Sargogen, Lord of Coils

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swoosh wrote:

I mean, even calling it "Mother May I" to begin with is talking down about the whole concept.

The fact that you're acting like the GM is some strict parent you have to beg and plead to have permission to have fun kind of indicates there's a really toxic and unhealthy mindset about the relationship you have with the GM (or the relationship itself is toxic, hard to tell what's perception and what isn't).

Framing it in that way is fundamentally going to taint your gaming experience before you even start, so it's really no wonder you feel that way.

Nevermind that the whole thought process feels a bit bizarre, because six months ago when we were playing PF1 GMs would freely allow or disallow content based on their own whims and eleven years before that when we were playing 3.5 GMs would freely allow or disallow content based on their own whims.

Nevermind, also, that the game makes it pretty clear that Uncommon options are not supposed to be universally walled off, just not something readily accessible. Just like tons of other stuff in PF adventure paths and 3.5 modules and so on and so forth going all the way back until the very dawn of tabletop RPGs.

You're approaching this whole situation looking to dislike it and looking to be upset. So what you're mostly doing here is fulfilling your own expectations.

The problem becomes what constitutes being able to take the Uncommon options or not. We might have objective requirements, such as "must be a member of X," but it's completely unclear how you get there, or if the GM will even let you get there through storyline or skill checks or whatever. If you're in homebrew territory, or you're running some off-the-wall AP, the ability to take those options goes out the window, even with a permissive GM. It's just not something that players can expect to have happen realistically unless the star aligns and yada yada yada.

In fact, there aren't any published ways for you to acquire those things, which is where the "toxicity" begins. There's no set rules or options that let you claim your class option outside of some specialty story stuff that takes place offscreen, and other players may easily call BS on that stuff too.

I may not like the way the OP worded it, but I am in agreement with his ideal, in that uncommon options can't reasonably be considered in most games unless it's an inevitability or something that outright grants it. And if you sit there and say "Well, OP is just in a toxic environment and can't use that as a reason to deny his plea," then I have one acronym for you: PF2S. A Paizo-organized group play event with interchangeable characters between multiple modules.

What are the odds that all of the hundreds of thousands of characters in there have access to Uncommon or Rare options that weren't granted as a direct result of completing a certain module or spending "tokens" or whatever to gain access to that stuff that other players couldn't? I don't know the exact answer, because I don't play PF2S. (Didn't play PF1S either for the same reasons.) But I'm almost certain that it's a much more appropriate scenario to raise this concern, and it's a concern that a lot of home tables need to consider.

I'm pretty certain it will work as follows, and I did a mini test of this in one of the released APs:

-Prepared Intelligence-based Occult spellcaster.

-Will have access to Patrons, which I suspect will give one bonus spell per level of a specific spell (not necessarily on the Occult list, but casts as an Occult spell for all purposes, maybe? Otherwise will just be free Occult spells they have access to).

-Hexes will most likely function as one-action abilities, with some of them (like Slumber) being two-action or higher abilities with once per target per day limitations similar to how it was in PF1.

I actually had used this in play, where the BBEG used Evil Eye on the PCs. It was a one-action flourish ability that targets an enemy they can see within 60 feet (and who can see the Witch), affecting one kind of proficiency they possess (attack rolls, AC, saving throws, skill checks, and so on). On a failure, the target suffers a -1 status penalty to those types of proficiency checks for a number of rounds equal to the Witch's intelligence bonus. On critical failure, the status penalty is increased to -2, and lasts for 1 minute. On a success, the penalty lasts only for 1 round, and no effect on a critical success. It's simple to use, maintains power throughout all levels of play, and is great for projected Witch playstyles.

-Will have a Familiar as a standard feature instead of it being an option like the Wizard had, though I imagine there will be feats that enhance it similar to Animal Companions as part of the Witch class feat pool. Hopefully this will give the Witch a special identity, and not simply be a "Wizard with different spellcasting and focus powers," or a "Bard with different primary stat and focus powers."

I actually have a write-up of what this stuff probably looks like that I might post here sometime in the near future.

thenobledrake wrote:

Feinting is not just making an attack your target doesn't see coming. It's tricking your target into thinking the wrong thing to properly defend them self against an attack.

And the mindless creature isn't thinking about it's defense, so you can't trick it with a feint to any noticeable effect.

The problem is that this logic based on flavor text likewise applies to flanking. It just doesn't make sense to me that you can't feint a mindless creature but you can flank a mindless creature when the reasoning behind both penalties (unable to properly defend oneself) are exactly the same.

I suppose one can claim that in the case of flanking, the positioning is really all that matters and nothing else, which I suppose I can dig, since by that point being mindless is irrelevant. I just wish the wording better reflected that concept.

Either way, I think Fuzzy's explanation behind mindless not actually being mindless is a good enough argument I can use the next time this comes up. Since I will be a PC in the next campaign, this will come handy if the GM throws mindless baddies at us, so I appreciate the help and resources brought to my attention.

Uchuujin wrote:
Well, not being aware of an attack also makes you flat footed, and even mindless creatures should be penalized if they don't know something is about to hit them. It's a lot easier to swat a fly that doesn't see you coming than one trying to buzz away.

Again, if that's the case then feinting should work, because it doesn't see the attack coming. But it doesn't seem to matter.

Feint wrote:
With a misleading flourish, you leave an opponent unprepared for your real attack.

Basically, the mindless creature doesn't care what sort of fancy tricks you do to catch it off-balance, it will ignore any sort of attempt you make because it's mindless.

The arguments that flanking should work are problematic simply because it's not known whether flanking is equal parts having weaknesses exposed as well as having attention diverted (which is where being mindless negates that), or if not having one or the other trumps it. The rules are unclear on the matter of whether not giving a damn about a certain enemy (which was probably on purpose) plays a key role in determining if flanking applies. It probably won't in normal circumstances, but mindless creatures are specifically known not to do this, as mentioned in their descriptions and the abilities they gain from it, hence why I feel they have extra credence to just say "Nope, no flanking, don't care."

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Henro wrote:
pauljathome wrote:

I'll give my usual warning. Be very aware that you ARE making the game more random and deadly (that is kinda the whole point) as, in the long run, these things affect PCs at least as much as NPCs.

Make sure the players are happy with these and don't force them on unwilling players. Some players (eg, me) hate things like this with a fiery passion and using gentle (or ungentle) persuasion will likely just leave them unhappy.

That said, if your group is ok with the extra randomness and deadliness, go for it.

And if you're considering using a critical fumble deck, this principle applies ten times over.

Well, the good news is that the default rules are Natural 1s only and don't have the "any critical failure" optional rule (though it's very easy to implement if desired). I honestly wouldn't mind it since it would make characters better consider using their actions for things other than 20 fishing on attack rolls, especially since combat is intended to not be a stationary slugfest. Incorporating things like intimidation, shield use, feinting, or other 1-action one-offs are great ways to make combat more dynamic.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

I'd say the first line in Flat-Footed (mentioning "focus") is pretty much fluff and should be ignored in rules discussions. To be inapplicable to mindless creatures Flat-Footed would have to say "this condition has the Mental trait" or equivalent.

(Alternatively, one could argue that if mindless creatures don't have "focus" then they must be flat-footed all the time....)

That was my initial thought too, but the flavor-text (which serves as the intent) of flat-footed is that you're considered distracted from oncoming threats, either because your attention is diverted elsewhere (from flanking), or because you are completely unaware of the attack (such as from sneaking, feinting, and so on). For the mindless creature (which is actually a 3rd level Fleshwarp), it isn't bothered by someone trying to fake it out (feinting), so why should it likewise be bothered by someone trying to get to its opposite side?

It just seems silly to me that you can't feint a creature who doesn't react to your attacks, but you can get on the opposite side which somehow gets on its nerves more than a feint would. The only real argument I can see is that the enemy would be more exposed regardless, but facing isn't a thing in this game (and if it is, it's limited such as via flanking), and as such that logic would be stretched to apply that way since it is likewise stretched via flanking.

As the title.

Our party came across a couple mindless creatures and one of our players tried to feint it to get an edge on his attack. Since the creatures are mindless, they are immune to effects that have the Mental trait, which feinting does possess. So he succeeds on the check, but receives no benefit other than knowing that feinting doesn't work on mindless creatures.

Now, another character goes to flank, and I initially was going to allow it, but the feinting player argued that flanking is similarly distracting from properly defending themselves, so I re-read how being flat-footed works, and it says:

Flat-Footed wrote:
"You’re distracted or otherwise unable to focus your full attention on defense."

So at the time, I went with the feinting player's logic and stated they couldn't be flanked either, since the description mentions requiring focus, which I imagined mindless creatures don't have. However, the key differences are that the feinting action has the mental trait, whereas a simple concept like flanking does not (unless I overlooked it somewhere). At the same time, being flat-footed means you're not mentally aware or fully capable of defending yourself, which I imagine is something that mindless creatures don't naturally or instinctively do other than what's listed in their creature demographic.

Is there anything that I'm missing here? What would you have done in this situation?

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Roswynn wrote:

I'm gonna give it a try tomorrow, deadly variant even, but I'm worried for my players - if they lose an eye or a hand, regenerate is a 7th level spell, and they're still 3rd level. Also Breachill isn't exactly swimming in high level healers.

I'm thinking I could allow any healing magic restoring enough hit points to cure a crippling wound like that.

Or else, if I wanna be mean, I could require a trip to the capital to get someone to cast regenerate?

Any advice? And what are you guys doing with your decks, how are you using them?

I would advise against the deadly variant. The standard operation method for them are more than debilitating enough and add enough spice to the combat to make it more dynamic instead of slowing things to a crawl and adding more stuff to things that may or may not matter. Even with the standard operation, we did struggle a couple of times with keeping track of debuffs we may have suffered or inflicted, but nothing we couldn't handle (some groups may have struggled though).

As for how we use the cards, there are basic rules for them listed in there, and we haven't come across any limb severing cards yet (though we do know there is a potential decapitation card based on teasers posted to us). Most of those usually have saving throws equal to the enemy's Class DC (means big bads are more likely to cause these debilitations compared to normal bad guys, so it's most likely to occur in key fights, making for memorable and potentially fun combats).

As an example we had last night, I used Ray of Frost on a enemy wizard, rolled a Natural 20 with average damage (16 after critical), with an effect of "Target is Stupefied 2 until Healed." In other words, I hit them right in the skull and gave them some very bad brain freeze, which is cool, debilitating, and had useful applications in the fight.

I would probably allow characters who critically hit normally (the "10 or over" rule, not the Natural 20 method) to spend a hero point to get a card if they wanted, which gives characters some better control over certain combats and makes hero points more usable besides on rerolls or death preventions; having an offensive use for hero points like this sounds like a fun and good idea as well. This allows a more "deadly" variant in the PCs favor while also making Hero Points more versatile.

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My gripe is with the overt restriction on these spells.

Let's say we're 2nd or 3rd level, running around with straight +1 weapons, as projected in the game's permanent items. That's an item bonus an Animal Companion probably isn't constantly receiving right now. And if the Animal Companion isn't cared for, it'll fall off in combat relevance shortly. (Hell, Familiars are already worthless for combat straight out of the gate! They might as well just hide and do nothing until their master dies, in which case they're free, or the encounter ends, in which case they can pop out and get another look at the world once more.)

Now, let's say someone has Magic Weapon memorized for when the big fights come and we need the damage to cut down on our losses. Normal rules would state that the Item Bonus from the spell wouldn't stack with any Item Bonus we got anyway, and having an additional dice from this spell doesn't stack with additional dice from Striking runes. But what's this? The target lines for these are non-magical items! So having a +1 weapon out is actually worse for big fights because now you can't benefit from the extra dice of the spell! Gonna have to switch to my back-up weapon just so I can actually do more overall damage, though I still might miss out due to it simply being a back-up weapon with less dice damage.

Even though the rules normally disallow stacking in the first place, the added target restrictions make it dumb to have +1 weapons in fights if you are expecting Magic Weapon/Fang/Whatever cast on you, even though normally, you want those magic items because they make your character more powerful (or more accurately, keep you up to snuff on the treadmill instead of being majorly behind). And the worst part is that the spell wordings disallow any shenanigans to begin with? Why the added restriction which creates these stupid situations of "Well, gotta use my light mace because my +1 longsword can't benefit from Magic Weapon because [reasons], that makes total sense, said no one ever," when the normal stacking rules already disallow people having +2 Greater Striking weapons by 5th level?

Luke Styer wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
As with most things in the game, the actions themselves aren't really alignment defining, but the intent behind said actions certainly are.

In a universe in which good and evil are objective facts rather than subjective opinions, it seems to me that intent only gets you so far. Whether or not you believe with all your might that killing an innocent is a good act, it isn’t. It’s evil. The wrinkle in this case is that the innkeeper wasn’t innocent.

I mean, it's not really an evil act if the Champion believes the target is evil,

What does it matter what the Champion believes? And for that matter what does it matter if the target is actually evil? Having an evil alignment doesn’t mean it’s not evil to kill you.

Not to mention legitimate authority would be called on said Champion
In this particular case the authority figure in the village, the priest of the Shoggoth cult had just died after siccing a group of Deep Ones and a Gug on the party in order to kidnap some for breeding stock and sacrifice the others to the Shoggoth. So no one was going to investigate. But, yeah, I agree it was an unlawful search and seizure.

They are objective only if the activity in question has the respective alignment trait. As an example, an activity of raising undead more often than not has the Evil trait, probably because such things are bound together by negative energy and have the evil trait themselves. As such, even if said undead were raised to build a makeshift keep or village for innocents to live in, the means of which it was done was Evil, which the trait enforces. Last I checked, killing doesn't have such traits. And when certain things don't have traits, we look to intention for carrying out whether it was good, evil, lawful, and so on.

It matters because that's the sole reason the Champion is doing what they're doing. Yes, objectively, Divine Lance to try and find evil is a poor way to do so, as not only can they get in trouble with the good guys, but they may get in trouble with the bad guys too, biting off more than they can chew with either an encounter or a faction. But there has to be some sort of justification for the Champion (or more accurately, the player behind the Champion) vying for this sort of activity.

Which you just explained in the next paragraph. He's literally in a city of evil which is ran by clergies of an evil deity, and is effectively incapable of using abilities like Detect Evil (excuse me, not the innate 1st level ability they used to have, but now Sense Evil, a feat not available until 8th level now, and is weaker than before) to differentiate potential friends from apparent foes, especially when such an environment has all kinds of alignmented characters, ranging from cultists to rogues to peddlars...the list goes on. This might be a way to challenge the player, but it seems the player either doesn't understand or want to go through the challenge.

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Luke Styer wrote:

We recently converted my home game from 1e to 2E, and one player has a Paladin of Serenrae who is missing his old ability to Detecf Evil at will. He recently multi classes to Sorcerer and picked up Divine Lance as a Cantrip. Since good damage only harms evil aligned creatures, he’s taken to shooting creatures with Divine Lance as a sort of poor man’s Detect Evil.

Putting aside the first time he did it, when he actually talked someone into consenting, which seems sort of crazy, but the target was sure he wasn’t evil, do folks agree that doing this unprovoked to a non-combatant is an evil act?

As with most things in the game, the actions themselves aren't really alignment defining, but the intent behind said actions certainly are.

I mean, it's not really an evil act if the Champion believes the target is evil, but that comes with a matter of the Champion having probable cause to jump to that conclusion. A Champion throwing Divine Lance out willy nilly most certainly isn't lawful, as even if the Divine Lance isn't harmful to the target, it's certainly a matter of breaching privacy. And if it is harmful, then the Champion is assaulting someone who isn't proven guilty of a crime, or actively threatening innocents, and as such would be anathema to them. Not to mention legitimate authority would be called on said Champion and unless the Champion is extremely high level, will be overwhelmed by the city guards and thrown in jail for assaulting a civilian among other things.

Being adamant and fervent in your dedication to wiping out evil doesn't give you the right to breach privacy as well as potentially assault someone. Championhood isn't a free pass to be a dick and go looking for trouble, it's a privilege to help make the world a better place for those who don't have the ability to do so themselves. And this display of power is a very poor example of this, one that I imagine would be admonished by their deity.

Well, keeping in how the Half-ancestries initially work, they would generally replace your Heritage choice, and they actually list the Half-Elf and Half-Orc benefits as examples for other ancestries, in that you gain Low-Light Vision as well as access to that ancestry's ancestry feats regardless of which ancestry you apply them to (because yes, Half-elf and Half-orc heritages are available to any ancestry assuming GM approval, which the book states and says it's generally not an issue if you do; I'd just require that a character's story is good enough to warrant it). In neither case are you gaining or sacrificing ancestry feats to get their benefits.

Stemming from that, the thing I don't like about it is that this can be combined in one of two ways, one of which is actually overall weaker compared to the other. If you took Goblin with the Half-Halfling heritage, you would get Darkvision, Low-Light, as well as access to the Goblin language (which, given their popularity, will be much more beneficial to have) and any of the good Halfling feats (which there are a few). Compared to a Halfling taking Half-Goblin, which will only have low-light with a 1st level Darkvision ancestry feat option at best, with access to the Halfling language which is very niche in its use. You're missing out on Darkvision (or an Ancestry feat, depending on how you select things) as well as having an inferior language choice to get the same amount of power as the other combination. (Ironic I say this, but it's objectively true here.)

That being said, the Half-Orc ancestry option from the Human side of things is probably the most appropriate way to go, since it mirrors the second option to a T, and is consistent across the book. Creating your own Half-Goblin/Half-Halfling feats is okay, but just compare them to some of the other feats that are there (such as the Half-Elf and Half-Orc choices) in terms of power and overall usefulness, and you'll probably be in the right.

TheBigBlueFrog wrote:
Familiars have movement and hit points, so they can act separately from their masters and be targets in combat. Even though they are Tiny, do they need a marker or mini on the map, or are they assumed to be in the same space as their masters?

I would rule that if a familiar is on a master that their bulk is added to the character's bulk. (Though they can share a square as normal, they don't move like normal.) This means if a character doesn't have much carrying capacity, he'll have penalties from their familiar being on their person.

Otherwise, yes, they are considered their own entities, though tiny creatures can share squares with other creatures.

Campbell wrote:

You should also be getting spell scrolls as treasure during your adventures and be able to acquire spells in downtime. You get the two for free, but your a wizard. Be resourceful.

Basically work with your GM.

Finding scrolls of spells that are above your level are basically non-existent due to the nature of item levels and expected treasure, so that's out of the bag. Finding scrolls of the same level is no problem, we've already come across 3-4 scrolls before we hit 3rd level that I've all scribed into my book.

Purchasing is an option, but the vendoring/coin treasure of this adventure (the first Hellknight Hill AP) has been pretty lackluster. I only have 14 gold to my person, and a 2nd level scroll is 12 gold, and this assumes I'm at a settlement to buy what I want (which I believe I can). But even if I can, that's over 80% of my wealth gone to a single scroll that can easily be wasted if I bomb the check.

Honestly, everyone's suggestion of heightening a lower level spell might be the best route. I got a couple spells that work well with a 2nd level heightening, so that's probably what I'll do. I honestly forgot all about that since I'm so used to spontaneous casters who can't get access to spells unless they're part of their spells known, and they have special heightening rules.

As the title.

As a specialist evocation wizard, I get 3 spell slots, 1 of which has to be of an Evocation trait, the other two being available to anything.

However, my contention is with how many spells I gain from acquiring a new level of spells. Do I really only ever get 2 per level period, which means that I am effectively required to have two copies of a given spell (probably the non-Evocation one) every time I get a spell level unless I scribe a scroll to learn new spells?

That seems...quite restricting. This means I need to have bought (or found) one of the next-level scrolls before getting access to that spell level, and in the official campaigns I've been in so far, I have been lucky to even find one or two scrolls of a given item, combined with them not being of the next level of spell available, which really really bites, especially when the wealth I've been getting thus far only just pays for said level 2 scroll of my choice.

Am I missing something or am I getting as shafted as I've described?

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

Sounds like a GM call to me.

Personally I'd say you can still do acting while grabbed but not when restrained, but I don't have rules support for that.

Can agree, and depends on how the player wishes to act.

If I find the acting involves some sort of manipulate trait, then that DC 5 flat check is coming out before you could say Inspire Courage. Similarly, being restrained means that if said person is trying to act involving manipulation, it flat out will not work and I'd have to disallow that action.

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I really blame the problem on mandatory magic items, such as weapons and armor. When a lot of your gold value expected by the game is tied into a powerful +2 greater striking flaming weapon, and by relation, a lot of your power is tied into that item, having that disarmed on a success on a BBEG trivializes the fight, even if they have to resort to some meager +1 striking weapon. Conversely, if I had a BBEG who specialized in disarm, that player would hate having his best weapon easily taken away from them and being forced to rely on that weak +1 striking weapon, which can just as easily be forced away, to rely on yet another weaker weapon, and then another, and then another until they either run out of weapons or get fed up and ragequit from the table.

It's a vicious cycle with no fair end in sight. If you make it too easy then it's a punishing tactic for manufactured weapon wielders. If you make it too hard, people won't actually try to use it (unless they're very desperate). In my opinion, this should be something tied in with both feats and proficiencies making the difference so that those who are good with them and sink the time into it are rewarded (fairly), while those who don't aren't at a complete disadvantage.

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The ShadowShackleton wrote:

So some of you are advocating that familiars should basically be just as powerful as animal companions in combat like the weasel above but also give you the benefits of a familiar?

I think the fact they aren’t is a feature, not a bug.

I don’t think they need to be a zombie and useless in exploration mode but I also don’t think they should replace a characters function by scouting to provide a +1, for example.

That familiar was one of the best things to happen in that campaign. It was hilarious when we he was suplexing and pinning goblins and biting them to death with his 1D4-2 damage, with said goblins not having much luck breaking out. He still worked as a safe method of delivering touch spells due to his obscene stealth score, and later on he did contribute a bit in combat like a martial did due to certain feats being available. The fact that it was fun and awesome to witness was what made that familiar so cool and great to have. And it didn't overshadow any of the party members, it served as a great contribution to the main goal of the party. It even got improved to an outsider-type creature with claw limbs and the ability to fly. (I think it was in Beastiary 6.)

Trying to bring said familiar into PF2 is actually akin to making it a zombie and useless at the same time. It doesn't get barding or benefit from item bonuses of any kind so it doesn't get automatically hit. Its ability to contribute in combat does not scale up beyond trained at-best. Its HP is worse than an 8 Constitution Elven Wizard with no way of improving it (because again, can't benefit from or use items, nor does it have any scores it bases its attributes on). And now behold the argument behind how useless a familiar in PF2 can be, which is "The familiar is only as cool as the GM makes it out to be," on a good day. On a bad day, the GM will absolutely dismiss it, or the rules themselves will make it beyond detrimental to the party.

I'm not asking for a familiar to be just as strong or useful as an animal companion, but asking for a familiar to be more than a spell battery for a spellcaster without actually crippling itself compared to other identical animals isn't unreasonable either.

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The ShadowShackleton wrote:

People may not like it but I believe Graystone is correct.

This doesn’t by any stretch make familiars useless so why the objection? Why the push to find a way to break the action economy?

I suspect this is coming about because people found a million loopholes to allow their familiars to be used out of proportion to their intent in PF1, and are bemoaning the loss of power that results from losing it.

In my opinion this is one of many good changes that help restore some sanity and balance to the game.

I can say that in PF1 we had a weasel familiar that was extremely powerful in the early stages of Rise of the Runelords. The damn thing was pinning goblins so we could beat them with clubs, for crying out loud! It was hilarious and awesome, and saw use all the way past 12th level. Combined with being able to wear armor and other trinkets, not to mention getting some basic feats, it proved itself useful in numerous combat situations that would have resulted in our downfall had this familiar not been a fair combatant in encounters.

Now? Familiars are warg dung. 5 HP per level flat is only slightly worse than an 8 Con Elven Wizard. They don't get ability bonuses to anything worthwhile, if at all, and generally use your trained proficiencies. They don't benefit from any items whatsoever. Their ability to affect encounters is absolutely horrid that they're basically a master-booster. Their AC, saves, and to-hit are crap too. You also only get 2 powers, or 4 if you take a feat (and more if you take the thesis, but it really sucks regardless), but unless the powers give you spells or cantrips or something (even the Spell Delivery is worthless because of Attacks of Opportunity and other Reactions, combined with easy-to-hit familiars = power that gets your familiar killed, with better abilities like Reach Spell available to you), the familiar powers are trash. On top of that, if you take a familiar choice (which is strangely open-ended, can I have a pseudodragon familiar, for example?), you have to select powers based on the familiar's base abilities before you can select anything else, meaning any of the "good" choices you may want to have are absolved because your familiar needs to continue being an animal of its type. Heck, animals with more than 2 abilities are actually majorly crippled compared to other animals of its kind! As an example, a bat needs to have Darkvision, Flight, and Speed just to function. So it's either actually blind as a bat, can't fly whatsoever, or is stupid slow compared to other bats. Congrats, my familiar is now considered physically handicapped compared to normal animals.

I might just name him Bartholomew the Blind-Eyed Bat. I'll hire a bard to make a song of his "saving the day," similar to a certain reindeer that was an Animal Companion to Santa Claus...

This would make for a good FAQ question, since it's not especially spelled out anywhere that I'm aware of.

IMO, you would probably use the worse of the two proficiencies.

Said Wizard might have been trained in CQC with his bare hands, but probably can't do so effectively with a whip in his hand.

Of course, a Human Wizard who took the unconventional weaponry ancestry feat could probably be trained in both and be effective at it.

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Pastiche wrote:

Do people already have experience with what the best way is to run published material (specifically Fall of Plaguestone) with a party consisting of only two people?

I don't want my players or myself to deal with the cognitive load of running helper PCs, and starting the PCs out at a higher level is probably not ideal either.

So, this means reducing the challenge of each encounter. If there are multiple enemies, reducing their number so that the XP budget fits is relatively straightforward. However, I'm a bit confused on what to do with fights against a single boss. I couldn't find a weakened template for PF2, nor how that would affect the XP of the boss.

Finally, would it be a good idea to give extra skills to my players, to make up for the smaller party composition? How many extra skills?

I'd consider giving them Gestalt benefits. Basically, they pick two classes, take the better progressions and trained skills, as well as access to features of both classes. I'd give them double the feats and skill increases as appropriate as well to keep them feeling pretty powerful, since action economy will be a big factor here.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean just asserting "this genetic group of sapient individuals is just plain inferior to this other group" is a troubling notion in our reality so it's not something we need to go to pains to reproduce in a fantasy land. We don't actually lose anything if we make goblins not wise because that's how people choose to build their goblins, rather than something which is inherent to their identity."

I'm personally going to adopt the house rule where "you can always choose to take 2 free boosts instead of what your ancestry would give you."

Except nobody is asserting the bolded part. We are asserting that some ancestries have a better inclination to excel at some areas and attributes over others, this much is true, but that's not a blanket superiority statement like you're implying. On top of that, it's genetics and evolution at work. It's why Half-Elves and Half-Orcs exist, among other hybrid races.

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Haladir wrote:

Another thing I like about my proposed change is that it opens up more storytelling potential by expanding design options. This gives players more flexibility with character builds. You can play a dwarf wizard, for example, without having to make a sub-optimal character mechanically.

Here's the article on D&D Beyond that crystalized how I'd been feeling about this:

The specific mechanical changes on that site are 5E-specific, but adapting the concept to PF2e seems easy.

And one thing to those above who admit that something might be racist but want to do it anway...

Take a moment to consider the implication of that position and ask yourself: Do you really want to do that?

You can still play a Dwarf Wizard and be optimal mechanically with no significant drawbacks, meaning that's an inept comparison. Maybe not so much for Sorcerers or Bards, but even with the drawbacks it's not a big deal because you're more often than not suffering penalties to things you don't really care about, meaning the additional flaws to get that 18 Charisma isn't the end of the world if you take the proper flaws. Even then, the game APs demonstrate that having only a 16 in your primary stat isn't the be-all end-all. If your complaint is having to do that, then quite frankly just change the voluntary flaw system to be a single penalty for a single boost and call it a day, because that's really all you need to do to fix that.

As for wanting to do that? I do. Some people actually take pride in some of the aspects demonstrated in the fantasy race writeups, and denying it because the general public doesn't see it as being PC is a copout, a bending to oppressive public opinion which is more often than not serving as some aggressive overcensoring just to appeal to some inane concept that, in my opinion, does more harm than good. A lot of players and GMs do play up the "Dwarves drink a lot" or "Elves are condescending" tropes, and more often than not, they do it because they like doing it, and I haven't really seen anyone be up in arms about the roleplaying being done in my groups or in any of the conventions I've gone to. And that's not even getting into the adventure path specifics, because yes, previous adventure paths have brought up some very touchy subjects that quite frankly wouldn't pass whatsoever in this PC era.

In my opinion, this is just a case of people worrying way too much about negative public opinion to the point of potentially denying historical implications. Remember that these supposed negative concepts are what helped get us to where we are today. Much like people hypothesizing what would have happened if the Titanic didn't sink, guessing what might have happened if things such as this weren't present may have resulted in this game being way different from what it is now, or even more drastic, not having existed at all.

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Igor Horvat wrote:
keftiu wrote:
People are in a hurry to defend this right up until racial Int modifiers exist. It's racist, and I like your easy fix, OP.

well, it isn't racist if it's true.

In most fantasy Elves, are described far superior to Men.

It is same thing to give elves bonus to intelligence or give humans penalty to intelligence,

but it looks nicer to give bonuses rather to give penalties.

but in a system that gives only bonuses to various things, not having a bonus IS a penalty that is very nicely packed into not having a bonus.

The problem I can see people raising with this is that it reinforces stereotypes, which a lot of people consider offensive as stereotypes have often been associated with race/ethnicity. While a legitimate concern, there are tools in the book to greatly help players avoid these issues (even if it means they might be weaker overall to compensate), so I'd think a more conservative fix would be to actually use the tools in the book instead of cry "Racist!," ridicule the origins of something which helped get them to where they are today, and create a houseruled subsystem that not everyone would know or actually care to follow in an attempt to be PC.

But honestly, Paizo has always built adventure paths and such so that the players don't have to be optimal. You can probably run around with 2 16's and 2 14's instead of 18/16/14/12 or what have you, and be fine. By this logic, flat checks are penalties to you because you don't get bonuses to them, which is just completely wrong because flat checks are meant to be arbitrary.

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Haladir wrote:

There has been a lot of talk recently in indie RPG/story-game circles about the mechanization of fantasy race-based stat adjustments. (E.g.All dwarves get +1 Con and Wis, and -1 Cha).

These impose a fantasy-racist stereotype on whole groups of people ("All Dwarves are wise and tough, but hard to get along with"), that's actually backed up by the rules.

And the more I think about it, the less goid I feel about it.

In my PF2e games, I am making the following change:

All Ancestries get the choice of two free boosts (like a human), or three free boosts and a flaw.

We can say that this stuff is bad/racist/unfair, and we'd probably be right.

But we would also be denying ourselves a very important (and very classical) part of what made (or makes) the game "the" game. Things like this helped tell stories like Lord of the Rings and other fantasy-based mediums; Tolkien, Dragonlance, and several others, either advertently or inadvertently, negatively or positively. I won't go so far as to say that it is a sole defining factor, but it certainly gave more soul to such series than if it weren't there at all.

I mean, there's a fine line between being "PC" about things so you look good in the eyes of the public and mistreating historical legacy which actually got you to the point you're at now, and this has been done amongst a lot of things in the recent years simply because it was, at one point, offensive to someone or something in the past, and they decide to drudge it up for some "noble" reason.

Granted, I'm of the opinion that historical legacy stops being okay when it's proven to be nothing but a pure detriment, there can be some great storytelling and experiences with this sort of thing. Can it instead turn into a sour experience? Sure. You always run that risk with, well, risque things. But a good storyteller does so in a way that doesn't leave a bad taste in your mouth, and instead makes you go "Wow, that was actually very good!"

In fact, a lot of (relatively) modern media has done this very same thing. They take things that are normally offensive in a general situation, put a spin on it through plot and character positioning, and make it appear as something totally okay for people to view/witness.

**EDIT** Had bad grammar in a couple spots. Fixed it.

Saldiven wrote:

These topics have amused me for years; they came up since the beginning of these forums.

If option A is mathematically the strongest, a vocal group will assert that options B-Z are all "garbage."

If one weapon build has a DPR of 10, and another has 8.5, the latter is "unusable."

This place needs eye-roll emojis.

This topic is not the same as that topic. This topic is bringing up the differences between simple and martial weapons (and why they should or shouldn't be separated as such), not the DPR olympics/optimization guides like you're implying.

Also, this is one of the few text mediums that doesn't have Hipster-Egyptian on it. If entries in Pathfinder start to be written as such, I will probably cease to buy and partake in these products and any future products they publish.

Corvo Spiritwind wrote:

How's the GMPC working out for you?

I'm wanting to run something like on discord. Any tips?

Haven't ran the game yet, but I will say that I'm actually fairly excited to see how it works out.

The GMPC is a Dwarven Monk with the Martial Disciple Background (Athletics chosen). He has 18 Strength, 16 Constitution, 14 Wisdom, and 12 Intelligence (can't benefit from Dexterity, so more skills and languages), with 10 Dexterity and 8 Charisma. He'll be taking Mountain Stance along with Dwarven Lore for Religion and Craft (haven't decided on the choice for this one), so he'll have 19 AC in-combat and have +7 to hit with D8+4 damage. Solid for an unarmed and unarmored character. Since he's frontline, if he dies no harm to the PCs other than maybe in future encounters where there's no longer a speed bump.

He's got training in Athletics (duh), Acrobatics, Medicine, Nature, Religion, Survival, Arcana, Society, and Crafting (Couldn't find a better use here, plus it's granted by the Dwarven Lore ancestry feat. As an aside, I'm surprised I can be trained in this many skills!) He has Common, Dwarven, and Jotun (AKA Giant) for languages. Poor choice for this AP, but fitting for the character.

At 2nd level, I'll be giving him Battle Medicine, as well as probably Cleric Dedication for the Shield and Divine Lance cantrips (giving him some ranged capability, as straying from the ground will deny him his stance). He'll also get training in Occultism and Stealth as a result. (Basically, he can aid in most checks, serving as support for the party, but really only excelling at Athletics and maybe some knowledge skills the party doesn't cover.)

At 3rd level, Athletics becomes Expert, he'll have the Fleet feat plus Incredible Movement (so he's not so damn slow!), plus have his attacks count as magical for damage reduction purposes. Nothing support-y here other than getting to party members (or enemies) much quicker.

If the players decide to proceed past this adventure, he'll have access to Powerful Leap and Basic Cleric Spellcasting.

TheGoofyGE3K wrote:

So i spent waaaay too much time trying to figure this out the other day.

3) Honestly, I would just use Milestone leveling, as it lines up so that each chapter is its own level, which is why it says Moderate 1 in the first section, then upgrades to severe 2 in the second chapter, and so on (Chapter 3 being level 3, with them being level 4 by the end if you have them level for the future)

2) Didnt check yet. Dont have it on me either.

1) Instead of buffing enemies, the Core rulebook seems to suggest adding more enemies over increasing the power of individuals. So like the first fight having an extra two mook wolves instead of another acidic wolf, even though both would be the same within the XP budget. the page in the core book that goes on about XP gives the recommendations I'm referring to (yet for some reason doesnt say how much XP to actually give a party upon success)

I can work with that. I just thought that the book would tell you this information like it did in previous APs, especially here since a lot of this content is optional, but I suppose doing it myself won't be the end of the world.

I have maps for the following places after going through the booklet from start to finish (put into spoilers):

Map Locations:
Spite's Cradle, the BBEG lair.
Mangy Pack, the first encounter
Old Shrine, for the Bloodseeker encounter
Rosemary Bushes, for the plant encounter
Trin's House, for the Boar encounter
Dead Willow, Hallod's Hideout
The Blighted Den for Part 2
Large Map of Etran's Folly

Out of all of those, I didn't see a single map for the Feedmill in it. I mean, I could adhoc it with what's (poorly) shown in the large map, but I'm more worried about NPC placement and organization so that I can make the mystery more interesting for the PCs (though they are more of a hack'n'slash group, they don't mind the occasional "puzzle"), as well as explain some of what is supposed to happen during the encounter. The book does help out a bit with providing a list of "rooms" in there, so I can compartmentalize the structure, but that's about all it does. No listed dimensions or anything.

That's what I was going to do, though my advice is more for what I should do with some of the powerful solo encounters (there are at least 2-3 from what I could tell). I could just leave them as-is, but I worry that the added PCs and action economy will slaughter them and provide less of a challenge in comparison. I could always add an additional "weak" creature, and assuming the PCs don't read the adventure (I have the only physical copy, so unless they buy it themselves or steal it from me, they aren't able to), it won't appear to change much.

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Wheldrake wrote:

If you create a DMPC, I strongly suggest you hand off the character sheet to the most experienced player and have him run it in addition to his own character.

Be sure that the DMPC is a passive character that doesn't come up with his own ideas and just goes along with the group.

Also be sure to treat him like a "red shirt". When the going gets tough, he'll be the first to die. That way you can also test out the rules for the dying condition. <g>

Everyone will be new-ish to the rules (they were in the playtest, but for them it's been months since they played it), so I would be hesitant to do that. Furthermore, the players wanted everyone to make a character, myself included, which is fine. I wanted to test out some of the new (and updated) options anyway, and a GMPC is a good way to do that.

Otherwise I'm well aware of this stuff; not the first time I made a GMPC, and if I'm with new players (or if I'm short on players), it won't be the last.

So this is going to be our first foray into the official PF2 rules (we have played the playtest before), and I'll be running this module so we can gauge how much has changed and if we like the changes or not, among other things.

Been reading through it, and while I like parts of it, I have several questions as to how to run it. **SPOILERS for those who are going to play this**

1. What sort of adjustments should I make for this? We'll have a fairly well-rounded group, relegating the GMPC to gruntwork (and assisted suicide by enemies if necessary) so the players can get a better gauge of playing. I can probably take the easier enemies and just increase the amount required to fight, but I worry about the stronger enemies being too weak as they are, but too strong if I buff them up to compensate.

2. Where is the map for the Feedmill? I can't seem to find it anywhere in the module book other than the giant map for Etran's Folly. There's maps for other smaller areas, but not this (which is probably the centerpoint of the whole AP), Is there one? If not, how would I construct it for the plot points to take place there? (AKA, if any of you guys have had to make one, how did you do it?)

3. Do the PCs ever level up from 1st level in this module? A cursory reading of several points in the book do not ever reference leveling up from what I've seen, outside of experience points, though I'd rather not have to add on another fiddly thing to track and just use the "PCs should be X level by this point in the story" gig previous APs have had. The back of the book only says 1st level, whereas the other module (Hellknight Hill, part of a much larger AP series) gives a level range of 1st-4th level, indicating that it goes up to higher levels. If not, would it be bad if I at least let them level up to 2nd at some point in the campaign so they can get a feel for how leveling up works?

prototype00 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Yeah, looks like the wording in bard and spellcasting isn't parallel. In terms of reconciling, spellcasting's version is probably easier to understand than the one in bard, but in that case that section should say it doesn't remove the concentrate trait from spells with verbal components; playing an instrument to create precise sounds requires at least as much concentration as speaking them does.

So just for clarification's sake, when a Focus replaces a spell component, whether verbal, somatic or material, it doesn't take away that specific components keywords (but I thought that was how it worked in this game, replace the x/replace the keywords)?


I think Mark is saying that normally, that is true, but the intent of the Bardic spellcasting isn't to circumvent the original traits of spells for this purpose, merely to replace what sort of actions are required for other restrictions. At least, for the purposes of Rage.

Let's take an example of the Silence spell. Party Bard is affected by it. He tries to sing (which is a Verbal component). Does the spell work? No, because sound doesn't take effect (which is key for the spell to work), which means the spell is lost. Let's take that same thing and use it with a lute. Bard affected by Silence tries to strum his lute to make the sound needed for his spell (which is now a Focus/Somatic component). Does it work? Again, no, because the lute is not making the appropriate sounds for the spell to take place. If it didn't matter what kind of sound the lute makes, then we'd have a case here.

In that sense, Bardic Spellcasting doesn't remove the requirements of the spells. Of course, for the above case, it might work with Dancing, which is purely visual and requires no sound to take place, but that is its own cornercase, and it can easily be argued that dancing in a certain way (for the purposes of executing a spell) likewise requires its own concentration, and therefore would still be disallowed for Barbarian Rage.

I do say that this would make for an important FAQ for the game, since it doesn't clearly spell this out, but to me I can understand where the developers are coming from and agree with their assessment (even if it means PF1 Skald is no longer a thing).

Valiant wrote:

Anyone else having the feeling of:

"Oh, so paizo decided that a Goblin should be an alchemist. So, everybody and their grandmother who plays a Goblin will roll an alchemist. I don't want that." ?

(insert every other iconic character in there for reference..)

And as such you are looking for anything -but- creating your own character that is a copy of an iconic?

As a GM, I am actually taking this opportunity to make a GMPC (yes, players approved) with a Dwarven Monk. He goes by the name of Ulgrad Stoneridge, as I wanted to test out how the Mountain Style works (hint, it's not conducive to Fighter dedication so you can pull off cool unarmed combat feats, you'd have to take Crane Style and build some Dexterity to do that). Other characters I know of so far are Goblin Rogue (taking the Half-Elf heritage choice which I approved), Elven Wizard, (I think) a Human Cleric, and a Gnome Bard.

There are so many possibilities for character creation (though I personally don't think so for powergaming reasons, that's not a factor here though) that shy away from the iconics that the odds of people wanting to play the iconics with characters they design themselves are very slim. In fact, if people wanted to play the iconics, wouldn't they just say so?

I just think you're buying into the "Flavor of the Month" concept a little too much. Just because they're new doesn't really mean that everyone and their grandma will play them. I honestly don't care for Alchemist as a class (never did since PF1), and Goblins were a niche choice in PF1, and are full of shenanigans in PF2. The odds of me making a Goblin are decent since they are a fairly strong race, even if full of shenanigans. The odds of me making an Alchemist are slim to none, since I don't like the class and they're still pretty sub-par from posts I've seen. Others might feel differently, but I imagine they are more for playing a character (and as such may just wind up with the iconic anyway) than they are for playing a number sheet like myself.

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Xenocrat wrote:
Really weird that the classes that can use spells to go invisible, heal people, wall enemies away, provide defenses, heal, transport people, and a lot of other things can't also damage people as well as classes who mainly focus on damaging people.

Invisibility isn't the greatest when you can't capitalize on it, and there are ways to counter it. Great for escape, but that's it. Not a way to vanquish enemies without damage power to back it up.

Healing people is solid, but not everyone enjoys playing healers, and there are more non-caster ways to heal these days compared to the previous edition that can potentially compare (as well as stack). Certainly an area that spellcasters shine, but again, it's healing.

The walls used to last a long time and were pretty powerful. Now a minute might be enough with a party, but solo it's basically a variant of the invisibility get-away tactic. On top of that, at the levels you're getting this stuff, it will become countered within a round, tops. Making enemy spellcasters waste their stuff is about the best these things are for.

Most buff spells are now personal or are very weak or are blocked by rarity. Some staples are still strong (such as Haste), but are nowhere near as powerful as they used to be, and are much more plentiful later on in the game.

You listed heal twice. Chalking it up to fun shenanigans.

Teleport is blocked off by rarity plus has poor cast time now. Dimension Door is (like most other spells) self only and screws people over unless you're using evasion tactics. It otherwise costs somewhat precious spell slots to use effectively, and doesn't last all day long compared to martials.

Spellcasters not doing as much damage as martials is fine. Spellcasters lagging behind so bad that they might as well just be utility bots instead of standalone combatants is just a slightly better inversion of the Caster/Martial disparity from 1E.

There's also classes (like Rogue) who don't specialize in damaging people, but in other aspects of the game, like Skills.

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Matthew Downie wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
So, if I decided to make the baseline to be just level, with Legendary being Level + 6, would the game still run the same as it does before, just a bit less fiddly math in the way?
Having to remember to subtract 2 from a bunch of numbers seems more fiddly to me.

Changing anything from the baseline seems more fiddly because of the elementary nature of changing things by adding steps to something that is supposed to be considered a complete vacuum. By that logic changing anything is fiddly and in correlation pointless to do.

Thanks for ruining homebrew for me.

Shahnaz wrote:

Lost the multiple Lay on Hands per fights to a single Devotion spell per 10 minutes until lvl 6.

Lost the upgraded damage on martial weapons from Deific Weapon (Now only affects simple weapons).
Lost the ''Heal spell' via lvl4 feat.
CHA seems really useless now.

Did I miss something?

Just means Champions can't be their own self-sustaining healers anymore (without further investment).

Deific Weapon was never really useful even in playtest. The only simple weapons are available to non-good deities, in which case Champions were not affected by this feature at all, it's still honestly a dead feature.

This was done because people could go multiclass Paladin to get Cleric-level healing, which Paizo clearly didn't like (I didn't either).

Charisma was made useless due to the overly negative response of Resonance as a game feature, which was now replaced with a more arbitrary restriction. Champions were plenty multiple-attribute-dependent compared to other classes as it was. Now they aren't as thinly-spread, which is kind of a good thing.

Their class feats are still very restrictive and lackluster though. Seriously, their 1st level choice is between either garbage domain powers or "empowering" their reaction (which most people didn't like anyway, but is now basically required to function with the class). I'd prefer a 1st level General feat choice over their class options.

shroudb wrote:

well, for sure you'd have to reduce DCs, Acs and Saves by 2 as well.

but i think the biggest issue (and probably why it starts at +2) is low levels.

without the +2, untrained and trained in 1 st level is just a +1 differance, something that probably will be tramped by stat differences as well.

while as RAW, the differance from untrained to trained in 1st level is +3

Well, if monsters use the same proficiency rules, then that's a non-issue. (If not, then I suppose that's a problem, though why they don't use the same proficiency rules is beyond me.) I'd be more concerned with non-proficiency DCs, such as those required by traps and other arbitrary checks, which don't have the proficiency rules baked in, but again, if monsters don't do that, then it might be more work than just leaving it in. (Hence the question.)

Numerically, it's not that big of a difference, but I'd think bigger cutoffs would be what you can do with trained skills versus untrained skills as far as starting out is concerned. This is most notable with skills like Thievery or any of the major knowledge skills. Even Athletics with disarming can come into play if you're facing an enemy with a fearsome weapon. And by the time being trained in those skills when you weren't before becomes a thing, the numerical difference will still be significant. As for modifiers trumping trained skills, that's fine in the low levels. In lower levels, people aren't as skilled or trained compared to a more seasoned adventurer, which means natural talent can certainly supersede initial training. In the higher levels, the modifier ceases to be a significant factor compared to training, which I believe is the intent of the rules as they stand, in which case the +2 really only inflates that concept.

As the title.

I reviewed the proficiency scaling, and I thought it was strange that the baseline is now Level + 2, with it scaling up to Level + 8. I don't mind the scaling so much, but the baseline I feel will confuse players and might make them add things when they shouldn't. Or I might get players who ask "Why do we add +2 when we're trained," to which the only valid response I have is "The Devs wanted it that way."

Conversely, this might have been done to either make players feel more empowered (which is a false equivalency since other rules elements use this too) or to make the baseline more powerful (which shouldn't matter when I feel it would all have the same impact as before, just less math).

So, if I decided to make the baseline to be just level, with Legendary being Level + 6, would the game still run the same as it does before, just a bit less fiddly math in the way? (I might have to reduce non-proficiency DCs by 2 to compensate, but that's something easy for me as a GM to do compared to wondering why players have different results on the same roll.)

Getting things back on topic from the "copied 5E" shenanigans going on, there is also the multiclass archetype way of combining things, where you can get up to 6th level spells with Expert spellcasting by investing 3 feats (as well as some skill training).

Granted, you might be able to do something better for your own class with those 3 feats, but the option to be the 6th level spellcasting or what have you is still there if you want more spellcasting, and it's honestly not a bad idea depending on what you multiclass into.

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Wheeee free homebrew content!

6th Level Feat
Requirements: Power Attack, Sudden Charge
When using Sudden Charge, you may spend an additional action to gain the enhancement effect of Power Attack.

I'm sorry for your misfortunes, but I'm likewise not surprised. Whenever we've wanted to sign up for events, almost every Pathfinder and D&D 5E event was sold out well before we had a chance to look at them, so this isn't news to me.

However, to add on to that, our group won't be able to make it to Gencon this year either, both due to financial as well as commitment issues. (A new vehicle is not cheap or easy to recover from.)

That being said, I have been playing the Playtest with our group for a while now, even after it's ended, and it's been a blast being on both ends of the screen. Between psyching players out with the threat of Attacks of Opportunity (among other reactions), as well as creating and acquiring new powers as a character (a Sorcerer with a Golden Dragon Head staff which can spout a cone of flame ranging from 15 to 60 feet based on the quality of staff via spending Resonance, with a 50% effectiveness if used again within a minute).

Even if we can't be there for an event, I'm looking forward to opening a great new chapter in the realm of fantasy when we purchase the updated and revised Core Rulebook for Pathfinder 2.0.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Narxiso wrote:
After playing the playtest for a bit, I have found that not being able to draw two weapons with a dual wielding specialized character (Rogue) really hampers the first round (and often the second). Did I miss something about drawing two weapons, or is it possible to add in a feat for drawing two weapons?

Per the rules, you must spend an action for each weapon you wish to draw. Wasting 2 actions on the first round of combat just to properly participate in combat is pretty bad and clunky design, something that I feel is an oversight on the developers' part.

Quandary does offer something that can help mitigate this, but Quick Draw is at-best a band-aid and at-worst a waste of time since you can only use Quick Draw when you're in a position to attack, and it actually wouldn't work if you wished to use feats like Double Slice or Twin Takedown, which aren't available to the Rogue starting out anyway.

Then again, most adventures I've been a part of thus far have had us with our weapons out anyway, so I haven't felt the worst of consequences, but I imagine if you're in an unexpected encounter (such as being attacked while sleeping), or if you regain consciousness from the Dying condition, that you would have major struggle to initiate (or maintain) combat participation effectively.

Hopefully with the new rules they'll have it fixed.

Why would you need to draw a weapon if you aren't in a position to attack? Why is it an issue that quick draw doesn't work with Double Slice if rogues don't get it? Also, it works fine with Twin Takedown. Quick draw >quick draw > Twin Takedown is the same number of attacks at the same bonuses. It may wind up getting broken up across two turns if you need to move or hunt target, but it still keeps offensive momentum going.

So you don't waste precious in-combat actions doing so. I said it was clunky, and this is precisely the reason why.

It's an issue because this creates a major disconnect with fluid and flexible multiclassing. It's the "Vital Strike doesn't work with anything" issue we had back in PF1, except now it's with drawing weapons instead of specific action types, which is problematic when the game is supposed to be simple and effective. And now I have feats which require multiclassing to acquire that I can't use because of separate mechanics being extremely clunky. And I'm not the only one who's made this claim; there's actually a player right now in our group who dislikes having to spend actions drawing weapons when most trained individuals can do so at the drop of a hat without any special effort required.

This assumes you're already toe-to-toe with the enemy. In every combat I've been in, that never happens except when it's not in your favor, as well as having a target previously hunted (Twin Takedown only works on a Hunted Target), meaning staying and fighting is probably the worst thing you can do in that moment.

Following the "combats last 3 turns" ordeal like it has been in PF1, you're spending 2/3 of your combat just setting up to do your schtick. That's bad design. If you're lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you view it), you might get more if combats last longer, but more often than not, those added rounds may very well be because you had to waste 2 rounds just to properly participate in combat. Which is again, bad design.

Narxiso wrote:
After playing the playtest for a bit, I have found that not being able to draw two weapons with a dual wielding specialized character (Rogue) really hampers the first round (and often the second). Did I miss something about drawing two weapons, or is it possible to add in a feat for drawing two weapons?

Per the rules, you must spend an action for each weapon you wish to draw. Wasting 2 actions on the first round of combat just to properly participate in combat is pretty bad and clunky design, something that I feel is an oversight on the developers' part.

Quandary does offer something that can help mitigate this, but Quick Draw is at-best a band-aid and at-worst a waste of time since you can only use Quick Draw when you're in a position to attack, and it actually wouldn't work if you wished to use feats like Double Slice or Twin Takedown, which aren't available to the Rogue starting out anyway.

Then again, most adventures I've been a part of thus far have had us with our weapons out anyway, so I haven't felt the worst of consequences, but I imagine if you're in an unexpected encounter (such as being attacked while sleeping), or if you regain consciousness from the Dying condition, that you would have major struggle to initiate (or maintain) combat participation effectively.

Hopefully with the new rules they'll have it fixed.

Claxon wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Rage should be a meaningful combat tactic, but that doesn't mean you should drop out of every 3 turns (on average).

I understand that they were shooting for "the unpredictable fury of rage" type deal. But what it honestly leaves is just a sour mechanic that makes me shy away from the barbarian class in PF2. Barbarian and Inquisitor are my two favorite classes in PF1. Barbarian is a class I probably wont play in PF2 (if I play PF2 at all).

The barbarian requires rage to maintain effectiveness in combat relative to other martial classes. It really sucks to suck every 18 seconds.

No, but it does mean that you need to watch when and where you rage, and what you're raging for, which is where the "meaningful choice" aspect of Rage comes into place. This isn't (and shouldn't be) a matter of "Oh, there's a combat, guess I'm going to rage because it's a combat!" That's PF1 tactics and paradigm, which is what they're getting away from.

If that's the case then I'll go ahead and consider the barbarian a dead class that doesn't exist, because that's exactly what the barbarian should be in my opinion. The barbarian should be raging every combat as much as they possibly can. In fact, all of their abilities are based on raging (as far as I recall). So not raging just means you're a really s##$ty martial character.

Then why make Rage a temporary benefit if we're expected to have it always going? The Barbarian should just always have rage going 24/7 with no drawback or issues whatsoever. Your expectations of PF1 are clouding what the original intent of Rage was meant to be, a powerful but fleeting and risky boost in strength. I'm not saying Rage is a perfect mechanic as it stands, I just think a major paradigm shift like what you're suggesting isn't an appropriate way to make Rage a fitting mechanic.

A permanent damage bonus with AC penalty doesn't really make the Barbarian a "not crappy" martial character, especially when we consider that the rage power feats are largely junk or not worth the price, and that there are several non-rage feats that are very solid choices. Sudden Charge and Whirlwind Attack come to mind, and multiclassing Fighter for Attacks of Opportunity as well as Power Attack makes for a solid frontliner whose rage is merely an optional boost instead of some mandatory requirement for combat.

Lightning Raven wrote:

I don't understand why go for a flat check instead of going for something Constitution-related. It's more flavorful and it can be used as a trade-off. Some people would want to invest more in CON and less in STR/DEX to have longer rages, while others would go for the burst damage. This could mean a small difference in earlier levels, but as they go on, the gap would increase and making it an ever significant increase and reward.

After all, they wanted to eliminate rocket-tag and this translates into longer fights, specially late-game, so a Barbarian with investment CON would either not worry at all about it running out or having significant chance of extending it way past over the threshold of those the trade-off for damage and AC.

But one thing is for certain. It may be a balanced mechanic to have rage lasting 3 rounds... But I'm sure it makes Barbarians lame fighters in-world. In PF2e, not only they are just glorified thugs with a magical stick doing all the work, but they also have minor tantrums that randomly ending. It's not looking good for martial classes and Barbarians if heavy changes in this department don't come with the final release.

I personally rule that a Barbarian's flat check is reduced by his level + his Constitution modifier. So a level 1 Barbarian with a 16 Constitution only has to make a DC 1 flat check on his 2nd round, whereas a Level 20 Barbarian with a +5 Constitution only has to make a DC 5 flat check on his 6th round of Rage.

The biggest reason why they don't do this is because of sticking to simplicity, but IMO it's not really that difficult.

Claxon wrote:

Rage should be a meaningful combat tactic, but that doesn't mean you should drop out of every 3 turns (on average).

I understand that they were shooting for "the unpredictable fury of rage" type deal. But what it honestly leaves is just a sour mechanic that makes me shy away from the barbarian class in PF2. Barbarian and Inquisitor are my two favorite classes in PF1. Barbarian is a class I probably wont play in PF2 (if I play PF2 at all).

The barbarian requires rage to maintain effectiveness in combat relative to other martial classes. It really sucks to suck every 18 seconds.

No, but it does mean that you need to watch when and where you rage, and what you're raging for, which is where the "meaningful choice" aspect of Rage comes into place. This isn't (and shouldn't be) a matter of "Oh, there's a combat, guess I'm going to rage because it's a combat!" That's PF1 tactics and paradigm, which is what they're getting away from.

The fact that players now have to question whether now is the time or not to rage is, in my opinion, a great place for the mechanic to be. Do I plan my attack for when the Dragon decides to swoop down and try to kill the Wizard, or do I want to rage and take the fight to the Dragon? Compare that to PF1's "RAGELANCEPOUNCEDEADGG." That's not really fun or meaningful gameplay. Being a default or automatic option really just meant that the effects should've just been active 24/7 for all intents and purposes.

I also would like to point out that Rage being required for Barbarians to maintain combat effectiveness is outright false if you actually consider the mechanics of the ability. All it does is make you deal increased damage (minorly, I might add) in exchange for a reduced defense that will eventually come to bite you in the ass if you don't make it count. Rage Powers might be a significant requirement, but when you consider that most every totem choice currently does jack squat in terms of rage powers (Spirit Totem, I'm looking at you), it's not the end of the world if you don't have Rage going. Some auxiliary benefits of Rage are certainly still nice, like the ability to change your damage type, as well as have different options, but in my opinion this is a designer failure because it was basically putting an orange in an apple orchard.

Claxon wrote:

I really really really hate the barbarian rage mechanics of PF2.

I know they're trying to simplify things by limiting powers which have duration measured in rounds or times per day, but it just doesn't feel right to me.

The whole dropping out of rage thing once or twice per battle just doesn't fit with how I imagine barbarians.

Well, it's not just a matter of simplification. Rage is meant to have a meaningful limitation of how long that person can be so empowered before they just lose their energy and fail. After all, rage rounds and general "drawbacks" stopped mattering after level 3 or 4 in PF1, and even then you could take Extra Rage feats to extremely enhance the amount of time you spent raging if you decided to multiclass Barbarian (or get some other form of Barbarian goodies).

If it's not "right" for Rage to be a meaningful combat tactic, then the Barbarian is on shaky ground as it is and needs a new niche to fill besides having anger management problems.

Garfaulk Sharpstone wrote:
On the 4th round, when they drop to fatigued, do they also drop their animal aspects? Would be odd for, say, a werewolf to turn back to a human every 18 seconds while attacking things, but I'm curious if there's anyhting official in there about it (alas, not home to check. Just wondering)

Keep in mind that a werewolf is more of an involuntary curse, and there are rules for it in the Werewolf beastiary entry. I'm not saying you can't flavor the Beast Totem effects to function like lycanthropy, but remember that it's more of a calling upon their powers temporarily, and as such shouldn't be treated the same as having a more permanent "illness."

That being said, if this is pre-1.6 rules, then yes. Barbarians would only ever benefit from Rage effects for 18 seconds at a time period. With 1.6 in place, it can be as little as 12 seconds, or even as high as 30 seconds, depending on your flat check results. More often than not, though, it will average to the same 18 seconds, but with some lucky bursts of 24-30 seconds (or unlucky shortness of 12 seconds in some cases).

In my opinion, I would rule that the flat check DCs a Barbarian makes with rage is reduced by an amount equal to their level. That is, a level 20 Barbarian would have to make a flat check of 10 if the Flat check DC is increased to a total of 30, as in the higher levels, combats take longer since the scaling of HP and healing is stronger than the damage dealt per target, and it doesn't make sense for a Barbarian who is more experienced to not be able to rage longer more often than not, than a Barbarian who is lower level.

RazarTuk wrote:

Remove TAC. That's it. If you were to remove TAC as a mechanic, I think heavy armor would have enough of a trade-off associated with it to be a viable option. But to explain why, I need to start with a brief history lesson on why TAC is a thing.

Way back in war gaming days, your battleship might be described as having 1st class armor, 2nd class armor, 3rd class armor, etc. This is the origin of the term "armor class" and why it was decreasing in AD&D. When porting this concept over to a pseudo-Medieval fantasy setting, Gygax and co. made a list of armor types and ranked them. For example, wearing full plate and carrying a shield was 1st class, wearing full plate without a shield or wearing half plate with one was 2nd class, and wearing half plate without one was 3rd class. Dexterity did affect your AC, but at least in AD&D 1e, it did nothing from 7-14, and changed your AC by 1 point for every point of Dex up or down. (E.g. 15 Dex was -1 AC and 16 Dex was -2) Thus, and this is slightly speculative, going into 3e, the assumption was that the bulk of your AC would come from armor. This will be important in a second.

See, while all this was happening, they were shifting how attack rolls worked. First it was Class x Level x AC tables. Then it was THAC0, which let you generate the entire row for Class x Level with a single value. And eventually, in 3e, they had the idea to simplify attack rolls into the 3.PF BAB+Str/Dex mechanic. But that led to a bit of a problem. Wizards had low BAB so they wouldn't be good with weapons, but that also meant they had a hard time landing spells. Thus, the solution was to create a new type of AC- touch AC- for wizards to target. And- and this is the speculative part- since armor was the main source of AC, wizards could just ignore it.

This, of course, led to a feedback loop. Because armor no longer applied to all of your defenses, it was more useful to invest in Dex and wear lighter armor. But because people weren't wearing armor, wizards had trouble...

I just think that Heavy Armor should actually grant more of a raw armor bonus (even just 2 higher is a solid start), but have that TAC weakness, which both better fits how it functioned in PF1, but also gives Heavy Armor a better niche identity of "This is the hardest stuff to hit normally, so use alternative tactics to beat this guy" and since monster rules are basically "Make whatever numbers you want your monsters to have," it doesn't affect enemies in any meaningful way that it already hasn't before.

There is already a "rule" mentioned in one of their previous streams that determines how much heavier armor hampers you if you have a certain amount of Strength; that is, the stronger you are, the less the armor reduces your movement. Which is awesome, and gives Strength a better niche identity. I have no clue as to how that scales, and if it persists in the final version we'll have those numbers so I have a better understanding as to how it works, but the concept seems solid to me.

And while Light Armor being less likely (if not impossible) to be Legendary proficiency in serves as somewhat of a problem, I do think it should be less available compared to the Heavier proficiences. I'm not saying it shouldn't exist, but that characters like Fighters and Paladins with their own armor proficiency scaling with whatever tier of armor they prefer would be nice, compared to other classes like Rogues and Barbarians and Rangers who shouldn't based on their current proficiency scalings. Archetypes (assuming they function as changing the base packages of classes instead of being another form of Dedication feats) can fix the concept of "X class can never be Y tier of Z proficiency."

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