Playtest Data: Thoughts on the Oracle

Advanced Player's Guide Playtest: Final Playtest

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I've been play-testing an oracle in Pathfinder Society, and I think most of the changes to the class are spot-on, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the matter, based on testing the class both before and after the recent changes.

1) The medium armour proficiency is a huge, huge help, and I really think it will help make the difference for this class. I still believe the class should get good Fort saves, like a cleric, but I think this was the more important change.

2) The free cure or inflict spells go a long, long way toward making the cleric spell list more manageable for a spontaneous caster. I still think the oracle could use an extra spell known or two, but I think this is a really positive, beneficial change. My complaint before was that spontaneous casting lent itself less well to the cleric spell list because its more reactive, and thus benefits more from preparation. Not having to choose cure spells really helps with that, though I'm not positive it's 100% enough.

3) I still really like the idea of a healing-focused mystery for the oracle, for the player who really wants to try test-driving the oracle in the cleric's party seat. Channel energy is huge for a healer, and no access to that severely limits the oracle's ability to play the role of a primary healer. The extra spells-per-day beyond that of a cleric go a long way too, though.

4) Now that the oracle has access to medium armour, the armour bonus revelations that most mysteries provide seem wildly inappropriate and almost never worth choosing. Certainly at low-levels they're virtually worthless. I'd strongly consider lowering the bonus to AC on each of these and changing them from armour bonus to something more obscure. Nobody's ever going to pick these and waste one of their precious revelations on something that can be purchased with no penalty for 200gp or less. I'd absolutely consider using a revelation to gain a scaling +2 deflection bonus or dodge bonus or whathaveyou, though. It could create a refreshing difference between each of the different versions of this ability to provide different bonuses based on the particular mystery too. For instance, wind could get dodge, bones could get natural armour, heavens could get deflection, etc.

5) The new mysteries are awesome, especially Lore.

6) I realize multi-classing is supposed to weaken overall power since it provides so much more versatility, but I have to jump on board and agree with people complaining that the curse too harshly penalizes multi-classing. I think the curse is a great role-playing device and I love that some of them help a little, hurt a little and others help a lot and hurt a lot, but I really, really think you should consider changing the benefits of the curse to be based on character level rather than oracle level. Honestly, I think the scaling revelations should work the same way. If Invisibility is level-appropriate for an oracle of wind at 3rd-level, I don't see why it's level inappropriate for a 1st-level sorcerer, 2nd-level oracle on his or her way to a mystic theurge. I'm less sold on this idea, because spell levels obviously work the same way, but the oracle doesn't get a lot of class features, so for some of the good ones to be completely level-inappropriate by the time a multi-classing oracle is able to pick them seems pretty rough to me. Either way, I believe the curse needs to function off of character level. My Pathfinder Society character is multi-classed and it hasn't been a huge deal so far, but at 6th-level I still can't see between 30 and 60 feet because of my two levels of paladin.

I'm still really into this class, though, and I believe the few changes that were made were great. I just thought I'd point out the other observations I'd made through playing. I think this class will be a serious fixture of many games, just as the favoured soul always was for my playgroup.

3. I agree. Basically, I think some small number of the more appropriate Mysteries (Bones, Heavens, Nature) should include 'revelations' with a limited analog to the Channel Energy mechanic. Perhaps 1/day +1 per five levels with d6 dice per 3/levels. Enough to be useful, not enough to overpower the Cleric or be a Must Take.

4. I think the Armor revelations need major re-work. If they stay as armor bonuses, the durations need to be 1 hour/level as per Mage Armor in order to make them on par with just wearing a Breastplate. If you retained the duration, it should be a Swift/Immediate Activation.

Given that the Oracle is a Divine-inspired character, my personal preference would be to scale down the pluses, but make these be Sacred/Profane bonuses.

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