Wizard Class Preview

Monday, May 21, 2018

With Paizocon getting underway in just a few days, we wanted to round out our previews by looking at the final class that you will be able to play at the show. So, without further delay, it's time to look at the wizard!

Wizard Features

If you are building a wizard, everything starts with your key ability, Intelligence. Having a high Intelligence gives you a boost to the DCs of your spells, and it gives you more skill choices at 1st level.

At 1st level, you begin play with a spellbook containing 10 cantrips and eight 1st-level spells, giving you a wide variety of spells to draw upon when you prepare your magic each morning. Starting out, you can prepare four cantrips and two 1st-level spells each day. In addition, you also select your arcane school at 1st level, which grants you one extra spell slot of each level that you can use only to prepare a spell from your chosen school. You can compare this to the cleric, who doesn't get extra spell slots, but instead gets a narrow ability to cast extra heal or harm spells. Your school also grants you a school power that you can cast using a pool of Spell Points. Take a look at the nifty power you can pick up from choosing divination as your school. (Remember, that [[A]] code you see indicates that this is an action, and it will be a snazzy icon in the final rulebook!)

DIVINER'S SIGHT

Concentrate, Divination, Fortune

Casting [[A]] Verbal Casting

Range 30 feet; Targets one willing living creature

Duration end of your next turn or until dismissed

You glimpse into the target's future. Roll a d20. When the target attempts a Perception check, saving throw, or skill check, it can use the number you rolled instead of rolling, and the spell is dismissed. Casting it again dismisses any active diviner's sight.

Even if you don't roll so great, it might still help avoid a critical failure on a vital saving throw.

You can forgo selecting an arcane school, instead choosing to be a universalist. This grants you a bonus wizard feat and extra uses of your arcane focus.

Speaking of which, all wizards gain the ability to place some of their power into a designated item called an arcane focus. You can drain the power from that focus once per day to cast any one spell that you have already cast without spending another spell slot. Universalists get to use this ability once for each level of spell that they can cast!

As a wizard goes up in level, they gain more spells that they can cast (either one extra spell of their highest level, or two of a new level) and their proficiency at spellcasting also increases. They start as trained, but rise to the rank of legendary at 19th level.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Wizard Feats

Wizards have never had too many class features to choose from to help distinguish them from one another, so when it came time to design feats for the wizard, it was a clear opportunity to add some variety to the class.

Lets start out with a few classic concepts. At 1st level, you can pick up a feat that allows you to spend your reaction to counterspell any spell someone else casts as long as you currently have that spell prepared. If that isn't to your taste, you can take a wizard feat to recruit a familiar instead. Every day, you can select a pair of abilities to give this loyal companion, some of which grant you boons as well. At high levels, your familiar can even grant you an additional spell slot, as long as it is 3 levels lower than the highest-level spell you can cast. At 8th level you can select from a series of feats that enhance the power of your arcane school, increasing your pool of Spell Points and granting you an extra spell you can cast using that pool. One of my favorites is the necromantic power called life siphon, which lets you draw some of the magic from a non-cantrip necromancy spell you cast to regain 1d8 Hit Points per level of the spell.

Not surprisingly, the wizard also has a lot of feats to choose from that modify the spells that you cast. While many of these metamagic feats will be familiar to veterans of the game, allowing you to extend the reach or widen the area of a spell, for example, others are new. Conceal Spell lets you add an action to a spell as you cast it to hide the fact that you are casting. Focus Conservation is an action you can add to any spell that you cast by draining your arcane focus, and it lets you drain your arcane focus again the next round, casting another spell as long as it is 2 levels lower than the spell you just cast. Better still, you can keep using this feat as long as you have lower-level spells to cast. For example, if you start out draining your focus to cast cone of cold (a 5th-level spell dealing a wicked 11d6 cold damage to all your enemies), you could follow it up next round with a fireball. If you use the feat again, you could drain focus again on the following round, casting any 1st-level spell you had already cast.

As a wizard rises to the highest levels of power, their feats grant them more and more options when determining how to best utilize their spells. Effortless Concentration gives you a free action at the start of each round to concentrate on a spell you have cast, freeing you up to use all 3 actions normally. Superior Focus gives you another use of your arcane focus. Quick Preparation lets you swap out spells you have already prepared in just 10 minutes. At 20th level, you can pick Spell Combination, which lets you combine two spells into one terrifying attack that you can unleash on one unfortunate foe.

Spells

One of the biggest ways you can customize your wizard is in your spell selection, so it's probably worth looking at a few signature wizard spells to see how they work. Let's start with one of the most iconic spells of them all.

MAGIC MISSILE SPELL 1

Evocation, Force

Casting [[A]] Verbal Casting or more

Range 120 feet; Targets one creature

You send a dart of force streaking toward a creature that you can see. It automatically hits and deals 1d4+1 force damage. When Casting this Spell, you can increase the casting by a Material Casting action, a Somatic Casting action, or both. For each component you add, increase the number of missiles you shoot by one. You choose the target for each missile individually.

Heightened (+2) You shoot one additional missile with each action you spend.

Magic missile shows off a couple of interesting options in the wizard's arsenal. Casting a spell can be done in a number of ways using a variable number of actions. While most of the time this is through metamagic feats, it can also come from the spell itself. Adding casting actions to magic missile gives you more missiles to throw. In addition, a wide variety of spells can be prepared using a higher-level spell slot, giving you a better effect without having to refer to an entirely different spell. (You can find out more about that in the All About Spells blog.) That means you can prepare magic missile as a 9th-level spell and spend three actions casting it for 15 missiles!

Another important aspect of picking spells for your wizard is to balance what saving throws they allow and what effects you can get depending on the results of the save. For that, let's take a look at a spell that might instantly kill a foe.

PHANTASMAL KILLER SPELL 4

Death, Emotion, Fear, Illusion, Mental

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

Range 120 feet; Targets one living creature

You create a phantasmal image of the most fearsome creature imaginable to the target. Only the spell's target can see the killer, though you can see the vague shape of the illusion as it races forth to attack. The effect of the killer is based on the outcome of the target's Will saving throw.

Success The target is frightened 1.

Critical Success The target is unaffected.

Failure The target takes 8d6 mental damage and is frightened 2.

Critical Failure The target is so afraid it might instantly die. It must attempt a Fortitude saving throw; if the target fails, it is reduced to 0 Hit Points and dies. On a successful Fortitude save, the target still takes 12d6 mental damage, is fleeing until the end of its next turn, and is frightened 4.

Heightened (+1) The damage on a failure increases by 2d6 and on a critical failure by 3d6.

This spell is perfect for removing a lower-level foe from a fight, but it has the chance of greatly hampering a higher-level foe as well. The frightened condition reduces by 1 each turn, but it applies a penalty to almost all of your checks and rolls until it does. You will find interesting choices like these throughout the arcane spell list. While most will be familiar to a Pathfinder veteran, there are a lot of new spells to explore as well, from grim tendril to chromatic wall, so your wizard will be ready for anything.

Well, that wraps up our look at the wizard. If you want to give this class (or the alchemist, cleric, fighter, paladin, or rogue) a try, make sure to stop by PaizoCon (this weekend), the UK Games Expo (early June), or Origins (mid-June), as we'll be running demos during all three conventions!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

Note: Due to PaizoCon, there will not be a Pathfinder Playtest Blog on Friday, May 25th or Monday, May 28th.

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Volkard Abendroth wrote:
So: They stripped away what few class features wizard's had and then gave them back as class feats.

This appears to be the design goal for classes now. No or fewer locked in class features in lieu of class feats you can pick or choose from.


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I'm not seeing anything about scribing spell scrolls into your spellbook. Is that hopefully still a part of the class?


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

Well, at least the wizard gets more spells per day than the cleric, one way or another.

You made the universalist just directly better than a specialist, because their bonus spell slots per day from the focus are far more flexible than the specialist slots. It comes down to the specialist only gets 1 extra spell per day over the universalist which is not as good as the universalist's huge flexibility, and the school power which is probably not going to be as good as some of the feat options. Not particularly happy with that.

The specialist can cast four different spells of each spell level, the universalist can cast four spells, but only chosen from three prepared. He's flexible in where to spend that fourth spell, but lacks the flexibility to prepare a fourth option. One option isn't obviously always better than the other.

It's unclear how good the school powers are yet. A single bonus feat vs. a multi use power (with the option to feat invest into an advanced power and increase your number of uses) isn't obviously a better bet, either.

Diviner's Sight looks a little lacking because it's a mostly nerfed version of an existing diviner power (no longer a free action, no longer works on attack rolls, but now works at 30' range on allies), but it was a very strong power to begin with.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Magic Missile should probably be Heighten 1 rather than Heighten 2. No one will cast a Magic Missile in a 9th level slot, when that works out to only being as good as a 5th level spell and nowhere comparable to higher level magic.

You are right, that 9th level spell is going to be better than a 9th level magic missile, but that is the point. It is usually not the best option, but there are circumstances where it will be.

I think we intentionally made sure that the heightened spells were not obviously better than spells of that level. They are meant to be options to help fill out your tool kit in the right scenario. We want you to make choices with your spells, not just automatically prepare the "best" one all the time.

And I would probably prep that higher level magic missile if I knew I was facing down a powerful ghost....

Magic missile is above the curve for a 1st-level spell in many ways, such as the auto-hit, especially if you spend all 3 actions. A version that scaled as rapidly as other spells that do have attack rolls and saves was something we looked at at one point, but it turned out to be problematic to the tune of "Party of wizards with magic missile makes all martials and other spellcasters obsolete against any sort of big opponent (whether it has some minions along or not)." But we kind of liked how powerful it was at 1st level. Thus, it scales more slowly than other spells. Burning hands, on the other hand, scales just as rapidly as fireball, but it achieves the goal of not being obviously better than a higher level spell like fireball because fireball has a much better area and range.


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Quote:
Starting out, you can prepare four cantrips and two 1st-level spells each day. In addition, you also select your arcane school at 1st level, which grants you one extra spell slot of each level that you can use only to prepare a spell from your chosen school.

Yay, paleovancian casting returns! </sarcasm>


So does Diviner's Sight and other School powers cost 1 Spell Point by default? I remember the cleric ones mentioned the cost more.


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On Manifestations: Has the language on manifestations been clarified to detail what they are and how they work with spellcasting, identifying, and counterspelling as a whole, compared to the ambiguity in PF1 on subjects like casting while invisible? (To whatever extent that's still applicable.)


ChibiNyan wrote:
So does Diviner's Sight and other School powers cost 1 Spell Point by default? I remember the cleric ones mentioned the cost more.

Diviner's Sight doesn't have a spell point cost listed, so I would assume it doesn't have one. Several of the Cleric domain powers also had no spell point cost.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Magic Missile should probably be Heighten 1 rather than Heighten 2. No one will cast a Magic Missile in a 9th level slot, when that works out to only being as good as a 5th level spell and nowhere comparable to higher level magic.

You are right, that 9th level spell is going to be better than a 9th level magic missile, but that is the point. It is usually not the best option, but there are circumstances where it will be.

I think we intentionally made sure that the heightened spells were not obviously better than spells of that level. They are meant to be options to help fill out your tool kit in the right scenario. We want you to make choices with your spells, not just automatically prepare the "best" one all the time.

And I would probably prep that higher level magic missile if I knew I was facing down a powerful ghost....

Isnt the problem with this, though - and in some ways the idea of Heighten Spells altogether - that the value of lower level spells are greatly reduced. You admit casting Heightened MM is "usually not the best option", but now when you are higher level using MM in its default level (1st) it is much weaker than in 1E.

Over-all I like the idea of Heightened spells but I do have a concern of it over-all resulting in cast away low level spells because they are no longer any good at their original level and not good enough to Heighten. Something I have been watching for as examples roll out.

Perhaps Heightened lower level spells with be the new staple of wands and such.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Thebazilly wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
So does Diviner's Sight and other School powers cost 1 Spell Point by default? I remember the cleric ones mentioned the cost more.
Diviner's Sight doesn't have a spell point cost listed, so I would assume it doesn't have one. Several of the Cleric domain powers also had no spell point cost.

They always have a spell point cost. It's never listed in the school/domain/etc power itself (so you won't see it in any of the example text), in case different characters interact with the spell in different ways.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Magic Missile should probably be Heighten 1 rather than Heighten 2. No one will cast a Magic Missile in a 9th level slot, when that works out to only being as good as a 5th level spell and nowhere comparable to higher level magic.

You are right, that 9th level spell is going to be better than a 9th level magic missile, but that is the point. It is usually not the best option, but there are circumstances where it will be.

I think we intentionally made sure that the heightened spells were not obviously better than spells of that level. They are meant to be options to help fill out your tool kit in the right scenario. We want you to make choices with your spells, not just automatically prepare the "best" one all the time.

I certainly wasn't expecting an upcasted 9th tier magic missile to be better than an actual 9th tier spell. But I was at least hoping for it to be comparable. Your version is still better than 5E's for sure. :) But I did hope for upcasting in PF2 to basically make a 9th (or whatever) level spell slot feel as good regardless of what was cast in it.

ChibiNyan wrote:


Not as FLexible. Arcane Bond is now a pearl of power instead of ANY spell. So they have to use the same spells over and over. Specialists can prepare wider variety.

You know, that's actually a good way to look at it. My mind read it as getting an extra prepared slot per spell level, but you're right, it's a pearl of power. That helps make it more comparable. :)

rooneg wrote:
I'm not a fan of counterspell requiring you to have the spell that you're countering prepared. That seems like a recipe for just never countering anything at all (especially when the number of spells in the game grows as it eventually will). I had been looking forward to getting a cool and flavorful reaction for the wizard, and now it seems like it's not going to be anywhere near as useful as I'd hoped :(

Well, in 3.x / PF1 it was using the same spell as well, or a thematically opposed spell like Haste vs Slow. This is still way better than how the earlier editions did it because you can do it as a reaction, instead of needing a readied action.

I would consider it an almost 100% certainty that there is a higher level counterspell feat that lets you upgrade to use any spell of the same school of that level or higher. Probably followed by a third feat to use any spell at all of that level or higher.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
rooneg wrote:

I'm not a fan of counterspell requiring you to have the spell that you're countering prepared. That seems like a recipe for just never countering anything at all (especially when the number of spells in the game grows as it eventually will). I had been looking forward to getting a cool and flavorful reaction for the wizard, and now it seems like it's not going to be anywhere near as useful as I'd hoped :(

Other than that, I like most of this. I'd still prefer arcanist style casting, but that can wait for the inevitable surveys ;-)

Well, that’s the first level counterspelling option, and it’s still incredibly good for a Wizard that does their research. Going to fight a monster with spells? You can shut them down hard with this. Fighting a Sorcerer? Find out from their enemies what spells they favor.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

You might want to reword part of the Blog.

Currently it is worded in a way suggesting the player could choose either an extra spell or going up one spell level - meaning that a 9th level Wizard could memorize either 18 or 27 spells, two for each spell level, should the Wizard choose to just go for higher level spells.

Also: seeing Cantrips level up, is casting a Cantrip as a higher level spell counted against the maximum number of higher level spells? Meaning that if I had a Frost Cantrip that does 1d3 damage that I could at 5th level cast it eight times instead of any existing memorized spells (with two at 3rd level, three at 2nd level, and three at 1st level)? (And again. All these "levels" gets confusing. Use something other than the word "level" over and over and over again please. As was suggested in the Cleric blog.)

Were Clerics and Wizards so overpowered that you had the cut the number of spells they have in half? And what about the Sorcerer? You have someone who probably will be able to "learn" two spells for each level and have one Bloodline spell, and cast them a maximum of five times for each level... meaning Sorcerer is a far better option even without the "versatility" of spell memorization... especially as being so massively limited in the spells you can learn, you're more likely to just memorize a couple specific spells over and over and over again for each level to min-max things.

I'll wait and see how bad this is. But 2nd Edition is playing the cha-cha with a step forward and a step back over and over again for details that truly rock and stuff that makes me not want to run this edition.

Edit: Does Counterspelling use up the spell you had memorized? If so, then what's the point? If not, does casting the spell mean you no longer can use it to Counterspell?

Paizo Employee Designer

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wizardmark wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Magic Missile should probably be Heighten 1 rather than Heighten 2. No one will cast a Magic Missile in a 9th level slot, when that works out to only being as good as a 5th level spell and nowhere comparable to higher level magic.

You are right, that 9th level spell is going to be better than a 9th level magic missile, but that is the point. It is usually not the best option, but there are circumstances where it will be.

I think we intentionally made sure that the heightened spells were not obviously better than spells of that level. They are meant to be options to help fill out your tool kit in the right scenario. We want you to make choices with your spells, not just automatically prepare the "best" one all the time.

And I would probably prep that higher level magic missile if I knew I was facing down a powerful ghost....

Isnt the problem with this, though - and in some ways the idea of Heighten Spells altogether - that the value of lower level spells are greatly reduced. You admit casting Heightened MM is "usually not the best option", but now when you are higher level using MM in its default level (1st) it is much weaker than in 1E.

Over-all I like the idea of Heightened spells but I do have a concern of it over-all resulting in cast away low level spells because they are no longer any good at their original level and not good enough to Heighten. Something I have been watching for as examples roll out.

Perhaps Heightened lower level spells with be the new staple of wands and such.

There's still going to be a lot of times that you want to cast a heightened spell because it's just an excellent option period, or the main way to create a particular effect, like heightening a summon spell or heightening invisibility to have it stick even if you go on the offense (like greater invisibility in PF1).

With spells that are directly comparable and fill a similar niche (such as damaging spells), you would expect that the innately higher level spell should have a slight but not overwhelming edge over the heightened lower level spell, since it takes effort to actually learn the new higher level spell (and a limited spell known for a spontaneous caster), whereas it takes no additional effort to heighten the lower level spell.

If we wanted to, we could probably weaken the initial magic missile to 1 missile for 2 actions and 2 missiles for 3 actions and then heighten it like most other damaging spells (increasing the missiles by 1, or 2 for 3 actions, for every +1 spell level increase). This alteration is actually more powerful starting at spell level 4 if you spend all 3 actions, but it has a lot of drawbacks. First off, it doesn't allow you to spend 1 action, which is a neat flexibility that the current version has that can help you drop an opponent that's just barely standing after your 2-action spell. Second, it's usually much worse for the 2-action version as well (they equalize at spell level 9). Finally, it makes magic missile a weaker spell at the actual level when you first get the spell in exchange for a boost that only starts to appear 3 spell levels of heightening down the line and only for 3 action casts.


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Quote:
At 20th level, you can pick Spell Combination, which lets you combine two spells into one terrifying attack that you can unleash on one unfortunate foe.

Quicken Spell is dead! Long live Spell Combination!


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
edduardco wrote:
Xethik wrote:
No opposed school, then? Well, I suppose we may see something like it in a feat. I hope so, at least.
You want a feat that prohibits you a school?

Well, yeah. Wizards are that good! /s

As AnimatedPaper mentioned, having some sort of above-power-curve feat that also limits you by giving you an opposition or banned school would be great, if you ask me. Maybe a Thassilonian specialist sort of feat?


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Looking over the blog and the others that have been posted it seems that we're definitely escalating the number of dice thrown, it seems. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that.

Also the continued movement of what had been class abilities into feats doesn't fill me with joy.

Still on the wait and see fence.


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Speaking of thematic similarity and opposition with counterspelling... One thing observed in PF1 is that you would have spells like Haste and Slow that opposed each other, right? But then over the course of the game, more spells came out. Spells that were extraordinarily similar to Haste and Slow, or were literally just Haste but for 1 round but you got to cast it as a swift action.

But because those spells had different names, despite doing almost the same job, they weren't subject to this thematic countering. There was never an update to the old counter lists... There was never even a line in the spell description saying "Counts as Haste for counterspelling and prerequisites." This can also be seen as an alternate side of the Summon Monster coin, where the lists were never updated even five bestiaries later.

Is this particular aspect of core vs later content being kept in mind this time?


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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I was kinda hoping that magic missile would no longer be an auto hit..

It wouldnt be magic missile then...


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I know the class blog isn't the appropriate place to talk about what makes a class worse in PF2, but this blog really does not alleviate my concerns about Wizards being universal problem solvers.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Counterspell needs a feat now. Feels like a feat tax allowing entry into presumably better ways of counterspelling later on

Familiar is a feat too. So a 1st level wizard cannot both have a familiar and counterspell as opposed to PF1

Familiar seems less good than in PF1, at least at first. No more 2 feats on legs then

Bardarok wrote:
Any chance of an arcane healing for wizards in PF2? I can see why you would make it worse than cleric healing or something like that but it always seemed odd to me that masters of arcane lore can't figure out arcane healing when the bard can.

Maybe in PF2 the Bard is no longer an Arcane caster ;-)

Paizo Employee Designer

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Tangent101 wrote:
Does Counterspelling use up the spell you had memorized? If so, then what's the point? If not, does casting the spell mean you no longer can use it to Counterspell?

The point is that you just negated most or all of the opponent's entire turn at the cost of your reaction and a spell slot. It's enormous action economy advantage that is crushingly good when you can manage it, potentially shutting down an enemy spellcaster entirely if you have the right spells, as you counter turn after turn.

Liberty's Edge

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I like it.

Conceal Spell is super welcome (and hopefully available to Sorcerers as well), the Universalist seems to actually be good, you can have a Familiar but don't have to, it's got advantages and disadvantages compared to Cleric on the casting front.

Really, just nice stuff.

I am now slightly worried that only Int Classes (Wizard and Alchemist) get bonus skills from Int, rather than that being universal, but hopefully that's just my paranoia talking.


Fuzzypaws wrote:

Speaking of thematic similarity and opposition with counterspelling... One thing observed in PF1 is that you would have spells like Haste and Slow that opposed each other, right? But then over the course of the game, more spells came out. Spells that were extraordinarily similar to Haste and Slow, or were literally just Haste but for 1 round but you got to cast it as a swift action.

But because those spells had different names, despite doing almost the same job, they weren't subject to this thematic countering. There was never an update to the old counter lists... There was never even a line in the spell description saying "Counts as Haste for counterspelling and prerequisites." This can also be seen as an alternate side of the Summon Monster coin, where the lists were never updated even five bestiaries later.

Is this particular aspect of core vs later content being kept in mind this time?

We have these nifty spell tags now, so maybe we could get a feat that does something like:

"You can now counterspell any spell with x tag, as long as the spell you use to counterspell also has the x tag."

It would probably have to be rather specific, though, instead of an entire arcane school.

Paizo Employee Designer

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The Raven Black wrote:
Familiar is a feat too. So a 1st level wizard cannot both have a familiar and counterspell as opposed to PF1

On the other hand, you can have both arcane bond and familiar on the same wizard, previously impossible to achieve. Also, there is a way to build a first level wizard who has both a familiar and counterspell if that's a particular desired skillset, but it's a very specific build that is going to lock in several choices to do so.


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So I read you can either counterspell or get a familiar. Are there more options than that? Or does every wizard start by making one of those two choices?


houser2112 wrote:
Quote:
Starting out, you can prepare four cantrips and two 1st-level spells each day. In addition, you also select your arcane school at 1st level, which grants you one extra spell slot of each level that you can use only to prepare a spell from your chosen school.
Yay, paleovancian casting returns! </sarcasm>

Not Quite -- instead it's more what I like to call the "Groovian" spellcasting that D&D 5e uses. :-0)

(So called because of this passage.)


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Okay, so, please tell me you guys have added in limiters so the Focus Conservation feat doesn't totally break the Universalist?

Obviously don't have all the text, but what is written above is that Focus Conservation allows you to only partially drain your arcane focus to cast a spell, and then you can use the rest of that energy to cast spells 2 levels lower in succession. So a 9th level arcane focus becomes a 9th, 7th, 5th, 3rd, and 1st level slot.

But what about the Universalist who has an arcane focus for every spell level? Can he turn his 9th level slot into 5 spells as I indicated above? Then turn his 8th level slot into 8th, 6th, 4th, and 2nd level slots? And so on, and so on.

Because if so... might as well just give Universalist infinite spells, because that's what it will feel like while in play. But seriously, if that's how those two abilities interact, it will make a Universalist crazy powerful, which is a nice change of pace to how they have pretty much always been the worst choice of wizard.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

I like it.

Conceal Spell is super welcome (and hopefully available to Sorcerers as well), the Universalist seems to actually be good, you can have a Familiar but don't have to, it's god advantages and disadvantages compared to Cleric on the casting front.

I think you'll actually find that the Cleric has all the god advantages when compared to the Wizard.


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Planpanther wrote:
So I read you can either counterspell or get a familiar. Are there more options than that? Or does every wizard start by making one of those two choices?

You can pick one of those two things because they both happen to be class feats that require "Wizard 1". If they end up being the only 1st level class feats available to the wizard I would be pretty shocked.

Liberty's Edge

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Xenocrat wrote:
I think you'll actually find that the Cleric has all the god advantages when compared to the Wizard.

I edited that less than 30 seconds after posting it. Your typo sniping is impressive.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Familiar is a feat too. So a 1st level wizard cannot both have a familiar and counterspell as opposed to PF1
On the other hand, you can have both arcane bond and familiar on the same wizard, previously impossible to achieve.

An arcane bond that no longer allows you to pick any spell out of your book (90% of the draw of arcane bond, not the bonus spell slot) and a familiar that apparently has fewer abilities, albeit seemingly some flexibility among those that remain.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Planpanther wrote:
So I read you can either counterspell or get a familiar. Are there more options than that? Or does every wizard start by making one of those two choices?

That is not even half the wizard class feat options for which a 1st-level wizard would meet the requirements.


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Love no most of what I’m seeing here. One thing I don’t care for is critical failure on a save against Phantamal killer forcing you to make a second save. Just feels kind of clunky to me.

Paizo Employee

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Fuzzypaws wrote:

[...]This can also be seen as an alternate side of the Summon Monster coin, where the lists were never updated even five bestiaries later.

Is this particular aspect of core vs later content being kept in mind this time?

I think that with the summon monster spells, that's more "feature" than "bug". If the summon spells get expanded alongside every bestiary that gets dropped, their power grows exponentially as you increase the combinations of abilities that you can access using the spell. Arguably, certain spells really shouldn't automatically expand with later materials, and any expansion that does happen should be very deliberate.


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Tels wrote:

Okay, so, please tell me you guys have added in limiters so the Focus Conservation feat doesn't totally break the Universalist?

Obviously don't have all the text, but what is written above is that Focus Conservation allows you to only partially drain your arcane focus to cast a spell, and then you can use the rest of that energy to cast spells 2 levels lower in succession. So a 9th level arcane focus becomes a 9th, 7th, 5th, 3rd, and 1st level slot.

But what about the Universalist who has an arcane focus for every slot? Can he turn his 9th level slot into 5 spells as I donated above? Then turn his 8th level slot into 8th, 6th, 4th, and 2nd level slots? And so on, and so on.

Because if so... might as well just give Universalist infinite spells, because that's what it will feel like while in play. But seriously, if that's how those two abilities interact, it will make a Universalist crazy powerful, which is a nice change of pace to how they have pretty much always been the worst choice of wizard.

In practice Focus Conservation isn't that great. You have three limitations: the spell has to have already been cast earlier that day, you have to cast them sequentially without skipping a round to do something else, and you have to expend extra actions. Plus you have sharply diminishing returns if you're in combat and casting free spells that are increasingly weak.

It's rare that the stars will align where you'll want to go more than two spells deep in this chain, I would think.


Oh damn, that looks like wizards can get a lot of resources for spells. Not only do they have a potential extra spellslot for spell slot rank (for specialists) and spellslot recharge from the focus, but they get an extra slot from a familiar through feats, and an extra use from your focus, and up to 5 more uses from draining the focus using the Focus Conservation feat if I am reading it correctly (since it allows you to continue using it for spells 2 slot ranks below the previous one). Not to mention the whole double cast ability at lvl 20. It looks like wizards are still going to be really strong in this edition.

Since rogue and bard are one of my favorite classes in most rpgs, I just hope skill proficiencies (legendary included) can keep up with wizard spells at high levels. Hearing that spell scrolls can make most skillchecks obsolete was one of the things that drove me away from rogue in 1e.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Oh my goodness, I’m loving all this!

- Wizard gets 4 spells/level.
- Lots of cantrips. Four is enough to get two boring cantrips (Detect Magic, Read Magic), one combat cantrip, and one fun cantrip.
- Familiars get swappable abilities! Predictably, I want “talking” as one of them. The extra low-level spell slot meshes with my playstyle, too.
- No opposition schools. “Pick the two worst schools” was a boring mini-game.
- Conceal Spell. Targets only noticing a successful save vs. Charm on a crit is a great quality of life improvement.
- Multiple options to get more low-level casting.
- No more “cast anything you know” Arcane Bond (at least for free). That always made spontaneous casters sad.


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Charlaquin wrote:
Love no most of what I’m seeing here. One thing I don’t care for is critical failure on a save against Phantamal killer forcing you to make a second save. Just feels kind of clunky to me.

Yeap, feels like save, save, and save or die in PF2.


For Phantasmal Killer, would a crit fail Will Save but successful Fort Save result in 12d6 total damage or 20d6 total damage? Also, could you critically fail or save the fortitude save.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Tels wrote:

Okay, so, please tell me you guys have added in limiters so the Focus Conservation feat doesn't totally break the Universalist?

Obviously don't have all the text, but what is written above is that Focus Conservation allows you to only partially drain your arcane focus to cast a spell, and then you can use the rest of that energy to cast spells 2 levels lower in succession. So a 9th level arcane focus becomes a 9th, 7th, 5th, 3rd, and 1st level slot.

But what about the Universalist who has an arcane focus for every spell level? Can he turn his 9th level slot into 5 spells as I indicated above? Then turn his 8th level slot into 8th, 6th, 4th, and 2nd level slots? And so on, and so on.

Because if so... might as well just give Universalist infinite spells, because that's what it will feel like while in play. But seriously, if that's how those two abilities interact, it will make a Universalist crazy powerful, which is a nice change of pace to how they have pretty much always been the worst choice of wizard.

We thought it might be broken, so we tested it extensively with a universalist at 9th level. The timing requirements on it are pretty strict, so it turned out to be much harder to use than it seemed, with a result that was awesome but balanced (remember, if you use this in combat, you almost definitely will never be able to move from your spot, and your magic is dwindling round by round to get the most out of it). It is still possible that some kind of carefully prepared 9-7-5-3-1 chain of prebuffs could allow you to gain a problematically big advantage as a generalist from double casting the 7th, triple casting the 5th, quadra casting the 3rd, and penta casting the 1st, so if you're willing to test a really high level generalist and challenge the player to break this feat, I will be grateful.


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Another question regarding Phantasmal Killer, what's this "mental" damage thing? Will their be monsters/PC options to get mental resistance?


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I liked it!
Glad to see we'll be able to choose between an specialist and an universalist. I missed the last in 5e ^^
The Focus and Familiar are well and alive. Meta-magic seems to be strong with the Wizard. Cool!

Ok, I was unsure about spells being heightened, but I'm fine by now :)


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Spells can be enhanced in various ways by paying extra actions (through components and feats). Can you stretch the casting into your next round (and the next, and the next...) in order to accumulate “enough” actions?


Mark Seifter wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
So I read you can either counterspell or get a familiar. Are there more options than that? Or does every wizard start by making one of those two choices?
That is not even half the wizard class feat options for which a 1st-level wizard would meet the requirements.

Will there be a way to upgrade your counterspell with at least having the same school? Or even opposite effect? Slow vs Haste as an example? Also is counter spelling a wizard only thing now IF you have this class feat? While counter spelling was kind of lackluster in PF1, anyone with spells could do it as a ready action I believe. While it is cool and possible to counter spell someone, it seems lack luster in that you either have to be very lucky with the matchup(same spell), or know ahead of time what to prepare. So for the most part it is random. At the very least it is a reaction now and not a prepared action which thematically feels better for counter spelling.


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Xenocrat wrote:
It's rare that the stars will align where you'll want to go more than two spells deep in this chain, I would think.

Even if that's true, its still a phenomenal amount of power. Turning your highest level slot into free castings of lower level slots in additio to still getting that highest level slot is still a great choice. At 11th level, turning a 6th level slot into a 4th, and 2nd level slots is still probably a good choice. You could turn those into some buffs or maybe a control spell of some sort.


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Charlaquin wrote:
Love no most of what I’m seeing here. One thing I don’t care for is critical failure on a save against Phantamal killer forcing you to make a second save. Just feels kind of clunky to me.

Phantamal killer always had a second saving throw vs now you only have to fail one saving throw for it to do something


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Another question regarding Phantasmal Killer, what's this "mental" damage thing? Will their be monsters/PC options to get mental resistance?

Presumably mind-affecting immunity has been replaced by mental immunity and perhaps mental resistance.


Mark Seifter wrote:
With spells that are directly comparable and fill a similar niche (such as damaging spells), you would expect that the innately higher level spell should have a slight but not overwhelming edge over the heightened lower level spell, since it takes effort to actually learn the new higher level spell (and a limited spell known for a spontaneous caster), whereas it takes no additional effort to heighten the lower level spell.

Yeah, I totally agree. Again, it was more about a concern of low level spells at their "default" becoming worthless because the focus is on scaling them as Heightened. I am only looking at a small sample size, so this is more me speaking a thought out loud than a real complaint.


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Looks solid. I'm not inherently stoked about this one as much, but I don't play many wizards. I am intrigued by what this reveals about the system as a whole, though. I think it is interesting how many of the options mentioned allow you to squeeze out more spell slots. Feels like Jason may have been reading the forums and seeing people freaking out about slots being reduced. ;) Also, worth noting that Quick Preparation provides an easy answer to people worried about not having room for niche utility options. Start with combat stuff, then swap out as needed.

Phantasmal Killer looks better. The old one had 2 failed saves to kill stuff, did nothing if the first one passed and barely anything if the second one passed. Now it requires a Critical Failure and a normal Failure to kill stuff, but in exchange it still does stuff if they pass either save. Heck, if they bomb the first save but pass the second, it does 4 times the damage, sends them fleeing, and applies a massive debuff! Suddenly I actually want to use this spell...

Diviner's Sight only takes one action, which is cool. I like the idea of casters being able to something productive in most situations with a third action. I have players often not bother using a move action because it doesn't significantly change tactics in anyway. Meanwhile, 1 round casting spells take a little too long to go off. 3 action spells or 2 action spell + 1 action spell seems cool.

4 Cantrips prepared at first level, from a list of 10! That's a lot compared to 5e.

I'm still holding out hope that elemental damage will carry debuffs more often. Phantasmal Killer is a debuff that can also do damage, so the lines do seem to be blurring...

Quote:
Edit: Does Counterspelling use up the spell you had memorized? If so, then what's the point? If not, does casting the spell mean you no longer can use it to Counterspell?

I'm curious if it uses up the spell slot as well, but it isn't hard to imagine scenarios where expending a spell slot to shut a spell down is better than casting it yourself. If you are fighting a single powerful caster, your entire party taking a fireball will have much more impact than using the fireball on said caster. Or if you wind up fighting Ice Devils, your Cone of Cold spell will be useless... Unless you expend it shutting down THEIR Cone of Cold.

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