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I am surprised with the absolute ease monsters hit players, especially at the lower levels. This has really caused a drag in my low level campaign as players are frustrated at not being able to play the characters they want. This has especially been pronounced with my barbarian and great weapon fighter. My barbarian player has complained about being a glass cannon and he has even stopped raging as he is too afraid of being hit and the rage benefits at low level seem quite tame. You get 3-4 temp hit points which are gone in first hit, a -1 to AC and a +2 to damage. These benefits seem awfully weak compared to 1PF 1E barbarians. Both players complained how a shield seems a necessity and not an option for a front line character. (I kind of like shields being needed but that's just me :D )

The goblin commando is a real pet peeve. I get that they are Paizo's mascot but come on. A +9 to hit for a level 1 monster seems absurd. That is as strong as an 18 strength fighter at level 1. I don't see goblins on par with the best martials a PC can have. That is utter bunk in my book. All of the monsters seem to be on the fighter attack table which is just dumb IMHO. They should be trained at best and their stats with notable exceptions such as ogres should not be on par with most player characters. My players just don't feel heroic. They feel like its a slog. Its as if Paizo staff calculated that a monster's attack roll or save dc is calculated against the best possible option a player presents in every circumstance to give the common result of a 10 or better for success. My concern is when a power targets a weak point for a character such as dragon's breath hitting character without great reflex scores, giants throwing rocks at clothies, etc. It just seems way overpowered

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Ssalarn wrote:

It's also not accurate that even the low level uses of spells like charm are "useless". A 1st level charm spell can still make mooks your friend and prevent them from attacking you for an hour. That can be a pretty reasonable timeframe, and using a 1st level spell slot to recruit e.g. a level 18 monster at 20th level (just as an example of a low Will save threat that's still relevant and could easily appear in Moderate or Severe encounters even at max level) is still a solid use of a spell slot.

It's easy to forget how much better low level spell slots are in PF2, simply because their DC scales by character level and proficiency, rather than spell level. Combine this with the fact that most spells are designed so that the four degrees of success mean that spellcasters usually do something relevant on three out of four success conditions and the only thing incapacitate always does is lock out the critical failure option, and there's more potential in incapacitate spells than you migh immediately realize. They won't be useful for bosses, specifically, but they can still come up even in boss fight encounters, if at least one of the mooks has the right low save for the spells you've got prepared. Charm always has potential against any enemy who has a reasonable chance of critically failing their roll against the save DC, even if that "only" means they fail, and on something like the crimson worm above, it's pretty easy to get to a 50% chance of the worm critically failing and then suffering the failure condition, which isn't terribly better than the critical failure condition for the worm.

Then there's the other options like preparing higher level versions of incapacitate spells and using your low level slots for buffing and utility spells, which was close to the only thing they were actually useful for in PF1 since their DCs were always 1-8 points lower than your highest level spells), using those slots as staff fodder, and...

I don't feel that it is relevant because I do not see low level monsters acting like effective minions compared to D&D 5E where stats are bounded by accuracy. Pathfinder's encounter guide lists a maximum of level -4 as a reasonable measure of monster capability to threaten a PC and that is minimal at best. With that being the case I do not see a first level charm spell as being relevant after the first few levels. It seems like a trap pick or a useless perk when it is preassigned for bloodline powers

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Mewzard wrote:

As was noted, Incapacitation helps Players more than it helps the GM's monsters.

Incapacitation tags mean several devastating spells from lots of lower-end monsters won't end you.

Just imagine several lower level casters dropped a 4th level Sleep on you. It doesn't matter how much stronger you are if your party screws up the rolls and you're being brained to death while unconscious for one minute.

The alternative is your Monk can't put the higher level boss in a Sleeper Hold and knock them out for one minute, the best the Monk can manage with that is Clumsy 1.

Incapacitation spells and abilities are for equal level threats and below.

That's life. Low level enemies should have a small chance against higher level foes. If it is supposed to be a realistic world then low level magical threats should be dangerous in the same way low level non-magical threats are. If low level mobs can harm you by dousing you with buckets of low level alchemist acid then low level incapacitate spells should harm you as well. Imagine how dumb Star Wars would have been if Obi-Wan failed to use suggestion on the stormtrooper officer because he was a "level 5 stormtrooper" and suggestion is a level 2 spell. It just does not seem logical at all

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Themetricsystem wrote:

Being unable to move, dropping everything you're holding, flat-foot, prone, and practically helpless isn't an I-Win-Button? You're trying to advocate for the ability to do this for 2-4 whole-as-rounds against such creatures as Karzoug the Claimer. That enough time for the primary Fighter ALONE to kill pretty much anything even +3 to its level by themselves.

You're kidding right, have you even PLAYED this game dude... or are you just on the prowl for the next Bag of Holding/Portable hole exploit to ruin months of preparation by the GM?

What a joke.

Yes, I highly doubt that a one round paralyze spell is the one shot you are claiming it is. If that were the case it would be extremely overpowered for a third level spell.

QuidEst wrote:
Arrow17 wrote:
I disagree Hammerjack. See my below post for monster saves at high level in rebuttal to Dead Man Walking. I don't feel a third level slot to paralyze a creature for one round needs to be a 9th level spell. Its absurd to argue otherwise.

Okay, let's take a look at that.

My hypothetical 17th level party under your rules is three enchanter wizards and a fighter.

My Wizards prep Paralyze in every slot from 3rd level through 8th level, and they take Reach Spell just to not worry about range. 9th level is a pair of Disintegrates just to be mean, and the empty low-level slots are True Strike to make the Disintegrates mean.

So, they have sixteen castings of single-target Paralyze, and they have eight castings that hit every enemy in the room.

The party encounters a Marilith. That Marilith expects to take six turns before it finally makes all three saves. And, it's got a 60% chance of crit failing during that time. During that time, the Wizards have at most touched third and fourth level spells, although if they rotate off on their order, they can probably keep it down to just third-level spells.

That seems absurd to me.

So the Marilith battle starts at 60 feet? I find that really hard to believe. Even with that being the case she can easily make saving throws with 50/50 odds and if she fails she loses one round of combat. She can dimension door right on top of the wizards or move farther away. I doubt that a wizard's first move if a marilith teleports right next to them is hope that their spell paralyzes the demon. If that spell fails they are toast. Its far more likely that they are going to try and escape and reposition.

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Themetricsystem wrote:

/le sigh... another one of these. If your preferred playstyle is that you want to be the kind of one or two trick pony that just invalidated encounter balance and adventure design... then the PF2 Core RAW isn't for you, perhaps the entire system isn't a fit for you. Every time I see another thread like this it just further reinforces my shame for having to occupy the same hobby as dirty munchkin optimizers who only care about upping their K/D ratio or DPR.

Yes, the base Core assumption is that if you're fighting only one or two creatures in a combat that are supposed to actually be of some moderate or higher difficultly that you cannot just nonstop spam I-Win-Button Spells. That's what Incapacitate is added onto, I-Win-Buttons. Trying to say that paralyzing the LITERAL BOSS of an adventure that took your group months to build up toward over 4-10 game sessions resulting in a total anti-climax is a fair use of ANY resource that at PC should have is... just absurd to me.

Forgive my assumptions and all but the mechanic works GREAT at the table unless you want to play the Save or Die Spellcaster, in which case you will be restricted to only reliably doing this versus creatures your level or lower.

Forgive me but a one round paralyze is not an 'I win' button. Especially if it only lasts for two levels and constantly requires me to upcast. You have not responded to my saving throw DC and how easy it is for high level opponents to make them. Just insulting me is not productive. Its the opposite actually

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QuidEst wrote:
Arrow17 wrote:

I would have to review the Bestiary as I have not had a thorough check through it and all magic items that can effect saves. However, just looking at some level 20 monsters I don't think the chances of them failing saves is very high. At least not at a critical manner where alot of the really nasty effects occur.

For example, save DC is 38 (17th level, master proficiency and +6 stat modifier)

Monsters in range
Balor CR20 - Wil save 35
Marilith CR17 - Wil save 28
Shemhazin CR15 - Will save 28
Pit Fiend CR 20 - Will save 36
Adult Red Dragon CR 14 - Will save 27
Ancient Green Drago CR 17 - Will save 32
Astra Daemon CR 16 - Wil save 27

The will save is easily within the range of a 17th level caster and the effect if they fail the save is minimal. Loss of action economy for 1 round. Unless any of these creatures roll a natural one a crit failure for the saving throw is impossible. So, no I do not feel a 9th level spell slot is a fair trade off for paralyzing any of these creatures for a single round. These monsters saving throws to me show that the incapacitate trait is COMPLETELY unneeded

Casting Fireball on a single creature is also inefficient. Paralyze targets up to ten creatures off a ninth level slot.

Plus, consider something like Charm. A 9th level slot to charm the two Marilith guards (45% chance each with no debuffs) for the day, with the option to maintain the charm as long as you keep the slot expended, seems good to me. That's a 20% chance to end the encounter entirely and a 50% chance to get one of them but not the other.

I don't understand your premise. Charm only affects one opponent and I have to be in 30 feet (60 if I use metamagic) to have a coin toss chance that one of the two marilith's fail her saves. No thanks. At best it lasts for an hour. It only makes her friendly, not helpful (unless she rolls a natural 1). Even if she likes me she is not going to let me and my party pass by.

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HammerJack wrote:

What do you mean "spells that cannot be heightened"? There's no such thing.

There are definitely spells with no special extra effect from being heightened, but that's not quite the same thing.

As for houseruling Incapacitation, you can obviously make any change you want at your table. You will end up with some odd results, as some low level incapacitate spells end up being extraordinarily strong for their cost, if you just remove this trait. You'll likely won't to replace it with something . No one is going to come to your home and force you to try with the normal rule first, to get a fair idea if how it ends up working in practice, but the people telling you that it's a good idea are giving good advice.

I disagree Hammerjack. See my below post for monster saves at high level in rebuttal to Dead Man Walking. I don't feel a third level slot to paralyze a creature for one round needs to be a 9th level spell. Its absurd to argue otherwise.

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KrispyXIV wrote:
Arrow17 wrote:

Sorry but I don't buy the point of view that you just cast it in a higher level slot. It invalidates low level slots unless you just use them for spells that cannot be heightened.

You should not have to constantly heighten a spell after two levels of use for it to remain viable. That is the point of getting higher level spells. To give you versatility and MORE options not LESS

You absolutely gain versatility as you level. You just change what goes into lower slots to things that remain effective, and you put things with incapacitation into your best slots because spells that instantly win encounters should be precious and limited.

Consider that this system means we replaced Charm Person, Charm Monster, Charm Person, Mass, and Charm Monster, Mass with one spell that replaces Charm Monster, available to characters at level 1.

You went from having absolutely less utility from a first level spell, to having access to a similar effect to a 4th level spell available from level 1. And the main restriction is that you have to heighten it.

For spontaneous casters its HUGE nerf as I can only heighten spells by using signature spell. This only allows one spell per spell level attained. So if I take Fey bloodline for example I lose out on 3 bloodline spells if I do not take signature spell at 1rst, 2nd & 16th levels for these spells. In addition I have to cast each spell at its highest level to effect equal level opponents. It seems like a HUGE tax for a few spells that opponents will likely make their saving throw

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Enemies only get upgraded saves vs. Incapacitate spells when their level is more than twice the spell's level, so they need to be level 7, not 6, to ignore Paralyze.

Also, and very importantly, you can always memorize spells in higher spell slots. So, if you have 10th level spells, you can memorize a 10th level Charm and it will work on level 20 creatures just fine.

But yes, preparing Incapacitate spells in low level slots is pretty useless much of the don't do that. There are lots and lots of spells that lack the trait for you to prepare in low level slots, after all.

As for whether it's a good feature...Incapacitate spells tend to win fights outright, and in PF2 Save DCs are determined by the caster rather than the spell level. So if Incapacitate didn't exist, Paralyze would be a fight-ender a fair amount of the time even when you were 15th level and fighting an 18th level major villain. Which leaves very little room for non-casters to achieve anything and isn't actually super fun for many people, as those people learned in PF1.

I would also strongly advise not messing with how Incapacitation works before trying it in play. A lot of the way the game works is pretty intertwined and messing with something as wide ranging as that will really warp how the game functions, and not in a fun way.

I would have to review the Bestiary as I have not had a thorough check through it and all magic items that can effect saves. However, just looking at some level 20 monsters I don't think the chances of them failing saves is very high. At least not at a critical manner where alot of the really nasty effects occur.

For example, save DC is 38 (17th level, master proficiency and +6 stat modifier)

Monsters in range
Balor CR20 - Wil save 35
Marilith CR17 - Wil save 28
Shemhazin CR15 - Will save 28
Pit Fiend CR 20 - Will save 36
Adult Red Dragon CR 14 - Will save 27
Ancient Green Drago CR 17 - Will save 32
Astra Daemon CR 16 - Wil save 27

The will save is easily within the range of a 17th level caster and the effect if they fail the save is minimal. Loss of action economy for 1 round. Unless any of these creatures roll a natural one a crit failure for the saving throw is impossible. So, no I do not feel a 9th level spell slot is a fair trade off for paralyzing any of these creatures for a single round. These monsters saving throws to me show that the incapacitate trait is COMPLETELY unneeded

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Vlorax wrote:

You ask if you're interpreting it right, and then declare it useless and that you'll never use it.

How do you know it's useless if you're not even sure you understand it correctly? (which you are missing the heightening of spells)

Because I was unsure if my ruling was correct. You have confirmed that it is. Therefore I am not interested in using the Rule as Written. Its my game so I have a right to do so

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Sorry but I don't buy the point of view that you just cast it in a higher level slot. It invalidates low level slots unless you just use them for spells that cannot be heightened.

You should not have to constantly heighten a spell after two levels of use for it to remain viable. That is the point of getting higher level spells. To give you versatility and MORE options not LESS

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I looked up the incapacitate trait and it says that any spell that has this modifier functions as one saving throw degree less for creatures of double the spell level. That seems like broken feature as it makes a whole bunch of enchantment spells useless a level after you get them. For example:

Charm - Can only reliably effect creatures of levels 1-2
Paralyze - Can only effect creatures of levels 1-5

This seems like a ridiculous penalty to get a spell and then have it lose its effectiveness in 1 to 2 levels. Just a complete waste of a spell slot. A better option would be to give creatures of a higher level a saving throw every round to shake off its effect. This is how D&D 5E handles this issue. I definitely will not use this feature in any games I DM. This has got to be the WORST feature of PF2E that I have come across so far

NemoNoName wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
Everyone knows what I meant, if they're discussing in good faith.
I'm sorry, but given your repeated proclamations among numerous threads that "wizards are fine TM if you play them this one specific way", I've lost confidence you are arguing in good faith.

Just a question because I may not be understanding the rules but how are your fireballs bigger than PF1 fireballs? In order to get a 10 dice fireball in PF1 you needed to be 10th level. In PF2 you can't get that many dice with a 5th level spell slot.

Regardless of how you may feel about my thread, please be civil. I too get very protective of our game and I try to remind myself that the exchange of ideas is important and even people whom I strongly disagree with have a right to their ideas. The exchange of ideas is important and encouraged in all threads. Getting a thread locked does not help this endeavor. Thanks

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Earlier today a thread on death and dying was locked because passions ran too high. I got home too late to add to the thread before it got locked. I wanted to add my two coppers to the conversation.

Monsters being more deadly to dying PC's was initially thought of as a PF2 playtest idea where each monster was assigned a DC death save for unconscious characters. Presumably, goblin DC's were easy. A Red Dragon or Balor would be very difficult. I have no idea what happened to this idea.

Do I feel that it is unfair for a monster to go after helpless PC's. Yes, in most instances I do. I do feel that there are obvious exceptions to this rule that I will outline below. I do not think these should be common exceptions but your game may vary

1) The monster is incredibly evil and foul. Demons delight in causing misery and pain. Ghouls hunger for flesh, Red Dragons would probably eat you in heart beat just to show its dominance and inspire fear in its opponents. The Rancor monster in Return of the Jedi ate the poor Gamorian Guard after it had killed it. Monster do attempt to intimidate players in order to cause them to panic and flee. Certain monsters would revel in this.

2) A monster notices that the PC's heal grievous wounds through magic, potions, innate ability and such. Let me ask you this. If a troll or a vampire regenerates, you will probably focus on finishing it off instead of letting it slowly come back to life. IF PC's just pop up like moles in a whack a mole arcade game, a monster will be within its rights to then attempt multiple attacks on said PC until the person is dead, dead, dead!

3) The PC exhibits such an overwhelming power or ability that the monster feels it has to KILL that individual and make sure they are DEAD! Kill the wizard first is a common symptom of this as monsters will try to avoid martials to kill a weak controller or healer making the combat more painful than it used to be. This can also be the case for martials such as paladins or clerics channeling radiant or good damage vs undead and fiends.

Now there is one simple rule that Paizo can institute to avoid this unfortunate situation. PC's as a general rule DO NOT awaken from unconsciousness during combat regardless of the amount of healing they receive or the results of the death save. The best a PC can hope for is to stabilize during combat so they don't bleed out. If a PC cannot return during combat a monster will have no incentive to attack said character and this could even benefit a character if they cast a spell that would allow them to feign death or if they were hit by a paralyze attack that would knock them prone.

Now could there be exceptions to my proposed change? Of course! PC's by definition are the exception to the rule. Maybe a primal or divine spell exists called resurgence that allowed the PC to function with hit points equal to their constitution score. Or perhaps allow a PC to spend one or two hero points to awaken from unconsciousness to help their companions. Hero fiction has plenty of examples of PC's fighting on in the face of death or defying death to protect their loved ones. Conan is saved by Belit's spirit in the stories and by Valeria's in the Conan movie. Boromir fights heroically to defend the hobbits even though it costs him his life. Obi-Wan sacrifices his life in his duel with Vader. Just be careful about these options for monsters will become aware of them and do their utmost to stop them.

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Its funny but my group insisted on using our old house rule that critically fumbling an attack causes the combatant to lose an action. Why did they insist upon this? To keep me as a DM from crit fishing with monsters. The playtest goblins have raised a lot of ire, especially with short bows. After one player got knocked out on a lucky crit for 19 points of damage they were more than happy to reinstitute that rule. It didn't bother them much since martials had shields and the rogue took a main gauche and used the parry action each round as a third action to buff AC.

No. Rebalance monsters, spells or encounters to provide the required results. I have an issue with this for a few reasons.

1) Adding free healing is a problem. We got resonance because the designers felt that cheap, reliable out of combat healing was an issue. I disagree. But free healing is not a solution.

2) Look to monster attacks & defenses. If it takes a lot of resources to get through a few encounters which runs the 15 minute workday that means a few things.
2 a) Either the resources the PC's use are overpowered
(spells, ranged fire and consumable magic items)
2 b) Or the above resources are too weak
2 c) Or the always on abilities (3 attack options, cantrips) don't
work properly and the fights drag on longer than they should.

I don't feel that allowing people to allowing people meta healing out of consideration for combat is a good thing because it will lead to less choices of healing during combat since people can just rest up afterwards. More offensive and utility spells being utilized causing people to only spec out for sheer DPR (why bother tanking or taking a shield when you can heal up to full after each fight? It gives great weapon wielders, dwarves and barbarians too much of an advantage since they only need to endure a fight to refresh each time.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Arrow17 wrote:
Your points about casters being balanced are not solid. I will offer my reasoning on a point by point basis.[

I think you missed my point. I didn't say casters were balanced. I even said they may have gotten weaker on average. I said their floor had been raised. That means the weakest PF2 casters are stronger than the weakest PF1 casters.

And that's just undeniably true. Heck, lets just consider ability scores. You may want optimized ability spellcasting modifiers in PF2, and you may find monsters have better odds at success. (I actually haven't seen that in the actual encounter design so far, but let's go with it.) But you wanted that maxed spellcasting mod in PF1 as well. Not only did it affect your save DCs, it affected how many spells per day you got. Heck, it could even prevent you from casting spells of a certain level at all.

In PF1, a battle cleric that didn't put enough into wisdom NEEDED to get a headband to upgrade it later or they would not be able to use higher level spells at all. In PF2, a 10 wisdom goblin cleric is actually pretty OK if they pick the right buff spells.

That is what it means to raise the floor. It doesn't matter if casters are weaker overall. The floor is still raised. It is harder to build a bad caster.

James014Aura responded to a lot of this individual stuff, and I don't really see a reason to since I don't think it has much to do with what I was asserting.

No, a 10 wisdom cleric is at a huge disadvantage in PF2 as Wisdom effects your save dc's and effects of spells such as heal, spiritual weapon,etc. If you don't think monster saves are out of line try casting burning hands at goblins. Try using spells against the manticore in the second test adventure that requires saves. The manticore easily makes them. I could pick apart monsters at each level that have outrageous saves. The designers have even acknowledged this in response to the various TPK threads that the monsters are overpowered compared to their level.

It does matter if the basement floor has been raised if casters are weaker overall. Who cares if you raise the floor for people making 10 Wisdom clerics? Would you be pleased if fighters lost damage capabilities as long as people could create 10 strength fighters that could effectively hit as often & for as much damage as 18 strength fighters?

Don't blame low stats for not being able to cast the highest level spells. You could easily hand wave the rule in PF1 and it would work fine since the lower save dc's make the high level spells far less lethal. The high stat requirements for casters are to promote diversity so you don't have a full party of 18 Dex, 18 Con individuals because it would be best to put stat bumps in stats that directly affect survivability if save dc's or bonus spells are not a consideration

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james014Aura wrote:
Arrow17 wrote:
1) Multi-classing: This you are mostly correct on. However, not every caster wants to multiclass so I don't feel this is a win-win. Additionally, since you cannot reach the apex of 9th level spells it technically does harm your spell progression at its apex.

The implication of multiclassing was from caster, meaning a caster base. Martials multiclassing a caster don't get spells as fast, true, but they still have a martial base meaning they're going to be more of the 2/3-type caster in the first place. As for caster/caster multiclass, the current version is significantly stronger at any level than the old Mystic Theurge (except maybe at really high levels?)

Arrow17 wrote:
2)That part is mostly true unless you are playing a dwarven sorcerer or a goblin cleric.

"Almost" any ancestry. Now it's only flaws that block maxed stats instead of simply lacking a bonus.

Arrow17 wrote:
3) With the tight math you actually cripple yourself a great deal as a caster if you refuse to pump your primary stat since your save dc's fall behind. With the playtest monsters I have seen most easily make saves and its very hard to get them to crit fail with main caster stats pumped to 18 at first level and only getting another increase at 10th.

I agree, the tight math makes optimization basically mandatory.

Arrow17 wrote:
4) Cantrips are terrible in this edition too. They take two actions, have incredibly short range and do feeble damage. When you still shoot once with your crossbow then cast a cantrip in a round you are NOT solving the crossbow toting wizard issue.

You're absolutely right about the range, but in a wizard's hands the crossbow is weaker except at very low levels, unless you put a lot of enchantments on it. Meanwhile, the cantrips target TAC (or a save, like Electric Arc, which hits two at once).

Arrow17 wrote:
5) Powers are not upgraded from PF1 equivalents. Angelic halo is a joke. Magic dart from the evocation school is still the wimpy 1d4

1) Still does not invalidate my point about spell progression. Granted it won't be much of an issue since games tend not to last to 20th. On flip side you have to wait four levels to gain your character concept

2)Its still a block on maxing out your main stat. So far in the playtest its much more crippling to be a caster without an 18 in your primary stat for saves than a fighter without an 18 strength since the fighter gets weapon mastery MUCH faster than casters gaining save DC mastery

3) Glad we agree

4) Glad we agree

5) Glad we agree

6) Glad we agree

7) You definitely seem to be in the minority opinion of sorcerers here. The majority of posts I have read about the sorcerer have a great deal of antipathy towards the class as it is presently listed.

8) Paralyzed for 1 round on a failed save? Slowed 1 on a success which will just be a throw away action for most monsters? The spell is beyond nerfed and you would be foolish to take it with how monster saves are set up in this game.

9) Fireball is completely NERFED! Maybe you are unfamiliar with PF1 but let me give you an example. In PF1 Fireball starts at 5D6 and scales up to 10D6 without requiring you to use a 5th level slot. If you choose to use metamagic feat to empower it by preparing it as a 5th level slot you gain 5D6 additional damage. So now in PF2 I lost 5D6 damage for using a 5th level slot. Its a huge nerf.

10) I disagree with you assessment here. You should GAIN more spell slots if spells are being nerfed this hard in this edition. The only way to lose spell slots is if spells GAIN in power. I am not sure if you are familiar with D&D Basic but look at the power of the sleep spell there and compare it to the sleep spell in each successive edition of D&D and Pathfinder. The spell has been completely nerfed in power as most spells have been. Consequently, magic users have GAINED more spell slots and crafting scrolls, potions, wands, etc. has become easier with each successive edition of the game as each edition has weakened the power of spells.

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The PF2 playtest book is very disjointed and difficult to understand. You have to page flip a lot to learn how to use powers and skills. Complaints about not knowing about improved bull rush pale compared to trying to find out what page various skill actions such as bluff, intimidate, sneak, bull rush, disarm and other combat actions are. Some are located in skill, section, some in the combat section, others in spell sections. Its all over the place.

Look at how unclear the rules are about how much damage a shield absorbs before taking a dent. Its a core concept of shield use and a whole thread is dedicated to it and no one can give a definitive answer. Even a dev hasn't responded with the answer because they probably collectively do not know.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Syndrous wrote:

Magnuskn provides a great example, because we don't know the reason the power floor of pure casters was dropped its hard for us to brainstorm viable alternatives, we don't know more than a general mission statement.

This, by the way? Not true. The "floor" of a class is the worst you can possibly build it. The ceiling is the best it can possibly be built. The ceiling has been lowered, I won't deny that, but the floor has been raised in a ton of ways.

--Multilclassing no longer kills your spell progression.
--Almost any ancestry can start with an 18 in your casting stat, as opposed to just humans and halfies plus whatever races got an inherent boost to that stat.
--Casting stat no longer gives bonus spells, so it is harder to cripple yourself by neglecting it.
--Cantrips are stronger, so your caster is still useful sans spell slots. (Maybe not as useful as you'd like, but they are better than a PF1 wizard out of spells.
--Powers are upgraded from their PF1 equivalent.
--Channel energy is much stronger than its PF1 equivalent.
--Spontaneous casters now get spell levels at the same rate as prepared casters.
--The four tiers of success mean most control/debuff spells still do a thing when the enemy passes its save.
--Various enemies have lost immunities, particularly against mental effects.

All that is to say it is now harder to build a BAD caster than it was in PF1. Which was really easy to do in PF1 in a million little ways. Even the more general nerfs to all casters, like caster level no longer giving automatic spell scaling, aren't REALLY nerfs to the floor because it was entirely possible to make bad picks for PF1 spells that didn't scale with caster level anyway, and generally those spells are stronger at the level you first get them anyway.

But the apex casters? The best builds are no longer possible. You can't overspecialize and creablaster, you can't go as buckwild with summons, you can't use wish as often in a day. That's the...

Your points about casters being balanced are not solid. I will offer my reasoning on a point by point basis.

1) Multi-classing: This you are mostly correct on. However, not every caster wants to multiclass so I don't feel this is a win-win. Additionally, since you cannot reach the apex of 9th level spells it technically does harm your spell progression at its apex.

2)That part is mostly true unless you are playing a dwarven sorcerer or a goblin cleric.

3) With the tight math you actually cripple yourself a great deal as a caster if you refuse to pump your primary stat since your save dc's fall behind. With the playtest monsters I have seen most easily make saves and its very hard to get them to crit fail with main caster stats pumped to 18 at first level and only getting another increase at 10th.

4) Cantrips are terrible in this edition too. They take two actions, have incredibly short range and do feeble damage. When you still shoot once with your crossbow then cast a cantrip in a round you are NOT solving the crossbow toting wizard issue.

5) Powers are not upgraded from PF1 equivalents. Angelic halo is a joke. Magic dart from the evocation school is still the wimpy 1d4 from PF1.

6) Channel Energy is much stronger than PF1. You are correct here.

7) Yes, spontaneous casters get same spell progression but sorcerers have to learn a new spell at each level and cannot cast a weaker spell in a higher level slot. Its a net negative for that class. I would much rather have spell acquisition at a higher level and spell scaling than this mess

8)Yeah but those spells have been nerfed so hard and the monsters saves are so buffed that this is meaningless. Take paralyze. If a monster fails its save its paralyzed for 1 round. 3 on a crit save. Completely useless spell. Sleep has the same issues.

9) Most monsters I have seen have the exact same immunities in game. Demons & Devils have same resistances/immunties as before. They have just been scaled down since spell damage has been nerfed so heavily.

10) oh yeah, you forgot to add less spells per level and resonnance restrictions on item usage

Talsharien wrote:


1. 3 Action system, I have used an AP system in the past and this works just as well.

2. Crits and the +/-10, excellent and not to everyones taste but make combat that little bit more lethal

3. Scaling cantrips are very good.


1. Magic, not the action side of it which is great, but the application to the character classes. Clerics will only ever one spell memorised (1st heal x3, 2nd heal x3 etc)and arcane casters will never get to play with any of the fun utility spells due to lack of castings ("sorry party I memmed clairaudience today instead of fireball, you burn the trolls"). Or you could play a Sorcerer to get some extra spells with limited picks, oh wait no, just limited picks :(

2. The whole rules hypocrisy. Skills have now been turned into fighting fantasy (even then you have to roll a d6 and add it to 6 which creates some variation). This of course delivers the message that everybody should be able to have a go at everything. Not so, enter the class abilities that restrict the ability to fight with two weapons and make AOO to certain classes. But I thought you just said that we could have a go at anything.......

3. Resonance (I will not harp on about this)

Fighting Fantasy! LOL..I loved those gamebooks. I still have Warlock of Firetop Mountain on my bookshelf. Those along with the Lone Wolf gamebooks were my gateway to D&D. Fond memories!

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Starfox wrote:

Its quite clear that Paizo wants to dial the game down - reduce everyone's power. The reason is pretty obvious - to extend the Golden Spot (which in PF1 is generally said to be around level 3-7) where characters feel heroic and capable, but not overpowering or scenario-destroying.

The rarity factor serves the same purpose - it gates potentially scenario-breaking effects behind a GM fiat.

The issue here is not if Pathfinder has reduced characters in power (it has), it is whether the balance between casters and martials is the right one.

That is a big mistake and Paizo should know better. WOTC tried to do the same thing with 4E and all it did was homogenize every tier of play. While it seemed fun for the first 3 levels, combat grew rather dull around 7th+. 4E has the ignoble distinction of being the only edition where my players complained that the balors hit them for too little damage and demanded that I raised the damage to make the balors a worthy threat. Its very sad when your players complain about you not hurting them enough to make the combat seem worthwhile

I do not understand how power attack is a poor feat choice at level 1. If the dex fighter swings twice, her attack is +6/+2. Against a goblin she needs to roll a 10/12 respectively for 1D6+1 damager per hit. With power attack she only needed one roll at +10 for 2D6+1. Her strength is so low that the second attack is practically meaningless at this level and she can crit on 18-20 with the power attack attack for 4D6+1. Where as the second attack can only crit on a natural 20. I still think power attack is a valid choice for this build at level 1. It may need to be retrained later but that is much further down the road

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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
There's definitely a healing problem. Jason mentioned it on the Twitch stream on Friday but sounded to me like he was leaning towards healers healing more. That's not necessarily what I - as someone who loves playing healers - wants. I'd much rather have reliable out of combat healing available independent of class (my personal preference is one hour healing rituals but rests, better first aid, or item spam are functional) and more dynamic in combat healing options (more healing spells cast as reactions would help).

That was not the issue for my group. They were suffering such damage in combat that the cleric and druid were relegated to healing as often as possible. The druid didn't bother with his acid splash and burning hands spells were not effective against the goblins due to very high saves for a level zero mob.

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Boli32 wrote:

This actually reminds me of the time I was playing AD&D and we rolled "evil" characters and went on adventures against good aligned creatures and the like.

What made it different was our GM did something different - he did not adjust the difficulty of the encounter but made our enemies work in co-operation and as a team.

Advancing into a dungeon dealing with well thought out ambushes traps, archers targeting spellcasters; and went we went out the dungeon to heal - they did likewise strengthing their own defences against raiding during the night so we could not rest for spells.

The good 'party' was 'sub optimal' as well; no casters only fighters & rogues and 1 captain with a magical weapon against our pary of a cleric, mage, fighter and a thief


In much the same way I have noticed from watching a couple of playtests is they all struggled initially; but they become more efficient when they started to do things like raise shield+shield block flanking and using the terrain to their advantage they progressed much faster

It was no longer just 'I charge in with my sword raised and slice off a couple of heads' but - hold on... how can we work things to our advantage.

The raise shield did not work. One hit seemed to go right through the shield and damage it. The second hit would have destroyed the shield and the character did not take a back up because she would have been too encumbered

The other factor was that without AOO's the monsters eaily ganged up on the PC's for flanks and there was not much that the PC's could do about it. Mobs are incredibly deadly as the globins rose to +8 to hit and therefore the second attack by them was feasable at +3.

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I appreciate the feedback so far. I guess suboptimal means different things to different people. I did not think that the Dex fighter would have had such problems because the bonus to hit was the same and she had a very high ac and very good mobility at 30 feet. These things did not matter since the monsters had a very high to hit roll.

When I say optimal I mean that the characters had enough stats to effect to hit rolls. The druid never had a chance to use offensive spells because the healing was needed too much. The offensive spells were viewed (correctly IMHO) as being ineffective in taking the monsters down as their reflex saves were crazy good! (+5 for a level zero monster is unbelievably high!). The fighter had +6 to hit but did almost no damage outside of power attack making a finesse fighter a very bad option. The shield defense did not make up for the lack of offense because it could only absorb weak damage and was ruined after 2 hits. She wasn't strong enough to carry multiple shields without ruining her speed factor and that was the main reason she took an elf as our previous adventure in the pre-generated module really pointed to a high negative for the fighter in heavy armor.

I have to say it was very dissapointing all in all. It pointed out alot of flaws in PF2 to me. Mainly that you have to create totally optimized characters (Str fighters, not dex) and even then they work out with moderate, not great results. I was not a fan of first level characters in PF1 gaining a +15 to spot checks. I am also not in favor of optimal characters barely getting by and suboptimal characters greatly dragging down the group. There needs to be a middle ground somewhere and so far PF2 does not support that

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Main takeaways from the campaign so far

1) No one except the monk felt truly heroic. Most felt like they were barely getting by as optimized characters instead of feeling like they should be dominating trash mobs like goblins

2) Not gaining a caster feat at first level really hurt casters, especially the cleric as he took emblem instead of healing hands. All casters chose to be human as lack of a class feat at first level felt too rough. The wizard probably could have skipped it but oh well

3) The monster math is very overpowered. Goblins hit too easily with a +6 and thanks to the new AOO rules they went for flanks every time creating a +8 to hit. Monster reflex saves were crazy with a +5 to save it virtually guaranteed that a monster could not crit fail a reflex save unless it rolled a 1. Very poor designs for both monster offense and defense.

4) The encounters had to be too easy. Normal and easy encounters were no challenge and the party felt bored. When the encounters were bumped up they became TOO challenging and the party became frustrated with heal bot action and getting hammered. There never seemed to be a just right feel for the combats.

5) Afterwards everyone commented that next time we should start at third level and that way we can avoid the 10 minute work day syndrome. Only the monk really seemed to enjoy his character. Everyone else was clearly unimpressed.

6) The poor healing and healbot is definitely an issue but I think this is a combo of poor spells and inflated monster stats for attack and defense. If the goblins were brought down to +3 to hit and +2 on reflex saves then the combats would have been much smoother and the heal bot mode would not be needed. I could not imagine what it would be in a party not allowed to channel positive energy. Ouch

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In other threads I noticed a lot of complaints about TPK's and the absolute need for clerics as healers. I didn't see the issues in the first published module as my players made it through with 2 players being knocked out but no deaths. So I figured to run a party through a low level campaign set in the Dragon Lance world. I had the party as evil aligned PC's but left the choice to channel positive as well as negative. I just didn't want the healing domain to skew results. My group came up with the following

Human monk strength based with dragon style and stunning fist
elven fighter AC19 finesse based with shortsword - feat power attack
human wizard (abjurer) with reach spell
dwarven cleric of Takhisis - channeling positive
elven druid of storms

The monk player really liked dragon style. He got hit around 45% but crushed low level threats like goblins and skeletons with dragon style. He did not use stunning fist as often as he thought and would probably retrain it out next level

The fighter hit often but did weak damage without power attack. Her strength was only +1 mod so many times weak monsters like goblins would still be standing after a hit. The agile did not make as much of an impact as we thought it would since it made her +2 to hit, +4 with flank and so second attacks missed often due to poor rolls and she ended up power attacking often.

The cleric and druid suffered from the identical problem of having to heal so often that it took up the majority of their time in combat. They really disliked having to spend so much time healing.

The wizard player didn't complain but stuck to electric spark so he could hit two creatures. He was not happy as even poor rolls of 5 or 6 by goblins making saves allowed them to avoid critical failures on his reflex save rolls. Burning hands was a joke as on average it did 3 points of damage since the goblins easily made saves most of the time

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pogie wrote:
People have made comparisons between PF 2E and 4e. I feel that Paizo is in the midst of alienating its core player base with this more gamey design and unlike D&D is not backed by a huge corporation with deep pockets. If 2E falls on its face it could take a Paizo down with it.

I agree and this is very sad. Its like PF developers completely misunderstood their customer base. It was made up of people who largely rejected 4E. So what does Paizo do? Create a game that largely mimics 4E with the super tight math, feats every level, nerfed casters and monsters on steroids. Its been a very disappointing playtest so far

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D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Forgetting of course that what Paizo wants is also what a lot of customers want. But it is easier to think that your needs and likes are representative of the whole customer base.

I assume most of Pathfinder's playerbase want to play the "optimize character to shine in play" game, that is why they play Pathfinder instead of 5E

This is also evident in online communities due to the sheer amount of optimization and math-related threads.

There are, of course, exceptions.
However, it seems to me that all the signs indicate toward my assumption being mostly correct.

That is the true spirit of PF1. Character optimization. PF2 fails by that standard. PF2 requires optimization to be average. If you optimize in PF2 you tend to get average results not spectacular results. If you choose not to optimize you fall behind the curve rather quickly and that is a big failure of PF2 playtest so far

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Three loves
1) Action economy for martials

2) Heal spell

3) (Tie) Crafting/Bulk systems

Three Intense hates

1) Spell nerfs

2) Casting action economy outside of the heal spell

3) Feat locking weapon choices behind classes. (Rangers not getting bow feats, power attack, two weapon fighting, etc. )

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Spell attacks should go off your spellcasting attribute like in D&D5E. Why do casters have to be M.A.D. ?

I disagree with your premise. If you make magic volatile and dangerous you end up stripping martials of the limited access to magic that they have. IF magic is tainted and dangerous to use, how do you account of the ubiquitous of it in the game world? Would every martial be at risk for wielding a magic sword or wearing enchanted armor? For example in REH lore magic is alien and dangerous. Conan never uses enchanted swords and they are not required to battle monstrosities. Some are just too powerful to overcome and Conan usually ends up thwarting a long drawn out ritual spell BEFORE it takes effect. Are players going to be happy grinding out levels with no advancement to gear besides finding a legendary sword giving a +3 to hit? Are they really going to be happy if healing magic works less than 100% of the time and that you may end up harming rather than healing due to a poor result? If they do, then maybe more players are using the combat healer feat than I thought. No one in my playtest group has taken it because they feel the DC's are too high and they will likely hurt rather than help someone due to the critical fumble rule.

Also if magic is volatile and dangerous, it has to be way more POWERFUL that it is in either PF1 or PF2. The allure of such alien and dangerous magic is that it gives you a definite edge. Why risk your sanity and your soul bargaining with supernatural or alien creatures for scraps of eldritch power if you can barely equal a martial swinging a longsword and one swinging a greatsword completely dwarfs your power. The risk/reward factor of such a system has to be high for PC's to be enticed. NPC's are different because they are GM controlled and don't need a reason beyond GM storytelling for accessing such a dangerous system.

Be careful what you wish for. By trying to make magic more unreliable and dangerous you create problems for the game. Just look at the various threads on resonance and healing to get a glimpse of what this can of worms entails.

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I agree with you 100%. The main benefits of PF2 is action economy for martials, bulk and also the downtime rules for crafting. They work really well. Class creation and growth, spells outside of healing, ancestry feats, resonance, skills and non-weapon/non-armor magic items all perform poorly in the playtest and are extremely unappealing to me. I am also mixed on monster lethality. I do like that monsters hit more often but I feel that their initiatives and saving throws are way too high as is their armor class. I stopped playing PF1 because rolling 2dD6+45 was not appealing to me. I was more excited about rolling 4D12+13 since it would make my greatsword swing matter much more. But the pigeon holing and weak class features of most classes do not really appeal to me. I want heroic characters and PF2 makes me feel like an average Joe

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Tiona Daughtry wrote:
Now let me say, I've played lots of variations off of D&d, and really got into the older pathfinder. However, I've noticed a strong bias in recent years, across the board, and definitely affecting this playtest version, toward 'absolute balance', and I'm going to illustrate why that's a problem. Perhaps as background, I should point out that I personally have been dealing with a host of mental and physical difficulties all my life, and one of the things I have always loved about rpgs is that you can take a character with pretty significant drawbacks, and really make them shine, with a little work. The problem I see right now is that this game and others are trying to basically demand that all player characters be on essentially the same level playing field. It does not really allow for what I consider 'exceptional' characters, because no one is really 'unbalanced' enough to show that even characters with significant drawbacks are valuable in the right situation. I resent the ableist viewpoint that you shouldn't go to 'extremes' with a character. It's a personal shot against people like me who have limitations but find ways to adapt to them. It is, therefore, a significant disappointment that the game industry in general is making it very difficult, if not impossible, to play characters that could be very fun to play, but require more delicate 'work' to put in. What I've seen of this makes it really, really hard to get into the game, because it's all a participation medal situation, rather than a challenge to be overcome with strategy and teamwork. It's too easy, too fair. And that's largely where it's going to lose players like my group. Because it simply isn't enough of a challenge to be fun. Sorry. I simply can't enjoy or support limiting players from expressing their uniqueness with characters that have such extremes.

I agree with this post by the OP. If you look at the PF2 mechanics. They roughly boil down to a 50% chance if hitting an opponent of equal level based upon character optimization. The math is too tight and the stat generation system means you will be average at the vast majority of skills you try. PF2 does not seem to be an epic level fantasy game. It seems to be a grind

Dracomicron wrote:

So... you don't want another pool of health that you need to track, but you do want to expand the parry system and make casters more powerful by having them do more damage and grant... another pool of temporary health? Seems like you just got all that extra resource tracking back and then some.
Improving defensive actions draws out combat. Improving melee defense and making magic more powerful pigeon-holes melee into being MMO tanks and just standing there taking hits while casters take care of the problem... this also doesn't help the 15-minute work day problem, because those casters are still expending daily resources to complete encounters, and having to pick up slack because the melee people are parrying instead of attacking two or three times.
I'm not trying to come down on you, but I'd like for you to see that your solution to the 15-minute work day is to optimize and expand the elements that make the problem endemic to the system, instead of the Stamina system, which adds very mild complexity to dramatically expand the utility of all characters, including the healers.

You are correct. I absolutely do not want additional mechanics to track beside hit points to rule on characters ability to live and interact in the game world. Your replies to my suggestions are not solid and I will discuss them in turn.

1) Yes, making casters more powerful is a solid option. If you read the boards, a lot of caster players are complaining that their spells have been nerfed so badly that they cannot make meaningful contributions in combat. This causes the battles to linger on and increases the chances of monsters hitting and depleting hit points. Its just another version of the 15 minute workday where the casters burn all their spells and the martials are damaged so much that the party has to constantly rest. Placing the band aid of stamina will not solve this issue. The issue is party efficiency. IF the party cannot deal with multiple encounters because caster spells are too OP that is a problem. If they cannot deal with multiple encounters because caster spells are too weak that is also a problem

2) Improving defenses only draws out combats when both sides have access to the same defenses. If you notice, most humanoid monsters do not have access to shields in the playtest. Goblins, orcs, ogres, gnolls & kobolds don't carry them when they should. Shields are lifesavers in PF2, especially for monsters who don't care about a shield being destroyed after taking two hits. Shields would prolong combats by giving these monsters DR but they are not put in monster stats. Most monsters don't use swords, except for more militaristic ones such as hobgoblins. Hobgoblins also use shields so a hobgoblin using stride, strike, raise shield or strike, parry, raise shield as options once in a while is not the be all end of combat. Parry would mostly be used by PC's as a third action option so combat would not be grinding on and on as likely its a PC action and not a monster one.

3) Temp hit points are much better than stamina if they are used correctly. Create a spell or better yet a feat that buffs recipients with temp hit points and call it Fortifying magic. Whenever a caster provides himself or an ally with a beneficial spell he bestows 1D6 temporary hit points per spell level on the target(s). Once a recipient has temporary hit points they are bolstered against additional temporary hit points equal to or less than their current temporary hit point total. Temporary hit points are exhausted when used or at the end of the encounter and cannot be regained with healing magic or any effect that restores hit points.

4) Martials have to allow casters to play in the combat sandbox too, especially if they want to play in other sandboxes of social, exploration and downtime activity. They cannot exclusively hog combat and then demand to have equality in all other fields. If you want extreme balance in other areas you have to give up dominance in combat. Its really not a complicated issue to understand

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I have to agree with you OP. I love Conan but Paizo doesn't even include an unarmored barbarian option so you can BE Conan (also the stat caps do not help as Conan is able to best multiple frost giants as well as a giant ape in single combat. I mean, come on! Even 5E has an unarmored barbarian option

But yeah I am sad to see that high fantasy is gone from PF2 and that means my enthusiasm has diminished for it quite a bit also, which is very sad

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neaven wrote:
Pramxnim wrote:

Remedies to the problem in actual play:

However, these chances, even for spells that require saves, can be improved.

Flat-footed is a common condition that gives a -2 penalty to enemy AC. For someone who used to hit 50% of the time, this ups their accuracy to 60%, or a 20% increase in accuracy.

There are also buff spells like Bluff and Heroism that increase your chance to hit, making even fights against equal level enemies much easier.

For Spells that require saves, a common condition in Frightened lowers the enemy's save, and can be applied judiciously...

The fact that situational buffs exist does not imply that a base 50% chance is good. Flat footed requires another person in the right position, which is not possible on all battlefields or with all parties. Buff spells require someone to be playing someone who hands out buff spells as well as them spending a limited resource to do it. And frightened only applies to enemies that can be frightened.

On top of that, all those "remedies" require the spending of actions in combat to use.

Catching enemies flat footed is actually quite easy in PF2 even at low levels. For example you can flat foot someone through

1) Flanking
2) Daze cantrip
3) Barbarians raging that crit with a sword
4) fighters specialized in swords that roll a crit
5) Color spray and invisibility spells

I am sure there are probably more ways but that is the list I can think of off the top of my head

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No! I absolutely do not want another pool of sub hit points that I have to track. PF2 characters start with more hit points than any RPG except for D&D 4E and they will end up with more hit points of any RPG at the high levels. Its absurd that people are complaining they are too fragile. If this is a big issue, other areas of the game need to be tweaked. For example

1) Raise the effectivenesss of heavy armor and limit the benefits of dexterity so there is less incentive to use this as a high stat for characters on the front lines

2) Add the parry weapon feature to more weapons such as swords. Swords are great for parrying in real life because they are much easier to control than axes, maces or flails for example. To give meele characters, especially two handed characters more options to use an action to parry the less those characters will take hits in combat and less resources needed.

3) Revisit spell nerfs - This is a serious issue as weakened spells prolong combat and prolonged combat run the risk of more resources being wasted because the monsters hang around longer to inflict more damage.

4) Look at resonance and see if it needs to be scrapped: If a serious need for additional non magical healing is needed then resonance is not doing its job properly and we might as well scrap it and return to the PF1 band aid of the wand of cure light wounds (now wand of heal) with 50 charges

5) Create spells that either offer damage reduction or grant a decent amount of temp hit points. Allow these spells to last untill the temps are gone or a certain amount of DR has been absorbed. Do not allow these spells to stack with themselves.

6) Revisit the monster encounter guidelines to make the combats less threatening on average while still allowing the PC's to accumulate experience at a decent rate so it doesn't feel like MMO grinding

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I don't know. PF2 seems eerily representative of D&D 4E. I really don't think the designers are really focused on their customers and instead are trying to give people something they don't want and thus the negativity.

At first I was super enthused! I bought the collector edition, map pack and adventure and another player in my group printed three copies of the playtest for the group. I could not wait for each blog to come out each week and looked to YouTube for Black Dragon and other pod casts reviewing each blog post. I could not wait!

Then I got some later blogs that dampened my enthusiasm and the rule book came. So I have some MAJOR issues with PF2 so far.

1) Spell nerfs - Power, scaling and number usable per day. Now fights take much longer and MORE rather then less resources are wasted in fights. (hit points, spells, consumables. I consider them resources)

2) Forcing general PF1 feats into certain class silos (Power Attack being a prime example. Ranger missing out on archery feats that fighters get being anoter prime example)

3) Very weak ancestory choices making you feel incomplete as a member of your race. Perhaps by level 10 my PF2 elf will feel like a PF1 elf.

4) Absurdly extreme penalties to weak starting skills makes even heroic characters feel meh untill around level 6.

5) Weapon traits being very underwhelming, especially for swords

It really seems like the PF2 developers lost touch with PF1 roots and instead of just streamlining the system and reining in the excesses of the splat books they decided it was time to throw out the baby with the bath water and start anew. It will take alot for me to come back and spend hard earned money like I did in anticipation of the playtest launch and that money was optional spend as I could have easily just reviewed the free downloads but I decided to put my money where my mouth is. I was grateful for Paizo saving D&D from the horrors of 4E. Now that 5E is a great game, Paizo will have to do much better if they want to see my money

My small selection of points of praise for PF2

1) Cleric healing is amazing! Finally, I don't have to waste multiple heal spells to revive a companion thanks to channel divinity. Now when the fighter stink eyes me when I tell him I took spells besides cure x wounds (now all packaged under heal) I just reply " I don't tell you which weapon to use buster. Step of "

2) The critical hit chance for monsters is significantly better in PF2
Thanks to the monsters receiving enhanced attack rolls it is possible
to crit players on a really good roll. This heightens drama and
tension in the game. I love it!

3) The crafting system is really good! Now if you really want to take a
trident or pike as your main weapon you aren't at the mercy of the GM
to include them in weapon picks. You can craft magic items easily
starting at level 2! Fun stuff

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Lyricanna wrote:

To get back to the OP, I feel like chiming in with a couple words of wisdom I learned from Video Game design.

Balance for Balance's Sake is NEVER a good idea. Ever.

Now, this does not mean I'm advocating for no balance whatsoever. On the contrary, a broken game needs fixing. What I am saying is that the overall goal of balancing a game is to make the unfun parts of the game fun, and to reduce the impact of the things that reduce everyone else's fun.

Your goal is to not make all characters equal or to force them to stay within this small box of tightly bound math. The goal of an RPG is to let everyone at the table have a good time.

I agree completely. We are not playing a PVP video game where all the classes have to be 100% balanced against each other. All the classes need to have a valid point of contribution and you should need a representative of the core concepts of the major four (i.e. fighter, mage, cleric, rogue) to succeed. An all martial or all caster class while fun at times to get a different feel should not be as optimal as a mixed group of martials and casters. RPG's are cooperative games and you should require the talents of a variety of people to succeed at the group's goal.

I see the failure in this already with the nerfing of caster spells which has already brought significant defects in PF2 to the forefront. Battles are longer and more involved. The chances for multiple resources to be expended in a single encounter has increased, not decreased. The view of the cleric as a NEEDED healer instead of an option healer has generated a lot of feedback on the boards as have complaints of the resonance mechanic in general use. In most cases so far in PF2 battles I have run, either as part of the playtest or my own scenarios, the likelihood of the 15 minute work day has gone up, not down even though PC's have more hit points and access to crafting far sooner than PF1 for the vast majority of magic items. A lot more testing and reworking needs to be done to get PF2 to where it should be

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Also the divine sorcerer is not bad at all once you get to fourth level. The resilient concentration feat allows you to grant resistance against one type of damage per spell affecting allies. Cast bless to grant resistance to slashing damage of dragon's claws and a +1 to hit. Follow up with protection circle from your spell points and then chose the piercing bite of same dragon. It all adds up and the party will appreciate the resistance as it goes up on round two and three. The only thing the diving sorcerer lacks is some offensive power since they don't wear armor, they cannot melee as well as clerics and I feel that plays a prominent role in the cleric's types of spells. Even that is not much of a big deal if you take harm as their other scaling spell. The divine sorcerer does require more forethought than the cleric but she holds up pretty well in my opinion and my party was glad to have her. Just take some crafting feats. With an 18 charisma my 8th level sorcerer had 8 resonance left after investing in items. Its plenty to keep up with the healing as long as the DM is fair about downtime activities

magnuskn wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

But seriously, the sole reason a Cleric is broken compared to every other class is because of Channel Energy being so strong and having so much power to it. I'd consider having it be up to their Charisma modifier, flat, for starters (can't be any higher than 3). I'd also consider it costing Resonance for the Cleric to use as yet another balance point, but I'd like to see some playtesting with just the flat Charisma modifier first to see if it does enough, but then you have the whole Domain stuff too (which can bridge that gap even further with Healing domains and stuff), as well as shoring up other class options (like Bards and Sorcerers especially) so that they aren't as objectively bad. The other big thing is balancing encounters to where some of these common heal aspects between all of the classes exist.

Seriously, man, why does it seem that the first impulse of many people is always to go "Okay, this class is actually competent at something, nerf nerf nerf!!!"?

Bring the other classes up to the level of the Cleric in terms of healing. That way adventuring days can last more than ten minutes, maybe.

I completely agree with your statement Magnuskun. This has been the first cleric since 4E that I really enjoyed playing and the reason for it is that the cleric heals work really well. They are strong enough that I don't feel the need to use every spell I have for healing. That is so boring. I have no interest in being a heal bot and won't be inclined to play a cleric if channel is knocked down the way some people are wanting in this thread. If you want other healers to be potent then buff THEM up. Don't drag my cleric down. It felt good to heal my friend for 60 points of damage on a good 4th level heal channel roll instead of burning three cure serious wounds like in PF1.

Why is it when someone does something well everyone else cries for nerfs? Its so annoying. Why not just propose different solutions for your other characters? Few people play healers outright. Look at the druid. You get great attack spells, protection spells and flavor spells as well as heals plus you get wildshape. Sorcerers get spontaneous heals so they can use every spell they got for heals as long as they take heal as an upcast. Plus with how easy it is to make potions and scrolls in PF2 there is no excuse for everyone being unable to contribute to healing in the group if they want to. Is everyone an optimal healer? No. Does the cleric have wildshape? Nope. Occult, primal or arcane spells that do aoe damage, persistant damage or control effects? Not to the same degree as other classes. Clerics don't even come close. Want more healing? Invest in scrolls or potions via crafting feat training. You get four scrolls or potions in a batch. A wand gives you 10 charges. There is plenty you can do to hold your own in healing. A cleric is an optimal choice. It is not a mandatory choice. Suck it up martials. You have more hitpoints in this edition than any edition of D&D or pathfinder. Maybe your playstyle is the problem instead of the PF2 cleric and you might need to adjust

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1) To clear up and streamline the action economy

2) To make the rules more concise and consistent across all levels of play

3) To make casters MUCH less fun to play than PF1

4) To lower the awe and beauty of magic in the game

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Magic users having no more skills than martial characters is one of the few ways to keep martial characters relevant in non-combat activities. Casters having more is deeply annoying to me personally, and not at all fun for martial players.

In terms of realism, both Alchemists and Wizards spend a fair amount of their time and energy studying magic and alchemy, respectively. It thus makes a fair amount of sense that they'd have no more skills than even less intelligent people who need to invest less time in one focused area. Advanced mathematicians are not known for having vastly more different skills than Special Forces soldiers (who admittedly tend to be fairly bright), y'know?

Huge difference between special forces soldiers and regular enlisted. Special forces would be an prestige class, now called archetype I think. And that mathematician would have a lot more training in various fields of academia. All of those skills are grouped into broad categories by the PF2 skill section and even then they would know a lot more than the average Joe fighter since Medicine would relate to magical theory, especially Necromancy in this edition. Religion, Occult & Arcana too. Also since most wizards are not highly trusted they may have to gain their knowledge surreptitiously so Deception, Stealth and Thievery would be highly prized along with Intimidation, especially with the nerfs to usefulness of spells in PF2 it stands to reason that wizards and other casters would invest heavily. Lastly, the smarter you are the more likely you are to have a broad range of skills as you pick up things more quickly than others so the only reason to nerf skills for casters is the reason in general which is caster envy. Its so sad that PF2 has erroneously decided that this is the best avenue for their game. I don't see it ending well if they continue down this path.

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Nox Aeterna wrote:

Thank you for your post.

One thing that is quite critical for me this new edtion is the magic nerfs. Honestly in its current form there is no way i would sit to play PF2 outside the playtest.

I hope feedback during the it makes paizo see the light regarding this subject.

I agree with your post 100%. The magic nerfs are just outright cruel and in most cases unnecessary. To completely make blast spells inferior in both damage and utility is just wrong. ( check out the first map for the scenario. There are only a few rooms that make blast spells even viable. In most of those rooms you have to put your wizard in harms way to even get a chance of them working as intended.)

Main issues I have with magic nerfs in game.

1) Weak damage giving few if any reason to take a first level spell over a cantrip.

2) Very limited range for casting. Most spells have ranges of 60 or 120 feet. Most monsters will be on a caster in one round since the VAST MAJORITY of spells require two actions, your third action will be to get within 60 to 120 feet of a monster. That means you will be attacked very easily in this edition. It also means that certain monsters like the manticore from the second adventure have a distinct advantage over a caster since they can plink them with spikes while out of range of most spells that matter.

3) The reliance of action casting : There is no way that cantrips and the majority of first level spells outside of sleep and color spray should be two action casting. The spells do not do enough damage or have a great enough effect to warrant the two action restriction. Maybe the higher level spells should require this but I would prefer an action economy to the lame upcasting. For example, fireball cast with one action is 6D6, two actions is 7D6 & 3 actions is 8D6. The caster should choose how much effort to pump into a spell. Every spell level used to upcast it would bump each choice by 2D6.

4) Saving throws really need to be reworked. Especially reflex saves. If monster defenses work so that they make their save 50% of the time there is little room for a critical failure. This is very important for blasting spells as critical failures were given as a reason for nerfing spells auto leveling to keep up with monster threats. Again I point to the Manticore in the second adventure. It is two levels higher than the PC's so it was unlikely to fail a critical threat unless it rolled a 1 on reflex saves. That really should not be the intention of monster design, especially for hit point bloat in PF2.

5) The fun and wonderment is gone from magic in the game : I completely understand the OP's distate for the harm done to simnple spells like Prestidigitation and Unseen Servant. To the poster on the other thread complaining that wizards were putting scullery maids out of business, I can only say get a life. I mean seriously, are you really at home washing your clothes by the river scrubbing them on rocks for hours on end? Or are you most likely putting them in the washer with soap and then a dryer with fabric softener? Magic is designed to make people's lives easier and more enjoyable. Stop trying to strip FUN out of the game.

6) Magic items and magic item creation: Magic item creation is just dumb in PF2. Not only can everyone except the barbiarian become a legendary crafter. It takes no time at all to design and craft magic items with the right feats. Why institute a rule like resonance when you make potions & scrolls (4 crafted per batch success) and wands so easy to make? It seems like alot of doublespeak to me. Also, totally nerfing unique and fun magic items like the Holy Avenger, Flame Tongue and Frost Brand swords is not the way to make magic items more unique and enjoyable. Very bad job there Paizo

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AsmoSoulpyre wrote:

I'm honestly shocked to find such a lively discussion still ongoing here.

The core concept of the new edition is solid.

Ancestry and Class feats are a great idea in theory.

Making class and ancestry feats that will not be either niche choices or obvious choices will be a design challenge that I'm not sure ANY designer is up for over the course of many books. Things that give your character a bonus only in a certain situation are only interesting in a narrative standpoint if the situation comes up enough for it to be a defining aspect of a character. Certain options will inevitably be the 'core' options for each race and class, and players will be expected to have those options in order to be 'good' in organized play.

It really feels like a lot of the redesign of the game comes specifically with society play in mind. For those of us that play with the same people we've played with for years, society play is less of a concern. So when core concepts of the game are changed to 'protect' a particular function of a class role, it really challenges our ability to play the game the way we want. Particularly when the protection extends only to certain things.

Clerics are so much better at healing than everyone else, it's less of a protection and more of a system requirement to have a cleric in the group. If any other caster attempts to play the healer, they will use all of their casting resources for healing.

Thievery checks are gated by proficiency levels, so someone MUST have it as a signature skill in the group, or you will not be able to unlock doors at high levels.

All the other classes, despite the 'protections' are optional, but there is certainly not a way for the low-level characters to be kept alive in the action economy with just a bard or druid attempting to heal them.

One of the concepts I was most excited about when it was first mentioned in the previews was the division of the spells. Arcane, Occult, Primal, and Divine. Then, we got the implementation, and everyone...

That is so true. Wish does not even deserve the title of 10th level spell. There is nothing special or magical about magic anymore. The martials have won and no we are stuck in their grimy world cleaning our own clothes by hand because spells like Prestidigitation were too OP.

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