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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber. FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 62 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 6 Organized Play characters.


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Liberty's Edge

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Specifics of hands aside, the bigger issue is that you gain full benefits from a parry weapon without a need for proficiency. Monks have a generally easier time getting around the fact that it eats up one or more hands (since you might as well use the main-gauche if you don't intend to attack with it), but it's a general issue.

Liberty's Edge

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It's not really optional, though. The default is that the GM makes all of the secret checks. The rules allow the GM to optionally allow the players make those checks. It's more accurate to say that the secret checks are the default and that allowing the players to roll is optional.

I'm personally against all the secret checks, as well. There are a small handful of situations where I like them (the auto-spot roll of trapfinding, for instance), but not for the vast majority of what's currently secret. And I speak as both a GM and a player. As a GM, I have the option to change it... as a player, I don't have that option. It's up to the GM.

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I can sympathize with your wizard. I ran scenario 1 twice for about ten characters, of which five were full casters. Of those full casters, exactly one PC managed to make an enemy fail a save (even with one PC that cast Daze on goblins at least five times - which they always saved against). The only other useful thing done with spells was healing (and like 3 damage from burning hands once).

The scenario 2 encounter you list is a brutal one. I had four PCs (druid, rogue, barbarian, fighter) that had limited ranged ability. If I'd wanted to kill one of the PCs, I probably could have done so pretty easily. Instead, I had the manticore fling spines at each target once (well, double spine and then single spine - it only has 12, so that's all of them), which bloodied them pretty well and left half of them immobilized. It then made the mistake of landing to "finish them off", which let the fighter and barbarian reach it. It died about the time it hit the ground.

So... With suboptimal tactics from the manticore, it went okay. The one spell the druid threw that wasn't a heal (gust of wind) was saved against and had zero effect on the combat.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
So in the ancestry survey it asks "what class did you choose". I have three characters who are dwarves, should I just pick one to talk about?

Mine's even worse because I played a half-elf, half-orc, and a regular human. If I answer for both of those, it'll be a whole bunch of different checkboxes that should be mutually exclusive.

Liberty's Edge

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I would much rather see something more along the way 4e handled "hybrid" classes which was later refined by 13th Age. You pick two classes and get some portion of the benefits from both, but you can choose advances from both at some determined ratio. It works well.

Because you aren't getting full classes, it's possible to balance the hybrids against the full classes.

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Nice work. I'm obviously a fan, since I've used bits of your research in my own stuff on AC.

These results are both a better than a lot of people have claimed and worse than I'd personally like it to be. These numbers are fine if they were the middle of the optimization curve, but if this is the far top edge, that means that an "average" character is going to be 5-15% worse off - and that's really not in a fun place to be.

Liberty's Edge

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shroudb wrote:
swordchucks wrote:
I'm really not a fan of being able to use a weapon to parry when you're untrained in it and end up with zero penalty, but by RAW right now, the monk can get away with it.
What are you talking about?

I don't like the way it works with the main-gauche, either, but many characters doing so would be paying the "cost" of having a hand tied up. Monks can have both hands full and still get their full normal attack damage.

Liberty's Edge

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The part about bows that I find hardest to swallow is the Reload 0. With all of the other things that take just an instant of time taking an action to pull off, it seems weird that arrows just teleport onto the string. That's not even a game-balance statement, but a suspension-of-disbelief statement.

That said, longbows are overused to the extent that I can't recall ever seeing a PC in PF1 (or any recent D&D for that matter) that had proficiency in both choosing to use the shortbow.

I'd be fine with longbows instead having a problem if you moved on the turn you shot with them or shortbows having Agile. There definitely needs to be some reason to use a shortbow.

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I don't like secret rolls being so prevalent, and while I'd like to see it a little reduced from what it is now, can see the point to it. However, I'd really, really like the critical fail state of Recall Knowledge to go.

Dubious Knowledge is perfect. You opt in to that. You're asking for that misinformation thing because you, as a player, want to fiddle with it. Great.

I just don't like it for all checks. My experience so far has been that it just muddies things with every check resulting in a number of PCs with true information and a number with false information. And not always the ones that you would have expected to be right or wrong. It gets to the point that the PCs are better off not trying to recall information and just guessing.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm really not a fan of being able to use a weapon to parry when you're untrained in it and end up with zero penalty, but by RAW right now, the monk can get away with it.

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If shields blocked the whole hit, having them take multiple dents would make sense. As it stands now, the "one dent per block" paradigm is just fine. That still means you can only block, at most, two decent hits per combat with a mundane shield (and that's with giving the shield the Broken condition). If you invest magic and class features into it (such as with the Paladin ally) then it should be more useful.

Liberty's Edge

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Snickersnax wrote:
Playtest rulebook p 186 wrote
Quote:
mateRial Component pouCh This pouch contains material components for those spells that require them. Though the components are used up over time, you can refill spent components during your daily preparations
He said, " Well it looks like getting berries isn't a problem"

Speaking strictly from a RAW perspective, the berry is the "target" of Goodberry, not a material component. It would not be part of the spell component pouch.

Your GM can (and probably should) handwave it, but there are going to be a lot of situations where having "freshly picked berries" is just not feasible. GMs are free to ignore it, of course, but that shouldn't be the only way the ability functions.

If the ability were obscenely powerful, I might go in for weird arbitrary limits. However... it's not. It's significantly weaker than Channel and making it more finicky is just kicking it while it's down.

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Personally, I profoundly hate misinformation. Players have more than enough against them (especially in this edition) without lying to them about stuff. I much prefer letting telling players nothing over actively feeding them lies.

Liberty's Edge

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Oh, I just realized that Goodberry has another annoyance to it. It takes 10 minutes for every single casting. Even at the lowest levels, that's potentially a lot of time spent doing nothing but making magical berries.

I'd feel better about the ability if it simply produced a small plant with 3+CHA berries on it that each healed 1d6+mod heightened by 2d6 per berry. You're left with slightly less healing than heal and the need for the person eating the berry to take Interact actions (which is kind of a wash), but the healing would be easier and cleaner. And just give it to all druids instead of locking it into one order.

While I'm at it, sorcerers need a better option, either through a real Channel Energy pool or something else. And bards could do with something, too, though I'd rather see them get an easy way to hand out THP than more raw healing.

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Alright, so I crunched the numbers. Once this is more refined, I may start a separate thread on it.

Anyway, here's the spreadsheet:

Link

Assumptions by Class:
Bards start with a Charisma of 18 and push it hard (including the magic item at level 15). Bards maximize their spell pool for end-game healing via Soothing Ballad.

Clerics start with a Wisdom of 18 and push it hard (including the magic item at level 15). The starting Charisma is 16 and it receives normal bumps.. The cleric in the example is a Cleric of Sarenrae and maximizes her spell pool for Healing Font/Healer's Blessing use. The cleric also favors single target heals with Healing Hands whenever possible.

Druids are Order of the Leaf. They start with a Wisdom of 18 and push it hard (including the magic item at level 15). She then grabs the few abilities that boost her Spell Pool to get more Goodberries.

Paladins start with a Charisma of 16 and give it normal bumps. Abilities are mostly chosen to maximize spell pool but I didn't go the extra step of taking a second domain for another 3 SP ability. This would grant an additional 2 uses of Heal per day around level 10 and onward.

Sorcerers start off with a Charisma of 18 and push it hard (including the magic item at level 15). Divine Evolution is the only ability that appears to assist with healing and it would be taken at level 4.

HP Assumptions:

Low is an elf wizard that never invests further in CON.

Mid is a PC putting forth moderate effort with a +1 CON at 1st level and 8 HP per level.

High is a Dwarven barbarian that takes Toughness at level 3.

Analysis by Class

At the end of the analysis (and level 20), the ranking goes Cleric, Bard, Druid, Sorcerer, Paladin assuming that character dedicates everything they can to healing. When you delve into it a little more closely, the divide is both worse and more interesting.

Bards start out with the worst healing. This is because Soothe is strictly inferior to Heal and their spells per day are lower. Bards surpass Paladins around level 5 when the extra spell slots start to overcome the Champion Pool. On the other hand, the bard's throughput is worse. At level 14, things get really messy with the very potent Soothing Ballad. This is an AOE heal that hits up to 10 total people for a pretty good chunk of healing. I based the analysis numbers off hitting four people, but a larger party (or a smaller one, or one where only a few people consistently get wounded) would see different numbers. In the end, this ability is all that keeps them from being pretty bad at healing by comparison.

Clerics are the best by all measures. The Free Healing column assumes the cleric dumps all Spell Points into Healing Font (and tosses a point into Healer's Blessing when there's one left) and makes liberal use of Healing Hands. In terms of free healing, the cleric starts the strongest and ends the strongest. Overall, that's also true, though the variability of the bard might produce specific results that are different.

Druids are far behind clerics, but not terrible. The biggest issue the druid faces is the fact that their goodberry spell turns out to be flat-out stupid from a logistical sense. In order for a level 20 druid to hand out all his free healing, he has to have 200 berries to enchant and his group has to eat, individually, those 200 berries. This leads to his throughput on free healing being the absolute worst of the bunch (really only suitable for out-of-combat or the occasional "now you're not dying" patch-up).

Paladins are an interesting one because pretty much all of their healing is free. It starts strong, but tapers off gradually as the realities of the Champion Pool's slow increase sets in. Because healing will never be more than a Paladin's secondary role, this is probably okay, though. Their throughput is good, at least, making them a solid spot healer.

Sorcerers are in a weird place. Their healing potential is the lowest of the casters and almost none of it comes from a "free" resource. It's all spell slots. This can mean the sorcerer is versatile, but it can also easily leave the sorcerer as a heal-bot.

Limitations:

I left out magic items. Alchemists are entirely magic item healing, and so you can't really analyze them beside the other healers without adding that factor. I'll leave it to someone else to delve into that realm.

I assumed you obtain your stat booster at 15. I also assumed that all casters would take it in their primary attribute.

Did I make some errors? Incorrect assumptions? Bad math? Let me know and I'll look at it.

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I'm still working through the numbers, but the cleric's free healing is enough to take the entire party from 0 to max at least once per day. The druid can manage, maybe, half the party. Sorcerers can... yeah, no, they don't really get free healing in a significant quantity (theirs is sufficient to take an average character from 0 to half once per day).

Once I've done the analysis on the alchemist, bard, and paladin, I'll post some charts. And decided if I need to include magic items in the other classes since alchemists spend their resonance to do their healing.

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I'm torn. I've always used the AoN as my outside-the-PRD reference site. It's a solid site. On the other hand, this hitting so suddenly and without the old site being available in the transition leaves me in a bit of a bind with some things I'm doing. AoN is great for character options, but obviously lacks the rules content I need access to (for instance, this morning I needed to look at the Timeworn condition and the Background Skills rules, but neither are on AoN yet).

In the long run, this should be a positive change. It's just that right this second... not so much?

Liberty's Edge

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After some consideration and discussion, I went back and added an additional +2 to DEX at level 15 (where the DEX boosting item could reasonably be obtained). This had no effect on anything except for the monk.

As was noted in the Facebook group, this chart does not include the potential for the level 20 Bracers or Armor or the use of Parrying Weapons /Stances which could conceivably push the Monk to the same level as the Paladin with shield. I think the base numbers are just fine as they are (and even including shields goes a bit far).

Armor Classes: https://i.imgur.com/e7XDWSi.jpg
To Be Hit: https://i.imgur.com/3cqYVFy.jpg
To Be Crit: https://i.imgur.com/5TguOrv.jpg

Liberty's Edge

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Heightening would work if it didn't boost the bonus but rather expanded it. At 1st it's +1 to attacks. At 3rd, maybe +1 to attacks, saves, and AC. At 5th, all checks. Etc. Or at a certain heightening the duration just became "one minute" and no concentration. Because it's conditional, it's not going to stack with other conditional stuff, so broadening it shouldn't cause any real issues.

A bard is still generally better, but that's kind of the bard's Thing. Soothe sucks compared to heal, for instance, because heal is the cleric's Thing.

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Honestly, there needs to be some errata or a very clear developer statement (in writing) about how shield block is supposed to work. Apparently, the devs have, through various verbal means (and sometimes in weird ways) said that blocking shields can take multiple dents from damage (or from the attack being a critical hit or even be outright destroyed). However, these statements directly contradicts the wording in the current rulebook (and often contradict each other). It may harken back to ongoing disagreements with developers, be an accident, or be a holdover from some of the versions of Shield Block used in other internal version of the playtest rules.

Whatever the reason for the disconnect, it needs to be harmonized. Otherwise, there's not much point in playtesting them.

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The monster stats really are a mess. I don't have much trouble out of AC Attack and Damage as I like hitting things as the GM (and I like PCs being able to hit things, too), but the skills are nuts. Part of the problem is that they're clearly designed around an optimized PC, but even then they're brutally high. (The DD manticore encounter is a good example where the optimized stealth character had a 35% chance of success.)

Other skill checks are also weirdly difficult for specialists, which makes them nearly impossible for everyone else. Because the swing between "untrained" and "best possible" is so short a road, I'd rather see the tuning be for the middle of that range instead of the best possible.

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I don't necessarily think "punching above their level" is how I'd put it, but I agree with the sentiment. Right now, the tuning is very bad. At the table I was running for DD2, the players tried to stealth past the manticore with its 23, but the rogue optimized for stealth had only a +9. They failed. Badly. Even then, having everyone in the group roll for stealth is a generally poor option as the variability of the dice will, as mentioned above, give you natural ones quite often.

In the end, that's two problems.

Problem #1 is that collective checks (especially in Exploration mode) are a terrible idea.

Problem #2 is that the tuning such that an optimized character succeeds on of-level tasks 50% of the time is also terrible.

I'd like to see Problem #1 addressed by something more like the way trailblazing was handled in DD2. One PC rolls for the group (as long as they're moving together) and that's how well the tactic works.

For Problem #2, I'd really like the skill DCs to shift toward a 70% success rate for of-level challenges. 70% is good enough that the optimized character is reliable, the not terrible person is still worth rolling for (at 50-60%), and there's still a chance of failure in there.

Liberty's Edge

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Draco18s wrote:
Just so you're aware, that directly contradicts the various things the designers have said in various places.

People keep saying that, but most of the statements I've seen on the matter contradict each other, too. In the absence of something clear and (preferably) written down as errata, I'm going to go with what's actually in the book.

Liberty's Edge

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ThatGuySteve wrote:
Same bonus to AC as a heavy shield and a free attack at full attack bonus? Compared to the modest damage reduction at the cost of dents that shield offer, this seems quite powerful.

The penalty should probably be higher. Making it -4/-5 would probably be a little more acceptable.

Ideally, the AC should only be against melee attacks, but that's an extra layer of complication the system probably doesn't need. Still, the action cost and bonus would match up with the heavy shield for a parrying weapon. This, in turn, makes the more desirable weapon for AC be less desirable for damaging someone (since the listed Parry weapons are all 1d4 weapons).

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Hampered is fine, but if you don't have a reliable source of magical (or at least alchemical) healing, your recovery time is painfully long. Natural healing is really slow, though it does get a bit better at higher levels if you bump your CON. Even with the downtime feats, you're looking at having to take a couple of days out of the adventure to patch up if someone gets knocked down and you don't have something magical to put them back to full.

Even that's much faster than reality, but it doesn't sound especially fun to deal with.

I'd really like to see more classes with good bonus healing like clerics have now.

Liberty's Edge

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FedoraFerret wrote:
I have important feedback: the errata documents need to highlight or otherwise mark new changes from the last version.

It actually does, just badly. When you're going through the long list of changes, the "Page xx" part of the entries are bolded for the newest updates. It is entirely too subtle and you are correct that it definitely needs to be called out better.

Liberty's Edge

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I managed to get the new file by doing the following:

1) I logged out.
2) I shut down the browser I was using (Firefox).
3) I opened a new browser (Chrome).
4) Signed in and downloaded the correct file.

It's also quite possible they fixed it on the server end and I just feel like the above fixed it.

Liberty's Edge

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Huh... I'm also getting the old file. I suspect that there's some caching going on somewhere.

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Draco18s wrote:
swordchucks wrote:
I like the way it is in the book. The shield takes damage up to its hardness. If the damage equals the hardness, it takes a dent.
Sooo...only ever one dent?

Yep. The shield only ever takes damage equal to or less than its hardness.

Consider this case:

You have a 5 hardness shield raised and use it to Block an attack for 10 damage.

p255 wrote:
Your shield prevents you from taking an amount of damage up to the shield’s Hardness—the shield takes this damage instead, possibly becoming dented or broken.

and

p175 wrote:
If the item takes damage equal to or greater than twice its Hardness in one hit, it takes 2 Dents.

Obviously, your Shield Block reduces the damage by 5 and the shield takes 5. What happens next is where the confusion/debate comes in.

I say that, exactly as written above, your shield takes the damage it prevents and nothing more. This has a built in limit of one dent.

The other case is that the shield takes all ten damage and that you also take the damage in excess of hardness. This leads to a weird case where both you and the shield are taking the same damage points. If that is the actual intention of the rules, they need to add a lot of text to clarify it because that's not how anything works anywhere else.

Having it be one-dent-per-block makes shield block actually worthwhile. Your base shield can be used to block once per combat without worry. Your magic shield can block twice (or more for the higher level ones). Paladins can get three or four before it breaks, which is really potent and makes that Ally equivalent to the other two.

Liberty's Edge

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So, TWF has been a contentious topic since the Playtest started, and for some decent reasons. As it stands now, TWF isn't a great option. It sucks up extra actions to draw the second blade and the benefit is lukewarm, at best. So, based on the assumption that real world two-weapon fighting was mostly a defensive practice and that we want fighting styles to feel viable and distinct without having to spend feats on them, I'd like to propose that the following basic action and reaction be added. I'd also like to propose a tweak to Interact.

(1 action) Offhand-Parrying Stance
You ready your offhand weapon to parry incoming attacks. You gain a +1 bonus to AC as a circumstance bonus (or +2 if the offhand weapon has the Parrying trait) and can use the Exploit Opening reaction.
Your Offhand-Parrying Stance remains until the start of your next turn.

(reaction) Exploit Opening
Trigger: An opponent misses you with a melee weapon attack or melee touch attack.
You make an attack with your offhand weapon against the triggering opponent. This attack is at -2 unless you are using a weapon with the Parrying trait.

For Interact, I would like to see the wording changed such that you can draw a number of weapons equal to your number of free hands. This would obviously help the TWFer, but it would help some classes that rely on thrown weapons, as well.

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Ephfive wrote:
From Item damage description (pg. 175): "An item reduces any damage dealt to it by its hardness."

That was originally true, but that line was removed by either the 1.0 or 1.1 errata. It could always change again, though.

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I honestly don't get the distinction in most RPGs. The amount of roleplaying has very little to do with the system and everything to do with the group and the GM's focus for the game. It's true that certain games will attract certain types of players that might also have certain preferences in RP content, but that's neither here nor there.

In truth, the game I played with the highest amount of RP content was D&D4e. Yeah, that sounds strange, but it was true. You see, my group did not enjoy the combat in D&D4e that much. Because our sessions ran kind of short (3-3.5 hours), a combat would easily consume half of our play time. Thus, no one wanted to fight, which meant we went to great lengths to RP our way around combat.

From that, I conclude that the best way to have a game with a ROLE focus is to have the ROLL be extremely painful in some way. In D&D4, it was because the actual act of combat wasn't enjoyable for us. In GURPS, it's usually because any random fight can get you killed. Heck, in PF2 so far, the TPK rate from a handful of goblins has been enough that you'd be well advised to avoid combat there, too.

In the end, I don't think most people that trot out the ROLE/ROLL argument are actually after what they think they are after.

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There are a few things I don't like about druids as they are:

1) Wild Shape's tie to Strength is just weird since actual forms don't use Strength (without a magic item, anyway). I personally think the separate pool should die and wild shape forms just be uses of Spell Pool like every other class. Let the Wild Order combine their claws ability with wild shaping by spending an extra spell pool point as one action (and make sure the claws count in wild shape).

2) If clerics are going to have a special healing pool, all druids should get a pool for casting heightened goodberry. This would go a long way toward making druids a viable healer class. Goodberry should also get its healing increased a bit as it's very, very low compared to heal.

3) Not strictly a druid issue, but a lot of the wording about how animal companions work needs to be cleaned up. Do you have to Handle? Etc.

I'm sure there are more, but my limited play experience hasn't shown them to me yet.

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I like the way it is in the book. The shield takes damage up to its hardness. If the damage equals the hardness, it takes a dent. Any damage in excess of hardness hits you. By a strict reading of Shield Block, this is how it works. There have been some "clarifications" that have muddied the waters a bit, but unless there's errata, it should work as above. By the wording of the trigger, you should also know how much the damage is before you choose to block. If you use it carefully, you can potentially get a lot of damage reduction out of it.

It also makes Quick Repair and Crafting very important to invest in as those short downtimes to use healing skills, etc., can also be used to get your dents back.

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breithauptclan wrote:

1. The current playtest rules.

Pro: [...]the players will have, at minimum, a moderate chance of success.

I honestly don't think the playtest is bearing this point out as it is right now. In Scenario 2 of DD, my players decided to make a stealthy approach for a certain part. They each needed to roll stealth against DC23 to succeed. The PC that was optimized for stealth had a +9. The rest were significantly worse. They failed, of course, which would have been alright if they'd been expected to fail, but the scenario is written as though stealth was a valid, achievable tactic.

Now, if they also fix the DCs to not be quite so insane, sure. However, the numbers are currently messed up.

The design with the current system should be that you have two types of challenges.

The static challenges are those that are just part of the world. They shouldn't get harder, so a group of PCs that is increasing their skills every level will become more and more able to circumvent them. Climbing a rough rock wall? A real challenge at level 1. A trivial event at level 20.

The dynamic challenges are those presented by leveled threats like monsters and traps. These are currently savagely overtuned as I mentioned above. These are the things where players shouldn't really get much better, in relative terms, by level.

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bro1017 wrote:
(And for reference, a natural 20 on a Strike is a critical hit regardless of AC)

You made me go look it up... and I don't think that's right.

Rulebook p292 wrote:

However, if you succeed and rolled a 20 on the die (often called a “natural 20”), or if your result is equal to or greater than the DC plus 10, you critically succeed.

...
If your enemy is far more powerful than you or a task beyond your abilities, you might roll a natural 20 and still get a result lower than the DC. In this case, you succeed instead of critically succeed or fail. If you lack the proficiency for a task in the first place, or it’s impossible, you might still fail on a natural 20.

Unless I'm missing something, if you roll a 20 and it's not enough to hit (but you are proficient in your attack), you just get a regular hit.

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bro1017 wrote:
You are basing your calculations on even-level enemies, but 75% of the time you'll be fighting enemies at least a couple levels below yourself.

I hear that said a lot, but my main playtest experience has been running Doomsday Dawn where there tend to be several equal level and usually a level +2 or +3 critter in each scenario. It's those fights that usually end up with dead PCs, which makes them the ones more interesting from a design standpoint. If we're talking about number of encounters, I don't think the number is anywhere near 75% of the time that the highest level monster is of lower level to the PCs.

As for whether the analysis holds up... sort of? To actually do that analysis is another thing. You need to look at each class and each armor case, individually. It probably isn't useful when discussing between classes, which is how this chart started out.

However, it's a good question, and one I spent some time on just now. The answer seems to be that the numbers will change by 5-10% between each level. It takes a whole chart to do one case, though, so I only did two:

Paladin in Heavy Armor to be Hit
Paladin in Heavy Armor to be Crit
Rogue in Light Armor to be Hit
Rogue in Light Armor to be Crit

(Note: I didn't actually look up the rules on the bottom end of crits. I assumed it was that a 20 always hits but only crits if it also succeeds, but I didn't confirm that.)

ErichAD wrote:
Shields and other circumstance AC bonuses may not be something you want in the base analysis. Shields stack with cover, screening, prone, crane style, giant bane, parry(and variants), shield(and variants), deflect arrows, nimble dodge, and I think that's it. There's probably a spell or two.

They weren't part of the initial analysis, but I ended up putting them in here because they're more reliable and less situational than other things. The way they changed the crit numbers was very interesting, too, and prompted me to leave them there, but it's also why I left them pulled out as their own thing in separate sections. A criticism that I'll agree with is that the analysis column on the right side of the AC chart should have an "Armor Only" and "Armor + Shields" column. Shields somewhat skew the answers to the current one and you have to mentally back them out when looking at the delta.

ErichAD wrote:
So it may be or accurate to say; if you don't want to be crit, get to cover or carry a shield.

That's a fair statement, but the availability of cover isn't assured. There are several fights in Doomsday Dawn where a melee character cannot expect to find cover, for instance. There are a few where no one can find cover.

ErichAD wrote:
The lack of higher proficiencies in light and medium armor is annoying. I'm sure its a balancing point somewhere, but I quite like lighter armors and would prefer there be some way to be really good with them.

I've come to the conclusion that the "default" case should be hide armor. Hide armor is the highest armor bonus you can get without any kind of movement penalty and it doesn't require a dexterity higher than 18 to get the full benefit from it. Armor that gives you more penalties than hide should provide better statistics in some way. Armor that provides fewer penalties than hide (either because it requires a lower grade proficiency or has a lower check penalty) provides less. I'm very fine with heavy armor getting you a couple of points of AC over the guy in hide.

Cellion wrote:
You're missing the +2 DEX @14th level from Anklets of Alacrity, which would apply to any DEX-maximizing class that doesn't hit a max dex cap. That'll bump up monks a little at higher levels.

I discarded it in my initial analysis because under the (item level +1) rule it doesn't show up until the other classes were already capping dex to armor. I'd feel comfortable adding it to the monk, I think, but that's the only class that would be likely to reliably take it and have it affect their AC.

Cellion wrote:
Additionally, people not using light,med,or heavy armor can still raise a shield (particularly relevant is the shield cantrip).

That's true, but I had to draw the line on cases somewhere ;)

Liberty's Edge

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I'm not big on theorycrafting, in general, but I like benchmarks. Benchmarks help me to understand things and can be used to inform discussions about things. On the FB group, I got deep into a discussion of monks and armor class was being discussed. Out of curiosity, I ran some numbers and it ended up becoming a more robust analysis.

TL;DR version: The more armor you wear, the better off you are. The overall range of ACs is fairly small. Shields can help a lot and push critical range more meaningfully than being-hit range.

Assumptions

Dexterity:

I ranked Dexterity in four grades. For analysis, I've assumed that PCs will maximize their dexterity to the extent that it benefits their AC. In practice, this is the number that will vary the most among players, though it probably won't vary by more than a couple of points.

A: A class with Dexterity as a Key Ability and the intention of pushing it as high as possible
B: A class without Dexterity as a Key Ability that still intends to push it as high as possible
C: A class intending to use medium armor with no other main use for Dexterity
D: A class intending to use heavy armor with no other main use for Dexterity

Proficiency:

There are only three classes that get any special training in defense, though two of those have two different progressions for different types of armor (well, fighters technically have three). It is beyond the scope of this analysis to cover characters that gain proficiency through anything other than base class features (such as the Fighter Dedication feat).

A: Most classes with no special increases beyond Trained.
B: Fighters with heavy armor (E at 11, M at 15)
C: Fighters with medium armor (E at 15)
D: Monks without armor (E at 1, M at 13, L at 17)
E: Paladins with heavy armor (E at 7, M at 13, L at 17)
F: Paladins with light or medium armor (E at 13, M at 17)

Armor Options:

In all cases, I assume that the PC will obtain an item when their character level is one greater than its item level. There will obviously be some variation in this in play, but it feels like a reasonable assumption. Mage Armor (as a heightened spell) is presented as an option, but the steep cost of using this option makes it unlikely that most characters would want to go that rotue.

B: Bracers of Armor
S: Mage Armor Spell (fully heightened)
L: Light Armor (Studded Leather or Chain Shirt, 5 max dex)
M: Medium Armor (Breastplate or Chainmail, but it is viable to switch to hide at level 5 by bumping Dex to compensate)
H: Heavy Armor (Half-Plate is the general consideration here, though full plate works the same)

Classes:

For all classes, I'm assuming that the PC is not using a "bad defense" option. For instance, I'm ignoring the strength-based monk and the unarmored barbarian in this analysis. You can fairly easily determine what their progression would look like by taking the closest progression and subtracting 1-3 points from it. I also include a column called The Worst, which represents a Dexterity 10 character that doesn't wear armor, which is most useful to show the consequences on the to-be-hit and to-be-crit charts.

Alchemists: B/A/L
Barbarian: B/A/L or C/A/M
Bard: B/A/L
Cleric: B/A/L or C/A/M
Druid: B/A/L (assumed Studded Leather is non-metal) or C*/A/M* (Assumed Dex bump at level 5)
Fighter: A/A/L or C/C/M or D/B/H
Monk: A/D/B
Paladin: B/F/L or C/F/M or D/E/H
Ranger: A/A/L or C/A/M
Rogue: A/A/L
Sorcerer: B/A/B or B/A/S
Wizard: B/A/B or B/A/S

Analysis

AC: https://i.imgur.com/nDQCxRf.jpg
To-Be-Hit: https://i.imgur.com/yWXTf1p.jpg
To-Be-Crit: https://i.imgur.com/J5ybDfE.jpg

Among armored characters (and monks), the AC divide is about two points at low levels and three at higher levels. Shields widen this gap to four and five, respectively. In play, I would expect this gap to be as much as two points wider, though I suspect a single point is more likely (which would account for a 16 on a class with Dexterity as a Key Ability or a 14 on anyone else).

In terms of being hit, most characters will get hit 60-75% of the time by an of-level monster's first attack in a round. Shields mitigate this somewhat, but overall hit rates go up slightly as levels increase with occasional weird hiccups (probably caused by the limited dataset for monsters).

Critical hits were the most interesting chart for me because it showed one thing very clearly. If you don't want to be crit, raise a shield.

Limitations
Obviously, there are some pretty big limitations in this analysis. I didn't consider absolutely every case that could be out there (the wizard with the Fighter Dedication or the Animal Barbarian fighting in a loincloth or the strength-based monk are notable examples). I also don't have numbers that conclusively say what Dexterity ends up being in play. Finally, the hit and crit charts relied on data collected on this forum by LuniasM which can only be as good as the monsters we currently have to go from.

Please note any errors in assumptions or math, and I'll discuss and/or correct them.

Liberty's Edge

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Even without Shield Block, which is the only confusing bit, shields are worth using. The +2 AC might not seem like a lot, but the tuning is such that an of-level monster often gets pushed to a 5% crit rate by it.

Liberty's Edge

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This feels like a red herring.

From the analysis, the overwhelming factor is the weapon damage dice. The static modifier is important at the lowest levels but rapidly loses relevance as levels go on.

The extension of this question becomes "what do you get in exchange for having worse damage dice?" That... honestly should probably come from combat options and class feats, not raw damage output.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm terrible about giving out Hero Points, so I've actually given them to the players to hand out. If another player does something awesome in character, one PC can give them a Hero Point and in doing so gets a Hero Point for themselves. This leads to people hamming it up when things are going badly, which amuses me greatly.

Liberty's Edge

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I also would bring back "take 10" pretty fast (and get rid of most of the multiple-roll skill checks, too), but the biggest house rule I'm going with when I start in on a true homegame and not a playtest is:

The GM very rarely rolls any dice.

Not only do I hate the idea of Secret checks, but with the rare exception (mostly for things like Trapspotter/Trapfinding) I don't want to roll against the players, at all. You want to fireball a monster? Roll a spell attack against its save+10. You are getting attacked by a monster? Roll your defense (basically AC-10). You're hurt? Well, roll the damage against you, too.

The players get to control very little in the game and the idea that I should be busily rolling dice behind the screen and chuckling to myself is a bad old notion that should just die.

I know there are other systems out there that do this (though they have their own problems), but PF2 is pretty easy to accomplish it in with only a few minor tweaks.

Liberty's Edge

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I feel like the following changes would be interesting:

1) Increase the first level feats to 2-3.

2) Include more Heritage Feats to represent the in-born stuff.

3) Have a distinct feat-chain for many of the Heritages to improve them. So a dwarf with magic resistance might be able to use a reaction to reroll a save against a magical effect at higher level or the like.

4) Have a pool of other feats for cultural things that an elf could realistically pick up later. Weapon training is a good example of this.

5) Do something to normalize Darkvision and its value over the races. Right now, it feels like Darkvision is valued very haphazardly (goblins vs. halflings, for instance).

6) Dwarves getting Unburdened is... odd. It's the only core racial ability we see, and there's no good reason for them to have it while no one else does.

Really for 5 and 6, I feel like having a race builder type system for the races from day one (and not the kludged-together-backwards version we had in PF1) would be a solid choice from a game design standpoint. There's no reason playable races shouldn't all be designed in the same manner (not that they should all be the same, just balanced against each other).

Liberty's Edge

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Asking someone to sit out several rounds is a pretty crappy experience.

As it stands, you lose at least a round due to having to stand up, regain your dropped stuff, and being slowed. Sitting out longer just isn't fun.

I do agree that the wording still needs some adjustment. The bit about healing and losing the dying condition needs to be cleaned up. The big about "gaining" dying 1 and 2 from a hit doesn't jive with the taking damage while down rules.

Liberty's Edge

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Well, you'd now roll against Society to know about towns and the like. The problem with Lore is that lore is both a specialized knowledge skill and a replacement for profession. It feels like the profession side should be emphasized more than the knowledge side, since that's the main way it gets used outside of the rare few like Lore: Planes that has broad application.

As for why you can't increase it, you can increase it slightly, but until the changes to signature skills materialize you can't increase it very far. Not that you'd want to because Lore: Podunk is really only useful to a local politician or something.

Liberty's Edge

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I still don't understand the "clarification". According to the text of shield block, the shield only takes the damage that it stops. This makes sense, and is what the action actually says. It also means that you'll never have a shield take two dents since it's not possible to block more damage than its hardness (which after the recent errata is one dent).

Where does this other idea that you look at the total damage come from? It feels like this is needlessly complicated and punishing as well as being weird in that the same points of damage are basically hitting two things (the shield and you).

Liberty's Edge

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I think take 10 should just come back, at this point. Not having it is making a lot of stuff much more complicated than it should be.

The first old problem with "take 10" is that people would get crazy-high skill results without needing to roll. Those are pretty much gone and the bounded numbers mean that you're still going to have roll for anything difficult.

The second old problem with "take 10" is that it was unevenly applied because some GMs were very, very harsh about what "not in immediate danger or distracted" meant. Drop the restriction entirely and just give every action you take with "take 10" the "manipulate" trait (which would trigger AoOs and make it disruptable).

I say this having seen how hard it was for a dex-based monk to climb a wall in the playtest.

Liberty's Edge

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Alternate title: Acid Flasks, how do they work?

So, I've been running the playtest for my group and have come across an odd bit of a question. In particular, when a player uses a weapon like an Acid Flask, which does 1d4 persistent damage, how is damage applied?

As near as I can tell, the player hits with the flask and this applies the Persistent Damage (1d4 Acid) effect to his target, but does no immediate damage. At the end of the target's next turn, they roll 1d4 acid damage and then roll the flat check to save against the acid as per the Persistent Damage effect. It seems to lead to a strange case where it is occasionally better to miss with the acid flask (so the target takes the immediate splash damage) instead of hitting.

Is that how it's supposed to work?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I'm cool with Thievery being the check, it just needs to be put into the skill as a use. "Delicate Manipulation" or something that can be done untrained. It is something that comes up often enough to get its own entry.

Liberty's Edge

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So... I thought I knew how Agile worked, then someone changed my mind, and now someone else has just left me confused. I'm seeing it both ways.

Page 180 wrote:
Agile The multiple attack penalty you take on the second attack each turn with this weapon is –4 instead of –5, and –8 instead of –10 on the third and subsequent attacks in the turn.

The confusion is with the clauses surrounding "multiple attack penalty" and "with this weapon".

Is does this trait mean:

If you are suffering multiple attack penalties, you reduce them when using this weapon.

OR

If you use this weapon multiple times in the round, the attack penalties are reduced (but only when the weapon is involved).

So, for instance, if you had a Club in one hand and a Dagger in the other, would a three strike routine look like this:

Club +0 / Dagger -4 / Dagger -8

Or

Club +0 / Dagger -5 / Dagger -? (9?)

I'm starting to lean toward the former reading at this point because it seems to work better at the end, but I'm still confused and would very much advocate for the trait to be reworded a little.

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