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graystone wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:
"Retreating", without qualifiers, is a controlled move away from the enemy.
This is factually incorrect,

No, it is not. You seem not to fully understand what a synonym is or how a thesaurus is used.

graystone wrote:
so I disagree you got the point as you continue to say it is.

Clearly =)

graystone wrote:
So on a very basic, literal level I find your argument baseless and without merit: it's basic English and word definitions you're arguing against. I've shown my works [multiple entries that say rout is a retreat and is a synonym (Oxford Languages,]

Synonyms are *possible* replacements for an original word. They are not exact replacements and almost always (not always!) have different context, frequently very different. That is one reason why we have different words for things... to provide specific context.

graystone wrote:

while you haven't shown your work [showing anything that specifically says a synonym isn't one] and just keep asserting your own judgment is correct.

So you have to PROVE that rout isn't a retreat or that fleeing isn't a retreat.

Well, no. Not obligated to prove the sky is blue. I already know that Fleeing and Retreating are not exact substitutes and did need to reference a dictionary to learn how the words are used, I have a career in it.

More to the point: the PF2E condition is "Fleeing", not "Retreating" or "Flee". Your own chosen reference does not support your position:
1) shows the word as "fleeing (adj. out of control)"
2) lists delinquent, escaped, uncontrolled, fugitive, running, wild, disorderly, loose, and out of hand as the synonyms
3) lists controlled, stable, staying, and steady as antonyms

Note that the context for all of those varies - they are not exact replacements. I mean replacing "fleeing" with "delinquent" is a stretch for most uses, right? However none really describe a careful withdrawal either, they all lean pretty close to panic.

graystone wrote:
For instance, I can show SYNONYMS FOR flee on that lists retreat as a synonym for flee... What do you have that says something similar for your side???

I don't have a side, exactly, and am not here to fight with you.

graystone wrote:
PS: Or that retreat is by default orderly [and the only possible definition] would work too.

That's just the way it is, that's the context. Retreat is a broad term, but without qualifiers it means an orderly exit from combat, where people "fall back" or "withdraw". A Rout is a disorderly exit from combat, where people "flee" or "run away"...and might also be named a "panicked retreat" or a "failed retreat".

graystone wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:
The Fleeing condition is not a happy fun time: "You're forced to run away due to fear or some other compulsion"
At no time does it say it's mindless fleeing: quite the opposite, it even allows you to do manipulate actions is that would allow you to move further. So it's NOT a flee at full speed away without taking anything else into consideration. 'You have to use Movement to get further away from the source' and 'Move at full speed as far as you possible can' are 2 different things and the condition only asks for the first.

"Mindless" is your addition, and goes a bit beyond the PF2E condition. The PF2E condition *is* "Fleeing" though, and it results (usually) from critically failing a save against fear. Hard to see that as compatible with cautiously stepping away.

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:
Someone Fleeing very well might try to "cool-aid man" a door before realizing it's a pull instead of a push though (which is why public venues have 'panic bar' style exit doors).
While I find most of your argument pertinent to drawing the distinction between different levels of panicked fleeing, I feel this point is inaccurate. While it may be true that there are times when a person is so scared that they forget how to interact with basic objects around them, the panic bar isn't designed so much for what happens when one person flees but when a crowd flees, adding mass to the equation that would make it difficult for the people at the front to open the door with the added pressure of all the bodies behind them crushing them against the door.

That's a very good point.

graystone wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:
Retreat != Rout
You missing the point spectacularly.

I'm not missing your point, I am disagreeing with you.

"Retreating", without qualifiers, is a controlled move away from the enemy. A close synonym would be "Withdrawing" or "Falling back".

"Fleeing" means running the h*ll away. A close synonym would be "wild retreat" or a "panicked retreat". Yes, still a retreat, but requires qualifiers to distinguish it from the plain term. A distant synonym would be "Retreating" or "Withdrawing"...they all involve getting away from the enemy, but the style differences are meaningful. FWIW, I would call "mindless terror" a step even more extreme than Fleeing although those are pretty close.

Note that even someone running in mindless terror will open doors and climb fences, they'll just be doing it ad-hoc, not really thinking ahead or measuring consequences. Someone Fleeing very well might try to "cool-aid man" a door before realizing it's a pull instead of a push though (which is why public venues have 'panic bar' style exit doors).

The Fleeing condition is not a happy fun time: "You're forced to run away due to fear or some other compulsion"

graystone wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:
Retreating is a controlled withdrawal in the face of danger.

This just isn't true. Look at the definition of rout once: "A rout is a panicked, disorderly and undisciplined retreat of troops from a battlefield, following a collapse in a given unit's command authority, unit cohesion and combat morale."

"a disorderly retreat of defeated troops."

"a state of wild confusion or disorderly retreat."

"a confused and disorderly retreat from a place."

"A disorderly retreat or flight following defeat."

No, not in normal military usage at least. A retreat is an orderly withdrawal. To make it otherwise requires adding a special qualifier, like disorderly, wild, etc, to change it from the normal definition.

Retreat != Rout

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Jared Walter 356 wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:
The condition is "Fleeing" not "Retreating",
You do realize these are synonyms right?

Yes of course :)

However, to be clear, Synonym does not mean "identical replacement for", it means "similar to"... which means the alternate words are likely replacements, but may or may not actually fit based on context.

In this case for example, Retreating and Fleeing are very, very different.

Retreating is a controlled withdrawal in the face of danger. It is difficult and means the troops are maintaining discipline. Face towards enemy, moving backwards.

Fleeing is an uncontrolled exit...actually running away...from danger. It is easy, very dangerous, and results from panic. Back towards enemy, as fast as possible.

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Unless the attack includes something like Double-Slice we just roll one attack a time, add/subtract the bonus, apply damage, etc.

Usually prefer that for tactical benefit as well. E.g. if the first attack takes out the bad guy, or you discover a weakness/resistance, you may need to change the routine anyway. The character might need to step away, switch weapons, trip or grapple, whatever. I don't see many characters delivering a "standard routine" enough for it to be worth setting up the dice for it.

PF2E combat rewards flexibility, IMO.

Just a thought.

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@Ascalaphus, I was only joking about the Hidden / Undetected bit =)

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The condition is "Fleeing" not "Retreating", so I would also not normally allow a Step. In PF2E, Step is a measured, defensive action that is pretty much the opposite of "Fleeing".

Also, FWIW: "expedient" has a connotation of cutting corners to get something done quickly. A normal usage example is: "If you don't have time to do it the right way, just go with whatever is most expedient". i.e.: prudence is very secondary when someone asks for an expedient solution.

The mechanics and the description do seem to be a little at odds. The way I am reading it is that the spray bottle creates the mist, the mist hangs in the air for 1 minute, and any Undetected creatures in or passing through are revealed.

Feels like a clinging mist maybe should keep clinging to the creature for the duration, even if it moves out of the area (like glitterdust), but I don't think the rules support it (it's only invisible creatures in the area).

Oddly, it would have no effect on creatures that are merely Hidden, so don't try a Seek action before using the mist since it can only reveal Undetected creatures =)

FWIW I find Calm Emotions harder to parse. Very similar language, but instead of creating an area, which then affects targets, it says "You forcibly calm creatures...". IMO that means the attack is directly from Caster to Target Creature(s) and the area is just a restriction on target selection. It also suggests that the sustain is for the effect, rather than the area, but I could be convinced otherwise.

Alternately, the Caster could be creating a "Calm Emotions Area" which applies a calming condition on creatures in that which case the sustain is to the area, not the effect.

breithauptclan wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:

Rounds are not "floating" - they start, everyone has a turn (or skips) and they end. So "delaying the entire Round" is not a big circle, it's just until that Round is over.

That also sounds like a Too Bad to be True ruling. And one that really isn't supported by the Delay rules text.

Delay wrote:
you’re removed from the initiative order. You can return to the initiative order as a free action triggered by the end of any other creature’s turn. This permanently changes your initiative to the new position.

There is no mention in there of not being able to cross round wraparound.

I do not see how the rules are bad, let alone too bad to be true. I mean, delaying is entirely voluntary. The next rules quote you shared spells it out clearly:

breithauptclan wrote:
Delay wrote:
If you Delay an entire round without returning to the initiative order, the actions from the Delayed turn are lost, your initiative doesn’t change, and your next turn occurs at your original position in the initiative order.

That rule shows that Rounds are discrete:

1) If you delay the entire round, the actions are lost,
2) your initiative doesn’t change,
3) your next turn occurs at your original position in the initiative order.
I.e. no wrap around

The Reactive Charm feat from Captivator has a great feel to it. Conceptually, the ability for a skilled caster to turn away violence with a few well-timed words (of power) is just really cool. It plays well with a lot of old-school fantasy lore, but how can it be best used?

Frequency: Once per Day
Trigger: You are the target of a spell or attack.
Effect: You're so charming and distracting that when pressed, you can cast a simple enchantment in time to foil an attacker. You cast (as a Reaction) any of your 1st-level enchantment spells that normally take two actions or fewer to cast. This takes effect before the triggering spell or attack, and if the attacker is affected by your spell, it can make different decisions based on the effects (for instance, if you charm the attacker and it becomes friendly to you, it can choose a different target than you for its attack or spell)...

1) Charm and Sleep are probably the intended use, but those are Incap. so odds of success may be slim. Also works with Fear and Befuddle, maybe those are a better use?

2) What creative applications are there?

3) Does "1st Level Enchantment spell" include 1st level cantrips (assume not)?

4) How about 1st level Enchantment Focus spells? If so, would it be auto-heightened as usual?

Thanks for your thoughts

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Temperans wrote:

Wrong math again. 1 single strike with a short bow is about 29 (32 with propulsive and max Str), dealing much higher on a crit cause of deadly d10. That is 54 (68 max propulsive) on two attacks, assuming no crit, which Fighters are very likely to crit

Maybe, I don't know, but:

For Short bow at L20 I'm estimating 31 / 62 for normal / critical hit, counting major striking rune, weapon specialization, 2 property runes, propulsive, and deadly dice on crit. Per shot.

Expected value is about 40 damage for 2 shots - varies a bit depending on target AC, feats, etc. I did not do an exhaustive model

L20 cantrip expected value is ~29-43 (telekinetic projectile or Electric arc) - varies a bit also based on which save you target, and not including psychics, which have higher damage cantrips

So, SB is better IMO, but it's reasonably close. Maybe I have a math error somewhere though.

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3-Body Problem wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:
character observation
What is a character meant to observe to give them this information?

Big slow creatures usually have poor Reflex and high Fort. Small fast creatures usually have high Reflex and low Fort. Innate magic users frequently have high Will. After the first round of melee attacks, your martials will know if the creature has high AC (not meta, just trying to hit).

3-Body Problem wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:
recall knowledge
Is subjective to each GM, and requires having the right skills kept at a relevant level to be effective against threats that need extra work to hit in the first place.

Sure, of course? The entire game is subject to GM, and yes of course you have to have the right skills. Investing in knowledge is part of being a Caster though, just like investing in Athletics, Acrobatics, etc is part of being a martial.

3-Body Problem wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:
the character has seen similar monsters before
How does this work for PFS where its hard to confirm what any given character has or hasn't seen before? How does this work in APs that don't repeat boss monsters?

In those cases it may not, but nothing works in every case, these are just suggested options. Once your character fights one or two Devils though, he/she will figure out they are fire-resistant and won't need RK for that, right?

3-Body Problem wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:
if an NPC shares the information
Just looking at APs how many times does this occur?

Plenty, if you role play. Many places have libraries, churches, local watering holes, rumor mills, etc. Plenty of opportunity to get an idea what may be coming up next. Won't be 100%, but you can typically learn a lot.

3-Body Problem wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:
There's also the fact that the single most effective way to use a shadow signet is to metagame. So regardless there is always that extra bit of temptation to look ahead in the AP and see if you can make a few 'lucky guesses' on what to target in the next few sessions.

Well sure, I mean cheating is an effective way to 'win' any game, right? That's not exactly a revelation. However that does not mean it is the only way, the best way, or the preferred way. Frankly, if metagaming is your thing, then just read the AP and bestiary. You can just pick the ideal spells directly and will not need the Shadow Signet. :)

A key part of role-playing is exactly that separation between Player and Character. After x years a Player will know a lot of monster weaknesses that a Character will not... it is fun, but challenging, to play the Character straight...i.e. have them perform well in game *without* your knowledge as a Player (or as a modern human)

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Temperans wrote:

Your math is wrong.
Fighter is doing ~43 on a single action.
A cantrip is doing ~31 on two actions.
That is ((31/2)-43)/43 *100 = ~63.95% less damage.
The only...

Remember that is melee vs ranged. If you compare ranged vs ranged a single cantrip is about on-par with two shortbow shots from a fighter.

Temperans wrote:

The shadow signet is the most nothing-burger solution I have seen, and I personally dislike the flavor.

- Its metamagic, thus preventing any other stuff that you might want to do.
- It requires that you guess or metagame which for literal decades have been called out as being bad.
- It requires that they actually provide good spell strike spells, which they don't.
- It doesn't actually fix the issue of low accuracy or bad spells.

Shadow signet does not require metagaming. Yes, the caster needs to know the lowest defense, or at least to know that they don't want to target AC, but that is frequently knowable by character observation (not metagaming), by recall knowledge (not metagaming), because the character has seen similar monsters before (not metagaming), if an NPC shares the information (not metagaming), etc.

Shadow signet is not *always* useful, but it frequently gives an effective +2 or more untyped (!) bonus, which is a big help for blasters.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

We have weapons that weren't contemporaneous (like "rapiers" and "bastard swords") because people want both- hell, flails most likely were never used in a military context (though things like nunchaku were used by farmers for threshing) but you can't have the game without them.

Vancian casting I think is one of these things- we have it because we've always had it.

Rapiers and bastard (1+ hand) swords were contemporaneous, just used in different settings. Rapiers were carried and used in civilian life but heavier swords were used for war.

Flails were not used by the military much, but were in banditry, peasant uprisings, etc. Many of the western martial arts texts include sections on how to defend against a flail, even in late periods when smallsword had replaced rapier for civilian use (e.g.: P.J.F. Girard's Art of the Smallsword)

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Trixleby wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:

Just reiterating something I'd mentioned before, because IMO it is key to playing a caster. This is rookie league stuff, but just in case:

Monsters have four defenses - AC, Fortitude, Reflex, and Will. Make sure you have an attack for every defense. Find and exploit the lowest one in every combat (or at least avoid the highest)*. ...etc...

I'd like to play a "Black Mage" and have spells that deal Ice, Fire and Lightning (Icea, Fira, Thundera, etc..) damage. They also have access to some "untyped" massive damage spells like Flare, Ultima, and in the MMO Xenoglossy and Polysomething.

That being said there are Obvious Choices: Ray of Frost, Produce Flame, Electric Arc, Fire Ball, Snow Storm, Lightning bolt however I've noticed that it's basically all reflex saves.

To keep on theme of a Final Fantasy Black Mage (for instance Lulu in FFX had access to Bio, which I think is a damage over time poison ability, for instance) how would you choose to target Will Saves for damage?

That's the issue with being themed. Focusing on any one thing necessarily means *not* focusing on other things. Blasters basically shoot things at people; different flavors of things, but all shooting. The defense against that is virtually always going to be Reflex or AC, because the target has to dodge something.

You have very few ways to blast against Fortitude or Will. That should not be surprising though, it would be the same as an Enchanter / Mentalist worried that they have too many Will save spells...just a consequence of picking that theme.

BTW: Ray of Frost and Produce Flame go against AC, not reflex. I'd add Scorching Ray to those, or ask your GM about Scorching Blast and Aqueous Blast from Kingmaker...haven't used them myself but they seem on point? The rest are reflex though.

Hitting Fortitude usually requires poison or negative damage. If that fits your image of blaster then Puff of Poison and the various "sting" spells (e.g. spider sting) will do the trick. Use Reach Spell metamagic and rename them as Poison Blast or something. Same for Negative damage spells like Chill Touch and Vampiric Touch.

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Just reiterating something I'd mentioned before, because IMO it is key to playing a caster. This is rookie league stuff, but just in case:

Monsters have four defenses - AC, Fortitude, Reflex, and Will. Make sure you have an attack for every defense. Find and exploit the lowest one in every combat (or at least avoid the highest)*.

That's basically it. After that, go nuts!

* if you want to play a theme, like "Fire Blaster", then you will get completely shafted in about 1/4 of your combats due to resistances/immunities... but you should expect that right? choosing to self-nerf has consequences.

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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:

Okay. You need to dial it down a little. You're taking your own, extensive but very particular experience, and, on the basis of that, telling people that they haven't played and don't know what they're talking about.

Worse yet, you're making assertions about how people who are not like you play, and making accusations based on your utter certainty on this thing.

Like, I don't know what the reality of this stuff is on the ground from my own experience, but even I know that's wrong.

What are the good attack roll spells?

My wizard uses two regularly, with great effect: scorching ray and biting words (from archetype). He is played as a classic wizard (aloof, brain over brawn, the right spell at the right time) not a blaster, so these are not "every fight" spells, but they do get used frequently. He does not have true strike.

1) Scorching Ray - decent range, fireball-level damage, and up to three targets with no MAP. He uses this largely as a mook evaporator, although it also works well if there is a boss with a sidekick. Basically if there are at least two targets and AC is their middle or lower defense then it is very good. Gets used way more than FB or LB because of the selectivity - no collateral damage. Use it in round 2, after the martials have demoralized and/or tripped targets (or the caster has thrown mass fear) and hero point any miss.
2) Biting Words - three attacks at any time spread over 10 rounds. First attack right away, and then the other two on demand. This gives your caster a great third (or first) action for solid damage, no MAP (never doing two attack rolls in a round) and it's Sonic, which *very* few creatures resist. If the caster has the actions, cast with Reach spell, so all the attacks inherit the extra range. For a pseudo blaster theme, combine with Flaming Sphere for fun times.

Deriven Firelion wrote:

The true strike and attack roll combo isn't as good in PF2 as it was in PF1.

True, but it's still pretty good.

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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:

It sounds like your player is just new to PF2 casters and still learning the tactics...

While it is certainly possible that they are lacking in tactics understanding, that isn't the point of the sentiment. The sentiment is that they want 2e casters to feel like 3.5/5e/etc.. casters (or even MMO casters).

I think the response should be, simply, that is not how it will be. The system has been balanced (not perfectly, but pretty close). As a result, casters will not feel the same. How you handle it from here is up to you and your table.

For the general case, yes I agree.

However Yuri gave background for his specific player and an example of why he felt useless. The example was using only Fire (mostly, not entirely) and Reflex save (entirely) spells against a fire-resistant creature. That is not a blaster-caster problem, that is a tactics problem... in particular failing to use RK to pick the right spell. He would have been just fine blasting away with Electric Arc...
Telling the player "that is not how it will be" would be both incorrect and unhelpful.

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YuriP wrote:

Exactly you don't see a pure blaster in practice because the players already knows that's inviable.

But curiously one of my players done this. During an encounter versus a Greater Barghest his lvl 5 druid used all it's spellslots with fireball and lightnings (he also used a Tempest Surge) then he stay without top level spells for next encounters. As the most party members had fully recovered after the encounter and due they didn't know...

Got it; and I understand the sentiment.

It sounds like your player is just new to PF2 casters and still learning the tactics. Two things to consider: one cantrip hits with roughly the same impact as two Shortbow attacks (a little less from 1-6, more from 7-20) so that really is the go-to "blaster" ability in between Major spells.

Casters should think about top-level slotted spells the same way a Magus thinks about Spellstrike and a Swashbuckler thinks about his Finishers... it's something that needs to be set up. That means Recall Knowledge, Demoralize, Bon Mot, or a True Strike... anything to lay the groundwork and make success more likely. Use cantrips until then. It will feel a bit like a Rogue trying to set up sneak-attack...if he can't get flat-footed he'll do "normal" (cantrip) damage instead of really high "backstab" (slotted spell) damage.

Using Barghest as an example - RK that just identifies it as a Fiend helps (many fiends are fire resistant or immune), and learning "highest resistance or worst weakness" would have done the trick.

Also, while most people seem to be negative about attack roll spells, those are the ones you can Hero point. So, opening the fight, use cantrip attacks until you find an opening, then sling that top slot spell (e.g. lightning bolt, scorching ray) and if it's an attack spell - Hero point it. He'll get big hits more often, contribute regular cantrip damage, and feel a lot better about it. At higher levels substitute mid-level spells for cantrips.

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YuriP wrote:
You probably will use an entire top lvl spellslots in a single encounter.

This I see claimed a lot in the forum but have not seen much in play.

How long is your average combat?

Most that I've seen are 3-4 rounds. A few go overboard, 5-9 rounds, but that usually means we made mistakes and are in a fighting retreat / kiting something. For a 3-4 round fight I normally use one each of my top two slots mixed in with a cantrip or an evergreen 1st level. Usually combat is over by then. Other actions taking up space in the 3-4 rounds are recall knowledge, bon mot, demoralize, and movement. I've never had a reason to blow all of the top level slots. Frankly a lot of the time I get away with a top-level scroll and 1-2 slotted spells.

For the very long fights I usually go to the lower-slot spells since the game at that point is regular damage against a weakness while trying to stay one step ahead of the mess... which means everyone is moving every round and the martials are usually double-moving to open/close doors or kite (step, attack, step or stride). Regular cantrip damage, or low-level delay and shaping spells (kinetic ram, grease, illusory object, command) do the trick.

In brief: haven't seen a fight yet that needed 5 top-level slotted spells, and that includes L+3 bosses. Wizards seem to be good for 3-4 solid combats daily, 4-5 if you carry a few scrolls.

A pure blaster would probably *like* more of course (who doesn't like more top slots) if dps is the only goal, but haven't felt the pinch personally.

Is this just wishing for a class-less game system?

There are a lot of recent threads that want to change around (or eliminate) class-design distinctions - essentially all of them asking for mix and match features of one type or another.

Maybe Paizo could look into an optional system (like free-archetype on steroids) that has just one level-zero base class ('Peasant') with everything else above that as a feature (class, general, ancestry, etc). Not sure how, or if, one could achieve game balance that way, but it seems like that's the ask from at least one small group.

In case it is not already obvious, my own opinion is that PF2e works very well as-is. There is a great combination of flexibility, overall balance, simplicity for new players, complexity for experienced players, and a broad ability to build interesting and playable concepts.

If I *were* going to update Rogue, it would be to make the class simple-weapon only, and maybe change Duellist archetype to give scaling one-handed-finesse weapon proficiency instead of quick draw (a la Mauler).

Rapiers are classically swashbuckler weapons, not thieves and assassins tools, anyway. Pretty sure they only gave rapiers to the Rogue class because, before swashbuckler (which is a roguish fighter), the way to build a musketeer or pirate concept was using the Rogue chassis. Now that we have SB, a rapier Rogue feels unnecessary.

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dmerceless wrote:

Saying "this is not a problem for me so it's not a problem at all" is even less productive than any circular discussions.

That knife cuts both ways. Saying "This is a problem for me so it's a problem for all" is equally unproductive.

Asking to re-work game balance, which was carefully developed and play-tested over a lengthy period, for a handful of 'feels' complaints? That would be never ending - this is too large an audience for everyone to get their own custom system. If you need changes, just house-rule and carry on.

Yeah, really the better move, if the Wizard wants some damage credit, is to use Kinetic Ram to Shove his buddy the fighter adjacent to the Creature, then cast Agitate. That way the Wizard gets to watch the Creature's panicked decision process as it considers the risk of AoO vs mental damage.

That's an interesting point about dream-movement satisfying the spell requirement. Seems it would probably work - a dreaming creature doesn't usually *know* that it's dreaming; if it felt some strong mental pressure to Stride, that could easily just translate into running around in the dream (or maybe it's a nightmare at that point).

Would not be RAW, but maybe add a perception check to wake up first (due to the mental pressure) - if the target wakes up they have to Stride IRL, if not then they have to Stride in dreamland?

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Wands don't give spell slots.


Regardless of that fact, the point is there is a distinction between spell slots and once/day spell effects, and...

I admire your passion, but I am not convinced.

1) A straight reading of RAW allows Magus to use a Ring of Wizardry
2) A reasonable look at equivalent options (like wands) suggest a RoW is not overpowered, it is at best parity, and probably underpowered at the price
3) No opinion on whether a caster could use a RoW to gain slots *higher* than they can normally cast - but that would require a granting an item well above player level, which is under GM control, so doesn't really matter

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Wands don't give spell slots. They wouldn't be altered by abilities and effects that require spell slots, such as Dangerous Sorcery or Quicken Spell, because again, they're not spell slots. They're once/day magic items that require the Cast a Spell activity to utilize, and that the spell is on your tradition's list. That's it. That's why a Magus can use a Wand of a 1st level spell, even if they don't have spell slots for it.

A Spell Slot is effectively a once a day magic item; that's the point (a more flexible one, granted).

A few other nits:
1) a Magus does not have access to Dangerous sorcery or quickened casting
2) If a Magus *did* have access to quickened casting, they absolutely could use that with a wand. Quickened casting only requires that the spell cast be two levels lower than your highest spell slot... it does not require that the spell be cast *from* a spell slot (Dangerous Sorcery does though).

As a corollary to that, you essentially cannot "delay back to first" in the initiative order. Once you back yourself down the list, that's it, there you are (unless others then delay behind you).

Rounds are not "floating" - they start, everyone has a turn (or skips) and they end. So "delaying the entire Round" is not a big circle, it's just until that Round is over.

SuperParkourio wrote:

Ok, now I'm going to alter the example to see if it's still correct.


Adjusted Initiative list:

Up to here it works

SuperParkourio wrote:

Round 3:
Goblin takes turn.
Ally takes turn.
I Delay again. My fire resistance spell has one Round left. I take bleed damage and fail to remove it.

Adjusted Initiative list:
(Bye again)

This part does NOT work. You are already last in initiative order. There is no more delay, unless you want to just skip your turn. If you skip your turn that is fine, but you do not get to change the initiative order again.

"If you Delay an entire round without returning to the initiative order, the actions from the Delayed turn are lost, your initiative doesn’t change, and your next turn occurs at your original position in the initiative order."

SuperParkourio wrote:

Round 4:
Goblin takes turn.
I use a free action to return to the initiative. I take 3 actions and end my turn.

Adjusted Initiative list:

Nope. You delayed for the whole Round, it ended, your initiative does not change (see above) and you only get to act at your original position (last). Your original position is "last" because initiative changes from Delay are permanent.

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A - Magus buys two wands: Common, 60gp ea (120 total), grants two first level spell slots / day. Granted they are fixed spells but they also only cost half as much, and can be overcharged to use twice/day. Using them requires "cast a spell".

Verdict - no problem.

B - Magus buys Ring of Wizardry: Uncommon, 360gp, grants two first level spell slots / day. Flexible, but also have to know or learn the spell, costs three times as much, no overcharge, requires investment. Using it requires "cast a spell".

Verdict - epic disaster, clearly not RAW, throw toys out of pram.

(re-math for higher levels of wand/ring as needed)

Am I doing this right?

Blaster Wizards are fine, it just requires a particular build to be effective.

1) Pick a Spell Blending Evoker: that will let you bring 5 (odd levels) or 6 (even levels) top slots to the fight every day. 2/3 from base class, +1 for Evoker, +1 from Spell Blending, +1 from Drain Bonded Item

2) Fill the top slots with damage spells across multiple defense types: AC, Reflex, Fort. Take two of your favorite spell (e.g. 2 AC, 1 Ref, 1 Fort)

3) Don't restrict yourself to spells of the highest level you can cast, look at heightened lower level spells

4) Fill lower level slots with debuffs and utility spells that will give your damage spells a better chance to hit/crit

5) As soon as possible, pick up a Staff of favorite attack (or Divination) and a Ring of Wizardry to give you more slots

6) Plan your day. The adventuring day usually won't be more than 3-4 fights since healing options run dry, shields need repair, and searching things, plot point development also takes time. Unless you are having a rough go, you'll see a couple of mook fights and 1, maybe 2 boss fights that each have a different style. A fight only goes 3-4 rounds normally so your average fight sequence will be something like:
Mob fight>> (1) RK and AoE debuff, (2) AoE blast and move, (3) second tier blast or debuff (4) second tier blast or cantrip.
Boss fight>> (1) RK and debuff, (2) Single-target blast and move, (3) drain-bonded item and re-nuke (4) second tier spell, cantrip, or third top-tier spell if needed

Recall knowledge is the key - targeting average or lowest defense (which may be AC) will let spells land hard. Accidentally targeting the highest defense or an immunity will lead to a bad day.

For second-tier spells, look for ones where a single casting gives you multiple sustained attacks - you can roll a heightened flaming sphere around for kind of a while. Biting Words and Spiritual Weapon (for Occult casters) also give multiple attacks over multiple rounds. Organsight gives the Telekinetic Projectile cantrip a serious bite for up to a minute, etc.

1) stay out of reach
2) stick nearby the entry door / trees / corner of the corridor
3) use your third action to Take Cover

Also, I agree about Color Spray, although the short range makes it risky sometimes.

FWIW, I read the difference, more or less, is that the dedication feat is sort of "apprentice" spellcasting, and the "the basic spellcasting feat" is the graduation into being a full spell caster. IMO the desired impact (RAI?) is therefore that:

1) the dedication feat grants "cast a spell" only for cantrips, not for slotted "real" spells, and the caster-in-training can now activate scrolls, wands, and staves (for the cantrip only) without having to "trick" the magic item.

2) the basic spellcasting feat then naturally expands that to include "real" slotted spells, so the now-graduated full spell caster can use spells from staves, can Prepare a Staff, can fill and use slots from rings of Wizardry, etc.

Obviously just one opinion, but that reasoning makes clear sense to me as to why certain things fall in one bucket vs another.

SuperBidi wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:
Capital punishment for especially egregious crimes has been an enduring and broadly accepted part of most cultures, and frankly still is today outside of some relatively small and scattered groups of absolutists.

You mean more than half of the world including all western countries but the US? (why do I keep considering the US a western country...)

Capital punishment has been battled over the 20th century. The only last countries keeping it are the exception.

More than half the world's legislatures? Sure. That is not culture though. Canada only passed the capital punishment ban by 6 votes in 1976, which was before mass immigration. Odds are good it would not pass today, given your more global/less homogeneous cultural mix. US laws vary by state but more half the country supports capital punishment for egregious crimes.

Neither of those cover attitudes towards war, self defense, and protection of others.

Only a small and scattered minority hold an absolutist view that all killing everywhere is Evil.

SuperBidi wrote:
BloodandDust wrote:
This is why we have so many various terms to describe deaths (capital punishment, accidental death, manslaughter, homicide, etc.), let alone all the rules of war debates.
The only cases of acceptable deaths are self defense and those under the rules of war (and war is evil, it's just that you don't always choose it). Capital punishment is lawful evil. It's a specific case where a Paladin could choose not to bring someone to justice.

Ah, so we agree after all! Not all killing is Evil, and some of those non-Evil killings include self defense and rule-of-war situations.

All we have to left to debate then, is at what point permanently retiring a violent habitual criminal, child rapist, etc. qualifies as personal or social self defense. :)

SuperBidi wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
In the context of Pathfinder, a game where we pretend to be elves who worship a butterfly from outer space, I am comfortable saying that killing an evil and unrepentant creature is not Evil and could be Good in the right circumstances. This is a setting and system that is designed to enable Adventure as the solution to most problems. There is never going to be an AP about constitutional reform and establishing an ethical judiciary and if there is, it will involve planar travel to Hell to steal something and you have to fight a Pit Fiend for it.
There's a line between a hero and a murderhobo. I agree that they may sometimes be mistaken for one another, but still the former is good when the latter is evil.

I agree with this.

SuperBidi wrote:
"You shall not kill" is certainly the most shared rule among cultures all around the world. It is definitely evil.

IMO, this is not actually correct: "You shall not kill" is a modernization of the original "Thou shalt not murder". The difference in terms is used to signal whether society considers the killing Justified (not evil) or Unjustified (evil).

Capital punishment for especially egregious crimes has been an enduring and broadly accepted part of most cultures, and frankly still is today outside of some relatively small and scattered groups of absolutists.

This is why we have so many various terms to describe deaths (capital punishment, accidental death, manslaughter, homicide, etc.), let alone all the rules of war debates.

Thoughts on viability of this spell combination as an encounter opener for an Wizard? Not mechanically relevant, but this character leans heavily into enchantment and the Obi-Wan Kenobi school of "not the droids you are looking for"...

1) Bon Mot - to create a weakness (or demoralize instead)
2) Draw Ire - do mental damage and focus the target onto the casting Wizard
R) Shift Blame - reaction casting to refocus the target onto a martial ally (champion, fighter, barbarian, etc)

Shift Blame
trigger[/]: "You or another creature attacks a creature or fails at a Deception, Diplomacy, or Intimidation check".
: "You choose another creature (which can be you) with the capacity to make the triggering attack or skill check, and you alter the target's memories to recall the creature you chose as responsible for the triggering attack or skill check."

Conventionally, doing mental damage would qualify as "attacking the creature", so I think this works. However, one could argue that Draw Ire does not have the Attack trait and so does not qualify. Counter argument is that this is too restrictive, since it would make the spell unusable for saving throw spells, which are the bulk of a caster's usual repertoire (electric arc, scatter scree, puff of poison somehow would not be 'attacks' with that theory).

Situational, but I like it thematically.
Wizard: "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries" (bon mot)
Mark: "WTF!?!"
Wizard: "What's worse is how you..." arcane words, mental damage (draw ire)
Mark: with ripping headache, "Ow, why you scrawny little..."
Wizard: "Bet you are really mad at me that plate mailed fighter over there for those mean things he said" (shift blame)
Champion: "Wut"
Mark: Unlimbers Maul and squints at champion "Yeah, now ima tear you up, you jerk"
Wizard: "Another round barkeep"


Thanks Cordell!

That would probably be optimal, but goes a different direction than I was thinking...less minmax and more "what can I do with this oddball spell that would be entertaining but also mostly effective"

So, thinking about organsight led me to considering a sort of Maturin* character...a strong personality based around medical skill, but that does not follow the standard 'lots of heal spells' trope, or maybe combines that with other abilities in an interesting way.

*Stephen Maturin is an Irish-Catalan ship's surgeon in Patrick O'Brian's british naval series. He is a complex character: opium addicted, a kind academic and man of peace, but also a skilled duellist and spy for the crown, whose secret backstory slowly reveals throughout the books.

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Lorkan wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:


So the first step is to figure out how to make sure that your characters don't die so much. ...
Consider discussing with the GM and/or your fellow players in case they noticed things that you were doing (or not doing) that you didn't.

After you get yourself to the point where you honestly believe that it actually will be different this time (and have *reason* to believe this - lying to yourself on things like this is bad policy) I suspect that you'll find that it's easier to get engaged again.

that is some den good advice. I hadn't looked at it from that angle, thanks :D

I will second this advice - what mostly stands out to me as the outlier is that your characters are getting killed much more frequently than the others. Bad luck happens, but if it's on the regular it's not really luck... need to check for play-style and so forth.

Now, that's not necessarily bad, it's only bad if you are particularly attached to the characters!

My characters tend to die more frequently than my peers, but if they don't, I look for in-game ways to retire them periodically anyway, just because there are so many great classes and concepts out there to play!

Also, don't feel like losing a character takes you personally out of the story arc. It absolutely does not. The game is about you and the other players more than the characters...that is the continuity that matters. Memorable adventuring is as much about the goofing and critical fails as it is about the critical successes.

As another option, we have another player who loses a lot of characters as well. He plays replacements as brothers (and sisters) from one big, rustic, combative, clan. When one errant sibling gets crushed by an elephant or falls off a ledge, another sibling (slightly different name, usually different class, same theme) shows up shortly thereafter to find out "what's happened to my older/younger brother/sister" and "Avenge the family!!" It's become a running gag in the of several.

If you need character ideas to get the creative juices flowing, look up RavingDork on the forums, he has a dense character library to choose from.

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Ascalaphus wrote:

...Now, what if you're a suspicious adventurer? Creating walls out of thin air is a level 5 spell. Creating illusions of walls is a level 2 spell. ...

An extremely naive level 4 or so adventuring party might not be aware that making real magical walls is possible and only know about the illusory variant...

IMO this is massive metagaming.

Adventurers in general should not know spells, spell levels, spellbooks and traditions, etc. Full casters have to find and learn spells even of their own tradition. They also have to make arcana checks and recognize-spell checks for all kinds of things in the adventuring day; and these are people with "I study magic" as a full career.

The idea that Frank the Fighter has any idea whatsoever, outside of his direct adventuring history and background (maybe he was a magic academy dropout?), about the specific scaling and possibilities of magic is ludicrous. Same for Lucy the Rogue, etc.

Suspicious adventurer, sure, we go around tapping on the walls looking for secret doors all the time. That is very different than "Oh hang on boys, we're 4th level so this is most likely no more than a 6th level caster, can't be 5th level wall of stone, must be a 2nd level illusion, I'ma go bang my head on it to see."

Errenor wrote:

By the way, what happens with illusions' casters?

As I read the rules, there's absolutely no exceptions written for them even though they know with an absolute clarity where and what is an illusion because they've created it.
Some people think it's silly that casters must behave the same way as everyone else. What do you think?

I generally play such that the caster that created the illusion does not have to make any checks. They do not have to disbelieve since they never believe in the first place, being intimately familiar with the facts of the matter.

Other casters have a leg up, and should get an immediate free disbelieve check if they successfully recognize spell, but even so, the intensity of a "real thing right there" combined with natural human self-doubt does not (IMO) make success automatic.

I have played a Liberator, but not a Paladin, so take with a grain of salt. However:

1) Highly recommend a reach weapon. It makes your reaction vastly more effective. You will be able to protect your allies within 15' with any weapon. The ability to strike back depends on your Reach though. With a Maul (non-reach) you will miss a lot of opportunities. I liked the knightly flavor of the Fauchard, but Meteor Hammer might be right up your alley... or long hammer from TV maybe?

2) I had good luck with Smite Evil, but Litany Against Wrath is probably the better bet. First, it gives you another focus point, so in basic knock-down-drag-out fights you will get more mileage out of Lay on Hands (2 focus points plus desperate prayer in a pinch), and in more specialized situations you will have the Litany option

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Claxon wrote:
I'm not suggesting it's acceptable that a spell is cast, and without any kind of evidence at all a player character just attempt to throw themselves through the wall that appears. There is equal chance it could a "real" conjured wall or an illusion. But once there is some evidence that points toward the wall being an illusion, even if you don't succeed in saving against it you should be able go through the illusion.

Are these two points really right though?

1) I'm not sure there is an equal chance that a surprise wall could be real or an illusion. Unless the campaign is ultra-high magic or something. When PCs run into spells, they are almost always "real". If PCs are not going around questioning fireballs, grease spells, and mud pits because they might be illusions! then I'm not sure why they would think a "feels hot to me" Wall of Fire is an illusion either.

2) My reading is that the saving throw is the character's belief (or lack of) in the illusion. There is no "I failed the save but I think it is an illusion". If they fail the save, that is the game's way of telling you that the evidence the PC has was not enough...they remain convinced the illusion is real. If they do not act as if it is real, then they are full-on metagaming.
If new evidence arises then they get another check of course, but IMO that needs to come from a legitimate action. It can't just be "I try to walk through the wall"... because nobody tries to walk through a real wall.
New evidence could be another character using Point Out or, as you mentioned in a later post, seeing smoke drift through the wall, arrows pass through the wall, etc...but not just "I try again". Doesn't make sense.
If an ally tells the PC "hey, that's an illusion", it does not mean that the PC now "knows" that the wall (or whatever) is an illusion and can go straight to suicidal tests to prove it; they still have to try to disbelieve.

A: "Hey guys, wall of fire up here, feels pretty hot, let's go around"
B: "It's an illusion Dave, just walk through it"
A: "Very funny Frank, why don't you walk your dumb *ss through it while I go around"
B: "No, seriously bro! I'm a wizard, I recognized it. Just like, whack it with your Maul or something"
A: "Dude, ten minutes ago you told me that other thing was an Otyugh...but what was it"
B: "Sigh, a Rust Monster, but..."
A: "Right, a RUST monster. That's why I'm in padded armor now INSTEAD OF MY PLATE MAIL, so forgive me if I take a little detour here"
B: "Come on, one bad recall knowledge? It's really an illusion!"
A: "GTFO, you walk through it first, THEN I'll think about it"
B: "Me? Who knows what's on the other side of that; could be anything!"
A: ^&$&^#^!!

Illusions are tough. IMO, have to make the save, and if you don't, play it straight.

Amped Telekinetic Projectile is definitely something to consider, thanks for the pointer...that is impressive damage. Bit of an off-brand Magus really, think I like it.

Brilliant. Non-traditional "blaster" caster coming right up. Not sure how well it will work in play, but definitely giving it a shot.

1) Organsight > Hand of the Apprentice
2) Special Recall Knowledge > Telekinetic Projectile
3) profit?

The action economy is tough, unless the situation allows a caster-turret.

Sure wish Organsight allowed switching targets, maybe in a heightened version, so it could be used against mixed mobs (medical machine gun? surgical sniper?) instead of just bosses.

So, Organsight.

Pretty nifty spell - one casting enables spending an action on any or all of the next ten rounds to add precision damage to any strike. Trick is that it requires a special Recall Knowledge roll:

"attempt a special Recall Knowledge check using Medicine to spot and discern a vital organ. If you have a Lore skill appropriate to the creature, you can use that skill instead of Medicine. If you succeed, etc"

For Level + creatures, especially if they are uncommon or rare, this can be very difficult.

However Cognitive Crossover says: "Trigger: You gain no information from a Recall Knowledge check, etc. You immediately reattempt the triggering check using the other chosen skill."

So, assuming you picked the right skills for Cognitive Crossover (Medicine and Occultism for instance) - would that be usable for Organsight?

E.g.: Orban the Odd, and his Dissonant Druids Troupe, bumps into an angry Hill Giant. Orban casts Organsight and rolls Medicine RK. He fails the check, but, no worry, due to Cognitive Crossover he can try again with Society. Success! Now his telekinetic projectile will land with a thud in just the right spot to do additional precision damage.


I have not found anything since either. I'll go with the default: difficult terrain + difficult terrain = difficult terrain. Ah well, thanks for considering it.

1) ground is already icy (difficult terrain) - Wizard casts Sea of Thought, which makes terrain difficult... does this turn the ground into Greater Difficult Terrain?
2) ground is 'normal' - Wizard casts Mud pit, making the ground Difficult Terrain. Moments later he casts Oneiric Mire... does this turn the Difficult Terrain into Greater DIfficult Terrain?

Initial reaction was "sadly no, this would be an example of stacking penalties", which are generally not allowed.

However then I considered that terrain class is not a movement modifier like a circumstance or status penalty, so maybe they *could* stack... but did not see a rules reference right away.

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"a bunch of old tropes in your comfort zone" huh interesting ... I take it you cannot be one of the "Neutral Drows" ... I shelved the character as nonplayable or not compatible ... It is much easier to just not play ...

I've mostly just scanned this thread until now but, honestly if that is your takeaway then you need to take a breath and actually read for a minute.

[bold]If you want to model a good, neutral, or evil Drow the setting allows for that without alteration. There is no PF2 requirement that Drow are evil.[/bold] Golarion, as much as I dislike the patchwonkiness overall, is super wide-open on alignment, character choice, and customization.

... a bit pouty over not being allowed my rogue assassin Drow. Once again I am sorry thank you for your advice and time.

You might be letting the emotion get to you - it feels like you are steamrolling the threads. Take a minute to consider what people are saying. >> The rules absolutely support making a Drow Rogue Assassin. The only thing that you cannot do, without homebrewing or GM assistance, is have a "magic do-everything character" [bold]at level 1[/bold]. The game is set up to be balanced so, no, you cannot start at 1st with Rogue's backstab, Fighter's weapon skills, Assassins poisoning skills, Sorceror's darkness spells, etc.

If you want to [italics]start play[/italics] with an omni-competent character, then just start off at 8th level or more, otherwise build up to it.

PM me if you want to discuss more - happy to help.

breithauptclan wrote:
1) Seems right to me. I also don't see any restrictions about putting the wall across creatures or other obstacles.

Ok - so this one is solved

breithauptclan wrote:

2) I think the movement rules in the core rules are that you have to use a new action for different movement types...

As for when to switch movement types, I think it is best to use the movement type for the square that you are entering. ... use your land speed for squares up to the one adjacent to the wall of water, then you would use swim speed to move into the square of the wall. Then use land speed to leave the square.

That seems easy to explain and is straightforward to implement, so probably is RAI. Think I agree.

breithauptclan wrote:
I'm not sure whether you would roll the swim check before entering the wall or before leaving it. I'm not sure that it really matters - probably only if you fail, and probably only if people are trying to attack you while you do it.

Not sure on this either. Although maybe the roll should be after entering? Easy to jump in the pool, but walking across the bottom is fairly hard. Only 5 feet but probably really weird and disorienting. I could imagine someone pushing in, and then thrashing around a bit trying to keep footing and make progress, then water tension on the exit.

Failure impact is probably situational. Spellcasters, usually the non-athletes of Golarion, are most likely to fail. Then they cannot cast spells, have to waste actions trying again, and might need to be pulled out by someone else. OTOH, some martials might prefer to *stay* in the wall for the aquatic combat benefits.

breithauptclan wrote:
d) Yes, I would still have the player rolling with the rules for movement no matter how they want to describe the actions.

Ok - solved

breithauptclan wrote:
e) Not sure about larger creature sizes. I would probably base my ruling on the rules for larger creature sizes and difficult terrain. If any part of their footprint goes through the wall, then they are affected by the wall. They still have to make a swim check, but I would only require one check no matter how many squares their footprint has.

Ok - solved. Also was thinking that there are a few creatures that could jump over a 10' water wall (giants), or wade through it but that's probably easily modeled as a Stride, Jump... or Stride, Step... so the rule holds up.

breithauptclan wrote:
3) Indeed. We did not come to a conclusion. And since the relevant rules haven't been updated since then, I don't think we could come to a conclusion now either.

Nuts. Although it may not matter a whole lot. Only in the edge case of a non-athletic caster I suspect.

So, have been playing a Wizard a bit - first time in PF2e and having a grand time. Spell selection is a challenge of course, but also very entertaining. Now that I have 3rd level spells I've picked up Wall of intention is to use it as an area control spell (naturally) but I'm not sure how it really operates and impacts movement.

Key rules (nethys 2e)
1) "The wall stays upright in a straight line that is 60 feet long, 10 feet high, and 5 feet thick"
>> No ring option and no zigzags, fine, and it's 5' thick
>> No restrictions on placement (unlike walls of stone/force) so if it crosses through some creatures squares as it appears that seems to be no problem.

2) "A creature traversing the wall of water needs to Swim through. The rules of aquatic combat apply to creatures traversing the wall of water, targeting creatures within the wall, or passing through the wall."
>> Traversing requires Swim - what does this mean for movement on a grid? Stride up to the wall, Swim through the wall, Stride away seems right in concept, but I'm fuzzy on the details.

a) Does the last square of the first Stride stop right before the wall or does it end "in" the wall? I feel like the first makes more sense

b) If the stride stops just before the wall, then the Swim roll from that "not in the water" position would be:
Success - move 5' (now in the wall)...can you just stride away from there? or does it take another success to exit?
Crit success - move 10' (now out of the wall on the other side) is a win either way work of course.
Failure - Still outside, and adjacent to, the wall (don't enter)

c) If the stride stops "in" the wall, then the swim roll would be: Success to exit, Crit Success to exit, Failure would leave you stuck in the wall.

d) Diving through the wall would still be modeled with a Swim roll (basically 'b' above), yes? Guarantee someone will ask.

e) How does this work for Large, Huge, Gargantuan creatures?

What is the Swim DC? There is an earlier thread that that did not come to a conclusion.
If the wall is meant to be calm and smooth, like an aquarium, then I'd guess a lower DC, whatever is the usual for swimming. For anyone with Athletics that would mean they get wet, and have to take an extra action, but no real challenge.
If the wall is meant to be swirling with strong hidden currents, caused by the arcane force (or whatever), then that would feel like using Spellcaster DC.

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