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Just a note on the shield thing; while I do think that Shields Up should apply to the shield cantrip, any class can use a shield, and I'd actually argue it's the most universal option.

It's not hard for caster to use a a shield. The only people is left out is 2h combatants and bow/2h gun users, but like, when you take up a greatsword or whatever, you're making an active choice to not use a shield in exchange for more damage. At least in my tables, people generally use shields unless there's something specific they are going for, even if they aren't packing shield block, since getting +2 ac is a nice way to use a filler action

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Old_Man_Robot wrote:
Alchemic_Genius wrote:

But I also find it really odd that for a class that breaks the norm in being a non caster and having a Legendary DC, but only has 4 instances where that DC is actually applied (critical hit specialization, stupifying charge, intimidating charge, and executioner's volley). Are there plans for more tactics that utilize this really awesome DC? I also would certainly enjoy tactics that target other saves; like ones for toppling foes against reflex to avoid being knocked down or a relentless onslaught thats a fort save against being enfeebled.

I'd love to see something like "Break Their Ranks" that could inflict fleeing on enemies for a round, but I think the structure of Tactics is too narrow to allow something like that without it either being broken or useless after its first instance - effectively reducing your already limited tactics.

Someone else in the thread suggested feats that work like meta-tactics, something which would allow you to apply effects to more general tactics.

That way, Tactics could stay fairly broad in scope / function, but allow people to select add-ons to tactics which enable them to give extra effects on the fly, if they have the feat.

You could have a feat which works something like:

"Once per round, When a squadmates makes a strike granted by a tactic, they can attempt a Trip Attack as a free action against the target using your Class DC"

"When a squadmates uses a reaction to stride, they do not provoke and gain a +1 status bonus to their AC"


Edit: Just had the idea of the Commander actually having a pseudo focus point mechanic called "Tactical Genuis".

Wherein, instead of having feats like the above, there is a series of modifers a commander can make to tactics, but these modifers cost points from their Tactical Genuis pool.

The pool could refresh per 10 minutes, and allow the Commander a certain degree of additional utility to their tactics.

Additional Tactical Genuis options would then...

I'm not sure if you've ever played Fire Emblem: Three Houses, but one of my favorite mechanics in the game was kinda like this; you could assign powerful strategems before each battle and they could only be used a couple times per fight, but had really big impact.

I think you kinda hit the nail on the head for what I was looking for: basically a few "showstopper" type abilities to go alongside your bread and butter tactics.

I know we have stuff like End It and Forced Surrender, but the former is a "win more" type ability, and I personally don't enjoy stuff like that, while the latter is level 18, so you probably won't be seeing it much.

So first of all, I *love* the framework of the class overall. It's exactly the style of martial I enjoy playing, and I really like that the commands provide support by letting your allies do extra stuff rather than just being "yet another class providing AoE status bonuses". I also like Int as a KAS and the auto scaling warfare lore, and having feats that give it extra utility. I also REALLY like the feel of a "spend one to two actions giving my allies a command and then doing an attack with my own weapon". I was also really impressed and happily surprised that I saw that they get legendary in their class DC; which means those crit spec effects and intimidating charges will actually have a shot at landing.

But I also find it really odd that for a class that breaks the norm in being a non caster and having a Legendary DC, but only has 4 instances where that DC is actually applied (critical hit specialization, stupifying charge, intimidating charge, and executioner's volley). Are there plans for more tactics that utilize this really awesome DC? I also would certainly enjoy tactics that target other saves; like ones for toppling foes against reflex to avoid being knocked down or a relentless onslaught thats a fort save against being enfeebled.

Lastly, is the choice to not have specialized mounts intentional, or was it omitted for the playtest because specialized mounts don't need playtesting and you'd rather people try out the new stuff?

If you read the description of the underwater shooting customization, it says it shoots the projectile using the spark from the rune.

Furthermore, the reload action in of itself does not have any prohibition on using it underwater.

If your DM is preventing you from reloading in the water while you have the mod; they are being a dingus

From my experience, Create a Diversion and Dread Striker are the best ancestry agnostic ways for a ranged character to make someone Off-Guard outside of using level 4 Invisibility, Legendary Sneak, or something similar.

That said, the main reason to build a thrown weapon user over, say, a bow user from a mechanical standpoint is being able to fight in melee and range. Otherwise, using a bow is going to do more damage with a generally better range.

The reason I mention this is that your problem becomes less of one if you embrace the idea that you're rogue's earliest levels will probably be opening with Create a Diversion -> chucking a knife, followed by melee stabs when enemies close in; you'll have a pretty good time. Once Dread Striker kicks in, Demoralize because a hell of nasty debuff, and you probably have Confabulator to start taking the edge off of repreated Create a Diversions.

Also you can have your teammates and items help you. Trip and Grapple are already good actions; your friendly neighborhood melee martial will probably be twice as eager to use it as they already are if you're going to get something out of it, too. Smokesticks are a cheap way to be able to hide anywhere starting at level 1. Mist from an ally caster kicks in at level 3. Cover lets you hide and most maps probably have something you can at least duck behind

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Quite honestly, there's really not much of a difference between killing them and taking them to the authorities if they are just going to execute them at the party's word; at that point you're just passing the buck to keep your hands clean

There's not really an easy answer; but personally, I think a "good" character would probably disarm them and send them off or take them somewhere they can be rehabilitated. Killing prisoners is never "good"; no matter if it's performed as lawful punishment or not

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yellowpete wrote:
That could be a nice feature for the Toxicologist, but also maybe a bit much because they printed Clown Monarch

Oh, if they did that change, I think basically all poisons would have to change to have fairly mild stage 1s since it'd be mostly garanteed as long as you poison is somewhere remotely close in the ballpark.

That said, I'd much prefer thatnover spending gold for a rider effect that mostly wont apply. Even when I played a toxicologist that preemptively poisoned every piece of ammo, I still didn't get many failed saved with the poisons and I eventually asked the gm to change to a bomber and I just used the blight bombs and actually felt like a better poison user than the poison user subclass

Nelzy wrote:

Hoping for a massive increase in "Chance to poison" for Toxicologist, Alchemists current attack Proficiency multiplied with monsters Saves and the poisons DC(even alchemist increased one) make the chance for poisons to do anything in a meaningful encounter abysmally smal.

Something need to change there, ither give Toxicologist Better proficiency with poisoned weapons or massively increase its DC on the poisons it self makes,

in short, increase the chance for an attack to land, or the chance for a failure on poison saves.

Personally, I wished poisons in general would work more like, say, the curse of death where a passing save would just afflict stage one for a single interval and automatically cure afterwards. No need to jack up DCs or anything, and it makes poison have a better shelf life.

Most poisons aren't overly frontloaded, so this would translate to a small bit of damage plus [condition] 1 for most cases

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Calliope5431 wrote:


I've heard a lot of horror stories about players who just refuse to use them (and I see it all the time from my PCs) so it's nice to hear about someone liking them.

It's sad because consumables often have unique and interesting effects.

Yeah, for a lot of people, the single use nature and non scaling DCs makes them either claim they are a waste of money or they are too scared to use them because "what if they need it later".

To me, the limited shelf life makes me go "There's no reason to hold onto it, because it will get outdated soon" and as such, I just use it at the first opportunity where it will be helpful.

Also, pf2 gives so many abilities to characters that as long as I have my item bonuses; I don't have to rely all that hard on gear to function, so being able to try out completely new things is really fun

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For the most part; as a player, I'll buy all sorts of weird items, but despite that, I really enjoy it when my DM will just stuff loot caches with oddball consumables. Because consumables in pf2 are kinda built to be most effective when used at their levels, I don't really stash them until "I really need them" because if I wait, they wont be good; so instead, I just use em the first time they would be helpful.

They might not completely alter the course of history, but like cracking a smokestick in the middle of a dero infested cave and just hucking bombs and AoEs out of it while the dero struggle with the miss chance makes for a battle where the party gets to feel clever for drastically reducing the challenge rating through the use of a level 1 item when we were still too weak to cast Mist

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The main issues is that they are really underfunded. It's just pateron and ads to work with as far as hiring people. If they are working as the official place to get information on the game mechanics they should be funded as such and not have to ask for donations

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Balkoth wrote:

People keep mentioning coercion but it literally says:

"The target gives you the information you seek or agrees to follow your directives so long as they aren't likely to harm the target in any way."

So that doesn't appear like you can force a suspect to confess.

Also, it doesn't say the target tells the truth. If you try to demand that person A admits that person B was at X location, then if you intimidate A they'll give you the information you seek...even if it's a lie. Because they're scared of you and will agree with your incorrect conclusion to protect themselves.

"Gives you the information you seek" is telling you the truth (to their knowledge) on a subject.

In game turns, if you pass the check, you get what you want; if you fail the check; thats when they'll keep their mouths shut or attempt a deception check (or maliciously comply and give you the bare minimum). Punishing a player for passing is against the spirit of the rules.

That said, the person complies to their ability, so like a grunt that really only does know only surface level stuff can't give you more than that no matter how good you roll.

The "as long as they aren't likely to harm the target" is really only based on player behavior. If they have a history of executing/torturing/etc people even after they get what they want, then yeah, they'll lie or whatever if that'll help, but otherwise they'll work with you. Even the most wicked parties I've been in let people go after intimidation specifically because letting people if they comply is a great way to get more people to comply in the future

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think my main issue with FA is that it creates a gap between "players who are using their free archetype to maximize power" and "players who are using their free archetype for one of those archetypes that wouldn't otherwise be worth taking, but are fun and thematic."

Like there's a big difference between the Magus going FA into psychic or the monk going Student of Perfection into Jalmeray Heavenseeker and the characters who are taking like celebrity or dandy.

I feel like in a FA game it's especially important to talk to players about their expectations and goals for the game so we're not ending up with players feeling like they "wasted" their free archetype by not minmaxing.

I find it weird that people treat dandy like it's a weak pick thats only there for memes or flavor.

The base dedication is two expert skills that cover most social situations; since at level 2, assuming you background and 2nd level skill feats go at society feats; society can practically replace most uses of diplomacy provided you're able to tap your social circle while deception covers any lying you have to do; the downtime activity is just gravy.

Gossip lore is an uber knowledge with dubious knowledge tied on. Really solid

Distracting Flattery is a solid when brining your more boorish allies to the social event; if you have an ally the runs Intimidate, you can use this feat to negate the drawback of Coerce; which is really cool. Otherwise you can safely pass on it, but with the right party composition, this feat is a really good support ability.

Fabricated Connections just doubles down on the "allowing you to replace other skills with your dandy skills" thing; letting you sub in for Make and Impression and Request 1/day is probably sufficient to meet your needs when you can't just use your connections from society feats. The Earn Income and Subsist are pretty much ribbon benefits, but like, most games I played in have enough downtime where Earn Income is helpful, so may as well make it off one of your best skills.

Party Crasher is like, the only base dandy feat that I would call situational, but if you're going in on the social aspects of your character (which, let's face it, if you're playing a dandy, you are), it's a garanteed way to get an audience with anyone of social importance, which, if you have the connections feat, means you then can get them as a contact; all at no roll. A week of forcing your way into social events giving you access to basically anyone at no roll is REALLY good if you're clever

As far as I know, you don't actually know if it works or not unless you roll Sense Motive and pass.

Dominate does let you know if it works because it sets up a mental link when it does. You would know right away because a passed save would not set the link. That said, there is a feat that lets you pretend that a domination spell passed when it in fact didn't.

I imagine that the foolish might assume anything (or almost anything) said under the zone to be truth, while the clever would use it to make it that much harder to lie.

I've never used it though, since RAW, succeeding a Coerce or Request gives you garanteed information; while zone of truth just foils lying, so you still have to actually persuade them. Since spells cant get bonuses at all, and skills can, the skill check is way more likely to work

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Finoan wrote:
Alchemic_Genius wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:

Yeah, I have somewhat similar experiences at my table; it turned me off of the "FA is the best way to play the game" pretty hard.

I had a player who got really angry when people had redundant abilities/skills with him; but he played a magus with Investigator as his free archetype, so like for him, melee, arcane casting, and most int and dex skills were "his niche".

I wouldn't blame that on Free Archetype.

It may be a good reason to not use Free Archetype with this particular player, but it isn't an inherent problem with Free Archetype or a good reason to promote not allowing it in general.

Even without that one specific problem player, I still tend to find the rest of the people in my group get overwhelmed by the options and usually end up not using them

I don't think FA is bad or anything, I just don't see it as something that's as mandatory to building cool characters and having fun as many people make it out to be

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Easl wrote:
Alchemic_Genius wrote:
I had a player who got really angry when people had redundant abilities/skills with him...
It's so weird. As you say, Aid is a thing. And in odd cases where multiple people can attempt a check and only one needs to make it, having two people with the same skill is basically like having True Strike on it. Have three people with it? Even better. Geez, as a player I would want every PC in my party to have every skill if possible. Why not? There's no downside. Alice on my left or Bob on my right succeeding at a check is just as good for the party as me succeeding at it.

You know it and I know it! The player in question was a hard time forum junkie and tends to regutgitate anything that looks official; so when he saw the term "niche protection", he took as jargon for a thing thats definitely well established and good and took it to heart.

As you said about the pseudo true strike thing though, for me personally, like yeah, it doesn't make a difference where I succeeded my lie to the the guard "we're on the list", my friend saying "we're on the list" with Diplomacy and a bribe, my sister saying "we're on the list" with implicit threat in her tone, or my wife pulling out a forged invitation and saying "We're part of Don Pelezzi's entourage, check that list again".

The-Magic-Sword wrote:

Yeah, I have somewhat similar experiences at my table; it turned me off of the "FA is the best way to play the game" pretty hard.

I had a player who got really angry when people had redundant abilities/skills with him; but he played a magus with Investigator as his free archetype, so like for him, melee, arcane casting, and most int and dex skills were "his niche". He butted heads a lot with the enigma bard; who would overlap with occultism rolls, the Gunslinger whonhad higher dps, and the fighter who was generally a better melee character because she didn't lock herself into a strategy of banking on doing spellstike -> recharge every single turn. Had I not run FA, he wouldn't have been able to just pick up almost every skill so his niche would have been more narrow and therefore would have spent less time "defending his niches" and more time actually shining in the ones he did take.

On the other hand, I played a game where 4 people all had soft overlap of social skills and it created AMAZING dynamics and friendships between the PCs because we were all really good about taking turns stepping back and rolling the aid check when another ally's skill was better. I had Deception, my sister had Intimidate, my friend had Diplomacy, and my wife had Society, but was packing all the feats like Streetwise and Underground Network

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Squark wrote:

Hmm... the real issue with diverse lore+assurance, in my mind, is the burden it creates on the GM when combined with dubious knowledge (Which of course is built into the Thaumaturge). Assurance can't hit level based DCs, but it doesn't crit fail them either, so if a Thaumaturge uses the combo a lot, the GM is put on the spot to generate a lot of convincing sounding lies.

Personally, I mostly use assurance (Esoteric Lore) for exploint weakness against mooks. Given the risk of critical failures is minimal for Thaumaturges, I feel going for the good chance of success and decent chance to crit is better.

Tbh, that's pretty easy. Since RK is focused now on a question (lowest save, weakness/resistance, combat abilities, etc), just pick one correct answer and one plausible answer within the same catagory; so like "it's lowest save is will or reflex", "either it has no weaknesses, or a weakness to fire", "it has either arcane or occult spellcasting"

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I feel some dieties might be so loose even the concept of rank might be seen as weird; for example, I can't really imagine Desna's faith having titles; or at least having them in any way that matters much, since her faith is largely centered on personal journeys.

Alternatively, I could see Asmodeus being so strict that all regions of his faith use the same title (all of which are in Infernal) no matter where the church is because in Hell, everyone has a place, and the order must be obeyed no matter what

My group played with the dying rules adding wounded and dying together since day 1 of the playtest for the phb and the only time I've had people die is crit failing an instant death spell once

If I were to personally have a say in how a hypothetical 3e would be made, my approach would be:

-Arcane magic would essentially because the "natural science" tradition, mainly focused on controlling natural forces and elements from the material side and the mental side leaning into things like divination to analyze things and augment perception and to manipulate/control/decieve how the mind interprets things. In this proposal, the arcane list's scope would become narrower, but more thematically cohesive and more in line with the other traditions.

-The wizard, as the "magical scientist" class would have curriculums much as the remaster works, but these curriculums would poach spells from other lists and add them the the wizard's spell list. Irl, scientists generally have to have a broad general education to cover the fundamentals, but also have a specialization in their studies. A wizard's curriculum would give them thematically appropriate spells off of other lists that ties into their studies; for example, a mentalism wizard might nab some spells that influence the mind from the divine and occult lists that dont appear on the arcane list, a battlemage would poach healing, aoe, and other "battle magic", a conjurer would be able to learn a wide variety of summoning spells, etc. This would allow the wizard to feel like an actual magical scientist ("I know the fundamental theory of magic so well, I can create things beyond the normal scope of the arcane tradition") while dodging the weirdness of why in a world where medical science is so advanced that first aid can take you from deaths door to looking fairly decent in like 10 min at low level can a magical scholar not leave how to mend wounds.

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Themetricsystem wrote:

One thing that sticks out to me still is if the "divine spark" is something that the Character who has it or others who know/witness/see said PC would KNOW about at all. I can't imagine that anything short of some kind of cosmic instruction manual that is projected into the PCs mind would actually do ANYTHING to explain their abilities let alone give them a clue as to the source or nature of their power let alone what OTHERS see.

This type of character is supposed to be BRAND NEW to the universe after all and it would make absolutely zero sense if the source and nature of the powers were fundamentally understood even on the most basic level by those who have it or anyone who isn't some insanely big-brained divine scholar who is currently in an active research mode about the topic.

I'm sort of hoping that this is explained at least a little bit and that it's made explicit that this knowledge is NOT made known to the PC or others who encounter them so that there can at least be some kind of intrigue about the situation rather than the rather dull "you've obviously a demigod, you know it, they know it, anyone who looks at you knows it because you're clearly just better than everyone else, jeez isn't it obvious sheesh" situation that is basically the only other alternative that would lead to an untold number of egotistical PCs and games that include that would necessarily revolve around that PC building their own cult of NPCs while hogging the limelight.

Do other people just... not get entourages of fans? In most games I've played in, getting a following of noncombat npcs was just a normal part of being a successful adventurer with plenty of time to establish a reputation; no player egotism needed (actually it was usually the egotists that ended up with less/no followers since they didnt like to RP being nice to their followers, so they just tended to leave after a while)

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I was a little sad to read the exemplar was losing domains; for my archer exemplar, they were literally the only feats that supported my playstyle; but that sadness was immediately removed when I saw mentions of an archetype. I find domain spells some of the coolest sets of focus spells, and I do enjoy making characters who are divinely empowered, but aren't necessarily a priest, so that'll fulfill a lot of concepts for me

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The gmg was the best book I've bought for helping run the game, so this remastered one has me hyped

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Deriven Firelion wrote:

It's really going to depend on what other level 14 feats are available. Feats compete against each other whether optimizing for damage or choosing a feat that suits from RP or thematic purpose.

When I read this level 14 feat, it seems attractive to me absent seeing anything else. It's something I can do over and over again for 1 action for extra damage at range. Do I wish it went off at the same time? Sure, but that would be too powerful, make every other bonus damage feat look terrible. So it goes off the next round making it more situational, but still powerful.

You have to think of it in base form: it's a 1 action feat usable as often as you feel like that adds extra damage to your evocation spells. That's pretty cool for a blaster wizard. I'd take that on an evoker and use it a bunch. Even if it lands 50% of the time, it's extra damage for 1 action and a feat that I can use so often it's bound to show its value.

It doesn't even require a focus point. It requires 1 action and an AoE spell. It seems like a very high value feat based on a low resource cost and high value return throughout an adventuring day.

The extra damage is right around a two action single target cantrip; shaving off an action in exchange for giving the target the option to move out of the way seems pretty fair to me; especially since unlike a focus spell that does similar damage, like elemental toss, it doesn't cost resources at all. I have a hard time imagining when forcing an enemy to either take damage or move (and possibly even procing a reactive strike) wouldn't be a fun way to use my filler action. Plus if metamagic mastery gets converted into something like spellshape specialist or w/e; it's straight up a nearly 50% circumstantial damage boost to most bread and butter blasting spells

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Giant robots vs kaiju? Sign me up!

I know it takes 30 min, but that's like 3 exploration turns of not doing things when it could be 1 turn.

It's not like I'm saying it's essential; but both the monk and the champion get the refocus feats so I don't see why the exemplar getting it is so objectionable

Blave wrote:
Grumpus wrote:
Did they ever clarify if your "next action" can be the first action of the following round, or if it has to be in the same round?

They did. It has to be the same round. Source is the How It's Played YouTube channel and one of their Ask a Designer videos.


Anyone else note that the new spell doesn't say the spell has to come from a spellslot? If you find a cantrip that fulfills all requirements, you could use it to lay down the detonation array. It's probably save to assume the 5ft burst has to fit within the spell's area (even though the feat could be clearer about that), so the only current cantrips that would work are haunting hymn and spout (when used on water).

Timber as well, I think!

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The heavy leaning into the academics of the class was already a big appeal to me, so the shift to curriculums was a huge flavor win for me.

One thing I do have to wonder though: if there going to be one that's focused on illusions? I'm currently playing a wizard that follows Sivanah, and while the mentalism curriculum fits the trickster bit, it's got a lot of "hurt people with hallucinations" spells which are direct anathema. My group is generally willing to allow homebrew in terms of substituting spells, but I'd like one that doesn't need such an extensive overhaul (I think like 5 spells fall under anathema). I'm also a little shocked that suggestion and charm didn't make it onto the list!

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At least for me; I've gotten a lot of mileage out of using domain spells to inject more specific flavor. Like the abomination and nightmare domains are nice for the eldritch angle. I think the flavor of the feats definately inspire ideas of heroes, but I do find many of them are also equally good, if not better for villains, too.

The big issue I've run into is trying to make a trickster; good or evil. The class has a massive lack of skill support

YuriP wrote:

Are you using the remaster focus rules that allows to stay refocusing until full? If not you should these classes projected to be played using the remaster rules.

Also the lack of a refocus speepup feat in both classes makes me think that maybe the designers moved it to general feat list or to a shared class feat to save book space.

I am; but my level 4 archer exemplar uses Survey Wildlife -> Recall Knowledge as a main out of combat exploration thing (I'm packing Improved Improvisation so I can always hit a specific lore), and use Scholarly Recollection for it. Since the blinding shot wasn't appealling, the 4th level feat I picked was Protector's Sacrifice, to let myself be a pseudo paladin, but it burns through focus points, so having a fast refocus would be nice

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Karmagator wrote:

That is pretty much my main fear as well. The problem is that right now that is exactly what happens anyway, just because there is only 1 good choice most of the time. So it's more the illusion of choice atm, I hope they fix that. If they don't, we might as well only have 2 ikons.

Tbh, while I know that people talk about worn ikons being weak, I feel the issue would be solved for most if they just doubled the range. Moving your allies pr enemies is a pretty potent tool that isn't even especially situational as to when it comes in handy, and the first save targeting of the forced movement targets the types of enemies you actually really want to relocate's weakest save.

Victor's wreath definately does have a situational transcend, and I wish that it had a more universally applicable benefit, and making the condition clearing thing a low level feat

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I'm like, 99% sure that it's only because refocusing feats dont need playtesting and thus didn't make it into the book, but please give the exemplar the "get all your points back on a refocus" feat in the final book!

When I was making my playtest exemplar; I found that the focus spells were actually really valuable! Protector's Sacrifice is really nice alongside Scar of the Survivor; and Scholarly Recollection plus Improved Improvisation offers up some Recall Knowledge ability around the level of an Enigma muse, sans the know it all/true hypercognition stuff. I can see myself wanting to run an exemplar that leans pretty heavy into their focus points, so recharge support would be great

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Pretty sure they already said there would be an unarmed option that they just didn't want distracting from the playtest due to unarmed vs weapon differences.

I remember reading this too. Gave me similar vibes to how they only don't have sling and spear throwing and such because they wanted to use fated shot as the benchmark for range, but such weapons are planned to have support

The Raven Black wrote:
Alchemic_Genius wrote:

I hope they get the option for a familiar, but I don't really think they need any special interaction with them. Witch already covers the "fancy familiar" niche; but an animist having a familiar also just "feels right", even if they aren't special compared to a wizard or sorc.

I just like having a cute lil buddy

Familiar Master is a thing for all the 21 classes (current playtest included) that like having one and do not get it as part of their class.

See, if archetypes didn't lock down your feats if you wanted a different archetype, I would absolutely agree with this.

But, like exemplar and Sentinel, it does lock your feats, and in both cases, for something that feels like is should be available "in house"

I ran into it when making my "tank archer" exemplar; I was planning on using the shield bow and the Palisade Bangles, but I found they unfortunately don't stack.

I was really disappointed since I like the idea of a range character who keeps their team safe

I honestly can't help but wonder if crash against me wouldn't be well served by just expanding the resistance to all types of physical damage. The immanence is honestly fine; many enemies have multiple damage types, but it's often like a big hit with jaws and weaker hit with claws, or something similar, so like, even if you aren't applying your resistance because the monster is avoiding your resistance, it's still using a weaker hit, which means you take less damage anyway. That said,
This doesn't work well when you transcend since the doubled resistance doesn't do any benefit than the base one, AND you spent an action on it, when you could have just, say, raised a shield

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Is there a reason parry wasn't included along with bucklers to get the +2 AC? It's very weird to me since parrying provides functionally the same benefits, but without having access to Shield Block, and the trait is weighted pretty heavily in weapon design, so I don't really see how it would be any more OP than just using a buckler

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QuidEst wrote:

Going Dex-melee is already kind of hard to justify, and having medium armor takes the class in the "Just use Str" direction. That's fine, and an improvement over the annoying two-level gap for non-humans, but it'd be nice to have Dex be supported even if they resolve the issue that way.

Throughout the whole lifespan of pathfinder, it's been pretty well shown that the best way to encourage dex melee is to just add dex to damage. If you don't want to do dex to damage; just let the class use str for melee. The already assumes str is the "hurt people in melee" stat in it's core design.

Choosing to punish a melee exemplar with weaker armor proficiency isn't going to encourage people to play a dex exemplar; it just makes Sentinel a mandatory level 2 feat.

Even all of that mentioned, exemplar is a dex or str KAS class; the intent is to encourage both agile characters along with strong Hercules style demigods, so the fact that str isn't supported is just plain weird

I hope they get the option for a familiar, but I don't really think they need any special interaction with them. Witch already covers the "fancy familiar" niche; but an animist having a familiar also just "feels right", even if they aren't special compared to a wizard or sorc.

I just like having a cute lil buddy

I feel the class would be fine for str build by just having medium armor baked in; the class has a lot of greek myth demigod flavor, and many of those warriors in myth did wear what would be medium armor.

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Having played an npc that only used two ikons (I basically took an npc statblock and removed two abilities and replaced them with the ikons; I couldn't find a block that three abilities) as a villain, I can safely say that while still powerful, it made for a very repetitive play loop. I think the third ikon adds a lot of value in terms of options and keeping things fresh; and I'm rather found of the paradigm where the ikons essential make a "support mode", "attack mode" and "defense mode" that you flip between.

My monster only had a body and weapon ikon, so he basically constantly cycled between offense and defense; or, towards the end of the battle, since the party put a lot of press on him, he kept using shift immanence so he could repeatedly use his body ikon to self heal and then do a single strike. It was fun, but if that was my gameplay for a dedicated PC, I would get bored without being able to mix things up, and the third ikon lets me do that

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I feel like the issue with cunning could largely be solved by allowing it to also work with create a diversion, since it actually would allow for more trickster-y stuff (like sneaking away to recover/slip out of danger), as well as allow ranger characters to get a way to shoot someone who's off-guard

James Case wrote:
Reload ranged weapons are a type of weapon ikon we have our eye on (when sketching out possible directions for this class, the spear and sling were the first two weapon ikons I jotted down in my notebook), it just wasn't given a bespoke option for the playtest, with fated shot and various feats being the test ground for ranged ikons. As always, the playtest is shorter than the space allocation for the final book, and we typically expand these major class path deciders after testing with a smaller sample.

Oh, this makes me very glad to hear! When I first saw the class, the first two things I imagined was a javalin/spear thrower with a shield that acted as a legendary commander, and sling using folk hero, so I'm very very happy!

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I know a few have mentioned the very little support for thrown ikons, but I've also noticed that theres also straight up nothing for weapons that need to reload. Setting aside pop culture icons (no pun intended) and Greco-Roman demigods; one of my first thoughts for what an exemplar might be in irl myth is David; but there really not any form of support to make reload weapons worth using

Is there any reason to exclude these weapons?

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I know that it's already been mentioned that for the purposes of a melee weapon with the thrown trait, it counts as a ranged weapon when making a ranged attack, so I could see argument that you could use, say, a starknife as a fated shot ikon, but it only works when throwing it; in a similar way you can use a bastard sword for feats that require a two handed weapon while your are two handing it.

That said, it looks like you're also reading flavor text as rules; the ability itself does not limit you to "ranged weapons that use ammunition"; the ability works just fine for "throw a dagger into the sky to make it rain tons of daggers". A lot of people make this mistake with the inorexible iron magus, where they saw the flavor text mention a few specific weapons as an example of what your armory might look like, but interpreted as "you can only use these weapons"

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So I don't spend much time balancing encounters; so if they pick fight with much weaker enemies, I normally make is a skill challenge, and if they fight a really powerful monster, I'll tell them that they "feel the monster's power is probably much beyond their normal abilities"; and if they decide to run away; I don't really make a big fuss about it unless the monster has a reason to chase them down or something, and in that case, I bust out the chase rules, and just give the monster an automatic regular success to pass obstacles (this is mostly to avoid the monster just critting past everything and gaining on them too fast). The chase rules are usually forgiving enough though that it's very likely fot the player to succeed

If players want specific levels to dial in incapacitation levels; I gove that to them automatically on the first successful RK on top of a monster fact

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Amaya/Polaris wrote:
(Alternatively, don't do that and use the extra refocus to get your spellstrikes back more frequently if you aren't fussed by Arcane Cascade. Pretty easy to do by getting Force Fang.)

I mean, I have a twisting tree magus build in the wings that's a psychic MC; but mostly uses imaginary weapon as a cantrip; saving the focus points for conflux spells or spell swiping witH IW when I have the shot lined up; so you can do both

Claxon wrote:

I would really like to see more archetypes around skills that had a similar benefit of progressing your proficiency.

At times, only being able to advance 3 skills feels very limiting. I would probably even settle for most archetypes only advancing the skill proficiency to Master and not Legendary (for the price of one class feat).

Personally, I would like every class to advance one key skill automatically just because like playing my FA Alchemist/Inventor, like, that auto scaling crafting really did open things up just enough that I felt a lot more rounded

Personally I liked the 4e system where everything had a save, since it made save targeting easier, but it does make for more defenses to factor.

Personally I don't hate the current setup; cha and int have very powerful skills attached to them; provided your game isn't just a hack and slash, and even though str only has one skill, it's a pretty good skill; and it's benefit to melee damage is pretty solid

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