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Ectar's page

Organized Play Member. 978 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 5 Organized Play characters.


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Small shame that the guardian got two anecdotes and the commander got zero.

Though, the opinions on the forums seem to be more broadly positive regarding the commander, so the guardian could use the extra positive fanfare and hints of improvements prior to release.

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tinboy wrote:

Hi. I have a question I am using experience based levelling and trying to understand how I should handle the end of the adventure. The players are level 11 when confronting Thessekka and should be level 12 at the end of the adventure.

My understanding is that you need to use story based levelling or insert quite a lot of own material into the AP to get the players to the correct level. How did you handle this? My players are going to go into the last tower tonight and are level 10. They will level up there to 11. But not sure how to handle going to 12. Seems a little bit “cheap” to have them go back to Vandy, search his house have one fight and by they way you are level 12 now.
Are there some encounters or adventures that you used from defeating Thessekka to going back to Vandys house?

I believe my players leveled up as follows:

Dinner, haunting, and initial investigation w/ Vandy, all the randomish encounters in CH-1. Leveled up to 10.

Wellspring Tower and Liferoot Stone, sans Thessekka. Leveled up to 11.

Finishing the investigation and Skarja, Old Forest Tower and Thessekka. Leveled up to 12.

Because of the freeform nature of this book, probably the last of the Aeon towers will be a bit easy for the party, since the only encounters particularly meant for 11th level parties are the two big boss monsters. If your group is expected to have an easy time with Thessekka, you can beef up whichever Aeon tower they do last. Assuming the group is level 11.

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Ezekieru wrote:

Something else was noted in another Discord server (Mark Seifter's one).

Someone stated: "Out of curiousity, does spellshot get master wizard spellcasting at lvl 18? It isn't listed. Have to go will check in later!"

Mike Sayre responded: "For a variety of reasons, no, but we did boost the compatibility between spellshot and beast gunner."

I'm legitimately curious as to why, but I'm not gonna try and guess. Just an interesting thing to note that it's not an error that Master Spellcasting was missing.

Beast guns. Gross.

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Okay. I understand removing a flavorful ability in favor of adding in stuff to make the subclass more powerful and enticing.

I'm 1000% houseruling conjure bullet back in, 'cause it's awesome.

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I was perusing the Star Guns out of Treasure Vault and Guns and Gears. All three of them have the concussive trait, which causes the target to use the lesser of their piercing and bludgeoning resistance, but the guns don't deal piercing or bludgeoning damage. Is this just like, a flavor trait in these cases? Or just an oversight?

The Roawn Rifle deals fire damage, and both the Ghosthand's Comet and the Kaldemash's Lament deal force damage, with other elemental options.

So what gives?

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Ezekieru wrote:

It was confirmed by Mike Sayre elsewhere that it was cut in order to make room for the new additions to the class archetype. Even with the errata being separated from print cycles, they are still bound by the constraints of the layout and copyfit of the book itself.

Could you share where that was confirmed?

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Finoan wrote:

Also, while it was cool flavor - it was pretty much worthless mechanically. Bullets aren't that expensive... in the games where basic ammunition is even tracked. And with or without Conjure Bullet, you are paying one action to Reload.

Conjure Bullet never worked with Gunslinger's Reload tricks without houserules. So you were better off having actual ammunition.

I'm not lamenting a perceived loss of power. I'm lamenting the actual loss of flavor and theming.

Conjure Bullet was the most evocative part of the Way, imo.

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Solomani wrote:
Souls At War wrote:

3) the thread isn't very active, so good luck.
True, but no harm in trying.

The person who posted about the hex map is still active on the paizo forums. You could try sending them a private message asking for it.

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In the errata today it says:
"The Spellshot Dedication now reads as follows: You cast arcane spells like a wizard, gaining a spellbook with four common arcane cantrips of your choice. You gain the Cast a Spell activity. You can prepare two cantrips each day from your spellbook. You’re trained in the spell attack modifier and spell DC statistics. Your key spellcasting attribute for spellshot archetype spells is Intelligence, and they are arcane spells. You become trained in Arcana; if you were already trained in Arcana, you instead become trained in a skill of your choice. This counts as the wizard archetype for the benefits of Basic Wizard Spellcasting. Special You can’t select another dedication feat other than Beast Gunner Dedication until you’ve gained two other feats from the spellshot or beast gunner archetypes."

Sure sounds like they lost it to me. If so, that makes me sad. The conjuring bullets bit was the coolest, or at least most evocative, part of the archetype to me.

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Errenor wrote:
Ectar wrote:

RIP the Elemental Instinct barbarian granting kineticist impulses the rage trait....

I wish the last line of Elemental Rage were changed to "If you have any kineticist impulses with the same element type as the one you chose for your instinct, such as ones gained by taking the Kineticist Dedication multiclass feat, they gain the rage trait while your are raging."
Where? I don't see any changes in Elemental Instinct at all and Elemental Rage already has this text, but without "while your are raging". Why is it worse?

Elemental Instinct gives all of your impulses (basically everything the Kineticist does) the rage trait. Abilities with the rage trait can only be used while raging.

I think it'd be lovely for the elemental instinct barbarian to be able to use their kineticist stuff while raging, but impulses inherently have the Concentrate trait, so they can't natively be used while raging. However, if something has both the Rage and Concentrate traits, you CAN use it while raging.

So atm you go from being able to use impulses only while not raging (before grabbing Elemental Instinct) to being able to use impulses only while raging (after grabbing Elemental Instinct).

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RIP the Elemental Instinct barbarian granting kineticist impulses the rage trait.

Which means if a main class kineticist took Barbarian Dedication w/ elemental instinct and then took Instinct Ability at level 6, they'd lose access to virtually of of their kineticist powers outside of rage.

I wish the last line of Elemental Rage were changed to "If you have any kineticist impulses with the same element type as the one you chose for your instinct, such as ones gained by taking the Kineticist Dedication multiclass feat, they gain the rage trait while your are raging."

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Blave wrote:
Aaaaaaand the extra reach is a stance now.

RIP minotaur monks, magi, and others.

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Unicore wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Entangling flora is the spell o think you are looking for. They had to leave the narrative of webs behind I think.
I'd call that more equivalent to Entangle than to Web.
I am almost positive I t remember James Case saying entangling fauna replaced both entangle and web. The mechanics are almost the same. The narrative is intentionally not web like.

Entangling Fauna is horrifying, amazing, and being added to my ever-growing list of homebrew things.

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James Jacobs wrote:

Part of the complicated nature of OGL stuff is that there are some things you're not allowed to say for trademark or other reasons. The phrase "Dungeons and Dragons" is one of those things.

"Overly cautious and subdued" is the name of the game when working this closely with OGL content and the world's oldest Roleplaying Game... less so on idle messageboard posts but very much more so for official marketing copy, like you see upstairs in the actual blog post.

I get ya. It's an unfortunate market reality. Y'all's older "The Abomination Vaults Comes to 5E!" post really got the point across right from the title. Different times.

Anywho, I'm still super jazzed for the actual product. I've got a group that I've been hoping to get onto Paizo's side for a while and I think this'll be a good stopgap on the path of "I don't want to learn a whole new system".

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The fact that this post says "5E" once, in the third paragraph and doesn't use the term "Dungeons and Dragons" at all really feels like a missed opportunity. Maybe they're not allowed to, I dunno.

It's just odd to me that the post isn't yelling from the mountaintops "This is the first Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition product Paizo have released!"

I know there's the whole OGL thing, but this feels so overly cautious and subdued.

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Investigator. I love the idea of the class, but for two games in a row I've been disappointed by the execution.

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I would've liked a version of the Harrow Deck of Many Things more akin to the old version.
I don't love the implementation in the AP.

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What I got from your post about the Fighter/Summoner:
It feels like you want PF1 archetypes: losing core class features to acquire unique abilities, tailored to your particular two-class combination. But at the same time, you don't want to lose class feats, even though those are the best analogue to PF1 class features in most cases.
Honestly, I think it'd be cool, but not worth the devs' time to try and implement such specific and niche designs. Be a great 3rd party product, tho.

Like an Ultimate Class Archetypes book that does a bunch of class archetypes for the multiclass dedications.

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Most of the PFS sessions I've attended had an intro section. I'd typically split my time between my character's story elevator pitch with their common tactics.

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QuidEst wrote:
There's no visual trait.
Commander's Banner wrote:
As long as your banner is visible (such as by being affixed to your weapon or worn attached to a pole alongside your backpack), you and all allies in a 30- foot emanation gain a +1 status bonus to Will saves and DCs against fear effects. You pause or resume this effect as part of any action you would typically use to stow or retrieve your banner, such as Interacting to stow it. If your banner is destroyed or stolen, allies within 30 feet become frightened 1. This effect has the aura, commander, emotion, mental, and visual traits.

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It feels to me like the Guardian is meant to be taking the whole damage; it gets resistance to all the damage types, so I think intuitively they should take all the damage, even if it isn't spelled out quite as nicely as I'd like.

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Yeah. It could've been formulated as a reminder text, but it typically isn't.

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Ravingdork wrote:

There aren't very many abilities with both the Visual trait AND a save.

And Intimidating Glare is not on that list.

Wouldn't the bonus also apply to your save DCs against visual effects, using the rules for generating DCs from Modifiers?

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I think a bunch of the tactics can be broadened slightly.
Like let Shields Up allow an affected ally to cast the Shield cantrip.

Mountaineer and Naval training can be combined into one tactic that grants either a swim or climb speed, chosen when you prepare that tactic with your squad.

Probably a more generalist Master Tactic will be released, since the two in the playtest are very disparate in the playstyle and party they're good in.

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Subutai1 wrote:
Make it cost 2 actions and change the Requirements to: You have your shield raised. Remove "Raise a Shield." from the description of this feat.

Perfect suggestion.

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I feel like the effect is neat, but not really worth a class feat.
It feels like it needs something else tacked on to make it attractive.
Maybe increase the degree of success on saves vs visual effects?
That might be too strong.

But I do feel like it needs a something else to be attractive.

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exequiel759 wrote:
Pronate11 wrote:
My question, are there any examples of lazy lords in media? not generals of large armies (because just having large army seems like a very difficult thing to add to the class), but in a group of 3-5 adventures, a guy whos only job is to stand there and give orders? I can't think of any, but if they exist maybe we can draw some inspiration on how they were still cool.
All the strategist from the Suikoden series, Lelouch from Code Geass (though he has a more supernatural flavor than the commander), a ton of the protagonists from the Fire Emblem series, some moffs and Admiral Thrawn from Star Wars, the protagonist from the new Unicorn Overlord game, and I'm sure that I must be missing some obvious ones. Also, the very concept of "lazylord" was created in 4e when the wardlord was released, which has been mentioned as an inspiration for the commander.

Lelouch does a TON of hands on stuff in Code Geass. Yeah, he is the one giving orders, but he pilots mechs frequently and physically involves himself in many of his plots. In fact, him doing stuff himself is frequently used to keep the opponents guessing about his activities and if a particular Zero is really him or not.

Most of the Fire Emblem strategists characters are also playable fighters. Again, think Soren and Micaiaih.

I'm less familiar with your other specific examples, but at least those two don't feel like they really hold water.

To your earlier examples of XCOM and Final Fantasy Tactics, you're drawing a false equivalency. In XCOM you don't play as a soldier who sits on the battlefield telling people what to do, you're barely even a character. I suppose that's the closest example to what you're claiming you want, but it doesn't feel like a good playstyle for a TTRPG. That really only works for a single player game, where you're not controlling other humans.
And for FFT, Ramza is a participant in every story fight. He distinctly fights. Unless you're talking about the human controlling everything. In which case again: single player game.

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Perpdepog wrote:

I'm in favor of them gaining training in light armor and unarmored defense. Sure, that's not what the class is exactly going for, and there is some kind of parity when you consider that we have classes that favor light armor exclusively, but none that favor heavier armor in the same way because of how proficiency works, but like people said upthread, your feats will take care of that. If you have a plan that can somehow duck under a lot of the armor flavor, and know alternate feats to take, like being a super nimble shield guardian, then I think that should be a thing the class lets you do.

I would expect anyone going in to the class with that idea in mind would know from glancing at all the feats that this choice is suboptimal, so it's pretty safe to assume they'd be picking it for other reasons, like seeing how far they can bend the system for fun, or because it fulfills a specific fantasy for them.

Full disclosure: I noticed that the flavor text on Intercept Strike mentions your armor taking the blow, but none of the ability's actual requirements mention armor. So I got the image of this scrawny naked man jumping in front of a massive two-handed axe, and it just bouncing off of his flesh, because that's how the ability works as written, and it's hilarious.

Then I tried planning out a build that uses all feats that don't require medium or heavy armor.

That's when I noticed the lack of proficiency gain in unarmored and light armor.

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Wand Thaumaturges crying in the corner

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exequiel759 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
One reason the commander isn't going to fall into certain niches is to make it generally useable with randos who show up at a PFS table. "I just sit in the back and send good vibes or order you around" isn't going to fly socially and in many cases mechanically in that environment.

How is playing a lazylord different than what most casters already do in the system? The full support role exists in PF2e and has existed in TTRPGs for I don't know how much time. The most optimal bard playstyle is to be a buff bot, casters in general using buffs or debuffs is commonplace, and the very inspiration of the commander is the 4e warlord which enables the lazylord playstyle. This whole argument of "it would be boring" literally ignores that the playstyle already exists in the system, but not in the way the commander does it. If you think being a support is boring then probably you don't like the commander and what it represents.

The very fantasy of a commander is effectively to play as Sun Tzu.

Most decent caster builds will have a mix of direct support buffs, debuffs, utility, and damage. Totally removing the debuffs and damage will almost result in a strictly worse caster, just the same as removing the buffs and/or utility would.

Acting like a typical bard or cleric functions just fine never casting spells that affect the enemy is hyperbole at best and deceptive at worst.

If a cleric or Bard could get by without casting spells that affect the enemy, they'd have no reason to maximize their caster stat, since it has minimal ROI besides bumping save DCs and spell attacks, which are inherently enemy-focused stats.
But ain't no guide recommending your bard dumps Charisma because buffs are stat independent.

Sun Tzu had legions. Typical Pathfinder table has 4-6 total individuals. You are not the same.
You're the guy in the bomb squad giving orders, but you're still charging past the kicked-in door with the rest of the squad.

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pH unbalanced wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Verzen wrote:

Strategists and tacticians usually didn't wade into battle themselves.

Don't fall for the propaganda. You're a team/squad leader kicking in doors with the privates.
Not even Fire Emblem could decide which version it preferred.

Soren and Micaiah waded into battle.

Behind the melee, sure, but they were in there.

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Verzen wrote:

Lets face facts. Archer is the same. They dont need to move into position and archers deal insane amounts of damage. A lot more than commanders would be able to do.

You're also wrong as this ability would only effect squadmates (Wasnt mentioned specifically but definitely implied since the class can only effect squadmates) so you need intelligence to effect squadmates.

Bards don't require equipment investment. Neither do psychics who have message amp.

I may have said that backwards but the intent is to offer a chance for the guy to be too stubborn to follow orders.

Archers requires stat investiture. Archers suffers from partial cover due to allies. Well-built archers do measurably less damage than well-build melee characters, probably designed that way because they don't have to move, so they deal less damage per action as compensation for requiring fewer actions to set up.

Your example would require 1 point of intelligence, which is hardly a cost. Even if your version gave you a max number of squadmates equal to your int mod, you're still getting to make melee attacks at a distance without requiring any of the physical stats (or magical equipment) necessary to do so.

Bards don't need a significant investment to spam their composition cantrips, but if that's all they're doing they're missing out on 10th level spellcasting. Which many times does incentivize putting their stats into Charisma anyway, since saving throws exist.

Regarding the Psychic Amp Message:
1.) The Psychic had to spec into The Silent Whisper, ergo locking them out of other Conscious Mind options. Therefore opportunity cost.
Your suggestion is to give Strike Now! to all Commanders at level 1, ergo no opportunity cost to acquire an ability of similar strength.
2.) AMP message. It literally requires you to spend resources to get the ally to have the ability to strike. Which means you have fewer options for using focus points for the rest of the combat.

That version of the DC thing makes it feel like the Commander is trying to use their allies against their will?
Even if mechanically it's more balanced, I think it's bad game design. Players are supposed to be encouraged to work together, not to use each other.

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Verzen wrote:
I dont see how my suggestion is overpowered at all.

You did not address most of the points I mentioned:

You're still getting to attack 3 times without having to spend the actions necessary to move into position.
You get to attack from multiple locations with no cost.

Suppose in your example the Barbarian felled their foe with your first attack. Now you're attacking with the Fighter from potentially up to 60ft away from where that occurred at no penalty.
If you were just a 2nd striker, you'd have to move or Sudden Charge or something to get into position most of the time.

You're getting to double dip the power into single target buffs. If that Barbarian received a rank 6 Heroism, you'd effectively be increasing the power of that spell by an extra third or more since you're getting extra buffed attacks, again at no cost.

Your entire math argument only works if the Barbarian, Fighter, and Rogue are in non-magical equipment, with 0 buffs, and are all in range to hit each of the 3 different enemies.

Heck, that's another point: since this character you've suggested requires no stat or equipment investment, you get to invest those extra resources into the rest of the party, which only makes this whole situation worse, since now we're double dipping in economy.

Your suggestion that the ally makes a will save even makes the problem WORSE, since they're saving against the Commander's DC, the Commander is incentivized to have a lower DC, which should never be the case.

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For me, having most of their feats and such require medium or heavy does most of the work to get me to want to use those armors.
Though I'd be lying if I said I didn't start looking into this to try and make a character subverting expectations.

But the original premise remains valid.

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What you ask for is crazy overpowered. Trading 1 for 1 actions is mega powerful; you give extra attacks to your best striker and it's better than just being a 2nd striker:
You didn't have to move in to position. You didn't have to raise your STR high to hit, nor your CON to survive hits. You get to double up on the power of a single-target buff. You can "melee" from myriad different squares in the same turn.

Your proposal grants unbelievable power at level 1 and makes no concessions or limitations that make it okay.
There's a reason Strike Hard! is 2 actions and an ally's reaction.

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I fully understand that these are not well fitting for the class fantasy and mechanics.

HOWEVER as someone whose character had their armor destroyed, I can tell you I was very glad that at least my proficiency was the same.
If the same thing happened to a level 11 Guardian in +2 full plate, their AC plummets by 12:
6 from plate
2 from +2
4 from drop in proficiency.

It's just an unnecessary feelsbadman, imo

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Insofar as I can tell, no ability, feat, or class feature interacts with the level 1 Tactic classification. So why bother separating them?

I could see a world where at level 1 the Commander gets 2 mobility tactics and 2 offensive tactics or maybe a feat that has an effect when you use a Mobility Tactic or something. So could be design space left blank for future iteration?

I dunno; seems unnecessary atm to break 'em up into categories if those categories don't mean anything besides broad strokes description.

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I could maybe do a thing on Friday

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Squark wrote:
I personally would rather they got more opportunities to use their class dc, personally.

I think this might be the better way to incentivize more utilization of Int as the KAS. Granted you could justify any KAS with more uses of the class DC, but it is what it is.

I think the extant utilization is decent since it hits a number of somewhat meaningful areas, with the # of squadmates, temp hp, Warfare Lore and stuff.

But a few more DC-based tactics or abilities would make the int tie-in stronger.

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So I love the idea of the tactics, but I'm not 100% sold on the execution, especially for the later game ones.

The level 1 and 7 tactics seem like neat things that can do when their use-case comes up.
The level 15 tactics, on read, just kinda feel like the best things the character could be doing on almost every round of combat for the rest of that character's existence.
Like, both Demoralizing Charge and Ready, Aim, Fire! seem like such massive boosts to the party's action economy that you'd be literally gimping yourself by doing anything else. They read as massively strong, to the point of sucking out the creativity of the 3-action system from the class.
It's almost the Wizard problem where if you're not casting a spell most turns, you're being ineffective, and if you are, you really only get 1 action with which to be creative with. At least the wizard has the option of which spell to cast. The Commander already made the choice of which Master Tactic to learn.

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At the moment, it does sorta feel to me like the Guardian isn't quite doing enough to stand out, which is where I think a lot of the basis for the "Couldn't the Guardian just be a Champion or Fighter class archetype?" discussion is coming from.

Which I can get behind, as is.

I also think most people aren't trying to argue "The Guardian should be a class archetype" so much as they're saying, in a roundabout way: "I think the Guardian needs a bit more to stand out and further differentiate it from the other classes"

However I think it's important for us all to remember that this is a playtest. Both because things can, and likely will, change based on feedback. But also that this doesn't cover the breadth of options the Guardian will likely have available.

I, for one, am a little disappointed by the options for Threat Technique. Ferocious Vengeance is a very cool way to take the class chassis and twist the expectations and Mitigate Harm is what the class is trying to do, but it doesn't really do much to encourage a particular play style the way Ferocious Vengeance does. It feels like the Fury Instinct option for Barbarian; it's just kinda boring.
Plus I think Threat Technique could really benefit from 1-3 more options to really make the Guardian both stand out from the other classes, but to help differentiate different Guardian builds.

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Thaumaturge's Esoteric Lore is, as I recall, the only Lore that uses Cha. Because #JustThaumaturgeThings

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My players got somewhat frustrated at the lack of meaningful progress in books 3 and 4, and the overall disjointedness of locations in 3, 4, and 6.
Book 1: We help the locals and learn the main objective of the AP is to save Baba Yaga.
Book 2: We rescue/acquire the hut, which is cool and necessary.
Book 3: We get some keys for the hut to take us to the next place?
Book 4: Oh, those keys didn't take us to the right place, so we have to find other keys this time.
Book 5: Oh, this dude actually has Baba Yaga. Weird. How do we open this?
Book 6: Why is this how we open this? Stopping Elvanna is obv important, but it's odd the process for actually freeing Baba Yaga. Lotta locations feel very disjointed (because they literally are).

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I've never read anything that even hints at an answer to this question.

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I feel like I'm going to make every single Kobold dragonblooded, just on principle.

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Dragonchess Player wrote:

Personally, I could see shifter being either a general archetype or possibly a barbarian class archetype (basically an enhanced/more versatile Animal instinct). With the barbarian getting a bloodrager class archetype, I suspect a general archetype is more likely.

IMO, "shifting shape into one or more animal forms" is really too narrow to make a separate class.

How about "Shifting into myriad animal forms?"

Granted, that was not the execution in the original shifter, but I think the desire for such a playstyle exists.

Plus, a lot of the theoretical advantages of having a character which can at-will (or at least frequently and often) shift shapes, is the ability to do so outside of combat.
In 2e, very few of the barbarian's most notable feature are usable outside of rage, which means they cannot be used outside of rage. Just look at the Elemental Barbarian, which, as written, can't use their impulses outside of rage. That sucks and I'd be sad to see our shifter-equivalent suffer the same fate.

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Rank 9 Synesthesia sounds annoying to fight against, but Uncontrollable Dance and Overwhelming Presence are probably the worst.
Disappearance is real annoying, too.

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