throwing darts or firing crossbows.

Also, the quoted texted reads to me like you're saying "the designers intent was not for cantrips to compete with 0 MPA strikes" - which if true leads back to my first point. It appears that it WAS their intent.

If you're saying that cantrips 'were never supposed' to function this way, but are appealing to some other standard or universal principle... then i guess *shrug*.

Trip.H wrote:
When the game itself literally says "[cantrips are] weaker than other spells" people should pay attention.
Cantrips are weaker than other spells.

Burning Hands is infamous for "being worse that EA most of the time" despite being a slotted R1 spell.

It's an unsafe cone for 2d6.

If you can get 2 foes & no friends, that's a SINGLE CASTING of 4d6. Just about 100% of the time you could land that, EA is doing 4d4 at no FF risk, repositioning need, and is free/inf to cast. Avg 2 dmg less.

Back before the remaster, EA used STAT dmg instead of a d4, making it reliably perform *better* than Burning Hands. That's not EA beating a Focus spell, but a fully slotted, 1 p day spell.

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That comparison, coupled with there being no other core rulebook, nor later released cantrip, that comes close to EA's easy 4d4 + Hd2, clearly demonstrates that EA is the outlier / mistake.


Trip.H wrote:
That comparison, coupled with there being no other core rulebook, nor later released cantrip, that comes close to EA's easy 4d4 + Hd2, clearly demonstrates that EA is the outlier / mistake.

And yet it made it into the revised core rulebook, so it's definitely not a mistake on the dev's part. Because they just had a golden opportunity to change it and decided not to do so.

Furthermore, I don't agree that burning hands is worse than electric arc. But also, I've been DMing since PF2e released and with a wizard who uses electric arc constantly... it has not destabilized my game - so I don't even agree with your premise that it's a problem that needs a solution.


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Raiztt wrote:
Finoan wrote:

Well, you can believe what you wish regarding the developer's intentions.

But Trip.H is accurate in quoting the rulebook. So if your beliefs disagree with the printed rules, I'm going to side with the printed rules.

...who are you responding to? It feels like me but, what you posted in no way contradicts anything I said in my post.

These are both true:
1.) The devs make a conscious and knowing decision to create cantrips that can completely replace mundane weapons for casters
2.) Cantrips are weaker than spells

The first half of your post was sounding like you are claiming (through disagreement with other statements) that Cantrips are meant to be equivalent to 0 MAP Strikes from both spellcasters and martial characters. And then spell slot spells are supposed to be even more powerful than that.

If that is not what you are claiming, then we are indeed in agreement.

Yes, many of my spellcaster characters do not even carry weapons. The ones that do rarely use them. Making weapon attacks as a spellcaster is certainly not mandatory. But making a weapon attack is a viable option in the spellcaster's toolbox. And cantrip damage isn't intended to out-perform martial character's weapon damage.


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Finoan wrote:
Yes, many of my spellcaster characters do not even carry weapons. The ones that do rarely use them. Making weapon attacks as a spellcaster is certainly not mandatory. But making a weapon attack is a viable option in the spellcaster's toolbox. And cantrip damage isn't intended to out-perform martial character's weapon damage.

Cantrips are absolutely intended to be the caster's go-to combat option. It is their "i swing my sword", "i shoot my bow", basic attack action. That's why they are unlimited now instead of having a fixed number of uses. This change goes back to PF1e and this was the reasoning then.

There is a long history, that extends back before PF2e, of trying to find some sort of equivalent for casters vis a vis a basic attack. 3.5e implemented a new system for at-will cantrip level casting in the complete mage and then PF1e went further and just made cantrips infinite/free.

You can argue about whether or not that SHOULD be the case, but if you're operating under the assumption that it IS NOT the case, you are mistaken.

The link you showed does not say "Oh and btw this is not meant to be a caster's primary mode of offense".


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Trip.H wrote:
Yet, especially w/ Electric Arc, cantrips in-game were used less like the emergency pistol they were supposed to be, and instead more like a primary baseline. How many casters have you seen skip carrying a runed weapon? How many have you seen bonk w/ a staff (1d8 when 2-H!).

I just hope you're not implying that now all casters will/should use fully runed weapons and/or start using STR-only staves.


Raiztt wrote:
And yet it made it into the revised core rulebook, so it's definitely not a mistake on the dev's part. Because they just had a golden opportunity to change it and decided not to do so.

You and I both know that's not how game development works.

They don't get to make changes in a vacuum without regard to the context of their playerbase. This is not the release of a new game, but changing things out from under existing players.

No other genre like ttrpgs can have players invest literal years into their characters.

I struggle to think of a game genre *more* prone to player backlash over changes they don't like.

Players would metaphorically riot if EA got nerfed directly.

The STAT --> d4 change alone has received a large degree of pushback already, explicitly with the framing of it being 'a nerf.'

There's a very non-zero number of players who are outright skipping paying $$$ for the remaster because they believe/worry it would nerf their characters.

Issues like this is why power creep exists even in ttrpgs. It's "safer" for the devs to nerf by omission as everything else slowly catches up. The devs only think it's worth the backlash to nerf super problematic outliers, and EA, despite being essentially 2x the baseline cantrip, never destabilized the game.

I'd argue EA was/is was lightly toxic in that it teaches a lot of casters that they didn't need to engage with the MAP system, don't need to think about maybe the occasional staff bonk, ect. How many even put Striking Runes into their staffs they are already holding?

The fact that many other cantrips received buffs when EA did not is exactly what I'm talking about. Having EA be that far ahead was a serious pressure to creep up those left behind.

An no, cantrips were not supposed to at the par of a caster's sword swings. Casters were always intended to be split between burning limited resources to go way above sword swings, and have their resourceless options being far below sword swings.

Back in the day, you swung your staff because that bonk *was* the closest thing to a cantrip.

PF2E Added the MAP system, to encourage attack actions as much as to discourage too many of them.

I find it incredibly hard to believe that Paizo would make the effort to have staffs be flexible 2-H, above the baseline for 1d8, have Feats like Bespell Weapon, ect, and still intend for casters to completely ignore attack actions.

EA generally doing more dmg per action than a 2-H bonk (while no other base game cantrip could) is one of the key lines I'm looking at. That even when you start your turn with a foe in your face, it was a better idea to EA instead of bonk, is why I call this a design mistake. Players were not wrong to do that, it was the result of not properly vetting/editing the flat 2x on EA.

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In other words, EA accidental OP release is *why* the idea of cantrips as a weapon-equivalent exists. It's *correct* to say that EA is generally on par w/ a backup weapon. However, if you look at the context surrounding EA, the other dmg cantrips, R1 spells, staff dmg, MAP system, ect, it's clear that it was EA that was the deviant outlier, and that fundamentally changed how cantrips as a whole were perceived, and how everyone played the game.

I didn't grow up with pf2e, I walked into the room without prior expectations here.

With the old STAT dmg, martials commonly grabbing EA is less of an alarm flag, and more like the dead body of design intentions face-down in the living room.


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Raiztt wrote:
Cantrips are absolutely intended to be the caster's go-to combat option. It is their "i swing my sword", "i shoot my bow", basic attack action.

Yes, cantrips are meant to be an option for a spellcaster's basic combat. I said that already.

I am also saying that they are:
* not the only basic combat option that they have
* not intended to be more than a basic combat option and perform as well as spell slot spells
* not intended to be as powerful as martial character's combat options


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Trip.H wrote:
I'd argue EA was/is was lightly toxic in that it teaches a lot of casters that they didn't need to engage with the MAP system, don't need to think about maybe the occasional staff bonk, ect. How many even put Striking Runes into their staffs they are already holding?

We do not share a foundational premise, so we're never going to agree. Cantrips are meant to be the "0 MAP" option for casters.


Trip.H wrote:
An example point of comparison that came up in the Alchemist thread was that of Crackling Bubble Gum which does the same damage as EA now, w/ a flat DC of 25 (-2 vs L9 Alch's Class DC), is a not friend-safe cone,...

An alchemist's level 5 item seems like a strange and poor choice for comparison. No player is faced with the build choice of taking EA or Bubble for the same cantrip 'slot'. A much more reasonable comparison would be EA to other Player Core direct attack cantrips a caster could take instead. Let's just look at the first four on the arcane list to see how EA compares to a caster's other options.

Caustic Blast - d8 vs 2d4, burst vs. 2 targets. Same range. Seems very comparable.

Frostbite - 2d4, but one target...but 60' range. Okay different, but reasonable. You're trading an extra target for extra range.

Gouging claw - single target (worse than EA), melee (dangerous), vs. AC (also worse), but 2d6 damage (definitely better).

Ignition - same range, same damage, single target, but with an option to increase damage to 2d6 in melee. So a trade of extra target for conditional damage.

So what does this tell us? Well that EA is still a great choice for Arcane casters who think they will be facing multiple foes, and who don't want to get in close. But it no longer 'rules the roost' in terms of being strictly, mechancially better than other attack cantrips the arcane caster could choose from. If you want to get in close, there are better. If you want to stay further away than 30', there are better. If you don't care about multiple target and just want to bring max pain to a single foe, there are better. Nothing does exactly the combo of what EA does, but EA doesn't overshadow the strengths of other cantrips.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think conversations about cantrips almost always bottle neck around low level comparisons.

For example,

A level 1 wizard might be using cantrips as their default, go to combat spell casting option. A level 5 wizard who is doing the same is underplaying their character significantly. They were when cantrips added attribute damage, and they are doing so even more now.

The issue with the static attribute bonus is that it gave players the wrong impression about how to play a caster. Electric arc with +INT was far too reliable a damage option at low levels, and so thinking about how to get more use out of your spell slots, and how to get more spell slots wasn't something players were focusing on enough in the levels 2 to 7 area where staves and wands are still cost prohibitive, but cantrip damage is starting to fall off.

The way casters get static damage added back to spells is by playing the weakness/resistance game, and the way casters get their accuracy back is by winning the defense "rock,paper, scissors" game.

Not every player will like that, and players and GMs should be talking about whether it is fun to play these minigames or not, but they very much are an integral part of the system design. I really hope the monster core 1 goes heavier on weaknesses and resistances for creatures but that it does so in a way that doesn't just result in APs having all the same creatures in it, so that singular spells dominate the whole campaign.


Raiztt wrote:
Trip.H wrote:
I'd argue EA was/is was lightly toxic in that it teaches a lot of casters that they didn't need to engage with the MAP system, don't need to think about maybe the occasional staff bonk, ect. How many even put Striking Runes into their staffs they are already holding?
We do not share a foundational premise, so we're never going to agree. Cantrips are meant to be the "0 MAP" option for casters.

EA's damage is suited to being a backup weapon. No disagreement.

No other cantrip was.

I present the surrounding context of the MAP system, 1d8 staff bonks, Burning Hands slotted spell, all other cantrips past and power-creeped present, to try to encourage a change in perspective.

To ask one to think about what cantrips would be if EA never happened.

That's what I mean by "cantrips are/were -supposed- to be the backup pistols for casters"


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I'm not sure about the insistence about how cantrips are equivalent to weapons. They're not really mutually exclusive. You can have both if you want to. Cantrips are a toolkit more than anything and occupy a different sphere of design than weapons. The comparison is kind of a waste.

As far as electric arc goes, I would have appreciated a nerf honestly. Could have been 2 targets but the second target has to be within 10 feet of the first or something like that.


Errenor wrote:
Trip.H wrote:
Yet, especially w/ Electric Arc, cantrips in-game were used less like the emergency pistol they were supposed to be, and instead more like a primary baseline. How many casters have you seen skip carrying a runed weapon? How many have you seen bonk w/ a staff (1d8 when 2-H!).
I just hope you're not implying that now all casters will/should use fully runed weapons and/or start using STR-only staves.

I'd argue it was always the intention for players to need to think about it, and for a bonk/ect to be sometimes the mathematically better choice.

When EA was doing 2x the baseline cantrip dmg, there was no need for players to really consider such MAP options.

That origin of EA making MAP related things rather irrelevant for casters is the crack in the foundation that Paizo have had to deal with ever since. Even when cantrips eventually start to fall behind as Ls go up, players have been conditioned to overuse EA and are not accustomed to thinking seriously about risking a flank for a martial or other dynamic options instead of just throwing another EA.

It is the over-simplifying of player decisions and thoughts that EA caused that makes me label it as "lightly toxic." Flowchart gameplay is a lot less fun than one that can keep players engaged and thinking contextually.


Easl wrote:
[cantrip comparisons]

Yes, and all those cantrips, even when directly power-creeped, barely compete with EA, sometimes.

You neglected perhaps the most apt comparison.
In order for a cantrip to be able to do EA's easy 2x 2d4 + H4d damage, that's Slashing Gust.

That cantrip gets 60ft range, and a crit rider of more damage. In exchange you need *both hands free* and it's an AC targeting MAP cantrip.

That's a HUGE cost to get the baseline EA damage, which no other cantrip can compare to even after the remaster.

IMO the closest side-grade is Scatter Scree. Not due to the conditional 2x damage, as that's infrequent, but because it's a non-target AoE. Concealment, ect is something that genuinely throws a wrench at EA, which SS does not have to worry about.

It's a perfect niche, it happens rarely but *could* be worth preparing for.

EA has no conditional need aside from 2 foes being present to get the 2x dmg, that has always been why it's OP, and why not altering that will keep it as king.

TBH I've not heard of a single player genuinely considering *not* taking EA.

I've been greatly pleased to hear some players being genuinely enthused to select a buffed cantrip previously ignored (usually it's Divine Lance), but that's always been in the context of EA still being there, and obviously slotted in.


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Unicore wrote:

...

The issue with the static attribute bonus is that it gave players the wrong impression about how to play a caster. Electric arc with +INT was far too reliable a damage option at low levels, and so thinking about how to get more use out of your spell slots, and how to get more spell slots wasn't something players were focusing on enough in the levels 2 to 7 area where staves and wands are still cost prohibitive, but cantrip damage is starting to fall off.
...

YES, thank you.

Game devs accidentally teaching players the wrong lessons due to a number mistake is as old a problem as RPGs themselves.


It also boils down too the problems of death and hit points. At low levels Casters don't want to get hit because of their low hit points, so risking a flank could turn terrible for them very quickly. In a campaign, Needle Darts is my go to because I do not have the option to pick up Electric Arc till level 3 at least if I were to be honest.

Perhaps it would be solved if KAS could be used to attack instead of Str or Dex with Finesse Trait. Make it a universal rule.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Cantrips are what you use when there isn't a reason to burn a finite resource on your turn. If you miss, oh well, you didn't waste anything but an action.


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ElementalofCuteness wrote:
It also boils down too the problems of death and hit points. At low levels Casters don't want to get hit because of their low hit points, so risking a flank could turn terrible for them very quickly.

Sure, but your OP said you feel bad because you're not doing damage comparable to d12+4, at 1st level. d12+4 isn't "stay at safe range" damage for anyone, that's a strike with a 2-H melee weapon. I think if you want full caster staying at a safe range where they won't get hit, you're going to have to rely on something like 3 action magic missile to give you your big damage contribution and not expect your cantrips to give that level of performance.


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Trip.H wrote:
Errenor wrote:
Trip.H wrote:
Yet, especially w/ Electric Arc, cantrips in-game were used less like the emergency pistol they were supposed to be, and instead more like a primary baseline. How many casters have you seen skip carrying a runed weapon? How many have you seen bonk w/ a staff (1d8 when 2-H!).
I just hope you're not implying that now all casters will/should use fully runed weapons and/or start using STR-only staves.
I'd argue it was always the intention for players to need to think about it, and for a bonk/ect to be sometimes the mathematically better choice.

... But it never is. Talking about STR-based attacks is definitely laughable. Something else, if you build for it, maybe, but I still don't think so. And I shouldn't build all casters as weapon hybrids. I don't want to build any, actually (until I take magus at least).

Trip.H wrote:
... no need for players to really consider ... ... irrelevant for casters ... the crack in the foundation ... Paizo have had to deal with ever since... ... players have been conditioned to overuse EA ... not accustomed to thinking seriously ... risking a flank for a martial or other dynamic options ... just throwing another EA... over-simplifying of player decisions and thoughts that EA caused ... lightly toxic."...Flowchart gameplay is a lot less fun than one that can keep players engaged and thinking contextually.

Could I myself decide what is fun for me? Pretty please? Can I NOT think about 'overusing' something to satisfy you? Can I not 'think seriously' about this game sometimes? Could I use any 'lightly toxic' things I like including EA? Could I please be engaged in a way I like and not in a way you think is proper?

Your entitlement to dictate everyone else how they should play is astonishing frankly.


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The reason for removing stat mods to cantrips is that other damaging spells don't work that way. So either players kept forgetting to add their stat modifier to their damage (because their other spells don't work that way) or were adding their stat modifiers to their other spells, which aren't supposed to work that way.

It's just better to make things consistent across the board. You can tell that they've tried to keep damage pretty close to the original. Like Telekinetic Projectile goes from 1d6+Mod (average 7.5) to 2d6 (average 7).


Unicore wrote:
A level 1 wizard might be using cantrips as their default, go to combat spell casting option. A level 5 wizard who is doing the same is underplaying their character significantly. They were when cantrips added attribute damage, and they are doing so even more now.

What should I do if my char is level 9, and focus spells either discharged, not useful in current fight, or bad to begin with? And slot spells either gone or again not useful (rather common for prepared caster actually)? Or danger doesn't look too much to use slot spells at all?

Unicore wrote:
The way casters get static damage added back to spells is by playing the weakness/resistance game, and the way casters get their accuracy back is by winning the defense "rock,paper, scissors" game.

Give me an <any damage> <any defence> cantrip and I'm all in. And Thaumaturge abilities for all my casters. For those weaknesses when they are absent, you know.

When you give such advice I actually wonder if you even play the game.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

PossibleCabbage's answer is the correct one, we've heard it from the devs themselves. While there definitely were some nerfs involved, it's pretty clear Paizo tried to get close to the original numbers, it's not a balance thing.

IDK why people keep trying to insert their own agendas into this with tangents about weapon wielding sorcerers or whatever.


More importantly, the cantrips and traditions are a lot more balanced now. The aoe cantrips are more consistent which I appreciate. The divine list has a respectable amount of offensive cantrip options now too which is great.


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Squiggit wrote:

PossibleCabbage's answer is the correct one, we've heard it from the devs themselves. While there definitely were some nerfs involved, it's pretty clear Paizo tried to get close to the original numbers, it's not a balance thing.

IDK why people keep trying to insert their own agendas into this with tangents about weapon wielding sorcerers or whatever.

Technically, I think Captain Morgan's response in post #2 is the correct one since he paraphrased the dev's answer to this question pretty thoroughly.

The only thing better than that would be to link to the blog post directly.

But now I feel like I am just being overly pedantic.


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Errenor wrote:

Could I myself decide what is fun for me? Pretty please? Can I NOT think about 'overusing' something to satisfy you? Can I not 'think seriously' about this game sometimes? Could I use any 'lightly toxic' things I like including EA? Could I please be engaged in a way I like and not in a way you think is proper?

Your entitlement to dictate everyone else how they should play is astonishing frankly.

FFS, I am not making any form of moral nor value judgment about the players, the devs, or even the game as a whole. Doing my homework to show that EA's damage was obviously out of line, and discussing the game design implications of that, is not me dictating how people "should" play the game.

Ttrpgs like pf2e are *the* place to go when you want to make/break your own rules, if I had that dictatorial attitude I wouldn't be here.

------------------------

A well known outside comparison would be Dark Souls and the "Shields engendering passivity" issue.

When they had a clean slate for Bloodborne, they took out the shields to discourage the unfun playstyle that the tool taught, and added the Rally system to further encourage jumping in and swinging.

Meanwhile, in the Dark Souls series, they only risked small incremental nerfs to shields between games, even after Bloodborne when the devs told everyone they *knew* that overly strong shields can/did hurt player fun in the long run.

First video that comes to mind on that topic


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Errenor wrote:
Unicore wrote:
A level 1 wizard might be using cantrips as their default, go to combat spell casting option. A level 5 wizard who is doing the same is underplaying their character significantly. They were when cantrips added attribute damage, and they are doing so even more now.

What should I do if my char is level 9, and focus spells either discharged, not useful in current fight, or bad to begin with? And slot spells either gone or again not useful (rather common for prepared caster actually)? Or danger doesn't look too much to use slot spells at all?

Unicore wrote:
The way casters get static damage added back to spells is by playing the weakness/resistance game, and the way casters get their accuracy back is by winning the defense "rock,paper, scissors" game.

Give me an <any damage> <any defence> cantrip and I'm all in. And Thaumaturge abilities for all my casters. For those weaknesses when they are absent, you know.

When you give such advice I actually wonder if you even play the game.

If your character is level 9, you have no focus spell options and you have run out of the 14 to 20 spell slot spells your character should have at that level and you have no items to help you handle this snafu situation, then cantrips are not that terrible of a back up back up plan, all things considered, compared to other versions of the game. You and/or your party have also made some choices that are setting your character up for failure/are playing into the weaknesses of your character, and there is probably a lot to talk about tactics, and pacing, and item usage.

But in these situations, yes, casters can pretty easily have 3 or more cantrip options that are usually better than nothing, which is where I think cantrips should be at level 9 - not the spells you are building your strategies around, but serviceable back up options. Nothing about the remastery changed as far as this goes except you now have more saving throw targeting options and items like the shadow signet are really not that valuable anymore.

I do see high level casters occasionally cast cantrips, but it is almost always when almost nothing is on the line stakes wise. When their life is on the line, they are usually using their emergency options or fleeing, not expecting cantrips to save the day.

I don’t really understand the second part of your post. You should probably have at least 3 offensive cantrips, so you should at least have 2 or more options for doing different damage types and targeting different saves. Are you saying that you don’t believe it was the design intention of PF2 for casters to play into a saves and weaknesses mini-game? Or that you think that minigame is too difficult to play?


Trip.H wrote:
Errenor wrote:

Could I myself decide what is fun for me? Pretty please? Can I NOT think about 'overusing' something to satisfy you? Can I not 'think seriously' about this game sometimes? Could I use any 'lightly toxic' things I like including EA? Could I please be engaged in a way I like and not in a way you think is proper?

Your entitlement to dictate everyone else how they should play is astonishing frankly.
FFS, I am not making any form of moral nor value judgment about the players, the devs, or even the game as a whole. Doing my homework to show that EA's damage was obviously out of line, and discussing the game design implications of that, is not me dictating how people "should" play the game.

Good. Then where is the value in your reasoning? I was quite ok with the old EA damage. I don't care for someone telling me that I was playing wrong or bad, and I'm not happy that cantrip damage was reduced at low levels. How what you were saying should be helping?

Trip.H wrote:


Meanwhile, in the Dark Souls series, they only risked small incremental nerfs to shields between games, as even after Bloodborne when the devs *knew,* that overly strong shields can/did hurt player fun in the long run.

(Un)ironically I'm quite comfortable in juicing and exploiting anything I can in Dark Souls and don't care at all for 'fixing my fun' by removing effective and easy options.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Finoan wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

PossibleCabbage's answer is the correct one, we've heard it from the devs themselves. While there definitely were some nerfs involved, it's pretty clear Paizo tried to get close to the original numbers, it's not a balance thing.

IDK why people keep trying to insert their own agendas into this with tangents about weapon wielding sorcerers or whatever.

Technically, I think Captain Morgan's response in post #2 is the correct one since he paraphrased the dev's answer to this question pretty thoroughly.

The only thing better than that would be to link to the blog post directly.

But now I feel like I am just being overly pedantic.

I actually straight up copy/pasted from the blog for most of that. I just didn't bother to format it since the OP didn't bother looking it up.


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Unicore wrote:
Errenor wrote:
Unicore wrote:
The way casters get static damage added back to spells is by playing the weakness/resistance game, and the way casters get their accuracy back is by winning the defense "rock,paper, scissors" game.

Give me an <any damage> <any defence> cantrip and I'm all in. And Thaumaturge abilities for all my casters. For those weaknesses when they are absent, you know.

When you give such advice I actually wonder if you even play the game.
I don’t really understand the second part of your post. You should probably have at least 3 offensive cantrips, so you should at least have 2 or more options for doing different damage types and targeting different saves. Are you saying that you don’t believe it was the design intention of PF2 for casters to play into a saves and weaknesses mini-game? Or that you think that minigame is too difficult to play?

I'm saying directly that these weakness/resistance and defence 'games' is a lie, confabulation. They don't and can't exist as a constant meaningful part of gameplay. Without 'always on' <any damage> <any defence> options they don't and can't work. You (as usual...) glue together all casters and traditions, but any one caster never has enough options at a particular time to play these games. Traditions don't have equal access to all damage types and defences either.

In practice most of the time you either don't have the optimal damage type or can't target the optimal defence or don't know one or both of them or everything above simultaneously. 'Optimal' damage type very frequently doesn't even exist.
Yes, it could be useful to remember these possibilities and use them when you can.
But no way you can 'get static damage added back to spells' and get 'their accuracy back' by playing these 'games'. It's ridiculous.


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Errenor wrote:

I'm saying directly that these weakness/resistance and defence 'games' is a lie, confabulation. They don't and can't exist as a constant meaningful part of gameplay. Without 'always on' <any damage> <any defence> options they don't and can't work. You (as usual...) glue together all casters and traditions, but any one caster never has enough options at a particular time to play these games. Traditions don't have equal access to all damage types and defences either.

In practice most of the time you either don't have the optimal damage type or can't target the optimal defence or don't know one or both of them or everything above simultaneously. 'Optimal' damage type very frequently doesn't even exist.
Yes, it could be useful to remember these possibilities and use them when you can.
But no way you can 'get static damage added back to spells' and get 'their accuracy back' by playing these 'games'. It's ridiculous.

Well that's a rather dogmatic thing to assert, especially when the Reflex/Fort/Will saves of creatures can vary wildly.

Still, your hypothetical ~"generic spell" idea could work.

Because sometimes monster saves can be crazy high, there could be a 4th type of save that was always *doable* but to balance that, it would need to never be super easy to hit it like weak saves can be.

Maybe there could be other contextual ways to lower the monster's 4th save, perhaps by inflicting a status effect, or positioning the right way.

Ok, Ok, you get it. MAP, AC targeting spells exist for a reason. Needle Darts really is the "crossbow of cantrips" available as a baseline to all traditions.

To be clear, the idea that no single caster/tradition can get access to *every* type of type/save is an intentionally designed feature of the system.

For example, Divine is the only list to get Spirit damage via the AC targeting Divine Lance, which is a very generic and broadly applicable attack option, but the list *greatly* lacks damage cantrip diversity.

If you don't like the design, you can just say you dislike it instead of attempting to deny the obvious reality of the system having 4 different saves spells can target, while also having weakness/resistance sprinkled around the bestiaries. Like it or not, that "minigame" is real.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
They published a blog with the reasoning weeks ago.

Yes they were totally transparent, which is appreciated.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Consistency with how other spells work.

I think that is a very minor factor. What about consistancy with already printed rules?

Captain Morgan wrote:
Match their damage to our intended spell benchmarks.

IE definitely some rebalancing happening, and yes electric arc lost a bit more than most other cantrips so that is a good call.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Avoid penalizing characters who have damage cantrips from innate spells or multiclassing twice.

Not really a big deal because it just didn't work before but you cleaned up spell casting proficiency so I guess this is good.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Cleaning up how cantrips work for monsters.

I think this is a fair reason. As a GM I just assumed four and kept going.

All in all I can't complain too much. I mean I wouldn't have done this change. It doesn't met the threshhold of being significant enough to be worth the inconvenience of change for me - but this is Paizo's call and their reasons are real.

What they did do, but didn't mention, was move away from spell attacks in a big way. It seems that they are trying to make most spells that do direct physical damage attack rolls, and most spells that do energy damage have saving throws. They haven't finished and there are some exceptions especially in existing spells. It is nice to have several other saving throw damage cantrips - which is part of the thing that made electric arc so special. I'm not sure how I feel about casters who like to true strike out big attack spells. A few Magus players have certainly vented their concerns.


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Trip.H wrote:
Errenor wrote:

I'm saying directly that these weakness/resistance and defence 'games' is a lie, confabulation. They don't and can't exist as a constant meaningful part of gameplay. Without 'always on' <any damage> <any defence> options they don't and can't work. You (as usual...) glue together all casters and traditions, but any one caster never has enough options at a particular time to play these games. Traditions don't have equal access to all damage types and defences either.

In practice most of the time you either don't have the optimal damage type or can't target the optimal defence or don't know one or both of them or everything above simultaneously. 'Optimal' damage type very frequently doesn't even exist.
Yes, it could be useful to remember these possibilities and use them when you can.
But no way you can 'get static damage added back to spells' and get 'their accuracy back' by playing these 'games'. It's ridiculous.

Well that's a rather dogmatic thing to assert, especially when the Reflex/Fort/Will saves of creatures can vary wildly.

Still, your hypothetical ~"generic spell" idea could work.

Because sometimes monster saves can be crazy high, there could be a 4th type of save that was always *doable* but to balance that, it would need to never be super easy to hit it like weak saves can be.

Maybe there could be other contextual ways to lower the monster's 4th save, perhaps by inflicting a status effect, or positioning the right way.

Ok, Ok, you get it. MAP, AC targeting spells exist for a reason. Needle Darts really is the "crossbow of cantrips" available as a baseline to all traditions.

To be clear, the idea that no single caster/tradition can get access to *every* type of type/save is an intentionally designed feature of the system.

For example, Divine is the only list to get Spirit damage via the AC targeting Divine Lance, which is a very generic and broadly applicable attack option, but the list *greatly* lacks damage cantrip diversity.

If you don't...

... He was being hyperbolic, but his point is valid. Many casters can't reliably take advantage of weaknesses unless the weakness was foreshadowed while you still had access to a magic mart to buy scrolls, and even if you have the resources to take advantage of a weakness, the knowledge you need to make use of them may be hidden behind recall knowledge, which can fail and isn't always practical. Weaknesses should be a reward for good preparation (in much the same way sidegrade feats like Power Attack can improve performance if you use them optimally), but they're too unreliable to be factored into baseline performance.

______________________________
As far as the "Cantrips are equivalent to strikes," I feel that's such an oversimplification that it's grossly misleading. Cantrips are backups, so they can be equivalent to the two handed fighter's backup bow or javelins, or the rogue when they can't sneak attack, but they're not what a caster should be doing for their opening turns in a serious encounter, whereas attacking twice is often exactly what a weapon user wants to do at the same moment.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Lumping all casters together is a mistake. I am sorry if folks have read my posts talking about the minigame of saves and weaknesses like cantrips universally were the long term solution to all casters participation in the blasting game. I don’t believe that either.

Support casters are probably spending 2 actions a turn during important rounds doing something other than blasting. Debuffing, buffing, or healing. The vast majority of such casters are probably better off with a weapon, which is probably why bards and clerics tend to get better weapon proficiencies than other casters. Oracles are in a weird spot, let’s wait until the core 2 to try to figure them out. Witches and sorcerers can build themselves into a hole with the divine list and occult list, but they don’t have to, and when they do so, it is probably because they imagine themselves playing a support caster. Weapons are probably still a good idea here, and this can include druids too.

Not all casters are the bazooka characters, but when people are talking about blasting it is the bazooka characters that have to be balanced around, not the support casters. Bazooka blasters, primarily arcane and primal sorcerers, witches, wizards and some psychics, do need to be picking up cantrips at early levels to play the weakness/defense minigame that lets them maximize damage, but they also need to be getting spell slot spells to help them do it effectively too.

Like force barrage is a fantastic damage spell for a lot of single target situations, and it takes thunder strike a long time to catch up to it (and often banking on bad heightening ranks to do it) but AoE blasting with various damage types can easily blow either one out of the water in the vast majority of encounters where there is more than one target.

Electric arc getting the slightest of nerfs possible with the decision to remove attribute modifiers to spell damage is barely changing any of this tactical situation for blaster casters. Maybe it is support casters and casters that are trying to get away with spamming the same spell to do most of their blasting that are being undermined. Even so, it is a very small nudge down to a casting style that the game never really intended to support. Or at least the developers are making moves to make it more clear that they don’t want “cast the same spell all the time because it is the best one” to be the caster tactics meta.


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Raiztt wrote:
Finoan wrote:
Yes, many of my spellcaster characters do not even carry weapons. The ones that do rarely use them. Making weapon attacks as a spellcaster is certainly not mandatory. But making a weapon attack is a viable option in the spellcaster's toolbox. And cantrip damage isn't intended to out-perform martial character's weapon damage.

Cantrips are absolutely intended to be the caster's go-to combat option. It is their "i swing my sword", "i shoot my bow", basic attack action. That's why they are unlimited now instead of having a fixed number of uses. This change goes back to PF1e and this was the reasoning then.

There is a long history, that extends back before PF2e, of trying to find some sort of equivalent for casters vis a vis a basic attack. 3.5e implemented a new system for at-will cantrip level casting in the complete mage and then PF1e went further and just made cantrips infinite/free.

You can argue about whether or not that SHOULD be the case, but if you're operating under the assumption that it IS NOT the case, you are mistaken.

I am an old fogey who began tabletop roleplaying with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in 1979. My wife has played even longer, because her older brothers brought AD&D home from college in 1978. When she was in college, she played under a DM who decided to try out the new Cantrip suggestion in an issue of Dragon magazine. The original purpose of cantrips was to be trivial little spells that could be cast over and over again. They were flavorful rather than useful. Despite that intention, my wife's party cast 100 Crack cantrips on the cliff over an enemy patrol so that the cliff fell on the enemy and killed them.

We played in the old days when wizards would pack a crossbow so that they could contribute to combat after they ran out of spells, or while conserving their spells for a big battle later. The cantrips officially introduced into D&D were intended to substitute for that crossbow. A wizard should be attacking with magic, no matter how trivial, rather than resorting to the weapons of levied peasant soldiers. And some cantrips, such as Prestidigitation, were designed for flavor to imply that a wizard would wash his clothes with magic rather than scrubbing them in the nearest stream.

Cantrips were not meant to be the equivalent of a 0 MAP shortbow in the hands of a ranger or 0 MAP shortsword in the hands of a rogue. They were meant to be a more flavorful alternative to a crossbow in the hands of a +1/2-per-level Base Attack Bonus class that did not invest in Dexterity.

However, cantrips evolved with each edition of D&D and Pathfinder. Pathfinder 2nd Edition does not have +1/2-per-level Base Attack Bonus bonuses, so the baseline changed. Therefore, cantrips had to change.

I cannot figure out intentions. Given the way Paizo playtested the PF2 rules among their fans, they often changed their intentions based on playtest experience. Let me talk about experience.

My PF2-converted Ironfang Invasion game had three spellcasting player characters (the other four PCs were a ranger, a rogue, a monk, and a champion with only two focus spells). The gnome stormborn druid Stormdancer attacked with her spell slots and her Tempest Surge focus spell. At low levels, her cantrips filled in for when she used up those other spells. At higher levels, she liked to cast a cantrip to test for resistances before committing to using a high-level spell against an enemy. The leshy fey-blooded sorcerer Honey played support and healer. She would cast a support spell, such as Haste, early and then save her spell slots for battlefield control or healing when opportune. The damage-dealing cantrips gave her something to do when neither battlefield control nor healing were reasonable.

These two PCs used cantrips regularly, but cantrips were not their primary combat contribution.

The halfling rogue/sorcerer Sam was the one who depended on cantrips. My wife had a development arc planned for Sam from the beginning. He started as a rogue with the Scoundrel racket giving him high Charisma. At 2nd level he took the Sorcerer dedication with the Draconic Bloodline and learned the cantrips Produce Flame and Telekinetic Projectile. Those two cantrips were better than shooting with his shortbow (the party preferred to attack from a distance before the champion and monk joined them) so they became his favorite offense. At 4th level he took Magical Trickster rogue feat 4 to apply sneak attack damage to his cantrips. I had to houserule that if he cast a spell from hiding then it caught the target flat-footed (off-guard) like Striking from hiding; otherwise, Magical Trickster would have been mostly useless to Sam.

The Remastered Player Core lacks the Magical Trickster rogue feat.

At 6th level, Sam took the sorcerer archetype's Basic Bloodline Spell that let him manifest flaming Dragon Claws as a focus spell. That gave him an alternative to attacking the cantrips. It wasn't until 8th level that he took Basic Sorcerer Spellcasting to one 1st-level, one 2nd-level, and one 3rd-level spell slot.

Thus, cantrips were the essential offense for Sam from 2nd to 5th level and still important after 5th level. But he added sneak attack damage to them to make them effective.


IMO all damage cantrips in the remaster should deal the same damage 2d6+a rider like Gouging claw doing persistent bleed on a crit. eltrric arc should have been changed to damage only one taraget and on a crit deal 1d6 on the next round.

The only arcane caster that should use melee weapons is the Magus why would a caster concentrate on Melee attacks and when they can use wands staffs and scrolls. Imo Cantrips are meant to be used when a caster runs out of slotted spells.


Haven't taken the time to read the whole thread, so I don't know if anyone's brought this up, but this

"Avoid penalizing characters who have damage cantrips from innate spells or multiclassing twice. Characters who got damaging cantrips from multiclassing or as innate spells from ancestry feats or the like often have a lower attribute modifier than a dedicated spellcaster and were dealing with both a lower chance of success and lower damage if they hit. This is a smaller issue, but often led to players being unhappy with their character options."

is really, really dumb.

We've acknowledged the problem that these cantrips don't scale well for non-dedicated casters. The proper solution here would be to find a way to make them scale. Instead, we've made them worse for everyone. Was the goal to make it more obvious that learning cantrips is actually a trap option? If so, great success.

I've experienced this firsthand; through some DM homebrew, my fighter unexpectedly learned a cool focus spell. However, unbeknownst to either of us at the time, it turns out it wasn't cool. It was bad. Since I had no way to improve my spellcasting proficiency, this spell ended up having an attack bonus 10 or 11 points behind just swinging a sword (which is to say, it was useless). I haven't used it since.


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I don't think the innate cantrips thing is about proficiency, but about damage. Like the gnome martial who grabs a cantrip from an ancestry feat (as well as the Magus) now does more damage with that cantrip than they did before the remaster. This is apparently something they wanted.

The person with a +4 casting modifier has had their average telekinetic projectile damage reduced from 7.5 to 7. The +1 casting modifier character has had their telekinetic projectile average damage increased from 4.5 to 7.


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Sandal Fury wrote:

Haven't taken the time to read the whole thread, so I don't know if anyone's brought this up, but this

"Avoid penalizing characters who have damage cantrips from innate spells or multiclassing twice. Characters who got damaging cantrips from multiclassing or as innate spells from ancestry feats or the like often have a lower attribute modifier than a dedicated spellcaster and were dealing with both a lower chance of success and lower damage if they hit. This is a smaller issue, but often led to players being unhappy with their character options."

is really, really dumb.

We've acknowledged the problem that these cantrips don't scale well for non-dedicated casters. The proper solution here would be to find a way to make them scale. Instead, we've made them worse for everyone. Was the goal to make it more obvious that learning cantrips is actually a trap option? If so, great success.

I've experienced this firsthand; through some DM homebrew, my fighter unexpectedly learned a cool focus spell. However, unbeknownst to either of us at the time, it turns out it wasn't cool. It was bad. Since I had no way to improve my spellcasting proficiency, this spell ended up having an attack bonus 10 or 11 points behind just swinging a sword (which is to say, it was useless). I haven't used it since.

The hubris of this statement is wild. Actually they did fix it to scale. For magic users. Rangers, monk's and champions all get focus spells so they get a scaling proficiency. Why should other martials who don't natively interact with magic get a proficiency let alone a scaling proficiency? I'm genuinely curious


Riddlyn wrote:
Sandal Fury wrote:

Haven't taken the time to read the whole thread, so I don't know if anyone's brought this up, but this

"Avoid penalizing characters who have damage cantrips from innate spells or multiclassing twice. Characters who got damaging cantrips from multiclassing or as innate spells from ancestry feats or the like often have a lower attribute modifier than a dedicated spellcaster and were dealing with both a lower chance of success and lower damage if they hit. This is a smaller issue, but often led to players being unhappy with their character options."

is really, really dumb.

We've acknowledged the problem that these cantrips don't scale well for non-dedicated casters. The proper solution here would be to find a way to make them scale. Instead, we've made them worse for everyone. Was the goal to make it more obvious that learning cantrips is actually a trap option? If so, great success.

I've experienced this firsthand; through some DM homebrew, my fighter unexpectedly learned a cool focus spell. However, unbeknownst to either of us at the time, it turns out it wasn't cool. It was bad. Since I had no way to improve my spellcasting proficiency, this spell ended up having an attack bonus 10 or 11 points behind just swinging a sword (which is to say, it was useless). I haven't used it since.

The hubris of this statement is wild. Actually they did fix it to scale. For magic users. Rangers, monk's and champions all get focus spells so they get a scaling proficiency. Why should other martials who don't natively interact with magic get a proficiency let alone a scaling proficiency? I'm genuinely curious

Why does the game even present the option? Why does 2e so heavily punish/disincentivize players from thinking/building outside the box?

When I was making my fighter, I almost took the Dragon Spit feat. I just thought it would be pretty cool and fun to be a fire-breathing samurai. Thank goodness I picked something else, or I'd be stuck with a useless feat, barring retraining. The more I play this game, the more it feels like "fun" doesn't seem to factor into the equation.


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Sandal Fury wrote:
Riddlyn wrote:
Sandal Fury wrote:

Haven't taken the time to read the whole thread, so I don't know if anyone's brought this up, but this

"Avoid penalizing characters who have damage cantrips from innate spells or multiclassing twice. Characters who got damaging cantrips from multiclassing or as innate spells from ancestry feats or the like often have a lower attribute modifier than a dedicated spellcaster and were dealing with both a lower chance of success and lower damage if they hit. This is a smaller issue, but often led to players being unhappy with their character options."

is really, really dumb.

We've acknowledged the problem that these cantrips don't scale well for non-dedicated casters. The proper solution here would be to find a way to make them scale. Instead, we've made them worse for everyone. Was the goal to make it more obvious that learning cantrips is actually a trap option? If so, great success.

I've experienced this firsthand; through some DM homebrew, my fighter unexpectedly learned a cool focus spell. However, unbeknownst to either of us at the time, it turns out it wasn't cool. It was bad. Since I had no way to improve my spellcasting proficiency, this spell ended up having an attack bonus 10 or 11 points behind just swinging a sword (which is to say, it was useless). I haven't used it since.

The hubris of this statement is wild. Actually they did fix it to scale. For magic users. Rangers, monk's and champions all get focus spells so they get a scaling proficiency. Why should other martials who don't natively interact with magic get a proficiency let alone a scaling proficiency? I'm genuinely curious

Why does the game even present the option? Why does 2e so heavily punish/disincentivize players from thinking/building outside the box?

When I was making my fighter, I almost took the Dragon Spit feat. I just thought it would be pretty cool and fun to be a fire-breathing samurai. Thank goodness I picked something else, or I'd be...

Not every option is supposed to be optimal for every build. There are distinct tradeoffs and that is perfectly viable. Now if your fighter had taken a magical dedication then he would have a proficiency in magic and it would have gotten better

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