Sorcerers should have undercasting instead of magical lineages


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So from what we've seen Spontaneous casters will have a number of magical lineages which give them the ability to cast a spell at any level it can be cast at along with a set number of spells known at specific levels allowing them to cast that spell at that level.

Undercasting like the Psychic has allows them to cast any spell known at the level they know or any lower level.

From a concept point of view it makes more sense for a character to have a few powers/spells that they have at max power and other powers which are weaker. It doesn't make sense for a character to be able to cast greater teleport but not have the ability to cast a weaker teleport, while it does make a lot of sense for them to be able to cast teleport but not have their power of teleportation strong enough to cast greater teleport.

If Sorcerers had undercasting they would have their most crucial to concept spells known at max level and can pick up more minor abilities at lower levels known. This to me fits a lot better than magically lineages with extra spells known allowing them to cherry pick spells at any level.


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you can upcast most spells.

If you get teleport, for example, you could probably upcast to give it more range.

So there is no need for under casting.


Zautos' wrote:

you can upcast most spells.

If you get teleport, for example, you could probably upcast to give it more range.

So there is no need for under casting.

You can't though, in the Friday Pathfinder Playtest Recap Show Sorcerers get a number a lineages they can cast at any level but their other spells known they can't under or over cast.


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I hope that's wrong. Would be stupid to let other casters do it but not sorcerers.


Ugh. Yeah, if a spontaneous caster is going to have to learn even a scaling spell as a specific version at a specific level, I'd rather all their spells had undercasting. When you reach 5th level, if you really like Scorching Ray you can retrain it into a 3rd tier slot then learn something else in its place in the now-vacated 2nd tier slot, knowing you can still undercast Scorching Ray as a 2nd tier spell.

Liberty's Edge

I'd prefer Lineages to this by quite a bit. Once you have a lineage you have it. At all levels and for all purposes. No retraining to new levels or using up one of your (very few) highest level slots.

I'll almost guarantee that Lineages work out to give more spells known, especially of your highest level, than this suggestion reasonably could. And that's good.

They also reinforce the very well the 'few trick pony' archetype Sorcerers have always had, and work best thematically when they epitomize IMO.


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This seems unduly complex. Why can't you just let Sorcerers heighten any spell they know? Would that really be OP?

Liberty's Edge

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Bardic Dave wrote:
This seems unduly complex. Why can't you just let Sorcerers heighten any spell they know? Would that really be OP?

On the fly? Probably, yeah. It multiplies their spells known by three or four in all likelihood, maybe more.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Bardic Dave wrote:
This seems unduly complex. Why can't you just let Sorcerers heighten any spell they know? Would that really be OP?

I initially wrote spontaneous casting to work this way and we found that it not only was providing a huge amount of cognitive load / analysis paralysis in terms of what spells a player had to choose between for each slot at higher levels, it was making players feel forced into choosing spells known that heightened to a lot of higher levels with special effects (which then increased the cognitive load further and compounded the issue). That's when Logan came up with the new idea we used, which has the advantages of having you want to make at least a few choices that heightened a lot, but not all, allowing both types of spells to shine for sorcerers, plus less cognitive load / analysis paralysis. Now do we have just the right number of each kind? We've been tweaking those throughout the alpha, and we need your help to fine tune even further!


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Bardic Dave wrote:
This seems unduly complex. Why can't you just let Sorcerers heighten any spell they know? Would that really be OP?
I initially wrote spontaneous casting to work this way and we found that it not only was providing a huge amount of cognitive load / analysis paralysis in terms of what spells a player had to choose between for each slot at higher levels, it was making players feel forced into choosing spells known that heightened to a lot of higher levels with special effects (which then increased the cognitive load further and compounded the issue). That's when Logan came up with the new idea we used, which has the advantages of having you want to make at least a few choices that heightened a lot, but not all, allowing both types of spells to shine for sorcerers, plus less cognitive load / analysis paralysis. Now do we have just the right number of each kind? We've been tweaking those throughout the alpha, and we need your help to fine tune even further!

So have you found that prepared casters suffer from the same cognitive load problems when it comes time to prep spells for the day?

I'm curious, because 5E lets spontaneous casters "heighten" any spell they know, and I've never seen an issue with it. PF2's version of heightening seems to be a little more complex, but not by a huge margin.


Also, if you make it so spontaneous casters have to learn spells at particular spell levels, perhaps expending multiple "spells known" to learn several levels of a single "spell", then in practical terms you haven't actually condensed "invisibility" and "greater invisibility" into one spell. You've hidden two spells in one spell entry, and then created a lineage feature that grants both.

From a learning-the-game perspective, you start running into weird nomenclature problems. The term "spells known" becomes fuzzy. When you level up, are you learning a new spell or a portion of a spell? Does a spell entry describe a single spell, or several?


The OP's suggestion of allowing undercasting seems to me to be a sensible middle ground. At least then the awkwardness of expending multiple "spells known" on a single "spell" would go away.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Bardic Dave wrote:
So have you found that prepared casters suffer from the same cognitive load problems when it comes time to prep spells for the day?

Oh that can happen even without heightening for the wrong player with a big enough list to prepare from, though many players (and playtesters) have a "go-to" list or several they prepare and alter as desired to fit what they know about the next day. But that's something that happens in between game days, and if you're lucky possibly in between sessions. It can turn into a fairly different story when it's every round, even for the same player.


Have you considered going the 5e route of expressing spells known as a single number, instead of micro-managing the spell level of every spell known? For instance, a level 10 sorcerer might know 12 spells, which can be of any level up to 5. Players are naturally incentivized to spread out their spells known across various spell levels, because if they only pick high level spells their low level slots are useless.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Bardic Dave wrote:
The OP's suggestion of allowing undercasting seems to me to be a sensible middle ground. At least then the awkwardness of expending multiple "spells known" on a single "spell" would go away.

We had the design worked up to try undercasting (by which I mean learn the highest level version to get the lower levels too), but it actually winds up being more punishing to carry a small number of theme spells through all your spell levels with undercasting while also less exciting to gain access to a new spell level. Let's take a look at an abridged example: Suppose you are playing a character like my oracle of lore Lazeril in PF1 who wanted to have the best possible summoning and dispel magic he could have. Now suppose you're at a character level where you get to pick two spells known of your best spell level (I am choosing two as the number in this example arbitrarily to make things easier so I don't have to make it more complicated, so everyone don't read too much into that). With undercasting, you would have to choose heightened summon and dispel magic as your new highest level, but with Logan's solution, you've already chosen summon and dispel magic to increase automatically, and now you get to pick two actual brand new spells of the new spell level too!


Mark Seifter wrote:
It actually winds up being more punishing to carry a small number of theme spells through all your spell levels with undercasting while also less exciting to gain access to a new spell level.

Good point. I hadn't considered that.


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My players are derpy as all heck, and yet they can handle 3.5 / Dreamscarred psionics just fine, which is an even more complex version of overcasting with the augments than what you're using. If THEY can handle Psi, I am pretty sure most players won't be unduly burdened in the way you fear.

How about a compromise. A spontaneous caster's "spells known" are "lineage" spells by default. But whenever a spontaneous caster would gain a new spell, they can instead choose to gain 2 or 3 new spells that aren't lineage, that are just specific spells at specific levels.

Some players will go for one flavor of diversity, having fewer spells that scale more naturally. Other players will go to the other flavor of diversity, having a lot more distinct spells known. And most players will probably end up in between, as suits their own preferences - and their own "cognitive load" limit.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Bardic Dave wrote:
The OP's suggestion of allowing undercasting seems to me to be a sensible middle ground. At least then the awkwardness of expending multiple "spells known" on a single "spell" would go away.
We had the design worked up to try undercasting (by which I mean learn the highest level version to get the lower levels too), but it actually winds up being more punishing to carry a small number of theme spells through all your spell levels with undercasting while also less exciting to gain access to a new spell level. Let's take a look at an abridged example: Suppose you are playing a character like my oracle of lore Lazeril in PF1 who wanted to have the best possible summoning and dispel magic he could have. Now suppose you're at a character level where you get to pick two spells known of your best spell level (I am choosing two as the number in this example arbitrarily to make things easier so I don't have to make it more complicated, so everyone don't read too much into that). With undercasting, you would have to choose heightened summon and dispel magic as your new highest level, but with Logan's solution, you've already chosen summon and dispel magic to increase automatically, and now you get to pick two actual brand new spells of the new spell level too!

I still find the notion of expending multiple "spells known" to learn multiple versions of a single "spell" unsatisfying and somewhat nonsensical. What if you just split really powerful upgrades like Invisibility and Greater Invisibility back into two spells so that sorcerers can heighten the spells with more linear heightening progressions (like Fireball) freely?


Mark Seifter wrote:
Bardic Dave wrote:
The OP's suggestion of allowing undercasting seems to me to be a sensible middle ground. At least then the awkwardness of expending multiple "spells known" on a single "spell" would go away.
We had the design worked up to try undercasting (by which I mean learn the highest level version to get the lower levels too), but it actually winds up being more punishing to carry a small number of theme spells through all your spell levels with undercasting while also less exciting to gain access to a new spell level. Let's take a look at an abridged example: Suppose you are playing a character like my oracle of lore Lazeril in PF1 who wanted to have the best possible summoning and dispel magic he could have. Now suppose you're at a character level where you get to pick two spells known of your best spell level (I am choosing two as the number in this example arbitrarily to make things easier so I don't have to make it more complicated, so everyone don't read too much into that). With undercasting, you would have to choose heightened summon and dispel magic as your new highest level, but with Logan's solution, you've already chosen summon and dispel magic to increase automatically, and now you get to pick two actual brand new spells of the new spell level too!

Glad to see you've considered this and thanks for sharing the thoughts behind this design decision.

Have you considered having something like a spell taking up a number of memory (spells known) slots depending on how many levels of that spell you can cast? Where if you can cast it for 1 effect it takes 1 memory, 2-3 effects = 2 memory, and 4-9 effects = 3 memory or something like that.

With your example Lore Oracle does it really make sense for that character to suddenly get a new power unlike what it had before that is immediately its strongest? Maybe, but a lot of concepts don't really fit with the idea of that possibility, they more fit with your best ability getting better and you getting new slightly weaker abilities too. I guess that might not be as fun to play even if it is a lot more narratively congruent.


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If Invisibility into Greater Invisibility really is still a 2 spell chain, that's just a failure of imagination. Because there's ample opportunity to make this an actual chain, and also re-examine if they were actually appropriate at their spell level. A "predator cloak" chameleon Stealth bonus for lesser invisibility, into actual invisibility, with suppression of other sensory giveaways being its own heighten effect separate from staying intact when attacking, with the area "invisibility sphere" being its own heighten effect, and so on.


I don't think it would be overly taxing for people to pick what level they cast spells at when they cast them.

and its strange to only be able to cast a 3 and 5 level fireball. because you wanted a different 4th level spell.


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I think a simple solution to this is 1 Magical lineage = 2 spells known

If you really want a spell for just one level you get it more efficiently, but it makes a lot of sense for a spontaneous caster to be able to cast a spell at all its different levels so you aren't making that too expensive.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Bardic Dave wrote:
This seems unduly complex. Why can't you just let Sorcerers heighten any spell they know? Would that really be OP?
I initially wrote spontaneous casting to work this way and we found that it not only was providing a huge amount of cognitive load / analysis paralysis in terms of what spells a player had to choose between for each slot at higher levels, it was making players feel forced into choosing spells known that heightened to a lot of higher levels with special effects (which then increased the cognitive load further and compounded the issue). That's when Logan came up with the new idea we used, which has the advantages of having you want to make at least a few choices that heightened a lot, but not all, allowing both types of spells to shine for sorcerers, plus less cognitive load / analysis paralysis. Now do we have just the right number of each kind? We've been tweaking those throughout the alpha, and we need your help to fine tune even further!

Really!?! No. 5e does this with no problems.


citricking wrote:

I think a simple solution to this is 1 Magical lineage = 2 spells known

e.

Spells known of which level. can I use 2 SK to get fireball 1 2 3 4 5 for example by spending 2 SK for 1st level spells?

or do i need to use 2 5th level SK.

or one 5 and 4 level SK.

I think 2 of the lowest is too good and 2 of the highest is too expensive.


Zautos' wrote:
citricking wrote:

I think a simple solution to this is 1 Magical lineage = 2 spells known

e.

Spells known of which level. can I use 2 SK to get fireball 1 2 3 4 5 for example by spending 2 SK for 1st level spells?

or do i need to use 2 5th level SK.

or one 5 and 4 level SK.

I think 2 of the lowest is too good and 2 of the highest is too expensive.

You could do two levels of which you can cast the spell, but I was thinking of 5e style spells known where spell level doesn't matter.


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I can't see me playing a sorcerer with this new set up, which is a shame as my first PF character was a sorcerer. I'm really surprised the play testers had such a big problem with them. I've never heard of anyone having that problem with 5e. Disappointing to see the numbers will be fine tuned in the playtest.


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Ugh. This is very complex, disappointing and unintuitive. Sorcerer seems nerfed very hard. That is one of those things that lessen the hype spectacularly.
I hope this is changed on final version. I have some problems "selling" what we know of PF2 to my players, and this seems like a deal breaker.
At least, the spontaneous spell delay is gone, I hope.

By my experience, Sorcerer is more intuitive than wizard. The claim that this is more intuitive while wizard use the same version of casting is hard to understand.


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Spontaneous casters being nerfed in comparison to prepared casters would be a big turn-off for me. I hate prepared casting.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Except for the greater number of slots in PF2, 5e spellcasting just seems plain superior to what we've seen so far.

I haven't seen anyone have trouble choosing whether to upcast or not when playing 5e. Although arguably, it's often not worth it. (Usually I just do it in order to hit multiple targets with Heroism)

Liberty's Edge

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Khudzlin wrote:
Spontaneous casters being nerfed in comparison to prepared casters would be a big turn-off for me. I hate prepared casting.

This actually makes Spontaneous Casters more powerful comparatively.

I can't imagine you get less than 2 lineages (at least eventually) and even assuming those replace Bloodline spells and you only get 1 new spell known at the first level you get it (rising to two the next level)...that's actually more options per level than Cleric ever gets per spell level where your Lineages apply. Some of them are just pre-set. And that's on top of probably still getting more spells per day.

So...yeah, this is a power up. And I'm a bit surprised people are upset about it. It seems like a neat way to handle a potential mechanical issue, thematically on point, and cool without really being overpowered.

I'm a fan of the whole idea.

Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
I haven't seen anyone have trouble choosing whether to upcast or not when playing 5e. Although arguably, it's often not worth it. (Usually I just do it in order to hit multiple targets with Heroism)

I think this is a key fact. Something needs to be good enough to actually be a serious option before it induces option paralysis. If the upcasting is enough better in PF2 than in D&D5E that they need to handle it differently, then that's good info to have.


Khudzlin wrote:
Spontaneous casters being nerfed in comparison to prepared casters would be a big turn-off for me. I hate prepared casting.

The original system (heighten how you like) was a huge boost to Sorcerer over Wizard. Wizard has to decide at the beginning of the day what level to prep something as. Sorcerer gets to pick as they like on the fly. That’s getting rolled back a bit, because it was too much of a headache.


DeadManWalking... I wish I could have your optimism. At the beginning I was excited for the Playtest, and I really like some of the changes, like the actions. But things like this, the changes of skills (skills was one of my favorites parts of PF1) or Resonance are killing my interest.
I will play the playtest, but now I'm more cautious that excited.
To me, it seems like the power level of the game is lowered (everything is nerfed, so the balance is easer?) or Paizo is having a serious marketing problem selling the interest of the playtest.
Hopefully, I will love the game on the end, but each day seems less likely.


To be honest, I'm waiting for more information on how casters work (especially spontaneous ones, since there's been no blog entry on them yet) to decide whether there is such a nerf.

Liberty's Edge

Alaryth wrote:
DeadManWalking... I wish I could have your optimism. At the beginning I was excited for the Playtest, and I really like some of the changes, like the actions. But things like this, the changes of skills (skills was one of my favorites parts of PF1) or Resonance are killing my interest.

In fairness, the Skill thing is still my biggest issue with what we've seen so far. I'm hopeful, but actually super worried about that one.

Resonance isn't as bad as people fear, I don't think, and this change seems like it's actually gonna be really good for the Sorcerer as compared to the Wizard.

Alaryth wrote:

I will play the playtest, but now I'm more cautious that excited.

To me, it seems like the power level of the game is lowered (everything is nerfed, so the balance is easer?) or Paizo is having a serious marketing problem selling the interest of the playtest.
Hopefully, I will love the game on the end, but each day seems less likely.

Well, I suppose it depends on what you mean by lowered. They're re-balancing the game, and unless they want to give Fighters and Rogues spells (or something that works just like them) they need to power down the very best classes in the game (ie: 9 level casters) at least a little bit. They seem to have gone with a fewer spell slots per day (which decreases the versatility that made them so unbeatable) but other bonus spells of specific sorts to make up the difference, and leaving actual spells at least as powerful (and more so in some cases).

So yeah, I think they're powering down the very best Classes slightly, at least in terms of being able to casually solo things and make the rest of the party feel superfluous. But really, only very slightly, and they're powering up things like Rogues and Fighters to be closer to on par. And that second part is great, while sadly almost necessitating the first.


Maybe I do not understand it.
Is it that...
-Wizard each day choose at what level he prepares spells
-Sorcerer when he choose spells at level up, he learns them at a set level, with some thematic exceptions?
If is this, I really can't see how that is a improvement for the Sorcerer compared to wizards.

Either way, I find pretty clear that Paizo has a comunication problem. Something as important as that should be linked and explained carefully by the Paizo staff. I do not follow Twitch, besides, I'm confident enough on my written english. I have more problems following videos on English without subtitles.


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I play a lot of Sorcerers, so the new skill thing is great for me- finally don’t have to suck at almost everything. Sorcs are presumably getting normal spell progression, and we know they’re getting better spell-swapping and a couple spell lineages. While it’s not a free-for-all, it’s still better than PF1’s choice of which image spell to take. If I need lineages for something else, then I can fall back on PF1’s approach. If Sorcs can eventually cast at least four spells for a level, then I’m happy.


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Alaryth wrote:

Maybe I do not understand it.

Is it that...
-Wizard each day choose at what level he prepares spells
-Sorcerer when he choose spells at level up, he learns them at a set level, with some thematic exceptions?
If is this, I really can't see how that is a improvement for the Sorcerer compared to wizards.

Either way, I find pretty clear that Paizo has a comunication problem. Something as important as that should be linked and explained carefully by the Paizo staff. I do not follow Twitch, besides, I'm confident enough on my written english. I have more problems following videos on English without subtitles.

I’m focusing more on the exceptions myself, where Sorc will be able to choose on the fly. Before, I had to pick which image-line spell was the best compromise. Now, I get all of them. If that means I still have to take Invisibility and Greater Invisibility separately, that’s fine. I had to do that before, and Wizard still has to prepare them separately. The only thing Wizard gets is scribing them together.


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Sorcerers should actually have undercasting AND magical lineages.


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I don't really like the way this sounds, but I'll wait until the playtest to see what it actually means.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah, not a huge fan of lineage spells. I feel like Starfinder style unlimited undercasting makes a lot more logical sense for this, if you can manipulate your inborn magical ability to cast a 6th level fireball I don't see why you wouldn't also be able to do it to cast a 3rd level fireball.

The argument that you wouldn't be able to have both ALL THE BEST DISPEL MAGIC and ALL THE SUMMONING just as soon as you gain the ability to cast a new level of spells doesn't seem like that big a problem to me. Yes, you have to pick and chose your spells known, just like spontaneous casters have always had to do. That's not a problem that needs solving in my opinion, it's just the way the classes work.


I really dislikes this...but to be honest, certainly with unlimited undercasting Summon can be a serious problem. But better a limitation to the summon and maybe other specific spells that let the wizard each day choose the level of a Fireball and have the sorcerer lock-on on Fireball 4 for a whole level without the possibility of using it at level 3.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I thought it was weird yesterday, but after sleeping on it, I think I really like lineages. Spells closest to the source of your magic are much easier to manipulate and adjust on the fly. It takes some trial-and-error to figure out how to reshape your natural magical abilities to manifest different spells. It's more complex than just power level, so different levels of spell effect require different techniques.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
I haven't seen anyone have trouble choosing whether to upcast or not when playing 5e. Although arguably, it's often not worth it. (Usually I just do it in order to hit multiple targets with Heroism)
I think this is a key fact. Something needs to be good enough to actually be a serious option before it induces option paralysis. If the upcasting is enough better in PF2 than in D&D5E that they need to handle it differently, then that's good info to have.

When I played 5e I never had an issue with upcasting with my cleric and I actually upcast the level 1 spells bless all the time. Also friends who I know got confused by Pathfinder 1e's casting found DnD 5e's casting system a lot easier. It's anecdotal of course but I can't imagine upcasting some spells and not others is a better system then just allowing the sorcerer to upcast all spells known.


Bardarok wrote:
When I played 5e I never had an issue with upcasting with my cleric and I actually upcast the level 1 spells bless all the time. Also friends who I know got confused by Pathfinder 1e's casting found DnD 5e's casting system a lot easier. It's anecdotal of course but I can't imagine upcasting some spells and not others is a better system then just allowing the sorcerer to upcast all spells known.

Ditto here, but I'm also in "wait and see" mode. Perhaps it is such that some of the upcast spells are SUPER-powerful compared to 5th edition's take, in which case it makes more sense. In any case I'm sure the math-battles on these forums are going to be EPIC come August 2nd! :)


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Yah I guess I could still be convinced. This is just the first thing I have seen that seems straight up wrong to me.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm not a big fan of Vancian casting. But I understand that some are, and am happy enough to have prepared casters (Wizards, Clerics) for those who like that way of dealing with magic.

But the magic systems that really make sense to me are ones in which magic users gain expanding expertise in their ability to create similar kinds of magical effects. I've always found this kind of approach vastly most satisfying, in a "it makes sense and feels right" kind of way, than the hodge-podge of random magical powers approach that old-school D&D employs. Likewise, it's a much better fit with the way magic is depicted in most fantasy literature.

I was really hoping that PF2 would allow spontaneous casters to fit that mold.

I hope there will at least be some kind of archetype that will allows spontaneous casters to take full advantage of upcasting/undercasting. Perhaps an archetype in which you only get lineages, and no individual spell slots? Or an archetype that gives up (say) half their known spells in exchange for being able to undercast whatever spells they do know? I would be very grateful for an option like that.

(As an aside, I appreciate Mark Seifter explaining the developer's reasons for taking the route they did, and I understand those reasons. But the demerit of undercasting -- "it actually winds up being more punishing to carry a small number of theme spells through all your spell levels with undercasting while also less exciting to gain access to a new spell level" -- is one I would happily pay to have a magic user that made more sense, and felt more organically satisfying.)

Liberty's Edge

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Porridge wrote:
But the magic systems that really make sense to me are ones in which magic users gain expanding expertise in their ability to create similar kinds of magical effects. I've always found this kind of approach vastly most satisfying, in a "it makes sense and feels right" kind of way, than the hodge-podge of random magical powers approach that old-school D&D employs. Likewise, it's a much better fit with the way magic is depicted in most fantasy literature.

This seems casually doable just by picking spells thematically similar to your Lineage spells with your spell slots. Certainly much more easily than in the previous edition.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Porridge wrote:
(As an aside, I appreciate Mark Seifter explaining the developer's reasons for taking the route they did, and I understand those reasons. But the demerit of undercasting -- "it actually winds up being more punishing to carry a small number of theme spells through all your spell levels with undercasting while also less exciting to gain access to a new spell level" -- is one I would happily pay to have a magic user that made more sense, and felt more organically satisfying.)

I initially felt that undercasting was more organic-feeling, but then I thought about some of the spells known situations you could get from undercasting as opposed to the solution we used (it isn't called 'lineages' per se, it was a descriptive word I used when answering a question on Twitch in real time without the books) and realized it actually is less organic and more abrupt.

For example, suppose we have someone who is interested in a level 6 summon spell. With undercasting, they might not have summon at all and then they suddenly gain all 6 summons. With the option to pick the spell family, they've been growing through their summon spells all along (granted, you certainly can do the same thing with undercasting if you want). Either of these is a far better situation than the PF1 sorcerer who would have to pick summon as a spell known at every level (or thematically worse but mechanically better, lose the old summons and just keep the highest one or two).

In any case, if enough people want the more mechanically punishing option because it feels more right from an immersion standpoint, we'll certainly consider that. Right now none of us knows how many people feel that way.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Porridge wrote:
(As an aside, I appreciate Mark Seifter explaining the developer's reasons for taking the route they did, and I understand those reasons. But the demerit of undercasting -- "it actually winds up being more punishing to carry a small number of theme spells through all your spell levels with undercasting while also less exciting to gain access to a new spell level" -- is one I would happily pay to have a magic user that made more sense, and felt more organically satisfying.)

I initially felt that undercasting was more organic-feeling, but then I thought about some of the spells known situations you could get from undercasting as opposed to the solution we used (it isn't called 'lineages' per se, it was a descriptive word I used when answering a question on Twitch in real time without the books) and realized it actually is less organic and more abrupt.

For example, suppose we have someone who is interested in a level 6 summon spell. With undercasting, they might not have summon at all and then they suddenly gain all 6 summons. With the option to pick the spell family, they've been growing through their summon spells all along (granted, you certainly can do the same thing with undercasting if you want). Either of these is a far better situation than the PF1 sorcerer who would have to pick summon as a spell known at every level (or thematically worse but mechanically better, lose the old summons and just keep the highest one or two).

In any case, if enough people want the more mechanically punishing option because it feels more right from an immersion standpoint, we'll certainly consider that. Right now none of us knows how many people feel that way.

What I'd actually prefer is what me and someone else mentioned above, where all your spells are upcasting but you can choose to learn two specific spells in place of one upcasting spell. That way, if cognitive load actually is a problem for you, then you at least get more spells. :) It lets each person customize to their tastes / capabilities, and still get at spells which don't have upcasting, since I'm sure there will still be plenty of standalones.

But failing that, yeah, I'd prefer the "more punishing" option of every spell you learn at least having undercasting, with retraining whenever you relearn a spell at a higher level.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Porridge wrote:
(As an aside, I appreciate Mark Seifter explaining the developer's reasons for taking the route they did, and I understand those reasons. But the demerit of undercasting -- "it actually winds up being more punishing to carry a small number of theme spells through all your spell levels with undercasting while also less exciting to gain access to a new spell level" -- is one I would happily pay to have a magic user that made more sense, and felt more organically satisfying.)

I initially felt that undercasting was more organic-feeling, but then I thought about some of the spells known situations you could get from undercasting as opposed to the solution we used (it isn't called 'lineages' per se, it was a descriptive word I used when answering a question on Twitch in real time without the books) and realized it actually is less organic and more abrupt.

For example, suppose we have someone who is interested in a level 6 summon spell. With undercasting, they might not have summon at all and then they suddenly gain all 6 summons. With the option to pick the spell family, they've been growing through their summon spells all along (granted, you certainly can do the same thing with undercasting if you want). Either of these is a far better situation than the PF1 sorcerer who would have to pick summon as a spell known at every level (or thematically worse but mechanically better, lose the old summons and just keep the highest one or two).

In any case, if enough people want the more mechanically punishing option because it feels more right from an immersion standpoint, we'll certainly consider that. Right now none of us knows how many people feel that way.

Would you like for one of us to start a poll thread for this?

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