What Arcane Schools should have been part of the Remastered Wizard?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


As the topic says, what arcane schools do you think should have been part of the remastered wizard from the get go?

I'm not asking for advice on how to make them myself. Obviously I can homebrew my own. I'm just curious about what the community, and especially Wizard mains, would have added.

I'll go first;

School of Necromancy. Given how a necromancer is such an iconic fantasy wizard,
and how a necromancer (Tar Baphon) has had such a major and lasting effect on Golarion, it seems amazing to me that there isn't a school dedicated to it.
The School of Boundary seems the closest to an undead/death magic focused wizard.

School of Extraplanar Servants. Another iconic image is that of a wizard summoning and binding or bargaining with extraplanar creatures. Again, with so many examples of fiends, genies etc being summoned to great effect in Golarion lore, it's a bit surprising there aren't schools dedicated to it.

What do you think? What schools do you think are missing? Alternatively, what schools have you come up with for your own games?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I agree. With both Geb and Tar-Baphon as the most powerful Necromancers in history and Major World Influences. We needed a Necromancy School.

School of The Scourge


Natan Linggod 327 wrote:

As the topic says, what arcane schools do you think should have been part of the remastered wizard from the get go?

I'm not asking for advice on how to make them myself. Obviously I can homebrew my own. I'm just curious about what the community, and especially Wizard mains, would have added.

I'll go first;

School of Necromancy. Given how a necromancer is such an iconic fantasy wizard,
and how a necromancer (Tar Baphon) has had such a major and lasting effect on Golarion, it seems amazing to me that there isn't a school dedicated to it.
The School of Boundary seems the closest to an undead/death magic focused wizard.

School of Extraplanar Servants. Another iconic image is that of a wizard summoning and binding or bargaining with extraplanar creatures. Again, with so many examples of fiends, genies etc being summoned to great effect in Golarion lore, it's a bit surprising there aren't schools dedicated to it.

What do you think? What schools do you think are missing? Alternatively, what schools have you come up with for your own games?

Necromancy should have been an arcane school post-remaster. Perhaps named "School of Void Wizardry" or "School of Unlife".


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My players and I started the Strength of Thousands adventure path a month ago, so I wondered why the wizard schools lacked one based on the Magaambya School of Magic, the setting of the adventure path. It would have an emphasis on primal spells useful in practical service, such as Deep Breath, Illuminate, Ant Haul, Summon Animal, Summon Plant or Fungus, Cauterize Wounds, Marvelous Mount, etc.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I agree that a school dedicated to "necromancy" (probably with a name change and tweaks, maybe a few overlaps/nods to occultism/spirits, to make it broader than just undead) should be included at some point.

"Extraplanar servants" is probably too narrow (and boring, IMO); it's just renaming summoning to poach spells from other traditions (remember, binding extraplanar creatures is done using rituals [call spirit, elemental servitor, planar servitor, etc.] in PF2 instead of spells...). It also is probably too close to the already existing School of the Boundary.

For PF2R wizards at the Magaambya, they probably study the School of Civic Wizardry and use a (free) multiclass archetype (possibly druid, or more likely witch with the Wilding Steward patron) to gain spells from the Primal list.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

A school that focuses on changing, manipulating, and strengthening/weakening non-living/manufactured objects the way the School of Protean Form does for living forms/bodies could be interesting. Maybe moving in a similar direction as the alchemist, inventor, and the old 3.x artificer (but better balanced and different implementation).

The School of Clockwork perhaps, to tie it to the Azlanti tradition of constructs...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dragonchess Player wrote:

A school that focuses on changing, manipulating, and strengthening/weakening non-living/manufactured objects the way the School of Protean Form does for living forms/bodies could be interesting. Maybe moving in a similar direction as the alchemist, inventor, and the old 3.x artificer (but better balanced and different implementation).

The School of Clockwork perhaps, to tie it to the Azlanti tradition of constructs...

A tradition like this based off the Golemworks in Magnimar as the school would be cool.

I would also really like a conjuring school with a School focus spell that gets extra options as it heightens like giving a summon an extra action, sustaining multiple minions(maybe even with a lingering composition type effect with a skill check to not have to sustain for 1 or more rounds)


Arcane should have few to no “necromamcy” spells (divine/occult only) so no to that one.


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Frankly idk if they needed more as much as more time to be fleshed out


Xenocrat wrote:
Arcane should have few to no “necromamcy” spells (divine/occult only) so no to that one.

I also agree with this


A school devoted to using calculations and arcane formulae to try and divine the future. That or a school dedicated to spying and seeing stuff from far away without being noticed.


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Perpdepog wrote:
A school devoted to using calculations and arcane formulae to try and divine the future.

This is a neat idea, but how do you see this idea represented? Saying 'uses calculations and formulae to divine the future' is a neat flavour, but it seems like the practical effect would be a curriculum with, like, the three Arcane prediction spells on it and then maybe some math-related spells thrown in for theme. I like the idea, but the how they do it (calculations/formulae) part of the concept doesn't have as much mechanical impact as the what they do (predict the future), and the question that Arcane Schools first and foremost propose to answer is the latter; "What does this particular wizard do?"

(now, naturally they'd have a cool focus spell that allows them to narratively calculate the trajectory of something to twist fate in their favoure, but what else does somebody who uses formulas to predict the future do with their magic?)


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Culinary Arts. I will not explain further.


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"School of Adulting Life" would still be my number 1 choice of collegiate magic degree 10/10 times. Phantasmal minion, mending, light, prestidigitation, gentle landing (slips, trips, and falls are a leading cause of death at home), approximate, time sense, bullhorn (call the kids back from across the field), and calm (de-escalation is preservation) would always be useful to everybody and I would jump at the chance to get my degree in magical home economics.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Greg.Everham wrote:
Culinary Arts. I will not explain further.

IMO, this should be a research field for an alchemist that focuses on alchemical food instead of a wizard school.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I feel like "necromancy" never really was one school of magic in any RPG.

There was "raise the dead and use them as pawns" which I think is covered better by the school of the boundary than it was by the PF2 necromancer. It probably isn't enough for folks who wanted the "army of undead minions: but that was never going to be a wizard class in PF2. It is an NPC class that requires rituals, narrative manipulation, and massive level imbalances to be a functional game element. Like you actually can do it as a PC, but you will only ever be a threat to enemies much lower level than you with your armies of undead...which actually works really well for all the big NPC necromancers in setting.

What is still missing though is the "I steal your life" necromancer. A school that had a focus spell that did cool things when you had temporary HP, and gave spells like false vitality, vampiric feast, and other less-undeady spells, and more "false life manipulating" type spells that work towards making the caster more tanky and difficult to kill would be a cool school. I don't know if that would be a good fit for the Ustalav school that combines some aspects of necromancy with electricity manipulation spells as well, or it that would make the theme too loose.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Unicore wrote:


There was "raise the dead and use them as pawns" which I think is covered better by the school of the boundary than it was by the PF2 necromancer. It probably isn't enough for folks who wanted the "army of undead minions: but that was never going to be a wizard class in PF2. It is an NPC class that requires rituals, narrative manipulation, and massive level imbalances to be a functional game element. Like you actually can do it as a PC, but you will only ever be a threat to enemies much lower level than you with your armies of undead...which actually works really well for all the big NPC necromancers in setting.

Honestly, I think School of the Boundary is actually a great platform to hang that off of-- Spiral of Horrors is a phenomenally consistent to-hit increase for your pets that the rest of your party benefits from and it stacks with Fortify Summoning, getting them to +2, or more efficiently depending on your Archetype Progression, Reanimator. It also stacks well with Undead Master and Mature Companion (for action econ efficiency) and eventually, and you aren't restricted to just summoning the undead (undead eidolon Summoners are better at undead minionmancy imo, using the other undead to support your eidolon.)

It's not an army as such, but I think getting a couple of things on the field and supporting them and the rest of your party well is a good version of that, that isn't very "pie in the sky" but you can kinda get that too if your GM breaks the troop trait rule, and lets you summon Troops and Weak Troops as they become appropriate.

Sovereign Court

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I think the big missed opportunity is for the school curriculae to get you a few spells from beyond the arcane tradition, or maybe just unique arcane spells that are unique to that school. "The secrets of our school" is a big theme for wizards.

Also, consider that other classes do LOTS of borrowing from other traditions. Sorcerer bloodline spells, with lessons, psychic conscious minds, cleric deity spells, oracle mystery and divine access..

The only caster classes that stick closely to their own spell list are the wizard, magus (wizard that goes to the gym) and bard.


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The issue with Necromancy as an Arcane school is that Necromancy is mechanically rooted in Divine tradition. To identify Undead (or other similar creatures), you need a Religion skill, not an Arcana skill. Sure, there is Additional Lore (Necromancy), but that's honestly not very helpful, nor is it baseline to the school.

Also, all the other Undead/Necromancy-based options (Sorcerer Bloodline, Summoner Eidolon, etc.) are all Divine. Not Arcane. They have more/stronger spells related to Necromancy on top of it all, meaning Arcane spellcasters are at a serious disadvantage by comparison.

Honestly, the whole "Arcane Necromancy" trope doesn't really fit well with Golarion mechanically (and by consequence, narratively), and is ultimately a holdover of both PF1 as well as classic tropes that seemingly don't function well here anymore. Even with Tar-Baphon and Geb, they are able to do so because the setting/plot lets them, and are ultimately anomalous artifacts of what is typical within the setting/mechanics.


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Ascalaphus wrote:

I think the big missed opportunity is for the school curriculae to get you a few spells from beyond the arcane tradition, or maybe just unique arcane spells that are unique to that school. "The secrets of our school" is a big theme for wizards.

Also, consider that other classes do LOTS of borrowing from other traditions. Sorcerer bloodline spells, with lessons, psychic conscious minds, cleric deity spells, oracle mystery and divine access..

The only caster classes that stick closely to their own spell list are the wizard, magus (wizard that goes to the gym) and bard.

During the 2e playtest teaser, I expected wizards to be given some kind of poaching ability according to their chosen school, but that didn't end up being the direction things went. I can understand it would have been a challenge to both balance and futureproof (pick one) but it would have been most interesting.

Narratively we've been given to understand the reason why the arcane list is so large is because of wizards who took the time to recreate other traditions' magic using their own techniques, which is fine enough justification for wizard poaching, but it seems the wizardly work also democratised those spells for every Arcane caster, even those who didn't get their knowledge through study


The schools seem pretty complete to me. I think all they need is the ability to choose from a couple of focus spells to give them just a touch more flexibility and they'll cover all of the suggestions here. I actually genuinely struggle to come up with something that doesn't significantly step on the toes of the other schools.

The only unique school I can think of is an ecological school about understanding thew world around them and that's probably a good way to bring in things like the elementalist archetype.

Unicore wrote:

I feel like "necromancy" never really was one school of magic in any RPG.

There was "raise the dead and use them as pawns" which I think is covered better by the school of the boundary than it was by the PF2 necromancer. It probably isn't enough for folks who wanted the "army of undead minions: but that was never going to be a wizard class in PF2. It is an NPC class that requires rituals, narrative manipulation, and massive level imbalances to be a functional game element. Like you actually can do it as a PC, but you will only ever be a threat to enemies much lower level than you with your armies of undead...which actually works really well for all the big NPC necromancers in setting.

What is still missing though is the "I steal your life" necromancer. A school that had a focus spell that did cool things when you had temporary HP, and gave spells like false vitality, vampiric feast, and other less-undeady spells, and more "false life manipulating" type spells that work towards making the caster more tanky and difficult to kill would be a cool school. I don't know if that would be a good fit for the Ustalav school that combines some aspects of necromancy with electricity manipulation spells as well, or it that would make the theme too loose.

I think boundary covers the drain life necromancy and Frankenstein esque electrical necromancy pretty well. If you think of manipulating life force as a boundary many won't cross then the connection to boundaries is obvious.

Spiral of horrors works as well for tanking as it does for summons but you might want to replace fortify summon with a different focus spell for that purpose.

Perpedog wrote:
A school devoted to using calculations and arcane formulae to try and divine the future. That or a school dedicated to spying and seeing stuff from far away without being noticed.

I think divination and spying are covered pretty well with ars grammatica. The description makes them sound very focused on writing but if you think about it as generally being interested in communication and information they're an obvious pick for a kind of research spy decoding messages ect... Where as protean form is the master of disguise and mentalist is the grand manipulator.

The focus on writing and wards also easily extends to math


Greg.Everham wrote:
Culinary Arts. I will not explain further.

Gastromancy.

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