Here's what a more real geopolitics comes into play: Nirmathas. They are in the path of Tar Baphon and will need help, have trees to exchange.If not, Cheliax is looking south to Garundi, but they just lost Sargava.
Interesting nuances to include.
1. Cheliax as a functional nation.
2. Hellknights as a tangible force. What is going on, they feel like they should have nuance yet they are most rage armour saturday cartoon villains. An AP of Hellknights would go a long way (3 books). Nuance in the Law vs Chaos, and the trade offs of chaotic societies and why dedication to order is successful in Cheliax.
3. Cheliax as a functional geopolitical entity. Actual leverage with neighbours. Respect by surrounding nations to not tread too hard on Cheliax toes as the riposte is deadly (and also the degradation of these boundaries). Hand in hand with a "Wars in Europe" sort of setting where all the countries behave more like medieval/romance ones where being at war with each other is common whilst still trading, or only in certain parts, or far away conflicts.
4. Cheliax acting as a deterrent and shield against the hordes of the undead T-B. A nation dedicated to war and order (and politicking), with a veteran army and (part of) a navy, they are still against the undead. Other nations begrudgingly work with Cheliax in those frontiers and their soldiers and agents, despite ruthless and controversial, are effective and well received when in these situations.
In general: Nuance, How it actually is supposed to work, Order vs Chaos in practice and less philosophy.
Very underwhelmed with their implementation. Barely noticably different than any other ranged weapon. Mechanically probably blandly balanced with other options. A gunslinger will get the required mileage out of them.
Pathfinder 2 has so much design space, and they show it with other stuff, yet for guns it just isnt there. And crossbows and bows, similarly. With the 3 actions economy we could have seen an interesting system instead.
In fact, the mechanics of bows, crossbows and guns are not good representations of how they work, or the fantasy around them, it is often talked about in threads that try to homebrew a better system. Even if we take this as a non simulation game, the differences are bland.
Bows (shorter) - Fast rate of fire, difficult to master, traditional weapon of many cultures/fantasy tropes, medium power, requires mostly dexterity (but strength/recurve/build affects) and long to master.
Bows (longer) - Fast rate of fire, less than shorter. Requires huge strength for higher damage (but mechanical/recurve/build affects). Takes a lifetime to master, the weapon of elves in fantasy etc.
Crossbows (simple) - Slow rate of fire, easy to operate and learn, powerful, less mobile than bows. Heavy. Preloaded.
Crossbows (heavy) - massively powerful, slow rate of fire, requires strength or mechanical advantage (pulleys, cranks etc). Very heavy. Preloaded.
First of all, thanks for the feedback and taking the time!
Before I go on, yeah a wall of text, you've made me rethink some stuff, and perhaps there are a couple of simpler solutions that mesh with the concept. However, this is a weapon that only ever gets shot 1 time a round, to keep in mind when comparing it to anything else.
Thinking about it all in context:
What I want to conserve is:
Point by point:
Lack of scaling: Power attack scales, but indeed might not be enough (it is not a great feat as it is). Then again, power budget seems to be a concern at the same time? I think price is a good gatekeeper for not worrying of access at early levels. I'll have a look at some later level damage when I have some time. Propulsive is in part in built scaling too.
Deadly Aim: I dont like penalties to hit when you're shooting once per round, personally (flavourwise this one makes absolutely no sense. Accurate aim name, hitting less often..this, fatal aim, propulsive..there are a lot of traits that describe poorly what they actually do).
Fatal Aim: I didnt like Fatal Aim either. And also not very effective, a 2hander crossbow we'd be shooting doublegripped always. But close in what it tries to do, can drop deadly and slap this on, then it is just deadly vs fatal. I honestly am not very happy with the powder weapon design in Pathfinder 2 all in all.
Kickback vs propulsive: Propulsive scales, also ties it to a balanced str/dex build. Crossbows never had much kickback compared to guns. Reflavouring the name and trait is fine, I just want stuff that can be referenced.
I disagree a bit about power budgets. This is a weapon that gets shot once per round, no way around it, so it has to be higher than something worth shooting twice/thrice, we unfortunately did not get such a weapon in the Guns and Gears otherwise we'd have an example...probably because this whole concept doesnt play well with this system (consider how direct damage spells are generally the subpar option). I still think a composite longbow in the hands of a ranger build is a superior weapon (but, have to calculate this properly.)
PS. I like your work on your crossbows and I think that they have a place in Pathfinder 2, and the designers have just chosen not to give base crossbows a simple non-power budget. However on the comparison of this vs say the Arbalest, I'd pick the Arbalest of your doccument, power wise. Makes the existing builds better. My intent is to pigeon hole this crossbow to a single shot.
PS 2. There is a doccument another user posted about decoding weapon attribute power budgets. I use it for melee weapons, and works well. I'll see if I can dig it out.
PS3. On using feats, rather than items, I think I'd just give Power Attack for ranged characters and call it a day, the 2 MAP is enough to deter more shots. However, then I'd put a juicy unique crossbow, or have to use your Arbalest, to consider it.
Thanks for going through your thought process. I like the strength investment, it forces balanced attribute spreads and helps out switch hitters.
See, I've been muling over this too, and recently made a couple of threads on it. First is my version of an arbalest
Then here's a thread about making a switch hitter crossbow build, got some good answers on what people have been playing:
Have you thought of what would be a fun magical version of the Pavise?
Good to have some free home-brewed Crossbow stuff out there for PF2e, VictorThell. ;)
Is this..are you..a bot? Going through the post history is interesting.
Cool stuff VictorThell. As the above...enthusiast...says, it is good to have more options. I like your version of the Pavise.
However, on the crossbow department, it seems that if you do meet the prerequisites of Strongarm, you just get a better crossbow? From a Crossbow 1d8 simple, to an Arbalest 1d10 deadly d6, at the same reload.
For anyone looking into crossbow design, use and history, I strongly reccomend "Book of the Crossbow" by Ralph Payne Gallwey.
Voideternal: Indeed that extra die at low level is large, however very much under melee still, and not so far from hitting twice with a longbow. Also, I gave Aim a Power Attack, so it will scale somewhat with level (and gravity bow and so on). Power Attack itself has its problems where it isnt worth it (in melee) in comparison to many options, unless high resistances or vs high AC. I think it fits the Heavy Warbow precisely for this reason. (https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/cw8ys6/2hweapon_fighter_ana lysis_exacting_strike_vs/)
My conclusion is that the niche of a heavy, slow reload crossbow like an arbalest is still very much unfulfilled. The crossbow of choice is the standard simple crossbow of 1 action. By making the Reload 2 crossbow a little more powerful we make it a bit more competitive, but still behind multiple shots a round. I think I am not off the mark, mechanically wise.
There definitely is, for me and it seems others, a design issue in representation between bows, crossbows and guns, that hasnt really been addressed well in PF2.
Adding some descriptions.
Heavy War Crossbow (strength requirement added)
Cranequin/Pulleys (Expensive, avoids early level issues)
If I try these, I'll come back with some feedback, but I suspect it wont be anything too surprising or game changing apart from enabling a bit more the switch hitting or mobility shooting with a crossbow.
Edit: I'd design a Pavise shield at some point too, perhaps as a magical item to avoid base design.
Thank you very much for great advice. I am glad to see that there is some support for crossbows, albeit locked in a handful of class archetypes (ranger, slinger and monk to some degree, and eldritch builds).
Also, seems like the heavy crossbow is in disfavour, with a reload of 2 it is too much of a tax, although with running reload it can be aleviated somewhat.
Repeating crossbows and such are a different play style, I think those are in a better position with cartridges, and if it is a home game I am sure a GM can change capacity there somewhat, in my case.
W E Ray wrote:
It sounds to me that you'd better be served with a different, less crunchy system. Pathfinder, and Dnd for many years, have been about being rules heavy and tactical.
Also, that last part, it sounds to me more like 80s dnd than current. The typical next level of the dungeon is too high so we need to go somewhere else to get something/buy something/level up.
I do agree that character death could be more normalised. I remember when I was young my elder friend telling me about how his dwarf fighter had died defending a bridge, with an arrow shot by an orc through his visor! We do play without ressurection at my table: but this is the key. Take out what you dont like.
Dont like the DC skill checks for diplomacy? Roleplay them. This system is as rules heavy as you make it be. However, it is going to be represented in APs as rule heavy, because that is what the product is.
Yeah on top of tasks, the APs should try to exploit the action system of Pathfinder 2.
I would like to build a character that uses a Crossbow as their main weapon, preferably focusing on single shot rounds, mobility and/or siege/sniping. I mostly GM nowadays so I'm a little unversed in player options.
Is there any other options apart from Ranger or Gunslinger?
Stuff that I'd pick up if Ranger or Gunslinger:
Have you managed to play a crossbow character? I feel since I asked the question about crossbows just as Pathfinder 2 came out we have a lot more options.
I must be out of the loop with crossbows. Countless searches in the forums and the prd have left me without good answers as to how.
Is there any difference between doing those shots with a crossbow than a bow, except 1 single die bump up and crossbow ace? In exchange for 3 shots a round? Is the shoot and run tactic competitive? Wouldnt a bow user do the same, but better? What about the massive feat tax required for them to even do similar to bows?
Not trying to be combative, I am trying to understand. Because from my experience (as GM), and the narrative in all these threads is not great for crossbows, and now I am getting answers that they are powerful.
Some references on previous topics:
Quote from Mark Seifer, from the following thread
"Just for any simple weapon in general, rather than crossbows in particular, they are not going to be as powerful as a martial weapon. If they were, what's the point of having simple and martial weapons as a distinguishing feature between characters? When comparing them to bows, as in the OP, they are supposed to be weaker on the net; they are a category down. Now in PF1, due to the action economy, they were pretty terrible even when compared to other simple weapons. In PF2, they're quite solid for a simple weapon, which means worse than a martial."
Thread in which you also chime in, Cpt Morgan, about how subpar crossbows are, in exchange for doubtful versatility (last post you actually counter one of them yourself, but you also point out other versatility qualities):
Hey welcome, thanks for the feedback.
Propulsive describes stored energy in drawing back the string pushing forward the msisle, which is done by either an arm, crank, lever or a pulley. It doesnt matter, the result is the same. The use of the word propulsive is misused in game, I would say rather than it not applying to crossbows. It does boil down to semantics, but I get what you mean. I did it to add as few things as possible and I could indeed add a bunch of new traits. Was I designing from scratch Id also not use a ranged power attack.
It is interesting that so far the answers are about bows being misrepresented, I really like where that conversation goes. I could imagine redoing bows/xbow/guns design from the bottom up in a new campaign, but my group is not very invested in tinkering and appreciate stuff that they can look up in the rules. Also good to know there could be some confusion in how people view the traits.
My main concerns are design wise. Does this do what I intend it to do?
How would you make bows different than they are currently? Adding more strength? What would the difference be between recurves, composites, short/long?
At the least, I can see that I probably need to assume the Heavy Warcrossbow is reloaded without need for strength otherwise it locks a lot of classes out of its benefits. Or having the cranequinn as purchasable but not increasing reload by 1.
I see what you mean that bows need to the ones fixed, and I agree, however xbows would need some compensation because they are not good numerically. The whole ranged fantasy in Pathfinder 2 has been one of the few misses this system has had.
A lot of what you say makes sense. However, my goal here is to touch as little as possible and come up with as few new mechanics as possible. Keep it simple, easy to use, introduce, and elegant whilst having most gameplay effect. Im focusing on heavy crossbows in general first.
I disagree that they work well as is. They are a sub par weapon, and are only used because they have the lowest entry tag (simple), or on some very niche rangers (running reloads). I am happy to be wrong, and I wouldnt mind seeing builds that use them, differently than archers. I'm glad that you do think they work well though, gives me some more to think about.
As to their effectiveness, in history, I strongly reccomend Tod Workshop's videos and research into this together with Joe Gibbs. Example windlass crossbow vs bow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w8yHeF4KRk&t=602s
I definitely see where you come from saying that strength is for archers. Then again the more advanced a bow is (recurve, composite, pulleys) the more mechanical it becomes. I thought about Dex for damage, but I didnt want to encourage single stat building, and also believe that to differentiate Xbows/Bows/Guns, Xbows should get damage from static traits to symbolise their mechanical prowess.
Thanks for the answer, cant wait to hear more.
I have been unsatisfied in how Pathfinder 2 (and 1) have dealt with crossbows. Or anything that is not a bow. I wish they had made them distinct choices.
Perhaps it isnt necessary, but I like having meaningful differences in ranged weapon that dictate gameplay not just damage output.
Explanations and goals
New Trait: AIM
Heavy War Crossbow
Some basic numbers, just weapon damage, traits and strength:
Same 18 strength shooter with a composite longbow striking would do in a single shot 1d8 + 1d8 striking + 2 propulsive, average 11 or so. But with reload 0, they can shoot two more times..the dpr calculation would have to include %hit and all that stuff.
A striking greatsword 18 strength does easily 23.5 damage average in a single hit, higher upper numbers too. A powerattack crit averages 47.
Obs. Numbers are approximations, no complex formulas used. Feel free to point any mistakes out.
I'd be happy to get some feedback, I GM mostly so I am not very versed in player feat/options that could interact with all of this. Overall I think it is lightweight and does not require a lot of tinkering and remembering, which is something I prioritise when bringing a new rule to the table.
Hey Rysky perhaps you dont know the future has no space for niceties, it is all a stark competition and the Roleplaying point score is everything :P
I'd think, OP, you'd garner a lot more curiosity from people from a more moderate stance that didnt include assuring us what the founders of the game would jam to, decades after their deaths. I think you have something that is definitely interesting for some niche applications, such as university clubs, or game shop run events, but you'd need to change a bit how you interact with people if you want some attention, more so for collaboration.
Here is an idea to play test these kind of things though: Have each party controlled by a single person. If you have a group of very dedicated players, that'd make for an easier test run, 3-4, perhaps with some simplifications.
Roleplaying games are intrinsicly collaborative. No one wins the Pathfinder 2 or the DND game. That you consider it to "be the future" well, it's what many would consider a hot take. Which is cool, and as a mode of play, more the merrier.
I'll throw a question out for a thought process. How is this remotely competitive when comparing different GMs? If the competitiveness stops the moment table variation occurs, it isnt a very solid framework.
As for the map and tech it is always cool to see more interactiveness. What is developed for one game mode surely can be used for another, for example for kingdom managing and such. Good luck.
Pathfinder Adventure Paths with non-violent endings or solutions (Related topics: non-violent / non-violence)
The only one I am familiar with a potential non-violent resolution is Ironfang Invasion. But there's a significant amount of violence between the beginning and that potential resolution.
" Ironfang Invasion: Hobgoblins commit warcrimes against you and your loved ones! You commit warcrimes in return! Commit warcrimes agaisnt fey as they also massacre and torture everyone! Everything in the campaign is about further warcriming!Resolve with sudden change of heart and good will at the point of a sword, it is TOTALLY valid! "
Yeah, not a fan of a lot of elements in that AP and I dont think it counts as a proper non violent solution, considering it is under the guise of "We just killed all your generals, will kill the rest, and you, unless you stop ok? We friends".
I'd consider Strength of Thousands a better candidate, it has baked in a lot of dialogue options and leans into the teacher-student dynamics.
Skull and Shackles, surprisingly, has many non violent solutions, but you will encounter a lot of humanoid on humanoid violence regardless. It is a rather easy campaign to coat with nonviolence/lethality if you focus on the pirate theatrics more.
It's kinda breakneck pace and I'm very quickly reaching the point where I dont want to bother to buy books, two more come out before I've read the previous one, and havent even gotten my head around half of the classes...
Edit. I'm really already there. I know PF2 had massive content gap with PF1. However, it should be looked at perhaps vs Dnd5 instead. Setting aside concerns for what this publishing speed means for the people writing them, Unsure what it'll do for the health of the game. I understand that selling books makes the company survive, and Paizo has done very well to make enough content fast to have great variety in games.
Then again, I am liking the Lost Omens setting books. I am buying those more often than the class/crunchy ones, perhaps because I feel they bring something new, whilst any class books feels like a revisit of Ultimate series or ofther PF1 books.
Other than what's presented in Lost Omens World Guide. Considering running a homebrew campaign there, but the wiki isn't very helpful. Doesn't even have the current Hurricane King on it.
Tessa is the Hurricane Queen, as per Lost Omens guide, and we know little else. Thing is the Isles of the Shackles, as one of the best books in PF1, already had so much information that it might require a new book in turn for that detail.The Mwange Expanse book has some tidbits about the pirates too.
If you ran S/S as a campaign it makes it obvious how your setting has changed, but if not: I would say nothing much has changed and you can use Isles of the Shackles as is, nothing too interesting.
I am also enjoying gming pf2e, I think at the table I am the one that notices most the change of system. Players might notice more or less (different, really) choices and flow, but on the gm's side of things it has become such a difference. PF1 was a tremendous burden, and PF2e has done a good job of lessening it.
I made them part of a group that is being encroached upon: they have the real decision between moving somewhere else or joining the Terwa lords, understanding that they'd never be very high up but Ssraku's daughter might.
Famous battles and battlefield hazards are a great thought!
Focus on troops, and perhaps a smaller unit in a Squad could be fun. It could also help with the eternal "what do NPCs do", but that's secondary at best.
Interestingly I also ran into some off the rails Opera adventures! It has been many years, so itll be a bit vague, but I'll try to recount and see if it inspires something, even if youve run it already:
The players went to Hellharbour, also looking to figure out what is going on. I wanted to feature the Opera. I had Longbeard take them in under his wing - seeing their star rise he's happy to invite them over to Endymion's opera and play some politics.
As the rest of the party get good seats from above to see the play, they notice their usual skulkers are missing. Longbeard is being a good patron and indulging them in what they want, whilst skirting around their questions of politics and allegiances (some social skill roles that answered some of the deals with Arronax). All goes well until the second act of the Opera - the actor troope on stage (the actual hired propaganda assasins..the ghost, the berserker and the other one, who were from the next book in this particular case) is joined by 2 figures they recognise instantly. The party skulkers, having gone backstage, found their way to the troope's quarters and found some incriminating stuff..but got found by the Berserker who gave chase. They all Entered Stage Left, and the play became about trying to survive being chased by a berserker several levels above them, and the rather bored rabble of Hellharbour having a rowdy good time at the chaos happening on stage. Even the wannabe posh of the place were enjoying it, what with them being pirates.
They'd face the troope later on, having a better idea what they had stumbled on.
Arronax asks around about who disturbed the Opera, and at least he knows who they are. Having a connection is important...even if one that has ruined one of his favourite hobbies. It helped play that they had to win him over as one of the more powerful pirates.
Lost Omens: Armies of Golarion
A breakdown of different organised forces in Golarion. Who are they under, what hierarchies they have, what titles they use, how do they operate and why, who are they are odds with or in active conflict.
I think a book like this would give a lot of shape to Golarion and help GMs with a bunch of tools to throw into sandboxy games or setting specifics. For players, potentially associating with these.
Lost Omens: Mercenaries of Golarion
Similar vein, focusing on mercenary companies. Also a subsystem on running a mercenary company setting.
And totally one they probably shouldnt make but would fill me with so much joy:
Wish I had some good advice for self publishing.
However, I am interested in your product. I ran S&Shackles some time ago, was active in the forums, homebrewing the ship stats, battles and the sort. Most of my campaigns are maritime (currently running one that ties in to 10 years down the line from the S&Ss we did).
Similarly, I'm happy to help where I can if you'd like some reviewing/testing of something.
ps. sent you a pm
I imagine the editors are in charge of making sure some lines are not overstepped, but that is an inmense job in volume alone (thanks for bringing up the PFS scenenario Oragnejedi42, great example of mishandling the topic), and a mistake (that shouldve been addressed and corrected) is likely to happen at some point.
Golarion has a lot of lack of creative writing, perhaps from a necessity to fill in space fast? They are doing a decent job lately, if the Mwange Expanse is an indication, in making the knock-offness interesting and respectful.
I think painting in general strokes will bring along criticism too. The tendency we expect in society is that when something like slavery is mentioned, it is also followed by a condemnation of it, which if describing 24 nations in 3 short paragraphs, is bound to not happen sometimes. The customer's expectations are perhaps what needs a hard look :P
My group just found out that one of the antagonists they have finally gotten to is an ex-member of the Order of the Coil. Not because he stepped out, but because the Order got beaten. They enjoyed bringing him and his operation down.
A game without organised evil erm, organisations, would give us the only alternative of fighting faceless evils. If this game is about fighting, because if it isnt, then design it differently.
Any - ANY thing that makes someone take weapons carries with it the reality that it has potential to hurt people, physically and psychologically. So it is a bit daft in my opinion trying to sanitise everything. I believe that it should depend on the table. If you are playing Pathfinder say, with your kids, and they are happy whacking oozes, or goblins (and they run away scared rather than die) that's fine. When the players have the capacity to start asking increasingly complex questions then it is the moment the world becomes more complex.
Roleplaying games has a strong societal component, and a lot of that is founded in open discussion, inclusivity and understanding. Close off your topics and you'll have a lot less to discuss.
Also, evil governments and evil organisations in games - even when you play as them in video games - just allows the player to know they are explicitely evil. Our lifes are complex enough and being able to denote something in an obvious way helps us deal with it, and feel safe in knowing what it is. (and why it is wrong, but that's something you've got to learn from your fellow humans at some point in your life).
In Baldur's Gate 2 one of the first things you do at the Copper Coronet Inn Tavern is bust a slaving operation. It feels good.
Personally, I would prefer a close to history portrayal of the setting.
However Paizo's problem here is that they have no way to control that outcome, neither to make sure they arent providing a platform for those unwanted fantasies. So they just ignore it, less pr problems.
And for a bit of a jump...American (USA) media is more sensitive to this than others, or/and perhaps more scrutinised too. RPG (at least Pathfinder folk) seem even more so.
PS. And now we end up debating slavery - which is perhaps exactly what they do not want. But a world without discussion so we can understand why they are wrongs, not just what they are, is absolutely necessary, and ignoring it completely is not constructive. However it is also not their responsibility for humankind to not be complete idiots, so they took the easy road this time.
Advancing in level is one of those skills that develop as you GM. Depending on the camapaign, the Gm and the players. I imagine some people prefer to do the mechanical thing of xp.
But story gives XP. How is that measured? Is it always tied to the creatures/hazards involved? Any way I see it, it is an extremely crude way to measure advancement exactly.
Still think PF2 is probably doing it better, from what I've seen the encounters are like. Until the OP didnt bring up the fact that there is perhaps too much variety in enemies, I hadnt thought about that I am not dealing with the usual hordes of low level blandness.
Few things kill my mood to play in a game more than the GM saying "we do XP and if you miss a session you get half XP" or something along those lines.
I put time in, I get enjoyment through the session, I may get some big milestone (gear/level) but otherwise perhaps advanced story, character portrayal, or similar. I understand some people need the constant affirmation that they are getting something tangible.
Overall, it ends up being an imposition rather than a tool, causing the APs devolve in XP packing monsters like a cheap buffet, instead of better garnishing the good parts. Guidelines are fine, but must-fill arbitrary quotas dont make a better result.
On the newer APs, I have been enjoying much of the setting. The Agents of Edgewatch has 2 modules I really want to rip and put into my game (Casino and the Prison!), I have used several Age of Ashes parts (the travelling to Mwange helped me populate a "escape the jungles" start to a campaign), Strength of Thousands was a welcome change of tonality even if it is for variety.
The sudden changes from simple adventuring to high fantasy world hopping are jarring - but on a power curve like Pathfinder's it is bound to happen. I would be much happier playing fewer levels and more to the point APs (3 volumes is great) if they stick with a natural theme.
My biggest concern with APs that neither PF1 nor PF2 solve is that as the stories are told we'll get more "Players cant teleport because this forest is magical" "Players cant use scrying because the magic here is warped" "the Whatever Crystal of Offuscation impedes your meta-plot spells" "Flying is not legal here since the pigeon hit the Drake last year at the airfield".
On the encounter variety / dungeon galore section, this is a general problem, and a AP/Module format problem. Lack of space, small maps, and budget xps (i dislike this last one so much).
I posted a question to the Strength of Thousands AP which has gotten no response (I miss the days of a more engaged AP forum discussion..I think we lost something transitioning -disclaimer I am in love with PF2).
"I am wondering how people's groups are holding up after going through:
Still beats the 17 unchallenging encounters before 2-3 main ones of PF1 just to get XP-budgets. All the same 2d4 standard enemies repeated for many rooms.
I would prefer dungeons to make more sense, and be less...dungeony. I am just not a fan of dungeons for every AP module. Dungeons are not what I struggle with as a DM, as they are dead easy, and always let me feeling I bought a filler instead of a real adventure. This is however, what I prefer as a DM/player.
Takeaway: Give me an interesting scenario, with 2-3 good fights, well described hazards and interactable environment, motivations and possibilities. Then slap a sidebar with "If you feel you need more enemies here's a list of possibilities and couple suggestions how to plug them in".
Per Astra wrote:
I sometimes wonder what it'd be if it was the weapon alone that did damage, and then the proficiency on top of that in lieu of strength.
- Guns are terribly uninspired, mechanically too similar to crossbows. They couldve brought something mechanically unique and more evocative, but no, same old blandness. (and crossbows by extension, it is so bland to choose a ranged weapon).
- Recall Knowledge is too expensive, too likely to fail, and there is very little support to improve it outside from very niche class options. Had it been expensive but able to be upgraded in different ways from ancestry, skill or general feats it wouldve been ok. Goes agaisnt design philosophy. of PF2e.
- Shields. Broken, Destroyed..yeah just get rid of one of these. Also, most shields are useless as written, they are stat/trick sticks rather than shields, in the face of Sturdy.
- Surprise Rounds/Lack of surprise rounds has not been very elegantly handled. There should be some bonus for the ones initiating if the others are unaware. Flat footed if not acted has gone too.
- CRB structure, mentioned above by Tarik Blackshands. What an absolute pain of a book to find stuff in.
- A couple of well done FLOW CHARTS for example for stealth and perception.
- Bigger difference in proficiencies, front and centre. Whilst the tight math does convince me, I somehow wish that proficiencies was one of the main difference makers (and without level to stats I am afraid itll become too much like 5e..but I yet have to try it).
- Not enought sacred cows slaughtered when it came to Vancian casting. Still a mess.
- Crafting rules make me rather want to hand wave everything just not to deal with it.
- TELEPORT FLY and similar effects that have the potential to totally eliminate many story telling aspects should have gotten a tag (unique/story/whatever), or there been something explaining just what it means to have them in play. I am so fed up of reading APs where they make lazy excuses to shut these down because EVEN THEIR OWN WRITERS DONT KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH THESE. Address the problem and tell 3e grognards to suck it.
I am wondering how people's groups are holding up after going through:
PCs should be level 10 by then, how are their resources doing after a few fights? Do the spellcasters save their spells? I was just adapting part of this dungeon to my own adventure (as I often do with APs) and perhaps I dont have a good gauge of PF2 yet, but it seemed quite a steep amount of enemies, especially if they are intelligent and can call each other.
The Raven Black wrote:
100% this. Bland and semi there. If they make something unique with a touch here and there, sure...But I'll be honest, (mostly american) produced theme park aproximations of cultures are plentiful, I'm sure we dont need one more.
But perhaps it is a biased opinion; I thoroughly enjoyed Mwangi expanse and it could be a similar dynamic, and I am just ignorant of parts of other cultures. So maybe it is just the perfect product. (although mythical greece with golden armour has been done to death)
A high-level 3-part AP either in the Darklands or as a Planar AP would be amazing. Honestly, I know for most groups the 3-part Level 1-10 APs will be more appropriate, and Paizo is probably gonna make more APs on that end of the spectrum. But Fist of the Ruby Phoenix is SO good BECAUSE it's high level 11-20. And I wanna see what adventures we can do to when the expected level is high to begin with!
Darklands AP would be amazing that explores it a little bit more than the railroad scenarios.
I'd like an AP where the tensions between countries are tested. I feel that an Ap that challenges the status quo of nations in the way european conflicts in the 1500-1700 did would be a good brush for Golarion, where a country is simultaneously attacking an enclave of another whilst trading with it in a different place.
Perhaps a bit of a complex idea to simulate, but a mercenary AP could do well here, travelling and taking different contracts for barons, princes, lords and common populace that's banded together to pay a sum.
Exploring how Golarion countries treat each other: Escorting delegations, hampering tax collections in contested territory, blockading a harbour, dealing with corsairs with a letter of marque from a rival country, dealing with monsters in the country side, facing off armies at some point, etc.
How do factions that span all countries fit into all of this?
Thinking more about it, a wandering mercenary company with a fame subsystem (ala shackles but more robust) could be a fantastic trip, hopefully with the mature and complex writing that some APs have demonstrated with dealing with complicated topics like politics.