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Pathfinder 2e - Sorcerer Bloodlines Breakdown

Last Updated: July 8th, 2021

Introduction

The Sorcerer's bloodline serves as their subclass. Sorcerer bloodlines provide the Sorcerer with their spell list, additional spells known at each spell level, Trained skills at level 1, and access to Focus Spells.

For more on the Sorcerer, see my full Sorcerer Handbook. For the full list of Sorcerer Bloodlines and their full descriptions, see Archives of Nethys.

Aberrant

The Aberrant Bloodline's capabilities depend too much on touch-ranged spells. Tentacular Limbs helps somewhat, but being constantly within 10 feet of your foes is a terrifying and dangerous place for a sorcerer to be. If you go this route, take the Reach Spell feat or get a familiar and plan to depend on those options heavily.

  • Spell List: Occult.
  • Bloodline Skills:
    • Intimidation: A great fit for the Sorcerer, especially at low levels where your Action options are limited and you'll frequently have time to Demoralize targets in between spells.
    • Occultism: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Daze: The best critical effect of any cantrip, but the damage only improves by 1d6 every two spell levels. If you choose this, it's for the Stunned effect when the target critically fails its save. Still, this could be a good option for big brutish enemies like ogres which have poor Will saves and typically don't resist Mental damage.
    2. Spider Sting: The damage is fine at low levels, but to get the full effects you need to hit with this in the first round or two so that the poison has time to (hopefully) deal damage for four rounds.
    3. Touch of Idiocy: Situational by design. A great countermeasure to enemy spellcasters (especially if they're not Wisdom-based casters), but useless otherwise.
    4. Vampiric Touch: A great way to pad your durability. The temporary hit points only last one minute, so if you want to cast this you should do it early in a fight to mitigate any damage that you might take. It appears that you can get more temporary hit points than the target's current hit points (other spell's like the Undead Bloodline's Drain Life specify how they work in this case), so you may be able to use your bag of rats and Vampiric Touch a rat right before jumping into combat.
    5. Confusion: I am extremely nervous about the Confused condition because it leaves room for the GM to interpret it in a way that's deliberately unhelpful. Your best-case scenario for this is to cast Confusion on an enemy who is in a crowd of other enemies so that they have numerous targets to attack who aren't you or your allies.
    6. Black Tentacles: Excellent area control with a duration long enough to get through a fight, and you don't need to Sustain it. Unfortunately it doesn't work in mid-air, and after the initial casting targets need to end their turn in the effect to be affected, so it's very difficult to hit additional targets.
    7. Feeblemind: Save-or-suck for spellcasters. This is situaitonal by design, but spellcasters are common enough and powerful enough that this might still see some use. The effects are excellent, and despite having the Incapacitation trait, hoping for a standard Failure is enough to massively inhibit powerful enemy spellcasters. Against non-spellcasters, the critical failure effect is still a significant debuff, but it's hard to gamble on a critical failure.
    8. Warp Mind: This is not so much better than Confusion that it justifies 3 full spell levels difference. The effects are mostly similar. The big draw of Warp Mind is that its effects can be permanent, but the enemies where that matters are going to be enemies where the Incapacitation trait applies so a Critical Failure isn't a possibility.
    9. Uncontrollable Dance: Forcing the target to spend several of their Actions to "dance" means that they're not spending those Actions hurting you, and spending 2 Actions to cost your target 3 or more is a decent trait. The target also loses the ability to Step, which may be as impactful as the Actions which they must spend dancing. Where this spell struggles is finding a suitable target on which to use it. This is single-target with the Incapacitation trait, which makes it hard to find targets who are both powerful enough to justify the spell slot and who are going to fail the save often enough to risk this.
    10. Unathomable Song: The effects are unpredictable, which makes me very nervous, but they're still good enough that you should be able to seriously inhibit the targets. Since this can target five creatures and has the Incapacitation trait, your best bet is to use this in encounters with numerous relatively weak foes (ideally 5, but I would be happy with 4 targets), and keep this running as long as you have enough targets affected to justify it. Keep in mind that a Critical Success on the subsequent saves still makes the target immune to the spell so they're no longer in your pool of affected targets, so you really don't want t use this on targets that are high enough level that the Incapacitation trait applies
  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Tentacular Limbs: Extending the reach of touch spells beyond 5 feet allows you to use them without getting into melee and potentially provoking Reactions, not to mention the Actions you don't spend to Stride in and out of reach. Touch spells don't make up a huge proportion of your spell list, but the Aberrant Bloodline's spell list includes touch spells at levels 1, 2, and 3, so you're going to get some use out of this at low levels even if it falls out of favor at higher levels when your options are more diverse.
    • Advanced: Aberrant Whispers: I love the concept and the mechanics of this spell, but the effects aren't good enough. Stupefied is a nice bebuff if you can follow this with another spell that targets Will saves, but it's difficult to fit the Actions for Aberrant Whispers and the Actions for another spell into the same turn. There's also no more than a 50% chance that targets will be stupified simply due to the d20 scale and PF2's mechanics for degrees of success. Creatures which critically fail are Confused, which is a very different outcome, and might leave you surrounded by enemies attacking targets (including you) at random. Your best-case scenario for this spell is to cast it when you're surrounded by a mob of enemies, then either follow it with an AOE spell which targets Will saves or flee the area depending on the results of your targets' saves.
    • Greater: Unusual Anatomy: A decent defensive buff, especially for a 1-Action casting cost. The acid damage looks very exciting, but before you rush into melee to try to capitalize on it, remember that t you're a sorcerer with terrible AC and few hit points.
  • Blood Magic: The bonus is good, but it's only to one type of save so it's only situationally useful. The majority of encounters won't involve Will saves, and even against foes who target Will saves your enemies may be able to pivot to other options.

Angelic

The go-to option for a sorcerer seeking to fill the role in a party typically filled by a cleric. The Granted Spells offer a good selection of iconic spells from the Divine Spell List, and while they're not all amazing options, you get a lot of staples, leaving you plenty of room to diversify the rest of your Spell Repertoire. The Angelic Bloodline's Focus Spells complement the rest on the subclass nicely, and provide some powerful tactical options that you can expect to use frequently and to great effect. Even the skills are good, and fit the theme and the role very well.

Taken as a whole, this is an excellent bloodline with a lot to offer. It does exactly what you want in a way that's both effective and easy to play. You could drop an angelic bloodline sorcerer into a party in place of a back-line cleric with little difficulty.

Several of the Angelic Bloodline's spells rely on your deity's alignment, your party members' alignments, and your enemies' alignments. For the maximum benefits, choose a deity that's at one of the extremes (lawful-good, chaotic-good, lawful-evil, chaotic-evil), play in a party that shares your deity's alignment, and face enemies that oppose your deity's alignment.

  • Spell List: Divine
  • Bloodline Skills:
    • Diplomacy: The king of Face skills. If you didn't get it for free here you should still get it Trained.
    • Religion: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Light: A staple utility option, but you can replace it with torches or a cheap permanent magic item.
    2. Heal: Essential in nearly any party. You don't want to put a lot of spell slots into hit point restoration (use Medicine between combats instead), but there will inevitably be situations where your party needs some quick healing. This is a good candidate for a Signature Spell.
    3. Spiritual Weapon: Very efficient damage for the spell slot, especially in a long fight. The damage scaling isn't fantastic, but even as you gain levels, casting this using a low-level spell slot may be a more effiicent use of Actions than casting cantrips.
    4. Searing Light: Situational by design, and fire resistance is common among fiends so one of the two justifiable targets is going to resist a bunch of the damage (though Vulnerability to Good Damage may offset this).
    5. Divine Wrath: Roughly as much damage as a 3rd-level Fireball, so the big appeals are the ability to drop this on your allies without harming them and the Sickened/Slowed effects. This doesn't have the Incapacitation trait, so against enemies with poor Fortitude saves it's a great way to rob them of some Actions if you get lucky and they roll a Critical Failure.
    6. Flame Strike: 2d6 less damage than Fireball cast the same level and a smaller AOE, but ignoring resistance and bypassing Immunity can easily make up the difference in base damage.
    7. Blade Barrier: Good area control, good damage of a good type, and a good duration without needing to Sustain the spell. The 3-Acton casting time is hard, but if you can get this in place it can quickly define the outcome of a fight. If your party has the ability to push enemies into the wall repeatedly, abusing the wall quickly becomes the defining tactical feature of an encounter.
    8. Divine Decree: Very similar in concept to Divine Wrath. What makes Divine Decree interesting is its massive AOE and its Critical Failure effect. Use this in encounters with large numbers of low-level foes to quickly clear the field.
    9. Divine Aura: An excellent defensive buff, and the growing AOE will allow your allies to gradually spread out as you Sustain the spell.
    10. Foresight: An excellent defensive buff with a great duration so you can cast it well ahead of time.
  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Angelic Halo: Outside of combat you want to rely on Medicine for healing as much as possible, which means that in most cases you're going to use this in combat. The 1-Action casting time is easy to fit into a turn in which you cast a 1-Action or 2-Action Heal. You'll get the most benefit from Angelic Halo if you use the 3-Action version of Heal, but it may be difficult to set up Angelic Halo ahead of time to do this.

      Because the benefits of Angelic Halo scale with spell level, it does a lot to keep low-level versions of Heal effective as you gain levels. A 1st-level 3-Action Heal can heal as much as 1d8+20, which is impressive for such a low-level spell slot.

      Despite these benefits, you still want to minimize healing during combat as much as possible. Ending encounters quickly by defeating your enemies will prevent more damage than you could reasonably heal and will save previous resources like spell slots.

    • Advanced: Angelic Wings: Magical flight without spending Actions to Sustain the spell. The duration is short, but it's enough to get you through a fight. Because the duration doesn't scale until you can cast 5th-level spells, you might delay taking this until you can cast 5th-level spells and either retrain a class feat at level 9 or spend your level 10 class feat to get Advanced Bloodline.
    • Greater: Celestial Brand: Excellent for focusing your party's attention on a single major foe, especially if you're in a party that relies on making numerous strikes. 1d4 damage isn't massive, but duplicated across numerous strikes will add up quickly, and with a 1-Action casting time it's easy to fit this into your turns.
  • Blood Magic: The bonus is small, and not every encounter will involve saving throws, but this will apply frequently enough to be meaningful over the course of your career.

Demonic

In some ways the philosophical opposite of the Angelic Bloodline, the Demonic Bloodline also uses the Divine Spell List, but the remainder of the subclass is more focused on offensive options. While a demonic sorcerer can still replace a cleric in a party, they'll feel very different from what you might think of as a stereotypical cleric in a party of heroes.

Some of the Demonic Bloodline's spells (Divine Decree, etc.) rely on your deity's alignment, your party members' alignments, and your enemies' alignments. For the maximum benefits, choose a deity that's at one of the extremes (lawful-good, chaotic-good, lawful-evil, chaotic-evil), play in a party that shares your deity's alignment, and face enemies that oppose your deity's alignment.

  • Spell List: Divine
  • Bloodline Skills:
    • Intimidation: A great fit for the Sorcerer, especially at low levels where your Action options are limited and you'll frequently have time to Demoralize targets in between spells.
    • Religion: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Acid Splash: Less damage than Produce Flame, but a little bit of splash damage and some ongoing damage on a critical success. Produce Flame is better for single-target damage, and Electric Arc is better for multi-target damage.
    2. Fear: For half the Action cost you can Demoralize a target. Demoralize will only make them Frightened 1, but that leaves you with two Actions to cast a different spell.
    3. Enlarge: An exciting buff for big, durable melee allies, especially those with reactions like Attack of Opportunity. The scaling is good, but you still probably don't want this as a Signature Spell because it only has more effects at 4th and 6th level, and since Enlarge isn't on the Divine Spell List you're probably only going to use this at 2nd level.
    4. Slow: A great debuff for powerful single targets, and since it doesn't have the Incapacitation trait this remains effective where save-or-suck spells aren't. This isn't on the Divine spell list so you're likely stuck casting it as a 3rd-level spell, but against powerful single targets the 3rd-level version of Slow remains effective for your whole career.
    5. Divine Wrath: Roughly as much damage as a 3rd-level Fireball, so the big appeals are the ability to drop this on your allies without harming them and the Sickened/Slowed effects. This doesn't have the Incapacitation trait, so against enemies with poor Fortitude saves it's a great way to rob them of some Actions if you get lucky and they roll a Critical Failure.
    6. Abyssal Plague: Too situational. This is not a combat spell; this is something you cast on an NPC (or have cast upon you or your party) when you need them alive but severaly hampered. The effects of a regular Failure are too small and the onset time of the disease is too slow to make this meaningful in the heat of battle.
    7. Disintegrate: Good single-target damage with good scaling, but it has two points of failure, so even if you hit your target may still only take partial damage. Of course, it's a Basic Save so it's equally likely that you'll score a regular hit and still deal double normal damage. This also doubles as a utility option, allowing you to disintegrate problematic objects like walls or strucurally-important columns. This isn't on the Divine spell list and it's a tempting Signature Spell becuase the damage scaling is good.
    8. Divine Decree: Very similar in concept to Divine Wrath. What makes Divine Decree interesting is its massive AOE and its Critical Failure effect. Use this in encounters with large numbers of low-level foes to quickly clear the field.
    9. Divine Aura: An excellent defensive buff, and the growing AOE will allow your allies to gradually spread out as you Sustain the spell.
    10. Implosion: Good damage and a very efficient way to spend Actions. The single Action to Sustain the spell each turn is another 75 damage, and if you took the Effortless Concentration feat this is free damage every turn for a full minute or until you run out of targets. Not on the Divine spell list.
  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Glutton's Jaws: As an attack option for the Sorcerer, this is terrible. Sorcerers don't get good enough proficiencies with unarmed strikes to make this a reliable attack options for them. For other classes who get better attack proficiencies (basicaly any martial class), this is an interesting way to boost your durability.

      The temporary hit points are, without question, the biggest part of this spell. The text of Glutton's Jaws doesn't specify when they expire, and the rules for temporary hit points say that "most temporary Hit Points last for a limited duration", so RAW the temporary hit points from Glutton's Jaws last until lost or replaced. Considering you an get from 1d6 to 5d6 hit points depending on your level, that's a big chunk of additional hit points.

      You could easily carry around a bag of rats to snack on when you need to refresh your temporary hp, but at just 1d8 damage you might be able to nibble on your allies if you can't find a suitable target.

    • Advanced: Swamp of Sloth: There is a lot to like about this spell. The range is good, the Action cost is flexible, the AOE is decent and scales well with both levels and with additional Actions, allowing you to easily fit Swamp of Sloth into a turn. The damage isn't good enough to win encounters on its own, but combined with other options (attacks from allies, other area control spells, etc.) you can deal a lot of damage with little effort and while spending very few resources. Combine this with spells like Black Tentacles and you can end entire encounters in two turns.
    • Greater: Abyssal Wrath: Decent damage in a big cone, and it scales well with level. The fact that the damage types are randomly determined when you cast the spell can be a problem if you're facing enemies with damage resistances, but otherwise this is a very solid damage option.
  • Blood Magic: A small status penalty to AC is great if you party relies heavily on making numerous Strikes, and in situations where an AC penalty won't be useful the bonus to Intimidation is helpful.

Diabolic

Similar in many ways to the Demonic Bloodline, the Diabolic Bloodline is a divine caster that doesn't feel like a good-aligned cleric. The can do all of the things that a cleric can do, but they don't get any of the Cleric's healing capabilities for free so if you want healing you'll need to learn it on your own.

It's easy to compare the Demonic and Diabolic bloodlines since they're so similar in concept. Diabolic's granted spells have more subtle enchantment options that Demonic, and overall the spell list is slightly better, but the Diabolic Bloodline's Focus Spells aren't as good. They're roughly equivalent, but emphasize different themes and playstyles which reflect the differing personalities of demons and devils.

Some of the Diabolic Bloodline's spells (Divine Decree, etc.) rely on your deity's alignment, your party members' alignments, and your enemies' alignments. For the maximum benefits, choose a deity that's at one of the extremes (lawful-good, chaotic-good, lawful-evil, chaotic-evil), play in a party that shares your deity's alignment, and face enemies that oppose your deity's alignment.

  • Spell List: Divine
  • Bloodline Skills:
    • Deception: A helpful Face skill.
    • Religion: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Produce Flame: 1d4+mod damage, and if you critically succeed you apply persistent fire damage which could easily do more total damage than the initial casting of the spell. Unfortunately, fire resistance is very common, and the 30-foot range can be very limiting. Not on the Divine spell list.
    2. Charm: Against a solitary target, this is close to a save-or-suck, and unless the target critically succeeds on the save you may be able to cast Charm again if the first attempt fails. There is no limitation on creature type as there was in Pathfinder 1e, so this spell can be useful almost constantly. Consider expanding your language options so that you can talk to your new friends, and consider investing in Diplomacy so that you can permanently improve the target's attitude to ward you. Not on the Divine spell list.
    3. Flaming Sphere: A very efficient source of damage at low levels when you have few spell slots, and the damage scaling is good enough that you might make this a Signature Spell. Not on the Divine spell list.
    4. Enthrall: Situational. An interesting way to draw attention to yourself, but you need to stick to singing or to speaking about topics which are non-controversial like how pretty flowers are or how terrible wet socks are. Not on the Divine Spell List.
    5. Suggestion: Potentially very useful, but you need to be creative and your GM needs to be willing to play along. The 1-minute duration for a Failure doesn't leave you a lot of room to work, but it may be enough to convince an enemy to walk out of a room or for a guard to let you pass or something along those lines.
    6. Crushing Despair: Similar in many ways to casting Slow on multiple creatures. Hitting 2+ creatures with the cone can rob them of a large number of Actions, tipping an encounter in your favor. Even on a success, targets can't make Reactions for one turn, allowing you to cast this and safely Stride out of melee.
    7. True Seeing: Only situationally useful, and the fact that you could fail the secret Counteract check means that creatures could still make themselves invisible and go undetected even while you're running True Seeing.
    8. Divine Decree: Very similar in concept to Divine Wrath. What makes Divine Decree interesting is its massive AOE and its Critical Failure effect. Use this in encounters with large numbers of low-level foes to quickly clear the field.
    9. Divine Aura: An excellent defensive buff, and the growing AOE will allow your allies to gradually spread out as you Sustain the spell.
    10. Meteor Swarm: The pinnacle of instantaneous damage spells. Creatures hit by both AOE's take 82 damage on adverage, which isn't going to one-shot high-level creatures on its own, but in multi-enemy encounters that's still a massive amount of damage to throw around, especially with four meteors which you can target independently. Not on the Divine spell list.
  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Diabolic Edict: This provides the same bonus as Guidance, so if you're going to cast this on an ally you should probably use Guidance first. I think the intent is to use this on someone not in your party (though not necessarily an enemy), but there's very little that compels them to actualy do the thing you want, and the -1 penalty doesn't last long enough to have a huge impact. Still, it's one Action to debuff the target with no save, and against a powerful foe that might be impactful.
    • Advanced: Embrace the Pit: Fire Damage, Poison Damage, and Physical Damage are extremely common. The drawback is vulnerability to Good Damage, but Good damage is rare and it usually comes from obvious sources like clerics and celestials so you can simply choose not to use this when facing those foes.
    • Greater: Hellfire Plume: Flame Strike, but with Evil Damage. The AOE isn't huge, but the damage is decent and it scales well, so this remains a reliable go-to dmaage option.
  • Blood Magic: The Deception bonus is nice for social situations, and the damage bonus is nice in combat. Unfortunately, fire resistance is common.

Draconic

The best of the Sorcerer's options for the Arcane Spell list, the Draconic Bloodline's Granted Spells offers an excellent and diverse collection of options, and the Focus Spells are mostly good (though Draconic Claws may be hard to use to great effect).

When selecting the Draconic Bloodline, you must also choose a dragon type. Your dragon type determines the effect of the Dragon Claws and Dragon Breath Focus Spells. I recommend avoiding Fire Damage and Poison Damage because resistances and immunity for both are common, and I recommend choosing a dragon type that gives you a cone breath weapon because it's so difficult to hit more than two creatures with a line effect. That leaves silver and white as the best options.

  • Spell List: Arcane
  • Bloodline Skills:
    • Arcana: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
    • Intimidation: A great fit for the Sorcerer, especially at low levels where your Action options are limited and you'll frequently have time to Demoralize targets in between spells.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Shield: If you're expecting to be attacked in the next round, this can prevent a big chunk of damage, especially as the spell's level improves. However, you can't cast it again for 10 minutes so you can generally only use it once per fight.
    2. True Strike: While it won't be especially helpful at low levels when your spell slots are extremely limited, this is a great option at higher levels. The 1-Action casting time allows you to cast this before casting another spell, dramatically improving the reliability of higher-level spells which require attack rolls like Disintegrate.
    3. Resist Energy: A staple defensive option. 10 minutes is long enough to get you through a fight or two, and as you gain levels and additional spell slots you can afford to cast this on multiple allies or to give more than one type of damage resistance. Potentially a good choice for a Signature Spell, but since it doesn't improve at every spell level you may prefer to just learn it at multiple spell levels.
    4. Haste: Very powerful for martial characters, especially if they're good at managing Multiple Attack Penalties.
    5. Spell Immunity: The 24-hour duration is generous, but it's nearly impossible to guess a single spell which you'll need to resist this way. Even worse, Spell Immunity attempts to Counteract the spell, and therefore has a chance of failure. It's more "resistance" than "immunity".
    6. Chromatic Wall: Too unpredictable, the effects are too weak, and the colors are all counteracted by extremely common spells. Casting this at 7th level adds effects that are actually worthwile, but you still only have a 50% chance to actually get a worthwile effect.
    7. Dragon Form: Dragon Form is among the best combat form Polymorph spells. It doesn't improve until 8th-level spells, so don't make it a Signature spell unless you really need to be able to cast Dragon Form at both spell levels or you really need to leave room to know more 8th-level spells.
    8. Mask of Terror: This is basically an dressed-up version of Sanctuary. Sanctuary is a 1st-level spell, doesn't care if the target is immune to fear, and doesn't grant attackers temporary immunity to its effects. Mask of Terror's big advantages are that it makes attacked Frightened (which weakens all of their attacks and saves) and that the target of Mask of Terror can still take hostile actions. Throw this on your party's front-line characters and prepare to target anything that becomes Frightened with a save-or-suck on later rounds.
    9. Prismatic Wall: Very effective area control. Anything that knows what Prismatic Wall does isn't going to walk through it, and anything thar doesn't know is going to be so mangled by the wall's effects that it will be much less threatening if it isn't turned into a statue. The Dazzled/Blinded effect is great, too, so you can drop this right next to yourself to blind nearby enemies before walking through the wall to safety (remember that you can choose to ignore the Wall's effects).
    10. Overwhelming Presence: Rob every enemy in the area of several Actions over the next several turns. You can choose for to the Action to pay tribute to have either the Manipulate or Move trait, and both of those provoke Reactions, so if you have allies with Reactions like Attack of Opportunity you can both rob enemies of Actions and give your allies free Strikes. The AOE is reasonably large and you get to pick targets, so you can omit your allies. The Success effect still forces targets to pay tribute twice (likely once on each of their next two turns), and the Critical Failure effect forces targets to spend all of their actions paying tribute until they do it 6 times in total, so if you can Slow or Stun them you can stretch out the number of turns that they spend doing nothing threatening. Not on the Arcane spell list.
  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Dragon Claws: Surprisingly good damage, some damage resistance, and a decent duration with a 1-Action casting time. It's still not a good idea for the Sorcerer to rush into melee combat in order to use this (awful proficiency progression, garbage AC, few hit points), but if you're desperate this is better than a dagger, and it's a decent option for non-sorcerers building around unarmed strikes.
    • Advanced: Dragon Breath: Decent, simple AOE damage, and it scales well. Cones are much easier to use than lines, so hopefully your dragon type uses a cone.
    • Greater: Dragon Wings: Flight with good speed without needing to Sustain the spell. The 1-minute duration is enough to get you through most fights, and at high levels you can pre-cast Dragon Wings before walking into a dangerous area so that you have it ready when a fight breaks out.
  • Blood Magic: A small AC bonus can be very useful since the recipient will often benefit repeatedly throughout the course of a single round.

Elemental

A solid go-to option for the Primal Spell List, the Elemental Bloodline gives you spells which are thematic enough to make sense, but doesn't commit you to any specific playstyle. Weirdly, the Granted Spells are most likely to do bludgeoning damage, which may feel weird and unsatisfying for an elemental-themed character, but it's still very effective.

When you pick the elemental bloodline, you also pick an element from air, earth, fire, and water. Many of your spells deal fire damage by default (Produce Flame, Fireball, etc.), but picking any element except fire changes that damage type to bludgeoning. Resistance to fire damage is extremely common, so picking anything except fire will make your damage spells more powerful. You also get varying benefits from Elemental Motion. I think the best option is air, but the other elements are roughly equivalent with some pros and cons for each.

  • Spell List: Primal
  • Bloodline Skills:
    • Intimidation: A great fit for the Sorcerer, especially at low levels where your Action options are limited and you'll frequently have time to Demoralize targets in between spells.
    • Nature: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Produce Flame*: 1d4+mod damage, and if you critically succeed you apply persistent fire damage which could easily do more total damage than the initial casting of the spell.
    2. Burning Hands*: The damage is fine, but the range is very small so you shouldn't expect to hit more than two creatures, and you need to be very cautious about getting close enough to use this.
    3. Resist Energy: A staple defensive option. 10 minutes is long enough to get you through a fight or two, and as you gain levels and additional spell slots you can afford to cast this on multiple allies or to give more than one type of damage resistance. Potentially a good choice for a Signature Spell, but since it doesn't improve at every spell level you may prefer to just learn it at multiple spell levels.
    4. Fireball*: Good damage, good range, a big AOE, and good spell level scaling. An easy choice for a Signature Spell, and the Elemental bloodline allows you to overcome Fireball's biggest weakness (common fire resistance).
    5. Freedom of Movement: Technically situational, but excellent when facing creatures that rely on things like grappling (of which there are many).
    6. Elemental Form: For the same spell slot you will get better results from Aerial Form and/or Dinosaur Form. If you can't fit either of those spells into your Spell Repertoire and still want to poly morph, Elemental Form is fine.
    7. Repulsion: A great way to keep enemies away from you and your other squishy allies, especially since many creatures are wholly unable to fight at range. Not on the Primal spell list.
    8. Energy Aegis: 5 points of resistance to 8 damage types, including options like Force Damage which are difficult to resist, and a 24-hour duration. It's hard to spend such a high-level spell slot on something like this, but with a 24-hour duration you can cast it before going to sleep, get a full night's sleep, then wake up with 16 hours left on the spell's duration. If you don't need to adventure on back-to-back days, you should strongly consider this as part of your daily routine.
    9. Prismatic Wall: Very effective area control. Anything that knows what Prismatic Wall does isn't going to walk through it, and anything thar doesn't know is going to be so mangled by the wall's effects that it will be much less threatening if it isn't turned into a statue. The Dazzled/Blinded effect is great, too, so you can drop this right next to yourself to blind nearby enemies before walking through the wall to safety (remember that you can choose to ignore the Wall's effects). Not on the Primal Spell List.
    10. Storm of Vengeance: Powerful, but situational. Your best-case scenario is to catch a large group of enemies in the area and keep them there for the duration, but unless there is other stuff slowing them down (difficult terrain, obstacles like buildings or geographical features), many creatures can escape the storm within 5 rounds. If you can, I recommend using this either to force enemies to run away or as part of an ambush where you have already prepared something to prevent them from fleeing.
  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Elemental Toss*: The damage is fine, but you have cantrips that will do the same type of damage and the damage isn't so much better than cantrip damage that it's worth the Focus Point.
    • Advanced: Elemental Motion: I hope you didn't pick water, because 1 minute of breathing underwater probably won't save you from drowning. Flight from Air and Fire will be the most consistently useful, but burrow speeds can be very powerful, too.
    • Greater: Elemental Blast: Solid area damage with good scaling. The ability to pick the AOE is unique and very exciting, but the vast majority of the time the 10-foot burst will be your best option. The cone will be helpful in close quarters if your allies are out of the way. The line will almost never be useful since it's so hard to hit more than two targets with a line.
  • Blood Magic: The bonus to Intimidation is useful both in social situations and in combat if you want to use Demoralize, but when that's not useful the additional damage is nice.

Fey

Heavily reliant on enchantments and illusions, which makes sense for a fey-themed bloodline. Will saves will be your biggest obstacle, so you need to devote the rest of your Spell Repertoire to spells which target other saves for when you inevitably encounter mindless foes who are immune to your spells.

  • Spell List: Primal
  • Bloodline Skills:
    • Deception: A helpful Face skill.
    • Nature: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Ghost Sound: Despite the limitation on intricate sounds, this is still a fantastic tool for approaching challenges nonviolently. Not on the Primal spell list.
    2. Charm: Against a solitary target, this is close to a save-or-suck, and unless the target critically succeeds on the save you may be able to cast Charm again if the first attempt fails. There is no limitation on creature type as there was in Pathfinder 1e, so this spell can be useful almost constantly. Consider expanding your language options so that you can talk to your new friends, and consider investing in Diplomacy so that you can permanently improve the target's attitude to ward you. Not on the Divine spell list.
    3. Hideous Laughter: In a fight against single enemies this is a great option for a low-level spell. Making the target Slowed 1 robs them of a single Action per turn. If you outnumber the target, that puts them at a massive disadvantage in the action economy, allowed your party to more easily overcome them by sheer numbers, and since Hideous Laughter doesn't have the Incapacitation trait it remains effective against difficult enemies. Denying the target Reactions also means that if you're stuck in melee with them you can cast this then safely run away without suffering an Attack of Opportunity from creatures which can have the ability to make that Reaction. Even at high levels, this is a fine option because Slowed never stops being effective, and if you gain an ability which allows you to Sustain a spell without spending an Action you can tip the scales of the action economy further in your favor.
    4. Enthrall: Situational. An interesting way to draw attention to yourself, but you need to stick to singing or to speaking about topics which are non-controversial like how pretty flowers are or how terrible wet socks are. Not on the Divine Spell List. Not on the Primal spell list.
    5. Suggestion: Potentially very useful, but you need to be creative and your GM needs to be willing to play along. The 1-minute duration for a Failure doesn't leave you a lot of room to work, but it may be enough to convince an enemy to walk out of a room or for a guard to let you pass or something along those lines. Not on the Primal spell list.
    6. Cloak of Colors: A good defensive option, especially against numerous enemies focusing on one character. Making creatures Dazzled already imposes a 20% miss chance on their attacks, even if the attacks aren't aimed at the subject of Cloak of Colors. The blinded/stunned effect has the Incapacitation trait so it's not as good against high-level enemies, unfortunately.
    7. Mislead: A great tactical option, but it can be difficult to use effectively. You want your actions and the actions of your duplicate to be plausible so that enemies won't immediately figure out what's going on, and keeping things plausible may require you to limit your spells to those which don't have a visually obvious origin point (Charm yes, Lightning Bolt no). If you move your duplicate into close quarters with enemies, it might draw attention (and ideally attacks) away from you and your allies, allowing this spell to be doubly effective as a defensive option.
    8. Visions of Danger: A bunch of damage in a big AOE, and the damage re-applies every round for a minute. The damage applies at the beginning of creatures' turns, so anything within the AOE when you cast Visions of Danger is almost certain to be affected twice. Creatures can spend an Action to Seek in order to disbelieve the illusion, but to do that they likely need some indication that the spell is an illusion before they would actually think to do that rather than attempting to flee the are as fast as possible.
    9. Uncontrollable Dance: Forcing the target to spend several of their Actions to "dance" means that they're not spending those Actions hurting you, and spending 2 Actions to cost your target 3 or more is a decent trait. The target also loses the ability to Step, which may be as impactful as the Actions which they must spend dancing. Where this spell struggles is finding a suitable target on which to use it. This is single-target with the Incapacitation trait, which makes it hard to find targets who are both powerful enough to justify the spell slot and who are going to fail the save often enough to risk this.
    10. Resplendant Mansion: This sounds fancy and it seems like a great way to produce a safe place to rest, but the building is no more resilient than a regular house and the Alarm effects are the only defenses beyond mundane locks or bars on windows or whatever else. The mansion doesn't come with food, it doesn't mention how it handles climate (presumably fireplaces and the like all function, though it's unclear if the house provides fuel). On top of all of that, there doesn't appear to be a way to make it permanent, so retiring spellcasters needs to look elsewhere to build their pemanent magical dream home. While you're actively adventuring, the though of spending a 9th-level spell slot on this is a comically bad decision, and even learning it permanently for a class with a Spell Repertoire is a terrible choice.
  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Faerie Dust: Targets need to fail a Will save to take a penalty to Will saves for one round. At that point, just skip straight to whatever other Will saves you were going to use.
    • Advanced: Fey Disappearance: A great way to avoid provoking Reactions if you're dragged into melee.
    • Greater: Fey Glamour: A powerful illusion option, and it gives you access to the incredible versatility of Illusory Scene without the 10-minute casting time. You can also use Veil, but Fey Glamour actually makes Veil strictly worse so it's best to just cast Veil normally if you can.
  • Blood Magic: Concealed is a 20% miss chance against all attacks, which is a useful defensive option in nearly any combat situation.

Genie

The Genie Bloodline's spell list is a mixed bag, but the focus spells are really interesting. This won't be as easy to play as the Draconic Bloodline, but there is still a lot to like here.

When picking the Genie bloodline, you must also choose a type of genie. Your choice of genie determines three of your bloodline spells, but otherwise has no effect. All five options have a mix of good and bad spells, so they're roughly equivalent. Choose whichever suits your play style.

  • Spell List: Arcane
  • Bloodline Skills:
    • Arcana: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
    • Deception: A helpful Face skill.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Detect Magic: An essential in any party. It's usefulness improves as you add more skills from Arcana, Nature, Occultism, and Religion.
    2. Illusory Disguise: Only situationally useful, and you can frequently replace this by being Trained in Deception and owning a Disguise Kit.
      • Janni: Create Food: Buying rations will typically solve this problem. Having this spell in a Spell Repertoire is a waste.
      • Djinni: Invisibility: An essential magical option. With a 10-minute duration it's fantastic for scouting, but you can also use it in combat if you avoid spells which might be considered "hostile".
      • Efreeti: Enlarge: An exciting buff for big, durable melee allies, especially those with reactions like Attack of Opportunity. The scaling is good, but you still probably don't want this as a Signature Spell because it only has more effects at 4th and 6th level, and since Enlarge isn't on the Divine Spell List you're probably only going to use this at 2nd level.
      • Marid: Water Walk: Only situationally useful, and in most cases the same problem is solved better by flying.
      • Shaitan: Glitterdust: One of the least expensive counters to invisibility, and you can dazzle or blind targets so it's useful even if you don't need to worry about invisibility.
    3. Enthrall: Situational. An interesting way to draw attention to yourself, but you need to stick to singing or to speaking about topics which are non-controversial like how pretty flowers are or how terrible wet socks are. Not on the Divine Spell List.
    4. Creation: An interesting utility option limited more by your creativity than by the materials. A 5-foot cube is fairly large, and can be enough for a large container, an object to provide cover, some sort of tool that you need, or just a huge block of something heavy to drop on something, to hold a door closed, or to block a narrow space.
      • Janni: Banishment: The practical reality is that most campaigns take place primarily on the material plane where most characters are native, and numerous enemies are from other plabes, especially as you advance to high levels. That makes Banishment a powerful save-or-suck option against many foes who might not be able to return to the material plane by their own power. Unfortunately Banishment has the Incapacitation Trait, so it's hard to use against powerful foes, and if the target rolls a Critical Success you'll be Stunned 1 so you only want to use this when you can be reasonably certain that the target will fail their saving throw.
      • Djinni: Illusory Scene: Only situationally useful, but a clever player can put this to great effect given time to make it work.
      • Efreeti: Elemental Form (Fire Only): Elemental Form is already a weak spell, and limiting you to one form makes it borderline useless.
      • Marid: Control Water: Very situational.
      • Shaitan: Wall of Stone: A fantastic option both for utility and for area control. The wall becomes more durable as you add spell levels, but the base hit points are already enough to survive several hits, so you may never need to cast Wall of Stone at a higher level unless you need the wall to survive beyond your immediate situation, such as if you're building a castle.
    5. True Seeing: Only situationally useful, and the fact that you could fail the secret Counteract check means that creatures could still make themselves invisible and go undetected even while you're running True Seeing.
    6. Energy Aegis: 5 points of resistance to 8 damage types, including options like Force Damage which are difficult to resist, and a 24-hour duration. It's hard to spend such a high-level spell slot on something like this, but with a 24-hour duration you can cast it before going to sleep, get a full night's sleep, then wake up with 16 hours left on the spell's duration. If you don't need to adventure on back-to-back days, you should strongly consider this as part of your daily routine.
      • Janni: Scintillating Pattern:Casting Confusion at the same spell level will nearly always be more effective.
      • Djinni: Punishing Winds: A good way to force enemy flying creatures onto the ground, but you're on your own to find something to do once they're on the ground.
      • Efreeti: Maze: The target doesn't get a save to avoid being put into the maze, and this doesn't have the Incapacitation trait, so it's very powerful against high-level foes. Once creatures are in the maze, they need to roll a Critical Success or roll two or more Successes in order to escape. You may not be able to predict when a creature will escape, so you and your allies should work quickly to set up an ambush for when the target does escape. Once you're ready, end the spell early and let your party hit the target with a bunch of readied actions so that the creature doesn't pop out of the maze with two Actions to spend.
      • Marid: Horrid Wilting: This is an excellent instantaneous damage option. You can target any number of creatures within the 500-foot range of the spell. The damage is good, and resistance to negative damage is rare.
      • Shaitan: Earthquake: A good crowd control option, but not always a good go-to. The fissures are deep enough that creatures will take a considerable amount of time to climb out despite the fairly low DC, giving you time to handle any foes which don't fall into fissures, but anything that can fly or which has high speed will climb right back out and get right back to fighting. The effects other than fissures (collapsed buildings, difficult terrain, etc.) are unpredictable, which makes this hard to recommend.
    7. Resplendant Mansion: This sounds fancy and it seems like a great way to produce a safe place to rest, but the building is no more resilient than a regular house and the Alarm effects are the only defenses beyond mundane locks or bars on windows or whatever else. The mansion doesn't come with food, it doesn't mention how it handles climate (presumably fireplaces and the like all function, though it's unclear if the house provides fuel). On top of all of that, there doesn't appear to be a way to make it permanent, so retiring spellcasters needs to look elsewhere to build their pemanent magical dream home. While you're actively adventuring, the though of spending a 9th-level spell slot on this is a comically bad decision, and even learning it permanently for a class with a Spell Repertoire is a terrible choice.
  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Genie's Veil: Fine if you're desperate. Concealed is a 20% miss chance, so it's not a guarantee of safety, but there are few defenses like this which work as a Reaction.
    • Advanced: Heart's Desire: This is most effective against spellcasters because Stupefied causes them so many problems, but it's still useful against other creatures. Preventing creatures from taking Reactions allows you and your allies to avoid things like Attack of Opportunity, and if you're lucky and targets roll a Critical Failure their speed is effectively halved and they can't Step. Heart's Desire adds more targets as you add spell levels, so you can eventually affect entire encounters, putting your party at a massive advantage.
    • Greater: Wish-Twisted Form: A great option for powerful single foes. If you pick a type of energy for the weakness which your party can deal from multiple sources (spells, weapon property runes, etc.) your party can quickly focus their attention on the target and defeat them.
  • Blood Magic: The Deception bonus is nice for social situations, but the penalty to Perception is borderline useless.

Hag

This is a great bloodline for NPCs who want to mess with the players without outright killing them, but for player characters the spell list is over-reliant on curses which only matter for creatures who are going to live long enough for the effects to matter.

  • Spell List: Occult
  • Bloodline Skills:
    • Deception: A helpful Face skill.
    • Occultism: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Daze: One of my favorite damage cantrips. Solid damage of a good type, and you might even Stun the target, robbing them of an Action.
    2. Illusory Disguise: Only situationally useful, and you can frequently replace this by being Trained in Deception and owning a Disguise Kit.
    3. Touch of Idiocy: Situational by design. A great countermeasure to enemy spellcasters (especially if they're not Wisdom-based casters), but useless otherwise.
    4. Blindness: Blinding a creature is great, but the spell Blindness is single-target, doesn't scale in any way, and has the Incapacitation trait so you can't use it effectively on small numbers of powerful creatures that are most likely to justify magically blinding them.
    5. Outcast's Curse: Very situational. It's rare that you encounter a creature where you want them to suffer these effects but you also don't want them dead. The effect is permanent until removed if the target fails, and on a Critical Failure creatures that would be Indifferent go straight to Hostile, so you're condemning the target to life of constant harm from random strangers.
    6. Mariner's Curse: In the vast majority of games, the effect is to make the target permanently Sickened 1 (even on a Critical Success, the target can spend an Action to reduce it to Sickened 1). Sickened is a good debuff, but probably not good enough in a combat situation to justify such a high-level spell slot. This doesn't have the Incapacitation trait, which makes it appealing against high-level foes, but unless you're anticipating a very long fight this isn't worth the spell slot.
    7. Baleful Polymorph: The effect is fine, but on a Failure the target can re-attempt their saving throw every turn, and with the Incapacitation trait this is borderline useless against powerful foes.
    8. Warp Mind: This is not so much better than Confusion that it justifies 3 full spell levels difference. The effects are mostly similar. The big draw of Warp Mind is that its effects can be permanent, but the enemies where that matters are going to be enemies where the Incapacitation trait applies so a Critical Failure isn't a possibility.
    9. Spiritual Epidemic: A great way to discourage enemies from targeting a creature with spells like Heal or Remove Curse, but you'll rarely face enemies who will be impacted by the ongoing and spreading effect.
    10. Nature's Enmity: Hillarious, but slow. If you can hit five creatures with this then run away until the 10-minute duration ends, it can easily kill many creatures. Assuming that a creature's average result on the basic save against the damage is a Failure, they'll take an averae of 385 damage over the course of the spell's duration. You almost certainly don't want to use this in combat, but it's great for an ambush. Not on the Occult Spell List.
  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Jealous Hex: A good debuff with a decent duration and a 1-Action casting time. Allowing the condition to change to inhibit the target as much as possible means that this is consistently useful on any target. However, since it targets a Will save you'll still get best results from target creatures with poor Will saves, such as many big martial enemies.
    • Advanced: Horrific Visage: This is good, but only once you can cast 5th-level spells at level 9. Before then it's basically just a more expensive version of Demoralize.
    • Greater: You're Mine: This is already decent before it scales, but it gets really good once you can cast 7th-level spells at level 13. Keep in mind that You're Mine has the Incapacitation trait, so using it on big solo enemies is rarely effective.
  • Blood Magic: This is a great countermeasure, but you want to try very hard to avoid triggering it. With poor defenses and just 6+ hit points, you can't afford to take damage often enough to trigger this repeatedly.

Imperial

Perhaps the most iconic option for the Arcane Spell List, the Imperial Bloodline provides staple, iconic spells from the Arcane Spell List which make you feel very much like a wizard. Both the Granted Spells and the Focus Spells provide a good mix of offensive and utility options. You could easily drop an imperial sorcerer into a party in place of a wizard with little difficulty.

  • Spell List: Arcane
  • Bloodline Skills: Two Intelligence-based knoweldge skills. It makes sense for the bloodline's theme, but it's still a hard fit for the Sorcerer.
    • Arcana: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
    • Society: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Detect Magic: An essential in any party. It's usefulness improves as you add more skills from Arcana, Nature, Occultism, and Religion.
    2. Magic Missile: Reliable and flexible, Magic Missile has several great things going for it. First, it never misses, so it's a great option when facing foes with high defenses. Magic Missile deals Force damage, which very few creatures are resistant to. 120 ft. range is plenty to keep you well out of harm's way. And finally, you can choose to cast it with 1, 2, or 3 Actions to increase the effects at the expense of your time. Spending more Actions will get more effect out of the spell, so it's a more efficient use of your spell slots, but if you need to move or cast another spell in the same turn you can still get some damage out of Magic Missile.
    3. Dispel Magic: An absolutely essential option. While it's not spelled out in the spell's description, the Counteract rules make the level at which you cast this very important. On a Critical Success you can dispel effects up to three levels higher than the level at which you cast Dispel Magic and on a Success up to one level higher. On a failure you can still dispel effects of a lower level, so upcasting Dispel Magic can be a powerful way to strip enemeies of problematic buffs or to disarm them of magic items like weapons which might dramatically boost their damage output.
    4. Haste: Very powerful for martial characters, especially if they're good at managing Multiple Attack Penalties.
    5. Dimension Door: An essential tactical option for many spellcasters. This can get you out of many dangerous situations with minimal risk.
    6. Prying Eye: An exceptionally powerful scouting option, Prying Eye allows you to scout dangerous areas from a safe distance, and the eye's small size can often slip it through obstacles by sneaking under doors or through cracked windows. The duration doesn't expire until you fail to Sustain the spell, so given enough time you can send the eye great distances and scout huge areas. The biggest limitation is that the eye uses your normal senses, so be sure that you have Low-Light Vision and/or Darkvision so that you can send the eye into dark places and still see.
    7. Disintegrate: Good single-target damage with good scaling, but it has two points of failure, so even if you hit your target may still only take partial damage. Of course, it's a Basic Save so it's equally likely that you'll score a regular hit and still deal double normal damage. This also doubles as a utility option, allowing you to disintegrate problematic objects like walls or strucurally-important columns. This isn't on the Divine spell list and it's a tempting Signature Spell becuase the damage scaling is good.
    8. Prismatic Spray: Unpredictable, and only half of the effects are good enough to justify the spell slot.
    9. Maze: The target doesn't get a save to avoid being put into the maze, and this doesn't have the Incapacitation trait, so it's very powerful against high-level foes. Once creatures are in the maze, they need to roll a Critical Success or roll two or more Successes in order to escape. You may not be able to predict when a creature will escape, so you and your allies should work quickly to set up an ambush for when the target does escape. Once you're ready, end the spell early and let your party hit the target with a bunch of readied actions so that the creature doesn't pop out of the maze with two Actions to spend.
    10. Prismatic Sphere: Conceptually great, but very difficult to place. Creatures on the ground will break the surface of the wall and negate the spell, so you can only place this in the air. Your best option is to entrap flying creatures inside the sphere. If you need to protect yourself, you can cast this around yourself to buy yourself some time to buff yourself, to teleport to safety, or to do whatever else you might need.
  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Ancestral Memories: You are now effectively Trained in every non-Lore skill, allowing you to approach a dizzying variety of challenges with nothing more to support you than a Focus Point. This even allows you to attempt lengthy Activities like Treat Wounds despite massively overrunning the spell's duration.

      The last sentence of the spell's description reads "If you attempt a task or activity that lasts beyond this spell's duration, use the lower proficiency modifier", which is terribly confusing because the spell only lists one proficiency modifier until you get to the Heightened entry. I think the intent is that you always use Trained if you run over the 1-minute duration, but I'm not certain. Discuss it with your GM.

    • Advanced: Extend Spell: The effect is excellent, but the limitations are frustrating. Only affecting spells with 1-minute durations and a single target limits you severely, but there are some great options like Haste. The limitation to spell slots below your highest-level spell slots means that you can't use this with Cantrips or with Focus Spells. To master this, search your spell list for qualifying spells and try to think of ways to justify extending the duration from 1 minute (usually long enough for one combat) to 10 minutes (possibly enough for two if your party doesn't need to stop to Refocus, etc.).
    • Greater: Arcane Countermeasure: Reducing a spells level by one can be massively impactful, reducing damage, reducing the number of targets, or otherwise reducing the effects. The +2 status bonus is mathematically significant, and for spells which allow repeated saves it appears that everyone gets the bonus throughout the spell's duration.
  • Blood Magic: The Arcane spell list is the only one that doesn't include Guidance, so this offers a replacement. But you still don't want to burn leveled spells to get the bonus, and if you plan to do that with any frequency you should probably consider getting Guidance by some means.

Nymph

The Nymph feels like a challenging mix of a druid and an enchantment-focused wizard. The spells are powerful and interesting, but this isn't an easy subclass to play and its features are weak at low levels until your spellcasting has scaled a bit to improve both the free cantrip and to give you enough spells to make Nymph's Token worthwhile.

  • Spell List: Primal
  • Bloodline Skills:
    • Diplomacy: The king of Face skills. If you didn't get it for free here you should still get it Trained.
    • Nature: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Tanglefoot: At 1st level, the speed penalty and the 1-round duration are not worth the Actions to cast the spell in the vast majority of cases. The duration improves over time, but I wouldn't consider this a go-to spell until you get the 1-minute duration when you're casting 4th-level spells.
    2. Charm: Against a solitary target, this is close to a save-or-suck, and unless the target critically succeeds on the save you may be able to cast Charm again if the first attempt fails. There is no limitation on creature type as there was in Pathfinder 1e, so this spell can be useful almost constantly. Consider expanding your language options so that you can talk to your new friends, and consider investing in Diplomacy so that you can permanently improve the target's attitude to ward you. Not on the Divine spell list.
    3. Calm Emotions: An excellent crowd control option at any level, if you can hit two or three enemies with this at the beginning of a fight, you can effectively take them out of the fight for as long as you Sustain the spell. Comitting one Action every turn to Sustain the spell is nearly always worth the amount of Actions which enemies won't be spending to hurt you and your allies. If creatures Critically Fail, you and your allies can restrain them or whatever else you need to do before the spell expires. This has the Incapacitation trait so it's not effective against powerful enemies, but in encounters with powerful enemies they might still have lower-level allies which you can take offline to tip the odds in your favor.
    4. Animal Vision: If you have a trained animal (either as an Animal Companion, via the Bonded Animal feat, or simply by training an animal), you can use Animal Vision to turn it into a very effective scout. Sending a mouse, a small bird, or a bat to explore an area is a great way to gather information with minimal risk to yourself and your party, and small, mundane animals can often evade notice simply because their presence isn't especially noteworthy.
    5. Vital Beacon: In terms of spell slots, a 3-Action Heal cast at the same level will be more efficient at restoring hit points. The benefit of Vital Beacon is that it is a persistent, readily-accessible source of healing. The spell lasts until it expires or until your next daily preparations, and your allies can spends their own Actions to heal themselves as-needed. Vital Beacon provides a decent amount of healing for a single Action, but remember that those Actions are often better spent harming your allies to prevent them from damaging you and your allies, so you still want to avoid healing in combat as much as you can.
    6. Crushing Despair: Similar in many ways to casting Slow on multiple creatures. Hitting 2+ creatures with the cone can rob them of a large number of Actions, tipping an encounter in your favor. Even on a success, targets can't make Reactions for one turn, allowing you to cast this and safely Stride out of melee.
    7. Repulsion: A great way to keep enemies away from you and your other squishy allies, especially since many creatures are wholly unable to fight at range. Not on the Primal spell list.
    8. Unfettered Pack: On its own this is mostly a convenience for traveling through natural areas, but the real appeal is ignoring terrain effects created by spells, especially those created by you and your allies. To get the most out of this, you want to add spells like Entangle to your Spell Repertoire and use them to give your party unfair mobility advantages.
    9. Moment of Renewal: Very situational. Overnight healing isn't worth the spell slot, so you're usually doing this to address long-term conditions which wear off after resting. If you just want hit points, use the Medicine skill.
    10. Overwhelming Presence: Rob every enemy in the area of several Actions over the next several turns. You can choose for to the Action to pay tribute to have either the Manipulate or Move trait, and both of those provoke Reactions, so if you have allies with Reactions like Attack of Opportunity you can both rob enemies of Actions and give your allies free Strikes. The AOE is reasonably large and you get to pick targets, so you can omit your allies. The Success effect still forces targets to pay tribute twice (likely once on each of their next two turns), and the Critical Failure effect forces targets to spend all of their actions paying tribute until they do it 6 times in total, so if you can Slow or Stun them you can stretch out the number of turns that they spend doing nothing threatening. Not on the Arcane spell list.
  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Nymph's Token: Borderline useless until you can cast it at 4th level, at which point it allows you cast touch-range spells like Heal on the target without moving or using something like Reach Spell. Reach Spell is still a better option in most cases, and Nymph's Token is really only worth the Action cost if you're going to cast more than two Touch spells on the same target in one encounter.
    • Advanced: Blinding Beauty: The effects are great, and a 30-foot cone is a big enough AOE to hit several foes. If you get dragged into melee, you can use this to blind adjacent enemies before moving away safely.
    • Greater: Establish Ward: Many encounters will take place entirely within an area small enough to fit within the area of Establish Ward, so casting this early in an encounter gives you consistent damage output for the whole encounter.
  • Blood Magic: The Diplomacy bonus is perfect for social situations, and the penalty to Will saves makes it easy to repeatedly target the same creature with additional spells.

Psychopomp

A great counter to undead, but otherwise you'll find that many of the Psychopomp Bloodline's spells are in effective and frustrating. There are a few gems, and the Blood magic effect is great, but I would still only play this in a campaign where I know that undead are going to be a frequent problem.

  • Spell List: Divine
  • Bloodline Skills:
    • Intimidation: A great fit for the Sorcerer, especially at low levels where your Action options are limited and you'll frequently have time to Demoralize targets in between spells.
    • Religion: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Disrupt Undead: Situational by design. The damage is unusually high for a cantrip, but since it only works on one creature type it needs a little something extra. This also requires the target to make a saving throw rather than you making an attack roll, so you can do it in the same turn as a Strike without worry about a Multiple Attack Penalty.
    2. Heal: Essential in nearly any party. You don't want to put a lot of spell slots into hit point restoration (use Medicine between combats instead), but there will inevitably be situations where your party needs some quick healing. This is a good candidate for a Signature Spell.
    3. Calm Emotions: An excellent crowd control option at any level, if you can hit two or three enemies with this at the beginning of a fight, you can effectively take them out of the fight for as long as you Sustain the spell. Comitting one Action every turn to Sustain the spell is nearly always worth the amount of Actions which enemies won't be spending to hurt you and your allies. If creatures Critically Fail, you and your allies can restrain them or whatever else you need to do before the spell expires. This has the Incapacitation trait so it's not effective against powerful enemies, but in encounters with powerful enemies they might still have lower-level allies which you can take offline to tip the odds in your favor.
    4. Searing Light: Situational by design, and fire resistance is common among fiends so one of the two justifiable targets is going to resist a bunch of the damage (though Vulnerability to Good Damage may offset this).
    5. Dimensional Anchor: Situational by design, but crucial against powerful enemies that can teleport or travel between planes, such as many spellcasters and outsiders. Even on a Success, the target is still affected for a full minute, which may be enough time to defeat them or restrain them by other means. Unfortunately Dimensional Anchor attempts to Counteract the teleportation effect so it's not perfectly reliable regardless of the outcome of the target's Saving Throw.
    6. Death Ward: Situational. Basically only useful against certain types of undead and spellcasters who really ejoy necromancy spells.
    7. Spirit Blast: Decent single-target force damage. Most of the Spirit Blast's benefits are tied up in harming a creature's spirit, and while that's a really neat trick it's also extremely situational unless you game features stuff like ghosts and haunts frequently.
    8. Finger of Death: A simple and effective damage spike, but I recommend reserving this for enemies with relatively poor Fortitude saves like many back-line spellcasters. The damage scales linearly with spell level, but Horrid Wilting is one level higher, does much more damage, and targets multiple creatures, so casting Finger of Death at any level except 7th feels silly.
    9. Spirit Song: Basically Spirit Blast in a cone, but the AOE is good and the damage is excellent so even if you're not facing spirits it may be useful as a simple instantaneous damage option. Not on the Divine spell list.
    10. Massacre: This is a gamble. The expected outcome is 100 negative damage, which is a big pile of damage. Lines are a difficult AOE so expect to hit no more than two creatures, and you generally want to kill something with the initial damage rather than suffering 30 damage if you don't, but maybe you'll get lucky and the 30 damage will kill an enemy or two, in which case I would happily take the 30 damage rather than letting those creatures get another turn. The possibility that you can outright kill creatures on a Critical Failure is very tempting, but unless you're hitting a bunch of creatures somehow I don't recommend making that gamble.

      Because the level cap is so high, you can safely use this even with your allies in the line. However, if you fail to kill something, you and your allies are stll going to take the flat 30 negative damage.

  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Sepulchral Mask: At low levels, the 5-foot radius on the effect makes this basically useless. As you gain levels and both the area and the damage improve, it comes more appealing, but it's still not a go-to option unless you're in a small enough space that creatures will spend a lot of time in the area. The penalty to Will saves against emotion effects makes enemies more vulnerable to your spells (including this one), and despite the numerically small size of the penalty it may still have an impact if you rely heavily on Emotion spells like those in the Psychopomp Bloodline's spell list.
    • Advanced: Spirit Veil: Situational by design, but if you encounter hostile undead this will trivialize the encounter, especially once you can affect your whole party.
    • Greater: Shepherd of Souls: This can easily save an ally's life. You primarily want to use this when it would prevent an ally from falling to 0 hit points. Remember that your Focus Pool can never exceed three points, and if you want to have this available when you actually need it, you need to reserve this for emergencies.
  • Blood Magic: Powerful, versatile, and reliable.

Shadow

The Shadow Bloodline is all over the place in terms of quality. Some of the options are weird and only situationally useful, but some of them are absolutely amazing. It all balances out to be good, but not incredible.

Where a shadow sorcerer thrives is in a sneaky party where everyone has Darkvision. Relying on spells like Darkness can be very effective, and the Shadow Bloodline is good at it, but if your party can't see in the dark you will quickly find that your spells are hurting you and your allies more than they're hurting your enemies.

  • Spell List: Occult
  • Bloodline Skills:
    • Occultism: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
    • Stealth: Stealth is already an interesting option for the Sorcerer, but the Shadow Bloodline provides a unique way to use it: The Dim The Light Focus Spell allows the Shadow Sorcerer to take the Hide action as a Reaction after casting a spell with the Shadow trait, allowing you cast a spell, hide, and ideally move to safety while Hidden. For that to work, you need to invest in Stealth, so expect to spend Skill Increases on Stealth frequently.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Chill Touch: The damage is fine, but it's not good enough for Touch range on a frail class like the Sorcerer.
    2. Grim Tendrils: Decent damage and some Persistent Bleed Damage. The AOE is a line, so don't expect to hit more than two targets.
    3. Darkness: If your entire party has Darkvision, casting Darkness at 2nd level gives you a massive advantage over enemies which don't. If some portion of your party doesn't have Darkvision, consider learning the spell Darkvision so that you cane give it to them.
    4. Chilling Darkness: Searing Light, but evil. Since it only affects on creature type, it's even more situational than Searing Light. The damage types are less-commonly resisted than fire, but you'll very rarely find yourself in a situation to use this to any great effect in most campaigns. Not on the Occult spell list.
    5. Phantasmal Killer: The damage isn't great (a 4th-level Fireball does the same amount of damage), and while Frightened is a great debuff I don't think it's enough to make up the difference. The Critical Failure effect has the Incapacitation trait, which is a profoundly weird way to format the spell, and means that the exciting part of the spell literally isn't accessible against targets worth casting this upon.
    6. Shadow Siphon: A bit like Counterspell, but it doesn't require you to know the spell that you're countering. This could be useful once you've added a few levels and can use this to Counteract higher-level damage spells to mitigate their effects.
    7. Collective Transposition: An excellent control option, and definitely worth making a Signature Spell. You can use this to get yourself and your allies out of grapples, to put melee allies within reach of enemies so that they don't need to spend Actions to Step or Stride, and to reposition enemies into dangerous places like ongoing area effects, traps, or next to melee allies. The spell doesn't specify that the spaces need to be safe or hospitable, so you may be able to place enemies in mid-air or underwater, causing them additional inconvenience beyond simply putting them somewhere that they don't want to be.
    8. Duplicate Foe: Powerful but frustrating in many ways. You can't use this on an ally (the spell's Target entry specifies "enemy"), but honestly that would be too powerful so I understand the limitation. Since the duplicate can only Stride and Strike, you want to target enemies that rely on Strikes, but those creatures also tend to have high Fortitude saves, which may make this unreliable.

      If the spell does work, the level cap is generously high so you can target the vast majority of creatures that you face in combat. The duplicate's stats are good enough that it's a serious threat in combat, and since it's not limited to attacking the target of the spell you can command it to attack the target's allies if the target of Duplicate Foe wanders away.

      Ideally you want the duplicate to both deal a bunch of damage and to draw a bunch of attacks which would otherwise be directed at you and your allies, so your best bet is to cast this early in a fight so that it has as much time as possible to work. Even if the target of Duplicate Foe succeeds on its saving throw, you still get the duplicate for two rounds, which may be enough to cause a lot of trouble for your enemies despite the duplicate dealing half damage with its strices.

    9. Disappearance: Extremely durable invisibility with a 10-minute duration. This is excellent on frail spellcasters who want to avoid attention, and for characters like rogues who depend on foes being Flat-Footed it's a massive tactical advantage.
    10. Weird: Similar in many ways to Phanatasmal Killer, but much less frustrating. With 120-foot range and any number of targets this can easily hit everything in an encounter. The Critical Failure effect's secondary save won't result in dead creatures frequently, but in big encounters with numerous foes it's likely enough that you might one-shot several enemies and leave many other hurt, Frightened, and potentially Fleeing.
  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Dim the Light: The idea behind Dim the Light is that you can cast a spell with the Darkness or Shadow traits (frequently 2 Actions), Hide as a Reaction, then have one Action remaining to Stride to somewhere that will give you Cover or Concealment in order to remain Hidden. This is a great way to get out of a dangerous position, and being Hidden makes it difficult for enemies to hit you with Reactions.
    • Advanced: Steal Shadow: This is a great go-to offensive option. The damage is roughly equivalent to a cantrip, but Negative Damage is rarely resisted compared to something like fire or acid, and it also imposes a debuff. After the initial casting, you can re-apply the damage with a single Action, which is a very efficient use of an Action. This also has the Shadow trait, so you can use it with Dim the Light. The biggest problem is that it's on a Fortitude save and applies Enfeebled, but creatures most likely to care about Enfeebled tend to also have high Fortitude saves.
    • Greater: Consuming Darkness: The AOE starts really small, and the damage isn't great until you've added a few more spell levels. The speed debuff and potentially immobilizing targets are both really good, but getting into close quarters to use this is risky. If you plan to use this, I recommend combining it with something that will protect you from attacks like the Disappearance spell, and even then this is most effective when used in an encounter with numerous relatively weak foes.
  • Blood Magic: The bonus to Stealth is basically only useful if your party includes a rogue, and even then it's only useful in combat because the 1-round duration is too short to use in any other context. The Perception penalty is borderline useless.

Undead

If you want to play a necromancer sorcerer, or if you have a party full of characters with inverted healing (dhampirs, etc.), the Undead Bloodline can be a great option. You get a fun mix of necromancy options, plus with access to the Divine Spell List you can fill the role in your party normally filled by a cleric while also being well-suited to creating and controlling undead minions.

  • Spell List: Divine
  • Bloodline Skills:
    • Intimidation: A great fit for the Sorcerer, especially at low levels where your Action options are limited and you'll frequently have time to Demoralize targets in between spells.
    • Religion: An important knowledge skill, and you may not need to increase it past Trained unless you intend to use it heavily.
  • Granted Spells:
    1. Chill Touch: The damage is fine, but it's not good enough for Touch range on a frail class like the Sorcerer.
    2. Harm: A good offensive option, especially if you have allies with inverted healing like dhampirs. Potentially a good Signature Spell if the 3-Action version works safely for your party.
    3. False Life: An easy source of temporary hit points. With an 8-hour duration, this is an easy way to increase your durability when you're high level and your low-level spell slots become less consistently useful. It scales linearly with spell level, but since you get to add your spellcasting ability modifier to the temporary hit points, the most efficient way to use False Lie is to cast it at 2nd level.
    4. Bind Undead: When you do encounter mindless undead they may be too high level to target with your highest-level spell slot, but Pathfinder 2e encourages using numerous low-level enemies in encounters so it's entirely possible that your GM will give you something to bind, in which case you'll have a low-level disposable undead minion which you can use to walk into traps, to draw fire in combat, etc. If you find suitable targets, they don't get a save so you could systematically bind a bunch of mindless undead and turn them into a small entourage. If you want permanent undead minions, see the Create Undead ritual.
    5. Talking Corpse: A powerful way to extract information from dead and often unwilling foes or from allies who died and can't be raised for whatever reason. You can't re-cast this on the same target more than once per week, but conveniently Gentle Repose can prevent a corpse from decaying, so you may be able to question the same dead creature once a week for eternity.
    6. Cloudkill: Decent damage in a good AOE, but the fact that the area moves makes this very frustrating to use, and poison resistance/immunity is common. Not on the Divine Spell List.
    7. Vampiric Exsanguination: Good damage of a good type in a reasonably large are of effect, plus you get temporary hit points. I'm nervous about bringing a sorcerer close enough to use this on a regular basis, but when it happens this is a great spell.
    8. Finger of Death: A simple and effective damage spike, but I recommend reserving this for enemies with relatively poor Fortitude saves like many back-line spellcasters. The damage scales linearly with spell level, but Horrid Wilting is one level higher, does much more damage, and targets multiple creatures, so casting Finger of Death at any level except 7th feels silly.
    9. Horrid Wilting: This is an excellent instantaneous damage option. You can target any number of creatures within the 500-foot range of the spell. The damage is good, and resistance to negative damage is rare.
    10. Wail of the Banshee: Targets take full damage on a Success, but the 8d10 damage isn't the big appeal here: it's the Drained effect. Drained imposes a penalty on Constitution-based stuff like Fortitude saves and reduces the target's hit point maximum, so on top of the 8d10 damage your targets will lose a flat number of hp based on their level. In a way this is actually more powerful against high-level targets because they'll lose more hit points. Unfortunately it will also affect your allies, so be careful about using this in close quarters.
  • Bloodline Spells:
    • Initial: Touch of Undeath: Similar in many ways to the Angelic Bloodline's Angelic Halo, but with the additional effect of reversing Harm/Heal effects. In a party with several characters with inverted healing (Dhampirs, etc.) this can allow characters who follow the standard healing mechanics to stay safe from the effects of Harm, thereby allowing you and your allies to spam 3-Action Harm spells to solve all of your violence-related challenges while simultaneously healing your party. Unfortunately, the 1-minute duration will require you to cast this right when you need its benefits rather than casting it ahead of time.
    • Advanced: Drain Life: Simple and effective, and with a 1-Action casting time you can still cast many other spells in the same turn. I would strongly consider using this early in every fight to get the temporary hit points in place as soon as possible.
    • Greater: Grasping Grave: Decent damage in a big AOE, and you might slow or immobolize targets. The damage scales well, too. Unfortunately, it only works on the ground and by the time you get this, flying enemies will be common, so be sure to bring options that can handle flying enemies.
  • Blood Magic: A little bit of extra damage on offensive spells or give yourself some short-lived temporary hit points if you're in danger.