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RPG Superstar 8 Season Star Voter. Organized Play Member. 19,271 posts (19,489 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character. 4 aliases.


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Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
If I were in Paizo's shoes, I would want people to post about things that they think don't work, and to keep posting about them. It would be really arrogant of Paizo to believe the whole Recall thing can't be improved.

I don't think this is Paizo's attitude at all. With any of their rules. But, in terms of the actual rules, things like this still just aren't going to change.

The game is out, with the Recall Knowledge rules as they are. Changing them would go a fair bit beyond the general scope of errata Paizo releases. For that reason, they're not gonna be changed. The designers at Paizo may, or may not, believe that all sorts of things in PF2, including this, were mistakes...but we're past the point where most of them can be realistically changed even if they think it is, so trying to get them to do so is not especially useful. They don't do the sort of thing you're asking for, so, like ordering a steak at a Chinese restaurant, it's just not gonna happen.

Which is a large part of why I suggested going to the Organized Play forum (and thus team) and suggesting they provide more guidelines on Recall Knowledge. Because they do that sort of thing when a rule is too subject to table variation (as this one probably is). It's a strategy that might actually work to get you the guidelines you seem to want, whereas complaining about the base rules never will.

Liberty's Edge

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Albatoonoe wrote:
There is some webfiction in the lead up to Wrath of the Righteous that involved a Human Paladin that was involved with her gone companion. Like, it is not so weird of a thing.

This couple also starred in a Pathfinder Tales novel, specifically Gears of Faith, by Gabrielle Harbowy.

And yeah, nobody seemed remotely surprised by those two being married, so human/gnome relationships are apparently pretty normal. Not necessarily common, but not super weird either.

Liberty's Edge

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Doubling Rings actually solve the issue of underpowered backup weapons, assuming your main weapon is one-handed. They're a potentially good investment even for people who don't two-weapon fight.

For special material weapons, you need one of the right grade, but it's still solid.

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
Again, you're conflating PC knowledge with player knowledge and arbiitrarily deciding that the nature of the PC knowledge can't be translated to numbers for the players. General knowledge can be very specific and precise. I am not a mechanics and I know exactly how many cylinders most cars have and I can probably tell you their aprox CC displacement. There's no reason why PCs wouldn't have general knowledge that's precise or lets them operate with precision.

How many cylinders a car has is not really equivalent to 'exact maximum speed of this specific car, not knowing anything about how it's been maintained, what custom mods have been installed, or anything else but the model', though.

The latter is the kind of info you'd need for the equivalent of precise numbers. And that's with machines, which are much easier to codify in that way than a living being.

N N 959 wrote:
Athletes and other trained professionals absolutely make "impossible" calculations based on their intuitive understanding. And there's nothing impossible about the precision the numbers bring. Humans are capable of far greater precision than the 5% increments you get from a d20. Again, you're conflating PC knowledge with player knowledge. A person may not think "65%" but they intuitively know what the comparative difficulty is between many options or the comparative strength or value between various things. Just because someone doesn't formalize a number doesn't mean that aren't operating with the level of precision that exceeds a d20.

In a fight? No they're really not. Fights are enormously confusing and chaotic and knowing odds with anything like that level of clarity is basically impossible.

More structured contests? Sure, you can know those odds much more easily, at least potentially, but those are usually covered by specific DCs, which is something players already get to know in PF2.

N N 959 wrote:
Honestly, go watch World Series of Poker. The professional players can tell you to the decimal place the odds of a player having certain hands based on what's been played, or they can tell you the odds of winning a hand based on what they have. They do this in their head, real time, as they play the game.

Poker is a math game with very specific percentage possibilities for every hand. Of course professionals know what those percentages are.

MMA fighting would be a better comparison for the kind of things we're talking here, and MMA fighter absolutely do not have that kind of precise percentage based knowledge of their chances against each other, because they can't, there are just so many more variables in a fight than a hand of poker.

N N 959 wrote:
Based on what? Carpenters have all kinds of intuitive knowledge on how to brace things or support beams or whatever. They aren't using equations, but if they were being translated to a game, that knowledge would represent actual confidence intervals much more precise than low/medium/high.

Sure, but that's the sort of thing that would be a static DC in PF2, which is to say something that the rules already indicate you know the chance of. Fighting something is a much more volatile process and much harder to gauge specific odds of success in.

N N 959 wrote:

Sure we're not going to 100% agree on what can be known and to what degree. I think it also depends on what we are talking about.

Since this isn't really about you doing it wrong, or me trying to convince you to change your style, I'll cut this short and say my point is that SOME of the Recall checks would involve numbers as opposed to NONE of it involving numbers. Or rather that it can't involve sharing a number. I'm not saying that every check has to involve a number, I'm saying that Paizo specifically allowing or advocating the use of numbers would provide consistent benefit when there is no other special information.

I mean, I already said that I thought specific numbers would be fine under some circumstances (specifically, level of spellcasting, or other stuff on a critical success). As for Paizo saying this...I mean, I'd be fine with it, but this kind of forum discussion doesn't seem likely to effect their actual policies in that regard one way or the other.

N N 959 wrote:

This is all PFS, so random GMs and random players and no default playing style. I went back and actually searched the data:

4 different scenarios
12 combat encounters
400+ actions.

ZERO Recall Knowledge checks as an action. Zero.

Interesting. That's still a pretty small sample size, but it's indicative of a real problem. Possibly one restricted to PFS (where they're worried about table variation in how useful it'll be), but a real one nonetheless.

I'd suggest going on the PFS forum specifically and suggesting official guidelines for that game on the kind of info you get. That's a reasonable suggestion that the people on the Organized Play team might listen to, while the design team for the core game are more likely to stick with 'that's up to the GM'.

N N 959 wrote:
Only one of the scenarios has involved an Investigator, and he didn't always succeed at Recall checks. Nevertheless, no one attempts to make a check. No one. I would say 98% of the PFS1 battles I've been in involved someone using Recall K, unless it was some common humanoid.

Yeah, it's a definite drop in number of encounters using it. This extreme a drop may be an outlier, though. I've certainly seen groups use Recall Knowledge in games I've both run and witnessed. I think the problem might have more to do with the intersection of PF2 and PFS than PF2 in general, as I note above.

N N 959 wrote:
Most Rangers I've played with don't have MH and evne if they did, that likelihood it would succeed is "low". So no one is relying on a low level Ranger to make a check. And playing a Ranger with MH, when I have succeeded, the information has been worthless. As Mathmuse pointed out, it was info that twas already obvious from actual combat. I can already see a creature has Resistance 5 as soon as I hit it.

I mean, knowing how to get through Resistance is useful, and not generally provided by just hitting it. That doesn't mean more guidelines for PFS wouldn't be good, but there is some incentive already.

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
Again, thank you for the response. Also, please don't read my response as accusing you of doing any of these things. I'm speaking to a general "you".

Understood.

N N 959 wrote:
Whether that's true or not, isn't something we'll find in the rulebooks. However, it's clear that Recall checks don't require experience with the creature, but can rely just on specific knowledge in an area

Yes. That's rather my point in many ways. Recall Knowledge is based on your general knowledge of the field in question, so it doesn't necessarily involve personal experience, and thus I find it unrealistic if it's too overly specific, as numbers are.

N N 959 wrote:
This translates to someone who knows how to craft, being able to discern things about a construct.

Indeed. But that doesn't mean they can do so with the kind of impossible precision numbers indicate. There are no indications that their knowledge allows them to calculate "I have exactly a 65% chance of damaging that golem if I attack."

That's way more specific than an understanding of golems and how they work would provide.

N N 959 wrote:
If by "first hand knowledge, you mean experience directly with the monster, sure. But in PF2, Paizo has opened the door for direct and specific knowledge in different areas to provide a basis for Recall on monsters. So Crafting can provide knowledge on the poisons a creature might have and that would have to be based on actual knowledge about poisons. So I would have to disagree that lack of direct monster experience mandates the knowledge is less precise for the PC. And again, PC precision is not the same as player precision.

Sure, but none of this, at least to me, justifies knowing the precise percentage chance of X vs. a specific monster. It justifies knowing some stuff, but in that much detail? I really don't think so.

N N 959 wrote:

Exactly.

While it may be different at some level, it still is a Recall check on a monster that should provide useful and actionable information. Saying "this creature is Acrobatic" doesn't convey anything. Even saying the creature is "Trained, Expert, etc" may be of no use. However, saying "based on your own abilities, you suspect the modifier to be equal to yours, one or two higher/lower" Is no in the ballpark of useful. Saying "it's modifier is +10" is useful if you're asking about its Acrobatic ability using Acrobatics.

Saying 'it's better than you by a fair bit' or 'it's right around as good as you' is, in fact pretty useful and detailed information, and is exactly the sort of thing I'd provide. You don't need to give specific numbers to impart useful information.

N N 959 wrote:
The point I'm trying to make is that the number is how you translate it to the player. The probability of hitting someone isn't 1d20+X, in real life. But that's the scale the game uses and sharing the modifier tells us the likelihood, something the PC would be intuitively be aware of, but can only be conveyed to the player via the game's metrics. Again, there's this pervasive attitude that if the PC doesn't think of it in numbers, then the player can't have numbers.

And I think knowing the precise percentage chance you succeed at X, which is exactly what giving specific numbers represents, is a level of specificity well beyond what Recall Knowledge should generally provide.

I have no objection to PCs knowing numbers when they actually do have a good reason to know their exact percentage chance of success (many static DCs fall under this heading, as does the PCs fighting each other, or fighting another example of a creature they just fought)...but knowing that level of detail from a Recall Knowledge check is pretty absurd.

I mean, think about it. Do you know your exact chances of hitting Mike Tyson in a boxing match? Or of him knocking you out? I'll bet not even if you're a boxer and have seen him box. Recall Knowledge is a lot less info than watching a full boxing match and yet you expect it to provide more precise analysis? That makes no sense to me.

N N 959 wrote:

I think you're nitpicking examples. Whether its Ramos or ruffians from the Lake District, or whatever, there would be standards in Golarion that people would use. The rules aren't going to be able to delineate every aspect of life and knowledge for PCs. We assume they know how to cook, how to tel what time of day it is, and whether they know the amount of warm clothing to suffice during the winter, despite not having a thermometer. All this is done without any digital information.

And plate mail provides the same comparative benefit for anyone. The fact that the actual AC differs depending on who is wearing it is a construct of proficiency, and has no bearing on the properties of the material itself. An encyclopedia might say a "5th level fighter with Common agility wearing Chainmail." Or something much briefer that conveys the same information to the PC.

I'm not nitpicking, I'm pointing out that just about every example I can think of has the same issue, which is that it's not actually standardized or specific in any real way.

Sure, you can say 'skin as tough as plate mail', but the way to convey that info to players in a believable fashion is 'high AC for its level', not a specific number. In-universe, people don't talk about, or even have a direct conception of, 'being 5th level' as a thing distinct from 'being 6th level'. They know rough bands of power, sure, but it's not that precise and thus cannot be used for in-universe comparisons, which are what Recall Knowledge gives you,

N N 959 wrote:
Just because the game doesn't provide it doesn't mean it wouldn't arise naturally in a society that has existed for eons, especially when their lives depend on it. Native people in the arctic have lost of different ways to describe snow. This is undoubtedly very precise and specific information and learned by children. If it were a game, you'd probably need to give players numbers to convey the actual benefit to the PC.

No culture in the real world has ever had standardized terminology like this for the combat prowess of people or creatures, and many have been every bit as violent as Golarion, if on a less epic scale. I see no reason to assume they have somehow managed this kind of thing when no real world culture ever has.

Nor has the culture existed for eons. The world has, but just about every single culture has died or changed drastically in that period of time.

N N 959 wrote:
It's informative if you can actually target the weak Save. If you can't, then it is of no use. What you want to know is how likely you will succeed against the Save you can target. So what may be "useful" to one group or player isn't going to be useful to another and that's exasperated by the convention of not sharing numbers.

I strongly disagree. If you can only target one Save, the specific number isn't useful since you don't have other options, except maybe AC, and knowing a Save is high tells you to probably target AC instead if you can (since high Saves are gonna be higher). If you can target two Saves (say, Fortitude and Reflex) that info tells you Fort is lower, and should thus be your target of choice.

The information I used as an example tells you an exact Save hierarchy and that's universally useful if anyone targets any Save at all. It's also merely one example of useful info, and not the one I'd give a party who doesn't target Saves. You can tailor what info you give to PCs, and should always strive to give them something they can use. As a GM, you can do that pretty readily.

N N 959 wrote:
You really can't. There's no conveying AC or hit points via high/low/mediocre, without giving out a number as a starting point. There's no way to convey all the intuitive knowledge the PC would use to defeat a monster without translating it to a number the PC can use to make a decision. Sure, you can sometimes give useful information, but that is going to be somewhat random and doesn't guarantee you're giving out actionable information. And if it isn't actionable, then it can't be useful.

Again, this kind of information is easily actionable. I know because my players act on it. Knowing how to get through a Resistance, for example, is easily actionable even if you don't know the amount of said Resistance.

It's not info you can spend 10 minutes mathematically analyzing for the perfect mathematical choice of tactics, but it doesn't need to be to be useful. It just needs to provide the info necessary to make good decisions, and the information I provide absolutely does that.

Is the same true of everyone who gives out non-math info on monsters? Of course not, some people absolutely give out useless info (including some people who give out numbers...giving out a precise Will Save is useless if nobody targets Will), but you seem to be saying that you need to give out numbers or the info isn't useful, and that's just objectively not correct.

N N 959 wrote:

But if I am using Athletics with Recall to see if I can grapple or shover or trip a Hippo, you haven't told me anything. Even saying it's hard/low/mediocre isn't really helpful as I have no idea what you mean by that when it comes to rolling a d20. If you say, its got an Athletic modifier of +20, then I am informed. Then, I know what my PC is seeing. I don't think it undermines the game at all to provide that info.

Now, I can see someone claiming that it undermine their immersion, however, that seems arbitrary to me. Lots of things are immersion breaking, like rolling a die...any die.

High/low/mediocre absolutely provides information on this, though. You know, assuming you know that you're good at grappling, whether your chance is good, bad, or okay. That's generally more than enough to make a tactical decision without knowing the specific numerical odds of success.

N N 959 wrote:
I think Paizo is definitely of the mindset that giving out a number is "metagaming," never mind how totally arbitrary that is.

Knowing the enemy's specific stats? Yeah, they do seem to think that. And it's not arbitrary at all. Specific stats are much more precise than people generally know things in-universe and I see no reason that wouldn't be true. It makes good in-universe sense. It's not an arbitrary distinction just because it's one you don't like it.

N N 959 wrote:
I have to disagree. The game could provide instruction on that, and it doesn't. Are players suppose to know the Init order of all combatants? It's unavoidable in practice, but do the rules instruct GMs to share this information specifically? I've definitely seen GMs on the forums talk about withholding that info. Paizo could at least provide a rule that makes it clear (if there isn't one). I've even heard of GMs not letting players know their own hit points...lol.

I mean, the fact that they don't specifically tell you to tell players things doesn't mean they intend for you to leave players in the dark, it means that they intend for that to be up to the GM, like a lot of other things in PF2.

As for the HP thing, that's specifically against the rules. Players explicitly keep track of their own HP and conditions in PF2, which means they know them.

N N 959 wrote:
Which, imo and ime, is severely inconsistent and hampered by the mindset that a player can't be given a number....despite the fact that the game is all about numbers and they are everywhere.

I mean, I'm not sure how 'this is up to the GM', as a philosophy, can be hampered by leaving it up to the GM. Much as I personally don't give out numbers, nothing prevents doing so if the GM wishes.

N N 959 wrote:

Again, none of this is directed at you as an individual or GM. I think many others share your mindset or something close to it. And yes, I have run into GMs that will share numbers, but I would say it's not the majority, so I'm trying to give peopel another perspecive.

And ultimately, it really comes down to what you want Recall to do in the game. I've said that before, but I think that's at the heart of this. How useful is it really suppose to be? Rarely, Infrequently? Occasionally? Consistently? Crucial?

The thing about that is that I don't think you need to provide numbers for Recall Knowledge to be consistently useful. It can be very useful indeed without doing that at all.

N N 959 wrote:
Without a baseline, we can't really know if there is a problem in the implementation or the paradigm. I think it's broken. I thougth it was broken in PF1 and even more so with it costing an action in PF2. Recall checks were part of nearly every battle in PF1. In PFS, I'm seeing them like 1% of the actions in combat, outside of class freebies. I know...because I'm tracking actions in my PbP games.

I mean, some of that is just the nature of combats and how many enemy types and actions there are. 4 characters with three actions each is 12 actions a turn. A three round fight is thus 36 actions. If fighting a single type of foe, a single Recall Knowledge check is all that's probably useful there, and we're already down to less than 3% of actions. If the next fight is with the same type of enemy, or a simple enemy like human bandits, suddenly we're down to less than 1.5% even if Recall Knowledge is immensely useful.

Really, what you should be tracking is the number of battles that involve Recall Knowledge, not percentage of actions. If every battle involves them, that's still gonna be less than 5% of actions, but it's also every battle.

Ignoring 'free' Recall Knowledge checks ala Known Weaknesses entirely is also a mistake. I'm currently running an AoA game with an Investigator, and at 1st level he didn't have Known Weaknesses, so people did Recall Knowledge quite a lot as an action. Now that he has that Feat, though, they do that a lot less for the good and simple reason that he's gonna do it anyway. It's not that the checks aren't useful or they wouldn't do them if they weren't free...but they are free for him and he has every Recall Knowledge skill Trained, so they often just leave it to him.

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:

So first off, thank you for answering my question. I picked your post out because, as suggested, I thought you might provide an answer that might be representative. As such, my response is not directed at you, per se, but at exploring the mind set that you're explaining.

So you don't mind players having precise numbers, after all, it's unavoidable.

You're quite welcome. And I don't know how representative my answer is, really. I just know it's why I do things the way I do.

N N 959 wrote:
You know, that is never really discussed in the rules.

Sure, it can theoretically be first hand knowledge, in fact I noted that as one explanation for a critical success. But in most games, just by virtue of PCs starting off at 1st level, there's no plausible way for them to have a lot of experience with too many things above 5th level or so, and even if they start higher, once they've gained a few levels the same thing kicks in (ie: you started at 5th level, how many 12th level things could you really have met?). So, in practice, the vast majority of Recall Knowledge checks are not based on first hand experience.

N N 959 wrote:

There's nothing that preludes the knowledge from simply being first hand knowledge from past encounters. In fact, the rules go on to say,

Quote:
For example, you might assess the skill of an acrobat using Acrobatics
For me, this reads like your own skill as a basis for assessing someone else's skill. You know, like knowing how fast someone's fast ball was based on how fast your own fast all is or your own experience hitting fast balls. At least in the Arobatics acknowledge, it doesn't seem like it has to be second hand knowledge.

That example is pretty clearly assessing them based on your first hand experience with your own abilities rather than theirs, which is a slightly different thing, and IMO seems to indicate you'd need to see them be acrobatic first (something not required by most Recall Knowledge checks).

N N 959 wrote:
While it's certainly true that the PC's concept of specifics is not going to mirror the players knowledge in terms of a number, I can't say there's any reason why the PC's knowledge would be any less actionable or specific to the PC. If we go with the I-read-it-in-a-book scenario, I see no reason why the book couldn't say "armor like a dragon/bugbear/kobold"? Why couldn't an entry say, "This creature runs like a gazelle and has the strength of five men. But is its mind is easily controlled, like that of any Commoner."? After all, the Recall check can give knowledge of any of a creatures abilities, so there has to be some specific knowledge available.

The thing about that is that none of those measurements actually equates to a specific number very well. So you should give the player the bit in quotes, or some approximation, rather than trying to translate it into a number directly.

I absolutely tell players things like "Their highest Save is Reflex, and their lowest is Will." or "They have very high AC but less than impressive Saves." or similar things, because you're right that those can in fact be known in-character (if phrased differently)...but specific numbers? Not so much.

I mean, for the statement above, what kind of gazelle is the creature as fast as? How did the writer know? Are we sure they weren't being poetic rather than precise in that description? And who quantifies 'any Commoner' as a measure of Will? How did they quantify it, and how did they get enough subjects to test?

Also, frankly, knowing comparative statements like I tend to give is all you need for good tactics. The numbers are superfluous.

N N 959 wrote:
I think this approach overlooks the reality that people in this world, would have comparison's that many would understand, or, the information would be presented based on common standards e.g. this person has the skill fo the legendary Ramos; these creatures have armor like plate mail, this creature's fireball was as good as any 5th level wizard, etc.

Has everyone met Ramos? If not, using that phrase in a book or story isn't very precise, is it? 'Armor like plate mail' is a wonderful description...except plate mail worn by who? Ordinary plate mail in PF2 ranges in AC between 16 and 44 depending on who is wearing it. So that's not very precise either.

For spells specifically, the comparison is a bit more reasonable, and actually, referring to what level spellcaster a monster is, is one of the few times I might give an actual number, as that's more easily quantified in-world.

N N 959 wrote:
While I 100% agree that seeing a creature in action should convey a TON of actionable information, neither PF1 and PF2 have a system which covers a PC's ability to asses this information outside of seeing die rolls and modifiers. A lot of GMs won't give out AC or stats. If you've ever played with a GM who rolls behind a screen, it's like you're fighting blind. As a player, you have no idea of what you're fighting on any visceral level. But that's an aside.

I'll note here that the specific rules of Secret Checks and how those work strongly indicate that non-Secret checks in PF2 should have their mechanics transparent to the players, and that the example of play bears this out. That's not true in all games, but it pretty clearly is in PF2.

N N 959 wrote:
Again, I think this is a common generalization that isn't really accurate. The best way to explain this is in sports. If I play in a sports league, I become familiar with the players in that league. If a kew player comes along and a scouting report says, this guy hits as hard as Tom from Team Alpha, or runs as fast as Sam from Team Delta. That is very specific information. And while I don't think of it as a number, if I were a PC, the only way my player could understand what I knew, would be to give the player a number.

Right, but there's no common standard like that which is standardized across Golarion and applies to everything. Saying 'hits as hard as Tom' is a meaningless statement for people who don't know how hard Tom hits, and there's no 'Tom' that everyone in Golarion can use as a benchmark. If the PCs got a specific description directly from someone like a former party member (now NPC) who can share things with them in specific terms like this, I'd absolutely give them some numbers. But that's not usually the case with a Recall Knowledge check.

N N 959 wrote:
While I hear what you're saying, I think you're overlooking the fact that the precision from sharing a number is a by product of the game having to use numbers to convey information. The game has no other language or means to convey what a PC would understand about the information it has, without using a number. To put it another way, the PC's knowledge doesn't have to be number-precise for it to still be just as actionable as a number for the player.

Sure it does. To use my above example "The creature's highest Save is Reflex and it's lowest is Will." is a very informative statement that uses no specific numbers. So is "It has very high AC for it's level." or "It has high resistance to physical damage, but silver gets through it."

You can honestly convey almost any information of tactical, rather than statistical, relevance just by using comparatives like 'high' or 'low' or 'mediocre'.

N N 959 wrote:
But I can recognize why players would see it from your perspective. We are so used to dealing with precision from numbers, it would be hard to imagine a 9th century crusader hearing a story about a hippo and getting anything useful from it.

I mean, I don't know precise numbers on the bite force of a hippo, but the important part about the bite force is 'really high numbers, don't get bitten'. The specific bite force is kind of not relevant, honestly.

And that's exactly the kind of info I give players.

N N 959 wrote:
I guess I feel like there's a larger contingent of players that fall into this category. The idea that telling someone the creatures HPs or AC right out the gate, somehow lessens the immersion. I know in AD&D, you knew nothing and had no way of learning anything. Plus, the GM always rolled behind he screen. So I think the paradigm is players fighting blind and that mindset is still at the foundation.

I don't think that's the system's intention, at least not with a successful Recall Knowledge check. I do think that some GMs metagame in a weirdly wrong direction, keeping information secret from players even when it would be obvious to their characters (saying roughly how wounded enemies are should be standard, for instance...that's pretty obvious in-universe), but that's a GMing mistake rather than an issue specific to any one system.

N N 959 wrote:
For me, I think it depends on what you want Recall checks to accomplish. When Paizo says they should provided "useful" information, but then they dramatically increases the cost of obtaining that information, then it should be a lot more definitive and consistent than what we got in PF1. In my experience in PF2, it's not.

I think Recall Knowledge should absolutely be useful and worth an action. I work hard to make it so. But I don't, fundamentally, think that giving precise numbers is really necessary to do that.

N N 959 wrote:
I feel like Paizo wants to compel players to make these checks, but has overlooked how not fun the system works out because the information isn't reliably beneficial. I also find it odd/telling that they've tacked on combat bonuses for the classes that can make these checks for free. It's like admitting that the information may not result in anything useful, so we'll give you mechanical bonus. But that's not available to the average PC. I don't get it.

I think the intention is very much to leave it in the GM's hands how beneficial the information is. And that the reason for the Feats giving additional bonuses (which, I'll note, tend to be pretty minor) is for circumstances where you really don't need Recall Knowledge in the first place. I mean, fighting Bandit #7, after having already made a Society check on Bandits #1 to #6, Known Weaknesses wouldn't be very useful if it didn't do something beyond the check.

No matter how generous you are with Recall Knowledge, there will always be times when the information has already been provided and getting to make the check is just not useful. Hence the bonuses.

N N 959 wrote:
Or, I suppose it makes sense if the mechanical bonus is needed to incentivize PCs to use these feats and make these checks so it won't be all Wizards?? Or maybe its a way to make sure the PCs have multiple ways to get this info? Or, they really want to keep Recall checks locked down to a few Classes?

I think it's intended to allow non-spellcasters to get in on the action, basically. The action economy is such that spellcasters can Recall Knowledge very freely, but martial characters often have issues (in particular, those martials who need to spend actions activating their main combat trick...so Rangers and Investigators, the ones who get Feats that do this). Adding Feats to make some thematically appropriate martials overcome that hurdle seems a solid call to me.

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Personally, I don't think giving out specific numbers is usually appropriate...
You'e certainly not alone. So my question to you, is why not? GMs give out all kinds of numbers, players are aware of all kinds of numbers. Why are you drawing a line in the sand on what the player can be aware of via Recall check?

I don't mind the PCs finding out numbers in play (ie: roll an 18 and miss, roll a 19 and hit...now they know it has AC 19), that represents them getting a very precise idea of how tough (or fast, or whatever) the individual creature in question is by seeing it in action, but Recall Knowledge is primarily stuff like book learning or secondhand accounts. It's something you can know without ever having met a member of the species in question, and certainly without seeing them in action personally...and while the player knowing numbers can easily be an expression of in-world knowledge, the character doesn't actually know numbers like that, and the knowledge in question is thus pretty much impossible to put into those books and secondhand accounts.

I mean, let's use swordsmanship as an example. An expert swordsman can judge the skill level of another swordsman they are actually fighting, or see fighting, a lot more precisely than they can judge that of a swordsman they've only heard of, and cannot readily describe the level of skill such a swordsman has to others beyond very imprecise terms like 'a master' or 'about as good as I am'. Likewise, it's a lot easier to judge the precise degree of strength or durability of something you are in the midst of fighting than something you just see standing there.

So, basically, I think specific numbers are way more precise than Recall Knowledge should usually be. A critical success is a bit of an exception, and might actually provide some specific numbers, though I'd usually have it give other more useful information rather than precision of that sort. Still, it's possible.

Listing specific numbers also tends to be immersion breaking, but that's actually a secondary consideration for me personally. I just don't find that degree of precision to be a realistic degree of knowledge for a character to possess from having read about the creature in books or heard stories about them (a critical success might involve having met and seen a similar creature in action previously, or something similarly precise, hence the possibility of more precise information).

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Silvative wrote:
Thanks for all the insights, especially for confirming my suspicions about Pharasma! So killing a ghoul is great, because you free their soul to pass on. And a Lich chose to become undead and fuel itself by death, so it's by definition evil.

Yep. Undead in general are messing with her system, and Pharasma hates that.

Silvative wrote:
Why do you think time as a ghoul counts on the clock? I agree that they're certainly "dead" in a sense (as in, undead). Someone else pointed out to me though that the time needed for the various resurrection spells is related to the soul's location, IE whether or not they have been judged, etc. If the soul is right next to you, even if it's in a ghoul, wouldn't that mean you didn't need to use the super high level magic to fetch the soul? What do you think?

Well, you have to kill the ghoul before you can raise them (raising creatures that are currently undead does not work), at which point the soul heads out for judgment immediately, so it's not exactly right there. But the reason I think time as a ghoul counts as time dead is that I'm pretty sure this is how it's been treated by previous examples of this sort of thing, though I'd need to go in search of an example.

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Personally, I don't think giving out specific numbers is usually appropriate, but a general summary indicating which Saves are likely high or low, any Weaknesses or widely applicable Resistances, and other important stuff like Regeneration and how to turn it off, should probably be standard.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think most people agree that the Swashbuckler (specifically the gymnast) needs some access to dexterity based trip/disarm. I'm not sure anybody else does, since other dex-based martials aren't pulled in the "you need Charisma' direction like the Swash is.

Er...how is a Gymnast pulled towards Cha? I'm not saying I'm against them getting some Dex-to-maneuver stuff, but literally nothing in that Style pulls you towards Cha even a little.

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Added a note that generic Skill boost items are available (using the High Quality optional rule costs), because IMO the game's math assumes them, and official items are not always available at appropriate levels.

Also, reduced the price of rope on its own so there's a reason to buy it instead of the Climber's Kit.

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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Are there any Nature- or Religion-boosting items that don't occupy a hand?

At higher levels, absolutely. Before level 9? Not that I can find.

The High Quality Items variant rule allows items for any skill at level 3, and asking your GM to use that in the absence of full item coverage is a pretty solid idea, but if they don't let you, I think we just need to wait for more books to be released.

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graystone wrote:
A single character with good Dex character can cover for the party by leveling up Acrobatics, Stealth and Thievery: follow the expert covers Acrobatics and Stealth while you generally don't need multiple people with Thievery.

I mean, Follow The Expert gives a bonus rather than replacing the stat. Acrobatics and Stealth are still way higher on the second high Dex character than they are on a Str-based character, which is particularly relevant for Stealth.

It also allows both characters to take some non-Dex Skills as they level up, since they can split the load on the Dex-based ones. Which is relevant.

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siegfriedliner wrote:
The problem and its a minor one is that your strength 18 ranger would be doing nearly double the damage.

Even at 1st level it's more like half again assuming Str 12 on the Dex guy (a reasonable assumption since the Str 18 guy needs Dex 12 for AC), since in practice that's 1d6+5 vs. 1d6+2 (both including Backstabber). 5.5 vs. 8.5 is a little bigger than a 50%, but it's way smaller than the 100% that would equate to doubling.

And by 5th, that's down quite a bit, since the difference is now 2d6+5 vs. 2d6+3. That's 20% more damage, which isn't nothing, but is a pretty sharp drop off.

And that difference only gets smaller as level rises, though it does so slower thereafter. Assuming the Dex character maxes at Str 18, and the Str one at 24, by 20th, the damage difference is 7d6+6 vs. 7d6+9, and a difference of something like 10%, and that and +3 to Athletics are the only real advantages.

A 10% damage differential is real, but so is +3 to Reflex Saves (assuming a mirrored situation where the Str guy goes to Dex 18), Acrobatics, Stealth, and Thievery.

It's a real difference for the first three levels, but not crippling even then (1d6+2 isn't great damage, but if you get it multiple times it's okay, and a Flurry Ranger often will), and the difference peters off quick.

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Silvative wrote:

So my party want to cure Deadmouth...

I'd have thought it wouldn't work (perhaps that being made undead makes resurrection magic impossible) except the book explicitly floats it as a possibility. And since he's level 2, it won't even cost much. What I'm wondering is basically... what level do they need to cast it at?

You need to cast it based on his original level and time of death (time as a ghoul counts as time dead, not time alive). In practice, this probably does mean you need the 9th level version for this.

Silvative wrote:
I know all of this is totally up to me as the GM but I wanted to hear other opinions if there are any. I wouldn't want to set a precedent that'll come back to bite me or that explicitly defies PF2E lore, after all. The mechanics of spirits and undeath do confuse me a little. For example, do killed ghouls still get to pass on and be judged by Pharasma? What about vampires? Are their souls just being "delayed" while they're undead but not ultimately denied the afterlife? If so, then those diseases/undead don't seem anywhere near as bad as certain other fates. It seems like it has huge ramifications on creatures like liches and vampires- if they're trading away their souls' afterlives for immortality as undead creatures. But I suppose a willing lich would be evil, so they're screwing up their afterlife anyway by eating souls?

The souls of Undead killed do indeed pass on to Pharasma. Indeed, that's why she wants her followers to destroy them, so that their souls can pass on to her judgment, something otherwise prevented by their undead state.

Willing undead are usually, however, making a conscious choice to thwart Pharasma's will in a way that tends to hurt a lot of innocent people, which is not generally gonna result in going anywhere good for said afterlife. Not that she plays favorites, but it's the sort of thing that tends to make you Evil and Evil afterlives are universally pretty unpleasant.

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Calybos1 wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Do your ranger and investigator have any invested magical items giving Item bonuses to their knowledge skills? That would help a bit and around this level it's reasonable to have a few of those things floating around (though probably not one for every skill).
Ahh, that's the kind of advice they need. What sort of items would those be?

For items, a Hat of the Magi is good for Arcana, a Pendant of the Occult works for Occultism, and a Choker of Elocution works for Society.

Religion and Nature are hardest to add an item to at low levels, with the Staff of Providence and Primeval Mistletoe at level 6 as the lowest level options. This evens out by the mid levels, and by level 10 or so, +2 items for all Recall Knowledge Skills are available.

There is also, as Mathmuse mentions, the Scholarly Journal, though that's quite a bit narrower than a whole Skill.

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Calybos1 wrote:
No, there's no issue of secret rolls in our game. The GM flat-out tells us (after some fumbling through the books together, because nobody can remember the new categories) which skill is needed. Then he tells us that a roll of 18 or even 20 is a failure, so we learn nothing.

Er...an 18 should be a success on most things up to level 3. A 20 should be a success on most things up to level 5.

With a 14 in a stat and Trained alone, a 5th level character has a +9 and gets a 20+ half the time. That's decent odds, though not great, but with a 16 and a +1 item it goes to a 60%, and those odds go up for a specialist (who can easily hit a +14 and a 75% chance).

Calybos1 wrote:
The problem is DC levels and coverage. No character can cover all the needed knowledge skills. As noted, there are at least six of them. No character can cover even half of those with a reasonable chance of success, and you can't leave a Recall Knowledge check up to a single PC, because that ensures that the single roll will be a 4.

Meaningfully, there are only 5 Skills. Crafting is technically on the list, but only barely and has no unique areas of coverage. And they're all based on only two stats. A good Int and you're pretty good at a full three of those Skills (four if you want to count Crafting).

You won't always succeed but the odds aren't bad.

Calybos1 wrote:
The ranger, for example, needs to make a Recall Knowledge check on every monster we meet in order to use Monster Hunter, and all of his other abilities trigger off a successful Monster Hunter check. And there are just way too many knowledge skills to make that work. It's pretty frustrating to have a basic class ability fail in every single encounter.

Monster Knowledge doesn't really give bonuses at low levels (it only kicks in on a crit). It gives free attempts at Recall Knowledge. Which, to be clear, is great, but it's not an action sink, since the attempts are free.

At high levels it is necessary for bonuses, but you can also use Nature for all recall knowledge checks.

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Yeah, that seems too powerful to me. One reason flat-footed is so easy to inflict is because it's inflicted by flanking, meaning effects that impose it are relatively weak and thus cheap and available. Making it stack with flanking makes it, in many ways, by far the best available condition to inflict and will make offense in general a lot more powerful for any group that works together.

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Ubertron_X wrote:
While this will most probably work a lot of times, especially for experienced players, there can easily be outliers as Deadmanwalking already mentioned or if the players simply lack experience. For example just during our last session we encountered some Wood Golems and it was the Wizard (Arcana) and Fighter (Crafting) who were "eligible" for meaningful checks, not the party Ranger (Nature), who won initiative and went first.

In terms of tricky creatures, sometimes those should cost an action as someone less than ideal tries to figure them out. They're deceptive looking, and that's part of the point.

In terms of lack of real-world experience with the system, this is where I, and I hope most other GMs, would step in and remind people about which creatures are covered by which Skill. That's information that, like the existence of a door that's easily seen but not on the map, the characters would 100% know but is easy for players to miss, and thus the sort of thing a GM needs to step in and remind them of occasionally.

If they mistake them for some sort of fey or plant, then they may still waste an action on wood golems, but they won't mistakenly do it because they misunderstand what creatures are covered by Nature.

Additionally, at GM discretion, the 'wrong' skill can still work, at least partially or at higher DC. I'd certainly allow a successful Nature check to reveal a Wood Golem is flammable, or a successful Religion check to show a Bone Golem isn't undead, whatever it looks like, even if neither reveal what the creature is or much else about it. Of course, I'd instead have them roll the right Skill if they have it, but if they don't...

Ubertron_X wrote:

The problem our group has had with the current RAW iteration of Recall Knowledge (and without some additional guidance how to use it properly) was the combination of the "guessing game" (skill selection + secret check) plus PF2 math at low levels (higher chance for failure i.e. wasting an action for no intel or potentially even wrong intel, especially for the more important enemies who will usually be higher level and or rare) plus dubious gain ("one piece of useful information") which was actively discouraging our players from using Recall Knowledge instead of encouraging it's use.

Shoot fireballs first and worry about fire resistance / immunity later or as I told our GM: If we stick to RAW my Cleric will only ever again try to Recall Knowledge using Religion if we encounter zombies holding signs that read "zombie".

I'd definitely tell someone what Skill it was after they rolled, at the least. That way even a failure on the wrong Skill at least tells you what the right Skill is.

Spellcasters are also pretty incentivized to do Recall Knowledge every turn they don't need to move just by how most spells work (being two actions and all). Cha-based ones less so, but still.

There are also a few different Feats that increase the action economy of Recall Knowledge, which are pretty cool and quite worth it.

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Yeah, I pretty much do the same as jdripley. I might stick to the 'Secret' bit occasionally if the creature actually is a secret, but that's usually unnecessary.

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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
dmerceless wrote:
That would imply that before the APG came out the finesse trait and all weapons that have it existed for the sole purpose of Thief Rogue.
Finesse weapons are very important for casters as they have in general honorable Dexterity and low Strength.
Most casters have SWP, if that, which precludes using martial finesse weapons such as rapiers or shortswords. Whatever purpose finesse weapons serve, it isn't for the benefit of spellcasters.

I mean, it partially is. The Dex 16 Druid in my AoA game is pretty happy he can use a dagger with Dex as a backup weapon (not that he usually needs to, but still).

That's not the primary use for Martial finesse weapons, but Simple finesse weapons do exist.

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IME, using the wrong skill is rare because characters, as well as players, should know what kind of creatures their skills identify, and most of those are pretty obvious, to be honest.

I mean, you see a giant lizard, that's almost for sure gonna be either Arcana or Nature, depending on whether it's a Dragon, Beast, or Animal, and if it's instead a giant bear, that's gonna be Nature for sure (though, if a Beast, you could also use Arcana). People with skills other than those won't even try.

There are a few 'gotcha' creatures like a Bone Golem (looks like you'd use Religion, actually Arcana or Crafting), but they're rare.

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Bardarok wrote:

Hey Deadmanwalking,

Similar to Necrogiant I am going to use some of thees in my own homebrew.

Awesome! That's why they're up on the internet rather than sitting in a document on my computer, after all. So that people can use them if they like.

Bardarok wrote:
I also wanted to say thank you for posting this document and additionally that based on my observations of your various posts on the forums here over the past years I generally respect your opinions and analyses of the game.

You're quite welcome. And thanks, I obviously try for good analyses. :)

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Midnightoker wrote:
The benefits of having a good DEX in Medium armor are minimal. In Heavy Armor, they're basically non-existant.

Er...no they aren't. Well, maybe for heavy armor (since that requires more Str, adds to Reflex on its own, and reduces movement for everyone), but Medium Armor which you meet the Str Minimum for gains every single advantage from Dex that light armor does (Reflex Saves, Skills, mobility, etc.).

Now, whether that's worth foregoing Heavy Armor for is another matter, but acting like a Dex-based Fighter won't do it is just not an accurate examination of how characters actually work.

Midnightoker wrote:
Can you go mid-DEX with Medium armor? Sure and it might be passable. It's still a higher investment cost than just going flat STR.

I mean, a higher investment in what sense? And for who? For a Fighter or Champion, possibly. For just about anyone else? Probably not so much. A Dex-based Ranger investing as much in Str as a Str-based one would need to invest in Dex (since they need some for their Medium Armor), for example, has equal AC, 2-3 less damage per attack (maybe a little more at high levels), much better Reflex Save, better ranged attacks, and better Skills in general (worse Athletics, but better Acrobatics, Stealth, and Thievery). Going more Str than that, the damage disparity goes down but their defenses suffer a bit.

That doesn't look worse to me, just different.

Midnightoker wrote:
I stand by what I said, if you're using a Rapier + Snagging Strike as a Fighter (an ICONIC playstyle of a DEX person) you are literally more effective going Heavy Armor, maxing STR, and just using your free-hand for maneuvers than a full DEX user trying to make the same style work.

I mean, Fighters are one of two Classes in the game with native access to Heavy Armor, which increases their incentives to go Str-based pretty heavily. Using them as an example for Dex-builds having problems when they're one of the best Classes to use Str-builds and one of the worst for Dex-builds is gonna distort things quite a bit.

I still think a Dex-build melee Fighter is perfectly viable and has real advantages in skills and mobility, as well as ranged stuff, but they're legitimately giving up a fair amount for it and are probably legitimately weaker.

But that's one Class. Add Champion, which has no valid Dex build at all at the moment, and you have two Classes that Dex-based melee isn't really good for. Every other Class, except maybe Barbarian, the comparison looks a lot better (not even getting into Swashbucklers and Rogues, who are obviously both great at Dex-based melee).

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Midnightoker wrote:
You also generally have higher hitpoints, armor specialization, higher fortitude or will, and much better Athletics.

Armor Specialization is unique to Fighters and Champions. So it's not a factor at all for the vast majority of characters.

Additionally, Armor Specialization works fine with medium armor, which you can manage with very minimal Str by the time Armor Specialization kicks in (Str 14 by 10th level is casually doable).

You seem to be equating going Dex over Str with wearing light armor, but the rules don't actually support that as a requirement very well. If playing, say, a Dex-based Fighter, you should be wearing Medium or maybe even Heavy Armor, with your investment in Dex being an investment in Dex Skills, Reflex Saves, and other assorted things, not the nonexistent AC advantage, and having the Dex to wear light armor in no way obligates you to do so...so you wear Medium, with no penalty due to Str, and get the Specialization effect.

And while a Dex/Str build will have disadvantages on Fort and Will Saves and HP vs. a focused Str build, a focused Dex build really won't. Or not very much anyway. It's worth noting but hardly an exclusive advantage of the Str build.

All of which is to say, your argument is pretty valid for Champions, but not even really for all Fighters, never mind all the other Classes.

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Midnightoker wrote:
Even though I'm sure you were being tongue in cheek, saying that a Crocodile doesn't say it doesn't have hands as a reason that they do indeed have hands has far reaching implications than just the crocodile (since PCs could then claim to have infinite "hands" since hands aren't literally defined anywhere).

That was sort of my point in some ways. If RAW results in nonsensical things, then clearly the RAW is wrong.

Midnightoker wrote:
To me, saying a Crocodile can't perform a Disarm seems reasonable. Saying that can't Grapple does not. Shove seems like it would be difficult for a Crocodile to do (though idk maybe) but easy for an Ox/Reindeer to do.

Facing isn't a thing, so a crocodile using a tail slap to shove makes sense to me. As does animals disarming, frankly. They can bite or hit the hand holding the weapon as easily as anyone, and that's what most disarms amount to.

Really, I see no particular logic to restricting maneuvers based on something as abstracted by the rules as body type.

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I don't see anything in the rules saying animal companions don't have hands. I mean, clearly they don't, but if you're going to go strict RAW to the point that a crocodile needs a free hand to grapple, you'd also need a citation for them not having them, or they do.

I mean, we've already deserted any semblance of actual logic at that point, so I'm gonna need an explicit rules reference.

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Unicore wrote:
Yeah, mounted combat of any sort, even staying way back and avoiding conflict almost requires an animal companion because of how quickly the party levels up and how difficult it is to keep up with level appropriate mounts otherwise. I don't know how much that was intended or not, but generally, I think all the mendev crusaders must now go steed ally if they are bringing their horses into what is left of the world wound.

In fairness, NPCs do not level like PCs do. I mean, they gain levels, but not at anywhere near the same rate. Many go years, or even decades, without leveling at all.

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I'd personally rule it needs to be someone who knows it as a spell of the same Tradition you're trying to learn it as (ie: you need someone with Burning Hands as an Arcane spell to learn it as an Arcane spell), since the components and sources are entirely different between Traditions, but that's a personal ruling.

I don't think the rules actually have anything to say on this subject one way or the other.

As for when Druids and Clerics and the like know a spell, I'd assume that they know it when they can cast it (ie: you need to be a 5th level Druid to know Fireball). That seems the most straightforward answer.

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The damage, while oddly set up, works out about right for their level (in a later AP it would probably have fewer dice and a higher static bonus, but the total is about right), and given their high level and lack of options in many ways, I think their AC with Promise Guard Stance is fine as well.

The to-hit bonus, however, is indeed too high. It should probably be +35. Still Extreme for their level, but not quite so ridiculous.

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The bracers literally give you a force field. Who says that field is entirely weightless, or more importantly for Dex caps, without momentum? Really, this one's pretty easy to justify in a lot of different ways.

For the greatword lacking reach...it's a fair bit shorter than the polearms that actually do grant reach (most of which are more than 7 feet long), with the sole exception of halberds, and even those are up to 6 feet long (which is longer than the vast majority of real swords, even those in the 'greatsword' category, like claymores). So really, if anything, the halberd should probably lose Reach rather than the Greatsword gaining it.

For the bastard sword...yeah, there's no in-world explanation there, it's pure game balance. But it's necessary game balance and thus not easily fixed.

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It's pretty clearly an error of some sort. Given that it's an error that amounts to maybe 2 silver pieces in practice, it's not that big a deal, but it's an error nonetheless.

In my own games, I've just added to my House Rules document that a rope alone is only 3 silver pieces. But for PFS or something like that it's just not that big a deal.

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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
While Wizards wouldn’t need CHA or WIS for Will saves, they would still want the former for several Recall Knowledge skills and Perception (important!) and CHA for the social skills (YMMV, but the PFS PC I mentioned has a 16 CHA at L8)

True enough, but it's still a decreased incentive to do so, which I'd prefer to avoid.

NECR0G1ANT wrote:
But do you think that the other classes, besides sizards and clerics, have enough reason to increase mental stats? Does a bard or sorcerer that gets CHA to Will saves have enough incentive to invest in INT or WIS? Does a druid have reason to boost INT or CHA in the base game?

I think Bards are incentivized to value Skills and Druids have a unique Cha-based ability that's hard to duplicate (Wild Empathy), and most of both have little incentive to focus on Str, so yeah, I think they've got some incentive to have at least two decent mental stats.

My worry is probably more for Fighters and the like (along with Int-based Classes like Wizards, who I already mentioned), who I'd like to not force to only take one mental stat. A lot will only take one anyway, but there should be a valid mechanical reason to grab two, IMO.

NECR0G1ANT wrote:
And isn't getting an increase in the limit on invested items good? At L10 that could be an extra +2 item bonus worn item, same as a skill increase granted by INT. That only gets better at higher levels, and the player can decide what sort of invested item they want.

It's not terrible, but it's very optional, with many characters having no use for it at all. I mean, it's only relevant if you want more than 10 invested items, which many characters will definitively not. 10 is a lot, after all. Heck, in practice it's often only really good if you want more than 12, since there's already a Cha-based Feat to go from 10 to 12.

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Another compelling argument is that an Adventurer's Pack also explicitly includes 50 feet of rope.

That said, I honestly have no idea what the real answer is. Personally, I've never seen it come up since everyone buys the Adventurer's Pack, and with 50 feet of rope coming with that, I've never seen anyone want more.

It should definitely be stated somewhere and isn't, though.

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Thewms wrote:

Regarding the spell Aqueous Orb:

How can creatures make the DC 10 Swim check when they become Grabbed and thus Immobilized? Immobilized prevents actions with the Move trait which Swim has.

Specific overrides general. The spell specifically says you may make the DC 10 Athletics check to swim out of the Orb, so you can.

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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
Hi, I'm building my own set of house rules (stealing shamelessly from yours!). One of my goals is to correct the imbalances I see among spellcasting classes (mostly between wizards/witches and clerics/druids).

Cool. Good luck. :)

NECR0G1ANT wrote:
On the subject of Will saves, what do you think about adding INT to the list Ability Scores that players can apply to their Will Saves (instead of Wisdom or Charisma)?

Balance-wise, it's probably not a huge deal absent some of my Int-boosting House Rules (those on top of adding to Will Saves might make Int too good). That said, I personally don't like it as the thematic reasons for that to work are shaky at best and it reduces mechanical differentiation in a way I don't think is immersive or fun (it strongly disincentivizes having more than one high mental stat, and particularly Int/Cha both being high, which I feel is bad).

I'd personally boost Int in other ways or boost the Classes in question rather than use Int for Will Saves (as, indeed, I have done).

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SuperBidi wrote:
In my opinion, for the very same reason you can't be a christian and a muslim at the same time. On paper, they are not mutually exclusive (actually, they share a lot of things, even the same god historically). But you can only really worship one, like on Golarion where only one god can be your patron deity.

Only one can grant direct divine power, it's true. You can pretty readily follow several if they get along and their tenets are compatible, though. Especially if you're not a Cleric and thus not getting direct divine power from anyone anyway.

Ixal wrote:
In a system like Pathfinder each god has a specific role and area of expertise, so you can't really get away with just worshipping one.

As I addressed above, this is actually not true. Gods in Golarion have significant power even outside their areas of special concern, so you can easily get away with devotion to one if you so choose.

Calistria, Goddess of Lust and Vengeance, can also help the crops grow or heal a sick child if she feels like it, and will in fact readily do either if a Cleric asks (or as readily as any deity can, anyway). So can just about any other God, frankly.

Now, they're certainly more powerful within their areas of focus, meaning praying to more than one can be advantageous, but it's a convenience rather than a necessity.

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I don't think these will ever be common, but I do see a very real place for them in terms of replacing or heavily modifying core abilities of a Class (ie: Rogue with something other than Sneak Attack), or shuffling Proficiencies around (ie: the aforementioned Master attack/Legendary AC Fighter, or a Legendary Attack/Master AC Monk, and so on).

Those are really the only two niches that leap to mind (Synthesist would fall into the first category, fundamentally changing part of how Eidolons work), but they're useful ones to fill.

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Ixal wrote:
The thing is in a world/religion where you know that there are multiple gods (very true for D&D/Pathfinder because of divine magic and intervention) and where every god is responsible for different, specific things (domain system) it makes no sense to favour or focus on a specific god.

The Gods of Golarion are very distinct in terms of the type of behavior they want from their worshipers. Some have a lot of overlap but many distinctly do not. Worshiping all of them in a way they'd actually approve of is pretty much impossible.

Additionally, Gods are much more versatile in their abilities to effect the world than in many classical real-world religions. Calistria is not a Goddess of Healing, but her Clerics can heal as well as most, and Shelyn is a Goddess deeply opposed to war, but her Clerics are often skilled warriors, and can call on her magic to aid them in battle. Praying to Shelyn for aid in a war is unusual...but in the right cause, it is nevertheless effective.

So yeah, a lot of people will pray to whatever God is most appropriate to their situation for aid with said situation, but those who do engage in henotheism (who definitely also exist), aren't nearly as limited as they might be if the Gods worked differently.

Ixal wrote:
Why would people do that? Do they get punished if they are not faithful enough to one specific god? That might apply to D&D with the wall of the faithless (in itself a rather strange construct) but hardly for Pathfinder.

What the Gods of Golarion want is primarily not offerings, but adherence to certain sorts of behavior. The more Gods you follow, the more codes of behavior you must abide by to keep them all happy. That's not something laypeople will always care about, and some deities have a lot of overlap in that regard (indeed, such overlaps are what the existing pantheons tend to be based on) but it's still one reason why blanket worship of every possible deity isn't universal.

Ixal wrote:
So when there is no requirement to worship one god over all others, why do so instead of worshiping the god you currently need? And then you are back to a system with rites where religion is less about constant worship and belief (what is there to believe? That gods are real is a fact) and more about bargaining with gods for blessings when you need them.

And again, the Gods of Golarion don't care much about specific rites or short term bargains, for the most part. They care about your ongoing adherence to the specific principles they hold as important. Even Abadar, the most mercenary of the major Gods, while he might approve of you offering money to him or his temple, will not empower you for it. He reserves that for those who follow the law, expand and defend civilization, and work hard or engage in trade to become wealthy...to those who follow his ideals. He considers that vastly more important than simply trying to buy his favor. And he's literally the God of buying things, so think how much more true that is for the other Gods.

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Arachnofiend wrote:
Yeah, "religious studies" is something you only see in any real depth in college. Your religious instruction is coming on one day, about one specific religion (yeah you know the one). The other Abrahamic religions might get some introductory lessons in general history classes but you'll never see anything tangible about anything else.

In fairness, my education in school actually included very little about Christianity except in a historical context, either.

So whether you get that shoved down your throat is gonna vary from place to place. It's just that it's a choice between stuff on Christianity, or nothing at all on any religion outside of History classes, which teach the bare minimum to understand the history in question (which does include the difference between polytheism and monotheism...but just barely).

I personally enjoy mythology and have studied that of various religions extensively, but I don't think I learned much of anything about it in school at any point in my life.

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CorvusMask wrote:
I'm honestly kind of confused about why the pantheism/polytheism mix up keeps happening because to us it was taught in elementary school in religious studies <_<; I mean I guess it helps that "pantheon" isn't really a commonly used term in finnish, but is term polytheism (or basic premise of other religions) just not taught in school elsewhere?

In the US, 'religious studies', is not a class that I've ever seen taught. Some schools have it, I'm sure, but it's not standard by any means. Ignorance about religions other than the ones you have personal experience with is in many ways the norm rather than the exception. Greek/Roman mythology specifically gets taught decently often, but more as part of the history of ancient Greece and the Roman empire (which does get taught, at least some) than as anything else, and details of terminology? Forget about it.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
I feel like this is worth circling back to. How often do you see characters who want to be agile frontline fighters but be bad at tripping, disarming, jumping, climbing, and swimming? Or who can't benefit from the additional carrying capacity for a longbow? (If you have good dex. you should absolutely leverage it at range whenever appropriate.)

I mean, most traditional Rogue concepts don't care about the combat maneuvers, and being Trained or better in Athletics is usually enough for jumping and climbing even with low Str. In combat, they shank people in the kidneys, not try to trip them.

Civilized duelists of the 'nobleman with a rapier' variety are also very much not concerned with Str in and of itself. Disarming, the one maneuver they're thematically tied to, is pretty terrible anyway, so they suffer very little from low Str thematically.

There are several other concepts that also don't require high Str, and I think the rules support most of them pretty well.

Captain Morgan wrote:
That character exists, but seems limited to like... Wizened old sensais, primarily. But even the tangent about Tai Chi is about grappling, which is strength based. And dex 10 monks aren't a thing with the exception of mountain style, which has limited damage and a fair share of downsides. The majority of monks are gonna want 18 in either strength or dex and at least moderate investment in the other.

This is true. But the low Str, high Dex Monk is still viable, if not ideal.

Captain Morgan wrote:
The damage value of strength might get lower as you level up, but it also covers a decent amount of other stuff too.

Sure. It's a decent stat. Foregoing it remains generally viable for some varieties of finesse warrior.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Also... We have 3 classes whose whole damage enhancing schtick works primarily with finesse weapons. Yeah, trying to make one of the full plate classes into finesse paths is rough, but you can also multiclass into champion or fighter if that's the case, in much the same way that you should start as a fighter and multiclass into wizard if you want to be swinging a sword more often than casting a spell.

This is very true. The Classes who are devoted to it can ignore Str and focus on Dex easily enough, though.

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Ixal wrote:

I just wished there would be a more polytheistic approach in which it is normal for characters to worship and perform rites to multiple gods based on what he currently needs. Even specialized priests would offer gifts to other deities, only that they were not experts on worshipping a different deity.

After all people know that multiple gods exist. There is no much benefit of only worshipping one, especially when that god can't currently help you.

They literally do exactly this. The first chapter of RotRL, the first thing ever published in Golarion, features a single temple devoted to...I think six different Gods (I'd need to check exact number). The current priest is a Cleric of Desna, but he respects and makes the basic offerings to all of them.

Nothing has really changed since then, with many combined churches showing up and many people praying to different deities circumstantially.

Sometimes this gets ignored by PCs, but it's very much a thing.

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Gortle wrote:
In my experience the players will have flanking as often as not. So saying that this is a bonus for the animal companion is being generous.

I was mostly noting that it artificially inflated the Animal Companion's own to-hit, since it could always provide it. Which seems relevant.

I do agree that an animal companion isn't quite as good in a party where there's an even number of martials and everyone thus gets to flank almost every turn. An odd number of martials make it better.

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Zapp wrote:
Aren't all animal companions useless?

Compared to what? Compared to another PC? Sure. Compared to a single action spent on other stuff and the Feats it takes to have them? Not so much.

An animal companion is a damage buff in creature form, most of the time. How good it is will vary, but it's often pretty useful.

Their offense is certainly behind a PC's, but not so much as to be completely useless. I mean, they provide flanking and give some bonus damage...a Beastmaster's Nimble companion can have as much as +34 to hit at 20th, only two behind most martials of that level, and a +32 is basically the minimum, add in the free flanking and their accuracy is actually not bad, and they're survivable enough to take incidental hits. A boss dedicated to taking them out will succeed...but on a mechanical level, that's a win. Getting a boss to spend multiple turns removing a buff from you is a huge win in PF2.

Having your third attack replaced with automatic flanking and an attack at +34 for 3d8+8 is not too bad for most characters, honestly (it is quite bad for Flurry Rangers specifically...it's amazing for Precision Rangers, though, as that damage goes up to 6d8+4, your Animal Companion getting to benefit from Precision). And that ignores the utility benefits outside combat (two tries at any reactive Perception check, for example), and the Support benefits (many of which are quite good).

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Barding is fine right up until you hit high enougth Dex to no longer benefit from it.

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Wheldrake wrote:
Animal companions are not intended to be on a par with player abilities - more like 3 or more levels behind. The nimble bonuses are nice, but don't fundamentally change that fact.

This isn't the issue. The issue is that a Savage Companion basically has +3 damage over a Nimble one in exchange for -5 AC or thereabouts. The tradeoff between Companion types is unbalanced.

How they compare to PCs is almost irrelevant.

Arachnofiend wrote:
Are Indomitable companions non-viable? They get expert proficiency in barding so unless I'm missing something they aren't hit with the inherent -2 to AC that Savage has to deal with.

It's better, but not sufficient (Nimble Companions actually get to Master in AC...Indomitable ones never hit Master in AC). They still wind up like -3 AC behind and don't have any real advantages to compensate for that.

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graystone wrote:
Exocist wrote:
There’s a reason you almost never see Aikido or Tai Chi in any form of competitive fighting.
There are tai chi in the The Asian Games and wushu, that includes tai chi, has applied to be added to the Olympics plus it's a competitive sport in china. And As I said in my edit in my last post, aikido isn't seen in competition because it's not taught to be competitive and not because it's not capable of it.

Something being an Olympic sport does not mean it's a serious combat art. Olympic Fencing, for example, is pretty useless in a real fight. The same is generally true of Tai Chi, and several other arts.

The Olympians in those sports are incredible athletes, capable of amazing precision to stay within the tournament rules they play under, but that doesn't mean they'd have a prayer in a fight with someone similarly skilled at something like Krav Maga or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Many 'sport' martial arts forbid outright a variety of good combat strategies in tournament and thus train you entirely out of the reflexes to deal with those strategies. Some of that is inevitable in a tournament setting (ie: no eye gouging), but 'sport' arts take that tendency far enough to make them no longer especially useful outside the tournament setting.

For something to be viewed as a 'competitive' martial art, it needs to be competitive with other martial arts. Things like MMA involve just such interdisciplinary competitions, and you basically don't see successful Aikido or Tai Chi practitioners there.

Notably, this has nothing to do with whether the style of martial arts is 'hard' (ie: striking, kicking, etc.) or 'soft' (ie: grapples, throws, etc.). Jiu Jitsu in all its forms is a 'soft' art, focused on grappling and even throws, and it's widely considered one of the best martial arts by serious competitors in such arts. But Aikido and Tai Chi? Not so much. Taekwondo is likewise not usually considered a serious combat art, despite being a 'hard' art, while several other 'hard' arts are considered quite good.

One piece of advice I've run into from people who know what they're talking about is pretty simple: If the martial art's training methodology doesn't involve at least some full speed, full contact, sparring it's probably not a serious combat art. It it does, it's much more likely to be solid. There are basically no Aikido dojos or practitioners who do such sparring, and vanishingly few Tai Chi or Taekwondo dojos that do that either.

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