Mystic Theurge

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Wow. Really didn't expect that to be so contentious. Some more context might help here, I think. The character's motto was "magic is applied laziness." (Our whole group was made up of engineers.)

The idea behind the floating chair spell was originally just an alteration so that it would be yoked to someone other than him so he could ride it. I don't remember whose idea it eventually was to use that riding time to scribe scrolls, but it wasn't the original intent of the spell as far as I'm aware.

There are some compelling arguments in here as to why not getting up isn't the worst thing (and it's not), but given the somewhat meta-gamey nature of it and the character's creed, I still think it was worth the sloth point.

As for the points themselves, I never told the players that I would be counting them. I didn't want that knowledge to influence their behavior any, since the only thing it really matters for is which wing of Runeforge is their special place. So it's not like I was saying "Sloth! Shame!" or anything like that, just marking a tally in my notes. Those just happened to be some of the most memorable.

And, to be clear, that player was extremely awesome at using applied laziness to inventively solve problems. The character was a lot of fun to run for, and very appropriately was a conjuration specialist to boot. I think he and Jordimandus would have been good friends if the campaign had lasted long enough for them to meet :P


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So, in PF1, I have pretty much never chosen a familiar over a bonded item. For classes that have familiars, I've either actively avoided them or sought out archetypes which trade them away for something else.

But man, now that they're optional and (like seems to be a glorious refrain in PF2) customizable I could totally see myself picking up a little talking owl like Archimedes. It's got to be some weird psychological thing, I guess, or maybe it's just the potential for having a talking familiar from the word go makes all the difference. I dunno.

I, too, love the stances and combos for fighters. It sounds like a really great way to make all of the different tactical decisions you can do with the 3-action system all blend together into something much greater than the sum of their parts. The shielded stride ability is cool, but man the shield paragon is just amazing! I like the use of traits to denote without confusion how each part of a combo fits together. I really can't wait to see more of the options and play around with snapping them together.

The cleric, rogue and paladin stuff is also pretty interesting. There's some really good stuff there, like rogues getting good will saves and the way paladins really customize how they approach being a holy warrior and make both dealing with them as bad of an option as ignoring them. It sounds like there's some pretty broad diversity between the possible options granted by domains. And I think I like it even more knowing that you basically never have a domain power that you don't want or never use.


I ran two groups of Runelords. One group fell apart before getting to Runeforge, the other completed the AP victoriously.

In the former group, the party needed to bunk down part way through the Thistletop delve. They (wisely) set up watches... except for the party wizard who refused to take any shifts. Then, when Bruthazmus and others raided their campsite in the night, he rolled over and refused to get up and do anything to help with the situation because he didn't want to risk interrupting his sleep. Sloth!

That same wizard spent time inventing a new version of the floating disk spell that was basically a chair he could yoke to another party member so that he could scribe scrolls and such instead of having to walk anywhere. More sloth!

The other party had some pretty diverse sins, but one party member in particular (a Dwarf Ranger) was so deep into every single one of them that when they got into Runeforge he had the distinct honor of feeling deeply welcomed by every single wing.

And, perhaps most amusingly to my mind, one of the party members had Envy as her associated sin. And, after seeing how little there was left to the Abjurant Halls which meant there was so much less benefit to having envy as a dominant sin ranted on about how deeply unfair it was that everyone else got so much more out of their sins than she did. It was so beautifully perfect a reaction, and shows the brilliance of the AP writers to have set that up organically the way they did! :D


QuidEst wrote:
Based on the numbers for Rogue (which gets an extra 50% skill advances), I’m guessing that it’ll be promoting two skills every odd level. First level will start you with a good set trained from your class, plus a flavorful lore from your background. Int makes a big deal for starting flexibility, then.

Quoting the Rogue blog for clarification on this point:

Rogue Blog wrote:
Not only does she gain training and proficiency increases in more skills than other classes, but she gains skill feats at an accelerated rate (one per level instead of one every other level).


I think calling them "complex actions" like in Unchained has the potential to alleviate a lot of the confusion about multiple action actions. Anything which requires one to use more than one of its actions to complete it is a complex action.

Hypothetical table exchange:
New Player: "Er, I want to do this 'sudden charge' thingy. That's an action, right?"

GM: "No. If you look closely you'll see that it's a Complex Action, which means it takes more than just one of your actions to complete. In this case it takes two of your actions, but it allows you to do something that would have taken all three of your actions to complete without it."

New Player: "So I spent two of my actions to do the sudden charge on the ogre because it's a complex action. Does that mean I can still do something else as well with the third action?"

GM: "Yep, as long as whatever it is isn't also a complex action, because you only have the one action left to spend."

New Player: "I see. What do you think, guys? Should I hit it again or raise my shield?"

Player 2: "Definitely hit it again. If you finish it off it can't hurt you in case it goes next."

Player 3: "I dunno, ogres tend to be a big bag of HP. I wouldn't bet on finishing it off with one more swing and raise your shield."

GM: "What'll it be?"

New Player: "I'll play it safe and raise my shield."


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Trimalchio wrote:

Compare this to PF1 and all the math leads to one conclusion: a major nerf to using blasts when blasts were already widely acknowledged to be a sub par option.

Even the 'math' shows that of the ogres in the blast only die about 50% of the time, again this is a level 3 monster against the best spell of a level 9 character.

Not sure why people are so agressive, this is rather obvious, blasting as previewed is strictly worse then in PF1, the reason we have playtests is to point this out. And I'll repeat for the 5th time, the issue appears to me to be mostly too many hit points on the ogre, but it's hard to say without seeing hit points for other Giants etc.

It seems extremely disingenuous to me to point to a big bag of HP (huge for its level!) and say that the big bag of HP has too many HP for a specific tactic to be 100% effective against it, and then extrapolate that to say that the whole system doesn't work at all. The point of a big bag of HP in the first place is to make it more difficult to kill under all circumstances. It's a big bag of HP.

I think the fact that the level 5 spell has a good chance of totally eliminating ~50% of those big bags of HP in one shot, while seriously debilitating the rest to the point of it becoming a mop-up game, shows that the system works perfectly fine as intended, especially because the nature of the action economy means that so many big bags of HP being crushed by that one level 5 spell means that it was well used. A similar level martial character could probably take out 1 reliably with a whole turn. You've multiplied both the number he could take out, and made it easier for him to finish off more than one of the rest with a single turn at the same time.

Blasts haven't been nerfed. The chance of a critical failure on the save has made them immensely more effective when used in the right circumstances. That the circumstances might not always be right isn't a nerf. That some monsters are big bags of HP for their level isn't a nerf. They're just circumstances to consider when deciding how to approach a problem. The game is not, and should never be, a matter of spamming one option to win everything everytime.


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The Game Hamster wrote:

This page seems to lack the ability to load right for me.

Anyway, by some arcane knowledge I predict that this post will eventually get a like on it, as Tactics eventually sneaks back onto this thread in the middle of the night.

I think the problem, ironically, is that the forums aren't long enough for it.


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I'm deeply offended by the inappropriate suggestion of magic pants. Magic trousers are the gentleman's choice!


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Neo2151 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
I imagine the answer to that question is, "never."

Given that Heightened Invisibility is the equivalent of greater invisibility and Summon Monster IX is now Heightened Summon Monster this is pretty obviously wrong.

They may well be less common than spells inherently of the level in question, but assuming they won't happen? That's pretty clearly incorrect.

Fair enough, I could have been more specific.

The issue quoted is dealing with Magic Missile, and the concern is the comparison between damage-dealing spells.

There is a world of difference between heightening an Invisibility into a new effect, and heightening a dps spell into the same effect with a different numerical value.

While this is true, there's still the opportunity cost of learning a spell that needs to be considered in the equation. The blog doesn't mention how many spells a wizard can add to their spellbook "for free" beyond first level. If that remains 2, like it was in first edition, then there could conceivably be some hard decisions about which ones to take right now and which ones can wait until you can find a scroll to buy or loot. If you can get by with heightening your fireball another time or two in order to have phantasmal killer added to your arsenal instead of another, better AOE that might be worthwhile.


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Wow. Coming late to this party for once, and trying to catch up with the thread is exhausting and gave me a headache.

This all looks fantastic to me. Simply fantastic. I've been kicking around character ideas in preparation for a friend's game that I've been invited to join in at high level - and this blog makes me so disappointed that the wizard I'm making isn't a second edition wizard.

So there it is. The only gripe I can come up with from this one is that it's not fully available yet :D


Igwilly wrote:

Ok, I don't know if everyone agrees with this, but...

I don't think monsters should be built as PCs.
I don't think they should have "feats". I don't think their stats should be the result of many pluses all around the game.
I think they should have special abilities, defenses, qualities and so on. Their stats should be about how good they are in a fight, or how they perform at different tasks, or how much damage they can take, and so on.
So no, I don't think they should have the same mathematical (or building) rigor of PCs.

I agree with this. Mostly.

I think there are a couple areas where it's really helpful for the monsters to closely follow some general mathematical rules. It has nothing to do with equity between the monster and PCs, though, and everything to do with making the life of the GM easier. These areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Armor Class. Knowing the base components of the numbers (even if arbitrary to begin with) is helpful for a GM who wants to consider variants in type or equipment.
  • Attack/Damage. Many monsters carry weapons. It would be nice if their usage was handled consistently in case of being disarmed or the GM decides to switch up what this monster uses.
  • Saving Throws. If things like evasion are fundamentally a proficiency level in saving throws, it would be nice to make it clear in the stat block if one of these effects apply or the number is just arbitrarily large.


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From the perspective of a person who came to TTRPGs through board games first, and whose majority of players made the same transition, I've seen a lot of situations in which a rules element explained once and distilled down into a distinct symbol can make things extremely helpful. I've also seen it where it muddies things considerably. I think, ignoring for the moment the visibility issues, that actions and reactions in the bestiary can be a case for the former (because of information density and repetition), while the same symbology applied to the CRB will likely become the latter instead (because of how spread out things are).

Returning to an accessibility standpoint, I wonder how much extra work it would require to simply make an "accessible version" of the PDFs that are explicitly designed to work with the tools which make it possible for those with difficulty reading? I really have no idea how much of a burden such an endeavor would place on Paizo, or if that would even be lessened by planning for it from the ground up.

The rest of this post is roughly 65% serious.

One cool thing about consistently using the icons which occurs to me from my love of board games is tokens! Make sets of little plastic or cardboard chits, some with the [[A]] symbol on both sides and some with the [[R]] symbol on both sides. Give an [[R]] token to each player and the GM, and give a set of 3 [[A]] tokens to the active player/monster. Then the person, on their turn, when using any action or composite action passes the appropriate number of tokens to the entity next in initiative order. Similarly, any player can toss their [[R]] token into the middle of the table when appropriate to use a reaction, and gets it back on their turn. It could make an already pretty intuitive system even easier to learn for new players, while simultaneously building in a function of letting the player on deck know that their turn is coming up soon so start thinking about it. Something to possibly include in a beginner's box.


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MidsouthGuy wrote:
I never thought I would say this but I think we're getting too many ability score boosts. If I roll an 18 and put five different boosts into that ability score at level 1, it's going to get crazy fast.

1) You're getting at most 4 boost to single stat, not 5

2) You're either rolling stats OR getting those boosts, not both.


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I like the organizational structure of: 1) things you need to know immediately; 2) things your need to know on the players' turns; 3) things you need to know on monster's turn. Having everything sorted like that should make it easy to find relevant information quickly and efficiently, I think.

I've been trying to work out the ogre's math, and I think it works if you assume that by virtue of being a large creature it gets a flat +2 bonus to melee attacks and strength-based damage. This would mean that the javelin is indeed using strength for the attack roll, but doesn't get the bonus to attack because it isn't a melee weapon, but does get the bonus to damage because that's strength based. Is this guess on the mark?


I, too, have a paladin that was the target of the revenant.

But I just realized with a mounting paroxysm of dread, that when they find out why they did it they might gather that it was...

Too Awful:
just for teh lowls


Not Todd Howard wrote:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

It just works! :D


I'm running Strange Aeons currently, and there's a time crunch aspect to it as well. It's a bit looser than Carrion Crown in that respect, but not as loose as Mummy's Mask. It just takes a while for the party to realize there's a clock running in the background...

EDIT: although, a little weirdly, the key aspects of the "race" in Mummy's Mask is kicked off by the players, and the major milestones can't happen without them. Plus there's a lot of desert exploration. So if you waited until after book 2 you might be able to really drag that one out, since a lot of what the bad guys want to do they can't do until the PCs take certain actions or go to certain places.

I think Iron Gods could stretch to that if you were willing to put the time breaks between parts of the unofficial trilogies. Parts 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6 are more strongly linked together as pairs than they are across pairs to the point where the book has suggestions/warnings of what the GM might want to do if the party unknowingly decides to skip straight from part 2 to part 5.

I haven't read or run Kingmaker, Skull & Shackles, or Ruins of Azlant, but now that you mention them the first two of those could probably work pretty well based on what little I know about them, especially Kingmaker. I just don't normally think about that one because nobody I play with (including myself) has ever has any interest in it. But it sounds to me like "Downtime: The Campaign" so it might be your best bet.


I want to point out that even among that party you can probably still use Command Undead instead of Turn Undead. In my Mummy's Mask group, one of the players went with a Cleric of Anubis. Anubis, much like Pharasma, detests undead. So this cleric never raised an undead, but would often take control of existing undead so that the party could use them as meat shields and trap triggerers and let their destruction serve a useful purpose. I think if you pitched it that way to your paladin and Pharasmin cleric they probably wouldn't have a problem with it either, since at the end of the day the undead are going to be destroyed anyway.

Another option you might want to consider (if available to you) is the Hallowed Necromancer archetype from Horror Adventures, which specializes as a destroyer of undead.


I really don't think any of the APs really handle what you want from this. They're pretty well structured in a way that keeps driving forward, for necessary reasons.

Maybe you would be better off with a series of modules instead? As self-contained story blocks they'd be much easier to insert the sort of long breaks you're looking for.


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This is really cool. I like that care is being given to both in-combat and out-of-combat uses for creatures. I like that signature abilities can make different creatures play dramatically different from other creatures. I'm really curious to see how the 4 degrees of success interact with some monsters that tend to be really ineffective, like the Gibbering Mouther's ability to gibber - I've never seen it actually do anything in practice since everyone always saves it seems.

The functionality of multi-attack looks awesome, and is basically exactly what I'd hoped it would be!

I also like that the distinction between resistance and weakness is being more fully explored, and it opens up some interesting combinations for some of the specialty kill monsters like vampire and werewolves and fey. Thinking back to the way the Regenerate spell now works with its interactions with the dying condition, this all looks like it's going to make for some even cooler and more dynamic monsters. I can't wait to see some stat blocks!


Given the nature of the spell and the entities it can contact, I'd say that's entirely the point of it. It's the sort of spell the GM might drop as a scroll to see what happens, and that players would probably only want to use if a little desperate.


Here's one I often use in my campaigns - regardless of what city/town the players are in.

"Tuesdays and Thursdays"

This strange shop isn't always there. Those who've been to it say it only appears on Tuesdays and Thursdays, though nobody is quite sure what a Tuesday or Thursday is. The shop is run by a mysterious merchant who buys and sells all manner of magic items, though he has no interest in mundane items. He always seems to have exactly what the buyer wants, but the store isn't always there, naturally existing in another dimension altogether. There's a 35% chance of finding this store on any given Golarion day, and it has unlimited resources.

Another one I played around with in a Mummy's Mask campaign that could be extrapolated to basically any campaign anywhere:

"Osiriani Wizards Guild Local 851"

A pair of old men sit outside of an unremarkable door playing chess. Closer observation reveals that neither of them are actually touching the pieces and no building lies beyond the door. The door actually leads to the guild hall in a demiplane. Doors like this can be found anywhere the Guild operates, all leading to the same extradimensional guild hall. Inside is a comfortable place for members of the Wizards Guild to sleep, relax or work. Dues-paying members of the guild are inscribed (or refreshed) with the Guild's Arcane Mark every month when they pay their dues, and automatically know this location without needing to make a check. The benefits of membership depend entirely on what level of membership the wizard is willing to pay for, but include things like purchasing scrolls, laboratory and enchanting room rentals, room/board, research library, and spellcasting services. Members may bring guests with them, but are responsible for their behavior while inside.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
You have three actions in a round (and a reaction sometimes). Regardless of how many arms you have, you have three actions, so there you go. You can now play a race with more than two arms, because the new system doesn't care about how many appendages you have.
Can we expect the same limitation on NPC's, or are characters and NPC's going to see two separate rules systems.
There will not be 2 separate base rules systems/action economies in PF2.

So a dragon with claw/claw/bite/wing bash/wing bash/tail slap will be restricted to three attacks at 0/-5/-10?

This is also poor game design and nerfs a substantial percentage of the bestiary into the ground.

Without thinking too hard, there are numerous ways to allow monsters with lots of attacks in PF1 to still make use of their advantages in PF2 without changing the rules of the system. I've seen a couple different ways mentioned over the life of the playtest boards. Here are a handful:

  • Pseudo Two-Weapon Fighting (Exmaple: a kraken makes multiple tentacle attacks per Strike action)
  • Advanced Actions (Example: Costing 2+ actions, a creature with many limbs makes an AOE strike against all creatures within its reach)
  • Pseudo Cleave (Example: monster with extra limbs can keep making attacks until they miss, run out of eligible targets, or run out of limbs)
  • Pseudo Awesome Blow (Example: monster pools multiple potential limbs into one single attack with extra damage and possibly an effect like knock-back or rend)

Any of these can be extraordinary abilities tied to specific monsters. And, if it's a priority to keep them away from PC use, then shape-shifting spells and abilities can be made to exclude them. Or not. Letting PCs sometimes get access to some of these might be fun.


::claims the thread in the name of Queen Victoria::

Pithfinder, what, what

::places monocle::


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Nothing super exciting about this one, but it's very solid. With the choice between two stats plus a floating bonus, any [mechanical] background can really work with any given class at any time. I expected it would work that way when it first started becoming clear how the stats were going to be generated, and am happy to see that's the case. I expect that there will be two schools of thought when picking a background: 1) I wanted to be 'X' so I'm going to pick 'X' or 2) I want bonus feat 'Y' so I'm going to pick 'X'! In both cases character generation works smoothly, and so this aspect of generation should flow smoothly regardless of whether they personally prioritize flavor or crunch.

I really like this character generation system as a whole. I also like the built-in Velcro strap whose matching strip is applied to campaign players' guides.


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Frederico Gomes wrote:
Still not worth the risk in my opinion.

It's important to remember that the individuals involved with the events of an adventure are almost never looking at things from the same bird's-eye view of events as the GM perspective allows. Mokmurian has recently dominated whole tribes of giants, which have in turn dominated a clan of ogres, which have in turn annihilated a defensible human fort. He's got no reason to even suspect that a piddly little town like Sandpoint could mount enough of a resistance to become even a minor inconvenience to the plan. And if it turns out that the intel shows that what he's looking for is there? Well the assault on the town will have already devastated what resistance they could put up, and going back should be a breeze at that point.

Giants pop up fairly frequently in adventures, and so many times they are portrayed with an inflated level of hubris to match their advanced stature. So, while it might not seem like a good idea to you personally, there are enough clues present to suggest that it was a fine idea in the minds of those doing the actual planning.

And, if you still can't reconcile that, you're totally free to decide otherwise and change things around. The AP developers are always quick to point out that a GM knows their table and its expectations best, and tailoring the scenarios to better fit one's individual tastes is not just allowed, but expected. The trade-off is that you just have to do a little bit of extra work to make things more in line with your understanding of what the best course of action is for the actors driving the plot from behind the scenes. Either you need to come up with a different hook to involve the players or come up with an entirely different scenario to bridge the gap between books 3 and 5. All choices are equally valid if they result in increased enjoyment for you and, especially, your players.


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I agree that with the design direction of PF2 the lesser rules aspect of the PF 1 beginner's box would be self-defeating. But I think they would go a long way with making a second edition beginner's box that was a bundle of the CRB and a bunch of common accessories that new TTRPG players might not have. Things like:

  • set of laminated character sheets
  • 2-sided, dry-erase gridded mat
  • dry erase markers
  • short 1st-level adventure
  • 1-2 complete sets of dice
  • diverse character and common monster pawns
  • condition cards
  • quick-start guide pamphlet

Heck, even with the gaming equipment I've picked up over the years I'd probably still get that for the laminated character sheets and extra gridded mat.


Thrawn82 wrote:

Ran the first session of this wil my group, using the syrinscape soundboard. cut the lights for the dream sequence.

It went fantastic, but i have 6 players in my group, I am a bit concerned that just maxing HP may not be a sufficient adjustment to compensate for the extra players. We are also using the sanity rules, and i am a bit concerned that there is very little in the way of curing sanity damage and ending up with a bunch of characters completely debilitated by madnesses before we reach the end of this book. Overall a very positive start.

Don't have much to say about the 6-player adjustment, but if you're looking for other ways to enhance the mood... I got together a whole bunch of flameless candles and my group has been playing the whole campaign by their light with the room lights off. It's been pretty awesome, and I'd highly recommend it!


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I think I would have preferred moving completely away from general tenets to deity-specific tenets (like those found in Inner Sea Gods) only. If the eventual direction of the class were to move to one where paladins of any and all alignments were to exist, having a set of general tenets tied with lawful good specifically becomes more restrictive than each deity having their own personal stamp on what it means to be their champion. That being said, since the playtest version is exclusively lawful good, I don't have a problem with what's been laid out as essentially the "baseline code." I like the design choice to make it a hierarchy of importance to protect paladins from being ambushed by a Kobiashi Maru scenario. It seems in theory like it should be able to drastically reduce the ability of anyone (player or GM alike) to abuse the system to ruin it for everybody. I hope it works out in practice like it appears to work on paper!

Apart from alignment and codes, everything else looks great to me. I can't wait to get into the details, find the devils there, and smite them!


I suppose the question is whether or not the phantom took part in the ritual to visit the Dreamlands. If they did, then I'd say they get a madness for dying in the Dreamlands and waking up. If the spiritualist went through the ritual alone and then called their phantom on the other side, then the phantom alone among the party is really there. In that case I'd treat dying/banishing like the normal rules and not add any extra penalties.

EDIT: I'd do the same for other summoned companions like Eidolons. For animal companions in this circumstance, I'd probably rule that they can't take part in the ritual at all unless they're especially intelligent, so the PC likely has a dream version of them which doesn't affect the real one (being just a figment of the dreamer's imagination).


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Man, I love those bestiary boxes so much! I don't have much storage space to spare, but those fit on my gaming shelf. I've pretty much always got a pawn for whatever the players are facing (the adventure paths pawns are great for this too), plus the NPC codex box which people can rummage around for character pawns if they don't have one of their own. And the best part about it all is that they're not in any way edition dependent. Love the pawns!


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I don't need a blog. I can quit any time I want. ::hic::


The module Midnight Mirror is sort of an inversion. The PCs have to get into a prison and break it :P


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185) Will question 184 go unanswered?


Porridge wrote:

I'm sympathetic to a lot of this, but here's a reason to want to keep shield proficiency. Namely, it provides with them with the ability to add interesting abilities to shield users who get to higher proficiency levels. For example:

  • Allowing those who are Experts to sacrifice shields to prevent criticals, and throw their shields as weapons.
  • Allowing those who are Masters to deflect attacks to adjacent opponents, break the weapons of those who critically miss, and throw shields at angles such that the shield will return to them at the end of the turn.
  • Allowing those who are Legendary to reflect spells back at their casters, deflect attacks without using an action, use an action to deflect attacks against any ally within 30', throw shields and have them return immediately so they can be used again (offensively or defensively).

I'd love to see shield users getting to do things like that. It would make shield-using distinctive and cool (in the exciting, get your blood pumping sort of way) in a way in which it's not in PF1.

Hrm. Some of those things would be easily handled by an offensive-only shield proficiency (and offensively oriented shields to go with it), but not all of them. And those defensive options seem cool enough to be definitely worth being able to incorporate.

I wonder if it would be balanced to add your shield proficiency to the amount of DR you get from the shield block reaction instead of having it interact with AC beyond of the +1/+2 for raising it. So there can still be proficiency existing to cover offensive shield uses and unconventional shield uses, and the amount of DR anyone gets for using a shield is slightly proportional to how good they are with the shield they raised in the first place while steadily growing over your career to stay relevant. It would naturally follow that your Fighters and Paladins would be much more commonly shield blocking than your wizards, because they're better at it, but it doesn't have the weird case where a wizard simply raises their shield and loses AC from doing so.

Feels like there might be a happy medium in there somewhere.


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Something I've been thinking about overnight in this regard, is that shields already have an opportunity cost associate with them in that they cost an action to use, and are going to break after a few uses. Armor doesn't have that same limitation, weapons are weapons.

So I say why not just drop shield proficiency altogether? Let anyone who wants to pick up a shield to defend themselves do so without worry. I think there are better areas of reward for effort spent than making sure only certain people can use this fundamental tactic without extra investment. They've already divorced the offensive and defensive side of shields. They could make it so that proficiency only matters when using a shield offensively.

There are also other ways to add disincentives to defensive shield use to people who "shouldn't" be using them. We've already seen one instance of a detrimental trait. Come up with a trait that is inconvenient to characters which aren't the target audience, but the target audience wouldn't care about. If it's really that important of a design goal. I, personally, think that making it active use is sufficient though.


I think the best thing to do would be to describe the area in a very general sense. Wide valley, fort near the edge of a cliff. Running water below. Fort surrounded by several different camps. Guard tower watching the road from far away.

I'd keep certain details like the dragon's cave or the caves in the cliffside to yourself and let your players discover them organically. With access to high enough level magic to teleport, there are a number of ways that they can scout the area without revealing themselves. Anything from scrying sensor to shapeshifting or even communing with deities. It allows you to have a ready reward for good tactics in your back pocket, and a go-to answer if they try the front door first and get rebuffed.

I would always advise caution with giving too many secret-ish details of any location away, as it may inadvertently cause your players to think that you're giving them hints about how to proceed. In my own experience, I find it tends to resonate more when they think it's their own idea. Hope this helps!


Adjoint wrote:

By trial and error, my PCs have figured out how to use the runeslave cauldron, although they don't know everything about it yet. (They've put a body of a defeated hill giant zombie in it and it revived it.) They are eventualy going to figure out more, by analyizng the revived giants or research in the library.

How should the runeslaves created by the PCs act? Obey the person who put their body inside the cauldron? Obey the first person they've seen after being revived? Not automatically obedient, although easily influenced and prone to domination?

I think it would make for a pretty interesting wrinkle if you went with the "whoever it saw first" angle, and randomly determine which present PC it saw. It could throw in some neat roleplay hooks if it turns out that the enslaved giant just happens to only listen to a PC that didn't want to be involved, but did nothing to stop it.


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Your questions there are basically one of the reasons why I decided to keep the skum instead of replacing them with deep ones. Another reason was that I've run most of Carrion Crown, and

Carrion Crown:
I figured these Thrushmoor skum are probably related to the skum that are wreaking havoc on Illmarsh in that campaign. It just felt weird to me to have two distinct, but nonetheless similar, aquatic monster races operating so close to each other.

The third reason is mostly because I felt like adding in the appropriate Deep One religious angle was putting too much seasoning into the broth. Strange Aeons, apart from a cameo from Bokrug, is basically devoted to Xhamen-Dor and The King In Yellow. Since The Thrushmoor Terror is the part of the story where that starts to become apparent, I didn't want to complicate things too much by throwing in too many other mythos elements because I personally think that they're cool.

That being said, if I were to go back in time and change my decision, I would probably find some way to deposit a few clues that these Deep Ones aren't devoted to Dagon or Mother Hydra or Cthulhu, like most of their kind, but for some reason have switched their allegiance to one of the two "starring" eldritch entities. Hope this helps!


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

Oh, and this is more of a weapon question than armor question, but Logan DID mention it above... I see magic weapons still apply a bonus to hit on top of the bonus damage dice. Can we not? ^^;

You guys have made a big deal about the weapon quality actually providing the attack bonus; i.e., a Legendary-quality, perfectly balanced ultimate longsword getting a +3 bonus to hit. This is great, I love that. Letting the magic bonus be the extra damage is also great, it gives them distinct design space from each other and keeps it simple.

Having both provide a bonus to hit, except they have the same name and so you have to remember / remind players that they don't stack... I thought that was the sort of thing we were trying to get away from here. Not to mention that magic weapons getting a bonus to hit just immediately deprecates the importance and coolness of having a better-crafted weapon.

I'd love to go back to what everyone thought it was, the weapon craft quality being the hit bonus and the magic potency bonus being the damage bonus. It's totally okay for you to express a weapon as a +3 Master Longsword. Really <3

Indeed, I liked it when that seemed to be the case. I think it's also pretty intuitive that a finely crafted, well-balanced sword is easier to hit with and more capable of retaining magic power, but the enchanted sword cuts deeper and does more damage. Let the quality and enchantments share the kids, but please make them stay divorced!


I don't dislike anything in this blog. I'm excited by the idea that armor traits will possibly be the biggest deciding factor among armors of the same weight class, but just the one trait (and a detrimental trait at that) isn't enough to satisfactorily sink my teeth into as much as I'd like.

Adjusting your AC on the fly based on your different proficiency with armors and shields feels unnecessarily unwieldy to me. It might be more elegant to simply always add the proficiency modifier (not the whole proficiency bonus, mind) to the shield's bonus and be done with it. So someone trained with shields always adds whatever the shield is to their AC when using it. A master at shields would add shield + 2 to whatever their AC is. Someone completely untrained with shields is being really desperate for that sweet, sweet DR. Since shields are active things, just adding some number to your AC or not feels better than also recalculating your AC as you do it. Now it doesn't matter whether your proficiency in armor or shields is lower, because they don't interact with each other whatsoever.


Weather Report wrote:
SWSE has an interesting economy of: Standard > Move > Swift, you can trade a Standard action for a Move Action, and you can trade a Standard and/or Move action for a Swift action, so you can take 3 Swift Actions on your turn.

I think PF1 would have been a great deal more intuitive if there was the general rule that you could always trade a longer action for a shorter one like that, even if everything else stayed exactly the same.


I used to like the PF1 action system. I understood it pretty well, and my only gripe was that it was difficult to explain concisely to new players without an existing board gaming background. I didn't realize how wonky it really is until I saw it side by side with something so much more intuitive to me (PF2). So while PF1 action economy works, it isn't elegant. I strongly prefer when a system is easy to learn and hard to master. Comparatively, I feel like PF1 was easy to master but hard to learn.


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Malk_Content wrote:

I'd love it if Barbarians had to work themselves up into a frenzy. Upside is they can rage all day every day, downside for them is they don't hit peak effectiveness until round 4/5.

The way I see it is Raging being a self inflicted condition and can thus go from Raging 1 to Raging 5. The number being the benefit/negative. So Raging gives +x to hit and damage, fort and reflex save but -x AC and will saves [specifics subject to change.] Barbarians then can increase or decrease their Rage by 1 at the start of each of their rounds, with certain effects like scoring criticals or being hit also increasing it. So Rage powers will vent a bit of Rage and reduce the Raging condition.

I like where you went with that a lot. Really brings the juggernaut feel to the table. "Focus fire! Bring her down before she becomes unstoppable!"


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If we're talking about things we'd like to see, I think it would be neat if Rage, Greater Rage, and Mighty Rage were consolidated into one scaling Raging condition... and that being critically hit while in rage (and surviving) gives you a bump to the next highest tier of raging, even if you're not yet high enough level to enter that kind of rage on your own.

I also really like the Unchained change to flat buffs and temporary HP instead of changing your actual Str/Con scores. It's cleaner.


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176) Will there be a Perform skill feat that allows Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark?

177) Will there be a Survival skill feat that allows one to survive without Air Supply?


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Weather Report wrote:
Another problem is opening up a flood of exotic weapons for every possible culture, why stop at Asia, as you said, Congo throwing knife, macuahuitl, zweihander, etc, etc.

:|

Why stop, indeed? You and I clearly disagree about the value of variety at a very fundamental level. What you see as a problem, here, I see as a fantastic opportunity. I'll take more options over fewer every time.


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Weather Report wrote:
Not me, I used to, but now it smacks of "Orientalism", where anything that is Asian/Oriental is automatically different and/or better (tank-slicing katana, etc).

I see where you're coming from, but I don't think it has to be automatically better to be different. And, under the reworked simple-martial-exotic paradigm, different+better would be an exotic weapon, and have an additional barrier to entry. But if there's a distinctly different style to use of any weapon, I'd say that weapon deserves to exist in this system. To borrow your example, a Katana shouldn't be a tank-slicing beast, sure, but there's no reason that it can't be exactly the same damage dice as, say, an equivalent style sword but instead of normal sword traits it has sweep instead (example pulled from nowhere for illustrative purposes only). Now it plays differently to its competition without being definitively better except for certain play styles that prioritize sweep instead of normal sword traits.

Then there's weapons like the meteor hammer or the 3-section staff or so many others which have few counterparts if any. If Asian-style weapons are only flavor, then these have nowhere to go, and that would be sad.

I'd be alright with many of these weapons waiting until a later expansion book, but I think it would go a long way to reinforcing uncommon!=exotic to have many of them in the CRB.

EDIT: for the sake of clarity, I feel this way about any/all weapons outside the bubble of what is usually considered normal in fantasy RPGs, not just Asian weapons. Those just happen to be what was being talked about. I'd love to be able make a Maori-style warrior that uses a Mere Club and Taiaha right out of the gate, for example, and play my favorite Sentinels of the Multiverse character. I could do that be replacing the flavor, sure, but it would feel more exciting if there were mechanical options to differentiate it, too.


Weather Report wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
I hope we get away from limited "monk weapons", personally. It always kind of enforced an Asian flavor on a character, which is boring. Not to mention glaring gaps in what they can use. Not even something that sorta resembles a jian.
Me too, I think Asian names should be used for flavour, longsword = katana, greatclub = tetsubo, warhammer = dai tsuchi, etc.

I'd rather the asian weapons be used for variety, personally. There are a whole host of them which aren't just palette-swapped other weapons, and even among the ones which appear to be it rarely turns out to actually be that simple. For the ones which might appear at a glance to be palette-swapped, simply shuffling around the traits can make them enough of their own thing to be interesting. I just hope that they don't slap the exotic tag on too many of them for no reason, but I have enough benefit of the doubt for the designers to believe that the only exotic weapons in the new edition will be for mechanical reasons and that, as mentioned in the blog, they will use other means to differentiate what is common in an area, and that uncommon!=exotic.


Bardarok wrote:
Spiral_Ninja wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:

Lots of really interesting features added to weapons! I really like Mark's example of someone switching from a bastard sword to a shield and flail character, which resulted in a wholly different playstyle.

As for exotic weapons. I don't mind it staying as that, it's a staple from earlier editions, so most experienced players will know that it's a weapon that requires more investment to use.
If it was to be changed, I'd suggest "specialist weapons", so you'd have simple, martial and specialist weapons. This seems to fit with the "... include additional abilities that make the weapon more complex" part.

Why not go with what's already there and continue the theme: Simple, Martial, Complex?

The terms balance on either end - simple to complex.

I dunno. If these imaginary weapons become complex it might get too real for me.

These complex imaginary weapons should all have the same damage dice regardless of what size category you zoom in or out to.

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