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I'll allow you 10 minutes to get back the focus point you used to do that.


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One of the best features of PF1E, and something it's great they kept for PF2E, was the fun dynamic of "Don't play the thing advertised as doing the thing you want to do, play this other thing that can do the thing you want to do and does it better because it has better numbers in this edition".

It really would have sucked to leave behind the days of hearing that you don't need "Rogue" written on your character sheet to play that character concept. And the classes that provoke this response are different than last edition, which automatically makes things better! I simply live for the look of joy in a new player's eyes when I explain that the class that inspired them is somewhat underwhelming because it "Had its turn" in a game we're not playing. They're already getting immersed in all the history and lore! I can't imagine a more accessible design than that.


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Losonti wrote:

Oh, sorry! That's probably where I got the idea, I apologize if it seemed like I was taking credit.

For gather power, I think instead of the flourish trait (which may be better on the kinetic blast itself, particularly if the unmodified blast is a single action), you might want the open trait. Or, you could just stick with the usual metamagic requirement of "If your next action is to add an infusion to a kinetic blast..."

Oh not at all. There are dozens of posts in this thread, I was more saying "great minds think alike" than thinking you were taking any latent credit.

This is where things get interesting. The PF1E kinetic blast was used as a standard action, while kinetic blade / fist could be a full-attack set and could technically be mixed with other weapon strikes, but it was very rare to find a reason to actually do that, at least in everything I've read of.

Now, I'm not saying PF2E will naturally produce reasons to want to do some other attack before or after a kinetic blast, but I like the potential, so I'm inclined to want basic kinetic blasts to work like weapon strikes, and for it to e.g. be possible to go strike/strike/strike at 0/-5/-10 MAP with them. I'm not saying that should be a good idea, any more than it is for a conventional martial, but I think keeping things on or near to the martial framework will be beneficial to building them as all-day classes, which is what martials tend to excel at. I'd be shy about having Open as a default.

We could also have kinetic blasts effectively be scaling cantrips. There is decent merit to this, as that's kinda what they were in PF1E, at-will magical attacks that scaled with level. I think my only worry about this is the PF2E action economy tends to be less engaging for casters, thanks to all their 2-action spells, so for the fun of mixing things up I hope, at present, that kinetic blasts will basically work like weapon strikes.


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Losonti wrote:
I think another alternative would be to have the drained condition from burn be removed when you refocus, like the Oracle's extreme curse does with the doomed it inflicts. That would make it less debilitating for the entire day, while still adding significant risk/reward aspects to any fight you're using it in. This would probably be the best approach if there isn't any ability like elemental overflow to give you additional bonuses for taking burn.

I suggested an Oracle's Curse-like mechanic myself in my first post of the thread. If there was a reasonable minor debuff that applied the first time you use burn, which lasts the full day, and escalating worse debuffs every additional time you use it that can be reset by a refocus, that seems like a great way to design pushing / taxing yourself without it being stifling.

Just spitballing a bit, but maybe gather power could be a 1-action ability with the flourish trait that grants bonuses to any wild talents you use on that turn, like a 1-turn rage for example, and one option of spending burn is casting gather power as a free action instead. You get some interesting possibilities with the PF2E action economy, like composite blasts could be 2-action attacks that do double base damage and avoid MAP by only making 1 attack roll, but maybe they literally need gather power to be used at all.


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Losonti wrote:
Quote:
I know at 10th, I have to gather for a Blade Whirlwind with the underwhelming's attacks.

You can't actually take Blade Whirlwind at all until level 11, at which point Infusion Specialization immediately reduces its burn cost to 0, so you can full attack with it from the moment you get it. You also can't get Kinetic Whip before level 7 (and that's only if you doubled down on your initial element), and its cost is reduced to 0 at level 8. Similarly, you can take Whip Hurricane starting at level 13, and it's then reduced to 0 at level 14.

You do have to wait until level 5 to use Kinetic Blade without gathering power (or taking burn, if you didn't trade it out), but that's also generally the earliest you can get bonus attacks from haste or the like, and kineticists don't get an iterative until level 8 anyway. Meaning there are 2 levels where your form infusion can cost more than your infusion specialization is able to account for, but by then you also have an ability that lets you reduce the cost of a talent by 1 for a few times each day, either through Internal Buffer or the Overwhelming Soul's equivalent.

Now there's some clearheaded thinking. Although the Overwhelming Soul only manages it in some cases, I do like that it can have a functional baseline without hitting itself in the face, as some say. Being at least moderately competent on 0 burn across all levels is my one hoped-for change for PF2E.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
to be clear, I don't want the "burn just isn't a thing" option. Ideally, I'd like a fairly robust, satisfying burn mechanic that worked well with the kineticist and that was entirely opt-in, so that those who want it can have it (and reap the very real power at a very real cost that it offers) and the rest of us can ignore it. I want it to be opt-in rather than opt-out, though, because from what I've seen, if they do put in an "opt-out" class archetype or something, the practical result is that taking that archetype will be strictly worse in every way than not taking the archetype.

As I said above, I'd like this too. Looking back with hindsight, I feel like burn went through 3 key steps during design, which spun it around:


  • Burn is introduced as a mechanic that lets the kineticist "push their limit" a few times a day, with immediate benefit and lingering drawbacks
  • The lingering drawbacks might overshadow the immediate benefit, so an extra layer of lingering benefits is added to offset lingering drawbacks
  • The class can now have access to these lingering benefits all day, so its numbers are balanced around it doing so, making for a costly opt-out

I wasn't involved in the design process, so this is just interpretation after the fact, but the seeming contradiction of burn being intended to "push your limit" and also being expected to be taken just to push your numbers to a decent baseline is the only aspect I don't enjoy about the PF1E kineticist. If that gets addressed I love pretty much all the rest.


Freehold DM wrote:
roquepo wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
I am going to have to watch the casting. I still remember casters ruining martials fun times at higher level. Lower level not as bad, but higher level and casters just do too much or there are too many "I win" spells. Probably even more now. Gonna have to keep an eye on those.
Back when my group and I played 1e we only used levels 1 to 10, enough so you can se actual progression but not enough to see casters get out of the bounds of the system.
I have heard a lot of positive feedback about this approach.

Even PF1E society play was run very similar to this, which says something.


graystone wrote:
My not agreeing with you isn't a lack of perception so don't be rude: it's not a winning attitude if you really want a further debate as I'm even less inclined to continue than I was before.

I've acknowledged your disinclination to further explore this topic, which is your choice to make and not one I gain value from attempting to change.

I Ate Your Dice wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
<snip>
I basically see you arguing to Gray that Overwhelming soul is as good as the base class, but in order for the archetype to work, it has to be *better* than the alternatives. So, aside from not needing to manage the burn mechanic, what does Overwhelming Soul do better than other classes?

A false perception. My assertation was that Soul "isn't so bad", or to put it more formally, there are a limited range of builds at which it performs decently. I'm unsure how you read that as outperforming all other classes.

The claim that "in order for the archetype to work, it has to be *better* than the alternatives" does not have a clear framing. Are you saying that it has to be better in some areas, or flatly superior to all alternatives?


Some interesting points here. 25-point buy is above average, but can be explored. However, you continue to apply the rigid mindset of building a Soul like a base kineticist, a lot like a PF1E player trying to shoe-horn PF1E tactics into PF2E, rather than assessing Soul from a fresh start to see what might work well for it. I believe you are using a +2/+2 human?

>Str 8
>Dex 18 (including +2 racial)
>Con 12
>Int 10
>Wis 14
>Cha 18 (including +2 racial)

With the same basis, this is also possible:

>Str 8
>Dex 18 (including +2 racial)
>Con 14
>Int 12
>Wis 16 (including +2 racial)
>Cha 14

And really that's not optimal, since you should start with an odd number to maximise the use of 5 +1 bonuses every 4 character levels, but I'll go with the same score in dex, which ends up higher at 20 using those boosts.

So here we've lost 2 points of cha, kept the same str and dex, with the latter set to increase with level boosts as previously explored, and an extra point of con, wis and int. The racial wis bonus can also be moved back to cha, or to con, there's really many better ways to make a Soul.

graystone wrote:
They are the limitations on backup ranged too and for melee that has to move in melee with reach foes in melee which is an issue when you're spending an action to gather. Sure you don't have to gather in melee if you're aren't using your bigger melee abilities. Every single melee ability is delayed. It's 14th level before you don't have to gather for a Whip Hurricane.

These concerns do not apply, because a kinetic blader rarely intends to gather power beyond early levels in any case. They gain iteratives like a martial, and want to use full-round attacks to deploy them, so unless they get to gather power for an entire turn in the odd case that's more useful than attacking right away, none of these situations are relevant.

graystone wrote:
*shrug* don't really see the point as I've already tried it myself. I know at 10th, I have to gather for a Blade Whirlwind with the underwhelming's attacks. That, IMO, tells it all. And if you want to compare, it's only be fair to go melee to melee so how do you think underwhelming compared to Kinetic Knight or Elemental Ascetic? Underwhelming is going to be behind in dedicated melee builds, dedicated ranged builds and dedicated switch hitting builds when compared to underwhelming build that way.

Yes, you've communicated the current limits of your perception. If you don't wish to expand them or prove your claims then that is, of course, your decision. My offer remains to compare builds against any kineticist you like, but if you prefer to swing a screwdriver like a hammer then I understand, and agree that will result in an underwhelming experience.


graystone wrote:
And to will saves, it in the starting stats for me: You're going all in on con as a secondary and I'm evening out con and wis with points left after your main stats: ignoring wisdom when you're mixing it up in melee to me is different [and not great] than if you're 120' away.

You seem a little turned around. You and I have both presented the base kineticist as going all in on con, while I've presented the Soul with a decent con score, which allows it to bump its wis to a 14 start as well.

graystone wrote:
My problem if that for a lot of rounds, it isn't doing that as it have to move and isn't doing it's thing or downgrading it's thing because it had to move and on top of thing would be able to attack and do better at ranged. Running up to your and doing a mighty... gather energy isn't an exciting or useful round.

Are you referring to the first 4 levels? Because I have agreed those are a slow start, but after that kinetic blade is free. Soul can move up and attack a foe as readily as a martial with a sword, without gather power.

graystone wrote:
Disagree with the slow start but it's slow all through the levels until you're into your into double digit levels. Second, if you're a range, you aren't moving as much as you can, maybe taking more rounds than is you just move and you're also sometimes forces to either move and do nothing or attack ranged and draw an AoO. And ALL of this is assuming you aren't attacked and disrupted while you're in melee combat trying to gather energy... IMO, this is all a recipe for disappointment.

These points are getting a little disjointed. You seem to be listing off downsides of being ranged such as "attack ranged and draw an AoO", which is more of a drawback to a ranged-primary kineticist than one focused on kinetic blade. Again, gather power in melee really isn't necessary after level 4 either, and if you decide to use it, move + standard on the same turn means it isn't getting disrupted unless somebody readied an action.

graystone wrote:
This is where we disagree as it doesn't seem terribly viable to me.

I would be happy to build the attack sequence profile for a Soul kinetic blade at level 20, or any level from 10 and upward, if you would like to do the same for a base kineticist, presumably ranged as your preference.

graystone wrote:
It's MUCH, MUCH easier to find a way to get a better to hit than it is to find a way to raise your DC. When you start with a 10 in the stat that governs the DC, you might as well say you're fishing for them to roll a 1. Sure it CAN work but...

A slight exaggeration, but yes, if your DPS alone is solid, then a rider that only triggers 15-20% of the time is a nice-to-have, not a priority.


Temperans wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
Temperans wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
...
The reason "overwhelming soul" (the name of the archetype) needs Cha is because having 0 effects is literally the most boring possible way to build a kineticist. The ability to add the effects you want is what makes kineticisr fun and you are throwing it away by straight up ignoring that entire side of the class. All while you straight up lose more damage in the process.
It needn't be so all-or-nothing. You're still able to apply infusions with effects, their save DCs will just be lower so they'll land less often. I'd also argue you gain damage, not lose it, since +2 dex over base kineticist = higher attack rolls = more attacks and iteratives hitting = more damage.
Its not. You are severely undervalueing the size bonus, free fortification effect, the value of higher save DC, and the value of having straight up more abilities available with stronger effects.

Incorrect. I've precisely valued the size bonus in this thread. To recap:

>Con bonus: Works out to the same HP as Soul, so a fort save and DC boost
>Dex bonus: Lower than a Soul by +4 dex (+2 modifier)
>Str bonus: Not useful to either build

The fortification effect, higher save DCs, and having straight up more abilities available with stronger effects are all excellent benefits of the base kineticist. I have not said otherwise, so your comment is moot.

What I have said and proven is the Overwhelming Soul supports a limited range of builds to a fairly viable level. Not so strongly that it can't be ignored by those who wish to do so, but enough for players of a more open mind. Hopefully PF2E's incarnation of the class will make good use of the system's existing strengths, such as proficiency tiers, to offer a fun and accessible design without the original's high learning curve.


Temperans wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
...
The reason "overwhelming soul" (the name of the archetype) needs Cha is because having 0 effects is literally the most boring possible way to build a kineticist. The ability to add the effects you want is what makes kineticisr fun and you are throwing it away by straight up ignoring that entire side of the class. All while you straight up lose more damage in the process.

It needn't be so all-or-nothing. You're still able to apply infusions with effects, their save DCs will just be lower so they'll land less often. I'd also argue you gain damage, not lose it, since +2 dex over base kineticist = higher attack rolls = more attacks and iteratives hitting = more damage.


I'd like to start by saying I'm enjoying this discussion, it's engaging.

graystone wrote:
Sure but kinetic blade takes burn to use so you can't even use it if you move and you're limited to single attacks even if you don't move. The only way it really works is Infusion Specialization at 5th and that makes 1-4 quite painful. This also means that whip, rush and whirlwind have to wait until 8th or 11th... And all of this assumes you don't want any substance infusions that would want cha and don't care to boost your will saves [which is your LOW save].

Kinetic blade does take burn to use, which can be a bit annoying in the first few levels, like you say. However the kinetic blader doesn't lose their unmodified blast, and can still fire ranged shots where unable to blade, so they have a solid fallback to get through those early levels.

Like you've said, that all goes away at level 5. At level 8 you can also get a 1-point infusion without burn whenever you don't need to use whip.

Will saves are an equal concern for both vanilla and Soul kineticist, so it shouldn't impact their comparison since they both need the same help.

We both agree on the next 2 parts you've quoted, so I'll move past that.

graystone wrote:
Underwhelming needs a head piece for bonus cha and a belt for dex and still needs a bit of will save: even the +4 con seems generous.

Again, I feel cha can be de-prioritised, as the bonus to damage is quite minor as kinetic blasts scale, and it's only important for infusion DCs.

Now, save-based infusions can be nice, but just doing solid vanilla DPS like a martial is still useful. If you treat any save-based infusion as a neat extra, like crit fails on saves in PF2E, and use the DPS of your kinetic blade attacks as your baseline, the numbers can be quite solid.

graystone wrote:
And that's why I have a disagreement: underwhelming soul needs cha more than con and needs wisdom as much as con. So imo, you're skewing it into con when the class really doesn't go that direction anymore with the archetype.

We do differ here. Why does Soul need cha more than con? So far as I can tell it gets cha to damage with kinetic blasts, and the save DCs of some wild talents. For some builds that will be significant, but other builds won't use or depend on cha-based saves, and the damage lost from low cha is rather minor as kinetic blast scales. I think saying Soul "needs" cha is overstating things, as there are viable builds that doesn't apply to.

If it helps, imagine this kinetic blade Soul like a fighter (in PF1E) in terms of combat purpose. They swing around a big stick of damage, and if all they do in a turn is sharply lower enemy HP, it's a successful turn.

graystone wrote:
I personally can see going kinetic blade with that archetype as you have to go several levels where you can't move and do your infusion and then have to wait several MORE levels if you want to do the upgrade in the tree... Could you do it? sure, but that sounds almost as fun as playing WITH burn... :P You'd need to take both underwhelming AND Kinetic Knight to make it work and they don't mix [both change skills].

I again agree that not being able to move and kinetic blade makes for a slow start, but I think you might be overstating the problem. First, as I said you still have your ranged blast, which might be a little weaker than a base kineticist's, but not by a crushing amount. Second, if your enemy is melee-based they will likely close with you, so in play you're probably firing one ranged blast almost as well as a base kineticist's, then the enemy moves in (and you've still attacked them, so it's not as if you're conceding first strike), and then you can blade them handily.

graystone wrote:
I'm genuinely curious how you came to this conclusion when you're raising the same stats when the main stats changed... That and waiting until 5th so that you can move and your blade seems like a big shot to the foot.

What I meant is, with a base kineticist you raise dex and con because of the class synergies with them, not simply for the reasons everyone likes to have dex and con. You may raise con higher than any other PF1E class.

With Soul I think it's viable to build more like a finesse fighter, with a high priority on your attack roll stat (dex), but not emphasising your damage stat so much (str for most martials, cha for Soul), and investing in con like a front-line fighter, not as something you need to maximise.

For example, a 20 point-buy human Soul at level 1:
>Str: 11
>Dex: 17 (including +2 racial)
>Con: 14
>Int: 12
>Wis: 14
>Cha: 10

This build ignores charisma entirely. It has a solid con and wis score for a martial character, matches my previous mapping for dex and con, a bit of int for skill ranks that can be placed elsewhere if needed, and a spare point in str for carrying capacity, but str and / or cha could be dropped if you want even more elsewhere, or to make this 15-point buy.

I think the difference in our perspective is that if a Soul never forces a single save, but slings high vanilla DPS like a lot of martial builds, and can do so all day, I consider that a viable build, so I don't feel a need to boost cha, which in turn allows me to pump other ability scores.


graystone wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
I agree with your other points, but about +5 HP per level is quite a big difference. Were the kineticists you see fighting at range and not taking hits? Cus that health really helps if front-lining, e.g. a kinetic blader.

With the Underwhelming Soul, there wasn't much incentive to melee: you don't get bonuses to physical stats, only get light shields and work off cha... So yeah, they where ranged. As to the +5... It's -7 hp to max out burn and +3 hp for size bonuses and a +3 for a belt which just there is a -1/level: then you don't have to max out con so you'll raise dex or cha before con so you're likely at least 1 lower.. So, yeah. About the same:

Also, when I said [maxed con +6 vs non-maxed con+ nothing] I mean a base kineticist con 18 +6 size bonus + 6 belt + level ups possible while the underwheming soul will want to max their attack stat + cha so it's unlikely to max con and even less to boost so maybe a con 14 and maybe Belt of Physical Might/Physical Perfection.

You posted twice, probably due to board issues, so I apologise if I quoted the wrong one. I'm trying to follow but think things are getting mixed up.

First of all, kinetic blade and its sequeals apply the attack roll bonus, but not the damage bonus of elemental overflow, and the same goes for the Soul archetype, so the Soul basically dodges one of its losses like this.

A kinetic blade Soul can also ignore cha, as the damage bump is not much.

Next, I'm having a hard time following your maths. It's -7 HP per level to max out burn from level 16 and on, agreed. The size bonuses can help mitigate that to -4 HP per level, although at that point you're putting +6 into con, and thus only +4 into dex, so you're losing a point of AC, attack rolls, initiative etc. which would be nice to keep, so -5 HP per level was if you went +6 dex / +4 con, instead of shoring up nonlethal.

So whether it's -4 or -5 HP per level, we both seem to envision a base kineticist spending a load of resources to boost con, and the Soul not doing so. This means the Soul will probably end up closer in HP than +4 or +5 per level, but you don't seem to be using the resources this frees up? I apologise if I've just missed it, but I'll try to run the numbers.

Base Kineticist
>Dex: 14 base + 4 size bonus + Belt of Physical Might (+6) = 24 (+7)
>Con: 17 base + 6 size bonus + Belt of Physical Might (+6) + 5 boosts = 34 (+12)
>Attack/AC/Etc. Bonus From Dex: +7
>HP Bonus From Con: 12 - 7 burn = +5 per level

Soul Of Debatable Whelming
>Dex: Start of 17 + Belt of Physical Might (+6) + 5 boosts = 28 (+9)
>Con: Start of 14 + Belt of Physical Might (+6) = 20 (+5)
>Attack/AC/Etc. Bonus From Dex: +9
>HP Bonus From Con: +5 per level

I've tried to use honest starting ability score values, then swap them between dex and con to keep things even. Again maybe I'm simply missing something, but it seems to me a kinetic blade Soul comes out ahead in Dex by a couple of points and equal in HP. That's more AC = more general survivability, and better finesse attack roll = more DPS, while the base kineticist has a bit more damage (it adds con to kinetic blade damage, but not elemental overflow), and of course an incredible fortitude save.

Just as trying to play PF2E like it was PF1E can lead to poor tactics and unintentionally shooting one's own foot, I think trying to build a Soul with the sensibilities of the base kineticist can handicap oneself unnecessarily. It's far from overwhelming, but in some cases is alright.


graystone wrote:
The health in practice wasn't much different [maxed con +6 vs non-maxed con+ nothing] for them...

I agree with your other points, but about +5 HP per level is quite a big difference. Were the kineticists you see fighting at range and not taking hits? Cus that health really helps if front-lining, e.g. a kinetic blader.


graystone wrote:
Temperans wrote:
What I am seeing is people eliminating burn wholesale. Often replacing it with Focus point or not at all.

*Raises hand* Yep that's me. I LOATHED burn in PF1 so if we can jettison that baggage into deep space and then nuke it from orbit, I can finally be happy playing one.

Temperans wrote:
But the class was never "about stances" and "switching stances".

Not a huge fan of stances but they are still 1000% better than burn ever was IMO.

Castilliano wrote:
And even PF1 had an archetype to opt out of it (which I used for mine BTW).
You mean Underwhelming Soul? It was really bad: you lose +6 damage, +12 stats and 35% miss chance on sneak/crit attacks. That and you had to go cha instead of con. I hope that if we have burn and non-burn options in PF2, the non-burn options isn't treated as badly as the Pf1 version.

Soul isn't so bad, since your accuracy and (reduced) damage boosters are always on, and you get the privilege of your entire health bar. That just spirals back into burn being tuned restrictively in PF1E. It seems like it was balanced around using touch attack elements, because if you don't and dare to not max elemental overflow then your baseline is really lacking.


Thanks very much again everyone, we'll go with Craft (Alchemy) as it seems to be the most suitable option without inventing a whole new sub-category.


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I can see going sort of an oracle's curse route with burn, where the focus pool functions as burn, and when you use focus you suffer a burn effect as a drawback, but refocusing lets you reduce or remove the penalty. It would keep the "overclocking" mechanic, without making the penalty last all day.

Personally, I like the concept of burn, but think it was tuned punitively.


WWHsmackdown wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Lycar wrote:
Stat improvements... Okay, that one I can see with a caveat: Can't be used to improve a stat beyond what normal increases would allow and price should not scale with the improvement, but what stat value someone is trying to achieve. Shoring up a glaring weakness? Affordable. Trying to push a secondary stat to the same level as your primary? Not so much...

I think an item to try to push up a secondary/tertiary stat could actually be kinda cool. PF2's attribute system encourages you to kinda silo your stats to some extent, so some way to say... throw some extra investment in some other attribute that might provide some extra benefit could be a neat way to let... I dunno, an Inventor slightly improve their Charisma so they can feel less bad about investing in Diplomacy.

Maybe a tiered magic item that gives you a bonus but has a cap, +2 to X but no higher than say, 14... with a greater version that lets you go to 16.

Building off of this, some players do feel that PF2E's general feats are a little underwhelming, and that's a resource every character has access to.

What about something like this, a sort of Canny Acumen for ability scores:

Diverse Training (Feat 11)

Choose one ability score. You gain +4 to this ability, to a maximum of 16.

If I could get +4 to an ability as a feat I'd get it on every character, every build (even if they didn't need it). At that point it would feel more like a tax than a feat.

If that score is limited to a 16 would you still do so? It is only +2 to the modifier, the same benefit as a 1-step proficiency boost, a lot like Canny Acumen. Keep in mind it only raises an ability you'd be leaving at 12 or lower without it, or at 14 if you're happy with getting just a +1.

I would expect that to be useful for some builds, but not all, though if the range of "must have" general feats were expanded, that would be good for build diversity, since more good options than slots promotes choice.


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Squiggit wrote:
Lycar wrote:
Stat improvements... Okay, that one I can see with a caveat: Can't be used to improve a stat beyond what normal increases would allow and price should not scale with the improvement, but what stat value someone is trying to achieve. Shoring up a glaring weakness? Affordable. Trying to push a secondary stat to the same level as your primary? Not so much...

I think an item to try to push up a secondary/tertiary stat could actually be kinda cool. PF2's attribute system encourages you to kinda silo your stats to some extent, so some way to say... throw some extra investment in some other attribute that might provide some extra benefit could be a neat way to let... I dunno, an Inventor slightly improve their Charisma so they can feel less bad about investing in Diplomacy.

Maybe a tiered magic item that gives you a bonus but has a cap, +2 to X but no higher than say, 14... with a greater version that lets you go to 16.

Building off of this, some players do feel that PF2E's general feats are a little underwhelming, and that's a resource every character has access to.

What about something like this, a sort of Canny Acumen for ability scores:

Diverse Training (Feat 11)

Choose one ability score. You gain +4 to this ability, to a maximum of 16.


Thanks everyone for the great responses. I'll try to reply to each.

AwesomenessDog: Craft (Waxworks) sounds like a great idea. I'm not sure if it appears in an official source, but it feels well-defined. From later responses it might not cover incense, but if they opt for candles it'll be a great way to phrase it, thanks for raising that possibility.

Diego Rossi: Thanks for the wiki reference. We found some similar items that use Craft (Alchemy), but the alchemical element often seemed to focus on some other effect. Would you say using Craft (Alchemy) to make just basic incense sticks like the items I linked to would be fair play?

Mysterious Stranger: I realise we can make up whatever we want, but it's helpful to find precedent for categories to get reasonable scopes. If we don't we either end up with Craft (Exact Thing), which works but is a bit crude, or Craft (Useful Things) which feels exploitative. Also I know they can't cover everything, but candles / torches missing surprised us.

Dragonchess Player: Your response is really mechanically detailed, thanks for that. I want to let the character meet their goals with the broadest craft skills that feels fair, so if Craft (Alchemy) works for incense sticks without stretching an umbrella skill too far, we'll do it.

The character isn't a caster, and the "handyman" element is supposed to be self-sufficient, helping instead of needing help, but thanks for the idea.

In a similar style, while anyone can craft untrained, they want to show their character's (light) investment in this in some way. Investing 1 skill rank allows them to hit DC 15, so I'm happy to hear they should be able to hit the DC if incense sticks are, at most, a high-quality item.

---

Thanks again everyone for your input. The character's goal (for this item on their handyman list) was to craft some kind of simple aromatic aid, rather than specifically incense sticks or scented candles or such.

Given this, if this character was at any of your tables and asked to use Craft (Alchemy) to make the incense sticks linked in the OP or something similar, hitting DC 15 with a take 10, would you feel alright with that?


SuperBidi wrote:

Hi everyone,

It's funny because I really like PF2 balance and I'm not at all a great fan of PF1 options, but reading at the boards it looks like an important proportion of players miss them.
PF2 balance is extremely strong and it's nice for those like me who love balance. But I don't think everyone asks for the exact same level of balance inside a game. I think it would be quite easy to create an optional rule (like Free Archetypes, with a feat every other levels) bringing much of the PF1 options that people miss. I'm even pretty sure the balance of the game would not fall to pieces (besides the obvious increase in character power).

If I decompose PF1 options, I think they fall into a few categories:
- Specialization options: Weapon Focus, Spell Focus, Skill Focus. Certainly the easiests to bring back.
- Stat replacements: Zen Archery, Dex to attack or damage, Charisma to AC. Once again, these options are easy to implement.
- X times per day options: Smite Evil, Arcane Pool, rounds of Rage or Bardic Music. A bit harder to get back, but it could be great to have these kind of options for martials and casters.
- Metamagic feats: Maximized, Quicken, etc... The magic system has greatly changed, so I don't think it would be fine to take them back as is. But we could have more power oriented Metamagic feats.
- Number increases: Power attack, Dodge, Iron Will, etc... Once again, very easy to implement. But these ones feel like tax feats, so I'm not sure people really want them back.
- A lot of specialized crazy options: Sacred Geometry and other similar abilities. Well, there's obviously a big category of feats that have to be handled one by one. These ones are the hardest to get back but I'm not sure they are the most interesting.
- Stat improvements: Belt of Giant Strength, Tome of Intelligence, etc... This category is less of a character option and more of an item one. But it may also be interesting to have a system like Starfinder where you can buy stat improving items with limited scope.

I've...

I've no problem with your premise, but the solution may be overdesigned.

PF2E has a power-rating system for its options, which is feat levels and proficiencies. Characters could be given access to stronger choices by simply treating their character and proficiency levels as higher when qualifying for feats, e.g. +4 character levels and +1 proficiency level for anything trained and higher. This would let them pick strong options earlier on, and have more strong options at level 20. Increasing player "budgets" with methods like this or free archetypes is probably worth trying first, as it increases power while maintaining relative balance.


I have a player with a character that's doing a "handyman" thing with some craft / profession skill dips. One of the items on their list is making incense, or failing that mundane scented candles. We like to play by the rules as much as we can, and only homebrew answers as an absolute final resort.

Incense is apparently affordable (twice, in fact), but we haven't found an official craft skill for it or anything similar, even torches.

They have the skill ranks to spare, so we really just need help on filling in "Craft (xxx)" please.


If you think of a kineticist as an exotic kind of sorcerer, who get their 2nd level spells (wild talents) at class level 4, 3rd level spells (wild talents) at class level 6 and so on, it helps to grasp their progression.

It is presented pretty confusingly though.


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This looks like mechanics recycled from a different monster called the Wheredhego, which was cut from the bestiary.


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Tom Marlow wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:


It sounds like one of your groups tried to do something original and interesting by combining various elements your setting draws from different sources, creating a novel and dramatic development. We can't be having with that.

It's time to crush those spirits. Remind these players of their station and insignificance in this fantasy world, and the foolishness of trying to change it substantially without following a proscribed path laid by higher minds. Really put some research into it. Pathfinder has a great range of powerful characters, monsters and outright deities, officially printed with abilities and resources that can easily invalidate their actions, which is obviously why they're there. You want to impress upon your group the richness of this setting, the grandness of its conflicts and the might of its major players, that the whole...

I am not mad at the players. Let me make that clear.

They had their fun,and now they are going to have an adventure to deal with the consequences. Will it be their characters? new? or old ones? we will see.

What are you trying to say? Your group dares to meddle with the greater balance of the setting, like they're some kind of publisher, and you don't want to grab every option off the top shelf to dogpile onto them for it?

People run games oddly these days. If that's what you're into though, I suppose it's worth mentioning in passing you could say the detonation affected the planar connection to the negative energy plane in Tar-Baphon's realm, partially retuning its alignment to roughly 50/50 with the positive energy plane. Since the first world mirrors the shadow plane in its cosmological position, residing between the material and positive planes as the shadow plane does between the material and negative planes, you could have fey creatures begin manifesting on the Isle of Terror as well as the usual undead, at first minor fairies that merely annoy Tar-Baphon in a comical fashion, but then stronger and greater fey that turn the island into a battleground between primal life and undeath. The players could engage in this new conflict of their own creation, most likely siding with the fey, since they already tried assassinating Tar-Baphon, leading to a whole new adventure to overthrow the Whispering Tyrant now his undead forces face credible opposition.

The Synchrony Device doesn't say it does any of that mind you, so once more I strongly recommend having the setting's deities launch a Divine Crusade of the Status Quo.


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Tom Marlow wrote:

So one of the tables I run has used the Synchrony device at the end of Ruins of Azlant to blow up Tar-Baphon’s (whispering tyrant) Ise of Terror.

Due to the number of tables I run and the tables being connected in a group cannon, the Ruins of Azlant was run after Tyrants grasp.

As such it was relatively known that Tar-baphon the Whispering tyrant had escaped. Some of the players where refugees looking for a new life, and all the players were shades Lawful/Chaotic/Neutral Neutral aligned.

So at the end of the adventure they have this Synchrony Device Nuke and decide to stick it to the undead king.
After a lot of stupid high rolls, they reprogram it, fill it up with positive energy, and send it off to detonate in the center of the Isle of Terror. Killing all undead and possibly every one in the surrounding nations.

So I am looking for ideas for repercussions and story hooks, to continue their off canon campaign.

Tldr: Players Nuked Tar-Baphon’s (whispering tyrant) Isle of Terror and I am looking for story ideas.

It sounds like one of your groups tried to do something original and interesting by combining various elements your setting draws from different sources, creating a novel and dramatic development. We can't be having with that.

It's time to crush those spirits. Remind these players of their station and insignificance in this fantasy world, and the foolishness of trying to change it substantially without following a proscribed path laid by higher minds. Really put some research into it. Pathfinder has a great range of powerful characters, monsters and outright deities, officially printed with abilities and resources that can easily invalidate their actions, which is obviously why they're there. You want to impress upon your group the richness of this setting, the grandness of its conflicts and the might of its major players, that the whole thing is greater than they are or can be. Use those GM muscles to bring in Gods, high level mythic NPCs, anything first party you think will reinforce the fact that the players are dwarfed by canon figures who are far more important and can intercede at any moment they wish, so that you earn their respect.

With luck you can salvage things, and get back to properly enjoying the creative spirit of tabletop roleplay.


Oh these threads are always adorable.


nephandys wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
Stack wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
I honestly don't know why they didn't make class traits for weapons, the way they did for feats. Give a weapon the Rogue trait, say that rogues are proficient with all weapons with the Rogue trait, and then you're set for life. P1E's unchained monk even did this, really expected it in P2E too.
It would create a long list of traits to add to every weapon and every new class (and Paizo does like making new classes) would require adding a trait to a pile of weapons. Broad categories in the class (simple, martial) are lower word-counts.

Ah but that isn't the case.

First of all, every class already has a trait, as shown here. If you click the monk trait as listed under the class section, you'll find that and its weapon entry are one and the same. So zero additional traits are needed.

You also do not need to add the traits to every weapon, as classes would still retain their current simple, martial and advanced proficiencies. All you need to do is add that trait to the weapons you want a class to use in addition to these broad proficiencies. So rapier, sap, shortbow and shortsword would get the existing Rogue trait, and so could any future weapons published for that class to use.

I don't think that's a bad idea, but I think it has a large downside. That being that every time a new class comes out would require updating multiple weapons/items across multiple books. For example, when the swashbuckler was released they would have had to update the rapier, etc. This might be fine for people that solely use PDFs (although that would mean extra work for Paizo), but I prefer physical books so the less errata the better. In my opinion, given that limitation, they're better off sticking with the current system.

That is indeed the sticking point, but the solution lies before us.

Then we use the current system. Whenever a new class is created, there are a finite number of official weapons that have been published, which would be troublesome to errata. You specify the weapons from that existing arsenal the class can use, in addition to any weapons published with or after the class that are given their "Class Name" trait. This involves exactly the same level of effort currently used in development, since it is the current system, but with an extra basic sentence it also facilitates adding future options.

Paizo's already done the hard work, integrating a robust universal trait system. This next step is so enabled and so easy with their groundwork, I remain befuddled by its absence.

Squiggit wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
All you need to do is add that trait to the weapons you want a class to use in addition to these broad proficiencies.

Personally, I just don't like the design philosophy of this to begin with. Saying rogues should be able to use short swords but not a main gauche feels frustratingly and pointlessly restrictive. There are already restrictions on the types of weapons suited to fighting as a rogue, that should be enough.

Better to just stick to the broad categories and let people make their own choices. Especially when, ostensibly, weapons are supposed to be more or less balanced across a category anyways.

Please don't mistake specific for general. If you think rogues should get martial proficiency then maybe they should. I'm only presenting a way to add specific future weapons to classes, not saying that the current assignment of category proficiencies is remotely perfect. As someone with very little interest in ever playing a wizard PC, please give wizards simple weapon proficiency.


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Stack wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
I honestly don't know why they didn't make class traits for weapons, the way they did for feats. Give a weapon the Rogue trait, say that rogues are proficient with all weapons with the Rogue trait, and then you're set for life. P1E's unchained monk even did this, really expected it in P2E too.
It would create a long list of traits to add to every weapon and every new class (and Paizo does like making new classes) would require adding a trait to a pile of weapons. Broad categories in the class (simple, martial) are lower word-counts.

Ah but that isn't the case.

First of all, every class already has a trait, as shown here. If you click the monk trait as listed under the class section, you'll find that and its weapon entry are one and the same. So zero additional traits are needed.

You also do not need to add the traits to every weapon, as classes would still retain their current simple, martial and advanced proficiencies. All you need to do is add that trait to the weapons you want a class to use in addition to these broad proficiencies. So rapier, sap, shortbow and shortsword would get the existing Rogue trait, and so could any future weapons published for that class to use.


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I honestly don't know why they didn't make class traits for weapons, the way they did for feats. Give a weapon the Rogue trait, say that rogues are proficient with all weapons with the Rogue trait, and then you're set for life. P1E's unchained monk even did this, really expected it in P2E too.


Claxon wrote:
@Artifical 20, I'm not sure exactly what number would be right for the feel. I'd probably have to test it a lot. But going from PF1 where my Warpriest Archer is shooting like 4 arrows a turn and only 1 misses to PF2 and I'm lucky if 1 of my 2 arrows hits....it was a huge shock. Having turns where all my attacks miss makes me very resentful of the system.

It can take some feeling out. I'm not presenting P2E in this, just asking in a generic sense of rolling a D20 for something. To build a system you have to start without said system existing, and rolling any dice implies chance, so I'm interested to hear from someone with an articulate interest in hyperfocus what probability of failure works. Steps can be taken beyond that, such as multiple attacks a round, by rolling is the design molecule.

Even if you can't specify it, thank you for giving a response.


Claxon wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


Something that should be unlearnt for pf2e is the idea that hyper focus is optimal, do it if that is your jam but if you want to build characters that do one thing and only do that one thing regardless of whether that one thing makes sense, the system won't give you enough tools to make that feel satisfying. I see this as a feature though.

This is precisely my problem though. I want to hyperfocus. Not hyperfocusing feels unrewarding to me.

Oh, so I'm moderately good at everything, and I have a couple things I'm above average.

Pffft! Who cares! I want to be exceptional at something, even if it means I'm awful at everything else.

In this capacity, PF2 fails categorically for me. It's why I told my gaming group I wasn't giving it another go. I realize PF2 just isn't a good fit for my playstyle.

Out of an interest to know, what number feels exceptional to you? 80%ish success rate, maybe 90%ish, 95%?


Yet by the very same token, repetitive fights against familiar enemies are a boon for building player knowledge. GMs tend towards the higher side of insight into the game system, hence feeling able to run it, but APs also target new players, and new players will generally need to get the hang of things. What may seem uninteresting to veterans could be foundational to a newbie, and that includes 5 similar fights to feel out which tactics work.


Unless you need an oracle level, you could swap in Scaled Fist. This would improve your BAB progression, get you CHA to AC and CMD on top of your DEX, give you a neat bonus feat, all in all a good dip.


Hey this is a nice party, I want to add a present.

Pin wrote:
You can give your opponent the pinned condition (see Appendix 2). Despite pinning your opponent, you still only have the grappled condition, but you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC.

So if pinning your opponent means you lose your dex to AC, does your CMD also lose dex, making the check to break the pin vs. your CMD get easier?


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Fathers love wrote:
My issue is just as the title says I don’t know how to have my half orc do a romantic relationship with a gnome the main problems are how do they kiss,cuddle,etc. and I need advice on it

One simple way to incorporate a bond between characters into adventuring is... Incorporate the bond between the characters into adventuring. Have the characters perform actions that they would perform anyway in tandem.


  • The party are recovering items from a lost tomb, the 2 characters carry a heavy / delicate item out together
  • The party are searching a new chamber, the 2 characters check out this corner together
  • The party just finished a heck of an encounter, the smaller character leans against the bigger character for support instead of a wall, or the bigger character flops over and asks the smaller character to carry them

And so on and so forth. Partners can express affection during their shared experiences, showing helpfulness and appreciation in what they do, instead of pausing everything for romantic functions like a bathroom break. Tip of the iceberg, make it tastefully clear the deeper romantic interactions are there off-screen, and just have them mostly do the stuff they do together.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Maybe it is just the cat equivalent of a PC.

Aah so it's a Player Cat.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Unicore wrote:

My problem with this is that it flips the entire narrative of the striking spell feature. You are not using your weapon to connect with a spell. You are just casting a spell and getting a free strike with it. There would be absolutely no benefit to not taking that free strike because the additional activity you wanted to do would cost the same number of actions, probably meaning it has to wait until the following round and it would gain no benefit for doing so.

In the end you would also need to give the magus better casting proficiencies too because they have no way of boosting their accuracy with spells, like they do with the crit rider of the current striking spell.

If the idea is that you cast the spell into the weapon, the power really does have to work by requiring the weapon to hit before the spell can go off. Otherwise it should be renamed as well to something akin to spell combat.

Pretty much, yes. The proposal more accurately maps to Spell Combat, which was a 2 weapon fighting replacement, instead of Spell Strike, which was a crit-fishing version of Power Attack (lower accuracy, harder hit). Specifically, by default spells only crit on a 20, but with Spell Strike they crit at whatever range your weapon did.

I'm not sure that I follow.

PF1 Spellstrike lets you cast a spell, and in place of its normal delivery method, channel it through a weapon attack into a target.

PF1 Spell Combat allows you to cast a spell in addition to your normal attack sequence, ala TWF. It allows you to e.g. cast Mirror Image on yourself while also making attacks, without giving any extra.

The spell would be the extra attack, in the case of Spell Combat. If you were able to make 3 attacks for example, you'd get those 3 attacks at -2, AND a spell cast. And possibly a 4th weapon attack if you chose to also use Spell Strike, which independently turned your more accurate touch attack into a less accurate melee...

Indeed, so the act of casting a spell alongside your attacks (which take TWF penalties) is Spell Combat. The act of transmitting a spell through a free strike is Spellstrike.

Based on this, the concept of casting a spell and getting a free strike seems to emulate Spellstrike. Emulating Spell Combat would be along the lines of being able to cast a spell as a free action alongside one or more strikes, but the strikes and spell take a -2 to hit and DCs. This would probably be overpowered if not regulated to a significant extent.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Unicore wrote:

My problem with this is that it flips the entire narrative of the striking spell feature. You are not using your weapon to connect with a spell. You are just casting a spell and getting a free strike with it. There would be absolutely no benefit to not taking that free strike because the additional activity you wanted to do would cost the same number of actions, probably meaning it has to wait until the following round and it would gain no benefit for doing so.

In the end you would also need to give the magus better casting proficiencies too because they have no way of boosting their accuracy with spells, like they do with the crit rider of the current striking spell.

If the idea is that you cast the spell into the weapon, the power really does have to work by requiring the weapon to hit before the spell can go off. Otherwise it should be renamed as well to something akin to spell combat.

Pretty much, yes. The proposal more accurately maps to Spell Combat, which was a 2 weapon fighting replacement, instead of Spell Strike, which was a crit-fishing version of Power Attack (lower accuracy, harder hit).

I'm not sure that I follow.

PF1 Spellstrike lets you cast a spell, and in place of its normal delivery method, channel it through a weapon attack into a target.

PF1 Spell Combat allows you to cast a spell in addition to your normal attack sequence, ala TWF. It allows you to e.g. cast Mirror Image on yourself while also making attacks, without giving any extra.


The "Cast a Spell" part costs the actions the spell normally does.

It gives 1 free basic strike, usually used to deliver the spell. You can forgo this if you want to use more actions to deliver it with some other strike.

Striking Spell gets the Flourish trait. That way it can't be spammed, but most spells will leave you with 1 action for something else.


Don't you folks love this edition?

Remember P1E with its fiddly rules, convoluted and complex interactions and exceptions that turned mechanics into riddles rather than vehicles for intended play experience? And all because the developers were hamstrung by having to build upon the faulty foundation of D&D 3.5.

I'm so glad we're beyond that.


Knot easily.


bugleyman wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
Due to a misaimed internal pointer, it's actually the character receiving healing that has to have free hands.
Rumor has it that using battle medicine with a null pointer is what killed Aroden. ;-)

And Irori ascended by taking voluntary flaws to underflow all his scores.

There's more to it than that, but he doesn't want it spreading.


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Due to a misaimed internal pointer, it's actually the character receiving healing that has to have free hands.

Also, if you stand in the very top left square of the map and use Battle Medicine, it heals the first creature in initiative.


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Funny Skeleton Friend wrote:
*parks Folca's ice cream truck nearby*

Sir that's a social distancing hazard.


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I think part of the issue is a lack of visual feedback, creating a notion that nothing but the numbers can provide such awareness.

Imagine a military fantasy where the elite PC squad are gunning through evil human opposition with conventional rifles. They're doing well against standard troops, then an enemy elite squad arrives, all touting superior weapons and armour. The PCs' shots dent or deflect off of their defences and require sustained hits to overwhelm a target, where the regular troops went down from one or two clean hits. Starting to struggle against such opposition, the PC squad decides to switch to the rare and costly armour piercing ammunition they carry for just such a situation as this one. With this improved level of offence, they're able to take down their opponents with less difficulty and progress, until they run into a tank. Standard bullets spark off this thing with the effectiveness of buzzing flies, and even their AP ammo scores ugly pocks in the armour plating, but doesn't penetrate through and do damage on a very meaningful scale. The PC squad swiftly resort to their biggest ace up the sleeve, some providing cover while others unpack and load their portable rocket launcher. They only carry a few rounds, but each packs a mighty punch, and with maybe a couple rockets the tank's armour is blasted open and the insides are blown apart.

None of this is to say that an ace or lucky shot from a lesser weapon can never do telling damage against tougher targets, but you might be able to imagine firing a handgun at a battle tank is usually an act of desperation rather than a strategy with a viable probability of success.

If you imagined that without knowing the precise kinetic energy, ballistic force, explosive yield and so forth of the weapons involved, which are all represented via numbers in military specifications, you've grasped certain offensive calibres being needed to overpower certain defensive thresholds.


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Now is this a tacit admission that the oozemorph archetype was cursed?


Deadmanwalking wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
IMO, you are one of the two best contributors on these boards because of your extremely balanced, factual and well-reasoned posts.
Thanks, I do try. That always feels a weird and inadequate way to respond to sentiments like this, but I've never been good at knowing how to respond to compliments.

While I'm not keeping organised rankings, I think the positive reception you tend to elicit on these forums supports the merits of your methods.

Now to dispel any awkward mush, my specific example was inspired by a play on your forum name. I'm not sure the allusion landed.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
DMW, not you too. I've seen worse derails, but this has gone from an uncomfortable topic to a tasteless one.

Sorry, man.

I have real problems not responding when people directly ask me questions on some subjects, moral philosophy included. It's a problem.

I don't think it's a problem. You engaged with all good faith, and gave a consistent reasoned answer, despite the topic, yes, being disgusting. You have my thanks for that, I think your stance holds up.

Being willing to stomach that which we find repulsive empowers us to ask the same compromise of others, who may express disgust towards us. I think you understand that principle.

Ruzza wrote:
DMW, not you too. I've seen worse derails, but this has gone from an uncomfortable topic to a tasteless one.

That really depends on the preparation.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah, cannibalism being inherently Evil has never made much sense to me, and is something I hope they do away with in PF2. Sure, murder is Evil, but that's an entirely separate issue from eating those already dead.

I mean, Evil is pretty specifically about hurting and killing people...and eating dead people really doesn't do either of those things, so it's inconsistent with the rest of the setting that it would be morally troublesome.

And actually, even in PF1, it was specifically only cannibalism granting magical power that was Evil, not the mundane kind. Which was always weird to me, though I guess it makes a little more sense in a 'dark bargains to gain power' sense, but was apparently the official ruling.

Now, in real life, cannibalism is ill-advised as a common course of action for health reasons, but again that's separate from the idea of it being morally problematic.

But putting those principles to test, having intercourse with dead people also does not hurt or kill people. Does that make you comfortable with classifying necrophilia as a neutral act?

One step over are modern debates around the practice of harvesting organs from the deceased or terminally ill.

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