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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TheFinish wrote:
And I yet fail to see how it's seriously out of hand when a wizard gets the exact same thing, and they could in fact cast any combination a sorcerer can cast (they just have to prepare it ahead of time, which, granted, is not easy.) with the right school.

Because as I said earlier, the wizard chooses his spells outside of combat when taking your time and stalling causes the least disruption.

However, decision paralysis isn't the reason I object to automatically being able to heighten every spell (I see it as a non issue for experienced players). I object on the basis that they combined spells together (summons, fly, heals, remove x, etc) and that if the sorceror gets automatic heighten, it strengthens them too much. They'd have to separate those spells in order to balance sorc. This is because they removed caster level scaling in addition to combining spells together, resulting in different power levels for heightens.


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Darkorin wrote:
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.

Well, in that case the wizard ain't exactly doing great either, because he doesn't have as many low level slots to devote to that versatility. And again, following the PF1 model the wizard only has more level 1 spells. In my experience second level spells tend to be where stuff gets really useful.

(Also, let's not forget that rituals are a thing and aren't class dependent. The advantage the wizard has is being able to prepare a specific spell with a day's notice, but if you have time to sleep and prepare a new spell I suspect you have time to perform a ritual.)

Quote:
The Wizard IS supposed to have access to more spells than the sorcerer, otherwise the sorcerer would ALWAYS outshine the wizard.

...And? They still have a finite amount of spells they actually learn from leveling up. Expanding beyond that requires loot or purchasing. I'm not really sure what point you are making anymore, since you were complaining about sorcerers being dependent on the GM's generosity. So are wizards.

You've also seem to simultaneously saying "sorcerers suck compared to wizards and that is bad" and "the whole point of wizards is that they are BETTER." It is very confusing.

Quote:
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.

If a sorcerer learns a spell once, she can always create a scroll of that spell afterward. And I'm pretty confident she can do it at any level she wants through spontaneous heightening. I'd be shocked if that wasn't the case. Heck, since crafting and retraining both happen during downtime, she may be able to learn a spell, scribe it on some scrolls, and replace it with something more generally useful before her next adventure.

I'm not sure that would actually accomplish much though-- as Xenocrat pointed out crafting is much less likely to save money over just buying scrolls anyway and using the time you save to make money with Perform or Lore.

Captain Morgan wrote:

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.

Being able to dip into item well more times per day is indeed a versatility edge. In a similar manner, the divine sorcerer will have an extra spell slot each level compared to the cleric, which gives them some additional versatility.

Again, you have this assumption that the wizard will have more scrolls than the sorcerer, which isn't supported at all. There's no reason the sorcerer can't have the same item loadout as the wizard, and then has more flexibility in how often they can use it. A wizard may find themselves hoarding their last few points of resonance in case they need to drink a potion. The sorcerer may do that too, but they can freely use items for longer before they hit that point.

Heck, a wizard has no real reason to invest in Charisma beyond resonance, and given their fragility they might leave it at 10 at level 1. The sorcerer will almost certainly have 18 CHA. So at level 1 the sorcerer can use magic items 5 times as often as the wizard. That gap may close as they level up, but the wizard will always be behind the sorcerer for how many different items they can invest in, how many potions they can drink, how many times they can cast invisibility from their cloak of elvenkind, etc.

How much of an advantage this is largely depends on the nitty gritty of the WBL which we don't know yet. But it IS an advantage for the sorcerer.


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willuwontu wrote:
I object on the basis that they combined spells together (summons, fly, heals, remove x, etc) and that if the sorceror gets automatic heighten, it strengthens them too much.

Well how many spells regularly heighten? And how many per spell list? And at what levels intervals? And at what levels do they start? Until we know that, I think it's premature to say "it strengthens them too much". It might, but I can't see how you can say it would.

If each list only has 2-3 spells that have long number of versions, then it's not much different than picking those at the start of the day. Add to that, the versions have to also be WORTH being cast at lower level too. If the lower version isn't doing much at all for the level you are, the ability to cast it isn't a big bump in power.


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graystone wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
I object on the basis that they combined spells together (summons, fly, heals, remove x, etc) and that if the sorceror gets automatic heighten, it strengthens them too much.

Well how many spells regularly heighten? And how many per spell list? And at what levels intervals? And at what levels do they start? Until we know that, I think it's premature to say "it strengthens them too much". It might, but I can't see how you can say it would.

If each list only has 2-3 spells that have long number of versions, then it's not much different than picking those at the start of the day. Add to that, the versions have to also be WORTH being cast at lower level too. If the lower version isn't doing much at all for the level you are, the ability to cast it isn't a big bump in power.

Well, we can extrapolate a bit from what we know.

We know Heal (level 1, heightens 1), likely Inflict for the same, and Vampiric Exsanguination (level 6, heightens 2). Dispel Magic (3) and Cure (???) technically can't be heightened, but the attempt is based on the spell level used. We know finger of death can be heightened.
For ones that require a specific level, Dinosaur Form (level 4, heightens to 5 and 7), Regenerate (level 7, heightens to 9).
Discern Lies (4), Discern Location (8), Disjunction (9) can't be heightened.
We can assume Summon Monster (level 1, heightens 1).

I also did just recall that they mentioned that higher-level spells generally overcome lower-level, so that's another important point to keep in mind.


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Honestly I think the solution to how best to handle Spontaneous Heightening is really easy.

The Sorcerer can replace one of their Spontaneous Heightening spells for the cost of 2 spell points.

This would

1.) Make the ability feel more spontaneous, fitting the Sorcerer's theme.

2.) Not give Sorcerer's the ability to heighten everything reducing balance concerns.

3.) Have an opportunity cost because these is the equivalent of spending 1 to 2 uses of their auto-heightening bloodline abilities.

It would make sense to me on a fluff level as well, since the Sorcerer is expending the energy from their bloodline to open up the potential of one of their spells.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cantriped wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

I only disagree with the idea of some players that the GM should replace the consumable they use, regardless of how may hey use. I recall some old discussion in the forum with people saying that doing that was the duty of the GM.

If someone dring a potion of barkskin CL 12 and one of shield of faith CL 15 before every fight, burning up 1950 to kill 3 ogres, the WBL reduction is his problem, not a GM problem.

On the other hand, the GM should try to keep the WBL on level, if the players use it reasonably or they are simply unlucky (a raise dead plus two restorations can be a huge drain of resources at mid levels).

I think we are generally in agreement in this regard. I wasn't trying to advocate 'infinite' consumables so much as an encouragement to have at least 15% of the party's treasure come in the form of consumables they'll actually want to consume. However it is also more fun for everyone if you let them recoup the losses of a poor financial decision or a string of ill fortune eventually. Afterall, all manner of heroic fantasy involves comming into vast wealth... and then promptly losing it all to justify the next adventure.

Well said. I agree with that.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Shady Stranger wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Also Seoni's new look is horrible.
That's not very constructive, to be honest.

I like the image. I don't like the image where the characters have tons of stuff all over the body as it will become difficult to move efficiently in combat, but this Seoni seems well equipped without having needless stuff.

PF characters have access to low cost magic items that efficiently store equipment, it is "unnatural" for them not to use that kind of items.
I am a bit sad that Paizo hasn't printed something similar to the belt of many pockets, as that item seems very good to efficiently store potions, spell components, scrolls, and other small items.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Malthraz wrote:

Allowing Sorcerers to automatically heighten all their spells creates some problems. Let’s take a spell load out for a Sorcerer of level 7.

You get: 4, 4, 4, 3

You might take:

Level 1 : Vanish, Summon Monster I, Magic Missile, Mage Armour
Level 2 : Glitter Dust, Create Pit, Scare, Darkness
Level 3 : Dispel Magic, Fire Ball, Haste, Protection from Energy
Level 4 : Dimension Door, Confusion, Overland Flight

Now assuming you get automatic heightening, what does this turn in to (definitely some guess work on what spells are lumped together):

Level 1 : Vanish, Summon Monster I, Magic Missile, Mage Armour

Level 2 : Invisibility, Summon Monster II, Magic Missile II, Glitter Dust, Create Pit, Scare, Darkness

Level 3 : Invisibility Sphere, Summon Monster III, Magic Missile III, Mage Armour II, Spiked Pit, Deeper Darkness, Dispel Magic, Fire Ball, Haste, Protection from Energy

Level 4 : Improve Invisibility, Summon Monster IV, Acid Pit, Fear, Dispel Magic 4th, Fire Ball 4th, Protection from Energy Communal, Dimension Door, Confusion, Overland Flight.

It is only level 7, and it is seriously out of hand.

I will do a down casting version later. It looks better, but I still prefer spontaneous heighten for its adaption and planning element.

Thanks for the example, let's compare that with a specialist wizard:

Level 1 : Burning hands, Magic Missile x2, Mage Armour

Level 2 : Invisibility, Glitter Dust, Scare, Create Pit

Level 3 : Dispel Magic, Fire Ball, Haste, Protection from Energy

Level 4 : Improve Invisibility, Summon Monster IV, Confusion,

I don't have respected the requirements for the school spells and he already has a very noticeable problem: 16 potential spells for the wizard specialists vs. 31. Both can only cast 16, but the difference in versatility is staggering.

(I have removed Pit at level 2, it seems a repetition. I will do a later version trying to include TheFinish corrections)


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Ok guys I figured it out. In the all about spells post they left out some key wording. Heightened spells is just a fancy way of saying “instead of 9 iterations of the same spell written out in the book, now it’s just one entry and then the heightened line just tells you what happens when you take that spell at the next level allowed by the spell” so yes all spell casters can now heighten spells, but this means that if you want heal level 2 you have to choose it as a spell known when you hit 3rd level. It’s entirely possible to have heal level 5 without knowing its previous versions. Sorcerers can take heightened versions of spells and get rid of lower level versions of those spells so they can choose different spells to take at their lower levels

This means that the sorcerer actually has the advantage with Spontaneous Heightening, as they can choose 2 level 1 spells and cast them at their heightened versions without actually having to know them. Where as a wizard would still need to choose it at the same level to prepare it. Wizards get more spells known at each level, so this is a non issue for the wizard, but both sorcerer and wizard have the same spells per day now.

EDIT: this is further evidenced by the Cleric blog where it specifically states that channel energy Heal and Harm Auto heighten to their highest level. Because it states that specifically for the channel energy feature, it’s easier to assume that all spells are NOT auto heightened but rather you still have to choose the same spell at the next level for all spellcasters.

Double Edit: so to sum up, the devs better have more clear wording about spells and acquiring spells in the CRB.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
IF witch makes it in, then I'd say it's up in the air whether bard is occult or primal, the other list that seems to best suit it thematically to me. Or maybe even picking spells off every list. But given the witch is probably NOT present, it's almost certainly occult.

Yeah, now that I think about it, the Bard seems most suited to the Primal list (the original class, well, PrC, was "under Druidic tutelage"), as Occult magic seems to be the sort of psychic/aberration/octopus-boy magic.


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Cyouni wrote:

That's because lower level spells basically scaled up to your caster level, making them constantly effective.

No, they didn't. Off the top of my head the only 1st level spells that scaled were Shocking grasp, Burning Hands, Magic Missile, Snowball, etc. and they only scaled to level 5. To get them further required Metamagic which (usually) increases the level.

Most 1st level spells didn't scale at all: Mage Armor, Shield, True strike, Expeditious retreat, Identify, Comprehend Languages, etc. These were the High level staples.

In pf2, that I know of, both Shield and mage Armor are cantrips now and both scale automatically without requiring slots.


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Gavmania wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

That's because lower level spells basically scaled up to your caster level, making them constantly effective.

No, they didn't. Off the top of my head the only 1st level spells that scaled were Shocking grasp, Burning Hands, Magic Missile, Snowball, etc. and they only scaled to level 5. To get them further required Metamagic which (usually) increases the level.

Most 1st level spells didn't scale at all: Mage Armor, Shield, True strike, Expeditious retreat, Identify, Comprehend Languages, etc. These were the High level staples.

Also, PF1 has the problem of spell DC's not scaling.

Liberty's Edge

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magnuskn wrote:
Alright, apparently I understood downcasting wrong, I stand corrected. Good, it would have been another whammy if you couldn't use higher level spell slots to cast lower level spells, like with Fly for example.

I do agree that eliminating this would be bad, for the record.

magnuskn wrote:
Well, I've played a few and GM'ed for half a dozen of them. My experience is that lower level spells are often very important even at higher levels. Reducing the amount known there drastically also reduces the versatility of the class.

I've probably GMed around that many. And my experience is, I guess, not consistent with yours. *shrug*

magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, not really. It is very nice to have all Summon Monster spells with spontaneous heightening, but you probably will almost never need the lower level versions again after getting access to the higher level ones. Summon Monster really only gets good in the current edition with the sixth level version. Getting the heightened versions of Fireball only means that you will probably cast the highest level one, making the lower level versions obsolete as well.

If you're only gonna cast the highest level one, you should probably just take that and retrain the low level one to something else you might want different levels of.

magnuskn wrote:
From what I've seen I disagree, but we'll only know with a full look at the playtest document.

True enough. :)

magnuskn wrote:
I'm only noting my progression of thought on resonance. I went from "Hmmm, interesting" to "That seems off..." to "This is a terrible idea and needs to be excised ASAP" over the last weeks and indubitably this will be a huge point of contention for the whole playerbase when the playtest releases.

Fair enough. I certainly agree that it's a point of contention and a system with issues.

magnuskn wrote:
I find your confidence in the playtest rules to be premature, given that we haven't seen the entire set of rules. To be honest, I've seen you running up and down during the last weeks defending the previews from all comers and I hope you are not overinvesting yourself in defending the playtest rules without really considering the points others are making.

Nah. Things could be terrible. Things could always be terrible. The issue I have (and why I've been arguing with people) is that I see people talking about things in too much of a PF1 frame of mind, without, on a gut level, considering how radically different PF2 is actually gonna be in terms of math and the metagame.

A lot of the anti-Hunt Target Ranger stuff ignores how huge a bonus +1 or +2 is in PF2, for example, and I feel like your arguments in this thread ignore the vast sea change cantrips have undergone.

magnuskn wrote:
As for declaring the human FCB "broken", I wholeheartedly disagree. I saw it as a fix for the PF1E version of the sorcerer, which was badly in need of it.

They were, and are, broken compared to a Sorcerer not using them. They also, IMO, made Sorcerer way more versatile than Wizard in practice, with only they're delayed casting keeping them from being flatly superior, which seems like an unintended consequence.

magnuskn wrote:
Again, I think you seem overconfident of the new rules without the full context. I guess we'll have to see in a few weeks.

The designers have specifically noted the cantrip thing. Cantrips level with you, and are an entirely valid combat strategy, or intended to be so, anyway. If they fail at that task, that's an issue, but they're certainly intended to step up and fill the void left by fewer and lower powered low-level spells, and have explicitly been stated to be so.


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graystone wrote:

No hot, forbidden ankle? I'm out. Even a burkini shows ankle.

Ankle might still be possible, but anything more than that is out I'm afraid.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
They were, and are, broken compared to a Sorcerer not using them. They also, IMO, made Sorcerer way more versatile than Wizard in practice, with only they're delayed casting keeping them from being flatly superior, which seems like an unintended consequence.

I absolutely disagree. They were a fix to how bad the sorcerer was compared to the Wizard in many respects. They have been out for over seven years now and Paizo have made no changes to it, despite some vigorous discussion on the boards over those years. The only error they made, IMO, is in only giving this to humans.

Scarab Sages

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Aaaargh!!! Stop giving sorcerers melee bloodline powers!!!!

... or at least cut it down to a minority of bloodlines.

Also, I see they're sticking with the artificially restrictive "one bonus spell per spell level". It is perfectly fine to drop this restriction and just include a fair amount of spells to round out the concept - or even better, a descriptive requirement for bonus spells, such as the demon bloodline gaining all spells with the "pain" descriptor, or all fire spells that have an instantaneous duration.

What are demons known for? What would a half-demon be able to do? These are the questions that need to be asked when determining what [demon] bloodline powers should do. Biting an opponent and gaining temporary HP sounds vampiric to me, and I cannot think of a demon that has a similar ability - maybe a succubus kiss?

PF1 Draconic bloodline was very thematic - in fact the weakest elements in terms of theme were the bonus spells (except Form of the Dragon) and the bloodline arcana (dragons can't do it). The bloodline abilities were clearly of draconic influence. That is what should be aimed for with all bloodlines.

Liberty's Edge

magnuskn wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
They were, and are, broken compared to a Sorcerer not using them. They also, IMO, made Sorcerer way more versatile than Wizard in practice, with only they're delayed casting keeping them from being flatly superior, which seems like an unintended consequence.
I absolutely disagree. They were a fix to how bad the sorcerer was compared to the Wizard in many respects. They have been out for over seven years now and Paizo have made no changes to it, despite some vigorous discussion on the boards over those years. The only error they made, IMO, is in only giving this to humans.

Oh, it was absolutely necessary to keep up with Wizards given the delayed spell access. Combining it with not having delayed spell access would be pretty overpowered, however. Which is where I was going with that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
They were, and are, broken compared to a Sorcerer not using them. They also, IMO, made Sorcerer way more versatile than Wizard in practice, with only they're delayed casting keeping them from being flatly superior, which seems like an unintended consequence.
I absolutely disagree. They were a fix to how bad the sorcerer was compared to the Wizard in many respects. They have been out for over seven years now and Paizo have made no changes to it, despite some vigorous discussion on the boards over those years. The only error they made, IMO, is in only giving this to humans.
Oh, it was absolutely necessary to keep up with Wizards given the delayed spell access. Combining it with not having delayed spell access would be pretty overpowered, however. Which is where I was going with that.

We'll have to see how the final playtest document shakes out to have a informed discussion about that. There's just too many interconnectivity between spells known, the same spells existing at different levels of power now, resonance and what magic items and feats are available to really know if you are right or I am. Let's see when we first get full information.


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magnuskn wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
They were, and are, broken compared to a Sorcerer not using them. They also, IMO, made Sorcerer way more versatile than Wizard in practice, with only they're delayed casting keeping them from being flatly superior, which seems like an unintended consequence.
I absolutely disagree. They were a fix to how bad the sorcerer was compared to the Wizard in many respects. They have been out for over seven years now and Paizo have made no changes to it, despite some vigorous discussion on the boards over those years. The only error they made, IMO, is in only giving this to humans.
Oh, it was absolutely necessary to keep up with Wizards given the delayed spell access. Combining it with not having delayed spell access would be pretty overpowered, however. Which is where I was going with that.
We'll have to see how the final playtest document shakes out to have a informed discussion about that. There's just too many interconnectivity between spells known, the same spells existing at different levels of power now,

I definitely don't dig that, I do not want 9 versions of the same spell, like monster summoning, much better to be able to cast the one spell at different levels.


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Chest Rockwell wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
IF witch makes it in, then I'd say it's up in the air whether bard is occult or primal, the other list that seems to best suit it thematically to me. Or maybe even picking spells off every list. But given the witch is probably NOT present, it's almost certainly occult.
Yeah, now that I think about it, the Bard seems most suited to the Primal list (the original class, well, PrC, was "under Druidic tutelage"), as Occult magic seems to be the sort of psychic/aberration/octopus-boy magic.

Wny is there an assumption that the Playtest *has* to have one primary class for each magic school and then sorcerer? It's a playtest, Abberation Sorcerer will ensure the Occult spells get tested, so there's no reason to add an Occult class unless it fits the class. In particular, adding another spontaneous casting class for Occult is probably not that useful in stress-testing the system.

I still think Bard will pick off of every list, be spontaneous, but have restrictions in how they can cast what they pick (perhaps starting with one school and feats giving them access to more, perhaps casting spells at one level higher, so cantrips are 1st level...).

Occult *really* doesn't fit bard. Yes, fortune tellers, soothsayers also fit in with traditional psychic stuff... but that fits Wizard as well as it does Bard.


tivadar27 wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
IF witch makes it in, then I'd say it's up in the air whether bard is occult or primal, the other list that seems to best suit it thematically to me. Or maybe even picking spells off every list. But given the witch is probably NOT present, it's almost certainly occult.
Yeah, now that I think about it, the Bard seems most suited to the Primal list (the original class, well, PrC, was "under Druidic tutelage"), as Occult magic seems to be the sort of psychic/aberration/octopus-boy magic.
Wny is there an assumption that the Playtest *has* to have one primary class for each magic school and then sorcerer?

I have no idea, I make no such assumption, I am just speculating on the Bard and what I would like, the Druid already uses Primal, and I think the Bard should, too.


Chest Rockwell wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
IF witch makes it in, then I'd say it's up in the air whether bard is occult or primal, the other list that seems to best suit it thematically to me. Or maybe even picking spells off every list. But given the witch is probably NOT present, it's almost certainly occult.
Yeah, now that I think about it, the Bard seems most suited to the Primal list (the original class, well, PrC, was "under Druidic tutelage"), as Occult magic seems to be the sort of psychic/aberration/octopus-boy magic.
Wny is there an assumption that the Playtest *has* to have one primary class for each magic school and then sorcerer?
I have no idea, I make no such assumption, I am just speculating on the Bard and what I would like, the Druid already uses Primal, and I think the Bard should, too.

You know, I'm going to turn that around. Bards are fine with the fey-based Primal, but the psychic/abberation/octopus-boy magic is a lot more associated with the Material Plane and thus the Nature of here and now than one based in those extraplanar pranksters. Druids for Occult spellcasters!


The Sideromancer wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
IF witch makes it in, then I'd say it's up in the air whether bard is occult or primal, the other list that seems to best suit it thematically to me. Or maybe even picking spells off every list. But given the witch is probably NOT present, it's almost certainly occult.
Yeah, now that I think about it, the Bard seems most suited to the Primal list (the original class, well, PrC, was "under Druidic tutelage"), as Occult magic seems to be the sort of psychic/aberration/octopus-boy magic.
Wny is there an assumption that the Playtest *has* to have one primary class for each magic school and then sorcerer?
I have no idea, I make no such assumption, I am just speculating on the Bard and what I would like, the Druid already uses Primal, and I think the Bard should, too.
You know, I'm going to turn that around. Bards are fine with the fey-based Primal, but the psychic/abberation/octopus-boy magic is a lot more associated with the Material Plane and thus the Nature of here and now than one based in those extraplanar pranksters.

Really, Occult magic is closely tied to the Material Plane? What extraplanar pranksters are you talking about?


Not necessarily all of Occult ideas, I'll give you that. But the big names in the area like the Great Old Ones are very clearly Extraterrestrial and not Extraplanar.

Within PF, the fey are not from the Material Plane (instead being from their own plane, the First World). That pretty clearly makes them extraplanar, and I would think the prankster part would be self-explanatory.


The Sideromancer wrote:

Not necessarily all of Occult ideas, I'll give you that. But the big names in the area like the Great Old Ones are very clearly Extraterrestrial and not Extraplanar.

Within PF, the fey are not from the Material Plane (instead being from their own plane, the First World). That pretty clearly makes them extraplanar, and I would think the prankster part would be self-explanatory.

Intersting, so Cthulhu and magic associated with, is more closely tied to the Material plane, since it is not exraplanar. Bring on the Aberrant Druids!

Ah, I forgot about Golarian/First World, I was going with the classic Fey are generally on the Material Plane, but some have connections to a Plane of Faerie type deal.

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tivadar27 wrote:
Occult *really* doesn't fit bard. Yes, fortune tellers, soothsayers also fit in with traditional psychic stuff... but that fits Wizard as well as it does Bard.

Look past the name to what the Occult spell list likely does. As Mental/Spiritual it's gonna have all the mind-effecting stuff with illusions and enchantments galore, plus some divination stuff and summoning, and possibly some healing. It will have limited to nonexistent physical damage stuff, given that seems to fall under Material, and probably not a lot of stuff dealing with the natural world like speak with animals since that'd be under Vital.

What part of that doesn't sound exactly like what the Bard list should look like?


Deadmanwalking wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Occult *really* doesn't fit bard. Yes, fortune tellers, soothsayers also fit in with traditional psychic stuff... but that fits Wizard as well as it does Bard.

Look past the name to what the Occult spell list likely does. As Mental/Spiritual it's gonna have all the mind-effecting stuff with illusions and enchantments galore, plus some divination stuff and summoning, and possibly some healing. It will have limited to nonexistent physical damage stuff, given that seems to fall under Material, and probably not a lot of stuff dealing with the natural world like speak with animals since that'd be under Vital.

What part of that doesn't sound exactly like what the Bard list should look like?

The Summoning bit, I also think Bards should speak with animals!

Liberty's Edge

Chest Rockwell wrote:
The Summoning bit, I also think Bards should speak with animals!

Bards have Summon Monster in PF1, I have no objection to them having it in PF2.

And I'm sure you can get talking to animals on whatever character you want with an Archetype or Skill Feat. :)


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
The Summoning bit, I also think Bards should speak with animals!
Bards have Summon Monster in PF1, I have no objection to them having it in PF2.

Yeah, that one stock spell, but not really an iconic thing, at all, I do not look to Bards for summoning.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:


And I'm sure you can get talking to animals on whatever character you want with an Archetype or Skill Feat. :)

An Archetype to make bards more in tune with nature? That's crazytalk!


Deadmanwalking wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Occult *really* doesn't fit bard. Yes, fortune tellers, soothsayers also fit in with traditional psychic stuff... but that fits Wizard as well as it does Bard.

Look past the name to what the Occult spell list likely does. As Mental/Spiritual it's gonna have all the mind-effecting stuff with illusions and enchantments galore, plus some divination stuff and summoning, and possibly some healing. It will have limited to nonexistent physical damage stuff, given that seems to fall under Material, and probably not a lot of stuff dealing with the natural world like speak with animals since that'd be under Vital.

What part of that doesn't sound exactly like what the Bard list should look like?

This. Even if the name Occult seems weird, I remember somewhere in a thread (I tried to find it but I'm not sure where it is), Mark describing a Spell list (don't think he had named it as Occult yet) that combined Mental/Spiritual, and what it could do, and it sounded VERY Bardic.

Plus, the Bard's spell list was a unique one in PF1, so I for one am fine with it actually being distinct from arcane now.

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tivadar27 wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
IF witch makes it in, then I'd say it's up in the air whether bard is occult or primal, the other list that seems to best suit it thematically to me. Or maybe even picking spells off every list. But given the witch is probably NOT present, it's almost certainly occult.
Yeah, now that I think about it, the Bard seems most suited to the Primal list (the original class, well, PrC, was "under Druidic tutelage"), as Occult magic seems to be the sort of psychic/aberration/octopus-boy magic.

Wny is there an assumption that the Playtest *has* to have one primary class for each magic school and then sorcerer? It's a playtest, Abberation Sorcerer will ensure the Occult spells get tested, so there's no reason to add an Occult class unless it fits the class. In particular, adding another spontaneous casting class for Occult is probably not that useful in stress-testing the system.

I still think Bard will pick off of every list, be spontaneous, but have restrictions in how they can cast what they pick (perhaps starting with one school and feats giving them access to more, perhaps casting spells at one level higher, so cantrips are 1st level...).

Occult *really* doesn't fit bard. Yes, fortune tellers, soothsayers also fit in with traditional psychic stuff... but that fits Wizard as well as it does Bard.

The classes in the playtest are the same one we will get in the CRB and it would be awkward that Occult is the only one there without a dedicated spellcasting class

And the bits of info we got about the Occult list do fit the Bard's usual spells
My money is definitely on Bard as the dedicated Occult spellcaster in the playtest


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
The thing is, I've never had to deal with players having option paralysis in combat when it comes to spells. Not in Shadowrun (where you have to choose Force, which is an analogue to Spell Level), not in 5th Edition, not in PF1 (where the closest analogue to heightening would be Metamagic Feats on the fly), not in Earthdawn (though granted, spellcasting in Earthdawn is much more different), etc.

I have experienced it, most recently in 5e. And lest we turn this into an endless round of "Taint so!" the critical role podcast has lots of examples of the players not knowing what to do mid-combat and so having to be prodded by the DM to make a decision.

More importantly, the Devs stated they saw it during their testing. Why would they lie?

I don't understand, as far as I know this wasn't a problem in 3.5 with Psionics or Dreamscarred Psionics for that matter.

So why is problem now?
What changed?
The percentage of players with option paralysis is really that large?

Sovereign Court

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Diego Rossi wrote:
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.

WBL is meant to be the wealth you have, not the sum of wealth you have and the wealth you have spent, so some player feels that part of the duty of the GM is to adjust wealth found so that approximately they are at WBL, regardless of the quantity of consumable used.

AP give about 20% more than what is needed to keep up with WBL, if you find everything.

Ok, consumables should get replaced when they get used, but my original point is still valid.

Wizards and Sorcerer both should have 15% of their WBL committed to consumables. If we take a look at the blog post:

Blog wrote:
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.

That sentence is still plain false. Both the sorcerer and the wizard should have the same wealth of scrolls, staves and wands (and staves usages are still limited by staff spell point and spell slots, not by resonance).

As the devs themselves said before: my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma. (From Mark Seifter), which means that sorcerers having an edge thanks to their charisma is plainly false, and even the designers should know it.

Edit: I want to add that in most groups, having a high Charisma-class will mean that the character will get the group-load of resonance. What I mean by that is that if the group owns a wand. They will off-load the resonance cost to the highest CHA character around, that doesn't mean that the sorcerer will be more flexible with his use of resonance, it will only mean that he will be the default group-magic-item user. "Oh I don't want to use my resonance to drink this potion, can you use my CWL wand to heal me?"

Edit 2: I changed the last sentence of my original post. I DO NOT think that the designer want to lie to us, they are probably victim of faulty logic.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Relevant to above posts, but Occult also bugs me as a name. I'd have been fine with "Psychic" but Occult sounds weird as a bardic caster.

Edit: actually, I might have some issues with the flavor too. My impression of the "spiritual" essence was this was where outer planes, outsider summoning/calling/contacting, and alignment-based magic happens. All of which is outside the bard's wheelhouse, save for summon monster. I'd have preferred bards trap Mental and Vital, which is the land of instincts and emotions, and giving animation to the inanimate.

That's a "might" though. Entirely possible I got the flavor wrong for these essences and its all fine.


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So I'm confused...
Sorcerers don't get at-will heighten because that would lead to too much analysis paralysis...
But as they're designed now, they have "sometimes heighten" which will lead to the exact same kind of analysis paralysis. If anything, since you can't heighten very often, you won't have as much of an opportunity (through repeated effort) to learn which heightens are the right call and which ones aren't.

tl;dr - Analysis paralysis around heighten will be the same, if not worse, than if Sorcerer got to heighten at-will.
(As to the concern that if heighten was available at will it would lead to non-heighten spells falling by the wayside... That's a design concern; it shouldn't be a player concern. It feels like a sign that you just didn't design spells that don't heighten to be competitive.)

And for what it's worth, there are two kinds of players: Players who bother to do homework on what their class can do, and players who don't. The latter holds up game time regardless of class options, the former tends not to.
Stop trying to fix bad/lazy players with mechanics - that way madness lies. :P

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Neo2151 wrote:
tl;dr - Analysis paralysis around heighten will be the same, if not worse, than if Sorcerer got to heighten at-will.

Analysis Paralysis once at the beginning of the day when everyone is prepping daily stuff is way less disruptive than the same amount of analysis paralysis every turn in the midst of combat.

Additionally, knowing that they only get 2 Heightens a day, not all of a Sorcerer's spells will be multi-level ones, and thus not all will even be options for this choice, whereas if you could heighten everything there'd be a huge incentive to have as many spells as possible heighten-able. So the actual list of choices is likely shorter this way as well.

Combined this can easily make the difference at, say, 10th level, between making two choices out of 6-10 options once a day, and then choosing between less than 30 spells (no more than 6 at any one spell level) every round, and (if you could heighten everything) choosing between 50 or 60 different options every round (up to 20 or so at the same spell level).

The first is much easier than the second.

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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Relevant to above posts, but Occult also bugs me as a name. I'd have been fine with "Psychic" but Occult sounds weird as a bardic caster.

I like "Occult" as it is more generic supernatural/magic. That fits using music to create magical effects better than "psychic" does for me.


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Seems overly complicated to me.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Relevant to above posts, but Occult also bugs me as a name. I'd have been fine with "Psychic" but Occult sounds weird as a bardic caster.
I like "Occult" as it is more generic supernatural/magic. That fits using music to create magical effects better than "psychic" does for me.

And the opposite is true for me. Occult is weirdly specific in my head (lower magic, ritual casting, using objects and Foci) which can fit the bard in the way you suggest (using music as a foci). Meanwhile, psychic covers everything from divination to pyrokinesis to mind control, at least to me, and so is a lot more general.

But once I realized it was mostly the word that was bugging me, it has bugged me a lot less.


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Darkorin wrote:

That sentence is still plain false. Both the sorcerer and the wizard should have the same wealth of scrolls, staves and wands (and staves usages are still limited by staff spell point and spell slots, not by resonance).

As the devs themselves said before: my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma. (From Mark Seifter), which means that sorcerers having an edge thanks to their charisma is plainly false, and even the designers should know it.

Edit: I want to add that in most groups, having a high Charisma-class will mean that the character...

So what if they have the same amount of scrolls. The Sorcerer can use more of them in a day without eating into other items. If WBL lets me have 10 scrolls and you 10 scrolls, but I can use 5 today and you can only use 2 then I'm at an advantage.

But it also seems you are taking it super literally. Res is an advantage for all their magic item use, not just scrolls. They were merely highlighting that single aspect because it was relevant to the paragraph at hand.

And the sentence you quoted doesn't mean what you think it means. "Never really hit hard" does not mean never hit them, it means that hitting them wasn't debilitating. Otherwise he would have said "Rarely hit." This is also part of player behaviour even if your interpretation was the case. If I have x resource and you have x+2 you will seek options that will take you close to your cap and I will see options that take me close to mine but you still have an advantage.


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I'd also like to point out that a few people have said spontaneous heightening seems confusing and/or inelegant as is. That it will be confusing for folks, especially newbies. I strongly disagree with that. The sorcerer needs to have a list of spells at their different spell levels, and then circles two on that list (or underlines, or checks a box, or whatever) as their heightening spells for the day. The best comparative solution I've seen for prepared casters has always been index cards corresponding to their spell slots. This is waaaay easier.

Combine this with more generous retraining rules and caster level being removed from spell equations, and I think the sorcerer will be a lot easier to use while having some pretty interesting flexibility.

edduardco wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
The thing is, I've never had to deal with players having option paralysis in combat when it comes to spells. Not in Shadowrun (where you have to choose Force, which is an analogue to Spell Level), not in 5th Edition, not in PF1 (where the closest analogue to heightening would be Metamagic Feats on the fly), not in Earthdawn (though granted, spellcasting in Earthdawn is much more different), etc.

I have experienced it, most recently in 5e. And lest we turn this into an endless round of "Taint so!" the critical role podcast has lots of examples of the players not knowing what to do mid-combat and so having to be prodded by the DM to make a decision.

More importantly, the Devs stated they saw it during their testing. Why would they lie?

I don't understand, as far as I know this wasn't a problem in 3.5 with Psionics or Dreamscarred Psionics for that matter.

So why is problem now?
What changed?
The percentage of players with option paralysis is really that large?

I can actually attest that this is indeed a problem with Dreamscarred Psionics. It probably wouldn't be for you or I, but to someone who is less obsessive about optimization or learning the rules, it very much can be. One of my favorite player/PC combinations was a really awesome psion from my first pathfinder campaign. My PC had awesome role-play synergy with the character and the player and I were tight as hell. But the player didn't have quite my grasp on the rules or skill with optimization. Not only was there decision paralysis, but there was also mistakes made with the rules like spending more powers points than allowed to amplify a spell.

As Mark and Sslarn have pointed out, the folks posting in these threads are a lot better at the game than 90% of the PF market/players. It is entirely reasonable for the core classes to be accessible to that 90%. I think a more complex mechanic like psionics could very well have a place in the game, but it should be in a later book.

One of the big failings of PF1 (IMO, of course) was how many of the core classes were the most complex to play. Wizard spell books and vancian casting are a headache for newbies. Clerics have a similar issue but full access to their entire spell list, potentially making it worse. Druids have all that plus a ton of other features pulling them in multiple directions which also makes them a pain to build. Fighters are simple to play but VERY hard to build well. And of course the core monk was a mess; most people agree you not only needed excellent skill to make them work but also access to archetypes which came later. Rogues had all sorts of problems. Sorcerers weren't the worst offenders, but stuff like stricter spell swapping and the human FCB made it easy to do them "wrong."

I think the paladin and barbarian are the only two classes that were really easy to pick up and play. Honorable mention to the bard, whose generalist nature meant they would probably be relevant at SOMETHING, and the Ranger, who while having some pitfalls a scrub can fill into can be done well with some very light guidance and serves as a well rounded introductory class thanks to having a little bit of everything doled out gradually.


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Darkorin wrote:
As the devs themselves said before: my playtest group never really hit hard against the resonance caps, even the ones with lower Charisma. (From Mark Seifter), which means that sorcerers having an edge thanks to their charisma is plainly false, and even the designers should know it

Alternative interpretation: Wizard players didn't go with consumable/use heavy builds, because they didn't want to blow through their Resonance in the first fight. Thus, they never hit hard against Resonance caps because they made reasonable choices. Sorcerers had more freedom in their item builds, and this is reflected in Dev comments

Pros: we don't have to assume the devs are incompetent or lying.
Cons: we have to assume playtesters behaved in a certain way


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edduardco wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
The thing is, I've never had to deal with players having option paralysis in combat when it comes to spells. Not in Shadowrun (where you have to choose Force, which is an analogue to Spell Level), not in 5th Edition, not in PF1 (where the closest analogue to heightening would be Metamagic Feats on the fly), not in Earthdawn (though granted, spellcasting in Earthdawn is much more different), etc.

I have experienced it, most recently in 5e. And lest we turn this into an endless round of "Taint so!" the critical role podcast has lots of examples of the players not knowing what to do mid-combat and so having to be prodded by the DM to make a decision.

More importantly, the Devs stated they saw it during their testing. Why would they lie?

I don't understand, as far as I know this wasn't a problem in 3.5 with Psionics or Dreamscarred Psionics for that matter.

So why is problem now?
What changed?
The percentage of players with option paralysis is really that large?

As to what percentage, I couldn't tell you. Possibly big, possibly small, who knows?

My guess as to what changed is that, because they collapsed so many spells into one another, spells having fundamentally different effects at different levels changed the game enough that what spell level you cast utility and buff spells matters a lot more. Damage and healing spells just increase die for the most part, no mental effort there, but picking between fog cloud and acid fog might cause some strain.

I'd be curious if they've been seeing an uptick in option overload in Starfinder Society, since that does have undercasting.


Gavmania wrote:
In pf2, that I know of, both Shield and mage Armor are cantrips now and both scale automatically without requiring slots.

I know Shield is a Cantrip now, which makes perfect sense given how it functions now, but as far as I know Mage Armor is still a normal spell. It just lasts 24 hours.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
The designers have specifically noted the cantrip thing. Cantrips level with you, and are an entirely valid combat strategy, or intended to be so, anyway. If they fail at that task, that's an issue, but they're certainly intended to step up and fill the void left by fewer and lower powered low-level spells, and have explicitly been stated to be so.

As a bit of a side-track, related to cantrip use and "the void left by... lower powered low-level spells", this is actually a large part of why I want the "use 'blasting' spells to enhance cantrips" thing I mentioned previously. Personally, when I play a caster, I like being thematic in my spell choice (and yes, I know in my previous post I was talking about how having a wide bag of tricks is the caster thing and advocating about having a slew of different kinds of spell, I often argue PoVs outside my own ^.^; ) so honestly... when I'm playing a blaster, my favored casting style TBH, I want my spells to be blasting spells. It honestly kinda sucks to be basically told that my preferred casting style is being reduced to cantrip-mancer, while my spells below the highest levels have to be off-theme if they are to be remotely useful. As such, I continue to advocate for something that makes those low-level blasting spells useful (not optimal for higher level of course, but still useful like damage meant for a character half your level isn't)... like them enhancing the auto-scaling damage cantrips.


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I wonder if the number of heighten options will vary considerably by spell list. From a PF1 perspective I would expect the Occult list, presuming it mirrors the Psychic list with all those undercastable spells (e.g. Psychic Crush, Mental Barrier, Mind Thrust, Id Insinuation, Ego Whip) to have a lot more options than the others, but now with Heal/Inflict and many blasting spells (plus flight and presumably summoning) it might be somewhat even.


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Neo2151 wrote:

So I'm confused...

Sorcerers don't get at-will heighten because that would lead to too much analysis paralysis...
But as they're designed now, they have "sometimes heighten" which will lead to the exact same kind of analysis paralysis. If anything, since you can't heighten very often, you won't have as much of an opportunity (through repeated effort) to learn which heightens are the right call and which ones aren't.

tl;dr - Analysis paralysis around heighten will be the same, if not worse, than if Sorcerer got to heighten at-will.
(As to the concern that if heighten was available at will it would lead to non-heighten spells falling by the wayside... That's a design concern; it shouldn't be a player concern. It feels like a sign that you just didn't design spells that don't heighten to be competitive.)

And for what it's worth, there are two kinds of players: Players who bother to do homework on what their class can do, and players who don't. The latter holds up game time regardless of class options, the former tends not to.
Stop trying to fix bad/lazy players with mechanics - that way madness lies. :P

The worst analysis paralysis mid-combat I’ve seen has usually been centered on movement and attacks of opportunity, with players calculating the movement cost of multiple routes and trying to evaluate the AoO risk of each route.

4E was unusually bad at that. As I recall it (it’s been a few years now since our 4E tryout campaign), the fighter had a minor power that allowed him to attack multiple monsters on the way to his major target, where he intended to unleash his major power. However, in 4E monsters could have an attack of oportunity that stopped your movement - in which case the fighter would not reach his main target, and thus would not be able to unleash his main power. This triggered looong debates on whether the monsters had that AoO, and how many targets to dare attack on the way, and the most optimal way to reach the main target - every fight. Not as if 4E combats needed to become any slower.

Now, if only some monsters in PF2 have movement-triggered AoOs, and if they do have effects like the one above, I’m afraid of the same movement route option paralysis, more than a spell choice one.


tivadar27 wrote:
We also know Rogue gets Dexterity to Damage, so there *may* be a way to get that as a Sorcerer as well (I'm guessing there is, as that's *probably* something that will be made generally available).

I really, really, really hope you're wrong about this.

Dex2Dam is a plague upon the d20 system - the game needs a vaccine against it, with the possible exception of class-specific features.

The last thing we need is a Dex2Dam epidemic...


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Shinigami02 wrote:
As such, I continue to advocate for something that makes those low-level blasting spells useful (not optimal for higher level of course, but still useful like damage meant for a character half your level isn't)... like them enhancing the auto-scaling damage cantrips.

Your lower level spells will likely be a series of aoe blasts of various kinds, since I can't see them introducing AOE cantrips without some severe limitations, due to how full attacks work. It might be OP for a fighter to be able to attack a boss at her highest attack bonus, another time at a penalty, and then use an AOE effect that is unaffected by the number of attacks you've already made in the round for her third attack. Even if it takes her second and third attacks, it might be worth it if you can trigger the right save instead of their full AC at a reduced attack bonus.

Using a slot would make that tactic appropriately balanced. DOing it at will with a cantrip..eh.


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If auto-heighten is to be a feature of the game, then it oughta be featured. The game design seems too worried about bringing character strength down in arbitrary ways.

Arcanist style casting on all prepared casters with access to auto-heighten fixes the balance problem with just nixing spontaneous heighten.

Ideally, the mechanics for all spell casting will be identical, you have a repertoire of spells and cast from that list by choosing a spell slot to spend. The only difference is the scope of that repertoire on the daily basis. Overall prepared casters have more options, but in the moment spontaneous casters feel stronger.

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