Divine Sorcerers are a worse version of Clerics? Okay...


Classes


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As the title.

I just made my Angelic Sorcerer for our Doomsday Dawn playtest for 1st level, and it honest-to-god feels extremely underwhelming compared to if I made a Cleric, as the primary purpose for me making this character was to determine if a Sorcerer healer could be just as viable as a Cleric PC, and finding out prior to playtesting that on-paper, this appears horribly untrue.

For starters, the proficiencies. Clerics get two good saving throws to the Sorcerer's one. They also get 2 more hit points per level than a Sorcerer. Clerics get all Simple weapons like the Sorcerer, but also access to their deity's weapon, regardless of it being uncommon or not. The biggest thing is the armor proficiencies, where a Cleric can wear light and medium armor, plus shields; that's 3 feats! But a Sorcerer can't use anything on the defensive front, without feat expenditure, which they don't get any feats of that nature until 3rd level.

Speaking of feats, they only get what, 5 feats to use on class feats? Which every single starter level class feat sucks nuts, only progressing to even more lame choices. (Seriously, a Familiar feat works better on a Cleric than a Divine Sorcerer. Why?!) At least Clerics get a few neat choices at their starter levels, and only progress into more interesting and synergistic choices. What do Sorcerers get? A steaming pile of poo.

Domain Powers, perhaps the best analogue to the Sorcerer's Bloodline Powers, can be used for the same times, but are much more flexible than a Sorcerer Bloodline, since you can take up to 3 Domains, and/or 3 Advanced Domain powers at the cost of feats. Compared to a Sorcerer using their only feature of Bloodline Powers, which has little to zero scaling, and involves a lot of unlikely benefits, you don't get much of an option. I don't care if I have 3 separate uses for my bloodline powers, so can (and would) Clerics! And those uses are better and more versatile than anything I get, which is delayed and not much good in comparison.

Even if I bother to increase this character's level to 4th and playtest that level, the main feature that I thought would have evened the playing field, Divine Evolution, only lets me use Channel Energy (the most OP class feature) once a day. Whereas a Cleric can do this upwards of 5 or 6 times, at first level. That's not even factoring in the brokenness that is Channel Energy itself, which should honestly be nerfed into being a flat once per day option (similar to if I spent a 4th level feat on it), with additional feats increasing the uses, similar to adding a Domain for their Spell points.

I'm seriously considering scrapping this character and building a Cleric instead because the power gamer in me doesn't want to be that big of a gimp; I want to make a powerful fantasy adventurer, not someone who gets trounced so easily just because he has an unorthodox playstyle compared to just being the simple class. But if I can survive the playtesting just so Paizo knows I'm not blowing smoke, then maybe I'll persevere. (It'll be the first time actually running the system too, so hopefully it won't be a complete drag.)


I have to agree that the sorcerer has a whole lot of "meh" to accompany their spellcasting. However their spontaneous casting could make them a bit better with 3 spells plus the ability to spontaneously heighten heal and one other spell. They're going to be better than a cleric at raise dead and such because they don't have to waste a spell slot on it, but they will have to waste a known spell on it at every other level (and retrain the previous raise dead to a different spell).

Sovereign Court

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It seems like you agree with my analysis and you can feel free to join the discussion. If you do make a cleric and compare the two characters that would be extremely helpful.

Grand Lodge

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That's not even factoring in the brokenness that is Channel Energy itself, which should honestly be nerfed into being a flat once per day option (similar to if I spent a 4th level feat on it), with additional feats increasing the uses, similar to adding a Domain for their Spell points.

re: Channel Energy being OP

Channel Energy is why clerics have 1 less spell per level than sorcerers and wizards.

It is somewhat front-loaded though, and i wouldn't be surprised it if is reduced in uses or changed to 1 use/2 levels to match up to the missing spells.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Gorignak227 wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That's not even factoring in the brokenness that is Channel Energy itself, which should honestly be nerfed into being a flat once per day option (similar to if I spent a 4th level feat on it), with additional feats increasing the uses, similar to adding a Domain for their Spell points.

re: Channel Energy being OP

Channel Energy is why clerics have 1 less spell per level than sorcerers and wizards.

It is somewhat front-loaded though, and i wouldn't be surprised it if is reduced in uses or changed to 1 use/2 levels to match up to the missing spells.

Personally, I'd go the other direction. Give the divine sorcerer more channel uses. 1 + CHA per day seems like a good start.

My players have been resting much more frequently, due to limited healing resources. I think that will only increase as we get up to mid levels due to the lack of CLW wands. If we are going to kill the 15-minute adventuring day, we need more healing, not less!


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Gorignak227 wrote:

re: Channel Energy being OP

Channel Energy is why clerics have 1 less spell per level than sorcerers and wizards.

Both have the same spell progression table.

"Oh, but bloodline gives--"
Excuse me I'm getting there.

Both have the same spell progression table. This gives them a common starting point. I.e. we ignore all of these slots and look at what other casting the class gets

Sorcerers then get:

  • One additional slot per level per day, because bloodline
  • We will ignore bloodline powers, which act like spells, because these are granted in place of the sorcerer's feats at levels 6 and 10

Clerics then get:

  • Channel (3+CHA times per day, always heightened to max level automagically)
  • Domain spells (WIS times per day, and may be increased by feats)

3+CHA+WIS vs. "9" looks almost comparable, but you have to remember that the "3+CHA" is automatically always heightened all the time. That gives a 20th level Cleric (effectively) as many as eleven 9th level spells.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
I have to agree that the sorcerer has a whole lot of "meh" to accompany their spellcasting. However their spontaneous casting could make them a bit better with 3 spells plus the ability to spontaneously heighten heal and one other spell. They're going to be better than a cleric at raise dead and such because they don't have to waste a spell slot on it, but they will have to waste a known spell on it at every other level (and retrain the previous raise dead to a different spell).

Quite honestly, Raise Dead has to be one of the worst spell changes in the game. And I already have my head spinning 24/7 about the other spell changes. At first I thought that it was actually a pretty cool change to have the cost depend on the hit die... until I realized that the cost is 200 GOLD PIECES per character level, i.e. 2000 Gold in PF1E terms. My eyes almost popped right out of my head in astonishment.

Yes, there is the Resurrection ritual, which is less expensive until 8 and then becomes much more expensive right again. But really, what the hell?

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

magnuskn wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I have to agree that the sorcerer has a whole lot of "meh" to accompany their spellcasting. However their spontaneous casting could make them a bit better with 3 spells plus the ability to spontaneously heighten heal and one other spell. They're going to be better than a cleric at raise dead and such because they don't have to waste a spell slot on it, but they will have to waste a known spell on it at every other level (and retrain the previous raise dead to a different spell).

Quite honestly, Raise Dead has to be one of the worst spell changes in the game. And I already have my head spinning 24/7 about the other spell changes. At first I thought that it was actually a pretty cool change to have the cost depend on the hit die... until I realized that the cost is 200 GOLD PIECES per character level, i.e. 2000 Gold in PF1E terms. My eyes almost popped right out of my head in astonishment.

Yes, there is the Resurrection ritual, which is less expensive until 8 and then becomes much more expensive right again. But really, what the hell?

Oh, wow! That's pretty punishing!

On the other hand, it's a lot harder to die now with the new rules, so it probably won't come up very often.


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Sorcerers other than Divine seem to get access to scaling weapon abilities which imply a more combat focused class, this is with the Arcane and Occult lists mind you. The divine list has always seemed to be more of a combat support spell list, and this oughta be reflected imo.

Sorcerers maybe would be better served by giving them d8 HD, and proficiency that either scales up or a feat that scales it up for them.

I also think they need more class feats, and more abilities that either function parallel to or are just straight ripped from the other classes like Channel Energy/Wild Shaping etc.


master_marshmallow wrote:
Sorcerers other than Divine seem to get access to scaling weapon abilities which imply a more combat focused class, this is with the Arcane and Occult lists mind you. The divine list has always seemed to be more of a combat support spell list, and this oughta be reflected imo.

Exactly half the bloodlines. One gets a claw, one a bite, and one a tentacle attack.

And all three are still Bad at melee (because sorcs have no armor and lower HP).


Draco18s wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Sorcerers other than Divine seem to get access to scaling weapon abilities which imply a more combat focused class, this is with the Arcane and Occult lists mind you. The divine list has always seemed to be more of a combat support spell list, and this oughta be reflected imo.

Exactly half the bloodlines. One gets a claw, one a bite, and one a tentacle attack.

And all three are still Bad at melee (because sorcs have no armor and lower HP).

Ummm

Didn't I just say that?


master_marshmallow wrote:

Ummm

Didn't I just say that?

Not in those words, though. When I read your post I did not parse it as being "three of six bloodlines."


Given the spell lists of the primal, divine, and occult lists come from classes who intend to self buff in combat, it would make sense to bring sorcerers up. Also give them more feats and add more options for the bloodlines. This would lend better to the class's versatility of concept. Make them all gishable. Probably would cost some skills.

You could then multiclass in different ways to remake class's like rage prophet, dragon disciple, battle mage, and eldritch knight. I'm sure there's a psychic equivalent I can't think of.

If you want to go all spell caster, keep all the meta magic stuff too, and give the player the choice.


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Don’t nerf the cleric — buff the sorcerer!

Definitely agree with the assessment here; sorcerers need more flexibility if they’re going to be more limited by their spontaneous casting choice. Consider giving sorcerers more ways to modify their spells in interesting ways, beyond even what should be general metamagic feats.


Whirling Dervish wrote:
Don’t nerf the cleric — buff the sorcerer!

Do both.

Sorc needs a buff just to make it on par with other classes from a design standpoint. The lack of feat choices Just Because Bloodline is stupid. They didn't do that to the Barbarian!

But yes, the cleric still needs to come down. The way channel works is so far and above what the other classes get access to as their "I am awesome at X" that no other class can even say "I am awesome at" anything.

Except probably rogues, that get literally every skill feat that exists.


Tamago wrote:
Gorignak227 wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That's not even factoring in the brokenness that is Channel Energy itself, which should honestly be nerfed into being a flat once per day option (similar to if I spent a 4th level feat on it), with additional feats increasing the uses, similar to adding a Domain for their Spell points.

re: Channel Energy being OP

Channel Energy is why clerics have 1 less spell per level than sorcerers and wizards.

It is somewhat front-loaded though, and i wouldn't be surprised it if is reduced in uses or changed to 1 use/2 levels to match up to the missing spells.

Personally, I'd go the other direction. Give the divine sorcerer more channel uses. 1 + CHA per day seems like a good start.

My players have been resting much more frequently, due to limited healing resources. I think that will only increase as we get up to mid levels due to the lack of CLW wands. If we are going to kill the 15-minute adventuring day, we need more healing, not less!

The problem with making the feat too good is that now any Divine Sorcerer who doesn't take that feat is going to stink if they, instead, want another feat, or delay selecting this feat that's way too good. It's the Power Attack debacle of PF1 all over again.

On top of that, they're still getting it later than Clerics, and for (usually) less; it's just not a fair comparison whatsoever, especially since, as the title implies, Divine Sorcerers simply being a Cleric (except worse, which is besides the issue) is a pointless niche to fill. If I wanted Cleric stuff, I'd play Cleric. If I want a Divine Sorcerer, it needs something to draw itself in that gives it a niche that a Cleric cannot fill.

As it stands, Bloodlines/Bloodline Powers don't really stand out enough to warrant Sorcerers of, well, any creed, to exist. They're just way too weak and need something more to compensate for it; simply being able to have so many directions in which a class can go (all of which are decided at 1st level, they're static otherwise!) is not a feature which really helps Sorcerers be balanced, or gives it any more power than what it has compared to any other class.


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Since sorcerers in general are quite weak and nerfed into the ground, I've been thinking maybe they should actually get two spell lists for added versatility. Every sorcerer would always get Arcane, then they get Divine, Primal or Occult on top of that based on bloodline. The imperial bloodline could be an exception, granting an extra spell slot per spell level (or maybe just pick 1 extra spell known per spell level from any list) instead of the versatility of a second spell list.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Since sorcerers in general are quite weak and nerfed into the ground, I've been thinking maybe they should actually get two spell lists for added versatility. Every sorcerer would always get Arcane, then they get Divine, Primal or Occult on top of that based on bloodline. The imperial bloodline could be an exception, granting an extra spell slot per spell level (or maybe just pick 1 extra spell known per spell level from any list) instead of the versatility of a second spell list.

The irony here is that Sorcerers in PF1 were also weak in comparison to other full spellcasters. Literally the only thing a Sorcerer could do best was blasting, and when Arcanist was released that title went *poof* too.

As for getting access to two spell lists, that's not really going to fix things. The problem with Sorcerers isn't just that some spell lists are lacking, but also that they get little in exchange for their expanded build paths. I don't get an actual feat choice until 2nd level, and all of the 1st level feats are hardly compatible.

Oh, I get a Familiar? Okay, all it does is waste time, space, and character development resources because every feature a Familiar has is specifically designed for prepared spellcasters. (FYI, Familiars for Gnomes who aren't likewise prepared spellcasters are equally worthless too, so it's not just a Sorcerer issue either.)

Oh, I can Counterspell? Except I technically can't until the mid teens, and it takes 2-3 (AKA Half) of my feats just to actually do it. And if I have a bad spell list like Divine, then it's practically worthless.

Oh, I get two metamagic feats? The one feat I'd use for most of my spell choices is worthless, and the other works on area of effect abilities. Not only does it punish my action economy any more than what other spells I might cast (Summon Monster as one example), but it also costs a feat and is worthless except for certain specialized spell lists. Divines might as well not even bother with these feats.

Oh, I add damage to my actual spells? Doesn't work on cantrips, sadly, which would be a great way to close the gap for Sorcerer damage to not be so gimped, and if you're not Arcane (or possibly Primal), you have hardly any spells to use this feat on.

What about Bloodline Arcanas from PF1? They were cool and gave some really nice "template" boosts to the Sorcerer class (and any other class that could have Bloodlines, which was basically half the damn roster). Maybe we can get something similar as a primary boost to Sorcerers, also implementing Bloodline Divinity, Bloodline Occultism, and Bloodline Primalism, with each Bloodline giving a solid hard benefit that could potentially outweigh some of the flak that each class has on up from the Sorcerer? (No, Bloodline Powers do not compare whatsoever. Most of them from PF1 were lamesauce anyway.)


Sorcerers pretty much stink in PF2.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
Since sorcerers in general are quite weak and nerfed into the ground, I've been thinking maybe they should actually get two spell lists for added versatility. Every sorcerer would always get Arcane, then they get Divine, Primal or Occult on top of that based on bloodline. The imperial bloodline could be an exception, granting an extra spell slot per spell level (or maybe just pick 1 extra spell known per spell level from any list) instead of the versatility of a second spell list.

If powers are going to be automatic for sorcerees, giving the Celestial Sorcerer Healing Font would be a pretty solid start.

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