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I think it would be neat if the developers addressed spell manifestation as something that casters think about at character creation and are given some different options for what that could be like. This avoids people from building characters that think that magic will universally work one way only to play in a game where it works differently and make casting characters more aware of what their characters are doing when they cast a spell and how it affects the game world.

Is today's blog post going to be about wizards, generally, or THE Wizard, specifically?

Seisho wrote:
But the monk vows always (almost) also gave a mechanical disadvantage

I think that we are getting into nebulous territory if we try to decide that refusing to lie or choosing not to speak is a mechanical disadvantage for the monk, but living according to a strict code is not for paladin. If the Paladin had a similarly constructed code, then choosing not to use poison in combat could be a specific code that granted a specific benefit. Choosing not to lie would be another very sensible one. Choosing to never allow an innocent to come to harm could be another. The codes could be self contained and contain their own benefit and the required absolution for atonement. Worst case scenario, the paladin with a lot of codes finds themselves in a situation where 2 codes are in conflict and has to violate one. Instead of falling completely, they lose that one ability and have a specific course of action necessary to regain the ability.

In addition to allowing characters to adopt their own specific code of the paladin, or for gods to have their own set of codes for their chosen paladins, this would otherwise absolve paladins from having to be one alignment, but still give the "best" mechanical advantages to paladins that choose to uphold the strictest or most challenging codes of conduct.

gustavo iglesias wrote:

they are just saying they don't purposely give gifts to Paladin because of the code. The class might end being more powerful or less powerful than others, due to the general difficulty to balance thibgs, just like the magus and the monk might not be balanced either, but it is not a reward. Just like monks aren't explicitly made more powerful for being L only

But the monk does have narrative options for becoming more powerful based off of lawful based choices. This is exactly what the different monk vows represent.

I am suggesting that paladins could have a similar model.

N N 959 wrote:
Unicore wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
So I'm really really curious how people make assertions about balance without posting or referencing empirical data to back it up?
my assertion is that the code for paladins exists as a part of its balance...
Apologies Unicore, my question was not at all directed at you, but at those answering your question.

No worries. I never felt like your comment was directed at me, I just thought it a good idea to connect my claim and my evidence.

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The Raven Black wrote:

Except that instead of having 2 sources for falling (the code and the alignment), we now have 3 (the code, the alignment and the anathema) and ranking the tenets in alignment order (ie Good > Lawful ) may actually make the Paladin more likely to fall due to alignment change (say a Paladin in Nidal, where traditions are LE)
So, not sure about any net gain here

This is why I like the idea that some of the paladin's powers should be tied to each aspect of their various codes and "falling" means losing access to that power until an appropriate atonement could be made. I feel like this makes the crime fit the punishment and lets the paladin character have more control over how their actions affect them. Also, it lets the different gods different anathema's grant different powers to the paladin and creates more of a unique feel to the different types of paladins, and could be a good starting point for looking at paladins of different alignments.

N N 959 wrote:
So I'm really really curious how people make assertions about balance without posting or referencing empirical data to back it up?

my assertion is that the code for paladins exists as a part of its balance, and has since the paladin came into existence. Why on Golarion would you design a class with such strict standards to be applied across the board to every character that plays the class if it is purely for flavor? Why would there be such an outrage about changing the flavor if there were not mechanical elements attached to it?

And most obviously, the fact that you can lose your mechanical powers for violating your code is a strong indicator that a code that limits the tactical options of a class means that the class would be more powerful without those limitations.

One thing that I hope is made easy for DMs is rolling traps and shifting encounter environments into active encounters. I have always found traps and locked doors that are not linked to active (or at least possible) encounters to be pretty boring.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
They've already specifically said that thematic restrictions do not grant mechanical power in PF2. So the Classes are all built to be balanced sans Code if that's what people want.

where did they say that? I don't remember it being explicitly stated, and it really seems antithetical to the paladin character. Even without alignment, it seems like the paladin would be adhering to some kind of code or else what is the character?

As far as PF1 - I have mostly played Adventure paths and in my experience, the Paladin has far outpaced fighters, rogues, rangers, monks, samurai and inquisitors as martial focused/ damage dealiing characters (these are what I have seen). Smite Evil, Divine Grace, immunities (to fear and disease), and Divine Bond are massive abilities that are almost always incredibly useful in the APs I have played. Their spell list opens up some pretty awesome abilities for a Tanking character as well with scrolls and wands. As a part of a party, the paladin is the #2 character after a wizard/witch in parties I have played with.

I am all for a rebalancing of classes and not as attached to preserving the benefits the paladin has had as some of the folks arguing for preserving its PF1 form, but it seems like if the paladin loses powers based off of a narrative element, then the class is clearly balanced around its thematic restrictions.

Malk_Content wrote:

Oh no I definitely wouldn't want to get rid of it. Even if its something I personally dislike I'd never desire them to just throw away all the effort that went into it (and to do so would be very hypocritical of me as I argued against those wanting to throw out Goblins). I've also not actively discouraged it from my tables, but no player of mine has even thought about creating one.

I'm merely saying that if there is a roleplaying restriction, it should not mean its mechanics should be stronger to compensate. As those who seek out those restrictions won't be actually restricted by it (they wanted to play with that flavour) and you would have to make the abilities extremely OP to attract those who dislike the restriction but desire the power.

I see. The issue is that this is already how the Paladin class was built, which is what a lot of the most dedicated "LG only" folks base their argument on. The Paladin class will have to be nerfed considerably to pull it in line with other classes if only mechanical elements are considered in its design. Some of that looks like it has already happened, based upon the paladin blog, but we won't know how much until august.

The relevance to the OP here is that if there are mechanics rooted in the character class design of the paladin, I think elements like poison use should be tied to the exact nature of the code the paladin follows as opposed to a general attempt to fit it in a construction of Honorable fighting.

Malk_Content wrote:

The general idea that a Paladin can have mechanical benefits due to character based restrictions is a really poor idea in my eyes. Someone choosing to abide by those restrictions wanted them for their character anyway, they were going to keep to them because thats the kind of character they wanted to be in the first place. To me it is like dump stats where you dump cha because you never intended to use it. You aren't taking an actual flaw in exchange for power.

Malk Content, are you suggesting that the developers do away with the Paladin class entirely then? That seems like it will have some ardent support from some quarters and militant resistant from others. What are your thoughts on the PF1 Paladin, is it a class you discouraged from your own tables?

Seisho wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I still think they should give the ogre a reaction ability of some kind.
If you really want to give him AoO and you are good

I am hoping that there are a fair number of easy templates in the bestiary that can be thrown over the basic monster types. Leaving a general reaction off of ogres would make a lot of sense if Ogre guards can get a AoO type of attack.

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Ring_of_Gyges wrote:
(D) Sure, it could be an honor code, but at some point I start wondering why they're built using the Paladin chassis. The classes aren't infinitely flexible, a spy is going to need a lot more skill points and tricks and a lot less armor and smiting than the Paladin chassis assumes. Just play a religious ninja or inquisitor or something rather than trying to bludgeon Paladin class into that role.

And this is really the root of the entire problem with trying to figure out what to do with the paladin as a class and attempting to balance mechanics with narrative elements.

Some people really like superman as a character. They want to play the the character who has great power that comes with great responsibility. In a game with much more rigid character class design, I doubt many people would be arguing as vehemently about having a very narrow definition of what a paladin can be. But Pathfinder has incredibly flexible character design with thousands of different flavors...and then the paladin. The more narratively flexible the paladin design becomes, the more mechanically unbalancing it becomes because the two were designed to counter each other.

People who love the superman vibe really hate the weakening of the class to open it up to other alignments and more flexible codes because the more the paladin becomes just like x class, only better, because it gets special divine boons, the stronger the argument becomes for nerfing the things that draws them to the class (smiting evil, divine grace, immunities to fear and disease instead of small bonuses, Divine bond, lay on hands, spell casting, etc.

Also complicating this is the fact that people who like the super powerful but traditionally restricted LG paladin with its specific code, already have that, so any back tracking feels like a loss. They don't want it to be a prestige class and they want to know that it will be a fully supported character class, which getting turned into an archetype sounds like it would limit.

Linking the powers that you get to the severity of the code that you adopt seems like it might be a way to start appeasing everyone, but you probably need a lot more space to explain it than a 1000 word blog to really put people's mind at ease.

What I think it would look like is a cavalier base class with a relatively loose code and modest, balanced powers. Then have a big list of the kinds of codes a character can adopt to become a more specialized holy knight that gains access to powers based on adhering to those codes. Breaking the individual codes would result in a loss of that power until the proper atonement was made, but it wouldn't be an all or nothing "fall." if one tenet was broken to uphold another.

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Valantrix1 wrote:
Being totally blind, I know that almost all icons in almost every game I've found them in, are absolutely worthless when it comes to screen readers. Most of the time the icons doen't even show up at all. Starfinder icons for instance show up as a number. Unfortunately, that number is never the same, even for the same icon. Its beyond annoying.

With my bad eyesight and dyslexia, I personally find large visual icons much easier to use in play for directing my eyes to the right part of the stat block quickly and preventing me from spending a lot of time trying to read text that isn't relevant to what I am looking for, as long as the icons are designed to be simple and clearly distinguishable. The Starfinder Icons have not been that for me. I also think that Icons are a bad idea if paizo cannot find a way to make sure that there are PDFs that are specifically designed and tested to work with screen readers. It would be really awesome if pathfinder's digital resources could utilize more white space generally.

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bookrat wrote:

My guess is that historically, people are comfortable with fire and feel like they can defend against it, while chemical weapons are (were) strange and new and people feel defenseless.

I think it would be cool if Paladin's of Erastil refused to use fire as a weapon, due to it's destructive power in nature and because it is supposed to the tool of the hearth and family. I would much rather have individual paladin codes like that then see paizo attempt to create some kind of artificial hierarchy for their entire universe about the morality of each and every way to kill someone.

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I am pretty confident that if I have a player that wants to play a paladin of Sarenrae, bringer of Mercy, and she wants to be a studied physician as well, bringing people medicines and healing when she can and ease their suffering when she cannot, I am not going to make her fall for administering poisons to the dying that she cannot help, or who ask her for that mercy. Maybe some of you would, but it would be rather pointless of Paizo to try to force me to interpret the gods of the world I am GMing exactly one specific way, instead of just putting out some general ideas and letting each game take the form that suits it best.

bookrat wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Rationale minds can disagree on this topic, so I think Paizo needs to clarify whether Golarion society views poison use as it generally viewed in RL i.e. dishonorable, or that it is no longer considered inherently dishonorable.

I feel like this is where the problem lies. There is no generalized Golarion culture. Golarion is made up of tons of smaller countries, each with their own culture. And many of those countries are inundated with different cultures within them.

Paizo would be able to say which of these cultures allow it and which don't, but you can't really combine all of them together to come up with a generalized culture.

It's like asking about the Eurasian culture, without regards to the differences between the many countries of Europe, the many countries of the middle East, the many countries that have formed out of old Russia, the many countries of Asia, and the many cultures within each of those.

You can make such a request of Varisia or even Mwangi, but you can't expect that what hold true for either of those will still hold true for the Mammoth Lords or Taldor. And then, within each of those, how are things influenced by subcultures and religions?

I think this is a good point, but the real question and its answer has to come from where is the paladin getting their supernatural powers? Because it is not from any of the nations of Golarion, it seems like it would be more of a matter of what the paladin's sponsoring god or divine power's thoughts on the matter would be. This probably goes for every issue of whether a paladin would fall or not, because no matter how ridged the code, it will always come down to some interpretative force, and probably the different gods that can sponsor paladin's will have slightly different interpretations on this code.

I understand that these gods are not real, so it will still ultimately fall to the GM to decide these things for themselves, and it probably isn't worth paizo's time to arbitrate every possible scenario on their own, but it might be worth having somewhere in the paladin section of the book (or the GM section of the book) how to create arbitrations based off of in game mechanics instead of real life ethics or theories, and how to do so as fairly, consistently, and predictably to avoid situations where a player feels like the rules have been changed to penalize them personally.

Hwalsh, can you link to that? Is it rituals?

HWalsh wrote:

Right now we know the PF2 Paladin has:

1. Smite Evil
2. Detect Evil
3. A much weakened Divine Grace
4. No immunities (I are sad)
5. Spells
6. Lay on Hands
7. Can get Legendary Armor Proficiency
8. A Feat that grants it Wings and a Halo.

Do we know they get spells? or powers usable with spell points? Because that is what I thought the litanies were moving to.

I am very curious to hear a developer talk about how the new monster rules will synthesize with the ancestry system as far as how creatures from the bestiary will be accessible as player ancestries or not, especially since it seems like ancestries now require a lot more feat support than PF1 and because I can't imagine special attacks or abilities coming across to PCs

I feel like there might be a lot of different ideas about what defines a paladin mechanically, and I think knowing what some of those ideas are, might help make more of people's character concepts viable and fun, without attempting to force one class to cary the burden of trying to do all of those things while retaining the sense that it is a class defined more by its narrative elements than its mechanical ones.

People see paladins as: (some see only one of these, some see multiple, some certainly see something else entirely and should feel free to add it)

Holy knights of virtuousness
Divine Paragons (some wanting that to be able to cover all faiths and some wanting the paladin to be a divine paragon with a code that pushes them towards a righteousness that rises above even the expectations of their deity.)
Masters of fighting evil.
A mechanically stronger fighting character than most martial characters, balanced (or not balanced depending on one's opinion of the class) by narrative elements.
A stick in the mud that looks cooler in theory than it plays on the table and encourages player self-righteousness.
A trope of fantasy literature that feels missing from the fighter class or the cavalier.

This feels like a challenging group of ideas to balance and not all of them play very well together.

So the next question becomes how important is it to tie these character concepts to one class and how do you do that?

I think we will need to wait to see what the playtest paladin looks like in greater detail as far as how much flexibility can be tweaked out of its class feats, as well as what archetypes really allow for, before any of these debates about the paladin are going to be resolvable.

Why is considering 18 to be highest base achievable attribute feel like a deflation? I have a feeling that a lot of skills and other things that used to be able to reach much higher numbers are going to be much more contained.

Is the issue that the new stat system makes it feel too easy for a player character to reach the highest starting number without making serious enough sacrifices to achieve that number? Would you prefer it be more difficult to get an 18?

Or the issue that the number is just lower than it was in PF1 and thus will always feel like it is less than before? If that is the case, then maybe the solution is just to make 12 the average for PCs, and skew all the difficulties up by 1, (or make 12 = +0 and not skew the math) and thus preserve the sense that 20 is the highest possible starting stat, but have it have the same effect as an 18 for the sake of the new math system?

My guess is that neither answer will feel good enough because aspects of both are true and people are still thinking that PF1 characters are going to seamlessly merge into PF2 characters, which I am very skeptical will be possible. The new low level game looks balanced around more options to choose from but less of them to choose, making higher level play more balanced.

What if instead of stretching attributes further to create a sense of difference between characters, PF2 introduced more general feats that let you get a re-roll or special bonus to making raw attribute checks? I know there are special builds of some classes that grant this (especially with strength), but not many and not as a general character build.

This would enable characters that have naturally exceptional attributes do exceptional things related to that attribute, without giving a host of bonuses that unbalance the game. Because it seems to me that the argument for being able to play an exceptionally strong character, like Andre the giant or Hodor, would be far better represented by giving that character more things they can do with their raw strength, than by just making them better at everything Pathfinder lumps into "Strength." This opens up the "strong" or "smart" or "quick" character without turning it into a way to further stretch the math on a new system that is trying to keep it closely balanced.

I feel like the reason that people don't want this, and want a point buy/stat trade off system, is because very few people are actually trying to replicate characters with exceptional differences in their attributes and really just have a character concept that benefits from extreme specialization. Which can be ok, but if the game balance of PF2 requires tighter math, It would be nice for the Herculean strength character to be possible without it just resulting in breaking the attack and damage mechanics of the game.

Athaleon wrote:

Exactly. The Paladin need only be a proverbial, not literal, Knight in Shining Armor. Ultimately their fighting style is mere detail: They may be martial artists, lithe fencers, righteous gunslingers, or hunters keeping vigil in the wilderness.

Conceptually I see why you would want this to be the case and I am all for freedom and flexibility, but how do you provide enough class feats for each of these options to be more than a 2 dimensional build (i.e. only have one feat option at every level you get one)? especially when there are other classes designed to be these things mechanically, and what you are asking for is for those mechanical options to use the flavor of Holy Warrior? Doesn't that seem exactly like what an archetype should be for?

Tectorman wrote:

That's part of it. The other part is the idea that the best, most thematic, or most appropriate mechanical representation for any character or concept should occur at the level of the individual table, and not be censured from on high in another state/country.

1st of all, I agree with you and your position on base classes, especially if this were a thread talking about alignment restrictions of classes and class design, but I have been trying to avoid that, since it was requested in the original post and just look mechanically at what a paladin is and what people are wanting from the class. A lot of the "extra" stuff people are asking for seem to fall outside of what a paladin is mechanically, and instead seem to be about narrative concepts that center on paragon-ness.

The paladin class isn't really that though for the vast majority of faiths or religious orders though and I agree with your ideas that a lot of the paragons of faith should be available to classes that fit more thematically. Champion=/=paladin, but I think that 3.x made a bit of a mess for itself breaking out some character ideas into full base classes and gating others behind prestige classes. Generally, the pathfinder solution has been to create more base classes and archetypes for things, but in the new system, base classes are going to require a large compliment of class feats to be supported, so it is perfectly fair to want your ideal character to be a base class and not an archetype, because archetypes will generally feel less supported than full classes, unless the archetype runs very close to one of the base classes and has plenty of feats available, which is why I don't think the swashbuckler paladin and the gunslinger paladin or the enlightened paladin or many other archetypes are a good fit for a paladin base class, they will require class feats they wont have basic access to, and alignment restrictions or not won't really fix that problem.

It will be difficult to evaluate until the playtest book arrives, but it does seem like PF2 needs to decide hw much design space to give to creating religious champions because right now it looks like 4 or five gods get access to a class that does it well (although really I feel like maybe only Iomedae gets her own special character class because it is hard to even imagine a cleric of Iomedae that isn't essentially a paladin) Sarenrae and Torag get close enough (although I think a champion of Torag might be a fighter and a champion of Sarenrae might be healing and fire cleric), and everybody else is making due with variants of a very narrow character theme being funneled through a base class.

Dracomicron wrote:
Why do you even need an entire new class to have a heavily armored fighting person with divine abilities? You could just have a fighter with cleric levels, or some sort of archetype.

Because the fighter isn't the heavily armored character. It can be, but it takes feats to build towards that and, having no idea how multiclassing is going to work, but knowing that it will probably eat up some of your feats, that probably isn't a viable option we are going to see in the play test book for coming anywhere near what the the PF1 Paladin was in terms of destroyer of all things evil, and especially Evil outsiders and undead. Trying to add in mounted combat and you are probably looking at a character concept that is trying to spread itself much to thin.

I appreciate your drive to have base classes as open and unrestricted as possible, but the developers have already made it clear that the base play-test paladin is going to have some restrictions that a lot of folks are struggling with and the more stuff that gets add to that class, that isn't really related to why the class is restricted in the first place, the more divisive the class will become. Making the super monk character, and the super bard character, and the super gunslinger character, and the super swashbuckler characters subsets of this class, when all of them have such radically different needs from class feats, doesn't really make sense if there are specific elements of being a paladin that can be exported to other classes via a Archetype.

I had this thought in a different thread, but realized it probably belongs here:

Perhaps the "Paragon" Archetype could be an early (or even core rule book (post playtest) addition that helps characters from all different classes become the most dedicated proponents of their faith or ethos without pushing them towards either having to be a caster (cleric) or a holy knight (paladin). Most of these paragon character builds probably want the class feats granted by the class that more closely resembles the thing they want to be a paragon of, rather than Knightly oriented feats. The Archetype grants you a code related to a relevant anathema and possibly grants access to some form of the paladin's more "champion" like, and less knightly, abilities.

LoreKeeper wrote:
That's an interesting detail on your paladin/bard of Sheylin. What did you need the bard levels for? The paladin should already be pretty good at diplomacy; and you can certainly get a performance skill as a paladin too. If it comes to needing more skill points, then a ranger or rogue might have tied in too, instead of the bard.

My paladin of Sheylin is a lover of art and music and a firm believer that they have the power to end all conflicts (he is incredibly naive). He wanders the land to spread these righteous miracles everywhere he goes. The deific observance of Sheylin was conceptually perfect but almost completely unhelpful to a paladin, but rather fitting and useful for a bard. Versatile Performance allowed him to make the act of diplomacy itself into an artistic performance and the skill points instantly rounded out the character into someone who could craft works of art and song. No feature of the ranger or rogue fit with the paragon of artistic virtue nearly as immediately or completely.

Remarkably, I feel like I am starting to see clarity on the whole paladin issue finally. It doesn't seem like everyone wants paladin mechanics for every single champion of X (god or ideal), in fact, it seems like most people don't want most of the "iconic" paladin features of the class at all, they want to know that they will be able to build a character that is visually and mechanically accepted as the paragon of the thing that they are championing.

Playing a paladin of Sheylin in a game now, I found myself almost immediately stifled by my own character concept until I took 2 levels of bard to be able to focus more on talking down foes and holding violence out as a last resort. Now he wears light armor and wields a glaive and is probably headed towards sentinel, because paladin didn't really completely fit my idea of a paragon of Sheylin. A sentinel or paragon of X archetype that could fit over the bard would probably have fit my overall character concept better than paladin in the first place, but I didn't really see how to do that easily when I built my character.

Perhaps the "Paragon" Archetype could be an early (or even core rule book (post playtest) addition that helps characters from all different classes become the most dedicated proponents of their faith or ethos without pushing them towards either having to be a caster (cleric) or a holy knight (paladin). The Archetype grants you a code related to a relevant anathema and possibly grants access to some form of the paladin's more "champion" like, and less knightly, abilities.

To be clear and fair: I would still rather see the paladin class be the knight or cavalier class and be centered on the armored and mounted combat roles, with this paragon archetype overlaying the knight class to form the Paladin in its entirety, but at least the paragon archetype, applied to other classes would make most of the different champion ideas playable with rules that make the most sense, Rather than having 50 different versions of the Paladin that are essentially a different class (swashbuckler, monk, cleric, wizard, fighter, rogue or bard) but with a touch of divine grace or smite.

HWalsh wrote:

I see a Paladin as a specific type of character - They are a Knight in Shining Armor devoted to the mythical Knightly virtues.

Religion is one of the classic ones, hence why they are usually depicted as divine champions.

This doesn't mean that all divine champions are Paladins.

I think this is a huge part of the issues appearing in the various paladin alignment threads. People want to see what mechanically strong, martially focused, champions of their favorite, or even least favorite, gods could look like, and they are worried that the Paladin is the only design space for that concept. Many are upset that it feels like it is going to take a long time to for the new game to create space for religious champions that don't fit in the paladin mold.

LoreKeeper wrote:

We'll probably have to see the actual implementation of both monk and paladin to see where the distinction comes in.

I agree that we will need to see the implementation to know for sure.

The Enlightened Paladin archetype though gets rid of smite evil and detect evil to focus on self-perfection and personal protection and seeking out that excellence in others. For me, that doesn't really make sense as a type of Paladin. I am not saying that such a character wouldn't be fun or shouldn't exist, but it is so removed from what a paladin is, it weakens the argument for the paladin as a unique class.
The enlightened paladin even gets to forsake a general code for one she personally writes.

I am very curious to see what Archetypes are like and how they overlay classes, and how much they can change the narrative design of the classes built and balanced around narrative mechanics.

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Rysky wrote:
Unicore wrote:
The title of this thread is a little problematic because "dumping" implies bad in a hurtful way, even if that is not the intent.
My apologies.

No worries, I understood the general context, and could tell that there was no harm intended, my concern was mostly at how it directed the conversation towards the idea that if our characters are going to be heroes, than they have to have certain builds that imply that physical and mental attributes alone are the difference between good characters and bad characters to play.

I too will often find myself using the language of dump stat when I am talking with my friends, but I do think it can lead to harmful conversations when taken to extremes. It is also a little strange how the game has evolved to imply that "best" characters are ones extremely specialized in one physical or mental attribute at the cost of being well rounded people, which is a product of game design and not a reflection of reality.

Personally, I much prefer to think that the soldiers fighting to keep me safe spend as much time developing intelligent strategies and the ability to communicate effectively with others as they do honing their physical skills.

LoreKeeper wrote:

We probably disagree on a fundamental level then: to me it is not a problem, but a desirable feature that Pathfinder is a complex game where the same/similar results can be achieved from vastly different starting points.

I actually really like complexity and meaningful difference too. I just don't see what the difference is between this version of a monk champion of Irori and this version of a paladin champion of Irori would be.

I'd like to see Paladin's of Erastil focus on being mounted and having a closer relationship with animals rather than focus on being good with a bow.

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thflame wrote:

Does everyone include characters like Hodor? Because under PF2, it doesn't.

First of all, thank you for responding to my post so thoughtfully and considerately. I was worried I sounded aggressive, and if I did, it is because this issue is a deep one within many RPGs not pathfinder or its second edition exclusively.


Is getting a 20 str and a 6 INT the difference between being able to play Hodor in PF2? I feel like it is not really. Why is an 18 STR not enough to be Hodor, but 2 more enough? I feel like Hodor's extra strength would be better represented by an ancestry or general feat that gives him a bonus or edge when attempting feats of strength like breaking things and lifting things more than a bonus to attack rolls and climbing and swimming. Is a 6 INT the metric by which a character is no longer able to speak a language? it would seem like that would be an INT of 2 right? Is Hodor a character with an INT of 2 and STR of 24? Wasn't he well on his way to being a hulking giant before his brain suffered an psychic injury focusing him on one idea only? Why are specific attribute modifiers the best way to represent a character like Hodor? What is his class? What skills does he train in and feats does he have? Can those aspects make this specific character playable without an entire character concept boiling down to a specific set of attributes? And if not, is this a character concept that a player wants to play through an entire campaign?

Often times, people with disabilities get boiled down in fiction to being two-dimensional characters that could never be more than an NPC. I would like that not to be the case. Paizo has worked to include some characters with disabilities into its stories and often does so in ways that a lot of people without disabilities don't notice because they feel like full complete characters. I am just not sure I believe that centering disability around getting some extra sense or ability is a good approach for them to continue doing so.

John Lynch 106 wrote:

Multiattack: We essentially don't have multiattack. The whole "physical attack form that's flavoured as being many arrows/sword swings/heads but is mechanically identical to a cone spell" is not going to be well received at all.

This raises some concerns for me as well because special attacks tied to assumptions that a monster will always be armed with all of its weapons and makes it difficult to handle situations where my players might choose to start disarming a creature with 4 or 6 scimitars. I get that that monster needs all the weapons to do some of its attacks, but do I want my party to know that they can disarm one of the weapons and suddenly the creature is reduced to only making three standard attacks in a round?

LoreKeeper wrote:

I'd like to see the new core Paladin 2.0 be viable with Irori. The enlightened paladin does the job nicely in 1.0 but I'd appreciate not having to wait for later player options to make it a reality.

So, an honest and curious question: Why would a champion of Irori, that is essentially a monk, need to be a paladin? If the point is to be a monk, but have some special features for fighting evil, doesn't that sound more like an archetype or feat options for a monk than an unarmored, unarmed paladin?

I am honestly a little confused about class design in PF2 because I feel like one of the problems that PF1 encountered was having too many ways to do almost the same thing, but one of those options turning out to be the clearly mechanically best way of doing something.

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So I have ethical issues with the use of Attributes(as manifestations of inherent mental and physical abilities) in RPGs generally, but a lot of the positions I see being argued here feels icky and hurtful with language like "Physical Liability" and "Sub-par Sammy." (not to react to anyone in particular, just pulling the most recent examples.) Last I checked a "fantasy roleplaying game" means we all get to make this stuff up together and the world we play should be big enough for everyone.

The title of this thread is a little problematic because "dumping" implies bad in a hurtful way, even if that is not the intent. If people want to play characters with radically different abilities than their own, that is awesome. If people want to be able to pretend to adopt some form of disability purely to power game some other attribute because the mechanics of the game allow them to do so in a way that trivializes that disability, I personally find that problematic.

I don't want characters with disabilities being made invisible in my fantasy world. I also don't want characters with disabilities being paraded as comedic stereotypes. Ideally, this would be accomplished by letting players come up with role-playing and non-mechanical ways to represent disabilities their characters might have rather than pushing that into an "attribute" system that is almost never followed.
No tables should make a player unable to participate in a puzzle challenge because "their character is not intelligent, or wise or charismatic enough" to have an idea that the party could use to solve a problem. Role-playing is a collaborative game that should involve players working together to role play their party's progress through an adventure. Personally, that is difficult enough with gamey stats that don't translate well into the fun of problem solving that makes role playing fun, but it really doesn't jive well with people being able to "dump" intelligence, because that means I get one less skill, and boost some other attribute because I get x mechanical benefit, and I will just have to "role-play" by adopting a stutter, or talking like a rural person I perceive to be unintelligent.

We really have no idea, but I am guessing tha multi-classing is going to look a lot different from PF1. I don't think "dipping" will really be a thing. I think it will more likely that some of the "stuff" you get from 1st level classes will be unlocked through feats, then by choosing to level up in a different class, but I am hoping to be proven wrong.

Devil's Advocate wrote:
If paladins are going to hold a special place in the game world as recognizable champions of righteousness, the paladin class needs to be narrowly defined.

I generally agree with this, but I disagree about ruling out things that thematically fit very closely to the knight motif, which would include light blades and angel wings.

I am far more hesitant about archer, gunslinger, other variant archetypes built upon a Paladin chassis, because I don't understand the game design of having one incredibly specialized character class, and the rest far more generic, and modifiable by archetype. Many of the Paladin Archetypes that walk away from "armored champion of a narrow set of deserving gods," should probably be built off of a different class, or just be a different class.

I can already see some people arguing that a champion of Erastil should be feasible as an archer, but a Paladin of Erastil has to be something different that a champion of Erastil because Every god can and should have access to champions, and the paladin, if it exists as a class, should focus on virtues beyond generally championing the will of the deity. In that regard, I would rather favored weapons be a thing for clerics, warpriests or religiously motivated fighters (i.e. the weapons masters) and paladins really focus in on knightly weapons and being heavily armored.

ParcelRod wrote:

At least from a figher/monk/barb type deal:...

Endgame / high level martials should be able to march faster and for longer periods of time while taking reduced penalties if you wish as well.

I agree with this idea, but in PF1 practice it has worked out where you maybe get 1 of theses abilities, at level 20 and the wizard can burn one 2nd or 3rd level spell to do each of these tasks for as long as is necessary. I hope that the decreases in duration will help with that massive power differential some, but I would also like to see a way for some of these things to be possible for the 17-20 martial character without incredibly narrow specialization.

Shinigami02 wrote:

It wasn't even a full theory-build so much as just playing around with some mechanics, but one of the things I did once: Start with a Warhammer with Versatile Design (Adventurer's Armory 2) into Throwing group. Apply +1 Shock (or better Shocking Burst) and Throwing enchants to it. Then on the Fighter take the feat chains for Ricochet Toss, Startoss Style, and the Flight Mastery item mastery feat. Once you reach this point you're basically pre-Ragnarok MCU Thor, right up to and including using your hammer to fly.

Shinigami, that is an interesting build. What level did you build to? Flying is a pretty good utility power, and if that character could break down walls with ease, and be decent at either intimidate, survival, or making things, there is enough utility there where I could see it a fun character beyond a single fight.

I would also love to hear from anyone who has ever played a 15th+ pure-fighter character. Pathfinder was always too full of options for me to ever consider that a fun build beyond theory-crafting or testing some wonky combat mechanic. For a full AP, it would never have caught my attention.

I think the high level fighter has been a problematic class for people to imagine for a very long time because what does the mundane character get from leveling up? The brawler idea was the first thing I saw to start to address the idea that an experienced fighter has seen enough things in life to have the resources to respond flexibly to the situation at hand, but it never interested me enough to play one and the feat chain requirements made the one flexible feat a little convoluted to try to play for me, but that idea "martial flexibility" is one I would like fighters to really hone in on.
Also, as a high magic setting, I think it is pretty inevitable that the high level fighter is going to be doing a lot of magical stuff on their turn. It might be cool if they can give the fighter a way to use their resonance in a similar fashion to the alchemist (a non-magical character this time around), but with weapons. I really like the idea of using resonance to empower improvised weapons.

Mark, is there any chance you can speak to the question as to whether proficiency itself unlocks additional functionality (new stuff you can do) or if the cool stuff you can do with increased proficiency comes from feats?

Edit: Or if not, would you all consider releasing a follow up proficiency blog or do a live Q&A about the proficiency system to help address some confusion?

I've re-read the proficiency blog a couple of times now, and with the new paladin thread talking about how the Paladin will be the character type getting legendary proficiency in Armor, I would almost like a proficiency blog 2 to talk about what it means for "unlocks" to be gated behind proficiency.

What is a Paladin going to be able to do with their armor and (probably more problematic to me) shield that a fighter can't? (this question arises from an intense love of the Hellknight as a Golarion-based character concept that currently seems impossible).

Will the Barbarian's Legendary Fortitude proficiency be anywhere near on par power-wise to legendary proficiency in spells, weapons or armor?

If legendary proficiency is gated behind class, is legendary proficiency going to be possible through multi-classing? (I am guessing the answer is a definite no, after all, if "anyone can grab legendary proficiency in anything," then why bother attaching proficiency to class?.)

Is Archetype going to modify access to proficiencies? I know they are supposed to be applicable to multiple classes now so it seems like they might, but my confusion might also stem from:

From what I have read, pretty much everything is proficiencies, but not all proficiencies will play by the same rules as far as exclusivity and access. Skill proficiencies are different from weapon and armor and spell proficiencies (in that there will probably be more leeway for grabbing higher access to them), and probably save proficiencies. This feels very confusing right now, but will probably make more sense when the rule book comes out and we can read more than a quick couple of paragraphs about it. But...proficiencies being similar but different, and 3 kinds of feats being similar but different, and spells, spell point-powers and rituals all being similar but different, is starting to sound less intuitively strait-forward than it was intended to be.

I think another part of my confusion is that it feels like the point of proficiencies is sometimes to act as a gate for more powerful powers and sometimes to act as a metric to denote aptitude (hence why there is a penalty for being untrained and a bonus for increased proficiency, which is incredibly necessary if everything is +level). I kind of think it is weird that attributes are capable of having a massive swing in how effective a character can do something (8-18 is already a +/- 5, achievable at first level), while actual training will take 17 levels to come anywhere close to matching it.

If it is the gating thing, is it the case that you instantly gain access to a lot of amazing new powers just by having the increased training? Or do you still need to select feats to do the incredible acts, and instead of old BAB restrictions, we now have proficiency restrictions?

I am curious about all of these things. I am not worried about most of them, or thinking the new system is in critical failure mode, but I do hope the shield gets moved into the weapon proficiency category.

Also an end boss that doesn't have a high enough Will save to make scrying difficult is probably at great risk of being taken down by a great number of other 4th level spells as soon as the wizard sees them. Very few wizards take spell focus divination (because so few of the spells even benefit from it) and those that do probably deserve for their scry effects to work 5% more of the time.

Dasrak wrote:

However small a location is defined by the 10 ft area you saw with scrying, it's still a unique area that you've seen once.

Sure, but this is where the GM has a lot of leeway, especially since the definition of a false location is so vague. As a DM, I require my players tell me where they are teleporting to in a geographical sense, and if they have no clue where that would be, then I rule it out.

This is somewhat backed up in the Ultimate Intrigue book where it says this about scrying:

"The 10-foot-radius visual requires the target to move in order to provide a clear idea of the layout of the destination, and the spell doesn’t directly indicate the location. The PCs must use contextual clues to figure this out, unless they already know where the target is."

Rogar Valertis wrote:

In PF1 you can have martials reach AC50+ if you wanted, putting them in the "hit only on roll of 20" for most opponents.

Considering what we've learned of PF2 seems like AC won't reach so high (no more rings of protection, amulets of natural armor, no enhancement magical bonus to shields...).

That said of course an heavily armored opponent should be more difficult to hit than a lightly armored one but that doesn't mean were won't be downsides to choosing heavy armor over light armor as well.

What we know is going to be radically different in PF2 is that there will definitely be some feats that are designed to take advantage of having either an incredibly high, or incredibly low AC. That has me excited, because if it is close to balanced, it will break down the pressure that "you must build your character this way." I am also excited to see if it is feasible to make equally good characters, one a highly armored character (i'm guessing a paladin), that isn't very strong, but can lock down a battle field with reactions and making it difficult for enemies not to attack them, then punishing them with nasty stuff when they critically miss, and a different character (I am guessing a dwarven druid/maybe barbarian or both) that loves to take critical hits and dish out punishment when they do.

With critical misses only being a issue for characters that build to have abilities that punish it, I think the incentive to Max AC will not be as pressing as the incentive to Max Attack for most characters, so I think the question of "how high does my AC need to be?" will still be a common question for a good chunk of player characters and monsters.

When will it be august?

Detect scrying is the same level as scrying, lasts all day, and gives you a chance to reverse scry your opponent. It is the bane of the diviner because it is one spell that does wonders for the party. It doesn't shut down scrying, but it lets you know when it is happening, that someone is looking for you and gives you very opportunity to be prepared, to move or to dispel the scrying attempt. Generally speaking, the defenses against Scry and Fry are much cheaper and easier than dedicating the resources to be good at scrying and frying.

Also remember scrying only shows a 10ft radius around the target. There are very few locations that can be identified by what you can see in that area. If you are in the woods or any place that is not incredibly unique, you can just take a rest for the duration of the spell(1 minute/level) and the enemy learns very little. It takes an hour to cast and if it is wasted, they have to burn another hour to cast it.
Greater scry is a different picture, but it is just as vulnerable to that detect scrying 4th level spell and getting dispelled.

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