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Witch Doctor

John Lynch 106's page

FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 354 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 11 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Here's my list of houserules/optional subsystems:
* Simplified version of Inherent Bonuses (Houserule)
* Core Rulebook Barbarian + Unchained Rage Powers
* Unchained Monk class
* Unchained Rogue (including skill tricks)
* Unchained Summoner
* Core Rulebook Fighter + Stamina powers
* Consolidated Skills List (Unchained)
* Simplified Spellcasting (Unchained)
* Characters can either Variant Multiclass, Core Rulebook Multiclass or stay a single class (Unchained)
* Variant Multiclassing rules for the hybrid classes (Houserule)
* Unchained Diseases and Poisons
* 5th edition Hit Dice Healing (Houserule)
* 5th edition Death Saving Throws (Houserule)
* Unchained Crafting and Profession Rules (Ultimate Campaign)
* Traits, Storyfeats and Drawbacks (Ultimate Campaign)
* Downtime (Ultimate Campaign)
* Retraining Rules (Ultimate Campaign)

Although at this point I do have to wonder off if I'm better just playing 5th edition.

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James Jacobs wrote:
The book is still in devleopment, but I'd say 1/3 to 1/4 of the book is rules. That can change.

Put my vote in for adding context to the crunch. E.g. the ARG has info on lava gnomes, but I don't know anything about lava gnomes (NOTE: I'm not saying there needs to be lava gnomes in Golarion. Just an example ;)). Crunch is nice, having canon sources to help integrate that crunch into the setting is better :)

Mark Seifter wrote:
Close. There was an ancient humanoid race called the "Ling" that were size Tiny. Using permanent enlarge and reduce, some relationships between human and ling worked out, and the result, much like the half-elf and half-orc, was the half-ling.

I had a player reincarnate as a gnome once. After a suicide and reincarnate put him as a gnome again, he just gave up and went for a permenancy'd enlarge. He looked suitably grotesque. I can't imagine enlarged lings would look anything close to attractive. What sort of sick mind would do such a thing? Damn wizards!

Would it be worthwhile using the Core Rulebook barbarian with the new rage powers? Would it be an unfortunate buff?

I can't believe people are using their spellbooks to deliver spells. Unless they've taken the mandatory-for-witches magical items that let them restore their familiar to life.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
That sounds interesting. How does a character calculate their available Stamina?
It's BAB + Con Mod, apparently, and recovers at one point per minute. So...not a huge pool, but it recharges quick.

I find the recharge mechanic very interesting. Whenever the "wands of cure light wounds top ups" came along I always made sure to track how many minutes it took (to ensure any buffs ran out at appropriate junctures). I don't know if other DMs do that, but I expect if they don't then players of fighters will certainly be advocating it. It'll introduce an interesting tension between stamina vs minute per level buffs. If the stamina points are good enough, we could see short rests become more common (they allow both HP and stamina powers to be regained rather than just HP).

Threeshades wrote:
Or can you spend multiple stamina points per turn?

I believe we've seen some powers require 5 stamina points.

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To try to get the 4e talk back on topic to the thread: 4th ed was designed to address a lot of feedback there was regarding 3.5e. It was also designed to try to kill the OGL. But let's look at the non-commercial aspects.

People complained negative ability score modifiers restricted races to certain classes, so they removed them.

People complained about the alignment system, so they changed it.

People complained about the 15 minute work day, so they created encounter powers.

People complained about some classes being more boring than others, so they introduced a unified mechanic system and assigned roles to classes.

People complained about non-combat resources and combat resources taking up the same cost, so they introduced ritual magic and utility powers which (sort of) helped.

People complained about the games being unbalanced, so they tightened up the math for classes and monsters.

People complained about how long it took to build NPCs or make monsters more dangerous, so they exposed the math of monsters and NPCs and treated them as one and the same.

People complained about multiclassing incentivising dipping, so they removed it and introduced feats as multiclassing.

People complained about the boring Bix Six items being mandatory and not flavourful, so they made it so all but the most basic items had an interesting ability in addition to a numerical bonus.

People complained about cure light wounds wands, so they introduced healing surges.

People complained about the potency of buffing, so they made buffs last until "the end of the encounter."

People complained about the lethality of low levels, so they introduced a friendlier stabilisation mechanic and added con score to your starting hit points.

People complained about how complex the skill system was, so they simplified it.

A lot of 4th ed's changes can be directly linked back to a complaint people had about 3.5e (not all of them, but a lot of them). So what went wrong? WotC may have overestimated how much of a problem people had with these mechanics, I believe the forums and Living Greyhawk were given far more weight then ultimately they should have. Also just because people had a problem with X, doesn't mean they will like any solution that addresses X. And what happened was a very strong reaction against 4th ed and Paizo were able to capitalize on that.

So what does this mean for the inevitable Revised Pathfinder? People will want some of these problems addressed. Most likely they won't want all of them fixed at once, but they'll want some of them fixed.

I see Pathfinder Unchained as not just their Arcana Unearthed, but also their Player's Handbook 2 and whichever monster manual WotC had the revised statblock layout in. PHB2 and MM? were WotC's first glimpse at 4th edition. It came out in May, 2006 and about a year later 4th ed was announced (to follow 1 year later). Now unless you think WotC is capable of building an entire new edition (which had such radical changes to 3.5e) in less than 2 years, PHB2 was about introducing 4th ed ideas into 3.5e.

So how can Pathfinder Unchained be different to PHB2? I don't expect Paizo will be announcing a Revised Pathfinder next year. We have Occult Adventures which is introducing an entirely new power source (sorry, 4th ed term slipped in) and several new base classes. I expect they'll want to support those for at least a year before we get a new edition because I expect a lot of the work they've done with Occult Adventures will want to become core for a Revised Pathfinder.

Second, they're introducing these radical ideas they have (inherent bonuses, shorter skill list, background skills, stamina abilities, skill tricks, dramatically altered spells and spell-slots for spellcasters) into the existing edition. I expect they'll wait and see how well received these ideas are before deciding whether to make them core in a Revised Pathfinder. If they'd already started work on the next edition, these decisions would have already been made. I expect Paizo will wait a couple of years to see which ideas gain the most traction and then move forward with them.

Finally I do expect a public playtest. The idea of one was new and innovative for Pathfinder, WotC has since followed suit. I expect Paizo will continue with it. It gives them a chance to get that final nod of approval before they publish the book.

So in that respect I do think Pathfinder 2.0 is inevitable. It won't be announced for at least 2-3 years and then we won't actually get it for another 1-2 years, so that's 3-5 years before we get it in our hands. It also won't be the drastic change we saw going from 3.5e to 4th ed. It'll be closer to the move from AD&D to AD&D 2nd edition or from 3.5e to Pathfinder. If all current indicators remain true I expect we'll see:

  • Full BAB monk
  • Stamina Pool for Fighter.
  • New Rogue with skill tricks.
  • The Bix Six somehow removed from the game (potentially not using inherent bonuses, but instead making them part of other items in those slots, much like 4th ed did).
  • A simpler skill list, but not to the dramatic extant that is in Pathfinder Unchained.
  • New monster building and layout
  • Background skills and traits
  • Archetypes potentially made core (although you'd remove some of the flexibility if it morphed into 5th ed's subclasses)
This would still be compatible with Pathfinder v1 games though so long as they don't drastically change the numbers involved in anything. Currently we can take a 3.5e adventure and run it with Pathfinder, either swapping out the monsters or keeping the players a level or two lower than they otherwise would be. We can convert classes from 3.5e to Pathfinder, some 3PPs have gained quite a following doing just that. That would hold true for a Pathfinder 2.0. We could take Pathfinder v1 adventures and run them for Pathfinder 2.0 characters. Either swapping out monsters or keeping the players a level or two lower. We would be able to use Pathfinder v1 options, just converted somewhat (like people are doing now for the monk archetypes).

So yes, pathfinder 2.0 is inevitable. Fans will eventually demand proper solutions to some of the inherent flaws in the system, rather than add-ons onto the existing system. We'll get the math cleaned up a bit, but it's never going to be 3.5e to 4th ed. The move from 3.5e to Pathfinder 2.0 might seem similar to the jump from 3.5e to 4th ed (although IMO still not as drastic), but that's ignoring the context of Pathfinder v1 bridging the two editions.

Greylurker wrote:

I might try revisiting my Asmodian heretic that I played in Crimson Throne.

He was trying to create a branch of the faith that focused on Asmodeus as God of Lawyers and Contracts and move a bit away from Tyrany and Slavery.

You could always take the separatist archetype for the cleric and select the community domain. Although I struggle how a church of lawyers and contracts would go with being in a rebellion. My Asmodean priest often decries his party's action as "attack the very foundations of which our society is built upon" with their illegal tasks. He's always insistent that they gain legal authority to perform the tasks that the rest of the party wants to do. After all, without laws society would simply crumble and erupt into a chaotic orgy of murder and crime. Do YOU want to be responsible for making our nation the next Galt? Then again, the American revolution was filled with lawyers.

Of course my monk of Iomedae would totally get involved. Did we just break a bunch of laws and possibly hurt some innocents in our quest to overthrow the church of Asmodeus? No worries. Say a few "Hail Milani"es, take on a penance and then get back into action. After all, what good is being an Iomedean worshipper if you can't ask for forgiveness for all your sins?

Squirrel_Dude wrote:
It's almost as if anecdotal evidence ranges from unreliable to useless when used to judge the actual numbers and statistics behind something happening, especially mixed with an observer's preexisting opinions and the natural occurrence of confirmation bias or something.

What happens at other people's tables is irrelevant to me. I've seen eidolons at MY table ruin the enjoyment for everyone (except the summoner player). Even the "toned down" summoner was disruptive. Given players of Summoner's are capable of enjoying more than 1 class, the best decision for my table was to ban them. The unchained summoner gives my table the chance of playing them again.

If someone else's table has never had a problem with the APG-Summoner it would seem silly to ban it. Like the barbarian. My table has never had an issue with it (we never adopted rage cycling and the "hard math" was anything but). The only problem we had was needing the feat that let's you rage while unconscious. A different houserule (that addresses other problems with dying) fixes that as a side-effect so the new barbarian isn't necessarily needed. As such we likely won't be replacing the CRB barbarian with the unchained one.

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neferphras wrote:
I have a number of friends that have given up on pathfinder and moved to D&D5 for really one reason...combat simplicity. D&D 5, fights average 30 mins, Pathfinder can get up to 2 hours easy.

That's because 5th edition has reintroduced HP as a daily resource. In 4th ed and Pathfinder we don't have that. We instead have people starting each fight at full HP (thanks to healing surges/wands of cure light wounds). That means every fight has have a danger of getting you to 0 HP or else there's absolutely no danger whatsoever, which means fights have to be harder which means they're longer (I can't say I've seen anything but exceptional fights take anywhere near 2 hours). This means that during a game session there's less combats you can get through which means wizards become more powerful as they have less fights they need to spread their spells across and the 15 minute work day problem becomes exacerbated.

Remove wands of cure light wounds (feel free to replace it with 5th ed's healing hit die, just make sure you require a 1 hour rest to get it back) and you reintroduce HP as a daily resource, help rebalance the classes away from casters and can throw less difficult fights and more of them at the players. Will it be the cureall that fixes all the problems with Pathfinder? Of course not. But it's an easy fix to introduce if you're players are migrating towards 5th edition.

Jester David wrote:
Revisions almost always invalidate the old. (3.5e to PF is anomalous in this regard.)

I believe AD&D 1st ed to AD&D 2nd ed was fairly similar to the 3.5e to Pathfinder upgrade.

Entryhazard wrote:
And the wands have finite charges so you're burning consumables.

How many charges is 1/4 of a "day's worth of charges of cure light wounds wands"?

kestral287 wrote:
Curious why you're more okay with Fighter/Barbarian/VMC Oracle than Fighter/Bloodrager/VMC Oracle though? Otherwise, core classes should be in that rule too.

What is the difference between a base class and a core class? The only difference I can find is "it wasn't printed in book X" which means nothing from a rules perspective.

kestral287 wrote:

"You can't use the Variant Multiclass rules if you are multiclassed, or vice versa. Prestige Classes are not considered multiclassing for this rule".

Simple, clear, says the same thing.

Well fine. If you want to be obvious about it ;)

Not talking about the Big Six for a minute, I'm interested in the Tarrasque.

I'm not seeing many differences between the bestiary Tarrasque and the unchained version. None of the feats are explicitly listed, but all of the effects seem to be in place. The biggest difference I can see is the internal AC and HP have been removed and the numbers all seem bigger (AC, HP, attack bonuses). Damage I presume is the same (simply factoring in power attack) and saves have been redistributed. At first look it looks like a direct power upgrade, although potentially not a significant one. I do wonder about the decision though. As a general rule I'd agree simpler means you need higher numbers. Although I'm not seeing much simplification in the unchained Tarrasque.

James Jacobs wrote:

Aasimars and tieflings are, in my opinion, not one race but several. It never made sense to me why a tiefling with demonic blood would be functionally the same as one with devil blood. Furthermore, by spreading out into different specific races, we put a unique Pathfinder spin on these concepts and that helps us step away from the versions created by TSR, which is also good.

Put another way, the various tieflings and aasimars are NOT ethnicities, but are in fact separate races. There's not going to be enough room in the book to devote all the info we did to them in their 32 page books, so the main tiefling and aasimar sections will indeed mostly talk generally about them without getting into the specifics, but as of the time I'm writing this, the plan is to have all their mechanical variants in the book.

Fair enough. I can't say I've ever seen a player actually play up their flavour of Tiefling (or aasimar) to differentiate it from other tieflings, and as a result I saw blood of fiends/angels as simply trading in an inflexible stat spread for 1 flexible stat + a free +2 to a random stat.

I can certainly understand the reasoning used in designing Golarion tieflings as you have and the flavour your aiming for. I'll have to take a look at those books at some point and see how I can incorporate it into the gameplay more to place more emphasis on the flavour instead of "here's some widgets to help you optimize your character even more".

Jessica Price wrote:
Catfolk have also gotten some new details, including the little-known name by which they call their people. :-)

A name other than cat folk would be a big improvement for me. I have this irrational but very strong hatred for the mere idea of cat folk. Then again I wasn't too fond of ratfolk until 3 months ago when I really started to grok them. My tweaked Korvosa have tengu clans(/gangs) on the rooftops and ratfolk in the sewers. Who knows what else I could squeeze in ;)

LoreKeeper wrote:
I did look into it. The problem is that channeling is only acquired at level 7, and general feats under VMC only at level 9 and 13 after that. So you'd have to wait until level 13 to get Guided Hand (which allows you to attack with Wisdom).

Retrain level 1/human feat?

David knott 242 wrote:
The main issue with VMC isn't really addressed in the book -- how do you deal with overlapping abilities?

I would expect aruling along the lines of "you may stack abilities that are of the same type (unless the ability says otherwise) but may not have an effective level higher than your total character level" could be fair.

David knott 242 wrote:

And I do like the idea of turning the VMC options into feat chains, but you do need to factor in the temptation to stop advancing a VMC. The feat chain could take care of it by having the first feat grant you what you get at 3rd level, with the second feat granting you whatever you get at 7th level and improving the ability you already got at 3rd level to 7th level, and so forth.

Otherwise, I would be very tempted to take the 3rd level feat for the Bard VMC (which grants you bardic knowledge at your character level) and then ignore the rest of the sequence. If the bardic knowledge bonus did not increase unless I took additional feats, I would have a decision much closer to the one I would have to make using the system in the book.

Yeah I was afraid of cases like that. Good point. Also it doesn't work as well for fighters as I thought it would (unless I nominate all VMC feats as combat feats which wouldn't necessarily make sense).

Cydeth wrote:
I was giving a quick reply before, not going in-depth.

Understood. I'm throwing more questions at you to try to explore the ramifications of any given decision regarding VMC. I really want to include it as has been pointed out, it can be really good for certain combinations. I'm just wanting to get my final decision right before putting it in front of players.

Cydeth wrote:
But would I allow someone to take a prestige class with it? If they met the requirements, yes. However, I'd talk to them before determining whether they could take 2 different base classes and the variant multiclassing. Most likely? They can choose Variant or standard multiclassing, with an exception for Prestige Classes. And that'd be it.

Fair enough. I tried to find an edge case where that might not be fair, but I couldn't do it. It seems like a fairly solid ruling.

Alright so a ruling for variant multiclassing (I'm calling it a "secondary class" to distinguish from standard multiclassing) could be: At level 3 you may opt to gain a secondary class so long as you do not have levels in multiple base classes, alternate classes or hybrid classes (or some combination thereof). Instead of gaining a feat at level 3, 7, 11, 15 and 19 you gain the specified ability from your secondary class. If you multiclass into a base class, alternate class or hybrid class than all abilities from your secondary class cease to function until you stop multiclassing. You may take levels in a prestige class and still gain the benefits from your secondary class.

NOTE: Ninjas may not select Rogue as a secondary class, samurai may not select Cavalier as a secondary class and antipaladins may not select paladin as a secondary class.

Does that seem clear as to what the intent is and how the "variant multiclassing" rules work?

Entryhazard wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Are these guidelines written down anywhere? How does a DM know what will, and won't, challenge a well optimised party?
In the CR section of the rulebook it's stated that a character with class levels and equipment worth of a PC of that level has a CR equal to its class level. From there the math is straightforward. A mirror match is a CR+4 encounter in which you have the highest stake with an equal chance to win or lose and the two sides giving everything. Level X party against CR X encounter is designed to take away just 1/4 of the party's resources (HP, spells, X/day abilities and other consumables)

Sorry, I misunderstood what you were trying to say. Also the whole "1/4 of the party's resources" paradigm completely breaks down when you look at a single fighter taking on a single enemy (the example in the post you quoted) when you have a game with UMD and wands of cure light wounds. Fighters have no daily resources, they can fight at full capacity all day long (so long as they have wands of cure light wounds).

Korthis wrote:
I surely don't know what you are talking about with the Paladin comment. It's not hard to break the game with summoner

Sorry. I conflated your post with the person above you.

Korthis wrote:
to illuminate the fact that the class is only broken as you make it which is the same as any class really.

This implies any class can break the game equally well. If this is truly your position, please show us the rogue build that can match a highly optimised summoner.

Korthis wrote:
As to why it works me, my gm can be an all our nothing kind of guy.

If your DM adopts this book wholesale then you're going to have a game where everyone's WBL is halved but the cost for the vast majority of non-wondrous magic items is increased dramatically. I don't think many people would have fun at that table.

Cydeth wrote:
I'm planning to treat it as a player choice. However, the point they need to decide is either level 3, or by taking a level in another class. If they want to retrain those levels and change to this? I'm fine with that. I'll treat it as the cost for retraining the levels, plus any feats they have to give up for the new class abilities.

Would you disallow taking a prestige class with the variant rules? It'd be disappointing to find a good combination of base class + variant multiclassing! then due to in game events be offered a position in the hell knights (and the ability to take the prestige class) but be told you have to give up your VMC (and even have to pay and spend time to lose those abilities).

MMCJawa wrote:

Based on descriptions, I could see it working together as long as the classes didn't overlap

So a fighter VM wizard, and then later picking up some levels of rogue.

I think I would not allow though a fighter to VM Wizard and then also take wizard levels. Seems overly complex and kind of redundant. So a player would have to decide early on if he wanted to do one or another.

If you allow both then I can't be a fighter 5 / rogue 3 / VMC rogue. Makes sense. What about fighter 5 / ninja 3 / VMC rogue? Assuming we're going with standard alternate class rules that's a no. What about fighter 5 / investigator 3 / VMC rogue? Based on rules for hybrid classes that's allowed.

It might be a bit unfair though for the ninja class multiclass wanting to VMC into rogue (or some other disallowed combination)

graystone wrote:

Not seeing the complexity. Even using both types of multiclassing at the same time seems pretty straight forward.

What do you think will be tough to figure out?

It could be the complexity isn't in VMC but how it interacts with alternate classes, hybrid classes and prestige classes and the conflicting rules they have with standard multiclassed.i wouldn't want a situation where the VMC character is needlessly punished for wanting to take a flavourful option as a result of in game events, but I'm also wary of certain combinations (Arcanist /VMC wizard perhaps?) that could be significantly more powerful then other options.

Do people see an issue with converting VMC into feat chains? Something like

Rogue Sneak Attack
Pre-requisite: Level 3, no levels in rogue or ninja
Benefit: You gain sneak attack as a rogue of xxx.

That way people could hop off the VMC when they want to (or delay it if necessary). Do people see any potential balance issues with that?

It could be I'm overthinking it but I'm trying to look at it from all angles as it is new ;)

Entryhazard wrote:
roysier wrote:

I think the Pathfinder rules can be fixed with errata, and re-printing all the hard cover books with the fixed rules.

The main issue is there are so many rules that are broken for min-maxers to take advantage of. There is just so much exploitable stuff.

Also monster CR need to be fixed to take into account power creep in the rules. When a 17th fighter can destroy a CR 20 Balrog every time something is broken. If the CR's for upper level creatures were adjusted down to where they should be then this will get fixed. A Balrog should be around a CR 15. It can be a challenge for 4 15th level characters. 4 x 20th level characters will eliminate it without even breaking a sweat.

Do you know that 4x20th level character are equivalent to a CR24 encounter? The balrog is designed to be a regular encounter at level 20 and a "Boss" for the lower levels like 16 or 17. A Boss for a level 20 party was always intended to be in the CR 23-24 range.

Are these guidelines written down anywhere? How does a DM know what will, and won't, challenge a well optimised party?

graystone wrote:
LazarX wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
So my understanding is that the variant multiclassing in Unchained CAN be used with standard multiclassing, but it's recommended you use one or the other. So is there any real reason to adopt the variant multiclassing rules in place of the standard ones? I understand "dipping" tends to get discussed a lot here, but has it ever actually caused anyone trouble at the table? I can only think of a couple of instances of people multiclassing and it didn't really have an appreciable effect (the one "problem" player could use single classed characters to be just as powerful).

It's a different approach to multi-classing that preserves the ability to gain capstone powers in your main class. It's essentially 4th Edition multi-classing brought to Pathfinder.

The answer is it depends on what you want. It's a CHOICE, not a mandate.

I think the disconnect comes from a lot of people never seeing the capstone ability in play so losing it is a non-issue. Myself, I see mostly power level play and some mid level play with the rare high level.

To directly answer John, it all depends what you're multiclassing for. If you're doing it for a certain ability, normal multiclassing might be the thing for you. Now if you're looking for an ability that scales with you, like a familiar, the variant works well.

So are people planning on treating this as a player choice rather than a table choice? If so, when will the player need to decide? Level 1? Level 2? Level 3? Will you let players retrain into the variant multiclassing?

I like options, but this one (treated as a player decision rather than a table decision) seems very complex.

LazarX wrote:
The answer is it depends on what you want. It's a CHOICE, not a mandate.

I'm not seeing why you would want to choose it (sure it opens up some multiclassing combos, but it closes off many as well). I know of no-one whose game made it to level 20 (almost none of Paizo's APs get there) so I guess I don't see the value in the capstone.

So my understanding is that the variant multiclassing in Unchained CAN be used with standard multiclassing, but it's recommended you use one or the other. So is there any real reason to adopt the variant multiclassing rules in place of the standard ones? I understand "dipping" tends to get discussed a lot here, but has it ever actually caused anyone trouble at the table? I can only think of a couple of instances of people multiclassing and it didn't really have an appreciable effect (the one "problem" player could use single classed characters to be just as powerful).

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thejeff wrote:
New editions trigger "I'll stop buying". Errata in new printings doesn't.

Wrong. Essentials was seen as 4.5 by many despite the fact WotC issued errata to change 4th ed to resemble Essentials.

The number of people who voice their opinion on a forum are a small minority of those who actually play the game. Trying to thosewho visit a forum as a representative sample of the gaming population is a fools errand. Forum visitors are a self-selected group and often have strong opinions on a particular subject. As such you can see a lot more controversy on a subject on the forums that doesn't always translate to how the larger population actually views the issue.

James Jacobs wrote:
As a general rule, we aren't interested in giving drastically different stat modifiers within a race's different ethnicities.

Does this mean aasimar and tieflings won't get their 6 different ability modifier spreads? Or will they fall out of the "generally" category and be the exception?

Jessica Price wrote:
The changeling section is sitting on my desk right now, post-discussion-with-Wes, waiting to get its extra love. :-)

Great news to hear :) It's definitely one of those unique Pathfinder races you can't find in any other fantasy games at this point.

BigP4nda wrote:

So far I have only had one legitimate wtf moment reading this. and that would be the Greater Feint combat trick.

For those who don't have the book, it basically says as long as you have 1 stamina point you can feint as a swift, HOWEVER doing so makes the target flatfooted against ONLY your NEXT ATTACK, not any others you make that round.

Why would anybody ever use this?

Got a really high AC/dex enemy that no-one can hit? Swift action feint, declare Stunning fist, let the rogue and everyone else kill him on their turns.

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Korthis wrote:
destroying the class to the point where it is inferior to EVERY other class that works similarly was not the answer.

It has not been established that this has happened. All that's been established is you struggled to build an APG summoner that was just as good as a paladin (were you using 1st printing Core Rulebook paladin or the latest errata? were you only having 1 dangerous fight a day? Were you facing enemies well suited to the paladin?) and are fearful that now that the unchained summoner is weaker than the APG summoner you'll find it even harder. This says nothing about how effective or powerful the summoner is.

Korthis wrote:
I have played two summoner s (master and vanilla) and neither one broke the game or bogged down combat.

And this can definitely happen. And is most likely why the unchained summoner was printed rather than issue errata on the APG summoner. Those groups who do have problems with the summoner can now use the unchained one. Those who don't, can continue to use the APG summoner without any worry.

Korthis wrote:

I guess it's because that wasn't my goal, my goal was to have fun with my friends.

Again, I will ONLY buy this if my group forces me to and even then I won't be making a summoner if I do.

Why would your group force you to use a weaker version of a class that you have been unable (or disinclined) to play to it's full power? Maybe you should talk to your group first rather than worry about something that potentially shouldn't eventuate.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

Ravingdork wrote:
Alright, alright, alright. I've done it. I've statted out an Unchained Summoner. Please, by all means, pit it against a normal summoner

Here's some analysis:

  • Unchained summoner has traded +1 to hit for +4 AC, +1 touch AC, +6 flat-footed AC>
  • Unchained summoner has 18 more hit points.
  • Has +8, +4 and +6 to saving throws.
  • Unchained summoner has DR.
  • Unchained summoner has 3 less castings of the summon spell-like ability. Has summon monster VIII rather than summon nature's ally VIII.
  • Unchained summoner has -3 to concentration checks.
  • Unchained summoner has 1 less spell across all spell levels.
  • Unchained summoner has haste as a 3rd level spell, greater invisiblity as 4th level.
  • Unchained summoner has the same number of feats.
I'm going to stop there. Different spells were chosen, different feats were chosen and different magic items were chosen. While you might have been compelled to choose different spells (changed spell list) there's no real indication there as to why you chose different feats and magic items. As such it's not really a like for like comparison.

The eidolon also doesn't seem to be statted with power attack in the unchained version while it seems to be in the APG version. So again not a like for like comparison.

Scythia wrote:
how does [a summoner/eidolon combo hijack games]?

Assuming my clarification above is correct, I don't know how it happens. I don't know if there's magic items or non-APG material they're using. But I have seen an eidolon/summoner solo entire adventures before. I've also seen someone come to their very first game of Pathfinder and (without reading guides online but simply using the SRD) came with a summoner that was pretty damn good and effective.

Albatoonoe wrote:
Being bound to other people's products was bad for them

I never said they should have neverproduced the Core Rulebook. I said they could have, and not changed a single thing from 3.5e (except incorporating errata).

Albatoonoe wrote:
so they made the new system.

APG, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat, ACG, etc could have all been 100% compatible with 3.5e instead of "mostly" compatible with 3.5e. Sure any concepts/ideas they simply reproduced from 3.5e might not have gained as much traction (I'm not sure if there has been any, although I've heard people say "this is the Pathfinder X"), but some people would have still bought it (new players for example).

By the same token a revised edition of Pathfinder could be "mostly" compatible with Pathfinder. If there is enough fan demand for a revised edition, there is no need for a revised edition to be 100% compatible. Enough compatibility that lets you use or convert Pathfinder v1 rules without too many problems is good enough in many people's book (this is where I see Pathfinder currently at with regards to backwards compatibility to 3.5e).

Brother Fen wrote:
And yet there are plenty of people in real life that don't see problems with Pathfinder as it is.

Pathfinder is potentially the best version of D&D (as good as the 5th edition ruleset is, having good mechanics is only part of the components required for a game to be good at being D&D. The lack of foreseeable support outside of adventures is hitting my enthusiasm for it). That isn't the same as me saying there are no problems with Pathfinder.

Matthew Downie wrote:
Can you give me an example of a kink that's been worked out? It seems like most of the standard complaints on these boards ... buying the compulsory 'big 6' items at the magic mart ... either stay the same or get worse as new material appears.

Pathfinder Unchained has rules to deal with this kink specifically for those groups that dislike it. Not all groups see it as a bad thing (I struggle to understand that myself) and so don't see it as something that needs to be worked out. Hence the optional rule.

Mark Seifter wrote:
You should probably put them one level lower, as their CR is considered one lower. This will indeed still be an upgrade (with a size that varies depending on their gear allocation and how much was in the Big 6 already), but honestly, it's probably more in line with what their challenge likely should be, there just wasn't a way to do it before without overloading your PCs on gear every time they win a fight.

As someone who started D&D with 4th ed I will find it really interesting if everyone hails this as the big solution to the NPCs make players too wealthy problem or if everyone embraces the simpler monster creation rules and apply it to NPCs. After all, I thought the greatest thing of 3.5e/Pathfinder was that NPCs and PCs were built with the same rules ;)

LazarX wrote:
Morgen wrote:

Seriously I can't personally think of any reason to not eventually make a newer game. Newer ideas, plenty of lessons learned and eventually there will be a content end point. How many Bestiaries can you make before sales choke? I literally have no idea.

How about not splitting the fan base?

Paizo could have produced the Core Rules exactly as they were in 3.5. Instead they chose to split the fan base and create a new iteration of the 3.5 rule set. There's no reason to think they won't do it again, and if they're similar enough to Pathfinder then there's no reason to think the majority won't follow.

This is why the new edition should be an iterative approach. Revolutionary ideas belong at the end of the existing edition. Not at the beginning of a new one. This let's the market tell you what they like and don't like. Psychic magic is a revolutionary idea in the context of psionics. It seems to have received a lot of acceptance and so I wouldn't be surprised to see the Occultist become a core class in the next edition. On the other hand the Arcanist has received a lot of love from some fans, and it seems mixed reactions from most others. I would be surprised to see that replace core Vancian. It'll take a year or two to judge how much acceptance any given rule has received from Pathfinder Unchained.

You might think that's exactly what WotC did with Tome of Battle and those other late 3rd ed books. I would argue WotC was already making 4th ed and ported some rules back to 3.5 rather than the other way around. This means fan base acceptance or rejection of these rules were ignored. Also the most revolutionary idea of 4th ed (unified power system) was never released in 3.5

Witches are really flavourful, but playing effective ones can be really boring. Is there any advice on how to steer players away from the boring options? Is it as simple as removing Icy Tomb and slumber?

So one of the inherent bonus rules in unchained are essentially you automatically get the progression of having an ability score enhancing belt, +5 armour, +5 ring of deflection, +5 amulet of natural armour and a +5 sword built into your character's progression across 20 levels (and if I've made a mistake there I'm sure someone will correct me). This cuts your WBL in half, although you no longer need to pay for the "Big Six".

It's accepted that some classes (such as wizards) spend more money on consumables (copying spells into their spellbook) then other classes (such as sorcerers). I was wondering where gunslingers using the Core Rules fit into this spectrum. Are they, using the core rules, likely to forgoe getting the Big Six to help pay for consumables (their bullets and such)? If so, will they get a significant boost or a signficant nerf if played under the Inherent Bonus rules?

I've never played in a game that had gunslingers before (typically self-imposed ban by all players as everyone felt they were too good) so I have no frame of reference under which to judge the effect the Inherent Bonus rules will have on them.

Obbu wrote:
From what I've heard, i'm reasonably keen to swap over to the unchained classes, as well as the stamina rules, but if you're avoiding the class changes, it could have some interesting consequences.

I'm keen on adopting the Unchained Rogue and Unchained Summoner. I'm torn on the Unchained Monk and the Unchained Barbarian. I'll want to have a very close look at each of these classes before deciding.

Core Rulebook+Supplement Barbarians seem to be one of the more powerful martial classes. I don't find them to be particularly difficult. The only troubling part was the whole instantly die if you drop unconscious (unless you take the feat that lets you rage unconscious), but I'm considering porting over some 5th edition rules regarding death and dying (to help address aspects of dying unrelated to barbarians) so that would no longer be an issue.

Monks, if you (ab)use the right Archetypes, can also be pretty darn good so I'll be taking a very close look at them as well.

Obbu wrote:
Due to the rage changes (no increase in CON, temporary HP instead), I'm on the fence as to whether Barbs will be stacking any more CON than fighters.

That's why I specified the Core Rulebook+APG Barbarian rather than the Unchained Barbarian.

BretI wrote:
I think it sets a bad precedent. Nerf a class that is too easy to create a good build in rather than making it easier to create an effective character in the other classes.

There are differences between building a good character vs being overpowered. When someone can take a well built summoner and can solo every encounter in a pre-published adventure, there's a problem. I'm all for raising the floor, but the summoner didn't just raise the floor, it raised the ceiling. The ceiling is already pretty high with a number of characters unable to reach it. If a new class raises the ceiling even higher, than it's time to look at what is most enjoyable for the people at the table. For every group I've played in (including PFS) it's been judged everyone enjoys themselves more without the summoner. If the APG Summoner doesn't affect the enjoyment everyone has at your table, there's no need to use the Unchained one. For those of us who opted not to play the Summoner, we now have access to all of the flavour and fun mechanics at hopefully a power level that allows us to enjoy it.

Soilent wrote:
I already have house rules limiting things like pounce abuse. But Unchained just flat out seems unfair.

If you're able to bring the summoner down to what your table considers a reasonable level by implementing a couple of houserules, there's no need to ban it. For us there was so much we felt was fundamentally wrong with the class that it was easier to simply ban it. The gunslinger was initially put in the "too powerful" basket, however I've since been looking at it more closely to see if judicious removal of a couple of options would bring it down to more reasonable levels.

Scythia wrote:
I suspect alot of people think that PFS is going to switch completely to the new version.

Areas I've played in have already self-banned it. I've heard it said "it is considered impolite to bring a summoner to the table". Of course, this is a self-imposed rule the experienced players put onto themselves. I'd hope making the Unchained Summoner legal would encourage more people to play summoners and for there to be less grumbling when they do so.

Ravingdork wrote:
If nothing else, I would have thought they'd be talking about some of the new stuff shown on the character sheet. Seems like those people without access are clamoring for more info wherever they can get it. You'd think a completed build would provide a lot of insight into the new material.

I'm sorry if I missed it. But could you post a link to the other thread? I haven't found it.

Malwing wrote:
4) Fighter is the only one that gets it.

Based on what everyone's posted so far I'm going with fighters get it for free at level 1, but the stamina pool is based on fighter level + constitution modifier. As written Core Rulebook+APG Barbarians who dip into fighter for 1 level will get more stamina than fighters.

My reasoning is that channel positive energy for clerics is keyed off cleric level. Unarmed Strike bonus damage is keyed off a monk's level. Paladin lay on hands is keyed off the Paladin level. I understand they wrote it to key off BAB so that if you introduce the feat any class can get the full benefit from it, but IMO it's a flawed design if you use it the special thing that fighters get. It also helps incentivize (beyond feats) staying in as a fighter. The level 20 capstone is meaningless for campaigns that finish in the level 12-16 range. However spellcaster's spells discourage people from multiclassing, rogue's sneak attack, barbarian's rage and monk's flurry of blows discourage multiclassing. Unless you're looking for some really cool feat chains (that often have the same opportunity cost in combat, meaning you're more likely to use a single feat chain more often then the others), multiclassing really isn't discouraged for fighters. This will help change that.

You know I really like the condensed skill list. It seems much easier in play and solves the problem of certain skills that rarely get used. But on the other hand it's a pretty big overhaul to the system (every trait and feat needs to get updated to refer to the new skill or you need to have a translation list) and the class abilities (such as a bard's well versed) also need to be updated or swapped out.

I'd love this skill system if it was built into the core game, but as a hot-pluggable ability not so much (at least based on descriptions here for it). That said I really like the background skills as a sneaky way of giving everyone 2 extra skill points without letting them load up even more on the "good" skills. I'll definitely be implementing that.

BigP4nda wrote:
Why is everybody so damn frantic about what class deals more damage and what class has more skills and what class has what another class doesn't or what classes have what this class does.

I've played in games where some characters had no combat abilities whatsoever and those were my favourite characters. D&D (and Pathfinder) is not that game. With how much of a character's resources are dedicated to combat, the length of time combats take and the amount of combats that happen during a typical game (as demonstrated through Paizo's adventures which is almost always what I've played through when playing Pathfinder), combat is a very important part of the game. There are other important aspects, but combat is very important. D&D has Dungeons (places you explore filled with monsters) and Dragons (monsters you typically fight and kill) in it's name. That alone shows you the default emphasise on gameplay. In my experience Paizo's Pathfinder adventure paths do not break away from the mold established by D&D in any significant way.

When another class is JUST as good at you (if not better) at combat and they're better than you at situations outside of combat, you're going to have an unhappy player.

BigP4nda wrote:
Every time I see these petty arguments about classes being underpowered, poorly designed, outranked, useless, low-tier, etc. I get really bummed out.

If it's impacting someone's enjoyment of the game, I would not characterise it as petty.

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Rogar Valertis wrote:
But the book does NOT have something that's "fighter only".

Yes it does. The book has a rule that, when implemented, will give something unique to fighters. The book also has a rule that allows tables to give the unique fighter ability to other classes if they so desire. You're not after a rule that gives something unique to fighters. You're after the removal of optional rules to restrict what tables who want to use those optional rules can do. Paizo chose not to cater for you to the exclusion of everyone else, which is effectively what you want them to do.

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Rogar Valertis wrote:
I can do that, of course, but at that point I can just completely house rule the class as well.

Well yes. You can also use the optional rule that changes the Rogue. Or at that point you can also just houserule the Rogue.

Rogar Valertis wrote:
Because it requires me, as the GM to use the optional rules suggested in PU and then rule for them only to apply to fighters.

Only applying the stamina resource pool to fighters is one of the rules in Pathfinder Unchained (according to those who have it). So yes, in the book full of optional rules, you will need to apply one of those optional rules. Your complaint has gone from "This book doesn't have something that is only for fighters" to "This book has something unique only to fighters. But I don't like that there's optional rules that allow other classes to gain access to it as well." Not everyone wants something unique to fighters. So Paizo produced optional rules to appeal to those who want something unique to fighters. But they also produced optional rules to appeal to those who don't want to give the fighter something unique.

Rogar Valertis wrote:
And if I'm not the GM but the player I'd have to ask my GM to do the same. Like it or not part of the reason we want books is we can cite them and they give an "official feel" to what we do.

If your group values giving something unique to the fighter, they will use one of the rules as printed in Pathfinder Unchained (assuming I've understood what people have said regarding the stamina resource pool).If your group doesn't value giving something unique to fighters, then they won't use the rule that does give something unique to the fighter. Demanding that Paizo did not produce additional optional rules to give other classes the stamina pool resource is to demand that Paizo print rules that appeal to you to try to force people to play like you. Thankfully Paizo didn't do that and decided to appeal to you, as well as other people who may not have your preferences.

Spiral_Ninja wrote:
That's why 2.0 is, IMO, far, far in the future, if ever. Given all the variants and options, there's no way an official 2.0 would be what everyone wants. Right now, while there are issues and debates, there are still enough options for everyone to play the Pathfinder they want.

This is the big point to me. If enough of these options/variants see widespread adoption then there would be a benefit to putting out a revised edition that would consolidate them into one book. But what are those options? Words of Power has always been banned where I've played. Combat Performance I've seen used once. Piecemeal Armour has always been banned. Combat styles have been adopted though with bardic performances viewed with suspicion but grudgingly allowed.

There is a slowly growing list of options/variants that I've seen gain widespread adoption. But they're not enough to justify a revised set of rules yet. Pathfinder Unchained introduces lots of options and if enough of them see widespread adoption then it could be the tipping point. It's a pretty big if though.

Rogar Valertis wrote:

I said the fighter needs:

1.Thematical focus, abilities that are only his own. His main thing cannot just be "he gets a lot of feats".

So why not use a portion of the rules aimed at fighters and give them, and only them, this stamina resource pool. It's got a short rest mechanic recharge (meaning it can be used all day), is a power up (is it enough? Who knows. I'd suspect reading the book won't be enough to judge and yourself) and is unique to the fighter.

Hark wrote:
In the theoretical case where Paizo somehow tries to keep Pathfinder as a single edition alive forever they will face a huge problem with rules being scattered between countless books. Some of these new rules will eventually grow to be quite important as they prove to be highly effective ways to handle different things. Other games have publish new editions specifically because the problem of rules in to many places became to much of an issue to deal with.

What rules are so important that they would need to be consolidated into a Revised Players Guide? We've got archetypes, but the vast majority of them will always be in splat books. That's their nature. Traits, alternate racial abilities and different favoured class bonuses have become fairly integral to Pathfinder so I could see those being added. Retraining is also a pretty big game changer.

Hark wrote:
The more books that Paizo publishes the higher the buying cost to get involved in Pathfinder. Eventually this will prove to be something of a barrier to entry for new customers limiting potential growth.

No matter what though, any new printing of the rules will have a maximum in the page size it can be. If they were to release Pathfinder 2nd edition tomorrow, we would still need to have the Core 11. How many more classes do you expect they could squeeze into the Core Rulebook without increasing it's page count?

Hark wrote:
There is however a way to mitigate this kind of problem. Paizo will have to publish new a new Core Rulebook with consolidated collections of all for the major rules systems that have popped up over the years.

A lot of those "major rules systems" are aimed at Gamemasters (except for those I listed above). They wouldn't be in a player facing book, they'd be in a GM book. Which they already are. And even that book suffered from page count issues.

I honestly hope we never see a Revised Core Rulebook. I've bought 3 over the years, one of them distinegrated and the other one was in pretty bad shape. The book is simply too big and I hope we don't ever get a book that tries to be the same size. I'd rather get a Gamemaster's Guide that included rules on creating new races, spells, magic items, etc.

I don't think we'll see a Pathfinder 2nd edition for at least a few more years. If the vast majority of the playerbase adopt Pathfinder Unchained then I could see a 2nd edition coming along. It would change how monsters are built and listed in the adventures, but would largely stil be "fairly" backwards compatible with Pathfinder 1st edition to the same degree that Pathfinder is currently backwards compatible with 3.5e.

A Revised Players Guide could include things like alternate racial traits, alternate favoured class bonuses, variant multiclassing, background traits, drawbacks and story feats, a revised skill list and the best version/most commonly used version of the Core 11 classes (potentially making skill tricks and the new maneuver versions core). All in one book so that when a new player comes to an existing game it isn't a case of "You'll need to buy these 3 books in order to make your rogue."

But for Paizo to judge how much of Pathfinder Unchained has been adopted and how much demand their is for ongoing support for the rules introduced in Pathfinder Unchained, they'll need to wait at least a couple of years. Then they'll need to spend at least a year to develop it so people don't complain all they did was copy and paste. And if Pathfinder Unchained doesn't see dramatic adoption or if there isn't any demand for ongoing support for those rules, then we may not necessarily see a 2nd edition for at least 5 or 7 more years.

At the end of the day Paizo needs fan buy in to anything they produce. If there is enough of a movement among fans to have a single book that incorporates a set of features in the game that would change it enough to signify a new edition, then they'll do it. If there isn't enough demand among fans, they'll look for other ways to continue making a profit. However people coming onto the boards every two months saying "2nd edition is coming soon!" isn't actually a signal that the fans of Pathfinder want a new edition.

Buri Reborn wrote:
An interesting fact in the D&D story is that 5E is on track to outsell 3.5 material.

The article actually says that the launch of 5th edition is on track to outsell the launch of 3.5e. That is nowhere near the same as saying 5th edition is on track to outsell 3.5e. It has no rules supplements announced to be released this year compared to 3.5e's much more aggressive publishing schedule.

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You know what game closed the disparity in power levels between the fighter and the wizard? 4th edition. And the response, especially among those who came over to Pathfinder, was that the Wizard (and those who use spells) should be more powerful then the martial characters. So what Pathfinder Unchained does is say "here's a resource pool that if given solely to the fighter will allow him to close some of the gap between him and the casters. If you don't feel that closing this gap is necessary, here's some rules to give the other classes access to the same resource pool." It might not say that explicitly but it seems pretty close to the intent, especially given Mark Seifter's comments.

Not everyone wants the classes to be balanced. Pathfinder Unchained has been made to appeal to those who do want the classes to be closer in power level, but it's written in such a way as to alienate those fans who don't want to bring the classes closer to parity.

Barachiel Shina wrote:

That really sucks. That won't stop Fighter dips if I make Fighter only.

I will change it to Fighter Level + Con modifier

That could be a really good point.

Avadriel wrote:
its worth mentioning that one of the style strikes a monk can gain gives him an additional attack at a -5, with the two downsides that he must make a punch, and the extra attack does non lethal damage.

I'm sure there's lots of options to provide all sorts of abilities that help complement/supplement the flurry of blows. It'll largely remain a matter of the opportunity cost for them vs what resource you have to give up to use them (free action with conditions, swift action, spend a ki point, etc). I've got a fairly optimised CRB+APG+UM+UCombat monk (although it does use a quarterstaff to qualify for perfect strike) that, by way of drunken ki and Qin-Gong-Jin, has some interesting always-on and encounter-level powers (that is probably more than a bit rules abusive because we don't use the intoxication/alcoholism rules in PFS). So I'll be interested how a straight Unchained monk compares to that.

For Variant Multiclassing I'll be interested to have a very close look at that. I'll be interested to see what the ramifications would be for converting the VMC to a feat chain instead that has your level as a pre-requisite. You still have to get the lower level abilities to get the higher level abilities. But it does let you stop "VMC"ing midway through if you so desire.

Mark Seifter wrote:
There's a few reasons, but the most relevant for you aspiring Unchainers here (who I'm hoping will be taking these rules and hacking them to be different and a perfect fit for your own group

I do find this to be a very interestingly timed release in conjunction with these forum posts by Mark. Among it's fans, D&D 5th edition is considered the "do it yourself" edition as the math is so simple (and the guidance in the DMG fairly comprehensive) that it's quite easy to do (also the lack of new content in the foreseeable future is necessitating it amongst some segments of it's fanbase). Of course 4th ed's math was even simpler, but the philosophy behind 4th edition was very much RAW in the community.

In my corner of the Pathfinder community it's always been "by the book" with houserules limited to banning the completely broken stuff, houseruling the salvagable stuff and giving slight bumps to the very weak but very flavourful stuff (this was done sparingly). Pathfinder Unchained (and Mark's posts) seem to be espousing a "do it yourself" philosophy and encouraging fans to houserule/homebrew large swathes of content. Maybe my corner has been the exception and this attitude has always been prevalent in the larger Pathfinder community. But if it hasn't, I'll be very interested to see if Pathfinfder Unchained introduces a paradigm shift for the larger community and we see a lot more groups looking to "make the rules their own" now that some more guidance is getting introduced by way of this book.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Mr. Augunas's grammar skills have proven superior, and he has correctly deduced the answer you seek.

Aaah. Now that's interesting.

At level 20 a Core Rulebook monk with flurry of blows can make the following attacks:

At level 20 an unchained monk with flurry of blows can make the following attacks:

A Core Rulebook monk gets 2 primary attacks, 2 secondary attacks, 2 tertiary attacks and 1 quarternary (sp?) attack.
an Unchained Monk gets 3 primary attacks, 1 secondary attack, 1 tertiary attack, 1 quarternary attack.

Now the monk is getting always turned on bonuses to his attack chain and the unchained monk may also get equivalencies that we haven't accounted for. But the flurry of blows at least traded in 1 secondary and tertiary attack for an extra primary attack and +2 to all attacks. I don't know how that washes out and I would be very interested to see what other's thoughts are when the full book gets published.

It is worth pointing out as someone mentioned earlier that 3.5e monks get the following:

So in the revision from 3.5e to Pathfinder the design team 1 primary attack was worth 1 secondary attack+1 tertiary attack+a quarternary attack+a +3 bonus to all attacks. Now after 5 years of actual play experience they've potentially felt that extra primary attack was worthwhile if you make the monk a full BAB class.

Thanks donato!

donato wrote:
Barachiel Shina wrote:
How does the Unchained Monk's flurry of blows work now?
** spoiler omitted **

The Core Rulebook monk's flurry of blows seemed to be designed to be incompatible with two weapon fighting (sort of giving it to you, but not really).Can a monk TWF with the unchained version of flurry of blows?

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