Oracle too player / party unfriendly?


Oracle Playtest

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I think if people had abused the curse/mystery system less in PF1, there wouldn't be as much incentive to make the PF2 version less carroty and more sticky.

How many times have each of us personally had to deal with someone proposing lame curse plus barbarian dip so they can have all the power with none of the burden?

It's also more appropriate thematically for the bad thing that happens to be linked to the good thing that happens. It's unclear to me thematically how being blackened can jive with being a water-type oracle, for instance. Options would be fine. I wouldn't even mind the burdens being randomly rolled by the GM.

I agree the balance seems off - given that the oracle is suffering a 7,200 round penalty for using this power, some of the powers don't seem awesome enough.

Silver Crusade

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Well Charisma solo Oradins aren't going to be a thing any more so that's not a concern as much.


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Quote:
Additionally were other classes can spec to get 3 focus points back between every battle, I effectively as an oracle can only ever get 2 focus back. This isn't a good trade.

This is wrong. You get the extreme curse at level 17, one level sooner than Sorcerers can take Bloodline Wellspring to Refocus 3.


The oracle also doesn't need to spend feats on making refocus more effective, which is nice. Other people might have other things they'd prefer to spend their level 12 or 18 feats on.

Dark Archive

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I've never really minded the "you can't remake 1e character completely flavor wise in 2e" thing, been big fan of CN Lamashtu worshippers not being something any cleric can do.

But yeah, I wouldn't mind the "each mystery has multiple curses available to it" idea either because it does allow for good variety. Like the blackened arms curse is very much themed after fire mystery, so it would be good optional option for it.(that said, geezus, had forgotten how non issue it is. attack penalty on weapon attack rolls in exchange for fireballs, what)


Rysky wrote:
Well Charisma solo Oradins aren't going to be a thing any more so that's not a concern as much.

I imagine this is completely by design

I once tried to come up with a lore friendly backstory for how someone was a fey foundling child cursed with life magic but who then also invested in becoming a lawful good religious zealot

Perhaps this is damning indictment of my creativity but it seemed like it would take a lot of mental gymnastics and I can see why paizo would be closing that avenue off!

*

Re: curses being tethered to the mystery - I haven’t read them in detail but is there something stopping people just ignoring the limitation there and mix matching (currently as a house rule of course). Or are they intrinsically linked in terms of how the abilities work ?

Silver Crusade

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You could switch them around with minimal homebrewing.


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Lanathar wrote:
Re: curses being tethered to the mystery - I haven’t read them in detail but is there something stopping people just ignoring the limitation there and mix matching (currently as a house rule of course). Or are they intrinsically linked in terms of how the abilities work ?

The curses are tied to the mysteries by theme, but they are separate abilities without a direct mechanical link. Thus, a house rule could easily allow mix and match curses.

However, the curses have another property. They are the worst curse for their mystery.

A battle oracle's Curse of the Hero’s Burden gives the oracle a -2 to AC and saving throws, resembling a double-strength fatigue. This is especially bad for a melee character, which is a common style for a battle oracle.

A flame oracle's Curse of Engulfing Flames reduces their vision. Creatures become concealed from them, and at higher curse levels and farther away, hidden. This is especially bad for a ranged character, a common style for a fire-based spellcaster. However, it has no effect on area-of-effect spells, such as fireballs.

A life oracle's Curse of Outpouring Life is resistant to healing, including the mundane Treat Wounds. This is awkward for a party's primary healer, who could easily heal the other party members but would rather not waste healing magic on him- or herself. Instead, the logical thing to do with Curse of Outpouring Life is repeat Treat Wounds on the life oracle as often as possible, while the rest of the party is ready to keep adventuring. I remember seeing D&D games where the other players tell the healer, "You are our sole source of healing. We cannot risk you. Stay out of combat." Hence was born the healbot role. Life oracle seems destined for the healbot role.

In contrast, if we allowed mix-and-match curses, then a life oracle with Curse of the Hero’s Burden would say, "I take more damage, but it's no big deal because I can heal it." A melee battle oracle with Curse of Engulfing Flames would have trouble with ranged attacks but prefers melee anyway. A flames oracle with Curse of Outpouring Life would prefer to keep away from damage by simply using his or her favorite ranged fire spells. A few mixed combinations are still bad, such as a battle oracle with Curse of Outpouring Life.

The curses also have benefits. A moderate Curse of the Hero’s Burden gives fast healing. A major Curse of Engulfing Flames has real flames that burn enemies. A moderate Curse of Outpouring Life adds a bit of healing to all non-cantrip spells, except on yourself. Those last two benefits fit the theme, though I don't see how fast healing fits a Hero's Burden.

Liberty's Edge

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My 2c

Undo the HARD-COUPLING of Mystery and Curses, instead offer each Mystery an option of 2-3 diffrent Curses to choose from and allow curse overlap betwen different Mysteries. For example, the Life Oracle could have the choice of the existing Curse, or to take the "Death" Variant that will almost certainly be published in the same book and also do the same for the "Death" Mystery, whatever it is called.

In addition to this, I really think that ALL Curses should probably have some "Always-On" Penalty, even it if it very minor. This is a VERY important one if there is going to remain some semblance of a tie to the PF1 Oracle which was always clearly hampered in some way regardless of if they'd used their abilities that day or not.

Doing away with the Focus Pool is a cool idea for the Revelation Spells, but I don't think it is a wise move to do this for ALL SOURCES of Focus Pools, this is going to SERIOUSLY and irrevocably gimp Multiclass considerations for Oracles and you are going to have to keep a Post-it on every writer/editor/designers desk reminding them that "The Oracle can't use Focus" for the next ten years, seriously, it's not worth it. Paizo has made some mistakes in the past in terms of releasing content that doesn't play nice as far a future-proofing goes, and keeping this one rule is going to be a giant headache for your whole team if you keep it.

IMO: Give them the Focus Pool back, lower the number or NORMAL Spells they get per day by 1 across the board, and instead allow the Oracle to get a free casting of any Revelation Spell without spending Focus by drawing power from their Mystery and increasing their Curse Penalty.


Mathmuse wrote:
The curses are tied to the mysteries by theme, but they are separate abilities without a direct mechanical link.

The battle oracle curse increases the damage you do but makes your spellcasting worse, life oracle curse makes your heals stronger and the flame oracle curse lets you ignore the concealment penalty with fire spells.

You definitely could mix and match them, but to say there's no mechanical bridge between them doesn't seem right.

Quote:
you are going to have to keep a Post-it on every writer/editor/designers desk reminding them that "The Oracle can't use Focus"

That's not really accurate though. The Oracle does use focus, it just can't gain points from feats and gains refocus 2 and 3 automatically and a level early.

There's functionally no difference between the way the current Oracle works and "every time you spend a focus point advance your curse".

If anything, giving them a normal focus pool and their curse mechanic would be more problematic for future proofing, because focus spells are intended to have pretty narrow limits on how often you can use them and giving one class two pools could potentially lead to some abusive corner cases in the future.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
In addition to this, I really think that ALL Curses should probably have some "Always-On" Penalty, even it if it very minor. This is a VERY important one if there is going to remain some semblance of a tie to the PF1 Oracle which was always clearly hampered in some way regardless of if they'd used their abilities that day or not.

That moderate and major curses can be fixed with a 10-minute Refocus activity and the minor curse can be removed with a good night's sleep annoys me personally. None of my four disabilities can be relieved by a good night's sleep. Two of them, sleep apnea and chronic fatigue syndrome, would ordinarily prevent refeshing myself with sleep. Any curse that can be managed by 10 minutes of mediation or light exercise or whatever the refocus activity of an oracle is (the class does not say) is laughably trivial compared to real-life disabilities.

I had looked up some historical blind seers for a post to the What actually is an Oracle that I haven't written yet. One example is Ahijah the prophet. He was a blind prophet because he had lost his sight to old age. The blindness had nothing to do with his prophetic powers, though it did make a good gotcha when he could still recognize someone in disguise by prophecy alone (1 Kings chapter 14). Another example is Tiresias of Greek mythology (Wikipedia: Tiresias). He was rendered blind by the goddess Hera. The god Zeus could not remove the curse, so he granted Tiresias the gift of foresight and a very long life to compensate for his goddess wife's unfair anger. Those blindnesses were always-on disabilities, not something that sprung up routinely from use of mystic power and would vanished with a rest.

Themetricsystem wrote:

Doing away with the Focus Pool is a cool idea for the Revelation Spells, but I don't think it is a wise move to do this for ALL SOURCES of Focus Pools, this is going to SERIOUSLY and irrevocably gimp Multiclass considerations for Oracles and you are going to have to keep a Post-it on every writer/editor/designers desk reminding them that "The Oracle can't use Focus" for the next ten years, seriously, it's not worth it. Paizo has made some mistakes in the past in terms of releasing content that doesn't play nice as far a future-proofing goes, and keeping this one rule is going to be a giant headache for your whole team if you keep it.

IMO: Give them the Focus Pool back, lower the number or NORMAL Spells they get per day by 1 across the board, and instead allow the Oracle to get a free casting of any Revelation Spell without spending Focus by drawing power from their Mystery and increasing their Curse Penalty.

Or double down on the Always-On Curse and use that to justify a focus pool.

Imagine that a young man of a barbarian tribe had caught a cough during his childhood and never fully recovered. He was always fatigued and thus could never manage a barbarian rage. He had to settle for apprenticing himself to his tribe's cleric of Gorum, god of battle, strength, and weapons. But he was dissatisfied with Gorum, who would not cure his lingering illness except by spells out of reach of both the apprentice and the master. Driven by his anger, but the unfairness of his life, he reached past Gorum and tapped into the mystery of battle itself. He could tap into the power of battle for his magic. He could even use this power to temporarily overcome his fatigue and fight like a warrior. He was a battle oracke with curse of fatigue.

Mechanically, this character would have an always-on fatigue condition. He would have a focus pool of one focus from his Battle mystery. He could spend that focus to become immune to the fatigued condition for two hours. Or he could spend it for a divine lance, the revelation of a battle oracle, but then he loses the immunity. Moderate Burden and Major Burden would be class feats that increase the burden (I prefer that word to "curse." Read the thread Don't like the curse word), increase the focus pool, and provide a secondary benefit, because disabilities don't automatically increase.

We could have a character with vision darkened by cataracts who embraced the mystery of sun and fire for a brightness to see better. We could have a character with a permanent illness who embraced the mystery of life for personal healing. We could have a character haunted by his past who embraced the mystery of ancestors to confront that past. We could have a deaf character who embraced the mystery of wind to feel the vibrations in the air.

If mxing and matching were a house rule, someone with a fatigue burden could take the flames mystery, but then would have low-light vision and darkvision but be stuck without a way to remove the fatigue.

Silver Crusade

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Squiggit wrote:
There's functionally no difference between the way the current Oracle works and "every time you spend a focus point advance your curse".

Except for the whole you don’t have focus points but you still cast Focus spells except not quite.

It’s a headache-inducing splitting hair distinction that will cause issues later on.

I’d have them use Focus spells and points like everyone else, and rework the Curse so they’re not overflowing with Focus and Not-Focus.


Rysky wrote:
Except for the whole you don’t have focus points but you still cast Focus spells except not quite.

Again, not really. It's a distinction that helps clarify how the mechanic works and prevents players from making choices that won't help them (like trying to gain extra focus points), but otherwise is functionally just a focus pool with a second mechanic coupled to it. There's nothing except not quite about it.

Like I said, they could reword it to just advancing your curse whenever you spend a focus point, but the mechanics would be exactly the same if they did.

Quote:
It’s a headache-inducing splitting hair distinction that will cause issues later on.

Like what?

Silver Crusade

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That they have a focus pool that isn’t a focus pool and cast focus spells that aren’t focus spells. It’s completely unnecessary.

If this stays we’ll later get options building off the thought these focus-spells-that-aren’t-focus-spells are focus spells, and that’ll cause arguments and fight and confusion.


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Squiggit wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
The curses are tied to the mysteries by theme, but they are separate abilities without a direct mechanical link.

The battle oracle curse increases the damage you do but makes your spellcasting worse, life oracle curse makes your heals stronger and the flame oracle curse lets you ignore the concealment penalty with fire spells.

You definitely could mix and match them, but to say there's no mechanical bridge between them doesn't seem right.

The increased damage from battle oracle curse does not appear before Major Curse at 11th level. At 10th level and below, there is no extra damage. I looked that the minor curse to define the nature of the curses, since the moderate curse and major curse can be removed with a refocus, but minor curse lasts all day. My opinion is that something that was tacked on later is not a direct mechanical link, but more an afterthought.

Okay, " the flame oracle curse lets you ignore the concealment penalty with fire spells," is another aspect of the curse that I did not mention. The curses are often reduced if the character plays in-theme to the mystery. For example, the minor Curse of Hero's Burden says, "each time you make a Strike, you can suspend these penalties until the start of your next turn." That is not a benefit, that is reducing a penalty. However, Squiggit is right that it is an attempt to link the mystery and curse mechanically.

This is also why the moderate Curse of Outpouring Life was written as four different effects. The developers wanted a mechanical link but didn't want the link to cause the mystery and curse to cancel out, so they had to tiptoe around the conflicting effects.

Oracle playtest, Curse of Outpouring Life wrote:
Moderate Curse: The flow of life energy away from you can’t be reversed. In addition to the effects of your minor curse, you can’t be healed by effects originating from other creatures, though you are affected normally by elixirs, potions, and other items; if you are unconscious, external healing effects can restore you to 1 HP. When you cast heal and all your targets would be healed by the effect, you roll d12s instead of d8s. Whenever you finish the Cast a Spell activity for a non-cantrip spell, you restore Hit Points equal to the spell level to either one target of the spell or the creature nearest to you (your choice, but in no case can you restore these Hit Points to yourself).


Rysky wrote:
That they have a focus pool that isn’t a focus pool and cast focus spells that aren’t focus spells. It’s completely unnecessary.

Then they can reword it in the way I suggested and not have to redo any mechanics, or change anything at all really.

Although I'm still not seeing these supposedly inevitable issues that will come up.

Silver Crusade

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It’s redoing Focus mechanics.

And I mentioned the issue, they’re going to start producing mechanics assuming the Not-Focus mechanics are Focus mechanics and it’s going to cause a lot of issues.


I like the hard coupling opposed to last edition where you could pick any. Most combinations didn't make sense before, and this edition a fire oracle having to strike each round or take an AC penalty also doesn't make sense. The "mystery picks from one or two curses" most people are requesting is not off the table from what we've been given, since there's only three curses so far. It would be easier to balance too, since each curse doesn't have to be swappable for any other curse.


BellyBeard wrote:
I like the hard coupling opposed to last edition where you could pick any. Most combinations didn't make sense before, and this edition a fire oracle having to strike each round or take an AC penalty also doesn't make sense. The "mystery picks from one or two curses" most people are requesting is not off the table from what we've been given, since there's only three curses so far. It would be easier to balance too, since each curse doesn't have to be swappable for any other curse.

I could see Paizo releasing alternate curses for existing mysteries in World Guides and whatnot but expecting that sort of thing for all of them seems a bit unrealistic. Page space will pile up real fast if we're hoping for the Oracle to get at least two curses per mystery right in the APG.


That's why you re use curses that make sense for different mysteries. A blind curse makes as much sense for Battle as for Fire, a life curse makes as much sense for Life as for Fire, etc.

So you can have 1.5 curse/mystery ratio.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What's wrong with a class interacting or changing a core mechanic in a unique way? If we limit the devs to not doing that we've pretty much stopped their ability to make many new classes. Sure it might be ever so slightly complicated until you've used it once but that's also why the more fiddly class options are in the ADVANCED players guide.

Silver Crusade

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Changing the way a Class interacts with a core mechanic isn’t automatically bad, but it is when it doesn’t play well with said mechanic. And continues to be unruly as more optional that operate out of that core mechanic are released.

And Advanced Player’s Guide isn’t much of a justification for such.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
There's functionally no difference between the way the current Oracle works and "every time you spend a focus point advance your curse".

Except for the whole you don’t have focus points but you still cast Focus spells except not quite.

It’s a headache-inducing splitting hair distinction that will cause issues later on.

I’d have them use Focus spells and points like everyone else, and rework the Curse so they’re not overflowing with Focus and Not-Focus.

instead of counting down you count up

sorc with 2 focus points and a oracle with moderate curse as their maximum.

the sorc casts a focus spell and is now at 1 out of 2 remaining, they cast another and now have 0/2.

the oracle castsa focus spell, and their curse is set to level 1 of 2. they cast another and it's now 2 of 2, on no they cast it again and at above 2 and fall unconscious.

that's the only real difference. like every class with focus spells calls them something whacky like revelations. clerics have domain spells, champions have devotion spells, etc.

Quote:
You can cast revelation spells, which are a type of focus spell. Though it normally costs 1 Focus Point to cast a focus spell, as an oracle, you do not have a focus pool and can never gain one by any means, even if you take a feat that would grant you Focus Points or a focus pool. Instead, you cast revelation spells, or other focus spells you learn, by drawing upon the power of your mystery, which incurs the effects of your oracular curse (see below).

i don't see how this is confusing. instead of lowering your focus pool by one, you increment your oracular curse...


There's a lot of potential design space for "alternatives to focus that work differently" (I suspect the Occultist will do this) so we shouldn't say no to new mechanics in new books.

There's also nothing really wrong with "one choice you made in building your character locking you out from a different choice." Everything in the CRB plays nice with everything else but later books will let us have things like "the superstition barbarian" who should not be able to multiclass as a wizard.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I still haven't seen how its problematic in the slightest. Seems written specifically to shut down potential issues.


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I like the idea of Curses tied to Mysteries, but agree that there should be a variety of Curses per Mystery. It would give the class some more variety. ATM I also agree that the class should have Focus spells as normal, but that may change when I play it.

Silver Crusade

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Malk_Content wrote:
I still haven't seen how its problematic in the slightest. Seems written specifically to shut down potential issues.

I have repeatedly stated how it will cause issues later on as more rules and abilities involving Focus mechanics are implemented and someone(s) going to forget that Oracles have focus-mechanics-that-aren’t-focus-mechanics-when-they-kinda-are when that could all be avoided by not adding this needless complexity. It doesn’t add anything, other than complexity for the sake of complexity.

Silver Crusade

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Bandw2 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
There's functionally no difference between the way the current Oracle works and "every time you spend a focus point advance your curse".

Except for the whole you don’t have focus points but you still cast Focus spells except not quite.

It’s a headache-inducing splitting hair distinction that will cause issues later on.

I’d have them use Focus spells and points like everyone else, and rework the Curse so they’re not overflowing with Focus and Not-Focus.

instead of counting down you count up

sorc with 2 focus points and a oracle with moderate curse as their maximum.

the sorc casts a focus spell and is now at 1 out of 2 remaining, they cast another and now have 0/2.

the oracle castsa focus spell, and their curse is set to level 1 of 2. they cast another and it's now 2 of 2, on no they cast it again and at above 2 and fall unconscious.

that's the only real difference. like every class with focus spells calls them something whacky like revelations. clerics have domain spells, champions have devotion spells, etc.

Quote:
You can cast revelation spells, which are a type of focus spell. Though it normally costs 1 Focus Point to cast a focus spell, as an oracle, you do not have a focus pool and can never gain one by any means, even if you take a feat that would grant you Focus Points or a focus pool. Instead, you cast revelation spells, or other focus spells you learn, by drawing upon the power of your mystery, which incurs the effects of your oracular curse (see below).
i don't see how this is confusing. instead of lowering your focus pool by one, you increment your oracular curse...

My concerns have nothing to do with the numbers.


I really like the idea of multiple curses per mystery, but this idea seems hard to implement/confusing in the long run. You run into the problem where all new curses need a list of which mysteries you can combine it with and all mysteries need such a list too. Seems like it could quickly become a giant mess.

Liberty's Edge

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In terms of compromises, I like the idea someone suggested of having Curses be kind of like Domains. There's a list of them and each mystery gets to pick between several from the list.

That sorta has a 'best of both worlds' thing going on, where you still get to pick, but do so from a vetted list. It also means you get choices even if the numbers aren't too divergent and that new Curses can be published and immediately be available to multiple Mysteries.

I also have issues with the Curse mechanic itself as it stands (finding it overly punitive considering the Oracle's other features and what they get from it), but purely in terms of solutions to the Mystery/Curse linkage, this seems like the most reasonable solution.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I dont see how someone playing an Oracle is going to forget how the core feature of their class works. So no I dont agree that its problematic or even that confusing. It can be broken down to three quick points.

1. Your Oracle granted powers are focus spells.

2. Whenever you use any focus spelling advances your curse rather than spending a focus point.

3. You can only advance your curse so many times. After that you fall unconscious.

It isn't hard or confusing, and because they've worded it as a blanket mechanic on all focus spells it stops any problems arising. You not liking the mechanic does not make it problematic


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

And I wouldn't say its complexity for the sake of complexity. They wanted a strong thematic mechanic for oracle powers. Once developed it's actually simpler to roll all focus spells into that as it reduces the number if pools the oracle needs to track. It also allows the Oracle to reset in 10 minutes instead of 20.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
There's functionally no difference between the way the current Oracle works and "every time you spend a focus point advance your curse".

Except for the whole you don’t have focus points but you still cast Focus spells except not quite.

It’s a headache-inducing splitting hair distinction that will cause issues later on.

I’d have them use Focus spells and points like everyone else, and rework the Curse so they’re not overflowing with Focus and Not-Focus.

instead of counting down you count up

sorc with 2 focus points and a oracle with moderate curse as their maximum.

the sorc casts a focus spell and is now at 1 out of 2 remaining, they cast another and now have 0/2.

the oracle castsa focus spell, and their curse is set to level 1 of 2. they cast another and it's now 2 of 2, on no they cast it again and at above 2 and fall unconscious.

that's the only real difference. like every class with focus spells calls them something whacky like revelations. clerics have domain spells, champions have devotion spells, etc.

Quote:
You can cast revelation spells, which are a type of focus spell. Though it normally costs 1 Focus Point to cast a focus spell, as an oracle, you do not have a focus pool and can never gain one by any means, even if you take a feat that would grant you Focus Points or a focus pool. Instead, you cast revelation spells, or other focus spells you learn, by drawing upon the power of your mystery, which incurs the effects of your oracular curse (see below).
i don't see how this is confusing. instead of lowering your focus pool by one, you increment your oracular curse...
My concerns have nothing to do with the numbers.

well the numbers are the only thing that changed, so i don't understand the issue.

when you would have spent a spell point you instead increment your curse...

Silver Crusade

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Malk_Content wrote:

I dont see how someone playing an Oracle is going to forget how the core feature of their class works. So no I dont agree that its problematic or even that confusing. It can be broken down to three quick points.

1. Your Oracle granted powers are focus spells.

2. Whenever you use any focus spelling advances your curse rather than spending a focus point.

3. You can only advance your curse so many times. After that you fall unconscious.

It isn't hard or confusing, and because they've worded it as a blanket mechanic on all focus spells it stops any problems arising. You not liking the mechanic does not make it problematic

Please actually read what I write.

And you can stop repeating the “when you cast a Revelation spell your Curses advances” line I understand that, that’s not the point nor what I’m talking about.

The issue arises when the designers forget that the Oracles don’t actually have Focus and produce mechanics that assume they do.

Silver Crusade

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Bandw2 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
There's functionally no difference between the way the current Oracle works and "every time you spend a focus point advance your curse".

Except for the whole you don’t have focus points but you still cast Focus spells except not quite.

It’s a headache-inducing splitting hair distinction that will cause issues later on.

I’d have them use Focus spells and points like everyone else, and rework the Curse so they’re not overflowing with Focus and Not-Focus.

instead of counting down you count up

sorc with 2 focus points and a oracle with moderate curse as their maximum.

the sorc casts a focus spell and is now at 1 out of 2 remaining, they cast another and now have 0/2.

the oracle castsa focus spell, and their curse is set to level 1 of 2. they cast another and it's now 2 of 2, on no they cast it again and at above 2 and fall unconscious.

that's the only real difference. like every class with focus spells calls them something whacky like revelations. clerics have domain spells, champions have devotion spells, etc.

Quote:
You can cast revelation spells, which are a type of focus spell. Though it normally costs 1 Focus Point to cast a focus spell, as an oracle, you do not have a focus pool and can never gain one by any means, even if you take a feat that would grant you Focus Points or a focus pool. Instead, you cast revelation spells, or other focus spells you learn, by drawing upon the power of your mystery, which incurs the effects of your oracular curse (see below).
i don't see how this is confusing. instead of lowering your focus pool by one, you increment your oracular curse...
My concerns have nothing to do with the numbers.

well the numbers are the only thing that changed, so i don't understand the issue.

when you would have spent a spell point you instead increment your curse...

no the numbers didn’t change or have anything to do with this.

It’s the Focus-Mechanics-that-aren’t-Focus-Mechanics-but-are aka P1’s “Ability A functions like Ability D except ... (meaning you don’t qualify for things like X, B, and C but you do for ability Q and maybe T depending on how it’s named)”

Silver Crusade

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Malk_Content wrote:
And I wouldn't say its complexity for the sake of complexity. They wanted a strong thematic mechanic for oracle powers. Once developed it's actually simpler to roll all focus spells into that as it reduces the number if pools the oracle needs to track. It also allows the Oracle to reset in 10 minutes instead of 20.

How is having to constantly adjust your stats due to your Curse going up and down less complex than having a Focus pool?

And then there’s having to have a future note for all future Focus abilities and Oracles abilities that Oracles don’t actually have Focus and hope they don’t forget and produce rules under the assumption that they do.


I don't think the reason for a non-focus mechanic is because it's easy, it's because it's flavorful and interesting. We're paying for that with complexity. So regarding bookkeeping and curses, how much do you have to keep track of?

Life
Minor- Minimal, you are harder to heal and you gain less when someone heals you.

Moderate- Minimal, no one else can heal you if you're conscious, you roll d12s on heal spells if you're not doing damage with them, and you get a healing rider on your non-cantrip spells.

Major- It's easy to remember, but it's somewhat involved to calculate. Your 5th level+ spell slot spells have a healing burst that drains your HP, hope you have the formula for how many dice you roll for heal by now.

Fire
Minor- Basically nothing, creatures >30' away are concealed.

Moderate- Minor, you're concealed and so is everyone within 30' unless you're attacking them with fire. Things >30' away are even harder to see

Major- A bit fiddly- you take 2d6 damage/turn unless you spend an action not to.

Battle
Minor- Non-negligible, you get -2 to AC/all saves unless you made a strike in in your most recent turn.

Moderate- Significant, your penalty is -2 if you haven't made a strike, -1 if you have, and fast healing requires updating your HP more often.

Major - Not so bad, it's the moderate curse with twice the healing, plus a debuff and a bonus that just stays there until you refocus.

The only one I think is really going to be a problem in the course of play is the battle one having your AC and saves constantly going down by 2, or 1, or 0 depending on your curse status and how much you're swinging your weapon. I think the battle curse could use some reworking. Rage giving penalties for the duration is fine for the barbarian but Rage's math changing every round would not be.

Liberty's Edge

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Battle is also really bad because it applies to your static Saves just walking around. Better hope you in no way get involved in social stuff while you're suffering that inescapable -2 to Will Saves...


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Battle is also really bad because it applies to your static Saves just walking around. Better hope you in no way get involved in social stuff while you're suffering that inescapable -2 to Will Saves...

"He's trying to seduce you! Quick, punch that random bystander so you can resist it!"


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Rysky wrote:
It’s the Focus-Mechanics-that-aren’t-Focus-Mechanics-but-are aka P1’s “Ability A functions like Ability D except ... (meaning you don’t qualify for things like X, B, and C but you do for ability Q and maybe T depending on how it’s named)”

That's pretty hyperbolic. They're focus spells that don't use focus points (and instead use something that's functionally identical to focus points). That's it. There's another mechanic tied to the use of them, but fundamentally that's all there is to it.

You keep saying there's no future proofing, but making the system insular is the future proofing, because it guarantees that no future feat can accidentally allow Oracles to circumvent or game their core mechanic in an unintended way.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Squiggit wrote:
Rysky wrote:
It’s the Focus-Mechanics-that-aren’t-Focus-Mechanics-but-are aka P1’s “Ability A functions like Ability D except ... (meaning you don’t qualify for things like X, B, and C but you do for ability Q and maybe T depending on how it’s named)”

That's pretty hyperbolic. They're focus spells that don't use focus points (and instead use something that's functionally identical to focus points). That's it. There's another mechanic tied to the use of them, but fundamentally that's all there is to it.

You keep saying there's no future proofing, but making the system insular is the future proofing, because it guarantees that no future feat can accidentally allow Oracles to circumvent or game their core mechanic in an unintended way.

That’s not really hyperbole.

I’m not sure how the system is insular (unless you’re referring to class specific feats) and it’s not really, since there’s other feats + Dedications.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Henro wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Battle is also really bad because it applies to your static Saves just walking around. Better hope you in no way get involved in social stuff while you're suffering that inescapable -2 to Will Saves...
"He's trying to seduce you! Quick, punch that random bystander so you can resist it!"

Verbal Duel!


Reading through this, I'd propose the following to address the issues of "not technically focus" and curses not always being on.

1-You are permanently under the effect of the minor curse. This persists even through daily prep, etc. To make up for the effective loss of focus pool, reduce the downsides on this stage and possibly add some additional minor upside (Like, flame curse could grant low-light vision or upgrade it to darkvision or something)
2-You get a focus pool. You get a clause saying your curse advances a stage when you use focus points and resets to minor when you refocus (so you can benefit from things that recharge it otherwise, but it only lets you use revelation spells more). The unconscious is changed to "you may use a revelation spell while at 0 focus points, but..."

I'm completely behind looking at some of the downsides on curse stages too - Life Oracle feels too harsh to me in particular, and as someone pointed out losing out on stats in social situations always is bad.

Actually, as an aside... maybe give life oracles permanent fast healing increasing with their curse stage as long as they're conscious - basically it's harder for others to heal them but there's a constant surge of health going.


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Seems like it would have been a lot simpler to say, if you have spent X focus points, then you have Curse severity X. You can only gain focus points through Oracle class features, which are not restricted by the limitation of a maximum of three.

That way you can transfer your understanding of focus points, and it is consistent with other classes.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

I dont see how someone playing an Oracle is going to forget how the core feature of their class works. So no I dont agree that its problematic or even that confusing. It can be broken down to three quick points.

1. Your Oracle granted powers are focus spells.

2. Whenever you use any focus spelling advances your curse rather than spending a focus point.

3. You can only advance your curse so many times. After that you fall unconscious.

It isn't hard or confusing, and because they've worded it as a blanket mechanic on all focus spells it stops any problems arising. You not liking the mechanic does not make it problematic

Please actually read what I write.

And you can stop repeating the “when you cast a Revelation spell your Curses advances” line I understand that, that’s not the point nor what I’m talking about.

The issue arises when the designers forget that the Oracles don’t actually have Focus and produce mechanics that assume they do.

Well I like to assume the designers are competent and wont do this. And for outside of oracle focus stuff that the oracle could feat into, that's already covered by the oracles text shutting down things before they start.

For the complexity thing, it's not that curses are simpler than focus. It's that curses are an integral oracle feature and curses only is simpler than curses + focus.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I am with Rysky on this. There are better ways of managing the tie between revelations, curses and focus. I think this is a huge detriment to anyone what does multiclass through archetypes. I mean there goes an oracle monk hybrid (something quite thematic) or an oracle sorcerer hybrid.

It creates unnecessary separation. The reference and limitations to focus should be left out of it entirely. Remove the line about Oracles not being able to get a focus pool would be a huge benefit. Curses and revelations already break what is most important about the focus pool system so why even relate the two?


I honestly don't think its that complicated. they dont have focus spells, they have revelation spells, how the mechanic works is pretty easy and quite simple.
focus spells from other classes become revelations spells for you. none of that is an issue. you have to mediate to reduce your curse level.

The problem to me, is that you are punished for doing the main thing your class does. it's great for an NPC or a story, but as an actual play mechanic, it makes little sense and was/is incredibly unfun.

The second major issue, is that there is zero development for your mystery. The difference between oracles outside of there curses is minor.

Curses are important but they shouldn't be the most defining part of the class, it seems way more thought was put into curses instead of the mysteries.

too much effort was put into the revelation spells, instead of the mystery class feats and the mystery themselves.

maybe the session next week will go better, but I was not impressed with how the our 5th test of the class went yesterday.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Malk_Content wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

I dont see how someone playing an Oracle is going to forget how the core feature of their class works. So no I dont agree that its problematic or even that confusing. It can be broken down to three quick points.

1. Your Oracle granted powers are focus spells.

2. Whenever you use any focus spelling advances your curse rather than spending a focus point.

3. You can only advance your curse so many times. After that you fall unconscious.

It isn't hard or confusing, and because they've worded it as a blanket mechanic on all focus spells it stops any problems arising. You not liking the mechanic does not make it problematic

Please actually read what I write.

And you can stop repeating the “when you cast a Revelation spell your Curses advances” line I understand that, that’s not the point nor what I’m talking about.

The issue arises when the designers forget that the Oracles don’t actually have Focus and produce mechanics that assume they do.

Well I like to assume the designers are competent and wont do this. And for outside of oracle focus stuff that the oracle could feat into, that's already covered by the oracles text shutting down things before they start.

For the complexity thing, it's not that curses are simpler than focus. It's that curses are an integral oracle feature and curses only is simpler than curses + focus.

It’s not a question of competence, which I’m not claiming they’re lacking, but of remembering every single rule interaction when producing new options.

So we come back to Oracle, which feels like complexity for the sake of complexity rather than anything innovative.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Well I'm still having trouble even imagining what a broken rule would be concerning the oracle. Maybe I lack in creativity and such need an example to enlighten me, could you give such an example to help me see the problem?

And yes it would be incompetence to forget the defining feature of a class when writing for it.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Any Feat or ability that assumes Oracles have a Focus pool because they have Focus Spells.

Or someone merely forgot because the Oracles rules on their Not-Focus are needlessly complicated rather than being innovative. I also wouldn’t consider them the class defining feature of the Oracles, that belongs to the Mystery/Curse.

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