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Gaterie wrote:

ACP should be reduced by Str bonus. So a -4 ACP should be reduced to 0 with a Str of 18. Strong characters should be strong.

Move penalties have no purpose and should be removed.

Heavier armor could increase the crit DC: with medium armor an attack is a crit only if the roll is AC+11, with heavy armor it requires a roll of AC+12. Not sure this would do anything if they reduce the stats of the monsters. And maybe it would be too complicated to have 4 AC values ("AC 20, TAC 17, crit AC 32, crit TAC 27 or 29 I dunno?"). Anyway, if the monsters' damages stay as swingy as they are now, heavy armors could be a way to reduce the swingyness; in term of "verisimilitude", add some fluff like "heavy armors don't significantly reduce the amount of hit you suffer - some blow are deflected, but your dodges are less efficient - , but they reduce significantly the amount of *deadly* blows" and call it a day.

This is a fantastic solution and would basically solve all of my issues with heavy armor at the moment. It's logical from both a realism and a game balance perspective.

You could even keep in move penalties for characters with Str <15 or something and I'd be OK with that, if the rest of this was implemented.


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Steelfiredragon wrote:
any class that's feature list is tied to one feature is generally a bad idea.

If the feature is broad or universal enough, it can work. But Ret. Strike is not universally useful to all builds like how, say, Rage is useful for any Barbarian, Sneak Attack and Finesse Striker are useful for any Rogue, Attack of Opportunity plus a feat for your desired fighting style (dual-wield, 2-handed, archery) is for any Fighter, etc.

Steelfiredragon wrote:


1: stay in teh back baby sitting the party wizard.... really, how does anyone think baby sitting is fun? I dont care if its the wizard or not. or even an injured party member. Ret strike, isnt a great thing there as you have to wait for your ally to get hit first before it can be used and then the bad guy or girl or it can still kill off the party member and then the strike is worthless.... and the shield thing could be just as bad if your shield is umm... dented at that point. a good offense is a good defense. too me though, the paladin as it stands focuses too much on Defense. a good offense does not equal Great defense( if one would even want to call the paladin's defenses great for that matter)

Agreed. I've seen it argued that "Ret. Strike is supposed to be a deterrent so it's not actually even supposed to trigger," but how un-fun is that? This is just exacerbated by the fact that Smite is tied to Ret. Strike, so if those people are right, then Smite is also not even supposed to trigger.

Steelfiredragon wrote:
2: offensive protection. the ability to smite evil or have your weapon infused with the ability to do radiant/ holy damage like the dnd 5e paladin does would do this. this is also imo and ONLY imo where a constant active CHA based divine grace would come in handy even if it was capped at +3 or 4 to throws would shine.

I'm not sure how Divine Grace is also "offensive protection," but it is at least universally useful like the first point I made (like Rage, etc.), but the fact that Clerics get Channel Smite at level 4 makes it hard for me to swallow that Paladin's Smite is way weaker than the Cleric version due to being tied to Retributive Strike, never mind that it comes 5 levels later.

Steelfiredragon wrote:
the PF1 paladin's auras that made the paladin immune to certain things at certain levels and granted +4 bonuses were great and helped with offense and party defenses alike. Though I will be first in line to tell you that outside aura of courage making the paladin immune to fear and the bonus for the party was great. The others though, making the paladin immune to charm and compulsion and bonus against for party was ... well, should have just been a bonus to the paladin and party.

Yeah, the Auras are a much better defender/protector feature than Ret. Strike, because they are always helping your party members survive, unlike Ret. Strike, which does not do that.

Steelfiredragon wrote:

to me, the PF1 paladin had a balance for both.

pf2 has waaaay too much invested with ret strike to be effective in combat other than a glorified baby sitter hogging party resources invested enchanted paladiny weapons to try to counter this weak offense as much as possible....
if being a baby sitter is your shtick than more power to you.
like others though, I think it needs revamped too.

if nothing...

Agreed. It's fine to build a bodyguard archetype if it fits your party, but Paladins need to be able to accommodate more flexible builds than just that.


HWalsh wrote:

I am going to start home testing a change to Retributive Strike tomorrow to allow the Paladin to move and strike against any enemy that strikes an ally providing that enemy is within 10 feet of the Paladin.

If an enemy is within 10 feet of Paladin and hits an enemy then the Paladin as a reaction can move 10 feet and attack with Retributive Strike as per normal. This must be a straight line toward the target and not through difficult terrain (IE like a 10 ft charge).

I really appreciate your dedication to this, but I don't think this does anything to fix the fact that Reach weapons are vastly superior on a Paladin because of Ret. Strike. Still, please let us know how it goes, because I sure would like Paladins to end up with a useful core ability.


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Cantriped wrote:


Also were those videos of people wearing some 'plate armor' or people in an actual full suit of gothic era plate armour. Because the latter can barely be stood up in if one fell over, and required a crane to mount their warhorse.

Absolute nonsense, and as mentioned the "crane to mount a warhorse" originated with a joke. IF it was so terrible, how did it dominate late-medieval battlefields? Check out these videos:

Bodyweight exercises/aerobics in plate armor
A reenactment of the historical training of Boucicault: working out, gymnastics, climbing, etc. in full plate
An obstacle course competition, where a knight in full plate is slower than a firefighter in full gear, but faster than a modern-day soldier in full gear

Cantriped wrote:


Quality and Material reduce ACPs by 3-4 by the time any lightly armored character is capping out their Dexterity.

So you end up having the same AC as the Dex guy, while still having to deal with the -2 or so ACP and movement penalty (which does NOT get reduced by the time the light armored character is capping their Dex)? Sounds like a pretty terrible deal for the heavy armor character, since they've had to deal with a worse ACP their whole career. I mean, -4 ACP basically puts you at 10 Str (on par with the light armor character) and 2 to 6 Dex (obviously worse than the light armor character) as far as skills go. +1 AC to start, and +0 AC at the end of your career, hardly balances that.

Cantriped wrote:
Subtracting 5% from a check (or 1 foot off your already superhuman long-jump) isn't that bad a penalty for being covered head-to-toe in rigid protection.

Yeah but the thing is, that "head-to-toe rigid protection" does not offer any better protection, mechanically speaking, than light armor, and even with Legendary proficiency, still has more penalties than light armor (which would not even give you that -5%, and no move penalties).

Cantriped wrote:
Also Grey Maiden Plate (the only kind a 'Maiden is proficient with, and thus the only kind of heavy armor non-paladins will ever wear during the playtest) is just like Full-Plate, except provides TAC +3, and has a Dex Cap of +0.

The fact that Grey Maiden Plate is "the only kind of heavy armor non-paladins will ever wear" illustrates how bad heavy armor is in general, don't you think? And again, the Grey Maiden Archetype comes pre-packaged with a bunch of lore and backstory you might not want for your character. You shouldn't have to tie yourself to a specific backstory (and shouldn't have to identify as female, either, since that's in the lore of the Grey Maiden archetype) just to have a decent heavy armor character. And even then you have to deal with the -10ft movement penalty (which, as illustrated in the videos above, especially the obstacle course, is excessive and unrealistic. You would hardly call a modern-day soldier "barely able to move," or excessively encumbered).


Unicore wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

The greatest issue is that you’re going to increase Dex anyways (you get 4 boosts every 5 levels, if you don’t have at least +3 dex by lv10 what are you increasing?), and that the only advantage of heavy armour doesn’t come from the item but from a class feature.

If somehow you get proficiency in hevay armour (general feats, multiclassing, or whatnot), you gain only penalties. Period. Because the item is bad. And more expensive.

Which is why fighters probably will stick to medium armor if they have the 16-18 dex at higher levels.

Personally, I like what they have done with armor. Every Armor has its place and value beyond what you can afford.

Really? If heavy armor sucks at low levels due to the penalties (which it does), and "fighters will probably stick to medium armor if they have 16-18 Dex at higher levels," then what is the "place and value" of heavy armor?


Cantriped wrote:
The Grey Maidens allow anybody* to become Legendary in Shields, and (a specific suit of) Heavy Armor (that encourages a 10 DEX). Even Wizards can meet the prerequisites by 8th level if they try. Eventually I imagine Archetypes will be where we look to obtain unusual legendary proficiencies for characters.

Right, but Archetypes also have flavor and lore to them that might not fit my character. Like, if I'm a Michael Carpenter-type Paladin, I'm not going to want to be a Grey Maiden, but I'm going to have to suffer the unrealistic move penalties and ACP?

Cantriped wrote:

To be fair, a heavily armored character can avoid all of the actual penalties if properly built and equipped. That isn't the problem for me.

For example being a Cavalier, Ranger, Druid, or Paladin so that you can use your mount's speed instead of your own (which will be better than yours even in Heavy Barding) nicely avoids that speed penalty.
The Clumsy trait only matters if you've overinvested in Dex. And Noisy can be avoided if it matters (for a heavy-fighter it should never matter)

No, a mounted character can avoid the movement penalties of heavy armor. That's quite different. The Noisy and Clumsy traits are fine in my book, though.

Cantriped wrote:
ACPs eventually disappear, or fall to the point where they no longer affect anything a heavy-fighter should care about significantly. This is comperable to how a Lightly armored character has to keep raising their Dex during their career to 'fill-out' the benefits of their chosen armor type.

-4 or -5 to every check, and -10 movement to get +1 or +2 AC compared to a Dex armor user is not a good tradeoff. You might not even get that extra +1 or +2 AC, if you start with a 10 Dex, because now even Plate armor has a Dex bonus to it.

I agree with you about the other problems with heavy armor, but I don't agree that the movement penalties or ACP are balanced as-is. Again, just watch videos of people doing things in armor like posted earlier in this thread - it doesn't turn you into a big clumsy statue, it allowed for great mobility. There was a reason it was so good on a battlefield.


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Bob of Westgate wrote:
I think ACP makes sense. You are wearing pounds of metal on your body for hours at a time. It is heavy, no matter how you distribute the weight, and it limits mobility. However I do think that as your training in armor improves, it should reduce your ACP.

It doesn't make sense, armor was quite easy to move around in if you were trained in it, which proficiency represents. That video even explicitly states that "armored soldiers had to be able to move fast enough to catch unarmored opponents," so there goes the idea of only being able to move 2/3 as fast.

Now a penalty to Stealth and/or Swimming, I can get on board with, and maybe Reflex saves too, but that's about all that would be "realistic" (especially since Strength doesn't reduce ACP/movement penalty).
Secret Wizard wrote:


snip

I agree with you on what the benefits and issues of the AC7 system are, but I don't think they are balanced at all when you account for movement penalties and ACP. The only real downside of taking Dex over Str is that you lose +Str to damage, but that matters less as you get more weapon dice, whereas Dex gives you the same +to-hit, ranged options, Reflex saves, and AC without movement penalties, ACP, and for less cost, and for less Bulk (so you still don't need to worry about Str as much if you go for light armor).

If you're concerned about Monks' AC, that's legitimate from what I've read, but they should probably just get +Wis modifier to AC back, or some other bonus to Unarmored AC.
If heavy armor is going to keep ACP, movement penalties, higher cost, and having Plate count as a higher enchantment level, then it should be meaningfully better in at least some way compared to light armor. As it stands, it's not.
The_Lightbringer wrote:


Armor already comes with a speed penalty, that's penalty enough.

I think even that is too much, unless you can mitigate it with your Str score. As it stands, basically any character that wants to use heavy armor wants to be an Elf or Half-Elf and take Fleet just to keep up with the rest of the party, while they only get the same AC as the light-armor folks.


MuddyVolcano wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:


Adding movement to Retributive Strike may work, but the paladin doesn't really seem to be intended to be that mobile of a class given the focus on heavy armor. The design is in conflict with itself. It's amazing for 'guard the princess' type encounters because it gives the paladin something really important to do and we really should praise the ability for that, but I think it should not require feats to enhance it and that it should scale. I also think it should be a feat and a different class feature should be core.

I just wanted to drop here and add that we may ought to expect the battlefield to be more mobile in this edition of the game, due to the action system. Any class who is tied down on the field may be left behind, or forced to focus on reach weapons. In 1e, everyone fought to FA, which means standing still. 2e, not so much.

Anyhow, it's just a niggling thought.

Yeah, you're probably right. Of course, this makes heavy armor (which the Paladin is pushed towards) even worse, due to the movement penalty, which there's no way to counteract until you get to very high levels, take Fleet, and/or go Elf/Half-Elf to boost your movement. I realize this is off-topic but the penalties for heavy armor are just absurd, especially since Strength doesn't mitigate them - check out this video, for example, to see how mobile you could actually be in heavy armor.


Darkorin wrote:
Are you all ignoring the rest of my point? I'm saying that it does need a boost, and I gave not one example but two examples on how it could be improved and become great!

Your ideas don't make it "become great," and your build that can use Retributive Strike effectively requires you to build in a very specific way (despite you saying that "paladins allow for a lot of flexibility"), doesn't come online until a very high level, and still doesn't mean you'll be getting to use Retributive Strike that often. Your feat ideas would improve the ability, but they're purely hypothetical fixes, they would have an opportunity cost meaning you need to narrow your build focus even further to make Retributive Strike good, and they don't fix the problem of too many Paladin abilities being tied to Retributive Strike, like smites, so that you'll basically never get to trigger those abilities. Your point about ranged paladins "not protecting" by attacking an enemy attacking their friends is also wrong (although I'm not a fan of ranged paladins either) - if something is attacking your allies, and you attack that thing, you ARE protecting them, that's exactly what Retributive Strike is supposed to be allowing you to do. However, it's also what an offensive feature would allow them to do.

Darkorin wrote:
You're saying that it is entirely DM dependent? I give you other example of class features that are GM dependent! Then you just say how you prefer Attack of Opportunity, that's beside the point, the point was that other classes also have lesser class features that are DM dependent. You disregard my proposition to add feats that gives more flexibility to retributive strike, and then you say how great attack of opportunity is because you can make it trigger more easily by taking new feats.

No, people are saying that yes, you won't get an AoO every round, but AoO is more universally applicable than Retributive Strike. For one thing, if a Paladin is the only melee character, or one of two melee PCs in the party, your chances to trigger a Retributive Strike will plummet, but your chances of getting an AoO don't change. Even ignoring that scenario, though, you're still far more likely to get an AoO than a Retributive Strike (4 times more likely, if OP recalls correctly). It's something every melee character would want, unlike Retributive Strike, which is only good with a few very specific builds (as you pointed out with your S&B example). Attack of Opportunity does not push you towards one specific build paradigm.

Darkorin wrote:
I'm giving you example on how you can make great use of retributive strike with shield ally, you're saying that it's not the old smite and you're not happy with it.

No, people are saying that if you want to make Retributive Strike any good, you have to focus most of your class feats on it, and go either S&B or take a Reach weapon (which doesn't work with your Shield ally idea but might actually let you get a few Ret. Strikes off once in a while, which is again the biggest problem with the ability).

The problem is not that "it's not Smite!" I'd be fine with swapping Ret. Strike for Divine Grace as the core feature, since that's something universally useful and iconic to a Paladin, and doesn't push you to a specific build. THAT is the problem with Retributive Strike as a core feature. Other offensive features like Smiting being tied to Ret. Strike are just a symptom of that (and a frustrating one, since Clerics get a vastly better Smite ability at level 4 than what the Paladin gets at level 9).
Darkorin wrote:
Honestly, I'm giving time and time again examples on how to improve the ability and how you can use it effectively and it feels like I'm just hitting myself against a wall that focuses on the small part of my argument that you can bring down.

Other people are telling you time and time again why they don't like the ability and that the ways you gave to use it effectively are part of the problem, which is that you are pushed into a narrower role than other classes are, because of Ret. Strike. You're not actually responding to anyone's points, either, you're just saying "well it's good if you do this and if they fix it how I want," but you're ignoring the fact that people have problems with the ability at a design level, because it is a core Paladin ability now with too many mechanics tied to it, and that it would be FINE as a level 2 feat, because that one change would make Paladins much more customizeable.

Darkorin wrote:
I understand that some of you are sad that the PF1 Paladin is gone, but I think that it required some major retuning and that is why Paizo did what they did, otherwise they could have kept the old version around.

You keep saying that you think the old paladin was OP but never give any reasons for it.


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Darkorin wrote:
It's the exact same thing with Attack of opportunity guys! If the DM doesn't want it to trigger it won't.

Attack of Opportunity is much more likely to trigger than Retributive Strike, not to mention that it's also a better defensive feature than Retributive Strike, because it makes you "stickier" and better able to keep enemies away from your squishier allies in the first place.

Darkorin wrote:

Paladins have other class features that are more reliable, it is fine if one of the features is less reliable. The same way that fighters can't use attack of opportunity reliably.

Honestly it is fine. I do agree with the fact that it needs some buff or new feats to allow additional playstyle, and I proposed a few fixes previously in this post, but Retributive strike shouldn't be replaced with another ability.

The problem is that other core features, like Smite, are tied to this unreliable class feature - so no, it's not just "one of the features" that is unreliable. It's an unreliable feature that makes other features also unreliable.


Pandora's wrote:


I like my mechanical options in combat to match my character's personality and roleplay as well. Ignoring your allies to smite the baddies doesn't fit my view of someone who prioritizes helping people.

So do I, and as I said I like a similar paladin archetype as you seem to. Calling on divine energy to smite the baddie threatening your friends instead of impotently standing by as they move 5 feet away fits my view of someone who prioritizes helping people.

Pandora's wrote:
It's no more narrow than the Fighter and Barbarian. Both are focused almost exclusively on damage and personal defense.

Neither of those classes are pushed toward a particular playstyle or build like the Paladin is - heavy armor, and either S&B or Reach weapon is what Paladins are implicitly pushed to focus on. Fighters get AoO, which is universally useful - Retributive Strike is not.

Pandora's wrote:


You misunderstand; I was speaking to the class's stated flavor and theoretical ability types available. I agree that all the Paladin offensive abilities, and honestly many of them period, looked very lackluster to me. Several of the offensive abilities being tied to Retributive Strike is also unfortunate. That's a question of balance, though, not class role. I don't think the developers intentionally made those offensive abilities so underwhelming.

So are you saying that you don't think there are any very good Paladin offensive abilities? And that a non-trivial part of that problem is tying offensive abilities to Retributive Strike? If so, I agree, and that's what I've been saying this whole time.

I'm not saying Paladins shouldn't get defensive options. I'm saying that forcing them to focus on defensive options, because offensive options are either tied to those defensive options or are simply bad, is a problem with the class, and it's a problem that makes the class' mechanics conflict with the class' flavor.


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Pandora's wrote:
My personal interpretation of a Paladin is a good guy who helps people as his first priority, not a murder-focused psychopath who just happens to target creatures his magic tells him are Evil.

Those are both RP choices, I agree with you that the paladin is generally a good guy who helps people. Michael Carpenter and Sparhawk are usually my go-to guys for paladins. But that's reinforced by the paladin code of conduct in the class entry, not by any mechanics.

Pandora's wrote:
Classes in any class-based system do certain things, divided into silos. If those silos don't match your interpretation, you're out of luck. If you want more freedom to match your exact interpretations, a classless system is pretty much always going to work better for you.

The paladin is more narrowly focused than other classes in this edition because it's being pushed into this "defender" role with Retributive Strike. Compare it to Wizards with their specialist schools, the diversity of Fighters or Rogues that you can make work, or Clerics (who get the Paladin's former class ability of Smiting, 5 levels earlier than the Paladin, and are a whole lot better at it).

Pandora's wrote:


They still fight on the front line and they still vanquish evil. They're just no longer vastly better at the latter than every other martial class. Considering this is a game and genre defined by fighting evil creatures, it seems like making them no longer far and away the best at fighting most opponents is a reasonable concession.
They never were "far and away" the best martial, but if you're worried about them being OP, make their offensive abilities more in-line with other characters, don't just rip them out of the class or tie them to Retributive Strike so that they never get a chance to get used.
Pandora's wrote:
Considering Paladins have both kinds of abilities, I'd say you're getting exactly what a less selective reading of the class tells you you're getting.

Please elaborate on what you think Paladins get for a good offensive ability. Blade Ally is OK, but otherwise even their old offensive signature (smiting) is now a defensive ability by virtue of being tied to Retributive Strike.

I mean, I've played in parties where I was the only melee character, and plenty of others where there was only one other melee character. In any of those games, Retributive Strike would've been almost entirely useless - but I was absolutely defending my party members because I had abilities that were actually useful. Again, I think Retributive Strike should get moved to one of the "optional" feats and something like Divine Grace or a reworked Smite should replace it, because those are something any paladin would want, whereas Ret. Strike is something that may or may not be useful based on your character and your party.
Also, I'd say your reading is equally selective, since you also just focused on one line, just like you criticised marshmallow for.


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Pandora's wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
So literally by choosing to play this class it's my own fault that I'm not having fun?
When you pick a class that has a playstyle you don't like? Yeah, it's obviously your fault. Same as if you don't like characters with fiddly details and you play a prepared Vancian spellcaster, or you like to be really good at skills and pick a Fighter. When you're making choices against your own tastes, I can't help you. I'm not sure what you're expecting me to concede here.

Because a babysitter class is not what you expect when you're picking a Paladin. There are expectations that come with a class - a rogue will be good at skills, a wizard will be fiddly, weak at low levels and strong later, a fighter will be the best at attacking, a barbarian will be unskilled but hit hard due to their rage. A paladin is a knight that seeks out and destroys evil, and protects the innocent. Only the second half of that is represented by Retributive Strike, and it's less "protect the innocent" than "impotently watch as the enemy moves 5 feet away to attack, first." And it's baked in to the class - you can't be a paladin who doesn't do that, and a bunch of other class features are tied to Retributive Strike. It's a passive and unsatisfying playstyle if you like the classic paladin concept.


Asuet wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:


...

What limits my ability to play a Paladin is far more likely to be the campaign's theme with regard to alignment. If the GM wants to play a morally grey game, I won't play a paladin. Paladins are also very frequently banned or discouraged because of their inflexible code ruining other people's fun.

Based on your comments here it is pretty obvious that for you it's about the damage and as you said yourself, you wouldn't even play a paladin in a campaign with a morally grey theme. That's not me being cynical.

Well now you can play in that kind of campaign. The damage is no longer the deciding factor.

He literally said verbatim that the reason he wouldn't play in that kind of campaign is so the rest of his table would have fun and not get derailed by a paladin derailing the campaign.

Asuet wrote:


For everybody who wants smite back. Ask yourself one thing. Would you be content if smite came back and did minor extra damage? Lets say 1 extra dice.

Yes, depending on what the cost for triggering a Smite is. I don't even mind the effect that Smite currently has, it's just that it is basically never going to trigger due to the fact that it is tied to Retributive Strike... which basically never triggers (by design). I don't see why it shouldn't be on the level of Cleric's Channel Smite, though, especially if you're not getting it until level 9.

Asuet wrote:


Would you still be upset or would that be enough to appease you? Or do you want to be the one on the table who deals the massive damage blow?

I don't care about "massive damage," I care because it is cool thematically, and I want to be able to pick when I can use it (even if it is just a Champion Power limited by Spell Points) so that it can actually be used.

Asuet wrote:


I can understand the people who want a cinematic effect of the divine energy channeled through the paladins weapon (which I think is already properly implemented in the game).

How do you think it is properly implemented? Through the current Smite feature? I disagree, because it's tied to Retributive Strike, so you don't get to pick when it triggers. Do you mean Blade Ally? Blade of Justice is OK (but it sucks that it competes with Attack of Opportunity, which all martials should get, though that's a whole other discussion), and Radiant Blade Spirit is also an OK analogue because you can make your weapon Holy, but that's very high level. You don't get to trigger Blade of Justice, though, it's just a flat +X damage to evil enemies, and that's just not as interesting or exciting as something like Channel Smite.


Pramxnim wrote:

The adjacency requirement for an ally is just for Shield Warden. Retributive Strike works like a more restrictive Combat Challenge from 4e, and Combat Challenge triggered often enough.

If you want to buff Retributive Strike, either make it trigger on attacks, not just hits, or increase its range to, say 15 ft around the Paladin. It would make them better battlefield controllers, and the Strike could be favoured as a holy smite that arcs from the Paladin's weapon to his foe.

Unless you're using a Reach weapon, "an enemy within your reach" is functionally basically the same. I mean, just look at the OP's statistics if you want to see how often Ret. Strike triggers.

Your buff is OK and is in line with what was already proposed by some posters (let the Paladin move 5-10 feet as part of the Reaction). I still don't think it should be tied to core Paladin things like Smite, though.


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Asuet wrote:
Unicore wrote:
A wizard with a good INT can cover most of the basic knowledge skills easily enough. With an 18 Int the wizard has 6 skills? Craft, Arcana, Occultism, Religion, Nature leave one slot open for either society or some other specific character concept skill. That is a plenty of skill support for the caster with the best spell list and widest access to that spell list in the game.
The point is that with the new system every class gets way more ability stats then in PF1, including int. In the previous edition other classes didn't invest in int later on. Now they do. That's why there is an imbalance between the wizard and other classes right now the higher the level progresses when it comes to skills which just makes no sense.

There's no reason that the Wizard should be great at skills in general, though. They should be the best at Int-based skills, sure, but they're not a Rogue or Bard, for whom skills are their whole gimmick.

Wizards aren't underpowered by any stretch of the imagination, and they get enough skills unless you dump Int, which you wouldn't do anyway.


vestris wrote:


I really like the trigger of retributive strike, however it might be too tightly knit. I proposed earlier to modify the strike however we could also just modify the duration: Make retributive strike a reaction or action with the same trigger, essentially let the paladin follow the evildoer to smite him after he attacked an ally.

That would be fine, as it would let you actually "punish" an enemy for attacking your allies like the feature seems to intend, instead of them just being able to re-position or something. I think your level 6 feat should just be part of Retributive Strike, if it's meant to be part of the core Paladin class.

vestris wrote:


For smiting in general I think the blade ally + feats qualifies for that, especially against undead.

Only if you know at the beginning of the day that you'll be facing a certain enemy. Clerics are still way better at smiting than Paladins (because Clerics can actually Smite), which seems wrong.


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Darkorin wrote:
It's a starting ability that evolves over time and you can make it great.

It only "evolves over time" by tying other abilities to it, like Smite, not by letting you use it more often, so effectively it just nerfs the abilities tied to it. You can only make it useable by investing a ton of your class feats into it, so again you are pushed toward one build paradigm. Despite your assertion that Paladin builds are still flexible, they're not.

Darkorin wrote:


I have a paladin with Shield Ally, Shield Warden and Shield of Reckoning.

An enemy attacks an adjacent friend of mine, I can thus with one reaction do a Shield Block and reduce the enemy damages to my ally, but even before that happens, I do a Retributive strike against the enemy. With a single reaction that acts on a single trigger. IT IS GOOD, and I will feel like a chivalrous knight protecting my allies!

You were talking about 5-stepping away? Well... I can get Holy Wall and prevent you from acting this way! This means that if you're next to me you must choose between attacking me, attacking my ally or taking an AO. That seems like the enemy will have a real hard time!

Again, you're giving up a ton of opportunity cost just to make Retributive Strike hard to avoid, and it doesn't make it much more likely to actually trigger. The opportunity cost is especially high if you want to take Shield Warden AND Attack of Opportunity, since they're competing 6th level feats. On top of that, Reach weapons are better than S&B anyway for Ret. Strike, since it expands your threat range.

Darkorin wrote:
Everyone starts at first level with only one power and must take feats to learn others. Asking for the paladin to have more is honestly just greedy.

That doesn't change the fact that their first-level features aren't better than what other classes get like you said, either thematically or mechanically. Rogues get Sneak Attack and +Dex to weapons, like you'd expect. Barbarians get Rage, like you'd expect. Paladins get Lay on Hands which is incredibly weak unless you take extra feats for it, and Retributive Strike which is also not good unless you take extra feats for it.

Darkorin wrote:
And retributive strike can become quite great if you want it to become.

It can become DECENT if you sink most of your class feats into improving it, but it doesn't change the fact that the point of it is basically just to be a deterrent that doesn't get used, which means that the other features tied to it (like Smite) are incredibly weak now because you'll basically never get to use them.

Darkorin wrote:

The current paladin has multiple way to evolve, but you must now choose one when the previous paladin could do all. You can make him great with divine power, making him protect his ally, or make an attacker (the weakest of the three options right now).

But honestly, the "classic" paladin that protects? The current class is great for that, shield ally being really awesome in my opinion.

The "classic" paladin isn't just a babysitter for other characters, any more than the "classic" fighter was. I'm also still not clear where you get this idea that a Paladin was OP and great at everything before, they had good saving throws and situationally good damage, that's it.


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Darkorin wrote:
In PF1 Paladins were also one of the most overpowered class that could do everything by themselves.

That's not true, they were a pretty good martial but certainly not OP like a Cleric or Wizard.

Darkorin wrote:
PF2 seeks to give a clearer role to the paladin with the ability to open your paladin to some different playstyle by giving you the choices of what kind of paladin you want to play.

No, it pushes you towards one build paradigm of a bodyguard/healer in heavy armor with either a Reach weapon or S&B. It's got nothing like the build diversity in 1e, nor does it feel like the old Paladin identity, which leads me to my next point.

Darkorin wrote:
When evaluating a new edition, you shouldn't compare part of it to the previous one, it is a whole and a lot of things in the system changed. The current question is: Is the PF2 Paladin good/fun to play.

The Paladin has a core identity of a chivalrous knight dedicated to rooting out evil and protecting the innocent. Its features don't support this, and your Retributive Strike ability being primarily "I didn't get to do anything but I made you move 5 feet away/I made you attack me" is not really strong support for that identity, nor is it very fun to play.

Darkorin wrote:

Honestly just take a look at the number of class features that paladin are getting at first level and then take a look at other martial classes.

They get three features: Champion Powers, Deific Weapon AND Retributive Strike. I think it's enough.

At first level you get ONE Champion Power, Lay on Hands. Deific Weapon doesn't do much since you already have martial weapon proficiency, it's mostly a fluff feature. Retributive Strike, as discussed, hardly ever gets used since it is primarily a deterrent.

So, compare that to other first-level features like Rage or Sneak Attack which are pretty strong and give the class a real, strong, and flexible core identity that is consistent with the "classic" barbarian or rogue that a player would want, at least in theory, from those classes.


master_marshmallow wrote:

Smiting is not unique to paladins.

We have alchemists and Cavaliers in the playtest, so antipaladins should at least be on the table.

Hellknights also smite things.

Those are the big three.

Clerics get to smite things too, in 2e.


Asuet wrote:
So with smite being the core mechanic you would be fine if you could not use it at all? But potentially you could so that concept is awesome?

That's the way Smite already works currently, because it's tied to Retributive Strike, which you rarely if ever get to use. In addition to that, you also can't use it until level 9, and even then only on evil creatures, so it's far more limited than it seems like even you would want Smiting to be.

Asuet wrote:
The whole smite mechanic is utterly idiotic if you can use it against everything. People don't want to smite evil. They want big damage bursts.

You're wrong. People like Smite because it's thematically interesting. I'd be fine with it being a Champion Power even though this would severely limit its use, because then you can bust it out against the big evil boss monster or Antipaladin. Basically, Soulboundx has the right of it.


Darkorin wrote:
Paladins already have a lot of class features at first level, and retributive strike works well there because it's not something that you can trigger whenever you want. You cannot switch it with smite or divine grace since those abilities you can rely on. And paladins already have that with Champions Powers.

Paladins already get Divine Grace at level 2, though, they just have to choose the feat (and it's really the only good feat at that level). Why could you not just swap that with Retributive Strike so Retributive Strike is the feat (and it would still be the best one at that level)?

Also if Retributive Strike is inherently unreliable like you say (and I agree) then Smite shouldn't be tied to it in my opinion. If Champion Powers are meant to be the "reliable" abilities then maybe make Smite a Champion Power instead.


Asuet wrote:
If you want a meat shield, bring a barbarian. If you want damage and capable defenses, bring a fighter. If you want a chivalrous leader looking out for his comrades, bring a paladin. Welcome to Pathfinder 2.

The difference is, the barbarian and fighter have actual mechanical support for what you say their roles are, and those are mechanical roles.

What you say the paladin's role is isn't a mechanical role at all, it's a personality, and the mechanical support for it (Retributive Strike) does not particularly even support that role. Something like a 5e Paladin Aura would support that, but Retributive Strike really doesn't.


Asuet wrote:


The question also isn't if paladins should get their big smite damage back. That ship has sailed. The intended concept of the paladin in this edition is obviously that of a protector.

... It's a carrot and a stick. Don't hit my friends or I hit you. So you better hit me. It's an elegant solution to what was lacking in RPG's. It's a taunt. Sure you can reposition as an opponent. But that messes with the action economy. It's a win win situaton for the paladin with this simple retributive strike mechanic. It is not about the reaction at all. It's about how retributive strike changes the decisionmaking and actioneconomy of the opponents.

I agree that it's a carrot and a stick but I disagree that it's effective or elegant. At least at low levels, taking a Step or Stride to get out of the Paladin's range is only forgoing a 3rd attack that probably only had a 20% or so chance to hit, so it's not much of a sacrifice.

Also, if Retributive Strike is mostly just there as a deterrent so that it doesn't get used much (and I do agree with this), then it is just terrible to require a Retributive Strike to use a Smite, since you will basically never get to use it.


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Darkorin wrote:

I think that allowing a full stride to be taken with retributive strike might be too much, and I also agree that having a feat at some point allowing for a 10 feet movement when activating retributive strike might be enough.

If you still want to make sure it feels tanky and not mobile you could have the following :

Trigger: an enemy not within reach attacks an adjacent ally
Effect: you reposition yourself with a 10 feet stride that must end adjacent to your ally and within reach of the enemy, and you take a retributive strike action.

That would fit the role of the protector really well. I think that giving a 10 feet stride at every retributive strike might be too good, and the plain will always reposition himself with retributive strike, which shouldn't be the case.

I see it more like a "Move aside Friend, I shall take care of that fiend!".

The feat should enable to attack enemies that have reach or try to move out of the Paladin's reach that are trying to attack allies protected by the Paladin.

This is a decent solution, although it still gives Reach wew weapons a big advantage and does nothing for ranged builds.

I'd prefer it though if this whole feat was just rolled into Retributive Strike, which was then also a first-level feat, and that Paladins got something more iconic as the core class ability like Smite or Divine Grace.


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ChibiNyan wrote:

Yeah I don't think that fatigue rule is gonna do very well in the polls. You should be able to recover after 10 minutes of just relaxing.

But the biggest issue here is that you indeed get tired from riding a horse...

You don't get cripplingly exhausted after riding a horse for 10 minutes. I'm a genuinely terrible rider and I'm fine after an hour-long trail ride.


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Mirror Image is not a core ability of the class, though, and you can build a perfectly fine caster without it.
Retributive Strike is put forward as a core Paladin ability that is tied to a ton of other mechanics, optional or not - including Smite, which is an iconic Paladin ability that you can now only use with Retributive Strike (which is a massive nerf).
It's not that there aren't tactical uses for RS, but I disagree that there is really agency in how it's used, since you can't choose NOT to say "I dare you" as you put it. You can choose not to take the reaction, but you can't not take Retributive Strike, and it's also out of your hands what the enemy does, given that "dare."
It just isn't fun to go "ha! I made you walk out of my range or attack me, so now I can't do anything!" as a main gimmick of the class.


MuddyVolcano wrote:
I hope it's helpful in some way.

Well I certainly found it helpful, you did a great job of thoroughly articulating why Retributive Strike shouldn't be the core ability of a paladin and I agree completely with your reasoning as to why it's not fun.


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Pandora's wrote:
snip

The Paladin should have defensive options, sure, but it shouldn't be pigeonholed into being THE defender (especially when Clerics get to do the classic Paladin thing of smiting, and the Paladin gets a supremely nerfed version at mid levels).

It also doesn't mean every Paladin has to be the best at everything like you are implying. People liked the Pathfinder paladin. People like the D&D 5e paladin. Both classes were strong, neither are OP or the "best" class on the game. They just have more cool, thematic, and fun options than "sit tight and hope the enemy hits my buddy, instead of moving or hitting me, so I can do something cool."
Also telling people to just play an Inquisitor (which doesn't yet exist) or a Cleric doesn't solve the issue. Like it or not there is an iconic, archetypal Paladin, and if you can't play that as a Paladin class but you can as another class, it's a bummer.


Pandora's wrote:
I think Retributive Strike is mostly fine as is. It could use some kind of Step Up mechanic so an enemy can't just move out of your reach and attack the ally you were guarding. But even without Step Up, you're forcing them to spend an action to move away, forcing them to risk an extra attack, or forcing them to attack the heavily armored self-healing tank. That's a lose-lose-lose. Retributive Strike is a tanking ability that makes the enemy make hard decisions, not a "I get reliable extra damage this way" tool.

Doesn't that mostly boil down to the choice of the enemy trying to find ways to not let you use Retributive Strike, though (as shown by the playtest data above)? That might not be underpowered per se but it's boring to play so relatively, and doesn't feel like a Paladin to me.

Dragonborn3 wrote:
Which is something ANY class should be capable of, not one of the coolest classes from earlier in the game. This paladin is not so much a striker against evil as he is a goalie in a hockey game, sitting in place until a shot is aimed at his goal(the ally in the Ret. Strike scenario).

Good point and excellent analogy.


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Rysky wrote:
Having Reactive abilities are not a bad thing.
No, but when your class features are almost entirely reactive, it takes away a lot of player agency and isn't fun. It is nice to have reactive options, but not as nice as being able to use your abilities to control a situation more effectively.
Rysky wrote:
No, your allies can deal with them with you. This is a group game, not solo player. You all work together.

I think their point was if you set up your reactive ability and then the enemy just ignores you or avoids you by repositioning, then you are bad at working together with your team and not pulling your own weight. This is a concern with a primarily reaction-based feature like Retributive Strike, which is basically in the hands of the monsters if you get to use it or not.


WatersLethe wrote:

Personal opinion time!

For me, the entire fantasy of the paladin is being able to root out evil and pulverize it. It's satisfying because, although it would be really useful, it is impossible to do in the real world.

The fantasy is an incorruptible, terrifying force for good.

I'll admit other people have different views on this, but if the option doesn't exist for me to make a LG paladin who goes out to find evil and remove it from the world, I don't consider this class worthy of the name.

These three things I feel are necessary, or the class is a failure:

1. The ability to discern, detect, intuit or otherwise locate an evil creature. (Or other alignment for you non-LG paladin people)

2. The ability to cause severe bodily harm to an evil creature, in a manner that cannot be easily replicated by another class. That is, a Paladin has to be comparatively good at this task.

3. The ability to resist the corruptive effects of mind control, fear, compulsion and trickery.

Everything else is window dressing and optional. Lay on hands is nice, but ultimately unnecessary. Protecting party members is a focus of some paladin players but not others. Heavy armor is optional. No one weapon is required. Spells are optional. A specific deity is optional. Having friends is optional.

So, what I see from the playtest paladin there's sense evil at level 8, smite at 9th, and a very weak Divine Grace option at level 2.

At this point (and I say this as a major, MAJOR fan of Paladins in general) Paladin should be turned into a Prestige Class.

I agree 100%. In particular, I think Smite Evil is a much more core "thing" for the Paladin to have. My proposed fixes (after playing a Paladin in Lost Star that rarely got Retributive Strike to trigger since we only had 1 other melee character), are as follows:

1. Smite should be your level 2 feature, and should apply to whatever attack you want (limited by spell points, level/2 times per day, or something similar).
2. Retributive Strike was cool when it worked and should be either a level 2 or 6 Paladin feat.
3. Replace the 9th level feature with +Cha modifier to all saves, or at least to Will save.


Craig Tierney wrote:
The title says all I really need to say. In PF1, you counted as your own ally. I swept through the Playtest Rulebook with Control+F, and could find no precise definition that would confirm or deny whether things work the same as before. There are a number of abilities, like a Paladin's Retributive strike, which would be much more powerful if they could proc for yourself instead of just other players.

I'm also very interested in this, for the same reason. Retributive Strike and Smite Evil seem very underpowered if "ally" does not include you, but they seem fine if "ally" includes yourself.