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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Overall sounds great, I liked the feedback re: different weapon significantly changing feel of combat even without Feats etc.

Probably most questionable thing for me was very specific: the Crit Specialization for Axes doesn't seem to match how the weapons work, with small "business" end needing large "commitment" to specific angle of attack for each hit, without flexibility of swords re: Slash/Pierce with larger area of blade for potential attacks. So the 'sweep' feature seems doubly strange to have for Axes.

I get they need 'something', but perhaps a different approach is due them. I could see swapping Swords and Axes re: Crit Specialization effects, or perhaps something closer to current Axe 'sweep' would be an effect that damaged adjacent opponents (perhaps less than normal hit would have) WHEN MISSING THE DESIGNATED TARGET. That would obviously be signficant change re: normal CRIT specialization mechanic, but perhaps it could work, after all exceptions to the rule are the rule of D&D/Pathfinder... Maybe make that trigger when you miss target but roll still counts as Crit vs adjacent enemey? (to still hinge on Crit mechanics)

Also, the Spear Crit effect ("weakening opponnent's attacks") made me wonder, "how does this affect caster enemies"? Dagger's Bleed Crits were mentioned which based on P1E mechanics might affect Caster's concentration, but would Spear's also affect them? Or other weapons?

I think D&D/P1E tended to have "melee opponent" design norm, despite much more than that being possible. This also played out in weird ways, like there is good ways to shut down archers, and archers are understood as effective and plausibly common (being mundane) yet they aren't deployed as often as their effectiveness might suggest AND the idea of NPCs keeping anti-archer spells etc prepped was/is too often seen as "metagaming to punish archers" which is silly if that is reasonable solution to reasonably common threat. (part of this response is due to 'hard counter' mechanics, which hopefully P2E handles in more nuanced way) I'd like to see game built on assumption of all threat types, which includes all "counters" being similarly common.

EDIT: Speaking of which, a Ranged Combat Blogs sounds about time to drop. How that fits into new action economy is a big one, along with Feat "horizon" (vis-a-vis 3.x/P1E linear chain of Archery Feats) and general scope of "counters"/situational dynamic for archery and ranged. Bonus Points for Crossbows and Thrown being awesome too. :-)


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Not me, I used to, but now it smacks of "Orientalism", where anything that is Asian/Oriental is automatically different and/or better (tank-slicing katana, etc).
It use to be the claymore was the legendary weapon, right up there with the katana. I don't think anyone ever declared the claymore fetish as "offensive to Scotsman" so it seems like a double-standard to apply that to the katana worship. Sometimes us geeks get attached to stupid things (see Lovecraft for an example) and it's got nothing to do with racism or anything of that ilk.

Which edition was the claymore in, and who mentioned offending?


Captain Morgan wrote:
The alternative to the trait is the 5e approach where you just give the monk a blanket limitation in their own text for what constitutes a monk weapon. The problem is that is VERY limiting.

Far less limiting, than making this weird corner case for some weapons to have a class tag attached.


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42nfl19 wrote:
Why no mentioned of ranged or thrown options? I see one mention of bows in this whole post. I feel weird that in a whole blog about weapons, you only have one spectrum of them and not the other. Sure hitting things is fun but sometimes you want to hit things without getting close. In the old blog post about the fighter it was mentioned that Paladins will have a thing with armor. Does that mean Rangers will get more talk with ranged weapons? I don't really want to combine Paladins/Armor and Rangers/Ranged weapons in single articles.

Given that Fridays are normally their "follow-up" posts, I was guessing that ranged weapons might be coming shortly...


Weather Report wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
The alternative to the trait is the 5e approach where you just give the monk a blanket limitation in their own text for what constitutes a monk weapon. The problem is that is VERY limiting.
Far less limiting, than making this weird corner case for some weapons to have a class tag attached.

How so? I listed a lot of reasons why the 5e solution is limiting. What does the weapon tag constrain?


Captain Morgan wrote:
42nfl19 wrote:
Why no mentioned of ranged or thrown options? I see one mention of bows in this whole post. I feel weird that in a whole blog about weapons, you only have one spectrum of them and not the other. Sure hitting things is fun but sometimes you want to hit things without getting close. In the old blog post about the fighter it was mentioned that Paladins will have a thing with armor. Does that mean Rangers will get more talk with ranged weapons? I don't really want to combine Paladins/Armor and Rangers/Ranged weapons in single articles.
I also noticed the lack of ranged discussion here, but the Fighter blog did have a couple mentions of things they can do with bows, so it looks like ranged weapons will be a valid specialty for them just as much melee. (Also, I don't think they actually said Paladins are gonna be the armor class. That is an assumption by the community, though I think it is a pretty good one.)

It is kind of implied by the devs that Paladins will be the armored guys. Because what other class besides the fighters love going into battle with heavy armor?

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


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42nfl19 wrote:
It is kind of implied by the devs that Paladins will be the armored guys. Because what other class besides the fighters love going into battle with heavy armor?

I'm still hoping this isn't true. While I understand giving fighters weapons, I don't like the idea of attaching armor specialty to a class that also has moral codes.


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tivadar27 wrote:
42nfl19 wrote:
It is kind of implied by the devs that Paladins will be the armored guys. Because what other class besides the fighters love going into battle with heavy armor?
I'm still hoping this isn't true. While I understand giving fighters weapons, I don't like the idea of attaching armor specialty to a class that also has moral codes.

I just hope that the Paladins are more flexible with their alignments just like how the Clerics can be flexible with theirs. No more Paladin, Anti-Paladin, and "neutral" paladin aka bad archetypes and not Cavaliers.


42nfl19 wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
42nfl19 wrote:
Why no mentioned of ranged or thrown options? I see one mention of bows in this whole post. I feel weird that in a whole blog about weapons, you only have one spectrum of them and not the other. Sure hitting things is fun but sometimes you want to hit things without getting close. In the old blog post about the fighter it was mentioned that Paladins will have a thing with armor. Does that mean Rangers will get more talk with ranged weapons? I don't really want to combine Paladins/Armor and Rangers/Ranged weapons in single articles.
I also noticed the lack of ranged discussion here, but the Fighter blog did have a couple mentions of things they can do with bows, so it looks like ranged weapons will be a valid specialty for them just as much melee. (Also, I don't think they actually said Paladins are gonna be the armor class. That is an assumption by the community, though I think it is a pretty good one.)

It is kind of implied by the devs that Paladins will be the armored guys. Because what other class besides the fighters love going into battle with heavy armor?

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

Yeah, I know. That's why I said I think the assumption is a good one. I don't think any other class fits the bill except the paladin, unless they really change up how we think about the Barbarian. But they could surprise us.


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I’m still standing by my Full-Plate Monk dual-wielding Heavy Steel Shields prediction.

Perfect Mind. Perfect Body. Perfect Defense.

Paizo Employee Designer

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ElSilverWind wrote:

I’m still standing by my Full-Plate Monk dual-wielding Heavy Steel Shields prediction.

Perfect Mind. Perfect Body. Perfect Defense.

We actually had a monk wearing a +3 full plate out of mourning after the fighter (and cleric) got killed during my playtest. They were ambushed on the way out and the monk was surprisingly in more OK shape than expected, though in retrospect, it was an unusually low-Dex monk to begin with, and +3 full plate was a pretty powerful armor they found on the boss. Still, the monk would have been better off without the armor, but barely.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Obviously, the actual armor class is wizard. I mean, a wizard is a mage, right, and no other class in the game has as essential of a game term as "mage armor" associated with their name. You don't see "paladin armor" or "fighter armor" anywhere. True, there's hellknight armor and gray maiden plate, but those are archetypes at best. The wizard, true master of armor, will surprise everyone!

Note: The wizard is absolutely not the true master of armor.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Mark Seifter wrote:
ElSilverWind wrote:

I’m still standing by my Full-Plate Monk dual-wielding Heavy Steel Shields prediction.

Perfect Mind. Perfect Body. Perfect Defense.

We actually had a monk wearing a +3 full plate out of mourning after the fighter (and cleric) got killed during my playtest. They were ambushed on the way out and the monk was surprisingly in more OK shape than expected, though in retrospect, it was an unusually low-Dex monk to begin with, and +3 full plate was a pretty powerful armor they found on the boss. Still, the monk would have been better off without the armor, but barely.

Cobra's ready for any challenge, including tackling the final fight in restrictive full plate! Though he might be about due for a rebuild, what with prioritizing STR and CON over DEX... It's all those Liefeldian muscles getting in the way.


Mark, can you still shield bash? Are spiked shields still a thing? There was also no mention of the offensive defensive item in the blog either.

Better yet, I just want to dual wield shields and actually be more tanky. IDK how that works now where you have to use an action to raise your shield. Can you even do that?
Action 1: Shield Bash
Action 2: Raise Shield 1
Action 3: Raise Shield 2

The idea of sacrificing damage for defense always felt appealing to me. A Guardian Protector Paladin!


Mark Seifter wrote:

Obviously, the actual armor class is wizard. I mean, a wizard is a mage, right, and no other class in the game has as essential of a game term as "mage armor" associated with their name. You don't see "paladin armor" or "fighter armor" anywhere. True, there's hellknight armor and gray maiden plate, but those are archetypes at best. The wizard, true master of armor, will surprise everyone!

Note: The wizard is absolutely not the true master of armor.

You're a funny guy, Mark.

Quote:
We actually had a monk wearing a +3 full plate out of mourning after the fighter (and cleric) got killed during my playtest. They were ambushed on the way out and the monk was surprisingly in more OK shape than expected, though in retrospect, it was an unusually low-Dex monk to begin with, and +3 full plate was a pretty powerful armor they found on the boss. Still, the monk would have been better off without the armor, but barely.

That's neat. I can believe it, too. The Unchained Monk can still hit things pretty well in PF1. Armor makes up for the WIS, and the right two handed weapon can make up for losing flurry. You still have ki powers and some bonus feats and what not.


graystone wrote:
Tursic wrote:

I am see a lot of short sword fishing fighters in the future.

Are you using short swords to fish or are you fishing for short swords?

I am see a lot of short sword crit fishing fighter builds in the future. I forgot to crit and build.

The short swords being better at doing multiple attacks and if the first of the second attack is a crit, the enemy will be flat-footed which will mean a lower AC most of the time. Thus easier to get the need +10 over AC for a crit, even with the minuses to attack for multiply attacks.

Grand Lodge

Will there be Katanas and will their magnificence as the smurfiest weapon ever finally be acknowledged?

SM


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Tursic wrote:
graystone wrote:
Tursic wrote:

I am see a lot of short sword fishing fighters in the future.

Are you using short swords to fish or are you fishing for short swords?

I am see a lot of short sword crit fishing fighter builds in the future. I forgot to crit and build.

The short swords being better at doing multiple attacks and if the first of the second attack is a crit, the enemy will be flat-footed which will mean a lower AC most of the time. Thus easier to get the need +10 over AC for a crit, even with the minuses to attack for multiply attacks.

Yeah, but you get less damage on the short sword... Unless you have a rogue in the party who now gets their sneak attack. But at that point, go Team Work!

Paizo Employee Designer

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Tursic wrote:
graystone wrote:
Tursic wrote:

I am see a lot of short sword fishing fighters in the future.

Are you using short swords to fish or are you fishing for short swords?

I am see a lot of short sword crit fishing fighter builds in the future. I forgot to crit and build.

The short swords being better at doing multiple attacks and if the first of the second attack is a crit, the enemy will be flat-footed which will mean a lower AC most of the time. Thus easier to get the need +10 over AC for a crit, even with the minuses to attack for multiply attacks.

If you have a spare hand, assuming we want to stay in the finesse family, it's even better if your first attack is with a rapier (it's deadly for even more damage if you do crit first time around, and agile doesn't matter yet on the first attack).


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Among other things I hope are actually good this time around, can these actually be worth using?

* Armor Spikes
* Gauntlet / Knuckles
* Shield Bash
* Whip
* Net
* Dagger (not Kukri... the actual Dagger)


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Davor wrote:

Looking at all these weapon qualities, and thinking about monks, I can't help but think about how cool it would be if part of gaining improved Proficiency as a monk meant granting certain Weapon Qualities to your unarmed strikes. What if you get nothing at basic proficiency, but each higher proficiency you get a little more damage AND get to choose a weapon property? You could have deadly, agile, finesse fists, or maybe parry, trip, and versatile (slashing)? There are so many cool combinations, and would really reward unarmed combat while not invalidating weapon-focused combat, because you can always carry a weapon that has the qualities your fists don't.

The more I think about it, the more excited I get. Agile + Forceful? It's like a DIY Flurry of Blows, especially if we get to do two-weapon fighting and it gives extra attacks.

A little while ago, my wild speculation for new class roles was that a Magus might get an ability to morph their weapons a bit. I described it as letting the fighter have the skill and will to wield every weapon so the always have the perfect one for every occasion, while Magus only need one weapon, because it is always perfect. I was looking ahead to eventual blade-bound archetypes, but it also seemed like a unique niche they could fill.

But as you pointed out, it works even better as a Monk ability. Maybe anyone can use a bo staff and have it be a reach and parrying weapon, but a Monk might be able to wield it so it is forceful or deadly, too (probably burning kI/spell points to do it). And their fists and kicks Can do even more tricks.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Tursic wrote:
graystone wrote:
Tursic wrote:

I am see a lot of short sword fishing fighters in the future.

Are you using short swords to fish or are you fishing for short swords?

I am see a lot of short sword crit fishing fighter builds in the future. I forgot to crit and build.

The short swords being better at doing multiple attacks and if the first of the second attack is a crit, the enemy will be flat-footed which will mean a lower AC most of the time. Thus easier to get the need +10 over AC for a crit, even with the minuses to attack for multiply attacks.
If you have a spare hand, assuming we want to stay in the finesse family, it's even better if your first attack is with a rapier (it's deadly for even more damage if you do crit first time around, and agile doesn't matter yet on the first attack).

Question about agile, does that mean that agile has really great synergy with TFW to the point that it would be almost sub-optimal to not use it? And I might have missed it but is agile an enchantment you can get on weapons or is it that agile is a special property that exist in a certain class of weapons?

Paizo Employee Designer

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42nfl19 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Tursic wrote:
graystone wrote:
Tursic wrote:

I am see a lot of short sword fishing fighters in the future.

Are you using short swords to fish or are you fishing for short swords?

I am see a lot of short sword crit fishing fighter builds in the future. I forgot to crit and build.

The short swords being better at doing multiple attacks and if the first of the second attack is a crit, the enemy will be flat-footed which will mean a lower AC most of the time. Thus easier to get the need +10 over AC for a crit, even with the minuses to attack for multiply attacks.
If you have a spare hand, assuming we want to stay in the finesse family, it's even better if your first attack is with a rapier (it's deadly for even more damage if you do crit first time around, and agile doesn't matter yet on the first attack).
Question about agile, does that mean that agile has really great synergy with TFW to the point that it would be almost sub-optimal to not use it? And I might have missed it but is agile an enchantment you can get on weapons or is it that agile is a special property that exist in a certain class of weapons?

Agile is a trait. It's a trait that mainly light weapons from PF1 have. TWFing with at least one of two weapons as agile is a very smart idea, similar to TWFing with at least one of two weapons as light in PF1, though not as punishing if you don't as in PF1.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
42nfl19 wrote:


Question about agile, does that mean that agile has really great synergy with TFW to the point that it would be almost sub-optimal to not use it? And I might have missed it but is agile an enchantment you can get on weapons or is it that agile is a special property that exist in a certain class of weapons?
Agile is a trait. It's a trait that mainly light weapons from PF1 have. TWFing with at least one of two weapons as agile is a very smart idea, similar to TWFing with at least one of two weapons as light in PF1, though not as punishing if you don't as in PF1.

Does that mean TWF will be more flexible in PF2 than in PF1? I always felt that if you ever do TFW you always had to use a single weapon type because sometimes feats, classes/features, or etc asked you to choose a certain weapon. I might be wrong though. The idea of a samurai using a katana and wakizashi or a duelist using a rapier and a parrying dagger are very thematic.


42nfl19 wrote:
Question about agile, does that mean that agile has really great synergy with TFW to the point that it would be almost sub-optimal to not use it? And I might have missed it but is agile an enchantment you can get on weapons or is it that agile is a special property that exist in a certain class of weapons?

From my memory, agile and TWF both work in the same fashion, ie. lowering the penalty to hit on the second and third attack. (I think it was said somewhere that it's -4/-8.) So they'd probably work pretty well together.

Paizo Employee Designer

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42nfl19 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
42nfl19 wrote:


Question about agile, does that mean that agile has really great synergy with TFW to the point that it would be almost sub-optimal to not use it? And I might have missed it but is agile an enchantment you can get on weapons or is it that agile is a special property that exist in a certain class of weapons?
Agile is a trait. It's a trait that mainly light weapons from PF1 have. TWFing with at least one of two weapons as agile is a very smart idea, similar to TWFing with at least one of two weapons as light in PF1, though not as punishing if you don't as in PF1.
Does that mean TWF will be more flexible in PF2 than in PF1? I always felt that if you ever do TFW you always had to use a single weapon type because sometimes feats, classes/features, or etc asked you to choose a certain weapon. I might be wrong though. The idea of a samurai using a katana and wakizashi or a duelist using a rapier and a parrying dagger are very thematic.

Yeah, we're not really interested in forcing you into specializing in one very specific weapon. Probably the most we'd ask a character to do would be to decide they were into swords, and many characters don't even have to specialize that deeply. As to rapier/main gauche, personally, I feel like a good main gauche specifically for parrying was one of the few oversights in the incredibly wide diversity of PF1 weapons (there were options like a swordbreaker focused specifically on anti-weapon hijinks, but not really a main gauche).


Mark Seifter wrote:
42nfl19 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
42nfl19 wrote:


Question about agile, does that mean that agile has really great synergy with TFW to the point that it would be almost sub-optimal to not use it? And I might have missed it but is agile an enchantment you can get on weapons or is it that agile is a special property that exist in a certain class of weapons?
Agile is a trait. It's a trait that mainly light weapons from PF1 have. TWFing with at least one of two weapons as agile is a very smart idea, similar to TWFing with at least one of two weapons as light in PF1, though not as punishing if you don't as in PF1.
Does that mean TWF will be more flexible in PF2 than in PF1? I always felt that if you ever do TFW you always had to use a single weapon type because sometimes feats, classes/features, or etc asked you to choose a certain weapon. I might be wrong though. The idea of a samurai using a katana and wakizashi or a duelist using a rapier and a parrying dagger are very thematic.
Yeah, we're not really interested in forcing you into specializing in one very specific weapon. Probably the most we'd ask a character to do would be to decide they were into swords, and many characters don't even have to specialize that deeply. As to rapier/main gauche, personally, I feel like a good main gauche specifically for parrying was one of the few oversights in the incredibly wide diversity of PF1 weapons (there were options like a swordbreaker focused specifically on anti-weapon hijinks, but not really a main gauche).

Ah! When you mentioned the rapier earlier I wanted to ask if that fighting style would be supported, but I couldn't remember the name of the main gauche.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
42nfl19 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
42nfl19 wrote:


Question about agile, does that mean that agile has really great synergy with TFW to the point that it would be almost sub-optimal to not use it? And I might have missed it but is agile an enchantment you can get on weapons or is it that agile is a special property that exist in a certain class of weapons?
Agile is a trait. It's a trait that mainly light weapons from PF1 have. TWFing with at least one of two weapons as agile is a very smart idea, similar to TWFing with at least one of two weapons as light in PF1, though not as punishing if you don't as in PF1.
Does that mean TWF will be more flexible in PF2 than in PF1? I always felt that if you ever do TFW you always had to use a single weapon type because sometimes feats, classes/features, or etc asked you to choose a certain weapon. I might be wrong though. The idea of a samurai using a katana and wakizashi or a duelist using a rapier and a parrying dagger are very thematic.
Yeah, we're not really interested in forcing you into specializing in one very specific weapon. Probably the most we'd ask a character to do would be to decide they were into swords, and many characters don't even have to specialize that deeply. As to rapier/main gauche, personally, I feel like a good main gauche specifically for parrying was one of the few oversights in the incredibly wide diversity of PF1 weapons (there were options like a swordbreaker focused specifically on anti-weapon hijinks, but not really a main gauche).
Ah! When you mentioned the rapier earlier I wanted to ask if that fighting style would be supported, but I couldn't remember the name of the main gauche.

It is! It's better defense than rapier/shortsword but lower offense and better offense than rapier/shield but lower defense. Optimization corners tend to prefer being extreme in one direction and taking it as far as possible to a middle-ground build, but that doesn't mean a middle ground can't be quite effective too.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Yeah, we're not really interested in forcing you into specializing in one very specific weapon. Probably the most we'd ask a character to do would be to decide they were into swords, and many characters don't even have to specialize that deeply. As to rapier/main gauche, personally, I feel like a good main gauche specifically for parrying was one of the few oversights in the incredibly wide diversity of PF1 weapons (there were options like a swordbreaker focused specifically on anti-weapon hijinks, but not really a main gauche).
Ah! When you mentioned the rapier earlier I wanted to ask if that fighting style would be supported, but I couldn't remember the name of the main gauche.
It is! It's better defense than rapier/shortsword but lower offense and better offense than rapier/shield but lower defense. Optimization corners tend to prefer being extreme in one direction and taking it as far as possible to a middle-ground...

Can you not shield bash? You say rapier/shield has lower offense than rapier/main gauche but you can still attack with the shield right? But if you do, do you lose the ability to raise it for defense? All this talk of main gauche, is this hypothetical or is it in PF2 now?

Another tangent but if you had two shields could you spend two actions to raise both of them?


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42nfl19 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Yeah, we're not really interested in forcing you into specializing in one very specific weapon. Probably the most we'd ask a character to do would be to decide they were into swords, and many characters don't even have to specialize that deeply. As to rapier/main gauche, personally, I feel like a good main gauche specifically for parrying was one of the few oversights in the incredibly wide diversity of PF1 weapons (there were options like a swordbreaker focused specifically on anti-weapon hijinks, but not really a main gauche).
Ah! When you mentioned the rapier earlier I wanted to ask if that fighting style would be supported, but I couldn't remember the name of the main gauche.
It is! It's better defense than rapier/shortsword but lower offense and better offense than rapier/shield but lower defense. Optimization corners tend to prefer being extreme in one direction and taking it as far as possible to a middle-ground...

Can you not shield bash? You say rapier/shield has lower offense than rapier/main gauche but you can still attack with the shield right? But if you do, do you lose the ability to raise it for defense? All this talk of main gauche, is this hypothetical or is it in PF2 now?

Another tangent but if you had two shields could you spend two actions to raise both of them?

Ooooh, I wonder if shield bashing will become some sort of reaction. Going with the idea that shields need to be actively raised, I kind of like the idea that it's main "attack function" is tied to also blocking with it. Maybe if someone critically misses you while your shield is raised you can spend your reaction to send knock them sprawling backwards.

I could dig losing shields as a normal weapon if they got to do stuff like that. But I imagine we see shields used as weapons in the conventional fashion, if only because Paizo made a Captain America archetype.

Paizo Employee Designer

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42nfl19 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Yeah, we're not really interested in forcing you into specializing in one very specific weapon. Probably the most we'd ask a character to do would be to decide they were into swords, and many characters don't even have to specialize that deeply. As to rapier/main gauche, personally, I feel like a good main gauche specifically for parrying was one of the few oversights in the incredibly wide diversity of PF1 weapons (there were options like a swordbreaker focused specifically on anti-weapon hijinks, but not really a main gauche).
Ah! When you mentioned the rapier earlier I wanted to ask if that fighting style would be supported, but I couldn't remember the name of the main gauche.
It is! It's better defense than rapier/shortsword but lower offense and better offense than rapier/shield but lower defense. Optimization corners tend to prefer being extreme in one direction and taking it as far as possible to a middle-ground...

Can you not shield bash? You say rapier/shield has lower offense than rapier/main gauche but you can still attack with the shield right? But if you do, do you lose the ability to raise it for defense? All this talk of main gauche, is this hypothetical or is it in PF2 now?

Another tangent but if you had two shields could you spend two actions to raise both of them?

I think a situation where you wanted to raise two shields would be a pretty specific build based around either multiple shield blocks (dividing the damage to protect your shields) or special magic abilities that are on the two shields.


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
The mentions of bo staff in the blog have me extremely worried about this, especially considering Ultimate Combat's take on these things. If a Bo is different from a quarterstaff, I'm going to seriously be smurfed off! It's just a stick, people!

Yeah, that is a concern. At least it doesn't seem to be exotic anymore, that was really dumb. But really, the difference from a quarterstaff is pretty minimal. They really should just be different names for the same weapon in PF2. I've trained with bo. It's a stick. It's a very useful stick, sticks are actually quite nice weapons, but it's still a stick. A quick look at quarterstaff techniques looks to be somewhat different in general usage style (mostly where it's gripped), but the capabilities are the same. The user of one could pick up the other weapon and use it fine.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
As to rapier/main gauche, personally, I feel like a good main gauche specifically for parrying was one of the few oversights in the incredibly wide diversity of PF1 weapons (there were options like a swordbreaker focused specifically on anti-weapon hijinks, but not really a main gauche).

I tried to create something like that in Adventurer's Armory 2 with the dueling dagger. ^_^

But I'm not a historical weapons expert - and probably more importantly, couldn't revise the game's fighting system in a single weapon entry - so I don't know that it came out very well.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Agile is a trait. It's a trait that mainly light weapons from PF1 have. TWFing with at least one of two weapons as agile is a very smart idea, similar to TWFing with at least one of two weapons as light in PF1, though not as punishing if you don't as in PF1.

Can you give us a hint as to when two weapon fighting is going to be covered? Soon hopefully. It's something I'm very curious how it will fit with the new action economy. Hopefully it's a worthwhile thing to do, but not an "I win" button.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Meophist wrote:

I like a lot of what I'm seeing here.

…Except, should we really keep the term "exotic" when it doesn't really describe the purpose of that category of weapons?

We had other options for the name like superior or advanced that we were thinking of using, but more people in house liked exotic because of the cachet from PF1.

This is one of the things I hope we get a question about in the PT in August.

If we don't, I vote Advanced. Exotic was OK in PF because it included weapons non familiar for the standard pseudo eirpean setting (like a katana). With the route PF2 goes, I vote advanced


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Agile is a trait. It's a trait that mainly light weapons from PF1 have. TWFing with at least one of two weapons as agile is a very smart idea, similar to TWFing with at least one of two weapons as light in PF1, though not as punishing if you don't as in PF1.
Can you give us a hint as to when two weapon fighting is going to be covered? Soon hopefully. It's something I'm very curious how it will fit with the new action economy. Hopefully it's a worthwhile thing to do, but not an "I win" button.

Since it seems like Unchained Action Economy was a prototype for PF2 actions, I think it would act similar. Only Mark could confirm of deny this.

Two-Weapon Fighting and Flurry of Blows

When you fight with a second weapon in your off hand or with a double weapon, you can make two attacks with the first attack simple action you take during your turn: one with your primary hand and another with your off hand. You take penalties on these attack rolls as listed on Table: Two-Weapon Fighting Penalties. Any other attack simple actions you take during your turn allow only one attack roll, using either the weapon in your primary hand or the one in your off hand.

If you have the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can make two attack rolls on both the first and second attack simple actions taken during your turn; both of the attacks made on the second attack action are made at a –5 penalty. Further attack simple actions taken during the same turn allow only one attack roll, using either the weapon in your primary hand or the one in your off hand.

If you have the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can make two attacks on each of your attack simple actions on your turn, though you take all the normal penalties for two-weapon fighting, as well as the cumulative –5 penalty per attack simple action (all attacks made as part of the same attack action have the same penalty).

The flurry of blows class feature works in a similar way. At 1st level, you can make an additional attack with a –2 penalty on your first attack simple action during a turn. At 8th level, you can make an additional attack on both your first and second attack simple actions during your turn. At 15th level, you can make an additional attack on each of your attack simple actions during your turn. You must, of course, take all the penalties associated with those attacks.


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Asgetrion wrote:
stuff about Daggers giving +2 initiative

This is not a good idea, unless we are bacj to roll initiative each round and the bonus only works in rounds you attack with it otherwise it is +2 initiative to wizards for 5 gold pieces.


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Weather Report wrote:


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.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is a game about pretending to be an elf. It is child like by default

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Bag of weapons is back. That was a part of 3.5 I did not miss in PF1

I really appreciate the greater diversity in mundane properties for weapons though

Agile is not magical DEX to damage anymore then. Bad for the DEX-based Monk I Guess. I wonder how the designers of PF2 chose in the DEX to damage hotly debated topic

Here as in other PF2 blogs, I have very little hope for things changing names. There have been great arguments about Class names such as Oracle and Warpriest in the past and Paizo always stayed true to their first version. I do not see them changing PF2 ruleset's names they have been using for months or even years now.

Speaking of names, Main Gauche just means Left Hand in French ;- p

I am okay with Exotic though I could see a Simple, Martial, Complex weapons' classification


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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!"

In my opinion, something that adds extra dice of damage and is thus better with bigger weapons, is better called "power attack", while stuff that works better with faster, accurate small weapons like rapier or dagger is better called "vital strike"


The Raven Black wrote:
Bag of weapons is back. That was a part of 3.5 I did not miss in PF1

I'm not really sure this will cause golf-bags. Sure weapons have advantages in certain situations, but it's not the case that others are just garbage in those situations, or that it's an overpowering advantage. I still expect to take a weapon that fits the character and the most common situations I see and then just keep using it even if something else might be %5 better in that fight. But I guess it could lead to golf-bags for people who are big on milking every last +1 for every roll they can. But the action cost of switching weapons probably makes it not worth it.

Scarab Sages

I half suspected TWF in PF2 was simply the option to use a heavy weapon for the first strike and an agile one for the second and third... but it sounds like there might be more to it after all. I highly doubt there will be a bunch of extra attacks, though; that’s against the design philosophy.

I’m still extremely curious about the mechanics of Dex-to-damage. Class feat? General feat (maybe called Vital Strike)? Weapon trait?

I need to know whether Dex-based Fighters, Paladins, Clerics and Monks are a possibility! Really hoping for one of Mark’s Words of Power on this. :P

Paizo Employee Designer

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Based on the way stats work this time around, compared to PF1 where you were A) penalized for raising two physical stats with items and B) incentivized to use level-up stat raises all on the same stat, the PF2 ability score system inherently makes Dex/Str characters of all kinds much much more effective, regardless of anything else.


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I dont mind the term "Exotic" as it doesnt need to reflect a exotic origin, but relate more to a exotic or "Unorthodox" fighting style that is more advanced than the other catagories.

Also on a personal preference "exotic" sound less "game-y" than "advanced"... but on the other hand, i always prefered clear and CONSISTENT game terms over vague utterings at the whim of the author.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
The alternative to the trait is the 5e approach where you just give the monk a blanket limitation in their own text for what constitutes a monk weapon. The problem is that is VERY limiting.
Far less limiting, than making this weird corner case for some weapons to have a class tag attached.
How so? I listed a lot of reasons why the 5e solution is limiting. What does the weapon tag constrain?

I already went into it a page or so back (you can go back and check it out if you wish), I do not feel like repeating.


If a ranged weapons blog is coming up, I wonder if it will cover hurled weapons, or if that will require yet another blog.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Weather Report wrote:


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.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is a game about pretending to be an elf. It is child like by default

No bubble, and you are not in the realm of bursting anything, except credibility. Just because the game has fantastical elements, does not mean it needs to degenerate into juvenile silliness, this is the same sort of argument that is anti-any realism, as there are giant flying fire-breathing lizards, why apply anything from reality at all!

That sort of dishonest, passive-aggressive garbage.


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Catharsis wrote:

I half suspected TWF in PF2 was simply the option to use a heavy weapon for the first strike and an agile one for the second and third... but it sounds like there might be more to it after all. I highly doubt there will be a bunch of extra attacks, though; that’s against the design philosophy.

I’m still extremely curious about the mechanics of Dex-to-damage. Class feat? General feat (maybe called Vital Strike)? Weapon trait?

I need to know whether Dex-based Fighters, Paladins, Clerics and Monks are a possibility! Really hoping for one of Mark’s Words of Power on this. :P

We’ve already seen that Merisiel had Dex to Damage at level 1 in a playtest demo, so at most, Fighters, Rangers, and Monks that want access to it may need to dip a level in Rogue.

Or maybe they did something bizarre and made Dex to Damage a 1st-Level only Elf Ancestry Feat, in which case YOU MONSTERS!! Is this what you think that you needed to do to make Elves cool?! Because it wonk work! Dwarves will always be cooler than Elves! Everybody knows that! Dwarves have resistances to alcohol and poison so they can party and play RPGs with hot chicks/dudes! Elves have bonus movement speed so they can run away from bullies on their way home from from football/soccer practice!

Unless I just REALLY misinterpreted highschool.

Scarab Sages

Mark Seifter wrote:
Based on the way stats work this time around, compared to PF1 where you were A) penalized for raising two physical stats with items and B) incentivized to use level-up stat raises all on the same stat, the PF2 ability score system inherently makes Dex/Str characters of all kinds much much more effective, regardless of anything else.

That’s great to know! So a typical finesse Ranger or Monk might use their 18 Dex to hit and their 14 Str for damage?

Merisiel is definitely getting her 1d8+4 from Dex, though, right? Class feat?


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Catharsis wrote:
I half suspected TWF in PF2 was simply the option to use a heavy weapon for the first strike and an agile one for the second and third... but it sounds like there might be more to it after all. I highly doubt there will be a bunch of extra attacks, though; that’s against the design philosophy.

I'm worried that might be it too. That the only thing dual wielding does is let you pick which weapon to attack with during each action. That would be an absolutely horrible choice. There would be much less reason to use it in that case. And no reason at all to use two of the same type of weapon, except ones with that Twin trait that gives extra damage if you're using two of them. In which case you'd mechanically just be using a single weapon with a higher damage die, so why buy two weapons instead of just getting one that does more damage to start with? In that case you could at least have a shield. Extra attacks might go against their design philosophy, but what good is that philosophy if it makes dual wielding suck?

I'm really hoping there is more to two weapon fighting than that.

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