Oracle Thoughts

Oracle Playtest

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Level One

- The Oracle's player chose Battle Mystery, and is enjoying herself very much. Her character concept of a warrior who found religion during war worked much better with the Oracle flavour, as opposed to a Warpriest. She felt a Cleric would be more of a deliberate choice to choose Gorum and the Divine path, and go into war for Gorum. Her concept of her PC starting mundane and gaining power through her prowess fit the Oracle class much better. She was surprised how combat-ready the Battle Oracle is, as her impression from the other mysteries was that it was a squishy class. The armour, healing, and the Shield cantrip really made a good build for her.

- The Battle Oracle's player ran her character very much like a Fighter, focusing on casting Magic Weapon on her own weapon rather than using Heal during combat. Another PC died because she used her actions to get next to an enemy and the dying PC, and choose to attack instead of healing. That's a player issue, and would be an issue with the Warpriest as well. However, she said she wanted to use Weapon Surge in order to avoid using the 2-action cost of casting Magic Weapon, but thought the cost of the curse was too high. If the dying PC didn't critically fail a recovery check, the Battle Oracle was going to Heal her instead of making a 3rd attack with her Magic Weaponed Trident. Being wary of using her Revelation Spells was an on-going issue.

- In terms of roleplaying, she was very tough and menacing with oppositional and uncertain company, but genuinely caring with NPCs that elicited concern (Lawren Krent). She said she wanted to be more versatile with her Charisma checks (Diplomacy or Deception), but she had a 10 INT, so she barely had enough skill trainings to cover her character's concept as a war veteran.

- As the player's GM, I had trouble visualizing how the Oracle was different from a Warpriest Cleric. I was actually surprised when I checked on the differences on paper between the two sub-classes at level 1 (Battle Mystery gave out Heavy Armour Proficiency, while Warpriest only got Medium Armour; and Battle Oracles could choose any weapon group for their martial weapon as opposed to the Warpriest getting only the Deific Favoured Weapon). As a first-level PC, the player's Oracle PC only had one weapon and couldn't afford to buy Splint Mail with her starting gold. Mysteries vs. Domains should have been another differentiation, but as I said, the player wasn't eager to use her Revelation spells. I like the subtle differences, but for actual game play, I didn't see it come forth and matter.

- Using the Versatile Human ancestry and the Natural Ambition ancestral feat, the Oracle's player managed to get a combo with Glean Lore and Student of the Canon. She told me that Glean Lore allowed her to use Religion to roll for any Recall Knowledge check, and said Student of the Canon would help her with that roll. I told her that SotC would help her avoid critical failures on Recall Knowledge checks involving tenets of faith, and boost rolls about her own faith.

We negotiated how much 'tenets of faith' included in a world where every facet of life had a religion with holy texts and philosophers commenting on it. Could she reference the teachings of Nethys to get the benefit when doing a Recall Knowledge on magic? Could the Church of Desna's focus on exploration allow her to use Glean Lore + Student of the Canon in any situation where she was exploring, provided it was inspired by an in-campaign quote from Desna?

I ruled that what she would get if she tried that would be the most universally accepted general practise of the faith. She would get an answer that would be coloured by the religion's philosophy (Abadar's LN nature would favour Recall Knowledge checks that disapprove of risky investment), and wouldn't account for outlier events that the religion's holy texts may say little of (using Sarenrae as the source of Recall Knowledge for rooting out traitorous allies might instead focus on redeeming them when they reveal themselves to be traitors).

So far, she hasn't used that feature yet, because the Investigator is doing most of the rolls anyways.

Grand Lodge Designer

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Thanks for the detailed feedback on your session! If you haven't already, please make sure you head over to the surveys and get that feedback in there before Dec 2 so we can make sure it gets included in the quantitative dataset.

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