Magical Weapons, Magical Striker, and the broken Sorcerer Party


General Discussion


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A party of four sorcerers, two divine, two arcane is pretty powerful right now. Aside from being able to cover both arcane and divine casting, with 2nd level Fighter Dedication, 4th level Magical Striker and 8th level Fighter's Resiliency they can pretty much cover the important bases of an adventure party, with two divine sorcerers and two arcane sorcerers.

With the Divine Sorcerers wielding a shortbow, having a free hand except when attacking, they can cast two-action heal (heightened to any spell level needed) to heal an ally at range, and empower their single bow strike. If there's no one to heal, they can throw down banes and blesses, deepening crit ranges and padding ACs with -1 attack penalties. There's very little need for any other divine spells, since this is effectively a martial build that can heal, so they have, in effect, 4 heals at each spell level, per day, times two sorcerers of this build.

With the Arcane Sorcerers wielding a d12 weapon, casting True Strike (which is Verbal only, single action) then attacking with advantage. Either they have a high crit chance on one attack, or they're rolling an average between 13 and 14 on 2d20High, with an extra +1 bonus, practically overtaking the -5 Multi-attack penalty. In addition to True Strike, at second level spells they get Mirror Image, third level Haste and fourth level Weapon Storm.


Noted.


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Counter point:

3 Fighters with Furious focus and a healing cleric. Which also has the advantage of not burning spells on every attack.

Jokes aside I am happy that your unusual group seems to be working. :)


Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:

Counter point:

3 Fighters with Furious focus and a healing cleric. Which also has the advantage of not burning spells on every attack.

Jokes aside I am happy that your unusual group seems to be working. :)

A fighter only benefits from Furious Focus if they miss their first attack, and only has a +1 to-hit advantage over a sorcerer (expert vs trained with the weapon)

If the sorcerer casts true strike the +1 magical makes their attack as good as a fighter's attack with the same stat line, and rolling twice on top of that. Yeah it costs spell slots, but Sorcerers get so many, 3 or 4 per day at each level as opposed to the 2 or 3 other casters get. And since this is basically a martial build Spell Strike is the only spell you're using in most cases.

A healing cleric with 18 wis, 18 cha, has 9 heals at 1st level, 10 at 2nd, 12 at 3rd, 13 at 4th

Two sorcerers with 18 cha have 6 heals at 1st level, 8 at 2nd, 14 at 3rd, 16 at 4th.

At 5th with the attribute increase the cleric can spend 2 boosts to get one more heal per day.

At 5th the sorcerers can spend two boosts to get +1 to each heal, and a bonus to their save dcs and spell rolls.

At 5th the cleric has 16 heals, 17 at 6th, 19 at 7th, 20 at 8th, 22 at 9th.

At 5th the sorcerers have 22 heals, 24 at 6th, 30 at 7th, 34 at 8th, 40 at 9th.

The Cleric starts out better, by a little, then gets outscaled hard by the Sorcerer's extra slot per level and getting to have a second divine caster (since both pull weight as damage dealers)

Also funny side-note, a sorcerer can wield a weapon two hand and still shield block with the shield cantrip. Haha.


Its cool to see when someone else came up with the same idea you did, I was going to be playing a simular build with my universal wizard utilising spell striker with a bow who'll be seeing some action next wednesday in part 4 of the playtest. (although going quickened metamagic at 8, and point blank shot at 6 with the composite longbow, picking up toughness to remove some of the squishyness)

There are minor trade-offs between wizard/arcane sorcerer. Wizard gets an extra(assuming the free 1 from universalist is spend on hand of the apprentice to equal out spell slots compared to sorcerer) to pick up makeshift wand or universal versatility or more HP through fighter feats at the cost of bloodline abilities and signature skills being better for sorcerer to cater to the build(Wizards only get Arcana/Crafting base which is a bit unfortunate).

Sorcerers however could fit the counterspell route quite well with swift dispel which i feel is undervalued presently for most sorcerers i've seen being played.

I think both are fine however, they do have quite a lot of nova potential with their 4 spells per day per slot, haste feels super relevant for these type of builds to either get shield/true strike cantrip in addition to the typical 2 cost spell or to be able to use 3 action spells like magic missiles and still get the strike. Being able to Haste+Strike+Shield first turn, 2nd turn 3 action magic missile and strike and things of the sort does give this build really high damage potential with high averages as long as they have slots. Alternatively, being able to buff more of your friends while outputting damage or crowd control in addition to damage is a very nice playstyle that i think i'll enjoy quite a bit.

On the divine side, i would still prefer to have a paladin(shield based) + cleric(Healing domain) over the double divine sorcerer's purely because of the lackluster amount of sturdyness of the sorcerer's 6+con is comparatively and paladins shield does break a lot less quickly and they have great reactionairy options for teammates.

You also seemed to not factor in the healing domains healer's blessing & healing font, communal healing, healing hands and fast channel just to name a few abilities that while the cleric does infact have less spells slots, it'll probably add up and equal them a bit more then you'd initially assume just looking at pure spell slots.

I also believe this type of party will struggle against higher level creature with how the math currently works in the game, as the bane/bless are currentely giving you good odds to hit against equal level but against anything 2+ levels above your level... that'll shift by quite a bit because of monster statblocks. The lack of expert+ weapon skills resulting in a 2-3 difference compared to martials who'll more consistantly hit targets and have additional abilities that are equivalent such as sneak attack/poison(+utility from debilitating strike) from rogue or fighters triple shot for example.

I think its competitive, i think its a very strong option but... i don't think its necessarely better to have this party of 4 sorcerers over a paladin/cleric/rogue/wizard as it is dependant upon what type of challenge you are facing.


One of my players discovered this combo with the universalist wizard. True strike, magical striker and strike with hand of the apprentice. It has been pretty effective. Generally it seems easier now to build effective Gish builds. Full casters maybe need a little more boosting.


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Palinurus wrote:
One of my players discovered this combo with the universalist wizard. True strike, magical striker and strike with hand of the apprentice. It has been pretty effective. Generally it seems easier now to build effective Gish builds. Full casters maybe need a little more boosting.

I think the biggest problem with full casters is that the spell lists are pretty disappointing, but I figure that's just because of the page limit for the playtest. I'm sure the fleshed out lists will make them much better.


Travis Enright wrote:
Palinurus wrote:
One of my players discovered this combo with the universalist wizard. True strike, magical striker and strike with hand of the apprentice. It has been pretty effective. Generally it seems easier now to build effective Gish builds. Full casters maybe need a little more boosting.
I think the biggest problem with full casters is that the spell lists are pretty disappointing, but I figure that's just because of the page limit for the playtest. I'm sure the fleshed out lists will make them much better.

I think there are some issues with class feats needing an upgrade in some cases and sorcerer bloodlines. The spell lists will improve, I'm sure, but I'd like to see more or better use of the graded success options. More spells with partial success on a successful save and a few spells strengthened a little. At the moment only cleric feels at more-or-less about the right level (and some of the domains are a bit weak). However, even the full casters are enjoying the playtest so far.


Travis Enright wrote:

A party of four sorcerers, two divine, two arcane is pretty powerful right now. Aside from being able to cover both arcane and divine casting, with 2nd level Fighter Dedication, 4th level Magical Striker and 8th level Fighter's Resiliency they can pretty much cover the important bases of an adventure party, with two divine sorcerers and two arcane sorcerers.

With the Divine Sorcerers wielding a shortbow, having a free hand except when attacking, they can cast two-action heal (heightened to any spell level needed) to heal an ally at range, and empower their single bow strike. If there's no one to heal, they can throw down banes and blesses, deepening crit ranges and padding ACs with -1 attack penalties. There's very little need for any other divine spells, since this is effectively a martial build that can heal, so they have, in effect, 4 heals at each spell level, per day, times two sorcerers of this build.

With the Arcane Sorcerers wielding a d12 weapon, casting True Strike (which is Verbal only, single action) then attacking with advantage. Either they have a high crit chance on one attack, or they're rolling an average between 13 and 14 on 2d20High, with an extra +1 bonus, practically overtaking the -5 Multi-attack penalty. In addition to True Strike, at second level spells they get Mirror Image, third level Haste and fourth level Weapon Storm.

That really only works if you like 5 minute working days. Good luck maintaining anything like that on your 5th encounter of the day - where the true warrior keeps on trucking. Well, once you add enough clerics, otherwise everyone's long dead by then, of course, but that's a whole different discussion.

Scarab Sages

A party of four Giths, I am so stoked that this is going to work can't wait. Here is what you need to keep in mind. Everything you explained, took up resource(spells), and actions. Also that its an action to re grip a d12 weapon after casting as somatic or material casting action. Also the party does have some weaknesses, they seem strong to you now, they lack shield usage, and they also rely a lot on melee prowess, I understand that one of them used a bow, but its pretty much a d6 damage weapon, because I doubt any of them picked up point blank to overcome the longbow volley penalty. You think the healing is overpowered, think in terms of how much damage creatures do now in a short amount a time, the other day in a game I was in the Manticore crit a character at knocked him down to 0. If the Gm wanted to he could have had the Manticore kill the character with its other attacks, but he pulled punches, that means if no one heals that character he dies when he rolls a crit fail on his recovery roll. And the recovery roll is a pretty difficult save, don't think of the healing in a vacuum, or in the lens of PF1. Those two divine giths are going to need those healing spells desperately. Have the intelligent monster focus the healers. Now you have a gith with an archer build in melee and thats never good, yes I realize that you can do archery in melee with no penalty, but that is going to get house ruled out my games as soon as this play test is over. Firing off bows in the middle of a melee skirmish with no drawbacks doesn't even make sense. I degress.


Travis Enright wrote:
Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:

Counter point:

3 Fighters with Furious focus and a healing cleric. Which also has the advantage of not burning spells on every attack.

Jokes aside I am happy that your unusual group seems to be working. :)

A fighter only benefits from Furious Focus if they miss their first attack, and only has a +1 to-hit advantage over a sorcerer (expert vs trained with the weapon)

A fighter gets no benefit from Furious Focus on their first attack, as it has the Press trait and so the failure condition only applies on an attack with at least -4 Multiple Attack Penalty.


What the Sorcerors miss out on is
1) hit points,
2) shield proficiency, which you don't get from the fighter multiclass
3) Channel Energy (the Sorceror feat gives 1 channel not 3+CHA),
4) an extra class feat (sorcerors get the least class feats of anyone).

For sure they can do most things but you will really notice the difference as you go up level, and the clerics channels and domain powers are automatically hightened.

Take the sorceror if you've got a good concept around a bloodline, but personally I'd look elsewhere.

Sovereign Court

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I gave this a spin yesterday in chapter 2 with a shortbow / primal sorcerer. I wasn't really impressed, the damage didn't really stack up to the barbarian going rough with strength for example. And sorcerers seem to be in a bad place for useful skills that you have the right ability scores for.

Paizo Employee

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Divine sorcerer is one of my favorite right now to grab Magical Striker on since it has some neat hooks to it, even if you need to heal yourself. Single action heal > Magical Striker > strike > (any other single action option appropriate to your circumstances such as shield, Stride, etc.) is a solid platform to work around. I've liked it a lot on a gnome Sorcerer (angelic bloodline) / Fighter (dedication & Opportunist) with Ancestry feats spent on proficiency and critical specialization for a gnome flick mace that I put together for The Heroes of Undarin.

I have noticed Magical Striker can get intense on classes that have a bunch of spell points in addition to their slots to keep fueling it though, even with the delayed entry and prereqs usually associated with it. Bards who grab it at 8th level get a significant boost in power since they can activate it off of powers like lingering composition and harmonize, which are both free action, single spell-point powers a bard is going to want to cast anyways.

Ironically, sorcerer seems to be least able to leverage powers to fuel Magical Striker effectively since all of their bloodline powers are generally either 2 action or give you an option that doesn't work well with Magical Striker (like glutton's jaws). Imperial seems to be able to go the farthest with it by using a concentration spell as soon as possible and then extending it with ancestral surge to fuel MS that way.


Makarion wrote:
Travis Enright wrote:

A party of four sorcerers, two divine, two arcane is pretty powerful right now. Aside from being able to cover both arcane and divine casting, with 2nd level Fighter Dedication, 4th level Magical Striker and 8th level Fighter's Resiliency they can pretty much cover the important bases of an adventure party, with two divine sorcerers and two arcane sorcerers.

With the Divine Sorcerers wielding a shortbow, having a free hand except when attacking, they can cast two-action heal (heightened to any spell level needed) to heal an ally at range, and empower their single bow strike. If there's no one to heal, they can throw down banes and blesses, deepening crit ranges and padding ACs with -1 attack penalties. There's very little need for any other divine spells, since this is effectively a martial build that can heal, so they have, in effect, 4 heals at each spell level, per day, times two sorcerers of this build.

With the Arcane Sorcerers wielding a d12 weapon, casting True Strike (which is Verbal only, single action) then attacking with advantage. Either they have a high crit chance on one attack, or they're rolling an average between 13 and 14 on 2d20High, with an extra +1 bonus, practically overtaking the -5 Multi-attack penalty. In addition to True Strike, at second level spells they get Mirror Image, third level Haste and fourth level Weapon Storm.

That really only works if you like 5 minute working days. Good luck maintaining anything like that on your 5th encounter of the day - where the true warrior keeps on trucking. Well, once you add enough clerics, otherwise everyone's long dead by then, of course, but that's a whole different discussion.

So far this party has run everything up to Heroes of Undarin no problem. Cleared out both the whole tomb and the boss in for In Pale Mountain's Shadow, without a rest. Affair at Sombrefell also doesn't offer a rest, and was no problem. Heroes of Undarin is the real test of staying power, and that's the next encounter we're running.

Luceon wrote:
A party of four Giths, I am so stoked that this is going to work can't wait. Here is what you need to keep in mind. Everything you explained, took up resource(spells), and actions. Also that its an action to re grip a d12 weapon after casting as somatic or material casting action. Also the party does have some weaknesses, they seem strong to you now, they lack shield usage, and they also rely a lot on melee prowess, I understand that one of them used a bow, but its pretty much a d6 damage weapon, because I doubt any of them picked up point blank to overcome the longbow volley penalty. You think the healing is overpowered, think in terms of how much damage creatures do now in a short amount a time, the other day in a game I was in the Manticore crit a character at knocked him down to 0. If the Gm wanted to he could have had the Manticore kill the character with its other attacks, but he pulled punches, that means if no one heals that character he dies when he rolls a crit fail on his recovery roll. And the recovery roll is a pretty difficult save, don't think of the healing in a vacuum, or in the lens of PF1. Those two divine giths are going to need those healing spells desperately. Have the intelligent monster focus the healers. Now you have a gith with an archer build in melee and thats never good, yes I realize that you can do archery in melee with no penalty, but that is going to get house ruled out my games as soon as this play test is over. Firing off bows in the middle of a melee skirmish with no drawbacks doesn't even make sense. I degress.

I can see where you're coming from, though there are some things to note. I didn't forget the action to re-grip. The spells I mentioned were True Strike (V), Mirror Image (Preparatory), Haste (Preparatory) and Weapon Storm (V, S, but: "Your Somatic Casting action for this spell is a swing with one weapon you’re holding that you’re trained with, so you can use the Somatic Casting action even if you don’t have a hand free."). All spell slots are dedicated to these spells, so re-gripping is a nonissue.

The non-spell rounds for each of these characters is okay, not great, but passable for how quickly they barrel through major threats when using spell slots. The melee sorcerer's mundane attack has a bonus 1 less than that of a fighter, and deals the same damage, until Weapon Specialization at 13th when they fall behind by an additional 1, and again at 19th, as the fighter's proficiency rises. Given the hugely negative reaction to proficiency caps via Signature Skills we'll see if the final cut still lacks a way for other classes to get better with those things. The melee sorcerers also lack Fighter Feats until 14th, though 14th and 18th level feats can be dedicated to fighter feats, one level 1/2 and one level <9. I'd go for Furious Focus or Opportunity, and either Quick Reversal or Swipe. The falloff over levels is mitigated by having full sorcerer casting. This opens up tactical tools like walls of x and black tentacles at 5th, devastating ways of mitigating high-value targets like Baleful Polymorph and Flesh to Stone and nasty burst like Phantasmal Calamity at 6th, at 7th you have Reverse Gravity, combined with Fly. Essentially, as you fall behind the fighter, the fact that you're a full-casting sorcerer takes the fore, but you're also still a competent if not optimized fighter. And lets not forget that cantrips cast at your highest levels, so you have decent no-cost ranged options, and effects like Tanglefoot lasting a minute when you have 4th level casting.

Two of them use bows, the divine casters. They use shortbows because of the range limitation on Heal. The bow is an underwhelming weapon, but it means having a double heal line (providing more heal than a single cleric) and that heal line still puts out consistent damage, if underwhelming in its numbers. With those bows being magical, though, and one higher than they should be after healing, it's still a good number of d6. The healing is more than a cleric at most early levels, and the sorcerers don't need to dip into two stats to get more heals (cha) and larger heals (wis) like a cleric, they get more heals from spell slots. I posted the numbers in an earlier post, but by having two healers with 4 slots per level each, instead of 1 with 3 slots per level + 7-ish flat the number of heals available outscale the cleric by a lot. Each time one of them heals they also get an extra d6 to their attack, and a +1 to hit which, in 2e, contributes to crit range.

It's not as good healing as 2 clerics (until higher levels as a cleric would need 24 charisma to get 9 channels to make up for the +1 spell slot per level Sorcerers get), but it's better output.Those sorcerers also have a reasonable AC because they're Dex focused for their bows, and since they don't need Fighter's Resilience nearly as badly they have more fighter feat slots, allowing them to assisting shot, point blank shot, and double shot, or even skip point blank shot and grab triple shot later. Assisting shot is an interesting situation, because both archers can use assisting shot, one to lower AC, one to give an attack bonus, providing a total +4, extending the crit range on the striker instead of firing their weapon.

Scythia wrote:
Travis Enright wrote:
Hastur! Hastur! Hastur! wrote:

Counter point:

3 Fighters with Furious focus and a healing cleric. Which also has the advantage of not burning spells on every attack.

Jokes aside I am happy that your unusual group seems to be working. :)

A fighter only benefits from Furious Focus if they miss their first attack, and only has a +1 to-hit advantage over a sorcerer (expert vs trained with the weapon)

A fighter gets no benefit from Furious Focus on their first attack, as it has the Press trait and so the failure condition only applies on an attack with at least -4 Multiple Attack Penalty.

Saying "first attack" was an error, should have read "the attack", but the meat of the argument remains. Furious Focus won't allow you to get more hits in at a similar attack bonus, just affords you one chance to recover from a miss and swing again at the same bonus. True Strike lets you average the almost the same total on a second attack, regardless of the first. That is to say, if a fighter hits twice furious focus does nothing, and their third attack is at a -10 (barring modifiers). If the fighter misses their second attack their round of combat is still an attack at -0 and an attack at -5. A strike-> true/magical striker -> strike affords an attack at -0 and an attack at -4 with advantage, rolling an extra damage die on a hit.

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