Paizo’s put out their third preview for the final Pathfinder rules, and this time it showcases the famous iconic sorcerer, Seoni, at level 10! Let’s take a look. Yep, she’s still built like a brick shithouse. I need to figure out which Golarion country is the source of her quite-advanced cosmetic surgery.
In 3.x, I didn’t like the sorcerer that much. It was too similar to the wizard. A mechanical difference (spontaneous casting vs prepared casting) didn’t seem like something to bother basing a PHB core class on. Its main niche, really, was as an NPC class, so that hideous goopy monsters could cast spells without having a spell book around. In our gaming group, it was mainly used as a dip class for someone that needed just a little arcane casting.
Pathfinder’s helped that out some with the full-scale adoption of the bloodline concept. 3.x hinted at a “draconic bloodline” in sorcerers that gave them their power. In Pathfinder, they take that a big step farther and have a wide variety of bloodlines a sorcerer can take, that give unique powers and have different feels to them. Seoni has the “arcane” (aka lamest) bloodline. I wish they had showed off a more flavorful one. In our Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign, our sorcerer Valash has the air elemental bloodline. Check his level 13 build here. He can do electric at-will zappies, a big blast once per day, has electricity resistance, etc.
The other bloodlines in the beta were abyssal, aberrant, celestial, destined, draconic, elemental, fey, infernal, and undead. Bloodlines are not overwhelmingly powerful, but a nice addition that adds as much flavor as “kewl powerz.” It justifies sorcerer more as a separate class in my mind rather than a variant wizard class option (“Spontaneous Casting: Get two more spells per level per day and you don’t have to prepare them but you can only know X/level!” Look, there’s an entire class writeup.)
To me, that’s the big deal. The smaller changes and tweaks (d6 HD, specific spells, etc.) are fine but not terribly interesting except to the number-wonks.