Holy cow! Preparing spells is HARD now!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I didn't realize just how hard it was going to be to make spell selections in 2nd Edition until I made a high level prepared caster.

In previous editions it used to be that, unless I used metamagic, I could just focus on the spell choices for a given level. For example, if I were making a 10th-level wizard, I'd start with the most powerful spells (5th) and work my way down from there, one spell level at a time. But now, with spell DCs and attacks being divorced from spell level and with the new heighten mechanic, I can't just look at a single spell level for a limited list of available options. I now have to look at ALL of the spell levels! After all, though a heightened magic missile (5th) might not do as much damage as another true 5th-level spell, its ability to hit automatically, precisely hit several targets without hurting allies, and rarely-resisted damage all remain big draws of this low-level spell. Or perhaps I should prepare black tentacles, fireball, or phantom steed in that spell slot instead? It's SO hard when there are just that many good options!

Alow me to be clear: this is not a complaint, merely an observation. I positively love that we have so many new options now, and that even low level spells and cantrips can remain valuable through all levels of play. The fact that Paizo has managed to keep it all relatively balanced at the same time is nothing short of miraculous to me.

That being said, unless we get some amazing spell sorting/filter/search tols, I can't help but think that, as more and more spells are released the difficulty of selecting spells is going to compound greatly.

What are your thoughts and observations on the matter?


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You should go backwards, filling the low levels slot with anything that is still relevant to your level and then make the high level choice to fill what is missing, with the eye toward high level slot being reserved for the boss fight.
Let me know if you see any appreciable change.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think that (somewhat amusingly) playing high level casters is going to end up a lot more like how I build decks in Magic: The Gathering. That is: using online tools to search cards (or spells) for keywords and mechanics that fit with the particular strategy of a deck (or character).

I'm glad the Archives of Nethys have a pretty thorough search function.


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As far as spell selection goes, usually a higher level spell is better than a lower level spell heightened to the same level. So you're probably safe focusing on those when selecting new spells at level up. There are some exceptions, but that's what heightening is for. On the few occasions I ran out of lower level spells and wanted to pick another, I might bump it up a level.

Now, as far preparing spells? Yeah, that seems challenging, though generally the same principles apply. Quite often if you find yourself heightening a spell it is because you need it for a specific plan. Which does help the process a little if you can decide on said plan far enough in advance.

Liberty's Edge

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I think this will be a lot easier for characters who achieve their level organically. It's a lot less trouble if you're only dealing with a few new spell slots at a time (and maybe discarding an obsolete spell or three).

Not that this makes it any easier for a newly built 10th level caster, mind you, I'm just nothing that I think each adjustment as you level up is a lot easier than doing all the 10th level spells from scratch.

This was true in some ways in PF1 as well, but it's much more so in PF2.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm going to be doing a 17th level oracle/sorcerer for the APG playtest and I'm more than a little worried about this piece of that puzzle.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Other way to look at it is that every heightened spell is a different spell. So if you write your spell list by spell level, you should include all heightened versions of the spells in the lists for higher level spells. This was specifically mentioned as a part of the reason sorcerers, by default must learn the spell at specific level slots. Wizards simply automatically learn all heightened versions of all spells they know via preparation processes.


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Loreguard wrote:
Other way to look at it is that every heightened spell is a different spell. So if you write your spell list by spell level, you should include all heightened versions of the spells in the lists for higher level spells. This was specifically mentioned as a part of the reason sorcerers, by default must learn the spell at specific level slots. Wizards simply automatically learn all heightened versions of all spells they know via preparation processes.

This.

Plus you can trim out the spells that don't Heighten well, like False Life so they're only listed at the levels you think they're competitive. I'd keep the list separate from your spellbook and have space nearby to scratch notes and make it practical for use. Type it out then print it when you're going to a game.

What I found helpful with my casters, especially my PFS Mystic Theurge, was having preset spell lists keyed to the upcoming day. Namely they were for the city, outdoor travel, & assault. They're very easy to alter on the fly to adjust for known opponents and spells of allies.

With a PF2 spontaneous caster, I also marked which spells had good boosts at which levels so I'd know when I got there that I might want to pick it up then rather than earlier.


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^ That sounds like a good approach, just 'highlighting' the most effective Heighten levels you expect to consider.
(and these can change depending on your total amount of spell levels etc, more of one spell level might change your "usage" of another)

Maybe use different pencil/ink color to show spells that DO have more Heighten versions every spell level etc
just you aren't going to write it down for every level where it isn't "competitive" as the kids say.
Obviously stuff with particular Heighten levels like Invisiblithy (2/4 only) will just use those.

I like shorthand approaches like this because I prefer to be able to do everything by hand on paper,
even if I use a computer search function sometimes, I don't like to rely on it completely, especially with character sheet(s) at game table.

Personally, I find the very act of creating "custom" character sheets to be very helpful mnemonic tool in managing character,
When I figure out the most concise and "ergonomic" design to manage all your character info, it makes me more "fluent" in them.
That seems like it applies here, in terms of information design for what is nominally a list of all spells in spellbook,
but really can emphasize or conceal info in consideration of what is actually useful for daily spell prep variation,
i.e. don't list EVERY spell level of +1 Heighten spell, just the key ones but use color or (*) to show it has every level available.


Also, the meta options like Arcane/Occult Evolution and Spell Substitution have own impetus for usability.

Arcane Evo Spellbook not only allows swapping into any new spell in the spellbook (which may include multiple level variants), but it allows applying bonus Signature Spell to one of your normal non-Signature spells which is also only way to have more than one SigSpell of a given spell level. So formatting normal Spell Repertoire for usefulness like a Wizard spellbook will be important for Arcane Evo Sorcs too.

I think it is worthwhile for Occult Evo Sorcerors to write out all their eligible mental spells (or at least curated subset of their Heighten versions), even though it vaguely works like Divine Prep with full list accces, it's actually different in that it's very fast (1 minute) and restrained to narrow type (mental). If you're going into situation you expect to use high level slots on something else, might as well shift to low level OccultEvo spell, or vice versa.

Spell Substitution makes your active Prep list pretty mutable (although not as quick as Occult Evo), but if you are swapping out one spell you may also want to swap another to compensate (although extra 10 minutes), so having spellbook organized/formatted for functionality seems extra important.

...And of course, showing any spell stats that are relevant to you, from variant action cost, to particular traits which impact your playstyle, just a simple icon or color underlining etc lends great usability that is quickly scannable.


Loreguard wrote:
Wizards simply automatically learn all heightened versions of all spells they know via preparation processes.

Huh, I didn't realize this. How does this interact with Sorcerer's Arcane Evolution? Do they also get free heightening with the spells in their book? It would only mean one freely heightened spell which you have to pick at the start of the day, so not game breaking. But this does essentially turn the whole sorcerer repertoire into a lesser version of Signature Spells, which is a benefit I didn't know about.

Edit: Quandary already gave a good answer, thanks!


BellyBeard wrote:
Loreguard wrote:
Wizards simply automatically learn all heightened versions of all spells they know via preparation processes.
Huh, I didn't realize this. How does this interact with Sorcerer's Arcane Evolution? Do they also get free heightening with the spells in their book? It would only mean one freely heightened spell which you have to pick at the start of the day, so not game breaking. But this does essentially turn the whole sorcerer repertoire into a lesser version of Signature Spells, which is a benefit I didn't know about.

Spells that you already have in your repertoire and you prepare with Arcane evolution become a signature spell for the day.

Spells that you prepare that are not in your repertoire can be prepared in any spell level that you can cast, so you could prepare like Haste at lvl 7 instead of lvl 3 to target more people.

Occult Evolution is the same you can put the spell at any level you can cast.


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Yeesh! After making several mistakes, I'm also beginning to realize that having to have at least one school spell at each spell level on my specialist wizard is yet another layer of complexity.

Quandary wrote:
I think it is worthwhile for Occult Evo Sorcerors to write out all their eligible mental spells (or at least curated subset of their Heighten versions), even though it vaguely works like Divine Prep with full list accces, it's actually different in that it's very fast (1 minute) and restrained to narrow type (mental). If you're going into situation you expect to use high level slots on something else, might as well shift to low level OccultEvo spell, or vice versa.

Way ahead of you there buddy (see page 4).

For your convenience:
Mental Occult Spells bane, bless, calm emotions, charm, command, confusion, crushing despair, daze, discern lies, dominate, dream council, dream message, dreaming potential, fabricated truth, fear, feeblemind, foresight, glibness, hallucination, heroism, hideous laughter, mask of terror, message, mind probe, mind reading, mindlink, modify memory, nightmare, outcast’s curse, overwhelming presence, paralyze, paranoia, phantasmal calamity, phantasmal killer, phantom pain, possession, project image, repulsion, sending, sleep, soothe, subconscious suggestion, suggestion, synaptic pulse, synesthesia, telepathic bond, telepathic demand, telepathy, touch of idiocy, uncontrollable dance, unfathomable song, warp mind, weird, zone of truth


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I really wish that houserule some genius proposed here not long ago, with Preps getting free Downcasting and Sponts getting free Upcasting (= Heightening), was the default canon RAW. So flavorful and much more easier to manage...


BTW, on (Sorc) Arcane Evo Spellbook, you don't get any additional spells for free beyond ones that are already in your Repertoire, which are only useful for adding bonus Signature Spell (casting at other levels than you memorized it at) which by definition will mean having two Signature Spells at a given level since you always have one per level (base).

If you scribe other spells into the book, then you can use them as bonus Repertoire but would not be able to Heighten/Undercast them by designating them as (base) Signature Spell.

EDIT: I'm not 100% sure on that, I mean that makes sense since Signature Spell is much more fixed than Arcane Evo Spellbook which is daily prep choice. But I'm not sure if RAW actually precludes that, if you have access to Arcane Evo Spellbook spell when you become eligible to swap Signature Spell (at level-up or downtime retraining) I don't see anything clearly excluding the Evo Spellbook spell. I'm not sure if changing Spellbook spell in daily prep qualifies as "swapping out" that spell, which would allow instantly designating new (base) Signature Spell, but even without that just being able to use base Signature Spell with Evo Spellbook spell is pretty significant thing.

Seems legit FAQ question for sure. EDIT: Discussion thread here...


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Considering many spells in previous edition where already minor/greater/major I don't see a huge difference. It just saves space not having to write 5 different heal spells.

That said, I think the greater balance between the spell is making it harder. There winners and losers are not as obvious.


another benefit of heighten replacing spell chains is reducing page flipping / references to other spells. it's all just there. well, more than before.


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Quandary wrote:
another benefit of heighten replacing spell chains is reducing page flipping / references to other spells. it's all just there. well, more than before.

Also, if we end up getting feats or spells that change, interact with or counteract another spell. It automatically applies to all tiers of a single spell now.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
I didn't realize just how hard it was going to be to make spell selections in 2nd Edition until I made a high level prepared caster.

This is the way psionics have been for 3.5e/PF for a decade. With psionics, you can "augment" a power you manifest by spending more power points. A 1st-level power consumes 1 power point. A second-level power consumes 3 power points. If you are a third-level psion, you can manifest second-level powers just like a third-level wizard can cast second-level spells. The difference is you can spend more power points on a lower-level power to increase its potency.

So yeah, knowing/reading/learning lower-level abilities first has sometimes been a thing for years. Less so for base casters without metamagic - as you say - but the mental process has existed for some of us for a long time.

TLDR: yes, you are right.

Dark Archive

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Ravingdork wrote:
Allow me to be clear: this is not a complaint, merely an observation. I positively love that we have so many new options now, and that even low level spells and cantrips can remain valuable through all levels of play. The fact that Paizo has managed to keep it all relatively balanced at the same time is nothing short of miraculous to me.

I love this. There was a trend in recent years to just sort of trim off or ignore lower level spells, and only focus on the top three levels of spells for any NPC spellcaster or spell-like-ability-using creature, and that just annoyed me, that anything 'five levels old' was just automatically assumed to be obsolete, or not worthy of wasting the wordcount to even put on the page.

It's grand that even *cantrips* remain relevant throughout a caster's life now, as well as various low-level staples like magic missile.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, the new heighten paradigm is a massive step forward and one of the best 5e ideas poached by PF2. Making lower level spells relevant later on is a massive fix of one of 3.5/PF1 biggest flaws when it comes to casting. I heartily laugh in Slav at all who say that PF2 casters got "castrated" when now they have a much wider repertoire of useful magic than their PF1 counterparts.

It remains to be seen at what rate will Paizo introduce new spells, since the amount of those could complicate things a bit - if they keep around 5e pace, we should be good.


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Gorbacz wrote:

Yeah, the new heighten paradigm is a massive step forward and one of the best 5e ideas poached by PF2. Making lower level spells relevant later on is a massive fix of one of 3.5/PF1 biggest flaws when it comes to casting. I heartily laugh in Slav at all who say that PF2 casters got "castrated" when now they have a much wider repertoire of useful magic than their PF1 counterparts.

It remains to be seen at what rate will Paizo introduce new spells, since the amount of those could complicate things a bit - if they keep around 5e pace, we should be good.

They will release more faster than 5e, that is guaranteed. Theynwill come from APs, books like the APG, the Lost Omens books and even the bestiaries (we got rituals in the first one)

Also casters did get neutered, in a huge way. They also needed it, because full casters were often essential or exceptionally optimal solutions to everything.

Silver Crusade

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

While the release of new spells is going to be faster than 5e, most new spells will also likely be at least Uncommon, if not Rare.
So while spell-lists might grow fast, Spells known for PC's don't.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, it definitely feels like to get the most out of spellcasting you need to have read through your options and spend a lot of time comparing them. Like as a 5th level slot you could prepare a heightened animal form, or a heightened dinosaur form, or elemental form. Those are all three spells that have the same purpose, but the numbers you get from each are different. It's even worse with damage dealing spells as most of them heighten to any level, so the higher level you are the more options you have for damage attack spell.

I think that's how you need to look at it. Decide how many spells you want to allocate for different categories. Say utility, damage, debuff, healing, or whatever. I think no matter which end of the list you start on, cantrips or your highest available, you're still going to do a lot of jumping around and flipping back and forth to figure it out.

Interestingly now while cantrips scale and are semi useful throughout, other spells don't. Low level spells become trash as you level up (originally it looked like they buffed low level spells to continue to be viable, but looking deeper they actually nerfed them to be worse than pf1), the difference is now many of them can be prepared as higher level spells and still be good. Low level damage spells will remain a piddly amount of damage and eventually be worse than cantrips, while low level incapacitation spells will no longer affect the enemies you fight. Low level buffs will give poor bonuses unless you heighten them to higher levels. However, there's a few low level spells that retain their effectiveness, so you will spend more time hunting for those as well.


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Yeah, I relate to the hard choice. Makes you realize pretty quick just how much you can actually live with that 2d6 less damage on a blast spell so you can prepare a shiny new spell in the highest slot, lol. XD

And of course the lower number of top slots actually means that lower level spells come out more often, which makes things like lower level counteracting spells more viable too, which makes preparing them in a lower slot an option/trade-off and not just a bad idea.


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gnoams wrote:
Yeah, it definitely feels like to get the most out of spellcasting you need to have read through your options and spend a lot of time comparing them. Like as a 5th level slot you could prepare a heightened animal form, or a heightened dinosaur form, or elemental form.

Or, you might have to consider either preparing remove disease or dinosaur form... which should I take...


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gnoams wrote:
. Low level buffs will give poor bonuses unless you heighten them to higher levels. However, there's a few low level spells that retain their effectiveness, so you will spend more time hunting for those as well.

Buffs actually retain their effectiveness as long as they don't touch HP or damage.

Heroism-- a +1 bonus remains as relevant (see: very) at level 20 as level 1 with the new math. Same for Bless or Inspire Courage.
Haste-- Extra actions are still gold.
Enlarge-- The damage becomes less relevant, but the real benefit was the reach and that remains the case.
Protection-- See Heroism really.

Stuff like Resist Energy and probably the polymorph spells loses steam, though if you're getting hit once or twice a turn by the relevant energy type that could save you 25 health or so pretty easy, FWIW.


Sure, and enemies can have melee attacks with rider energy damage too, low level Resist helps there, and it all adds up...
(or conversely, if nobody ever uses low level Resists like that, low level +1d6 energy damage effects always work great!)

Sovereign Court

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Sorry to tout the competition, but this may be one of the things that D&D 5E did well (maybe better?) A Wizard can prepare a number of spells equal to his level + Int mod. How powerful they are is determined by the slot used when castrating it. So, if you choose to prepare Magic Missile, you can use it with any slot you have available. This gives casters more flexibility, but they are still limited to using the spell slots they have. The spells he chooses to prepare can be of any levels he has slots for. If he chooses to prepare all higher level spells, he'll only get to use those high levels slots and then be out of juice, so it's wiser to prepare at least some lower level spells that can be heightened if needed, but still used at lower level slots if those are the only slots he has left.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Neovancian spell casting also makes the wizard play almost exactly like the Sorcerer. It also has a massively constrained casting environment where any spell with a meaningful duration cannot be cast with other spells that have any kind of duration. Even then spell casters feel entirely too flexible to me.


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I am a fan of having multiple casting systems.

Classic Vancian (wizard), Neovancian (sorcerer), Power Points (psion), plus anything else (5e warlock) should all be able to sit at the same table.


Samurai wrote:
Sorry to tout the competition, but this may be one of the things that D&D 5E did well (maybe better?) A Wizard can prepare a number of spells equal to his level + Int mod. How powerful they are is determined by the slot used when castrating it. So, if you choose to prepare Magic Missile, you can use it with any slot you have available. This gives casters more flexibility, but they are still limited to using the spell slots they have. The spells he chooses to prepare can be of any levels he has slots for. If he chooses to prepare all higher level spells, he'll only get to use those high levels slots and then be out of juice, so it's wiser to prepare at least some lower level spells that can be heightened if needed, but still used at lower level slots if those are the only slots he has left.

5e's system is... decent, but they also went with the whole concentration aspect, which is a huge limiter on the 'versatility' of 5e's spellcasting classes. On top of the standout too good spells, invisibility, tiny hut, aid, etc.

I enjoy the concept of 5e's system, but as written it would work very poorly with PF2's system, they seem to have taken backwards approaches to spellcasting.

Sovereign Court

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Garretmander wrote:

5e's system is... decent, but they also went with the whole concentration aspect, which is a huge limiter on the 'versatility' of 5e's spellcasting classes. On top of the standout too good spells, invisibility, tiny hut, aid, etc.

I enjoy the concept of 5e's system, but as written it would work very poorly with PF2's system, they seem to have taken backwards approaches to spellcasting.

True, but in PF2 for lots of spells you have to Sustain them every round or they end. That isn't too different. It's just that with the 3 action economy it means you only lose 1 action per round.

Sovereign Court

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gnoams wrote:
Interestingly now while cantrips scale and are semi useful throughout, other spells don't. Low level spells become trash as you level up (originally it looked like they buffed low level spells to continue to be viable, but looking deeper they actually nerfed them to be worse than pf1), the difference is now many of them can be prepared as higher level spells and still be good. Low level damage spells will remain a piddly amount of damage and eventually be worse than cantrips, while low level incapacitation spells will no longer affect the enemies you fight. Low level buffs will give poor bonuses unless you heighten them to higher levels. However, there's a few low level spells that retain their effectiveness, so you will spend more time hunting for those as well.

I would say that you're not supposed to prepare the same low-level spells throughout your career. Damaging spells are usually going to come from your high-level slots.

But save DCs are no longer based on spell levels, so low-level slots that inflict a condition age quite well now, they effectively have the same save DC as your highest level spells. Grease for example ages pretty well.

I think this is kind of a feature. The "style" of a high-level wizard is that he can afford to use his low-level slots for utility spells, because a) he's got enough of them, b) they're only so-so for offensive purposes anyway.

So two spells may be both level 1, but one of them was intended for actual level 1 wizards and the other for level 9 wizards looking to get some utility out of low-level slots. The second spell looks rather bad to a level 1 wizard but makes sense for the level 9 wizard.

Shadow Lodge

Yup, as I mentioned, there are a handful of low level spells that remain good, but most do not. Which adds another level of hunting and time to high level spell preparation in order to wade through the trash to find the gems.

PF1 had this too in a way, however there was more universality to it. In pf1 you knew that low level spells that allowed saves wouldn't work so you could just ignore them. Low level buffs got better with level, so you took all the buffs available. Now it varies per spell if it will be usable or not at higher levels, adding more time to the decision making.


Franz Lunzer wrote:

While the release of new spells is going to be faster than 5e, most new spells will also likely be at least Uncommon, if not Rare.

So while spell-lists might grow fast, Spells known for PC's don't.

From aps and modules for sure, but from books like the APG I doubt it.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:

While the release of new spells is going to be faster than 5e, most new spells will also likely be at least Uncommon, if not Rare.

So while spell-lists might grow fast, Spells known for PC's don't.
From aps and modules for sure, but from books like the APG I doubt it.

Not that, that matters when making new prepared casters...

Cleric ...you can prepare two 1st-level spells and five cantrips each morning from the common spells on the divine spell list in this book...

Druid ...you can prepare two 1st-level spells and five cantrips each morning from the common spells on the primal spell list in this book...

Wizard You choose these from the common spells on the arcane spell list from this book...

...the developers covered their bases really, really well this time. You're not just limited by the rarity system; you're also limited by source.

So unless you're a bard or sorcerer, which don't have that language, all of your spells MUST still come from the Core Rulebook DESPITE whatever new books you may have in your collection, or else you need permission from your GM to get access.

Grand Lodge

Ravingdork wrote:

Not that, that matters when making new prepared casters...

Cleric ...you can prepare two 1st-level spells and five cantrips each morning from the common spells on the divine spell list in this book...

Druid ...you can prepare two 1st-level spells and five cantrips each morning from the common spells on the primal spell list in this book...

Wizard You choose these from the common spells on the arcane spell list from this book...

...the developers covered their bases really, really well this time. You're not just limited by the rarity system; you're also limited by source.

So unless you're a bard or sorcerer, which don't have that language, all of your spells MUST still come from the Core Rulebook DESPITE whatever new books you may have in your collection, or else you need permission from your GM to get access.

I highly, highly, highly doubt Paizo intended to make all spells from other books not available. I think you're reading into the intention of the wording wrong.

Silver Crusade

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

Including the restriction "this book" isn't ambiguous, it is very simple and clear, and has to be a clear intention of the designers.

The spells from other books will be available, with your GM's permission, or through other options in those books, I'd bet.

Paizo intended to empower GM's in this edition, and I like that.

Spoiler:

As a player I often contacted my GM's when leveling and gaining new spells, if they weren't from the core rulebook. They often didn't much read the spells, often just looking if it is from Paizo or third party. After seeing said spell used in game they then sometimes asked how I learned that spell and I had to show them again that I did ask them beforehand.

As a GM I often asked my players to ask me before selecting spells/feats/equipment/... not from hardcover books, as Paizo softcover book options often were 'special', i.e. restricted to some race/region/... Often I found out during play that they did not inform me before selecting such options and they then had to play at least that session without that option, until I could read up on it.


Ravingdork wrote:


So unless you're a bard or sorcerer, which don't have that language, all of your spells MUST still come from the Core Rulebook DESPITE whatever new books you may have in your collection, or else you need permission from your GM to get access.

Oh very interesting, I missed that entirely. I wonder what interaction we might see with future archetypes and such.

This said, purchasing the other spells with your wbl will still be a consideration. But it will have a clear trade off compared to previous editions.

I like this quite a lot.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

Not that, that matters when making new prepared casters...

Cleric ...you can prepare two 1st-level spells and five cantrips each morning from the common spells on the divine spell list in this book...

Druid ...you can prepare two 1st-level spells and five cantrips each morning from the common spells on the primal spell list in this book...

Wizard You choose these from the common spells on the arcane spell list from this book...

...the developers covered their bases really, really well this time. You're not just limited by the rarity system; you're also limited by source.

So unless you're a bard or sorcerer, which don't have that language, all of your spells MUST still come from the Core Rulebook DESPITE whatever new books you may have in your collection, or else you need permission from your GM to get access.

These are general rules and you're assuming there won't be specific rules in future books to override these.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I wouldn't assume there won't be specific rules in future books. I wouldn't assume there will be, either. I'd just wait to see what Paizo does.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
I highly, highly, highly doubt Paizo intended to make all spells from other books not available. I think you're reading into the intention of the wording wrong.

Allow me to clarify: I was not trying to that say they would be unavailable, just that you would have to go through the GM first. (As well you should with any new spell, book, or source.)

Franz Lunzer wrote:

Including the restriction "this book" isn't ambiguous, it is very simple and clear, and has to be a clear intention of the designers.

The spells from other books will be available, with your GM's permission, or through other options in those books, I'd bet.

Paizo intended to empower GM's in this edition, and I like that.

I agree that it's written simply enough as to be essentially unambiguous. The only thing that gives me any pause at all is that spontaneous casters didn't get the same treatment for some reason.

Ed Reppert wrote:
I wouldn't assume there won't be specific rules in future books. I wouldn't assume there will be, either. I'd just wait to see what Paizo does.

Yes, we can all sit here and debate endlessly how we all think it might play out, or can just wait and see.

Scarab Sages

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Franz Lunzer wrote:

Including the restriction "this book" isn't ambiguous, it is very simple and clear, and has to be a clear intention of the designers.

The spells from other books will be available, with your GM's permission, or through other options in those books, I'd bet.

Paizo intended to empower GM's in this edition, and I like that.
** spoiler omitted **

I still don't get people like you, empowered players was the best thing about 1e. The main selling point for me.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Angel Hunter D wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:

Including the restriction "this book" isn't ambiguous, it is very simple and clear, and has to be a clear intention of the designers.

The spells from other books will be available, with your GM's permission, or through other options in those books, I'd bet.

Paizo intended to empower GM's in this edition, and I like that.
** spoiler omitted **

I still don't get people like you, empowered players was the best thing about 1e. The main selling point for me.

Only if your entire table was "empowered" and your GM was ready and willing to accommodate that. If any of those two conditions was not met, PF1 games tended to gravitate towards major frustration for at least one person involved.


Gorbacz wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:

Including the restriction "this book" isn't ambiguous, it is very simple and clear, and has to be a clear intention of the designers.

The spells from other books will be available, with your GM's permission, or through other options in those books, I'd bet.

Paizo intended to empower GM's in this edition, and I like that.
** spoiler omitted **

I still don't get people like you, empowered players was the best thing about 1e. The main selling point for me.

Only if your entire table was "empowered" and your GM was ready and willing to accommodate that. If any of those two conditions was not met, PF1 games tended to gravitate towards major frustration for at least one person involved.

Blood Money is one of those things... If you let other books and a player knows of AoN it will appear.

And if it appears it is annoying to take off... it's easier to make players need to ask the DM than the DM having to depower a player. And if i am not mistaken it's from an adventure and was supposed to be a reward.


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Hot Take: Blood Money and similar problems (from anyone in the group) should just be resolved by tossing toxic people out of your group. ez

Like... Seriously, people. Just talk to the people in your group. If someone is notably disruptive, tell them to take a hike forever.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The "in this book" limitation makes a lot of sense if it's intentional. Druids and Clerics have a huge cognitive load right out of the gate since they get access to the whole list. If that keeps growing it'll get out of hand for new players. Looking at the specific language:

Cleric: "...the common spells on the divine spell list in this book (page 309) or from other divine spells to which you gain access."

Druid: "...the common spells on the primal spell list in this book (page 314), or from other primal spells to which you gain access."

Wizard: "...the common spells on the arcane spell list from this book (page 307) or from other arcane spells you gain access to."

It all looks pretty intentional.


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As a GM in PF1, I was horrified when one of the players in my group was reading off his spell list and named the spell Blood Money.
He never asked me. It had never come up in the campaign. He had seen it listed on hero lab and thought it looked "pretty cool" so he selected it.
No, no, no, sir. This is not how we do things.
So I like the default rule of not selecting things unless they're common. Saves me hassle down the road.

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