Gearing Up!

Friday, May 4, 2018

In Monday's blog, we talked about weapons and all the plentiful options you have when you're picking those. So let's stay in the Equipment chapter for the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook and take a look at armor, other gear, and everything else having to do with items!

Don Your Armor!

Armor's job is to protect you from your enemies' attacks. Your character can have proficiency in light armor, medium armor, or heavy armor (or, in some cases, none of the above). Most classes are only trained in their armor at first, though some martial classes gain better proficiency at higher levels. In Pathfinder First Edition, many types of armor were effectively obsolete because you could just buy a better type, but for Pathfinder Second Edition, we've made a few new adjustments to make each type a little different.

A suit of armor has many of the same statistics as in Pathfinder First Edition, but now each one also gives a bonus to your TAC (Touch Armor Class). For instance, studded leather gives a +2 item bonus to AC and +0 to TAC, whereas a chain shirt gives a +2 item bonus to AC and +1 to TAC, but it is heavier and noisier. That last bit comes from the noisy trait, one of a small number of traits some armors have to reflect their construction and effect on the wearer. Armor also has a Dexterity modifier cap (which limits how much of your Dexterity modifier can apply to your AC); a check penalty that applies to most of your Strength-, Dexterity-, and Constitution-based skill checks; a penalty to your Speed; and a Bulk value. You'll balance these variables to pick the armor that's best for you.

As you adventure, you'll find or craft magic armor. Weapons and suits of armor alike can be enhanced with magical potency runes. For weapons, a potency rune gives an item bonus on attack rolls and increases the number of damage dice you roll on attacks with the weapon. For armor, the potency rune increases the armor's item bonuses to your AC and TAC and gives you a bonus to your saving throws! For instance, studded leather with a +3 armor potency rune (a.k.a. +3 studded leather) would give you +5 AC, +3 TAC, and +3 to your saves. You can also upgrade the potency later, etching a +4 armor potency rune onto that armor to increase its bonus. You can even upgrade the potency of specific armor (and weapons) so you can hold on to your celestial armor at higher levels. If you don't wear armor, not to worry! Your bracers of armor give you a bonus to AC, TAC, and your saves without requiring you to clad yourself in a clunky metal box. They might not protect you quite as well, but maybe that trade-off is worth it to your wizard or monk!

Illustrations by Wayne Reynolds

Shield Yourself!

You've probably seen mention of shields in previous blogs, announcements, and broadcast play sessions. To gain the benefits of a shield, you have to spend an action to raise it, which then gives you a bonus to AC and TAC (+1 for a light shield or +2 for a heavy shield) for 1 round. Your character has proficiency in shields just like she does with armor, and when using a shield, you use the lower proficiency rank of your armor or shield to calculate your Armor Class.

Shields don't have potency runes. Instead, you might pick up a shield made of a durable material like adamantine or craft a magic shield that catches arrows, reflects a spell back at its caster, or bites your enemies!

Fill Your Backpack!

The Equipment chapter also includes all sorts of other gear you might want on adventures, from rope to tents to musical instruments to religious symbols. Many of these items are required to perform certain tasks, like thieves' tools. The new system of item quality makes it pretty straightforward to figure out how tools work. For example, you need thieves' tools to pick a lock or disable many traps. Normal thieves' tools let you do this normally, expert-quality tools give you a +1 item bonus on your check, and master-quality tools give you a +2 item bonus on your check. Now what if you get stuck without your tools and need to improvise? Well, if you can scrabble something together, you've created a poor-quality set of tools, which gives you a -2 item penalty (much like the penalty for having an proficiency rank of untrained in a task). The same thing might happen if you had to turn vines into improvised rope or use an empty chest as a drum for an improvised musical instrument!

Take a Load Off!

Not everything you can purchase is adventuring gear. Cinco de Cuatro wouldn't be complete without some luxuries like a bottle of fine wine or renting an extravagant suite! You might even rent an animal to ride about town. Of course, an extravagant lifestyle can have a high cost, and the chapter includes costs of living per week, month, or year so you can accurately budget your lifestyle decisions.

Switch It Up!

One of the squidgy parts of Pathfinder First Edition we wanted to clear up with the redesign is how holding, wielding, and stowing items work, particularly switching how many hands you're using for an item. Now, drawing an item from a pouch, changing your grip from one-handed to two-handed, or detaching a shield from your arm all require the Interact action. We've codified the rules for many of the basic things you do with items so the other rules interface with them cleanly. That [[A]] code you see there indicates this is an action, and will be a lovely icon in the final rulebook!

[[A]] Interact

Manipulate

You use your hand or hands to manipulate an object or the terrain. You grab an unattended or stored object, open a door, or do some similar action. You may have to attempt a skill check to determine if your Interact action was successful.

The equipment chapter also covers the full rules on item quality and on Bulk, plus a section on how items and Bulk work for creatures of different sizes.

Now you have a basic rundown of the gear in this book. We'll dive deep into magic items at a later date. Looking at what you see here, what sort of useful, peculiar, or silly things do you think your character will spend their silver pieces on?

Logan Bonner
Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Like what I'm seeing this week!

Edit: SECOND!

Liberty's Edge

Does Interact act as one of your 3 actions in a round? If yes, can an interact action take up more than one action per round?

Never mind - just re-read blog...it is an action. :)


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Seems like the Ring of Protection and the Cloak of Resistance have gotten squashed into armor?


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So how does proficiency interact with armor exactly? Do we add the same proficiency bonus from being a master of medium armor to our AC that we would to our skill checks if we're a master of that skill?


So cloak of resistance has been off loaded to magic armor? Not thrilled about that.

I do like the changes to shields very much though!

Sovereign Court

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Applying an armor's enchantment bonus to saving throws is brilliant. Bravo!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I always appreciate a good Arrested Development reference!


Nice


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Pretty much they ditched the ring of protection, and have rolled the cloak of resistance into armor's basic magical enhancements.

This is a good change as it cuts down on the big 6.

Silver Crusade

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Yes that was my favourite takeaway from the blog as well. Although it probably makes the armor potency runes even more important?


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Real hidden takeaway from the blog: Constitution based skill checks.

That said, color me unimpressed so far with the fact that cloaks of resistance and rings of protection to a lesser extent are now just being subsumed into armor. You're not going to promote more diverse item usage if the dull no-brainer options are still around.

Silver Crusade

Tarik Blackhands wrote:

Real hidden takeaway from the blog: Constitution based skill checks.

That said, color me unimpressed so far with the fact that cloaks of resistance and rings of protection to a lesser extent are now just being subsumed into armor. You're not going to promote more diverse item usage if the dull no-brainer options are still around.

I’m pretty sure ACP referenced con based checks in PF1 as well.


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Markus Hyytinen wrote:
Applying an armor's enchantment bonus to saving throws is brilliant. Bravo!

IDK, its a flat bonus to everybody attached to WBL. Why not bake it into leveling and leave it off equipment?


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:

Real hidden takeaway from the blog: Constitution based skill checks.

That said, color me unimpressed so far with the fact that cloaks of resistance and rings of protection to a lesser extent are now just being subsumed into armor. You're not going to promote more diverse item usage if the dull no-brainer options are still around.

It depends - If you have plenty of WBL left over after getting your weapon and armor then why not?

No more + Ability items
Cloaks of Resistance
Amulets of Natural Armor (presumably)
Or Rings of Protection.

Good stuff.


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Since this is a blog on Armor largely, can you tell us something about how AC is actually computed? Does proficiency determine some base AC that armor/shields then add to? (I can see monks getting *expert* at no armor, so having a higher base AC when unarmored...)

Also, how does *armor* quality figure in. I'm assuming that similar to weapons, armors can have different qualities?

What makes me want to use a light shield over a heavy (outside of potential proficiency)?

Finally, any special materials?


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Planpanther wrote:
Markus Hyytinen wrote:
Applying an armor's enchantment bonus to saving throws is brilliant. Bravo!
IDK, its a flat bonus to everybody attached to WBL. Why not bake it into leveling and leave it off equipment?

Because being able to choose between offense and defense when spending money is fun for players? At least it is for me.


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I don't like the idea of "switching from a one handed to a two handed grip" requiring an action.

Let's say my fighter is using a greatsword and decides to open a door. He moves to the door (Stride Action), lets go of his greatsword with one hand (hopefully this doesn't cost an action) and opens the door (Interact Action) then notices an orc on the other side of the door. He must then take ANOTHER Interact Action to grasp his weapon in two hands? He can't just swing?

Wasn't this a Free Action in PF1?

This makes anyone using a two handed weapon pay an extra action to do stuff that requires a free hand.

Silver Crusade

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This all sounds great. Here are some things that stood out to me:

(1) Constitution-based skills

Blog wrote:
Constitution-based skill checks

(2) Enchantments granting item bonuses

Blog wrote:
For weapons, a potency rune gives an item bonus on attack rolls
Weapon Blog wrote:
Quality grants an item bonus or penalty of the same value as the matching proficiency (so an expert bow grants a +1 item bonus to hit and a legendary axe grants a +3 item bonus to hit).

I wonder how these two item bonuses (weapon quality + potency rune) interact.

(3) Proficiency bonus with armor

Blog wrote:

Most classes are only trained in their armor at first, though some martial classes gain better proficiency at higher levels.

. . .
when using a shield, you use the lower proficiency rank of your armor or shield to calculate your Armor Class.

How does your armor proficiency bonus interact with your armor? Do you just get your armor proficiency bonus added on top of your AC?

(4) Downtime rules

Blog wrote:
the chapter includes costs of living per week, month, or year so you can accurately budget your lifestyle decisions.

Great. Looking forward to the downtime rules.

(5) Interact + Handedness

Blog wrote:
One of the squidgy parts of Pathfinder First Edition we wanted to clear up with the redesign is how holding, wielding, and stowing items work, particularly switching how many hands you’re using for an item. Now, drawing an item from a pouch, changing your grip from one-handed to two-handed, or detaching a shield from your arm all require the Interact action. 

Two thoughts here: (1) I’m very glad that this will be cleaned up in the core rules of the new edition; (2) this may confirm that my worry on the weapons blog about too-close terminology between “two-hand” weapon property and “two-handed” weapons or grips.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Planpanther wrote:
Markus Hyytinen wrote:
Applying an armor's enchantment bonus to saving throws is brilliant. Bravo!
IDK, its a flat bonus to everybody attached to WBL. Why not bake it into leveling and leave it off equipment?

I would favor that as well, but the implementation of it presented in unchained didn't seem terribly popular.


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I have some players who will be ecstatic about upgrading specific armor.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, I will need to wait and see, but I hope they got rid of the biggest issue with pathfinder 1e armor which is that there were really only three options end of day.

Chain Shirt.
Mithral Breastplate
Full Plate.
(I guess no armor)

Hopefully this is different now.


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Hah, I was right! Cloak of resistance folded into magic armor.

I like this approach. Also happy to see touch AC being improved by armor, because in most fantasy, metal interferes with magic. You're not touching the person if you miss, you're touching the armor, so your spell doesn't land.

Not much detail on heavier armors, and unless I missed it no detail on how AC may scale with level. I'm still curious how high the AC bonuses go, and how they'll balance that against attack bonus. Because +8 from full plate, if it scales with level, would make it almost impossible to hit the wearer at any level. Yet if it doesn't scale, eventually AC will be completely outstripped by attack bonus... Need more info.

Just like I don't want generic "+1 sword" with no abilities, I also don't want generic "+1 armor" with no abilities. I want every magic item to have SOMETHING cool it does besides just fiddling with your numbers. But at least the potency rune can be applied to specific armors, which is good. I guess I can just ban players from making generic ones in my game.

Good to see Lifestyle making an appearance here. Always been a favorite way of handling this since it first showed up in other systems years ago.

Overall good. Want more details but I guess we might get more on heavy armor in particular in the Paladin blog~


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Also, oof man, casters that want to use a two-handed weapon just got a *huge* nerf. Need to spend two actions, one to let go of your greatsword, so you can cast a spell, use whatever actions you need to cast, then another action to grab your greatsword again?

Grand Lodge

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I really don't think needing to use 1 of your 3 actions to change your grip on a sword makes much sense. If I'm 2 handing a mace, it's pretty simple to drop it from one hand. Definitely shouldn't take 1/3 of my turn.

Surely this doesn't extend to dropping held items as well?

Silver Crusade

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thflame wrote:

I don't like the idea of "switching from a one handed to a two handed grip" requiring an action.

Let's say my fighter is using a greatsword and decides to open a door. He moves to the door (Stride Action), lets go of his greatsword with one hand (hopefully this doesn't cost an action) and opens the door (Interact Action) then notices an orc on the other side of the door. He must then take ANOTHER Interact Action to grasp his weapon in two hands? He can't just swing?

Wasn't this a Free Action in PF1?

This makes anyone using a two handed weapon pay an extra action to do stuff that requires a free hand.

This is a good question. If you're required to (1) release; (2) interact; (3) regrip, that's a full turn to open a door for a fighter wielding a greatsword. That wouldn't be a great result, I don't think. So I'd expect that the basic Interact action might be able to bundle this kind of thing into a single action. Logan?

But regardless, this is the kind of rule that it's super important to have clearly hashed out in the core rules to prevent the kind of endless confusion we see in PF1. So I'm very glad to see it as an intentional focus.


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Why do armor and shields provide bonuses to your Touch AC? Has the definition of what a touch attack is changed so drastically, or is this just a sort of balance band-aid in regards to PF2s inflated Attack Bonuses across classes?

Other than that, pretty meh. The only interesting thing is Armor enhancement bonuses going to saves, which is just folding the old cloak of resistance into the armor, which is fine.

I really don't see how this new armor system aims to stop what the blog claims ("In Pathfinder First Edition, many types of armor were effectively obsolete because you could just buy a better type"). I mean, even in the example a chain shirt is just mechanically better than studded leather. Unless noisy is somehow more impactful than the old Armor penalties when it comes to Stealth checks, there's no contest.

Silver Crusade

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John Ryan 783 wrote:

So, I will need to wait and see, but I hope they got rid of the biggest issue with pathfinder 1e armor which is that there were really only three options end of day.

Chain Shirt.
Mithral Breastplate
Full Plate.
(I guess no armor)

Hopefully this is different now.

This seems to be something the designers are aware of and trying to address. Looking forward to seeing how it feels in the Playtest.

Blog wrote:
In Pathfinder First Edition, many types of armor were effectively obsolete because you could just buy a better type, but for Pathfinder Second Edition, we’ve made a few new adjustments to make each type a little different.

And this post from Mark:

Mark Seifter wrote:
One of our core goals was to have few or no weapons (and armor types, while we're at it) that are rendered pointless by having another weapon in the same proficiency category that is just a better weapon.


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Why change a grip is an action and not a free action? Because it can boost your damage? Is that so good to change a grip from two hands to one hand? Open or close a hand takes the same effort of Strike?!? Why?

Silver Crusade

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TheFinish wrote:
Why do armor and shields provide bonuses to your Touch AC?

Presumably because Touch AC is not at all balanced or calibrated in PF1, such that it's laughably low so player tactics that focus on touch AC can be game-breaking. Tying Touch AC closer into the "normal" AC system is a good thing.


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Blog wrote:
Your character has proficiency in shields just like she does with armor, and when using a shield, you use the lower proficiency rank of your armor or shield to calculate your Armor Class.

So I can reduce my AC by using a shield?

Can't say I like that.


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Joe M. wrote:
thflame wrote:

I don't like the idea of "switching from a one handed to a two handed grip" requiring an action.

Let's say my fighter is using a greatsword and decides to open a door. He moves to the door (Stride Action), lets go of his greatsword with one hand (hopefully this doesn't cost an action) and opens the door (Interact Action) then notices an orc on the other side of the door. He must then take ANOTHER Interact Action to grasp his weapon in two hands? He can't just swing?

Wasn't this a Free Action in PF1?

This makes anyone using a two handed weapon pay an extra action to do stuff that requires a free hand.

This is a good question. If you're required to (1) release; (2) interact; (3) regrip, that's a full turn to open a door for a fighter wielding a greatsword. That wouldn't be a great result, I don't think. So I'd expect that the basic Interact action might be able to bundle this kind of thing into a single action. Logan?

The one thing I will say is this now makes one-handers (with nothing in their off-hand) a lot more viable, where they weren't viable in 1E. Essentially you're paying a lot more for using a two-handed (not two-hand mind you :-P) weapon.

Sovereign Court

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I hope the action names get cleaned up a little... they seem at the moment, pretty cumbersome rolling off the tongue!

Silver Crusade

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Leyren wrote:
Blog wrote:
Your character has proficiency in shields just like she does with armor, and when using a shield, you use the lower proficiency rank of your armor or shield to calculate your Armor Class.

So I can reduce my AC by using a shield?

Can't say I like that.

The way I think it works is that your AC is calculated something like this: 10 + Armor Item Bonus + Shield Item Bonus + Armor/Shield Proficiency Bonus + Dexterity

Imagine that you have a +1 Armor Proficiency Bonus; a +0 Shield Proficiency Bonus; and a shield that provides +2 Shield Item Bonus. If you activate the shield, you use the lower proficiency bonus but gain the Shield Item Bonus, so your AC would on net increase by +1.

(This is all a bit of a guess. I'm hoping that the designers clarify how proficiency and items interact, either in this thread or in the twitch stream in a couple hours where Logan will be discussing this. So head over there with questions if you've got 'em.)


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thflame wrote:

I don't like the idea of "switching from a one handed to a two handed grip" requiring an action.

Let's say my fighter is using a greatsword and decides to open a door. He moves to the door (Stride Action), lets go of his greatsword with one hand (hopefully this doesn't cost an action) and opens the door (Interact Action) then notices an orc on the other side of the door. He must then take ANOTHER Interact Action to grasp his weapon in two hands? He can't just swing?

Wasn't this a Free Action in PF1?

This makes anyone using a two handed weapon pay an extra action to do stuff that requires a free hand.

Leyren wrote:
Blog wrote:
Your character has proficiency in shields just like she does with armor, and when using a shield, you use the lower proficiency rank of your armor or shield to calculate your Armor Class.

So I can reduce my AC by using a shield?

Can't say I like that.

Oof, somehow missed both of these. Yeah, that boggles my mind. O.o Raising a shield should never lower your AC, switching grip should be a free action. Hell, I'm no warrior but I can change grips on an axe or the like in a heartbeat.

Paizo Employee

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Bruno Mares wrote:
Why change a grip is an action and not a free action? Because it can boost your damage? Is that so good to change a grip from two hands to one hand? Open or close a hand takes the same effort of Strike?!? Why?

We actually don't know yet that it goes the other way. The blog says "Now, drawing an item from a pouch, changing your grip from one-handed to two-handed,..." so it's possible that only increasing your handedness requires an action while releasing your grip could be a free action.


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Joe M. wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
Why do armor and shields provide bonuses to your Touch AC?
Presumably because Touch AC is not at all balanced or calibrated in PF1, such that it's laughably low so player tactics that focus on touch AC can be game-breaking. Tying Touch AC closer into the "normal" AC system is a good thing.

It also means you can have unconventional armor that provides more bonus to TAC than AC for countering spellcasters and firearm wielders.


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Joe M. wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
Why do armor and shields provide bonuses to your Touch AC?
Presumably because Touch AC is not at all balanced or calibrated in PF1, such that it's laughably low so player tactics that focus on touch AC can be game-breaking. Tying Touch AC closer into the "normal" AC system is a good thing.

That only really became a problem with the Gunslinger, who is not only the only class in the game that can get touch attacks in any appreciable volume, they can do so while benefitting from feats others can't use, most importantly and glaringly Deadly Aim.

You could probably make a blaster sorcerer with about as many touch attacks, but they'll not only have to deal with SR further down the line, they'll also suffer from less DPR due to just how many shots a well built gunslinger can take in one full attack action.

Take the gunslinger away and Touch AC is basically fine as is in PF1.

Still, I do think armor giving +TAC is a result of everyone basically being full BAB now.


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Not the most exciting post ever, but it has a few good things. The reduction of the big 6 is achieved by subsuming saving throw bonuses into armor (including bracers): A very good, simple idea. Armor provides some bonuses to Touch AC: This is good, because in PF1 whatever attack targeted Touch AC was excessively favored to hit, imo. Finally, confirmation that whatever you do with an object is an action. This is a welcome simplification.

I don't think I'll get the meaning of "you use the lower proficiency rank of your armor or shield" in the absence of an example.

Planpanther wrote:
Markus Hyytinen wrote:
Applying an armor's enchantment bonus to saving throws is brilliant. Bravo!
IDK, its a flat bonus to everybody attached to WBL. Why not bake it into leveling and leave it off equipment?

Because if you do that, it's like characters are always equipped with their magic toys. It's important to allow for removing such protections. This offers opportunities to challenge characters with special situations where they have to make do without their equipment. Removing this option would deprive DMs and adventure authors from a lot of narrative freedom.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I... really don't see the point of the Interact action. It becomes too all-encompassing and seems to create issues more than it helps. The big example is up-thread where a character would have to spend two actions just to change their grip to open a door. Can't you just say "Using this item/performing this effect takes an action" so you can assume most basic actions are, at base, free actions to perform?

Silver Crusade

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Joe M. wrote:
Leyren wrote:
Blog wrote:
Your character has proficiency in shields just like she does with armor, and when using a shield, you use the lower proficiency rank of your armor or shield to calculate your Armor Class.

So I can reduce my AC by using a shield?

Can't say I like that.

The way I think it works is that your AC is calculated something like this: 10 + Armor Item Bonus + Shield Item Bonus + Armor/Shield Proficiency Bonus + Dexterity

Imagine that you have a +1 Armor Proficiency Bonus; a +0 Shield Proficiency Bonus; and a shield that provides +2 Shield Item Bonus. If you activate the shield, you use the lower proficiency bonus but gain the Shield Item Bonus, so your AC would on net increase by +1.

(This is all a bit of a guess. I'm hoping that the designers clarify how proficiency and items interact, either in this thread or in the twitch stream in a couple hours where Logan will be discussing this. So head over there with questions if you've got 'em.)

Yeah, going back to the Proficiency Blog, the Criticals Blog, and the Fighter Blog, my read is that your proficiency bonus will just add into your AC. E.g.,

Proficiency Blog wrote:
You don't just have proficiency in weapons, which helps when you swing a sword, or proficiency in armor, which protects you when you try to avoid a blow . . . There are five different ranks of proficiency.

So it should work like I describe above.


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Ssalarn wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:
Why change a grip is an action and not a free action? Because it can boost your damage? Is that so good to change a grip from two hands to one hand? Open or close a hand takes the same effort of Strike?!? Why?
We actually don't know yet that it goes the other way. The blog says "Now, drawing an item from a pouch, changing your grip from one-handed to two-handed,..." so it's possible that only increasing your handedness requires an action while releasing your grip could be a free action.

I hope you're right!

Because in Starfinder, any grip change is an action. And that gives you no benefits at all...


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TheFinish wrote:

That only really became a problem with the Gunslinger, who is not only the only class in the game that can get touch attacks in any appreciable volume, they can do so while benefitting from feats others can't use, most importantly and glaringly Deadly Aim.

You could probably make a blaster sorcerer with about as many touch attacks, but they'll not only have to deal with SR further down the line, they'll also suffer from less DPR due to just how many shots a well built gunslinger can take in one full attack action.

Take the gunslinger away and Touch AC is basically fine as is in PF1.

Still, I do think armor giving +TAC is a result of everyone basically being full BAB now.

There's a solid chance we will see touch attack cantrips, or at least, domain powers. Even if not, the re-balancing of the game that's going on here means that a much greater variety of touch attacks will exist.


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Let me be possibly the first in this blog to echo the sentiment from the weapons blog. I can live with bastard swords and long swords technically being misnamed arming swords and the like... but I have a strong antipathy toward 'leather armour'.

Give me a gambeson, it looks cooler, is way more effective than people assume, requires fewer dead cows to explain, and--unlike leather armour--has substantial evidence that it actually existed. If a distinction between cloth/padded armour is needed, padded armour can be the thinner padded jacket that's usually worn under chain mail or heavier armours and 'leather'/gambeson can be more padded.

And if this is too much to accept, that leather armour isn't really better than a good gambeson or that it's more interesting and plausible... then at least do us all a solid and stop calling the brigandine 'studded leather', and make sure to include the description of the metal plates inside the jacket which the studs are supporting.

Thank-you for your consideration.


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Leyren wrote:
Blog wrote:
Your character has proficiency in shields just like she does with armor, and when using a shield, you use the lower proficiency rank of your armor or shield to calculate your Armor Class.

So I can reduce my AC by using a shield?

Can't say I like that.

If there's some type of martial that's somehow legendary proficiency with armour (+4?) but completely untrained with shields, then it makes sense that using a shield would unbalance them, wouldn't it?

I'm pretty sure that's the intention, but to some degree I'm worried that all the different proficiency numbers and touch AC and armour check penalties and all the other numbers/abilities might confuse newer players. I'm even a bit confused by it myself, and I'm usually pretty good with balancing rules.


Joe M. wrote:
Leyren wrote:
Blog wrote:
Your character has proficiency in shields just like she does with armor, and when using a shield, you use the lower proficiency rank of your armor or shield to calculate your Armor Class.

So I can reduce my AC by using a shield?

Can't say I like that.

The way I think it works is that your AC is calculated something like this: 10 + Armor Item Bonus + Shield Item Bonus + Armor/Shield Proficiency Bonus + Dexterity

Imagine that you have a +1 Armor Proficiency Bonus; a +0 Shield Proficiency Bonus; and a shield that provides +2 Shield Item Bonus. If you activate the shield, you use the lower proficiency bonus but gain the Shield Item Bonus, so your AC would on net increase by +1.

(This is all a bit of a guess. I'm hoping that the designers clarify how proficiency and items interact, either in this thread or in the twitch stream in a couple hours where Logan will be discussing this. So head over there with questions if you've got 'em.)

Yeah, it's a bit theoretical, but if the proficiency bonus goes into the ac, it means the higher your armor proficiency goes, the less likely you'll use a shield to be more defensive, probably.


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I for one am eager to get more info on the action economy. I know that some folks will be angry to see things that used to cost a free action now cost an action (one of the three you get per turn), but it'll be a step forward to have things standardized in this way. No need for arguments about abusing free actions, you just have to use an interact action to do stuff:

Gearing Up blog wrote:
Now, drawing an item from a pouch, changing your grip from one-handed to two-handed, or detaching a shield from your arm all require the Interact action.

We still need to know just what requires an interact action... things like:

- drawing a throwing weapon (or any weapon, for that matter)
- loading a sling
- drawing an arrow
- loading a crossbow

Some of those things could cost an action until you get a special feat (like quick draw) which would radically change the action economy for weapon hurlers) or might require multiple actions (thinking of crossbows, especially heavy crossbows, which would logically require multiple actions to reload). Whether or not drawing an arrow requires an action will make a huge difference in the efficiency of archery as an attack option.

As far as changing your grip is concerned, one could easily imagine having a feat called "quick grip" or something similar, to overcome the action cost. And perhaps changing from two-handed to one-handed grip will be without an action cost, the equivalent of dropping a weapon (with just one hand). We'll have to wait for further details.

Otherwise I forsee a lot of two-handed weapon users, or even guys with sword and board, just kicking down a door or shouldering it open, rather than interacting with a pesky doorhandle. <g>

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Sad to see that there will be no upgrades for shields.

Sovereign Court

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Joe M. wrote:
thflame wrote:

I don't like the idea of "switching from a one handed to a two handed grip" requiring an action.

Let's say my fighter is using a greatsword and decides to open a door. He moves to the door (Stride Action), lets go of his greatsword with one hand (hopefully this doesn't cost an action) and opens the door (Interact Action) then notices an orc on the other side of the door. He must then take ANOTHER Interact Action to grasp his weapon in two hands? He can't just swing?

Wasn't this a Free Action in PF1?

This makes anyone using a two handed weapon pay an extra action to do stuff that requires a free hand.

This is a good question. If you're required to (1) release; (2) interact; (3) regrip, that's a full turn to open a door for a fighter wielding a greatsword. That wouldn't be a great result, I don't think. So I'd expect that the basic Interact action might be able to bundle this kind of thing into a single action. Logan?

But regardless, this is the kind of rule that it's super important to have clearly hashed out in the core rules to prevent the kind of endless confusion we see in PF1. So I'm very glad to see it as an intentional focus.

This does make bastard swords (and other weapons with the two-hand trait) more appealing vs. weapons that require two hands, such as greatswords. There wasn't much reason for PF1 fighters to value the flexibility of one-handed weapons. Now the flexibility of weapons with the two-hand trait has some value when choosing a weapon. The greatsword fighter might just need to rely on teammates more for those interact actions. That's not a terrible thing.

I'd personally prefer if dropping a hand from a weapon was a free action and adding a hand to a weapon was an interact. But, I could see it working out the other way.

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Quote:
Your character has proficiency in shields just like she does with armor, and when using a shield, you use the lower proficiency rank of your armor or shield to calculate your Armor Class.
Would someone be kind enough to expand on this? It doesn’t really sound pleasant atm :3
Quote:
Shields don’t have potency runes. Instead, you might pick up a shield made of a durable material like adamantine or craft a magic shield that catches arrows, reflects a spell back at its caster, or bites your enemies!

So Runes and Enchantments are two different things?

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