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Adventurer's Armory 2: Dream come true, or balance nightmare?


Pathfinder Player Companion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Or is it simply "fine?" Don't feel like you need to go to an extreme if you don't feel it's warranted. I am opening this discussion in the hopes of better ascertaining whether or not the new book material is balanced or not, according to popular opinion.

I personally am excited to see some of the new items and rules, but a few make me wonder if they are balanced options.

Such as the new armor modification (1,000gp for mundane armor, 1,500gp for magical armor) that increases max Dex by 2 and ACP by 1, in return for -1 armor bonus and +5 lb.

This is something Dex characters have needed for a LONG time, but is it balanced?

How about a new exotic two-handed "butcher axe" that does 3d6 20/x3 base damage in return for a -2 to hit UNLESS you have 19 Strength (if Med) or 17 Strength (if Small)?

Still balanced? It seems to me we have some nice new toys for both Dexterity characters and Strength characters. Are martials finally getting some nice things? Or is this a bad sign of power bloat?

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on these and other new features of this intriguing tome.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

i had no idea this was a thing until i saw your post... that axe is really biased. A lot of medium charcters get a +2 for strength making that 19 easy to get it. A small character would have to pay for a 19 and eat their -2 penalty for it. Lame.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

3d6? By Jove, it's time for some Vital Strike builds!

Dark Archive

I have concerns about that axe. Even if you don't pay for it right away a first level Barbarian can hit that strength while raging no problem. The large size PRD table doesn't even go that high, but enlarged that's somewhere between 3d8 and 4d8, probably 4d6. The 'issue' with Martials is not taking popular fighting styles and increasing their damage output.

Sovereign Court

dex change: It's okay? I guess. Not gamebreaking and I don't see many people passing the usual celestial chainmail for the mid/high levels on their dex characters.

the butcher axe: mostly like it, because it gives a good axe, as axes always tend to be subpar compared to blades.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So Jotungrip a large axe for 4D6, Impact enchantment for 6d6 and enlarge person for 9D6 per swing from a barbarian?


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Torbyne wrote:
So Jotungrip a large axe for 4D6, Impact enchantment for 6d6 and enlarge person for 9D6 per swing from a barbarian?

Imagine TWF'ing with these axes. Your accuracy will be godawful but it is WORTH IT.

Because.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I haven't read the book yet, but looking at those two things I don't see any huge problems from a balance perspective. The +3.5 or so damage for the axe is on the high side for a feat, but not too crazy.

That said, I don't love the mechanics.

For the Axe: Minimum strength is a thing in some games, but it has never been part of Pathfinder. This makes this particular item a weird outlier (a str 10 can wield a greatsword or earthbreaker just fine, but you need 9 more points of str to effectively wield this axe?) In addition, the typical Ax mechanics are very swingy damage die (d12 instead of 2d6 for example.) I probably wouldn't go with a d20 for this (which would be the same average) but I would probably go for 2d8 (which would be slightly less average damage, yielding average of 9 instead of 10.5, but that would also make exotic feat a bit more into the average territory.

The Armor: This just seems weird on the numbers. I don't know how they fluff this, but higher max dex AND it has a higher ACP and weighs more? The basic idea of a bit worse armor bonus for higher max dex works for me, but the other don't make sense.


Composite bows have a strength requirement.

The reason it has this limitation is probably to most definitely stop any potential Dex-based build from using it. I don't know what those builds might be, but this is definitely future-proofing the weapon from those builds should they emerge. It's basically to reward Strength investment, which is something people have wanted for a long time.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm concerned about the axe being too good, and about the bow doing a lot more damage to start with than anything comparable- archery has way too much stuff already without a free (for half-orcs) 2.5 damage. Seeing a player with either them will probably be a red flag. Size increases with either, and I'm getting into "dropping the game looks tempting" territory.


Can you make the hornbow composite?


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Can you make the hornbow composite?

You have to- it's not optional.


So it adds strength to the damage? I mean, if it's the same strength investment to the axe, then I don't see any issue whatsoever. That's a lot of Strength for an otherwise Dex focused build. Seems like a fun option for heavy Strength half-orc martials looking for a ranged option.


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Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
So it adds strength to the damage? I mean, if it's the same strength investment to the axe, then I don't see any issue whatsoever. That's a lot of Strength for an otherwise Dex focused build. Seems like a fun option for heavy Strength half-orc martials looking for a ranged option.

The bow just comes by default in composite +0 and can be paid like normal to increase the str bonus when you buy it.


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Alright cool, thanks for the clarification.

In which case, I'd probably still not be too worried? Depends on the cost and how much of a hit they took to range increment, which is a big deal for archers. And it's an exotic weapon, right? So anyone other than orcs and half-orcs will need to take the feat tax, and frankly that's fine. Out of the box, longbows are still fantastic.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Can you make the hornbow composite?
You have to- it's not optional.

But that's kind of weird, because "composite" isn't a separate, distinct trait from the weapon. You don't have a longbow and add the composite quality to it - you either have a longbow or a composite longbow. So do we assume that there's a composite hornbow that isn't listed - and if so, how much does it cost? - or is the hornbow already assumed to be composite, in which case there's nothing that prevents it from being made at a Str +0 for no increase in cost, right?


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shisumo wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Can you make the hornbow composite?
You have to- it's not optional.
But that's kind of weird, because "composite" isn't a separate, distinct trait from the weapon. You don't have a longbow and add the composite quality to it - you either have a longbow or a composite longbow. So do we assume that there's a composite hornbow that isn't listed - and if so, how much does it cost? - or is the hornbow already assumed to be composite, in which case there's nothing that prevents it from being made at a Str +0 for no increase in cost, right?

Nope. Minimum is +1 based on the price.


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A normal orc hornbow should be 130 gp and "+0 composite". Then 230 gp for a "+1 composite", etc.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:
I'm concerned about the axe being too good, and about the bow doing a lot more damage to start with than anything comparable- archery has way too much stuff already without a free (for half-orcs) 2.5 damage. Seeing a player with either them will probably be a red flag. Size increases with either, and I'm getting into "dropping the game looks tempting" territory.

The axe is close to the falcata, but I wouldn't say its any better, at least outside of PFS. Without a crit boost the axe is better, but once you get the crit boost you only need about 20 static damage to make the falcata better, which is level 8.

Don't get me wrong, the axe is very good, and its nice to have a high tier axe, but its not strictly power bloat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Torbyne wrote:
So Jotungrip a large axe for 4D6, Impact enchantment for 6d6 and enlarge person for 9D6 per swing from a barbarian?

The progression is 2d6, 3d6, 4d6, 6d6, 8d6.

Dave Justus wrote:
The Armor: This just seems weird on the numbers. I don't know how they fluff this, but higher max dex AND it has a higher ACP and weighs more? The basic idea of a bit worse armor bonus for higher max dex works for me, but the other don't make sense.

Seems I mistyped. The ACP is REDUCED by 1, not increased.


I'm pretty okay with "people who want to hit things with sharp objects" and "People who are happy to stand where they're liable to get hit with sharp objects" getting powerful tools.

These aren't generally the most powerful characters (AM BARBARIAN excepted) but people want to play them anyway. I'm less worried about what someone playing a vital striking butcher axe-wielding arsenal chaplain can do to scenarios than I am about what someone playing a Wizard can manage.


what is different with the horn bow?


Shisumo wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Can you make the hornbow composite?
You have to- it's not optional.
But that's kind of weird, because "composite" isn't a separate, distinct trait from the weapon. You don't have a longbow and add the composite quality to it - you either have a longbow or a composite longbow. So do we assume that there's a composite hornbow that isn't listed - and if so, how much does it cost? - or is the hornbow already assumed to be composite, in which case there's nothing that prevents it from being made at a Str +0 for no increase in cost, right?

Right, surely they haven't found horn long enough to make a single bow, so they have to composite them by default :p

So a Hornbow is a +0 composite for the price... But it's the same for Composite Longbow, they are +0 Composite Longbow from the base price... ;)


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What I'm kinda wondering about is that for the nimble modification, it first lightens the ACP by 1 and brings the max Dex up by 2, but reduces the armor bonus by 1. Okay, all seems fine... Then it tacks on 5 lbs. to whatever armor you're modifying. Wait, what? You're making the armor lighter and more mobile at the expense of making it somewhat less protective... But it's also somehow heavier?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dark Midian wrote:
But it's also somehow heavier?

It's the hinges.


17 people marked this as a favorite.
Shisumo wrote:
Dark Midian wrote:
But it's also somehow heavier?
It's the hinges.

The guilt of the min-maxing weighs heavily on the armor's user. :P


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Zautos' wrote:
what is different with the horn bow?

The damage. The proficiency. The fact that it's always composite. Shorter range.

Dark Midian wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Dark Midian wrote:
But it's also somehow heavier?
It's the hinges.
The guilt of the min-maxing weighs heavily on the armor's user. :P

Best thing I've heard all day! lol!


The new axe sounds exciting, definitely gonna have to change my Goliath Druid ideas to accommodate it. Nice for one-hit builds, not much for full attacks compared to great swords. Probably also going to implement this heavily into home game NPCs, particularly the Orang Pendak.

Nothing mentioned so far seems like its problematic though. Archers can spend a feat for a small damage bump (as opposed to one of dozens of other archery feats they are compelled to take), dex-builds can spend some gold for a +1 AC and some skills. Strength builds can spend a feat for a potential for better damage, and vital strike builds can get another size bump (that won't match the ooze or hippo druid vital strike builds for damage).


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Ravingdork wrote:
How about a new exotic two-handed "butcher axe" that does 3d6 20/x3 base damage in return for a -2 to hit UNLESS you have 19 Strength (if Med) or 17 Strength (if Small)?

Hmmm... Sounds like it's a PERFECT fit for someone with the Savage Critical feat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

What do you guys think of the combat shields designed to be dual-wielded that increase each other's shield bonuses? ;)

Or the spidersilk bodysuit, with its +3 armor bonus, +6 max Dex, -1 ACP, and 10% arcane spell failure? Make it a +5 armor and that's a penalty-free +8 AC bonus to anyone not proficient in armor! Now if we can just get around the arcane spell failure for our casters...

graystone wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
How about a new exotic two-handed "butcher axe" that does 3d6 20/x3 base damage in return for a -2 to hit UNLESS you have 19 Strength (if Med) or 17 Strength (if Small)?
Hmmm... Sounds like it's a PERFECT fit for someone with the Savage Critical feat.

Ouch!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Dark Midian wrote:
What I'm kinda wondering about is that for the nimble modification, it first lightens the ACP by 1 and brings the max Dex up by 2, but reduces the armor bonus by 1. Okay, all seems fine... Then it tacks on 5 lbs. to whatever armor you're modifying. Wait, what? You're making the armor lighter and more mobile at the expense of making it somewhat less protective... But it's also somehow heavier?

Yeah, that makes ZERO sense to me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

What do you guys think of the combat shields designed to be dual-wielded that increase each other's shield bonuses? ;)

Or the spidersilk bodysuit, with its +3 armor bonus, +6 max Dex, -1 ACP, and 10% arcane spell failure? Make it a +5 armor and that's a penalty-free +8 AC bonus to anyone not proficient in armor! Now if we can just get around the arcane spell failure for our casters...

graystone wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
How about a new exotic two-handed "butcher axe" that does 3d6 20/x3 base damage in return for a -2 to hit UNLESS you have 19 Strength (if Med) or 17 Strength (if Small)?
Hmmm... Sounds like it's a PERFECT fit for someone with the Savage Critical feat.
Ouch!

Sadly, to say both reek of cheese is not a big reach. More than any other recent Companion book, this one is going to get a thorough review and I suspect will have frequent applications of the Ban Hammer.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

SWORD CHUCKS ARE A THING NOW!!!

All you need is to give a double-bladed sword the versatile design weapon modification, and pick the fighter's flails weapon group.

(It acts in all ways like a double-bladed sword, but now also counts as being a part of the flail weapon group.)

*cries happy tears*

Sovereign Court

Well I always welcome new options and this book seems like it's going to be right up my alley.

Sword Chucks is enough for me to buy the book.


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Ravingdork wrote:

SWORD CHUCKS ARE A THING NOW!!!

All you need is to give a double-bladed sword the versatile design weapon modification, and pick the fighter's flails weapon group.

(It acts in all ways like a double-bladed sword, but now also counts as being a part of the flail weapon group.)

*cries happy tears*

WHAT?!?

THAT'S BALLER! That makes such a huge difference for fighters!

Because that means more things can work with Shield Brace! Oooooh this is gonna be GOOD! I can't wait to get my copy.


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

SWORD CHUCKS ARE A THING NOW!!!

All you need is to give a double-bladed sword the versatile design weapon modification, and pick the fighter's flails weapon group.

(It acts in all ways like a double-bladed sword, but now also counts as being a part of the flail weapon group.)

*cries happy tears*

WHAT?!?

THAT'S BALLER! That makes such a huge difference for fighters!

Because that means more things can work with Shield Brace! Oooooh this is gonna be GOOD! I can't wait to get my copy.

So... I take the nifty 'butchers axe', put the versatile design on it and I can use both Savage Critical and Shield Brace with it!!!

I'm liking this book more and more. ;)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Before anyone gets too excited about Savage Critical, don't forget that the most accessible version has "ogre" among its prerequisites. ^_^


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Why not just abuse buitcher's axe with one of the large weapon arhetypes, impact enchantment and shield brace? is that not sick enough?


Kalindlara wrote:
Before anyone gets too excited about Savage Critical, don't forget that the most accessible version has "ogre" among its prerequisites. ^_^

Racial Heriatge. Fighters can probably afford it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Martials CAN have nice things!

(Jinx?)


Ravingdork wrote:

SWORD CHUCKS ARE A THING NOW!!!

All you need is to give a double-bladed sword the versatile design weapon modification, and pick the fighter's flails weapon group.

(It acts in all ways like a double-bladed sword, but now also counts as being a part of the flail weapon group.)

*cries happy tears*

So what exactly does that modification do? is it a purely flavor change that has mechanic's implications or is it intended to do something else too?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
M1k31 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

SWORD CHUCKS ARE A THING NOW!!!

All you need is to give a double-bladed sword the versatile design weapon modification, and pick the fighter's flails weapon group.

(It acts in all ways like a double-bladed sword, but now also counts as being a part of the flail weapon group.)

*cries happy tears*

So what exactly does that modification do? is it a purely flavor change that has mechanic's implications or is it intended to do something else too?

Move anything into a weapon group you have training with

Move anything into a the polearm weapon group to use it with Shield Brace

Move anything into the Monk Weapon Group for unchained monks to use/ascetic style

Thats just the top of my head, there are probably some other things to do with it.


Can this weapon modification work with ranged weapons? Say I was a tiefling with a prehensile tale and wanted to get in on this Shield Brace business...


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Can this weapon modification work with ranged weapons? Say I was a tiefling with a prehensile tale and wanted to get in on this Shield Brace business...

Not melee to ranged or vice versa. So your bow could be a firearm (which honestly raises its own questions), but not a polearm. I'm not sure how the axe musket interacts with all this, either; that might be your way in.


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Ah, cool, I'm glad there was some reasonable restrictions put in there. I was starting to think up some crazy com-

Isabelle Lee wrote:
So your bow could be a firearm (which honestly raises its own questions)

...

....

So you know Trench Fighter? The 3rd level ability?

:3

(a bowgun sounds rad)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Don't have the book yet, but an exotic weapon that's slightly better than the martial composite bow is something that's kind of been missing in the game for a long time. Although I think the real problem is that the longbow should have been exotic in the first place, with the short bow being the apex martial ranged weapon.


Torbyne wrote:
Why not just abuse buitcher's axe with one of the large weapon arhetypes, impact enchantment and shield brace? is that not sick enough?

No, no it's not!!

Kalindlara wrote:
Before anyone gets too excited about Savage Critical, don't forget that the most accessible version has "ogre" among its prerequisites. ^_^

yep, I got that.

Haywire build generator wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Before anyone gets too excited about Savage Critical, don't forget that the most accessible version has "ogre" among its prerequisites. ^_^
Racial Heriatge. Fighters can probably afford it.

See, he gets it. 1 or 2 levels of Snakebite Striker, racial heritage and Accomplished Sneak Attacker = profit. You could versatile design for close/monk to use the axe with brawlers flurry. That way you could flurry for full attack or vital strike on moving.


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I'm just beginning to have the possibilities dawn on me with this weapon modification.

Gun Scavenger applies a misfire chance to any firearm you wield. Which means any ranged weapon being treated as a firearm would have a misfire chance. This would normally be bad, but this means we can use Change Out with the weapon. Which means we get to turn the weapon into a scatter weapon.

WHICH MEANS SHOTGUN COMPOSITE LONGBOWS. 110 FOOT CONE OF ARROWS. WITH BOTH STRENGTH AND DEXTERITY TO DAMAGE. AND NO RAPID RELOAD REQUIRED.

HOT. DAMN.


Isabelle Lee wrote:
So your bow could be a firearm

So a gunslinger could use this on a bow to get a bow dex to damage. Hmmm... A bolt ace that uses bows...

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