Charon Onozuka's page

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Update v4.0.0
Been a long since my last notable update, but updated a few notes along with Character Sheet integration to work with Remaster Rules.

Biggest updates are to how Spell Proficiency & Crafting work - so I've updated these to be easier to track. Note that the Party Tab is meant to work with character sheets of v4.0.0 or later and will no longer work with the previous versions due to how Spell DCs changed.

In the future, I am planning to look into the Kingmaker weather rules - and hopefully updating my Time Tracker to utilize those.

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Update v.4.0.0
It's been a long time, but a notable update to the sheet.

Going through some of the Remaster rules, updated notes in several places to match new rules. Biggest sheet updates are the changes to Spell Proficiency [No longer separated by tradition, but allow you to track by ability score in case of multiple casting stats] and the Crafting Rules / Tracking in the Formula tab.

Will by trying to run a group through a campaign using the Remaster rules at the start of the new year, and will keep an eye out if I missed anything substantial that needs to be updated to match the Remaster rules.

SuperBidi wrote:
Actually, from the reactions in this post, I think it's better to actually embrace this rule than to resist. It gives the Wilding Stewart Witch a perk and a mecanical reason to be played. And it works from a pure RAW point of view by casting the spell in the air so even if it's a bit far fetched it's not problematic.

Honestly, I'd allow it in my games (with some joking on the side at the silliness of the situation), but don't think it saves the Wilding Stewart Witch from being bottom of the pack when it comes to Witch Patrons.

Normal Familiar abilities can get a very similar benefit, and I don't see the tactical value of imprecise senses to be as powerful as you seem to for the majority of situations (occasionally very useful yes, but not enough to redeem being the defining ability of the Patron).

Part of it may be Exploration mode needing to be detailed more & have examples/rules for how to handle familiars (especially familiar scouting, which will have massive table variation), but overall I have a hard time seeing Wilding Stewart as particularly good compared to what any other familiar can get or what other Witch Patrons offer.

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SuperBidi wrote:
You also map the dungeon for creatures. Don't forget this use.

Don't see this as too useful. With an imprecise sense the info you'll often get is "there is something vaguely in direction of room." Okay... a dungeon crawl expects there to be monsters/etc. in most rooms. This isn't as helpful as it first seems. At best you'll likely get "something big" or "a bunch of things" as descriptions to go off of.

SuperBidi wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:
Abilities the rely of the GM bending over backwards to be good
The other way around: The GM shouldn't bend over backwards to forbid this ability (as you state you'd do by preventing its use on the air or that it should cause issues with other party members).

LOL The GM actually playing by the rules (you can't randomly target air with mental spells) is hardly bending over backwards to discriminate against a PC. Also repeatedly casting an offensive mental spell on allied creatures (PCs/familiar/etc.) is something I'd expect to cause a reaction. (Even if just small "Why are you doing this? That's weird.")

This is a big issue with many GM Dependent abilities. What you think "should" be the interpretation has little guarantee of matching the GMs thoughts. If their interpretation is different than your assumptions, then your ability isn't nearly as effective as you thought and/or you complain that they're harming your character.

Overall, the remastered Wild Patron just doesn't seem to pull its weight compared to the other available options. Is it usable? Yes, in large part thanks to the cantrip hex being improved. Can you growl repeatedly at people for the familiar ability? Sure, most groups will probably allow this and laugh off your character's strange behavior / make jokes about it. But otherwise, it seems incredibly lacking compared to the other available options (kinda like the pre-remaster Witch vs any other caster).

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SuperBidi wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:
"Targets 1 creature" Seems to say you need some form of target.
You can always target the air (because there could be an Invisible creature here).

Personally, I wouldn't allow targeting hypothetical invisible enemies as a means to get around the targeting rules by repeatedly casting at the air. You can get around this by repeatedly targeting a teammate, but I think they should be allowed to feel a bit offended by it. ("Why do you keep growling at me??")

SuperBidi wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:
I suppose you can keep aggressively growling at your teammates, but if you are constantly growling & creating spell manifestations in order to gain senses/point out
There are definitely spell manifestations. About growling, I don't see the need (my Familiar has Speech, so it can just tell me what it gets).

Wilding Word: "Your patron’s majesty—or their displeasure—comes in a growl from your throat, making other creatures reluctant to harm you..."

Sure it's flavor text and many GMs allow re-flavoring - but I'd argue there is certainly noise here. [Flavor is part of the fun after all.]

SuperBidi wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:
I'd see it reasonable that any potential enemies are instantly aware of you and starting combat anyway.

It has a 60ft. range and can sense through walls. So, not all enemies will know about us (and anyway, unless the whole party is using Avoid Notice, enemies know about the party quite often). Also, the main goal is to detect ambushes, and ambushers will wait until you are in the right position. The fact that you cast a spell won't really trigger the encounter and even if it does the ambush is then triggered too far away to be dangerous.

Also, for Scent, you can just position yourself upwind and you are now detecting at 120 feet, which starts to be a lot.

Anyway, let's be clear, if the GM wants to disrupt the ability it's in their power. I agree it's GM dependent. Now, considering that for a Wild Witch it's your main ability beyond being a 3-slot caster I think the GM should actually allow the ability to be as good as it should be. Other classes have Fonts or Bardic Compositions as their main ability so I don't think there's an issue with the Wild Witch being a super scout.

Yup, you'll start the occasional ambush early. Personally, I don't see ambushes actually occur as often as many assume, but there is that use. Compared to nearly every other familiar ability however, this is incredibly niche and will often be replaceable by normal familiar abilities.

Abilities the rely of the GM bending over backwards to be good (i.e. you just happen to constantly be upwind for scent range increase; or giving an imprecise sense more info than it should get) typically aren't good. Same reason I don't see the argument that the GM should be interpreting your abilities differently because the rest of your framework is sub-par.

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"Targets 1 creature" Seems to say you need some form of target.

I suppose you can keep aggressively growling at your teammates, but if you are constantly growling & creating spell manifestations in order to gain senses/point out - I'd see it reasonable that any potential enemies are instantly aware of you and starting combat anyway.

Overall, slightly disappointed with Remastered Patrons basically just being an added familiar ability, 2-3 lines of flavor text, and making more hexes usable (which is appreciated, but not very exciting). Also still identical for multiclass Witches who won't recognize more than 4 Patrons existing.

Resentment is the clear winner for upgraded patrons. A lot of people have focused on the familiar ability - but I'd also add that evil eye got a big upgrade by inflicting sickened now instead of frightened, making it effective against a much larger variety of enemies, preventing potion/elixir use for intelligent enemies, and forcing the enemy to use actions to get rid of the condition. And of course the familiar ability is powerful to the point that any intelligent BBEG should be ordering their minions to merc the pet before it has a chance to reach the boss room.

Faith's Flamekeeper is rather nice simply because the familiar ability is a buff for an ally - meaning your familiar can be hiding behind the martial to support instead of painting a target on themselves. Also lets you buff multiple allies simultaneously or from outside your normal range if your familiar is hanging out in another PC's backpack.


Inscribed One(Rune) is just bad. Still gives Magic Weapon as a spell, which stops working after a few levels. While the spell got renamed/buffed with heighten effects, it lags behind expected items/levels (especially if your group runs ABP). Familiar ability is bad, especially compared to other patrons and requiring the familiar to be in slapping range. Hex Cantrip is not amazing. Overall seems very lacking compared to others.

Shadow/Wild: Major improvements in making their hex cantrips usable, but just being usable doesn't mean particularly impressive. Familiar abilities are fairly lacking. Shadow's familiar ability has too many restrictions to get an inferior evil eye. Wild's familiar ability is very niche and worthless in 90% of encounters. Overall hard to justify picking these over others.

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Ravingdork wrote:

I'm curious: Why would anyone bother with Crafting if your feat and resource expenditure only ever brought you to "parity" with others? That's not parity.

And that's the difference. The people using Earn Income didn't have to expend any character resources. They're using their free Lore from their Background or some other skill that they already had anyways. But to be a Crafter you need to invest in Crafting; to Craft at all you need to invest funds, have a workshop, get some tools; to get ahead you need to get a hold of formulas and buy into skill feats and similar abilities.

The other abilities, such as Earn Income, don't need any of that. So yeah, I think Crafting should pull ahead somewhat.

Crafting allows you to Earn Income in the exact same manner as any other Earn Income skill, so in no situation would it ever fall behind.

It also allows you to repair items, identify alchemical items, create items not available in the local market (including higher level), create items when outside of a settlement, and is used as a Recall Knowledge skill.

So yeah, investing in Crafting does more than your background Lore skill. What it doesn't do, is have one player pull ahead in income. Considering how crafters in 1e could gain massively more resources than anyone else in the party - this limitation seems like an intentional design choice in 2e.

Ravingdork wrote:

Here is a relevant excerpt from the Witch Dedication:

Choose a patron; you gain a familiar with two common cantrips of your choice from your chosen patron’s tradition, but aside from the tradition, you don’t gain any other effects the patron would usually grant. Your familiar gains the normal number of abilities for a familiar instead of those a witch familiar normally gets.

It looks to me like you get a witch's familiar, albeit one with a standard familiar's number of abilities. Whether or not the familiar's Undying ability (which is what brings it back) is included as part of a patron's tradition, seems debatable to me. Personally, I think not, as it's listed independently of the Patron Traditions. This leads me to believe that witch dedication familiars return each day, though there's plenty of room for disagreement.

Are there any Witch Dedication feats which get something from the Patron? Or are most Patrons still mechanically identical if you take Witch Dedication?

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Ectar wrote:

Still not a super big fan of putting short range, self-centered AoE abilities on a body with full caster AC and 5 hp per level.

If the familiar abilities are sufficient to be a significant impediment to enemies, the familiar becomes a valid target. And nobody EVER wants that.
At least replacing a dead familiar isn't a huge ordeal in PF2, but still kinda sucks having a decent chunk of the class's power budget (and a LOT of the power being added to the class in the Remaster) being bolted onto something that can be killed.
At least Rangers have to opt in to an Animal Companion.

I dunno, maybe I'm just surly. I've been trying to play familiarless witches since the class's inception. Let's go Wyrm Witch and Cartomancer!

Same here, never was a big fan of them focusing more on the Witch being a "pet class" in 2e, and now seems like they're doubling down on that. Really trying to hold out hope that there will be a non-rare patron allowing an inanimate object familiar or something to focus less on the familiar, but am doubtful. (Wyrm Witch is a particularly sad loss in 2e.)

Being forced to send a fragile target into close combat in order to use a class ability sounds terrible to me. Either your pet gets merc'd in an early encounter and you essentially lose the class ability for the rest of the day (including the difficult boss fight where you really want it), you have to deliberately avoid using a class ability to try to keep it safe long enough to use later (& probably just never use it at all), or you have to reserve your focus pool/reactions/etc. in order to constantly babysit your pet to make your class ability function (which sounds like a downgrade). None of which sound particularly appealing to me.

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Squiggit wrote:
I feel like paizo consistently overvalues familiars and PF2 turning the theming of the Witch into "the familiar class" is a huge part of what made them so lackluster.
The only point I'd disagree on is that I wouldn't really call the existing PF2 Witch "the familiar class" in the first place. It's not a very mechanically important feature, outside the fact that you use it as a spellbook (but we don't really call wizards the spellbook class or ask or expect spellbook facing mechanics and spellbook feats, it's more just background noise like the familiar).

I call the current iteration of the Witch "the familiar class" for two reasons.

1) Prior to SoM release, paizo kept hyping that the Witch would be "best at familiars" without mentioning much else. And then there didn't end up being much else.

2) When looking at power budget for the class, the special familiar rules and abilities are the only outlier compared to other classes. Hexes are focus abilities weaker than the focus abilities of many other casters. Patrons don't really do anything other than establishing casting tradition. And this is then attached to the weakest version of the caster chassis with standard spell progression. When you compare it to other casters - it seems paizo valued a daily familiar refresh and a few more familiar abilities as being a significant part of the power budget.

Overall I'd agree that familiars in general aren't a very mechanically important feature - but I'd agrue part of the weakness of the PF2 Witch was trying force familiars to play an important role they were not suited for.

I want to be hopeful the remaster will at least somewhat realize this - but hearing about special familiar patron abilities in the remaster worries me. Like the spoiler for the Rune Witch familiar allowing flanking (but only when you cast/sustain a hex) sounds... bad. Basically encourage an enemy to swat it and remove you class feature for the next 24hrs. If the remaster doubles down on familiars being important to the class, then this ability will only end up more punishing when it encourages familiar suicide.

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I feel like paizo consistently overvalues familiars and PF2 turning the theming of the Witch into "the familiar class" is a huge part of what made them so lackluster. Trying to remain hopeful that they at least somewhat realize this for the remaster, otherwise any hope I have of enjoying the class will be killed if they end up doubling down on the familiar aspect being the major selling point of the class.

Personally, there's maybe three things I really want out of a familiar to feel "witchy."
1) The ability for a familiar to talk / be intelligent enough to banter with PCs.
2) The ability for a familiar to fly/float.
3) The ability for a familiar to be some type of mystical object rather than only an animal (i.e. clouded mirror the whispers secrets, flaming skull on a stick, floating book which writes messages to the Witch, etc.)

The first two are easily accomplished via familiar abilities at level 1 for any familiar, including ancestry feat familiars. The third is currently locked behind a rare patron compared to PF1 which had a number of archetypes doing this sort of replacement with the familiar (or even removing it entirely!) Overall, I have a hard time seeing how forcing extra familiar abilities really supported the Witch theme - especially when the Enhanced Familiar feat and Familiar Master archetype already allow anyone to invest more into a familiar if they really want to.

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Honestly, if you were to have a fully AI GM, at that point I'd feel like you were playing a video game. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I love some good co-op games with friends, but it is a very different experience compared to a tabletop game. At that point, rather than paying for an AI to fumble around with tabletop rules/simulation, I'd rather just pay for a video game that selectively uses AI to complement certain features. (I'm actually playing one now that uses simple AI generation for a world of NPCs that develop/interact/grow each month in-game time. While very interesting - there are a number of noticeable issues with an AI handling most NPCs, the most obvious of which is how similar all the NPCs end up being.)

Themetricsystem wrote:

Oh boy, you might be surprised to hear about this but there are MASSIVE Korean and Japanese companies like Hololive that already ARE beginning to roll this kind of thing out with AI-driven chatbot Vtuber streamers and content creators that are raking in money by the truckload.

It is way more affordable to pay a handful of developers to maintain AI and hire artists to create/customize/model/decorate 3d avatars and just duplicate those efforts n+1 times to create their own fleet of AI-generated influencers/actors than it is to seek out, train, coach, and pay actual talented, relatable and attractive entertainers or content creators.

Guessing you're not part of the vtuber fandom, as this is a (depressingly) frequent misunderstanding of how vtubers work. The vast majority of vtubers are actual people using Live2D avatars. Hololive does not have any "AI-driven chatbot Vtuber streamers and content creators." The only actual AI vtuber I can think of is Neuro-sama, whose popularity is partially because on how awkward, random, and inconsistent the AI component is when trying to interact with actual people (along with the developer's constant struggles to keep them in-line with socially acceptable behavior and censoring outputs to avoid getting banned by the streaming platform again.)

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Pick-a-List isn't something that harmed the Witch, lacking a strong central mechanic is what harmed the Witch. Most spellcasters have something notable in addition to their spellcasting. Pick-a-List without that is what made the Witch a worse version of whatever class shared their chosen tradition.

Summoner is probably the best example of a class that did pick-a-list well, since they have enough meat to not be mistaken for another class of the tradition they select. Currently Patrons, hexes, and a slightly better familiar are severely lacking in this regard. Even Sorcerer Bloodlines do more for them, and I'd argue those also deserve some tune up.

NECR0G1ANT wrote:
You may as well say, "Deities are so varied. Why does every single one provide access to only the divine list? Why would a nature deity such as Gozreh not give the primal spell list?"

Deities are also the apex of divine beings - making them all divine entities regardless of any other aspects. Divine Casting + Selection of non-divine spells makes more sense here. Plus Deities also generally expect to have more worshippers than just clerics, and it is not strange to expect that a deity like Gozreh may have a number of druid followers in addition to their clerics.

The same is not true for Patrons, which are far more varied than deities by default (nothing says a specific patron should have anything to do with occult), and rarely matter to anyone outside of Witches. This makes more sense to have pick-a-list + options that allow certain spells highly thematic to Witches regardless of tradition (i.e. Baleful Polymorph spell currently available under Rites of Transfiguration Feat). Pick-a-list also matches up with the other classes which source their magic from a variety of creature categories (Sorcerer Bloodlines & Summoner Eidolons).

WatersLethe wrote:
I'd actually be okay with both Patrons and Familiars being opt-in, or shoving all of the "you get special powers from an unknown entity for an unknown price" into an archetype.

Issue in that sectioning off Patrons would remove the entire theme of "how class gets their magic" from the Witch. This theming is kinda essential for every spellcaster - if only to help provide why they are different class option instead of just being archetype/feats/subclass of another caster. "Weird/Spooky Caster" isn't really enough to be a class in my opinion - a couple feats under druid/psychic/etc. would satisfy this, as would an archetype.

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WatersLethe wrote:
Take for example my Strength of Thousands game where it came up immediately when my players came across the requirement of taking Druid or Wizard multiclass dedications. The writers' intention was to ensure the party has access to spellcasting and at least one of the associated skills (arcana and nature), which is a straightforward, typical example of a restricted Free Archetype.

I'd argue there is a bigger intension of theme for the Free Archetype restriction in Strength of Thousands. The Magaambya magic academy is focused around teaching arcane/primal magic. Considering the players are expected to advance within the academy and eventually become teachers - it seems like it'd be a large thematic disconnect if they didn't know anything about casting arcane/primal magic. Not to mention I'd see part of the thematic justification of PCs getting the free archetype as being from their studies in the academy - which teaches arcane/primal magic rather than every archetype possible.

WatersLethe wrote:
Immediately two of my players ran into issues. The magus didn't want to have to worry about mixing different spell sources, and already had all the in-world qualifications to count as a Wizard, and didn't want any druid flavor, so found the options super disappointing. The Bard wanted primarily to focus on thematic opportunities around going to school from the perspective of music-magic, and didn't like that neither option jived with their theme.

This makes me wonder if the players fully knew what type of campaign they were making characters for. I'm currently doing some prep for Strength of Thousands, and the player who who has concerns about mixing different spell sources is deliberately thinking about playing a Rogue/Druid so they don't have to worry about that.

As for the Bard - I wouldn't consider the player as making a character in good faith if they knew the campaign was based on an arcane/primal magic academy and then deliberately made a character that refuses to interact with the campaign's theme. Nothing prevents them from mixing the themes together (i.e. polymath bard/wizard interested in applying study towards their music magic), or saving the character idea for another campaign. Otherwise, if the player really doesn't like a campaign's theme - then that really should have been expressed long before the GM bothered prepping anything.

I've proposed similar before, so I'd agree with splitting traits into 2 subcategories. Figuring out the best names for each is probably the biggest issue.

I'm less keen on the idea that color coding is enough. I worry about potential accessibility issues for anyone who is colorblind. I also worry that as descriptions are copied to other sources, color coding can easily be lost and forgotten about.

Something small/basic that really isn't discussed.

Split traits into 2 new categories.

While I love the trait system, it is trying to do a bit too much in a way that can cause confusion with players. You have "Keyword" traits which act as a shorthand to specific rules text (i.e. most weapon traits) and "Passive" traits which don't really matter unless some other rules element interacts with them (i.e. ancestry traits, arcane schools, most magic traits, etc.)

The issue is that these are jumbled together in a way that means players can miss relevant rules text and then be dissatisfied when it comes up in play. For example, the incapacitate trait on many spells is often buried within a mass of other traits that normally don't mean anything for 90% of the time when casting a spell. Because most of these traits don't affect normal casting situations - many players get used to ignoring them, and end up surprised when one of them actually matters.

For example: Impending Doom has 6 traits associated with it. The Divination and Prediction traits are passive and only matter if some other effect cares about arcane schools. The Emotion, Fear, and Mental traits are also rather passive, generally only coming into play vs creatures that are immune to these effects (which will be mentioned in the creature's statblock). The only trait that consistently influences the actual casting of the spell is Incapacitation - which actually changes the rules on how saving throws work.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I do hope that they take the opportunity to make the unholy champions less "complete nightmares to have in a party" and more "literally anything else."

Running a campaign right now with a Tyrant champion that isn't that bad - mostly because "Mercilessly enforce established hierarchies" means they're willing to accept royalty giving them a quest, and they also consider one of the non-evil party members as their master who is allowed to order them around. Both of which help keep things in line.

Desecrator & Antipaladin admittedly look harder to manage.

Secret Wizard wrote:

I don't care what they do, just as long as:

(1) They realize that "selfish" reactions don't play well with Shield Block as a free feat, and should likely offer more alternatives to getting Shield Block,


This is important to note. An evil champion never really wants to use shield block because it'd prevent them from using their class reaction.

Also the "selfish" reactions kinda work against the theme of the class. Part of being the class with heavy armor and likely to have the highest AC in the party means you generally are serving as a "tank" in the group.

The good causes act as tanks by discouraging enemies from attacking allies with their reactions, tempting them to attack the champion despite the High AC. The evil causes instead double down on making enemies want to ignore you and kill your squishier allies first, since you have both the highest AC and punish those who hit you.

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Considering Witches are slotted for Core 1 - I doubt any of the Witch rework will include dragon-specific stuff. Consensus seems to be that the most likely reason for Barbarians/Sorcerers being pushed off to Core 2 is because they have dragon-themed subclasses and paizo want to have the new dragons released in Monster Core prior to remastering those classes.

So any Witch interactions with Dragons in PF2 is likely a long long way off. The best bet for something like a bonded treasure hoard in PF2 would be the Witch rework allowing fairly open options for Witches to select an inanimate object familiar and a generous GM allowing a treasure hoard as opposed to a singular object.

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AceofMoxen wrote:
8 dragons in Monster Core divided by four traditions of magic = 1 good and 1 evil dragon per tradition, I would think?

Considering alignment is being removed, I doubt it'll be a good/evil split for any tradition other than divine.


While there aren't enough slots for it in this book - Dragons defined by the Arcane tradition makes me wonder if we'd someday get a set of dragons that embody each of the arcane schools of magic.

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arcady wrote:
The familiar should be as central to a Witch's roleplay as the Summoner's Eidolon is to them. Not in the same way of course - just equally important / frequently used. Instead the best thing to do with it is to take Tattoo Transformation and forget about it.

Please no.

The thematic purpose of the familiar is simply being a link between the Witch and the Patron. The Patron is the figure central to the Witch's class identity/roleplay, not the pet. PF1 had about half-a-dozen different Witch archetypes which traded the pet familiar for some sort of inanimate object (harrow deck, mask, mirror, poppet, etc.) and I personally see it as a huge loss that doing anything remotely similar is currently locked behind a single rare patron.

More mechanical meat/focus to Patrons, especially for mutliclass Witch dedication which currently treats most Patrons as functionally identical.

Less focus on being a pet class. Don't need many familiar abilities to meet the basic witch fantasy (talking familiar is basically it).

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Wait, how is that going to work considering Aasimar & Tieflings already have a number of lineage feats underneath them?

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Though based on Mr. Jacobs' comments, I wonder if it would be possible to get "power from elsewhere, and I know exactly where" options for primal, occult, or even arcane traditions if the witch is supposed to be the "unknown" variety."

Honestly, it feels like this is part of the Witch's MO (that should have been better supported by rules). Personally, I'd view Oracle as already covering a divine caster that isn't fully sure exactly where power is from and Bards with an Enigma Muse similarly cover the mystery niche for Occult.

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Personally, I feel like this is partially a legacy problem.

Previous editions didn't have a Rarity system, so many weapons that were meant to be uncommon in the setting or unique to a specific race/region got tagged as exotic/advanced weapons even if they were very simple to use.

Now that we have a rarity system - I feel that a number of advanced weapons (such as repeating hand crossbow) should be dropped to simple/martial proficiency with just the uncommon or rare trait. Most of the supposedly "advanced" racial weapons even already have feat access in an ancestry feat which additionally lowers them to being martial weapons.

Every even level you normally get a class feat. In order to multiclass, you can pick up a [Multiclass] Dedication Feat (instead of a feat from your normal class) starting at 2nd level as long as you have the prerequisite ability scores.

You can then pick up additional feats from your multiclass archetype. You must take at least 2 feats from an archetype before you can pick up another archetype dedication feat (including another multiclass).

Multiclass archetype feats can give some iconic abilities from the class, boost certain abilities to be more like the class, and can allow you to take class feats from that class up to 1/2 your level at maximum. This means a "primary" class will always have access to higher level class feats before a multiclass character does, and may have certain abilities/features that a multiclass simply can't get (often related to their class paths).


Examples: While a multiclass Rogue can pick up a (less powerful) version of sneak attack, they have no way to select a Rogue Racket. So if you wanted to get DEX to damage, you'd have to play a Thief Rogue and could not pick up the ability to do so through multiclassing. Similarly, a multiclass Barbarian will get the ability to Rage and the Anathema from their chosen Instinct, but will not get other features from that Instinct (another multiclass feat can get the Instinct Ability, but not the Specialization Ability or Raging Resistance.)

Overall: Multiclassing is much more balanced in PF2 compared to either being a trap option or abnormally powerful like in D&D. You don't potentially get as much benefit from minimal investment (i.e. a one level dip), but you also don't stunt the growth of your primary class (so you'll never sacrifice spell levels or attack proficiency in order to multiclass).

VampByDay wrote:
4) One of the great things about swashbucklers is that they are one of the few classes that discourage 'shooting for the moon.' Normally if an enemy has a third attack, they'll take it because why not, they might get a crit. But with parry riposte, that suddenly becomes a really bad idea, as you'll get a free shot on them.

Want to echo this because I don't think it gets brought up enough for Swashbuckler. Unless you're fighting intelligent enemies or bad GMs, Opportune Riposte translates into a surprising amount of free attacks.

I've seen 2 Swashbucklers in games I've run so far, and both have performed well.

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M. Arillius wrote:
How many more people would be jumping into 2e if it were cost effective to do it digitally? I know of at least three table groups (mine) that would have.

Uh... you do know all the core rules are free online, right? Achieves of Nethys generally has most of the rules content from books fairly quickly after a book's release.

It wouldn't be too difficult to run a game by buying only adventures. If the GM makes their own adventures - you could easily jump in for the low low cost of $0.

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I've actually been thinking about how to implement chariot races in the game. How about a Golarion Olympics book detailing a variety of non-fighting athletics competitions?

One of my players has asked about the Free Archetype variant, but I've yet to allow it in my games. Currently play with ABP and Ancestry Paragon.

For me, this is for the following reasons:

  • When I choose to run a thematic campaign - I want the addition of a restricted Free Archetype to feel like a bonus rather than limiting a feature that PCs are already used to if Free Archetype is standard.
  • Leveling up already ends up eating significantly into our game time without adding yet another set of choices for PCs to make.
  • My table includes recovering power gamers from PF1 and I do not want to accidently encourage them to seek out optimal power combinations as opposed to thematic/fun ones.

    Currently planning to run Strength of Thousands after my current campaign, so thinking may change once I see how my players react. That said, I'm currently very hopeful that PCs will see it as interesting to have a limited Free Archetype (Druid/Wizard) without being annoyed that it is limited.

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    Like others said, removing Crafting isn't a huge deal as long as you either provide the standard magical upgrades at the appropriate levels or use Automatic Bonus Progression so they don't fall behind on math.

    Removing Medicine/Treat Wounds is a huge balance shift that I would say negatively impacts the game. Mandating every party have a Cleric is not fun, nor is requiring the party to spend a small fortune on enough healing potions to keep up. Otherwise, the party will have to quit the day after nearly every combat - which becomes fairly ridiculous narratively.

    Also, one think to keep in mind is that Treat Wounds by default takes 10 minutes and makes the target immune for an hour. As long as you keep track of time - this actually makes a difference as many parties will find themselves having to adjust to environmental concerns like running out of daylight while adventuring if they rely on it too much. So while it is easy to Treat Wounds, it does come with an appropriate cost (especially if the rest of the world isn't going to conveniently wait for the party to spend 2-3 hours on a few rounds of Treat Wounds).

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    Kobold Catgirl wrote:
    Yeah, we have plenty of specific plant ancestries, but no plant heritages! What if I want to play a flower goblin?

    This makes me want a versatile heritage were you are technically playing a parasitic plant that used [base ancestry] as their host.

    Not game breaking at all. I frequently forget to award hero points during sessions - so I have PCs start with 2 hero points as long as the player shows up on time.

    Generally, they get used when a player would roll a crit fail on something important or has their dying condition increase a bit too high. A tiny bit of a safety net, but not a major difference.

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    Book of Alcohol.

    An entire setting book devoted to nothing but the unique brewing styles of various regions and ancestries along with dozens of pages of new alcoholic beverages of every item level.

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    Guntermench wrote:
    Just don't do what the GM that was running the game I briefly wanted to play an Investigator in did: threaten (and he would have done it) to run That's Odd by just saying there's a rubber duck in every room.

    If there is a rubber duck in every room that the Investigator is being tipped off about - then clearly there is a greater conspiracy involving rubber ducks! That entire campaign deserves to be derailed to further delve into why rubber ducks are appearing with such frequency and what sinister secrets they might hide.

    My initial (scattered) thoughts for a Shaman class.

    Primal Spontaneous Caster. I dislike the idea of making them divine as that seems to step into the niche of clerics/oracles. I dislike making them pick-a-list as I think Sorcerer/Witch/Summoner fill this mechanical niche to capacity (though I think the first two need some improvements). I can see them being occult, but think primal would be a bit better while also adding a new take on a strictly primal caster other than Druid.

    I could see the Shaman having a Spirit Animal (Familiar) similar to PF1, though I'm not committed to the idea.

    I always thought the PF1 Hunter's Animal Focus would be a good fit for the Shaman with different theming. Theme as the shaman taking in the spirit of an animal to provide a temporary buff based on the type of spirit.

    I kinda like the idea of being able to imbue spirits into objects, though wonder if mechanically it'd overlap with thaumaturge implements too much. (Haven't interacted with that class much.) And while I like the idea of taking some of the theming from the PF1 Medium, I'd personally think the mechanics would have to be reworked significantly for PF2 + Shaman theming.

    I like the idea of some type of Shamanic Trance type ability. Unsure what exact mechanics would be.

    Would avoid the use of psychedelics as a feature for a full class. While I see potential - I think a class would turn into a meme as a result and somewhat diminish the final class. An archetype that used psychedelics for spiritual means would be interesting however.

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    Personally, I wouldn't read too much into that twitter statement. They clarify that it was from the marketing team, and they don't know the intentions of the design team. In other words, all they did was point out something done recently prior to the change without providing much additional insight to the situation.

    Considering Impossible Lands was released in November and likely finalized/shipped to print prior to then - there is a time gap that they may not have known this new errata would exist.

    Overall, I'm hopeful that they errata the later ancestries to be 2 boost, 1 flaw, 1 free as otherwise those ancestries may as well not have a stat spread.

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    gesalt wrote:
    If they didn't think 3free/2flaw was an issue, all they needed to do was not touch it. That they did, going as far as to remove the option from everyone, tells me that they wanted it gone and used this as a good opportunity.

    I honestly wonder if the 3free/2flaw stat line was unintended from the start. From the way the voluntary flaw rules were written, it seems clear they were intended for ancestries which already had a flaw, and I could easily see the writer not considering what happened when it was applied to humans or the +Boost/+Free ancestries that didn't exist at the time.

    My biggest worry about everyone having a 3free/2flaw stat line is that it seems like it'd become the one true option for most optimized characters. Outside of maybe Magus, most classes can afford to ignore at least two stats - and anyone who isn't an Int/Cha caster is near guaranteed to put their flaws there since those are the two weakest stats mechanically. As someone who plays at a table of (somewhat reformed) optimizers, I would not look forward to seeing most characters of every ancestry become less intelligent and less sociable as a result.

    SuperBidi wrote:

    How +2 +2 +2 -2 -2 can be better than +2 +2 +2 -2?

    Tell me.

    As I tell you, Voluntary Flaws give worse stat arrays, always.

    Because in exchange for one extra flaw, you have complete flexibility in choosing where each boost/flaw is applied, including putting all three boosts towards physical (Str, Dex, Con) or more rarely mental (Int, Wis, Cha) which is impossible with any of the fixed stat ancestries that guarantee at least one boost on each side.

    Overall love the new alternate ability boosts. Either you get the ancestry stat spread (+Phys, +Mental, +Free, -Flaw), or the flexible human stat spread (+Free, +Free). Now even easier to make a PC of any ancestry function optimally in any class! That said, it makes me want to homebrew new stat spreads for all the (+Stat, +Free) ancestries so they actually have an option instead of the +2 Free Boosts just being superior.

    While part of me is sad for the changes to voluntary flaws, I can see why it is necessary. For some reason I never even considered what happens when Humans used that voluntary rule, and +3 Free Boost, -2 Free Flaws seems unbalanced compared to the other ancestry options, especially when 2 stats clearly pull less weight than the others in the system (Int, Cha).

    First thing I'd want to see is adding more meat to Patrons. They're a huge thematic component of what makes a Witch a Witch, but are mechanically kinda vapid. For example, granting a trained skill isn't interesting when all of them just add whichever of the 4 skills is associated with your casting tradition and nothing else. Also end up meaningless under Witch Dedication since many Patrons end of being mechanically identical as a result.

    Also, regarding Patron granted spells - these should be of a different tradition than the Patron grants! Paizo deliberately did this with Cleric Deities in 2e to avoid being a useless feature, but should consistently apply the same reasoning across any major spellcaster feature granting spells like this.

    Need option to trade out the familiar increases for something else.

    Speaking of Familiars, locking inanimate familiars behind a single rare Patron is pretty terrible. Numerous Witch archetypes in PF1 had some type of inanimate familiar, really need a more general option to do this.

    Pick-a-List is fine and thematic. But what pick-a-list classes need is a meaty standout feature which differentiates themselves from casters of whatever tradition they end up picking. Summoners did this right with their Eidolons, but Bloodlines/Patrons/Hexes are a bit lacking to carry their own weight.

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    Amusingly enough, when I mentioned wanting to look into 5e more, my group (who play both) talked me out of it. As near perma-GM, they wanted me to keep running Pathfinder because they said it allowed them more options for character creation and allowing them to make very different builds within the same class.

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    S.L.Acker wrote:
    Charon Onozuka wrote:
    There's a reason knives have never been a dominant weapon on battlefields across history or altered the nature of warfare like even early firearms did. Even with something like a knife bayonet, it is more effective attached to the end of a rifle (functioning like a spear) rather than using it as a knife.
    Knives (or more accurately stone handaxes) were likely among the first manufactured weapons used by humans against other humans. Along with the sharpened stick and thrown rocks; knives absolutely changed warfare. It just happened so long ago that we take for granted that people use weapons to kill other people.

    Kinda defeat your own point here. Stone axes (+stone hammers) changed warfare, literal pointed sticks (early spears) changed warfare, knives changed tool use while being functional enough as a secondary (or tertiary) weapon.

    S.L.Acker wrote:
    This all said I don't think this forum is the right place to discuss terminal ballistics and studies of harm caused in cases of IRL trauma. I prefer a more gritty lethal game than many people here and often wish that Paizo had taken more risks in game design with PF2, but even I can see that this conversation can't go any further without getting too graphic for this forum.

    Fair enough. My original response to this thread was meant to answer the OP's question of, "What are your thoughts on incorporating guns in your games, and on Guns and Gears in general?"

    In general, my thoughts are that I'd prefer a system that supports a more "gritty lethal game" when mixing firearms into my fantasy. That's not what I come to Pathfinder for, and don't personally feel like it mixes well enough into the system for my tastes. Fine if you feel differently, but at this point I've said my piece and there is little point in me commenting further in this thread.

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    Squiggit wrote:
    Why is it just a cut for one but a shot through the head for the other? If it was a knife going through your heart or a bullet in your arm, would you still feel the same about their relative lethality and prefer the knife?

    I used the headshot due to the in-game example I posted before of the sniper failing to be a sniper despite crit-shotting a mook 4 levels below them (player understandably immediately wants to flavor this as "Boom Headshot!" upon seeing the rolls/situation)... which is part of why I see the PF2 version of firearms as being an inadequate representation. (Obviously an adequate representation of this in the system would be broken, which is also unsatisfactory.)

    But... are you seriously trying to compare the relative lethality of a knife to a firearm? Sure, have them both target the shoulder (normal hit, no vital organs to crit) or center mass (critical hit, plenty of vital organs); the firearm is going to leave a nastier wound, be harder to shrug off, and be far more likely to kill. And that's before considering that anyone actively resisting has a lot more defensive options vs a knife due to its vastly shorter reach.

    There's a reason knives have never been a dominant weapon on battlefields across history or altered the nature of warfare like even early firearms did. Even with something like a knife bayonet, it is more effective attached to the end of a rifle (functioning like a spear) rather than using it as a knife.

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    Arachnofiend wrote:
    In the end Pathfinder is supposed to be a game where a badass with a dagger is on equal footing against a badass with a polearm who is on equal footing against a badass with a gun. The more you try to emulate the reality of how weapons work the less fun the people on the bottom of that tier list are going to have.

    Disagree! A polearm with reach + better damage dice is going to be superior to a dagger in most situations, as would be expected. If a dagger had better damage dice than a greatsword - you can be assured that many would complain for not being believable. "You can make it work" (with feats/options) is very different from the weapons themselves being equal as a baseline.

    keftiu wrote:
    PF2 is not the simulationist game it sounds like you want.

    For me, it comes down more to verisimilitude rather than simulation. I can accept the abstractions of hit points and grumble about small inconsistencies - but the treatment of firearms in a Pathfinder system starts to strain my belief. They feel tacked onto a system that originally wasn't made to support them - and either end up broken (& thus rightly banned) or feeling like Nerf knockoffs instead of a deadly weapon.

    Overall, I feel PF2's system does a well enough job for swords/fantasy, but would rather play something else if I'm trying to represent firearms in my fantasy.

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    Squiggit wrote:
    I guess I just don't see why that's materially different than replacing the gun with a sword or a knife, because those too can kill someone very quickly without significant training in the real world (while my fantasy fighter can take potentially hundreds of strikes from an untrained novice). At which point it just becomes a critique of HP as a mechanic more than anything else.

    The big difference I see is that it is a lot easier for me to thematically justify that your PC character can bat away sword blows from a less experienced combatant than dodge/resist bullets (while simultaneously being incapable of dodging slower projectiles). Also easier for me to justify that a warrior grits their teeth against a deep cut compared to getting critically shot in the head with a sniper (see above) and is still walking/fighting. A peasant ineptly waiving a sword around is laughable, while the same peasant pointing a flintlock at you should be much less comedic.

    And there is a massive gulf in lethality (especially compared to training) when comparing a knife to a firearm. Even against unarmed civilians, mass stabbings tend to be much less lethal than mass shootings and more likely for victims to survive their injuries. Meanwhile, the historical introduction of firearms basically started a paradigm shift in warfare that would eventually make most other weapons near-obsolete.

    Even with the earliest firearms, compared to a skilled archer requiring decades of training, a peasant with a musket could perform with a week of training. If levels are representative to experience/training - then the peasant with a gun is performing above their level in this situation.

    At the end of the day, when the system math makes getting shot with a flintlock hurt slightly less on average than getting punched, I can't help but think that it fails at representing firearms in a compelling way for me. I don't know about any of you, but I'd personally much rather take a punch than a bullet.

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    breithauptclan wrote:

    I haven't heard of the thing before either - though I have heard about AI and machine learning, so the concept isn't new.

    From what you have described, it basically it sounds like an automated plagiarism device. At least as far as scraping GitHub.

    Gotta say, "automated plagiarism device" is a great phrase that I will be using in the future to describe certain AI (especially the current issues in the art community with AI drawings).

    RE the AI Apocalypse:
    There's two ways to take this.

    The first is that the only jobs left in the dystopian future will be 1) Owners who make the profits; and 2) Programmers to refine the software as desired by the Owners. Everyone else will be in desperate poverty as they can contribute nothing of value and only a minimal amount of programmers are needed.

    The second is to recognize that there are certain fundamental limitations inherent in AI that can't be solved by technological advancement alone, and are very likely to simply be impossible to execute. While the advancement of AI is almost certainly going to cause massive upheaval & change in the working world, there are still a number of limitations that make it undesirable as anything more than a tool for a large variety of purposes regardless of how much complexity it adds.

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    Squiggit wrote:
    Charon Onozuka wrote:
    Part of the appeal of firearms (& crossbows) is that a minimum amount of training is required to punch above your weight class - and even a novice has a realistic chance to inflict serious harm.
    Is that part of the appeal? Most of the time when I see people interested in firearms or crossbows fiction, they're looking to play or tell stories about gunslingers, snipers, monster hunters, or other types of experts. Not novices who get lucky shots. I'd say it's more the fantasy that's incongruous with PF than the weapon.

    To put it another way, I see it as part of the appeal of the weapons historically, and find it harms my immersion when the weapons don't match that feel in gameplay (generally, because necessary balance to ensure they don't overshadow weapons that require more skill to use).

    This especially becomes true if you're a lower-level PC, and shooting someone in the face is about as effective as slapping them with a wet noodle. With the flintlock pistol example from above, an average PC punching you will generally hurt more than getting shot unless a level difference makes crits more likely.

    Malk_Content wrote:
    A person is able to punch above their mechanical weight is with a certain item is not really a niche a game with any semblance of balance is able to portray, ot without a much deadlier paradigm.

    Part of it is that I feel an accurate portrayal of most firearms requires a system with a "much deadlier paradigm" than what is available in PF. Firearms either end up feeling unbalanced or inadequate to me with the standard D&D/level-based system, and neither of those are appealing.

    For a recent in-game example, a player of mine is playing as a sniper in an adventure path. After setting up One Shot, One Kill + Vital Shot + Critical hit + Attacking a mook 4 levels below them, their first reaction is (as expected) "Boom! Headshot!" However, that would be unbalanced, so had to dial back expectations since the weakest mook in the adventure path (a random guard) had enough HP to survive the critical sniper shot.

    In order for the PC to actually live out their sniper fantasy, they'd have to pull off their combo against something so low-level that it no longer gives xp for being defeated. At that point, the weapon doesn't feel thematically deadly enough to actually represent a firearm and instead feels inadequate.

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    D3stro 2119 wrote:
    What are your thoughts on incorporating guns in your games, and on Guns and Gears in general?

    Personally, not a big fan. I know this type of content has its fans, but if I really wanted to mix guns/tech+magic - I'd rather look into playing something like Shadowrun.

    D3stro 2119 wrote:
    Personally, I think 1d4 for the flintlock pistol is a pitiful amount, much for the same reason I think 1d4 for a baseball bat style club is too small. I would bump it up to 1d6 for both.

    Agreed, a flintlock pistol generally hurts less than a thrown dart because the dart gets to add STR dmg due to the thrown trait. People mention that firearms have the fatal trait, but due to how crits work (+/-10), this makes firearms most effective for shooting lower level enemies, which feels backwards to me. While this helps to make them balanced according to system expectations, it doesn't meet the fantasy for me - especially when the majority of shots are thematically described as grazing the target due to not being a crit.

    Overall, I don't feel like firearms mesh very well with a level-based setting because they violate the core assumptions of how most other weapons work in a swords/fantasy setting - i.e. that a novice is minimally dangerous compared to an expert being highly lethal. Part of the appeal of firearms (& crossbows) is that a minimum amount of training is required to punch above your weight class - and even a novice has a realistic chance to inflict serious harm.

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    CaffeinatedNinja wrote:

    I think the logic applies to both Kinet and Magus as far as AoO. A melee kinet wants to be in melee, that is why you play it. Having a significant number of enemies shut that down pretty hard just is not fun and absolutely not necessary for balance.

    A Melee Magus wants to be in melee too, etc etc.

    Once again, I don't see how it is comparable or worth saying a Magus is "shut down" in melee when they are still holding a martial weapon with a full martial chassis.

    While plenty seem to disparage the Magus ability to make basic weapon attacks - when compared to a melee blast this attack is comparable at worst, and actually superior at some levels due to TEML advancement.

    In order for a melee Magus to be comparable to a playtest melee Kineticist - their basic weapon attack would have to provoke, Spellstrike would have to remove their ability to make weapon attacks in addition to provoking, and the action spent to refresh spellstrike/be able to make basic attacks again would also have to provoke. They would also need to lose all focus abilities that function in melee, lose the option to choose any verbal-only spells, and require a feat to attack in melee without provoking (without addressing the other issues).

    CaffeinatedNinja wrote:
    I think a fallacy a lot of people fall into (not necessarily you, just in general) is thinking casters always have all these spells prepared. Your options are pretty limited.

    If your biggest weakness is AoOs, you have selectable options which help compensate that weakness, and you still refuse to select options which do so, that is 100% on you when an AoO appears.

    Something as basic as True Strike not only works vs. AoO enemies, it also is a major boost when you can Spellstrike to boost your hit/crit chance on the damage spike. Part of why some of the first theorycraft Magus builds on the forums were all about how to get as many extra castings of True Strike as possible.

    I'd also say an issue that people fall into in these threads is assuming the Magus is expected to Spellstrike every turn and every situation. Considering the action costs alone - the class clearly isn't designed to do that (just like the playtest kineticist wasn't designed around using overflow abilities every round, which is the Kineticist feature that more closely resembles Spellstrike rather than their blasts).

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