The powers-that-be should re-read Pathfinder Tales: Pirate's Prophecy, by Chris Jackson...


Oracle Playtest


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Celeste was already an intriguing character thanks to the first two books, but the idea of how Oracles worked earned the class a soft spot in my heart, and I was delighted to see her becoming one in the last book of the series.

More to the point, her tale encapsulated to me how the Oracle is supposed to work:

* Unasked for powers. Playing the "Why?" and the Mystery of it all to the hilt.

* A curse that's always on, with the effects mitigated or changed as more levels were gained.

Watching Celeste poke the edges of her Heavens Mystery, and the Curse of Tongues, was just delicious. Under first edition, Oracles were a wonderful compliment to the Sorcerer, and PT:PP brought all the unique flavor and challenges of the class to life.

Now?

With respect, it seems like two large steps away from that, in the wrong direction.

There were over thirty Mysteries and thirty Curses in first edition. Maybe that level of customization isn't suitable for second generation, but even "An Oracle with this Mystery must choose one of the following Curses" would be better than having Mystery and Curse permanently paired up.

Curses went from "Permanently on, but the Oracle compensated / was compensated as she progressed along her Mystery by gaining class levels" to "A consequence of using your revelation spell". If the revelation spells were more of a carrot, then that stick would be worth it, but as things stand now it's simply a reason not to use one of the core features of your class.

Maybe this has been addressed in another thread. Pretty new to here, haven't read them yet, wanted to get this in before the feedback window closed. Maybe things will change before the rules are final, or maybe there's a really good reason why the old rules are no longer suitable and this is the way it's going to be.

All I'd ask is that people go back and re-read Pirate's Prophecy, and try to imagine Celeste's story using the proposed second edition Oracle rules.


Pathfinder Tales have a wizard who gets nauseated casting spells of any kind until he discovers flick book scrolls or something like that

So I don’t think the fiction is necessarily supposed to align

But equally I believe the original Oracle iconic is gone because of the changes to curses. Her “blindness” is not something that is an option for a flames oracle as currently written so she cannot be made to match her story with the rules

Narrative character like the one you mentioned and the wizard Jeggare do not need to conform to mechanical rules of the world

Silver Crusade

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

The nausea is a character specific drawback, whereas the flick scrolls are an actual item in P1.


Lanathar wrote:

Pathfinder Tales have a wizard who gets nauseated casting spells of any kind until he discovers flick book scrolls or something like that

So I don’t think the fiction is necessarily supposed to align

But equally I believe the original Oracle iconic is gone because of the changes to curses. Her “blindness” is not something that is an option for a flames oracle as currently written so she cannot be made to match her story with the rules

Narrative character like the one you mentioned and the wizard Jeggare do not need to conform to mechanical rules of the world

Now that I realize... But just the fact that the old Oracle doesn't work with the new set of rules is a direct contradiction to one of the edicts of PF2e: You should be able to tell the same stories.

Granted, is not such a huge issue for the world overall, it's still pretty high fantasy... But Oracles are undeniably a big part of the setting and having an entire Iconic changed because the original concept doesn't apply seems troubling.

Silver Crusade

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

Lot's of P1 Oracles don't work anymore.

(that being said the Flame Mystery obscures your vision, both of which Alahazra had)


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Respectfully, it isn't that "Celeste is a Pathfinder: Tales character so gets to ignore game mechanics", and my apologies to those who took it that way.

Rather, Celeste obeyed the 1st edition game mechanics perfectly, and in doing so the story captured all the mystery and wonder and encapsulated suck that it means to be an Oracle.

The author did a marvelous job of demonstrating via fiction how the Oracle class is supposed to work. And I'm just not getting the same feel from the 2nd edition Oracle. Yes, mechanics are going to change, and I accept that. I think that, mechanically, 2nd edition is a better game than 1st edition. But the playtest doesn't give me the same feel as the original version does.

Every other class is a better, refined, more 'pure' version of their class in 2nd edition than they were in 1st, without a doubt... except for the Oracle. It just feels like a cake that got taken out of the oven too soon, while the rest were baked to perfection. I'd like to see it as more than "It's a spellcaster that doesn't spellcast as well as any of the other spellcasters, and that's a feature not a bug, because it's for players that want a challenge!" I'd like to see it shine.

Maybe I'm just a romantic dinosaur of a player, but I want to be able to feel like every class has something special to bring to the table, and to the stories. Stories we read, stories we tell each other, stories we participate in. And I don't feel that way about the Oracle right now.

This isn't the most helpful feedback, I know. I hesitated to post it at all. I grok that the mix-and-match Curses and Mysteries, and the choose your own Revelations, just don't work with 2nd edition. I wish I had a really elegant solution. I don't. What I has is the notion that the book I mentioned is a perfect representation of how an Oracle should feel, and how it should play, and I hope that someone better at this than I am can make that spirit and flavor translate into something that gets the next generation as excited about the second edition version of the class as I was about the first.


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Christopherwbuser wrote:

Respectfully, it isn't that "Celeste is a Pathfinder: Tales character so gets to ignore game mechanics", and my apologies to those who took it that way.

Rather, Celeste obeyed the 1st edition game mechanics perfectly, and in doing so the story captured all the mystery and wonder and encapsulated suck that it means to be an Oracle.

The author did a marvelous job of demonstrating via fiction how the Oracle class is supposed to work. And I'm just not getting the same feel from the 2nd edition Oracle. Yes, mechanics are going to change, and I accept that. I think that, mechanically, 2nd edition is a better game than 1st edition. But the playtest doesn't give me the same feel as the original version does. ...

I take the message that the PF1 oracle was a class that a good author can tell good stories about. That is strongly correlated with being a class that has storytelling potential for roleplaying.

I checked mythology to see how the oracles of legend got started. Cassandra of Troy is the most famous cursed oracle. The god Apollo gave her a gift of prophecy when he courted her, and gave her a curse that no-one would believe her prophecies when she spurned him. Another cursed oracle of Greek mythology, Tiresias settled a bet between the gods Zeus and Hera. Hera lost the bet, so she cursed him with blindnesss. Zeus tried to make up for that by granting him foresight and a lifespan of a few hundred years. Another set of famous Greek oracles serves as Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi. The Oracle of Delphi had no curse. She was limited that she could give prophecies only on the seventh day of each month.

All Greek oracles were granted their powers directly from Greek gods. The Judeochristian prophets were the same. Wikipedia gives other examples (Wikipedia: Oracle). The Mayans of the Yucatán Peninsula also viewed oracles as delivering messages from their gods. The oracles in India were called akashwani (unseen voice) or asariri (voice from the sky), with the voice in the sky being from a god. In contrast, Tibetan oracles are viewed as mediums to spirits.

A curse does not seem strongly associated with being an oracle: that came from the capriciousness of Greek gods. A blind prophet in the Judeochristian scriptures is Ahijah of Shiloh, described in 1 Kings 14. He was blind due to old age, but his blindness made a good scene when he recognized a disguised visitor via his prophetic powers. The Igbo people of Nigeria had oracles who lived in caves and delivered their prophecies in an ecstatic state. The fascinated condition in PF2 would make a good ecstatic state.

TV Tropes (TV Tropes: Seers) has more about cursed oracles, since they are a literary trope. We have blind seers, cassandras, fainting seers, junkie prophets, and mad oracles. Those fit the PF2 image better. The fainting seers faint from information overload as they tap into prophetic power, and the mad oracles are driven mad by too many horrific visions.

We also have the DC comic-book heroine Oracle, who was the second superhero identity of Barbara Gordon after her legs became paralyzed. I could not find much on lame oracles, but it fits the theme. And that theme is that the oracle has a disability to order to reduce their effectiveness as a problem solver, and often keep them a secondary character who aids the true protagonist or explains details to the audience.

And, of course, I ought to mention the big divergence between the Pathfinder oracle and the mythological oracle: a true prophecy ability in Pathfinder is impossible, because not even the GM knows what will happen in the near future. It can sometimes be faked by granting a reroll, but not a real forecast. Thus, Pathfinder oracles cannot predict the future. Fortunately, Pathfinder players are willing to accept other magic powers in place of prophecies.

Thus, the PF2 oracle's godless revelations and conflicted curse has little basis in any stories of oracles. I believe that the curse interests players inspired by the challenges of disabled protagonists, such as Bran Stark from Game of Thrones, Toph Bei Fong from Avatar: The Last Airbender, and River Tam from Firefly and Serenity. Other players put up with the curse because they like the theme of a mystery.

Tying a class to a well-known fictional character, such as Robin Hood and Aragorn for ranger class, Merlin and Gandalf for wizard class, etc., is a good hook for newbie players trying to decide on their first character. Sometimes, RPG-based fiction creates its own examples, such as Drizzt Do'Urden from R. A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms books. I have not read Pirate's Prophecy by Chris Jackson, but Celeste sounds like a good anchor character for oracle design.


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Christopherwbuser wrote:


Maybe I'm just a romantic dinosaur of a player, but I want to be able to feel like every class has something special to bring to the table, and to the stories. Stories we read, stories we tell each other, stories we participate in.

See, I feel like the 2e Oracle does that much better than the 1e Oracle.

The 1e Oracle was a really good class, but in terms of storytelling? Players were encouraged to downplay their curses as much as possible and Mysteries were often chosen to just cherry pick overpowered benefits that didn't necessarily have a lot of flavor baked into them.

The story I can tell about our life oracle who flooded herself with so much positive energy it started to destroy her body in order to unleash a massive torrent of light that annihilated a small army of undead and restored a beleaguered group of adventurers from the brink of death allowing them to win the day is so much more meaningful, interesting, and specific to the Oracle than the story I could tell about our 1e nature oracle who uh, got Charisma added to everything and was maybe haunted by ghosts who knows it never came up except that one time she used a bonus spell she got from her "curse."

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Christopherwbuser wrote:


All I'd ask is that people go back and re-read Pirate's Prophecy, and try to imagine Celeste's story using the proposed second edition Oracle rules.

Fiction and rules sometimes overlap. Sometimes they don't. Most of the time they don't, because if you were to tell a story about a world with D&D economy and mid-level people with Sacred Geometry and Dazing Spell, you'd be likely telling a post-apocalyptic nightmare about a world where economy and ecology collapsed and a bunch of super-powered OP full caster warlords are struggling for control of a ruined landscape and devastated society.


Squiggit wrote:
The 1e Oracle was a really good class, but in terms of storytelling? Players were encouraged to downplay their curses as much as possible and Mysteries were often chosen to just cherry pick overpowered benefits that didn't necessarily have a lot of flavor baked into them.

I remember only one player besides myself play an oracle, but that player chose to alter her haunted curse to be stronger. Rather than repeating this story for the fourth time, see A look back on the PF1 curses , comment #3. That thread also discusses the difficulty ratings of the PF1 curses. I have played NPC oracles, two whom I created myself, and their curses where chosen for plot reasons.

Gorbacz wrote:
Christopherwbuser wrote:
All I'd ask is that people go back and re-read Pirate's Prophecy, and try to imagine Celeste's story using the proposed second edition Oracle rules.
Fiction and rules sometimes overlap. Sometimes they don't. Most of the time they don't, because if you were to tell a story about a world with D&D economy and mid-level people with Sacred Geometry and Dazing Spell, you'd be likely telling a post-apocalyptic nightmare about a world where economy and ecology collapsed and a bunch of super-powered OP full caster warlords are struggling for control of a ruined landscape and devastated society.

I have treated Varisia and Numeria that way in my Rise of the Runelords and Iron Gods campaigns. Adventurers retrieving magic items from dangerous ancient ruins is a significant part of Varisia's economy.

My players, however, are not the kind of people to select Sacred Geometry. One wannabe powergamer did select Dazing Spell for his Leadership cohort, a wizard, but then forgot to use it.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I agree with the OP. The PF2 Oracle curse is a pure mechanical ability that is designed purely for combat. It makes no sense that a battle oracle has to keep hitting someone every 6 seconds or take a disadvantage in conversation or is more likely to get hit by a trap.

There is no growth in PF2 Oracles as they learn to compensate for their curse. The character is stuck. From a narrative point of view its incredibly limiting. The only growth in PF2 Oracle is ability to push my mystery further and suffer increased penalties for doing so over time. This is not growth, this in endurance.

Yes some people downplayed curses in PF1, that was more to do with some curses not being well written less the concept of an always on curse that you compensated over time. My favourite curse was clouded vision, not one that could be downplayed. The PF2 curses are entirely avoidable by just not using my class abilities. That is a poor design, I am actively discouraged from using core abilities or minimising my use where possible.

I much prefer the PF1 design, tweak curses to be less avoidable if necessary. Add feats to represent compensation and growth for compensating curses. The ability to push the boundaries and suffer greater curse effects could still remain via feat. The class would be truer to the PF1 experience while still allowing those that want the overcharge experience to have it.

Liberty's Edge

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I generally agree with the OP. Celeste is an excellent example of the sort of cool story one could tell with the PF1 Oracle, and that the playtest Oracle makes impossible. Which is bad. All the other Class transfers generally allow the same stories to be told about their members (I think the sole exception is Clerics of certain specific Alignments)...Oracle being an exception to that is, frankly, just a really bad thematic choice.

The narrative of 'this curse causes problems for me in my life, so I go adventuring' or indeed just 'this curse is a day to day problem for me' is sort of integral to the Oracle's class identity in PF1. Not for every Oracle, but it's a common refrain. It's also a really compelling plot thread that something in PF2 should reflect.

That plot thread is completely nonexistent in the current Oracle, who probably never even notice their Curse if they don't adventure since then they don't need to cast Focus Spells. And if they do notice it, they can just take a day, and then not cast that Focus Spell ever again. Problem solved.

That's a really bad thematic change, since it gets rid of, rather than adding, potential character concepts. Indeed, it gets rid of a lot of them and adds basically none.

Curses being tied to Mysteries is limiting to concepts, but it doesn't change the basic thing that makes Oracles interesting. Oracle curses getting worse as they cast is new, but again not thematically damaging (though I find personally it unsatisfying and bad on a mechanical level). I dislike both those things, mind you, but they still allow someone to play an Oracle and have that mean more or less the same thing it did in PF1 (if perhaps with a more limited set of choices and a specific mechanic I think is bad).

Curses not being always on (at least in the right circumstance...Tongues, which is Celeste's curse, only kicks in when fighting, but does so the instant combat begins, it would barely mean anything if you chose when it started), however, just makes the Class so different thematically that it should have a different name, because almost zero characters actually make sense if transferred over.


Gorbacz wrote:
Christopherwbuser wrote:


All I'd ask is that people go back and re-read Pirate's Prophecy, and try to imagine Celeste's story using the proposed second edition Oracle rules.

Fiction and rules sometimes overlap. Sometimes they don't. Most of the time they don't, because if you were to tell a story about a world with D&D economy and mid-level people with Sacred Geometry and Dazing Spell, you'd be likely telling a post-apocalyptic nightmare about a world where economy and ecology collapsed and a bunch of super-powered OP full caster warlords are struggling for control of a ruined landscape and devastated society.

You realize that's pretty much what medieval times were like right? That's why they're called the dark ages. It sounds to me like that's a feature, not a bug.

Liberty's Edge

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Gorbacz wrote:
Christopherwbuser wrote:


All I'd ask is that people go back and re-read Pirate's Prophecy, and try to imagine Celeste's story using the proposed second edition Oracle rules.

Fiction and rules sometimes overlap. Sometimes they don't. Most of the time they don't, because if you were to tell a story about a world with D&D economy and mid-level people with Sacred Geometry and Dazing Spell, you'd be likely telling a post-apocalyptic nightmare about a world where economy and ecology collapsed and a bunch of super-powered OP full caster warlords are struggling for control of a ruined landscape and devastated society.

As an aside, I think Golarion does a pretty good job of properly reflecting both PF1 and PF2 if played RAI and ignoring one or two weird interactions (like Dazing Spell, or infinite reset traps used for non-trap effects like healing, which one must simply assume do not work in-universe).

High level people really do rule most of the setting, for instance, while a certain amount of access to healing magic is assumed by a lot of the setting stuff (low infant mortality seems assumed, for instance), and there's clear places in the economy for tomb raiders and adventurers in many places.

Really, it holds together pretty well for the most part.


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Would an always-on "least" curse effect which is a minor irritation, possibly solely narrative or with very small penalties and no benefit, fix the issue of "I choose when I get cursed" for you?

Silver Crusade

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Strill wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Christopherwbuser wrote:


All I'd ask is that people go back and re-read Pirate's Prophecy, and try to imagine Celeste's story using the proposed second edition Oracle rules.

Fiction and rules sometimes overlap. Sometimes they don't. Most of the time they don't, because if you were to tell a story about a world with D&D economy and mid-level people with Sacred Geometry and Dazing Spell, you'd be likely telling a post-apocalyptic nightmare about a world where economy and ecology collapsed and a bunch of super-powered OP full caster warlords are struggling for control of a ruined landscape and devastated society.
You realize that's pretty much what medieval times were like right? That's why they're called the dark ages. It sounds to me like that's a feature, not a bug.

Golarion is nowhere in the vicinity of being a medieval/dark ages setting.

Liberty's Edge

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BellyBeard wrote:
Would an always-on "least" curse effect which is a minor irritation, possibly solely narrative or with very small penalties and no benefit, fix the issue of "I choose when I get cursed" for you?

Not really, at least for me. It needs to be inconvenient enough to be, y'know, a curse that someone would change their life in major ways to accommodate, without being so debilitating it makes the game unplayable or unfun.

It doesn't have to come with an inherent curse-related upside if the Class as a whole is powerful enough to make up for the Curse, though. That bit was always secondary, thematically, at least for me.

So 'restricted vision beyond 60 feet', for example, would be a fine Curse, but only if said restriction is mechanically relevant and would lead one to make serious life choices based on it. Ditto for 'reduced movement due to a limp' or 'looks like they're rotting' or even 'can only babble in a weird language, rather than speak normally, during moments of stress'. Those are serious things that change your life, and thus allow stories to be told about them.

Something that doesn't change your life doesn't allow those stories.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Not really, at least for me. It needs to be inconvenient enough to be, y'know, a curse that someone would change their life in major ways to accommodate, without being so debilitating it makes the game unplayable or unfun.

It doesn't have to come with an inherent curse-related upside if the Class as a whole is powerful enough to make up for the Curse, though. That bit was always secondary, thematically, at least for me.

So 'restricted vision beyond 60 feet', for example, would be a fine Curse, but only if said restriction is mechanically relevant and would lead one to make serious life choices based on it. Ditto for 'reduced movement due to a limp' or 'looks like they're rotting' or even 'can only babble in a weird language, rather than speak normally, during moments of stress'. Those are serious things that change your life, and thus allow stories to be told about them.

Something that doesn't change your life doesn't allow those stories.

Well, it does *sort of* change one's life. One goes from being conscious and an active participant to unconscious and an inactive participant (though that apparently is getting another look).

I'm seeing Oracle right now like a recovering addict. "Oh, just gotta get my fix. Just a little bit... MORE!".

...and that's not a good way to see a class, puts me in the mindset of 'what sort of player would play a Juicer in Rifts'? ((All the steroids, heart explodes within twenty years))


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Not really, at least for me. It needs to be inconvenient enough to be, y'know, a curse that someone would change their life in major ways to accommodate, without being so debilitating it makes the game unplayable or unfun.

It doesn't have to come with an inherent curse-related upside if the Class as a whole is powerful enough to make up for the Curse, though. That bit was always secondary, thematically, at least for me.

So 'restricted vision beyond 60 feet', for example, would be a fine Curse, but only if said restriction is mechanically relevant and would lead one to make serious life choices based on it. Ditto for 'reduced movement due to a limp' or 'looks like they're rotting' or even 'can only babble in a weird language, rather than speak normally, during moments of stress'. Those are serious things that change your life, and thus allow stories to be told about them.

Something that doesn't change your life doesn't allow those stories.

Well, it does *sort of* change one's life. One goes from being conscious and an active participant to unconscious and an inactive participant (though that apparently is getting another look).

I'm seeing Oracle right now like a recovering addict. "Oh, just gotta get my fix. Just a little bit... MORE!".

...and that's not a good way to see a class, puts me in the mindset of 'what sort of player would play a Juicer in Rifts'? ((All the steroids, heart explodes within twenty years))

. Juicers are fun, burnout is 4-7 years, so it's live superhumanly fast (think permanent haste, and other buffs) explode (in some sub classes literally) soon. It is enough power at a high price that it appeals to some players. Crazies are another example, from the same system. Another supersoldier experiment that gains physic power at the price of growing insanity, again power at a price, enough price to not make them an auto pick, but enough power to not ignore them as well. Used to love that game :p.

On topic: a power at a price mechanic has to be balanced, enough power to be worth it, a high enough price so it cannot be ignored as meaningless.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Strill wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Christopherwbuser wrote:


All I'd ask is that people go back and re-read Pirate's Prophecy, and try to imagine Celeste's story using the proposed second edition Oracle rules.

Fiction and rules sometimes overlap. Sometimes they don't. Most of the time they don't, because if you were to tell a story about a world with D&D economy and mid-level people with Sacred Geometry and Dazing Spell, you'd be likely telling a post-apocalyptic nightmare about a world where economy and ecology collapsed and a bunch of super-powered OP full caster warlords are struggling for control of a ruined landscape and devastated society.
You realize that's pretty much what medieval times were like right? That's why they're called the dark ages. It sounds to me like that's a feature, not a bug.
Golarion is nowhere in the vicinity of being a medieval/dark ages setting.

while the tropes are medieval in appearance, it feels more like a post Alexander era, where the Collapse of society from the death of Aroden has caused many large nations to splinter.

so alexander's emprie splintered into the seleucids, macedonia, Anatolia, Egypt, etc.

most of the regions in pathfinder have an empire that splintered not that long ago, which makes them fascinating, but it's definitely not a fall of rome scenario, more of a power vacuum scenario.

Silver Crusade

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*nods*

We also have schools per village, printing presses, guns, hospitals, sanitoriums, etc


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Everyone is assumed to be literate. That's a huge difference.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Frankly, while the tech--nor even the magi equivalents--aren't all the way there, societally speaking, Golarion largely feels 'early industrial' more than even Renaissance to me.

Sovereign Court

I agree that the PF1e Oracle was much, MUCH better so far than the PF2e playtest. I'm hoping that the APG will change my mind when we see the actual class in print, but I don't know if Paizo is willing to make the same kind of class anymore. Lots of reviewers have noted how politically correct Paizo and PF2 has become, and creating a class that requires "differently abled" characters doesn't seem like something they would want to do. I'd be surprised if they put in curses that have real-world counterparts like "you can't speak the local languages", "blind", "deaf", and "lame". And I say this as someone whose terrible eyesight has made me "legally blind" (the equivalent of the "can only see within 30 feet" curse, I need very thick glasses to see at all) ever since Jr. High School. That's why I'm surprised they chose the Oracle as one of the first expansion classes at all.

But I see the Oracles as the fantasy versions of the X-men. You get powers, but they come with a downside/drawback. Are you stuck in a wheelchair like Professor X, or look like a blue-furred demon with a tail like Nightcrawler? They can't turn off their drawbacks/disabilities by just avoiding using their powers. If Oracles can avoid ever facing the curses by just never casting Revelation spells, that is going against the whole point of the class and it's stories. They become a divine sorcerer with effectively no focus spells.

And if the curse becomes so terrible it can kill you or make you or your team a very simple target for the enemies to kill, it makes me think of the storied about how some soldiers used to prefer wounding an enemy soldier in order to draw out his allies who try to help him so they can wound/shoot them too. This is especially true if the soldier they wound first is supposed to be the group medic.

Liberty's Edge

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Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
Everyone is assumed to be literate. That's a huge difference.

Than literally everyone actually being literate? Sure.

But there are canonical secular schools in every village above about 100 people we have full stats (like, list of all buildings in town kinda stats) for, including places like Taldor where you'd think maybe peasants wouldn't have that sort of thing. Literacy and basic education are clearly very common, and the assumed defaults in most of the Inner Sea region (as well as Tian Xia).


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Samurai wrote:
They become a divine sorcerer with effectively no focus spells.

In the same way that the PF1 Oracle is a cleric with a worse spell progression but a couple extra features, I guess.

The flexibility the PF1 Oracle had was nice, but that flexibility often left the class feeling really disjointed. Curses ended up feeling like a really tacked on feature because they weren't integral to the class, didn't interact with the rest of the class in any way and were often just outright ignored in practice.

Having these high impact, flavorful burdens that come with unique features and play directly into the Oracle's own focus is a massive improvement, even if the specific tuning on some of them need work right now.

Liberty's Edge

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Squiggit wrote:
Having these high impact, flavorful burdens that come with unique features and play directly into the Oracle's own focus is a massive improvement, even if the specific tuning on some of them need work right now.

To reiterate, mechanical arguments aside, I'm totally fine with scaling curses as you cast, and am even willing to go with Curses being tied to specific Mysteries (though I think it should be more Domain-like, where each Mystery has several available).

The thematic deal breaker that's a really big problem is the Curse not being an ongoing problem in day to day life even if you don't ever use Focus Spells.


That's fair. It's not personally a problem for me (especially since a lot of PF1 curses de facto worked like that anyways) but I can see why it might bother some people.

That could just as easily be solved by making the minor curse an all day feature and giving Oracles an extra free casting (like their feats give them) though.


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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

The more I think about it, the less I like the idea of representing curses being the "price of power" by having them be your daily tracker of revelation spell use. It's altogether too linear and feels too deflationary. The "price of power" but you can modulate it according to your needs and it gets re-set each day--it seems to be doing something very different, and much less interesting, than what curses had the potential to do in PF1. Likewise with tying the curse to the mystery; to me it is a better story, and better reflects the mysterious nature of the oracle, if the two are not necessarily thematically related.

I think my personal preference would be for a short list of curses, each with an important but narrow mechanical drawback that is always on. The effects of the curse could grow worse as the oracle gains more revelation spells, or it could just be a sunk cost. In PF1 the sheer abundance of curses was a problem, I think (just checked AON and it looks like there are 40+), and with a tighter constraint on that it might be possible to solve some of the problems that happened with PF1's curse design.

Sovereign Court

Orithilaen wrote:

The more I think about it, the less I like the idea of representing curses being the "price of power" by having them be your daily tracker of revelation spell use. It's altogether too linear and feels too deflationary. The "price of power" but you can modulate it according to your needs and it gets re-set each day--it seems to be doing something very different, and much less interesting, than what curses had the potential to do in PF1. Likewise with tying the curse to the mystery; to me it is a better story, and better reflects the mysterious nature of the oracle, if the two are not necessarily thematically related.

I think my personal preference would be for a short list of curses, each with an important but narrow mechanical drawback that is always on. The effects of the curse could grow worse as the oracle gains more revelation spells, or it could just be a sunk cost. In PF1 the sheer abundance of curses was a problem, I think (just checked AON and it looks like there are 40+), and with a tighter constraint on that it might be possible to solve some of the problems that happened with PF1's curse design.

I think the "price of power" ought to be for truly exceptional use of power, not just regular Focus Spell use. Give the Oracles Focus points as normal, and if they want to push past the 3 Focus Point limit (Or just use it to gain the benefit of the Higher Curse Effects), They can also choose to increase their Curse instead of spending a Focus point. That would make the class more interesting and unique, assuming the Focus spells are worth the curse effects.

Paizo Employee Designer

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It makes me really happy to see y'all holding up Chris Jackson's work as a model—I've read a ton of his work (including the Pathfinder Tales) and I agree, he's done a wonderful job of portraying the details of our world.

One of the challenges we're having in the move to the second edition of the game is that we can't bring forward 100% of what existed in the first edition, since we just literally don't have space for 10 years of class options (ok, 8 for the oracle) in one book. So we're making calls about what to bring forward in this book, knowing that others will come in later books, and knowing that the second edition will support some options that weren't possible in the first edition. Not everything people loved will make it forward in this book, as much as we wish it could, and since the playtest is testing core mechanics more than specific options, you're seeing an even smaller subset. We've heard lots of your input about what options you're wanting to see in the final class, and that's being incorporated.


Lyz Liddell wrote:
We've heard lots of your input about what options you're wanting to see in the final class, and that's being incorporated.

Thank you for the response, ma'am.


If we're going for thematic consistency, then why not tie the curse to using any spell apart from cantrips? I don't see why Oracles should be able to cast 10th-level miracles just fine, but then fall over from casting a focus spell. If anything, the curse should be tied to the Oracle's higher-level spell splots. Of course, that's a pretty big nerf, and you'd have to give them a pretty hefty upside to account for it, but I think it could be interesting.

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