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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MusicAddict wrote:
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.

I had missed that the Spontaneous Heighten spells were chosen at the start of each day, rather than being set in stone once chosen, so it's a much better ability than I had initially thought.

I still don't understand what they're getting to compensate for having no more spells per day than a wizard though.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Elleth wrote:
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.

I am pretty keen about having more spells that are not-arcane. Arcane presents some tricky situations in that regard because of the whole "there are 8 schools of magic, and there's a specialist wizard for all 8 of them who is in theory one of the best there is at that school" but we're at least moving towards having more spells that aren't arcane, even if arcane, that green-eyed monster, keeps eyeing them enviously and trying to claw them back.


Bailey Allen wrote:
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?

I'd bet that there will be a table just like in PF 1 as opposed to a single number like in 5e.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Quandary wrote:

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

You would still have all your spells known (the only alteration is to Fireball whose default you are changing from 3rd to 5th level for the day). Which of them you cast is your choice per spontaneous casting. You could expend all your 5th level slots with normal 5th level spells, or all of them with the Heighten Fireball, or all of them with low level spells with Metamagic added on, or anything in between. The limit to Heightening all your Spells Known like this is you still have same number of high level spell slots, and you wouldn't have anything to expend your low level slots on.

I previously mentioned how Wizards get all Heighten versions of spell they know for free, but is that actually case? Or do they have to research/scribe new Heighten versions in order to actually gain benefits of Heighten? Relatedly, is there distinct option to cast with higher level slot, possibly 'counting as higher level' for spell vs spell effects, but not gaining extra effects Heighten normally grants, e.g. more damage...?


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Also really liking the Seoni redesign. I would actually feel annoyed any time I came across her in a book with her old design.

Liberty's Edge

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

But wouldn't having both undercasting and spontaneous upcasting be more beneficial?

Edit:
Lets posit that your oracle has access to 4th level spells. This way your oracle could still have your dispel and summon in level 1 spots (or whatever lowest). And take invisibility as a 4th level and heal as a 3rd.

Upcasting would allow...

AFAIK, lines of spells like summon monster I, II, III etc. will not exist in PF2. The will be something like this "summon monster, level 1, you can summon a monster from this list (insert summon monster I list). Heightened, level 2, you can use a monster from this list (insert summon monster II list) or 1d3 from the list (summon monster I)".

So it will not be possible to take summon monster V and undercast as summon monster V will not exist.

Edit: Mark specified that you can learn a spell at a heightened level. That can be a bit rough, so maybe we will get a feat to learn some extra spell for that. Like the old "you learn 2 extra spells of a level lower than your highest" becoming "you learn a heightened version of a spell that is of a level lower than your max. The heightened version level can as high as your maximum level of spells."


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The whole point of spell points and resonance is so that people don't have to track N number of X/day limited resources. So, spontaneous heightening should just let you heighten any of your spells, or cost you a spell point to heighten a spell. I do not think that allowing sorcerers to use higher level slots to cast their lower level spells is not big a deal-- they are limited by their slots anyway. So, I'd lean to allowing sorcerers to always be able to heighten their spells. Keeps it simple.


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I'm really impressed on how much the sorcerer abilities are more flavorful than ever, seeing how their bloodline is going to determine their spell list rather than simple granting some powers.

The cleric is still my favorite so far, with the deity interacting even more with its follower's abilities. But I'm still waiting for a blog preview of the druid - my favorite PF1 class.


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Hooboy, this new system is so different from original Pathfinder it's going to take me and my friends weeks to figure out and months to get used too.


Mark Seifter wrote:
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?

I don't understand your question on the clarification here... A sorcerer is going to know X spells of any given level and can choose one to cast. Sacrificing the ability to cast Fireball as a 3rd level spell to be able to cast it as a 5th level doesn't mean you'd lose the option to cast your other 5ths, you'd just lose the option to cast Fireball as a 3rd.

Also, I think the better idea is "spells default to being of the level you took them at." So if you declare nothing, you have your spell list as normal.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:


Re: Dangerous Sorcerer wording:

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.

Bolding added.

How would you know which way it was run? I don’t imagine that playtest feedback will include every table variation call made during the game.

I am having trouble seeing how you would get playtest data on this unless you specifically asked that people note if it came up and which way it was run.

Is the GM supposed to keep track of rules debates?

Liberty's Edge

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

I'm actually quite pleased. Not having more spells per day than a Wizard will be interesting, but not nearly as crippling this edition. Getting to choose your Spell List is very cool, and the Bloodline spells and powers look solid as well. All things considered, I'm really liking it.

My one big question, which effects power and functionality quite a bit, is how many spells known do Sorcerers get per level?

Having the same number of spells of a specialized wizard without the limitation seems really good, actually. Unless the number of know spells is too low.

Edit. Mark said that they will get 3 know spells and then 4. Decidely generous when confronted with the past for the highest levels of spells, while it gives a little fewer spells for the lowest levels.
We will see.

Edit II: The potential need to learn heightened versions of some spell make that a bit less generous.


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.

I'd like if that clarification was made for all multi-roll damage combinations (not just spells). Having some things operate as two hits and others operate as one (flurry of blows, double slice...) just confuses the matter. So long as that isn't game-breaking, it seems like a good standardization to have.


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Okay, I understand why you would choose Spontaneous Heightening over Undercasting. But I argue that your premise is flawed in that you consider them mutually exclusive game mechanics.

I think Undercasting should be the default mechanic for all obviously tiered spells. Sorcerers should still have Spontaneous Heightening as written: Allowing them to overcast a limited selection of their lower-level spells each day in addition to being able to undercast all of their spells known; and automatically getting lower-level replacements for any spells they want to specialize in (like Heal, or Magic Missile) instead of being punished by having it occupy multiple spells known slots. Under my proposed system, the 'level' you know a spell at as a spontaneous caster represents your actual degree of familiarity with that spell, and Spontaneous Heightening would represent a sorcerer's ability to 'cram' spell knowledge. So that on the rare occasion they actually know in advance they'll need to be especially good at a spell they didn't otherwise 'specialize in', they can 'cram it' by using spontaneous heightening.


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Angelic Sorcerer seems like it can act well as a simpler "cloth" Cleric that's more spell-focused and can focus on mostly just healing should they choose, especially with Divine Evolution. I like this.

That said, it does kinda end up feeling like a worse Cleric right now, even if it can give the simplicity some want.


Ok, I actually loved it. It seems a great and fun class.
What most caught my attention, however, were the magical traditions: arcane, divine, primal and occult, and apparently spell lists are shared between each tradition. Interesting...


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Elleth wrote:
hopes that the spell lists will be well balanced against each other in size and versatility/interestingness.

The bloodlines with different spell lists pretty clearly establishes need for them to be closely balanced. Or else the Bloodlines with weaker spell-lists would need significantly stronger Bloodline Powers to compensate. (the Spell List/Heritage Evolution Feats, like the Channel Feat, also offer alternate balance mechanism but not everybody takes those so those don't seem like ideal for basic balance dynamic)

Mark Seifter wrote:
I am pretty keen about having more spells that are not-arcane. Arcane presents some tricky situations in that regard because of the whole "there are 8 schools of magic, and there's a specialist wizard for all 8 of them who is in theory one of the best there is at that school" but we're at least moving towards having more spells that aren't arcane, even if arcane, that green-eyed monster, keeps eyeing them enviously and trying to claw them back.

To the extent Specialist Wizards "claw them back", perhaps Specialist "off-list access" is better approach, leaving non-specialists Wizards dabbling in that school to the legit school list itself. Also distinguishes generalist Wizard power scope more clearly.


MuddyVolcano wrote:

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

Mmm... Okay, first off introducing steampunk or similar variants won't be easy until we get at least the 2e core books, which *might* have guidelines for that kind of thing.

That said the Alchemist is the steampunk character par excellence. Iirc, they're very handy at building anything really.

As for steampunk powered armor specifically, I'd reflavor normal magical armor in your place. Instead of a suit of full plate +2, IT'S SCIENCE! It's a composite shell of hyperdense orichalcum you enter, clamp down, and activate its steam engine to help you move!

If you were inclined you might even combine it with something like gauntlets of ogre power (if they still exist) so it's an actual hydraulic exoskeleton! Add yet another magic item to the mix, something that lets you fly, and now you have a rocket pack!

But really, if you can, first try Doomsday Dawn as is, so you can give feedback. After that, just go crazy!

Shadow Lodge

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Berselius wrote:
Hooboy, this new system is so different from original Pathfinder it's going to take me and my friends weeks to figure out and months to get used too.

Man, I know, it's going to be a real chore playing the game all that time. :)


Ninja in the Rye wrote:
MusicAddict wrote:
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.

I had missed that the Spontaneous Heighten spells were chosen at the start of each day, rather than being set in stone once chosen, so it's a much better ability than I had initially thought.

I still don't understand what they're getting to compensate for having no more spells per day than a wizard though.

Powers, signature skills, granted spells?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Quandary wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I still don't understand what they're getting to compensate for having no more spells per day than a wizard though.
I can't help you there, that seems like key issue. Curious how Paizo views the issue.

The ability to cast at the same rate as the wizard seems to me like a much better thing to have than the ability to cast an extra spell of each of my weakest spell levels (in PF1, specialists have 5+ in their lower slots and sorcerers have 6+, but sorcerers don't have the highest slot at all half the time, and even when they get it, they are not ahead). Or to put it another way, if you gave me an option in PF2, for wizard or sorcerer alike, to not get access to a new spell level at odd levels in exchange for a bonus spell per day of all but my top level of spells, I would not take that deal.

So unless you would take that deal, this is another gain for the sorcerer over its PF1 counterpart.


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The only thing I'm not liking so far is that Spontaneous Heightening has nothing spontaneous in it. Two spells per day, and not two spells chosen at the start of the day. That would solve it to me.

Sorcerers are meant to be spontaneous, to have magic in their blood, so choosing the spells they want to heighten in the heat of the battle, as their blood is running wild, is far more thematically appropriate and mechanically enjoyable.


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Cantriped wrote:
Okay, I understand why you would choose Spontaneous Heightening over Undercasting. But I argue that your premise is flawed in that you consider them mutually exclusive game mechanics.

I agree, and this reflects my proposal for parallel Heighten option for spontaneous casters. One "maximally flexible" means of Heighten does not preclude others. I think an Undercasting option has alot going for it, if understood that it isn't ONLY method, and that people using it don't need to use it only with MAX level spells, i.e. they somebody with 7th level spell slots could use it with a 5th level Heightened Heal. Honestly, the problem with my "Arcanist style Prepared Heighten" is the lack of flavor reason why anything the Sorceror does would remove their ability to cast low-level versions of a spell for a day (in exchange for being able to cast high level versions of it spontaneously). Undercasting doesn't have that thematic problem IMHO.

It also occurred to me how Metamagic also fits into this, as a "non-Heighten" way of augmenting a spell to "be worth" a higher spell level. It seems strange to me that Paizo is saying "Heighten isn't Metamagic, now everybody can do it easily" on one hand, yet actual effect is that makes it less convenient to spontaneously apply compared to Metamagic.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

I am curious how often you will be able to replace old spells. PF 1ed allowed a sorcerer to do so at 4th lv and every even level after that, and only 1 spell at a time and not their highest lv spells. I wonder if it will be a similar progression (Could see it start at lv 3 now and every odd level after that) now or if it will be part of the downtime system (like retraining class feats are) and allow a sorcerer to change spells slightly more often then just at level up.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Quandary wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I still don't understand what they're getting to compensate for having no more spells per day than a wizard though.
I can't help you there, that seems like key issue. Curious how Paizo views the issue.

The ability to cast at the same rate as the wizard seems to me like a much better thing to have than the ability to cast an extra spell of each of my weakest spell levels (in PF1, specialists have 5+ in their lower slots and sorcerers have 6+, but sorcerers don't have the highest slot at all half the time, and even when they get it, they are not ahead). Or to put it another way, if you gave me an option in PF2, for wizard or sorcerer alike, to not get access to a new spell level at odd levels in exchange for a bonus spell per day of all but my top level of spells, I would not take that deal.

So unless you would take that deal, this is another gain for the sorcerer over its PF1 counterpart.

That fails to take into account the ‘lost spell slots’ that my Wizards would have as they failed to anticipate exactly how many of each spell they needed.

The Wizard not only has to choose which spells, but how many of each they get. If you never used one of them, it was a wasted slot. By default, you didn’t have a way to spontaneously use that slot for one of the other spells you memorized. That was the schtick of the Arcanist.


Diego Rossi wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
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.

But wouldn't having both undercasting and spontaneous upcasting be more beneficial?

Edit:
Lets posit that your oracle has access to 4th level spells. This way your oracle could still have your dispel and summon in level 1 spots (or whatever lowest). And take invisibility as a 4th level and heal as a

...

When I say heal 1, heal 2, heal 3, etc I mean 1st level heal, 2nd level heal, etc. It's just faster and shorter to type heal 1 over 1st level heal.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I still don't understand what they're getting to compensate for having no more spells per day than a wizard though.
this is another gain for the sorcerer over its PF1 counterpart.

Clearly, but 3.x/P1E's failure to fulfill it's own ideals doesn't seem super relevant when discussing P2E's own balance. You've made clear the slot parity is with Specialists which is important to note (and I assume Specialists must still prepare one slot of their school, thus less flexible than Sorcerors even ignoring Spont/Prep). Is the value of Prep vs Spont a wash then, given level/slot parity? EDIT: Somebody mentioned "wasted slots" of Wizards, the counter-point to which is Wizard's option of leaving slots open to prepare thru-out the day. So there is really 2 overlapping modes of Wizards which Sorcs should be balanced against.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

THOUGHTS ON ORACLES

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.

Thank you, Mark, for this ‘no’ because it gives me hope. Oracles are my second favorite class in Pathfinder after bards.

I love EVERYTHING about PF1 oracles.

I love that they can heal, and that they have ‘choose your own powers’ from this list. I love that they might have some access to a few key spells from other spell lists, depending on mystery. I love that they were the most plastic class in Pathfinder (after the Vigilante) and that you could build just about any character concept out of them. I even loved the curses — upsides, downsides, everything. I played blind oracles. I played deaf oracles. If a curse was a pain in the butt, I wanted to play it. I loved that they could be skill monkeys or beat sticks or fire blasters or... Well, you named it, and you could build an oracle out of it.

I was fearing that angel-blooded sorcerers were the new oracles with minimal flavor and no curses to play with.

I am hoping that when oracles do show up, they are every bit as awesome as they were in PF1.

★ ---- ★ ---- ★ ---- ★

THOUGHTS ON SORCERERS

Squeeeeeee!

I am really excited that spontaneous classes get their spells at the same time as the prepared casters. This is so awesome, I just want to jump for joy.

I like that your bloodline determines your spell list. Now, you guys have to work to make sure that the divine, primal, and occult spell lists have just as awesome toys to play with as the arcane sorcerers. Balance the spell lists more. Give each one attack, utility and battlefield control. Make each one tempting, and I’ll bring a very excitable gnome sorcerer to the playtest.

I’m curious about how the angelic bloodline will turn out. I don’t just want heal spells. I want something awesome that will let me wreak holy havoc on bad guys.

Like others, I’m concerned about preparing the heightens. If Wizards can have ‘one get out of jail free’ spell though their arcane bond, why not let sorcerers spontaneously choose their two heightens when they need them? Still, I’m willing to wait and see how this plays out.

Yours,
Hmm


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Impressed, I might play one now. I like how the Bloodline powers get heightened, they might not be the best option at that level, but they are a viable option.

I hope that clerics will be customized based on their domains.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
MusicAddict wrote:
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.

I had missed that the Spontaneous Heighten spells were chosen at the start of each day, rather than being set in stone once chosen, so it's a much better ability than I had initially thought.

I still don't understand what they're getting to compensate for having no more spells per day than a wizard though.

Getting them 1 level earlier and knowing 3 spells when you get them, as an example.


Vorsk, Follower or Erastil wrote:
I am curious how often you will be able to replace old spells. PF 1ed allowed a sorcerer to do so at 4th lv and every even level after that, and only 1 spell at a time and not their highest lv spells. I wonder if it will be a similar progression (Could see it start at lv 3 now and every odd level after that) now or if it will be part of the downtime system (like retraining class feats are) and allow a sorcerer to change spells slightly more often then just at level up.

Starfinder does one spell every level.

Paizo Employee Designer

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BretI wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Quandary wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I still don't understand what they're getting to compensate for having no more spells per day than a wizard though.
I can't help you there, that seems like key issue. Curious how Paizo views the issue.

The ability to cast at the same rate as the wizard seems to me like a much better thing to have than the ability to cast an extra spell of each of my weakest spell levels (in PF1, specialists have 5+ in their lower slots and sorcerers have 6+, but sorcerers don't have the highest slot at all half the time, and even when they get it, they are not ahead). Or to put it another way, if you gave me an option in PF2, for wizard or sorcerer alike, to not get access to a new spell level at odd levels in exchange for a bonus spell per day of all but my top level of spells, I would not take that deal.

So unless you would take that deal, this is another gain for the sorcerer over its PF1 counterpart.

That fails to take into account the ‘lost spell slots’ that my Wizards would have as they failed to anticipate exactly how many of each spell they needed.

The Wizard not only has to choose which spells, but how many of each they get. If you never used one of them, it was a wasted slot. By default, you didn’t have a way to spontaneously use that slot for one of the other spells you memorized. That was the schtick of the Arcanist.

I think I don't understand you here. I'm comparing the PF2 sorcerer to the PF1 sorcerer, so I don't think it is relevant to take into account which slots the wizard wastes due to poor guessing during prep (which I agree with you). Were you replying to the same post I was rather than mine? Or perhaps I misunderstand.


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First off I’d like to say that I really enjoyed this blog, and most of the others, and am excited and grateful by being able to play PF2 soon. I like the bloodline change in particular.

That being said, the way spontaneous casting deals with heightening is concerning to me. It feels like solving a physics problem (I’m a physicist) and getting a solution that lacks some symmetry or aesthetic property. When that happens it not only feels icky and gives me a headache, it almost always means the solution is wrong. I believe this is the case here.

I understand and agree with all points made against automatically upcasting or downcasting, how they eat up time or may be stronger than prepared casters etc. But, I believe they are an order of magnitude less disrupting than the confusion from not being able to cast spells that you have and get the appropriate effect. A sorcerer with heal can now cast it at 5th level but not get the effect that it says it has at 5th level.

I think the issue with spontaneous casting has to do with how spells behave in general now; with spells being unaffected by caster level, collapsing spell chains into the heightened mechanic that affects both the magnitude and the scope of spells, having opposing effects being resolved through spell level, and so on, spontaneous casting needs to jump through too many hoops.

Maybe you should re-split some of the spells? Keep heightened effects like additional damage/healing and the opposing effects resolution , but re-split things like invisibility where the effect of the spell changes. This means that auto upcasting will involve a lot less bookkeeping (just the number of dice or the rare level comparison), be less confusing, and give what I think is the right sort of flexibility for this type of casting: that of magnitude, not scope.

Another option is to give heightening through spell points, though this doesn’t resolve the confusion of not having a spell you know, and will need to be done on a class by class basis.

As a last note, I’d like to thank you all for being so responsive. These blogs, your continued commenting in them, and of course the various faqs, errata and support in general are a huge part in why PF is my RPG of choice, and the main reason I’ve been excited by PF2 even before any details were announced.


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super. Again i really waiting this stuff for august and for looking the 10 level spell.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

The only thing I'm not liking so far is that Spontaneous Heightening has nothing spontaneous in it. Two spells per day, and not two spells chosen at the start of the day. That would solve it to me.

Sorcerers are meant to be spontaneous, to have magic in their blood, so choosing the spells they want to heighten in the heat of the battle, as their blood is running wild, is far more thematically appropriate and mechanically enjoyable.

It is 2 spells chosen at the start of the day, that you can cast as many time as you have slots. Your version would limit the sorcerer to two castings in a day.


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The Gold Sovereign wrote:

The only thing I'm not liking so far is that Spontaneous Heightening has nothing spontaneous in it. Two spells per day, and not two spells chosen at the start of the day. That would solve it to me.

Sorcerers are meant to be spontaneous, to have magic in their blood, so choosing the spells they want to heighten in the heat of the battle, as their blood is running wild, is far more thematically appropriate and mechanically enjoyable.

The problem is the decision paralysis Mark mentioned earlier. This would run into that same problem, though at a lessened magnitude.

It's really hard to think of an elegant solution that still keeps the theme you just describe. I'm of the opinion the theme is more important, but it would be ruined if every battle was stopped by the sorcerer running through their spells weighing the cost and benefit of heightening them until they used up those slots per day.


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So one concern about Spontaneous Heightening is that I'm concerned there's going to be an optimal path with two spells which have useful versions at every spell level being chosen by most every sorcerer. I suspect "Summon Monster" and "Dispel Magic" are going to be popular.

Are there enough spells which scale well to all levels that there aren't easy optimal choices?


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The new atomicity of spell does seem pretty annoying for new sorcerers, who need to be extremely careful on what spells they learn at what level. I still think a good gimmick for them would be being full masters of the few different spells they know, being able to get more bang for each than an equivalent Wizard.

It's been explained how full freedom to heighten any spell spontaneously could make them overpowered, at that is probably correct. But that doesn't mean it can't be balanced by another mechanic.

For example, maybe Sorcerers can spend spell points to heighten any spell spontaneously, perhaps a varying amount of points depending on the difference. This means they can be super flexible, but it comes with an opportunity cost of using other abilities or heightening other spells. If this is still too good, maybe limit this mechanic to bloodline spells. Or even limit it to heightening only to MAX level.

Or maybe they can apply metamagic spontaneously to push some spells beyond the "power-level" they've learned it and keep some lower-level spells valuable.

Either way, they can be more flexible than it currently sounds. The more you can get away from "Wizard but spontaneous and worse", the better. They are supposed to have the greatest control of their magic, after all! Let them play around with their spells in unique ways even if it's limited.

P.S. I think Sorcerer having to "prepare" stuff daily goes against the spirit of the class, even if it's preparing the spontaneous stuff. Resource management in real time should be the gimmick compared to preparing anything ahead of time.


BretI wrote:

That fails to take into account the ‘lost spell slots’ that my Wizards would have as they failed to anticipate exactly how many of each spell they needed.

The Wizard not only has to choose which spells, but how many of each they get. If you never used one of them, it was a wasted slot. By default, you didn’t have a way to spontaneously use that slot for one of the other spells you memorized. That was the schtick of the Arcanist.

I assume a Wizard can still prepare spells in the field. So while wasting prepared slots is certainly a thing... a wizard should never functionally be punished for their preparation choices outside of combat... niche spells can almost always be prepared immediately before use at whatever level they need to be if you leave slots open to do so.

Meanwhile a Sorcerer has to pay the opportunity cost of their spell selections for their entire career. Moreover they functionally appear to only get up to 5½* scalable spells known their entire career (compared to every other caster, all of whose spells scale wlto the level prepared in).

*Excluding Cantrips and Bloodline Spells (which are nevertheless a huge boon in versatility BTW), and assuming they spend as many of their spells known as possible on iterations of the same spell, except for whichever two they only take at one spell level and always choose as targets for for Spontaneous Heightening


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Okay, work is done, now I can finally give a proper analysis of what's revealed thus far. (I might also want to add that, like the Cleric preview, this was very crunchy. Which is good; I like crunchy when it comes to blog reveals.)

Bloodlines:
This is perhaps the biggest change to the Sorcerer, since not only does a Bloodline determine what powers and bonus spells known you get, it also determines what spells you can even cast, period. Sorcerers are now "Wild Card" spellcasters, since you may never know for sure what sort of spells they may or may not have. They can cast Primal spells, Occult spells, Arcane spells (as was tradition), or even Divine spells. This sort of flexibility makes them highly unpredictable, highly varied, and also highly complicated as a result. People saying Sorcerer is a simple man's Wizard is going to be dead wrong in PF2 as a result, since Sorcerers can be just about any sort of spellcaster they want to be, and more. I suppose you could say they killed the "Wizards Rule and Fighters Drool" sacred cow from PF1, but then they basically raised it to "Sorcerers Rule and Wizards Drool," so I suppose they reanimated it as a unhallowed zombie cow. Frightening, really.

One big concern, as I stated prior to this post, was that some of these benefits feel quite frontloaded, making multiclassing to Sorcerer more ideal than it should be; most specifically, the signature skills gained. If a Rogue really wanted, they could dip Sorcerer, and get a boatload of new Signature skills that they can then make into Legendary, on top of the boatload of Signature skills they already have (and they can most certainly have the feats for it). While I understand this does come at a significant cost of combat value, and requires further investment to make it work, it is the sort of high level abuse one needs to watch for when this game is for 4 people, and you have one player with every single Signature skill in the game at Legendary+ proficiency, when it's probably not intended.

With the sample Demonic bloodline, I'm genuinely curious that, combined with ABC character generation, that a "melee sorcerer" is viable. We know that AC and TAC aren't much different, we know that BAB is level dependent, and we know that you can have a passable Strength score as a result (even though proficiencies and such can weigh you down). (Maybe we'll get some Dragon Disciple Prestige feats that will make it a passible build in the higher levels.) So, can it work in a pinch? Maybe. I'd rather see if even a Cleric can do it or not, since we don't even have proper confirmation if that works, and that's about as premium a concept (Battle Cleric) as it gets.

Spellcasting:
Thank god, the "Sorcerer is always behind" sacred cow is dead. D-E-D, dead. I really hated how Sorcerers got screwed just because they didn't want to play Batman in a certain way, since even if they don't want to prepare spells each day, they still have to select spells that they want to cast each day (and each time), thereby still being Batman in a way (just not the way everyone remembers Batman being).

The other good thing is that as levels are gained, you can replace previously known spells with other known spells, while (presumably) still learning spells at the same or higher levels. There was a similar rule to this in PF1, but it was restrictive. While we don't know the specifics to this, and unless they nerfed it (doubtful in this case due to the sheer boost of versatility they got), this is one of the few nice things PF1 did that they decided to keep.

Well, I can say for sure now the real reason why Resonance is kept; because it's a balancing point for Sorcerers to be more reliant on spell-like consumables, such as potions, wands, and staves, to which I say "Yuck." I'm not saying Sorcerers shouldn't have some sort of advantage with consumable items, given their limited spell selection, but firstly, Staves already give them an expansion to their already dwindled spell list with their inherent mechanics, and secondly, Wands don't scale worth a damn, so they don't last outside of the CLW wand spam (the HP/GP conversion being too good) that we had in PF1. Potions, as previewed in a previous blog post, are similarly poorly designed. So why are we defending Resonance for an entire system platform when (so far) it's been the balancing point for two classes, one of which uses a completely different attribute for it? Why not just limit these rules aspect to those classes (such as by granting additional charges or something to the consumables, or their own powers), and not require it to affect everyone? (Granted, this would still mean I wouldn't want to play those classes, but I'd rather have only a small subset of stuff I wouldn't play than an entire system I wouldn't play.)

Features:
Not gonna lie, the features section was very short, and very confusing. The first part is because the feats are largely Bloodline related. I'm not saying that there shouldn't be Bloodline specific feats, but that they shouldn't be the bulk of the preview. I'm wondering if Sorcerers are essentially paying Class Feats for those Bloodline powers, thereby having fewer Class Feats than anyone else as a result, which is bad, but it's speculation until it's been shown otherwise.

The latter is specifically because of Spontaneous Heightening, which I'm not sure I still understand correctly after reading it half a dozen times, and if I read it correctly, it does reaffirm one big problem with spell heightening, and that it is a bookkeeping nightmare.

From Spontaneous Heightening, we (presumably) are told that the Sorcerer can select 2 spells that they know (I wonder if there are Class Feats that can expand this pool of selection?), and each spell can be cast at a chosen spell level (assuming the Sorcerer can cast it, a Sorcerer of 3rd level can't just cast a 4th tier Invisibility spell with this feature), paying the proper spell slot as normal. While this does help with the Sorcerer's versatility in their spell choices (such as taking a common spell that's almost always heightened and making it your most flexible spell yet; Sorcerer healers are now confirmed and are a go as of this blog post!), it does highlight one major issue with spell heightening, and it is as I described above.

Picture this: You're a Druid. You're 9th level, and (presumably) a dedicated healer for your party, both of which whose Resonance isn't that great. You have the Heal spell, but remember, you're also a prepared spellcaster, which means you have to prepare that Heal spell for each spell tier you have access to. (Yes, I'm going with spell tier for clarity's sake, sue me.) Okay, so how many Heals of the 5th tier, all the way down to the 1st tier, do I prepare? What about condition removal spells, Dispel Magic (which has been confirmed by a developer to have an impact based on which spell tier you cast it as), and so on? This would drive people mad, since they now have to manage things like "How many Heals of the X tier do you have? How many of Y tier do you have? Are they enough? Do I need to move some from Z tier up to Y tier? If so, what spells from Y tier do I have to sacrifice, and what extra spells from Z tier do I need in order to warrant this sacrifice?" This sort of bookkeeping, while I understand it's necessary, is something that spell heightening enforces, and doesn't seem like much of a solution for condensing spell descriptions when it now reinforces another bookkeeping issue that people with analysis paralysis (or even choice paralysis) will struggle with significantly, especially if they are prepared spellcasters.

Sure, the Sorcerer is still easier in this regard if they are smart players and know what spells they want (with a bit of a failsafe to change it if they don't like it after some time), but I'm too worried about the above issue now applying to what spells they know, instead of what spells they prepare.

Class Feats:
I decided to call it "class feats," because "feats" and "features" sound too similar to help differentiate what's what. (Gee, I wonder why.) Maybe if they were split into "Static Features," ones that everyone of that class get, and "Variant Features," ones that everyone of that class can choose from (but are optional), there would be less confusion, but this is more of a nitpick than getting on with the topic.

Anyway, on to the Metamagic Feats, such as Overwhelming Spell. I'm not sure I like this one. My biggest gripes are that, at 8th level in PF1, you're getting into enemies who are largely Immune to one energy type, and (potentially) vulnerable to another. This is typical of most Outsiders, Elementals, and Dragons, 3 very common high(er) level enemies. Undead are similar, but they are (mostly) fixed in what they have benefits towards due to their base template. We also don't know how much of an increase in spell levels this demands, so we can't tell if it's worthwhile for its price or not (I'm guessing +1, but I could be wrong). Maybe if it was a +2 for bypassing 50% of an enemy's Resistances and Immunities, it would be cool and flavorful, with neat utility for those spells, without completely nullifying if an enemy is Resistant or Immune to a given effect. As it stands, it's just too niche. Granted, I don't want it to be something every Sorcerer wants to get, but this is great for those Blasters who don't want to waste their spell slots. (I'm also curious if Sorcerers can add Metamagic feats to their spells whenever they want or not, since I'm certain the old rule of "You have to prepare the Metamagic version" of prepared spellcasters is still enforced here. If so, how would that work for spontaneous spellcasters?

Dangerous Sorcery sounds nice on its face, but it has an inherent cost that isn't worth it. I understand they wanted to cut down on the flat number bonuses in this game, but for the amount it grants, and how few of spells you actually get, with it not affecting cantrips, the most common form of "Sorcery" there is, it's just not that good and not very widespread usable to be considered as a feat. At best, you're getting this bonus for every Fireball target you hit, which is decent, but considering Fireball is (presumably) a 3rd level spell, and increasing it up to the next level only adds an additional single point of damage, it's just not worth the apparent cost (a feat and the increased spell slot expenditure) for its benefits.

Blood Magic is even more niche than Overwhelming Spell (which only works on resistant but not immune enemies, of which there were tons of immunities in PF1, and we can expect a lot of classic immune enemies to return), since it requires you to be bleeding, and to affect an ally with a (seemingly) positive spell. At best, a Sorcerer might have some sort of silly "bleed" mechanic they want to instate themselves (maybe a cantrip?) to make use of this, similar to how people used Reach weapons or Bodyguard to utilize Combat Reflexes, but in those cases they were just niche options made viable. This isn't just a niche option, but also a detrimental one that requires actions on your behalf to make work, or a super niche condition that not many enemies from PF1 possessed.

The Evolution feats are cool and neat, but need to be rebalanced across all aspects. A once per day summon at maximum efficiency does not at all compare to having a full usable class feature (Divine), nor a full usable spell subset (scroll or "mental" subtype choice) as a part of your full spell repertoire to use as you see fit. The latter could technically let me use a single 10th level spell (a la Wish/Miracle) if I so wished, since it's added to my spells. But even not considering the ramifications of what these feats can do when stacked next to each other, the fact of the matter is that these feats might be too good, making them "de facto" options, which is a bad thing.

Also, Wellspring Spell as a metamagic feat? I'm not sure I understand how this works, since this breaks all the other rules of metamagic feats. Metamagic feats usually require expending more power for a high level benefit. My guess is that you can take a spell of up to 5th level, and cast it at a slot 4 levels higher (so 1st is 5th, 2nd is 6th, 3rd is 7th, and so on up to 9th level), but are allowed to cast that spell once per minute (AKA "all day). This feat already screams "TRAP!" (Ironic, since the blog post we got before this one was all about traps.) Because you're spending a feat so you can take a spell of a lower level, cast it at a higher level slot, and do so again once per minute (and in most cases, once per fight). In a lot of respectable combats, you will want your highest powered spells doing the things you want and need them to do. And considering spell power is toned down in this edition, the odds of it being affordable to burn one of your strongest spells for replenishable weaker spells is highly unlikely unless your GM likes throwing soft fluffy pillows at you every game.

Overall, I'm pleased with a lot of the directions the Sorcerer has taken, with their increased flexibility and the tables turning between Sorcerers and Wizards. I'm of course skeptical of several options and rules, but much like a bad or weird story, you go to the salt mines and take a grain of what they mine with it. With Resonance as it stands, I don't think I'd like playing a Sorcerer much, since people are going to be begging me to not burn Resonance on things outside of healing.

But hey, I can just be an Angelic Sorcerer, take the Divine Evolution feat, and be a Cleric Healbot+, since I can Spontaneously Heighten Heal and (presumably) Cure, thereby removing any condition and healing any amount of hit points I can, have a Channeling Heal battery as back up, with Legendary Medicine as yet another backup, and then of course Resonance as needed. Congratulations, I heal better than a Cleric ever can! The irony!


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Bailey Allen wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
The only thing I'm not liking so far is that Spontaneous Heightening has nothing spontaneous in it. Two spells per day, and not two spells chosen at the start of the day. That would solve it to me.

The problem is the decision paralysis Mark mentioned earlier. This would run into that same problem, though at a lessened magnitude.

It's really hard to think of an elegant solution that still keeps the theme you just describe. I'm of the opinion the theme is more important, but it would be ruined if every battle was stopped by the sorcerer running through their spells weighing the cost and benefit of heightening them until they used up those slots per day.

Yeah, but some player could feel compelled to look up stats of every Summon Monster they could summon.

Players not willing to deal with analysis paralysis is a problem regardless.

But anyways, here is other compromise:
Two spells designated as "Spontaneously Heighten-able" but you can change those two spells AT ANY TIME by spending a full round or 1 minute or whatever.
So it is not necessarily just two spells for the entire day, but at your choice at any given moment are still limited to 2 spells.

I could get behind that, especially alongside Undercasting... Which I wouldn't even expect people to always dedicate their top level spells towards, it could very well be useful for mid-level spell slots. Heck, if they want they can specify that Undercasting CAN'T be used on max level spells known (them being at limit of your power you strain to control, so you can't be subtle with them, etc).

EDIT: I agree with ChibiNyan that my "Arcanist style Heighten Prep" is perhaps thematically ill advised, there isn't much basis for why Sorceror would become less capable of casting low level spell versions depending on daily preparations. I think it fulfilled the mechanical/gameplay concerns expressed, but maybe isn't the best choice for other reasons.


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Quandary wrote:
Bailey Allen wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

The only thing I'm not liking so far is that Spontaneous Heightening has nothing spontaneous in it. Two spells per day, and not two spells chosen at the start of the day. That would solve it to me.

Sorcerers are meant to be spontaneous, to have magic in their blood, so choosing the spells they want to heighten in the heat of the battle, as their blood is running wild, is far more thematically appropriate and mechanically enjoyable.

The problem is the decision paralysis Mark mentioned earlier. This would run into that same problem, though at a lessened magnitude.

It's really hard to think of an elegant solution that still keeps the theme you just describe. I'm of the opinion the theme is more important, but it would be ruined if every battle was stopped by the sorcerer running through their spells weighing the cost and benefit of heightening them until they used up those slots per day.

Yeah, but some player could feel compelled to look up stats of every Summon Monster they could summon.

Players not willing to deal with analysis paralysis is a problem regardless.

But anyways, here is other compromise:
Two spells designated as "Spontaneously Heighten-able" but you can change those two spells AT ANY TIME by spending a full round or 1 minute or whatever.
So it is not necessarily only two spells for the entire day, but at same time your choice at any given moment are still limited to 2 spells.

Hey, that's actually a pretty elegant solution. Making it so it can't be redirected without cost, but you still have that option available. Maybe throw in a spell-point cost as well so you have to be sure you want to commit to changing it.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Okay, work is done, now I can finally give a proper analysis of what's revealed thus far. (I might also want to add that, like the Cleric preview, this was very crunchy. Which is good; I like crunchy when it comes to blog reveals.)

** review ommited **...

Metamagic feats no longer increase spell level from what we've seen. They have other costs (we've seen increasing actions required) so they're more usuable at low levels.

So Wellspring spell is probably like. "When you cast a spell of 5th level or lower. Add 1 somatic casting action and the spell slot is not expended." And can be used spontaneously.


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Lockewood wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Lockewood wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Lockewood wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Mark for what you say looks like free spontaneous heightening would have been the closer we have seen to 3.5 Psionics, I admit I'm quite biased here because Psionics is my preferred casting system, so I'm having a hard time understanding the reasons to not have free spontaneous heightening.
Well, I've seen players who spend several minutes leafing through books because they don't know what the spell they just cast does. If someone can cast Beast Form II or Undead anatomy I but doesn't know the abilities each grants then they spend alot of time looking at the book while everyone else sits their patiently, or not so patiently depending on the person.
Is unfair to expect that a player know by memory the full spell list, but I expect caster players to have their spells at hand, in a separate folder, cards, etc.

I don't believe they should be forced to memorize their spell list, though I do believe they should at least have a solid idea of what the spell does.

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.
Those kind of decisions and comparison should not be done in the middle battle to begin with, but during downtime, so in the heat of combat the caster cast the first spell that comes to mind, and taking time to think which spell would be best should take in game time.

I agree with you to an extent, if you haven't noticed I keep bringing up the wordcasting system as a comparison because you had to do exactly that.

You had to sort through all the words you knew, come up with the combinations, and finally devote them to memory just like a mage in the dying...

I understand that decision paralysis can be a problem but I think is more a player issue that needs to be addressed at the table, it should not have that much influence on design.

Frankly I don't feel like part of the target audience for PF2 any longer.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
But hey, I can just be an Angelic Sorcerer, take the Divine Evolution feat, and be a Cleric Healbot+, since I can Spontaneously Heighten Heal and (presumably) Cure, thereby removing any condition and healing any amount of hit points I can, have a Channeling Heal battery as back up, with Legendary Medicine as yet another backup, and then of course Resonance as needed. Congratulations, I heal better than a Cleric ever can! The irony!

I sorta suspect that the possibility of a sorcerer healbot is there to satisfy the desire people had to play a Cleric that gave up all that armor and weapons stuff clerics get in order to be better at spellcasting.

Since a level 1 cleric can swing a mace and put on chainmail (presumably) but this is a tough ask for a sorcerer.

Also, this saves us from having to specifically bar certain inappropriate choices from any "Cloistered Cleric" style archetypes. Like a Gorumite who doesn't know how to use weapons or armor or a Toragite who eschews the fruits of the forge just doesn't fit.


Diego Rossi wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

The only thing I'm not liking so far is that Spontaneous Heightening has nothing spontaneous in it. Two spells per day, and not two spells chosen at the start of the day. That would solve it to me.

Sorcerers are meant to be spontaneous, to have magic in their blood, so choosing the spells they want to heighten in the heat of the battle, as their blood is running wild, is far more thematically appropriate and mechanically enjoyable.

It is 2 spells chosen at the start of the day, that you can cast as many time as you have slots. Your version would limit the sorcerer to two castings in a day.

Well, you surely can read it like that, but I was actually pointing at the way they are chosen... "Twice per day, the sorcerer can choose a spell it can spontaneously heighten for the duration of that day".

Well, thematically, I'm completely against the sorcerer needing to "prepare" his magic... It sounds to me just as bad as the druid having to choose in which form he would shift at the beginning of each day.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I sorta suspect that the possibility of a sorcerer healbot is there to satisfy the desire people had to play a Cleric that gave up all that armor and weapons stuff clerics get in order to be better at spellcasting.

Also, this saves us from having to specifically bar certain inappropriate choices from any "Cloistered Cleric" style archetypes. Like a Gorumite who doesn't know how to use weapons or armor or a Toragite who eschews the fruits of the forge just doesn't fit.

I don't really see it as fulfilling that role. It doesn't specifically worship "appropriate" Cloistered Cleric deities, and doesn't specifically bar worshipping "inappropriate" deities. This isn't "Cleric" centered mechanic, it's covering Primal/Occult just as much. What I see it as fulfilling is "blood of X" in other words the original Pathfinder Sorceror concept. Which was undermined by 90% of their powers (spell list) being the exact same.

I honestly think they should back off the (Arcane/Divine/Primal/Occult) Tradition Evolution stuff, and focus that back to Bloodline Evolution. All Divine tradition Bloodlines don't need access to Channel. Give it to ones specifically relevant to it, maybe Celestial, maybe Undead. Demons don't seem super Channel specific, despite being Divine. Heck, they should be able to give Channel to non-Divine spell list Bloodlines if justifiable. It's possible some Evolutions can be general to entire Tradition (Spell List), but IMHO that should be specifically justified on case-by-case basis.


Bailey Allen wrote:
Quandary wrote:
Bailey Allen wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

The only thing I'm not liking so far is that Spontaneous Heightening has nothing spontaneous in it. Two spells per day, and not two spells chosen at the start of the day. That would solve it to me.

Sorcerers are meant to be spontaneous, to have magic in their blood, so choosing the spells they want to heighten in the heat of the battle, as their blood is running wild, is far more thematically appropriate and mechanically enjoyable.

The problem is the decision paralysis Mark mentioned earlier. This would run into that same problem, though at a lessened magnitude.

It's really hard to think of an elegant solution that still keeps the theme you just describe. I'm of the opinion the theme is more important, but it would be ruined if every battle was stopped by the sorcerer running through their spells weighing the cost and benefit of heightening them until they used up those slots per day.

Yeah, but some player could feel compelled to look up stats of every Summon Monster they could summon.

Players not willing to deal with analysis paralysis is a problem regardless.

But anyways, here is other compromise:
Two spells designated as "Spontaneously Heighten-able" but you can change those two spells AT ANY TIME by spending a full round or 1 minute or whatever.
So it is not necessarily only two spells for the entire day, but at same time your choice at any given moment are still limited to 2 spells.

Hey, that's actually a pretty elegant solution. Making it so it can't be redirected without cost, but you still have that option available. Maybe throw in a spell-point cost as well so you have to be sure you want to commit to changing it.

Unfortunately I'm guessing that's abusable. Let's say I'm a Sorcerer who knows both Inflict, Cure, and Summon. I probably walk around before battle with Inflict and Summon, then after battle I can swap into Cure to heal up the party and swap back...

I don't mind the two-spell limit, overall. I did like the idea of choosing spell already known levels for your spells daily, but others don't like the idea of any "prepared" aspects for sorcerers, which is fine.

However, I will say, that if I need to potentially keep re-learning my spells to have the highest two levels, for example, of any given spell, it better be *real* easy to retrain these...


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The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Well, you surely can read it like that, but I was actually pointing at the way they are chosen... "Twice per day, the sorcerer can choose a spell it can spontaneously heighten for the duration of that day".
Sorcerer Blog wrote:
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

Using any of your spell slots really does sound like as long as you have slots to use, you can upload your chosen lower level slots into them.

It sort of makes those spells like Spontaneous Cure or Domain spells. I do think that the sorcerer is likely to need a way to get more of those though. Maybe bloodline spells could be automatically Heightenable in that way.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
BretI wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Quandary wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I still don't understand what they're getting to compensate for having no more spells per day than a wizard though.
I can't help you there, that seems like key issue. Curious how Paizo views the issue.

The ability to cast at the same rate as the wizard seems to me like a much better thing to have than the ability to cast an extra spell of each of my weakest spell levels (in PF1, specialists have 5+ in their lower slots and sorcerers have 6+, but sorcerers don't have the highest slot at all half the time, and even when they get it, they are not ahead). Or to put it another way, if you gave me an option in PF2, for wizard or sorcerer alike, to not get access to a new spell level at odd levels in exchange for a bonus spell per day of all but my top level of spells, I would not take that deal.

So unless you would take that deal, this is another gain for the sorcerer over its PF1 counterpart.

That fails to take into account the ‘lost spell slots’ that my Wizards would have as they failed to anticipate exactly how many of each spell they needed.

The Wizard not only has to choose which spells, but how many of each they get. If you never used one of them, it was a wasted slot. By default, you didn’t have a way to spontaneously use that slot for one of the other spells you memorized. That was the schtick of the Arcanist.

I think I don't understand you here. I'm comparing the PF2 sorcerer to the PF1 sorcerer, so I don't think it is relevant to take into account which slots the wizard wastes due to poor guessing during prep (which I agree with you). Were you replying to the same post I was rather than mine? Or perhaps I misunderstand.

Cantriped covered what I was getting at, in that the Sorcerer could always use all of their spell slots. The Wizard had to choose how many of each spell they took. As Centriped said, some of that could be dealt with on a Wizard by leaving slots open and spending 10 minutes to prepare utility spells when needed. Assuming that you had the time, that is. Pearls of Power also helped with this.

The thing is, Sorcerers could use Mnemonic Vestment to give them that one special spell needed that day. I expect that Mnemonic Vestment may be a thing of the past, but still I think the Sorcerer will have an advantage in being able to utilize the spell slots they have.

I expect we will still have a situation where style of play may be more important than class. I’ve seen how some people can make the most of Sorcerer yet have trouble playing a Wizard or vice versa. The two classes played differently enough that which was better depended on who was playing them.

Fortunately with the playtest bloodlines, you will probably be able to tell if the two classes are balanced. If a lot of people can’t agree which is stronger, it is likely balanced. If there isn’t disagreement, either just a few bloodlines or the whole class needs rework.

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