Belkzen, Hold of the Orc Hordes wrote:
Within this chaotic region, warlords vie for supremacy, adventurers plunder ruins long lost to orc barbarism, and those bold orcs who imagine a better life struggle for change.
The part in bold sounds like it would be a great campaign and wouldn't be nearly as compelling if Belkzen didn't start out as the warlord ravaged place where lives are nasty, brutish and short that it currently is.
Belkzen is a terrible place. It needs heroes to heal it. Be those heroes.
Logan Bonner wrote:
Just to extrapolate from this post...
If you hit and the enemy fails, the enemy is flat-footed.
If you hit and the enemy critically fails, the enemy is flat-footed AND Stupefied 2.
If you critically hit the enemy's save is a category worse so a success counts as a failute, which means the enemy is flat-footed and a failure counts as a critical failure, which means that the enemy is flat-footed, stupefied 2 and stunned.
I do think that everybody should be trained in Simple Weapons without having to spend a feat. No class should be barred from that at all.
Monastic Weapons would still be a good pickup just for the potential of using "any monk abilities that normally work with unarmed attacks, with simple and martial monk weapons" especially if Powerful Fist is counted at that.
One question though, "If you'd rather stick with punches, kicks, knees, and headbutts, take a look at Brawling Focus at 4th level, which gives you the critical specialization effect for anything in the brawling weapon group. " I'm interested in what is in the brawling group in PF2 and if there is a possibility that weapons with a "brawling" tag are usable with unarmed attack proficiency. It wouldn't be much, but having gauntlets and cestus type weapons right out of the gate would be nice.
Okay, morbidly curious. What does proficient mean there?
An unarmed fighter is no less a martial artist than a monk. The difference is that such a fighter would learn Kung Fu to become an excellent warrior and a monk would learn Kung Fu to unlock their Ki, leading to such things as their excellent defenses and mystic powers.
Technically the fighter is likely better at the martial part than the monk. The monk will be better at the (mystic) arts portion. it is the Ki cultivation that separates them.
My phone keeps wanting to say kids instead of ki.
There might also be abilities that do not need a DC. Remember in the disussions about clerics where they say that a cleric could get away with a 10 Wisdom for spell casting, they just would usually focus on spells that don't need saving throws.
Maybe there will be more Ki powers like that so that a high Wis isn't so mandatory anymore.
As a last thought of the night, I think my top five Monk abilities in no real order would be...
and Occult training mainly so that monks can chant rituals and draw meditative/mystical patterns, which is increasingly something I like the sound of. No actual spells, but solid ritual use or at least the option for that.
There is no evidence that all guys with big swords are strength obsessed jerks or that they fully lose their core ability if they don't act like jerks OR that jerkiness is implicit in their behavior. The extent of how Anathema impacts a Totemist isn't clear yet aside from the blog stating "relatively low impact."
As mentioned earlier in the thread, it is also possible that Totems are not limiting. Druidic orders can take feats outside their order so Barbarians in one totem might be able to take feats from other totems, just at a later level. So the downside may not be much of an opportunity cost at all.
As for why in general, it is something new they are trying, which is the whole point of a playtest, to try it out before the corebook is finalized.
It sounds like awesome roleplay hooks and world building to me... potentially. It really will depend on how it actually reads in the full version and I admit, from here I'm being optimistic.
I’d much prefer looser connections that can be interpreted in a wider variety of ways. Learning to rage from studying giants has a different take on accepting challenges of strength than by fighting giants and both are different from a giant’s curse. That single anathema can be expressed in many different ways. Tying the anathema too closely to the giant theme would limit those possibilities.
I sort of agree. I think that an Anathema drawn from the Giant Totem should be pretty giant centric and likely strength focused, but not necessarily on the "always take a dare" side of things.
I've been toying with "Always answer strength with strength" with the clarification that such strength doesn't have to be physical and doesn't have to match a direct challenge type for type.
So while what we have now is all too easily defined as a Marty McFly style of taking any strength based dare after being called chicken, a Giant Totemist should be able answer a Biff's challenge with a stare down, a fist fight, a sound rebuttal of how the challenge is beneath him, etc. Basically anything that shows the totemist has strength to overcome, even if that strength is something less tangible than raw brawn.
EDIT: Or something to that effect, anyway. Nice and broad in application, but specific in theme.
I think that the Wizard is largely right here. It makes sense considering what has come down the line so far.
1. The monk doesn't HAVE to be a master of unarmed/unusual weapons, but I think that this is going to be a sacred cow that has too much meat on its bones to be easy prey. There are a lot of modern monk type things and an esoteric kung fu master is pretty sharply ingrained.
I think that fighters should be able to dedicate themselves to unarmed combat and be roughly the equal of monks on a raw technique level, but the monks are going to have sneaky mystic feats that a fighter can't match. Technically both are equal in hand to hand skill, but only one can punch ghosts or actually kill with a touch. (Which is how my Reign of Winter game ended, quivering palm on the villain at the very end after the party almost died. Good stuff.)
2. I bet they will still be Wisdom based, but it won't be as necessary with the new way things work. They might be Occult centered though, considering mantras and mandalas and meditative runes and meridians of energy and all that. I expect that Ki rituals will be a thing they are good at, not being spell casters, but able to perform similar feats through ritual castings anyway. A monk chanting to create something like a Circle of Protection or to dispel a curse is pretty iconic. Among other traditions, monks are Taoist as well as Shaolin after all.
3. Probably not alignment locked, no. I had a pipe dream that where Paladins were the LG alignment focused class the Monk would be LN, but since they aren't making any more alignment exemplars before the paladin is polished I know that isn't the case.
I'm really looking forward to it either way!
I agree. They are not scholarly by nature, nor particularly wise, but they have a low cunning at the very least.
The Giant Totem is small man syndrome (Napoleon Complex). Overcompensating with large weapons and poor self-control, particularly over challenges to their stature/virility/authority.
More seriously though, it doesn't have to be a complex like that. Pride is only one angle on it, I think and it could represent ambition or an honest desire to actually rise up above the character's ability or curiosity about how far the character has come. When the text comes down we might see enough flexibility that they can ignore challenges that they've already done and proven and/or turn a specific challenge to a different one.
"I bet you can't snap the neck of that horse!" doesn't necessarily have to be answered by actually trying that specific challenge and maybe you can actually role-play out of it.
"Why would I want to do that? Seems like a waste. Looks like a good horse! Maybe I should toss you up on that roof instead, how does that sound?"
"Um.. never mind."
"That's what I thought. Don't be cruel to animals, that is not what muscles are for!"
I understand you well enough. I just don't think that there is enough to make the assumptions you are talking about. We know two things about one option and very little about what it does.
The Giant Totem might have many more giantish assumptions about it than just "swings big swords." It might be mainly about throwing large rocks. It might be seeped in archtypical giant things and be completely inappropriate for a Guts-ish style character aside from one line on the abilities list. Maybe the Anathema is or isn't appropriate for somebody who wants to or has been forced to become a giant emulator. It might be a source of creative inspiration along those lines or maybe it really will wind up reading like an albatross around the concepts neck.
I see no real reason so far to assume that if you want to rage and swing bigger weapons that you are stuck with wanting or needing to test your might on command, if that is even how the Anathema is going to work.
For the record, I wasn't talking about the Anethema part. I was talking about the part that seemed to be saying that you couldn't be a character who used big weapons without it.
One path to big weapons has been revealed and some people have assumed that is the only way. Even if it was the only way in the playtest document or the core rule book, that doesn't mean much.
Not every character concept can fit in one book with a high crunch content like Pathfinder. You might have to wait for a supplement just like everybody else who don't get what they are hunting for on day one.
They show us a single item on a bakery's menu and people assume that there is no ice cream.
I think what he meant by that is you get temp hit points on round 1 (start rage cycle 1) then you keep raging round 2 and 3, fatigue/off cycle round 4, round 5 you start a a new rage cycle so you get the same number of temp hit points you got the first cycle, it's just a new batch with the new rage.
Right, first round as well. I hope they stack though and not just reset every time.
Milo v3 wrote:
Except I was specifically talking about "members of this set up are all of the barbarian class that are all initiated to wield massive weapons" (nothing about giants involved in the organization technically).
Then that can fall under the second option already provided. If they are all barbarians that swing large weapons and they are equal opportunity totemists, then some of them have the giant totem, and some of them have different totems. Some of them are really good at the signature style of the order and some of them bring different skills to the table.
Or yes, rule zero.
There haven't always been other options though?
Okay granted, the options in the very early days were to convert previous 3.5 rules or just pick up a large weapon and go to town like Amiri without worrying about it.
Milo v3 wrote:
Your response for the first is twisting what I said. I never said you "simply cannot have" anything. I said a single option for a group of specialists was to have a uniform membership. In this case yes, members of this set up are all of the barbarian class that are all initiated with giants as their inspiration. It was not the only option presented.
Second, there are always other options and always have been. Maybe the barbarians have the best ones and maybe they don't. Maybe there will be feats for it or class abilities and maybe there aren't and maybe they won't be good if they exist. Maybe there will be a property rune that is a secret process of these hypothetical knights that lets them swing around large bastard swords like little siblings. Maybe the other option is just to eat up the penalty like Amiri used to since she was an awesome character that never needed the special abilities PF2 is handing her.
Your third option is valid, but taking rule zero isn't very fun to talk about. Ignore what you like at your table, I'm going to try and keep talking about what can go right.
This roughly reminds me of the blacksmith code from Discworld.
The price for being able to shoe anything is that you have to shoe anything that is brought to you to be shod.
The price to be able to have giantish strength is to have to demonstrate it to those who challenge your might.
At least, the thought amuses me.
Creating an order like this has two options.
One, every single member of this knighthood is a barbarian with the giant totem. If yes... it should make sense for the group because it is a thing for them. There is a conscious choice to have the group be giant totem barbarians and if it doesn't make sense, then why make that choice?
Or, if it is just a lot of martial types who take abilities based around giant weapons, then only the barbarians who have the giant totem will have that particular behavior and those particular knights will have reputations for being particularly competitive*. The others who are fighters or rangers or maybe even a paladin who happens to take giant weapon related feats won't.
Such an order sounds like a great place to put an archetype with or maybe even (dare I hope) an actually prestigious prestige class!
*That is a lot of particulars.
Milo v3 wrote:
It doesn't have to be a complex, that is just a roleplaying option. It could be an oath and a self imposed prohibition.
"I couldn't accept that challenge, I'm not ready to face such a foe. Instead I'll train harder and fight without my gift to improve my might!" which could wind up being a justification for penance. Not atoning because it is a sin, but going through the mechanical steps of atonement as a training regimen so that when she has her power back she can have a flashback montage and take up the fight at full force again!
An Erlking would be a great Totem and it occurs to me that you could do some very weird stuff by pulling some vestiges from the Tome of Magic to use as totems as well!
The issue is world design. In the Dresden Files, the Knights of the Sword have some pretty lawful stupid seeming requirements, but they also have an omnipotent god on their side who ensures things turn out well if they have faith.
Or even if they don't since one of them is agnostic.
It sounds like a Barbarian's Anethema could be described as a core value that if broken causes a lots of confidence, diminishing their power and takes a bit of doing to restore.
All in all this is a solid class description. I like the sounds of it very much.
Question about Superstition, though. Does refusing magic mean that they have to make saving throws against helpful spells or do they reject them completely, making them immune if concious?
Probably okay in the long run too.
I have a similar opinion on Chaotic Monks. The Monk and the Barbarian do the same thing from different angles. Where the Barbarians (still not a fan of the name) empower themselves through surrender of control and riding the wave of instinct into battle, the Monks focus on control and dedication to esoteric techniques and mystic exercises.
I'd say that "any lawful" is a bit much for the Monk though. "Not Chaotic" would mirror the Barbarian nicely and allow for more freedom of character types. Where the Barbarians can't be Lawfully aligned or lose the ability to abandon themselves to the power they seek, the Monk can't be devoted to Chaos or they would lose the discipline to develop their power.
There should be plenty of space for mundane martial artists though. People who are just phenomenal hand to hand fighters without mucking about with all that "Ki" or possibly "Monk Adjacent" classes like the old Battle Dancer from the 3.5 Dragon compendium.
I agree with some of what you are saying, but not why you are saying it. It all leads in to my opinion that "barbarian" is a poor name for the class though.
First, Barbarians are not chaotic. What they are is "not lawful." Devotion to the Chaotic spectrum of alignments is not needed.
Second, tribalism is irrelevant. I'm not even going to address it because it is so unnecessary to my opinion that I don't even have a starting point.
Third though is the important point, that I have a slightly different take on. Barbarians are barred from lawfulness because lawfulness implies discipline and self control and as you point out, a Barbarian has a willingness, or even desire, to surrender to their primal instincts.
That is the key. Surrendering to instinct, not merely having powerful emotions. The Barbarian class thrives (or should) on instinct. A character that is chosen to be a member of this class can go full bore into a Chaotic outlook, temper their abandon with discipline and become Neutral, but to become Lawful is to me to lose the wildness necessary to tap into the primal power that fuels and drives them.
So clearly, I don't support lawful barbarians. I don't even support the class being called that though, not if the class is going to keep the power called "rage" as a key feature. That abandonment of control and wildness of spirit is the needed quality, not any disdain of civilization that the name Barbarian implies.
Unfortunately, I don't have a better name.
So, the designers are purposefully moving the Paladin away from the powered by Heaven or their own "Lawful Goodness" approach. Sorry guys...
which is fine, not something I'd prefer, but nothing to get worked up about.
It is sort of at odds with what I read saying that the Paladin is a test bed for a series of sort of Alignment/Planar Exemplar style of classes though. It implies that a Chaotic Good Chevalier or a Chaotic Evil Anti-Paladin would require a god as well.
I think Perception doesn't count as a skill because even though it uses the same resources in dice rolling, there are no Skill Feats for it and you can't use Proficiency increases to improve the rank.
If there is anything that improves perception AND I'm right, it will have to be in the categories of Class Abilities, Class Feats and General Feats.
We know that a Fighter starts out with Expert Perception, but if it takes a Class Feat to get up to Master, then it might be more of a hard choice instead of an automatic no-brainer for a Proficiency increase.
It is an important enough change that I hope we get a specific blog just on the topic of Perception to explain the design decision.
I completely agree on this post though. Really, any character with a concept, class or otherwise, that is going to have an outside authority so directly involved; paladin, cleric, kings guard, etc. You have to have the GM and the player on the same page of expectations or things can get very spoiled!
I'm hoping that Anathema are just a lesser Code, something the paladin needs to be mindful of but are more guidlines and will fall more closely to "do not grievously violate." Like a Shelynite paladin wouldn't put protecting art above the obligations of the Code, but would fall swiftly out of favor with Shelyn if they knifed a painting out of spite or told a burgeoning sculptor, "You are terrible, go be a farmer" and crushed their artistic spirit.
Really, I hope that being a Paladin merely powered by Heaven is possible, but that they can get additional benefits (ie special feats or archetypes) by taking on the additional burden of actual religion.
I'm not talking about the threat of death or incarceration, but the degree of certainty. Paladins need to be able to take risks, but shouldn't be required to sacrifice themselves recklessly.
Lets assume that a band of marauding orcs is the 30-100 level. For discussion sake let's say 65 or so. Does the Code require a paladin to take on the whole force solo? Not necessarily. For a level 1 paladin that is unreasonable and actively suicidal, but that doesn't mean that a paladin should just sit back and watch a whole village burn and die. You do what you can with the powers you have.
A house on fire may be more of a certain suicide situation depending on the fire or the level of the paladin, but is a similar situation. Is a paladin required to rush blindly into a burning building knowing there are people in there, but not knowing where? I could see making a case for going in and trying, but a paladin shouldn't fall for realizing that it is a blaze that can't be survived long enough to find people.
A Katapeshi slave driver? Again, it is going to have to be a question of what is actually happening, not just "cruelty in progress, must smite." Odds are a paladin should do SOMEthing, but in a Katapeshi city with guards and a society that thinks this is normal there is only so much one can do without doing more harm than you are doing good. Do you want to start a slave riot? Get the guards summoned for more suffering? Are there more than one slavers who can hold other slaves under the sword to complicate the situation? A paladin will have to adjust to the situation because despite the Asimovian structure of the Code, a paladin isn't a Celestine Systems Model P-101 robot.
Also, I am not saying that paladins should be free to ignore the situation. That doesn't sound like it is in character for the class at all. It is completely appropriate to provide consequences for actions or inaction's that a character takes whether that is penance, church or social sanctions, a blow to self or public esteem or other things. I'm just saying that there isn't a particularly driving reason to hang the threat of losing your powers for every failure to Do Right™ that a paladin has to face.
Although, acting rashly in any of these situations sounds like the sort of thing that a level one Paladin [i]would[i/] try to do. Fresh faced and green without experience, thinking that divine powers means you can take on the whole world. I'm picturing three old Paladins talking about their first adventures; one with burn scars, one with manacle marks still visible after all these years, one with particularly savage war wounds and orcish brands. All of them reminiscing about what they did, what they didn't do and what they could have done better with a fourth, newly minted paladin hanging on every word.
I think that being incarcerated (or executed) prevents the Paladin from doing actual good in the future, so the second tenets safety clauses feel like they give the paladin a decent buffer to choose inaction if necessary.
It sets up a paladin's player with interesting challenges, but one thing should be kept in mind (okay, at least one). A paladin doesn't have to win. A paladin can stay Lawful Good, not commit any Anethema, keep to the Code to the best of their ability and still not succeed in saving innocents from immediate harm.
Yeah, like the Owlbear's Claw trinket, which if I read it right can only be used by someone with at least Expert proficiency in the weapon it is attached to. Something most wizards are unlikely to have.
I really like this idea.
"You told me this claw will make my sword strikes cut deeper"
"No, I said it CAN do that. You are a terrible swordsman and it doesn't want to help you."