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Is Eloritu kind of a screwup?


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So one of Starfinder's big things is that 9th-level spells are gone. We can only cast up to sixth level and the distinctions between arcane, divine, and psychic are somehow loosened despite not being how magic worked for centuries before the Gap.

Coincidentally, the God of Magic has been replaced. Nethys, namesake of the beloved Archives, is inexplicably gone. He's not even mentioned in the Minor Deity section like Calistria or Torag. Nethys has simply vanished.

Core Rule Book wrote:

Whereas in the ancient past, magic in the Pact Worlds was broken into many different traditions, today magic is

seen as a single group of physically impossible phenomena,
regardless of where it comes from or how it’s manipulated.
Traditional distinctions like “arcane” and “divine” magic have
long since been abandoned, and while different casters may
access magic through very different means, from hightech
reality hacking to the study of occult items or the
channeling of divine power, all are simply different means
of accomplishing the same goals.

How did this happen? How did thousands of year of magical study fail to find that Divine, Arcane, and Psychic spellcasting were actually all the same thing and work completely the same?

I propose that it wasn't.

Nethys may have been the reason why spells were stronger and better demarcated. Eloritu is weaker but more egalitarian with magic, granting all he has to just about anyone. Or perhaps he had to make magic easier because of technology out pacing his sixth-level spells.

So in other words, Nethys left and took the big dog spells with him and his replacement just wasn't up to the task of embodying Magic.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Larkos wrote:

How did this happen? How did thousands of year of magical study fail to find that Divine, Arcane, and Psychic spellcasting were actually all the same thing and work completely the same?

I propose that it wasn't.

Nethys may have been the reason why spells were stronger and better demarcated. Eloritu is weaker but more egalitarian with magic, granting all he has to just about anyone. Or perhaps he had to make magic easier because of technology out pacing his sixth-level spells.

So in other words, Nethys left and took the big dog spells with him and his replacement just wasn't up to the task of embodying Magic.

I look at it another way.

All the mojo and juice that would power those spells is currently keeping Golarion whereever it is at, and Nethys is overseeing the Gallifreyan Golarion Isolation Project.


Last I heard, spells of up to 9th level still exist, and at least one of the 6/9 casters can cast on occasional 9th level spell as part of their capstone ability. It's just that 9/9 casters aren't in the Core Rulebook.

Scarab Sages

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Larkos wrote:
So one of Starfinder's big things is that 9th-level spells are gone.

Is that REALLY, OFFICIALLY the case, or have 9th-level mages just not been introduced yet?

I hope it's something more like the latter; I'd hate to think that Starfinder is really just Paizo's attempt to appease the various bandwagon-whiners I've seen on these boards over the years.


Also Nethys didn't disappear. The only deities known to be missing are Torag and Rovagug. Nethys just isn't as popular.


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Don't forget that Eloritu is also the God of Secrets.

Does he sound like the kind of god that hands out high-level magic like that irresponsible Golarionite did?

If you want to cast 9th-level spells, you have to travel to the exact center of the universe, solve the 12 unsolvable riddles, and prove that 1=0. If you can't do that, then you're not worthy of that kind of power.


pixierose wrote:
Also Nethys didn't disappear. The only deities known to be missing are Torag and Rovagug. Nethys just isn't as popular.

If that's true then it is unknown. The Core Rulebook doesn't account for him. He could be less popular or he could be missing.

I don't see why he'd be all that unpopular when his replacement is very much like him.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Unless his replacement is him

Which would explain why Nethys is not mentioned : no need to write twice about the same being


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What caused Nethys to become saner? #theGap?

Does that mean that his insanity made magic stronger? Now that he's just a secretive dude, he won't let people have 7-9 level spells?

Why did he clearly demarcate divine, arcane, and psychic then but have them mushed into a flavorless lump now?


No one knows what happened to Nethys. It's a secret. And Eloritu isn't obligated to share secrets with you even if you ask really nicely.

People still aren't entirely sure what his holy symbol actually means yet.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Of course, it could be Razmir ate Nethys somehow?

EDIT: People are grumbling about no breakdown between arcane/psychic/divine(profane).

Personally? I appreciate this lack a lot. It allows me to call my magic 'whatever' and not have to be tied into this "Well, because I don't know THAT magic I need to dump a bunch of points into a skill that may or may not work and even if it does it's not reliable." aspect.

Dark Archive

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Your past distinctions in magic only reflected your primitive understanding and traditions. Flavorwise that does make sense, given that we can in fact research things for years and years and still achieve significant advancements, like the unification of forces in physics at high energies.


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Larkos wrote:

What caused Nethys to become saner? #theGap?

Does that mean that his insanity made magic stronger? Now that he's just a secretive dude, he won't let people have 7-9 level spells?

Why did he clearly demarcate divine, arcane, and psychic then but have them mushed into a flavorless lump now?

You call THAT guy (?) sane? He's at least as crazy as my other half!


Davor Firetusk wrote:
Your past distinctions in magic only reflected your primitive understanding and traditions. Flavorwise that does make sense, given that we can in fact research things for years and years and still achieve significant advancements, like the unification of forces in physics at high energies.

Makes sense? BS.

How did the All-Seeing Eye not know or tell his own clerics that they should be able to cast wizard spells just fine?

How did not a single wizard or arcanist not realize that they could cast Divine spells just fine?

Also this move isn't an advancement per se. Yes a person can cast fireball and cure but they can't cast time stop. One step forward, two steps back.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Many good ideas are obvious only in hindsight.


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Larkos wrote:


How did not a single wizard or arcanist not realize that they could cast Divine spells just fine?

Considering the spell-sage's archetypes existence, I'd say they were learning that they could cast divine spells.


Larkos wrote:

Makes sense? BS.

How did the All-Seeing Eye not know or tell his own clerics that they should be able to cast wizard spells just fine?

How did not a single wizard or arcanist not realize that they could cast Divine spells just fine?

Also this move isn't an advancement per se. Yes a person can cast fireball and cure but they can't cast time stop. One step forward, two steps back.

Make's sense to me.

Gods keep secrets for their own reasons, often to push their undefinable agenda.

And as for wizards or arcanists, there's actually precedent, in the healer wizards, white mage arcanists, ect. And bards have been doing the "combo divine and arcane" for forever.

But the point you're missing, is the DID figure it out. That's why magic is all mushed together. Because they figured out it came from one source.

Yes, they can't cast Time-stop. Neither can a Bard.


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Larkos wrote:
pixierose wrote:
Also Nethys didn't disappear. The only deities known to be missing are Torag and Rovagug. Nethys just isn't as popular.

If that's true then it is unknown. The Core Rulebook doesn't account for him. He could be less popular or he could be missing.

I don't see why he'd be all that unpopular when his replacement is very much like him.

It isn't made explicit in the CRB, but the developers have made this point clear on the forums. The 20 gods in the CRB are not the only 20 gods, nor are they necessarily even the most popular gods. It's just that there was only room to write about 20 of the multitude of gods that are worshipped in the galaxy, and those where the ones the writers chose to include.

So, unless a god is explicitly stated as missing they still exist and still have worshipers.

Liberty's Edge

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I don't think magic types are gone, I think it's pretty clear they still exist. However, they no longer matter mechanically. And are thus close to irrelevant.

Why? Because the technology of magic has evolved. There are now known Arcane methodologies to do everything that Divine spells do, and vice versa. And the same for Psychic spells.

So...what differences does that leave? I'm sure somebody can come up with soemthing, to which I'll respond with 'They now have the spell technology to ignore that.' And if that's the case requiring specificity in type of magic is meaningless and unnecessary.

Indeed, the technology of magic has advanced to a point where all spells are still and silent. Think about that when you get annoyed at only 6-level casting. In Pathfinder, it'd be 8th level, since they are all benefiting from the equivalent of two Metamagic Feats for +2 Spell Levels. That's just standard now, and expected.

Now, even as the spells have become more user friendly, they've in many ways become less necessary, since so many things that used to be done exclusively with magic are now done with mundane technology. Being able to engineer magical or hybrid items is now more necessary and useful than casting a few earthshaking spells, and consequently favored in terms of education (all PCs with Mysticism effectively have all item crafting feats).

So magic has evolved to be more user friendly and more focused on infrastructure than short term flash. That seems an exceedingly reasonable evolution to me.

Dark Archive

Larkos wrote:
Davor Firetusk wrote:
Your past distinctions in magic only reflected your primitive understanding and traditions. Flavorwise that does make sense, given that we can in fact research things for years and years and still achieve significant advancements, like the unification of forces in physics at high energies.

Makes sense? BS.

How did the All-Seeing Eye not know or tell his own clerics that they should be able to cast wizard spells just fine?

How did not a single wizard or arcanist not realize that they could cast Divine spells just fine?

Also this move isn't an advancement per se. Yes a person can cast fireball and cure but they can't cast time stop. One step forward, two steps back.

The entire history of science could be reduced to asking how did they not? questions. This is applicable given that researching spells is a thing. So there is clear established precedent for humanoid understanding of magic being limited. Yes they can cast timestop, its called wish. Same effect and instead of laboring under the limiting lens of past magics a true practitioner has unlocked the pure secret of magic and need not waste hours of time with complex overly specific rituals. That sounds pretty advanced to me. Finally on the divine side the gods always choose which spells to provide access. It is not a question of them not knowing.


Drali wrote:
Larkos wrote:

Makes sense? BS.

How did the All-Seeing Eye not know or tell his own clerics that they should be able to cast wizard spells just fine?

How did not a single wizard or arcanist not realize that they could cast Divine spells just fine?

Also this move isn't an advancement per se. Yes a person can cast fireball and cure but they can't cast time stop. One step forward, two steps back.

Make's sense to me.

Gods keep secrets for their own reasons, often to push their undefinable agenda.

And as for wizards or arcanists, there's actually precedent, in the healer wizards, white mage arcanists, ect. And bards have been doing the "combo divine and arcane" for forever.

But the point you're missing, is the DID figure it out. That's why magic is all mushed together. Because they figured out it came from one source.

Yes, they can't cast Time-stop. Neither can a Bard.

The bards' combo is a legacy thing from their original incarnation as the first prestige class where they had levels in mage and cleric.

I know they can't cast time stop but wizards et al. could. That's my point.

If they have a more advanced understanding of magic then why are the spells weaker?

How come sorcerers in the past got access to full casting and now they don't? Why do the gods grant less power now? Why did that have strict rules about spell components (somatic, verbal, etc.) then but not now?


Deadmanwalking wrote:

I don't think magic types are gone, I think it's pretty clear they still exist. However, they no longer matter mechanically. And are thus close to irrelevant.

Why? Because the technology of magic has evolved. There are now known Arcane methodologies to do everything that Divine spells do, and vice versa. And the same for Psychic spells.

So...what differences does that leave? I'm sure somebody can come up with soemthing, to which I'll respond with 'They now have the spell technology to ignore that.' And if that's the case requiring specificity in type of magic is meaningless and unnecessary.

Indeed, the technology of magic has advanced to a point where all spells are still and silent. Think about that when you get annoyed at only 6-level casting. In Pathfinder, it'd be 8th level, since they are all benefiting from the equivalent of two Metamagic Feats for +2 Spell Levels. That's just standard now, and expected.

Now, even as the spells have become more user friendly, they've in many ways become less necessary, since so many things that used to be done exclusively with magic are now done with mundane technology. Being able to engineer magical or hybrid items is now more necessary and useful than casting a few earthshaking spells, and consequently favored in terms of education (all PCs with Mysticism effectively have all item crafting feats).

So magic has evolved to be more user friendly and more focused on infrastructure than short term flash. That seems an exceedingly reasonable evolution to me.

The CRB says on one page that spellcasting is verbal and then on another it says that there aren't any components anymore.

Still, Silent Chain Lightning is cool but is it equivalent to creating a demiplane? Or having a clone backup?

I also fail to see how sorcerous spellcasting wasn't "user-friendly;" they got it by virtue of being born and didn't have to work for it like a Technomancer does (I think, I mean they have academies.)

The technomancer also throws a wrench in the idea that magic wanes as technology waxes. They are often integrated and do not oppose each other. There is no reason we can't have both powerful magic and advanced technology.


Davor Firetusk wrote:
Larkos wrote:
Davor Firetusk wrote:
Your past distinctions in magic only reflected your primitive understanding and traditions. Flavorwise that does make sense, given that we can in fact research things for years and years and still achieve significant advancements, like the unification of forces in physics at high energies.

Makes sense? BS.

How did the All-Seeing Eye not know or tell his own clerics that they should be able to cast wizard spells just fine?

How did not a single wizard or arcanist not realize that they could cast Divine spells just fine?

Also this move isn't an advancement per se. Yes a person can cast fireball and cure but they can't cast time stop. One step forward, two steps back.

The entire history of science could be reduced to asking how did they not? questions. This is applicable given that researching spells is a thing. So there is clear established precedent for humanoid understanding of magic being limited. Yes they can cast timestop, its called wish. Same effect and instead of laboring under the limiting lens of past magics a true practitioner has unlocked the pure secret of magic and need not waste hours of time with complex overly specific rituals. That sounds pretty advanced to me. Finally on the divine side the gods always choose which spells to provide access. It is not a question of them not knowing.

So a technomancer being able to cast Wish in a more difficult and roundabout way (and similar character levels) is why all other spells above 6th level have disappeared?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Larkos wrote:


The bards' combo is a legacy thing from their original incarnation as the first prestige class where they had levels in mage and cleric.

I know they can't cast time stop but wizards et al. could. That's my point.

If they have a more advanced understanding of magic then why are the spells weaker?

How come sorcerers in the past got access to full casting and now they don't? Why do the gods grant less power now? Why did that have strict rules about spell components (somatic, verbal, etc.) then but not now?

Original (1e) bards had druid spellcasting, and they were a combo of fighter, thief, and druid. 2e bards were a base class and cast off the wizard list.

I presume we'll see some 9 level casting at some point, those class just didn't make the Starfinder CRB. It certainly doesn't mean that they don't exist at all. Mystic and Technomancer are like Magus, Bard, Summoner, etc.

I agree that there still are divine, arcane, psychic flavors to spells, but mechanically it no longer makes nay difference because advances in spellcasting have made the distinction pretty much academic. It would be like having mechanical distinctions between diesel and gasoline car engines - they are built quite differently and use different physical principles, but from a game mechanics POV it doesn't make a difference.


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Consider the fact that the pre-gap God of magic had a kind of crazy dualism thing going on. Perhaps it was the very nature of magic's patron that created the divide between divine and arcane casting, and now that he's no longer magic's main deity means that those artificial limitations were removed?


I've been viewing the in-game reasons for not having many 7+ spells as a lack of motivation or need. Technology has replaced a chunk of what was once the sole dominion of magic. Hence fewer people pursue magic as a means to an end. Why study for 20 years to learn how to raise the dead when that nifty, although expensive, piece of equipment over there does the same thing?

In the end, the "best and brightest" don't necessarily pursue magic and aren't willing to sacrifice as much to gain the higher powers.

As far as game balance this does help with reducing the "save or die" situations or having a mage curb stomp a campaign.


I think the far simpler explanation is that with the style of spellcasting changing, what you can do with spells changed. No more components. No more handwaving. No more studying a book, casting your spells then, only to finish them in the field. It's all through the mind. And while in the past people could do crazy things with their mind, those boodlines have diminished. As spellcasting transitioned to the way it works now, certain spells and styles of spellcasting were lost. Maybe pre-gap they had some way of using the old ways. But post gap? It got lost


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Its also worth noting that, yes, there's no formal distinction between "divine vs arcane" magic, as types. There *are*, however, distinctly different ways of using magic: Mystic vs Technomancer. Its not that all magic is the same, and everyone can do everything. Its that the fundamental forces and rules underpinning it are better understand, and so the distinctions are lesser. Mystics and Technomancers don't follow different rules. . . but they *do* use different methods, and so achieve different results, even though the same forces are being tapped.

Dark Archive

Larkos wrote:
Davor Firetusk wrote:
Larkos wrote:
Davor Firetusk wrote:
Your past distinctions in magic only reflected your primitive understanding and traditions. Flavorwise that does make sense, given that we can in fact research things for years and years and still achieve significant advancements, like the unification of forces in physics at high energies.

Makes sense? BS.

How did the All-Seeing Eye not know or tell his own clerics that they should be able to cast wizard spells just fine?

How did not a single wizard or arcanist not realize that they could cast Divine spells just fine?

Also this move isn't an advancement per se. Yes a person can cast fireball and cure but they can't cast time stop. One step forward, two steps back.

The entire history of science could be reduced to asking how did they not? questions. This is applicable given that researching spells is a thing. So there is clear established precedent for humanoid understanding of magic being limited. Yes they can cast timestop, its called wish. Same effect and instead of laboring under the limiting lens of past magics a true practitioner has unlocked the pure secret of magic and need not waste hours of time with complex overly specific rituals. That sounds pretty advanced to me. Finally on the divine side the gods always choose which spells to provide access. It is not a question of them not knowing.
So a technomancer being able to cast Wish in a more difficult and roundabout way (and similar character levels) is why all other spells above 6th level have disappeared?

From a comparison stand point, you can't compare the two systems. Damage is abstract, which means it is abstract. 1d6 in Pathfinder and Starfinder do not mean the same thing. The only partial reference point we have if the archaic weapon rules, but that is woefully inadequate for actually saying something is more or less powerful. Power is only measurable within the context of the game rules. different rules and you cannot do a valid comparison between them. It would make as much sense as trying to argue which athlete was the best by grabbing a football player and a rugby player.

If you just dislike the loss of 9th level casters from a rules perspective that is fine. If you do not like the flavor of potential narrative reasons why things seem to function differently that is fine as well. But there are reasonable explanations for them and after that it is a matter of personal taste.


I think I can compare spellcasting in Pathfinder and Starfinder when they're in the same universe. I like the mechanics of the spells just fine, I just want a better explanation.

Technology simply hasn't replaced magic all together. It does a lot of cool things that was once only available to Mages but it can't create a demiplane.

And 1d6 in Pathfinder and 1d6 in Starfinder is exactly the same. You roll a six-sided dice to determine something. What it determines is different but this is not the difference between Pathfinder and World of Darkness or Star Wars d6.

Ventnor wrote:
Consider the fact that the pre-gap God of magic had a kind of crazy dualism thing going on. Perhaps it was the very nature of magic's patron that created the divide between divine and arcane casting, and now that he's no longer magic's main deity means that those artificial limitations were removed?

This is best explanation I can think of and the point I was getting at in my original post.

I fundamentally do not believe that the way magic works could be altered by mere mortal understanding. Magic is something apart from science and can't be understood under the same methods. In fact, this transition kind debunks that notion as magic has fundamentally changed without a real explanation.

Do the Elder Undead on Eox or the oldest Elves on Castrovel have access to 9th-level casting assuming they're the correct class? Why shouldn't they? If they don't, that means magic itself has changed and it is objectively weaker. (Not that this is a bad thing. Starfinder has a much better balance between casters and non-casters.)


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My head-canon reason that 9th level spells are not around is that it was indeed that specialization into wizard and cleric and psychic, etc. that allowed plumbing into the depths of 9th level spells. Now, Mystics delve into mysteries that they barely understand, and Technomancers dilute the pool of magical knowledge with combining understanding of magic and tech. Somewhere in the distant past, in an effort to understand all fields more completely, the general pool of knowledge as diminished due to the attempt at expanding all fields. That is also why it takes more effort to pull off something like Wish.

This may or may not have something to do with Lost Golarion, but something in the Gap caused all of sentient-kind to lose interest in specializing so much, and all sentient-kind lost some of their deepest arcane, divine, and psychic knowledge due to lack of anyone pursuing it. Some day, it may be rediscovered (and what a campaign arc that would make, similar to Battletech's lostech) but for now, no one alive even knows what they are missing, because the only thing possessed is fragmentary records of the mighty magical works that came before.


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Larkos wrote:
Magic is something apart from science and can't be understood under the same methods.

Then how do wizards work? If certain inputs to a system cannot reliably produce the same effects, it should be impossible to learn spells from anything other than experimentation, or even at all. Yet nobody ever bothers to reinvent shocking grasp.


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Larkos wrote:
I fundamentally do not believe that the way magic works could be altered by mere mortal understanding. Magic is something apart from science and can't be understood under the same methods. In fact, this transition kind debunks that notion as magic has fundamentally changed without a real explanation.

Funnily enough, that is actually one of Eloritu's main tenets. Magic isn't something that you can just understand if you work hard enough. You have to know where to look to discover aspects of it, aspects that were intentionally hidden.

Again, he's the god of secrets too.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

1) Ninth level magic does exist; it's a 20th level class feature of the two Core spellcasting classes: see miracle and wish, as each note that they count as a 9th level spell.

2) The classes gain a lot more class features and skill points, in general, than the older classes. Consistently, an increase in class features and skill points is associated with a decrease in spell levels (see: bard v. wizard).

3) The broad method and data set by which creatures learn has fundamentally altered. As a real-life example, I suggest that, over-all, we would consider ourselves vastly superior in education to any who lived, say, six thousand years ago. Despite that, there is zero doubt that if we were placed into the past, six thousand years prior, we wouldn't probably wouldn't do very well and most of our knowledge wouldn't be very useful. This is because we have learned by adapting to our current circumstances, and our education reflects that. There are a ton of things that people from that era "knew" as "common knowledge" that no longer is, because, as useful and cool, and powerful as it would be, it's no longer applicable to daily life - even esoteric daily life. I mean, consider for a moment: let's say you put a dude from today into a combat situation with a dude from 6k years ago. Ours will probably be healthier, more well-educated, and perhaps better at exercise (due to jogging and doing push-ups and weight-lifting and so on) but he is most likely not personally better at hand-to-hand combat, especially if they're both put down naked in a local area and left to their own devices. Don't get me wrong - the modern guy's stuff is going to be super useful (and may revolutionize history as we know it) but it's not going to be super-applicable. Similarly, bringing a super-sagacious dude from the ancient past (after making sure he doesn't die to modern super-diseases) is going to be hyper-useful to modern science, and able to teach us all sorts of things that we couldn't know or guess at. It'd likely revolutionize everything! This analogy isn't perfect, of course - but it gives you an idea of how things such as education and technique might have changed even when fundamental forces haven't.

But that's just some spit-balling!


Another explanation:

Golarion blew up and took all the high level spellbooks and scrolls with it.

When Golarion vaporized, all the mages and clerics that could plane shifted to their safe spaces but can't get back since their return location is space dust.

Gods are tired of saving our mortal asses and have set up a Dead Pool to pass the time. Granting High Level spells is considered cheating.


9th level spells were a mistake and I sincerely hope they won't be back. They've already accomplished the feat of making sure that spells generally don't render skills irrelevant. I think they're in a good place.


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It seems like magic, in general, lost its "oomph". Many types of magic disappeared. Most powerful magic vanished. Magic items can no longer be easily combined (2 per person).

Maybe it's a galaxy wide decline of magic like Jack Vance writ large. Maybe the creation of the Drift is shifting magic from here to there. Or maybe it's just more broadly spread, reducing the peaks like 9th level spells but expanding minor magic like the subtle magic inside most tech.


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Or maybe, to answer the title, Eloritu is kind of a screwup because it's pretty ****ing hard to distribute something to several planets if you're trying to keep everything secret.


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The Sideromancer wrote:
Or maybe, to answer the title, Eloritu is kind of a screwup because it's pretty ****ing hard to distribute something to several planets if you're trying to keep everything secret.

Is it a screwup, though, if the end result is exactly what you want it to be? That result being the most powerful magic unknown to anyone but the most fervent of your worshippers?


The Sideromancer wrote:
Larkos wrote:
Magic is something apart from science and can't be understood under the same methods.
Then how do wizards work? If certain inputs to a system cannot reliably produce the same effects, it should be impossible to learn spells from anything other than experimentation, or even at all. Yet nobody ever bothers to reinvent shocking grasp.

It has repeatable effects except when it doesn't. Sorcerers have to use verbal and somatic components unless Mom was a psychic.

Wizards have spellbooks that repeat effects true but then those spells can be granted without the "science" of wizardry.

If everyone could could experiment their way to Clone or Prismatic Wall, they why haven't people in Starfinder?

And I'm tired of people saying that the ability to cast Wish/Miracle in a roudabout way is in no way equivalent to what a Wizard, Cleric, or Psychic had. It can't replace having 7th, 8th, and 9th level spell slots.


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Larkos wrote:


If everyone could could experiment their way to Clone or Prismatic Wall, they why haven't people in Starfinder?

If I were a betting man, I'd bet a considerable sum the official answer to that and every other permutation of "But ___ was different in Pathfinder" will be "The Gap did it," followed by a variety of shooing gestures.


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Just a side note, maybe the reason people don't make demiplanes anymore isn't because people can't, but because ever since Drift Travel started no one wanted to anymore. After all, when a Drift Drive does its thing it rips out chunks of other planes, and demiplanes don't seem particularly stable. Maybe after the 1,000th person got ripped from their demiplane bathroom into the middle of some starship's bridge they decided they just didn't want to deal with the whole ordeal, and a few centuries later the whole thing is just out of style.

Grand Lodge

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The whole "demarcations of magic disappearing" actually seems kind of...organic to me.

As someone refines the knowledge of a science, things that were once considered to be unrelated become far more interdisciplinary. Take psychology for example. Used to be considered entirely abstract and philosophical, but now incorporates biology, chemistry, endocrinology, medicine, etc.

Honestly, as people began to study the actual undercurrents of magic, they might have begun to notice certain patterns and trends they thought were unrelated. "Esoteric" and "divine" were already closely related (plenty of archetypes for psychic classes switched their spellcasting to divine), and there were already classes that cast one type of spell as a different form of magic (bards and alchemists with the "cure" line of spells, for e.g.). It stands to reason that as breakthroughs in understanding how magic works would allow people to unify disparate disciplines into one, and the specific specializations become stylistic rather than rigid.


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Larkos wrote:

{. . .}

And I'm tired of people saying that the ability to cast Wish/Miracle in a roudabout way is in no way equivalent to what a Wizard, Cleric, or Psychic had. It can't replace having 7th, 8th, and 9th level spell slots.

Last time I heard, spells of these levels still exist, and classes that have spell slots of these levels are possible in Starfinder, just not in the Core Rulebook. It's just like how even though Weapon Finesse was in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, but the various Dex-to-Damage options didn't come out until considerably later.


Larkos wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
Larkos wrote:
Magic is something apart from science and can't be understood under the same methods.
Then how do wizards work? If certain inputs to a system cannot reliably produce the same effects, it should be impossible to learn spells from anything other than experimentation, or even at all. Yet nobody ever bothers to reinvent shocking grasp.

It has repeatable effects except when it doesn't. Sorcerers have to use verbal and somatic components unless Mom was a psychic.

Wizards have spellbooks that repeat effects true but then those spells can be granted without the "science" of wizardry.

If everyone could could experiment their way to Clone or Prismatic Wall, they why haven't people in Starfinder?

And I'm tired of people saying that the ability to cast Wish/Miracle in a roudabout way is in no way equivalent to what a Wizard, Cleric, or Psychic had. It can't replace having 7th, 8th, and 9th level spell slots.

Adding compications to a working theory of magic (such as sorcerous bloodlines) doesn't mean no theory can exist. Even Sorcerers take a combination of fixed spells that can be predicted and those taken from the current body of spell knowledge.

To top it off, there's a deity in PF who figured out all of magic and ascended because of that. The definitive textbook on magic is his holy text.

Liberty's Edge

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Larkos wrote:
Davor Firetusk wrote:
Your past distinctions in magic only reflected your primitive understanding and traditions. Flavorwise that does make sense, given that we can in fact research things for years and years and still achieve significant advancements, like the unification of forces in physics at high energies.

Makes sense? BS.

How did the All-Seeing Eye not know or tell his own clerics that they should be able to cast wizard spells just fine?

How did not a single wizard or arcanist not realize that they could cast Divine spells just fine?

Also this move isn't an advancement per se. Yes a person can cast fireball and cure but they can't cast time stop. One step forward, two steps back.

First, when people are caught up in a paradigm, they will not even think of trying something everybody knows does not work and in fact cannot happen. And it takes quite some time to reverse this.

Second, deities in PFRPF/SFRPG are neither perfect nor omniscient. And that includes Nethys too. Maybe his madness came from seeing that all magics are one and he kept it separated as much as he could to prevent his mind from fracturing further

Finally, higher-level spells are a thing in the game. it is just that the core classes do not get access to them. Maybe the separation of magic made it easier to overly focus on one aspect and reach its pinnacle, while the current unified approach, lacking these blinders that helped focus, progresses more slowly to the highest level spells, but with a vastly wider variety at each level.

And Eloritu prefers it this way, thank you very much : magic as an esoteric art that needs dedication to explore, much less truly master


The Drunken Dragon wrote:

The whole "demarcations of magic disappearing" actually seems kind of...organic to me.

As someone refines the knowledge of a science, things that were once considered to be unrelated become far more interdisciplinary. Take psychology for example. Used to be considered entirely abstract and philosophical, but now incorporates biology, chemistry, endocrinology, medicine, etc.

Honestly, as people began to study the actual undercurrents of magic, they might have begun to notice certain patterns and trends they thought were unrelated. "Esoteric" and "divine" were already closely related (plenty of archetypes for psychic classes switched their spellcasting to divine), and there were already classes that cast one type of spell as a different form of magic (bards and alchemists with the "cure" line of spells, for e.g.). It stands to reason that as breakthroughs in understanding how magic works would allow people to unify disparate disciplines into one, and the specific specializations become stylistic rather than rigid.

Then why is it weaker? If the study of magic was always heading to this "organic" combination of all magic types despite their different sources, then why can't people cast the higher-order spells?

Don't give me the specialization argument. Since divine grant is still a valid power source then it makes sense that a Deity would want to give their champion in the material plane the best magics.

The Raven Black wrote:

First, when people are caught up in a paradigm, they will not even think of trying something everybody knows does not work and in fact cannot happen. And it takes quite some time to reverse this.

Second, deities in PFRPF/SFRPG are neither perfect nor omniscient. And that includes Nethys too. Maybe his madness came from seeing that all magics are one and he kept it separated as much as he could to prevent his mind from fracturing further

And Eloritu prefers it this way, thank you very much : magic as an esoteric art that needs dedication to explore, much less truly master

So not a single person beside Nethys saw past this paradigm even though there were ways to gain other types of spells like the Magic domain for the Cleric? A Lich with thousands of years of continuous study and a genius intellect couldn't see past a "paradigm?"

Eloritu dumbing everything down was my original hypothesis but I can't see him doing it intentionally to make magic more mysterious when everyone else's argument and the CRB's argument is that people in Starfinder understand magic better not worse.

If magic is supposed to be mysterious then Eloritu is bad at his job...which was my point in the first place.


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Magic *isn't* weaker. There's just less use and less need for narrowly focusing on mastering spellcasting and nothing else. Most of the things 7th-9th level spells do, are better done *other ways* in a world with advanced technology and industrialized technomagic. If you need a Gate, you don't find a high level archmage, you instead build one in a factory. If you need to blow something up, you don't cast a Meteor Swarm, you just shoot it with artillery.

Thus, the magical classes that are most common intermix spellcasting with other, also useful, powers and skills. This is not because you *can't* narrowly dedicate yourself, but because the vast majority of adventurers *don't*, because it doesn't pay off.


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Honestly, at this point I think Paizo would have been better off just going a Pathfinder 40,000 approach and just completely divorcing the two settings aside from certain members of the pantheon and a couple of winks and nods.

It saves a lot of trouble and hassle about explaining stuff like what the OP is mentioning (rather than embracing the more probable actual reason that 9/9 casting was balance cancer and was excised because of that) or why Iron Gods era Power Armor works nothing like SF PA, etc, etc.

You can run around justifying things however you want but honestly there aren't really any satisfactory explanations unless you really do default to "Shut up, Gap stuff,"

Curse of linked settings with different design philosophies. Such is life.


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Larkos wrote:
So not a single person beside Nethys saw past this paradigm even though there were ways to gain other types of spells like the Magic domain for the Cleric? A Lich with thousands of years of continuous study and a genius intellect couldn't see past a "paradigm?"

People have been seeing past the Paradigm since the CRB. They were called Mystic Theurges... and if you'll notice they were frequently considered "weaker" casters, for generalizing rather than specializing.

But even besides that, why is magic generally weaker? Because, if you'll notice, the casters learned how to do things other than just sling spells. They learned how to have tricks that aren't quite so limited in a day but are stronger than Cantrips. We in a meta angle call them "Class features", and they were fairly lacking in most 9-level casters (excepting maybe Oracle and possibly Arcanist.)

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