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WatersLethe wrote:

A high intelligence prepared caster can achieve their power through study and practice, just like Wizards. That's one of the reasons I liked Witch in PF1, because they could learn spells like a Wizard but had a distinct way of going about it. That is, learning more esoteric, bizarre spells gleaned from old rituals, hags, hedge magic, and bits of handed down lore. The Occult spell list does a great job at this.

Patrons never felt particularly important to the concept of a witch to me. Partly because I'd like it if you can play a "christian boogeyman witch" as well as a version of the "wiccan witch", which certainly doesn't need a patron.
Also, the etymology of the word Patron goes...

I still disagree with this to a degree.

Looking specifically at the Pathfinder Witch specifically and not just the generic concept of a Witch, yes a Witch is an INT caster and thus improves their magic through practice and study, but the magic in question is only accessible through the Patron via the Familiar. Hence why the Familiar acts as the Witch's spellbook and teacher.

A Witch that solely learns their magical abilities themselves with no Patron at all isn't a Witch, they're a Wizard. Sure, you can argue that the Witch delves into more esoteric and unknown magics, but the difference in that is basically just academic. There is no reason a Wizard can't go about studying older and forgotten rituals. Heck, in doing so they could even have a feat or even a whole archetype that lets them take some spells from the Occult Spell list.

The thing that makes the Witch thematically different IS the Patron. Even if that Patron can more or less be ignored during gameplay (just like how if you are playing a Wizard, you don't need to roleplay out the intense study during downtime in order to learn a new spell). If you want to play a Winter Witch, there is no reason at all that at your table you can't say "Hey, I don't really want to deal with Baba Yaga and her craziness, so can I just say that I am learning from the essense of Winter itself?". But that is still a Patron. You are still being tied to that Patron through your familiar and drawing knowledge from it. A Patron doesn't NEED to be a singular entity. It just needs to be some outside power that you can make a pact with.

And yes, I get that in PF2, they have stated a desire to move towards Patrons that are defined individuals rather than nebulous and unknown entities, but that is just flavor-text. There's no reason you can't decide that it works that way for your table.

As a final note, the etymology of Patron thing is a non-starter. Patron doesn't mean that anymore. Words change and evolve over time. Patron doesn't refer specifically to a father figure any more than ambidextrous means that you are untrustworthy or two-faced (which was the original terminology of the word, and MUCH more recently than Patron used to refer to father).

While this is a good spell for a low level spell, especially based on the fact that they still take the full base damage on a fail (other first level spells, as far as I can tell, usually don't do that). But yeah, I don't think it's THAT great.

Yes, some BBEGs are going to resist Cold, but WAY less than in PF1 and a good number, including the Balor (arguably the biggest of the BBEGs as far as basic monsters go) are weak to it.

Sickened is not the worst condition out there, although it is "good" especially if you're up against a spellcaster since it lowers their spell save DCs.

The thing is, at higher levels the damage just...isn't a huge amount. Comparing it to Cone of Cold (just because other people are, so why not?). Phantom Pain upcast to 5th level actually does out-damage Cone of Cold on successful save on average, doing 25 (10d4) to 21 (12d6 / 2). However this is to be expected since Phantom Pain targets only one creature.

On a failed save, it becomes a bit more interesting, since now CoC out-damages PhP, but only on the initial turn, comparing 37.5 to 42. But PhP now has a rider effect that is not bad at all, as they will continue to take that 12.5 persistent damage if they don't get rid of the sickened condition, so it will quickly outpace CoC against a BBEG (unless said BBEG has even 1 minion that you can also hit and thus double the output of CoC).

On a crit fail save though, CoC now comes out quite a bit ahead, as it now does 84 damage compared to PhP's...still 37.5. It will take a decent few turns for PhP's persistent damage to come out ahead and it'll almost certainly be gone before then. That said, it could still be extremely useful if the lessened checks and DCs from sickened are a big part of the BBEG in question. Now of course, we're not expecting a BBEG to crit fail their save, but it CAN happen, and the difference in damage here is HUGE when it does.

But honestly...Cone of Cold is a poor comparison, because CoC is MEANT to be crowd control and hit multiple enemies. It would be better to compare PhP to a single target spell. Unfortunately there aren't any 5th level single target attack spells, so lets jump to 6th level.

Well there are a couple options here. Disintegrate is one, but that spell is so complex that I'm not sure anyone really knows if it is "good" or not yet, and might actually be badly underpowered, so instead I'll go for another spell that is also on the Occult spell list, Spirit Blast!

It does 16d6 Force with a basic Fortitude, and it directly attacks the spirit, which means it can harm things that are astral projections, or if you see someone being possessed it can harm the thing possessing them without harming the body of the one being possessed. The rider effect isn't likely to come up all that often, but it is still cool. A level 6 PhP does 12d4 damage normally, plus 6d4 persistent damage.

That means that SB does 28 Force on a successful save, compared to 30 Mental from PhP. The number difference is tiny, but notable. However while there are some things which can ignore Mental effects and damage (not a whole lot, but some) as far as I know, nothing at all resists Force. So lets say equal. On a failed save, that's 56 Force damage vs. 45 Mental and sickened. And on a Crit fail that is 112 Force vs. 45 Mental and sickened 2. And then depending on how things go, PhP can potentially add another 15 per round if the persistent damage isn't shaken off.

Again, while certain enemies are going to be really hurt by that sickened effect, some can basically ignore it and the persistent damage doesn't say that it persists as long as the target remains sickened, just that it goes away when they are no longer sickened. So personally, I'd say that at this point Spirit Blast is better. Not HUGELY better, since on a regular failed save the damage difference isn't that much, but I personally would rather use it.

And honestly that is saying a LOT for a low level spell that is upcast, so I don't think you're wrong to praise it. But I also don't think it's the be all and end all. It's good. But just good.

Xenocrat wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:

You can still get a crit for 64d10 (avg 352) if you use a 10th level Spell Combination slot to double up a pair of 8th level Disintegrates.

I know it's an obviously good choice, but somehow picking the same spell twice for Spell Combination feels against the spirit of that ability. Uninteresting, even if optimal.

I think until they publish more matching spells it's the only good reason to even take Spell Combination right now unless you're really in love with fast buffing in combat. Double Disintegrate is the only actually strong spell combination, I'd prefer the free metamagic feat or the extra 10th level spell over everything else I've been able to come up with.

No, I totally get that from an optimization viewpoint. But it also takes probably the most conceptually interesting level 20 feat for a Wizard and reduces it to this-

"So you know how when I cast Disintegrate, I use one hand?"


"Well...what if I used, TWO hands?"

Xenocrat wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:

I figured there was something I was missing. Thanks for the clarification.

It's a shame as Disintegrate seems rather underwhelming in this edition compared to more powerful spells like Chain Lightning, but at the same time, this would mean you could get the equivalent of 80d10 damage on a level 10 Disintegrate, and even on a very low chance, that seems absurd.

You can still get a crit for 64d10 (avg 352) if you use a 10th level Spell Combination slot to double up a pair of 8th level Disintegrates.

I know it's an obviously good choice, but somehow picking the same spell twice for Spell Combination feels against the spirit of that ability. Uninteresting, even if optimal.

But yes, if you use a 10th level spell and a Level 20 Wizard feat, you can pull off an insane blast.

A ~30% greater blast with no feat required would have been quite a bit bigger.

Plus if the spell DID work the way I assumed, that would mean the Wizard could pull off the equivalent of a 128d10 super laser of ULTRADEATH...

I figured there was something I was missing. Thanks for the clarification.

It's a shame as Disintegrate seems rather underwhelming in this edition compared to more powerful spells like Chain Lightning, but at the same time, this would mean you could get the equivalent of 80d10 damage on a level 10 Disintegrate, and even on a very low chance, that seems absurd.

So the relevant specific text of the spell Disintegrate from Archive of Nethys reads as follows

Archive of Nethys wrote:
You fire a green ray at your target. Make a spell attack. You deal 12d10 damage, and the target must attempt a basic Fortitude save. On a critical hit, treat the save result as one degree worse. A creature reduced to 0 HP is reduced to fine powder; its gear remains.

Now since this spell involves both an attack roll AND a Fortitude save, as far as I can tell, RAW this allows you two opportunities to multiply damage from the spell.

Whenever you make an attack roll, and you crit, you double the damage done by the attack. Now, Disintegrate specifies another effect that also happens on a crit, but nothing in the rules, unless I have missed something, states that this effect replaces the normal crit effect.

Then the recipient makes a basic Fortitude save. A crit fail on this also doubles the damage from the source. And since on a crit attack roll, the degree of success is dropped by one, that is quite a bit more likely to happen.

Thus, on a crit hit, followed by a crit fail on the Fort save (which you still get on a regular fail), Disintegrate SHOULD do 12d10 x 4 damage.

Is this the correct interpretation or in this instance is there a reason that only the Fort save considered when calculating damage multipliers?

Yes! I am definitely of the excite.

As a lover of the way Pathfinder does their planar divisions, I am hoping to see the rest of the level 20 outsiders. We have the Pleroma, Balor, and Pit Fiend. I wanna see the Solar Angel, the Bastion Archon, the Izfiitar Protean, the...I think it's the Olethrodaemon which is the Level 20 Daemon? The Yamaraj Psychopomp.

And then just...Agathions. since we didn't have them in Bestiary 1 at all.

Also, I know so many people want Primal and Imperial Dragons, and yeah they should probably come first, but I really want to see Planar dragons as well. Give me my Havok Dragon! And my Tumult Dragon and Infernal Dragons!

I see what you're saying here, but I also feel like you can make this argument for ANY of the classes with multiple paths.

I wanna be a Paladin Champion for some of the feats that are gated behind Paladin (for no good reason that I can see at all), but I don't really want Retributive Strike. I'd rather just take another Champion feat instead. I wanna play a leaf order Druid but a Leshy familiar? Eh, I don't really need that. Another feat please!

Sorcs are already one of the most versatile and powerful classes in the game. Probably the first time I can remember where I actually think they're better than Wizards. The initial bloodline power is a part of being a sorcerer and separates them from the other spellcasters.

I agree with getting to chose to take or not to take later bloodline powers, since not being able to pick that would heavily narrow your options for possible Sorc builds, and because you can say that a Sorc can chose to delve deeper into their blood to find greater power but don't HAVE to. But at the end of the day you HAVE the blood and there needs to be SOMETHING to show that.

Pre-chosen spells which anyone else could also have, and skills which again anyone could have, are not enough for this. The bloodline magic could be, but that is a very small effect that IMO wouldn't be enough to make the base Sorc unique enough.

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Lucas Yew wrote:
On a related note, I would have liked all major outsiders to have their old CR 2 and CR 20 variants in the first Bestiary. The ship has sailed though... (and Proteans never had the 20th variant at all)

Yeah they did. Izfiitars.

I do agree with your statement though. It seems odd that Lawful Neutral, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Neutral, True Neutral and all the Good aligned outsiders are missing their Level 20 counterparts, but we still have Balors, Pit Fiends, and Pleromas.

Plus, where are the Agathions at all? Are Angels replacing them as Neutral Good?

I just kinda want to have a game which heavily revolves around a level 20 lord of all 9 alignments are involved. I feel like that'd be fun.

I admit I also would love an Improved Familiar feat which would allow you to take the effects of the familiar and layer them on top of various CR 1 creatures, basically one for each "type" of monster. A Pseudodragon for Dragons, an Imp for Devils and Quasit for Demons, an Alchemic Ooze of some sort, a Cassisian Angel, Arbiter Aeon, Voidworm Protean, Lyrakian Azata, and so on and so forth.

I don't know what sort of level restriction there'd be on that, but I don't think it would be that powerful if given the basic restrictions of familiars. I just want my chaotic good Fey Sorcerer to have a Lyrakian or Voidworm and to actually have those abilities. They're so coooool!

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The Witch of Pathfinder has always been very distinctly the patron and familiar Witch. I highly suspect that the Witch will be an Occult caster specifically, with maybe some extra spells from other spell lists depending on the Patron. Winter Witch would get Cone of Cold and Polar Ray, and hopefully Polar Midnight once that is added in for example.

I don't see any reason to design a sub-Witch that uses a spellbook instead of a familiar and uses Arcane casting for example, because at the end of the day that is just a Wizard. And while that version of Witches definitely exist in other settings, in Pathfinder the Witch and Wizard are very different things, and for good reason. If the Witch and the Wizard were the same thing, why would you need them to be separate classes?

As for the Hedge-witch, I could more easily see that as a sub-archetype, but to be honest I feel like for a proper "Witchy" feel they would still use the Occult spell list, with just a few bonus spells from the Primal list. Most likely the animal summoning ones and maybe a couple others. That would likely just be another Patron.

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Cantrips are not spell level 0 in PF2. They are spell level (half your level rounded up). So they start at spell level 1, not zero. By the time you are cast level 5 spells, all Cantrips are also level 5. It's just that they don't use spell slots to cast.

Another potential option. In the case of Clerics, a your divine power comes from your deity of choice directly. However in the case of Sorcs, their power comes from their bloodline directly. Thus, an argument can be made that your spells should in some way reflect the source of your bloodline powers.

Infernal Sorc uses Divine Lance cantrip? Evil or Lawful damage. Even if the Sorc themselves is Chaotic Good.

I know that isn't RAW and probably wouldn't work very well in the actual rules considering if it was, considering bloodlines like Undead. But if I was GMing and one of my players came to me with that, I'd probably agree to it as long as they could make a good case for it.

These are phenominal and I am about 87% sure that I probably used a character sheet from you for PF1 because they also were phenomenal. I can't wait until they are finalized.

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You want stupid, meine fruende? I'll show you stupid. I'll show you the pinnacle of stupid.

Play an Elf. Take the Nimble Elf feat as well as the Fleet general feat. Base speed is now 40.

Play a Monk. Eventual +30 base speed for a Base of 70.

At level 1, take a Ki spell ability. Doesn't matter which one. Ki rush is more thematically appropriate however so that's what we'll go with!

Level 2 we take Barbarian MC Archetype.

Level 4 we take a a level 1 or two Barbarian feat. Doesn't really matter which one, but again sudden charge is thematically appropriate. Hurrah!

Level 6 we take Water Step so that we can now run across the surface of the water, just so long as we don't ever end our movement there. Spoilers, by the end of this, we wont.

Level 8 we take Advanced Fury to get a level 4 Barbarian feat. Take Fast Movement. Now our base speed is +10 while raging to a max of 80!

Level 10, Take Wind Jump. Ups our Ki pool to 2 and gives us a special Ki Focus spell that says that for 1 minute we get a Fly speed equal to our land speed but we have to end our turn on the ground or we fall. Hehe, that's cute.

Level 12, 14, 16, and 18 really don't matter at all. You can go get a stance, Ki Blast, some more specialized movement (unfortunately most of them other than Water Step, such as Wall Run are incompatible with what we're doing because of reasons I cannot divulge to the public just's because they are their own actions and not passive things.)

But at 20, you take Advanced Fury again and this time you take Furious Sprint.

For those poor uninitiated, Furious Sprint is a two action activity that allows you to stride 1 time up to 5 times your movement speed. Which at this point while you are raging is 80 x 5 for 400 feet. OR you can instead make it a 3 action activity for 8 times your movement speed. 80 x 8 is stupid a lot ('s 640, just so you know).

Now here's the kicker. The beautiful, glorious kicker. Remember that Wind Jump thing we took at level 10? The one that gives you a fly speed but doesn't let you end your turn on not solid ground?

Furious Sprint says that you have to run in a straight does not say that this line has to be parallel to the local force of gravity.

Now I want you to imagine a Monk Barbarian running 640 FEET THROUGH THE AIR WHILE SCREAMING IN UNBRIDLED RAGE AND FURY!!!

Soooo yeah...kinda stupid. Pretty much 100 percent pointless. Unless you specifically have a Castle wall that you need to climb and you can calculate at what angle you need to run in order to make the distance from the point from the ground to the point on the castle wall exactly 640 feet. Or if you have to cross a stupidly long canyon with no bridge.

Oh, or maybe you're in a densely packed forest so you can't run in a straight line but you want to get out of the way of a stupidly powerful Wizard's stupidly powerful fireball so you run straight up and out of their 500 foot range in one turn. know, Treerazer or something, since I'm pretty sure nothing he's got can catch up to you at that point.

But hey, stupid as this may be who else can say that they can run 640 feet through the air in 6 seconds with just 1 Ki point or the same distance across the water with no Ki point at all?

Just make sure you jack up your Athletics to legendary so that you can guarantee that you are going to make those DC 30 Althletics check to not fall because 640 feet of falling damage is not fun to take. Or maybe it is, I don't know what sort of things you're into. No judgements here, I mean, I made this stupid monstrosity of a build.

Well that's unfortunate. I do appreciate the Swift response. I don't have my book yet and couldn't find an answer on Archive of Nethys.

For the purposes of certain abilities like the different Champion's reactions, do you found as "an ally"? This makes a HUGE difference for the usage and potential builds for the Champion.

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Here's a potentially interesting idea.

What if, instead of Spellstrike being an attack where a spell is delivered at the same time, what if Spellstrike is a charge mechanic?

Something like, a two action activity which charges your weapon with a spell that has a range of touch, using the spell slot if it was a slot of level 1 or higher.

The spell remains in your weapon until you make a successful strike against your opponent. If you miss your strike, the spell remains in your weapon. If you critically miss, then the spell is lost. The Magus in question would have full spell progression, but fewer spell slots total, but spell strike would be an excellent way of ensuring that your spell slots are less likely to be wasted.

You'd also lose it if you didn't expend the spell in like, 10 minutes.

This helps cement the idea of the Magus as the Nova class as well as adding some tactical elements to when it's best to use it.

They could include later feats like "Greater Spellstrike" which could include AoEs and/or ranged spells with the strike. In AoEs you may also have to make the save (such as with Fireball) but you treat your own degree of success as one level greater. Or "Swift Spellstrike" which may allow one free strike with the Spellstrike activity.

Depending on the balancing, it may also be necessary to add the Concentrate tag to it, so that if you don't expend the spell the same turn you charge your sword with it, then you would have to use an action every subsequent turn to sustain the spell. But whether or not this is necessary really would take some testing.

Well my favorite PrC was always Winter Witch (well, and Dragon Disciple, but we've already discussed that).

I feel like this would be a more or less easy implementation as well. I believe that it was implied that we'd eventually get Archetypes that are unique to specific classes, that would slightly adjust the base class features that those classes would get, and the Winter Witch would be a great option for this as an alternative for the regular Witch.

The real question would be, would the Winter Witch PrC archetype also be attached to a regular witch path that would also be a Winter Witch, sort of like how in PF1, you had the Winter Witch Archetype and the Winter Witch Prestige Class. And you could only pick the WW PrC if you were already the WW Archetype...which was weird, but I still really loved it.

Looking at spells, are there any Level 10 Blasting Arcane spells other than Meteor Swarm? Specifically ones that might do Cold damage (although any other type is fine too)? I am not a fire damage kind of guy.

And what does Polar Ray look like in PF2. In the playtest it was immensely powerful because of the Enervate status effect which was insane, but I believe that specific status effect doesn't exist anymore. Is whatever it was replaced with equally as powerful?

Combining these two questions, I really hope that Polar Midnight is a level 10 Arcane Spell. It is my favorite high level Pathfinder spell ever. Well, my favorite damaging spell at least...

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Everyone always throws out Aasimars, Tieflings, and Dhampirs. And while they are really cool, to be sure, I WANT MY GANZI AND APHORITES! (okay, mostly just Ganzi).

I want my Elf who feels wrong in the world and goes out to find his origins until he reaches the Maelstrom and finds an ancient Protean once decided to have some fun with an Artic Elf warrior woman. GIVE ME MY CHAOS SERPENT MAELSTROM DADDY!!!


Sorry, I may have gotten a little excited there...

Has the Dragon Bloodline Sorcerer undergone any changes from the playtest? More specifically, has the Dragon Claws Focus Spell been better defined and what is the blood magic of the bloodline (the rider effect on all of their Bloodline spells and focus spells)?

How does the Liberator Champion look when compared to the Redeemer and the Paladin? I am definitely a Chaotic Good fanboy, but most of the time I find chaotic good "powersets" to be sort of lackluster, if that makes sense.

AZATAS!!! I love them! Pretty much my all time favorite greater outsiders. I don't know if that's a term, but you know what I mean, the sorts of residents of the alignment planes that are the equivalent to Angels/Devils/Archons/ect.

The only other one I am really hoping for is Proteans. I want me my chaos otherworldly serpents!

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Mark Seifter wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

In short, it can be easily argued that 16 and 18 are both highly viable starting values.

A 14 is getting to the point where your reduced effectiveness in your main thing will start being noticeable, and hard to offset psychologically, even if your other bonuses are technically making up the difference.

It's also not super easy to wind up with a 14 as your highest stat in the first place. There's only two possible arrays: 14 14 14 14 12 10 or 14 14 14 14 14 8. If you aren't playing one of those two arrays, you will have a 16 in your highest stat.

Also 14 14 14 12 12 12 for the ultimate well rounded character.

Fighter adds +2 Str

Background adds +2 Str and Cha

Human adds +2 Dex and Con

4 free bonuses to Dex, Con, Int, and Wis.

Unless I've mistaken something.

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Beautiful. I have high hopes that PF2 will be the best TTRPG on the market and Paizo is without a doubt the best TTRPG company out there.

People like Mark and Jason and.all the others make such a product with so much love and care and I can't say how grateful I am for everything that is done.

I hope you enjoy your beautiful book. I'm getting the regular edition myself, but I'll love it just the same.

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graystone wrote:
It's forcing me to invest not one point but 2 point in the stat and it's a valuable step that allows you to stack with other steps so it ends up not really being 4 options if you want to rise primary and secondary stats. Your other steps have even smaller floating number and IMO aren't really going to be used for this kind of thing as you're looking to stack when you can. Why use a background floating bonus on str when it's stack yo get you a 14 in something else? SO we're at the last floating stat stage for this kind of thing.

But any of those stats can be placed anywhere and that's the point. If you've already upped your Alchemist's Dex to 14 and Con to 12 via all the other stat ups, then that makes it a lot more acceptable to use one of those 4 remaining boosts on Str rather than one of those (probably Wis).

Just for the sake of everything, let's make an Alchemist. We'll go for the purely best abilities possible.

So +Int for Alchemist

+Int, +Dex, for Elf, using the free score to remove the -Con

Chose any Background that ups either Int or Dex and use the free one to up the other.

Then for the floating 4, chose Int, Dex, Con, and Str.

Now you have 18 Int, 16 Dex, 12 Con, and 12 Str. For an Elf, that's pretty decent.

A Dwarf could get a more well rounded
18 Int, 14 Dex (or 16/16), Con 14, and Str 12 with a penalty to Cha.

Yes, in both of these cases you are sacrificing a potential 12 in Wis, but I don't consider that to be a huge failure considering that you can quickly start raising your Wis when you get your ASIs.

And when the inevitable +Int, +Dex (Or Con), -Cha Ancestry comes out, we'll have something even better.

graystone wrote:

I could truly care less about total pluses. In this case a -1 on strength and a +3 are both equally useless if I'm not using a weapon that cares about them: same with my cha. SO total pluses IMO is meaningless.

EDIT: On future raises, I'm thinking that I'd rather buy a bag of holding and get +25 bulk carry than using one of those on str to get +1 bulk.

Yeah, I didn't explain why I put value on this, but I very much do. The reason is because having the promise of so many more stat UPS down the road makes it much more comfortable to place one of those early ASIs into Str instead of, say Wis or Con. You can start with a 10 in any ability and still hit 18 (and yes, I realize that games don't often get to level 20 but the point still stands that you can be more liberal with your early bonuses and not have it be a hit to your character in the long run). That Wisdom might end up being a lot more valuable down the road, but if you're worried about encumbrance, Str might be more desired early on.

Or maybe not. But that's up to the player to decide and there should be value to both IMO.

And again, I am not saying I don't agree that things needed a bit more fine tuning in the playtest and often things seemed annoyingly just out of reach. But most of them really only need a small amount of tweaking.

To address some of your other points, most of them seem either self inflicted or not something that is actually going to be a problem. You mention that 4 pounds you still have in PF1 is for food and rations and stuff. But your Alchemist in PF2 also still has 9 Light to carry stuff like that. Remember that Light gear counts as 0 until you get 10 of them. So 1 from Leather, 2 from Alchemist kit, 1 from Crossbow, I from Healer's Kit, and 10 bolts is 1 Light. That's 5 and 1 Light. 9 Light left.

If you switch to Padded armor, which has the exact same armor bonus, then that's 1 Bulk, 9 Light left of carrying capacity.

Plus I don't know if your parties are used to having everyone carrying their own rations, but even in older editions I never did and I think PF2 is assuming a paradigm where the party assists each other in such things. Your Alchemist may not have the Bulk to carry rations, but the Barbarian/Fighter/Champion probably does.

And if not, a pack mule is a very cheap early level version of a bag of holding. And it'll probably carry those Alchemist tools and Healer's Kit too. That means you're only carrying 2 Bulk, 1 Light on you. WAY better off.

And all that is assuming you only have a Str of 10.

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graystone wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:

That PF1 characters can actually carry that base equipment and had 4 pounds to take random equipment or some food and water. And for a super minor 1 stat point to str 11, you get 9 lbs to play with: to get an upgrade in PF2 instead of a 1/10th-1/25th of your stat allotment, you must send 1/4th your your discretionary boosts to do so. It's a much higher investment JUST to be able to carry some basic necessities like food and water.

So in the end, I see your post more helping prove my point that proving I'm wrong.

And if you want to upgrade to Studded Leather, it doesn't cost you anything in PF2 as far as Bulk but in PF1 it's 5 more pounds...1 more than the 4 you have left.

But wait, you consider it more of an investment at first level to upgrade stats in PF1?

I don't. I find it MUCH less of an investment to increase my Str to 12 in PF2. First off, you don't get 4 floating bonuses, you get 6. 7 for human. One from your Ancestry can go anywhere you don't already have a bonus from Ancestry. One from your Background which can go anywhere the Background doesn't already increase. And 4 which can go anywhere as long as they don't overlap.

And THAT'S the crux of the matter. No overlapping from the same source. In PF1, if you're using a point buy, it's always better to focus as many of those points into your relevant abilities as possible. This is because all stats are always directly competing with each other. For an Alchemist this is Int, followed by Dex and Con, with Wis being number 4. Str and Cha are for dumping and dumping hard.

But in PF2? Well since you're requires to spread the points around, it's extremely easy to make sure you get at least 1 of those +2s into Str. Sure, it might mean the difference of having a Wis or Con of 14 instead of 16, but that isn't the hugest difference and you were going to have to take a hit to your important stats if you wanted that 11 Str in PF1 anyways.

Plus, that's all just at level 1. As we continue forward PF2 comes out WAY ahead. 4 sets of 4 floating ability score increases which again can't overlap? In PF1 I think you get 5 +1s total? And you pretty much always had to throw them into your primary stat. Maybe your secondary if it was an odd number.

Sure, a Halfling is going struggle with that penalty, but that was also true in PF1.

Now don't get me wrong. I think there need to be more options for alleviating these struggles. IMO a basic backpack should reduce the total bulk of everything that is inside the pack by 1, since it's easier to carry in the backpack.

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You're acting like the Bulk for Str 10 characters is so much less than the Encumbrance for Str 10 characters in PF1, but that's not really true.

At Str 10, your Light Load minimum was 33lbs. Leather Armor was 15, a Healers Kit, Alchemist Crafter Kit, and Antidote Kit (you need both the crafters kit and Antidote Kit to do what the Alchemist's Tools in the playtest did) is 9,and your Light Crossbow and 10 bolts is 5. For a total of 29, you're only 4 lbs away from being encumbered.

Now, it is absolutely true that high Strength doesn't exponentially skyrocket your encumbrance like it did in PF1 (assuming PF2 is the same as the playtest), but I'm actually quite glad it doesn't as I've seen a Barbarian player carry around things casually on their person that Conan would struggle to drag. Not to mention this makes items like the Bag of Holding much more valuable, while having high Strength is still extremely valuable for someone so that they can have things in their person rather than having to retrieve them from the Bag of Holding.

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BishopMcQ wrote:
Greatsword vs Bastard Sword - I'm not sure. There's a cost and bulk difference. The description text suggests that a bastard sword can be used for Piercing, but it's not listed in the table. Likewise, the greatsword description text has abilities not included in the table.

That's odd. Perhaps it implies that there may end up being feats included later on that adjust the things that you can do with the weapons in-game.

My problem is that half my typical party are also members of a local HEMA club and sometimes get "testy" when you are arbitrarily not allowed to do things with a sword (or any other weapon) that you couldn't do in real life.

I use the word "testy" with all the love in my heart.

In this case however, I was the one who was a little bent out of shape over the Greatsword and Bastard Sword. Just because I was hoping a huge weapon like the Greatsword would have some advantage over a regular sized sword.

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Is the Greatsword still just all around worse than the Bastard Sword? In the PT it's only advantage was that it could do slashing or piercing, while the BS was just a, which seems to be a joke compared to the versatility of being both one handed and two handed.

Especially since I will almost certainly allow my players to use slashing and piercing for the Bastard Sword anyways, since it makes no rational sense that it can't.

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Lightning Raven wrote:
You guys also shouldn't dismiss the impact on HP. As far as I recall, there were a lot of complaints here in this forum about deadly critical hits, the prevalence of them against higher CR monsters (more likely to crit). Also, why it's less valuable for no reason? Are we assuming monsters are dealing less damage now?

Since you always get mad health rather than rolling your Hit Die for health in PF2, an increase to Con will always increase your HP total by a smaller percentage.

Looking at it this way, a level 10 Barbarian in PF2 with a Con of 10 will have 120 HP. That same Barbarian in PF1 will have an average of 65 HP (slightly more because of the max hit die at level 1, but then I also didn't add in Ancestry HP for PF2).

With a Con of 20, either Barbarian adds 50 HP to either total. Adding 50 to 120 is an increase of 41.7% in PF2, while adding 50 to 65 is an increase of 77% in PF1.

The difference is even crazier for lower HP classes. The wizard has 60 HP at level 10, while in PF1 he had 35. The 20 Con wizard increases his HP total by 83% in PF2 but a whopping 143% in PF1.

So while HP itself is just as valuable, proportionally Con contributes a lesser part of that HP total.

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Talathiel wrote:

I made a homebrew tiefling ancestry option:

It might be a bit premature to start throwing together homebrews like this.

For example, while it was common enough in PF1, I don't think we've seen any indication that language like "cast this spell as if you were one faster level higher" exists in PF2 yet. I may be wrong, but I don't remember it being there.

And given how the philosophy of PF2 seems to demand much tighter math and feats give you more things to do over plusses to your numbers, I would be rather surprised if it was still a thing.

Don't get me wrong, I like the ideas in your homebrew, I just think that it's be better to see the full product and know what types of rules are used and what types are not before we start generating stuff.

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I don't really want to continue beating this dead horse, but I'm going to anyways because I'm a moron who has to put my two cents in...

I personally would much rather play in a world that feels real and breathing than one that feels like a computer simulation. So long as we're talking about something that isn't going to make or break any sort of combat for the party, I really love the "about a week" language.

I think that a lot of the fears about this being a bad sign for poorly articulated rules and measures are somewhat premature anyways. This is an extremely minor effect that lasts one round and is extremely unlikely to occur in combat for your allies.

The fact that Mark is here talking about how the vague language isn't likely to be an issue with this item shows that they aren't likely to use such undefined language in anything other than the flavorful little ribbon abilities. Mark wouldn't be defending the use of this language here if the same language was used in more "make or break" item ability moments.

And as far as this being a thing that a s+%!ty DM can use against a party, well sure. But I guarantee, if you have the sort of mean-spirited DM who will use that kind of thing against the players, you will have far worse problems to deal with than an item description like this. Highly regimented rules will never turn a bad DM into a good DM. The only thing that can do that is open and honest communication and a reevaluation of the DM's values and what they want out of the game.

I know that compared to many I can be a "living world" extremist. I would prefer a game world that feels real and natural, even if that means making some decisions in favor of that world when it technically would be a bad decision in a pure game world. For example, I think Aasimar and Tieflings should be straight up better than humans. Most people disagree with me, and that's fine.

This however seems like the kind of extremely reasonable little flavor-text thing that really shouldn't be a problem to fall into the living world side of the equation.

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Quandary wrote:

"But I tend to find that this actually goes by players a lot worse than if the Tiefling itself is just sort of better."

So basically you want the same outcome that people think is being a jerk, but you want to slip it by them.
You say it's a matter of story, yet you're happy to manipulate and decieve the people supposedly co-creating the story with you.
You say "I dont' want more Feats, I want more powerful Feats" ...because that affects STORY, HOW?
(and flat boosting level, which doesn't itself grant feats, is in fact way to do that, it just is honest about power boost)

And it's not just people disagreeing with this motive of yours, but you failing to understand basic concepts.
You throw around "asymmetric balance" like it means "wild power imbalance, but I like it". That's not what it means.
Asymmetric is NO LESS dedicated to balance, it simply means it is considering bigger picture and not narrow 1:1 comparisons.
Yet the overtly higher power classes ARE higher power, they aren't claimed to be the same power despite some narrow overt disparity.

You're taking what I said way out of context, and putting quite a few words in my mouth.

first off, I straight up said that I didn't want the difference to be huge at all. In fact I said that I wanted the difference to be subtle and probably less of a power difference than it was in PF1, which was already very little after a couple levels. Every tabletop game is going to be a combination of some sort between gaminess and verisimilitude. I am willing to have a minor difference in power, so long as it doesn't punish anyone for playing the sort of character that they want to play, for the sake of characters that feel more like what they should be.

I don't mean that the Aasimar fighter should outclass the "only" human fighter at every turn. I mean that the Aasimar fighter should have a couple things that they have access to that might on occasion let them do something that the human fighter cannot.

Also, I'm not sure how you interpreted what I said as deceiving my players? The reason that I liked the RP system in PF1 was that it made the relative power levels entirely transparent. So if I have a new player I can say "here, you can play a human or an elf, and you'll be fine. There are also these other races, which have a few extra things, but you'll be totally fine if you want to not deal with that".

People get that. "Oh this race is part angel? This guy is part devil? A person who is empowered by the elements? Yeah, that makes sense that they are a bit extra. That's the world that we're playing in."

If I power up these Races/Ancestries/Heritages, then it's not the world that says that these people are a bit stronger. It's me, and thus I'M giving extra stuff to some of my players and the ones who don't want to play those Ancestries feel like I'm trying to punish them for playing who they want to play or else push them to play someone they don't want to.

But no, it should ALWAYS be something that is done with transparency.

It effects story how? It effects story by giving you more options for stories like the one between Rock Lee and Neji Hyuuga. Or any other underdog story. One person has natural talent. The other doesn't. But through experience and practice they both become equals (and I'm sorry, but an Elf Wizard and Aasimar Wizard both at level 20 are just as powerful). This story is much more choppy by having them be at different levels, because levels are not a indication of natural talent, but of experience and training. That can ALSO be a good story if you want to go with that, but it isn't the same story.

All I'm saying is that it's a tool to use. That's all.

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Sure, you can elect to twist things around to make certain characters stronger or weaker based on their Ancestry. If Tiefling ends up a Heritage that can be taken by any ancestry, then I could easily say "hey, take a human/elf/dwarf feat AND a Tiefling feat whenever you get an Ancestry feat option.

But I tend to find that this actually goes by players a lot worse than if the Tiefling itself is just sort of better. If I'm giving my Planetouched players more stuff then players who don't want to play those types feel like I'm being a jerk. But if the game just has them be better most say "yeah, that makes sense. A human with demon blood is going to be stronger than a regular human". Besides, I don't want them to have more feats. I want the feats they have access too to be just a little bit better.

Again, not a lot better. Not twice as good. But better enough that a canny reader will recognize that this guy gets some innately better stuff. At level 1 this might make a difference. You'll have a nice little boost that will feel cool, but won't punish anyone for not picking those Ancestries/Heritages. But race was never a major part of your power in PF1 and it won't be in PF2 either. By level 5 class is MUCH more important and by level 8, Ancestries will be hardly anything other than a couple feats which will be fawned over by min-maxers.

To me it's a matter of interesting stories, wider options available, and making the world feel more real. Be honest, does it make sense for a human who carries the blood of angels to be no stronger than a human who doesn't? No, it just doesn't. Should training and experience almost immediately close the gap as the regular human learns magic or inhuman levels of swordplay? Yeah, absolutely.

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Yeah, I kinda figured this wouldn't be hugely popular. And trust me, I am not suggesting that the difference be insanely over the top, and probably less so in PF2 vs. PF1 considering how much more a +1 in PF2 means due to the tighter math.

But even in PF1, the difference wasn't enormous. I picked arguably the weakest and strongest races as examples to show what the furthest extremes are in PF1, but a Drow Noble isn't so much stronger than a Kobold that (in my experience at my tables, I totally understand that YMMV) anyone ever felt punished for playing the Kobold or immensely overpowered as a DN.

But to me, Pathfinder is a medium for communal story telling every bit as much (and sometimes more so) than it is a game. And having asymmetric ancestries/heritages open up the potential for way more kinds of characters. One of the best characters I've ever played with was a Kobold Barbarian who thought they were the strongest thing in the world. And by the time they reached level 20, they could make a pretty good case for it. That story wouldn't have hit as hard if Kobolds weren't at a natural disadvantage.

Now, again I'm not saying that this should be a huge deciding factors. I'm not asking for an Ancestry or Heritage so powerful that it substitutes for class power. I'm saying that if Human/Elf/Dwarf/ect. is the baseline for Ancestries, then the weakest should be at about 75-80% as strong as a Human and the strongest should be 150% as strong, maximum.

That is a decent chunk of your overall PC power at level 1 sure, when your Ancestrial abilities carry a bit more of your "Oomph". But by the time you reach level 5ish, when 90% of your power is from your class and the Ancestry is mostly flavor anyways, the Kobolds shouldn't be more than a point or so behind and the Aasimar isn't going to be noticibly better than the Human anyways.

Like I said, to me it is a tool for story telling and too much homogeny makes stories less interesting. I understand why this is an unpopular idea. From a gaming perspective it is a bad idea, and it should only be done with all players at the tables understanding the point and ramifications therin. But well used, it can be a fun tool for storytelling and Verisimilitude. At least in my humble opinion.

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One of the things that I really enjoyed about the original races in PF1 was that they were obviously and intentionally asymmetrically balanced. The Core races were more or less balanced, as they should be.

But then the advanced race guides and all the other extra races can vary from underpowered (Kobolds) to much stronger (Drow Nobles). You even have a direct gauge for knowing how powerful the races are, relative to each other.

That to me is a great tool for GMs to have slightly more dynamic games as long as everyone sits down and is willing to go with it. Just as long as the difference between them is not so great as to make a huge bulk of a difference, and punish people from wanting to play a character story that they are interested in.

What are the odds that we will have any Ancestries/Heritages that are definitively balanced more or less powerful than each other? If Aasimar/Tieflings/Ganzi/Aphorites are going to be universal Heritages that can be applied to any Ancestry, I would want them to be more powerful than the regular Heritages for the Ancestries, just because those sorts of planetouched people should be powerful.

Does anyone else agree with me or am I crazy?

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Quandary wrote:

Hmm, IMHO phrasing it like " can not be Observed, but are still Detected" or even more succinctly " are ONLY Pinpointed/Detected" reads intuitively... With "still"/"only" expressing Perception's logical hierarchy where Stealth doesn't ADD new "Detected" info but only suppresses upper tiers... But I can see how you could arrive where you did if you were absolutely designing for single-term direct referents ("you are X"), even if IMHO "not... still" and especially "only" isn't heavy grammatic baggage and reads naturalistically (contextualizing to make clear you accomplished something useful).

That was just an actually confusing/awkward thing from playtest for me personally that seemed like it carried over into final, albeit with terminology shifting, and I just wanted to specify the distinct ways it was confusing. Sorry for the brutal honesty, I understand there is a million competing design goals, and am over-all very positive and impressed with everything I have seen so far of final system!

But that assumes that every GM is going to be eloquent/enough to immediately know how to say that succinctly without stumbling over their words to get the right idea across and not misconstrue their players.

Remember that sometimes the wording choices are picked not because it would be hard for anyone to get the words out the right way, but because there is too much of a potential for it to be awkward and that might slip some people up. And if you need a note in the book telling GMs "hey, when you tell your players that they are detected, make sure you remind them that they are only just detected so that it doesn't give them the wrong idea", that is sort of an indicator that the wording is unintuitive and can lead to confusion.

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I wanted to also thank Mark for that post. The time and dedication that it takes to sit down and write out exactly how they recognize everything that we said and did on these forums in the period of the playtest and after shows a great deal of personal dedication to their fanbase and integrity as a gaming entity.

When you are a creator, building something for people you care about and appreciate, and you have so many voices all clambering to express all of their personal desires, and having your own wants on top of that, it can be all to easy to either let it all become white noise or else collapse under the strain of being pulled in a hundred directions.

There are a few ways to push through this. And the way that the people who make Pathfinder have interacted with their fanbase here and elsewhere shows to me that they chose to approach the sea of madness with care. And I can't speak for the community at large, but I appreciate this.

Obviously not every choice will please every person. I personally still have some issues with the Champion and I am holding out hope that there's more to the Sorc than we've seen. I was a person who really liked Resonance conceptually and am sad that it wasn't able to work out. But whatever disagreements I might personally have with some of the fine minutia of the game, at the end of the day doesn't matter.

Mark's post above. That is why I have faith in this game. All the finicky details I can work out at own table.

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Slim Jim wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:

I actually kind of disagree with this one, and I am also the sort who prefers a more robust game and has a lot of problems with how watered down 5e is (while still appreciating other things about it).

But I have always had a hard time justifying Smite Evil as the primary ability of the Paladin

I've never considered Smite their primary ability. --Their main abilities are resiliency and automatic party-buffing just by being present (i.e., auras).

(I get the impression that Denim N Leather is fan of a strong alignment system, with at least some classes accordingly affected, paladin in particular. Well, I am too.)

Except those are passive abilities. And while they're awesome, and a great thing for the Paladin to have, no one picks a class just to stand there and not do anything.

That's an exaggeration of course since even without Smite, the Paladin can still swing a sword. But the point is that the main feature of a class is always going to be something they can do, since doing things is always going to be more fun than not letting things get done to you.

And I prefer a stronger alignment system as well. I am 100% in favor of a much more robust and stronger focus on alignment, and that Paladins should revolve around this concept. 5e's system of making alignment completely unnecessary and having no gameplay effects at all is not for me.

But I think there are ways to do this without making the Paladin's effectiveness in combat be so strongly tied to only fighting Evil aligned things. I don't want to be punished for wanting to play a typical Paladin in a Campaign where my GM was planning on throwing us into a war between the Axis and The Maelstrom.

MaxAstro wrote:

Vali, I think you just sorta spontaneously came up with a really good argument for Paladins being based on Retributive Strike instead of Smite Evil.

That actually makes me feel a lot better about the change, when you put it in those terms.

Yeah, I am a bit more forgiving of Retributive Strike as a whole than some people seem to be. Although to be honest I still prefer not having the new main ability of the Paladin not be based on a Reaction. I'd still prefer Smite Evil just still worked (albiet to a lesser extent) on Neutral aligned things.

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I actually kind of disagree with this one, and I am also the sort who prefers a more robust game and has a lot of problems with how watered down 5e is (while still appreciating other things about it).

But I have always had a hard time justifying Smite Evil as the primary ability of the Paladin, given that it only effects Evil Beings.

From a game perspective, it puts way too much onus on the GM to design encounters around one specific class (so long as that class is in the party).

Now don't get me wrong, every encounter is going to favor some classes over others. Rogues struggle against things that don't care about sneak attack, anti-magic fields laugh at Wizards, ect. These examples are either highly specific or still allow the class to do their thing, that thing just isn't going to be as effective.

But Smite Evil is completely and utterly useless against a very large portion of the game's potential enemies. The DM now has to be careful about making sure that he is balancing a good number of Evil threats and non-evil threats rather than just playing with whatever they think would be fun. Too much evil and the Paladin becomes the MVP, but not enough evil and the player feels like they aren't getting to play with their best toy.

From an in-universe perspective I'm not sure it makes a ton of sense either. While I am sure the Paladin's God doesn't want the Pali to be smiting the innocent, not all threats to peace and harmony are evil. What if a big mindless beast is slaughtering people in the night? Does the Pali's God shrug and say "not my job description so deal with it yourself"? It makes even less sense for Anti-Paladins. Why would an evil tyrant care that their powers only hurt good people? Shouldn't they want to also be able to beat down their evil rivals to ensure their own dominance? Makes Cleric or Wizard seem like a more viable position for evildoers in the long run.

I get that this makes the game more "nuanced" and potentially more interesting, but personally I'd split the difference. Let Smite do more damage or have more effects against evil beings, still work but not as well against Neutral (for dealing with those rabid beasts that need to be put down for everyone's safety) and have no effect against Good targets.

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I don't think I've ever taken magic missile on any character I've ever played, and I ALWAYS play at least partial spellcasters.

Seriously, I played a Barbarian once. Every other character I've ever played has been Sorcerer/Wizard/ Paladin/Magus/ Warlock/Witch/ Druid/Arcane Trickster.

And yet never once took Magic Missile. Don't get me wrong, depending on the edition of D&D/Pathfinder, it can often be a great choice. Guaranteed damage is cool. It just seems like a really boring spell...there have always been more interesting options to pick, even if they weren't always optimal.

PF2 might be the first time I'm considering it, as the multiple action options adds a pizazz and flare to the spell that appeals to me. I may not give it to my Sorc, as I tend to like more thematically appropriate choices for my bloodline (and I have no interest in the ancient magic users bloodline), but I'd definitely give it to a Wizard.

All that said, based on the #MyPathfinderSpoilers cards, I am definitely interested in seeing what other fun and thematic options we get. All those spells seem powerful (sometimes situationally so, but that's fine) and interesting. I wanna see what more options we have for Primal and Occult spells, and how much the Arcane spells have been altered and improved.

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Paladinosaur wrote:
Leshies and Lizardfolk seems like a terrible decision. There are lots of more popular ancestries.

Sometimes a less popular race might still be a superior choice if it fills a more unique niche.

A lot of popular choices are popular either because they're longtime staples or because they hit one or more of a few specific qualities that are extremely popular (Dark and severe, crazy and quirky, eternal underdog, just to name a few).

If these staples and qualities are already accounted for, then a more unusual pick may be more than a popular choice that just hits the same boxes as the choices already available. Drow, Teiflings, and Dhampir all hit a lot of the same boxes, for example. They all have their own unique and interesting flavor, but they are still very similar in what they all appeal to.

And besides, Lizardfolk are freaking awesome. They are so much cooler than they have any right to be, and I hope that actually including them as an early and supported ancestry helps them to get a bit of recognition.

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Here's how I would deal with this conundrum.

Aasimar, Tiefling, Ganzi, Aphorite, Duskwalker, Ifrit, Undine, Oread, and Sylph (and others that I am sure there are but I can't remember them all off the top of my head) should all be heritages. They should all be special unique heritages that can be applied to any ancestry, so you can have an Elf-Ganzi, a Human Aasimar, or whatever.

Yes, this means that you can't have Half-Elf Tieflings technically, unless later on a feat is allowed that let's you take from multiple heritages at once, but I don't think that's a huge problem. Even if they don't have a feat like that, it wouldn't be that outlandish to play an Elf or Orc (when Or eventually comes) and play it as a Half Elf or Half-Orc.

As for the Various sub-types of Tiefling and Aasimar, I honestly think this has an extremely easy fix. Since Ancestry feats are a guaranteed part of your leveling progress now, you have various Heritage feat train sets associated with each subtype.

I don't remember the specific levels that you get Ancestry feats, but let's say that there's a feat at level 4, 8, 12, and 16 (just for the sake of demonstration).

You would have various Ancestry feats that are only available to the specific planetouched heritages that represent the Musetouched and the like. At level 4 you could take the Ancestry feat Musetouched and at level 8 you could take Greater Musetouched. Maybe even a level 12/16 final one called True Musetouched or Awakened Musetouched or something. These could replicate the abilities that the PF1 Musetouched had or they could be more creative with them, since the PF1 Aasimar and Tiefling subraces only had very slight changes.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Also the 4 spell lists are NOT equal. Non-Arcane bloodlines should have better stuff to compensate.

This. Or power up the non-arcane lists, either would work.

I actually think that Arcane Sorcerers are mostly okay, though even they could use at least a small power up...but non-Arcane Sorcerers are the ones in real trouble.

I strongly suspect that the Primal, Devine, and Occult lists will be growing significantly in the final product to equalize the spell lists to a degree.

While I do agree that Arcane Sorcs are in the best place (especially Draconic whose Bloodline powers are stronger than most of the other IMO), it is still pretty strongly outclassed by the Wizard.

The Bloodlines do give you more than the Wizard's specializations do, but it doesn't even come close to overcoming the advantages that the Wizard has.

More spells and the capacity to learn all of the spells they don't pick? The spells they have can all be heightened naturally (probably the biggest boon that the Wizard has over the Sorc), more class feats as a whole.

But the Wizard being "better" is only a problem because they are so much identical to each other in what they more or less do. The Sorc doesn't need to even be "better" it just needs to have it's own purpose. The Ranger was worse than the Fighter or the Barbarian in the playtest, but because it did it's own thing in it's own way, there was still plenty of reason to play the Ranger if they want those things.

The 12HP/level boost and much heavier focus on Bloodlines and Focus Spells over regular spells (while still letting them have powerful spells, but way fewer of them) would differentiate the Sorc not only from the Wizard, but also the Druid, Cleric, and Bard.

I'm glad that people seem to be receptive to these ideas. I know that whatever Paizo has done with the Sorcerer is already decided, and I can only hope that whatever they decided on similarly makes the Sorcerer fun and exciting and changes their base class from the "Main" spellcasters of each spell list.

ChibiNyan wrote:

I agree that the Sorcerer Bloodline powers were a joke, mostly weaker than their 1st edition versions. They didn't even get an Arcana or anything. TBH they just felt like 3E sorcs which got lv9 casting and THAT WAS IT.

Bloodlines should have more and stronger stuff, be more build-defining outside of the spell-list. Perhaps even get bonus spells from other lists! I really liked how the Fey Sorcerer used to be a master of Charming, while Infernal was of summoning and Elemental/Dragon ones of blasting. The choice had a lot of impact.

Wizards and Druids have very cool and powerful feats and spontaneous casting isn't even that good this edition anyways.

Exactly! The Sorcerer is defined by their bloodline. It should be, if not the highest thing, then at least equal to their spellcasting in terms of their affordance to the player.

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So one of my biggest concerns for PF2 is in my favorite class conceptually, the Sorcerer. Carrying on the blood of dragons or ancient magical cultures or whatever and channelling them into magical potency is probably the coolest concept for me out of the classes.

Unfortunately, we got the playtest and the Sorcerer was...well underwhelming. I love the concept that Sorcs have access to any of the 4 spell lists depending in their bloodline. That's cool. The problem is that no matter what spell list you pick, the Sorc is always just an inferior version of the primary spellcaster for that spell list.

Why be a Fae blooded Sorcerer when the Druid has the same spells, more health, Wild Shape (a single ability almost as flavorful and major as the spellcasting itself) and 4 potential paths which are all quite potent, while the Sorcerer only gets a couple bloodline abilities, some of which are cool but none of which even come close to making up the distance.

Plus the spellcasting itself is weaker, since the Sorc can only have so many spells and cannot heighten those spells however they see fit.

All in all the Sorc of the playtest was bland and uninteresting and I am very much hoping it gets a complete redesign from the ground up that gives the Sorc it's own niche outside of the other casters and makes you want to play them. I have not seen any evidence of anyone showing them since the info on PF2 has started coming out, and I don't know if this means people still don't care that much or if Paizo is trying to keep it under wraps because they're really excited about it.

But this is all just my estimation. I want to know what everyone else thinks. Is the general thought that the playtest Sorcerer was underwhelming and undesirable or am I in the minority? And if the former, how should the Sorcerer be fixed.

Personally, I would REALLY change the entire core of the class, taking some inspiration from the 5e Warlock, although not going quite so far down that path.

First, I'd keep the fact that the Sorc can act as the spontaneous caster for all 4 magic types depending on the bloodline. That's awesome and carries some really cool flavor. However, rather than having 3+1 of every spell slot other than their highest level, I would restrict them to only 2 or 3 spell slots of the three highest spell levels that they can cast.

So at level 20 (without the level 10 spells feat) they have 2 or 3 spell slots for levels 7, 8, and 9 only, with no level 6 or lower spell slots. To make sure that their lower level spells can still be used, they have spontaneous heightening for all their spells.

To compensate for this loss of spell slots, they get two major buffs. First (probably more controversially) they get 12 + Con health per level. Same as a Barbarian. The Sorcerer now acts as the "in the thick of things" Spellcaster. Not necessarily a Gish (although this would make them the most viable for that build) but the Spellcaster who is completely okay with running head-first into the fray and dropping the fireball at their own feet.

12 might seem like a huge jump, and it is, and maybe even slightly stepping on the Barbarian's toes, but I've always seen the Sorcerer as running very much parallel to the Barbarian, as their magic equivalent, with their natural power and super-charged bodies.

Secondly, the Sorcerer needs to lean much, MUCH more heavily into their bloodline abilities, getting both Focus Spells and passive abilities from each one. They should be THE focus spell class, almost using them over the regular spells. Dragon Breath, Claws, and Wings should be the bread and butter of the Dragon Sorcerer, not just extra things to fall back on when they're not casting spells. They should also get Dragon scales passively, which either gives them a low level Mage Armor on all the time, or gives them proficiency in unarmored defense which scales with Monks.

The rest of the Bloodlines should be similar. Abyssal should get a power (active or passive) for all of the seven deadly sins. Fae should feel like you almost are an Archfae by the time you're level 20.

I don't think this would be too much either. Considering how powerful Druid powers, Compositions, and just everything that IS the Wizard and Cleric, and limiting the Sorcerer's spell slots so drastically, I think this is a fine compromise that makes the Sorcerer exciting and fun.

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MaxAstro wrote:

With that line of reasoning, though, what differentiates a Cleric and an Inquisitor?

I think there is room for more than one "gets powers from a god" class. Critically, there is a big difference between "gets full casting from a god" and "gets powers from a god but isn't a caster", that is much bigger than just "one is more martial". Fighters are not just "more martial" wizards, even though both get their abilities from intense study.

That's an erroneous comparison to make though.

A Fighter and a Wizard may both study, but they're studying completely different things in very different ways. Paladins and Clerics literally do the same thing but get a drastically different result. It'd be more like studying as a Fighter and somehow that has a chance of also just giving you a Barbarian rage instead.

I realize this is also a flawed analogy because gaining an ability through study and gaining an ability through being given it by a deity are qualitatively different, but it is a closer comparison.

Also, to clarify, I totally understand that the idea that a god can only give power to a person one way is silly. For the purposes of character ideas, a god can give favor however you want. Nethys might look favorably upon some guy who helped save a particularly important magic item and so gifts him with an instinctual understanding of the mechanics of magic, thus turning him into a level 1 wizard.

But from a design standpoint, why would you want two different classes that have the exact same flavor when you could have them be their own thing? Doesn't that offer more design space and potential for different character types?

And as for "what about anti-paladins?" question, well why not? There are a dozen different answers I could come up with for that question. Why can't the universe have an innate fundamental goodness AND an innate fundamental evilness? Law and Chaos too? The universe is vast and complex and doesn't follow our ideas of what a thing is or should be. The idea that only God's can be divine doesn't even make sense to me, but to be fair, I'm also a pagan, so my mindset is probably not the norm in that regard.

I dunno. I don't have a problem with the concept, but I do know one of my main players who is in almost all of my games thinks I'm crazy and doesn't understand how someone can be a Paladin of good if a God of goodness doesn't grant it to them. It's probably just a matter of YMMV.

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Sorcerer, 110%! I never multiclass the first character I make in any new edition. I feel like I get a better idea as to the way a game is meant to feel if I stay within a pure class, and then after that initial character I start experimenting more.

Sorcerer's have always been my favorite class conceptually, but they have always sort of lagged behind the Wizard in terms of actual power and usefulness (you can still make a powerful Sorc, but it's almost always easier to make a powerful Wizard). I'm hoping that my beloved Bloodline Caster can step up to the plate and be a truly amazing force, maybe not as versitile as a Wizard, but better in what it specializes in.

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