Pathfinder 2E Is it fun to play a caster in PF2?


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SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
As far as the caster/fighter issues, I think this has been around for a long time. I think it was about four years ago that I played a session with one of the remaining living AD&D designers at Gamehole Con (a great Con for meeting people like that and you should probably do this sooner rather than later if you're interested) and we did a 15 player 10 hour game at high levels in AD&D 1E. A huge portion of it was planning, and this was "spell casters have a meeting, the rest of you hang out." How we were going to tackle the issue, which was taking out a war lord who had a remote castle. It was all about the casters. When we got to be in play, the rest of the group did factor in, but it was largely to kill anyone trying to hurt our casters. It was a fun game to reminisce with, but I will take PF2 (or 4E!) over what this ended up as any day.
 
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FallenRX

Adventurer
3e made it worse in some ways, but it wasn't like it didn't exist prior to that.
Like i remember it did exist but it was specifically a higher level thing.

Has casters had legit downsides for like...existing. From different leveling rates, to actually being extremely redundant in combat, how spellcasting you can be knocked out of if you lose initiative.
 

nevin

Hero
As far as the caster/fighter issues, I think this has been around for a long time. I think it was about four years ago that I played a session with one of the remaining living AD&D designers at Gamehole Con (a great Con for meeting people like that and you should probably do this sooner rather than later if you're interested) and we did a 15 player 10 hour game at high levels in AD&D 1E. A huge portion of it was planning, and this was "spell casters have a meeting, the rest of you hang out." How we were going to tackle the issue, which was taking out a war lord who had a remote castle. It was all about the casters. When we got to be in play, the rest of the group did factor in, but it was largely to kill anyone trying to hurt our casters. It was a fun game to reminisce with, but I will take PF2 (or 4E!) over what this ended up as any day.
if you played 1e and 2e by the rules as written, it was really hard to overpower a game as a caster. Your spells were likely to be interrrupted and lost in melee. Paladins with holy swords, daemons and other magic resistant creatures could just eliminate huge amount of your magic. If the group could keep the monsters off of the casters then they were fantastic. But if the game every evolved beyond dungeon crawls magic users were particularly ill equipped to deal with Assassins and rogues. No mage could keep up magical protections 24 x 7 forever.
This whole overpowered magic user thing has always been a bad DM thing.
 

Pedantic

Legend
As far as the caster/fighter issues, I think this has been around for a long time. I think it was about four years ago that I played a session with one of the remaining living AD&D designers at Gamehole Con (a great Con for meeting people like that and you should probably do this sooner rather than later if you're interested) and we did a 15 player 10 hour game at high levels in AD&D 1E. A huge portion of it was planning, and this was "spell casters have a meeting, the rest of you hang out." How we were going to tackle the issue, which was taking out a war lord who had a remote castle. It was all about the casters. When we got to be in play, the rest of the group did factor in, but it was largely to kill anyone trying to hurt our casters. It was a fun game to reminisce with, but I will take PF2 (or 4E!) over what this ended up as any day.
I mostly think it's a shame that the goal ended up being changing that gameplay loop, instead of ensuring all players could participate in it.
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
I mostly think it's a shame that the goal ended up being changing that gameplay loop, instead of ensuring all players could participate in it.
Me as well. I was playing a spell caster so I got to be at the big kids table. We ended up planning for hours, which was not fun for the martial part of the group. It let us bypass the entire keep portion of the adventure so we just had to deal with a reasonably short dungeon. With the martial characters up front protecting the casters and also buffing their attacks (yes, you will come out of this adventure a few years older...) we did have fun at that point.

I see the notion that the DM could balance casters by their inherent weaknesses a lot in discussion of 1E and all I can tell you is that you had to compensate for those things in the game. You had your meat shields keeping the casters able to cast their spells, for instance, and creatures that were really resistant to spells were perfect targets for the martial characters. Of course there would always be ways that the DM could keep casters in line but my experience was that a high level AD&D spell caster is playing a different game than the rest of the group. I found it really interesting playing the game with one of the designers, since I took the opportunity to see if what I remembered the game being was really as intended. If anything it was more of an extreme caster/martial balance issue than I even remembered.

I have been lucky enough to play with many of the game's designers. One of the things that I have learned is that not all of them were good DMs and that there has been a lot of what I would describe as progress in terms of game design and how a session is run. Not everyone agrees with me of course, but it's an example of "never meet your heroes". I've played with many DMs that I'd consider better at running things than the old guard.

It's kind of funny because some of them that I've been able to play with are also some of the best DM/GMs I've ever played with too. Those were the ones who seem to have learned and developed their style since those early days. Now make no mistake: I'm just stating my opinions and am not intended to yuck anyone's yum. I think my opinion is summed up in saying that there has been progress made in DMing ... if you don't believe in that "progress" or that rpgs have "developed" you're not going to agree with me, and that's fine.
 

The-Magic-Sword

Small Ball Archmage
I wrote a guide that seems pretty relevant to this topic! It discusses some of the nuances of damage casters in pf2e:


My overall assesment is that they work well and are enjoyable.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Like i remember it did exist but it was specifically a higher level thing.

Has casters had legit downsides for like...existing. From different leveling rates, to actually being extremely redundant in combat, how spellcasting you can be knocked out of if you lose initiative.

If your definition of higher level was "Fifth". And in practice, the different level scopes rarely meant more than a one level difference for any length of time given how things worked out. As to spellcasters being knocked out--while they were brittle, it wasn't every opponent, or even a majority of them that could reliably take advantage of that.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
I wrote a guide that seems pretty relevant to this topic! It discusses some of the nuances of damage casters in pf2e:


My overall assesment is that they work well and are enjoyable.
Good to see you again @The-Magic-Sword. Your guides and comments have helped me a lot when it comes to grok-ing PF2. Thanks for spreading the good word and conversations.
 

FallenRX

Adventurer
If your definition of higher level was "Fifth". And in practice, the different level scopes rarely meant more than a one level difference for any length of time given how things worked out. As to spellcasters being knocked out--while they were brittle, it wasn't every opponent, or even a majority of them that could reliably take advantage of that.
I think you dont understand, it was every opponent, how spellcasting worked in that edition was, if you lose initiative and you were casting a spell, if you got hit at all the spell dropped and it was gone, you lost the spell slot and the spell will not go off.

like unless your team really makes a good defensive position, hell if they have decent ranged attacks this was a total issue lol.
 

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