Fighter Class Preview

Monday, March 19, 2018

Over the past 2 weeks, we've tried to give you a sense of what Pathfinder Second Edition is all about, but now it's time to delve into some details on the classes. From now until the game releases in August, we'll go through the classes one by one, pausing now and then to look at various rules and systems. Today, let's take a look at one of the most foundational classes in the game: the fighter.

The fighter was one of the first classes we redesigned, alongside the rogue, cleric, and wizard. We knew that we wanted these four to work well in concert with each other, with the fighter taking on the role of primary combat character, good at taking damage and even better at dealing damage. The fighter has to be the best with weapons, using his class options to give him an edge with his weapons of choice. The fighter also has to be mobile, able to get into the fray quickly and hold the line, allowing less melee-oriented characters time to get into position and use their abilities without have to fend off constant attacks.

Let's start by looking at some of the features shared by all fighters.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

First up is attacks of opportunity. This feature allows you to spend your reaction to strike a creature within your reach that tries to manipulate an object (like drinking a potion), make a ranged attack, or move away from you. This attack is made with a –2 penalty, but it doesn't take the multiple attack penalty from other strikes you attempt on your turn. Other classes can get this ability—and numerous monsters will as well—but only the fighter starts with it a core feature. Fighters also have feat choices that can make their attacks of opportunity more effective.

Next up, at 3rd level, you gain weapon mastery, which increases your proficiency rank with one group of weapons to master. Your proficiency rank increases to legendary at 13th level, making you truly the best with the weapons of your choice. At 19th level, you become a legend with all simple and martial weapons!

The fighter gets a number of other buffs and increases as well, but one I want to call out in particular is battlefield surveyor, which increases your Perception proficiency rank to master (you start as an expert), and gives you an additional +1 bonus when you roll Perception for initiative, helping you be first into the fight!

As mentioned in the blog last week, the real meat behind the classes is in their feats and (as of this post), the fighter has the largest selection of feats out of all the classes in the game! Let's take a look at some.

You've probably already heard about Sudden Charge. You can pick up this feat at 1st level. When you spend two actions on it, this feat allows you to move up to twice your speed and deliver a single strike. There's no need to move in a straight line and no AC penalty—you just move and attack! This feat lets the fighter jump right into the thick of things and make an immediate impact.

Next let's take a look at Power Attack. This feat allows you to spend two actions to make a single strike that deals an extra die of damage. Instead of trading accuracy for damage (as it used to work), you now trade out an action you could have used for a far less accurate attack to get more power on a roll that is more likely to hit.

As you go up in level, some of the feats really allow you to mix things up. Take the 4th-level feat Quick Reversal, for example. If you are being flanked and you miss with your second or third attack against one of the flankers, this feat lets you redirect the attack to the other target and reroll it, possibly turning a miss into a hit!

We've talked before about how fun and tactical shields are in the game. To recap, you take an action to raise your shield and get its Armor Class and touch Armor Class bonuses, and then you can block incoming damage with a reaction while the shield is raised. At 6th level, fighters can take the feat Shield Warden, which allows them to use their shield to block the damage taken by an adjacent ally. At 8th, they can even get an extra reaction each turn, just to use shield block one additional time. (And yes, they can spend this extra reaction on another use of Shield Warden.) At 14th level, a fighter can use their shield to protect themself from dragon's breath and fireballs, gaining their shield's bonus to Reflex saves.

The fighter also has a wide variety of options with ranged weapons, allowing you to deal more damage up close or fire more than one arrow at a time. I foresee a lot of fighters taking Debilitating Shot, which causes a foe to be slowed if the attack hits (causing it to lose one action on its next turn).

And all this is a small sample. We've made a conscious effort to give fighters a number of paths they can pursue using their feats: focusing on shields, swinging a two-handed weapon, fighting with two weapons, making ranged attacks, and fighting defensively. These paths are pretty open, allowing you to mix and match with ease to create a fighter that matches your play style.

The goal here is to give you a variety of tools to deal with the situations and encounters you are bound to face. You might walk into a fight with your bow and open with Double Shot, allowing you to fire a pair of arrows into the two nearest foes, only to swap over to using a greataxe when the rest surround you, making an attack against all enemies in your reach with Whirlwind Strike! It all comes down to the type of fighter you want to play.

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

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Bardic Dave wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
The hate is that shields are still incredibly boring, but now require an action to use.
Hmmm... I can't agree with that. We've only seen a fraction of what you can do with shields, and I already think they look really cool. I also don't see how the fact that shield-use takes an action is an inherently negative thing. It would be a nerf if shields in PF1 were errata'ed to take an action to use, but this is PF2; it's a different system. It's possible to balance action economy and weapon selection around the fact that shields take an action to use, and that's exactly what Paizo is doing. Attaching an action cost to shields allows Paizo to design them to be more powerful and cool, because there's more of a trade-off to using them.

But they aren't more powerful or cooler, that's the problem. They're just the same lame +2 bonus to AC except they cost an action now.


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The more I think about shields needing an action to keep ready every single round to use its block, the more it irritates me. It makes as much sense as needing an action to keep a weapon ready every single round to make sure you can have your AoO.

Liberty's Edge

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Ninja in the Rye wrote:
But they aren't more powerful or cooler, that's the problem. They're just the same lame +2 bonus to AC except they cost an action now.

Uh...did you miss that shields now give you a Reaction that effectively gives you DR 9+ vs, one attack? Because they do and it's awesome.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
But they aren't more powerful or cooler, that's the problem. They're just the same lame +2 bonus to AC except they cost an action now.
Uh...did you miss that shields now give you a Reaction that effectively gives you DR 9+ vs, one attack? Because they do and it's awesome.

And that’s just the basic shield, wait till they get ahold of Adamantine :3


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
But they aren't more powerful or cooler, that's the problem. They're just the same lame +2 bonus to AC except they cost an action now.
Uh...did you miss that shields now give you a Reaction that effectively gives you DR 9+ vs, one attack? Because they do and it's awesome.

No, I didn't miss it. Nor did I miss that using that reaction (on top of using an action to set it up) dents the shield if the enemy beats your DR, and that after a few dents the shield is destroyed. Meaning that as soon as you find yourself fighting enemies that can beat the DR that shield on your arm is going to end up as useless scrap pretty quickly.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
But they aren't more powerful or cooler, that's the problem. They're just the same lame +2 bonus to AC except they cost an action now.
Uh...did you miss that shields now give you a Reaction that effectively gives you DR 9+ vs, one attack? Because they do and it's awesome.

Yes, I think they must have missed that tidbit. Not only that, the DR gets higher with better shields, and you can do it more than once per turn with a feat, potentially even blocking attacks aimed at your allies.


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
But they aren't more powerful or cooler, that's the problem. They're just the same lame +2 bonus to AC except they cost an action now.
Uh...did you miss that shields now give you a Reaction that effectively gives you DR 9+ vs, one attack? Because they do and it's awesome.
No, I didn't miss it. Nor did I miss that using that reaction (on top of using an action to set it up) dents the shield if the enemy beats your DR, and that after a few dents the shield is destroyed. Meaning that as soon as you find yourself fighting enemies that can beat the DR that shield on your arm is going to end up as useless scrap pretty quickly.

Oh yeah? And pray tell, how many dents can a shield sustain? Because AFAIK, that piece of information hasn't dropped yet. It might be as you fear, and your shield will be useless after a couple hits. I doubt it though. I'm guessing it's going to take closer to 10 dents to break a shield, and that skills and spells like mending will make in-field repairs relatively trivial.

Of course, neither of us knows the final design and we'll just have to wait and see. However, you're basing your disaffection and discontentment on assumptions that aren't entirely reasonable. I suggest you wait until you have the full picture.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
But they aren't more powerful or cooler, that's the problem. They're just the same lame +2 bonus to AC except they cost an action now.
Uh...did you miss that shields now give you a Reaction that effectively gives you DR 9+ vs, one attack? Because they do and it's awesome.
No, I didn't miss it. Nor did I miss that using that reaction (on top of using an action to set it up) dents the shield if the enemy beats your DR, and that after a few dents the shield is destroyed. Meaning that as soon as you find yourself fighting enemies that can beat the DR that shield on your arm is going to end up as useless scrap pretty quickly.

But you will be alive.


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It'd be nice if shields had a passive benefit too, just also add a small passive boost from dual wielding or two handing a weapon. The shield boost could just give your shield proficiency to AC, or a +1 bonus. Something that's small but at least still has an effect. Dual welding should increase attack bonus on secondary strikes and two handing can increase damage.

Liberty's Edge

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Ninja in the Rye wrote:
No, I didn't miss it. Nor did I miss that using that reaction (on top of using an action to set it up) dents the shield if the enemy beats your DR, and that after a few dents the shield is destroyed. Meaning that as soon as you find yourself fighting enemies that can beat the DR that shield on your arm is going to end up as useless scrap pretty quickly.

By what we've heard, it takes at least 3 dents to render something unusable (possibly lots more).

I dunno about you, but 27 extra HP is a hell of a big bonus at early levels even if that's all you get (that more than doubles basically all 1st level characters' HP). And that's just a wooden shield, I'd imagine an adamantine or magic one manages a great deal better than that.

Giving up my -10 attack and my AoO on the first three rounds for +2 AC for the first 3 rounds and +27 HP is a deal I'd make in a heartbeat...and that's a worst case scenario. Firstly, that assumes the attacks all hit, which is unlikely. It's the first 6 rounds if only half hit. Secondly, even if they all hit and someone is doing 1d12+5 or +6, one in three or four attacks aren't even gonna dent the shield, so it's probably the first 4 rounds and 36 HP extra that you have the shield for. That almost triples a 1st level character's HP. And thirdly, that 1d12+5 noted above? That's sorta absurd as 1st level damage goes. Most foes are probably more like 1d8+3...which only beats the 9 damage 1/4 of the time.

Now, that is all at 1st level...but it's also assuming a nonmagical wooden shield. So there's that.


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Rysky wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
But they aren't more powerful or cooler, that's the problem. They're just the same lame +2 bonus to AC except they cost an action now.
Uh...did you miss that shields now give you a Reaction that effectively gives you DR 9+ vs, one attack? Because they do and it's awesome.
No, I didn't miss it. Nor did I miss that using that reaction (on top of using an action to set it up) dents the shield if the enemy beats your DR, and that after a few dents the shield is destroyed. Meaning that as soon as you find yourself fighting enemies that can beat the DR that shield on your arm is going to end up as useless scrap pretty quickly.
But you will be alive.

I'm alive but shieldless and the hardest enemies in the dungeon are looking for us now. On the other hand my friend using the great sword is also still alive because he avoids damage by killing things faster than I do, and his entire combat style hasn't been compromised going forward by equipment failure.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
But they aren't more powerful or cooler, that's the problem. They're just the same lame +2 bonus to AC except they cost an action now.
Uh...did you miss that shields now give you a Reaction that effectively gives you DR 9+ vs, one attack? Because they do and it's awesome.
No, I didn't miss it. Nor did I miss that using that reaction (on top of using an action to set it up) dents the shield if the enemy beats your DR, and that after a few dents the shield is destroyed. Meaning that as soon as you find yourself fighting enemies that can beat the DR that shield on your arm is going to end up as useless scrap pretty quickly.
But you will be alive.
I'm alive but shieldless and the hardest enemies in the dungeon are looking for us now. On the other hand my friend using the great sword is also still alive because he avoids damage by killing things faster than I do, and his entire combat style hasn't been compromised going forward by equipment failure.

... using a shield doesn't require both your hands. Or all your actions.

Two hand your weapon, draw a second one, draw a second shield. As shown so far having this shield DR is nice, but it's not the sole function of your character.


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Bardic Dave wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
But they aren't more powerful or cooler, that's the problem. They're just the same lame +2 bonus to AC except they cost an action now.
Uh...did you miss that shields now give you a Reaction that effectively gives you DR 9+ vs, one attack? Because they do and it's awesome.
No, I didn't miss it. Nor did I miss that using that reaction (on top of using an action to set it up) dents the shield if the enemy beats your DR, and that after a few dents the shield is destroyed. Meaning that as soon as you find yourself fighting enemies that can beat the DR that shield on your arm is going to end up as useless scrap pretty quickly.

Oh yeah? And pray tell, how many dents can a shield sustain? Because AFAIK, that piece of information hasn't dropped yet. It might be as you fear, and your shield will be useless after a couple hits. I doubt it though. I'm guessing it's going to take closer to 10 dents to break a shield, and that skills and spells like mending will make in-field repairs relatively trivial.

Of course, neither of us knows the final design and we'll just have to wait and see. However, you're basing your disaffection and discontentment on assumptions that aren't entirely reasonable. I suggest you wait until you have the full picture.

Judging from what Jason said in the GC podcast it was 3 or 4 dents to destroy a shield, IIRC.

Of course neither of us knows the final design and we'll just have to wait and see. However, you're basing your affection and contentment on assumptions that aren't entirely reasonable. I suggest you wait until we have the full picture.


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Rysky wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
But they aren't more powerful or cooler, that's the problem. They're just the same lame +2 bonus to AC except they cost an action now.
Uh...did you miss that shields now give you a Reaction that effectively gives you DR 9+ vs, one attack? Because they do and it's awesome.
No, I didn't miss it. Nor did I miss that using that reaction (on top of using an action to set it up) dents the shield if the enemy beats your DR, and that after a few dents the shield is destroyed. Meaning that as soon as you find yourself fighting enemies that can beat the DR that shield on your arm is going to end up as useless scrap pretty quickly.
But you will be alive.
I'm alive but shieldless and the hardest enemies in the dungeon are looking for us now. On the other hand my friend using the great sword is also still alive because he avoids damage by killing things faster than I do, and his entire combat style hasn't been compromised going forward by equipment failure.

... using a shield doesn't require both your hands. Or all your actions.

Two hand your weapon, draw a second one, draw a second shield. As shown so far having this shield DR is nice, but it's not the sole function of your character.

Ah, now I see, the true tactical awesomeness of shields is that they're not much better than fighting without one!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So let’s all just sit quietly, and wait until we have the full picture in August.


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I'm alive but shieldless

Are you? Do we know how dent works? How easy it is to repair, what effect dent has? Do we know which class feats can be used in combination of blocking, to avoid more damage, or distract the enemy and stab him with a riposte, or shield bash for free after a block?

Because if not, then this whole conversation about how hard the sky is falling is a bit too soon.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I'm alive but shieldless

Are you? Do we know how dent works? How easy it is to repair, what effect dent has? Do we know which class feats can be used in combination of blocking, to avoid more damage, or distract the enemy and stab him with a riposte, or shield bash for free after a block?

Because if not, then this whole conversation about how hard the sky is falling is a bit too soon.

Hell even if you are, unless potions become way cheaper the gold to replace the shield seems like it will be far less than the gold to replace the HP it saved.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Buy several cheap, wooden shields. Get a shield bearer to carry your spares.

One shield per combat!

Liberty's Edge

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BretI wrote:

Buy several cheap, wooden shields. Get a shield bearer to carry your spares.

One shield per combat!

This is probably not how it's gonna work out mechanically, but it'd be super historically accurate if it did. Swords were passed down in family lines sometimes, but shields seldom lasted through a single major battle.

Of course, the idea of actual metal shields (as opposed to wood with a metal covering) is also pretty laughable from a realism standpoint, and I don't come to Pathfinder for realism...but I do always find it amusing when it stumbles into realism and then people complain that's ridiculous. :)

Shadow Lodge

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
So let’s all just sit quietly, and wait until we have the full picture in August.

Bah. We have plenty of other topics to fight about.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
Another thing to note, is that you didn't mention any proficiency with armors, is fighter not getting armor training (so to speak) in this edition? Are they still proficient with all armors and shields at level 1?
He does still have armor proficiency, and it does improve a bit for him, but for the fighter, we decided that weapons were his prime focus. This leaves a focus on armor for another class...

I'm extremely pleased by the shield tanking aspects of the fighter thus far, but reading this has me surprised.

I'd really like to hear more about the treatment of AC, mitigation and the concept (or non-concept) of tanking in PF2e, to try to put it into context?

The number one playstyle I was interested in seeing expanded was a Fighter with heavy armour, and control type abilities.

Dark Archive

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Rysky wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
But they aren't more powerful or cooler, that's the problem. They're just the same lame +2 bonus to AC except they cost an action now.
Uh...did you miss that shields now give you a Reaction that effectively gives you DR 9+ vs, one attack? Because they do and it's awesome.
No, I didn't miss it. Nor did I miss that using that reaction (on top of using an action to set it up) dents the shield if the enemy beats your DR, and that after a few dents the shield is destroyed. Meaning that as soon as you find yourself fighting enemies that can beat the DR that shield on your arm is going to end up as useless scrap pretty quickly.
But you will be alive.
I'm alive but shieldless and the hardest enemies in the dungeon are looking for us now. On the other hand my friend using the great sword is also still alive because he avoids damage by killing things faster than I do, and his entire combat style hasn't been compromised going forward by equipment failure.

... using a shield doesn't require both your hands. Or all your actions.

Two hand your weapon, draw a second one, draw a second shield. As shown so far having this shield DR is nice, but it's not the sole function of your character.

Don't forget it's been mentioned that you can use your shield with some of the TWF feats... Or, more accurately, there are sword and board TWF builds.


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I think the implication that shield actions can potentially give your allies DR is huge. That means that shield wielders are naturally annoying if you're trying to drop the caster or archer forcing you to have to go toe to toe with them quickly in order to keep you from flying in the sky. And since the rogue can avoid reactions rogues are very important for accomplishing this without having to deal with the fighter. I'm seeing a bit of rock, paper scissors design.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
So let’s all just sit quietly, and wait until we have the full picture in August.

What? And miss out on arguing without knowing what the hell we're talking about? Where's the fun in that? :-)


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I'm alive but shieldless

Are you? Do we know how dent works? How easy it is to repair, what effect dent has? Do we know which class feats can be used in combination of blocking, to avoid more damage, or distract the enemy and stab him with a riposte, or shield bash for free after a block?

Because if not, then this whole conversation about how hard the sky is falling is a bit too soon.

Everything that anyone is saying about the new system is "too soon".

Yet I never seem to notice any of the people who are saying positive things about 2E being told to hold on and wait because they don't have the full picture yet.

It's almost like the people saying it don't think that we should really wait before forming opinions about 2E, and are just using it as a convenient way to shut down and ignore criticism ...


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I'm alive but shieldless

Are you? Do we know how dent works? How easy it is to repair, what effect dent has? Do we know which class feats can be used in combination of blocking, to avoid more damage, or distract the enemy and stab him with a riposte, or shield bash for free after a block?

Because if not, then this whole conversation about how hard the sky is falling is a bit too soon.

Everything that anyone is saying about the new system is "too soon".

Yet I never seem to notice any of the people who are saying positive things about 2E being told to hold on and wait because they don't have the full picture yet.

It's almost like the people saying it don't think that we should really wait before forming opinions about 2E, and are just using it as a convenient way to shut down and ignore criticism ...

If you see someone praising the system with information that hasn't been given out yet, the go ahead call them on it. "I love that in PF2E Fighters are amazing because at lvl 13 with Legendary sword proficiency I can juggle 6 swords, attacking with whichever I please" has no grounding. "Shields are better than you are making out because we've seen how much they can block without taking a dent, and we've seen the health of a lvl 1 fighter and it can double their staying power" is drawing fine conclusions from what we have.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I'm alive but shieldless

Are you? Do we know how dent works? How easy it is to repair, what effect dent has? Do we know which class feats can be used in combination of blocking, to avoid more damage, or distract the enemy and stab him with a riposte, or shield bash for free after a block?

Because if not, then this whole conversation about how hard the sky is falling is a bit too soon.

Everything that anyone is saying about the new system is "too soon".

Yet I never seem to notice any of the people who are saying positive things about 2E being told to hold on and wait because they don't have the full picture yet.

It's almost like the people saying it don't think that we should really wait before forming opinions about 2E, and are just using it as a convenient way to shut down and ignore criticism ...

Most of the positive statements are: I like what I see and I look forward to playing it.

People saying: I am concerned feature A could turn out poorly. Are often not being told it is too soon.

People saying: I hate this feature because it is not balanced and means it will be worthless. Are being told it's a bit too soon to make that full conclusion.

It is certainly viable to be concerned but to hold out on final judgement until you see the full ruleset. It is viable to be optimistic and like the things you see. It is too soon to say something will render a feature or character useless since we don't have the full picture.


Malk_Content wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I'm alive but shieldless

Are you? Do we know how dent works? How easy it is to repair, what effect dent has? Do we know which class feats can be used in combination of blocking, to avoid more damage, or distract the enemy and stab him with a riposte, or shield bash for free after a block?

Because if not, then this whole conversation about how hard the sky is falling is a bit too soon.

Everything that anyone is saying about the new system is "too soon".

Yet I never seem to notice any of the people who are saying positive things about 2E being told to hold on and wait because they don't have the full picture yet.

It's almost like the people saying it don't think that we should really wait before forming opinions about 2E, and are just using it as a convenient way to shut down and ignore criticism ...

If you see someone praising the system with information that hasn't been given out yet, the go ahead call them on it. "I love that in PF2E Fighters are amazing because at lvl 13 with Legendary sword proficiency I can juggle 6 swords, attacking with whichever I please" has no grounding. "Shields are better than you are making out because we've seen how much they can block without taking a dent, and we've seen the health of a lvl 1 fighter and it can double their staying power" is drawing fine conclusions from what we have.

I'm going to call you out for praising the system with information that hasn't been given out.

You don't know how much damage all CR appropriate enemies will be dealing out each round, nor how dents will limit the effectiveness of shields, so saying that they will double the staying power of level 1 fighters is an ill informed conclusion to be drawing from what we have.

Liberty's Edge

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Ninja in the Rye wrote:

I'm going to call you out for praising the system with information that hasn't been given out.

You don't know how much damage all CR appropriate enemies will be dealing out each round, nor how dents will limit the effectiveness of shields, so saying that they will double the staying power of level 1 fighters is an ill informed conclusion to be drawing from what we have.

Um...they double a 1st level Fighter's staying power even if the enemy hits automatically for 2d6+18 damage per hit.

So...no, that's not theorizing in advance of the data.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:

I'm going to call you out for praising the system with information that hasn't been given out.

You don't know how much damage all CR appropriate enemies will be dealing out each round, nor how dents will limit the effectiveness of shields, so saying that they will double the staying power of level 1 fighters is an ill informed conclusion to be drawing from what we have.

Um...they double a 1st level Fighter's staying power even if the enemy hits automatically for 2d6+18 damage per hit.

So...no, that's not theorizing in advance of the data.

Oh, so you know for a fact that dents don't reduce that amount of DR provided by a shield, or that enemies won't have actions/reactions that can negate a shield's block.

I just think we need to wait on all the information before we act like we have any idea of how much a shield's DR will help a level 1 fighter.

And, for that matter, I've heard rumors that Pathfinder 2E will have levels higher than 1 (can't really confirm this for sure though, but some rumors suggest that there will even be 19 or 20 levels!), and we have to consider that any argument centered on how good they are at first level is largely irrelevant to whether they are good overall.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

We *have* seen a few playtests now. Level 1 fighters with shields aren’t at the same level of mystery as level 15 encounter balance.

If you don’t like feeling called out, try expressing your concerns in a way that acknowledges how a system would need to work to feel balanced to you.


KingOfAnything wrote:

We *have* seen a few playtests now. Level 1 fighters with shields aren’t at the same level of mystery as level 15 encounter balance.

If you don’t like feeling called out, try expressing your concerns in a way that acknowledges how a system would need to work to feel balanced to you.

What if every single person disusing these previews took it as a point of fact that everyone else is aware that the whole system has not been released yet, and the everyone is expressing their concerns based on limited date, and that jumping in to remind people of that while making a reference to the "sky falling" as if the person expressing their concerns is in hysterics or whatever is both pointless and asinine?

Liberty's Edge

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Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Oh, so you know for a fact that dents don't reduce that amount of DR provided by a shield, or that enemies won't have actions/reactions that can negate a shield's block.

We've not seen either of these things happen. But, actually, my above statement stands even if the DR is reduced.

Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I just think we need to wait on all the information before we act like we have any idea of how much a shield's DR will help a level 1 fighter.

We've literally seen them used and seen neither of the things you suggest happen. They might be theoretically possible, but they certainly aren't common or the default.

Ninja in the Rye wrote:
And, for that matter, I've heard rumors that Pathfinder 2E will have levels higher than 1 (can't really confirm this for sure though, but some rumors suggest that there will even be 19 or 20 levels!), and we have to consider that any argument centered on how good they are at first level is largely irrelevant to whether they are good overall.

Well, we do rather lack data to state anything definitive about higher levels.

But assuming that it will suddenly become much worse as you level is a pretty weird assumption. I mean, it's possible, but assuming it (as you seem to be) is weird.

I mean...you're the one who started this by saying shields seemed bad. We just responded with math that said everything we've seen of shields so far is mechanically awesome. It's not everything there's gonna be, no...but it's everything we've seen. Assuming everything we've got thus far is wrong or inaccurate beyond low levels is just...odd.


You're right that I'm probably not giving the DR aspect enough weight, I do think that I've gotten a bit stuck on the fact that Shield to Reflex is locked away as a level 14 ability and the fact that using the ability damages the shield in the process.

I still question whether the shield block,as good as it may be, is worth all 4 of the following: Giving up a hand slot, an action to set up, a reaction to use, and damage to the shield once you're facing enemies capable of bringing hurt beyond its hardness.

I feel like some Fighters are going to end up in situations where the tactically prudent thing is to eat a great sword or Dragon bite to the face rather than denting their shield, and that's something that I really don't like in a thematic sense.


I think the real missing piece for "how impactful is it to add your shield bonus to your reflex save" (in addition to how high a shield bonus can go) is - What sorts of things are possible for a level 14 character who critically succeeds at a reflex save?


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think the real missing piece for "how impactful is it to add your shield bonus to your reflex save" (in addition to how high a shield bonus can go) is - What sorts of things are possible for a level 14 character who critically succeeds at a reflex save?

Possibly, but then isn't the real question what does succeeding/critically succeeding at a reflex save do for level 1-13 characters that makes it worth locking away that high and class restricted?

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

I want to say critically succeeding on a Reflex save is essentially evasion? IIRC, the Evasion ability now lets you treat normal successes as critical success (at least, I think I read one of the devs say that somewhere).


Here's the one thing I want to know about fighters in PF 2.0: Will two-weapon fighting be viable or will 2H weapons still be far superior?


Jim Helbron wrote:
Here's the one thing I want to know about fighters in PF 2.0: Will two-weapon fighting be viable or will 2H weapons still be far superior?

Check the Power Attack math thread.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Oh, so you know for a fact that dents don't reduce that amount of DR provided by a shield, or that enemies won't have actions/reactions that can negate a shield's block.

We've not seen either of these things happen. But, actually, my above statement stands even if the DR is reduced.

Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I just think we need to wait on all the information before we act like we have any idea of how much a shield's DR will help a level 1 fighter.

We've literally seen them used and seen neither of the things you suggest happen. They might be theoretically possible, but they certainly aren't common or the default.

Ninja in the Rye wrote:
And, for that matter, I've heard rumors that Pathfinder 2E will have levels higher than 1 (can't really confirm this for sure though, but some rumors suggest that there will even be 19 or 20 levels!), and we have to consider that any argument centered on how good they are at first level is largely irrelevant to whether they are good overall.

Well, we do rather lack data to state anything definitive about higher levels.

But assuming that it will suddenly become much worse as you level is a pretty weird assumption. I mean, it's possible, but assuming it (as you seem to be) is weird.

I mean...you're the one who started this by saying shields seemed bad. We just responded with math that said everything we've seen of shields so far is mechanically awesome. It's not everything there's gonna be, no...but it's everything we've seen. Assuming everything we've got thus far is wrong or inaccurate beyond low levels is just...odd.

except shield use seems to nail you in place, consider 1action to raise shield, leaving a single power attack or two normals, or a partial move.. Kitting shield users is looking to be simple.


Jim Helbron wrote:
Here's the one thing I want to know about fighters in PF 2.0: Will two-weapon fighting be viable or will 2H weapons still be far superior?

I don't think we have any idea how twf works in PF2 yet.


TWF probably will not be discussed until the Ranger preview. (Hopefully it's not a Ranger-exclusive feat.) But I imagine it will work like TWF in PF1 Unchained: TWF lets you attack with both weapons as one action once per turn, Improved TWF does it twice per turn, and Greater TWF does it three times per turn.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fuzzypaws wrote:
TWF probably will not be discussed until the Ranger preview. (Hopefully it's not a Ranger-exclusive feat.) But I imagine it will work like TWF in PF1 Unchained: TWF lets you attack with both weapons as one action once per turn, Improved TWF does it twice per turn, and Greater TWF does it three times per turn.

Mark Seifter mentioned a Double Slice feat near the start of this blog's discussion, so Fighter at least gets SOMETHING that supports a character wielding two weapons, but we have no clue what it would do.

Mark Seifter wrote:
F. Castor wrote:
Interesting stuff. Really curious about two-weapon fighting though. Here is to hoping we get some hints or information on that down the road.
The fighter actually has Double Slice, an incredibly good 1st-level feat for TWFers; it just wasn't in the preview.

Paizo Employee Designer

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R.I.P. Randyll, decapitated by the critical hit of another fighter (who happened to also be a dullahan who took his head and made his soul into a hound to serve him). Somewhere out there, a pukwudgie can finally sleep at night. Randyll was survived by the monk Kobra and the bard Melvoin. In solemn mourning for his lost fighter compatriot, Kobra decided to put on the dullahan's full plate despite numerous penalties for being a non-proficient monk in full plate and carry Randyll's mighty bastard sword. Kobra and Melvoin (the latter of whom was completely out of spells) still managed to gather the artifact and solidly stomp the encounter waiting for them on the way out! They promised to give the full plate to Randyll's more intelligent brother Brandyll.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
R.I.P. Randyll, decapitated by the critical hit of another fighter (who happened to also be a dullahan who took his head and made his soul into a hound to serve him). Somewhere out there, a pukwudgie can finally sleep at night. Randyll was survived by the monk Kobra and the bard Melvoin. In solemn mourning for his lost fighter compatriot, Kobra decided to put on the dullahan's full plate despite numerous penalties for being a non-proficient monk in full plate and carry Randyll's mighty bastard sword. Kobra and Melvoin (the latter of whom was completely out of spells) still managed to gather the artifact and solidly stomp the encounter waiting for them on the way out! They promised to give the full plate to Randyll's more intelligent brother Brandyll.

That last part reminded me of something

Liberty's Edge

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Rob Godfrey wrote:
except shield use seems to nail you in place, consider 1action to raise shield, leaving a single power attack or two normals, or a partial move.. Kitting shield users is looking to be simple.

Not if they take the above mentioned power 'Sudden Charge' where you double move and make 1 attack for 2 actions. A good choice for a shield user who wants to avoid this.

Though even without that, well, the action order sorta goes like this:

Enemy Action 1: Moves in to attack
Enemy Action 2: Attacks
Enemy Action 3: Moves away (at this point, if the attack missed and the Fighter thus didn't use their shield reaction, the Fighter can use an AoO)

Fighter action 1: Moves up to attack
Fighter Action 2: Attacks
Fighter Action 3: Sets shield

So...that looks like a bad scene for the person 'kiting'. Sure, the Fighter isn't Power Attacking, but neither is the guy kiting. It admittedly gets a lot better if the enemy has better movement than the Fighter...but for that situation, you've got the ability to take the aforementioned Sudden Charge, if you're worried about it.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Mark Seifter wrote:
R.I.P. Randyll, decapitated by the critical hit of another fighter (who happened to also be a dullahan who took his head and made his soul into a hound to serve him). Somewhere out there, a pukwudgie can finally sleep at night. Randyll was survived by the monk Kobra and the bard Melvoin. In solemn mourning for his lost fighter compatriot, Kobra decided to put on the dullahan's full plate despite numerous penalties for being a non-proficient monk in full plate and carry Randyll's mighty bastard sword. Kobra and Melvoin (the latter of whom was completely out of spells) still managed to gather the artifact and solidly stomp the encounter waiting for them on the way out! They promised to give the full plate to Randyll's more intelligent brother Brandyll.

Kobra's entire existence is basically a series of dubious choices that continue to pay unlikely dividends. He's rapidly becoming my new favorite character.

Liberty's Edge

Ninja in the Rye wrote:
You're right that I'm probably not giving the DR aspect enough weight, I do think that I've gotten a bit stuck on the fact that Shield to Reflex is locked away as a level 14 ability and the fact that using the ability damages the shield in the process.

Even if that ability is potentially sub-par, that's a commentary on that ability, not shields in general. Though, really, I think we've got a situation where basically nothing adds to Saves aside from Proficiency and Level, which makes even small bonuses worth more.

Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I still question whether the shield block,as good as it may be, is worth all 4 of the following: Giving up a hand slot, an action to set up, a reaction to use, and damage to the shield once you're facing enemies capable of bringing hurt beyond its hardness.

I definitely imagine its a tradeoff, but we don't know enough about the increasing hardness of more expensive shields or anything like that to know whether its worth it long term. It's certainly potentially worth it with a starting shield at 1st.

Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I feel like some Fighters are going to end up in situations where the tactically prudent thing is to eat a great sword or Dragon bite to the face rather than denting their shield, and that's something that I really don't like in a thematic sense.

I was listening to the people at Paizo talk about this (on a podcast), and it seemingly is very much their intention for shields to function somewhat as consumables, were you buy a new one (or repair yours) semi-regularly, so you might be thinking of a shield breaking as a bigger deal than it's probably gonna be.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
BretI wrote:

Buy several cheap, wooden shields. Get a shield bearer to carry your spares.

One shield per combat!

This is probably not how it's gonna work out mechanically, but it'd be super historically accurate if it did. Swords were passed down in family lines sometimes, but shields seldom lasted through a single major battle.

Of course, the idea of actual metal shields (as opposed to wood with a metal covering) is also pretty laughable from a realism standpoint, and I don't come to Pathfinder for realism...but I do always find it amusing when it stumbles into realism and then people complain that's ridiculous. :)

I believe there was a Viking form of duelling where the participants had a sword and three shields, and when all the shields were broken had they had to defend themselves without one. Mind you, Norse shields lacked a metal rim (usually, at least, according to grave finds) which was pretty unusual, so they may have been less resilient.

The only all-metal shields I'm aware of are bucklers in the Renaissance. Anything larger would be heavy and unwieldy.


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Bluenose wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
BretI wrote:

Buy several cheap, wooden shields. Get a shield bearer to carry your spares.

One shield per combat!

This is probably not how it's gonna work out mechanically, but it'd be super historically accurate if it did. Swords were passed down in family lines sometimes, but shields seldom lasted through a single major battle.

Of course, the idea of actual metal shields (as opposed to wood with a metal covering) is also pretty laughable from a realism standpoint, and I don't come to Pathfinder for realism...but I do always find it amusing when it stumbles into realism and then people complain that's ridiculous. :)

I believe there was a Viking form of duelling where the participants had a sword and three shields, and when all the shields were broken had they had to defend themselves without one. Mind you, Norse shields lacked a metal rim (usually, at least, according to grave finds) which was pretty unusual, so they may have been less resilient.

The only all-metal shields I'm aware of are bucklers in the Renaissance. Anything larger would be heavy and unwieldy.

13th warrior has a great scene for that.

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