What's Your Weapon?

Friday, April 30, 2018

For many heroes, their choice of weapon says more about their personality and sense of aesthetics than their penchant for mechanical optimization. For others, form follows function, and still others blend the two. But what sort of weapon fits your personality best? Let's take a look at various weapons and figure it out!

Simple, Martial, or Exotic?

All weapons in Pathfinder are simple, martial, or exotic, based on their rough level of power. Unlike in Pathfinder First Edition, exotic weapons are not just a mixture of powerful European weapons and weapons from other cultures that only occasionally had a leg up over their martial kin. In Pathfinder Second Edition, we have a different way of talking about whether a weapon is likely to be found in a particular region, and so a weapon's type instead describes a weapon's mix of power and flexibility. Simple weapons usually have a smaller damage die than similar martial weapons (d6 rather than d8, for instance), and exotic weapons usually use the same damage die as a martial weapon but include additional abilities that make the weapon more complex.

Characters start with proficiency in either groups of weapons or lists of individual weapons, and they can take ancestry or general feats (and, rarely, class feats) to gain more!

Weapon Traits

Whatever your weapon proficiencies, you'll want to choose a weapon with useful traits that match your taste and play style. Even among martial weapons that use two hands, a bo staff, a greatsword, and a glaive all feel very different.

A greatsword deals a lot of damage, perfect for a bruiser character like a worshiper of Gorum: its damage die is d12 and you can seamlessly switch between piercing and slashing damage to avoid enemy resistances and exploit their weaknesses.

A bo staff is all about controlling the fight. Its damage die is only d8, but it has reach (allowing you to Strike enemies up to 10 feet away), parry (allowing you to spend an action to increase your AC much like a light shield), and trip (giving you several benefits to your attempts to trip enemies). Plus, it has the monk trait, which weapon-wielding monks particularly enjoy.

The glaive has a d8 damage die like the bo staff and shares its reach, but that's where the similarities end. The glaive has deadly d8 (dealing additional d8s of damage on a critical hit), and it is forceful (which means once you get it going and build up momentum, your attacks become more and more powerful: 1 extra damage per die on the second attack of your turn, 2 extra damage for any attacks after that). The glaive-user isn't interested in giving up an action for defense like a character with a bo staff; instead, she does best if she artfully sweeps the blade like a brush, focusing on accuracy and multiple attacks to really dish out the damage—particularly fitting for a follower of Shelyn.

We want to give every weapon a different personality like this so that we can better serve the infinite personalities that players bring with their characters!

Some other fun weapon traits I haven't covered yet: Twin weapons like the saw-toothed saber deal more damage if you fight with two of them. Backswing weapons like the greatclub gain a little accuracy after a miss. Backstabber weapons like the dogslicer deal more damage to flat-footed targets. Agile weapons like the shortsword decrease the penalty for making multiple attacks in a single turn. Finesse weapons like the rapier use your Dexterity modifier for attack rolls if you prefer. Two-hand weapons like the bastard sword deal much higher damage if you wield them in two hands instead of one!

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Critical Specialization and Weapon Groups

Traits give us some really cool ways to distinguish weapons, but we decided to throw one more customization factor into the mix, this time for similar groups of weapons: critical specialization effects.

Characters who unlock their weapon's critical specialization effect gain a special bonus effect on a critical hit that's different for each weapon group. For example, let's compare swords, spears, and axes.

Swords make the target flat-footed on a critical hit, making it easier for you and your allies to hit the target again (and making the group's rogue very happy). This cements swords like the greatsword or a longsword as great choices for dealing damage to challenging foes like bosses, as they have high damage and decrease the boss's AC so your team can hit more often.

Spears pierce the target and weaken its attacks. This makes a spear a good option for someone using a more defensive strategy built around negating enemy attacks.

Axes swing to an adjacent target (if any), damaging that target, too! Combined with the fact that axes usually have the sweep trait, giving you a bonus on attacks when you move on to a new target in the same turn, this makes axes extremely well suited for sweeping up groups of enemies.

These are just a few of the possibilities. For instance, daggers can cause persistent bleed damage, and clubs can knock the target up to 10 feet away (particularly amusing on a well-placed Attack of Opportunity).

Weapon Quality

Weapons, as well as other non-weapon items (but come on, those aren't as cool as weapons, right?), can be poor quality, standard quality, expert quality, master quality, or legendary quality.

Quality grants an item bonus or penalty of the same value as the matching proficiency (so an expert bow grants a +1 item bonus to hit and a legendary axe grants a +3 item bonus to hit). You have to have the matching proficiency to Craft a weapon of that quality though, so you can't make a master sword, for instance, unless you are a master at Crafting.

And now you know the basics about weapons! All there is to do now is choose the weapon that suits you. Until next time!

Mark Seifter
Designer

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dysartes wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


*resists urge to inquire about a particular exotic weapon that's been inspired by recent forums and instead nods quietly and watches*
I doubt the Banhammer will be in Core - but maybe in a splat-book down the line...

The Banhammer is obviously an artifact. It has Banishment as an effect on a hit, or maybe only on a crit. Also Troll Bane.


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Noir le Lotus wrote:

I have a question for the devs : WHY ??

Why did you think it was necessary to rework all the weapons in this 2nd edition ???

It was a goal with D&D 4e that WotC failed to execute. Now that Paizo are reworking the idea and putting it into PF2e. Part of it is trying to bring the martial classes into spellcasters by disguise parity with spellcasters. They've made spellcasters much more reliant on cantrips with "bursty" damage that can be done a few times a day. They're now bringing martial casters up to spellcasters by giving them lots of effetively-martial-cantrips that they can change from using on a round to round basis by simply changing their weapons. Do not be surprised to see the Fighter get a pool of points that allows them to also do "bursty" damage so they're even more in parity with spellcasters.

Noir le Lotus wrote:

Lastly, what is the point of telling us in one of the first previews that magical +X for weapons were not part of this 2nd edition if you tell us now that there will be quality +X for weapons ?

It's exactly the same stupid thing !!

Mechanically it's exactly the same thing. However from an in-game perspective they're completely different. One relies on the skill of a non-magical blacksmith the other requires the wizard to pump out magic swords in his spare time. For some that different in story is extremely important. For others they'll roll their eyes and just grab the "+2 weapon".


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Weather Report wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
I do not like "monk' as a weapon trait (I love the class), if you are in a campaign setting with no monks, you have these weapons with the name of a class that doesn't exist in the world attached to them. That stuff should be contained within the class.

The game's core assumption is that the Classes in the book exist. You can easily remove the Monk in which case the property does nothing, but the Class exists by default, and handling it as a weapon property is much more elegant, future proofed, and easier to work with than having some sort of list in the Monk class as to what weapons they can use.

Weather Report wrote:
I also really do not like weapons called "saw-toothed sabre" and "dogslicer", sounds really cheesy and juvenile, and a bit sci-fi for some reason.

Both are Golarion specific and have existed for years. The dogslicer being a traditional goblin weapon and goblins being inclined to such names (their other traditional weapon is the 'horsechopper'). Saw-toothed sabres are used by the followers of Achaekek, the Mantis God, and are designed to visually mimic mantis claws.

I disagree about the monk thing, and all counts.

As for the goofy, child-like weapon names, they have been lame sounding since day one, for me, and they should not be on a standard weapon table, maybe an alternate regional name for an existing properly named one.

"Dogslicer" was coined by goblins. Goblins give things funny names. Because they're funny.

Serious medieval realism has never been the goal of Pathfinder, it's had tongue-in-cheek aspects since inception. This is a game where a gun-wielding half-angel with a demon-possessed hand can team up with a giant ant from another planet in order to save a bunch of barbarians from a cabal of science-wizards and their warp-drive powered God AI.


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How exactly are you disagreeing?

Just creating a “Monk” Weapon Trait, and then listing in the Monk section, “Monks are proficient with weapons with the Monk Weapon Trait” is a simple solution to future books releasing new Monk weapons. Otherwise every new Monk Weapon will need to specifically list that Monks gain proficiency with them. That’s an unnecessary amount of extra text, and by extension, book space.

Or are you disagreeing that the Core Rulebook assumes that players have access to all of the classes in the Core Rulebook? Because, by definition, unless you are specifically removing something from your campaign, the game is built to assume that you are using all of the rules. If you are specifically taking Monks out of your campaign, then you still need to tell your players that. At which point, it is reasonable to assume that you’d either just remove the Monk weapons, or leave them in because the Monk trait isn’t doing anything anymore.

I mean, it isn’t like you need to be a monk fo use them. A Fighter, Ranger, or Druid could just as easily decide that they want to use a Bo Staff.


Brew Bird wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
I do not like "monk' as a weapon trait (I love the class), if you are in a campaign setting with no monks, you have these weapons with the name of a class that doesn't exist in the world attached to them. That stuff should be contained within the class.

The game's core assumption is that the Classes in the book exist. You can easily remove the Monk in which case the property does nothing, but the Class exists by default, and handling it as a weapon property is much more elegant, future proofed, and easier to work with than having some sort of list in the Monk class as to what weapons they can use.

Weather Report wrote:
I also really do not like weapons called "saw-toothed sabre" and "dogslicer", sounds really cheesy and juvenile, and a bit sci-fi for some reason.

Both are Golarion specific and have existed for years. The dogslicer being a traditional goblin weapon and goblins being inclined to such names (their other traditional weapon is the 'horsechopper'). Saw-toothed sabres are used by the followers of Achaekek, the Mantis God, and are designed to visually mimic mantis claws.

I disagree about the monk thing, and all counts.

As for the goofy, child-like weapon names, they have been lame sounding since day one, for me, and they should not be on a standard weapon table, maybe an alternate regional name for an existing properly named one.

"Dogslicer" was coined by goblins. Goblins give things funny names. Because they're funny.

Serious medieval realism has never been the goal of Pathfinder, it's had tongue-in-cheek aspects since inception.

I don't find goblins funny, and I am not asking for arming swords and estocs and what-have-you, I would just prefer more universal names (not blood dragon claw of naughtiness and what-not).

Not all PF campaigns are set in Golarian (I like Golarian), PF is also another d20/D&D system to use for other fantasy settings, whether it's set in Dark Sun, or Homebrew, etc.


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ElSilverWind wrote:
How exactly are you disagreeing?

Several levels, PF is not just about Golarian, as I said above; and a fighter may want to use a certain weapon, but cannot use all of its abilities because it has the monk quality. Why not list which weapons the monk can do his monky stuff with in the class description, and if a new weapon comes along (hopefully not), they can simply state it is considered a monk weapon.

I do not want a weapon with the rogue, or barbarian quality either.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Weather Report wrote:
ElSilverWind wrote:
How exactly are you disagreeing?

Several levels, PF is not just about Golarian, as I said above; and a fighter may want to use a certain weapon, but cannot use all of its abilities because it has the monk quality. Why not list which weapons the monk can do his monky stuff with in the class description, and if a new weapon comes along (hopefully not), they can simply state it is considered a monk weapon.

I do not want a weapon with the rogue, or barbarian quality either.

... your argument is that the “monk” tag shouldn’t exist on weapons because it might make your fighter sad?

When all that tag does is tell a monk that they can flurry or whatever with that weapon.

That’s not a Golarion exclusive thing. It’ll be an assumption for monks in any setting using Pathfinder, and sais, and temple swords in any setting using PF2E.

It just means the monk player has to jump back and forth between the class and equipment chapter while shopping.


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Maybe a better name would be in order. Instead of calling them "Monk" weapons, they would have the "Flurry" trait -- in the Core Rulebook, Monks would be the only class that could Flurry with them, but other classes or archetypes might come out later that could also Flurry with them (like for instance, if they decide to port the Brawler over to 2nd Edition Pathfinder, whether as its own class or as an archetype of something else).


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
"Doktor Weasel' wrote:
Not thrilled about exotic weapons now just being better weapons. If they're going to exist, they really should be weapons that are harder to use.
Why would people use harder to use weapons that aren't better?

My issue isn't so much that they are better, but that they're exotic for being better, not for difficulty of use. Locking better weapons behind a proficiency simply because they're better is too gamey for my tastes. Having a sword that works just like a normal sword but has better stats so is therefore exotic makes no sense. In PF1 examples include the Falcata, it's a choppy sword with an inward curve. It's just used like a normal cutting sword, no real special techniques needed to use it, but it's exotic because it's got a better crit multiplier than a standard sword. Or the Fauchard, same kind of thing.

I just think exotic proficiency should be tied to something that's actually exotic in it's use. Like a spiked chain. These can have superior abilities if it makes sense, but the reason for them being exotic is the difficulty of use.

This is pretty nitpicky though. It's not a huge concern on my part.


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*Humbly requests Paizo to include the Blood Dragon Claw of Naughtiness to the list of Playtest Artifacts*

Homebrew by its very definition is homebrew. It is the GM’s responsibility if they add or remove elements of the game. Using the Pathfinder rules in another fantasy setting is still basically running a homebrew campaign. Just one in a premade setting. It still requires converting on the part of the DM to make it work. It is silly to say that Elven Curved Swords shouldn’t exist in the Rulebook because your homebrew campaign personally doesn’t have Elves in it.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
ElSilverWind wrote:
How exactly are you disagreeing?

Several levels, PF is not just about Golarian, as I said above; and a fighter may want to use a certain weapon, but cannot use all of its abilities because it has the monk quality. Why not list which weapons the monk can do his monky stuff with in the class description, and if a new weapon comes along (hopefully not), they can simply state it is considered a monk weapon.

I do not want a weapon with the rogue, or barbarian quality either.

... your argument is that the “monk” tag shouldn’t exist on weapons because it might make your fighter sad?

Ha, no, but it is lame if certain weapons end up only being used by monks; I just don't think weapons should have character class tags.

It also sticks out: my weapon has finesse, my weapon has agile, my weapon has monk.


ElSilverWind wrote:
*Humbly requests Paizo to include the Blood Dragon Claw of Naughtiness to the list of Playtest Artifacts*

I actually quite like that myself.

I guess I am conservative and boring, but I would prefer not to have race specific weapons in the Core, just so everything is fair game, whatever race you are. For splatbooks, great, bring on the Orcish Sphinc-Jabber and so forth.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Now that Paizo are reworking the idea and putting it into PF2e. Part of it is trying to bring the martial classes into spellcasters by disguise parity with spellcasters...

I agree. It sounds awesome.


Doktor Weasel wrote:

I just think exotic proficiency should be tied to something that's actually exotic in it's use. Like a spiked chain. These can have superior abilities if it makes sense, but the reason for them being exotic is the difficulty of use.

This is pretty nitpicky though. It's not a huge concern on my part.

Well you could say there's a ton of exotic weapons which are mechanically inferior to martial weapons but Paizo chooses not to stat them up due to a lack of space.


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Weather Report wrote:
ElSilverWind wrote:
How exactly are you disagreeing?

Several levels, PF is not just about Golarian, as I said above; and a fighter may want to use a certain weapon, but cannot use all of its abilities because it has the monk quality. Why not list which weapons the monk can do his monky stuff with in the class description, and if a new weapon comes along (hopefully not), they can simply state it is considered a monk weapon.

I do not want a weapon with the rogue, or barbarian quality either.

I think that you’re misunderstanding something. The Monk Trait has never added any abilities to a weapon. It is just a keyword that says that Monks are automatically proficient with them and can be used with the Monk’s Flurry of Blows Class Feature, because Monks have a rather eclectic selection of weapons that they can use.

There’s no difference in performance from a Monk using a Temple Sword or a Fighter using a Temple Sword.

It’s like how Rogues are automatically proficient with Rapiers even though they’re martial weapons. The only reason why there aren’t “Rogue” weapons is because Rogues don’t have any Class Features that are only compatible with X type of weapon.


ElSilverWind wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
ElSilverWind wrote:
How exactly are you disagreeing?

Several levels, PF is not just about Golarian, as I said above; and a fighter may want to use a certain weapon, but cannot use all of its abilities because it has the monk quality. Why not list which weapons the monk can do his monky stuff with in the class description, and if a new weapon comes along (hopefully not), they can simply state it is considered a monk weapon.

I do not want a weapon with the rogue, or barbarian quality either.

I think that you’re misunderstanding something.

I understand, and can see where you're coming from, I just don't agree, no big deal, it's not a "dealbreaker" or any such silliness; but it can be included in the class description, as is demonstrable with 3rd and 5th Ed. Best to keep the class benefits purely in the class section, not spread to weapons.

Then, you open up other classes being able to do special things with certain weapons, maybe rogues get a perk when using daggers, agile, and finesse weapons and so forth.


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Tangent101 wrote:
If the only thing they did with Pathfinder 2 was improve weapons like this, then it would have made Melee characters more fun to play compared to casters. So why the massive nerf of full casters and lavish love to melee folk?

I presume the devs read all those threads about balance where people insisted it wasn't important to have parity, that what mattered was playing your character concept, that it was a team game, and all the other reasons people gave for why some classes should be markedly superior to others. I guess you've got eighteen years of, "Martials are supposed to be better than Casters" to look forward to.


tivadar27 wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
This. The other contender of a name was "Vera", but I think I used that joke more recently, so I went with this one. :-)
What, no Bianca? Are we too good for fantasy settings!?

No, I just don't know that one. :-)


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Weather Report wrote:
Orcish Sphinc-Jabber

Another one I missed in Adventurer's Armory 2. ^_^


Isabelle Lee wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Orcish Sphinc-Jabber
Another one I missed in Adventurer's Armory 2. ^_^

The 3.0 Arms & Equipment Guide almost gets to this level, that book is hilarious; gelatinous cube saddles, amazing stuff.


Weather Report wrote:
I would prefer not to have race specific weapons in the Core

Alas that boat sailed 9 years ago with the elven curved blade, orc double axe and dwarven urgrosh


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
I would prefer not to have race specific weapons in the Core
Alas that boat sailed 9 years ago with the elven curved blade, orc double axe and dwarven urgrosh

Yeah, actually, the urgrosh is going on 18-years now (...and now I'm depressed...), I wasn't that keen then, and have not warmed to it (in core).

Some of the double weapons are absurd, the dire flail, was it?


Weather Report wrote:
Some of the double weapons are absurd, the dire flail, was it?

Based on everything else that is dire it's clearly a flail that is doubled in size compared to a "normal" flail.

Does power attack still have an attack penalty? If so, some of these weapon qualities have given power attack a pretty significant downgrade which means your less likely to always use power attack and instead decide based on the enemy's AC (or just always full power attack and the consequences be damned!).


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Some of the double weapons are absurd, the dire flail, was it?
Based on everything else that is dire it's clearly a flail that is doubled in size compared to a "normal" flail.

Ha, if only, it was something that could not be wielded without serious self-harm.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Some of the double weapons are absurd, the dire flail, was it?

Based on everything else that is dire it's clearly a flail that is doubled in size compared to a "normal" flail.

Does power attack still have an attack penalty? If so, some of these weapon qualities have given power attack a pretty significant downgrade which means your less likely to always use power attack and instead decide based on the enemy's AC (or just always full power attack and the consequences be damned!).

IIRC no attack penalty on Power Attack, but I forget its full mechanics. It was the cause of much consternation when it was announced.


Redblade8 wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Some of the double weapons are absurd, the dire flail, was it?

Based on everything else that is dire it's clearly a flail that is doubled in size compared to a "normal" flail.

Does power attack still have an attack penalty? If so, some of these weapon qualities have given power attack a pretty significant downgrade which means your less likely to always use power attack and instead decide based on the enemy's AC (or just always full power attack and the consequences be damned!).

IIRC no attack penalty on Power Attack, but I forget it's full mechanics. It was the cause of much consternation when it was announced.

Power attack is two actions with no penally to attack, but only gives 1 extra weapon dice of damage, plus one more at higher levels iirc.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rysky wrote:
Blog wrote:
A greatsword deals a lot of damage, perfect for a bruiser character like a worshiper of Gorum: its damage die is d12 and you can seamlessly switch between piercing and slashing damage to avoid enemy resistances and exploit their weaknesses.
*squees excitedly*

*wake ups, resumes squeeing*

Silver Crusade

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Friendly Rogue wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:
The Sightless Swordsman wrote:
This is also why messers are inferior weapons because you cannot end your opponent rightly.
I'm still waiting for when Paizo finally adds stats for sword pommels, but odds are they'd likely be too OP, what with them being able to completely demolish entire villages and what not.
Also, Excalibur's scabbard was actually more OP than Excalibur itself.
I mean few things are as dangerous as a big rock!
There's actually a game where you get "Sword in the Stone" as a weaon. It's a sword with a big boulder attached to the end.

That description just reminded me of the Kirkhammer from Bloodborne, and now I want to see trick weapons converted into Pathfinder in general.

Do you think my players will notice how Soulsborne-inspired my games are if I were to homebrew them myself?

Yeeeeees, do eet.

My favourites were the Kirkhammer and the Holy Swords.

Ludwig's Holy Blade, sword. Alt mode? Bigger sword.

Holy Moonlight Sword, sword. Alt mode? Bigger sword made out of magic.


Redblade8 wrote:
IIRC no attack penalty on Power Attack, but I forget its full mechanics. It was the cause of much consternation when it was announced.

When they take an unpopular feat (vital strike), swap out the name of a popular feat (power attack) and then post it into a blog post are you really surprised people would be unhappy?


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Another great blog post!
One point that hasn't been raised much:

What's your weapon blog wrote:
Characters who unlock their weapon's critical specialization effect gain a special bonus effect on a critical hit that's different for each weapon group.

Although we don't know for sure how a character can "unlock their weapon's critical specialization effect", it seems highly likely that it is something linked to your training level. While it might be simply linked to being "trained" or "untrained", I suspect it is linked to the expert or master level. Or there could even be different special abilities linked to different training levels - though that might be unnecessarily complex.

This will be a key area differentiating classes that specialize in fighting and invest feats in it (like fighters) and other classes who have the same BAB-equivalent but have other things to invest their feats in.

The idea of linking different weapon properties to different weapons in order to make them more unique is a great step towards greater character customization. Kudos to our pals from Paizo.


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Rysky wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Blog wrote:
A greatsword deals a lot of damage, perfect for a bruiser character like a worshiper of Gorum: its damage die is d12 and you can seamlessly switch between piercing and slashing damage to avoid enemy resistances and exploit their weaknesses.
*squees excitedly*
*wake ups, resumes squeeing*

Great, now I'm picturing Ned Beaty!


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
IIRC no attack penalty on Power Attack, but I forget its full mechanics. It was the cause of much consternation when it was announced.
When they take an unpopular feat (vital strike), swap out the name of a popular feat (power attack) and then post it into a blog post are you really surprised people would be unhappy?

True, though I dig Vital Strike, they could have kept both, I don't mind the original Power Attack, just not for monsters.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
IIRC no attack penalty on Power Attack, but I forget its full mechanics. It was the cause of much consternation when it was announced.
When they take an unpopular feat (vital strike), swap out the name of a popular feat (power attack) and then post it into a blog post are you really surprised people would be unhappy?

Given that there are changes to how both actions and attack rolls work, and thus the underpinnings of both feats' 1e workings, I'd hoped people could actually hold off on doom crying until we'd seen the whole elephant.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
IIRC no attack penalty on Power Attack, but I forget its full mechanics. It was the cause of much consternation when it was announced.
When they take an unpopular feat (vital strike), swap out the name of a popular feat (power attack) and then post it into a blog post are you really surprised people would be unhappy?

For the sake of fairness, Vital Strike wasn’t unpopular because it was a bad concept. It was unpopular because it couldn’t be used with Power Attack. Because Power Attack was one of the best feats in the game. That, and unlike Power Attack, you needed to burn feats on a feat chain to improve it.

The new Power Attack doesn’t have those problems. PF1 Power Attack doesn’t exist in PF2 as far as we can tell, and it is one feat that will scale as you level.

Also because PF2’s tighter math, PF1 Power Attack would mechanically be much worse in PF2. Every -1 to-hit pushes you further from being able to crit and more likely to critically fail.

Silver Crusade

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ElSilverWind wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
IIRC no attack penalty on Power Attack, but I forget its full mechanics. It was the cause of much consternation when it was announced.
When they take an unpopular feat (vital strike), swap out the name of a popular feat (power attack) and then post it into a blog post are you really surprised people would be unhappy?

For the sake of fairness, Vital Strike wasn’t unpopular because it was a bad concept. It was unpopular because it couldn’t be used with Power Attack. Because Power Attack was one of the best feats in the game. That, and unlike Power Attack, you needed to burn feats on a feat chain to improve it.

The new Power Attack doesn’t have those problems. PF1 Power Attack doesn’t exist in PF2 as far as we can tell, and it is one feat that will scale as you level.

Also because PF2’s tighter math, PF1 Power Attack would mechanically be much worse in PF2. Every -1 to-hit pushes you further from being able to crit and more likely to critically fail.

Uh, you could use PA with VS. VS wasn't more popular because A) you had to spend feats on it and its later versions and B) it cut off your other attacks.


Redblade8 wrote:
Given that there are changes to how both actions and attack rolls work, and thus the underpinnings of both feats' 1e workings, I'd hoped people could actually hold off on doom crying until we'd seen the whole elephant.

If they intended to create a feat that effectively recreated Vital Strike, why not call it Vital Strike? That way in the future if they work out a way to make Power Attack work in the new action economy they can put power attack back into the game with a name that people will recognise as power attack.

Grabbing a name for one thing and putting it onto something else is hardly ever a popular move. And even if earlier iterations of PF2e Power Attack more closely resembled PF1e Power Attack, I'd expect SOMEONE would have noticed that the latest version barely resembled power attack and was much closer to Vital Strike. A simple rename could have turned the whole "This isn't power attack!" into "hey, they've fixed Vital Strike. Hooray!"


Rysky wrote:
ElSilverWind wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
IIRC no attack penalty on Power Attack, but I forget its full mechanics. It was the cause of much consternation when it was announced.
When they take an unpopular feat (vital strike), swap out the name of a popular feat (power attack) and then post it into a blog post are you really surprised people would be unhappy?

For the sake of fairness, Vital Strike wasn’t unpopular because it was a bad concept. It was unpopular because it couldn’t be used with Power Attack. Because Power Attack was one of the best feats in the game. That, and unlike Power Attack, you needed to burn feats on a feat chain to improve it.

The new Power Attack doesn’t have those problems. PF1 Power Attack doesn’t exist in PF2 as far as we can tell, and it is one feat that will scale as you level.

Also because PF2’s tighter math, PF1 Power Attack would mechanically be much worse in PF2. Every -1 to-hit pushes you further from being able to crit and more likely to critically fail.

Uh, you could use PA with VS. VS wasn't more popular because A) you had to spend feats on it and its later versions

That's the lame part, I have houseruled so any character can give up extra attacks for additional weapon damage dice (ala Vital Strike). And Weapon Finesse is a weapon quality, saves that feat tax.


John Lynch 106 wrote:

If they intended to create a feat that effectively recreated Vital Strike, why not call it Vital Strike? That way in the future if they work out a way to make Power Attack work in the new action economy they can put power attack back into the game with a name that people will recognise as power attack.

Grabbing a name for one thing and putting it onto something else is hardly ever a popular move. And even if earlier iterations of PF2e Power Attack more closely resembled PF1e Power Attack, I'd expect SOMEONE would have noticed that the latest version barely resembled power attack and was much closer to Vital Strike. A simple rename could have turned the whole "This isn't power attack!" into "hey, they've fixed Vital Strike. Hooray!"

This I agree with, I am still sore over the 4th Ed Eladrin/Archon fiasco!


As someone who is normally a little hesitant when a new edition comes out, Paizo has done a great job of making me excited for this one. With the Spell post I was excited to see what changes there were for my Wizard. With the Cleric/Domain post I became excited for my Cleric. Now with this Weapon post I'm looking forward to what I can do with my Rogue and my Gnome Barbarian!


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
Given that there are changes to how both actions and attack rolls work, and thus the underpinnings of both feats' 1e workings, I'd hoped people could actually hold off on doom crying until we'd seen the whole elephant.

If they intended to create a feat that effectively recreated Vital Strike, why not call it Vital Strike? That way in the future if they work out a way to make Power Attack work in the new action economy they can put power attack back into the game with a name that people will recognise as power attack.

Grabbing a name for one thing and putting it onto something else is hardly ever a popular move. And even if earlier iterations of PF2e Power Attack more closely resembled PF1e Power Attack, I'd expect SOMEONE would have noticed that the latest version barely resembled power attack and was much closer to Vital Strike. A simple rename could have turned the whole "This isn't power attack!" into "hey, they've fixed Vital Strike. Hooray!"

Well I think Power Attack name fits. Taking the time to wind up a big swing for more damage makes sense to me. For all we know Vital Strike exists as an upgrade feat to Power Attack and thus couldn't be reserved how you like.

Regardless it is all pure emotional attachment. It has been shown in massive maths threads that PF2E Power Attack is superior to PF1E Power Attack when taking into account the new economy and maths.


Malk_Content wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
Given that there are changes to how both actions and attack rolls work, and thus the underpinnings of both feats' 1e workings, I'd hoped people could actually hold off on doom crying until we'd seen the whole elephant.

If they intended to create a feat that effectively recreated Vital Strike, why not call it Vital Strike? That way in the future if they work out a way to make Power Attack work in the new action economy they can put power attack back into the game with a name that people will recognise as power attack.

Grabbing a name for one thing and putting it onto something else is hardly ever a popular move. And even if earlier iterations of PF2e Power Attack more closely resembled PF1e Power Attack, I'd expect SOMEONE would have noticed that the latest version barely resembled power attack and was much closer to Vital Strike. A simple rename could have turned the whole "This isn't power attack!" into "hey, they've fixed Vital Strike. Hooray!"

Well I think Power Attack name fits. Taking the time to wind up a big swing for more damage makes sense to me. For all we know Vital Strike exists as an upgrade feat to Power Attack and thus couldn't be reserved how you like.

The original Vital Strike Feat debuted in SWSE, as two different feats/approaches, one called Mighty Swing, the other Rapid Strike. And during the 5th Ed playtest, you had Deadly Strike, instead of Extra Attacks.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Weather Report wrote:


Then, you open up other classes being able to do special things with certain weapons, maybe rogues get a perk when using daggers, agile, and finesse weapons and so forth.

I'm assuming Rogue's sneak attack will be tied to a weapon quality or two.

I kind of agree with you on the monk weapon quality. I'm not exactly thrilled with the idea that martial weapons have to use some of their "quality budget" (for lack of a better term) on the monk weapon designation. As you said, that will cause most everyone else to avoid those weapons, simply because any non-monk weapon is going to have an additional quality they can actually make use of. The Rogue example you bring up is pretty good; even if rogues are required to use an agile or quick (or whatever) weapon for their sneak attack, every other class can use that quality as well. Rogues just get more out of it. But monk weapons won't be in the same boat.

If the Monk designation is a bonus trait on top of their normal budget, then never mind, nothing to see here *vanishes*.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
ElSilverWind wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
IIRC no attack penalty on Power Attack, but I forget its full mechanics. It was the cause of much consternation when it was announced.
When they take an unpopular feat (vital strike), swap out the name of a popular feat (power attack) and then post it into a blog post are you really surprised people would be unhappy?

For the sake of fairness, Vital Strike wasn’t unpopular because it was a bad concept. It was unpopular because it couldn’t be used with Power Attack. Because Power Attack was one of the best feats in the game. That, and unlike Power Attack, you needed to burn feats on a feat chain to improve it.

The new Power Attack doesn’t have those problems. PF1 Power Attack doesn’t exist in PF2 as far as we can tell, and it is one feat that will scale as you level.

Also because PF2’s tighter math, PF1 Power Attack would mechanically be much worse in PF2. Every -1 to-hit pushes you further from being able to crit and more likely to critically fail.

Uh, you could use PA with VS. VS wasn't more popular because A) you had to spend feats on it and its later versions and B) it cut off your other attacks.

*goes back and checks*

Huh. Well I’ll be. I could have sworn there was something about “both modifying your Attack action” or something. I feel a bit silly about it now, but I’ll admit that I was wrong about that.

I agree with you on the other 2 Points. I will say though, because of how PF2 does actions in combat and uses tighter math, I still think that the cost of an extra action for more damage is better than the cost of taking an accuracy penalty, even if you do get to keep your third attack at -10 that round.


Cleave and vital strike don't mix.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Weather Report wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
I would prefer not to have race specific weapons in the Core
Alas that boat sailed 9 years ago with the elven curved blade, orc double axe and dwarven urgrosh

Yeah, actually, the urgrosh is going on 18-years now (...and now I'm depressed...), I wasn't that keen then, and have not warmed to it (in core).

Some of the double weapons are absurd, the dire flail, was it?

Some? Just about all are pretty absurd (the quarterstaff being the only sane one, because they just shoehorned it into the new designation). The whole classification of double weapons seems to have been created because Darth Maul was cool. Let that sink in. They used Phantom Menace as an indicator of what is cool...

So now we have dumb things like dire flails and urgroshes cluttering up the weapon list. Has anyone ever seen any of these things in use? I haven't.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I thought Darth Maul was cool...
Granted I was learning basic staff fighting at the time, and some bits were similar to the style I was being taught.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Cleave and vital strike don't mix.

Seems like cleave is now a property of critically hitting with axes, if I read that right?

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