Pathfinder 2E ideas for caster runes (homebrew)

I think difficult thing here is that I think its partly intentional math wise that targeting boss creatures with Spell DCs is supposed to be hard

This is true, but I think the math / mechanics have also been hampered by the fact that monster casters need things like incapacitation as well so lower level caster monsters don't gang up and destroy the PCs.

I see no problems giving PCs some special abilities to up DCs, alter incapacitation, etc. especially if limited per day usage.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

On the other hand "just don't play a Wizard at first" is maximally simple while completely fixing the issue. Yes of course it feels unsatisfactory, but it is by far the most practical suggestion. So that must be my recommendation.

Have you tried to houserule the wizard below 9th level? If so what are they and why didn't they work?

If the issue is that messing with DCs, attack values, and incapacitation has too many unforseen consequences, then why not just up the amount of low level spells then take them away at 7th or 9th level or whenever? There's no reason the spell progression has to be what it is. Seems like part of the issue is that low level spells aren't great, you don't get many, and for the Wizard you are stuck with old vantican.

(ignoring cantrips)

1. 2
2. 3
3. 4/2
4. 4/3
5. 4/4/2
6. 4/4/3
7. 4/3/2/1 (back to normal, if 4th level spells start to turn the tide, or continue to juice the number of spells until 9th)

I have no idea if this is right but seems like you could test it so it would certainly be a lot better than RAW and not really break anything vs. martials at those early levels, then just revert to RAW whenever it seems to go back to making sense.
 

Staffan

Legend
I think difficult thing here is that I think its partly intentional math wise that targeting boss creatures with Spell DCs is supposed to be hard
The problem is that you get a double whammy of higher-level creatures both having a good chance of saving in the first place, and that any spell with a strong effect gets Incapacitation meaning they upgrade their save results by a step. So a level 6 caster (spell DC 22) casting paralyze against a level 8 creature (saves +19, +16, or +13) has a 60% chance of outright fizzling even if they target the weak save. That's a bit too punitive, and at least I have reacted by simply not touching incapacitation spells with an 11' pole.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Have you tried to houserule the wizard below 9th level? If so what are they and why didn't they work?

If the issue is that messing with DCs, attack values, and incapacitation has too many unforseen consequences, then why not just up the amount of low level spells then take them away at 7th or 9th level or whenever? There's no reason the spell progression has to be what it is. Seems like part of the issue is that low level spells aren't great, you don't get many, and for the Wizard you are stuck with old vantican.

(ignoring cantrips)

1. 2
2. 3
3. 4/2
4. 4/3
5. 4/4/2
6. 4/4/3
7. 4/3/2/1 (back to normal, if 4th level spells start to turn the tide, or continue to juice the number of spells until 9th)

I have no idea if this is right but seems like you could test it so it would certainly be a lot better than RAW and not really break anything vs. martials at those early levels, then just revert to RAW whenever it seems to go back to making sense.
The problem is not "not enough spells". The problem is that the spells you do have are too weak. In other words, your actions aren't doing enough. Giving you more of these actions solve nothing.

The problem (from the perspective of this particular thread) is that it is not easy or elegant to hand out spellcasting bonuses that you later on take away.

The game just isn't geared for, say, a +1 bonus that later on disappears. Everything in the game is geared for increasing bonuses.

If I could come up with magic items that benefited casters at low level without providing the same benefit at mid to high level I would.

But just about the only mechanism that accomplishes this is things with separate effects. Like a wand of fireball or a poison. Something that deals 5d6 damage and has a DC of 20 is obviously good at low levels but irrelevant later on.

But this only compounds the problem, since it tells casters they themselves are worthless and need trinkets to function properly. I would much rather (as the start of the thread attests) see an "inverted" bonus scheme where you start out with a +3 bonus to damage and spell DC, a bonus that peters out to disappear entirely at maybe level 10.

In the end, I just said "frak it" and opted for the easy recommendation - play a warrior and then at some stage introduce his twin sister the Wizardess, and switch from a martial class at single-digit levels to a caster class at double-digit levels. That solution accomplishes everything we might want with absolutely zero rule complications.

Cheers!
 

kenada

Legend
Would it help to shift when casters increased proficiency to casting to earlier? You’re not giving them additional bonuses you have to take away later. You’re just giving them an expected bonus earlier (when they need it more).
 

@CapnZapp, If the reason your having this issue is low level casters having poor save DCs and attack bonus, wouldn’t the easy solution be to adjust the targets? Just give level 3 and below monsters a -3 to their defenses / saves versus magic. This drops down to -2 at lvl 5 and -1 at lvl 7 and 0 at lvl 9. Isn’t that a super simple way for people to ply low level wizards and fix the issue as you have stated it? Or am I missing something. I think it even makes fictional sense as stronger monsters should be stronger against magic.
 

Philip Benz

A Dragontooth Grognard
Uni, our dear Cap'n has stated (after "the many, so very many, detailed attempts at analyzing and fixing various parts of PF2 that does not work well") that he no longer wants to fix issues with PF2. He would have liked it to work exactly right, straight out of the box, and since (in his opinion) it doesn't, the game is hot trash.

Cap'n, I hope I haven't mischaracterized your position.

Personally, I still maintain that low-level spellcasters in PF2 are fine as-is. They just have to realize that when they are facing really tough foes (more than a level above theirs), they can't expect to touch them with save spells or targeted spells. At those times, they need to either (1) buff their party members, (2) do something that affects the environment favorably, or (3) use magic missile or force bolt, which always hits. Or do any number of other things to help the party win the day (aid, maneuver, etc).
 
Last edited:

CapnZapp

Legend
Uni, our dear Cap'n has stated many times that he doesn't want to fix issues with PF2. He would have liked it to work exactly right, straight out of the box, and since (in his opinion) it doesn't, the game is hot trash.
This completely ignores the many, so very many, detailed attempts at analyzing and fixing various parts of PF2 that does not work well.

Just because I once (in this thread) choose to go with the simple uninvolved solution does not mean the above is a fair assessment.
 

Philip Benz

A Dragontooth Grognard
And I for one really appreciate your many suggestions, even if some of the follow-on commentary is dismissive and brusque. Your suggestions for healing, crafting, special materials and so on were quite interesting, and do point at weak areas in PF2 game design.

One of the stated goals of PF2 was to reduce RPG accountancy and make the game simpler to play, while still maintaining a high degree of customization. But some areas of the game are throwbacks to earlier paradigms, and introduce systems that are unnecessarily complex, badly balanced and unhelpful for game play.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
One of the stated goals of PF2 was to reduce RPG accountancy and make the game simpler to play, while still maintaining a high degree of customization.
I can only add that just because a company states a goal that goal is not necessarily met. Lots of companies say stuff and make promises.

Yes, the assumption is that PF2 is a game for you if you want to reduce administration, simple play, and lots of customization. But in my view PF2 is neither of those things.

  • The game is brutally heavy on the accounting with loads and loads of little things to keep track of. If you want to "reduce RPG accountancy" almost any other iteration of D&D will serve you better.
  • The gameplay is far from simple. The "core loop" of combat might be simple, but that simplicity was then buried deep in feats and other exceptions. Still, this point is likely the one where Paizo's goals comes the closest to actually being fulfilled.
  • PF2 offers lots of customization for one agent only: Paizo itself. For players, sure you get thousands of feats to choose from, but the reality is that the vast majority of them actuall has a very very small impact on what your character can accomplish and how you play that character. For gamesmasters, PF2 is brutally hard to add houserules to. Making a new class in many D&D like games is a paragraph or three, and half a page tops. In D&D 5E it is more, but most of it is relatively simple - give advantage to this and disadvantage to that. In stark contrast building a PF2 class makes it mandatory for you to come up with pages upon pages of highly interlocking feats that in my opinion does not just require expertise with the game - it requires mastery of the game. For Paizo, however, the game offers huge potential to sell relatively creativity-free mechanical content like new feats.
 

Uni, our dear Cap'n has stated (after "the many, so very many, detailed attempts at analyzing and fixing various parts of PF2 that does not work well") that he no longer wants to fix issues with PF2. He would have liked it to work exactly right, straight out of the box, and since (in his opinion) it doesn't, the game is hot trash.

Cap'n, I hope I haven't mischaracterized your position.

Personally, I still maintain that low-level spellcasters in PF2 are fine as-is. They just have to realize that when they are facing really tough foes (more than a level above theirs), they can't expect to touch them with save spells or targeted spells. At those times, they need to either (1) buff their party members, (2) do something that affects the environment favorably, or (3) use magic missile or force bolt, which always hits. Or do any number of other things to help the party win the day (aid, maneuver, etc).
OK, I only skimmed the thread - I though @CapnZapp was looking for suggestions / feedback. But they didn't reply to my thread - so maybe your correct!

EDIT: I see the Cap replied to your post defensively, but didn't address mine. Not sure what that means?
 


@CapnZapp, If the reason your having this issue is low level casters having poor save DCs and attack bonus, wouldn’t the easy solution be to adjust the targets? Just give level 3 and below monsters a -3 to their defenses / saves versus magic. This drops down to -2 at lvl 5 and -1 at lvl 7 and 0 at lvl 9. Isn’t that a super simple way for people to ply low level wizards and fix the issue as you have stated it? Or am I missing something. I think it even makes fictional sense as stronger monsters should be stronger against magic.

This is a great idea and trivial to implement. I think I may try it out myself, as I agree that lower level casters need a boost (although I don't think the sky is falling, especially when you can do something as easy as this).
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top