Spell list formatting (or lack thereof)


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


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So right now, the spell lists section of the playtest is...uh, a mess, the way it's formatted.

It *very* much reminds me of the D&D 5e's PHB spell list section, in a bad way - not meant as an affront on 5e, but they're kind of chaotically listed across the pages in tight, irregular columns. On top of that, they lack the short descriptions that PF1's CRB spell list had - which were a great way to quickly get the idea of a spell across, particularly while just looking at what your class has to offer - all the PF2 lists give you is the name (and whether the spell is uncommon and/or heightenable), so there's much worse 'discoverability' in that regard, where you see a neat name and/or a description that captures your interest and makes you flip over to the actual spell's description to find out more.

Heck, while scrolling I'll often time lose track of which list I'm actually looking at because the name of the spell list is on another page or some such. Again, the PF1 rulebook didn't have this issue because each section was clearly labeled as "X-th level Class spells", and it was just generally structured in a more 'natural' ways, compared to the thin columns of the PF2 rulebook.

It's especially disappointing since on the whole I find the Playtest to be decently organized (though I know that's a somewhat contentious issue, with people holding some very polarizing opinions on the matter), with some outlier sections, this being one of them.

I'm no graphic designer, but I genuinely believe there is a better way to structure the spell lists in the rulebook than what exists currently. Whether that's straight up tables, the PF1 list approach, or something else entirely, anything would be better than what's in there right now in my eyes.

Dark Archive

The formatting has some really egregious errors. For instance, try reading the "Shield Other" spell. After the line regarding casting actions, it goes into an unrelated set of actions you can take after casting the "Shield" cantrip for a few paragraphs, before going back to the rest of the "Shield Other" spell.

I have no doubt that this will be fixed for release. As it is, we just kinda have to put up with stuff like awful formatting.


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Hi, seconded.

My friends and I were just talking about this earlier today, and while I get that there's (probably) duplication across spell lists that make it impractical to split it by list, it seems like the least that could be done is separating the spells by levels. I also think it'd be easier to read through the spells if it was noted on the spell what lists it appears on - was that not included for space?

Also, powers should at least be their own section if not moved to the class page they're relevant for. I wouldn't swear that each power is unique to a particular class, because I haven't done a comprehensive comparison, but I'm willing to wager a lot of them are. It just makes more sense to have them with the class rather than muddying up an already muddled list of spells.

Hopefully Ectar is right and these are the kinds of things that will be fixed for release!

Dark Archive

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As far as I can tell, powers are unique with the exception that paladins can get domains like clerics.
But I'd also like for powers to be listed separately from spells. Same chapter, sure, but I'd like lists of powers by class way more than just higgledy piggledy throughout spells.


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Ectar wrote:

As far as I can tell, powers are unique with the exception that paladins can get domains like clerics.

But I'd also like for powers to be listed separately from spells. Same chapter, sure, but I'd like lists of powers by class way more than just higgledy piggledy throughout spells.

This. This is extremely relevant. I get that these powers cost Spell Points, but they could have been in their own section of the Spells chapter. As it currently is formatted, it confuses the reader as to what's supposed to be a spell or a power. The color coding doesn't really help, especially when you use the color code for powers for the 10th level spells.


Yeah, it's killing me right now that the spells aren't organized by level. I'm trying to build a wizard and picking spells is the worst part so far. I know the 5e book is like this too, but I specifically use a third party site for my spells in 5e for that exact reason.

While we're at it, feats should probably be organized by category too. They're organized this way in the table at the beginning and then they're just a mass of alphabeticals. This one is less egregious, but why not just preserve the organization?


Yes, I'll agree- the organization of spells particularly, and probably feats as well, is pretty bad. I shouldn't need Lexis Nexis to reference spells for my wizard.

Please indicate what spell lists (arcane, occult, etc.) each spell is on, as was done in PF1. That would go a long way towards helping.

Grand Lodge

I agree that the current layout is a pain. It looks like they were trying to go for a look, but instead made it no fun.

I think I'd like to see a table that might look something like this:

LIST
Level
Spell Name Brief Description H/U/R Page number

I like having page number because it turns the list into the quick reference for the spell, and tells you how to find the spell fast if you need more info.

I agree also that Powers need to be separated from Spells into their own list and description areas. Probably best done in the Class pages directly with Paladins just having the list, and the description being in the Cleric section.


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This is 100% a downgrade from PF1e. Why don't we have the class each spell belongs to in the spEll? Why aren't they split by level? This is just rubbish. Also having to count the symbols is obnoxious. Say Casting: 2 actions (S, V)


Spell write-ups haven't been split by level since 2nd Edition (nearly 20 years ago).

Why does it matter whether a given spell is arcane, occult etc.? It's already listed at the start of the chapter.


I could dig having the lists broken up by spell level. And adding a tag for which spell list something is from might be nice too-- I'd even be down for icons denoting that.


Ectar wrote:
The formatting has some really egregious errors. For instance, try reading the "Shield Other" spell. After the line regarding casting actions, it goes into an unrelated set of actions you can take after casting the "Shield" cantrip for a few paragraphs, before going back to the rest of the "Shield Other" spell

That "unrelated set of actions" chunk is actually a side bar.

https://s22.postimg.cc/4vuwr47ap/shield-actions.png

Notice the two 'bars' that are around the area, these are frequently used around other side bar sections. These sections also have red text (instead of black) but it's confusing here because the only red text is the first three lines.


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I'd very much appreciate spells split up by level, with a tag for allowed spell lists. I'd also like to see spell point powers/spells after the main spells in their own section, possibly split up or tagged by class.


It's extraordinarily unlikely we will ever get any more spell lists beyond Arcane, Divine, Occult and Primal, since each spell list is tied to a skill. So they really should just list the spell lists in each spell. Even if they do someday add more many years from now, I'd rather deal with an errata then and have the usefulness of spell lists in the spell stat block right from the start of the game.

If cross list spells are always going to be the same tier this time, such as a 3rd tier spell always being 3rd tier whether it is Arcane or Divine, I would also appreciate the spells chapter listing the spells by spell level subchapters.


Having played 2nd Edition somewhat extensively, I can attest that listing spells by level rather than by name is really bad to find a particular spell in a hurry unless you already know what level it is.


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Having them listed only by level, sure.

But this is what I want.


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A potted description beside each spell, as in 3E or PF1?


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Arakhor wrote:
Spell write-ups haven't been split by level since 2nd Edition (nearly 20 years ago).

Spells weren't all set to a very specific level regardless of spell list. That said, with how the scaling spells work by level probably isn't the most helpful.

Arakhor wrote:
Why does it matter whether a given spell is arcane, occult etc.? It's already listed at the start of the chapter.

Because (especially on a PDF) when I want to peruse what arcane spells to get I don't want to have to double check every single spell to see if it's on the arcane list or the occult list.

Unlike in 3.5e where everyone had the SRD spells memorised, too many new spells and changed spell lists are being included in this edition to be able to reuse old knowledge reliably.

That said, descriptions besides spells would be a big help.

Captain Morgan wrote:
I'd even be down for icons denoting [spell list].

No thanks. I'm struggling enough with icons as it is.


Currently i need to have several copies open. I’m trying to familiarise myself with my players’ options, and even with only two spellcasters in the group (bard and cleric) i meed to constantly switch between devices to read list and descriptions.
I have no idea where anything belongs to.
P1’s CRB was incredibly easy to peruse and was handy for beginner GMs to have an idea of what a character could do. This? This takes hours.


I can definitely see what Paizo was going for, but it doesn't really work here. I am otherwise fairly happy with most of the things in the book, but this section is just a nightmare to navigate. I do find the individual spell listings alright, though. I just need a better list.


The lists in the book definitly need some work.

Until that's done, this might ease the pain, if only a little.

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