Now that Pathfinder Second Edition (PF2) has been out in the wild for three months, it’s becoming much easier to see the positive differences when compared to First Edition. Both systems have bright spots, but a huge change for the better lies in adjustments to the magic system.
Notably, I’m a big fan of the ability to heal hit point damage between encounters without the use of magical items. In First Edition, there was constant spamming of wands in between combats. We’re talking Cure Light Wounds until the cows come home.
With Pathfinder Section Edition, however, we get to make better use of the Medicine skill to nurse our injuries. The Treat Wounds ability allows characters to heal others, restoring hit points over the period of an hour.
The difference with this skill versus using a wand in First Edition is that players need to consider the time investment associated with the healing. Worlds are not stagnant, and baddies will be moving even if the party remains still. Gamemasters should always consider this, which gives additional weight to the players’ actions.
With magic still on the brain, it’s time for this week’s topic: the Sorcerer! By now, you’re well-acquainted with the format; I’m listing out five character concepts to help you in brainstorming for creative Sorcerer builds. Each one has a brief description, some questions to ask yourself, and a Pathmap suggesting mechanics to accompany the fluff.
Let’s not linger – the Sorcerer awaits!
Pathfinder 2nd Edition Sorcerer Class
Sorcerers are direct conduits of magic. They didn’t acquire their abilities through careful study, like Wizards. Instead, they are born with the innate ability to control that power and grow more potent over time. This magic can take on many forms; it might grant physical strength or mental prowess. Sorcerers may not have access to as many spells as the other casters, but one might say that their focus is more specific than wide.
What Sorcerers lack in variety, they make up for in potential. They manipulate the world around them in terrifying ways, turning dispositions and controlling the ebbs and flows of the battlefield. Crowd control is the name of the game.
Sometimes a Sorcerer’s past is shrouded in mystery, and they spend time searching out the secrets that grant them their abilities. Independence is second nature. After all, when you have extraordinary talent it’s quite easy to handle the world on your own.
When choosing to portray a Sorcerer, it’s important to understand how the character uses magic to supplement their ability. Some might shy away from its constant use, while others might hungrily devour magical sources at every chance presented to them. It’s literally in their blood.
Sorcerers have a natural ability to explore inner struggles and stories of coming to terms with their power. Depending on when the magic manifested itself, this might be focused on retaining control or not being tempted by their potential.
You hail from a community that is often under siege by enemies or dangerous creatures. It’s your responsibility to shore up the defenses and ensure that you’re able to repel the invaders. Since your settlement is nestled into the mountains, you are able to channel the magic inside you to use the earth itself as an ally. Or maybe you’re from a volcanic region, or near the sea. Either way, you call upon nature’s help to assist your people.
Knowledge of past battles is emblazoned in your mind, and you can recite how events transpired down to the minute. With such an exceptional memory, you’d think you could to remember to act with compassion and fairness; when it comes to protecting the people you love, there is no place for emotion. People put up with your short temper and cold demeanor because of your track record for success. It just might not always be the case.
What are some of the most memorable defensive maneuvers that you’ve used? Are there any tactics specifically named after you? What is your natural connection to the land? Can you command any of the elements? Have you ever lost someone close to you in a battle? Do you give your emotions a long leash, or do they bubble right underneath the skin?
Have your services been requested by neighboring settlements? Do others come to learn under your guiding hand, or do you keep your secrets to yourself? Are you constantly preparing to fight the same foes? How do you adapt to changing conditions? Are you innovative, or do you prefer to use tactics that are tried and true? What pieces of your memory are foggy or purposefully blacked out? Where does your power originate?
- Bloodline: Elemental
- Ability Scores: Wisdom, Constitution
- Skills: Warfare Lore, Intimidation, Athletics
- Sample Spells: Acid Splash, Produce Flame, Light, Tanglefoot, Ant Haul (1st), Fleet Step (1st)
- Sorcerer Feats: Widen Spell, Cantrip Expansion (2nd), Primal Evolution (4th), Advanced Bloodline (6th), Crossblooded Evolution (8th), Overwhelming Energy (10th), Bloodline Focus (12th), Interweave Dispel (14th), Greater Vital Evolution (16th), Greater Crossblooded Evolution (18th), Bloodline Perfection (20th)
Although you might not share the same pallid complexion of a typical zombie, you have a similar blood coursing through your body. At times it compels you to perform actions without thinking, sometimes causing you to lose consciousness or suffer memory loss. You hear voices in your head that you don’t recognize, but at the same time they feel familiar. Although successful in many pursuits, you are always left wanting more. You just can’t seem to place what is missing from your life; it’s almost a primal urge.
You might feel most at home in the dark and the shadows. Or perhaps you’ve had some level of success pushing those ancient whispers from your mind and the public is none the wiser to your compulsions. Making relationships isn’t your strong suit. In fact, normal conversation might be difficult due to the extra ‘company’ bouncing around your head. Death seems to follow you. You have never been the cause, but when it happens you feel something extraordinary.
Do you consider your connection to undeath a blessing or a curse? Have you tried to find a cure or done any research to determine what could be going on? Has that led to a chosen career in academia, genealogy, or medicine? What do your friends and family think? Do any of them share a similar condition or even know about your internal struggles? Have you embraced your power? Can you control it with any regularity or consistency?
Are there any places where your power seems amplified? Have you discovered anything about your lineage that has given you this undead power? Have you tried to get into contact with them, perhaps through supernatural means? Do you have an evil side? What seems to be the driving force to the voices in your head? Are the conversations with them one-sided, or do they respond to you? Are you serving as a conduit for someone else’s unfinished business?
- Bloodline: Undead
- Ability Scores: Strength, Dexterity
- Skills: Pharasma Lore, Medicine, Occultism
- Sample Spells: Chill Touch, Disrupt Undead, Forbidding Ward, Read Aura, Detect Poison (1st), Fear (1st)
- Sorcerer Feats: Dangerous Sorcery, Cantrip Expansion (2nd), Bespell Weapon (4th), Advanced Bloodline (6th), Bloodline Resistance (8th), Greater Bloodline (10th), Bloodline Focus (12th), Interweave Dispel (14th), Effortless Concentration (16th), Bloodline Wellspring (18th), Bloodline Conduit (20th)
Well aren’t you the charmer! Your looks have always gotten you into and out of trouble. There’s just something about you that people find alluring. They never expect the handsome face to be accompanied by a fiery personality. You can be abrasive, but that mostly comes from your strong desire to uphold your reputation. If someone is going to threaten that, they’ve got another thing coming. You’re a sweet-talker, using the flourish of your words to convince others of whatever you wish.
Having so much free reign has definitely shaped your demeanor and outlook on life; you are carefree and have unrealistic expectations of actual consequences. Sometimes you wish that people would look past your looks and consider your other skills. That would be a nice change of pace. You find yourself turning to your powers as an escape, using them to get out of unfavorable situations or as a reminder that you’re so much more than a pretty face.
Have you always been a troublemaker or was it something that developed as a part of your abilities? Do people fear you, or do you fear yourself? Is your chauvinistic attitude a strong front to hide your true personality? Do you know the source of your powers? When did they first manifest? Have you ever had personal contact with a devil? What happened in that encounter?
Does mischief seem to follow you? What kind of people do you normally associate with? Are you a criminal? Have you ever gotten kicked out of an establishment due to your abilities? Do you have any love interests? Can they see past your looks for who you really are? What is your greatest desire or aspiration in life? Do you like to be the center of attention, or are you sick of people being drawn to you?
- Bloodline: Diabolic
- Ability Scores: Charisma, Dexterity
- Skills: Underworld Lore, Diplomacy, Stealth
- Sample Spells: Daze, Detect Magic, Know Direction, Divine Lance, Alarm (1st), Command (1st)
- Sorcerer Feats: Counterspell, Cantrip Expansion (2nd), Divine Evolution (4th), Steady Spellcasting (6th), Bloodline Resistance (8th), Quickened Casting (10th), Magic Sense (12th), Reflect Spell (14th), Greater Vital Evolution (16th), Bloodline Wellspring (18th), Metamagic Mastery (20th)
To say that you’ve always been a bit different would be an understatement. You tend to dance to the beat of your own drum, you just might not be entirely sure of where that beat is originating. You probably embrace your uniqueness, knowing that what sets you apart makes you stand a head above the rest. The cosmos are always calling to you, and looking out at a resplendent night sky perpetuates your desires to seek answers to the unknown. You crave knowledge and eagerly gobble up tomes and texts. Figuratively, of course.
You might not know the true nature of your family tree. Maybe that’s because you were raised by foster parents or by a larger community, but you feel like a piece of you is missing. Your curiosity is your passion. Since you may have little information to go on, you absorb everything in case there is a tiny hint about your past contained within. Conversing with people is easy and natural for you, even if they don’t identify with you on a personal level. You love the world and everything contained within and outside it. Other people might actually be drawn to your passion; your positivity might even rub off on them.
What do you know, or what have you learned, about your past? Do you come from a long line of astronomers? How do you exhibit your individuality? Do you like to be in the limelight or do you prefer to keep to yourself? Have you ever been treated with disrespect because of your differences to the people around you? Between the two, would you prefer power or respect?
Do you travel a lot? How does adventuring fit into your current lifestyle? Do people tend to take you seriously? What personality quirks do you possess? Have you ever been contacted by someone, or something, from another plane? Have you visited another plane? Do you have any connections to the First World? What are your most beneficial skills? Do you transcribe new knowledge that you learn, or do you try to remember it?
- Bloodline: Aberrant
- Ability Scores: Intelligence, Charisma
- Skills: Astral Plane Lore, Religion, Arcana
- Sample Spells: Dancing Lights, Guidance, Telekinetic Projectile, Prestidigitation, Color Spray (1st), Grim Tendrils (1st)
- Sorcerer Feats: Familiar, Enhanced Familiar (2nd), Occult Evolution (4th), Steady Spellcasting (6th), Crossblooded Evolution (8th), Overwhelming Energy (10th), Magic Sense (12th), Interweave Dispel (14th), Greater Mental Evolution (16th), Greater Crossblooded Evolution (18th), Bloodline Conduit (20th)
Living alone, you have developed quite the reputation among children as being terrifying and evil. The truth is, you are just tired of the trappings of civilization, and a simpler life suits you better. Money doesn’t matter much to you, but having less means that your cottage is in disrepair. You also don’t need to keep up your appearance, so you aren’t as clean-cut as the people from the city. Put it all together, and you can see how someone might perceive you as a bit scary.
You might be quiet and reserved, not wanting to cause problems. You’re probably older and filled with all kinds of valuable life experiences. There might even be some people who stop by at your corner of the woods to hear your stories. Kept company by your handful of pets, you are well-liked by those who take the time to get to know you. Unfortunately, your blood has some kind of corruption within it that might make gardening impossible or prevent you from experiencing true love. Or perhaps your curse was to take on the form of a leshy, setting you up as an outcast from the rest of your family. Whatever it is, you are strong and resilient.
What is the curse and who put it on your family? Is there a way that you would be able to break it or undo the damage that was done? How do you stay positive amidst your hardship? Was there anything in particular that drove you to a life of solitude? What stories can you share about your life? Do you have an opinion about the things that people whisper behind your back? What companions live with you?
Do you ever go back to the city in a disguise so that people don’t recognize you? Are you constantly antagonized? Have you developed any bad habits while living by yourself? How do you handle yourself in social situations? Do you have any children or other family? Do you have a desire to see what other great things the wilderness of Golarion has to offer? Are you hiding from your past?
- Bloodline: Hag
- Ability Scores: Intelligence, Wisdom
- Skills: Swamp Lore, Deception, Crafting
- Sample Spells: Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Read Aura, Shield, Soothe (1st), Sanctuary (1st)
- Sorcerer Feats: Familiar, Enhanced Familiar (2nd), Occult Evolution (4th), Advanced Bloodline (6th), Bloodline Resistance (8th), Greater Bloodline (10th), Bloodline Focus (12th), Interweave Dispel (14th), Effortless Concentration (16th), Bloodline Wellspring (18th), Bloodline Perfection (20th)
Pathfinder 2E Sorcerer Class – Feel the Power!
Sorcerers are really interesting because of their multitude of bloodlines. It helps each one feel unique and gives them a headstart on their backstory. They also have access to some very powerful spells, making them nothing short of an asset to every adventuring party.
Next week will be the penultimate entry of the series, when I discuss the Wizard. After that, I’ll have a nice little master post with an overview of all the classes and links to the individual entries. It will then remain dormant until the first batch of supplementary classes are released.
Join me next week for a fun dive into one of the longest-running staples in tabletop roleplaying games.
Until then, find the source of your power!