Future feats / archetypes / classes / etc. you would like to see for casters


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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

Recently there have been discussions about what some see as deficiencies in casters (focused on wizards, but sometimes including other classes). Unfortunately, these discussions tend to get mired in arguments and genuinely interesting ideas get buried in the ensuing flood of posts. So I wanted to create a thread for ideas people have on *how* they would like to have casters improved in the future, be it errata, feats, archetypes, new classes, new items, etc. I'll start it off with a feat, and archetype, and a class I would like to see:

(Note that I primarily play spontaneous casters, and the archetypal caster in my mind has always been the NES/SNES era Final Fantasy Black Mage, a spontaneous elemental evoker who is the living embodiment of a glass cannon, so there is an obvious bias in my examples.)

Feat: Focused Spontaneity - Metamagic, Free Action - A spontaneous caster with this feat can spend a focus point to treat one non-signature spell in their repertoire as a signature spell until the end of the turn the focus point was spent in. (The wording would need to be cleaned up.)

Archetype: Specialist Caster - Can be taken by any caster, prepared or spontaneous. The caster gains a bonus to attack rolls (and maybe DCs) for spells of one tradition, but loses the ability to cast spells from a different tradition (I'm not sure if the different tradition should be hard-coded or chosen by the player).

Class: Summoner - I should note that while I said Final Fantasy had my archetypal caster, in my mind the archetypal summoner is a pokemon trainer. This would require a new system for eidolons, as the eidolon would be more important than the summoner and thus the current minion/animal companion system wouldn't work. The summoner's purpose would be support for the eidolon, not the other way around. I wouldn't have the summoner be a full caster, but instead use a system similar to multiclassing where the can take an "introductory" spellcasting feat at level 2 that grants them 2 cantrips of their choice, then basic spellcasting (feat 4), expert spellcasting (feat 12), and master spellcasting (feat 18). Also, taking a page from bard composition cantrips, there would be special spells specifically to support eidolons that the summoner takes feats to gain, with the exception of a Summon Eidolon cantrip at would be automatically received at level 1. It would be nice to also be able to have a secondary eidolon, though a summoner could only have one out at a time, and they would probably have to share a common HP pool so you couldn't abuse swapping out.

I look forward to seeing other ideas.


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I had this idea when I noticed that there way no way to create an army summoning necromancer in 2e.

Class: Summoner - Much like the Sorcerer, this casting class can choose which of the traditions to draw from, different traditions have minor or cosmetic changes to class functionality as well as granting access to the appropriate spell list. This class acts as a catch all summoning class, using three strong archetypes, much like the druid orders, to simulate the multiple kinds of summoning players want.

Archetype 1 focuses on having a single strong companion creature. The abilities focus on working with, evolving, and supporting that single companion. 1e summoner is a great example.

Archetype 2 focuses on controlling a small group of disposable creatures like a mastermind or puppet master. These creatures would have a maximum number and ideally use a modified swarm or mob rule set to keep combat flowing with all the extra creatures.

Archetype 3 focuses on invoking the power of their tradition within themselves. This is used to summon arms, armor, transform yourself, or create other personal effects. Think along the lines of the Synthesist Summoner from 1e, or the Solarian from Starfinder.

I think this class would use focus cantrips and focus spells tied to each archetype in order to play into that archetype's strengths, and would be weak as an individual. I'd like to think each tradition would add a little flavor as well as some minor mechanical changes.

Divine summoners get access to invoking angels or demons, summoning hordes of skeletons or imps.

Primal summoners invoke elementals or the fey, summons animals or faeries.

Occult summoners get ghost and spirit themes, as well a perhaps a literal puppet master

Arcane summoners get mechanical or golem themes, summon beings made of polyhedral magic, and perhaps get dragon themes.

These should all be mostly 'visual' and flavor changes, having the same base mechanics with just a little flavor sprinkled on top to diversify and play to different fantasies.

This class can be used to get the Pokemon trainer fantasy, the Ironman fantasy, the necromancer army fantasy. You can get a wizard with his personalized guardian golem, a cleric who embodies the divine and becomes like an angel, a cursed demonic caster, a literal puppet master. You can get all of these fantasies with a strong mechanical base class that lets you choose the flavor you apply to it.


Bluescale wrote:

Archetype: Specialist Caster - Can be taken by any caster, prepared or spontaneous. The caster gains a bonus to attack rolls (and maybe DCs) for spells of one tradition, but loses the ability to cast spells from a different tradition (I'm not sure if the different tradition should be hard-coded or chosen by the player).

While I personally support the idea of a Specialist Caster archetype, I'd go about it in a very different way. I don't think it'd be a good idea to just throw in a bonus (atk/DC) and wouldn't be a satisfying way to call yourself a specialist. Instead, I'd rather see more unique focus spells for each school (especially higher level ones) and a way to potentially gain a limited amount of spells off a different tradition that were from your specialty school.

And important restriction. If the character has the Wizard Arcane School class feature, they can only take the Specialist Caster archetype that matches their Arcane School. No Universalists deciding they want to cherry pick a specialty without actually specializing.


Feat: Focused Spontaneity - Metamagic, Free Action - A spontaneous caster with this feat can spend a focus point to treat one non-signature spell in their repertoire as a signature spell until the end of the turn the focus point was spent in. (The wording would need to be cleaned up.)

This is on par with the wizards spell substitution. It would be great for a little more versatility. Not sure the level, but anything above 10 would be way too high.


A proper Thassilonian Specialist would be great if the problems discussed in the other thread are fixed. Choose one school and become better at it, but you cant cast from 2 preselected opposition schools.

Other cool classes/archetypes would be:

* Chronomancer.

* Mystic Theurge, as that is more usable this edition.

* Shadowcaster, split higher level spells into lower level spells and make shadow spells more effective/diverse.

* Warrior of the Holy Light and Merciful Healer, make Heal spells even cooler.

* Skalds to make drumming battle bards.

* Occultist as the ultimate Item + focus caster.

* Medium, Mesmerist, and Spiritualist might all make great ritual casters.

* For Sorcerer, Wildblooded bloodlines and Bloodline mutation, things that let you change how a blood line plays out.

* Spellcasting Ranger/Hunter might also be fun. Mentioning it cause Rangers used to cast spells.

For items:

* Wands/Staffs that make your casting better either passively or under conditions.

* Caster armor enchantments where they can get some benefit when they cast certain spells.

* Items that change how spells works with limited uses (ex metamagic wands and alchemical compounds).

For feats:

* * * Magic Trick of all shapes and sizes for many different spells.

* Amplification feats.

* A few combined spellcasting feats.

* Feats that improve action economy.

* Etc.


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As a minimum, a magical item that can give you an item bonus to spell DC´s and attack modifiers.
As it stands, spells can only be reliably used to fight off weaker enemies.

The Magus class or archetype, we need something that can make spells and combat blend together better.

Something that makes the Sorcerer an actual better spontaneous caster than the Wizard.


Spell like abilities. There's a few in the halcyon archetypes, magic actions and reactions that let you show some magical flair without having to burn resources. Something like Explosive escape: when an enemy critically hits you, spend your reaction to teleport 5 feet in any direction, a blinding explosion goes off where you were, enemy makes a fortitude save or gets stunned.
Options that give tactical use to your third action and reaction to help build different play styles. Meta magic, forceful blasts: when you hit multiple creatures with damaging spells, you knock all those that fail their save 5 feet away from you. Desperate measures: when you hit an enemy with a condition and you are within one stride of the target, you spend a reaction and you move to within 10 feet of the target and are able to cast shield even if you would otherwise be unable to, your next turn you get a bonus action that can only be used for meta magic.
Just things to shake up the stand there and fling spells type game play.

For extra class or archetypes, can't wait for the evil book Bulman mentioned, support for evil champions and necromancers who want undead pets.


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Mad Beetle wrote:
The Magus class or archetype, we need something that can make spells and combat blend together better

This is my biggest want right now.

At the moment, martial//caster multiclass gets spells too slowly and the caster//martial multiclass plays really awkwardly with the game's proficiency system and never really feel good swinging a sword around.

Beyond that there just aren't enough mechanics combining magic and martial combat, which hopefully a new class, set of feats or archetypes would help provide.


Just a flavor thing for me, but I really loved the 1E Fiend Keeper medium. So an archetype that can boost/add to/modify spellcasting in exchange for maybe some sort of anathema or will save requirement would be super cool (bargaining with or forcing the entity possessing you to help or teach you magic or something).

Perhaps the final version of the witch might be able to fulfil this role though.


One thing that there aren't rules for that has prevented me from playing a wizard/alchemist is what happens when your spellbook/formula book is stolen or destroyed. I would love it if there was a feat that let you memorize a certain number of spells/formulas so that you aren't completely helpless if caught with your pants down. Also a way for the alchemist to make potions without alchemist tools, like spending a couple actions to temporarily create one or creating potions magically.


Gotta focus on fixing the current casters, not tossing them aside for new shiny classes...

Empower Spell (Meatamagic): Spend an extra action (and/or other resource) to add +1 damage per dice to an Instant duration damage spell that used a spell slot. (Might not be too crazy with cantrips either).


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Just more variable action spells, I think, and more class feats that provide one-action abilities to casters. I think Paizo got the action economy pretty much right for martial characters, but there's a lot of room for casters to play with it more than they can right now.

If there are math boosters, I'd like to see them be specific and flavorful rather than general and bland. I'd first prefer ways to recycle spell slots that didn't land, though.

More general-use focus spells, for all classes. I think that's an area where some cool and creative things can happen and it's a way for classes to have "encounter abilities" that don't have to be balanced the same way as a spell in a spell slot. A focus spell should have the potential to b a defining part of the character, not a side hustle.

More familiar stuff. Guidance on how to play with and DM for familiars, more actions for them to use, more abilities. The Familiar Master archetype coming up could be cool, so hopefully that means they've put a little meat on the bones there.

Oh, and more cantrips. I really like cantrips, and more options there would be really cool.


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I'd also like to throw my hat in for the return of the Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil, I just love that prestige class so much <3.


Donovan Du Bois wrote:
I'd also like to throw my hat in for the return of the Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil, I just love that prestige class so much <3.

FABULOUS RAINBOW MAGE LET'S GO! I recall trying to convert this to PF1!


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maybe wizard sub-schools.

A lore wizard (some one suggested this in a thread about wizard skills) similar to the Bard polymath muse, but more focused.

Lots of cool familiar abilities, particularly ones that are only available at higher levels, or maybe similar to mature/savage/etc animal companion power ups?

More single action spells not on the Arcane list.

Some higher level metamagic feats like bouncing, stunning etc.

Sovereign Court

There is a long list of things I'd like to see changed or added, here's just a start:

Arcane School Specialists need to be better at casting their school's spells. Ideally it would be included when you take a school specialization, but since it wasn't, I'd give it as an option for a feat in the APG or a similar book. There should be more feats that give unique abilities to each type of specialist.

Superior School Focus: (Feat 1)Requirement: That same Arcane School Specialty. Your proficiency in that school's spells is 1 higher than normal. (For example, if you are typically Trained in casting Arcane spells, your proficiency is increased to Expert for spells from that school.

Also, there should be magical items to aid in spell casting, just as there are magic items for melee and ranged weapons:

Amulet of Spell Power (new Item): These magical amulets come in 4 main varieties: Arcane, Divine, Occult, and Primal. They need to be Invested and worn to function, and they provide an Item bonus to
the wearer’s spell attack rolls and spell DCs of the appropriate magical tradition. A Lesser amulet gives a +1 bonus, costs 35 gp, and requires expert in Crafting to make it. The Greater amulet gives a +2 bonus, costs 935 gp, and requires master in Crafting to make it. The Major amulet provides a +3 bonus, costs 8,935 gp, and requires legendary Crafting to make it.

Finally there should be something to help with the action economy for casters:

Combat Concentration: (Feat 4) Once per round you can Sustain a spell you have cast by spending your Reaction. You still need to make checks to see if it is disrupted by taking damage or other effects that can break concentration; This feat simply removes the necessity to spend one of your 3 actions to Sustain it each round. If you need to sustain 2 spells in a round, the second one still costs an action.

Superior Combat Concentration: (Feat 10) Prerequisite: Combat Concentration. Once per round, you may now Sustain one spell you have cast as a free action instead of a reaction. You still need to make checks to see if it is disrupted by taking damage or other effects that can break concentration. If you need to sustain 2 spells in a round, the second one still costs an action like normal.


I think a +5 bonus compared to what Spellcasters have now (on both saves and attack rolls) would be overkill. A +2 would already be a huge powerup, maybe up to +3 on spell attack rolls to have fighter success % on them.


As written combat concentration would stack with the free sustain feat already available for 3 sustains/round which is really nice.

However, if people have trouble with it, making it a conjuration and/or illusion ability would be very fitting. That way summoners can actually have more than 2 creatures in the map, while illusionist can make complex things.


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Kelseus wrote:
maybe wizard sub-schools.

If we get anything similar to wizard sub-schools, I really hope they're just feats available to wizards with the appropriate specialty school rather than something like an archetype or replacing what focus powers you'd be able to get. Give specialists more options without making them even less special.


Charon Onozuka wrote:
Kelseus wrote:
maybe wizard sub-schools.
If we get anything similar to wizard sub-schools, I really hope they're just feats available to wizards with the appropriate specialty school rather than something like an archetype or replacing what focus powers you'd be able to get. Give specialists more options without making them even less special.

I wouldn't mind replacing some of the current Focus Spells they get with more specialized ones. But I can see situaitons where you'd want both.


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Alternate focus spells could be cool down the road, but I feel like short term I'd rather see more ways to dive deeper into a specialization first.

Semi-related: since a wizard's school is the source of one of their spell slots, they could give Wizards alternate schools that don't add an additional slot at all and comes with more powerful features instead. Could be a neat way to explore new ideas.


Charon Onozuka wrote:
Kelseus wrote:
maybe wizard sub-schools.
If we get anything similar to wizard sub-schools, I really hope they're just feats available to wizards with the appropriate specialty school rather than something like an archetype or replacing what focus powers you'd be able to get. Give specialists more options without making them even less special.

This.

Maybe an exclusive but flexible archetype that bypasses the usual "until 2 feats" restriction in both directions?

If paired with Opposition Schools, it allows you to immediately retrain all opposed spells to different ones?


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I kind of have to agree. Until they make Wizard schools actually fun, making sub-schools is only going to be a distraction.

And I dont want sub schools to just be feats because that just make them feel even worse.

I feel like the best option, but probably least liked. Is for sub schools to act like even more specialized schools. You gain a lot more power than a regular school, but gain some penalities. Which also makes it a lot more thematic and consistent with the older Wizard versions. Problem is that eithe the penalty is too harsh, or the benefit too good.


I would be fine with wizard getting the fighter treatment of having an extra +2 to spell attacks somehow. Would be cool for one of the casters to be a slightly better blaster much like how the fighter is the highest melee damage dealer. Though sorcerer might be better suited to having higher chance to hit, but I don't think sorcerers need help right now

Sovereign Court

ChibiNyan wrote:
I think a +5 bonus compared to what Spellcasters have now (on both saves and attack rolls) would be overkill. A +2 would already be a huge powerup, maybe up to +3 on spell attack rolls to have fighter success % on them.

I'm not expecting Paizo to give any of the options I suggested, much less all of them. I'm just trying to offer different ways to improve the class, and if we eventually get some of them, or something similar, great! But I'm not trying to balance all of my suggestions against each other at once.

Sovereign Court

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I see all the sustain things, but I think I'd rather take inspiration from the Running Reload ranger feat:

Thinking on your Feet
1 Action.
You Stride, Step or Sneak and before or after the movement you Sustain or Recall Knowledge.

I think casters should get more action feats like martials get, but they should not result on casters becoming very stationary because they're using the feat and casting a spell every turn.


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

I feel like specialisation (sub school) or specialisation with penalties would be better as an arcane thesis that can be bolted onto any school


Items: Runes for Spells Attack Rolls and DCs.

Multiclassing: A way to obtain Master Proficiency in a Weapon. Maybe only one, or not an advanced, or some other limitations like onf the favored divinity one, but still, master proficiency just like the casters MC.

These are my « numerical » propositions.

Now:

Elemental Mastery (Metamagic, Elemental) (Wizard, Sorcerer Primal, Druids)
You can change the type of elemental dammage your spells is supposed to make. Like cold instead of fire on a fireball. Maybe you choose one element when you pick the feat, or maybe you can do it a few times a day but with whatever elements.

Precise Spell (Metamagy, Fortune) (All)
You next Attack spell you use two d20 and keep the best result, this is a Fortune effect.
Maybe a few times a day, and yes it is basically True Strike on Metamagy if they don’t give runes.

Debilitating Spell (Metamagy, Mental) (Wizard, Bard, Sorcerer)
Once a day, your next spell loose the Incapacitation Trait.

Shadow Spell (Metamagy, Evocation)
As long as the spell is in effet, you drop the level of luminosity in the area. If the spell only got one target, the target is surrounded by a by this effect that follow her. Can be countered by light effect.

Chronomancer Thesis (Wizard)
As the master of time, you become trained in Occultism. Everytime you get the Slowed condition, your reduce it by 1. (Or you can prepare your spell from your book in one minute, not sure which one is the thesis and which one is the feat). You gain the Borrowed Time Focus Spell

Borrowed Times (one, two or three actions)
You gave the quickened condition to one reature of your choice for one round, for each actions you use to cast the spell. You can cast it only with on action at level 1.

Heightened 2+: You can cast this spell with one more action, to quickened another creature for one round.


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SteelGuts wrote:

Precise Spell (Metamagy, Fortune) (All)

You next Attack spell you use two d20 and keep the best result, this is a Fortune effect.
Maybe a few times a day, and yes it is basically True Strike on Metamagy if they don’t give runes.

What's funny is I was talking with a friend of mine about the state of attack spells and reliance on True Strike and this was almost exactly what the two of us pitched. However, I put it as a feat buy-in/class path buy-in that instead is a Focus Power. It lets Blasters be a little more careful with consideration towards their 1st level spell slots, and add the oomph to their spell attacks.

For the record, I like this so much more than just bumping them up in proficiency or giving them other "math fixers."


For chronomancer looking at the archetype and doing the needed changes would work well as a class archetype, instead of a thesis.

As a general example:

Forewarned (Focus Spell): Replaces Thesis. Free action trigger rolling for initiative. Spend 1 focus pointn choose yourself or an ally withing 10 ft to roll 1d4 and add it to that character's initiative result.
Heighten lv 6: Roll 1d6.
Heighten +3: Increase distance by 5ft.

Rewind, (Class Archetype Dedication, Focus Spell): Reaction trigger a spell has no effect. Spend 1 points to recover a spell up to level 3.
Heighten lv 6: Spend 2 points to recover a spell up to level 6.
Heighten lv 9: Spend 3 points to recover a spell up to level 9.

Accelerate (Metamagic): The next spell may grant the effect of Haste to 1 target affected by it for 2 round.

Contingency When you cast the contingency spell, you may choose 2 triggers. You may have contigency come into effect as a free action with those triggers.

*************
Shadow Spell can be Umbral Spell (no real difference from the PF1 version, besides maybe how strong it is).

Other good metamagic: Selective Spell (so you dont harm allies); Blissful Spell (offensive spells give a penalty, while support spells give a bonus); Bouncing Spell (redirect a spell when target critical succeeds or you critically fail to hit); Delayed Spell (useful for when you want to set up comboes). Elemental theme metamagic like Rime or Burning; etc.


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I just want metamagic or all kinds. A few years down the line, I want to see if I can make a wizard build where every class feat goes to metamagic (or dedication feats that lead to metamagic) just to see how it goes.


a free action and combinable metamagic that allows spells to do non-lethal damage.


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Something I'd like is more support for sorcerer bloodlines. Not just new bloodlines, but support for existing bloodlines. For example:

Feat: Basic Bloodline Mutation (enter bloodline name) - Replaces a sorcerer's level 1 focus spell with the alternate focus spell provided.

There would also be feats for the level 6 and level 10 focus spells, so that you can get more choices for a sorcerer beyond level one. I'd like to avoid the PF1e trap of giving other classes post-first level options but only giving sorcerers yet another bloodline. It was annoying that wizards got discoveries, but sorcerers got nothing comparable.


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Bluescale wrote:
Something I'd like is more support for sorcerer bloodlines.

Same.

One of my big hopes before PF2 launched was that they'd make Sorcerer Bloodlines and Wizard Schools as interesting and involved as Oracle Mysteries were in PF1.

Obviously they didn't, but here's hoping for more support down the line.

Sovereign Court

Well Gods and Magic introduced alternate domains, that you have to take via feat. They give you more focus spells but not more focus points.

The same could be done for sorcerers and wizards; take a feat to gain a second focus spell belonging to a subschool or bloodline offshoot.


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Squiggit wrote:
Bluescale wrote:
Something I'd like is more support for sorcerer bloodlines.

Same.

One of my big hopes before PF2 launched was that they'd make Sorcerer Bloodlines and Wizard Schools as interesting and involved as Oracle Mysteries were in PF1.

Yeah, when the oracle first came out, I thought that if Paizo ever did a new edition, the sorcerer bloodlines should be set up to work more like oracle mysteries. It would have made the class feel less like most of the important decisions were made at character creation. I was disappointed that they went with the PF1e approach to the class.

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