First, some build details:
Playing at level 5.
Today's Apparition and Spell preparation selections:
Takeaways from build process:
I do not get very many cantrips. Two divine cantrips to be freely chosen. So it is a hard decision to choose between buff cantrips like Guidance, Utility cantrips like Light, Healing cantrips like Stabilize, and damage cantrips like Divine Lance. And the Apparitions don't always help much either. Today I got Shield, Telekinetic Hand, and Tangle Vine. Shield is kinda useful - if I didn't spend a general feat on Shield Block. The other two I don't expect to find much use for. This is such a big problem that I picked up a freely chosen primal cantrip from an Ancestry feat so that I would always have a damage dealing cantrip available.
Animist spell slots and Apparition Repertoire also has pretty much the same thing. Freely chosen Divine spells - which is nice. But limited spell slots. It makes for hard decisions on what to focus on - Healing, buffs, debuffs, damage... you can't do it all. And the Apparition Repertoire doesn't always help. We are at level 5 and fully equipped. What exactly am I going to do with Runic Weapon? How about Ghostly Weapon? Wall of Shrubs? Some others may or may not be useful depending on what we encounter during the day. Safe Passage, Veil of Privacy, Enlarge, Invisibility. But even with those, the spell slots available to cast them with are very limited. I couldn't cast Invisibility more than twice during the entire day, for example. And one of those castings would be a 'heightened with no additional effect' by using my one 3rd rank spell slot - which means, oh darn I can't cast Ghostly Weapon any more today.
Encounter 1: general role-play.
The party came into town with an assignment to check in with the local town leader and ask for more details on what the problem is. We arrive and find that the leader's home is currently being repaired. Apparently someone or something replaced the door to their secure accounting room with a brick wall. Workers had to break through the wall in order to access the room again - at which point they found that nothing had been taken.
Having a bunch of lore skills available is actually really nice. I ended up being able to use a couple of them during the poking around at the 'crime scene' and the approach through the town - Farming and Herbalism lore to check out the town itself, and Underworld lore to check into ideas of why someone would want to do this type of non-crime.
It was also amusing to stealth cast Telekinetic Hand to make myself seem spookier.
Encounter 2: first combat.
I am currently configured with Imposter in Hidden Places primary, which means Discomfiting Whispers as focus spell available. Inaccessible until after the battle is Garden of Healing and Embodiment of Battle.
So with Discomfiting Whispers, my combat strategy was to grab my shield and Gnome hammer and fight from melee range using my 5 foot emanation spell to debuff the enemies I am fighting.
We stumbled unexpectedly across some bandits that were raiding an abandoned shrine. There was an archer, a hellhound, a spellcaster of some sort, and one other guy that didn't really end up doing much.
This was primarily a ranged combat. We had an archer above us on a cliff that we either had to use ranged attacks to target, climb the cliff face, or move quite a ways to get to a ladder to climb up.
So my combat strategy pretty much failed. I couldn't reach the archer. Or the spellcaster. One of our party members used two stride actions to get to a position with cover that was closer to the enemies. Then the hellhound spent two actions on stride to get to that ally and attack once. For my first action I grabbed my hammer and shield, and moved a bit closer. For my second round though, I still had to use two stride actions to get into melee range with the hellhound and only barely made it. I didn't get to choose an optimal position and had only one action left anyway. So Strike it is. But even on third round when I have the actions available, I still can't use my focus spell without hitting the one enemy and two of my own allies with a Misfortune effect.
The Kineticist did most of the work taking out the archer on the cliff. Launching sharpened tree branches worked rather well. The Magus first drove away the hellhound into retreating, then one-shot the other random bandit with a spellstrike crit.
One, Animist isn't a gish. With a 16 strength, I am rolling Strike attack rolls at 3 points lower than the magus and rogue. Even the +1 bonus from Embodiment of Battle isn't going to make up the difference for that.
So I am not entirely sure what Embodiment of Battle is used for. It doesn't seem powerful enough to be worth the action cost of casting, much less sustaining. Even with it, I am still not going to be hanging with the martials.
Discomfiting Whispers I still think is really cool to use. It just wasn't suited for this ranged combat encounter. This would have worked a lot better in a dungeon crawl scenario where we already have our weapons readied and the enemies close in on us. Then I would have more actions to get into good positions where I can let loose with the spell. Also, it is probably best when paired with melee or short range spells such as Ignition, Needle Darts, or Chill Touch. The shield is maybe a good choice for protection, but it does cost another action to Raise Shield. Raise Shield, Sustain Discomfiting Whispers, and I only have one action left - which isn't enough to cast a cantrip with.
Impressions so far:
Animist is like being a prepared spellcaster for most of your build - not just your spell slots.
It is like the difference between Wizard and Sorcerer. Sorcerer has more spellcasting power. They have limited spell choices that they have to stick with, but as long as they can find one spell to use, they can cast it enough times to be effective for an encounter. Wizard has more flexible options, but they have to guess right. If they fill their spell slots with spells that don't end up being relevant, then they aren't relevant in the encounters. If they do guess right, then they are going to be quite effective. And since they have more options, then if both the Sorcerer and Wizard know what is coming up, the Wizard can prepare for it more effectively than the Sorcerer can.
Animist seems to work the same way. If I know what to prepare for, then I can prepare for it quite effectively. Very flexible - like a Wizard. But I can even get things like Lore skills and eventually feats that can be switched in and out as part of that preparation.
One thing that I feel like I should mention in praise is how little has to be recalculated because of a different choice of Apparition each morning. One of the biggest problems that I had as 1e Medium was the constant recalculation of skill bonuses, attack bonuses, and saving throw bonuses.
But for these apparitions, I can just print up and laminate a card for each Apparition that gives the stat block. I don't need to change anything on my character sheet. Well, other than wandering feats - but I am not wanting to give those up. That is also a really nicely done mechanic.
The Lore skills change what lore category they provide, but my sheet only needs to list the bonus and I can look at the Apparition stat block to know which lores I have today.
Same with Spell Repertoire. I don't need to have that on my character sheet - just the number of spell slots of each level. Then I can check the Apparition stats for which spells are available.
And of course same with the focus spells. The character sheet tracks the number of focus points and the Apparition stat blocks on those laminated cards lists out which focus spells are available.
So, nothing on the Apparition cards needs to be changed, and nothing in my character sheet needs to be changed. Daily preparations may still take a while for me to decide which Apparitions to use for the day, but once the decision is made, doing the bookkeeping is trivially easy.
So it seems that the boost to both Fortitude saves and Will saves is accurate.
But that isn't very clear because the wording of that ability parallels the wording of other class features like Barbarian Juggernaut.
Barbarian Juggernaut wrote:
Your body is accustomed to physical hardship and resistant to ailments. Your proficiency rank for Fortitude saves increases to master. When you roll a success on a Fortitude save, you get a critical success instead.
Channeler Intermediary Boon wrote:
At 9th level, your proficiency rank for Fortitude saves increases to master. When you roll a success on a Will save, you get a critical success instead.
I think this should be worded differently to make it clearer that it is two unrelated boosts to each of those two saves. I would go so far as to reverse the ordering.
Proposed Wording: "At 9th level, your mental and physical defenses increase. When you roll a success on a Will save, you get a critical success instead. Also, your proficiency rank for Fortitude saves increases to master."
Edit: It looks like a wording change like this is already on the plan. But for those who don't read every post and are looking for if this is a typo or not, hopefully this thread comes up on the search.
One of the things that I don't like about Sorcerer is the number of feats that you are locked out of taking once you pick your spellcasting tradition. It feels like almost half the feats become unavailable.
Animist's feats are actually worse.
Because while you can pick the feat - using it requires attuning to one of the apparitions. So you feel like you are locking yourself into always taking one of the apparition types permanently every time you get one of these feats that requires it. Otherwise you have a very literally dead feat.
Why not have them be usable as long as you have at least one apparition attuned, and just change the particulars based on the apparitions that the Animist is attuned to? Even basing the particulars on which apparition is currently primary.
Given that the similar thread devolved into rather toxic edition war snarking, and given that Starfinder 2e is going to run on the PF2 engine, I think that a new thread is needed.
Also, let's try to approach this with the expectation that the game devs are telling us the truth about flight and ranged weapons and other such futuristic technology being a core part of the setting from low levels.
For myself, I would love to see Stamina available as the default and have full core rule support for it.
PF2 has a Stamina optional variant, but it isn't integrated into the game core very well. The only thing that Resolve Points are used for is healing Stamina, and Stabilizing. There are no class features or abilities that use Resolve Points.
Now, I'm aware that designing this would be rather difficult. Giving class feats or features that have Resolve Point costs would mean that Pathfinder classes wouldn't have those. That would be another point of conversion that would need to be done when allowing a PF2 class as a native Starfinder setting option. Adding futuristic technology feats and Resolve Point consuming feats to PF2 classes could be another chapter in a potential Pathfinder2e <-> Starfinder2e crossover book.
Using Focus Points to heal Stamina is also questionable because Focus Points are infinitely renewable. But if that is a balance consideration that the game could go in, that would work.
As far as I can tell, if you critically fail the check for Exploit Vulnerability, you can still consider that creature to be the target of Exploit Vulnerability. So you couldn't use Mortal Weakness or Personal Antithesis, but you could still use Implement reactions that only work on the target of Exploit Vulnerability such as Weapon, Bell, or Amulet.
Which seems a bit strange, but I can't find a rules argument against it. Just because you botch the roll doesn't mean that the creature wasn't targeted.
To avoid derailing a very useful errata thread...
"The exception proves the rule" is a saying that I have heard used on these forums several times. It seems to mean that if there is no general rule printed, but there is some related rule mechanic for some specific item or feat, that it must be the case that this is an exception override to a general rule that would say the contrary.
Logic and game rules don't really work like that though. It is trivially easy to find a counterexample. Reminder text is a specific rule mechanic statement in a specific item or feat that confirms or repeats and agrees with the general rule. Sometimes rules are deliberately left up to GM interpretation - at least in general. And then specific items can have their own ruling on it that applies to only that item.
If a general rule exists, then a specific item can have a specific override for it.
But showing a specific rule in an item does not prove that a general rule to the contrary does or should exist.
For a more concrete example:
There is no general rule for whether a vehicle protects its driver, crew, passengers, or cargo from getting wet in the rain. That is left up to GM discretion and how they are describing the particulars of the vehicle. A Rowboat probably does not - if it is raining, then the occupants of a rowboat are getting wet. A Cutter likely does protect from rain for the cargo, passengers, and any crew not on the upper deck. And of course, one would hope that a Bathysphere wouldn't allow rain in.
But none of those actually say so.
So if at some point a Covered Wagon is printed that does specifically say that the cargo and passengers are protected from rain, that does not mean that a Cutter and a Bathysphere no longer does. The specific rule in Covered Wagon does not cause an implied general rule to be added saying that 'without a specific exception, no vehicle protects its occupants from rain.'
That isn't how logic works. And that isn't how game mechanics work.
Welcome to my first time running a PBP game.
Please take a few minutes and read through my profile. And probably at least the profile of Gaming Table.
Details of mechanics and changes for this game:
I'm wanting to run with Ancestry Paragon and Automatic Bonus Progression. For ABP I am tweaking it a bit - item bonuses from consumables and spells are also converted to Potency bonus instead of being removed. This allows things like Magic Weapon, Mage Armor, and Drakeheart Mutagen to continue to work.
Your characters need to be leshies in order to fit into the campaign's narrative, and be at level 3. Note that the campaign is short enough that you won't level up. So keep that in mind when choosing feats and abilities.
◆ ◇ ↺
A well-dressed woman stands and watches her most recent aquisition - a tiny berry bush that is currently walking back and forth in front of the glass display case. 'This may be the cutest one yet,' she thinks to herself.
'And not a moment too soon.' She gets a brief scowl as several other Ladies come into the courtyard. She has her proper smile in place as they arrive, however. She is a Lady after all and must remain courteous. "Oh, you made it. Come and see my latest pet."
Her smile almost falters as one of the women comments, "It isn't another animated stick this time, is it dear?"
'Animated stick, hah. I'm getting better at creating them, just you wait. But I certainly won't be showing my own creations again for a while, you horrid hag.' But she somehow manages to keep her smile in place and replies simply, "This one has plenty of leaves and even some berries. And such an adorable way of walking." She turns back to the display case and sees that the ungrateful thing is no longer walking, but has instead settled itself into the dirt at the bottom of the case and is trying to pretend to be a plain plant. She raps viciously on the glass right in front of it, causing it to jump up and begin cavorting around the enclosure once again.
She grins in satisfaction at the shower of 'oooh's and 'aaah's from most of the ladies. All except the one, who pipes up again. "It looks a bit scared to me. Are you sure that they aren't intelligent?"
"Nonsense," she responds quickly - this time showing a bit of a scowl at the obnoxious woman. "They are plants. Of course they are not intelligent. Barely as smart as gerbils, and that is being generous. But they are a lot prettier." 'Both of which are more than I could say truthfully about you.'
"But come, I have a luncheon ready. And after, we can play croquet on the lawn."
The group readily agrees and follows her into the parlor.
Once the group leaves, the little berry bush goes back to the front corner of the case and continues its slow and tedious work of trying to scrape away the glue holding the glass in place.
Dot and delete. I'll post a proper scene introduction for the players when we are all ready to get started.
One of my favorite announced changes of the Remastered version is the replacement name for Spell Level. It has always felt like that name 'level' was a bit overloaded. Most notably with Spell Level that runs on a different scale than the others (half your level rounded up).
I am hoping that Counteract Level gets the same or similar treatment.
Because with both of those gone, the term 'level' is still rather overloaded (character level, creature level, item level, feat level, ...). But at least all of the usages are on the same scale.
So I am looking closer at Lore Oracle in preparation for creating one to actually play rather than just to theorycraft. And I came across Dread Secret. Which has a rather strange Duration entry.
PlantThings mentioned this a couple years ago here. We were also discussing durations of spells and how that affects the magical or non-magical attributes of its created effects not too long ago also. So I figure that this spell becomes an interesting case of applying the rules for spell durations to a particular complicated spell.
From what I am reading in the spell - and applying a very literal interpretation of things - this is what I see:
The spell has a duration of 'until the start of your next turn'. Which is identical to a duration of 1 round.
If the enemy gets a result other than critical success and you choose a weakness, then the target takes 1 point of damage of that weakness type - which is an instantaneous effect that does not have a duration.
If the enemy gets a result other than critical success and you choose a resistance, then the target loses that resistance until the end of your next turn. The effect will be magical in nature until the start of your next turn, and then will become non-magical for the duration of your turn - if that becomes important for some reason.
If a target enemy gets a result of failure on the save, then that enemy becomes Frightened 1 - which will reduce to Frightened 0 and be removed at the end of each target enemy's turn. Which will of necessity all happen before the start of your next turn, so all of the Frightened condition effects for those enemies are magical for the entire duration.
If the enemy gets a result of critical failure on the save, then that enemy becomes Frightened 3. This will be reduced in value at the end of each enemy's turn as normal for the Frightened condition. So the condition will be magical until the start of your next turn and then become non-magical for the remaining time that the Frightened condition lasts.
Ah yes. The joys of new technology.
In this case, the new technology being spambots that can post a word salad that at least on the surface appears to be somewhat coherent and possibly relevant. Of course the only thing that it actually adds to the conversation is a link to an external commercial website.
Maybe I am missing the specification. But Blighted Boons say that you can make a save against their effects - against the initial effect if you partake unknowingly, and you can attempt a save when progressing along the track after each interval time.
It lists the DC.
But there are three saving throw types. I'm not seeing anywhere in the Blighted Boons rules or the specific Blighted Boon entries that specify which type of save to use.
I'm trying to find the specific rules wording for Anathema. But I can't remember where it is.
I have a player that I am playing with that is playing a Paladin and is concerned that they won't be able to use Feint in combat because it uses the Deception skill.
Now, that is not the intent of Anathema, and we have convinced them of that. But I would still like to have the actual rules to back that up. So far all I can see is in Champion Code where it says that the Tenets are listed in order of importance. But that isn't quite enough to say that you are allowed to use Deception in battle since you could also battle things without using Deception. You aren't in a position where the tenets cannot be satisfied even if you decide that Feint is considered lying.
When Thaumaturge gets Second Implement, part of the rules are that they can switch between implements as a free interact action.
Are there any major balance problems with having two or more implements be mechanically separate items, but narratively described as the same item? Switching between implements would be replaced with switching modes of the same implement - and would still be a free interact action (so it still provokes AoO for example). But is there anything else that I am not thinking of?
So with the 4th printing of the CRB and the corresponding errata - has this question been resolved?
Current errata as I see it:
Page 460, 462, and 469: The text on Gaining and Losing actions on page 462 and for the last step of starting your turn on page 469 indicated that if you had a condition that said “you can’t act,” you wouldn’t regain any actions on your turn, rather than merely being unable to use them. This conflicted with the sidebar on page 622, which was correct. Conditions and other effects that cause you to change the number of actions you regain (such as quickened, slowed, or stunned) say so.
Scenario: You get Stunned 1 from a reaction to your first action of your turn. You still have two actions for that turn left.
I'm still not seeing anything that allows you to use those two actions or do anything to remove the Stunned condition. Removing the Stunned condition happens at the start of your next turn. You lose one action from that turn's actions to reduce the Stunned condition to 0 and remove it.
Spin-off from the discussion on alignment going on currently.
I vaguely remember some rule from 3.5/PF1 where casting certain spells would cause the caster to change alignment, but I don't see anything about that in PF2.
So was that something that was dropped and people are just having edition confusion on the matter?
We have a Thaumaturge in a game I am in now. They have Mirror Implement as their first implement.
So we are fighting some flying drakes. We are pretty sure that you shouldn't be able to project your image into the air and have it stay there and fight for the rest of the round. It should be affected by gravity and fall immediately since anything that can affect you will affect either copy of you.
But that made me think about Forced Movement. The rules for Mirror's Reflection say that the effect ends if you choose to move from your location. But what about if you are forced to move from your location such as by being shoved?
The skill feat Read Psychometric Resonance lists that it may deal "Psychic Damage".
If the associated emotion is painfully negative, you might take 1d6 psychic damage, as determined by the GM.
I am not seeing Psychic Damage in the list of damage types in the CRB. However, that doesn't mean that it isn't defined.
So ... Is Psychic Damage something that is defined in Dark Archive and I just haven't found it yet, or is this a typo and it should be errata'd to Mental Damage?
Mostly a question about balance, though if there are explicit rules about this I would be happy to hear that too.
If an enemy has cast Mirror Image on themselves, can you target two of the images (one possibly the actual caster, and one certainly one of the fake images) with a spell or ability that has multiple targets.
Checking to make sure I am not missing something.
For characters that only have Negative Healing but are otherwise still living (such as Dhampir heritage or Revenant background), you still use Treat Wounds on them. Stitch Flesh is only needed for characters that are fully undead like Skeleton ancestry, or Vampire archetype. Or Ghost archetype somehow...
So on the excellent Youtube channel How it's Played we have a question about the Witch familiar.
The clarification from Logan Bonner is that the familiar referenced in the Witch Archetype Dedication is the stock-standard familiar, not the Witch specific familiar. That means that it would have only 1 ability to start with and would not increase by level alone.
He also says that if the familiar dies that it does not return at the next daily preparations.
Now, the first one I am fine with. It seems perfectly reasonable.
The second one I see as borderline unplayable. That means that a multiclass Witch that has their familiar die would not be able to prepare Witch spells or refocus (without some other means of refocus) until they end their current adventure and can spend a week of downtime replacing their familiar.
So I just saw the Mosquito Witch Patron from Monsters of Myth. And I can't help but notice how similar the cantrip hex Buzzing Bites is to the Winter Witch hex Clinging Ice. Both do 1d4 damage per level with a saving throw. Same range, same target, same duration.
The difference is that Buzzing Bites makes it clear that the save is only rolled once and that result is used for the duration of the spell and that the damage that the spell does is repeated once each round when the spell is sustained.
Is anyone else hoping that Clinging Ice will get errata to make it work the same way?
The question, obviously, is: would a character that would be affected by Needle of Vengeance takes an action with subordinate actions, do they only take one instance of damage? Or would they take damage for each of the subordinate actions? (taking damage for both the main action and all of its subordinate actions is clearly not correct)
So the baseline: Strike; Strike; Strike. The target clearly takes 3 instances of the Needle of Vengeance damage.
Power Attack costs two actions, but is itself only one action with no subordinate actions. So clearly would only take 1 instance of the Needle of Vengeance.
But how about Flurry of Blows? 1 instance, or 2?
Snagging Strike? It doesn't have a subordinate action, but it does do two hostile things (damage and applies a negative condition).
Triple Shot has up to 3 subordinate actions.
And of course - Spellstrike.
As I have mentioned before, when I play a character it is often a Witch character. It is my go-to class for spellcasting character concepts. I like the high number of trained skills. I like the flexibility of the spellcasting. I like the powerful focus spells. The combat power is a bit lacking as a tradeoff, and I can respect that. But there are already other threads for discussing that.
I also recognize that there are some mechanical problems with the Witch class that I really think should be fixed with official errata.
In order from most important to least:
Familiar actions when not in combat
The problem is that the uncertainty is causing people to be wary of creating characters that have a familiar as part of their character's identity and power. We don't know what to expect when the time comes to actually play the character with other players. Are the abilities that I have planned on using actually going to work? Or is it just going to cause contention with the other players at the table? Am I going to feel that my familiar feat choices are dead feats that need retraining at best and maybe just scrap the character entirely (especially for Witch characters that can't just retrain a feat to drop having a familiar entirely)? Is some other player at the table going to feel jealous that I am effectively playing two characters while not in combat?
No ruling is going to make everyone happy. But we do need an official ruling on this.
So give the Witch the same treatment as the Alchemist. In order to 'free up more feats' that are an actual choice at level 2, make Basic Lesson a class feature. Unlike the Alchemist Powerful Alchemy, Basic Lesson also needs to be available to the Witch Archetype though. Personally I am fine either way for having the Basic Lesson archetype feat restore the missing familiar ability or not.
Witch Archetype familiar abilities
These are the problems with the Witch class that I see that can and should be corrected with errata. I'm sure that this thread is going to fill up with people requesting a complete rewrite of the class. I don't think the class actually needs that. I'm sure that there are also going to be making suggestions of new things to add to the class. I may even participate in that.
Since I seem to have Master proficiency in Lore(unpopular opinion), I thought I would chime in with my variation on this thread theme. I don't expect this to be well received, but hey - it is my opinion and therefore just as valid as any other opinion.
So that said, Bard is my least liked and most misunderstood class in PF2e.
My problem with it isn't the mechanical power though. That part seems to be fine. No, my problem is that characters created with that class seem ... inconsistent. It feels like the player chose the class first because it would be a powerful class, and then try (with varying levels of effort) to wrap a meaningful character around it. So character theme tends to fall into one of these two options:
Type 1) My character was a performer or wandering minstrel that became an adventurer because reasons (good so far) that casts mind warping and negative energy Occult spells because LOL (hmm...).
Type 2) My character is a seeker of occult mysteries and strange powers (good) that uses music in combat because LOL (sigh...).
Starting with a character concept first and then choosing a class, I would generally put type 1 characters into Rogue or Swashbuckler class. Give them proficiency in performance (or not - maybe their terrible performance history is why they became an adventurer instead). For type 2 characters I would think that Occult tradition Sorcerer or Witch would be a much better fit.
Also for Type 2 characters, there is the option of re-flavoring the music abilities into something more occult-like, but at that point it should be using the Occultism skill rather than Performance.
So to all of you Bard enthusiasts out there, my question for you is: do you like the class because you have characters that are best represented by a Bard? Or is it, as I suspect, that you chose the Bard class for its mechanical power of improving the mathematical advantage of the party and character building is a distant second priority?
Then when someone casts Fireball at me, I can use my reaction to cast the 4th level Resist Energy spell.
Does anyone remember if there are rules for exactly what order effects happen in when reactions are being used? I though there was. In fact, I think that for reactions, unless they specify otherwise, the effect of the reaction happens after the effects of the action that triggered it.
If I am remembering right, then doing this setup with Trickster's Ace and Resist Energy would still work, but the effect of the Fire resistance would only happen after the damage from the Fireball. So it would be useful for the next Fireball, but not the triggering one.
Putting together another idea for a character build, but I am not sure how useful it would be in general. The idea is a Witch of divine or primal tradition that uses Counterspell Heal in order to hamper the enemy's ability to heal in combat rather than providing healing directly.
But it isn't going to be very useful if none of the enemies ever actually cast Heal.
The Witch class gets a lot of hate on these forums. To an extent, it is justified. However, I don't think that is the whole story.
Witch is a good choice for certain game types and GMs. Witch is not great at games where combat is the majority of the game. A good chunk of the Witch's power is tied up in the familiar, which is primarily useful outside of combat. Witch isn't terrible at combat, but isn't as good in combat as most classes. Generally, a Witch built for combat is going to run out of steam sooner.
Also, a Witch is not the best class at any particular thing. A witch can be built to look like a Wizard, but it won't be as good of a high-impact spell caster as a Wizard is. A Witch can be built to look like a Bard, but it won't be as good of a party buffer as a Bard is. A Witch can be built to look like a Druid, but it won't be as good at druid things as a Druid is. A Witch can be built to look like a Cleric, but it won't be as good of an in-combat healer as a Cleric is.
What a Witch is good at is combining the options of several of the builds. This allows the Witch to switch between the roles as needed. The choice of Patron and tradition will determine which one the Witch character most looks like. A Rune Witch will be most similar to a Wizard, for example. But a Rune Witch will be a much better bard, cleric, or druid than a Wizard will be.
A Familiar Thesis Wizard walks up to a Rune Witch and says, 'Hey, I have a powerful familiar too. I can also prepare one more spell of each level than you can, and can recharge one of my expended spells each day. What do you have? An extra trained skill and the ability to use a light mace instead of just a club?'
Witch responds with, 'Well, that and one of the best focus point healing spells in the game, and the ability to increase my or my allies ability to find and identify creatures we are fighting. And that is just by level 2. At level 4 I can always reconfigure a spell slot to summon an animal companion to body-block incoming enemies with, but you go ahead and continue just hiding behind the shield cantrip. I can acquire 3 focus points and a handful of useful focus spells. And at level 16 I can also get a free casting of a spell - but it doesn't have to be one that I prepared today. So sure, you go ahead and enjoy your extra spell slots.'
A Bard comes up to a Fate Witch. 'One of my several Composition cantrips can give a +1 boost to the entire party for the entire battle. I have more HP, better weapons, and I can wear armor. And I have almost as many trained skills as you do before even adding my intelligence bonus. I can cast my spell slot healing spells as many times as needed rather than having to choose how many to have for the day, and my focus point healing spell is just as good as yours. Do you even have anything that compares?'
Witch replies, 'I think you should recalculate your trained skill comparison to account for the skills that my familiar knows too - which of course is: whatever additional skills happen to be needed today. I can blast enemies with Burning Hands, which targets Reflex save. I can even boost everyone's elemental damage against an enemy, which you should note stacks with any weakness that the enemy may already have. And it doesn't have to be just for fire damage. At level 6, without spending any resources, I can keep tabs on one of my allies. At level 10 I can keep tabs on most, if not all of them. If I can find out what matching spells an enemy is going to use, I can prepare and counterspell them, or even reflect them back to the enemy caster. And at level 18 I can refocus all three of my focus points.'
(Yes, this one doesn't compare as favorably. Bard is a harsh class to try to measure up to. Even so, the occult Witch is a better wizard than the Bard is. Which is a really weird sentence to say.)
I see grapple, feint, create a diversion, and demoralize. So there are some things that are similar.
Am I missing seeing the equivalent of Dirty Trick in PF2? Or would I need to homebrew something to get the equivalent?
In this thread here, we are listing out encounters and scenarios that involve skill checks instead of combat. I notice a trend. So far, I am the only one that has actually presented something playable. Meaning that it has skills and DCs listed as well as results and effects of success or failure for those skill checks.
I'm not trying to bust people's chops about it though. On the contrary, I expect that for many of them it is simply because they don't have the time or inclination to write up full scenario data for a game session that they will never actually play. However, I also expect that there are a lot of people on these forums that don't have a good handle on how turn a cool plot hook for a skill-based encounter into a fully fleshed out session that they can run in their game.
I'm not claiming to be an expert at it. I think it would be a good discussion to have. Allow people to present things that work for them and their group. Then we can learn from each other and can pick and choose the ideas that we like.
Counteract rules are confusing. I understand the basic idea, but the way the rules are worded and organized leaves a lot to be desired. There also seems to be a missing rule for how the GM is supposed to determine the DC for anything other than an affliction or a spell.
What I am looking for here is the total process that you use for running a counteract check. I'll have mine here too. However, please don't just post corrections or critiques. Post your entire process that you use as well.
My process for counteract checks.
1) determine the counteract level of the target (the counteracted level). It runs on the scale of 1/2 level rounded up for everything except spells (because they already run on that scale). The level would be the character level of an ability, the spell level of a spell effect, a CR level of a monster or hazard or affliction, or an item level of an item.
2) determine the counteract level of the source initiating the counteract (the counteracting level). It also runs on the scale of 1/2 level rounded up for everything except spells. This follows the same determination as for the target's counteracted level.
3) determine the DC for the counteracted target. Afflictions and maybe some other things will list a counteract DC in their description. Spells use the spell DC of the caster that created the spell effect. For anything else(since the rules don't cover this), I usually use the DC by level table to set the DC.
4) determine the counteracting modifier for the source effect. For spells causing a counteract effect this is the spellcasting bonus (the proficiency modifier and relevant ability modifier). For skill counteract effects it would be the skill bonus (the rules don't really cover this either). In any case, the counteract modifier is also changed by any feats, abilities, or other such things that apply specifically to counteract checks (either generally to all counteract checks, or this specific type of counteract check).
5) Compare counteracting level against the counteracted level - remembering that these will only match what is printed for spells. For items, hazards, creature abilities, or practically anything else it will be 1/2 level rounded up.
6) make the roll. d20 + counteracting modifier vs counteracted DC. Determine level of success.
7) look up on the result table for the level of success rolled to see if the target is actually counteracted or not.
In a different thread there was an off-topic discussion that got buried in a lot of other off-topic posts. I think it is interesting enough to bring back up that discussion in its own thread.
The question is: can a minion do anything during exploration mode without being constantly commanded?
The rules are technically ambiguous. Nothing says that minions can act in exploration mode. The only way that minions get to act is when the master spends an action giving commands in encounter mode.
However, actions don't exist in exploration mode. There are no rules in exploration mode for giving a minion commands. So from a strict RAW reading by a devil trying to hamper the party, I could rule that a minion is incapable of traveling with the party. They are unable to use any exploration activities, even to travel. And you would have to houserule a new exploration activity to give the minion commands every 6 seconds if you are going to extrapolate from encounter mode rules.
Lore, setting, and immersion:
Minion creatures are generally fairly intelligent. Animal Companions are not overly intelligent, but familiars and hired helpers are. Having them be completely incapable of doing anything that takes more than 6 seconds to accomplish without being told again to do it doesn't make sense.
The restriction on minions taking actions during encounter mode is a game mechanic designed to prevent one player from taking too much time during a round. The idea being that a ranger and animal companion with 6 actions between them is too much more powerful than a ranger with no animal companion.
Minion characters can generally be categorized as either combat minions or non-combat minions. Animal companions are a combat minion. Familiars are more non-combat minion (they can be used in combat, but it takes a lot of planning for them to be effective at all). Hired minions could be of either type and may perhaps be useful in both cases.
It does not feel balanced to allow combat minions to have their full potential allowed, but prevent non-combat minions from doing anything outside of combat.
Conclusion and ruling:
During exploration and downtime, minion characters can do things and be useful.
Intelligent minions can choose an exploration activity, and all minions can be commanded to take an exploration activity. They are allowed to use exploration activities for an indefinite amount of time without further commands.
Now, you are unlikely to convince me to run things differently. But I am curious how other people run the game and (more importantly) why.
In counterpoint to this thread (which I think is also a great question and has a lot of good discussion), I want to ask a related but different question.
So, take all your existing characters and put them back on the shelf for a moment. Take your memory and expectations from PF1 classes and put them back in the box. Don't worry, you can pull them back out again later.
Now, with that mindset and building brand new characters, what types of characters are difficult to represent in PF2 rules?
One that I have heard and agree with is the idea of a character that has a paradigm shift as part of the campaign. Whether that be a redemption arc, a traumatic event, an epiphany, or whatever else - something that requires the character to completely abandon their initial build and go in a new direction.
The problem is that you can't retrain your class or background. If you start as a rogue thief, you will stay as a rogue thief (and only your fleas will mourn you). If you start as a ranger and make a demonic pact at level 4, you can take the Sorcerer archetype, but you can't fully commit to your new powers and have full sorcerer spellcasting.
Now, if the change happened before the story actually starts, then your previous off-screen character could be represented by your background. But changing your character that drastically mid-game doesn't work.
I see a lot of talk on here about warpriest vs. cloistered clerics. The arguments against warpriest generally include lower proficiency on spell bonus and its corresponding spell DC as well as making counteract not work.
I want to leave alone the topic of spell bonus. I understand that one fairly well. My question is how much of the hate on counteract is hyperbole.
So here is my math on things...
A warpriest build is likely to start with only a 16 WIS in order to boost other stats. Also its proficiency is often going to be behind that of a cloistered cleric by one notch. So for half of the levels the ability modifier will be one point lower and proficiency may be two points lower. So a total difference of -3 compared to cloistered cleric worst-case.
Like I said earlier, for spell bonus that is fairly easy to understand: 15% less chance of landing attack spells.
For counteract though, you can counteract anything up to a counteract level +1 with just a success. For anything of a lower counteract level that what you are casting with you can successfully counteract the effect on a fail result of the roll. I'm not worried about the crit success of counteracting at level +3 - it is just silly to be expecting to have reliable results when going up against something at CR +3 or more.
So let's take as an example a monster that has a poison attack vs a cleric with neutralize poison. And there are three cases: 1) cleric is equal to the level of the monster. 2) cleric is lower than the monster. 3) cleric is higher than the monster.
1) At equal level, the cleric will need to roll a success. And the warpriest has a 15% lower chance to roll a success.
2) With the monster at slightly higher level than the cleric, the cleric will still need to roll a success. This is the same case as #1 (as long as the monster level isn't more than 1 or 2 levels higher. If it is, then both types of cleric will require critical success to counteract and neither will be reliable.)
3) With the monster at lower level (low enough to reduce the counteract level by at least 1) then the cleric only needs to roll a fail on the counteract check. Technically the warpriest still has a 15% lower chance of rolling that high, but for both of them the probability of critical failure is fairly low.
In the encounter building guidelines, it recommends having multiple enemy creatures - generally somewhere around the same number of player characters. In order to get 3 enemy creatures on the table, you usually have to drop them all to party level -1 in order to stay within the XP budget. You can have an on-level enemy or two, but that will drop the level of the other enemies down to level -3 or more. So I would estimate that for any given enemy, it will be in scenario #1 above about 1/3 of the time and in scenario #2 the other 2/3 of the time. When following the encounter building guidelines (spitballing a bit here - YMMV).
So for about 2/3 of the enemies that you face, the warpriest can counteract their effects on a fail. Does that really justify the sentiment 'if you play a warpriest, you won't be counteracting almost anything'?
Or is this sentiment derived from the overtuned APs that don't follow the encounter building guidelines and typically have you up against level +2 enemies?
I see a lot of complaints about what can't be done that people were hoping for. What are some things that can be done.
Start battle hanging from the rafters. Probably rolling climb or acrobatics for initiative.
Free action to release grip. Reaction to cast Slow Fall. Free action to use Bespell Strikes. Now you have a full three actions with the +1d6 force damage.
Granted, this isn't specific to Magus. Bespell Weapon can do similar.
Striking Spell only requires that the spell targets a single creature. Nothing says that the creature targeted cannot be 'self'. That can make spells that target 'self' usable on allies now.
So a Monk that wants to boost their AC even higher and sees that Mage Armor adds an item bonus to unarmored defense. Using a scroll or wand of Mage Armor would be great. Now, they could go the Trick Magic Item route, but skill training in Arcana, and a skill feat seems a bit much character build to put into it.
Fortunately, Magus to the rescue. Just buy a non-magical dagger for 2sp, hand both the scroll or wand and the dagger to the Magus and say, 'Here. Hit me with this.' Then drop prone and close your eyes.
Seems oddly similar to everyone buying wands of Cure Light Wounds and handing them to the Cleric...
We have no villian, so winning the scenario is done by closing all of the locations.
Each time you encounter the danger, randomly choose a new Eldritch story bane.
What is an eldritch story bane? Not a single one of the story bane cards in the entire box has the trait "Eldritch".
During this scenario wrote:
At the end of your move step, roll 1d12. On a 1-6, summon and encounter the corresponding random Eldritch story bane.
So we summon and encounter "the corresponding" "random" "Eldritch story bane". Again I am supposed to have story banes with the eldritch trait, of which I find zero. But now I should have a list of 6 of them to correspond with the 1-6 that I rolled earlier on the d12. And after finding the corresponding story bane to use, I should then pick it randomly.
My attempts at parsing these rules into something playable went rather badly. There are 7 closing henchmen, so that doesn't match up with the 6 Eldritch story bane list that I need. Depending on how many players there are, there would be between 5 henchmen and 2 henchmen (the ones placed by proxy) still available. The others would be in locations.
We decided that the two henchmen available at the start would be the list of "Eldritch story banes" to choose from. As henchmen are removed from their location, they get added to the list. After doing the 50% chance with the d12, if you need to encounter a story bane, you then chose from the list randomly.
And of course we have to use the d12 to create the 50% chance, because who doesn't love chasing d12s around the table.
I can choose a spell that I know (or can get someone to cast for me) to craft a scroll with that spell on it. I can also choose a spell that I know (or can get someone to cast for me) to craft a wand with that spell on it.
Am I able to do the same with a staff? Can I choose a selection of spells that I know (or can get someone to cast for me) and create a staff with those spells on it?
I can think of a couple of ways to homebrew what I want - either writing up a named staff with the spells that I want and crafting that staff, or houseruling that I can create arbitrary staves the same way scrolls and wands are. But I am wondering if that houserule is actually an official rule that I am not finding, or if it is indeed a houserule.
Another question on the Elixir of Energy Resistance.
From my reading of the rules, it looks like the card can be displayed indefinitely. It doesn't say that it gets banished at the end of the turn. It only gets banished if used for its second power while displayed.
So I could, if desired, leave it displayed for the remainder of the scenario - letting it reduce energy damage by 1. Yes?
Brain Drain does 1d8 per level in mental damage and if they fail the save, you get to make a recall knowledge check, but have to use the enemy's skill modifier for it.
Access Lore lets you get proficiency in any lore skill you want for one minute.
So I am a bit lost on these two. Brain Drain does decent damage. Is that its primary use? Maybe the recall knowledge check is just a fringe benefit - not something that you try to rely on. The spell doesn't say that you gain access to their thoughts like Mind Reading, so you couldn't use it to extract plot knowledge (the location of the bandit's secret base, or the like).
Lore skills are usually used for downtime activities like earning a living - but you can't use temporary bonuses for those. So what is Access Lore used for?
From this thread, I am looking for the best munchkinry available by pulling from three different classes.
So Elf ancestry with Ancient Elf heritage. Rogue class with Eldritch Trickster racket. Assume for the moment that the combination works and allows selection of two different archetype dedication feats.
What incredible builds can be built from that? Bonus points for not being too MAD and being able to pull off the schtick repeatedly. Whatever that schtick is: massive damage in a round; incredible versatility; social skills; making a ton of money during downtime; whatever else you can come up with.
So, casting a spell from a wand says that 'To cast a spell from a wand, it must be on your spell list.'
I can think of a couple of different interpretations of that. Anything from 'a spell that you are able to cast yourself tomorrow if you decide to', to 'any spell that you might possibly be able to cast if you retrained your character'.
Prior to APG I was using the interpretation that it would be any spell on the spell list of your casting tradition that you have access to. So any common primal spell for a Druid, or any common divine spell plus the handful of uncommon spells that a particular Cleric knows.
Where it gets a bit tricky is with the Witch. They can pick up spells from other traditions from Lesson feats. Now a divine tradition Witch can learn Mage Armor, Sleep, and Hydraulic Push. So are those spells now 'on your spell list' and can be cast from wands or scrolls? I don't see anywhere that it says that it is added to your spell list. But it seems silly that it wouldn't be. The Lesson feats add the spells to your spells known, so is that the same thing as putting them on 'your spell list'?
If learning a spell is the same as putting it 'on your spell list', does that mean that your spell list is only the spells that you actually know instead of all the spells of your tradition? Am I just delusional in thinking that you can get a scroll or a wand of a spell that you don't actually know in order to cast the spell from the item? i.e., could a Sorcerer with primal spell tradition cast a scroll of Hydraulic Push if they don't actually have Hydraulic Push on their spell repertoire?
When you take the Barbarian Dedication feat, you get trained in Athletics and access to the Rage ability. You also pick an instinct and get that instinct's anathema. You can later take another Barbarian archetype feat to get the first instinct ability.
Looks fine for most instinct choices. Except for Animal Instinct. That instinct anathema says that you can't use weapons while raging. But the multiclass archetype doesn't give any improved unarmed attacks until you get the instinct ability (unless you already have a better unarmed attack from some other source). So for at least two levels of play, your multiclass Barbarian could Rage, but it wouldn't be a very good idea. And if you take Barbarian Dedication at level 2, it is even worse. Barbarian Instinct is a level 6 feat - so that is four levels of bad unarmed Rage.
One solution that I came up with is to houserule that the second part of the anathema only applies after taking the Barbarian Instinct archetype feat. Before then, you can use weapons while raging without violating anathema.
Does anyone have any other options to use for this that don't involve house rules?
I hate to call it a trap option, but that is what it feels like.
I have a player running a Leshy Druid. Animal shapechanging didn't fit with the concept of the character. Having a Leshy familiar just seemed really strange. New player, so didn't want the additional complexity of an animal companion. That leaves Storm order. Which is fine. No problems there.
So at first level: they get a rather marginal ability to ignore weather when making ranged attack rolls. Meh. But OK.
Second level: they can get either permanent use of summon animal, or poison resistance. Or take up one of the other order options that were already rejected for various reasons. Really Meh.
Fourth level: There are zero class feats at this level that a pure Storm druid qualifies for.
What gives? What options are there? The character doesn't qualify for many of the multiclass archetypes - at least not the only one the player is interested in. Too low of STR stat.
I'm working on building my first creature using the creature creation rules. Of course it is going to be the Help Hound.
The idea behind a Help Hound is that it is a GM bailout. If the GM puts the players in a (typically non-combat) situation that they weren't able to handle, the Help Hound can be a justification for the Deus ex machina rescuing of the party. Typically for helping out if the PCs end up lost, injured, poisoned, and stranded out in the middle of the wilderness.
So what think ye all?
Languages: common, celestial, (can’t speak any language)
Speed: 40 ft.
Combat stats (if for some dumb reason the players decide to attack the thing)
Know Direction (at will)
Pantomime (exploration) - The Help Hound can take several minutes trying to convey simple commands. Any other creature (players) can make a Society check against DC 15 to understand the message. Typical messages would be one word commands like 'stop', 'stay', 'wait', 'run', or 'fetch'.