Kobold Devilspeaker

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The entire fall/atonement mechanic is a problem as it mocks a real life religious ceremony.

Make sure you are comfortable with something that is potentially offensive to around 17% of the worlds population if you think it's a good idea to include in your game.

Isn't it a bit hollow earth with the darklands? That makes plate stuff a bit difficult.

Although it gives me neat ideas for 'solving the earthquake problem' and it turns out someone is lobbing cannon shots at the ceiling .....

Like most things at high level - the biggest abuses of mythic come when you can 'go nova' - limiting the amount of things you can combine into a single round to 'one' was a huge thing.

I do recall we made the exception for things that required more than a single point just 'to do' as long as it was one action - to which I ended up using on my wizard to baleful polymorph all the insects in (I forgot the name of the place - but it the walls were covered in swarms IIRC) the place we were at within the range of like... 2 miles?

To butterflies.

That was kind of a cool moment that isn't possible without mythic support really.

Aotrscommander wrote:
(First, I need to finish re-writing mythic a bit, to make it fall somewhere beteen tabletop and Owlcat's version, which I like as a little bit more as a side grade....!)

IIRC - get rid of mythic power attack - mythic vital strike - and limit mythic power to 1 point per turn (or min points to activate ability - there are a few that take more).

That cleaned up about 90% of the crazy for us - it only started to run away at the very end - and it is possible to still kick the players around - but takes a ton of prep to do so... so caveat emptor.

That was really the biggest issue with high level PF1 - the number of feats and abilities and rules you had to handle as a GM and prep work if you wanted to have a tough fight .... it was a ton of work, the 'easy' way to do it is of course just keep upping the CR of the bad guy - but that leads to rocket tag - it is possible to challenge a level 18 tier 3 mythic party with lower level stuff - but it is rough.

James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
1) Wrath of the Righteous went all the way to 20th level because of the inclusion of mythic content; this let us put particularly harrowing encounters in the adventures,
Citation needed on that. :p

Whether or not I did a good job at it doesn't change the fact that this is one of only two 1st edition Adventure Paths we did that had support for 1st to 20th level play. Also... point made regarding the development and creation of Wrath of the Righteous. You win. ;-)

Maybe check out Owlcat's version? I had a lot of fun playing that one!

My group did Wrath to 20 and while we were able to complete the main goal we failed at the end fight (but lived to escape).

To be fair we looked over the mythic rules - cut a few feats (power attack - I think was the big one) and limited the amount of mythic points you could spend to 1 per turn unless the ability explicitly had a higher cost but most didn't.

Honestly that worked fine - the mythic stuff only got wild at the very end and ... well at that point it was fine.

Hey James - I loved Owlcat's version - I really wish we could look forward to all the AP's working out like that frankly. Wrath is the first game that really took over BG2 on my 'best ever' list.

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Just a suggestion, but random encounters don't have to always be a fight.

Say you roll a random encounter - 3 giants - your party is level 1! OMG DO I HAVE TO KILL THEM OR IGNORE THE DICE?

No - just let the party hear the thumps from the footsteps - some billowing laughter from a deep voice that sounds like it's somehow above them - and 2 others responding. The Thumps get louder - let the players attempt to cover the fire/etc. Let them roll or not - just accept any attempt at cover is fine - the giants in your game are not looking for a fight - are slightly drunk and frankly full - they are just strolling.

In the morning - let the players find the tracks - impress on them the casual destruction along the path.

That's just an example - but you can make 'random encounters' much more than 'find thing - kill thing' - even in real life it's not unusual for bigger and more dangerous animals to decide a fight isn't worth it if they are unsure of the prey and threat posed - I mean injuries in the wild are often fatal - so many prey driven animals won't attack if they don't think it's a sure thing.

You can use this to your advantage.

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Fantasy grounds discounts the price of the PDF if you already own it - which is pretty nice honestly.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, the 20th level is a hard barrier. If you did 1-20 over 12 volumes that would be twice as slow as usual. If you had two characters who went 1-20 over 12 volumes, that wouldn't really be different than "play one character each through two adventure paths".

That's true - however using the 4, 3 part idea - I wouldn't even be opposed to separate characters for each path. Frankly I am not sure how it would be best to be done - but I'm always a fan of crossover (and rise/shattered star/return is a huge bag of awesome for me).

Let me try re-pitching the idea - I would love to see them come up with a big grand 'meta plot' - that trickles at a slow burn with hooks into many adventures, something that would only wrap up after a decent length and while it wouldn't *require* any of the AP's previously to be played - it would reward groups that did due to richer understanding of the background/etc.

Something a bit pulpish that made you crave 'the next clue' - anyway - thanks everyone for chiming in :)

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Saw a discussion about possibly seeing a 12 part AP - I'm not sure about that but thought a good topic could be discussed around it.

While I'm not really interested in a 12 part AP - I would ... really be interested in four, three part AP's which had a meta plot that ran through all of them wrapped up in the last volume.

Could this be done? Dunno. I'll admit - the biggest weak spot of past and current AP's (in my experience running them) is the link between volumes - there always seems to be at least one good hiccup where goals, locations, or whatever require a good bit of finesse to work through. Thinking of getting smooth transitions between 4 separate 3 part adventures would be tough.

My vision (for what it's worth) would be 4 separate 3 part AP's - that could be enjoyed on their own - but had clues and meta plot points in each that supported the others if played in series.... even optional clues that would give the players a motivation to continue to the next location without being a 'the world will end' thing - giving players and GM's the option to move on if they wanted - etc.

Anyway - thoughts - I know they are always looking for good feedback on the formats - so with the discussion in the product thread getting a few good replies this is my attempt to prod that.

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Well I'm unsure what this is worth - but to chime in...

* Jeff your response was really disappointing.

* People in Paizo speaking up for Jeff - well I wouldn't say anything in a public thread against my boss either - I ... like almost everyone... need to eat and pay bills. Frankly I appreciate your statements but using employees as examples was a bad move on Jeff's part - for these same reasons - and I really and honestly hope your relationships are what you say they are - because I wish the best for you guys.

* Erik - your response was really the way to handle things spot on.

* Jason - Your response shows the you've grown. Good for you and I actually have more respect for you now then I did before this all started - no one is perfect but the ability to accept our past and improve is what it's about.

er - as to the loss of the customer service people - and this is to Paizo as the company.... anyone that can let things spiral into this much of a mess frankly shouldn't be within the same building as customer service. I don't 'demand' anyone get fired - but good lord if you keep the management over customer service after this mess in place you will deserve all that you are getting a glimpse of in the future.

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Viviolay wrote:

I have other stuff that I grabbed early on - if you are after something specific let me know I can see if it's in my file list.

Hello, I was wondering if you or anyone still had these resources? The Dropbox files are deleted and I have players about to head to turtleback. Thanks!

Sorry I just saw this.


let me know if that doesn't work.

Now that Paizo has moved away from keeping the rules and the setting in different realms...

Why on earth don't we have more lore in the spells?

I want to cast Zutha's fleshwarp, Jatembe's 7 facets, etc.

*The* most memorable thing about spells of old were the names - I mean... floating disk will always be Tensor's in my world - it's just part of the cool factor.

*edit* on post I realized my title was vague.

TwilightKnight wrote:
Its an interesting position to take given that the org play community is constantly sharing (and encouraged to share) prepared tables of content in Roll20, Foundry, etc without any indication the recipient owns the content--content that includes custom/published maps and images/pitches that only exist in the published material.

Fantasy grounds takes copyright very seriously - OGL stuff is fair game with the appropriate license text - but sharing copyright stuff is a no go on the forums - no one pretends piracy doesn't exist - but I can tell you from experience the only reason you'd create your own module is because it doesn't exist officially yet - getting the text into a VTT is... a chore. Images can be copied literally with the windows cut and paste tool depending on what you need, and if you are doing it for personal use at a single table - and you take the time to do it for everything that exists.... well good on ya because that's thousands of man hours - even with image exports.

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magnuskn wrote:
I'm not sure if converting high-level 1E AP's with a strong emphasis on high-level casters can work that well in 2E, since magic was hit so much with the nerf-hammer. But that's just me, I'll eventually will run Return in 1E anyway, whenever I arrive there (currently running Hell's Rebels with my first group, then someone else for once wants to do Strange Aeons instead of me being the MG and then I'll get to it, finally. I'll do War for the Crown in the other group).

I think to convert you should instead think of making any 'wizard' npc into a monsters in 2e -

Just - AC, Hit points, basic melee attack.

Specials 1-2-3 action spell list - pick the most likely 3-4 spells that would have been cast and turn them into monster specials /shrug - would make it much faster to convert and in 1e it was pretty rare outside of very unlucky encounters for an enemy to get more than 3-4 spells off anyway without a heavy use of quicken/time stop type stuff.

Heck I run my 1e fights as 'did monster get off special attack at least one time - if so that was a good fight' :)

amethal wrote:

Similarly, Rahadoum is the land without gods. If you don't like it, move somewhere else. If you move to Rahadoum with the intent of breaking the law and also intend to persuade other people to break it as well, expect drastic action from the state. Rahadoum doesn't care what you think of the law, it expects the law to be obeyed. It's not intended to be oppressive - it is for your own good and the good of your neighbours.

It's the HOA of governments :)

The NPC wrote:

I seem to recall repressive laws, slavery, the Pure Legion arresting or disappearing people of faith or faith sympathies, and black flag operations.

How is that LN?


got it - I never read that book due to the blowback - so I'll admit it's not really something I'm current on. My biggest disagreement with JJ and his vision is on religion - although I get why 'complicated' can generate cool stories I just don't find the downsides to be worth it.

@The NPC - do you think in evil countries there is no kindness or organizations of do-gooders? Even in very oppressive regimes not every flame is snuffed out. The Alignment of a nation is how it's government and people mostly act - things that are out of bounds with that - are sources of adventure (plot hooks).

Rysky wrote:

Try spinning "I know followers of Socothbenoth have a bad rap but he hasn't raped anyone yet so let's give him a chance".

Ever hear of the Tolerance of Intolerance paradox?

Not to derail far here - but didn't they admit that was a mistake - and actually pulled product where possible to correct the issue (which - is a huge impossible cost for most small publishers) - can we give them a break already - there are 100 other 'totally evil' things to pick on.

On topic: Zealotry in any form trends towards evil - lawful or chaotic. The reason for the zealotry doesn't matter - the pure devotion to the thought that the 'non-whatevers' are wrong and need to be fixed results in excusing any and all abuses of the system.

Using the info we have and the alignment you could make the inference that the laws as written against religion are fair, not overly harsh, and try to allow for mistakes.

However you could use how the 'real world' works and certainly have a dynamic overthrow the laws, restore religion type campaign and focus it against oppression, political intrigue, appeal to the masses through use of miracles, and of course you *know* that in a world where demons and devils are real they are *infesting* a society that has no easy means of exorcism.

That battles sounded epic - I'm really looking forward to getting my group there.

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Glad you found a way to be happy with your skin KC.

Hey James,

What, in your opinion, is the best way to get the party back on track when they miss the 3 clues and 4 hints already given? That is when they are totally stumped - what kind of tools do you find useful to bring the players back without heavy handedness - a couple of our recent campaigns have had some mental roadblocks and this seems to be a stumbling point for several of us as GMs.

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cool snake things that could be used as character options:

cold blooded (fire resistance/cold vuln)
hypnotic stare/charm
bite attack (not all are poison)
poison (some damage/others stun/hold)
swallow whole
climb/swim speed
able to squeeze
scent sight
grab (or at least maintain a grapple after it's made without using hands)

forked tongue
slitted eyes
serpent body

I could also see them having paths that are either very good at illusion magic.

Just thoughts.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Sounds fun actually.

And also that's a culture mindset, not an innate one.

But, I'll circle back- if you want to play something fundamentally alien like a Serpentfolk, what would be the line between that and "playing an Aboleth"? Since to me, they're similarly alien, it's just that one is aquatic/piscine and the other is reptilian.

Serpentfolk had a process to make them 'human' with flesh - the lore says they couldn't mate with humans - however all that has to change to make the ancestry work is for the lore to be an incorrect assumption and the rare 'my ancestor was a serpentfolk' works for the supposed to be 1% of the 1% player character options.

The entire 'everything has to be mysterious and spooky' really is the same for other races (as said before) - and popular literature notwithstanding, the pathfinder lore of (as an example) dark elves was way more steeped in evil than 99% of the rest of the literature out there.

No other game had the 'a regular elf can spontaneously become a dark elf if they are evil enough' clause anywhere - I mean no other race (non-planer - that I'm aware of) had such a strong connection with evil. Not even serpentfolk - who are only 'alien' in that their entire society pre-dates human civilization - the intelligence and ability to learn and adapt would allow them to change like any other intelligent race if given the opportunity to do so.

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Naal wrote:

Having read serpentfolk's game backstory and much of the literature that inspired them, I have difficulties in seeing how one could be played as a functional member of an average adventuring group without completely divorcing it from the backstory. Stats are irrelevant. If they were allowed in their full glory, they would be completely unbalanced. If they were allowed in a diluted form, their mysterious and threatening nature becomes a joke.

I know everyone has their favorite monster race(s) they want to play as. I am equally guilty. But playable goblins or hobgoblins are nothing compared to playable serpentfolk in Pathfinder (or Starfinder).

This feels like the same argument that could be made against any of the 'evil' races given ancestries - a bit problematic as the serpentfolk art is Asian thematically.

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I always found Isabeela Locke from Skulls and Shackles to be perhaps the most horrific thing in an adventure path.

trigger warnings


Taken at 12 - made a personal slave. Subjected to 'every cruel whim' including defacement of flesh with tattoos and having her *teeth* knocked out.

Captured by the Sahuagin - only saved due to a charm monster spell - but then taken by the chief as a concubine to the fish person.

Wears almost no clothing (gotta show off those tattoos!) and a set of wooden teeth filed to points in honor of her fishy boyfriend.

The cherry on the cake is the beefcake artwork used for her - after her bio reads like that.

Why do I find this worse that 'hook mountain massacre'? (Mind - that book had my players squirm in several spots).

Because there is almost no place where the players are going to learn all this about her - she doesn't reveal her past - she's almost pure 'evil pirate captain to show up and scare the players'. I totally get horror when it's meant to paint a backdrop to the players - and be a motivator. I mean - you feel like you need to STOP THE OGRES when one is using a knight as a paintbrush. This didn't add anything to the story and just kind of was there only for the GM.


Hells Rebels endbook is the hands down best 'adventure in hell' I've ever read - I hope to run it for a group one day - if not and my players *ever* go to hell it will be my inspiration.

As to the new AP's for PF2? I firmly held out until I read the first volume - but they are Paizo - and awesome. My two cents.

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For what it's worth - I think Return of the Runelords book 1 is the best start to an adventure ever.

Not because the story is the best (it's good - not the best) - but because the pacing, npcs, and treasure are.

Frankly my players have never had so much fun.

Ediwir wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
But it also does away with the age-old problem: if you wanted a great NPC Smith with Profession (blacksmith) +20, you needed her to be level 10 at least (unless cheese was involved) and have enough HP to more readily survive a fireball than a level 5 veteran adventurer.

I've never run into that. I've had to figure out hit points due to bar fights/mob situations/etc. only a few dozen times over the years - but hit points and ac was a real issue I had to account for as a GM over the years. I am trying but can't think of a single time I cared what the smithing skill of any npc was.

"ok, if there's none, can Mr Smith make me a full plate?"

"Yeah, but it'll take a few days."

Implicitly, this seemingly-flavourful conversation is saying that the smith has (price 15000sp, DC18, 1e crafting works with check result x DC = price x days/7) about +300 to Craft, using accelerated crafting (DC28). Players who value simulationism would just bulge their eyes out at finding out someone can forge a full plate in 4 days in first edition.

Clearly, you don't have to care. But to some, the idea of a lv100 NPC asking for the lv1 hero help was actually a big issue.
The answer, clearly, is that his smithing skill is divorced from his combat skill. Something that was not possible in 1e.

I'll be honest - I can't recall when I saw an NPC made up just to justify a skill in any Paizo AP.

I can't really find a difference from how Sandpoint npc's are stat'd up - and the NPC's from Age of Ashes 1, or Extinction Curse 1. No expert levels I guess - although I always thought those were to justify high scores for opposed rolls rather than anything else.

I think changing the way those skills work did more about the 'npc stat' problem than anything else - but you know, opinions on the internet and all that.

Gorbacz wrote:
But it also does away with the age-old problem: if you wanted a great NPC Smith with Profession (blacksmith) +20, you needed her to be level 10 at least (unless cheese was involved) and have enough HP to more readily survive a fireball than a level 5 veteran adventurer.

I've never run into that. I've had to figure out hit points due to bar fights/mob situations/etc. only a few dozen times over the years - but hit points and ac was a real issue I had to account for as a GM over the years. I am trying but can't think of a single time I cared what the smithing skill of any npc was.

The Raven Black wrote:

Which does raise a point though as I hate the idea that monsters and NPCs exist only to fight PCs or, even worse, are built specifically for that.

Is the risk of this higher or lower in PF2 compared to PF1?

One of the stated goals of the new npc system as it stands - is that they don't need to justify npc's existence with a statblock. NPCs can exist without the need to fight at all.

What does that mean? Well NPC lizardfolk villages can exist without any statblocks at all. The (age old) problem is when the players decide that there is going to be a fight anyway.

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Mark Seifter wrote:

As the one gathering errata for PF1 Bestiaries, I was grateful for the folks who found the math errors so we could get it right. There were definitely sentiments of frustration that the system was such that those kind of errata were necessary, but no one was frustrated with you :)

Thanks for that ;)

For what it's worth - you guys rock.

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The dirty secret here is that monsters in both systems can be made the same way.

No - the dirty secret is that monsters in PF1 seem to generally have been made the same way then reverse engineered to fit the build system - with fiddly things added or stuffed in to make it work. The fact that idiots like myself would then would pick things apart and find errors prolly was a never ending source of annoyance.

The really dirty secret - is that monsters (as they progress) in PF1 had a TON of feats that get ignored or forgotten because it's hard to remember all the moving parts at higher levels. Making monsters simpler doesn't really change the nature of how they end up in the chart - but it does make it easier to run them as a GM at higher levels - and that's a super bonus in my opinion.

Even though I kind of like the old system for the same reason as you - it was satisfying, the new system is at least more honest about where it comes from and what it's trying to do.

In case anyone runs into this - the difficulty ramp up of the Breath of Ibdurengian is pretty intense - given all the stuff it's immune to and the to hit/dmg.

Might be a good idea to remind the party if they have any of that oozeclot during this fight.

Olwen wrote:

- The iavathos is nasty, but the horrific appearance of qlippoths is a standard action (Su ability), not an auto-hit every round, it's only a 30-ft range effect whilst the room is quite big, and it's a mind-affecting effect so the PCs likely have numerous bonuses to their saves because of it. It's disintegrate effect is nasty but, again, it has a DC 32 save on top of a ray attack, so it's very much not trivial to land. It would be very nasty if it could grab someone, but that's notoriously difficult at level 20 with the numerous freedom of movement effects floating around.

I looked this up before I started running this path - and I can't find anything that says that other than a forum post that was non authoritative.

Gaze attacks (for all other creatures) are an aura (everyone saves unless averting eyes) along with a 'standard' they can do at a single player in lieu of any other standard - but forces a direct roll.

I can tell you - we run lower level ones as the standard gaze mechanic - it makes them much more effective in combat.

Rules Stuff wrote:

Horrific Appearance (Su): All qlippoth have such horrific and mind-rending shapes that those who gaze upon them suffer all manner of ill effects. A qlippoth can present itself as a standard action to assault the senses of all living creatures within 30 feet. The exact effects caused by a qlippoth’s horrific appearance vary by the type of qlippoth. A successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the qlippoth’s Hit Dice + the qlippoth’s Charisma modifier): reduces or negates the effect. This ability is a mind-affecting gaze attack.

(Gaze ...)
Each opponent within range of a gaze attack must attempt a saving throw each round at the beginning of his or her turn in the initiative order. Only looking directly at a creature with a gaze attack leaves an opponent vulnerable. Opponents can avoid the need to make the saving throw by not looking at the creature, in one of two ways.

Averting Eyes: The opponent avoids looking at the creature’s face, instead looking at its body, watching its shadow, tracking it in a reflective surface, etc. Each round, the opponent has a 50% chance to avoid having to make a saving throw against the gaze attack. The creature with the gaze attack, however, gains concealment against that opponent.

Wearing a Blindfold: The foe cannot see the creature at all (also possible to achieve by turning one’s back on the creature or shutting one’s eyes). The creature with the gaze attack gains total concealment against the opponent.

A creature with a gaze attack can actively gaze as an attack action by choosing a target within range. That opponent must attempt a saving throw but can try to avoid this as described above. Thus, it is possible for an opponent to save against a creature’s gaze twice during the same round, once before the opponent’s action and once during the creature’s turn.

I did go through and check the other monsters with gaze attacks - sadly this is one of those areas that made them make stuff up for 2nd edition - in that they have no standard wording how gaze attacks are written for a monster. I stand by the 'this is a gaze attack' as meaning it works like gaze - the 'standard action present' I read as being specific in that instead of affecting a single person - it forces a second save on everyone within range. After reading all your experiences with this fight - I don't think that will be mean to the players - and it's how we are running lower level qlippoths.

I use fantasy grounds - one monitor is flat on the table used as a map and combat tracker.

The rules and other info are loaded up and in my system - the players still roll dice.

From my personal experience most home groups ignore like 50% of the rules - and most of the time because they didn't know about them or remember to use them (at least in the PF1 days).

I mean - how many times at the table did you say 'oh - when you do x this happens - we've always done it y way' - and everyone goes... 'OH WOW' and usually you keep doing the "Y" way because that's now familiar to your group.

In a 5e round you have:

*bonus action
*move action
*interact action

These can all potentially happen in a single turn for each player - and the action covers 'attack' which can be multiple attacks.

Depending on the class the 'regular' round of a 5e combat would be action, move, bonus - that's... 3 actions. (whispers... just like PF 2e!) The only difference is that each 'action' in PF 2e is more open.

Ravingdork wrote:
What is the GM throwing at you that 5+ healing spells and the medicine skill aren't enough?

Just a guess but natural 20's would tend to do it.

Gorbacz wrote:
I'm trying hard to pronounce the ý now. I can handle ą,ę,ó,ź,ż,ń, but this one eludes me.

It's pronunciation varies depending on the language it is used in. It's not used in english - if you revert to latin as the base it just reads as a normal y. Otherwise it would have to be contextualized by the language where it was found to determine the right sound it makes.

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Our group hated the playtest - the final product is well received though - other than one shots we haven't converted yet - but that's due to being neck deep in one AP and wanting to play Return - so it may be a year or two before we start a proper PF2 AP.

Return .... might just be the best AP that Paizo put out for 1e.

DPR is an ok measurement to run against a class to confirm if something is really broken with the math or design.

After that the focus should be on how the class interacts with the story and world because that's how people feel good about what the accomplished. No one wants to play Luke Skywalker if he can kill everything in one hit but can't mind control and jump high. They rather have one that can take a blaster to the hand now and then but also has other abilities.

Midnightoker wrote:

Low action cost spells effectively means more spells in a single round, and given the biggest limitation on the power of spells is their action cost, reductions of that directly correlate to power.

That depends on if you keep the one spell per round limit - and then again it would depend on the effects of the lower action spells and how they balance out.

Casters are 'balanced' fine right now - that doesn't make them satisfying to play - having ways to interact with the action system would help.

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Vlorax wrote:
Hbitte wrote:

Debuff is not even something wizards should focus on, considering the gaming and literature background. Remember when Gandalf threw a debuff on someone? I do not.

Well that's a terrible argument, Gandalf casts maybe three spells, Light, Animal Messenger, Summon Eagle.



Gandalf’s Spells from the Hobbit (page numbers are from my hardback edition)
21 Colored smoke rings from pipe are made to change color and dance in Bilbo’s place. Let’s call this one Control Smoke.
25 Blue light from end of staff. [Is this a spell or a property of the staff?] Call it Staff Light.
50 Ventriloquism against the trolls.
52 Open door to the trolls lair. [BTW – he failed at this one.] A Knock spell.
69 More blue light from staff. Staff Light again.
70 More colored smoke rings dancing. Control Smoke again.
71 Flash like lightning [With smell of gunpowder. Spell or alchemy?] Call it Flash / Spark of Light.
75 Extinguish flame lights in the goblin’s cave. We also get a tower of blue glowing smoke with white sparks. A variant of Control Smoke combined with Flash / Spark of Light.
78 More light from staff. Staff Light again.
113 Ignite pine cones with blue fire to drop on goblins from tree. Call it Ignite Small Fire. [This may not be a spell either, since G wields on of the Three Great Rings, which happens to be of fire.]
121 Started a fire. [Ignite Small Fire, same as the pine cone spell?]
140 More smoke rings, this time with shapes in addition to colors and dancing. Control Smoke.
292 Sound of thunder, also lightning from the staff that does not appear to be a true Lighting Bolt. [The lightning could be Flash / Spark of Light.] We also find that G can summon a black cloud. [An actual storm, or just Control Smoke again?] Lastly, the deep booming voice. Call this the Enhance Presence spell.

Gandalf’s Spells from Fellowship of the Ring (page numbers are from my hardback edition)
39 Magical fireworks. [We don’t know how long it took for G to make them, but they bore his mark and I assume they were his work. Note that this is the second reference to gunpowder. It is entirely possible that G uses gun or flash powder to enhance his spell repertoire. If they are truly magical, we can assume a combination of Control Smoke, Loud Noise, Ignite Small Fire, and Flash / Spark of Light. Fireworks may truly be a work of magical art since they may combine as many as four spells. No wonder the Hobbits were amazed.]
43 Another flash of light. Flash / Spark of Light.
46 G seems to appear tall and menacing. [Perhaps it isn’t even a spell!] Enhance Presence.
231 G shapes Elrond’s flood waves at the Ford to look like horses. A new one. How about Control Water, similar to his Control Smoke?
308 Using his staff, G lights a fire. “I cannot burn snow.” Ignite Small Fire.
316 In the battle with the wargs, G combines Enhance Presence with Ignite Small Fire. He manages to set a whole bunch of trees on fire, but he does so by just starting one fire that spreads.
321 G tries to Bless Bill the horse for luck. This may not even be an actual spell.
324 G claims to know 200 Knock spells to open doors – all of which fail to open the Gates of Moria. He eventually opens the door by cleverness, not by magic.
327 Staff Light again.
332 Big flash of light from the staff (like lightning). Flash / Spark of Light again.
342 Flash of Light from staff.
344 Flash of Light from staff. This one may do actual damage – a variant of Ignite Small Fire?
345 Hold Portal. This one works for awhile until the orcs break down the door.
349 Sheet of Flame upon breaking staff. This may not be a spell, either, but a property of the staff. I’ll give G credit for Ignite Small Fire to start the effect and assume the staff magnified it. Of course, at this point G dies and we won’t see any more spells for awhile. Also, perhaps a Sunder spell to break the bridge.

Gandalf’s Spells from The Two Towers (page numbers are from my hardback edition)
514 Some sort of Command Person spell used on Legolas and Gimli. It is worth noting that G gained this spell only after becoming The White, unless Command Person is just a glorified Enhance Presence or something like that.
515 Enhance Presence again.
516 Command Person and/or Enhance Presence as everyone drops their weapons. Legolas’ arrow bursts into flame – another Ignite Small Fire.
536 Still more Enhance Presence.
537 Sound of Thunder [Loud Noise.] Fires diminish and the room grows dark, and the staff is actually credited for this spell [Extinguish Flame.] Flash of Lightning [Flash / Spark of Light.]
538 G gives Theoden strength of mind and body. A spell, or just the power of suggestion? I’ll call it Command Person again, but this may be too simplistic.
606 G issues a Command Person to Saruman. This is also combined with Enhance Presence.
607 G breaks Saruman’s staff at a distance. This is a really neat trick! Call its breaking force a Sunder spell.

Gandalf’s Spells from Return of the King (page numbers are from my hardback edition)
841 Shaft of white light. [Staff Light]
925 Prolonged shining white light. [Staff Light]

Anyone that believes that never really read the books.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

It's sort of interesting to me how there aren't similar complaints about how much worse archery is relative to other options compared to PF1.

Since archery was the king of DPR strategies in PF1,**EDIT**

Archery had a similar damping down to spellcasting, but doesn't seem nearly as controversial.

Just had to respond to this - because I had similar discussions in PF 1 re: fighters in regards to how to make them 'fun' - and the discussions always came back down to 'they need pounce' - because barbarians could get pounce - even though the actual complaints were 'more ways to actually impact the game outside of combat'.

I dunno what to say about it other than people are weird - casters were nerfed - hard - spells/dc/spells per day/etc. were all messed with - and people are processing that change and trying to feel it out. Some of that comes out as 'I can't blast or damage like a fighter!' - because fighters are the new king of the hill (perception wise anyway) that makes a certain kind of sense - see which kid has all the cool toys - and try to figure out why they seem to have more fun than you right?

I stand by that it's not the DPR or the actual spells - it's how they interact with the system that feels off.

The entire spell section reads like this:

ADAM: I don't see anything about Heaven or Hell. This book reads like stereo instructions. Listen to this: "Geographical and Temporal Perimeters: Functional perimeters vary from manifestation to manifestation." Oh, this is going to take some time, honey.

Failure The target is slowed 1 and must attempt a Fortitude

save at the end of each of its turns; this ongoing save has
the incapacitation trait. On a failed save, the slowed condition
increases by 1 (or 2 on a critical failure). A successful save
reduces the slowed condition by 1. When a creature is unable
to act due to the slowed condition from flesh to stone, the
creature is petrified permanently. The spell ends if the
creature is petrified or the slowed condition is removed.

Yeah - the "Handbook for the Recently Deceased" reads easier than the spell section :) I feel like they'd have been better off saying "Flesh to Stone - if the target fails it's save it's slowed 2, if it makes the save it's slowed 1". Except they felt the need to keep this crit system working for every spell instead of just attack spells - hey we are where we are - and instead of having a spell you can use the action system with you get a 2 action spell and move (just like PF 1) but with weird and hard to read wording that doesn't make you feel like you did anything cool.

Lets rewrite flesh to stone so it interacts with the new 3 action system:


You try to turn the target’s flesh into stone. The target must attempt a Fortitude save.

1 action: The target is unaffected, Flat Footed (1 round), Clumsy 1, Clumsy 2

2 action: The target is unaffected, Slowed 1 (1 round), Slowed 1, Slowed 2

3 action: The target is unaffected, Slowed 1, Slowed 2, Restrained (a break free success reduces this to Slowed 2).

*note* if the target is lower level than the wizard failure or above results in the target being made into a statue gear and all.

I mean - that looks cooler to me and would give you options, keep the 'can't end a boss fight' and would feel more satisfying - but I'm just a schmuck on the internet.

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Lanathar wrote:

My point was about low level spells in 1E not being that useful if they go after rival combatants . And that broadly stands. So this isn’t a big change. And I get that this isn’t necessarily a good argument because 2E could have tried to avoid this. But in this particular instance it is not really a nerf (not saying there aren’t others)

Anything further on this risks a de rail due to extensive mentions of the previous edition

Given a fight with 4 mooks and a caster with hold person DC 16 against your level 11 fighter with ... +11 will save?

So have one intimidate - now he's shaken -2 to will saves. Give one of the mooks a cruel weapon - hit him - now he's sickened and at -4 to will saves - now cast on him. Not enough? Make that hold person persistent via metamagic. Use touch of idiocy (no save 1d6 penalty to wisdom) - there are ways to work things out - not every fight should have these - but if you aren't using tanglefoot bags, and intimidate, and or trip/bull rush (etc) against your players pf 1 fights can feel pretty bland.

I'll admit - using all the options available to you as the GM takes alot of system knowledge and work though.

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Puna'chong wrote:

(2) Few ways to increase spell DC for a big moment. Can come with class feats or focus powers, items, etc. Just don't exist now

See right here you can imagine a system were a 1 action cast has no conditions on a save, a 2 action cast is what we have, and a 3 action cast is at +1 DC.

Just like that casters have options (3 spells in a round? If a save means nothing happens wouldn't that be a waste anyway? Isn't that an *interesting* choice for a player to make?) using the action system that makes them feel more dynamic in play.

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Martialmasters wrote:
I was excited to see in 2e martials being able to do more than full attack more easily.

Yep - very glad to see attack chains shortened to 3.


I've seen many players complain of casters being over nerfed. But vast majority just state it without examples or any explanation.

Disagree - there are examples and explanations abound - most of them are blown out of proportion


I've discussed it with my play group and nobody seems to be of the opinion that they were over nerfed.

Then that must be true.


In fact several typically martial only players have expressed interest in playing casters in 2e.

If they want to play the least powerful classes from 1st edition - and now want to play the least powerful classes from 2nd edition - it is my humble opinion that they didn't like martial characters, but just being underpowered and feeling like the underdog - which is a viable play style - but has nothing really to add to the discussion.


I think casters are largely balanced now.

They are


I think making one dimensional caster's who focus on mainly one thing has always bad.

The one dimensional caster was the most OP one - but also the easiest for the GM to shut down if they wanted - bit of a give and take that.


I think the blaster caster was never as good as the utility caster.

That's certainly a matter of opinion - blaster casters - if hyper specialized - could be just as OP as anything else.


But it's clear you in for a rough time if you like comparing your dpr to the fighters. Especially on single Target.

DPR is - in my opinion - the single biggest problem that PF1 had. It objectifies the game into a number race - and ignores the teamwork and puzzle solving aspects that generally bring parties together to tell a good story.

You can actually best out any martial in AOE effects though.


I think a lot of players dislike prepared casting and due to this they feel worse to those players.

That's a pretty big assumption on your part. I don't think you are correct.


Me personally I feel it's a skill gap. The truly skilled players will make a prepared caster shine.

They don't have to - casters are balanced and work fine even if you have no idea what you are doing. This may change after we have a couple dozen sourcebooks - YMMV.

*Opinion follows - beware all ye who enter*

If you want to know why casters feel bad at the moment - it's mostly because of the crit save/fail system - and lack of action engagement with the spell system. The crit save/fail system combined with boss monster encounters results in feeling like you can never 'win big' against a boss. That's intentional due to balance but it results in the 'save my big stuff for the boss' players to feel let down in those encounters. The paradigm shifted - time will heal this.

The second reason, I think, is a fail on the design and has no easy fix. That is - frankly - that the 3 action system gave cool tools to everyone but 'core casters' - the example I want to use here is the heal spell.

Heal is perhaps the best 'designed' spell in the game - it gives different effects depending on the actions used - this is a sterling example of how the new action system can make spells interesting, dynamic, and require the player to make an interesting choice when casting.

Almost every other spell in the book is two actions to cast. Nothing interesting - nothing exciting at play - take your turn - move and cast - that's it - the keystone of the new edition (3 action system) essentially goes into the gutter. This leaves casters feeling ... a bit bland compared to all the cool things the martials get to do.

This doesn't make them 'overly nerfed' - nor does it make them 'underpowered' - but combine the two things and it does tend to make straight up casters feel in a worse place than they deserve to be.

/my two cents.

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Bluenose wrote:

When the issue that was highly complained about was Caster/Martial Disparity, making the Fighter as good as the other melee classes (mostly other martials) doesn't really address the issue.

Nah - you are confusing arguments. The fighter was seen as bottom tier all the way through the end of PF1 even though it spent several years with enough options to be competitive against even new 'hot' classes like the slayer (Weapon Master's handbook came out in 2015 ) with advanced weapon training.

Rogue was seen as 'fixed' with unchained rogue - the difference here is that books *can* fix a class post launch - but they can't do it via scattered options that require a dozen books brought together to make a whole. Which is a 'handwave' argument that casters are fine because they can be fixed with future books.

They can, but that hardly is a good reason for any class to feel off on launch.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
since we can always fix the latter problem by printing more books.

Even though this is factually true - it is empirically untrue. Fighters in PF1 (when used with stamina, melee tactics toolbox, background skills, and other new goodies) were objectively as good as any other melee class yet carried the stigma of their core printing through to the end.

The only way for that to change is for them to 'wrap up' all the rules into a single place (like unchained rogue).

Haffrung wrote:

I'm new around here, but is old-school play really that foreign to Pathfinder? Am I going to find PF2 doesn't support that style of play?

PF2 actually supports old school play better than PF1 did I think.

Spiking doors was because they auto-shut and locked - thats not the default assumption in dungeons anymore (hasn't been for several editions actually) but 1e AD&D assumed monsters never had to roll to open doors either - so that playstyle is still 100% valid if you are using it.

The other stuff - is highly dependent on you as the GM - if your players want to use a spell to get away - let them - nothing holds you down to using the mini battlemap for every part of the game - if you insist on following every rule at all times then it will fail to support what you are asking though.

My suggestion (if you are still new to the system) is to keep reminding yourself the rules are a framework to tell a good story - and if they get in the way it's ok to move past them. Running away is just not really a well supported trope within the mechanics framework these days - if that's part of your normal GM kit - you'll need to be ready to take the game out of 'mechanics mode' when it happens.

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SuperBidi wrote:

Wands of CLW are also nonsense because the difficulty of the game was varying a lot depending if you have access to them or not (or if they are exhausted).

So, the most important part of every dungeon exploration, before even having a proper armor or weapon, was to have the proper batch of wands able to handle the whole thing. Otherwise, you were screwed, as other types of healing were far away from giving you back as many hit points.

That doesn't make them nonsense - it just makes them a mechanic and a resource to track.

The same as in the new system - a mechanic and a resource to track. You can make a valid case that CLW wands were unintended with AD&D 3 (I have never seen proof of this - but accept it as probable) - you cannot however say the same thing about PF1 which kept the mechanic - and also *designed every official adventure including society play based on this mechanic*.

So CLW were not 'nonsense' or unintended in PF1 - they may have been a holdover - but they were certainly known and embraced by the design. PF2 changed the mechanic - but you could call the 'healing kit' a 'healing ritual wand' and it's the same thing - the only real change is a limit on healing per time function - which *is* interesting game design and changes things up - but doesn't make the previous mechanic 'nonsense'.

And no D&D version or Pathfinder version has ever been a "system that results in taking a sword to the chest that doesn't require 2 months of downtime to recover from" because that is not now, nor has it ever been, how hit points work.

You are right - that would be realisim - this is a game - mechanics in the game are not nonsense - even if you don't like them. CLW wands and the current 'mundane' healing are just mechanics that work slightly differently - but mundane healing of wounds is so much more fantastic than using magic - you have to totally lose reality at your table to allow it.

It's obviously not about money - healing kits cost 5g for infinite healing. It's about forcing high level play to use higher cost items for quick recovery. A note that as mentioned earlier in the thread - the 'sweet spot' for mundane healing tends to be level 6-10 in PF2. To put it in perspective outside of a treasure drop - a group in PF1 would most likely not have a CLW wand until the group is level 3 at earliest - while in PF2 they have treat wounds affordable from level 1. The mid levels treat wounds is arguably better in terms of cost than a CLW wand - it's only (again) high levels where the mechanic favors higher cost items and thus the investment by characters.

Short rests in 5e is done with a limited pool of which you can use only half the pool a day. The encounter math is entirely different in that monsters are intended to wear down your HP pool over many encounters before you take that hour long lunch break. People say 5e combat is easy but that is only because they spam the short/long rests and avoid the intended attrition of HP and healing resources.

This is incorrect - they balance the game with the expectation that all characters start combat at full health each time. We have actual words and facts to back that up instead of conjecture.

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HumbleGamer wrote:

Clw was nonsense to begin with.

Any system that results in taking a sword to the chest that doesn't require 2 months of downtime to recover from - is also nonsense to being with.

The current system could just as easy be 'you use a special ritual item of cure to heal people for 10 minutes if you can activate it with a heal check'

See how changing the words - doesn't change the mechanic or how silly it feels? If you deal with wounds at all in your daily life - the current system feels much more gameist and silly than magic ever will (because we have no real world reference to work with magic) - there are many kinds of wounds that are *hard as hell* to treat - and require months of healing.

10 mins with a bag of poultice may float your boat - whatever - but don't for a second think that it's more 'grounded' than wands of cure light wounds - it's way more out of this world.

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