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Not stating Edison as LE :p

For real though, I've usually found the more casual players and more RP focused players actually have mechanically more powerful characters than the mechanics junkies because, outside of some basic stuff; like keeping your key attributes high and focusing your skill profiencies and the like; there's not many ways you can finagle the math into brokenness. The mechanics focused players I've dealt with tend to want and hyperfocus one ability, and/or only build for whiteroom theorycraft stuff, and once they hit the reality of actual play being very cooperative, tend to stuggle since there's not really a reliable spam button in pf2e.

Meanwhile, to the more casual players; they tend to want to focus on teamwork anyways in a very "yay, I'm having fun with my friends!" kinda way, while the RP focused players, by nature, make their picks based on the world they are in. It's a big reason why I tend to laugh when people say pf 2e is crunchier/not good for RP as 5e; the game's mechanics naturally support such play a lot better, provided you aren't trying to run pf 2e like 1e

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I just let my players use any weapons that dont have a versatile trait that want to inflict a certain type of damage with a weapon that the weapon could reasonably do but can't do so, but at a -2 item penalty; like a soft improvised weapon type ruling. Most polearns aren't especially amazing staves, but the DO have a big long wooden haft, you can hit someone with the butt of your sword, etc

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Every other rune transferring item requires the target item be be a viable candidate to have the rune etched on it; so that's a pretty big reach to play the "it *technically* doesn't use this exact verbiage, so it works!" card

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Not to be a party pooper here, but bombs techically don't have the thrown trait, which means rules as intended might not have them them work with the bandolier. I hope they do, but, well yeah

25speedforseaweedleshy wrote:

true it is nothing new

basically how eldritch archer work for years now

if spellgun stay at cantrip damage level the only thing can upset the balance would be additional effect like knockback on hit

activation not cast spell prevent fighter use it with shadow signet but may also be count as disadvantage for caster to use it

still far better than any other weapon for caster

Maybe; idk if the knockback is any stronger than a runed up weapon; true this is a level 3 weapon vs the level 5 cunning rune, but an enigma bard very well may prefer a +1 striking cunning shortbow strike to a 2d6 + knockback since that free action recall knowledge is pretty good

That said, I don't hate that spellweapons (please dont leave it at just guns, although imo guns are super cool, but so are hypothetical spellswords and spellwhips and spellslings and...) are generally better for a caster than a mundane weapon; they ARE made to work with the caster's magic after all

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25speedforseaweedleshy wrote:
Alchemic_Genius wrote:

Yooooo that bandolier looks amazing! My prayers have been answered!

Also hype for the spellgun, I hope we see higher level versions of items like this

spell gun can not run on the striking math at all might be a problem

quicksilver mutagen would give fighter and gunslinger a plus 4 advantage over caster maybe a problem too

I mean, a Fighter or Gunslinger using quicksilver has a +4 over any spell attack on a caster, so I don't see that as an issue; at least not one that isn't already there (if you're on the team that believes spell attacks should have an item bonus)

It does give casters a pretty flavorful way to spend an action to deal damage though; and spell attacks are more favorable than a normal ranged weapon strike, so casters are still benefitting from the new toy

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Yooooo that bandolier looks amazing! My prayers have been answered!

Also hype for the spellgun, I hope we see higher level versions of items like this

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I don't think general feats should give you scaling proficiency. I do think there should be an archetype for something like "weapon master" that lets you peg an advanced weapon to your martial proficiency.

Like we have a few of those (the Aldori one, Drow Shootist, etc.) but it's probably not possible for a bespoke option for every interesting advanced weapon but a general one would suffice.

Mine need one feat for each proficiency tier. It's costly, but you are also not spending class feats, and from my experience, my players kinda don't know what they want to do with their gen feats except getting toughness, canny acumen, and occasionally ancestral paragon, so many times, the cost would be noted as being steep, but not percievably burdensome (the fools! Keen Follower is also a great general feat!)

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I should probably also mention that my NEXT character is a kitsune wizard inventor that moonlights as a courtesan as a means to get funding for their research. They have a fluffy fox tail that shoots fire!

Arachnofiend wrote:
A general feat that gives you martial scaling on a single advanced weapon (or simple scaling on a single martial weapon) would be balanced with the existing ancestry feats. "Should cost, but not cost a class feat" is definitely the power budget of an advanced weapon, the Fighter feat is way too big of a price to pay.

My homebrew has upgrades to the weapon and armor training feats that more or less do similar things to make it easy to pick up new weapons and armor types. They dont let you exceed the normal proficiencies of your class, but it makes it easier to expand your weapons without archetyping

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Unicore wrote:
Otherwise, I think my negative play experience boiled down to firearms being a bad weapon for them, since they end up action starved in most combats.

This can be pretty easily solved with Unexpected Sharpshooter or Gunslinger Archetype; both of which get Risky Reload; allowing you to load and shoot in one action. The misfire on a miss isnt a big deal since you know if you'll hit or not. For US, rolling bad on DaS just means doing accidental shot on someone else or using a versatile vial or something, and you get some nice defensive reactions. Gunslinger Dedication gives access to stuff like alchemical shot; which really hurts when you have a built in power that makes it easy to avoid the downside, action compressing reloads like the pistolero load that lets you demoralize and load, or running reload, and helpful reactions like fake out.

So you can make an investigator that's not actions starved that uses guns, and pretty decently at that; you just wont be gunslinger levels of good with them (which is okay; you have plenty of other cool stuff they cant do)

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I'm playing an aasimar alchemist and she has a spined tail with a tapered spade like tail. It secretes a compound that is used as an alchemical catalyst (she also has envenomed teeth that make a mild venom that she can turn into nastier poisons)

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
graystone wrote:
Guntermench wrote:
That Razing trait going to bring up the "But Strike says you can only attack creatures!" nonsense again.
Again? It never left...
And I hope people KEEP bringing it up until Paizo finally gives us some guidance on how to fill the giant gaping void in the rules.

The way to handle the Razing trait in practice is, IMO, "Is it something that was designed to resist damage? If yes, then it has stats for that sort of thing, but if not then it just breaks." The Dorn-Dergar is a giant metal weight at the end of a chain to generate torque, it should break things you're not even intending to break with it- if you use in it a public market everybody's stalls are going to get wrecked.

Like the Dorn-Dergar et. al are good at breaking down doors, walls, shields, that sort of thing. There's really no need for rules for "can you break the table/window/chair/priceless vase" other than "yes, yes you can."

In my games; I usually adjudicate things that are meant to take punishment by giving the hp and hardness, and moat other things as a skill or attack roll; so like, if you want to destroy a barricade, you gotta defeat it's HP, but an overturned table will break under a successful check; I normally use athletics for melee smashing, crafting for using explosives and demolishion, and attack rolls for using a ranged approach. I also use crafting for demolition as an exploration tactic; like strapping bombs onto the supports of a building to take it down

Guntermench wrote:
That Razing trait going to bring up the "But Strike says you can only attack creatures!" nonsense again.

Im glad for this because when I have monster break the landscape, my players often assume its just a hazard I planned in the encounter, when in reality, they can also break the landscape; it's just a thing that's available

25speedforseaweedleshy wrote:

that is the problem why are general feat more powerful than class feat

sentinel lock player out of other archetype before 2 more feat are taken

if general feat get the same scaling how can sentinel compete

general feat should be deleted

only general feat would cause a problem if deleted would be shield block

instead of 5 ancestry 5 general everyone just get 10 ancestry

it is frustrating how enemy always have higher stat than player

but give everyone legendary in spellcasting would not be a good idea

investigator inventor and certain type of rogue can have exact same dc and spell attack as caster

Sentinel will still be better for casters, since they get the proficiencies right away instead of waiting until level 7 to get medium armor, or 11 to get heavy.

Personally, my patch was introducing general feats that you can take to bump up the proficiencies of all trained armor to expert for armor expertise and master for armor mastery. The prereqes are "trained in a type of armor and expert in unarmored or any type of armor" and "expert in a type of armor and master in unarmored or any other type of armor" respectively, so it also works with MCD benefits like rogue with give you training in light armor.

I made a similar one for weapons. Neither frat chain has impacted balance, but doea make it easier for people to realize certain concepts, so win-win

shroudb wrote:

I'm a little sad that the sticky-lite magic item doesn't work with calculated/expanded splash.

(at least according to my reading)

the feats read as they trigger the moment you throw the bomb, IF the bomb has splash damage.

the item seems to use base splash value and removes the splash from the bombs.

So if a bomber decides to use those, he actually loses quite a bit of damage.

As an example, a greater alchemist fire would go from doing 3d8+8 splash +3 persistent to 3d8+6 persistent, losing the 5 bonus from intelligence.

So, if you are losing 5 damage to get 3 persistent damage, the only actual payoff seems to be if the persistent sticks for 3+ rounds. At 2 rounds it's a wash (which is a net loss since damage now>damage later)

Unless the intent was that calculated/expanded splash to work with it though, in which case a dev input would be greatly appreciated.

I read that item as being for non alchemists to get a friendly fire checker, since alchemists get Perpetual Infusions + sticky bomb. We do have the gunglinger granting advanced alchemy for bombs, and allows for alchemists to give their non alchemist friends some bombs they can lob without fear of splashing teammates. Personally, I would absolutely give my martial teammate some bomb with a sticky splash for weakness exploiting; especially like a ranger who can quick draw them

I mean, I've done away with "always x alignment" in my games long ago, and only the foolish assume an alignment based on species and ancestry alone, so for me, the only thing you really need to do to make a good aligned chromatic dragon is simply making the dragon good aligned; no need to jank or overthink it.

If you want to play into the blue dragon's typical nefarious scheming, just make her an actual upstanding noble or something who aims her plots at tearing down the corrupt and unjust members of political systems within her domain. We DO have a LG empyreal lord of spies and espionage, so it's not even a stretch that a character could be like that in pf 2e and still be good aligned by the setting's sense of morality.

Gobhaggo wrote:
Dubious Scholar wrote:

My sprite sniper is in love.

Elemental shot seems to make Alchemical Shot a lot less attractive, since it doesn't have that "misfire on miss" issue and can still inflict persistent to target a weakness. Edit: As well as some other special bullets that also convert attack damage to an element. Like, I can't see a justification for that misfire chance if you can just use items for it?

I never saw why guns needs misfires anyways though do note that they still need to be bought and activated for 1 action.

Not that Alch shot is any better with that in mind.

The bullets are actually better because alch shot is not compatabilible with Quickened, while activate, then shoot, lets you use the extra action to do the strike.

You can also technically stack it with alch shot, through a "activate ammo->alch shot" turn that requires you to start the turn loaded

Conversely; special ammo doesn't apply property runes so ymmv on that one

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Personally, I actually like GMing, so I wouldn't use an AI DM; if my group lacks a DM, I'll happily fill that role

However, until capitalism stops being a hellhole that monetizes literally every aspect of existing, I'll be against them for the same reason I'm against AI generated images and stories being sold for commercial gain

Up until level 18, psychic is the only class that can actually keep their focus pool topped off at 3, since their refocus lacks the needing to spend 2 focus points to regain 2 focus points verbiage, so even at level 12, they still have a pretty unique spot, and even at 18, you don't actually need Deepest Wellspring as long as you're cool spending 20 minutes to top off instead of 10 (although Deepest Wellspring also makes it easier to dip into archetypes)

aobst128 wrote:
I think you do need to leverage switch hitting to make a finesse build worthwhile over standard strength builds. I hope we get more finesse thrown weapons in treasure vault to make these build more straight forward. Starknives are nice but d4s are sad.

Not really, the main advantage of finesse is that it frees up stats. In combat alone, that might typically just be the difference of being able to throw vs some more damage, but there's also more nuance to it; nit having to invest in str leaves you more boosts for defense and skills stats.

The trade I most often seen is something like a magus or the like eschewing str for int and opening up more non combat applications to their abilities and stronger spells, or people dropping str on favor of cha so they can make use of social skills (deception and intimidate both of which having combat application as well). Probably also worth noting that frightened 1 is usually better than 4-7 damage if your party has good teamwork

I do feel finesse gets the most tactical benefit if they opt for switch hitting, since most finesse weapons are d4s or d6s anyways, but it's not the only way that you can get a benefit

I see a decent amount at my table, but they are usually switch hitters or casters who were built to be able to handle a little bit of front lines before falling back. The only pure melee one is a swashbuckler who uses the freed up stat space to also keep cha really high, as they are the party's main diplomat

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I kinda assumed its the same reason Ive renamed things: when people hear troglodyte or drow or what have you, they have some very specific assumptions about the nature of the creature. I personally dislike a lot of d&d lore due to the colonialist ideology that often shows up in it, so if I want to use something that's especially loaded with assumptions, it's easier to give them a new name and a physical description rather than pulling a "my drow are different"

breithauptclan wrote:

I haven't played around with Adopted Ancestry much because of a couple of problems with it.

Alchemic_Genius wrote:
My adoption houserules are pretty easy:

Probably my biggest problem with Adopted Ancestry. It only applies to the common ancestries.

The other problem with Adopted Ancestry itself is that most characters can't get it until level 3, so can't get their first ancestry feat from the adopted ancestry until level 5.

So because of those two problems, I really can't create a character that has their adopted ancestry be a character defining part of their backstory.

Being able to get a versatile heritage that gives half-anything would be fantastic. Sort of like adopted ancestry at level 1 without the restriction of not taking ancestry feats that require physiology.

I basically replace anything thats says "common [rarity]" with "anything you have access to", since at my table, I mostly use the uncommon tag as an excuse to make my player talk with me. I rarely refuse access to uncommon stuff, but I wouldn't mind a conversation about the nature of your tiefling's demonic heritage and whether or not/how much you want to explore it.

Also, almost all ancestries except rare ones are common in my game, and alls rare ones are uncommon (in practice, the default rarity gauges how many of them there are as npcs, but PCs are allowed to pick almost anything)

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My newest character is biologically the child to a kitsune/elf pairing, although they are raised by a polyamorous triad. As lesser nobles, the forward facing pair is the kitsune (almost always wearing an elvish guise) and the elf, with a oread elf concubine; but behind closed curtains, the three are all genuine lovers. The character's kitsune identity is generally kept hidden; less because of any social fallout, and more because, like their sire, the form is used as an alternate identity to perform deeds they'd rather not have associated with the main family name... or just to run away and not be a lord for a time.

My adoption houserules are pretty easy:
-if you want one culture that isnt rooted in your ancestry, you can lose access to cultural ancestry feats from your own list and gain access to ones from another list; so an elf raised by dwarves couldnt get elven weapon Familiarity, but could get dwarven weapons, etc.

Currently I use best judgement, but I'm also making a cultural trait to tag feats that aren't tied to physiology to make it more obvious what can be taken this way, and well as Adopted. Later, this will develop into another houserule that will allow people to "build a bear" themselves a custom set of cultural feats; since many of my players enjoy making up new cultures for their character that don't mesh with the ancestry based cultural monoliths set up for most non human ancestries

-I also have two universal heritages; one is called multicultural, which gives you the benefits of adopted; the seconded is mixed ancestry which is basically like a generic version of half elf and half orc where you pick another ancestry and you're half that, half your base ancestry. Eventually I'll make a breeding compatability chart, but atm I'm content to say "it's magic, I don't gotta explain s&+*". Even when I do make the chart, it'll be common for compatible matches, and uncommon for anything else, with access being "let's talk together and find out how you got these two ancestries because it's odd and I think could be a cool hook"

To OP's thing; as it's been suggested other times here; I would have made it a victory point game; and had multiple angles of approach to helping; sure, you COULD use Athletics to carry the cross, but you could also use stealth to avoid the attention of roaming beasts, survival to find/clear a safe path to walk, or hell deception to cover up mistakes, or a sneaky wizard using a silent spell to telekintically hoists it to ease the burden.

Either way, I probably would make the trek only take one VP from each party, and using the guidelines in the book, failure is set to about twice that. Carrying a heavy burden up a trecherous path is a common storytelling trope; so it makes sense as a trial, but it's not very exciting to play out. This is why in movies, they tend to be montaged or the like; because it's important for us to see the struggle, but we don't need like 20-30 minutes of it.

The ttrpg version of this is a simple skill challenge type deal and the DM takes what the players did and narrates the scene; you should probably only be investing maybe 5-10 minutes tops. This way, there's still a feel of accomplishment and the trial isn't just handwaived, plus it showcases the players abilities to the people they are trying to impress; who might compliment the strength and fortitude of the carriers, as well as the creativity, wisdom, and knowledge of the supporters.

Mind you, I probably would have eyerolled the heavyhanded christian overtones, but this type of thing does exist in other forms in media, and real like; like the carrying buckets of water up the temple, hoisting a heavy shrine through the lands in a festival ritual, etc

ottdmk wrote:

It's funny how easy it is to interpret things differently. Sinew-Shock and Focus Cathartic don't mention Counteract Level at all, so I've always gone with the basic Level/2 rules. Merciful Elixir and the Mutagens description specifically say Item Level so I've always looked at it as a case of specific over general and for those cases you use the full Item Level instead of Level/2. It's likely I've just been looking at it wrong.

One thing's for sure: I hope Treasure Vault has a bunch of Healing Elixirs and Mutagens because neither Chirurgeons nor Mutagenists have good candidates for their Perpetual Infusions items once they get their Perpetual Potency ones at L11.

Bombers, on the other hand, make out like a bandit with the new rules, because there are a number of Bombs that, while their damage will lag, they still have nice side effects. I'm planning on leaving Bottled Lightning as a Lesser Item, taking Alignment Ampoules as my second Perpetual Infusions item, and going Moderate Acid Flask and Alchemist's Fire for Perpetual Potency items.

(Yes, a Lesser Alignment Ampoule only does 1pt + Splash (Currently 6 pts) but as Alignment Ampoules do *nothing* without a Weakness to Alignment damage, that's not really a big deal. Alignment Ampoules are fantastic with Sticky Bomb, and Perpetual Infusions means infinite Sticky Bombs...)

I kinda disagree with this; bombers can put stuff like tanglefoot bags and such in lower slots, but with maxing out at expert, you're only getting one attack and want the damage

Meanwhile, mutagenist gets to keep their favorite two in the top slot while keeping niche options in the lower level ones that still have nice effrcts; like cognatives RK crift fail into a fail, drakeheart letting you give your melee a 1/combat spend one action get two strides as an opener to close distance, etc. Chirugeon does need more healing items though, but mutagenist is easily in a better spot than bomber

(My bomber uses tanglefoot and acid flask for their level 1s; Tanglefoots are still solid at level 1, and sticky bomb acid flask is actually pretty decent for destroying objects)

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Perpdepog wrote:
I wonder when they're going to get around to the wand of slaying. It's still Illusion rather than Necromancy :P

Death is an illusion! Clearly it's a phantasmal killer wearing an illusory disguise :p

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My houserule for about a year and a half was that all ancestries got 3 free boost, 1 flaw, and the flaw can be put into one of the boost stats to make it functionally 2 free no flaw.

Amazingly, the game hasn't been shattered or flooded with elves or what have you; it just resulted in players picking the ancestry that excited them and mixing it with the class that excited them. The sacred balance of set ancestry boosts turned out to be an illusion, too; because weirdly, all of the stats are good. While I've observed a degree of cha and str dumping, there's been a tendancy for people who do dump these stats to feel the consequences of their actions pretty often; uncommon items are usually barred behind social checks (since they need to find them and the best way to do that is gather information), many conflicts can be avoided/made easier with cha checks, with some tasks being downright impossible without the help of others (like holding a city, fighting a siege, etc). Str comes in play a lot because my maps frequently make use of verticality and/or water, and while the DCs aren't usually overly difficult, str dumping does add a level of difficulty, while good str enjoys the ability to use the terrain.

While these obstacles can all be overcome with proper feats, gear, spells, dumping str or cha for minmaxing purposes comes with enough of a cost that it's not the default dump stat choice

The-Magic-Sword wrote:

stuff about system mastery and alchemist play

Well, in my group, I basically mostly shine when nobody has a solution, and we needed one on the spot.

What I can say though, without some spicier items in the alchemist list, most things I do as an alchemist, I could easily do better as a caster. I buy a lot of consumables for silver bullet style solutions as it is, casters still have the ability to have an potion in hand and use gloves of storing, retrieval prisms, etc. It costs more money, but emergency elixirs are cheap, as are retrieval prisms

That said, if there were cooler and more powerful items, I'd probably sing a different tune. I would actually love spell strength items that need two actions to activate

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Pretty sure wotc bankrolls them at this point, and on the whole, new players who came in through crit role have very strong brand identity, so I could see them not wanting to do that, although I would enjoy it because it would take the wind out of the sails of the 5e content creator faction thats very anti pf 2

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Themetricsystem wrote:

Are people STILL falling into the mind-trap of thinking the Alchemist is a Martial Class? They are SUPPORT and excel in ways that no other class can in flexibility of being able to apply on-demand buffs, debuffs, conditions, remove conditions, hazardous/difficult terrain, and also target basically EVERY type of weakness in the system while also having the second to best bonus to Recall Knowledge of any Class in the system all on demand SEVERAL times a day for free. You need only be smart with your daily prep of Reagents and also save a handful of them for spontaneous use. Sure, they have a hard time actually doing this at level 1 and level 2 but how is that any different than any other class with x/day resources beyond the fact that most of them get Cantrips as well... which, truth be told, is something they can ALSO do VERY easily by way of Ancestry benefits offered to 2/3rds of all printed Ancestry options or 100% of them if you consider Heritages part of that option bucket.

Measuring the Alch based on their to-hit for the primary damage effect of bombs alone is an immense mistake on par with measuring a Ranger based on their Armor Class.

As my handle might imply, I'm an alchemist main; it's my favorite fantasy role, and I have extensive experience playing one in pf 2e; and was very, very active in the playtesting of the class when the system was released.

What I can say is that if you know what you're doing, you'll be really helpful to your team. Quick alchemy has saved my group over and over when an on the spot solution was needed. That said, the power of my items is drastically lower than on level spells, and usually less broad in terms of what I can actually do; theres nothing an alchemical item can do that a spell cant do, and the spell probably does it better. This is probably on purpose, because unlike a spell, anyone can use an alchemical item, and the alchemist gets more reagents than a mage gets spells.

While I disagree that alchemists are weak; they do definately need more tools to broaden out their kit; the class's main strength is being able to pull out a solution to an unexpected problem immediately and be able to apply it on the same turn; something no other class (sans investigator or rogue with versatile vials or Implausible Purchase); and their ability to do this is limited by the types of tools in their kit. While casters continually get new spells that open up more options, the alchemical items list has been fairly stagnent comparatively since the APG; which hopefully treasure vault will fix; this is especially bad with counteract items, as the alchemist has no way of "heightening" their level like a caster as well. Given that most new items for alchemist have actually been bombs, and just how much page space bombs take up; I'll forgive people for assuming they are vital to the class (and in a way, they are; the splash damage ensuring garanteed AoE damage is what makes the lower proficiency for attacks managable)

What I will say though, is that alchemists take an incredible about of system mastery to play well. The reason my team marvels at how well my character works is because I use a lot of tricks like gloves of storing, retrieval prisms, keeping an item in hand during explorarion mode, and giving items to allies to do the same in order to hack the action economy (another thing alchemists have over casters is with proper setup before fights, elixirs are a LOT more action efficient than spells). Also, while a caster only needs to be familiar with their spells they prepped that day or have in their repertoire, and alchemist has to think with their whole formula book; otherwise your giving up the biggest power benchmark your class is balanced around. You need to be really, really creative and knowledgeable to make good use of the class; and while I feel almost anyone with enough dedication can do it; it takes more work out of game than almost any other class.

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Wizard Level 1 wrote:

The changes to ability boosts, that anyone can take 2 free boosts, is unfortunately an unintended nerf to humans.

The ONLY thing humans had going for them was that they had two free boosts. They were the exemplars of flexibility. Of course, they have great feats, but every ancestory has a good set of feats depending on what you want to do.

Paizo may not have meant to, but by giving every ancestry the same flexibility as humans they devalued the one thing that set humans apart and that is a nerf.

It's not a big issue, ya'll, but it IS an issue.

Humans have easily the best suite of ancestry feats for general use, and using versatile heritage options lets you poach ones that are better for more specific things. Multitalented is so good, almost everyone at least considers taking adipted (human) just to pick it up.

I've been using this version of attributes for over a year; it didn't improve the power of any of the ancestries; it just made it so someone can play a dwarf sorcerer or a gnome barbarian or w/e and not be punished for a flavor choice

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The alchemist errata is basically my homebrew so nice to see that canonized! A little disappointed in the elixir of life 10 min immunity though; I would have dialed it back to a 1 min immunity to make it comparable to focus healing; but overall nbd.

The stat thing is also very close to my homebrew; with the main difference is that my homebrew also offers a 3 free boons, 1 free flaw array, so again, yay for me!

The plant/fungi thing is also something I had been using at my table, mostly because plants and fungi tend to be lumped together in this game

Handedness again works how I used it at my table after some common sense rulings, but again, it's nice to see it being official

Horse nerf is upsetting to me, since charging at your enemy and shooting them with an arrow or throw a weapon at them WOULD make it hit harder. I'm just nlt a fan of how little mounts are actually friendly towards mounted combat, and horse archers are a pretty iconic staple; maybe not as much as knights are here in the west, but it does cover stuff like mongolians, samurai, many native american cultures, etc. +1-4 damage isn't THAT big a deal, but like... it sucks if I'm looling to make a mongolian horse archer but statwise it's better to use a legchair because I can actually get benefit from it's support ability.

Flickmace nerf is actually really well executed imo. It's still very powerful and worth using, but is no longer the objectively best choice ever for a 1H build. I really like the flavor of giving it the sweep trait

Overall, good changes, though I dislike the horse one. I feel horse would have been just fine if it stipulated that you have to remain mounted to get the damage bonus; the bonus to ranged strikes is really a feature, not a bug imo

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Gortle wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
I'm with Deriven on that. Not that Cleric is a bad class, but the specialization on healing is just too big for the need once you go after the first few levels. I've seen Clerics twiddling their thumbs or using cantrips far beyond their due date too often to know that the class lacks some easily usable ability when the party is still at full hp. And even if you can cast spells from your spell slots, you don't have much of them so it's hard to start with a good spell.

Then your problem is the way you are building your Cleric. You don't have to invest any feats in healing features as a Cleric - if what you get base is enough don't do any more. The bonuses you can get for healing are options. Don't take them if you don't really want them.

Yes I've seen Clerics that have over invested in healing and have screwed up the basics by not having a resonable attack options. Take a bow, an actual attack cantrip, work on a Charisma skill that is useful in combat.

There is nothing wrong with Bless as a spell. It is almost always useful ( a Bard can diversify if you are clashing). That is a first level spell you shouldn't run out of. Wands and scrolls are cheap.

If you are finding yourself without options as a Cleric, then it is a failure of your design. You are stuck in a mindset that belongs in another edition.

My wife plays a sarenrae cleric and she's rarely finding herself defaulting to a cantrip; she takes advantage of all the free max heals and preps blasts and support spells instead of more heals and blows prople up when she doesn’t need to heal. She consistently contributing to the battle both with clutch healing and with pressing offensive advantage, so I cant really understand all these "cleric often sit twiddling their thmubs if there's no one to heal" people unless they are just not playing correctly.

Even in pf 1e, the cleric was at it's best supporting with spell and mixing it up in combat, although the 1e cleric did this with Righteous Might and attacking/AoO spammingbor summoning while the 2e cleric is not so martially inclined and instead relies more on spells. There was never a time in pf where it was best, or even good, to hyperfocus on healing. I've noticed that people really underestimate the divine list; the core spell list is pretty restrictive, but SoM and other released added a lot of nice additions that patched a lot of holes

Ascalaphus wrote:

I personally really dislike stacks of expensive bespoke ammo. It's the classic "am I spending this now or saving it for a more important fight" problem that results in large piles of unused consumables.

Yeah yeah rationally you should use them but I play this game for fun, not to be a perfectly rational economic agent.

I can see a middle ground though, maybe an item with runes on it, that allows you to prime a batch of ammo as a 10m in between combat ability.

But I think I prefer the glove or maybe tattoo that does unlimited just-in-time enchanting. Because magical bows, swords, and returning thrown weapons all are unlimited too. And a big fight could take a big stack of ammo.

I actually miss having stacks of magic ammo; my archers in 1e would often craft things like bane or other forms of specialized ammo, and I'd just pull out the ammo for the job. Pf 2e's ammo, unfortunately, tends to revolve around save based effects, which more or less forces you to use them the level you obtain them otherwise they fall off in potency, and because they shut off property runes, even the ones that lack a save get diminishing returns. The alchemical ammo in g&g is a step in the right direction; since none have save against getting the initial efrect, and we see scaling in things like the Exsangunating ammo. The corroding bullet is nice, but the fact that it shuts off runes makes it a slightly worse Alchemical Shot due to the activation; although there is the nice that since the activation is just "priming" the round to be fired, you can use it with other combat actions.

Still, I would like to see things like bomb arrows and the like that just add on typed damage and a status condition or something

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The-Magic-Sword wrote:
I have done the hexcrawl full level sandbox thing in pf2e now, it works well so long as you're willing to let your players sense the levels of other creatures and use the chase rules from the GMG as ad hoc retreats.

One thing I do know is that people are also waaaay too apt to think monsters will attack on sight of the PCs, but like, realistically, sharks dont eat every fish they see, humans dont kill every smaller creature than them, etc; so bumping into a a big nasty doesn't have to be a fight

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Malk_Content wrote:

Bumping into higher level areas being scary and challenging is a bonus to hexcrawls not a detriment in my opinion. Nothing says living open world to me better than having to turn tail and run.

I have also found PF2 is way way way bettet at just throwing an encounter together than 5e or pf1 3.5. Yeah you can tightly design some awesome PF2 encounters, but just grabbing a few appropriate enemies of the shelf yields a way more engaging encounter than doing the same in 5e. Just innately due to the combat system and better enemy design. Your group fumbles into an Owlbear nest in the forest? Slap a weak template onto two owlbears to represent juveniles and that is a darn fun encounter. I've nit even bothered with interesting terrain. Do the same thing in 5e? Ooh its time to trade hp again!

Y'know, this reminds me of another point that I feel gets overlooked, esp in a sandbox game: not every encounter needs to fill a narrative role as long as it was enjoyable. The game itself should be fun to experience regardless of the loot, exp, etc, so treating roadside encounters like this as irrelevant because they don't drain resources or advance the Plot (tm) is kinda missing the point.

Sandboxes tend to have emergent stories anyways, so killing two juvenile owlbears could turn into a story where momma owlbear goes on a rampage when she finds her kids dead and now the local area has a problem with owlbears gutting travelers on once peaceful roads.

Also, I think people forget retreating from a monster; any monster, can be done with the chase rules; they are explicitly set up to not factor move speed and ranged attacks so that you can run from archers and dragons and the like

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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
How do the rules of PF2e inhibit hexcrawling or sandbox style games? Or to flip it on its head - what rules do other systems have that enable hexcrawling?

- characters have scaling modifiers and will outgrow standard challenges. It creates a world that feels like it is either being scaled to you and your exploits or has leveling zone boundaries like a mmo.

- the system doesn't have many options to wear players down over time outside of spell slots. And even then because of wands and scrolls the endurance of PF2e characters is very high.

- combats work better when planned out and a power differential tends to have a greater impact on the game than in many other systems. In 5e for instance you can stumble across an adult green dragon at level 5, not be seen and have a tense experience... or even trade one or two blows and run away. In PF2e they would be slaughtered and fast.

- item progression is important, and beyond the fundamental runes.

- characters tend to be less broad than say a 5e character, so their ability to adapt to unforseen events when they are higher level is more restrictive.

- characters take longer to make and are harder to replace due to the complexity

- combats are more complex and slower, tied with a player directed experience and random encounters this can mean (and I would even say will usually mean) that less progress will be made and pacing will be less than ideal for a sandbox environment.

- very little mechanical focus is placed on travel and survival mechanics, or day to day minutea

Again, I love pf2e, I think the system does very well at what it aims to do. And even small hexploration mini sandboxes can work for portions of an adventure, but large sprawling adentures in open sandboxes feel like trying to fit a square peg into a circular hole.

An example of a good sandbox rpg hexcrawl, Forbidden Lands. Another older one, old school essentials (aka B/X)

Yeah, my group was looking at doing a hexcrawl with pf 2e and this was one of my concerns. I feel like after the eaeliest parts of the game, what it'll end up playing as is being a sandbox where the party goes out to points of interest, and the hexcrawling is mostly going to be a quick set dressing for travel.

I don't find it hard to improv a 2e encounter, and something like the green dragon example can be treated as something like a hazard/chase/etc, or make it a noncombat thing, like perhaps the dragon demands tribute or a favor from the party instead of just wanting to melt them in acid; but there are some limits to how high above your weight class that you can punch before you just get roflstomped.

To the point of not being broadly built though... that to me feels like a build failing; pf 2e doesn't really reward you for hyperfocusing your abilities, so there's no reason you cant have a character with a broad range of abilities. Most of the players in my table build themselves to be good at medium range of tasks, and then also be good at assisting others when their specities aren't the solution; or just generally being creative with their skills. The only one that really suffers with unexpected scenarios is the magus who has a hard time figuring out what to do if he can't spellstrike that turn, and even then, the character is theoretically versatile in and out of battle, it's just that the character is being ran bu someone whos mostly just interested in obliterating things with spellstrike

So abilities that don't allow movement into dangerous spots specifically call this out; and forced movement doesn't prohibited movement unless the target can occupy that space, so basically any forced movement that doesn't specify you can't put the target in danger, can, in fact, put the target in danger.

That said, as other commented, between Grab an Edge, falling having lower damage, and with how forgiving death is in 2e (compared to 1e), shoving a PC down a cliff is something you can totally do.

Since you're level 10, it's also worth noting that a literal bottomless pit is considered a level appropriate encounter, which is only a danger because falling down it without a means to climb/fly/etc or have an ally rescue you is a death sentence. Any fall with a bottom is technically survivable; even more survivable; that falling to 0 from persistent damage (which is basically gonna kill you unless you are healed) or a crit (which starts you at dying 2 vs dying 1). No amount of overkill increases the dying value, so if the pc stabilizes, nothing stops the rest of the team from retrieving them post combat. Heck, if they have even 1 hero point, survival from the fall is garanteed as long as nothing attacks them

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Squiggit wrote:

Passive implements are so much worse when it comes to action economy I'm honestly not even sure if it's intended.

Like RAW is obvious but it feels weird that they're just built to be so much clunkier when that whole subsystem was created specifically to make implement swapping not awful.

Not really relevant for a guide though I guess.

That's not totally true; second implement lets you swap an implement for free to use a sotred implement's action, and both base lantern and adept tome have free actions, allowing you to swap them in pretty pain free; the adept tomes free action RK might be locked to start of turn, but if you need the tome out to do RK again, theres no reason you can't just roll it before swapping to another implement. The lantern can be lit or extinguished once per turn as a free action, so if you ever need it's benefit, you just swap to it and light it as a free action.

It's really only the Regalia that has the issues with swapping, since it's only actions are Intensify Vulnerability, but the Thaumaturge has so many feats for letting hands that are carrying Implements to pull double duty, so it's not like you can't have the fancy scepter in one hand, weapon in the other

LordeAlvenaharr wrote:
Hello friends, just out of curiosity, in your view, what would a good Wand Thaumaturge build look like? Just playing around in Pathbuilder I made a human with Wand and using a scorpion whip, the idea is to stay away from the target, but in whip range, and use the wand, that is, after using all my Thaum tricks. But what other ideas would you have? Thanks!

The idea I've been playing with is kitsune wand/tome/regalia thaum, using regalia in one hand, and alternating between tome as the start of the round for the free RK, then swapping to the wand to fling magic. Overall, the general idea is to have an offensive turn of throwing a foxfire, then flinging magic, while supporting though the free RKs and the passive bonuses from regalia. Combining with marshal, I'll have a lot of passive boosts to myself and allies for simply existing, making me a really solid midline support, even though most of my actions are attacking.

Out of combat, my tome lets me prep relevant skills to the adventure, and regalia turns Follow the Expert into a super aid. Diverse Lore also makes me exceptionally good at researching, and marshal gives me a freebie boost to Diplomacy, so I'll be helpful in almost any exploration and downtime task as well.

I don't believe it'll be the strongest, but I will be versatile, and the wand provides pretty reliable damage

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Is the silliness a bad thing? Like others said, you can play any class as silly or serious as you like; though I suppose the thaum has an easier in for silliness than most classes. The mood of your game is something I hope was discussed at the start, and if it is a problem, it's not like you can't switch it up to someone more occulty, or go with a generic "I pull out an anathamic charm and attach it"

I feel the henhouse scrap though is really clever though; since no fox managed to defeat it while it was still assembled and all

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I personally love guns in fantasy! I homebrewed in my own guns into the game before gng; many of which ended up being super balanced and close to the ones they actually added.

As far as damage, I kinda assume that the game cares more about balance than realism, and that the fantasy pf 2e provides is akin to, say, Monster Hunter, where everyone can withstand an inhuman amount of beating before kicking the bucket. Basically any d20 is going to be poor for delivering the "one shot, one kill" fantasy many people have about firearms because of how hp works. I find it helps to think of the Fatal trait (and is somewhat weaker relative, Deadly) as representing that fantasy pretty well, with crits representing that time you get them in your sights just right and blow a hole through the targets head or gut, and to think of other attacks as things like grazing blows that wear the target down over time.

That said, I do have a homebrew gun that suit the cowboy gunslinger ideal; a revolver that basically uses the shortbow stats, but is truly one handed, but has a magazine (6 shots), 1d4 damage, concussive, kickback, and two handed (1d8). The 2 handing damage boost represents the greater accuracy gained from using two hands rather than getting more strength. Now that fatal aim is a thing, I will probably replace the deadly with fatal aim, and bump the damage to 1d6

My homebrew also used the pick crit spec, which also really helped sell the "crits are the big shots, normal hits are the grazes" idea

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As someone who often builds character 1 to 20, I've always found the idea of "coming online" to be a bit off. Imo, your character should be functional out of the gate, and the scope of what your character can do should expand as the game goes on. I never build a character that would have to wait in order to be cool; I build them so they are cool at all levels; even if it means dialing back my ideas back (ex my dragon disciple doesn't come online at level 8 or whatevs when I can breathe fire, my dragon initiate is online at level one as a competent offensive caster, and as they level, they grow into their powers)

Characters aren't really a static thing, amd I tend to find most people in actual play that Ive been with that build around one specific thing tend to be disengaged or not as excited when they are leveling upnto the point where they get all the powers they need to "come online", and once they do, they tend to struggle when that thing isn't how you solve the problem.

So for me, your idea should be "online" at character creation, you just need to be okay with the concept that your character grows over time

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Both the major times I used succubi in my 2e games were nonsexual :)

The first was the succubus was using their powers to be a spy and infiltrate the group and acted like a somewhat nieve aspiring occultist the players kinda took under their wing so she could steal a grimoire. She almost succeeded; the person holding the book got dominated into handing it to the succubi's boss, but a teammate grappled them and another dispelled the dominate; after than combat went really bad for the succubus after their cover was blown

The second was the succubus impersonating a player's lover and giving them a token of favor in the form of a Profane Gift. Later in the story, when the succubus helped lead an attack on the city, they stripped the boon to Drain the person and make them weaker. At the end of the invasion, the lover was furious someone had the gall to exploit her love and gave the player a device that allows the two to share thoughts (pretty similar to the crit pass on Heartbond; if the ritual was out at the time, I probably would have used it!) so that they dont have to fear their bond being exploited again.

The second story I would not have done though if I didn't have a lot of established trust with the player beforehand, but I do have that trust, and because I know that player likes emotional drama in the game, I was able to leverage it into a major progression in her romance arc

My wife is running a cleric in an undead/fiend heavy homebrew game, and she sometimes uses the defensive approach to heal blasting with a twist; instead of shooting 3 heals, she'll shoot a blast like inner radiance torrent followed by a heal.

Not as much damage, but it keeps her font well stocked and gives a lot of endurance throughout the day since it drains less spells. Typically, she utilizes this defensively, prefering to hang in the midline, and blasts enemies that ebter melee with her, rather than her closing in on the enemy. It's pretty good; and I suspect she'd be going down more often if she rushed ahead to make it her main thing.

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Depends on your angle.

If by "male succubus", then, well, pf2e succubi are explicitly genderfluid and can be whatever they want, so there's no reason for an incubus statline.

If by incubus, you mean the really violent and aggressive, take by force sex demon, then, well, you are probably sol. Paizo already took out the child kidnapping demon lord for hitting on a lot of hot button triggers, and an incubus treads the exact same territory. There's also not really a way you can "PG 13" an incubus like you can with a succubus (where you just kinda f2b or just to the "lure in then pounce" approach instead of the succubus bringing them to the bedroom first). Pf 2e has been stepping away from that kinda stuff as a motif in their storytelling, and it's a good thing. You really can't field an incubus and not make your table uncomfortable without some serious trust and consent

SuperBidi wrote:

For me, the basic devices for underwater adventures are:

- Scroll of Water Breathing (12GP): 1 hour water breathing for 5 creatures. Water Breathing is definitely the most important ability for underwater combat.
- See Touch Elixir (22GP): 10 minute swim speed (you mostly need a swim speed during combat, so the short duration is not that problematic).

Also, I don't see a player using a mobility device for optimization purposes. That's rude.
So I don't find the wheelchair problematic.

Same. Unless I'm doing underwater adventures constantly, I wouldn't even consider the chair when consumables are much cheaper and easier to store.

If I did do underwater adventures constantly, I probably would condiser buying the chair; since at that point, it really is a mobility device my character needs!

Probably also worth noting that gatekeeping wheelchair use is also problematic in of itself, so idk if it's even an issue

The flavor in the book implies the ritualistic wrapping interpretation, though if you dont like the pugalist aesthetic and are at a table thats cool with reskinning things, go ham.

My kitsune courtesan reskins them as elaborate arm/hand jewelry with magic jewels that amplify their foxfire

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