The Totemic Skald archetype gets a unique rage power:
Song of the Beast:
Song of the Beast (Su): The totemic skald grants the animal focus abilities of his totem animal (as the hunter’s animal focus ability) to all allies affected by his raging song. He treats his skald level as his hunter level for determining the abilities of the animal focus (such as the improvements gained at 8th and 15th level). This ability replaces the rage power gained at 3rd level.
I noticed it doesn't say the rage power is granted to all allies affected by Inspired Rage but to those affected by Raging Song. I know rage powers are supposed to only work with Inspired Rage, but this one seems to broaden that scope. Is this a case of intended "specific beats general" or a slip of the pen that might be errata-ed if errata were still being done? There is at least one more rage power that intentionally works without rage active (Flight Response) so the situation isn't unique.
Some of the totem powers would be a nice perk to have during Song of Marching or Song of Strength. RAW, I think it should work. Opinions?
Matthew Downie wrote:
Well, if you're going to ignore all the other stuff I wrote in the post you quoted from that addresses that problem, I'm not going to address this, because you might just ignore it again.
Isaac Zephyr wrote:
That out of the way, honestly I think Pathfinder 2 would benefit much better with less raw numbers. Consider rather than level cut out entirely, replace it with Level/4 rounded up. This would mean from level 1-4 you have +1, 5-8 +2, 9-12 +3, 13-16 +4, 17-20 +5. Mathematically that would place max level bonus on par with the total bonus between untrained and legendary, so a legendary individual is twice as good raw as untrained. And additionally you can supplement each stage with new abilities, making the true feeling of power coming from being able to actually do more and not high number pissing contests.
The thing is, if you completely remove level, you're already looking at what you're suggesting here, just on a smaller scale, in the form of proficiencies.
Proficiency increases are gated by level, differently for different classes.
Compare PF1 with PF2 after we strip the level from PF2 and give the characters (in both cases) optimal weapons. In PF1, a 20th level fighter has 10 more attack bonus than a 20th level wizard. In PF2, a 20th level fighter has 3 more attack bonus than a 20th level wizard. And like in PF1, there are classes that fall between the fighter and the wizard.
They just toned down the granularity of the inherent numerical differences between the classes. But imagine they'd tone it down a bit less. If the differences between the proficiency levels were a bit higher, you could safely eliminate level from all calculations, because the numerical differences between the already level-gated proficiency bonuses would be enough to cover the entire level 1-20 encounter span.
Matthew Downie wrote:
What does that have to do with anything I wrote?
Matthew Downie wrote:
Again, you don't address anything I wrote.
The proficiency bonuses would feel better if we just got rid of adding level to everything. Adding level to everything is just pointless. You might as well make the game a bit easier and add it to nothing.
In PF1, level determines your rate of growth in certain aspects of your character through tables that converted the straight 1-20 scale to the desired increments. It allows for diversification between classes. That's gone in PF2. No different growth rates, just a meaningless straight scale. If you eliminate level from the equation, nothing changes, you'll just be comparing smaller numbers to each other when you add up your rolls.
As it stands, level creates just an illusion of being better. Remember basic algebra:
X + 10 = 20
How do we solve this? Remove 10 from both sides of the equation!
X = 10, Yay, we solved it!
This fits how PF2 works like a glove.
X + lvl + d20 vs. a target of 10 + lvl
X + d20 vs. a target of 10.
Level is just an illusion of power and it makes the proficiency bonuses look bad.
"But what if I want to put my players up against higher level NPCs, it won't work, they'll be missing out on a bonus equal to (NPC level) minus (Player level)!"
So? You're the GM. Add or subtract a constant to everything you want your NPC to be better/worse at and you're golden. And bestiary monsters already don't follow character rules, they can be made to fit the level-free paradigm by just arbitrarily assigning number just like they are arbitrarily assigned now, just differently. The GM can easily make it work. Don't bother the players with making them think level matters. It doesn't.
Without level in any equation, you'll still be looking at the exact same success ranges on the d20 scale but a +2 master proficiency bonus will seem great because it's a significant number compared to the other modifiers you add. It won't be overshadowed by a meaningless smoke and mirrors number of a greater magnitude.
This won't of course be happening, but John Lennon said it best:
Imagine there's no level
Skill feats are the solution to a problem that was basically created when they decided to add level to everything.
Sure, it's easy and "no one gets left behind". But oh no! Now everyone can eventually do everything, so let's find a way to make sure the barbarian can't serviceably play the harp after he kills a million bugbears. Hey, let's make it so the skills actually do very little at all and add skill feats. It boggles the mind. It's all just an illusion.
There's the main-gauche. It's martial though, so not a great option for a rogue.
Except a Druid doing that made martials obsolete even earlier than normal, so let's not pretend they didn't need to be reined in.
Reining in is fine, the druid definitely needed that. But there are different ways of doing this than turning everything into feats.
I find the progression feats especially annoying. If you go for one of those, like Animal Companion, you're pretty much locked in for all the follow-up feats if you want that original feat to stay relevant.
That is another general issue that doesn't sit well with me. It's not just the druid that suffers from this: Very few options advance with levels without continuous further feat investments. It locks people into very narrow builds.
It's 27 vs. 21 actually.
I think I have to disagree about this damage advantage. If you're not Double Slicing, it seems a rather small bonus (1 point of damage per die) to completely sacrifice all the other options the off-hand can offer. A shield for example. In PF2 you can't really do what some heavy damage builds in PF1 do: neglect their AC because they're going to be hit anyway. In PF2 you want to squeeze out every point of AC you can so even though you'll be hit by heavy hitters, they won't crit you as often.
No, I'm thinking of pounds. If they're the same on both sides of the big pond, someone should make an edit on wikipedia then. I'm looking at a table with different values as I'm typing this. They're almost a 1/10th of a milligram off.
I agree, PF1 paladins are very very strong. But that's something that could've been fixed by toning things down. Turning every feature into a feat is a giant step beyond just toning things down.
Yeah, PF2 Channel Life does more than the PF1 feature, but that "more" doesn't really sit well with me from an internal PF2 point of view: unless you want to go with the Mercy feats, it blows a basic class feature completely out of the water, at the same cost in Spell Points.
It doesn't even begin to justify how weak the rest of the Paladin's defensive kit is though. The 1e Paladin is a Teflon-coated Hammer of Justice that flat ignores a host of debilitating conditions through sheer faith and resolve while Evil melts before them. The 2e Paladin...isn't those things.
And if you want to try to slightly approach that PF1 golden standard, you can pretty much not do anything else. Having said that, the Paladin doesn't really have a lot of interesting pure combat related feats to begin with.
Just be sure not to use the aforementioned abilities like Flurry of Blows and Double Slice.
Weakness seems a bit weird though. Hit a Balor with 1 cold damage and it takes 21? I'd like it better if Weakness couldn't add more damage than the attack deals in the first place.
1) I agree. Bows and crossbow types weapons as a whole don't make much sense to me at this time.2) This is not as bad as you make it out to be. There are quite a few class feats that combine the damage of multiple strikes into a single number before resistances are applied. Flurry of Blows and Double Slice at the top of my head.
3) Dex to damage seems to remain a pipe dream for most, but at least the Rogue gets it with even less restrictions than PF1's Unchained Rogue.
There's that, but what if you want to play the "classic" PF1 paladin, for example because you're trying to transfer a character (or a whole campaign world that has been up and running for almost 15 years, having hundreds of NPCs and dozens of PCs) between systems? You end up with lame ducks. I mentioned 5 example feats at level 4 or lower. You can't even get all of those until level EIGHT (unless you play a human), and if you do get them, you get nothing else.
Paladin:- Divine Grace: a feat that's a lot worse than the class feature in PF1
- Aura of Courage: a feat that's a bit worse for yourself but a bit useful for allies compared to the class feature in PF1
- Channel Life: a feat instead of the PF1 class feature.
- Divine Health: a feat that gives a marginal bonus in PF2, compared to the immunity granting class feature in PF1.
- Mercy: a feat with some follow-up feats in PF2 compared to a class feature in PF1.
That's 5 examples in the first 4 feat levels of the PF2 paladin.
Note: I'm not saying the PF2 abilities are without merit in the context of the PF2 game. The game will probably run fine. I just can't help feeling underwhelmed by the comparison to the PF1 games I'm involved in, that have years of life in them yet.
Let's just complicate matters a bit more and consider that UK pounds and US pounds aren't even the same.
Using Bulk instead of those was a good idea, even different imperial unit users couldn't agree upon their units of the same name.
Conversely, I play with a GM who banned all prepared caster classes from his new game because he was fed up with a few players in his previous game taking upward of 30 minutes to pick their spells at the start of a new day.
Yes, it's nice that Summon Monster X is now one spell, but the sorcerer STILL has to learn it multiple times UNLESS he wants to devote one of his 2 slots of spontaneous heightening to it. This applies to all the spells he learns such that, eventually, you will be forced to learn certain spells repeatedly if you want to be able to cast more than 3 spells at different levels in one day.
This is especially unattractive when you consider how few spells the sorcerer learns per spell level: 4, 1 of which is dictated by the bloodline.
I'd like it if they'd do with weapon proficiencies what they're doing with skills. Lines of "weapon group feats" that have levels of proficiency as their prerequisite. That way it could actually mean something if you're an "Expert" or a "Master" with a weapon, instead of just a measly bonus that can in no way compete with just having a magic weapon. Also, it could differentiate weapons more substantially. Classes could still have specific closed-off feats to maintain class identity.
My experience with character creation:
Create a character without spells or Spell Point fuelled powers? No problems there at all. Those classes even have fairly comprehensive side bars explaining the traits that are prevalent in the class's feats. Like the Fighter's "Open, Press, Stance".
Create a character with spells and Spell Point fuelled powers? Spend an ungodly amount of time flicking all over the rulebook to find the spells and powers and the rules implications of the traits you run into.
Presentation and organisation needs work in my opinion.
Personally, I also believe that martial characters need a way to scale damage that comes much closer to the way spell-casters do (which right now is multiple dice). I just don't like the way they've chosen to tie it to the weapon in 2E. If feels like an artifact. Just scale it base on character level (and to a lesser extent, class). Besides, is it really that "unrealistic" for a high level fighter to do more damage with a weapon? I honestly don't find that to be much of a stretch...at least not as it pertains to living creatures. Could get a little wonky with objects, but again, only if you are trying to simulate "reality."
The enormous reliance on a good magic weapon to deal relevant damage in a high level game makes me shudder at the thought of being disarmed, or some other terrible thing happening to your weapon.
I do prefer the scaling damage to arise from skill. I don't like the idea at all that my legendary hero is only a hero because he carries that one sword that's worth more than a castle.
But it isn't supposed to be a background. It's supposed to be ancestral. The story about your dwarf is nice, but why would it only work for dwarves?
Alric Rahl wrote:
I think you all forget that resonance goes up with level the bag of holding thing twice per day can be done at 1st level with a 16 cha. At 4th level it can be done 2 more times per day. Resonance will honestly be a non-issue at 4th and higher. Since it only costs 1 point to invest in worn items (Armor, boots, amulets, rings etc.) that means at 4th level you can activate all those at the beginning of the day and still have 3-4 resonance points for per use activation items (potions, wands, staves, weapon abilities).
Why then introduce a system at all if it eventually flattens into a non-issue?
I'm not aware of specific PFS rules for dealing with flying mounts. Last I checked, roc was an allowed companion type, so to the best of my knowledge the rules default to regular Pathfinder rules.
A roc is medium sized at that level. A small creature like a gnome should be able to use it as a mount. A riding saddle for an exotic mount is all you need to fly without any issues. Ride checks to avoid falling off can be difficult at low levels though.
You can't use a natural attack with a limb you also use for another attack, but that's not an issue here. Improved unarmed strike lets you use any body part to strike with.
If you use (for example) kicks to do your iterative attacks (one at full AB and one at -5) you can still do the claw/claw/bite (all at -5) in the same full attack. So, 5 attacks, more if you have two weapon fighting feats.
Even a simple smokestick blocks some of the nastiest uses of Wish, like teleporting someone into the sun, because it blocks targeting (unless the caster has Echolocation, Firesight, or some such ability).
A bit off-topic, but you don't need line of sight or even line of effect to teleport someone with a wish. You can wish people into the sun from the comfort of your home.
None of the reasoning actually matters. No need to overthink it. The whole thing is an abstraction anyway so why bother with minutiae not mentioned in the rules? Want to get on top of a 15' wall? Climb 15'. Want to jump over a 15' pit? Jump 15'. Complicating it beyond that leads to nothing constructive.