Spell Sovereign

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Hammer and Flail critical specializations are also effectively 1 round Slows for majority of cases.

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I'm pretty sure people are not complaining about the value of the bonus itself, but rather that the bonus is only applicable to relatively narrow scope of situations, and type of bonus clashes with DM-given-out bonuses which are presumably achieved through good roleplaying meaning it means less (or nothing) if you actually engage with the game.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Weapons are not 'most of' the Proficiencies. Armor is, and you'll use that.

Though that said, I do agree the requirements are overly stringent. By quite a bit.

Errr, what? I never said anything about weapons being 'most of' the proficiencies?

Note also that Armour also doesn't advance automatically and requires additional feat.
But given you're starting with low Dex, heavy armour is still beneficial.

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Since your weapon proficiency won't advance, using these weapons is definitively a bad idea at levels we are talking about.

And having a convoluted path to allow you to take a low-level archetype at high levels is essentially not being to do it.
Will there be people who do it? Sure. But it's such a corner case of a corner case that for practical purposes, it is impossible right now.

There'll be a few Human Wizards paying up the Armour Proficiency tax to get into Armiger early, and maybe a few more going Champion dedication route (note: these Wizards won't be able to wear Hellknight armour without penalties until level 10 because of Str and Cha needing to start at 14).
All in all, these mechanics mean there will be more Bards, Warclerics and Druids joining than Sorcerers or Wizards. In the end, these mechanics tell me that in lore, Hellknights have restricted Wizards from being able to join.

Or to put it another way:
P1 These mechanics describe a specific lore segment: Hellknight organisation
P2 Developers are competent and they designed the mechanics to represent lore correctly
P3 Wizards require such a huge investment to be able to enter, and at later point that other classes
QED Wizards are not expected / encouraged to join the organisation

Actually I think that you can take a generalist Wizard and built him around Hand of the Apprentice. It'll take heavy investment, but you can get a really good weapon and just smash people with it. Note that they're the earliest way to get Critical specialisation effect.

I'm waiting for Character Guide, as I think Elven heritage for multiclassing will give you easy Weapon proficiency via Fighter dedication. Take Maul (or Pick for pure crit damage) and stack all the modifiers for fun action. As a bonus, if you crit, Maul drops the enemies prone, essentially wasting their action.

With class feats towards Focus points, restoring Focus points via Arcane Bond and familiar, you can certainly use that move many times a combat.

Ed Reppert wrote:
Oh? Where is that written?

Armiger requires proficiency with weapons of the order. Order of the Gate is the only one with weapon that Wizards are proficient with. If you're spending feats to gain Armour Proficiency, you don't have feats to also get Weapon Proficiencies necessary for other Orders.

As a bonus, even if you got those feats, they'd become obsolete on reaching level 11.

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Franz Lunzer wrote:
Yeah, dragonhide, darkwood,... exist. They are also Level 12+ materials.

So? Armiger itself is a 10th level feat unless you are playing a human and invest both Heritage and Ancestry Feat into getting Armour Proficiency.

In total, I'd say Bard is probably the best way to get into Signifer.

Not to mention Wizards can only join Order of the Gate.

There is no requirement to actually wear Hellknight armour that I know of.


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Rysky wrote:

Granted, just because it's easier/allowed on the mechanics side of thing doesn't mean that's reflected lorewise.

Lorewise I can safely say there's no Hellknight Druids.

I don't see how you can make this kind of claim. That might've been true in 1e, but obviously now Hellknights avoid Wizards and Sorcerers, and prefer Druids.

james014Aura wrote:
Sorry for taking so long, but Wizards are hard to build. I promised this: Adventurous Transmuter.

I think we have quite a different definition of niche, or rather, I am not using niche as just a basic "can do things a different class cannot".

Now, speaking for myself, and using your definition of niche (i.e., something other class cannot do), answers to your questions:

james014Aura wrote:

Do people agree

1) This has a niche that Druids can't poach, thank you certain Wizard class features and feats, and Will save spells

Only due to Will save spells, and just barely. Features and feats add nothing of note.

Note that Druids can summon Fey, which can provide plenty of Will save spells against lower level opponents.
james014Aura wrote:
2) This has a niche that Bards can't poach, thank you powerful blasts.


james014Aura wrote:
3) This does NOT poach anyone else's niche? Of course Bards have better support powers and of course Druids are better at killing things. Except possibly for having enough Int to poach a Bard's knowledges, but that's more secondary overlap.

Druids are far better at support as well due to simple access to the critical Heal spell.

james014Aura wrote:
4) this is viable? I optimized slightly. I stopped at a point, though, so there's room to make it even stronger.

Viable, yes.

james014Aura wrote:
and 5, most importantly) That this showcases the Niche of the Wizard class.

Again, by your definition, yes.

I, however, am not satisfied with a niche of "Wizards can cast both Bard and Druid spells at the same time", since they cannot do anything else competently, nor are they particularly good at casting these spells.

Also, the focus on blasting/damage spells is also highly unsatisfying, far more appropriate to sorcerers by lore.

Squiggit wrote:
Am I correct in assuming Unconventional Weaponry does nothing if you take it as a Wizard, since they aren't trained in simple weapons to begin with?

Exactly. It seems that the general rule when considering anything as a Wizard is "it won't work".

For those watching the stream, did you hear their (hilarious) answer to the question about the difficulty of getting into Armiger if you don't start with any armour proficiencies XD XD XD

Blave wrote:
Baleful Polymorph isn't mind-affecting. It literally - physically - tries to turn your brain into that of a squirrel. Mind affecting would be casting Suggestion to make someone act like a squirrel.

That's a very interesting philosophical discussion actually.. Not for this forum.

Blave wrote:
Honestly, come to think of it, I'll go with: Transmutation, including polymorph spells, are purely Matter essence. That's why Arcane and Occult share most of them. Also, I don't think anyone but the designers can give a definite answer to that.

You mean Arcane and Primal. And I'm not super wedded to declaring it Mental. My only point is, IF Transmutation is not Matter only, THEN it should be considered Mental and not Life.

Blave wrote:
And yes many of his feats aren't great, but that's also true for the caster-oriented feats of the druid.

But Druids has access to the non-caster feats. And spellcasting is not the be-all and end-all of Druid. Unlike some other class, I can't think of which one though...

Blave wrote:
So transforming a creature that is immune to mental effects into a bird would leave it unable to fly?

In my view, yes, actually. But that is less relevant to this discussion; my only point is that mental effects of polymorphing are greater than life-force effects.

Blave wrote:
Transmutations have never been mental effects (or "mind-affecting" as they were called).

Errrr... Have you read the full effects of Baleful Polymorph in PF1?

Blave wrote:
Yes, Polymorph spells are probably in some suble way teaching you how to use your new form/ability.

Affecting your mental state > mental effects.

Blave wrote:
That doesn't link them to the Mental essence. They might as well just rewire your brain to deal with the new shape.

This touches on greater philosophical discussion about separation between mind and body. However, whatever is the answer, still: polymorph has greater mental effects than life-force effects.

Blave wrote:

Evocation doesn't blow away life force. It evokes harmful energies that destroy matter.

It's Necromancy deals with the Life essence and life force directly.

Exactly my (second) point: Transmutation does not deal with Life essence. Evocation and Transmutation affect physical properties of matter, not spiritual. If one (Evocation) is not related to Life, neither is the other (Transmutation).

Hence, there is no reason why Druids should be better at it than Wizards.

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Blave wrote:

You are mixing up cause and effect. The essences don't determine what you need to cast a spell, but what the spell does.

Transmutation affects objects and living beings, i.e. the essences Matter and Life, by altering their shape and/or properties.

This has nothing to do with the Mental essence.

Altering shape of a living thing without altering its mind to be able to control the new shape helps not at all. Want to test it? If you've never worn high heels, try walking in them.

Polymorph spells are not manipulating the life force itself, they are reshaping physical matter that happens to be animated by life force. Otherwise you could claim Evocation spells are manipulating life force because they are blowing it away.

And no, instinct won't help. Instinct is also a mental thing. While animals are born with some instincts, most need to learn most of the things they do. Especially the more coordinated moves. There's plenty of videos of newborn animals being hilarious trying to learn to walk.

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james014Aura wrote:
Outside of shapeshifting - a Druid's niche - they don't get many useful Transmutions that wizards don't.

Your entire argument hinges on this statement. Yet it is in no way clear why this would be so.

Druids always had the ability to shapeshift into animals - period. Yet somehow that entire subschool of Transmutation is their niche now? Why? Wizards were always the premier shapeshifters. Druids instead got innate animal shapeshifting (and later elementals to make up for no high level animals). Yet somehow they now become good at partial shifting and shifting into everything.

And no, sorry, don't buy that thing about essences. If anything, shifting should be physical and mental because it requires mental adaptation to properly control the new form. After all, it's no use having wings if you don't know how to flap them properly.

Also, tactical comment, a Wizard with Str 16 and Athletics is 1 point behind martial for maneuvers on low levels. Far better that they trip the opponent so that martial gets max effect on their turn. Same how Reach spell is actually most valuable at low levels to put Magic Weapon from afar.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
I, perhaps more than Nemo, hate druids and their place in DnD with an undying passion.

I actually like Druids. I just don't think they should be better at Transmutation than Wizards specialising in transmuting.

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If the game designers are not willing to let a specialist be good at what they're supposed to be good, I'd much prefer they just remove that specialisation from the game. Sorry, in Pathfinder world Transmuters don't exist.

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BellyBeard wrote:
I would like to see transmute wizard's focus not be on "casterzilla" type buff spells, since that's a narrow view of the school and druids have it covered. It's the school of turning stuff into other stuff, so the powers should reflect that. Just off the top of my head, maybe a focus spell to turn the ground under an enemy into mud/lava/whatever else you can think of. Or something to change the physical properties of items, making something lighter or heavier or stronger or weaker. Temporary special materials to target weaknesses, turn a rope stiff so you can make a temporary ladder out of it, turn water into ice to walk across it. There's lots of fun applications of Transmutation, and the transmuter wizard should lean towards those instead of being a buff bot.

I agree on the point that the school needs to be considered more widely. I miss the Animate Rope. And why Grease was left in Conjuration I cannot fathom.

However, I disagree on letting Druids take the self-transformation spells. This has been a Transmuter staple forever, and it is a core part of the specialisation. After all, Transmuter is a specialised in the process of transmuting, whereas a Druid is a nature-worshipping-hippy who gets to cosplay as his favourite animals and/or plants.

james014Aura wrote:

I've read your writeup on the Transmuter, and while you do have a few valid points (lack of Will saves), I also think you miss a lot of things. A few examples:

  • you keep listing Physical Boost as a "thing" Druids cannot do, or some spells like See Invisibility. However, you miss that Druids have different ways of achieving similar results, and often much better - specifically, Glitterdust vs See Invisibility, etc.
  • you keep listing number of spells Wizard have; but a Druid or Bard will have quite a few of their own, and their Focus abilities are far more flexible and useful. They are equivalent of high level spell slots, while Wizards Focus abilities are generally equivalent of lower level spells
  • Specifically Transmuter abilities are really on the order of 1st or 2nd level slots, while Druids are equivalent of max level slots. At level 8 when Wizard gets their Advanced spell, it provides an equivalent of 1st or 2nd level effect. Meanwhile Wild Order Druid gets to fly.
  • In all, this build can be trivially improved simply by changing the Wizard specialization to some of the other schools, like Abjuration or Divinitation without losing one bit of mechanical powers.

Using spells for noncombat situations is very problematic because it is not reliable for RP reasons. Sure, you could Charm someone instead of talking, but is it really an option when everyone will see you do it? Or it will be obvious immediately?
Furthermore, you point to some things Wizards get (such as using staffs) as if other classes cannot do similar to boost their power.

Anyway, I don't think we'll convince each other. But as someone who is actually playing a Transmuter Wizard these days, I can tell you it is exceedingly flavourless at low levels. I built it around exploiting Physical Boost to the max (Str 16, proficient in Athletics), and it still doesn't matter. I'd much rather have Guidance.

Ed Reppert wrote:
What do you want? Sounds like you want 1st level PC wizards to have the same powers as Tar-Baphon.

... Seriously? That's your takeaway? Okay-dokay.

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Squiggit wrote:
If you're going to argue that Wizards are a little bit bland and don't have much going for them outside their spell list, I'll agree with you. Paizo did not go far enough making spell schools compelling and overall I think Wizards are a bit on the weak side and a little annoying to play. Proficiency rules are also too restrictive in letting you build out weird alternatives to the standard wizard. The ultimate package smacks of Paizo being very scared of spellcasters, ultimately to their detriment.

We agree on this point completely.

Squiggit wrote:
But in the context of comparing them to 1e Wizards it's a bit of an odd sticking point, because having bland class features and being heavily redundant with other classes was much more significantly an issue in 1e where the wizard, sorcerer and arcanist are even more interchangeable and a wizard's class features are even more nonexistent.

Well, I wasn't comparing Wizards to those two, but rather to other spellcasting classes (Druid, Witch, Oracle, Summoner).

Sorcerer used to be Wizard for people who wanted to blast and not think - I'm so glad they managed to differentiate them more in this edition. And Arcanists... Wizard for people who don't want to plan? Lazy. Glad it's not here.

oholoko wrote:
I think that's true for every class. There's nothing that another class can do that you can't except that class can do even more things. But i wouldn't say everyone can do what wizards do better. Wizards are the best prepared caster even with the nerf from the playtest, and the arcane list feels like the most versatile one.

Why are they the best prepared caster? What makes them best? They literally have second smallest pool of spells to choose from. Sure, Arcane list may have (slightly!) more spells on it, but Wizards only get to use whats in their spellbooks. They prepare same as everyone else (yes, I know they have that one thesis, but you know what, not everyone wants to play that thesis).

All they have is slightly more spells per day than most casters. And aside from that, they have NOTHING. Few more familiar powers maybe? Extra (useless) metamagic feats?

Their spell list has been reduced to be on par with others, which sounds good game balance until your realise Wizards don't have anything else besides their spell list. Even their Focus powers are very bland compared to many options other classes get.

Sure, they can have some illusion and blasting spells at the same time! Yay, that's the Wizard niche!
There's plenty of spells they don't have, same as every other class, and yet the other classes have other things they do. Wizards either need more range of spells (and not more small situational stuff either!), or they need to get something else. Focus powers would've been awesome if they worked more like Conjuration one, where they enhanced the spells of your school, so you could say, sure, others may have the spells Wizard have, but Wizard can make them better... And yet the answer was no.

Squiggit wrote:

Cantrips and focus spells give 2e wizards staying power that low level 1e wizards never had.

Tighter system math and spell balance encourages tactics and teamwork instead of just lazily steamrolling encounters with 'I win' buttons

1e wizards are stale, overbearing and prone to quickly running out of tricks if adventuring day standards aren't adhered to (especially at lower levels). It's an all around boring package.

Sure, but in exchange they got anything special about them removed. There is simply nothing relevant Wizard does that another class couldn't do. And that other class would be doing even more things, or doing the same things better.

Nefreet wrote:
Perhaps save this character for a non-PFS game?

I doubt I'd do it even there. But checking the options to see how these things are handled in PFS games, just in case.

Personally, the fact they tied Armour proficiencies to Champion class is probably the worst specific design decision they made.
(and to be clear, I generally love the 2nd edition very, very much)

cavernshark wrote:

Instead of ignoring the anathema and thereby creating the pretext for this question, wouldn't it just be easier to pick a deity that just sort of does what you want your character to do? I mean, if you're a gnome sorcerer Nethys (NG) seems like an obvious choice but there are a half dozen other deities with not-that-difficult to do anathemas.

I get that it isn't ideal, but it also isn't terribly burdensome. Other options will probably come out over time to make this particular problem easier to solve.

It's the principle of the thing - there is a bunch of issues with Champion causes already which my character might not want to fullfil, even not going into gods anathemas.

Also, more specifically, Nethys couldn't work by default as the whole reason for taking the class is wearing Heavy Armour, which means using mundane means for protection instead of Arcane.

Gamerskum wrote:
In society you can not just ignore the anathema.

I mean, you can keep repeating it. I've not seen this stated anywhere. All I have is this:

If you stray from your alignment or violate your code of conduct, you lose your focus pool and divine ally until you demonstrate your repentance by conducting an atone ritual, but you keep any other champion abilities that don’t require those class features. If your alignment shifts but is still one allowed by your deity, your GM might let you retrain your cause while still following the same deity.

Which would allow me to ignore anathema quite handily as taking Champion dedication gives you none of these abilities anyway, and you can keep taking feats from it that don't interact with these abilities.

Let's say I would like to play a Gnome Sorcerer that wears Heavy Armour. Right now, the options are to spend 3 General Feats on it, meaning I would have to wait until level 9 before I can actually wear any of it.

Alternatively, I could take a Champion dedication. But the only interesting thing from that Dedication is the proficiencies, so I would completely ignore the anathema. How would this be handled in PFS? Would there be any negative consequences?

Tender Tendrils wrote:

I don't understand why people seem to see things being nerfed as inherently bad. Wizards and spellcasters being too powerful where a very common complaint in every edition I have experience with (3.5, pf1, 5e) with the exception of starfinder (which nerfed spellcasters much more severely than pf2, and honestly has them in a very good place for that setting).

Reigning in overpowered options is how you make the game more balanced - you could just buff each underperforming class, but that leads to power creep until every class trivialises encounters.

Nerfing spellcasters was needed. I don't think many would disagree on this point.

However, they really OVERnerfed Wizards specifically. Wizards only have their spells (not even Bloodline powers like Sorcerers). Yet their spelllist is equal to others (I'm sorry, but Primal can do pretty much everything Arcane can and then some), and their special abilities are distinctly weak. Metamagic currently doesn't really exist (again, nerfed into oblivion), and their school powers are okayish if unimpressive (depends on which one, some have more use than others).

And finally, they are by far the most hurt by the very strict and conservative feats for gaining more proficiencies - for example, there's a few feats that they cannot even use because they don't start with Simple Weapon Proficiency.

tivadar27 wrote:
I mean, sure, but the alternative is to use greater invisibility, and each round, cast your spell, then move to a different location. While not having your opponents know where you were before a move action is useful, it's also not game breaking at the cost of 2 feats, a 4th level spell slot, and a round to set up. Basically, what @Squiggit said with the alternative mentioned.

Wait, how does this differ if you don't use Silent Spell?

David knott 242 wrote:

5th level ancestry feat: Natural Ambition with 2nd Champion multiclassing feat

You cannot. Multiclass feats are only available via Archetype feats, which are all Feat 4 (Basic Devotion in case of Champion) or Feat 6 (Advanced Devotion).

You could theoretically take the Champion devotion path to take Armiger at 8th level, but that means you have to be Lawful Stupid alignment (Lawful for Armiger, Lawful Stupid because you're a Paladin). And you have to start with Str 14, Cha 14.

Unicore wrote:
Ask your GM and have a good reason for wanting it? If it is a part of a back story and you are ready to not find many of them in play, I would be happy to allow a character to use an uncommon weapon from the get-go, even without investing a feat in it.

If only I had a GM to ask... :D Nah, question is PFS focused.

Currently I'm the GM so I do whatever I want too. :)

For example, Kukris, Glaives, Temple Sword. They're all Uncommon, but without an Ancestry trait. Is there a way a character can get access to them?

There's some notion of cultural uncommonness, but I don't see anywhere a guide to which cultures gain access to what?

Ed Reppert wrote:
"Spellcasting class feature" is a prerequisite for Hellknight signifer, so signifers must be drawn (at the moment at least) from the ranks of Bards, Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, and Wizards.

Meaning Bards, Clerics, and Druids. Earliest non-human Sorcerers and Wizards could take Armiger is level 10. Earlier humans can take it is level 4, which is slightly better, but human Wizards can only ever join Order of the Gate (requiring dagger proficiency).

SuperBidi wrote:
That's not the way people are reading it. It doesn't remove an action, just a component. So you end up increasing the number of actions by one.

I know. I'm saying I think they're wrong.


Given how everything else with Wizards work, I would not be surprised they are actually correct, and it increases total actions by 1. It's a situational metamagic feat, that does make it too powerful for Wizards if it doesn't increase actions by 1.

By RAW, it removes a verbal component, but then it adds it's own action. So you use less actions, then use more and end up the same.

Theoretically if there was a spell with 2 (or 3) explicit verbal actions, then it would reduce the casting time to 1 action I guess.

Paradozen wrote:
Roll twice and take the better on a skill or save is a pretty bad ability because that bonus roll might be worse than your regular? That's a ... curious take on it. Is true strike pretty bad because you might roll a 1 on the other die? I get that this one has a time delay, but that doesn't take away the advantage granted.

I stand corrected. When you put it that way, yeah, I agree it is a pretty awesome power.

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Blave wrote:
It's in the essences. Matter is by definition physical and Life covers all things living, which tends to include living Matter as well.

It's not in essences? What? You've just came up with it.

Let me try. Changing shape requires changing the mental landscape to be properly controlling your new shape, hence Transmutation is a mental thing and not just physical.

Blave wrote:
Not sure what about transmutation spells is unnatural. Even the most iconic ability of the druid is a transmutation effect, changing the shape of a living being.

Changing shape into an animal. Not changing shape in general. Nice try at ignoring parts of the argument.

Blave wrote:
You're complaining that the transmuter is no longer as powerful as he used to be.

Nice try at switching the argument. I did not mention the power level of anything compared to previous edition. Just the relative access of different classes within editions.

Blave wrote:
I can't imagine the backlash (in general, not from you in particular) if they removed the specialists completely.

I'd be happier with leaving them out, than putting them in without support. Necromancer is very limited currently. Conjuration carries on, at least it's focus spell combines nicely with it's core concept of summoning. Transmuter is inferior to a Druid. Enchanters are inferior to Bards.

Blave wrote:
Anyway, the wizard is fine. It might no longer be the perfect class for you, but that doesn't mean it's bad by any means.

It's bad because Druids already have so many niches, while Wizards have none. You all keep saying "they're flexible" ignoring that just means they aren't actually good at anything except blasting.

Blave wrote:
Edition changes come with design changes and Paizo decided that the Primal list is the best at Transmutation, just like Occult is now the best at Illusions. The wizard is still a very close second best at all magical things except healing. That's his shtick and it's a powerful one.

Hardly. It's just a sign that Paizo doesn't see a niche for Wizards.

Unicore wrote:
There is no caster like the illusionist, and both the illusionist and the diviner have focus powers that are thematic and relevant.

To be honest, I haven't focused much on illusionist, but they could've left some Specialists in and said others are coming in future. or just cut them completely if they're not prepared to make them actually good.

I find the Conjuration and Abjuration to have thematic and relevant Focus powers. Illusion is fine, yeah.

Divination is pretty bad. I mean, if you roll a good number it's great. But there's no guarantee you will roll well; what if you roll a 1? Congrats, you just wasted an action and a Focus point.

Blave wrote:
Primal covers the essences Matter and life. It is the most "physical" of all traditions and Transmutation alters the physical form and/or attributes of objects and creatures. I'd say the Druid being better at Transmutation than a Wizard makes perfectly sense. More than 25% of the Primal spell list are transmutation spells, after all.

According to whom is Primal the most "physical"? There is nothing to suggest that in the lore.

Not to mention Primal is supposed be restoring and maintaining nature, not changing it. Druids being better than Wizards at changing things from natural to unnatural form makes no sense.
Blave wrote:
Ironically, the Wizard - the only class with the option to specialize in a certain school - is the Jack of all Trades when it comes to spellcasting.

Exactly. They should've bitten the bullet and either removed Specialists or go all in on them. As is, specialist Wizards are nowhere.

Cyouni wrote:

At level 1, wizards trade access to shield, exchange image, floating disk, grim tendrils, illusory disguise, illusory object, item facade, lock, mage armour, magic aura, magic missile, magic weapon, ray of enfeeblement, sleep, true strike, and unseen servant...

For disrupt undead, detect poison, heal, magic fang, pass without trace, purify food and drink, and shillelagh.

(Also some summon spells and cantrips.)

I'm pretty sure most people would say the first list is quite a bit more diverse.

At 1st level, wizard will get to choose between 5 of those spells; 6 if they're specialist. Druid gets to choose from their whole list.

Not to mention some of the spells you list for Wizard are relatively useless (Magic Aura, really? and new Unseen Servant is really bad), while you did not mention spells of similar usefullness that Druids get (ex. Negate Aroma). And did not mention some of the nice spells Druid get, like Guidance.

So you know. They're not exactly the same. But they're in neighbourhood. Whereas Druids get a bunch of other useful things like Weapon&Armour proficiencies, and Wizards... Don't.

K1 wrote:

Remember also of the appareance.

Unless the enemies did some research on your party or just on you, they will Hardly suspect that there is a mage under that armor.

Not braindead Monster will obviously focus spellcaster at once, in order to bring them down on the first turn if possible. Eventually, given how healing works, they will also try to terminate a downed character before swapping to other members of the team.

If they find themselves facing a group of armored creatures, it is unlikely that they will be able to understand

That there's a spellcaster


Who is among the members of the party.

This could be helpful to deceive what is meant to be standard reasoning.

You could also be in the middle and not backline. There are plenty of ways to trick enemies.

Eventually, if attacked, you will find yourself with a nice amount of armor. And eventually a shield block reaction.

I have no idea how you got to shield block reaction. But not important.

What is important... This only works until you fire off the first spell. Which you will because you're useless with ranged weapons due to low Dex.

And having armour isn't beneficial by itself unless it gives you a meaningfully higher AC. Which it won't - at best a point or two.

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Saros Palanthios wrote:
Sounds like you would prefer playing a Druid over a Wizard. That's fine. I prefer playing Rogues myself... but I don't get on the forums to complain about how Paladins are useless because they don't get Sneak Attack or DEX to damage.

I would NOT prefer playing Druid over Wizard. I just hate that in this version, Arcane spell list is on par with Primal, and yet as a Wizard Arcane is all my characters have, whereas Druids get plenty of other advantages.

Your example is exactly the opposite of my problem. A correct example would be like you prefer playing Rogues, but knowing that Paladins can easily get Sneak Attack (equivalent) or Dex to damage while still having all their Paladin abilities.

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Ed Reppert wrote:
"Useless" is not a synonym for "I don't like it".

No, it's a synonym for "I read the rules and understand that wearing light armour would reduce my AC". Although I did miss the level, it's level 13 Wizards get Expert with Unarmoured.

Unicore wrote:
It sounds like your primary interest in casting is being a blaster or a transmuter.

Transmuter, yes, blaster, absolutely no. I actually think you can make a good Wizard blaster.

Unicore wrote:
The druid is really good at filling those roles and gets many of the advantages of being a prepared caster that a wizard gets, plus the medium armor (limited by no metal). If the storm druid or the wild druid fits what you want from the prepared caster role, awesome!

I want to play a high Int Wizard. I just get very jaded when I see Druids and think "this character would work mechanically so much better as a Druid", and that is for a concept which should be right in the wizards concept playground.

Unicore wrote:
Personally, blasting spells are unexciting to me and a druid is only going to be good at Nature and maybe religion as far as knowledge. Which can be fine, but I like the know it all wizard and it is easier to justify Wisdom as a secondary stat than Intelligence because wisdom also boosts an important defense.

I don't see why. I value Int much more; Wis is okay but more skills is more skills.

Unicore wrote:
As I have said before, I'd be happy to run a wizard in anyone's campaign that is curious about how they function in play.

I am playing a low level Str-based Wizard (Transmuter) as we speak. It is unbelieveably uninspiring. I even went with armour focus, hoping Hellknight dedications will be worth it (Armiger is definitively not worth it but whatever). Not the first time I play mechanically bad character for the sake of a concept.

I do look forward to the fun using Shifting Form with heavy armour, but. When I see how much better this would work with Druid mechanics, it's just sad. And that's for a concept which requires no particular connections to nature, meaning there is no RP reason to go Druid.

What I really see is that Paizo hasn't really considered what trying to balance the 4 traditions of magic would do to a Wizard. Wizard is the one class which has NOTHING except spellcasting. If their tradition is no better than any of the other 4, and if all they have is slight boosts to blasting and save-or-suck (which most of the meaningful Wizard bonuses seem to be), then this makes Wizards specifically highly damaged in comparison to other primary casters which have significant non-spellcasting mechanics.

Even their Metamagic selection is poor and limited. Conceal spell? I mean, nice and sometimes very useful, but only in very limited subset of campaigns and hurt by the fact you can't really use it for prebuffing while chatting the villain due to ridiculously short spell durations. They didn't even get extending spell durations (despite Sorcerer getting it for some reason).

Saros Palanthios wrote:
PF2 Wizards can wear armor (with a feat)

Light armour becomes useless at level 11. Medium and Heavy require 2 or 3 feats, which is a huge investment and you're still running behind in AC.

Saros Palanthios wrote:
with a little help from Enchantment & Illusion spells, everyone will love you!

I get your pun, but I really don't buy the usefulness of Enchantment and Illusion spells being that high in PF2. Sometimes they're nice, sure, but I feel people are still operating under PF1.

Saros Palanthios wrote:

With the right spell loadout, Wizards can fill just about any role-- and their chosen role can change from day to day depending on what they prepare.

I think that if you look into the other spell lists, you'll find Primal can do the same.

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Okay, so I there is big focus on flexibility by most people.

Is it the Arcane spell list provides flexibility that other spell lists don't have? Can you explain what a Primal or Occult caster couldn't do?

Or is it something else? What?

What do Wizards actually do in 2e that other classes don't do as well?

I'm interested to hear what people think.

Ed Reppert wrote:

So what evidence do you have, if any, that "Sorcerers and Wizards have been almost purged from the ranks" of the Hellknights? Or that "wizards specifically {have been purged} from all Orders except the Order of the Gate"? Or did you just make that up?

One would expect Wizards and Sorcerers (among other classes) to be rare, compared to the entire population, in Golarion. So there might not be a lot of them in the Hellknight Orders. That's just a consequence of demographics, not an indication of a purge.

Comparison to general population is a meaningless red herring. You need to compare the pool of Sorcerers and Wizards vs the pool of Sorcerers and Wizards that can join.

Sorcerers and Wizards require a huge investment of feats to gain Armour and Weapon proficiencies required for joining Hellknight Orders.

It takes 3 general feats to acquire heavy armour proficiency. For Humans, this is achieveable by level 3 (allowing taking Armiger at level 4); for non-humans level 9 (taking Armiger at level 10). Trying for a champion dedication is actually slightly faster theoretically, since you can dip in at level 2, then 4 and followed by 6 to fulfil 3 feats from archetype requirement, allowing you to take Armiger at 8.
The number of people willing to go to these lengths must be much smaller than before.

Without extra feats, Wizards may only join Order of the Gate (Dagger). If they're human, they would need to wait until level 6 to get the general feat (since first 3 feat slots are taken with Armour proficiencies).
Sorcerers have a slightly better set of proficiencies, so they can join some of the other Orders.

So this means that out of the pool of Wizards and Sorcerers that exist, however small that pool is compared to the general population, the subsection of them who could take Armiger is absolutely tiny.

This gets even worse if individual humans cannot choose to be versatile but instead are either born versatile or skilled.

Lanathar wrote:

So your actual question seems to be “why are the Signifer requirements so steep for wizards/sorcerers”

Why ask it in an indirect way? And is the premise of your question even correct ?

No, I am accepting that requirements are so steep. I am asking is this reflected in the lore, and what is the lore explanation.

Lanathar wrote:
Was there ever any indication of how many were in the ranks in the first place lore wise ?

Well given that 2nd Hellknight ever was a Wizard, one would expect plenty.

Ed Reppert wrote:
Huh? I must have missed that. Where was it stated?

Given how hard mechanically it is for Wizards/Sorcerers to buy into Armiger and later Signifer archetypes, there cannot be many that go for it.

Can you please tell us more what happened inside the Hellknights that Sorceres&Wizards have been almost purged from their ranks? And Wizards specifically from all Orders except Order of the Gate?

Squiggit wrote:
Assuming that feat works for signifers that's pretty nice, but now in my earlier example we're up to six feats just for scaling armor and a couple of expert skills. Still feels like a really big buy in for less than stellar payout.

Actually it's 3 upgrades. Armiger gives you Intimidation, then Signifer gives you Intimidation (or anything else if you have Intimidation already) and one of [Arcana, Nature, Occultism, Religion].

Squiggit wrote:
Assuming that feat works for signifers that's pretty nice, but now in my earlier example we're up to six feats just for scaling armor and a couple of expert skills. Still feels like a really big buy in for less than stellar payout.

I suggest you don't go looking at Knight Reclaimant Dedication feat XD

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