In an era of rampant manga/anime culture D&D 4E broke the mold of the sword and board rpg by adding named attacks to all the g$+!@@n classes. You had at-will, encounter and daily powers.
It was a system that completely denaturalized the game we knew till that moment.
Years later Paizo comes up with the Focus Poins System and it's genius. They hit the perfect middle ground.
This is one of the systems that make me excited the most, expecially because it makes the adventuring day longer and more realistic. Gj Paizo!
So we had his massive dump of spoilers that started to foreshadow how the game will be. I'm grateful and it's all fine and dandy. However I'd like to see some foreshadowing regarding the GM side of things too. I mean, I'm a big supporter of this new edition because I feel like, regarding 1rst edition, player material out scaled and power creeped GM material.
Some things I'd like to know are (all regarding the version presented in the playtest):
1) will encounter building rules stay the same?
I'm particularly interested in the last question. As much as some players like to push the boundaries of what they can achieve with their PCs (numerically wise) some GMs like the challenge of thinking the right boss npc that leaves a dent but ultimately can be beaten.
This would be extremely easy with a "monster-level-determined-by-stats" or vice versa system. However it would wipe away the challenge.
On the other hand, a stat-based system would prevent power creep during the years.
If I know that the rule of thumb is that a +2 lvl monster is supposed to be hit the best attack only 45% of the times, that will stay true forever and I will adjust the numbers accordingly.
You see, we play this game since like 2008 with the same group basically and the problem is recurrent. They know that strong characters are boring but they can't avoid it: I mean, you can go several dumb build and still be quite stupidly strong in regard of what the bestiary and the encounter building rules present you.
In this we are coming to the point that the other players remove the pawn of the enemy the monk point at without even letting him rolling. And he macroed his phone to waste basically 0 time on it.
This problem is evergreen.
In a past campaign where I had similar problems (a bolt ace with crit 17-20/X4 and insane luck) I resorted to spam extra HD and abundance of advanced templates. It didn't resort to anything if not to frustrate the weaker characters.
I highly disagree with the assumption that every melee character should be able to full round attack every turn.
And instead of Power Creep my own stuff I prefer to not let them fight 100% of their capabilities every fight. Usually I go crazy with environmental stuff.
The last fight of book 4 they were in a far pool while the boss was behind a wall of light+wall of force combo in an area of deep darkenss. When they finally got to swing the bastard it was quite satisfying.
However after a while it gets repetitive and bogging, expecially because after a while they are the same old expedients that come back every campaign.
I was looking for new feats to surprise them but I'm fine with crafting my own stuff.
To answer a bit...
I already nerfed him by saying that the flying kick doesn't count toward the jabbing stack. Last time I nerfed him by saying that he can't flying kick while flying for it suppose that you have a surface to push.
I already punished them with any kind of illusion, darkness, wall of force and whatnot. I used fire shield and caustic blood a couple of time with ilarious effects. He already died at the hand of 2 mirrors of opposition down a hallway.
However I do not like to make ripetitive fights. And there are some monster (like, they will have to fight a giga stone golem and a wendigo soon) that need to pummel them on melee. Hence the need of reducing the sheer amount of damage by gutting feats.
The dragon Style user Is a Shifter and do not usually hit like a truck.
The other is an unchained monk with Flying Kick. He's level 14 with the monk robe stuff so he can jump across pretty much every room. Ah and now he has the power to make ranged flurry. Blood crow strike?
They all fly by now.
However I do not want to hinder them with water combat, darkness, Grease and what not.
I will just conjure my houserule Disruptive (anti-melee version) feat and a Leng's eerie aura for the wacky monsters.
So, my party has a couple of melee characters very strong one using the Dragon Style and the other using the Jabbing Style. We are level 14. So the first one scores into the 150 dpr but the other can easily do 400+ dpr.
The other members of the party feel quite trivialized by this.
I'm sure I've read something somewhere that at least hinder the use of Power Attack. I was wondering if there is something else that make more difficult (concentration check?) to use Style Feats. There must be something anti-martial-arts in the Martial Arts Handbook right?
So, ok, i know this is stupidly soon too ask with the game basically not even released yet but i keep wondering and i'm sure you have your business plan already in check.
So, my concern is that with the new dedication/archetype system you've pretty much cut the legs of a system that let you print a whole lot of books without ( i mean it in a non-offensive way) too much effort. What i mean is that, after making a class you would have easily printed around 10 archetypes by just shufling its class privileges with the ones of other classes. For example, pretty much every class has the Rage option somehow.
But this won't allow you to create extra content anymore because basically it's baseline. And, don't get me wrong, i love it. With a lvl 2 and a lvl 6 feat expense i can have what ever pc that rages or that have retributive strike. It's amazing.
But how will you print more class archetypes/books in general? Just frontload with hundreds of class feats?
Tbh, it's not easy to get bound with a story that forces you to jump from pc to pc Where you play a single level for 2 sessions and then move on. Also it is aggravating that they playtest actually stress test the pc capabilties.
I know that this is by all means what a playtest is meant to be and to do but still, as many at Paizo have stated repeatedly, playtesting isn't for everyone.
Personally i think i probably overstimated my self in my ability to do it. I feel like i would have behaved as the bad GM described in the thread if i would have been the playtest GM in my group, expecially because i defended many things in the first weeks that were then changed.
My "cleric with 10 wis " was closed. I'm happy. As Mr Buhlman said, it means my point was heared.
Anyway I feel like I forgot to mention the most important point in my thread. That is the fact that pretty much all the other changes of update 1.6 are cool as hell. I was upset because I felt like my class was left behind.
I understand that it is difficult to carefully test and plan all at once and that testing new feats and other changes has priority over a simple nerf. I'm sure that before the end all classes will have an equal share of love.
I have high hopes for the second edition as a whole and they are being met greatly and I'd like to remember everyone how much this product (thanks to the collective effort?) has improved in the past weeks.
In Paizo we trust.
Warning: wall of text ahead
TL:DR the optimized cleric (which gets the best of dealing decent damage via melee attack while still being able to heal and cast supporting spells) after update 1.6 has 10 wis which I think can’t be intended and must be addressed.
Let’s say you want to make a cleric of a deity that mainly (expecially at low levels) offers you situational/weak/reactive domain powers but still, you likes the theme and go for it. That would be someone like Pharasma,Gozreh,Desna,Abadar,Cayden, just off the top of my head.
Let’s say you are human, because now human let’s you space among half-elves and half-orcs so with the same stat array we hit multiple races as flavor. At lvl 1 with whatever background you may need you basically obtain stats like 18 16 12 12 10 10. When making my characters I assume that if you are taking 10 in either cos or dex you are looking for troubles. If you make 10 in both troubles will 100% finds you.
Also let’s abolish an old consensus: in pf 2e healing IS action efficient. You use one action to heal pretty much 1.5-2 hits worth of hp to an adjacent target if you are using a max level heal spell to an adjacent target. So you are trading one of your actons for 2 actions from enemies. It is worth it. So having the “panic button” of max level heal spells during fights, it can make big a difference.
So we must decide what kind of cleric we want to do, choosing between the caster and the melee one.
The caster would have stats like (str des cos int wis car obviously) 10 16 12 10 18 12. Now let’s just observe that as per update 1.6 with this build you have 1 channel energy lvl 1-4 and at lvl 5 they arguably become 2. Then you go and prepare your spell and realize that your spell list is quite damage lacking (as divine spells will always be, e xpecially pre 4th level spells). Not only that but you don’t have slot cheating ability like drain focus, you don’t have a companion that does part of the dirty work for you, you don’t have at will buffing music. You just have your spell, your subpar domain powers, your wacky no damage anti action economy chill touch, oh and a lot of the choices you have when selecting feats are related to that channel energy ability that you will use 1xday till lvl 5, 2xday till lvl 10. Fun eh? And I forgot to mention that when you hit lvl 7/9 and you get those 2 sweet slots to unleash havoc via divine wrath/flamestrike you will soon realize that your better use one for a max level heal. So just one round of fun per day.
Ok maybe I don’t like this character.
Let’s do the melee one. As many knows magic melee weapons are the best way to deliver consistent damage and a cleric would have decent chances to be just slightly behind the curve(you can’t start in any way with str 18 because class skill is mandatory wisdom). The stats would be 16 12 12 10 18 10. And no you can’t put 14 in str and 12 in cha. Early on it would exactly like being constantly frightned/sick 2 compared to your ranger/monk/rouge buddy for example. With 16 you’re just sick 1. This, at a glance seems already a better build. Throw some ancestry/dedication feats in there and you are walking in heavy armor while hitting with a magical 2 handed weapon. Having a solid plan to deal damage also allows you to be more flexible when preparing spells. You can preare that 1 heal spell per spell level, 1 damage spell that come handy as ranged damage solution and 1 supportive spell of choice. Mmm, i’m liking it quite a bit (and it’s the build i’d go pre update). Only problem. You legit have no channel energy till lvl 4 and even then I would not put boosts in charisma, not until lvl 10. Imagine a cleric of Gorum which at lvl 4 may go channel smite for some whopping turns and wait… no channel energy for you bud.
Then you think. Wait a second, let’s assume I go for spells like bless, restoration, air walk, summon ecc that are not acually binded to my wis score. Can I accept my heals to heal 4 less hp and get extra uses of max level heal spells? Hell yeah, I can.
So, let’s mod a bit that melee cleric. Ok, the stats would be something like 16 12 12 10 12 16 (if you go goblin they may as well become 16 12 14 10 10 16 which are even better for what we want to do). We have a pc that is as effective as the one previously mentioned. You lose your domain powers but they were crap anyway and you better never try to counter an effect with a spell roll. Also your party is better find someone else to make those Treat Wounds checks. However this is easy to lay around because you can assist each other while Treating Wounds and also items can help. Moreover because of this use Medicine is one of the most important skill in the game and every member in the party should arguably have it (more Assists= more bonuses= more chances to crit the check= less waste of time).
So you have a decent melee fighter, which can neat you some fun, it has decent spell variety and 3-4 bonus max level heal spells for when the crap hits the fan. The only very big drawback is the lack of very effective ranged options when the need come but a returning trident and air walk should suffice.
So this is the tale of the update 1.6 goblin cleric with 10 wis. Just as planned.
Ah, also, high charisma let’s you go the demoralize/feint build if you want and it will often be a much better choice that that 3 rd attack.
Do 2-3 uses of channel energy make this big of a difference? Yes, in my opinion they does, expecially when you have 14 feats choices that have channel as requisite. Not quite elegant. There isn't this much of a reason to keep clerics bound to cha when this edition isn't MAD friendly at all.
Even if i'm slowly starting to feel like OP and i can't wait togo back to our main campaign, I would like to point out some things that OP said.
First, tbh even first edition is just a matter to perform (or putting yourself in the environment to perform) the most optimal damage pattern every round. With one resounding difference, you pile feats that make you do that pattern better instead of opening more choices so you are even more narrowed.
Yes, every character has pretty much the same numbers on their sheets (even if achieved by different directions, so to speak) but well, that may just be a good sign. No more "3.5e monk-like" characters that som mad they are useless.
But to me the worst part is that after longing for it for so much time, i feel like the fights are too difficult and that's the main downfall. Which translates into me being a worthless children that wants everything easy. And i'm quite sad.
But there's some reasoning behind this instinct. Mainly is the fact that easier combats=faster combats=more content consumed. And i would play everysingle AP in the world given the time.
But yeah, to me is that they try to propose us a more "Dark Souls" game and we are too accostumed to the easy mod to accept it.
Actually, yesterday I felt bogged down too. And for one simple reason: the game was too difficult.
Fair and simple. Is there a way (clearly stated in the book) to get Perception to Master or Legendary?
And don't pile me with all the options that give similar numerical bonuses.
I just want to know if you can do a character that is a master in Perception and do that level of stuff.
And the question boils down to: is Perception a skill that can be raised with skill increases?
Also is there a minimum level before you can hit some thresholds with skills?
Guys c'mon just because Strike doesn't state you can attack an object if as a Gm you impede them from doing it your butchering the narrative and it's your own fault, expecially if you hide behind the rules.
"I want to smash down the door with my hammer"
Thus said, it's fair to point out that "in relation to damaging objects" the book is poorly written.
Thus thus said, on the bestiary at page 7 it explains a bit how to deal with structures and it would seem that you just deal damage and confront with hardness. So precisely as it was in 1e it's just a matter of time if you have unlimited time so you can always liquid it with a "after a while you succed into smashing that thing". As for dealing damage to objects in fight i'd say you can't if not precisely stated as with traps or feats(the rogue one that damages enemies equip).
I will go as far as to say that this system is even improved. When they will implement damaging objects in fights it will be a much more viable tactic because there's a distinct line between the item is unavailable for use but salvagable and the item is uttermost destroyed.
Honestly those are just things that do not meet your personal taste.
What i like particularly about this edition is the fact that your turn isn't anymore 100% of the times try to do that 1 thing that your character is built to do or try to get in that position for next turn. Now you have to make more decisions and we like it a lot.
And multiclass it's quite cool. Basically you can make something like a magus/eldritch knight right of the bat.
Still, when making those characters at lvl 7 and lvl 9, if you are a martial you do take that magic weapon for potentially 2d12 per swing. As a caster you take a lesser staff (a lvl 5 item while a +1 potency rune is a lvl 4 item). The staff gives you just 1-2 extra lvl 1 spell per day basically and it's not enough oomph. And if he wants to spare his spells he gets to fire a scare 1d8+4 cantrip. While the barbarian is doing 2d12+idontevenwanttocalculateit. With 2-3 attacks. "Eh, but the titan mauler in your example is endangering himself" yes and he's even having a whole lot of fun. I mean, having to wasteyour time firing a cantrip will never be "a whole lot of fun" but it could be less "i may as well check reddit on my phone while the others are having fun".
I don't think that cantrips(which never forget cost 2 actions) dealing slightly more damage, slightly sooner is a big deal into making casters overshadowing martials again.
I haven't watched this in a while and i'm glad the discussion spread. Apparently Paizo do care about our opinion so we could obtain another "heal-out-of-combat" effect.
For what matter the topic, all i know is that my friend that was stucked into casting Ray of Frost all the session at lvl 1 (because you have 3-4 turns in which you can do something else) didn't have much fun. And it might seem stupid but the difference in fun and fight contribution between dealing 1d8 and dealing 1d8+2 (half your casting mod asmy suggestion) is huge. We all know how tedious it is to deal 1 damage right?
I mean,at that point it's better to be delegated to crossbow(bow if you're an elf) duty if you're a caster. And you don't feel particularly magical.
I would like to say that in the comparison of damage output, you must factor magic weapons for martials because a martial will have those as soon as he can get them.
In merit of what OP said i would like to say that the Path paizo took regarding spell success based on enemy save is ideal.
A thing i never liked was the hit or miss chance of so many type of spells in 1E. This led to a bad play pattern: save-or-lose spells from the caster are working= everyone else is not having fun, save-or-lose spells are not working=the caster player is not having fun.
The fact that there are 4 degrees of success now and that many spells hinder the opponent even on a success is amazing imo. Yes they got nerfed but basically in 1st edition i was banning a whole lot of things. Or better i used to say "yes, you can play an enchanter if you want to be unpleaseant to all other players"
Your post has some imprecision: clerics have Chill Touch as damaging cantrips.Cantrips you take with ancestry feats scale at half level and thus are even worse.
For clerics, resorting to weapons to do damage is ok but i'd like to have more choices.
Obviously i speak just for my group(but apparently even for a portion of the reddit pathfinder_rpg community) but we feel that cantrips are way too much underwhelming. I'm coming here to post this because i've seen that many complains about other things got considered by the game designers so i feel that this little aspect of the game could get some love too.
So my take is that if a caster(expecially a divine one) decides to contribute to a fight with damage (which imo is a legit desire that should be accomplishable by every player at the table of every class)he can't stand up to the others, by a long run. I explain.
Now that you only have 3/4 slot of spells per level you must be very careful about spending your resources, expecially damage wise, unless you use 1 min concentration spells (and Flaming Sphere is a "ref negates" instead of "ref half" even in this edition), or you will drain you spells immediatly.
Second take: items do not supply enough resources in this manner to be meaningful. A staff basically just give you 1-2 bonus spells per day and wands eventually get outscaled (and they are expensive nontheless).
So there are 2 ways to add oomph to casters: auto-eightening to all spells(so that even at class lvl9 those lvl1 spells are meaningful) or making their at will spell more impactul. Becaus at this point, cantrips leads to a pattern of being a simple attack roll-damage roll in between phone sessions(we just finished Lost Star and for our Wizard it was like this).
My proposal (and TL:DR of the post) is this scaling. They start by adding half the class skill modifier (it may seem stupid but adding +2 damage is something) than proceding with the current damage scaling anticipating everything by 1 spell lvl. In this way cantrips (and never forget that they cost 2 actions) deal 2 damage dice at class lvl 7 instead of 9 whereas martials get their magic weapon at lvl 6. Casters are still behind but not so absurdly behind.
Another take could be to leave the damage numbers like this but remove the attack trait from all cantrips so you chain them with attacks at no malus. This would be an even more dinamic pattern (but with less sense).