I get that, but I'm still scratching my head on stealth. Let me use an example.
A party of 4 PCs decides to ambush a pair of guards. The guards perception DCs are high enough to notice everyone but the rogue (player 4, lets say). Everyone rolls initiative. The guards roll high, the Rogue rolls a 2 for his Stealth initiative check.
Here is the order:
In this example the rogue is denied sneak attack damage, despite the fact that she hasn't been noticed by the guards. "But wait!!!" you say, "The guards noticed her when they rolled perception checks for initiative!!". To which I would reply: "Did they?"
Does an initiative check serve as a second chance to notice a stealthy character, or does it serve as an indicator of the combat order? Does it do both? It is not clear. What is clear is that they didn't notice the rogue initially, may not have noticed the rogue once combat started, and are at no disadvantage to her whatsoever combat-wise after they act. It seems very very confusing, especially for new players.
By the way, this is why I've moved to 5th. Because I got tired of arguing with players for an hour about these exact situations. The fact that Paizo is making it just as bad with 2E does not bode well for its future.
This isn't great for the rogue if she rolls poorly on initiative checks though. It provides for situations where the rogue remains undetected but is denied a core ability because the enemy has already acted.
The ability isnt called "first-to-act attack" it's called sneak attack.
Yeah, I was thinking the same. Adding to this, does stealth really work this way? If so, you could never use it as a skill to gain sneak attack. Paizo, you called it *sneak* attack...
From stealth skill's Sneak description:
Considering the state of Irrisen and the close proximity of the Worldwound, it wouldn't be hard to add Iuz into the mix and focusing a campaign around him. Irrisen's already got the association with Baba Yaga, so all you have to do is use Iuz's backstory by adding Iggwilv and Grazz't (Baba Yaga's daughter and the Prince of Darkness respectively)
This could open up all kinds of possibilities for power struggles between these forces and the Runelords (if indeed they're around)
I've thought about doing this myself, which is why I'm suggesting it. For those who aren't familiar, these characters were strong apposing forces in the world of Greyhawk.
I've just added a house rule that says you can take an exotic weapon proficiency for the scimitar to allow you to treat them as light weapons for two weapon fighting only, just like the sawtooth sabre.
But I've added quite a few house rules to my PF campaigns. Including but not limited to: getting rid of weapon finesse as a feat, (you can use your dex by default if you are using a 'finesseable' weapon) allowing players to use their dex bonus to damage for those weapons by default, granting quick draw to everyone by default, etc. I basically took what I liked from DnD Next and just applied it to PF. So far it hasn't given dex based characters an advantage.
As an aside, does anyone think this is too much?
With all due respect, and I do mean this respectfully, I refuse to let this go. I am a subscriber and I am complaining; and I'm doing so because of my loyalty to Paizo, not in spite of it.
The subscription and 'Pathfinder Advantage' structure as it is, forces me--financially--to buy previously published adventure paths and campaign setting material from Amazon, because they offer the same product for a better price.
The reason this is disturbing to me is threefold, (i.) I would rather support Paizo over Amazon, (ii.) neither 'Pathfinder Advantage' nor my subscriptions provide me with an incentive to purchase previously printed APs and CS material from Paizo over Amazon (especially if you have 'Amazon Prime') and (iii.) It is well within Paizo's capability to provide me with said incentive, i.e. free pdfs for purchased material if you are a subscriber of that particular line.
Why not handle it this way.
First, if you've subscribed to a particular line, you get the normal benefit. Second, if you purchase any print content from that line after your subscription, you're provided with a free pdf of that content. To avoid abuse in the way of subscribing for a short time, buying a ton of content, and then cancelling you do three things (one of which is already in place).
1.) You do not grant free pdfs for content one has purchased before your subscription.
Worries about abuse will always exist, but other companies do this by providing trial periods, or by putting a minimum cap on the length of the initial subscription. And even if Paizo doesn't do these things, I highly doubt anyone would subscribe, buy $2,000 worth of content, and cancel. More than likely you'll see an increase in subscriptions as people realize that the free pdf for future purchased content in that line is more product for your dollar than Amazon offers, and so folks will continue with their subscriptions knowing that--when their group finally gets around to pitching in for 'Rise of the Runelords'--the free pdfs of that AP are waiting at Paizo.com, and not at Amazon where you can get the whole AP in hardcover for less that $40.
This doesn't insult long-time subscribers because new subscribers are paying exactly the same amount of money as old timers have, and it doesn't insult and punish new subscribers for not knowing Paizo existed or not having the cash to subscribe earlier.
I may be wrong but hey, I'm just looking for Paizo to give me more savvy incentives to continue supporting them, save out of blind loyalty, which is a fickle thing to base an online business model upon.