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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 117 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character. 1 alias.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I want it to let you pull other party spellcasters into a circle that confers some kind of semi-unique bonus per additional person in the circle, a spellcasting support option.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

My post messed up, I was *trying* to say that arbitrary patterns are what add texture to storytelling, because adding reasons is part of what creates nuance to the worldbuilding, so if divine has to be granted and can't be taught, it doesn't need to be justified in some side way.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Lyz Liddell wrote:
Rysky wrote:

They most likely will release similar feats for other environs.

Some of the most iconic Witchs are from Irrisen (frozen wastes).

This is definitely something we're thinking about. They might end up being the kinds of feats that turn up in an Adventure Path or a Lost Omens product rather than the core class, but this is kind of a "test balloon" to see whether there's interest or utility to it.

Then a bit of direct feedback, so long as we have those as options at some point then it's absolutely something that would be apropos for different Witches.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think it's too radical a departure from the core vision of the designers, this book is coming out to us in 7 months, and it has to go to the printers before that. Trying an overhaul like this would be a recipe for disaster.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
Quote:
Right now, Divine magic is conspicuously unique in that it appears that it can't be taught.

And therein is the crux of the issue.

If someone can attain godhood via the test of the starstone, if someone can attain innate god like power, why is it impossible to teach?

A "lesson" could just as easily be a Witch who injects herself with Divine sorcerer blood every day in order to gain these powers.

What does it mean to "teach" Divine power? Surely a Cleric wouldn't be able to use Divine power if they had not learned the tenets of their god, right? Surely a Cleric must learn how to invoke their god?

The power of the divine either exists outside the gods or it exists solely with the gods, but the gods themselves have "learned" how to use those powers of the divine, and how to bestow them.

Quote:
Obviously that's only true as long as Paizo wants it to be true, but it seems to stand out to me.

Because arbitrary patterns and distinctions are what give the lore and story of this world texture, divine that can be taught, and divine that cannot be taught are fundamentally two different narratives, you can't get the feel of one by using the other.

How is that a valid defense though?

Like logistically speaking, how is "because I said so" valid as a retort?

I mean sure, you can say that to children and there might be legitimate reasoning behind that statement, but "because I said so" is not inherently valid as a defense, it's just sidestepping an explanation.

Tomorrow, someone from Paizo could state the whole material plane rests on the backs of four elephants standing on a floating tortoise, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't evoke tons of questions as to the "why".

Is it impossible to utilize divine power without explicit permission from a god? Demons/angels seem to do so.

Why then is it so hard to believe that a Witch could learn how said Demons/angels tap into said power?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Nah, it doesn't need it, it isn't hard to take strength as a secondary stat on most finesse builds, it should be something few and far in between.


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
TLDR: I think its fine if classes tread on other classes design space. Just give both classes access to the feats and call it even.
I don't disagree with you philosophically. I just think that from a 'resources are limited' standpoint, having an Investigator class makes it a more relevant question as to whether or not designing a city savvy bounty hunter ranger or a smart rogue is worth the effort. Or whether fighters need more options for light armor and derring-do since we have a Swashbuckler already.

They’ve said somewhere before that the Swashbuckler will get some of the dueling feats from fighter; most likely for concept and to fluff out the feat list. That said making a Dualist Fighter and a Dualist Swashbuckler would still feel significantly different enough with their class features as to not really step on each others toes; with the Fighter getting bonus class feats and a higher hit chance and the swashbuckler having Panache and the Finishing Strike. They still plan to make the Magus class even with all the current tools to simulate such a concept, so something as niche as an Urban Ranger i think they would be willing to give due attention to.

On a slight side note about Cavalier; i notice that they haven’t made it as an Archetype yet in spite of it being one in the original PT. Part of me is curious if the reaction to it being sidelined as an Archetype made them possibly reconsider the idea. Not to give false hope, but until it comes out as an Archetype there may be a chance it comes out as a redesigned class at some point. Something to consider for the ’just Archetype it’ side of the discussion.

We haven't had any 'generic' archetypes yet- all of the ones we currently have are multiclass archetypes, or represent membership in a specific organization. The Advanced Player's Guide is going to be the source of our first generic.

It's the difference between "Red Mantis Assassin / Crimson Assassin" and "Assassin" which could also very well be in the APG.


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Bandw2 wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
If Cackle isn't going to be changed to a marquee feature that does something cool and defining for the class then it should probably just be dropped, frankly. "The same thing every other caster does with slightly different tags" seems like an odd use of text.

yeah, honestly, really feel like they could save the price of the ink on this one. it's flavourful, but i don't need the book to tell me i laugh when i sustain spells. I do it anyway because i'm a CE faetouched sorcerer killing people who wander in the woods at night.

but really this is so niche a difference, that it should be made more different or removed.

The real reason cackle works the way it does is so that Witch class feats can modify it without modifying the sustain a spell action it's mostly identical to- if they don't put a cackle multiclass feat, it would keep those class feats limited to base class witches.


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Reading over the thread, I actually think the best way to handle it for everyone's tastes is that the patron mentioned in the base Witch is vague and abstract (with maybe something like my goal suggestion) but with no necessary differences between patrons besides what's implied by the tradition of your spell casting and your lessons.

Then, introduce specific class feats with access requirements that refer to having a specific patron- so something like this:

Class Feat Example wrote:


Baba Yaga's Revenge Class Feat 2
[Witch] [Occult]
Access: Must have Baba Yaga as a Patron
blah blah blah

This way, if Paizo would like to create feats for Witches that correspond to a specific Patron character like Baba Yaga, or the Runelord Sorshen, or one of the Eldest, and give them unique or specific playstyle they can do that without locking all Witches into a well defined patron.

It would require Occult tradition, but I don't know how to word the prereq off the top of my head, or whether either would be a prerequisite or an access requirement.


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To clarify my feelings, I feel like it can go in one of 3 directions, any of them are fine with me:

1. Broaden in order to encompass a greater thematic space such as the rural spell caster who learns from a patron, more down to earth than the wizard's 'science' bent on magic, with an emphasis on it being a kind of 'old magic' from before wizardry was properly developed (in a thematic sense, the rise and fall of civilizations makes the 'before' flexible.) This version *could* potentially sustain an arcane tradition, but it would be pulling the witch away from it's thematic roots since defining a rural version of arcane magic as being flavorfully different enough from wizardry is hard. I kind of sense that this would be leaning more on the Witch as a real world tradition of magic (in other words, the real world wiccan/pagan/self-preferred conception of folk magic)

2. Narrow in order to focus on the flavor that's already there, Witches have mysterious patrons and are heavily associated with Fey (Primal) and Hags (Occult), Witchery is a distinct branch of magic with a side groudned in the natural world, and a side grounded in dark esoteric lore. This makes sense with the emphasis on the Halloween Witch tropes like Cauldron, Cackle, Living Hair, etc and unless those start becoming tradition specific or broader, I think it would be necessary to keep a coherent flavor path line.

3. We need to be sold better on how arcane fits into the kind of Witch presented, its a very folk conceptual space and the arcane list is distinctly *at odds* with that, Mr. Jacobs mentioned the Runelord Sorshen as a possible patron, so I think we need more clarification on what it would mean to be *be* an arcane witch, is that just channeling a much stronger Wizard / Dragon Sorcerer / Imperial Sorcerer's magic? Some of the issue is that the playtest is a big unclear on the how, Witches use intelligence as if to study magic themselves- but the familiar as written heavily implies they're dependent on a patron for their spells and couldn't use a normal spellbook in the familiar's place.


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GM Stargin wrote:

Hey all,

Enjoying the playtest discussion, figured I'd throw my two cents in.

For a variety of reasons the witch having access to the arcane tradition just doesn't sit well with me. To me the 'logic and rationality' of arcane doesn't really fit with gaining powers through the gift of a mysterious patron. Heck, arcane magic doesn't really deal with the 'spirit' or the 'soul' which are very 'witchy' things to me. Considering the 'patron' it makes far more sense for a witch to have a divine patron rather then have access to the energies a book learned wizard does. Occult and Primal though FULLY fit, with Occult leaning into the Halloween Witch while Primal emphases the fae, hedge magic, Wiccan side of the fantasy.

That leads me to my suggestion. Drop arcane, keep occult and primal. And make the choice of occult and primal more compelling by putting some extra mechanics heft to it.

Duality is such a strong part of the witch myth. The 'Good' and 'Wicked' witch of The Wizard of Oz, subverted in later takes of the story (such as Wicked the musical). There's also the best witches in fiction to my mind. Discworld. Granny Weatherwax in fact really really embodies The Dark vs Light.

The reason why the bard being an occult caster really compelled me is that it made complete sense for a the bard to fight Occult horrors the way champions face off against divine monsters.

Heroic Witches should do that better.

** spoiler omitted **

...

I really agree, there are some cool spells on the arcane spell list for Witches, but really it feels like Primal and Occult would present a much better fit and could be used to shape a more compelling narrative about Witches in universe, and it matches up so beautifully with the Changeling bestiary entry about Changelings who deny their Hag calling being mainly into Druidism.

It also offers some additional niche protection to the Wizard (especially since Witches use a pseudo spellbook feature) and strengthens the flavor divisions between the traditions themselves.


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Xenocrat wrote:
A patron’s death or disfavor should also not affect a witch’s power. They hook you up and hope for the best.

I think that's at odds with the way familiars are currently set up and function, since you're dependent on your familiar, and your familiar answers to your patron.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Bandw2 wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:

Hmm, you know what? I'm kind of in agreement with the person that mentioned they weren't entirely sold on Witches getting the Arcane list, if we're going to limit them, limiting them to Occult or Primal would be most flavorful.

It also matches the possible paths the Changelings in the Bestiary refer to- that Changelings tend to either become Hags (an Occult Path) or Druid types (a Primal Path)

It would also solve some of the issues people are seeing about the wizard vs. the witch

but arcane is the only one that can get stuff like baleful polymorph and dominate at the same time.

Imo, arcane is the most accurate to a witch.

(i hope i'm not coming off as contrarian, i just really like how witch turned out, need a bit more flavor on lessons and more generic feats but i like their base abilities a lot)

That's absolutely a good point, it could technically be handled via feats like the Sorcerer gets for their Primal Evolution, but its still a good point.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It almost seems like Cackle is really just a feature for very minor fringe benefits, and so that normal "Sustain a Spell" actions can't benefit from Cackle upgrades through the class feats, and so the Multiclass Dedication feat can exclude it for similar reasons.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hmm, you know what? I'm kind of in agreement with the person that mentioned they weren't entirely sold on Witches getting the Arcane list, if we're going to limit them, limiting them to Occult or Primal would be most flavorful.

It also matches the possible paths the Changelings in the Bestiary refer to- that Changelings tend to either become Hags (an Occult Path) or Druid types (a Primal Path)

It would also solve some of the issues people are seeing about the wizard vs. the witch


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Salamileg wrote:

I'm personally in favor of making the patrons not specific entities, as a person who doesn't play in Golarion. I'd be cool with patrons being more mechanically involved, but I'd prefer if they were descriptive titles that could apply to a number of patrons like James suggested.

That said, i have a feeling that I'm in the minority when it comes to me not playing in Golarion.

I don't either


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To an extent, I think it should be done because its *cool* like, sure you could say the raw building blocks of divine energy are just safe to access normally, but like, eh, thats not as exciting as having oracles as beings that tap the source of creation directly, and that it's a power thats radically destructive to the mortal


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Eoni wrote:

I don't know how complicated this would be but I think I'd like to see Patrons providing different riders to spells based on the lessons you selected. Similar to Sorcerer bloodline riders but something you could select daily with your spell preparation.

Something like "Baba Yaga's method of cursing rends the flesh as well as the soul. While focused on her Lesson of Curses, you can tweak your Necromancy spells to deal negative energy damage equal to the level of the spell."

Would actually be ideal to add later in a Lost Omens product, as class feats designed to tie Witches in more with Golarion, or in a specific adventure where that figure might come up, I really like that idea.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

In general, I think that what we should really be aiming for is the kind of Witch that can encapsulate the PF1e Witch, but that's a little broader as well.

If we make the patron the core thematic focus, and give it the style of "rural spellcaster" thematically (features that contrast with the academic mage, and bloodline magic intuitive, to create a sense of a spellcaster drawing on an ancient tradition passed down from other witches) I think it could work out well-

I don't think specific Patrons need super specific abilities (thats the job of a sorcerer bloodline, which it would feel very redundant with), I think the Witch just needs a less superficial thematic bent toward Halloween Witchery, and more toward taking those ideas and some other ones, and fleshing them out into what feels like a more concrete "tradition of magic"

Some of this could be handled by changing the inflection without touching the mechanics:

Cackle could maybe be revised to be a more generalized vocalization (some witches might laugh and cackle, others might sing or chant or hum.) This keeps the ability the same, but makes it less focused on a singular feeling style of witch.

Coven could be revised mechanically to have less to do with hags and more to do with creating circles of spellcasting between player characters and/or NPC allies of the party (conveys traditional magic arts which allow multiple spell casters to pool their powers) and give all of those spellcasters bonuses, making these circles a Witch unique mechanic.

(Just Spitballing, but what if the Witch could use an action/actions to set up a circle, and then allied spellcasters within 30 feet could spend an action to sustain a link with the circle each turn, and everyone in the circle gets a +1 circumstance bonus to their spells / spell save DC per member in the circle starting with the witch, you could limit it at +3 at max to get the Witch Trio motif, if just letting it stack higher is a balance concern- I'd even be tempted to move this into the base chassis and move Cackle out into the Class feats, it would be much more impactful and flavorful and exciting as a core Witch class feature)

(Another flavorful alternative, if it was moved into the base class, would be to start it out really simply with a mild benefit, and then let Witches improve the benefits of their Circle through class feats in the way Cackle works now- letting spell casters use the other members as firing platforms for their spells, bonuses to hit / save dc, letting them place actions in a pool to be used by other casters directly for casting spells, the sky is really the limit- you could even include drawbacks where hurting one member of the circle hurts them all somehow)

Swamp Witch should be gotten ridden of... perhaps for a feature where the Witch gets the same bonus, but gets to choose the terrain (to reflect a knowledge of woodcraft from whatever area they hail from, instead of just swamps- making it a spellcaster associated with the land instead of a spellcaster associated with the swamp)

Nails could be revised to keep their rune etching on body mechanic, but maybe expanded to cover other body parts, like magical tattoos, it would be cool if there were upgrade feats for this, so that you could get up to 3 extra runes in this way.

I mentioned it earlier, but Living Hair should be part of a Focus Spell for a specific subset of Witch.

The Lessons in general aren't bad, but I think they could be a little more varied and give just a smidge more flavor to reflect different kinds of witches beyond the spell list, maybe let it encompass more shamanic roots as well (we're already a decent amount of the way there- the protective tradition, and ice traditions are especially strong I feel, honestly they might just need more flavor text building up the kind of feel they're supposed to convey)

As for emphasizing patron, I would actually suggest more class feats that modify the familiar- unknown patron witches wouldn't really take them (unless its part of a story beat) but more types of familiar in the way they can get a leshy would be rad, with cool little perks depending- like taking a feat to get a fiendish little guy, or a celestial, or whatever.

Beyond all of this, something being in PF1e is not a reason it shouldn't be fixed in PF2e.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Cyder wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Lots of cool ideas

I like these ideas but they require a significant GM overhead which is fine for some GMs but would be hard to translate for PFS or similar concepts with all the possible patron options.

I like the idea of certain anathemas but would rather it was quirky or tied to things like you can't cut your hair if you want to take living hair. Although I admit that might not be a highly expandable concept.

*shortens quote a bit*

Thats part of why it essentially exists as an optional system, even if every Witch technically uses it- Patrons can be relatively hands off, in which case you aren't getting a lot of flavorful objectives, but the GM has zero overhead (really, you'd just set one that is guaranteed to come up in the campaign itself, or one generic enough to be a part of standard adventuring play, and treat them as a long term goal.)

You could also as a GM, use it not to give *direct* missions, but instead have the player work out an overall goal for you to approve ("My patron wants me to amass great wealth" "My patron wants me to destroy the undead wherever I find them" "My patron wants me to set him free") and then it never changes and becomes one of your character campaign goals, like any other goals a player character has.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Well at the moment they locked Oracle flavor, with their opener and the text for Refocus, the Battle Mystery currently being an exception.

This is especially concerning to me since the flavor locked Paladin (eventually Champion) was never corrected in the playtest.

Oracles should be able to be people with absolutely no relationship with a deity, who nonetheless access divine power. The curse shouldn't be because you have to resolve conflicting deity portfolios, but because you're accessing the fundamental building blocks of creation as a mere mortal without anything to protect you from the backlash.

Like I consider the following concepts essential to represent with the oracle:
1) Someone who worships a bunch of gods
2) Someone whose religious practice does not involve gods (Rivethun, Sangpotshi, Shamanism, Ancestor Worship, etc.)
3) Someone who just had this happen to them and never asked for it and would have preferred it had not happened.

Cabbage has got it, with their conception of having nothing to protect you from the backlash, that's how you fix the Oracle's current flavor- the Oracle might follow Gods, or a non gods religion, but their spell casting is that of a mortal facing the raw energy of creation.


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Salamileg wrote:
caratas wrote:
Cackle seems pretty rough for the class to lean on so heavily as its 'thing' - Most of the other classes have an ability at level 1 that sets them apart from the rest of the pack to do their corner of the party.. but cackle sort of just fulfills an incredibly niche thing that will probably come up once.. maybe twice in an entire campaign.. that makes it not feel too great.
I had an idea for a low level feat that allows you to use your Cackle while sustaining a hex to move it from one creature to another. Would also work to essentially apply it to a new creature if your hexed creature died. So if you only plan on using a single type of hex for a fight, you'll only have to spend one focus point and still be able to affect multiple creatures.

I for one would really enjoy that mechanic.


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I feel strongly that the Swashbuckler is the best of the bunch in terms of needing very little work, the panache mechanic is excellent and gives this really appealing burst oriented playstyle. It was mentioned that the Swashbuckler might gain some of the fighter class feats, that would be fine, but I'm not sure they need it- and I suspect that focusing in on more Panache builders and finishers might be the way to go.


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I think this question is kind of telling in that the Oracle in the playtest is having a little bit of an identity crisis- it's trying to be a divine magic user that reaches directly for divine power without the gods as a middleman, but also asserts that its being torn apart by the concerns of multiple gods, as if divine power must come from gods.

Personally, I think the former is more engaging, where its reaching for the raw power that the gods use, without using them as a middleman, and I think the best explanation for their "curse" is that while super powerful, not using an intermediary between one self and the raw font of creation and destruction is actually hazardous- I think the language concerning the attention of Gods ought to be excised.


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Xenocrat wrote:

Disagree, composition cantrips are weak because they can be spammed, and they effect lots of people because they are weak and because that's thematic to the Bard influencing crowds for good and ill.

The Witch hexes thematically are about putting a serious hurt on an individual (or occasionally providing a meaningful benefit to one). That means they need to be more powerful than composition cantrips and that means they need some sort of limitation.

Focus spells hit that spot nicely. A bard will generally only use one cantrip consistently throughout a combat, and only takes one action to start it. A witch can also only use on cantrip consistently through a cantrip, but needs two actions to start it, can only hit one target, but can expect it to be pretty powerful.

The only place it lags a Bard cantrip mechanically is if you're frequently getting in combats with less than 10 minutes between them. Since you have a familiar that will surely have a 1/day focus refresh, this is less of a problem for you than for most. And since you can quickly build up your pool to 2-3 points for extra surge and slack in your focus pool at lowish to mid levels, it's hardly a crisis.

We could have both? Cantrip level hexes that minor nuisances, and larger ones that represent major hurt.


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Xenocrat wrote:
All of the thematic aspects of the others come from roleplaying more than mechanics (especially the wizard). There's no reason for the witch to be different. Emphasize staring into your familiar's eyes to get your hex powers back and to prepare spells, spooky cackling as you curse foes, etc.

I'm thinking of how the Wizard has class feats that play up it's base mechanics to support the fantasy of a scholarly spell caster, the current Witch lacks that same cohesion, and relies on more 'direct' abilities.

For instance, Wizards have all of these features that revolve around manipulating magic for greater versatility and flexibility- abilities that have to do with storing magic in tools, abilities that have to do with creating scrolls, and with altering their own spells. This 'scientific' approach to magic is what makes wizard class feats so flavorful. The archetype it draws on is very rich, because it feels like a real role in a real world, with a lot depth to it. They define what a wizard *is* in a very poignant way.

The witch seems a lot more shallow in this respect, because the elements its trying to convey are too specific to the "halloween" witch. It gives me that vibe, but without delivering a real sense of place in the overall dynamic of the spell casting classes- Wizards are Magical Scholars with class feats to prove it, Sorcerers draw magic intuitively from their blood with class feats that expand on their bloodline, and Witches... do stereo-typically witchy things.

I wish the witchy things were delivered through a richer thematic basis, hence my rural spell caster interpretation- they use a lot of 'natural' magic, good old fashioned charms and hexes, and have a lot of practical skills (like maybe my proposed version of coven) that Wizards and such don't, that have a very traditional feel to them. I want them to draw on that for a much stronger sense of what a witch is, without losing the "toil and bubble" for that want it.


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Squiggit wrote:
I don't see how it's overly niche. There are a lot of different concepts you can play out with the Witch as written... and a lot of your suggestions are about making the class more niche, not less.

In short, the abilities are too shallow, the witches it presents don't have the same thematic depth of what a witch is relative to what a sorcerer is, or a wizard is. For a multiple tradition caster, its an issue.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

One of my first impressions from looking at the playtest, especially at the class feats, is that some of the Witches features are far too specific- it feels as if it was designed to create the most superficial elements of the commercialized Halloween Witch. In isolation those elements are fine, but without a stronger thematic basis it feels out of place and overly niche relative to the game's other casters (or like the Witch should drop the multi-tradition angle and settle for being the game's prepared occult specialist to really lean into the specialty)

Each of the other spell casters answers a central question of "how" they perform magic, and can fit any number of different fantasies under that umbrella. The Witch actually has that, utilizing the Patron and its unique familiar mechanics- but then instead of building on that thematic ground, many of the class feats instead seem focused on trying to shore up the "Witch Caricature Elements"

I think this can be done more elegantly by reexamining the Witch and ensuring it's thematic space is as deep as it's CRB spell casting counterparts.

1. The Witch has a Patron, who is the primary source of their familiar and therefore their powers. If sorcerers are the magic users who have magic because of their lineage, and Wizards are magic users who use magic through study, then we should double down on Witches as THE patron spell caster. I posted in the Patrons/Mechanical Weight thread about how this could be emphasized without losing our current flexibility.

1.5. On the same general subject, the familiar is and should continue to be a massive part of the witch's flavor and abilities- they represent the Witch's only link with their Patron, I'd love to see them tied into more witches abilities.

2. The thematic through-line to a lot of broad commercialized witch depictions, is actually that the witch is something of a hedge-mage, and rural spell caster (think about the Witchers in the Witcher, or Idalia and the other Wildmages from the Obsidian Trilogy). Wizards often do their magic in fancy towers and laboratories, Witches do it in huts in the woods. This doesn't need to be strict, but I think we need to take a pass on the Witch's class feats that cleans up what they're trying to convey- Cauldron is actually pretty cool in this respect.

3. Some classic Witch abilities, like Living Hair, would be better as a Focus Spell so that the Lessons can be the main mechanic for "what flavor of Witch am I?" (Also using Focus Spells to go into temporary magical states to enhance melee combat capability is generally a model of Gish I support, since it introduces natural drawbacks relative to actual martials, who dont need 10 minute breaks)

4. Coven is actually a perfect example of what I'm talking about, its a witchy seeming feature that kind of implies that Witches have something to do with Hags because they can participate in covens, but its very hard to use and doesn't really say anything about what a Witch is. Instead, I would suggest we go back to the fundamental idea of what a coven *is,* which is to say, a means for a group of witches to pool their abilities and amplify their powers. Following from this, Witches should have an ability where they can create synergy for multiple spellcasters in the same party, acting as a kind of hub point where multiple party spellcasters (and NPCs if relevant) can gain bonuses on their spell casting by joining with the Witch character.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would appreciate the option to have a divine witch- in addition to a god, we could have such patrons be be fiends and celestials, among others.

If we're gonna go multi tradition, I don't see the point in leaving any out, and I'd love the Witch to fully step into the niche of the prepared counterpart to the Sorcerer.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

To give a little direct feedback, I'm actually of the opinion that I prefer the flexibility offered by the playtest- and I've got an idea to split the difference in a satisfying way, I'd prefer for instance, to keep it divorced from specific characters in the actual rules text.

The current model of how Witch Patrons work is that it's basically a container that refers to an infinitely variable-but-individually-specific entity, and I think that's pretty good because it keeps it from becoming limited, but if we want it to have a little more mechanical heft (and we do, it seems) we should design the solution in the same space of abstraction.

Every Witch should have a "Current Goal" that can change during their daily preparations that reflects something that the Patron wants them to do, written by the GM with (possible, depends on the kind of game and story) input from the player. They can be long term goals (collect pieces of X ancient artifact, release 'Y' from their prison) or short term goals ('slay the dragon Bellavax')and a passage would advice GMs of what not to do with them. "Until next time" or "Await my orders" are examples of goals that could be used to give the Witch freedom between patron-missions.

Then, every witch would also have an anathema that basically forces them to not work against that goal, and take opportunities to complete it, with the kind of text the Champion gets that clarifies that certain pain point outcomes of that anathema aren't counted as violations (you aren't required to die for it, you shouldn't have to take an opportunity to work towards a goal if it would jeopardize your ability to complete it, by say, turning your party against you)

If the designers go this route, I would also argue that violating the anathema (ambiguously often, but more than once, like the Champion and other anathema classes) would have the patron abandon the witch, with the atone ritual as its usual salve. It should be similarly possible mechanically for a witch to declare an end to the contract, and therefore lose their powers. I would also support the inclusion of a ritual that the Witch with a 'broken contract' can use to find a new patron, probably at some cost and with a penalty if the contract was broken by violating the anathema.

This system would allow for very impactful patrons, because a patron's goals are always idiosyncratic to who the patron is and what they want (one set of goals might involve the destabilization of a kingdom, another might involve preparing the world to combat an ancient evil, another might want to retrieve ancient knowledge, etc.) This system would also allow for GMs to hint at and foreshadow the nature of the Witch's Patron if it's unknown (a witch always working from the shadows to support a particular church might begin to suspect the deity, a witch whose goals consistently involve delivering cryptic threats to fey beings and punishing vague failures hinted at in each encounter might start to suspect a fey lord or lady is using them as a political tool.)

It would also allow GMs to season their campaigns to taste, some campaigns might have very impactful Patrons the give frequent, direct, missions, while others might deliver a singular long term goal as an overarching character-plot, while still others might have extremely hands off patrons who want nothing (or small things, like their name spread.)


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LittleMissNaga wrote:

Just got the chance to try it myself, and I'm having fun. The biggest problems will pretty much all be fixed by more books coming out.

One member of my group is extremely anti-2e, though. It's a shame. He rips apart things that are issues in 2e that were already issues back in 1e and that he used to ignore.

Honestly, I think he has a problem with some of the new moves towards political correctness and inclusivity and the like in the game mastering section of the CRB, and is throwing a tantrum about it. Declaring the game to be a GM's nightmare, mechanically constraining, and impossible to build a creative character with a whatnot, when his real problem isn't actually with the mechanics at all, and he just doesn't want to admit that any part of something he dislikes is good.

Bleah, trying to imagine actually gaming with someone who would have a problem with the level of "political correctness" present in the core book just sounds awful on a fundamental level.


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Temperans wrote:

Except one of the key reasons given for why spellcasting is good is, "2 actions for 1 vs a solo boss is a good use of actions."

And given how solo bosses by nature tend to be lv+2 or higher then they are effectively saying, "spellcasting is fine because sometimes it's a boss who will lose 1 action, meanwhile ignore it's a regular oppoenent."

If its a regular opponent, then it isn't level +2, its at most +1, and probably either -1 or 0 and you have a high chance of succeeding or critically succeeding with your spell- which is especially impactful because many such spells are multi-target.


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I think one of the massive issues in this thread is simply that people are taking for granted a high chance of spell success against creatures much more powerful than their spell casters out of some misguided notion that such encounters are the bulk of play, and the true arena in which their abilities are being put to the test.

In reality, a Level + 3 such as the barghest encounter example is described in the book as a "Severe or Extreme Threat Boss" and for a standard party of four is a "Severe Encounter" which the book describes in this way:

"Severe-threat encounters are the hardest encounters most groups of characters can consistently defeat. These encounters are most appropriate for important moments in your story, such as confronting a final boss. Bad luck, poor tactics, or a lack of resources due to prior encounters can easily turn a severe-threat encounter against the characters, and a wise group keeps the option to disengage open."

The text heavily suggests that such moments should be on the rare side and that luck should play a significant role in encounters with such creatures- which is true,the game is designed such that a spell caster is going to fling a lot of resources at such creatures, praying for some of it to stick in small ways (failure effects) and big ways (success effects, and the very occasional critical success.) This is very much in line with what martials do in the same encounter, which is to do their best to pile up the damage before the foes crushing blows do them in, and scramble for any small situational advantage they can.

That's how a powerful boss monster should feel: like your abilities are barely fazing it, and you're frantically trying not to die as you pull out all the stops. If your GM is exclusively throwing such encounters at you, and as such you feel consistently unsuccessful, then they need to take another look at the encounter guidelines, especially the segment about what standard creatures are and the role of a moderate encounter as being the meat and potatoes of your adventures.


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The only real catch is that calling them focus spells means that if martials like the fighter ever get them, it has to be acknowledged as high end martial techniques using magic- but notably, since at this point it would have to be opted into somehow by taking a feature, that's probably fine.

It's also in line with my personal setting, where martials are doing things they shouldn't be able to, such as feats of physically impractical combat prowess on massive creatures because their bodies actually take in and refine the world's ambient magic when they exert themselves and train, and they become enhanced physically well beyond real world standards.

A fighter focus power would be representative of them learning to harness that ambient magic, gathering it, and then using it to super enhance an attack.


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Can't wait to get the playtest and see how some of the classes look (Witch, and Oracle, the most)


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Arachnofiend wrote:
From what we know of the new Oracle they're trying to make it a valid option for faiths that don't rely on worshiping a specific deity... which makes the old Oracle a terrible representative since she's basically just a Cleric of Sarenrae with extra steps. Replacing her with the Shaman iconic or making a new character entirely would be much preferred.

I'd really appreciate that take on the oracle actually, my campaign setting could use it.


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Alignment, my Homebrew setting of Pantheon uses a variation where Good is about emotional openness and positive emotions, while evil is about emotional closedness and negative emotions- its much more conducive to antiheroes and such, since being driven fear, hatred, despair can still lead to conventionally good ends (though there's obviously an emotional cost to letting such things drive you.)

I've made sorcerers people who are linked with a spirit bound to them, based off 'bloodline' some sorcerers are part of entire clans that have such spirits voluntarily bound within them (to some purpose, or bind them for power, or have it placed into them after cutting a deal with a more powerful spirit their spirit serves, and etc.

This let me merge the 5e concept of a warlock, with the sorcerer to cover those ideas, as well as the traditional sorcerer ones.

My world also features very low tier gods that are essentially conventional monsters, but with a special template (that template carries particular narrative implications as well)


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I just want to add to my original response, that I have recently discovered and fallen in love with Pathfinder 1e's Fetchlings, they're soooooo good.


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Temperans wrote:
Oh I'm not saying it's not good, anything to get extra casting is good. I'm asking whether it makes playing the class more fun.

Absolutely, I'm primarily a GM and I'm fantasizing quite heavily about a Wizard after reading the mechanics- one who uses scrolls, in addition to the other stuff I find exciting about the class.


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Its not the worst thing, I kinda dig that Paladins and such are effective against them, but that the gritty "hunter" type character has its own advantages.


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Temperans wrote:

There is only 1 scroll based feat, so it's not hard being "the best" when there is no other competition.

Having int is definitely a plus due to not having to spread stats, but it's hardly a deal breaker for other classes since it's so easy to get high stats.

But yes they are really pushing Wizards as scroll crafters, however does that 1 feat make the class more interesting?

* Reminder: Scroll Savant stops work at the end of the day, so no storing from that.

I'm not arguing from the position that a wizard without scrolls is "nerfed" as the thread title implies, my impression is actually that the class is already interesting without that investment- the scroll thing is just one of a handful of things I like about the class.

Scroll Savant is functionally four extra slots of the whatever level added to your daily preparation with a few slightly different rules in terms of having to hold the scroll, it is really good.


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Alexander Augunas wrote:

Continuing the discussion, Pathfinder 2 has been changing around the looks for a bunch of humanoid ancestries, like hobgoblins and iruxi with the goal of making them look more humanoid and less, as James Jacobs referred to it, “Like werewolves.”

Do y’all think that the look of kitsune should change, or do they get a bye because they’re shape changers? I’m super interested to hear other people’s opinions on this.

Hmm, I definitely have one player who would be *very* pleased to have ears-and-tail-on-a-pretty-boy kitsune, but thats more extreme than what they've done with the others. So I don't really know, I'd lean more toward "foxes who can shape shift into people" myself- but that's very removed from what they are in Pathfinder 1e.


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Ckorik wrote:
NemoNoName wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
For now anyways. As more options are released, this may well change.

And we are discussing now, not some imaginary future.

Also, there's plenty of ways now to get Expert in Crafting on level 2 via taking various Archetypes.

So what you are saying is - that right now - Wizards have no feats worth taking at all at level 3 - so they should go for a skill feat instead - because that's actually useful.

Well it's nice that you participated in what the thread is about - in a odd way - but that does go to show how lackluster wizard feats are I guess.

I mean... "When everyone else agonizes over cool choices your best option is to go for a skill feat!" at least makes me feel like the thread topic is on point.

Nope, the trick with magical crafting and the creation of scrolls is that its roughly as good as the kinds of scrolls you can create, meaning its as good as the spells you know- (except you can just create them and shove them in your bag until they come up, so they don't have to take up a prepared daily slot, which is nice for the more niche spells) functionally it "amplifies" the wizard class features. This seems to be an intended design as one of the bullet points for exploration reads:

"You locate magical auras and determine the arcane significance of magical writing or phenomena you uncover. When you run across an unusual obstacle to further exploration, you probably have a scroll that will make it easier to overcome."

A bullet point for wizard downtime reads:

"You learn new spells, craft magic items, or scribe scrolls for your party, and seek out new and exciting formulas in addition to spells. You might even forge scholarly connections and establish a school or guild of your own."

In both cases we see that scrolls are part of a Wizard's basic design, you might argue that it isn't a wizard exclusive class feature, but they're certainly the best at it- they learn a large number of spells from the most diverse spell list (and therefore can create the largest variety of scrolls), they use the crafting stat (intelligence) as their primary so unlike a sorcerer or cleric or druid or bard they aren't paying any extra cost with their ability boosts to be good at it, and we see that they have class feats that revolve around scrolls (Scroll Savant, being the one that comes to mind.)


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I think Wizard looks *very* appealing, getting a hold of Spell Blending, Scroll Savant, the Universal Item Bond, and maybe even a familiar with spell battery means quite a lot of magical power on a regular basis.


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I'm totally stoked to make a Hobgoblin Fighter flavored as some kind of exiled prince or General, with a Blademaster bent to the features.


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WatersLethe wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Oh yes absolutely it can be right for a group. Just wanted to offer a counter point to whether it is advisable or not. I don't feel it would be, as I'm of the strong opinion that correct amounts of restriction make choices flourish.

Yeah, I'm genuinely happy to get counter points and different perspectives. You're always one to contribute in a positive way!

There are a lot of things I'm struggling with, so it helps a lot to get different viewpoints.

Among the things to navigate:

1. Personal preference.

Obviously some people prefer heavy limitations, others like more freedom. I think some posters are of the opinion that everyone should like it their way, so they provide unnecessarily harsh criticism of house rules designed for people of a different mentality.

Another preference is level availability. Some people are fine with having to wait until mid-to-high levels to have somewhat mundane character build features come online, while I find that to be far to late for too many things.

If double feats could let people who want more freedom to have it, and solve "late bloomer" build problems, all without significantly impacting game balance, it'd be fantastic.

So it's important that I filter feedback based on the target audience for the house rule.

2. Actual power differences.

Based on my initial results, you almost can't tell the difference between a double feat character and a normal character until 3+ combats in a day. It's aggravating that I can't gather more data about this until more people try it out, but I have a sneaking suspicion that double feat characters will require little if any adjustments to encounter difficulty. Everything is capped by actions and feat situationality. These characters can effectively respond to a larger variety of situations, but is that a problem in most games?

3. Edge cases

Certain characters might want to play a single class, and find nothing compelling to spend their extra class feats on. I have yet to come...

One quick thought is that this doesn't have to be a binary either, you guys are doubling it, but adding an extra feat or two somewhere in the progression instead is a much more conservative route that could do well for people who find the current number a little too restrictive, but want high character differentiation, *especially* if your purpose is to encourage dedications, as 2 feats can easily cover a dedication and the primary benefit, or two dedications for the archetypes that build from a prior one. You could even go 1.5x, and introduce 5 extra feats into the progression.

One thing I've considered is just giving out the dedication feat for organizations when the player character joins the equivalent in universe organization, that would be a good way of saving players feats in the scenario where they're most desperately seeking them.

The modularity of class feats actually makes seasoning to taste for a table very easy.


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Yeah, OP's analysis is actually quite good, and the detractors from it are using a lot of bad faith arguments to try and discredit the conclusion that casters aren't underpowered.

Porphyrogenitus especially is using some bad argumentation, their entire point involves taking for granted that all formally recognized principles of modern game design are in line with monetization schemes in the triple-A video game industry, rather than written by academics and designers in the field away from the pressures of corporate overlords.

That's like a-grade slander and tinfoil hat dismissal right there, meanwhile Red Gryffth is trying to obfuscate Michael's points by drowning them in accusations of bias and supposed unaccounted for factors, without the self awareness to question why none of the unaccounted for factors they're weighting heavily actually benefit casters (the fact that the game rewards AOE so heavily, and that magical damage dealers specialize in it, probably being the biggest smoking gun example.)


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Scout for Wisdom for sure, Mastermind for Int sounds great.


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4. Actually thats very simple, what level is the dragon?


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As far as I can tell, a major issue is that people are citing success on saving throws on spells as being an indication that casters are weak, using some misleading "chance of success" argument.

In reality, half damage on a miss means that even succeeding on their saving throw will often cause the monster to take a fair amount of damage, so long as they don't critically succeed.

We have the same arguments going on with martials, where people are citing 50% hit chances and ignoring that chance jumps up over multiple actions.

The game is balanced around hitting once per turn or in a caster's case, half damage, as a kind of new minimum success state, that mixes with the more direct successes, and crits, to shape your DPR- especially against at level or higher foes.

The mental framework is tripping people up.

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