NPC design is very different in the new edition. With the new design philosophy, all first level creatures (including NPCs and even PCs) should be roughly equal in power, and NPCs do not have classes. Of course a level 1 barbarian is probably more powerful than a level 1 sorcerer in most combat situations, but that's the idea. Based on this, I don't think your level 1 commoner has roughly the same combative power as a level 1 fighter or wizard, and I don't think commoner as a class needs to exist. If you haven't seen it I would recommend looking at the Monster Creation Guide. You can use this same guide to make NPCs. A commoner could be a level -1 creature with these rules.
What if the Barbarian and the (hypothetical) ranger both wanted to make attacks? If you give out free attacks at the start of combat to whoever declares them it's likely to happen that the other players try to jump in on them too. You detract from roleplaying as you encourage players to declare combat actions out of combat so they can get a free hit in.
The Barbarian becoming hostile, drawing their weapon or moving threateningly, prompted the Fireball. Not the Barbarian doing a Sudden Charge. The turn is not static, with people standing around patiently for others' actions, so the Barbarian probably took a couple menacing steps forward before being blown away. As you note the Barbarian might not even get to Sudden Charge for a number of reasons, so the better fix is to not get hung up on the specific action the player might choose in a turn, but instead to read the intent behind the actions.
Personally I think more meaningful choices makes for a more interesting and interactive combat, and so if the Barbarian has to choose whether to rage or not that's more interesting than the Barbarian literally always raging with the first action.
Looking at the narrative example you gave, I think the Barbarian closing and landing a solid blow before the retaliation sends them into a bloodlust makes good narrative sense, and is very much in line with what a barbarian is. I also think your given actions would be very in line with what a barbarian is. In this example even if you rage first you still have an enemy in melee to wail on anyways if only one flew away, so you aren't helpless here. You just have your party handle the flier while you rip the other one apart, and everyone wins.
Though not exactly what you're asking, I personally like to use non-English alphabets in play by post games when someone is speaking a non-Common tongue. I usually type random words into Google translate until I get something that looks good.
For in-person games I usually just say "the elemental speaks Terran in a deep voice like stones grinding together" or something like that. I don't usually try to imitate the language or describe the words too much.
Sorry my post came across as condescending, that wasn't my intention. I just wanted to list everything in one post to show all the places where the scenario could change and make this a non-issue.
Maybe this is a good reason to change tactics: if you fight a spell caster and know you can't fly at the moment, and the enemy spell caster might be able to, maybe move in and attack but wait a round before raging to see if they take flight. If they don't and they're still close by you are probably good to rage and put the hurt in them, and hopefully your teammates can finish them off. The "correct" thing to do probably changes a lot with initiative, tactical decisions, level, whether the enemy had time to prepare, etc, but sometimes waiting to rage might be beneficial.
Well, if I understand the cryptic rental car analogy, there's always PFS, where you literally cannot build around your group because it constantly changes.
Also, it may be baffling to you, but in every group I've played in the most we usually communicate about our builds to each other during chargen is our classes and character concept to make sure we don't have too many similar characters. We don't normally coordinate our builds together, we generally pick feats and things based on what we feel fits our concept best rather than what works best for the group as a whole. I feel like this method allows you to make a character with a little more personality built into the way they play, rather than a bag of stats who fits the composition best, but YMMV.
I do think that we tend to build more toward a team as we level, picking feats and spells to complement each other's fighting style, which to me makes more sense than a group of four random level 1's who just met but can fight perfectly together with strongly complementary builds.
So the scenario is:
* Enemy can fly
In this very specific scenario, yes, the Barbarian either stands around doing nothing (maybe attempting intimidate or something) or breaks anathema by using ranged attacks and loses rage for the day. If your team has competent ranged attackers I would probably just shout insults at the cowardly levitating enemy, but otherwise just deal with anathema.
I hope by writing it this way you can see that a large set of preconditions and specific sequence of events have to occur for this scenario, making quite unlikely. I think the low level flier with strong ranged attacks and no obvious wings in particular doesn't actually exist, but haven't looked through the Bestiary to confirm.
Rules for diseases spreading, especially between party members, seems like something that could be fun in an adventure specifically designed around that idea, and antifun other times due to splitting the party or removing a character from play. The 2e rules seem to draw out an intentional "line in the sand" quite often, preferring to spell out rules for playing the game and allowing DMs to do what they want for more book-keepy or verisimilitude-related things. I expect specific rules for the spread of a plague-type disease will show up if and when an adventure is written which needs such rules, and will not generally apply to every disease in CRB.
Not all spell effects are removed at the end of spell duration.
I don't consider myself new to RPGs, but with the way I build characters the backgrounds in the CRB are a great tool for me. I usually start with a build in mind, like "smart Fighter who fights unconventionally", and from that idea adding a background can take the character in many interesting directions. I would not have thought to make the fighter an ex-detective myself, so I find them useful.
There is a very different design philosophy for monsters this edition. There are no racial adjustments to stats and classes tacked on base monsters, because when you think of it that was a lot of extra steps to get to the end goal of a monster with abilities you wanted it to have. It required someone experienced enough to know what the "right" numbers were to make a fair and balanced monster in the end, and required a lot of fiddling. It also limited the possible abilities monsters could have in a lot of ways.
The new design paradigm is to skip all that fiddling with racial bonuses, and instead keep the end goal front and center. If you want the monster to have good reflex and poor will, you just give them that, based on their level. You make them unique with some special actions or abilities and it's basically done.
This makes adjusting monsters even easier, since there's no reverse engineering what is a monster ability versus a class ability anymore, and you don't have to worry about the numbers not lining up for your special custom monster. If you have a mage derro and you want to make a warrior derro, you adjust the saves, HP, attacks, etc, take away the spellcasting, and give it a couple warrior abilities like AoO and a special two action attack. After learning it the whole process takes like 5 minutes, it's massively easier than PF1.
I recommend you look at the Monster Building Guidelines which will be part of the upcoming GMG, to understand the new design process. Once you get a handle on it things are way easier for a GM who wants to make their own modifications.
I'm sure its been quoted somewhere upthread, but could you direct me to where that difference is established?
Not seeing either of those immunities for ooze. Source
I usually say something to the effect of "it sears your soul" or "you feel the attack tear into the core of your being", so they know I'm talking about a non-physical effect. I wouldn't want them thinking it's acid damage or something through my description. I usually describe evil creatures being hit with the Sorcerer's Divine Lance as sizzling and hissing in pain.
Were they just chatting about other things and not playing? Three and a half hours is ridiculous, if it was rules discussion the GM should just make a call after a few minutes of searching. I can't see any way you can spend that long on a single turn with even a passing knowledge of d20 systems. Most times I have a whole game session with 3-5 combats in that time.
As I have stated who knows how many times in this thread, the "actions lost" during stunned are a counter. The actual penalty of being stunned is the fact that at any time you are stunned, you can't act. That is including the turn you gain the condition.
The second sentence of stunned says "Stunned usually includes a value, which indicates how many total actions you lose, possibly over multiple turns, from being stunned." Based on that general idea I don't believe extra actions should be removed on your turn without reducing the stunned value. If you are stunned 1 and lose 2 actions on your turn plus one next turn, that's 3 actions lost, so that would contradict this sentence. Losing actions and being unable to use actions are one and the same, at least as I see it.
In fact I don't think there's any consistent way of reading this full entry for a Stun that happens on your turn. It seems very likely to be an errata target. Because of that, and in absence of developer comment about the intention, I think any ruling will have to effectively be a house rule at this point. Just do what makes sense for your group.
(Im sure others will disagree that it's clear as day if you read it one particular way and make some assumptions, but this is my opinion on the topic)
Third and fourth attacks are useless against bosses anyways. Even the minimum 5% chance of completely eliminating the boss's turn if they nat 1 the save is far more valuable than a 5-10% chance to do a little more damage, which is what the third attack would be against a higher level enemy.
I'd point out the spell strike ability being discussed is for a non-player creature, and in book 6 of an AP, so probably near max level. So think of it like an ability you get as a class feature that you've enhanced with several class feats. For example, compare to Hunter's Edge with every feat that improves Hunter's Edge.
Stunned is instant and is removed after a number of actions wasted and slowed has a duration, so they work quite different. Not sure why you assert that "stunned is supposed to be more harsh".
Though maybe not RAW, I think the thing that makes the most sense for a mid-turn stun is for it to just remove remaining actions on your turn as if it was the start of the turn. If it removed all your remaining actions and you are still stunned you lose reactions, if it is gone you keep your reactions. I realize the rules do not support this, but to me this makes the most sense, certainly more than a Stun 1 removing a variable amount of actions depending on what time in your turn it hits (I think the "it's not removing actions, you still have the actions but can't use them" argument is a bunch of legalese that would make any player upset if you used it).
Certainly true. I should have instead said that champions have to stand for something, and the champion options presented so far stand for concepts represented by an alignment. I agree that future champion options could open up to other causes though. The important thing is you are fighting for something particular.
I think a bit of the "trap" people are falling into, and whats driving some issues, is that people are looking for an alignment to be internal consistent and without conflict. This overlooks a massive host of character concepts and narrative angles.
I don't think your concepts are champions of neutrality. They are champions of good/evil who happen to be neutral at the moment, but a fallen paladin is not fighting for neutrality (at least not in traditional fallen paladin stories) so they would likely skip right over to champion of evil.
Put another way, it's not sufficient for a champion to merely have a particular alignment at the moment, but they must actively fight for what that alignment represents. This is what the anathema represent. A paladin who falls, but into neutrality as the end goal instead of evil, would be more appropriate as a neutral champion, but is harder to grasp as a concept. What would the anathema even look like?
Pulling from other suggestions up-thread, maybe this paladin realizes that the struggle to pull souls from evil into good and changing their destination to a good plane is somehow harmful, by imbalancing cosmic powers or what have you, and they become a champion of ensuring that souls reach their proper destination, even if that might be a place of suffering and hate.
I agree calm emotions is better overall. Better range, better AoE pattern of burst instead of cone, on a fail it takes the enemy out of the fight, and you can sustain the attack penalty on successful save instead of it only lasting 1 round. The advantage for color spray is that on a failed save it affects them for a minute without sustaining, while you have to spend an action every round on calm emotions. Of course if it's only one or two creatures color spray would also be preferable, since your party will want to direct hostile actions against them if they have no other targets and potentially taking away an action and blinding for a round (which possibly means they have to seek, losing more actions) is a much better penalty than -1 attack.
Pretty sure the fists qualifier is so you need to consider how many hands you have available, rather than holding stuff in hand and kicking or headbutting or what have you. In this regard seedpod does not say it requires any hands, so I assume you just flex or whip them off your body or something. So I would say it shouldn't apply Powerful Fist.
I agree, I've done more homebrew race and specialized class options then I ever did in PF1 because the structure in place makes it easy to logically build up your own stuff. Combined with the super easy monster building, which are easy enough I think with experience you could generate creatures totally ad hoc with just some reference tables, I think the system lends itself very well to homebrew.
True statements, it is just amusing given that Dwarven weapon familiarity (racial feat) grants proficiencies in Battle Axe, Pick, and Warhammer - which are martial weapons. so my wizard can hit things better with any of those, which given their 'martial' status means they are probably supposed to be harder to use than a simple weapon. But that clan dagger, which is a simple weapon... well apparently it's much harder to use.
The way I look at it, as a wizard the feat represents you getting basic training in traditional dwarf weapons, and clan daggers aren't really a traditional weapon for a warrior. For others with more weapon proficiencies the feat represents practicing the uncommon weapons, even those that are not traditionally combat weapons like the clan dagger, but since you are less skilled with weapons you had to focus your training more on the dwarven basics, even if they are not as "simple" (though I think axes are pretty simple to use too right?).
Here's the text of Escape I was referring to earlier:
You attempt to escape from being grabbed, immobilized, or restrained. Choose one creature, object, spell effect, hazard, or other impediment imposing any of those conditions on you. Attempt a check using your unarmed attack modifier against the DC of the effect. This is typically the Athletics DC of a creature grabbing you, the Thievery DC of a creature who tied you up, the spell DC for a spell effect, or the listed Escape DC of an object, hazard, or other impediment. You can attempt an Acrobatics or Athletics check instead of using your attack modifier if you choose (but this action still has the attack trait).
The second sentence says you choose a creature who has you grabbed. The fourth sentence says, if you chose a creature, the DC to escape is their Athletics DC.
Of course, it says "typically", so it's unclear if Combat Grab and the like are "typical" here. However, given that grabs as an add-on to an attack are so common (with the grab ability for monsters being a fairly common ability), I would personally just go with what it says for the "typical" case, especially since a good attack roll can make the grab near impossible to escape if you use that for DC. Also means you have to note down individual attack results so you can refer back to it as a DC, which seems like more of a hassle than just using Athletics DC. But YMMV.
I think the "effect that is restraining you" in this case would be the grappler themselves, and would use their normal Athletics DC, rather than being the Combat Grab or other feat you used, based on the wording in Escape where it says "choose one creature... Imposing any of those conditions on you". But could be worth an FAQ.
Nonsense, the enemies have an infinite amount of allies teleport them in one at a time, then they walk past the fighter into a sphere of annihilation. :p
OK, I reread and found the "rolling damage dice anew each time" part, so I understand now. Thanks for correcting me on that rule. It does kind of make things a little vague if persistent damage is different die sizes VS fixed value or something, but the cases where this would happen in play are extremely niche as it would have to be close to the same value and the same damage type so I don't think it's a real issue.
"Value" being whatever damage is listed next to the entry. 1d6 > 1 and 6 > 1d6. ("1d6" is probably greater than "3", but you don't roll the d6 before figuring it out, because 1d6 is unequivocally larger than 1d4 even though it can roll lower).
Huh? You roll the persistent damage to get a value and then keep whichever result is higher. 1d6 is not greater or less than 3, they aren't directly comparable that way. The way you are suggesting means a roll of 1 could replace the 3 since it's "greater", and a roll of 6 could not replace a 4. 1d6 isn't even "greater" than 1d4, since there's not really a direct meaning for "dice pool X is greater than dice pool Y". You could say it has a higher average, or a larger die size, but without speaking to some more specific characteristic like that it's ambiguous what you mean.
In programmer's lingo, these would be invalid operations.
An advantage divine sorcerer has over cleric at high levels as a primary healer is not needing to know what sort of enemies they are fighting. Whether curses, high level poisons, diseases, or other conditions removed through restoration or similar, the primary healer sorcerer can choose a lot of these as signature spells and heighten them to the needed level when and if they show up. The cleric has more trouble dealing with non-damage effects thanks to the changes so that counteract checks are needed - you can only prepare a few high level debuff removals, and may not pick the right ones.
If you really want the old school roll, then i believe the best way is to roll 2dx. Like 6 hp becomes 2d6. This way you have both the very high and the very low, with acceptable distributions and a bonus average in exchange for the risks involved in rolling.
This is probably the best recommendation for what the OP was looking for.
More in general, starting hp totals have vastly increased in PF2. (A first level character can start with over 20 hit points!) What do you think about that - is there room for playing a game where you start out with five or ten hit points, like in previous D&D rulesets? Or rather, let's assume there is, avoid any negative and boring explanations why not, and tell us about your variant rules? :-)
Assuming we are talking about rolling for HP with a die equal to your class's normal "hit die", this change is basically to reduce starting HP drastically, and as they level average HP of the party will settle around 50%.
There is a change in the assumption of how often you will get hit by enemies. In PF2 you will get hit more often, and for more damage, so a 5 HP character will probably have to avoid any attacks being directed at them or else have very good odds of dropping before doing anything.
To make this work enemy attack and damage numbers might have to be adjusted. You could instead try to raise player AC so they are hit less. Or you could simply lower overall encounter difficulty or use lower damage enemies, like gremlins instead of orcs for example.
If you are rolling every level then your chances of being one-shot by at level enemies will likely stay the same, while it slowly takes you longer to kill them in turn, so whatever compensation for this should maybe have slight scaling to account for that.