Elemental Proofing Paste

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 783 posts (784 including aliases). 18 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Out of curiosity, what does money donated on the generic Paizo page count toward?

(I donated on that page without realizing I wouldn't get an option to allocate the donation afterward...)

EDIT: And it would have gone to the fighter. Sorry Luis! :P


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Smite Makes Right wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:

The results of the deterministic firing of neurons in your brain are not your "fault" even though you mistakenly thought you had a choice rather than being a deceived but powerless observer of your own actions.

You should still be punished, of course, because those hardwired (or bounded random) processes that determine your actions are still modified by external stimuli and perceived threats despite the fact there's no "you" to "blame."

At least, that's what my own deterministic processes are leading me to type, and I find that my observer function agrees with them after the fact.

This is all factually untrue in a universe with souls. Which Pathfinder is. We can argue all day about whether it's true in real life (personally, I'm religious and believe in a soul, but that's matter of faith rather than logic), but it's certainly not the case in Golarion, where souls can be empirically measured.

That is not a given.

For one the deterministic nature could come from the soul rather than the synapses, often part and parcel with the concept of fate.

Second, you can still have deterministic behaviors determined by chemicals and neurons with a soul that is an influence on that physical system and/or carries the learnings from the physical onto the metaphysical (and possibly back again).

FWIW, the majority of those working on free will endorse compatibilist positions (positions which take determinism and free will to be compatible). Likewise, the majority of those working on moral responsibility take determinism and moral responsibility (or some nearby analog) to be compatible. So one might reasonably resist Xenocrat's statement on those grounds.

(That said, the existence of souls does seem orthogonal to these issues.)


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Franz Lunzer wrote:

Slightly Offtopic:

Joe M. wrote:

...

Ancestry: 3 ability boosts (2 set, 1 free); 1 ability flaw

Background: 2 ability boosts (1 set, 1 free)

Class: 1 set ability boost

Level: 4 free ability boosts

What if they called that last step Development? (Or any other, more appropriate word starting with D. English isn't my native language.)

Ha! Yes. That’s perfect.


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Ring_of_Gyges wrote:

My complaint is that the lawful / chaotic axis involves lots of dichotomies that have nothing to do with each other.

Consider the following:

Collectivism vs. Individualism
Routine vs. Innovation
Tradition vs. Cosmopolitanism
Law vs. Crime
Consistency vs. Randomness
Processes vs. Improvisation
Discipline vs. Laxness
Authoritarian vs. Democratic

Those are all workable dichotomies, but your position on one of them is only very weakly correlated to your position on any of the others.

[+Some nice examples in which these dichotomies come apart.]

Very nicely put. This does seem to be the central problem with the coarse-grained D&D/PF alignments: they're inconsistently mapped on to different dichotomies, which makes it hard in a lot of cases to figure out what alignment a given personality (or society) is supposed to be.

And this matters because (1) cases where it's hard to determine a personalities alignment come up fairly frequently, and (2) and what alignment one assigns in these cases has in-game mechanical consequences (e.g., will my Circle of Protection from Law protect me against them).

Deadmanwalking wrote:
[Some reasons for taking many of the listed dichotomies to be correlated with each other on a cultural level.]

This might be right, and if so, one might argue that Ring of Gyges' claim that these dichotomies are "only very weakly correlated" is a bit too strong if understood as a claim about cultures as a whole.

But I take it this is compatible with Ring of Gyges' main point -- that these different dichotomies are logically independent, and can come apart in all sorts of ways. And in those cases (e.g., individuals who are disciplined, individualist, cosmopolitan, routine-following and democratic; societies which tends towards collectivism, innovation, cosmopolitanism, processes, and democracy; and so on) it's not at all clear what alignment they're supposed to be.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Porridge wrote:
If archetype stacking is no longer allowed, then this would make different-alignment Paladins much less customizable than LG Paladins.
Huh? All evidence is that Archetypes remain totally stackable.

I have the recollection that one of the developers suggested that archetypes don't stack. But I could be mistaken (my quick search wasn't able to find it).

In any case, if they do stack, in the way they stack in PF1, the same worry arises. Namely, if different-alignment Paladins are positioned as archetypes, then the PF1-style prohibitions against stacking archetypes that modify the same class features (a prohibition it would be unwise to remove!) will make different-alignment Paladins significantly less customizable.

(To use the example from above: suppose there's a Freedom-Fighter archetype that modifies the LG Paladin's code a bit, and replaces Lay on Hands (say) with the Break Your Shackles ability. If the CG Paladin is constructed as an archetype that already modifies the Paladin's code, or already modifies the Lay on Hands ability, then CG Paladins will be locked out of taking that archetype.)

So, if you like, you can see this as a conditional request: if there are any limitations on archetype stacking, then I hope different-alignment Paladins aren't positioned as archetypes.

(And my degree of belief in the antecedent of that conditional is pretty close to 1, since it's hard to see how to balance archetypes without such prohibitions.)


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Mark Seifter Paladin Blog wrote:
Since that was the aspect of the paladin that everyone agreed upon, that's what we wanted to make sure we got right in the playtest. But given the limited space for the playtest, we chose to focus on getting that aspect fine-tuned for one alignment, and so in this book we're presenting only lawful good paladins. That doesn't mean antipaladins and tyrants are gone (there's even an antipaladin foe in one of the adventures!) or that the door is closed to other sorts of paladins down the road. We'll have a playtest survey on the matter, we're open to more opinions, and even among the four designers we have different ideas. But we want to focus the playtest on getting lawful good paladins right, first and foremost. If or when we do make more paladins and antipaladins, having constructed a solid foundation for how an alignment-driven champion functions will be a crucial step to making all of them engaging and different in play.

I appreciate this attitude toward a tricky and contentious topic.

A note regarding implementation: I really hope that different-alignment Paladins won't be positioned as archetypes. If archetype stacking is no longer allowed, then this would make different-alignment Paladins much less customizable than LG Paladins.

(E.g., if there ends up being a general Freedom-Fighter flavored archetype, or a general Ocean/Sailor-themed archetype, it would be nice to be able apply that to CG Paladins, not just LG Paladins.)

EDIT: I recall (perhaps incorrectly) some developer suggesting that archetypes don't stack. Even if they do stack, in the manner of PF1, I hope different-alignment Paladins won't be positioned as archetypes, since similar worries arise given the prohibitions of archetypes that modify the same class features.

(E.g., suppose an Freedom-Fighter archetype modifies a LG Paladin's code a bit, and replaces Lay on Hands (say) with a Break Your Shackles ability. If the CG Paladin is constructed as an archetype that already modifies the Paladin's code, or the Lay on Hands ability, then CG Paladins will be locked out of taking that archetype.)


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HWalsh wrote:
Noir le Lotus wrote:

I'm a little puzzled by the thing about AC ...

Did he really say that you take your level into account for your AC ?

Because then I hardly see ho the maths can work for the iterative attacks at -5 and -10 if when you had your level to attack, the target can also put her level to her AC ...

Math:

Level 1 - With trained proficiency, a +1 Dex, and a +4 AC armor apparently has an AC of 5.

A level 1 attacker with +4 STR, who is trained in the weapon, needs to hit a 2, 7, or 12

-----

Level 5 - With Expert prof, an Expert crafted weapon, a +1 potency rune, and a +5 STR will have a +13 (+5 +1 +1 +1 +5)

Vs +1 Dex, +9 armor, expert prof, expert armor, +1 potency rune, will have an AC of +18 (5 +1 +9 +1 +1 +1)

So 5, 10, 15.

-----

Level 10 - Master prof, master weapon, +2 rune, +5 STR will have +21 (+10 +2 +2 +2 +5)

Vs +1 Dex, +9 armor, master prof, master armor, +2 rune, will have an AC of +26 (10 +1 +9 +2 +2 +2)

So 5, 10, 15

-----

Level 15 - Legendary prof, leg weapon, +3 rune, +6 STR will have +30 (+15 +3 +3 +3 +6)

Vs +1 Dex, +9 armor, leg prof, leg armor, +3 rune will have AC +34 (15 +1 +9 +3 +3 +3)

So 4, 9, 14

-----

This is extrapolating from some mechanics in Starfinder (in stat raise speed without upgrades) and pf1 armor (hence +9 plate with a +1 Dex max) and is in no way 100% accurate. While this would make low levels a roflstomp vs low Dex characters it evens out over time.

I think all those AC values should have a +10 added in there?

I also suspect that the “bare” armor contribution will be about half of what it was before, given the numbers we’ve seen (e.g., chain shirts giving +2 to AC instead of +4).

If that’s right, that would net increase your lvl 1 AC values by around +8, and the other AC values by about +5, putting them in line with each other with respect to how hard they are to hit.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I know you know about the different armor values (from your last comment). Just making it explicit for those who haven’t been following the play test blogs and dev posts closely!


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Leedwashere wrote:

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'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.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Bag of weapons is back. That was a part of 3.5 I did not miss in PF1
I'm not really sure this will cause golf-bags. Sure weapons have advantages in certain situations, but it's not the case that others are just garbage in those situations, or that it's an overpowering advantage. I still expect to take a weapon that fits the character and the most common situations I see and then just keep using it even if something else might be %5 better in that fight. But I guess it could lead to golf-bags for people who are big on milking every last +1 for every roll they can. But the action cost of switching weapons probably makes it not worth it.

One more reason golf bags are unlikely: Unlike PF1, in PF2 the difference between a +1 weapon and a +2 weapon is a very big one. So you have a strong incentive to buy a single +2 weapon instead of a several +1 weapons.

Other weapons may have traits which are more advantageous in a particular situation. But those advantages are unlikely to be big enough to make up for an extra die of damage.


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QuidEst wrote:
Porridge wrote:

Happy to see changes to ensure that no weapon strictly trumps another. Even happier to see weapons becoming distinctively different. Another great blog post!

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Maybe a better name would be in order. Instead of calling them "Monk" weapons, they would have the "Flurry" trait -- in the Core Rulebook, Monks would be the only class that could Flurry with them, but other classes or archetypes might come out later that could also Flurry with them (like for instance, if they decide to port the Brawler over to 2nd Edition Pathfinder, whether as its own class or as an archetype of something else).
That's... a really good idea. Seconded!
Flurry, as we know it, is going away, along with natural attack blenders. In return, Monks no longer have to spend double on their amulet of mighty fists. I wonder what the replacement will be. Flexible weapon qualities on fists would be pretty cool- be the weapons golf bag you want to see in the world.

Fair enough; the label "flurry" itself might not make sense, depending on how they redo the Monk class. But the general idea behind the proposal - replacing the label "Monk" with a label indicating the class feature(s) it can be used with - strikes me as a very good one.

(If the only reason for labelling a weapon a "Monk" weapon was to indicate that Monks were proficient with them, then this proposal wouldn't work. But if that's all the "Monk" trait means, then it's hard to see how its doing enough to justify its inclusion.

The sole rationale for including the "Monk" label would be that when introducing new weapon you wouldn't have to state that Monks are proficient in them. But it's not clear why Monks are special in that regard. One might introduce weapons that it's natural to have Rogues be proficient in (the Thieves Guild "Special"), or weapons that it's natural to have Wizards be proficient in (the Wizarding Staff), but we aren't inclined to add "Rogue" or "Wizard" traits to indicate that.

Better, I think, to specify class proficiencies in broad strokes, and separate class proficiency and weapon traits entirely.)


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Happy to see changes to ensure that no weapon strictly trumps another. Even happier to see weapons becoming distinctively different. Another great blog post!

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Maybe a better name would be in order. Instead of calling them "Monk" weapons, they would have the "Flurry" trait -- in the Core Rulebook, Monks would be the only class that could Flurry with them, but other classes or archetypes might come out later that could also Flurry with them (like for instance, if they decide to port the Brawler over to 2nd Edition Pathfinder, whether as its own class or as an archetype of something else).

That's... a really good idea. Seconded!


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Very cool domain powers/spells.

Especially excited to see that non-combat powers/spells are getting some play. Lends itself to a much less combat-centered kind of campaign, which I really like!


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Amen! Preach it brother!

(EDIT: On a more substantive note, I think allowing Arcanist spellcasters to have the ability to heighten spells on the fly is going to make prepared casters eclipse spontaneous ones, who currently aren't allowed to heighten spells this way. Rather, it looks like spontaneous casters have to pick the level at which they "know" the spell when they learn it, and that level is fixed from then on.

Anyway, if that ends up being how spontaneous casters work in the final game, I suspect that an Arcanist-style prepared casters are going to have to follow suit, and fix what "level" they're going to prepare their spell at ahead of time.)


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Intrigue and politics?! Quite a change of pace!


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Porridge wrote:
(As an aside, I appreciate Mark Seifter explaining the developer's reasons for taking the route they did, and I understand those reasons. But the demerit of undercasting -- "it actually winds up being more punishing to carry a small number of theme spells through all your spell levels with undercasting while also less exciting to gain access to a new spell level" -- is one I would happily pay to have a magic user that made more sense, and felt more organically satisfying.)

I initially felt that undercasting was more organic-feeling, but then I thought about some of the spells known situations you could get from undercasting as opposed to the solution we used (it isn't called 'lineages' per se, it was a descriptive word I used when answering a question on Twitch in real time without the books) and realized it actually is less organic and more abrupt.

For example, suppose we have someone who is interested in a level 6 summon spell. With undercasting, they might not have summon at all and then they suddenly gain all 6 summons. With the option to pick the spell family, they've been growing through their summon spells all along (granted, you certainly can do the same thing with undercasting if you want). Either of these is a far better situation than the PF1 sorcerer who would have to pick summon as a spell known at every level (or thematically worse but mechanically better, lose the old summons and just keep the highest one or two).

That's a fair point. I agree that sudden jumps don't feel very organic.

Ideally one would like (i) to encourage mastery of related families of spells, (ii) the ability to cast weaker versions of spells you can cast, and (iii) a slow, organic progression of mastery with respect to those spell families.

One possibility would be to have ordered families of related spells (=lineages?) in which spontaneous casters can have varying levels of expertise. And then, for each level they gain, they could advance their expertise along these different families a certain number of times (or choose new families to start advancing in), allowing them to cast higher level spells from those families. That would seem to satisfy the above desiderata.

Anyway, I'm very keen to see how the new rules work. And I appreciate your helping us understand what the different kinds of considerations you have to juggle when deciding how to set this all up.


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I'm not a big fan of Vancian casting. But I understand that some are, and am happy enough to have prepared casters (Wizards, Clerics) for those who like that way of dealing with magic.

But the magic systems that really make sense to me are ones in which magic users gain expanding expertise in their ability to create similar kinds of magical effects. I've always found this kind of approach vastly most satisfying, in a "it makes sense and feels right" kind of way, than the hodge-podge of random magical powers approach that old-school D&D employs. Likewise, it's a much better fit with the way magic is depicted in most fantasy literature.

I was really hoping that PF2 would allow spontaneous casters to fit that mold.

I hope there will at least be some kind of archetype that will allows spontaneous casters to take full advantage of upcasting/undercasting. Perhaps an archetype in which you only get lineages, and no individual spell slots? Or an archetype that gives up (say) half their known spells in exchange for being able to undercast whatever spells they do know? I would be very grateful for an option like that.

(As an aside, I appreciate Mark Seifter explaining the developer's reasons for taking the route they did, and I understand those reasons. But the demerit of undercasting -- "it actually winds up being more punishing to carry a small number of theme spells through all your spell levels with undercasting while also less exciting to gain access to a new spell level" -- is one I would happily pay to have a magic user that made more sense, and felt more organically satisfying.)


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Planpanther wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:

Small note: as written, I don't see how people aren't going to just dip one level into Cleric to gain access to the Channel Energy/Heal option and then play a Rogue or Fighter who can dish out healing. They'll get probably 4-6 Heals a day given that Charisma is going to be a fairly important stat for even non-casters, and seeing Channel energy isn't based off of Resonance, it would benefit the crew for probably until 10th level at which point they can probably just Retrain and eliminate Cleric as other abilities will be better suited.

My fear is dipping is no longer allowed. Taking a level in cleric simply means you get to grab one of the cleric class feats and not the entire starting package. :(

As I understand it, the free Heals will scale with Cleric level, not character level. So the free Heals you would get from a one level Cleric dip (and from first level Cleric spells) would quickly fade into irrelevance as you level up.

Given that, I doubt that one level Cleric dips are going to be very attractive.

(Of course I have yet to see the game, so who knows! But given what we’ve seen, I don’t think a one level Cleric dip will be attractive enough to make them need to ban traditional multi-classing.)


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Lots of nice stuff here.

Especially happy to see the addition of Anathema. It's always seemed weird that Paladins had to abide by a strict code, but Clerics could pretty much do whatever.

Also nice in providing a motivation to pick different deities for different kinds of characters, instead of just looking to see which deity gave you the best domain powers.


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1. It's a good question whether the kind of build you're describing would be viable as a front-liner (if you try it, I'd be interested in hearing how it goes!).

2. If you want to shore up some of your weaknesses/avoid some feat taxes, you could take a 1 level dip into Soldier before going Mystic. That would put you further behind on spellcasting, of course.

3. Finally, if the paladin-esque "mostly a front-liner but with some magical healing stuff" if what you're aiming for, you might consider a Soldier with the Divine Champion archetype. That will make you a very effective front-liner, and (if you choose the Healing connection) will give you some healing abilities as well (starting at level 6).


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Nox Aeterna wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
"Let's not appease [some group]" is a bad argument when that group is making salient points. One does not get the desired effect of "cool armor" when a significant portion of your audience rolls their eyes at it.
Is it?

I take it PossibleCabbage was just pointing out that this is an ad hominen argument (an argument that appeals to what some person or group of people like/dislike or believe/disbelieve), and ad hominen arguments are generally taken to be bad arguments.

E.g., presumably we'd all agree that this is a bad argument:

"You should dislike sweaters, because [political figure/group you dislike] likes sweaters."


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
[2) In five years of PFS, I've never seen a GM even question the weight someone carries. Sure, armor's reduction in base speed is a factor and tracked, and I'm not against that. But adding up every potion flask, tindertwig, bedroll, and pouch, is a horrendous waste of time.
in those 5 years, hace you seen players dumping Str to 8?

Why do we want an encumbrance system in the first place?

Reason 1. To disincentivize strength dumping.

I’m all for disincentivizing stat dumping (or, more accurately, making the decision to dump a stat a real decision, with real pros and cons, instead of a no-brainer). But tracking encumbrance doesn’t really do that. Once the players hit level 5 or so they get bags of holding, and encumbrance issues go away. So dumping strength just results in a minor inconvenience for the first couple levels.

Reason 2. To answer basic carrying questions.

Without any encumbrance constraints, players could all manner of silly things, like carrying one of each item in the equipment list, carrying away a dragon’s horde in one's pockets, carry their wounded Storm Giant ally to safety, and so on. But for the most part these are low-level restrictions, since these kinds of limitations quickly disappear once bags of holding come into play. And the carrying questions which do still arise (Can I carry the wounded paladin to safety? How much of the dragon's horde can I put in my bag of holding?) only seem to require some rough constraints.

Reason 3. It's fun to track encumbrance.

Some of the posts above gave this as a reason. Although I don't have any hard data on this, I suspect that most players don't have fun tracking encumbrance. But I admit that is is pure speculation on my part. Hopefully the playtest will give Paizo some data on this.

_____

Putting reason 3 aside, this suggests that encumbrance doesn't play much of a role past the lower levels. And the encumbrance system only needs to provide enough detail to allow a DM to figure out, in broad strokes, how much of a dragon's hoard the players can take with them, or if the player with Flight is strong enough to carry another player over a chasm, etc.

Taken together, this leads me to think that a coarse-grained encumbrance system (whether it uses weight or bulk) is the way to go.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Dragonstriker wrote:
necromental wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Terrible art for the Hobgoblin.
I also really really don't like WAR's style of drawing, and one of the reasons I don't like getting Paizo hardcovers is his art everywhere.
That’s really unfortunate. I, on the other hand, really like WAR’s art style and one thing that I’m excited about is that he’s the sole artist for the PF2 CRB.

Regardless of personal tastes, Reynolds IS pathfinder.

And a lead artist with a personal style unifying the art is a great idea.

I completely agree.

And I really like that more care is being put into distinguishing the other humanoids from humans in distinctive ways. The “they basically look like humans who have had a little plastic surgery” approach is something that’s always bugged me.

(I also really appreciate Reynolds chipping in with some insights into the artistic redesigning process. Very interesting and enlightening!)


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CorvusMask wrote:

I can tell what those are based on the previous volume's preview.

Yes, there is continuing the campaign article, rest of the articles are ships of the corpse fleet and ships of the line which includes "Sometimes battleships and dreadnoughts just aren’t big enough! This article presents new rules for starships of extraordinary size and power capable of acting as mobile bases for entire fleets"

!!!

Wow. That alone might make this worth getting!


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DeathQuaker wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:

So there are only four spell lists correct?

So that would be cleric, druid, wizard/sorcerer, and maybe bard?

It could be that, or it could be as someone way upthread (and now also TriOmegaZero ninjaing me right above) suggested, that as "arcane" is made of "material and mental" magic, and "divine" is "vital and spiritual" magic, then the lists might be material/mental/spiritual/vital.

That could also be taking the description waaaaaaaaaaay out of context...

You're right, of course, that this is speculative. But I would love for it to be true.

One of the most unsatisfying features of the PF1 spell lists, for me, has been a lack of understanding for why certain spells appeared on certain spell lists and not others. And that leads to the feeling that it's more or less an arbitrary assignment.

It would be much cooler to have a crisp, intelligible story to tell for why these classes can cast these spells, and not these other spells. And the material/mental/spiritual/vital designation would provide such a story.


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vagabond_666 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Uh...no it isn't. That's not a logical result of that reasoning at all. Being mind controlled, like being stabbed, is not something you need to consent to for it to happen. It's awful if either of those things happen without your consent, but saying you don't consent to them doesn't mean they don't exist or don't happen.

Having things done to you while you are unconscious, like being stabbed, is not something you need to consent to for it to happen. It's awful if either of those things happen without your consent, but saying you don't consent to them doesn't mean they don't exist or don't happen.

I'd have thought these two statements were effectively identical, however, it appears to be the case in this instance that we need to change the rules so that you do have consent while you're unconscious, because otherwise it would be too traumatic.

How does it not follow that the same applies while mind controlled?

As I understand it, the worry is not that bad things can happen to people who are unconscious. That's obviously true.

Rather, the worry about the current wording is the suggestion that unconscious subjects are always willing, or consenting. And the reason that's disturbing is because it suggests that, prima facie, things done to those subjects aren't morally wrong. After all, the subject was willing/consenting to have those things done to them!

It's that implicature -- an implicature about what's morally permissible -- that's disturbing. Not the suggestion or acknowledgement that bad things can happen to people who are unconscious.


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Heightened spells, so that spontaneous casters have a good thematically-fitting range of spellcasting powers!

Scaling cantrips that give spellcasters at-will abilities that scale to remain useful!

Rituals in the CRB, for that occult/exotic and "too-powerful-to-be-an-easy-to-cast-spell" magical effects!

Magical Traditions (if the hypothesis about the four spell lists is correct)! Getting away from tons of spellcasting lists, while giving the different spellcasting lists a more interesting and distinct character!

So many awesome things!


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FaerieGodfather wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


Nah, Harry Dresden has always been Neutral Good with Lawful leanings. He is most certainly not, and never has been, Evil. Absolutely not Chaotic Evil.
** spoiler omitted **

Harry Dresden is hardcore Chaotic Good. Both before and after Book 12.

Several of his decisions in Changes were Evil. Eeeeevil. And he made them, damned well knowing they were.

Michael Carpenter would never have made those decisions, even to save his wife and his children.

But that's the difference between Regular Good and Exalted Good.

After everything he did, though, he's still going to put himself between innocent people and monsters bigger even than the one he's become. You dangle certain reasons in front of him, and like anybody, he will do the wrong thing... but he's still going to die doing the right thing.

That analysis reminds me of this.

(And I agree completely; Dresden is a CG person who’s made some (big) mistakes.)


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Trichotome wrote:


In fact, parts of WftC feel so similar to Dance of the Damned in some places that I can't help but feel that the latter was Paizo testing the waters for the former. I'd definitely recommend it as a good way of knowing if intrigue is right for you (and your players, of course).

That’s a great advertisement. Dance of the Damned is probably my favorite book of any AP.

I really need to get this!


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I'm very happy to see small size weapon damage tables done away with. And even happier to hear that swings are going to be a viable option. Awesome!

(That said, I share the sentiment that it would be nice to have a bit more diversity in stat assignments among the small races.)


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Captain collateral damage wrote:
but it looks like we're using starfinder ability generation so racial modifiers are almost meaningless. *grumble grumble*

Just to be clear, racial modifiers are definitely not meaningless in Starfinder. The -2 racial assignment effectively allows you to dump that stat, and allocate those points elsewhere. And the +2 racial assignments effectively force you to allocate some points to those stats. From an optimization standpoint, both are important.

Now, granted, the way in which racial modifiers are relevant is very different in PF1 and SF.

In PF1, you really want a racial bonus in the stat you want to be highest (and don't want racial penalties in stats you want to be highest), whereas in SF it doesn't that much matter whether you have a racial bonus/penalty in the stats you want to be highest.

In SF, you really want a racial penalty in the stat you want to dump (and don't want racial bonuses in stats you want to dump), whereas in PF1 it doesn't much matter whether you have a racial bonus/penalty in the stats you want to dump.

But I don't see how racial modifiers are more meaningful in PF1 than in SF. They're just meaningful in different ways.


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ChibiNyan wrote:
I agree with the OP that SF point-buy sucks and you get no benefit from your racial + theme attribute bonuses. The only one that matters is the -2, and that's only if you wanted to dump it anyways. It makes ability score bonuses at the start of the game totally superfluous, and would make the new +2 +2 -2 +floating become pretty pointless too.

Racial stat bonuses are still important in SF because they limit how low you can make a stat; i.e., effectively require you to put two points into it. So it’s bad to take a race with a stat bonus in something you’d like to not spend any points in.

So the SF racial adjustments, both + and -, do make a meaningful difference from a optimization standpoint. It’s just not the difference we’re used to from PF.


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I think your Hunter and Investigator entries are swapped?


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Yes, please. More tractable grappling rules would be wonderful.


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I’m also a fan of most of the changes we’ve seen so far.

—0. The main one that hasn’t been mentioned so far is making Charisma a desirable stat for pretty much everyone, instead of a largely useless stat for 80-90% of PCs. (I’m not sure about some other aspects of the resonance system, but I *love* this feature of it.)

Other highlights for me, in order of excitement:

—1. Revised action economy! (You can now move, attack, move, without having to get 7 feats first! Tweaking things so full attacking is no longer the only thing worth doing for most martials!)

—2. Four degrees of success! (Especially the ways in which this fixes save or suck abilities, and makes levels of competence beyond a certain point still useful.)

—3. Skill feats that are strong enough to make skills an important part of the game! (No, wizard, *you* stand aside — I don’t need your Spider Climb/Knock/Invisibility/Charm Monster/etc spell to do this!)

—4. All classes get interesting choices/class feats! (No more boring choice-less cleric or swashbuckler advancements for me!)

—5. Removing much of the dependence on magic items! (No big 6 to constantly upgrade! Shopping is no longer something any successful adventurer needs to spend a lot of time doing!)


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Another fun thing we can now do but couldn't before that I really want to try out is to hand those juiced up debuff bombs (including flat-footed, naturally) to the rogue while I go into melee with a Strength build and beat things down.
And how is a strength build without mutagen, if you don't mind my asking? Are there class features that support it, even a little bit?
In PF1, a 1st level alchemist without anything else is 2 accuracy behind the Weapon Focus fighter, 3 behind the raging barbarian or ranger attacking a favored enemy (4 with WF), or up to 6 (7 with WF, but more reasonably a point or two less) behind a smiting paladin with improbably good Str and Cha, and it just gets bigger of a spread by level 5 (lose another 1 from BAB, fighter weapon training, ranger FE increase, etc). You're just not behind like that, and so in the build I want to try, I grab a bunch of cool melee abilities and shake things up. Honestly, I might not even need a Bestial mutagen for it even when I gain access because my Strength and other bonuses should be in great shape. I might want to try a Juggernaut mutagen instead, or even go for Bullheaded to protect my Will.

This makes sense of why stat boosting mutagens at lvl 1 or 2 would be too much.

I would still love to have a “mutagen track” option at early levels, for flavor reasons, even if it only provided minor benefits at low levels. For example, a lvl 1 mutagen option that just provided some natural attacks that scale with level. Or a mutagen that provided some minor utility abilities that scale with level (starting with something innocuous like, say, low light vision, or a bonus to intimidate checks, or the like).


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Paladinosaur wrote:
I really hope they aren't folding the Oracle into the Cleric.

I really hope they are folding the Oracle into the Cleric! :)

(Less glibly, I hope they adopt a spellcasting system that allows every class to be either spontaneous or prepared. Or, alternatively, adopt a spellcasting system which collapses the distinction.)


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Interesting...I wonder how separable the mutagen and bomb aspects will be.

Also intrigued to see the tie into the resonance system here. Can’t wait to see how it all fits together!


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While I have no opinion about the merits of the author’s proposal, the write-up was hilarious.

I recommend that the journal accept this paper.

—Referee #2


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magnuskn wrote:

Peacock spirit would be Xanderghul I think.

So, seems we might be preventing individual runelords from rising in this AP. I wonder with whom we'll fail. My guess is Sorshen.

Given that Xanderghul is the master of illusion and deception, I wouldn’t be surprised if the party only *thinks* they’ve stopped him, and he re-emerges in book 6...


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magnuskn wrote:

So Dwarves are still sub-optimal for Sorcerer's and Bard's. That's too bad, I really would have liked to run that one day.

Maybe add an option to change your negative stat from CHA to DEX?

We don’t know how point buy works yet, so this might not be a worry.

For example, if racial bonuses are applied before point buy (like in Starfinder), then this won’t be a problem.

Likewise, if there’s a 1-1 point buy system (as in Starfinder), then even if racial bonuses are applied after point buy (giving different races different maximums), it won’t be so bad.

In any case, I share your hope that things will be set-up in a way that doesn’t make Dwarven Bards or Sorcerers sub-optimal.


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Given the propensity for numbers divisible by five in PF2, I suspect there will just be 10 level casters and 5 level casters (instead of 4, 6 and 9 level casters).


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QuidEst wrote:

Core stuff is almost universally allowed. (Leadership is a glaring exception.) If I want to play a tiefling or a kitsune, I have to check with the GM, but there's no question about a gnome or a human. If a GM is new and wants to limit the classes, it's going to be the core classes that are allowed (even if "no full casters or occult classes" might be easier for them in the long run).

Core also sets the basis for future balance. Rogue talents were weaker than feats, and rage powers were stronger. That carried forward until Unchained, with Rogues using as many talents as they could to get specific feats, and Barbarians using many feats to get more rage powers.

I largely agree with this (especially the second paragraph). But I'm curious as to whether Leadership is the only core ban most people encounter. I would have thought that most games would also ban a variety of core spells (e.g., Magic Jar, Planar Binding).


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Re: Paizo not having enough time to make major changes:

They have an entire development team working on this for 6-8 months after the play test starts. That’s several thousand man-hours of labor. With some of the most experienced designers in the business. They could create a new RPG from scratch in that time.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Damn now I wanna know what this system was that touched the whole starfinder game.

Me too!


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Edymnion wrote:
The house is already built. The furniture is already ordered. The only thing playtesting feedback will do is change what color the house gets painted and what fabric the sofa is upholstered with.

There will be an entire team of developers, working 40+ hours a week, who will be spending most of their time developing the game after the playtest document has been released. For 6-8 months.

What do we think they'll be doing all this time? Reclining in lawn chairs and sipping Mai Tais?

Paizo is not a big company, and they're investing an enormous amount of resources and man-hours to this. This is not an allocation of resources they can afford to waste by twiddling their thumbs and correcting typos.


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Obviously some things are more likely to change than others. The list of races and classes probably won't change (though many features of them will), the four stages of success/failure probably won't change (though many details regarding how each stage is reached, and the effects of each stage, will), the use of a uniform proficiency system across skills, attacks, spells, saves, etc, probably won't change (though again many of the details regarding how they progress, and the effects of success, will). Things like resonance, how "superhero-y" high-level skill feats turn out to be, and so on, are things that I expect to change quite a bit in light of feedback.

Crayon wrote:
I doubt we'll see any major changes regardless of what the playtest results are - Paizo already has a mostly complete draft that they're happy with and will mostly be looking for minor mathematical issues and the wording of certain abilities.

I'm puzzled by sentiments like this. So let me repeat some reasons for being more hopeful about the impact of the playtest.

1. There will be an entire team of developers, working 40+ hours a week, who will be spending most of their time developing the game after the playtest document has been released. For 6-8 months.

What do we think they'll be doing all this time? Reclining in lawn chairs and sipping Mai Tais?

Paizo is not a big company, and they're investing an enormous amount of resources and man-hours to this. This is not an allocation of resources they can afford to waste by twiddling their thumbs and correcting typos.

2. The fear about the lack of impact of the playtest seems to stem from a picture of the developers as a group with a relatively homogeneous opinion of how things should proceed.

Given the remarks we've heard about internal disagreements between developers, and wistful comments from lead developers about how much they'd like to have a couple of "yes-men" on the team for just one day, I think we have good reason to think this is false.

Rather, like most teams of creative personalities, it seems like the developers have widely varying preferences and opinions about a whole host of issues. Consider the many 3rd PP contributions people on the development team have made, advocating widely different ways of approaching the game.

What's seems more likely is that there will be developers championing lots of different ways of developing the game. And the playtest data will make a big difference in determining who on the development team ends up winning these arguments.


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I, for one, welcome our new goblin overlords!


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Torbyne wrote:
I think it's already been discussed pretty well but what each glass gives up to take an archetype isn't exactly equal.

I agree.

One thing I'd love to see is an official (if optional) rule that looks more like the VMC rules. For example, one might give players the option of trading their next feat for an archetype ability instead of their class feature. (So if you take an archetype with a 2nd level ability, you have the option of either giving up your 2nd level class feature and getting this archetype ability at 2nd level, or giving up your 3rd level feat, and getting this archetype ability at 3rd level.)

That would allow Solarian players to take archetypes! Woo hoo!

@Mikko: Nice work! I think the new archetypes are great. (And, to be clear, the kinds of concerns I raised about the structure of the archetype system are in no way criticisms of the great archetypes you've introduced.)


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Metaphysician wrote:
So. . . how are any of these issues with Archetypes and losing out on core class features, different than Pathfinder and Prestige Classes?

The big difference is that in PF1, archetypes (a) apply to particular classes and (b) can replace any class features the designer likes. In SF, archetypes (a) have to be available to all classes (more or less), and (b) always replace a fixed set of class features regarding each class.

So in PF1, you can replace features that are the main draw of the class with an archetype, and still have it be attractive, because you grant other class features that are powerful enough and synergize with the other class abilities to make it attractive to play. (EX: Dandy ranger archetype, or Martial Master fighter archetype.) Likewise, in PF1, you can make archetypes that provide smaller benefits, but are still attractive because they replace other minor class features.

In SF, the archetype structure requires you to replace certain class features, it's hard to do either of these things. It's hard to replace "main-draw" class features because the new features have to make sense for every class, and because if the new features are powerful enough to make giving up (say) Solarian revelations worthwhile, they'll be powerful enough to make giving up (say) the Soldier's extra feats a no-brainer. Likewise, you can't make archetypes that provide small benefits by altering small class features, because you don't get to pick what features are replaced -- those features are hardwired into the archetype system.


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BenS wrote:
Has anyone figured out a feature I'm missing from the old site: on the splash page, there was a panel in the lower left for the most recent product reviews?

Yeah, I miss the recent reviews panel too. It'd be great if there was some way to see those.

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