The latest Pathfinder playtest has been posted on Paizo.com. Rather than introducing a new class as last time, the new playtest presents an alternate way of spellcasting, namely "words of power". As it turns out, this is not as cool as I hoped it would be. Rather, "wordcasting" is more of an erector set for spell construction. There are words for range and area and spell effect which are combined to construct a particular spell. I have seen this sort of mechanical approach to magic before and it has always left me indifferent. Perhaps it is the D&D roots of my gaming history, but I've always felt magic should be somewhat haphazard and organic, not regimented and scientific. As with all playtests, the final form may be different from the "beta version", but it seems unlikely that wordcasting will ever be what I was hoping it would be, namely, a playable version of truenaming.
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