Sorcerer Dedication and Blood Magic

Rules Discussion

I told my wife that a rogue with sorcerer dedication cannot get the blood magic ability of her character's bloodline. She wants me to confirm this in the forum here.

The situation is a long and colorful story.

Six years ago, my wife created a halfling sorceress of aberrant bloodline named Wealday Addams. Wealday had been a slave of Dr. Addams of Nidal, who viewed his slaves as guinea pigs for his biological experiements. He had infused her with eldritch essences. This experiement succeeded at giving her abberant sorcery. Wealday used her new powers to escape, stowed away on a ship, and ended up shipwrecked to begin the Serpent's Skull adventure path. Wealday was a very odd character, a half-crazy melee sorceress who talked to her doll in Aklo and became more inhumanly (unhalflingly?) aberrant as she leveled up.

A few months ago, I began the Ironfang Invasion adventure path adapted to PF2 rules. Noticing that Nirmathis was close to Nidal, my wife created Wealday's cousin Toilday, a halfling animal-whisperer rogue of scoundrel racket. Dr. Addams had infused Toilday with the essence of a red dragon and nothing happened, so Toilday became an ordinary slave assigned to tend animals. In the fuss created by Wealday's escape, Toilday escaped, too. The Bellflower Network had helped him get to Phaendar in Nirmathis, where he settled down as a goat herder under the name Sam.

At 2nd level, my wife multiclassed Sam to sorcerer with draconic bloodline. Dr. Addams' vile experiment was yielding a belated success. Sam learned two arcane cantrips Produce Flame and Telekinetic Projectile. Those cantrips serve as Sam's most damaging attacks, though Sam can usually get sneak attack damage with them only in the surprise attack or by using Produce Flame as a melee weapon. Sam is now 3rd level.

The player of the party's champion had to quit due to health problems. Sam now finds himself standing too close to the enemies, because the others in the party prefer to attack from further away than 30 feet. Sam wears durable farm clothes (counts as padded armor, came from Fall of Plaguestone) as light armor. Charisma is his best ability score, leaving his Dexterity at only 14, so between the 2+level proficiency bonus, +2 Dex bonus, and +1 item bonus, his AC is only 18. In the most recent combat, he lost 26 out of 33 hit points. No other party member was hit. Therefore, my wife wants to increase Sam's defenses.

Sam has Strength 10, so the +2 item bonus from studded leather armor comes with a -1 check penalty to strength- and dexterity-based skill checks. My wife does not want that penalty. Shields use up a hand and take an action to raise, so my wife views a shield as too expensive a solution, too.

The nearest solution to Sam's mediocre AC is the +1 status bonus to AC from a draconic bloodline's blood magic.

PF2 Core Rulebook, Classes chapter, Sorcerer, Draconic Bloodline, page 196 wrote:
Blood Magic Draconic scales grow briefly on you or one target, granting a +1 status bonus to AC for 1 round.

However, Sorcerer Dedication does not grant blood magic ability. And no archetype feat offers a way to get it, either.

As an additional problem, blood magic is roused by casting a bloodline focus spell or a bloodline granted spell, and Sam currently lacks those. My wife thinks that Sam gaining the three draconic focus spells (initial: dragon claws; advanced: dragon breath; greater: dragon wings) is closer to her character concept than gaining sorcerer spell slots, so she plans on taking Basic Bloodline Spell, sorcerer archertype feat 4, soon. I will have to fudge the details on Advanced Blood Potency, sorcerer archetype feat 6, to allow her to take Advanced Bloodline, sorcerer feat 6, and Greater Bloodline, sorcerer feat 10, at reasonable levels. For Advanced Blood Potency as written, she would have to take Basic Blood Potency first as a feat tax and then wait for 12th level for Advanced Bloodline and 20th level for Greater Bloodline.

PF2 Core Rulebook, Classes chapter, Archetypes, Sorcerer, page 196 wrote:

Advanced Blood Potency feat 6

Prerequisites Basic Blood Potency
You gain one sorcerer feat. For the purpose of prerequisites, your sorcerer level is half your character level.
Special You can select this feat more than once. Each time you do, you gain another sorcerer feat.

I am considering simply altering Sam's draconic bloodline so that dragon scales for 1 minute (+1 status bonus to AC) is the initial bloodline focus spell instead of dragon claws for 1 minute (page 403, finesse unarmed attack that deals 1d4 slashing damage and 1d6 fire damage, and gives resistance fire 5 to the dragon scales that Sam does not have). I would enable my wife to take Basic Bloodline Spell a second time for the dragon claws if she wants. That is a homebrew matter rather than a rules matter, so it is not a key issue in this discussion. Nevertheless, if anyone notices an unexpected interaction with the rules for this homebrew, then please let me know.

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"CRB Pg. 230 wrote:


Prerequisites Charisma 14
Choose a bloodline. You become trained in the bloodline’s
two skills; for each of these skills in which you were already
trained, you become trained in a skill of your choice.
You cast spells like a sorcerer. You gain access to the Cast
a Spell activity. You gain a spell repertoire with two common
cantrips from the spell list associated with your bloodline,
or any other cantrips you learn or discover. You’re trained
in spell attack rolls and spell DCs for your tradition’s spells.
Your key spellcasting ability for sorcerer archetype spells
is Charisma, and they are sorcerer spells of your bloodline’s
tradition. You don’t gain any other abilities from your choice
of bloodline.

Special You cannot select another dedication feat until you
have gained two other feats from the sorcerer archetype.
CRB Eratta wrote:

Page 230: In the Sorcerer Dedication feat, replace the

second sentence of the second paragraph with “You gain
a spell repertoire with two common cantrips from the spell
list associated with your bloodline, from the spells granted
by your bloodline, or any other cantrips of that tradition
you learn or discover.” This grants access to the bloodlinegranted
cantrips as well as those on the associated spell list.

I don't see anything that would grant Blood Magic.

A few solutions would be:
Steel Shield (+2 Circumstance Bonus when raised)
Parrying (+1 Circumstance Bonus)
Shield Cantrip (+1 Circumstance Bonus)
Taking Cover. This has the added bonus of enabling Sneak Attack by Hiding.

Also, not to be a downer, but Sneak Attack doesn't work with Spells at all, until the 4th Level Magical Trickster Feat. Spells aren't Strikes. Although I suppose it is possible to interpret Produce Flame that way, though I believe the "Melee Attack" mentioned would be a Touch Attack, not a Strike.

Between Aratorin's answer and an old Oct 29, 2019 statement by Kyrone, my wife has accepted that Sam cannot get blood magic.

She is not interested in my attempts to bend the rules to enable her original character concept. She will play the feats as written. Which means that the feats no longer interest her. Sam's sorcerous bloodline will become less important. He will look to rogue feats for his needs, such as Nimble Dodge, rogue feat 1 (he had taken Trap Finder at 1st level).

She asked why some features such as blood magic are excluded from the multiclass archetypes? The only answer I had is that enabling more details would take more archetype feats.

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Part of the reason is that no multi-class archetype ever gives what's seen as the 'special' bit of the class.

Aratorin wrote:
Also, not to be a downer, but Sneak Attack doesn't work with Spells at all, until the 4th Level Magical Trickster Feat. Spells aren't Strikes. Although I suppose it is possible to interpret Produce Flame that way, though I believe the "Melee Attack" mentioned would be a Touch Attack, not a Strike.

Oops, I had missed that the Sneak Attack ability on page 181 said "Strike" rather than "attack," so a spell attack does not work with Sneak Attack. Sometimes the rules are too subtle for me.

Produce Flame does not give a touch attack. In PF2, touch is a range on a spell not a type of attack, so the correct phrase would be "touch spell attack" with "touch" describing the spell rather than the attack. Produce Flame says, "A small ball of flame appears in the palm of your hand, and you lash out with it either in melee or at range. Make a spell attack roll against your target’s AC. This is normally a ranged attack, but you can also make a melee attack against a creature in your unarmed reach." That makes it a melee spell attack roll. Produce Flame being a melee spell attack means that she can use it with feints (page 246). Scoundrel rogues are adept at feints. Alas, a melee spell attack is not a Strike, so it does not work with Sneak Attack now that I know that Sneak Attack works only with Strikes.

My wife accepts that Sam needs to learn Magical Trickster, rogue feat 4, before she can sneak attack with spell attacks. Sam might have to wait until 6th or 8th level for the feat, since he has to work on his defenses.

My wife said, "I am growing more disappointed with Pathfinder 2nd Edition the more I learn about it." She loves building character concepts, rich colorful character concepts that are not powergaming. PF2's strong lockdown against mixing abilities reduces what she can build. She said she was happy that she could play with sneak attack on spells for a a few game sessions thanks to the ignorance of her GM. (She is not criticizing me. I missed the "Strike" detail because I had the same expectations about PF2 that she had.)

By the way, rogues are not trained in any common weapon that has the Parry trait, so parry is also locked away from Sam.

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yep, the magically sneak attacking rogue is one of the concepts that isn't very well fleshed out right now. I expect as more books get printed, more options for mixing magic and sneak attacking will be printed - especially a Rogue Racket specifically designed for this purpose. For now it's not very practical, sadly.

Well now I feel bad for quoting rules.

If you haven't looked into it, Charisma Rogues are great at Create a Diversion, which IMHO is substantially better than Feint, as you can use it at range, and against multiple creatures at a time.

This would enable Sneak Attack with a bow or thrown weapon, putting more distance between her and the enemy.

Additionally, I think the character concept could still be realized by multiclassing into Dragon Barbarian instead of Sorcerer. It would be a longer wait, but she could get Dragon's Rage Breath at 12.

Multiclassing into Druid to get Wild Morph or Wild Shape could work too.

Neither of those fix the AC problem, but losing your tank was unforeseen.

Also keep in mind that PF2 is less than a year old, so being disappointed that you can't build characters with as much creative range as PF1 may be a bit premature.

I had realized that touch attack was not the right wording, and edited the post, but somehow when I did that it posted into a different thread entirely and deleted my original post there.

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May I suggest simply reworking the character to be a level 3 sorcerer with a rogue dedication, relying on the background to give the character the farmer / rogue flavor? This would result in a similar level 3 character except you could focus class feats on picking up the mechanical bits of rogue you like rather than trying to use every feat to get sorcerer powers. My personal opinion is that when a party member leaves the group, a little more aggressive "retraining" by remaining party members is reasonable as long as it's basically a thematic rework. I had it happen a few times in a 1E campaign I ran.

In this case, nothing need really change with what you've told us of Sam's story nor even much of his class progression. You'll lose a little HP being a sorcerer instead of a rogue, but gain access to blood magic and some spells to make up the difference.

Level 1: Sorcerer (red dragon), pick up the attack cantrips + dragon claws - elemental damage on the claws is basically the equivalent of sneak attack; pick a handful of other utility spells to make up for lack of skills (featherfall to replace cat fall, ant haul to boost carrying capacity, jump to get into weird places, etc).
Level 2: Rogue Dedication (light armor + a skill feat)
Level 3: Level 2 spells, focus on defensive options like false life, mirror image, blur - maybe even summon animal to represent Sam's mastery of goats -- maybe take Shield Block if you'd prefer to have a physical shield to use after the shield cantrip.

In the future:
Level 4: Basic Trickery (Nimble Dodge or Mobility)
Level 5: Boost dex and strength a bit to get into better armor
Level 6: Advanced Bloodline: Dragon Breath, or Sneak Attack from Rogue
Level 8: Advanced Trickery (Mobility or Magical Trickster if you took Sneak Attack)
Level 10: Dragon wings

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My wife feels that rebuilding a character is too much like abandoning an old character and starting a new one.

The heart of Sam is that he is an escaped slave learning to trust people. Rogue reflects his escape, scoundrel racket represents connections with people. The sorcerer bloodline is his connection to his horrific past yet also a newness about Sam's life that represents renewal.

I asked her why Sam had draconic bloodline when other bloodlines fit a scoundrel rogue more optimally. She said that red dragon fit Dr. Addams' lab experiments better, for the doctor associated with evil creatures. The build of the character is strongly grounded in the setting she invented.

Sometimes a character ability reflects how the world shapes the character. Other times it represents the character's priorities and personality. My wife is an artist about character concepts.

She passed up the studded leather armor and the Raise a Shield action because those solutions do not fit Sam. He is growing into the leader of the party, not the stalwart warrior of the party. Dragon scales would have fit Sam's new life, but that turned out impossible under strict PF2 rules. She will find something else that fits Sam.

Another option for defense is minimizing the number strikes opponents get against you. Retraining a cantrip or picking up additional cantrips to learn tanglefoot might be a valuable strategy to support a primarily ranged team doing a little more skirmishing. It will last 2 rounds at level 3, letting Sam maintain it on two opponents and still leaving a stride or strike available.

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