Sorcerer Class Preview

Monday, July 9, 2018

Their magical blood gives sorcerers their spellcasting power, and it's been a major part of the class since Pathfinder's inception. So for the Pathfinder Playtest, we're going all in: your character's bloodline determines her spell list!

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Bloodlines

You pick your bloodline at 1st level, which tells you which spell list you use: arcane, divine, primal, or occult (the last of the four magical traditions, which we'll cover in a future blog!). It also defines some of the spells you know. For instance, the demonic bloodline gives you the divine spell list and the fear spell at 1st level, in addition to two other spells that you choose yourself from the divine list. In some cases, the special spells from your bloodline come from other lists. For example, the demonic bloodline gives you slow when you learn 3rd-level spells (for the sin of sloth) and disintegrate when you learn 6th-level spells. There are a couple more. How about we look at that whole bloodline entry and you can make your own guesses about which ones are from other lists?

Demonic

The demons of the Abyss debase all they touch, and one of your ancestors fell victim to their corruption. You're burdened with dark thoughts and the desire for destruction. This urge can be overcome if you choose to fight it, but the beauty of sin calls to you always.

Spell List divine (Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook 200)

Signature Skills Athletics, Deception, Intimidation, Religion

Granted Spells Cantrip: detect magic; 1st: fear; 2nd: resist energy; 3rd: slow; 4th: divine wrath; 5th: banishment; 6th: disintegrate; 7th: divine decree; 8th: power word stun; 9th: meteor swarm

Bloodline Powers Initial Power: glutton's jaws; Advanced Power: swamp of sloth (2); Greater Power: abyssal wrath (2)

You can see that the bloodline also determines your most important skills and gives you some bloodline powers. We've talked about powers before (see the cleric preview. These are special spells you can get only from specific classes, and they are cast using Spell Points rather than spell slots. They also automatically heighten to the highest level of spell you can cast. You start out with a number of Spell Points per day equal to your Charisma modifier, and if you have the demonic bloodline, you gain the glutton's jaws power, which you can cast at a cost of 1 Spell Point.

Glutton's Jaws Power 1

Necromancy

Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting

Duration 1 minute


Your mouth transforms into a shadowy maw bristling with pointed teeth. These jaws grant you an unarmed attack you're trained in, dealing 1d6 piercing damage. They have the finesse trait.

Attacks with your jaws have the following enhancement.

Enhancement If the target was living, gain 1d4 temporary HP.

Heightened (2nd) Your jaws gain the effects of a +1 weapon potency rune (a +1 item bonus to attack rolls and an additional damage die) and the temporary Hit Points increase to 2d4.

Heightened (4th) The jaws gain the effects of a +2 weapon potency rune and the temporary Hit Points increase to 3d4.

Heightened (6th) The jaws gain the effects of a +3 weapon potency rune and the temporary Hit Points increase to 4d4.

Heightened (8th) The jaws gain the effects of a +4 weapon potency rune and the temporary Hit Points increase to 5d4.

At higher levels, you'll get to make a swampy morass that makes creatures slothful or call forth the dangers of an Abyssal realm.

The number of bloodlines in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook is fairly small, since we want to see how people react to the new style of the class with just a subset of the bloodlines. In the book, you'll see the following bloodlines: aberrant (occult), angelic (divine), demonic (divine), draconic (arcane), fey (primal) and imperial (arcane). That last one comes from the magical traditions of ancient mortals and matches our iconic sorcerer, Seoni!

Spontaneous Spellcasting

This is our first preview of a spontaneous spellcaster! The sorcerer gets the same number of spells per day as a wizard, but she has a number of spells she knows permanently instead of preparing them from a spellbook every day. The spells she knows make up her spell repertoire. That means she can choose which spell to cast each time she casts a spell instead of needing to plan ahead. It's worth noting that the sorcerer now learns spells at the same character level as the wizard: 2nd-level spells at 3rd level, 3rd-level spells at 5th level, and so on.

As you level up, you learn new spells and can replace some of the spells you previously had with new ones. This lets you get rid of some spells that were great options when they were at your highest level but maybe aren't worth casting anymore.

The sorcerer's spellcasting is based on her inborn magical potency, so she uses her Charisma for her spell rolls and spell DCs. Because Charisma also adds to Resonance Points, the sorcerer can make up for some of her limited spell choice compared to the wizard's spellbook by supplementing her spell selection with more scrolls, staves, and wands.

Sorcerer Features

Many of the sorcerer's class features were explained under bloodline, as most of them tie back to that choice. The sorcerer gains her advanced power at 6th level and her greater bloodline power at 10th level. As with other spellcasters, her proficiency with spell rolls and spell DCs increases to expert at 12th level, master at 16th, and legendary at 19th.

The sorcerer gets one other class feature, called spontaneous heightening. As mentioned before, some spells in your lower-level spell slots get less useful as you go up in level. However, there are some spells you might want to cast with any of your slots. The spontaneous heightening feature lets you choose two spells at the start of each day that you can cast as their heightened versions using any of your spell slots. That means that if you want your angelic sorcerer to be able to cast 1st-level heal, 2nd-level heal, and 3rd-level heal, you can choose your 1st-level heal spell with spontaneous heightening rather than needing to learn the spell in your spell repertoire at all three spell levels. Then you can cast a 1st-level heal to top off someone's Hit Points when they're almost at full and still cast a 3rd-level heal in the middle of a fight to really save someone from the brink!

Sorcerer Feats

The sorcerer's feats primarily deal with her spells. Sorcerers get metamagic feats, many of which they share with other casters. One we haven't shown off yet is Overwhelming Spell at 8th level, which lets a spell that deals acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage ignore the first 10 points of a target's resistance.

If you want to make a blaster, you can pick up Dangerous Sorcery, which increases the damage of your spells by their spell level (with the exception of cantrips). You can also take Blood Magic at 8th level, which uses the magical potential in your blood to grant temporary Hit Points to you or a target of your spell if you're bleeding when you cast it.

One of my favorite cycles of feats are the evolution feats, which reinforce the themes of each magical tradition. Arcane Evolution makes your arcane sorcerer trained in a skill and lets you add a spell from a scroll to your spell repertoire for the day when you prepare each morning. Divine Evolution lets you channel energy like a cleric. Occult Evolution gives you a skill and lets you pick a spell with the mental trait to add to your repertoire each day. Finally, Primal Evolution lets you cast summon nature's ally as an innate spell once per day at the highest spell level you can cast.

How about a 20th-level feat? Sorcerers can take a feat to gain 10th-level spells of their tradition, but you might want to look at other options, like Wellspring Spell. This metamagic feat lets you cast a 5th-level or lower spell once per minute without expending the spell slot!

What sort of predictions do you have for the bloodlines? What spells will they get? Does this new scheme make you more or less likely to play a sorcerer? Do you want to try out a gnome fey sorcerer? How about an angelic sorcerer with the heal spell? Let us know in the comments, and start preparing for when you get the book!

Logan Bonner
Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Seoni Sorcerers Wayne Reynolds
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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Only 3 "bloodline powers" that is lame.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Though calling them "bloodline powers" is a joke.


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Dragon78 wrote:
Though calling them "bloodline powers" is a joke.

Does that mean Fey Bloodlines get Bloodline flowers? :D


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Glutton’s Jaw is a freely scaling magical shortsword that is vampiric. That’s good! Free melee capability with some survivability thrown in, and avoid AoOs from spamming cantrips. Maybe free up a cantrip for non offensive use.


Gorignak227 wrote:


Very cool!

Its a bold design that i would have been scared to do in fear of highlighting contrasts between classes when you can pick up any spell list. I would be scared to make players always question whether playing a sorcerer would be better than a cleric, druid, or wizard.

More like "Glutton's Jaws" and less like "Diviner's Sight"
Some of the other class powers have seemed unexciting but Glutton's Jaws seems like its pretty cool and kind of useful (for certain types of pcs). I hope that other class features are more like Glutton's Jaws and less like the wizard's divination school - "Diviner's Sight" power.

Reiterate - Please more power options after playtest
Glutton Jaws is one of the cooler powers that has come out, but i will reiterate that I would like to have a choice of powers at each level. And i think i heard that they were going to add these after playtest.

Having a choice of at least 3 different powers for your bloodline at each level of Initial, Advanced, and Greater would be so nice and allow players flexibility in their sorcerer characters.

When there isn't any choice you have the problem of PF1 where you spend a lot of time trying to NOT pick up a horrible choice of 1 of your powers in the chain for your character (PF1 cleric domains were horrible because of this).

Cleric already supplanted as best channeler
Long live the new king: divine sorcerer with Divine Evolution.
(I think this may be gated behind a couple feats though).

I agree that Glutton's Jaws is a exciting power, but from my understanding it's seems to lack versatility. It replaces your need for a back up weapon but doesn't really give you and edge in martial fighting.

Did I discount it too quickly?? What do you plan to use it for? I'm genuinely interested!


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Gavmania wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Though calling them "bloodline powers" is a joke.
Does that mean Fey Bloodlines get Bloodline flowers? :D

No it means you can resurrect yourself if your party members clap.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Maybe a 10th level demonic sorcerer (you would have the bloodline spells plus 3 of each known 1st through 5th).

Aww… I was a little afraid of this, that Sorcerer would be much more limited in their low-level spells known. In PF1, I have to fill a lot of spells known with "must-haves". Then, I fit in the character's theme. And, in my low-level slots, I can include spells that are just for fun or utility.


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Have to say, I really like the idea of sorcerers getting different spell lists as part of their bloodline. Very cool thematically and creates an interesting and impactful mechanical change.

Spontaneous heightening feels clunky. Part of the appeal for spontaneous casters (at least in my group) is NOT having to make any decisions related to your spells on a daily basis and just always being ready to go. But now the Sorcerer has to pick some spells daily to be able to heighten then? This will kill the appeal of Sorcerers for certain players in my group (who despise anything resembling Vancian Casting), which I really don't want to see...

X/day abilities need to go... If it is too powerful for Primal Evolution to cast summon nature's ally off of your spell points at the highest spell level you can cast, then maybe have it cast as one below your highest spell level? Either way, I'd really hope that abilities that require independent tracking go away with the inclusion of things like resonance and spell points. Even 1/day abilities that are easier to remember carry a bad feeling, since if the ability doesn't work perfectly you feel like you wasted your only shot for no reason.

Slightly worried to see only 3 bloodline powers associated with bloodlines. These are often the coolest and most thematic things associated with bloodlines, so seeing them reduced in variety is not pleasing... This also plays into my worries about wizard school powers and cleric domains, where I really hope that these features are going to be more impactful and interesting in PF2, not less or the same.

And while I can see the appeal of sorcerers now advancing their spells at the same rate of wizards (and making it much easier for players to learn one spell progression), I am increasingly worried about the niche of specialty wizards, as they seem to lack any actual specialty beyond 1-2 school powers, which typically aren't that amazing.

Speaking of which, is there a reason why spell proficiency seems to take so long to increase? What does increased spell proficiency add beyond just a bonus to spell rolls & DCs, if anything? And it sounds like it is just one proficiency for all spells, why not break it up by school? It'd make an interesting choice/theming for all casters to have some decision of what to advance first, would make spell schools actually more relevant to common play, plus could allow specialty wizards to gain proficiencies in their chosen school at an earlier level than normal (similar to how fighters do so with their chosen weapon group).

---

PossibleCabbage wrote:

PF2 also needs the Shaman back to represent a cleric analogue for more animistic cultures. So I don't think the Sorcerer occupying some of the space devoted to old classes should preclude the inclusion of those classes any more than the Wizard existing precludes the Witch being added to PF2 (and remember it was nearly in playtest, but lost out to the Alchemist.)

When a new version of one class encroaches on the mechanical space of another older class, use this opportunity to make new mechanics for the thematic space of that 2nd class. Make Witches more Hexy and flesh out the Patrons, really underline that Oracles are cursed by the gods but this comes with great power, etc.

Wait, Witches were almost in the playtest but got kicked out due to Alchemists? (Hatred of Alchemists increases)

At least I can hope that witch Patrons will finally get some justice when they finally do come. Always hated that such a cool thematic element was just a list of spells... which wizards could then get a better version of from an archetype...


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Lockewood wrote:
Gorignak227 wrote:


Very cool!

Its a bold design that i would have been scared to do in fear of highlighting contrasts between classes when you can pick up any spell list. I would be scared to make players always question whether playing a sorcerer would be better than a cleric, druid, or wizard.

More like "Glutton's Jaws" and less like "Diviner's Sight"
Some of the other class powers have seemed unexciting but Glutton's Jaws seems like its pretty cool and kind of useful (for certain types of pcs). I hope that other class features are more like Glutton's Jaws and less like the wizard's divination school - "Diviner's Sight" power.

Reiterate - Please more power options after playtest
Glutton Jaws is one of the cooler powers that has come out, but i will reiterate that I would like to have a choice of powers at each level. And i think i heard that they were going to add these after playtest.

Having a choice of at least 3 different powers for your bloodline at each level of Initial, Advanced, and Greater would be so nice and allow players flexibility in their sorcerer characters.

When there isn't any choice you have the problem of PF1 where you spend a lot of time trying to NOT pick up a horrible choice of 1 of your powers in the chain for your character (PF1 cleric domains were horrible because of this).

Cleric already supplanted as best channeler
Long live the new king: divine sorcerer with Divine Evolution.
(I think this may be gated behind a couple feats though).

I agree that Glutton's Jaws is a exciting power, but from my understanding it's seems to lack versatility. It replaces your need for a back up weapon but doesn't really give you and edge in martial fighting.

Did I discount it too quickly?? What do you plan to use it for? I'm genuinely interested!

Do the temp HP stack? because I could see eating captives for a few rounds to get a bunch of temp HP before going into the fray. Especially if there is a way to up that duration.

Grand Lodge

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Lockewood wrote:

All I was saying, is if you play a spellcaster there is already a lot of decision making to do. If a blaster has to compare Fireball to Magic Missle III, Flaming Hands III, Shocking Grasp III, and Sound Burst II then they might be sitting there a while trying to figure out which one to use.

That is why Mr. Seifter is worried about decision paralysis.

This is the first example where i can understand why people think upcasting might be too complicated for some players.

If players are doing some sort of dmg/spell level calculation for different spells at different levels it could be too complex for some.

And now i finally get also why 5th ed went with their system.
Their system is designed around higher level spells always being more powerful than an upcasted spell of the same level to limit complexity, i.e. Fireball I > Burning Hands 3.


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I feel like I'm missing the point of the Sorcerer Class. The benefit appears to be "You can cast a third Magic Missile, whilst the Wizard only prepared two", but then the Wizard probably used that third spell slot to prepare something useful for that specific adventuring day, whilst the Sorcerer had to pick their spells sessions beforehand.

I had expected the advantage Sorcerers would have is being even better at their limited selection of spells, but it appears they're actually just worse with them than Wizards and Clerics, needing to choose the same spell multiple times to be able to cast it at varying levels. I understand the point that analysis paralysis made it tough to play if you could heighten all your spells, but it means that your low level spells have to be chosen incredibly carefully to be both useful when you get them and to matter later on in a campaign, whilst a Wizard can just switch in utility spells to those slots at the start of the day.

What makes a Divine List Sorcerer worth taking over a Cleric, a Primal over a Druid or an Arcane over a Wizard? What's their unique benefit, is it just being Charisma based?


Bardarok wrote:
Lockewood wrote:
Gorignak227 wrote:


Very cool!

Its a bold design that i would have been scared to do in fear of highlighting contrasts between classes when you can pick up any spell list. I would be scared to make players always question whether playing a sorcerer would be better than a cleric, druid, or wizard.

More like "Glutton's Jaws" and less like "Diviner's Sight"
Some of the other class powers have seemed unexciting but Glutton's Jaws seems like its pretty cool and kind of useful (for certain types of pcs). I hope that other class features are more like Glutton's Jaws and less like the wizard's divination school - "Diviner's Sight" power.

Do the temp HP stack? because I could see eating captives for a few rounds to get a bunch of temp HP before going into the fray. Especially if there is a...

Hmm, usually Temporary Hit Points overlap and you only get the greatest amount. This never mentioned whether it stacks or not though...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

The only thing I like about the class is that your bloodline determines your spell list.


Logan Bonner wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I hope blasting damage is looking all right. I've been optimistic, but those feats leave me a little underwhelmed at first glance. (Though, if Dangerous Sorcery works off each seperate "hit" for a spell, Heightened Magic Missile is gonna be awesome.)
That's definitely one we're planning to keep a close eye on!

AAAAW HEEELL YEAAAH. If Dangerous Sorcery gives damage to each missile, that spell is gonna be a popular Spontaneous Heighten Choice.

1st level: 3d4+3+3 =13.5
3rd level: 6d4+6+18 = 39
5th level: 9d4+9+45 = 76.5
7th level: 12d4+12+84 = 126
9th level 15d4+15+135 = 187.5

Those numbers are significantly better than what we were seeing for the AoE damage, as I predicted. Especially when you consider Magic Missile don't care about your AC, your saves, or your damage resistance.

That means a 5th level Dangerous Sorcerer probably won't be one shotting a Red Cap, but if that thing has taken even a single greatsword hit, it is dead. And those higher level numbers.... Mmmf.


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A very minor advantage of the Sorcerer over the Wizard and Cleric is its means of providing material components can’t be identified or disarmed.


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Charon Onozuka wrote:

Wait, Witches were almost in the playtest but got kicked out due to Alchemists? (Hatred of Alchemists increases)

At least I can hope that witch Patrons will finally get some justice when they finally do come. Always hated that such a cool thematic element was just a list of spells... which wizards could then get a better version of from an archetype...

It was mentioned a few times early on that the Witch was very nearly the "new" class added to core, but internal metrics suggested the Alchemist was far and away the most popular of the non-core classes in PF1, which ultimately lead to things going in the Alchemist's favor. Second place, I believe, was the oracle.

So if I were to lay odds on the classes first added to the game in post-CRB material, I would probably go with the Witch, Oracle, and Occultist as the most likely to show up early on.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Quandary wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Quandary wrote:
I can see how 'spontaneous Heighten of everything' could be inbalancing and overwhelming in gameplay. But I think allowing Sorcerors BOTH Prepared Heighten and Spontaneous Heighten works on both accounts. It's not overwhelming in gameplay because the Spontaneous Heighten still only applies to a few spells. And preparing Heighten for other spells has same sub-optimalities as a Wizard (Sorceror Prepared Heighten could be compared to 1e Arcanist, just for Heighten versions).
Honestly, that would avoid both the analysis paralysis and the optimality, but it then adds an extra complication to sorcerer casting where sometimes you're locked into prepared spell slots (I think this is what you're suggesting, locking in certain slots to be a particular heightened spell?), which makes the sorcerer much more complicated to fully grok, even for people who wouldn't want to use that option. It seems like it would be a good thing for a feat so that not every sorcerer has to learn it (and maybe since you spend a feat, the feat might also give you an extra lower level spell slot each day that is only used to prepare heightened spells, or something).

I'm not talking about preparing SLOTS, but preparing what version of spell is referred to by it's Spell Known (which now defaults to it's lowest level). Like Arcanists prepare spells which then are spontaneously cast, a Sorceror preparing the spell level their Spell Known will function at for the day will still fully spontaneously cast that spell, so no slots are being locked. Since it doesn't change basic casting mechanism, I don't think this really creates confusion for players who chose to ignore it, the rules interaction solely happens at "Heighten Preparation" time.

The Wizard would still have certain advantage in being able to prep 3rd + 5th level Fireballs (and so on for all their spell slots), while Sorceror would have dedicate to one spell level version of Fireball for the day (outside of

...

I think I understand the general idea here. Let's look at something a bit lower level though, say 5th level Sorcerer:

3 1st Level spells: Magic Missile, Shield, Mage Armor
3 2nd level spells: Something, Something, Something.
1 3rd level spell: Fireball
Let's say we happen to know we're going into an area where things are going to have fire resist. At the start of the day, I know that I won't need Fireball, so I declare my Magic Missile to be known as 3rd level. Since downcasting isn't a thing, I won't be able to cast it as a 1st level spell, but I'll have it there for me at 3rd level.

It does add another level of "declarations" for Sorcerers, but it's only for a spell once. And it gives them interesting flexibility if they *do* choose to "know" a spell more than once... Given the hit they take needing to know spells at multiple levels, this doesn't feel *too* overpowered, at least to me.

EDIT: It's also a nice compromise for things like "Dispel Magic", so if you choose to know it at a higher level, you *have* to use that slot to dispel, even if facing something of a lower level, it's not *completely* open.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Glutton’s Jaw is a freely scaling magical shortsword that is vampiric. That’s good! Free melee capability with some survivability thrown in, and avoid AoOs from spamming cantrips. Maybe free up a cantrip for non offensive use.

Also, unlike a mundane backup weapon, it doesn't need a hand to use, so you can still cast somatic spells and use a staff or shield or whatever.


This blog post raises more questions than it answers.

It's very innovative to allow the sorcerer to choose her spell list.
It's nice that spontaneous advancement is on-par with prepared casters.
I like the implication that bloodline spells come online at the same time as other spells known of that level.

But there are big questions: Given that spells don't scale with levels, and bonus slots aren't handed out for high ability scores, does a Sorcerer still get more slots than a similarly-levelled wizard?

What about spells known? Our one data point is that there are two spells known at first level (which is the same that Pathfinder offers).

How do metamagic feats work? Ignoring ten points of energy resistance sounds good, but at what cost? An extra spellcasting action? An extra slot required to cast it?

What sort of stamina are we expecting from a sorcerer?

Finally, we learn that the Divine Spell List is on page 200 of the Playtest Rulebook. Compared with the Pathfinder CRB, (where spell lists start on page 222), this could indicate some form of simplification. Compared with the Pathfinder Beta Playtest, spell lists spanned pages 171 through 194. This could indicate an increase in complexity?


So, Oracle and Sorcerer is now the same thing and the"bloodline" indicates if you're a divine ou arcane spellcaster.

This is soooooooo lame. It kills a lot of very interesting character background.

I cound't be a "proper" oracle of flames, since flames is probably a elemental bloodline, which will be arcane. Poor Melisandre, you're not supported by Pathfinder anymore.

I had a couple of Diabolic Sorcerers in my tables. Not anymore, because "devil-bloodline" will probably be divine.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I hope blasting damage is looking all right. I've been optimistic, but those feats leave me a little underwhelmed at first glance. (Though, if Dangerous Sorcery works off each seperate "hit" for a spell, Heightened Magic Missile is gonna be awesome.)
That's definitely one we're planning to keep a close eye on!

AAAAW HEEELL YEAAAH. If Dangerous Sorcery gives damage to each missile, that spell is gonna be a popular Spontaneous Heighten Choice.

1st level: 3d4+3+3 =13.5
3rd level: 6d4+6+18 = 39
5th level: 9d4+9+45 = 76.5
7th level: 12d4+12+84 = 126
9th level 15d4+15+135 = 187.5

Those numbers are significantly better than what we were seeing for the AoE damage, as I predicted. Especially when you consider it is there's no save

That means a 5th level Dangerous Sorcerer probably won't be one shotting a Red Cap, but if that thing has taken even a single greatsword hit, it is dead. And those higher level numbers.... Mmmf.

Yeah, the wording right now is technically ambiguous on multi-"particle" effects in general, since the entire spell gets the bonus damage. It certainly should not apply to every particle, and I think the best close reading doesn't cause it to do so (though still leaves you questioning exactly where it goes), but I imagine some people are going to be running it the problematic way, which will provide a useful test of both unless we want to just errata it to avoid that variation. This is not just something for the sorcerer feat, it's an issue with any +damage or -damage source (since -3 to all damage is definitely something that can happen and would pretty much render magic missile useless if you applied per missile), as well as resistances and weaknesses. I think it will be clear to most that if a spell 52.5 damage and a feat seems to increase that by 135 damage, something is not working properly.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:

So, Oracle and Sorcerer is now the same thing and the"bloodline" indicates if you're a divine ou arcane spellcaster.

No.


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NetoD20 wrote:
Quandary wrote:
About Heighten, it does fundamentally seem strange for a Wizard to be able to arbitrarily choose any # of spells to Heighten each day (limited by spell slots), but a Sorceror can't. Perhaps a compromise would be allowing the Sorceror to be able to prepare-as-Heightened similar to a Wizard AND have limited spontaneous-Heighten ability on the side. I feel like part of calculus is not letting low-level Spells Known freely "upgrade" to high-level Spells Known, although I feel that concern isn't as strong as it seems at first glance, considering the Wizard is being allowed to gain spells and later freely Heighten them at no cost.
I've always loved you, Paizo, but no, don't try to push this on me. State things plainly, "we are nerfing spellcasters", don't sugar-coat it.

It's not really a secret and it's welcomed.


Lockewood wrote:
Hmm, usually Temporary Hit Points overlap and you only get the greatest amount. This never mentioned whether it stacks or not though...

Ah, I never knew that temp HP didn't stack. The CRB is unclear but I found the rule just now in the FAQ (which I never bothered looking in before). In that case Glutton's Jaws is flavorful but ultimately not very useful. Pity.

EDIT: Might be useful for getting a hero point by doing something cool though so that is something.


Sorcerer is my go-to. These changes look nice, so far, but I'll really have to have a look at the spell lists to judge properly.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Occult spell list! I thought as much, that’s so fantastic.

Sorcerers getting a spell-list based on bloodline is the coolest of beans.

Having to choose two specific spells at the beginning of the day to heighten isn’t great (why am I preparing anything? I’m a Sorcerer! Improvising is what I do!)

I’d much rather it just be: You can choose to heighten any spell you know up to your Charisma modifier times per day.

Or even two spells a day each spell is chosen when you choose to heighten the spell.

So a Sorcerer who knows Magic Missile, Dispel Magic and Burning Hands might face a powerful ghost early in the day and spontaneously heighten his Magic Missiles as high as possible. Later she faces the necromancer stirring up the undead and spends her second spontaneous heighten to Dispel the necromancers buffs. At this point the Sorcerer can only spontaneously heighten these two spells until they complete a long rest.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:

So, Oracle and Sorcerer is now the same thing and the"bloodline" indicates if you're a divine ou arcane spellcaster.

No.

So, can I do my sorcerer with Demon Bloodline to be a real sorcerer, with arcane spells?


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Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
So, Oracle and Sorcerer is now the same thing and the"bloodline" indicates if you're a divine ou arcane spellcaster.

Well, to echo Seifter one would presume the oracle class would have some sort of armor proficiency (the PF1 oracle even got shields) which the sorcerer lacks.

I don't think the game will have an issue with having "two different spontaneous divine spellcasters" since PF1 had a bunch of classes with overlaps in type and style of casting- three prepared arcane casters (Wizard, Witch, Arcanist) and 3 Divine Prepared Casters (Cleric, Druid, and Shaman).

So I don't think having 2-3 different kinds of spontaneous divine casters is going to be a problem. Sorcerers are about the bloodline, so it makes sense for sorcerers with divine heritage cast divine spells. Oracles are about the mystery and the curse, so they will be different from sorcerers.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I hope blasting damage is looking all right. I've been optimistic, but those feats leave me a little underwhelmed at first glance. (Though, if Dangerous Sorcery works off each seperate "hit" for a spell, Heightened Magic Missile is gonna be awesome.)
That's definitely one we're planning to keep a close eye on!

AAAAW HEEELL YEAAAH. If Dangerous Sorcery gives damage to each missile, that spell is gonna be a popular Spontaneous Heighten Choice.

1st level: 3d4+3+3 =13.5
3rd level: 6d4+6+18 = 39
5th level: 9d4+9+45 = 76.5
7th level: 12d4+12+84 = 126
9th level 15d4+15+135 = 187.5

Those numbers are significantly better than what we were seeing for the AoE damage, as I predicted. Especially when you consider it is there's no save

That means a 5th level Dangerous Sorcerer probably won't be one shotting a Red Cap, but if that thing has taken even a single greatsword hit, it is dead. And those higher level numbers.... Mmmf.

Yeah, the wording right now is technically ambiguous on multi-"particle" effects in general, since the entire spell gets the bonus damage. It certainly should not apply to every particle, and I think the best close reading doesn't cause it to do so (though still leaves you questioning exactly where it goes), but I imagine some people are going to be running it the problematic way, which will provide a useful test of both unless we want to just errata it to avoid that variation. This is not just something for the sorcerer feat, it's an issue with any +damage or -damage source (since -3 to all damage is definitely something that can happen and would pretty much render magic missile useless if you applied per missile), as well as resistances and weaknesses. I think it will be clear to most that if a spell 52.5 damage and a feat seems to increase that by 135 damage, something is not working properly.

Aaaaaw maaaan. While I can't fault your reasoning, I was getting really excited about dealing 187 damage with magic missile and 1 feat. XD

That puts me back to the drawing board trying to figure out what single target blast damage will look like...


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Love the new Seoni that doesn't look like a stripper. Good work, art team.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
willuwontu wrote:

I'm curious on why there isn't undercasting as an option for sorcs in addition to their spontaneous heightening. A sorc that knows heal 5, should be able to cast heal 3, and heal 1 without additional costs, whereas a sorc that knows heal 1 should need to pay a cost (one of their spontaneous heightening spell choices) to be able to cast heal 3, and heal 5.

Is there a reason undercasting doesn't seem to exist for them?

Because heal 3, 5 and so on don't exist.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
I'm not sure I fully understand how this would work. Do you care to run an example? Maybe a 10th level demonic sorcerer (you would have the bloodline spells plus 3 of each known 1st through 5th).

OK, let's say the 2 Spontaneous Heighten spells are designated as Dispel and Slow (functioning exactly like it does in Blog).

Then you have Fireball as Spell Known. That defaults to a 3rd level spell.
But you have OPTION to designate your Fireball spell known as a 5th level spell for the day, meaning it can't be cast with 3rd level slots.
Anybody who doesn't want to use this, just can ignore the option to 'prepare' Spell Known at non-standard spell level.
There isn't real shift in casting dynamic, besides option to change the 'default' spell level a given Spell Known "points to".

This i why I originally mentioned the concern of escalating low level Spell Known to high level Spells Known, since that is what this enables to a certain degree, although IMHO that concern is nullified by Wizards also doing it for free, and of course actual spell slots being fundamental limiter for this. Preparing all your Spells Known at max spell level means you can't cast them all, and won't have anything to cast with your low level spell slots, so you always WANT a good selection of low level spells.

Hopefully that is clearer? I'm sorry if I didn't express clearly what I thought was simple idea.
I don't know what other approaches could address this issue... Feats to increase the 2 Spontaneous Heighten "slots"?


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Bardarok wrote:
Lockewood wrote:
Hmm, usually Temporary Hit Points overlap and you only get the greatest amount. This never mentioned whether it stacks or not though...

Ah, I never knew that temp HP didn't stack. The CRB is unclear but I found the rule just now in the FAQ (which I never bothered looking in before). In that case Glutton's Jaws is flavorful but ultimately not very useful. Pity.

EDIT: Might be useful for getting a hero point by doing something cool though so that is something.

I like the way you think! I can see it now...

The arrogant king looks down at you and sniffs in disdain, "If you think you are worthy of serving me then here, eat this rat and prove how much of a lowly, powerless peasant you are!"

The Sorcerer's mouth erupts into a grin as he accepts the dead rat, to the horror of the onlookers the grin widens even further becoming feral and fiendish. As his fangs finish growing a forked tongue whips out and pulls the rat into it's maw. Slowly crunching the bones and swallowing, the Sorcerer growls in a deep, hideous voice "It will be a pleasure working with you my lord!" Then laughs a most sinister laugh!

GM:... You get a Hero point, no wait, Antihero point.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I hope blasting damage is looking all right. I've been optimistic, but those feats leave me a little underwhelmed at first glance. (Though, if Dangerous Sorcery works off each seperate "hit" for a spell, Heightened Magic Missile is gonna be awesome.)
That's definitely one we're planning to keep a close eye on!

AAAAW HEEELL YEAAAH. If Dangerous Sorcery gives damage to each missile, that spell is gonna be a popular Spontaneous Heighten Choice.

1st level: 3d4+3+3 =13.5
3rd level: 6d4+6+18 = 39
5th level: 9d4+9+45 = 76.5
7th level: 12d4+12+84 = 126
9th level 15d4+15+135 = 187.5

Those numbers are significantly better than what we were seeing for the AoE damage, as I predicted. Especially when you consider it is there's no save

That means a 5th level Dangerous Sorcerer probably won't be one shotting a Red Cap, but if that thing has taken even a single greatsword hit, it is dead. And those higher level numbers.... Mmmf.

Yeah, the wording right now is technically ambiguous on multi-"particle" effects in general, since the entire spell gets the bonus damage. It certainly should not apply to every particle, and I think the best close reading doesn't cause it to do so (though still leaves you questioning exactly where it goes), but I imagine some people are going to be running it the problematic way, which will provide a useful test of both unless we want to just errata it to avoid that variation. This is not just something for the sorcerer feat, it's an issue with any +damage or -damage source (since -3 to all damage is definitely something that can happen and would pretty much render magic missile useless if you applied per missile), as well as resistances and weaknesses. I think it will be clear to most that if a spell 52.5 damage and a feat seems to increase that by 135 damage, something is not working properly.

Is there any precedent for ruling it at "treat all simultaneous hits against the same creature as single damage source if from one spell, hits not against the same creature are multiple iterations of the damage"?

Thematically it's a bit wibbly but it seems like it should play closer to intended, and against resistances and weaknesses more like Double Slice.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
willuwontu wrote:

I'm curious on why there isn't undercasting as an option for sorcs in addition to their spontaneous heightening. A sorc that knows heal 5, should be able to cast heal 3, and heal 1 without additional costs, whereas a sorc that knows heal 1 should need to pay a cost (one of their spontaneous heightening spell choices) to be able to cast heal 3, and heal 5.

Is there a reason undercasting doesn't seem to exist for them?

Because heal 3, 5 and so on don't exist.

You may want to read this blog again, because yes they do.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Quandary wrote:

OK, let's say the 2 Spontaneous Heighten spells are designated as Dispel and Slow (functioning exactly like it does in Blog).

Then you have Fireball as Spell Known. That defaults to a 3rd level spell.
But you have OPTION to designate your Fireball spell known as a 5th level spell for the day, meaning it can't be cast with 3rd level slots.
Anybody who doesn't want to use this, just can ignore the option to 'prepare' Spell Known at non-standard spell level.
There isn't real shift in casting dynamic, besides option to change the 'default' spell level a given Spell Known "points to".

But what happens to your actual 5th level spells that day? Can you just not cast them?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Elleth wrote:

Is there any precedent for ruling it at "treat all simultaneous hits against the same creature as single damage source if from one spell, hits not against the same creature are multiple iterations of the damage"?

Thematically it's a bit wibbly but it seems like it should play closer to intended, and against resistances and weaknesses more like Double Slice.

That's essentially what I have mocked up in a file of possible clarifications.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Occult spell list! I thought as much, that’s so fantastic.

Sorcerers getting a spell-list based on bloodline is the coolest of beans.

Having to choose two specific spells at the beginning of the day to heighten isn’t great (why am I preparing anything? I’m a Sorcerer! Improvising is what I do!)

I’d much rather it just be: You can choose to heighten any spell you know up to your Charisma modifier times per day.

Or even two spells a day each spell is chosen when you choose to heighten the spell.

So a Sorcerer who knows Magic Missile, Dispel Magic and Burning Hands might face a powerful ghost early in the day and spontaneously heighten his Magic Missiles as high as possible. Later she faces the necromancer stirring up the undead and spends her second spontaneous heighten to Dispel the necromancers buffs. At this point the Sorcerer can only spontaneously heighten these two spells until they complete a long rest.

I really liked this idea at first glance, but it probably only increases the cognitive load problem-- if you can use ANY option but have to really make them count, you are gonna think long and hard about when and how you pull that trigger...

While I agree a sorcerer preparing spells is counter-intuitive, I think it probably helps to bring them up to par with the wizard preeeeetty well.


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Okay. So I like this, but in particular because it suggests the spell lists will be balanced against one another.

Which suggests you may could swap them out more easily to create new things.

So...how would you use say, the alchemist chassis and make an artificer? I can see reflavoring alchemy, but beyond that?

In a bit of a bind, here. My players love their steampunk powered armor style artificers with all the options. :D


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Occult spell list! I thought as much, that’s so fantastic.

Sorcerers getting a spell-list based on bloodline is the coolest of beans.

Having to choose two specific spells at the beginning of the day to heighten isn’t great (why am I preparing anything? I’m a Sorcerer! Improvising is what I do!)

I’d much rather it just be: You can choose to heighten any spell you know up to your Charisma modifier times per day.

Or even two spells a day each spell is chosen when you choose to heighten the spell.

So a Sorcerer who knows Magic Missile, Dispel Magic and Burning Hands might face a powerful ghost early in the day and spontaneously heighten his Magic Missiles as high as possible. Later she faces the necromancer stirring up the undead and spends her second spontaneous heighten to Dispel the necromancers buffs. At this point the Sorcerer can only spontaneously heighten these two spells until they complete a long rest.

I'd be okay with either of those options. I definitely agree that having to prepare anything at the start of the day feels counter-intuitive and un-thematic for the sorcerer.


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Are Sorcerers getting substantially more spells known than they had in PF1 to compensate for having no more spells per day than a wizard AND having to learn the same spell over and over again if they want to Heighten it?

It's the only thing I can think of that would prevent Wizards from completely blowing Sorcerers away in the Playtest.


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It's going to be a long walk uphill to think of "Primal Evolution" as a correct term. Primal Reversion is something I'm too familiar with.

I don't suppose Oras had been backported from Starfinder yet, either.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ninja in the Rye wrote:

Are Sorcerers getting substantially more spells known than they had in PF1 to compensate for having no more spells per day than a wizard AND having to learn the same spell over and over again if they want to Heighten it?

It's the only thing I can think of that would prevent Wizards from completely blowing Sorcerers away in the Playtest.

They were clarified to have 4 spells a day and 4 spells known per level at cap, and the incredibly powerful ability to copy fit two of their spells to whatever heighten level they need at the time of casting, which is honestly a stronger ability than it might feel at first glance, since a wizard can very easily not have it at an appropriate level or prepared too high or too low to be of real use.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Elleth wrote:

Is there any precedent for ruling it at "treat all simultaneous hits against the same creature as single damage source if from one spell, hits not against the same creature are multiple iterations of the damage"?

Thematically it's a bit wibbly but it seems like it should play closer to intended, and against resistances and weaknesses more like Double Slice.

That's essentially what I have mocked up in a file of possible clarifications.

Thanks, good to know (as that seemed like the imprompto ruling I'd run with myself).

Also unrelated, but seconding the hopes that the spell lists will be well balanced against each other in size and versatility/interestingness. I think the essences should help here. Arcane becoming the designated dumping spot for practical powers unless it's all healy or something is something I'm not keen on in D&D-style games, and is one of the somethings that puts me personally off from finding the wizard interesting.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Absolutely loving Seoni's new look. A fantastic improvement over the previous one.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Seoni looks like an actual adventurer now.


Also. Dangerous sorcery sounds kind of hilarious with spontaneous heightening magic missile and, if high enough level, wellspring spell.

I just have this mental image of this intensely annoying sorcerer camping out and just pinging large swathes of Unfortunate Minions to death. Skeletons are probably one of the likely targets.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:

Spontaneous Heightening has some advantages over undercasting. Undercasting requires you to invest high level spells known in order to cast lower level spells. Spontaneous Heightening lets you invest a low level spell known (plus a floating, reassignable Spontaneous Heightening slot) in order to cast higher level spells known. It's essentially giving you two bonus spells known at your highest level (assuming you pick spells that have consistent heighten options from low to high level).

I can see devoting a couple of spells known at low level to useful buffs that don't need heightening, and putting the rest into situationally useful spells for heightening, then pick the ones you're most likely to need based on your expectations for the day.

Xenocrat is right; I had a post about this but I can't seem to find it with the search function. Basically, Undercasting seems more generous (it even seemed that way to us before we dug into it), but it's actually really ungenerous assuming you want to max out certain spells. Let's posit my oracle from PF1 who two of the things he did were dispel magic and summon stuff. With undercasting, if I want to be able to do those with my top spells, I've spent my best spells known on that and can't have any other spells of my top level right away, which means whenever I gain access to a new spell level, I'm actually only learning spells of the next-highest level to replace dispel and summon, whereas everyone else is getting new spells from the new level. With this version, I get dispel and summon all the way up to max automatically, plus new spells of the highest level.

Yes, the search function doesn't work or work really badly in the playtest forum. Even selecting your profile page it is not possible to find posts from the playtest pages with the search function. It is possible to find something with the "find in this page" function of Firefox, but you need to use that on each page of the profile.

The sorcerer seems like a great class. My impression is that it is better than the wizard, but that depends on the number of know spell that it will get.
Give them enough and then, please, avoid low-cost ways to add know spells (like the human preferred class bonus in PF1).


So wait, are the spells you choose to learn locked into level-slots like in PF1 for sure? Like you couldn't be a 20th level sorcerer with 30 level 1 spells plus your bloodline spells?

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