Will the arcane Witch replace the Wizard?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:

To be fair, if I wanna play a wizard, I'll play it for being a wizard.

Having a patron isn't appealing to me, so the witch can only replace wizard only if I'm powergaming and pick the class for the spell slots?

All classes should be mechanically distinct from one another; thematic differences, like those between an arcane witch and familiar wizard that you mentioned, are important but not sufficient by themselves.

A strength of 2E is that players have many viable options for creating their character due to class balance and each class having unique features. That advantage is lost when the differences come down to just flavor.

The point of my original post is that the playtest version of the arcane witch overlaps with, and slightly improves upon, the wizard. That's bad and I hope it gets fixed.

Valuing mechanical difference, or achknowledging imbalances, does not mean one is "powergaming."

I agree with the wanting difference part, but from what I read, the main attraction to Witch > Wizard was strictly about more spells, more or less. We could technically refluff anything as needed, but talking on assumption we don't refluff things, if my character concept was a mighty wizard, then going with a character whose spells are from some entity and he curses targets with hexes is going away from he's a wizard. The same way a fighter in a green outfit and a bow isn't just stepping on the toes of a ranger even if they share the fighting styles such as archery or dual wielding.

If I went "I want a wizard character, but I'll use the witch because that class has more spell slots." that feels powergamey at least to me. Not that it has to be a bad thing mind you, a lot of people seem to think that powergaming is 100% an insult, and not just an observation on the choices made.

Scarab Sages

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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
... if my character concept was a mighty wizard, then going with a character whose spells are from some entity and he curses targets with hexes is going away from he's a wizard. The same way a fighter in a green outfit and a bow isn't just stepping on the toes of a ranger even if they share the fighting styles such as archery or dual wielding.

A fighter and ranger have different feats, proficiencies, anf class features that differentiate the two. This isn't as true for witches and wizards since those two will cast mostly the same spells. The witch's hexes are very similar to the arcane school focus spells.

Witches aquire spells differently than wizards, but that's flavor only. Needs crunch.


If I thought that the playtest witch was going to be the final witch? Maybe. I don't though.

There was a lot of controversy over the survivability of the familiar (which I think will be addressed) and what traditions the witch could get (which I suspect will remain unchanged). If they improve the familiar something else will probably get downgraded (since the overall power level was not a controversial issue). I seem to recall that witches could learn spells from spell books they found, and that could be a good area to nerf. Not only does it make wizards distinct from witches (who cares how many spells you get when you level up if you can pick up 10 spells at one sitting from the book of the evil wizard the party beat?), but it seems a poor thematic fit for someone who is getting personalized training to be able to learn from a source that isn't personalized to them.


NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
... if my character concept was a mighty wizard, then going with a character whose spells are from some entity and he curses targets with hexes is going away from he's a wizard. The same way a fighter in a green outfit and a bow isn't just stepping on the toes of a ranger even if they share the fighting styles such as archery or dual wielding.

A fighter and ranger have different feats, proficiencies, anf class features that differentiate the two. This isn't as true for witches and wizards since those two will cast mostly the same spells. The witch's hexes are very similar to the arcane school focus spells.

Witches aquire spells differently than wizards, but that's flavor only. Needs crunch.

That's one of the problems of the four magical traditions as the only game in town when it comes to spell lists. It means you can't custom-make a spell list for a different class.

On the plus side, it means that there's generally no issue about compatibility between different supplements. If one book adds a class that casts prepared occult spells, and another book adds a new occult spell, that class will be able to cast that spell. In 3e, you could definitely get into a situation where one book adds the Dread Necromancer class, and another book adds a cool necromancy spell, but the Dread Necromancer can't cast it because it's not on their spell list.


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I'm gonna make a witch whose familiar is an animated spellbook, ala Hocus Pocus, just to mess with people.


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
... if my character concept was a mighty wizard, then going with a character whose spells are from some entity and he curses targets with hexes is going away from he's a wizard. The same way a fighter in a green outfit and a bow isn't just stepping on the toes of a ranger even if they share the fighting styles such as archery or dual wielding.

A fighter and ranger have different feats, proficiencies, anf class features that differentiate the two. This isn't as true for witches and wizards since those two will cast mostly the same spells. The witch's hexes are very similar to the arcane school focus spells.

Witches aquire spells differently than wizards, but that's flavor only. Needs crunch.

That's one of the problems of the four magical traditions as the only game in town when it comes to spell lists. It means you can't custom-make a spell list for a different class.

They already did this for the Red Mantis Assassin Archetype.

Quote:
All the spells in your Red Mantis assassin spellbook, from this and later feats, must be either transmutation or illusion spells from the arcane spell list or a spell from the following list: clairaudience, clairvoyance, darkness, dimension door, modify memory, obscuring mist, paralyze, see invisibility, true strike. Regardless of their usual magical tradition, your Red Mantis assassin spells are divine spells, as are any Red Mantis focus spells you gain.

So it is still possible to do custom lists, just will probably not come at the class level.


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Honestly, after reading a literal mountain of discussion on the Witch, I've become way more invested in the class than I was before the playtest, and I'm super interested to see what the final version is going to look like because there were so many different points that got such intense feedback. Depending on which decisions they went right on and which decisions they went left on the final product could look wildly different.


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The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Honestly, after reading a literal mountain of discussion on the Witch, I've become way more invested in the class than I was before the playtest, and I'm super interested to see what the final version is going to look like because there were so many different points that got such intense feedback. Depending on which decisions they went right on and which decisions they went left on the final product could look wildly different.

Honestly, even when they go in a different direction than what I would expect/prefer, I find myself still satisfied.

Like for instance the Customization Bottleneck argument during the PT for Core. I still to a point sort of have some contention with it, but the truth is Class Feats are really powerful. Better than I thought they would actually be, which means the perception I had on overall "customization" was wrong. When analyzing a subset of the rules you also have to look at the sum of the parts or it can lead to bad perceptions.

Now I look at the overall system when it comes to customization, especially after building/playing/running several characters with the rules, and it feels very whole to me.

Witch is probably going to be the same story. They drop Pick-a-List entirely and go occult? If there's something there to satisfy the Elphaba Primal Witch concept (couple fireballs, animal manipulation) I'll be satisfied. And there's no way they wouldn't at least provide something there. Whether that be a Patron, a lesson or what, I'm not that worried.

The Witch is going to be well received by most of the people in the opposing camps of the Witch debates if I were to bet on it.


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Midnightoker wrote:
The Witch is going to be well received by most of the people in the opposing camps of the Witch debates if I were to bet on it.

I sure hope so. I know I've been a little lack-luster over the class feats I've taken so far (my group is not progressing through Plaguestone very quickly and we started after the official playtest was "over" but I still wanted to try the class out).

I'm also still a little salty over skill feats being insufficiently useful/varied/equal.

For example as a 2nd level witch I can grab a skill feat for any skill I'm trained in. Arcana, Crafting, Deception, Nature, Occult, Society, and Stealth (ignoring Lore). Keep in mind that I'm playing a nominally good "healing" type witch (so my 2nd level class feat is Conceal Spell because claws and living hair don't fit what I'm trying to do and even then that's the least bad of 6 bad options).

What are my options?
Well, there's Assurance, but it covers "any one skill" and while I'll probably end up doing this, its definitely not a "first choice" sort of option.

Arcana offers up only the ability to grant Detect Magic at will (a cantrip I already have), so we can cross this one off the list pretty much in its entirety.
Deception has a few feats, but I'm not a scoundrel.
Same goes for Stealth, and I asked my GM if I could use the benefits of Experienced Smuggler on Conceal Spell (as the feat itself is "make 2 skill checks against the same DC in order to succeed" because virtually every spell is both Somatic and Verbal), but he said no.
Crafting feats are basically pointless at this level (see Batch Crafting) and I already have the ability to craft potions anyway.
Nature's only useful feat lets you use Nature to Treat Wounds, but would require also advancing Medicine (see Natural Medicine Question).
Occult's only feat I already got from my background.
That leaves Society's five feats. None of which I care about (hell, three of them relate to language!).

I hope the released APG has more skill feats (and expect it to), but at this juncture I just don't care about skill feats.


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Draco18s wrote:
Arcana offers up only the ability to grant Detect Magic at will (a cantrip I already have), so we can cross this one off the list pretty much in its entirety.
I disgree there. Getting Detect Magic from a skill feat instead of preparing it as one of your cantrips means you can slot in another cantrip of your choice. I certainly have trouble deciding which 5 cantrips to prepare for my casters, and whenever I can add cantrips from muticlassing, magic items, or skill feats, I tend to favor the opportunity. The only reason I'm not going Arcane Sense on my wizard is that he'll probably grab the Ring of Minor Arcana.
Draco18s wrote:
Nature's only useful feat lets you use Nature to Treat Wounds, but would require also advancing Medicine

First, kinda surprised Medicine isn't on your list of trained skills, given the character. Second, I'd say not having Medicine trained makes Natural Medicine *even better* for your character, relatively speaking. I think that the discussion you link is still being debated, but even if you take the view that you need to advance Medicine to hit the harder DCs: Natural Medicine is the difference between your character being able to Treat Wounds during 10 minute breaks, and not. And unless your witch has some sort of focus power that heals (don't remember if they have a Lay on Hands/Goodberry analog or not), having abundant out-of-combat healing is a Good Thing. Now, maybe your party already has someone with Medicine, Ward Medic, and Continual Recovery trained, and that's less important. But in a vacuum, I'd absolutely take Natural Medicine for a character otherwise unable to Treat Wounds, as the last post in your linked discussion mentions.

Draco18s wrote:
Well, there's Assurance, but it covers "any one skill" and while I'll probably end up doing this, its definitely not a "first choice" sort of option.

Yeah, on its own, Assurance is pretty underwhelming. But if you put it in a skill that a) you plan to advance to Legendary and b) often use Recall Knowledge with, Assurance opens up Automatic Knowledge. My Wizard is a lower-case 'm' monk following Nethys, so I decided to use the Raised by Faith background for him, and look forward to those sorts of uses for Assurance(Arcana). It's also not bad for the Learning a Spell activity if you take it for the relevant skill, since the fail condition is having to wait a level before trying again.


First World Bard wrote:
Getting Detect Magic from a skill feat instead of preparing it as one of your cantrips means you can slot in another cantrip of your choice.

It's NOT the full spell though: instead of an upgrade at 6th, you have to wait for 15th. Additional, for illusions you check your spell level but the one from arcane sense is LOCKED into a 1st level spell for 14 levels. It's better than nothing, but it's not a good substitute for the actual cantrip.


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graystone wrote:
First World Bard wrote:
Getting Detect Magic from a skill feat instead of preparing it as one of your cantrips means you can slot in another cantrip of your choice.
It's NOT the full spell though: instead of an upgrade at 6th, you have to wait for 15th. Additional, for illusions you check your spell level but the one from arcane sense is LOCKED into a 1st level spell for 14 levels. It's better than nothing, but it's not a good substitute for the actual cantrip.

Not quite true, it hits 3rd spell level at Master Arcana, so 7th character level for many characters taking the feat. I agree that that's still not full scaling we get, but which would you rather have: Detect Magic at normal scaling, or Detect Magic at Arcane Sense scaling plus Read Aura at full scaling?


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Additionally, I was talking about Skill Feat choices at second character level. Specifically at 2nd level, it's full strength. Sure, vs illusions it falls off already at 3rd character level, but you were going to need a 3rd level Detect Magic to notice a 2nd level Invisibility anyway, so I'll claim there's not really a difference until 5th character level. So yeah, you're behind at 5th and 6th levels, but if you go Master at 7th level you sorta catch up a bit, now being able to detect a regular Invisibility. The caster with normally scaling detect magic can detect a Greater Invisibility at 9th character level, which the Arcane Sense user can never do. Now, by some point (depending on your preferences), you are better off retraining it into something else, probably a prerequisite skill feat for the skill feat you really want. (Perhaps Assurance->Automatic Knowledge, perhaps something else). But I maintain that it's a solid choice at low levels.


First World Bard wrote:
Not quite true, it hits 3rd spell level at Master Arcana, so 7th character level for many characters taking the feat.

Ah, you're right: for some reason i had it in my head it was master spellcasting not master skill. My bad.

First World Bard wrote:
I agree that that's still not full scaling we get, but which would you rather have: Detect Magic at normal scaling, or Detect Magic at Arcane Sense scaling plus Read Aura at full scaling?

Well it requires taking the skill to legendary and even then it will never detect illusions over 3rd so... meh IMO.

As to the question, Detect Magic at normal scaling and feat. If I REALLY need Read Aura, it's quite easy to get an innate or extra cantrip at full power. I like lots of cantrips too but it just feels like I lose too much with Arcane Sense. For instance, I'd take an heritage like Seer Elf, an ancestry feat like First World Magic, a spellcasting dedication feat, get a familiar and/or the Cantrip Expansion feat. The game isn't lacking for ways to pick up a cantrip.


First World Bard wrote:
Additionally, I was talking about Skill Feat choices at second character level. Specifically at 2nd level, it's full strength.

Yep a single level...

Exchange Image, Illusory Disguise, Illusory Object and Facade are all 1st level illusions you can miss as an illusion at 3rd. You are always behind and never catch up even at legendary.

First World Bard wrote:
But I maintain that it's a solid choice at low levels.

I've looked at it several times and could never get myself to take it: for instance, looking at his list I'd pick Lie to Me [protects against lies] or assurance or additional lore all seem better.


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graystone wrote:
Exchange Image, Illusory Disguise, Illusory Object and Facade are all 1st level illusions you can miss as an illusion at 3rd. You are always behind and never catch up even at legendary.

Sure, but until you hit 5th character level all you get are "presence or absence" of magic you're not familiar with. No aura location, no school. I suppose you could be paranoid and always assume magic you don't know about is some sort of illusion you need to investigate/interact with... or it could just be a simple talisman someone is carrying around.

I was unfamiliar with Exchange Image; that's a very interesting spell. Thankfully uncommon so my players in Extinction Curse won't be running around with those sorts of hijinx. :P As for Illusory Object/Facade: having Read Aura means you won't be duped if you care to spend the minute examining it. But sure, if you really care about illusions, you want full strength det mag.


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Amusingly enough, there are situations where it might be useful to have the lower level version, or maybe both. Basically, if you already expect an item to be magic, but it's really a 1st level illusion, a 2nd level Detect Magic won't detect a problem, but the fact that you get no reading from a 1st level Detect Magic is itself indicative of the problem.
Though now we've opened up the "can you voluntarily cast your cantrips at a lower spell level" can of worms.


First World Bard wrote:


Draco18s wrote:
Nature's only useful feat lets you use Nature to Treat Wounds, but would require also advancing Medicine
First, kinda surprised Medicine isn't on your list of trained skills, given the character. Second, I'd say not having Medicine trained makes Natural Medicine *even better* for your character, relatively speaking.

We have a regular cleric in the party. I should double check their actual class, but I'm not the only healer; we had someone with medicine already and you're probably right that I should have Medicine, I just didn't at the time I built the character and don't remember a conscious decision other than "I ran out of skill points."


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graystone wrote:
You are always behind and never catch up even at legendary.

If I took this feat, it would not be my goal to later "catch up" with anything.


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Draco18s wrote:
We have a regular cleric in the party. I should double check their actual class, but I'm not the only healer; we had someone with medicine already and you're probably right that I should have Medicine, I just didn't at the time I built the character and don't remember a conscious decision other than "I ran out of skill points."

Heh, in that case Skill Training(Medicine) is probably a good choice for you. :)


Draco18s wrote:

For example as a 2nd level witch I can grab a skill feat for any skill I'm trained in. Arcana, Crafting, Deception, Nature, Occult, Society, and Stealth (ignoring Lore). Keep in mind that I'm playing a nominally good "healing" type witch (so my 2nd level class feat is Conceal Spell because claws and living hair don't fit what I'm trying to do and even then that's the least bad of 6 bad options).

What are my options?

You're missing a bunch of the "generic" skill feats, many of which are caster-oriented: Dubious Knowledge, Quick Identification, Recognize Spell, or Trick Magic Item. You're also dismissing Quick Repair as a crafting feat.

You also mention that you're not interested in Deception or Stealth feats because "you're not a scoundrel". In that case - why take those skills? If it is because of Conceal Spell, don't forget that you can take 1st-level class feats at 2nd level as well - particularly for casters, that's the intention (because they usually don't get to choose a 1st level class feat). And even with the "not a scoundrel" caveat, there's Lie To Me which lets you use Deception instead of Perception to set the DC for people trying to deceive you.

But given your concept, I'd probably go for some combination of Intimidate, Medicine, or Survival instead of Deception and Stealth.


Ed Reppert wrote:
graystone wrote:
You are always behind and never catch up even at legendary.
If I took this feat, it would not be my goal to later "catch up" with anything.

If you feel that way then feel free to do so: I'll instead get a cantrip that automatically heightens normally and doesn't require constant skill improvement to legendary to heighten.

I just pointed out it's not a full cantrip and not a feat I'd take: I'm not saying no one else should. That's for each person it think about.


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I did say "if". :-)


Staffan Johansson wrote:
You're missing a bunch of the "generic" skill feats, many of which are caster-oriented: Dubious Knowledge, Quick Identification, Recognize Spell, or Trick Magic Item. You're also dismissing Quick Repair as a crafting feat.

In order:

Don't care (and honestly, my GM doesn't use this one well, "Its either weak to fire or it isn't" is not fun or interesting)
Don't care (literally why does this exist: it lets you ID things in a minute, know how long Read Aura (you know the cantrip that lets you ID things) take? A minute)
Not actually useful for a caster
And not actually useful for a caster.

Recognize Spell is only useful if you're going to be using Counterspell (hint: its not worth doing) and even then only if you don't have that spell on your spell list (oh wait, you can't Counterspell those...) I honestly have no idea who that feat is for, but it isn't casters. "It lets you identify illusions and other mental effects!" These come up rarely enough that I don't care.

Trick Magic Item also only comes up if you don't have that spell on your spell list which is applicable to a very scant few items when you have a spell casting tradition. Again, this is not a "for casters" feat. Its even in the description, "Would let a fighter cast a spell from a scroll." Also, consumable items are not worth the gold it takes to buy them.

Quote:
You also mention that you're not interested in Deception or Stealth feats because "you're not a scoundrel". In that case - why take those skills?

There's a difference between wanting to use Stealth to "hide from sight" and "stealing things." There's a difference between wanting to tell untruths when needed and being a lying bastard who lies about everything and everyone to get what he wants.

Experienced Smuggler, Terrain Stalker, Lie to Me, and Charming Liar are all the latter.

Quote:
If it is because of Conceal Spell, don't forget that you can take 1st-level class feats at 2nd level as well - particularly for casters, that's the intention (because they usually don't get to choose a 1st level class feat).

Because the other 1st level witch feats are trash?

Myself wrote:

Cauldron is functionally useless for a 1st level feat. What are my other options?

"Speak with your familiar (and other animals like it)"
"A different familiar"
"Counter spell"

Oh, those are just as useless.

Thanks, I hate it.


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Draco18s wrote:

There's a difference between wanting to tell untruths when needed and being a lying bastard who lies about everything and everyone to get what he wants.

Experienced Smuggler, Terrain Stalker, Lie to Me, and Charming Liar are all the latter.

I'd disagree on Lie to me: It has nothing to do with you lying but tripping up liars. You can look at it like a detective's skill in getting someone to contradict themselves by asking seemingly innocuous questions or asking questions you already the answer to: it's about understanding a liar not being a liar.

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Draco18s wrote:
Don't care (literally why does this exist: it lets you ID things in a minute, know how long Read Aura (you know the cantrip that lets you ID things) take? A minute).

It exists because Read Aura does not do what you think it does.

It shows if something is magical and what school of magic, it doesn't identify the item.


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Rysky wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Don't care (literally why does this exist: it lets you ID things in a minute, know how long Read Aura (you know the cantrip that lets you ID things) take? A minute).

It exists because Read Aura does not do what you think it does.

It shows if something is magical and what school of magic, it doesn't identify the item.

I don't find it too exciting as usually if you have a free min, you have 10 free minutes so it's only useful when you have multiple items you need checked NOW. That and I see this get hand-waved a lot along with appraising the value of things: It's just easier for everyone involved if you just write down what your treasure is instead figuring it out later later when it's not in front of the Dm anymore.


graystone wrote:
I don't find it too exciting as usually if you have a free min, you have 10 free minutes so it's only useful when you have multiple items you need checked NOW. That and I see this get hand-waved a lot along with appraising the value of things: It's just easier for everyone involved if you just write down what your treasure is instead figuring it out later later when it's not in front of the Dm anymore.

Also this.

Silver Crusade

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“Oh the GM will just hand-wave [insert rule]” isn’t really a valid argument unless the rule in question is actually harmful.


Rysky wrote:
“Oh the GM will just hand-wave [insert rule]” isn’t really a valid argument unless the rule in question is actually harmful.

He's talking about whether a skill feat is useful to him, so the likelihood that his DM will hand-wave the rule it modifies is a completely valid argument against it. No reason to think about a detect alignment spell if your Dm doesn't use alignment for instance...

Even if he was talking about it in general, it's completely valid to anyone else who has a Dm that does so and if they don't know, they might want to ask before they take the feat.

SO it's not “Oh the GM will just hand-wave [insert rule]” but 'my GM ALREADY does hand-wave it'.

Silver Crusade

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graystone wrote:
Rysky wrote:
“Oh the GM will just hand-wave [insert rule]” isn’t really a valid argument unless the rule in question is actually harmful.

He's talking about whether a skill feat is useful to him, so the likelihood that his DM will hand-wave the rule it modifies is a completely valid argument against it. No reason to think about a detect alignment spell if your Dm doesn't use alignment for instance...

Even if he was talking about it in general, it's completely valid to anyone else who has a Dm that does so and if they don't know, they might want to ask before they take the feat.

SO it's not “Oh the GM will just hand-wave [insert rule]” but 'my GM ALREADY does hand-wave it'.

”Why does this published option even exist when my GM will just handwave the concerning rules?” is not a valid argument in any form.

It also isn’t what they were saying. They questioned why it existed because they didn’t understand how the other options worked.

You brought up handwaving identifying and appraising.


Rysky wrote:
You brought up handwaving identifying and appraising.

Yes, and he agreed so it became what we where saying... I said why I wasn't excited about it: valid. He agreed: valid. This was separate from his error.

Rysky wrote:
”Why does this published option even exist when my GM will just handwave the concerning rules?” is not a valid argument in any form.

You are conflating two different things: his mistake on how it works and his agreeing with my point with "Also this". My point and his agreement with it have NOTHING to do with his mistake and has NOTHING to do with validating his question about info he was mistaken on.

So my comment was on the feat itself, and not about the mistake you corrected. I'm not sure how you took what I said and combined it with what Draco18s made a mistake on to come up with a new sentence.

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graystone wrote:
That and I see this get hand-waved a lot along with appraising the value of things:

That.


Rysky wrote:
graystone wrote:
That and I see this get hand-waved a lot along with appraising the value of things:
That.

Yes... I'm no sure what your point is, but that sure is something I said that has nothing whatsoever with why the option exists but is one that expresses why "I don't find it too exciting" as I clearly said in my post.

Silver Crusade

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Back to the heart of the matter, that just because the GM handwaves the relevant rules doesn’t make options bad, just unnecessary for that specific campaign.

Liberty's Edge

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Pointing out what it does like Rysky did adds value.

Mentioning that it is often handwaved in some common occurences like Graystone did also adds value.

By my reading the OP did not confirm that their GM indeed handwaved it though.


Draco18s wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
You're missing a bunch of the "generic" skill feats, many of which are caster-oriented: Dubious Knowledge, Quick Identification, Recognize Spell, or Trick Magic Item. You're also dismissing Quick Repair as a crafting feat.

In order:

Don't care (and honestly, my GM doesn't use this one well, "Its either weak to fire or it isn't" is not fun or interesting)
Don't care (literally why does this exist: it lets you ID things in a minute, know how long Read Aura (you know the cantrip that lets you ID things) take? A minute)
Not actually useful for a caster
And not actually useful for a caster.

Read aura does not let you identify things. It lets you know whether an item is magical or not, and what school it is. Read aura tells you "yes, this stick is magical and it has an enchantment aura." Identify magic tells you "This is a wand of soothe."

And in my limited experience, the party often finds multiple items after one encounter. At that point, it is useful to be able to ID all of them in the ten-minute aftermath while the healer is bandaging someone and the Champion is recovering their focus point.

As for Dubious Knowledge, it is probably a feat one should discuss with one's GM, because it does give them a lot of extra work. But your example seems rather pointless. At least the GM should tell you something along the lines of "it's vulnerable to fire or acid, you can't remember which."

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Recognize Spell is only useful if you're going to be using Counterspell (hint: its not worth doing) and even then only if you don't have that spell on your spell list (oh wait, you can't Counterspell those...) I honestly have no idea who that feat is for, but it isn't casters. "It lets you identify illusions and other mental effects!" These come up rarely enough that I don't care.

Even without counterspelling, there is a substantial amount of spells where knowing what the spell is and what it does is useful. Chromatic wall, for example, has some rather specific effects, and knowing that a web is flammable is very useful. Or heck, even knowing that if someone has a flaming sphere out you should stay more than 30 ft away from them. It's a niche feat, but then again skill feats are supposed to be rather niche.

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Trick Magic Item also only comes up if you don't have that spell on your spell list which is applicable to a very scant few items when you have a spell casting tradition. Again, this is not a "for casters" feat. Its even in the description, "Would let a fighter cast a spell from a scroll." Also, consumable items are not worth the gold it takes to buy them.

It's certainly more useful for non-casters who go from "can't use any caster-only items" to "can use skill-appropriate items" than for casters whose starting point is "can use tradition-appropriate items". But in your case, it would let you use spells from the arcane and primal spell lists, and that's not nothing.

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There's a difference between wanting to use Stealth to "hide from sight" and "stealing things." There's a difference between wanting to tell untruths when needed and being a lying bastard who lies about everything and everyone to get what he wants.

Experienced Smuggler, Terrain Stalker, Lie to Me, and Charming Liar are all the latter.

Terrain Stalker is about being really good at staying hidden in a particular type of terrain. It is very good for scouting a place, particularly if Stealth isn't something you're deeply focused on.

Lie to me is an investigator's skill, not a scoundrel's. Only drawback is that you need to either have a better Charisma than Wisdom, or pump some skill increases into Deception, to make it worth it.

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1st level witch feats are trash?

Familiar's tongue lets you speak with a subset of animals. That's fairly useful, if situational. I mean, my gnome sorcerer has certainly gotten use out of Burrow Elocutionist, and I'd consider "talk to burrowing animals" less useful than "talk to cats" or "talk to birds". Well, at least until we run into a purple worm, that'll be my time to shine!

Wortwitch doesn't just give you a leshy familiar, it also lets you ignore concealment from foliage. That's pretty damn good.

And Enhanced Familiar (at 2nd) is pretty neat as well.


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
Read aura does not let you identify things. It lets you know whether an item is magical or not, and what school it is. Read aura tells you "yes, this stick is magical and it has an enchantment aura." Identify magic tells you "This is a wand of soothe."

Yes, this was discussed already. See earlier comments.

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As for Dubious Knowledge, it is probably a feat one should discuss with one's GM, because it does give them a lot of extra work. But your example seems rather pointless. At least the GM should tell you something along the lines of "it's vulnerable to fire or acid, you can't remember which."

I did. During the playtest. I have explained already why this feat is not useful TO ME, IN MY SITUATION.

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Even without counterspelling, there is a substantial amount of spells where knowing what the spell is and what it does is useful. Chromatic wall, for example, has some rather specific effects, and knowing that a web is flammable is very useful. Or heck, even knowing that if someone has a flaming sphere out you should stay more than 30 ft away from them. It's a niche feat, but then again skill feats are supposed to be rather niche.

None of those situations are useful. I already know those things. This is true for a wide complement of spells. The only ones that aren't painfully obvious to the observer are ones that have no visible effect (or which have an identical visual effect to another spell). These are rare and in situations like "did he cast Teleport or Invisibility" you may as well assume invisibility (because the alternative has moved the opponent so far away as to be on the moon for all that it matters).

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Familiar's tongue lets you speak with a subset of animals. That's fairly useful, if situational.

Strong "MEH"

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Wortwitch doesn't just give you a leshy familiar, it also lets you ignore concealment from foliage. That's pretty damn good.

Yes, but if I don't want a leshy familiar, I get a leshy familiar anyway. And I don't want a leshy familiar.

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And Enhanced Familiar (at 2nd) is pretty neat as well.

So instead of 4 familiar/master abilities (where a wizard normally gets 2) I now get SIX.

(Minor correction, at this level it's 3 base, but I get extra ones periodically anyway)

How many familiar/master abilities are there worth having, again?

One? Two? Pretty sure it's two.


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Draco18s wrote:
One? Two? Pretty sure it's two.

And that only matters if the familiar doesn't die in a random area attack...


graystone wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
One? Two? Pretty sure it's two.
And that only matters if the familiar doesn't die in a random area attack...

I really need to be reminded of the point of having a familiar, because I don't know anymore. I remember having fun with a familiar in 1E, a hedgehog sage familiar, both a great infiltrator and a compensation for the party not having enough ranks in Knowledge among all members.

Now that being tiny no longer has any benefit apart from crawling in small spaces, familiars have insanely low HP, terrible attack and skill modifiers, cannot benefit from any equipment and don't have a single interesting ability, I wonder what they're good for except emergency food rations.


Familiars are extra spells and focus point generators, so that's pretty nice.


Oh, remember that feat that lets witches talk to their familiar and like animals? You can get that with 2 of the familiar abilities (Speech and Kinspeech).

Anyway, the only decent familiar/master abilities (for not-the-alchemist) are:

Cantrip Connection (note that the text does not say you are allowed to take it more than once) and Familiar Focus. But Familiar Focus is only as valuable as the witch's singular Hex (and most hexes are pretty lackluster due to the once-a-day limitation).

Once you have 4th level spells, then Spell Battery has non-zero utility.

For a witch, Lifelink is probably required, but when the witch herself has very few HP, it may not be possible to absorb enough damage to save the familiar and not die herself. Similarly Damage Avoidance is fairly mandatory, but can only be taken once and still relies on the familiar making the saving throw.


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Henro wrote:
Familiars are extra spells and focus point generators, so that's pretty nice.

They are fine as long as the DM ignores them and you stuff them in a sack, in a bag inside your backpack and never pull them out and remind the DM they are there. If you think they look cool on your shoulder though, it's a bad, bad time and even worse if it tries to leave your shoulder to do anything active.

If it was JUST the abilities, they'd be great but unfortunately those abilities got attached to a fragile creature with no stats.

Draco18s wrote:
Cantrip Connection (note that the text does not say you are allowed to take it more than once)

Mark has confirmed that you aren't meant to take it more than once.


graystone wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Cantrip Connection (note that the text does not say you are allowed to take it more than once)
Mark has confirmed that you aren't meant to take it more than once.

Good to know. I kind of figured.

Still not sure what I'd actually spend 3+ ability tokens on (other than devoting one to flight because its a raven).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

... were familiars immune to AoEs in P1?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
FlashRebel wrote:
graystone wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
One? Two? Pretty sure it's two.
And that only matters if the familiar doesn't die in a random area attack...

I really need to be reminded of the point of having a familiar, because I don't know anymore. I remember having fun with a familiar in 1E, a hedgehog sage familiar, both a great infiltrator and a compensation for the party not having enough ranks in Knowledge among all members.

Now that being tiny no longer has any benefit apart from crawling in small spaces, familiars have insanely low HP, terrible attack and skill modifiers, cannot benefit from any equipment and don't have a single interesting ability, I wonder what they're good for except emergency food rations.

I feel the need to point out that the Sage Archetype for Familiars wasn’t introduced until Familiar Folio in 2015.


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Rysky wrote:
... were familiars immune to AoEs in P1?

No, but they got improved evasion at level 1

Familiars probably have more HP in PF2 than PF1 though.

PF2 familiar is 5 HP/level, PF1 is half the master's HP.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
Rysky wrote:
... were familiars immune to AoEs in P1?

No, but they got improved evasion at level 1

Familiars probably have more HP in PF2 than PF1 though.

PF2 familiar is 5 HP/level, PF1 is half the master's HP.

Isn't that the same as just picking Damage Avoidance(Reflex) in PF2?


Vlorax wrote:


Isn't that the same as just picking Damage Avoidance(Reflex) in PF2?

Not exactly. Improved Evasion also included half damage on failure on top of negating damage on a success.


Vlorax wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Rysky wrote:
... were familiars immune to AoEs in P1?

No, but they got improved evasion at level 1

Familiars probably have more HP in PF2 than PF1 though.

PF2 familiar is 5 HP/level, PF1 is half the master's HP.

Isn't that the same as just picking Damage Avoidance(Reflex) in PF2?

Not the same actually: improved evasion both negated damage on a successful save and halved it on a failed save. Damage Avoidance only does the former.

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