Hail the Gauntlet!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Thank you to everyone who donated to Paizo's 2018 team for the Gauntlet charity tournament. Team Paizo fought hard in Tak, but a catastrophic Valeria round tumbled us towards the bottom, and we clawed our way back up to 11th, and almost as high as 8th, with an awesome performance on the final Puzzle Hunt round. Thanks to all of you, including an incredible last-minute donation over $1,000, we also unlocked an astonishing number of blog segments revealing further secrets about previously blogged classes. This will be a monster-length blog, so strap in for a long ride!

Fighter Combos: Randyll and Solveig
Luis Loza

I've always been a big fan of martial characters, which was fully solidified by one of my favorite characters, who happened to be a fighter. One of the big things I love about the fighter in Pathfinder is his ability to do just about anything in combat. With the right set of feats, a fighter can be anything from a typical sword and shield-wielding knight, to a spear master who leaps across the battlefield to defend his allies, to a light-footed master of the rapier. When I got a chance to join one of the playtest games here in the office, my first thought was to put this new fighter to the test. A lot of it felt the same, as the fighter was gaining lots of feats, but it turns out there was much more to the fighter this time around.

The Fighter Class Preview previewed several fighter feats and class features, but one thing it didn't mention was fighters' ability to string together attacks to make powerful combinations. They do this through abilities that let them Fan attack or press the offensive—abilities with the open trait must come before any other attacks, and those with the press trait must come after you've already made an attack. Fighters can also enter stances, which are one of the most common types of open abilities, and grant various powerful benefits for the duration of the encounter or until you enter another stance. A bastard sword switch-hitter can appreciate the debuff potential of following up an Intimidating Strike (which is neither an open nor a press ability) with Shatter Defenses, a press ability that stacks various penalties on an intimidated foe, or Combat Grab, a press ability that uses your open hand to grab a foe and simultaneously attack with the weapon in the other hand. Between those options and your ability to make your opponents flat-footed with critical hits, you can significantly reduce the AC of monsters so your lower-accuracy allies can take them down. With all of these new abilities in mind, I created my first fighter, Randyll. He was a master of the bastard sword with a penchant for yelling and rushing into combat. He would use the versatility of his bastard sword to his advantage, switching between a one-handed grip and a two-handed grip to use whichever feat was best for the situation, granting him a surprising amount of versatility.

Unfortunately, due to his recklessness, Randyll was not long for Golarion. In his place, I created Solveig, an Ulfen shield maiden entirely dedicated to defending her allies. She's fared even better. A shield fighter with a flail is all about careful tactical placement on the battlefield. If you're standing in the right spot, you can block for your allies with Shield Warden, and the flail critical specialization effect of knocking enemies prone can keep enemies right where you want them, even on an open battlefield. With Shielded Stride, you can even Stride at half speed with your shield up, ignoring reactions that trigger off your movement. The Shield Paragon stance is an open ability that gives you the benefit of a raised shield for the rest of the battle, an extremely powerful advantage. Solveig is a complete shift from Randyll's combat style. Her movement is calculated and her defense is unmatched (at least by the rest of the party!). By the time she had avoided close to 10 attacks in a row, I was in love with the fighter. I had found that same feeling that I had in Pathfinder First Edition and I could tell that there were so many possibilities with different weapons, armor types, and of course, all the new fighter feats. But there are so many amazing feats—how can your fighter take all the ones he wants? And how do you make sure you have the one you need for the day's adventure? The fighter's 9th-level Flexibility feat grants a different feat each day, and that increases to two flexible feats with Improved Flexibility at 15th level. This also means that, counting those two flexible feats, fighters have the most class feats in the game! Let me just say that playing the fighter in the playtest has only further solidified my love for the class. The fighter is awesome and continues to be awesome in Pathfinder Second Edition. In fact, if I were told I could play only fighters for the duration of the playtest, I would be happy. There's so much the fighter can do that I don't see myself running out of ideas any time soon!

Cleric Domains of the Mox Gauntlet
Andrew White

Thanks so much to everyone who helped us get this far! Your generosity is hugely appreciated, and we did our best to represent you accordingly at this weekend's showdown. And as a special reward to those of you who made your donations in the name of Team Cleric, here's a sneak peek at more of what's coming for everyone's favorite energy channelling, undead-neutralizing, wound-healing bludgeon enthusiasts!

If the Mox Gauntlet was a deity, what domains would it have? A gauntlet is a symbol of Might, the donations are a form of Wealth, the charity this year helps Families, and each year there's usually a final round shrouded in Secrecy. So let's talk about the domain powers that a cleric of the Gauntlet might be able to cast. The Cleric Class Preview already included unity, but the Family domain also has the basic power soothing words, which dispels emotion effects on a target; this is actually extremely strong because as a power, it's always heightened to your highest possible level. This means it's quite tricky to keep up emotion effects on a Family cleric's allies, and you'll probably never need to prepare remove fear. Might has two options that are really good for heavily armored and high-Strength clerics. The basic power athletic exploit lets you ignore your armor's check penalty and movement speed reduction when you really need to, and enduring might is a reaction that reduces damage based on your Strength modifier and your cleric level. The Secrecy domain has forced quiet, which limits the target's voice to a hoarse whisper, making it much harder to raise an alarm. Even a successful save against forced quiet still affects the target for 1 round (though the effect might last as long as 10 minutes on a critical failure!). Secrecy's advanced domain power, safeguard secret, has a 1-minute casting time but thereafter grants you and all willing allies in range an enormous conditional bonus to skill checks (almost always Deception) to conceal a specific secret you pick, and to saving throws against spells that seek to ferret out that specific secret. These benefits last indefinitely until you use the spell again. Finally, Wealth's basic power, acquisitive's fortune, is sure to make you popular with every business owner in the city and with allies who like to make money during downtime. Once cast, it allows the target to reroll any critical failure on their check to Perform a Trade in the next 24 hours. As the name implies, it's a fortune effect. The domain's advanced power, money talks, allows you to substitute coin currency for any sort of cost with a value measured in monetary value. So for instance, if you needed a vase worth 100 gp, you could just use 100 gp. This is particularly handy when you're away from a settlement and suddenly need a bizarre item for a cost that you wouldn't have thought to bring along; the Wealth cleric has you covered.

The Rogue's Hidden Tricks
Katina Davis

Although I'm not particularly stealthy in real life, I've always enjoyed rogues and their stealthy ways because I figured they were most like how I would actually behave in an adventure setting. Instead of barreling headfirst into a fight and counting on being able to chug a bunch of potions afterward, the rogue is more calm, calculated, and precise. What's the point in drawing attention (and attacks) to yourself when you can tiptoe in, get the job done, and sneak away unscathed? Never let your opponents know how strong you are, and they will always underestimate you.

Even after the Rogue Class Preview, the rogue was hiding some of her sneakiest tricks. What did you expect? One thing about the rogue that's different than in Pathfinder First Edition is the rogue's focus on slippery mental defenses. In addition to the Cognitive Loophole feat mentioned in her preview blog, the rogue gains the slippery mind ability, which makes her a master at Will saves. Add in double debilitation, the ability to apply two debilitations to a foe at once, and you have a good sense of the rogue's odd-level features. But there are so many feats still hiding in the shadows. While the first blog focused on ways to get sneak attack, the rogue also has some fun ways to play with the action economy, including drawing and attacking with a weapon as a single action, or Stepping and Striking at a -1 penalty with the same action (in either order, perfect for flanking, entering reach, or forcing your foe to take an action to reach you). The rogue also has a pair of feats that allow her to poison weapons more easily, keep her poisons from being wasted, and create a bunch of doses of a very simple poison for free each day (this also works great with an alchemist on the team to make some really powerful poison for free every day). For those interested in traps, you can gain Trap Finder, which makes finding even the most devious traps easier and protects you against them, and Delay Trap, which can give you the time you need to escape the area when you accidentally set off a trap. However, unlike in Pathfinder First Edition, engaging with traps as a rogue is your choice.

All right, those feats were cool, but what about some high-level options? Sense the Unseen is a reaction you can use when you Seek that lets you automatically learn the location of unseen creatures in the area, no matter how well they were hidden. You still can't see them, but it's a good start! Cloud Step allows you to step so lightly that you are essentially weightless when you are Striding, allowing you to walk over water or air and avoiding pressure plates until you finish moving. Perfect Distraction allows you to use smoke and mirrors, decoys, and other tactics to make it seem like you are somewhere you aren't, perfect for leaving a decoy right after you hide. If you have Legendary Deception, you can even gain Reactive Distraction and use the decoy as a reaction to avoid an enemy's attack or other ability. Afterward, it takes a bit of time to set up your next decoy, but it's worth it! Trickster's Ace lets you jury-rig magic item resonance and stolen magical energy to set up your own magical contingency each day, similar to the spell. And finally, Hidden Paragon lets you go completely invisible, even beyond the sight of true seeing, see invisibility and the like and impossible to outline with even glitterdust, faerie fire, or similar magic!

Take That, Evil!
Mark Seifter

The Paladin Class Preview was centered around alignment and the paladin code, with some extra helpings of spells, healing, and defenses, but there's more to paladin options than that. Sometimes you just want to put on your Gauntlet and beat evil down. So, this section is all about offense. Retributive Strike, first mentioned in the paladin blog, is a good way to add onto your damage while enfeebling enemies that dare to attack your allies, and all paladins have access to it at 1st level. Another ability all paladins receive is the righteous ally, a holy spirit that assists you from 3rd level on. There are three righteous allies to choose from (and you can take the Second Ally feat to gain another): blade, shield, and mount. Naturally, the blade righteous ally is the most offense-focused of the three, inhabiting your weapon (which you are free to change each day), and giving it the benefits of a property rune for the whole day. This starts with some simple properties like disrupting and ghost touch, but you can use feats to gain the benefits of more powerful runes; for instance, you can make your weapon dancing, allowing the spirit in your blade to attack on its own. The first major blade righteous ally feat is Blade of Justice, which is parallel to the Pathfinder First Edition paladin's smite evil—you declare a target to face judgment and deal extra damage to evil foes. Although Blade of Justice deals less damage than smite evil, it can be used as many times as you like as long as you have the actions for it. And the real kicker is that this extra damage is good damage, which means that creatures like fiends that are weak against good abilities are going to take a lot more damage.

Speaking of how offense-focused paladins can wreck fiends, there's also Aura of Faith, a feat that makes nearby good allies' first attacks each turn deal 1 extra good damage against evil creatures (and of course, this can become quite a bit higher when applying a fiend's weakness!). But there's also a smiting ability every paladin gets that can ruin a fiend's day. Holy Smite deals persistent good damage equal to your Charisma modifier to evil creatures you hit with any Retributive Strike, which can apply extra damage round after round if the creature has a weakness to good. Instrument of Zeal is the last in the series of badass offensive abilities for the blade righteous ally: when you score a critical hit with your weapon, either with a Retributive Strike or against your Blade of Justice target, you gain an additional die of damage and the target is slowed 1 on its next turn, which can put it in a really tight spot! There's another fun way every paladin can increase a party's offense, particularly if the group stands in a tactical formation. Aura of justice is a class feature all paladins get that allows you to take a penalty to any Retributive Strike in order to allow all allies within 10 feet and in reach of the monster to make Retributive Strikes of their own! If you find your group often uses this to create a mega-chain reaction, you can later take the Aura of Vengeance feat to remove that extra penalty when you use aura of justice.

Behold the Gauntlet!

The Gauntlet is a powerful magic item fought over by champions since ages long past. We will now reveal the powers of the Gauntlet in a Pathfinder Playtest-compatible form. Behold, the Gauntlet!

The Gauntlet Item 18

Invested

Magical

Potent

Transmutation

Price 24,000 gp

Method of Use worn, gloves; Bulk L

Activation [[A]][[A]] Operate Activation


This mighty adamantine gauntlet was forged by the legendary artisans of Mox from the Card Kingdom and is inscribed with hidden runes of great power. The Gauntlet boosts your might and enhances your strategy to a razor's edge. You gain a +5 item bonus to Athletics checks and Warfare Lore checks. When you invest the Gauntlet, you either increase your Strength score by 2 or increase it to 18, whichever would give you a higher score.

While wearing the Gauntlet, you gain a +2 conditional bonus to damage rolls on unarmed attacks against minotaurs.

When you activate the Gauntlet, you slam the ground, creating the same effects as an 8th-level earthquake.

While you have invested the Gauntlet, if anyone offers you a challenge for the Gauntlet and the challenge is fair, you must accept that challenge, though you can finish any life-threatening or time-critical task before doing so. Once someone has won the Gauntlet from you in a challenge, you must wait 1 year before you can challenge them again to regain the Gauntlet. If the Gauntlet is stolen, sold, traded, looted from a corpse, or obtained in any way other than being won in a fair challenge, it vanishes instead, perhaps returning to the vaults of Mox.

A Familiar Disguise

Familiars, the traditional fuzzy friends of wizards and witches, are extremely popular in Pathfinder, especially among those who are fans of animals or cute things. While many classes gained access to familiars in later books, including the archetypes I wrote for Familiar Folio (my first-ever author credit for Paizo), plenty of characters have access to familiars from the outset of Pathfinder Second Edition's playtest. Not only can wizards take a feat to gain a familiar even if they also have an arcane bond, but alchemists can also gain an alchemically created familiar, and druids can gain a leshy familiar. But the most surprising and awesome feature might send our fans who love both gnomes and familiars (hmm, who could that be?) into a spiral of gnomes: there is a gnome ancestry feat to gain a familiar regardless of your class.

So enough about who can get familiars—how do they work? As someone who loves building familiars and getting exactly the type of animal that fits my concept, I was sometimes stymied when my ability to choose a familiar was locked behind how many low-power creatures that would be useful mostly only as familiars could be fit into the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary schedule. In the playtest, you won't have to wait for Bestiary 5 to have a flying fox. Familiars have always been magical creatures forever altered by your magic, so why not capitalize on that to allow for more variety and flexibility than ever before?

In the playtest's familiar system, you get to pick from a variety of powers that either allow the familiar to gain special abilities, like flight or speech (yes, you can have a talking cat, or a talking winged cat) or that grant special benefits to you, including extra spells and delivering your touch spells at a distance. You can normally swap those powers each day as part of your daily preparations, which allows you some awesome flexibility for your familiar, though a familiar that would naturally have any of these special abilities (like an owl's flight) always has that ability locked in. So if you need your rabbit to be able to swim for the next day's adventure, you can do that, or you can grant your leshy wings of flower blossoms. For the playtest, we started with around 10 different powers, but I imagine the list will expand over time and we might create feats for familiar-friendly characters to gain more powers than usual or to unlock particularly strong powers.

So we know about powers, but what about a familiar's base statistics? Your familiar uses your full saving throw modifiers and AC, with a set 4 HP per level, so it has better defenses than familiars had before. Familiars are adept at Perception, Acrobatics, and Stealth, counting as trained characters of your level and adding your spellcasting key ability modifier (this is Charisma if you have only innate spells, like the aforementioned gnome non-spellcaster). For other skills, they have the modifier of an untrained character of your level, meaning that after a few levels, their skills are far beyond what a simple animal could achieve.

Whew, that was an epic-length blog. Thanks again to everyone who donated to the Gauntlet to support Wellspring in their efforts to assist the homeless, and if you liked how much content was in this blog, be sure to post and thank all the donors as well!

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Tags: Charity Community The Gauntlet Pathfinder Playtest
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Liberty's Edge

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I've got to say that I've basically never seen someone walking around in a martial arts or combat stance (including several people I know who very much know and practice such things). People don't actually do that.

Thus, I've got absolutely no problem with only entering and using such stances in combat and generally having them end when combat does. That seems to accurately reflect reality, not be 'artificial' or 'gamey' (which a specific duration actually would be).

What was weird and artificial in 4E was combat maneuvers that could only be used once per encounter, not combat maneuvers that only happened while actually in combat.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
I've got to say that I've basically never seen someone walking around in a martial arts or combat stance (including several people I know who very much know and practice such things). People don't actually do that.

I now have an image of some dude prancing around in cat-stance at the supermarket.

I have no problem with spending an action to take on a stance, and it naturally ends when combat is over.


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Weather Report wrote:
I believe stances in 3rd Ed last until you take a swift action to change, so you start an encounter in whatever stance you like.

That wasn't what was previewed (the preview wasn't a direct quote so it's perhaps just bad wording, but I'm taking it at face value).

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Thus, I've got absolutely no problem with only entering and using such stances in combat and generally having them end when combat does. That seems to accurately reflect reality, not be 'artificial' or 'gamey' (which a specific duration actually would be).

So you're saying that as a group is preparing to rush into an area where combat breaks out, someone can't enter a stance because they're not fighting? What about if they're in combat but spends 2 rounds not actually attacking anyone. Do they have to leave the stance because they aren't fighting any longer? How specific do you want the wording to get to better reflect reality?

Scarab Sages

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How is it «game-ist» to have an ability expire at the end of a combat? It's completely natural for people to drop their guard and return to a more relaxed state after a threat is neutralized, rather than to continue in their heightened state for exactly four minutes, no matter what. Fixed durations might make sense for spells, but not for martial abilities.

As for Stamina: I'd rather not have an equivalent of spell points for martials where it can be avoided. It looks like you'll pay for stances and combos via the action economy rather than a limited resource, which makes a lot more sense to me for martial abilities. I guess we'll still have a limited resource mechanic for Rage, Bardic Performance etc., but at least not for the combos.

(In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Bardic Performance or Rage were not globally limited but simply required some action cost to maintain.)


^I’d say it depends on when you’d generally have your players roll initiative in PF1. If your players are aware of enemies, but the enemies are not aware of the players, and your players are intending to fight the enemies, then “Encounter Mode” has effectively started. Just without the enemies being aware of the party yet.

If you want to be in Boar Style going into every combat, just say that “I assume my Boar Stance as we talk to the grieving widow”. Then you can probably even use athletics/acrobatics to determine your initiative once the elderly woman rips off her face to reveal that she was actually a werewolf the whole time!

Scarab Sages

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
So you're saying that as a group is preparing to rush into an area where combat breaks out, someone can't enter a stance because they're not fighting?

I'm saying that «entering a stance» with no enemy in sight is about as pointless as «aiming a bow» with no enemy in sight. It requires the location and nature of the enemies as an input parameter. If you have a good idea where the enemy is going to be soon (such as when laying an ambush), you could conceivably use a readied action for it.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
What about if they're in combat but spends 2 rounds not actually attacking anyone. Do they have to leave the stance because they aren't fighting any longer?

You're still aware of your enemies, so I don't see the problem. I do wonder whether running across the battlefield allows you to maintain a stance, or whether you have «Zoidberg» your way there. woot!woot!woot!woot!


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Catharsis wrote:
I'm saying that «entering a stance» with no enemy in sight is about as pointless as «aiming a bow» with no enemy in sight. It requires the location and nature of the enemies as an input parameter.

I can aim a bow all day of the week. I don't need an enemy to target. I simply need something to target*. If you're saying that you can enter a stance outside of combat: great. But how long does it last for then? How long can I keep up the heightened alertness for? What are the repercussions of keeping my senses alert? Once the "duration" wears off (however the heck a duration of "end of the combat" is defined when no combat is occurring) can I then immediately re-enter the stance? If I can't, how long until I can enter the stance again? Or am I magically compelled to not have a heightened alertness unless an enemy is nearby?

Catharsis wrote:
If you have a good idea where the enemy is going to be soon (such as when laying an ambush), you could conceivably use a readied action for it.

Why do I have to have a threat within aggro range to enter a stance? A readied action is you having heightened alertness and is something you're saying can be done out of combat. Why can't a stance be treated the same? I should be able to have heightened alertness without the enemy in aggro range.

*That's a problem with wording powers and abilities as if they can only be used against monsters. Creative players will find all sorts of non-combat uses for combat abilities. This was also a problem 4th ed suffered from as well, much to the game's detriment.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I've got to say that I've basically never seen someone walking around in a martial arts or combat stance (including several people I know who very much know and practice such things). People don't actually do that.

I'm black belt, and I walk around like this . It's a bit difficult to go upstairs, and sometimes you hit people with the elbows while using the subway, but other than that it's fine. :P


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Also is losing 1 action per combat really worth upsetting anti-4e players over?

yes?


How does one counter a Hidden Paragon stabby man of save or die? I guess fumigating might work. Drop some blightburn covered in inhaled poison and glue the doors shut. But wait, he's a rogue, of course he got out before you. Maybe teleport away and hope the Schrödinger's rogue is actually dead?

Hmmm... as with all things pre test, and before release, we're probably missing something.


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My group uses a form of Path of War, with its similar stances. Stance lasts as long as you want it to. If you hold it for more than 5 or so minutes, you become fatigued for a bit. If you hold it for 5 more, you're exhausted. Between that and allowing suitably trained people to identify that you are in a stance, I've never had players try to go to the market in a stance. If they want to use a stance while running down a hallway full of traps? Why not.


Pandora's wrote:
My group uses a form of Path of War, with its similar stances. Stance lasts as long as you want it to. If you hold it for more than 5 or so minutes, you become fatigued for a bit. If you hold it for 5 more, you're exhausted. Between that and allowing suitably trained people to identify that you are in a stance, I've never had players try to go to the market in a stance. If they want to use a stance while running down a hallway full of traps? Why not.

This is the solution I would hope/want Paizo to go with. I'm not surprised that a PF1e supplement took this stance as it's completely in keeping with how PF1e is designed.


Pandora's wrote:
My group uses a form of Path of War, with its similar stances. Stance lasts as long as you want it to. If you hold it for more than 5 or so minutes, you become fatigued for a bit. If you hold it for 5 more, you're exhausted. Between that and allowing suitably trained people to identify that you are in a stance, I've never had players try to go to the market in a stance. If they want to use a stance while running down a hallway full of traps? Why not.

Hmm, I actually missed that rule in Pow. To be fair, Pow stances include abilities that have out of combat applications, such as The Dragon Knows (blindsense) and that Shattered Mirror stance than doubles up a buff.

On PF2 stances:feels like a lot of worry over the wording being confusing on something we don't have the wording on, and it isn't like Paizo can change it at this point until we get the playtest.

I'm assuming it will be pretty clear when you can use stances, since we know they are stressing having "encounter mode" measured in rounds vs "exploration mode" measured in minutes or hours.


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Well...

A stance isn't (always) just how you stand. There is no such thing as a universal defensive stance. From martial arts to boffer larps of I am fighting a melee opponent I assume a specific defensive stance. If I am facing an archer, it is different.

A stance is part how you stand, but mostly how you react. You can't just prep it. You can't just set it.

There is no way to enter any kind of stance without having a specific threat or situation. It would be useless. It would do nothing.


Well, we haven't the detail of the rules for switching from exploration mode to combat mode and back. Until we have that, the expression "until combat ends" can't be fully interpreted. On the other hand, I don't think it would make sense to assume a stance all day long, just in case a fight breaks up suddenly.

In any case, the question of stance duration doesn't look like a big deal to me. In the worst case, it's a question of DM interpretation to decide when combat begins and ends, so it's very easy to houserule.


Seeing as the Brawler is one of my favorite classes in PF1(and probably what a fighter should've been closer to in some respects with flexibility) I'm absolutely delighted to see Fighter's gain flexibility with their martial prowess via Combos and Stances.

Can't wait for the playtest rules to drop!


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I'd rather have the stance during for the combat, then re-enter again once there is another combat. It already happens in PF with things like Readied Actions: you can only ready an action during combat, and have to roll initiative before you can ready it. It cannot happen outside of combat, just like you can't delay intiative or take oportunity attacks unless the GM says "alright, combat starts, roll initiative".

Unlike in 4e, there seems to be no drawback about stances during a combat. In 4e, some powers were daily and lasted for an encounter, so when combat ended, and a new one started shortly after it, you lost your ability to use the stance. In PF2, if you need it again, you just activate it again. Other than "it looks superficially like an edition that produces erythemas in my players", I don't see why all the fuss. You cannot be in combat stance out of combat, for the same reasons why you can't have a ready action outside of combat. Because those are combat actions.

If you are in a ready action to shoot someone when he appears in a window, and nobody appears for a while, and the GM calls the combat out, you lose your ready action. If, some minutes later, a new combat starts, you HAVE to roll initiative, and spend your action again to ready your shot against whoever appears in the window. It's the same with combat stances. You are in a defensive stance. The combat ends. A few minutes later a new combat starts, so you have to spend a new action to enter in defensive stance again.
Do people really allow their players to spend every round out of combat in Full Defense so they have +4 AC if a trap or a surprise attack gets the jump on them? No? Then why a defensive stance is different?


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If Fighter gets combos and stances, I'm looking forward to what Monk gets! My current guess is that styles will play a bigger role.


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I would also like to know what monks gets along with bards, druids, rangers, and sorcerers.


Dragon78 wrote:
I would also like to know what monks gets along with bards, druids, rangers, and sorcerers.

Ah. So, basically everything, then.

:P Ha


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I can aim a bow all day of the week. I don't need an enemy to target.

No you can't. You can probably aim a bow for about 30s before your arms and hand start to get fatigued. Same reason you can't just hold Horse stance all day an expect to be fine. In fact that sort of stuff is used as physical punishment.


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Remember folks, what you’re doing during exploration mode affects what you get to do when encounter mode starts. If a character who is alert with weapon drawn while exploring rolls Perception for Initiative and starts the encounter with weapon drawn, and a character who is scouting ahead of the party and keeping to cover rolls stealth for Initiative and starts the encounter hidden, I would be shocked if a character readying for a fight didn’t get to start the encounter in a stance. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they rolled Athletics or something for Initiative as well.


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Well, at least Fighters can finally swap out some feats each day...

And I think I saw something similar to those combo stuff in some another 3rd party book.
Drop Dead Studios' <Spheres of XXX> series, perhaps?


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Personally I don't think the issue with all day stances is whether or not you can hold horse stance for eight hours, but rather that dropping your weight to 3/4 back leg, front leg forward slightly, back leg at a right angle, knees slightly bent and hands up is all a single fluid motion to enter my standard fight stance. This happens so quickly I've found myself in it when someone walked around a corner when I wasn't expecting it (I'm wound tight as a drum, it's very unhealthy).

I don't think entering a stance at the start of combat should be an action, at all. Changing stances sure, but a default stance you -know- you go to when startled is a reaction so quick I don't feel it to be unreasonable.

As far as going full defense down a hallway to avoid floor spike traps, if you're looking for traps I assume you're perfectly within reason to assume a total defense posture ready to recoil from anything going wrong. Obviously I don't feel that casually walking has the same connotation, you can't be in total defense state at all times, but if you believe there to be a possible threat it's easy to see how this makes sense.

I'm okay with stances taking an action cost to enter, but I don't think it's reasonable to make them (open) actions since I can change stances between punching one guy and turning to face another. I don't need arbitrary breaks in the flow of combat to adjust my footing any more than I need arbitrary windows of time to move locations. Unless there's a very good reason they can see it being abusive to change stances more than once per turn (A1 aggressive stance, A2 attack, A3 defensive stance being way powerful for some reason), I feel dropping that descriptor would be fair.

Overall, it's going to end up being about balance and I accept that whatever construct is needed to do that is the best option. From a reality standpoint it feels awkward, but suspension of disbelief is an important aspect of any rules set.


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While I see the balance need for some action costs to stances I hope it can be combined with drawing weapons into a Ready action. It shouldn't take more than one action to ready for combat.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I've got to say that I've basically never seen someone walking around in a martial arts or combat stance (including several people I know who very much know and practice such things). People don't actually do that.
I'm black belt, and I walk around like this . It's a bit difficult to go upstairs, and sometimes you hit people with the elbows while using the subway, but other than that it's fine. :P

Clarification required, gustavo - the stance on the left of screen, or the stance on the right?

Liberty's Edge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
So you're saying that as a group is preparing to rush into an area where combat breaks out, someone can't enter a stance because they're not fighting? What about if they're in combat but spends 2 rounds not actually attacking anyone. Do they have to leave the stance because they aren't fighting any longer? How specific do you want the wording to get to better reflect reality?

We have Modes now. I'd expect you to be able to assume a Stance only in Encounter Mode (which would totally allow it when not fighting for a few rounds, or running down a hallway full of traps, or similar things...really, any time you're measuring time in rounds you're in Encounter Mode) and have it end when you leave Encounter Mode. You can almost certainly also choose to enter Encounter Mode before going through a door and thus likewise assume a Stance. Which all sounds reasonable and close enough to realism for me.

Having that sort of thing work that way is the whole point of Modes, after all. To make the difference between 'in combat rounds'/'out of combat rounds' clear and explicit without issues like 'does running down a hall of traps count as combat?' getting in the way.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
I have nothing wrong with stances. My issue is solely with "encounter" powers making a comeback. Paizo's said we're effectively getting spells with encounter length durations, but they're doing that by calculating what the average encounter duration will be and making the spells last that amount of time. I'm okay with that. Actual "until the end of the encounter" durations are what the problem is. And it isn't because it's 4e-allergies. It's because you've taken what could be represented within the in-game framework and make it a "gamist" ability. If you like gamist powers, that's great. Other people (and one of the selling points of PF1e) prefer a more narrativistic framework for mechanics.

I've done a lot of LRP, including some week long 24/7 events, and the concept of 'until the end of encounter' effects makes perfect sense based on that experience. The end of the encounter is when all the bad guys from that particular wave are dead and you loot their bodies/check your wounds/retrieve the items that kicked across the room in the middle of the fracas and stop holding your weapon in a battle ready posture.

Sometimes an encounter lasted a minute, sometimes several hours, but there were always pauses between where people could relax, stretch muscles, grab a drink etc. It's not gameist at all, it's the way things work in the closest RL approximation I know to PF.


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

Tons of interesting stuff. Getting excited for the playtest!

re: encounter
I feel like one big benefit is not being discussed - Ease of use. One less duration to have to keep track of is a boon, in my book.


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Lucas Yew wrote:

Well, at least Fighters can finally swap out some feats each day...

And I think I saw something similar to those combo stuff in some another 3rd party book.
Drop Dead Studios' <Spheres of XXX> series, perhaps?

Drop Dead Studio's Prodigy class is all about stringing together combos and ending with a finisher that does More Stuff depending on how many Links you put together. The Prodigy's system is pretty involved, it'll be interesting to see Paizo's take on it.

Dark Archive

Arachnofiend wrote:
Lucas Yew wrote:

Well, at least Fighters can finally swap out some feats each day...

And I think I saw something similar to those combo stuff in some another 3rd party book.
Drop Dead Studios' <Spheres of XXX> series, perhaps?

Drop Dead Studio's Prodigy class is all about stringing together combos and ending with a finisher that does More Stuff depending on how many Links you put together. The Prodigy's system is pretty involved, it'll be interesting to see Paizo's take on it.

Glad I'm not the only person who instinctively thought of that class when I read the Open and Press descriptions! They do appear somewhat similar in concept - stringing abilities together like a combo - but there's a slight difference in when you're allowed to take your Link / Press actions. I wonder if there will be an analogous ability for Finishers too?


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Shiroi wrote:
Personally I don't think the issue with all day stances is whether or not you can hold horse stance for eight hours, but rather that dropping your weight to 3/4 back leg, front leg forward slightly, back leg at a right angle, knees slightly bent and hands up is all a single fluid motion to enter my standard fight stance. This happens so quickly I've found myself in it when someone walked around a corner when I wasn't expecting it (I'm wound tight as a drum, it's very unhealthy).

Doing that is pretty quick in PF2 too. It's called "no longer flat footed" and it happens as soon as it's your turn of initiative. Everybody can do that, fighter or not.

However, SOME fighters who spend a feat can enter in much much much more advanced combat stances, that bring them much more benefits than "just no longer flat footed". Those benefits require you spend a little bit of focus on it.

Scarab Sages

I wonder — does the opening move have to hit to allow for a pressing move?


Catharsis wrote:
I wonder — does the opening move have to hit to allow for a pressing move?

Don't think so. I understand it as "stances" can be opening moves too. I doubt a stance need (or can) "hit"


I'm not sure if combos that end in a strong attack works well with iterative attack penalties.

I do think that being able to start combat in a stance for free should be possible if you're not surprised.


Meophist wrote:

I'm not sure if combos that end in a strong attack works well with iterative attack penalties.

I do think that being able to start combat in a stance for free should be possible if you're not surprised.

One imagines that the final chain in combos will have ways to make up for this. If your opening was a style change or a Stride or something you aren't getting that -10.

Dark Archive

Catharsis wrote:
I wonder — does the opening move have to hit to allow for a pressing move?

According to the blog the two aren't actually tied to each other at all - Open abilities must be made before any attacks, and Press abilities must be made after an attack. Neither requires the other, though an Open ability that works like an attack would presumably meet the requirements to use a Press ability.


Just passing by to say I liked this stuff here, charity is good, and keep up the good design and all...
I just think familiars may have got too much flexible. I mean, changing such abilities each day? I don't know.
But other than that, it's fine ^^


Considering how people relax and drop their stances after the "encounter" (fight, test, demonstration) ends, it makes perfect sense that this sort of thing ends after combat.
Entering a stance could be more forgiving, since it becomes a reaction after a certain amount of training. However, the combat is based around 3 actions in 6 seconds-long rounds, so I can see why they're going with this.

Catharsis wrote:


As for 4e allergics: Grow up...

When the only argument you have against a mechanic is the system it first used, but nothing to do with the mechanic itself...

Also, the article didn't told us about how stances are not enter-able outside of combat, and neither how much long "until end of the encounter" is.
Also, 4e does have the answer to that: you could definitely use combat powers outside combat, and "until end of the encounter" means 5 minutes outside of it.
If people want to talk about the game's flaws, at least talk about real flaws ;)


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Call me unimpressed but it seems that PF2 is falling into the D&D 4th type game too cute and childlike as it trys to play like a video game. of course I will wait until I see my actual hard copy playtest book but I am feeling less likely to make the switch with every blog post I read about goblin and gnomes pc's and all the BESM artwork maybe its not going to be a good fit for a gamer with 40 years of playing under my belt.


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Rysky wrote:
The Gauntlet wrote:
While wearing the Gauntlet, you gain a +2 conditional bonus to damage rolls on unarmed attacks against minotaurs.
Run Jason, RUN XD

Which brings me to a thought I've been having on and off since shortly after the original Pathfinder 2nd Edition announcement: I'd actually like to have minotaurs as a player character option.

Not desperate for minotaurs, now, but it would be nice.

If we don't get them, I won't have a cow.

. . . And that's no bull.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Perhaps Stamina can be a smaller but quickly regenerating resource? As such a dedicated martial can hold a physically demanding stance for a period of time less arbitrary than "encounter length" can do this many encounters a day but can't walk around constantly tensed and ready to go.

That'd be a much better solution. But with Paizo's effort to move towards everything being the same I'm not convinced they'd do that.

Weather Report wrote:
The good news, for those that feel that way, is stances started in 3rd Ed (ToB). 4th Ed brought them back with the latter day Essentials line.

I have nothing wrong with stances. My issue is solely with "encounter" powers making a comeback. Paizo's said we're effectively getting spells with encounter length durations, but they're doing that by calculating what the average encounter duration will be and making the spells last that amount of time. I'm okay with that. Actual "until the end of the encounter" durations are what the problem is. And it isn't because it's 4e-allergies. It's because you've taken what could be represented within the in-game framework and make it a "gamist" ability. If you like gamist powers, that's great. Other people (and one of the selling points of PF1e) prefer a more narrativistic framework for mechanics.

Having one preference over another when we're playing a game of dress up elves is hardly more mature than the other and it's ridiculous to try to imply otherwise.

PF1 is not in the slightest narrativist. It’s approximately simulationist, except for the gamist mechanics; e.g. AC, HP, rounds... Actually, it’s gamist, in simulation drag.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Shiroi wrote:

Personally I don't think the issue with all day stances is whether or not you can hold horse stance for eight hours, but rather that dropping your weight to 3/4 back leg, front leg forward slightly, back leg at a right angle, knees slightly bent and hands up is all a single fluid motion to enter my standard fight stance. This happens so quickly I've found myself in it when someone walked around a corner when I wasn't expecting it (I'm wound tight as a drum, it's very unhealthy).

I don't think entering a stance at the start of combat should be an action, at all. Changing stances sure, but a default stance you -know- you go to when startled is a reaction so quick I don't feel it to be unreasonable.

Whereas to me that sounds *exactly* like the first action you took on your initiative count was to enter a stance.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Like the Fighter Stances and combos idea, sounds like the concept of forms from the Treatises, so thumbs up from me.


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Count me in against encounter powers, though I don't see stances as encounter powers. They should last as long as a fighter holds them and require some kind of effort.
And any kind of effort should induce some kind of fatigue. People shoudn't be able to be alert for hours upon hours or run at top speed for minutes. I don't know how you can make a balanced but playable and fun system for the various kinds of fatigue in pathfinder though, hope paizo has some good ideas though.


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1of1 wrote:

How does one counter a Hidden Paragon stabby man of save or die? I guess fumigating might work. Drop some blightburn covered in inhaled poison and glue the doors shut. But wait, he's a rogue, of course he got out before you. Maybe teleport away and hope the Schrödinger's rogue is actually dead?

Hmmm... as with all things pre test, and before release, we're probably missing something.

Maybe a wish will reveal him? It's always good when Rogues have more powerful magics than casters.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I can see Hidden Paragon won't have rules making you impossible to see. But rather all the things that normally help detect them don't work. Someone with Legendary perception can still locate them (or lower ranks if lucky) but they can't just pop a True Seeing to automatically detect the Rogue. At least thats my hope.


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Dragonstriker wrote:
PF1 is not in the slightest narrativist. It’s approximately simulationist, except for the gamist mechanics; e.g. AC, HP, rounds... Actually, it’s gamist, in simulation drag.

DnD as a whole has been gamist since 3.0 at least. It's the poster child of gamist rpgs. Gurps is the poster child of simulationist rpgs, and (pick your indy game here) is the poster child of narrativism.


Desferous wrote:
1of1 wrote:

How does one counter a Hidden Paragon stabby man of save or die? I guess fumigating might work. Drop some blightburn covered in inhaled poison and glue the doors shut. But wait, he's a rogue, of course he got out before you. Maybe teleport away and hope the Schrödinger's rogue is actually dead?

Hmmm... as with all things pre test, and before release, we're probably missing something.

Maybe a wish will reveal him? It's always good when Rogues have more powerful magics than casters.

My bet is that you can still hear him with a perception roll. Everybody has perception as a "class skill" now. So there is no problem there. Blindsight, tremorsense, and others, will probably work too.

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