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Organized Play Member. 3,381 posts (3,478 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 5 Organized Play characters. 4 aliases.


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Just throwing it out, designing PFS for 20 levels means it will be harder to find a table for your character, unless they stretch out the tiers (and it doesn't sound that fun to play a 1st-level character at the same table that someone else has a 6th-level character.)


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Very interesting that metamagic Reach Spell doesn't seem to increase the spell level!

(Also, I love that Lamashtan clerics can choose to "channel positive". That totally fits my vision of Lamashtu!)


Catharsis wrote:
What's with the delayed blog? It's keeping me awake here.

Well, the strategy is to release the controversial blogs on Monday so the mods can keep up with the vitriol on the forums - and post them at 4:59 PM because ?????


I'm actually hoping that druids are the best blasters!


Mark Seifter wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
An optimized barbarian put through the same test might also come out looking like a 9 or a 10. It's pretty much just a known fact that if you optimize your character and then bring them to an AP or PFS game you are going to steamroll it.
Indeed! That's rather the point of the number line. PF1 doesn't hit its own expected baselines of what presents an actual challenge, especially when you optimize/hyperoptimize. PF2 is being designed to meet its own expected baselines. What this means is, if you compare what you're seeing in PF2 and it is not as powerful as something at 9 or 10 in PF1 (whether it's the barbarian you suggest, or a souped-up blaster, or a "god wizard" or a dual-wielding gunslinger, or any other character at that level), that's a good thing. Because it's the other half of the same coin that you as a GM will not be forced to raise the challenge level way above baseline to challenge PCs; you can do so with the expected framework of what will be challenging. And these characters will not be "falling behind" the hypothetical 9 or 10 character because we just don't have that any more (at least as well as we can avoid it). Now there's nothing wrong with having a group full of 9 or 10s (or even separating out '10' into further granularity for just how much it can solo) and then amping the difficulty with an experienced GM who knows how. That's how my group rolls too (in Jade Regent, their level ~16 group faced off against 4 mythic CR 20s and a group of characters with PC wealth and build, and then a second phase afterwards, and they won). But it's pretty impenetrable to newer GMs and is very GM dependent if they can pull that off on their own, since they're flying well beyond the game's expectations. We want a game that can work with you to help build encounters of various challenges, and the first step to do that is to make it so you can actually use the expected encounters and get something close to what you should.

OK, I definitely agree with the design goals here! And as long as a specialized blaster can do equivalent damage to a frontliner, I'll be satisfied.


Captain Morgan wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
To try to use some numbers here to explain, suppose that there is a 0 to 10 scale of what you can do in an encounter, where 5 is about what you would do as a reasonable share of a 4-person team and 10 is "I can solo everything, you are coming to watch." If non-metamagic blasting was 4 in PF1, metamagic blasting was 6, hyperoptimized blasting was 9, and the strongest nonblasting caster shenanigans was 10, and we curb that "other shenanigans" category, then if blasting in PF2 competed with "hyperoptimized blasting" from PF1, it would be the new caster problem child.

Those numbers seem way high to me!

I played in a party that had a hyperoptimized blockbuster blaster (crossblooded sorcerer 1/admixture wizard X with Magical Lineage for Fireball and all the metamagic feats) and I'd say they were around a 6.5 on that scale. The blaster sorcereress in my current Runelords game is non-optimized and probably a 1...

What are other people's experience with this? How would you rank PF1 blasters on the 0-10 scale?

I think it is pretty hard to comment without specific builds, but even then when we are talking about things that vary a lot from table to table. I do think there's a point where a well built blaster can pretty much solo encounters though-- I've done it without even using metamagic.

I don't know how much the exact numbers matter for Mark's point though.

But by "solo encounters" do you mean solo certain specific blast-friendly encounters (lots of mooks in a tight space,) or solo any arbitrary encounter? Because my experience playing PF is that most fights are against 1-2 enemies, and I've never seen a blaster solo a single-enemy fight (at least not without Dazing Spell.) So rating them as 9 (just one step from "I can solo everything, you are coming to watch") just doesn't match my personal experience at all.

My experience in PF1 is that you need to hyperoptimize a blaster to even stay relevant. Players who bring non-hyperoptimized blasters (usually new players) invariably end up disappointed when they're doing 10 damage each round while the martials are doing 30 damage.

Mark Seifter wrote:

It depends on what you are fighting; a GM can always throw harder stuff (like APL+5 encounters mentioned elsewhere in the thread, which adventure guidelines say to never do but a GM can get away with easily in PF1 if the group is hyperoptimized enough). My scale is based on monster baselines and the sort of encounters you'd expect to find in a published adventure. Having played that same (or similar) hyperoptimized damaging build in PF1, against standard opposition, the only thing other party members were useful for was a meat shield and occasional assistance if something blocks all my damage types. One of the other players in my group back quite a few years was curious, so we ran a test-drive through From Shore to Sea (he picked it especially) where I was only allowed to deal cold damage (which many foes resisted) and since I asked for meat shields (and people to make my skill checks), I received a team of NPC-classed experts who weren't allowed to take any feats or abilities except Skill Focus and other options that buffed skills. We crushed the adventure, including one encounter where the monster is really high level and you only fight a piece of it (avoiding more for spoilers), but we (well I) killed the full creature. So bizarrely, I actually do have empirical evidence of a well-built blaster + placeholder NPCs to soak hits vs a module. I don't really have data for anything else interesting like this; it was a random thing our group did when I was back in college.

In any case, the numbers don't matter if you agree with the relative placements (mostly just if you agree that there is some "other shenanigans" category that can move down).

Interesting, but I think the experiment might be testing "optimized character in a published adventure" as much as it's testing "hyperoptimized blaster vs standard PC." An optimized barbarian put through the same test might also come out looking like a 9 or a 10. It's pretty much just a known fact that if you optimize your character and then bring them to an AP or PFS game you are going to steamroll it.

The thing that I don't like to see is when a new player comes in, and all they want to do is build a blasty damage-dealing caster, and they are consistently doing half (or less) of the damage of the frontliner. If you specialize for blasting, I'd like to see you do an equivalent amount of damage as a frontliner. After all, the frontliner is performing two roles - tank/damage sponge and also DPR, so if the blaster is only performing one of those two roles and doing it half as well, it's no wonder they leave the session feeling worthless.

Thebazilly wrote:
I'd agree with those numbers.

To clarify, you're agreeing with Mark's numbers or mine?


Mark Seifter wrote:
To try to use some numbers here to explain, suppose that there is a 0 to 10 scale of what you can do in an encounter, where 5 is about what you would do as a reasonable share of a 4-person team and 10 is "I can solo everything, you are coming to watch." If non-metamagic blasting was 4 in PF1, metamagic blasting was 6, hyperoptimized blasting was 9, and the strongest nonblasting caster shenanigans was 10, and we curb that "other shenanigans" category, then if blasting in PF2 competed with "hyperoptimized blasting" from PF1, it would be the new caster problem child.

Those numbers seem way high to me!

I played in a party that had a hyperoptimized blockbuster blaster (crossblooded sorcerer 1/admixture wizard X with Magical Lineage for Fireball and all the metamagic feats) and I'd say they were around a 6.5 on that scale. The blaster sorcereress in my current Runelords game is non-optimized and probably a 1...

What are other people's experience with this? How would you rank PF1 blasters on the 0-10 scale?

edit: I wasn't counting Dazing Spell in the above assessment, as I don't really considering it blasting at that point. If you add Dazing Spell in then "blasting" becomes insanely more powerful, but I'm more wondering about actual damage-dealing blasting.


I like the suggestion of spell circles instead of spell levels. Fireball is a third circle spell, Disintegrate is a sixth circle spell, etc.


First tip: get off this forum! This is a forum for GMs, even most of the thread titles here have heavy spoilers.


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How about a universal archetype that buffs your blasting? Call it Elementalist and then druids, wizards, and sorcerers can all take it.

I agree we desperately need stronger blasting in PF2. I'm 100% OK with it requiring investment for a caster to rival a fighter in DPR, but if they invest heavily into blasting they should be able to get close. So many people want to play blasters, especially new players, it's a real shame PF1 doesn't support that playstyle.


Cool, please post an update on what you change and how it all goes! AFAIK you'll be the first one besides me to run it, so I'm interested to hear your suggestions and feedback.


TheFinish wrote:
It's still 3 actions (that don't even bloody work as written) to apply a DC 13 poison to a weapon and it works for 1 hit. That's it. Unless the save bonuses have been drastically reduced, I don't see how it's any better than PF1 poisons except in price.

I assume you can spend those three actions at the start of the day and have your weapon poisoned until you use it.

Have we heard any indication that poisons lose potency? Certainly alchemist-generated "unstable" poisons will deteriorate after a day or round, but I don't think there's been any hint that bought-and-paid-for poisons will degrade once applied.


Blave wrote:

Re-post for visibility:

Somehow I seem to be the only one who thinks there will be more powerful bombs at higher levels. Do y'all really think they'd give the Alchemist a limited-times-per-day attack for 4d6 at level 11 while the rogue deals unlimited 10d6 with his +3 shortsword and sneak attack?

The 4d6 is the base damage of a level 1 bomb times 4. I would assume there are higher level bombs with a much higher base damage. I could see a level 11 character throwing level 6 bombs (analogue to spells) dealing like 5d6 damage or something like that. And if an alchemist multiplies all damage by 4, the damage will be much more useful.

Keep in mind that the alchemist is targeting touch AC, so their crit probability is WAY higher.


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TheFinish wrote:
And poisons still have super low DCs. Yaaaay.

Did you miss the 5 gp price tag? I was actually wondering if DC 13 was too high.

I don't know what kinds of other dangers or restrictions are involved, but if I could just visit the local apothecary and spend 5 gp for a poison that has a half-decent chance of slowing and maybe KOing my enemy, I would probably poison 100% of my weapons 100% of the time. Obviously drow sleep poison will not be that readily available, but if other poisons are similarly deadly with similarly low costs I can see a massive shift in the percentage of characters that use poison.


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It's also interesting to note that both the elixirs mentioned (Bravo's Brew and Lesser Bestial Mutagen) along with the one we already knew about (Elixir of Life) give +1/+2/-1/-2 types of effects.

I think a lot of people were expecting PF2 to end the era of "fiddly +1/+2s", but it looks like they're here to stay.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
NielsenE wrote:

From the examples shown, it appears that activated alchemical items require resonance by default. (However most the examples show 'no resonance cost')

There's also the line about attuning elixirs -- so if you steal an alchemists's elixirs you can't use them yourself. Neither the Bravo's Brew nor a mutagen. The Bravo's Brew, feels a little odd to me to have to be customized to a person, while I understand it for the mutagen.

That line about attuning in the paragraph on the restrictions of mutagens that starts with the word elixirs should say "mutagens." We should have a fix soon!

OK, good! It was bugging the verisimilitude center of my brain to have "non-magical" elixirs be attuned by spitting into the brew.

(It still bugs me that "non-magical" elixirs require resonance. I'm hoping that little piece of equivocation drops out in the playtest.)


Yolande d'Bar wrote:

Thread resurrection!

I'm actually running a Skill Challenge at a game tonight, and I'm really curious to hear how you guys have adjudicated them in the past:

a) When a skill challenge begins, do you tell the players that this is a skill challenge?
b) If so, do you inform the players ahead of time, you need x number of successes before y number of failures, or are those victory conditions a secret?

In other words, should the players know their characters are in a sort-of mini-game or should the mechanics be kept secretly behind the screen, for the DM only?

Personally I probably wouldn't reveal the meta details, I would probably try to come up with an in-game description of what is happening, that has a strong implication of what action should be taken and the potential consequences of failure. (If you want to give more details on what your skill challenge is going to be, I could try to help you brainstorm an immersive description.)


Isn't the experience of being undead also quite hellish? I thought that for example many undead suffer from endlessly ravenous hunger, and that feasting on flesh doesn't actually satisfy the craving, it just kind of dulls it.

I'm not sure how much of that is canon - what do we really know about the experience of being undead? Could you really morally justify creating something that is doomed to eternal suffering?


As long as we're doing this thread, we may as well have a proper poll.

Poll is here.

Results are here.


Crayon, to answer your question please refer to my two posts upthread:

RumpinRufus wrote:

The math I'm worried about isn't adding or subtracting 10... it's all the +2s and -1s that I need to account for when the check total is in the ballpark of DC-10 or DC+10.

For example, I know the mook's listed attack bonus is +4, and he's flanking and receiving a +1 from Bardic Performance. I know the PC's AC is in the 15-18 range. So ordinarily, if I roll a nat 11 or better, I just say "it's a hit" and move on. It's only if I roll a 8, 9, or 10 that I actually have to ask the player "What is your AC?" BUT, now with >10< rules, if I roll a nat 1 I need to check against AC-10, and if I roll a nat 18-20, I need to check against AC+10. So the range of rolls for which I need to ask AC has gone from {8, 9, 10} to {1, 8, 9, 10, 18, 19, 20}. The "active shield" rules are only going to make this worse, since AC will often be varying round-to-round in PF2e, so you can't just memorize everyone's AC.

RumpinRufus wrote:

As a GM, say I'm running a combat with three types of enemies. I have goblins, goblin commandos, and an NPC. On a goblin's turn, he attacks and I roll a nat 3.

In PF1 I literally don't even need to look at his statblock at all, I just know it's a miss. I've just resolved an entire turn in about 3 seconds.

In PF2, I need to look at the statblocks, find the goblin's stat block, find the attack bonus, look up at the board to determine flanking, try to remember if there are any other buffs or debuffs active, look back at the die result, add everything together, ask the PC what their AC is, they try to recall whether or not they put their shield up, they respond, and then I can finally resolve it.

It may seem trivial because you do all that so frequently, but this is the stuff that bogs combat down. I love the turns that you can resolve in 3 seconds because it keeps the action moving so quickly, and now it looks like those 3-second turns are dead and gone (at least when your PCs have fumble-triggered abilities.)


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
I'm really questioning what the problem is.

As a GM, say I'm running a combat with three types of enemies. I have goblins, goblin commandos, and an NPC. On a goblin's turn, he attacks and I roll a nat 3.

In PF1 I literally don't even need to look at his statblock at all, I just know it's a miss. I've just resolved an entire turn in about 3 seconds.

In PF2, I need to look at the statblocks, find the goblin's stat block, find the attack bonus, look up at the board to determine flanking, try to remember if there are any other buffs or debuffs active, look back at the die result, add everything together, ask the PC what their AC is, they try to recall whether or not they put their shield up, they respond, and then I can finally resolve it.

It may seem trivial because you do all that so frequently, but this is the stuff that bogs combat down. I love the turns that you can resolve in 3 seconds because it keeps the action moving so quickly, and now it looks like those 3-second turns are dead and gone (at least when your PCs have fumble-triggered abilities.)


Hah fair point, read that as "possible builds with strong healing."


kyrt-ryder wrote:

This problem is a combination of a lack of education and the game coasting too long on old tropes.

For one thing, the 'example party' should not include a cleric to help prevent this sort of assumption. Perhaps Wizard, Ranger, Bard and Monk would be good.

Emphasize in some sort of 'party composition' section [likely within the Classes Chapter] that most parties get by with out-of-combat-healing and that In Combat Healing is assumed to be a rare treasure used by players who like that sort of play experience and absolutely should not be pushed on anyone because it's not needed.

Agreed. It needs to be explicit from the start that in combat healers aren't needed or expected.

I would prefer none of the classes get any built-in healing powers. Optional healing powers they could pick if they wanted as class feats certainly- acupuncture qingong for the monk, morale inspiration from the fighter, healing music from the bard, etc- skill feats to boost/accelerate what should be a very powerful out of combat heal skill prior to feat investment or general feats to enhance the heal spell, but no 'healer class' so to speak.

Don't try to protect non-healer parties by making them the only ones viable- that method doesn't even work if you look at the assumptions and expectations of many casual groups out there.

Protect non-healer parties by including clear and concise education in the rulebook, and protect the fun of Healer Fans by making Combat Healing a powerful option to those who wish to pursue it.

I do agree with everything you're saying - if they find a way to make it crystal-clear to new players they shouldn't allow themselves to be bullied into playing a role that's not interesting to them, then I have no objections to a strong healer class (except maybe for combat speed impact.) But, I don't know how easy it will be to get that message across in the CRB.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:

You can literally do it the exact same way. Roll 3d6, subtract 10, and divide the result by two (rounding down.)

You have to do that anyway when you fill out your bonuses on the character sheet.

Yes, but having to do this is clunky, awkward, and does not make for a less complicated or confusing system (which seemed the goal) at all. This becomes even more true if you're doing something like 4d6 drop the lowest.

So you're calling the current system clunky, awkward, and confusing? Yes, I agree.


I had a player ask me during our last session "Do I add my ability score, or my ability bonus?" I agree it's completely unnecessary to have the score, especially if all stat bumps in PF2 will be in increments of +2.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Not having full scores makes it much harder to roll for stats and get anything resembling a mid range distribution.

Now I hate rolling for stats and know it's not gonna be the standard method, but it will be in the book, and it gets super weird if you do this.

You can literally do it the exact same way. Roll 3d6, subtract 10, and divide the result by two (rounding down.)

You have to do that anyway when you fill out your bonuses on the character sheet.


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The fact that even in PF1 where combat healing is weak, there is still a very common sentiment that someone needs to play a healer makes me very worried what would happen if PF2 buffs combat healing.

I've actually seen people post on reddit with questions like "Right now the party is a druid, a witch, and a ranger, so we need a healer. How can I make a cleric that isn't boring?" This conception that you need a healer just won't die, so reinforcing that conception by making combat healing powerful will unintentionally mean a lot of players get pressured into playing a character they have no interest in playing. This is especially a problem for new players! New players don't have the system mastery to refute and say "actually we can get along just fine without a cleric," and they're more likely to accede to pressure from other players on what kind of character to make. That leads to uninspired characters and bad (first) play experience.

I'd almost like to see language right in the cleric class description of the CRB, something like "While druids get their healing powers from their connection to natural life forces, and wizards get their healing powers from manipulation of the material fabric of the world, clerical healing powers are a direct gift from the divine." Just some kind of bright flashing message to brand-new players - "there are other options!!!"

To clarify, I have nothing against the cleric class - I actually love it - but I do object to seeing players get pressured into playing a specific role, and that happens A LOT. Buffing combat healing is bound to make that problem worse.


Catharsis wrote:

OK, my assumptions on how spell points work were apparently very wrong. They are only for spell-like abilities, and they're a shared pool among all such abilities:

http://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lkpv&page=14?All-About-Spells# 691

I guess Use is not an appropriate word here.

Fixed your link.


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Voicing support for "Power Pool".

It seems perfectly descriptive, and I could even imagine one of my PCs using the term without it sounding metagamey.


Mark, if we are playing something besides Doomsday Dawn will we still be eligible to respond to the surveys?


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I was hoping Mage's Magnificent Birthday would make its way into this edition!


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Details, glorious details! Thanks Mark!!


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Resurrection. Resurrection being made impossible is enough reason that necromancy is evil. Once someone's been reanimated as undead, Raise Dead is flat-out impossible on them. Even True Resurrection fails unless you destroy the undead creature inhabiting their body.

Even if someone willingly volunteered for their body to be made into an undead creature (which is definitely the only way necromancy could possibly be not-evil,) you don't know if some higher power might want for them to be resurrected at some point. If they've ever been reanimated, at the very minimum that's going to require Resurrection instead of Raise Dead, and if their body is still animated then it could require a Wish to summon the corpse so it can be destroyed before being resurrected.


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Definitely agree - you should get at least 2 ancestry feats at level 1. Otherwise all the races will just look the same at low levels.


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Please same tone, more info, longer posts if necessary.

(Btw, is anyone else bugged when the word "spoiler" is used for their reveals? It's not a novel, it's a rulebook, you're not "spoiling" it by telling us what's in it!)


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Arachnofiend wrote:
I'd reaaaally like to know more about how ability scores are generated. If it's true that backgrounds play a part I'm worried that we're going to get into a situation where all Barbarians take the same 3 backgrounds because they grant a STR boost, for example.

I'm really concerned about this as well. At the very least, I'd like as many backgrounds as possible to have multiple options for stat boosts.

Example backgrounds:

Mercenary: +2 to any stat

Scholar: +2 to Int or Wis

Escaped slave: +2 to any stat

Thief: +2 to Dex, Int, or Cha


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Quandary wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Quote:
Fey Fellowship, which makes a gnome more charismatic when dealing with fey
For these types of super-situational feats, can you at least balance it by giving a whopping huge bonus? Otherwise we get something like Dragonheart: you get a bonus to saves against one specific type of creature... and by that way, that bonus is +1. Enjoy. (Has anyone ever actually taken that feat??)
My angle on this is similar but opposite at same time. Fey does not need be super-situational. IMHO Gnomes themself should be Fey. As with Wayang. As with the Tian Xia Spirit-creatures I forget name of. Paizo has said they will take less-strict approach to Type abilities, so having actual Fey type for all of these shouldn't be a big problem IMHO. I just think this would be good for game, and makes things like Favored Enemy: Fey alot more relevant. IMHO they might as well collapse Gnome and Fey languages as well, but YMMV.

Making gnomes fey is interesting, I could get behind that. They certainly retain a very strong connection with the First World.

Wayangs on the other hand are clearly not fey, they're connected to the Shadow Plane and don't have any canonical connection to the First World. (And besides, if you told me the feat is not so bad because it boosts your Cha checks vs wayangs, I'd ask you how many campaigns I'd need to run through before seeing my first wayang.)


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
gnomes are horrifyingly obnoxious hateable creatures (ESPECIALLY if this terrible "Bleaching" BS is going to be rammed down our throats) and shouldn't get +Cha. Stick with +Con +Int please. Give them the ability score bonus (Int) that reflects the shifty conniving wretches they actually are.

You... you've never met a gnome, have you? "Shifty" and "conniving" are definitely not words that apply to most gnomes. If anything, gnomes are probably forthright to a fault, just because they are so interested in doing their own thing they don't particularly care what you think about it.

Of all the ancestries I think +Cha is most fitting for a gnome, as they are the most self-defined and genuine of any ancestry.


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Joe M. wrote:

Also!, this is interesting.

Blog wrote:
Most ancestries get three ability boosts

Humans probably get two boosts with no flaws. (We all know humans are flawless!!!!)


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Quote:
Additionally, the sling is now a more formidable weapon than in Pathfinder First Edition—we've both increased its damage and done away with the difference in damage die size between Small and Medium creatures. A halfling with a sling can be pretty dangerous!

Very nice!

Quote:
tanglefoot cantrip

Looking forward to seeing this one!

Quote:
Fey Fellowship, which makes a gnome more charismatic when dealing with fey

For these types of super-situational feats, can you at least balance it by giving a whopping huge bonus? Otherwise we get something like Dragonheart: you get a bonus to saves against one specific type of creature... and by that way, that bonus is +1. Enjoy. (Has anyone ever actually taken that feat??)


Leedwashere wrote:

Maybe make the Occultist's object reading a skill feat for the occultism skill? It takes a minute (too long to be combat relevant, too short to be a burden on gameplay), automatically identifies item properties without a need to roll, and only determines if the item is cursed if your level is higher than the item's.

The occultist, which comes later, can get something else instead or get it automatically.

Spending a feat for something you'll use just a handful of times (what with magic items becoming more rare) seems like a tough sell. And then what is your alternative if you don't have that feat?


QuidEst wrote:

Identifying magic items is an very fun and rewarding part of the game for me!

… when I'm playing an Occultist. (It's so satisfying just knowing the details without having to roll anything.)

Yes, see that's the experience I'm trying to replicate! Although TBH I didn't even know the occultist could do that. It does offer another alternative for how to handle cursed items as well.

Object Reading (Su) wrote:

At 2nd level, an occultist learns how to read information from items he examines.

Examining an item in this way requires him to spend 1 minute handling the item. If the item is a magic item, the occultist learns its properties and command word as if he had successfully examined the item using detect magic and succeeded at a Spellcraft check. This ability does not reveal whether the item is cursed unless the occultist’s class level is equal to or greater than the caster level of the item. If the item has any historical significance, the occultist learns one piece of information about its past (as determined by the GM). Finally, if the item was last used no longer than 1 day ago per the occultist’s class level, the occultist learns one piece of information about the last creature to use the item. This information might be a glimpse of the creature’s appearance, a brief vision of what it saw while using the item, or perhaps its emotional state when it last used the item. The GM determines what information is gained in this way. This functions like the psychometry occult skill unlock, but doesn’t require a skill check and can be used at will.


Crayon wrote:
Think it would make more sense as an Occult or maybe Craft check...

Is that fun though? Does anyone get a kick out of rolling and potentially failing one of these checks? At which point they just stash it in their pack and have to carry a mental note to try again tomorrow... it's just a drag!


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I've copied the Google transcription of Erik Mona and Logan Bonner on Know Direction to this document.

This should help make it easier to search for specific topics in the YouTube video. The transcription isn't perfect, if anyone wants to edit it it is open for edits.


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I found the Erik Mona quote, it's at 32:03 in the Know Direction interview.

Erik Mona at 32:03 wrote:
I hate identifying magic items, I think that's the stupidest waste of time in the entire game. I don't like that kind of “Mother may I?” secret-holding from players, it doesn't help at all. Just tell them it's a +1 sword and move on with it. Now I know how we are addressing that in second edition and I think it's pretty awesome. So that's one thing that I really don't like. Let me think a little bit about some of the other ones... but that, I hate that with a burning passion.

To those who are advocating the mystery element, do you actually use RAW to identify magic items in PF1? Because in my experience, there's never much interesting mystery to it. Usually one or two casters have detect magic prepared, and they roll their Spellcraft, and then they either get it and you learn about the item (no mystery,) or else they wait a day and try again, and maybe prepare identify to buff the roll, or maybe take it to town to purchase a casting of identify, and you basically still always learn exactly what the item is, but now you've wasted a whole bunch of game time.

I think it would be more fun if your fighter could just walk up to an item that looks special, and use their instinctive connection with magic (i.e. resonance) to temporarily bond with the item and understand its secrets.

If you don't use RAW, what is your preferred method of item identification?

As for cursed items, one option would be that this method is unable to detect curses at all, you need special specific magic spells to detect curses. (You could also exploit the fact that this method requires physical contact with the item, and have a curse that triggers immediately on contact.)


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Erik Mona has expressed his loathing for magic item identification in PF1. I think we can all sympathize - identifying magic items has always been super clunky. When you find a dragon hoard with 8 magic items, does anyone actually look up the CL of all eight items and then force each party member that uses Detect Magic to roll eight different Spellcraft checks?

Resonance allows a super elegant and simple solution. My proposal:

A character in contact with a magic item may expend one point of resonance to identify the magic properties of that item.

That's it. No magic required, no checks, no slowing down the game by looking up item caster levels.

It makes intuitive sense because resonance is a character's capacity for interacting with magic items.

And it provides at least somewhat of a meaningful choice - when you find the item, do you blow your resonance immediately to identify it, in case you might want to use it later that day? Or do you conserve your resonance until just before resting, in case you need the resonance during a fight? And if you find multiple magic items (maybe more rare in PF2 but I assume dragons still exist) then which one do you identify first? Or do you blow through your resonance to identify them all?

This seems about 1000x more elegant than PF1's system. What do other people think?


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I think that Appraise, Knowledge (nobility), Knowledge (geography), and Sleight of Hand should all be bundled together into one mega-skill. That skill should be called "Yeah Right, You're Still Never Going To Roll This."


As far as we know you only get 5 general feats in your entire career (at 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19.) So a feat with two other prereq feats would typically be available at 11th level - and that's IF those are the ONLY feats you take. Feats chains should become a rare exception in PF2.


This is not a new problem - monster special abilities and special defenses have always had this issue. The in-game solution should be the same - roll a Knowledge check to determine the monster's reactions, just like you would to determine a monster's DR or special attakcs. If you fail, then your character doesn't know (even if you as a player happen to know.)

As for how to handle metagaming when the players apply knowledge their character wouldn't have - that's a tricky issue, but not a new one.


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Healing will slow down the game. More healing = longer combats.

Not necessarily a show-stopper, but something to keep in mind. If I was at a PFS table and someone said "Should I play my cleric or my barbarian?" and I knew that with the barbarian each combat would last 45 minutes whereas with the cleric each combat would last 60 minutes, I would say "Play the barb pretty pretty please!"


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Players should just confirm with their GM that such a thing exists in their setting. I can't just claim my PC is an earthling who has been unexplainably transported to Golarion, and expect that to be allowed because it's just flavor.

Flavor is important for tone as well. If two players are trying play serious characters that have personal attachment to the story, and a third PC just got out of Klown Kollege, that's likely to cause an issue.

Best advice on both sides is just use "Yes, and...". The player comes to the GM with the flavor, the GM says "Yes, and here's how to fit it to the setting, can you make those changes?" The player says, "Yes, and here's how my character's gonna act. Could that work?" The GM says, "Yes, and here's how you could make it work."

Can we get "Yes, and..." in the rulebook?

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