Pathfinder a la Mode

Friday, March 23, 2018

No, we are not putting a scoop of ice cream on top of every copy of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, but we are adding flavor to the different parts of the game. You've probably heard a lot about it in the blogs and podcasts, but today we are dishing out a big scoop of news on the different modes of play in the next evolution of Pathfinder!

Every moment in the game can be categorized into encounter mode, exploration more, or downtime mode. The modes of play are governed by the needs of the adventure, and the transition between them is ultimately up to the Game Master to decide. You might be traveling through the woods, following the trail of the bandit queen, which would be exploration mode, only to have the group thrust into encounter mode as a combat breaks out with a pack of bloodthirsty wolves. Later, after defeating the bandit queen, you might take your treasure back to town and take a week off, entering downtime mode to craft a better suit of armor with your newfound wealth.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Encounter Mode

Without a doubt, this is the most talked about part of the game up to this point. Combat takes place exclusively in encounter mode, when characters, villains, and monsters are locked in a life-or-death struggle, wielding blades, claws, and spells to win the day. As we've mentioned elsewhere, encounter mode functions much like it did in Pathfinder First Edition, with each round of play taking 6 seconds of game time. You roll initiative at the start, putting all of the combatants in order; each one takes a turn in initiative order, and then you cycle through the combatants repeatedly until one side is victorious.

The changes we made to this system are intended to make play a little easier to learn, while also giving you a wider array of choices as to how you can take your turn. To start with, each character gets 3 actions on their turn. While everyone has access to a list of basic actions, like stride (which lets you move your speed), step (which lets you move just 5 feet, but without provoking any reactions), and strike (which lets you make an attack), all characters have special actions that they can take, derived from their ancestry, class, feat, and gear choices.

For example, if you're playing a barbarian, you can take a feat called Raging Courage that allows you to spend actions to shake off being afraid, letting you get back into the fight. If you're playing a fighter, you instead pick a feat called Intimidating Strike, which lets you spend 2 actions to make an attack against a foe. If it hits, your enemy is frightened and flat-footed until the end of your next turn! (Just don't use it on that barbarian.)

In addition to the 3 actions on your turn, you also get 1 reaction to use anytime before the start of your next turn. The fighter blog on Monday mentioned the reaction attack of opportunity, which allows you to take a free swing at foes that try to move around you or attempt to cast spells adjacent to you, but fighters are not the only class to have fun things to do with their reactions. The druid can gain a feat called Storm Retribution. If you are a druid of the storm order and a foe critically hits you, this feat allows you to unleash a powerful tempest on them in return, dealing 3d12 damage and possibly pushing them away. Wizards, meanwhile, can get the ability to counterspell with their reaction, canceling out enemy magic before it can even take effect.

The choices you make when building your character greatly influence what you can do during combat. You can build a simpler character with a narrow field of powerful choices, just as easily as a more complex character with a vast array of options in a fight. As with the other modes of play, it's all up to you!

Exploration Mode

If you are not in a combat, chances are you are in exploration mode. This free-form part of the game allows characters to take actions as needed to accomplish tasks, investigate problems, and interact with other characters and the world around them. Travelling from place to place, talking to a merchant lord, and swimming across a river to a mysterious island are all part of exploration mode. Exploration mode is measured in minutes and hours, depending on the task at hand and the flow of the game.

Skills and skill feats govern a lot of what you can do in this part of the game, along with your roleplaying and character backstory (as related to your background). These options are available to all characters, and while some get more options than others (like rogues), you can always focus on a few ways in which you can shine.

Let's say you really want your sorcerer to be in tune with nature. Not only could you put some of your proficiencies into the Nature skill, giving you knowledge of the natural world, including plants and beasts, but you could take skill feats that let you use Nature to heal people or even train an animal, which can then help you on your journey. These opportunities are not unique to any particular character. Anyone with the right proficiencies can select them.

For long periods of exploration, characters focus on one task at a time so it's easy for the GM to determine what rolls they make and how they're set up for any challenges they face. This lets the game move quickly through long journeys, then resume a more fine-grained pace when the party finds something to investigate or encounters monsters or hazards.

What you do in exploration mode can also influence how you enter combat. As you go on your adventures, the Game Master will periodically ask you what you are doing, how you are traveling, and what precautions you are taking as you venture into the unknown. These choices influence what you roll when it's time to roll initiative. For most characters it will be a Perception check, indicating how alert you were to the danger. If instead you were trying to hide, you might roll Stealth, possibly allowing you to start the combat unseen. If the fight is breaking out in the middle of a crowded tavern, you might roll Diplomacy or Intimidation to get the upper hand, using charm or a brutish manner to give you an edge. The GM makes the final determination of what everyone rolls for initiative, and might allow you to choose between multiple choices (one of which is typically Perception) if several options would make sense.

Downtime Mode

Up to this point, we haven't talked much about the downtime mode of play, where time passes quickly, allowing characters to retrain, work at a profession, craft items, and more. Downtime mode is always measured in days, allowing you to accomplish large tasks quickly in terms of time at the table.

Just as with exploration mode, how you interact during downtime mode is mostly up to you and the choices you make with your character. If you are playing a bard with expert proficiency in Performance, you might spend your downtime putting on shows in local taverns and for nearby nobles, earning money to help fund your next adventure. With a few days and a decent roll, you could easily afford an extra potion or two.

Let's say instead you are playing a dwarven fighter who wants to make his own weapons. With the Craft skill, you can make weapons of a quality up to your proficiency. Better yet, if you pick up the Magical Crafter skill feat, your dwarven fighter could even make magic weapons! This feat is available to anyone who is an expert crafter, making the creation of magic items available to all. I should note that some items, like scrolls and wands, do require you to be able to cast certain spells to create them, though.

Finally, we have made retraining a core part of the game, allowing you to trade out a feat, skill, or even class choice for another equal option. Retraining occurs during downtime, and can take as little as a week, giving you the flexibility to go on your next adventures with the right tools to succeed.

Well, that's the scoop on this blog. I wish I could tell you a bit about the Monday blog, but it succeeded at its Stealth check. You'll just have to stop by then to find out what it is!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Volkard Abendroth wrote:
we need strictly defined keywords and a separation between RAW and fluff.

Make the rules too jargony and divorce the flavour and the rules too much and you'll end up with a sterile game that feels more like a board game than the Pathfinder we've all come to know and love (well. Assuming people posting here actually enjoy the game. I know not all posters do).


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
we need strictly defined keywords and a separation between RAW and fluff.
Make the rules too jargony and divorce the flavour and the rules too much and you'll end up with a sterile game that feels more like a board game than the Pathfinder we've all come to know and love (well. Assuming people posting here actually enjoy the game. I know not all posters do).

That's certainly true. I hate it when fluff and mechanics are so divorced that the rulebooks feel like legal text devoid of life and meaning and context.

Fluff makes the world come alive, and provides immediate context to the rules at hand.

My absolute favorite rulebooks ever printed were the Planescape books, all written from the perspective of someone living in the actual campaign setting. Absolutely full of flavor and life that the rules felt real and alive.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Snipping again. I know this style frustrates some people so let me know if you want me to stick to direct quotations.

I don't think that is a valid flaw. It was pretty easy to surmise that the reason you don't like it sounding like 4E is because you don't like 4E. Putting aside the fact I don't think anything revealed so far resembles 4E in the slightest and you haven't (as far as I've seen) elaborated on any of the similarities past declaring they are there, merely stating you don't like 4E isn't useful criticism. Why don't you like it? Because it isn't 3.5? That isn't enough to make it worthwhile feedback.

I don't like 4E. So lets say that at level 1 everyone has class options that make it so they always use special attacks. That would be like 4E. Now merely saying "it's like 4E and I don't like 4E" doesn't really get to the root of why I wouldn't want that. Instead I would give my reason, that is, when from the very beginning of the game the basic ways of interacting are completely overshadowed by non limited abilities it removes all common connection with those basic rules and actually goes against the idea of those powers informing the flavour of the character. A Wizard that can use magic all day everyday doesn't give the class its defining drawbacks. A fighter that never makes a basic attack never feels like their capabilities are fundamentally different from that Wizard.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
If I can't convert my group over there's a good chance they'll stop playing Pathfinder altogether (and perhaps tabletop RPGs altogether). So I'm not sorry if my agenda of ensuring my group can keep enjoying the game we've grown accustomed to is getting on your nerves.

Why wouldn't they just keep playing PF1?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I didn’t like 4e because as you advanced the character, it was no longer able to do what it did at a lower level. I don’t see any signs of that happening here.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
CrystalSeas wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
If I can't convert my group over there's a good chance they'll stop playing Pathfinder altogether (and perhaps tabletop RPGs altogether). So I'm not sorry if my agenda of ensuring my group can keep enjoying the game we've grown accustomed to is getting on your nerves.
Why wouldn't they just keep playing PF1?

Oh I must have glossed over that. Yeah that seems super reactionary. I mean you didn't give up tabletop gaming when 4e came out, why would you give it up if something like 4e comes out. The existence of something you don't like within a hobby doesn't invalidate the entire hobby.


Malk_Content wrote:
So lets say that at level 1 everyone has class options that make it so they always use special attacks. That would be like 4E. Now merely saying "it's like 4E and I don't like 4E" doesn't really get to the root of why I wouldn't want that. Instead I would give my reason, that is, when from the very beginning of the game the basic ways of interacting are completely overshadowed by non limited abilities it removes all common connection with those basic rules and actually goes against the idea of those powers informing the flavour of the character. A Wizard that can use magic all day everyday doesn't give the class its defining drawbacks. A fighter that never makes a basic attack never feels like their capabilities are fundamentally different from that Wizard.

I'll say it again: Pathfinder 2nd edition being too dissimilar to 1st edition and too similar to 4th edition will stop my group from playing it.

If Paizo want feedback as to what will make people play the game or stop people from playing the game, this is valid feedback.

Until we get the full rules text I can't say "elements X, Y and Z are disliked for reasons A, B and C. Furthermore elements S, T, U, V, X, Y and Z are too sufficiently different from Pathfinder 1st ed that when taken in their totality make this feel like a game wholly unconnected with 1st edition beyond a very thin coat of paint." Until then, I'll certainly continue to point out the similarities that I see with D&D 4th ed. Because every single similarity is yet another nail in the coffin of getting my group to move over to 2nd edition.

CrystalSeas wrote:
Why wouldn't they just keep playing PF1?

We exclusively play the Paizo adventure paths. We have also started every single adventure path and they've finished a fairly decent chunk of them (quite possibly most of them and at least some of them more than once due to the size of the group allowing for multiple playthroughs with different players). While converting the 2nd edition Adventure Paths is certainly possible, I anticipate we'll do it for 1 adventure path and then it will be stopped due to too much effort. As it is the group's getting older and it's getting more difficult to get together (only a couple more sessions before Strange Aeons is over if we can ever get to play). Any additional barriers will be just more reasons to stop playing tabletops altogether (I saw it happen with my 4th ed group).


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CrystalSeas wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
If I can't convert my group over there's a good chance they'll stop playing Pathfinder altogether (and perhaps tabletop RPGs altogether). So I'm not sorry if my agenda of ensuring my group can keep enjoying the game we've grown accustomed to is getting on your nerves.
Why wouldn't they just keep playing PF1?

This is an important question. I have some friends who still have an active on-going 1e game. It's been running for nearly fourty years. New editions haven't stopped them from playing it.

My 2e group played from 1990 until 2011, which was well into 4e. New editions didn't stop us from playing the game we loved. And while I've since moved on to Pathfinder and then on to 5e, some of my old group still plays 2e to this day.

Why would a yet another new edition stop you from playing any edition whatsoever? Why would it make you quit the entire hobby altogether?

Dark Archive

"Wizards, meanwhile, can get the ability to counterspell with their reaction, canceling out enemy magic before it can even take effect."

Can you explain a little more about this? Will wizards have a counterspell pool, just make a flat check, have to sacrifice a spell, or have a tiered counterspell (e.g., drop the DCs of the spell or sacrifice a spell to completely counter it)?

I've always wanted to build an Anti-mage who walks around removing magic from the world an this sounds like I might be able to do it. Love it!


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think you need to have a comprehensive break down of all difference you dislike. I do think that "this is like 4e with out stating why it is at all similar and why I don't like that element of 4e design" is totally unhelpful to discussion or the developers. It isn't valid feedback because it isn't actually helping get to the root of the problem one iota. Especially when everything you have said "is like 4e" seems unlike 4e to me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I'll agree with other folks...today's blog is a tad underwhelming, since it mostly talked about things that had already been previously mentioned, other than a few feats and some info on crafting.

Overall thoughts: "modes" isn't really new to the game, but something they are simply codifying the terminology of within the system, and presumably bringing in a lot more downtime mechanics into Core. I don't really see much parallels between that and 4E, and talking about modes is about as disruptive to game atmosphere to me as talking about leveling up.

Crafting sounds cool, although I think some people are going to be disappointed when they realize how many items might need knowledge of a spell to cast.

Finally, I don't really see much 4E concerns in this (seems every thread points to 4E and 5E). IMHO, 4E's main issue was that it felt that most classes got homogenized. So far we haven't seen that, and if anything it sounds like most classes are even further specialized, with AOO's being more a fighter thing now.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think the reason for this slightly lacklustre blog is that there is going to be some mention of class abilities linking to the various modes in the next class feature and they didn't want people getting upset about the idea because of it. Turns out modes are just a rules term for the ways in which near everybody divided the focus of their games anyway.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Quote:
Better yet, if you pick up the Magical Crafter skill feat, your dwarven fighter could even make magic weapons! This feat is available to anyone who is an expert crafter, making the creation of magic items available to all.

Really like seeing that. So you truly can now be the 'Bruenor Battlehammer' and craft the magical warhammer.


Malk_Content wrote:
I don't think you need to have a comprehensive break down of all difference you dislike. I do think that "this is like 4e with out stating why it is at all similar and why I don't like that element of 4e design" is totally unhelpful to discussion or the developers. It isn't valid feedback because it isn't actually helping get to the root of the problem one iota. Especially when everything you have said "is like 4e" seems unlike 4e to me.

Storm's Retribution sounds like a spell. It seems to operate like a spell (doesn't deal weapon damage). Has a damage + affect format (much like most non-striker 4th ed powers), but it is gained in a way that appears to not be from the Vancian method (it's called out as a feat). Storm's Retribution, based on the information we have (which I acknowledge is quite incomplete) sounds a lot like a 4th ed power.

For a while now I can't help but think of "class power" and "utility power/skill power" when I hear about skill feats and class feats. Storm's Retribution only further emphasises the similarities. I'm not the only one to notice this "spell that is not a spell" doesn't seem very Pathfindery. Furthermore now that durations don't scale the developers/designers are tweaking and manipulating the spell durations to essentially make them last "until the end of the encounter" (another rules element that is shared by D&D 4th ed). Sure they're technically not for the "end of the encounter" because they have a duration of "1 minute" or "10 rounds" or any other stand in. But the end result is effectively the same.

Many here also agree there's a lot we're getting that's not very Pathfindery, they're just happening to celebrate that rather than disliking it.

Although I suspect short of finding a power in a 4th ed book with the same name and same rules text I'm not going to convince you of any similarity. That's fine. You're entitled to your opinion.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

There are also a lot of things reminiscent of 5E, as other posters would point out.

Taking the 3.5 engine and evolving it to a new system entirely is going to involve aspects seeming similar to other evolutions of the system. I think the only way for that not to happen would be to start from scratch with an entirely different game non D20 game engine entirely


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Could the 4e comparisons be its own thread instead of this thread?

As to the blog, any chance that at some point we can get a "prepared fighter" who can quickly retrain feats/weapon proficiencies to adapt a fighting style to a threat expected soon? Not meant to be as good specialist of the same level mind you, but still decent in their own right.

On a similar train of thought, will retraining be defined for new class retraining options as new classes are introduced, or will synergies between classes be up to the GM? In PF1 for example, while shifter and druid seem similar thematically, nothing indicates whether the classes have retraining synergy (unless I am mistaken).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Finally: I do have a strong and vested interest in making sure Pathfinder 2nd edition doesn't have too much 4th ed in it. There's a very decent chance my group won't convert to the new edition if it is too similar to 4th ed (Starfinder itself veered a bit too close to 4th ed for some of their comfort and that has minimal similarities between it and 4th ed). If I can't convert my group over there's a good chance they'll stop playing Pathfinder altogether (and perhaps tabletop RPGs altogether). So I'm not sorry if my agenda of ensuring my group can keep enjoying the game we've grown accustomed to is getting on your nerves.

Why would they quit entirely? There is 10 years of material for Pathfinder 1.0. There are quite a few modules and some 20+ Adventure Paths that you undoubtedly haven't gone completely through by now. And there will be third-party producers who will still put out adventure paths and the like for the old Pathfinder because content creators will know people might not want to convert or don't themselves want to convert an in-pipeline product to the new edition.

That said, I'll likely give 2nd edition to my friend who was into 4th ed. and ask him to compare the two. And if worse comes to worse? I'll incorporate some of the better parts of 2nd edition to old Pathfinder and play Pathfinder 1.5 or the like.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It’s almost like they’re making a whole new edition...


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Tangent101 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Finally: I do have a strong and vested interest in making sure Pathfinder 2nd edition doesn't have too much 4th ed in it. There's a very decent chance my group won't convert to the new edition if it is too similar to 4th ed (Starfinder itself veered a bit too close to 4th ed for some of their comfort and that has minimal similarities between it and 4th ed). If I can't convert my group over there's a good chance they'll stop playing Pathfinder altogether (and perhaps tabletop RPGs altogether). So I'm not sorry if my agenda of ensuring my group can keep enjoying the game we've grown accustomed to is getting on your nerves.
Why would they quit entirely? There is 10 years of material for Pathfinder 1.0. There are quite a few modules and some 20+ Adventure Paths that you undoubtedly haven't gone completely through by now.

In addition, every AP has a decent amount of re-playability, so make some fresh characters and go back and play those old APs! Even though some things are the same, it'll be a completely new experience.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I don't think you need to have a comprehensive break down of all difference you dislike. I do think that "this is like 4e with out stating why it is at all similar and why I don't like that element of 4e design" is totally unhelpful to discussion or the developers. It isn't valid feedback because it isn't actually helping get to the root of the problem one iota. Especially when everything you have said "is like 4e" seems unlike 4e to me.
Storm's Retribution sounds like a spell. It seems to operate like a spell (doesn't deal weapon damage). Has a damage + affect format (much like most non-striker 4th ed powers), but it is gained in a way that appears to not be from the Vancian method (it's called out as a feat). Storm's Retribution, based on the information we have (which I acknowledge is quite incomplete) sounds a lot like a 4th ed power.

You take a Feat, and it gives you an ability. I’m not really seeing how that makes it Fourth Edition-ish over any other system.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I don't think you need to have a comprehensive break down of all difference you dislike. I do think that "this is like 4e with out stating why it is at all similar and why I don't like that element of 4e design" is totally unhelpful to discussion or the developers. It isn't valid feedback because it isn't actually helping get to the root of the problem one iota. Especially when everything you have said "is like 4e" seems unlike 4e to me.

Storm's Retribution sounds like a spell. It seems to operate like a spell (doesn't deal weapon damage). Has a damage + affect format (much like most non-striker 4th ed powers), but it is gained in a way that appears to not be from the Vancian method (it's called out as a feat). Storm's Retribution, based on the information we have (which I acknowledge is quite incomplete) sounds a lot like a 4th ed power.

For a while now I can't help but think of "class power" and "utility power/skill power" when I hear about skill feats and class feats. Storm's Retribution only further emphasises the similarities. I'm not the only one to notice this "spell that is not a spell" doesn't seem very Pathfindery. Furthermore now that durations don't scale the developers/designers are tweaking and manipulating the spell durations to essentially make them last "until the end of the encounter" (another rules element that is shared by D&D 4th ed). Sure they're technically not for the "end of the encounter" because they have a duration of "1 minute" or "10 rounds" or any other stand in. But the end result is effectively the same.

Many here also agree there's a lot we're getting that's not very Pathfindery, they're just happening to celebrate that rather than disliking it.

Although I suspect short of finding a power in a 4th ed book with the same name and same rules text I'm not going to convince you of any similarity. That's fine. You're entitled to your opinion.

Do you remember Domain powers in 1E Pathfinder?

This is one of those.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Storm's Retribution sounds like a spell. It seems to operate like a spell (doesn't deal weapon damage). Has a damage + affect format (much like most non-striker 4th ed powers), but it is gained in a way that appears to not be from the Vancian method (it's called out as a feat). Storm's Retribution, based on the information we have (which I acknowledge is quite incomplete) sounds a lot like a 4th ed power.

None of that sounds any different to me than something like Channel. Channel Energy seems to operate like a spell (doesn't deal weapon damage). It has damage and (with feats) affect. Is gained in a way that is not from the Vancian method (its a class feature.) None of the things you described are intrinsically 4e like, or more like 4e than many PF1E abilities we have. The only difference is it comes from a "feat" rather than a class feature, but feat has changed definition and class feats are just class features you get to pick and choose.

Spells that are not spells have been around forever. You can find them by looking for the (Su) or (Ex) after an ability name.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm not sure whether this is "too 4E" or not, but Storm's retribution is the part that irked me the most when I read this blog.

Especially the condition "when critically hit"... this part is too "gamist" for me and doesn't really fit in "my" take on Pathfinder (of course, ymmv): what's the difference between a critical hit with low damage and a normal hit with high damage from an in-world point of view? why would one let the druid use this power and not the other?

I would have no problem with a power allowing the storm druid to "call to the elemental powers of storms to avenge him/her N times per day" and thus letting him/her use a reaction *when hit* to call a tempest that inflicts 3d12 lightning damage to his/her opponent, but I can't fathom why the "critically hit" condition would matter except from a purely technical point of view.

I guess that I can perhaps see the similarity with 4E on this particular point in the fact that this tidbit of rule seems to be designed with the "mathematically consistent rules first, add fluff later" philosophy advertised when the 4E was hyped.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

On crafting again, I have always loved crafting in games, whether it's tabletop RPGs or video games. But in 3.0/3.5 and P1e, it just was too unrealistic and time consuming to be a crafter and adventurer. The only one you could get away with it was being an Alchemist with the Master Alchemist feat.

Hopefully in P2e taking the crafting skill is a worthwhile endeavor for an adventuring PC, and where it doesn't take them many months, or even years to make equipment.


Tangent101 wrote:
There are quite a few modules and some 20+ Adventure Paths that you undoubtedly haven't gone completely through by now.

Replying again because you appear to have missed it: we've played almost all of them.

Spoiler:
Curse of the Crimson Throne: It's been played at least twice, if not three times.

Second Darkness: Anyone who had any desire to play this has played it.
Legacy of Fire: Finished.
Council of Thieves: Abandoned due to not enjoying it.
Kingmaker: On the final book without much more to go. Haven't completed due to an inability to get the exact group for this game together.
Serpent's Skull: Also on the last book. On hiatus. At best it would be a month's worth of gaming.
Carrion Crown: Played through at least twice if not three times.
Jade Regent: I believe this has been finished.
Skulls & Shackles: Completed.
Shattered Star: Completed 1.6 times.
Reign of Winter: Completed one and a half times.
Wrath of the Righteous: Completed 2.25 times.
Mummy's Mask: Completed.
Iron Gods: Completed.
Giantslayer: Completed.
Hell's Rebels: Completed.
Hell's Vengeance: Currently ongoing but played infrequently (I'm not involved in this game and have no ability or desire to join).
Strange Aeons: Almost finished.
Ironfang Invasion: Ongoing.
Ruins of Azlant: Ongoing.
War of the Crown: Ongoing.

By the end of the year Strange Aeons will be completed and War of the Crown will be a descent chunk of the way through if not finished. Ironfang Invasion and Ruins of Azlant would likely be completed by the end of next year.

While there's certainly Rise of the Runelords and Return of the Runelords. There isn't as much of the Adventure Paths left as you might expect. As for third party APs, we've never been particularly attracted to them. We might go to them. Maybe. Or we might go to a different game altogether. I don't like the chances of either of those options though.

Malk_Content wrote:
None of that sounds any different to me than something like Channel.
Here's a couple of 4th ed power to compare Storm's Retribution to:
Quote:

Shielding Word Cleric Utility 10

You invoke a prayer that instantly defends one of your allies.
Encounter ✦ Divine
Immediate Interrupt Ranged 5
Trigger: An ally in range is hit by an attack
Effect: The ally gains a +4 power bonus to AC until the end
of your next turn.
Quote:

Deific Vengeance Paladin Attack 27

You invoke an ancient prayer that unleashes your deity’s ire upon
a nearby enemy that has just attacked you.

Encounter ✦ Divine, Implement
Immediate Reaction Ranged 20
Trigger: A creature within range attacks you
Target: The attacking creature
Attack: Charisma + 2 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 4d10 + Charisma modifier damage, and the target is
weakened until the end of your next turn.
Here's the rules text for Channel energy
Quote:

Channel Energy (Su): Regardless of alignment, any cleric can release a wave of energy by channeling the power of her faith through her holy (or unholy) symbol. This energy can be used to cause or heal damage, depending on the type of energy channeled and the creatures targeted.

A good cleric (or one who worships a good deity) channels positive energy and can choose to deal damage to undead creatures or to heal living creatures. An evil cleric (or one who worships an evil deity) channels negative energy and can choose to deal damage to living creatures or to heal undead creatures. A neutral cleric who worships a neutral deity (or one who is not devoted to a particular deity) must choose whether she channels positive or negative energy. Once this choice is made, it cannot be reversed. This decision also determines whether the cleric casts spontaneous cure or inflict spells (see spontaneous casting).

Channeling energy causes a burst that affects all creatures of one type (either undead or living) in a 30-foot radius centered on the cleric. The amount of damage dealt or healed is equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every two cleric levels beyond 1st (2d6 at 3rd, 3d6 at 5th, and so on). Creatures that take damage from channeled energy receive a Will save to halve the damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the cleric's level + the cleric's Charisma modifier. Creatures healed by channeled energy cannot exceed their maximum hit point total—all excess healing is lost. A cleric may channel energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. A cleric can choose whether or not to include herself in this effect. A cleric must be able to present her holy symbol to use this ability.

If Storm's Retribution truly sounds more like Channel Energy than the 4th ed powers I posted, so be it. But it doesn't to me.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I don't think you need to have a comprehensive break down of all difference you dislike. I do think that "this is like 4e with out stating why it is at all similar and why I don't like that element of 4e design" is totally unhelpful to discussion or the developers. It isn't valid feedback because it isn't actually helping get to the root of the problem one iota. Especially when everything you have said "is like 4e" seems unlike 4e to me.
Storm's Retribution sounds like a spell. It seems to operate like a spell (doesn't deal weapon damage). Has a damage + affect format (much like most non-striker 4th ed powers), but it is gained in a way that appears to not be from the Vancian method (it's called out as a feat). Storm's Retribution, based on the information we have (which I acknowledge is quite incomplete) sounds a lot like a 4th ed power.

If it has a limited number of uses a day, how does it differ from a Paladin's Smite ability or a Cleric's Channel Positive/Negative Energy ability? Or any of a number of Rogue abilities? Or Bardic abilities? Or Barbarian abilities? Or... you catch my drift?

I absolutely refused to get into 4th edition when it came out. I refused to buy the books. I refused to read them. What I had heard was enough to turn me off of it so I clung to 3rd edition (and preferred 3rd to 3.5 and regretted turning in my old books). My getting into Pathfinder itself was a matter of convenience as I had a new player and I didn't want to explain my hybrid 2nd/3rd edition rules as Pathfinder had everything all together.

Well right now I'm finishing up Rise of the Runelords and one turn for fighting Karzoug took over two hours. Six seconds of combat... was hours in playing. Admittedly we play over Skype and players more easily get distracted but even so it takes forever for players to figure things out, look up stuff, and the like. I am dealing with "okay, you did your standard action and your swift action, is there anything you want to do with your Move action?" and other related stuff. That Pathfinder 2 simplifies this? It's a godsend!

It's enough of one that I'm holding off on running my next campaign until it's out! (Given we meet online every three to four weeks that's not a huge delay, we still have to finish off Karzoug and given I just blocked off one of the huge damage-dealers behind a Wall of Force and have another spell to do that AGAIN just to keep the swashbuckler away from Karzoug... it might be two more games (and two more months) before we end it.) And hey, we can always play more of the We Be Goblins modules in the meantime.

-----------

As for Goblins as PCs? Apparently there's a number of folk who like goblins. I think it's a bit silly and they should just have Tieflings and Aasamar as core races (especially due to Nualla and the like) instead... but given that Goblins will toss their own out of the tribe and are chaotic enough not to notice or care if someone left, it's far more likely for a neutral or even good-aligned goblin to escape its tribe than the multitude of Drizzt clones out there.

BTW, Paizo, are you going to include some basic Ancestry Feats for those races that can take class levels? How are you going to handle monsters and classes anyway? I know that in my tabletop group I have an Aasamar player and while we're not very far into the campaign (and due to scheduling issues haven't played in nearly a year *sigh*) I'd hate to have to have her redesign her character because the new rules don't work with her.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I hope there is a bit of fluff to the Storm Retribution power to justify why it only procs on crits from an in world perspective. If not I won't bat an eye and merely describe it along the lines of "the power of the tempest that thrives barely contained within you resonates with the powerful blow, expanding and extending beyond you."


Tangent101 wrote:
If it has a limited number of uses a day, how does it differ from a Paladin's Smite ability or a Cleric's Channel Positive/Negative Energy ability? Or any of a number of Rogue abilities? Or Bardic abilities? Or Barbarian abilities? Or... you catch my drift?

Sure. If Storm's retribution is an N/times per day ability than it will more closely resemble a 3.5e power rather than a 4th ed power. However given it has a condition to trigger (much like the ones I posted above) and the underwhelming nature of the damage, I expect we'll find out it's an at-will or once per encounter "ability" (it'd be pretty lousy as a daily ability).

But I'll happily eat crow if I'm wrong.

Rysky wrote:
It’s almost like they’re making a whole new edition...

You don't need to do a knock down rebuild when you make a new edition. See AD&D 2e vs AD&D 1e and Pathfinder 1e vs D&D 3.5e. Some of the most successful editions have been iterative changes rather than the drastic changes that we see in WotC's last two editions.


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Paradozen wrote:
Could the 4e comparisons be its own thread instead of this thread?

Seconded. The endless battle about whether PF2 resembles 4e or 5e is not only tedious, it's severely off-topic.

QuidEst wrote:

Regarding the Druid’s lightning ability- it seems like Pathfinder 2 might have an interesting “negation by reciprocation” design pattern. Fighter has an option to deal with flanking- instead of negating flanking, it boosts their DPR by a similar amount. Druid has an option for dealing with crits- instead of negating them, it deals about as much back as a nasty crit deals over a regular attack, and moving them back has a chance to also cancel out the action they saved by doing two attacks worth of damage with one attack.

I think that’s interesting. Rather than give fairly boring immunities or “X times per day, negate this thing”, you get something that gives you the same advantage that they got.

Good point. Quick Reversal and Storm Retribution are really defensive abilities, expressed as counter-attacks. They will cause attackers to think twice, because giving your opponent an extra attack is tactically unsound. This is another way PF2 moves away from the PF1 "5-ft step and full attack" syndrome.

These reaction-based defenses are really interesting, much more than a flat immunity like Uncanny Dodge, for example.


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Starbuck_II wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I don't think you need to have a comprehensive break down of all difference you dislike. I do think that "this is like 4e with out stating why it is at all similar and why I don't like that element of 4e design" is totally unhelpful to discussion or the developers. It isn't valid feedback because it isn't actually helping get to the root of the problem one iota. Especially when everything you have said "is like 4e" seems unlike 4e to me.

Storm's Retribution sounds like a spell. It seems to operate like a spell (doesn't deal weapon damage). Has a damage + affect format (much like most non-striker 4th ed powers), but it is gained in a way that appears to not be from the Vancian method (it's called out as a feat). Storm's Retribution, based on the information we have (which I acknowledge is quite incomplete) sounds a lot like a 4th ed power.

For a while now I can't help but think of "class power" and "utility power/skill power" when I hear about skill feats and class feats. Storm's Retribution only further emphasises the similarities. I'm not the only one to notice this "spell that is not a spell" doesn't seem very Pathfindery. Furthermore now that durations don't scale the developers/designers are tweaking and manipulating the spell durations to essentially make them last "until the end of the encounter" (another rules element that is shared by D&D 4th ed). Sure they're technically not for the "end of the encounter" because they have a duration of "1 minute" or "10 rounds" or any other stand in. But the end result is effectively the same.

Many here also agree there's a lot we're getting that's not very Pathfindery, they're just happening to celebrate that rather than disliking it.

Although I suspect short of finding a power in a 4th ed book with the same name and same rules text I'm not going to convince you of any similarity. That's fine. You're entitled to your opinion.

Do you remember Domain powers in 1E Pathfinder?...

Exactly this. It’s not really disimilar to many cleric and Druid domain powers, especially inquisition powers.The fact that it’s tied to a storm theme almost guarantees that. It just shows if you want to see something you’ll see it even if PF1 had very similar abilities.


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I really like the idea of the storm druid being able to strike back with lightning against a crit every time, all day long. That's just so thematic. The druid is just filled to the brim with storm energy, and if you hit him/her hard enough, that energy pours out uncontrolled, like a storm, and strikes back. It's beautiful.

If that was limited to a per day use, it would just be another annoying thing to track for the sake of having to track things.

I really hope it's an always active effect. It just sounds so awesome.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
You take a Feat, and it gives you an ability. I’m not really seeing how that makes it Fourth Edition-ish over any other system.

To be fair, using this type of logic I could argue that Fourth Edition isn’t any more Fourth Edition-ish than any other system.

By the way, it’s not just posters on the Paizo forums that have pointed out the 4e feel of the PF2 teasers. I’ve seen numerous other comments on EN World, Reddit, and discussions st my local game store. Now not all of us think this is a bad thing like John Lynch does. However, seems kind of silly to say that all of these other people shouldn’t be getting a 4e vibe just because you personally aren’t seeing it.


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I am not a Paizo developer nor a Paizo document layout person, but if possible and when applicable, could the Skills each be broken out into subsections on how they work under each Mode? That organizational style in the book would seem a good way to help speed up play for players & GMs, old & new alike, until they've built up familiarity with the new rules.


Insight wrote:
I’ve seen numerous other comments on EN World, Reddit, and discussions st my local game store.

Just to be clear: I have not posted on En World and Reddit, nor have I visited Insight's local game store and discussed my views on the new edition.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I could happily display Channel Energy to look like a 4E power without changing any of its mechanics. You'll have to pardon my lack of formatting prowess.

Channel Energy Cleric Utility 1
"You release a burst of holy energy"
Uses 3 + Charisma Modifier Daily
Standard Action Range 30ft Burst
Effect: Pick one type of target (Living/Undead.) All living targets heal for 1d6 points of damage. Undead targets take 1d6 damage. Targets that take damage from Channel may make a Will save for half damage.

There done. As for Storms Retribution being restricted by uses or not. That doesn't really tie into the Pathfinder vs 4e feel unless it specifically has a usage limitation of At Will, Encounter or Daily like 4e powers. From what we know (i.e nothing on this front) it is only limited by the conditions in which it can occur, which isn't really any different than something like Riposte.

EDIT: Actually I would prefer Channel Energy and things like it to be formatted like that. Takes way less space, doesn't reiterate redundant lines (like how every class DC is mathed out the same way but is written out in full each time) and I can quickly pull out the relevant parts of it. Mechanically the same, formatically superior.


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Dalvyn wrote:

I'm not sure whether this is "too 4E" or not, but Storm's retribution is the part that irked me the most when I read this blog.

Especially the condition "when critically hit"... this part is too "gamist" for me and doesn't really fit in "my" take on Pathfinder (of course, ymmv): what's the difference between a critical hit with low damage and a normal hit with high damage from an in-world point of view? why would one let the druid use this power and not the other?

I would have no problem with a power allowing the storm druid to "call to the elemental powers of storms to avenge him/her N times per day" and thus letting him/her use a reaction *when hit* to call a tempest that inflicts 3d12 lightning damage to his/her opponent, but I can't fathom why the "critically hit" condition would matter except from a purely technical point of view.

I guess that I can perhaps see the similarity with 4E on this particular point in the fact that this tidbit of rule seems to be designed with the "mathematically consistent rules first, add fluff later" philosophy advertised when the 4E was hyped.

As compared to numerous abilities, SLA, feats and magic items in PF that did different things on crits? Why are you making a distinction here, just go look at weapon/armor enchants as well as martial feat chains from PF1.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Malk_Content wrote:

I could happily display Channel Energy to look like a 4E power without changing any of its mechanics. You'll have to pardon my lack of formatting prowess.

Channel Energy Cleric Utility 1
"You release a burst of holy energy"
Uses 3 + Charisma Modifier Daily
Standard Action Range 30ft Burst
Effect: Pick one type of target (Living/Undead.) All living targets heal for 1d6 points of damage. Undead targets take 1d6 damage. Targets that take damage from Channel may make a Will save for half damage.

There done. As for Storms Retribution being restricted by uses or not. That doesn't really tie into the Pathfinder vs 4e feel unless it specifically has a usage limitation of At Will, Encounter or Daily like 4e powers. From what we know (i.e nothing on this front) it is only limited by the conditions in which it can occur, which isn't really any different than something like Riposte.

To me, formatting, key words/language, and other aspects of the way the game is presented, plus rigorously balanced options tied to a refined action economy are 90% of what makes 4e, 4e. So these previews, combined with Paizo saying that they are modernizing the presentation and formatting and providing numerous options balanced for a streamlined action economy (I mean, the martial powers are even named, evocative proper names and all). Well...

Shadow Lodge

I will admit that this blog post did ring my "hmmm 4e" bell.

Blog wrote:
.. each character gets 3 actions on their turn. While everyone has access to a list of basic actions, like stride (which lets you move your speed), step (which lets you move just 5 feet, but without provoking any reactions), and strike (which lets you make an attack)

Is there a slide action too?

It is interesting though, in 2016 I do recall seeing an uptick in in-person PFS players using the term "slide" for 5ft stepping, and when I asked them about it, they did mention that they were trying Pathfinder out because they didn't like how 5e didn't have enough by way of class powers and utility powers for them.

So they'd certainly be excited by a level 1 druid having a 2d12 lightning reaction.

Presumably this triggers anytime an enemy beats your AC by 10, so you'd want to play an unarmored druid?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Insight wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

I could happily display Channel Energy to look like a 4E power without changing any of its mechanics. You'll have to pardon my lack of formatting prowess.

Channel Energy Cleric Utility 1
"You release a burst of holy energy"
Uses 3 + Charisma Modifier Daily
Standard Action Range 30ft Burst
Effect: Pick one type of target (Living/Undead.) All living targets heal for 1d6 points of damage. Undead targets take 1d6 damage. Targets that take damage from Channel may make a Will save for half damage.

There done. As for Storms Retribution being restricted by uses or not. That doesn't really tie into the Pathfinder vs 4e feel unless it specifically has a usage limitation of At Will, Encounter or Daily like 4e powers. From what we know (i.e nothing on this front) it is only limited by the conditions in which it can occur, which isn't really any different than something like Riposte.

To me, formatting, key words/language, and other aspects of the way the game is presented, plus rigorously balanced options tied to a refined action economy are 90% of what makes 4e, 4e. So these previews, combined with Paizo saying that they are modernizing the presentation and formatting and providing numerous options balanced for a streamlined action economy (I mean, the martial powers are even named, evocative proper names and all). Well...

We don't even know if that's how it'll be laid out. Even then if the biggest complaint is "the formatting is clean and clear and the rules terminology are rigorously defined" I think we will be fine.


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Malk_Content wrote:
Even then if the biggest complaint is "the formatting is clean and clear and the rules terminology are rigorously defined" I think we will be fine.

Agreed. And that is what a 4e fan like me is really hoping for anyways. Well... and the ability to talk about a 4e-like system online or at my local game store without inviting unwanted derision. And to be honest, pretty much any of the improvements Paizo has promised or design goals they have hinted at with PF2 moves it a step closer to 4e in my book. But maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part.

Shadow Lodge

derail:
Druid of the Storm order sounds a lot like 5e's Circles with a name like that, but maybe that's where the comparison will end.

The bit about the rage feat reminded me poor Barbarians are getting a nerf, I think, needing to spend one of three actions to Rage(as far as I know). Yay for 'streamlining'

All things aside, I like the idea between the Druid of the Storm's mentioned feat, but critting is super different in PF2. I imagine if something hit you and got a crit it was either lucky(just like in Pathfinder) or you really shouldn't be fighting it at all(not like Pathfinder). Does the damage you do with the feat grow as you level? Does the distance?

The bit about Intimidating Strike not being something to use on a Barbarian is maybe a little tip to how Fage works.

Magical Crafter is okay, especially since Resounance is a thing so less people will want to use consumable magic items. No need to craft something you won't use, right? Still it is a step up from it's predecessor.

Sovereign Court

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[2] Also, goblins as a core race make no sense to me - especially not pathfinder goblins. Paizo went out of their way to make goblins chaotic, murderous, insane little bastards (which was fantastic), and now all of a sudden, we're supposed to believe that they've become civilized enough to interact with the other core races on an equal and worldwide accepted level...I'm just not buying it.

I agree with this 100%

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
If it has a limited number of uses a day, how does it differ from a Paladin's Smite ability or a Cleric's Channel Positive/Negative Energy ability? Or any of a number of Rogue abilities? Or Bardic abilities? Or Barbarian abilities? Or... you catch my drift?

Sure. If Storm's retribution is an N/times per day ability than it will more closely resemble a 3.5e power rather than a 4th ed power. However given it has a condition to trigger (much like the ones I posted above) and the underwhelming nature of the damage, I expect we'll find out it's an at-will or once per encounter "ability" (it'd be pretty lousy as a daily ability).

But I'll happily eat crow if I'm wrong.

Rysky wrote:
It’s almost like they’re making a whole new edition...
You don't need to do a knock down rebuild when you make a new edition. See AD&D 2e vs AD&D 1e and Pathfinder 1e vs D&D 3.5e. Some of the most successful editions have been iterative changes rather than the drastic changes that we see in WotC's last two editions.

“more closely resemble a 3.5e power rather than a 4th ed power.” how?

I don’t consider Pathfinder a new edition of 3rd, I consider it an update. 3rd > 3.5 > Pathfinder


Rysky wrote:

“more closely resemble a 3.5e power rather than a 4th ed power.” how?

I don’t consider Pathfinder a new edition of 3rd, I consider it an update. 3rd > 3.5 > Pathfinder

I don't know what the query is here. At-Will ability that does 3d12 + push effect vs an ability to use a spell like ability N times per day. One of those sounds like 3.5e, the other one sounds remarkably less so.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:

“more closely resemble a 3.5e power rather than a 4th ed power.” how?

I don’t consider Pathfinder a new edition of 3rd, I consider it an update. 3rd > 3.5 > Pathfinder

I don't know what the query is here. At-Will ability that does 3d12 + push effect vs an ability to use a spell like ability N times per day. One of those sounds like 3.5e, the other one sounds remarkably less so.

Oh wow did a dev comment and state they buffed Storms Retribution to be an At-Will power? That is a really big buff over a Reaction with a certain trigger condition.


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Honestly my biggest concern with Storm's Retribution is that It doesn't seem (at first glance) to be very good. Since ideally as a druid, you do not want to be critically hit very often. So if this is the same cost as different reaction, I'd think quite a few of those might be better.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I found this really great 4E power called Awesome Blow. Id has damage and a push effect and you can do it at will. Oops my mistake I was looking at the PFSRD not the 4eSRD.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Honestly my biggest concern with Storm's Retribution is that It doesn't seem (at first glance) to be very good. Since ideally as a druid, you do not want to be critically hit very often. So if this is the same cost as different reaction, I'd think quite a few of those might be better.

I think the balancing point on this is "negating" a crit by dealing something like bonus crit damage back (for, say, a +2 warhammer), and possibly undoing their advantage in action economy from a crit.

If you're already planning on a melee Druid, then this seems like a sensible thing to take for wading into combat as a giant air elemental. If you're planning on turning into a bird and casting crowd control spells and Flame Strike from 100ft up, this is probably not a good choice.


I dunno. Everything I'm hearing sounds like Piazo's pulling the WotC mistake of 3.5 -> 4e bit...reinventing the wheel of Pathfinder so much that it isn't the same system (a la Starfinder ISN'T compatible with Pathfinder, no matter what Piazo says, lol).

I like Pathfinder in its current form. Can't stand Starfinder, and if Starfinder is indicative of where Pathfinder 2e is going, then I can only hope that a 3pp picks up the gauntlet then same way Piazo did when WotC rolled a Nat 1 with 4e, lol...


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Rysky wrote:

“more closely resemble a 3.5e power rather than a 4th ed power.” how?

I don’t consider Pathfinder a new edition of 3rd, I consider it an update. 3rd > 3.5 > Pathfinder

I don't know what the query is here. At-Will ability that does 3d12 + push effect vs an ability to use a spell like ability N times per day. One of those sounds like 3.5e, the other one sounds remarkably less so.

Storm Retribution is in a paragraph talking about reactions. Everything else in that paragraph is clearly a reaction. Based on that, I would expect Storm Retribution to also be a reaction.

It doesn't sound like it will be limited number of times per day or encounter. It is limited to once per round by default, but it has already been stated that the fighter has a way to get more than one reaction per round. Other classes may also be able to do that. Hopefully it would never come up since taking multiple critical hits in the same round does not sound good.

It may be limited in that it requires a spell slot or something. At this point, we don't know. I would expect that Counterspelling (the Wizard reaction listed) still requires spell slots, which is why Storm Retribution may as well. On the other hand, given how the target just got hurt badly it may not require any other resources.

It sounds like a new thing to me.

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