As I worked on the finishing touches of my new sorcerer character last night, in particular, selecting my spells, something occurred to me. Back in the "good old days", when your magic-user achieved the level necessary to cast 3rd level spells, it was a given that first one would be fireball. Oh glorious fireball, that mighty arcane fist of doom, the slayer of man and orc, the spell that all other offensive spells aspired to be. Asking how many 3rd level spells you had was virtually equivalent to asking how many fireballs you had prepared. Sure, sometimes you would throw a lightning bolt into the mix and at high levels, when you had a lot of 3rd level spells, you might even take a dispel magic or haste for variety, but you always made sure you had plenty of fireballs on tap.
Boy, what a difference a few editions make. With damage topped out at 10d6 and with evasion and fire resistance as common as +1 longswords, it hardly seems worth it. Sure, a wizard might prepare one in the unlikely event he gets to whack a large concentration of cannon-fodder that he needs to wipe out quickly, but for a sorcerer with limited spell options, fireball is a toothless dinosaur. Heck, even lightning bolt, long the idiot stepbrother of fireball is now more attractive since electricity resistance is ever so slightly less common than fire resistance. How times have changed.
On another note, I notice they nerfed ray of enfeeblement in Pathfinder. Not surprising, that spell was way too powerful as written.
RIP Stephen Lee Lortz 1949-2017
1 day ago