A Sojourn with Sorcerers


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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So one of my biggest concerns for PF2 is in my favorite class conceptually, the Sorcerer. Carrying on the blood of dragons or ancient magical cultures or whatever and channelling them into magical potency is probably the coolest concept for me out of the classes.

Unfortunately, we got the playtest and the Sorcerer was...well underwhelming. I love the concept that Sorcs have access to any of the 4 spell lists depending in their bloodline. That's cool. The problem is that no matter what spell list you pick, the Sorc is always just an inferior version of the primary spellcaster for that spell list.

Why be a Fae blooded Sorcerer when the Druid has the same spells, more health, Wild Shape (a single ability almost as flavorful and major as the spellcasting itself) and 4 potential paths which are all quite potent, while the Sorcerer only gets a couple bloodline abilities, some of which are cool but none of which even come close to making up the distance.

Plus the spellcasting itself is weaker, since the Sorc can only have so many spells and cannot heighten those spells however they see fit.

All in all the Sorc of the playtest was bland and uninteresting and I am very much hoping it gets a complete redesign from the ground up that gives the Sorc it's own niche outside of the other casters and makes you want to play them. I have not seen any evidence of anyone showing them since the info on PF2 has started coming out, and I don't know if this means people still don't care that much or if Paizo is trying to keep it under wraps because they're really excited about it.

But this is all just my estimation. I want to know what everyone else thinks. Is the general thought that the playtest Sorcerer was underwhelming and undesirable or am I in the minority? And if the former, how should the Sorcerer be fixed.

Personally, I would REALLY change the entire core of the class, taking some inspiration from the 5e Warlock, although not going quite so far down that path.

First, I'd keep the fact that the Sorc can act as the spontaneous caster for all 4 magic types depending on the bloodline. That's awesome and carries some really cool flavor. However, rather than having 3+1 of every spell slot other than their highest level, I would restrict them to only 2 or 3 spell slots of the three highest spell levels that they can cast.

So at level 20 (without the level 10 spells feat) they have 2 or 3 spell slots for levels 7, 8, and 9 only, with no level 6 or lower spell slots. To make sure that their lower level spells can still be used, they have spontaneous heightening for all their spells.

To compensate for this loss of spell slots, they get two major buffs. First (probably more controversially) they get 12 + Con health per level. Same as a Barbarian. The Sorcerer now acts as the "in the thick of things" Spellcaster. Not necessarily a Gish (although this would make them the most viable for that build) but the Spellcaster who is completely okay with running head-first into the fray and dropping the fireball at their own feet.

12 might seem like a huge jump, and it is, and maybe even slightly stepping on the Barbarian's toes, but I've always seen the Sorcerer as running very much parallel to the Barbarian, as their magic equivalent, with their natural power and super-charged bodies.

Secondly, the Sorcerer needs to lean much, MUCH more heavily into their bloodline abilities, getting both Focus Spells and passive abilities from each one. They should be THE focus spell class, almost using them over the regular spells. Dragon Breath, Claws, and Wings should be the bread and butter of the Dragon Sorcerer, not just extra things to fall back on when they're not casting spells. They should also get Dragon scales passively, which either gives them a low level Mage Armor on all the time, or gives them proficiency in unarmored defense which scales with Monks.

The rest of the Bloodlines should be similar. Abyssal should get a power (active or passive) for all of the seven deadly sins. Fae should feel like you almost are an Archfae by the time you're level 20.

I don't think this would be too much either. Considering how powerful Druid powers, Compositions, and just everything that IS the Wizard and Cleric, and limiting the Sorcerer's spell slots so drastically, I think this is a fine compromise that makes the Sorcerer exciting and fun.


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I agree that the Sorcerer Bloodline powers were a joke, mostly weaker than their 1st edition versions. They didn't even get an Arcana or anything. TBH they just felt like 3E sorcs which got lv9 casting and THAT WAS IT.

Bloodlines should have more and stronger stuff, be more build-defining outside of the spell-list. Perhaps even get bonus spells from other lists! I really liked how the Fey Sorcerer used to be a master of Charming, while Infernal was of summoning and Elemental/Dragon ones of blasting. The choice had a lot of impact.

Wizards and Druids have very cool and powerful feats and spontaneous casting isn't even that good this edition anyways.


ChibiNyan wrote:

I agree that the Sorcerer Bloodline powers were a joke, mostly weaker than their 1st edition versions. They didn't even get an Arcana or anything. TBH they just felt like 3E sorcs which got lv9 casting and THAT WAS IT.

Bloodlines should have more and stronger stuff, be more build-defining outside of the spell-list. Perhaps even get bonus spells from other lists! I really liked how the Fey Sorcerer used to be a master of Charming, while Infernal was of summoning and Elemental/Dragon ones of blasting. The choice had a lot of impact.

Wizards and Druids have very cool and powerful feats and spontaneous casting isn't even that good this edition anyways.

Exactly! The Sorcerer is defined by their bloodline. It should be, if not the highest thing, then at least equal to their spellcasting in terms of their affordance to the player.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I feel that each bloodline should have non focus/power dependent feats that define your class, let demonic bloodline invest into becoming a melee powerhouse, allow the draconic one be, well, draconic.

All while still ofering interesting and powerfull universal options.


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Also the 4 spell lists are NOT equal. Non-Arcane bloodlines should have better stuff to compensate.

Liberty's Edge

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ChibiNyan wrote:
Also the 4 spell lists are NOT equal. Non-Arcane bloodlines should have better stuff to compensate.

This. Or power up the non-arcane lists, either would work.

I actually think that Arcane Sorcerers are mostly okay, though even they could use at least a small power up...but non-Arcane Sorcerers are the ones in real trouble.


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I fully agree with Sorcerers being defined bloodline first and spells second. And making them THE Focus spell caster would fit perfectly.

As for them having 12 HP/lvl... radical but I can see the idea there. I wouldn't mind the sorcerer being the magical barbarian-equivalent frontline caster.
That also might give a nice Seoni&Amiri-back-to-back-surounded-by-foes artwork.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
masda_gib wrote:


As for them having 12 HP/lvl... radical but I can see the idea there. I wouldn't mind the sorcerer being the magical barbarian-equivalent frontline caster.
That also might give a nice Seoni&Amiri-back-to-back-surounded-by-foes artwork.

It would also help with the fact that several bloodline powers encouraged being in melee. Also I can imagine an awesome metamagic feat Close Spell that let's you drop the range of a spell to increase its effects, hello touch range fireball!


Vali Nepjarson wrote:

So one of my biggest concerns for PF2 is in my favorite class conceptually, the Sorcerer. Carrying on the blood of dragons or ancient magical cultures or whatever and channelling them into magical potency is probably the coolest concept for me out of the classes.

Unfortunately, we got the playtest and the Sorcerer was...well underwhelming. I love the concept that Sorcs have access to any of the 4 spell lists depending in their bloodline. That's cool. The problem is that no matter what spell list you pick, the Sorc is always just an inferior version of the primary spellcaster for that spell list.

Why be a Fae blooded Sorcerer when the Druid has the same spells, more health, Wild Shape (a single ability almost as flavorful and major as the spellcasting itself) and 4 potential paths which are all quite potent, while the Sorcerer only gets a couple bloodline abilities, some of which are cool but none of which even come close to making up the distance.

Plus the spellcasting itself is weaker, since the Sorc can only have so many spells and cannot heighten those spells however they see fit.

All in all the Sorc of the playtest was bland and uninteresting and I am very much hoping it gets a complete redesign from the ground up that gives the Sorc it's own niche outside of the other casters and makes you want to play them. I have not seen any evidence of anyone showing them since the info on PF2 has started coming out, and I don't know if this means people still don't care that much or if Paizo is trying to keep it under wraps because they're really excited about it.

But this is all just my estimation. I want to know what everyone else thinks. Is the general thought that the playtest Sorcerer was underwhelming and undesirable or am I in the minority? And if the former, how should the Sorcerer be fixed.

Personally, I would REALLY change the entire core of the class, taking some inspiration from the 5e Warlock, although not going quite so far down that path.

First, I'd keep the fact that the Sorc can...

I am sorry but the book but the book already shipped to printers...


We can only hope now that the Paizo team significantly patched up Sorcs as not inferior to other casters...

Silver Crusade

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Still very optimistic for the book, though if the class does not work for some, I am pretty sure that we will get some creative options in the next couple of months/years ^^


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I do hope they have made bloodlines somewhat more relevant. Giving them more powers (and more relevant ones) and focus points could work pretty well for that. I also like the idea of slightly more hp, but maybe they could leave it tied to bloodlines as well? I don't really expect the imperial bloodline sorcerer to have barbarian-level hp and survivability, but it does make sense for the draconic or demonic ones, for example.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

OP, I really really like your ideas. Thanks for them


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Also the 4 spell lists are NOT equal. Non-Arcane bloodlines should have better stuff to compensate.

This. Or power up the non-arcane lists, either would work.

I actually think that Arcane Sorcerers are mostly okay, though even they could use at least a small power up...but non-Arcane Sorcerers are the ones in real trouble.

I strongly suspect that the Primal, Devine, and Occult lists will be growing significantly in the final product to equalize the spell lists to a degree.

While I do agree that Arcane Sorcs are in the best place (especially Draconic whose Bloodline powers are stronger than most of the other IMO), it is still pretty strongly outclassed by the Wizard.

The Bloodlines do give you more than the Wizard's specializations do, but it doesn't even come close to overcoming the advantages that the Wizard has.

More spells and the capacity to learn all of the spells they don't pick? The spells they have can all be heightened naturally (probably the biggest boon that the Wizard has over the Sorc), more class feats as a whole.

But the Wizard being "better" is only a problem because they are so much identical to each other in what they more or less do. The Sorc doesn't need to even be "better" it just needs to have it's own purpose. The Ranger was worse than the Fighter or the Barbarian in the playtest, but because it did it's own thing in it's own way, there was still plenty of reason to play the Ranger if they want those things.

The 12HP/level boost and much heavier focus on Bloodlines and Focus Spells over regular spells (while still letting them have powerful spells, but way fewer of them) would differentiate the Sorc not only from the Wizard, but also the Druid, Cleric, and Bard.

I'm glad that people seem to be receptive to these ideas. I know that whatever Paizo has done with the Sorcerer is already decided, and I can only hope that whatever they decided on similarly makes the Sorcerer fun and exciting and changes their base class from the "Main" spellcasters of each spell list.


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I would say going to 12 HP would be a cool idea for an sorcerer archetype. Something like bloodrager since they will probably not make it into a full fledged class.


Since I figure Paizo's seller's remorse over the summoner probably means the PF2 version of that class will be distant in the future (if at all), it seems like you could "borrow" parts of the summoner to enhance the sorcerer, maybe having "bloodline connection" feats that give you some kind of customization benefit when you summon fey/elementals (arcane or primal bloodlines), celestials/fiends/monitors (divine bloodlines), and spirits/undead (occult bloodlines).

Grand Lodge

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Sorcerer will always be tricky and I'm yet to see a proper use for them besides being the spontaneous arcane caster with scales. Having different spell list is a great move, but the class needs polishing, specially with Quick Preparation around.

IMHO, Wizards should be the methodic ones. It's all about studying formulas and magical components. Once you figure it out how the spell works, you can study them over and over again, so it becomes easier for you. You learned it.

Sorcerers should be diverse and wild. Indomitable. The same fire ball from Wizard? No sir, the Sorcerer has no formula for that. He just releases it the best way he can. It's magic is unstable, savage, wild like the nature. I'd love that approach. The bloodlines should shape the sorcerer (sometimes even against his will) and bring more with them. Two sorcerers of different bloodlines should share only the class name, but play in two different styles. Sorcerers should be as diverse as the fighter (sword and shield, two-handed swords, two-weapon fightning, bow, crossbow, lance, mounted combat, etc), but with magical approach.

I'm all for a 12 HP Fiend Bloodline with some sort of "burn" mechanic attached to it. You can push yourself harder, but at some risk, your magic can consume your own body.

I'm all for 6 HP Arcane Bloodline sorcerer that has the "gift" of magic and tries to understand it the best way he can to avoid collateral damage.

I'm all for 8 HP Fey bloodline sorcerer that cannot hide it's "feyish" appearance and uses it to be as pretty as exotic, making it good for social interactions, making it sort of a skill-oriented bloodline.

I believe it would be fun enough to play any of those bloodlines and it would make the class way different from Wizards.

But... ship has already sailed and I'm pretty sure Paizo wouldn't take a step so far away.


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Some of my favorite characters to play in the playtest were Sorcerers (my part 3 and part 6 PCs were Sorcs, Angelic and Infernal respectively. Both divine amusingly enough) And they both felt really interesting, but when it came to crunch time they just... Fell a bit on the flat end. Part 3's PC, Joshua, was always being outdone by the cleric when it came to healing/smiting undead (although I had more CC/Single Target spells, the Cleric had more AoE) and not having armor/weapon proficiency REALLY hurt my ability to do anything once the slots were running dry. Part 6's PC, Tzeentch, was multi-classed into Rogue, and all his spells were either mind-rapey, curses or single target blowy upy (Leng's sting, Divine Wrath, Shadow Strike... Saving throw based things), and whenever I tried to use my magic on someone it just... Didn't work, The Kraken and Necerion just didn't flinch when I magiced at them, no matter what I tried. So I really hope, like OP suggested, that they make the Focus Spells more castable, because the ONLY thing that worked was Hellfire Plume, and I only got 2 castings of it off because I had tried to use Diabolic Edict a few times, and it didn't do much. TL;DR Not being armored/weapon wielding sucks, so more health would probably be a smart thing; Sorc's Focus Powers should be their main gimmick, because in practice those ARE typically better than spells, but you don't get NEARLY enough of them.


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They need to be balanced with the other 9-levels casters around - clerics, bards, druids and wizards. Which means they need a lot of Focus powers, and they must be good!

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