Here's the thing; there is correct math and there is fun math.
Succeeding 60% or 50% of the time is fine initially, i can see that working for low level play and have no issues with it however as you increase in levels and experience, you should feel like your progressing and becoming better at the things your ment to excell at based upon your choices of where you want to improve so if those odds don't increase by about 10-20% respectively, your not really feeling like you've progressed between level 1 and level 10(+) which will make players feel like their choices had no impact while at the same time the system punishes players who opt not to choose the mechanically best options when they pick up such things for fluff reasons or because they appeared like fun to them.
People want to be competent at their roles as having repeated rounds of whiffs and therefor not having contributed at all does not add drama; it just creates frustration. I'd say let them be competent at their specialties as there are many forms of challenges in roleplaying games and not everything challenging should be combat per se... so why challenge them at EVERYTHING instead of the 60-70% they'll be bad at?
I played through the first 5 chapters of doomsday dawn and ran it as a game master, besides chapter 4 which actually felt rather enjoyable because it was more freeform and as such is what i enjoy in roleplay personally... i can't say i've had all too much fun despite the system having some interesting new ideas and things that are quite fun to utilise. Initially; my characters were massively flavorful and took thematic options but these days to avoid being dead weight to the players i'm playing with, i've been optimizing a lot more... not because i want to but because i feel forced to do so.
After chapter 5; the group i ran the playtest for had enough of the system all together and basicly gave up on it and truth be told i don't blame them considering most characters just feel incapable/incompetent unless dealing with lower level adversity and that chapter was ludacrous as far as playtest goals go for people who aren't getting paid for it.
Another thing i'd like to add is that; when people are talking about 60% or 50% chance to succeed that is for a first action; meaning your odds at succeeding on a 2nd are abysmal and on a 3rd action are practically non existant. The 3 action economy system was ment to add flexibility but the 50% benchmark math seems to interact poorly with it?
I just wonder how a long standing campaign is ment to be played, monsters hit frequently and their damage numbers are exceptionally high as most PC's can't tank a critical+normal hit and still be standing. The monster on the other hand is often still standing after PC's return the favor there. And the domino effect is a factor here as your "balanced" encounter just became heavely favored despite worse action economy because monsters get good/cool stuff this time around.
1st attack for level equivalent monster should be 70-80% hit chance, depending on character optimization.
Right now 3rd attack is just time wasting in search of a 20.
having 80/55/30% hit chance would be more streamlined and more reliable
*- crit that is not
Wholeheartedly agree with this one. Saves/AC's are just too high in general resulting in feeling like your playing an incompetent person. It was already stated that likely monsters should have everything lowered by around 2, so if you double that... you'll have about the right number.
Lowering all AC's/Save's by about ~4 (assuming equal level or higher encounters) and removing the skill DC table entirely and utilising some degree of your own perceptions and logic for how hard something would be to do would likely fix a whole lot for a homebrew game.
Such changes at least made the system enjoyable to play compared to the current version of the system; at least for me personally.
Considering the concern was the critical system... I'll propose an alternative then; Have you considered just lowering the penalties of your first itterative attack along the lines of maybe basing around the quality of potency rune so each +1 lowers it by an additional 1? You could have the spellstrike wand/alchemist goggles and the like come up a few levels earlier to avoid it being just a weapon thing. Even making lesser versions for those would help out those classes aswell.
When i was making my alchemist for the 14th level adventure... i honestly missed the fact that they weren't getting mutagens and was reminded when the session started. It felt really awkward when this was pointed out as there aren't enough alchemist recipes in the book past the early levels where you get a bunch of cool utility elixers but around level 13; if you don't include mutagens then what will you take besides lower level poisons which don't really scale unless you take the feat for it?
It also feels really weird having your "typical" combat option of bombs as an alchemist be tied to a field in order to actually hit something some of the times.
What are the other options ment to do in the typical rounds of combat? Especially the chirurgeon made me wonder how i was going to do anything in a straight up fight.
I could be terrible at shooting a bow, terrible at throwing a bomb or multiclass into something like wizard and hopefully gain enough value there although that would be a heavy feat investment.... anything else i missed?
I like the idea behind the fields but i think they currently specialise to the point of competence rather so then expertise which feels a bit awkward as it feels like i was building half an alchemist at best when going with the chirurgeon one as it stands, the poison and mutagen one didn't really look all that much better for the same reasons.
In the end, i just gave up on most of the alchemist stuff and invested heavely into a wizard MC; believing it to be one of the better options which probably wasn't the intention?
By the rules, players may sell items for 50% of their price and buy (common) items for 100% of their price. Since the rules also says to allow downtime where possible, players could conceivably sell their allocation of magic items and buy a cold iron or silver weapon of master quality and have a rune transferred to that weapon (for 10% of the rune cost).
This would be true, however it has already been clarified by Mark on a previous post adressing this to not be as intended for sake of potential playtest data corruption.
The lack of thrown weapons working with rage really hurts them, not having ranged options is just flat out an issue in most cases and your unlikely to have enough wealth to pick up 2 magic weapons and keep them upt o date with the latest tier even if that was adressed, and with the tight math being behind will just result in more wiffing.
The non-rage round is very painful and that will be a frequent occurance, tireless rage comes too late for Rage to be reasonable as an action in my eyes.
Until the stat inflation of monsters gets adressed, that -1 ac is incredibly painful too by increasing monsters crit chance. Especially as raging resistance is on the weak side of things(4 resistance in most cases is nothing too amazing) and temporary HP will only absorb a chunk of the first hit/crit.
I've been curious how good mighty rage is because i haven't seen too many 1 action rage abilities that i would really want to utilise it on that would make it amazing.
Several of the totems could do with some adjustments. For example; I like the idea behind giant(more damage for sluggish which considering you'll typically miss 2nd/3rd attack isn't a huge issue a lot of the time) but it becoming WORSe as you invest more feats into it considering size affects very little this edition and this is one of those effects where it probably should do more then provide a bit more reach. Thats a pretty mediocre benefit to something that makes it harder for you to fit into places, will likely mess with your ranged attackers more, will have more enemies be able to (potentially- flank you if facing anything higher level then you are, etc.
I wish they had something more out of combat aswell, but thats true for most of the strength based builds.
Accuracy wise, i don't get why they are below fighters. Its a common issue for all martials and probably the reason why fighters are pretty much everywhere in my playtest groups and other martials get skipped over besides paladins for a more steady frontline instead of the damage dealing martial.
Skip the strength as half damage is just not worth the massive loss of constitution, i'd rather have con over strength as the 1-2 damage i would get for 14/18 strength is flat out not worth the survivability constitution provides especially as a 6+con class.
Haste is very beneficial for this build and should pretty much be your bread and butter with the flexibility it provides. Do make sure you have shield just incase you using true strike or other low action spells like jump.
I wouldn't go optimal damage unless your group isn't benefitting from the crowd control you could provide. Mitigating damage through zone control and debuffing is still your role as a wizard after all. You can mix in some damage but i wouldn't make it the focus considering you can deal a lot of damage but few classes can control the battlefield like a caster could.
I never really bothered shooting the second time as spell striker only functions for the first hit and my chances to hit without it are on the low side, i favored casting shield in situations where i might get hit or using 3 action spells(such as magic missile and extended range cone of cold or metamagic'd spells) or 2 action spells(mostly CC/debuff spells) + stride.
Honestly, i think spell striker and divine sorcerers might actually be one of the more interesting healer/supportive type builds you could play as you'll still be able to contribute offensively and have flexibile action economy because of the heal spell in any case.
As someone who already ran the adventure for their group;
I'd argue no.
Mostly because the book asks players to spend x amount of money and make characters prior to getting the assortment of equipment. Even if they already knew the equipment list, they can't aford the master quality with their funds, they could afford expert but thats not an option as its +2 with a potency rune which would be odd considering cold irons property of removing a potency rune slot. Some classes get to treat their attacks as cold iron though which gives them a massive advantage in this ap ;)
why it isn't metagaming:
Under creating characters, it explicitly states that "These characters should all be crusaders who have signed on to fight demons in the Worldwound." and anyone who played prior editions will know about the cold iron so i would hardly call it metagaming personally.
@Darksol: You also have truestrike and jump (that i can remember having utilised for 1 action spells). I personally found the spellstrike type of caster with casting haste on themself to be very enjoyable to play and feel appropriate action economy wise. I just had to sacrifice my touch attack spells considering that would have my spellstrike miss pretty much all the time.
I felt like i was doing a great deal at that point, typically casting a blasting or crowd controling spell, spell striking with my hasted action and having an action left for casting shield/jump, moving or any of the action you just mentioned as i saw fit.
It did help though that the adventure itself was more exploration based so quicken spell felt very powerful and impactful at that point, even more so as it would be incredibly difficult to run out of spells with 1 encounter a day.
@Matthew: It would just allow 2 attacks to be rather reliable and a third action to roll for the 5% or move or use any other action as seen fit. I don't necessarely think thats a problem. I don't really want to go back to hitting on a 4 but i would like my second attack to hit somewhat frequently which isn't the case presently.
#1 : Another consideration would be a way to reduce the iterative attack penalty as you level up, potentially tying it to potency for weapons which could be an option. I noticed the same that when casting haste on a martial character; it didn't really amount to much and especially not compared to what you expect the spell to do as a pf veteran because of the exact reason listed.
#2 : Yup, i concur. The alternative would be to go through the feats that currently exist and retune them to allow them to be less situational. Some options like "Cat's fall" and "Kip up" feel very strong skill feat wise because they come up often enough and feel impactful when they do come up, having more feats like those would help a lot.
#3a : I don't mind the proficiency system personally, i understand that i am a minority regarding. The bigger issue is that the DC's currently factor in too many unspoken variables(between stats/skill increases/items not everyone will buy/magical buffs not every group has/etc are all factored into the table), resulting in a optimized character feeling less successful then desired(when consulting medium/hard table) and a supposed competent character not feeling all too competent at all. The numbers are better with 1.3 but they aren't quite there yet.
#3b : I've stated this before but i have a strong suspision that this is because of the +10/-10 critical system and while i'm personally a fan of the idea behind it; i also feel like it might be getting in the way. If you have 75% chance of success on something for example, that translates into a 25% chance of a critical success and a 50% chance of success a lot of the time and because criticals are ment to be relatively infrequent; its caused the very tight math to feel like a 50% a lot of the time which might be mathmatically correct, it comes at the cost of fun factor for many.
Edit: Lyee worded #2 quite well and i especially agree with his closing remark.
I remember a lot of times where we barely hit the DC with the old ones, i can imagine that with the new DC's; it would end up in more frustration after failing consecutively because of absurd number requirement.
We had ~5 attempts before finding the gnomes by themselves and if we hadn't found the clue early on, we probably would've taken much longer as at one point we were heading in a direction we thought made sense but contradicted the clue which is why it "only" took us ~5 attempts. So i'm certain we had more then 10 although the gnomes did take us the longest.
I do remember some tabletalk about how empty the map was at several points through out the session.
Nevertheless, that part was the more enjoyable one for us in any case. I think with more failures, it might've turned into a more negative experience which is why i was so surprised the DC's got raised with the latest update.
That is actually a really good point. Archetypes for example didn't come along until much later. It's just that - having seen how archetypes are proposed to work in the playtest rules - it seems that PF2 is looking to cut back significantly on that flexibility that we'd all gotten so used to.
I'm still hoping they'll adjust how archetypes/multiclassing work and not have them cost class feats but instead have them draw from another pool at least.
You want an archetype then these are the feats you'll invest, you want to multiclass, these are the types of feats you'll be investing. You don't have or want either of these; you get a general feat instead.
Okay then, Vic, let numbers speak why it is dishonest in an objective way. The PF1 fighter has "tons of feats", from level 1 to 20 he gains 21 feats. The PF2 fighter, though, gets 31 feats, that's 10 feats in addition to what a PF1 fighter gets. Even if PF1 classes get more fixed abilities, the amount of choices in PF2 is way superior. In fact in PF2 I can decide myself to chose the abilities while PF1 simply lacks this choice. Before this background, yes, claiming that PF1 is more flexible is objectively dishonest.
Here's my reasoning using the fighter as per your example;
You get 21 feats in total in pathfinder 1e; 11 combat feats (~40% of feats in the system) and 10 feats to choose from between all of the feats in the system. You've already been given all of your racial abilities upon race choice including the custumization of alternate racial traits. You were already given your choice of traits (and potential drawback(s)).
You get 31 feats in total in pathfinder 2e; 11 fighter feats, 10 skill feats, 5 ancestry and 5 general. Your race is now 5 feats and base vision/speed/hp. Traits and drawbacks are sort of replaced by background but arguably more impactful due to determining stats.
Your choice in pathfinder 1e would already let you draw from a bigger pool; not only because there was more content but also because you were free to make your own choice in what type of feat you wanted for your general feats.
It does help PF1e that class feats didn't exist and thus more interesting and thematic "off class" options being available for any character which could change the vibe and theme of a character entirely with but a few feat choices and thus allow massive diversity for those seeking such a thing.
Pathfinder 2e is dictating;
1)What type of feat you get at any given point. This takes away from custumization already.
2a)Your choice of "combat feat" being limited by class feats and thus having reduced options across the board compared to being able to grab from all combat feats. This takes away from custumization as you only have your class feats instead of all combat feats.
2bIn addition most of them are feat chains that because you don't have the flexibility of choosing what type of feat to select; you will struggle with to keep multiple up to date throughout the levels. Several options for each class such as "unyielding fortitude" and other feat "choices" being non-abilities that don't provide something new to play with as they are things that should just be a part of class design especially as the monster DC's are keeping them into account for sake of the system math. Again, this is taking away from custumization.
3)Your choice is limited with ancestry feats due to lack of good options beyond the 2nd/3rd ancestry feats(for the better ancestries) and the power scaling at point of obtaining the 4th/5th as the feats themselves don't really scale all too well across levels. This is compared to being a full race at level 1 at pf1 which actually had more custumization as a whole. While inherently this is a better option, i wish the options themselves actually offered more choice instead of 2-3 good options and some things no one really cares for.(I won't even argue that some races are massively better in quality than others)
4)Skill feat wise you are gated behind the skill progression system which means your amount of choices are a lot less then what they appear to be as you can only raise so many skills which in general is less then pf1e, even more so when keeping into account the scaling DC system that if your not maximising something, you'll really struggle to keep up with even the medium/hard DC's unless it also happens to be your main stat.
In pathfinder 1e; your class felt like it ment something more then which pool of feats you were allowed to choose from because each class had their own unique mechanics that were devoid from feats but could be enhanced by feats. You were able to build your own character, one that you wished to play, one that you were allowed to design yourself.
Pathfinder playtest currently does not meet that same concept, which is why i at least feel like its less custumizable because a lot of concepts i have in my mind, i have no way of actually creating in pathfinder playtest while i can in pathfinder 1e and a large portion of other d20 systems.
In 1e; a crowd controlling/buffing wizard that is enhancing and enabling the rest of the group with optimized DC's is probably overpowered from a GM's point of view but because he is helping others with his own might, no player really minds them being around. An optimized blaster however will deal damage, and thus be "competing" with other damage roles in the party and will likely be the subjects to balance discussions if doing more damage then other people in the role.
Personally (as is true for most of my tables for that matter); i value options and theme a lot more than i value balance. In the end, if someone is playing a stronger character, they (as players) can just hold back a little bit to be in line with the rest of the group or at least allow others to shine during the moments they specialized for.
I just think roughly equal if covering simular roles within a group would be balance, which at this point in the system isn't quite the case.
For example: as a skillmonkey rogue vs an attempted skillmonkey fighter will have a large gap between them. A martially inclined sorcerer will struggle a lot more to hit anything with his weapons then a martial character with sorcerer dedication, etc.
I'm glad this was posted, i filled out the survey and thought i'd add my own personal opinion. Maybe it'll be useful.
1. Create a new edition of Pathfinder that's much simpler to learn and play—a core system that's easy to grasp but expandable—while remaining true to the spirit of what makes Pathfinder great: customization, flexibility of story, and rules that reward those who take the time to master them.
The pathfinder playtest has become simplified, especially regarding problem areas of the previous edition such as for example grappling. I'm actually glad that is the case personally, and as a whole i think its a lot easier to explain the rules for this system compared to 1e which means its barrier for entry is much lower. I would say its a little bit more complex then 5e which admittedly, has a good entry point. The organisation in the rulebook however needs quite a bit of work to really have everything be beginner friendly.
In my eyes though: it came at a large cost however which is the custumization that made pathfinder 1e absolutely fantastic, even when comparing it to 3.5. Hell, it is what first drew me into pathfinder from 3.5 when i noticed small little things that made it feel more rewarding to gain a level with pretty much every single class. I honestly miss those small little custimization options such as for example rogue talents that (for the most part) had minimal effect on combats but would have alternative effects enhancing the overal feel and vibe of a class through sheer custumization that i as a player had full control over. It was glorious!
I also no longer have any option to play (for example) a fighter like a skill monkey, reducing their OPTIONS in combat(But not competence) and trading those in for some extra out of combat utility options in the form of skill viability or minor magic to enhance daily activities. The same is true for most of the minor magic oriented martial characters i've had over the years as most of them don't really care about DC's or higher level magic but instead enjoyed having multiple low level spells to make use of in order to enhance what was already there or even open up an entirely new path.
I also wonder why every caster has to increase their DC's and give up a class feat to do so, i have several styles of casters that aren't too bothered with DC's because they use touch attacks or are primairly buffers/healers that are not bothered by having lower save DC's, but i get it automatically and don't get the choice of a class feat instead which doesn't quite feel great either. The same is true for a variety of other things in the class system that forces you to play a certain way.
Every time i pick up a class presently in the playtest; I just feel shoved into a specific path/role based on the class that i selected which feel very uncomfortable with a restriction that i feel shouldn't be there, especially when comparing to the original system that drew me to pathfinder initially.
I also feel like i have to choose between competence and fun in many cases which isn't a great feeling to have as a player. It isn't very fun to pick up a "will save increase" as a feat for example, despite it being a solid choice to pick from. It just feels like a whole lot of feat taxation for a lot of classes/feat chains that prevents you from picking up interesting or fun options that would allow you to do something new or different.
I think a big portion of it is because there are a variety of types of feats that each are locked to the class, it means the type of feat is ultimately decided by my class which prevents custumization as it no longer is my choice to focus more on my combat prowess, skills or something else entirely. I don't have the option to say that i'd rather not have another class feat and would rather have a skill feat or even a skill increase as all of that is decided by my initial choice.
Multiclassing/archetypes; I have to give up what makes my class unique in order to get the custumization of a secundairy class, the same being true for archetypes. In many cases the initial dedication feat is also very weak compared to a typical class feat. I'd honestly prefer this to be an (additional) alternate path where i would be able to choose between dedicating myself further to an aspect of my class in the form of an archetype or if i wanted to broaden my options by multiclassing. If i wanted to multiclass a spellcaster: i would also prefer the option to say that i don't wish to have higher level spells but instead have two or even three times as many spell slots for my lower level slots as a trade-off.
TLDR: I just like options, in the end its what had me gravite towards pathfinder in the first place... not because it had so much content and therefor options but because i was able to make my own choices as to who my character was and what he would be good at, even if it wasn't fully in line with my class: i had the option to make a character i wanted to play based upon my own preferences.
I also would say that competence requires a lot of investment and is not quite in line with the math currently in the system.
2. Ensure that the new version of the game allows us to tell the same stories and share in the same worlds as the previous edition, but also makes room for new stories and new worlds wherever possible.
Well as a game master i certainly can, however most of the pathfinder games that have been going on for 2-6 years... my groups wouldn't be able to convert to PF2 because the characters wouldn't be convertable and maintain their vibe, or even feel competent at the things they were ment to be competent at.
3. Work to incorporate the innovations of the past decade into the core engine of the game, allowing the best rules elements and discoveries we've made to have an integrated home in the new system (even if they aren't present in the initial book).
Honestly, i'm on board with a large majority of changes that the system has gone through such as (the idea) behind resonance instead of the slot system, (the idea) behind bulk and the three action system all of which i believe are good additions (some better then others and some could use a bit of a tweak). I think we are indeed moving forward in most areas and the core of the rules are superior to the 1st edition.
4. Forge a more balanced play environment where every character has a chance to contribute to the adventure in a meaningful way by allowing characters to thrive in their defined role. Encourage characters to play to their strengths, while working with others to bolster their place in the group.
This seems opposite to my own views of what i would prefer the system to be like by forcing defined roles based upon class choices. I would love a system where everyone feels like they can contribute in a meangful way though by excelling at what they are ment to be good at!
However when i thought about this, i believe the system still requires quite a bit of work as some strengths are vastly superior and more common to others because some options are vastly stronger than others. Some roles/classes such as healers clerics are done better than others.
5. Make Pathfinder a game that's open and welcoming to all, no matter their background or experience.
Admirable goal, but at this point: i believe the system will speak to low fantasy oriented players as in essence, i would argue that is what the system currently caters towards. The crunch is absent and as such, i doubt it'll lure in anyone who is seeking it; namely the old 1e playerbase.
So i assumed manbearscientists latest post was correct after reading Mark's first post which is what i wanted to clarify, but with Mark's new one... i'm unsure again. Sorry guys, i still massively appreciate you taking your time to explain it.
It does seem odd to me from a design point of view to have all of these abilities tied to paladins when they aren't stacking, two of which are based around the blade ally or am i just missing something entirely?
Although one is admittedly a rune choice where you could take an alternative rather so than going with holy.
Back on topic;
So assuming a +x weapon that has a holy rune in it and blade ally is used for flaming against a demon with weakness 10 for both good and fire. The paladin has aura of faith for his party to make use of.
Would it be fair to say this would be the result?
- Weapon damage as per normal
- ("Trigger") Holy rune -> +1d6(rune base)+10(from weakness to good)
- ("Trigger") Flaming rune -> +1d6(rune base)+10(from weakness to fire)
- 1 extra (good) damage from aura of faith (weakness already applied after all from the holy rune, or would that be another weakness trigger?)
Do both runes trigger(each applying weakness) or does it just trigger one of the runes and morph the base damage of the swing into either fire, good or weapon type(or does it have all 3 types?)?
Or would weakness only apply once regardless of an attack fulfilling multiple criteria?
Those parts are essentially pretty unclear to me at least.
On retributive strike
- Weapon damage as per normal
- Holy smite in charisma + 10 (weakness to good) as persistent damage
- Holy rune rune will trigger the damage from the rune but not the weakness considering holy smite already made use weakness mechanics.
- Flaming rune will trigger the damage (and i assume also the weakness?)
- 1 extra (good) damage from aura of faith (weakness already applied after all)
My guess is that its players choice to have holy smite function instead of holy rune properties in that case as persistent is typically more disirable over the static damage?
Can the holy (healing) effect also trigger when it isn't your turn or can it only be activated on your turn?
Litany of wrath;
- Just deals its normal damage unaffiliated with anything else but would apply weakness in addition to its regular effect.
That was helpful, i realise i might be asking for too much as i'm not certain what you would be able to share and what not, i'll try and follow up on this.
So based on what is said; ultimate is basicly attempting to do something impossible. I can see the logic, its why i used the example in the hopes someone could clarify, so thanks a bunch for confirming that suspision.
Medium and hard would be the most common checks found in the typical game and what would be the "system average benchmark" is what i understood from your post.
I'll use the 4 levels used by the op to demonstrate the part where it doesn't fully add up;
Level 1 - Medium DC: 13, Hard DC: 15
A Trained character with a 14 in the relevant skill needs a 10 and 12 on the die to succeed.
Level 5 - Medium DC: 18, Hard DC: 20
A Trained character with a 14 in the relevant skill needs a 11 and 13 on the die to succeed. A character that invested in the skill either through the stat increase or skill increase to expert would be at 10/12 respectively, a character that did both would be at 9 and 11.
Level 10 - Medium DC: 24, Hard DC: 27
A Trained character with a 14 in the relevant skill needs a 12 and 15 on the die to succeed. A character that invested in the skill either through the stat increase or skill increase to expert would be at 11/14 respectively, a character that did both skill increases to expert/master and 2x stat increases would be at 8 and 11.
Level 15 - Medium DC: 30, Hard DC: 33
A Trained character with a 14 in the relevant skill needs a 13 and 16 on the die to succeed. A character that invested in the skill either through the stat increase or skill increase to expert would be at 12/15 respectively, a character that did both 3x skill increases and stat increases would be at 8 and 11 without a potent item.
Level 20 - Medium DC: 36, Hard DC: 39
A Trained character with a 14 in the relevant skill needs a 14 and 17 on the die to succeed. A character that invested in the skill either through the stat increase or skill increase to expert would be at 13/16 respectively, a character that did both 3x skill increases and stat increases would be at 8 and 11 without a potent item. Meaning if you invested an additional 2 stat increases additionally(to 20), it would go down to 7/10.
I realise that i didn't include items; that was on purpose as not even half the skills presently have a way to enhance the roll. I actually believe if there was an item equivalent of "greater shadow" for all skills, the table would actually be very solid as it stands.
So all things considered, it looks pretty stable assuming you invest your stat and skill increases each time, it does indeed seem like a positive trajectory assuming you make the investments each time. If the system is based around the medium and hard DC's, those seem respectable for the most part at least in theory.
Now in practice; you cannot get all of your skills to legendary due to a set number of skill increases available to every character, you could raise all your stats to 18's by level 20 but it would come at the cost of combat potential which (in my eyes) is even more so tight math wise.
The numbers for combat(saves/attacks in particular) also make the assumption that you maximized effectiveness for sake of sticking with the curve so you wouldn't have spread across all stats which means your sacrificing either skill potential on many skills(because you can't have everything at legendary, and you'd likely sacrifice at least 1 attribute skillwise to prevail in combat) in order to keep up with the expected curve.
its because of this that i am personally feeling a bit awkward about the idea that skill increases are taken into account for the skill DC system for the averages of medium/hard seeing as non-rogue characters only have 3 skills they can have to keep up with the legendary+18 stat curve as seen in the above example, which in reality still only make it a 60-45% success rate starting out with a 14 and raising it gradually. Considering you have 16 non-lore skills and typically will see 4 players in a party; that'll result in a group covering 12 of those 16 skills in an ideal world where there is no overlap at all. Which feels unlikely in the average group i've been a part of at least.
It all seems and feels very tight, i think a bit too much so for unoptimized characters that are heavier on the fluff than effectiveness; they used to be an option but with the tight math... Although it is a definite upgrade over the previous table.
Note: I don't think medium/hard DC's corresponds with DD at all making it very hard to playtest but seeing as it is a playtest, i assume thats why that is in order to stress test everything at its peak rather so than the expected skill levels to get a better baseline in the future?
It appears like our playgroups have vastly different statlines, i guess its fine then, just ignore my earlier remarks. I have yet to see anyone with a +0 constitution modifier, including elves at my tables so i guess thats a big portion of where my confusion came from.
I should point out though that healer's tools by raw don't actually do anything though.
This kit of bandages, herbs, and suturing tools is necessary
for Medicine checks to Administer First Aid, Treat a
Disease, or Treat a Poison. Expert-quality healer’s tools
provide a +1 item bonus to such checks.
The playtest didn't adjust the tool for the new use of medicine, although that probably should be adjusted, it isn't presently. I'd assume most GM's probably should houserule to include it considering its most likely an oversight with the 1.3 update.
You could argue that a character with the creation domain's artistic flourish could at least in theory (using RAI instead of raw) create better tools potentially enhancing it by another potential +2. Resulting in some increased odds.
It appears to be expecting minimum investments on con across the board for all but the barbarian.
It appears your not factoring in 1st level stat bumps/backgrounds?
No toughness either?
I don't think 14 con(+2) would be high, i think thats the new average from what i've seen thusfar. I can safely say that i've never seen a d6 class start with 8 con regardless of potentially being an elf or not.
I was going to say healer's tools exist and would provide a +1 for expert quality but i suppose that didn't get adressed in the 1.3 update.
You also didn't include a potent item for wisdom post 15th level, would at least make sense for the professionals i think.
The modifiers also appear to be 1 off in the medicine users tab, unless i'm missing where that last +1 comes from entirely.
Despite the above: yea, it does seem like it scales a lot better with higher con post 5th level which is what i assume the point was rather so then to be massively accurate as to HP numbers for builds.
I don't see the design intent either for what its worth.
Regarding your example; You could have 24 in a stat by raising of stats to the maximum; assuming your class provides you with a +2 to the stat required for the skill and equip a potent item post 15th level. Lowering that from a 14 on the dice to a 13 and as such keeping pace with the original failure chance at level 1 for the optimized character.
Which doesn't change that the chance of failure for such an investment for the optimized character is too low. It'll just make the average player feel like making the investment wasn't worth it as he was still facing the same dice roll requirement that he had at level 1 compared to the same roll required at level 20 despite his investment to grow and become better with items and skill investments.
It would also help if we knew what this table would represent by the use of some examples at each of the level intervals for each of the skills.
What does easy/hard/ultimate even mean? Does ultimate basicly mean your doing something that would typically be downright impossible such as for example; being caught stealing from the king by his queen but utilising deception to claim you are in fact the king in disguise? Despite being another race and female in appearance
Would that be an ultimate 10th level challenge or an ultimate 20th level challenge, would that just be a hard challenge at 20th level if it was an ultimate 10th level challenge?
Setting forth DC's is fine but if no one knows what the table represents, how would the average GM make use of it to figure out what an appropriate challenge would be?
It sounds like we are heading in a better direction overall, which is great.
I read the op, recapping the stream and thought, i might aswell listen to the vod which resulted in a few minor questions/concerns;
1) It appears like identifying, repairing and the new medicine option would all take 10 minutes; Does that mean quick repair, quick identification and battle medic will also see adjustments accordingly or will they be dead feats for the time being?
2) With the adjustments to the fighter dedication which was the example used in the vod; wouldn't that just mean the fighter dedication would do pretty much the same thing as the armor proficiency general feat?
3) Considering continuous characters are a thing for part 1/4/7; would that allow retinkering with those characters incase those feats were utilised and build around?
I know a lot of people dont think cha/int should be dump stats, but lets be real. You cant max every stat, regardless of stat generation method, and most spellcasters can safely dump strength, since it really does not matter much for a spellcaster.
I personally don't think they should be dump stats, more or less the same reason i don't feel like dump stats should be a thing.
I believe they should be a choice with every choice providing opportunity for an alternate way of contributing to a character/group. This is my idealistic viewpoint though as currently, its not really the case.
I think strength and charisma to a degree will be dumped less now with resonance and bulk(encumbered is nasty), but intelligence feels very lackluster if you don't require it for your class/multiclass purely as it doesn't really do enough presently compared to other stats. An extra skill at trained(not qualifying you for most interesting skill feats as skill increases beyond trained is what matters.) and an extra language for having a starting score of 14 is not really anything incentivising to write home about after all; at least in the average game. The skill feats for mental rolls also appear to be weaker and more uncommonly relevant in general which doesn't really help.
The biggest issue for any d&d system besides 5e where they tried to adress this somewhat by having 6 saving throws instead of 3, is that the stats that provide saving throws are more valuable than others. If those then also provide your defensive stats(Dex matters for AC) and initiative(Wisdom or stealth are the common ones utilised from what i've seen) aswell as govern a bunch of useful and relevant skills(Acrobatics, stealth and thievery are all pretty strong with the skill feats) where as the others are less commonly used in practice besides the potential athletics.
It creates the issue that the system resolved around the big 3 stats where as the others could be raised mildly and still feel perfectly fine for more combat oriented players.
Combine that with the proficiency system where adding bonusses based on level, resulting in it being the primairy contributor to modifiers across the board, it makes dumping them feel less punishing despite the system math requiring you to be optimized for succeeding routine skill checks more than 50% of the time anyway.
In the past, we had classes designed around utilising intelligence(Duelist comes to mind) and charisma(paladin in particular) to enhance defensive qualities which made them options for builds that wished to take an alternate route to help with that while still getting good skill value. PF2 doesn't have that presently, and i believe will result in a lot of people gaining the same mindset as your players as it stands.
Because for barbarian, it states specificly what you get at every single level where as drained or enfeebled aren't referenced in such a way.
Hence the exception is referenced for barbarian, where as things that aren't referenced are still subject to the default.
Most of paizo content works (and has always) worked this way. They state the default and then if there is an exception, they'll state the exception specificly without mentioning its an exception. That is the norm for paizo.
The 45 base speed was with 35ft + heightened longstrider(s) actually. Base 45ft speed is unobtaininable presently (edit: unless you take multiple fleet feats/have magical boots/are a monk) !
I think as it stands; the one combat a day from this part really allowed the system to work and made resource management a non-factor. It also made everything that is once a day such as quicken for both the sorcerer aswell as the wizard to really feel impactful in a positive manner. I wish we had a halfling for the halfling luck now for the exploring hex's as that would've been mighty helpful.
One thing to note though is that if we didn't have the "expeditious search" feat for the primairy searcher while the rest of us assisted(only 1 would apply as per normal), we might've struggled a lot more for time and probably had to abandon more of the plotlines with more time spend searching and/or more failed hexes.
Another recurring complaint that i remember was that the map/hexes felt really empty with only a handful on such a large map having any meaning at all with minimal indication where anything actually was. We had some good rolls in general on the hexes where as without, i believe we would've been a lot more pressed.
Overall it was just universal that this was (by far) the most enjoyable experience in doomsday dawn, partially because of the choice offered to the player which i think most of us gravitate towards and likewise the systems mechanics for resource management and recovery work a lot better when you only have one encounter a day.
On a personal note: i felt really satisfied with a universalist wizard with spell striker as a character, having flexible action economy - especially so with haste felt very pleasant to play all things considered. The damage actually felt competent too with relatively often getting in that one hit per turn, even so with a more buff/cc oriented spell list but when i was utilising damage spells it felt really bursty and fluent as a whole.
My solution for this would be ancestry feats with leveled effects. Select one at level 1 and gain on-theme benefits when leveling.
Here's 2 examples:
I'm on board with this. I feel something that scales as you grow is perfectly fine for ancestries. I would prefer more than one of these options personally but i at least like hte direction something like this would lead.
Either that or utilise a point system for ancestries, obviously that class feat is a lot more valuable than the a gnome's illusion sense in how often it'll come up as well as overall strength.
I always liked alternate racial traits, when i first heard about ancestries i thought they would make more use of that type of system. I was rather disappointed that was not the case.
It felt odd only being able to pick one class per ancestry. I've played several humans/half-elves, at least more so than any other ancestry purely because extra class/general feats are overpowered as far as ancestries go.
Am i expected to fill out the survey multiple times in that case as i only got to review about half of the classes i played at this point?
Part 2 is done. The document is updated and i'll work on part 3 over the next few days.
Touch of shadows:
Dazzled renders targets Concealed if the affected creature only has sight as a precise sense, giving it a 25% miss chance on attacks which isn’t bad. Something didn’t quite feel right as i was reading this ability though and as i thought about it for about a minute, i came to the conclusion this would be more fitting for the light domain power thematically as i expected powers utilising darkness, shadows which would be allowing you to operate in such conditions which this power does not do. That would be more along the lines of expectancy when i was checking out the description of the darkness domain at least.
A round of dazzled on a success feels rather weak while the critical effect is decent enough i guess, i understand that the entire system has been downscaled but wouldn’t you have better options in most instances for a single target, single action attack as a cleric?
I think i would much rather see this as a light power and have this be replaced with something like darkvision for a couple of minutes or enhancing it incase you would already have it by extending the range; which would be more thematically appropriate for the domain in my eyes. It would be useful in that instance given darkvision isn’t everywhere anymore, that is in addition to making the next power more relevant with such an adjustment.
Removing senses from an enemy can be quite useful if your able to utilise those senses yourself; seeing as that would provide an advantage when those circumstances do come up. Fortitude saves are the superior saves for most creatures so there is that which should be mentioned but it isn’t all too bad and it is quite fitting for the darkness domain.
I’d personally add the dazzled condition on a success for a round to make it feel worthwhile in instances where such senses wouldn’t necessarily do anything but all in all, i could see the abilities relevance assuming whoever is utilising this would have darkvision to utilise themselves. If they wouldn’t have darkvision themselves then this wouldn’t really do anything, right?
Conclusion & Suggestions:
Conclusion: It currently lacks synergy, it doesn’t feel great to pick up this domain as it stands and thematically speaking the first ability just does not seem to fit the fluff description of the darkness domain.
Suggestion: Have the first ability become a light domain power and replace this one with a darkvision effect similar to the darkvision elixir or even the darkvision spell including the scaling; both of which would result in the second power being more relevant and usable. I think adding the dazzled condition to a success would create an ability that would be useful even if such senses wouldn’t be coming up as it would be a decent debuff at that point.
Death (Norgorber, Pharasma)
The ability feels very generic as its just free damage to undead, niche as it won’t do anything when there are no undead but its effect isn’t that bad in an undead centric campaign although the scaling of it would likely do more earlier on rather so than later because of health pools across the levels.
I won’t complain although with disrupt undead being a cantrip and as such free and recastable all day long, it is likely at its best for a full round channel to provide some great AoE undead ability which means enough enemies in range when your turn starts considering you won’t be moving with the full action channel, ideally even some split damage on your allies for optimum efficiency.
It does seem very fitting for pharasma fluff wise. For the negative channeling Norgorber to have this when his description has nothing to do with undead seems odd. I understand the idea behind Norgorber having the death domain as a deity based around murder and subterfuge but given what this ability does, it seems to be off and out of place unless i missed something about his lore surrounding undead between the editional shift.
In the previous edition; i believe a lot of deities were all about death which would be something to watch out for as more would be added over time as a large portion of them have no interest in dealing with undead and typically would be utilising them even.
I won’t claim its great but it fulfills an anti-undead niche presently.
Gaining temporary hit points and twice as many against undead isn’t actually too bad, who doesn’t like some extra hit points after all. Clerics don’t have all too many reactions, 1sp seems like an appropriate cost and it seems thematically appropriate with the domain.
The idea that you need to be the one dealing the killing blow is a bit unfortunate although i understand why it was done that way and don’t feel like that should be removed without any sort of justification for it which could alter a perfectly fine ability otherwise. I suppose groups will just have to play around it a little bit to gain the most out of a cleric with this particular power.
Conclusion & Suggestions:
Conclusion: It seems fitting for a Pharasma worshipper, the first ability does not seem to be fitting for a Norgorber worshipper though.
Suggestion: Well, i have two of them that would potentially work out for Norgorber worshippers and undead’s bane.
1) Provide the same bonus on harm for those seeking to inflict death with undead’s bane and have it be determined depending on the type of energy you are channeling, and rename the ability to adjust accordingly. “Death’s embrace” or “Lay to rest” might be cool and appropriate? There is the concern this could provide bad touch clerics with too much damage potential but with the clarification it is an attack action to harm living creatures, i don’t think it would be an issue personally.
2) Adjust Norgorbers domain to something else such as darkness as i don’t think providing him with positive energy channeling would make sense at all. While you could just prepare heal spells as a negative channeling cleric; it would be unlikely you’d wish to utilise them for sake of killing undead with the current healing required especially so if you consider the more limited spell slots you have in a day.
I don’t know, maybe i’m just too old fashioned believing that domains should work together with the concepts provided by deities in terms of character creation.
Destruction (Gorum, Nethys, Rovagug, Zon-Kuthon)
Adding additional damage on a strike equal to your level isn’t bad a triggered free action or even reaction, as a single action that has a prerequisite in hitting with a strike first however it seems downright weak and not particularly interesting on top of it.
That is my initial impression at least despite scaling damage being hard to come by, it doesn’t really feel good or worthwhile as by striking and utilising this and thus giving up the majority of spellcasting potential as most spells are two actions, that is assuming you were already in range and didn’t have to stride aswell to make use out of it in which case wouldn’t you prefer to strike again for the odds of that critical in addition to higher base damage for a simple hit?
The name is a bit odd too unless the extra damage would be sonic, it isn’t referenced so i assume the damage would be the same as the weapon damage type dealt?
Personally, i think other damage dealing domains (Fire & Earth both come to mind) or offensive cantrips through multiclassing wizard or human ancestry’s adapted spell are already better choices then spending two actions on striking and using this ability as you’d be giving up the same amount of spell points with the other domains.
As a minor side note; it’s an odd ability for a Nethys worshipper as its only on strikes instead of any damaging action which seems a bit contradictory to Nethys ideals being so magically oriented.
2 spell points, 2 actions, 10ft aura, 1 minute duration. Reducing resistances including your own by 1 with scaling up to 5 at 9th level spells.
I honestly like the idea behind an effect like this in the system although i believe numerically it’s too weak as it stands after looking through the bestiary where creatures around 5th level often have 5-8 resistance, creatures around 10th often have 10-15 with creatures at 15th level or higher having 15-20.
That means about a 33(ish)% reduction on their resistances in the best case scenario but more often it would be lower than that, reducing resistances then will only be helpful if you have party members that favor those elements or weapon types without alternatives. It doesn’t really do anything against immunities which is the disappointing part.
Conclusion & Suggestions:
Conclusion: This feels weak as it stands. While i could get behind the theme, the execution is not quite there.
Suggestions: Honestly, destructive cry as it stands should likely at least be sonic based damage considering the name. It is awkward to balance and prevent it from being too good while also getting it to become usable because;
1) Adding the damage to spell effects would make it very potent for AoE effects such as flamestrike and harm (+heal vs undead) and the like, it would also make it a very potent multiclass option for casters although at the feat cost and considering its a Nethys domain, i think i would personally be okay with that as it would be hard in those instances to get both an offensive multiclass utilising this and a defensive one with fighter dedication at the same time and still have enough feats for your starting class considering the amount of feats casters get. It could also be only applied to one target incase of an AoE which would also fix the issue all together and probably add usefulness that way but it would still be pretty bad for martial inclined clerics which is who i assume this ability was meant for in the first place.
2) If it would be a strike adding this damage for 1 action then it would be amazing for practically any martial as a multiclass option. If it is two actions then it would still be pretty bad as it wouldn’t have changed anything from the current, in fact it would actually be worse with less flexible action economy. It still wouldn’t fit Nethys at all either in addition.
3) If it would be a buff that would apply half level (instead of full) to all strikes until the beginning of your next turn as at least it would feel less constricting and potentially better incase of Haste or Reaction attacks which can be built around and overall would make it better by a little bit. It still wouldn’t fit Nethys in that case and probably be too common an option for multiclassing most martials.
4)Considering the above three; i would just adjust it to a sonic based attack scaling like fire ray(fire domain) or hurtling stone(earth domain) instead of leaving it as is or attempting to tweak this ability without creating imbalance. I believe that to be the best overall solution; in any case one that i could think of which wouldn’t be discriminating against certain Deities while actually gaining an appropriate effect for the name.
Destructive aura either needs;
1) Better scaling, maybe utilizing half level or interacting with immunities in some way.
2) Also including hardness (RIP shields and their “Shield Block” even more in that case) which would probably be my least favorite option.
3) More range. I’m a fan of this one personally, making a 30ft range aura with an effect like this would at least have it come up in certain group setups who don’t have flexible damage types without requiring bad positions for your potential caster cleric. It still won’t be great but could have some relevance when attempting to assist your group with offensive potential.
… are made of these …
Unlike the song that i like, i can’t say the same for this particular ability. Its effect seems very situational to be blunt, it’s also a conditional bonus instead of a flat immunity to dream invading effects.
The extra healing benefit is a nice touch as it would result in (con mod+1)*level in total which unless a party was at death’s door before resting would hardly ever come up. I don’t like the idea that it can’t interact with other dream based beneficial abilities as it means having both effects from this domain will force a choice, which considering its already very niche in applicability… feels quite horrendous.
If this effect would at least prevent the shelter/comfort penalty as well, i could see it fulfilling a niche.. If it would be allowing people to sleep in their armor without gaining the fatigued condition, it would also be serving its niche. Now i massively prefer the later as it would be something desirable that could be useful in more than just a handful of situations.
If it did all of these things then it would be alright as a domain choice for dungeon delving group where it would be unlikely your going to have a good night rests in any case and/or be able to handle the risk of not sleeping in armor which is too big a threat considering the system math.
As it stands, this ability is just bad.
I started reading this and thought it pretty decent until i got to the part that stated “you can’t do any retraining that would require an instructor or specialized knowledge”. Retraining typically taking a week(a month for class features) meaning unless you used it for 7+ days, it doesn’t actually do anything and prevents you from using your other domain feature at the same time; not that it’s great in its current form. Even if you had multiple domains, you would have to wait until the end of the day in order to even use this one and it is rather expensive spell point wise.
If we assume ideal conditions where you have a lot of downtime between adventures where you want to have extra tools available against demons or undead for your cleric(s) then i suppose it could of relevance but for most classes retraining one thing won’t really impact the situation that much.
The worst part about this ability is that you can’t even use it on yourself to retrain as you could forever get rid of this domain power and likely be pleased with that retrain option.
Conclusion & Suggestions:
Conclusion: Its very niche and doesn’t even feel impactful in that niche.
Suggestions: I already added some options for sweet dreams in the ability but i’ll rehash that by saying that if it would be dealing with unoptimized sleeping conditions or having additional benefits when sleeping that are common enough; it would help it at least fulfill its niche. For dreaming potential, if it would provide a week of downtime in one rest then i could see the merit and it being worth saving those spell points potentially, if it could bypass the need for instructors at least i could see its relevance as well. I understand the limitation of specialized knowledge being in place but i won’t claim that i like it. I don’t understand why multiple domain powers of the same domain can’t be utilised simultaneously, it seems very counterproductive to take the second ability purely because of that reason alone.
Earth (Abadar, Erastil, Rovagug, Torag)
Single action, ranged attack with 60ft range. D10+Strength damage that gets heightened by an additional d10 with every 2 spell levels.
It isn’t a touch attack unlike most offensive spells but i won’t complain about that one considering it does what you would want it to do and its usable compared to most of the other options for domains, its consistent and it provides something the class typically lacks in the form of an offensive option that is rock solid.
The biggest issue i have is that it will make the cleric rather multiple attribute dependant; dexterity to hit, strength for damage, you still need wisdom for spell DC/Spell points, charisma for channel energy and that’s not even considering constitution that no build really wants to skim on. Even without a high strength, the d10 on the damage makes it respectable in any case.
The fact it’s an ability with scaling d10 damage and the fact it is a good multiclass option for other classes that lack good ranged options who wouldn’t require charisma is what’ll allow me to give this a passing grade.
2 Actions, 2 spell points, 15ft aura with a reflex save or prone.
This is just straight up good, 15ft aura isn’t massive but its sizable enough considering the effect it could have on a typical encounter. It is great battlefield control and you only need two enemies to drop prone to break even action economy wise unless they would have kip-up or an equivalent monster effect.
Reflex being the weaker saves for most monsters according to the people who made the spreadsheet makes me really happy that this ability exists.
I wish it would add difficult terrain afterwards for thematic reasons but it would make it too good.
This is probably the first domain power where i would say that it is safely worth investing the feat in pretty much all the time.
Conclusion & Suggestions:
Conclusion: This is just a good domain across the board, several deities get it so at least they’ll have one good domain choice in this one.
Suggestions: None! If you would want to do a fanservice then adding wisdom to damage instead of strength for hurtling stone or adding difficult terrain on localized quake for thematic reasons would be nice but honestly: it doesn’t need it.
Honestly, i always thought balancing a game was hard to get it right but with some of these abilities... i really struggled and got reminded of that once more.
In general, my loves/hates all revolve around the same two things. I love the _concept_ of nearly everything introduced. The ideas and intentions behind them are great and it's what got my group interested in trying a d20 system again (even though we're not huge fans). What I hate is the _implementation_ of most of those concepts.
So here's the list.
1) Choices. The flexibility of 3 actions, non-linear class options, archetypes replacing class feats, 1-3 actions on spells affecting the result, etc. My daughters, who sometimes play with our group, both made multi-class characters and had a blast.
2) Tiered Success/Crit/Fail system keeps everyone on their toes.
3) The dedication to the Paizo team to actually listening to feedback and not coming in looking to steamroll the new system into existence. They get that not everything is perfect yet and are willing to work with the community to get it right.
1) The illusion of choice. While the blogs seemed to refer to the myriad of options and ways to build your character, I'm not seeing that play out. Instead, whether you want to go multi-class, archetype, or simply build a cohesive single class character, you need to plan out at least the first 8-10 levels ahead of time to make sure you meet all prereqs by the time you're able to take the things you want. Even the basic single class characters are shoehorned in on most options to choosing a path early on and sticking with it to get optimal results in later abilities. This is a far cry from blog posts that assured us that nearly anyone could have a familiar/animal companion if only you spent the Feat on it (as just one example).
2) The handbook reads like a technical manual. Repetitive language, terminology everywhere that points you to another page halfway across the book, dry textbook descriptions. I get that pictures will help, but I usually can consume the general idea behind an entire new system book in a day or two. I found myself falling asleep reading this one.
3) As stated a number...
I was going to make my own list, but honestly. This covers my thoughts so i might aswell just quote it and state that its my list aswell.
Clerics are presently strong in the pathfinder playtest, however after playing several of them throughout the doomsday dawn adventure as well as a few pfs modules; i kind of started to wonder about my choices in character creation as most of them turned out with very similar choices where i felt constricted for options: not because of lack of options which’ll naturally improve with more content but instead because there was a lack of viable or worthwhile choices.
Everything i wrote, i am doing out of my own perspective as someone who has been playing role playing games since early 2000’s, i have done some homebrewing for my own games across various systems but that’s about as close to game designing i have come, meaning it is completely possible my suggestions are over the top and not balanced but they would (hopefully) lead to a discussion that would (hopefully) lead to having options in the system that would at the very least be situationally useful to the point someone in a future game would feel like they had options and be willing to pick any of them up if the option would fit their concept.
I’ll start with domains, especially as they are essential to the cleric class as a whole and it’ll assist me when i would be talking about feats in the future and their combo potential with some of the domain abilities as a result.
I will state the following as a general consensus for all domains and just look at the quality instead of also taking into account the feat cost for the second domain powers so just keep in mind that as long as the feat tax exist practically every 2nd domain ability is actually a whole lot worse as a general rule of thumb.
I also have a strong suspicion that the domains were created before it was decided to only have them be available through a feat judging from the overall power level of them across the board as only a handful of them would actually be worth the investment for the benefit they provide when compared to feats in general.
I originally planned to add some color coding for whether or not something is amazing, good, situationally useful or just plain bad. I decided against it in the end as several of them were hard to rate considering combat vs skills vs roleplay opportunity being hard to balance in such a rating system as each of us values other things.
This will be very wordy to provide as much feedback as i can muster. Sorry in advance! With that being said, Lets begin.
It could be a save or die for an opponent, costing 2 actions and a spell point. However to gain any use out of this after using this power there are a fair amount of conditions to meet; namely you’ll have to make the coerce, request or mental effect attempt in addition thus realistically costing 3 actions with 2 saving throws. Important to note is that the attempt can come from any person and doesn’t stipulate it has to come from you. It also lasts for 10 whole minutes which might provide you with multiple opportunities of success on the following attempt for you and your party members especially as you wouldn’t be taking any penalties anymore or at least reduced penalties depending on the save for this power.
The specifics are vague enough it won’t force a GM to derail an entire game assuming they are creative enough because of the additional prerequisite of the party needing to be aware of the NPC’s ambitions in order to even attempt it; although with enough time invested in researching the ambitions of a potential target, it could pay off in a large way if done so successfully.
I like the idea behind the ability and feel like it could really open up a new approach in more socially/subterfuge style game as an alternative way to deal with some lower level villain’s henchmen or as a new source of information/other fringe benefits that could come from a player having this ability which is a huge plus in my book at least as it could provide some good story opportunity in the hands of a creative player. At the same time, i would say that depending on your GM and the story they wishes to present, and how freely they would be willing to divulge a character’s ambition, this power could be valuable, usable or flat out worthless.
With the difficulty class of most checks scaling off levels and there being a minimalistic amount of ways to increase your success rates through feats and equipment, i would say it’ll only be relevant against lower level encounters as if you would have penalties against equal or higher level targets, it is unlikely you would be successful regardless of your efforts in determining the targets ambition. You could attempt to go against the odds but that would be setting yourself up for failure, right? Maybe as a last ditch resort but would you want to invest in this domain over any others in that case? This means it’s an ability that would be highly dependant on how your game and how the person running the game handles encounters and in the typical game will likely not see play.
I don’t like the phrasing of this ability for the “failure” option on this particular effect which at first glance made me believe it would prevent circumstance penalties for reasonable requests with the listed example of the suggestion spell, but if they were reasonable then why would there be a circumstance penalty in the first place? There likely wouldn’t be and thus this power would only have any relevance for critical failures which means its terrible. As such i am making the assumption that it wouldn’t require something to be reasonable and aligned with the NPC’s ambitions and prevent such penalties for sake of suggestion on a failure? Otherwise this entire ability would be redundant for the example listed in the first place. I don’t know… maybe it is entirely irrelevant and i am making assumptions to avoid it being so with regards to the example listed in which case it’s just bad.
Competitive Edge (2sp):
The only way you’ll gain this ability is by picking up a feat as there is no other way of gaining the advanced domain ability which this would be, it costs 2 spell points, 2 actions and last for only a minute. It is situational when you can actually use it as it’ll only do something if you require a roll of 12 on a flat d20 which means you’ll increase your failure chance from 60% to 55% in the best case scenario, it also doesn’t affect spell DC’s and is personal only. In addition it’s a conditional bonus of which there are several others in the system that aren’t quite as restrictive. Is this worth it? I’d say no, there are much better options for domains AND feats.
If you would like a conditional bonus to checks seeing as only the highest one would apply anyway, you might as well pick up the guidance cantrip(+1), heroism(up to +3) or bit of luck(+1) from the luck domain to name a few that are all superior options in every conceivable way in addition to saving out that feat you would’ve had to invest to get this. Honestly, this is awful and that’s being nice about it.
Conclusion and suggestions:
Domain Conclusion: I’m honestly disappointed as i believe the domain itself has a lot of potential to be story enhancing, at least more so than most. I was always a fan of the Ambitious trait in the original pathfinder but at least that could make the difference if you build a character for it assuming the campaign itself would cater to higher level social encounters and challenges, this just seems like a much, much worse version of that and very niche in its applicable use.
Suggestions: For the second ability, i believe increasing the number to a +2 for a single action or even a +3 while keeping the 2 actions would have me at least reconsider. The first ability is trickier but i think adding a small bonus in addition to negating the penalty would actually make it feel worthwhile.
Air (Gozreh, Rovagug)
Massive 500ft range and single action economy actually makes this very usable.
As it stands however, it is very reliant on a game master providing you with terrain to utilise such as lava pits, cliffs, holes and so on; or if you can utilise its combo potential with other spellcasters with regards to “enters the area” or “starts it turn” spells such as cloudkill, hypnotic pattern or entangle to name a few (although the list isn’t that much larger presently) which actually isn’t all too bad i suppose. It could also help you set up attacks of opportunities and even help your group avoid them. The only combo potential the cleric could have with itself spell wise would be the field of life spell(?) which isn’t all too great by itself to begin with and thus doesn’t really make it any better. I guess it could also be useful to deal with mounted characters considering its single target meaning the mount would be unaffected as the rider gets flung off.
I really like it for thematic reasons as it does seem very fitting for the air domain but i don’t quite understand several of its limitations: why does it it need to be away from you as why can’t it be pushed in direction of you? Pushing enemies closer to your allies providing more combo potential with potential attacks of opportunities or even assisting in setting up flanks and so on. Even repositioning allies in a minor capacity towards you could be quite big for a class with healing capabilities adding quite a bit of flexibility. Why can’t it be used on unattended objects? Slamming a door shut and actions like that would make a great deal of sense for the air domain, i guess i could house rule it but i feel like it should just do that by default?
I’m also wondering why it has the limitation of your size or smaller; if you are large size through the enlarge spell does the wind suddenly become stronger, is that what is being implied here? That’s weird!
Overall it is a good ability even if it depends on a variety of circumstances such as party makeup.
Walk on air (1sp):
Alright, first of all let me say that the ability itself isn’t bad. Single action to gain the benefit of walking on air as if it were solid ground, being able to ascend or descend at a maximum of a 45 degree angle for a full turn alongside a stride action for free; i would say that is actually pretty good as it can allow you to avoid quite a bit of typical issues featuring terrain or even enemy casters utilising zone controlling spells and the like. It is effectively gaining a fourth level spell at reduced duration and limit it to personal only, so at low level such as 4th which is the earliest you would be able to pick this up, it would be quite decent especially considering its cost. It doesn’t scale however and eventually someone in the party would likely pick up a more lasting mobility spell which will make this feel like a poor investment when that arises.
It also fits the theme and i do like it as a whole. However, do i like it enough to say i would invest a feat into this ability which will cost me spell points each time i wish to use it? I don’t think so unless i happen to have a spare feat which would be rare for me personally at least as regardless of how many feats i would be gaining, i’ll never have enough of them for some odd reason!
Conclusion & Suggestions:
Domain Conclusion: I do believe some quality of life buffs could be offered to this domain as i already pointed out when discussing the abilities, but the overall theme and strength of the domain are just fine in my eyes. The beauty lies in its simplicity and potential fun factor when you do something awesome like throwing a BBEG off a cliff or moving him against the wall provoking attacks of opportunities and then having the archer using his bow critical specialization to pin him against it. It'd make for a good story when the stars do align.
Suggestion(for Gozreh): Maybe adding entangle to the spell list for the deity would actually be a nice small indirect buff as well. He does have nature as a domain as well so it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch, right?
Cities (Abadar, Cayden Cailean)
Face in the crowd:
I read this and immediately thought, why is this a power considering this should likely just occur by default when players utilise such tactics (with the exception of the ignoring of difficult terrain).
Even assuming that such modifiers shouldn’t be offered for free for having the party utilise their heads under pressure; why is it personal only? Even if you can avoid being caught or detected by having this ability personally, your party won’t be affected by that which would result in either a split party or the result of them being caught being that you would’ve used a spell point that in the end: didn’t change anything but a wasted resource. Even if it would affect others, the person with poor dex because they are walking around in full plate with massive penalties likely wouldn’t be saved by it in any case. The duration also is way too low considering its situational usefulness.
It’ll likely not be coming up more than a handful of times throughout an entire game (if your lucky!) considering most adventures aren’t taking place in cities and towns themselves, even if you did have a campaign that takes place in a city then how often do you believe a group of (assumedly good based on the deities) players would need to utilise these type of tactics and use them over other tactics?
The worst part about it is that it doesn’t seem fitting the theme of either of the deities who have this domain in addition to the above.
I would suggest just completely revamping this particular ability as despite its name, it seems more fitting for a trickery or secrecy domain power in my eyes at least.
Watching the watchers (2sp):
I would say this is more in line with what the cities domain likely should do in my eyes at least however… because of the “openly visible” activity phrase it is entirely redundant.
If you would be trying to pinpoint and deal with corrupted guard activity, they likely wouldn’t be engaged in such activities while on guard in the first place and thus; would they still count as city guard activity? They likely also wouldn’t be too open about such things unless the rulership would not care about their soldiers being involved in such. Which i suppose could be the case but it still feels very niche as its cities only which means those poor villages aren’t even an area of concern for this ability.The only other use i could see for it is to precast it in an attempt to time a coordinated attack with the city guard and groups on multiple fronts, but there are way easier methods. At least the duration is sort of fixed with this one but considering how situational it is, why isn’t it 24 hours?
If i think about all of the campaigns i’ve played through in both d&d and pathfinder since 2001, i’m pretty sure i could count the number of situations where this ability could’ve been relevant on a single hand which would be assuming that it didn’t state “openly visible activity”. It kind of reminds me of a cityscape ability which at least to me isn't a good thing.
Conclusion & Suggestions:
Domain Conclusion: This is downright awful. I’ll nominate it for a complete revamp because as it stands, it might as well not exist.
Suggestions: Something equivalent to bardic knowledge for anything society based? Bonuses on utilising the city for sake of shopping/selling or finding the right locations/people? Contacts? Gathering Information? Comprehend languages? Favored terrain: Urban? Maybe even a bonus on any skill checks that would be taking place in the city as a reaction? Etc etc
Confidence (Asmodeus, Gorum, Iomedae)
Veil of confidence:
This is a tough one actually as i feel it fits the theme, fear effects are common enough that having an ability to handle them on demand is a good thing, it can even be used proactive which i like. It costs 2 actions which is expensive as a cleric who typically lacks actions in most rounds as you have a large amount of responsibility in most groups, it is personal only and it has a massive downside on critical failures. I personally believe the downside on a critical failure isn’t necessary and the ability would actually be good at that point.
Considering clerics get remove fear on their spell list and are typically the class that would help out the party with it, increasing your own odds in addition to a good wisdom makes me value it more so. I do think that being able to cast remove fear instead of a channel energy by investing a feat later on would make this quite a bit better but at the same time it would also have this domain power feel weaker but considering the frightened condition is a whole lot more terrifying in this edition. I believe this is fine whilst being on the low spectrum of a good ability.
The phrasing of this ability is confusing and i had to read it a few times considering it is not a reactionary effect which would’ve made a whole lot more sense as then at least you would know what you invested those two action and spell points in considering it has the bolstered tag. It is a straight up gamble as it stands, you likely have better actions as a cleric and certainly have better debuffs on your spell list.
I like the theme behind this ability, i even like its effect for the most part and feel it could be a pretty decent debuff for beatstick type encounters but since it’s a conditional penalty, there are much better options in the system as they are incredibly common. If it already missed two attacks then it would probably not be needed in the fight anyway is another thing to be mindful off, maybe it has some combo potential with debuffing a target when it will be swinging against a sensed or concealed target to help weaken it for future rounds but that is hard to predict.
That being said; i can’t say it would be worthwhile with the overinflated statistics of encounters presently in the playtest which will on average have a monster hit ~50% of the time on its first and second strike anyway. I think if those odds would get downscaled a little bit then this ability could be usable.
Conclusion & Suggestions:
Conclusion: I believe the theme came across really well here, it’s less niche than most domains but still only situationally useful for the first ability. When the system becomes more balanced numbers wise the second ability could be utilised incase your group will be lacking conditional debuffs, it is a potentially decent domain in the right circumstances but there are better options available.
Suggestion: I would remove the critical failure aspect of the first ability, for the second ability i would make it a reaction. Clerics don’t really get many reactions and i believe at that point; it would actually be quite interesting as at least you know why you would be attempting to use the ability in advance instead of it being a straight up gamble. With that being said if such a change would occur, the duration on failure and critical failure should become something like 2 rounds for failure and 1 minute for critical failure respectively.
Creation (Shelyn, Torag)
Honestly, the idea behind this is perfectly fine. However with all of those limitations, i can’t think of many (non-fluff based) items i would wish to create with this besides a 10-ft pole, hemp rope, sacks or something of the sort which are some of the items i would commonly purchase anyway to ensure i’d have them with me when adventuring and even more so when dungeon delving, assuming i could carry them of course. With the bulk system in place and overall carrying capacity having gone down, i suppose i can see the usefulness of this until the party has a bag of holding.
I personally would like to see this ability get an upgrade with more spell points invested to remove some of the limitations similarly to the ability that’s to follow; it would be quite interesting if it could make larger bulk items or items with moving parts to create (for example); a functional ballista to fight the flying dragon or maybe a musical instrument that has moving parts and things of the sort. The reason i am suggesting this is because at a certain point in the game which is relatively early sadly; the limitations just prevent it from being used at all which i think is a shame as i believe these type of effects to be incredibly fun to play around with.
In a strict raw game; despite liking the theme as a person, i probably would not pick this one up unless it was a one shot at low level or something because of its lack of scaling and limited usefulness due to the massive amounts of restrictions.
Artistic Flourish (2sp):
I like this. It’s simple but functional and what you would want from a creation domain ability. That’s what i would like to say but then it hit me as i realised that the heightened scaling is a bit slow at 7th level for master(3 spell points) and 15th level for legendary (4 spell points).
The most common application would be to assist in a skill challenge the party isn’t typically investing heavily in such as disguise kits or climbing kits or anything of the sort however it would only really be relevant if you had the tools in the first place so why wouldn’t you just buy better quality tools in the first place? The party likely has the funds to do so down the line as they aren’t majorly expensive in any case.
And then i came to the realization after checking the tools in the pdf that none of the tools are of legendary make and thought; Hmmm… well at least once you eventually get to level 15, you could have a bonus +1-2 on the skills that have tools for them compared to those you could purchase which can be done on demand.
It costs you a feat and a good dose of spell points to use it, i would almost argue that it could be worth it with how high skill dc’s are at the moment.
Conclusion & Suggestions:
Conclusion: Fits the theme perfectly, i’m personally a sucker for this type of stuff. Whoever came up with it should receive some praise!
Suggestions: As stated in creation itself; the lack of scaling hurts the overall usefulness of this ability as it becomes irrelevant very early on in the game especially so in medium-heavy magic groups. I think some minor quality of life heightening similar to artistic flourish would be nice for it to at least allow some creative tinkering at times. Artistic flourish: i would like to see the heightening levels go down by 1-2 personally considering you would at least need to invest in the base kits for the ability to have any effect in the first place. Alternatively, being able to create toolkits or guides to have the same effect for skills which have no tools existing for them in the system could be something else that would be interesting, akin to 1st editions adventurer’s chronicle’s which personally speaking, i actually do miss.
To do list:
I will do these as my spare time would allow, i should be able to keep a pace of a part every 2-3 days most likely.
I decided to do domains 5 to 6 at a time, mostly because i'm trying to do so in depth. I fear if i made it any longer then no one in their right mind would ever read it. Splitting it up in parts might help is what i was thinking.
-Arcane archer: Currently playing one and i'm enjoying it a lot.
-Arcane trickster: I've always enjoyed my gish rogues, i'm a bit worried about the limited amount of spells per day for the amount of feats invested though.
-Eldritch knight : I think class dedication is easier to slot in on fighters compared to any class so lets see how that actually feels or if it would feel too sacrificial to invest so many feats to get a handful of spells.
-I'd like to try a bloodrager but.... i don't think it'll go that great.
-Occult/Divine sorcerer with magical striker might make healing builds a bit more fun.
-Bad touch cleric; i feel like they actually have quite a bit of support and again, i like my gish.
-Fighter with cleric dedication probably erastil(True strike and probably earth domain) with the deadly simplicity feat as i don't think its that bad with a high enough potent rune.
-I can appreciate the monk typically and am curious if there isn't any fun to be had with the class. I'll admit that i've barely looked at the class as it stands.
-I've yet to actually play a normal rogue either and it is by far my most played class across previous editions of d&d/pathfinder, it seems this time around they might actually be lategame viable.
Thusfar most of my groups tend to have a need for clerics in particular so i've played 4 of em across 9 sessions. The others were shapeshift druid who felt like a bit of a trainwreck, bard was alright but i wish i needed some of my many skills more in that adventure, paladin felt alright but very reactive and defensive with a lack of offensive options with the loss of smite evil and lastly the magical striker wizard which thusfar has been the most enjoyable character: maybe because part 4 is actually more up my alley in playstyle then the other parts.
I've even decided to do a full review on domains and feats because of the amount of clerics i've gotten to play, its quite a bit of work though so it'll likely take me another week to finish up the writeup.
I don't want to play ranger, alchemists and barbarians. Honestly even fighters are typically a stretch for me because of skills which i suppose this time around, might not be so bad. The former two because they just don't seem to have something that i really would like out of class features and have a variety of conflicting features especially for the ranger, barbarians just never really appealed to me except for bloodrager variants that i could appreciate.
OP summarizes my own experiences aswell as a variety of concerns of people i've been playing with. I think there are one or two that i personally would argue but concidering the sheer amount of feedback and it being done in an easy to read format.
Devs should really have a look at this because i believe its exceptional feedback.
Shield of reckoning seems pretty good to mitigate some of the clog at level 10.
Quick shield block with a theoretical fighter multiclass could actually do quite a bit in combination. ALthough as an 8th level feat for fighters, it wouldn't be until level 16 through advanced maneuver.
3(4 if we would include the shield block) of the options chosen are optional with other options(lesser for sure in some cases) and could've been replaced with other choices.
"Shopping" is a valid tactic. It is even an Exploration tactic, rather than a Downtime tactic, so does not take entire days to do.
This is true, however if you go with that argument then... i believe there are rules for looking for specific items which means you might not get what you are looking for and thus assuming an automatic success during character creation is still invalid.
Even if you would take that route and have a GM willing to cater to it; your playtesting that instead of the module's goals which i don't think is a part off the chapters? I know it isn't for the first 3 with a certainty, i am actually not certain with the last 4 however as i'm trying not to spoiler myself regarding.
Who is to say that the free runes are abusing the system? For all we know, it is intentional that characters get to start with free runes.
If that were intentional at all then i would question the following; what would be the point of listing the magical weapon in the table the way they currently are which does not include those runes. It would be contradictory and again, likely is not as intended. I am not a developer and unless one happens to provide an answer on this, you could always make the argument of what if which will simply create more confusion then just going with the obvious answer.
Colette Brunel wrote:
Affair at Sombrefell Hall technically starts with the characters in Rozenport, a bustling town, and they have a day to spend faffing around before setting off for Sombrefell Hall. During that day, they can presumably sell off items.
The same goes for In Pale Mountain's Shadow, Red Flags, When the Stars Go Dark, and all three of the Pathfinder Society playtest scenarios.
Unless there is a vendor rolled up in the book (which i doubt based on earlier chapters), i doubt that would be the intention.
It might be the case that the merchants here don't have the funds to buy things off the players, they might be pretty stocked up. Even if they could and have the funds; there is no guarantee they'll have what hte players are looking for as per normal merchants who typically have lists of items they have available.
While the rules are sketchy at best, here's my take on it.
Problem #|: I got nothing. I assume its an oversight.
Problem #2: It only feels bad if the monetary value is relevant, for sake of a one shot it would not be relevant.
Problem #3: As they are not part of the magic item table, they wouldn't be part of the playtest unless you would have the funds to upgrade the material component of the magical item.
Problem #4: This is however an issue. I'm pretty confident in saying it would not be intended and the magical item levels are ment to just utilise the base magical weapons from the table itself.
Problem #5: Again, your making the assumption your allowed and ment to sell these.
The base rules state you can indeed sell items, however typically for paizo published module (at least to my knowledge). Module specifics overwrite any regular rulebook rules if the two would be in conflict or contradicting and as such, you would not have the ability to sell items concidering the following statement in pretty much all the doomsday dawn "starting item" description. Which simply states **Each character begins with**.
< Now to me who admittedly is using english as an effective third language so there is absolutely the possibility that i am wrong however my interpretation is that it means you don't have the option to sell before this chapter starts and you simply get what each chapter tells you that you would be getting.
It's also not backed up by Paizo. I'm playing Doomsday Part 4, the level 9 section, and every DC is in the 24-28 range. At no point does it say 'scouting the wilderness is relatively mundane, so the DC is only 16' or 'these guys actually really need help, dispite their standoffish nature, the situation is in your favour and it's a DC 14 diplomacy' - nope, everything is 24-28. It's rubbish. My players don't feel particuarly competent even at their specialties. I understand that 'oh, you're trying to talk to that powerful beast? The inherently hostile one? Yeah, that's a level appropriate challenge. A really tough one, even. DC 30!' Not everything should be easy. But... have some range to these DCs!
As one of his players, i concur with the above statement. We pretty much just started assisting the person with the highest modifier because it was the only way most of us felt we could contribute with our modifiers and have a chance at success against the harsh DC.
Having a table like this that scales with level; it doesn't feel like you progressed with your character, which is taking away the player feeling of realising that the character has improved after going through countless encounters with dangerous foes to improve ones own abilities which i would call growth; i think its a big part of roleplaying games thats important to have in order to be enjoying yourself. It is just absent because of this particular table.
It also doesn't make sense, if you climbed the same tree every single day for an entire year, you would expect the person climbing the particular tree to get better at it and either his modifier to go up or the difficulty class to go down for climbing the tree as effort was put into getting better at this particular task. You probably wouldn't start struggling more as you get stronger yourself, right?
I'll exclude part 1 & 2 concidering those adventures were played before everyone gained unarmored proficiency and in general i want to say most of those characters were not as optimized aswell at least from memory; simular to yours in part 3 onwards people typically are recommending an optimized AC score.
Part 3(lvl 7): 24/25/25/26; without shields which 3 of the 4 had.
Part 4(lvl 9): 28/28/28/(26-27); Without shield cantrip or parry for the first two. I don't think the later two have anything of the sort after not utilising anything like it in the 1.5 combats we managed to get done today.
The reason its 26-27 for one of the AC's is because a 25 missed but 27 was a hit thusfar so it could be either and i have no access to the sheet presently.
Each of these sequences of 3 attacks are exceedingly unlucky. But to have them happen sequentially is effectively impossible with fair dice (0.0005% chance). I feel very confident in saying that your GM is messing with you and inventing dice roll results.
If you are a skeptical person and doubt that something happened because it is improbable, then that is your choice. It doesn't take away that it was indeed very improbable, it doesn't take away that it did happen. I'm certain it'll happen again as with enough dice rolled, eventually the improbable will occur. I didn't check your math and wether or not it kept into account that it would only have the 15 instead of 16 to hit when something isn't prone already and wether or not you applied the prone condition to your numbers.
This was highly improbable but even without the highly improbable, it doesn't take away that with criticals as they are; combats feel very, very swingy which only gets worse as the level difference between the group and encounter grows(in both ways) and the chance of crit increases. (This was level +3 and i believe like level +4 is also an option for encounters...)
The rolls were public when it came to combat rolls, so there was no inventing of dice rolls. I will say that i am not familiar enough with maptool to determine if their dice are in fact fair.
In the end because the math is so tight and currently off as shown by any of the math posts on the forum, especially so when compared to the goals the devs have which they already stated in other posts that they have for the chance of success.
Vestris; i get your point and i agree with it. If it happened in playsession, they likely would've come up with some form of ruling. I suggested shove but i suppose interact would probably function better.
I was just surprised there was no reason for dragging as i'd assume it would be a common occurance for grabbing creatures and the sort.
I also plan on adding four more tables - Hit rates vs creatures of Level-1, Level-2, Level+1, and Level+2. The tables I have now only cover situations where the player is attacking a creature of the same level.
I've been following your threads closely being highly curious about such things.
I'm waiting for that table, especially the level +2 one concidering the sheer amount of issues i've seen and experienced with the "severe encounters".
Keep up the good work and thanks a lot for all of the effort your putting in.
See, I knew the fight was unwinnable if the Cleric goes down turn
I'm stubborn personally. In the end the cleric going down set us back a round, but i thought the paladin & fighter were unlikely to be instagibbed allowing a potential recover if both me and the paladin heal up together.
I thought about it some more, the day after i basicly thought of the following to recover as it is mindless and will attack the nearest, regardless of conciousness.
Why didn't i drag the paladin away after they went down leaving the fighter who had high odds of surviving at least a round while we could recover with the healing of both myself and the paladin.
So i pointed this out to the GM; only be reminded there are no rules for dragging. I suppose athletics "Shove" would be the closest thing although if those rolls would need to be made for moving an unconcious ally. My cleric wouldn't have been able to, nor the ranger. The fighter could have but thats all in heinsight.
With your group, there wouldn't have been a chance of recovery due to lack of D10 hit dice and thus average damage vs average hp's. Which again, i'd say is at least in part a system issue.
TL,DR: Any unlucky souls investigating the golem when the fight breaks out are basically screwed unless you use meta-knowledge to know that cold damage inflicts the slow condition AND can actually land at least one cold spell on it every turn. And if it's the cleric that was Investigating the golem -- which is highly likely due to them likely having the best Medicine skill -- you're just asking for a TPK.
In addition to the false knowledge, i agree with this that it really sets the group up for failure in addition to the higher level creature.
The module being adjusted to;
< The guards being massively injured outside, their captain is seeking reinforcements but them believing the golem will go berserk before his return and asking the party to subdue it would've made more sense.
< They offer the party 1-2 weapon blanches for sake of overcoming its resistance instead of the coated weapon that would be irrelevant because magical weapons are better then a non-expert longsword when your trying to hit something that already is hard to hit.
< In addition, the knowledge of fire/frost/electricity effects and the bludgeoning/adamantine information should all be found before the fight could start without anyone being in its range to swing because the party can discover this thing is mindless and will attack the nearest target until its removed from existance.
With those adjustments i believe the fight "could" be done although it would still be over if people start dropping and/or you miss the cold spell to reduce its action economy. Maybe something in this house would have those effects for non-caster classes to utilise even. If you give it full action economy especially so against squishier groups, it does seem to go as i thought that its average damage is too high to deal with for 6/8 hit point classes with the above example being provided.
It doesn't help that the GM insisted that opponents weren't flat footed to me before their first action despite the fact that I had a class feature that said they were because "There are no more surprise rounds so they knew you were there even before they acted." Even after I showed him the Surprise Attack class feature line in the book.
It just makes me sad to read this, your game master was obviously wrong making this call and went off his personal bias instead of what your class is ment to be able to do.
The "fix" (read: bandaid) i had regarding, was to take the human ancestry feat of "Adapted spell". The elven and gnome versions also exist but are weaker concidering scaling.
I kind of agree with the idea that divine caster should have a capable cantrip to contribute in an offensive manner. These bandaids sort of function but it doesn't feel good having to invest in them for this type of purpose, making it feel like a feat-tax rather so than something we -really- want to take.
I think stat wise it would be a tough build, but i don't see any reasons personally why they wouldn't stack as written. Couldn't find anything indicating in the book either surrounding bonusses stacking with the exception of conditional or circumstance.
- the group was optimized in defense. Usual groups have a higher TPK rate, by a large margin.
- There's no way to prevent a fight against a Level+2 creature. Even if the maths of the game was functional, those monsters would have still better skills than the PCs thanks to the +2 Levels: low chance of stealth, deception etc. If an adventure uses a Level+2 encounter, the chances you can avoid the encounter by playing smart are low.
- Your group has to fight 12.5 Level+2 creatures to level up - in other words, you should expect a lot of fights against Level+2 creature (or a lot of farming against Level-2 creatures, if your players like farming in TTRPG) before you reach level 5.
- If you're unlucky just once, it's game over.
Right now as the game is balanced, I'm quite confident there's no way you can play a whole AP as they are designed now. You have to optimize to the max to get a low chance to attain the 6th book. This is a systemic problem, not a problem of this adventure - and this is a problem of people not understanding what a probability means: they do not understand that a low chance of TPK every fight quickly escalate to a sure TPK when the game requires to farm monsters to level up.
This is a better phrased version of what i was pointing out in my op. Thanks for this.