Actually I see now where he's getting the idea. They added text to the Somatic Component description saying that you make a touch as part of the somatic component.
However, just like using Sudden Charge, casting a spell is an Activity, not really a bunch of discrete actions. You do an Activity as a single contiguous block and can't break it apart. For example, you can't initiate sudden charge then break it apart to get more actions than you would normally have on a turn.
Also, Quickened Casting lets you remove the somatic component from a spell entirely, yet there is no text about touch attacks failing to work in this event. The attack still happens even in the total absence of a somatic component, so it is just part of finishing the spell.
The point was raised in the other thread that under current rules casters, or at least spontaneous casters, have to actually learn heightened spells as entirely separate spells. Which does change the metric for comparison quite a bit.
Condensing my response:
If some casters have to learn heightened versions as entirely separate spells, then all casters should have to do so, and heightened spells SHOULD actually be fully as powerful as and completely on par with higher level spells.
If they let everyone heighten freely, prepared and spontaneous alike, then heightened spells are more versatile for less investment and shouldn't be as powerful as higher level spells.
While I'd prefer there to be some incentive to use newer, flashier, more expensive higher level spells as your character levels up... You do make a good point about spontaneous casters having to relearn a spell multiple times at higher levels. I had blocked that bit of stupidity from my mind.
If they retain relearning spells over and over, then yes, they are competing directly with other spells of that level. As such they should be made just as strong as other spells of that level. And all spellcasters, spontaneous and prepared alike, should have to play by the same rules and relearn the spell multiple times at higher levels.
If they get rid of that stupid mechanic, and let everyone heighten the spells they know without restriction, then heightened spells should remain less powerful than actual spells of that level. Because then they are more versatile while also being less expensive and easier to learn than higher level spells.
Only manmade stuff counts as a structure. So a pit trap is a structure and would not be concealed, but a natural ravine or sinkhole is terrain and would be.
It's roughly 3 times the area of wall of stone, but takes 10 minutes to cast instead of 1 round, has a duration of only one day instead of permanent, and can be disbelieved. So I feel using it to cover up / negate difficult terrain, or even make a "solid" walkway over ravines for those who believe the illusion, are acceptable uses. The illusory ground won't feel very solid as the spell states it does if people just fall through, right? The illusionist herself won't be able to use her own bridge though, because she will automatically disbelieve her own illusions, unless she can somehow induce herself to forget casting the illusion and what the area looked like previously.
By the same token it could be used to make difficult terrain.
Note that while it will conceal damaging terrain, it says nothing about negating such features. So someone taking heat damage from proximity to lava while in an illusory tundra should get a large bonus to their save to disbelieve the illusion.
Your non weapon user is ALSO advancing in damage as they level up. PF2 already allows wizards to cast stronger cantrips and alchemists to make stronger bombs and druids to assume stronger forms. If the mindblade or Starfinder solarian were ported over, their damage automatically scales too. So why shouldn't the fighter also get to automatically scale?
And just as fighters would still be able to get cool magic weapons that make them better via property runes and intrinsic traits and craft quality, there should be corresponding Implements or Tools or Bracers or whatever to provide similar benefits to wizards and alchemists and druids and so on.
The curse is in reference to the (frankly mind boggling) situation in Adventure 6 in the playtest. If you dare try ask around town about a big gala that everyone for miles should have heard about, you have to pass a crazy high DC check or get cursed. It should be basically common knowledge, DC 10, but they scaled it to the party's level. Adventure 6 is actually the source of a lot of fears about PF2 just setting all DCs based on party level instead of what would actually make sense in the world.
Higher level spells have more opportunity cost, and cost more money to acquire. There is also a "rule of cool" and "variety" aspect where you want to incentivize people to actually use the cool new higher level abilities they just got access to, instead of continuing to spam Old Reliable through their whole career. So lower level spells in a higher level slot should not be quite as effective as a spell native to a higher level.
However, they don't have to fall behind quite as much as they currently do. There's an in between space where the heightening effects on spells can be better than currently presented, but still not as good as actual higher level spells.
Remember, my proposed restoration of universal AoO above isn't the PF1 version, save for the Fighter and those few monsters which should behave like the Fighter. In the version I proposed, there's still a lot more mobility than PF1. People can still circle their enemies, which is cool and dramatic - think of all the times you've seen it in movies - and can more readily tweak flanking. You'd just get AoO for disengaging, which absolutely should happen.
Reach weapons can be restored to their projected ring but not threatening adjacent to the wielder, to make those still worthwhile. Reach weapons always deal less damage than non reach equivalents anyway.
Exactly. Magic items that do things, or that invest the person wielding with the ability to do things, are interesting and feel magical. "Doing things" can be a new passive ability, it can be an actual activated ability, it can be all kinds of stuff.
Items that simply raise a numeric trait are not interesting in the g$+ d+%ned least and should be expunged from the game.
So, I just noticed in the rules for walls the following line:
Each square of the wall’s length must be adjacent with the square or squares next to it, so walls cannot be shaped to make a diagonal line.
So, diagonal spaces are apparently not considered adjacent.
Is this intended or was this some rogue editor? Because it means that, say, a fighter maneuver or spell or whatever that hits "adjacent targets" cannot hit two targets that are right next to each other but just happen to be diagonal to each other on the arbitrary grid map, rather than orthogonally north south east west to each other. It means that if you have the ability to protect an adjacent ally, they're out of luck if they're diagonal to you.
This makes no sense. The grid is entirely arbitrary. It could just as easily be oriented in an X instead of + and distances would be the same. What's up here?
Speaking of, why ARE diagonal walls forbidden? It just causes all kinds of weird logical problems to forbid them, beyond even the problems raised above where it prevents spells from working the way they clearly are supposed to work. The alignment of the battle grid is purely arbitrary, it is only generally considered north south east west for convenience. It could just as easily be northeast southeast southwest northwest.
The path of a wall can’t cover the same space more than once, but it can double back so one section is adjacent to another section of the wall.
I would assume you can effectively "shorten" such a wall by doubling its thickness.
Also, while it calls out stairs, those would definitely be titan stairs with a 5 foot rise. Because
Each square of the wall’s length must be adjacent with the square or squares next to it, so walls cannot be shaped to make a diagonal line.
This means it can't make a sloped ramp or set of proper stairs. Also this version of wall of stone doesn't call out being able to buttress it like some previous versions, so not even the called out bridge would work unless it was short; you can't support it and the prohibition on diagonals forbids arching it, so if it is too long it would just collapse.
The inability to block or even disincentive enemies from just strolling past the front line to get at the squishies in the back has been really frustrating to my group. I don't want PF1's AoO to come back in full, but can we have something in between? Here's a few suggestions.
There is a default AoO that procs from anyone when you move AWAY from their reach. This does NOT trigger when you "would leave a square an opponent threatens" like PF1, it ONLY triggers when you "would leave an opponent's threatened reach." So, you can still weave and circle around enemies, better maneuver into and out of flanking, and so on, so long as you remain adjacent to your enemy.
This gives a lot more dynamic mobility than PF1 while still preserving that disengaging should be painful.
The Fighter actually DOES get the old style, and you provoke from a Fighter if you leave any square they threaten. Being the best at AoO should definitely be a Fighter feature, it's just that the ability to AoO at all shouldn't be locked into the Fighter.
Likewise, the Fighter should get other abilities in this vein. For example, "Your threatened reach is 5 ft farther than your actual reach. When someone provokes an opportunity attack in the area you threaten, you can Step as a free action as part of taking the opportunity attack."
Ranged weapons and attack spells... Have it, "If you make a ranged attack while threatened or cast a spell with an attack roll while threatened, and this attack is against one of the opponents threatening you, you do not provoke an opportunity attack. If you make a ranged or spell attack against a target farther away while threatened, you do provoke an opportunity attack."
Someone with a gun / crossbow / javelin / flaming hand / whatever who is up in your grille and focusing on you is just as dangerous as someone with a sword. If they're focusing on you, them attacking doesn't open themselves up to you. But trying to shoot someone at a distance does require some focus and leaving yourself open.
Since this introduces a bit more element of risk to ranged attacks again, ranged can be made a little better again in compensation. For example, propulsive weapons can add your full Strength modifier instead of only half, crossbows can be rated with an effective Strength modifier, etc.
Healing abilities should have specific text that they do not provoke, despite having the manipulate trait. This could even be a universal feature of the Healing keyword.
Nope, even though it should.
Roll double the usual number of damage dice for your weapon or unarmed attack.
The "usual" number of damage dice is the base die of the weapon, and any dice for weapon potency. It is not defined anywhere to include bonus dice like sneak attack or flaming.
Add double your ability modifier to damage, if one applies.
Sneak attack is not part of your ability modifier.
Add double any circumstance and conditional bonuses and penalties to damage.
Sneak attack is not a circumstance or conditional bonus or penalty.
Don't double extra damage that occurs only on a critical hit, such as the damage from the deadly weapon trait.
Sneak attack is not a bonus you get only on a crit, but even if it was, this clause would also prevent it from being doubled.
Adjacency only ever comes up when the player forces it. Otherwise enemies are never going to be adjacent, they'll be flanking. The only time adjacency happens without player forcing is if there's such an overwhelming number of foes that there's more than 2 per PC, or when most of the party is down so you effectively have more than 2 per PC left standing.
As I see it, the only particular requirements to be able to use a holy symbol are that you pay for the symbol, and that you be able to take the requisite Material Component action. This latter usually requires holding / presenting a symbol in one hand. So, I at least would say you can do it, provided that you mark the cost of the symbol off your money, and keep the symbol hand free (not holding another item).
If you want to use it while holding a 2H weapon or whatever, you would need to take the relevant feat.
I would never entertain a player who demanded various miscellaneous magic items to achieve some build combo. If they want that kind of thing, they can take the relevant feats to make magic items themself or beg some other PC to do so. (And even then I'd still vet the combo to make sure it's not broken.)
HOWEVER. The various "plus" items are baked into the game's math, and you need a certain amount of them to be competent. This isn't too terrible in PF1, while I wish the "required items" were "zero" I could deal with it being a few. Max bonus in all possible plus items just made you stupid good, so they weren't necessary and I generally didn't hand them out except for rare "story arc boss" rewards.
But this problem has gotten way worse in PF2. The plus items are way more hard coded than before. You need the maximum pluses you can get as early as the game will let you get them to remain at basic competence, because they balanced all the game's math around hardcore maxed optimization. If you don't stay on the item train, your chance of success plunges into the abyss.
That is the biggest problem that needs to be addressed.
I am definitely a fan of meaningful feats and scaling feats.
One thing they could potentially do is have a higher power tier of Uber feats over (hopefully still meaningful) class feats. These would be the big ticket items like a scaling animal companion. The cost could be handled a couple ways:
* The easiest option is that you get one and only one, as a bonus for being a 1st level character.
* Alternately, you have to pay a general feat to get them (and in turn, general feats happen at 1st level and then X levels thereafter). You can use a general feat to get one Uber feat from your class, or pick up multiclassing or whatever if you want to do that instead.
(The boring general feats currently in the playtest would be alternately moved to skill feats, or heavily shored up and improved.)
* Alternately, if skill feats remain their own progression separate from skill increases (and I do want them to be combined), pay both your class feat and skill feat at a given level to get the Uber feat.
They are only taking feedback until the playtest ends with the start of the new year.
Jason said a few pages ago they were going to re-examine the system and provide more codification in the final rules, which mostly solves the issue for me. If the word Uncommon is followed by a tag or line item that provides the reason for that rules element being uncommon, and they are consistent in their tagging, and they present that list of tags with some discussion near the start of the book when presenting rarity, then that makes it fairly easy for both sides to judge what they want and don't want in their game. That breakdown and discussion in the published text of the book is all I really wanted.
For example: I never play in Golarion and always use my own settings. I usually do some sort of near east or middle eastern or fusion setting, because that's where my player group's interests tend to lie more than standard medieval European fantasy. If there is a tag for Uncommon (Regional: Eastern/Tian), then I can confidently say all items with that tag are Common in my setting.
Likewise: suppose they do make the unfortunate decision to make character options that are a little too powerful for their level, with the justification that they can just make it uncommon. While that is not a design philosophy I agree with, as long as they're consistent and have a tag like Uncommon (Power Level), I have more of a basis for judging those options. I can, for instance, say that in my game options with that tag need to be run by me, but if allowed will probably have their spell level increased by +1 or item level increased by +2.
Getting that extra codification makes the GM's job easier, compared to the undefined Uncommon of the Playtest rulebook. It makes it a lot easier to decide on a broad level what things will be allowed or disallowed or moved into the "needs approval" category at the start of a campaign. That in turn makes character creation and planning easier for the players, since they'll know up front, "The GM says tags A B and C are allowed for me to build around while tags X Y and Z are off limits or rare."
Well lower speeds certainly make armor more punitive than before. It also makes difficult terrain way more punitive.
Really, just have speed 30 base. Moving twice counts as jogging - something you can readily do for the duration of most battles but most can't keep up forever. Moving three times counts as running and should probably make you flat footed, and you definitely can't keep it up forever.
Proficiency boosting is something that could work, but would need to be implemented across the board in all classes. Which would be fine, honestly. I do want classes to pick weapon groups instead of simply "a few specific weapons" or "all martial weapons."
I still think access to two spell lists would be a cool and thematic way of setting them apart, while smoothing out the rough aspects of the spell lists frankly not being balanced against each other. With arcane as an anchor, it doesn't matter that divine is terrible, you can still make it more useful and get a lot of flavor out of it.
The language isn't a power option by any means. It's just pure flavor, like parseltongue in HP, or any number of characters in fiction who can understand demonic once infected by demonic influence, etc. It's not necessary but it is fun.
I'm not sure why you're arguing with me about innate / passive abilities when your stance seems to match mine, that the powers should come with passives rather than standing alone.
I'm pretty sure you're deliberately and intentionally misinterpreting what I suggested re the spell slots, but no, you wouldn't lose the ability to cast bless. You would get more spell slots per spell level than a wizard, but you'd only have a few spell levels - but everything would be heightened to whatever slot you cast it in. So yeah, go ahead and cast bless as a level 4 spell, it will heighten to 4 without having to learn it again. This was, as admitted, the biggest change but it's not necessary, I think it's cool and a good way to give them their own casting style than other casters but it's not mandatory by any means.
Who cares if you're dealing 5d10 at will at 20th level when the fighter is doing 6d12 at will at 20th level?
To be fair, armor check penalty and armor speed penalty are also too severe. I'm inclined to believe none of the writers have ever even tried actually wearing heavy armor. Sure, it's a bit restrictive, but not to the crazy extents we see in the table, especially for someone trained in wearing it.
Heavy armor should only reduce speed by 5, not 10, while medium armor shouldn't reduce speed at all. ACP should top out at -2 for medium armor and -3 for heavy armor at worst. And armor should get positive traits too, like we see on weapons.
It's just a legacy holdover that wasn't well thought out in the first place when it was first instituted decades ago, and that the writers of PF2 just imported directly without even thinking about it.
Personally, I think it makes more sense for the druid to have a choice of taboos. Give em a bit more of a shamanic feel. They do have a semi-religious connection to nature and The World, but this will still feel different than just a variety of cleric. A taboo against metal armor would still be a viable taboo (but should probably be extended to other non-weapon worn metal gear to be consistent), but there should be other taboos to choose from too.
It would help if the Barbarian had something else going on for it, beyond just rage. I mean, a bard still has spellcasting when not using their performances. Even the ranger, as wretched as it is in PF2 atm, can alternate between their own hunted attacks and using either an animal or *snort laughs* the awesome-in-theory terrible-in-execution snares. If the barbarian gets a second schtick, a lesser but still important thing it can do, then it gets more depth and doesn't have to rely entirely on rage at all times in all combats.
I recommend maybe looking to the 4E Warden for some ideas here.
Also this goes for all classes, every class should have a couple things it's good at and can lean on. The alchemist in its 1.6 iteration should actually be getting at least two or three fields of study, since they're narrower and less good than the broader paths of something like the druid, broken into many more smaller categories. The monk should be getting something for free to help it distinguish beyond just dance up and hit, maybe a choice between getting ki for free or getting extra fighting styles for free. The fighter could get a choice between enhancing either proactive tactical abilities or reactive being great at AoO/tanking in addition to just moving up and using different moves to hit. Etc.
A divine sorcerer with channel is still just a worse cleric due to worse spellcasting, less armor, less hit points, and bloodline powers never rising above the mid tier domains at their best.
Also did you even play AD&D 2E? Its clerics actually had some awesome spellcasting. The old paradigm of spells improving with caster level was still in effect. And especially after Tome of Magic and the Forgotten Realms and to a lesser extent Planescape books, they had a great selection of stuff.
The PF2 divine list needs a serious overhaul, as do the majority of domain powers, but this can be done without unduly steamrolling over the other spell lists.
Melee attacks against a grabbing / restraining creature's appendage, and grabbers / restrainers vs. Resilient Sphere and Wall of Force
Readying a long activity is functionally the same as delaying your turn, which is also something the game lets you do. The difference is that delaying goes after the opponent and lets you choose what you want to do at that moment, while readying goes before the opponent but you have to commit to an activity and trigger in advance, requiring some foresight and planning. I don't see a problem with it.
I believe backgrounds could be a lot more interesting, and a lot less restrictive, if you assembled them from several components. Each of these components would have a small impact on your character, and would add up to form an actual complete background.
WHERE did you come from? What is the culture or land from which you hail? This is an important part of any actual person's upbringing but is absent from the current system.
This sets your second starting language other than Common, rather than this being set by your Ancestry. It gives one trained skill that the player chooses from a small list associated to the chosen region.
WHAT did you do in your life before being an adventurer? What was your "job"?
Pick a profession like the Playtest backgrounds. Here, they come with an actual skill, as well as a Lore appropriate to the profession. It also comes with a free item or items, such as a skill kit (eg crafting tools) or something else of comparable value.
WHO were you most associated with? Are you still affiliated with them? How did or does this impact you?
Pick a guild, faction, town guard or whatever. A variety of options would be presented here. Each one would be associated to a mainly role-playing benefit rather than a strictly mechanical benefit. 5E has a lot of good examples in its backgrounds, like Hospitality with your peers.
You would also get a second Lore, appropriate to this group; eg, affiliation with the government of Cheliax could give Cheliax Lore.
HOW did the cumulative effect of these experiences and associations shape you? What impact did they have on your approach to how you go about your calling?
Pick one of the skills or Lores granted by your background choices to this point. That skill or Lore is raised to Expert and you get a skill feat in it.
WHEN did you train for adventure and set upon your new path in life? How old are you? Why are you an adventurer now, and not at some other point in your life?
Pick a floating ability boost. Flavor it how you like, because there isn't actually an age modifier. For example, intelligence can be represented as the raw gift of a young prodigy, the trained reason of an adult, or the sheer accumulation of facts over time by an elder; likewise, Constitution can be flavored as everything from youthful energy, to adult vigor, to an elder's wiry toughness.
Your class now gives a floating ability boost in addition to its key ability, to make up for backgrounds now only granting one boost.
WHY did you turn to the adventurer's path, or at least why did you refocus to where you are now headed? Did something happen to you and yours? What was your motivation? How has this affected you or how did it influence your final training for becoming an adventurer?
Pick a Campaign Trait. If these are not in use, pick a more general Trait from a list that would be presented in this section. Traits in PF2 should be geared toward abilities and passives rather than numerical modifiers. They should be about on the level of an ancestry feat, so can be things like "get a cantrip" or "get a few gear proficiencies" or the like.
If they don't want to go to the effort of coming up with general Traits, then in the absence of a Campaign Trait you would literally just pick another Ancestry Feat.
They said 1.6 would be the last big update of the playtest, not the last update period. So I doubt they'll be rewriting any more classes from the ground up, but there's still room for some clarifications and minor fixes, like re mutagens at the very least giving alchemists a feat to access the benefits of another field of study.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
I would still request that each uncommon option have a subheading listing why it is uncommon. It will make a huge difference to many people if they can see whether something is listed as uncommon because it circumvents obstacles, vs if it involves a lot of bookkeeping, vs if it is identified as a potential source of personal friction, vs if there are no actual perceived issues but you just wanted to make access a reward for going with certain build options.
The problem for me is that while any individual category here is a perfectly fine reason for a GM to be uncomfortable with options in that category, very few GMs and groups are likely to be uncomfortable with the entire list. Yet they are all lumped together without differentiation. I have experience and can suss out the reasoning behind (most of) the uncommon assignments, but will that be true of everyone?
It also, again, feeds those GMs who would just blanket ban everything without actually wanting to check a bunch of stuff individually.
If they keep this system, it really really really really needs to be explained, in the book, every time, why an individual option is uncommon. There needs to be an actual line entry in the spell or item or feat description that states outright the category it falls into.
The problem is that Uncommon is trying to do too much at once, without any reasons given case by case for why something is uncommon.
Is it uncommon because it touches a subsystem or ethical quandary that is a touchy issue or ignored at some tables, like alignment or mental domination?
Is it uncommon because it circumvents obstacles and puzzles in adventures, like teleport?
Is it uncommon because it is too powerful for its level, like... I don't know, no spell in PF2 is powerful other than Heal, and if this was the issue shouldn't they just bump it up a spell level?
Is it uncommon because it's fiddly and adds tracking and remembering stuff to the table, like contingency?
Is it uncommon because who the heck knows what the designers were thinking, like detect scrying?
Just slapping uncommon on everything means it is trying to do all of these things with no explanation of why. And many of these things are areas where many groups have no issues and would be just fine with these spells at the table. But with everything being lumped into one overstretched mechanic without explicit differentiation, everything has to be sorted on a case by case basis and becomes a giant headache at the table.
This hurts players just trying to make a character. It is a burden on GMs who are put back in the position of having to vet everything case by case and a lot of GMs will blanket ban uncommon rather than take on that extra workload even if a lot of the stuff schlumped under uncommon is stuff they'd likely actually be just fine with, which again circles back around to hurting players.
This is why I keep saying uncommon is a bad thing. It's trying to do too much for too many different reasons. I'd much rather just extend the robust tagging system and have advice and discussion in the book regarding certain of those tags.