Sorcerer as of latest update?


Classes


So I've tried to keep up with the Pathfinder Second Edition playtest the best I can, but downloading the new updates and following everything that's changed in them is a bit of a hassle. I've been out of the loop for a while but could someone give me a summary of what's changed regarding Sorcerer and spellcasting?

See the GM of my first significant Pathfinder campaign ultimately ended up decided to shelve it for the foreseeable future, with exception for the possibility of restarting it in PF2e. What I played during said campaign was a Tiefling Sorcerer, Draconic bloodline, so naturally I'm very keen on how Sorcerer overall and Draconic bloodline specifically may have been updated. Changes to Ancestries would be good too I admit, since it'll be the basis for when Tiefling are inevitably added.

So can anyone get me updated on how these things have been updated or changed?


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Playtest Rulebook 1.6 PDF

I suggest you download this PDF. Some dedicated people have been working on this throughout the Playtest.

It's basically an updated version of the Rulebook where they've been adding all the changes that have been made to the Playtest Rulebook.
They've added the changes up to and including 1.6.


From the base CRB, here are the following changes I can recall that would be relevant:

Most damage spells spells have had their initial (But not scaling) damage buffed, quite a lot in some cases (Disintigrate for example went from 12d10 to 16d10 base IIRC, Cone of Cold from 11d6 to 14d6, Chain of Lightning from 7d12/6d12 to 9d12/8d12, Implosion from 75 damage to 100, to name some of the stronger ones).

Bloodline Powers are no longer automatic at 6th and 10th levels. Instead you get a Sorcerer feat at each of those levels, with a feat option added to give you the bloodline power that used to be automatic at that level. So if you don't favor your powers beyond the initial one you don't have to take them.

Also a 10th level Sorcerer feat was added, Bloodline Heightening. It lets you spontaneously heighten any of your bloodline spells, in addition to the two spells you choose for spontaneous heightening each day.

The Recognize Spell and Quick Recognition feats have been tweaked, you'd need to look at the updates for the full info but it's something like this:

You automatically recognize any spell you see cast if it is a spell you know, regardless of skill feats you do or do not have.

Recognize spell lets you attempt to identify a spell you don't know as a reaction when it is cast. You automatically recognize spells up to a certain level depending on your proficiency rank in the skill for that magical tradition. If it's too high level for that you make a skill check.

Quick Recognition lets you attempt to identify a spell that is currently in effect once per round as a free action.

A big one, Somatic Casting no longer requires a free hand! Material Casting requires a free hand but as a Sorcerer you change Material actions to Somatic so you never need a free hand to cast.

Also a Demonic Bloodline was added but that's irrelevant to you.

I think that's all the especially caster-relevant stuff, at least all I can remember. The update document we have now is the last one before the full CRB next year, so if you get familiar with this one you're good until then.

All told I think the Draconic Sorcerer is in a good place. I've had one in my Part 1/4/7 party for Doomsday Dawn, as well as my Part 6 party and they've all fared really well. The Arcane list is really solid and Ring of Wizardry is an awesome item for them.


Oh, and ancestries have gotten improvement too. Now instead of one ancestry feat at 1st level you get an ancestry feat and a "Heritage", which is kind of like a subrace. Also they added level 9 and level 13 feats to each ancestry, though I think the 13th level feats are all just "Gain expert proficiency in your racial weapons". More will surely follow in the full CRB but meanwhile the level 9 feats offer some cool stuff.


The Demonic Bloodline actually says a lot more than you’d imagine:

The same update added a feat that lets Sorcerer heighten bloodline spells.
All Demonic Bloodline spells can be heightened.

No other bloodline does that.
Yet.


Ediwir wrote:

The Demonic Bloodline actually says a lot more than you’d imagine:

The same update added a feat that lets Sorcerer heighten bloodline spells.
All Demonic Bloodline spells can be heightened.

No other bloodline does that.
Yet.

HMMM...

(X-Files theme intensifies)


I have a serious issue with the update. As of 1.6 you don't automatically get your intermediate and and advanced bloodline powers. Reason given is that Clerics have to spend Class Feats to get more Domain Powers, and it takes away from the variety of the characters.

While I see their point, I did note that Clerics get more Class feats than Sorcerers do. This severely hampers them as now we have to waste Class Feats to get powers instead of choosing to use them for more important skill options. So now all Sorcerers went from eventually having all powers in their bloodline to having only one, because spending the slots isn't worth it. I discovered this while updating my main quest line character to Level 17.

I'd like to see either a reversal of this change, or add additional Class Feat slots for Sorcerers. This way getting the powers doesn't become a detriment.


MisterSpiffy wrote:

I have a serious issue with the update. As of 1.6 you don't automatically get your intermediate and and advanced bloodline powers. Reason given is that Clerics have to spend Class Feats to get more Domain Powers, and it takes away from the variety of the characters.

While I see their point, I did note that Clerics get more Class feats than Sorcerers do. This severely hampers them as now we have to waste Class Feats to get powers instead of choosing to use them for more important skill options. So now all Sorcerers went from eventually having all powers in their bloodline to having only one, because spending the slots isn't worth it. I discovered this while updating my main quest line character to Level 17.

I'd like to see either a reversal of this change, or add additional Class Feat slots for Sorcerers. This way getting the powers doesn't become a detriment.

Did you miss that the sorcerer got more class feats? They got them instead of the mandatory bloodline line powers.


Captain Morgan wrote:
MisterSpiffy wrote:

I have a serious issue with the update. As of 1.6 you don't automatically get your intermediate and and advanced bloodline powers. Reason given is that Clerics have to spend Class Feats to get more Domain Powers, and it takes away from the variety of the characters.

While I see their point, I did note that Clerics get more Class feats than Sorcerers do. This severely hampers them as now we have to waste Class Feats to get powers instead of choosing to use them for more important skill options. So now all Sorcerers went from eventually having all powers in their bloodline to having only one, because spending the slots isn't worth it. I discovered this while updating my main quest line character to Level 17.

I'd like to see either a reversal of this change, or add additional Class Feat slots for Sorcerers. This way getting the powers doesn't become a detriment.

Did you miss that the sorcerer got more class feats? They got them instead of the mandatory bloodline line powers.

Yes, I apparently did. I need to update my character again.


Edge93 wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

The Demonic Bloodline actually says a lot more than you’d imagine:

The same update added a feat that lets Sorcerer heighten bloodline spells.
All Demonic Bloodline spells can be heightened.

No other bloodline does that.
Yet.

HMMM...

(X-Files theme intensifies)

All but the 3rd level Draconic bloodline spells can be heightened, as one of my players noted with delight when we got to the last chapter of Doomsday Dawn.


Does anyone else miss the passive abilities from 1E? Before as a Sorcerer gained levels, they become more and more like their magical progenitor. For example, a Celestial Bloodline Sorcerer got some resistances at level 3 and by level 20 they had resistances, immunities, unlimited wings, and permanent Tongues. I haven't seen anything like that for the 2E Sorcerer.

In fact the closest thing I have seen to that is Angelic Form, a feat which grants wings and low-light vision, but is exclusive to Paladins.


Eh, not particularly. Some things like passive elemental resistance were fun but I also kinda like how 2E handles that with Dragon Claws, but other things like Draconic natural armor and other numerical bonuses didn't really contribute positively to things in my opinion.

I can't say I wouldn't mind some minor passive abilities for bloodlines, but I'm not exactly sore about not having them.

One thing I wouldn't mind seeing is a minor at-will ability for bloodlines, like something akin to a unique cantrip or a bloodline-themed version of something akin to some of the "combat trick" class feats martials can get.


Edge93 wrote:
Some things like passive elemental resistance were fun but I also kinda like how 2E handles that with Dragon Claws, but other things like Draconic natural armor and other numerical bonuses didn't really contribute positively to things in my opinion.

Can you elaborate on that? I don't see how bonuses are not a positive. Do you mean they were not that impactful, or are you saying they are a negative? From a roleplaying perspective, wouldn't passive abilities make sense? If my inner dragon, angel, etc. is becoming more powerful, wouldn't that effect my physiology? Or at the very least grant me some abilities that last longer than an hour?

I just think bloodlines should feel more special. On one hand your choice of Bloodline is very important, because it determines your spell list, and 11 of the spells in your repertoire. On the other hand, in my opinion all the bloodline abilities feel like gimmicky spells and none of them feel particularly potent (e.g. Faerie dust lasts 1 round).


Geminus wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Some things like passive elemental resistance were fun but I also kinda like how 2E handles that with Dragon Claws, but other things like Draconic natural armor and other numerical bonuses didn't really contribute positively to things in my opinion.

Can you elaborate on that? I don't see how bonuses are not a positive. Do you mean they were not that impactful, or are you saying they are a negative? From a roleplaying perspective, wouldn't passive abilities make sense? If my inner dragon, angel, etc. is becoming more powerful, wouldn't that effect my physiology? Or at the very least grant me some abilities that last longer than an hour?

I just think bloodlines should feel more special. On one hand your choice of Bloodline is very important, because it determines your spell list, and 11 of the spells in your repertoire. On the other hand, in my opinion all the bloodline abilities feel like gimmicky spells and none of them feel particularly potent (e.g. Faerie dust lasts 1 round).

I imagine what Edge meant was that passive numerical bonuses skew the mechanics and balance of the game in a way that PF2 is trying to avoid. Stuff like weapon focus was frustratingly good but boring in PF1, and a bloodline that boosted your natural armor might have a similar effect.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Geminus wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Some things like passive elemental resistance were fun but I also kinda like how 2E handles that with Dragon Claws, but other things like Draconic natural armor and other numerical bonuses didn't really contribute positively to things in my opinion.

Can you elaborate on that? I don't see how bonuses are not a positive. Do you mean they were not that impactful, or are you saying they are a negative? From a roleplaying perspective, wouldn't passive abilities make sense? If my inner dragon, angel, etc. is becoming more powerful, wouldn't that effect my physiology? Or at the very least grant me some abilities that last longer than an hour?

I just think bloodlines should feel more special. On one hand your choice of Bloodline is very important, because it determines your spell list, and 11 of the spells in your repertoire. On the other hand, in my opinion all the bloodline abilities feel like gimmicky spells and none of them feel particularly potent (e.g. Faerie dust lasts 1 round).

I imagine what Edge meant was that passive numerical bonuses skew the mechanics and balance of the game in a way that PF2 is trying to avoid. Stuff like weapon focus was frustratingly good but boring in PF1, and a bloodline that boosted your natural armor might have a similar effect.

Bingo. For example Draconic just straight boosts your AC (Eventually by a strong amount), which means a Draconic Sorcerer at its base just has a much higher AC than any other Sorcerer, which means if you want a Sorcerer with a decent shot at turning blows you kinda have to go Draconic or you're several points behind. It's just a piece of the overarching PF1 issue of adding numerical bonuses all over the place.

If we got passive bloodline perks I would absolutely want them to be something interesting rather than a numerical boost.


Edge93 wrote:

Bingo. For example Draconic just straight boosts your AC (Eventually by a strong amount), which means a Draconic Sorcerer at its base just has a much higher AC than any other Sorcerer, which means if you want a Sorcerer with a decent shot at turning blows you kinda have to go Draconic or you're several points behind. It's just a piece of the overarching PF1 issue of adding numerical bonuses all over the place.

If we got passive bloodline perks I would absolutely want them to be something interesting rather than a numerical boost.

I am all for interesting abilities, but I don't quite see how passive numerical boosts are inherently skewed. At least no more so than anything else in the game. For example, if you want to be an awesome healing cleric, then you want to channel positive energy instead of negative energy. If you want to be an unarmored combatant, then you want to be a monk, or at least multiclass monk. If you want to have the highest possible health, then you never want to be an Elf with a CON flaw or a spellcaster with a d6 hit dice. Weapon bonuses now give more dice instead of flat bonuses to damage, but the result is the same: the stronger the weapon (or class feature that enhances the weapon), the more pain you inflict upon your enemy. The proficiency system, which they have baked into almost every single aspect of the game, is based on numerical bonuses. Classes, feats, backgrounds, races, and basically everything in the game comes with inherent advantages and disadvantages that will make you better or worse at one thing or another. The numbers and math are still there, they are just presented differently.

Ultimately, I just want to see them spice up the Sorcerer. Outside of the "bloodline determines spell list thing", everything about them just seem so "blah". The class feats and bloodline abilities leave me uninspired. None of the Sorcerer feats whet my whistle like Angelic Form and Celestial Mount on the Paladin, or Universal Versatility or Makeshift Wand on the Wizard. But that’s just me. I am sure there are plenty of people positively titillated by the current incarnation of the Sorcerer.


Geminus wrote:
Edge93 wrote:

Bingo. For example Draconic just straight boosts your AC (Eventually by a strong amount), which means a Draconic Sorcerer at its base just has a much higher AC than any other Sorcerer, which means if you want a Sorcerer with a decent shot at turning blows you kinda have to go Draconic or you're several points behind. It's just a piece of the overarching PF1 issue of adding numerical bonuses all over the place.

If we got passive bloodline perks I would absolutely want them to be something interesting rather than a numerical boost.

I am all for interesting abilities, but I don't quite see how passive numerical boosts are inherently skewed. At least no more so than anything else in the game. For example, if you want to be an awesome healing cleric, then you want to channel positive energy instead of negative energy. If you want to be an unarmored combatant, then you want to be a monk, or at least multiclass monk. If you want to have the highest possible health, then you never want to be an Elf with a CON flaw or a spellcaster with a d6 hit dice. Weapon bonuses now give more dice instead of flat bonuses to damage, but the result is the same: the stronger the weapon (or class feature that enhances the weapon), the more pain you inflict upon your enemy. The proficiency system, which they have baked into almost every single aspect of the game, is based on numerical bonuses. Classes, feats, backgrounds, races, and basically everything in the game comes with inherent advantages and disadvantages that will make you better or worse at one thing or another. The numbers and math are still there, they are just presented differently.

Ultimately, I just want to see them spice up the Sorcerer. Outside of the "bloodline determines spell list thing", everything about them just seem so "blah". The class feats and bloodline abilities leave me uninspired. None of the Sorcerer feats whet my whistle like Angelic Form and Celestial Mount on the Paladin, or Universal Versatility or Makeshift Wand...

I think there's a difference between picking or not picking a class and having one bloodline that is just clearly the optimal choice. Having a static AC bonus would be HUGE given how tight the AC numbers are.

I think passive energy resistance seems more reasonable by comparison, but AC is just an incredibly valuable commodity this edition.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

While I don't want automatic bonuses I wouldn't mind one or two feats that provided non-powers for each bloodline.

On the powers front I only really want the durations buffed, such that Dragon Claws/Wings type powers have 10 minute durations.


Captain Morgan wrote:

I think there's a difference between picking or not picking a class and having one bloodline that is just clearly the optimal choice. Having a static AC bonus would be HUGE given how tight the AC numbers are.

I think passive energy resistance seems more reasonable by comparison, but AC is just an incredibly valuable commodity this edition.

I agree that AC is of increased importance in this edition, and I am not saying give draconic sorcerers +4 to AC like they had in 1E. I’m just saying give them something more, and passive boosts were the first thing that came to mind. Namely, because these boosts went from being abundant to completely absent, which I feel is an overcorrection. I would be just as happy with some interesting (as in useful, not gimmicky) at-will abilities.

Although I still disagree that bloodlines are somehow different than any other choice in game. If the draconic bloodline did give an AC boost (+4 is entirely to high, maybe +1), that would make it optimal for defensive and melee builds. Not optimal at everything. If you wanted your Sorcerer to be support oriented, then selecting the Draconic bloodline with the AC boosts, Arcane spell list, and damage-oriented abilities would be suboptimal to picking a bloodline with the Primal, Occult, or Divine spell lists and support oriented abilities. Optimal is a relative concept, and in my opinion treating bloodlines as somehow different than any other choice in game is arbitrary.

However, I am less interested in specifically discussing passive abilities, and more interested in discussing Sorcerers as a whole. Do you feel as if the Sorcerer is in a good place, or do you think it needs some more “spice”? Is there anything you would change about them? I am trying to determine if others also find them wanting, or if I have just lost my mind.


I think the arcane sorcerers are in a good place. I've seen them kick a lot of ass, and I think they compare pretty well to the wizard. Their spell list is strong, and there powers tend to be pretty good too. Charisma is great because demoralize is one of the few reliable ways to drop saves (among other things) and the extra resonance use for staffs or wands is dandy. If are losing resonance, though, they definitely need something.

Non-arcane sorcerers... need work. The primal spell list is still pretty good, but the fey powers stink and the bloodline spells are a little all over the place. The divine spell list feels pretty weak though, and occult isn't quite as strong either. The sorcerer sort of requires all 3 spell lists to be equally viable. You could also make it so that bloodline spell lists rarely intersect with their default magical tradition to help balance this out. Angelic is really bad for just having a bunch of divine spells you could have picked already, for example.

Divine casting would also be much better if they evened out the progression between the healing and damage of Heal/Harm like they did in the focus test.

The other issue is that you have to compare the occult, divine, and primal casters to bard, cleric, and druid. The sorcerer gets one more spell per day per level, which is legit nice, and more spells known than the bard. But all 3 of those classes get not only a more durable chassis but get some really potent class features that define them. Compositions are really strong, and Channel is still really good even with the nerf. The druid orders/feats also tend to do more for the class than bloodline powers do, between the wild shaping and animal companions and so forth.

So I do agree the sorcerer needs more on the whole. IMO, if 4 spells per level per day vs 3 make up the difference between having better saves/HP/armor/weapons, then the sorcerer still needs something to compare to those class features. I agree passive bloodline abilities could help. They need something on the level of Inspire Courage, Dirge of Doom, Channel, Wild Shape, or an Animal Companion.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

The other issue is that you have to compare the occult, divine, and primal casters to bard, cleric, and druid. The sorcerer gets one more spell per day per level, which is legit nice, and more spells known than the bard. But all 3 of those classes get not only a more durable chassis but get some really potent class features that define them. Compositions are really strong, and Channel is still really good even with the nerf. The druid orders/feats also tend to do more for the class than bloodline powers do, between the wild shaping and animal companions and so forth.

I agree 100% with the lack of substantive sorcerer class features, and I think the bloodlines are an excellent opportunity to really set the Sorcerer apart. I was personally hoping they would integrate elements from the Kineticist or 5e warlock. I've always envisioned Sorcerers as an endless font of raw magic, with several potent at will abilities.

Also, I have never liked how each bloodline has its bonus spells predetermined. I think it would be nice, if each bloodline had a pool of spells the Sorcerer could choose from.

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