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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Tags: Fighters Pathfinder Playtest Valeros Wayne Reynolds
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The-Last-Rogue wrote:
Gallyck wrote:
Thomas, A wrote:
might be the lack of info given but it sounds fighters are going to be same-y
Yup.And videogamey. Ok i go into power attack stance! now defense stance! bleh

How is this different than saying, "I'm going to Power Attack." or "I'm using Combat Expertise."

It is, literally, the same thing...re: activating move or stance.

Because it sounds like action points and certain things cost more action points. Sounds like a videogame to me. As opposed to saying power attack which doesn't require a resource in pf1.


Gallyck wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
thflame wrote:

Bad new devs:

Just ran your new Power attack mechanics with your old ones, and old PA IS better.

This is good news. In PF1 Power Attack was so good it was all-but-required. If PF2 Power Attack was better than PF1 Power Attack, then basically 100% of builds would end up taking it. And that's boring! It was due for a nerf, and this seems like a cool implementation to make it less powerful and more dynamic.
Disagree. It was one of the most useful feats heavily nerfed. It was what people want out of feats. Useful from 1-20. Easy to use. Now its pretty easy to blow 2 actions for +1 damage over using one action.

Right, but:

- It's probably multiplied on a crit, in which cases getting only +2 damage is very unlikely.
- It scales to more dice later, again making minimum damage much less likely. You can pick it up then.
- Getting +1 damage is better than 0, which is what your -10 attack will do at low levels.
- Roll the damage dice together without considering either die the Power Attack die. Then, consider the larger result your Power Attack die. You won't feel bad about it as a result. (Sure, this isn't fair, but neither is weighing the power of the feat by its lowest result rather than its average result.)


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Quandary wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
thflame wrote:

Bad new devs:

Just ran your new Power attack mechanics with your old ones, and old PA IS better.
This is good news. In PF1 Power Attack was so good it was all-but-required. If PF2 Power Attack was better than PF1 Power Attack, then basically 100% of builds would end up taking it. And that's boring! It was due for a nerf, and this seems like a cool implementation to make it less powerful and more dynamic.
Yeah, weird assessment of new game system , "A Feat does 5% less average damage than Previous System Feat with same name = BAD NEWS! FAIL!" As if achieving X numeric damage is important vs systemic dynamics (never mind they inflated HPs) Doing big damage in full attacks was never problem for P1E martials, they were more than sufficient at that.

Doesn't make what he said less valid. It seems like you have more hit points now at least to start. The guy simply shows that despite the devs saying you "get more power".

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gallyck wrote:
The-Last-Rogue wrote:
Gallyck wrote:
Thomas, A wrote:
might be the lack of info given but it sounds fighters are going to be same-y
Yup.And videogamey. Ok i go into power attack stance! now defense stance! bleh

How is this different than saying, "I'm going to Power Attack." or "I'm using Combat Expertise."

It is, literally, the same thing...re: activating move or stance.

Because it sounds like action points and certain things cost more action points. Sounds like a videogame to me. As opposed to saying power attack which doesn't require a resource in pf1.

It does require a resource, it eats your chance to hit.

That’s why you have a penalty, it’s costing you in at first a 5% chance to miss an attack, then 10% and then 15%. The missed attacks, are the “actions” you spent on power attack.

A slow but strong attack isn’t just video gamey it’s also pretty well mapped to how we expect powerful attacks to work, requiring a powerful build up and/or recovery due to swing momentum.


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What if we don't want to use shields? Can we trade out the 8th and 14th level abilities for other abilites?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
What if we don't want to use shields? Can we trade out the 8th and 14th level abilities for other abilites?

I believe those are options, not baked in abilities, archers and two handers, polearm warriors and two weapon fighters will still have options.


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Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
What if we don't want to use shields? Can we trade out the 8th and 14th level abilities for other abilites?

Even levels are class feats, odd levels are fixed features. (First level, you get both.) The blog was just describing when those feats become available- you'd only pick them if you wanted to focus on shields.


QuidEst wrote:
Gallyck wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
thflame wrote:

Bad new devs:

Just ran your new Power attack mechanics with your old ones, and old PA IS better.

This is good news. In PF1 Power Attack was so good it was all-but-required. If PF2 Power Attack was better than PF1 Power Attack, then basically 100% of builds would end up taking it. And that's boring! It was due for a nerf, and this seems like a cool implementation to make it less powerful and more dynamic.
Disagree. It was one of the most useful feats heavily nerfed. It was what people want out of feats. Useful from 1-20. Easy to use. Now its pretty easy to blow 2 actions for +1 damage over using one action.

Right, but:

- It's probably multiplied on a crit, in which cases getting only +2 damage is very unlikely.
- It scales to more dice later, again making minimum damage much less likely. You can pick it up then.
- Getting +1 damage is better than 0, which is what your -10 attack will do at low levels.
- Roll the damage dice together without considering either die the Power Attack die. Then, consider the larger result your Power Attack die. You won't feel bad about it as a result. (Sure, this isn't fair, but neither is weighing the power of the feat by its lowest result rather than its average result.)

Old power attack also gets multiplied on a crit and since the bonus is always higher then one it's floor is also higher.


Crayon wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
It occurs to me that I forgot to include a mention of Reactive Shield in this blog, which is a bit of an oversight. The preview version we ran all weekend had this ability, which allows you to spend your reaction to raise your shield. You can't block with it if you use this ability (since you've already spent your reaction), unless you get the extra reaction to block. I may try and get an edit in there to add a note about this.

Wait, you're saying that you have to spend an action to raise your shield to even get the AC bonus from the shield? I thought people were saying you only had to use an action if you wanted to do that block/damage reduction thing with it?

So you have to spend an action, give up the use of one of your hands, and you don't even gain AC to Reflex against blast attacks when you spend an action unless you're a level 14 fighter?

That's absolutely dreadful unless shields are giving a substantially bigger bonus to AC in 2E.

Based on the GC playtest, the AC boost is about the same. The reason you want a shield is to Block damage from an opponent's attacks (effectively DR)

Which to do you have to spend both an action and your lone reaction each round. Which is an awful lot.

If it was me I'd say that to make using a shield worthwhile you need to add:

Shield to Touch AC (I do think that this is something that is already added from the podcast).
Shield to Reflex against blasts and similar attacks (for everyone who is proficient from level 1, not limited to a single class at level 14).
STR or half STR to AC when using a Shield.

Shields need to be much better than they are to justify requiring an action each round AND giving up a hand.


Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
What if we don't want to use shields? Can we trade out the 8th and 14th level abilities for other abilites?

Yes, they are feats, not fixed class abilities - I get the impression there are very few fixed class abilities, instead you get lots of options.


QuidEst wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
What if we don't want to use shields? Can we trade out the 8th and 14th level abilities for other abilites?
Even levels are class feats, odd levels are fixed features. The blog was just describing when those feats become available- you'd only pick them if you wanted to focus on shields.

That's not what it reads like to me.

And another thing, why do we have to raise our shields every turn? In a real fight people have their shields raised at all times, they don't lower and raise them over and over again.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Gallyck wrote:
The-Last-Rogue wrote:
Gallyck wrote:
Thomas, A wrote:
might be the lack of info given but it sounds fighters are going to be same-y
Yup.And videogamey. Ok i go into power attack stance! now defense stance! bleh

How is this different than saying, "I'm going to Power Attack." or "I'm using Combat Expertise."

It is, literally, the same thing...re: activating move or stance.

Because it sounds like action points and certain things cost more action points. Sounds like a videogame to me. As opposed to saying power attack which doesn't require a resource in pf1.

It does require a resource, it eats your chance to hit.

That’s why you have a penalty, it’s costing you in at first a 5% chance to miss an attack, then 10% and then 15%. The missed attacks, are the “actions” you spent on power attack.

A slow but strong attack isn’t just video gamey it’s also pretty well mapped to how we expect powerful attacks to work, requiring a powerful build up and/or recovery due to swing momentum.

Any reasonable fighter can overcome the penalties. Like not even min maxed. I don't consider lowering accuracy to be a resource I guess is what I'm saying.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
What if we don't want to use shields? Can we trade out the 8th and 14th level abilities for other abilites?
Even levels are class feats, odd levels are fixed features. The blog was just describing when those feats become available- you'd only pick them if you wanted to focus on shields.

That's not what it reads like to me.

And another thing, why do we have to raise our shields every turn? In a real fight people have their shields raised at all times, they don't lower and raise them over and over again.

no in real life using a shield in a fight is normally an active activity that requires focus


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jimthegray wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
What if we don't want to use shields? Can we trade out the 8th and 14th level abilities for other abilites?
Even levels are class feats, odd levels are fixed features. The blog was just describing when those feats become available- you'd only pick them if you wanted to focus on shields.

That's not what it reads like to me.

And another thing, why do we have to raise our shields every turn? In a real fight people have their shields raised at all times, they don't lower and raise them over and over again.

no in real life using a shield in a fight is normally an active activity that requires focus

Have you.... ever fought with a sword and shield? Because that's really not true. Holding a shield is about as intuitive as it gets. Almost immediately after picking one up and learning proper shield stance, it becomes more of a subconscious thing. It required more effort to drop the thing than it is to block with it.


Gallyck wrote:
Old power attack also gets multiplied on a crit and since the bonus is always higher then one it's floor is also higher.

Comparing two-hander damage at first, though, old Power Attack would give 3 on a regular hit, 6 on a crit. It would reduce the change of a crit.

New Power Attack would do 6.5 average damage on a regular hit, 13 average damage on a crit (assuming it multiplies- I'd call it likely). You give up an action for it, which we'll assume was an attack at -10, but don't reduce your crit.

For a regular attack, there's a 16% chance it does less damage than old PA. (So five out of six times, it does at least as much, generally more.) For a crit, there's only a 7% chance that it does less damage than old PA. (About thirteen out of fourteen times, it does more damage.)

But, if you prefer to focus on avoiding bad turns rather than focusing on the average turn, things like Quick Reversal might be more your style, letting you turn misses into potential hits.


Speaking of narrative abilities, what would suit the fighter best and be relevant up to the epic levels? Like PF1's Paladins using Lay on Hands + Mercy let them act as pseudo-doctors OOC, rangers tracking like crazy on the wilderness (at least in theory), high level Monks acting as living translators for hypothetical intelligent creatures with completely unknown languages, etc. What could work well for fighters without breaking verisimilitude?

Paizo Employee Designer

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thflame wrote:

Bad new devs:

Just ran your new Power attack mechanics with your old ones, and old PA IS better.

I assumed that a zero penalty attack would need a 5 to hit.

I assumed a d12 damage dice with no added damage from STR (I can do this if you think it matters.)

3 straight attacks at a progressive -5 penalty did 20 damage on average per turn.

Your new Power Attack + one normal attack at -5 did 25 damage on average per turn. That's good at least.

Old Power attack (-1 attack, +3 damage) with a progressive -5 on attacks did 27 damage per turn on average. (I assumed the bonus damage would double on a crit.)

If I up the old Power attack penalty and damage(for higher levels), the gap get's HUGE(40+damage per round).

I checked my code repeatedly, and I can't find any errors. I accounted for the +/- 10 critical system and nat 1s and 20s being fails/crits.

If you want me to check specific scenarios, I can do that.

I can also send someone my code (C++) if you want.

EDIT: Thflame has fixed a bug in his program he posts about it here. As I expected, PF1 Power Attack is worse in all but extreme edge cases where you can barely hit at all or where you hit by a mile.

Minions where you hit on a 5 are one thing. Try it when you need a 9 to hit before the penalty. Either way, you'll need to add back in something like a +4 Strength bonus, as eliminating that undersells the damage you are losing for missing (when you deal with higher levels, you need to add in all the damage you expect to deal at that level for the same reason).

If you run those numbers, you will find that PF1-style -1/+3 Power Attack nets you roughly 1 expected damage over an entire round compared to not even doing anything special, and PF2-style Power Attack dramatically increases your damage.


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jimthegray wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
What if we don't want to use shields? Can we trade out the 8th and 14th level abilities for other abilites?
Even levels are class feats, odd levels are fixed features. The blog was just describing when those feats become available- you'd only pick them if you wanted to focus on shields.

That's not what it reads like to me.

And another thing, why do we have to raise our shields every turn? In a real fight people have their shields raised at all times, they don't lower and raise them over and over again.

no in real life using a shield in a fight is normally an active activity that requires focus

That's nowhere near the same thing as moving your shield out from in front of you so it becomes literally useless and needing to take actual effort to raise it again. Having your shield in line of defense at all times is no different from adjusting your guard at all times. I don't need to spend an action every turn to "raise" my sword so why my shield?


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QuidEst wrote:
Gallyck wrote:
Old power attack also gets multiplied on a crit and since the bonus is always higher then one it's floor is also higher.

Comparing two-hander damage at first, though, old Power Attack would give 3 on a regular hit, 6 on a crit. It would reduce the change of a crit.

New Power Attack would do 6.5 average damage on a regular hit, 13 average damage on a crit (assuming it multiplies- I'd call it likely). You give up an action for it, which we'll assume was an attack at -10, but don't reduce your crit.

For a regular attack, there's a 16% chance it does less damage than old PA. (So five out of six times, it does at least as much, generally more.) For a crit, there's only a 7% chance that it does less damage than old PA. (About thirteen out of fourteen times, it does more damage.)

But, if you prefer to focus on avoiding bad turns rather than focusing on the average turn, things like Quick Reversal might be more your style, letting you turn misses into potential hits.

Sure with a d12 weapon. Old pf1 power attack would catch up in consistency once it got boosted up. But what about a non big die weapon like the ever present longsword? I'm starting to come around to your thinking a bit but I'm going to be completely deflated when I power attack twice in a row for 2 extra damage. I prefer the old system of die + damage not die+die+damage.


So no more armor training?

Not happy with the changes to power attack.


Re-ran my code, this time checking for 1 to 20 needed on the D20 roll to hit. (Obviously nat 1s can't hit, but it effects crit probabilities).

New Power Attack passes old Power Attack when you have to roll a 15 to hit.

data:

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 1
Normal damage: 23.724115
New Power Attack damage: 27.280725
Old Power Attack damage: 31.147231

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 2
Normal damage: 22.750273
New Power Attack damage: 25.969478
Old Power Attack damage: 30.027484

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 3
Normal damage: 21.782065
New Power Attack damage: 24.690706
Old Power Attack damage: 28.894182

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 4
Normal damage: 20.781696
New Power Attack damage: 23.410734
Old Power Attack damage: 27.782997

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 5
Normal damage: 19.841676
New Power Attack damage: 22.087402
Old Power Attack damage: 26.974912

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 6
Normal damage: 19.177702
New Power Attack damage: 21.106695
Old Power Attack damage: 25.693798

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 7
Normal damage: 18.197792
New Power Attack damage: 19.799358
Old Power Attack damage: 24.421834

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 8
Normal damage: 17.229128
New Power Attack damage: 18.522478
Old Power Attack damage: 23.161297

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 9
Normal damage: 16.268835
New Power Attack damage: 17.216450
Old Power Attack damage: 21.876453

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 10
Normal damage: 15.269537
New Power Attack damage: 15.930049
Old Power Attack damage: 20.931532

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 11
Normal damage: 14.628678
New Power Attack damage: 15.599364
Old Power Attack damage: 19.499459

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 12
Normal damage: 13.665262
New Power Attack damage: 15.266045
Old Power Attack damage: 18.081684

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 13
Normal damage: 12.669360
New Power Attack damage: 14.941221
Old Power Attack damage: 16.651265

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 14
Normal damage: 11.698935
New Power Attack damage: 14.609699
Old Power Attack damage: 15.215455

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 15
Normal damage: 10.720229
New Power Attack damage: 14.302135
Old Power Attack damage: 13.789812

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 16
Normal damage: 9.746721
New Power Attack damage: 13.967340
Old Power Attack damage: 12.370750

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 17
Normal damage: 8.765363
New Power Attack damage: 13.657514
Old Power Attack damage: 10.971481

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 18
Normal damage: 7.806050
New Power Attack damage: 13.341053
Old Power Attack damage: 9.522082

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 19
Normal damage: 6.826701
New Power Attack damage: 12.983268
Old Power Attack damage: 8.572506

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 20
Normal damage: 6.173638
New Power Attack damage: 12.684050
Old Power Attack damage: 7.635261

EDIT: Re-ran with a +4 STR bonus to damage, old Power Attack STILL beats out new Power Attack until you need a 15 to hit.

I can run it again with the higher Power attack penalties/bonuses if you like.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
What if we don't want to use shields? Can we trade out the 8th and 14th level abilities for other abilites?
Even levels are class feats, odd levels are fixed features. The blog was just describing when those feats become available- you'd only pick them if you wanted to focus on shields.

That's not what it reads like to me.

And another thing, why do we have to raise our shields every turn? In a real fight people have their shields raised at all times, they don't lower and raise them over and over again.

Please read the blog again. The blog clearly explains the 8th and 14th level abilities are options.

And why do you have to raise your shield each turn? Because it’s a thing in PF2. This is not PF1 or any other edition for that matter. I trust the devs to make smart choices to make the game work. I could go on about tactical options, or different build types that provide different play styles, but I suspect you will disagree based on “different system baggage” or “it’s not the way real life works.” Both of which are irrelevant to PF2.

To be clear. It’s ok to not like this, but it’s also clear that you are making some invalid assumptions.


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All right, well, moving on from statistics.

I feel like the lack of class-granted social/utility options is intentional. It's a Fighter, and I imagine a lot of people are going to be interested in a class that just focuses on that. I'm hoping that the class has enough skill rank things to be relevant, and that customization outside of class is enough that the class's focus on murder allows them to branch out with their other options.

We'll be getting archetypes. Hopefully, in addition to things like an armor-centric Fighter, it won't be long before get archetypes that trade out some of a Fighter's murder for more utility/skill oriented options.

We do have more classes coming eventually. Vigilante ended up working well as a social take on Fighter- we may get something of that sort in time.

I'm a little concerned about their first level feature being AoO, especially without striking back against spells. If that's the power level, what does that mean for, say, bloodlines and domains? That might be overthinking things, though, and discounting the significance of weapon proficiencies, etc.

Paizo Employee Designer

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thflame wrote:
...

I think you may have a glitch in there somewhere. There's no way that Normal Damage and PF2 Power Attack should both be giving you almost the same number on the case where you need a 10 to hit on the first hit. You've given up an attack that only hits on a natural 20 for 6.5 damage on an attack that hits on a 10. If anything, the fact that you didn't include Strength modifier should magnify the power of that trade.

Paizo Employee Designer

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QuidEst wrote:
I'm a little concerned about their first level feature being AoO, especially without striking back against spells. If that's the power level, what does that mean for, say, bloodlines and domains? That might be overthinking things, though, and discounting the significance of weapon proficiencies, etc.

So, the blog might not have made it clear, but most spells require the kind of fine manipulation that triggers an AoO (somatic gestures, material components).


I see you aren't going in alphabetical order, huh?
Well, let's hope you aren't saving the best for last.
I'm filled with so much excitement and dread over my favorite class entering the CRB, I think I might just explode.

Grand Lodge

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Interesting how much focus there is in this forum on the few points difference you might get from new vs old power attack. There's going to be all sorts of places where a new spell or feat or weapon is going to be slightly different. I'm more interested in the big changes. Seems like the fact that now our +2 Longsword does 3d8 damage vs 1d8 is a much bigger deal that power attack having a 4 point spread.

Plus... I like rolling wads of dice... so I'm all for the new power attack.

What I see here are options... I like that power attack is no longer mandatory. I like that now there are cool things I can do with a shield. Shields were boring to me in the past... hold shield, get +meh to my AC... boring. New shield. Use my reaction to get a meh-bonus. OR use an action to get the bonus, but also do something cool if someone hits me. Or, smack someone with it (which, old version had too)

Options in character creation, and options in play. That's what I want. I like that one of the Devs in a prior comment said that they made the same basic fighter, but it came out and played completely different for each.

One thing I do like about some newer classes in PF1 and we have not seen yet is resource pools such as Magus Arcana, Grit, and Panache that give access to special abilities. Even though we have not seen them yet, there's no reason they might not exist in PF2... maybe everyone has Starfinder-esque resolve.


Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
I'm a little concerned about their first level feature being AoO, especially without striking back against spells. If that's the power level, what does that mean for, say, bloodlines and domains? That might be overthinking things, though, and discounting the significance of weapon proficiencies, etc.
So, the blog might not have made it clear, but most spells require the kind of fine manipulation that triggers an AoO (somatic gestures, material components).

Ah, thank you! That's very helpful to know. It seems like an elegant way to determine which spells provoke, too! (If psychic casting remains roughly the same, it will also allow purely mental casting to have a small advantage there, as one would kind of expect.)


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Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
I'm a little concerned about their first level feature being AoO, especially without striking back against spells. If that's the power level, what does that mean for, say, bloodlines and domains? That might be overthinking things, though, and discounting the significance of weapon proficiencies, etc.
So, the blog might not have made it clear, but most spells require the kind of fine manipulation that triggers an AoO (somatic gestures, material components).

I still think the removal of AoOs as something that everyone can do is a step back rather than a step forwards. I also would like to reassert that needing to use an action to raise your shield is unrealistic an un-immersive, and reminds one of video games where characters don't to keep their shields up unless the player "presses the block button".


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
jimthegray wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
What if we don't want to use shields? Can we trade out the 8th and 14th level abilities for other abilites?
Even levels are class feats, odd levels are fixed features. The blog was just describing when those feats become available- you'd only pick them if you wanted to focus on shields.

That's not what it reads like to me.

And another thing, why do we have to raise our shields every turn? In a real fight people have their shields raised at all times, they don't lower and raise them over and over again.

no in real life using a shield in a fight is normally an active activity that requires focus
That's nowhere near the same thing as moving your shield out from in front of you so it becomes literally useless and needing to take actual effort to raise it again. Having your shield in line of defense at all times is no different from adjusting your guard at all times. I don't need to spend an action every turn to "raise" my sword so why my shield?

How about this analogy. You are in a fight. Might be against 1 opponent, might be more. In fact try visualizing both ways. Technically, everything happens at once. I happen to have a weapon in one hand and a shield in the other. I’m thinking of my options.

One option is to go on the offence. I’m going to beat this guy down before he can hurt me. I swing, swing, swing. My opponent, if he is smart sees my shield and chooses not to attack in that area. In fact he likely attacks between my attacks in an area where my shield isn’t to hopefully stop me attacking. While I am swinging my sword it’s pretty hard to move my shield to block any incoming counterattack. Thus my shield is useless.

Option 2 is to strike, then block a counter attack, and then perhaps attack again.. In this case I’m actively blocking an incoming attack because I am actively protecting myself.

The act of attacking (during the actual swing itself) leaves you open and greatly reduces the effectiveness of your shield. At some point you have to anticipate an attack to block. Requiring an action is reasonable from this point of view IMO.

Dark Archive

Can Mark Seifter tell me if there is some class that you are not able to make an attack of opportunity?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
1of1 wrote:

I see you aren't going in alphabetical order, huh?

Well, let's hope you aren't saving the best for last.
I'm filled with so much excitement and dread over my favorite class entering the CRB, I think I might just explode.

Fighter itself is a rather simple class that doesn't really need anything explained beyond the basics of how combat and such works, ie Actions and proficiencies, both of which have been explained.

From here, each friday will be a mechanics blog and the next monday will likely be a blog on the class that needed the mechanic explained.

Friday will likely be a Skill blog, followed by Rogue on monday, a spell blog next friday, followed by wizard or cleric, and potentially another spell or magic related blog followed by the remaining of those two, from there we'll see an equipment blog, followed by likely Paladin (off of the armor focused comment..).. when they get around to magic items and resonance in a proper blog... will be the friday before they go over alchemist.


The change to Power Attack makes sense in a system where extra hitting power means more critical hits. It may not function like the old Power Attack but it still fits the name. It's now a bigger, slower attack taking too actions.

The raise shield thing is interesting, but I hope we can add more to it. Like taking a feat that allows you to do a shield bash and raise your shield in a single action. Then you could do a Power Attack + Shield Bash in a single turn and have your shield up. That would be fun.


I actually have a question involving armor proficiency:

Considering Fighters will have some of the better armor proficiencies in the game, if a Fighter decided to multiclass into a casting class like the Sorcerer, would they have to worry about arcane spell failure chance despite being proficient with the armor?


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I'm waiting for the dramatic twist where it turns out that Monk is PF2's armor specialist.


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I'm really interested in how they plan to not make every character within the same +/-3 range on everything. I think we can all agree that that is not good right?

Shadow Lodge

Friendly Rogue wrote:

I actually have a question involving armor proficiency:

Considering Fighters will have some of the better armor proficiencies in the game, if a Fighter decided to multiclass into a casting class like the Sorcerer, would they have to worry about arcane spell failure chance despite being proficient with the armor?

just because someone is good at fighting in armor because they've trained in it doesn't mean they'd be good at doing other stuff in armor...especially if that thing requires fine motor control...


Rek Rollington wrote:

The change to Power Attack makes sense in a system where extra hitting power means more critical hits. It may not function like the old Power Attack but it still fits the name. It's now a bigger, slower attack taking too actions.

The raise shield thing is interesting, but I hope we can add more to it. Like taking a feat that allows you to do a shield bash and raise your shield in a single action. Then you could do a Power Attack + Shield Bash in a single turn and have your shield up. That would be fun.

Raising your shield can be done as a reaction (I'm pretty sure) for fighters, so you can still:

2 action: Power Attack
1 action: Shield Bash
reaction: Raise Shield


Mark Seifter wrote:
thflame wrote:
...
I think you may have a glitch in there somewhere. There's no way that Normal Damage and PF2 Power Attack should both be giving you almost the same number on the case where you need a 10 to hit on the first hit. You've given up an attack that only hits on a natural 20 for 6.5 damage on an attack that hits on a 10.

Found the bug. When I modified the code to run for each result of a d20 instead of a static roll, I missed a spot.

Old Power Attack STILL appears to beat out new Power Attack until you need a 15 to hit, but the gap is much closer.

new data:

data:

D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 1
Normal damage: 38
New Power Attack damage: 43
Old Power Attack damage: 45
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 2
Normal damage: 37
New Power Attack damage: 41
Old Power Attack damage: 43
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 3
Normal damage: 35
New Power Attack damage: 39
Old Power Attack damage: 42
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 4
Normal damage: 34
New Power Attack damage: 37
Old Power Attack damage: 40
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 5
Normal damage: 32
New Power Attack damage: 35
Old Power Attack damage: 39
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 6
Normal damage: 31
New Power Attack damage: 34
Old Power Attack damage: 37
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 7
Normal damage: 29
New Power Attack damage: 32
Old Power Attack damage: 35
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 8
Normal damage: 28
New Power Attack damage: 30
Old Power Attack damage: 33
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 9
Normal damage: 26
New Power Attack damage: 28
Old Power Attack damage: 31
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 10
Normal damage: 25
New Power Attack damage: 26
Old Power Attack damage: 30
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 11
Normal damage: 24
New Power Attack damage: 25
Old Power Attack damage: 28
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 12
Normal damage: 22
New Power Attack damage: 24
Old Power Attack damage: 26
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 13
Normal damage: 20
New Power Attack damage: 23
Old Power Attack damage: 24
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 14
Normal damage: 19
New Power Attack damage: 21
Old Power Attack damage: 22
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 15
Normal damage: 17
New Power Attack damage: 20
Old Power Attack damage: 20
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 16
Normal damage: 16
New Power Attack damage: 19
Old Power Attack damage: 18
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 17
Normal damage: 14
New Power Attack damage: 17
Old Power Attack damage: 16
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 18
Normal damage: 13
New Power Attack damage: 16
Old Power Attack damage: 14
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 19
Normal damage: 11
New Power Attack damage: 14
Old Power Attack damage: 12
D20 Result for hit (not counting PA penalties)= 20
Normal damage: 10
New Power Attack damage: 13
Old Power Attack damage: 11


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tivadar27 wrote:
Rek Rollington wrote:

The change to Power Attack makes sense in a system where extra hitting power means more critical hits. It may not function like the old Power Attack but it still fits the name. It's now a bigger, slower attack taking too actions.

The raise shield thing is interesting, but I hope we can add more to it. Like taking a feat that allows you to do a shield bash and raise your shield in a single action. Then you could do a Power Attack + Shield Bash in a single turn and have your shield up. That would be fun.

Raising your shield can be done as a reaction (I'm pretty sure) for fighters, so you can still:

2 action: Power Attack
1 action: Shield Bash
reaction: Raise Shield

but then you can't AoO, that is not acceptable to me.


thflame wrote:
...

What are you assuming for average damage? As damage without PA goes up, the old PA will get significantly worse. Keep in mind that magic weapons now add a damage die rather than a mere +1, so I'm guessing new PA will be better much quicker once you get your hands on a +2 weapon...


Strachan Fireblade wrote:
...

Sounds like what you're describing is a reaction being used to defend with my shield, not an action.


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dragonhunterq wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Rek Rollington wrote:

The change to Power Attack makes sense in a system where extra hitting power means more critical hits. It may not function like the old Power Attack but it still fits the name. It's now a bigger, slower attack taking too actions.

The raise shield thing is interesting, but I hope we can add more to it. Like taking a feat that allows you to do a shield bash and raise your shield in a single action. Then you could do a Power Attack + Shield Bash in a single turn and have your shield up. That would be fun.

Raising your shield can be done as a reaction (I'm pretty sure) for fighters, so you can still:

2 action: Power Attack
1 action: Shield Bash
reaction: Raise Shield
but then you can't AoO, that is not acceptable to me.

It's also been stated that there are feats that may give you additional reactions... If you want to be able to do that all *without* a feat investment, then I think we may be navigating outside of the Pathfinder system in general.


Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
I'm a little concerned about their first level feature being AoO, especially without striking back against spells. If that's the power level, what does that mean for, say, bloodlines and domains? That might be overthinking things, though, and discounting the significance of weapon proficiencies, etc.
So, the blog might not have made it clear, but most spells require the kind of fine manipulation that triggers an AoO (somatic gestures, material components).
I still think the removal of AoOs as something that everyone can do is a step back rather than a step forwards. I also would like to reassert that needing to use an action to raise your shield is unrealistic an un-immersive, and reminds one of video games where characters don't to keep their shields up unless the player "presses the block button".

A step back isn't always a bad thing. The ubiquitous AoO really only served to prevent people from doing fun and interesting things without first paying the feat or skill tax.

I'm not sold one way or the other on the Shields requiring an Action, but I'd be willing to give it a try in play.


MusicAddict wrote:
1of1 wrote:

I see you aren't going in alphabetical order, huh?

Well, let's hope you aren't saving the best for last.
I'm filled with so much excitement and dread over my favorite class entering the CRB, I think I might just explode.

Fighter itself is a rather simple class that doesn't really need anything explained beyond the basics of how combat and such works, ie Actions and proficiencies, both of which have been explained.

From here, each friday will be a mechanics blog and the next monday will likely be a blog on the class that needed the mechanic explained.

Friday will likely be a Skill blog, followed by Rogue on monday, a spell blog next friday, followed by wizard or cleric, and potentially another spell or magic related blog followed by the remaining of those two, from there we'll see an equipment blog, followed by likely Paladin (off of the armor focused comment..).. when they get around to magic items and resonance in a proper blog... will be the friday before they go over alchemist.

Well, thank you very much for the information, but [JOKE]I think I should start tagging my nonsense.[/JOKE]

Dark Archive

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The new Power Attack is actually superior to its predecessor, Vital Strike. The reason Vital Strike was bad was that you had to forgo your Full Attack to use it, meaning that in most situations you'd end up dealing less damage. The only cases where it was a good choice were when you had to move, when the enemy had strong DR, when you could exploit Polymorph abilities to get massive weapon dice, or when your iteratives had a low chance to hit. In P2e, all you give up to use Power Attack is a single iterative at -10. Based on the -/+10 crit mechanic we know that the third iterative at -10 is not always a good choice, as unlike in P1e taking chances on attacks that are unlikely to hit now carries a risk of opening you up to reactions that trigger on a critical miss. That additional factor may often swing the math in favor of Power Attack against enemies with decent AC.

Furthermore, if the use of Power Attack for this technique implies that the old Power Attack and its ilk are gone, then that coupled with magic weapons adding dice rather than flat modifiers may mean that a crit with more damage dice is worth more than an extra attack with less.

Bluh bluh huge nerd:
Consider a hypothetical Level 5 Fighter with a +1 Greataxe attacking at +11 (2d12+4) vs AC 15. The first attack has an 85% chance to hit and a 35% chance to crit. The third attack, meanwhile, has a 35% chance to hit, a 5% chance to crit (assuming Nat 20 always crits), and a 20% chance to critically miss. Assuming all attacks hit, Power Attack+Attack gives you 5d12+8 while 3*Attack gives you 6d12+12. However, the chance to hit with Power Attack+Attack is 204/400 (51%) while the chance to hit with 3*Attack is 1428/8000 (roughly 18%). Furthermore, the first routine has an 84/400 (21%) chance to Crit on the first attack and hit on the second for 8d12+12, meaning that you are statistically more likely to crit and land a second attack with the Power Attack routine than you are to hit with 3 attacks that A) deal less overall damage, B) are affected more by DR, and C) give you a chance to critically fail on your last attack roll.

If the system has less static modifiers to damage, then Power Attack is going to be a very strong option - even when using a weapon with smaller damage dice.


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I'm glad that AoO's are being restricted. Combat is about to get way more interesting, and I no longer am going to feel like I have to remind a player every single time they move or take an action, "That is going to provoke, would you like to do it anyway?"


Nice Things

  • I like new Power Attack. It's still a good option, but no longer the best and mandatory option. Fistfuls of dice are always fun!
  • The fact that you can explicitly get a bonus reaction for shield block/warden makes it basically a certainty that you can also get bonus reactions for extra attacks of opportunity.
  • On a similar note, Double Shot sounds like there are ways to get two attacks out of a single action, which is interesting. Or at least two attacks at full bonus with a two-segment action instead of the second one being at -5, which would make it basically a ranged version of the new Power Attack.
  • Quick Reversal sounds like a lot of fun. Hopefully that's something a Rogue or Ranger can do too...
  • Sudden Charge not penalizing you or restricting your movement is definitely a nice change that will help the Fighter get into the thick of it more quickly.

Concerns

  • Still not happy with only Fighters getting AoO. I could totally see limiting it to martials in general without a feat, so Barbarians, Paladins, Rangers and Rogues could also start with it, but Fighters only? Really???
  • The fact that they didn't mention any ability for the Fighter to affect the narrative side of the game is concerning. Obviously they were never going to be as good at that as someone like the Bard, Cleric or Wizard, but not mentioning it at all?
  • Using shield to help against an area attack is something that should come in much earlier, like around level 4 or 6 when area attacks actually start being more of a thing. At level 14, most players in most games will never see it, because most games end before that.

Questions

  • Does the bonus die from Power Attack multiply on a crit?
  • Can we get official confirmation whether you really have to raise your shield every single turn? Because that's not a thing in real life; as someone mentioned above, it's basically instinctive with even the most rudimentary training. It kind of sounds from the playtest like you do actually have to spend an action every turn, but on the other hand the GM and players in the playtest also made multiple mistakes, so I can't tell if this was also a mistake.
  • Are Dex and Int based Fighter builds still a thing?
  • Related to the above, do we finally have Finesse weapons that just allow you to use Dex to attack and damage as a weapon trait without having to take a feat tax?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
thflame wrote:

Bad new devs:

Just ran your new Power attack mechanics with your old ones, and old PA IS better.

I assumed that a zero penalty attack would need a 5 to hit.

I assumed a d12 damage dice with no added damage from STR (I can do this if you think it matters.)

3 straight attacks at a progressive -5 penalty did 20 damage on average per turn.

Your new Power Attack + one normal attack at -5 did 25 damage on average per turn. That's good at least.

Old Power attack (-1 attack, +3 damage) with a progressive -5 on attacks did 27 damage per turn on average. (I assumed the bonus damage would double on a crit.)

If I up the old Power attack penalty and damage(for higher levels), the gap get's HUGE(40+damage per round).

I checked my code repeatedly, and I can't find any errors. I accounted for the +/- 10 critical system and nat 1s and 20s being fails/crits.

If you want me to check specific scenarios, I can do that.

I can also send someone my code (C++) if you want.

did you take into consideration that AC might scale better or did you use PF1 AC?


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Gallyck wrote:
I'm really interested in how they plan to not make every character within the same +/-3 range on everything. I think we can all agree that that is not good right?

First off that's +/-5, and secondly, no. In fact the debate on that very question has been raging in a different thread for more than 1,000 posts now. Personally, I'm in favor of it. It sounds silly on the face of it, at least coming from PF1, but other factors that the new system is introducing (such as the crit fail/success rules, and special abilities unlocked by higher proficiency levels) make it much more viable. If anything, I think it's a vast improvement.

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