Welcome to the Advanced Player’s Guide Playtest!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Welcome to the Pathfinder Advanced Player’s Guide playtest! In the document below, you’ll find four new classes set to be introduced in the Advanced Player’s Guide in July 2020, but before we can add them to the game, we need your help to ensure they are the best they can be! To do that, we need you to create characters using these classes and give them a try. We’re hoping that each of these new characters offers you a style of play that’s enjoyable, effective, and distinct from the currently available classes, allowing you to tell even richer stories with diverse experiences in all modes of play.

Curious about what these classes are all about? Here is a brief synopsis of each to get your character ideas flowing.

  • The investigator is a savvy, street-smart character who takes cases to uncover clues and solve mysteries. This class ties to parts of the game that aren’t covered in depth in the Core Rulebook, so the playtest will see if their approach to solving mysteries is satisfying, while keeping the rules for the game as a whole flexible.
  • The oracle commands divine powers by drawing from universal concepts, casting powerful revelation spells that take a toll on their body and manifest as a double-edged curse. We want to make sure the curse effects are fun and engaging without disrupting the balance of the class compared to other characters. For the playtest, we’ve selected only a subset of mysteries, but there will be more in the final version.
  • The swashbuckler is the flamboyant daredevil of the battlefield, tumbling through foes and entering a heightened state to deliver devastating finishing blows. We’ll be testing a system that encourages them to gain panache, a state of bombastic flair that lets them use more powerful abilities. The playtest version emphasizes new rules specific to the class so that we can playtest those thoroughly, but the final version might pick up some of the fighter’s weapon feats suited to dueling.
  • The witch serves a mysterious patron entity, casting spells and hexes learned through a powerful familiar. This is the most flexible spellcasting class we’ve introduced, since it allows you to build your own path by selecting not only feats, but also lessons from your patron. We want to make sure those options work well both narratively and mechanically across all three of the spellcasting traditions the witch can gain access to.
A sketch of the Investigator, a bald man of African decent with a cane in one hand and perhaps a magnifying glass in the other, for the the Pathfinder Second Edition Advanced Players Guide Playtest. A sketch of the oracle, an anthropomorphic bird with a staff in one claw-like hand and magic surrounding the other, for the the Pathfinder Second Edition Advanced Players Guide Playtest. A sketch of the witch, a lithe woman of Asian decent with long hair, a wooden staff in one long finger-nailed hand and magic in the other, for the the Pathfinder Second Edition Advanced Players Guide Playtest.

Left to right: the Investigator, Oracle, Swashbuckler, and Witch.

How to Playtest

The playtest will run until December 2nd, 2019. We’re looking for your feedback, comments, and criticisms regarding these classes, but we’re focusing our attention on feedback from play. Make new characters, use them as PCs or adversaries, and run a few game sessions or encounters incorporating them!

What the Playtest Is, and What it Isn’t

When playtesting these classes, remember that almost anything can change based on the results of the playtest! These are early iterations of the new classes; some abilities might be a bit extreme or stretch some assumptions of the game, and the best way to find out if we’ve gone too far (or in the wrong direction) is for us to deliver these classes into your hands. If you’re new and used to open betas on a video game where there’s mostly only small refinements, this will be a different experience. If you’re a veteran of the Pathfinder Playtest for the new edition of the game, you should note that because the playtest window is relatively short this time, we don’t expect to release any changes to these classes during the playtest itself, but your thoughts and feedback will still be vital in shaping the final versions of the classes.

How Can You Help

We’d like you to play these classes in a variety of levels and situations. If you’re looking for a published adventure to get some standardized feedback, we recommend trying out Fall of Plaguestone, which offers a stand-alone experience at some of the most commonly played levels of the game with some particularly challenging series of combats that can help put the classes through their paces.

Once you’ve had a chance to try the classes, you can submit your feedback in the following ways. If you only have time for one form of feedback, we’d ask you to please take the survey. It makes it easier for us to hear and apply your feedback, since it’s more structured and puts your responses directly at our fingertips.

You can find the downloads right here. We’d like to thank you for participating in the Advanced Player’s Guide playtest, and we’re looking forward to seeing what you think and using your feedback to make these classes the best they can be!

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Tags: Advanced Player's Guide Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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Verdant Wheel

"It is hoped that one might bring wisdom and insight to the peoples of Golarion regarding the Duke of Thunder. It is likewise one's hope that the path to this wisdom does not end one, given one's tendencies to emulate one's patron and fly into combat. One need not be a cleric or devotee of sacred tenets to discover wisdom."


Hopeful Thunder wrote:


"It is hoped that one might bring wisdom and insight to the peoples of Golarion regarding the Duke of Thunder. It is likewise one's hope that the path to this wisdom does not end one, given one's tendencies to emulate one's patron and fly into combat. One need not be a cleric or devotee of sacred tenets to discover wisdom."

This is specifically why I think we will get divine witchez at some point, because it rolls in well with Shaman type characters. I just don't know if that'll be day 1 APG or a class archetype later on (maybe even in the APG -- I strongly suspect the APG will reintroduce 4 base classes, but that more than 4 classes are coming bak in some form.)


Immediate impressions of the Oracle, Investigator, and Swashbuckler (I'll let people who are bigger fans of the Witch than I comment on that one) are pretty positive.

I adore the new design on curses in particular; I always felt that the old curses were rarely more impactful than an inconvenience and the Oracle would be a better class without them but that is absolutely not the case with this revision of the concept. It honestly feels more like a refinement of the Medium mechanics.

One thing I'm not sure on with the Swashbuckler and Investigator though: are panache and open case things that you should expect/strive to be always on? I'm especially confused with the Investigator on this, since it seems like the design would be to use it against important, named enemies but the ability to open a case on an entire room seems to imply that you can use it more broadly (IE, setting up in a room to ambush a group of enemies and now you can use study suspect as a free action on everyone in the room).


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Arachnofiend wrote:


One thing I'm not sure on with the Swashbuckler and Investigator though: are panache and open case things that you should expect/strive to be always on? I'm especially confused with the Investigator on this, since it seems like the design would be to use it against important, named enemies but the ability to open a case on an entire room seems to imply that you can use it more broadly (IE, setting up in a room to ambush a group of enemies and now you can use study suspect as a free action on everyone in the room).

It seems like On the Case is supposed to be used multiple times per day since you can use it once every ten minutes. I would use it whenever a new scene opened up if possible or try to weasel my way to a very broad case. "I open a case on The Temple of Elemental Evil. A continent is big right, so in comparison the temple is a small location. I swear."


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WatersLethe wrote:

Quick witch impressions/comments:

Prehensile hair being permanent is A+, but it uses dex/str for attack. Not sure how much that matters.

Nails being specifically rune etchable is neat, but it's kind of weird. Really necessary if handwraps exist?

Focus points *do not* deliver on all-day hex gameplay from PF1, especially if refocus requires a specific activity.

There needs to be witch-specific cantrips, with or without per day target restrictions. Evil-eye should ideally be like this.

No divine list access is a bit strange. Primal is very fitting for Ice Witches.

Potion brewing looks pretty hype. I'd like to see how it plays out.

I think most of the initial focus spells could be cantrips. With the exception of Personal Blizzard and Shroud of Night most of the first focus spells are mostly balanced by the once per 24hours per target limitation then the actual focus cost. (Also, should personal blizzard not require a save?). Perhaps a class feat metamagic to let you cast reduced level hexes (-2?) would hit that same feel, but leave the hexes still more limited at low levels.

Dark Archive

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Huh, just realized that curse for flames mystery is basically 1e clouded vision but with different flavor. I guess they made that so its compatible with Alazhazra?

Either way, I absolutely adore tengu oracle and that iconics don't have to be core ancestries anymore!

Kinda weirded out by new lesson system for making up patrons. Like its not as interesting sounding to me as having straight up devil or Baba Yaga as your patron, but it does good job of giving more flavor to patron system while making it similar to 1e patrons.

I do like curses and oracle mysteries being tied for the similar "Most players just avoided curses that seemed too annoying" dealio.

No strong opinion on investigator and swashbuckler yet, I think I need to see them in action to understand them better

Liberty's Edge

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I have a quick question. Is the playtest legal for Pathfinder Society play? I am going to get this question from several people as a venture agent.


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William Ronald wrote:
I have a quick question. Is the playtest legal for Pathfinder Society play? I am going to get this question from several people as a venture agent.

I second this question.

Grand Lodge

Sweet can't wait to try these out.


Witches again saddled with a familiar that costs large amounts of gold if it is ever killed... yet has so many feats and features tied to giving it options.

A 1 week penalty of losing spells is enough imo, permanently taking away random spells at each level is stuoidly harsh. Especially at later levels "well you lost your level 10 spell because you were trying to use your familiar in play... have fun"

Especially now that we lack familiar satchels. But even if we get those back the issue remains that the familiar cannot get the most out of their abilities if you are a witch because of that steep penalty.

Also, cackle is just a sustained spell with auditory and sonic traits atm. Is it meant to be AoE sustained spell, or is it really just a noisy non concentration way to sustain spells with no other benefit?

Oracle life curse is also a bit harsh, but it is balanced out a bit by it being a nova healer I guess. I like it, but it is something I would warn against unless the player is experienced.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


A 1 week penalty of losing spells is enough imo, permanently taking away random spells at each level is stuoidly harsh.

I mean, the most comparable thing here is the Wizard and they lose all their spells with no compensation if their spellbook gets destroyed.

In that respect losing only one spell per level is a huge bonus.


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Squiggit wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


A 1 week penalty of losing spells is enough imo, permanently taking away random spells at each level is stuoidly harsh.
I mean, the most comparable thing here is the Wizard and they lose all their spells with no compensation if their spellbook gets destroyed.

The difference is the wizards spell book isn't walking around with hit points and given encouragement to go do things.

A familiar, especially a witch familiar, is encouraged to do so via mechanics.

So, as I was saying... you end up with a large number of features tied to something that if it dies is relatively crippling and reliant on the GM being nice.

Silver Crusade

Not as much as it was in P1, it can't even attack in P2 to my understanding.


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Rysky wrote:
Not as much as it was in P1, it can't even attack in P2 to my understanding.

Oh agreed, pf1e it was retire this character in most cases.

And PF2e has life link and higher hp guess, so it isn't that bad... still a bit overly punishing imo, I rarely saw anyone using a familiar as a witch in pf1e because of this and I can see it occuring again.

Especially since the cost of protecting the familiar is now spending traits that would otherwise be interesting.

Liberty's Edge

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Looks very interesting. I'm mostly very pleased with Investigator and the majority of the Swashbuckler stuff looks interesting, while Witch looks solid enough mechanically, though I was hoping for Hexes as juiced up cantrips ala some Bard options rather than yet another Focus Point thing.

I'm a bit less pleased with Oracle. Curses look overly punitive as opposed to simply having Focus Points, often in weird ways (AC penalties on the Battle Oracle feel deeply wrong), and not being able to pick a Curse separately from your Mystery makes the class vastly less fun and interesting to me.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
and not being able to pick a Curse separately from your Mystery makes the class vastly less fun and interesting to me.

I sort of get that, but at the same time PF1 curses tended to be really, really bland and didn't figure all that well into the rest of the class. It was just... a thing you dealt with.

I really like the risk/reward dynamic of these higher level curses giving you penalties but also potentially boons to go along with them.

The numbers aren't quite right on all of them but the idea is awesome.

Also really hoping there are more mysteries in the actual book, only three feels really limiting.


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Battle's minor curse is a non issue for me, it stops influencing you as long as you are attacking foes. It is like a bit like a reverse rage imo. And the moderate curse's effect of -1 is offset by the other benefits.

I love the negatives having direct trade offs at moderate and major. It means more choices to be made in combat. Especially as we can reduce it down to minor again and oracles aren't limited by refocus like other classes are when they get their major curses (before feats)

Also, call to arms is a fantastically thematic focus spell, love it.


I like how the Oracle's curse messes with focus points across the board. It can lead to some interesting stuff in multiclassing. I wonder if the Oracle archetype will provide the curse as well.


So . . . didn't want to give Gunslinger a shot yet?

Silver Crusade

Need guns for that.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Gunslingers are way more niche than any of the four classes playtested.


Gorbacz wrote:
Gunslingers are way more niche than any of the four classes playtested.

Yeah, I think they have chosen a really smart set of classes for this book (despite the complaining I have seen about it lacking magus, summoner or some other class)

I really look forward to seeing multi class interactions between some of the classes like Investigator and Swashbuckler.


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
I really look forward to seeing multi class interactions between some of the classes like Investigator and Swashbuckler.

I'm just trying to figure out if I can finagle a weird rebuild of Shensen as a bard multiclass-swashbuckler; the new flavor for how swashbucklers work fit her to a t.

Grand Lodge

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My feedback. :)

INVESTIGATOR

Balance & Feedback

  • Base chassis similar to Rogue
  • Very MAD class if the Investigator can't use Intelligence for Perception.
  • Empiricism and Forensic Medicine seem less powerful/flexible than Alchemical Sciences. I think this is because the first two can just be simulated via getting the feats instead.
  • Studied Strike seems meant to be a little more powerful than Sneak Attack (because the die increases quicker than Sneak Attack), with the disadvantage that in general it's only added to a single attack. As such, it feels like the first dice increase should be at 4th level, instead of 5th.
  • Alchemical Discoveries FEAT4 - Feels like it should be a level 2 feat. Extra formulas you can just buy, and the extra vials feel not worht a level 4 feat.

    Unclear Rules

  • Clue In - How does this work in combination with Aid Another? Aid Another I can do all the time, instead of once every 10 minutes.
  • Known Weakness FEAT1 - "If you immediately convey this information to your allies as part of the check", it should be made clear that this information means the 'found weakness', or the Recall Knowledge results in general.
  • Predictive Purchase FEAT4 - Do you still need to pay for the item or not?
  • Reason Rapidly FEAT12 - "You instantly use up to five Recall Knowledge actions.", probably clearer would be to say 'perform up to'.

    ORACLE

    Balance & Feedback

  • Base chassis similar to Sorcerer, but with +2 HP and -1 spell slot and -1 spell known per level.
  • I see no "advantage" that compensates for the lower amount of spells per day.. Except that you get one extra focus spell (2 instead of 1 for Sorcerer) at level one. Domain spells are usually pretty weak, and should be the 'thing' for Clerics, not Oracles in my optionion. Maybe add extra spells known in the repertoire (one more than Sorcerer) for divergence?
  • In PF1, Oracle was heralded as the most flexible options class, and now it feels a lot less flexible with its mystery relevations. They should have at least three Revelation options to choose from per type initial/advanced/greater. Advanced Revelation and Greater Revelation feats should be able to be taken multiple times.
  • All in all, I'd say add way more relevations to the class, and options to take more relevations. Where are the interesting ones? Flying! Mystical armors!
  • Battle mystery benefit: A warpriests gets expert weapon prov at level 7, while a Battle Oracle at level 11?
  • Domain Fluency FEAT12: If you keep domains at all, move this feat to level 10.
  • Curses are the new highlight of the class! Very interesting concepts. Might need some balancing between each other.

    Unclear Rules

  • Divine Element FEAT1 - "Add the following spells to your spell list, depending on your mystery.", why depending on your mystery? This feat can only be taken as flames mystery. It feels like this feat had multiple options in the past to add specific spells. (good idea)

    SWASHBUCKLER

    Balance & Feedback

  • I'm surprised by the slow weapon proviciency. I had expected this to be more similar to Fighter.
  • Confident Finish - Why half the precise strike damage on a failure? On a failure you don't add your regular damage at all anyhow. On a Critical Failure, a Finisher should add no damage at all.
  • Shield Block - An opinion, but I don't feel this feat is right on a Swashbuckler. They are more into deflecing blows than blocking blows.
  • Combination Finisher FEAT6 - Feels like this should be default, not a feat.
  • Twin Finisher FEAT8 - Why is there a two weapon requirement? Flurrying with a rapier is THE fantasy of this class.

    Unclear Rules

  • Panache - use a bullet list for the bonuses you gain when you have panache.
  • Swashbuckler Style Initiative - Add an example sentence for each style on what type of Exploration they can do to gain Intimidation/Deception/Athletics to Initiative.

    WITCH

    Balance & Feedback

  • Base chassis similar to Wizard
  • Maybe have Witch familiars do 8HP per level instead of 5HP? Having one killed is a major disadvantage for Witches.

    Unclear Rules

  • Temporary Potions FEAT10 - Is this feat missing the "without having to spend the normal monetary cost" line?


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    The idea behind the oracle is great. Taking an escalating penalty instead of using Focus points for class powers is very nice. Unfortunately, it doesn't really let the Oracle cast more of them, putting its number of spell casting opportunities at the lowest among the caster class.

    But those curses...

    Those Oracle curses are really really mean.

    The Major Curse of Outpouring Life is especially punishing. Not only do you take up to 12d8 damage when you cast a spell, you also heal everything in a 30 ft radius for up to 6d8. Unless you're fighting undead, this is sure to prolong any fight by quite a bit, which usually benefits the opposition since they have only one fight per day and don't need to preserve resources.

    Oh, and nobody but you can heal you after you blew yourself up. But if you use your best healing spells on yourself, you'll blow yourself up again! Yay?

    I would - at the very least - limit the outburst to spells cast from the two highest available levels. It starts at those (triggering from 5th and 6th level when you can cast up to 6th level) but then escalates to cover the whole upper half of your spells.

    The oracle has few spell slots and can't use its focus spells without taking a potentally huge penalty. Most of its feats presented so far are also copies or variants of existing feats. One feat can outright kill you if you critically fail on your weakest Save.

    So yeah... I think - while flavorful - the Oracle is very hard to sell and I'd much MUCH sooner play a divine sorcerer as of now.


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    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    One thing I didn't realize until just now: The Swashbuckler/Investigator/Oracle/Witch make a very balanced 4 person adventuring party, since they are analogs of the traditional fighter/rogue/cleric/wizard. And if the 4 playtest classes aren't made PFS legal during the playtest, I'd try to get someone to run Plaguestone for the playtest, to at least get some Campaign Mode credit to apply to a future ACG character I'd make when the book comes out at GenCon.


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    Blave wrote:

    The idea behind the oracle is great. Taking an escalating penalty instead of using Focus points for class powers is very nice. Unfortunately, it doesn't really let the Oracle cast more of them, putting its number of spell casting opportunities at the lowest among the caster class.

    But those curses...

    Those Oracle curses are really really mean.

    The Major Curse of Outpouring Life is especially punishing. Not only do you take up to 12d8 damage when you cast a spell, you also heal everything in a 30 ft radius for up to 6d8. Unless you're fighting undead, this is sure to prolong any fight by quite a bit, which usually benefits the opposition since they have only one fight per day and don't need to preserve resources.

    Oh, and nobody but you can heal you after you blew yourself up. But if you use your best healing spells on yourself, you'll blow yourself up again! Yay?

    I would - at the very least - limit the outburst to spells cast from the two highest available levels. It starts at those (triggering from 5th and 6th level when you can cast up to 6th level) but then escalates to cover the whole upper half of your spells.

    The oracle has few spell slots and can't use its focus spells without taking a potentally huge penalty. Most of its feats presented so far are also copies or variants of existing feats. One feat can outright kill you if you critically fail on your weakest Save.

    So yeah... I think - while flavorful - the Oracle is very hard to sell and I'd much MUCH sooner play a divine sorcerer as of now.

    the oracle seems like a class designed for people to read about in a novel and not one people would actually play or enjoy playing.


    Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

    Am I missing something, or is there a typo in the Oracle's Divine Spellcasting ability? The text says "Each day, you can cast up to three 1st-level spells." while the table indicates only 2. Which one is right?

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Zaister wrote:
    Am I missing something, or is there a typo in the Oracle's Divine Spellcasting ability? The text says "Each day, you can cast up to three 1st-level spells." while the table indicates only 2. Which one is right?

    Answered in the Oracle subforum: The table is correct.


    Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Zaister wrote:
    Am I missing something, or is there a typo in the Oracle's Divine Spellcasting ability? The text says "Each day, you can cast up to three 1st-level spells." while the table indicates only 2. Which one is right?

    Confirmed as a typo. The table is correct.

    EDIT: Ninja'd by a half-orc! :)


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    Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

    Thanks guys, as I suspected.


    Squiggit wrote:
    I sort of get that, but at the same time PF1 curses tended to be really, really bland and didn't figure all that well into the rest of the class. It was just... a thing you dealt with.

    PF1 Oracle was flexible though. It let players choose revelations and curses independently, they could come up with the flavor for the combination.

    UnArcaneElection wrote:
    So . . . didn't want to give Gunslinger a shot yet?

    Well since Panache and Grit were supposed to be the same resource pool in PF1, maybe this glimpse at the Swashbuckler gives us an idea of how Grit might work. Grit might be an "elevated" state of mind for Gunslingers.("It's High Noon!")

    Gorbacz wrote:
    Gunslingers are way more niche than any of the four classes playtested.

    Kind of, but it's really more guns themselves are niche.

    Blave wrote:

    The idea behind the oracle is great. Taking an escalating penalty instead of using Focus points for class powers is very nice. Unfortunately, it doesn't really let the Oracle cast more of them, putting its number of spell casting opportunities at the lowest among the caster class.

    But those curses...

    Those Oracle curses are really really mean.

    The Major Curse of Outpouring Life is especially punishing. Not only do you take up to 12d8 damage when you cast a spell, you also heal everything in a 30 ft radius for up to 6d8. Unless you're fighting undead, this is sure to prolong any fight by quite a bit, which usually benefits the opposition since they have only one fight per day and don't need to preserve resources.

    Oh, and nobody but you can heal you after you blew yourself up. But if you use your best healing spells on yourself, you'll blow yourself up again! Yay?

    I would - at the very least - limit the outburst to spells cast from the two highest available levels. It starts at those (triggering from 5th and 6th level when you can cast up to 6th level) but then escalates to cover the whole upper half of your spells.

    The oracle has few spell slots and can't use its focus spells without taking a potentally huge penalty. Most of its feats presented so far are also copies or variants of existing feats. One feat can outright kill you if you critically fail on your weakest Save.

    So yeah... I think - while flavorful - the Oracle is very hard to sell and I'd much MUCH sooner play a divine sorcerer as of now.

    Yeah, those curses are HARSH. I wonder if the PF concept of an Oracle would be better sold as a "Damned" or "Cursebound" class. Maybe you've been cursed by a higher power as punishment, but you figure out ways to use the curse to some slight advantage. I read some of those curses and thought "Damn, are the gods this mean to someone they like?"


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    Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
    Zero the Nothing wrote:
    Kind of, but it's really more guns themselves are niche.

    Doesn't matter, does it? After all, ya can't sling guns if there are no guns.

    Zero the Nothing wrote:
    I read some of those curses and thought "Damn, are the gods this mean to someone they like?"

    What makes you think all the gods who might be involved will like a particular Oracle? :-)


    I like what I am seeing and love the kitsuney like familar. The witch is one of my favorite classes but I also like the new oracle.


    From reading through them, I'm liking all the classes except for Investigator. They all have very flavorful features that differentiate them from other similar classes, but the Investigator just feels like a Rogue with maybe the Ranger and Alchemist Dedications and a couple extra Class Feats at each level.


    The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


    Also, cackle is just a sustained spell with auditory and sonic traits atm. Is it meant to be AoE sustained spell, or is it really just a noisy non concentration way to sustain spells with no other benefit?

    It sustains all of your sustain spells which meet the requirements with one action, I believe. Edit: Actually not sure why I thought that, rereading it.


    BellyBeard wrote:
    The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


    Also, cackle is just a sustained spell with auditory and sonic traits atm. Is it meant to be AoE sustained spell, or is it really just a noisy non concentration way to sustain spells with no other benefit?
    It sustains all of your sustain spells which meet the requirements with one action, I believe.

    Nope. It’s confirmed that the only benefit is in the changed traits.


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    QuidEst wrote:
    BellyBeard wrote:
    The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


    Also, cackle is just a sustained spell with auditory and sonic traits atm. Is it meant to be AoE sustained spell, or is it really just a noisy non concentration way to sustain spells with no other benefit?
    It sustains all of your sustain spells which meet the requirements with one action, I believe.
    Nope. It’s confirmed that the only benefit is in the changed traits.

    Seems exceedingly pointless and boring that way. :/

    Here I thought they were making witches the premier spell buffers/debuffers. I don't even think it would be that powerful, since you can't sustain between combats.

    Lantern Lodge

    Are the playtest classes legal for Pathfinder Society Play?


    Hmm wrote:
    First World Bard wrote:
    Hmm wrote:
    Interesting. So curses are only tied to specific mysteries? I loved being able to mix and match my curses in PF1. It made for greater variety!

    Paradoxically, I suspect this change will lead to more variety in curses at the table. In my experience, players would often pick the easiest curse to work around, or the curse that would have the least impact on their character. By tying a curse to a mystery, Paizo is forcing players to take the good with the bad at character creation, as well as letting the flavor of the curse tie into the associated mystery.

    Additionally, and this is just my observation, by moving away from design elements like "lame" and "clouded vision" as curses, the game can steer clear of those aspects of ableism. I don't have an opinion on that, but perhaps others do.

    Really? I picked the weirdest ones. Making Lyric the Singing Paladin deaf was central to her character. I chose different curses every time, trying to find the ones with the MOST impact. Now these curses are cool, but I don't get to mix and match to create something new.

    I'm also trying to figure out what to do for my goblin character... I so wanted a LORE or Ancestor Oracle for this. Flame is too stereotypic for a goblin, and battle seems to combat-oriented. Sigh. I may have to go with Life, but it doesn't really fit either.

    Hmm

    Yea I will always love Gerogan the Time oracle. He had the wrecker cruse and just role-played it that everything he touches, or touched him ages quickly

    Grand Lodge Contributor

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    I have mixed feelings about Oracle curses and mysteries being fused. The flavor of a power both inhibiting and empowering someone at the same time is very cool and really emphasizes the shift towards that power. On the other hand, I really liked the mix and match aspect of the old system. I had a burn cursed Oracle in 1e that was a Lore Oracle because he burned down an ancient library, and while I can fake that with bard dedication, I can't tie my mystery and curse together in a way of my choice anymore. I'd much rather have a choice in mystery, even if those are limited by curse like how domains are limited by deity (Clouded vision might be Flame for smoke and Waves for mist blocking vision, while Wasting might be Flame for being burned or Battle for scars and wounds). In a related note, I hope domains DON'T stay in the Oracle's kit. Replace those with curse or benefit options for more dynamic choice related to the class's themes. As long as curses are balanced better than 1e, that shouldn't be a problem.

    Moving on to Witch, at first I was disappointed to see it was not the prepared Occult class. After realizing the bigger emphasis on patrons, I actually like the sorcerer-esque varied traditions. I like the idea of fey patrons giving primal spells and genies giving arcane. I wish there was a stronger mechanical tie to the patrons' nature; it can still be a mysterious patron (though I don't know the reasoning behind that particular part of flavor) and still be clearly from a fiend, elder thing, or whatever else. I agree with the sentiment that there should be some hex focus-cantrips like bards' compositions, even just one per basic lesson. Also PLEASE tell me there will be divine options in the final version. A demon pact or devil contract is too perfect for this.


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    Personally my only thing so far is that I was hoping for a weapon familiar, that would act along the lines of a black blade for a witch path but the rest seems to be alright.


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    QuidEst wrote:
    BellyBeard wrote:
    The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


    Also, cackle is just a sustained spell with auditory and sonic traits atm. Is it meant to be AoE sustained spell, or is it really just a noisy non concentration way to sustain spells with no other benefit?
    It sustains all of your sustain spells which meet the requirements with one action, I believe.
    Nope. It’s confirmed that the only benefit is in the changed traits.

    Which is such a tiny boon, and one that comes with a pretty big downside.

    Personally I don't think we will see many witches cackling if it stays as is. No real point, just use sustain spell and not have all the issues :)

    Scarab Sages

    Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

    Also, cackle is just a sustained spell with auditory and sonic traits atm. Is it meant to be AoE sustained spell, or is it really just a noisy non concentration way to sustain spells with no other benefit?

    Cackle does not have the the "Concentrate" trait. It is the same effect with different traits. So you can be a Raging Witch and keep cakling!


    FaerieLore wrote:
    I think a simple solution would be to have all investigators use Int for Perception instead of Wis. This reduces the pressure to increase Wis, thus freeing up more options for ability score investment and making Int actually feel like their key stat.

    I have the same problem, and came to suggest the same solution. In combat, if they only use physical abilities and Wis, Int as a Key Ability suggesting to a person trying the class for the first time that an 18 Int is a good option is a problem.

    All the classes with mental abilities are either spellcasters, and get direct benefits from the ability, or the Alchemist. Which has some issues with 18 Int itself. The investigator is even worse for this, as the only use for Int in combat (usually at least half of situations probably more) is Recall Knowledge checks if you didn't take Alchemical Sciences.

    Make Perception based on Int, they have the likely highest Perception in most parties, and use it all the time. It's likely to be better than a spell success rate by a decent amount, but you get nothing on a fail, and even trying the check costs an action in many situations. It'd be very strong, but I think that's okay. Worst case scenario you could slow studied target to sneak attack progression as it becomes more reliable.


    If I am reading this correctly, the witch patron lessons change depending on the lessons that are learned. So it looks like you can have various lessons and thus various spell sources?


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    Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
    If I am reading this correctly, the witch patron lessons change depending on the lessons that are learned. So it looks like you can have various lessons and thus various spell sources?

    Only the initial Lesson determines the spell list. Subsequent Lessons gives spells and hexes (focus spells) I believe.


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    I know this is pretty early to ask, but is the Paizo staff considering doing a one shot with these four playtest classes on Twitch at some point (similar to how they played through parts of the 2E playtest)?

    While it's unlikely I'll get the chance test them with my group personally, I would enjoy seeing them in action before the playtest is over.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    The benefit of Cackle is that it lacks the Concentrate trait, so it won't trigger reactions like Sustain a Spell does and it can be used even mid-Rage (or while Fascinated, if that ever comes up). It's not a major benefit as-is, but it gets you around some annoyances.

    Dark Archive

    Concentrate doesn't trigger reactions, anyway.

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