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Mark Seifter wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
What about Single Target spells? Are they going to be doing significantly more than the AOE ones?

Yes, definitely, or adding riders effects, or both.

Your 1 best spell should be able to nearly oneshot 1 creature of equivalent CR (assuming bosses are still higher CR than APL).
But not that far. One shotting yourself / your own level means a really hard encounter with three casters at the party's level is going to wipe out 3/4 of the party if the enemies manage to act first (and conversely, the party with three casters will wipe out the entire encounter if they go first). That's an unpleasant level of glass-cannony rocket tag that we're trying to avoid.
I thought equal CR encounters were supposed to be pretty trivial. That's like 1 single NPC Wizard of party level +1? It better oneshot someone on their first turn, because that's all it's getting.
An encounter with three creatures of your level is a boss-tier challenge in PF2 (and also PF1 if we replace level with CR); a boss fight should not take down 3/4 of the party if the party rolls poorly on initiative or all die before they can act if the party rolls high on initiative. A single creature of your level is a cakewalk warmup fight like those eight ogres in PF2 (the way PF1 talks about a CR=APL fights implies they are 'Average' but still pretty easy, but they're pretty much cakewalks in PF1 too).

Just curious, (I know this is off topic) what will be a good campaign ending final boss level where the chances of party success are about 50%? APL+3?

Mark Seifter wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
MadMars wrote:

As long as the sorcerer gets a heck of a lot more spells per day than anyone else and retains the really flavorful bloodline mechanics in some form, I'm good.

They're going to get 5 spells per day, one more than specialist Wizards, just like in PF1. But there it was a 20% advantage (less after bonus spells), here it'll be 25%.

Weirdly, sorcerers didn't have as much of an advantage over specialist wizards in slots per day as it seemed they did in PF1, and actually had fewer spells per day at some levels.

Odd levels starting at 3rd: PF1 sorcerers don't have the new top wizard spell level, and PF1 specialists do, with 3-4 spells at that level depending on Int. The sorcerer has 2 more spells of the specialist's third-highest level, and 1 more spell of all other levels.

Even levels: PF1 sorcerers have equal spells of the specialist's highest level, 2 more spells of the specialist's third-highest level and 1 more spell of other levels.

Not being ahead of the specialist in top level spells at any level, not even the even levels, was a little sad for the sorcerer.

So it seems like you guys will be addressing those issues...

How much longer until we get the Sorcerer Blog?

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Mark Seifter wrote:
thflame wrote:

Martial characters SHOULD have access to viable crowd control options, or "AOE-esque" abilities. Maybe in the form of a "ground pound" that creates a small earthquake, or by firing a volley of arrows, or doing a massive spin swing that covers a small area, or creating a pressure wave with their sword swing that covers a small arc in front of them.
And all of the abilities you listed are available to various martial characters, along with others besides. But unlimited use AoEs (for both martials and spellcasters) aren't as strong as the spellcaster's very top spell for the day, nor should they be. We know how many of those the wizard gets a day (4, or 5 if a specialist because of the 1 arcane bond). That's not enough to use them every round with impunity. It makes more sense for an unlimited-use AoE to be lower damage than that. But if a fighter had a dragon breath ability for some reason (draconic heritage as part of ancestry? I don't know, this isn't a real ability that a fighter would have in the playtest) that he could use once an hour, there's no reason that couldn't deal damage more like a top-tier spell. It's about whether you can use something without limit (or as you correctly pointed out in another section of your post, effectively without limit like PF1's casters turned out, problematically, to be able to do at high levels) versus something that is limited use, not about which class gets it.

So I take it that this means that wizards will be running out of spells somewhat frequently?

Wizards will have to ration their spells if they want to have them when they count?

Wizards that "go nova" are going to be near-useless later?

Wizards that want a ton of utility spells at the ready are NOT going to also be able to contribute to combat effectively (outside of whatever combat utility those spells offer)?

If these are true, then this would be awesome, but I have my doubts.

Jhaeman wrote:
I don't care so much how the spells are cast, but more on whether attention is paid to make sure whatever spells exist don't completely usurp the skill sets of other PCs. If charm person is too easy, there's not much point in being really good at Diplomacy; if invisibility is too easy, there's not much point in being really good at Stealth; if spider climb is too easy, why did I invest in . . . etc., etc. These sorts of low-level "automatic win" utility spells have always annoyed me.


I don't care if a wizard has access to invisibility, or Spider Climb, or Charm Person, but when they can have access to ALL of these, plus the ability to dish out good AOE damage and single target damage (compared to what their martial counterparts can do) then we have a problem.

I don't want to ban such spells from wizards, I just want there to be a REAL trade off to taking these spells.

Or maybe change these spells to not be an instant win, but just a bonus to the relevant skills.

For example, Charm Person makes a person like you more, it doesn't instantly make them friendly. The shopkeeper you just cast Charm Person on isn't going to instantly give you a discount, but you get a bonus on the Diplomacy Check to get a discount.

A wizard should start out with limitless potential, but end up being the best at a specific thing, passable at a bunch of things, or somewhere in between.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
An actual martial character could be doing something more complicated than that, though, also without spending resources.

But are the wizard's resources limited enough that it matters? If The wizard can drop a dozen spells a day that can either debilitate a combat to the point of trivializing it or outright ending it, yet they only ever see 4-6 encounters in a day, it doesn't matter that the fighter can swing his sword as much as he wants, as he is only going to get to swing his sword as much as the wizard lets him.

Either way, they are not going to outshine the wizard who threw a max level AoE spell into this AoE friendly fight, as it should be.

I don't like this logic, at least not if it applies to ALL wizards.

Martial characters SHOULD have access to viable crowd control options, or "AOE-esque" abilities. Maybe in the form of a "ground pound" that creates a small earthquake, or by firing a volley of arrows, or doing a massive spin swing that covers a small area, or creating a pressure wave with their sword swing that covers a small arc in front of them.

Sure, the wizard who specializes in dropping AOE firestorms or blizzards may do better than the fighter in relevant situations, (seeing as the fighter has a beefier chassis) but that wizard shouldn't also be able to drop effective single target spells AND have a spell to trivialize STR based skill checks AND be able to dispel magical traps, etc.

Nothing shown here seems to limit a caster's ability to have, not only an answer for every situation, but an OPTIMAL one as well.

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N N 959 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
We hope that will make them more exciting and useful in a wide variety of circumstances.

A couple of weeks ago,, I believe the issue of martial / caster disparity was acknowledged. One of the downside of casting is that you had to pick spells and then sometimes those spells weren't useful/needed. Now, it sounds like that will no longer be an issue because you can always heighten some lower level spell. From reading this blog and the tenor of Paizo's response,, it appears that Paizo has gone out of its way to make casters even more capable and you're quite excited about it.

So where is the counter-balance? Where are those things that stop Wizards from covering everyone's roll in the party and then some?

I'm sure you're aware of a certain high tier scenario where the players have to battle some high level caster. That scenario has a hard mode that essentially TPKs frequently. Well, a player posted that he and a group of casters were going to attempt it. He talked about his prep and the prep of the other PCs. He completed the scenario and said it was way easier (on hard mode) than he had thought. The casters were able crush it due to the spells at their disposal. No one's done the same thing with a group of martials, that I'm aware of. Certainly not six Fighters or six Rangers or any mix of the two.

What has changed in 2e so that six casters can't routinely do stuff that six martials can't even dream of doing?


If wizards are going to be able to do anything they want with magic, whats the point in playing a martial?

I'm okay with wizards being able to warp reality, turn into a dragon, conjure armies, rain down hellfire, and dominate cities, but those should all be different wizards who, when they need to do something else, are about as useful as an old guy with a stick.

Mewzard wrote:
thflame wrote:

Choosing between Counter Spell and a Familiar seems odd to me.

Can a wizard still counter spell the old way? (Prepare an action to do so)

Also, can a wizard pick up a familiar later if they pick counter spell at first level?

Why wouldn't you be able to pick either option later? You don't have to pick any of those at first level if you don't want to, but nothing implies they're locked to level 1.

Hell, one of the Devs specifically noted you could pick up both familiar and arcane bond, which used to compete. No reason you can't have both here as well.

Also, reaction countering spells would be vastly better than preparing an action only for the opposing wizard doing something else.

Arcane Bond is a guaranteed base ability of a wizard. Counterspell and Familiar are feats. The reason why you can have both an Arcane Bond AND a Familiar is because one is given to you for free and the other is a feat.

We also have zero confirmation that you can pick lower level class feats later in place of higher level ones.

My thoughts:

I'll second the idea that the mechanical implementation of the Universalist and Specialist wizards grants reversed effect flavor.

They both get 4 spells per level, but the Universalist's extra spell has to be one that they already cast, while the Specialist's extra spell can effectively be ANY spell if they already wanted to prepare a spell of their specialized school.

Choosing between Counter Spell and a Familiar seems odd to me.

Can a wizard still counter spell the old way? (Prepare an action to do so)

Also, can a wizard pick up a familiar later if they pick counter spell at first level?

I was REALLY hoping that Vancian magic would go die in a fire. D&D has slaughtered that sacred cow, we can too. Preparing spells is fine, but it's much more simple of you let players cast spontaneously from the list they prepared.

Also, letting wizards scribe spells into their books at little to no cost is one of the BIGGEST flaws with the wizard. It trivializes their spells known list as they can just throw some coin at a merchant in town and learn new spells whenever they like.

Learning new spells outside of leveling up just shouldn't happen. Maybe give wizards a feat to learn A SINGLE new spell over their normal amount.

You could fix the lack of caster dependency on STR by limiting the number of spells a caster can know/cast in a day as well as the duration of the offending utility spells.

You could prepare a ton of utility spells to avoid all STR based encounters as a wizard, or you could have a decent STR score and use those slots for other spells.

I suppose that the fighter could just carry the wizard's harness and inner tube, but how much mockery is the fighter going to endure so the wizard can min-max his stats?

As for CHA on a martial character, I'd bet Resonance will be enough to fix that.

I'm pretty sure it has been hinted at that any magic weapon that does more than just extra damage dice will cost Resonance to activate. That fighter that dumped CHA to 6 will get 2 less swings with his flaming sword than the fighter that has 10 CHA. At a certain point, if the STR based fighter was interested in purely more damage, he would probably end up WEAKER just by not being able to use special abilities as much.

Imagine if Speed grants you an extra Attack Action at no penalty, but requires Resonance to activate? What min-max power-gaming fighter is going to dump CHA now?

What if Keen adds an extra damage die on a crit, but only if you burn a point of Resonance?

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The OP hit a lot of what I'd have liked to have seen i PF2.

I wanted "Pathfinder, Version 2.0", not a brand new system with Pathfinder's name on it.

Fix some bugs, unnecessarily complex rules (grappling) and re-balance the classes/spells/feats.

I also wanted ULTIMATE customization, in the form of a "classless" option, where you "buy" class features from any list by spending feats and meeting prerequisites.

I really want homebrew guidelines in either the CRB, or a Homebrew Handbook.

Finally, I wanted rules that were loose enough that characters can do anything that sounds physically possible (or magically if they have the ability) without the rules getting in the way. The LAST thing I want to do is tell a player "no' because the rules specifically forbid an action when "realistically" they would totally be able to do it.

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The good:

Ability Modifiers instead of Ability Scores. That makes tweaking monsters a lot easier. (Why wasn't this done for PCs?)

The bad:

I'd really like to see where the numbers for AC, TAC, etc. come from. It makes tweaking stats easier.

Overall no HUGE complaints, except...

I am starting to see a theme here where EVERYTHING takes an action. While unifying the rules does make things easier to learn, I fear that being TOO reliant on the action mechanics is going to lead to the "one size fits all" problem. I'd really like to see a clause in the Interact Action that allows you to take the action simultaneously with another action, so long as it makes sense.

For instance, grabbing a potion (or bomb for an alchemist) out of your belt pouch with one hand while you open a door with the other.

Mechanically speaking, I tend to have issues with spellcaster utility late game.

Have a wide access to utility spells makes it difficult to build a dungeon that makes sense and can't just be trivialized with spells like teleport, spider climb, fly, etc.

I hate the idea that I have to have the BBEG paint his dungeon walls with lead based paint just to stop the party caster from scrying on his location and teleporting to his dungeon. If I don't, the dungeon is trivialized, but if I do, the caster feels like they wasted their spells.

I'd like to see the following done to address this:

1) Utility spells become "ritual" casts to prevent their spamming in combat.

2) Number of spells per day limited at later levels to force casters to pick and choose when they want to trivialize an obstacle.

3) Number of spells known reduced so that full casters don't always have an easy solution.

I know people probably won't agree with this, but that's just my opinion.

Wermut wrote:
thflame wrote:

I'd like some spells that are designed to be channeled through a weapon for Gish characters.

Perhaps a generic "Arcane Strike" spell that grants the user some extra damage dice to his attacks for one round.

Then, maybe have spells that poisons, elements, or hexes to weapon attacks.

While I like the thought, I wonder what would be more practical spells like this or a feature that allows using spells this way.

If you were allowed to make an attack roll as part of the cast, it probably wouldn't be too weak.

As far as having "spellstrike" feats that could work, but the limitations on these have been pretty bad historically, (except for 3.5's spellsword, which had zero restrictions and led to questions about what happens if I spellstrike with something like Create Undead).

Unicore wrote:
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?

This would be an acceptable solution. If an 18 was hard to get at level 1 without dumping stats, then 18 would just be the new 20.

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?

No, not at all. I have no problems with there being a cap, I have a problem with the cap being easily reachable and thus making characters that are "exceptional" at specific things pretty much impossible.

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?

If it doesn't break the rest of the system, then that could work, but I am betting that the game is being designed around PCs having a net +9 modifier on their stats.

If it wouldn't break the game, perhaps starting all stats at 8 instead of 10 and allowing the floating +2 from Ancestry to "stack" with your racial bonuses. This brings everyone down to a net +3 in modifiers, but that's probably much too weak given the rest of the system.

I feel like allowing a +5 modifier at the cost of reducing another stat by 2 would be much less likely to break the game, while adding some much needed flavor and customization.

I'd like some spells that are designed to be channeled through a weapon for Gish characters.

Perhaps a generic "Arcane Strike" spell that grants the user some extra damage dice to his attacks for one round.

Then, maybe have spells that poisons, elements, or hexes to weapon attacks.

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gustavo iglesias wrote:
thflame wrote:

It isn't a mechanical edge over the other PCs, because you are paying for it. A theoretical PF2 character array of (18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8), being changed to (20, 16, 14, 12, 10, 6) isn't going to be substantially better than other PCs. This character will be 5% better in one area and 5% worse in another area. With the exception of a Wizard/Sorcerer dumping STR, you will notice.

that's not true.

20 Dec VS 6 charisma instead of 18 - 8, is better in several stuff that are important (like AC, initiative, REF, ranged attack, in PF1 CMD...) in exchange for nothing at all.
I was not going to make any diplomacy roll with cha 8, so I would not bother. Cha 6 dies not change that.

Once you made the decision to ignore a subset of rolls (like social), because you don't care or like that part of the game, that stat is free to dump.

Think on this: I give your fighter +1 melee damage for every - 1 to concentration checks. Would you take it? Is it balanced?

CHA affects magic item use now, so a character with 6 CHA can't use potions reliably or equip magic items until level 2.

Next, a GM should not allow a player to avoid skill checks. If you let a player dump a stat and don't let that stat effect them, then you are essentially giving them free points.

Perhaps the patron for your current quest desires a one-on-one interview with the whole party? Now the 6 CHA fighter has to make a Diplomacy Check that effects his cut.

Or perhaps a city requires every passing traveler to give a reason before entering. Your 6 CHA fighter is going to have a harder time gaining entry into the city.

Finally, maybe a drunken inn patron starts a confrontation with your 6 CHA fighter and his attempt to deescalate the situation causes the opposite and the bar fight that ensues ends with him spending the night in jail.

The reason why I say STR for casters is a safe dump is that at high enough levels, a caster is going to have spells that let them avoid STR based checks, but then again, those casters will HAVE to select spells that allow them to avoid STR based checks and prepare them in their limited slots (remember, the Cleric only get's 3 per spell level now and bonus spells don't exist anymore).

The argument isn't "characters won't use their dumped stats", it that "the GM won't supply ample situations where dumped stats come up".

Captain Morgan wrote:
Honestly, I think it is fine if you just want to say "I liked being able to lower stats to crank something up to absurd levels." That's a fine opinion. You can be bummed you are losing that option. There's no need to justify it; it is an opinion. But the only loss here is mechanically having an edge over other PCs.

It isn't a mechanical edge over the other PCs, because you are paying for it. A theoretical PF2 character array of (18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8), being changed to (20, 16, 14, 12, 10, 6) isn't going to be substantially better than other PCs. This character will be 5% better in one area and 5% worse in another area. With the exception of a Wizard/Sorcerer dumping STR, you will notice.

Trying to say there are narrative barriers stopping you from lowering your stat to no mechanical benefit is not a defensible position.

Unless your campaign starts with the notion that the PCs/NPCs had no choice in the matter on who got to come on the adventure, then there totally is a narrative reason why a character with a net +3 stat modifier would not be considered when the average adventurer has a net +9 stat modifier. Sure, a single dump from 8 to 6 isn't likely to be noticed, but 3 6s will be.

Not to mention that my point is that a common character trope of being a savant in one area and being hopeless in another should be able to exist.

In narrative there's a million reasons your character is person for the job at hand, and having an 18 in your key stat will make you better in your primary role than most of the adventuring population, regardless of what your other stats total out to.

This is COMPLETELY false, especially if we accept your premise that "if a 20 is possible, everyone will have a 20". Under the new character generation rules, the vast majority of characters are going to have an 18 in their primary attribute.

Your stat starts at 10
Your Ancestry gives you a floating +2
Your background gives you a floating +2
Your Class gives you a +2 to your primary attribute
At level 1 you get 4 floating +2s.

That's 3 tiers of floating +2s to put in your primary attribute with a forced +2 from your Class, with plenty of extra boost available to get other stats the way you want.

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Ideally, a "dip" should be roughly as powerful as taking the next level in your current class, so if Classes are getting 1st level abilities stripped away from them for the purpose of allowing less powerful dips, then that's okay.

My fear is that Paizo wants to shove their custom "variant multiclassing" down our throats, and the stripping of class features is, as someone else put it, "cutting down our trees and selling us firewood" just so they can claim they are offering more at the store. If they are "cutting down our trees" so that we don't have OP class dips, then that's fine.

VMC is almost always worse than just dipping, playing a hybrid class, or using an archetype that does what you want. Some of the VMC options were strictly worse than the feats you could take to emulate their effects (depending on exactly what you want).

Question: Does a mob of level 1 alchemists with fire bombs just win against anything weak to fire?

You are pretty much guaranteed 1 point of splash damage, a feat grants you + INT (which will almost certainly be +4) and the extra weakness looks to be an additional +5. That's 10 damage per alchemist that can get into throwing range of a frost giant...or a white dragon. (more if the get a nat 20!)

If this is the case, that seems like an oversight.

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My Opinion

The good:

1) Signature Abilities are cool, no complaints here at all.
2) DR/ER is now the same thing, but....

The bad:

1) I was hoping that for a blog called "Building Monsters" we would get some mechanics for custom monster creation.

2) As has been pointed out, the new resistance system makes weak attacks virtually harmless while the new weakness system makes strong attacks not much better.

Wouldn't a flat x2 (or x1.5) for weakness and x0.5 for resistance system be better? I get that it is more complex math(multiplication/division vs addition/subtraction), but this makes the damage type more important while not completely shafting players that have weak attack statistics.

I'd much prefer the player that hits a skeleton for 5 slashing damage do 2 damage due to resistance than zero and that the fighter that deals 15 slashing damage to the zombie deals 22 instead of 20.

It would also be a lot less to remember.

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Unicore wrote:
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.

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

My example of Sub-Par Sammy was supposed to be a character that resulted from wanting to play Hodor, but being slapped by the system and told that his choice was BadWrongFun, but he could just play an average fighter, but dumb instead.

Sammy's player in this instance WANTS to play the strong dumb guy. He doesn't want to dump INT for the STR just for the mechanical benefits, but if the system isn't going to allow him to have Hodor's strength, then he isn't going to play Hodor's INT because:

1) It isn't Hodor anymore.

2) The combined pressure from his peers for playing a gimped character and the mechanical disadvantage his character will have compared to everyone else are going to greatly detract from the fun of the game.

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.

Unfortunately, some players will do this, because some tables will allow it, but it isn't our place to police everyone's games. My Orc barbarian in PF1 effectively has a physical condition that makes him mentally stunted, but physically stronger. He's effectively a child in a "monster's" body. I ROLE-play his flaws. Sure, his mental attributes make him a bit of a liability, but there isn't anyone stronger out there, at least without being nearly as tough. He's a group favorite, even though I prefer my Drow gish with pretty average stats.

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.

Again, different tables are going to have different play styles. Some people play PF as a minis-battle game. Some people play it as an RPG. You can't make people play the game as intended because:

1) What is "intended" for you or me could be different for Dave or Steve.

2) The limitations placed on the game to prevent "BadWrongFun" ultimately limit design space for people who want to RP characters in those areas.

I get that some tables will just allow the fighter to have 18s in Physical stats and 6s in mental stats, but RP mentally like an Average Joe, but we can't stop that, and honestly, it doesn't hurt anyone at the table if everyone there is okay with it. If they aren't okay with it, they should find a new table or ask the player to RP his stats.

Also, I'd note that most realistic cases of physically or mentally handicapped individuals would NOT make good adventurers. Heroes are above average, so having a below average handicap would require an extraordinary ability elsewhere to make them a reasonable choice for an adventurer.

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.

I agree. I WANT players to contribute, even if their respective stat isn't optimal for the situation. In fact, playing a character with such flaws means you SHOULD have to participate, even when it is bad for your character.

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.

What about characters that WANT to role play an unintelligent character? They want to speak with a stutter, or in broken English, or only be able to say their name with differing emotional inflections? Should these people be allowed to play these characters? Yes.

Should they then be allowed to get some benefit, (what is often referred to as a Darn Good Reason or DGR) for being an adventurer? Again, Yes.

The downside is that people might take the benefit and not role play the flaw, but we can't stop that from happening.

In my opinion, it isn't worth it to prevent people from gaming the system if the cost is that we can't play characters like Stephen Hawking or Groot.

Captain Morgan wrote:
If the Granny is a physical liability, she is a physical liability. Being marginally better as a mage doesn't change that, nor does Granny being great in social situations make her not a physical liability in dungeons.

Fair enough, but it's a trade off. Do you want the best mage in the land, or do you want a Wizard who can climb a rope? This makes Granny a viable character to take on the adventure.

However, Granny ISN'T a viable character in PF2, because virtually all wizards are going to have an 18 in INT and Granny isn't allowed to have an 18 in INT.

I could respond to a lot of bits here, but it feels pointless because the idea of aptitude tests for adventure party's is ludicrous in the context of most stories. Characters don't have to take a medical exam before they are allowed to tag along.

It doesn't take a medical exam to realize that, "that guy is a few cards short of a deck" or "he doesn't look like he can lift 50 pounds if he had to."

How do they recruit this character with intended stats? Can you actually walk me through this process? And do you think this process is actually relevant in 99% of games?

NPC - "I need 4 adventurers to go retrieve a lost artifact from a dungeon near by, I'll pay each one 250gp."

10 people are interested, one is Sub-Par Sammy. Guess who's getting laughed out of the tavern?

I can come up with a way to make it work if I try hard enough, but the closest thing I've seen to a game that would make it work is the Order of the Stick. Which is... not. You could have a One Punch Man type setting, where Heroes are measured, certified, rated, and allocated on a societal level. That certainly isn't Golarion.

As stated above, it doesn't take a medical exam to realize that someone isn't cut out to be an adventurer. If 99% of adventurers have stats ranging from 18 to 8, averaging 14, and someone shows up with a 6, or has an average of 12, you'll notice.

Who cares? Sammy's player is always going to be pressured to build the optimal character at this particular table. If Sammy is worse at their designated job because they didn't dump stats then the table is unhappy.

It's a heck of a lot more reasonable to have an 18 instead of a 20 if your reason is, "I didn't want a penalty to X" than to say, "I took a penalty to X because I wanted to, even though I get nothing in return."


If Sammy's dumps stats and it makes him a liability or over-dominates in one aspect of the game then then the table is unhappy. If dumping stats gives Sammy no benefit and he does it anyway, the table is unhappy. All this change does is give us a more objective measure of optimal. It merely shifts the burden. The burden was already there.

Alternatively, the other player's won't care. If they didn't care before, they shouldn't care now.

I find it hard to believe that "You didn't dump CHA for 20 STR" is going to cause more outrage than, "You dumped CHA for no reason". Only min-maxxers are going to split hairs over a 20 vs an 18. Heck, a 14 in a primary stat isn't even that bad(in PF1), especially if the character just wants to be well rounded.

As it stands we are getting off topic here.

The point is, players SHOULD be able to get a benefit for playing a flaw, and that just playing a flaw doesn't allow those players to play the characters they want to play.

Characters like Hodor and Sloth should be playable. Under the current system, they aren't.

I have a character that is like Sloth from the Goonies in PF1 that isn't playable in PF2. I think it is reasonable to be able to play our old characters in the new system.

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Planpanther wrote:

Id like to see ways outside of stat dump and pump to showcase outlier characters. A flaw-boon feat system could do it. The feat gives you sometype of draw back, but also a bonus to make up for it. This way its a more tangible choice than just rocketing your primary for little penalty.

By "rocketing" we are talking about a +2 that allows players to hit a 20 and by "little" penalty, we're talking about a -2 to a stat. It's literally just a -2 for a +2.

Here's the point, there are legitimate role-play reasons to want a dump stats for a 20 in a stat. Is it worth preventing an entire design space of characters because some people are going to min-max?

If you care about what a "role playing game" is, the answer is "no". At a bare minimum, basic fantasy tropes should be viable.

If all you care about is "everyone at my table is going to min-max so nobody can have fun" then you need a new group.

Furthermore, as much as I don't like min-maxxers, if they want to play the game that way, let them.

Preventing players from having exceptional stats at low levels because min-maxxers might abuse it is nothing more than BadWrongFun.

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johnlocke90 wrote:
I would note that in Starfinder, it's easy to start at 18(the cap), but it's not necessarily optimal. Diminishing returns on level up stats means that its arguable better to start at 16.

Not a fan of diminishing returns in Starfinder.

Captain Morgan wrote:

I will give you that this is a balance problem, but it is a tough one to fix.

Also, this idea that "no one in their right mind would adventure with someone just plain weaker than everyone else" rings hollow to me.

First off, adventuring parties aren't fortune 500 companies hiring CEOs. There usually aren't try outs or aptitude tests. Fate brings you together for one reason or another. Adventure calls, and you take whoever answers. You might as well say "no one low level party in their right mind would try and save this town; they would wait for backup from high level NPCs." If anything, it's entirely arbitrary that party members always seem to wind up the same level as each other.

There is a difference between low level adventurers not being ready for a task and average civilians being hired on to go on a dungeon raid.

People with a stat total much lower than the average adventurer, aren't cut out to be adventurers.

I'm not going to wheel 18 INT granny with her spells out to a dungeon wih her 6 in STR, CON, and DEX. Now, if Granny had a 20 in INT as well as awesome WIS and CHA scores, I'd be more willing to consider it, as granny is going to be great is social situations, a pretty good person to keep watch while she knits her Mittens of Dexterity, and an awesome mage.

Ability scores aren't even a great indicator of, well, ability. PF1, you could easily have two characters with the same ability score array and vastly different performance levels. PF2 is gonna rein that in a little, but it won't go away. Good feat selection will still matter, for example. Plus, with d20 rolls dictating what happens, a character might wind up looking bad regardless of their build. Let's assume aptitude tests are a thing. What do you do when your wizard rolls a nat 1 and bombs the written portion? When the Bard botches the interview?

They why are you so worried about specific races having a potential for a 20 in a stat?

Also, let's say I have two barbarians applying to join my party. Both do equally well in the physical exam, having 18 strength. But one does significantly better on the written portion, because he has 10 Int and the other has 6 Int. I already have an alchemist with 18 Int. Why do I care if the Barbarian can't read if the rest of the party can?

To use your up page example, what if the Alchemist botches an INT roll? Do you want to fall back on 6 INT barbarian or 10 INT barbarian?

Furthermore, what if the Alchemist is MIA?

In fact, why am I only taking the one barbarian? Surely 1 tank+ 3 other people is less safe than 2 tanks + 3 other people. The only reason I can think of is if the Barbarian is dumb enough to give away our position while sneaking or something, in which case I wouldn't pick them even if they had 20 strength.

If he was THAT dumb, sure, but if the difference was 20 STR and 8 INT vs 18 STR and 10 INT, the choice becomes a lot more difficult.

The only other thing is money, I guess. It is one more share when you split loot, but if the person is just gonna get themselves killed anyway you get their share back.

In honorable parties, the PCs share of loot would go to his next of kin. (In my games, PCs don't get to loot the other PC's corpses and keep the stuff. They will either pay for it later or be given an in-game reason as to why that loot doesn't belong to them. That's how you upset character wealth balance.)

If this is one of those parties that gets hired by someone with a finite budget-- well, I guess the 18 STR 10 Int barbarian didn't think that reward was worth being the meat shield. Barely covers the healing costs. But that 6 Int barbarian barely seems to know math... Pretty sure we can get him to do it.

So you would take the dumb barbarian in this case because you could stiff him some gold, as opposed to telling the dumb barbarian to take a hike so you could have the better barbarian? Yeah, I hope there aren't any Good aligned characters in that party.

What I'm saying here is you are holding a lens up to the conventions of the genre while divorcing yourself from the specific narrative reasons this stuff happens. Why would a party adventure with a subpar member? Because they were there and the story demands it.

True, but there is another facet to this.

If the party starts in a big city, then adventuring with Sub-Par Sammy makes no sense, when they could reasonably have a character with intended stats.

Even if they don't, the PLAYERS are going to know that Sub-Par Sammy is sub-par, because his Player wants to RP a weakness. That puts a burden on Sammy's player, as the rest of the party knows that he is intentionally gimping his character for no benefit just to RP a character that is a liability.

What sucks even more is that Sub-Par Sammy's Player didn't want to just play an average fighter, but dumber, he wanted to play a Hulk/Sloth/Hodor-like character, but the game makes these guys impossible, so all he's left with is a dumb version of the average fighter.

It's yet ANOTHER instance of Paizo stripping out player choice and preventing a fairly common fantasy trope character.

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The argument I keep seeing here is, "If it is possible to get a 20 everyone HAS to get a 20."

This is NOT true. You don't NEED a 20 (or whatever the stat cap should be) to be an effective character. This sounds like min-maxxers projecting their feelings onto others.

It adds SO much more flavor to the game to be able to get a 20 in a stat because you are playing an especially gifted member of a race known for being above average in a particular stat.

"But it's not fair that if I want to play a 20 DEX character, I have to play a Halfling or an Elf."

No, that's perfectly fair. That's part of what makes halflings and elves special. The most dexterous human is NOT going to be a dexterous as the most dexterous elf. Human's don't have the genetics. (This is coming from a guy who thinks humans should have NEVER gotten a free +2 to a stat, and that the 2 +2s that races get should have had to have been picked between.)

The reason why dumping for no benefit is not an acceptable solution is that nobody in their right mind would adventure with the guy who is just plain weaker than everyone else.

Granted, I have played a character that would have made sense with slightly dumped stats. He was a "fish-out-of-water" bard, who ended up with higher DEX and CON than I really wanted him to have, because I had extra points to spend. If I had played the stats I wanted, the party would have suffered for it. (Though the group liked the character more for RP reasons, so they may have put up with it.)

The "big dumb brute" is a common fantasy trope, either as the bad guy's muscle or the endearing protective friend. (Think Hodor from Game of Thrones, Sloth from the Goonies, or even Hulk.)

The "big dumb brute" is almost always stronger than even the trained warriors, and usually dumber than everyone else as well. It makes sense that the "big dumb brute" archetype would be able to hit a higher STR score than the average warrior, at the cost of a lower INT(and perhaps WIS) than the average person.

The biggest problem I have with PF2 is that 18 is the cap AND an 18 in your preferred stat is easily obtainable by almost everyone, to the point that the game basically tells you to do so.

If 18 was the cap, but you HAD to play a race with a SPECIFIC bonus in that stat to get there, then I wouldn't care as much, as 18 is just the new 20.

This "fix" that everyone is claiming will prevent everyone from playing the same character is just going to make everyone's character feel the same, even though they are "supposedly" different.

(Sure, you will have different Ancestry Feats, but those appear to be HIGHLY situational and fairly weak.)

As far as the trade-off of 20 in your primary stat for a lower dump stat not being balanced, that's a design issue. EVERY stat should be important for EVERY character. A character who plays with a 6 should FEEL it. If your fighter dumps CHA to 6 for a 20 in STR, he needs to be forced into social situations. If you wizard dumps STR for more INT, he needs to be put into situations where Brains aren't a substitute for Brawn.

Jester David wrote:

Drinking should just be an action.

Removing it from a belt pouch should be an action, getting it from a backpack should be two.

I agree with this.

1 action to search your backpack.
1 action to draw the potion.
1 action to uncork and drink.

Dropping something should be a free action.

Granted, I'm willing to bet that potions will have arbitrary action costs based on their power, which is stupid.

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Yeah.... AoOs being a Level 1 Fighter ability is NOT a good thing. Everyone should have AoOs by default.

I get that Paizo thinks that AoOs slow down the game (they do sometimes, to be fair) but the introduction of new Reactions is going to do the same thing and AoOs exist for a good reason.

Fighter - "Aha foul Necromancer! You are gravely wounded and we have you surrounded. Surrender!"

Necromancer - "Nah, I'm just going to run between the Wizard and the Cleric, then chug this X-Potion, bringing me back to full health."

Fighter - "STOP HIM!!!"

Cleric - "I...can't! For some reason, I can't move my arm to hit him with my mace!"

Wizard - "My staff! It's too heavy to move! What foul magic is this?!"

Necromancer - "Metagame-knowledge-mancy!"

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I see a lot of arguments along the lines of "SAD" classes benefit too much from getting a 20".

Well, the problem isn't the 20, the problem is "SAD" classes, or better yet, the "SAD/MAD" mentality.

A stat penalty should be meaningful to anyone, to the point that min-maxxers don't want to have "low stats". Yes, all classes are going to have favored attributes that give them bonuses over the average character, but the other stats still effect that character. The good news is, PF2 is already pretty close to this.

The only stat that is reasonably "dump-able" is STR for a caster, seeing as casters don't usually need to carry a lot of heavy stuff and don't use it.

DEX affects your AC and Reflex saves, as well as skills that are fairly useful.

CON affects your HP and Fort saves.(Stuff that keeps you alive.)

INT affects your Skills, which are stronger in PF2 since you can do superhuman things with high skills.

WIS affects Will Saves, Perception, and Initiative.

CHA affects magic item use (and social encounters, but most people who dump CHA just stand in the back of the room and keep their mouth shut).

If you are paying for the 20 with a lower score in another stat, then there shouldn't be a problem. If there IS a problem, then the game is poorly balanced.

As far as having to play X race to get a 20, the alternative is that your race doesn't matter. Min-maxxers are going to min-max. I'd rather have RP flavor that says, "I'm strong because I'm a Half-Orc, and Half-Orcs are stronger than other races on average" than "even though Half-Orcs are known for being strong, they are no stronger than any other race except the ones known for being weak".

Next, if a 20 is available, you don't HAVE to have one in your favored attribute to be effective. Often times, a more balanced attribute array is better. Having a +1 over another guy is NOT going to "dominate" the game. It increases your success rate for those checks by 5%, that's it.

Finally, if someone "can't participate" because they dumped the stat that they need to participate, too bad. That's what they get for dumping a stat. You don't get to dump a stat for free. In fact, the DM should make players RP their stats and supply ample situations where all stats are relevant for all players. Better yet, give XP for participating in certain skill checks. When the guy who dumped CHA ends up a level behind because he missed out on all of the social encounters, he will change his tune.

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Not a fan.

These options are restricting, whether people want to admit it or not.

Paizo could save a bunch of book space by just having the following text.

"For your character's background, pick 2 ability scores and increase them by 2, then pick a feat from the table X, and a skill from table Y. Your GM may require that you explain your choices with a short description of your background."

Now I don't have to worry about my character having to pick a background that doesn't fit my envisioned character's actual background, or being stuck with the cliches associated with said backgrounds.

I know I had a horrible time with 5e's background system, as NONE of the choices fit my character, so I ended up picking the one with the best mechanical benefits to my character. It felt more like I was clicking boxes in a character creation menu on a cheap MMO than I was applying mechanical benefits that fit the character I envisioned.

Arachnofiend wrote:

I know Paladins were better than Fighters in PF1, but that's because the balance in PF1 sucked (Barbarians were better than Paladins if you knew what you were doing). I'm more talking about design philosophy than reality - should this be true, rather than is it true.

As an addition, saying Barbarians are just "self taught Fighters" is completely ignoring the way Barbarians actually worked in PF1. A Barbarian was more comparable to a Monk in the sense that they both weaved Ex and Su abilities together.

All of the core barbarian's abilities are Extraordinary. They have no supernatural abilities. They are just guys who are REALLY tough and get EVEN TOUGHER when they elect to get angry.

On "design philosophy" it depends on what aspect you are referencing.

As far as GAME design philosophy, ultimately, you want all options to be roughly balanced with each other.

As far as world design philosophy, fighters are just trained soldiers, Barbarians are self taught "malefic donkeys", and Paladins are trained soldiers with divine powers. There is no non-contrived way to balance these mechanics and maintain verisimilitude. (You could theoretically state that the fighter's discipline makes up for the barbarians extraordinary "Hulk powers", but then that opens up other problems, like what happens if the barbarian goes to Fighter Academy and learns all the official martial art tricks ON TOP OF his rage powers?)

OG DnD didn't even try to balance Paladins and Fighters. Paladins were just plain stronger. The idea was that you were hand picked by "god" to be a superhero so long as you were heroic.

Arachnofiend wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Felinus wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
A roleplay restriction should not give a mechanical benefit.
How about a role playing benefit?

TBH i disagree fundamentally with the idea that a roleplay restriction shouldn't give mechanical benefits. The design of the game is rife with them.

Paladins and clerics being beholden to codes and dieties
Various monk vows
Druid armor restrictions

PRC that require you to perform obediences daily for powers. Hell the whole obedience style feat group is roleplay restrictions in exchange for power.

The commonality, other than the monk vows is that these are classes, abilities and feats that are for characters literally suborning themselves to a higher power in exchange for mechanical benefits, so clearly roleplay restrictions DO give mechanical benefits.

Let me ask you this question: do you think the Paladin, Barbarian, and Fighter should be equal in mechanical capabilities - they get the job done in different ways, but they can all do the job - or do you think the Fighter should necessarily be weaker than the Barbarian, who in turn should be weaker than the Paladin?

I know this wasn't directed at me but they ARE better than a fighter in PF1.

Thematically speaking, a Paladin is just a fighter that has been granted divine power by following an oath, so he SHOULD be stronger, mechanically.

Granted, you could say that the time a Paladin spends in prayer or meditation is used by the fighter to learn new techniques and practice his combat skills, but learning a new disarm technique is nowhere near as beneficial to a group of adventurers as being able to magically close wounds.

As for Barbarians, they are really just self taught fighters. The "Chaotic" restriction is pretty much meaningless, especially since most examples of Barbarians in popular culture have VERY Lawful tendencies, like following tradition and being almost ritualistic.

Take a shot every time Wulfgar from the Drizzt series says something along the lines of "that is our/their way". He's basically a "Paladin of Tempus", seeing as every time he flies into a rage he calls out to Tempus (the god of war in the Forgotten Realms).

The only examples of truly Chaotic barbarians I can even think of is "wild men" who are basically murder-maniacs and are almost ALWAYS villains in stories.

Chaos has always been more about valuing free will over societal structure than being able to keep your temper in check.

MEANINGFUL roleplay restrictions SHOULD grant you SOME benefit (mechanical or otherwise).

GURPS let's you buy RP flaws for more mechanical benefits, but with the stipulation that if you don't RP your flaws or you avoid all situations that would make you RP your flaws, you lose the benefits you bought with them.

The problem is having a MEANINGFUL restriction.

Yes, if someone wants to play a "boy scout" then having the Paladin's restrictions isn't going to hurt their character concept at all.

That being said, anyone who DOESN'T want to play the "goody two shoes" character probably isn't going to play a Paladin(LG) in the first place.

The problem comes from this idea that GMs shouldn't test their Paladins. Doing so get's you called a "bully" (mind you, I don't mean making no win situations, I mean making players choose between an easy solution and the one that doesn't make the Paladin fall.)

If you are going to implement an "RP restriction" and you aren't going to have that RP restriction tested, then it isn't an RP restriction, it's just a character quirk and it shouldn't grant you any special abilities.

Hence, why people want non-LG Paladins, because the "code" is basically meaningless since it's taboo to test Paladins and people who want to play Paladins have no intention of breaking their code anyway.

Captain Morgan wrote:
thflame wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Wouldn't that -2 to attack mess with your crit chances? Id assume it makes sword and board inferior?

Having a shield messes with your opponent's crit chances too, so it evens out.

The biggest difference is having a second chance to stop an attack seems to be slightly better than dealing a bigger die of damage with 50% more STR bonus.

The sword and board guy is STILL superior to the two handed fighter, though only slightly more so.

He's slightly superior at outlasting opponents. Again, that doesn't make him superior across the board, even if you don't touch other math.

I meant in the 1-on-1 duel.

The point isn't to make the shield fighter strictly superior to the two handed fighter. If shield fighters were strictly superior, all fighters would be shield fighters. The objective is to make a trade off that is balanced, feels rewarding, and makes sense in the theater of the mind (an important aspect that I feel Paizo isn't giving enough attention with PF2).

Against enemies that don't target AC, the Shield fighter is probably going to be disadvantaged, as the two handed fighter is going to be dishing out more damage and getting more crits, but against anything that targets AC, the Shield Fighter is going to last longer. (Keep in mind that "touch AC" works very differently now and Shield bonuses apply to touch AC.) This helps differentiate between a bruiser (what a two handed fighter is likely trying to be) and a tank (what a shield fighter is likely trying to be).

Planpanther wrote:
Wouldn't that -2 to attack mess with your crit chances? Id assume it makes sword and board inferior?

Having a shield messes with your opponent's crit chances too, so it evens out.

The biggest difference is having a second chance to stop an attack seems to be slightly better than dealing a bigger die of damage with 50% more STR bonus.

The sword and board guy is STILL superior to the two handed fighter, though only slightly more so.

Wheldrake wrote:

Looks needlessly complex to me.

IMHO there is only one change necessary to eliminate all criticism of the shield mechanic:

- Shields should provide their basic +1 or +2 AC bonus at all times, as long as the shield is equipped.
- The "Raise Shield" action is used normally, and provides the listed measure of DR against one attack.

With this one simple modification, everyone will be happy.

That makes using a shield MUCH more powerful. The idea is that balance is a factor. Balance it the reason why it takes an action (and a Reaction) currently. Just removing that fixes one problem and breaks the balance.

I, like many other people, don't like the current rules for shield use. I dislike that it takes an action to ready a shield when, realistically, you would use a shield and weapon in tandem.

Given that I don't want to just complain about the current system, I thought I would offer an alternative solution, but first, let's hypothesize on WHY shields have changed in PF2.

Shields in PF1 are boring. All a shield does in PF1 is sit there, take up a hand slot, and provide you with a passive boost to AC.

My guess is that Paizo wanted to spice shields up and make them more interesting, so they added the ability to soak a hit with a prepared shield as a Reaction. This makes shield use "active" and makes you feel in control of your defense.

In order to balance this, raising a shield had to cost an action, otherwise, the shield user pretty much gets free DR for one attack every round for not a whole lot of cost.

Now, onto my alternate solution.

1) Replace "raising a shield takes an action" with "equipping a shield causes a character to incur a -2 penalty on all attack rolls". This represents the added difficulty of fighting with a shield without "stealing" an action from a shield user every round that they want to use a shield.

2) Replace the complicated Shield Soak Reaction with a Parry Reaction.

Parry Reaction
Requirements: Using a shield with which you have at least Trained Proficiency
Trigger: An attack roll against your character beats their AC.
Effect: Make a Parry Check (d20 + Proficiency Bonus + Shield AC Bonus). If your Parry Check exceeds the result of the incoming attack roll, that attack is considered a "miss". You lose your Shield Bonus to AC until the beginning of your next turn.

Now, before you scoff and say, "yeah, but is this balanced", actually, it's pretty close.

Being a nerd, I wrote a program to simulate combat between 2 characters, a great weapon fighter with a d12 weapon and a sword and board fighter with a d8 weapon and a shield that provides a +2 Shield Bonus.

The characters were both level 1 with "Expert Proficiency" in their weapons and shield, They both had +4 armor bonus and +3 STR, DEX, and CON modifiers.

I assumed 8 racial HP and 10 Class HP for a total of 21 HP.

I ran 1 million simulations and the end results had the sword and board fighter winning 53.8% of the time, which is pretty close.

I did NOT test this with any extra feats like power attack, just to keep things even.

(The last time I ran a similar program I got similar results for the Power Attack vs Shield Soak mechanic.)

Pros and Cons

Pros: I think this feels more "realistic" and doesn't have a perceived "punishment" associated with it.

It ignores the complex Shield Soak Mechanic, which gives players less to remember or write down on their sheet.

It let's you roll another die! Who doesn't like that?

Cons: If you like getting DR from your Shield, that's gone (but maybe that could be added back in as a feat?)

It's another die roll, which some people may not want. Personally, I like rolling dice, but If all of your players are taking Parry Reactions every round, then that's another 4 dice rolls per round of combat which may slow down the game.

It may not be balanced with other features that Paizo wants to implement or at higher levels, since we don't know a lot about that yet.

So what does everyone think?

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The second video you posted was NOT HEMA. Those guys didn't know what they were doing. The last video you posted was Richard Marsden, a pretty big name in the HEMA community, using a saber (which is is specialty). Yes, saber fencing is very different from sword and shield fencing, but you are comparing rotten apples to a 5 star restaurant's fruit salad. A good comparison would be Richard Marsden with a longsword vs Matt Easton with a sword and shield (or vice versa), but to my knowledge, they haven't ever sparred outside of competitions that require using the same weapons. (The saber was also invented MUCH later, at a time when guns were becoming more popular. A shield isn't going to stop a bullet, so carrying one was pretty much pointless.)

When it comes to using a shield, you generally ALWAYS have it in a position where it at least closes off an angle. If you wish to attack at an angle that the shield is occupying, you move the shield. This happens simultaneously as you throw the cut.

Now, the shield may slow you down a bit, but no to the extent that you wouldn't be able to make 3 cuts in a 6 second period, even with your opponent pressuring you.

It would be much more reasonable to implement a flat penalty (-2) to your attacks to represent the extra hand eye coordination needed to fight with a shield. (similar to what we do with TWF, though it appears that you may need to spend one action per weapon attack in PF2, which makes TWF useless, another problem.)

This also leads to another issue: the soak mechanic.

The extra +2 a shield offers to your AC represents the extra protection the shield offers. If I bypass that extra protection, I avoided the shield.

It makes no sense that you get to elect to have DR because I managed to attack around your shield.

To put this into perspective, lets say my level 20 fighter decided to pick a fight with a level 1 fighter using a shield. The level 1 guy puts up his shield, granting him +2 to his AC.

My fighter then attacks and massacres his AC by 30. The level 1 fighter still gets to soak his shield's hardness in damage. (Yes, the level 1 guy still get's crit, but he still get's his DR.)

While 3.P shield use can be "boring", it is much more realistic than PF2's version of it.

This is an instance of where something wasn't broken, and they tried to fix it, then in order to fix it, they had to break something else.

Historically speaking, a guy with a shield would have a major advantage over a guy without a shield, assuming similar weapons. I get that PF2 needs to balance this in some way, but the given solution makes no sense.

All I'm saying is that anyone with a shield should ALWAYS have it readied. You're giving up the ability to use a bow or any two handed weapon (and the ability to interact with objects easily), that is plenty. Drop the shield soak mechanic, as it makes no sense, and they system is perfect.

If they want shields to be "active" rather than passive, perhaps adding a parry mechanic, where if the attacker beats your shielded AC, you can immediately make an attack roll, adding your shield bonus to "parry" the attack, but doing so takes your Reaction and forfeits your shield bonus until the beginning of your next turn.

This would represent a "last ditch" attempt to put your shield in the way of an attack you weren't expecting, compromising your otherwise effective defense to stop an attack that is going to hit you.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Yuuup. I actually did a fair amount of weapon based LARP'ing as a kid.

With all due respect, this is like saying, "I played a lot of cops and robbers as a kid, so I know how to be a police officer."

LARPing is NOTHING like HEMA. It was night and day when I started to study HEMA. All the "cool stuff" I was doing in LARPing (we called if boffing) was really bad form, even though I could win my fair share of fights.

Heck, even olympic fencing is DRASTICALLY different from HEMA.

First of all, hand them a blunt rapier and they are probably going to start complaining about how heavy it is. Fencing foils are notoriously light and flexible as to not cause accidental harm. HEMA weapons are slightly more flexible that "real" weapons, but they are much more rigid than fencing foils and much heavier (about 2.5 pounds).

Next, most of the fencer's attacks aren't actually going to connect, because a lot of fencing is flexing the sword around your opponent's and touching their mesh to complete the circuit and score a point.

Of the attacks that DO hit, many will get called off by the referee because he wouldn't have had proper edge alignment to actually cut the other person, or he wouldn't have delivered enough force to make it through simulated clothing and deal a deadly enough strike to incapacitate his foe.

Finally, of the attacks that DO connect and DO deliver enough force to count as a "hit" a large portion of these are going to be doubles, as HEMA counts follow through strikes.

For example, if you do a great overhead chop with a sword and I stab you in the stomach before your sword hits me, but I don't have my sword in a position to stop yours from hitting me, you still hit me. This counts as a "double" in HEMA and counts as a "loss" for both people.

I like to make the comparison between competition target shooters and soldiers. The target shooter shooter, with his finely tuned target rifle will easily out shoot the soldier on a fixed distance stationary target, but put the target shooter in a warzone, and he's probably coming home in a body bag. (Unless the target shooter just so happens to ALSO be a soldier, but that's not the point.)

(This is not meant to berate fencers. Fencing is a sport and if you enjoy it as a sport, then good for you. However, if you somehow think that you would be some great swordsman if you got dropped into the Renaissance Era, I have bad news for you.)

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
thflame wrote:
With all due respect, that is nowhere near realistic. YOU are the one that is "factually wrong". Especially to the point that you are logically and demonstrably wrong.

Not really, no.

thflame wrote:
Watch some HEMA videos of sword and shield combat. Humans have this strange ability to move their arms irrespective of each other. Sword and shield combat is all about moving your shield to close off angles as you swing your sword.

Sure, but that splits your attention. You're certainly not attacking effectively as often. Indeed, for most of the video you linked, the people in question attack maybe once per 6 seconds, not the twice PF2 allows for. They attack quicker than that occasionally, but not anything the rules wouldn't reflect pretty decently.

thflame wrote:

Longsword (a two handed weapon, historically) treatises constantly reference moving a hand to initiate grappling or change your grip and doing so takes virtually no time.

Additionally, go grab a sword (or a broom/stick/etc.), hold it in one hand, then add a second hand. It takes a negligible amount of time. This is common sense.

I think you're vastly overestimating how much time an action takes. It's a maximum of 2 seconds. Less if you're also doing things like Reactions. Switching your grip does tend to take at least a second or so, often more. Can some people do it quicker? Probably. Of course, a Feat for that seems pretty plausible...

thflame wrote:

So yes, these ARE valid verisimilitude complains.

HEMA match between two people using sword and shield:

Note how they are attacking and blocking almost simultaneously.

Like I said above, my primary takeaway from the linked video was not that someone with a shield could, without more than basic training, keep it up and also attack just as quickly and effectively as someone without a shield. Clear effort and concentration is put into the shield work. In PF2,...

Do you have ANY experience with HEMA?

I have a Feder in my room, so I have a readily accessible training sword to try these things out. Not only can I switch between a one handed grip and a 2 handed grip in less than a second, I can also throw a cut and change my stance in the same period of time.

I can go from a one handed "Fool" stance (sword held low, protecting the legs) to a two handed cut into "Ox" (sword held high protecting the head) in less than a second. Any slower than that and it would be useless in a sparing match. (I'm actually REALLY slow compared to average HEMA practitioners.)

As far as the sword and shield users not attacking constantly, this is because they are trying to read their opponents. Each person is looking for an opening and waiting for the other person to make a move they can exploit. If it were a battle (4 heroes vs a gang of orcs, for example) the fighters wouldn't have the luxury of waiting for openings.

The point of that video was to show the way sword and shield combat works. When you strike with your sword, you simultaneously move your shield to close off a line of attack. There is no, "I swing my sword, then I raise my shield." You do it at the same time, or else your opponent who IS doing both at the same time, puts his shield in the way of your weapon and attacks you, or, if you occupy his sword arm, he punches you with the edge of his shield, removing some teeth.

I find it hard to believe that a fighter in PF2 can't do something that is BASIC for HEMA practitioners. These guys are supposed to be "experts" with weapons at level 1.

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RangerWickett wrote:

But for the shield, I don't see that as "How hard is it to lift a shield," but rather, "I'm devoting some of my attention to keeping my shield angled toward enemies during a chaotic combat."

It's not spending one action for a half second of movement. It's one action for six seconds of movement. (And possibly a reaction to respond to one particularly worrisome attack.)

Then perhaps there should be a flat penalty for using a shield?

Maybe have characters take 2 weapon fighting penalties on attacks for using shields to represent the difficulty of fighting with a shield?

This is also implying that our Sword and Board fighter isn't at least Trained in how to use his weapons. Oh wait...

Deadmanwalking wrote:
thflame wrote:

My biggest overall gripe with PF2 is that some of the mechanics being implemented to balance the game are anti-verisimilitude, which is the biggest selling point of a TTRPG.

It makes zero sense that it takes 1/3rd of your turn to go from holding a greatsword in one hand to holding it in two hands.

The same goes for "readying a shield".

You may not like it, but this is really pretty realistic. A round is 6 seconds. If you don't think changing your grip on a weapon or blocking something with a shield can easily take a whole two seconds...I don't know what to tell you beyond the fact that you're factually wrong.

Now, not liking the mechanic and it not feeling good are still totally valid complaints if you dislike them, but they aren't verisimilitude complaints.

With all due respect, that is nowhere near realistic. YOU are the one that is "factually wrong". Especially to the point that you are logically and demonstrably wrong.

Watch some HEMA videos of sword and shield combat. Humans have this strange ability to move their arms irrespective of each other. Sword and shield combat is all about moving your shield to close off angles as you swing your sword.

Longsword (a two handed weapon, historically) treatises constantly reference moving a hand to initiate grappling or change your grip and doing so takes virtually no time.

Additionally, go grab a sword (or a broom/stick/etc.), hold it in one hand, then add a second hand. It takes a negligible amount of time. This is common sense.

So yes, these ARE valid verisimilitude complains.

HEMA match between two people using sword and shield:

Note how they are attacking and blocking almost simultaneously.

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My biggest overall gripe with PF2 is that some of the mechanics being implemented to balance the game are anti-verisimilitude, which is the biggest selling point of a TTRPG.

It makes zero sense that it takes 1/3rd of your turn to go from holding a greatsword in one hand to holding it in two hands.

The same goes for "readying a shield".

Yes, I have crunched the numbers on shield use in another thread and determined that the action tax makes shield use more balanced, but it doesn't FEEL good.

I get what they are trying to do with shields. They don't want them to just be a passive AC buff on your character sheet that takes up a hand slot. They want your shield to be something that you actively use and gives you a cool benefit and makes you feel good about having a shield. They also want this benefit to come at a cost so not everyone wants to use it.

There are certain instances where balance is important, but I'd almost rather have shields and two handed weapons be OP than tax your actions.

These mechanics are ultimately going to cause characters to make RP decisions that make no sense it the game world.

Valeros - "Amir, take point."
Amir - "Nah, if I open that door, I won't be able to attack anything waiting on the other side."
Valeros - "What do you mean."
Amir's Player - "It is going to take me an action to open the door, and another action to grip my weapon. Since we just made a ton of noise in this room killing these goblins, I'm sure every monster in the next room is waiting for us to open that door. I want to be able to attack whatever is waiting for us on the other side, so Valeros should open the door."
Valeros' Player - "Yeah, Valeros is using a shield right now, so I would have to spend all 3 of my actions to open the door. I'd have to sheathe my sword, open the door, then draw my sword. And even then I won't have an action to ready my shield against the monsters in the next room."
Kyra's Player - "Don't look at me, I'm using a shield too."
*Party looks at Ezren's Player*
Ezren's Player - "You're kidding, right?"

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As someone who doesn't care about Golarian lore, put that stuff in another book. If you care enough, you'll look it up on your own.

I'd rather have 10 pages of mechanics that people may or may not want than 10 pages of lore that people may or may not want that can be found elsewhere.

Perhaps have a small blurb telling where you can find info on a particular character.

"So-and-so appears in X Novel by Author's Name"

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Melkiador wrote:
Joe M. wrote:
Cuàn wrote:

A question on the shield thing: Can you use potency runes on a shield as a weapon?

The wording in the blog more or less says you can't, which would be a sad thing. I love shield bashing.
+1 to this question. I'd love to know more about shields-as-weapons in the playtest rules.
It's an interesting question, but I'd personally be cool with shields as weapons mostly fading away. Sure people bashed with shields in real life, but this was generally to create an opening to get a real weapon in. (So, maybe a combat maneuver to lower AC?) The shield itself wasn't meant to do much damage.

Everything is a weapon in HEMA. Shield bashing was common (though it was mostly done by "punching" people with the rim of your shield).

Just like you can parry with a weapon, you can attack with a shield.

True, the shield's primary purpose is to protect you from your opponent's attacks, but it can be a very effective weapon if not kept in check. If you were in combat with someone and you pinned their weapon arm, you'd be a fool to not expect a shield rim to be coming for your teeth.

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Noir le Lotus wrote:

Are you really sure that you want that any character can use any skill even untrained ? Because in my long experience of RPG, it can only mean 2 things :
* either we will very soon see high-level characters open locks of any house with a hairpin
* either we will see the difficulty of these skill checks depend not on the circunstances of the situation but on the level of the characters

While I sort of agree with most of what you said, it has been explained that certain uses of skills are locked behind a proficiency wall.

Specifically, a person Untrained in Thievery CAN'T even attempt to pick locks, but a higher level character is better at picking pockets.

On the second part, I think the idea is that your PCs are going up against more difficult tasks. If your level 15 adventurers want to break into the level 1 commoner's hovel, the check will still be low, but they should be thinking about breaking into a dragon's lair at that level (or maybe the king's treasury house).

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Cuz I'm a historical weapons nerd (on top of a computer nerd) I just tested how long it takes me to open a door with a rapier (and a two handed longsword) walk through the door, then close the door (putting my hand back on the two handed sword when I was done).

Both took 5 seconds. (Not rushing, just like I was carrying a sword through a doorway.)

Do we see the problem yet?

The time it takes to reestablish a two handed grip is negligible.

To be fair I was more worried about hitting the doorway with the longsword than the rapier.

This is the sort of stuff I check when I make on the fly rulings in my games. If someone tries to attempt something that I think is too far fetched, I hand them a prop (or a training implement) and have them do it.

Under this last test, if one of my players asked to be able to reattach a grip as a free action, I would have granted it, but now the rules explicitly say otherwise and allowing one player to violate the rules because they felt as though they needed to be challenged isn't fair to the other players who have been playing by the rules because they didn't think to challenge them.

Heck, I just realized that wizards with a staff won't be able to cast a 2 action spell with a Somatic Action and attack with a quarterstaff in the same round, (assuming quarterstaves are still two handed weapons) but they could totally stab with a dagger if they had one.

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There seems to be a lot of balancing of mechanics based around requiring extra actions. While this may be necessary to avoid obviously better scenarios, part of the core of games like DnD and Pathfinder is that a player should be allowed to have their character attempt anything that makes sense, as though they were people in a real world.

I think this was the biggest failing of 4e. I have heard numerous complaints about 4e that all revolved around, "I wasn't allowed to do X because the rules said no, even though it would be totally feasible for my character".

Stuff like raising a shield costing an action, grasping a weapon with your free off hand, and verbal casting components costing a separate action to somatic components (I mean, really, just say the spell takes 2 actions worth of casting time) is ultimately going to lead to instances where real life people are more capable than their heroic characters in trivial ways.

I recommend that Paizo finds another way to balance mechanics, specifically a way that maintains verisimilitude.

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I don't like the idea of "switching from a one handed to a two handed grip" requiring an action.

Let's say my fighter is using a greatsword and decides to open a door. He moves to the door (Stride Action), lets go of his greatsword with one hand (hopefully this doesn't cost an action) and opens the door (Interact Action) then notices an orc on the other side of the door. He must then take ANOTHER Interact Action to grasp his weapon in two hands? He can't just swing?

Wasn't this a Free Action in PF1?

This makes anyone using a two handed weapon pay an extra action to do stuff that requires a free hand.

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The biggest addition of complexity for me, from what I have seen, is spellcasting.

In PF1, I didn't care if my spell had V, S, or M components unless I was gagged, pinned, or had my component pouch stolen (or if the material component was expensive, but I make a mental note of such spells before I cast them). If any of these situations came up, I could reference my spell list (I print out all of my spells and staple them to my character sheet) an know what I could and couldn't do.

Now, in PF2, these matter, as they each take a separate action.

There is also the issue that "talking" is a free action, but saying the incantations of your spell isn't.

I get that spells are being balanced based on how many actions they take, and Paizo is trying to link this to spell components, but this just feels complex and not even in a way that makes sense.

Maybe just saying:

"This spell takes 3 actions to cast and requires Verbal, Somatic, and Material Components"

would be better than:

"This spell takes a Verbal Action, a Somatic Action, and a Material Action to cast."

Especially since if I have my Spell component pouch, can speak freely, and move my hand freely, I can stop reading at "this spell takes 3 actions to cast".

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