Why not play a divine sorcerer?


Oracle Playtest

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

Thematically and mechanically, is the oracle class really bringing much more to the table than a divine bloodline sorcerer?

Why would anyone want to play the oracle class when they could play a divine sorcerer and stylize it as an oracle? That way they would not be held back when multiclassing (especially in regards to focus points and powers) and also would not have to worry about the needless penalties of a curse.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For a lot of people, the curse is actually a big draw. I like playing characters who have burdens to juggle. Double-edged sword abilities, when properly balanced, are a lot of fun.


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I like the "cursed by the gods/some cosmic accident" much more than I like "has special blood."

If only one of the two classes could exist, I'd take the oracle over the sorcerer.


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Ravingdork wrote:

Thematically and mechanically, is the oracle class really bringing much more to the table than a divine bloodline sorcerer?

Why would anyone want to play the oracle class when they could play a divine sorcerer and stylize it as an oracle? That way they would not be held back when multiclassing (especially in regards to focus points and powers) and also would not have to worry about the needless penalties of a curse.

Exactly! P1E was different in that the Oracle was practically (and if there were no archetypes that changed things around, literally) the only spontaneous divine caster in the game. Personally, I think the popularity it had that led it to almost be class #12 in the CRB instead of the Alchemist was due to that, with the curse being this peripheral annoyance at best, redeemed only by having some choices that mitigated the curse almost down to nonexistant.


I mean this seems pretty self evident. If you don't like the core mechanics of the oracle, then, yeah don't play it.

Grand Lodge

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Well, I had fun playing a level 4 Life Oracle healing 2d12+20 HP to allies. Admittedly, I was utilizing Angelic Halo from MCing into Sorcerer and picking Basic Bloodline Spell at 4th level, but it worked out pretty well. I found the base revelation spells for Life Oracle fairly niche, so Angelic Halo was a good way to utilize revelation spells and the curse benefit.

So it's different. But not so different from other spellcasters that it upsets the balance of the game. I mean, 2e's whole design revolves around comparable classes being on relatively equal footing, so a cloistered cleric is roughly equal to a divine sorcerer is roughly equal to an oracle.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

FOCUS POINT EXTRAVAGANZA!

i just want to get to the point where i'm on fire ki punching people


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So I just looked at the sorcerer class page for the first time. Sorcerer gets more spells known and spells per day than an oracle. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that our extra focus spells don't make up for this if only because of the curse mechanic.

Grand Lodge

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Yeah I'm not sure why Oracle's don't get an extra spell per day since they're meant to be similar to sorcerers in that regard. Why does having special blood give you more spells but seeing the face of god doesn't.

I for one would love to see Life Oracles have a feat that grants them the same benefit as the Divine Evolution sorcerer feat for heal, at the very least.

Actually now that I think about it, that is a pretty major problem. When i playtested my 4th level Life Oracle I felt that I had to reserve my precious 3 second level spell slots for heal and utilize Adapted Cantrip human feat for my non-healing needs with electric arc. Having that bonus feat would have been really nice to have, and sorcerers already have it. I don't see Oracles outclassing divine sorcerers even if they had equal number of spell slots.


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Frankly, the Divine bloodline Sorcerer is better than the current incarnation of Oracle in almost every possible way.

If they want to bring Oracle into 2e, it needs a complete top to bottom rewrite, because right now it's just a worse version of Sorcerer.


Oracles make better gishes in my opinion especially with the Battle mystery gaining heavy armor. And I think the mystery and curse mechanics are very flavorful though the Oracle may need to be balanced more as some of their curses (like the life curse) are brutal with little reward.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kripdenn wrote:
Oracles make better gishes in my opinion especially with the Battle mystery gaining heavy armor. And I think the mystery and curse mechanics are very flavorful though the Oracle may need to be balanced more as some of their curses (like the life curse) are brutal with little reward.

Yeah. I think conceptually the Oracle's in a good spot. More mechanically distinct than just a "Divine Sorcerer", and the package feels (to me, at least) a lot more cohesive than it did in 1st edition.

It needs tuning, for sure, but I'm really excited by this version of the Oracle. And not just because we're getting a Tengu iconic (though that doesn't hurt).


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kripdenn wrote:
Oracles make better gishes in my opinion especially with the Battle mystery gaining heavy armor. And I think the mystery and curse mechanics are very flavorful though the Oracle may need to be balanced more as some of their curses (like the life curse) are brutal with little reward.

Except all a Sorcerer has to do is spend one feat for Champion Dedication and they get heavy armor too. Without dealing with that awful curse. No, Oracle is still just a worse Sorcerer.


The various mystery benefits are pretty neat. The extra health of the life mystery and the armor/weapon proficiency of the battle mystery both make for some very atypical casters. I am not in love with the way those curses work, though.

Still, I think the mystery/curse system opens the door for a lot of neat mechanics.


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HeHateMe wrote:
kripdenn wrote:
Oracles make better gishes in my opinion especially with the Battle mystery gaining heavy armor. And I think the mystery and curse mechanics are very flavorful though the Oracle may need to be balanced more as some of their curses (like the life curse) are brutal with little reward.
Except all a Sorcerer has to do is spend one feat for Champion Dedication and they get heavy armor too. Without dealing with that awful curse. No, Oracle is still just a worse Sorcerer.

If the curses are dialed back to manageable/beneficial like in PF1, does your opinion change?


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Garretmander wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
kripdenn wrote:
Oracles make better gishes in my opinion especially with the Battle mystery gaining heavy armor. And I think the mystery and curse mechanics are very flavorful though the Oracle may need to be balanced more as some of their curses (like the life curse) are brutal with little reward.
Except all a Sorcerer has to do is spend one feat for Champion Dedication and they get heavy armor too. Without dealing with that awful curse. No, Oracle is still just a worse Sorcerer.
If the curses are dialed back to manageable/beneficial like in PF1, does your opinion change?

That's a good question. The reason that the 2e Oracle feels too similar to a Divine Sorcerer is that they took away the thing that made 1e Oracles so popular: their customization potential.

Right now,they tied your Mystery benefits together with your Curse, and they gave you no options. When you choose a Mystery, your curse and benefits are automatically chosen for you. On top of that, their feats look exactly like the generic feats every caster class gets in 2e.

Now, if they bring back Revelations that can be chosen by the player, and if they bring back Curses that can be chosen independently of the Mystery, then yeah I'd be interested in playing a 2e Oracle. I think alot of people would change their minds if they made those changes.


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1e style curses sucked. They were boring and completely disjointed from the rest of the class. The PF2 iteration of mysteries are significantly better.

HeHateMe wrote:
Except all a Sorcerer has to do is spend one feat for Champion Dedication and they get heavy armor too. Without dealing with that awful curse. No, Oracle is still just a worse Sorcerer.

And a second feat to get it to expert at higher levels. You'll need to spend two feats to advance your refocusing too. And a couple more feats to give you extra focus points, of course.

So that's, what, six feats being sunk into keeping up with what the Oracle gets innately?

The only thing the class needs is some better tuning on mysteries and improvements to some of their focus spells.


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Squiggit wrote:
1e style curses sucked. They were boring and completely disjointed from the rest of the class. The PF2 iteration of mysteries are significantly better.

Just because they sucked for you doesn't mean they sucked for everyone. For my pf1 oracles I've had quite a varied experience with the curses. Sometimes, yeah, not really there. Hi Haunted, hi Legalistic. Other times it's a big part of the build. Hi Deaf, you're sure fun to make a stealth oracle with. Sometimes they're a huge part of the character even if the mechanical impacts are minimal. My Winter Oracle actually made a boss fight easier because she ate two people that were supposed to become zombies in the fight and hid them in the snow because of the ghoul curse.

And I wouldn't call these curses significantly better. While I do like the burn aspect going on here, I'm starting to think marrying them to mysteries was a mistake. In PF1 you can make a mystery that does nothing but screws the Oracle and it's fine, Oracles can just not take that curse. Here? A bad curse dooms an entire mystery. That's potentially an entire playstyle sent down the drain for the class.


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Squiggit wrote:

1e style curses sucked. They were boring and completely disjointed from the rest of the class. The PF2 iteration of mysteries are significantly better.

HeHateMe wrote:
Except all a Sorcerer has to do is spend one feat for Champion Dedication and they get heavy armor too. Without dealing with that awful curse. No, Oracle is still just a worse Sorcerer.

And a second feat to get it to expert at higher levels. You'll need to spend two feats to advance your refocusing too. And a couple more feats to give you extra focus points, of course.

So that's, what, six feats being sunk into keeping up with what the Oracle gets innately?

The only thing the class needs is some better tuning on mysteries and improvements to some of their focus spells.

Six feats?? No, 2 feats. One at 2nd lvl for Champion Dedication to get Hvy Armor Proficiency and one at 14th lvl to push your proficiency to Expert. That's it, hardly a significant investment.

All the rest of that crap you mentioned is optional, you can spend the rest of your feats however you want. And you don't have to deal with a crippling curse.


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I mean, the point is that to build a sorcerer that equals what the battle oracle can do is really feat intensive.

Here's what the Battle Oracle gets for free that a sorcerer would have to buy with feats:
- Training in All armors which goes to expert at 13
- Training in a martial weapon group, which goes to expert at 11
- An extra focus spell at level 1
- [effectively] Refocus for 2 points at level 11
- [effectively] Refocus for 3 focus points at level 17

Is all this worth having to deal with the curse? Maybe, but maybe not. But if you want martial weapons, heavy armor, full focus/refocus on a sorcerer you're going to be spending a lot of feats on that. So maybe a battle oracle would be the better choice.


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Ravingdork wrote:

Thematically and mechanically, is the oracle class really bringing much more to the table than a divine bloodline sorcerer?

Why would anyone want to play the oracle class when they could play a divine sorcerer and stylize it as an oracle? That way they would not be held back when multiclassing (especially in regards to focus points and powers) and also would not have to worry about the needless penalties of a curse.

-Better HP

-Better save progression (master will at 7th rather than 17th?, legendary will?),
-Bonus skill over sorcerer (5 vs 4),

- and a choice of:
easy access to armor and weapons/
or master reflex/
or even more HP.

I'd happily trade focus spells for any of these, let alone all of them, and most of the bonuses kick in at first level, no waiting.

I can find enough passable spells in the divine list to get by.
Feats are also bad enough that I can multi-class without feeling much of an opportunity cost.

Beyond that, No, the playtest oracle isn't bringing anything mechanically or thematically (you can just RP a 'curse' for your sorcerer).

Silver Crusade

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

I mean, the point is that to build a sorcerer that equals what the battle oracle can do is really feat intensive.

Here's what the Battle Oracle gets for free that a sorcerer would have to buy with feats:
- Training in All armors which goes to expert at 13
- Training in a martial weapon group, which goes to expert at 11
- An extra focus spell at level 1
- [effectively] Refocus for 2 points at level 11
- [effectively] Refocus for 3 focus points at level 17

Is all this worth having to deal with the curse? Maybe, but maybe not. But if you want martial weapons, heavy armor, full focus/refocus on a sorcerer you're going to be spending a lot of feats on that. So maybe a battle oracle would be the better choice.

For that one specific build. Which not everyone is going to want or try to make.


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HeHateMe wrote:
kripdenn wrote:
Oracles make better gishes in my opinion especially with the Battle mystery gaining heavy armor. And I think the mystery and curse mechanics are very flavorful though the Oracle may need to be balanced more as some of their curses (like the life curse) are brutal with little reward.
Except all a Sorcerer has to do is spend one feat for Champion Dedication and they get heavy armor too. Without dealing with that awful curse. No, Oracle is still just a worse Sorcerer.

Not really though, two class feats to get expert heavy armor, ancestry or general feats to get martial or advanced weapon proficiency and weapon critical effects, toughness or champion feat to get more HP, class feats to get more focus points on refocusing. The feat tax for divine sorcerer gishes is a lot larger and the oracle can spend those feats on archetypes like the hellknight or ancestry feats to improve themselves in other ways.

The place I think oracles are hurting is their heal options (divine evolution is really nice for sorcerers and clerics get fonts) and some of the oracle focus spells (like the battle mystery ones) are really lackluster.


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kripdenn wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
kripdenn wrote:
Oracles make better gishes in my opinion especially with the Battle mystery gaining heavy armor. And I think the mystery and curse mechanics are very flavorful though the Oracle may need to be balanced more as some of their curses (like the life curse) are brutal with little reward.
Except all a Sorcerer has to do is spend one feat for Champion Dedication and they get heavy armor too. Without dealing with that awful curse. No, Oracle is still just a worse Sorcerer.

Not really though, two class feats to get expert heavy armor, ancestry or general feats to get martial or advanced weapon proficiency and weapon critical effects, toughness or champion feat to get more HP, class feats to get more focus points on refocusing. The feat tax for divine sorcerer gishes is a lot larger and the oracle can spend those feats on archetypes like the hellknight or ancestry feats to improve themselves in other ways.

The place I think oracles are hurting is their heal options (divine evolution is really nice for sorcerers and clerics get fonts) and some of the oracle focus spells (like the battle mystery ones) are really lackluster.

Again, you guys are pointing out Battle Oracle as the only viable option. And frankly, even Battle blows. Warpriests are much better gishes because they get Expert proficiency in their deity's favored weapon at 7th level. A Battle Oracle needs to wait until 11th level, making them ineffective in combat.

Oracle right now is redundant and just doesn't measure up to the classes already in existence. It needs to be ripped up and completely redesigned to be closer to its 1e counterpart.


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The problem with the oracle is that the curses come with pretty big downsides and the class doesn't get nearly enough bonuses to justify those downsides.

The revelation spells are nice, but overall too weak and too limited to make up for the lower number of spells AND having to deal with the curses. Speaking of which...

Battle: You get all the armor and weapon proficiencies you could dream of.

- But you'll need them because you can probably not avoid the -2 to AC and SAVES (for which those fancy proficiencies do nothing) all the time. At the very least the penalty should be reduced on making a Strike or Spell Attack Roll so there's actually some merit in using the Mystery's bonus cantrip Divine Lance.
- The fast healing from the moderate curse will negate some of the damage you take from the lowered defense, but it won't help you shrug off dibilitating effects which will hit you more often because your saves suck.
- The major curse adds insult to injury by giving you a permanent 30% spell failure chance and a permanent -2 to will saves. At least the save penalty doesn't stack with the curse.

Fire: You get up to Master Proficiency in Reflex saves, which is nice. You don't get to upgrade success to crit success however, making this only slighly better than the general feat Canny Acumen.

- With concealment affecting targeted spells in PF2, this minor curse is worse than it looks. Wanna heal an ally at 60 ft with reach spell Heal? Better roll well on that flat check!
- Moderate grants permament concealment, which is nice. What's not nice is treating everything as concealed. Yes, fire spells ignore it, but there's like 2 fire spells that require an attack roll on the Divine Spell list - including the Mystery's bonus cantrip! This might well change with the new spells on the APG but it still seems like an extremely minor redeeming factor. Also, everything beyond 30ft is hidden or even unetected. So not only do you have to seek if you want to know where to aim your Flame Strike, you also happen to be flat footed against any ranged attacker.
- The Major curse outright kills you if you don't take care of it. Want to not take damage and still roll a search check to aim your Flame Strike? Too bad, you don't have enough actions left to cast.

Life: More HP is always nice!

- Yeah, you have more HP than any other caster. Unfortunately that's also more HP that need to be healed when things go wrong. And the minor Curse makes you THE hardest character to heal.
- The moderate curse makes it outright impossible for you to be healed by someone else! So now you can/have to spend your very limited number of spells to keep yourself alive. At least the larger healing dice barely make up for your reduced healing received. Oh, and if any enemy is trying to kill you in melee, you'll probably end up healing him every time you heal yourself.
- Cast your best spells and you take up to 12d8 damage. Come to think of it, if everyone around you is injured, you probably take 12d12. It also heals without distinguishing between friends and foes so unless you're fighting undead, the fight suddenly got a whole lot longer. Which usually favors the oposition, by the way. And is terrible for the caster class with the lowest number of spells.

--------------------------------

The revelation spells are not stronger than the Focus spells of other classes. Or at least not by enough to warrant there penalties. So you'll often end up not using them at all to avoid the curse. And at that point, the Divine Sorcerer is so much better, it's not even funny.

EDIT: Sorry for the rant-ish post, but while I'm in love with the basic design idea of the curses, the actual effects are so bad that the Oracle is major disappointment for me so far.


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

Oracle curses should mostly be a matter of flavor, and not mechanics. The idea of a class feature actually penalizing you has always struck me as somewhat absurd.

Player: Hey, want to check out the new Oracle class!
New Player: Sure! What makes it unique?
Player: Horrible curses that penalize your character!
New Player: Think I'll take a pass on that.

There's just no real way to sell that without, at best, making it sound like you're making up for the penalties that probably shouldn't have been there in the first place.


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Ravingdork wrote:

Oracle curses should mostly be a matter of flavor, and not mechanics. The idea of a class feature actually penalizing you has always struck me as somewhat absurd.

Player: Hey, want to check out the new Oracle class!
New Player: Sure! What makes it unique?
Player: Horrible curses that penalize your character!
New Player: Think I'll take a pass on that.

There's just no real way to sell that without, at best, making it sound like you're making up for the penalties that probably shouldn't have been there in the first place.

As a general rule, I have always remained against mechanics that penalize you for using your basic class features. I personally loathe things like "magic is exhausting so as you cast you begin to take all these penalties!" or whatever. A heavy curse like in the current oracle write-up is just right out for me.

I wouldn't dare suggest removing it because I don't like it, of course, people with different tastes might still have a lot of fun with it. But honestly the oracles curses in PF1 while a little *too* non-present, at least let me enjoy the class without feeling too arbitrarily penalized.


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Ravingdork wrote:

Oracle curses should mostly be a matter of flavor, and not mechanics. The idea of a class feature actually penalizing you has always struck me as somewhat absurd.

Player: Hey, want to check out the new Oracle class!
New Player: Sure! What makes it unique?
Player: Horrible curses that penalize your character!
New Player: Think I'll take a pass on that.

There's just no real way to sell that without, at best, making it sound like you're making up for the penalties that probably shouldn't have been there in the first place.

I think the conversation would actually go like this:

Player: Hey, want to check out the new Oracle class!
New Player: Cool, I bet telling the future will make my PC really important.
Player: Oracles don't to that in Pathfinder.
New Player: What, really?
Player: Nope. Sorry about that.
New Player: That makes no sense. If it isn't about telling the future, why are they calling it an oracle? Okay, I will bite, what does an oracle do then?
Player: They cast spells and have horrible curses that penalize your character!
New Player: Like Pirates of the Caribbean or a werewolf curse? It still doesn't sound like an oracle, but being a werewolf or skeleton would be cool.
Player: Nope, not useful curses, just bad curses.
New Player: I heard 5e is a lot easier, could we play that instead?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Mechagamera wrote:
Player: They cast spells and have horrible curses that penalize your character! encourage specific playstyles!

This is the Advanced Player's Guide, after all. The fun part of oracle curses is coming up with tactics that maximize the beneficial effects while minimizing (but not eliminating) the drawbacks.

Curses have to feel bad so that players can feel good about overcoming the challenge. Otherwise, what's the point? Go play a sorcerer if you want easy mode.


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Personally I'm totally fine with detrimental penalties. I just think that those penalties should be compensated for with extra power/freedom elsewhere. Alternatively, I'm also fine with penalties as an incentive to reinforce flavor. The oracle has the flavor, but I think the problem is that the oracle is missing any upsides to balance out the downsides. For example, I think it's fine to tell someone "Using your magic can hurt you, but you get these extra spell slots for healing".


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Mechagamera wrote:

I think the conversation would actually go like this:

Player: Hey, want to check out the new Oracle class!
New Player: Cool, I bet telling the future will make my PC really important.
Player: Oracles don't to that in Pathfinder.
New Player: What, really?
Player: Nope. Sorry about that.
New Player: That makes no sense. If it isn't about telling the future, why are they calling it an oracle? Okay, I will bite, what does an oracle do then?
Player: They cast spells and have horrible curses that penalize your character!
New Player: Like Pirates of the Caribbean or a werewolf curse? It still doesn't sound like an oracle, but being a werewolf or skeleton would be cool.
Player: Nope, not useful curses, just bad curses.
New Player: I heard 5e is a lot easier, could we play that instead?

For me that conversation would proceed as:

GM: You could play an oracle.
New Player: Cool, I bet telling the future will make my PC really important.
GM: We can't really predict the future in a roleplaying game, since that depends on player choices.
New Player: If it isn't about telling the future, why are they calling it an oracle?
GM: An oracle has a few abilities that fake seeing the future for a few seconds to give better dice rolls. But mostly they cast divine spells.
New Player: So they are a cleric?
GM: A cleric serves a god. An oracle has a vision and gains divine powers from something else called a mystery. The mystery is not intelligent like a god and the power overwhelms the oracle in something like a curse. So you end up with someone like Tiresias from Greek myth, who was blessed with foresight and cursed with blindness.
New Player: Oracles are blind?
GM: Oracles are cursed. For one mystery it's blindness. For another mystery the curse will be something else.
New Player: Like Pirates of the Caribbean or a werewolf curse? Being a werewolf or skeleton would be cool.
GM: No, the curses are kind of lame, like being lame. Or having terrible AC or resisting healing magic.
New Player: Forget that. What do you have that's interesting?
GM: How about a sorcerer?
New Player: Is that another class that doesn't match the stories?
GM: Well, the dictionary says that sorcerer means wizard, and that is pretty close. But Pathfinder made the sorcerer all about bloodline powers. One of your ancestors was a dragon or demon or angel.
New Player: Cool, can I turn into a dragon?

We need to make the curses cool, even though they are disadvantages. I have been working on that, rewriting the curses. I will post them in a few days.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Mechagamera wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Oracle curses should mostly be a matter of flavor, and not mechanics. The idea of a class feature actually penalizing you has always struck me as somewhat absurd.

Player: Hey, want to check out the new Oracle class!
New Player: Sure! What makes it unique?
Player: Horrible curses that penalize your character!
New Player: Think I'll take a pass on that.

There's just no real way to sell that without, at best, making it sound like you're making up for the penalties that probably shouldn't have been there in the first place.

I think the conversation would actually go like this:

Player: Hey, want to check out the new Oracle class!
New Player: Cool, I bet telling the future will make my PC really important.
Player: Oracles don't to that in Pathfinder.
New Player: What, really?
Player: Nope. Sorry about that.
New Player: That makes no sense. If it isn't about telling the future, why are they calling it an oracle? Okay, I will bite, what does an oracle do then?
Player: They cast spells and have horrible curses that penalize your character!
New Player: Like Pirates of the Caribbean or a werewolf curse? It still doesn't sound like an oracle, but being a werewolf or skeleton would be cool.
Player: Nope, not useful curses, just bad curses.
New Player: I heard 5e is a lot easier, could we play that instead?

For me, after the werewolf part if be like, welllllll, you kinda, you can set yourself and those nearby on fire, or get a ton of fast healing.

Sovereign Court

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KingOfAnything wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
Player: They cast spells and have horrible curses that penalize your character! encourage specific playstyles!

This is the Advanced Player's Guide, after all. The fun part of oracle curses is coming up with tactics that maximize the beneficial effects while minimizing (but not eliminating) the drawbacks.

Curses have to feel bad so that players can feel good about overcoming the challenge. Otherwise, what's the point? Go play a sorcerer if you want easy mode.

It's the Advanced Players Guide, not "Hellen Keller, the roleplaying game!"

Personally, I'd be fine if the curses are generally pretty minor things that occasionally cause a problem, as long as you got enough extra power/flexibility to make it worth it to play an Oracle. Maybe something like "You are often misplacing things. Each time you have to retrieve an item from your backpack, make a Seek roll to find the exact item you were looking for. But the curse has he benefit of instantly teleporting the item from your pack into your hand as a free action once per round"


HeHateMe wrote:
kripdenn wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
kripdenn wrote:
Oracles make better gishes in my opinion especially with the Battle mystery gaining heavy armor. And I think the mystery and curse mechanics are very flavorful though the Oracle may need to be balanced more as some of their curses (like the life curse) are brutal with little reward.
Except all a Sorcerer has to do is spend one feat for Champion Dedication and they get heavy armor too. Without dealing with that awful curse. No, Oracle is still just a worse Sorcerer.

Not really though, two class feats to get expert heavy armor, ancestry or general feats to get martial or advanced weapon proficiency and weapon critical effects, toughness or champion feat to get more HP, class feats to get more focus points on refocusing. The feat tax for divine sorcerer gishes is a lot larger and the oracle can spend those feats on archetypes like the hellknight or ancestry feats to improve themselves in other ways.

The place I think oracles are hurting is their heal options (divine evolution is really nice for sorcerers and clerics get fonts) and some of the oracle focus spells (like the battle mystery ones) are really lackluster.

Again, you guys are pointing out Battle Oracle as the only viable option. And frankly, even Battle blows. Warpriests are much better gishes because they get Expert proficiency in their deity's favored weapon at 7th level. A Battle Oracle needs to wait until 11th level, making them ineffective in combat.

Oracle right now is redundant and just doesn't measure up to the classes already in existence. It needs to be ripped up and completely redesigned to be closer to its 1e counterpart.

Battle Oracle gets better armor proficiency and better progression for their spell DCs/spell attacks. And races can give you weapon proficiency pretty easily.

Life lets you play a full caster with the hitpoints of a fighter. The curse sucks, but you can hold off on using your focus spells for a fight or two and generally be pretty well off.

Fire is probably the worst off of the three mysteries but its curse at least has direct offensive and defensive benefits.

I like the kinds of power that can be packaged in with mysteries that don't really fit in the sorcerer's structure.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

Oracle curses should mostly be a matter of flavor, and not mechanics. The idea of a class feature actually penalizing you has always struck me as somewhat absurd.

Player: Hey, want to check out the new Oracle class!
New Player: Sure! What makes it unique?
Player: Horrible curses that penalize your character!
New Player: Think I'll take a pass on that.

There's just no real way to sell that without, at best, making it sound like you're making up for the penalties that probably shouldn't have been there in the first place.

I know I might be in the minority, but I'm actually really into class features that "hurt", so long as it's a fair trade. In any game if there's a possible playstyle that's "great power, but at a terrible price", I am ALL OVER it. I loved the Medium, as well as any sort of "cast from lifepoints" options that casters got. I really liked the Kineticist too (though sadly I've only been able to see them in action, I've not gotten a chance to play one).

When I was playing 4e, there was an Invoker specialization where you learned the language of the gods, but speaking it could tear your body apart. I was so into that. I immediately got Invoker vibes from the new Oracle, and that's part of why I'm so excited about it.


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There's definitely a significant group of players who love the "power at a price" theme. I'm not one of them, I look at Oracle and see "Sorcerer with Disabilities".

Too bad, cause I really liked the 1e Oracle. Paizo is developing a habit of taking classes I really liked in 1e (Alchemist, Oracle) and making them suck. Not a good thing for me, that's for sure.


HeHateMe wrote:

There's definitely a significant group of players who love the "power at a price" theme. I'm not one of them, I look at Oracle and see "Sorcerer with Disabilities".

Too bad, cause I really liked the 1e Oracle. Paizo is developing a habit of taking classes I really liked in 1e (Alchemist, Oracle) and making them suck. Not a good thing for me, that's for sure.

Listen: The alchemist sucked in PF1 as well so I'd say that its place in the power distribution has more or less stayed the same. And of course oracle is going to be worse in PF2E; oracle was awesome in PF1 because it was a power/talent class and now ALL classes are that way in PF2 (and there are no longer "real" feats outside of class powers in this metaphor).

That later point is more or less the thing about PF2E that I am most disappointed by.

That said, I think this version of Oracle has neat little niche that is suitably separate from the sorceror.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Listen: The alchemist sucked in PF1 as well

/doubt


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:

There's definitely a significant group of players who love the "power at a price" theme. I'm not one of them, I look at Oracle and see "Sorcerer with Disabilities".

Too bad, cause I really liked the 1e Oracle. Paizo is developing a habit of taking classes I really liked in 1e (Alchemist, Oracle) and making them suck. Not a good thing for me, that's for sure.

Listen: The alchemist sucked in PF1 as well so I'd say that its place in the power distribution has more or less stayed the same. And of course oracle is going to be worse in PF2E; oracle was awesome in PF1 because it was a power/talent class and now ALL classes are that way in PF2 (and there are no longer "real" feats outside of class powers in this metaphor).

That later point is more or less the thing about PF2E that I am most disappointed by.

That said, I think this version of Oracle has neat little niche that is suitably separate from the sorceror.

Hate to break it to you brother, but you're in a pretty small minority when you say PF1 Alchemist sucked. There were alot more "OMG Alchemist is OP" threads than there were "Alchemists are Underpowered" threads on these forums.

Most people who loved that class hate the PF2 version. I loved playing a Mutagen-swilling melee monster in PF1, which isn't even a viable option in P2, sadly.

Regarding Oracle, I liked the variety of choices in 1e: I could choose a Mystery, several Revelations, and a Curse. Lots of possible combinations. P2 did away with that, which I hate.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
Listen: The alchemist sucked in PF1 as well.

I could write something but this image says it better than I ever could.


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Samurai wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
Player: They cast spells and have horrible curses that penalize your character! encourage specific playstyles!

This is the Advanced Player's Guide, after all. The fun part of oracle curses is coming up with tactics that maximize the beneficial effects while minimizing (but not eliminating) the drawbacks.

Curses have to feel bad so that players can feel good about overcoming the challenge. Otherwise, what's the point? Go play a sorcerer if you want easy mode.

It's the Advanced Players Guide, not "Hellen Keller, the roleplaying game!"

Could you not?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Fire is probably the worst off of the three mysteries but its curse at least has direct offensive and defensive benefits.

Listen, people just aren't thinking of how to properly utilize being on fire


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I'm one of those who likes the new curses. They feel like, yknow, a curse! Not like a minor inconvenience that turns into a huge benefit at 8th level or so, which leaves you wondering what's so "cursed" about this anyways. And why is it hags can give you a negative curse but when the gods do it it comes with a full spellcasting progression? :p

One of my first PF1 characters was an oracle, as I loved the idea of a curse from the gods. To me that's a massive role playing opportunity that is much more interesting than "I have magic powers just cuz" like a sorcerer. I feel like the new curses actually tie that role playing potential into the mechanics. Mechanically life and battle both look strong to me (fire could use work IMO, the benefits aren't there).

Life moderate curse is a ridiculous amount of healing output (nearly 50% extra on one and three action heals, plus the extra little heal from any spells you cast). In exchange, your 3 action heals restore less to you, and if you drop in combat your allies have to use a potion instead of a spell to stabilize you (assuming Battle Medicine counts as an effect from another creature here). The uncontrollable AoE heals of major curse could be detrimental, but at no point do you have to go to major unless you choose to, so just do it when it makes sense.

Battle is not as strong, mostly giving a bunch of proficiencies, but also not as bad a penalty. As long as you attempt any Strike each round (could be ranged, doesn't have to hit) there's no minor penalty, and you can skip the strike on turns you don't mind the penalty, like when you aren't being attacked. The major curse deterring spellcasting is harsh, but again you only go there if you choose to.

Saying that sorcerer or warpriest doesn't have to play around these penalties misses the point. The penalties are what makes it fun. The playstyle is about taking on risk, as your curse never advances without you taking an action to do so. Oracle is designed as a high-stakes character, channeling energies that mortal bodies can't contain, and I think the new curses fit that perfectly from a flavor and mechanics perspective.


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Bandw2 wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Fire is probably the worst off of the three mysteries but its curse at least has direct offensive and defensive benefits.
Listen, people just aren't thinking of how to properly utilize being on fire

You joke but my build for apocalypse oracle was "grab fire resistance and wade into melee while on fire." And it did it better than flame does here.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

BellyBeard shares my thoughts almost to the letter. I really love the new Oracle, and the penalties are a big part of the fun. There are things that need tuning, like the Life Mystery's 'delay affliction' , or the balance between the Flame Mystery's boons and penalties, and the spells per day (Revelation and slot-based) could use a look-over, but the overall direction the class is taking is one I'm very excited for.


The big problem with the battle curse is that it seems to apply the save penalty outside of encounter mode. So in contexts where it makes no sense to strike anything, you have a -2 you can't get rid of.

Ideally, we could make clear that the penalty only applies in encounter mode, and that certain offensive spells satisfy the requirement as well.


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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.

This worked because the rewards for burn where pretty big deals. Boosts to attack and bigger boosts to damage. All day size bonuses to physical stats of your choice. Crit/sneak protection that went up with the burn. This was on top of boons you could pay burn for that lasted all day like the defensive talents. This type of system has worked before and I'm sure Paizo can pull it off for Oracle, especially since the discourse over it has been loud.


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To make the point of my rather lengthy post a bit more clear:

I'm not against curses. Not even curses that come with hefty downsides like those presented in the playtest.

What I don't disagree with is giving an already underpowered class curses that come with serious penalties but not giving that class anything that really makes up for it.

For the first levels, any Wild Druid heals 99% as well as a Life Oracle and has better proficiencies and Wild Morph/Shape. And without heving to deal with any curses. That's just sad. (Yes, Anathema is a thing for druids but that's much easier to deal with than curses.)

If the curses are to remain unchanged, the Oracle's Revelation spells need to be much, MUCH stronger than they currently are. Make them completely unavailable via Multiclass if need be.

I'll stop myself here before I write another way-too-long post ranting about why most of the reveleation spells aren't worth the prize you pay for them.


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I dig the new Oracle.
In my experience, most players who I've seen play an Oracle always pick the mildest possible curse.
The moment I read the new Oracle, it struck me how absurd it is for the player to choose their curse at all.
That's not much of a curse.

I do agree that the curses in the play test seem way too harsh for the benefits they grant.
Either make the benefits better or tone down the curse effects.

Beside that, I think they really do need to add some sort of a fortune telling ability to fit the expected lore better.


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

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.

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