Raising the Flag

Monday, October 22, 2018

The time has come to once again move on to the next part of Doomsday Dawn, entitled "Red Flags"! This time, a group of new operatives is sent by the Esoteric Order to the Shackles as part of a desperate mission to stay one step ahead of the Night Heralds. Once you have had a chance to play this adventure, make sure to stop back here and take the surveys. Your responses are critical to our understanding of high-level play!

Player Survey | Game Master Survey | Open Survey

We know that the hectic pace has been hard to keep up with, but we would like to encourage you to keep playing and submitting your playtest results, even if the focus has moved on. As a reminder, all of the Doomsday Dawn surveys will remain open through the end of the playtest period!

Update 1.5 Is Alive!

Throughout the playtest we’ve been gathering a lot of feedback about spells and their relative power level in the game, especially regarding how they compare to spells as they were used in Pathfinder First Edition. While some of these changes were made to prevent problematic situations in play, others were made to help them function more cleanly in the new edition’s structure.

The survey results are pretty clear that we have succeeded in those goals for some areas of spellcasting and fallen short in others—sometimes significantly short. Fortunately, because this is a playtest, we can make adjustments and get more feedback. As of this update, we are increasing the power level of some spells, starting with those that deal damage, as they are the easiest ones to adjust, update, and test. Update 1.5 contains a list that includes the majority of the damage-dealing spells in the game, revising their overall damage values. Fireball, for example, has gone from dealing 6d6 fire damage to dealing 8d6 fire damage. This doesn’t affect how the spells scale, other than to adjust the base value (so a 4th-level fireball spell will deal 10d6 fire damage).

We want to stress that these are not the only changes that will be happening to spells between now and the final version of the game, but they are the ones that we can most easily present for additional playtesting.

This update also contains a few other small alterations. While the dying rules have been well received since Update 1.3, there are still some improvements that might be made. In this update, we’ve changed the saving throw for stabilizing when dying to a flat check (DC = 10 + the dying value). We want to stress that this is purely a test to see how players respond to this as opposed to the Fortitude saving throw with a DC set by the monster. This is a change that we might roll back depending on feedback.

There has also been a small change to Treat Wounds: the DC of the skill check is now set by the highest level of the character being treated. This was changed to clear up some odd issues with high-level characters having difficulty when healing targets that are of a much lower level. Again, Treat Wounds is still very much a rule that we are evaluating, and I think it is safe to say that it will probably change in some ways before we see a final version.

Ready to add these changes to your game? You can download the newest update right here!

Updates and Changes

There has been some amount of consternation here and on other sites about the changes that are being rolled out as part of the updates, and what those changes say about the other rules that aren’t included in the updates. Right now, to keep the test focused, we are releasing rules updates only for things that we feel we can cleanly update and that need more testing, but that is by no means the full scope of the changes happing to the game here in the office.

Your feedback has told us a great many things about the game, and we’ve been using that feedback to shape the rules as we move through the process. It is important for all of you to understand that even if you don’t see a rule being addressed in the updates or we aren’t speaking about it directly on the forums, that doesn’t mean it isn’t being modified or reevaluated for the final version of the game. As we said at the start of the playtest, every aspect of the game is on the table to change, depending on your feedback. Even if some of those changes might be too sweeping to implement in the midst of the playtest, we will make the changes needed to make the final game the best it can be. We’re excited to share what those changes and alterations will be, but the right time for that is after we have completed the playtesting process and are certain of what those changes will be.

Having participated in every open playtest this company has ever conducted, I can honestly say that this one has provided us with more valuable feedback and insight into how you play than any other test we have ever conducted. I am confident that it will show through in the new version of Pathfinder.

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

Join the Pathfinder Playtest designers every Friday throughout the playtest on our Twitch Channel to hear all about the process and chat directly with the team.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
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Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Huzzah!


Nice! Keep doing the good work Paizo team!

Silver Crusade

7 people marked this as a favorite.

The higher spell damage is quite welcome, though I am a bit disappointed that the cantrips didn't get a boost this time around.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Not sure if the Red Flag specific changes are enough for the concerns people have raised. Looking through the skill tweaks with the earlier update and I think too many "personal"-only attempt skills got the 'whole party rolls" modifier. I really hope it goes better than I think it will...

Liberty's Edge

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Looks solid. I approve.

I do agree that Cantrips could use a bit of a boost, though. Having 1dX + Stat at 1st and getting an extra die at higher levels would do it, but it'd be nice.


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NielsenE wrote:
Not sure if the Red Flag specific changes are enough for the concerns people have raised. Looking through the skill tweaks with the earlier update and I think too many "personal"-only attempt skills got the 'whole party rolls" modifier. I really hope it goes better than I think it will...

Agreed. I was hoping for more clarification of the circumstances of that encounter. Applying the Weak template is something I probably would have done on my own. (Especially since I have 3 players in my party instead of 4.)


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I'm a little concerned that the pace of updates exceeds the ability of my playtest group to absorb them, because we can't meet every week to play. But hey, I'm not going to ask Paizo to slow down. It's a great thing to see the team listen to feedback and be prepared for deep changes. Keep them coming, we'll eventually catch up, even though it will probably be after the playtest period ends.


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About Flat Check recovery:

I liked because it's very simple. I just think that maybe Fortitude proficiency could help a bit?

Make in a Flat DC 11
Expert Fortitude: DC 10
Master: DC 9
Legendary: DC 8


22 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I really like having a flat check for stabilization! That felt like the fussiest part of the previous death and dying iterations: having to go look up the DC to stabilize and sometimes having it still not be clear, based on something weird that took the PC down. When it comes to character death, I definitely want the rules to be simple and straightforward!

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I was really hoping for more being done with cantrips. This update doesn't do anything for the "everything saves every time" issue that wizards are currently facing, which kind of makes the extra damage too little entirely.


Dante Doom wrote:

About Flat Check recovery:

I liked because it's very simple. I just think that maybe Fortitude proficiency could help a bit?

Make in a Flat DC 11
Expert Fortitude: DC 10
Master: DC 9
Legendary: DC 8

Taking the Toughness feat and/or the Dwarf ancestry feat that gives you more HP does this.

Grand Lodge

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Flat check for dying is a big improvement, as basing it on the DC of whatever hit you truck me as both overly fussy and nonsensical.


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Liked the Flat recovery check.

It's simple and avoid the use of a DC table and have the same final result (maybe a little more dangerous, what I like), and also make all character more "heroics".

Keep this 1.5 way.


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Is it intended behavior that a Dwarf with Mountain's Stoutness and Toughness is given a harder Death Save after being affected by Ultimate Mercy or Breath of Life than they would have had normally? If not, perhaps the wording could be modified to reflect that, perhaps by phrasing it as reducing the DC by X rather than setting to to a set point?


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I'm super supportive of interesting mechanics for non-magical items and actions before moving on to magic. So, I really like treat wounds as a concept.

However, I think it's weird that RAW Treat Wounds - you only roll once for a group of six people. And if you fail, they're ALL Bolstered against your future attempts.

I get that this is a time-saver, but it'll be frustrating as heck when it happens. I assume that the first house-rule that absolutely *everyone* will use will be to roll for each patient individually.


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Any way we might be able to find out what sorts of things are in the works for being changed? Even if we won’t see the actual changes until 2e finally comes out, I for one would feel incredibly relieved if I knew my areas of highest concern were at least being reworked, even if I didn’t see the actual changes.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Weirdly, these spell changes have really missed the mark for me.

Accounting for the value of hitting multiple targets, the AoE spells were in great shape already and needed basically no tweaks (really only needing some way for their save DCs to not get outpaced by enemy saves at high levels). They were already doing damage on par with a basic melee 2-hand wielder's full 3-action attack. Except they were doing it in an AoE. From my perspective, that was plenty powerful.

On the other hand, almost all of the single target damage spells needed much larger buffs. Almost all of them do inferior damage on average than an AoE spell of the same level, while only hitting a single target. Typically they have some rider effect that triggers on a critically failed save. But with single-target encounters being the ones that almost never critically fail their saves, these effects rarely have a chance to trigger.

Furthermore, the lack of buffs to damaging cantrips is baffling. They could easily be changed to "1dX+Stat w/ a Heightened (+1): +1dX" (a damage buff of +100% in most cases), and still be far worse than any real spell.

Earlier in the Playtest, I still had players talking about picking up a bow over using any cantrips. To me that means cantrips aren't doing their job at being a 'filler' spell.


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Quote:

Throughout the playtest we’ve been gathering a lot of feedback about spells and their relative power level in the game, especially regarding how they compare to spells as they were used in Pathfinder First Edition. While some of these changes were made to prevent problematic situations in play, others were made to help them function more cleanly in the new edition’s structure.

The survey results are pretty clear that we have succeeded in those goals for some areas of spellcasting and fallen short in others—sometimes significantly short.

To be honest, when you have nerfs to prestidigitation of all things, I think you had some warning signs that you'd gone too far even without any playtest feedback.

Silver Crusade

7 people marked this as a favorite.

I definitely like that the new dying rule stops the "what's the DC this time?" hunt. Much cleaner in play. If I've counted right, the probabilities break down as follows. I'll be curious to see how it feels in action.

Dying 1 (DC 11):
50% chance you stop dying;
45% chance you go to dying 2;
05% chance you go to dying 3.

Dying 2 (DC 12):
05% chance you stop dying;
40% chance you go to dying 1;
45% chance you go to dying 3;
10% chance you die.

Dying 3 (DC 13):
05% chance you go to dying 1;
35% chance you go to dying 2;
60% chance you die.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Looks great, though I am disappointed treat wounds DC wasn't toned down.

I would "adventuring" checks like treat wounds and bardic performance to scaled no faster than 1 per level. That way if you only invest a bit, you always have to roll the same number, and if you keep investing you outpace it.

I would much rather the DC for both to be easy+X (x could be anything appropriate, like 4 or 5) because that is the only scale that goes up by only 1 each level.

Dying being a flat check that can be improved by toughness I am 100% behind on paper because it just makes everything easier on both the GM and the players.

Spell updates look good as well, looking forward to see what else comes out of the spell buffs.

Next week I get to find out if the Red Flags adjustment is enough.

Overall, I am very excited about the changes and looking forward to 1.6!


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Cellion wrote:

Weirdly, these spell changes have really missed the mark for me.

Accounting for the value of hitting multiple targets, the AoE spells were in great shape already and needed basically no tweaks (really only needing some way for their save DCs to not get outpaced by enemy saves at high levels). They were already doing damage on par with a basic melee 2-hand wielder's full 3-action attack. Except they were doing it in an AoE. From my perspective, that was plenty powerful.

On the other hand, almost all of the single target damage spells needed much larger buffs. Almost all of them do inferior damage on average than an AoE spell of the same level, while only hitting a single target. Typically they have some rider effect that triggers on a critically failed save. But with single-target encounters being the ones that almost never critically fail their saves, these effects rarely have a chance to trigger.

Furthermore, the lack of buffs to damaging cantrips is baffling. They could easily be changed to "1dX+Stat w/ a Heightened (+1): +1dX" (a damage buff of +100% in most cases), and still be far worse than any real spell.

Earlier in the Playtest, I still had players talking about picking up a bow over using any cantrips. To me that means cantrips aren't doing their job at being a 'filler' spell.

a shortbow is only about 10% better than a cantrip, has no riders, requires to spent martial weapon proficiency on it (either through ancestry feat or multiclass or general feat) and requires to keep spending high level magic items just to keep that 10% over the natural progression of the cantrips

cantrips are flat out better than all simple ranged weapons

in short, cantrips are fine.

Single target damaging spells, especially Rays which can also completely whiff, are the ones that needed attention.

Dark Archive

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Dante Doom wrote:

About Flat Check recovery:

I liked because it's very simple. I just think that maybe Fortitude proficiency could help a bit?

Make in a Flat DC 11
Expert Fortitude: DC 10
Master: DC 9
Legendary: DC 8

Right now it starts at 10 since you add your current Dying value to the flat check, so it would be more like this:

Trained: 10+Dying
Expert: 9+Dying
Master: 8+Dying
Legendary: 7+Dying

With both Toughness and Mountain's Stoutness (which somehow still refers to Hardy?) decreasing those values by 1, ideally - that way I can build a Dwarven Barbarian / Gray Maiden and be the toughest thing alive.

Silver Crusade

Dαedαlus wrote:
Any way we might be able to find out what sorts of things are in the works for being changed? Even if we won’t see the actual changes until 2e finally comes out, I for one would feel incredibly relieved if I knew my areas of highest concern were at least being reworked, even if I didn’t see the actual changes.
Blog wrote:
We’re excited to share what those changes and alterations will be, but the right time for that is after we have completed the playtesting process and are certain of what those changes will be.

And in Friday's Twitch stream, Jason suggested that this kind of rules update that wouldn't work for playtest but would be made for final could be teased or revealed in streamed games after the playtest was closed.

AKA, I would expect some kind of playtest postmortem or preview of PF2 blog series or something to give us a taste of what's in the works between end of playtest and final release.


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Dαedαlus wrote:
Any way we might be able to find out what sorts of things are in the works for being changed? Even if we won’t see the actual changes until 2e finally comes out, I for one would feel incredibly relieved if I knew my areas of highest concern were at least being reworked, even if I didn’t see the actual changes.

You can always ask on twitch. I would be very interested to hear whether Paizo think the feedback they have received makes them think +level to everything and the class feat structure needs changing.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Cellion said wrote:

Weirdly, these spell changes have really missed the mark for me.

Accounting for the value of hitting multiple targets, the AoE spells were in great shape already and needed basically no tweaks (really only needing some way for their save DCs to not get outpaced by enemy saves at high levels). They were already doing damage on par with a basic melee 2-hand wielder's full 3-action attack. Except they were doing it in an AoE. From my perspective, that was plenty powerful.

On the other hand, almost all of the single target damage spells needed much larger buffs. Almost all of them do inferior damage on average than an AoE spell of the same level, while only hitting a single target. Typically they have some rider effect that triggers on a critically failed save. But with single-target encounters being the ones that almost never critically fail their saves, these effects rarely have a chance to trigger.

Furthermore, the lack of buffs to damaging cantrips is baffling. They could easily be changed to "1dX+Stat w/ a Heightened (+1): +1dX" (a damage buff of +100% in most cases), and still be far worse than any real spell.

Earlier in the Playtest, I still had players talking about picking up a bow over using any cantrips. To me that means cantrips aren't doing their job at being a 'filler' spell.

That would make cantrips absolutely insane. In sombrefell hall a cantrip like ray of frost would do 4d8+4 damage on a ranged touch attack, with no hand usage, bulk or gold expended. I do think cantrips should get a bit of a buff as well, but it shouldn't make cantrips better than any other ranged options. If you want to buff cantrips then you should also buff crossbows and shorts bows etc.

I would say cantrips at level 1 is fine and the go:
heightened (2nd) 1dx+stat mod
heightened (3rd) 2dx+stat mod
heightened (5th) 3dx+stat mod
heightened (7th) 4dx+stat mod
heightened (9th) 5dx+stat mod

They are still useful but should be worse than a magical bow for a caster that level since they target tac, get a better stat mod (not accounting for property runes), can be more flexible targeting weaknesses and doesn't cost anything, require any bulk or take up hands.

I do agree that single target spells might need a bit more of a buff than they got, but I would rather that was extra effects than more direct damage, like various conditions on a failed or successful saving throw.


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Cellion wrote:


Furthermore, the lack of buffs to damaging cantrips is baffling. They could easily be changed to "1dX+Stat w/ a Heightened (+1): +1dX" (a damage buff of +100% in most cases), and still be far worse than any real spell.

Earlier in the Playtest, I still had players talking about picking up a bow over using any cantrips. To me that means cantrips aren't doing their job at being a 'filler' spell.

I'd suggest spamming Intimidation over using your cantrips, especially if you are a Cha-based caster, such as a Bard or Sorcerer.

With my own Bard, I've found Intimidation plus Trip using Assurance(Athletics) to be a very much better combo than any cantrip, especially with an attentive Rogue with Dread Striker in the party.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:
Any way we might be able to find out what sorts of things are in the works for being changed? Even if we won’t see the actual changes until 2e finally comes out, I for one would feel incredibly relieved if I knew my areas of highest concern were at least being reworked, even if I didn’t see the actual changes.
You can always ask on twitch. I would be very interested to hear whether Paizo think the feedback they have received makes them think +level to everything and the class feat structure needs changing.

Jason said in the other thread over the weekend they aren't currently considering a change to + Level. I would assume that will not be up for consideration unless the surveys indicate dissatisfaction with it in high level play in the last few playtest adventures... If they even ask about it.

Dark Archive

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I've gone through my Spell Damage spreadsheet and changed a ton of numbers, and a lot of spells received significant buffs here. Here's a list of damage bonuses by spell - anything below 7 was left off (such as Lightning Bolt

+7 - Fireball, Searing Light
+9 - Shadow Blast, Sunburst
+10.5 - Cone of Cold, Flame Strike, Phantasmal Killer (Fail), Vampiric Exsanguination
+13 - Chain Lightning
+13.5 - Visions of Danger
+14 - Phantasmal Calamity, Phantasmal Killer (Crit Fail), Searing Light (vs Fiend/Undead), Spirit Blast, Volcanic Eruption
+16.5 - Horrid Wilting
+17.5 - Weird
+18 - Sunburst (vs Undead)
+22 - Disintegrate, Wail of the Banshee
+22.5 - Polar Ray
+23.5 - Meteor Swarm
+25 - Implosion

It looks to me like the spells that received the largest buffs were the high-level spells, which now compare much more favorably with Heightened low-level spells like Fireball and Cone of Cold. I'm also very happy that most of the damaging spells that targeted Will saves got buffed, as they're often pretty low on damage compared to other options. I definitely wish Cloudkill got a larger boost to damage, though.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
shroudb wrote:
A shortbow is only about 10% better than a cantrip, has no riders, requires to spent martial weapon proficiency on it (either through ancestry feat or multiclass or general feat) and requires to keep spending high level magic items just to keep that 10% over the natural progression of the cantrips

I agree that for casters, cantrips as they are right now are the right choice. I was talking that from the perspective of my players, they looked at the low damage numbers and balked so strongly that they immediately tried working out how to use a bow.

That's either tuned too low, or there's some kind of messaging problem in how they're presented.

Nettah wrote:
That would make cantrips absolutely insane. In sombrefell hall a cantrip like ray of frost would do 4d8+4 damage on a ranged touch attack, with no hand usage, bulk or gold expended. I do think cantrips should get a bit of a buff as well, but it shouldn't make cantrips better than any other ranged options. If you want to buff cantrips then you should also buff crossbows and shorts bows etc.

I think cantrips should DEFINITELY be better than any other ranged option for primary casters. If we consider that 4d8+4 ranged touch ray of frost, it deals 22 damage for 2 actions (with no ability to take a 3rd action for more damage, and this assumes the caster picked up a feat for more damage) and has something like 50-60% chance to hit. An archer fighter or ranger at 9th level is doing something like 20 DPR against same leveled enemies under the same circumstances.

Personally, I don't think it's unfair for the wizard to do 60% of the ranged martial's damage without expending spells. But that at least is definitely a matter of taste.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Awesome to hear. I'm hoping polymorph rules will get looked at as I've had some pretty disappointing experiences with it.


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Dαedαlus wrote:
Any way we might be able to find out what sorts of things are in the works for being changed? Even if we won’t see the actual changes until 2e finally comes out, I for one would feel incredibly relieved if I knew my areas of highest concern were at least being reworked, even if I didn’t see the actual changes.

Yeah, the blanket statement that even things that aren't being discussed might still change just really isn't enough to quell the unease. There's still a lot of fear, the bad initial impressions of certain things like Resonance and spell nerfs really is making many people skeptical. More openness about likely changes would be helpful. Remember, you're not just testing the new rules, you're also previewing the new game.

About the update itself. All good stuff here. Going back to my earlier statement, the spell nerfs have demoralized my group. It's good to finally have an acknowledgement that it went too far (way too far). Having heard that this was at least being looked at several months ago would have likely made us feel better about the playtest. I would like to know what else is being looked at. Damage spells probably needed the least boosting, but as stated, this is the first change and the easiest to do. So I can understand starting here. Duration and number of targets are a bigger deal in my experience. All the 1 minute per level spells being changed to a flat 1 minute really hampers the party, keeping them from buffing ahead of time, or helping travel and exploration. I'm expecting fixing those are on the table, but might wait until the final release.

Are the number of spell slots and the requirement to use a higher level slot to heighten on the table? Those two together also are a major gut-punch to spellcasters. It dramatically cuts into their versatility.

This update is 100% a step in the right direction though.


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Cyrad wrote:
Awesome to hear. I'm hoping polymorph rules will get looked at as I've had some pretty disappointing experiences with it.

One of our players went for a Wild druid for Heroes of Undarin and has independently registered basically all of these complaints, so I second this.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm confused by breath of life as written with the current rules.

Dying (pg. 11) wrote:


You are bleeding out or otherwise at death’s door. Dying always includes a value, and if it ever reaches dying 4, you die. If you’re dying, you must attempt a recovery roll at the start of your turn to determine whether you get better or worse. If you ever have 1 HP or more, you lose the dying condition. Any time you lose the dying condition, you increase your wounded value by 1 if you already have the condition, or gain wounded 1 if you do not currently have the condition. Recovery rolls and what happens when you regain HP while you are dying are explained above.
Other Changes (pg. 12) wrote:


  • Page 208—In the breath of life spell, change the first sentence of the description to “You prevent the target from dying, restore Hit Points equal to 4d8 plus your spellcasting ability modifier to it, reduce its dying condition to dying 3, and reduce the DC of its next recovery roll to 8 + its dying value.”
  • So which is it? Does restoring hp equal to 4d8+mod make it lose the dying condition, or does the spell reduce the dying condition to 3?


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    Cellion wrote:
    shroudb wrote:
    A shortbow is only about 10% better than a cantrip, has no riders, requires to spent martial weapon proficiency on it (either through ancestry feat or multiclass or general feat) and requires to keep spending high level magic items just to keep that 10% over the natural progression of the cantrips

    I agree that for casters, cantrips as they are right now are the right choice. I was talking that from the perspective of my players, they looked at the low damage numbers and balked so strongly that they immediately tried working out how to use a bow.

    That's either tuned too low, or there's some kind of messaging problem in how they're presented.

    Nettah wrote:
    That would make cantrips absolutely insane. In sombrefell hall a cantrip like ray of frost would do 4d8+4 damage on a ranged touch attack, with no hand usage, bulk or gold expended. I do think cantrips should get a bit of a buff as well, but it shouldn't make cantrips better than any other ranged options. If you want to buff cantrips then you should also buff crossbows and shorts bows etc.

    I think cantrips should DEFINITELY be better than any other ranged option for primary casters. If we consider that 4d8+4 ranged touch ray of frost, it deals 22 damage for 2 actions (with no ability to take a 3rd action for more damage, and this assumes the caster picked up a feat for more damage) and has something like 50-60% chance to hit. An archer fighter or ranger at 9th level is doing something like 20 DPR against same leveled enemies under the same circumstances.

    Personally, I don't think it's unfair for the wizard to do 60% of the ranged martial's damage without expending spells. But that at least is definitely a matter of taste.

    the key difference is that an archer's main thing is his bow,

    while cantrips are the last things a caster can do.

    in order to compare it truthfully, you'd have to compare a cantrip, which is what a caster do in his off rounds and certainly not his primary thing, to something like the damage a fully focused archer would do wielding a spare (which also translates to much lowe +x) longsword.
    you'd find the caster has it much better in this comparison.


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    I think that this upgrade to spells is going about things the wrong way. I do not so much think that the scaling issue with blasting spells is their raw damage output at the heightened level. The scaling issue is that a character's lower-level spell slots become worse and worse for blasting spells due to static damage dice, whereas hard control spells (e.g. blindness) and buff spells (e.g. haste) always remain relevant due to not being reliant on quickly-outdated damage. This is, incidentally, the exact same issue 5e's own blasting spells suffer from.

    I think that what Paizo should have done was implement a system for better scaling of blasting spells even in non-heightened form.


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    Someone said wrote:

    I think cantrips should DEFINITELY be better than any other ranged option for primary casters. If we consider that 4d8+4 ranged touch ray of frost, it deals 22 damage for 2 actions (with no ability to take a 3rd action for more damage, and this assumes the caster picked up a feat for more damage) and has something like 50-60% chance to hit. An archer fighter or ranger at 9th level is doing something like 20 DPR against same leveled enemies under the same circumstances.

    Personally, I don't think it's unfair for the wizard to do 60% of the ranged martial's damage without expending spells. But that at least is definitely a matter of taste.

    Well the 4d8+4 would be from a level 7 caster. A level 7 archer will only have a +1 bow maybe with a property rune on it.

    So a fighter with point blank shot will deal 2d8+2+1d6(property rune) damage on a hit with a composite longbow. He has invested more into this both in terms of stats, gold, bulk, hands, and feats than the caster but he will only have +2 more to hit (against AC not TAC so he will miss his first attack the same amount or more in most cases) and do roughly half the damage. Making the caster superior most rounds or at least making them equal.

    If cantrips is always superior to use for a caster rather than a magical bow even if you spend feats on it doesn't really seem fair to me, cantrips (to me at least) should be worse than almost all other actions you can take that require a certain amount of sacrifice (of gold, feats etc) from you.

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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    Cellion wrote:

    I think cantrips should DEFINITELY be better than any other ranged option for primary casters. If we consider that 4d8+4 ranged touch ray of frost, it deals 22 damage for 2 actions (with no ability to take a 3rd action for more damage, and this assumes the caster picked up a feat for more damage) and has something like 50-60% chance to hit. An archer fighter or ranger at 9th level is doing something like 20 DPR against same leveled enemies under the same circumstances.

    While that's a fair point, it doesn't necessarily tell the whole story. Case in point, during our livestream playthrough of The Heroes of Undarin last week,

    Spoilered for anyone who hasn't played through Heroes of Undarin:
    the only reason we were able to defeat the Shemhazian demon was because it had weakness to cold 15 and Owen was burning all three actions to cast true strike and spam ray of frost against the demon. Between true strike and targeting touch AC he was able to fairly reliably damage a creature that none of the rest of us could hit except for on an 18-20, and the extra 15 damage he was getting every time meant that even on poor damage rolls he was shaving off a reasonable chunk of hit points.

    It's kind of an extreme situation that probably shouldn't come up terribly often in a standard campaign, but it shows that the idea that two or three weapon attacks are going to be reliably better than a 2-action cantrip isn't always the case. Dealing damage with an energy type generally means you have more opportunities for extra damage through triggering weaknesses. Targeting TAC will generally kind of balance out with the caster's lower attack proficiency, but there will be fairly regular situations where the gap between the caster's accuracy and the melee combatant's accuracy (particularly if the melee combatant is close up trading blows with a creature capable of inflicting negative conditions) is smaller than the gap between the creature's AC and TAC, shifting the accuracy advantage to the caster, which multiplies actual damage dealt both through attacks hitting more frequently and through a higher likelihood of scoring a critical hit.

    That's not really intended to be a value statement about cantrips one way or another, just a note that the comparison is much more complex than a simple action-to-action and dice-to-dice comparison.

    RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Another issue with spell damage is that high level combats take forever to end because enemies have so many hit points. When I played a 10th level alchemist, I ran dangerously low on RP after only two combats because every enemy took forever to kill despite the fact they had fire weakness and I had expanded splash damage.


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    FitzTheRuke wrote:

    I'm super supportive of interesting mechanics for non-magical items and actions before moving on to magic. So, I really like treat wounds as a concept.

    However, I think it's weird that RAW Treat Wounds - you only roll once for a group of six people. And if you fail, they're ALL Bolstered against your future attempts.

    I get that this is a time-saver, but it'll be frustrating as heck when it happens. I assume that the first house-rule that absolutely *everyone* will use will be to roll for each patient individually.

    The house rule I'll be using will be to eliminate failure as an option entirely from it and limit it to once after an encounter.

    If the entire point of that is to enable out of combat recovery without a healer, the idea that rolling a nat 1 on the first one of the day locks it out for the entire day is absurd. As a skill, it would work a lot better if it didn't try to adhere to the four degrees of success, because a "expert" medic shouldn't be able to fail treating a minor injury so badly that the person can't be treated again for an entire day.

    It makes no sense whatsoever.


    6 people marked this as a favorite.
    Joe M. wrote:

    I definitely like that the new dying rule stops the "what's the DC this time?" hunt. Much cleaner in play. If I've counted right, the probabilities break down as follows. I'll be curious to see how it feels in action.

    Dying 1 (DC 11):
    50% chance you stop dying;
    45% chance you go to dying 2;
    05% chance you go to dying 3.

    Dying 2 (DC 12):
    05% chance you stop dying;
    40% chance you go to dying 1;
    45% chance you go to dying 3;
    10% chance you die.

    Dying 3 (DC 13):
    05% chance you go to dying 1;
    35% chance you go to dying 2;
    60% chance you die.

    I'm really concerned about how this will play out. At dying 2, you have almost no chance to get out of dying. Yo ucan go back to dying 1, but then you have a 50/50 chance to go back farther into dying. It's very easy to see how rolls could lock someone into yo-yoing around in dying states for an extended period.

    If you're making the save harder per level of dying, then making it should stabilize you immediately. Bouncing back between dying 2 and dying 1 for five turns due to dice luck is absolutely zero fun.


    6 people marked this as a favorite.
    shroudb wrote:
    Cellion wrote:

    Weirdly, these spell changes have really missed the mark for me.

    Accounting for the value of hitting multiple targets, the AoE spells were in great shape already and needed basically no tweaks (really only needing some way for their save DCs to not get outpaced by enemy saves at high levels). They were already doing damage on par with a basic melee 2-hand wielder's full 3-action attack. Except they were doing it in an AoE. From my perspective, that was plenty powerful.

    On the other hand, almost all of the single target damage spells needed much larger buffs. Almost all of them do inferior damage on average than an AoE spell of the same level, while only hitting a single target. Typically they have some rider effect that triggers on a critically failed save. But with single-target encounters being the ones that almost never critically fail their saves, these effects rarely have a chance to trigger.

    Furthermore, the lack of buffs to damaging cantrips is baffling. They could easily be changed to "1dX+Stat w/ a Heightened (+1): +1dX" (a damage buff of +100% in most cases), and still be far worse than any real spell.

    Earlier in the Playtest, I still had players talking about picking up a bow over using any cantrips. To me that means cantrips aren't doing their job at being a 'filler' spell.

    a shortbow is only about 10% better than a cantrip, has no riders, requires to spent martial weapon proficiency on it (either through ancestry feat or multiclass or general feat) and requires to keep spending high level magic items just to keep that 10% over the natural progression of the cantrips

    cantrips are flat out better than all simple ranged weapons

    in short, cantrips are fine.

    Pssst...it only takes one action to fire a bow.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Doktor Weasel wrote:
    Yeah, the blanket statement that even things that aren't being discussed might still change just really isn't enough to quell the unease. There's still a lot of fear, the bad initial impressions of certain things like Resonance and spell nerfs really is making many people skeptical. More openness about likely changes would be helpful. Remember, you're not just testing the new rules, you're also previewing the new game.

    We actually know three things in regards to this, one of which is found above:

    1. They are making spells more powerful. This is noted in the post above.

    2. They are drastically changing the Resonance rules. We know this from the specific Resonance test.

    3. They are going to rebalance the math to require less optimization to be effective. This was on the Friday Twitch Stream.

    Those are all extremely positive changes and fix several of the most major issues people have with the game, at least potentially.


    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

    Thank you for the update! I will reiterate for posterity, the Twitch playtest discussions are REALLY helpful.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Tridus wrote:
    FitzTheRuke wrote:

    I'm super supportive of interesting mechanics for non-magical items and actions before moving on to magic. So, I really like treat wounds as a concept.

    However, I think it's weird that RAW Treat Wounds - you only roll once for a group of six people. And if you fail, they're ALL Bolstered against your future attempts.

    I get that this is a time-saver, but it'll be frustrating as heck when it happens. I assume that the first house-rule that absolutely *everyone* will use will be to roll for each patient individually.

    The house rule I'll be using will be to eliminate failure as an option entirely from it and limit it to once after an encounter.

    If the entire point of that is to enable out of combat recovery without a healer, the idea that rolling a nat 1 on the first one of the day locks it out for the entire day is absurd. As a skill, it would work a lot better if it didn't try to adhere to the four degrees of success, because a "expert" medic shouldn't be able to fail treating a minor injury so badly that the person can't be treated again for an entire day.

    It makes no sense whatsoever.

    Not arguing the point per se, but something I think a lot of people don't catch that makes it less severe. If someone crit fails the patients are only bolstered against THAT person's Treat Wounds. Unless a thing specifies bolstered against "All castings/uses of x" then they're only bolstered against it from that individual. So a secondary healer could pick up if something goes wrong with the primary.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    I actually prefer if they printed the dcs on the monster stats. A hardy half-orc barbarian should not have the same chance to recover from dying as a spindly elf Wizard... CON should have something to do with recovery saves, IMO.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Doktor Weasel wrote:
    Yeah, the blanket statement that even things that aren't being discussed might still change just really isn't enough to quell the unease. There's still a lot of fear, the bad initial impressions of certain things like Resonance and spell nerfs really is making many people skeptical. More openness about likely changes would be helpful. Remember, you're not just testing the new rules, you're also previewing the new game.

    We actually know three things in regards to this, one of which is found above:

    1. They are making spells more powerful. This is noted in the post above.

    2. They are drastically changing the Resonance rules. We know this from the specific Resonance test.

    3. They are going to rebalance the math to require less optimization to be effective. This was on the Friday Twitch Stream.

    Those are all extremely positive changes and fix several of the most major issues people have with the game, at least potentially.

    I agree, those are all good changes and I'm glad we have a head's up. But if came so late. We were left in suspense for months before any of this was even acknowledged that it might not be working as intended. And there are still a lot of issues that haven't been acknowledged.

    Silver Crusade

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
    Doktor Weasel wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Doktor Weasel wrote:
    Yeah, the blanket statement that even things that aren't being discussed might still change just really isn't enough to quell the unease. There's still a lot of fear, the bad initial impressions of certain things like Resonance and spell nerfs really is making many people skeptical. More openness about likely changes would be helpful. Remember, you're not just testing the new rules, you're also previewing the new game.

    We actually know three things in regards to this, one of which is found above:

    1. They are making spells more powerful. This is noted in the post above.

    2. They are drastically changing the Resonance rules. We know this from the specific Resonance test.

    3. They are going to rebalance the math to require less optimization to be effective. This was on the Friday Twitch Stream.

    Those are all extremely positive changes and fix several of the most major issues people have with the game, at least potentially.

    I agree, those are all good changes and I'm glad we have a head's up. But if came so late. We were left in suspense for months before any of this was even acknowledged that it might not be working as intended. And there are still a lot of issues that haven't been acknowledged.

    From the blog above:

    Jason Bulmahn wrote:
    There has been some amount of consternation here and on other sites about the changes that are being rolled out as part of the updates, and what those changes say about the other rules that aren’t included in the updates. Right now, to keep the test focused, we are releasing rules updates only for things that we feel we can cleanly update and that need more testing, but that is by no means the full scope of the changes happening to the game here in the office.


    7 people marked this as a favorite.
    Doktor Weasel wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Doktor Weasel wrote:
    Yeah, the blanket statement that even things that aren't being discussed might still change just really isn't enough to quell the unease. There's still a lot of fear, the bad initial impressions of certain things like Resonance and spell nerfs really is making many people skeptical. More openness about likely changes would be helpful. Remember, you're not just testing the new rules, you're also previewing the new game.

    We actually know three things in regards to this, one of which is found above:

    1. They are making spells more powerful. This is noted in the post above.

    2. They are drastically changing the Resonance rules. We know this from the specific Resonance test.

    3. They are going to rebalance the math to require less optimization to be effective. This was on the Friday Twitch Stream.

    Those are all extremely positive changes and fix several of the most major issues people have with the game, at least potentially.

    I agree, those are all good changes and I'm glad we have a head's up. But if came so late. We were left in suspense for months before any of this was even acknowledged that it might not be working as intended. And there are still a lot of issues that haven't been acknowledged.

    I get what you're saying but really, with how much they'd been sharing leading up to the release of the playtest, how much they emphasized their desire for feedback, and the fact that they've been constantly and repeatedly updating things, could we really not have enough faith to give them the benefit of the doubt? Telling us all the stuff they're considering, especially stuff that can't get into the playtest, would have caused WAY more problems than it would have solved if a lot of people's responses to things on the forums here are anything to go by.


    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Xenocrat wrote:
    shroudb wrote:
    Cellion wrote:

    Weirdly, these spell changes have really missed the mark for me.

    Accounting for the value of hitting multiple targets, the AoE spells were in great shape already and needed basically no tweaks (really only needing some way for their save DCs to not get outpaced by enemy saves at high levels). They were already doing damage on par with a basic melee 2-hand wielder's full 3-action attack. Except they were doing it in an AoE. From my perspective, that was plenty powerful.

    On the other hand, almost all of the single target damage spells needed much larger buffs. Almost all of them do inferior damage on average than an AoE spell of the same level, while only hitting a single target. Typically they have some rider effect that triggers on a critically failed save. But with single-target encounters being the ones that almost never critically fail their saves, these effects rarely have a chance to trigger.

    Furthermore, the lack of buffs to damaging cantrips is baffling. They could easily be changed to "1dX+Stat w/ a Heightened (+1): +1dX" (a damage buff of +100% in most cases), and still be far worse than any real spell.

    Earlier in the Playtest, I still had players talking about picking up a bow over using any cantrips. To me that means cantrips aren't doing their job at being a 'filler' spell.

    a shortbow is only about 10% better than a cantrip, has no riders, requires to spent martial weapon proficiency on it (either through ancestry feat or multiclass or general feat) and requires to keep spending high level magic items just to keep that 10% over the natural progression of the cantrips

    cantrips are flat out better than all simple ranged weapons

    in short, cantrips are fine.

    Pssst...it only takes one action to fire a bow.

    pssst.... the 10% is exactly because it takes 1 action to fire a bow.

    do the math.

    or simply browse the forums, plenty of people have done them already.

    bow at +0/-5 doing 2d6 is just 10% better than a +1 attack doing 1d8+4

    to be exact:

    double attack from bow is around 6.6 dpr
    single attack from cantrip is around 5.95 dpr

    if you think that this 0,6dpr is worth:
    a feat
    and
    your single most expensive magic item

    then go for it.


    5 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Okay, two things.

    First, to reduce the lethality of Criticals for spell effects, why not reduce the critical effect to +50% damage? Thus if someone suffers a critical failure saving against an 8d6 Fireball and the Fireball rolls 34 damage, they take another 17 damage. This means spell damage is quite dangerous... but not instant-kill if you suffer a critical.

    Second, please include some sort of documentation on what Lore or other Skill roll is needed in order to Recall Knowledge to learn about various monsters. It is not intuitive. When I've had players ask me it immediately drags the game to a halt while I struggle to figure out which Skill would best be used to learn about the Monster in question.

    A simple list alphabetically would be fine. Monster, Lore or other Skill. It would truly be helpful.

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