Charisma, Creativity, and Sympathetic Magic


Thaumaturge Class


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I wanted to give this time to stew, and potentially get an actual playtest out of the way before posting a thread so I could give mechanical feedback as well, but its officially looking like this October is just too nutty for me to fit that in. So bear in mind that this is less about playfeel and balance, and more about the thematic direction of the class as I've read it and thought about characters I'd make with it to make it appeal to the greatest number of players and to me personally, its also somewhat in response to other people's concerns about flavor, about Antithesis as a Charisma recall knowledge mechanic, and the flavor about where weaknesses come from.

The basic concept of the class revolves around Esoteric Antithesis which involves either leveraging an existing weakness or convincing the universe of a link between a creature and an object to create its weakness, often with a sense of poetic justice (the key example of using the broken shackles of a freed slave to overthrow a tyrant being the basic example.) The flavor disconnect some people have, is that this feature blurs the line between discovery (this creature has always had this weakness and we're using our ability in order to learn what it is) and creation (lets actively establish a link between these two nouns that did not exist before), and additionally, that the mechanic by which the creative side functions is unclear (which makes it sound way too soft and almost fourth wall breaking.)

Another facet of this 'problem' (because not everyone agrees it is one) is that Esoteric Antithesis uses Charisma to make the Thaumaturge center on Charisma (which matches certain inspiration characters, like Constantine, who often functions as a tricky, fast talking scoundrel) but Charisma is not the knowledge stat or even the perceptive stat, so if you're focused on the discovery side of it, it feels like it should really be Intelligence, or at least Wisdom. But if we do Intelligence, the class feels like it overlaps far too heavily with the investigator, who is already focused on knowledge about creatures and leveraging weaknesses, and could cover that quite comfortably with a new methodology focused on being a supernatural detective. So to my mind, if its a problem worth solving, we need to double down on Charisma, and clarify the lore at work. Enter, the concept of the Thaumaturge as the 'Sympathetic Magic' class where we take the creative side of antithesis (which is super fun) and elaborate on it.

What if the class lore explains that there are essentially connections between all things known as "Sympathetic Bonds" and those bonds are of varying strengths, some bonds are so strong (like Werewolves, Moonlight, and Silver) that anyone can take advantage of them-- but others are latent and have to be strengthened to be used, the actual magical acts being performed by the Thaumaturge, the thing they do that other classes do not, is the art and science of sympathetic magic. They are capable, through their bespoke class magic, of taking 'latent' inactive bonds between things, and strengthening them so that they can be used against the creature (or to affect objects.) Finding connections between things that aren't obvious, and are often poetic or metaphorical in nature is very much apropo for Charisma and while study could help you do it, its the kind of study you do to write poetry, or learn old songs and how to play music, rather than the 'memorizing an obscure weakness out of a book' side of the mental spectrum. This lore works for the implements as well, as the associations between each implement and its function work to allow the Thaumaturge to magically invoke the hidden potential of each object.

- There's a natural bond between the concept of a Lantern and 'Revealing' so the the Thaumaturge can strengthen it to make it capable of revealing magically hidden creatures and illusions.

- There's a natural bond between the concept of a weapon and the person who wielded it, so the Thaumaturge can heighten the connection between the two to allow the weapon to 'know what to do'

- There's a natural bond between the chalice and nourishment, which the Thaumaturge can heighten to give it healing properties.

-There's a natural bond between the concept of a wand and magic, allowing the Thaumaturge to heighten it to let them fling magic around with one despite that not being how wands are normally used.

Thir actual class powers, massage and stimulate these normally inactive bonds to work miracles others can't, all using Charisma.

This would actually give the Thaumaturage shades of the kind of Magic Kvothe uses in the Kingkiller Chronicles, which is a very popular contemporary fantasy series that isn't usually represented that well in terms of its magic system in RPGs. It would fit well with Contracts and Pacts as another form of magic that creates a Sympathetic bond, it would fit in well with the Curator's essay in Secrets of Magic too. Finally, it would give the class a completely unique branch of magic that it uses among the other classes (although really, I think it should be explicitly identified as Occult, with the other branches of magic being seen as Sympathetic Bonds that explore an understanding of Jatembe's old magic-is-magic, philosophy.)


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As usual you manage to put down how I feel in a much more detailed and formal manner. This was beautifully written and I think the strongest path for the class forward.


I definitely see where you are coming from, but I have a question. If the class where to increase focus on this particular theme, how would you feel about adding spell casting? I bring this up because I've see others like this theme so much, they want to see it expanded. Such as using the finger of a thief to increase your trickery, or the feather of an angel to fly. These possibilities become so large, I think the best way to get everything easily included and balanced is a spell list.

So like how the bard can use their instrument for their material, somatic, and verbal components, the Thaumaturge would use material components in place of the others. And like how the bard is encouraged to use the appropriate music for a spell, such as speed metal for haste, the Thaumaturge would flavor their material components accordingly, like the above examples. I'm curious if you feel this would better represent what you'd like to see out of the sympathetic magic.

Liberty's Edge

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Jedi Maester wrote:

I definitely see where you are coming from, but I have a question. If the class where to increase focus on this particular theme, how would you feel about adding spell casting? I bring this up because I've see others like this theme so much, they want to see it expanded. Such as using the finger of a thief to increase your trickery, or the feather of an angel to fly. These possibilities become so large, I think the best way to get everything easily included and balanced is a spell list.

So like how the bard can use their instrument for their material, somatic, and verbal components, the Thaumaturge would use material components in place of the others. And like how the bard is encouraged to use the appropriate music for a spell, such as speed metal for haste, the Thaumaturge would flavor their material components accordingly, like the above examples. I'm curious if you feel this would better represent what you'd like to see out of the sympathetic magic.

I'm very much behind Magic Sword's original proposal here, but I feel that using spells from a spell list would go counter to what I find most interesting about the Thaumaturge. I love that they're tricksters, exploiting magical opportunities that people who've trained their whole life to fit everything into spell slot vs mundane miss. If push came to shove, I'd rather a limited number of utility abilities to represent some of the big, useful possibilities rather than use spell slots :)

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

What if they just naturally got the Scroll Esoterica feat path? What if they had to be trained/expert/master/legendary to access a traditions higher level spells?


This is exactly the kind of thing I think when I say that the Vancian system is obsolete and the root a lot of the spellcasting problems we have in this edition and the previous ones, we need new inspirations and taking it from one of the best modern series is certainly a good direction.

I had the same idea when I started reading the new thaumaturge. In fact, its very name alluded to the idea of Sympathy found in the KKC with its "thaum" as the measure used in Sympathy studies (probably because Paizo's designers and Patrick Rothfuss are borrowing from the same source).

Taking sympathy as the inspiration could open so many venues of design and address the current dissonance that several players have brought up about the idea of the class and how it is implemented and how it feels in play, which is in theory it's a clever and thoughtful class that leverage weaknesses (often of obscure nature), while in play feels like a Barbarian dealing massive amounts of damage per hit and is highly encouraged to do it as much as possible.

The class' action economy doesn't help either. Sure, it deals a s@&@ ton of damage, and nobody will never complain about dealing a lot of damage, but I can't help but agree that the Thaumaturge could sacrifice some of damage in favor of more apt features and playstyle that successfully realize the concept it is proposing.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Jedi Maester wrote:

I definitely see where you are coming from, but I have a question. If the class where to increase focus on this particular theme, how would you feel about adding spell casting? I bring this up because I've see others like this theme so much, they want to see it expanded. Such as using the finger of a thief to increase your trickery, or the feather of an angel to fly. These possibilities become so large, I think the best way to get everything easily included and balanced is a spell list.

So like how the bard can use their instrument for their material, somatic, and verbal components, the Thaumaturge would use material components in place of the others. And like how the bard is encouraged to use the appropriate music for a spell, such as speed metal for haste, the Thaumaturge would flavor their material components accordingly, like the above examples. I'm curious if you feel this would better represent what you'd like to see out of the sympathetic magic.

I suspect that in terms of spellcasting, the biggest issue would be the class's power budget, its currently built as a full martial so for us to get Wave Casting or Full Casting we would presumably have to lose things, and at that point we've gone back to the drawing board to the extent that its hard to answer that. Its possible that the version we're play testing is actually a 'weird' design for this class that they wanted to see if they can do a magic user without slots and have it work out, and there's a safer design sitting somewhere that has some, but who knows.

I think that one route the class could go down, is to stay as a full martial, but offer multiclass casting as a suite of internal class feats, so the Thaumaturge can access it a feat faster than other classes but without committing class feature power budget to it.

Sympathetic Magic doesn't require slots I don't think, but it also doesn't have to preclude it if that's a direction we're considering anyway. I do think the lack of Focus spells on the class is a little odd, since they're explicitly magical, in a way it almost feels like the design experiment here revolves around breaking that mold in the representation of Magical powers.

Lightning Raven wrote:

This is exactly the kind of thing I think when I say that the Vancian system is obsolete and the root a lot of the spellcasting problems we have in this edition and the previous ones, we need new inspirations and taking it from one of the best modern series is certainly a good direction.

I had the same idea when I started reading the new thaumaturge. In fact, its very name alluded to the idea of Sympathy found in the KKC with its "thaum" as the measure used in Sympathy studies (probably because Paizo's designers and Patrick Rothfuss are borrowing from the same source).

Taking sympathy as the inspiration could open so many venues of design and address the current dissonance that several players have brought up about the idea of the class and how it is implemented and how it feels in play, which is in theory it's a clever and thoughtful class that leverage weaknesses (often of obscure nature), while in play feels like a Barbarian dealing massive amounts of damage per hit and is highly encouraged to do it as much as possible.

The class' action economy doesn't help either. Sure, it deals a s@@& ton of damage, and nobody will never complain about dealing a lot of damage, but I can't help but agree that the Thaumaturge could sacrifice some of damage in favor of more apt features and playstyle that successfully realize the concept it is proposing.

So I don't think we're in a space where Vancian Magic is obsolete (what would that even mean), its a fun game mechanic, and it has a lot of variation that's been explore over the years, and is still being explored (wave casting for instance.) Similarly, even looking at other TTRPGs completely I don't really see a whole lot of better magic systems (most err on the side of being too soft and vague, a few being too complicated instead, or are too easily optimized in undesirable ways because they're too freeform ala mana systems, even spheres is a power boost IIRC) But I also don't think that its the only way to represent magic and spellcasting, so I'm open to explore other avenues if the designers have something they think could be good that they want us to test-- I really like Focus Spells as they're currently used in the game for instance, and really enjoy the idea of characters doing more with it-- I could see a version of the Thaumaturge with built in Focus Progression that used Focus Spells extensively, as an example. The Psychic's Amp system is really cool too.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

While I wouldn't be opposed to to some level of Vanician casting it is not my ideal method. I think the Thaumaturge should work as an attempt to do magic without slots.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
pixierose wrote:
While I wouldn't be opposed to to some level of Vanician casting it is not my ideal method. I think the Thaumaturge should work as an attempt to do magic without slots.

I'm very happy with the Thaumaturge as a magician without spells.

It's a character theme I enjoy but haven't been able to make work yet in PF2.

I do see the MAD pushing the limits. I've tried to get around it by leaving STR as a dump stat, choosing Finesse weapons for DEX to hit, letting Antithesis and Implement's Empowerment be the static damage bonus. CON to stay alive and, despite being specialized in Will, splitting between INT and CHA with one being higher than the other depending upon the adventure/character goal.

Liberty's Edge

I think of the Thaumaturge as the ultimate charlatan, so no spells at all please. There are many spellcasting dedications available for those who enjoy those.


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I want to say, as far as finding a conceptual way to marry CHA and the class Implements in a great way, hats off to you.

With that said, I really don't want CHA as the focal stat, it causes a lot of problems for me:

- No inherent explanation, even with your brilliant concept, for why a thaumaturge is absolutely under-knowledged outside of combat for the most part but super knowledgeable once they see the creature

- The class is incredibly MAD and the types of skills you have to pump in order to maintain parity are basically all non-CHA based skills, you can't really afford to pump your Diplomacy, Deception, Intimidation, etc. so the CHA becomes absolutely lost in the Class outside of the use of EA

- It heavily limits what concepts are possible in terms of Ancestries, and even pushes CHA-based Ancestries to the "best" Thaumaturges and Ancestries like Dwarf (which I would argue feels like it should be one of the best Thaumaturges) to unlikely options. WIS is generally more inclusive.

- Despite Constantine being a bit of a scoundrel, I really don't see a lot of CHA in the Thaumaturge concept, and as many have stated if you want to go by the comics, Constantine is almost certainly some kind of Sorcerer (or I dare say an Eldritch Trickster). Constantine is also absolutely one of the most perceptive characters, I would almost argue that aside from his occasional reckless behavior, he exhibits a high WIS as well. That said on Constantine, nothing is stopping a Thaumaturge from picking up CHA and having those abilities, but making it a foundation for the class means concepts like Van Helsing, Trese, etc. all really aren't possible. The truth is that when you push CHA as the defining Class attribute, it evokes a certain character concept inherently. Sorcerer's are showy. Bards are performative. Swashbucklers have panache. Scoundrels are deceptive. Oracles exhibit the power of the divine. CHA to me just doesn't really match with the default Thaumaturge vibes. If anything, I feel like the Thaumaturge is the opposite of all of that. It deals with the hidden, secretive, the unknown, etc.

TL;DR You make a good case, but I still don't see how it makes more sense to use CHA when WIS to me is just such an obvious choice. WIS puts them snugly in their own corner away from Investigator, it gives them the mental fortitude you would expect from someone that's "seen it all" and the perceptive abilities of someone that could exploit flaws. CHA is evoking the power of the self, WIS is evoking the power of things outside ones self. You might be able to rationalize a way to say that the Thaumaturge uses the power of self to evoke a change on the world, but then we're just coming up with a way to explain why something doesn't work that way as opposed to allowing it to organically fall into the expectation.

Subverting expectations just to subvert them isn't ideal IMO, and that's what Find Flaws/EA feels like right now. CHA on the implement I have less of an issue with, but the thing is I could easily see WIS replace that relationship with the Implements, so it begs the question "why do it with CHA?".


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Midnightoker wrote:

I want to say, as far as finding a conceptual way to marry CHA and the class Implements in a great way, hats off to you.

With that said, I really don't want CHA as the focal stat, it causes a lot of problems for me:

- No inherent explanation, even with your brilliant concept, for why a thaumaturge is absolutely under-knowledged outside of combat for the most part but super knowledgeable once they see the creature

- The class is incredibly MAD and the types of skills you have to pump in order to maintain parity are basically all non-CHA based skills, you can't really afford to pump your Diplomacy, Deception, Intimidation, etc. so the CHA becomes absolutely lost in the Class outside of the use of EA

- It heavily limits what concepts are possible in terms of Ancestries, and even pushes CHA-based Ancestries to the "best" Thaumaturges and Ancestries like Dwarf (which I would argue feels like it should be one of the best Thaumaturges) to unlikely options. WIS is generally more inclusive.

- Despite Constantine being a bit of a scoundrel, I really don't see a lot of CHA in the Thaumaturge concept, and as many have stated if you want to go by the comics, Constantine is almost certainly some kind of Sorcerer (or I dare say an Eldritch Trickster). Constantine is also absolutely one of the most perceptive characters, I would almost argue that aside from his occasional reckless behavior, he exhibits a high WIS as well. That said on Constantine, nothing is stopping a Thaumaturge from picking up CHA and having those abilities, but making it a foundation for the class means concepts like Van Helsing, Trese, etc. all really aren't possible. The truth is that when you push CHA as the defining Class attribute, it evokes a certain character concept inherently. Sorcerer's are showy. Bards are performative. Swashbucklers have panache. Scoundrels are deceptive. Oracles exhibit the power of the divine. CHA to me just doesn't really match with the default Thaumaturge vibes. If anything, I feel like the...

I think Charisma was chosen for this class because of the way Occultism has been handled by PF2e.

I don't know if you've read the Occult magical treatise in Secrets of Magic, but the treatise defines the tradition as something tied with the cultures of the world, not only its secrets, but also by leveraging the collective consciousness itself to their advantage. This means that hidden lore, weird customs and whatnot would clearly fit with the esoteric angle of the Thaumaturge. It fits quite well, and I do wholeheartedly agree with OP. The issue, however, lies with the mechanical implementation of the class and the dissonance resultant.

Initially, I was amazed by the amount of damage possible, after all, it's much easier to ignore a class' flaws and lack of variety when you're dealing a s%!! ton of damage, but seeing the discussions surrounding the class, I've been far more inclined to agree with the idea that it should feel like you're fighting smart, instead of dealing major damage after a simple check.

Personally, about the skills and knowledge of the class, I think the solution could be breaking the rules a little bit. My idea to "fix" the knowledge aspect of the class was the Thaumaturge being able to replace INT with CHAR, with the bonus of being able to use Occultism in all checks to identify monsters, this way, there's less need for skill increases and the class works like every other class, which means that it has freedom to choose which skills they want. Also, for the issue of identifying rarer and higher level monsters, I think we could have the check to use the DC of the character's level or the monster's level, whichever is lower. I don't know how powerful this would be, but it would make Identifying more reliable, faster at the table (you have a single DC to beat most of the time) and it is never trivialized against higher leveled enemies (since RK is secret check, the level disparity could increase the difficult, such as +1 per level difference so that stronger enemies are harder than just slightly above the PCs).

Liberty's Edge

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CHA is forcing someone else to take you into account, whether they want to or not. It helps explain why only the Thaumaturge really succeeds at weaponizing connections in a way even the wise and smart cannot, which fits perfectly my image of such a character.

Whereas if the Thaumaturge's thing is based on perception (WIS) or knowledge (INT), I find it difficult to justify why only Thaumaturge get to do their special tricks.

Whereas with CHA it is easy : others can see more or know more but they lack the Thaumaturge's way of imposing his point of view on others.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Others have made my other points for me, but remember the voluntary flaws are a rule you can use. They are baked into the main rules of the game so even your dwarf can have good charisma( and if you are comfortable with a 16 in a main stat which I feel like more people should be) you can still be quite versatile. I do think there are issues of MAD and skill dependency with the thaunaturge but I don't think we can lay that blame exclusively with charisma


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pixierose wrote:
Others have made my other points for me, but remember the voluntary flaws are a rule you can use.

I'm well aware these rules exist, but these rules are generally for trying to get an Ancestry to play against type. My point is that Dwarf + Thaumaturge does not feel against "type".

Lightning Rave wrote:
I don't know if you've read the Occult magical treatise in Secrets of Magic, but the treatise defines the tradition as something tied with the cultures of the world, not only its secrets, but also by leveraging the collective consciousness itself to their advantage. This means that hidden lore, weird customs and whatnot would clearly fit with the esoteric angle of the Thaumaturge.

That's the thing, anything "could" fit anywhere if you explain it away with "Oh yeah CHA lets you do that because you tap into a collective consciousness itself!"

But my question was not "How does CHA work?" it was "Why choose CHA over WIS?" And the latter question to me isn't really answered by even the sections in SoM that you mention.

And none of that refutes one of the bigger issues with making CHA the primary, that being a CHA-focused Class evokes certain thematic concepts. Being the Party Face for instance is the expectation of CHA based Classes, and that concept to me is at odds with the Thaumaturge.

The Raven Black wrote:
Whereas if the Thaumaturge's thing is based on perception (WIS) or knowledge (INT), I find it difficult to justify why only Thaumaturge get to do their special tricks.

That argument to me is extremely flimsy. How could you not make the exact same argument for Investigator or Rogue?

And to be clear, I don't want INT at all and "knowledge" isn't the focal point to me. It's the ability to see things that others cannot see, that's what makes them special.

What if the rationalization for WIS is you can see the actual "collective consciousness" because you have the magical sense to perceive it?

Is that not almost identical to Constantine's "ride the wave" concept of how he supernaturally always finds himself walking the right path at all times.

The rationalization for CHA as a base class ability to me is just that, a rationalization. The Class themes don't really work with CHA, the mechanics don't really work with them either (they literally have to fix their own problem with Find Flaws). So instead of finding a rationalization to justify CHA, why not just go with the explanation that requires a lot less rationalization?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So I think an issue is, that what you see as the rationalization is for some of us just the most obvious and intuitive way to understand the class. Your arguments for wisdom feel more like rationalizing or feel more off to me. Unless they make it a choice between wisdom or charisma I think somebody is going to have to adapt/be disappointed. I hope it isn't me but I also don't want to wish that on anyone else.

Edit: while I perfer charisma I think I would ultimately be okay with wisdom if more people are comfortable with it.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Largely, I'm thinking of flavor that divorces them *from* the lore-monkey angle. One interesting thing in general is that this always comes down to how you see the mental stats-- some people see Charisma as mainly about being Social, but then Sorcerers don't really make sense, Bards already use their magic to leverage connections like these as per the Curator in Secrets of Magic, and they're Charisma based.

Wisdom could work and would be fine as a 'picking up on the connections' element, I just don't have quite the same... need? for rationalization when it comes to the use of Charisma. My way of framing this is largely about clarifying what I see the class as already doing (and clarifying other elements as less central to its identity.) I do agree that Wisdom feels very thematic in terms of the 'ride the wave' concept, and I wouldn't fuss if it was Widsom, it would work and just having such a character be naturally perceptive to hidden secrets would be ideal.

Heck, the more I think about it, the more I like Wisdom (and it helps that Wisdom hasn't gotten much love as a main stat lately), I still don't mind Charisma though from the creativity angle. It would also be a small natural buff for the class, Will Save + Perception + Perception as Initiative make Wisdom super useful.


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If the class can do something supernatural with enemy weaknesses, why is that the extent of its magical abilities? Because making a weakness is not something anyone can do, hence the Charisma and Wisdom arguments. It's either seeing something that can't be seen, or making something that didn't exist to begin with. But if you can do that with enemies and items, why not more connections? Magically buffing and debuffing with all kinds of little nicknacks.

But without a spell list, we need to rely on the scroll and trinket feats or something else, like focus spells. But to cover the wide range of possible sympathetic connections, a ton of new focus spells would need to be printed that would just be trying to mimic a spell list. It seems inefficient. As for scrolls and trinkets, these feats are already spells with extra steps. You get so many a day based on spell level, but you have to actually pull them out. If you fixed their action economy, then they are effectively just like spells.

I really like the flavor in this thread, but if this is THE sympathetic macguffin class, I'd like the class to fully explore that potential. And the spell lists were made to give supernatural abilities to a class in a balanced way. This would mean being less martial, but that's because this is THE sympathetic macguffin class, not the sympathetic one trick macguffin class.

However, I too would love a martial class that mimics being a spell caster, but intrinsically isn't one. But being able to make up weakness/connections doesn't fit in that concept for me, that's intrinsically magic. Knowing esoteric weaknesses that others don't and applying them would fit (Int or Wis), but making them (Cha) just makes me wonder why I'm limiting myself to such a narrow application if I'm so persuasive to the universe.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

From a mechanical point, keep in mind, having the class be wisdom based makes it lean in favor of divine and primal spellcasting dedications. Not that the class should revolve around those but just wanted to put it out there. At first I thought I favored wisdom but after this realization, not so much.

Liberty's Edge

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Wisdom is the One stat. I prefer to avoid it being another Class stat unless there is no choice.

And yes, with WIS you see things. But it is CHA that makes others do as you wish.

This reminds me of a PF1 argument about why Handle animal was CHA and not WIS. Because understanding animals' emotions is WIS.

My answer was that understanding that my horse wants to do something I don't like is indeed WIS. But getting him to obey me is definitely CHA.

Liberty's Edge

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Jedi Maester wrote:

If the class can do something supernatural with enemy weaknesses, why is that the extent of its magical abilities? Because making a weakness is not something anyone can do, hence the Charisma and Wisdom arguments. It's either seeing something that can't be seen, or making something that didn't exist to begin with. But if you can do that with enemies and items, why not more connections? Magically buffing and debuffing with all kinds of little nicknacks.

But without a spell list, we need to rely on the scroll and trinket feats or something else, like focus spells. But to cover the wide range of possible sympathetic connections, a ton of new focus spells would need to be printed that would just be trying to mimic a spell list. It seems inefficient. As for scrolls and trinkets, these feats are already spells with extra steps. You get so many a day based on spell level, but you have to actually pull them out. If you fixed their action economy, then they are effectively just like spells.

I really like the flavor in this thread, but if this is THE sympathetic macguffin class, I'd like the class to fully explore that potential. And the spell lists were made to give supernatural abilities to a class in a balanced way. This would mean being less martial, but that's because this is THE sympathetic macguffin class, not the sympathetic one trick macguffin class.

However, I too would love a martial class that mimics being a spell caster, but intrinsically isn't one. But being able to make up weakness/connections doesn't fit in that concept for me, that's intrinsically magic. Knowing esoteric weaknesses that others don't and applying them would fit (Int or Wis), but making them (Cha) just makes me wonder why I'm limiting myself to such a narrow application if I'm so persuasive to the universe.

At the beginning, I was of a fan of the Convince the universe concept. But, through refining my views on the class thanks to all the threads, I now believe that what the Thaumaturge does is connecting with their target and convincing them to behave as they wish. This is currently imposing a weakness, but it could be imposing a condition or some other disadvantage. Or maybe an advantage for an ally.

And I think it could extend through an animistic view of the universe to convincing an item to act as you wish it too. Basically convincing the spirit of your target, whether creature or object, that what you suggest is true. That it should obey your wish. Because it makes sense.

So, you're not really trying to convince the universe but merely the target you connect with.


John R. wrote:
From a mechanical point, keep in mind, having the class be wisdom based makes it lean in favor of divine and primal spellcasting dedications. Not that the class should revolve around those but just wanted to put it out there. At first I thought I favored wisdom but after this realization, not so much.

I think it becomes a non-issue if the method by which the Lore aspect is applied is always with the Class Primary.

My issue with CHA being the Class primary isn't simply the stat doesn't normally govern knowledges, it's that conceptually I can't see any way to glean "knowledge from CHA". No amount of force of personality is going to grant me knowledge without causing the opponent to grant me that knowledge. That's what CHA is, using force of personality to acquire something from another.

I however can understand how through careful observation of a Golem that a character could use WIS to the Recall Knowledge check.

Find Flaws is literally finding flaws. Seek is a Perception-based action. If the idea is that CHA is able to create flaws by forcing the opponent to believe you are wielding something they are afraid of, then the ability and its flavor text should reflect that and I would have less of an issue with the Class (idk, make it Deception based then instead of Knowledge).

That among the various other issues with tethering the Class to CHA in such a direct way. Mainly, their main skills are tied to matters of introspection via memory and observation.

Thus a Class that is fundamentally revolving around the principles of taking the world around them and deriving either fancy weaknesses, new found knowledge, or preventative measures via wards and pacts all fit pretty well into those same themes.

CHA governs most of the aspects of the game that are divorced from these concepts, mainly, the ones that exert your personality traits onto another person in order to get them to behave how you like.

But Thaumaturge kind of hinges on learning the behavior of the opponent and then altering ones self to derive the results you want (basically, to me, the inverse of the above).

I would personally rather see them go the way of the Cleric if they weren't already MAD like crazy (where WIS and CHA are both important). But I think I would be willing to swallow a sub Class that allows one to pick between two attributes.

To me, CHA disables more character concepts than WIS would and both fail to separately resolve all of the aspects of what a Thaumaturge could and should represent. Now personally, I don't see what CHA is really bringing to the table that WIS couldn't except for the "Party Face" Thaumaturge now being a possibility (and I would argue, you don't need that much CHA to be one if you really wanted to). And I am seeing concepts that CHA basically locks out entirely just by the nature of it being the outward personality approach.

pixierose wrote:


So I think an issue is, that what you see as the rationalization is for some of us just the most obvious and intuitive way to understand the class. Your arguments for wisdom feel more like rationalizing or feel more off to me.

Well I can't really argue with "that's how I feel". You feel what you feel.

But what I can say is that characters who would normally fit into the tropes of a Thaumaturge such as Van Helsing (arguably one of the most notorious "creature hunters" in written literature) are being locked out entirely.

I could stomach a "choose between either" in the same vein as the Psychic, but only because "inclusive" is better than "My creepy introspective monster hunter has to be the party face".

I would argue that Constantine doesn't even have a lot of CHA. He's generally one of the most repugnantly received people in his universe. He has CHA, sure, but in the same way all main character's do, and he's absolutely a Legendary Deception skill.

So if one of the primary examples of "CHA Thaumaturge" is John Constantine, then I'd question 1. whether he even is a Thaumaturge at all (extremely debatable, and at least a multiclass) and 2. Whether we aren't viewing "CHA" of Constantine when its really Legendary Deception and WIS that allows him to read his opponents well enough to manipulate them (a certainty he can do this whether CHA or not is up for debate).

If CHA is the end product and CHA alone, my test groups and I will be pretty disappointed. It's the number 1 issue I have with the Class and pretty much the only thing that I want entirely changed (sure action economy rigidity and rarity need a look, but nothing crazy).

My groups and I opinion are of course not the only ones, and if that's not what ends up happening then I suppose we'll just have to find a way to build those Class concepts that weren't included in the concept another way. Maybe they will release an Investigator Archetype that steps in to that space, but it feels like a missed opportunity to leave WIS concepts out.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I favor an animisgic perspective for the class as well. As far as how they gain power over their foes, I feel it's similar to true-name except your power is through having possession of an object that has a connection to your foe.


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I have to say, Cha as sympathetic magic, and using one's will to pull on the latent psychic connections that exist between things is exactly how I pictured this class working with Cha as its key stat. I don't know if I was coloured by Mark's commentary or by drawing analogy to the 1e Occultist, but I didn't even realize that this explanation wasn't the explicit text of the Thaumaturge flavour text. From a thematic standpoint this is definitely how I feel the class does actually operate in the life of the world, regardless whether we argue that it should be Cha or Wis (or Int, but as with others, I'm not sure Int spec is worth the double overlap with Investigator; certainly an Investigator class path should come out with one or two Thaumaturge toys tho')

As far as using sympathetic connections to cast actual magic, it occurs to me this is kind of how the sorcerer gets their magic? If maybe not the basis for their casting. What gives sorcerers their innate powers? The usual explanation is by relation to a powerful supernatural creature, but also most if not all bloodlines explain how a mere exposure is enough to give a mortal the potential. Growing up in many places in Ustalav alone is enough to give a magically gifted child an innate connection to undeath magic, for example. Regardless the other issues, I feel like Cha is the most natural choice for exploiting latent supernatural connections between objects and concepts, especially since a Thaumaturge who does want magic can easily slip into any tradition they desire through sorcerer, not to mention oracle or bard dedications, and have an advantage with any innate spells they pick up.

That said, I do feel like Wis need more love as a class stat, speaking as someone making a char who feels like a wise person, but who doesn't really have much affinity for Druidic magic and virtually none for cleric, leaving very little else that benefits having such a high wisdom. I'd be okay if Thaumaturge ended up with either, but mechanical concerns aside, thematically I like Cha and I don't mind the association


The Raven Black wrote:

At the beginning, I was of a fan of the Convince the universe concept. But, through refining my views on the class thanks to all the threads, I now believe that what the Thaumaturge does is connecting with their target and convincing them to behave as they wish. This is currently imposing a weakness, but it could be imposing a condition or some other disadvantage. Or maybe an advantage for an ally.

And I think it could extend through an animistic view of the universe to convincing an item to act as you wish it too. Basically convincing the spirit of your target, whether creature or object, that what you suggest is true. That it should obey your wish. Because it makes sense.
So, you're not really trying to convince the universe but merely the target you connect with.

Even if it's just with a particular target, it's still supernatural. Between weaknesses, advantages, disadvantages, and anything else you can come up with, that's a lot of potential abilities. And spell lists provide ready access to a ton of abilities. That is what they are for. And if someone wants a more limited version for martial use, that's what dedications on a martial class are for.

I struggle to understand the logic behind having a new mechanic explicitly supernatural, but not wanting to use the supernatural mechanics everyone else is using. Especially when doing so unlocks fun things like high level spells from mundane items. Like using an old lamp from a freed genie to cast wish.


The more I toy with it, I think just straight up dropping Find Flaws into a Perception check solves a lot of the issues.

For one, it saves the Skill starving. For two, the Seek action already exists and then even if a Thaumaturge doesn't scale WIS extremely high, the boost to perception can kind of stand in as a mitigating factor. There's no additional stuff that needs to be done, it basically works like the Combat Assessment Class Feat.

Then allow any mental stat as the choice, since as you mentioned (and even in the playtest survey this was asked) they are meant to cover just about any tradition.

That might make me equally as happy now that I think about it.

Liberty's Edge

My greatest concern if the Thaumaturge is not CHA-based is that there will be no reason for a Thaumaturge to invest in CHA, likely to the point that dumping CHA would be a smart move.

The class needs STR or DEX at 16 minimum and some CON. If they also need INT, then CHA is doomed.
If they need WIS, I think it will be INT vs CHA. But if the core ability stay centered on RK, which would pose less problems and thus be more likely if the Thaumaturge is INT or WIS based, then INT looks more enticing than CHA.

In the end, we would have a Thaumaturge with no social skills (because Skill increases will go to RK skills) and low CHA. Definitely not what I want for the class.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:

My greatest concern if the Thaumaturge is not CHA-based is that there will be no reason for a Thaumaturge to invest in CHA, likely to the point that dumping CHA would be a smart move.

The class needs STR or DEX at 16 minimum and some CON. If they also need INT, then CHA is doomed.
If they need WIS, I think it will be INT vs CHA. But if the core ability stay centered on RK, which would pose less problems and thus be more likely if the Thaumaturge is INT or WIS based, then INT looks more enticing than CHA.

In the end, we would have a Thaumaturge with no social skills (because Skill increases will go to RK skills) and low CHA. Definitely not what I want for the class.

Yeah, if charisma wasn't my KAS I'd dump it easily. But for me, charisma is already rarely significant if it's not necessary anyway.


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The Raven Black wrote:

My greatest concern if the Thaumaturge is not CHA-based is that there will be no reason for a Thaumaturge to invest in CHA, likely to the point that dumping CHA would be a smart move.

The class needs STR or DEX at 16 minimum and some CON. If they also need INT, then CHA is doomed.
If they need WIS, I think it will be INT vs CHA. But if the core ability stay centered on RK, which would pose less problems and thus be more likely if the Thaumaturge is INT or WIS based, then INT looks more enticing than CHA.

In the end, we would have a Thaumaturge with no social skills (because Skill increases will go to RK skills) and low CHA. Definitely not what I want for the class.

I think the fact that the observation you've made is "If it wasn't required I'd probably dump CHA!" pretty much sums up exactly why I don't see why it exists in the Class at all.

It's literally a self-fulfilling prophecy in that the reason CHA is so important is because the Class dictates that it be used.

As for reasons to use it, social skills are valuable skills to have. No one would argue Demoralize isn't a good action or that granting flavorful feats (Demon Tongue, Fey charms, etc.) isn't a good way to enable some social aspects.

But as a general point, the fact that the incentives to use CHA is an artificially created one to me seems like a damning one for making it required in the first place.

Liberty's Edge

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I am all for changing the current version so that CHA-based makes sense and that also investing in INT or WIS is rewarded (especially INT, because WIS is its own reward).

About the CHA-skills, yes they can be great if you can get them and raise them. The current version of the class cannot because it needs to keep on investing in the RK skills.

And really as long as those skills are required, no Thaumaturge will ever have another skill going beyond Trained.

So, given a choice in mental stats, most Thaumaturges will go WIS for its innate benefits. And the Know-it-all types will go INT. None will go CHA.

And there die my hopes for the ultimate charlatan I was seeing coming to life through the Thaumaturge.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm not sure I really am all that interested in playing a sympathy mage over the current version.

I mostly just think it needs more stuff that runs off of its internal class mechanics.

Midnightoker wrote:

I think the fact that the observation you've made is "If it wasn't required I'd probably dump CHA!" pretty much sums up exactly why I don't see why it exists in the Class at all.

It's literally a self-fulfilling prophecy in that the reason CHA is so important is because the Class dictates that it be used.

I mean... that's kind of just how these things work in general.

My wizard might not have a very high INT if the class didn't need INT to function either...

By that definition, any class ability that uses any ability score is 'artificially' propping it up... I don't even know how you'd design a class otherwise, though.


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Midnightoker wrote:

I think the fact that the observation you've made is "If it wasn't required I'd probably dump CHA!" pretty much sums up exactly why I don't see why it exists in the Class at all.

It's literally a self-fulfilling prophecy in that the reason CHA is so important is because the Class dictates that it be used.

As for reasons to use it, social skills are valuable skills to have. No one would argue Demoralize isn't a good action or that granting flavorful feats (Demon Tongue, Fey charms, etc.) isn't a good way to enable some social aspects.

But as a general point, the fact that the incentives to use CHA is an artificially created one to me seems like a damning one for making it required in the first place.

I agree with this completely. I think there is amazing potential for a charlatan class that uses pacts and magic items to pretend they are a spell caster, but that idea doesn't need Find Flaws. It needs a universal trick magic item that runs off CHA and the class proficiency. If the investigator can find the weakness, they have the means to use it, but they aren't about finding weaknesses. They find ways to use magic without study/a patron/bloodline/curse/etc.

Or go full spell caster and just make the material component version of the bard. Cha to give your macguffins power and a spell list to unlock all the potential. (See my above posts for more details.)

But if recall knowledge is the important part of the class, if knowing/understanding monsters and attacking their weaknesses is what we are doing, I don't know why we want Cha.

But I think this comes back to how everyone likes a different aspect of this class, and wants that aspect to be THE main feature. And I don't think anyone is wrong. Each of these aspects could fill out an entire awesome class on their own. And I'd much rather get one great focused class and wait for two or more other classes to cover the other design spaces, than a combination class trying to do multiple ideas at once less great in a single package.


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Squiggit wrote:

I mean... that's kind of just how these things work in general.

My wizard might not have a very high INT if the class didn't need INT to function either...

The Wizard is a spellcaster, which the entire themes are based on learning, studying, and growing intellectually. Intelligence not only fosters their spellcasting but the literal tropes that go into the class itself, which is based on learning.

Sorcerer is evoking the power of self, using your heritage, your inner strength to produce magic, typically associated with exuding confidence in ones self.

Oracle is similar, but in confidence of ones blessings from their god and evoking the powers of that god.

Fighters strike, striking uses STR or DEX.

so on and so forth...

What CHA themes does the Thaumaturge evoke? From what I can tell most of the internal mechanics are literally at odds with CHA (that's why CHA has to literally modify how things actually work).

Meanwhile the class uses specific language "Esoteric Antithesis".

The literal translation of which is "something obscure that only people with certain knowledge would know" and "antithesis" meaning opposition. So an obscure bit of knowledge that opposed something.

And then how do you acquire that? You use find flaws. The act of seeking flaws.

So sure you can make any class require anything!

But, a Thaumaturges literal two standard mechanics revolve around obscure knowledge and finding flaws in others. Neither of which are tied to CHA in theme, and wouldn't be tied to CHA by default if it weren't mandated as part of the ability.

If you want to argue "wizard only uses INT because they have to", by all means, but its easy to see why the class with mechanics that are named "school" and "thesis" fits snuggly into INT. Let's not be obtuse, the ability score matches the themes of the Class.

Quote:
By that definition, any class ability that uses any ability score is 'artificially' propping it up... I don't even know how you'd design a class otherwise, though.

Um, you design a Class and then set the Primary Ability based on the themes it evokes.

It doesn't take a lot of understanding to see why the "school" and "thesis" ability class has INT, or the one with "Pursue a Lead" and "Devise a Strategem" does.

Or why "the good feinting Rogue named scoundrel" gets CHA.

Why is it outlandish that the class with Esoteric Antithesis and Find Flaws, two cognitive and knowledge based abilities, to be another ability primary than CHA?

It takes more argument to make CHA as a concept work than it does to pick either of the other two options. The biggest argument against INT isn't even that it's a bad choice, it's that it overlaps with Investigator too much.

Jedi Maester wrote:
But if recall knowledge is the important part of the class, if knowing/understanding monsters and attacking their weaknesses is what we are doing, I don't know why we want Cha.

My point exactly.

Can you explain the implements with CHA? Sure, not as far fetched. The feats? yeah also maybe. You could argue any other Mental as well I'd say, but CHA doesn't "not work" so to speak.

But if EA and Find Flaws are going to be the central mechanics for the Class, then I really can't see how a CHA-based class fits into the "I am knowledgeable and discerning of flaws".

Now again, if the idea was "Fool enemy to believe flaws" and not Find Flaws (Deception check) then I'd have less of an issue.

But let's be clear, the above "fool item" "trick enemy into believing I'm using the weakness", etc. vibe is completely different in feel.

And when I saw the Class and when my player saw the Class we thought "creepy monster hunter that knows monsters". And that vibe and CHA don't exactly marry that well (to me personally or to my Thaumaturge player).

To each their own, but when you present themes like Esoteric Antithesis and Find Flaws and people feel hoodwinked because it uses CHA instead, I think that's a completely fair observation to make.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So the way I see find flaws works with Charisma is that, it is essentially two things in 1. You are figuring out a weakness this requires some level of knowledge( or proficiency if you will) in the subject and then you are applying your sympathetic magic(using your charisma). You aren't using your charisma to understand the thing,just like how a musician isn't using charisma to remember sheet music when they perform but Charisma is arguably an important part of the performance. It consolidates what you need to do into essentially one action.


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pixierose wrote:
So the way I see find flaws works with Charisma is that, it is essentially two things in 1. You are figuring out a weakness this requires some level of knowledge( or proficiency if you will) in the subject and then you are applying your sympathetic magic(using your charisma). You aren't using your charisma to understand the thing,just like how a musician isn't using charisma to remember sheet music when they perform but Charisma is arguably an important part of the performance. It consolidates what you need to do into essentially one action.

Uh, yeah, CHA is really easy to see how it influences a performance even if its a guitarist playing a complicated plucking pattern or a particular scale.

Because the goal of the performance is to ultimately be entertaining.

The ultimate goal of a Recall Knowledge check is to learn about the opponent. It doesn't matter how much force of personality you exude if you're literally checking your memory for facts on the opponent nor does it factor into the success no matter how hard you fudge the concept honestly.

CHA by its very nature isn't an internally expressed attribute, so for it to produce internally productive results is weird. In that same way it would be weird if being stronger made it easier to read a book. Sure you can argue "well exercise helps blood flow to the brain!" but realistically the expected results from that type of thing is a stretch.

shrug

If I have to do a lot of mental gymnastics to make a concept work, it's always going to be unsavory for me. I'm glad others find the learning about others via CHA positve, I just don't.


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Let's look at the actual flavor text that best describes Find Flaws:

During Combat Encounters wrote:
You use your esoterica and implements to assist in combat, assessing and exploiting enemies’ weaknesses while using the tricks up your sleeve to stay one step ahead.

This strongly reads INT or WIS, with the keyword being Assessing.

When you combine this with the mechanics of using Charisma to Recall Knowledge (the ability using it explicitly involves learning information, not the part where you actually create the weakness)

Now, let's look at the other flavor text for the class:

While Exploring wrote:
You investigate mystical oddities and other unexplainable phenomena around you, taking appropriate precautions to ward yourself and your allies against paranormal threats.

Investigation comes in two flavors: Perception and the literal Investigate action, which uses Recall Knowledge. WIS and INT respectively.

In Downtime wrote:
You research deeper into the supernatural mysteries you discovered on your last adventure to see how they can be applied in the future. You scavenge relics, cultivate herbs, or forge trinkets to update your esoterica after each new threat you encounter.

Research also strongly implies WIS/INT for Recall Knowledge. Two stats the class can't support.

You Might: wrote:

- Prepare for the worst and impress your allies when you’re able to handle anything that fate throws at you.

- Look at everything on a deeper level, rather than be content with what you find on the surface.
- Obsess over a certain supernatural phenomenon, attempting to tie everything back to it.

While preparation and obsession aren't particularly tied to any stat, the middle bullet strongly points to WIS, as it's about perceiving the hidden connections between things.

Dubious Knowledge wrote:
As a thaumaturge, you always see connections between things, even if some of them are misleading.

This, again, leads to Perception and therefore WIS.

The only piece that really lends itself to CHA is this bit:

During Social Encounters wrote:
You manipulate and understand the social connections between people, much as you do the magical connections between mysteries and concepts. This helps you find common ground or play one side against the other.

Manipulation of social situations points to CHA, but understanding is WIS.

As-is, the flavor text really does not point to using Charisma, which, when combined with the mechanics, make Charisma feel entirely forced.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As I said before, at least from my understanding.

Your proficiency is recalling the information, the charisma is applying it via sympathetic magics, its two things in one role essentially. That is how I view it. It is not learning about others via charimsa, it is learning then applying it via an ability steeped in charisma.

But for all I know, I could be wrong in my interpretation of said ability.


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Golurkcanfly wrote:
...Charisma feel entirely forced.

This resumes the entire perception I have about currently Thauma using cha!

It's not likely impossible to adjust the flavor and the class mechanics to do more sense with charisma. But this needs basically to rework the entire class.

The currently flavor describe well a good occult like explorer that uses his knowledge and experience to solve the problems. How was referenced in other topics being near to concepts of characters like Constantine, many supernatural investigators and vampire/witch/occult hunters. Is a very cool concept but is basically unrelated to the current key stat.

To charisma make more sense and Thauma gain the ability to "convince the universe" all the flavor and mechanics needs to be changed to something more close to oracles where the universe divine powers overflow them but in case of thaumaturges will be the characters "will" and emotions that will make changes in some concepts of the universe for their favor, similar to what a character like Neo from Matrix do. But for other side this would make the thauma concept even morer closer to a spontaneus spellcaster... it's just like "I'm almost a sorcerer but I don't wanna to be a spellcaster and now I'm a stranger martial".

That's are the points I currently don't accept well the thauma is being charisma based. In the end everything need to be forced to work like this.


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YuriP wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
...Charisma feel entirely forced.

This resumes the entire perception I have about currently Thauma using cha!

It's not likely impossible to adjust the flavor and the class mechanics to do more sense with charisma. But this needs basically to rework the entire class.

The currently flavor describe well a good occult like explorer that uses his knowledge and experience to solve the problems. How was referenced in other topics being near to concepts of characters like Constantine, many supernatural investigators and vampire/witch/occult hunters. Is a very cool concept but is basically unrelated to the current key stat.

To charisma make more sense and Thauma gain the ability to "convince the universe" all the flavor and mechanics needs to be changed to something more close to oracles where the universe divine powers overflow them but in case of thaumaturges will be the characters "will" and emotions that will make changes in some concepts of the universe for their favor, similar to what a character like Neo from Matrix do. But for other side this would make the thauma concept even morer closer to a spontaneus spellcaster... it's just like "I'm almost a sorcerer but I don't wanna to be a spellcaster and now I'm a stranger martial".

That's are the points I currently don't accept well the thauma is being charisma based. In the end everything need to be forced to work like this.

"Forced" is how I feel about the class in general. Just seems like a lot of different ideas that are forced together, with a primary mechanic that seems forced to make it a martial damage dealer, and with various Implements of highly variable usefulness forced into the same structure.

Some of that forcing is fine, but there's a lot of cracks in the foundation, like how it doesn't actually get the action economy support to use its other Esoterica (Scrolls and Talismans) well, or how it can't use its specialized skills outside of combat since the stats they use key off of its dump stats.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
pixierose wrote:
So the way I see find flaws works with Charisma is that, it is essentially two things in 1. You are figuring out a weakness this requires some level of knowledge( or proficiency if you will) in the subject and then you are applying your sympathetic magic(using your charisma). You aren't using your charisma to understand the thing,just like how a musician isn't using charisma to remember sheet music when they perform but Charisma is arguably an important part of the performance. It consolidates what you need to do into essentially one action.

Uh, yeah, CHA is really easy to see how it influences a performance even if its a guitarist playing a complicated plucking pattern or a particular scale.

Because the goal of the performance is to ultimately be entertaining.

The ultimate goal of a Recall Knowledge check is to learn about the opponent. It doesn't matter how much force of personality you exude if you're literally checking your memory for facts on the opponent nor does it factor into the success no matter how hard you fudge the concept honestly.

CHA by its very nature isn't an internally expressed attribute, so for it to produce internally productive results is weird. In that same way it would be weird if being stronger made it easier to read a book. Sure you can argue "well exercise helps blood flow to the brain!" but realistically the expected results from that type of thing is a stretch.

shrug

If I have to do a lot of mental gymnastics to make a concept work, it's always going to be unsavory for me. I'm glad others find the learning about others via CHA positve, I just don't.

Out of curiosity how does you understanding of Charisma rationalize Sorcerers? They use it to control the magic in their blood, thats a largely internal and inward facing power that doesnt involve convincing others to do things.

Liberty's Edge

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Midnightoker wrote:
If I have to do a lot of mental gymnastics to make a concept work, it's always going to be unsavory for me. I'm glad others find the learning about others via CHA positve, I just don't.

It is not learning about others IMO, whatever the playtest flavor text says, it is about forcing them to acknowledge that your attacks can hurt them badly. That is CHA.

If all that was needed was learning about others, it would be a skill available to any who knows enough, not a class feature exclusive to Thaumaturge.


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The-Magic-Sword wrote:

Out of curiosity how does you understanding of Charisma rationalize Sorcerers? They use it to control the magic in their blood, thats a largely internal and inward facing power that doesnt involve convincing others to do things.

The sorcerer is manifesting their internal power outwardly, confidence in being able to "dig deeper" in one-self to produce the results of their magic.

Using what's inside yourself to make an external change is the definition of CHA.

Using CHA to make an outward observation that results in an inward result (the knowledge gained from your observation) is the opposite of that.

If I use my force of nature to impose fear on another, that's me using my inner strength to impose my will on another. If a sorcerer casts a spell, they are using their inner strength to project their magic.

But when a Thaumaturge uses EA/Find Flaws, they are using their Inner Strength to create an inward result (the knowledge).

It's only with the roundabout "oh but they are applying the knowledge using CHA and that's why you get a bonus to the check!" explanation that it even follows the rules for CHA at all.

But the thing about that is, the result of the check isn't the expression of the ability, it's the gained knowledge. Which means the CHA resulted in an internal result. That's the part that doesn't really make sense.

If the CHA applied to EA and not to Find Flaws, there would be narrative consistency, but that's not how it works and the Class is drenched in flavortext that literally has the exact opposite premise (research, knowledge, etc. are all mentioned extremely often and there's no real mention at all of social, force of personality, or any key terms that base off CHA at all).

At least that's how Sorcerer sits to me. Because a Sorcerer uses inner strength to create outward results, that's pretty consistent with CHA. It's when CHA is used to create inward results that I stop being able to make sense of the chosen ability.

The Raven Black wrote:

It is not learning about others IMO, whatever the playtest flavor text says, it is about forcing them to acknowledge that your attacks can hurt them badly. That is CHA.

If all that was needed was learning about others, it would be a skill available to any who knows enough, not a class feature exclusive to Thaumaturge.

So your argument is that the flavor text of the class, the exact mechanics that are in the abilities (recalling knowledge), and feats like Dubious Knowledge is allconveniently misplaced in the Class to corroborate your personal view that CHA was a good choice?

We'll just have to say we disagree.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
pixierose wrote:

As I said before, at least from my understanding.

Your proficiency is recalling the information, the charisma is applying it via sympathetic magics, its two things in one role essentially. That is how I view it. It is not learning about others via charimsa, it is learning then applying it via an ability steeped in charisma.

But for all I know, I could be wrong in my interpretation of said ability.

I follow this concept. Like Sorcerers and Oracles use CHA for casting their spells. The Thaumaturge takes his factual knowledge (proficiency) and combines it intuitively--not formulaically--with folklore he's read and heard or personal experimentation to come up with a way to make his weapon anathema to a specific creature. They aren't actually turning their starknives into flaming weapons, but it trips the weakness to fire, so it's a kind of magic.

Maybe the conceptual problem some people have is with the "Find Flaws" ability. It's really all part of Esoteric Antithesis, it just becomes a lot of text with a variable (1-2) action if you mush them together. But when are you ever going to use Find Flaws without the intent of using Esoteric Antithesis? I'm fine leaving the abilities split because it makes it easier to understand/explain to the GM.

Maybe more appropriate might be to remove the gaining other knowledge if you already know the weaknesses. That's more out of theme for CHA. "I'm using the art of magic to make my weapon anathema to this slurk, but I already knew it had no weaknesses, so I happen to remember it can squirt stick goo out its back."

Liberty's Edge

I would divorce FF (currently twisted RK) and EA (currently apply weakness with your Strikes).

Here I follow the philosophy of allowing any mental stat as the Thaumaturge's KAS.

Make FF a free action (and maybe a reaction to Initiative) to use a 1-action activity that requires a mental skill check (skill based on INT, WIS or CHA). This would cover RK, but also Demoralize, Feint, Bon Mot ...

Make EA a 1-action that you can use when your last action was using FF to inflict a disadvantage on the check's target if they fail a Will save vs your class DC.

The idea here is that FF+EA is always 1-action. Which might even become free action at higher levels.

The disadvantage could be a custom weakness, that would come in addition to any existing ones, a condition (choice based on your level, maybe following the Champion's Mercy feats), or gaining a resistance vs the target's attacks.

And your Strikes triggering weaknesses would go to Implement's Empowerment, where you could choose a trait (and maybe several at higher levels) to add to your Strikes specifically for the purpose of triggering weaknesses or bypassing resistances.

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