Sorcerer Class Preview

Monday, July 9, 2018

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

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Bloodlines

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

Demonic

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

Spell List divine (Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook 200)

Signature Skills Athletics, Deception, Intimidation, Religion

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

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

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

Glutton's Jaws Power 1

Necromancy

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

Duration 1 minute


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

Attacks with your jaws have the following enhancement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spontaneous Spellcasting

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

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

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

Sorcerer Features

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

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

Sorcerer Feats

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

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

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

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

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

Logan Bonner
Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Seoni Sorcerers Wayne Reynolds
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Liberty's Edge

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Shinigami02 wrote:
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.)

This all seems substantially correct, yes. Though non-elemental damage spells can help with some of this somewhat.

Shinigami02 wrote:
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.

Maybe not both, but I'd expect at least one Heighten to get used this way by blasters, yes.

Shinigami02 wrote:
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.

Yeah, all that sounds like things you want. Of course, at most levels, you will have 4 spells known, so this may work out better than you seem to be implying.

For instance, let's take a 9th level Draconic Sorcerer and show what their spells known might be like (assuming they got the same Bloodline spells as PF1, which is unlikely, but this is an example):

1. Mage Armor, Magic Missile, Grease, Summon Monster
2. Resist Energy, Glitterdust, Mirror Image, Scorching Ray,
3. Fly, Fireball, Haste, Dispel Magic,
4. Spell Resistance, Invisibility, Dimension Door, Black Tentacles,
5. Form of the Dragon I, Cone of Cold, Telekinesis

I hope there's a better level 5 single target damage spell than Telekinesis (which is only really awesome if you carry 9 Greatswords with you) in PF2, but I'm obviously using the PF1 list modified slightly for effect.

You would then, as a blaster, probably pick either Scorching Ray or Magic Missile as Heightened (depending on mood), plus whichever of Dispel Magic or Summon Monster struck your fancy. You're Draconic Bloodline, so you probably have a relatively leveled Breath Weapon (we'll say you went Acid or Lightning to round out your elements) and melee attack available from that, which is why you might focus on some single target stuff.

I'm...honestly not sure what of your requirements that list lacks. You're not gonna want to rely on 1st level Mage Armor...but that's what Bracers of Armor are for. If it wasn't a Bloodline spell I wouldn't even have listed it.

I left off cantrips because we don't really know what they look like, but we can assume Acid Splash for a small area effect and maybe Telekinetic Projectile for a single target thump. The other two would be utility stuff.

Shinigami02 wrote:
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.

Actually, Fly seems a solid choice in some cases (it has levels every level between 1 and 5, seemingly). Haste, however, has two levels. You just buy both, or drop the 3rd level version after grabbing the 6th level one.

Shinigami02 wrote:
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.

Cantrips are already a definite part of the equation. It's quite clear that, where in PF1 you might have burned a low level spell on attack, in PF2 you'll just use a Cantrip and be solid.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
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.

These seem contradictory with what we know about essences. We assumed after the spell blog that both Clerics and Druids would have healing spells, and their spell lists (divine and primal) are the only ones that include vital essence. Occult (spiritual/mental essence) likely can heal mental/curse effects, but physical ailments/damage seems out of scope.

tivadar27 wrote:


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.

The sorcerer drawing from any spell list already changed the lore more than that.

Shadow Lodge

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Bloodline spells are also worrying. Since the sorcerer only learns the base level version, the granted spell needs to be viable at higher levels without heightening, since the sorcerer can't choose to swap it out. This seems to be as much of an issue when comparing bloodlines as the rejected auto-heightening bloodline spells.


Xenocrat wrote:
Quote:
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).
Yikes. I predicted in the blasting thread many weeks back that we'd see something like the +1/2 level to damage ability that Starfinder's Technomancers can take as a magic hack, but I never suspected it would be even weaker than that.

How is it weaker? Adding the Spell Level to damage is EXACTLY like 1/2 your caster level (rounded UP!), since Sorcerers now get new spell levels every other level, exactly like Wizards do.

Liberty's Edge

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Xenocrat wrote:
These seem contradictory with what we know about essences. We assumed after the spell blog that both Clerics and Druids would have healing spells, and their spell lists (divine and primal) are the only ones that include vital essence. Occult (spiritual/mental essence) likely can heal mental/curse effects, but physical ailments/damage seems out of scope.

I dunno, depending on how you flavor Spiritual, I could see Spiritual having some healing in it. Vital would then have the same or more, and Clerics, with both, would have lots of healing. That seems plausible and consistent.

We know that you can do Animate Dead with either Material or Spiritual (so it's an option for both Clerics and Wizards) so we know there's precedent for spells to fall under more than one Essence. Healing might be such a thing.


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@Xenocrat: I think the common failure to apprehend that straight-forward reading of WBL you describe indicates need for Paizo to better explain it's substance and application. Too often WBL is conflated with "income stream" when income stream is but one factor (alongside wealth destruction/consumption) in arriving at WBL. Of course this is guideline that pre-supposes one may not be exactly at WBL at all times, but the game is balanced around idea that you are, on the average. Clarifying the role of consumables in this is one of areas that could be specified more IMHO, and the general expectation of % of WBL occupied by consumables should be based on what is most effective.


Maveric28 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Quote:
Dangerous Sorcery increases the damage of your spells by their spell level (with the exception of cantrips).
I predicted in the blasting thread many weeks back that we'd see something like the +1/2 level to damage ability that Starfinder's Technomancers can take as a magic hack, but I never suspected it would be even weaker than that.
How is it weaker? Adding the Spell Level to damage is EXACTLY like 1/2 your caster level (rounded UP!), since Sorcerers now get new spell levels every other level, exactly like Wizards do.

They do get new spell levels every other level, but they still have the old spell levels which are majority of their spells.

Thus it's weaker because they're exactly equal for your top level spells only (including Bloodline Powers), and lower bonus for everything else.
(this approach does mesh closely with over-all P2E approach, ditching Caster Level in favor of spell power being controlled by Spell Level)
Honestly I loathe this approach of comparing different games by which is "weaker"/"stronger". "Ooh, Monopoly is stronger than RISK!"
It's like missing the entire idea of system design, and judging things the same way you would as a char-op min maxer.
Which honestly is the extent of most RPG players (incl. GM) engagement with the rules, so maybe not surprising, but still unproductive.


(sorry if someone already posted this ... TL;DR)

Looks like Primal is going to be the purview of Druids now... wild, primal, nature-related magic. I'm guessing, but it seems to me that the designers have alluded to it.

And if Occult focuses on mind-affecting magics and possibly illusions, then it seems well-suited for Bards and other enchanters, like Witches (although the words "bard" and "occult" don't seem to me like they fit well together. But that's just semantics). Although I was hoping the Bard class would be less dependent on music and more like a combo Sorcerer-Rogue class, with music being just one option for their archetype or "flavor." But I can wait to see what happens in the final product. The variety in the Sorcerer class gives me hope for the Bard as well.


TheFinish wrote:

My issue with the "option paralysis" reason is twofold:

1) Why isn't this a problem with the Wizard? A wizard knows more spells and can have more slots as well, depending on specialisation. And they can heighten their spells to any level. But they also have to choose that heightening at the start of the day. I can see a lot more option paralysis there as they hem and haw about what to prepare in which slot at the start of the day than a Sorcerer during a fight. Especially since I've seen it happen in PF1 (but with a Cleric, not a wizard).

Because a wizard doesn't prepare/choose their spells in the middle if combat for casting.

Liberty's Edge

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Xenocrat wrote:
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.

And the Sorcerer knew the enemy three levels ahead of time? We're comparing Sorcerer to Wizard here, not just looking at the Wizard on its own. In a surprise encounter like the one you're describing, the Sorcerer and Wizard are on even footing, since neither of them knew enough about the encounter in advance to prepare their spells to match it.

However, in an encounter where the enemy is known in advance, the clear advantage is to the Wizard, since the Sorcerer can't change their spells to match an upcoming encounter, even if they know it's coming.

Both the Wizard and the Sorcerer can take a set of general spells that allow them to solve the most common problems in the game. The difference is that when they know about a specific problem in advance, the Wizard can spend some time to specialize their spell selection to overcome it, while the Sorcerer can't.

So again, either the Sorcerer and Wizard are on equal footing, or the Wizard has the clear advantage.


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Serum wrote:
Bloodline spells are also worrying. Since the sorcerer only learns the base level version, the granted spell needs to be viable at higher levels without heightening, since the sorcerer can't choose to swap it out. This seems to be as much of an issue when comparing bloodlines as the rejected auto-heightening bloodline spells.

I suspect bloodline spells will be added to your spell list, allowing you to choose higher level versions as spells known or use your auto heighten on your bloodline spell to get access to the heightened versions.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
These seem contradictory with what we know about essences. We assumed after the spell blog that both Clerics and Druids would have healing spells, and their spell lists (divine and primal) are the only ones that include vital essence. Occult (spiritual/mental essence) likely can heal mental/curse effects, but physical ailments/damage seems out of scope.

I dunno, depending on how you flavor Spiritual, I could see Spiritual having some healing in it. Vital would then have the same or more, and Clerics, with both, would have lots of healing. That seems plausible and consistent.

We know that you can do Animate Dead with either Material or Spiritual (so it's an option for both Clerics and Wizards) so we know there's precedent for spells to fall under more than one Essence. Healing might be such a thing.

That's possible and maybe likely, but I'd prefer to see essences used in a more restrictive rather than permissive way to make each list more unique. Frankly, I'd like to see Arcane lose its ability to summon anything other elementals or similar neutral monsters, reserving aligned outsiders to Spiritual essence Divine and Occult casters. Ideally each list gets similar offensive, defensive, crowd control, and utility capabilities, but with a few unique strengths and weaknesses and a very different flavor in how they accomplish these things.


Maveric28 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Quote:
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).
Yikes. I predicted in the blasting thread many weeks back that we'd see something like the +1/2 level to damage ability that Starfinder's Technomancers can take as a magic hack, but I never suspected it would be even weaker than that.
How is it weaker? Adding the Spell Level to damage is EXACTLY like 1/2 your caster level (rounded UP!), since Sorcerers now get new spell levels every other level, exactly like Wizards do.

No. The Technomancer ability lets a 10th level TM add 5 points of damage to a 1st level spell. This Sorcerer ability lets a S add 5 points of damage to 5th level spell, but only 1 point of damage to a 1st level spell.


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JRutterbush wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
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.

And the Sorcerer knew the enemy three levels ahead of time? We're comparing Sorcerer to Wizard here, not just looking at the Wizard on its own. In a surprise encounter like the one you're describing, the Sorcerer and Wizard are on even footing, since neither of them knew enough about the encounter in advance to prepare their spells to match it.

However, in an encounter where the enemy is known in advance, the clear advantage is to the Wizard, since the Sorcerer can't change their spells to match an upcoming encounter, even if they know it's coming.

Both the Wizard and the Sorcerer can take a set of general spells that allow them to solve the most common problems in the game. The difference is that when they know about a specific problem in advance, the Wizard can spend some time to specialize their spell selection to overcome it, while the Sorcerer can't.

So again, either the Sorcerer and Wizard are on equal footing, or the Wizard has the clear advantage.

If a Sorcerer needs to cast a single high level offensive spell 3-4 times in a day to overcome an encounter, he can. No Wizard is going to prepare the same offensive spell 3-4 times, and if he does the Sorcerer beats him because he has other spells known that he can flexibly shift into if a Teleport ends up being more useful than Fireball [5th].

For bread and butter fights without weird (strong) resistances or immunities the Sorcerer has a flexible ability to spam a solid all around tool that the Wizard won't.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, you get your spells earlier and your access to spells earlier. But you seemingly are discounting that you lose out on total versatility with the class, especially with the new model of downcasting not being a thing and many spells having new iterative ranks which you need to get separately, for your now way more restrictive spells known slots.

Let's not forget that one fourth of your spells known now are fixed by the bloodline and the total number of bloodlines you can take are now limited by which ones even have the spell list you want to use.

And, a point you ignored, pages of spell knowledge are now also capped by resonance. In the current iteration of the sorcerer you can fill out holes in your kit with a few pages (and lots of them for level one spells and cantrips), in the new version this also will be severely limited by resonance.

All in all, so far I see that the devs have fallen back into the trap of limiting sorcerer versatility too much, probably out of fear that the class otherwise outshine the wizards or leads to action paralysis (a concern I get, having GM'ed for a player with a severe case of it), but have overshot their mark way too much. Unless there are options planned to let a Sorcerer expand his versatility significantly at the cost of feats, which I hope there are.


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tivadar27 wrote:
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...

But Occult is also for things like prognostication through harrow decks and the like, aura reading, dowsing, hypnotism, faith healing, and psychometry which are all fairly bardy in nature (and from OA.)


Deadmanwalking wrote:
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.

Yes, that is what I was referring. In PF1 spells gets more powerful with higher caster level, making some spells quite versatile, but in PF2 Sorcerers needs to spend their Spells Known for the same spell at different levels, Fireball for example only needs to be Known once in PF1 while in PF2 Sorcerers needs to know it at different levels, and having Spontaneous Heightening limited to 2 doesn't look like a good trade off.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I dunno, depending on how you flavor Spiritual, I could see Spiritual having some healing in it. Vital would then have the same or more, and Clerics, with both, would have lots of healing. That seems plausible and consistent.

To make an analogy to another system, I could see Heal being tied to Vital, while a spell like Healing Word could be Spiritual. Anyone with access to either gets an HP-restoring spell, while the Cleric gets both.

That said, I don't think they'd go in that direction. It seems more likely that Heal will just be a spell on multiple lists. Probably every list but Arcane, I'd wager. It's clearly on Divine, Mark has said that it is in Primal, and I suspect that some of those Arcane + healing spellcasters (Bards and Witches) will end up with the Occult list.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
If a Sorcerer needs to cast a single high level offensive spell 3-4 times in a day to overcome an encounter, he can.

He will never NEED to, of course, but there will be plenty of times where he does anyway for lack of better options.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
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...
But Occult is also for things like prognostication through harrow decks and the like, aura reading, dowsing, hypnotism, faith healing, and psychometry which are all fairly bardy in nature (and from OA.)

I really do quite like the flavour of a bard mixed with these things, and it might get me more interested in the class if it's the case. It would feel fairly thematically cohesive IMO. Besides, for the dark tapestry stuff? Music of Erich Zann.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
If a Sorcerer needs to cast a single high level offensive spell 3-4 times in a day to overcome an encounter, he can.
He will never NEED to, of course, but there will be plenty of times where he does anyway for lack of better options.

He doesn't need to go adventuring at all. But as long as he's doing it, I suppose he might as well kill as much of the enemy as he can before retreating and giving the survivors a chance to run off with his treasure.

Liberty's Edge

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magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, you get your spells earlier and your access to spells earlier. But you seemingly are discounting that you lose out on total versatility with the class, especially with the new model of downcasting not being a thing and many spells having new iterative ranks which you need to get separately, for your now way more restrictive spells known slots.

I don't think having 32 spells known (8 from Bloodline) instead of 35 (7 from Bloodline) at 16th level is way more restrictive, especially when the lost spells are all very low level.

As for 'iterative spells' many already existed, they just weren't called the same thing. The Summon Monster spells, or Invisibility and Greater Invisibility, for example.

The ones that didn't, I feel are covered by the Spontaneous Heighten thing.

magnuskn wrote:
Let's not forget that one fourth of your spells known now are fixed by the bloodline and the total number of bloodlines you can take are now limited by which ones even have the spell list you want to use.

1/5 or so were fixed before. This is a slight increase in percentage of fixed spells, but not enough of one that it seems like a real problem.

magnuskn wrote:
And, a point you ignored, pages of spell knowledge are now also capped by resonance. In the current iteration of the sorcerer you can fill out holes in your kit with a few pages (and lots of them for level one spells and cantrips), in the new version this also will be severely limited by resonance.

Not necessarily. Evidence suggests that Staffs serve this function in PF2, and can have multiple spells in a single Staff, and thus for a single Resonance. They'll still cost Resonance to use, but that limits endurance, not versatility and is a lesser limit for a Sorcerer than most other people.

magnuskn wrote:
All in all, so far I see that the devs have fallen back into the trap of limiting sorcerer versatility too much, probably out of fear that the class otherwise outshine the wizards or leads to action paralysis (a concern I get, having GM'ed for a player with a severe case of it), but have overshot their mark way. Unless there are options planned to let a Sorcerer expand his versatility significantly at the cost of feats, which I hope there are.

Well, there are indeed some Feats shown already to increase versatility. But I think they do fine as is. Witness the sample Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer I roughed out above. They've got plenty of versatility, and they were built as a blaster. A non-blaster could actually have significantly more.


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magnuskn wrote:

[@DMW] You lose out on total versatility with the class, especially with the new model of downcasting not being a thing...

And, a point you ignored, pages of spell knowledge are now also capped by resonance. In the current iteration of the sorcerer you can fill out holes in your kit with a few pages (and lots of them for level one spells and cantrips), in the new version this also will be severely limited by resonance.

Honestly I don't see justification for excluding Downcasting. You don't have to use it if you don't want, and there is Upcasting methods available. I don't even see it being primarily as about Downcasting your MAX spell levels, but being used on mid-level spells. I guess an obvious case is Invis/GrtInvis, and I don't see the problem with allowing Downcasting there. In all honesty, if Upcasting is to be limited, I think free Downcasting is good way to balance dynamic... There is less 'need' for Upcasting if Downcasting also exists, it makes it feel like the system works WITH you from wherever you are rather than being an impediment.

I don't think we know how Pages of Spell Knowledge work re: Resonance at this point. One idea I had was, assuming they take 1 Resonance, was double sided (or triple sided, occult geometry etc) Pages that allow multiple Spells Known for same Resonance cost. Not overly generous IMHO since you aren't necessarily even casting these spells, and you do so using own slots, so it isn't "extra magic above own class resources" like spells in a can... which is reason why I doubt they should need RP at all. Staves do, but also enable Charges and grant side bonus. Also: with Spontaneous Heighten discussion, a Heighten Rod seems obvious Sorceror item potential.

For all the talk of "Sorceror CHA advantage for Resonance", with P2E stat system, that really translates to 2 or 3 point advantage (in bonus / RP) as far as I can tell. Seems more productive to be objective about that. I don't know if Spell Points might be way control a freer approach to Upcasting (beyond limited 2 spells etc), although it could be dubious for Downcasting (since use case there is e.g. Downcasting GrtInvis to cast regular Invis x10).

Quote:
I see that the devs have fallen back into the trap of limiting sorcerer versatility... but have overshot their mark way

I imagine non-native speakers reading this "is that American?" ...Although that last line kind of works as Spanglish LOL.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

Aside from what DMW pointed out in regards to the actual number of spells known you get at different levels generally putting the PF2 sorcerer ahead, there's a couple of things you are missing here.

A) There are in fact multiple ways for the sorcerer to expand their spells known. This preview mentioned Arcane Evolution, which aside from providing a skill training turns every scroll into a page of spell knowledge that you can swap out each morning. It is also mentioned that the sorcerer can use more scrolls and such per day. And we know that staves and other items essentially give you more spells known.

2) You don't NEED to take heightened versions of spells later. You can choose to take Invisibility at 2nd and 4th, if you like, and that comes at the same cost/benefit as taking both invisibility and greater invisibility in PF1.

3) If you learn fireball at every new spell level, I question why you aren't just using it for spontaneous heightening and why you aren't instead taking spells like Fire Snake and Meteor Swarm. Or just getting some higher level scrolls of fireball so you can use Arcane Evolution to gain access to them on days you are going to fight ice giants or whatever.

4) Having higher resonance means the sorcerer can dip into a bag of scrolls and other tools more often than the wizard.

That Sorcerers do get more spells known in total is wrong, though, except when you just mean to say that having more high level spells known is always better than having lots of low level spell known. Which I disagree with, since there are many spell effects at low levels which are extremely beneficial and are not replicated at higher levels, not even to mention that you can't cast them as much if you just have a better version at higher levels. But with downcasting apparently (correct me if I'm still wrong here) having being nuked in PF2E a "Okay, we need Fly 10 times right now!" situation has just become impossible, anyway, which is another nerf to sorcerer versatility I just realized is really, really bad.

1) Good, that is what I mentioned as a possible solution (or at least band-aid) for the versatility problem.

2) Sure, also a reasonable point.

3.) Spontaneous heightening seems far too limited in the number of its applications per day to permanently put one of its two daily uses on Fireball, because you probably will always want to put the other use on Summon Monster (which is the king of the hill in terms of "I need access to that spell now" situations). Again, blasting was a only even a real thing in PF1E for sorcerers because you could play with spell levels and metamagic. Forcing you to have to get higher level versions of the main nuke (which remains Fireball, unless they introduce something better) makes it more difficult to apply metamagic and reduces the number of casts you can do per day of it as well.

4.) Yeah, no. It's only two to five times more per day and resonance for consumables remains a terrible idea which should not make it out of playtest (or resonance at all, IMO).


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Quandary wrote:
Honestly I don't see justification for excluding Downcasting. You don't have to use it if you don't want, and there is Upcasting methods available. I don't even see it being primarily as about Downcasting your MAX spell levels, but being used on mid-level spells. I guess an obvious case is Invis/GrtInvis, and I don't see the problem with allowing Downcasting there. In all honesty, if Upcasting is to be limited, I think free Downcasting is good way to balance dynamic... There is less 'need' for Upcasting if Downcasting also exists, it makes it feel like the system works WITH you from wherever you are rather than being an impediment.

Yeah, I don't get the reasoning at all why downcasting has been removed. This restricts the sorcerer even more now from his main advantage: Great versatility with a limited spell selection. You are now hard-capped to a maximum of five castings of the same spell per day, except when you already knew at the start of the day that you would need it many more times.

Quandary wrote:

I don't think we know how Pages of Spell Knowledge work re: Resonance at this point. One idea I had was, assuming they take 1 Resonance, was double sided (or triple sided, occult geometry etc) Pages that allow multiple Spells Known for same Resonance cost. This would be pricier and most viable with lower level spells, although it could be "split" levels like 5th/2nd, for example. If 2 for 1 RP is too much, perhaps just a 3 for 2 option would be OK. Also: with Spontaneous Heighten discussion, a Heighten Rod seems obvious Sorceror item potential.

For all the talk of "Sorceror CHA advantage for Resonance", with P2E stat system, that really translates to 2 or 3 point advantage (in bonus / RP) as far as I can tell. Seems more productive to be objective about that.

Let's hope that staffs or pages of spell knowledge work in a resonance-friendly way, if they keep the system.

Quandary wrote:
I imagine non-native speakers reading this "is that American?" ...Although that last line kind of works as Spanglish LOL.

Nope, editing error. Already corrected before I saw your post. :)


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

I don't think having 32 spells known (8 from Bloodline) instead of 35 (7 from Bloodline) at 16th level is way more restrictive, especially when the lost spells are all very low level.

As for 'iterative spells' many already existed, they just weren't called the same thing. The Summon Monster spells, or Invisibility and Greater Invisibility, for example.

The ones that didn't, I feel are covered by the Spontaneous Heighten thing.

I adressed that in my reply to Captain Morgan, so I'll just quote myself quickly: "There are many spell effects at low levels which are extremely beneficial and are not replicated at higher levels, not even to mention that you can't cast them as much if you just have a better version at higher levels. But with downcasting apparently (correct me if I'm still wrong here) having being nuked in PF2E a "Okay, we need Fly 10 times right now!" situation has just become impossible, anyway, which is another nerf to sorcerer versatility I just realized is really, really bad."

Deadmanwalking wrote:
1/5 or so were fixed before. This is a slight increase in percentage of fixed spells, but not enough of one that it seems like a real problem.

Have you ever played a Sorcerer? It's a problem. Especially with a vastly expanded list of fixed damage spells and other similarly affected spells like Dispel Magic.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Not necessarily. Evidence suggests that Staffs serve this function in PF2, and can have multiple spells in a single Staff, and thus for a single Resonance. They'll still cost Resonance to use, but that limits endurance, not versatility and is a lesser limit for a Sorcerer than most other people.

Yeah, okay. I'm at this point ready to fully advocate for throwing resonance out the window and forget the system ever existed. :-/ All it seems to do is stop players from having fun.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Well, there are indeed some Feats shown already to increase versatility. But I think they do fine as is. Witness the sample Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer I roughed out above. They've got plenty of versatility, and they were built as a blaster. A non-blaster could actually have significantly more.

Again, I'm not sure if you ever played a sorcerer. Expanding your versatility to be able to cover the bases expected of an arcane full caster is one of the biggest goals you normally have as a player of that class. What I see currently is the devs cutting around that paradigm in multiple ways, by resonance, lower number of spells known, the removal of downcasting and an expanded list of spells you need to get to be effective in your role. What you are saying "This is fine", where I see you sitting in a house on fire.

Shadow Lodge

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Okay, so I love bloodline spell lists. That's great.

I do not like that they are now on par with wizards in spell slots, but worse at actual spellcasting. I doubt their proficiency is a match for wizards too, so another strike against them.

Rest in peace, spontaneous casting, you will be missed.


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I'm not sure if its been mentioned yet (too many pages of comments to go through) but I would like the idea of a sorcerer being able to downcast their spells all day, and can up cast spells but that costs Resonance to do. The downcasting makes a thematic sense and lets a sorcerer with innate powers who knows Fireball 3 to also be able to do Fireball 1, etc. It then also follows thematic of the sorcerer actively using their CHA (RP) to forcibly upscale a spell they know, spontaneously. It preserves the spontaneous aspect to the class, limits how often the class can do it, isn't "balanced" around items and WBL that a GM may screw up or not accurately provide and instead keeps the balancing internal to the class abilities. and gives a better feel to how the class is designed. IMO.

tl;dr - Downcast spontaneously all day, upcast spontaneously but costs RP each time you do it.


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^ I think Spell Points are better match to Upcasting than Resonance, given Resonance governs your utilization of EXTERNAL magical items, while Upcasting is a matter of your own [class] magical power. I think that would also establisher broader usage for Spell Points than just spamming the same 3 Bloodline Powers.

With Spell Point Upcasting, the 2-spell limited 'free' SpontHeighten could even be reduced to LEVEL based choice rather than daily, which better fits the dynamic re: spell choice (separately choosing multiple Heighten versions of a spell to negate need for Upcasting) which is of course a LEVEL based choice (undermining relevance of 'daily' choice if you would never choose to replicate what your Spells Known already cover). With Spell Point Upcasting alongside 2-spell "free" SpontHeighten I think the "must have" nature of potential "+1 free SpontHeighten spell" Feat/Item is much lessened, since it is just a trade-off of Feat/WBL vs how many Spell Points you think you will save.

Having this alongside "free" Downcasting also mitigates hypthetical pressure to prioritize Downcasting options in high level spell knowns. If there is viable option to Upcast, then having top spell levels with no Downcast options isn't a big deal. (and "real" unique high level spells seem to be stronger than Heighened versions of low level spells, so that further mitigates any Downcasting pressure on spell selections). Sure, the total Up/Downcast possibilities of ALL spell repertoire is good to keep wide, but there isn't sharp pressure on any one point, as slavishly prioritizing Up/Downcast 100% means missing the power benefit of non-Heightened spells.

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magnuskn wrote:
I adressed that in my reply to Captain Morgan, so I'll just quote myself quickly: "There are many spell effects at low levels which are extremely beneficial and are not replicated at higher levels, not even to mention that you can't cast them as much if you just have a better version at higher levels. But with downcasting apparently (correct me if I'm still wrong here) having being nuked in PF2E a "Okay, we need Fly 10 times right now!" situation has just become impossible, anyway, which is another nerf to sorcerer versatility I just realized is really, really bad."

I'm a little confused by your points here. Sorcerers didn't get Undercasting in PF1 unless they took psychic magic. And I don't know why it would have any effect on casting Fly 10 times in a row as long as the sorcerer knows the Fly spell.


Quandary wrote:
^ I think Spell Points are better match to Upcasting than Resonance, given Resonance governs your utilization of EXTERNAL magical items, while Upcasting is a matter of your own [class] magical power. I think that would also establisher broader usage for Spell Points than just spamming the same 3 Bloodline Powers.

Spell points could work too. Downcast at will. Upcast at the cost of resonance or spell points.

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Xenocrat wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
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.

And the Sorcerer knew the enemy three levels ahead of time? We're comparing Sorcerer to Wizard here, not just looking at the Wizard on its own. In a surprise encounter like the one you're describing, the Sorcerer and Wizard are on even footing, since neither of them knew enough about the encounter in advance to prepare their spells to match it.

However, in an encounter where the enemy is known in advance, the clear advantage is to the Wizard, since the Sorcerer can't change their spells to match an upcoming encounter, even if they know it's coming.

Both the Wizard and the Sorcerer can take a set of general spells that allow them to solve the most common problems in the game. The difference is that when they know about a specific problem in advance, the Wizard can spend some time to specialize their spell selection to overcome it, while the Sorcerer can't.

So again, either the Sorcerer and Wizard are on equal footing, or the Wizard has the clear advantage.

If a Sorcerer needs to cast a single high level offensive spell 3-4 times in a day to overcome an encounter, he can. No Wizard is going to prepare the same offensive spell 3-4 times, and if he does the Sorcerer beats him because he has other spells known that he can flexibly shift into if a Teleport ends up being more useful than Fireball [5th].

For bread and butter fights without weird (strong) resistances or immunities the Sorcerer has a flexible ability to spam a solid all around...

How many fights have you been in where the only way to contribute was to spam the same spell over and over? Maybe one in dozens. Overall, the Wizard is still at an advantage. Pointing out one very specific and very rare circumstance where the Sorcerer can shine doesn't change that.

Also, a Wizard will likely prepare multiple elemental spells and be fine against most enemies. But if, say, they're fighting fire elementals, the Wizard still has 2 or 3 solid blasting spells they can use, while a Sorcerer who chose a fire spell as their primary damage spell is just plain out of luck. So again, large scale versatility trumps small scale.


Also, something that keeps getting implied but never resolved AFAIK:
Using higher level slots for a spell simply to get more castings of it, even without special Heighten effects.
Without that the entire system is alot more restrictive, and IMHO there should be ZERO impediment/cost to doing that, since you aren't even getting real benefit of higher spell level.
Whether or not these should still "count as higher level spell" for purpose of Opposed Spells / Globe of Invulnerability et al is open question / distinct from special Heighten spell effects. I see no reason to disallow that bonus, it would be something Sorc are good at while being a waste of spell slots by most normal metrics.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
I adressed that in my reply to Captain Morgan, so I'll just quote myself quickly: "There are many spell effects at low levels which are extremely beneficial and are not replicated at higher levels, not even to mention that you can't cast them as much if you just have a better version at higher levels. But with downcasting apparently (correct me if I'm still wrong here) having being nuked in PF2E a "Okay, we need Fly 10 times right now!" situation has just become impossible, anyway, which is another nerf to sorcerer versatility I just realized is really, really bad."
I'm a little confused by your points here. Sorcerers didn't get Undercasting in PF1 unless they took psychic magic. And I don't know why it would have any effect on casting Fly 10 times in a row as long as the sorcerer knows the Fly spell.

So far I have understood things at this point, if you get Fly at level three, you cannot use a fourth level spell slot (or higher) to cast it. Which is why you only can hard cast it five times a day, except on occasions where you already know in advance at the start of the day that you'll need it way more and can use spontaneous heightening on it. That is a clear loss of versatility.


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Re: Upcasting using spell points.

This is a bad idea, because it means spells now share the same design space as bloodline powers/school powers/domain powers/etc.

This means that for powers to be worth the cost of using instead of spending that spell point on heightening instead of a power (since powers automatically scale to the highest level you can cast), that power needs to be as strong as the spells it's competing against for heightening at every level. If the power is stronger there's no reason to heighten except in niche cases, likewise if it's weaker there's no reason to use the power unless it's a niche case or you've run out of spell slots.

This means that for powers to be viable in this way, they're essentially x more spells of the y level. At which point you might as well just give more spells to the casters.

Using a new pool of points for heightening doesn't work as that complicates things by adding more resources to track.

Im addition, powers need to be designed to be less powerful than spells because they have a larger pool to draw from (and that pool can be expanded much larger and more easily than spells) and have less restrictions on them.

Edit: It also creates this wierd design paradigm where taking the worst set of powers is better, because the opportunity cost on each spell point used for a spell instead of a power is less.


Gorignak227 wrote:
Lockewood wrote:

I agree that Glutton's Jaws is a exciting power, but from my understanding it's seems to lack versatility. It replaces your need for a back up weapon but doesn't really give you and edge in martial fighting.

Did I discount it too quickly?? What do you plan to use it for? I'm genuinely interested!

An example of what i'd like them to do

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

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

Glabrezu (melee track)
- gain increased strength, temp...

That's genius! It's customizable and lets you play, and have the feel of, any demon themed playsyle you want!

My only worry is it will make designing any one bloodline rather difficult, but on the other hand, it will also make expanding on bloodlines easier! So it almost works like a variant bloodline heritage.

I can see that working for things like the Accursed and Draconic bloodlines but how would you expand the Arcane or Shadow bloodlines?
Good day!


Quandary wrote:

^ I think Spell Points are better match to Upcasting than Resonance, given Resonance governs your utilization of EXTERNAL magical items, while Upcasting is a matter of your own [class] magical power. I think that would also establisher broader usage for Spell Points than just spamming the same 3 Bloodline Powers.

With Spell Point Upcasting, the 2-spell limited 'free' SpontHeighten could even be reduced to LEVEL based choice rather than daily, which better fits the dynamic re: spell choice (separately choosing multiple Heighten versions of a spell to negate need for Upcasting) which is of course a LEVEL based choice (undermining relevance of 'daily' choice if you would never choose to replicate what your Spells Known already cover). With Spell Point Upcasting alongside 2-spell "free" SpontHeighten I think the "must have" nature of potential "+1 SpontHeighten spell" Feat/Item is much lessened, since it is just a trade-off of Feat/WBL vs how many Spell Points you think you will save.

Under that paradigm, you are still left with the analysis paralysis problem that the designers are trying to avoid.

That kind of system along with upcasting/downcasting more generally also puts pressure on the sorceror to only choose spells that can be upcast/downcast which I would argue is undesirable as it severely limits the sorts of sorcerors that are "optimal" or "close to optimal".

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magnuskn wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
I adressed that in my reply to Captain Morgan, so I'll just quote myself quickly: "There are many spell effects at low levels which are extremely beneficial and are not replicated at higher levels, not even to mention that you can't cast them as much if you just have a better version at higher levels. But with downcasting apparently (correct me if I'm still wrong here) having being nuked in PF2E a "Okay, we need Fly 10 times right now!" situation has just become impossible, anyway, which is another nerf to sorcerer versatility I just realized is really, really bad."
I'm a little confused by your points here. Sorcerers didn't get Undercasting in PF1 unless they took psychic magic. And I don't know why it would have any effect on casting Fly 10 times in a row as long as the sorcerer knows the Fly spell.
So far I have understood things at this point, if you get Fly at level three, you cannot use a fourth level spell slot (or higher) to cast it. Which is why you only can hard cast it five times a day, except on occasions where you already know in advance at the start of the day that you'll need it way more and can use spontaneous heightening on it. That is a clear loss of versatility.

As Quandary pointed out above your post, we don't really know if you can cast lower level spells using your higher level slots. That is entirely different from Upcasting/Undercasting which actually heighten/lower a spell's power to the new level.

I'd be surprised to learn that you can't cast your fly (level 3) spell using a 4th level slot. But considering all the confusion in this thread, such a rule might exist just to keep things simpler for the sorcerer.


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TheFinish wrote:

My issue with the "option paralysis" reason is twofold:

1) Why isn't this a problem with the Wizard? A wizard knows more spells and can have more slots as well, depending on specialisation. And they can heighten their spells to any level. But they also have to choose that heightening at the start of the day. I can see a lot more option paralysis there as they hem and haw about what to prepare in which slot at the start of the day than a Sorcerer during a fight. Especially since I've seen it happen in PF1 (but with a Cleric, not a wizard).

That means that for the wizard, option paralysis happens off-screen. The wizard decides what today's loadout will be at the start of each day but still has limited options each round. But an upcasting sorcerer will have many more options each round, making decisions that much harder.

Quote:
As for the "use minimum spell slot required for the situation"....so what? I mean from what we know so far, this would mostly apply to detect magic, which is a cantrip and thus autoscales;

Are we sure of that? I distinctly remember someone saying that detect magic was now a leveled spell, with the level determining how strong it is against illusion magic (so a 3rd level detect magic can defeat a 2nd level illusion like [i]invisibility) among other things.


magnuskn wrote:


So far I have understood things at this point, if you get Fly at level three, you cannot use a fourth level spell slot (or higher) to cast it. Which is why you only can hard cast it five times a day, except on occasions where you already know in advance at the start of the day that you'll need it way more and can use spontaneous heightening on it. That is a clear loss of versatility.

My assumption is that you CAN use higher level slots to cast (just like in PF1), but you won't get any advantage from heightening it. If there's a 4th or 5th level version of fly, too bad - you use those slots to get the effect of 3rd level fly.


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KingOfAnything wrote:

As Quandary pointed out above your post, we don't really know if you can cast lower level spells using your higher level slots. That is entirely different from Upcasting/Undercasting which actually heighten/lower a spell's power to the new level.

I'd be surprised to learn that you can't cast your fly (level 3) spell using a 4th level slot. But considering all the confusion in this thread, such a rule might exist just to keep things simpler for the sorcerer.

Previous comments from Mark in this thread (and that Deadmanwalking hasn't already corrected me, though I've stated it multiple times by now) make me think I got this particular change of mechanic correctly. I hope I am wrong here.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
That kind of system along with upcasting/downcasting more generally also puts pressure on the sorceror to only choose spells that can be upcast/downcast which I would argue is undesirable as it severely limits the sorts of sorcerors that are "optimal" or "close to optimal".

Downcasting has always been a thing sorcerers could do since 3.0 released. It is one of the things which makes a sorcerer so iconically versatile. Suddenly claiming that it is too confusing for players seems like bad argument.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Bailey Allen wrote:
I noticed there was no Infernal bloodline listed. At first I thought it was because all the various evil outsiders were being rolled under on banner as is the case for Celestial but it definitely specifies an Demonic bloodline from the Abyss. Is this one that just didnt make the cut or is their more going on beyond the machinations of our tiny mortal minds?
Blog wrote:
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.
Devil is definitely one that would show up on an expanded list.

Instead of "Devil" bloodline, may I suggest "Diabolic" instead? It broadens the scope slightly and might keep the Bible-thumpers off your back. Just a suggestion...


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magnuskn wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
That kind of system along with upcasting/downcasting more generally also puts pressure on the sorceror to only choose spells that can be upcast/downcast which I would argue is undesirable as it severely limits the sorts of sorcerors that are "optimal" or "close to optimal".
Downcasting has always been a thing sorcerers could do since 3.0 released. It is one of the things which makes a sorcerer so iconically versatile. Suddenly claiming that it is too confusing for players seems like bad argument.

A sorceror that could cast Summon Monster 6 could automatically also cast summon monster 1-5? Is that true? If so, it is news to me.


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Again more than bit late to the party, but this blog started up a serious discussion among my group if we even want to playtest PF2. Granted it just happened to be the one to ignite the flames as the class happens to be a favorite among one of the group. All the same that should still say something about the quality of this. Personally I am willing to at least read the full playtest document before making that judgement even if I am very pessimistic at this point in time.

All the same let's go over this thing that I would call something lot more colorfull without fragile sensibilities.

1) Spell lists: The basic idea of bloodline deciding your spell list is a good one that I 100% support and like. Problem is that someone got the bright idea that a class based system can function with 4 spell lists instead of going MORE custom than PF1. So in short good idea horrible execution.

2)Bloodline format: Why does your heritage matter as far as what skills you have learned in your lifetime? Doesn't make a whole lot sense to me. Okay adding in spells is good if you got to go with fixed spell lists.

3) Gluttons jaws: Melee bloodline powers sucked in PF1 and they still suck. Yay my most defining mechanical aspects effect at level 1? I got a slightly upgraded dagger that has limited uses. Oh and it takes 2 actions and has miserable duration. Ok I can understand that sometimes you write total filler, still makes it bad job but understandable. But the fact that this is in the preview where presumably you would want to put forth your best foot? This doesn't excatly fill me with confidence in the devs.

4) The bloodlines in the playtest: Not the ones I would have chosen but this is pretty much personal preference and nothing else.

5) Casting: Well here is the part that at least to me makes this whole thing absolutely worthless. There is absolutely no reason to play a sorcerer compared to a wizard assuming the same spell list. You decided to get rid of automatic scaling and replace it with heightening and here you see the results. The only positive change here is getting rid of the delayed spell access. But inside of this system spontanous casting is dead. The fact that something called spontanous heightening is actually prepared at start of the day, would be hilarious if it wasn't such a massive failure of game design.

6) Hype speak is back in this blog and it is still annoying as hell.

Liberty's Edge

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magnuskn wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
I adressed that in my reply to Captain Morgan, so I'll just quote myself quickly: "There are many spell effects at low levels which are extremely beneficial and are not replicated at higher levels, not even to mention that you can't cast them as much if you just have a better version at higher levels. But with downcasting apparently (correct me if I'm still wrong here) having being nuked in PF2E a "Okay, we need Fly 10 times right now!" situation has just become impossible, anyway, which is another nerf to sorcerer versatility I just realized is really, really bad."
I'm a little confused by your points here. Sorcerers didn't get Undercasting in PF1 unless they took psychic magic. And I don't know why it would have any effect on casting Fly 10 times in a row as long as the sorcerer knows the Fly spell.
So far I have understood things at this point, if you get Fly at level three, you cannot use a fourth level spell slot (or higher) to cast it. Which is why you only can hard cast it five times a day, except on occasions where you already know in advance at the start of the day that you'll need it way more and can use spontaneous heightening on it. That is a clear loss of versatility.

Where do you get that impression? You certainly can't cast it as a 4th level spell, but there's been no statements of any sort that you can't cast the 3rd level version with higher slots. I suppose that restriction might be true in theory, but it's pure speculation with no supporting data, not something there's any evidence of.

magnuskn wrote:
Have you ever played a Sorcerer? It's a problem. Especially with a vastly expanded list of fixed damage spells and other similarly affected spells like Dispel Magic.

I usually GM, so no (indeed, I think I've only ever played four or so Pathfinder characters more than a couple of levels), but I've seen quite a number of them played in games I've run or played in, and helped my players build them, and built NPC Sorcerers, and monkeyed around with the Class design in general quite a bit.

And it's certainly a limitation of the Class, but I've historically mostly seen it come up as one on the top two level of spells...the ones you actually get more of in PF2.

The free Heightens also effectively give that 16th level character an extra 10-14 spells known in practice, which then completely exceed the PF1 version.

The fixed spell thing is an issue in some ways, but it's a huge opportunity in others. You can maximize the opportunity and minimize the problems pretty readily with a bit of thought.

magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, okay. I'm at this point ready to fully advocate for throwing resonance out the window and forget the system ever existed. :-/ All it seems to do is stop players from having fun.

I disagree, but that argument seems off topic. I'm not pleased with certain things about the current version of Resonance, but the basic idea seems fine to me.

magnuskn wrote:
Again, I'm not sure if you ever played a sorcerer. Expanding your versatility to be able to cover the bases expected of an arcane full caster is one of the biggest goals you normally have as a player of that class.

Absolutely. And the current version of the Sorcerer seems pretty capable of doing all that fairly well if built like a PF2 Sorcerer rather than a PF1 Sorcerer. It's probably not as versatile as a Sorcerer in PF1 using the Human FCB...but let's be honest, that was always pretty broken.

magnuskn wrote:
What I see currently is the devs cutting around that paradigm in multiple ways, by resonance, lower number of spells known, the removal of downcasting and an expanded list of spells you need to get to be effective in your role. What you are saying "This is fine", where I see you sitting in a house on fire.

The paradigm has changed so completely I think you can't see the advantages, many of which more than compensate for the downsides. You're continuing to compare it to PF1 directly, which is a huge mistake.

PF2 has a greater focus on cantrips as an alternative to low level spells in combat (making having low level damaging spells generally pointless, at least for single target ones), gives Wizards and Clerics less spell slots as well, has Spell Points to round out the character's abilities, and offers flexibility to Sorcerer no prepared caster gets in the form of Spontaneous Heightening (indeed, with Arcane Evolution, a Sorcerer can potentially have 7 options of what to cast at their highest level of spells, nearly double what the Wizard can have on any individual day).


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magnuskn wrote:
Downcasting has always been a thing sorcerers could do since 3.0 released. It is one of the things which makes a sorcerer so iconically versatile. Suddenly claiming that it is too confusing for players seems like bad argument.

I think you're referring to a different type of downcasting, than we are. We're referencing undercasting for occult adventures as linked here . I am unsure of what you're referring to.

Liberty's Edge

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Excaliburproxy wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
That kind of system along with upcasting/downcasting more generally also puts pressure on the sorceror to only choose spells that can be upcast/downcast which I would argue is undesirable as it severely limits the sorts of sorcerors that are "optimal" or "close to optimal".
Downcasting has always been a thing sorcerers could do since 3.0 released. It is one of the things which makes a sorcerer so iconically versatile. Suddenly claiming that it is too confusing for players seems like bad argument.
A sorceror that could cast Summon Monster 6 could automatically also cast summon monster 1-5? Is that true? If so, it is news to me.

Yeah...this is not a thing Sorcerers can do in Pathfinder. It never has been.

But I think he may just be talking about using 4th level spell slots to cast a 3rd level spell. Which is a thing in PF1...but not one that we know is gone in PF2. Indeed, I'm unsure where that assumption is coming from.


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JRutterbush wrote:


How many fights have you been in where the only way to contribute was to spam the same spell over and over? Maybe one in dozens. Overall, the Wizard is still at an advantage. Pointing out one very specific and very rare circumstance where the Sorcerer can shine doesn't change that.

Also, a Wizard will likely prepare multiple elemental spells and be fine against most enemies. But if, say, they're fighting fire elementals, the Wizard still has 2 or 3 solid blasting spells they can use, while a Sorcerer who chose a fire spell as their primary damage spell is just plain out of luck. So again, large scale versatility trumps small scale.

You appear to suffer from some conceptual limitations that I'm not sure I can break through, but I'll try one more time by recasting and simplifying the issue.

The wizard can have flexibility in his total solution set (spells he can draw from) but temporal constraints (a feat and 10 minutes aside, he can't swap out his speculative choices) and repetition constraints (he can't cast one of his prepared spells more than once, twice with bond, if it turns out a problem requires multiple applications due to lots of similar encounters or successful saves). So he scribes in his book a broad array of spells (including very specialized and fringe ones), prepares a speculative number of spells for the day, and can be confident many of them will be useful and some will be amazingly on point, but risks having some suboptimal spells prepared that are a poor solution or even useless, forcing a halt.

The sorcerer has very poor flexibility in his total solution set (but see the Arcane and Occult Evolution feats), and extreme temporal constraints (he'll need considerable downtime, Evolution feats aside, to change his spells known), but has fantastic repetition constraints. So he learns some swiss army generalist spells that work pretty well for many common problems, and can be confident that most of this spell slots will be useful to some degree or another for the challenges he faces, ensuring with a high degree of probability that he can use all of his slots and contribute throughout the day, but risks having some situations where he can't contribute at all with his class features (just like nonspell casting classes or Wizards who also didn't prepare the right spell that day).

Both have strengths and weaknesses, neither is dominant over the other in a typical campaign.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
That kind of system along with upcasting/downcasting more generally also puts pressure on the sorceror to only choose spells that can be upcast/downcast which I would argue is undesirable as it severely limits the sorts of sorcerors that are "optimal" or "close to optimal".
Downcasting has always been a thing sorcerers could do since 3.0 released. It is one of the things which makes a sorcerer so iconically versatile. Suddenly claiming that it is too confusing for players seems like bad argument.
A sorceror that could cast Summon Monster 6 could automatically also cast summon monster 1-5? Is that true? If so, it is news to me.

Yeah...this is not a thing Sorcerers can do in Pathfinder. It never has been.

But I think he may just be talking about using 4th level spell slots to cast a 3rd level spell. Which is a thing in PF1...but not one that we know is gone in PF2. Indeed, I'm unsure where that assumption is coming from.

He could also be referring to casting spells at less than full caster level.


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I proposed pretty early on in the thread that spontaneous casters should be able to Undercast Heightenable spells in addition to Sorcerers recieving Spontaneous Heightening as a seperate feature as described in the blog; although it would functionally only be giving you the ability to overcast the chosen spells using an appropriate level spell slot.


Wultram wrote:

1) Spell lists: The basic idea of bloodline deciding your spell list is a good one that I 100% support and like. Problem is that someone got the bright idea that a class based system can function with 4 spell lists instead of going MORE custom than PF1. So in short good idea horrible execution.

I don't understand what this means.

Wultram wrote:


2)Bloodline format: Why does your heritage matter as far as what skills you have learned in your lifetime? Doesn't make a whole lot sense to me. Okay adding in spells is good if you got to go with fixed spell lists.

Signature skills as far as we know so far just determine what you can eventually go Legendary in. So an abyssal sorcerer is naturally talented by instinct at lying, scaring people, and physically adept athletic tasks, in addition to understanding of the knowledge skill that underlies their magic type. Why would different sorcerers whose magic comes from different sources and provides instinctive rather than learned abilities have the same signature skills?

Wultram wrote:


3) Gluttons jaws: Melee bloodline powers sucked in PF1 and they still suck. Yay my most defining mechanical aspects effect at level 1? I got a slightly upgraded dagger that has limited uses. Oh and it takes 2 actions and has miserable duration. Ok I can understand that sometimes you write total filler, still makes it bad job but understandable. But the fact that this is in the preview where presumably you would want to put forth your best foot? This doesn't excatly fill me with confidence in the devs.

Limited uses? You get to use it four times a day (assuming 18 Cha) at level 1. How many fights do you ordinarily get in per day? It takes two actions to start (vs one for drawing an ordinary weapon) and lasts longer than the expected duration of a fight. And it autoscales like a magical weapon and gives temporary HP, does more damage than the nothing weapon proficiencies that most casters likely have, and hits off Dex, which you likely have as your second best stat anyway.

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