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Thread: Buffing 101

  1. #1
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    Buffing 101

    This is taken from Steam forum. I personally find this usefull and think that if you have time you might want to read this before game is released.

    Buffing 101

    As a followup to the top 5 spell picks, i'm proposing a quick buffing guide.
    First, i need to state that the second most important resource in the game is actions (the first being HP as you're dead when you're out of it). Managing your actions will be the key to success for any fight.
    This leads to the first criteria to take into when buffing is duration.
    Most buffs will last 1 round, 1 minute, 10 minutes or 1 hour per level.
    When duration is in rounds, it means you'll have to cast the spell during the fight.
    When it's in minutes, you can cast it right before the fight (assuming you know what's coming).
    When it's 10 mins, then you can safely cast it before entering a dungeon
    Finaly, when it's hours, you can cast it after you rested.

    So when rating the usefullness of a buff, you need to have this duration taken into account. What more important : having +1 to hit for the whole day or +2 for the fight ? you'll have to decide according to the circumstances.

    Now, there are multiple types of buffs :
    - Enabling buffs. This is probably a much narrower category in the CRPG than it is in the PNP. For exemple, a flight spell on an archer could mean an automatic win on some encounters if ennemies don't have flight and range attacks. Enabling buffs are very important, because they give you possibilities you don't have usually, and sometimes can be mandatory.
    In the CRPG, i assume you'll have access and will need the following buffs :
    See invisibility. It's self explanatory, this is the kind of buff you want/need for some encounters. It's pretty common to have invisible ennemies.
    Darkvision. Will grant the ability to see in darkness to humans. Can be mandatory according to your party setup and the way the game handles vision and light.
    Feather step. This is a spell that enables you to ignore difficult terrain. Again, according to the implementation of the ruleset, it's a must have spell when you have martials that need to charge and rush in.

    - Offensive buffs. These are spells that increase your ability to deal damage. It can come in the form of more damage, more +hit or even more attacks. When the combat comes to melee, you should always try to overwhelm your opponents, and that means dealing massive damage. You should always be trying to down all your oponents in less than 3 rounds, and the most dangerous ennemy should be out in the first round of combat.
    Haste. This is the best of the best offensive buffs. It's also probably the most damaging spell in the game depending on your party composition, as this will give you one more attack to each party member (and summons, ACs etc ...) as well as +1 atk, AC, ref saves. You'll probably use it every fight.
    Bless. Level 1 spell to give everyone a +1 to hit. +1 to hit is much better than +1 to damage, unless you're already hitting on a 2 ... At low level, you'll be looking for damage and damage and damage, but as you level up, it's actually the +hit that's going to be difficult to find.
    Enlarge. Was discussed in another thread, but it's a really great buff.

    - Definsive buffs. This is a very broad category. First, my advice is not to overuse defensive buffs. Second, you need to understand the combat mechanism in Pathfinder. AC is far from being a reliable form of defense. I'm not saying to avoid AC buffs, but don't think they're the best way to protect your party. Buffing a low AC character is usually pointless, as it won't reduce that much the damage it takes. Buffing AC is good on an already high AC character, because it can bring him from difficult to hit to impossible to hit.
    The best form of combat defense is actually through generic avoidance mechanisms. Invisibility for exemple is one of the best way of not getting hit.
    You shouldnt feel threaten too much by heavy hitting ennemies. You should be afraid of those that takes you out by other means. Spells granting you defense against magic is those you'll want and need.
    Be it to protect from magic or combat, a lot of spells can grant you reduced damage, and these are the spells that you should favour.
    Finaly, the best of the best, spells granting you immunity. These are the top defensive spells, that will change completely the way to deal with an encounter.
    Invisibility, Mirror image. These are the best combat damage avoiding spells. Note that if it's implemented properly in the CRPG, invis breaks only if you cast a direct spell on your opponent. Healing, buffing, summoning, or indirect damaging is not supposed to break invis. Even if your ennemy pinpoints you, they have a 50 % miss chance, which should be better in most cases than any AC buffs.
    Stoneskin, elemental protection. Stoneskin costs a lot, but it's a great damage reduction (10/adamantium). Elemental protection grant's you basically a second HP pool that will be reduced by elemental damage. If you're going to fight a fire breathing dragon, fire protection on all your team should be a priority.
    Protection from evil, freedom of movement, death ward. These are two generic must haves. Freedom of movement is a huge asset, as it grants you immunity to lots of spells and monster abilities (including grapple). Protection from evil grants you immunity to mind control and charms ... not bad for a level 1 spell ? Death ward will protect you against the meanest spells, and it's a must have.

    This should probably be more detailed, but you at least get some of the criterias to assess the usage of buffs.
    My playstyle in Pathfinder is to be always prepared, and try to avoid leaving anything out of luck's (or unluck) reach. While some buffs are generic and should be prepared and probably cast at all times, most of the best buffs are highly situational.
    This means you should always try to recon and learn maximum about what's going to hit you, and prepare accordingly.
    With the right buffs, you should be able to overcome any and all obstacles, but remember that you need to control the battlefield, so that you can choose your targets while your ennemies can't, and preferably have them in a situation where they won't have any retaliation capability.
    Buffing is the chery on top of the big cake, but it's essential.
    You should buff to give you capabilities you would not have otherwise, and to be sure you'll survive if your plan fails.
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  2. #2
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    I thought i have seen it before on steam

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