My players are gaining individual levels, because I'm running a sandbox instead of DD... character creation took about 8 hours in total, and each level-up has taken up about 4 hours. Which means by 3rd level we'd wasted an entire month's worth of playtime on the "age of accounting".
Chicks In Maille is a book my shelf deserves. 'Chicks in Chain' would preserve the alliteration without the gross inaccuracy. Since Mail/Maille can also be called Chain.
The issue is that saying "Chainmail" is a redundant compound word steming from the misuse of the term "mail" as meaning "armor" rather than "chain" (thus why scale mail and splint mail are so misnamed as well).
Exploration Mode feels out-of-place, like a subsystem they pulled from an entirely different game-design document and just ploped into the PF2 playtest with minimal revision to tie into the Three-Action Economy. That, or it was written hastily (like a paper due the next day), and never properly edited.
Regardless, I've found I've no use for the Exploration Mode Rules. Despite running an actual sandbox campaign with hexcrawling elements. I've ended up ignoring them almost entirely because in every instance they could have come up it would have slowed down the game, encouraged irrational behaviour (to avoid fatigue), or prevented reasonable activities (because of fatigue).
I think there are more than enough feat slots to allow for plenty of customization. We really don't need more feats... we need better ones instead.
I would prefer for feats to be designed to scale as opposed to being designed to be taken in chains. Instead of taking three or four class feats to unlock all of your multiclass spellslots, you should only be taking one. The same goes for a combat style. They're the biggest reason customization bottlenecks, as you can only invest in one chain per feat-silo, and the class feats are far-and-away the best silo. If you cannot come up with at least a dozen feats for a given class or archetype without resorting to a feat-chain, it doesn't deserve to exist. Nor would I count any of the 'pick-a-thing-from-this-other-list' feats either, but that's just being picky because they're an uncreative design.
Finally, fill out the remainder of the (now much shorter) list with feats that let a player actually do something; because negligable static benefits in specific circumstances make terrible feats.
I did write an Armor as Damage Resistance rule, using my estimates of how underpowered a given suit of armor was to the best possible armor in the game.
At this point I'd like to see "Touch Armor Class" replaced by simply using an enemy's Reflex DC instead. We don't need two different defenses that do functionally the same thing (represent your ability to dodge).
I'd also love so see Heavy Armor and Shields allow a character to apply their Strength instead of Dexterity to AC. Because physically blocking an attack requires you be strong enough to brace for the impact.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That's too extreme of an angle, and it's not necessarily any more of an attack than, for example, a Wizard using a Fear spell and an enemy critically failing the saving throw. If that's the case, spells like Fear should also suffer MAP, and we all know that's not going to happen, even if only because it's balanced by requiring 2 actions (and the majority of your turn combined with a bad roll from the enemy) to work.
Maybe... but the Fear spell takes two actions, costs a spell slot (for all but the most powerful spellcasters), and requires the target(s) critically fail their saves. Plus you have to actually know Fear specifically. Meaning the effect could be comperable, but a spellcaster expends more than twice the incombat resources, and can still only perform the activity a limited number of times (far fewer than the number of times he could have used Demoralize instead). Why bother casting Fear once when you could cast 'Demoralize' twice without expending a spell slot? Its not really a favorable comparison for arguing that Demoralize isn't overpowered.
Note that in my example encounter, The ghost's Demoralize checks had more impact than its Frightful Moan.
There were no long-standing traditions to disregard. Variant paladins are nothing new, they've existed in almost every version of D&D. Back when I started playing, Paladins were just better fighters with higher prerequisites (Rangers too); famously used as GMPCs by the uncreative to keep their party's in line. The reason those editions mechanically rewarded players for being Good (and preferably Lawful) was simple. The most practical alignment for an adventurer is Chaotic Evil, because we're glorified tomb-robbers. Not Stealing and Killing means not gaining experience points. Parties with a Paladin or Ranger needed the extra boost to compete with parties that could otherwise steal from and murder people for money and power. The Paladin's legacy died in 3rd edition, you're just a few decades late to the funeral.
Just a note, every kind of caster except Wizards have a clause noting that they can use 'something' in lieu of materials and a free hand (like the bard uses their instrument). Even for wizards it seems like an ommision not to be able to use their arcane focus or spellbook for somatic and material components.
I could also see Witch as the pan-traditional prepared spellcaster, and Occultist as the primary prepared occult spellcaster (as PossibleCabbage suggests above). As Mathmuse suggests, the Occultists secondary stat will almost certainly be Charisma, for more focus to fuel their implement powers.
I think that Occultism being Int-based is currently very annoying, and the player of my party's Bard agrees. However neither Sorcerers nor Bards are the anchor Occult spellcaster. Sorcerers crop up in every tradition, so they don't count. Bards are neither prepared casters, nor does their key ability match the Occultism Skill. So I contend they aren't intended to be the best at it.
Occultism is being published in core for the same reason as the alchemist... Paizo doesn't want to publish any massive system additions later because of how problematic it was to introduce Alchemy-As-Not-Quite-Magic and Psychic Magic later. IIRC they've publically stated they don't plan to introduce any new magical traditions later (despite there being open design space indicating otherwise).
I strongly suspect the Witch will be the first anchor occult caster (being an Int-based, prepared spellcaster), otherwise it'll be the Occultist because the dev-team lurves Mavaro.
There is also design space for at least three more spontaneous spellcasting classes (one for the Arcane, Divine, and Primal traditions), and at least one Prepared Caster that crops up in every tradition like the sorcerer. But Asmodeus only knows when/if they'll actually publish them all.
I agree the basic system would work fine in PF1. The PF1 weapon design rules I mentioned above are (in my opinion) the basis for the playtest weapon system. Particularly the fact that traits are weighed against base damage, and that two-handed exotic weapons get the biggest pool of points to build from (with everything else getting less by degree). I specified the traits themselves. For example: Finesse obviates Weapon Finesse in PF1. Agile, Backswing, Sweep, and Twin all rely on the 3-action economy, Disarm and Trip rely on the pf2 skill system... etc.
The Court Sword is pretty ideal... if you're a str-based dual-wielding fighter. I described it as having a full basket-hilt like a rapier, but a short, broad thrusting blade. It is not entirely historically accurate, but was the closest real sword to what I had in mind. The goal was to provide a single pairable weapon with the appropriate traits to utilize the Playtest Fighter's duel-wielding feats (as opposed to being all but forced to use a Rapier and Main-Gouche). Because it is so niche, I made it uncommon.
For PF2 purposes, I haven't been shy about customizing or reskinning weapons. They're like backgrounds, so painfully generic that there's no benefit to be had from sticking strictly published lists.
I gave my party's Fighter a pair of "Court Swords" as a reward for a difficult adventure. They're just uncommon blades based on the Shortswords she already used, but which traded Versatile S and Finesse traits she didn't need for the Parry and Disarm traits her combat style demanded.
I also let my varisian bard purchase a "bladed scarf" as an uncommon type of whip.
David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:
You're in a settlement and you want to hit up the local wizard's guild and get a copy of magic missile. How much is that service? We know how much the scribing costs, but the access fee of borrowing an NPCs spellbook or time (since NPCs can just teach you verbally these days, I believe).
You'd be performing the Learn An Arcane Spell activity, so you'd use those rules (see page 146). Which is to say the check takes 1 hour, and it costs 2 gp to learn Magic Missile from a tutor or borrowed grimoire (or just 1 gp if you critically succeed). It also costs you 1 gp if you Critically fail... Alternatively you can buy a Scroll for 3 gp (or make one for an initial investment of 25 sp (2.5 gp), or less*Assuming you have Scribe Scroll, you can gain access to a spell (for scribing purposes only) by keeping a formula book with the 'formula' for that scroll. The formula for a scroll of magic missile costs 10 sp for example. Meaning even an Alchemist or Fighter can scribe scrolls per RAW.
Obvious Rules Abuse*:
All spellcasters explicitly have "access" to every common spell on their list; it is a requirement for adding those spells to your spellbook or spells known. Combined with the phrasing of Scribe Scroll and the rules for Crafting it means...
...a Wizard can scribe a magic missile scroll even if he hasn't yet added magic missile to his spell book, and then use that scroll to actually "learn" the spell (add it to their spellbook).
...a spontaneous spellcaster (such as a bard or sorcerer) can make Scrolls of spells they cannot personally cast, but have access to via their tradition.
...the prepared divine casters basically gain no benefit, the rules interaction just sort of levels the playing field with regard to crafting.
They make radical changes at the last minute that won't be tested and the game goes live very different but possibly very broken. I'll wait to see if I buy that game.
This is more or less my position on the future of PF2. Except that at this point I have no reason to believe the printed product will even be worth the shelf-space.
I'll review the rules online, and if they defy my expectations I'll consider paying Paizo for their PDF. But as it stands I don't plan to ever buy another actual book from Paizo.
I was exceptionally excited about the prospects of PF2, and there are core elements that I love. Such as the Three-Action Economy and most of the Proficiency system (excepting elements regarding armor and shields). However the actual specific content (classes, feats spells, items) is boring and lackluster, and weak by design. Removing or replacing the content I dislike would require more work than building a campaign from scratch using one of the several "toolbox" systems designed for that purpose.
For making characters I usually use PDFs. Not to knock online resources (I check them next), I just like to be inspired by the art and flavour-text. Usually I find that whatever obscure game element I need is located in one of half-a-dozen thematically named supplements.
Usually I just make a player's first characters for them; so as to prevent new players from falling off the learning curve. However learnability was one of the playtest goals; so I didn't do that this time. That said it took my players an embarrasingly long time to actually finish their characters using the Playtest Rulebook. I finally had to waste an entire four-hour session game session forcing my players to actually do the paperwork (they knew more-or-less what they were playing, but none of the sheets were filled out, and certain details hadn't been decided).
I wouldn't say that the CRBs layout is better or worse. They're basically much the same; or will be once PF2 is complete at any rate. However the point above about redundancy is accurate. The PF1 CRB includes a lot of redundant reminder text which the playtest rulebook lacks.
There are a few areas of the playtest rulebook though where the few minor changes to layout made the book much, much harder to use. For example, mixing all of the powers in with the spells was a serious misstep. It significantly increases the amount of time it takes to evaluate power-based options.
I'm the GM, but I wanted to know how long it took to create a finished character before asking my players to do so... So I built a cleric as my first test of the rulebook; it made me want to huck my book at a wall before I'd even run my first session.
No, they can't. But with half-a-dozen developers they could've at least covered the three most common situations.1: A Barrier you can neither percieve or attack/travel through (such as a stone wall)
2: A Barrier you can percieve through, but not attack/travel through (such as glass wall)
3 A Barrier you can attack/travel through, but not percieve through (such as a paper wall or Silent Image)
Note: "percieve" in these cases being "to see". Which is the default sense the playtest assumes characters are using. But if they provided a default I could more easily apply common sense. For example, a glass wall might block a Keen-Eared Elf's hearing-based perception, but not a paper wall.
Nope. Item rarity should be determined on a setting level, not a character level.
I agree, however your complaint also applies to the original feat. The access mechanic remained because the system needs to remain functional in PFS where the GM literally isn't allowed to make that call. This isn't a list of ways I would have made a better game. These are consise changes to an existing product, designed to do the most good with the least revision. I can't go removing access mechanics from all the other feats (like Adopted). Instead focus on the benefits; which are that unlike the original, my version allows you to select common weapons, and uncommon weapons which aren't ancestral. In addition it trains you in the weapon. Which means a Human Wizard can become an expert in the Katana (or nearly any other single weapon) for just two ancestry feats (just like an Elven Wizard with their whole glut of weapons).
I've done my research as well, and while I disagree with some of your arguments... I'm not interested in debating armor theory. Rewriting the entire armor rules is outside the scope of the scope of my intent. The presense or absence of half- and full- plate as distinct armor types is no more relevent than the incorrectness of the term "chainmail". If you want historically accurate armor you'll have to talk to Paizo. Also note this is the only house-rule I've tagged as 'Optional', that wasn't an accident. It is only appropo if you're using the playtest rulebook's selection of (historically inaccurate, and selectively anachronistic) armor.
The following is an assorted collection of rules changes I would make to the playtest rulebook (as of update 1.5)
Earlier Ability Boosts
Fighter's Armor Training
Armor Resistance (Optional)
Uncommon Martial Melee Weapon
Uncommon Exotic Ranged Weapons
Colette Brunel wrote:
The problem, of course, seems to be that the monster math is overtuned. Thus, whether or not this was the developers' intent, encounters are balanced around players and their PCs playing to win and focusing fire, and monsters lackadaisically running around doing "cool" but tactically inefficient things.
This at least we can agree on being a problem. I shouldn't have to waste 2/3rds of my actions, or use enemies several levels beneath my heroes to prevent killing them.
Death by fluffy bunnies: What happens when the drained condition reduces a creature's maximum hit points to 0?
Colette Brunel wrote:
My 10th-level party was killed by mundane rabbits, but someone else raised a point in that the drained condition is silent on what happens when a creature's maximum hit points are reduced to 0. What actually occurs?
I think as written the PCs reduced to 0 Maximum HP would be locked into a near-dying state until they finally died. Healing spells and Hero Points would just end up reseting you to Dying 1. As you'd be raised to 1 HP (Maximum 0) by the spell, and immediately start dying again. The Healer also wakes you, automatically cursing themselves (Yay!). Naturally recovering would give you as little as ten minutes of safety while you sit as 0 HP and Unconsious. As soon as the GM decides you awaken though you jitter from 1 HP back to 0 and begin dying again. A kind GM might let them sit at comatose until the Drain faded.
So I suppose in theory you could keep making your recovery rolls (staying locked around dying 1), or sitting comatose for however many days it would take to recover from being Drained 14+... unless you starve to death, are eaten by monsters, or buried by other adventurers (assuming they don't kill themselves accidently waking you with healing magic).
It is a truely Gygaxian trap, made worse by an ill-defined trigger element (the sleeping vermin of undefined number).
Paizo is the 'House', a game of Pathfinder II is a 'Baccarat Table' (basically a group all betting on a coin-flip with 1:10 odds of a tie, and a 1:50 edge to the house IIRC), and Society Play is the 'casino floor'.
Like it or not; it is in the house's best interest to ensure as average a playing experience as possible on the casino floor; since that determines their ability to keep opening baccarat tables.
Which is all a really convoluted way of saying that I think Paizo needs to focus on not creating mechanics that break even in "highly improbable circumstances". Such as getting stuck in a dying loop until you rage-quit the table. If it can break, it will, and every time it does it costs Paizo credibility, and thus future profits.
Anyone else feel that this is moving in a direction that’s actually more restrictive instead of less so
I am happy with most* of the Heritage elements of the 1.4 Update. Sure they're individually lackluster... Everything in PF2's Playtest is pretty underwhelming individually; it's an inevitable result of combining tight-math with choice-glut.
I'm confused why Humans get shafted on their weaponry expertise. Unconventional Weaponry is somehow both horrifically abusable, and a really obvious feat tax. Yet Paizo not only left it as is, but built a feat atop it that spotlights just how bad it really is. For reference:
It's abusable because you can use retraining rules to acquire this feat which does nothing other than give you permission to buy a given ancestry's uncommon weapons, buy said weapon(s) and likely some extras just in case, and finally retrain the ancestry feat back to whatever you actually wanted or use during adventures. Nevermind that anybody can be Adopted by members of that Ancestry instead; thereby gaining access to their much better weapon familiarity feat chains (which actually grant proficiency).
It's a feat-tax because once you've got the weapon in hand it has no further effect beyond being the prerequisite for Unconventional Expertise. Worse, you still need to become proficient with the chosen weapon somehow; which will generally require investing yet another feat. Since if you were a character class that started out proficient with decent weapons, you'll become an expert with them eventually anyway (and thus don't need an expertise feat anyway). Again, you might as well just be Adopted instead, at least it's a tax with a better pay-off.
Death by fluffy bunnies: What happens when the drained condition reduces a creature's maximum hit points to 0?
Actually the quoted rule doesn't say anything about penalties "capping out", all it is specifying is the range of values the GM should expect to see (1-4). Paizo treats it's own rules more like weak suggestions.
I once worked at a casino, where I learned that statistical probabilities are only relevent to the House. Any given player can experience wildly improbable results, such as winning a bonus with 1:25 odds eight times in a row (a true story). It doesn't matter how unlikely it is, given enough time it will happen to somebody.
The opponents are who I'm concerned about... Enemies have inflated statistics that make Intimidation more successful for them than against them. Since they can use it at range, while prone, there's no protecting a PC from focused-demoralization.
Dante Doom wrote:
I just give one extra hero point to those players that make the surveys. Lol
I'm not fond of Hero Point like mechanics, but I'm using them for the Playtest anyway.However I detest the idea of favortism, and the fact that the current Hero Point rules encourage it is a huge issue for me. So as an alternative I award two hero points at the begining of a four-hour session, and one more at some point during it.
Update 1.5 is disappointing to me. Thankfully it won't affect my players in the slightest; none of them are playing offensive casters, and in six combat encounters nobody has dropped to zero HP. I don't think they even know what Hero Points are (despite my frequent reminders).
I won't be testing the new Focus system, my group was completely disinterested. Personally, the only things I liked in this whole document are the expanded bombs, and the changes to Scrolls. I would like the new Staff mechanic if I didn't hate the surrounding mechanics (Focus). The Focus mechanics are ill concieved, and really drive home just how arbitrarially limited magic items are...
Regarding PF1 Wands:
I've played exactly enough PFS to see the 'CLW Wand Problem' in action. No party of four 1st level characters should have access to four different wands (granted two were mine... but even so). It is an economic issue PFS created for themselves.
I've also run more than enough D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder to know that the version seen in home games isn't a problem* or an exploit. GMs are given every tool they need to control the player's access to magical items; including any number of ways of depriving characters of "problematic items". One has to accept the risks when they make exception to the rules for magic item availability or chose not to use the resource management solutions they were given (such ad Green Slime, Fireballs, Rust Monsters, amd Thieves). For their part, player's shouldn't be looked at akstance for making intelligent decisions.
*Except to the degree that WotC shouldn't have made wand charges so much cheaper than potions, and Paizo didn't bother to change it (for reasons I'm not interested in debating).
There isn't one. Nor do the developers necessarially even know the answers to those simple questions. I get the strong impression most of the developers are using internal playtest documents rather than the playtest rulebook, and that few (if any) of them are even passingly familiar with the contents of the actual playtest rulebook.
Please note that I started this thread long before the Heritage update.
With seperate Heritages, Humans no longer especially need further boosts, and even most of my complaints about the Half-Its are gone now that a 1st level Half-Elf can actually select an elven ancestry feat.
Natural Ambition remains an option that's only as good as what you can select with it. It isn't inherently a powerful feat, just a very versatile one. Which is great if you need whatever it's offering.
For example, one of my player's is playing a Human Bard without Natural Ambition, because neither of the remaining 1st level choices were as interesting to her character as other options. On the other hand, another player took Natural Ambition as a Human Monk so that they could start with both Monastic Weaponry and Ki Strike.
Dire Ursus wrote:
Fleeing doesn't automatically = wasting a turn while your opponents get free shots on you. Someone who is fleeing would prioritize running to the closest place that let's them have cover from whatever is making them flee.
This is very true, and also why I specified "if used correctly" and "a melee or short range combatant", who're the ones most likely to be within range to demoralize anyway. A long-range combatant likely only loses one round, or maybe only an action and a higher range penalty.
Demoralize's best use isn't to take pot-shots against the victim (don't hit the mes'ed mob yo), but rather removing certain combatants (such as a defender or healer) so that you can focus fire on opponents that needed their support.
Demoralize is a pretty dirty, and an overly effective use of a single action. It is basically an Attack which doesn't suffer MAP, and if used correctly can cost the target multiple rounds.
For example; during a boss fight with a Weak Ghost Commoner (so lvl 3 and -2 to all published statistics) a Critical Success chased my group's melee-Fighter out of a small crypt, screaming like a B-movie victim. That one action cost her both the round she spent fleeing and the round it took her to return.
Two rounds without worrying about a melee or short range combatant's contribution is far too strong a benefit for a check that doesn't have the Attack Trait. So I say, odd as it feels, Demoralize should be an Attack, and thus suffer MAP.
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
The posters in question were referring to the use of a racially charged term being banned on the forums. This term had been used in some published Paizo materials so they felt that were being unfairly targeted...but the moderator was pretty clear that, no matter what was printed in the past, it's not allowed here now.
That confusion (regarding a term used for people of mixed ancestry in the books) did eventually come to light at least. The moderator also deleted a post (and its replies) for calling a particular ancestry feat "garbage". The term quoted was explicitly called out as being the reason the post was deleted.Some more posts were removed later for various resons, but the end result was that multiple sets of posts just disappeared over the course of the day, replaced by moderator explanations that only added confusion (for those not in-the-know) and fuel to the PR bonfire (for those in-the-know).
Richard Crawford wrote:
I just saw a copy of the Pathfinder 1 Beta Rules at my local Bookmans for $12 the other day. Right next to a copy of the current Playtest.
If we're making this a game; I suppose I just have to play too!
"Silverbeard of Bag" – Bleachling Gnome Warrior-Druid.
Abilities Str 10 Dex 12 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 18 Cha 12
Druidic Order Animal (has 4 SP; can cast Heal Animal for 1 SP)
Proficiencies Perception (T), Fortitude (E), Reflex (T), Will (E), Simple Weapons & Scimitar (T).
Skills (all Trained) Athletics (B), Diplomacy, Nature (B), Stealth, Survival, Warfare Lore (B)
Feats Animal Speaker (B), Animal Accomplice (Raven) (1st), Quick Repair (B), Animal Companion (Wolf) (B).
Starting Gear (4 B; 3 L) Oaken Staff (0 sp; 1 B), Oaken Heavy Shield (1 gp; 1 B; 3 Hardness), Oaken Breastplate (8 gp; 2 B) and Gauntlets (4 sp; 2 L), Adventurer's Kit (1 gp; 1 B)*, Holly and Mistletoe, Repair Kit (3 gp; 1 B)*, Saddlebags (2 sp; 1 L)*, and Coins (14 sp).
*(Carried by companion)
Backstory Silverbeard is an ex-tactician who was exiled from his homeland for starting a bloody civil war. Cast out and traumatized, he wandered an unfamiliar forest for decades. Living off the land, and avoiding the many unfamiliar peoples he encountered. Eventually he became one with the forest, and it revealed its primal secrets to him. His newfound bond with nature allowed him to survive the Bleaching. However he wasn't the same gnome he once was; he'd forgotten his name and much of his past. "Silverbeard" is just what the few tallfolk he's spoken to called him.
I wrote up this table for randomly selecting a character to create... but I'm unlikely to ever actually get to use it so... here:
RANDOM PLAYTEST CHARACTERS
Ancestry: To randomly determine Ancestry, roll 1d6 and consult the following table.
Heritage: To randomly determine Heritage, roll 1d4 and consult one of the following tables.
2. Desert Dwarf
3. Stronghearted Dwarf
4. Unburdened Dwarf
1. Arctic Elf
2. Cavern Elf
3. Keen-Eared Elf
4. Jungle Elf
2. Deep Gnome
3. Fell Gnome
4. Sharp-Nosed Gnome
1. Bigbelly Goblin
2. Inflammable Goblin
3. Razortooth Goblin
4. Snow Goblin
1. Gutsy Halfling
2. Jungle Halfling
3. Nomadic Halfling
4. Twilight Halfling
3. Skilled Human
4. Versatile Human
Background: To randomly determine Background, roll 1d20 and consult the following table.
I imagine Dhampir, Aasimar, and Tieflings will all be seperate ancestries so that their heritages can represent the different subtypes available in the Inner Sea.
Otherwise they might be better used much like Half-Elf and Half-Orc were originally intended to be, as options you select in place of either your starting ancestry feat or your heritage. So you can be a Varisian Half-Elven Dhampir, or a Snow Goblin Tiefling, or an Elven Aasimar with Dancing Lights as an Innate Divine Cantrip (via their 1st level Aasimar Ancestry Feat).
Some Environmental Adaptation general feats would go a long way towards filling the gaps created by the environmentally adapted heritages. Also note they're pretty damn generic. Just let an elf take "Desert Elf" (as Desert Dwarf, but with the Elf trait instead of Dwarf) as appropriate. Golarion won't crumble.