Fuzzy Feet and Voles to Meet

Friday, April 13, 2018

Overlooked and disrespected, halflings and gnomes get by in their own way. Human society's misguided expectations don't mean much when you know who you are and what you're about. Let's take a look at the ancestry entries for these folks!

You might also want to take a gander at the Big Beards and Pointy Ears blog to see how dwarves and elves work if you're a fan of ancestries that are entirely too tall and entirely too stuffy.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Halflings

Living among taller folk gives halflings a good bit of perspective and plenty of opportunities to make new friends—plenty of opportunities of all kinds, really. Keep your eyes open and your heart brave, and you can accomplish anything!

Both halflings and gnomes get 8 Hit Points from their respective ancestries, are Small, and have a speed of 20 feet. A halfling speaks Common and Halfling. Halflings have nimble fingers, giving them an ability boost to Dexterity, and are jovial, getting another ability boost in Charisma. They also get one free ability boost to put in any score. Now, there's nothing wrong with how you're made, but halflings do get an ability flaw to Strength. Seems like a better deal, though. Goblins are a bit stronger, but they're not so wise, and good sense is a good trade. (You can read more about goblins here!)

We've mentioned ability boosts and flaws a few times now, so let's go into more detail about how those work! At 1st level, your ability scores all start at 10. Your ancestry then gives you ability boosts, each of which increases the score by 2. Most ancestries get three ability boosts, two of which have to go into specific scores. The remaining free ability boost can go into any score except the two set ones. Most ancestries also get a flaw, which decreases a designated score by 2. You can put your free ability boost in the same score as your flaw if you want to get back to 10. In later parts of character creation, you'll get more ability boosts, which we'll cover in later blogs! (And if you want to roll your ability scores randomly, we have an option for that in the playtest so you can see how that might work, though we prefer for characters used in the playtest to be generated in the standard way.)

Now, where was I? Halflings, right!

At 1st level and as they level up, halflings can pick up halfling ancestry feats that take advantage of their size, their gumption, and their fabled luck. Distracting Shadows lets them sneak around by using larger creatures as cover. They might also pick up Plucky to overcome fear and other detriments to their emotions. They can take Titan Slinger to get a bonus to damage when using their slings against Large or larger creatures. This bonus increases on critical hits, even before being doubled! Additionally, the sling is now a more formidable weapon than in Pathfinder First Edition—we've both increased its damage and done away with the difference in damage die size between Small and Medium creatures. A halfling with a sling can be pretty dangerous!

One feat we know will be popular is Lucky Halfling, which lets you reroll one skill check or saving throw you fail or critically fail once each day. Rules in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook list traits that apply to feats, often indicating special rules. This one has the fortune trait, which appears on all sorts of things that involve rerolls and manipulating dice in your favor. You can benefit from fortune only once on a given roll, and misfortune can cancel it out.

As mentioned in the blog post about dwarves and elves, ancestry entries suggest some backgrounds you might choose that are common for those of your ancestry. Halflings are often entertainers, acrobats, or street urchins. Many come from hard lives as criminals or laborers.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Gnomes

What's THAT?!

A gnome's life is a constant barrage of the curious, the compelling, the cacophonous, the colorful, and the chaotic. There's always something new to discover. There... kind of has to be. See, gnomes who don't take in enough novel experiences are stricken by the Bleaching—their colorful hair turns white as their minds fall into despair. So let's not do that. Let's explore!

Now, when you're exploring, it's good to be durable because who knows what you might encounter. It helps that gnomes are tough and charming, with ability boosts to Constitution and Charisma, plus their one free ability boost to any other score. Gnomes have a flaw in Strength. Who needs it? Magic's better. And alchemical bombs. Those look fun. Gnomes can speak Common, Gnome, and Sylvan, but might want to study up on some other languages too. They can also see in low light—all the better for exploring into the dusk.

Gnomes came from the First World, the realm of the fey, long ago. Their ancestry feats can reflect this, like Fey Fellowship, which makes a gnome more charismatic when dealing with fey, or First World Magic, which gives the gnome a cantrip spell chosen from a wide number of options (including dancing lights, prestidigitation, and tanglefoot, to name a few).

Discerning Smell lets a gnome truly appreciate peculiar food and drink, or sniff out that invisible orc who's caked in the clay from a particular mountain pass, hasn't bathed in roughly 8 years, and recently ate a live bird. (A swallow, fittingly.) And, of course, you can choose Animal Speaker so you can talk to all your favorite burrowing animals!

A gnome's younger years will no doubt be weird, so they could have any kind of background—even a path they abandoned early on. A gnome might be an entertainer, a merchant, a nomad, an animal whisperer, a barkeep, or a farmhand.

How do these two ancestries stack up? (About 6 feet high, I'd say.) What sort of halfling or gnome characters do you look forward to playing?

Logan Bonner
Designer

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Silver Crusade

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BryonD wrote:
Rysky wrote:
BryonD wrote:
But even if I concede your point for argument's sake, having a wider range of halfling builds that are now larger equivalent to the human builds doesn't create more depth. Humans and halflings simply overlap a lot more.
But it does since people who like Halflings can now play those builds instead of having to play another race or scrap the idea.

You realize an important part of that quote was "even if I concede your point for argument's sake", right?

Homogenizing across races won't make things more diverse, it will make them more homogeneous.

It will actually, since it will be more likely to see more Smol martials than in First Edition.


I honestly don't think Paizo'd care. PF1 has basically run its course at this point. Even if PF2 is a failure, players will go back to PF1 and Paizo focuses on SF or making 3rd Party content for D&D5 under the new OGL.

It's a no-lose situation for them, I think...


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Crayon wrote:

I honestly don't think Paizo'd care. PF1 has basically run its course at this point. Even if PF2 is a failure, players will go back to PF1 and Paizo focuses on SF or making 3rd Party content for D&D5 under the new OGL.

It's a no-lose situation for them, I think...

Sorry to be blunt, but you are wrong.

The folks at Paizo really care about Pathfinder. Paizo isn't actually some business golem, it's made up of a lot of very passionate people. Just because there are some pretty drastic business fallback options available doesn't mean they wouldn't care.


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Leyren wrote:
Mbertorch wrote:
Sure, the iconic Bard is a Halfling, ...
The iconic druid is a gnome and those don't have a bonus to wisdom. So I'd say that the Iconics doesn't necessarily have to represent an optimal combination race/ancestry and class.

An excellent point, and even more reason for halflings to shift to Wisdom :)


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JRutterbush wrote:
E6 and P6 aren't about complexity, they're about power level.

Perhaps that's how you use them, but, again, you don't speak for everyone who plays E6.

And you *really* don't speak for the entire playerbase.

Please stop pretending that yours is the only valid point of view.

Scarab Sages

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BryonD wrote:
What makes PF better than 5E for you?

The adventure paths. Paizo is really good at those.

Mechanics-wise, I'm hoping that the variation in round-to-round activity brought about by the 3-action economy is going to be the big win of PF2.

I don't think there's a need for another overly complex game. People can play Das Schwarze Auge if they want that. :oÞ Paizo should try to make the best game they can, not try to fit into a small gap in the market.

Scarab Sages

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
An excellent point, and even more reason for halflings to shift to Wisdom :)

Given the momentum for wise Halflings here, I'm starting to get hopeful that the devs might actually consider it. For me, it would single-handedly solve the problem with Goblins as a player ancestry. Halflings would stand on their own and make excellent Desna Clerics, Rangers and Druids (and still shine as Rogues, as they should). Divine magic fits the flavor of the Halflings better than the fancy-schmancy arcane arts, anyway.

Scarab Sages

(Also: I'm generally a fan of Wayne Reynolds' art — triangular clumpfeet notwithstanding — but I can't say I like that Halfling much. I wouldn't mind flatter head proportions per se, but the features just look like they've been distorted along with the skull. It reminds me a bit of this...)


BryonD wrote:
On weapons, I very much agree with you that crit ranges are something I cringed over seeing lost. However, I can see how the tiers of success conflicts with crit ranges. And I can see how tiers of success and the (mostly just teased) new weapon specific feature offset that lose of depth. So on this issue I'm hopeful. Are they perhaps just doing a poor job of presenting all the added depth that offsets the removed depth? I'm still completely willing to be open minded. Hell, overall I'm still optimistic. But there are warning signs.

The addition of weapon qualities such as Deadly, Finesse, Agile, even if they aren't all related to crits, are indicative of the depth potential of PF2 in that regard. Obviously, we're only seeing a small portion of such qualities at this point. So, while there are warning signs in the stuff that's gone, I see more than enough positive signs to rate myself as fairly high on the optimism scale.

BryonD wrote:
But seriously, how long have you been playing PF?

2011 as a player (in PbP games), 2015 as DM (RL group). But before that, I played 3e and 3.5e since their origins. We had to wait for our 3.5e campaign to be over before we'd switch. Unfortunately my group isn't able to meet more than once a month or so, and as a result, we're slow adopters. It's also why I certainly have less hands-on experience than DMs who run games one or more times a week.

BryonD wrote:
Did you not anticipate this?

I knew higher levels were harder. In fact, I knew they were harder from 3.5E experience, so it's not like I'm saying PF1 was a big surprise. However, there have been changes during that time: PF1 has grown bigger, especially the number of spells, feats and traits on pfsrd.com has grown way out of hand, and the usefulness of the new ones hits diminishing returns by now. Another change is that I have introduced new players to the game, who don't have that history.

BryonD wrote:
I will still stick to my claim that PF has a fanbase that stretches back ten years and they know what their game is like. I doubt there is anybody (never say never, right) who loves every single aspect and doesn't have any sticky point they want simplified. But, collectively, the complexity is a selling point, not a setback.

As a member of that fanbase since effectively 2000 (the year I bought my PHB3.0), I agree, I want the depth that PF1 offers. I'm just saying that the amount of unnecessary complexity can and should be reduced, and my expectation as a fan is that the Paizo team can do that while maintaining and even improving game depth.

EDIT - and yes, we're going off-topic. Since you introduced the complexity vs depth question, may I suggest you initiate a new thread if you wish to pursue this conversation?


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BryonD wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


THIS. If you define depth as "anything that adds more choice" then depth stops being a relevant sign of quality.

I'll agree that anything that can keep the same level of depth with less complexity is an improvement.

Quote:
Much of what we have seen Paizo strip away doesn't add much to the game.

OK. I believe you are very very wrong.

If they go after the simple game ground then they will lose a lot of market share.
I'm not saying that them taking this route is a foregone conclusion,
not in the least.
But I am saying that I hope they tread very lightly.

What examples do you have that strip out meaningful distinctions? Aside from being able to make yourself bad in an ability score or mediocre in a skill, which I already mentioned. I guess there's BAB, but signs indicate there will be other things making up for that loss.

Is it losing the big 6? I guess there's definitely a lot of decision making in upgrading your gear, and letting your character's gear develop organically through found treasure is neat... But getting more ability increases to assign offsets that from a numbers perspective, and making magical items you find interesting instead of more +1s in no way makes the system less deep.

Do you feel like the old action economy was deeper? How so?

Do you feel like the binary pass/fail system was better than our new 4 tiers of success?

Do you honestly feel like these losses in depth are going to outweigh having an entirely new subsystem added to the game with resonance, making all classes highly modular through a talent pool, or having at least one new feat to choose at every level and having more than one as the norm?

Setting aside that a new edition means we are temporarily resetting to core only, it seems like for every choice we lose we are gaining two more.

Dark Archive

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From the blog post, there already is an opportunity cost to playing a small race: speed. It's less of a penalty than PF1, but halflings and gnomes are noticeably slower than their medium contemporaries. Except for dwarves. Dwarves are still slow but unaffected by armor. [Interesting aside, dwarves' ability to move at normal speed in armor is the only base trait any of the ancestry's have been shown to get besides type of sight, speed, languages, and stat modifiers]
So if halflings and gnomes are slowed by armor, that might be enough reason not to play a melee halfling or gnome. 15 ft move speed is pretty dang slow. Over the course of a few rounds that could easily be the difference between 1 move and 2 attacks on a turn and 2 moves and 1 attack on a turn.
And if the ancestry feats are pretty balanced between the ancestries, it'll still be better to play a medium melee type. Or a goblin.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Guys, let's try to keep this halfling and gnome thread away from edition war territory, OK guys?

On to the topic of complexity and depth! A desire to reduce complexity without decreasing overall depth of course doesn't mean there won't be any individual components of depth reduced when complexity is removed if you compare only that one component.

Imagine you have two generic pieces you can use to build a game, Piece 1 is Complexity 10 Depth 1, Piece 2 is Complexity 1 Depth 10. If you remove Piece 1 and also add Piece 2, the overall game has more depth and lower complexity, but if you only look at the removal of Piece 1 alone, that removal reduces depth by a little (and complexity by a lot).


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Wheldrake wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
So we can safely surmise that there is some sort of point buy going on. It is not "the highest you can start with is a 12" by any stretch.

No, I don't think we can. The halfling & gnome blog tells us that characters start with 10s across the board. We know they get several +2s from ancestry, and we can surmise they also get some +2s from background, and to reach 18 they must get a +4 to their prime requisite.

So no, I don't think there is any sort of point buy going on.

You're reading way too much into that.

In Starfinder all stats start with 10's. Then you add racial modifiers. Then you add your points.

Look we've SEEN character sheets from the playtest. People don't start with 10's and 12's.


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As others have commented, I'm also against having 3 races with +Cha as their mental atribute boost.

I think at the very least Gnomes should have +2 Con / +2 Int (instead of charisma).

For Halflings, I could Imagine them having either +2 Wis or +2 Cha.

For Goblins, I think they should get +4 Dex, -2 str, -2 Cha (to compensate the +4 Dex), plus the +2 boost to any atribute besides Dex (as standard Ancestries get).

Just my 2cp


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Also, if we are sharing a personal anecdotes, I've been playing pathfinder since 2013 and DM'ing since 2015. I love the game. I've tried other tabletop games, including a sizable amount of 5e, and still prefer pathfinder. I love all the little choices I get to make along the way and how the system lets me actualize any crazy concept I can think of. I have no interest in switching to 5e as a DM and would usually prefer PF as a player.

Unfortunately, I'm in the minority. More and more of my old tables have switched to 5e. I am not sure I have a single player currently who actively prefers pathfinder to 5e. We play pathfinder because it is what I like and I'm the most willing to DM. If there is any preference for PF it is based off familiarity. Even my player who gets the most into wacky character builds runs 5e when he actually DMs.

So when I bring a new player to the table, I need to teach them a lot. With the thousands of feats we have, most people require guidance on how to find the good ones. Archetypes aren't integrated into the basic "building a a character" official instructions. The action economy isn't intuitive. Damage calculations get super wonky. I have to send them an ability score calculator because explaining point buy without one is too much trouble.

And honestly, for all I love the complexity, I pretty much never build anything without hero lab anymore. For my own material it is just a superior way to make sure all my numbers are right. For new players, I usually send them the Guide to Class Selection and tell them to pick something out of it that sounds appealing,then sit them down in front of my hero lab and walk them through the building process.

I'm all for streamlining this process and making it easier for newbies to jump in, as long as I retain a plethora of options and ways to make my character feel distinct. Size based weapon damage die doesn't make my character feel unique. Being able to have a 13 intelligence instead of a 12 doesn't either. But being given 10 skill feats to flesh out less combat oriented junk without giving up my combat feats? That makes me feel more unique. Getting special actions or reactions that no other member of the party can do makes me feel unique. Having my paladin abilities be drastically different from my another paladin without even touching archetypes? That makes me feel unique.

Legit concerns about the system might be whether resonance will be fun, or if we are just going to see low level options spread out across a higher level spread. But losing depth? I can't see it.


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Mark Seifter wrote:

Guys, let's try to keep this halfling and gnome thread away from edition war territory, OK guys?

On to the topic of complexity and depth! A desire to reduce complexity without decreasing overall depth of course doesn't mean there won't be any individual components of depth reduced when complexity is removed if you compare only that one component.

Imagine you have two generic pieces you can use to build a game, Piece 1 is Complexity 10 Depth 1, Piece 2 is Complexity 1 Depth 10. If you remove Piece 1 and also add Piece 2, the overall game has more depth and lower complexity, but if you only look at the removal of Piece 1 alone, that removal reduces depth by a little (and complexity by a lot).

Thanks Mark. Quick question: is the number of ancestry feats at level 1 something that is still up in the air? Are some people on the dev team pushing for only 1, while others are pushing for 2+? Is this the sort of thing that is likely to change depending on public playtest feedback?

I can see how having several ancestry feats at level 1 would alleviate some of the concerns raised in this thread, but could also increase the complexity of character creation beyond what the dev team is aiming for. Can you provide any insight?

Thanks!


QuidEst wrote:
Crayon wrote:

I honestly don't think Paizo'd care. PF1 has basically run its course at this point. Even if PF2 is a failure, players will go back to PF1 and Paizo focuses on SF or making 3rd Party content for D&D5 under the new OGL.

It's a no-lose situation for them, I think...

Sorry to be blunt, but you are wrong.

The folks at Paizo really care about Pathfinder. Paizo isn't actually some business golem, it's made up of a lot of very passionate people. Just because there are some pretty drastic business fallback options available doesn't mean they wouldn't care.

Perhaps I wasn't clear, I was referring specifically to marketshare vis-a-vis WotC which I believe is pretty low on their list of priorities. I'm sure everyone involved wants PF2 to be the best game they can produce (and hopefully lucrative as well), but with WotC reinstating OGL, I think any thoughts that Paizo will seriously challenge D&D in terms of sales are very optimistic.


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Since we just got implicit permission from Mark (thanks! and by the way, your rationale is exactly what I had in mind) to continue discussing complexity vs depth on this thread, well, who I am to disagree? :-)

Captain Morgan wrote:
So when I bring a new player to the table, I need to teach them a lot. [snip]

I'm 100% on the same boat, including all of your points I cut out for length. I'm at the stage where I need to recommend options to several players when leveling up (it's fun, I don't mind, but still). I put together an Excel spreadsheet so my barbarian player can actually run his character in combat, and I should be doing the same for the archery ranger. I had a bad first impression of Hero Lab a few years back, I guess I should come back to it now that so many are recommending it. And so on...


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It seems, unlike the Goblin debates, where there are opponents and proponents, that most people here, regardless of the specific fixes they suggest, would prefer if not all of the small races have an inherent Charisma bonus. Some feel this way for variety's sake (with which I agree), and others (like myself) also think the lore of Golarion does not necessarily support all three having Charisma bonuses.

I hope this is something to which the devs pay attention, because I am otherwise really excited for and optimistic towards PF2.


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Removing all damage restrictions from the weapon sizes (Small/Medium at least) is a little... odd?

I was expecting one of the Weapons abilities to be "Sizeless" for stuff like the Sling or Rapier, where they would use the same damage at different sizes. But when you are wielding a Mace or an Axe, the size (and weight) should matter. Do the Small/Medium sizes even exist?

All in all, at least it makes the game simpler in a good way by not having to know/check/remember two damages for every single weapon for your average (Small/Medium) sized adventurers, and "buffs" being a weapon-wielding class as a small race.

As for people complaining about all small races getting +CHA... Well... Small creatures are cute, right? :-P

In all seriousness, if it needed to change so they are/feel different I would give the +INT to Goblins with the excuse that the ones that became adventurers and are allowed in the cities are way smarter than the rest; and the +WIS to Gnomes, because I think it fits with their usual classes/themes/habitats, but maybe that's just me.

Also a little surprised that both Halfings and Gnomes got away with d8 Ancestry Dice. I think a d6 for Halfling would have made more sense and added some flavor. It this an attempt to "balance" the races (as in, they felt it needed better HP because it had less speed than the Goblin)? If so, no one really cares about 2HP more or less past level 2 or 3, and I think your average Halfling should be less durable than your average Human.

Overall pretty disappointed by this blog post... Too little info, and the most interesting/surprising one (Small/Medium weapon dice difference gone) was hidden and could be interpreted as it only working for Slings.

We really need/want more precise info on the new Spell system/lists and more global stuff like that. This whole post could be reduced to 4 lines listing the ancestry bonuses and mentioning the 4 feats (and for half of them we didn't even get actual numbers/mechanics).

I'm really looking forward to PF2, but I hope the next post has more substance than this one.


HWalsh wrote:
Look we've SEEN character sheets from the playtest. People don't start with 10's and 12's.

Is there a character sheet from the earlier playtest I can see anywhere? I would be interested to look at one.


I'm pretty sure we will get 1 to 2 ancestry feats and 1 heritage feat (with the posibility to make it into a regular ancestry feat), my suspicions are unfounded, but I'm pretty sure that we will get something quite similar to this.


Also I'm really pleased with the idea of the sling being powerd up, is a really deadly weapon that is easier to hide than a bow and quiver, perfect for urban envrioments


Lastly in defense of small weapons doing same damage, wouldnt this be realistic by having them being shorter but thicker, if a halfling and a human both have the same strength it should be plausible for both to swing a weapob of the same weight

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Why is "gnomes need to enjoy themselves, go on adventures, or experience new things" a problem in a game that is predicated on doing those exact things?

It is primarily a problem for NPCs, or for PCs who are considering retirement.

One of the few "flaw" I see in the APs is that they are too fast paced. The most adventure paths have a "20 levels in 20 days" feeling. I enjoyed the feeling of the oldest versions of the game where you could spend months between adventures instead of constantly running to save the world.

The Bleaching is something that matter when you aren't running at a pace that give a new level every few days. In adventures like Kingmaker you can risk suffering from Bleaching, but in all other AP I have played it is irrelevant. A pity as it give a lot of flavor to gnomes.

- * - * -

I add my vote, for what it is worth, to the "give different bonuses to the small races, not 'always CHA'" crowd.

Intelligence for gnomes, Charisma for halflings and maybe Constitution for goblins (wise goblims is oxymoron for me). As they eat anything a bonus to constitution to increase the chance of surviving bad food seem a reasonable racial trait.

- * - * -

A question: the PC goblins have overcome their fear of written words? It was a great piece of characterization.
If I recall correctly there was a goblin in an adventure that was an alchemist and his "spellbook" was a piece of cloth soiled with the appropriate materials for his extracts, he used his nose to "read" it.
It was a grandiose image.


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Megistone wrote:
No chance that an halfling of gnome has, on average, the same strength as a human.

A chimpanzee is about the size of a gnome or goblin. If you really believe that nothing the size of a halfling could be as strong as a human, I suggest you try wrestling a champanzee.

...except really, really don't. They'll rip you apart, small size notwithstanding.

_
glass.


the thing i missed from 3.5 was templates... adding features... i have a Gnome character i would love to play but found it harder to things with a simple way of integrating the character... my fave character was a Winged Gnome named Samantha Maleficent Merryweather... Druid mage with twin frying pan attacks


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glass wrote:
Megistone wrote:
No chance that an halfling of gnome has, on average, the same strength as a human.

A chimpanzee is about the size of a gnome or goblin. If you really believe that nothing the size of a halfling could be as strong as a human, I suggest you try wrestling a champanzee.

...except really, really don't. They'll rip you apart, small size notwithstanding.

Once again, this is gamers not understanding the extent of physical abilities and how they apply even to our real world, much less a high fantasy one. Happens all the time with martial feats, and often in cases like these regarding smaller creatures. I mean, forget even chimps (though they're terrifically strong and could easily kill most grown adults) — have you ever tried wrestling with or even holding a 90-lb. dog on a leash when it tries to take off? I used to wrestle with my 85-lb. Staffordshire for fun; the sweetest dog in the world, but I could barely hold him off of me and I'm in pretty good shape. He wasn't actively trying to go full-force and kill me. He was holding back because he was playing and didn't want to hurt me.


alex northaven wrote:

the thing i missed from 3.5 was templates... adding features... i have a Gnome character i would love to play but found it harder to things with a simple way of integrating the character... my fave character was a Winged Gnome named Samantha Maleficent Merryweather... Druid mage with twin frying pan attacks

Number Crunch me: That doesn't sound like it would work, as the feat tax would be blah blah blah

Story telling me: That sounds bloody awesome! Hey can I make someone that uses a skillet to go with you?


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Just to give a "counterpoint" to the discussion about stat bonus allocation among the smaller ancestries. I don't really see a problem with the currently announced plusses. When I pick a character race/ancestry, it's not necessarily going to be because of the stat bonus, instead it's more to do with the character concept I have in mind. And if I want a specific boost to an ability score, there's always the floating bonus I can apply to help the specific class I've envisioned.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Okay. Jumping into the argument on Weapon Sizes here...

There is precedence in 3x for smaller-sized foes to do the same damage as larger-sized foes. This precedence is... the Rogue's Sneak Attack.

You could have a level 10 Pixie Rogue, a level 10 Human Rogue, and a level 10 Ogre Rogue... and ALL of them do 5d6 Sneak Attack Damage. In fact, for the Pixie Rogue, it may be that MOST of its damage is caused by Sneak Attack under the 3x and Pathfinder rules.

And it does reduce complexity in the game. I don't have to look up the weapon damage for a small-sized sickle or a small-sized short bow. Instead, I know that the sickle does 1d6 (as does the short bow). It's something you learn quickly and don't have to keep looking up over and over again. And it doesn't penalize a player who wants to play a halfling or gnome.

Seriously, how many times does the halfling get screwed over because that short sword or dagger was for a Medium-sized creature? They have to custom-build pretty much all their magic items and it gets old fast! Hell, they have to custom-build their armor as well! And sure, that makes more sense... though having magic armor resize itself makes some sense to me as "fit" is an important aspect on how well armor protects in my view. Besides, it's magic. How is having magic armor resize itself hard to believe?

For that matter, how many halfling or gnome wizards are out there who cannot use a Magic Staff because... they are all sized for medium-sized creatures. I know most people just ignore that rule outright but when you get down to it... rods, wands and staves should not resize. Not if other weapons and armor don't. So then, doesn't that pretty much mean you have penalized players of small-sized races/ancestries?

Nope, I think Paizo is going in the right path here. There's complexity... and there's screwing over the player. Weapon size is the latter, not the former. Eliminating it is for the best.


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Diego Rossi wrote:

One of the few "flaw" I see in the APs is that they are too fast paced. The most adventure paths have a "20 levels in 20 days" feeling. I enjoyed the feeling of the oldest versions of the game where you could spend months between adventures instead of constantly running to save the world.

The Bleaching is something that matter when you aren't running at a pace that give a new level every few days. In adventures like Kingmaker you can risk suffering from Bleaching, but in all other AP I have played it is irrelevant. A pity as it give a lot of flavor to gnomes.

The ridiculously accelerated pace of leveling in published work is something that bothers me too. It may seem silly, but as a GM one of the things I like about scifi games like Starfinder is that taking extra time to travel from adventure hub to adventure hub due to SPESS will normally result in at least a couple years going by in-game before a group gets to level 20.


With this one Blog post my interest in Pathfinder 2 has been halved. :(

Up to now my interest had been slowly building, but I really do not like the way ability scores are created, and I loathe getting rid of damage adjustments for smaller sized characters.

It could still turn back around for me - but as of now, I am much more likely to stick with the current edition.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm cautiously optimistic about the changes to stat generation. I never particularly liked Point Buy anyways, and having things like Background influence your stats is a nice way to help you put your character story together while simultaneosuly stating them out. So I just hope that there will be enough options to choose from, so that even if I want to go against all expectations, I still can do that.

Also I really like rolling dice for stat generation. So as long as this is part of the game, I'm not that concerned about how much fun the officially preferred method is

Silver Crusade

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

One of the few "flaw" I see in the APs is that they are too fast paced. The most adventure paths have a "20 levels in 20 days" feeling. I enjoyed the feeling of the oldest versions of the game where you could spend months between adventures instead of constantly running to save the world.

The Bleaching is something that matter when you aren't running at a pace that give a new level every few days. In adventures like Kingmaker you can risk suffering from Bleaching, but in all other AP I have played it is irrelevant. A pity as it give a lot of flavor to gnomes.

The ridiculously accelerated pace of leveling in published work is something that bothers me too. It may seem silly, but as a GM one of the things I like about scifi games like Starfinder is that taking extra time to travel from adventure hub to adventure hub due to SPESS will normally result in at least a couple years going by in-game before a group gets to level 20.

I don't recall where, but I *think* I remember hearing a Paizo person complaining about this exact thing. The context, I believe, was talking up the PF2 Downtime system as a natural way to work in time off between adventures. It *may* have been said that this would be a regular feature of PF2 APs.


/begin pure speculation
Concerning backgrounds and stat increases, I think one way that that might be reflected is to look at the way it could have impacted you physically or mentally. And then give you choices based on that.
Say for example that you had Escaped Slave as a background. That could have impacted you physically and perhaps hardened you mentally too. So you could get a +2 bonus to either Strength, Constitution or Wisdom, pick one.
While Former Barkeep could give you a +2 to either Constitution, Intelligence or Charisma, pick one.
It might even give you a bonus to two ability scores. We don't know.
This way you get a choice (or choices) while there aren't necessarily some specific backgrounds that always gets chosen in combination with certain classes.
/pure speculation


Joe M. wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

One of the few "flaw" I see in the APs is that they are too fast paced. The most adventure paths have a "20 levels in 20 days" feeling. I enjoyed the feeling of the oldest versions of the game where you could spend months between adventures instead of constantly running to save the world.

The Bleaching is something that matter when you aren't running at a pace that give a new level every few days. In adventures like Kingmaker you can risk suffering from Bleaching, but in all other AP I have played it is irrelevant. A pity as it give a lot of flavor to gnomes.

The ridiculously accelerated pace of leveling in published work is something that bothers me too. It may seem silly, but as a GM one of the things I like about scifi games like Starfinder is that taking extra time to travel from adventure hub to adventure hub due to SPESS will normally result in at least a couple years going by in-game before a group gets to level 20.
I don't recall where, but I *think* I remember hearing a Paizo person complaining about this exact thing. The context, I believe, was talking up the PF2 Downtime system as a natural way to work in time off between adventures. It *may* have been said that this would be a regular feature of PF2 APs.

I mean, they are making downtime one of the 3 distinct modes of play. I can't imagine why they would make mention a downtime phase if their published material wouldn't support it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TheAuldGrump wrote:

With this one Blog post my interest in Pathfinder 2 has been halved. :(

Up to now my interest had been slowly building, but I really do not like the way ability scores are created, and I loathe getting rid of damage adjustments for smaller sized characters.

It could still turn back around for me - but as of now, I am much more likely to stick with the current edition.

You realize, we don't know how they are doing stat generation just yet. There are guesses, sure, but they're just guesses. And hell, it was stated you could have a Cleric with a Wisdom of 10 - which suggests some form of point distribution exists.

And why the hell are people so enthralled with screwing over small-sized races? Seriously, how many people have NOT chosen to play a halfling or gnome or other small-sized race because it would negatively impact their chances of acquiring magic armor and weapons that were not custom-build for them? I think I can count the number of times small-sized magic weapons were left in the entire Runelords Adventure Path on just two hands. Compare that to the dozens of medium-sized weapons and armor.

If you don't like it, just think of the scene in The Hobbit when Bilbo takes up an elvish blade and feels it would suit him like a sword, even though it was "a pocket knife" I think was how Sting was described? Bilbo repurposed an elvish dagger to serve him as a sword. Given how blades are forged with the pommel separate from the blade, it would be fairly easy to remove an existing pommel of a short sword or dagger and replace them with one designed for the somewhat-smaller fingers of halflings and gnomes.

I just cannot fathom why weapon-size would be a deal-breaker.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Joe M. wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

One of the few "flaw" I see in the APs is that they are too fast paced. The most adventure paths have a "20 levels in 20 days" feeling. I enjoyed the feeling of the oldest versions of the game where you could spend months between adventures instead of constantly running to save the world.

The Bleaching is something that matter when you aren't running at a pace that give a new level every few days. In adventures like Kingmaker you can risk suffering from Bleaching, but in all other AP I have played it is irrelevant. A pity as it give a lot of flavor to gnomes.

The ridiculously accelerated pace of leveling in published work is something that bothers me too. It may seem silly, but as a GM one of the things I like about scifi games like Starfinder is that taking extra time to travel from adventure hub to adventure hub due to SPESS will normally result in at least a couple years going by in-game before a group gets to level 20.
I don't recall where, but I *think* I remember hearing a Paizo person complaining about this exact thing. The context, I believe, was talking up the PF2 Downtime system as a natural way to work in time off between adventures. It *may* have been said that this would be a regular feature of PF2 APs.
I mean, they are making downtime one of the 3 distinct modes of play. I can't imagine why they would make mention a downtime phase if their published material wouldn't support it.

Yesssss, my precious...


The other thing is that bigger weapons only hit harder if they are swung with the same speed. A small weapon could indeed hit just as hard if the wielder can swing with a higher velocity.

Now, I grant you halflings aren't really treated as being capable of accelerating a lump of metal on a stick any faster than a human, and if they could PF1 probably would have used static modifiers to simulate that over damage dice. But if equalized damage dice kills your immersion then the abstractions of combat must be generally pretty rough on you.


Tangent101 wrote:
If you don't like it, just think of the scene in The Hobbit when Bilbo takes up an elvish blade and feels it would suit him like a sword, even though it was "a pocket knife" I think was how Sting was described? Bilbo repurposed an elvish dagger to serve him as a sword. Given how blades are forged with the pommel separate from the blade, it would be fairly easy to remove an existing pommel of a short sword or dagger and replace them with one designed for the somewhat-smaller fingers of halflings and gnomes.

And when the small guy decides to instead pick up the great sword that is actually much larger than him the halforc just dropped?

That logic doesnt cover even cases that took one second to think about.

Same could be said about a fullplate for a medium guy now being used by a small one and so on and on.

Changing the dice DOESNT remove weapon neither armor size. It still remains to be seen how this was, if at all, changed.


David knott 242 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Why is "gnomes need to enjoy themselves, go on adventures, or experience new things" a problem in a game that is predicated on doing those exact things?
It is primarily a problem for NPCs, or for PCs who are considering retirement.

IMHO this points that this core feature of Gnomes could use alot more implementation to make relevant to PCs. Like a mechanic formalizing what interests you/ what bores you. Maybe that can change periodically, but you are stuck with choice for a certain time/level, so if game shifts into "boredom" territory then Bleaching is actually relevant to your game and roleplaying. I'm sure some wouldn't like that, but for my game having tangible impact to PCs in preferable.

Shadow Lodge

So it sounds like the highest score you can have is a 14 at level one, and even then only if you have an 8?

14, 12, 10, 10, 10, 8
12, 12, 10, 10, 10 10

How is that array going to allow for much variety? The more I learn the less this sounds like they are 'fixing problems with the game' and it already didn't sound a lot like that to me.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
So it sounds like the highest score you can have is a 14 at level one, and even then only if you have an 8?

I would guess 16 if each step in the Ancestry, Background, and Class contributes up to +2 to a given stat.

Characters who start with their highest stat at 16 are perfectly viable in PF1, so that's fine.


Catharsis wrote:
The step from 1d8 to 2d6 was disproportionately powerful, and Small characters were barred from it.

They weren't actually barred from it, they just got limited mileage, only when using Greatswords etc.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
So it sounds like the highest score you can have is a 14 at level one, and even then only if you have an 8?

I would guess 16 if each step in the Ancestry, Background, and Class contributes up to +2 to a given stat.

Characters who start with their highest stat at 16 are perfectly viable in PF1, so that's fine.

Every carecter in the podcasts had an 18 in thier primary stat.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
So it sounds like the highest score you can have is a 14 at level one, and even then only if you have an 8?

I would guess 16 if each step in the Ancestry, Background, and Class contributes up to +2 to a given stat.

Characters who start with their highest stat at 16 are perfectly viable in PF1, so that's fine.

Apparently, playtest Kyra has an 18 Wis and a whole bunch of other comfortable positives, so this whole stat panic is entirely misplaced. Also, you can assume the devs are aware of the kinds of stats needed to play their new game... ;o)

I'm assuming there's a fourth stage after class that allows you another free +2 to round off your character so allow for one 18 at 1st.


Dragonborn3 wrote:

So it sounds like the highest score you can have is a 14 at level one, and even then only if you have an 8?

14, 12, 10, 10, 10, 8
12, 12, 10, 10, 10 10

How is that array going to allow for much variety? The more I learn the less this sounds like they are 'fixing problems with the game' and it already didn't sound a lot like that to me.

Well, for one, it sounds like there may be additional sources of Ability bonus beyond Ancestry in this new Edition. If not, however, a shallow stat array could still be reasonably argued to foster greater variety on the basis that choices made at character creation having little to no impact will facilitate the realization of a broader range of character concepts

PS. I'm also pretty sure you can't use your discretionary bonus to raise a stat that had already been increased by your Ancestry...

Scarab Sages

Morgan Champion wrote:


Apparently, playtest Kyra has an 18 Wis and a whole bunch of other comfortable positives, so this whole stat panic is entirely misplaced. Also, you can assume the devs are aware of the kinds of stats needed to play their new game... ;o)

I'm assuming there's a fourth stage after class that allows you another free +2 to round off your character so allow for one 18 at 1st.

That post was by me rather than Morgan. Paizo is mixing up our accounts again. :(

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