Sorcerer tips for using Dragon Claws


Creating a Character


My wife is joining us in the playtest (yay!) for our next session, and she wants to play a sorcerer that gets some use out of the dragon claws ability.

So, as I've never looked at the class until now, does anyone have any build tips and play tips on how to get the most out of that?

Thanks!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The first thing that needs to be addressed is the debate over the exact text of the heightening rules for the dragon claws ability. Some people say that you only get additional weapon dice, some say that you gain additional weapon and elemental dice. There are pros and cons of both interpretations; the literal text leans towards the "only additional weapon dice" interpretation, but people who have spreadsheeted the ability have found that that this interpretation scales so badly as to become utterly useless by about 10th level, while scaling both weapon and elemental dice keeps perfect pace with the damage progression of other weapons and abilities. This gives credence to the theory that both are supposed to progress. If you're playing at 3rd level or above, the first thing you need is a ruling on which way you're table is going. The more restrictive ruling basically kills this power at higher levels, sadly.

In terms of feats, there's one combo that stands above all others for draconic sorcerers: Fighter Dedication, Double Slice, and Magical Striker. The Double Slice feat synergizes beautifully with your claw attacks, and magical striker gives you a damage boost every time you cast a spell prior to attacking (note that activating the claws counts as a spell for this purpose!) Pump dexterity for AC and attack, put on some light armor, maybe carry a shortbow as a backup weapon, and you're golden.

If you're playing at 1st level, sorcerers can be extremely squishy since they don't have armor proficiency and mage armor is terrible. If you're human, spend your 1st level feat to pick up light armor proficiency then retrain it at 2nd when you multiclass. If you're not human... keep your head down and don't even think about getting into melee until you get to 2nd level and get armor proficiency.

In terms of spells, True Strike, Mirror Image, Haste, Dispel Magic, and Fly all come to mind as staples that get used all the time. See Invisibility is another one that can really save you when it comes up.


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Pretty much what Dasrak says, though I'm one of the opinion that the element damage doesn't scale, only the slashing. Namely because the trait+damage combo on the claws works out to be about as strong as the standard of one handed simple weapons, not counting the one energy damage plus the power provides energy resistance.

However if the element damage does scale the damage+trait combo comes out above the standard of a two handed martial weapon (claws having 2d4 per potency and 3 traits versus two handed martial weapons at 1d8 per potency and 3 traits) and I just don't see any way that's intentional. To put it another way, from the perspective of just looking at damage + traits it's 0.5 damage per potency stronger than being able to wield a Bo Staff in each hand. Or 1.5 average damage per potency better than dual-wielding Shortswords. Any DPR calculation stuff I've seen has outright ignored the fact that PF2 weapons almost universally have one of a few certain trait+damage combinations determined by their handedness and proficiency type (One handed simple weapons are typically d4 with three traits or d6 with one trait, don't recall for two handed simple, one handed martial are typically d4 with 5 traits, d6 with 3 traits, or d8 with 1 rait, two handed are d8 with 3 traits, d10 with 2 traits, or d12 with 1 trait).

All that said, while the elemental damage not scaling gives you not so stellar damage it is about as good as it gets for TWF, and as mentioned above Double Slice is ace for this. Even if the elemental die doesn't scale, the claws will stay within 0.5 damage per hit of the power of dual wielding shortswords (About as strong as TWF gets) up until your claws are counting as a +3 weapon.

And that's in addition to the energy resistance, FWIW.


That's pretty awesome, thanks! For Double Slice, the claws count as two weapons so you can use it without another weapon? That's helpful.

My DM said he'd let them both heighten for the playtest, so we're good to go on that front. I hope this will be clarified in the release version. :)


Hi!

I was originally on the "only +1d4" side. But I reconsidered after some play, we play it now as +2d4.

If you check for example the Wild Druid you see he got already 1d6 claws, and that it is the intention to make the sorcerer weaker (who does not have heals) is not likely. The Wild Druids feature actually looks so similar that it's likely the whole damage is supposed to scale... at least I think so now...

As to double slice it says that you're supposed to have two WEAPONS in hand - with Dragon Claws the hands ARE your weapons, you do not have weapons in hands. So myselves (Lvl 4 Dragon Sorcerer right now, with Fighter Multiclass - my mother's (Bronze Dragon) heritage lets me be much stronger than I look ;-) ) I went for Power Attack where there is no requirement that you have the weapon IN HAND.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Edge93 wrote:
Namely because the trait+damage combo on the claws works out to be about as strong as the standard of one handed simple weapons

The one big objection I have to this is that pretty much nobody is using simple weapons unless they have some sort of class feature or combo that plays into them. So balancing something against simple weapons is basically just going to end up with something underpowered.


Dasrak wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Namely because the trait+damage combo on the claws works out to be about as strong as the standard of one handed simple weapons
The one big objection I have to this is that pretty much nobody is using simple weapons unless they have some sort of class feature or combo that plays into them. So balancing something against simple weapons is basically just going to end up with something underpowered.

This is true, I would like to see the claws made stronger, maybe 1d6 which makes them about as good as a Shortsword which is a good Light Martial Weapon. I just think 2d4 is much too far as 2d4 and three traits exceeds the two handed martial weapon standard of 1d8 and three traits (Bo Staff, Glaive, etc.). That's just my take on it.

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