PF2 Arcane Focus is a big step back from PF1 Bonded Object


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


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PF1 Bonded Object wrote:
A bonded object can be used once per day to cast any one spell that the wizard has in his spellbook and is capable of casting, even if the spell is not prepared
PF2 Arcane Focus wrote:
You expend the magical power stored in your arcane focus. This gives you the ability to cast one spell you prepared today and previously cast, without spending a spell slot.

The loss of being able to cast any spell from your Spell Book was a HUGE reason to take the Bonded Object. For those that loved collecting as many spells as possible. This gave you a reason to acquire that one spell that could only be used under only the most unique situation. Compared to the Arcane Focus that is no better than an extra casting of the spells you could only guess what you might need that day.

I understand that now all Wizards get the Arcane Focus so it should not be as powerful as the Bonded Object, but I would love for it to become so in some way (possibly by Feats or Magic Items). As it is there is little versatility in collecting all the spells you can, compared to collecting all the Scrolls (or Magic Items) you can. Which is what I thought the developers where trying to limit.

I would like to know others options on this.


Eh, I've enjoyed it because it feels stronger to me in a relative sense due to an extra spell per day being more valuable with less spells per day. But I can see the lost utility.

HOWEVER, I believe that utility is largely recovered by all Wizards being able to swap prepared spells out for new ones with a 10 minute timeframe. You can't pull out that one spell immediately on the spot anymore but if you have the time you can pull out that one spell as often as you need as long as you have the spell slots left.

But yeah, I can see that bit of lost utility being a bit unfortunate. It just doesn't really bother me so much personally.


Not sure how I feel about this change, DrStyx makes a good argument. Some points, which only halfway convince even myself:

You can change what spells you have prepared rather quickly.

I think the reason for the change is that it requires less game mastery; no longer do you need to know all the spells in your spellbook by heart, you only need to keep the spells you actually prepared on your fingertips.


Edge93 wrote:
HOWEVER, I believe that utility is largely recovered by all Wizards being able to swap prepared spells out for new ones with a 10 minute timeframe. You can't pull out that one spell immediately on the spot anymore but if you have the time you can pull out that one spell as often as you need as long as you have the spell slots left.
Prepaired Spells wrote:
You might gain an ability allowing you to swap prepared spells or perform other aspects of preparation throughout the day, but only your daily preparation counts for the purpose of effects that last “until the next time you prepare spells.”

I don’t think you can, unless you take the level 4 Wizard Feat (page 140).

Quick Preparation wrote:
You can spend 10 minutes to empty one of your prepared spell slots and prepare a different spell from your spellbook in its place.

The only other place I can find that lets you change out you spells is during your morning preparations, which take 30 minutes to an hour (page 332).


One of the Errata gave that feat's effects to all Wizards, though I don't recall if they get it at 1st level or not until 4th.


Edge93 wrote:
One of the Errata gave that feat's effects to all Wizards, though I don't recall if they get it at 1st level or not until 4th.

Cool, that dose help then.


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In P1E, a Wizard HAD to have an Arcane Bond and didn't have the option to simply forgo that class feature in favor of literally anything else instead (at least, not until the advent of archetypes and even then, it took years before we had some that traded away the Arcane Bond for something else more user-friendly).

"What's so wrong with HAVING to have an Arcane Bond?" you ask. Well, it's that the object is either a familiar (a mandatory pet, a fragile bundle of hit points you have to keep track of and, prior to the Figment variant introduced in the Familiar Folio, one that can't be easily restored if killed), or it's a bonded object, which meant that your Wizard had to succeed at a check just to cast a spell (his primary reason for existing) if he ever didn't have this object.

Both of which mean that you either pick the familiar option and then just never actually get a familiar (hurray wasted class features) or you pick the bonded object option and make the object a ring just to minimize the chances of losing it and so incurring the mandatory check for casting a spell.

In P2E, having a familiar is an option you can take or not take. And even if you do, replacing it requires a week of downtime, but otherwise isn't a costly hassle to accomplish. Having the Arcane Focus class feature, on the other hand, isn't an option, but it can be any item you own, doesn't necessarily have to be the same object each day (and so doesn't care if yesterday's Arcane Focus item got lost or destroyed), and doesn't impose a penalty on your ability to cast spells if you don't have your Arcane Focus item or simply didn't bother to designate an item on a given day.

So from the perspective of a player wanting to avoid an unfun hassle just for playing a Wizard, P2E's Arcane Focus is an uncontested improvement over P1E's Arcane Bond.


Just the fact that they are actually supporting this type of wizard already makes it better.

I played a Bonded Object (Ring) Wizard for a long time and the only thing that gave any type of support for it was a third-party GM-approved feat that enhanced the item. Having a bonded object could've been awesome in Pf1... But Paizo never actually bothered to give any support to it.

Now it's versatile, but every wizard gets it and there's a lot of feats that improve it (Focus Conservation, I guess that's the name of the class feat).


Oh yeah, Focus Conservation is nuts, especially if you're a Universalist. It's great for specialists too, but the sheer number of uses a Universalist can get...

Superior Focus at 14th level combined with Focus Conservation gets even more in there, percentage-wise it's best for specialists (Instead of just an extra level 7 spell with no feats it's an extra level 7, 2 extra level 5s, 2 extra level 3s, and 2 extra level 1s if you keep following the chain each turn, and it just gets better later), but it's great for Generalists too.

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