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Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
A full caster that can also be on par with martials at what they do is fundamentally a broken class.
It just means single-target heavy damage.

A gaming engine can balance this.

There are various ways to balance this. Importantly, a warrior mage can spend spell slots to deal the high damage. Thus these slots cannot be use for combat utility or defense, or outofcombat effects. Everything is tradeoff.

Meanwhile, 5e has competent mages, and they work fine enough.
 

In this case, the mage hero has spent 17 levels having "dedicated most of their pursuits to the perfection of" wielding magic in "single combat".


At level 17, it is legitimate for martial characters to participate in mythic battles with mythic powers.

For example, if the purpose of the Fighter class is to strictly represent what is humanly possible during historical battles, then that is a fine concept.

However, it is hard to conceive such a class concept ever reaching a level that is higher than level 8. Maybe level 12?

I consider the legendary descriptions of Beowulf to be pushing about level 12.

In other words, if this is the concept, there is no such thing a level 20 Fighter.

The Fighter would function better as a Prestige class that one can multiclass into, that only has levels 1 to 8 (or 12).

Or, in the context of Pathfinder 2, such a "realistic" Fighter would only be feats that are available from levels 1 to 12.



But, if the purpose of the Fighter class is to reach level 20, then at some point the designer must make sense of reaching upper levels that are clearly superhuman compared to a "realistic" soldier.


The level 17 Fighter must be able to do the equivalent of a Wish spell − every day.




For example.

Supposing the Wizard warrior mage has a slot-9 spell at level 17.

The Wizard player can choose whether to spend this slot to cast a Wish spell, or else spend this slot to perform a legendary magical event during single combat.

In terms of design space, there is opportunity cost, and the choice of how to spend the design space maintains overall gaming balance.



One can bring up balance concerns about versatility, being able to cast different spells. Counter concerns include.
• The benefits of versatility are often exaggerated and nerf-hammered.
• In P2, the continuation is of vancian prep, more painful than versatility is good.
• The Fighter design refusing to do things beyond level 8 (or 12), not my problem.




A mage hero that can defeat opponents can balance.

There is nothing magical about a "sword" (pun intended) that makes a sword necessary for the concept of winning single combat.

Even if this particular warrior mage chooses to wield a sword, this sword might be dealing force damage and be clearly magical.




I dont want the martial dabbling of the Magus. I want the mage to be the hero. Not the half-asked martial to be the hero.




The mage who wins fights.
So I fundamentally disagree that casting Wish everyday is a reasonable baseline for the abilities of a 17th level character.

If your character can cast Wish that frequently, I expect for them to have had to make sacrifices. Sacrifices consistent with a failure to devote 100% of their focus to the perfection of single combat.

I think with respect to the fighter you haven't looked closely at the higher level feats(including skill feats). In PF2e, there's a good amount of epic stuff in there. It isn't Wish level epic, but I'd note, again, that the most powerful spell in D&D should not just be "table stakes" for class design.
 
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It just means single-target heavy damage.

A gaming engine can balance this.

There are various ways to balance this. Importantly, a warrior mage can spend spell slots to deal the high damage. Thus these slots cannot be use for combat utility or defense, or outofcombat effects. Everything is tradeoff.

Meanwhile, 5e has competent mages, and they work fine enough.
See again..Magus, doing almost exactly as you describe
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
It just means single-target heavy damage.

A gaming engine can balance this.

There are various ways to balance this. Importantly, a warrior mage can spend spell slots to deal the high damage. Thus these slots cannot be use for combat utility or defense, or outofcombat effects. Everything is tradeoff.
Balancing based on resource usage isn’t really balance because the adventuring day just isn’t that controlled, especially in PF2 where it makes no assumptions about how long or how many encounters there will be. The only way to do balance in that case is by trading off capabilities. That’s why the magus isn’t a full caster. Someone who can fight like a martial and cast wish is better than a martial (and better than other casters).

Meanwhile, 5e has competent mages, and they work fine enough.
So does PF2. It’s just that “competence” means that they contribute equally (in their own ways) rather than being better (i.e., PF2 has eliminated or mostly eliminated martial-caster disparity, which still exists in 5e even if it’s not as bad as previous editions).
 
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kenada

Legend
Supporter
To expand on what was said by @Thomas Shey on the previous page: PF2 does not have custom spell lists per class. Pathfinder doesn’t even try to divide them up. A class that tried to pare down the list would be weird and probably confusing to players because it’s unprecedented in the system. Any assumptions you have about how spells work would now have an exception for that one class. However, it might be interesting to have a class built around focus spells. You would have a bigger point pool that you could spend on different effects, but those would all be specific to your class. The other approach is using the existing customization options to implement a magic-using class, which is what the kineticist† does.

The kineticist in PF1 featured a tone of class-specific customization options. The approach Paizo is taking in PF2 is to implement that all as class feats. You pick your element, and you choose various different impulses based on what you want to do. An impulse is (more or less, though not actually) a spell. You get a bunch of different ones as you advance. Of course, there are downsides to this approach. Kineticists don’t benefit from new spells that might be useful to them, and they presumably can’t learn new spells like other magic-using classes can. On the other hand, they get to do their thing without upsetting the system’s parity between casters and martial characters.



Note: This is a link to playtest material. It’s possible the class could change when it is released with Rage of Elements.
 

Not every mage needs to be a "support character".

There needs to be options for the hero.

In the mythic of Merlin and King Arthur. I am uninterested in the "mentor". This is a combat game. I am interested in Merlin outright defeating King Arthur in combat.

Nerds rule!



Think of "mages" like modern "superheroes" who defeat opponents by means of magic.
if there was a spell that lets you be an unoptimized fighter for one turn even if you spend resources to get something the fighter has for free this would be the strongest spell in the game.

The "balance" of the game is that you can multiply the efficiency of the fighter
 


Supposing the Wizard warrior mage has a slot-9 spell at level 17.

The Wizard player can choose whether to spend this slot to cast a Wish spell,
wish in pf2e is a 10th level spell, which casters get a slot of at level 19 (and which magus' [magi?] never get). also, level 17 casters have 2 9th level spell slots, and get a 3rd at level 18 (and it's possible to get a second level 10 slot with a feat). also, it should be noted that every spell list except the elemental spell list has an equivalent to wish (miracle for divine, alter reality for occult, primal phenomenon for primal), because they only let you replicate 9th level spells from your spell list, as opposed to 7th level spells of spells from other lists that are common or you have access to (and make effects in line with such things and perform actions wish specifically says you can do but yada yada).
There are various ways to balance this. Importantly, a warrior mage can spend spell slots to deal the high damage. Thus these slots cannot be use for combat utility or defense, or outofcombat effects. Everything is tradeoff.
pf2e is balanced around encounters, not "the work day". this does not follow.
Meanwhile, 5e has competent mages, and they work fine enough.
5e doesn't have competent mages - 5e has superior mages, and that's the exact problem pf2e has worked to solve (well, technically they were trying to solve pf1e/3.5e having superior mages, but again, yada yada).
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
5e doesn't have competent mages - 5e has superior mages, and that's the exact problem pf2e has worked to solve (well, technically they were trying to solve pf1e/3.5e having superior mages, but again, yada yada).

Yeah. Fundamentally the problem is Yaarel is running into in this argument is that he's based his argument on premises that I don't think virtually anyone else in it accepts. I've been trying to be polite about it, but I don't actually believe that a D&D style arcanist with the full capacity they seem to want and enough capability (however its acquired) to take on single opponents at or above their level and still be balanced with non-casters. I don't think its been true previously, and don't see how its going to be now. As noted, even combatants don't really do that in PF2e and taking on single opponents is their main gig.

Its possible (though not easily within PF2e) to have crippled casters that fish more in the non-caster pool in terms of how they operate, but that's not what they seem to want.
 
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