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Organized Play Member. 37 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 8 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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One difference between the fail forward example cited by John Lynch 106, and those used by Jason in the GCP game, is the improvised nature of the failure.

In the blog post Lynch cites, the maid appears as a negative consequence of the player’s poor roll. The existence of the maid was either improvised by the GM, or was conditional on the negative roll of the player. If they had rolled positive, the maid would not have appeared at all.

In the game Jason ran, although the player framed the task as tracking down the hydra, the GM decided that what the roll actually signified was the amount of time it would take the player to find the hydra - a significant consequence due to the time crunch the players were in.

One of the critical differences to me between these two examples is how they are presented to the players, and the opportunities for decision making they allow the players. In the lock picking example from the blog, the players have no chance to alter their actions based on the existence of the maid - they can’t choose to find another way in to avoid her, or prepair to attack her should she notice them, as two examples, because she only exists as a consequence of a bad roll. I would argue that this takes away players power to influence the game world in favor of advancing the story. I can imagine why it might be necessary sometimes, but also recognize it is perhaps not an optimal solution to the problem of bogging the game down with a failed roll.

Tracking the hydra seems to be a bit different, because the players were already aware they were in a time crunch and could logically presume that tracking would take some amount of time if it was possible in the first place. The way the obstacle was presented already offered them some decision making points, and although the conflict with the time crunch was not outright identified, it was easy enough to assume and therefor allowed the players the opportunity to make decisions based around that consideration.

I would point out, however, that Jason did not reveal to the players that the survival check was an auto-success in terms of tracking down that hydra, and so (to me at least) it came off as slightly arbitrary in the same way the existence of the maid from the lockpicking obstacle would have been. If he had reframed the encounter from the beginning, I think that would have been much more smooth.

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If failure has little meaning, then I agree that it is a meaningless decision and not an obstacle the players should be confronted with. But fail forward as presented seems to change the challenge from success / failure to boon / setback, based on the situation. That seems like a useful tool for a gamemaster.

“You are 7th level? Well, of course your skill is such that you can track down the hydra. But time is of the essence - can you do it without wasting too much time?”

Or from the crypt of the everflame game Jason ran for the GCP crew at first level:

“You need to get down the hill. A relatively easy task - gravity will be happy to help you all the way down. The question is, can you get down without getting too hurt?”

And that later situation is one that appears in games all the time. One of the first obstacles that appears in the Sunless Citadel in 3.0 is climbing down the cavern. If you fail, you don’t remain at the top. You fall. So this is a framework that has always existed in the game, its just being formally labeled and possibly, should you so choose as gamemaster, applied to more situations.

I have a lore warden with it. It is hard to justify via Roleplaying sometimes, and the linguistic limitations have come up. But I do enjoy being able to interact with the game in that way.

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Tallow wrote:
I'm not a fan of Sea Legs being the name of the feat for holding your breath and swimming well. Sea Legs, to me, more refers to exactly the abilities that the Pirate Dedication feat grants.

Maybe something like salt strider as a name

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I would like to see the structure of a social encounter fleshed out a bit more, which Ultimate Intigue did not really do. Formalizing processes that appear in many of the scenarios and adventure paths would be advantageous I think.

Kiln Norn wrote:

Now that said, is static damage fun? Sure, I know what I'm going to do and don't even need worry about dice. But what's the point of a dice game without dice? I've never been a fan of so many stupid static bonuses that my actual weapon attack doesn't matter besides, "Is it a 2h weapon?".

It would be fairly easy to take the die roll out of the damage if you wanted. Say minimum damage when you hit their AC, average damage when you rolled over it. Roll over it by 1 or more and you do full damage and STRx2. A natural 20 is double damage and STRx2.

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MerlinCross wrote:

15 capes. I'll be the most super of all supermen.

Honestly I expect rings to be the go to item now for terms of "expectation"

Actually both sides can make all sorts of claims but until we see the magic item list, all of this is guess work.

No capes.

Raynulf wrote:

After skimming through the comments, I have noticed a focus on what was in PF1 the "skills", when the blog post was talking about proficiency with... well... everything. Attacks, skills, spells, saving throws, contests of strength; the lot.

What that means is, once you've learned how proficiency works on one character class, you don't need to learn an entirely new suite of mechanics/mathematics to play a different character class.

In 3.5 and PF1, there was a range of different mechanics to do different things. In PF2, Paizo seemed to be trying to unify them under a common mechanic - to help streamline gameplay by simplifying how many rules people need to remember, without reducing the actions they allow. Skills, attacks, saving throws, combat maneuvers, etc; rather than using different math and different statistics, they use the same basic line of Level + Proficienty + Stat + Items.

Speaking as an engineer, I am impressed.

That being said, I think the original post about proficiency does not represent the complete PF2 skill system. At present, we only know about proficiency ranks, which is at best 50% of the skill system. Paizo have hinted at the existence of skill feats and that they can do amazing things. Depending on how integrally they are tied to the system, trying to judge whether the scaling of the proficiency bonus is appropriate might be a bit like judging how a car handles before the wheels are put on.

This is a great analysis and makes me look forward to the system.
In 3.0, 3.5 and PF1, skills could result in bonuses varying as dramatically from –10 to +80 (or higher). The extreme range meant that some of the party never needed to roll to succeed, and others never attempted to roll as they couldn't succeed. Neither case was especially exciting or fun. The variation of skill bonus also meant that skills couldn't be used as a method of determining many contests in PF1, thus prompting new systems like combat maneuver checks, which represented another variable that players needed to calculate.

PF2 is constraining the numbers, to encourage...

Wheldrake wrote:
rooneg wrote:

I agree that it's really unclear how Resonance should work with Potions and Scrolls. They just don't feel like they're in the same league as other items, and you can curb abuse by managing their price if necessary.

As for wands, one thing that jumps out at me is that by virtue of this even existing it radically changes the whole "you're responsible for your own healing" attitude in PFS. If you can't hand a wand off to the friendly neighborhood "person who can actually activate it" and expect them to actually have Resonance remaining to fire a charge off when you need it, then characters without the ability to use healing items are going to be in some trouble.

Potions and scrolls could have different effects without resonance and with resonance: minimum effect/CL without resonance and maximized or at CL=character level with resonance investment.

I just wrote a rather lengthy post suggesting several ways to finesse the suggested resonance investment mechanic so I won't repeat it all here. But there are ways to improve the mechanic we have only glimpsed so far.

This I like. I will be sure to check out your other post.

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RumpinRufus wrote:
Cheeto Sam, Esquire wrote:
Nothing is more unheroic than sitting around for a minute or more after combat poking everyone with a clw wand.
Leaving the townsfolk trapped in a cultist-controlled cathedral while you go back to the inn for a night's sleep is significantly less heroic than sitting around for a minute or more after combat poking everyone with a clw wand.

And this is a problem with adventures that push you to keep exploring by presenting a ticking clock mechanic that is at odds with a system that rewards you for going at your own pace and conserving resources. You kinda get it in crypt of the everflame (save the sister) all the way to the war of the crown adventure. Burning the wand was a way to get around the mechanics and return to the narrative. Resonance implies a rather extreme change to adventure structure, and that makes me very wary. But, it’s also so tied into other things that we will have to wait to see how it interacts with all the rules.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I don't really want Charisma to be useful in every fight or dungeon. I want more robust mechanics for interacting with people (and similar) in social situations.

Yes this please

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RDM42 wrote:
If you could sacrifice actions to improve the results of the one action you still take it much get have some of that ‘vital strike’ feel.

Oooh maybe a feat to make weapon damage scale like spell damage when you use two or more actions?

Patrick Newcarry wrote:
Cyrad wrote:

I really, really, really dislike the progressive penalties for multiple attacks. Each attack having a different bonus is what bogs down combat the most with multiple attacks.

I'd prefer a uniform penalty across all attacks. It's much faster and easier to roll a handful of dice and apply the same number to each die.

...And makes more sense. You're concentrating more on trying to land one blow with a bunch of shots rather than losing your concentration.

Something I'd actually like to see is combat fatigue. Characters start to get tired in combat and need to rest. I guess the whole abstract HP terminology covers this (I've seen multiple threads on this subject) but still, I think it would be at the very least interesting to have a more concrete way of determining a character's health and stamina (like in Starfinder) to show that they are physically becoming strained. Something in the form of penalties becoming more prevalent once you drop below half HP.

Maybe I am not understanding what you are thinking of, but how would this facilitate ease of play and more choices? Wouldn’t this lock you in to a corse of action at the beginning of your turn, because you have to decide to make a full attack rather than choosing on an action by action basis?

Also, combat fatigue seems like it might make combat last longer and trap characters into a downward spiral.

Dyvynarth wrote:
I agree, I never saw a reason to go Wizard or Sorcerer once I saw Arcanist. It felt more like an Arcane caster should work

You could make Int or Cha a choice a first level that slightly alters how they learn/retain spells, in order to emphasize the bloodline flavor.

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I would like to see the Arcanist replace the Wizard and the Sorcerer. I like the mechanics better, and I think it is a bit more new player friendly.

It is hard to say no to shield master at level 6 though.

The way I understand it, the Brawlers Flurry class feature qualifies you to pick up feats like shield slam and shield Mastery, but they would only “turn on” when making a full attack. So, for instance, if you charged against an opponent and hit them with your shield you would not get a free bull rush against them. If you were able to make a full attack against them the following turn every attack would get the bull rush.

So the Brawler lets you bypass the Dex requirements for two - weapon fighting. You can pump strength while keeping Dex at a 13 or 14. It lets you attack with the same weapon, so you don’t have to invest in two weapons. You add strength to all the attacks, so you don’t need to get double-slice. Also, you can two-hand the heavy shield. It won’t add extra damage from strength, but it will from power attack. When not making a full attack, wielding the shield two-handed lets you keep up on damage.

Kinda sounds like you want Brawler lol.

Oath of vengeance paladin? With even a 14 Int you will have lots of skills to play with. There is a paladin guide by Bhodi I think that provides good role play inspiration.

A snakebite striker brawler maybe? Take two levels of that, four levels of unchained rogue to get Dex to unarmed strike damage. Nothing too complicated
To keep track of. You get two weapon fighting, unarmed strike, and sneak attack from brawler. Weapon finesse from rogue.

If you take improved feint you can bluff as part of your move action, which is the only semicomplicated thing about it. But you shouldn't need it to be effective

Ooh single class even! I like it!

Stats used for comparison were the monster stay breakdowns by cr posted in the stickies guide, not the official monster stats guide

As far as damage goes:

[1] 65% chance to hit on ranged attacks, 60% on mellee
6.5 avg damage on attacks,
4.69 ranged dpr, 4.29 mellee dpr
So three to four rounds to take out an opponent

[2] studied target boosts attacks to 70% R/60% M, avg 7.5 dmg
R dpr is 5.76, M dpr is 5.36, so same range of attacks to take down an enemy

[3] assuming studied target and rapid shot, R dpr is 10.73. However, getting both on the attack may be difficult on a consistent basis. May need to rework.
M dpr is 5.78. Way behind the curve

[4] damage is boosted to 9.5 per shot on average via rage.
So assuming everything, R dpr is 13.59 and m dpr is 8.6625. Still a bit behind on the mellee

So, for pfs\20 pt buy:

Str 17 -> 15 Dex 14 -> 16 Con 12 Int 12 Wis 12 Cha 7 -> 9
Warslinger and adaptable luck racial traits
Community-minded and fates favored traits

Fighter (vengeful hunter) 1
Wf (sling staff), slip string style

[2] slayer 1
Studied Target (+1/+1 as a move action)

[3] slayer 2
Halfling Slinger (+1 attack), (B) rapid shot

[4] urban barbarian 1
Apply rage to strength for damage most of the time, use community-minded to draw
range rounds out

[5] slayer 3
Improved initiative, Sneak Attack 1d6
Invest a little in going first to get sneak attack damage first round, then go into rage

So you are hitting somewhere between 65% and 75% of the time, for
Decent damage. Good fort and ref saves. Probably a bit more of a ranged combatant but you can hold your own. Use adaptable luck to boost your low will saves.

Without power attack or deadly aim damage may be a bit low. May need to rework to get those in there.

Take slayer the rest of the time until you get to swift action studied target. Then, idk, brawler?

One of the benefits of the sling staff is that you don't need to switch between mellee and ranged though. If I am reading it correctly you lose your spear or whatever when you fire it. So you don't have a mellee weapon anymore

Oops yes it does!

CBDunkerson wrote:
Azten wrote:
graystone wrote:
Azten wrote:
Mark Hoover wrote:
No, you'll never be finessing with the melee part of the Slingstaff so your accuracy in melee may suffer but when you take Focus or Specialization feats they'll tack on bonuses to either Ranged or Melee with the weapon so that's nice.
For 2,500gp you can.
"When wrapped around the grip of a one-handed piercing or slashing melee weapon". Slingstaff is bludgeoning damage.

Drat, missed that part. Kinda dumb there's so few bludgeoning finesse options...

Whittle it into a slingspear?

Or maybe a Spear-sling?

It has "sling" in the name, so RAW it'd work with Slipslinger style.

But it won't work with the war slinger racial trait will it?

Between compel hostility and various tricks you can tank pretty well too. What is it you want to do?

You have a trick to intimidate a foe as a free action too.

Dip heavens oracle for awesome display maybe? It would stack wEll with their level 5 feature and let you spam color spray to no end. If you are going for more of a melee build I think vexing daredevil would be the way to go.

Isn't master summoner banned in PDFs?

Don't you need Feral Combat Training to apply the Style Feats to your Natural Attacks?

I really like this. It does everything I want a frontline fighter to do . . .

One questions:

Doesn't Furious Focus offer more DPR than desperate battler? At the least, it would greatly improve your chance of landing your first attack . . . was there a specific reason for not choosing it, other than the synergy of Desperate Battler / Crowd Control?

I like all this, and look forward to your podcast.

This would work better with a phallanx fighter, but:

Str 15 Dex 14 Con 13 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 8

1: Swift Aid, Lunge
2: Power Attack
(3rd): Weapon Focus
4th: Weapon Specialization
5th Iron Will
6th:Combat Reflexes
7th: Saving Shield
8th: Greater Weapon Focus
9th: Combat Reflexes
10: Combat Patrol

Stick next to the person you are protecting. You start out being able to increase their AC by 2 and make an attack of opportunity against anyone who gets close. If you are using a weapon with reach, that attack happens before they even get to your friend. At 7th level, once per round, you can either grant the same ally an additional +2 (for a +4 to AC) or another ally a +2. By 10th level, you can use a standard action to threaten anyone who comes within 20 feet of you (25 with a reach weapon) and grant that saving shield bonus to the ally they are trying to get to.

A dhampire or changeling could have connections to the characters in book . . . 4 or 5? with the hags and the vampires.

I kind of like the idea of giving each character something to hide. Race could easily be one of those things. As Erik Freund noted, xenophobia is a recurring theme in the adventures. Making the characters a weird race gives them something to hide even from other players, possibly, and can help underscore that theme through NPC interaction.

If you are pulling themes from Lovecraft, what about the theme of hidden family legacy, or a taint in the bloodline? Half-Orcs, Changelings, or Dhampires might not know what they are, or the full extent of their history or powers, giving the players something personal to discover through the course of the adventure. What will they do when they find they are as much a monster as the things they fight?

I haven't actually run it, though, so it may be more trouble than its worth :P

You can have the half-orc have the Pass for Human feat, giving them essentially a +20 on disguise checks to pass for human.

I have an idea for an orc character for this - a wandering beggar, broken in mind and body from some of the eldritch horrors plaguing Ustalav. He makes somewhat of a living fashioning and selling crude masks, one of which he wears at all times. Because of his low station and half-thought out disguise, most people give him a pass (though he is often the first to be run out of town if something bad happens).