Sorcerer Class Preview

Monday, July 9, 2018

Their magical blood gives sorcerers their spellcasting power, and it's been a major part of the class since Pathfinder's inception. So for the Pathfinder Playtest, we're going all in: your character's bloodline determines her spell list!

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Bloodlines

You pick your bloodline at 1st level, which tells you which spell list you use: arcane, divine, primal, or occult (the last of the four magical traditions, which we'll cover in a future blog!). It also defines some of the spells you know. For instance, the demonic bloodline gives you the divine spell list and the fear spell at 1st level, in addition to two other spells that you choose yourself from the divine list. In some cases, the special spells from your bloodline come from other lists. For example, the demonic bloodline gives you slow when you learn 3rd-level spells (for the sin of sloth) and disintegrate when you learn 6th-level spells. There are a couple more. How about we look at that whole bloodline entry and you can make your own guesses about which ones are from other lists?

Demonic

The demons of the Abyss debase all they touch, and one of your ancestors fell victim to their corruption. You're burdened with dark thoughts and the desire for destruction. This urge can be overcome if you choose to fight it, but the beauty of sin calls to you always.

Spell List divine (Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook 200)

Signature Skills Athletics, Deception, Intimidation, Religion

Granted Spells Cantrip: detect magic; 1st: fear; 2nd: resist energy; 3rd: slow; 4th: divine wrath; 5th: banishment; 6th: disintegrate; 7th: divine decree; 8th: power word stun; 9th: meteor swarm

Bloodline Powers Initial Power: glutton's jaws; Advanced Power: swamp of sloth (2); Greater Power: abyssal wrath (2)

You can see that the bloodline also determines your most important skills and gives you some bloodline powers. We've talked about powers before (see the cleric preview. These are special spells you can get only from specific classes, and they are cast using Spell Points rather than spell slots. They also automatically heighten to the highest level of spell you can cast. You start out with a number of Spell Points per day equal to your Charisma modifier, and if you have the demonic bloodline, you gain the glutton's jaws power, which you can cast at a cost of 1 Spell Point.

Glutton's Jaws Power 1

Necromancy

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

Duration 1 minute


Your mouth transforms into a shadowy maw bristling with pointed teeth. These jaws grant you an unarmed attack you're trained in, dealing 1d6 piercing damage. They have the finesse trait.

Attacks with your jaws have the following enhancement.

Enhancement If the target was living, gain 1d4 temporary HP.

Heightened (2nd) Your jaws gain the effects of a +1 weapon potency rune (a +1 item bonus to attack rolls and an additional damage die) and the temporary Hit Points increase to 2d4.

Heightened (4th) The jaws gain the effects of a +2 weapon potency rune and the temporary Hit Points increase to 3d4.

Heightened (6th) The jaws gain the effects of a +3 weapon potency rune and the temporary Hit Points increase to 4d4.

Heightened (8th) The jaws gain the effects of a +4 weapon potency rune and the temporary Hit Points increase to 5d4.

At higher levels, you'll get to make a swampy morass that makes creatures slothful or call forth the dangers of an Abyssal realm.

The number of bloodlines in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook is fairly small, since we want to see how people react to the new style of the class with just a subset of the bloodlines. In the book, you'll see the following bloodlines: aberrant (occult), angelic (divine), demonic (divine), draconic (arcane), fey (primal) and imperial (arcane). That last one comes from the magical traditions of ancient mortals and matches our iconic sorcerer, Seoni!

Spontaneous Spellcasting

This is our first preview of a spontaneous spellcaster! The sorcerer gets the same number of spells per day as a wizard, but she has a number of spells she knows permanently instead of preparing them from a spellbook every day. The spells she knows make up her spell repertoire. That means she can choose which spell to cast each time she casts a spell instead of needing to plan ahead. It's worth noting that the sorcerer now learns spells at the same character level as the wizard: 2nd-level spells at 3rd level, 3rd-level spells at 5th level, and so on.

As you level up, you learn new spells and can replace some of the spells you previously had with new ones. This lets you get rid of some spells that were great options when they were at your highest level but maybe aren't worth casting anymore.

The sorcerer's spellcasting is based on her inborn magical potency, so she uses her Charisma for her spell rolls and spell DCs. Because Charisma also adds to Resonance Points, the sorcerer can make up for some of her limited spell choice compared to the wizard's spellbook by supplementing her spell selection with more scrolls, staves, and wands.

Sorcerer Features

Many of the sorcerer's class features were explained under bloodline, as most of them tie back to that choice. The sorcerer gains her advanced power at 6th level and her greater bloodline power at 10th level. As with other spellcasters, her proficiency with spell rolls and spell DCs increases to expert at 12th level, master at 16th, and legendary at 19th.

The sorcerer gets one other class feature, called spontaneous heightening. As mentioned before, some spells in your lower-level spell slots get less useful as you go up in level. However, there are some spells you might want to cast with any of your slots. The spontaneous heightening feature lets you choose two spells at the start of each day that you can cast as their heightened versions using any of your spell slots. That means that if you want your angelic sorcerer to be able to cast 1st-level heal, 2nd-level heal, and 3rd-level heal, you can choose your 1st-level heal spell with spontaneous heightening rather than needing to learn the spell in your spell repertoire at all three spell levels. Then you can cast a 1st-level heal to top off someone's Hit Points when they're almost at full and still cast a 3rd-level heal in the middle of a fight to really save someone from the brink!

Sorcerer Feats

The sorcerer's feats primarily deal with her spells. Sorcerers get metamagic feats, many of which they share with other casters. One we haven't shown off yet is Overwhelming Spell at 8th level, which lets a spell that deals acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage ignore the first 10 points of a target's resistance.

If you want to make a blaster, you can pick up Dangerous Sorcery, which increases the damage of your spells by their spell level (with the exception of cantrips). You can also take Blood Magic at 8th level, which uses the magical potential in your blood to grant temporary Hit Points to you or a target of your spell if you're bleeding when you cast it.

One of my favorite cycles of feats are the evolution feats, which reinforce the themes of each magical tradition. Arcane Evolution makes your arcane sorcerer trained in a skill and lets you add a spell from a scroll to your spell repertoire for the day when you prepare each morning. Divine Evolution lets you channel energy like a cleric. Occult Evolution gives you a skill and lets you pick a spell with the mental trait to add to your repertoire each day. Finally, Primal Evolution lets you cast summon nature's ally as an innate spell once per day at the highest spell level you can cast.

How about a 20th-level feat? Sorcerers can take a feat to gain 10th-level spells of their tradition, but you might want to look at other options, like Wellspring Spell. This metamagic feat lets you cast a 5th-level or lower spell once per minute without expending the spell slot!

What sort of predictions do you have for the bloodlines? What spells will they get? Does this new scheme make you more or less likely to play a sorcerer? Do you want to try out a gnome fey sorcerer? How about an angelic sorcerer with the heal spell? Let us know in the comments, and start preparing for when you get the book!

Logan Bonner
Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Seoni Sorcerers Wayne Reynolds
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Usmo wrote:
Except, there are spells that must be heightened in order to be useful. I'm not sure where you get the idea that spontaneous casters in PF1 didn't take Dispel Magic, when it was one of the must-have spells. That alone, will eat up half of your spontaneous heightening.

Dispel Magic was certainly one of the best 3rd level spells, but not all spontaneous casters had room to take in the first place. Also, if it needs to be heightened to be useful as you assert here, then it is probably useless to the wizard who will either need to prepare it in his highest level slot every day, which runs the risk of having it be overkill, or in a lower slot that risks not being strong enough.

Quote:
In regards to blasting spells, sure, you can switch out your now-obsolete lower level spells for higher level ones upon level up. But, that requires that you be able to exchange a fairly significant number of spells whenever you gain a new level, as opposed to 1e's example where you can hardly change your spells at all once they've been selected.

We already know retraining will be easier and part of core in general for spell choice, and I'd be shocked if you can't swap a spell every level instead of every other level this time.

Quote:
In regards to the must have spells from PF1, a lot of them don't need heightening to do because heightening was not really a thing in PF1. However, if haste did not scale, then its duration would simply be too limited to matter(it is 1/round a level only, after all, and if non-scaling means just one round, it's not worth much). So, yes, even those must-haves needed scaling to be useful.

Setting aside that what KingofAnything pointed out about PF2 spells just having fixed durations long enough for their intended purpose, by the time you got haste in PF1 it lasted 5 rounds, 6 if you were a sorcerer. That's like twice as long as most combats last. Even if it never got longer than that it would still be one of the best spells in the game.

Stuff like Summon Monster 1 would be an example of something that actually cares about rounds per level scaling, or mage armor, but those are irrelevant given KingofAnything's point.


Darkorin wrote:


About Oracles: I know that a few people are a big fan of the class, and I am as well, but it seems like they are being planned for later and that makes me afraid. If divine bloodline sorcerers and oracles share the same spell list, we can also expect oracles to have bonus spell and some powers on par with the bloodline bonus spells and powers. Which means that oracles will always beat divine sorcerer...

Why is it problematic?!?

An Oracle ABSOLUTELY SHOULD beat a divine sorceror in no uncertain fashion!! If it didnt then why play an oracle in the first place if its power level is misplaced?

Remember the divine option is just that.... an option.... for the sorceror.


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Lockewood wrote:

… So now onto the Bloodline Powers and what does Lackluster mean?

Okay, so lackluster might have been the wrong word but to show you what I mean lets take a look at Glutton's Jaws...
Glutton's Jaws basically makes it so I don't need a backup weapon cause in an emergency I can summon up a pretty good enchanted weapon if enemies get too close for comfort.
So what's the problem?
Well, if I wanted to play some kind of martial Sorcerer this wouldn't really help me because:
1. I could make an even better weapon.
2. I can't enhance this cause it's temporary.
3. If I wanted to use shape-shifting spells to maul my enemy like a druid, then this still doesn't help unless I can apply it to that forms natural attacks....

I've been thinking about how a sorcerer could best use Glutton's Jaws, it seems to me it depends on the magic item mighty handwraps work, which where mentioned in the Trinkets and Treasure blog. I would imagine that they add magic runes to your character's unarmed attacks. Since Glutton's Jaws already increases it's enhancement bonus, it would be a way to add other effects to the attack, like add a frost rune to add cold damage.


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Darkorin wrote:
He can still craft scrolls of more spells than the sorcerer, who's limited in crafting scrolls of spells he knows, which is a lot more limited. The sorcerer versatility here depends on what spell scrolls he manages to find/buy, which is limited by nature.

We don't actually know how many spells the wizard gets as he levels up. He does get a lot more 1st level spells at level 1, but that's not really huge deal for long term scroll crafting IMO. If he gets spells from leveling at the same rate as PF1 (2 each level) he's actually about even for higher level spells known, and will in fact probably be behind at odd levels.

In order to pull ahead, the wizards needs to find or buy access to more spells, very similar to the sorcerer.

The one advantage the wizard might seem to have at first glance is heightening spells, assuming that's even needed for scribing scrolls of higher level. But even that's a non issue most of the time, as crafting usually happens during downtime and then the sorcerer can just alter her spontaneous heightening to accommodate whatever she wants to make that day. Both can scribe a 5th level fireball with a day's notice.

Captain Morgan wrote:

So... you're saying that it's ok because you expect all DMs to be generous on that side... which might be true in your gaming groups but not in all, which makes in those other case the sorcerer less appealing since the class depends more on the DM's generosity.

I'm saying the game runs on certain WBL assumptions, which has always been a fundamental part of Pathfinder. In addition, the wizard is ALSO loot dependent for gaining access to more spells.

Captain Morgan wrote:


And that's wrong again... The wizard should have access to a lot more scrolls since he's able to create them from his spellbook, while the sorcerer can only create scrolls from his limited spell list. Thus, they will NEVER have access to the same bag full of scrolls.

Again, this is based off an assumption that the wizard can get more free spells known than we have any reason to think he gets. Plus, both of them can just buy or find scrolls anyway and probably will do so frequently.

The biggest advantage the wizard has for scroll access is an Intelligence edge for Craft checks, assuming they take all the necessary feats. If anything, that makes the sorcerer and wizard work better side by side than they used to. Wizard is a little better at making scrolls while the sorcerer is better at actually utilizing them.


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Darkorin wrote:


And that's wrong again... The wizard should have access to a lot more scrolls since he's able to create them from his spellbook, while the sorcerer can only create scrolls from his limited spell list. Thus, they will NEVER have access to the same bag full of scrolls.

This is only meaningful if the Sorcerer can't buy scrolls. There is no longer a 1/2 off benefit for crafting, if you want to save money you have to spend extra crafting time, which gets you similar benefits to Lore (formerly profession) checks to earn money.

Wizard: Spends time to make a scroll, spends normal cost of scroll to do so.

Sorcerer: Spends no time to buy a scroll, spends the same cost as the Wizard crafting it.

Wizards are better off buying items, including scrolls, unless they want something custom or unavailable. Or unless the crafting income from extra time has a slight advantage over basic Lore income, but then you're investing a lot of time to save that slight amount of money.


JRutterbush wrote:
The only time the Sorcerer's versatility outshines the Wizard's is when there is a time-sensitive issue that must be solved within 24 hours that requires more than 2 or 3 uses of a given spell that is common enough for the Sorcerer to use a limited spell known slot on. This does not come up nearly enough to balance out the Wizard's versatility in most other situations.

Do you even random encounter or engage in combat without knowing the enemy a day ahead of time, bro.


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doc roc wrote:
Darkorin wrote:


About Oracles: I know that a few people are a big fan of the class, and I am as well, but it seems like they are being planned for later and that makes me afraid. If divine bloodline sorcerers and oracles share the same spell list, we can also expect oracles to have bonus spell and some powers on par with the bloodline bonus spells and powers. Which means that oracles will always beat divine sorcerer...

Why is it problematic?!?

An Oracle ABSOLUTELY SHOULD beat a divine sorceror in no uncertain fashion!! If it didnt then why play an oracle in the first place if its power level is misplaced?

Remember the divine option is just that.... an option.... for the sorceror.

I mean, the playtest already has a full occult spontaneous caster (presumably the bard) so we can see how Abberant Sorcerers are differentiated from the Bard for a clue for how Angelic Sorcerers will be differentiated from the Oracle.

I figure the blog gives a pretty big clue above in how "[a] sorcerer's feats deal primarily with her spells". One imagines a bard's feats will not be entirely about spellcasting- there are bardic performance, bardic knowledge, and fighty things to do with bard feats unrelated to spellcasting.

I mean it's nonsense to suggest "aberrant sorcerers will just replace bards" even if they cast from the same list in the same way with the same attribute- because thematically bards and sorcerers are very different. I figure "you have special blood" and "you were cursed by the gods" as fonts of power are equally thematically distinct that there will be no problem carving out mechanical space for each.

Grand Lodge

Beabs wrote:

I know it may be hard to believe, Paizo isn't trying to ruin your fun, or mess up your idea of the different classes. It's a playtest. A year long playtest at that. There will likely be a lot of changes to the final product, that's why we're here.

Personally for the Spontaneous Heightening I think the issue most people have is that it doesn't feel spontaneous. My thought is, just keep it exactly the same, but choose the spell spontaneously when you cast it, and then that spell is locked in as one of your heightened spells for the day. That is probably what i'll use when I'm GMing, and if it feels broken, i'll change it.

This is a nice idea as well. It limits the "analytics paralyses" to two a day.


Xenocrat wrote:
Darkorin wrote:


And that's wrong again... The wizard should have access to a lot more scrolls since he's able to create them from his spellbook, while the sorcerer can only create scrolls from his limited spell list. Thus, they will NEVER have access to the same bag full of scrolls.

This is only meaningful if the Sorcerer can't buy scrolls. There is no longer a 1/2 off benefit for crafting, if you want to save money you have to spend extra crafting time, which gets you similar benefits to Lore (formerly profession) checks to earn money.

Wizard: Spends time to make a scroll, spends normal cost of scroll to do so.

Sorcerer: Spends no time to buy a scroll, spends the same cost as the Wizard crafting it.

Wizards are better off buying items, including scrolls, unless they want something custom or unavailable. Or unless the crafting income from extra time has a slight advantage over basic Lore income, but then you're investing a lot of time to save that slight amount of money.

You're mostly correct about this. 2 minor things. One as I pointed out above, the wizard most likely only has more high level spells known if he finds or buys access to those spells. It may or may not still be cheaper to rent a spellbook to copy than buy a scroll, but that doesn't change that they have are treasure dependent here.

The second thing is that I believe crafting CAN reduce costs, but only by taking significantly longer than the time it takes to craft the item in the first place. In the specific scenario of pumping out as many scrolls as possible, this strikes me as very unlikely, and the wizard is probably best served by purchasing the scrolls anyway.


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Oh, one other thing to consider when we talk about wizards vs sorcerers: spell rarity is now a thing. We know very little about it, but we know it exists. That almost certainly curtails wizards knowing "all the spells." It may in fact be easier for a spontaneous caster to learn a rare spell than a wizard, given sorcerers are just supposed to be getting the spell from essentially nowhere anyhow.


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

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

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

In other words: Blasters have to have at least two spells if they want to actually be effective. Probably more like 3 or more so you can get around stuff like immunity or even just high resistances (yes they're more rare now, but not unheard of. Still can't burn a fire elemental for instance.) And you'll probably want more than just your up-to-4 highest level slots for these, which means either you're burning multiple Known per level on just blasting spells, or you're using both of your Heightening slots on them. In the latter case, this in turn means you don't have those heightening slots for stuff like: Healing, if you manage to finagle your way into having both healing and blasting, which frankly I will be looking to do; Dispelling, always useful; a non-combat spell for those issues that can't be solved by blowing it up or disintegrating it; or other etc backup niches, because having multiple tools is traditionally a caster's thing, and having the full belt available when you need it is supposed to be a spontaneous caster's thing especially.

And this is completely disregarding the other spells that you'll generally want a cast of at the highest level you can manage, like Mage Armor, Fly, Haste, and the like. Sure Fly and Haste may be more limited than "all 9 levels" but that's still two levels where it's your highest level spell, two levels where it's your second-highest, and two where it's your third-highest, meaning a good 6 levels (30% of the game) where that's going to be one of your most important slots.

To be honest, more and more this is making me wish we had the idea someone proposed in the other thread of making "blasting" spells be spells that cast with and modified cantrips. Like Fireball being a spell that you can use when you cast a damaging spell (either using the same components to trigger both spells, or maybe adding a component onto the cantrip like metamagic does) which, say, converted the cantrip's damage to fire and made it function as an AoE with a size that scales according to the spell level of the fireball. Or Disintegrate makes the cantrip's damage force and increases damage by a percentage based on the Disintegrate's spell level. Maybe restrict which cantrips they work with (like AoE can only work with an already AoE cantrip like Acid Splash, which may get turned into a proper AoE rather than the 1-damage splash it is right now in this circumstance, while single-target blasts can only work with an already single-target cantrip like Ray of Frost). But in that way even your lower level blasting spells can still have use at higher level because they're based on the Cantrip's damage scaling, but still have their own scaling that still makes higher level ones better. Would make it less "must spend Known/heightening for the top few spells to stay relevant" that most plagues Blasting while still maintaining a flow of getting better with higher slots.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, the playtest already has a full occult spontaneous caster (presumably the bard)

Not to be a nitpicker, but bards aren't full spellcasters in PF1E. I'm not entirely sure why they'd be full in PF2E. They will be our first look at the 6th level spell caster in the new edition.

Also, for what it's worth, I don't believe that an Oracle will hands-down beat a divine casting Sorcerer. I think they'll both be good at their own things and be equivalent in power. If not, then they didn't design the classes properly.

Sovereign Court

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doc roc wrote:


Why is it problematic?!?

An Oracle ABSOLUTELY SHOULD beat a divine sorceror in no uncertain fashion!! If it didnt then why play an oracle in the first place if its power level is misplaced?

Remember the divine option is just that.... an option.... for the sorceror.

What you seem to forget is that the divine sorcerer is a character creation Option. Once you made that choice, you're locked in for the rest of that character's life.

That means that a Divine Sorcerer and an Oracle should be different. Oracle should outshine the sorcerer on some point (probably at martial fighting, since they will benefit from armor/weapon prof) while the sorcerer should be better at spellcasting (since it seems to be the only thing the class can do).

What you're saying is that an Oracle should always be better than another divine spellcasting class, which is wrong. Both needs to be different and interesting. If an oracle is a spellcaster with a focus on martial fighting (armor and weapon pref), while sorcerer is better at spellcasting but more easy to kill, that is fine.

An oracle as good as a divine sorcerer at divine spellcasting would make the divine sorcerer a bad choice in ALL cases, since the oracle would be better at everything.

What I'm saying is... watch-out because we don't want the sorcerer OR the oracle to outshine the other as a divine spontaneous spellcaster and make the other choice non-relevant.

Edit: Added spontaneous to the Divine spellcaster bit


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Gregg Reece wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, the playtest already has a full occult spontaneous caster (presumably the bard)
Not to be a nitpicker, but bards aren't full spellcasters in PF1E. I'm not entirely sure why they'd be full in PF2E. They will be our first look at the 6th level spell caster in the new edition.

I mentioned this earlier, but they wouldn't put an entire spell list in the CRB that is only used for one subvariant of one class (Sorcerer). They'd just bump aberrant sorcerer to another book in that case. So SOMEONE else gets that list. Unless they are waiting to spring a surprise Witch on us as a 13th class making it in after all, then that other class pretty much has to be bard.


Gregg Reece wrote:
Also, for what it's worth, I don't believe that an Oracle will hands-down beat a divine casting Sorcerer. I think they'll both be good at their own things and be equivalent in power. If not, then they didn't design the classes properly.

Well, we'll see if Bards are full or partial spellcasters come the bard preview. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if they became full spellcasters. In an early preview Mark (I believe) said "some classes can cast a lot more" and since the Alchemist, Paladin, and Ranger have had spell slots removed completely we're running out of options for "some classes."

But the difference between an Oracle and a Sorcerer in how they play should be easy to figure out. A sorcerer has more spells, and more aptitude with spells, but an Oracle is proficient in armor (perhaps shields) and more weapons. While the angelic sorcerer is limited to certain spells granted by the spell list and the bloodline, certain mysteries should grant access to spells not on the divine list (e.g. "Flames" granting "fireball"). Considering a lot of revelations had nothing to do with spellcasting, it shouldn't be hard to make a lot of oracle feats that aren't about spells and better spelling.


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It feels odd to consider that the Bard won't have arcane spells anymore, although it has been a long time since they were just minstrels that peeked over the magic-user's shoulder to learn magic. But logic does dictate there be at least one primarily occult caster (and only one in six sorcerers are Occult Sorcerers so I doubt they count).

Perhaps other classes will be able to choose alternate spell lists besides Sorcerers? I could see an occult variant of cleric or wizard. Bard would normally also be a good candidate for the option sorcerers get (being the 'jack of all trades"), alternatively they might get to draw from all lists for their spell repertoire.

It is also possible (but unlikely) that the occult tradition will be minimally supported in the playtest/rulebook, and that Occult Sorcerers will initially be the only users of such magic. Future-proofing is something I'm loathe to discourage even if the result is awkward at first.

Sovereign Court

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Gregg Reece wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, the playtest already has a full occult spontaneous caster (presumably the bard)
Not to be a nitpicker, but bards aren't full spellcasters in PF1E. I'm not entirely sure why they'd be full in PF2E.

Spells scale by spell level rather than caster level in PF2 and there aren't class-specific spell lists. A 6-level caster in PF2 would not have access to the most powerful magic.

Bards could have some unrevealed mechanic to make six spell levels work, but chances are better than not for full progression.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Well, we'll see if Bards are full or partial spellcasters come the bard preview.

Not sure what you mean by "partial" spellcaster in context of PF2, in this edition, so far, all there is are casters (cleric, druid, sorcerer, wizard), and spell point-users (paladin, and potentially rangers) so far, no fragmentary spell-level access classes.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Gregg Reece wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, the playtest already has a full occult spontaneous caster (presumably the bard)
Not to be a nitpicker, but bards aren't full spellcasters in PF1E. I'm not entirely sure why they'd be full in PF2E.

Spells scale by spell level rather than caster level in PF2 and there aren't class-specific spell lists. A 6-level caster in PF2 would not have access to the most powerful magic.

Bards could have some unrevealed mechanic to make six spell levels work, but chances are better than not for full progression.

A couple others brought this up as well. It's a fair point.

We'll see. You're likely right.


Captain Morgan wrote:


The second thing is that I believe crafting CAN reduce costs, but only by taking significantly longer than the time it takes to craft the item in the first place. In the specific scenario of pumping out as many scrolls as possible, this strikes me as very unlikely, and the wizard is probably best served by purchasing the scrolls anyway.

Yes, I said that you can save money if you spend extra crafting time. But the Sorcerer can earn similar money by making Lore checks (including for the initial crafting time where the Wizard isn't making/saving extra money), so it's not really a benefit. Unless crafting has a meaningful income advantage over Lore and you have a significant amount of time the only good reason to craft is because the items you want aren't available for purchase.


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Gregg Reece wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, the playtest already has a full occult spontaneous caster (presumably the bard)

Not to be a nitpicker, but bards aren't full spellcasters in PF1E. I'm not entirely sure why they'd be full in PF2E. They will be our first look at the 6th level spell caster in the new edition.

Also, for what it's worth, I don't believe that an Oracle will hands-down beat a divine casting Sorcerer. I think they'll both be good at their own things and be equivalent in power. If not, then they didn't design the classes properly.

Maybe it's just me but a "6 level caster" feels like it goes partially against the standardisation shown so far. Given that pallies got spell points and full casters get spells+spell points, I wouldn't be surprised if the concept of a 6-level caster got shifted to "full spell progression, no spell points"

Personally I suspect they'll just be full casters though. Can't prove it either way yet though until the Bard Blog (next Monday?).

Anyways, one of the things I meant to point out in an earlier comment was that the Evolution feats look suspiciously like "develop prodigious yet untrained talent in a particular form of casting". Arcane (not!wizards) can get temp spells from scrolls, Divine (not!cleric) can channel energy, Primal (not!druids) can summon wild beasties, and Occult nabs you a skill and a mind influencing spell. Given that it seems to read like a nerfed greatest hits of various classes, I think it sounds like Bards are Occult casters with improved skills. Personally I suspect full casters who can use spell points for special songs. Maybe instead of spontaneous heightening they get extra mental spells for the day?


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Also, picking up from something someone mentioned earlier, I do quite like that sorcs have reason to prize Certain Magic Enhancing Items as befits shortcut-taking scoundrels prodigies of their stature while wizards might be looking for spells as loot more often. E.g. "For you, Wizard... this pile of forbidden lore! For you, Sorcerer... this really magic stick. Use it wisely."

Like, big old horde in some lich's store room. The wizard starts geeking out while the sorc is looking for the Thing with the Biggest Bang.


Xenocrat wrote:
Benjamin_Mahir wrote:


With all that said, I just want to take a moment to address those in this thread who see the Bard as being the full Occult caster of the Playtest.

The Bard... isn't a caster at it's heart.

As how it should be, this argument has merit. As a prediction for how the Bard will be, I fear it is doomed. We know there's a spontaneous caster yet to be revealed, so it's the bard. And with the heightening framework and lack of custom early access spell lists by class, the old partial caster framework appears to be dead outside of limited spell point powers. So the Bard is probably going to be a full caster.

Wait, where was it said that there are 2 classes that cast spontaneously? I might have missed that...


I also suspect bards will become full-casters (Yay!), but that they will have a wider range of Performances available as powers than the bloodline powers a sorcerer gets instead. Plus I'm sure they will get lots of narrative power (pun intended), and be able to function as either minstrels or mesmerists, investigators, and lore-masters.


tivadar27 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Benjamin_Mahir wrote:


With all that said, I just want to take a moment to address those in this thread who see the Bard as being the full Occult caster of the Playtest.

The Bard... isn't a caster at it's heart.

As how it should be, this argument has merit. As a prediction for how the Bard will be, I fear it is doomed. We know there's a spontaneous caster yet to be revealed, so it's the bard. And with the heightening framework and lack of custom early access spell lists by class, the old partial caster framework appears to be dead outside of limited spell point powers. So the Bard is probably going to be a full caster.
Wait, where was it said that there are 2 classes that cast spontaneously? I might have missed that...

Can't find the comment rn but one of the devs (Mark or Logan) mentioned that there was another spontaneous caster in the playtest, in an earlier comment here.

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Captain Morgan wrote:

We don't actually know how many spells the wizard gets as he levels up. He does get a lot more 1st level spells at level 1, but that's not really huge deal for long term scroll crafting IMO. If he gets spells from leveling at the same rate as PF1 (2 each level) he's actually about even for higher level spells known, and will in fact probably be behind at odd levels.

Versatility is almost always dependent on low usage spell from lower levels.

Captain Morgan wrote:


In order to pull ahead, the wizards needs to find or buy access to more spells, very similar to the sorcerer.

The Wizard IS supposed to have access to more spells than the sorcerer, otherwise the sorcerer would ALWAYS outshine the wizard. The difference is that if a wizard learns a spell once, he can always create a scroll of that spell afterward, while the sorcerer will be able to use the scroll once and then he will have to find another scroll of the same spell at the same level in order to cast it again.

Captain Morgan wrote:


I'm saying the game runs on certain WBL assumptions, which has always been a fundamental part of Pathfinder. In addition, the wizard is ALSO loot dependent for gaining access to more spells.

That is exactly my point. WBL assumptions goes that a wizard and a sorcerer should have the same wealth. Which means that the argument about the sorcerer having more versatility because of resonance pool is wrong.

Captain Morgan wrote:


Plus, both of them can just buy or find scrolls anyway and probably will do so frequently.

Yes but if the wizard can learn his spell the pathfinder 1e way, that means that his access to scrolls is a lot greater than the sorcerer's access to scrolls.


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Well, we've know Dirge of Doom is a cantrip for a long time, with the Composition, Emotion, and Enchantment tags. My guess is that Bard's going to get all the occult spells with the Composition tag, but not sure what else they'll get. Probably those spells with Composition are the new bardic performances.

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Late to this, but you had me at...

Quote:
You pick your bloodline at 1st level, which tells you which spell list you use: arcane, divine, primal, or occult

This is awesome on its own. Love the flavor of it and makes bloodlines really interesting.

AND I hope it means we won't have a gizillion more spellcaster classes in splats. I am definitely in the "fewer classes the better," camp, provided existing classes are flexible enough to be able to build most fantasy adventurer builds.


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Darkorin wrote:

Captain Morgan wrote:


I'm saying the game runs on certain WBL assumptions, which has always been a fundamental part of Pathfinder. In addition, the wizard is ALSO loot dependent for gaining access to more spells.

That is exactly my point. WBL assumptions goes that a wizard and a sorcerer should have the same wealth. Which means that the argument about the sorcerer having more versatility because of resonance pool is wrong.

There are plenty of magic items that have unlimited uses as long as you can spend resonance (examples given are the cloak that does invisibility, and swords that shoot firebolts). The bigger resonance pool gives more use of those items per day given the same WBL.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Could we maybe do a prepared analogue of the Sorcerer, who can pick between any of the four lists but has to prepare their spells? I could see the witch filling that role, as different patrons would teach traditions of magic.

I figure you could do 2 classes for each spell list - one prepared and one spontaneous, then 2 classes which can choose a spell list - one prepared and one spontaneous.

Something like:
Divine: Cleric (P), Oracle (S)
Occult: Occultist (P), Bard (S)
Arcane: Wizard (P), Psychic (S)
Primal: Druid (P), Shaman (S)
Pick one: Witch (P), Sorcerer (S)

I figure that would be nice and symmetrical. Occultist and Shaman would switch types but it fits thematically- Occultists need to prepare all their implements and Shamans can call on whichever spirits are most relevant to the task at hand.

This seems like a good possibility to me. I originally thought that Witch and Bard could be the two occult casters since they both shared the same "arcane but with some healing" thing in their PF1 spell lists, but I think I prefer the idea of Witches gaining different traditions from their patron (such as primal casting from a fey patron, divine casting from a devil patron, or arcane casting from a demon patron [& yes, I think Devil/Divine & Demon/Arcane would be more thematic/appropriate than having Demons being related to diving casting])

Personally, I am really hoping that having just 4 spell lists will help some of the issues of particular classes (*cough* Witch) seemingly get forgotten when new spells are added or otherwise having odd omissions. For example, Witches had Mask Dweomer instead of Magic Aura, and then never got a greater version when Greater Magic Aura / Greater Detect Magic came out. Or how the witch spell list lacked Undetectable Alignment and Nondetection when they're the class that stereotypically would have the greatest need of such magic.

Cuup wrote:

So I guess Detect Magic is a spell still? I was kind of hoping it would turn into some sort of action that any creature with a Caster Level could inherently do. It's always felt like a bit of a spell tax to take it, because obviously I want to Detect Magic, but I can't think of any time I've ever played as or with a spellcaster that hasn't taken Detect Magic. It's almost like Fighters needing to use their 1st-level bonus feat to gain Martial Weapon Proficiency - I guess you could play the game without doing that, but you're missing out on a core function of the class by not.

Detect Magic always felt like the "Perception" of spells - not just in the literal similarities, but in that it's probably the single-most used spell in the game. It's certainly the most important 0-level spell you could take. Meanwhile, Perception was removed as a skill because of this, but Detect Magic is still a spell?

Funnily enough, the effects Detect Magic are basically "Magical Perception." I actually houseruled in my games that anyone capable of manipulating magic enough to cast spells could use detect magic as a free spell-like ability. (After all, how can you manipulate magic without the ability to sense it?) The change was greatly received in my group, and I'd personally love to see PF2 do the same. Especially considering that I have never seen a spellcaster who doesn't pick Detect Magic as their first cantrip if they have the ability to do so. Only the 4th level casters who lack cantrips (Paladin, Ranger, etc) are ever without it, and that just makes them feel even less magical as they can't do the basic caster thing.

Gorignak227 wrote:

And I would like to see them push the envelope further for class powers

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

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

I cannot state how much I agree with this. Class powers are something I feel should be defining features of a build, rather than just something maybe useful on the side.

For example, in PF1 an Abyssal Bloodrager felt unique and special once it hit 4th level and could enlarge for free as part of its bloodrage. By comparison, I rarely ever see anyone refer to a specialty wizard by their specialty school - because they honestly don't feel much different from any other wizard.


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Finally reached the bottom of this. I'm cautiously optimistic. The parts that bother me bother most everyone else too, so I'll not belabor the points on spontaneous heightening and the flavor/mechanical drawbacks of it. I will say that a Spell Mastery feat that someone mentioned, that allowed you to designate a single spell as able to be heightened without eating into your 2/day limit seems reasonable. I can also see the reverse: designate one spell as undercastable (able to retrain it to a new spell when you gain a new level). Possibly make a second feat that allowed you to do this with all spells that aren't learned at your highest level. That way you can buy into that complexity, but it isn't the default.

Similarly, I wish Wellspring was available at lower levels. Not a LOT lower level, but around 12th or so would work for me.

The bloodlines designating your spell list is an interesting idea, but I can't wait to see variations of it. Like a black dragon bloodline that had the same powers and skills as the demonic bloodline, but also gave the arcane spell list. Or an Ur-Priest of Aroden that copied the Imperial bloodline except that it accessed the divine spell list.

Edit: I was surprised to see summon nature's ally as the primal evolution. I'd have figured they'd just use wildshape.


Darkorin wrote:


Captain Morgan wrote:


Plus, both of them can just buy or find scrolls anyway and probably will do so frequently.
Yes but if the wizard can learn his spell the pathfinder 1e way, that means that his access to scrolls is a lot greater than the sorcerer's access to scrolls.

It takes 4 days to craft same level items (so max spell level scrolls), with some unknown number of lesser time for lower level items. There's no indication in the crafting section of the downtime blog that you can craft as part of an adventuring day (it's downtime, after all), so the capacity to craft scrolls as part of a campaign is likely to be pretty limited. While you're crafting half a dozen scrolls, the sorcerer might be retraining two of his spells known. And buying half a dozen scrolls.

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Xenocrat wrote:


There are plenty of magic items that have unlimited uses as long as you can spend resonance (examples given are the cloak that does invisibility, and swords that shoot firebolts). The bigger resonance pool gives more use of those items per day given the same WBL.

Yes and my point is still valid. The blog says that the versatility of the resonance pool is by supplementing the sorcerer spell selection with more scrolls, staves, and wands. Which is false.

What will happen is that the sorcerer will have 1-3 more usage of a magic item, not more magic item.

If we look at the Staff in the previous blog entry, the sorcerer probably don't have any advantage to the wizard using it, since the limiting factors of the staff isn't resonance point, but the item spell points or your spell slots, which is the same for wizard and sorcerers, and the increased resonance pool won't benefit the sorcerer while using staves for example.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Sorry DMW to hijack your discussion with magnuskn, but I think something to consider is that although PF2 Sorcerers have overall a little more spells known, PF1 Sorcerers have the advantage of automatic spell progression, and no and I don't think 2 Spontaneous Heightening is good enough compensation for that.

That's not super relevant though. Nobody in PF2 has that, so it's not a meaningful basis for comparison. Spells Known still is because they're comparing themselves to classes with the same number known as PF1 (ie: as many as they can afford, for a Wizard)...but automatic progression? No longer a relevant thing between casters.

It is, I suppose, relevant as compared to martial characters, but I consider the gap between casters and martials closing to be an unambiguous good.

What is the meaning of "automatic spell progression"? Because I don't get what edduardo is trying to say, while you seem to get it.

If it is the effect of increasing your level on PF1 spells, like some post seems to imply, that is something that applied both to sorcerer and wizards, so I don't see what relevance it has, as both have lost it.


Darkorin wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:


There are plenty of magic items that have unlimited uses as long as you can spend resonance (examples given are the cloak that does invisibility, and swords that shoot firebolts). The bigger resonance pool gives more use of those items per day given the same WBL.

Yes and my point is still valid. The blog says that the versatility of the resonance pool is by supplementing the sorcerer spell selection with more scrolls, staves, and wands. Which is false.

What will happen is that the sorcerer will have 1-3 more usage of a magic item, not more magic item.

If we look at the Staff in the previous blog entry, the sorcerer probably don't have any advantage to the wizard using it, since the limiting factors of the staff isn't resonance point, but the item spell points or your spell slots, which is the same for wizard and sorcerers, and the increased resonance pool won't benefit the sorcerer while using staves for example.

WBL for consumables is a gray area. Most guidelines are that a certain percentage of your WBL should be invested at any particular time in consumables. When you spend them, you should get more WBL to replace them. If you follow this paradigm, the sorcerer who can expend more wand charges and scrolls per day actually gets to use more wands and scrolls for the same WBL.

Edit: This applies more for potions and scrolls, actually, as those give diverse capabilities for a substantial investment, unlike a wand.


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I think one of the ideas behind resonance applying to scrolls/potions and other consumables is so we can price them low enough to be enticing without having to worry about someone carrying 10,000 scrolls into the dungeon (as the player would realize that's a foolish purchase because of the resonance cap.)

So if that's true the sorcerer might get more scrolls since the impediment to using them is no longer monetary.

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Diego Rossi wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Sorry DMW to hijack your discussion with magnuskn, but I think something to consider is that although PF2 Sorcerers have overall a little more spells known, PF1 Sorcerers have the advantage of automatic spell progression, and no and I don't think 2 Spontaneous Heightening is good enough compensation for that.

That's not super relevant though. Nobody in PF2 has that, so it's not a meaningful basis for comparison. Spells Known still is because they're comparing themselves to classes with the same number known as PF1 (ie: as many as they can afford, for a Wizard)...but automatic progression? No longer a relevant thing between casters.

It is, I suppose, relevant as compared to martial characters, but I consider the gap between casters and martials closing to be an unambiguous good.

What is the meaning of "automatic spell progression"? Because I don't get what edduardo is trying to say, while you seem to get it.

It seems that edduardco was referring to caster level scaling on spells. In PF1, the sorcerer's fireball gets more dice of damage as she levels up without spending higher spell slots.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think one of the ideas behind resonance applying to scrolls/potions and other consumables is so we can price them low enough to be enticing without having to worry about someone carrying 10,000 scrolls into the dungeon (as the player would realize that's a foolish purchase because of the resonance cap.)

Except we've already seen the potion prices and know that just isn't what they did; though it is true they could have with scrolls specifically. Paizo insists on keeping the vestigial 3.X "adventurer's economy" where everything is priced based on the principle of using up an 'appropriate ratio' of the adventurer's total wealth for that level; which is assumed to increase astronomically strictly based on level for... reasons?

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edduardco wrote:
Sorry DMW to hijack your discussion with magnuskn, but I think something to consider is that although PF2 Sorcerers have overall a little more spells known, PF1 Sorcerers have the advantage of automatic spell progression, and no and I don't think 2 Spontaneous Heightening is good enough compensation for that.

That is not all that PF2 sorcerers have going for them. While their damage may not increase automatically, their spell DCs do, keeping lower level spells relevant in a different yet similar way to caster level scaling.


It seems that in PF2....if you are going for a spontaneous pure divine caster then the Sorceror is going to be the go to.

The Oracle will be a 9 level caster but have a slightly more gish feel to it.... possibly a smattering of a divine magus??

The cleric will be the default prepared divine caster, but will require a bit of feat investment or a class archetype to go 'balls to the wall' pure divine caster?

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Darius Alazario wrote:

So.. one thing that is still incredibly unclear to me is what options a sorcerer has when picking new spells at a new level.

I get the spontaneous heightening. That is clear. But say I just reached level 3 and have unlocked my 2nd level spells. Can I CHOOSE to learn Summon Monster as a level 2 spell making this a permanent choice and blocking off availability of other level 2 spells..

They've specifically said you can do this, yes. It's probably a bad idea with Summon Monster, but learning Invisibility at 2nd, and then again at 4th to get the equivalent of Greater Invisibility seems very solid.

In my experience, sorcerers generally did learn greater invisibility and then forget invisibility as soon as possible. Now they can do that at the same time.

If Summon monster spell slot X work like the old summon monster spell and allow you to call more low level summons, I don't see a motive to select it as your heightened spell or have multiple versions. You only take the highest level version and forget the others, then, if needed, you call multiple exemplars of the lover level creature.

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Xenocrat wrote:


WBL for consumables is a gray area. Most guidelines are that a certain percentage of your WBL should be invested at any particular time in consumables. When you spend them, you should get more WBL to replace them.

Well... it seems like Adventure Paths and Pathfinder Society do not agree with that affirmation, and thus I think your interpretation might not be the official one.

Where did you see this guideline? I'd like to keep it for future reference if it's true.


Elleth wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Benjamin_Mahir wrote:


With all that said, I just want to take a moment to address those in this thread who see the Bard as being the full Occult caster of the Playtest.

The Bard... isn't a caster at it's heart.

As how it should be, this argument has merit. As a prediction for how the Bard will be, I fear it is doomed. We know there's a spontaneous caster yet to be revealed, so it's the bard. And with the heightening framework and lack of custom early access spell lists by class, the old partial caster framework appears to be dead outside of limited spell point powers. So the Bard is probably going to be a full caster.
Wait, where was it said that there are 2 classes that cast spontaneously? I might have missed that...
Can't find the comment rn but one of the devs (Mark or Logan) mentioned that there was another spontaneous caster in the playtest, in an earlier comment here.

Thanks for the reference!

I still think it highly unlikely Bards will be Occult casters. That would change the lore of the world substantially, which isn't something Paizo wants to do.

Then again, I doubt Bards will be spontaneous casters off a single list exactly like Sorcerers. If there is, in fact, another spontaneous casting class to go and its Bards, I'm guessing they'll play up the "jack of all trades, but master of none" and have Bards have access to *all* of the spell lists, but do something like consider all spells 1 Spell Level Higher.

Either way, pretty sure Occult is for things in Occult Adventures, particularly with "Aberrant" being the Bloodline... That speaks to things in the Dark Tapestry, which we already know have Psychic powers, and aren't bard-like at all...

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Spontaneous Heightening makes me worried for the other spontaneous spellcasters. Either the other spontaneous casters have to spend their extremely limited spells known on multiple versions of the same spells if they want to power them up, or the class feature is actually a feature of spontaneous spellcasting.


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I am also a tad worried for other spontaneous casters. From older scuttlebutt on "spell heightening" or "spell lineages", I thought all spontaneous casters got to choose a small number of "lineage spells" that they could cast at any level.

Maybe other classes will get their heightened spells locked in rather than "spontaneously" choosing their heightened spells each day.

On a related note: I sure hope there is a feat that lets me get an extra locked-in heightened spell each day. If I view my character as a master of summoning or a master of the healing arts, I'd like to have some kind of mechanical benefit to that rather than just limiting my character's mechanical versatility for RP reasons.

Alternately (if the previous paradigm is too powerful): perhaps a Sorceror could take a feat that permanently removes one of their two "floating" heightened spells to instead gain two "locked" heightened spells (that could only be changed by retraining the feat).


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KingOfAnything wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Sorry DMW to hijack your discussion with magnuskn, but I think something to consider is that although PF2 Sorcerers have overall a little more spells known, PF1 Sorcerers have the advantage of automatic spell progression, and no and I don't think 2 Spontaneous Heightening is good enough compensation for that.
That is not all that PF2 sorcerers have going for them. While their damage may not increase automatically, their spell DCs do, keeping lower level spells relevant in a different yet similar way to caster level scaling.

Except that only (to be fair a very big only) DC scales with level. Not range or area of effect, not duration, not number of targets, not buff modifiers, or any other variable (if there are more).


Amaranthine Witch wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Sorry DMW to hijack your discussion with magnuskn, but I think something to consider is that although PF2 Sorcerers have overall a little more spells known, PF1 Sorcerers have the advantage of automatic spell progression, and no and I don't think 2 Spontaneous Heightening is good enough compensation for that.
That is not all that PF2 sorcerers have going for them. While their damage may not increase automatically, their spell DCs do, keeping lower level spells relevant in a different yet similar way to caster level scaling.
Except that only (to be fair a very big only) DC scales with level. Not range or area of effect, not duration, not number of targets, not buff modifiers, or any other variable (if there are more).

For some spells, critical fails/success can impart effects with larger mechanical consequences or longer effects. As such, some of those improvements happen indirectly through increasing DCs.

That said, I'd say you are mostly correct. Lower level spells fall off in relevancy as the game goes on and I believe that is at the service of game balance.

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tivadar27 wrote:
Wait, where was it said that there are 2 classes that cast spontaneously? I might have missed that...

Mark has made references to Bards being solid healers if they invested 'spells known' into healing. That's pretty definitive that they are spontaneous casters, and that they have healing on their list.

The Occult thing is speculative, but seems likely.

Diego Rossi wrote:

What is the meaning of "automatic spell progression"? Because I don't get what edduardo is trying to say, while you seem to get it.

If it is the effect of increasing your level on PF1 spells, like some post seems to imply, that is something that applied both to sorcerer and wizards, so I don't see what relevance it has, as both have lost it.

Honestly, I was just assuming it's the same thing you hypothesize here.

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Amaranthine Witch wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Sorry DMW to hijack your discussion with magnuskn, but I think something to consider is that although PF2 Sorcerers have overall a little more spells known, PF1 Sorcerers have the advantage of automatic spell progression, and no and I don't think 2 Spontaneous Heightening is good enough compensation for that.
That is not all that PF2 sorcerers have going for them. While their damage may not increase automatically, their spell DCs do, keeping lower level spells relevant in a different yet similar way to caster level scaling.
Except that only (to be fair a very big only) DC scales with level. Not range or area of effect, not duration, not number of targets, not buff modifiers, or any other variable (if there are more).

I'm not sure if I've ever particularly cared about range scaling. Probably a few times for close range spells at first level. Duration can also be static without particularly impacting effectiveness.

I'm pretty sure modifiers and targets for buffs scale via spell level now.

With the crit system, a higher DC means a little more expected damage from those lower level blasts, and more severe effects from control spells.

Altogether, it just means that spells scale differently. Probably not as fast as PF1 powers up, but they do scale up.


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Darkorin wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:


WBL for consumables is a gray area. Most guidelines are that a certain percentage of your WBL should be invested at any particular time in consumables. When you spend them, you should get more WBL to replace them.

Well... it seems like Adventure Paths and Pathfinder Society do not agree with that affirmation, and thus I think your interpretation might not be the official one.

Where did you see this guideline? I'd like to keep it for future reference if it's true.

LOL, of course PFS doesn't agree, it's special rules for a special environment. And APs provide treasure for lazy/inexperienced GMs, but the assumption is that the GM is going to adjust as necessary. After all, they don't know what percentage of treasure the party will actually find or how many party members will divide it. You'll see this discussed by devs in the AP subforum, they have a goal to provide too much treasure for a standard four characters because they expect some to be sold (at an unknown rate) and some not to be discovered as PCs fail perception checks or skip encounters.

My source is the WBL "rules" (really guidelines) themselves.

Placing Treasure wrote:

As PCs gain levels, the amount of treasure they carry and use increases as well. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game assumes that all PCs of equivalent level have roughly equal amounts of treasure and magic items. Since the primary income for a PC derives from treasure and loot gained from adventuring, it's important to moderate the wealth and hoards you place in your adventures. To aid in placing treasure, the amount of treasure and magic items the PCs receive for their adventures is tied to the Challenge Rating of the encounters they face—the higher an encounter's CR, the more treasure it can award.

Table: Character Wealth by Level lists the amount of treasure each PC is expected to have at a specific level. Note that this table assumes a standard fantasy game. Low-fantasy games might award only half this value, while high-fantasy games might double the value. It is assumed that some of this treasure is consumed in the course of an adventure (such as potions and scrolls), and that some of the less useful items are sold for half value so more useful gear can be purchased.

Table: Character Wealth by Level can also be used to budget gear for characters starting above 1st level, such as a new character created to replace a dead one. Characters should spend no more than half their total wealth on any single item. For a balanced approach, PCs that are built after 1st level should spend no more than 25% of their wealth on weapons, 25% on armor and protective devices, 25% on other magic items, 15% on disposable items like potions, scrolls, and wands, and 10% on ordinary gear and coins. Different character types might spend their wealth differently than these percentages suggest; for example, arcane casters might spend very little on weapons but a great deal more on other magic items and disposable items.

Putting the bolded parts together, WBL assumes that some wealth is invested in consumables and that all characters should have roughly the same WBL. That implies that characters that use their consumables, even those that use them faster than other characters, should have them replenished so as not to fall behind other characters who do not spend as much WBL on consumables, or who use their consumables more slowly. Another character's passivity/conservatism or decision to invest more in permanent items at the expense of consumables is not an excuse to punish more active players.

This of course depends on GM discretion, competence, attention to detail, and time available to plan to this degree. But the intent is pretty clear.

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