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Gorbacz wrote:
No, it's mostly a problem of people used to their Landsknecht / Savage Horticulturist 134 DPR kukri juggle build PF1 characters who would never miss with their 11 attacks and are now faced with the brain-shattering reality of the PF2 math working differently.

I agree. In PF1e you could achieve similar never miss a skill DC/hit build without getting excessively convoluted; in fact I think it was quite easy to end up with such a build with very little effort. For example you start with the not unusual character premise of "small and stealthy", you pick a halfling rogue, Skill Focus Stealth and 20 dex. Without really trying, your first level halfing rogue has a Stealth mod of +16.

So I think it's reasonable to assume that a section of people complaining about chance in PF2e had, intentionally of otherwise, taken for granted such builds in PF1 and are now experiencing a degree pf edition shock. It's pretty much the only way I can get my head around people complaining about chance existing in a game system based on rolling dice.

If my players' experience of Plaguestone is anything to go by, having multiple PCs who can provide healing in and out of combat is very useful.

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MaxAstro wrote:

Wanted to chime in agreement to be careful with Plaguestone - unfortunately it ended up being not the best introductory adventure because the later parts are quite difficult.

Remembering that most things don't have attack of opportunity is definitely something that took my players time to get used to... I think one thing that helped is that one of my players is a fighter and I would keep having enemies be surprised by attacks of opportunity. Seeing foes get caught off guard and thwapped by an AoO because they weren't expecting one did a nice double duty of reminding the players that AoOs are rare and making the fighter feel more useful (not that she's not useful; she's probably the strongest character in the group. But the player has never played a fighter before and is used to the "fighters suck" mindset of 1e). I'd make a point of saying "well, he's not expecting you to be able to take attacks of opportunity, so he tries to dart past you, and... attack of opportunity, please."

I took a similar approach to helping my players learn that every bonus matters - whenever Inspire Courage turned a miss into a hit or a hit into a crit, I would announce "hits because of bardsong", "crits because of bardsong". Makes the bard player feel good and helps the players see how often +1 bonuses come up.

I'm hoping to turn the difficulty of Plaguestone into an opportunity to showcase magical items, in particular wands, staves and talismans. With any luck the additional items in conjunction with starting them at level 2 should balance things a bit.

I think the long ingrained fear of AoOs might be contributing to the reluctance of the spell casters to get into a flanking position with the ranger. While it does put them in more immediate risk I think they'd have an easier time overall.

I wholly agree that GMs should make it explicit when an attack hits or misses due to a buff or debuff. I played a witch in our 1e game with a focus on debuffing and often had a hard time being able to tell if I was making a difference and felt useless as a result; communication from the GM can really make a difference.

Dward Ancesties wrote:
Nearly all dwarven peoples share a passion for stonework, metalwork, and gem-cutting. Most are highly skilled at architecture and mining, and many share a hatred of giants, orcs, and goblinoids.

This suggests that many dwarves would be prejudiced against goblins. Couldn't see any on AoN about Torag's attitude to goblins. Are you asking as a player or GM?

Don't know what is says about me as a person but I went for Plaguestone precisely because of the name...

That and I wanted a short intro campaign.

Draco18s wrote:
Decimus Drake wrote:
The wizard is enjoying 2e. I have to keep reminding them that they can do more on their turns. The player even expressed that the new action economy felt like they were “cheating”.


PF1 you could move and cast a single spell.
PF2 you can move and cast a single two-action spell.

I'm not sure where the additional action economy is coming from for your group.

The party consists of a goblin bard, a halfling wizard, a human ranger.

Downgrade every fight heavily. Use the rules for player adjustments and assume you only have 2 PCs instead of 3. Plaugestone is brutal if the players are up against anything above their own level. My group has come within spitting distance of TPKs without adjusting upwards for 6 PCs.

Only just realised I forgot to list the leshy druid.

As for how, the wizard can cast a 2-action spell and follow it up with a weapon strike with their dagger, fire their crossbow, cast Shield, use Hand of the Apprentice or demoralise an enemy. All things they couldn't have done in PF1e.

Shinigami02 wrote:
My group has been running a campaign of AoA since September (over PbP, so we're only through the end of book 1, but still) and some of my party-mates are still having a hard time remembering that most enemies don't have AoOs anymore.

I noticed that the ranger's tactics changed from 'stand still and strike-strike-strike-strike' to 'stride-strike-strike-stride once they double checked that universal AoOs were no longer a thing.

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I finally managed to persuade my friends to try out PF2e and I’m interested to hear what challenges, issues or instances of edition shock other GMs and players have run into.

For context I’m running Fall of Plaguestone on Roll20. It’s the second time I’ve tried GMing and the first time any of us have used Roll20. The party consists of a goblin bard, a halfling wizard, a human ranger.

Overall player response has been positive. The GM (bard) for the “main campaign” (currently on hiatus) has been the most positive about 2e and made the most effort in learning the new rules. They did get a bit salty upon learning that small ancestries no longer get bonuses to stealth checks; they’ve always had a fondness for playing small stealthy characters and feel that Paizo has made the small ancestries worse than medium due to the size limits on combat manoeuvres.

The wizard is enjoying 2e. I have to keep reminding them that they can do more on their turns. The player even expressed that the new action economy felt like they were “cheating”. The player got really excited about the changes to familiars; as we were creating their wizard they expressed that they really liked the idea of playing a halfing wizard with a rabbit familiar but had resigned themselves to having a bird “because it would probably be more useful having a familiar that could fly”. They were overjoyed once I explained that familiar abilities were for the most part separate from their familiars form and that they could have a flying rabbit should they wish.

The ranger has yet to voice much of an option on 2e but seems to getting to grips with it. They’ve started changing their tactics to better suite 2e instead of trying to apply the some old 1e ones. For example, they struggled more in the first combat encounter as they approached it with the 1e mind set of ‘stand there and make multiple attacks against the thing’ which left them feeling ineffective as two or three of their four attacks would usually miss. Fortunately by the second combat encounter they had adjusted and have started using more complex tactics e.g. move in, make two attacks, and then move away.

The druid has expressed a dislike for 2e, opining that 2e feels “board-gamey” without elaborating on what this means. To be honest I’m inclined to disregard this player’s criticism as they have long had a tendency to dislike any kind of change that they themselves didn’t initiate.

As a GM what I’m finding difficult is to impress upon my players the greater number of options available to them in combat encounters, the wider variety of tactics this allows, and the need to apply those tactics. The ranger seems to be gradually getting it, but on the whole my players just comment on enemies having high AC etc. but make no adjustments to their tactics. I think this stems from the way the 1e campaigns we were playing for the most part allowed players to get though encounters while playing their characters in very individualistic ways. I think it might also be a case of a +1 bonus or -1 penalty not being valued as much as it should. In retrospect I should have had an arena fight session for a consequence free combat tutorial before starting the campaign.

Yqatuba wrote:
That could be. I could see calling them periwinkle but they look more blue than purple to me. And, yes, I did mean the ones in the bestiary.

To me the one on page 136 looks more blue and the the one on 137 looks more purple. Apparently"lavender blue" is another name for periwinkle. I think both drow fall within a range of lavender shades.

If we're going to unnecessarily pick the art apart on how it deviates from the description then we should probably focus more on the eyes than the skin. The text states "their eyes became sinister red or bleached white" but the art on page 136 shows the eyes as blue and on 137 the eyes are purple.

I'd say Clairvoyance is better than Clairaudience. I can''t speak for PF2e specifically but I did play a diviner in 1e and being able to see what threats were in the next room or area was rather useful. The other thing to consider as how respectful your GM is of players using divination/information gathering spells.

What's the basis for determining the value of the second attack?

I'd say it's worth it. In addition to the benefits stated by Kyrone, it could also help overcome resistance since you combine the damage of the two attacks. What would you take instead of the dedication and flurry?

I think a summoner type class could work with focus spells and fighting in tandem with the pet.


Thanks for the reply. According to their FAQ I need to provide your customer service with my receipt for the purchase.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like the "honorable combatant, pledged to an order, who inspires others" part of the Cavalier can just be assigned to a different class that has nothing to do with mounted combat.

Like something called "Cavalier" needs to be a mounted character because the word literally means "horseman". But "member of a knightly order" can be a class that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with horses.

Mounted combat was intrinsically tied to knights in the real world because horses were very expensive and the best way to get around on the battlefield- neither are true in Pathfinder where we have magic and we generally don't have fights in huge open spaces.

When I briefly played a cavalier the first thing I did was find an archetype (watchman) that ditched the horse; I liked the idea of the class but keeping the mount just wasn't feasible. So I agree that a "knight" archetype and "cavalier" could well be separated.

The real world knight wasn't just a combat role but a social one too, with combat only making up part of their function e.g. there was a time when a knight would only be expected to serve in a combat role for 40 days a year; the rest of the time they’d be running their households, adjudicating legal matters, managing their lands and so on.

As such, I feel the knight would make an interesting class neutral archetype; the 1e cavalier’s order, banner, tactician and challenge features could be reworked in such a way for 2e as to work with any class. I see no reason why any of those concepts should be specific to a martial class.

I think Pathfinder could do with making horses and mounts a more visible part of the world. While magic is a thing and yes it would make a difference, I still think the majority of people would make use of horses, mules etc. for transport. You mentioned knights being intrinsically linked to horses because horses were very expensive and the best way to get around on a battlefield; in truth the cost of a horse would vary greatly and horses were immensely useful for transport off the battlefield too, so even person of modest means could afford decent horse should they have use for one.

Finally I should give a shout out to Modern History TV on YouTube, without which I wouldn’t really know anything about knights.

I'm trying to think of a satisfying way of incorporating goddess-in-transition Arazni with ancestry-in-transition of goblins.

Staffan Johansson wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
Yqatuba wrote:
Makes me wonder why everyone's so sad he's dead if he was such an uncaring jerk. Or why people worshipped him to begin with.
Well, his death was marked by a lot of awful things. A permanent hurricane opened up and decimated two countries, earthquakes destroyed 5 cities of Mzali, storms broke out across the world, a demon lord tore open Golarion, the power of prophecy broke, Imperial Lung Wa fell in Tian Xia, etc. It's implied that his death caused much if not all of this, which makes some people understandably upset that he died.

Which makes me wonder if there's not some Galatea-type shenanigans going on there.

Aberrant RPG spoilers
** spoiler omitted **

I found the Aberrant CRB to be an excellent example of how not to write a rule book. I liked the concept though; recently a friend pointed out the The Boys tv series is how she imagined Aberrant being.

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I'd like to see the summoner make a return, if only because I like the lore of the godcallers. The classes a can't imagine making a full comeback are those who's features made their way into other classes. An example of this would be the shifter where the druid can now get Wild Morph.

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IIrc Lini the iconic druid collects interesting sticks. I find some of the characteristics of gnomes remind me of my autistic nephews; fixations on specific topics or things,intense sensory experiences, keenly observant of patterns and details, a way of looking at the worlds that appears out of kilter with neurotypical people and so on.

Something to remember is that there are no inherently disruptive ancestries, classes or alignments; there are only disruptive players.

I have absolutely nothing to base this on but I get the feeling she'd be a deity more likely to make use of witches.

I was completely unaware of the next AP. It seems like a really obvious thing to do so I'm not surprised it's being done.

Zapp wrote:

Using "free archetype" to mitigate shortcomings in the party (such as nobody pursuing the Medicine skill, or the ability to blend into a Circus, or whatever) is appropriate.

However, the variant does not appreciably make characters stronger, just a little less inflexible. As a minor power-up at best, if you expect it to shore up a party one man short (as expressed both in this and the other thread) you are likely going to be disappointed.

The idea is to make them more flexible though the free archetype and then tweak things as necessary for the power.

I'll be running a short campaign with one fewer players than expected. I'll be using the free archetype system to help offset the slightly smaller group size.

I've had the idea, though it's beyond my capabilities to run, for a city watch campaign. The players are a squad of city watchpersons dealing with crimes and other problems in their section of the city such as murder mysteries, organised crime, sinister cults, entitled rich kids, street gangs, rampaging monsters, adventuring parties and so on. The free archetype would be used to provide useful and thematically appropriate skills and abilities e.g. everyone gets the fighter dedication to represent a standardised basic combat training.

With the upcoming witch class, a witch coven would be very feasible with the free archetype system. I'd be happy to let individual players decide if they want to be a class with the witch archetype or a witch with a class archetype. If there is to be a Coven class feature then it should definitely be made available via archetype.

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Isn't a hazard being dangerous kind of the point? They're called hazards after all.

Yeah, I made sure the accounts were linked before making the purchase. My Paizo account shows I have an active partner authorization. No sign of Plaguestone in my downloads.

I bought the Fall of Plaguestone bundle on Roll20. It says I should be able to unlock the module pdf on my linked account but I can find how to do this.

Fall of Plaguestone

James Jacobs wrote:

If you're talking about him turning Arazni into a lich, that's not bringing someone back to life; that's turning someone undead against their will, which is the most common way undead come about, and it's why creating undead is (99.999% of the time) an evil act.

If creating undead is evil because it's done "against their will" then does this mean if someone requests to be raised as undead the act isn't evil? Would this also make spells such as Suggestion inherently evil as they would be cast against the will of their victims?

Perpdepog wrote:

I second (third?) this becoming a ritual. Coven creation is depicted as a ritualistic affair in literature anyway, well perhaps other than in Disk World where witch covens are mostly formed by inviting your neighbors over for tea.

Making it a ritual also means that the witches have to periodically regroup to do it again, which feels thematic to the concept as well.

Actually while I'm talking on rituals, does anyone else feel like the witch would benefit from a feat which made them better at performing rituals?

The Coven monster ability is pretty ritualistic in that it requires an 8 hour ceremony performed on prospective coven members.

I can understand an argument being in favour of for a ritual-improving ability for witches I also think an argument could be made for most of the spell casting classes and some of the non-spell casting ones too.

dm4hire wrote:
My thought on altering it would be to make the coven feature a ritual instead, that keeps it intact and available. A class restriction could be applied to make it available to witches only.

I could definitely see this working. Getting any use out of the Coven class feature is so far into the realm of GM fiat it might as well be a ritual. I'd still open it up to any witch and not just the occult tradition though.

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Rysky wrote:

Also it’s a Feat, if the option to use it in the foreseeable future (due to party/ally composition) doesn’t seem to come up, don’t take it.

If you do take it and end up not using it, retrain out of it.

You could say that about every feat (or every class) in the play test but that isn't helpful to anyone. The point is to scrutinise the content we're presented with so it can be improved. At this point the feat is a waste of space in the book and as such detrimental to the witch class as a whole.

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Realistically, when will a player get use of this ability? It’s 10th level, it can only be used to form a coven with other creatures/witches who also have it, the benefits seem situational at best, only witches in the occult tradition can take it and you still need three hags to gain any granted spells or rituals.

This ability might work for an NCP, but for a player? It’s a waste of a feat and a waste of space.

Maybe it would be salvageable if it wasn’t limited by magic tradition and the witch could form a bond with players who don’t have the Coven ability. But personally it either needs a significant re-work or to be scrapped.

A radical approach could be to replace the Cackle feature with something based on the coven concept, but not the monster ability specifically. Perhaps something that takes inspiration from the Triadic Priest archetype from 1e? The witch forms a bond with a number of allies (or peons); no real idea has to how this would work mechanically but the effects could vary with the choice of spell casting tradition or patron.

Thematically this feels ‘witchy’ without imposing a very specific and annoying RP expectation in the way of Cackle. I think it would also give the witch a stronger, more distinct identity from the first level; this is particularly true if it’s tied in some way to the choice of patron.

likrin wrote:

The Witch is my favorite class. I loved the design from first and am excited to see it.

So this was an issue I had with the Witch class from 1st edition. Why is it Intelligence based?
They draw power from a patron similar to a cleric and their deity and a Druid and nature.
Many witches in lure are in a cabin in the woods dealing with nature, animals or viewing the night sky.
They are viewers of the future through cards, crystal balls or animal entrails.
They are the ones noticing things others can’t like spirits, breaks or distortions in time and space, the shifting of seasons.
The biggest reason I’ve seen Witches as Intelligence based is the game balance having another Int. caster.
What does everyone else think? Should there be a change? Am I not seeing something?

As already mentioned, witches don't draw power from a patron, they learn from them. The rest of it isn't specifically witch stuff and there's plenty of witchy tropes that fall under other stats e.g. Arcana, Occultism, Deception and so on.

Wumiao Xue wrote:
well,high wisdom characters don’t sign powerful contracts with unknown entities.

I'm sure there's plenty of witches who don't do this either.

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First thing: Yes, I know reskinning it is an option.

Mechanics aside, I really dislike that this hard codes a very niche, annoying RP expectation into the class. Here's a radical idea: maybe I don't want to play a witch who laughs and cackles in combat? When I played a witch, I avoided the Cackle hex for this very reason. I wonder if the thought process behind this core witch ability was something like "lots of witch players take Cackle", that really useful hex that let's you extend the duration of a number of rather potent hexes as a move action, "therefore players absolutely must love having characters that constantly cackle, so let's make it a key feature of the witch class".

I feel that a better option would be to rename it and have it work with any kind of verbalisation, including cackling but also muttering charms and curses, invoking one's patron or just simply screaming.

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Arachnofiend wrote:
siegfriedliner wrote:
Mind you one thing I quite like about alignment Damage is that it could lead to a pyschopass style dystopia were cities went about actively purging evil from them with detect evil sensors and alignment damaged based turrets on every corner to mow down anyone that pings as evil, its flawless because the turrets can't hurt collateral as only evil creatures are damaged by them.
There's a funny catch-22 that prevents this: executing humanoids without evidence of a crime being committed could be considered an evil act. Psycho Pass works because the system's definition of evil is inherently flawed and is frankly closer to what Pathfinder alignment would consider to be chaotic.

It's only catch-22 if you equate lawful process with "good". Their execution has nothing to do with their crimes. They are being killed because they are objectively evil and killing them is a good act because the alignment based damage being used to kill them is objectively good.

I really like the the rarity system. I don't read it as a form of banning any more so than the fireball spell is "banned" because it's only available to casters who are level 5 or higher.

It can help manage player and GM expectations, getting everyone on the same page with regards what spells, items etc. they might be able to find. Thus players can avoid putting together character builds who's effectiveness is entirely dependant on getting a specific magical item or spell.

Gating spells etc. can help limit unexpected actions that circumvent a scenario (I'm actually ok with players doing this). More importantly it presents an opportunity to make obtaining uncommon spells etc. a more significant part of the adventure. So rather than regarding teleportation as a circumvention of a scenario, making obtaining it a possible solution.

I think it might also help encourage players to get a little more invested in the setting which is always a good thing.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Oh, I have no trouble at all agreeing that Wizards are a larger percentage of nobles than they are of commoners. Education costs money, after all.

But it's not gonna be anywhere near all the nobles who are capable of becoming a Wizard, and not all who are capable will do so.

I can agree with this. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don't necessarily think all nobles/wealthy people would be wizards but I do think the majority would have enough magical training to activate wands, use scrolls or even cast a couple of cantrips.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Decimus Drake wrote:
As for those arguing that PCs get to be certain classes because they are exceptional people, well I thinknobles qualify as being exceptional. The clue is in the name "from Latinnobilis "well-known, famous, renowned; excellent, superior, splendid; high-born, of superior birth". But they still lack the capabilities to be anything other than mediocre?
Nobles aren't any more exceptional than anyone else. 'Superior birth' is pretty much a load of crap. A noble can certainly be exceptional, and many are capable of becoming fine Wizards, but no more as a percentage of their numbers than the general population.

Except it would be higher since they have possess material advantages over much of the wider population. That they are born into (or earn) privileged status and makes them exceptions compared to people in wider society and they are of "superior birth" since their birth places them in a superior position is society.

Material advantages is what this is about. All you need to learn wizardly magic is access to sufficient resources; you don't need to be born with a special gift like sorcerers, you you just need money and/or connections. Also I never said they had do be "fine wizards", they could completely suck at it and never progress beyond first level spells.

Vidmaster7 wrote:

It is kind of like asking why aren't all introverts extroverts?

I feel like nobles have a lot of other things to learn too. If they learn mage stuff that's less ruling noble stuff they have a chance to learn.

What's to say these things are mutually exclusive? Knights found the time to train and carry out their duties.

As for those arguing that PCs get to be certain classes because they are exceptional people, well I thinknobles qualify as being exceptional. The clue is in the name "from Latinnobilis "well-known, famous, renowned; excellent, superior, splendid; high-born, of superior birth". But they still lack the capabilities to be anything other than mediocre?

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Natan Linggod 327 wrote:

Or another kind of spell caster.

Magic gives such a significant advantage over (non adventuring) non spellcasters. I don't mean in combat but in every day life.

Divination especially. Want to find out what's the best thing to invest in for the next year? Divination. Want to know how best to organize your troops? Divination. Want to learn what other nations are doing that might affect yours? Divination.

Then there's Enchantment/Charm magic. Want to improve your negotiations? Either charm them directly or boost your own speechcraft with Enchantment.

And of course, there's the protective aspect. Want to defend against anothers Divinations or Charms or whatever? Abjuration.

Since magic in Golarion has been around since literally the beginning of time, magic use should be well established in the societal/cultural structure of every intelligent nation.

And why Wizards you ask? Because anyone can become a Wizard with training. You need the right bloodline to be a Sorcerer. You need true faith and the acceptance of a god to be a Cleric or Druid.

But a Wizard only needs training. Who can afford that training? The upper classes. Every single noble family, merchant clan or similar group with sense would shell out whatever's needed to train their kids with at least the basics of magic use. Even if it's only to enable them to defend themselves against others.


I pretty much share this sentiment. I wouldn't necessarily say that every person of sufficient material means becomes a wizard or other casting class but I do believe that in such a society magical education and training would be common place among such demographics. The extent of this would vary; including just enough to comprehend what a magic consultant/adviser is telling them, or activate scrolls or wands, or cast basic magic to an extent similar to that of the minor magic rogue feat. I think the majority should have the capability to activate the aforementioned items and cast a couple of cantrips; more uncommon but by no means rare, would be those who learn magic to the extent that they would, in mechanical terms, gain a level in a spell casting class. But even then they might not self-identify as a “wizard” etc.

A theme that tends to emerge in threads such as this i.e. what would nobility do/how would they be etc. is that people seem to have this conception that all nobility are incredibly lazy and possess unlimited funds. RL historically speaking this isn’t the case; the majority of nobles would have had to work hard and yes, compared to your average peasant they would have been wealthy but not to the almost unlimited extent people like to think. Irrc in mediaeval Britain, due to the financial strain involved, there’s instances of nobles lying to the king and saying that there’s plague in the area so he wouldn’t visit them. Nobles were keen on showing off their wealth, this would involve things like serving important guests food flavoured with imported spices from the east and claret from France served Bohemian glassware . I can easily imagine Galorian’s nobles being more than happy to brag about have learned magic from a famous wizard or about how they’ve sent their offspring to study at a prestigious mage academy.

I can certainly imagine bard being a common class among nobility; it has a diverse range of useful skills and there’s no obligation to actually be an entertainer, in fact the 2e CRB even presents being a “charismatic leader” as something a bard might pursue. Rogue (not a magic user class but I’m including it anyway) with Minor Magic feat and Scoundrel racket would fit nicely in noble society (2e CRB mentions politician and diplomat). I can see wizard and cleric (particularly of Abadar) being more uncommon but still widespread among nobility. I think sorcerers would be rare but appear more frequently than among the common folk. You might find the occasional eccentric noble becoming a druid but this would be one of the rarest classes.

To me it makes as much sense for nobles be trained in magic as it does for them to be trained in martial matters, which is a lot of sense because Galorian is a violent and dangerous world full of both mundane and magical threats. Yes they would probably have an adviser on hand but having some knowledge themselves would help them more effectively judge if said adviser is a) the real deal, b) not trying to use magic to take them over and c) if b happens, have some chance of protecting themselves.

That last point just gave me an idea for a wizard character: Lord of noble house is disinterested in magical matters, preferring to rely on hired help. Said hired help turns against the family etc. The lord's child goes on to become a wizard because:

a) The evil wizard is defeated by a band of adventurers but the noble house all but destroyed destroyed. Pivotal in the evil wizard's defeat was a skilled abjuration wizard. Impressed by the abjurer's ability to dispel, counter and banish the foul magics of the evil wizard, the sole survivor decides follow in the abjurer's footsteps and sells what assets remained to fund their arcane education.


b) The child escapes and eventually finds a way to learn magic with the plan of returning and getting vengeance.


c) Child becomes the slave-apprentice to the evil wizard. Eventually assassinates their master before leaving it all behind and becoming an adventurer.

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Rysky wrote:
Decimus Drake wrote:
Only wizardly magic was explicitly proscribed in Sarkoris. Sorcerers and witches were fine.
No, no they were not.

I’m happy to back up my claims:

Lost Cities of Galorion wrote:
Warlord Uloric Dziergas and his army arrived in the fall of that year with the high witch-wardens of Iz, Undarin, and Dyinglight, who challenged and overthrew the shaman-rulers of Storasta.
Lost Kindoms wrote:
With the spirits of the planes held in the same reverence as the powers of the land, those with the ability to tap into and manifest such forces—such as oracles, summoners, and witches—numbered among the region’s druids as fonts of religious power and leaders of the faith.
Lost Kingdoms wrote:
Every family was expected to support the clan’s faith by promising its third son or first daughter as an acolyte to the cairnhold’s religious leader, typically referred to as druid, priest, witchpriest, or god caller depending on the leader’s abilities and local traditions.
Lost Kingdoms wrote:
….others singling out and personifying the inspirations for their clan’s witches’powers…
Lost Kingdoms wrote:
For example, thewitches of the Stagheart clan claimed to commune with Alglenweis, daughter of Kostchtchie and the legendary Stag Mother of the Forest of Stones
Lost Kingdoms wrote:
Alongside faith in divine powers spread faith in druidic magic, sorcery, worship of godlike visitors summoned from beyond, and the mysteries of witchcraft. Sarkorians came to see the divine in all things, and came to worship much more than gods, even as they learned to dread and distrust the mortal magic of wizards.

Wizard magic is called out specifically:

Lost Kindoms wrote:
the teaching of wizardly magic was strictly forbidden by the country’s priests. Those discovered possessing or practicing such magic were quietly dealt with—they were given the option of either being exiled or sent to the druid-guarded fortress-tower known as the Threshold, where they would be honoured prisoners
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Decimus Drake wrote:
Only wizardly magic was explicitly proscribed in Sarkoris. Sorcerers and witches were fine.
Looked at Areelu Vorlesh's class lately?

They also imprisoned god callers:

Lost Kingdoms wrote:
it began with the defiant god caller Opon, the cunning witch Areelu Vorlesh, and the wizard-scholar Wivver Noclan.

Only wizardly magic was explicitly proscribed in Sarkoris. Sorcerers and witches were fine.

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I'm interested in seeing what they do with witches in 2e. I loved the 1e witch but hated the way Blood of the Coven solidified certain aspects of the witch/patron relationship; in particular that the witch was basically given all their powers (which I don't think fits well with them being int based) and could now "fall" if they went against their patron in some way (I for the most part view the patron as part power source but mostly teacher). I feel this should have been left vague and up to the player and GM to determine.

I would have liked to of seen some more clarification as to why the witches tended to be viewed with suspicion, lurked on the fringes of civilised society, misunderstood, feared etc. There was even a number of archetypes with witch-hunting as a specific theme. Explanations tended to go along the lines of "people don't quite understand where witches get their power so don't trust them", like your average commoner has a perfect understanding of where wizard, arcanists, sorcerers, oracles, summoners, occultists, psychics, bards, clerics druids and so on get there powers and thus are happy to except them.

In my own headcannon the negative reputation of witchcraft is, for the most part, based on socioeconomic and political factors. To my mind witchcraft is predominately "peasant magic". As such ruling classes, be they aristocratic or of some other sort would predictably be uncomfortable having access to magical power. Wizardry and clerical magics are often subjected to "gate-keeping" by institutions that likely have ties to the ruling elite and benefit from maintaining a degree of magical exclusivity. Having access to witchcraft means there's less need to attend and expensive wizarding academy. If the village has a witch providing remedies then there's little motivation to attend or donate to the local church and the priest's influence is lessened. Many bards are more then happy to propagate tales of wicked witches, in part because a witch can represent competition in providing certain services but most because art and entertainment is often closely intertwined with and operates in service to power.

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RiverMesa wrote:
You'd think there'd be some kind of arcane equivalent to Rahadoum somewhere...


I don't know anything about 3pp so I can't make suggestions there. Since the group lacks a proper caster I'd probably go witch or lore shaman since their spells/hexes draw from both arcane and divine spell lists. I'd then look at options to boost you stealth e.g. familiar, small race, magic, items etc.

I'm not overly familiar with how gestalt characters work but I imagine combining sorcerer with cleric/druid/oracle (any two casters that share a main stat.) should cover most of your casting needs.

What races are the others and what level are you starting at/expted to get to?

Tbh I don't envy you, in your position I'd be overwhelmed by the number of options.

What about having your warlock be a warlock (the vigilante archetype)? You get some spell casting (from the sorcerer/wizard list using magus progression), mystic bolts, light armour proficiency and some other abilities.

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The Scarred Witch Doctor is pretty much an upgrade for a half-orc witch.

Have you looked for more organic ways to communicate the content for the monologue? Imo if a GM wants to monologue they should join a theatre group.

The Feysworn PrC could provide some relevant inspiration (offer entry without meeting prereqs?). Alternatively, in addition to some loot/bonuses you could offer the chance for a free rapid character rework to an appropriately themed class such as the Green Knight.

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Melkiador wrote:
You just need to cast a good descriptor spell for every evil descriptor spell. So, spam that protection from evil spell after each create undead and you're fine.

And this is why alignment descriptors on spells should be ignored; ideally alignment systems are best abandoned altogether. I also find the Occultist's necromancy resonance power irksome; if you want to play a by-the-book good aligned necromancer you'd likely never benefit from from the bonus to animate dead. Personally Paizo should have gone for a more neutral resonance power and had the animate dead bonus as an implement power or part of an archetype.

I've had an idea for a good (in the moral sense) undead using necromancer floating around for a while. He believes that creating and using the undead is not inherently wrong so long as rules are followed.

The core rules are:

1) The reanimated shall preserve the living (in the archaic sense of protect/keep safe from harm).

2) The reanimated must be controlled by the living or contained.

3) The reanimated must be destroyed after a predetermined period of time. This time can vary, it could be be within hours or it could be within years.

People he reanimates fall into three groups:

The Punished: Being reanimated is part of their punishment for crimes committed.

The Penitent: These are usually criminals who volunteer for reanimation to help make up for the wrongs they've committed.

The Pennies: These are reanimated from bodes purchased, usually from families of the deceased or from relevant authorities but some people will sell the right to their body while they still live. If someone volunteers for reanimation (e.g. a soldier wants to keep fighting the enemy even after death) the necromancer would give them a symbolic penny.

The reanimated are treated with respect e.g. bodies are cleaned, maintained etc. With the possible exception of the Punished, the reanimated have their identities concealed as much as possible and are then marked in some way as to clearly indicate their category e.g. Pennies might have a copper coin tied to them, the Penitent might have an altered symbol of a deity of redemption/penitence and the Punished might have brand which also indicates their crime.

While he strives to adhere to all of these principles he is willing to bend of even break them if in dire circumstances where the living are in peril. I'm not sure what alignment the Grey Necromancer would have, probably LN.

So as you can see I've put too much thought into a character that I'll probably never bring to the table since the group of people I play with regard my current character as evil for using the Speak With Dead spell despite my attempts to point out that there is nothing rules or fluff wise about the spell that makes it evil. My point with all if this is that sometimes no matter what you say or do people will have their nonsensical opinions and there's nothing you can do to change that.

Arcane magic was fine in Sarkoris so long as it wasn't of the wizard variety. Bards, sorcerers, witches, summoners (godcallers) etc. were perfectly ok. The thing to remember is there was a core cultural belief that everything is part of nature: angels, demons, magic, cities, all of it. Sarkorians didn't have a problem with arcane magic, they had a problem with wizards who methods were regarded as "re-writing nature". In fact sorcerers, for example, were potentially seen as having a god within themselves so might have be revered and summoners were considered to have the power to manifest local deities or aspects of other gods. There didn't seem to be much distinction between arcae and divine magic.

Sarkoris had major cities e.g. Dyinglight (the spiritual heart of Sarkoris), Storasta (known for its groves and gardens, last to fall to the demons as commemorated in the Song of Sarkoris), Iz (a metropolis) and Undarin (the mercantile heart). I believe druids held most of the political power but had a rather hands-off approach, stepping in only when necessary.I think inter-tribal conflict would be a common feature (raids, blood-feuds etc.) with the druids stepping in if things got out of hand or if unity was need to deal with an external threat.

Iirc the veil between the planes was particularly thin in Sarkoris so think various plane-touched creatures would have been more common. Fey would have definitely have been more common, both of the relatively benign sort and the more malevolent.

You might find the Worldwound Campaign Setting to be particularly informative. It provides quite a bit of information as to how things were prior to the demonic invasion.

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Interesting historical fact: As executioners were often also torturers they would develop a sophisticated understanding of human anatomy (information was also frequently exchanged between members of the close-knit executioner communities) which in turn made them capable doctors. The famous 17th century German executioner Franz Schmidt noted that during his career he'd treated over 15,000 people as a doctor but only executed/tortured/disfigured 700-800 people.

Slumber is a good hex, there's no denying that (unless you're in an undead/construct/elf etc. heavy campaign) but going by my experience Flight is something I benefit from every single session both in combat and out of combat. Slumber has definitely had its moments, such a putting a chimera to sleep mid-flight but the Flight hex has always been a reliable option.

+1 for the Evil Eye love. As a witch it's probably my most used offensive hex on account it's flexible (can't target AC with Misfortune), still applies a penalty on a successful save and you can use it repeatedly on the same target. If I could take only tow of the three hexes I'd go for Evil Eye and Misfortune. Personally I'd go for Flight over Slumber; of all the witch hexes I use Flight the most. You get at-will Feather Fall, a +4 bonus to swim, Levitate 1/day and Fly for 1 minute per level. That's a fair amount of utility for just one hex, though I'm speaking as a witch and the shaman might have better options I'm unaware of.

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