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You might want to consider Versatile Font at second level. It allows you to cast either harm or heal with your font spells regardless of your deity's granted font.
Doesn't work for Urgathoa. Only clerics of deities that allow you to choose between Healing and Harming Font can benefit from this feat.
What about accessibile dedication which wouldn't have been available due to lack of requirements?
When retraining, you generally can’t make choices you couldn’t make when you selected the original option. For instance, you can’t exchange a 2nd-level skill feat for a 4th-level one, or for one that requires prerequisites you didn’t meet at the time you took the original feat. If you don’t remember whether you met the prerequisites at the time, ask your GM to make the call. If you cease to meet the prerequisites for an ability due to retraining, you can’t use that ability. You might need to retrain several abilities in sequence in order to get all the abilities you want.
So no, I don't limit arguments to utility spells. But before we talk about damages or debuffs, you'll have to convince me a caster may deal more damages or better debuff than a fighters.
He does. Both in fact. He's just limited by his spell slots.
According to citricking's analysis, a Wizard using a max level 2d6/level damaging spell deals about as much damage as a ranger on most levels, even rivaling a fighter (using two basic strikes) at the highest levels. This is against a single target.
Against groups of enemies, a caster is obviously more effective. And against single targets, there are spells that deal more than 2d6/level. Stuff like Disintegrate, Shocking Grasp, Hydraulic Torrent and Phantasmal killer deal more damage and/or have additional effects, usually debuffs.
As for debuffs, there's plenty of those on most spell lists. Here's a selection of stuff onthe Occult list, which I would call the "most debuff-y" of all traditions.
- Synesthesia is occult exclusive but one of the most devestating effects in the game (barring instant death effects).
Well, you never said to limit any arguments on Utility spells.*
As for Utility spells that can be useful multiple times per day the first thing that comes to mind are things like Jump, Fly, Invisibility and Illusory Object/Creature, Dimension Door and Teleport.
And depending on your definition of "Utility" there's a good number of offensive and defensive buffs like True Strike, Blur, Mirror Image, False Life, Heroism, Freedom of Movement and Stoneskin .
(caster proficiency is useful only when you cast spell using save or attack roll. ie, it's useless for a MC)
While usually a minor concern, proficiency also helps you to Counteract enemy effects and makes your own spells harder to Counteract.
*So why the limit to Utility? Are you trying to build a weapon using character or a caster? If it's the former, a fighter MC caster will of course be the better choice.
Is there a reason to play a full-caster instead of a fighter MC caster?
You mean a fighter multiclassed to caster? Yes.
The reasons are
- Faster spellcasting proficiency progression up to Legendary and slightly higher Spellcasting ability modifier at most levels.
- 9th and 10th level spells - and spell slots for heightening!
- About 100-150% more spell slots (calculated at level 20).
- Higher level caster feats can be pretty good depending on the class. A multiclass character will have extremely delayed access to level 4+ feats and no access to feats beyond level 10.
- Actually gaining spells without burning nearly half of your class feats.
While it is by far the best damaging cantrip, simply making it single target seems a bit boring. I have no clue how balanced they are, but here are some ideas on how to change the cantrip. Using any one of them should rein the spell in - hopefully without making useless.
- Keep the spell as is but make it only jump to a secondary target if the first target critically fais its save and maybe also deal only half damage to the secondary target. This feels most in line with the other on crit effect of other cantrips.
- Treat the secondary target's save as one degree better.
- Remove the casting ability modifier from the damage when attacking two targets. Mostly helps at lower levels but I wouldn't expect a level 20 caster to use his cantrips very often anyway.
- Make the additional target cost an extra action. Removes the ability to hit two targets at 60 feet with reach spell.
Come to think of it, the last one can be combined with any of the others
First of all: A skill becomes Legendary at level 15, not 13.
I know you were going with Assurance here, but a high Wisdom character can use Medicine much more effectively. At many levels it's actually better to roll than to rely on Assurance. And with wisdom being as important as it is, it's probably also not too hard to find someone with Wisdom 16 or 18 in any party by level 10.
A Wis-based character at level 10 can have +23 to Medicine (16 Master Proficiency, +5 Wisdom, +2 Healer's Gloves).
For the DC 30 check, that's 30% failure*, 50% success and 20% crit success . I'm not great with probability in math but I think that would bring the average healing to (39*50%) + (48*2*20%) = 29,1.
That's enough to get the level 12 barbarian fixed up within 70 minutes. A barb at your level (10) is fixed within an hour. And you can Multiply this healing with Ward Medic, getting the whole party going in one hour.
For something that's essentially free, this seems good enough to me. Someone relying solely on Assurance will be behind, but that's true for all skills.
*I'm ignoring Critical Failure here. Adding it to the equation would reduce the healing by the marginal amount of 0.225 healing done.
I'm playing a crossbow ranger in Plaguestone (still level 1. I only skimmed your post because spoilers). My wisdom is 16 and I'm trained in medicine. I'll get assurance at level 2 and continual recovery at 3.
So far, I've had no problems treating wounds, though admittedly it hasn't been necessary all that often. Stillx by level 3 I'll be able to heal 2d8 every 10 minutes. At 6 (should we play beyond Plaguestone, which I believe ends at level 3 or 4) I can heal 2d8+10 every 10 minutes without fail.
Around level 8 with 18 wisdom and master medicine I'll switch back to rolling instead of using assurance. I'll have a good chance of success (for the DC20 version, that is) and even a decent change to crit for extra healing.
So yeah, treat wounds seems fine. Anyone can easily use it starting level 3. A rogue even starting level 2. High wisdom characters can get extra mileage out of it at many different levels but for basic healing, it's usable by anyone willing to invest a few skill feats.
I noticed this rule during PFS this weekend. Also made Harm seem a bit too weak of an attacking spell, but I can see why. Maybe a class feat to help increase the effectiveness of using Harm/Heal to attack, like adding an extra +1d8 per level (instead of 8 per level). Though that does feel under powered for such a feat, so would need to be part of something more...
Harm is only weak when you cast it at range. In melee, it's a single action damage spell with no attack roll and doesn't have the attack trait. A very nice third (or even second) action for a melee cleric.
I'm pretty sure the 2 action version is mostly meant for healing undead minions without putting the caster in harm's way. (Yes, that was intended.)
Here's just a few I noticed, doing a complete list would probably take much longer than it is worth.
Heroism is gone from Arcane, but available for Divine.
Finger of Death and Wail of the Banshee are also gone from Arcane.
Obscuring Mist, Paralyze and Wind Wall are no longer Divine.
Foresight is missing on Primal.
Soundburst is no longer Occult.
Wouldn't it be much more effective to have a bear companion and actually flank with it while it's using its support ability? I don't see a rule stating that a supporting animal companion can't be used for flanking. That way, you'd get another d8 on top of sneak attack.
Becomes even easier to do once you get Side by Side at leve l2.
Increased weapon size does NOT increse the damage die. A bastard sword does 1d8 (or 1d12 when wielded with both hands), even if it's huge. The only way to get a damage bonus out of an oversized weapon is the giant instinct of the barbarian and for your character, you're stuck with +6 since you can't get the instict specialization.
You can't get an ancestry feat instead of a general feat. But the general feat "Ancestral Paragon" allows you to get a 1st level ancestry feat.
Haven't gone over it in great detail, but a few things stood out:
You took Radiant Blade Spirit too early. It's a 10th level feat.
I'd drop barbarian dedication, to be honest. The bonus damage is not worth the AC penalty, even less so if you take another -1 AC for wielding an oversized weapon. -2 AC is a serious penalty in PF2 and you don't really get much from it. If you want reach, just use a d10 reach weapon.
And why fighter dedication for Power Attack at 10 when you could get Blade of Justice at 12? Seems like a waste.
I'm also not a fan of Radiant Blade Master. By the time you get it, Keen has been available as rune for 7 levels (unless your GM is absolutely against uncommon items). And I can't see myself using Greater Disrupting over Holy unless I'm in a very undead heavy campaign.
You can't be a rogue and a ranger at level 1 unless you're playing with in a party with the (not official) Gestalt rules.
Usually, you pick one class for each level, including 1. So when you're level 7, you could be a rogue 3/ranger 4, for example. You onle get the extra skll rank/HP only when leveling in your favorit class. So if you picked ranger for this hypothecial character, you'd get the bonus 4 times.
The Half-Elf only allows you to get the bonus for two classes, so you could pick ranger and rogue and get the bonus 7 times.
If you are indeed playing under Gestalt rules, ask your GM how he wants to handle it.
Michael Alves wrote:
I disagree on them being useless. They are still very powerful - if heightened. They won't help you when you're fighting a dragon, true. But many other evil wizards/warlords/BBEGs often oppose you with a bunch of underlings. Taking those out so your party can focus on the boss can actually be a pretty effective strategy, especially if those underlings happen to include casters that would otherwise buff/heal the boss.
Freedom of movement is not good only against spells, give it another read.
I know. But against spells and all other magical effects (which includes a huge number of monster abilities) it does nothing if not heightened to an appropriate level.
The Globe of Invulnerability is still good because enemies will also use low slot spells.
That's not my experience. Enemies usually have only one encounter: That against the PCs. So nothing keeps them from using their highest level spells. An enemy needs to be multiple levels below the party to be affected by Globe (at least if the party is on a level where 4th level slots have lsot their importance). Such a caster is most likely no danger to the party, with globe or without.
Anyway, thanks for fixing the article. All those spells are still good, but I felt that it should be mentioned that they only perform at full capacity when heightened. :)
I don't like choose a tradition for the witch. It should stay a feature of the sorcerer.
Otherwise you could also argue that the oracle should get different traditions based on it's mystery. There's plenty of mysteries in PF1 that I'd call Primal or Occult.
Prepared (int-based) Occult caster with access to spells from other traditions via Patron choice works just fine for me. And I agree that Hexes will most likely be Cantrips and Focus spells. I could easily see all witches starting with evil eye as a cantrip, probably as a minor debuff (-1 to attacks or AC or skills or saves for one round). It could allow a will save if cast as one action and no save if cast as two or something like that.
More powerful hexes like slumber, misfortune or healing hex could be available as focus powers via class feats.
It's a good read and analysis.
There is one thing that bothers me, though. I think you're underrating the importance of high level spell slots.
You completely fail to mention the Incapactation trait on many of the best debuff/disable spells. That first level Color Spray won't do much against level 3+ enemies. They treat their save as one degree better, so even on a failed save, they are only dazzled for a round. And on a success, they are unaffected.
Similarly, some of the spells you list as examples for useful low-level spells are actually relatively weak when not heightened to a high level spell slot.
A 4th level Globe of Invulnerability isn't going to do much against a 12th level caster since it has an extremely low chance to block anything higher than 4th level. And even 3rd and 4th level spells have roughly a 50% chance to get through.
Freedom of Movement also only allows automatic escape against effects that are no higher than its level. A 4th level FoM isn't going to help you against Black Tentacles or more powerful spells.
Now there's still plenty of good spells for the lower level slots, so it doesn't change your conclusiong much. But those top level spell slots might be a bit more valuable and important than your article implies.
Look at it this way: A (non-fighter) martial character will have +6 damage from Greater Weapon Specialization and Master Proficiency. A cleric gets only Expert Proficiency and regular Weapon Specialization, giving you only a +2 bonus to damage. That extra d4 will help you to keep up with them.
And it's flexible. If you know you're going to hunt an ancient red dragon, it only takes 10 minutes to change your Emblazon Energy to cold damage. Suddenly your extra damage becomes 1d4+20. Sounds good enough for two feats?
Gold! What's better about Half Elf instead of Human? And which ancestry feats do you recommend before level 9?
A Half-Elf taking a dedication feat via Multitalented can ignore its prerequisites. It's currently the only way to get fighter dedication with 12 dex.
Level 1 feat would probably be Natural Ambition to get Harming Hands. For level 5 I'd usually recommend Clever Improviser for any character with few skills like a cleric.
Yes, I meant Arcane and Primal. Sorry for the typo. Was checking something on the Occult list while posting.
And yes, Druid has access to non-caster feats. But when it comes to casting, the Wizard is still better. Not at Transmutation, but casting spells.
This is despite both having mostly uninteresting caster feats.
Baleful Polymorph isn't mind-affecting. It literally - physically - tries to turn your brain into that of a squirrel. Mind affecting would be casting Suggestion to make someone act like a squirrel.
Honestly, come to think of it, I'll go with: Transmutation, including polymorph spells, are purely Matter essence. That's why Arcane and Occult share most of them. Also, I don't think anyone but the designers can give a definite answer to that.
There's nothing left to discuss for me. It's fine that you don't like the direction in which Paizo took the Wizard (transmuter or otherwise). I'll go out on a limb here and say that many players still like the Wizard very much, for a variety of reasons. And yes many of his feats aren't great, but that's also true for the caster-oriented feats of the druid.
Unified Theory wrote:
Whenever you use an action or a skill feat that requires a Nature, Occultism, or Religion check, depending on the magic tradition, you can use Arcana instead.
Seems pretty straight forward to me. Only checks that deal with magic like Identify Magic or Recognize Spell use different skills depending on the tradition of the effect.
Anyway, that's how I read it and I don't see much room for interpretation, to be honest. Let's just leave it at that.
Altering shape of a living thing without altering its mind to be able to control the new shape helps not at all. Want to test it? If you've never worn high heels, try walking in them.
So transforming a creature that is immune to mental effects into a bird would leave it unable to fly?
Transmutations have never been mental effects (or "mind-affecting" as they were called). Yes, Polymorph spells are probably in some suble way teaching you how to use your new form/ability. That doesn't link them to the Mental essence. They might as well just rewire your brain to deal with the new shape.
Polymorph spells are not manipulating the life force itself, they are reshaping physical matter that happens to be animated by life force. Otherwise you could claim Evocation spells are manipulating life force because they are blowing it away.
Evocation doesn't blow away life force. It evokes harmful energies that destroy matter.
It's Necromancy deals with the Life essence and life force directly.
And no, sorry, don't buy that thing about essences. If anything, shifting should be physical and mental because it requires mental adaptation to properly control the new form. After all, it's no use having wings if you don't know how to flap them properly.
You are mixing up cause and effect. The essences don't determine what you need to cast a spell, but what the spell does.
Transmutation affects objects and living beings, i.e. the essences Matter and Life, by altering their shape and/or properties.
This has nothing to do with the Mental essence.
Basically, yes. The version from the book includes the Strike/Flurry in the casting of Ki Strike which can have some rules implications - like losing the attack(s) in case something disrupts the cast.
But for general purpose you could use your version.
And I agree with Midnightoker that it does not allow you to use Flurry of Blows unless you can already use it by default.
You could instead of bumping Occultism bump Arcana and get the feat Unified Theory, you can continue with Enigma and Polymath for class feats.
Unified Theory only works on knowledge checks about magic. It allows you to roll Arcana for checks involving the other three magical traditions, not for all Recall Knowledge checks.
You couldn't use it to know the edicts of an obscure Deity or identify a rare animal with Arcana.
If you want to use your weapon for trip, you should prioritize Athletics much more in your skills. I would raise it first at each possible level.
Don't worry about starting with 12 Cha. By the time you get Cast Down, it'll already be 14. And you'll have 3rd level spells and can easily spare one or two 1st level slots for additional Harm spells to knock stuff down. Five times Cast Down should be plenty for boss fights. Use your weapon's trip ability for minor enemies.
I don't see a good way to fit 14 Dex in there. Lowering Strength is the best option, but still sucks. Even at 16 you're already behind pure martials. Falling back even further doesn't sound fun to me. Especially since it also affects your Athletics check to Trip, not only your attack and damage.
Then again, if you know you're only playing to level 12, you'll end up with a +4 strength mod no matter what. I'd still try to avoid being behind for the first 9 levels.
I'm also still hoping that the prerequisites for Fighter Dedication (and Barbarian, Monk and Champion) is a typo and should say "Strength 14 OR Dexterity 14". I see no reason why those four should have higher requirements than the other multiclass archetypes. But so far it's only wishful thinking. We'll see once the first update is released.
Doesn't the giant barb get significantly higher rage damage than the animal barbarian which would make up for the lowered damage from the weapon, the 8 lower damage I think is mostly made up by the increased rage damage
At max level, animal will have 12 extra damage from rage and 8 points more damage from weapon dice for a total of +20. The giant's rage bonus is +18.
There are of course various levels when the giant deals more but I don't think he'll ever be more than 3 points ahead.
To make most of the giant instict, you definitely need a 2-handed weapon.
then the question is whether reach and AoO is better than the increased AC that you get.
Increased AC and Flurry of Blows. And potentially Predator's Pounce, which allows you to Rage, Stride and Strike all in a single action. Can't be used on the same turn as Flurry, unfortunately, but having both probably means you can get an action advantage on pretty much every round. That sounds useful to me for a character who wants to use a shield and intimidation.
You could also go Frog instinct to have a d12 weapon for your attacks and a d6 weapon with reach for AoOs. It's not super great since the tongue is agile and only gets half damage from rage. And it doesn't work before level 7, but then again, the giant also doesn't get extra reach before level 6.
I imagine you got the language from the Ruffian Rogue Racket in there, which does have d8 maximum on the kind of weapons that they can use for sneak attack.
That might have been it. But I still have no idea how my brain managed to link this to a cleric feat...
@Atalius: Cast Down -> Harm -> Strike doesn't sem too bad of a combo. Deals some near guaranteed damage with Harm and allows you to hit the target flat-footed. Not sure you'd need harming font for it since it works quite well even with a 1st level harm but at least the font gives you a few cast downs per day that deal a bit more damamge.
So yeah, if that's what you're going for, having a trip weapon as a backup trip option is surely a good idea. Urgathoa should work fine.
Quentin Coldwater wrote:
With a Strength of 18 and a Dexterity of 14, a Constitution of 14 only leaves me with a single +2 to a mental stat. Which, as a Ranger, goes to Wisdom. I'd like to get that Wis to 14, to more properly contribute in skills such as Nature and Survival. And that probably means taking a hit to my Con score, setting it at 12. Or maybe my Strength, if necessary.
For this specific build:
Looks like a strength-based melee ranger, correct? Note that there are two types of medium armor that have a max dex bonus of +1. So I think having 12 Dex is a decent choice for a ranger.
Dropping Con to 12 should also not be much of an issue in case you want your Wisdom to be 16.
I'd lower either or both (con and dex) before I'd even consider reducing my main stat to 16.
For the topic in general:
Con is mostly in the "nice to have" category for me. Most front liners have good fortitude saves and high class HP anyway. More of both is always helpful but I don't think it's necessary. It's also not really that hard to start with 12 or 14 in the new ability score system.
Con becomes more of an issue if you have low (less than 10) HP per level, a low fort save and still want to be in melee like the rogue. Or if you're playing a MAD class like the warpriest. But honestly, even in those cases I'd be fine with Con 12 at first level. There are very few builds that can't afford to increase Con every 5 levels so you're not losing anything in the long run.
Haven't checked the traps/hazards in the final release, but in the playtest dealing with many hazards could be done via different skills and I'm pretty sure some of them required you to be expert or better.
as I wrote I will play at hardcore level and it seems to me that there is not much difference between shield and ax 14.5 dmg for giant barbarian and 16.5 dmg for great ax. but the difference in survival is colossal
Don't forget that this 2 point gap in damage becomes 8 points at higher levels when striking runes come into play.
At level 6, an animal barbarian has 3 more AC than a giant barbarian. At level 7, animal can effectively swing a d12 weapon and still use a shield, which will eventually allow him to close the gap in damage and in fact deal more damage than a shield using giant barb at the highest levels.
The raging resistance of animal also seems better as physical resistance is harder to come by than elemental.
And animal can get action economy boosters like Flurry of Blows and Predator's Pounce, making it easier for him to fit raise shield into his actions each turn.
I personally don't feel like the giant's reach is enough to make up for all those things. YMMV, of course.
You're right. It doesn't say anthing like that. Neither does the Champion's Deific Weapon feature, which does basically the same thing.
I swear, the ONE time I don't double check something before posting...
Apologies. I might have mixed this up with something else. Maybe something from the playtest, not sure.
Please disregard the sentence about the die size.
That being said, I think Abadar is the only currently available deity with a d8 simple weapon. At least I'm pretty certain Deadly Simplicity doesn't increase the two-handed d8 of Nethys' staff.
I had the same question during playtest and I don't think it was ever answered.
The way I see it, the magic item list starting on page 536 lists all magic items in the game. I'd go by that list. So you need the formula for the item "Scroll of 1st-level spell" to craft a scroll of ANY first level spell.
Same for heightening. To craft a 5th level fireball scroll, you'd need the formula for "Scroll of 5th-level spell". But you could also craft a scroll of Black Tentacles with the same formula.
That seems to make the most sense without crafting becoming a total headache. I'll personally run it this way until proven otherwise.
Using shields in any way isn't the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions a barbarian. I honestly didn't even consider it.
You could also to level 3 to get shield block. And you can raise a shield even without it.
I'm not saying that half-orc is the best ancestry for any barbarian build, but without knowing any specifics about what you plan to do, I can only give a general answer. And in general, half-orc is the best choice.
If you're concerned with your survivability, giant instinct might not be the best choice. Animal works much better for that.
If I go Warpriest which Deity is best for that? Is Urgathoa viable? Seems like a Scythe is solid and even more so if he takes Athletic Rush when tripping his Trip ability should be quite high indeed.
The viability (or lack thereof) of the Warpriest completely depends on what you're planning to do with the character. He's obviously not the best offensive caster, but can be a good healer, buffer and utility caster.
There's also no "best" deity for warpriest. There are a few sub-par ones, mostly those with weak-ish weapons like Abadar. But without knowing what you plan to do with him, there's no way to recommend a deity.
So what do you want to do? Melee? Tanking? Tripping? Healing? Casting spells? All those things can change a build quite dramatically.
The thing is he seems like an awesome class with Heal, but I'd like to try a Harm cleric and for that I feel he's not very strong. Heal seems much better. Then the other problem is his spell DCs will be too low to actually have Harm work half the time ugh.
In my opinion, Healing Font is probably the most overrated ability in the game. It is very good, no doubt, but with the amount of free healing you can get in PF2, it's hardly essential. I'd have no problem playing a Warpriest with Cha 10.
As for Harm, I actually think it's decent for a warpriest. You're most likely in melee anyway, often giving you the opportunity to cast the 1 action version. Since Harm doesn't have the attack trait and doesn't require any kin of attack roll, it's a solid third action to do in any round. Even on a successful save, it's still more efective than missing that -10 attack with your weapon. And if you're worried about your spell DC: Don't dump Wisdom. 16, 12, 10, 10, 18, 12 is a perfectly viable first level Warpriest.