Modifying Spell Preparation


Prerelease Discussion


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In an interview with Gameinformer Jason Bulmahn revealed that Pathfinder is sticking to Vancian Spellcasting though I don't believe that this is an inherently bad idea I think that players will be better served by slightly modifying the spell preparation system in two ways.

First, allow for a single spell to be used multiple times without having to prepare it multiple times. When I introduce the game to new players that want to play a wizard the idea of having to prepare burning hands multiple times if they wanted to use it more than once is always met with resistance and disappointment, so this is a particular feature of Pathfinder that I hope is fixed with the second edition.

Second, allow for heightened spells to be prepared just once and also be cast at whatever level the caster wants to, instead of preparing a level 5 Fireball, it'd be best to simply prepare a Fireball and allow the caster to decide in what level to cast it in the moment, that way more room is opened to pick more spells. Or at the very least If a caster prepares a level 5 Fireball allow it to be cast at level 3 or 4 by spending the appropriate spell slot this way the player is saved from having to prepare multiple versions of the same spell.


Yeah, I would be up for something different.

It looks like warriors and rogues are getting spiffed up nicely (access to alchemy, rituals, and poisons too!!); I am hopeful that casters will feel fresh and exciting too.


I'm in full agreement on this issue.

From what we've heard so far, the current methods of spellcasting in 2E:

* Prepared spellcasters have to individually prepare the spell and spell level for the day. So you'd have to in the morning decide whether you'll need fireballs in level 3, 4, or 5 variants. Whether this means that a prepared spellcaster has to specifically add different level iterations of a spell to their spellbook as individual spells is unclear.

* Spontaneous spellcasters normally treat a particular spell of a particular level as individual spells for the purposes of spells known. So a Sorcerer would have to specifically add Invisibility [Level 2] and Invisibility [Level 4] to his spells known. In addition to this, they have a limited number of "spell lineages" that they choose to learn; picking a spell as a spell lineage adds all levels of a particular spell to your spells known as you level up. We don't know how many of these spell lineages a spontaneous caster gets.

Overall, the current iteration of the system (described above) seems overly limiting and contrived. Treating different level versions of a spell as individual spells seems like it makes rewriting magic to have scaling spells at all pretty pointless, from a player perspective.

I would much prefer OPs suggested method. Yes, it means that prepared casters effectively gain "Arcanist casting" to use a 1E comparison. It would also mean that some spells would be very efficient picks for spontaneous casters as you're effectively gaining multiple spells known for the price of one. I believe that Paizo can take these design decisions and balance them with the rest of the game.

Having metamagic be easier for spontaneous spellcasters (instead of more difficult like it was for them in 1E) would be a good option to balance them if prepared casters get limited spontaneous casting (being able to be flexible with which slots they cast a prepared spell in).


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Oh no.

They're still violating spontaneous casters (assuming Spells Known don't go through the roof compared to PF1)

I honestly thought Paizo was better than that.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:

Oh no.

They're still violating spontaneous casters (assuming Spells Known don't go through the roof compared to PF1)

I honestly thought Paizo was better than that.

Yeah I really think that having to choose as a Sorcerer what level version of Magic Missile or Invisibility or Fireball you want to learn would suck pretty hard. To be your full-on thematic spellcaster with your "signature spells", you have to either burn a spell known or a spell lineage just to have the spell scale as you level. Neither of those sound like fun prospects.

In general, I'm not really a fan of the design strategy of having spontaneous spellcasters just be generally worse than prepared spellcasters but have more/better class features to make up for it.

Liberty's Edge

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I don't like Vancian magic, but I was thinking that at the very least the Sorcerer would know a spell at all levels they could cast it at... this would at least go a bit of the way to bridging the gap between spontaneous and prepared casters, giving them each their own specialized form of versatility. If you have to learn each individual level of a multilevel spell, that's not upcasting, that's something completely different, and much worse.


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Yuk. It would be much preferable for sorcerers and such to know the spells at every level, and just give them fewer spells known, if thats even neccesary.


Biztak wrote:

In an interview with Gameinformer Jason Bulmahn revealed that Pathfinder is sticking to Vancian Spellcasting though I don't believe that this is an inherently bad idea I think that players will be better served by slightly modifying the spell preparation system in two ways.

First, allow for a single spell to be used multiple times without having to prepare it multiple times. When I introduce the game to new players that want to play a wizard the idea of having to prepare burning hands multiple times if they wanted to use it more than once is always met with resistance and disappointment, so this is a particular feature of Pathfinder that I hope is fixed with the second edition.

Second, allow for heightened spells to be prepared just once and also be cast at whatever level the caster wants to, instead of preparing a level 5 Fireball, it'd be best to simply prepare a Fireball and allow the caster to decide in what level to cast it in the moment, that way more room is opened to pick more spells. Or at the very least If a caster prepares a level 5 Fireball allow it to be cast at level 3 or 4 by spending the appropriate spell slot this way the player is saved from having to prepare multiple versions of the same spell.

You'd hate my house rule. Wizards are only allowed to memorize the same spell once and cast it once. (I have a pseudo-scientific reason for that, which I will spare you.) I allow them to recharge a spent spell slot without a spellbook, though, as long as they recharge with the spell the slot last held.


totoro wrote:
Biztak wrote:

In an interview with Gameinformer Jason Bulmahn revealed that Pathfinder is sticking to Vancian Spellcasting though I don't believe that this is an inherently bad idea I think that players will be better served by slightly modifying the spell preparation system in two ways.

First, allow for a single spell to be used multiple times without having to prepare it multiple times. When I introduce the game to new players that want to play a wizard the idea of having to prepare burning hands multiple times if they wanted to use it more than once is always met with resistance and disappointment, so this is a particular feature of Pathfinder that I hope is fixed with the second edition.

Second, allow for heightened spells to be prepared just once and also be cast at whatever level the caster wants to, instead of preparing a level 5 Fireball, it'd be best to simply prepare a Fireball and allow the caster to decide in what level to cast it in the moment, that way more room is opened to pick more spells. Or at the very least If a caster prepares a level 5 Fireball allow it to be cast at level 3 or 4 by spending the appropriate spell slot this way the player is saved from having to prepare multiple versions of the same spell.

You'd hate my house rule. Wizards are only allowed to memorize the same spell once and cast it once. (I have a pseudo-scientific reason for that, which I will spare you.) I allow them to recharge a spent spell slot without a spellbook, though, as long as they recharge with the spell the slot last held.

Is it because you're using the old and weird 'memorizing spells' flavor rather than precasting aka preparing?


I think it would be cool if there was a 0-Level version of every spell and you just decorate it with whatever you can afford to make it fit into a higher level spell slot. Powerful spells, like Wish, would be kind of like Prestidigitation at 1st Level, for example. You'd get a list of spells you can cast and a list of spell slot resources you can use to cast them with. 0-Level (probably) at will.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
totoro wrote:
Biztak wrote:

In an interview with Gameinformer Jason Bulmahn revealed that Pathfinder is sticking to Vancian Spellcasting though I don't believe that this is an inherently bad idea I think that players will be better served by slightly modifying the spell preparation system in two ways.

First, allow for a single spell to be used multiple times without having to prepare it multiple times. When I introduce the game to new players that want to play a wizard the idea of having to prepare burning hands multiple times if they wanted to use it more than once is always met with resistance and disappointment, so this is a particular feature of Pathfinder that I hope is fixed with the second edition.

Second, allow for heightened spells to be prepared just once and also be cast at whatever level the caster wants to, instead of preparing a level 5 Fireball, it'd be best to simply prepare a Fireball and allow the caster to decide in what level to cast it in the moment, that way more room is opened to pick more spells. Or at the very least If a caster prepares a level 5 Fireball allow it to be cast at level 3 or 4 by spending the appropriate spell slot this way the player is saved from having to prepare multiple versions of the same spell.

You'd hate my house rule. Wizards are only allowed to memorize the same spell once and cast it once. (I have a pseudo-scientific reason for that, which I will spare you.) I allow them to recharge a spent spell slot without a spellbook, though, as long as they recharge with the spell the slot last held.
Is it because you're using the old and weird 'memorizing spells' flavor rather than precasting aka preparing?

Like I said, I know plenty of folks won't like this, but, essentially, yes. I treat it a little like a scroll that is imprinted in the mind. When you trigger the spell with words and actions, it triggers any spells that are stored in that manner. I considered making the trigger of multiple spells give a more powerful effect due to the simultaneous triggering and also considered making it harm the Wizard, but ultimately decided the power would just be lost. I heard grumbling at first, but the in-game effect was quite nice (the grumbler agreed). I also took away alignment spells and gave pretty much all of the spells from other spell lists that were not alignment-related to the Wizard, which I think was a more than adequate trade-off.

Other Vancian casters did not have the same limitation.


totoro wrote:
and gave pretty much all of the spells from other spell lists that were not alignment-related to the Wizard, which I think was a more than adequate trade-off.

Uh, yeah, if I got that as a Wizard I wouldn't be complaining either...


Rules Artificer wrote:
totoro wrote:
and gave pretty much all of the spells from other spell lists that were not alignment-related to the Wizard, which I think was a more than adequate trade-off.
Uh, yeah, if I got that as a Wizard I wouldn't be complaining either...

Aye, that's at least a 50% increase in the breadth of the spell list.

At least with a GM who isn't super tight about limiting additional spells, I would always take that over multiple preps of the same spell.


Personally, I despise the idea of being restricted by having to prepare or learn certain spells at certain levels. Overcasting a spell to me is more that you just pump extra power into the spell, no fancy new gestures or reagents, you just add more raw power. At least for the scaling stuff like Fireball


Rules Artificer wrote:
* Spontaneous spellcasters normally treat a particular spell of a particular level as individual spells for the purposes of spells known. So a Sorcerer would have to specifically add Invisibility [Level 2] and Invisibility [Level 4] to his spells known

Do you have a citation on this bit? Because I have not seen anything to that effect, and it seems both kinda unlikely, and really horrible if true.

OTOH, I seem to be the only person on the Internet who will admit to actually liking vancian magic, so I hope it stays. And I think it will, because killing it will lead to accusations copying 5e. Well, those will happen anyway, but its still better not to give them a basis...

_
glass.


Vancian isn't bad, but penalizing alternatives is.

I'm sick of seeing the big d20 companies abusing spontaneous casters.

Dark Archive

Spontaneous casters seem to be pretty good with this new system. As any spell they have is just cast at any level they want to cast it at.

From all about spells blog wrote:
"Heightening a spell works much like it did previously, where you prepare a spell in a higher-level slot (or cast it using a higher-level slot if you're a spontaneous caster)."

They also said they are getting rid of long spell chains so I do not think that they would create a spell chain system for the spontaneous caster.

I could have missed some new info but this is how I took that.


brad2411 wrote:
positive assumptions for spontaneous casters

I had similar thoughts until I read this thread.

someone upthread wrote:
* Spontaneous spellcasters normally treat a particular spell of a particular level as individual spells for the purposes of spells known. So a Sorcerer would have to specifically add Invisibility [Level 2] and Invisibility [Level 4] to his spells known.


glass wrote:
Rules Artificer wrote:
* Spontaneous spellcasters normally treat a particular spell of a particular level as individual spells for the purposes of spells known. So a Sorcerer would have to specifically add Invisibility [Level 2] and Invisibility [Level 4] to his spells known

Do you have a citation on this bit? Because I have not seen anything to that effect, and it seems both kinda unlikely, and really horrible if true.

OTOH, I seem to be the only person on the Internet who will admit to actually liking vancian magic, so I hope it stays. And I think it will, because killing it will lead to accusations copying 5e. Well, those will happen anyway, but its still better not to give them a basis...

It was mentioned in last Friday's Paizo Twitch stream, which reviewed and gave a bit more information regarding the weeks' blogs on spellcasting and alchemy.

Shadow Lodge

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That might well ensure I don't play Spontaneous casters after the playtest.


Personally, I'd prefer they just make all the arcane casters cast like the Arcanist and get rid of the spontaneous/prepared distinction and create more depth in how a wizard manipulates magic with study vs a sorcerers bloodlines abilities which would naturally enhance it.

Spontaneous magic has kind of always gotten a bad deal compared to prepared spellcasting.


That sounds like a really bad decision regarding spontaneous casters, kind of defeating the purpose of unifying similar spells across spell levels. I was hoping that spontaneous casters ability to spontaneously use different spell slots for their spells would help balance them with prepared casters.


I agree with sentiment against counting "Upcast" versions of spells as distinct spells known.
Spontaneous Casters really seem like they would be the masters at that sort of thing, yet they have to pay out the nose.

On the other hand, I think the idea raised in other thread, of Summoning Spells getting alot more focused,
so instead of Summon Nature's Ally we get Summon Mammals etc, instead of Summon Monster we get Summon Demon etc
definitely is worth exploring, even though each of those would be a Spell Known obviously.

Obviously both of those together would be a catastrophe for Spontaneous Casters, but I think going in the 2nd direction of more-specific Summon themes WITHOUT forcing Upcast version to count as distinct Spells Known really works well for the Summoner and for the game as a whole. Casters can buy into increased depth in groups of creatures they want to focus on, while not getting the Infinite grab-bag they now get with Summons, which just ignores the vast disparity amongst the list (most prominently, SM including both angels and demons in same spell).

I think it would be productive if there are any other genres of spells which might similarly be amenable to "splitting up" by thematic focus, but with each sub-focus viable for upcasting across several spell levels. (not necessarily 1-9 or 1-10 like Summons)

As far as griping about Prepared Casting, I have to say sorry folks, if you like Arcanist Casting, then wait for Paizo to publish 2nd Edition Arcanist, which they will probably do in their first hardcover splat i.e. APG 2nd Edition. Asking Paizo to turn the Wizard into an Arcanist is not going to happen. I mean, they own the f+#%ing Arcanist brand, so why would they destroy it by merging it into generic D&D Wizard?


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Because it's overall a better system. Yes, it does give prepared casters a bit more flexibility, but this can be balanced by the fact that spellcasters gain fewer raw spell slots per day and hopefully spontaneous spellcasters having more options with regards to overcasting and metamagic.

Having to guess at whether you're going to need 2 Fireballs, 1 Lightning Bolt, and 1 casting of Fly as opposed to any combination of the three always seemed pretty contrived and annoying.

Dark Archive

Ok so I just watched the part they are talking about spontaneous casters in the twitch stream. There seems to be 2 ways spells known works for the Spontaneous caster. 1st What Mark called Spell Lineage which is a spell you pick or get and it can be heighten on the spot. 2nd general spells known are spells you pick and they can only be cast at the level you get them at.

Mark's example [spell lineage] heal or fireball would be able to cast at any level. But then he picked up invisibility at spell level 2nd and 4th

That helps to limit the spontaneous caster in a neat way in my opinion and makes it so that spontaneous casters will not destroy the prepared caster. It is like your bloodline gives you a few signature spells while you still explore your bloodline for different spells.


brad2411 wrote:

Ok so I just watched the part they are talking about spontaneous casters in the twitch stream. There seems to be 2 ways spells known works for the Spontaneous caster. 1st What Mark called Spell Lineage which is a spell you pick or get and it can be heighten on the spot. 2nd general spells known are spells you pick and they can only be cast at the level you get them at.

Mark's example [spell lineage] heal or fireball would be able to cast at any level. But then he picked up invisibility at spell level 2nd and 4th

That helps to limit the spontaneous caster in a neat way in my opinion and makes it so that spontaneous casters will not destroy the prepared caster. It is like your bloodline gives you a few signature spells while you still explore your bloodline for different spells.

After watching the video myself I am a little less worried. It depends on how many lineage spells there are of course I guess that is something for the playtest to iron out.

Also is that a reveal that heal is on the sorcerers spell list? or at least provided by a bloodline.

Dark Archive

not sure yet. could be either or both.

Shadow Lodge

Maybe Sorcerers get to pick which two lists they have. That would be... interesting.

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