Adventure Marches On

Monday, July 15, 2019

Wizard archetype. A dark-skinned man with a thin mustache holds his right hand out, casting an upside down teardrop-shaped glow of blue. In his left hand, he firmly holds a pointed staff upright. It stands taller than him and near the top it has a rectangular, almost hammer shaped section with a sitting green cat on the side. The man is dressed in pleated brown robes with wide complementary stripes, and wears steel shoes. A wide belt carries two buckled pouches on his left side, one smaller than the other. He wears a piece of shoulder armor secured by by a wide dark red sash with a silver disc attached to protect his joints and has a rolled headscarf that is topped by a conic, pointed hat with a green ball near the top of the point. He appears to be wearing a shoulder wrap that is white with pink flowers underneath his headscarf.

Illustration by Giorgio Baroni

You've created your character. You've tasted that first bite of toil and heroics, earned your first thousand Experience Points, and come back to town a hero. Is it time to hang up the sword, sidle into the local tavern, and get free drinks for years in return for spinning yarns of your youthful adventuring day?

Hell no. It's time to level up your character so you can do it all again!

This week we're going to examine how you advance your characters in Pathfinder. We are going to start with your young fighter who resists the urge to retire and sit on his laurels and instead decides that adventuring is his jam. Let's start by advancing the hero of our story—a human (skilled) fighter, with the nomad background. Let's call him Kaliban.

First Steps

Each time you gain a new level, there're a few things you're going to want to do first. First, you're going to increase your level by one and subtract 1,000 Experience Points (XP) for your XP total. Then you're going to increase your Hit Points by the amount determined by class and then add your Constitution modifier.

Kaliban is a fighter, so his Hit Points increase by 10 + his Constitution bonus (let's say he has Con 14) so his total Hit Points at 2nd level become 32.

Lastly, you're going to take a look at your class progression table and apply any class features that aren't feat choices, ability boosts, or skill increases. We'll take a closer look at that later, at 3rd level when Kaliban gains the bravery class feature, but at 2nd level, Kaliban gains a fighter feat and a skill feat as class features, so we are going to move on to the next step.

Table 3-12: FIGHTER ADVANCEMENT. Column 1: Your Level. Column 2: Class Features. 1 | Ancestry and background, initial proficiencies, attack of opportunity, fighter feat, shield block. 2 | Fighter feat, skill feat. 3| Bravery, general feat, skill increase.

Choose Your Feats

In terms of pure role and effectiveness oomph, choosing a new class feat is often the most exciting choice you can make when advancing your character. First off, let's assume that during character creation Kaliban had already taken Power Attack.

Power attack. Two actions. Feat 1. Fighter. Flourish. You unleash a particularly powerful attack that clobbers your foe but leaves you a bit unsteady. Make a melee Strike. This counts as two attacks when calculating your multiple attack penalty. If this Strike hits, you deal an extra die of weapon damage. If you’re at least 10th level, increase this to two extra dice, and if you’re at least 18th level, increase it to three extra dice.

Kaliban likes power. And Power Attack allows Kaliban to deal even more damage with his favorite weapon—a maul. At 2nd level, he could continue on this punishing path by taking the Brutish Shove fighter feat, which allows him to throw his enemies around the battlefield.

Brutish Shove. One action. Feat 2. Fighter. Press. Requirements: You are wielding a two-handed melee weapon.  Description: Throwing your weight behind your attack, you hit your opponent hard enough to make it stumble back. Make a Strike with a two-handed melee weapon. If you have a target that is your size or smaller, that creature is flat-footed until the end of your current turn, and you can automatically Shove it, with the same benefits as the Shove action (including the critical success effect, if your Strike was a critical hit). If you move to follow the target, your movement doesn’t trigger reactions.  This Strike has the following failure effect: The target becomes flat-footed until the end of your current turn.

This seems like the obvious choice, but let's imagine Kaliban is not your typical fighter. He's a particularly smart fellow (Intelligence 14). Let's also imagine that during his first adventure, he came across a frightfully competent gnoll evoker who gave Kaliban and his companions a tough time of it. And during that encounter, while taking the abuse that gnoll was dishing out, Kaliban wondered what it would be like to mix martial prowess with that kind of arcane might. Lucky for Kaliban, once he reaches 2nd level, the fighter has the opportunity to grow in a different direction. He can choose to multiclass.

Wizard Dedication. Feat 2. Archetype. Dedication. Multiclass. Prerequisites: Intelligence 14. Description: You cast spells like a wizard, gaining a spell book with four common arcane cantrips of your choice. You gain the Cast a Spell activity. You can prepare two cantrips each day from your spell book. You’re trained in arcane spell attack rolls and spell DCs.Your key spell casting ability for wizard archetype spells is Int, and they are arcane wizard spells. You become trained in Arcana; if you were already trained in Arcana, you instead become trained in a skill of your choice. Special: You can’t select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the wizard archetype.

It's not a bad deal. A spellbook with four cantrips, the ability to prepare two of them a day, and training in Arcana strikes the fighter as more promising than just pushing around his enemies. Some fighters might scoff at such dalliance, but Kaliban decides to go the fighter/wizard route. Taking a quick look at the arcane cantrips, he chooses to scribble daze, mage hand, shield, and telekinetic projectile in his spellbook. Most adventuring days, he typically leans on shield and telekinetic projectile as his prepared cantrips.

After picking his class feat, Kaliban picks a skill feat. He has training in the following skills: Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Crafting, Desert Lore, Intimidation, Nature, Society, Stealth, and Survival, so he has a lot of choices. But let's say Kaliban has become enamored with his brief magical studies and chooses Arcane Sense.

Arcane Sense. Feat 1. General. Skill. Prerequisites: trained in Arcana. Description: Your study of magic allows you to instinctively sense its presence. You can cast 1st-level *detect magic* at will as an arcane innate spell. If you’re a master in Arcana, the spell is heightened to 3rd level; if you’re legendary, it is heightened to 4th level.

This way Kaliban can always be on the lookout for more magic to supplement his spellbook, equipment, and his split aspirations.

With his skill feat chosen, all he has to do is adjust his various skills, attack rolls, and DCs to reflect his increased level and new bonuses, and he is done. He has everything he needs to continue adventuring with more than a few new tricks up his sleeve.

Each New Level, Repeat

Each time you gain a level, the method by which you increase your level stays the same. Only the details and choices change. To make it easy for you to remember what you need to do each level, there's a bullet-point list on page 31 of the Pathfinder Second Edition Core Rulebook. Follow those directions each level, and you'll be set.

Leveling-up Checklist. Every time you gain a level, make sure you do each of the following: 
- Increase your level by 1 and subtract 1,000 XP from your XP total.
- Increase your maximum Hit Points by the amount listed in your class entry in Chapter 3. 
Add class features from your class advancement table, including ability boosts and skill increases.
- Select feats as indicated on your class advancement table. For ancestry feats, see Chapter 2. For class feats, see your class entry in Chapter 3. For general feats and skill feats, see Chapter 5. 
- Add spells and spell slots if your class grants spell casting. See Chapter 7 for spells.
- Increase all of your proficiency bonuses by 1 from your new level, and make other increases to your proficiency bonuses as necessary from skill increases or other class features. 
- Increase any other statistics that changed as a result of ability boots or other abilities.
- Adjust bonuses from feats and other abilities that are based on your level.

When Kaliban reaches 3rd level, even though he's multiclassed into wizard, he is still primarily a fighter, and he is going to advance as a 3rd-level fighter. He'll gain 12 more Hit Points (bringing his total to 44) and get the bravery class feature, along with a general feat and a skill increase. First, let's take a look at bravery.

Bravery. 3rd.
Having faced countless foes and the chaos of battle, you have learned how to stand strong in the face of fear and keep on fighting. Your proficiency rank for Will saves increases to expert. When you roll a success at a Will save against a fear effect, you get a critical success instead.  In addition, any time you gain the frightened condition, reduce its value by 1.

While Kaliban is trained in Will saving throws, during character creation he chose to boost Intelligence instead of Wisdom, so bravery is going to be a big help. At second level his Will saving throw was +4. Thanks to bravery it jumps up to a +7 while granting him some extra protection against fear effects.

The skill increase allows him to either become trained in a new skill or to become an expert in a skill he's already trained in. Kaliban has a pretty robust set of skills, especially for a fighter, so he is going to invest the skill increase in raising one of his skills to expert proficiency. Since he's been focusing many of his build resources into his magical training, this time he'll use his skill training to become an expert in Athletics.

What about that general feat? Well, it just so happens that Magical Crafting pops up at 2nd level, so maybe Kaliban can find a way to increase his power in the magical arts after all.

A female elf in studded dark red armor is shown in active battle in the woods, dark old trees looming in the background and thick vines up to her knees. She has long, flowing white hair and a dark green gem in the middle of her forehead. In her right hand she wields a dagger that looks deadly despite its ornate engraving on the blade, and in her left hand she is pointing a crooked short staff at her attacker and several glowing blue energy knives are bursting out of it from a circle of runes.

Illustration by Matteo Spirito

Only the Beginning

In the end, each level that you attain increases your ability to customize your character. We only completed two levels of Kaliban's advancement, and he has made many exciting and diverse choices, most of which were out of the ordinary. Not only does the fighter have an abundance of choice with just fighter class feats, but by taking dedication feats to multiclass or take on an archetype, the fighter increases the number and variety of choices available to him at each new level. Add to that further customization through skill advancement, general feats (skill and otherwise), and ancestry feats gained after 1st level, and at every level your adventurer becomes a unique legend sure to leave a mark on your campaign's story and the world of Pathfinder.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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I see Flourish has replaced Open as the thing that's supposed to be "once per round". The extra scaling on Power Attack looks nice, though I want to do the math to see what happens for it.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I like the changes to Brutal Shove from the playtest version! Thanks for the blog!


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Erm, wasn't it determined during the playtest that power attacking with a d12 weapon was just worse than attacking twice on average?


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Cool. Seeing some fighter feats is interesting.

Arachnofiend wrote:
Erm, wasn't it determined during the playtest that power attacking with a d12 weapon was just worse than attacking twice on average?

I'm guessing it's best use is overcoming some kind of damage reduction or not having a great chance to hit for some reason.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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Cyouni wrote:
I see Flourish has replaced Open as the thing that's supposed to be "once per round".

Both flourish and open can only be used once per round, though you could use one of each without an issue, as they have different restrictions.

Liberty's Edge

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So if I grok the meaning of power attack, since it is two attacks, if it's your first attack it's most likely at -5 to hit in exchange for an extra die? Extra die is good but in a system where -5 real drops your crit burst damage not sure it is a fair trade off


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
Erm, wasn't it determined during the playtest that power attacking with a d12 weapon was just worse than attacking twice on average?

If the striking enchant caps at 3 extra dice at the highest level, it narrows the gap on Power Attack versus 2 attacks, you’ll usually be rolling the same amount of dice, with a bigger Crit on Power Attack and more normal damage at lower accuracy on the second roll.


What this shield block in the fighter means? Everyone else lost the reaction? I hope not, it was one of the most praised thing in the playtest the shield reaction.


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Power Attack got upped to a 3rd die at later levels; nice.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Reckless wrote:
lordredraven wrote:
So if I grok the meaning of power attack, since it is two attacks, if it's your first attack it's most likely at -5 to hit in exchange for an extra die? Extra die is good but in a system where -5 real drops your crit burst damage not sure it is a fair trade off

I'm pretty sure it's only 1 strike, which is 2 actions and counts as 2 attacks for your multiattack penalty. Meaning that if it's your first attack, it's at full value, but your next one is at -10. If it's your second strike, it would be at -5.

this is also how I understood it to be.


What is a "press"?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
rainzax wrote:
What is a "press"?

I believe, from the playtest, that means that it can't be used on your first attack in a round, only the second or third attack.


And a "flourish"?


Vlorax wrote:
Reckless wrote:
lordredraven wrote:
So if I grok the meaning of power attack, since it is two attacks, if it's your first attack it's most likely at -5 to hit in exchange for an extra die? Extra die is good but in a system where -5 real drops your crit burst damage not sure it is a fair trade off

I'm pretty sure it's only 1 strike, which is 2 actions and counts as 2 attacks for your multiattack penalty. Meaning that if it's your first attack, it's at full value, but your next one is at -10. If it's your second strike, it would be at -5.

this is also how I understood it to be.

mmm... I didn't think of using it on the second attack. It could be a viable 'three' attack round without hitting that -10. An elven curved blade would be d8 damage, drop that -5 to a -4 and is forceful. I might have to try an elven fighter. ;)


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
rainzax wrote:
And a "flourish"?

That's new, but from what Mark says above, I gather that it means you can only use it once per round.


Thanks!


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

FTR, Mark confirmed on Discord that:

(1) shield proficiency is gone, everyone can use a shield by default;

(2) the shield block reaction is *not* available by default—access to the reaction is granted by a class feature (as we see the fighter gets at lvl 1) or by taking a general feat


Is that magic casting picture an actual spell in the game? If so which?
very neat visual


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tqomins wrote:

FTR, Mark confirmed on Discord that:

(1) shield proficiency is gone, everyone can use a shield by default;

(2) the shield block reaction is *not* available by default—access to the reaction is granted by a class feature (as we see the fighter gets at lvl 1) or by taking a general feat

So, to be clear, nobody is less capable of using a shield (for the benefits of helping your AC), but now the shield General Feat will instead give you the ability to perform the shield block?

Well, that sounds good to me. It essentially works the same for the purposes of how most people would be using a shield, but if you aren't able to block until you grab the feat at level 3 you can at least use a shield until then to help with your AC.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well I'm pretty sure Champion gets Shield Block as well (it was used at level 1 in Oblivion Oath). Maybe warpriest clerics get it for free, too? Not sure what other classes would get it.


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Vlorax wrote:
Reckless wrote:
lordredraven wrote:
So if I grok the meaning of power attack, since it is two attacks, if it's your first attack it's most likely at -5 to hit in exchange for an extra die? Extra die is good but in a system where -5 real drops your crit burst damage not sure it is a fair trade off

I'm pretty sure it's only 1 strike, which is 2 actions and counts as 2 attacks for your multiattack penalty. Meaning that if it's your first attack, it's at full value, but your next one is at -10. If it's your second strike, it would be at -5.

this is also how I understood it to be.

I see. Kind of like 1E the Vital Strike feat.


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rainzax wrote:
Vlorax wrote:
Reckless wrote:
lordredraven wrote:
So if I grok the meaning of power attack, since it is two attacks, if it's your first attack it's most likely at -5 to hit in exchange for an extra die? Extra die is good but in a system where -5 real drops your crit burst damage not sure it is a fair trade off

I'm pretty sure it's only 1 strike, which is 2 actions and counts as 2 attacks for your multiattack penalty. Meaning that if it's your first attack, it's at full value, but your next one is at -10. If it's your second strike, it would be at -5.

this is also how I understood it to be.
I see. Kind of like 1E the Vital Strike feat.

Very much, yes. That has been a vocal complaint about the naming of the feat as well; but it works virtually like an evolving Vital Strike.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Having the ability to cast shield (a 1 action cantrip) can be a real game changer for two handed fighters.


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Reckless wrote:
Having the ability to cast shield (a 1 action cantrip) can be a real game changer for two handed fighters.

So long as it doesn’t still have the 10min cooldown after using Shield Block, i quite agree.


Reckless wrote:
Having the ability to cast shield (a 1 action cantrip) can be a real game changer for two handed fighters.

Do we know what the new version does?


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tqomins wrote:

FTR, Mark confirmed on Discord that:

(1) shield proficiency is gone, everyone can use a shield by default;

(2) the shield block reaction is *not* available by default—access to the reaction is granted by a class feature (as we see the fighter gets at lvl 1) or by taking a general feat

Sorry ahead of time if this was spoiled before. Does a shield do anything without using a shield block? In the playtest "It grants its bonuses to AC and TAC only if you use an action to Raise a Shield."

Silver Crusade

I assume, as there's no DC listed, that the failure effect on Brutish Shove means that even if the strike misses they're flat-footed, yes? Maybe?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
graystone wrote:
tqomins wrote:

FTR, Mark confirmed on Discord that:

(1) shield proficiency is gone, everyone can use a shield by default;

(2) the shield block reaction is *not* available by default—access to the reaction is granted by a class feature (as we see the fighter gets at lvl 1) or by taking a general feat

Sorry ahead of time if this was spoiled before. Does a shield do anything without using a shield block? In the playtest "It grants its bonuses to AC and TAC only if you use an action to Raise a Shield."

"Raise a Shield" (1 Action, +2 AC) is different than "Shield Block" (Reaction, reduce damage of an attack that hits you)


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graystone wrote:
tqomins wrote:

FTR, Mark confirmed on Discord that:

(1) shield proficiency is gone, everyone can use a shield by default;

(2) the shield block reaction is *not* available by default—access to the reaction is granted by a class feature (as we see the fighter gets at lvl 1) or by taking a general feat

Sorry ahead of time if this was spoiled before. Does a shield do anything without using a shield block? In the playtest "It grants its bonuses to AC and TAC only if you use an action to Raise a Shield."

As far as I'm understanding, anyone can use the Raise a Shield action if they're holding a shield to get the AC boost. However, the Shield Block reaction is something different entirely, and is where we get into its hardness and HP and whatnot. Shield Block is now gained either through your class or through a General Feat.

Shadow Lodge

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i still don't quite understand how xp works in the new system...the playtest rules didn't explain it well to me and since doomsday dawn didn't award xp i never got to see any examples in action...hopefully the final rules will do a better job of making me understand...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
Erm, wasn't it determined during the playtest that power attacking with a d12 weapon was just worse than attacking twice on average?

I'm doing some quick math, and that doesn't seem to be the case. Lets say you only need a 6 to hit and you deal 1d12+4 damage. Unless my math is wrong, two attacks on average would be 16.775 damage, while a single power attack would be 17.0 damage on average.

If the enemy has 5 damage resistance, the average for 2 attacks goes way down to 10.275 damage, while the power attack average only goes down to 13.25 average damage. If the enemy had a weakness to your damage type (like zombies vs slashing), two attacks would start being more damage on average.

Let's say you need an 11 to hit against no damage reduction. Two attacks should be 8.935, with power attack being 9.35.

Other factors affect what your best course of action is. If you have lower than 18 STR, power attack becomes better, because you're adding relatively more damage with the attack. Conversely, if you have more than 18 STR, power attacking becomes less appealing of an option since you rely less on the added damage dice.

There are also weapon modifiers that skew the math. Agile weapons make the penalty for multiple attacks less serious, and backswing weapons muddle the math a bit by causing misses to give a bonus to hit (which will favor not power attacking)

Then of course, there are factors less difficult to mathematically quantify, such as if the enemy has a reaction that only triggers on a critical fail. Making multiple attacks, especially with one at a penalty, would put you at risk against that.

So, overall, it's hard to say, but I don't think it's typically as simple as it never being the correct option to power attack. Or my math is wrong, of course, which is always a possibility.


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Assuming a 60% chance of hitting with his first attack, I just dont see how power attack is better than 2 normal strikes with -5 on the second strike. Given that, I'm confused why Kaliban would like Power Attack so much. He isnt dealing more damage with the same action economy. He's dealing, on average, the same.

Has the crit system fundamentally changed so much to change the calculations making power attack a good choice? Or is it assumed lots of enemies will have resistance 5 or greater with little chance for Kaliban to overcome it?

Brutish Strike is a but nicer. Although I'll be interested to see how well "effect on a miss" plays out with the community. This was one of the most lambasted features of 4th ed martial characters and I'm surprised to see Paizo has brought it back with PF2e.

It's nice to see Bravery actually does something worthwhile in this edition.


Zwordsman wrote:

Is that magic casting picture an actual spell in the game? If so which?

very neat visual

Looks like the Weapon Storm spell to me. That would most likely make the staff a standard Staff of Evocation.


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Remember you can always retrain Power Attack once those Striking runes begin to overpower the feat. Though remember that magic weapons have been nerfed from the playtest, and PA buffed, so it might be worth keeping this time around.


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Actually, something to note now, is that with Power Attack being changed to ‘Florish’ from ‘Open’ means using Power Attack for the second strike is now not only possible, but really really good.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:

Assuming a 60% chance of hitting with his first attack, I just dont see how power attack is better than 2 normal strikes with -5 on the second strike. Given that, I'm confused why Kaliban would like Power Attack so much. He isnt dealing more damage with the same action economy. He's dealing, on average, the same.

Has the crit system fundamentally changed so much to change the calculations making power attack a good choice? Or is it assumed lots of enemies will have resistance 5 or greater with little chance for Kaliban to overcome it?

Brutish Strike is a but nicer. Although I'll be interested to see how well "effect on a miss" plays out with the community. This was one of the most lambasted features of 4th ed martial characters and I'm surprised to see Paizo has brought it back with PF2e.

It's nice to see Bravery actually does something worthwhile in this edition.

So one thing that can help shed light on the good niche for power attack: since the replaced 'open' with 'flourish', you can actually attack once first at a -0, then power attack at a -5, giving you a stronger attack and having a MUCH greater chance of hitting that two attacks at -5/-10.


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Is it me or Brutish shove is awesome? Yeah, it is Press but you get a full strike + 2 riders on it for no cost. Even on a Failure it causes flat-footed? Will be spamming this every turn!

Also, can the guy from this blog cast Shield while holding his 2h Maul? Are "free hands" not needed for somatic components again?


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John Lynch 106 wrote:

Assuming a 60% chance of hitting with his first attack, I just dont see how power attack is better than 2 normal strikes with -5 on the second strike. Given that, I'm confused why Kaliban would like Power Attack so much. He isnt dealing more damage with the same action economy. He's dealing, on average, the same.

Has the crit system fundamentally changed so much to change the calculations making power attack a good choice? Or is it assumed lots of enemies will have resistance 5 or greater with little chance for Kaliban to overcome it?

Brutish Strike is a but nicer. Although I'll be interested to see how well "effect on a miss" plays out with the community. This was one of the most lambasted features of 4th ed martial characters and I'm surprised to see Paizo has brought it back with PF2e.

It's nice to see Bravery actually does something worthwhile in this edition.

I just did some math for power attack and it looks like you are right at 60% chance to hit (hit on a 9) Most of the time striking twice is better. However if you have a lower chance to hit power attack is better, power attack is best if you only have a 25% chance to hit. So it's useful against 'boss' monsters and as a follow up strike (if you have a 60% chance to hit on Strike 1, PA is better than doing Strike 2 and Strike 3)

Math: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HWbZbKEKS0RE0rDcfntFyQM_9YCVOCgzVH3 HgnMdpR0/edit?usp=sharing

Things like weakness or bonus damage shift this in favor of two strikes. Resistance shifts this in favor of power attack.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:

Assuming a 60% chance of hitting with his first attack, I just dont see how power attack is better than 2 normal strikes with -5 on the second strike. Given that, I'm confused why Kaliban would like Power Attack so much. He isnt dealing more damage with the same action economy. He's dealing, on average, the same.

Assuming that you are correct and that Power Attack does do the same amount of damage as attacking twice in a normal circumstance; spamming that attack gets you a net benefit because it does more damage against damage reducing effects (like hardness). Power Attack may be the optimal choice against enemies that are blocking or made of hard stuff.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Actually, something to note now, is that with Power Attack being changed to ‘Florish’ from ‘Open’ means using Power Attack for the second strike is now not only possible, but really really good.

Honestly that’s how this Feat reads to me. It’s a bonus damage dice on your second attack at the cost of an action and then sometimes it offers niche choice.

Plus we haven’t considered there being a Fighter action down the line that’s movement related that could combine with a Flourish for greater effect. I suspect that’s not out of the realm of possibility, even if not on release.


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So, if I follow:

Open > Must be first attack this round
Press > Must not be first attack this round
Flourish > Usable once per round in any order

Is there more?


nohar wrote:
i still don't quite understand how xp works in the new system...the playtest rules didn't explain it well to me and since doomsday dawn didn't award xp i never got to see any examples in action...hopefully the final rules will do a better job of making me understand...

I'm a bit confused about it as well. I was hoping Stephen would go into more detail about that, but it got skipped for juicier parts that would be interesting to more players.

It seems weird to me that it only takes 1000xp per level instead of an increasing amount each level.


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To me it looks like power attack doesn't make your attack take a -5 penalty but it means your second attack is getting a -10 (-8 if agile). That makes it way better but I don't know if that's the correct interpretation. I hope someone from Paizo can chime in and tell us.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Actually, something to note now, is that with Power Attack being changed to ‘Florish’ from ‘Open’ means using Power Attack for the second strike is now not only possible, but really really good.

Honestly that’s how this Feat reads to me. It’s a bonus damage dice on your second attack at the cost of an action and then sometimes it offers niche choice.

Plus we haven’t considered there being a Fighter action down the line that’s movement related that could combine with a Flourish for greater effect. I suspect that’s not out of the realm of possibility, even if not on release.

I could see PA being useful on low AC enemies as well for an easy and juice crit; but like you say, being able to use PA for the second strike and it getting a 3rd die at higher levels makes it a really nice choice for 2-h weapon fighters as oppose to how it was in the PT.

@rainax - That’s most of them.


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Actually, something to note now, is that with Power Attack being changed to ‘Florish’ from ‘Open’ means using Power Attack for the second strike is now not only possible, but really really good.

Honestly that’s how this Feat reads to me. It’s a bonus damage dice on your second attack at the cost of an action and then sometimes it offers niche choice.

Plus we haven’t considered there being a Fighter action down the line that’s movement related that could combine with a Flourish for greater effect. I suspect that’s not out of the realm of possibility, even if not on release.

I could see PA being useful on low AC enemies as well for an easy and juice crit; but like you say, being able to use PA for the second strike and it getting a 3rd die at higher levels makes it a really nice choice for 2-h weapon fighters as oppose to how it was in the PT.

@rainax - That’s most of them.

It's useful against enemies with resistance as well, resistance 10 slashing per example would shave off 20 damage from 2 attacks but only 10 from a PA.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
AnCap Dawg wrote:
nohar wrote:
i still don't quite understand how xp works in the new system...the playtest rules didn't explain it well to me and since doomsday dawn didn't award xp i never got to see any examples in action...hopefully the final rules will do a better job of making me understand...

I'm a bit confused about it as well. I was hoping Stephen would go into more detail about that, but it got skipped for juicier parts that would be interesting to more players.

It seems weird to me that it only takes 1000xp per level instead of an increasing amount each level.

Assuming it works the same as the playtest, XP is now based not on the actual CR of the encounter but rather the encounters CR relative to APL. So for example a CR 5 encounter would give a level 3 party 400 XP (or whatever) while the same encounter would give a level 7 party 200 XP. this way, you get more XP for punching above your weight, but the amount needed to level up can stay at a nice neat 1000 XP/level.


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Aiden2018 wrote:
spamming that attack gets you a net benefit because it does more damage against damage reducing effects (like hardness). Power Attack may be the optimal choice against enemies that are blocking or made of hard stuff.

Only if the hardness is greater than your strength modifier and you cannot overcome it. Because you lose your strength mod to damage (once) by power attacking.

PFSocietyInitiate wrote:
To me it looks like power attack doesn't make your attack take a -5 penalty but it means your second attack is getting a -10 (-8 if agile). That makes it way better but I don't know if that's the correct interpretation. I hope someone from Paizo can chime in and tell us.

That is the (IMO) correct interpretation. It stops power attack from being a downright nerf. But it doesn't actually make it better than attacking twice if you open with power attack.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Actually, something to note now, is that with Power Attack being changed to ‘Florish’ from ‘Open’ means using Power Attack for the second strike is now not only possible, but really really good.

Good point. Still assuming the first attack has 60% chance of hitting, that reduces our second attack to 35% chance and our third attack to 10%. I'm reading a DPR increase of 1.025 which (assuming my calculations are correct) is on par with what 1st level power attack deals (1.175). For both editions I'm assuming that you have a 1d12 weapon with a Strength score of 18.

So there we go. At 1st level power attack is about as effective across both editions assuming similar stats.

I do like the fact that a 1st level fighter can boost the effectiveness of his third action without using a shield.

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