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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I would love some clarification on "spontaneous heightening", because as it written it appears Sorcerers need to learn individual spells multiple times to cover different levels, which sounds abysmal.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This looks absolutely fantastic. I'm going to love playing Divine Sorcerers! I always disliked Oracles and their curses. Seems like a great White Mage type class too!


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The same number of spells as a (generalist?!) [edit: specialist, per Mark below] wizard but without the flexibility of changing your daily loadout seems significantly weaker without any obvious benefits in return.

james014Aura wrote:
Does this mean Sorcerers can also be Oracles and Psychics and Shamans?

Sort of. Except casting off Charisma instead of Int (Psychic) or Wisdom (Shaman).

JoelF847 wrote:

5) Why do you need to replace spells as you level up "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"? I thought PF2 spells all had built in heightening which makes them useful at all levels now.

6) I'm 100% confused by spontaneous heightening. Doesn't spontaneous casting already let you do this? I thought when you learned a spell you learned all versions of it already and could prepare it at any heightened level, so for a spontaneous caster you can do this already without it being a separate class ability.

Only cantrips and spell point powers are autoheightened slot spells have to be prepared or known in a top slot to benefit from heightening. This has been clear since the beginning.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Specialist wizard.


So it says that sorcerers get the same number of spells per day as a wizard. Does that account for the wizard's school spell/recasts?


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The Raven Black wrote:
Mimo Tomblebur wrote:
If Divine Sorcerers replace Oracles, can they still wear armor and cast? I have really liked having melee combat Oracles.
Armor does not impact casting in the playtest, not even for Wizards ;-)

Yeah, but you still need the appropriate training level in armor to get the benefits that other classes get. While most classes would start out as Trained in various armors a wizard or sorcerer would start out as Untrained and have a -2 penalty to their AC. And you'd also likely have to burn feats to catch up in any meaningful way.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tyvent wrote:

That's quite the change, sorcerers having four options for types of magic. And *primal* magic? Haven't seen that before. I'm intrigued.

I was (still am) hoping that the Oracle class remained an option in a future release, if not core, but a divine sorcerer overlaps so much mechanically with what Oracle was that I have to wonder if they have a future.

To be fair, with the example given, I'm pretty sure primal magic is nature stuff. Like, Druidic stuff.

Personally I'd love to see the kineticist make a move over once things get rolling.


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Cantriped wrote:
I am really excited about the sorcerer changes. This seems really solid as far as class design. My wife will also be pleased, if for no other reason than because she loves spontaneous healers, but hated the oracle's curse.

I really hope that the sorcerer being able to do a "no strings attached" divine spontaneous caster means that when PF2 does get around to the oracle, they can really lean into the curse. Since people like your wife can play sorcerers, but personally I really loved oracle curses and wished there was more meat to them.

Oracle occupies too much interesting thematic space to be relegated to a "kind of sorcerer" anyway.


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Specialist wizard.

Thank you! I really appreciate getting confirmation on this.


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I'll be the dissenting opinion. Sorcerers have been my favorite class for a long time, but I'm not a fan of this. I came to PF from D&D 3E. The appeal of the sorcerer to me used to be their mystery. They were special, touched at some point in their family line to grant them a crazy gift that other people didn't have. PF introduced the bloodlines, but even still they were simply bonuses on top of the sorcerer's usual spellcasting, and you didn't really have to have it (arcane bloodline).

Now it just feels like I'm picking a flavor. The fact that they have tailored spell lists strips them of their versatility and customizability. I love the sorcerer because they're a Swiss Army Knife whereas the wizard is a specialized tool (though one that can change every day). Picking a demonic sorcerer sounds like it will probably be just limiting yourself to damaging fire spells and scary stuff. Whatever fits the theme of spooky demon guy.

I get that this isn't final, and this is only a glimpse of what they're working on, but the sorcerer was the one class I was looking forward to reading about and I just feel let down. I like some stuff about PF2E and don't like some stuff. But I think I'm beginning to hit my tipping point. Doesn't seem like the kind of game I want to play. I'm trying to reserve judgement for the finished product though.


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Please give Sorcerers some basic armor proficiency for free this time! With the improved BAB stuff, they should have a chance to gish it out without dying horribly.

Essentially, don't make them equal to a Wizard in martial prowes...


5 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Cantriped wrote:
I am really excited about the sorcerer changes. This seems really solid as far as class design. My wife will also be pleased, if for no other reason than because she loves spontaneous healers, but hated the oracle's curse.

I really hope that the sorcerer being able to do a "no strings attached" divine spontaneous caster means that when PF2 does get around to the oracle, they can really lean into the curse. Since people like your wife can play sorcerers, but personally I really loved oracle curses and wished there was more meat to them.

Oracle occupies too much interesting thematic space to be relegated to a "kind of sorcerer" anyway.

I found Oracle Curses to be terrible class design. They didn't mesh with the class at all, and seemed to be tacked on to their chassis.

I love Curses as a CHARACTER BUILDING tool though, and I think Archetypes are a much better way to apply Curses.


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motrous wrote:
Now it just feels like I'm picking a flavor. The fact that they have tailored spell lists strips them of their versatility and customizability. I love the sorcerer because they're a Swiss Army Knife whereas the wizard is a specialized tool (though one that can change every day). Picking a demonic sorcerer sounds like it will probably be just limiting yourself to damaging fire spells and scary stuff. Whatever fits the theme of spooky demon guy.

A demonic sorcerer is working from the entire divine list, just like a draconic sorcerer is working from the entire arcane list (or a PF1 sorcerer is working from the sorcerer/wizard list). You just get bonus spells from your bloodline, as in PF1.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:

Please give Sorcerers some basic armor proficiency for free this time! With the improved BAB stuff, they should have a chance to gish it out without dying horribly.

Essentially, don't make them equal to a Wizard in martial prowes...

That seems pretty unfair to wizards though. Sorcerers get the same spell progression and also armor proficiency?

I'd wait to see multiclassing and archetypes before making that call.


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Seems really good.
The classes along with the 3-action economy are my favourite parts of what has been revelaed so far.


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Aratrok wrote:
motrous wrote:
Now it just feels like I'm picking a flavor. The fact that they have tailored spell lists strips them of their versatility and customizability. I love the sorcerer because they're a Swiss Army Knife whereas the wizard is a specialized tool (though one that can change every day). Picking a demonic sorcerer sounds like it will probably be just limiting yourself to damaging fire spells and scary stuff. Whatever fits the theme of spooky demon guy.
A demonic sorcerer is working from the entire divine list, just like a draconic sorcerer is working from the entire arcane list (or a PF1 sorcerer is working from the sorcerer/wizard list). You just get bonus spells from your bloodline, as in PF1.

That does change things a bit. I was reading it a different way. If that's the case, then I'm slightly less put off by the class. Thanks for the comment.


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j b 200 wrote:

I LOVE it. I am really excited about fully decoupling Sorcerer from just "wizard but spontaneous." This really makes Sorcerer the most versatile class in the game! I do wish that the Bloodline Powers went past level 10. Also I hope that there are bloodline themed class feats, really delving deep into the "I have Demon blood!" aspect of the class.

Is it August yet?

Yes I really like the way they are doing the spell lines. If your magic is based on your blood it makes way more sense than all the various blood lines always basically making you a spontaneous casting wizard. It also makes it so you could bump into a whole lot of sorcerers and really have no idea what they are going to be like as you could build them in some amazingly different ways.


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motrous wrote:
Picking a demonic sorcerer sounds like it will probably be just limiting yourself to damaging fire spells and scary stuff. Whatever fits the theme of spooky demon guy.

Interestingly enough Demon sorcs come with Heal/Harm spells as a backup option, and likely have a lot spooky necromancy as spirits are presumably linked to Spiritual (one of the essences in Divine). I wouldn't be surprised to see curses there as well, and the main offensive fire spells for them seem to be the fixed spells. They seem to be designed to cast similarly to a more selfish cleric with a couple of backup wizard options like disintegrate. You also get to have the fun moment of using your demonic powers against type, to try to heal the masses with your ill gotten gifts.

EDIT: Beaten to it.


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Spontaneous Heightening has some advantages over undercasting. Undercasting requires you to invest high level spells known in order to cast lower level spells. Spontaneous Heightening lets you invest a low level spell known (plus a floating, reassignable Spontaneous Heightening slot) in order to cast higher level spells known. It's essentially giving you two bonus spells known at your highest level (assuming you pick spells that have consistent heighten options from low to high level).

I can see devoting a couple of spells known at low level to useful buffs that don't need heightening, and putting the rest into situationally useful spells for heightening, then pick the ones you're most likely to need based on your expectations for the day.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
ChibiNyan wrote:

Please give Sorcerers some basic armor proficiency for free this time! With the improved BAB stuff, they should have a chance to gish it out without dying horribly.

Essentially, don't make them equal to a Wizard in martial prowes...

I wouldn't suprised if we got class feats that bump their proficiencies. Something you had the option of taking if you really wanted to (and yes, some of us really want to)

Paizo Employee

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motrous wrote:

I'll be the dissenting opinion. Sorcerers have been my favorite class for a long time, but I'm not a fan of this. I came to PF from D&D 3E. The appeal of the sorcerer to me used to be their mystery. They were special, touched at some point in their family line to grant them a crazy gift that other people didn't have. PF introduced the bloodlines, but even still they were simply bonuses on top of the sorcerer's usual spellcasting, and you didn't really have to have it (arcane bloodline).

Now it just feels like I'm picking a flavor. The fact that they have tailored spell lists strips them of their versatility and customizability. I love the sorcerer because they're a Swiss Army Knife whereas the wizard is a specialized tool (though one that can change every day). Picking a demonic sorcerer sounds like it will probably be just limiting yourself to damaging fire spells and scary stuff. Whatever fits the theme of spooky demon guy.

I get that this isn't final, and this is only a glimpse of what they're working on, but the sorcerer was the one class I was looking forward to reading about and I just feel let down. I like some stuff about PF2E and don't like some stuff. But I think I'm beginning to hit my tipping point. Doesn't seem like the kind of game I want to play. I'm trying to reserve judgement for the finished product though.

There are only 4 spell lists in the entire game for the new version: Arcane, Divine, Occult, Primal. The sorcerer, who previously only got spells off the wiz/sorc (Arcane) list, can instead pick a spell list (basically, do you want Cleric, Druid, Psychic, or Wizard spells), and then layer their bloodline spells (which may or may not actually be from the spell list corresponding to their bloodline) on top of that. That's actually almost exactly how the current edition sorcerer works, except you don't get tagged with the wizard list automatically and can instead choose from any of the caster lists. Why do you see that as stripping the customization out of them?


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Secret Wizard wrote:

I found Oracle Curses to be terrible class design. They didn't mesh with the class at all, and seemed to be tacked on to their chassis.

I love Curses as a CHARACTER BUILDING tool though, and I think Archetypes are a much better way to apply Curses.

I mean in practice most oracle curses were effectively "which thing is least inconvenient" and most of them weren't so bad so the execution of the class needs more work. My hope is that one's curse is now tied to their mystery, so we can have thematic ties (e.g. the flames mystery has clouded your eyes) and have more substantial limitations/benefits.

PF2 also needs the Shaman back to represent a cleric analogue for more animistic cultures. So I don't think the Sorcerer occupying some of the space devoted to old classes should preclude the inclusion of those classes any more than the Wizard existing precludes the Witch being added to PF2 (and remember it was nearly in playtest, but lost out to the Alchemist.)

When a new version of one class encroaches on the mechanical space of another older class, use this opportunity to make new mechanics for the thematic space of that 2nd class. Make Witches more Hexy and flesh out the Patrons, really underline that Oracles are cursed by the gods but this comes with great power, etc.


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Elleth wrote:

This certainly seems thematic, I like it. I also love the concept of the evolution feats. Selective heightening is strange but I'm glad it means some spontaneous heightening is possible. Also, not sure if anyone noticed buuuuuuuut...

blog wrote:
Occult Evolution gives you a skill and lets you pick a spell with the mental trait to add to your repertoire each day.
I don't know about you guys, but that sounds like occult Bard to me.

It sounds like spell-less bard, and they're including Psychic magic in Core to me...


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean in practice most oracle curses were effectively "which thing is least inconvenient" and most of them weren't so bad so the execution of the class needs more work.

I would like the record to show that this is not the case when you spam Oracle's Burden like I do, because then debilitating curses with really good ability scaling is awesome.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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Question about the Enhancement for gluttonous jaws - it says "If the target was living, gain 1d4 temporary HP." Do enhancements only activate if the target was hit? It seems like it's intended to only work if there's a hit. What about cases where the target was hit but takes no damage, due to say DR? I'd think it would be more clear if it stated "if the target takes damage and was living, gain 1d4 temporary HP"

Liberty's Edge

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I think some of you might be confusing how heightened spells work. You only have to learn them ONCE, at their lowest level, and later can prepare/cast them with higher level slots for additional benefits.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Xenocrat wrote:

Spontaneous Heightening has some advantages over undercasting. Undercasting requires you to invest high level spells known in order to cast lower level spells. Spontaneous Heightening lets you invest a low level spell known (plus a floating, reassignable Spontaneous Heightening slot) in order to cast higher level spells known. It's essentially giving you two bonus spells known at your highest level (assuming you pick spells that have consistent heighten options from low to high level).

I can see devoting a couple of spells known at low level to useful buffs that don't need heightening, and putting the rest into situationally useful spells for heightening, then pick the ones you're most likely to need based on your expectations for the day.

Xenocrat is right; I had a post about this but I can't seem to find it with the search function. Basically, Undercasting seems more generous (it even seemed that way to us before we dug into it), but it's actually really ungenerous assuming you want to max out certain spells. Let's posit my oracle from PF1 who two of the things he did were dispel magic and summon stuff. With undercasting, if I want to be able to do those with my top spells, I've spent my best spells known on that and can't have any other spells of my top level right away, which means whenever I gain access to a new spell level, I'm actually only learning spells of the next-highest level to replace dispel and summon, whereas everyone else is getting new spells from the new level. With this version, I get dispel and summon all the way up to max automatically, plus new spells of the highest level.

Grand Lodge

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Quote:
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.

Why not use Spell Points for this? Please remove the countless X per day. :)


Interesting, though I have to wonder if an Elemental bloodline is planned for the official 2nd edition CRB.

Grand Lodge

The Raven Black wrote:
Mimo Tomblebur wrote:
If Divine Sorcerers replace Oracles, can they still wear armor and cast? I have really liked having melee combat Oracles.
Armor does not impact casting in the playtest, not even for Wizards ;-)

Wait.. Where did you hear/read this??

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Varun Creed wrote:
Quote:
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.
Why not use Spell Points for this? Please remove the countless X per day. :)

I don't mind X per day so long as X only ever equals 1.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Modules, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh hey look a caster class that actually functions well finally.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:

Spontaneous Heightening has some advantages over undercasting. Undercasting requires you to invest high level spells known in order to cast lower level spells. Spontaneous Heightening lets you invest a low level spell known (plus a floating, reassignable Spontaneous Heightening slot) in order to cast higher level spells known. It's essentially giving you two bonus spells known at your highest level (assuming you pick spells that have consistent heighten options from low to high level).

I can see devoting a couple of spells known at low level to useful buffs that don't need heightening, and putting the rest into situationally useful spells for heightening, then pick the ones you're most likely to need based on your expectations for the day.

Xenocrat is right; I had a post about this but I can't seem to find it with the search function. Basically, Undercasting seems more generous (it even seemed that way to us before we dug into it), but it's actually really ungenerous assuming you want to max out certain spells. Let's posit my oracle from PF1 who two of the things he did were dispel magic and summon stuff. With undercasting, if I want to be able to do those with my top spells, I've spent my best spells known on that and can't have any other spells of my top level right away, which means whenever I gain access to a new spell level, I'm actually only learning spells of the next-highest level to replace dispel and summon, whereas everyone else is getting new spells from the new level. With this version, I get dispel and summon all the way up to max automatically, plus new spells of the highest level.

But wouldn't having both undercasting and spontaneous upcasting be more beneficial?

Edit:
Lets posit that your oracle has access to 4th level spells. This way your oracle could still have your dispel and summon in level 1 spots (or whatever lowest). And take invisibility as a 4th level and heal as a 3rd.

Upcasting would allow you to cast your summons or dispel as a 4th level spell, while undercasting would allow to cast heal as a 1st, or 3rd level spell (good cause we're not focusing healing) and invisibility as a 2nd, depending on the situation you're in.

Double edit:
It seems undercasting helps you with spells that you don't want to max out, while upcasting can. Using both allows you to use your newest slots to learn new (and hopefully exciting) spells.

Triple edit: remembered 2nd level heal wasn't a thing.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Rek Rollington wrote:
I was concerned when I heard you needed to know a spell at a higher level to cast it there so spontaneous heightening is a relief. But what is the logic behind them not being able to do this all the time? Is it too much of an advantage over a wizard or does it present too many options to a player when selecting which spell to cast?
In the internal playtesting, it did create some balance issues with the wizard, yes. But the other thing was that it essentially gave too many choices mid-battle for most players to be comfortable with, and made the sorcerer less fun to play. Considering the sorcerer is supposed to be the easier to learn caster with less book keeping, there's definitely some wisdom in that.

Who are you, exactly? If what you're saying is true, I'm suuuuuper irritated Paizo learned nothing from the Shifter debacle. But I don't know who you are, so your statement seems to come off official, when I don't think it should?

Liberty's Edge

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I'm actually quite pleased. Not having more spells per day than a Wizard will be interesting, but not nearly as crippling this edition. Getting to choose your Spell List is very cool, and the Bloodline spells and powers look solid as well. All things considered, I'm really liking it.

My one big question, which effects power and functionality quite a bit, is how many spells known do Sorcerers get per level?


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Varun Creed wrote:
Quote:
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.
Why not use Spell Points for this? Please remove the countless X per day. :)

Spell points wouldn’t be balanced. Spell points are supposed to grant something weaker than a top-level spell, but better than using cantrips. (Paladin gets more powerful SLAs as part of their deal.) Casting a top-level spell off your scalable pool of points would be too strong.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So is the Imperial bloodline approximately the same as the old Arcane bloodline?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Paladinosaur wrote:
I think some of you might be confusing how heightened spells work. You only have to learn them ONCE, at their lowest level, and later can prepare/cast them with higher level slots for additional benefits.

I think you may be confused about spontaneous casting Paladinosaur.

blog wrote:
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.


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?

Liberty's Edge

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LeesusFreak wrote:
Who are you, exactly? If what you're saying is true, I'm suuuuuper irritated Paizo learned nothing from the Shifter debacle. But I don't know who you are, so your statement seems to come off official, when I don't think it should?

He's not anyone official. He's paraphrasing from the post Mark Seifter mentioned he made in another thread. Or mostly paraphrasing anyway.

The impression I got was that, while simplicity was a factor, the stuff Mark mentions above involving it actually being less punitive on your highest slots was at least as big a factor.


I think there's a misunderstanding about spontaneous heightening. Spontaneous casters can't cast summon monster IV if they have learned summon monster II, yet their caster level will affect their fire ball spell, as there's no Fire Ball II or III, there's only fire ball.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but spontaneous heightening will let me cast summon monster IV even though I have learned to cast the version II of the spell, right?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:


PF2 also needs the Shaman back to represent a cleric analogue for more animistic cultures.

Keep it. Nothing holding back from Clerics being animistic other than the othering of pantheistic religions.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

I'm actually quite pleased. Not having more spells per day than a Wizard will be interesting, but not nearly as crippling this edition. Getting to choose your Spell List is very cool, and the Bloodline spells and powers look solid as well. All things considered, I'm really liking it.

My one big question, which effects power and functionality quite a bit, is how many spells known do Sorcerers get per level?

The hard truth, when I did an analysis of it, is that sorcerers were not in as great a shape as they seemed in PF1. I did find this post and will quote it here, but first, for spell repertoire size, at base it's equal to spell slots (so 3 of a new spell level, then 4). This counts bloodline. Anyway, to the quote:

Weirdly, sorcerers didn't have as much of an advantage over specialist wizards in slots per day as it seemed they did in PF1, and actually had fewer spells per day at some levels.

Odd levels starting at 3rd: PF1 sorcerers don't have the new top wizard spell level, and PF1 specialists do, with 3-4 spells at that level depending on Int. The sorcerer has 2 more spells of the specialist's third-highest level, and 1 more spell of all other levels.

Even levels: PF1 sorcerers have equal spells of the specialist's highest level, 2 more spells of the specialist's third-highest level and 1 more spell of other levels.

Not being ahead of the specialist in top level spells at any level, not even the even levels, was a little sad for the sorcerer.

Paizo Employee Designer

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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.


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Secret Wizard wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:


PF2 also needs the Shaman back to represent a cleric analogue for more animistic cultures.
Keep it. Nothing holding back from Clerics being animistic other than the othering of pantheistic religions.

I'm pretty sure "Clerics are hardcore into one and only one deity" is hardcoded into the class so we need another thing or to change that about the cleric. Either is fine with me. A shaman class skipping the Anathema, Favored Weapon, and Domain stuff in favor of other stuff just seems like the easiest way to do it.


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The Gold Sovereign wrote:

I think there's a misunderstanding about spontaneous heightening. Spontaneous casters can't cast summon monster IV if they have learned summon monster II, yet their caster level will affect their fire ball spell, as there's no Fire Ball II or III, there's only fire ball.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but spontaneous heightening will let me cast summon monster IV even though I have learned to cast the version II of the spell, right?

Spontaneous Heightening will let you cast higher levels of Summon Monster if you only know it as a first level spell. There are no number designations of SM I-IX, though. It's just one spell that becomes available/baseline at a minimum spell level (presumably 1st) and become more powerful at levels where heightening is an option (presumably 2nd-9th or 10th).

Fireball is a 3rd level spell that can be heightened in two level increments (5th, 7th, 9th). That's the only way to increase its damage, it doesn't scale on its own via your character level/caster level increasing.


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Xenocrat wrote:


JoelF847 wrote:

5) Why do you need to replace spells as you level up "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"? I thought PF2 spells all had built in heightening which makes them useful at all levels now.

6) I'm 100% confused by spontaneous heightening. Doesn't spontaneous casting already let you do this? I thought when you learned a spell you learned all versions of it already and could prepare it at any heightened level, so for a spontaneous caster you can do this already without it being a separate class ability.
Only cantrips and spell point powers are autoheightened slot spells have to be prepared or known in a top slot to benefit from heightening. This has been clear since the beginning.

Except they said the exact opposite of that in the All About spells blog

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

specifically says you don't need to learn the spell at higher levels, and its just something available to everyone including spontaneous casters!

Really hope they end up with the much simpler heighten only cares about the spell level of the slot used and not having to keep track of some list of spell levels I'm allowed to heighten individual spells to. (Works for 5e)


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Sorcerers are looking great. Well, 90% great, at least? Bloodline powers look solid (that bite looks better than most of the old level 1 powers), love getting spell lists from the bloodline... kinda wish the arcana was still a thing, but it did make dipping a bit too strong.

That spontaneous heightening thing is the most hideously kludgy mess I've seen in a while, though. If you do have to actually take a spell as a spell known at every level you want to be able to cast it (assuming you're not selecting it for SH), that's going to be horrifically unintuitive and I'm dreading explaining it to new players. Also, as one of my current players pointed out, if some bloodline spells are still from other lists beyond the one you have access to, you're basically going to end up having to use spontaneous heightening on those spells only, since you actually can't learn them in other slots.

I think Mark's explanation of the flaws of undercasting is fair, but it's still less awful than this system (where you will STILL have to blow your top level spells known on existing spells if you want to be able to heighten them and are using SH for something else). Alternately, I have trouble seeing how unlimited spontaneous heightening caused that much of a balance problem vs wizards, given that sorcs and wizards still have the same number of spells per day. Wouldn't it just help close the versatility gap between the two?

Also, this is a less immediately pressing quibble, but I sincerely hope the ability to be a divine sorcerer isn't meant to replace the oracle. Oracles were never just divine sorcerers.


rooneg wrote:
So is the Imperial bloodline approximately the same as the old Arcane bloodline?

More like the Vestige bloodline from Blood of the Ancients. Although, it could probably cover the Arcane bloodline for the purposes of the playtest.

Being as this is just the playtest, I imagine the final CRB will have a longer list.


The Gold Sovereign wrote:

I think there's a misunderstanding about spontaneous heightening. Spontaneous casters can't cast summon monster IV if they have learned summon monster II, yet their caster level will affect their fire ball spell, as there's no Fire Ball II or III, there's only fire ball.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but spontaneous heightening will let me cast summon monster IV even though I have learned to cast the version II of the spell, right?

You are misunderstanding about spells. There shouldn't be multiple versions of the Summon Monster spell (or if there are they specify different things they summon so Summon Dragon and Summon Celestial would be different spells). Spell's effects are determined by the level of Spell slot they are assigned to.

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