All About Spells

Monday, April 16, 2018

Spells are magical formulas with esoteric components, including words of power, gestures, and unusual ingredients, that when taken together create extraordinary magical effects. Spells have always been a crucial part of Pathfinder and the fantasy genre as a whole. But what's new about spells in the playtest? Let's take a look!

Action!

You cast spells by using some combination of the Verbal Casting, Somatic Casting, and Material Casting actions (the most common combination is Verbal and Somatic Casting actions for 2 total actions). Not every class interfaces with those actions in the same way. For instance, clerics can use a divine focus to satisfy the Material Casting action, sorcerers use their magical blood, and bards can use instruments that change up several aspects (for instance, even if you're gagged or otherwise unable to speak, you can play your violin to provide the Verbal Casting portion).

Heightened Spells

In the playtest, you'll be able to heighten your favorite spells in order to gain greater effects than ever before. Heightening a spell works much like it did previously, where you prepare a spell in a higher-level slot (or cast it using a higher-level slot if you're a spontaneous caster), except now all spellcasters can do it, and you gain much more interesting benefits. Want to fire 15 missiles with magic missile or turn into a Huge animal with animal form? Just heighten those spells to the appropriate level! There's no longer any need to learn long chains of spells that are incrementally different and each require you to refer back to the previous spell.

Incidentally, the idea of using a spell's level to determine its power has led to some really interesting interplay between spells. For example, how many times have you run into a situation where your high-level illusionist is foiled by a simple detect magic spell or a similar effect? Now, illusions of a higher spell level than a detect magic cantrip can foil detection! Similarly, dispel magic has a harder time dispelling spells of much higher spell levels, while it can crush lower-level spells with ease. This extends to many other similar interactions; while in Pathfinder First Edition, a creature with some basic spell effect that's constantly active might be flat-out immune to your character's spells, now you can heighten your spells and overcome that obstacle!

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Cantrips

In the playtest, cantrips are spells you can cast at will, but they are no longer level 0. Instead, they automatically heighten to the highest spell level you can currently cast. That means if you're 5th level, your ray of frost is 3rd level and deals more damage, and your light cantrip is better at counteracting magical darkness.

Domain Powers and Beyond

Pathfinder has always had domain powers, school powers, bloodline powers, and other special class-based spell-like abilities that you can use a certain number of times per day rather than using your daily spell slots on them. In the playtest, we've expanded this idea, allowing even more classes to gain these kinds of powers and standardizing the way we talk about the powers and their daily uses. The powers are now treated as a special kind of spell, and they are all cast using Spell Points. There is power in naming something; while you don't really count them differently than if you had a pool of uses per day, this allowed us to create new and interesting abilities that cost multiple Spell Points or that you could add extra features to at the cost of more Spell Points, in a way that works across classes more smoothly.

10th-Level Spells

So what's the deal with 10th-level spells? Jason mentioned these all the way at the beginning, and many of you have given excellent guesses for what they will be. They start with a class of spells that used to be 9th level+, by which I mean, they were 9th level, but even for that level they were usually balanced by expensive material costs. Spells like wish and miracle. In the playtest, these spells are free to cast but are 10th level. Then we added some brand-new and amazing spells, like fabricated truth and nature incarnate. I'm guessing you guys will quickly figure out what these spells do, but here's a hint: one of them had a critical failure effect previewed in the Critical Hits and Critical Failures blog!

Rituals

Ever since we introduced them in Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures, rituals have been a favorite both among fans and the adventure developers here at Paizo. If you haven't checked them out yet, they're story-rich spells with a long casting time that anyone skilled enough could conceivably try to perform as long as they have the hidden knowledge. Typically they involve some number of secondary casters, which can get the whole party involved or make a nice set-piece encounter with an evil cult.

Even in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, there were spells that sort of followed that mold already—the 8th-level spell binding is a perfect example. In the playtest, these sorts of spells have been made into rituals. This means that these downtime spells don't take up your spell slots, and that martial characters who manage to attain a high enough proficiency rank in magic-related skills like Arcana can cast them! This is particularly great when, for instance, the cleric dies but the monk can perform a resurrection ritual. (Don't worry, there is still also the non-ritual spell raise dead in case you need someone back in action faster, though a group that wants death to be more uncertain can easily omit that spell for an instant shift in the tone of the campaign.) Rituals also have delightful potential failure effects. For instance, if you critically fail planar binding, you call something dark and horrible that isn't bound by your wards, and it immediately attempts to destroy you!

Magical Traditions

Magical traditions, such as arcane and divine, have always been a part of Pathfinder spells. But the playtest gives us an opportunity to really explore what they mean, what makes them different, and how they metaphysically interconnect in a way that enriches the game's story. Magic taps into various essences in the cosmos. For example, arcane magic blends material essence (the fundamental building blocks of all physical things) and mental essence (the building block of rational thoughts, logic, and memories). This means that arcane traditions share a lot in common with science, as arcane spellcasters tend to use logic and rational methods to categorize the magic inherent in the physical world around them. Divine magic is the exact opposite; it blends spiritual essence (the otherworldly building block of the immortal self) and vital essence (the universal life force that gives us instincts and intuition). This means that divine traditions are steeped in faith, the unseen, and belief in a power source from beyond the Material Plane. These ideas have led to some exciting new additions of spells into each tradition's repertoire.

Example Spells

Let's put everything we've talked about into perspective by taking a look at a spell that can be heightened and that uses actions in an interesting way: heal. (By the way, notice the new spell school!)

Heal Spell 1

Healing, Necromancy, Positive
Casting Somatic Casting or more
Range touch, Range 30 feet, or Area 30-foot aura (see text); Target one willing living creature or one undead creature

You channel positive energy to heal the living or damage the undead. You restore Hit Points equal to 1d8 + your spellcasting modifier to a willing living target, or deal that amount of positive damage to an undead target. The number of actions you spend when Casting this Spell determines its targets, range, area, and other parameters.

  • Somatic Casting The spell has a range of touch. You must succeed at a melee touch attack to damage an undead target.
  • Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting The spell has a range of 30 feet and doesn't require a touch attack when targeting an undead creature. An undead target must attempt a Fortitude save, taking half damage on a success, no damage on a critical success, or double damage on a critical failure.
  • Material Casting, Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting You disperse positive energy in a 30-foot aura. This has the same effect as the two-action version of the spell, but it targets all living and undead creatures in the burst and reduces the amount of healing or damage to your spellcasting ability modifier.

Heightened (+1) Increase the amount of healing or damage by 1d8, or by 2d8 if you're using the one- or two-action version to heal the living.

So you can cast heal with 1 action and restore quite a few Hit Points to a touched target, especially for a single action. This is particularly useful if you cast heal several times in one turn on someone who needs emergency assistance after a critical hit! For 2 actions, you can cast safely from the back lines, and for 3 actions, you can change the area to a burst and heal living creatures while harming undead at the same time. It restores fewer hit points to each target that way, but if you have multiple allies in need of healing, it can be really efficient. This one spell, using heightened effects, combines the effects of all the cure wounds spells in one place.

At the bottom of the stat block, you see what one type of heightened entry looks like. This one gets better proportionally for each spell level above 1st. So a 2nd-level heal spell heals one target for 3d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier, a 3rd-level one heals one target 5d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier, and so on.

But heal is a classic spell chain that you already knew and loved in Pathfinder First Edition and that has already been revealed in tidbits through podcasts. How about its big sister regenerate?

Regenerate Spell 7

Healing, Necromancy
Casting Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range touch; Target one willing living creature
Duration 1 minute

The target temporarily gains regeneration 15, which restores 15 Hit Points to it at the start of each of its turns. While it has regeneration, the target can't die from damage and its dying value can't exceed 3. If the target takes acid or fire damage, its regeneration deactivates until after the end of its next turn.

Each time the creature regains Hit Points from regeneration, it also regrows one damaged or ruined organ (if any). During the spell's duration, the creature can also reattach severed body parts by spending an Interact action to hold the body part to the stump.

Heightened (9th) The regeneration increases to 20.

Regenerate was always necessary to restore lost limbs or organs (a rare situation to come up in the game), but the way it worked made it fairly ineffective for use in combat. This version is much more attractive during a fight, particularly if your foe lacks access to acid and fire!

This spell doesn't increase in power incrementally as its level increases (except for being harder to dispel); instead, it has a specific heightened benefit at 9th level.

But what about something you've never seen before? Let's take a look at vampiric exsanguination!

Vampiric Exsanguination Spell 6

Death, Necromancy, Negative
Casting Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Area 30-foot cone

You draw life force from creatures and send it into your outstretched arms. You deal 10d6 negative damage to all living creatures in the area. As long as at least one creature in the area takes damage, you also gain half that many temporary Hit Points. You lose any remaining temporary Hit Points after 1 minute.

  • Success Half damage.
  • Critical Success No damage.
  • Failure Full damage.
  • Critical Failure Double damage.

Heightened (+2) Increase the damage by 3d6.

So we're dealing some reasonable damage in a cone; cone of cold isn't going to be jealous. But the trick here is that if you can get at least one foe (or minion) to critically fail its save against the spell, you gain a huge number of temporary Hit Points! If you're a wizard with a Constitution score of 12, that hapless creature might just provide you nearly 50% more Hit Points (incidentally, if you deal a lot of damage, you could kill a minion who critically fails the save, so use it responsibly). And since you're drawing in life force, guess who gains access to this spell? (Urgathoans rejoice!)

More New Spells

I'm going to close out by giving just the names of a smattering of new spells. What might they do? I'll leave it up to you guys to see what you think!

  • Alter reality
  • Collective transposition
  • Crusade
  • Disappearance
  • Divine inspiration
  • Duplicate foe
  • Energy aegis
  • Mariner's curse
  • Moment of renewal
  • Moon frenzy
  • Nature's enmity
  • Primal phenomenon
  • Punishing winds
  • Revival
  • Soothe
  • Spellwrack
  • Spiritual epidemic
  • Spiritual guardian
  • Tangling creepers
  • Unfathomable song

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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John Lynch 106 wrote:

Finally as a sidenote: In my opinion (based on my own experience) electronic character builders are a crutch that encourages players to not learn the rules for their characters or understand the game they're playing. I've had it happen to me. The issues you're raising as "needlessly complicated" only demonstrate that further.

Pieces of paper and pencils ensure players understand the rules to a much greater degree and I have only seen "substandard"* players become better players by removing electronic character builders. I've also played with some really dumb players as well who struggled to understand even basic concepts of the game they were playing. Removing the electronic character builder helped them understand the game much better than any amount of running their character for them did. This isn't a Pathfinder phenomenon either. This is a tabletop RPG phenomenon that carries across various different styles of RPG rulesets.

*By this I mean players who have limited understanding of the rules and/or their characters

I agree with this. It's the same phenomenon you see with people who use GPS even to go to places they've been multiple times, as opposed to reserving it for going to a new location - they just seem to lose their sense of direction. One acquaintance got so bad he would even use GPS to get to the store one block away.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I had one friend who could not locate another friend's house without a GPS. The other friend, however, had no trouble pointing out the back window of his home at the first friend's house.


Tangent101 wrote:
khadgar567 wrote:
Okay its two days after the post and we are still theory crafting on the damn spell list thing as most of the folks decided to jump on only clue post gave them. The essences are not spell lists you dolts we are still gona have the old arcane and divine casting as core two casting besides the two unknown ones. Only thing post clearly gave us is few example spells not whole magic systhem.You are jumping on balor damn it essensere are fluff on how classes casl in feeling not the list they get. You are basicly baited to test if you fall for basic content creator tricks.
What proof do you have that this is not going to be the case? Let folk have their fun. It might spark ideas among the Developers at Paizo and we might see it end up being that case because they decide quietly to make it so.

Prof is in the marks posts. When we guess something right they comfirm it. And we dont get confirmaon on spell list posts. Plus the main post devlaring the thing feels like wild guess with only one similarity between both topics( which both have 4 sub topics). But here is where the theory not fit. We have five essences( material, spiritual, vital, mental, emotion) and 4 lists. So if we put power attack and sunder to getter. İt suddenly not fits the socket. But this gives us what kinda spell lists paizo gonna work in 2e. We have material life combo which gonna be blood magic, spiritual and vital combo which my bet is on incarnum like system, we already know two core casting styles(arcane and divine). So i just prophecize two new lists and my theory to currently have 4 lists.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Finally as a sidenote: In my opinion (based on my own experience) electronic character builders are a crutch that encourages players to not learn the rules for their characters or understand the game they're playing.

While it can be, it's not universal. I know I always read the books/pdf's first and use the tools just to speed up character creation: the same way various online sites have search engines and/or reworked section like the kineticist which was MUCH better presented there than in the actual book.

David knott 242 wrote:
I had one friend who could not locate another friend's house without a GPS.

Hey! Some of us didn't have any sense of direction BEFORE GPS was a thing. ;)


You do realize some of us put on a GPS to travel to a location we normally go to because the GPS has a feature on finding alternative routes in case of detours and the like. Hell, I regularly put on the GPS and ignore it when it tries to direct me down a route that is in theory 30 seconds faster (I look at the times it offers and they are the same for my favored route and the one it offers - assuming every single light was green and there was absolutely no traffic, which means my route often is faster). The GPS is a reminder in case we get caught up in thought and nearly go by a turn... or are keeping an eye out for crazy drivers.

As for using Hero Labs as a crutch? It is handy for combat with tracking hit points and the like. I also ask my players for what their bonuses are while keeping track and if I find it before they do, then I go with what I have on hand - and often the bonuses I have on hand include things they forgot about. The problem being that it can take 20-30 minutes to load everything, and my computer isn't the fastest. If you have 15 units you're tracking and have to include buffs and all that... it takes a while to program it all in, primarily because my computer will frequently pause while trying to process stuff.

But it is still faster than writing everything on 3x5 cards and trying to keep track of it via that. I did that for the tabletop game. I did that for the Skype game through the first Book of Runelords until I had Hero Labs. And it sure is better than marking things off on printouts or on old modules in pencil.

It also works far better than looking up a monster in the Monstrous Compendium or the Bestiaries over and over again. Or even looking the monsters up on Paizo's PRD.

Oh, and pieces of paper never improved the hack-and-slash player who was in my AD&D and D&D 3.0-3.5 campaigns. She never learned her abilities. Other players had limited knowledge and often didn't fully utilize their abilities. Hell, even the one player I had who knew his stuff would still take forever with pencil-and-paper gaming.

If you and your gaming group has learned how to do power-gaming and finish stuff quickly and efficiently? Good for you! I am truly envious as even if I never bought another Paizo product, I would likely take the rest of my life to run all the Adventure Paths I have (seeing I doubt I'll ever have a group that meets weekly). Then again, I also suffered GM burnout from running weekly games for nearly a decade nonstop (which lasted several years where even THINKING of running a game resulted in my feeling a sharp pain in my head)... so while more frequent gaming tempts me, I know I'm probably not up for it these days.

----------

Let me ask this. What is the detriment to having Spell Resistance be simplified to having encounters not worry about critical failures for saving throws and increase their change of a critical success?

Grand Archive

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
khadgar567 wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
khadgar567 wrote:
Okay its two days after the post and we are still theory crafting on the damn spell list thing as most of the folks decided to jump on only clue post gave them. The essences are not spell lists you dolts we are still gona have the old arcane and divine casting as core two casting besides the two unknown ones. Only thing post clearly gave us is few example spells not whole magic systhem.You are jumping on balor damn it essensere are fluff on how classes casl in feeling not the list they get. You are basicly baited to test if you fall for basic content creator tricks.
What proof do you have that this is not going to be the case? Let folk have their fun. It might spark ideas among the Developers at Paizo and we might see it end up being that case because they decide quietly to make it so.
Prof is in the marks posts. When we guess something right they comfirm it. And we dont get confirmaon on spell list posts. Plus the main post devlaring the thing feels like wild guess with only one similarity between both topics( which both have 4 sub topics). But here is where the theory not fit. We have five essences( material, spiritual, vital, mental, emotion) and 4 lists. So if we put power attack and sunder to getter. İt suddenly not fits the socket. But this gives us what kinda spell lists paizo gonna work in 2e. We have material life combo which gonna be blood magic, spiritual and vital combo which my bet is on incarnum like system, we already know two core casting styles(arcane and divine). So i just prophecize two new lists and my theory to currently have 4 lists.

They don't always confirm when we guess something right. Sometimes they tease us, of even say nothing if it's not the time to talk about certain things. We've seen this with the heal spell. Lot of the details were guessed before, but Mark didn't flag them as correct. He sometimes clearly ignored the guess to reply to the post immediately above AND the one following immediately after.


Elfteiroh wrote:


They don't always confirm when we guess something right. Sometimes they tease us, of even say nothing if it's not the time to talk about certain things. We've seen this with the heal spell. Lot of the details were guessed before, but Mark didn't flag them as correct. He sometimes clearly ignored the guess to reply to the post immediately above AND the...

I know but they gonna eventually answer the question in blog post. but considering the essences perfectly match to spell components and dont match in to separate multi lists. it feels like some one made wrong mental turn on Albuquerque and get lost.


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graystone wrote:
Hey! Some of us didn't have any sense of direction BEFORE GPS was a thing. ;)

Indeed. I only got my first smart-phone with GPS last year (yeah I know, a decade late). I also regularly do the dinner run for my gaming group, a local usually goes with me and can navigate if needed. Well once, before I got the new phone he didn't come along, so it was just me going to Taco Bell, basically a straight shot and I've done it many times before. Because of traffic and bad turn-lanes I missed the turn and decided to take a left and turn myself around. Just go around the block and be back where I started. Simple. Well 15 minutes later I call my group (on my old dumb phone) "Um, I'm in the next city over, can you guys point out how to get back?" GPS doesn't let that happen now. I like my GPS.


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khadgar567 wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:


They don't always confirm when we guess something right. Sometimes they tease us, of even say nothing if it's not the time to talk about certain things. We've seen this with the heal spell. Lot of the details were guessed before, but Mark didn't flag them as correct. He sometimes clearly ignored the guess to reply to the post immediately above AND the...
I know but they gonna eventually answer the question in blog post. but considering the essences perfectly match to spell components and dont match in to separate multi lists. it feels like some one made wrong mental turn on Albuquerque and get lost.

Eh you got to watch them wrong turns doc.


exacly mate. good to see some one still see clearly were we going like me.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
graystone wrote:
Hey! Some of us didn't have any sense of direction BEFORE GPS was a thing. ;)
Indeed. I only got my first smart-phone with GPS last year (yeah I know, a decade late). I also regularly do the dinner run for my gaming group, a local usually goes with me and can navigate if needed. Well once, before I got the new phone he didn't come along, so it was just me going to Taco Bell, basically a straight shot and I've done it many times before. Because of traffic and bad turn-lanes I missed the turn and decided to take a left and turn myself around. Just go around the block and be back where I started. Simple. Well 15 minutes later I call my group (on my old dumb phone) "Um, I'm in the next city over, can you guys point out how to get back?" GPS doesn't let that happen now. I like my GPS.

Before having a GPS, following directions, my best friend and I ended up in Vermont. Trust me when I say that was not our destination. Obviously the directions were wrong (and the people who gave us the misdirections laughed and thought it hilarious, I should have given them a bill for gasoline). The only good thing about the trip was my friend and I got to see the Milky Way Galaxy in the night sky without light pollution ruining it.

Paper and pencil is not necessarily the best method, be it for directions or for gaming.


Speaking of putting things on 3"*5" (or 4"*6") cards, this would also be good for summonable monsters. (Also relevant to this thread since unless something changed radically in Pathfinder 2nd Edition, this will still be something most people do by casting a spell.)


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Tangent101 wrote:
As for using Hero Labs as a crutch? It is handy for combat with tracking hit points and the like.

I can't say I've ever had problems with tracking HP for monsters, and for buffs I'll likely make notes on a piece of paper with the rest of the statblock ahead of time with them likely buffs included and any other changes I want to make from what was in the AP.

Tangent101 wrote:
I also ask my players for what their bonuses are while keeping track

I have never had a GM do this for me. Best case you might get is "did you remember barkskin/heroism/flanking." But even that is largely for the beginning of an AP. It's expected by the time you get to the big bad that you know your character well enough to handle it yourself. They might make some misses that should have been hits at the beginning, but they quickly learn.

Tangent101 wrote:

The problem being that it can take 20-30 minutes to load everything, and my computer isn't the fastest. If you have 15 units you're tracking and have to include buffs and all that... it takes a while to program it all in, primarily because my computer will frequently pause while trying to process stuff.

But it is still faster than writing everything on 3x5 cards and trying to keep track of it via that. I did that for the tabletop game. I did that for the Skype game through the first Book of Runelords until I had Hero Labs. And it sure is better than marking things off on printouts or on old modules in pencil.

Can't say I've ever had that experience. I'd say whatever works for you, but it doesn't sound like it is working for you.

Tangent101 wrote:
Oh, and pieces of paper never improved the hack-and-slash player who was in my AD&D and D&D 3.0-3.5 campaigns. She never learned her abilities.

I don't know what to say to that. To be honest it sounds like you let your player(s) get away with not knowing how to play their characters. I have never had that same experience and I've played in 3 differnet organised play programs (and trust me, we got a very mixed bag with those) and even the most uninterested player got to know their own abilities eventually.

Tangent101 wrote:
Let me ask this. What is the detriment to having Spell Resistance be simplified to having encounters not worry about critical failures for saving throws and increase their change of a critical success?

You're effectively treating all spells as SR yes spells instead of having situational spells that are more valuable when that situation comes up.


Yeah. That was the weird thing. You know, Magic Resistance (and then Spell Resistance) was this big scary thing. Monsters with it were almost immune to spells - at least the really nasty ones were. And then all these damage-dealing Conjuration spells started cropping up that bypassed SR. It was almost like... oh... SR was a problem against spellcasters so people who disliked that saw the loophole with Conjuration and started using that to ignore SR.

There's a term for that sort of thing. And in computer games when such an exploit is identified and fixed, it's called a Nerf.

If damage-dealing conjuration spells are being used to exploit the Conjuration Loophole and my suggestion fixes that exploit, then is that not a good thing? Does it not actually make SR once more do what it is supposed to do?

And best of all, does it not do so by simplifying things?


Exploits are when you take advantage of a bit of programming in a way that gives you an advantage that wasn't intended by the programmers.

SR no spells are not exploits (well, maybe they were in AD&D, but they're not in Pathfinder 1e). SR no spells are consciously chosen by the designers as to whether or not they allow you to bypass SR. That advantage is baked into them and for balanced material* it means the spell does less damage than an SR yes spell.

By keeping SR as a distinction between spells you encourage players affected by SR to do research into what they'll face and then allocate their spells accordingly. You require spontaneous casters to pick spells that are typically suboptimal for situations where they become the optimal spell. How much resources casters assign to overcoming SR is a tactical choice for them.

* Cause let's face it, Paizo have produced a lot of imbalanced stuff.


BTW, you *are* right that my current system of using Hero Labs to track both the PCs and monsters doesn't work properly - especially not at higher level. Fortunately my campaign has come to an end. Higher level play isn't going to be an issue. And I'm taking a page from NobodysHome who uses Hero Labs... to track monsters only.

As we're starting at 1st level once more, buff spells are going to be fairly rare (at least I assume they will be, seeing I also plan on running a 2nd edition campaign using the playtest rules initially). Roll20 updated their system so that character sheets can now be loaded into their system so my players can keep all of that up-to-date and while I'll have a Hero Labs file to track character development (and PDFs of character sheets), I'm going to let the players handle a lot more this time around.

At least two players have chosen to avoid spell casters this time around. I would say this says something about the complexity of levels, spell DCs, and the like... but I've not talked to the players as to the precise reasons for their choices (outside of one player wanting to play a character concept for a story he's writing). With the other two, the first had played a Ranger and with Hell's Rebels was *going* to play a Magical Girl Vigilante until 2nd Edition reared its wonderful head and I restricted everyone to Core classes (and we don't know what form these will be for several months). The second was going to play a Skald. For now, Bard will suffice (and there may be a Skald Archetype for all we know).

They can track their own damn buffs from now on.


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Actually John, what my players did was take Feats to help them overcome SR... or use Mythic. Often when the player absolutely positively wanted to make sure that spell went through SR, they'd use Mythic on it. Fortunately Mythic is going to be baked properly into Pathfinder 2 and will exist in a far different form so burning a point of Mythic to twin-link SR rolls will likely be a thing of the past.

The Sorceress also took several Conjuration spells, but the kicker is she found out about Conjuration spells going through SR by chance - she had a conjuration Cold spell and her theme (which predated Frozen) was an Ice Sorceress. (More Diablo II than anything else, I'd say.) Near the end, Rain of Arrows was used fairly frequently to hit Resistant critters. It didn't match her theme, she wasn't exactly happy with it, but she took it for the group seeing she was the primary damage-dealing full caster (the other being an Eldritch Knight who preferred using his repeating crossbow rather than magic).

Consider that for a minute. She took the spell for the good of the group rather than because it matched her theme. You shouldn't have to sacrifice and take conjuration spells just because of SR creatures. Hell, originally the reason conjuration spells worked against SR was you were summoning monsters to fight for you rather than summoning a flight of arrows or ice spikes or the like. So conjuration has become an exploit in several ways.


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Tangent101 wrote:

It's a simple fix. Changing this doesn't hurt anyone. It doesn't alter the rules. It doesn't change what your caster can do. All it does is alter one word so that people who haven't been playing for years can look at the rules and not be confused why their 3rd level character is limited to 2nd level spells - because it'll be Second Tier spells instead.

Outside of "tradition" is there an actual problem as to changing Spell Level to Spell Tier?

Keeping it as-is doesn't "hurt" anyone - and I loathe that term when it comes to this sort of thing - it just means they actually have to pick up a basic understanding of their class.

That's it. Not power-gaming, not memorising the CRB, not becoming "hardcore" - they simply have to wrap their heads around one table per class.

Let's take Cleric, for example - we're talking a core 9-level spellcaster, though in terms of levelling, probably the simplest due to lack of options. Even if someone playing the cleric doesn't own the CRB, they should be looking at the class page ond20PFSRD or the Paizo SRD to understand how the character works. If they look at the class ability table, and don't grasp within a couple of minutes the difference between spell level and character level, I'd argue they shouldn't be playing a caster of any description. Caster level should only really be an issue if they're multi-classing, which isn't something I'd expect casual gamers to be doing too much of.

And "tradition" is at least a partially-valid reason when dealing with a new edition of a game - especially one with as much history as PF (or other games based out of D&D). The more you change, the less people tend to want to stick with the game, with 4E as the shining example of changing things for the sake of changing them driving people away (coupled with it being an MMORPG sim, but that's a matter for a different thread).

We're already seeing a lot of terminology change, such as race to ancestry. Keeping other terms which people are familiar with the same is, in my opinion, a good thing for PF2.

And, hang on - you were using the Mythic rules with "casual" gamers, and the use of level as a term in three places is what you thought made the game too complex? *shakes head*


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Tangent101 wrote:
Actually John, what my players did was take Feats to help them overcome SR... or use Mythic.

That's still an allocation of resources. Simply feats rather than spells (and that is also a valid tactic although I expect SR bypassing spells would be a better option. Of course the spell penetration spells are always available vs sometimes available if you adequately prepared)

Tangent101 wrote:
Often when the player absolutely positively wanted to make sure that spell went through SR, they'd use Mythic on it.

I don't understand that means as we don't use the mythic rules. I also question the wisdom of using mythic rules for a group that can't be bothered learning how to play a straight CRB PC.

Tangent101 wrote:
The Sorceress also took several Conjuration spells, but the kicker is she found out about Conjuration spells going through SR by chance

Although it might not have been a deliberate choice on her part, it's very clearly there in the rules and I'd have enough faith that Paizo were aware of it when designing spells (at least for the CRB).

Tangent101 wrote:
Consider that for a minute. She took the spell for the good of the group rather than because it matched her theme. You shouldn't have to sacrifice and take conjuration spells just because of SR creatures.

If you go for a themed character you're always going to be suboptimal or have to make sacrifices. If your a master swordsman, you're going to have to make the sacrifice of taking a non-sword based weapon everytime you come up against a ranged foe. Or a foe that has DR against slashing and piercing. Or if you use your ancestral weapon and yet you want a high AC, you're going to have to make a sacrifice if you come up against golems and either use a scarab or use a weapon that isn't your ancestral weapon that's been handed down from generation to generation. Or if you're an pyromancer and the bad guy is just flat out immune to fire.

We don't advocate removing flying foes against low level characters or removing DR (well, maybe you do. But I would certainly see the game as less than it otherwise would be if we did) or fire resistance or fire immunity. I don't see why SR is an exception.

Finally I still don't think conjuration is an exploit but instead a deliberate design choice. If the devs come online and say "oops. We goofed. Conjuration bypassing SR was a complete oversight on our part" then I'd of course concede the point. But I don't think that was the case.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
One other that springs to mind for me is that we don't change saving throws and attack rolls to be called saving checks and attack checks in PF1 or PF2, even though everything else is called check, and checks are d20 rolls against a DC, so they both are checks. But imagine how it would sound to call for a saving check?

A saving check might not roll off the tongue, but I can totally see myself calling for a Reflex check, a Fortitude check, or a Willpower check.

And as I typed this, I could see perception becoming a saving throw. I doubt it will, but it is mechanically similar.
Fuzzypaws wrote:


On reflection you're probably right. That's more for the flavor backend of why classes get the spells that they do. The lists will probably still be Arcane, Divine, Nature, and ??? (Bard? General? Hedge?)

I vote "Artistry" for the fourth list. For no reason other than that's what I call bardic magic in my home setting (along with a couple other classes; mechanically it's spellcasting that ignores light armor for failure).

Or...oooh, what if bards were reflavored to be Psychic casters? I liked mesmerists better than bards anyways :P.
I know, I know, bad idea. The psychic class is so very different in flavor from bards even if they both rely on the manipulation of thoughts and emotions.
idly starts homebrewing a psychic archetype that gives bardic music


They only reached three Mythic Tiers and I didn't let them use things like burning Mythic for extra actions or the like. I also altered the Mythic rule so that casters didn't get a free Quicken Spell Feat by burning Mythic. Also, only four players had Mythic. The fifth had regenerating Hero Points that she almost never used.

Of the three, one player used Mythic all the time. He loved being able to cast any spell he ever wanted. He wanted more Mythic points and was constantly running out. The second, the Sorceress? She went dual with Archmage and Marshal and often used other players as her weapons. She's built her character around Charisma so she'd already been big into Diplomacy and Intimidation... with Mythic she was using Move Actions to Intimidate, Swift Actions to either use Marshal or the Swift Spell Metamagic Feat, and standard actions for spellcasting. She was also a 4th Edition D&D player so she actually had a better idea what she was doing - I never got into arguments with her over levels. The Cleric/Bard used Mythic far less often, mostly to break through Spell Resistance. And the Swashbuckling Arcane Trickster used it to boost her defensive capabilities so she was untouchable.

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

4th Edition D&D drove me away from D&D. The thing is, they didn't change terminology. They changed the very way the game was played. And Paizo is not doing that. If anything, they are increasing the versatility of the classes with added Feats and incorporating class abilities into the Feat structure. It makes sense. It allows for a bit of diversification. And we've only really seen hints to date.

Now my suggestion on Spell Resistance is just that: a suggestion. A little something that might make things easier. Hell, I might incorporate it myself whether or not it is used. Of course, seeing my Skype group is shifting away from a Caster-heavy party to mostly melee... SR will become more of a moot point. The Bard player will likely use spells to boost herself and then fight because she hated that her cleric couldn't fight effectively (being a halfling with a 9 Strength).

And yes, my Skype group moving away from spells means I'll not be dealing with "but I'm level three, why can't I use third-level spells?" but that's not to say I won't someday get new players who likewise get confused at this sort of thing.

It's easier to change a few bits of terminology. So long as the core aspect of the game is still Pathfinder, calling spell levels as Spell Tiers isn't going to be a bad thing.


Tangent: getting more information on your player I can see where some of the option paralysis is coming from. This was a classic problem in 4th ed and it looks like Mythic reintroduced it in PF. I'll be interested to see how your group handles PF2e because it's also going to continue on in the 4th ed vein where you have 3 actions and various abilities that can be used with each action on a round to round basis.

I'd also seriously recommend paper, pencil, physical dice and just use roll20 as a battlemat.

Grand Lodge

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
LuZeke wrote:
So is Cure X Wounds gone now? I don't want it to be gone.

Heal is taking the place of Cure Wounds. I'm guessing the name Cure is specifically reserved for the line of spells that were previously Remove Disease, Remove Blindness/Deafness, etc. Because curing an ailment is closer to the meaning of the word "cure" than healing an injury.

LuZeke wrote:
Finally, rituals. Obviously the specifics are for the actual playtest, but from this read they sound very 4e to me. I wasn't a fan of rituals there because instead of creating rituals that were new and interesting, it locked old spells behind the ritual mechanic, which seems exactly what's happening here.

This depends how they handle it. I note for example that with the spell upcasting, Raise Dead makes Resurrection redundant as a spell - you would just be able to upcast Raise Dead to do what Resurrection does. However, Resurrection is still in the game. It's been mentioned as a ritual, which allows someone to raise the dead as a longer more expensive and risky process without having to be able to cast the Raise Dead spell.

A lot of spells should never have been spells to begin with. Anything that takes 10 minutes, an hour, a day to cast and takes expensive components should not occupy a spell slot. Creating a demiplane should not be a spell. Guards and wards should not be a spell. These are exactly the things rituals were made for.

However, I don't want to just see old spells converted to rituals... I mean, I want to see that, but I want more. I want new effects too. Whether they do provide new awesome rituals will be a determining factor whether people see them as taking the lazy way out or not.

I do NOT want this to be like the 4E PHB where the ritual section was painfully sparse. I want LOTS of rituals. Give them to me, give them all to me, my precious~

Agree with pretty much all of this.

ryric wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
I'm puzzled by all of these people who think Detect Magic is usable in combat to identify and counter illusions.

In casters' defense, it only takes 1 round to detect the presence of magic. That one round may be vital to determine whether something's an illusion or not. Since Dispel Magic in PF1 is a 0-level, it's basically a great utility use of the spell for a caster if there is suspicion of an illusion. Now, being suspicious of illusions all the time may be paranoia, of course, and I would rather already have a clear suspicion that an illusion was present before using detect magic for this purpose in combat.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Wow. This takes me back to 2009 where warlocks were constantly trying to curse bystanders or birds flying around to get their temps.

Paizo needs to decide now, during the playtest, if they want things to work like this.

As currently written, this is exactly the path we are getting ready to walk down.


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Have not gone through all the responses yet, but here are my thoughts.

Overall, I'm liking what I see here. I really like how spells have a lot of variability now, from using a different number of actions, heightening the spell, and critical damage/fumble. Would it be accurate to say that it will be easy for GMs to customize spells further just by changing the number of actions or altering how the spell is heightened? We now have several established vectors where we can alter spells and how they scale.

I like ritual spells, and glad they are now part of Core. I hope we see more effects and variety!

So 10th-level spells are just a new level to better slot those 9th-level spells that were more powerful than the norm? Fair enough. Excited to see what new spells will be created for that new level.

Cantrips are automatically heightened to max level makes sense. Will there be more cantrip spells? Will their heightened modifications be varied?

Spell Point pool seems to follow the same design philosophy as the new action economy. Now players will have the choice to use certain powers more per day depending on their needs than they could in PF1. Sounds good to me.

Magical Tradition paragraph seems vague, but I'm glad to see it addressed. I hope there will be some game mechanic to along with that fluff description of the difference between arcane and divine.

Thanks for the blog post! I'm really looking forward to seeing all these changes in action.


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For cantrips, we have at least one new cantrip confirmed: Tanglefoot.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Notice how Mark didn't say that spell lists weren't divided up based on the essences. I'm gonna take that as a 100% confirmation that I'm correct in my prediction. There's no other possible interpretation of that.
The spell lists are certainly based on the essences in some way. Is it exactly what you guys predicted in this thread? Well, now's not the time to confirm or unconfirm; we have more tricks up our sleeves to share with you in future blogs. I predict if you liked the essences bit in this blog, you will really like a few more of the things to come!

@khadgar567

They've CERTAINLY had their times and moments and didn't confirm things with anything more than a wait and see, but Mark himself is already on record saying that the spell lists are in some way based on the essences, but he's being coy on the exact method on how this is the case, and whether or not our "Frankenstein list" is right.

Your comments on it being related to components was... difficult to read and honestly doesn't make much sense. We have Verbal Components, Somatic components, Material components(of which, some can use blood, some can use icons of their god), and eventually maybe thought and emotion casting.
None of these line up with the essences referred to as Material (these share the same name, but the idea shared is different, the component merely refers to some sort of physical focus, while the essences that were mentioned refers to the world material, the one around us), Mental (Not thought or emotion), Vital(Life itself), and Spiritual.

Might some of these be an incorrect throwaway? Maybe, who knows? Only the devs do, not you or I.


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Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber
Tangent101 wrote:

As someone else put it, could you eliminate Spell Resistance? It's a throwback to AD&D days with the Illithid and the Drow, two monsters who were fairly rare and truly horrifying because the powerful wizard's spells would just splash off of them without effect. But now you have Critical Success and Critical Failures for saving throws.

If you want to emulate the effect of Spell Resistance, use Saves. Have one easily-found line with the saves stating "This enemy cannot suffer a Critical Failure for Saving Throws." All at once you have foes who are resistant to spells but you don't have an added hoop to go through and try to remember if this monster has spell resistance or not.

You could even go one further and state that a Resistant Creature shifts their Save up one category (Critical Failures become Failures, Failures become Successes, and Successes become Critical Successes) but that also risks getting confusing. Eliminating critical failures alone for Resistant creatures would emulate the "this thing shrugs off magic" without making them overpowered.

This is an interesting idea and makes a lot of sense to me. In that respect, you could see Spell Resistance as a form of Evasion (treat any Reflex success as a critical success), but applicable to all magic and expanded to also treat a failure as a success.

John Lynch 106 wrote:

SR no spells are consciously chosen by the designers as to whether or not they allow you to bypass SR. That advantage is baked into them and for balanced material* it means the spell does less damage than an SR yes spell.

By keeping SR as a distinction between spells you encourage players affected by SR to do research into what they'll face and then allocate their spells accordingly. You require spontaneous casters to pick spells that are typically suboptimal for situations where they become the optimal spell. How much resources casters assign to overcoming SR is a tactical choice for them.

You want to keep the complexity of PF1 in order to maintain the depth in tactical choices which many caster players have greatly enjoyed with PF1. I know I did. This is a goal I support, but I think it can be supported with a system such as Tangent101 is suggesting.

To do so, today's "SR: no" spells would have to be redesigned in such a way that:
- They have a significant effect even when the save is a success.
- The effect on a failure isn't much bigger (or even the exact same), so that balance in maintained with spells that have a big effect on a failed save but become ineffective against SR (ie ineffective when saving throw failure is treated as a success).
- To take an example, the Acid Arrow spell in PF1 allows no save and no SR. Under this system, it would allow a save, doing no damage on a critical success and full damage otherwise. This marginally reduces its value against monsters that don't have SR, and (if the math is done right) it does the same thing as today against monsters with SR redesigned per Tangent101's suggestion.

On the side of monsters, SR is then replaced with being immune to anything except:
- The class of spells described above
- Or a critical failure. This is a substitute for the ability of higher level casters to beat SR: The more powerful casters will cast spells with a higher DC instead of rolling a CL check, and the end result will be the same. They'll have to use their higher-level slots to do so, but I view that as a good thing.

I see a great deal of benefits in such a system. To begin with, it reduces resolution to a single die roll for all monsters. I always felt the SR system was clunky because it requires two rolls to resolve one situation. Getting rid of it would accelerate the game, always a worthy goal. One less thing for players to learn, one less thing for the DM to remember. And the depth of tactics can be preserved, if spells are designed carefully.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Regarding "Frankenstein" spell lists - older players have dealt with this before, in the form of AD&D 2e cleric spell spheres. For those who are unfamiliar, in AD&D2e the cleric and druid spell lists were combined, and then broken apart into 16 or so "spheres" somewhat analogous to modern domains. Then your class gave you access to minor(1st-3rd level) or major (all spells) versions of those spheres. This meant you had to "assemble" your spell list for each level. I actually wrote a spreadsheet to do it for me. It was actually a bit of a pain but every religion could have its own unique spell list which lent great flavor to clerics.

Nowadays such a thing would be much easier, just create a web tool with tick boxes and boom you're done.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber

When 2nd Edition was announced I was curious about getting the Playtest and experimenting with it and see how it all worked out. Now that I've seen a peek at how magic is going to work I can't wait to get my hands on the rules and start planning out characters. Sadly though I likely won't remake my Ratfolk Wizard. Need to to keep things fresh in the group... Ratfolk Alchemist!


JRutterbush wrote:

WE KNOW HOW THE SPELL LISTS WILL WORK NOW.

Ahem. We might know how the spell lists will work now. It won't be class-based, there will be four lists: Material, Mental, Spiritual, and Vital. Wizards get access to the Material and Mental lists. Clerics get Spiritual and Vital. Sorcerers probably get Material and Vital, and Bards get Spiritual and Mental. If this is true, I really love it, it makes the way spellcasters work much more interesting, modular, and open to tinkering.

I think they hinted at the Oracle bring absorbed into the Sorcerer in the Alchemist blog post where they said that the Oracle was as popular as the Alchemist, but more on that in another blog post. So either the Sorcerer or Cleric will have absorbed the Oracle as a an Archetype.

So I think that the Oracle will get access to the same spell lists as the cleric, but modified by their bloodlines or domains acting as mysteries.

Liberty's Edge

Interesting... Very Interesting....


MusicAddict wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Notice how Mark didn't say that spell lists weren't divided up based on the essences. I'm gonna take that as a 100% confirmation that I'm correct in my prediction. There's no other possible interpretation of that.
The spell lists are certainly based on the essences in some way. Is it exactly what you guys predicted in this thread? Well, now's not the time to confirm or unconfirm; we have more tricks up our sleeves to share with you in future blogs. I predict if you liked the essences bit in this blog, you will really like a few more of the things to come!

@khadgar567

They've CERTAINLY had their times and moments and didn't confirm things with anything more than a wait and see, but Mark himself is already on record saying that the spell lists are in some way based on the essences, but he's being coy on the exact method on how this is the case, and whether or not our "Frankenstein list" is right.

Your comments on it being related to components was... difficult to read and honestly doesn't make much sense. We have Verbal Components, Somatic components, Material components(of which, some can use blood, some can use icons of their god), and eventually maybe thought and emotion casting.
None of these line up with the essences referred to as Material (these share the same name, but the idea shared is different, the component merely refers to some sort of physical focus, while the essences that were mentioned refers to the world material, the one around us), Mental (Not thought or emotion), Vital(Life itself), and Spiritual.

Might some of these be an incorrect throwaway? Maybe, who knows? Only the devs do, not you or I.

they base on what component you used instead of you get x number of lists to play with most spells are in multiple lists. the point is verbal and material is always the arcanes casting . spirutal and vocal mostly used by divine casters, mental is psychic casting. so we have each component use one action while casting the spell. that way it suits the same paragim in the first edition. it currently doesnt make sense but here is the point this is how 1e used utilized casting. unless i forget to see in one of the old posts they dont say "Okay guys we scrap current magic system and build it ground up."


Gyor wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:

WE KNOW HOW THE SPELL LISTS WILL WORK NOW.

Ahem. We might know how the spell lists will work now. It won't be class-based, there will be four lists: Material, Mental, Spiritual, and Vital. Wizards get access to the Material and Mental lists. Clerics get Spiritual and Vital. Sorcerers probably get Material and Vital, and Bards get Spiritual and Mental. If this is true, I really love it, it makes the way spellcasters work much more interesting, modular, and open to tinkering.

I think they hinted at the Oracle bring absorbed into the Sorcerer in the Alchemist blog post where they said that the Oracle was as popular as the Alchemist, but more on that in another blog post. So either the Sorcerer or Cleric will have absorbed the Oracle as a an Archetype.

So I think that the Oracle will get access to the same spell lists as the cleric, but modified by their bloodlines or domains acting as mysteries.

Nah, it was confirmed that the Oracle isn’t in the playtest. It’s just something that will have interesting implications for the class in the future, I guess.


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From what I understand the comments about the oracle indicated that it was the 2nd most popular non-core class in PF1, and the "more on that" was to tease the release of the statistics that Paizo has collected.

Since the Oracle was really very popular, and among the most flavorful classes, I strongly doubt it will be made an archetype of a different class, it will just be in another book along with the Witch and the Magus and whatever else.


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khadgar567 wrote:
they base on what component you used instead of you get x number of lists to play with most spells are in multiple lists. the point is verbal and material is always the arcanes casting . spirutal and vocal mostly used by divine casters, mental is psychic casting. so we have each component use one action while casting the spell. that way it suits the same paragim in the first edition. it currently doesnt make sense but here is the point this is how 1e used utilized casting. unless i forget to see in one of the old posts they dont say "Okay guys we scrap current magic system and build it ground up."

Umm, no, this is incorrect. They've said there are 3 components, verbal, material, and somatic. Certain classes can replace these with other things (divine focus, performance), but this has literally nothing to do with the 4 essences they described.

Whether or not they're using the 4 essences for spell lists remains to be seen, but they've given literally no indication that the components themselves are tied to any classes, or any particular essences. In fact, they stated most spells would be verbal and somatic components explicitly.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Since the Oracle was really very popular, and among the most flavorful classes, I strongly doubt it will be made an archetype of a different class, it will just be in another book along with the Witch and the Magus and whatever else.

Since I don't want to use prepared casting, I hope spontaneous casters will be available really fast, preferably in the core.


Khudzlin wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Since the Oracle was really very popular, and among the most flavorful classes, I strongly doubt it will be made an archetype of a different class, it will just be in another book along with the Witch and the Magus and whatever else.
Since I don't want to use prepared casting, I hope spontaneous casters will be available really fast, preferably in the core.

The impression I got is that, if anything, it will be an archetype of sorcerer that substitutes out spell lists. Sorcerers already derive their powers from odd sources, are spontaneous, and use Charisma as their casting stat, so it wouldn't be a reach to have Oracle operate based on that.


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Mark Seifter wrote:


It's different from heightened and fits best in another blog.

As to individual spells, we'll reveal more over time. Since you mentioned pattern spells, they no longer have a Hit Dice limit or the like, which is an extremely good thing for all the patterns except color spray (seriously, I never prepared them in PF1 but they are cool in PF2), since most of them had limits that were quite low. But of course we said in the other blog that we were going to cut down on save or lose (especially at 1st level spells), so color spray serves more of a debuff role most of the time. On the other hand, it does so handsomely for a 1st-level spell, so your foes in the cone should expect to at least suffer a round of miss chances unless they are very lucky. Grease is pretty much grease, though in total it's probably going to be easier to trip most targets with it and harder to take away a weapon-using PC/NPC's only weapon and essentially auto-win.

Grease is the word.


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tivadar27 wrote:
The impression I got is that, if anything, it will be an archetype of sorcerer that substitutes out spell lists. Sorcerers already derive their powers from odd sources, are spontaneous, and use Charisma as their casting stat, so it wouldn't be a reach to have Oracle operate based on that.

Further comments by developers have lead me to believe that there is no chance the Oracle was going to be an archetype of a different class. If nothing else, the "Curse" mechanic is too big (and essential to the class) to be part of an archetype, and Mark Seifter has alluded to certain decisions having really nifty implications for the Oracle when they get around to printing it.

Honestly, I wouldn't expect any of the "base" classes to end up as archetypes of different classes, it's the "hybrid" classes that might get frozen out, though. But like we know the Witch is going to be its own class, when that could have been a Wizard archetype as easily as the Oracle could have been an archetype of something else.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I wonder whether the Curse mechanic might be pulled out and made into a handicapping option for characters of all classes? It might be designed to open up access to additional feats that are not necessarily tied to the Oracle class.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Honestly, I wouldn't expect any of the "base" classes to end up as archetypes of different classes, it's the "hybrid" classes that might get frozen out, though.

I'm actually totally fine with this. I think Advanced Class Guide was largely a response to them having done a poor job with many of the multiclassing options. If you want a character that's part Barbarian and part Bard, you should make a Barbarian/Bard (Bardbarian) and not a Skald...

EDIT: I could also see them opening up Feat options that required multiple classes as well, just no need to devote an entirely new class to it... They could even print these in an AMG (Advanced Multiclassing Guide)!


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David knott 242 wrote:

I wonder whether the Curse mechanic might be pulled out and made into a handicapping option for characters of all classes? It might be designed to open up access to additional feats that are not necessarily tied to the Oracle class.

If you want an "Oracle-esque" curse, which is part and parcel to your specialness, that's something we could probably do with a robust VMC system (hopefully better supported this time) once the Oracle comes out.

I'm hesitant to let people take disadvantages in exchange for piecemeal mathematical advantages without it being part of a whole class framework though, since I know where that leads with some players.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Semi-wild theory: with material components for spells apparently being generally rare, Wizards will have a baked in class ability to add a Material component to any given spell to make it more powerful in some fashion.


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David knott 242 wrote:

I wonder whether the Curse mechanic might be pulled out and made into a handicapping option for characters of all classes? It might be designed to open up access to additional feats that are not necessarily tied to the Oracle class.

I doubt that would be the case as most of the 'Curses' barely hindered the character at all even at low level...


Revan wrote:
Semi-wild theory: with material components for spells apparently being generally rare, Wizards will have a baked in class ability to add a Material component to any given spell to make it more powerful in some fashion.

I could see a class or general feat that does that: much like power components, though most likely much more simplified.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Revan wrote:
Semi-wild theory: with material components for spells apparently being generally rare, Wizards will have a baked in class ability to add a Material component to any given spell to make it more powerful in some fashion.

It's an idea, but it misses the point and description given of the essences, which seem to refer to the effect and nature of a spell rather than some off the wall idea like this or the kooky idea khadgar is proposing. And what would mental mean for wizards if this was the case and how does it (apparently to mark) affect the spell list?

I'm up for any idea, and I've been bouncing a few around in my head.

Maybe there's only 4 spell lists, but there's actually a few more essences than the 4 mentioned, and the spell lists mentioned were the literal bard, druid, cleric, sorc/wiz spell lists, but otherwise still frankenstein lists.

Edit: it would be a neat thing to have nonetheless, even if it's unrelated to essences


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I love what they are doing with Cantrips. I also really like they are giving Ritual Magic some love, I love magic that takes a long time to cast that is rich with description.

I think now that Pathfinder is moving into being its own thing, I think they should expand in the background and fluff what Magic "is", how it works and where it came from. Unless I'm mistaken, they never really went in depth about the metaphysics of magic in Golarion.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


There are definitely those at Paizo who agree with this, since everything else that is done by level is on that 0-20+ scale. On the other hand, certain deeply entrenched terminology being changed has a risk of dramatically changing the feel of the game
You mean like races to ancestries? ;)

Better to separate that with a clear terminology that the current situation with Racial traits and Race traits. :-)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
Why in the world would this discourage play?

Because it's yet another way in which the game is being changed to "dumb down" and make it less similar to 3.5e and more similar to 4e.

CraziFuzzy wrote:
Why should something have to be 'gotten accustomed to' if it could instead be made to follow other similar rules in the same system?

Because continuity in the rule set is important to some people. Not having the world behave in perfectly formed squares matters in terms of believability and helps introduce tactical decisions. Finally even D&D 5e, which has simplified 3.5e dramatically, sees value in keeping the typical 3.5e/PF templates for spells (even if they don't provide any pictures to assist). If the level of simplification is what you want you could easily houserule it. But based on how people behaved on this exact issue back in 2008/2009 I would expect many PF fans to want the 3.5e style area of effects and not some significantly simplified 4e-style ones.

Now I could be wrong. Maybe all the old diehards have already given up on PF 2e. Maybe they finally got over the issue in the intervening 9 years. Or maybe there's enough D&D 4e fans/new players that they'll drown out the diehards. But this exact issue was covered ad nauseum and this is what I at least heard as a significant issue from people who went on to play PF.

Personally I did found the passage from straight geometrical forms to templates that had to adapt to a square grid a bit annoying. Reducing them further so that the starting point is a square and not a corner mean dumbing down again. not a game breaker, but still something less than satisfying.

CraziFuzzy wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:
Why in the world would this discourage play?

Because it's yet another way in which the game is being changed to "dumb down" and make it less similar to 3.5e and more similar to 4e.

CraziFuzzy wrote:
Why should something have to be 'gotten accustomed to' if it could instead be made to follow other similar rules in the same system?
Because continuity in the rule set is important to some people. Not having the world behave in perfectly formed squares matters in terms of believability and helps introduce tactical decisions.

The current templates operate in squares as well. I don't know what you are thinking I'm describing - I'm not saying that every area of effect should be a giant square - I'm talking about where the area of effects originate from. Currently, they originate from a vertex on the grid - I am suggesting that they originate from a square on the grid, which will allow the same distance measurement that is used for range and movement to be used to determine the effected area.

This doesn't dumb down anything - and doesn't give up any sort of verisimilitude - it just make the different ways things are measured on the battle mat the done the same way.

Unless I get you wrong, it will mean that you would have 4 square from which your spell can stat: front back, left, right instead of 8 directions: ahead, behind, left, right and the 4 45° direction starting at the corners.

As I see it, it is akin of moving a tank gun from a turret mount to a hull mount. Limiting.

AFAIK even moving 5' cost an action, so having to take an action to get your spell where you want it seem to penalize the spellcasters as it seem that we will have plenty of spells that will benefit from using 3 actions to cast them.

Naturally if you only use ranged spells that become way less important, but if you play caster that use "in your face" spells, it matter.
If we look PF1 spell roosters it will be evoker that will suffer more from that. As if they where powerful.

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