Can sorcerers learn non-S / W spells?


Rules Questions

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This subject came up in another thread, but didn't fit the topic. As Xuldarinar points out, the Core description of the Sorcerer class states the following:

Core under Sorcerer wrote:
Spells: A sorcerer casts arcane spells drawn primarily from the sorcerer/wizard spell list presented in Spell Lists. [...] These new spells can be common spells chosen from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the sorcerer has gained some understanding of through study.

This language certainly makes it look like sorcerers are indeed limited to arcane spells, but not necessarily to spells on the sorcerer/wizard list, given "study."

If so, each GM apparently has to decide what study means. Some possibilities:
>> Obtaining & consuming a scroll or page from a magus's spellbook, although that would make learning witch or alchemist spells difficult.
>> Having a witch/magus/whatever tutor the sorcerer for the costs of casting the spell.
>> Making notes instead of or in addition to these other means -- not to keep as a spellbook, but just jottings for learning the spell -- with a cost the same as what wizards incur in writing new spells into their spellbooks.
{> Researching the spell as a wizard would do, with the same costs (at least 1,000 gp per level of the spell).}

[EtA: Another quote from Core...

Core under Magic wrote:
Adding Spells to a Sorcerer's or Bard's Repertoire: A sorcerer or bard gains spells each time she attains a new level in her class and never gains spells any other way. [...] With permission from the GM, sorcerers and bards can also select the spells they gain from new and unusual spells that they come across while adventuring.

Here, it's not "study," it's "coming across" them. Still, I can see a GM wanting some sort of doodles about such a spell -- the "making notes" option I gave above or the research.}

I was dumbfounded when Xuldinar pointed out what should have been plain for me to see as someone who plays a sorcerer by preference. Despite the inherent table variation over what constitutes "study" or "come across," I don't see a reason RAW to bar a sorcerer from learning arcane spells that are not on the S/W list.

Anyone else?


bitter lily wrote:
I don't see a reason RAW to bar a sorcerer from learning arcane spells that are not on the S/W list.

"The rules don't say I can't" is not a very good or useful argument in Pathfinder, as Pathfinder (by design) says what you can do, not what you can't.

Pathfinder provides a method for characters to research their own spells, including custom spells, which would implicitly, with the GM's permission, allow them to develop any spell they like, including a sorcerer-friendly version of a cleric spell. But this certainly is not an ability granted by RAW; a GM is completely within RAW to say "nope, no spell that's not on the sorcerer list."


Even if they were able to Learn them they wouldn't be able to use them due to this FAQ as the spell wouldn't be on their spell list.

Quote:


New Spells Known: If I gain the ability to add a spell that is not on my spell list to my list of spells known, without adding it to my spell list, can I cast it?

No. Adding a spell to your list of spells known does not add it to the spell list of that class unless they are added by a class feature of that same class. For example, sorcerers add their bloodline spells to their sorcerer spell list and oracles add their mystery spells to their oracle spell list. The spell slots of a class can only be used to cast spells that appear on the spell list of that class.

Then again that is under the Spells class feature so who knows.


Ordinarily, No. Sorcerers are restricted to acquiring spells strictly from the sorcerer list.

However things like bloodlines, archetypes, prestige classes, weird item magic, etc. can introduce spells into a sorcerer's known list that would ordinarily not be there. This is however extremely limited in application.

And again. Pathfinder isn't about what you CAN'T DO, but what you can. It IS possible for sorcerers to acquire spells not on the sorcerer list, but only through means listed above or some GM intervention.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
bitter lily wrote:
I don't see a reason RAW to bar a sorcerer from learning arcane spells that are not on the S/W list.

"The rules don't say I can't" is not a very good or useful argument in Pathfinder, as Pathfinder (by design) says what you can do, not what you can't.

Pathfinder provides a method for characters to research their own spells, including custom spells, which would implicitly, with the GM's permission, allow them to develop any spell they like, including a sorcerer-friendly version of a cleric spell. But this certainly is not an ability granted by RAW; a GM is completely within RAW to say "nope, no spell that's not on the sorcerer list."

Note that I found a section in the magic chapter and edited my post accordingly, even as you were posting. The "1,000 gp per level" sure seems compelling as I think about it.

However, responding to your base point, this isn't a case of "the rules don't say I can't." They quite explicitly say "I can."

Arcane for sure. Non-S/W, however, also for sure through study or coming across them. Admittedly, the second quote I found from Core specifically says "with permission from the GM."

But I wouldn't be asking for something that's outside my class description. It would be quite explicitly in it, a feature of sorcerer as opposed to wizard. Can you please respond to these quotes from Core?


Hubaris wrote:

Even if they were able to Learn them they wouldn't be able to use them due to this FAQ as the spell wouldn't be on their spell list.

Quote:

New Spells Known: If I gain the ability to add a spell that is not on my spell list to my list of spells known, without adding it to my spell list, can I cast it?

No. Adding a spell to your list of spells known does not add it to the spell list of that class unless they are added by a class feature of that same class. For example, sorcerers add their bloodline spells to their sorcerer spell list and oracles add their mystery spells to their oracle spell list. The spell slots of a class can only be used to cast spells that appear on the spell list of that class.

Then again that is under the Spells class feature so who knows.

Exactly. It is a class feature. When I quoted your FAQ quote, I took the liberty of italicizing that relevant phrase. I can't see a reason to bar it here.


It's weird that a sorcerer can gain spells beyond the s/w list via studying while a wizard can't.

However, I actually don't see the restriction to arcane spell lists. While the sorcerer is bound to cast arcane spells (psychic bloodline aside), this doesn't mean they can't turn divine or psychic spells into arcane ones. A witch does that, too (e.g. Cure Light Wounds).

There are two restrictions that balance such opportunities. The necessity of GM fiat is probably the more obvious one. But the other one is that the new spell counts against the small number of known spells. You would have to really cherrypick to get an advantage out of it.

Finally, a few bloodlines (celestial, psychic etc.) grant you spells beyond the s/w list anyway. No need to make deals with the GM here...


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

Ordinarily, No. Sorcerers are restricted to acquiring spells strictly from the sorcerer list.

However things like bloodlines, archetypes, prestige classes, weird item magic, etc. can introduce spells into a sorcerer's known list that would ordinarily not be there. This is however extremely limited in application.

And again. Pathfinder isn't about what you CAN'T DO, but what you can. It IS possible for sorcerers to acquire spells not on the sorcerer list, but only through means listed above or some GM intervention.

Except that sorcerers are NOT restricted to acquiring spells strictly from the sorcerer list. Not in the description of their class, and not in the chapter on Magic. I don't see a way around the Core texts. Sorcerers are free to learn any arcane spell they come across, given study, albeit with GM permission.

Note that I'm not suggesting that such a spell would be in addition to the spells they are permitted to learn when gaining a new level. Such a spell would simply be an additional option at those points for the few spells they are granted by the relevant table.

{EtA: But I'm also not talking about spells they gain from "bloodlines, archetypes, prestige classes, weird item magic, etc." -- the texts from Core are NOT addressing gaining such spells.}

And when I think of "GM permission" in this light, wearing my GM hat now, I have to be a lot more permissive than I would have been before seeing Xuldarinar's points. It's an actual class feature, but a few spells might not fit it.


SheepishEidolon wrote:

It's weird that a sorcerer can gain spells beyond the s/w list via studying while a wizard can't.

However, I actually don't see the restriction to arcane spell lists. While the sorcerer is bound to cast arcane spells (psychic bloodline aside), this doesn't mean they can't turn divine or psychic spells into arcane ones. A witch does that, too (e.g. Cure Light Wounds).

There are two restrictions that balance such opportunities. The necessity of GM fiat is probably the more obvious one. But the other one is that the new spell counts against the small number of known spells. You would have to really cherrypick to get an advantage out of it.

Finally, a few bloodlines (celestial, psychic etc.) grant you spells beyond the s/w list anyway. No need to make deals with the GM here...

Core says that "Sorcerers cast arcane spells." You're saying that whatever spell a sorcerer casts (from bloodlines, study, whatever) would be arcane -- even if they're on the cleric list. Essentially, they don't appeal to the gods to cure someone if they've learned CLW, they do so with their force of willpower personality. But they still can study CLW from a cleric as tutor.

I have to object: wearing both my sorcerer-player hat & my GM hat, I have a hard time believing that a sorcerer could see a cleric praying to her god or read a scroll full of prayers and figure out how to turn that into willful magic. Comments?

Note that I humbly have learned from you, and have come to agree that (a) a witch can get an arcane version of CLW, and (b) a sorcerer could learn the witchy version of the spell if they come across it.


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Quote:

Spells: A sorcerer casts arcane spells drawn primarily from the sorcerer/wizard spell list presented in Spell Lists. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a sorcerer must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a sorcerer's spell is 10 + the spell level + the sorcerer's Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a sorcerer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Sorcerer. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells).

A sorcerer's selection of spells is extremely limited. A sorcerer begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of her choice. At each new sorcerer level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Sorcerer Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a sorcerer knows is not affected by her Charisma score; the numbers on Table: Sorcerer Spells Known are fixed.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the sorcerer has gained some understanding of through study.

That is the rules on where sorcerers acquire spells.

They usually know them from the sorcerer wizard list. An exception can be spell granted by bloodlines. Another exception is "unusual spells ... gained ... through study".

Which as mentioned does have rules, which ultimately end in "ask your GM".

So, the only 100% approved source of sorcerer spells is the sorcerer wizard list and bloodlines. Anything else has to be approved by your GM.

So yes, you could reasonably study the witches version of CLW. But your GM would have to approve it.


SheepishEidolon wrote:

It's weird that a sorcerer can gain spells beyond the s/w list via studying while a wizard can't.

That's because they can't really. A sorcerer has no ability to just simply study their way to learning "Raise Dead", or a Druid spell. The text you're thinking is simply possible flavor explanations as to how sorcerers gain their normal additions to the spells known list. Or an exotic spell on the sorcerers/wizard list that isn't commonly known such as a rare cantrip.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Sorcerer, Bard, Cleric, Wizards, and Druids all get independent research. Which amounts to "if your GM lets you learn Raise Dead or Fireball then you may cast it".


This thread comes up once a year.

It is always wrong.

It will always be wrong.

Ambiguous statements like "primarily from X and Y" do not translate to "Absolutely can draw from A and B" by any reading of the rules.

There are ways to get off list spells. Sorcerers get them from Bloodlines all the time. So their spells are drawn primarily from the Sorc/Wiz list.

The methods listed in the rules allowing you to get off list spells do not include "But I felt like reading the Magus' spellbook".


Drahliana, you're not reading the text. To quote Core again, more fully:

Core under Magic wrote:
[b]Adding Spells to a Sorcerer's or Bard's Repertoire:[b] A sorcerer or bard gains spells each time she attains a new level in her class and never gains spells any other way. When your sorcerer or bard gains a new level, consult Table: Bard Spells Known or Table: Sorcerer Spells Known to learn how many spells from the appropriate spell list she now knows. With permission from the GM, sorcerers and bards can also select the spells they gain from new and unusual spells that they come across while adventuring.

It's obvious that we're not talking about bloodline spells or any other method of gaining spells, we're talking about the ordinary spells they learn when leveling up. (Apparently, bards have the same ability...)

Given the text in the class description, that sorcerer spells are arcane spells drawn primarily from the sorcerer/wizard list, the text I just quoted is quite clearly referring to spells not on the "appropriate spell list."

Now as to learning Raise Dead, I happen to agree with you. Unless she can find an arcane tutor somehow, every instance of Raise Dead a sorcerer comes across is full of prayers. Not arcane at all. But she might well find a witch with a healing patron who knows and can teach the arcane version of Lesser Restoration. Or a spell witches share with druids like Threefold Aspect. Or one that's purely arcane like Beguiling Gift. All arcane spells not on the sorcerer/wizard list.

Speaking as a GM, I don't think I ought to bar learning arcane but non-list spells as long as in-game there's a reason why the PC had been able to study it. And no one yet has come up with a reason why I shouldn't, other than the same reflexive "you can't" position that I actually started out with in the other thread.


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Because any rule that starts with the phrase "If the GM lets you" is not a rule. It's an acknowledgement that houserules exist. Just like "Rule Zero".


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I like to let sorcerers learn spells that are thematically close to their bloodline.


Sundakan wrote:

This thread comes up once a year.

It is always wrong.[...]

The methods listed in the rules allowing you to get off list spells do not include "But I felt like reading the Magus' spellbook".

Sorry, my search-fu failed. I did look for previous threads...

It sure looks like "I felt like reading the magus's spellbook" counts. How not? There it is -- I found a new and unusual spell in it that I came across while adventuring. How is that not covered by RAW? Of course, if the magus catches me and wants to skin me for dipping into his book, well...

{EtA: I'm actually open to arguments that my position is wrong. But not to arguments made in open space. I want them based on the actual text. Or FAQs that I may have missed. Or statements made in blogs. Because I've looked at the actual text, starting from a nay-sayer's point of view, and been converted.}


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Umbral Reaver wrote:
I like to let sorcerers learn spells that are thematically close to their bloodline.

I love this!


Speaking to the yea-sayers for a minute, what do you require for "study"?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Nothing you, I or the nay-Sayers say matter.
Only your GM opinion matters. So discussing what spells can qualify for independent research is a discussion only for the ears of your GM.


bitter lily wrote:
Sundakan wrote:

This thread comes up once a year.

It is always wrong.[...]

The methods listed in the rules allowing you to get off list spells do not include "But I felt like reading the Magus' spellbook".

Sorry, my search-fu failed. I did look for previous threads...

It sure looks like "I felt like reading the magus's spellbook" counts. How not? There it is -- I found a new and unusual spell in it that I came across while adventuring. How is that not covered by RAW? Of course, if the magus catches me and wants to skin me for dipping into his book, well...

{EtA: I'm actually open to arguments that my position is wrong. But not to arguments made in open space. I want them based on the actual text. Or FAQs that I may have missed. Or statements made in blogs. Because I've looked at the actual text, starting from a nay-sayer's point of view, and been converted.}

It's not much of an argument since all of the magus spells are on the sorcerer's list. Study can be a mechanism for legal retraining of spell choices... i.e. giving up one spell to get another.

You can definitely use it to justify a standard edition to sorcerer's spell's known list. Sorcerers however are still limited by their spells known table plus bloodlines/traits/fcb etc. to the total number of spells they may know. You can not use study to exceed this limit.


I just let them have it, if it's the sort of thing that would be on their bloodline list if not for the spells already there.


Rules As Written, "Research A Spell" is a downtime activity that allows a spellcaster to either "create a new spell or learn an existing spell from another source" and add a given spell to "your spellbook or list of spells known" (See Ultimate Campaign 86). I consider this to be a more specific rule than the general rule that sorcerers and bards (and I assume other spontaneous spellcasters) only learn spells from leveling up, and "never gain spells any other way" (CRB 220)
In my campaigns, I allow any spellcaster to research any spell they desire in this manner. I don't see any real problem with a sorcerer or wizard learning Raise Dead if they paid appropriately for it.


There was similar text even in 3.0. As a DM, I allowed a Sorcerer player to learn Cure Light Wounds from a bard (an arcane spell from an arcane caster). Not only did the sky not fall, it wasn't even particularly imbalancing.


Scythia wrote:
There was similar text even in 3.0. As a DM, I allowed a Sorcerer player to learn Cure Light Wounds from a bard (an arcane spell from an arcane caster). Not only did the sky not fall, it wasn't even particularly imbalancing.

I'm not sure that anyone has suggested that the sky would fall. On the other hand, it is not something that a game master is expected to allow any more than they are expected to allow a dragon character.

Bitter lily is approaching this from the wrong end. If the person running the game doesn't want it, it won't happen. There is no rule text to suggest otherwise .


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Scythia wrote:
There was similar text even in 3.0. As a DM, I allowed a Sorcerer player to learn Cure Light Wounds from a bard (an arcane spell from an arcane caster). Not only did the sky not fall, it wasn't even particularly imbalancing.

I'm not sure that anyone has suggested that the sky would fall. On the other hand, it is not something that a game master is expected to allow any more than they are expected to allow a dragon character.

Bitter lily is approaching this from the wrong end. If the person running the game doesn't want it, it won't happen. There is no rule text to suggest otherwise .

I think you are misrepresenting or misinterpreting Bitter Lily's position. She wrote, "And when I think of "GM permission" in this light, wearing my GM hat now, I have to be a lot more permissive than I would have been before seeing Xuldarinar's points."

Still requires GM permission but she seems to feel the GM's position should start from typically allowing spells from other sources rather than typically disallowing them.

Which I'd agree is reasonable - typically Sor/Wiz spells slots are the most "valuable" in the system - that's why you can't wear armor while wearing them and usually get the worst BAB/hit points in the game if you access a lot of them.


Baba Ganoush wrote:
Which I'd agree is reasonable - typically Sor/Wiz spells slots are the most "valuable" in the system - that's why you can't wear armor while wearing them and usually get the worst BAB/hit points in the game if you access a lot of them.

The Wizard/Sorcerer List does contain almost all of the most powerful attack spells. But casters that can't wear armor (if they somehow gain proficiency with it) are very much in the minority now.

And the casters that can wear armor don't seem to be losing out on very much in terms of the breadth of their spell lists...
Druids & Clerics for example get more powerful/versatile with every supplement released, and besides having earlier access or exclusive access to numerous game-changing spells, they also have many spells which are equivalent to their arcane counterparts (such as miracle vs. wish). Occult Casters can all wear armor, and many have fairly similar spell lists to their more restricted arcane counterparts.
At this point, Arcane Spell Failure is simply an artifact of 3rd edition which has yet to be stamped out.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Scythia wrote:
There was similar text even in 3.0. As a DM, I allowed a Sorcerer player to learn Cure Light Wounds from a bard (an arcane spell from an arcane caster). Not only did the sky not fall, it wasn't even particularly imbalancing.

I'm not sure that anyone has suggested that the sky would fall. On the other hand, it is not something that a game master is expected to allow any more than they are expected to allow a dragon character.

Bitter lily is approaching this from the wrong end. If the person running the game doesn't want it, it won't happen. There is no rule text to suggest otherwise .

You're also approaching it from the wrong perspective. This isn't a case of "the rules don't say I can't". This is a case of the "the rules suggest I can".

The text for Sorcerers specifically calls out their ability to learn spells not normally on their list. This isn't carte blanche for them to learn any spell, but it does mean they are capable of learning spells not on their list. If this did not mean they could learn spells not on their list then the text would serve no purpose.

Exactly what spells that are not on their list the Sorcerer is capable of learning is left to the DM.


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bitter lily wrote:

Now as to learning Raise Dead, I happen to agree with you. Unless she can find an arcane tutor somehow, every instance of Raise Dead a sorcerer comes across is full of prayers. Not arcane at all. But she might well find a witch with a healing patron who knows and can teach the arcane version of Lesser Restoration. Or a spell witches share with druids like Threefold Aspect. Or one that's purely arcane like Beguiling Gift. All arcane spells not on the sorcerer/wizard list.

Speaking as a GM, I don't think I ought to bar learning arcane but non-list spells as long as in-game there's a reason why the PC had been able to study it. And no one yet has come up with a reason why I shouldn't, other than the same reflexive "you can't" position that I actually started out with in the other thread.

Well, keep in mind Gold Dragons have this bit of text:"A gold dragon can cast cleric spells as arcane spells.". And dragons cast as sorcerers.

So just get a gold dragon to tutor you.

Technically though, the FAQ, that prevents you from casting spells that are not on your spell list, also prevents gold dragons from casting the spells that they have in their stat block (and breaks other creatures as well).


Baba Ganoush wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Scythia wrote:
There was similar text even in 3.0. As a DM, I allowed a Sorcerer player to learn Cure Light Wounds from a bard (an arcane spell from an arcane caster). Not only did the sky not fall, it wasn't even particularly imbalancing.

I'm not sure that anyone has suggested that the sky would fall. On the other hand, it is not something that a game master is expected to allow any more than they are expected to allow a dragon character.

Bitter lily is approaching this from the wrong end. If the person running the game doesn't want it, it won't happen. There is no rule text to suggest otherwise.

I think you are misrepresenting or misinterpreting Bitter Lily's position. She wrote, "And when I think of "GM permission" in this light, wearing my GM hat now, I have to be a lot more permissive than I would have been before seeing Xuldarinar's points."

Still requires GM permission but she seems to feel the GM's position should start from typically allowing spells from other sources rather than typically disallowing them.

Which I'd agree is reasonable - typically Sor/Wiz spells slots are the most "valuable" in the system - that's why you can't wear armor while wearing them and usually get the worst BAB/hit points in the game if you access a lot of them.

Thank you, Sir Ganoush, for standing up for my position while I was off with RL (and running a game). Correctly so, as it turns out.

The point is, it doesn't matter if allowing spells from other arcane lists makes the class "uber-powerful" or creates a minor addition to the most powerful list. The Sorc/Wiz list is certainly one of at most two contenders for the prize for the longest and most varied list, so again, arguably, this is just a minor addition. It still doesn't matter.

The point is, Paizo put the class feature in, and (based on the lack of quotes here) has never nerfed it. (Given that the only FAQ that was quoted explicitly excepts class features, I can't see how that one would apply.) Uber-powerful or minor, this is a class feature, plain and simple.

As a GM, I'm taking note. (More details to follow.)

And as a player of a sorcerer... I'm taking note.

Sure, I'll have to discuss with my GM if specific spells are available, if I even find some I'd like to learn. I'll also have to find out what he wants for "study." The trick is -- I'm leveling up to 11th right now. So I'm grateful to find out that there weren't any relevant FAQs or blogs or whatever that people could pull out that I needed to consider before beginning the conversation. I don't like pulling true shenanigans.


Rikkan wrote:

Well, keep in mind Gold Dragons have this bit of text:"A gold dragon can cast cleric spells as arcane spells.". And dragons cast as sorcerers.

So just get a gold dragon to tutor you.

Technically though, the FAQ, that prevents you from casting spells that are not on your spell list, also prevents gold dragons from casting the spells that they have in their stat block (and breaks other creatures as well).

Yeah, well, dragons are sloppily written several times over. They also don't specifically have Eschew Materials as a bonus feat, so there are GMs out there, as it turns out, who make them use material component pouches!

Although I think that reading the line you quoted as permission to consider those spells not just arcane but "on the Sorcerer/Wizard list" isn't that big a stretch. Errata, in light of the FAQ, nothing more.

Nonetheless, yes, if my sorceress's party should come across a gold dragon while adventuring, and should be able to get a boon from said dragon in the form of tutelage for my character & the party's bard, that would qualify under the terms of the sorcerer (and I assume bard) class feature. I'll keep it in mind. :)


bitter lily wrote:

Yeah, well, dragons are sloppily written several times over. They also don't specifically have Eschew Materials as a bonus feat, so there are GMs out there, as it turns out, who make them use material component pouches!

Although I think that reading the line you quoted as permission to consider those spells not just arcane but "on the Sorcerer/Wizard list" isn't that big a stretch. Errata, in light of the FAQ, nothing more.

There are still other monsters who don't have such a line, cast as sorcerers and still get spells from other spell lists. Like say the Royal Naga

"Spells A royal naga casts spells as a 9th-level sorcerer."
And yet they have Enthrall as a known spell, which is a bard 2, cleric 2 spell.


In my home game I look at it as the analog to spell research for wizards but 'study' means someone has worked out the spell parameters already.
If the price seems too low then the home GM adjusts.
Using spell research a wizard could come up with a CLW arcane analog. It might not be exactly the same as no deity is involved.


I like sorcerors, though I think that most bloodlines need a bit of a boost. It would be interesting to see a list of spells that can be added to each bloodline with appropriate study, making sorcerors more than spontaneous wizards and more flexible in terms of spell choice. I don't think I would allow any spell to be added; CLW as an arcane spell might be appropriate for e.g. the Celestial bloodline, but I can't see Orc or Draconic bloodlines getting it.

The question is, how far do you go? If a sorcerer can pick up all the healing spells they can outclass the cleric. Cleric (or Oracle) players are not going to be happy at being sidelined, and game balance would be upset. If this is permitted (either by game system or by Homebrew) there should definitely be a limit, much as there is with the Samsaran race.


I don't think Clerics are going to be rendered obsolete by sorcerers getting healing spells. Clerics will still have more hit points, more skill pints, better BAB, armor proficiencies, the ability to cast in armor without opportunity cost, and most importantly, Channel Energy. If ever there is an oracle in the same party as the healing sorcerer, I imagine they will simply spend their spells known being good at something else. There aren't usually a whole lot of people fighting over who "gets" to be the healer in the group... so I imagine whoever is playing the healing sorcerer would have been playing a cleric, oracle, or witch if "healing sorcerer" weren't available.


Cantriped wrote:
I don't think Clerics are going to be rendered obsolete by sorcerers getting healing spells. Clerics will still have more hit points, more skill pints, better BAB, armor proficiencies, the ability to cast in armor without opportunity cost, and most importantly, Channel Energy. If ever there is an oracle in the same party as the healing sorcerer, I imagine they will simply spend their spells known being good at something else. There aren't usually a whole lot of people fighting over who "gets" to be the healer in the group... so I imagine whoever is playing the healing sorcerer would have been playing a cleric, oracle, or witch if "healing sorcerer" weren't available.

Also in this era of play, being able to add Cure Light Wounds to your spell list would probably be more useful for wand casting without UMD.


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this text and the idea has been around for some time. Pathfinder runs off the OGL and this is core material.

DnD3.5 PHB July 2003 pg54:

A sorcerer’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A sorcerer begins play knowing four 0-level spells (also called cantrips) and two 1st-level spells of your choice. At each new sorcerer level, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table 3–17: Sorcerer Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a sorcerer knows is not affected by his Charisma score; the numbers on Table 3–17 are fixed.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the sorcerer/wizard spell list (page 192), or they can be unusual spells that the sorcerer has gained some understanding of by study. For example, a sorcerer with a scroll or spellbook detailing an unusual sorcerer/wizard spell (one not on the sorcerer/wizard spell list in this book) could select that spell as one of his new spells for attaining a new level, provided that it is of the right spell level. The sorcerer can’t use this method of spell acquisition to learn spells at a faster rate, however.

DnD3.0 PHB November 2000 pg50:

Spells: A sorcerer casts arcane spells, the same type of spells available to wizards. A sorcerer’s selection of spells is extremely limited. Your sorcerer begins play knowing four 0-level spells (also called cantrips) and two 1st-level spells of your choice. At each level, the sorcerer gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table 3–17:Sorcerer Spells Known. (Note: The number of spells a sorcerer knows is not affected by his Charisma bonus, if any; the numbers on Table 3–17 are fixed.) These spells can be common spells chosen from the sorcerer and wizard spell list (page 168), or they can be unusual spells that the sorcerer has gained some understanding of by study. For example, a sorcerer with a scroll or spellbook detailing an unusual sorcerer/wizard spell (one not on the wizard/sorcerer spell list in this book) could select that spell as one of his new spells for achieving a new level, provided the spell is the right level. In any case, the sorcerer can’t learn spells at a faster rate due to this means.

so honestly I think it is there to encourage dialogue between GM & Players in a home game. GMs could always do this anyway via GM caveat.

Sovereign Court

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Another way to read that is that "unusual" spells are still spells from the wizard/sorcerer list, but from other books than the core rulebook.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Another way to read that is that "unusual" spells are still spells from the wizard/sorcerer list, but from other books than the core rulebook.

And wizards can't learn these if they come across them during an adventure?

I guess what I'm wondering, is why do sorcerers have this wording, and wizards do not? Is this just a meaningless difference, or do sorcerers really get access to spells or spell lists that wizards do not?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:
Another way to read that is that "unusual" spells are still spells from the wizard/sorcerer list, but from other books than the core rulebook.

That's how I would read it too. Including:

- new (arcane) spells created by the GM
- new (arcane) spells in an adventure path, module or other unusual source
- new (arcane) spells researched by a PC

The idea of getting a gold dragon to teach you cleric spells that he can use as arcane spells is intriguing, but as a DM I would probably want to raise the caster level by one.

As said many times above, negociating these things with your DM is the way to go.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Another way to read that is that "unusual" spells are still spells from the wizard/sorcerer list, but from other books than the core rulebook.

And wizards can't learn these if they come across them during an adventure?

I guess what I'm wondering, is why do sorcerers have this wording, and wizards do not? Is this just a meaningless difference, or do sorcerers really get access to spells or spell lists that wizards do not?

Because there are already plenty of rules about how wizards can "learn" (add to their spellbooks) spells they find on scrolls or in other people spellbooks, etc.


thejeff wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Another way to read that is that "unusual" spells are still spells from the wizard/sorcerer list, but from other books than the core rulebook.

And wizards can't learn these if they come across them during an adventure?

I guess what I'm wondering, is why do sorcerers have this wording, and wizards do not? Is this just a meaningless difference, or do sorcerers really get access to spells or spell lists that wizards do not?

Because there are already plenty of rules about how wizards can "learn" (add to their spellbooks) spells they find on scrolls or in other people spellbooks, etc.

So, you think this wording just brings spontaneous arcane casters 'up to par' with what wizards already could do? Not saying I disagree, just trying to figure out if those words have meaning beyond what people already assumed to be the case.

I mean, if a 'special' spell is on the sorcerer list, even if it's from a rare source, presumably that means it can be learned by sorcerers. Not sure why we need several different sentences in the rules to confirm that.


Gavmania wrote:

I like sorcerors, though I think that most bloodlines need a bit of a boost. It would be interesting to see a list of spells that can be added to each bloodline with appropriate study, making sorcerors more than spontaneous wizards and more flexible in terms of spell choice. I don't think I would allow any spell to be added; CLW as an arcane spell might be appropriate for e.g. the Celestial bloodline, but I can't see Orc or Draconic bloodlines getting it.

The question is, how far do you go? If a sorcerer can pick up all the healing spells they can outclass the cleric. Cleric (or Oracle) players are not going to be happy at being sidelined, and game balance would be upset. If this is permitted (either by game system or by Homebrew) there should definitely be a limit, much as there is with the Samsaran race.

There's maybe two bloodlines that DON'T need a bit of a boost. Although I'd be more interested in boosting feat choices than spells, frankly, except that adding spells is easier. Of course, saying "You can learn Blistering Invective as a normal spell choice because you've got a fire-based bloodline" is very different from saying, "Your fiery bloodline gives you Blistering Invective for free in addition to the other bloodline spell you got this level." I assume for the rest of my comments that the former is what is being contemplated. (The latter really is potentially upstaging other classes.)

I can support allowing Blistering Invective as a possible normal spell choice without study or even coming across it -- it just bubbles up from your blood the same as your other fire-based magic. (In the case of a fiery bloodline.) So maybe all the Cure spells are indeed bubbling up for someone with a Celestial bloodline. But what about condition removal spells? And then Raise Dead and the like? I can't imagine wanting to be a celestial sorcerer trying to outclass a cleric or oracle, even if the GM let me get all these.

Clerics are tops when it comes to condition removal. "I'll have exactly what we need," they can say -- "tomorrow morning." Or they can whip out a scroll. Non-life oracles pretty much have to go the scroll route -- but they readily can. (Preferably with Mnemonic Vestments.) Sorcerers have such limited spells known, they'd better not try to compete. It's painful even to contemplate a sorcerer learning Remove Poison, for instance, unless her campaign world is rife with poisons. And Raise Dead? Are you kidding? Maybe a sorcerer has a high-enough UMD to go the scroll route... But then she is paying for her back-door entrance into the healer camp. It had better be worth it. Usually, because no one else wants to play a healer, I'd expect. In which case, the healer player is apparently having more fun at it because of their PC's sorcerer features. All to the good, right?

Surely, a bigger concern would be a sorcerer competing with a life oracle or bard specifically over buffs. There's so little that a life oracle can do when no one needs healing except for buffs, and many bard players want to similarly limit their characters. And buffs do come up again and again... But it isn't any different if one player wants to play a barbarian and three other players decide to play various sorts of martials. There can be conflict between players that isn't prevented within the rules.

Saying "you can't" categorically is an extreme form of settling potential conflicts, and I believe an unnecessary one. What is the context? Who else is in the party? What can the GM negotiate with the sorcerer player who wants to dip into bardic versions of divine magic?


Scythia wrote:
Also in this era of play, being able to add Cure Light Wounds to your spell list would probably be more useful for wand casting without UMD.

I don't understand. If I know CLW, I just cast it. I don't need a wand. If I don't know it, I need UMD to use a wand.

Specifically, just because I found someone to teach me CLW doesn't mean I can use a wand of CSW without UMD.


bitter lily wrote:
Rikkan wrote:

Well, keep in mind Gold Dragons have this bit of text:"A gold dragon can cast cleric spells as arcane spells.". And dragons cast as sorcerers.

So just get a gold dragon to tutor you.

Technically though, the FAQ, that prevents you from casting spells that are not on your spell list, also prevents gold dragons from casting the spells that they have in their stat block (and breaks other creatures as well).

Yeah, well, dragons are sloppily written several times over. They also don't specifically have Eschew Materials as a bonus feat, so there are GMs out there, as it turns out, who make them use material component pouches!

Although I think that reading the line you quoted as permission to consider those spells not just arcane but "on the Sorcerer/Wizard list" isn't that big a stretch. Errata, in light of the FAQ, nothing more.

Nonetheless, yes, if my sorceress's party should come across a gold dragon while adventuring, and should be able to get a boon from said dragon in the form of tutelage for my character & the party's bard, that would qualify under the terms of the sorcerer (and I assume bard) class feature. I'll keep it in mind. :)

Dragons can do what they do because they are dragons. They're not bound by the restrictions of player characters. No amount of tutelage is going to give that quality to a humanoid.


bitter lily wrote:
Scythia wrote:
Also in this era of play, being able to add Cure Light Wounds to your spell list would probably be more useful for wand casting without UMD.

I don't understand. If I know CLW, I just cast it. I don't need a wand. If I don't know it, I need UMD to use a wand.

Specifically, just because I found someone to teach me CLW doesn't mean I can use a wand of CSW without UMD.

If it's not on your spell list, you can't cast it. My assumption would be that whatever study added the spell to your spells known would also add it to your spell list. Then you could cast it or use a wand/scroll/etc without UMD.

For CLW it would actually be best if there was a way to add it to the spell list without wasting a spells known slot on it.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Dragons can do what they do because they are dragons. They're not bound by the restrictions of player characters. No amount of tutelage is going to give that quality to a humanoid.

Well, except there is no such thing as 'dragon magic' when it comes to the spells that they cast. They don't cast 'as dragons', they cast 'as sorcerers'. As such, unless otherwise specified, they are bound by the rules of sorcerers.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Dragons can do what they do because they are dragons. They're not bound by the restrictions of player characters. No amount of tutelage is going to give that quality to a humanoid.
Well, except there is no such thing as 'dragon magic' when it comes to the spells that they cast. They don't cast 'as dragons', they cast 'as sorcerers'. As such, unless otherwise specified, they are bound by the rules of sorcerers.

Their bestairy entries are what specify otherwise. Dragons don't need spell pouches, their individual breeds can violate normal rules for spell acquisition.. they don't need to have the Eschew Material Components feat to do what they do..because again... dragons.

The rules of the Bestiary are not rules for player character generation or evolution. You can't go around saying that because Monster A, B, or C can do this that a player can do it as well.

Also keep in mind that leaving aside traits, bloodlines, and the whatnot t he clear rule for spontaneous casters is that their spells known are fixed by the progression tables. If a sorcerer is to learn a spell by study in addition to any other costs incurred in doing so, an additional one is that that spell has to displace one that's already known.


To be honest, I always read that clause as explicit encouragement to GMs to give sorcerers any other spell if they want to. Not that it's a rule per se, but a suggestion for "here's a thing you can do if you think it's interesting or appropriate to the story" (and every RPG book is full of stuff like this.)

I don't think it's so much "the rules specify what you can do, and anything not specified by the rules you cannot do" but instead "anything not specified by the rules is left up to the GM to decide", since it's not like "new rules are published explaining how something works" render possible something that was not previously possible. I mean, Ultimate Intrigue had rules for social combat and verbal duels, but it's not as though you couldn't have those before March 30, 2016 it was just the GM's prerogative to decide how they worked.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Dragons can do what they do because they are dragons. They're not bound by the restrictions of player characters. No amount of tutelage is going to give that quality to a humanoid.
Well, except there is no such thing as 'dragon magic' when it comes to the spells that they cast. They don't cast 'as dragons', they cast 'as sorcerers'. As such, unless otherwise specified, they are bound by the rules of sorcerers.

Their bestairy entries are what specify otherwise. Dragons don't need spell pouches, their individual breeds can violate normal rules for spell acquisition.. they don't need to have the Eschew Material Components feat to do what they do..because again... dragons.

The rules of the Bestiary are not rules for player character generation or evolution. You can't go around saying that because Monster A, B, or C can do this that a player can do it as well.

Also keep in mind that leaving aside traits, bloodlines, and the whatnot t he clear rule for spontaneous casters is that their spells known are fixed by the progression tables. If a sorcerer is to learn a spell by study in addition to any other costs incurred in doing so, an additional one is that that spell has to displace one that's already known.

Either that, or their statblocks are in error and they should have the eschew materials feat, like say nagas.

There's an easy way to give dragons 'dragon magic': SLAs.

If they didn't want dragons to follow the rules of sorcerers, there's another way to avoid it. Don't say that they cast spells as sorcerers. Just what do you suppose that sentence actually means instead?

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