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Sadly, the error is back for me. :(


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Re: Dragon Stance: I agree that these are nice perks. But there are a lot of incentives to go for one of the dex-to-hit styles, making it hard for Dragon Stance to compete without some nice perks to offset the cost of investing heavily in strength. So the nice features it gets are arguably necessary in order to make it a viable option.


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MrShine wrote:

Also, why is it Wizards and Alchemists need to do as much weapon damage as a Fighter?...

...there are many people who have brought forward concerns that the Wizard / Fighter MC/Gish is strictly superior in terms of high level power, and this solution doesn't really do anything to address that.

First, as an aside, Bruno's proposal (which appeals to proficiency modifiers) will differentiate Wizards/Alchemists from Fighters, because Fighters get higher proficiency modifiers. But I take your point to be that the difference isn't as large as you'd like. And I understand the concern that multi-classing seems awfully good (too good?) as it stands.

But these are all distinct issues. One issue is allowing characters to be effective in combat without magical weapons. Another distinct issue is how big the gap between weapon using Wizards and Fighters should be. (They now both effectively have full BAB, for example, which one might dislike.) Yet another distinct issue is whether the multi-classing rules, as currently presented, are adequacy balanced.

These are all features of the play test rules one might want to have changed. But they're separate issues, and issues that one would ideally handle separately.

(For one, not everyone who agrees that one of these issues is a problem will agree that the other issues are problems too. For another, the natural way to deal with these issues, if they are problems, seems to be different in each case. For example, the most natural way to deal with imbalances in the current multi-classing feats is to change those feats.)


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MrShine wrote:

So, to play the opposition - if you are proposing increasing damage at the exact same level most classes would gain proficiency... why not just make it an inherent part of the proficiency mechanic?

Also, why is it Wizards and Alchemists need to do as much weapon damage as a Fighter? I haven't really heard any reasonable arguments to that point as of yet. To me, part of this fix is to help give better tools to the martial classes in weapon-based combat - evening out the caster-martial disparity even more. After all, if you can make a Wizard that deals 6d8 damage with a +5 Longsword, as well as 12d6+ damage with their high level spells, why even bother with a fighter? It seems like most of the reason people are multi-classing Fighter is for the armor proficiency anyway... there are many people who have brought forward concerns that the Wizard / Fighter MC/Gish is strictly superior in terms of high level power, and this solution doesn't really do anything to address that.

I don't really want to be the broken record about it but I haven't heard any convincing arguments as to WHY this is any better than a different mechanical approach, aside I suppose, for it's simplicity as a rules "Patch".

Yeah, good.

So here are some desiderata that one might want a solution to this issue to satisfy:

  • 1. It makes it such that magical weapons no longer required in order to be effective. (The main issue)
  • 2. It takes a subject's proficiency into consideration. (A nice feature)
  • 3. It differentiates, at least to some extent, between martial and non-martial classes. (A nice feature)
  • 4. It doesn't require large-scale revisions to the game's math and numerical balance. (In order to be a change the devs are likely to consider/an easy houserule to implement)
  • 5. It doesn't require large-scale revisions to the game's class and proficiency set-up. (In order to be a change the devs are likely to consider/an easy houserule to implement)
So let's consider some proposals according to these desiderata.

I. Bruno's suggestion: The number of additional damage dice you get with a weapon is equal to your proficiency modifier with that weapon/4.

I like this suggestion because it satisfies all of these desiderata.

(1) Magic weapons are not longer necessary to be effective.

(2) Proficiency adds to your proficiency modifier, so it makes a difference with respect to how many dice you get.

(3) Martial classes get higher proficiency earlier than non-martial classes, so they'll get more damage dice more quickly.

(4) The game's math is largely untouched.

(5) The game's class descriptions and proficiency set-up is untouched.

And it's incredibly simple -- you just need to add that one line to the description of weapon proficiencies, remove the stuff about weapon potency runes adding damage dice, and bam! You're done.

OK. Let's compare it to some of the other options on the table (which I also like, but not as much):

II. The number of additional damage dice you get with a weapon is equal to your level/4.

This is pretty close to Bruno's proposal. But proficiency doesn't play any role in this proposal, and there's no difference between how martial and non-martial classes are treated.

III. Don't use extra damage dice with weapons. Instead, just add level to damage.

This yields about the same average results as Bruno's proposal for most weapons. But it makes the difference between high dice and low dice weapons vanish, and removes damage die size as an interesting distinguishing feature between weapons.

IV. The number of additional damage dice you get with a weapon is determined entirely by your weapon proficiency (or by some combination of your weapon proficiency and the weapon quality).

This is a nice idea, but it requires a large-scale revision of the game's math and underlying assumptions. Classes that don't get high level weapon proficiency (including some martial classes) are now significantly weaker in combat, and so need to modified in order to have effective non-weapon options available (or need to be given higher weapon proficiencies, which detracts from the special perks that only martial classes like the Fighter currently get). Monster HP needs to be scaled down because most classes will be doing a lot less damage. Spell damage will probably now be too high compared to weapon damage and these lower monster HPs, and so might need to get adjusted downwards as well. And so on.

Now don't get me wrong -- if PF2 was set up like this, and balanced nicely, I'd be totally happy. Likewise, if PF2 ditched Vancian casting, and adopted a thematic-style casting along the lines of Spheres of Power or Rolemaster, I'd be ecstatic. But these kinds of revisions require large-scale changes to the game's structure, set-up, and math. And, as such, they're changes it's unlikely the devs will take seriously. Likewise, if we're looking for house rules to adopt if we the current system survives, a simple house rule that can be slotted into the game is much easier to implement than one that requires a whole-scale rebalancing of lots of different aspects of the game.


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Same here.

EDIT: I also am running into this problem with normal posting. I'm not sure how I managed to get this to post...


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For what it’s worth, I find the “one degree of success” rule to be much easier to remember than the current rule, which I find it’s easy to get confused by. (And the number of people expressing confusion in this thread suggests that I’m not alone.)

Given that the two rules yield the same results most of the time, it might be worth shifting to the less confusing “one degree of success” rule instead of the current one.

(That said, I prefer the simplest option — no special rule regarding natural 20s/1s — to either of those rules. But if we’re going to have special natural 20s/1s rule, the simpler “one degree of success” rule seems preferable to the current one.)


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I'm also a big fan of this idea.


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Bruno Mares wrote:

There is a suggestion to eliminate weapon potency runes (and the NEED of magic weapon):

In Equipment chapter, in the weapons entry, you say:

For each 4 points of your proficiency [modifier] with the weapon, you add one extra damage die to its damage.

For example, the weapon damage with each class would be increased in one die at levels:

Alchemist, bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, wizard: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20.
Barbarian, rogue: 4, 8, 12, 15, 19.
Paladin: 4, 7, 11, 15, 18.
Monk, ranger: 3, 7, 11, 14, 18.
Fighter: 3, 6, 10, 13, 17.

That's a great suggestion.

It fits neatly with the existing math, yet still differentiates between different classes.

And it doesn't require any changes to the current descriptions of the class write-ups. Just an extra sentence in the equipment section, and the removal of a couple sentences on magical weapons in the treasure section.

Really, really nice.

shroudb wrote:

Why put alchemist into casters?

If anything, the new alchemist, needs to be more martial based to keep up with other classes.

Yeah, Bruno Mares isn't making any proprietary suggestions about which classes should have advancements at which levels, or anything like that. They're just listing the levels at which, according to the current rules, the proficiency modifiers of those classes hit the next multiple of 4. And thus the levels at which (according to the suggested change) a given class would get a die of damage increase.

(So, to explain the first number in each list:

At level 2 a fighter's proficiency modifier with weapons is +3 (+2 lvl + 1 expert), but it goes to +5 at level 3 (+3 lvl +2 master). So a fighter's first die increase comes at level 3.

At level 2 a ranger's/monk's (unarmed) proficiency modifier is +2 (+2 lvl), but it goes to +4 at level 3 (+3 lvl +1 expert). So monk's and ranger's first die increase comes at level 3 as well.

Every other class doesn't hit a proficiency modifier of +4 or above until level 4 (+4 lvl), and so every other class doesn't get their die increase until level 4.)


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I like a lot of this. Three features of the current treatment of magical weapons I’m not crazy about are:

1. It would be nice to not have so much hang on what kind of magic weapon you have. (A 20th lvl fighter with a non magical sword should be able to put up a fight against a 15th level fighter with a +5 sword.)

2. The “+x” style magical weapons don’t feel very magical. Weapons that feel magical are weapons that can do magical things (e.g., burst into flame, or turn you invisible).

3. I face imaginative resistance thinking of magic abilities being runes you can just transfer from weapon to weapon in a free afternoon. It doesn’t fit the picture of magical weapons in most fantasy literature.

Given this, I’d be inclined to adopt something like your proposal, but tweaked to more closely fit the automatic bonus progression approach described in Pathfinder Unchained. I.e.:

1. At levels 4,8,12,16 and 20, increase the number of damage dice you do by one, and gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls with weapons.

2. Weapon property runes cannot be moved.

So magic weapons are just weapons with weapon properties runes. And the raw numbers advancements are all rolled into level advancements.


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Zeleska wrote:

Here is a link to a Playtest “Fillable PDF” Character Sheet.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/e87j64fez6lvlhy/Pathfinder-Playtest_Character%20S heet_%28Fillable%29.pdf?dl=0

I took their official PDF and removed the parchment background graphic to make it printer friendly, rotated it and added the form boxes. Its currently filled out with Jason Bulmahn’s “Talymir the Barbarian Elf” from Playtest Character Creation! (Paizo Friday #8). It’s just so you can see a sample of how it looks. To remove it, I also added a “Clear Form” Button at the top of the page.

**I did not do all the math, so you will have to.**
However I did make it so as soon as you do your Ability Scores and Modifiers, they will be placed across the 3 pages automatically for you. I also did the formulas for Class DC, Total Bulk/ ENC/ MAX, and Resonance.

I hope you enjoy!
Cheers

Nice. Thanks!


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Like the OP, I found the ethnicities section jarring.

In part, it’s because a lot of these descriptions didn’t seem to have much to do with being human. For example, presumably a halfling who grew up in the relevant Varisian societies would be just as nomadically inclined as the humans who grew up there.

And in part it was because it was weird to see the descriptions of physical diversity accompanying the different ethnicities appear in only the human section. I.e., having the descriptions of physical diversity appear in only the Human ethnicities section conveys the (unintentional I’m sure) feeling that only humans are physically diverse in these ways. If you’re making a halfling, the feeling is, you can lapse back into visually imagining them as stereotypical Tolkien-esque halfling (typically Caucasian features — white skin, narrow nose, eyes with no epicanthic fold, etc).

Anyway, just my 2 cents.


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I really like your suggestion for #9. These are exactly the kinds of cool-and-flavorful abilities I was hoping high level skill feats would provide.

And getting away from making people choose between flavorful and combat-oriented abilities was one of the motivations for adding signature skills in the first place. Yet another reason to make these skill feats.

I really like this idea.


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Yeah, I was also confused by what was intended here. Some clarity would be helpful.


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Meophist wrote:

There is the Halfling Sling Staff, which has a d10 damage die, highest of all ranged weapons. Shuriken is an option for Monks, 1d4 + Strength(not half Strength). I remember reading you can draw two weapons at once, so Javelin is an option for drawing both and throwing both in a turn, 1d6 full strength bonus. Trident is similar except much bulkier, 1d8 full strength bonus.

It should be noted that +N magic weapon bonus multiplies the damage dice, so higher damage dice has a bigger effect than attribute bonuses as levels go up.

Yeah, good. Halfling Sling Staves have the same expected damage values as a ranger with Crossbow Ace, but with strength instead of wisdom modifiers.

(I.e., the expected damage in the 8 to hit case is: 10.175+0.925*str

And for the 12 to hit case: 6.875+0.625*str)

Again, a smidge lower than the composite shortbow user in the former case and comparable in the latter; overall, just a bit behind the composite shortbow. So viable, but strictly sub-optimal (requiring an investment to become almost as good as the composite shortbow).

I haven't looked carefully at thrown weapons yet, since the this thread was focused on crossbows/slings, but I'll try to look at that more carefully in bit.


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There seems to be some confusion about the motivation for this thread, so let me say a bit more.

One of the things I dislike about PF1 is when a bright-eyed players wants to join the game, and has the idea of playing a dagger throwing rogue, or a crossbow-using inquisitor. And I have to warn them that to make viable characters this way, they need to choose a very specific sequence of feats and items, and that their character probably won't be very fun to play until these things come together, at around level 7.

So they usually drop the idea they'd like to play, or stick with it and don't have much fun. Since the goal of this game is to have fun, this would be a nice thing to no longer have to do in PF2.

__________

Now, here are a couple stances one might take toward this issue, ranked (IMO) from best to worst:

1. Allow players to play effective characters using this combat style and not be strictly sub-optimal.

2. Allow players to play effective characters using this combat style and not be strictly sub-optimal, but require them to take a particular class/race to do so.

3. Allow players to play effective characters using this combat style, but make them strictly sub-optimal by requiring them to pay a cost (feats) in order to make their concept viable.

4. Allow players to play effective characters using this combat style if they take a particular class/race, and make them strictly sub-optimal for this class by requiring them to pay a cost (feats) in order to make their concept viable.

5. Don't allow players to play effective characters using this combat style. (Perhaps with the rationale that such combat styles are unrealistic.)

For the reasons given above, I'd like combat styles that are popular and player-requested to fall into the first two categories: i.e., to not be strictly sub-optimal.

As of now, unarmed weapons fall into category 2 (are class gated but not strictly sub-optimal), which is fine.

Crossbows fall into category 4 (are both class gated, and strictly suboptimal for that class), which (IMO) isn't great.

Slings fall into category 5 (not viable), which (IMO) is a shame.

EDIT: Though it looks like Halfling Sling Staves fall into category 4 (are both race gated, and strictly suboptimal for that race) which, while not great, is at least viable.


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N N 959 wrote:

My feeling is that players need to deal with it. A club is not going to be the equivalent of an axe. I don't understand why players are trying to compel Paizo make the club work like an axe?

Crossbows require far less training and skill to use. If they were superior in real life, we'd have seen entire armies of crossbow users. Do we? I do not want Paizo to push crossbow into the realm of absurdity just because some contingency of people want it to be as good as a longbow.

Yeah, so there's a real question about what kinds of tropes and character ideas Paizo should try to accommodate in the game.

E.g., suppose one offered the following argument for against trying to make fist attacks not a strictly suboptimal choice:

Hypothetical Interlocutor wrote:
A fist is not going to be the equivalent of an axe. I don't understand why players are trying to compel Paizo to make the fist work as well as an axe. If fists were superior in real life, we'd have seen entire armies of fist users. Do we? I do not want Paizo to push fists into the realm of absurdity just because some contingency of people want it to be as good as an axe.

It's certainly true that fists aren't realistically comparable to any melee weapon, and that they haven't historically done a lot on the battlefield. Nonetheless, there are a lot of fantasy tropes involving fist-fighters. And so Paizo (reasonably, in my view) decided to make fists a not mechanically suboptimal choice, at least for certain classes.

So I take the relevant question here to be: are there enough fantasy tropes involving crossbow or sling users to motivate making these options not mechanically suboptimal?

I'm inclined to think the answer is "yes". In the case of the crossbow, we see a fair number of crossbow using characters in various kinds of fantasy, and Paizo seems to be aware of this; they introduced a popular archetype focused on the crossbow (probably the most popular Gunslinger archetype), and even made one of the iconic characters a crossbow user.

The case for the sling is a bit harder, but one of the Golarion tropes (and longstanding D&D trope) is that of a halfling slingmaster who can kick ass using a sling. (Thus one periodically saw threads in the PF1 boards about how to make a sling-using halfling viable.) And since this is a classic D&D (and Golarion specific) trope, it would be nice to have it be one players can employ.

But I recognize that, just as one might reasonably disagree about the merits of making fist-focused martials viable, one might reasonably disagree about the merits of making crossbow-focused or sling-focused martials viable.


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N N 959 wrote:
Porridge wrote:
These numbers are (relatively speaking) better for the non-composite bow options than before. But they're all still strictly worse, expected damage-wise, than either of the composite bow options.
So it sounds like it's working as intended. What happens if you add Wisdom modifier to damage? At what Wisdom modifier does the crossbow catch up?

The expected damage for the crossbow with Ranger's Crossbow Ace ability is a little tricky because it has conditional effects (only applies to a creature you've used Hunt Target on, or after you've reloaded that turn), and it increases damage in two ways (+wis/2 bonus and increase die by one step). I think the damage calculations look best for the ranger-using crossbow fan if we model that by having the ranger spend the first action of the first round using hunt target, giving them three attacks with these bonuses over two rounds.

Then the expected damage in the 8 to hit case for a crossbow is:

Spoiler:
2(0.6*(5.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(5.5+x/2))) + (0.35*(5.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(5.5+x/2))) =

10.175+0.925*wis

And for the 12 to hit case:

Spoiler:
2(0.4*(5.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(5.5+x/2))) + (0.15*(5.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(5.5+x/2))) =

6.875+0.625*wis

That's about comparable to the composite shortbow user in the 12-to-hit case (who gets 6.7+0.8*str), though still a bit behind in the 8-to-hit case (11.1+1.35*str).

So while a ranger crossbow who invests in wisdom and spends a class feat on Crossbow Ace won't be *as* good a ranger composite shortbow user who invests equally in strength, it seems like they'll do well enough to be viable.

(Though it'll still be mechanically suboptimal, since you have to spend a class feat, and still come out a bit behind. That's a bit painful; it would be nice to give players an incentive of some kind to want to use a crossbow over a composite shortbow. Especially if you're playing the "crossbow specialist" class.)


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Mergy wrote:
One major difference between a crossbow and a bow is that a crossbow is fired with a trigger, while you need to pull back a bow before firing. What about some sort of property that allows you to fire immediately after reloading at a penalty to accuracy? That builds rapid reload into a crossbow while still keeping it different than 0 reload time.

So let's see. Allowing crossbows to be fired at the same time as they're reloaded with a -2 penalty to hit (say) would effectively put crossbows on a par with longbows within 50'. (Crossbows would have the advantage of not having that -2 penalty to hit the first time they're fired, and longbows would have the advantage of getting the extra d10 on crits.) Longbows would still be better at 50-100', but crossbows have a slightly longer overall range... Pretty nicely balanced, actually.

Composite longbows would have the further advantage of adding str/2 damage, but that's not a terribly big deal. (And they're martial weapons and much more expensive, so perhaps they should have an edge of that kind.)

Composite shortbows would still be substantially better than crossbows at close distances (since they don't have a Volley penalty, while the crossbow users will have a -2 penalty). But they'll be less accurate at long ranges, since they have a 60' range increment instead of a 120' range increment. So both would remain viable options in some scenarios.

Hrmm. Not bad. Much more egalitarian than the current set up for sure.

(Would need to do something for slings too, to make them viable.)


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Here's some more positivity. I like a lot of things about the playtest rules, but one of things I'm happiest about are the changes to spells.

Pretty much all of the spells that lend themselves to sending adventures off the rails (e.g., locate object to find the lost object, scrying to just find out where the escape inmate is hiding, passwall to skip encounters, teleport to skip entire legs of adventures, raise dead to solve the succession worries following the death of the king, detect alignment to immediately identify the hidden serial killer amongst the manor servants, etc) are now uncommon/rare or rituals. This makes these options difficult to access by default, while still allowing them to be things a DM can introduce. I love this.

Likewise, several spells that do weird things w.r.t. game balance (e.g., antimagic field, planar ally, etc) are now uncommon/rare or rituals. Awesome.

And by and large I'm loving the changes to the spells themselves.

Blindness is no longer effectively a 2nd level save-or-die spell (though it's still pretty good - perhaps too good).

Protection no longer offers long lasting immunity to an entire range of malicious effects. Charm spells and the like might become relevant again as threats to adventurers!

Mage Armor now has nicely scaling benefits as its heightened, so it's no longer a "mandatory for levels 1-7, then useless" kind of spell.

Color Spray is no longer an encounter ending spell for the first several levels. (Though Sleep is still arguably at that level.)

Haste is no longer so good as to be the most important spell a Wizard knows (though it's still pretty good).

And so on. By and large, great changes.


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Ikos wrote:
It’s true, he’ll hath frozen over, the crossbow - a ball buster of a weapon in reality finally get some love in PF fantasy.

Sadly, after running the numbers, this doesn't seem to be true.

Crossbows and slings look to be strictly less viable in PF2 than in PF1, where you had some feat options (e.g., rapid reload) to mitigate their problems.


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Colette Brunel wrote:
Porridge wrote:


So every two points of strength will up your expected damage by about 7-10%. That's not a huge amount, but it's not-trivial. And at higher levels, when the cost difference between longbows and composite longbows is trivial, and you have several rounds of 4-stat increases to play with, my hunch if you'll see most archers raising strength and using composite longbows.
"You have several rounds of 4-stat increases to play with" may be overstating matters. If you start with Strength 10 at 1st level, it will take 10th level to hit Strength 14, presuming that you do not raise other ability scores instead. By, say, 12th level, you probably have a +3 weapon potency rune, for 4d8 damage on the longbow. That extra +1 damage is looking quite marginal then.

That's a fair point. The extra dice you get as you stack weapon potency will make the relative effect of your strength bonus smaller as you level up. So I agree that the strength modifier won't make much of a difference.

Of course, once you get past the first few levels, the financial cost difference is negligible. And archers with a 14+ strength (to help them fight in melee, say) will want to go for the composite bow, since it adds a (admittedly small) damage bonus for basically no cost.

So drawing out the consequences of your point, one nice feature of this way of setting things up is that it makes all of the composite and non-composite bow options potential "best" weapons for an archer:

  • Composite shortbow: Best for archers with a 14+ strength who will be firing within 50' a lot.
  • Composite longbow: Best for best for archers with a 14+ strength who will be firing outside of 50' a fair amount of the time.
  • Shortbow: Best for archers with less than 14 strength who will be firing within 50' a lot.
  • Longbow: Best for best for archers with less than 14 strength who will be firing outside of 50' a fair amount of the time.

I actually like having things set up so that lots of different weapons can be "best" for different characters.

Now if only they could find a way to also do that for crossbows and slings... :P


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To be fair, choosing an 8 base to hit stacks the deck a bit in favor of the composite bows. (Having a low base to hit favors higher volume weapons, like composite bows, and having a base to hit low enough to allow crits for all three attacks favors weapons with extra crit effects, like composite bows.) So here are the expected damage calculations if one needs a 12 to hit instead of an 8:

Expected damage for composite longbow:

Spoiler:
2(0.3*(4.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(4.5+x/2)+5.5)) + 2(0.05*(4.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(4.5+x/2)+5.5)) + 2(0.05*(4.5+x/2)) =

6.5+0.6*x

Expected damage for composite shortbow:

Spoiler:
2(0.4*(3.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(3.5+x/2)+5.5)) + 2(0.15*(3.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(3.5+x/2)+5.5)) + 2(0.05*(3.5+x/2)) =

6.7+0.8*x

Expected damage for sling:

Spoiler:
2(0.4*(3.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(3.5+x/2))) + (0.15*(3.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(3.5+x/2))) =

4.375+0.625*x

Expected damage for heavy crossbow:

Spoiler:
2(0.4*(5.5) + 0.05*(2(5.5))) =

5.5

Expected damage for crossbow:

Spoiler:
2(0.4*(4.5) + 0.05*(2(4.5))) + (0.15*(4.5) + 0.05*(2(4.5))) =

5.625

Expected damage for hand crossbow:

Spoiler:
2(0.4*(3.5) + 0.05*(2(3.5))) + (0.15*(3.5) + 0.05*(2(3.5))) =

4.375

These numbers are (relatively speaking) better for the non-composite bow options than before. But they're all still strictly worse, expected damage-wise, than either of the composite bow options.


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N N 959 wrote:
Are you factoring in the multiple attack penalties?

To answer questions like this (and to let people check for themselves) I should have spelled this out. (And doing so let me catch a mistake -- I'd been calculating for a 60% chance of hitting, which is hitting on a 9, not a 8.) So here are the (corrected) calculations, adding in composite shortbows, heavy crossbows and hand crossbows for good measure:

Assumptions: (1) attacking with every action with bows, or attacking/reloading consecutively with crossbows/slings, (2) calculated over 2 rounds, (3) within 50', (4) needing an 8 or higher (65% chance) to hit without modifiers, (5) having a strength bonus of +x:

Expected damage for composite longbow:

Spoiler:
2(0.5*(4.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(4.5+x/2)+5.5)) + 2(0.25*(4.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(4.5+x/2)+5.5)) + 2(0.05*(2(4.5+x/2)+5.5)) =

11.1+1.05*x

Expected damage for composite shortbow:

Spoiler:
2(0.6*(3.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(3.5+x/2)+5.5)) + 2(0.35*(3.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(3.5+x/2)+5.5)) + 2(0.1*(3.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(3.5+x/2)+5.5)) =

11.1+1.35*x

Expected damage for sling:

Spoiler:
[spoiler] 2(0.6*(3.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(3.5+x/2))) + (0.35*(3.5+x/2) + 0.05*(2(3.5+x/2))) =

6.475+0.925*x

Expected damage for heavy crossbow:

Spoiler:
2(0.6*(5.5) + 0.05*(2(5.5))) =

7.7

Expected damage for crossbow:

Spoiler:
2(0.6*(4.5) + 0.05*(2(4.5))) + (0.35*(4.5) + 0.05*(2(4.5))) =

8.325

Expected damage for hand crossbow:

Spoiler:
2(0.6*(3.5) + 0.05*(2(3.5))) + (0.35*(3.5) + 0.05*(2(3.5))) =

6.475

The composite shortbow is the winner (because of no Volley penalty), followed by the composite longbow. These are distantly trailed by the other ranged weapon options (the three kinds of crossbows and slings).


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N N 959 wrote:
Are you factoring in the multiple attack penalties?

Yes, I am.

(To see why the numbers are as different as they are note that sling and crossbow users get 3 attacks over 2 rounds instead of 6. Even with multiple attack penalties, that ends up swamping the -2 this hit penalty the bow user gets, at least under the conditions I describe.)


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The division between common and uncommon/rare spells seems to track spells that are potentially plot breaking in a lot of adventures. (Adventure to find the missing item X? Just use locate object! Adventure to accompany the heir across the mountains? Just use teleport! Need to find the heir because the king was just murdered? No need — just resurrect the king! And so on.) So they’re made these spells uncommon to make it easy for the DM to restrict access to them if they’d ruin the plot.

Interestingly, Spheres of Magic split some spells into the Legendary category for precisely the same reason. And the kinds of magical effects Spheres of Magic chose the make Legendary lines up nicely with the magical effects PF2 has made uncommon.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
If you haven't seen it yet. Rangers get a level 1 feat that lets them add half their wisdom mod to damage on crossbows against targets you are hunting. Pretty interesting. there's also another feat that lets you reload and stride in the same action. But yeah crossbows still seem a bit weak.

Yeah, it's nice that the Ranger got a little crossbow support. The +wis/2 bonus to damage would put the expected damage of repeatedly firing+reloading with a crossbow for two rounds at: 7.65+.95*wis, which is better than the sling, though still not really competitive with the composite longbow, even with 50'.

Of course, even if that did make crossbows viable (which it doesn't seem to), it would still be nice to have crossbows viable for more than one class. And, of course, none of this helps the poor person who want to make a sling-using halfling... :/


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David knott 242 wrote:
Porridge wrote:
--Typo, p209: Presumably the entries for Charm's "success" and "failure" have been swapped.
They appear to be correct to me. Note that this is the success or failure of the save vs. the spell, not the success or failure of the spell itself.

Yep, that seems right. I was confused. :P

DarthMask wrote:


Actually, I think it's supposed to be that it changes your Rage damage bonus to be +3 damage (if you make the damage bonus match your breath weapon type) or +2 damage (if you don't).

I agree the wording here is not great should be something like:

"When you are raging, you can make your conditional bonus to damage deal the type of damage of your chosen dragon’s breath weapon, rather than your weapon or unarmed attack’s usual damage type. Doing so increases the damage bonus by 1 (after halving for agile weapons, if applicable)."

(my suggestions emphasized)

Yeah, that's a fourth option I didn't consider. I agree that this is a pretty plausible way of reading it.


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David knott 242 wrote:
Porridge wrote:
--Typo, p209: Presumably the entries for Charm's "success" and "failure" have been swapped.
They appear to be correct to me. Note that this is the success or failure of the save vs. the spell, not the success or failure of the spell itself.

Yep, that seems right. I was confused. :P


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More seriously, drawing on the expected utility calculations done here, the expected damage over 2 rounds for repeatedly firing a composite longbow, if an 8 is needed to hit, and +str is the strength modifier, is: 10.2+.95*str within 50' (given the Volley penalty), or 12.9+1.25*str (if in the first range increment, but beyond 50').

The expected damage for an ordinary longbow will be the same, but without the strength modifier. So: 10.2 within 50' (given the Volley penalty), or 12.9 (if in the first range increment, but beyond 50').

So every two points of strength will up your expected damage by about 7-10%. That's not a huge amount, but it's not-trivial. And at higher levels, when the cost difference between longbows and composite longbows is trivial, and you have several rounds of 4-stat increases to play with, my hunch if you'll see most archers raising strength and using composite longbows.


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Colette Brunel wrote:
I see no reason whatsoever to bother with composite bows.

Because they're much better than crossbows or slings? :P


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Some expected damage calculations.

Assume our archer is firing within 50', has a strength modifier of +str, and hits normally on an 8. To make up for the fact that one needs to reload twice on the second turn with a crossbow or sling, let's calculate expected damage over two rounds.

The expected damage of firing with every action with a composite longbow for two rounds is: 10.2+.95*str

The expected damage of repeatedly firing+reloading with a crossbow for two rounds is: 7.65

The expected damage of repeatedly firing+reloading with a sling for two rounds is: 5.95+.95*str

So the composite longbow is still substantially better than a crossbow or a sling within 50', even with the Volley penalty.

EDIT: And if we move beyond 50', then the expected damage of composite longbows over two rounds goes up to 12.9+1.25*str, and a composite longbow user with a decent strength will be doing around double the expected damage of a sling or crossbow.

So it's still looking like composite longbows are going to be strictly better than crossbows and slings across the board. And so martial characters who want to specialize in crossbows or slings are going to be at a strict disadvantage... :/


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Ronin_Knight wrote:
crossbows and slings don't take a -2 penalty from the 'Volley' special quality, so Crossbows are better at short range, slings also add half strength to damage like composite bows.

Good catch regarding Volley (for some reason I'd been reading Volley as a perk, along the lines of the Fighter's Impossible Volley ability).

I should do some expected damage calculations to see if that could do enough to make crossbows and/or slings competitive when facing nearby foes...


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--Confusion p55: Draconic Rage says "When you are raging, you can make your conditional bonus to damage deal the type of damage of your chosen dragon’s breath weapon, rather than your weapon or unarmed attack’s usual damage type, which increases the damage by 1 (after halving for agile weapons, if applicable)."

Rage usually adds a +2 damage bonus to attack (halved for agile weapons). I haven't been able to figure out which of the following three possibilities is intended:

(1) it gives you a +1 damage bonus (halved if an agile weapon), of either the weapon's type or the breath weapon's type?

(2) it gives you a +3 damage bonus (halved if an agile weapon), of either the weapon's type or the breath weapon's type?

(3) it gives you a +3 damage bonus (halved if an agile weapon) of the weapon's type, or a +2 damage bonus of the breath weapon's type?


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--Typo. p280: "Even though you can cast spells, the spell level of your cleric cantrips and domain is powers half your level rounded up." (I think "is" should be after "powers"?)

--Typo, p209: Presumably the entries for Charm's "success" and "failure" have been swapped.


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First, let me say that I'm loving most of what I'm seeing so far in the playtest book. But this is a question about something I'm a bit puzzled by.

In PF1, composite longbows were vastly superior to any other ranged option for martial characters. One of the big things I was hoping to see in PF2 was for crossbows and slings to become viable options for ranged martial characters.

Instead, it's looking like crossbows and slings are strictly worse than before. Namely, they've retained the same big disadvantage (requiring 1-2 actions to reload each time), but there are no longer feat options to speed this up.

I was hoping that perhaps crossbows and slings might get some interesting special weapon properties to make them palatable. Sadly, while composite longbows get a number of special weapon properties that make them even better (Deadly d10, Propulsive, Volley 50), slings get a strict subset of these properties (Propulsive), and crossbows don't get any special properties at all.

__________

Now, I'm hoping (and half expecting) to be missing something here. There must be something that's supposed to make crossbows and slings appealing...

But I'm having a hard time seeing what it is. Any thoughts?


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A lot of cool things in this book.

The armor upgrades in particular look very nice; I suspect people will start caring about the number of upgrade slots their armor has.

And some of the new class options are pretty nice. I especially like the new options for the Mechanic, like the Mechanic's Trick: Tech Tinkerer which looks like a really handy and versatile ability, and the new Mechanic abilities which have both "normal" and starship combat applications. A great idea that I'd love to see more of. Kudos to whoever wrote that section!

One thing I am wondering about is whether there's a typo or mistake somewhere in the Shock Fist (biotech augmentation) and Optical Laser (cybernetic augmentations) entries. To focus on the former, it reads like you can use them once per short rest. So if you compare a level 20 Shock Fist to a level 20 weapon, we find that the Shock Fist is more expensive than pretty much any level 20 weapon (over a million credits), and does less damage than most level 20 weapons. And Shock Fist can only be used once in an encounter, and takes up an augmentation slot.

(You might think a perk of the Shock Fist and Optical Laser is that they can't be taken away from you and are hard to detect. But the Weaponized Prothesis (cybernetic augmentation) allows you to incorporate certain weapons, and those weapons look much more attractive...)

Am I missing something?...

But, to end on a positive note: most of this book is pretty nice. Not a lot of mind-blowing options, but a lot of "interesting, maybe..." options, which speaks to a careful eye to balance.


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From the point of view of a player trying to create various character ideas, this looks fantastic. This makes the range of (effective) character ideas you can construct using the PF2 CRB much broader than you could using the PF1 CRB. (Indeed, As several people have noted, it seems like most of the non-core classes from PF1 can be constructed using these rules.)

My only potential concern is that these multiclassing archetype feats look too good. Take Wizard Dedication - it gives you the ability to use wands, scrolls, staves, and another signature skill, and effectively two SLAs that you can use at will that scale with your level (and these aren't PF1 cantrip powers - these look to be bona fide powers). That's amazing. And that's arguably the weakest of the new feats the blog mentions!

But I have faith that the Paizo design team has thought this through carefully, and that if it is unbalanced, that will become clear in the playtest. Really looking forward to trying this out!


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Most worried about: Sorcerer

I take the idea behind the Sorcerer is that of a magic using class with a natural talents for certain kinds of magical effects, whose natural talents grow and develop over time. The new Sorcerer abandons this in favor of a partially prepared caster, who changes what spells they can spontaneously heighten every day. That really doesn't jibe with the concept of a Sorcerer.

(In a similar vein, I was really hoping Sorcerer's would be set up so that they naturally gained expertise in lots of related spells (fire, time, etc), instead of retaining the hodge-podge of unrelated magical powers approach that D&D3.5 employed. But, by and large, the hodge-podge of unrelated powers approach remains in place.)

Least worried about: Bard

They appear to have an interesting mix of abilities, great flavor, and a lot of built in flexibility to allow for a lot of different Bard-ish ideas.


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Ideally one would like labels which (1) are naturally grouped together (e.g., low and high are OK together, easy and hard are OK together, but you don’t want low and easy and high and hard all together), and (2) have the appropriate connotations regarding difficulty.

Cantriped wrote:

I don't mind the current categories, but as I love lists and scales:

Very Easy < Easy < Fair < Hard < Very Hard

(1): check!

(2): check!

Perfect. You have my vote!


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Ouch. Death by Disintegrate. Raise Dead won’t help with that.

How are you planning on bringing Merisiel back? (Or is she going to get replaced by another character?)


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Weather Report wrote:
John John wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

thflame wrote:
What does bug me is that the wizard can beat the level 1 fighter in an arm wrestling match.

This is sort of my worry as well...but to be honest, there's enough tricks to winning an arm wrestling match with somebody stronger that I'm not sure arm wrestling specifically is a deal breaker.

Wow i was going to respond to thflame that arm wrestling is propably just a strength check and actually strength is weird ability and many times the results shouldn't even be random. Like a 20 strength dude should just win vs a 10 strength dude.

My houserule in 3.5 and pathfinder was to double the ability modifier in ability checks.

Out of seer curiousty what tricks can you pull in an arm wrestling match?

I would adjudicate an arm-wrestling match as whoever has the highest Str score, automatically wins, if they both have the same Str score, it is a simple opposed Str check. So, in PF2, that would be a d20 + Str modifier check vs. the opponent's Str mod +10?

Nice — I like this suggestion. And it fits with how some similar contests are adjudicated. In particular, in a contest about how much each can lift, the one with the higher strength will win because they can lift more. Full stop. Treating arm wrestling in the same way seems like a reasonable way to proceed.

(Of course, the general worry about skill modifiers not being large enough, relative to level bonuses, can be raised in other ways. But I like this way of treating this particular task.)


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I’m not a huge fan of a 1st lvl wizard being able to automatically counter the spell of a 20th lvl wizard. PF1’s Dispel Magic was better in this regard, with opposed caster checks, but it joined PF1 save-or-suck spells in being unhappily binary—you either completely block the spell, or wasted your turn.

I’d prefer a counterspelling system that involved caster checks and had varying degrees of success. For example:
—Success: Lower effect of the opposed spell by one step (crit success to success, success to failure, failure to crit failure).
—Crit Success: Lower effect of the opposed spell by two steps (crit success to failure, success to crit failure).
—Failure: Decrease DC of opposed spell by 2.
—Crit Failure: Increase DC of opposed spell by 2.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:

It certainly sounds that way, but hopefully it'll make more sense in context.

I have a feeling it will take a LOT of context for that to make sense though.

I’m also in the camp of those wishing Sorcerer’s could heighten any spell.

But regarding the request for some of the context/reasons for why they’re not doing this in the playtest, I found this comment by Mark Seifter to be helpful. (Mark actually has several interesting posts about the different options in this thread.)

The short version: they found the free ability to heighten spells leading to a lot of decision paralysis.


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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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