Molric

Bruno Breakbone's page

342 posts. Organized Play character for Sammy T.



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Shadow Lodge

When was the last time we saw official FAQs or Errata for a PF1 product? Offhand I can only think of post-Ultimate Wilderness in early 2018 and then IIRC nothing since then.

Shadow Lodge

I'm making a L5 Monk who would use Dragon Style for kick attacks and use his hands to hold a Bo Staff for a 1-action Parry (+1 Circumstance bonus to AC).

Am I missing something or do you not need proficiency in a weapon to use its traits like Parry? This would make my monk even more hilarious ("Oh this stick? I just use it to keep things away...I don't even know how to use it. The real weapons are my FEET!")

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Hero Points seem like an intrinsic part of the PF2 system and I haven't seen anything official specifically disallowing them. Are we using Hero Points in the Playtest or not?

Shadow Lodge

...that we DO or DON'T use Hero Points in PFS playtest?

Shadow Lodge

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From the work of Reddit user BlackBacon, I created a spreadsheet for myself to look at how a Combat Maneuver specialist stacks up.

In the Playtest Bestiary, it appears the REF defense is almost always lower than the FORT defense. All hail trip, our new king of combat maneuvers?

A little hyperbole there, but trip has been given some love in PF2. It works on creatures up to 2 sizes larger than you (up from 1). On a success, a creature is tripped; on a Critical Success, it also takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage--while not much, it does make those Nat 20s or Critical Successes feel good at the table. Another boost is that Trip now inherently works on flying creatures (Prone Condition: “If you’re Climbing or Flying when you would be knocked prone, you fall instead.”) Critical failure, as always, is you falling prone instead. Trip also has substantial weapon support (13 weapons, but half are gated as Uncommon weapons).

Grapple is a mixed bag but definitely has been nerfed from it’s PF1 incarnation. You no longer can grapple creatures much larger than you (2 sizes larger max), but you only need one free hand and suffer no penalty for using just that one hand. You can no longer maintain a grapple and damage at the same (with one monk class feat exception)--in the 3 action economy, it seems like you are expected to Grapple with one action and then Strike on subsequent actions. There is no grappling “flow”--your opponent’s status can fluctuate between Grabbed and Restrained from round-to-round depending on how you roll...with no way to progress from Grabbed to Restrained. Currently, there are no rules for tying up a foe. Finally, Critical Failure is really bad for a grappler now--your opponent can reverse the grapple and give you the grabbed condition or force you to fall prone! Grapple has no weapon support.

Thoughts?

Shadow Lodge

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Unless I missed something, reach weapons no longer have the donut of death?

Reach wrote:

This weapon is long and can be used to attack creatures

up to 10 feet away instead of only adjacent creatures. For
creatures that already have reach with the limb or limbs that
wield the weapon, the weapon increases their reach by 5 feet.

Silver Crusade

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Bruno, a handsome and beautiful tetori monk, is currently poring through the playtest materials and working on a very rough guide to PF2 combat maneuvers. Bruno welcome all thoughts and discussion and looks forward to seeing how initial analysis changes after we see maneuvers in actual play.

PF1 to PF2 Overview:
CMB and CMD no longer exist, so without the full-, ¾- or half-BAB progressions of PF1, theoretically any PF2 class can be good at basic combat maneuvers if A) they can max their STR and B) can make Athletics a Signature Skill. However, certain classes are built with the ability to enhance their attacks/maneuvers, giving them better action economy and DPR. At a glance:

POSITIVE CHANGES
+No longer dependent on BAB
+No minimum stat pre-reqs
+No feat requirements to avoid AOOs.
+Disarm, Shove (formerly Bull Rush), and Trip upgraded to work on creatures up to 2 sizes larger than you
+Since maneuvers target FORT or REF, you can use a maneuver that target opponent’s weakest save

NEGATIVE CHANGES
-All maneuvers are currently under Athletics, meaning you have to invest in both the skill and your STR stat
-Grapple downgraded to work on creatures up to 2 sizes larger than you
-No “greater” version of maneuvers that creates AOOs
-Some maneuvers require a Critical Success to actually do what they’re supposed to
-All maneuver improvements/enhancements are currently locked under class feats i.e. you’d need to be a Fighter (or take the Fighter multiclass archetype) to get Combat Grab and Improved Combat Grab
-Since maneuvers target FORT or REF, you don’t get any benefits from a target being flat-footed (i.e. flanked, prone, etc) or any condition that doesn’t affect a save.
-Only certain weapons can be used for certain maneuvers
-No Dirty Trick, Drag or Sunder: expect table variation on what you can and can’t do during the playtest
-No replacing Reactions with a combat maneuver (i.e. PF1’s tripping someone who’s charging you, or disarming someone getting up from prone, etc.)

Early Maneuver Rankings:

(*): A poor option.
(**): An OK option.
(***): A recommended option.
(***): A great option.

DISARM (*) vs REF: If you succeed...you only grant a +2 circumstance bonus on further disarm attempts until the start of the creature’s turn. So, since all maneuvers are tagged attack, if you attempted to disarm your foe with your first attack and “succeeded”--they’d still have their weapon and you’d continue your way down the multi-attack penalty line (-5 on your second disarm attempt, -3 if you “successfully” disarmed on the previous attempt). On the positive side, someone else could use their best attack with the +2 bonus to attempt to disarm the foe and hope for a Critical Success...or you both could just attack.

Disarm Weapon Support: 10 weapons...but since Disarm is hot garbage, it’s better to get a weapon that supports another maneuver (like trip) and treat the disarm trait as a situational option.

GRAPPLE (**to***) vs FORT: Grapple is a mixed bag but definitely has been nerfed from it’s PF1 incarnation. You no longer can grapple creatures much larger than you (2 sizes larger max), but you only need one free hand and suffer no penalty for using just that one hand. You can no longer maintain a grapple and damage at the same (with one monk class feat exception)--in the 3 action economy, it seems like you are expected to Grapple with one action and then Strike on subsequent actions. There is no grappling “flow”--your opponent’s status can fluctuate between Grabbed and Restrained from round-to-round depending on how you roll...with no way to progress from Grabbed to Restrained. Currently, there are no rules for tying up a foe. Finally, Critical Failure is really bad for a grappler--your opponent can reverse the grapple and give you the grabbed condition or force you to fall prone! Until we see how grappling plays out in actual games, this Grapple is a situational 2- or 3-star maneuver.

Grapple Weapon Support: 0 weapons. Not even a net.

SHOVE (*to**) vs FORT: Like Grapple, Shove is a mixed bag. While you can now Shove creatures 2 sizes larger than you, you can only push them 5 feet, 10 feet on a Critical Success (vs the scaling distance you had in PF1). Furthermore, there is the risk of falling prone on a Critical Failure. As AOOs have been severely reduced, Shove is situational at best.

Shove Weapon Support: 5 weapons. Of note, this includes the only d12 weapon capable of a maneuver--the Maul.

TRIP (****) vs REF: Trip has been given some love in PF2. On a success, a creature is tripped; on a Critical Success, it also takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage--while not much, it does make those Nat 20s or Critical Successes feel good at the table. Another boost is that Trip now inherently works on flying creatures (Prone Condition: “If you’re Climbing or Flying when you would be knocked prone, you fall instead.”) Critical failure, as always, is you falling prone instead.

Trip Weapon Support: 13(!) weapons...but half are gated as Uncommon weapons. For martial melee weapons, the Guisarme has high damage and Reach, making it a nice control option while the Scythe with Deadly makes for wicked crits. For uncommon martial weapons, Monks with the Monastic Weaponry class feat should consider the Temple Sword; Goblins and Gnomes with the Weapon Familiarity ancestry feat should consider the Horsechopper (reach, versatile P) and Gnome hook hammer (two-hand d10, versatile P) respectively.

Suggested Stat Array:

Athletics is STR-based, so you’ll always be looking to pump your STR as much as possible. DEX edges out CON as the inflated L1 HP gives you some cushion. WIS improves your mental defense and perception. INT and CHA are your low-priority stats.

For martials, your stat array:
STR > DEX > CON > WIS > INT = CHA

If you are caster that focuses on self-buffing:
STR > DEX > CON > CASTING STAT > OTHER MENTAL STATS

Ancestries:

When looking at Ancestries, we’re generally looking for a non-STR Ability Flaw, medium size (so you can affect up to huge-sized foes), and solid HP. For traits, we’ll be looking for options that directly increase our Athletics, improve our defenses (since we’ll be in melee), give us access to maneuver weapons or give other useful options.

TL;DR RATINGS -- full breakdown will be in guide
DWARF (***1/2)
ELF (**)
GNOME (*)
GOBLIN (*½)
HALFLING (*½)
HUMAN (****)

Backgrounds:

While the backgrounds are pretty varied, we want to make sure that we can follow STR > DEX > CON > WIS (or Casting Stat). Since this is primarily from the POV of martial characters if a background forces INT or CHA, it’s automatically 1 star, adjust as necessary if you’re a caster. If a background grants you the ability to take STR and either DEX or CON, it’s 2 stars. Farmhand is 4 stars because we get Assurance in Athletics and we will keep that maxed during our career.

Acolyte (***): STR or WIS + Free. Student of the Canon, (Deity) Lore.

Acrobat (***): STR or DEX + Free. Steady Balance, trained in Circus Lore.

Animal Whisperer (**): WIS or CHA + Free. Train Animal, Animal Lore.

Barkeep (***): CON or CHA + Free. Hobnobber, Alcohol Lore.

Blacksmith (***): STR or INT + Free. Specialty Crafting, Blacksmith Lore.

Criminal (***): DEX or INT + Free. Experienced Smuggler, Underworld Lore.

Entertainer (***): DEX or CHA + Free. Fascinating Performance, Entertainment Lore.

Farmhand (****): CON or WIS + Free. Assurance (Athletics), Farming Lore.

Gladiator (***): STR or CHA + Free. Fascinating Performance, Gladiatorial Lore.

Hunter (***): DEX or WIS + Free. Survey Wildlife, Hunting Lore.

Laborer (***): STR or CON + Free. Robust Recovery, Labor Lore.

Merchant (*): INT or CHA + Free. Bargain Hunter, Mercantile Lore.

Noble (*): INT or CHA + Free. Courtly Graces, Nobility Lore.

Nomad (***): CON or WIS + Free. Assurance (Survival), (Terrain) Lore

Sailor (***): STR or DEX + Free. Underwater Marauder, Sailing Lore

Scholar (**): INT or WIS + Free. Assurance (Arc/Nat/Occ/Rel), Academia Lore

Scout (***): DEX or WIS + Free. Forager, Scouting Lore.

Street Urchin (***): DEX or INT + Free. Pickpocket, Underworld Lore.

Warrior (***): STR or CON + Free. Quick Repair, Warfare Lore.

Classes:
Bruno working on this section right now. Bruno currently work his way through Barbarian (***), Fighter (****) and Monk (TBD). Ranger, Rogue and Paladin next. You can view the evolution of this section at the google doc linked at the top of the post.

Maneuver Weapons:

A list of weapons able to deliver maneuvers. A more thorough breakdown and rating of weapon traits that complement maneuver builds will be forthcoming.

Table of Maneuver Weapons

Helpful conditions:
The following conditions are helpful in that either they lower your enemy’s defense (FORT or REF) or penalize a relevant skill (Acrobatics or Athletics to escape a grapple). Whether you can inflict these yourself or a fellow party member drops these on your enemy, these definitely make your job as a lockdown artist much easier!

Fatigued: -1 AC and saving throws per action until the start of your next turn

Frightened: Penalty to checks and saving throws

Sick: Penalty on all checks

Sluggish: Conditional penalty to AC, attack rolls, Dexterity-based checks, and Reflex saves

Magic Items:
This section is hyper-focused on items that specifically boost your STR, your Athletics skill or a specific maneuver.

Armbands of Athleticism (L9 or L17)
Belt of Giant Strength (L14)
Bronze Bull Pendant (L5)
Owlbear Claw (L1)
Wolf Fang (L1)

Bruno welcome your thoughts and experiences as the playtest continues.

Silver Crusade

Bruno, a handsome and beautiful tetori monk, collect info on combat maneuvers from various sources while on break from teaching gym classes to babymuscle wizards at Academae. Here is what Bruno know so far:

COMBAT MANEUVERS
Based on Athletics skill (STR-based) OR Acrobatics skill (DEX-based). Steal look like Thievery check based on Feats of Skill blog.

(You get +5 to skill when making attack action (i.e. combat maneuver).) Not the case per Captain Morgan's clarification.

Bruno not know if there will be PF2 equivalent of the Agile Maneuvers feat.

OPPOSING DC
DC 10 + (dumdum opponent's FORT or REF save)

Bruno best guesses for relevant save:
FORT: Bull Rush, Drag, Grapple, Reposition, Sunder
REF: Dirty Trick, Disarm, Overrun, Steal, Trip

GRAPPLED CONDITION PENALTIES?
Flatfooted, no movement, and check to perform any manipulate actions. Escaping grab is Athletics check vs Fort + 10

EXAMPLE MONSTER STATS
Kassen's Golem from Crypt of Everflame: Fort +6 (inferred from DC 16 Grapple check)
Ogre (Creature 3): Fort +8, Ref +3
Redcap (Creature 5): Fort +8, Ref +11

MATHING IT OUT
Level + Proficiency + Stat = Total Bonus

If Bruno was a handsome and beautiful 3rd level monk with 18 STR and expert proficiency in Athletics, his grapple bonus would be:
3 (level) + 1 (prof) + 4 (stat) = +8 Athletics combat maneuvers (corrected)

Bruno, who also a high-flying and flexible 3rd level monk with 14 DEX but only trained in Acrobatics, his trip bonus would be:
3 (level) + 0 (prof) + 2 (stat) = +5 Acrobatics combat maneuvers (corrected)

Even though Bruno could easily grapple all monsters (as Bruno do), trip equally attractive option for Ogre as it targets weakest defense.

THINGS TO PONDER
Sound like combat maneuvers are 1 action. If true, second maneuver at -5 cancel out your +5 from attacking with chosen skill. Against creatures with low save vs a maneuver, you can use first action for your primary maneuver and second action for a secondary maneuver against weakest save. (Of course, this presuppose you're investing in both STR and DEX as well as Athletics and Acrobatics).

If +5 when using skill for combat maneuver apply equally to all maneuvers, does this mean feats like Improved (Maneuver) and Greater (Maneuver) no longer exist as their bonuses seem baked in?

Updated question: Will there be feats to increase Athletics/Acrobatics bonuses in general or maneuvers specifically?

If Improved (Maneuver) and Greater (Maneuver) no longer exist, will we see skill feats specific to particular maneuvers that grant additional effects? Examples: Master Proficiency in Acrobatics and Level 7 allows you to take a trip skill feat to trip a creature 2 sizes larger or perhaps trip them into any square adjacent to you? Legendary Trip feat allows you to trip ANY size creature and inflict a condition as well? Maybe additional effects on Critical Successes?

Since combat maneuvers attack FORT or REF defense (not CMD), flanking an opponent does not help you; in PF1, you would get +2 attack bonus for flanking which would apply to your maneuver. In PF2, opponent gets a -2 to AC -- and you don't target AC with maneuver in PF2.

If Bruno make any mistake, please let Bruno know!

Shadow Lodge 4/5

The Sanctioned Content Key reads:

Sanctioned Content: Legal Character Levels
Part 1: In the Jackal’s Shadow: 11–13
Part 2: Oblivion and Sand: 12–14
Part 3: Flesh for the Famine Prince: 13–15

However, the chronicles are:
Part 1: In the Jackal’s Shadow: 10–12
Part 2: Oblivion and Sand: 11–13
Part 3: Flesh for the Famine Prince: 12–14
Bonus: Bonus Chronicle: 13-15

I'm guessing I should use the Chronicle level ranges vs the Sanctioned Content Key ranges, correct?

Silver Crusade

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Bruno, a handsome and beautiful Tetori, try to figure out how to use Shifter as grappler. While Bruno could obviously go with Druid, Bruno want to challenge self to use full BAB shifter dip to make a PFS-legal pouncing grappler who pins on the charge.

Maneuver Master Monk 1/Shifter 4/Brutal Pugilist Barbarian X

Build:

Human
STR 18 (+2 went here)
DEX 14
CON 14
INT 9
WIS 14
CHA 7

Trait: Bred For War, Reactionary

L1 Shifter: Power Attack, (Human) Toughness
L2 Maneuver Master Monk: (Bonus) Improved Grapple
L3 Shifter: Burner feat: (Improved Initiative or whatever)
L4 Shifter: +1 STR
L5 Shifter: Shifter's Rush
L6 Brutal Pugilist Barbarian: Retrain Burner Feat > Extra Rage
L7 Rage Power: Animal Fury, Greater Grapple, Retrain Toughness > Superstition
L8 +1 STR
L9 Burner Feat
L10 Retrain Burner Feat > Rapid Grappler
L11 Rage Power: Witch Hunter, Extra Rage Power: Spell Sunder

For Brutal Pugilist maneuvers, choose CMB for Grapple and Sunder

Key Abilities:

Tiger Minor Aspect: You gain a +2 enhancement bonus to your Dexterity score.

Tiger Major Aspect: Your shape changes to that of a dire tiger. While in this form, you gain a base speed of 40 feet, low-light vision, scent (30 feet), the grab ability with both your bite and claw attacks, and pounce.

Pounce: When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can make a full attack

Shifter's Rush: When you use a move action to move 10 feet or more or when you charge, you can use wild shape as a free action during that movement.

Flurry of Maneuvers: At 1st level, as part of a full-attack action, a maneuver master can make one additional combat maneuver, regardless of whether the maneuver normally replaces a melee attack or requires a standard action.

Animal Fury: A barbarian can make a bite attack as part of the action to maintain or break free from a grapple. This attack is resolved before the grapple check is made. If the bite attack hits, any grapple checks made by the barbarian against the target this round are at a +2 bonus.

Things to Discuss with your GM AKA Table Variation YMMV:

1) Retraining rules

2) If you grapple with a grab in the initial natural attacks, can you use the bonus maneuver from Flurry of Maneuvers to grapple and pin?

3) Double check that GM is ok with Animal Fury working with the Dire Tiger bite (i.e. getting bonus bite attacks during a grapple maintain).

4) Reasonable amount of free actions in a turn vis a vis this build

Only Magic Item Used in Example Pounce Attack:

While there are many grappler standard magic items you should buy for the example pounce attack only this item is factored in:

Anaconda’s Coils: The wearer gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Strength and a +2 competence bonus on grapple combat maneuver checks. Treat the enhancement bonus to Strength as temporary ability bonus for the first 24 hours the belt is worn. In addition, the belt grants the wearer the constrict ability for 1d6 points of damage plus the wearer’s Strength modifier.

Pouncing Flurry of Maneuvers at Level 7:

While you can pounce with a flurry of maneuvers at L5, the build picks steam when adding in Animal Fury with 2 Levels of Barbarian and picking up Greater Grapple.

At Level 7, before Power Attack or Pounce bonuses:
+28 Grapple CMB
Bite +14 2d6+9 plus Grab
Claw x2 +14 2d4+9 plus Grab

Again, as noted previously, the only magic item equipped in this example is the Anaconda's Coils. The hit and damage can easily be boosted.

Round 1
Swift Action
->Tiger Minor Aspect to offset -2 DEX size penalty from Tiger Major Aspect

Charge
->Free Action enter Tiger Major Aspect
->Free Action Rage

Bite
->Bite for 2d6+STR and Grab
-->Grapple
--->Constrict 1d6+STR
---->Free Action Release

Claw 1
->Claw 1 for 2d4+STR and Grab
-->Grapple
--->Constrict 1d6+STR
---->Free Action Release

Claw 2
->Claw 2 for 2d4+STR and Grab
-->Grapple
--->Constrict 1d6+STR
---->KEEP GRAPPLE

Bonus Maneuver
->Grapple to PIN
-->Animal Fury Bite Attack for 2d6+STR
-->Constrict 1d6+STR

Total Pounce Damage:
8d6 + 4d4 + (STRx8)

Round 2
Either release and do full natural attack routine for
5d6 + 4d4 + (STRx6)

-or-

2 Grapples (Normal + Greater Grapple) for
10d6 + (STRx6)

Grapple to damage (twice)
->Grapple
-->Animal Fury Bite Attack for 2d6+STR
-->Grapple Damage (Bite) 2d6+STR
-->Constrict 1d6+STR

Very Partial List of Magic Items to Consider:

Headband: +WIS
Neck: Furious Dueling AoMF, Holy AoMF or Furious Merciful AoMF
Shoulders: Cloak of Resistance
Body: Bodywrap of Mighty Strikes
Belt: Anaconda's Coils
Hand: Gauntlet of the Skilled Maneuver - Grapple then Mantis Embrace
Wrist: Armbands of the Brawler (until supplanted by Anaconda's coils)
Ring: Protection, Eloquence
Slotless: Dusty Rose Ioun Stone slotted into Wayfinder

Shadow Lodge

Just an idle thought every time I see item quality referenced, I kind of wish that instead of:

Poor, Standard, Expert, Master, Legendary

It went:

Poor, Basic, Expert, Master, Legendary

If only for the three middle levels as a light reference to the D&D BECMI boxed sets. Such a weird and minor thing to think about, but every time I hear "Expert" and "Master" I keep flashing back to those classic box covers.

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Brie Sheldon once blogged about the problematic origins of Half-Orcs and corresponded with Paizo's former Editor-in-Chief F. Wesley Schneider and Creative Director James Jacobs.

You can see Wes' original e-mails in the blog post and much lengthier follow-ups in the comments. While the back-and-forth exchanges are primarily concerned with Half-Orcs, you can absolutely see how this would apply to Goblins in PF2.

While here are some selected excerpts, I suggest reading the blog/comments for the full comments and more context...but you can see how it struck me in relation to Goblins.

James wrote:
First, regarding half-orcs… the direction we took with them in their racial description is one we went back and forth over, and in the end we decided to go with the darker, grittier version. Golarion (and Pathfinder) often skews toward mature topics, and while we did tone down the language a bit for half-orcs, retaining their brutal and depressing origins was important to us. Certainly not ALL half-orcs are the product of orcs raping humans, but orcs ARE intended to be evil creatures in Pathfinder, and that’s one way to ensure that point comes across. Especially when there are other very popular game worlds where orcs are presented almost as the good guys. In the end, each and every player gets to choose how his player came to be, and in this case, having a half-orc PC whose parents were loving is a great way to set that character apart from the histories of most half-orcs.
Wes wrote:
Ultimately, despite many of us having strong personal reactions toward and opinions about elements of our campaign setting, we felt that it was important to include them, taking our setting from the PG status of many games to something closer to PG-13 or even a hard R. It’s our philosophy that facing such elements, including them in our game, and treating them with the gravitas such serious and often personal topics deserve is far preferable to pretending they don’t exist. This is a position that will lose us book sales and will turn off some customers. We know that, and ultimately that is each consumer’s decision. I certainly would not let my 10 year old nephew loose in a library of our works without context and guidance. But Pathfinder is also a game about choices. The game works just as well without halflings, rangers, and lizardfolk as it does with them. So if there’s any element a GM doesn’t want at her game table, the game is entirely hers to customize, and I believe the stronger for it.
Wes wrote:

That’s what excited me so much about Brie’s emails, article, and the discussion I hope will follow. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game’s pedigree stretches back not just through decades of roleplaying games but through more than a century of fiction. In the context of such a tradition change is sometimes revolutionary, but more often it’s evolutionary. In the case of the half-orc, we didn’t want to be subtractive in our updates to the 3.5 rules set, and in including them in our rules and stories hearkened to a tradition I suspect started with Tolkien’s Uruk-hai and had been propagated through roleplaying games since some of their earliest days. The creators of those early games, the sensibilities of those times, and the players of those games are not the creators, sensibilities, and players of today, though. Our inclusion of half-orcs in Pathfinder erred on the side of tradition, but there’s obviously work to be done. You can read my thoughts and accounting of our thinking on half-orcs above, but I hope everyone views that for what it is: a starting point.

Personally, I think it’s time half-orcs evolved as a race beyond their stereotypes and assumptions. I think they could be excised and replaced with another race that better satisfies players who want to play “monsters.” Alternatively, this race has seen almost a century of development—maybe it’s time to take them back either in the direction of more mystical origins or for world builders to start acknowledging that yes, humans and orcs can interbreed and the result has led to half-orc communities that present a healthier environment for all members to flourish. That’s doesn’t have to be a “good” society, for folks who like their orcs evil and half-orcs taboo, but it could be a more balanced culture, bringing the focus of what makes a half-orc exceptional back around to their alignment, and not just racism and tragic origins.

Wes wrote:
Making major changes to races thoroughly established in our world’s continuity is more difficult, though. Saying that there’s one moon today then saying there’s two moons the next is going to raise a lot of eyebrows. With something established, there needs to be logical additions or evolutions. With orcs, maybe those of a lot of areas are crazy–damaged by their exposure to the deepest of Darklands radiations–but maybe that’s not the case all over. That’s a bit tricky considering how strongly so many players feel about orcs, but I don’t think it’s undoable. Half-orcs are easier, though, and I think more discussions about the race of a child born of half-orc parents (or a half-orc and human) will be coming up in the near future. My take is such children will be half-orc (we are NOT going the route of decreasing percentages when it comes to half-races), giving that entire race much more potential to know and not hate their parents. There’s definitely room in the stories we tell for whole communities of half-orcs seeking the comfort of their own kind, though I can’t say quite yet what shape something like this might take as our published works. Ultimately, though, we built the Pathfinder campaign setting to be a place where players can indulge any type of game they want. That’s why we have a viking-themed country, a necromancer’s paradise, an Egyptian-styled region, gothic horror land, Conan-land, knight country, and tons more all on the same map. If we’ve got room for all that, we’ve got room for happy half-orc families and the occasional good-aligned orcs. With additions like that, including the comparatively dull rainbow of human variation should be a breeze, but we always need to know what we’ve missed, so keep letting us know!
Wes wrote:
I have a half-formed theory here about racial backgrounds and whether PCs embrace them as part of their characters or seek to be exceptions. Like, you certainly get plenty of elves that grew up as elves in Elfland, but far fewer half-orcs or drow who grew up as exemplars of their race. That might have a lot to do with those being less than typical heroic races, but subject matter might factor into some decision as well. Needs more data.

Shadow Lodge

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As PF2 takes more developer bandwidth with the impending playtest this year and subsequent launch next year, what lingering rules issues do you wish the developers would FAQ/Errata for PF1 before they turn their full attention to PF2?

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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I know navigating the introduction of goblins into PFS will be a bit tricky to navigate, but something that might help is an evergreen scenario or mod (or perhaps a series of intro quests) that dive a bit deeper into the lore of the rehabilitation of certain sects of goblins and their induction into PFS.

Shadow Lodge

I hope rules language and game terms are standardized across PF2e. A significant chunk of rules questions in 1e were from language and terms not being consistently applied the product line.

I don't have the link right now, but I remember a discussion where someone from Paizo noted the desire/need to balance the readability and accessibility of the rules vs standardized terms. (And, yes, these are not mutually exclusive.)

Shadow Lodge

Butterfly Blade Slayer

Haven't seen much discussion about this archetype for the Slayer. I'm most interest in discussion of PFS level play (up to L12), but I interested in any thoughts.

Pros: From L1 can use Studied Target for Intimidate, can choose Enforcer/Intimidating Prowess as Talents, can do nonlethal with butterfly blades, bonus +hit and damage dice progression with butterfly blades, gains Brawler's knock out.

Cons: Loses Slayer's reduced Sneak Attack progression, quarry, tracking abilities

What interests me is that by taking Ranger 2WF combat style, going STR and avoiding the DEX pre-reqs, you become a pretty mean 2WF combatant who doesn't really worry about that loss of Sneak Attack.

L1 +0 hit with Butterfly 1d6 (19-20)

L3 untyped +1 hit with Butterfly Blade (1d8/19-20) -- 2d6 if Enlarged

(Assume Improved Critical taken at L8)

L9 untyped +2 hit with Butterfly Blade (2d6/17-20) -- 3d6 if Enlarged

So, at level 9 you are basically ITWFing with a pair of Improved Critical Greatswords with no TWF penalty. If you can regularly Enlarge from L3-L8, you do so with only a -1 penalty. This is before you factor in Studied Target.

Depending on how you want to spend your feats/talents, you can go Enforcer/Intimidating Prowess and then consider Killing Flourish/Gruesome Display to make the most of your high Intimidate skill.

Your AC will be average and your Will save will need bolstering (either Iron Will or 1/2 Orc w/ Sacred Tattoo & Fate's Favored).

Thoughts on if I'm missing something obviously bad about this archetype?

Shadow Lodge

For PFS, I was considering a pure Goliath Druid. However, being able to have rage rounds and heavy armor/martial weapon proficiency via a small dip seems like a solid option (especially since I was planning on taking Heavy Armor Prof anyways). With Shaping Focus, I still maintain my Goliath Druid Wildshape progression. Limited rage rounds simply means I use them when in a position to strike vs immediately at the beginning of a fight.

½ Orc Armored Hulk Barbarian 2/Goliath Druid X:

STR 19 (+2 race)
DEX 14
CON 14
INT 8
WIS 13
CHA 7

Racial: Sacred Tattoo, Skilled

Trait: Fate’s Favored, Berserker of the Society

L1 Armored Hulk Barbarian
Feat: Combat Reflexes

L2 Goliath Druid w/ Growth Domain

L3 Armored Hulk Barbarian
+5’ speed while wearing medium or heavy armor
Feat: Power Attack
Rage Power: Superstition or Reckless Abandon?

L4 Goliath Druid
+1 STR

L5 Goliath Druid
(Burner Feat)

L6 Goliath Druid
(Retrain Burner Feat >> Shaping Focus: Now can Giant Shape)

L7 Goliath Druid
Feat: Furious Focus

L8 Goliath Druid
+1 WIS

L9 Goliath Druid
Feat: Open

L10 Goliath Druid
Retrain Growth Domain into Rage Domain. Rage rounds now go from 11/day to 19/day.

L11 Goliath Druid
Feat: Improved Critical

Since I'd only take this character through L11, I'm not looking past that. The barbarian levels keep me a strong melee fighter at low levels, the giant shape (+rage) makes me reach 2H smasher from L6 onwards. All the way through, I'll have access to Druid buffs and situational spells.

Thoughts?

Shadow Lodge

I'm working on building a 1/2 Orc with the alternate racial trait Sacred Tattoo (and Fate's Favored). My question, by RAW, does Sacred Tattoo still work in Giant Form? What about other forms?

Sacred Tattoo:
Many half-orcs decorate themselves with tattoos, piercings, and ritual scarification, which they consider sacred markings. Half-orcs with this racial trait gain a +1 luck bonus on all saving throws. This racial trait replaces orc ferocity.

Goliath Druid:
At 6th level, the goliath druid can use wild shape to become a Large humanoid of the giant subtype. This functions as the alter self spell, except the goliath druid gains a +4 size bonus to Strength, a –2 penalty to Dexterity, and a +1 natural armor bonus. If the Large humanoid form she takes has rock throwing, she gains rock throwing (range 40 feet, 1d8 damage). If the form has the aquatic subtype, she gains the aquatic and amphibious subtypes.

Polymorph:
While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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I GM more than play currently and have the following characters either sitting with GM credit or conceived and ready to go:

-Cleric 1/Unchained Monk X: Flurries a Katana for non-lethal damage (Mock Gladiator trait) with Enforcer for intimidation. (Made before Iron Fist came out, but seems like a Colleen Wing clone now lol)

-Halfling Sylvan Sorceror: Rides a T-Rex. Casts control spells then wades in for mop up.

-Maneuver Master Monk 1/Untamed Rager Barbarian X: Reach control with Dirty Trick and Trips, can easily smash face as needed.

-Pei Zin Life Oracle: Basically a full caster Oradin with Fey Foundling and conjuration specialization

-Unchained Rogue 3/Urban Barbarian X: Elven Curve Blade damage goodness with out of combat utility

-Far Strike Monk with Rope Dart

Whatcha got cookin'?

Shadow Lodge

Concentration Check Rules:

Vigorous Motion

If you are riding on a moving mount, taking a bouncy ride in a wagon, on a small boat in rough water, below-decks in a storm-tossed ship, or simply being jostled in a similar fashion, you must make a concentration check (DC 10 + the level of the spell you’re casting) or lose the spell.

Violent Motion
If you are on a galloping horse, taking a very rough ride in a wagon, on a small boat in rapids or in a storm, on deck in a storm-tossed ship, or being pitched roughly about in a similar fashion, you must make a concentration check (DC 15 + the level of the spell you’re casting) or lose the spell. If the motion is extremely violent, such as that caused by an earthquake, the DC is equal to 20 + the level of the spell you’re casting.

Casting Spells While Mounted:

You can cast a spell normally if your mount moves up to a normal move (its speed) either before or after you cast. If you have your mount move both before and after you cast a spell, then you’re casting the spell while the mount is moving, and you have to make a concentration check due to the vigorous motion (DC 10 + spell level) or lose the spell. If the mount is running (quadruple speed), you can cast a spell when your mount has moved up to twice its speed, but your concentration check is more difficult due to the violent motion (DC 15 + spell level).

So, the following scenarios are covered if you cast:
-Mount stationary = No concentration check
-Mount single move = No concentration check
-Mount double move = Concentration check (vigorous motion DC)
-Mount running = Concentration check (violent motion DC)

How do GMs handle concentration checks for when your mount attacks and you cast a spell before or after? Obviously there will probably be table variation, but do these seem reasonable options to offer up to a GM?

-Mount stationary, makes single standard action attack, you cast before or after that attack = No concentration check
-Mount move + standard attack = Concentration check (vigorous motion DC)
-Mount charge attack = Concentration check (vigorous or violent motion DC)
-Mount full attack = Concentration check (violent motion DC)

Shadow Lodge

I'm strongly considering a Halfling Sylvan Sorceror with a T-Rex animal companion as a mount for PFS. The general idea would be to cast a buff or control spell as needed to open combat and then wade in to help with mop up.

Spoiler:
Halfling Sylvan Sorceror

Str 7
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 12
Cha 18

Traits:
Beast Bond: +1 Handle Animal/Ride, Ride is class skill
Insider Knowledge: +1 Diplomacy, Diplomacy is class skill

Race: Outrider

FCB: HP (because I’ll be near frontlines)

L1
Mounted Combat
Smiley: Spell Sponge (doubles duration of “you” spells)

L2
(nothing)

L3
Boon Companion
Smiley: Power Attack

L4
+1 CHA

L5
Spell Focus: Conjuration
Smiley: +1 INT, Weapon Focus: Bite

L6
(Nothing)

L7
Greater Spell Focus: Conjuration
Bonus: Improved Initiative

L8
+1 Cha
Smiley: Improved Natural Attack

L9
Augment Summon (or Persistent Spell)

L10
Smiley: Vital Strike

L11
Superior Summoning (or Dazing Spell)

Seems pretty straightforward, but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Between Enlarge Person and the companion size increase at L7 giving the T-Rex reach and my battlefield control spells, I should be able to generally be able when to pick and choose which foes to chomp with Smiley.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Create and fill your own personal PFS Top 5 list.

Examples: Your Top 5 Role Play Scenarios? Your Top 5 Dungeon Crawls? Your Top 5 Worst Scenario-only Mechanics? Your Top 5 Too Long For the Slot adventures?

What are your Top 5 lists?

Shadow Lodge

Been noodling around with a PFS-legal Rope Dart build trying to figure out where to take it after level 5. It takes one level of Farstrike Monk for the sheer about of feats and the ranged flurry (which is basically Rapid Shot). I chose rope dart because it means only one weapon to enchant. I would only use the rope dart on targets at 15' or less to avoid any confusion.

I'd take Lore Warden for the extra Skill Points.

I'm guessing I would keep taking Fighter levels (for Weapon Training and Advanced Weapon Training: Focused Weapon). The fighter levels also give me feats to feed the feat-intensive ranged style. I could take some additional Monk levels to where I could get Barkskin via Qiggong.

Honestly I'm open to any thoughts.

Spoiler:

Lorewarden Fighter X / Far Strike-Qiggong Monk 1

STR 14 / DEX 19 / CON 12 / INT 9 / WIS 14 / CHA 7

Traits:
+1 damage w/ Monk Weapon (Rope Dart)

L1 Fighter Lore Warden
Weapon Focus: Rope Dart
Human: Point-Blank
Bonus: EWP: Rope Dart (retrain at L5 for free)

L2 Far Strike Monk
Archetype: Quick Draw, Improved Unarmed Strike
Bonus: Precise Shot
Can Flurry Rope Dart out to 15’for +6/+6 1d4+4

L3 Fighter
Startoss Style
Archetype: Combat Expertise
Bonus: Startoss Comet
Can Flurry Rope Dart out to 15’ for +7/+7 1d4+8

L4 Fighter
+1 Dex

L5 Fighter
Startoss Shower
Bonus: Deadly Aim
Bonus (retrain): EWP Rope Dart to Weapon Specialization
Can Flurry Rope Dart out to 15’ for +8/+8 1d4+16

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Have you ever suffered (or inflicted) a Total Party Kill or near-TPK in PFS? What happened and could you avoid it in the future?

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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What is something you've seen rarely, or maybe even just once, at your PFS tables?

I've only seen a non-multiclassed non-archetyped Fighter once. He wielded chakrams so he could attack from range or melee with the same weapon type.

I've also only seen a pure Flowing Monk woodchipper once (basically take the frontline and trip/reposition/sicken enemies into following allies' full attack range).

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Obviously with enough system mastery and additional resources you can make almost any character build or concept work. However, considering a casual player with average system mastery, what character builds or concepts work poorly or, alternately, scale poorly into the 7-11 tier?

Shadow Lodge

This is a very rough sketch of an idea for a utility fifth-man for PFS play. Basic concept is ability to share teamwork feats (tactician choices at L2 & L9), use teamwork feats solo (Fighter's Tactics) and have a versatile tactic that benefits party (Dirty Tricks).

I'm not 100% convinced about anything so I'm open to critique and commentary:

Human
+2 Str
18STR 14DEX 14CON 12INT 12WIS 7CHA

TRAITS:
Clever Wordplay (INT for CHA on Diplomacy)
(+any trait that grants Diplomacy

L1
Feat - Weapon Focus: Falchion (or Whatever)
Human - Power Attack
Fighter Bonus - Dirty Fighting

L2
Fighter Bonus - Improved Dirty Trick
Tactician feat - (Burner feat)/shareable

L3
Feat - Kitsune Style

L4
+1 STR
Fighter Bonus - Kitsune Tricks
Retrain - Tactician feat to Outflank /shareable

L5
Weapon Training: Heavy Blades
Advanced Weapon Training: Fighter’s Tactics

L6
Bonus: Quick Dirty Trick

L7
Feat: Greater Dirty Trick

L8
+1 STR
Fighter Bonus: Lookout (teamwork)

L9
Feat: Weapon Specialization: Falchion
Tactician: Shake It Off (teamwork)

L10
Fighter Bonus: Practiced Tactician

L11
Feat: Superior Dirty Trick

Silver Crusade

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Bruno Breakbone, a very handsome and beautiful Tetori monk, invite you to share your best simple one-sentence advice.

This thread inspired because Bruno was recently was tickled by this on Reddit by /u/vastmagick:

"Fort and Ref save you, Will normally saves your party."

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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DC 10:

Sammy T moved to Chicago 16 years ago to study and perform improv comedy. While he does not perform as much as he used to, he still occasionally makes the funnies.

DC 15:

He is the host of a pop culture/current events podcast that features Chicago actors and comedians.

DC 20:

He attended Michigan State University, Wayne State University, University of Michigan (Dearborn) and NYU...but he does not hold a degree from any of those institutions.

DC 25:

He was almost expelled from high school for running for Prom Queen as a joke because the rules didn't say you had to be a female. Michigan high school principals and superintendents in 1992 didn't have much of a sense of humor...

DC 30:

Shadow Lodge forever

Shadow Lodge

Been thinking about creating a character who can buff or summon as necessary, but still retains the ability to contribute to DPSing when spells or summoning are not needed. I'm perfectly content being the "fifth" man in a normal party.

In combat: High-ish initiative to buff or summon as necessary (standard action summons come online at L5). Use longbow to help focus fire or clean up as needed, counting on my general party buffing to keep me doing adequate damage.

Out of combat: can act as a face or back-up face, has 3 of the key knowledges as well as spellcraft.

Human
Herald Caller Cleric
NG worshipper of Saranrae (NG)

STR 10
DEX 17 (+2 Human)
CON 12
INT 12
WIS 15
CHA 12

Traits: Heirloom Weapon: Longbow, Reactionary

Skills: Max: Diplomacy, K: Arcana, K: Planes, K: Religion, Sense Motive, Spellcraft

Domain: Heroism

L1: Point-Blank, Precise Shot (paying my archery dues); can spontaneous change spells to Summon X or Cure X
L3: Summon Good Monster (add a few creatures to my Summon list, grant some Die Hard and get a few creatures that work with Sacred Summons)
L4: +1 Dex, Bonus: Augment Summon
L5: Sacred Summons (standard action Summons for certain creatures)
L7: Rapid Shot
L8: +1 Wis, Bonus: Superior Summon, Aura of Heroism
L9: Many Shot
L11: Clustered Shot

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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My -1 is Venture Captain Longspear Lux, a dual-cursed Life Oracle vexed by the spirits constantly tugging at his leg (lame) and tangling him up in combat (haunted). My -8 is his daughter, Nyssa Nox, a teenage Animist Shaman who befriended the spirits that haunt their family and now counts them as her allies. My -7 is Lux's EoTT protege, Atavisk, the musclebound shield-bashing worshipper of Rovagug who was the bouncer in Lux's bar, the Longspear, in the Coins district.

My -2 is Bruno Breakbone, a very handsome and beautiful Tetori, was once a disciplined monk who was corrupted by the temptations of Lissala (become a Tetori/Brutal Pugilist Barbarian). He eventually ended up as the Physical Education teacher at the Acadamae. My -5 is the "Fabulous" Moolah, a dirty trick Untamed Rager barbarian who is destined to be his wife. At some point, I will create a character who struggles with his father's heritage and is inherently tainted by the magic from the gifts of Lissala (most likely a bloodrager).

What are the connective narratives for your characters?

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Anyone have a map image sans all the GM info for me to use on Roll20? I can't copy the image from the PDF.

Shadow Lodge

Just making sure I'm parsing these abilities correctly:

Savage Dirty Tricks (Barbarian Rage Power):

Once per round while raging, the barbarian can attempt a dirty trick combat maneuver in place of a melee attack. This attempt does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If successful, the target takes an amount of damage equal to the barbarian's Strength modifier and must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the barbarian's level + the barbarian's Strength modifier) or take an additional penalty from the dirty trick based on the type of dirty trick performed and the following table.

Initial Penalty / Additional Penalty
Blinded / Staggered
Dazzled / Dazed
Deafened / Staggered
Entangled / Anchored in place and unable to move from that square
Sickened / Nauseated

On a failed Fortitude save, the opponent takes this additional penalty on top of the dirty trick's original effect. The additional penalty lasts for 1 round (though the initial penalty lasts as long as normal), and can be removed with a move action. The initial effect cannot be removed via mundane means until the additional penalty is removed (though magical effects like remove blindness/ deafness work). Removing the initial effect also removes the additional penalty. If the target is immune to the initial penalty, then it is unaffected by the additional penalty.

For example, a barbarian using this rage power attempts a dirty trick combat maneuver against her opponent to blind him. She succeeds and her opponent fails his Fortitude save, so he becomes staggered as well as blinded.

Regardless of whether he had succeeded at his saving throw, the opponent still takes an amount of damage from the barbarian's combat maneuver equal to the barbarian's Strength modifier (unless he has damage reduction or would otherwise be able to prevent this damage). Likewise, if her opponent were immune to blinding effects, he would not suffer from the blindness or the staggering effect, regardless of his saving throw.

This power can only be used once per opponent per rage.

Kitsune Style:
While using this style, you can attempt to perform a dirty trick in place of an attack at the end of a charge.

Kitsune Tricks:
While you are using the Kitsune Style feat, you can apply two different conditions with a single dirty trick combat maneuver check. Removing both conditions imparted in this way requires only one action.

1) Once per rage per opponent, I can use Dirty Savage Tricks to use DT in replace an attack.
2) While I am using Kitsune Style, I can inflict 2 conditions on that DST attack.
3) One of those conditions will have (potentially) an additional penalty if the foe fails their FORT save.

Am I reading that correctly?

Second Bonus Rules Theorizing for Fun That Don't Affect Me But I Was Wondering:

DST: "The additional penalty lasts for 1 round (though the initial penalty lasts as long as normal), and can be removed with a move action. The initial effect cannot be removed via mundane means until the additional penalty is removed (though magical effects like remove blindness/ deafness work)."

KT: "Removing both conditions imparted in this way requires only one action"

Assuming you don't have Greater Dirty Trick and didn't pick conditions that precluded move actions, how would handle clearing the conditions on the next round?

Barbarian's turn: Barbarian uses Savage Dirty Tricks to DT as an attack. He uses Kitsune Tricks to inflict two conditions (Blinded and Deafness). Furthermore, the foe fails his FORT save and gets the second tier penalty of Blinded, which is Staggered.

Foe's Turn: He has a move action and decides to clear a condition.

What is legal to clear? I believe it is:

He can clear Staggered with a move action.
He can clear Deafness with a move action.

Normally, he could clear both Blinded and Deafness with a move action per Kitsune Tricks, but the DST-inflicted Staggered condition "shields" Blinded for the 1 round it is in effect.

Shadow Lodge

I'm toying around with an Untamed Rager Barbarian. Primary focus: Reach weapon controller using Dirty Tricks, Tripping & Intimidation. Secondary focus: 2H damage.

I'm trying to keep it pure barbarian.

If I don't go Intimidating Prowess/Cornugon Smash/Hurtful, I would consider Dirty Fighting/Imp Trip/Grt Trip, Dirty Fighting/Superior Dirty Trick/(1 open) or the boring-but-expected extra rage feats for Beast totem into Pouncing.

Spoiler:
Human
STR 18 (+2 human)
DEX 14
CON 16
INT 9
WIS 10
CHA 7

Trait: Bred for War (+1 CMB/Intimidate), (+1 open trait slot)

FCBs: Superstition

L1
Raging Vitality
Combat Reflexes

L2
Rage: Superstition
Bonus: Improved Dirty Trick

L3
Power Attack

L4
+1 STR
Rage: Strength Surge

L5
Intimidating Prowess
Bonus: Greater Dirty Trick

L6
Savage Dirty Trick

L7
Cornugon Smash

L8
+1 STR
Rage: Unexpected Strike

L9
Hurtful

L10
Rage: Reckless Abandon

L11
Dazing Assault

L12
Rage: Come And Get Me

Shadow Lodge 4/5

I'm considering a Dirty Trick using character but am a little leery of possible table variation in PFS.

As a player, I've never used DT but I've done lots of tripping, bullrushing and grappling (which included explaining the grappling rules on a regular basis since most folks aren't familiar with those).

As a GM I've only had two players ever use DT on a regular basis and I only thing I required was that they explained how they were enacting the DT (i.e. if they said "I blind it with DT" and I would simply ask "how are you blinding it with DT?" and 99% of the time accepted the explanation unless it was undoable against the creature)

For players who use DT, what are your experiences using DT in PFS? Any tips on minimizing table variation?

For GMs, any thoughts on how you adjudicate DT?

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Not all scenarios are suited for playing online via chat and virtual tabletop. In your opinion, what scenarios work well online and why?

Shadow Lodge

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I'm noodling around with Weapon Master's Handbook and I'm struggling between two different builds.

One is a DEX-based Swashbuckler 1/Lore Warden 10. Using the Swashbuckler Mysterious Avenger archetype and Slashing Grace gives me DEX to damage, some nice class skills and, with the DEX focus, a good AC. The damage (such as it is for a battlefield tripper) is meh.

The other is a STR-based Lore Warden 11 which does about 50% more damage overall thanks to 2H Power Attacking with the whip, meaning I can help mop up as needed or harass spell casters with a readied action. However, its AC is lower and has a less robust skill selection.

Both use Cut From the Air and Smash from the Air because the idea of whip-cracking projectiles and ranged spells out of the air is just too fun an idea not to have on a battlefield controller.

Also, both have atrocious Will saves and I'll have to invest in fixing that ;)

Any feedback would be welcome!

DEX Whipper: Mysterious Avenger 1/ Lore Warden 10:

Human
STR 13 (for Power Attack)
DEX 18 (+2 Human)
CON 14
INT 13 (for Trip)
WIS 13
CHA 7

Trait:
Whip Specialist (+1 Damage)
Bred for War (+1 Intimidate / +1 CMB)

L1 Swashbuckler: Mysterious Avenger (proficiency & finesse with whip)
Feat: Weapon Focus: Whip
Human: Slashing Grace

L2 (and beyond) Fighter: Lore Warden
Bonus: Whip Mastery

L3
Feat: Power Attack (needed for “Cut/Smash from Air” feats)
Bonus: Improved Trip
Lore Warden: Combat Expertise

L4
+1 Dex

L5
Feat: Combat Reflexes
Bonus: Improved Whip Mastery

L6
Weapon Training: Flails

L7
Feat: Greater Trip
Bonus: Cut From Air

L8
+1 Dexterity

L9
Feat: Fury’s Fall (might be overkill)
Bonus: Smash From Air

L10
Advanced Weapon Training: (Armed Bravery? Versatile Training (Flails)?)

L11
Feat & Bonus Feat: Stylish Riposte? Greater Weapon Focus? Dazing Assault?

L11 (No Magic Items):
Trip CMB: +33 (11 BAB + 5 Weapon Finesse + 5 Fury’s Fall + 4 Lore Warden + 4 Feats + 2 Weapon Training + 1 Weapon Focus + 1 Trait)
Will save: +4

STR whipper: Lore Warden 11:

Human
STR 18 (+2 Human)
DEX 14
CON 14
INT 13
WIS 11
CHA 7

Trait:
Whip Specialist (+1 Damage)
Bred for War (+1 Intimidate / +1 CMB)

L1
Feat: EWP: Whip
Bonus: Power Attack
Human: Weapon Focus: Whip

L2:
Bonus: Whip Mastery
Lore Warden: Combat Expertise

L3:
Feat: Improved Trip

L4:
+1 STR
Bonus: Combat Reflexes

L5
Weapon Training: Flails
Feat: Improved Whip Mastery

L6
Bonus: Weapon Specialization: Whip

L7:
Feat: Cut from the Air

L8
+1 STR
Bonus: Greater Trip

L9
Advanced Weapon Training: (Armed Bravery? Versatile Training (Flails)?)
Feat: Smash from the Air

L10
Feat: Advanced Weapon Training: (Armed Bravery? Versatile Training (Flails)? Focused Weapon (whip jumps to d10)?)

L11
Feat: Greater Weapon Focus? Dazing Assault?

L11 (No Magic Items):
Trip CMB: +28 (11 BAB + 5 STR + 4 Lore Warden + 4 Feats + 2 Weapon Training + 1 Weapon Focus + 1 Trait)
Will save: +3
Whip Damage: 1d3 + 19 (5 STR + 9 2H Power Attack + 2 Weapon Training + 2 Weapon Specialization + 1 Trait)

Shadow Lodge

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Toying around with a vanilla fighter that TWF with Kukris (or Daggers) that then takes Advanced Weapon Training: Focused Weapon for boosted damage dice.

STR-based whip & trip/disarm Lore Warden who gets Cut From Air and Smash From Air who is not only a battlefield controller and can help defend pals, but can do decent-ish support damage (approx +20ish per hit).

Anyone else have some ideas?

Shadow Lodge 4/5

How are newer classes and archetypes (Unchained, Occult, ACG, etc) faring in actual at-the-table gameplay? Playtesting and theorycrafting only go so far, so I'd love to hear tales, both good and bad, with your experiences in PFS play!

Shadow Lodge

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I'm looking at a building out a Mesmerist with the Spirit Walker archetype. I'm hoping for a little feedback for anything obvious I'm missing or overlooking.

His combat role would be debuffer/controller caster and his non-combat role would be face/skill monkey. In combat, I'll be looking to Hypnotic Stare my opponents, slip in an Intimidate and then hit them with a spell. Spirit Walker archetype lets me affect undead better and has the silly fun Continued Animation and Command Undead to help my frontliners (or give me a personal meatshield).

Doctor Phantasmos:

HUMAN
STR: 8
DEX: 12
CON: 14
INT: 12
WIS: 10
CHA: 18

Traits:
Reactionary (+2 Init), Demoralizing Presence (+2 Intimidate)

I'm uncomfortable dumping STR any lower than 8. Even though I'm a full caster, DEX is low because I'll be using Noble Scion of War (+CHA to Init) instead of Improved Initiative. WIS at 10 because I'll get the Mesmerist Towering Ego (+CHA to WILL) at L2.

L1:
Feat: Noble Scion of War, (human bonus) Spell Focus: Enchantment
Trick: False Flanker
Initiative now scales with CHA. Can give an ally a temp flanking boost.

L2:
T: Fearsome Guise
Speeding up Intimidate Action economy...24 Disguise Self is just icing on the cake.

L3:
Feat: Intimidate Glance
Bold Stare: Psychic Inception
Speeding up Intimidate Action economy (can possibly have 2 shaken foes in round 2). Can affect mindless creatures with mindless/mind-affecting-immune creatures with stare and mind-affecting spells. The nasty Continued Animation comes online.

L4:
Stat: +1 CHA
Trick: Compel Alacrity
Give party member an emergency movement option.

L5:
Feat: Greater Spell Focus: Enchantment
Better DCs are a no brainer. Also, now can have 2 tricks up.

L6:
Trick: Mask Misery
I've been dilly-dallying picking this up until it could counteract more (and more debilitating) statuses. Command Undead comes online.

L7:
Feat: Extended Stare
Bold Stare: Disorientation
Now can stare from 40' away. Hypnotic Stare penalty of -2 (-3 at L8+) also applies to attack rolls of target! At L7, if I stare and get a demoralize in, my target would have -4 WILL & HIT, -2 FORT/REF/skills.

L8:
Stat: +1 CHA
Trick: Meek Facade
Hypnotic Stare: penalty increase to -3.
Making one of my frontliners a "must-hit" tank like in a MMO...helping keep the baddies away from me.

L9:
Feat: Spell Penetration
Spell Penetration is not sexy, but probably necessary by this point. Also, now can have 3 tricks up.

L10:
Trick: Mesmeric Mirror
Basically emergency Magic Mirror I can throw on a squishy or glass cannon.

L11:
Feat: Excoriating Stare
Bold Stare: Sapped Magic
If the target of my stare gets hit, must save or get the Sickened condition (on top of the Hypnotic Stare and demoralization). Also, Hypnotic Stare penalty applies to DCs of spells & SLAs and SR of target...basically the equivalent of giving allies +3 to saves and +3 stacking Spell Penetration.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

How often do you inspect character chronicles or character sheets? How often do you ask for resources?

This is not a discussion about whether it's a positive or negative thing to audit (and definitely not a discussion about whether you are a good or a bad GM if you do or don't audit), but a discussion on what your routine is when you do check someone's stuff.

My routine at the FLGS--

ALMOST EVERY GAME
Ask to see their chronicles. I glance to see if they're keeping the right side columns filled and noting purchases on the sheet. People who don't have their chronicles or aren't tracking get a friendly heads up that they need to do so. Repeat offenders get the hard warning.

I honestly am not looking at boons or exact purchases, I'm just making sure they have their sheets and they're being properly being filled out.

A MAJORITY OF GAMES (2/3rds)
Ask to see their character sheet. I glance to see if the stats (ability, saves, skills) seem generally in-line for the level we're playing. I do a quick look at their weapon and armor to make sure they're about the power level for the tier. Finally, I once over the feats/traits to make sure it looks like they have the right number and none of them are illegal. If they have an unusual build, I ask them what their shtick is and have them quickly explain it to me.

VERY RARELY (only a handful of times)
If they have a very specific feat or item from a rare source, I ask if they own it/brought it. If they don't own it, I let them know they need to own the source and should have it by the next game day (not everyone has the smartphone or resources to make the purchase then and there).

All this is done in a very amiable, efficient way. If there is an issue that needs to be resolved, I try to work with the player to find a solution. I've only had to flat out deny a player their character once (and they were a problematical player for many other reasons).

Shadow Lodge

Looking for a little C&C on TWF Strength Slayer dual-wielding kukris. I only plan on playing it to L12 in PFS.

STR 17 (+2 Human)
DEX 15
CON 14
INT 13
WIS 12
CHA 7

Traits:
Reactionary
Indomitable

Human FCB: 1/6 Talent

L1 TWF, Power Attack (Human)
L2 Talent: Double Slice
L3 Step Up
L4 Talent: Weapon Focus Kukri, +1 STR
L5 Combat Expertise
L6 Talent: ITWF, Bonus Talent: Trap Finding
L7 ITW Feint
L8 Talent: Combat Trick: Improved Critical (Kukri), +1 STR
L9 (Lunge or Combat Reflexes)
L10 Talent: Two-Weapon Rend
L11 Dazing Assault
L12 Talent: Evasion, Bonus Talent: Opportunist, +1 STR

Things I'm not sure on:
-I'm willing to drop the Feint line and re-jigger my stats slightly as the 13 Int is pulling points from boosting STR
-I'm willing to lose a feat learn Twin Bladed Sword or Sawtooth Sabres if that is better for L1-12

Thoughts?

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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Just a little thread to chat about how things went down during actual gameplay in Core games (i.e. not theorycrafting).

In 8 days, I had 4 games of Core: 3 as a player, 1 as a GM.

Silent Tide / FLGS:

5 players. 3 brand new PCs (no PP), 2 PCs with 2 PP but played by folks new to PFS. I convinced both of them a CLW wand would be a good purchase.

Party:
L1 Reach Cleric of Desna (Me)
L1 Sorceror
L1 Sorceror (another one)
L1 TWF Barbarian
L1 Pregen Paladin

This was my first time ever playing Silent Tide. Yikes, it was a bit rough at times given the Sorcerors were reduced to firing light crossbows/casting ranged touch spells with tons of penalties at times and the melee folks occasionally dropping to negatives. Storming the tower(?) at the end was particularly nerve wracking for my true 0XP/0PP character. I'll admit we used the hell out of those CLW wands and all of us who used them promised to carry the healing burden the next time we played with those characters again.

To Scale the Dragon / CON:

4 Players. All pregens. Tier 5-6.

Party:
L7 Kyra (me, with a slightly more practical spell list)
L7 Seelah
L7 Merisiel
L7 Seoni

I've played this before and, like before, abhorred the whole sled mechanic. We muddled through it thanks to a nice GM.

The only fight I was pre-emptively worried about was the Remorrhaz. I figured it would spell the doom of 1 or 2 of the front liners and possibly be a TPK with the pre-gens.

Paladin hits, sword doesn't melt.
Remhorrhaz misses.
Sorceror magic missiles.
Merisiel moves to flank.
Remhorrhaz misses AOO.
Flanking Merisiel crits.
Paladin crits...but sword gets broken condition.
Remhorrhaz misses.
Sorceror finishes it off with magic missile.

Well, that was unexpected!

Frozen Fingers of Midnight / CON:

6 Players
L2 Elf Sword and Board Fighter (elven curveblade)
L1 Rogue
L1 Sorceror
L1 Rogue
L1 Reach Cleric of Cayden

and since I didn't want to basically play a clone of the other player's PC and step on their toes, I rebuilt my Reach Cleric into a

L1 Falchion Paladin

The only tricky fight was the warehouse scrum where, at various points during the fight, 4 of us went unconscious...including the lucky L1 Rogue who barely survived a great axe crit when they were taken from full to about -10 (remember kids, a CON of 12-14 is a great thing). Luckily the cleric and I were never out at the same time and we could do damage control as needed.

Crypt of the Everflame / FLGS:

5 Players
GM: me, pressed into service at last second due to too many sign ups/walk ins

L1 Sorceror
L1 TWF Barbarian
L1 Merisiel
L1 Kyra
L1 Valeros

Since it was basically a table of players new to PFS, with a possibility of 3 them not coming back (they were just dipping their toes into it) I did my best to make the experience RP friendly and rules-light as I could, only introducing concepts like take 10/take 20 or delaying when it gave them a distinct advantage.

The only fight I was worried about was the stupid shadow fight, which with much GM nudging and playing suboptimally on my part, they barely overcame with about 6ish STR damage between 2 players. They were about to breach the second level when time ran out.

Biggest thing, which is always true, but feels magnified so far:
-Less steamrolling at L1 since there's less tools in the toolbox.
-PCs are so fragile since encounters now last a bit longer.
-tactics, tactics, tactics

Personal Observation:
I feel less inclined to be experimental with my character build because every person must pull their weight until there is a pool of capable PCs for scenarios.

Shadow Lodge

Looking for a second set of eyes to make sure I'm parsing the damage die FAQ correctly.

Bloodrager (Rageshaper)
Abyssal Bloodline
Orc w/ Toothy

L1
Bite: 1d4 (base 1d4)
Claws x2: 1d6 (base 1d6)

L4
Bite: 1d8 (1d4 + Enlarge)
Claws x2: 2d6 (base 1d6 + Enlarge + Increase from Rageshaper*)

*(assuming "increase by one die" = "increase by one step")

L8
Bite: 1d8 (base 1d4 + Enlarge)
Claws x2: 2d8 (base now 1d8 + Enlarge + Increase from Rageshaper)

L10
Bite: 1d8 (base 1d4 + Enlarge)
Claws x2: 2d8 (base now 1d8 + Enlarge + Increase from Rageshaper)
Hoofs x2: 1d8 (base 1d4 + Enlarge) (Monstrous Extremity x2) (secondary attack)

I think that should all check out.

Shadow Lodge

For the PFS Core Campaign, which only uses the CRB, I'm considering a Dragon Disciple as I've never played one before.

My current inclination is a beatstick Paladin 4/Sorcerer 1/DD X, primarily for the CHA to saves, 2 smites and CHA synergy.

I'm also considering Barbarian 4/Sorcerer 1/DD X for the sheer "moar str plz" aspect.

Both options would use a 2H weapon, although I'm not sure if going reach would be advised.

Thoughts?

Shadow Lodge 4/5

What should people who've always had options expect from playing mid- to higher-levels of PFS using the CRB only?

Shadow Lodge

You are a reach cleric.

You begin casting a 1 round spell (Enlarge, Summon, etc).

An enemy moves in to attack you, passing through your threatened reach.

You take your AOO.

Does this interrupt your spell casting and waste the spell?

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