Transformation spell plz?


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Unicore wrote:
Dragon claws are functional for a sorcerer. They won’t keep up with your highest level spell slots, and become secondary attack options relatively quickly. But they still work and are useful for sorcerers in the mid game at least. Sorcerer focus powers and witch abilities don’t need to be every combat, every action activities to be functional.

All Focus Power of all classes are literally and exactly to be useful in all combats

And when this is not achieved it is a failure


Other than say a longspear for reach Dragon Claws are, to me, better than every simple weapon. I'd say the same for Glutton's Jaw.

That seems to be all they're meant to do. They have cool flavour, and they're probably better than your other weapon choices. I don't see these as being meant to replace spellcasting in a full caster's build.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Temperans wrote:
And exactly. People want to transform into things for RP reasons. But they actively can't because the spells just don't have the stats for it.
Temperans wrote:


I am sorry that people want to use their abilities more than once during a roleplay scenario that rarely happens. I did not think wanting more use of such a cool ability would hinder your usage.

To be more than just RP.

We've shown that if you want to build a caster that utilizes forms to engage in melee combat that the battleform numbers support it. If you want to build a character that highly optimizes features like Dragon Claws or Glutton's Jaws that you can dip in with a martial character and make an effective build around these features using martial combat progression. If you decide to be a full caster with one of these features that there are opportunities to bring them into action in cool and useful ways without any investment.

Could form spells have a little more coverage in terms of heightening levels? Maybe. Could the transmuter wizards do with a little more support? Yeah I think so.

But at present the system effectively supports the concepts of caster-primary-shifter, shift-augmented-martial and caster-with-shifting. Furthermore, we're about to get another 200 spells to further expand on caster abilities.

I'm sorry I'm having trouble here, but what are you really looking for? I ask this because it's starting to sound like you want to have a character that keeps up in every way with martial characters in their niche while maintaining full spellcasting progression too. That's not an RP concept, it's power creep. I think we have a lot of flexibility right now in making shifter characters and part of the reason for this is that the system is built with limits and tradeoffs that give each build their own area in which to shine.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Guntermench wrote:

Other than say a longspear for reach Dragon Claws are, to me, better than every simple weapon. I'd say the same for Glutton's Jaw.

That seems to be all they're meant to do. They have cool flavour, and they're probably better than your other weapon choices. I don't see these as being meant to replace spellcasting in a full caster's build.

I don’t think anyone has ever asked for them to be replacements to spellcasting. They should be something you can fall back on though if you’ve run out of slots and the action is still going on.

The reason people upthread where discussing “Traps” is because there are many other cool and flavourful options out there and don’t depreciate in effectiveness so hard.


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Filthy Lucre wrote:
Guntermench wrote:

Martial | Animal: Level 3 | +10 | +9
Martial | Animal: Level 4 | +11 | +9
Martial | Animal: Level 5 | +14 | +14
Martial | Animal: Level 6 | +15 | +14
Martial | Animal: Level 7 | +16 | +16
Martial | Animal: Level 8 | +17 | +16
Martial | Animal | Elemental: Level 9 | +18 | +18 | +18
Martial | Animal | Elemental: Level 10 | +21 | +18 | +18
Martial | Elemental | Dragon: Level 11 | +22 | +23 | +22
Martial | Elemental | Dragon: Level 12 | +23 | +23 | +22
Martial | Elemental | Dragon: Level 13 | +26 | +25 | +22
Martial | Elemental | Dragon: Level 14 | +27 | +25 | +22
Martial | Dragon | Monstrocity: Level 15 | +28 | +28 | +28
Martial | Dragon | Monstrocity: Level 16 | +30 | +28 | +28
Martial | Monstrocity: Level 17 | +32 | +31
Martial | Monstrocity: Level 18 | +33 | +31
Martial | Incarnate: Level 19 | +34 | +34
Martial | Incarnate: Level 20 | +36 | +34

Jesus christ, what more do people want?! I'm not being sarcastic at all. This seems completely reasonable from a game design stand point. That the a caster can, ever in any way, get even remotely close to a dedicated martial in terms of "I smack it" should be plenty.

Gishes are a popular concept. People want to be a full martial and full caster, as close as possible. All of the benefits, few of the downsides.


Old_Man_Robot wrote:
Guntermench wrote:

Other than say a longspear for reach Dragon Claws are, to me, better than every simple weapon. I'd say the same for Glutton's Jaw.

That seems to be all they're meant to do. They have cool flavour, and they're probably better than your other weapon choices. I don't see these as being meant to replace spellcasting in a full caster's build.

I don’t think anyone has ever asked for them to be replacements to spellcasting. They should be something you can fall back on though if you’ve run out of slots and the action is still going on.

The reason people upthread where discussing “Traps” is because there are many other cool and flavourful options out there and don’t depreciate in effectiveness so hard.

You can fall back on them. It's a strictly better dagger in the case of Dragon Claws at every level.

Admittedly the witch nails and hair stuff needed some love, but it gets that in Ruby Phoenix.


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Ravingdork wrote:

My dragon sorcerer was once swooped up in the jaws of a jungle drake, and was being flown away from the party, so I cast dragon claws and gouged its eyes out.

It was a wonderful roleplaying experience that could never have happened if certain optimizers had their way with the rules.

I have a similar experience as a GM (actually very similar, Jungle Drake and all). I think the melee attack focus spells could use a little love before they become a good bread-and-butter ability.

The player is aware of the issues surrounding using attacks like Dragon Claws on a dragon sorcerer. They know it is a glass cannon tactic, and one that is unreliable on high-AC enemies. In play, it winds up being decent. In a few fights, with some lucky rolls, it has had really strong results. In most fights it's on the weak side of fine. The damage feels respectable, the accuracy is low but not unplayable (yet), it functions and feels fun but swingy. I think it'd be pretty cool if it were a reliable attack instead, and am considering ways I can buff them later in the campaign when the character falls further behind in accuracy.

Filthy Lucre wrote:
Guntermench wrote:
[an interesting table comparing martial and polymorph attack accuracy]
Jesus christ, what more do people want?! I'm not being sarcastic at all. This seems completely reasonable from a game design stand point. That the a caster can, ever in any way, get even remotely close to a dedicated martial in terms of "I smack it" should be plenty.

Only things I want from the polymorph spells that they do not have are buffing up the lower-level forms at higher level and more forms available. I'd like a level 10 battle form spell to be a buff no matter what form you take. I'm totally fine with bear form being weaker than kaiju form, but I think you can do that while keeping the bear form useful. I think that is manageable, but might adjust the tone of the game.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
WWHsmackdown wrote:
Guntermench wrote:

I feel like a dev kit is just likely to continue to piss people off who already disagree with the design goals.

And casters get tons of flexibility in the form of spells. There's about to be a new book with 200ish of them. Just because someone decided not to use it doesn't mean it doesn't exist or that the game is broken.

I second this. Releasing a dev kit sounds like it would only serve to give the people with an axe to grind something to chop at. I don't see anything constructive coming from it. And this is coming from someone critical of both casters and magic.

It also strikes me as a poor business decision to give away trade secrets. Pathfinder is already pretty liberal with letting people utilize their content for free. I'm not sure they need to make it easier for third party publishers to compete with the books that come with new classes, which I imagine are pretty big money makers.

Plus, dev kits probably get changed over time, right?


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EKruze wrote:
Temperans wrote:
And exactly. People want to transform into things for RP reasons. But they actively can't because the spells just don't have the stats for it.
Temperans wrote:


I am sorry that people want to use their abilities more than once during a roleplay scenario that rarely happens. I did not think wanting more use of such a cool ability would hinder your usage.

To be more than just RP.

We've shown that if you want to build a caster that utilizes forms to engage in melee combat that the battleform numbers support it. If you want to build a character that highly optimizes features like Dragon Claws or Glutton's Jaws that you can dip in with a martial character and make an effective build around these features using martial combat progression. If you decide to be a full caster with one of these features that there are opportunities to bring them into action in cool and useful ways without any investment.

Could form spells have a little more coverage in terms of heightening levels? Maybe. Could the transmuter wizards do with a little more support? Yeah I think so.

But at present the system effectively supports the concepts of caster-primary-shifter, shift-augmented-martial and caster-with-shifting. Furthermore, we're about to get another 200 spells to further expand on caster abilities.

I'm sorry I'm having trouble here, but what are you really looking for? I ask this because it's starting to sound like you want to have a character that keeps up in every way with martial characters in their niche while maintaining full spellcasting progression too. That's not an RP concept, it's power creep. I think we have a lot of flexibility right now in making shifter characters and part of the reason for this is that the system is built with limits and tradeoffs that give each build their own area in which to shine.

I bolded that part because its exactly the thing I was talking about. "If you want to make this caster feature work you have to be a martial." A martial archetype does not help you be better at using that. But being a martial class does.

You says its "supported". But the only real "shifters" who are supported are Druid and Dragon Barbarian. Everyone else has to be a Martial with caster archetype to be anywhere close to remotely effective. Not to mention that most of the transformation spells just do not scale. That table that was posted shows exactly how the different spells just stop being relevant, despite the fact they should remain relevant until higher level.

You are saying its "flexible" but that's simply not true. You are hamstrung to use only the highest level spell or be left to the waste side. While those higher level spells are extremely limited in scope so you are stuck with being unable to reflavor (Specially in PFS). Then you have the weirdness where a Fighter is better at polymorph than a Transmutation Wizard.

Think about that. A Fighter is better than a Transmutation Wizard at using polymorph.

But here you are saying I want casters to be better than martials when I have never said anything of the sorts. Not once did I say casters should be better at melee or weapons. Not once did I say casters should be better at ranged weapons. Not once did I say casters should be better at AC. But g$% d@$ a caster who focuses on transmutation should be better than a martial at using transmutation spells. And g~~ d&+ a Sorcerer should be better at using Dragon Claws than a martial.


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You want casters to be as good as martials at something that they, by design, aren't supposed to be.

This is the cost of having spells.

Edit: A fighter is better at hitting stuff using polymorph spells sure, but they're going to be using a lower level version of the spell. They're going to have less AC, less temp HP and less damage. The Morph spells I think are meant to replace using weapons. So yes, a martial is going to be better at that, but that doesn't mean they're useless for a caster.


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Old_Man_Robot wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Old_Man_Robot wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Dragon claws are functional for a sorcerer. They won’t keep up with your highest level spell slots, and become secondary attack options relatively quickly. But they still work and are useful for sorcerers in the mid game at least. Sorcerer focus powers and witch abilities don’t need to be every combat, every action activities to be functional.

No. Enough of this nonsense.

Functionality is not limited to “it turns on when I press on”. That’s an incredibly reductive view of the term that is not how it was being used in that context.

Do you expect the focus spell on a caster to suddenly make them completely equivalent to a martial or something?

Because that seems like a pattern in the way you keep responding to things.

It’s not good and quickly looses it’s ability to keep up with AC scaling in any meaningful way. It’s the function, that of an attack, is severely devalued when it can’t be used.

It doesn’t have to be near par of a martial but it’s scaling isn’t good enough to make a serious option for higher level play.

There is a gulf of expectation that exists between “utterly useless” and “As good as the best possible fighter”. Wanting a class option to be closer to the former than the latter is not unreasonable.

Not want a class option to depreciate in effectiveness is not unreason either.

These conversations keep going into this weird zero-sum place, where considerations and moderation get ground out in hyperbole.

A shortsword is probably the best finesse martial weapon aside from a rapier. At level 17, it does 3d6+Str+6 thanks to greater weapon specialization, averaging 16.5+Str.

A +2 greater striking handwraps is a level 12 item, and gives you 3d4+3d6+Str+2 as damage. Given equal property runes, the sorcerer will average 20+Str on a swing compared to the shortsword's 16.5 on a martial. When we hit major striking, that equalizes out assuming the sorcerer hasn't picked up major striking themselves.

I'm really not seeing the issue. Yes, you'll be -2 to hit from the martial, assuming you're focusing on Dex for the claws (and AC). But again, that's why they're martials and you have 9th level spells.


I feel like the evidence being used for the conclusion "dragon claws don't work" could equally be applied to statements like "making an attack roll that MAP applies to doesn't work."


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The fighter is not really better at using polymorph than a transmutation wizard though. A fighter might have 2 castings of a high enough level polymorph spell to be worth using, but can be ok with much lower level polymorph spells as well as far as decent attack values and enough HP, although they will get very little of the utility and special attacks of the higher level polymorph spells.

Meanwhile the transmuter might have 4 or 5 top 2 levels worth of polymorph spells (including spells of a whole spell level higher) and be taking on forms like Fiery Form which allow them to actually cast spells as well.

The mistake is think that proficiency matters more than additional spell slots and ways to set up the battlefield so that your transformation spell can really allow you to shine.

The focus spells like nails and claws and jaws are a little different, but they can be supplemented with spells very effectively as well. Also, remember that dragon claws is equally useful as a resistance spell so it is a focus spell with both an offensive and defensive application. Gluttonous Jaws also pairs pretty decently with spells like vampiric touch after an enemy rushes up to attack you, allowing you to regain a ton of HP and do pretty decent damage at the same time.


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The Morph spells and witch nails/hair allow you to keep full access to your spellcasting, which is an important thing to consider as well.

"Why is a Fighter better with a Sorcerer class feature?" Because they don't also have full spellcasting and it takes 2+ feats.


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Temperans wrote:

Think about that. A Fighter is better than a Transmutation Wizard at using polymorph.

But here you are saying I want casters to be better than martials when I have never said anything of the sorts. Not once did I say casters should be better at melee or weapons. Not once did I say casters should be better at ranged weapons. Not once did I say casters should be better at AC. But g@~ d&* a caster who focuses on transmutation should be better than a martial at using transmutation spells. And g*! d!@ a Sorcerer should be better at using Dragon Claws than a martial.

If a 4th-dan martial artist in whatever discipline you choose and a person who's never been in a fight are both transformed into bears, who should be better at fighting as a bear?

The way to make a sorcerer better at using Dragon Claws than a martial is to give focus spells and cantrips bad multiclass scaling. You want to be the one to use that in play?


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I do think it would have been nice had dragon claws (and similar add-melee-to-caster spells) allowed for a spell attack roll (if higher) rather than a traditional melee attack roll.

I think the trade-offs of (1) limited resources, (2) having an activation time, and (3) far lower damage than most martials, already makes up for the power increase that this would add.

I mean, let's face it, even if I had an attack roll comparable to a fighter's late game (and for less than half of my career up to that point), the damage just still doesn't even come close (not even to non-fighter martials).


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You'd have had sorcerer's that are better at unarmed combat than everyone other than fighters. While still having full spellcasting.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Temperans wrote:

But here you are saying I want casters to be better than martials when I have never said anything of the sorts.

...

And g#~ d+# a Sorcerer should be better at using Dragon Claws than a martial

Thank you for making my point so clearly.

You are not asking for "RP concepts" as you insisted earlier in this thread. If you have an RP concept that requires you to be able to sprout dragon claws and fight like a Barbarian the game supports that in a martial character dedicating into a Dragon Claw build.

Instead, you are asking to be better than the Barbarian at utilizing those dragon claws while getting full spellcasting benefits along the way. There is no way to enable this and maintain a balanced game.


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Unicore wrote:
Dragon claws are functional for a sorcerer. They won’t keep up with your highest level spell slots, and become secondary attack options relatively quickly. But they still work and are useful for sorcerers in the mid game at least. Sorcerer focus powers and witch abilities don’t need to be every combat, every action activities to be functional.

There's no reason that needs to be true though.

You could rewrite the spell to provide a to hit bonus, that scales up as you level up (well actually you get higher level spells slot, and focus spells auto-heighten).

As dragon claws as an example don't prevent spell casting, it can't be as good as a battle form spell, which puts you on roughly equal terms as a non-fighter melee. In my mind this would put you at 3/4 points behind in attack bonus compared to melee. Keep in mind the sorcerer probably doesn't have maxed strength (or dexterity in the case of finesse weapons). So not only is their lagging proficiency a problem, but they don't have ability scores to support it, and probably not weapon runes to apply to it either.

I'm not saying that it needs to be an obvious go to ability all the time. But it would be nice if there were something to encourage it being used. Currently it's a 1d4 damage with 1d6 energy temporary ability. The energy damage scales up, but pretty much at the same rate that melee characters could get striking runes or (multiple) energy runes. There is some benefit to it being all one energy type.

Ultimately a sorcerer who would like to use this but isn't trying to devote their character to be a melee character (because they're not crazy) is quickly going to realize that it's not worth the spell slot or focus point to cast this spell just to miss your attacks.

Which isn't to say you'll miss all the attacks, but you're going to be much worse off than a melee character. Especially at high levels.


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Ravingdork wrote:

I do think it would have been nice had dragon claws (and similar add-melee-to-caster spells) allowed for a spell attack roll (if higher) rather than a traditional melee attack roll.

I think the trade-offs of (1) limited resources, (2) having an activation time, and (3) far lower damage than most martials, already makes up for the power increase that this would add.

I mean, let's face it, even if I had an attack roll comparable to a fighter's late game (and for less than half of my career up to that point), the damage just still doesn't even come close (not even to non-fighter martials).

This seems reasonable


I'm pretty sure Handwraps do still affect Dragon Claws and the like. So you basically have a dagger with an extra 1d6/2d6/3d6 depending on your level, plus resistance, and you can still put on some property runes if you really want to.

It's worth it in any situation where you'd pull out a melee weapon anyway.


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WWHsmackdown wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

I do think it would have been nice had dragon claws (and similar add-melee-to-caster spells) allowed for a spell attack roll (if higher) rather than a traditional melee attack roll.

I think the trade-offs of (1) limited resources, (2) having an activation time, and (3) far lower damage than most martials, already makes up for the power increase that this would add.

I mean, let's face it, even if I had an attack roll comparable to a fighter's late game (and for less than half of my career up to that point), the damage just still doesn't even come close (not even to non-fighter martials).

This seems reasonable

I was running numbers in herolab, and thinking heavily about this and I agree that I think the best solution is for those kinds of spells to allow spell attack rolls instead of regular melee rolls.

I did a comparison at level 5, and someone who was reasonably focusing on their combat focus spell (like Dragon claws) was only going to be 2/3 points behind. But the gap will grow as they level up. And what about people who don't build with such a ability in mind, but when it's given to them decide later they would like to use it. At 1st level it might not be too bad, but it's going to get ugly later.


If you want to be a magical brawler the real answer is to just wait for magus to come out.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Guntermench wrote:
You want casters to be as good as martials at something that they, by design, aren't supposed to be.

No, I want a sorcerer to be good at using the focus spell Paizo gave them, or a witch to be good at using one of their witch class feats. A storm druid can throw down a tempest surge every fight and be happy. A wild druid can spend all combat in wildshape and contribute effectively. An elemental sorcerer can chuck some extra damage out every fight. And so on and so forth. Suggesting that a demonic sorcerer should be able to feel just as good about their class feature isn't the hideously cruel and abusive overreach you're pretending it is.

Few of the posters here are suggesting casters should be "just as good as martials" either. Remember, a wizard with the so-overpowered-it-needs-emergency-errata level 16 sixth pillar feat does less than half the expected damage of a similarly equipped ranger or fighter or barbarian (with no feat investment on the latter's part).

Calling that "just as good" is extremely misleading.

... It's also a little telling that everyone immediately zero'd in on the substantively more powerful Dragon's Claws over Glutton's Jaws or Eldritch Nails here.

I guess it's a little harder to talk about how every martial ever is completely invalidated when the sorcerer supposedly doing it has like 14 AC and 15 HP and is swinging more or less a longsword that costs a focus point.


Some small points to bring up for this thread - dragon claws also gives a good amount of resistance to a type, only costs an action, and as a sorcerer gives you an ac buff because of their bloodline ability. There are also a lot, a lot of worse focus spells out there even with the spell as is.

Especially in later levels, layering spells as defenses and offenses (softening up enemies with fear, casting heroism on self, etc) also help offset the squishiness of sorcs. Not saying it makes them as good in melee as an actual martial, just that it closes the gap some.


Squiggit wrote:
Remember, a wizard with the so-overpowered-it-needs-emergency-errata level 16 sixth pillar feat

Whats the sixth pillar?


Glutton's Jaws can keep you alive with the temp HP, and d8 is better than most simple weapons.

The nails feats aren't great, that I'll admit, though they do give you a weapon that's always available.


Filthy Lucre wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Remember, a wizard with the so-overpowered-it-needs-emergency-errata level 16 sixth pillar feat
Whats the sixth pillar?

6th Pillar is an archetype in book 2 of the Fists of the Ruby Phoenix AP. The level 16 feat gives master spellcasting if you have master unarmed and master unarmed if you have master spellcasting.


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Old_Man_Robot wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Old_Man_Robot wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Dragon claws are functional for a sorcerer. They won’t keep up with your highest level spell slots, and become secondary attack options relatively quickly. But they still work and are useful for sorcerers in the mid game at least. Sorcerer focus powers and witch abilities don’t need to be every combat, every action activities to be functional.

No. Enough of this nonsense.

Functionality is not limited to “it turns on when I press on”. That’s an incredibly reductive view of the term that is not how it was being used in that context.

Do you expect the focus spell on a caster to suddenly make them completely equivalent to a martial or something?

Because that seems like a pattern in the way you keep responding to things.

It’s not good and quickly looses it’s ability to keep up with AC scaling in any meaningful way. It’s the function, that of an attack, is severely devalued when it can’t be used.

It doesn’t have to be near par of a martial but it’s scaling isn’t good enough to make a serious option for higher level play.

There is a gulf of expectation that exists between “utterly useless” and “As good as the best possible fighter”. Wanting a class option to be closer to the former than the latter is not unreasonable.

Not want a class option to depreciate in effectiveness is not unreason either.

These conversations keep going into this weird zero-sum place, where considerations and moderation get ground out in hyperbole.

Yes Dragon Claws are flavourul and fun . They have a good role play use.

Its just that in terms of being an effective mainstream tactic - the answer is no they are not. The oppourtunity cost of all the better things you could do with your focus point or your actions, means that anyone primarily concerned about effectiveness will never take them unless they are required to by the system - or because they want something else in the whole Draconic Sorcerer package

They aren't much different to a magic dagger with a few runes. Which a sorcerer will likely have anyway. Yes it is a bit more damage than normal if you put on some good hand wraps.

They do have an energy resistance that comes built in. That is nice but you are not going to need that all the time either.

I still see it as a bad idea for a caster to be trying to melee. Remember this is a 6HP per level caster with poor attack values. I'd want to have something like the Blink Spell up and be burning a lot of True Strikes to give it a go. For sure some people will like it. Still seems like a bad plan. I see this as a once a day option for a 6HP caster with a death wish. I'd have been a lot happier with some form of Dragoon Scale here instead.

Stay at range an putting everything into Magic Missile is going to get you more damage output.

I'd almost always make sure I had a better focus spell option like say the breath weapon, which means I can't rely on this power being available due to resource constraints, which means I'd need a magic dagger anyway. So in practise I find this power to always be a plan B.


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***************
Oh no the 6 hp character with bad AC and saves and almost no weapon proficiency and no armor proficiency has an an ability to deal damage less damage than a martial for 1 minute at the cost of their focus point. How dare that 6 hp character try to deal some damage when its in melee. I mean its not like its their class feature or anything to use that melee ability.

Hmm, yep that character should deal no damage what so ever after risking dying and spending resources, right? I mean its only fair. It can "cast fear to make the martial better" or "cast a buff spell on the martial". Self buff? Nah they shouldn't benefit from those buffs really I mean they are just casters. They should just help the martials.
***************

This is what I keep hearing. Over and over and over. We talk about casters not benefiting from their spells well. And the response is "oh you want casters to be better than martials".

We ask for casters to benefit from their spells. And again people say we want casters to be better than martials.

We say that's not what we want, that we only want caster to benefit from abilities PAIZO CREATED AND GAVE THEM. But again the response we receive is "you want casters to be better than martial, just stay in your place."

Idk anymore. It seems like its pointless to keep this going. You all will just continue to push for transmutation spells to stay unusable by casters unless they spend everything on a single fight. You know cause "how dare casters want to be effective 3 times a day at anything that's not buffing martials".


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...but if you're actually building to be a "melee caster" you have all kinds of spell options that mitigate the weaknesses of low HP "bad" AC and saves.

So the default state of your melee option can't be so self-contained to be "wow" worthy without any of the rest of your build choices factoring in or you'd go from great to overly-powerful instead of fine to great.


The form spells out you roughly at the level of a martial.


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Squiggit wrote:

Few of the posters here are suggesting casters should be "just as good as martials" either. Remember, a wizard with the so-overpowered-it-needs-emergency-errata level 16 sixth pillar feat does less than half the expected damage of a similarly equipped ranger or fighter or barbarian (with no feat investment on the latter's part).

Calling that "just as good" is extremely misleading.

And with master proficiency, how are they compared to a monk? You know, the primary unarmed class that has no inherent damage boosters aside from stances (and flurry, that can also be picked up through Monk archetype)? What about a Wizard/Monk that's picked up Mountain Stance and Flurry, and now has Master unarmed proficiency, and 8th level spells? A Glutton's Jaw Sorcerer/Monk now has master weapon proficiency, can Flurry, and gets temp HP on a hit (making up for their weaker defenses). Oh, and look! Unarmed attacks only go up to d10 at max - with one particular style, at that - so they're not actually that far behind on damage.

I hope you weren't comparing to an Outwit ranger, either.

And not to mention the interaction with Wild Shaping druids, that suddenly just got an extra proficiency bonus to every wild shape attack, making 6th Pillar ridiculously optimal for them to an insane level.


Guntermench wrote:
The form spells out you roughly at the level of a martial.

Yes but they have their limitations like no spell casting...unlike dragon claws.


thenobledrake wrote:

...but if you're actually building to be a "melee caster" you have all kinds of spell options that mitigate the weaknesses of low HP "bad" AC and saves.

So the default state of your melee option can't be so self-contained to be "wow" worthy without any of the rest of your build choices factoring in or you'd go from great to overly-powerful instead of fine to great.

You mean dedicating every spell to make it so you don't die in two hits? Because there is a reason I said 3 times a day. You need most of your spells just trying to make up for the fact that almost anything can kill you, and you can fail to a large portion of spells and abilities. Fun fact, half the casters only get the "upgrade success into critical success" at level 17. Most of them do not even get a legendary save.

The barbarians with 12 HP and good armor dies in a couple of hits. The casters dies in half as many at best.


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Cyouni wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

Few of the posters here are suggesting casters should be "just as good as martials" either. Remember, a wizard with the so-overpowered-it-needs-emergency-errata level 16 sixth pillar feat does less than half the expected damage of a similarly equipped ranger or fighter or barbarian (with no feat investment on the latter's part).

Calling that "just as good" is extremely misleading.

And with master proficiency, how are they compared to a monk? You know, the primary unarmed class that has no inherent damage boosters aside from stances (and flurry, that can also be picked up through Monk archetype)? What about a Wizard/Monk that's picked up Mountain Stance and Flurry, and now has Master unarmed proficiency, and 8th level spells? A Glutton's Jaw Sorcerer/Monk now has master weapon proficiency, can Flurry, and gets temp HP on a hit (making up for their weaker defenses). Oh, and look! Unarmed attacks only go up to d10 at max - with one particular style, at that - so they're not actually that far behind on damage.

I hope you weren't comparing to an Outwit ranger, either.

And not to mention the interaction with Wild Shaping druids, that suddenly just got an extra proficiency bonus to every wild shape attack, making 6th Pillar ridiculously optimal for them to an insane level.

Oh look a feat for Monk dedication, a feat for flurry of blows, a feat for Monk resiliency, a feat for advanced kata, a feat for the 6th pillar dedication, and a feat to get that master to unarmed. Maybe also a feat for Perfection's Path to shore up either Fort or Reflex. How many feats is that again? Oh right, 6 feats, 7 if you want 2 saves at master (but only one with the success upgrade).

How many feats does it take for a Monk mc Sorcerer to get all important stuff from sorcerer? Hmm lets see, 6 feats (including basic bloodline spell). And oh look what the monk gets: Better saves, more mobility, can bypass resistance, more HP, more AC, more damage and plenty of feats to pick and chose the how you want to be in melee.

Totally even trade.... oh wait.

* P.S. Reminder that Monks have Legendary unarmed defense vs the caster's expert. A 4 point difference.


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I would expect Dragon Claws, Gluttons Jaws (which is worse than Dragon Claws) to be a choice as effective as using a cantrip and its not.

Given Bloodline powers are a major class feature of sorcerers and sets their flavour I expect their focus spells - especially the first one to be an indication of playstyle flavour.

Right now it falls short. No one is asking for sorcs to be better than martials at their schtick and Glutton's Jaws right now is an almost total waste of an ability. Even if Sorcs could do similar damage to martials in melee they poor baseline hp, AC and defences still make them worse at martials. Sure they could burn additional spells to bring up their defences but then I see that working as intended. If a sorc through spending multiple actions and a few limited spell slot resources can for a short time match what a martial can do all day then I don't see a really problem.

Right now many bloodline powers and focus spells are so niche and so limited its a trap to use them. Cleric focus powers similar, I imagine some domains are almost never taken (it would be great to have stats). But that is another issue.

My thoughts regarding the initial discussion and conversation:

Transformation spells at the highest level shouldn't be quite as good as martial but should be close.

All transformation spells should scale better into higher levels with the higher level options adding more versatility (otherwise why bother to learn higher level abilities).

Transmuter 1st level focus spell probably should have been something that buffed them when they were transmuted rather than the weird not super useable one they have now.

Martials should never be more effective when transmuted than a caster - same as a caster using a weapon is never more effective than a martial.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Cyouni wrote:
And with master proficiency, how are they compared to a monk?

Slightly better (because monks do noticeably less raw DPR than other martials), but still noticeably behind... while also being a lot squishier in all respects... after spending basically all of their class resources up to that point on this one thing and being compared to a monk who's only spent one.

Yeah, pretty mediocre overall.


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I'm not the only one that finds it wrong that monk multiclass is looking like a better archetype for dragon claw sorc than dragon disciple, am I?


HyperMissingno wrote:
I'm not the only one that finds it wrong that monk multiclass is looking like a better archetype for dragon claw sorc than dragon disciple, am I?

You are not wrong.

* Claws of the Dragon is weak.
* Draconic Scent is situational.
* Dragon Arcana is useless for a Sorcerer.
* Scales of the Dragon gives no real benefit: +2 status to AC does not stack with many things, dex cap of +2 is tiny for being unarmored, +3 resistance to energy damage is meaningless when you have Dragon Claws and Resist Energy as options.
* Breath of the Dragon is useless for a Sorcerer, and +1 focus point is pointless when the cap is 3.
* Same thing with Wings on the Dragon.
* Shape of the Dragon can be kind of useful. If you could ever hit consistently with the attack (Aka not Sorcerer).
* Disciple's Breath is kind of useful to save focus points. But oh its a level 16 feat that costs 2 actions.
* Mighty Dragon Shape is not at all "mighty" its just more uses. "So you can be a dragon for 1 minute every hour.... Not great.


Temperans wrote:
The barbarians with 12 HP and good armor dies in a couple of hits. The casters dies in half as many at best.

I haven't found that to be particularly common... but yes, I can see how facing creatures sitting at the high end of what the game says is possible to deal with at high regularity could skew the perspective of what is likely to happen if your "frail" character steps into melee range.


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thenobledrake wrote:
Temperans wrote:
The barbarians with 12 HP and good armor dies in a couple of hits. The casters dies in half as many at best.
I haven't found that to be particularly common... but yes, I can see how facing creatures sitting at the high end of what the game says is possible to deal with at high regularity could skew the perspective of what is likely to happen if your "frail" character steps into melee range.

I mean, have you seen Paizo APs? My table's been running through Agents of Edgewatch and big boss fights have been a pretty regular occurrence. Hell it's not unusual for us to have two big boss fights in a single day.


Multiple enemies just wreck the Caster faster as they get hit more and don't have the HP to stay up.


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Temperans wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

Few of the posters here are suggesting casters should be "just as good as martials" either. Remember, a wizard with the so-overpowered-it-needs-emergency-errata level 16 sixth pillar feat does less than half the expected damage of a similarly equipped ranger or fighter or barbarian (with no feat investment on the latter's part).

Calling that "just as good" is extremely misleading.

And with master proficiency, how are they compared to a monk? You know, the primary unarmed class that has no inherent damage boosters aside from stances (and flurry, that can also be picked up through Monk archetype)? What about a Wizard/Monk that's picked up Mountain Stance and Flurry, and now has Master unarmed proficiency, and 8th level spells? A Glutton's Jaw Sorcerer/Monk now has master weapon proficiency, can Flurry, and gets temp HP on a hit (making up for their weaker defenses). Oh, and look! Unarmed attacks only go up to d10 at max - with one particular style, at that - so they're not actually that far behind on damage.

I hope you weren't comparing to an Outwit ranger, either.

And not to mention the interaction with Wild Shaping druids, that suddenly just got an extra proficiency bonus to every wild shape attack, making 6th Pillar ridiculously optimal for them to an insane level.

Oh look a feat for Monk dedication, a feat for flurry of blows, a feat for Monk resiliency, a feat for advanced kata, a feat for the 6th pillar dedication, and a feat to get that master to unarmed. Maybe also a feat for Perfection's Path to shore up either Fort or Reflex. How many feats is that again? Oh right, 6 feats, 7 if you want 2 saves at master (but only one with the success upgrade).

How many feats does it take for a Monk mc Sorcerer to get all important stuff from sorcerer? Hmm lets see, 6 feats (including basic bloodline spell). And oh look what the monk gets: Better saves, more mobility, can bypass resistance, more HP, more AC, more damage and plenty of feats...

You know that monk MCing in loses a spell proficiency level, 2-3 spell levels and three slots of the top two levels on top of that, right? A level 17 monk with all that still casts like half a level 11 sorcerer.

Meanwhile the sorcerer is punching as though they were a level 17 monk with -1 to-hit half the time and -3 damage. (As a side note, I'm not particularly fond of Monk Resiliency or Monk Moves, just because of how you can get similar effects from general feats. Toughness is approximately equivalent to Resiliency, for example, even with a 6-feat investment.)


Cyouni wrote:
Temperans wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

Few of the posters here are suggesting casters should be "just as good as martials" either. Remember, a wizard with the so-overpowered-it-needs-emergency-errata level 16 sixth pillar feat does less than half the expected damage of a similarly equipped ranger or fighter or barbarian (with no feat investment on the latter's part).

Calling that "just as good" is extremely misleading.

And with master proficiency, how are they compared to a monk? You know, the primary unarmed class that has no inherent damage boosters aside from stances (and flurry, that can also be picked up through Monk archetype)? What about a Wizard/Monk that's picked up Mountain Stance and Flurry, and now has Master unarmed proficiency, and 8th level spells? A Glutton's Jaw Sorcerer/Monk now has master weapon proficiency, can Flurry, and gets temp HP on a hit (making up for their weaker defenses). Oh, and look! Unarmed attacks only go up to d10 at max - with one particular style, at that - so they're not actually that far behind on damage.

I hope you weren't comparing to an Outwit ranger, either.

And not to mention the interaction with Wild Shaping druids, that suddenly just got an extra proficiency bonus to every wild shape attack, making 6th Pillar ridiculously optimal for them to an insane level.

Oh look a feat for Monk dedication, a feat for flurry of blows, a feat for Monk resiliency, a feat for advanced kata, a feat for the 6th pillar dedication, and a feat to get that master to unarmed. Maybe also a feat for Perfection's Path to shore up either Fort or Reflex. How many feats is that again? Oh right, 6 feats, 7 if you want 2 saves at master (but only one with the success upgrade).

How many feats does it take for a Monk mc Sorcerer to get all important stuff from sorcerer? Hmm lets see, 6 feats (including basic bloodline spell). And oh look what the monk gets: Better saves, more mobility, can bypass resistance, more HP, more AC, more

...

Monks have Master in the tradition of their Ki spells. Which they can pick from Sorcerer. So they are not actually behind by a lot. Even then. Monk already gets everything they want from Caster in the form of buff and utility spells. Which don't need proficiency anyways.

Losing the top 2 spells doesn't matter either when you don't need them to keep up. Casters need those spells just to keep up 3 times per day. Also no Sorcerer is not punching at the same level as Monk. The fact Monk can bypass DR is a huge damage upgrade that most people don't consider. Also you say "toughness is equivalent to resiliency". But the Monk can just take toughness and have even more HP than the caster.

The fact is that it takes a caster almost all their resources just to try and keep up 3 times a day. Only for the martials to spend 5 feats and have all the uses of utility and buff spells they will ever want.


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Temperans wrote:
The fact is that it takes a caster almost all their resources just to try and keep up 3 times a day. Only for the martials to spend 5 feats and have all the uses of utility and buff spells they will ever want.

This makes it really, really obvious you've never played a caster or seen one in play.

First off, a sorcerer of a given level has 8-9 slots before they drop down to a multiclasser's 1 slot, all of which are plenty effective in combat. Let's just put aside all the high-damage focus spells for the moment like, for example, Dragon Breath. This scales 1d6 less than Fireball at any given level, so it's like having a narrower-range Fireball of a slot 1 level than your highest, in every combat. We haven't even mentioned efficient use of lower-level slots that don't require scaling, like the most obvious slow and fear.

And then they can easily pair those top-level slots with things like Flurry with master proficiency, at -1 to hit (maybe), -3 to damage vs a monk, every single turn. Taking something like Monastic Archer Stance is just the icing on the cake, letting you do that all at range.

This is just an easy sample of how that contributes to straight-up power creep.

Dataphiles

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

My argument is that master prof is overrated as a game warping feature by then. At level 16, the sorcerer has so much better to do with their 3rd action than punch or hit someone with their claws. They could instead MC into swashbuckler and give a martial +4 to an attack roll guaranteed. Or use demoralise, or scare to death, or bon mot, or….

Monk has far more durability (still) than the sorc, amounting to +4 AC, better saves, 4 more HP a level and (IMO) much better focus spells. Going master unarmed so you can hit people a bit better in melee (when something like 30% of monsters at that level have AoO) is still an actively bad option for a sorcerer. I’m of the opinion to just let someone scale their unarmed to hit a bit better if they really want to do it - the alternative is they just do something better instead and feel a bit sad that their gimmick no longer functions as well.

Unicore’s point about interactions with battleforms is valid though. Perhaps if there was a way to not make it work with battleforms, or just houserule forbid it for wild order druids in the mean time. Changing Wild Shape from +2 status bonus to just giving +1 proficiency tier, while a bit janky, would also solve this problem (and perhaps a secondary problem of wild druids being unbuffable by most common buffs).

Silver Crusade

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Filthy Lucre wrote:
If you want to be a magical brawler the real answer is to just wait for magus to come out.

Or play a druid right now. Perhaps reflavoring it if the GM allows

Or a martial with a caster dedication.

I'm firmly of the opinion that both of those are fine right now and should form the power level benchmarks of any new options going forward

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