Why not play a divine sorcerer?


Oracle Playtest

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Ravingdork wrote:

It took us 20 years to get rid of the class penalty that was Prohibited Schools for wizards.

And now we're getting a new kind of class penalty in oracle curses? Feels like we're going backwards with that one.

Curses have been an essential part of the oracle since it was released nearly a decade ago, and the most instantly recognizable part of the previous iconic oracle (except maybe her cool hat). We're not getting any "new kind" of penalty, they've just made the curses harsher. With this post you seem to suggest removing curse penalties as a significant drawback for the character.

We have the Barbarian, a class who takes on some penalties to do their thing better, who nobody complains has a class penalty or backward design as a result. Do you agree with the barbarian's design? If so, what's different about oracle? Do you simply think the penalties outweigh the benefits received, compared to a caster with no curse like sorcerer? Is it because the barbarian's higher HP helps shore up the weakness their AC penalty provides? Which aspect needs to change for the curse paradigm to be more digestable to you?

I was excited to play a PF1 oracle because of the curse, not despite it. It presents an immediately actionable "tragic hero" flaw that your character can have complex emotions about and work to overcome. That is, until I realized the curse had little mechanical impact on my character, kind of like a flavorful scar. It seemed to remove the heroic notion of overcoming your weaknesses, since they just overcame themselves as you leveled for the most part. I personally hope they don't tone down the curses so much that it feels like that again. If you don't want to play this sort of character, there are already many ways to accomplish something similar without playing the cursed class.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd prefer to see *some* benefit out of the curse, rather than *less of a benefit*.

I have two oracles in PFS (Dragon[Spirit Guide: Lore], Dark Tapestry). Their Curses are Haunted and Tongues.

They have been exceptionally crippling curses at the lower levels, but they weren't 'take character out of play for a session or two' crippling.

They also have benefits that are worth the 'price of admission'.

And yes, let me tell you that as a Dragon Mystery Oracle kitted out to kind-of tank.... Haunted is a bit of a pain in the tail.

Nothing I see in the curses presented in this playtest look remotely helpful, and have in fact started to push any future character ideas I have towards Divine Sorcerer despite the fact that the ancestry of the iconic is one I've been hoping for.

This makes me a bit sad.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Bellybeard, there's a big difference between limitations of a class, and actively punishing/penalizing a player.

The barbarian has limitations, like any class. Without such limitations, there would be no class dimorphism.

What the oracles does though is punish you for playing an oracle, for even using its primary class abilities.

Curses are fine, but they should be flavor, or perhaps minor limitations that can be easily built around, such as your character is cursed with hideousness (no mechanical effect) or your character cannot wear metal armor (per druid), that sort of thing.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Nothing I see in the curses presented in this playtest look remotely helpful, and have in fact started to push any future character ideas I have towards Divine Sorcerer despite the fact that the ancestry of the iconic is one I've been hoping for.

This makes me a bit sad.

Maybe that's a deliberate design choice? I'm guessing the developers want people to play the new oracle class, but they also don't want people to stop playing divine sorcerers.

Divine sorcerers will be primarily used by people who don't like the curse penalties, and the oracle will be played by those people who think the curse enhances play.


I can't even imagine the PF1 tongues curse being described as crippling, I've never actually seen it affect the game besides a player doing funny pantomime when they can't speak common in combat, and haunted is a little worse but easy to play around, so your experience and definition of a difficult curse are apparently very different from mine.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BellyBeard wrote:
I can't even imagine the PF1 tongues curse being described as crippling, I've never actually seen it affect the game besides a player doing funny pantomime when they can't speak common in combat, and haunted is a little worse but easy to play around, so your experience and definition of a difficult curse are apparently very different from mine.

When one is speaking Aklo and no one else at the table can speak it... and no one else has indicated that they can't speak it... yeah, it's crippling. If folks don't metagame it, that is.

Haunted when you're trying to shift weapons to deal with different threats? Yeah, that gets interesting *really* quick.


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I think Blaze of Revelation is an awesome feat. As in it would make an awesome story if you ever had to use it to full effect.

I think the unconsciousness cap is mostly a hard cap until level 18 and that feat.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


When one is speaking Aklo and no one else at the table can speak it... and no one else has indicated that they can't speak it... yeah, it's crippling. If folks don't metagame it, that is.

Haunted when you're trying to shift weapons to deal with different threats? Yeah, that gets interesting *really* quick.

Tongues only happens in combat. How often is not speaking to your teammates during a combat crippling your effectiveness? As for your teammates not telling you they didn't speak Aklo, it's a good policy to not actually say the words unless someone can understand them (as player and GM). Just say "I say something in Aklo" or speak gibberish if that floats your boat. But none of that deals with how crippling of a curse tongues is.

As for haunted, the worst that happens is you get one less attack during a combat if you guessed wrong and had the wrong weapon out for a particular resistance. Or maybe the real worst would be if you were near an edge and gambled by dropping an expensive item and it randomly flew off the side. It's a penalty, yes, but crippling is a strong word, and weapons aren't even your main thing anyways.


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BellyBeard wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


When one is speaking Aklo and no one else at the table can speak it... and no one else has indicated that they can't speak it... yeah, it's crippling. If folks don't metagame it, that is.

Haunted when you're trying to shift weapons to deal with different threats? Yeah, that gets interesting *really* quick.

Tongues only happens in combat. How often is not speaking to your teammates during a combat crippling your effectiveness? As for your teammates not telling you they didn't speak Aklo, it's a good policy to not actually say the words unless someone can understand them (as player and GM). Just say "I say something in Aklo" or speak gibberish if that floats your boat. But none of that deals with how crippling of a curse tongues is.

As for haunted, the worst that happens is you get one less attack during a combat if you guessed wrong and had the wrong weapon out for a particular resistance. Or maybe the real worst would be if you were near an edge and gambled by dropping an expensive item and it randomly flew off the side. It's a penalty, yes, but crippling is a strong word, and weapons aren't even your main thing anyways.

Plus, the haunted curse doesn't apply to drawing a weapon, only to retrieving an item. It sucked if you planned on having lots of scrolls & wands, but only if for combat (and it's not like you'd be buying that many knowing that limitation). I had a PC w/ the curse and the extra spells known gave you the breadth to make up for any lack of combat consumables. Would not use in PFS though, where consumables were like candy.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Ravingdork wrote:


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Nothing I see in the curses presented in this playtest look remotely helpful, and have in fact started to push any future character ideas I have towards Divine Sorcerer despite the fact that the ancestry of the iconic is one I've been hoping for.

This makes me a bit sad.

Maybe that's a deliberate design choice? I'm guessing the developers want people to play the new oracle class, but they also don't want people to stop playing divine sorcerers.

Divine sorcerers will be primarily used by people who don't like the curse penalties, and the oracle will be played by those people who think the curse enhances play.

To be completely transparent, you've hit the nail on the head. In Second Edition, a player who wants all the benefits of a divine spontaneous caster without having to maneuver around a curse mechanic has everything they want in a divine-tradition sorcerer. The oracle in Second Edition is aimed at the player who dig the "power at a cost," balancing risks and rewards, and similar options. There's absolutely nothing stopping a player from creating a fantastic narrative of a devil bloodline sorcerer whose infernal ancestor likes to meddle in the character's affairs and make their life more "interesting" (read: difficult). But there isn't a good way in the core rules to model the "power with a price" concept that you could get with the First Edition oracle - and that's the need we're looking to meet with this class.

(But I'm sorry that makes you sad, Wei Ji.)


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Lyz Liddell wrote:


To be completely transparent, you've hit the nail on the head. In Second Edition, a player who wants all the benefits of a divine spontaneous caster without having to maneuver around a curse mechanic has everything they want in a divine-tradition sorcerer. The oracle in Second Edition is aimed at the player who dig the "power at a cost," balancing risks and rewards, and similar options. There's absolutely nothing stopping a player from creating a fantastic narrative of a devil bloodline sorcerer whose infernal ancestor likes to meddle in the character's affairs and make their life more "interesting" (read: difficult). But there isn't a good way in the core rules to model the "power with a price" concept that you could get with the First Edition oracle - and that's the need we're looking to meet with this class.

(But I'm sorry that makes you sad, Wei Ji.)

That's fine and all, but the 'power with a price' the current version models is 'never pay the price' by never using revelation spells. Just treat the class as a divine caster with a few basic chassis bumps.

That really does need to be addressed in some fashion.

As does the fact that as an 'oracle' nothing in the class really lives up to that term. The ethereal sight feat maybe, but that I'm still not clear on how being able to see into the ethereal is useful in PF2, beyond checking for something lurking there on the off chance it might be able to plane shift and attack.


Voss wrote:

That's fine and all, but the 'power with a price' the current version models is 'never pay the price' by never using revelation spells. Just treat the class as a divine caster with a few basic chassis bumps.

That really does need to be addressed in some fashion.

As does the fact that as an 'oracle' nothing in the class really lives up to that term. The ethereal sight feat maybe, but that I'm still not clear on how being able to see into the ethereal is useful in PF2, beyond checking for something lurking there on the off chance it might be able to plane shift and attack.

Hard disagree.

As you grow in power it is more and more tempting to use your revelation spells.

The oracles has fortune effects for initiative, or just any roll once every ten minutes at high levels. At level 1, they can use Religion for prophecy about any topic.


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Lyz Liddell wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Nothing I see in the curses presented in this playtest look remotely helpful, and have in fact started to push any future character ideas I have towards Divine Sorcerer despite the fact that the ancestry of the iconic is one I've been hoping for.

This makes me a bit sad.

Maybe that's a deliberate design choice? I'm guessing the developers want people to play the new oracle class, but they also don't want people to stop playing divine sorcerers.

Divine sorcerers will be primarily used by people who don't like the curse penalties, and the oracle will be played by those people who think the curse enhances play.

To be completely transparent, you've hit the nail on the head. In Second Edition, a player who wants all the benefits of a divine spontaneous caster without having to maneuver around a curse mechanic has everything they want in a divine-tradition sorcerer. The oracle in Second Edition is aimed at the player who dig the "power at a cost," balancing risks and rewards, and similar options. There's absolutely nothing stopping a player from creating a fantastic narrative of a devil bloodline sorcerer whose infernal ancestor likes to meddle in the character's affairs and make their life more "interesting" (read: difficult). But there isn't a good way in the core rules to model the "power with a price" concept that you could get with the First Edition oracle - and that's the need we're looking to meet with this class.

(But I'm sorry that makes you sad, Wei Ji.)

And that's why I like the Fury Totem for the Barbarian: because there are players who just want to play a Barbarian without having to maneuver around an Anathema. It's why I'm still hopeful that at some point, the game will come out with Cleric, Champion, and Druid options for players that don't want to have to maneuver around THOSE Anathemas.


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*crosses fingers for Vindictive Bastard reemergence*


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I kind of disagree that there is no way to model the pf1 oracle in pf2.

Feats allow you the option of progressing your curse benefits when you choose and even to a degree the ones you choose. I used to love clouded vision, I had a lot of fun engagements with other party members about not seeing approaching enemies, not being a good choice for being on watch, not believing in the sky and thinking I was just in a large cave. You just can't do that with the new oracle.

Feats are a perfect solution to balancing curse or at least giving benefits. So class feats could be picking the pf1e higher level compensations for the curse.

Right now to use my primary class ability I get penalised in an unfun way as an oracle. Its not fun, the power of revelation spells are meh compared to other focus spells and worse if I multiclass I am penalised for using focus spells granted from other sources.

I understand the basic design principles the pf2e oracle has, they just aren't for me. Sadly the divine bloodline sorcerers really don't recreate what was fun about the pf1 oracle. There is nothing fun about curses and there is no roleplay in them, they feel very unlikely to actually generate great RP moments. Sure they are much more mechanical in combat situations. Outside of combat they are meh or worse like the Battle oracle suffering with non-flavourful or fun enemies, having to punch someone every 6 seconds to not going to be entertaining for long.

I don't mind the 'your curse gets more debilitating as you push boundaries concept' I am just not liking the current execution of it at all, it doesn't feel at all like the pf1 oracle.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Sorry last post may have been a little negative. I suppose I miss the parts of the Oracle I found fun. The Oracle was my favourite class by a mile in PF1 and I don't think in its current iteration I could ever see myself playing the PF2 Oracle outside of the playtest I am doing. Its nothing like the PF1 Oracle, not mechanically or from an RP perspective.

1) I miss picking a curse that started as a hindrance but then my character grew to compensate for it. It didn't take away the curse but there was a sense of compensation and character growth. I don't feel the new curses offer that at all. The whole I can push my limit and suffer worse affects doesn't feel at all the same.

2) I miss being able to tailor the benefits of my mystery. Right now the feats don't really do much of this which means oracle options feel much more same-y across mysteries.

3) A 1 to 1 linking of Mystery to Curse and a very limited set or basically locked down list of mystery revelations/benefits removes the fun of tailoring your Oracle as you leveled up and your character grew.

Right now the PF2e feels nothing like the things I loved about the 1e oracle.

It lost the RP on the curse to being pretty much a pure combat mechanic.

It lost the sense of growth as you character learns to compensate for the the curse in other ways.

It lost the better tailoring options it had over the pf sorcerer. I often wished in pf1 that bloodline powers would advance to be like revelations so I could pick the way the bloodline manifested. This was kind of done with sub bloodlines but would have just been cleaner to have few bloodlines and more choices like revelations in pf1 in them. I am sad pf2 didn't go that way but there is still room for that in the design space by adding more bloodline focus spells.

I do like the pf2 sorcerer though, its just not a replacement for what Oracle. The divine sorcerer is not what I am looking for. A class is more than just 'spontaneous divine caster.' The Oracle had so much flavour baked into to it that made it so much more than that. The PF2 Oracle has lost that for a mechanic that just doesn't feel fun nor have the 'I have learned to work around my limitations.' There is no humility in the new Oracle. To put it another way, Oracles get less normal spells that the sorcerer and the compensation is you can cast focus spells a little more (at higher levels) but be severely penalised for it . That isn't a great trade even on a mechanics level.

Which leads me to the next question, why are oracles now limited to divine casting? The link to the gods is less, why can't they tap into other essences based on their mystery? Why not have Flame Oracles draw down on the Primal spell list? Seems like a lot stronger tie to the mystery than divine. Flavour-wise they are just drawing on the raw power of nature, channelling it through their bodies.

I appreciate the core of what you is trying to achieve, The over all the more you abuse your ability to bend reality the more you are penalised is nice at its core, it just needs perhaps to be de-linked 1 to 1 from mystery. I would like a non-combat always on version of the curses. I would like feats that show my character learning to compensate for this. May not be for every character but I would really like the option. If my character is going to be 'penalised' for using their core class feature then I would it to have a bit more of an upside.

I would be curious if Paizo considered other spell lists for the Oracle based on Mystery. In the new magic paradigm with essences and traditions, why only divine? Right now I don't feel the answer for that is all that strong other than history, and if we are throwing out history with the way curses work, then why not for other aspects.

Oracles then become the class that 'plays with fire' I feel gives it a broader and more fun niche. To be honest though that could have been sorcerer with more obvious bloodline manifestations as you used your focus spells. Perhaps social penalties or flat checks as your face and jaws elongated for Draconic/abyssal bloodlines. The more you use your bloodline the more it manifests physically. But I digress.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lyz Liddell wrote:


To be completely transparent, you've hit the nail on the head. In Second Edition, a player who wants all the benefits of a divine spontaneous caster without having to maneuver around a curse mechanic has everything they want in a divine-tradition sorcerer. The oracle in Second Edition is aimed at the player who dig the "power at a cost," balancing risks and rewards, and similar options. There's absolutely nothing stopping a player from creating a fantastic narrative of a devil bloodline sorcerer whose infernal ancestor likes to meddle in the character's affairs and make their life more "interesting" (read: difficult). But there isn't a good way in the core rules to model the "power with a price" concept that you could get with the First Edition oracle - and that's the need we're looking to meet with this class.

(But I'm sorry that makes you sad, Wei Ji.)

Oh, hey, the sad part was that tengu finally got representation as a near-CORE race, but the class that they are representing feels exceptionally sub-optimal at the moment maybe things will change, maybe they won't, it's still in playtest zone.

The idea of VAST COSMIC POWAH itty bitty mortal breathing space isn't bad, as long as it allows folks to be able to play consistently using the abilities of their class.

It's not even sad if at say, L18-20 self-nuking can save a party.

...but at L1-2, when one is starting out, it very much becomes the "Five Minute Adventuring Day" if one even dreams of tapping into the 'good stuff'.

...and there should be mitigators for that.


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I don't mind a class that requires special handling to work well, or is a risky playstyle. But if the Oracle is just a Divine Sorcerer with options to punish yourself, I'd have to ban it from my table. Either the player who wants it doesn't realize what it's trying to do and is going to be disappointed by it; or wants what it's going to give, and I am going to be disappointed that I'll have to GM for them.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


It's not even sad if at say, L18-20 self-nuking can save a party.

...but at L1-2, when one is starting out, it very much becomes the "Five Minute Adventuring Day" if one even dreams of tapping into the 'good stuff'.

...and there should be mitigators for that.

I would encourage you to actually try it out. I don't know why you think it would be a 5 minute workday at level 1 due to self-sacrifice, at that point the only self-sacrifice you can even do is to go unconscious as a last-ditch desperation move casting three focus spells in a row. Life's minor curse heal restrictions are a little annoying, but at level 1 it's only -1 to the values healed on self, far from eating up all your resources. The other curses do nothing to shorten your workday. You just have to live with 1 focus spell per combat and 1 extra per day like everyone else at low levels.

I do wish life has a better first focus spell though. As is you can't even get up to moderate curse if you wanted to increase heal output unless the enemy is using poison or diseases you are aware of.


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EberronHoward wrote:
I don't mind a class that requires special handling to work well, or is a risky playstyle. But if the Oracle is just a Divine Sorcerer with options to punish yourself, I'd have to ban it from my table. Either the player who wants it doesn't realize what it's trying to do and is going to be disappointed by it; or wants what it's going to give, and I am going to be disappointed that I'll have to GM for them.

That's a pretty dramatic stance to take, and with no real basis other than "I don't think I'd like to play it so my players aren't allowed to play it either". I can only assume barbarians are banned too, since players can't possibly fathom the implications of a -1 to AC on their own and you have to protect them from having badwrongfun.

I really don't know what you are imagining here with the last part about GMing for them, you don't have to make dramatic changes to how you run a game to accommodate an oracle. In fact you don't have to make any changes.


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I find it hilarious that the most effective way to play an Oracle in 2e is to never cast your revelation spells. Alot like how the most effective way to play an Alchemist in 2e is to never use Mutagen.

There's something really wrong with the design of some of these classes.


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BellyBeard wrote:
I do wish life has a better first focus spell though. As is you can't even get up to moderate curse if you wanted to increase heal output unless the enemy is using poison or diseases you are aware of.

A life oracle focused on healing is probably going to use healer's blessing to activate their curse. It's a small bonus, but it also counteracts the effects of the minor curse for a spell.


HeHateMe wrote:

I find it hilarious that the most effective way to play an Oracle in 2e is to never cast your revelation spells. Alot like how the most effective way to play an Alchemist in 2e is to never use Mutagen.

There's something really wrong with the design of some of these classes.

I don't think people who suggest the most effective way to play an oracle is to never cast revelation spells actually understand how the different parts of a mystery interact. Oracles with their advanced revelations can wield their curses very effectively.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Lore-wise, a divine sorcerer feels pretty different from an oracle to me. And it's not just or even primarily the curse.

A divine sorcerer feels like a PF1 sorcerer who happens to cast divine spells. The magic is in the blood; it doesn't depend on faith or reverence, it isn't especially religious. If I were to convert a celestial or empyreal PF1 sorcerer to PF2, a divine angelic sorcerer would be the right choice in almost all cases, with important changes to spell list but a pretty close fit thematically.

An oracle, on the other hand, seems to depend on a relationship with a divine source (or sources). Its theme is closer to the cleric in that it is invested by an external power or powers, even though the relationship is much more irregular than a cleric's.

In PF1 I built an oracle whose premise was that he harbored a shard of the power of the slain god he had worshipped in his youth. One of his goals was to restore his god to life, in which case he would have likely become high priest of the refounded faith. Mechanically, this character would work as a divine sorcerer. Thematically, I think it's not quite right.


RexAliquid wrote:
BellyBeard wrote:
I do wish life has a better first focus spell though. As is you can't even get up to moderate curse if you wanted to increase heal output unless the enemy is using poison or diseases you are aware of.
A life oracle focused on healing is probably going to use healer's blessing to activate their curse. It's a small bonus, but it also counteracts the effects of the minor curse for a spell.

That's a really good point, so the only real disadvantage at that point is that you spent one or two actions on healer's blessing(s) (depending on your current curse level) for yourself and possibly an ally to get to moderate curse and others can only heal you with elixirs or other items, which will be weaker as they're not spells. In exchange, you get a huge increase in your healing potential, with the d12s instead of d8s.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Honestly, main thing I'm really getting from this thread is that people can't read- while your curse comes with penalties every time it increases, they all provide benefits as well.

The two I like the most:

Fire Oracle does extra damage to any foes around them and can use one of their actions (you know, the leftover action after casting a two action spell?) to suppress the damage on themselves. They're a walking nuke, and the revelation spells really emphasize this.

Life gets an extreme boost to healing output, and it doesn't matter at all if you're well protected by your party, and holding the health potions.

An Oracle that never pushes their Curse is horribly sub-optimal relative to the Oracle that does push it, the tuning should be adjusted, but the people who want curses to go back to pf1e's ignorability model can't in good faith assert that these curses encourage never using revelation spells.


I'm not sure if the most effective way to play an oracle is to not use revelation spells. It seems reasonable to play a battle oracle who wants to get up to that fast-healing stage and then go throw down in melee.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Rysky, Vindictive Bastard wrote:
*crosses fingers for Vindictive Bastard reemergence*

This was one of my first published design pieces, and it's still one of my favorite things.


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Lyz Liddell wrote:
Rysky, Vindictive Bastard wrote:
*crosses fingers for Vindictive Bastard reemergence*
This was one of my first published design pieces, and it's still one of my favorite things.

Yay hehe, it’s one of my favourite archetypes ^w^


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The-Magic-Sword wrote:

Honestly, main thing I'm really getting from this thread is that people can't read- while your curse comes with penalties every time it increases, they all provide benefits as well.

The two I like the most:

Fire Oracle does extra damage to any foes around them and can use one of their actions (you know, the leftover action after casting a two action spell?) to suppress the damage on themselves. They're a walking nuke, and the revelation spells really emphasize this.

Life gets an extreme boost to healing output, and it doesn't matter at all if you're well protected by your party, and holding the health potions.

An Oracle that never pushes their Curse is horribly sub-optimal relative to the Oracle that does push it, the tuning should be adjusted, but the people who want curses to go back to pf1e's ignorability model can't in good faith assert that these curses encourage never using revelation spells.

Or maybe we can read just fine and we decided we don't like the cost/benefit ratio. I've read the curses and while I see that there are some benefits, I think those benefits are fairly mild compared to the drawbacks. Except Battle, that one is actually cool.

Not only did they get rid of revelations, which were awesome, but they replaced them with these garbage spells that activate your curse every time you cast them. I don't see that being a fair trade at all.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
HeHateMe wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:

Honestly, main thing I'm really getting from this thread is that people can't read- while your curse comes with penalties every time it increases, they all provide benefits as well.

The two I like the most:

Fire Oracle does extra damage to any foes around them and can use one of their actions (you know, the leftover action after casting a two action spell?) to suppress the damage on themselves. They're a walking nuke, and the revelation spells really emphasize this.

Life gets an extreme boost to healing output, and it doesn't matter at all if you're well protected by your party, and holding the health potions.

An Oracle that never pushes their Curse is horribly sub-optimal relative to the Oracle that does push it, the tuning should be adjusted, but the people who want curses to go back to pf1e's ignorability model can't in good faith assert that these curses encourage never using revelation spells.

Or maybe we can read just fine and we decided we don't like the cost/benefit ratio. I've read the curses and while I see that there are some benefits, I think those benefits are fairly mild compared to the drawbacks. Except Battle, that one is actually cool.

Not only did they get rid of revelations, which were awesome, but they replaced them with these garbage spells that activate your curse every time you cast them. I don't see that being a fair trade at all.

The reality is that while the numbers could stand to be tuned, the curses themselves offer significant benefits that are more than worth using. In each case, the benefit is stronger than the penalty, the tuning is simply on 'how much'


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BellyBeard wrote:
EberronHoward wrote:
I don't mind a class that requires special handling to work well, or is a risky playstyle. But if the Oracle is just a Divine Sorcerer with options to punish yourself, I'd have to ban it from my table. Either the player who wants it doesn't realize what it's trying to do and is going to be disappointed by it; or wants what it's going to give, and I am going to be disappointed that I'll have to GM for them.

That's a pretty dramatic stance to take, and with no real basis other than "I don't think I'd like to play it so my players aren't allowed to play it either". I can only assume barbarians are banned too, since players can't possibly fathom the implications of a -1 to AC on their own and you have to protect them from having badwrongfun.

I really don't know what you are imagining here with the last part about GMing for them, you don't have to make dramatic changes to how you run a game to accommodate an oracle. In fact you don't have to make any changes.

It's not that I wouldn't want to play it. It's that I wouldn't want to DM for it. I don't want to try and manage a campaign where one PC wants to actively knock themselves out every day. Like I said, risky playstyles like barbarians are fine, but there's got to be some kind of reward for that risk. If the point of the Oracle class isn't to be comparable to the Cleric or Divine Sorcerer, but to facilitate self-sabotage, then I won't consider it to be a class for PCs.


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One thing I'm finding the more I pick at the playtest Oracle, is that the curses... are not only stiff, they're a little more... game-y than they felt to me in PF1.

In PF1, your curse was your curse- whatever conditions it imposed were in full effect regardless of what you did with your other class abilities, and as your connection to your powers grew, so did both your curse- and your ability to make it fit you. It felt like the curse was a part of what the oracle had become, a consequence of piping into the mainline of divine power in a somewhat unstructured fashion.

In the PF2 playtest? Curses are a thing whose meaningful progression is nailed directly to to use of specific spells- and in fact, you can pretty much ignore your curse altogether if you refrain from casting those... which makes them feel less a part of the character, and a more a part of what the person does... which just... doesn't jive with how my PF1 oracles felt. While some PF1 curses, like Tongues, had situational triggers that can be analogous to how the new versions work, the curses that were always in effect (Clouded Vision being my ur-example here) are now... "well, sorry folks, I could cast my revelation spell, but it's more optimal if I keep my full range of vision and cast my regular spells." Hell, the new curses are even more optional than stuff like the old Tongues curse.

Putting aside the relative cost benefit analysis of curses versus what they give you... it just doesn't feel right.

AND, again, I hate that playtest curses are stapled to mysteries on a 1:1 ratio, but that's kind of my carthago delenda est on the PF2 oracle at this point.


Each of the curses have built in ways to mitigate the downsides and the rewards benefit those playstyles.

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Cole Deschain wrote:
Putting aside the relative cost benefit analysis of curses versus what they give you... it just doesn't feel right.

Of all the things to adjust with the oracle, a least curse effect seems a pretty straightforward addition.

I'd prefer 1:1 curses, myself, but alternate curse options that are still tied strongly to the mystery playstyle would be neat to see in future publications.


EberronHoward wrote:
BellyBeard wrote:
EberronHoward wrote:
I don't mind a class that requires special handling to work well, or is a risky playstyle. But if the Oracle is just a Divine Sorcerer with options to punish yourself, I'd have to ban it from my table. Either the player who wants it doesn't realize what it's trying to do and is going to be disappointed by it; or wants what it's going to give, and I am going to be disappointed that I'll have to GM for them.

That's a pretty dramatic stance to take, and with no real basis other than "I don't think I'd like to play it so my players aren't allowed to play it either". I can only assume barbarians are banned too, since players can't possibly fathom the implications of a -1 to AC on their own and you have to protect them from having badwrongfun.

I really don't know what you are imagining here with the last part about GMing for them, you don't have to make dramatic changes to how you run a game to accommodate an oracle. In fact you don't have to make any changes.

It's not that I wouldn't want to play it. It's that I wouldn't want to DM for it. I don't want to try and manage a campaign where one PC wants to actively knock themselves out every day. Like I said, risky playstyles like barbarians are fine, but there's got to be some kind of reward for that risk. If the point of the Oracle class isn't to be comparable to the Cleric or Divine Sorcerer, but to facilitate self-sabotage, then I won't consider it to be a class for PCs.

Except they don't want/need to knock themselves out everyday? And the goal isn't "self-sabotage" but a double-edged sword, there's nothing that says an Oracle needs to cast any of their focus spell at all in the day, and based on what they do now, it's actually not that good of an idea anyways (they all suck, more or less). So I don't see why you would bar someone from playing a class who's downside is entirely in the player's court, and even the grandest detriment is being in a coma for a day because you got burnt out on go juice from casting 3 spells in a row (something no one else can even try to do in the first place).

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The issue there is that the entire point and usage of Focus Spells is that they're spammable, you're encouraged and supposed to cast them frequently. The tradeoff is that they're not very strong.


I feel like if the Oracle keeps it's "hail mary" it should do something extra based on the curse. Passing out represents the curse reaching an untenable stage, right? So if you have the flame mystery it should create a big explosion or something.

IDK, just spitballing.


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I've muttered it a place or two and read a few others talk about it, but what if the curse played out more like a rage and less like a consequence?

As in, the oracle can, at will, dig into their mystery, activate both the positive and negative, and continue the fight that way? So that the oracle is the mystical equivalent of a barbarian. Do you have to activate your revelation to be useful? Not at all. In more severe fights, is the gamble likely important? Yes.

Completely rebuilding and rebalancing the class to do this is unlikely, however. I expect they'll just tweak what they have. But I think it could be less of a punishment for using a specific spell or two, and more a set of debilitating while simultaneously beneficial conditions the oracle can intentionally call on.


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Ravingdork wrote:

Bellybeard, there's a big difference between limitations of a class, and actively punishing/penalizing a player.

The barbarian has limitations, like any class. Without such limitations, there would be no class dimorphism.

What the oracles does though is punish you for playing an oracle, for even using its primary class abilities.

Curses are fine, but they should be flavor, or perhaps minor limitations that can be easily built around, such as your character is cursed with hideousness (no mechanical effect) or your character cannot wear metal armor (per druid), that sort of thing.

I agree that the Oracle has too many drawbacks and not enough outstanding benefits, but neutering curses entirely is an awful design. You might as well not have the curses at all if you can just ignore them. Moreover, why do you even care? If you're so dead-set on hating curses, then don't play the class whose entire identity is being cursed. You already have the Sorcerer and Cleric to use instead anyway.

Don't ruin other people's fun just because you don't like something. There's nothing wrong with having interesting drawbacks that reinforce a class's theme and give it mechanical weight.


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I loved curses in PF1 Oracle. They offered a lot of good RP potential in addition to mechanical draw backs that were eventually compensated for as you character grew to overcome/compensate for the difficulties of the curse. My favourite was Clouded vision. I agree many of the curses were weak or easily ignorable but that was a flaw with the design of those curses not the way curses worked.

PF2 Oracle curse is nothing like that. Its a pure mechanic nightmare. It has no 'character learning to compensate' functionality. It has limited RP potential. Its just bland and boring. Its not even a good risk reward mechanic or powering up mechanic.

In PF2 given you are locked to the 1 chassis (effectively class) it would have been even easier to stick with the PF1 design. Compensations could have been feats. Escalations in the negative effects of the curse (the PF2 model) could still have coexisted with this. Right now though everything I loved about the PF1 implementation has been scrapped for a pure mechanics system that locks each mystery down to 1 play style. Gone are hallmarks of power tailoring from PF1. Gone are the RP potential of curses outside of combat. Gone is the idea of character growth and compensation for the curse handicap. All the beautiful fun and rewarding parts are gone for a concept which just isn't all that fun. The compensations are weak, focus spells (which are about as powerful as other classes get) aren't all that interesting or rewarding. The benefit of using them more is removed by having less normal spells to play with. Then its double compensated for by often crippling curse effects. The Battle Oracle suffering a disadvantage in social situations once the curse is on for the day unless they punch someone each round is an example of how farsical it is. If the minor curse only triggered when combat was on for the rest of the day it might make better mechanical sense.

The Oracle went from being an RP potential beast to one that is extremely hampered mechanically for good RP circumstances. I really wish Paizo would consider the combat and non-combat effects of the curses and reintroduce the things that made the PF1 Oracle my favourite class. I am not a power gamer by any means, my favourite Oracle I played was a Gnome with Clouded Vision and Bones mystery, so much RP fun while still feeling like a was a good contributor both in combat and in RP (ok so she was no good when it came to taking watch or scouting).


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Strill wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Bellybeard, there's a big difference between limitations of a class, and actively punishing/penalizing a player.

The barbarian has limitations, like any class. Without such limitations, there would be no class dimorphism.

What the oracles does though is punish you for playing an oracle, for even using its primary class abilities.

Curses are fine, but they should be flavor, or perhaps minor limitations that can be easily built around, such as your character is cursed with hideousness (no mechanical effect) or your character cannot wear metal armor (per druid), that sort of thing.

I agree that the Oracle has too many drawbacks and not enough outstanding benefits, but neutering curses entirely is an awful design. You might as well not have the curses at all if you can just ignore them. Moreover, why do you even care? If you're so dead-set on hating curses, then don't play the class whose entire identity is being cursed. You already have the Sorcerer and Cleric to use instead anyway.

Don't ruin other people's fun just because you don't like something. There's nothing wrong with having interesting drawbacks that reinforce a class's theme and give it mechanical weight.

Yeah, but they need to be interesting. That's the big point. And at no point should your 'interesting' class feature be 'you the player can no longer participate in the game.'

Especially when the in-game time could involve the rest of the game session or even reach into further sessions.

Talk about ruining fun...

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The curse design in no way encourages play that would result in the player being unable to participate.

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KingOfAnything wrote:
The curse design in no way encourages play that would result in the player being unable to participate.

Rather, the current list of Revelation spells don’t, since only like 3 actually do something before knocking you out for 8 hours meaning you don’t get to participate in anything for awhile.


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Cyder wrote:

I loved curses in PF1 Oracle. They offered a lot of good RP potential in addition to mechanical draw backs that were eventually compensated for as you character grew to overcome/compensate for the difficulties of the curse. My favourite was Clouded vision. I agree many of the curses were weak or easily ignorable but that was a flaw with the design of those curses not the way curses worked.

PF2 Oracle curse is nothing like that. Its a pure mechanic nightmare. It has no 'character learning to compensate' functionality. It has limited RP potential. Its just bland and boring. Its not even a good risk reward mechanic or powering up mechanic.

In PF2 given you are locked to the 1 chassis (effectively class) it would have been even easier to stick with the PF1 design. Compensations could have been feats. Escalations in the negative effects of the curse (the PF2 model) could still have coexisted with this. Right now though everything I loved about the PF1 implementation has been scrapped for a pure mechanics system that locks each mystery down to 1 play style. Gone are hallmarks of power tailoring from PF1. Gone are the RP potential of curses outside of combat. Gone is the idea of character growth and compensation for the curse handicap. All the beautiful fun and rewarding parts are gone for a concept which just isn't all that fun. The compensations are weak, focus spells (which are about as powerful as other classes get) aren't all that interesting or rewarding. The benefit of using them more is removed by having less normal spells to play with. Then its double compensated for by often crippling curse effects. The Battle Oracle suffering a disadvantage in social situations once the curse is on for the day unless they punch someone each round is an example of how farsical it is. If the minor curse only triggered when combat was on for the rest of the day it might make better mechanical sense.

The Oracle went from being an RP potential beast to one that is extremely hampered mechanically for good RP...

I agree with everything you said and have pointed out basically the same things. I gotta admit it is kinda funny that if the Battle Oracle wants to use social skills while his major curse is active, he has to b~$++ slap the person he's talking to. That might work for Intimidation, but Diplomacy?


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HyperMissingno wrote:
The big thing curse needs to do is be worth the bang for the buck it's charging. In PF1 Kinetisist was in a similar boat where it took penalties in exchange for using its powers and it got bonused based on how harsh the penalties were. And by penalties I mean working with a smaller pool of hit points.

LOL I LOATHED the 'punch myself in the face' method of burn and the oracle now has a much worse version for much, much less payback for doing so. The only good thing here is that you can totally ignore the curse by ignoring the revelation spells and since they aren't very exciting it doesn't feel like a huge lose. Time to multiclass!


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graystone wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
The big thing curse needs to do is be worth the bang for the buck it's charging. In PF1 Kinetisist was in a similar boat where it took penalties in exchange for using its powers and it got bonused based on how harsh the penalties were. And by penalties I mean working with a smaller pool of hit points.
LOL I LOATHED the 'punch myself in the face' method of burn and the oracle now has a much worse version for much, much less payback for doing so. The only good thing here is that you can totally ignore the curse by ignoring the revelation spells and since they aren't very exciting it doesn't feel like a huge lose. Time to multiclass!

Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself...


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HeHateMe wrote:
graystone wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
The big thing curse needs to do is be worth the bang for the buck it's charging. In PF1 Kinetisist was in a similar boat where it took penalties in exchange for using its powers and it got bonused based on how harsh the penalties were. And by penalties I mean working with a smaller pool of hit points.
LOL I LOATHED the 'punch myself in the face' method of burn and the oracle now has a much worse version for much, much less payback for doing so. The only good thing here is that you can totally ignore the curse by ignoring the revelation spells and since they aren't very exciting it doesn't feel like a huge lose. Time to multiclass!
Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself...

Yep, that's exactly what it felt like when I tried to play a kineticist. Or the southpark version of roshambo to power up... ;)


graystone wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
graystone wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
The big thing curse needs to do is be worth the bang for the buck it's charging. In PF1 Kinetisist was in a similar boat where it took penalties in exchange for using its powers and it got bonused based on how harsh the penalties were. And by penalties I mean working with a smaller pool of hit points.
LOL I LOATHED the 'punch myself in the face' method of burn and the oracle now has a much worse version for much, much less payback for doing so. The only good thing here is that you can totally ignore the curse by ignoring the revelation spells and since they aren't very exciting it doesn't feel like a huge lose. Time to multiclass!
Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself...
Yep, that's exactly what it felt like when I tried to play a kineticist. Or the southpark version of roshambo to power up... ;)

I was a fan of the 1e Oracle, and from my perspective the only good thing about the 2e Oracle is you can completely ignore the horribly crippling curses by just not casting the revelation spells, which aren't very good to begin with.

Which of course, brings me back to the title of this thread. Why play an Oracle instead of a Divine Sorcerer? Two extra HP per level? Dunno, that was the only real reason I could think of.

What they should do is dump those trash revelation spells and turn revelations into class feats, each tied to a particular Mystery. The same way some Barbarian class feats are tied to specific Instincts. Also, they should just have a separate list of curses you can choose from that develop and change over time. To make Oracle even more unique, they could have some class feats that change the way curses work or mitigate their effects.


HeHateMe wrote:
I was a fan of the 1e Oracle, and from my perspective the only good thing about the 2e Oracle is you can completely ignore the horribly crippling curses by just not casting the revelation spells, which aren't very good to begin with.

Same here: PF1 oracle was one of my favorite classes to play: now, not so much.

HeHateMe wrote:
Which of course, brings me back to the title of this thread. Why play an Oracle instead of a Divine Sorcerer? Two extra HP per level? Dunno, that was the only real reason I could think of.

For me, it's because you don't care about the curse, revelation spells, ect that make up 90%+ of your class feats. When you don't care about them, all those feats are up for grabs: Oracle makes a good casting base to add divine sorcerer to [+2 spells/level, cantrip to 8th] and innate spells [extra spells, cantrip to 6th] using class casting stat and prof.

With a divine sorcerer, you might be tempted to boost your bloodline and use class feats to do so.

HeHateMe wrote:
What they should do is dump those trash revelation spells and turn revelations into class feats, each tied to a particular Mystery. The same way some Barbarian class feats are tied to specific Instincts. Also, they should just have a separate list of curses you can choose from that develop and change over time. To make Oracle even more unique, they could have some class feats that change the way curses work or mitigate their effects.

Revelation spells could suck if curses were equally as weak: ideally revelation spells get much, much better while curses get much, much less onerous and we'll get closer to a working class. As to feats, I wouldn't mind them too. And I completely want the option to pick a mystery separate from my curse.

PS: I also wouldn't mind if revelation spells were totally divorced from the curse.


I've seen it a few times, and I think people have forgotten one thing.

Quote:

While your curse is active, you

can’t mitigate, reduce, or remove its effects by any other
means;

You cannot, may not, and shall not mitigate your curse by any means (other than by refocusing).

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