Carl Cramér's page

Organized Play Member. 347 posts (1,301 including aliases). 35 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.

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Rysky wrote:
Still hoping for an unarmored option.


Seriously, all classes should come with unarmored options.

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Whiel I'd always want to have the core rulebook handy, there are (will be) SRD sites, and that is what we actually use in play 90% of the time - except one player who is laptop-challenged.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
The Core Rulebook defines these kinds of archetype (called "class archetypes"), even though it doesn't include them. They're just too core a concept and too fertile a ground for future rules expansion not to define them well.

As a potential 3rd party author, I really like this answer. Thank you!

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My best bets for this group would be Reign of Winter or Mummy's Mask.

Reign of Winter is very eclectic in the challenges you encounter, which might work well for such an eclectic group. You could simply skip the first book and have the hut pick each of them up from their starting location, avoiding the lowest levels of play or adding a low-level adventure inside the hut itself where the PCs meet and have to become a team in order to survive.

The premise for Mummy's Mask would work really well - they have all heard of this amazing opportunity in Osirion, attracting people from all over the world. And it is a very good AP, especially the first four parts. Lots of different situations, not at all as single-track as Serpent's Crown.

Shattered Star could work, using the Pathfinder Society as the plot device that brings the PCs together. Personally, I think the overall plot here is kind of weak, but that's me. If you add the Pathfinder Society to another AP, this plot device could work in almost any of them - I used it in Mummy's Mask.

Serpent's Crown has an adventure hook that would work, but it requires more buy-in than most APs. It is very single-track, you have to sell the idea of jungle exploration to the players.

Strange Aeons also has a hook that would work perfectly, but again requires a buy-in from the players. Not everyone is up for mind-warping cosmic horror. If they are up for it, I think it could work beautifully.

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Agreeing with others here that say you make players fear character death by NOT killing PCs. In a game where death happens often, a healthy distance between player and character is needed to avoid getting hurt if your character should die. On the other hand, if players are pretty darn sure their character will not die, its worth investing more into the character. When threats loom, even if they chance of actual character death is almost nil, the drama of having a character you are invested in taking risks gets the players involved.

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I'm off on a tangent, as I often am.

In my Rise of the Runlelords game, set in the Greyhawk setting, the runelords were draconic in origin. And I decided that draconic (the language) is less precise than human languages on matters of ethics. Thus the same word covered each side of each sin/virtue, possibly by adding a word to specify the value (good/evil) when that was important - which it by dragon logic seldom was.

Thus one word would mean both generosity and greed, with the exact meaning given by the context - and often open to interpretation.

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Bobson wrote:
The rest of the design team and I are going to be a little quiet over the next couple of months as we finalize parts of the game and get it ready to go to the printer. Once that hard work is done, you can expect us to start showing off the final version of the game.
I think this is the worst thing you can possibly do for those of us who left the playtest with a bad taste. Instead of letting that opinion sit for the next several months, post about problems that were identified and the kinds of thing you're considering to fix them. It doesn't need to be a final "Here's what PF2 will have!" preview, but just insight into "Here's something that was identified as a problem, why we think it was problematic, and how we're thinking of fixing it."

Quoted for truth. Paizo has built customer relations experience with this playtest and now has a blog with actual readers and a Twitch stream with actual subscribers. Continue in this vein. Exploit these resources. Paizo should have somebody who has decent insight into the continuing design process report back to us potential customers what is happening in the design process. If nothing else, this is a way to keep excitement up. To stay in focus among your customers. To hype the coming product.

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heretic wrote:
Of course there are fights where a certain class ends up making a minimal contribution (bards/enchanters vs undead or constructs)

This is no longer true. Undead now have no resistance to mind affecting magic. One of my favorite changes in the playtest.

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graystone wrote:
6 - There will be more guidelines in the GM part about when asking for a check is unnecessary and about checks in which failure doesn't mean complete failure, just taking longer or having some kind of complication...

The playtest document seem to think a GM is empowered by a rules being replaced by recommendations. A lot of "the GM sets the difficulty" and things like this where the GM can say no roll required. In my not so humble opinion this all belongs in the "play the game" chapter, as strong recommendations. As a GM, I feel alot more empowered by having a distinct rule that i can then choose to ignore, than by having to muddle trough a "recommendation" that means nothing to me as a GM, but means the world to the player. The bardic cantrips that need Perform checks are prime examples.

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ryric wrote:
For those lamenting things like "group Stealth is now impossible!" well, it never was very possible even with the +level added untrained...

In the Manticore encounter in In Pale Mountain's Shadow, there was a line that said this:

In Pail Mountain's Shadow Encounter B4 wrote:
Two-thirds of the way up the mountainside to area B5, the manticore notices the PCs unless the entire party is stealthy in their exploration.

I'm not sure if this was intentional, but I read this to say that if the entire party was in Stealth encounter mode, the manticore would not see them, no check required. This is a sort of take-20 situation; over the distances typical of outdoor encounter mode play, a team that moves at half pace in order to remain hidden is more or less automatically hidden.

I like this ruling so much that I generalized it into a table rule: Anything that can possibly succeed in encounter mode is automatically successful in exploration mode, and anything that is possible to do in exploration mode is automatically successful in downtime mode. I would require that someone in the group is trained, or I'd consider the task impossible.

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What annoys me about playtest paladins is not so much WHY they do things, its WHAT they do. Playtest paladins do very different things than PF1 paladins did, but that's for another thread.

On the difference between law and chaos, I feel chaos is a lot about conformism and fitting in, while chaos is is about showcasing yourself. Law "takes one for the team" while chaotics are "first among equals". Either side can like or dislike laws. Some examples.

China is a very lawful society, but having a written code of law is alien to their history. Instead they have conformity and the teachings of the ancient masters. Having a written code of law could be used by individuals to claim rights against society. Laws are not allowed to distort the power of conformity required by a very lawful society.

When Sweden exited the viking age, one of the things that was done was to codify laws. Earlier, laws had been something memorized by "gode", wise men and law-speakers. Naturally, these people held a lot of power. By codifying laws, everyone got access to the law. I'd say this was a reduction in the chaotic alignment of the vikings' descendants.

Someone fighting for the rights of minorities is breaking conformity and acting against the collective will of the majority, but do so using the laws of society. The law becomes the guarantee of the right of the few against the many. This can be seen as a chaotic using laws against the lawful.

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On the teleport balance issue, what teleport needs in not a long casting time - it is a long arrival time. Star Trek and its transporter often have this issue - people are starting to flicker into existence, but it takes a while for them to stabilize. This need not be a huge amount of time, say 1 minute, and the teleportees all spend their first turn after arriving orienting themselves to the exclusion of all other action. If you add the teleportation arrival making noise and smelling ozone, this would stop scry-and fry and make teleport more useful for escape than for attack.

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Captain Morgan wrote:

Character concepts are not Canon paizo stories. Canon paizo stories are fiction published in paizo books, including adventure paths. Goblins attacking Sandpoint is Canon. The Paladin you used to fight them off is not.

PC builds aren't relevant to this thread, frankly. There's a bajillion paladin threads already, or build threads or what have you. This is looking for contradictions in source material.

We have to agree to disagree here. To me, a complete change in how an important part of the heroes of Golarion look, fight, and feel is a major change to the canon. RPGs are about the characters. It doesn't matter if its is in a game or from fiction, a PF1 paladin and a PF2 paladin embody two different concepts. A PF1 paladin from fiction, if it in any way emulates the paladin from the game, cannot be represented by a playtest paladin.

Paladins are called just that, and this makes the change even more important. If they had changed the fighter in a similar way, I would have minded less, as "fighter" isn't really an in game concept. The world has men-at-arms, soldiers, gladiators, mercenaries, weapon specialists, a host of warrior concepts best played as the fighter class as long as they work mechanically - but none of which need to conceptually be of the fighter class or that would be called fighters in world. Only in meta-talk would someone say "hey, fighter" except perhaps in a sporting context. When used in its most general way, "fighter" would include anyone who fights, which of course includes paladins, rangers, barbarians, many rogues, etc, etc. Because Fighter is a class, I tend to use warrior as my inclusive term for anyone who fights, but fighter is the normal word for anyone who engages in physical combat.

But paladin IS an in-world concept, clearly marked and differentiated. You might actually call someone "sir paladin" in the game world, since paladins are rare and very distinct. That is why they have all these special behavior rules. Not every 'fighter' qualifies to be a paladin. Thus a change to what the word "paladin" refers to is a change to the world. A lot of people who called paladins in world before the change will no longer be of the paladin class. That is why I would have preferred if the playtest paladin changed the name, so that "paladin" became just another in-game word that does not point to a specific class, like man-at-arms.

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Tridus wrote:
I find the playtest does a bad job of making spellcasters feel like spellcasters. They feel like hybrids that have spells.

Quoted for truth. This could become a classic.

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Currently, proficiency has a range of -4 to +3. Item bonuses have a range of -2 to +5. I'd suggest swapping these ranges. Give proficiency a range of -2 to +5 (possibly -4 to +5) and item bonuses a range of -2 to +3. This would move emphasis from a character's equipment and to the character themselves. Heroes should be central to their own stories. Items are just props.

This would keep the numbers of the restricted math, and allow proficiency and item bonuses to have the same range across all proficiencies; weapons, spells, armor, and magic.

Having a separate proficiency and/or item bonus range between skills and other proficencies is a bad idea that does not fit the PF2 model. This suggestion does fit the current math, keeping the range of total bonuses the same.

We'd need more proficiency rank names, something like

Untrained (lvl 0)
Trained (lvl 1)
Able (lvl 3)
Expert (lvl 6)
Master (Lvl 9)
Superior (lvl 12)
Legendary (lvl 15)

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GM observations. I had a primal sorceress in Lost Star and In Pale Mountain's Shadow that felt pretty useless. She did manage to make a hyena laugh hideously and trip a gnoll with grease in Pale Mountain, but that is about the sum of her achievements.

The worst moment was in Lost Star. The PCs were facing off against the centipedes. They had the drop on the monsters and made a plan centered on having the sorc start the fight with some area spell. But there are no surprise rounds in PF2, the sorc had poor initiative and a mediocre roll and ended up going last. She got bitten by a single centipede and spent the fight healing herself from the continuous poison damage she was taking. She even needed help from the other characters to survive the one attack.

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Yolande d'Bar wrote:
Second, everyone must attempt to Aid Another at their normal skill bonus. Every failure incurs a -2 on the point character's check, but a success gives no bonus at all.

Very nice!

Been using something very similar, with larger penalties (success gives -2, failure gives -4) but everyone can roll and we use the best result. For two competent sneakers, the odds are better than for one. But taking the entire party along is HARD.

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I believe strongly in auto-success based on proficiency. The rogue might have the worst Perception modifier in the group, but with Master training at low levels, she can auto-spot traps the clerics are hard pressed to notice.

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I feel the problem with the playtest cleric is a MMO/Pathfinder Society problem.

The situation is this. You are assembling a party for a session of MMO/Pathfinder society. You need a healer. A lot of classes can heal, but there is no guarantee you get a healer with any particular class - except with the cleric (less so after 1.6, but still so). This forces all clerics to be healers - or to be subpar, as healing is the one thing a cleric can do well (now with a Cha tax).

I felt this was SO transparent from the first moment I saw the playtest cleric. Playtest numbers required healing - you can no longer be hit proof thru AC. That healing comes in the form of the cleric class.

With the new resting rules, healing became an in-combat thing, so now cleric healing could be scaled down. This happened in 1.6. But this left the cleric basically unable to fulfill ANY role without the Cha tax.

Clerics were both overpowered and underpurposed with the initial playtest release. Now they are just underpurposed. Hopefully a general spell upgrade will make them viable again. But that requires much more weight laid on domains, to allow different clerics to actually play different once their very few power points are spent.

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Despite my deep hatred of Table 10-2, I will not further derail this thread by discussing it.

My continuity problem is different. Paladins. PF1 paladins work. Playtest paladins work. But they do NOT work the same. A lance-charging PF1 paladin and a reach-weapon-point-defence PF2 paladin simply cannot be reconciled. They do not exemplify the same concept or the same design aesthetic. What was a paladin in PF1 does not best translate to a paladin in PF2; more likely a PF1 paladin would convert to some cleric/fighter mulitclass.

This is not just the loss of a concept, it also makes the arsenal of martial combat choices more limited. The paladin and cavalier shared a very similar mechanic, that was distinctly different from the barbarian, fighter, and ranger. Like a barbarian, they could use any weapon but had a time limit, but the implementation was very different and interesting in its own way. There is no playtest equivalent.

I guess the designers could not figure an interesting implementation of smite/challenge in PF2, which makes me a sad puppy.

I think the playtest paladin is an interesting class mechanically. But it is not a paladin. Rename it champion or bodyguard or somesuch and give us a true-to-role paladin reboot in a later book. Or publish a cavalier reboot, and make Paladin an archetype you can apply to fighter, bodyguard, or cavalier. Anything that allows us to re-create a PF1 paladin.

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I'm all for the new simplified conditions. In fact, I'd like them further simplified - paralyzed and stunned could be the same in effect as far as I am concerned.

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By my reading, the feat has some relevance in play. Which is part of the reason we chose to read it like this. :D

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Something I have been thinking about for PF2 is to bunch together the size categories 2 to 1. Anything Tiny or smaller would be Small. The current Small and Medium would be Medium. The current large and huge would be large, and so on.

Right now, size code in PF2 is only relevant to space/reach, and Small and Medium are identical. So why not lessen the size effects across the range?

I don't expect this to be done for sacred cow reasons, but I think it would work.

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The fact that readying an action does not affect your initiative in future rounds is one of the best changes in PF2, IMO.

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This came up when prepping characters for When Stars Go Dark. I think some effects, like Scare to Death and Phantasmal Killer, should reduce a PC to dying, not dead. That it reduces monsters to dead is an effect of not tracking monsters' dying status.

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We all know that Aroden did not come back when it was prophethized he would. By not returning, he broke one of the worlds most powerful prophecies, thus creating the Age of Lost Omens. I have speculated on why Aroden choose to do this - considering his power and the prophecy, I think it must have been a choice. And in the Doomsday Dawn, I have found the reason!

If there is a prophecy that is stronger than the one about Aroden's return, it is the prophecy of the Doomsday Dawn. Foretelling the end of the world as we know it, this was a future Aroden absolutely could not accept - and which relied on the same power of prophecy that would allow Aroden to ascend to an even higher level of existence! Upon learning of the Doomsday Dawn, which he would do in the visions accompanying his supposed accession, he must have realized that the one way of avoiding the Doomsday Dawn was to break the power of prophecy. Thus, he martyred himself to falsify the prophecy of his own accession, in order to give (meta)humanity a chance to defeat the Doomsday Dawn!

This raises the question, once the Doomsday Dawn has been defeated, will Aroden Return?


This is a conspiracy theory, nothing more. It fits the facts of the fiction as I know them, but it in no way originates with Paizo.

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Quandary wrote:
So clearly, usability would be improved by creating an overt terminology for this 'meta-structure' which can be directly referenced ala "increases perception tier by 1". That really only takes 1 sentence in perception section, and vastly reduces word-count and improves readability every time cross-tier interactions are referenced in cases like this. Understanding that perception states are in linear/hierarchical relationship is already basic implicit concept in game, adding a name for that really is just dotting the "i".

This would be similar to how fear works in PF1, a way they chose to not use in PF2. If they apply the typical PF2 methodology to this, it would look something like this:

You are hard to see. Your concealed condition always includes a value. The maximum concealment value is 2. If you would increase your concealed value to 3 or higher, your concealment value remains 2 but you gain the unseen condition.

Creatures making an attack roll against you must make a flat check with a DC of 5 times your concealed value or the attack misses.

Creatures cannot pinpoint your location. You cannot be targeted visually. Creatures can attempt to attack you by attacking a square they think you might be in. If they guess correctly, concealment miss chance still applies.

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The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
It is a simple solution for complaints that casters get to rework what they can do every day, while fighters are stuck for life, retraining aside; it also makes niche feats handy in their way.

Considering the weakness of the sorcerer, it seems that the ability to change your spells from day to day is an ability the developers have assigned a very low "point value". Sorcerers cannot change their spell selection, and their class features outside of spells is weaker than any of the competing spellcaster classes. It almost seems the developers feel that being able to change spell selection is a flaw rather than a merit.

One could think that this is supposed to be balanced by spontaneous casting, until you look at the bard - a spontaneous caster that rivals the occult sorcerer, and has WAY better abilities outside of spells.

Maybe this argument is moot and the playtest sorcerer is just weirdly weak for no reason.

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
With so many spells reduced to just one minute.

There's been talk of making the standard spell duration 10 minutes rather than 1 minute. That would be a major improvement. With all the essential tasks that take 10 minutes, this would create a viable choice; either proceed to use the buffs while we have them, or take a 10 minute rest to recover hits/dents/whatever. Mostly, I think this is a great idea.

A problem with this approach might be that once the 10 minutes are up, the group retreats for the day to have another 10 minutes of glory the next day. A literal 10 minute adventuring day. I use this tactic in the Kingmaker computer game.

The opposite problem exists as well. When Hp are effectively unlimited because of Medicine, while spells are strictly limited, martials may want to press on long after casters are out of spells. Having 10 minute buff durations would help a lot here.

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This is about the fight with the Kraken at the end of Ref Flags. I decided to put this in a separate thread from the other playtest observations, as it is quite complex, involving Invisibility and the ability to autmatically get 20 on a Stealth check. I have not looked up the names of all the abilities used, so I may have some names wrong.

The PCs are all on Heightened Invisibility since they used that to bypass the mirror trap. They have proceeded very fast through the last few rooms, leaving Necerion a few rounds behind. At first, 2 of the PCs are still on the other side of the mirror room, where the bard is making them indivisible one per round in order to pass the mirror trap.

A cleric and a rogue enter the Kraken's cave, which starts initiative. The players can take auto-20 on Stealth as they are invisible, but the Kraken still wins initiative and sees them all. But it is only there to defend the treasure, not to eat guests - it readies a tentacle slap. One player uses Celestial Armor (all 4 PCs had this) to fly over to the pillar, using Accelerated Stealth to do this unobtrusively. Because of auto-20, this automatically succeeds against the kraken's Perception defense, but I still let it trigger the tentacle attack - but after some discussion we judged Grab to be a separate action to follow up a tentacle - not a part of the tentacle attack itself. The PC (a rogue) takes damage but proceeds.

On its next action, the kraken tries to sense the invisible rogue, but it realizes it is too far away (the kraken has an Int of 20!). It thus starts to climb the pillar, which it can quite readily do, but it is still slow. It does get to the top and easily senses the rogue, as this is against the rogue's Stealth defense, not Stealth +20 like the rogue is using against the kraken. The rogue automatically hides again on her next action as she is still Invisible and thus rolls 20 on her Stealth.

We have 2 creatures that will almost automatically succeed at hiding AND at spotting the other.

Meanwhile, another PC, a bard, enters the room and uses Hallucination to create a psychic impression of the rogue running along the ledge around the room, out of the kraken's reach. Halluciantion does not allow an initial save, so the kraken falls for this. While the Rogue makes short work of the safe (Fast Lockinging or some such ability) the Kraken chases the Hallucination and saves - almost automatically. The bard casts another Hallucination. She has to move into the room to get within range (30 ft.) of the kraken. She uses Hallucination to make it seem she moves further than she actually did. I gave the kraken a hard Int DC to see if it caught up to this ploy, but it didn't, and both the PCs could exit the room.

Meanwhile, Necerion is approaching from the other direction, having finally caught up. Note that no-one is in danger of the mirrors, as everyone is invisible and thus casts no reflection (this is why the PCs started out invisible). The PCs suspect they are being pursued, and just in time one of them casts See Invisible. Necerion is next up and is in a hurry and does not move at the half speed required to use Stealth, so he is automatically seen. He has cast See Invisibility, so he also sees the PCs. Both sides have concealment as that is what you get with See invisibility vs. Invisibility. Concealment allows the use of Stealth, which will be important later.

Only one PC can actually see Necerion, and had no time to point him out, but the area where he could be is small enough to be totally covered by Faery Fire, downgrading Necerion's Invisibility to Concealment. Necerion proceeds to cast Warp Mind and Quickened Black tentacles, to no great effect as outlined in the other thread. Somewhere around here the bard uses Dirge of Doom and some spell makes Necerion sickened 1, so he suffers a -2 penalty on basically everything. He is also tripped and the rogue moves behind him, and he's down to 99 Hp (I don't recall the exact series of events, Mats may post this later). Some PCs end their turns by using Stealth to become sensed, as this disallows Necerion to cast targeted spells on them, but now they must roll Stealth as they are merely concealed and not invisible.

At this point, Necerion decides to Dimension Door out - he is after all a recurring villain! I let Dimension Door be one of the two spells he could spontaneously heighten, as his stat block did not list anything.

The main oddity is how Invisibility interacts with Perception. When using Invisibility to Sneak or Hide, a character automatically rolls 20.

Playtest document, p 158 wrote:
If you’re unseen by a creature and it’s impossible for that creature to see you (such as when you’re invisible, the observer is blinded, or you’re in darkness and the creature can’t see in darkness), you automatically treat the result of your d20 roll as a 20 against that creature on your checks to Sneak.

But when someone Seeks the invisible character, the DC is 10 + Stealth bonus. And when Stealth is an initiative roll, it seems you're seen by anyone faster than you.

Playtest document, p 317 wrote:


You attempt a Stealth check to avoid notice while moving at half your travel Speed, unless you have an ability to move at full Speed while Sneaking. If you’re Sneaking at an encounter’s start, you usually roll a Stealth check instead of a Perception check as part of your initiative roll, both to determine initiative order and to see if the enemies notice you.

This can be read that you use your Stealth check as initiative, and also compare it to the opponents' Perception DC to see if you are hidden. Read this way, you can be hidden even if you lose the initiative check. I only realized this was a possible reading when I looked the rule up after the session. Read this way, the kraken would never have noticed the PCs.

I read it that you have to beat their opposed initiative check in order to start hidden. Which gets odd if the opponent is using something other than Perception for initiative.

Overall, this was a very satisfying fight that we all enjoyed. Red Flags was very much James Bond to us, and the finalé was so most of all. No-one was seriously hurt, PC or NPC, which is totally in my players' taste. I am not critical of how the rules worked here, I think they worked quite well, even tough they created some very odd situations.


Finally, off on a tangent about the word "kraken". In Old Norse, this means "oddity", or "weird creature". In Norwegian, this became the sea monster of Red Flags. In Swedish (my native language), it has come to mean something pitiful, perhaps even cute in its meekness, like a newborn puppy that is still blind or a small child that has fallen over and is crying. I find this difference very funny. :)

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Some observations I've made during playtesting.

The playest scenarios have become more and more interesting as we play at higher levels, so its not all bad. Like always, however, its easier to point out the bad than the good.


The training modifier being less than the item modifier on skills is a bit silly. Not only is training less important than ability modifier, it is also less important that gear? This is bad.


Freedom of Movement is a very specific effect that avoids some very specific conditions - except it doesn't if the condition is magical. Is a creature's ability to grab magical? I'm thinking specifically of the Kraken in Red Flags. For such a specific counter, having it be conditional is lame.

Black Tentacles are so very easy to destroy these days. Necerion tried to use Black Tentacles to keep the PCs away from him. He only caught one of them, the rest could just saunter up to him as the area of the is not even difficult ground. The last one, a cleric using an unarmed attack (we did not use the Golarion gods, as this was set in Greyhawk), easily critted the tentacles and would have destroyed them even if the attack did not crit. In the moment we read it so that this ended the spell, this is not the reading I do now, but it does not matter - all the PCs were out of the area by then.

The Tounges spell used to be the best language tool in PF1, and it was a cleric spell. Its function is today subsumed under heightened Comprehend Languages, but this spell is not on the divine spell list. Not good.

A spellcaster has 3 spells per spell level. A typical party has 4-5 members. For spells like Water Walk, this means that a single caster cannot buff their entire party using spell slots of the right level. In the case of Water Walk, there is a heightened version that does this, but many spells don't give this option. Also, the spells that DO have such an option are not uniform - some target 5 creatures, some 10. Some spells that used to affect others - such as Dimension Door - no longer do. Our playstyle involves casters enabling the warriors through services like this, meaning that this becomes a nerf to warrior-types.


The terrain descriptions are in 2 different books - the bestiary and the playtest rulebook. This is similar to the problem of having partially redundant rules in the Playing The Game and Gamemastering chapters of the rulebook. It makes things a LOT more difficult to find. For Mirrored moon, I could not find which terrain types constituted difficult terrain, so I had to fudge things.


One awkward GM movement in In Pale Mountain's Shadow was B5. Approaching the Tomb. The gnolls there are described thus: "gnolls have become hungry and desperate. They viciously attack anyone who comes near, eager for food and supplies. Canny characters can convince the gnolls to let them by if they can prove the manticore is dead." The gnolls are vicious and attack immediately, yet there is a line about how they would act in a parley. What parley? The players might try to use Diplomacy: Request to start a parley, except that only works on friendly creatures. This is the worst case, but I feel Doomsday Dawn is full of situations like these, where one sentence of a monster description does not fit the next sentence.

I also sorely miss the "tactics" and "morale" sections that were standard in PF1, because it makes the monster idiosyncratic and not merely gamist play-pieces. I play all the monsters, but I don't want them all to feel like me. It would be nice to have some support for how to individualize them. I also want these things in the bestiary.


AoOs are truly rare and also rather meek in the playtest. Except when a PC was a fighter, there have been almost no situations where they played a part. And PC fighters have mostly AoOed dumb animals that don't understand tactics. Many have missed because of the -2 penalty. In Red Flag, a 14th level adventure, no-one. PC or NPC, had AoOs. The rogue could simply walk around Necerion to outflank him.

Blind Fighting

One rules that we did like was the wording of the Rogue's Blind Fighting ability - except that it is ambiguous. Line numbers are mine.

Playtest Rulesbook p 122 wrote:

FEAT 6 Prerequisites master in Perception

1 You are more aware of concealed and invisible enemies.
2 If you are adjacent to an unseen creature of your level or lower, you treat it as sensed.
3 When you are adjacent to a sensed creature, you treat it as concealed.
4 When adjacent to a concealed creature, you treat it as though it weren’t concealed.

Sentence 1 is fluff

Sentence 2 is a solid but conditional ability.
Sentence 3 and 4 is the meat of the feat. But are they subject to the level limitation from line 1? We ruled that they are not, which made the feat quite good, but it is unclear. This kind of writing, where it is hard to know if a rule element carries from one sentence to the next, is pretty common in the Playtest Rulebook, and needs to be made clear. The language is that of a computer program, with if statements, but it is unclear even for a professional computer programmer how to parse it unless you know the dialect of code in use. In this case, simply putting line 2 last would have sorted out the problem and made it human-readable.

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I feel this discussion is partly over a false difference of opinion. I think all of us agree that Combat Flexibility is powerful and should be available to fighters. The disagreement is whether it should be something ALL fighters have, or if it should be an elective.

Making it a feat makes it available thru multiclassing, which might be too much. But making it one of say 3 choices for a class feature at level 9 would be interesting.

Draco18s wrote:
How badly do you think it wanted a +3 Flaming Spear of its very own? Pretty badly, I'd wager."

Well, as an NPC, it gains no benefit from a magic item, so it might not want it after all. :D

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Matthew Downie wrote:
Starfox wrote:
This is exactly how NOT to use table 10-2. Each DC should be based on the problem's "level", as defined by the setting. Not the PC's levels.

Let's say the party are crossing a wobbly bridge with a broken handrail, and I'm trying to set a DC for them not to fall off. I want it to be pretty easy, because the entire party has to get across, not just the most skilled PC.

The party is, let's say, level 7. What is the level of the bridge?

I'll paste in another post of mine I feel is relevant here.

Starfox wrote:
In Red Flags that I ran this weekend, I used Table 10-2 as a metagame tool like I suggested above. If I wanted a task to be easy, but not so easy that iw was automatic, I used the level 14 easy DC, and so on. It actually worked decently, I even used some Hard DCs.

There are two ways to resolve this, one is simulationist, the other is gamist/metagamey.

#1 Simulationist Model: In the simulationist model, a rope bridge is level 0 (commoners cross it all the time). Normally, the task is automatic. After a rain, it might become easy (7). In a rainstorm, it might be medium (11). If the bridge has been hit by lightning, making all the floorboards shaky, its Hard (13). If the bridge is all but destroyed, its Incredible (14) and it its just the tether line still hanging its Ultimate (16). As this shows, defining the bridge as level zero makes even hard tasks involving it quite easy. This doesn't seem to be the way to go.

#2 Metagame Model: In the metagame model, the party is level 3 For an adventurer, rope bridges are no big thing, and the difficulty collumn is determined by the GMs idea of what a 3rd level adventurer should be capable of. So I'll now do some top-of-my-head DC. Crossing it in rain should not require a roll. In a windstorm, the task is still easy (10), and when unstable it is medium (15). When almost destroyed its Hard (17), when just the supporting line is there Incredible (19) and if the bridge is starting to fall as the hero crosses it becomes Ultimate (20).

Notice how the metagame model could accommodate a situation that the simulationist version could not. A bridge that is collapsing simply is not a level 0 event, even at ultimate difficulty.

I am normally a simulationist player, so I'd naturally tend towards the first model. But I am starting to feel more and more that Table 10-2 is meant to be used ONLY in the metagame mode. It is not a tool for emulating reality, however much the designers want to convince us that it is. It is an entirely gamist/metagame tool that tells you what DCs the PCs can tolerate.

[Minor spoilers for Sombrefell Hall, Mirrored Moon and Red Flags ahead]

What Table 10-2 lacks is any kind of fail-forward mechanism. Difficulties that are Hard or higher should only be used when the game works out just fine even if the players fail the roll. In Sombrefell Hall, there was an investigation bit with 10-2 DCs, but it had very little bearing on the actual problem at hand. If you failed/didn't do it, it didn't really affect anything. In Mirrored Moon, the scouting DCs were in this range (adding +4 to the DC because everyone was allowed to roll) because all the roll did was save a day of exploration. In Red Flags, the initial Gather Information DCs could be 10-2 ridiculous, because all the information really was only fluff the PCs could very easily learn in the main adventure. The problem with this is that players have to make a lot of frustratingly difficult rolls that are all basically pointless. I believe we did more than 150 exploration rolls in Mirrored Moon over these minor stakes. This is the opposite of fun.

To sum this up, I now think I understand how Table 10-2 is supposed to be used, and I still hate it.

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If I'm to list a single flaw that could potentially ruin PF2, Table 10-2 is that flaw.

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My main play experience with rituals comes from 4E. Rituals there were of decent levels, but too costly both to acquire, use, and in terms of time. In later books, there was what felt like desperate attempts to save the ritual magic system with rituals taking minutes instead of hours. Still, except some memorable luxuries, rituals remained largely unused.

It seems the PF2 rituals are falling into the same traps, with casting times in hours and limited utility. Rituals are effectively NPC-only spells. That makes them pretty much a waste of space - the GM can let NPCs do any magic shenanigans they need without using rules. Rules are for PCs.

I would suggest focusing on what I see as the main problem, casting time. The base time unit in exploration mode is 10 minutes. I feel rituals should take 10 minutes, or multiples of ten minutes. When a medic is providing healing and any shield users are repairing their shields, the ritual casters get down to prepare for what they think might be ahead.

There are several spells in the playtest that could be rituals, or perhaps even better, have the option of being cast as rituals. Water breathing is the first that comes to mind, but things like resist energy, death ward, and wind walk could also work. Making these rituals, and thus outside the daily preparation system, would give advance scouting more value, if you can find out what you are about to face, a timely ritual allows you to prepare.

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I'm quoting something old and much of this has been discussed already, but I wish to comment on a quote to show how easy it is to fail to understand how to use Table 10-2 correctly. So, this is not me against Hurká, its me against the Paizo designers.

Hurká wrote: shouldn't need the table open all the time. Your PCs should all be about the same level. So even if you're making up DCs on the fly every 5 minutes, you just need to write down one row.

This is exactly how NOT to use table 10-2. Each DC should be based on the problem's "level", as defined by the setting. Not the PC's levels. That people gets this wrong AGAIN and AGAIN shows how intuitive this rule is.

Not only players get it wrong, Paizo also uses it wrong. AGAIN and AGAIN.

The developers should either be frank and say that this is a metagame tool and that all DCs should be based on PC levels, or they should scrap Table 10-2. I would vastly prefer seeing it die.

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EberronHoward wrote:

Switch "feats" with "spells", and you pretty much have the 1.6 Wizard with its built-in Quick Preparation. Heck, just the average Cleric or Druid with instant-access-to-all-spells-ever-printed fall into the same problems you describe.

And this is a good argument for why Combat Flexibility should be a feat option and not a class ability. Wizard is generally considered the hardest class to play, and fighter the easiest. There is a point to having some simple and newb-friendly classes.

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The paladin's battlefield role has changed immensely, from cruise missile that charges the main baddie on round 1 and then keeps it engaged until the rest of the party has cleaned up the bodyguard, to an AEGIS anti-missile system that tries to intercept attacks against the rest of your fleet task force (party).

The new paladin is an acceptable tank concept. It is even acceptable as a holy champion. But it is NOT a continuation of what paladins were in PF1. Converting a PF1 paladin to PF2 does NOT work conceptually. There is no class in PF2 that resembles the PF1 paladin enough to make a conversion make sense. The closest is likely a fighter with cleric dedication.

I'd keep the class as it is, generalize it to all alignments, and NOT call it paladin. No aspect of this class is like a PF1 paladin. This gives the option for creating a prestige archetype or even a class for paladins, that emulate how they worked in PF1. This would allow PF1 paladins to remain paladins in PF2.

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The problem a "gold is xp" game like Pathfinder (1 or 2) encounters is that it needs to force every character to be gold reliant. It would be grossly unfair if class A needed money to acheive its full potential, while class B did not, and could spend its gold on other, more fun things.

This was a large part of the caster/non caster disparity in PF1. Not only were casters less reliant on items than martials, they also had money-multipiers in the form of item creation feats.

In other games, like HERO system, money is not xp. Items are bought using the same resource (character points) as every other aspect of your character. Items had advantages and disadvantages compared to having the same ability yourself, but it was mainly a concept thing - are you Batman or Superman - up to you as a player! Warhammer Quest is a dungeon boardgame and not quite an RPG, but it is an example that comes to mind of doing the same thing the opposite way - your character improved by spending gold on training, but spending gold on gear was just as viable.

We we are up against a sacred cow here. DnD and Pathfinder has always been about finding and spending loot. To make this meaningful, the loot must actually improve your character. The question is just, to what degree, and how do we make this fair for different classes?

Personally, I am all for minimizing the effect of gold on character abilities.

Lightning Raven wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

But as the GM your job is not to "run the antagonists as though they have perfect knowledge of game mechanics, and are trying to win at all costs." After all, the monsters are supposed to lose so logic like having sunder be unattractive for the monsters for the same reason it is for the players (i.e. less loot) is totally valid.

Plus, disarming is really hard now- you need to critically succeed against reflex DC to actually separate someone from their weapon.

That's why my argument had nothing to do with mechanics. If intelligent creatures in the world know that a magical weapon is the major source of threat...

The problem here is with the lack of PC/NPC transparency. Intelligent creatures will NOT know that magic weapons are the cause of damage, because it is simply not true. Only in the case of PCs is this true. And PCs are super-rare - only your actual players. Unless the opponent has previously encountered the PCs - or has reports of others who have - this is an entirely alien situation.

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Tangent101 wrote:
As a result the usable magic items for certain levels ends up quite generic with everyone choosing the same things over and over again and then using gold to buy Trinkets (if desired - and one player did invest in several Trinkets, seeing he was playing a Fighter).

Very true! i'm looking at 4 characters for Red Flags that all have essentially the same magic items and ancestry feats. Cave elves that are as fast as they can be, wearing celestial armor and with some actobatic boots thingie.

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As much as spellcasters need help and Table 10-2 needs to be killed, I think my main gripe now is with Bulk and item selection by Item Level. This feels like jumping through hoops set up specifically to make the game math more frustrating for no good reason. Anyone can add up pounds and gold pieces; these alternate systems are WAY confusing.

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Fighting classes have traditionally differed on how they get their combat bonuses.

* Fighters get theirs by weapon type
* Rangers get their by type of enemy
* Paladins/cavaliers get their a few times per day
* Barbarians get a limited number of rounds and lose some control during this time (they used to loosed defenses too, but FP2 basically removed that)

It seems that PF2 avoids this paradigm. Fighters still work the same, but all the other classes have changed. I quite liked the PF1 way of doing things, and I suspect most of us do. I could accept a new "Defender" class that works as the current paladin, and would have liked an unaligned "cavalier" variant of the smite/challenge paladin in PF2. As it is now, I feel too many PF1 concepts have disappeared to maintain continuity of story. Just as a PF2 arcane sorcerer is unlike a PF1 sorcerer, a PF2 paladin has no continuity to the PF1 paladin.

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Great inspirational material, I may try to use some of this!

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My only issue with treat wounds is the number of rolls. This, and quite a number of checks in PF2, could be automatic. At least if you are trained enough.

Also, Heal could be and Int skill, to unburden the cleric of some healing duties.

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We already have sorcerers for narrow concept spell lists. A wizard is a magical mechanic, and a mechanic has a wrench for each bolt, or he's not a mechanic.

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Due to real-life circumstances, I can spend quite a bit of time here on the forums but at some interval, once a week or so. It is discouraging to find a thread locked when I first see it, it really limits my ability to participate on these forums.

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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Sigh. I wish that the Dwarf Ancestry had some kind of Crafting boost so they could be excellent Chirurgeons. It makes me miss the "Racial Archetypes" from Pathfinder First Edition - something like Dwarf Chirurgeons brew Ale of Life instead of Elixirs of Life.

The ancestry ability modifiers seem a bit off the common ancestry tropes.

Dwarfs should have Int to be supreme craftsmen. Perception doesn't seem like their big thing.
Gnomes should have Int for alchemy.
Elves should have Cha for innate magic and that elven allure.
Goblins should NOT have Cha, for lots of reasons. Con seems the best alternative, but would give them 2 physical ability bonuses. Tricky.
Halflings should get their Cha bonus back, now that both gnomes and goblins shed theirs.

There are currently very few races that get Int or Strength bonuses.

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rayous brightblade wrote:
you know, if wizard is versatility and sorcerer s power, how about not increasing the number of spontaneous heightens but instead make them make them more powerful? When a sorcerer casts a spontaneous heightened spell that deals damage treat it as if it was heightened to the highest level the sorcerer can cast without changing its level. It would have to be damage only as divine sorcerers would be the best healer otherwise and i find the damage spell heightens dont break combat nearly as much.

I could see EVERY sorcerer spell being heightened to max power. The sorcerer's weakness right now is such that something dramatic like this is needed, and this is quite a nice way to make sorcerers feel like the scions of monsters.

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Colette Brunel wrote:
Why are they giving wizards Quick Preparation at 1st level automatically? The commentary was that it was an incredibly strong feat with the potentially to greatly warp the playstyles of wizards (well, outside of the usual Paizo-written premade adventure fare, anyway), thus warranting a downgrade. It definitely did not deserve to be handed out for free to all wizards.

I feel all prepared casters need Quick Preparation.

The spontaneous casters need a LOT of love, but prepared casters need love too.

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