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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Liberty's Edge

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Franz Lunzer wrote:

Hey @DMW: You know the math pretty well. What do you think of the sorcerer getting his spell proficiency so late?

As I said before (but it got burried with the heighten-discussion) getting Expert at 12th seems late to me, when the fighter gets Legendary weapon prof. at 13th.

Well, it's not just Sorcerer. Cleric gets them at the same time, and Wizard probably does as well (since we know they get Legendary at 19th). It's probably standardized for all casters at the moment.

As for what it means, I think we need to examine what Saves people have in order to know that, so let's do that.

Spoilered for length:

Spoiler:
At 4th level, an optimized caster's Save DC is 18.

At 8th, it's gone to DC 22.

At 12th, it rises to DC 28.

At 16th, it's risen again to DC 34.

At 20th, it's risen one final time to DC 40.

Now, let's see what people's Saves are at those levels (this assumes +1 magic armor, and then boosting it by +1 every 4 levels, adds a stat-boost item to maximal stats at Level 16+, and assumes no stat below 10).

At 4th, a maxed out Save is +10, but an average is more like +7, and a low Save might be only +5.

At 8th level, their Saves rise to +16 at most, but +13 is more typical, and they can be as low as +9.

At 12th, the maximal Save is +22, but a more typical one might be +19, and the lowest possible is +15.

At 16th level the maximal Save rises to +29, but a more typical one remains more like +25, while a low one might be +20.

At 20th, the maximal Save is +35, but a more typical one is +30, and a low one might be +25.

So that's an 8, 11, or 13 needed to Save at 4th.

A 6, 9, or 13 needed at 8th and 12th.

A 5, 9, or 13 needed at 16th.

And a 5, 10, 15 needed at 20th.

Eyeballing it, that looks like Proficiency kicks in just about in time to keep up with natural Save Proficiency increases (which kick in a tad later than the Fighter stuff, mostly). Which is good and keeps Save DCs about the same throughout levels, which keeps things well balanced.

Remember that Saves need to keep up with Save DC to some degree while not getting all the maximal Ability enhancements, which is one reason Magic Armor's save bonus is needed, but also a factor in this calculation.

Liberty's Edge

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Free heightening being overpowered (which it is) is at least as big of one.
This is a statement with no basis until we see the rulebook. And is actually more likely to be wrong than correct, given the stated design philosophy that heightened spells are always worse than actual spells of that spell level.

Uh...did you miss the Fireball/Cone of Cold comparison? They're less powerful but not enough to make them not valid options.

Also, this is explicitly the logic used by the design team so I think they're more likely to be correct on this point than not.


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Still seems valid for "less powerful while still valid" to be considered in over-all power assessment.
That can mean it still is over-all assessed as powerful dynamic, but moderated by Heighten not being powerful for spell level.
Sorcerors need to be good at something, and being flexible with their Spells Known/ Slots seems 100% normal.
Otherwise assuming strict limits with ~4 known per spell level hardly seems formula to deliver 'more flexibility vs Wiz'.
Considering many spells are predictably useful (e.g. all day buffs) so Wizard doesn't lose much by prepping 1 of those.
The value of spontaneity really is at the margins, which Paizo seemingly recognized by changing Arcane Bond/Focus
from casting "anything in your spellbook" to "anything you've already cast" (just a bit more flexible than Pearls) with previous version
stepping too much on toes of Spontaneous' actual niche, i.e. the minority of spell slots that couldn't work just as fine Prepared.
Same goes for this Heighten stuff, you can't Heighten every spell all the time, slot limits prevent that.
You will want to be using non-max castings of these spells, i.e. not use SpontHeighten on them.
You will want to use ACTUAL high level spells you know because that's why you chose them (and they will be more generically powerful vs Heightens).
So it's something with inherent limited scope, and question is why it needs to be further limited on top of that.


I like the fact that the Sorcerer's spell list depends on your bloodline, even though that means you can no longer make an Angelic Sorcerer with arcane spells.

Glutton's Jaws seems like a more powerful version of the classic demonic bloodline's claws. Too bad you can't cast it as a Reaction like the claws, but this drawback is largely compensated by this power's enhancements, so I'm OK with it. I'd like to see a Sorcerer built around this power.

I'd also want to see a comparison between the Sorcerer's and the Wizard's spellcasting. Spontaneous heightening seems like a very powerful power for a spellcaster. It may be worth multiclassing Wizard as primary and Draconic/Imperial Sorcerer as secondary.

Those feats look interesting, and not only for the the Sorcerer. It'd be cool if you could take them for every spellcaster.

My questions :
- What does the "(2)" on the powers mean ? Does this mean you have to spend two Spell Points to cast it ? Or does this mean you can cast it twice per day ?
- In relation to that : can I cast Glutton's Jaws multiple times ?
- Can you swap out your old spells every level, or every 4 levels like in PF1 ?
- Will you be able to have a double bloodline like in PF1 ? Gotta love those Demonic/Angel bloodline shenanigans.

Silver Crusade

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:

Hey @DMW: You know the math pretty well. What do you think of the sorcerer getting his spell proficiency so late?

As I said before (but it got burried with the heighten-discussion) getting Expert at 12th seems late to me, when the fighter gets Legendary weapon prof. at 13th.

Well, it's not just Sorcerer. Cleric gets them at the same time, and Wizard probably does as well (since we know they get Legendary at 19th). It's probably standardized for all casters at the moment.

As for what it means, I think we need to examine what Saves people have in order to know that, so let's do that.

Spoilered for length:

** spoiler omitted **

Eyeballing it, that looks like Proficiency kicks in just about in time to keep up with natural Save Proficiency increases (which kick in a tad later than the Fighter stuff, mostly). Which is good and keeps Save DCs about the same throughout...

Ah thanks. Okay, so that seems to work as intended.


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I understand the (2) in Bloodline Powers indeed refers to numbers of Spell Points required to use it.
Glutton's Jaws appears castable as often as you have Spell Points to power it with, although it wouldn't stack with itself.
I see it as more akin to Vampiric Touch, Claws are just about the mediocre damage they do, this is more about Temp HP you gain.
While you can't cast it as Reaction as far as we know so far, there really isn't need to, as it has 1 minute duration.
What you might want is a way to make melee attacks (which the Temp HP "draining" Bite is) as a Reaction, like an AoO.
You could then gain Temp HP as a Reaction thru-out the 1 minute duration, which is long enough to cast before combat.
Or even without Reaction, you can intersperse Bite attacks whenever you don't have other pressing need for 1 action.


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I never really understood why we keep giving sorcerers "stuff to do in melee" powers since I've almost never seen a sorcerer (or other squishy caster) want to do anything in melee combat except for "leave." Perhaps other people have a different experience.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I never really understood why we keep giving sorcerers "stuff to do in melee" powers since I've almost never seen a sorcerer (or other squishy caster) want to do anything in melee combat except for "leave." Perhaps other people have a different experience.

I built a Sorcerer for one of my players, and I think the sorcerer can be a pretty badass melee spellcaster like the summoner thanks to the bloodlines. Plus, there were a bunch of melee spells in PF1 (contact spells, buffs...)

--------------------------------

Another question : can the Sorcerer heighten any spell, and the Spontaneous heightening allows you to use your 1st level slot to cast 3rd level Heal in the exemple, or can the Sorcerer only heighten two spells, and the exemple's 3rd level Heal would use a 3rd level slot ?


Almarane wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I never really understood why we keep giving sorcerers "stuff to do in melee" powers since I've almost never seen a sorcerer (or other squishy caster) want to do anything in melee combat except for "leave." Perhaps other people have a different experience.

I built a Sorcerer for one of my players, and I think the sorcerer can be a pretty badass melee spellcaster like the summoner thanks to the bloodlines. Plus, there were a bunch of melee spells in PF1 (contact spells, buffs...)

--------------------------------

Another question : can the Sorcerer heighten any spell, and the Spontaneous heightening allows you to use your 1st level slot to cast 3rd level Heal in the exemple, or can the Sorcerer only heighten two spells, and the exemple's 3rd level Heal would use a 3rd level slot ?

It's more towards your later example, but the two spells you choose can be used in any remaining spell slots you have, as much as you care to use them, until you run out of spell slots of course. To use your example of having chosen Heal as one of your two spontaneous spells. You could choose to cast Heal as a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd level spell, as you need it, using the required slot by level chosen.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Overall I'm quite happy with the new design, but I am now confused how heightened casting works for the sorcerer works. If I understand it correctly, if wizards take Fireball at third level, they can automatically use a heightened version by preparing it in a higher spell slot. But sorcerers can only use a Fireball at higher levels with more damage dice if they choose it as their spontaneous heightening spell? Or am I wrong here?

Other areas of interest are how many skill points the sorcerer gets per level and how many spells known. I hope both are higher than the PF1E version. Or that for spells known we get something like the human favored class bonus.

Of course I regret a bit that we lose more spells per day than the wizard, but OTOH the delayed spell casting progression is a thing of the past. I think that's an acceptable price.

Unless the divine list sorcerers get a better BAB and hit die, I still think that melee bloodline powers are a waste for most characters. As a full caster, you normally want to avoid getting near enough to an enemy so that he can hit you in the face. But since this new sorcerer seems to replace the oracle, maybe battle bloodlines are a thing (or at least planned to be a thing).

Mark Seifter wrote:


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.

Okay, this sounds like a really good buff, especially with the summon spells. Still, I am unclear how that works for spells like Fireball, which is a blasting staple of arcane classes.

Also, hopefully there are feats to increase the number of spells you can use spontaneous heightening on. ^^


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So much to like...and then there's Spontaneous Casting.

This wasn't addressed in the pages of comments I managed to get through but it seems that not only do the have a finite liat of spells known, but they have to spend some of that limited repertoire knowing spells as heightened versions. This seems horribly limiting and the value spontaneous casting adds is variable depending on the scaling baked into the spell.

This now begs the question: do Wizards have to have scibe those spells into their spellbook at the heigher level as well before they can be prepared in the apprioriate spell slot?

Liberty's Edge

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magnuskn wrote:
Overall I'm quite happy with the new design, but I am now confused how heightened casting works for the sorcerer works. If I understand it correctly, if wizards take Fireball at third level, they can automatically use a heightened version by preparing it in a higher spell slot. But sorcerers can only use a Fireball at higher levels with more damage dice if they choose it as their spontaneous heightening spell? Or am I wrong here?

This is correct.

magnuskn wrote:
Other areas of interest are how many skill points the sorcerer gets per level and how many spells known. I hope both are higher than the PF1E version. Or that for spells known we get something like the human favored class bonus.

Spells known are equal to spells per level, and include Bloodline spells. So they get Bloodline + 2 at the level they gain the new spell, and another the next level. Mark answered this one earlier in the thread.

Skills are almost certainly 4+Int, since number of Signature Skills seems hard-linked to number of starting skills. This is a deduction based on every Class we know of having the same number for both these things and Mark mentioning giving Fighters an extra Signature Skill as part of giving them an extra Skill per level.

magnuskn wrote:
Of course I regret a bit that we lose more spells per day than the wizard, but OTOH the delayed spell casting progression is a thing of the past. I think that's an acceptable price.

Yeah. I'm cool with it.

magnuskn wrote:
Unless the divine list sorcerers get a better BAB and hit die, I still think that melee bloodline powers are a waste for most characters. As a full caster, you normally want to avoid getting near enough to an enemy so that he can hit you in the face. But since this new sorcerer seems to replace the oracle, maybe battle bloodlines are a thing (or at least planned to be a thing).

Well, BAB no longer exists. Meaning that, weapon choices aside (and the Bite makes those irrelevant) they do as well offensively as anyone who never gets to Expert in attacks (and my bet is that number includes most Clerics).

Defensively is another matter, though Bracers of Armor are a viable alternative to light armor this edition (this necessitates high Dex to have decent AC...but then, the bite's a finesse weapon), albeit a slightly weaker one than a chain shirt (-1 AC comparatively). HP are the real barrier (as they get 2 less per level than a Cleric).

Of course, by 3rd level, a melee Sorcerer with Glutton's Bite probably averages 5 ablative HP every other round at least (assuming they hit only every other round...they probably hit more than this), while being only 6 HP behind a Cleric. Four rounds of combat and the Sorcerer actually pulls ahead there. By 20th, they're 40 HP behind, but gaining 12.5 every round they land an attack. That's not quite as good, but still averages better over four or five rounds of combat in all likelihood.

Other melee Sorcerers might have other ways around that particular obstacle, but this one actually looks solid. Getting more temp HP than a Barbarian (at least at low levels) is a pretty solid way to make up for having low base HP.

magnuskn wrote:
Okay, this sounds like a really good buff, especially with the summon spells. Still, I am unclear how that works for spells like Fireball, which is a blasting staple of arcane classes.

It should work at least as well as it did in PF1. You might need to spend more than one spell slot on blasting...but then you wanted to do that anyway.

magnuskn wrote:
Also, hopefully there are feats to increase the number of spells you can use spontaneous heightening on. ^^

This is a popular request. It's also really powerful. I suspect we'll get it, but at decently high levels, and just one Feat getting it to 3. No more.

Liberty's Edge

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Felinus wrote:

So much to like...and then there's Spontaneous Casting.

This wasn't addressed in the pages of comments I managed to get through but it seems that not only do the have a finite liat of spells known, but they have to spend some of that limited repertoire knowing spells as heightened versions. This seems horribly limiting and the value spontaneous casting adds is variable depending on the scaling baked into the spell.

Uh...you get to cherry pick and spontaneously heighten your spells that doing so is best for. Ones with only, say, two versions you pick up both, but this tends to be stuff like picking up level 2 Invisibility and level 4 Invisibility (since Invisibility heightens only once to the equivalent of Greater Invisibility)...which is exactly the number of spells known it would've cost to know Invisibility and Greater Invisibility in PF1. And you have more spells known this edition anyway, at least at your highest level spells known.

Really, 'free heightening' you get on two spells is amazing, while all the Wizard gets from their theoretical ability to heighten spells at will is to save some money and avoid some bookkeeping by not needing to buy each version. Of those two, the Sorcerer option is much better, IMO.

Felinus wrote:
This now begs the question: do Wizards have to have scibe those spells into their spellbook at the heigher level as well before they can be prepared in the apprioriate spell slot?

Evidence suggests no, since they likely would've mentioned that.


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I like what I see. More spells that come with the Bloodline is good (and we kinda needed them so the Bloodline entity didn't fade within the cherry picked spells), but I'm a little disappointed we don't get a list (or at least a couple of spells) to pick from. Every single Demonic Sorcerer having Fear, Resist Energy and Slow is a little "meh" and may not be in line with the "Demon" the player had in mind.

My problem is the whole thing under "Sorcerer Features": it's just busy work. A sorcerer has spell slots and spell known, let that be it and allow them to cast any spell known from any spell slot. The whole "you can pick 2 spells a day in particular that can be casted on higher slots, bla bla bla" is completely unnecessary; it's just over-complicating things for the sake of doing so. Just make the class elegant and simple, instead of adding this extra layer out of fear of the class being too strong.

Let the Sorcerer be overpowered with global auto-Heighten (they are still paying the slots) and the Wizards be overpowered with their huge spell lists.

Sorcerer's forte has always been being spontaneous, so let them spontaneously cast any spell in any slot now that you have the Heightening mechanic.

Liberty's Edge

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Kaemy wrote:
Let the Sorcerer be overpowered with the auto-Heighten thingie and the Wizards be overpowered with huge spell lists.

Auto-heightening everything is vastly more powerful than an unlimited spell list. Like, a lot. Which is sort of the whole problem with this idea.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DFAnton wrote:
Also really liking the Seoni redesign. I would actually feel annoyed any time I came across her in a book with her old design.

Her boob window has been closed up and she is wearing boots. Also, I hope I am wrong, but she now seems to have a full tattoo on her nose?

In any case, otherwise this is just as impractical for wilderness adventures as before, so I am not seeing the huge improvement. Unless you hate womens breasts and sandals, that is.

Contributing Artist

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At some point I'll be releasing design notes for all of the new versions of the Iconics which clarifies the ideas and reasons why they look like they do.
I can't say too much about the design process at the moment.
However, here's an extract.....

"SEONI was one of the Iconics that received a fair amount of changes. Mostly this was to ensure visual continuity with the Inner Sea region of Golarion.
I depicted Seoni long before her background was written. Since then, the setting of Golarion has been created and expanded to a point where the character didn't really look like she came from the region from her backstory - Varisia. She'd been initially depicted as someone from a culture in a much warmer climate.
The new version corresponds visually with the Varisian cultural designs that I've created. At the same time the depiction of Seoni retains aspects of the original design so that the character remains recognisable, such as her tattoos..."

Fuzzypaws will be delighted to hear that the artwork accompanying this fine article on sorcerers is an older pose. (Her costume remains the same in the new pose)

Grand Lodge

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Lockewood wrote:

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!

re: versatility - i agree but think its a step in the right direction

To be honest i agree with you that I'm probably not going to find it part of my "main kit" as it were, especially on the point of versatility.

As I've said too many times before they really do need multiple power choices so people aren't stuck with a power like being forced to melee when they don't want to melee.

But i definitely think Glutton's Jaws is a step in the right direction compared to the other class powers previewed.

And I would like to see them push the envelope further for class powers
As for my own philosophy on class powers (and especially your primary class powers like those from a bloodline or domain), i believe that they should push the envelope and make them much better than they currently are so they feel like a "signature" ability.

When i pick a Demonic Bloodline sorcerer i would definitely like to feel like a badass demon child and actually feel like i'm going full demon when i'm using my bloodline powers rather than "get ready for my marginally useful power that i break out when i can't think of a good spell to use".

An example of what i'd like them to do
I would like to see 3 "tracks" with a signature demon for each (with additional tracks released in splat books). I think it would be very flavorful and hopefully picking a track (or picking up powers from multiple tracks) would keep players from feeling shoehorned.

Gain these powers over course of advancement. These would obviously have to be balanced as appropriate, but thematically i would like to see them get elements of these.

Glabrezu (melee track)
- gain increased strength, temp hp, and DR/good
- elemental resistances all
- gain bite and grow pincer arms with rend ability (additional attack iterative discount?)

Succubus (charmer)
- dr/cold iron or good
- succubus kiss w/energy drain
- charm, suggestion, dominate person (with increased dc), and profane gift. Charm at lower levels and move up to dominate person
- elemental resistances to electricity, fire, and poison

Shadow Demon (weird track)
- incorporeal
- dr/cold iron or good
- elemental resistance to cold, electricity, and poison
- cast darkness and blend into darkness ability
- cold touch attacks
- add a few shadow evocation version of spells to spells known


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Looks good so far. Can't wait for the playtest^^

Regarding Seonis design. I never had a problem with her original outfit. It would have been problematic if she would always strike a pose to look "sexy".

But if even seeing part of her leg like on a cover is problematic for some people the problem might not be with the outfit.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Auto-heightening everything is vastly more powerful than an unlimited spell list. Like, a lot. Which is sort of the whole problem with this idea.

Not sure is THAT strong, I mean, afterall, you already havie auto-heightening on your 2 most useful/powerful/versatile spells, so the extra ability of just auto-heightening everything would just be more about elegance, simplicity, easy-to-learn/use and allow some spells that will never be heightened to sometimes be so if the need arises.

I would rather have that, that the old PF1 mechanic (already mentioned to still exist) of un-learning spells. Is good if you changed your mind or want to learn other stuff instead, but when you mention it as something you do because that level became useless for it's slot level...

Personally, I would just let them cast anything in any slot, specially for the Playtest, see how it goes. It will be strong? Yes. Broken? I personally think not.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks to Deadmanwalking for the detailed and fast response.

I totally missed that BAB is not a thing anymore. That's a huge change which I'm very interested to see the ramifications of.

Not sure how I feel about having to take Fireball at several levels to keep it effective. Spontaneous heightening could take care of that, but on what other excellent heightened spells would one miss out for that? Summoning as spontaneous heightening seems super powerful at all levels.

You are correct that I want to take blasting spells at different levels, but then we run into the problem of elemental versatility. Elemental resistances are still a thing in PF2E and so taking Fireball at three different levels run into the problems of monsters with high resistance or immunity to this particular type of energy. Some sort of energy conversion metamagic seems absolutely necessary to deal with that.

Also, since damage numbers for martials seems to be actually going up in PF2E, overall it seems that big area blasting spells seem to be even less powerful overall than they were in PF1E, since for a decent number of damage dice you need to use a high level slot and that means you probably cannot enhance that spell much anymore with metamagic feats like Empower Spell or Maximise Spell. Using those two feats and Intensified Spell (and some bloodlines) was what kept blasting relevant, so I am a bit concerned that blasting will feel much nerfed in the new edition.

Overall it seems that 4 spells known per level of spellcasting is not enough for sorcerers. It's actually a nerf in total for the low levels (1-2), though it evens out as a buff at the higher levels (3-5).

But with the need to multi-select spells at different levels, since down-casting is apparently not an option, I really dearly hope that there are feats or other options like the human favored class bonus (which should be available to everybody, btw, to not pigeon-hole sorcerers into being humans) to broaden their spell selection.

Liberty's Edge

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Kaemy wrote:
Not sure is THAT strong, I mean, afterall, you already havie auto-heightening on your 2 most useful/powerful/versatile spells, so the extra ability of just auto-heightening everything would just be more about elegance, simplicity, easy-to-learn/use and allow some spells that will never be heightened to sometimes be so if the need arises.

This is simply not true. Options are power, and if you have the ability to auto-heighten everything a majority of spells you pick will be heighten-able. That goes from you picking two good spells to do this with to, by say 11th level, picking 10 to 15 of them, and that gets really ugly power-wise pretty quick.

I gave the following example as the list of 6th level spells a non-optimized Demonic Sorcerer might have access to at 11th level with this ruling (or equivalents) earlier, but here it is again:

Heal, cure (the Remove X spells seem to have been made one), fear, slow, summon monster, dispel magic, disintegrate, magic weapon, magic vestment, blade barrier, and antilife shell.

She could easily have several more than that, too.

That's also not actually either simpler or more elegant in actual practice. It's kind of a confusing mess, actually.

Kaemy wrote:
I would rather have that, that the old PF1 mechanic (already mentioned to still exist) of un-learning spells. Is good if you changed your mind or want to learn other stuff instead, but when you mention it as something you do because that level became useless for it's slot level...

That's always been a thing in Pathfinder, and if it's a generous enough free retraining process, there's no reason to care much.

Kaemy wrote:
Personally, I would just let them cast anything in any slot, specially for the Playtest, see how it goes. It will be strong? Yes. Broken? I personally think not.

It's brokenly complicated if nothing else. It's really kind of a mess.


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Wayne Reynolds wrote:

At some point I'll be releasing design notes for all of the new versions of the Iconics which explain the ideas and reasons why they look like they do.

I can't say too much about the design process at the moment.
However, here's an extract.....

"SEONI was one of the Iconics that received a fair amount of changes. Mostly this was to ensure visual continuity with the Inner Sea region of Golarion.
I depicted Seoni long before her background was written. Since then, the setting of Golarion has been created and expanded to a point where the character didn't really look like she came from the region from her backstory - Varsia. She'd been initially depicted as someone from a culture in a much warmer climate.
The new version corresponds visually with the Varisian cultural designs that I've created. At the same time the depiction of Seoni retains aspects of the original design so that the character remains recognisable, such as her tattoos..."

Fuzzypaws will be delighted to hear that the artwork accompanying this fine article on sorcerers is an older pose. (Her costume remains the same in the new pose)

Well, that explains the lack of sandals. :p Otherwise, she seems to be still enjoying showing off her tatoos.

But temperature shouldn't be a big concern for sorcerers, anyway, since the Endure Elements spell exists. Never leave your home without it, people!

Dark Archive

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Wow, this seems to be first class were majority are reacting to changes in positive manner rather than "meh" or "Aww I lost my favorite feature" ._.

Liberty's Edge

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magnuskn wrote:
Thanks to Deadmanwalking for the detailed and fast response.

No problem. I'm always happy to be of assistance. :)

magnuskn wrote:
I totally missed that BAB is not a thing anymore. That's a huge change which I'm very interested to see the ramifications of.

There's still Proficiency, which matters to the tune of up to +3, but yeah, it's a pretty big change. You just add level now.

magnuskn wrote:
Not sure how I feel about having to take Fireball at several levels to keep it effective. Spontaneous heightening could take care of that, but on what other excellent heightened spells would one miss out for that? Summoning as spontaneous heightening seems super powerful at all levels.

Summoning is a solid choice. Of course, you could easily have both that and fireball...

magnuskn wrote:
You are correct that I want to take blasting spells at different levels, but then we run into the problem of elemental versatility. Elemental resistances are still a thing in PF2E and so taking Fireball at three different levels run into the problems of monsters with high resistance or immunity to this particular type of energy. Some sort of energy conversion metamagic seems absolutely necessary to deal with that.

They've noted that Resistances are gonna be rarer than in PF1 (I got the distinct impression that Outsider resistances were gonna be pared way down, for example). And there's the Overwhelming Sorcery thing mentioned above to reduce Elemental Resistances all by 10. I think they'll do fine if built for it.

magnuskn wrote:
Also, since damage numbers for martials seems to be actually going up in PF2E, overall it seems that big area blasting spells seem to be even less powerful overall than they were in PF1E, since for a decent number of damage dice you need to use a high level slot and that means you probably cannot enhance that spell much anymore with metamagic feats like Empower Spell or Maximise Spell. Using those two feats and Intensified Spell (and some bloodlines) was what kept blasting relevant, so I am a bit concerned that blasting will feel much nerfed in the new edition.

We had a whole thread about this. The short version is that, vs. the sort of low level things you tend to fight in groups, your odds of them critically failing and taking double damage go up a lot, making your DPR look pretty shiny compared to a Fighter if you can hit two or three. Not so much vs. a single one, of course.

Single foes necessitate single-target damage spells (like Disintegrate) which does a fine job vs. proper targets (ie: low Touch AC or low Fort Save).

magnuskn wrote:
Overall it seems that 4 spells known per level of spellcasting is not enough for sorcerers. It's actually a nerf in total for the low levels (1-2), though it evens out as a buff at the higher levels (3-5).

Sure, but it's always a buff for your highest level spells (until level 20 when you can grab level 10 spells, anyway), which is a pretty major advantage. The getting spells a level early thing also really helps in this regard.

magnuskn wrote:
But with the need to multi-select spells at different levels, since down-casting is apparently not an option, I really dearly hope that there are feats or other options like the human favored class bonus (which should be available to everybody, btw, to not pigeon-hole sorcerers into being humans) to broaden their spell selection.

I'm not so worried about this personally. Four per level is enough that I think you can cover your bases pretty well, IMO. Especially since Staffs now basically add a spell to your list for a Resonance cost. That's a good way to get some prosthetic spells for a Sorcerer.

Silver Crusade

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CorvusMask wrote:
Wow, this seems to be first class were majority are reacting to changes in positive manner rather than "meh" or "Aww I lost my favorite feature" ._.

Dragon78 got you covered.


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Oh, wait, I read the thing wrong. Sorcerers now only get in total 3 spells known per level + their bloodline spell? Wow, that is a huge nerf for spell levels 1-5, except that at the first two levels they get their spells known faster than their PF1E counterparts.

That means that, with the need to take the same spells at multiple levels, there definitely needs to be a buff to spells known, either through feats, level abilities like a favored class bonus or by just simply buffing the number of spells known. Otherwise this is a terrible nerf to sorcerer versatility.

I assume that Pages of Spell Knowledge (if they even exist) will be gated by resonance as well, so this is a very strong concern. I think the devs were way too conservative in this aspect of the class. The only way this could not be terrible news with the new system is if the spell lists have been severely curtailed as well (which would of course present its own set of problems). Going forward into the usual development cycle of large numbers of spells being added throughout the next decade, this will become even more pronounced.

Wow. This seems terrible. Either increase the number of spells known or make more spontaneous heightening available. Otherwise the classes versatility has been nerfed enough into the ground to say hello to Rovagug.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sorry, I need to run off to go to work now, so I can only respond this evening. Thanks again for the fast response, Deadmanwalking.

Liberty's Edge

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magnuskn wrote:
Wow. This seems terrible. Either increase the number of spells known or make more spontaneous heightening available. Otherwise the classes versatility has been nerfed into the ground to say hello to Rovagug.

From the perspective of power, let's examine some individual levels:

At 1st level a PF1 Sorcerer knows 2 spells, a PF2 Sorcerer knows three. Pure net win.

At 5th level, the PF1 Sorcerer has five 1st level spells known and three 2nd level ones. A PF2 Sorcerer has four 1st, four 2nd, and three 3rd. That's another net win (and indeed, will continue to be so at all odd levels).

At 10th level, it's 6, 5, 4, 3, 1 for the PF1 Sorcerer. For the PF2 Sorcerer it's 4, 4, 4, 4, 3. They gave up two 1st and one 2nd for one 4th and two 5th. That remains a net win.

At 16th, it's 6, 6, 5, 5, 5, 4, 3, 1 for the PF1 Sorcerer. It's 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4 for the PF2 Sorcerer. She's lost two level 1 and level two spells, as well as one each level 3, level 4, and level spell for one level 7 and three level 8 spells. That's technically a trade of 7 spells known for 4...but given the comparative levels, I'd still take the second set every day of the week.

And those last two are on even levels, where the PF2 Sorcerer fares worst. They remain ahead on all odd levels.

magnuskn wrote:
Sorry, I need to run off to go to work now, so I can only respond this evening. Thanks again for the fast response, Deadmanwalking.

Like I said, no problem. :)

I'm sure we can continue this discussion another time.


worldhopper wrote:
Crayon wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Also Seoni's new look is horrible.
Apart from the drawing itself being incomplete, she looks identical to her PF1 version to me. What's changed?
It's more of an actual dress and less of a "piece of fabric with a neck slit and a belt." She's at far less risk of a wardrobe malfunction now.

This time I was hoping for just the belt.

This is definitely one of the best previews so far, this finally feels like a class that I am really excited with the direction they are taking it; like all the best ideas of the original 3rd Ed one, and the latter additions from 3rd Ed and PF1.

The choosing a spell list thing is what sold me right away, and Occult is obviously the psionic/psychic/tentacle-head magic (neat). Fey being tied to Primal. and not Arcane, is cool.

Only bummer, is this reminds me, as others have said, at how late bonuses to Spell DCs come on line, I mean, you have to wait to get past 10th level to get +1 (Expert) to your spell DCs...?

Liberty's Edge

Chest Rockwell wrote:
Only bummer, is this reminds me, as others have said, at how late bonuses to Spell DCs come on line, I mean, you have to wait to get past 10th level to get +1 (Expert) to your spell DCs...?

Check my analysis in the first post on this page to see why that might be. :)

I think it actually works out pretty well.


aart spell DCs...?

Check my analysis in the first post on this page to see why that might be. :)

I think it actually works out pretty well.

Can you link or sum up (my eyes are acting up)? I am interested in your analysis

Silver Crusade

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

It's this post.

To sum up: the Save DC's pretty much match the progression of Saves. Poor saves need around a 15 on the die to make the save, best saves need just around a 5 on the die, across all levels.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I never really understood why we keep giving sorcerers "stuff to do in melee" powers since I've almost never seen a sorcerer (or other squishy caster) want to do anything in melee combat except for "leave." Perhaps other people have a different experience.

I played battle sorcerers a lot in 3.x, and still do fairly often.

I even had a rog/mnk/sor once.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Only bummer, is this reminds me, as others have said, at how late bonuses to Spell DCs come on line, I mean, you have to wait to get past 10th level to get +1 (Expert) to your spell DCs...?

Check my analysis in the first post on this page to see why that might be. :)

I think it actually works out pretty well.

I agree with your analysis here, but not really your conclusions. The problem is that DCs don't keep up with save bonuses, so even an optimized Sorcerer targeting an "average" save is, yes, going to have a 50/50 chance of succeeding (approximately). The problem comes with the way they've done their critical system. In this situation, the opponent will only critically fail on a natural 1.

I'm not sure how this all plays, but at least in my head, I'd expect someone who was an "expert" at their craft to have a better chance to critical against an "average" opponent than the default... We'll see, but I worry about these numbers for *many* types of things, attacks included (AC scales faster than to-hit because of armor bonuses...). If we advertise a dynamic critical system, but it boils down to "1 critically fails, 20 critically succeeds", then we haven't done any better than 5e.


My favourite class is the sorcerer, and has been since I rolled my first character in 2001. So, I have really been looking forward to this blog. I have to say I am not disappointed at all. The only detractor is that it I wanted 5 times the information. Not too long for release now though.

I was blown away by the spell list selection option. Definitely a thumbs up for me. Definitely did not see it coming. Almost like 4 classes in one.

While I certainly spend more time on the Playtest boards than most, I am surprised by how many people were unaware that sorcerers did not receive automatic heightening as a default. Mark made this clear about 4-5 weeks ago.

I really like the way spontaneous heightening feature works. In PFe1, your spell selection at level was everything, and then no decisions can be made. With this, in the morning you can adapt what you can do based on what you think you will be facing. This meaningful choice is great. Spontaneous everything would just be overpowered, and too much choice.

I can see the merits of down casting, but I think this version is better mechanically. Interesting tactical choice appears to be a very important game design theme of PFe2, and I think the spontaneous heightening feature offers the best way of implementing it for the Sorcerer.

I think standard spell progression is a huge boon, and a really great thing to do away with.

It would have been great to get an idea of how many spells known Sorcerers get. It looks like it will equal the number of spell per day you get (including your bloodline spell). But I do not consider this confirmed yet {wrong, Mark confirmed in thread}. If true, I think this is definitely enough spells known to be competitive with the prepared casters (maybe even better). It would be good to get confirmation that you can cast a level 1 spell (e.g. magic missile) in a level 2 slot. It would be weird if you could not.

How many Cantrips? Maybe 3 + Bloodline, same a wizard. Or maybe slightly more because wizard can change them around.

I hope to see a good archetype that allows demon sorcerers more ability to hang out in melee and bite people. Glutton's Jaws does not look that great in isolation, but when you combine it with some buff spells: divine favour or divine power (if they exist) and the temporary HP to offset some damage, then things start to look like they might be competitive. Also the finesse trait means that you are probably going to want to go with high dex, which helps AC.

Scarab Sages

CorvusMask wrote:
Wow, this seems to be first class were majority are reacting to changes in positive manner rather than "meh" or "Aww I lost my favorite feature" ._.

I guess I'm in the minority because this (and ranger) are the two class previews I've liked the least. Changing bloodline powers from mutations that are permanent to limited duration spells (complete with a whole new unnecessary Spell Point system) is a change I am most unhappy about. Not to mention the bloodlines they mentioned are really bland. Imperial? No thanks. Where is elemental? Where is undead? Not to mention being able to cast divine spells really overshadows oracle's niche. Sorcerer is now all "here are ALL the spells, and you can't do anything outside of spells." Meh.


Malthraz wrote:
I hope to see a good archetype that allows demon sorcerers more ability to hang out in melee and bite people. GLUTTON'S JAWS does not look that great in isolation, but when you combine it with some buff spells (divine favour or divine power) things start to look like they might be competitive. Also the finesse trait means that you are probably going to want to go with high dex, which...

So the big question here is what counts as living, and if summons/familiars/etc. have any serious objections to being eaten as a mid-combat snack. Perhaps if someone were to play a chipper Demon Sorc Gnome adept at lying they could pick up little woodland friends throughout their travels and eat them whenever they need a little pick-me-up.

Liberty's Edge

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Chest Rockwell wrote:
Can you link or sum up (my eyes are acting up)? I am interested in your analysis
Franz Lunzer wrote:

It's this post.

To sum up: the Save DC's pretty much match the progression of Saves. Poor saves need around a 15 on the die to make the save, best saves need just around a 5 on the die, across all levels.

Basically, what Frank Lunzer says (though at most levels it's a little harder for high save people and a little easier for low save ones).

tivadar27 wrote:
I agree with your analysis here, but not really your conclusions. The problem is that DCs don't keep up with save bonuses, so even an optimized Sorcerer targeting an "average" save is, yes, going to have a 50/50 chance of succeeding (approximately). The problem comes with the way they've done their critical system. In this situation, the opponent will only critically fail on a natural 1.

Yep. And that's intended. Critical failing is usually a complete loss. Being out of the combat entirely and often in a pretty awful way. It's intended to come up more often when fighting minions, or targeting specific weaknesses, not against people of equivalent level in a Save they're solid at. Really low Saves actually give a solid chance. Ogres critically fail vs. 3rd level Reflex Saves 20% of the time, for example.

tivadar27 wrote:
I'm not sure how this all plays, but at least in my head, I'd expect someone who was an "expert" at their craft to have a better chance to critical against an "average" opponent than the default... We'll see, but I worry about these numbers for *many* types of things, attacks included (AC scales faster than to-hit because of armor bonuses...). If we advertise a dynamic critical system, but it boils down to "1 critically fails, 20 critically succeeds", then we haven't done any better than 5e.

'Average' is a relative term. By those levels where that kicks in my 'average' numbers assume either Expert in the Save or some pretty solid investment in the stat. Is someone with an 18 Con and Trained Fortitude, as well as +3 Magic Armor, 'average'? They are for 12th level, in many ways, but not in the sense you seem to be using it.

And the crit ranges widen when dealing with below average opponents, and most people are below average at something. When dealing with those above average, the crit success chances go up instead.

Indeed, on only a very narrow subset of rolls (those where a 10 or 11 precisely is necessary for a success) do you both only crit on a 20 and crit fail on a 1. All other DCs result in one of those two numbers being larger.

Liberty's Edge

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Free heightening being overpowered (which it is) is at least as big of one.
This is a statement with no basis until we see the rulebook. And is actually more likely to be wrong than correct, given the stated design philosophy that heightened spells are always worse than actual spells of that spell level.

If some spell of that level do what you want to do.

Spell level 5 heightened fireball do 10d6 against Cone of Cold 11d6, but it still do fire damage and not cold damage, and it is a spell with a spherical area of effect that you cast at range, not a cone that start before you. If you want to damage something at long range fireball is still better.

Invisibility? Apparently the heightened versions do specific stuff that the lowest version don't do while improved/greater/mass/10' radius versions of the spell don't exist.

Fly? Same as invisibility.

Haste? Same (and, based on Mark post, it get some kind of big boost if cast at level 6).

Cure? AFAIK you get the options to cure more ailments when you heighten it.

I don't see how "heightened spells are always worse than actual spells of that spell level" when there aren't spells that do the same thing at any level.

Liberty's Edge

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Malthraz wrote:
It would have been great to get an idea of how many spells known Sorcerers get. My guess is that it will equal the number of spell per day you get (including your bloodline spell).

Mark confirmed this as correct in-thread.

Malthraz wrote:
How many Cantrips? Probably 3 + Bloodline, same a wizard.

This we don't know. Personally, I hope they actually get another Cantrip or two to make up for Wizards being able to switch theirs out, but it's workable either way.


Thanks!


tivadar27 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Only bummer, is this reminds me, as others have said, at how late bonuses to Spell DCs come on line, I mean, you have to wait to get past 10th level to get +1 (Expert) to your spell DCs...?

Check my analysis in the first post on this page to see why that might be. :)

I think it actually works out pretty well.

I agree with your analysis here, but not really your conclusions. The problem is that DCs don't keep up with save bonuses, so even an optimized Sorcerer targeting an "average" save is, yes, going to have a 50/50 chance of succeeding (approximately). The problem comes with the way they've done their critical system. In this situation, the opponent will only critically fail on a natural 1.

I don't think this is a problem. Critical Failure (and conversely Critical Success which the other side needs to completely nullify a spell) are meant to be the exception not the rule. Critical Failure allows for truly devastating effects (double damage on a Fireball for example.)

Also remember that an "average" opponent in this scenario isn't some commoner. It just means you fighting an on CR opponent who isn't dumping the save stat. You are quite likely to be fighting multiple below CR opponents at which point your odds are much better. Combined with knowing there are ways to reduce people's save results you may be feeling more powerful.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Can you link or sum up (my eyes are acting up)? I am interested in your analysis
Franz Lunzer wrote:

It's this post.

To sum up: the Save DC's pretty much match the progression of Saves. Poor saves need around a 15 on the die to make the save, best saves need just around a 5 on the die, across all levels.

Okay, so it's a question of spell DCs not scaling too fast in comparison to Saves?


One thing about saves that I find interesting is that saves vs. spell DC seem to follow slight different formulas, although the net result may still be a fair degree of balance.

Saves = d20 + level + proficiency + stat + potency

Whereas spell DC is

DC = 10 + level + proficiency + stat + nothing (?!)

Is there a DC boosting implement? Or is it that most classes are not going to get access legendary saves, and casters are going to max their primary stat, whereas people cannot max all of their saves?

So, the caster may have a 2-4 stat advantage over saves, and a 0-2 proficiency advantage over saves, but saves may have a 3-5 potency advantage over caster DC near level cap.

This looks balanced.

So keen for the playtest.

Liberty's Edge

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Chest Rockwell wrote:
Okay, so it's a question of spell DCs not scaling too fast in comparison to Saves?

Pretty much, yeah.

Malthraz wrote:

One thing about saves that I find interesting is that saves vs. spell DC seem to follow slight different formulas, although the net result may still be a fair degree of balance.

Saves = d20 + level + proficiency + stat + potency

Whereas spell DC is

DC = 10 + level + proficiency + stat + nothing (?!)

This is correct.

Malthraz wrote:

Is there a DC boosting implement? Or is it that most classes are not going to get access legendary saves, and casters are going to max their primary stat, whereas people cannot max all of their saves?

We just don't know!

We actually do know this. Mark Seifter got into it in a thread, explaining that you can max out your stat and Proficiency with Save DCs pretty readily, but that nobody can actually do that with more than one Save. The Potency thing is thus added to keep most people from needing 15+ to Save vs. most on-level spells.

This being the case, there are no Save DC enhancing items, and he said as much. However, AC is not like Saves, since heavy armor can compensate for low Dex there, so there are items giving an attack bonus with spells.

So yeah, you're pretty much entirely correct.

Malthraz wrote:

So, the caster may have a 2-4 stat advantage over saves, and a 0-2 proficiency advantage over saves, but saves may have a 3-5 potency advantage over caster DC near level cap.

This looks balanced.

So keen for the playtest.

Yep. It all seems very balanced mathematically. Which makes me super happy, since it decreases to boring part of GM workload.

Liberty's Edge

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Quandary wrote:

Still seems valid for "less powerful while still valid" to be considered in over-all power assessment.

That can mean it still is over-all assessed as powerful dynamic, but moderated by Heighten not being powerful for spell level.
Sorcerors need to be good at something, and being flexible with their Spells Known/ Slots seems 100% normal.
Otherwise assuming strict limits with ~4 known per spell level hardly seems formula to deliver 'more flexibility vs Wiz'.
Considering many spells are predictably useful (e.g. all day buffs) so Wizard doesn't lose much by prepping 1 of those.
The value of spontaneity really is at the margins, which Paizo seemingly recognized by changing Arcane Bond/Focus
from casting "anything in your spellbook" to "anything you've already cast" (just a bit more flexible than Pearls) with previous version
stepping too much on toes of Spontaneous' actual niche, i.e. the minority of spell slots that couldn't work just as fine Prepared.
Same goes for this Heighten stuff, you can't Heighten every spell all the time, slot limits prevent that.
You will want to be using non-max castings of these spells, i.e. not use SpontHeighten on them.
You will want to use ACTUAL high level spells you know because that's why you chose them (and they will be more generically powerful vs Heightens).
So it's something with inherent limited scope, and question is why it needs to be further limited on top of that.

I think that in all the comparisons we are making, we forget two things:

1) The PF2 sorcerer isn't a spontaneous wizard, he is a spontaneous spellcaster. The class doesn't "compete" with the wizard, it compete with all the other classes where the caster memorize his spells and must be balanced with all classes.
The sorcerer has 1 more spell slot of each level than the cleric, the druid and the generalist wizard.
If we focus only on the wizard we don't see the forest because we are looking a single tree.

2) Retraining is an integral part of PF2, available from day 1.
Retraining spells in PF1 take some serious time, I am not convinced it will require the same time in PF2.

If we accept the narrative that the wizard always has the right spells ready because he will always know in advance his opponents (I don't agree, but it is a common narrative in the forum) and so he will always select the perfect spells in the morning, we would accept the same narrative for the sorcerer and accept that he will be capable to switch some spell before a new adventure.

If we don't accept that narrative, it is all about being able to prepare a generic load of spells that is adaptable to most situations. In that instance being able to choose on the fly if you want to cast 1 scorching ray and 2 mirror image or 2 mirror image and 1 scorching ray or scorching ray, mirror image and invisibility is an advantage against a memorizing spellcaster that will have to choose his spell load in the morning or leave a open spell slot to fill later, spending time while exploring, time that isn't guaranteed he will get.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:


Malthraz wrote:

Is there a DC boosting implement? Or is it that most classes are not going to get access legendary saves, and casters are going to max their primary stat, whereas people cannot max all of their saves?

We just don't know!

We actually do know this. Mark Seifter got into it in a thread, explaining that you can max out your stat and Proficiency with Save DCs pretty readily, but that nobody can actually do that with more than one Save. The Potency thing is thus added to keep most people from needing 15+ to Save vs. most on-level spells.

Great. I edited my post as you were replying, speculating exactly this. Greta stuff.

Edit:

Bloody hell, now you are editing to catch up with my editing, while I was posting this, which I am now editing.

Deadmanwalking wrote:


This being the case, there are no Save DC enhancing items, and he said as much. However, AC is not like Saves, since heavy armor can compensate for low Dex there, so there are items giving an attack bonus with spells.

Yeah, I have been thinking about this. I figured there could be.

They really have thought through a lot of the scaling issue very thoroughly. It is very impressive for the mathematically inclined person.


There seems to be a lot of confusion about spontaneous heightening and the difference between sorcerer and wizard. There was a scenario in pf1 that I came across to highlight the difference between sorcerer and wizard in pf1 that is more appropriate for pf2 since it not only highlights the difference between sorcerer and wizard but also between pf1 and pf2.

Imagine a party of four characters of high enough level to have 4x3rd level spells are delving in a dungeon and they come across a chasm. It's too wide to go round and too far to jump.

In pf1, a wizard probably cast overland flight on himself in the morning. Maybe he has an old scroll of fly he can use as well, but realistically the best the party can hope for is that a couple of them cross and one holds off whatever's there while the other secures a rope and helps the rest of the party cross. At worst, he only has fly and they send across the rogue, hoping he can remain undetected while securing the rope to get them all across, or he doesn't have a back up fly and is unwilling to fly across by himself, so they have to descend into the chasm and ascend the other side, facing whatever is down there.
The sorcerer on the other hand looks at the chasm, looks at the rest of the party, says "I got this." Then casts fly 4 times and they all cross together.

In pf2 the wizard has things better. By learning fly(1), he automatically knows fly(3) and fly(4) (and if there is one fly(2). Might this be air walk?). Realistically, however, he is most likely to have prepared fly(4) and cast it on himself that morning. If he has spare slots or has taken the feat that enables him to swap spells with 10 minutes, he could do that, but maybe they are being chased or are on a tight schedule. If that's the case, he's no better off than in pf1. In fact he is less likely to carry around scrolls that use up precious resonance, so he's worse off.
The pf2 sorcerer however can still do what his pf1 counterpart did. Better yet, if he uses spontaneous heightening on fly(1), he can cast fly(3) on all the party. He could instead cast fly (4) on all the party (or if fly (2) is a thing and it's air walk, he could cast that on the party and save his 3rd and 4th level spells for something better).

Now, let's suppose there's not enough spell slots for everyone to get a 3rd level spell. The sorcerer can still cast a 4th and 3x3rd, or 2x4th and 2x3rd, or even add 2nd level if fly (2) is a thing.

No matter which way you cut it, the sorcerer wins this one, with or without spontaneous heightening, but they are much better with.

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