Thoughts: Should wizard / cleric / druid be more like the arcanist?


General Discussion

Liberty's Edge

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Another post reminded me to ask this: does anyone else think that the prepared casters should look more like the arcanist from 1e or casters from 5e D&d? Seems a logical and elegant solution to simplifying the game while keeping the flavor of memorizing/praying for spells. It allows easier heightening of spells a d allows those classes to still have access to huge amounts of spells to choose from each day, but the player needs to choose wisely.

For those that don't know how this is done in 5e, casters memorize x spells a day, but don't memorize them into spell slots. When they are cast they choose the slot to cast it in so long as it's at least the minimum level of the spell.

I know this would require at least the sorcerer to be reworked a little, but I feel the real flavor of the sorcerer comes from the bloodline options and maybe having more spells known than a wizard could memorize in a day.

What does everyone else think? If you would like to see this please post below saying so. If not or you have concerns please post as well. I'd like to take the pulse of the crowd on this as I think it might be something that we still have time to change without requiring the design team to reinvent the wheel so to speak.

Thanks.


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If casting were to stay the same, I wouldn't mind it. However, I would prefer 5e style casting and I think that would be better for play overall.

The sorcerer would need a major rework to stay relevant, however. In 5E, the sorc gets sole access to metamagic. Without giving them something massively impactful like that, I do not think they would be worth it if all classes could cast like arcanists.

Dunno, might be more trouble than its worth.

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber

I would vastly prefer that system. Were I in charge of PF2e, I would have merged the Sorcerer and Wizard into one class.

I first came across this version of Vancian casting in Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed for 3e. I only fairly recently realized that 5e uses it.


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This is essentially what I was asking for in my other post;

THREAD

Obviously, I am all for Arcanist style casting for prepared casters. Especially with having fewer spells per day (3 per spell level max) I cannot imagine wanting to play a character who has to decide "how many magic missiles do I want to prepare?" or "do I want a 3rd level magic missile or three fireballs?" Honestly, this has been a problem for me ever since I was introduced to the alternative casting method as I first discovered in 5e.

I feel that sorcerers do need a bit of an overhaul as presented. I have no specifics in mind, as none of my players have shown any interest in the sorcerer as is, which in itself can be seen as a problem. One of their strengths, as is, is that they can choose which type of magic to use via their bloodline, but there has to be a reason to want to play Sorcerer vs Wizard for arcane spells, Sorcerer vs Cleric for divine, vs Druid for primal, and vs Bard for occult, otherwise there is no point of a sorcerer. I think bloodline based abilities and bloodline powers that use Spell Points will be the answer to this (as long as each bloodline gets some neat powers to make use of that are both interesting and viable for regular use in game). I feel that sorcerers should get more powers as opposed to other full casters, but that's only my own opinion and I have no real playtest data to back that up.

In the end, all options need to be fun and interesting while still being distinct from one another. This is a tall order, but I feel that it is well within the scope of what Paizo can do.

Liberty's Edge

JWebbGarrett wrote:

This is essentially what I was asking for in my other post;

THREAD

Obviously, I am all for Arcanist style casting for prepared casters. Especially with having fewer spells per day (3 per spell level max) I cannot imagine wanting to play a character who has to decide "how many magic missiles do I want to prepare?" or "do I want a 3rd level magic missile or three fireballs?" Honestly, this has been a problem for me ever since I was introduced to the alternative casting method as I first discovered in 5e.

I feel that sorcerers do need a bit of an overhaul as presented. I have no specifics in mind, as none of my players have shown any interest in the sorcerer as is, which in itself can be seen as a problem. One of their strengths, as is, is that they can choose which type of magic to use via their bloodline, but there has to be a reason to want to play Sorcerer vs Wizard for arcane spells, Sorcerer vs Cleric for divine, vs Druid for primal, and vs Bard for occult, otherwise there is no point of a sorcerer. I think bloodline based abilities and bloodline powers that use Spell Points will be the answer to this (as long as each bloodline gets some neat powers to make use of that are both interesting and viable for regular use in game). I feel that sorcerers should get more powers as opposed to other full casters, but that's only my own opinion and I have no real playtest data to back that up.

In the end, all options need to be fun and interesting while still being distinct from one another. This is a tall order, but I feel that it is well within the scope of what Paizo can do.

Your thread reminded me to ask this. This thread is more of a poll style thread. Would you like this or not


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It is my sincere hope that in Pathfinder 2nd edition we at some point get a straight up spontaneous casting druid. Like "can't wear metal armor, friends with a bear, wild-shaping" druid who casts spontaneously rather than a Primal Sorcerer (who could run around in full plate kicking puppies if they wanted.)

Since I love Druids, I feel like I grok them thematically in a way that I do few other classes, and I have tons of character ideas for them, but I don't play them since I just can't handle prepared casters. I mean, I can do it but the analysis paralysis of "what spells do I prepare" just makes the game unfun (since I'm always sure I picked the wrong ones.) So I just play anything else.

So anything that reduces the emphasis on "make the right decisions at breakfast; you cannot take them back" is welcome.


This is how I'm running my playtest group, so yeah, I would prefer it to be that way.


lordredraven wrote:
JWebbGarrett wrote:

This is essentially what I was asking for in my other post;

THREAD

Obviously, I am all for Arcanist style casting for prepared casters. Especially with having fewer spells per day (3 per spell level max) I cannot imagine wanting to play a character who has to decide "how many magic missiles do I want to prepare?" or "do I want a 3rd level magic missile or three fireballs?" Honestly, this has been a problem for me ever since I was introduced to the alternative casting method as I first discovered in 5e.

I feel that sorcerers do need a bit of an overhaul as presented. I have no specifics in mind, as none of my players have shown any interest in the sorcerer as is, which in itself can be seen as a problem. One of their strengths, as is, is that they can choose which type of magic to use via their bloodline, but there has to be a reason to want to play Sorcerer vs Wizard for arcane spells, Sorcerer vs Cleric for divine, vs Druid for primal, and vs Bard for occult, otherwise there is no point of a sorcerer. I think bloodline based abilities and bloodline powers that use Spell Points will be the answer to this (as long as each bloodline gets some neat powers to make use of that are both interesting and viable for regular use in game). I feel that sorcerers should get more powers as opposed to other full casters, but that's only my own opinion and I have no real playtest data to back that up.

In the end, all options need to be fun and interesting while still being distinct from one another. This is a tall order, but I feel that it is well within the scope of what Paizo can do.

Your thread reminded me to ask this. This thread is more of a poll style thread. Would you like this or not

Short answer: Yes.

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

It is my sincere hope that in Pathfinder 2nd edition we at some point get a straight up spontaneous casting druid. Like "can't wear metal armor, friends with a bear, wild-shaping" druid who casts spontaneously rather than a Primal Sorcerer (who could run around in full plate kicking puppies if they wanted.)

Since I love Druids, I feel like I grok them thematically in a way that I do few other classes, and I have tons of character ideas for them, but I don't play them since I just can't handle prepared casters. I mean, I can do it but the analysis paralysis of "what spells do I prepare" just makes the game unfun (since I'm always sure I picked the wrong ones.) So I just play anything else.

So anything that reduces the emphasis on "make the right decisions at breakfast; you cannot take them back" is welcome.

True Story... Our cleric's player in our 8 year 3.5e game had a spreadsheet that selected spells for him based on questions he would ask during an augur with his God every morning. He'd burn a 5th level spell to speak to his God and ask generic questions like will I be leaving the plane or confronting the undead. Based on the gms answer the spreadsheet filled in his spells..... Super flavorful but obviously any system that requires an algorithm to select your spells is busted at the core.


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JWebbGarrett wrote:

This is essentially what I was asking for in my other post;

THREAD

Obviously, I am all for Arcanist style casting for prepared casters. Especially with having fewer spells per day (3 per spell level max) I cannot imagine wanting to play a character who has to decide "how many magic missiles do I want to prepare?" or "do I want a 3rd level magic missile or three fireballs?" Honestly, this has been a problem for me ever since I was introduced to the alternative casting method as I first discovered in 5e.

I feel that sorcerers do need a bit of an overhaul as presented. I have no specifics in mind, as none of my players have shown any interest in the sorcerer as is, which in itself can be seen as a problem. One of their strengths, as is, is that they can choose which type of magic to use via their bloodline, but there has to be a reason to want to play Sorcerer vs Wizard for arcane spells, Sorcerer vs Cleric for divine, vs Druid for primal, and vs Bard for occult, otherwise there is no point of a sorcerer. I think bloodline based abilities and bloodline powers that use Spell Points will be the answer to this (as long as each bloodline gets some neat powers to make use of that are both interesting and viable for regular use in game). I feel that sorcerers should get more powers as opposed to other full casters, but that's only my own opinion and I have no real playtest data to back that up.

In the end, all options need to be fun and interesting while still being distinct from one another. This is a tall order, but I feel that it is well within the scope of what Paizo can do.

If you make all prep casters as the arcanist, then I think you should adopt the power point system from 3.5 psionics or dreamscarred's PF1 psionics. This allows the prep casters the level of spontaneity that honestly feels very good to play as I personally thoroughly enjoyed playing the arcanist as long as a few things are kept in check while keeping the sorcerer and possibly other full spontaneous casters distinct. Honestly when they previewed the wizard, I thought that this is what they were going to do.


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Yes.


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Absolutely. My players have major problems actually doing an old style prepared caster without help, and even being far more experienced than them I hate how clunky and unfun it is to deal with, but we've all had way more fun with Arcanist style.

Spontaneous needs help if wizard etc go Arcanist, of course. I feel this is best addressed with more spell slots, PLUS more and better powers (in the sorcerer and eventual oracle's case), or the ability to get more skill feats or poach spells / feats from other classes (in the bard's case).


While I would rather all casters be like the arcanist, I disagree about the spell point systems erik542 mentioned. Squeezing that level of efficiency out of spells makes arcane casters far too potent in play (in my experience).

I would say that the system may be better without the sorceror if 5E casting were introduced. The sorceror bloodlines may work better as some kind of caster archetypes or something.

I doubt Paizo would make such drastic changes this late in the game though. The system they have now isn't bad either - especially since there is stuff like the Wizard's ability to swap a prepared spell (Quick Preparation).


Yes and then use the chassis from the kineticist to make the sorcerer something really different and interesting.


I agree with this soo much...

Get ridden of spell slots. Just let everyone cast as an arcanist.

Improve the sorcerer's powers making this the core of the class


The Universalist Wizard is a quasi-Arcanist.


I would definitely prefer Arcanist style casting for prepared casters.

The sorcerer would need a buff. Perhaps granting them more spells per day, or Metamagic like 5e?


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DataLoreRPG wrote:
I doubt Paizo would make such drastic changes this late in the game though. The system they have now isn't bad either - especially since there is stuff like the Wizard's ability to swap a prepared spell (Quick Preparation).

"This late?" I understand what you mean, but I hope they are not so locked into their ideas this early in the playtest as to discount any major changes that may need to come up. We're still early in the playtest, so changes like this can still be made should they see it as necessary, and I don't think the basic changes would take all that much work.

Remove the rule about spontaneous casters only being able to heighten a few of their spells and rewrite how preparing spells work. Done.

Sure, the work that the Sorcerer needs will take a bit more, but that can be a major focus of the playtest going forward. I think the Bard is otherwise fine, though am certain others will disagree and argue for giving them something more, which I would not be opposed to.


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I had a thread in the blog era asking for this as well, I think universal spellcasting is a must for all the above reasons. I'm a yes.

I also think after playing a few games that spells are very limited and I find myself playing too conservatively with them. I've been running wizards and the best spells I can find to focus on are magic weapon and true strike. This makes me feel like all the caster classes should play like the 6/9 casters in PF1, since spells are being cut down so much.

I think getting 4 spells of every slot should be fine as well, 2 new spell slots at every level. I just didn't have enough resources to meaningfully contribute, so I focused on my bow and still wasn't doing that well compared to the others.

I also noticed that some enemies have TAC as high as their AC, which makes touch spells kinda lame, because you basically are stuck using cantrips which scale very slowly by comparison. I don;t exactly wanna Shocking Grasp when my AC is abysmal at lower levels by comparison and my HP is garbage. I think its time we got rid of the d6 hit die and gave out d8s to casters, 10s to the offensively inclined, and 12s to paladins and barbarians who seem intended to draw extra attacks. Ray of Frost is never as good as a weapon, by two dice. I need more things to do, and having less spells prevents that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Strong no. The Kineticist does exist (though it really should not have the Burn mechanic) as its own class. The dichotomy between Wizard and Sorcerer was always interesting. The new versions lean heavily towards the Wizard, but if, well, a ton of stuff about spellcasting would get improved, then it could work just as well in PF2E. The Arcanist had an interesting niche on his own. I strongly support vancian spellcasting for PF2E.


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Arcanist-style for the win. I'll NEVER play a Vancian caster, it's too much of a hassle to choose an exact combination of spells every day.


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I’d say the arcanist is still “Vancian” casting. Just with a small but highly impactful quality of life enhancement.

I’d be for a complete changeover to that style though. It’s so much more fun and so much less stressful when picking your spells for the day.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I would leave the casters as is.... however, I would add a new mechanic for quick recall of spells.

For example, A wizard prepares his spells for the day like normal. However, in the middle of a battle, he realizes he has a spell in his book that would help with the encounter. For an action(maybe two) he can make an Arcane Check against some number, to find the spell in his book and cast it.

The cost could be an appropriate level spell slot, or maybe a spell point(which would need to be adjusted)

I think that would keep it solid.... I also think the cleric should be able to do the same thing ... but pray in the moment for help, and druid attune with nature ...

The sorcerer could gain something like copy magic... where they try to cast a spell they see performed and then can swap that out in their repertoire ... or something...


JWebbGarrett wrote:
"This late?"

From my understanding, they have been doing internal playtesting and development on this for TWO YEARS.

These folks have seen 5e casting and had their own arcanist in the advanced class guide. So they CHOSE to go full vancian despite knowing about this option. A bunch of their design is around full vancian casting now. Spell points and powers smells like a hack to add versatility to a strict vancian system, for example.

This is one of the points where I think they are hanging on to vestigal elements of 3.X (another being touch ac, for example). I assume this stems from a desire to please the old guard. Personally, I would hope they would free themselves of this concern and just innovate but they have chosen not to do that.

Whatever their reasons, the bulk of development of this system is behind them. I can see them tweaking death and dying, messing with class balance, adding some fighting style feats and doing general tweaking since that is low hanging fruit. I dont see them doing a complete redesign of the casting subsystem and possibly scrubbing the sorcerer if they cant make it worth it.


erik542 wrote:
If you make all prep casters as the arcanist, then I think you should adopt the power point system from 3.5 psionics or dreamscarred's PF1 psionics. This allows the prep casters the level of spontaneity that honestly feels very good to play as I personally thoroughly enjoyed playing the arcanist as long as a...

I'm a huge fan of the 3.x psionic system, but unfortunately, Paizo is not. When people were clamoring for psionics early in PF1's life, they (it was either Jason or James, can't remember) said that they don't like that system, and would definitely not use it in PF. They said that if they brought psionics into PF, it would be slot-based (and so it was, from what I hear about the Occult Adventures or whatever it was called).

So, even if they are inclined to overhaul PF2's magic system (and I doubt they are inclined to overhaul anything at this point, just small tweaks), I have strong doubts that it will look anything like what 3.x psionic fans like. Sadly, I think that ship has sailed.

ETA: here's the quote I was thinking of. It didn't mention slot-based explicitly like I thought it did, but my overall point is supported.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&sort=7&page=282?Ask-James-Jacobs- ALL-your-Questions-Here wrote:
Delving into psionics is no a very high priority for us. Because we don't like how 3.5 psionics work, we'd make SIGNIFICANT changes to it. (We'd change the name too; we'd call it something like psychc magic or the like.) Current fans of the 3.5 psionic rules would have a good chance of not liking that decision, and players who aren't interested in psionics are pretty unlikely to be interested in "psychic magic" or "mind magic" as well. So, it'd be a book that doesn't have an obvious audience, and perhaps a book that essentially has NO audience. So it's not a very smart choice of topic for us to build an entire subset of rules for, honestly.


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Apparently its a minority opinion, but I disagree strongly. Prepared casting is a cornerstone of Pathfinder.

I like that there's variety - do you want the wizard and have more to choose from but must choose ahead of time? Or the Sorceror, less to choose from but can choose on the fly. The 'best of both worlds' Arcanist stuff bugs the heck out of me.


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Wizards already get the best of both worlds with Quick Preparation, a feat so good it might as well be a feat tax.

I’m with the others who prefer 5e style casting. I loathe Vancian magic, but 5e style magic is a compromise I can tolerate

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