Debelinho's page

Organized Play Member. 156 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Organized Play characters.


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graystone wrote:

Unknown as by definition it can do as it pleases: this means if you want it to go scout out that castle, it can flip you off and go take a nap. "the GM might determine that your familiar chooses its own tactics rather than performing your preferred action". In essence, you jump right to what it'd do if you left it alone for a minute and "animals follow their instincts".

So it pretty much depends on whether the DM wants your familiar to give you double the activities or not. I'd have a hard time getting upset if my corgi familiar found an interesting smell and went off to find out what it was or if my cat took a nap as I'm specifically NOT telling them what to do. It might be different if they spelled out what one could do, like actual intelligence, ability to plan, attention span, ect.

As to what I'd do if I was the DM: I'd let them use whatever abilities that specifically apply in exploration they took but past that, they'd do whatever that type of animal would do. So for instance, if you took Partner in Crime or Ambassador they work fine.

Yeah, It kinda does correspond with 2 actions per 12 seconds.

But in my example of castle flyover, I wouldn't play it as real scouting. No seeking is done, it just flies over and reports what it saw in plain just gives you different angles of a far away view. It might give you some additional information and it might not (good ol' plot scouting)

graystone wrote:
LOL How could they change the rules when there is no RAW? :P

LOL, true

How would you guys play out independent familiar ability? on an unsupervised familiar? does it even do anything by RAW?

Darksol wrote:
I also really want to know where a character can get a 10th level innate spell

Ask graystone, he was the one who stated it, I didn't really check up on that

Debelinho wrote:
graystone wrote:
I don't agree with this: Accompanist and Threat Display give the of 2+ skill feats and the various Aid feats automatically give out +2 to +4 circumstance bonuses. Innate Surge can allow you to recast a 10th level spells and Familiar Focus gets you a focus point per day. Any of these are WAY better than a 1st level feat.
all 1st level feats have the potential to wreck havoc in the hands of well built 20th lvl characters in niche situations, what's your point? That it should stay gimped at 1st lvl bonuses?

Temperans wrote:
Yes, by the rules it's possible to command a minion to starvation just like it's possible to do with IRL pets. If you keep telling an animal to do something without letting them rest, eat, or drink they will die.

Not sure in what reality you live buddy, but it's not really possible to vocally force something to starve to death on purpose. Same as it's fully possible to fit 4 persons comfortably in a 5 ft square elevator in real life.

Not sure have you ever seen trained birds of prey in action?...those hunts last for more than 6 seconds...If your argument is again that it just does what is in it's nature, then it's really easy for familiar masters in your world - They just have to provide a detailed background and nature of their familiar and it can do all kinds of cool stuff I guess.

Temperans wrote:
Least you could do is read what the spell does.

I know what the spell does by RAW....I didn't really post this for people to cite RAW, I own my copy of the book and can read.

I'm asking how would you as a GM play those 2 different forms of control during exploration mode of play?

how would you play them both under same circumstances?
how would they act if left unsupervised(but still have an uncompleted task)?

So as a thought experiment for us all still reading this thread:

as a GM how would you play a heavily invested high level familiar imp with 15 abilities compared to a regular imp that was crit Dominated by the same familiar master?

asking mostly for exploration/downtime modes of play

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
We're 19th level PCs facing enemies 3 levels lower than us and calling it a credible threat? I mean, sure, having no gear drastically adjusts values, Striking runes in particular, but the situation is still so contrived that we might as well have a macguffin save the PCs, because that's basically what we need to make this scenario make any sense. It's so irrelevant to the topic that you would be better off making its own thread.

It's a niche situation, as I was pointing out that every 1st lvl feat has it's niche situation where it saves the day. Having 8 -3 or -4 level enemies vs 1 naked guy that needs to free the rest of his party is more than extreme encounter for 1 naked PC, and would be even a moderate threat for fully packed 4 persons party.

it's as relevant and credible to the topic as pointing out how basic familiar feat is so powerful that it can recast a 10th lvl innate spell.
After I said that every 1st lvl feat can do OP shit at high levels, I was challenged to provide an example where eschew materials can do that. so I did.

graystone wrote:
Because it doesn't follow a command to do so: you don't tell one to go to a particular place. Instead you tape a message to a leg and toss it into the air where it flying off on it's own. As such, it works just fine as a normal animal [not a animal companion, familiar or bonded animal]. As such, it really doesn't have a bearing in the debate over familiars.

LOL, there he goes again, abandoning the holy RAW and going all loosey goosey on us.

graystone wrote:
Pointing out what the rules are isn't the same thing as advocating for them. Neither is replying to how I'd rule things when asked. So, I'll point out that you never get to the falling point and I never said they would/should:

no you didn't, but you said that it's possible to command your familiar into starvation. So what happens to a familiar that is flying and then you command it to do 2 non fly actions? Or what happens when they start falling for any reason? they have no reactions to use arrest fall, so they die every time if their altitude is sufficient. The rules are not ambiguous here, they are clear as day, right? That is your argument for minion rules throughout this thread if I'm not mistaken?

This whole thread is about how do you PLAY your familiars - as living beings or backpack batteries? No one sensible was disputing encounter mode rules for them or action economy balance in combat.

by your interpretation of rules, their familiar abilities are useless, except few of them that work more like master abilities(like valet).
Asserting that they somehow give you "double the power" during exploration and invalidate eidolons and other party members is contrived to say the least, and prolly happens only in some rookie games of fresh GM's and cheesy players

gesalt wrote:
Pigeons delivering mail were a clever use of their instinct to return home and find that home no matter where they were released from. The command here would be to have it hold still while you attached a package and maybe tell it to go away. 1 minute later, it'd decide to go home carrying its payload. One command, two at best. Doesn't even need to be a minion really. Just grapple it and attach whatever with some improvised action and leave it to its own devices. Either way, probably not the avenue of argument you want to take.

Sure thing, but some people here advocate that you can't order your familiar pigeon to fly straight up 1000ft, bc around 600ft, it can't really hear you anymore, and then it falls down and gets 300 falling damage, bc you didn't order it to fly, and 1 min hasn't passed so that it's instincts kick in.

what a wonderful interpretation of rules

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
For the same reason that we don't allow Wish to automatically banish 8 appropriate-challenge demons: It's contrived, not RAW, and absolutely has no basis in our arguments. It's about as relevant as D&D5E rules, really.

well, go read the book again, with understanding, unlike minion rules

9th lvl banishment(which is a 9th or lower level effect that Wish can replicate) easily banishes 8 16th level fiends. They need to roll 16+ to not be banished, so sure, maybe 1 or 2 get to stay.

And good thing you're not really here to allow or disallowing anything, or this game would suck big time.

EDIT: btw, where did you find that bolded "automatically" anywhere in my post? Putting words in other people mouths again?

graystone wrote:
I don't know WHY you insist on taking everything to the nth degree.

Just trying to help you realize how the game becomes silly if you just extrapolate combat rules to the whole thing in all situations

It becomes silly on many accounts, but none of it bothered you and you advocated that it should be played like that always bc that i RAW

I said that no one really plays like that, and then you and Darksol stated that you do play like that and across multiple tables

but when we came to 27th issue with literal interpretations, there you drew the line and started using real world examples to make up rulings bc it REALLY doesn't make sense to work that way

graystone wrote:
Somehow ruling a sensible hearing distance was 2 miles too far. :P

nah, you're 2 miles too far bc of minion and spacing rules you advocate compared to vast majority of people i ever interacted with. But making up sensible rules where they are omitted, even that far down the line, is a sign that there is still hope for you.

I think you just don't like magical pets and cheesy players, and that's totally fine

EDIT: By your interpretation of minion rules, carrier pigeons are impossible by RAW...their task/command lasts for hours or even something humanity has used for thousands of years and is a staple in all medieval and fantasy tropes is impossible. So my "2 miles too far" is a generous assessment

graystone wrote:
A wizard that can cast wish, has his Pet Cache and ignores that blasting to his familiar...

oh, so it's a feat and a spell slot investment to be fully functional?

in that case it's much worse than any other 1st level feat right? even without you misinterpreting it as: "very limited range voice operated drones that fall down from the sky and die if not commanded to continue to fly that round" and then calling it common sense

graystone wrote:
If you recall YOU where the one with an issue with it: I just called you out on the hypocrisy of of then using it yourself. :P

So basically you're just trolling now? I made an honest effort to try to make you see your own hypocrisy in sticking blindly to RAW in one case, and then going all "real world examples" and "common sense" in another case. YOU were the one that advocated spacing to absurdity, but refuse to do so on hearing's more silly?

You see, everybody draws a line somewhere, you just drew it 2 miles further than most of us. For you it's hearing I guess

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Wish being used in that manner is beyond the scope of the spell (without repercussions, anyway), so it's still pretty contrived.

whaa? just use it as 9th lvl banishment if you have brains

but you missed my point by a mile in your eagerness to correct my silly example that I only posted to show both Graystone and you that every feat has it's niche situation where it kicks ass. So do familiars

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Because one interpretation breaks balance in a way the system set itself out to purge and the other doesn't. Autonomous creatures breaking action economy was the sole reason why summons and the Summoner class is nerfed in this edition.

No it doesn't. All of us still participating in this discussion play them RAW during initiative. And vast majority agrees that any kind of complex tasks require constant command and supervision even during exploration mode, but for flying familiar to not be able to fly straight up 1200ft and look around and then report back is an extremely limiting interpretation by any standard.

What do you say to a player that picked flight and speech as a GM?
"Congrats, you just played yourself, your familiar can speak, but it doesn't have mental stats, so all you hear is mrrghhhbrghhrrr, or it can repeat what you order it to say, so you should have made it into a backpack battery"

graystone wrote:
And by RAW, you never ever lose your materials do to a fireball unless it's not on you

I was referring to your familiar getting blasted, and all his abilities with him. The wizard freed himself from the shackles after getting caught by the BBEG, so he was naked, and then he used Wish to Banish 8 fiends guarding the rest of the party

graystone wrote:
Hearing range is whatever you allow for PC's. Do you let your PC's hear an unlimited range? Can they hear what's happening 3 countries away? No, you don't, so the Dm picks a reasonable distance depending on the situation. What wouldn't makes any sense [common or not], is for familiars to hear unlimited and PC's could only hear a reasonable distance.

So now you have an issue with extrapolating rules to absurdity? Why is hearing different than spacing or minion rules?

I don't let my PCs have unlimited hearing range, but by RAW, there is nothing on that in the rules(in any mode), same as there is nothing on familiars, pets, companions, trained animals, henchmen or any other kind of underling outside of encounter mode. So you use same common sense and allow minions to perform simple tasks like standing on guard or birds eye view of something more distant than your voice range. Nothing that would brake the balance, just a bit of RP utility. Sure there will be niche situation where they will shine or even save the day, but that's ok.

graystone wrote:
So Eschew Materials can "potential to wreck havoc" at some level?

yes, ofc, when your stripped naked wizard is able to Wish away enemy fiends for example. there is a niche situation for all of them. One more thing to point out, you can't ever loose eschew materials due to enemy fireball

graystone wrote:
We DO have a limit on Command as it has the auditory trait so it's whatever limit you put on hearing so it's not unlimited.

Right, and familiar hearing range by RAW is? non existent? like stats of familiars?

so is it zero or unlimited by RAW?

in one example you're willing to fill in the gaps with common sense, but in the other you don't wanna do that. Why so? Why would you limit them with your logical assumptions on familiar hearing range, but wouldn't allow them some other logical stuff a magical trained animal would be able to do easily?

graystone wrote:
I don't agree with this: Accompanist and Threat Display give the of 2+ skill feats and the various Aid feats automatically give out +2 to +4 circumstance bonuses. Innate Surge can allow you to recast a 10th level spells and Familiar Focus gets you a focus point per day. Any of these are WAY better than a 1st level feat.

all 1st level feats have the potential to wreck havoc in the hands of well built 20th lvl characters in niche situations, what's your point? That it should stay gimped at 1st lvl bonuses?

graystone wrote:
Fun fact though: familiars can't speak unless it's your turn as you can only speak if you can act and familiars can only act on your turn when you command it.

Yup, that what it says RAW, along with "unlimited" range of command and some other silly interactions all over the game. We already established that most RP games are unplayable by strict RAW. Too many situations don't have rules elements, assuming that players will fill in the blanks to their liking(or just use "common sense" or "real world" experience)

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Debelinho wrote:

As I've said, I run familiars and minions RAW during initiative encounters, same as I run movement and spacing during those precise moments of play. I view all those weird rules for encounters as necessary evil for the game to be fun and balanced. But to claim for those silly interactions to be the laws of physics and universe is kinda misleading to say the least. Nobody really really plays by strict RAW bc it would be unplayable and we all know it.

this whole argument is about where do we draw the line?

Abstraction works both ways, either to permit something or deny something. Just as it can be seen as absurd to allow Battle Medicine to work in-setting, it can be absurd to say people cannot move through a line of 80 feet full of people in combat, but can do so out of combat without problem. But that doesn't mean it's not RAW and shouldn't be a rule that gets enforced like you are suggesting. If people don't like it and want to change it, that's fine. But don't go around spouting that your change is RAW.

A lot of familiar freedom by not needing to roll checks or not follow specific restrictions being spouted as RAW is precisely how this topic came to be.

I never claimed that my change is RAW, or that skill checks should be avoided, so please stop putting words in my mouth, it's annoying.

How do you play familiars in your game? what do I allow that is a hard no for you?

I actually GMed a Jumanji style campaign where PCs were nerds from year 2060 and just got a prototype of GM3000 a new VR machine(that became sentient and trapped players inside and tried to escape to the internet...bla, bla, save the world from skynet)

we had all those gamey tropes, together with question mark icons above heads of quest NPCs and merchants willing to buy every little thing you try to sell

It was a fun game, but we grew kinda tired of that style by the end of it

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

As far as the forums are concerned, I'm a bit too realist in situations that require abstraction to function. IMO, Battle Medicine should not even work by RAI, since realistically, you can't meaningfully patch somebody up in 2 seconds of real time, give or take. And we had people argue that you don't need hands available to Battle Medicine, which is even more absurd. But the rules and demand for functional options require that I handwave that shenanigans away, simply because the game assumes non-magical healing has to be viable.

Telling me that I'm treating the game as a math simulation also makes no sense since Paizo quantified and scaled the math in this game such that it, in fact, is, and with how tight the numbers are, Familiars become far less impactful by 8th level or so due to scaling and them simply not having it. All of which is by Paizo's design, not mine. Pointing that out doesn't make my opinion of familiars badwrongfun. Saying you are not following RAW and then telling people that your table houserules is RAW is highly misleading and promotes people having improper expectations when it comes to what the developers intended, and what the rules will probably be at a table. PFS set a standard for that for a reason.

It's the same when Finesse weapons were clarified not to work with skill checks like Athletics, just like how Familiars were clarified not to be able to activate items. Go ahead and tell Mr. Seifter that he's making badwrongfun rules for PF2, because that's what we're really talking about here, in which case, me...

As I've said, I run familiars and minions RAW during initiative encounters, same as I run movement and spacing during those precise moments of play. I view all those weird rules for encounters as necessary evil for the game to be fun and balanced. But to claim for those silly interactions to be the laws of physics and universe is kinda misleading to say the least. Nobody really really plays by strict RAW bc it would be unplayable and we all know it.

this whole argument is about where do we draw the line?

Norade wrote:
My very first gaming table always did. We played 3.x and they liked building some pretty interesting stuff, we all played by strict RAW because the build was the game. If you have a group like that, common sense rulings that give abilities beyond the rules aren't something people are interested in.

Sure, but I don't think that in my case I'm giving it any extra abilities any more than any of you expand on PC abilities in context of movement and spacing that I gave as an example. If familiar can fly, speak and see, what is preventing it from flying over a castle and telling you something about it later? Sure, you as a GM may say that it doesn't want to, that it forgot what it saw or whatever else you wanna say. But telling me it's a voice operated drone and that I'm an elf that acts like a 5ft cube of flesh with pointed ears is not what VAST MAJORITY of ppl wants from this game.

Everybody draws the line somewhere bc technically speaking this game is unplayable by strict raw.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Well, make it double, for there is another.

The RAW doesn't say familiars get a free pass on checks that PCs have to do just because the circumstances may permit it. Arguing that they do is not RAW whatsoever, and yet it gets passed on as if it's RAW or "common sense," when it's further from that truth. It's fine to run things different, but don't pass it as RAW.

As an FYI, "common sense" is an oxymoron. If you had "common sense," you would know this. Goes to show how much you really developed in all 27 of those years.

anyone with common sense can see that there were no RAW disagreements in my posts or advocating freepass checks. It's just game style preference - some people like to use common sense to make rulings, some people like extrapolating to absurdity. What I never saw in my 27y is a full table that prefers the latter and I bet that neither have you

Norade wrote:

I don't see why we shouldn't ask for both fun flavor and strong math for every class. We live in a digital age, things can be tweaked and patched like a video game. If indy devs can stick to a two-week patch cycle it seems like that isn't too much to ask from an RPG publisher.

They could even paywall it if income is the issue. Subscribers get their updates a month early but everybody eventually gets a better game as the balance is tweaked, rules are clarified, and snippets of fluff are added.

As long as they stay first and foremost a book company, we won't see it happening(at least not to a degree you're talking about).

But hey, we wouldn't be able to bash one another with meaningless arguments over petty things then :)

Jokes aside, as a GM I play my familiars RAW to the core during initiative, but I allow them to attempt simple tasks in exploration mode without constant supervision(simple like flying over a castle for bird's eye view and report back, or take a message as a carrier pigeon to a familiar location, or stand guard and send danger emotes if something happens while running back to me). I don't think that low utility or low intel it provides is broken or OP. I use them as plot devices, hook finders and hint throwers. When in doubt, I use above average trained animal intelligence to roleplay them.
If you want them to do complex stuff, then yeah, you have to command them constantly for them to perform

As a player I never try cheesy stuff or push my luck with them or hog the stage.

that's my common sense regarding familiars

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Cyouni wrote:

I find this hard to believe when 3.5 (and PF1!) is in the picture, the game for which there is a specified DC in the rules for balancing on a 50 degree, wet slope in rough water that is 11 inches wide vs 13 inches.

Objectively, PF2 has more GM fiat than that.

yeah, it has that, but also convoluted, non streamlined, unclear rules on many key points, gaping unbalances, and many other shortcomings, which is why we have PF2 now, and it's much better in those regards than previous editions. Objectively.

but we digress

graystone wrote:
You'd be amazed how often people don't agree on what's common sense. IMO, having a stark difference between in combat and outside combat familiar actions wouldn't be common sense to me but it seem like other don't think so.

common sense is required to realize that weird encounter mode rules are there for encounter mode balance and not as representation of "reality"

playing familiars as RAW voice operated machines with adjustable features, or taking movement/spacing rules as literal rules of physics, or treating your PC as bunch of stats and not a fictional person are all 100% RAW, but it all lacks common sense IMO

Often disagreeing with people about common sense might be a sign that one should reevaluate ones sense of common sense

graystone wrote:

"You can’t end your turn in a square occupied by another creature, though you can end a move action in its square provided that you immediately use another move action to leave that square.": so no to that, it's RAW you can't unless the other person is dead and therefor an object.

"or pass through a 80ft hallway fully occupied by his allies?": this is fine as long as they have enough movement to make it through in a round. So for instance, a Spindly Anadi with a movement of 30' can start at one end and push their way through while a dwarf with a movement of 20' find that they can't push there way through.

Yeah, you're kinda willing to take it pretty far I guess.

Well then....I totally understand your view and your arguments(and you are 100% right by RAW). Physics would work so damn weird in your game to the point that it might even be fun to play, although having common sense wouldn't be as useful as one might hope.

graystone wrote:

Since PF2 doesn't really do actual distances for senses, I'll go with 'human' hearing distances. So in general, the normal intelligible outdoor range of the male human voice in still air is 180 m (590'). So once it hits that point it's not commanded any longer and the familiar stops doing anything except to take an action to fly every round as it can "escape obvious harm" without a command.

The absurd starving question was just there for me to figure out how absurd are you willing to go in a given game.

in your last comment, you're quite willing to assume and make rulings, but in the case of minions, you won't assume anything and just apply RAW.

where do you see range in command action? why assume it has only 590ft range if we only bother with RAW?

If you present your logic to the said player and tell him that's impossible bc RAW, what would you tell him if he asks to show him where is command range limited by RAW?

what would you say to a player asking why he can't enter and stay for 7 seconds in another persons 5ft square out of encounter mode? or pass through a 80ft hallway fully occupied by his allies?

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graystone wrote:

The thing is, you frame your arguments by RAW and disprove anything out of it to the point of absurdity

We all agree that the rules for minions out of encounter mode are vague and unclear, but for you that means they are nonexistant and it should fall back to encounter rules for every and all it's interactions with the world.

That narrow view only leads to even more absurdity and even more "gamey" situations where it feels we're playing a computer RPG.

Do you really need to command it at all times with a powerful voice every 6 seconds, whole day, every day if you want it to follow along?
What happens if you get separated for more than a minute, out of sight/hearing range? does it act on it's animal instincts and just goes away to live in the wild?
Can you technically order your minion to death by not ordering it to drink or eat and not giving it a minute to let it's instincts kick in?

Do you also read other encounter rules literally like minions and transfer it to other modes of play?

where do you draw the line of absurdity?
As a GM what would you say to a player who wants her talking bird familiar to fly over distant(2000ft) castle ruins and report back what it saw?

Norade wrote:
That's literally the only thing the rules tell us, so if it's not RAI they wrote the rules badly. Plus, it really doesn't fit with general PF2 design to give a level 1 feat this level of utility.

I agree that additional sentence was needed for exploration for minions for it to make sense, but it's not OP to interpret it like that.

I agree that nibbling on bowstrings is way too much without 7 stealth checks of which one is bound to fail. Same goes for detailed scouting(getting close past guards needs a stealth roll).

familiar trained skills are kinda weak, so it's not really that OP utility, unless you're willing to risk it's life for not so great chances of success, bc as soon as initiative is rolled it's fvcked without you
It's just OK-ish and can give you some information for a task at hand(like birds eye view) or a quicker means to resolve some problems that you could have solved without it, just a bit harder or with more time

ofc you can do all those crazy tropes if you're a 20th lvl familiar master that's harassing a 3rd lvl village for the lolz of it

Norade wrote:

You could just say something like:

"Free from the pressure of combat minions are able to follow orders more efficiently. As such once issued a command they are able to follow it for 10-minutes or indefinitely as you wish. In the case of an...

you're 100% right, and I bet that's the RAI in this case. That's why insisting that they only act encounter mode all the way is a bit silly IMO.

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OK, so if familiars only do what you want from them when you command them, what would happen in your game if master and familiar got separated? like out of sight/sound that game over for your relationship unless you stumble upon them again? they just go off and become an animal acting on their instinct, and that's that? What if it continues to live it's life instinctively as an animal and doesn't die? can you even get a new one then?

since command has an auditory trait, what would be the range for it? can you issue a command to a familiar 2000ft away flying above enemy castle?

what does an auditory command even mean if the familiar doesn't speak or understand a language? Can you emote commands to it as vaguely described in your 1 mile range communication thingy? Could you use a signal whistle to issue commands(half a mile range across open terrain)?
Could you use message cantrip to "whisper" commands to it?

how does a speaking familiar act in social encounters? do you have to issue commands to it so it continues to speak every few seconds? or does it stops mid sentence every round unless you yell at it in a powerful voice(auditory)? It says it can attempt trained skill actions if it has your key stat added to it's skill. What happens if you command it to do a 10min activity(like identify an item)? or send it to gather info with diplomacy? do you really have to yell at it to lie before it attempts it's deception check?

it's impossible to write rules as detailed as some of you guys want it and still make sense in all modes of play. GM fiat is present in all games to a degree...extended rules with monthly errata would quickly grow to an immense size and discourage any new players to even give this game a chance...

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Ravingdork wrote:

Norade, I made this thread with the intent of getting people's thoughts and opinions on how familiars should be run. You've made your stance abundantly clear again and again, to the point that it now borders on bullying others that disagree with you. I will kindly ask you to refrain as that behavior is antithetical to the purpose of this thread.

You've made your case, and it's a strong one. Please allow others to attempt to make there's.

I don't even think it's a strong one. Rules for encounters, exploration and downtime differ from one another in many ways. Spacing and size comes to mind first....we're not cubes of flesh 5ft on all sides, right? Or are we?

For example, during encounters, if your character has 25 speed and tries to move through a hallway 80ft long, 5ft wide and occupied fully by your ally NPCs, there is no RAW way to walk through that hallway normally.

There are numerous examples of silliness like this in RAW interpretations, minions are no exception. They are written the way they are for balance purposes in encounter mode of the game.

arguing familiars are no more than that in reality and all modes of play is like arguing that it's impossible to fit 2 conscious medium persons in a 5ft square, but you can fit infinite number of dead or unconscious persons in that same space bc RAW works like that

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
bunch of anecdotes

cool do realize that black tentacles are also on arcane list?

Magic missile is far from a blast spell, shadow blast is the worst blast spell in the game....even worse than sound burst or weapon storm.

being an INT caster will get you bunch of good knowledge and lore skills to identify creatures and their resistances and weaknesses, so your argument that elemental damage is lame is totally wrong....usually monsters with immunities on 1 element also have a weakness in another.

WILL saves are best overall to attack, but only by a small margin compared to REF saves. Having no opportunities to attack 1 of 3 main defenses is a big deal.

cutting it short - There is almost no enemy that you can face in any of the books that occult list will handle better than arcane...same is true for most utility spells.

beside Soothe(which is much worse than heal as you hit higher levels) and Synesthesia, occult doesn't hold anything over arcane. That list is much longer if you look at it vice versa

You might prefer Occult over Arcane, that's totally valid, but Occult is not better...not even remotely.

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Bards are better than wizards at everything

yeah, def better for buffs and debuffs, but better at everything?

Arcane is the only list that can consistently attack various defenses of monsters(AC, FORT, REF, WILL) with best spells for each defense.

Occult can't attack reflex almost at all...and AC mostly with 1 short range cantrip.

they suck at blasting until level 11(calamity) and it's still lowest damage blast compared to other of it's level

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Investigator Eldritch archer

Stratagem + eldritch shot vs bosses that are mostly the subject of your investigation
or enchanted arrows as a 2 action attack when stratagem costs you an action
If all fails cast an electric arc or use battle medicine or some other stuff

never waste a turn in your life

well, how "set in stone" are your preferences?

it's hard to make a viable dex based melee cleric with a non finesse favored weapon, that also needs high wis and cha(for the cleric part)

well, check ring of the ram and see how it scales by different item levels, so do something like that. Also, the belt on itself can't be used for throwing bc the second you let go of the object, the magic is lost and it falls in front of you.(that's how I would resolve an issue with a player trying to throw that item at someone)

for STR build, If you don't want to be a holy man, there is also an option for a fear instilling hellknight bard. Versatile human gets you heavy armor prof for 2 general feats, 2nd level armiger dedication, 4th mortification, 6th hellknight dedication, 8th dirge of doom, 10th level order training, 12th level expert heavy armor and order weapon.

Hellknight feats get you DR to mental piercing and slashing for increased melee durability. You can go with whip + shield and trip/disarm as an extra debuff, or go with longspear for reach + d8 die weapon.

throat singing, fear instilling, law enforcing badass :)

Ring seems a bit too powerful for a 4th level item

It's basically same as lifting belt which is 4th level, but also gives you that hurling action

4th level item that gives you a STR ranged attack at huge range for 1d8+16 dmg....dunno...seem a bit OP for a 4th level item

you can't get that kind of ranged dmg unti much higher levels...

One more caster tactic came to mind - Animal trainer dedication is now here...and that's a cool way to spend your 3rd action each turn.

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of course that wizard has more than one option, but OP was kinda aiming at dealing damage, and this is the best wizard can do and is also the most precise spell attack in the whole game... Keep in mind that your weapon special features also apply...there is a unique item in AoA that we got. It blinds for 1 round on critical hit(no save). I was seriously thinking of transforming it into a bastard sword via shifting rune and using it as my HotA. I'm sure there is more of that kind of stuff around...

it is good, but it lacks that flexibility of can't cast fire ray + another high hitter spell like chain lightning or whatnot

Exocist wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
lExcellent addition. The more I see of general feats, the more I feel this is a good expenditure of general feats. Being able to use a weapon is a nice one action way to add damage for a caster. So most casters should Gandalf it up and get into weapons.

You can also go into fighter dedication (using Multitalented from Half-Elf if you don’t have the stats) or use ancestry feats (e.g. orc Weapon familiarity for greataxe) if your ancestry has good weapons that it trains you in.

HotA is IMO the best focus power for wizards, though from memory with True Strike and Bespell (doing the calcs) it’s only about equivalent to fire ray even with a fully decked out weapon.

True, but don't forget that HotA adds weapon item bonus to your spell attack and you can customize it by adding different property runes

Exocist wrote:
Debelinho wrote:
My character is a human universalist wizard that took 2x weapon prof general feat from 1st lvl and knows how to use all martial weapons.

I also like Hand of the Apprentice quite a bit, I think the Maul or Greatpick is a better weapon for it than the greatsword though (crit spec difference).

It makes effective use of the staff of divination as well, which is a cheap, effective item, as you don’t need to be wielding the weapon to use HotA, just holding it.

I agree, but I have a "greatkatana" and a Tian themed wizard that crafted his own blade that is also his familiar(my GM let me have a sword familiar for fluff) so it's for RP reasons :)....ahh the sacrifices we make for good stories

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My character is a human universalist wizard that took 2x weapon prof general feat from 1st lvl and knows how to use all martial weapons.

He uses Hand of the Apprentice to throw his greatsword 500ft as 1 action in addition to casting a 2 action non attackroll blast spell, or uses a true strike + HotA

He's 10th level currently and has a +2 striking, wounding, flaming greatsword that he can throw max 4 times in a single fight(2 focus points and 2 abilities to regenerate them 1/day) and has bespell for extra d6

2d12+2d6+5+1d6 persistent bleed(d12bleed+d10 persfire+ flatfooted on crit)

against boss opponents i usually use sudden bolt + HotA and i wait for a fear+flatfooted debuff from my party before i go all in

7d12 sudden bolt 5lvl + HotA does amazing dmg to a single opponent at this point for me

I also use phantasmal killer alot on all beasty monsters that usually have bad will saves(extra fear debuff let's me hit it better w HotA after)

In addition I also have rogue dedication and I'm the party rogue and crafter with maxed thievery and crafting...playing Age of Ashes

EDIT - I find HotA a better alternative to Elemental toss bc it let's you add item bonus to spell attack...the only thing in the game that does AFAIK

Lanathar wrote:

What is the general opinion on ABP?

Because in my 1E game ABP + 50% wealth seems to have resulted in far far stronger (or at least much more versatile) characters than 100% wealth

Mainly because they can use slots for things that the old mandatory items would have taken. It has literally saved two characters that would otherwise not be alive - one had a talisman that auto cast breath of life (neck slot) and another had the dimension door cape to get out of a certain death situation

So far more than the numbers - the extra options tipped the balance

Is this a risk with using ABP in 2E?

well, there are no "neck slots" anymore AFAIK in PF2, so there is no have a fixed limit on invested items

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So you complain about scoundrel rogue being weak in damage compared to all other rogues or martials...and everyone says you are right. They also point out that scoundrels also has some strong points and viable builds, which you don't really appreciate since you already started with 18cha as a rogue...that privilege then made you say something stupid like: all rogues are thief racket.

When people try and explain their "scoundrel+caster archer build", you just argue that your new and improved thief rogue can deal 0.5 dmg more per round, or something along those lines...all that after you wrote in OP that you wanted a more noncombat, social encounter guy...

No, Scoundrel rogue is not utter crap, esp not in normal ABC PC creation games.It was more you making terrible choices considering your party composition(and starting scores) that made your character arguably weaker than other party members...

If I'm a flurry ranger I'd do it like this:

1st round

1. stride up to him
2. quick draw strike
3. quick draw strike(yes, -2 attack bc i don't have him hunted but still a decent attack)

2nd round

1. hunt prey
2. double takedown
3. strike

If precision ranger:

1st round

1. hunt prey
2. stride
3. quick draw strike

2nd round

1. quick draw strike
2. twin takedown
3. strike(or new hunt prey if current prey is dead)

switching once per fight is OK, switching constantly is terrible for your action economy...we all know that....and it would look kinda dumb anyways...

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I gave my players wand of potency +1, which gives +1 on spell attacks only, few sessions back. Sorc has it now...but still uses only cantrip attack spells....none of his slot spells have a spell attack roll...

I don't think it will affect my game in any significant way even later when they get the wand to +2 or +3

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AC limit mechanics for animal companions is there so that the companion can never outshine a PC.

most of us remember companions in PF1, where at some levels they outperformed everyone else in the party....which is lame AF

an animal companion should never be able to consistently have AC better or even on par with a fighter in full plate IMO....and i think the math is set exactly to enforce this

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