Why Prepared Casters Should Be Arcanist Style


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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Playtest hasn’t begun and I’ll gladly run the playtest as written no matter what the devs have decided. However, I do want to make a thread specifically about this topic because as a GM and player this is a matter near and dear to me.

What is Arcanist Style Casting

For those who are unfamiliar with the Arcanist the gist goes like this. An Arcanist learns spells like a wizard, from that list of spells they can prepare a limited number each level. When casting a spell they cast spontaneously like a Sorcerer using their prepared spells as their “spells known”.

Why this should be the default option

When I have new players try prepared casters for the first time, I have found one common error. They assume that’s how it works anyway.

Disclaimer! I know that my experience is not the default, nor is anecdotal evidence data.

However, there is something more intuitive about casting prepared spells in any combination rather than crossing off the spell after it is cast. Probably because popular fantasy fiction doesn’t depict the party Gandalf or Hermione Granger carefully selecting their daily spells ahead of time. (“I’ll probably need 3 expeliarmuses today! later that morningOh damn, all out guess I can’t disarm any dark wizard’s this afternoon.”) fantasy fiction shows wizards understanding the principles of magic, and then applying those principles as the situation requires. For clerics it’s even worse from a fictional positioning perspective.

It Means You Don’t Feel Stupid

When a wizard finishes a day with utility spells uncast, they feel like they wasted the spell-slot. If they are in a situation where they know the perfect spell but didn’t prepare it because the player can’t know exactly what situation they’ll be in during the adventuring day, they feel stupid. If you’re a cleric and didn’t prepare remove disease and you fail into a garbage pit full of filth fever, otyoughs and dire rats, you’ll feel unwise in your spell selection.
A wizard should never feel stupid, a cleric shouldn’t feel unwise because the player couldn’t anticipate what the GM was going to throw at them day to day.

With Arcanist style spellcasting, a prepared caster doesn’t need to feel like they wasted a prepared slot because if you didn’t encounter any magical locks, and knock went uncast you don’t feel so bad because you could still spend those casting slots on scorching ray.

It plays nice with heightening

The big new innovation for PF2E is that heightened spells offer additional effects. A prepared caster who prepared:
level 1 snowball, fly and magic missile
level 2 acid arrow, resist energy, knock
level 3 fireball, haste

Could find that when they enter the dungeon the wizard they’re hunting had summoned mostly fire elementals and devils to guard it. Normally, the wizard would be real unhappy because one of their level 3 choices has been ruined. Now however, that haste spell is valuable, but so is that clutch upcasted snowball which might scale to 5d6 cold damage, doubled on a critical hit, and additional bonuses against creatures with cold vulnerability. Against a single but very powerful elemental, extra actions are less useful than a juicy single target hit that might end the fight a round sooner.

The unspent fireball just becomes juice for a tasty damage spell, or a heightened resist energy that lasts longer or targets more allies.

It still rewards smart planning

Let’s say you have a more measured party, who does the research before kicking in the door of the dungeon. The clever player still can pick that perfect mix of spells that means they cast every spell at least once and were super effective. You feel clever for “getting it right”.

Its still different from spontaneous casting

Spontaneous casters should still have a limited pool of spells known, but be able to cast more spells of each level. Sorcerers (and theoretical oracles) with more spells per day (a meaningful amount, hopefully +2 per level) will be able to get those extra blasts out. The rare utility Sorcerer will still be able to unlock a whole castle by casting knock all day if that’s their jam.

Thank you for coming to my Ted talk.


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

Amen! Preach it brother!

(EDIT: On a more substantive note, I think allowing Arcanist spellcasters to have the ability to heighten spells on the fly is going to make prepared casters eclipse spontaneous ones, who currently aren't allowed to heighten spells this way. Rather, it looks like spontaneous casters have to pick the level at which they "know" the spell when they learn it, and that level is fixed from then on.

Anyway, if that ends up being how spontaneous casters work in the final game, I suspect that an Arcanist-style prepared casters are going to have to follow suit, and fix what "level" they're going to prepare their spell at ahead of time.)


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I appreciate that we came to the same conclusion, +1.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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I agree with this.


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I'd certainly be happy for this to be default with the option of using "normal" preparing as an archetype.


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As long as spontaneous casters receive some sort of compensation (like you suggested), yes, this is a great idea.


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This sort of system is a whole lot easier in play, you could even just allow x number of prepared spells instead of a set number per level. Never much liked vancian magic anyways.


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Look at cleric. Cleric gets 3 spells per level and a granted ability to cast heal/harm a lot of times per day. Generally speaking, cleric has a very similar set up to Wizards in Pathfinder 1.0, so its reasonable to think Wizards may be similar in 2.0.

If you make Wizard into a spontaneous caster then it won't leave room for other spontaneous casters (unless they end up with different spell sets). This means cutting out sorcerer and arcanist at a bare minimum. Well, possibly keeping sorcerer as a wizard that replaces their arcane school with a bloodline.

Also 1.0 arcanist pays for its massive versatility by being 1 spell level behind wizards and sorcerers. How do you balance that out with other casters? Does 2.0 arcane casters end up advancing slower by default than clerics?

If this is done for wizards, it also needs to be done for clerics, and a lot of current pathfinder spontaneous classes need to be eliminated or subsumed into other classes.

Grand Lodge

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Hear hear! Down with Vancian casting!

From what I've seen, this is the way it usually works out at most tables. Most GMs don't want to keep track of daily spell lists, and most players assume this is how it works anyways. It's just easier and more fun to play it that way.


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Meirril wrote:

Look at cleric. Cleric gets 3 spells per level and a granted ability to cast heal/harm a lot of times per day. Generally speaking, cleric has a very similar set up to Wizards in Pathfinder 1.0, so its reasonable to think Wizards may be similar in 2.0.

If you make Wizard into a spontaneous caster then it won't leave room for other spontaneous casters (unless they end up with different spell sets). This means cutting out sorcerer and arcanist at a bare minimum. Well, possibly keeping sorcerer as a wizard that replaces their arcane school with a bloodline.

Also 1.0 arcanist pays for its massive versatility by being 1 spell level behind wizards and sorcerers. How do you balance that out with other casters? Does 2.0 arcane casters end up advancing slower by default than clerics?

If this is done for wizards, it also needs to be done for clerics, and a lot of current pathfinder spontaneous classes need to be eliminated or subsumed into other classes.

OP suggested this replace prepared casting so yes druid & cleric would prepare the same way. Sorcorrerers would get extra spell slots to compensate for a limited spell selection. Arcansit won't be in PF2 core and might not make the edition jump.

Liberty's Edge

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I think Paizo may have balked at branching away from pure Vancian casting because they knew that a lot of players would already be against PF2 just on principle. I mean, a huge part of their player base is here specifically because they didn't want 3.5 to change, so of course they're not going to want Pathfinder to change either.

I do not, however, think that that should get in the way of moving forward as a system and as a game. And Vancian magic is a thing of the past. Not only does it not fit the vast majority of fantasy genres or the ideas that most people (and new players especially) have of how magic works, it actively punishes people for making the wrong choices when they can't possibly know the right ones. It absolutely needs to go.

As for the versatility of spontaneous upcasting, I think that both prepared (Arcanist-style, I mean) and spontaneous casters should just be able to upcast as needed, but limit it by simply having fewer spells prepared per day, or known. That's how 5e handles it (with your total spells prepared, regardless of level, being equal to your class level plus your spellcasting modifier), and while some people may whine about anything that even looks like something from another system, it works. And refusing to use something that works because it's from a system you don't like is just ridiculous.


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More like Pathfinder 5th Edition, amirite?!

That said: I do prefer arcanist casting to traditional vancian casting. At the bare minimum: I am hoping the wizard gets something that he can do with his unwanted prepared spells.

Meirril wrote:

Look at cleric. Cleric gets 3 spells per level and a granted ability to cast heal/harm a lot of times per day. Generally speaking, cleric has a very similar set up to Wizards in Pathfinder 1.0, so its reasonable to think Wizards may be similar in 2.0.

If you make Wizard into a spontaneous caster then it won't leave room for other spontaneous casters (unless they end up with different spell sets). This means cutting out sorcerer and arcanist at a bare minimum. Well, possibly keeping sorcerer as a wizard that replaces their arcane school with a bloodline.

Also 1.0 arcanist pays for its massive versatility by being 1 spell level behind wizards and sorcerers. How do you balance that out with other casters? Does 2.0 arcane casters end up advancing slower by default than clerics?

If this is done for wizards, it also needs to be done for clerics, and a lot of current pathfinder spontaneous classes need to be eliminated or subsumed into other classes.

I think in Dudemeister's paradigm, the cleric would cast like an arcanist as well rather than have traditional vancian casting.


Look, I love Arcanist style casting, I really do. But if you give wizards arcanist casting, then where does that leave sorcerers? Because what you'll have is wizards with the same slot flexibility as sorcerers, but significantly more day to day flexibility. In PF1 this is resolved by sorcerers having half again as many spell slots as an arcanist, but I doubt the different in spells/day will be nearly steep enough in PF2 to justify a sorcerer over a wizard in this case, especially if their class features are designed to ease the spell slot burden the same way they are for clerics.


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+1 for arcanist casting!


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FedoraFerret wrote:
Look, I love Arcanist style casting, I really do. But if you give wizards arcanist casting, then where does that leave sorcerers? Because what you'll have is wizards with the same slot flexibility as sorcerers, but significantly more day to day flexibility. In PF1 this is resolved by sorcerers having half again as many spell slots as an arcanist, but I doubt the different in spells/day will be nearly steep enough in PF2 to justify a sorcerer over a wizard in this case, especially if their class features are designed to ease the spell slot burden the same way they are for clerics.

You just give sorcerors a big damn spell point pool that lets them do a lot of fun tricksy tricks and/or gives them extra castings each day.

That said: I don't think every class is going to be 3 spells/spell level/day to begin with.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
Look, I love Arcanist style casting, I really do. But if you give wizards arcanist casting, then where does that leave sorcerers? Because what you'll have is wizards with the same slot flexibility as sorcerers, but significantly more day to day flexibility. In PF1 this is resolved by sorcerers having half again as many spell slots as an arcanist, but I doubt the different in spells/day will be nearly steep enough in PF2 to justify a sorcerer over a wizard in this case, especially if their class features are designed to ease the spell slot burden the same way they are for clerics.

You just give sorcerors a big damn spell point pool that lets them do a lot of fun tricksy tricks and/or gives them extra castings each day.

That said: I don't think every class is going to be 3 spells/spell level/day to begin with.

Id actually love it if sorcerers use a lot of the spell point mechanic with bloodline spells. I think that would make them more interesting.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If I was unclear, yes Clerics and Druids would cast like Arcanists. They could still have access to the entire Divine list like in PF1E. The difference is in the preparation and casting. Each class could keep its method of spell collection/spell knowledge.

Dark Archive

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I am fine with this it also allows for the sorcerer to be all heighten spells and equal spell level as the wizard at ever level. The only difference would be spells known vs spells per day.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
Look, I love Arcanist style casting, I really do. But if you give wizards arcanist casting, then where does that leave sorcerers? Because what you'll have is wizards with the same slot flexibility as sorcerers, but significantly more day to day flexibility. In PF1 this is resolved by sorcerers having half again as many spell slots as an arcanist, but I doubt the different in spells/day will be nearly steep enough in PF2 to justify a sorcerer over a wizard in this case, especially if their class features are designed to ease the spell slot burden the same way they are for clerics.

You just give sorcerors a big damn spell point pool that lets them do a lot of fun tricksy tricks and/or gives them extra castings each day.

That said: I don't think every class is going to be 3 spells/spell level/day to begin with.

That's what they tried to do in 5e. As detailed in the other thread, I don't really think they succeeded.

I also like the arcanist style. I don't especially love Vancian casting. And I'm sure there must be a way to balance arcanist casting against the sorcerer model. But I haven't seen any game get it right yet, and I don't think the ideas floated here would guarantee it either.

Using the number of slots as your balance point between casters is inherently tricky because not every adventure can be an endurance test. It is like a less dramatic version of the problem with Fighters vs casters or other resource based classes. Being able to go all day only matters if you actually wind up doing it.

Now, to be fair, I don't think PF1 got prepared vs spontaneous right either, and I'm open to new approaches. One idea I'm interested in is if spontaneous casters had a larger variety of spells known than casters could prepare at any given time. That would mean sorcerers are actually king of flexibility in the moment while arcanist style prepared casters would be more flexible in the long term.

Silver Crusade

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Why not swap out Arcanist for Wizard as a core class and have Wizard added later on as a non-core class. Or just swap their casting methods. So Wizards will have PF1E's Arcanist's casting and Arcanists will have Vancian casting.

Shift the rest of the prepared classes like Clerics and Druids to PF1E's Arcanist casting style too.

While I find Vancian casting a relic, I also think it's a nifty mechanic that can still be kept for another class.


Might as well. Sorcerers already seem to be getting screwed, no sense holding back on all the benefits we can give the real casting classes so long as the martials are made relevant.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
Look, I love Arcanist style casting, I really do. But if you give wizards arcanist casting, then where does that leave sorcerers? Because what you'll have is wizards with the same slot flexibility as sorcerers, but significantly more day to day flexibility. In PF1 this is resolved by sorcerers having half again as many spell slots as an arcanist, but I doubt the different in spells/day will be nearly steep enough in PF2 to justify a sorcerer over a wizard in this case, especially if their class features are designed to ease the spell slot burden the same way they are for clerics.

You just give sorcerors a big damn spell point pool that lets them do a lot of fun tricksy tricks and/or gives them extra castings each day.

That said: I don't think every class is going to be 3 spells/spell level/day to begin with.

That's what they tried to do in 5e. As detailed in the other thread, I don't really think they succeeded.

I also like the arcanist style. I don't especially love Vancian casting. And I'm sure there must be a way to balance arcanist casting against the sorcerer model. But I haven't seen any game get it right yet, and I don't think the ideas floated here would guarantee it either.

Using the number of slots as your balance point between casters is inherently tricky because not every adventure can be an endurance test. It is like a less dramatic version of the problem with Fighters vs casters or other resource based classes. Being able to go all day only matters if you actually wind up doing it.

Now, to be fair, I don't think PF1 got prepared vs spontaneous right either, and I'm open to new approaches. One idea I'm interested in is if spontaneous casters had a larger variety of spells known than casters could prepare at any given time. That would mean sorcerers are actually king of flexibility in the moment while arcanist style prepared casters would be more flexible in the long term.

I don't think any one rule or paradigm will "guarantee" a correct balance. That is precisely what playtesting is for. Also, just because 5e's solution didn't totally succeed in closing the gap doesn't mean they weren't on the right track. Furthermore, consider this point: is there not necessarily some level of spellpoints for the 5e Sorceror that would make that class a clear superior to the Wizard? I would venture a guess that 100 spell points per level would make it way better and--as such--there is some calibration of that single system that would put the classes on fairly equal footing.

It comes to picking good values and asking whether or not the the mechanics of different classes are interesting.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
Look, I love Arcanist style casting, I really do. But if you give wizards arcanist casting, then where does that leave sorcerers? Because what you'll have is wizards with the same slot flexibility as sorcerers, but significantly more day to day flexibility. In PF1 this is resolved by sorcerers having half again as many spell slots as an arcanist, but I doubt the different in spells/day will be nearly steep enough in PF2 to justify a sorcerer over a wizard in this case, especially if their class features are designed to ease the spell slot burden the same way they are for clerics.

You just give sorcerors a big damn spell point pool that lets them do a lot of fun tricksy tricks and/or gives them extra castings each day.

That said: I don't think every class is going to be 3 spells/spell level/day to begin with.

That's what they tried to do in 5e. As detailed in the other thread, I don't really think they succeeded.

I also like the arcanist style. I don't especially love Vancian casting. And I'm sure there must be a way to balance arcanist casting against the sorcerer model. But I haven't seen any game get it right yet, and I don't think the ideas floated here would guarantee it either.

Using the number of slots as your balance point between casters is inherently tricky because not every adventure can be an endurance test. It is like a less dramatic version of the problem with Fighters vs casters or other resource based classes. Being able to go all day only matters if you actually wind up doing it.

Now, to be fair, I don't think PF1 got prepared vs spontaneous right either, and I'm open to new approaches. One idea I'm interested in is if spontaneous casters had a larger variety of spells known than casters could prepare at any given time. That would mean sorcerers are actually king of flexibility in the moment while arcanist style prepared casters would be more flexible in the long

...

You have a point. Though personally, more spell points wouldn't be my ideal solution. I would be more satisfied if they gave the sorcerer more metamagics. There are cool options there, but you get far too few of them in 5e.


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I personally always felt 3.x variant spell points (parallel to power points from psionics) was always the better mechanic, and it negates the arcanist niche.

Paizo doesn't like it though.


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Sweet! The OP practically managed to write up my own thoughts for me and others!

----

Edit: If spontaneous casters get the same amount of slots, how about giving them more spells known (than an equal level "prepared" caster's prepared spells per day)?


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FedoraFerret wrote:
Look, I love Arcanist style casting, I really do. But if you give wizards arcanist casting, then where does that leave sorcerers? Because what you'll have is wizards with the same slot flexibility as sorcerers, but significantly more day to day flexibility. In PF1 this is resolved by sorcerers having half again as many spell slots as an arcanist, but I doubt the different in spells/day will be nearly steep enough in PF2 to justify a sorcerer over a wizard in this case, especially if their class features are designed to ease the spell slot burden the same way they are for clerics.

I think the sorcerer problem can be approached from several angles, probably in a combination of multiple of these, to make them a more interesting class and stack up against the arcanist prepared casters. Some of these are ideas I've proposed individually but will just collate here.

  • The first option is the simplest: the sorcerer simply knows more spells than the wizard can prepare per day. This is especially easy to plan for now that we know bonus spells from high modifier are gone. So if the wizard can prepare 3 spells at a given level, the sorcerer can know 6 spells.
  • A concern brought up in another thread was the "cognitive load" of knowing lots of scaling upcastable spells. But different players have different cognitive loads and different priorities, and if the derpy players at my table can handle 3.5 psionics I think they can handle upcasting just fine. So as an alternative or in addition to above, instead of only having a few specified "lineage" / free upcasting spells, maybe the sorcerer starts off knowing a number of spells comparable to a wizard. But these can all be scaling spells. If they choose, for every one scaling spell they would learn, they can instead learn two non-scaling spells. I'm sure there will still be plenty of these, spells without lower or higher level versions; and the player could still choose to learn one of their "specific" spells as a scaling spell at a specific level. This lets players customize to their tastes and ability to handle it.
  • Make the sorcerer the king or queen of cantrips. They get more cantrips than the prepared casters do, so get more at-will options throughout the day. They may even have a class feature to get more out of their cantrips; cantrips can come with a listed Boost that allows classes with Boost (ie, the Sorcerer and Oracle) to use that extra bit of rules text. For example, maybe the Boost for the Shield cantrip is that you get a bonus reaction to use for the Shield block, allowing you to save your real reaction for something else (or use it to block again). To stave off multiclassing shenanigans, just say you can only Boost a cantrip when casting up to the same spell level you could access via your actual Sorcerer levels.
  • Allow the sorcerer to root in a different spell list depending on its bloodline. For example, maybe a Celestial bloodline Sorcerer casts from the Divine list instead of the wizardly Arcane list. This doesn't actually increase the power of the class, you're getting these alternate lists instead of Arcane rather than in addition to it, but it does increase the class's flavor and allow more diverse builds.
  • Maybe all wizards are required to specialize in a school; I certainly advocate for this for both flavor and power reasons. Part of what sets the sorcerer apart in this case is that they don't have banned schools and can learn spells from any school.
  • This isn't on the spellcasting side, but maybe the Sorcerer should have Cleric-level HP and weapon/armor proficiencies as part of what sets them apart from the wizard.

This isn't even all the possible options, either. There's a lot of things that can be done to help keep the sorcerer relevant even if the prepared casters are all Arcanists. :)

And none of this even keeps them from bringing back the Arcanist itself farther down the line in a new form, an ultimate master of the theory of magic. If all wizards are specialists as I suggest, the Arcanist can be the actual "generalist wizard." The Arcanist can be the ultimate metamagic practitioner, with that being a core for its class features. The Arcanist can get Advanced Learning at every level or every other level to pick up additional spells from any spell list.

Liberty's Edge

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I would prefer to see the Sorcerer truly focus on their Bloodline. For example, leave their spells known at a similar setup to the prepared casters' spells prepared, and the same number of spells per day. But then give them their normal Bloodline power at first level (like the Cleric's Domain power, with their Charisma modifier in Spell Points), as well as a special class feature granting them +1 Spell Point per level. Then let their feats and other abilities heavily focus on letting them use their Spell Points: more Bloodline powers (and thus even more Spell Points), the ability to use Spell Points to enhance their spells (upcast them for free, apply free metamagic), and so on. Really focus on the fact that Sorcerers are magical because of their bloodline, that the ability to cast spells is just a side-effect of the raw power they already have.

I also like the idea of Sorcerers being the masters of cantrips with at-will options.

Scarab Sages

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+1 OP. Arcanist-style spellcasting is not only generally more fun, but makes more sense to the average player. I've had players relatively unfamiliar with RPGs play both vancian and arcanist-style casting, and they invariably understand and have more fun with the latter.

As for what to do about Sorcerers, and other spontaneous casters, I also agree. Give them spell slots, and give them lots of cool feats. Maybe you could even toy around with the whole Ancestry feat element of PF2E and have Sorcerer's bloodline feats be accessible as Ancestry feats instead of Class feats (or perhaps in addition to). I think that'd be a cool way to play with the system.


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I like and agree with everything in the OP. Trying to get new players, and even some who have been playing for years to understand vancian prepared casting is like beating your head against a wall.

That said they would really need to make spontaneous casters much more different for that to work. Which to me screams using Kineticist style casting for spontaneous casters. They are all about manipulating one specific thematic energy in various ways.

The sorcerer had amazing flavor and very little interesting going in mechanically in PF1, the Kineticist had the opposite. Merge them and make something awesome and new!


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This would eliminate old school vancian style of play that is dear to me. It would also require the sorc to be a rewrite. Get ready to sh@# all over me arcanist fans but /not signed


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the 3.x sorcerer never should have existed/
JAck Vance's archaic method of spellcasting needs to go along with the rest of his dying earth novels.

so get rid of vancian spellcasting in favor of the arcanists.?get rid of the sorcerer and the oracle.

make em both wizard and cleric specific archtypes

Signed


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To be honest, true vancian spellcasting doesn't bother me, especially since you don't actually have to prepare all of your spells at once. You can leave some slots open, then fill them at around 15 minutes when you need a situational spell. That being said, I would be fine with Arcanist style spellcasting for prepped spellcasters, provided they implement something for Sorcerers and Oracles that would make up for the inferior spell learning system they are left with, such as exclusive spells (which won't be the case), greater emphasis on bloodlines and mysteries, or better ways to improve spells than the prepared counterparts.


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Steelfiredragon wrote:

the 3.x sorcerer never should have existed/

JAck Vance's archaic method of spellcasting needs to go along with the rest of his dying earth novels.

so get rid of vancian spellcasting in favor of the arcanists.?get rid of the sorcerer and the oracle.

make em both wizard and cleric specific archtypes

Signed

Just say no to badwrongfun. Inclusion over exclusion. Let wizard, sorc, and arcanist exist in PF2.


Planpanther wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

the 3.x sorcerer never should have existed/

JAck Vance's archaic method of spellcasting needs to go along with the rest of his dying earth novels.

so get rid of vancian spellcasting in favor of the arcanists.?get rid of the sorcerer and the oracle.

make em both wizard and cleric specific archtypes

Signed

Just say no to badwrongfun. Inclusion over exclusion. Let wizard, sorc, and arcanist exist in PF2.

How about extreme inclusion?

Wizard, Sorcerer and Arcanist become the Mage class. School Powers and Exploits are class feats while Bloodlines are opened up as Ancestry Feats without ties to any class.

Casting Style is a choice made at level one which can be retrained during levelup.


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Planpanther wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

the 3.x sorcerer never should have existed/

JAck Vance's archaic method of spellcasting needs to go along with the rest of his dying earth novels.

so get rid of vancian spellcasting in favor of the arcanists.?get rid of the sorcerer and the oracle.

make em both wizard and cleric specific archtypes

Signed

Just say no to badwrongfun. Inclusion over exclusion. Let wizard, sorc, and arcanist exist in PF2.

I see why they all should exist. I think that the arcanst style should be the default for the above reasons.


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While I'm all in on Arcanist style, I'd be fine with "traditional" Vancian being available as a "Casting Style" you can choose. Perhaps choosing that style gives you +1 spell slot of each spell level, the benefit you get for the drawback of not being as flexible.


Essentially the Arcanist is more a replacement for the Sorcerer [limited number of spells it can cast spontaneously] rather than the Wizard [vast pool of spells it prepares independently into each slot in advance.]

In that vein I would suggest the Spontaneous Preparation casting gets fewer slots to prepare than their total number of casts. 1/2 might be appropriate [but then it might not]


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I agree with the OP. As it stands, I won't ever play a wizard due to the way vancian magic works. Arcanist makes MUCH more sense.

As far as sorcerer bloodlines, PLEASE make them optional. Some of us LIKE playing a sorcerer who doesn't look like a freak.

Maybe have a "recessive" bloodline feature that nixes the powers in place of something else.

Perhaps make bloodline features class feats and let us pick metamagic feats or extra spells known in place of them?

Or better yet, have a "battle sorcerer" feat list that lets you become more gish-y!

Grand Lodge

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Agree on Arcanist style casting for wizard.

I think if everyone is worried about wizard's and sorcerers feeling different, I think they should go the extra distance and make sorcerers follow a narrow focus style casting similar to spheres of power that follows their bloodline.

Sorcerers can be Storm from Xmen doing incredible things with weather and lightning (or another focus based on their bloodline) while Wizards are more Dr. Strange who pick and choose their spells across the board and are good at altering their spells beyond normal rules with their magical theory and extra training.


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I prefer arcanist style casting too.


thflame wrote:

I agree with the OP. As it stands, I won't ever play a wizard due to the way vancian magic works. Arcanist makes MUCH more sense.

As far as sorcerer bloodlines, PLEASE make them optional. Some of us LIKE playing a sorcerer who doesn't look like a freak.

Maybe have a "recessive" bloodline feature that nixes the powers in place of something else.

Perhaps make bloodline features class feats and let us pick metamagic feats or extra spells known in place of them?

Or better yet, have a "battle sorcerer" feat list that lets you become more gish-y!

That's pretty much what the arcane bloodline is, just generic magic in the blood.

Dark Archive

Gorignak227 wrote:

Agree on Arcanist style casting for wizard.

I think if everyone is worried about wizard's and sorcerers feeling different, I think they should go the extra distance and make sorcerers follow a narrow focus style casting similar to spheres of power that follows their bloodline.

Sorcerers can be Storm from Xmen doing incredible things with weather and lightning (or another focus based on their bloodline) while Wizards are more Dr. Strange who pick and choose their spells across the board and are good at altering their spells beyond normal rules with their magical theory and extra training.

Storm is an Aerokineticist.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thflame wrote:

I agree with the OP. As it stands, I won't ever play a wizard due to the way vancian magic works. Arcanist makes MUCH more sense.

As far as sorcerer bloodlines, PLEASE make them optional. Some of us LIKE playing a sorcerer who doesn't look like a freak.

Maybe have a "recessive" bloodline feature that nixes the powers in place of something else.

Perhaps make bloodline features class feats and let us pick metamagic feats or extra spells known in place of them?

Or better yet, have a "battle sorcerer" feat list that lets you become more gish-y!

As far as I know, there has never been any aesthetic changes forced on a PC due to bloodline. Though there might be some suggestions of how a bloodline might affect your appearance.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
thflame wrote:

I agree with the OP. As it stands, I won't ever play a wizard due to the way vancian magic works. Arcanist makes MUCH more sense.

As far as sorcerer bloodlines, PLEASE make them optional. Some of us LIKE playing a sorcerer who doesn't look like a freak.

Maybe have a "recessive" bloodline feature that nixes the powers in place of something else.

Perhaps make bloodline features class feats and let us pick metamagic feats or extra spells known in place of them?

Or better yet, have a "battle sorcerer" feat list that lets you become more gish-y!

As far as I know, there has never been any aesthetic changes forced on a PC due to bloodline. Though there might be some suggestions of how a bloodline might affect your appearance.

The draconic bloodline (picked because that was my character's backstory back when I played 3.5) states that you grow scales, I believe. It also let's you sprout wings and claws, which are stuff that character wouldn't do. (He's self conscious about his image) I would pretty much never use half of that bloodlines features, which means I might as well not get those features.

Like the bloodline features, I probably wouldn't use most of the bloodline spells either. (I have Form of the Dragon 3 as a limit break/rage/last ditch/GTFO spell.)

I'm not saying that bloodlines should go away. I'm just saying that this would be a good thing to be tied to a Class Feat and have Class Feats that don't involve sprouting claws, growing scales, etc., even if you decide that you have a draconic heritage.


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+1 for Arcanist-style casting. The reason I've never played a caster before 3.5 or a divine caster before PF is that I hate Vancian casting. And though I wouldn't play a Wizard, I'm willing to give the Arcanist a try.

Scarab Sages

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Amen! Down with that absurd Vancian dinosaur! It has never made any sense.

As for that single fan of Vancian magic: You do realize you can play an Arcanist-style Wizard and just choose to cast each spell only once per day, right...? I wouldn’t mind having a class feat that gives you a slight advantage (+1 spell slot per level?) for willingly taking on the Vancian restriction. It should not be the default style of magic, though.

As for Sorcerers, I advocate merging them with Kineticists and making them the kings and queens of at-will blasting. Give them the ability to add bonus damage to cantrips, change their energy type, turn them into AoEs, etc. I’d play that in a heartbeat.


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Absolutely agree with Arcanist/5E-style casting being the default for all "prepared" casters!

But I also think Sorcerers need to be reworked from the ground up. Being "wizard by another name" has never ever ever fit the flavor of the class. It needs to *be* magic in a way that a Wizard isn't (ie: tie them to spell points/cantrips/more like kineticists, etc are all better ideas than "we cast spells too, but different... somehow...").

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't think they're running a poll, but just in case. Yes, I think Vancian casting should not be the default.

Nothing about either the Wizard or the Sorcerer appealed to me, I've never played either. I have played arcanists. I'll probably try the wizard in the playtest, I think I'm going to find it limiting. The only light I can see at the end of the tunnel is the scaling cantrips letting you have something useful to do.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

FWIW, I agree with this. Arcanist style casting makes much more sense to most people I've encountered.

As for why the "just have both!" plan isn't ideal, at least in the "Wizard is prepared, Arcanist is like the arcanist in PF1" style, the issue is precisely the new players. They're not going to seek out Arcanist, they're going to try and play a Wizard, because that's the word they recognize (and that's the one that shows up in the core rulebook). Then they're going to be disappointed.

(Archetypes that swap out Arcanist style casting for old school prepared seem like a fine idea though.)


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My wife and I are in agreement with the OP that the arcanist casting style should be the default of all prepared casters. I also agree with Fuzzypaws' ideas on how to improve the sorcerer.

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