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My group can't get together this weekend to finish the last part of adventure 7, it will be next weekend. So I need to know, how late is Paizo accepting feedback? Is Monday the 31st the last day, or is it just "sometime in January"?


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So, I just noticed in the rules for walls the following line:

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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?


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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.


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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.


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The Sorcerer desperately needs to be reconcepted, because the other casting classes are eating its lunch. It needs a core identity of its own, and its abilities need to be powered up to compare against the other classes. As much as many of us would like to see it folded with the Kineticist or Magus it's pretty obvious Paizo won't even consider that. So I've summed up some changes I think would help the Sorcerer stand out and find its way, in a way I think they might at least consider. I feel this would make it solid enough to remain competitive even if they do what's right and give all the prepared casters a version of Arcanist casting, to finally put the anti-fun headache of pure Vancian in the grave where it belongs.

Basic Traits and Proficiencies
A moderate change: the Sorcerer should be proficient in light armor and should have 8 HP per level, the same as the Bard. The Sorcerer doesn't cloister themselves away in study and instead goes about the world using their innate power, so shouldn't be as squishy as the Wizard.

Spell List
A big change: the spell list granted by the bloodline should be in addition to the Arcane list. All Sorcerers are rooted in Arcane, but gain the flexibility to mix and match their spell repertoire between Arcane and another list as determined by their heritage.

Of the current bloodlines, I would assign Divine to Celestial and Diabolic; Occult to Aberrant and Demonic; and Primal to Draconic and Fey. Imperial would get the special trait of only being Arcane, but learning 1 extra spell per level.

Skills
A minor side effect of the above: the bonus skills shift slightly according to each bloodline's new spell list.

Expanded Bloodline Thematics
A minor change: the Sorcerer should be granted the language associated with their bloodline as a bonus language.

They could also get a small bonus to all checks (including AC since that's weirdly defined as a check in PF2) against creatures sharing their heritage. Alternately to the more universal bonus, just make it being able to roll twice on Recall Knowledge checks with relation to creatures of the relevant type.

I consider these minor benefit that shouldn't cost a feat, since it's the sort of thing that usually only comes up once a level most of the time, if that. However, it is very flavorful, and evokes that specialness of inborn traits in fantasy like Parseltongue.

Imperial would need a different minor benefit because obviously "humanoid" is too broad and powerful compared to the other options. An extra skill / skill feat would probably be appropriate, representing humanoid flexibility and specifically that of the ancient human / Azlanti mage lords implied to be the root of the bloodline.

Bloodline Passives
A moderate change: when you feat into a new bloodline power, it should also come with an ability that you always have and don't have to spend spell points on like the power itself does. This helps represent more of that heritage coming through as you magically and spiritually evolve closer to and resonate with your heritage. It also helps make up for sorcerer powers not really being the best, something I don't see changing, as much I'd hope otherwise.

Weaker or more situational powers can be balanced by getting a stronger passive that is useful more of the time.

Spellcasting
The biggest change: the Sorcerer only accumulates new spell slots up to third tier. After this point, at 7th level and every 2 levels thereafter, when the Sorcerer gains a new spell tier, they shift all their spell slots up a tier. So a 7th level Sorcerer has only 2nd tier, 3rd tier, and 4th tier spell slots. They have a good number of spell slots, but not the vast quantity belonging to a prepared caster.

As usual for every spellcaster, a spell slot of any given tier can be used to cast a lower tier spell.

All spells the Sorcerer casts are heightened to the spell slot from which they are cast.

Cantrips
Continuing the biggest change: the Sorcerer only gains or elevates spell slots at odd levels. At even levels, the Sorcerer gains an additional cantrip and 1 spell point.

The Sorcerer can spend 1 spell point when casting a cantrip to heighten it to 2 spell tiers higher than they could currently cast, because cantrips all seem to heighten at every other tier instead of every tier. So, our 7th level Sorcerer from before (4th tier spells) can spend 1 spell point to cast a cantrip at 6th tier.

As a consequence, because the Sorcerer can access any spell list, all cantrips on all spell lists are published with heightening options up to 12th tier.

This Sorcerer's vast number of cantrips and huge capacity for spell point powers, and ability to over-heighten their cantrips, help make up for their lower number of spell slots. This also gives them a vastly different feel than every other spellcasting class, setting them apart as their own playstyle. :)


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I didn't get an answer to this before the other thread was locked. Are they really going to end the playtest and stop taking feedback after December? The schedule is so rushed. Most groups won't be finished with all seven adventures by then unless they start skipping adventures. My group can only meet every two weeks, and while we do go for like 6-8 hours at a time it's still taking two sessions to do each adventure, so only 1 adventure a month.

Should I just wrap up my Doomsday campaign with the new year because there's no point to proceeding?


So, as a project I decided to go over all of the domains and domain powers! We all know that while there are a few good powers in the playtest book, most of them are… not that great, whether due to being incredibly situational, underpowered, or both. So I wanted to assess all of the powers one by one, and to try giving actual constructive feedback for tweaking or sometimes outright rewriting the various powers that need help.

A few notes on this:

First, I am generally going to try to keep the spirit and idea of the original power the authors chose to run with, even if I’m not especially happy with it, rather than outright replace it with a different idea. There is plenty of opportunity for expanding each domain with additional power ideas in later books. Here, I’m trying to respect the ideas presented, just reshaping them to make them more useful and to form a better baseline and foundation for future work. I’ll only completely replace the base idea if it seems unworkably limiting.

Second, not all the powers will receive major changes. I do think some of them are fine. Others just need tweaks or heightening options. I’m definitely keeping an eye on the trait tags though and fixing them in multiple places, because these are often inconsistent or sometimes outright wrong: Skin of Thorns, for instance, is printed as an Enchantment and Mental effect! Some non-damaging powers were printed with the Attack tag even though similar powers and spells do not have it, and so forth.

Third, a lot of the second tier domain powers are printed with a cost of 3 spell points / focus points. Not a single one of them is actually good enough to be worth 3 points. Other second tier powers are printed with a cost of 1 point. Part of what I do here is just set all second tier powers to cost 2 points for consistency and for ease of learning and use, and try to upgrade the 1 point powers to be worth 2. Note that I am assuming that we will end up with a decent number of focus points in the end product equivalent to the amount of spell points we get now; if not, and it’s actually a very small amount, many powers may have to be buffed even more than what I did here!

Fourth, even though I still very much think saves and other success / failure metrics should be listed in the final book as CS/S/F/CF, I’m going with the S/CS/F/CF standard from the playtest document as published for consistency and ease of comparison.

Fifth, as I have said elsewhere, I believe buffs / debuffs should typically last 10 minutes on a single target or 1 minute when cast on multiple targets… not virtually always just 1 minute as you see everywhere in the playtest magic chapter. This is reflected in my suggestions.

Hopefully this is helpful, especially if any devs are watching. :)

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Ambition (Domain)
You strive to keep up with and outpace the competition.

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BLIND AMBITION / POWER 1

(Emotion, Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range: 30 feet; Targets one creature
Duration: 10 minutes
You strengthen a target’s ambition, increase its resentment of allies, and make it easier to turn. The effects depend on its Will save.
Success: Attempts to Coerce, Request, or use mental effects to convince the target to advance its own ambitions take half the usual circumstance penalties (or gain bonuses on the target’s save) for being against the target’s convictions or nature.
Critical Success: The target takes no effect.
Failure: Attempts to Coerce, Request, or use mental effects to convince the target to advance its own ambitions ignore any circumstance penalties (or bonuses on the target’s save) for being against the target’s convictions or nature, and they seem reasonable for effects like suggestion.
Critical Failure: The target is overcome with ambition, taking whatever actions would advance its own agenda over that of its allies, even without attempts to convince the target.

While a bit narrow, this is still a useful power. It covers a rather different niche than a typical charm or suggestion, and can be quite useful against selfish or evil targets – i.e., the usual targets a typical band of heroes would be facing. It also isn’t limited to just humanoids. No changes.

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COMPETITIVE EDGE / POWER 2

(Emotion, Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Duration: 1 minute
Your competitiveness drives you to better yourself against superior opposition. You gain a +1 conditional bonus to checks against a DC more than 11 greater than your total bonus before competitive edge; this doesn’t affect your DCs. For instance, if you attempt a check at a +10 against a DC of 22 or higher, you gain the bonus, but if the DC is 21 or lower, you don’t.

Too situational.

COMPETITIVE EDGE / POWER 2
(Emotion, Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic, Verbal (and see below)
Duration: 10 minutes until expended (and see below)
Your competitiveness drives you to better yourself against superior opposition. If you attempt a check for which you would have to roll an 11 or greater on the die to succeed while this power is active – i.e., the DC is greater than your total modifier by 11 or more – your Competitive Edge gives you a +2 conditional bonus on the check. This cannot be used to raise a spell DC. This bonus applies a number of times up to your spellcasting ability modifier during the duration, and then the power is expended.
You can instead cast Competitive Edge with a single Verbal free action as you attempt an applicable check to apply the bonus to that check, without having to cast it in advance. However, the power applies only to a single check when used in this way.
Heighten (+1): You can use Competitive Edge one additional time before the power is expended. Or, if you cast it as a free action for a single use, the margin of difficulty required for the power to apply is reduced by 1; for example, at Heighten 2, the DC only has to be greater than your total modifier by 9.

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Air (Domain)
You can control winds and the weather.

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PUSHING GUST / POWER 1

(Air, Conjuration)
Casting: Somatic Casting
Range: 500 feet; Targets one creature your size or smaller
Giving the air a push, you assault the target with a powerful gust of wind; it must attempt a Fortitude save.
Failure: The target is pushed up to 5 feet away from you.
Critical Failure: Per failure and the target is also knocked prone.

Pretty good, only one action, and it’s much longer range than the Water power and can trip so it’s okay if the push is only away from you. But I prefer the design philosophy where most things have at least some effect on a successful save, especially since, unlike an Athletics check, this costs a daily resource. Also, why would this be creatures only? Finally, I think magic effects should generally be independent of the caster’s size.

PUSHING GUST / POWER 1
(Air, Conjuration)
Casting: Somatic
Range: 500 feet; Targets one creature or object of Medium size or smaller
Giving the air a push, you assault the target with a powerful gust of wind. You may add a Verbal component to affect a target of Large size or smaller, or a Verbal and Material component to affect a target of Huge size or smaller. The target must attempt a Fortitude save.
Success: The target is pushed up to 5 feet away from you.
Failure: The target is pushed up to 10 feet away from you and can’t take reactions until their next turn.
Critical Failure: Per failure and the target is also knocked prone.

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WALK ON AIR / POWER 2

(Air, Conjuration)
Casting: Somatic Casting
You Stride, gaining the benefits of the air walk spell until the end of your turn, after which you fall normally.

Overall good, buuuuut…. Let’s have this scale and be worthy of having its cost raised to 2 to be consistent with other Power 2’s.

WALK ON AIR / POWER 2
(Air, Conjuration, Move)
Casting: Somatic
You Stride, gaining the benefits of the air walk spell until the end of your turn. If you are not on solid ground at the end of your turn you fall, but gain feather fall for 1 round or until you land.
Heighten (+2): Both the air walk and subsequent feather fall last 1 additional round.

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Cities (Domain)
You have powers over urban environments and denizens.

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FACE IN THE CROWD / POWER 1

(Illusion, Visual)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Duration: 1 minute
You cause yourself to blend into a crowd. While within a crowd of roughly similar creatures, you are concealed, gain a +2 conditional bonus to Deception and Stealth checks to go unnoticed among the crowd, and ignore difficult terrain caused by the crowd.

Too situational. Let’s make it something an adventurer could actually use on a daily basis without giving themselves away.

FACE IN THE CROWD / POWER 1
(Illusion, Visual)
Casting: Material, Somatic
Target: Up to 5 willing targets you touch
Duration: 10 minutes or 1 minute
You cause a target to blend into a crowd. While within a group of creatures within 1 size category of their own, your target gains a +2 conditional bonus to Deception and Stealth checks to go unnoticed among the crowd; for this purpose, a “group” is at least 2 other people. The target also always ignores difficult terrain caused by crowds or moving through the space of non-hostile creatures, even when not in a group.
You can also cast this on multiple people, who each receive the benefits. In this case, the duration is 1 minute instead of 10 minutes, and the size of the group required to conceal the beneficiaries when together is increased by 2 for each of them that are together in the same group.
Heighten (+1): Increase the duration by 10 minutes when cast on one target or 1 minute when cast on multiple targets.

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WATCHING THE WATCHERS / POWER 2

(Detection, Divination)
Casting: 1 minute (Material, Somatic, Verbal);
Requirements: You are in a city.
Duration: 1 hour
You tap into the pulse of the city and its wardens, gaining knowledge of their movements. You instantly learn the location of the nearest openly visible city guard activity within the city, outside the regular patrols and activities, and the spell ends.
If the city guard isn’t currently engaged in such an activity, the spell reports the next one that occurs during the duration and the spell ends.

As written, there are entire campaigns where this won’t come up more than once if at all. Let’s have a redo.

WATCHING THE WATCHERS / POWER 2
(Detection, Divination)
Casting: 1 minute (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Requirements: You are in an inhabited area.
Range: 1 mile
Duration: 1 hour
You tap into the pulse of the city, castle, dungeon, ship, or other such inhabited area where you are, and gain knowledge about its defenders. You instantly learn the location of the nearest watch, patrol, or other guardian, and the spell ends.
If no one is currently engaged in such activities, the spell reports the next one that occurs during the duration and the spell ends.
Heighten (+2): The spell’s reach is increased by 1 mile and its duration by 1 hour, and you learn about the next-nearest watch, patrol or other guardian as well. The spell doesn’t end until it has reported a number of such defenders or defending groups up to 1 plus the number of times the power has been heightened.

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Confidence (Domain)
You overcome your fear and project pride.

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VEIL OF CONFIDENCE / POWER 1

(Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Duration: 1 minute
You surround yourself in a veil of confidence, causing fear to slide off you as long as the veil lasts. Reduce your current frightened condition by 1, and whenever you would become frightened during the duration, reduce the amount by 1. If you critically fail a saving throw against a fear effect during the duration, veil of confidence ends immediately and you increase the frightened condition you gain from the critical failure by 1 instead of decreasing it.

It’s mediocre, but okayish, except for that last part. It's also directly inferior to the Family domain power.

VEIL OF CONFIDENCE / POWER 1
(Emotion, Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic, Verbal
Duration: 10 minutes
You surround yourself in a veil of confidence, causing fear and emotional distress to slide off you as long as the veil lasts. Reduce your current frightened condition by 1, and whenever you would become frightened during the duration, reduce the amount by 1. Any penalties you suffer from an effect with the emotion trait are reduced by 1, to a minimum of 0.
If you critically fail a saving throw against a fear or emotion effect during the duration, the Veil of Confidence ends immediately.
Heighten (+2): The Veil persists through one additional critical failure before ending on the next one after that.

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DELUSIONAL PRIDE / POWER 2

(Emotion, Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range: 30 feet; Targets one creature
Duration: varies
You supercharge the target’s confidence, causing it to rationalize failures as sour grapes. It takes a –2 conditional penalty to skill checks to retry a task it attempted and failed during the duration. On its turn, it takes a –1 conditional penalty to attack rolls if it failed its first attack, or –2 if it failed both of its first two attacks. The duration depends on its Will save, and it’s bolstered.
Success: The effect lasts for 1 round.
Critical Success: The target is unaffected.
Failure: The effect lasts for 10 minutes.
Critical Failure: The effect lasts for 24 hours.

Well this is interesting in theory but bad in practice. Let’s try again.

DELUSIONAL PRIDE / POWER 2
(Emotion, Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic, Verbal
Range: 30 feet; Targets one creature
Duration: Varies
You supercharge the target’s confidence, causing it to rationalize failures as simple bad luck or interference. When it attempts an action during the duration that fails, it is compelled to try again one more time at the next opportunity if it is reasonably able to, after which it can change tactics as desired. It takes a -2 conditional penalty to skill checks to retry a task it has attempted and failed during the duration and during the round immediately prior to this power being used upon it. On its turn, it takes a -2 conditional penalty to attack rolls after a failed attack.
The duration depends on the target’s Will save, and it is bolstered.
Success: The effect lasts for 1 round.
Critical Success: The target is unaffected.
Failure: The effect lasts for 10 minutes.
Critical Failure: The effect lasts for 24 hours.
Heighten (+2): The target is compelled to retry a repeatedly failed action one more time before being able to give up. Once a given action succeeds, the target no longer has to repeat it.

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Creation (Domain)
You have divine abilities related to crafting and art.

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FABRICATE / POWER 1

(Conjuration)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Duration: 1 minute
You create a temporary standard-quality object. It must be of vegetable matter and 1 Bulk or less. It can’t rely on intricate craftsmanship or complex moving parts, never functions as a cost or the like, and can’t be made of special materials or materials with a rarity of uncommon or higher. It is obviously temporary conjured, and its aesthetic matches your style of craftsmanship or artistry.

Very limited and doesn’t heighten. It shouldn’t be quite as good as the actual Creation spell (which should also be better and heighten better), but we can still do better than this.

FABRICATE / POWER 1
(Conjuration)
Casting: Somatic, Verbal
Duration: 10 minutes or 1 minute
You create a temporary standard-quality object. It must be of vegetable matter and no more than your spellcasting ability modifier in bulk.
It can’t rely on intricate craftsmanship or complex moving parts unless you succeed at a relevant trained Craft check against the DC for that item as part of casting. If you do succeed at such a check, it can be basically anything you want within the limits of your skill.
It never functions as a cost or the like, and can’t be made of special materials or materials with a rarity of uncommon or higher. It is obviously temporarily conjured, and its aesthetic matches your style of craftsmanship or artistry.
You can divide the object's bulk up among multiple smaller and identical objects, such as arrows. If you do so, the duration becomes 1 minute.
Material Component: If you supply minerals or special materials with the same bulk as the object you wish to fabricate, the object can be made of those materials. The raw materials are returned when the object ceases to exist, although half of them are lost if the object becomes Broken during the duration.
Heighten (+1): The object's maximum bulk increases by 4.

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ARTISTIC FLOURISH / POWER 2

(Transmutation)
Casting: 10 minutes (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Range: touch; Targets one item or work of art
Duration: 24 hours
You infuse the target with artisanal and artistic vision. Its quality increases to match your proficiency rank in Crafting, to a maximum of expert. The target is a beautiful and impressive piece for its new quality, but the effect is obviously temporary, so it can’t be sold for more than normal. This doesn’t allow you to use the target to Craft a magic item that requires the new quality or perform any other task requiring a permanent item of that quality.
Heightened (4th) If you spend 1 additional Spell Point, the maximum quality increases to master.
Heightened (8th) If you spend 2 additional Spell Points, the maximum quality increases to legendary.

This is actually useful, but becomes less so and more punitive / costly as you rise in level.

I’m going to leave the power as is but add a last line to the description and replace the heightening entries:

As a special exception to the casting time, you can cast Artistic Flourish as a free action as you cast the Fabricate power, Creation spell, or other spell or power that creates an object in order to increase the quality of that item.
Heightened (4th): You can cast Artistic Flourish to increase the quality of an expert item to master. You can spend 1 additional spell/focus point to increase the quality of a regular or poor object to master.
Heightened (8th): You can cast Artistic Flourish to increase the quality of a master item to legendary. You can spend 1 additional spell/focus point to increase the quality of an expert item to legendary, or 2 points to increase the quality of a regular or poor item to legendary.

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Darkness (Domain)
You operate in the darkness and take away the light.

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TOUCH OF SHADOWS / POWER 1

(Attack, Evocation, Shadow)
Casting: Somatic Casting
Range: touch; Targets one creature
You cloud your target’s vision in swirling shadows with a melee touch attack. The effect depends on your attack roll.
Success: The target is dazzled for 1 round.
Critical Success: The target is dazzled for 1 minute.
Failure: The target is unaffected.

Actually solid. No changes, except that it doesn’t cause damage so should lose the Attack trait, and should gain the Darkness trait.

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DARKENED EYES / POWER 2

(Darkness, Transmutation)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range: 60 feet; Targets one creature
Duration: 1 round or 1 minute
You infuse a creature’s vision with darkness depending on its Fortitude save. The target is bolstered.
Success: It loses darkvision and gains low-light vision for 1 round. If it didn’t have darkvision, it loses low-light vision instead.
Critical Success: The creature is unaffected.
Failure: As success, but the effect last for 1 minute.
Critical Failure: As failure, but the target loses darkvision and low-light vision, and if it had neither, it’s blinded for 1 minute.

Preeeeetty narrow. Let's make it a little cooler.

DARKENED EYES / POWER 2
(Darkness, Transmutation)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range: 60 feet; Targets one creature
Duration: 1 round or 1 minute
You infuse a creature’s vision with darkness depending on its Will save, stripping it of abilities and giving it a blind spot. The target is bolstered.
Success: The target loses darkvision, low-light vision, and any other special form of vision (such as x-ray vision, aura sight, or clairvoyance) for 1 round. It cannot gain nor benefit from such effects for the duration. Designate a 10 ft space; the target cannot see that space nor anything in it for 1 round, as if everything within was invisible. Anything which moves out of that space becomes visible to the target once more.
Critical Success: The creature is unaffected.
Failure: As success, but the effect lasts for 1 minute.
Critical Failure: As failure, but you can designate a number of additional "invisible" 10 ft spaces up to your spellcasting ability modifier.

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Death (Domain)
You have the power to end lives and destroy undead.

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UNDEAD’S BANE / POWER 1

(Necromancy)
Casting: Verbal free action; Trigger: You cast a heal spell to damage undead creatures.
Increase the amount the amount of damage dealt by your level (apply this increase after halving, if applicable). If you’re healing living creatures and damaging undead, only the damage increases.

Pretty narrow, and dependent on Heal.

UNDEAD’S BANE / POWER 1
(Necromancy)
Casting: Verbal free action; Trigger: You cast a spell that damaged one or more undead creatures.
Deal additional untyped damage to the undead equal to your level if you damaged more than one target, or twice your level if you damaged only one target.

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DEATH’S CALL / POWER 2

(Necromancy)
Casting: Verbal Casting: reaction; Trigger: You reduce an
enemy to 0 HP.
You gain temporary HP equal to the enemy’s level, or twice the enemy’s level if it was undead. It is bolstered against all castings of death’s call. The temporary HP last for 1 minute.

Actually solid. No material changes, except remove the second sentence that bolsters the target (how many times is a non-PC going to reach 0 HP anyway), and maybe increase the duration to 10 minutes per my general buff philosophy.

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Destruction (Domain)
You become a conduit for divine devastation.

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DESTRUCTIVE CRY / POWER 1

(Evocation)
Casting: Verbal Casting
Requirements: Your last action was a Strike that dealt damage.
You shout of glory and deal additional damage equal to your level.

You shout of glory and deal additional untyped damage equal to your casting modifier plus your level.

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DESTRUCTIVE AURA / POWER 2

(Evocation)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Area: 10-foot aura
Duration: 1 minute
Reduce resistances of creatures in the aura (including you) by 1.
Heightened (+2) Reduce resistances by an additional 1.

Meehhhhhhh....

DESTRUCTIVE AURA / POWER 2
(Evocation)
Casting: Somatic, Verbal
Area: 20-foot aura
Duration: 10 minutes
Any object or creature in the aura that would take damage takes 1 more damage. This is applied after saving throws for reduced damage but before resistances, weaknesses and Hardness.
Heightened (+1) Any instance of damage in the aura is increased by an additional 1.

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Dreams (Domain)
You have the power to enter and manipulate dreams.

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SWEET DREAMS / POWER 1

(Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: 1 minute (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Range: touch; Targets one willing sleeping creature
Duration: 8 hours
You protect the target’s dreams from malevolent influences and fill them with positive and restful images. The target gains a +4 conditional bonus to saves against magic that attacks their dreams, such as nightmare. As long as they aren’t actively using their dreams, such as with dream council or dreaming potential, they also recover 1 additional Hit Point per level for their 8-hour rest.

At least make it heal a little more. And maybe…

SWEET DREAMS / POWER 1
(Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: 1 minute (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Range: touch; Targets one willing sleeping creature
Duration: 8 hours
You protect the target’s dreams from malevolent influences and fill them with positive and restful images. The target gains a +4 conditional bonus to all saving throws while asleep. As long as they aren’t actively using their dreams, such as with dream council or dreaming potential, they also recover additional hit points for their 8-hour rest equal to your casting modifier plus your level.
Special: You always gain the benefit of this power on yourself when you are asleep, and do not have to spend the casting time or spell/focus points for this benefit.

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DREAMING POTENTIAL / POWER 2

(Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: 10 minutes (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Range: touch; Targets one willing sleeping creature
Duration: 8 hours
You draw the target into a lucid dream where it can explore the endless possibilities of its own potential within the everchanging backdrop of its dreamscape. If it sleeps the full 8 hours uninterrupted, when it wakes, it counts as having spent a day of downtime retraining, though it can’t use dreaming potential for any retraining that would require either an instructor or specialized knowledge it can’t access within the dream.

This could use a lot of clarification as well as some heightening.

DREAMING POTENTIAL / POWER 2
(Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: 10 minutes (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Range: touch; Targets one willing sleeping creature
Duration: 8 hours
You draw the target into a lucid dream where it can explore the endless possibilities of its own potential within the everchanging backdrop of its dreamscape. If it sleeps the full 8 hours uninterrupted, when it wakes, it counts as having spent a day of downtime retraining. This accumulates with any other downtime spent in retraining, including bonus “downtime” granted by other castings of Dreaming Potential, until the target has “spent” enough total downtime to complete their retraining. If multiple casters grant Dreaming Potential to a given target in the same night, only the strongest casting applies.
A tutor is not required for the beneficiary of Dreaming Potential, except when retraining to gain archetype feats from an archetype or multiclass the target does not currently possess and has not possessed in the past. Even then, Dreaming Potential can reduce the total training time required by up to half.
Heighten (+1): Dreaming Potential grants the target one additional effective day toward retraining.

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Earth (Domain)
You control soil and stone.

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HURTLING STONE / POWER 1

(Attack, Earth, Evocation)
Casting: Somatic Casting
You evoke a magical stone and throw it. Make a ranged Strike with the rock weapon against a single creature within 60 feet. The stone deals bludgeoning damage equal to 1d10 plus your Strength modifier.
Heightened (+2) The stone’s base damage increases by 1d10.

This starts good but falls off against Fire Ray with the poor scaling, especially given that Hurtling Stone targets AC compared to Fire Ray targeting TAC, especially when considering the revision.

HURTLING STONE / POWER 1
(Attack, Earth, Evocation)
Casting: Somatic
Range: 60 ft; Targets one creature or object
You evoke a magical stone which launches itself at the target. Make a ranged Strike against the target with the stone. The stone deals bludgeoning, piercing or slashing damage (chosen at the time of casting) equal to 1d10 plus your casting ability modifier. You can add a Material casting action to increase the damage die to 1d12.
Heightened (2nd): The stone is a +1 weapon.
Heightened (per +2 above 2nd): Increase the stone's enhancement bonus by 1.

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LOCALIZED QUAKE / POWER 2

(Earth, Transmutation)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Area: 15-foot aura
You shake the earth, and each enemy in the area standing on solid ground must succeed at a Reflex save or fall prone.

Also good! No changes.

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Family (Domain)
You can aid and protect your family and community more effectively.

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SOOTHING WORDS / POWER 1

(Emotion, Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range: 30 feet; Targets one ally
You attempt to calm the target by uttering soothing words. Attempt to counteract one emotion effect on the target.

Good, no changes.

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UNITY / POWER 2

(Abjuration, Fortune)
Casting: Verbal reaction; Trigger: You and one or more allies within range are targeted by a spell or ability that allows a saving throw.
Range: 30 feet
You allow your allies within range to use your saving throw modifier instead of their own. Each ally decides individually which modifier to use.

You and each ally within range may choose to use the highest saving throw modifier possessed by any of you.

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Fate (Domain)
You see and understand hidden inevitabilities.

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READ FATE / POWER 1

(Divination, Prediction)
Casting: 10 minutes (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Range: 10 feet; Targets one creature other than you
You attempt to learn more about the target’s fate in the short term, usually within the next day for a creature living a fairly sedentary life, or the next hour or less for someone likely to have multiple rapid experiences of note, such as someone actively adventuring. You learn a single enigmatic word connected to the creature’s fate that day. Fate is notoriously fickle and inscrutable, and the word isn’t necessarily meant to be taken at face value, so the meaning is often clear only in hindsight. The GM rolls a secret DC 6 flat check (see page 292). If the creature’s fate is too uncertain, or on a failed flat check, the spell results in the word “inconclusive.” Either way, the creature is bolstered against read fate.

Almost worthless. Let’s at least get rid of the failure chance and make it scale.

READ FATE / POWER 1
(Divination, Prediction)
Casting: 10 minutes (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Range: 10 feet; Targets one creature other than you
You attempt to learn more about the target’s fate in the short term, usually within the next day for a creature living a fairly sedentary life, or the next hour or less for someone likely to have multiple rapid experiences of note, such as someone actively adventuring. You learn a single word of advice relevant to the creature’s fate that day. The creature is bolstered against read fate for the duration covered by the reading (1 day or 1 hour).
Heighten (+2): Your reading gives an additional word. For example, when heightened once a reading might produce results like “Tread softly” if traps or stealth are expected, or “Avoid basement” if the basement in question contains only hazards with nothing relevant to the success of the target’s goals.

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TEMPT FATE / POWER 2

(Divination, Fortune)
Casting: Somatic free action; Trigger: You or an ally within range attempts a saving throw.
Range: 120 feet; Targets you or a willing ally in range
If the triggering saving throw’s result is a success, it counts as a critical success. If it’s a failure, it counts as a critical failure, and the critical failure can’t be reduced by abilities that usually reduce critical failure, such as improved evasion. If the triggering ability did not have both a critical success and critical failure condition, tempt fate fails and your Spell Point is refunded.

In most cases in PF2, your chance of failing a save as a player character is actually higher than your chance of succeeding. This power is suicide. We can keep the risk-reward aspect (one of my players LOVES this kind of stuff) while still making it better.

TEMPT FATE / POWER 2
(Divination, Fortune)
Casting: Somatic free action; Trigger: You or an ally within range attempts a saving throw or skill check.
Range: 120 feet; Targets you or a willing ally in range
The target can choose to roll twice. If both rolls would succeed or critically succeed, the result is a critical success. If one roll would succeed or critically succeed and the other would fail, the result is a normal success. If both rolls would fail, or if one of the rolls would be a critical failure regardless of the other roll, the result is a critical failure.
If the triggering ability did not have both a critical success and critical failure condition, tempt fate fails and your spell/focus points are refunded.

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Fire (Domain)
You control flame.

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FIRE RAY / POWER 1

(Evocation, Fire)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range: 60 feet; Targets one creature or object
Attempt a ranged touch Strike against the target. If you succeed at the attack, you deal fire damage to the target equal to 1d6 plus your spellcasting ability modifier.
Heightened (+1) The ray’s damage increases by 1d6.
Resonance Test wrote:

FIRE RAY / POWER 1

(Necromancy, Attack, Evocation, Fire)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Cost 1 Focus Point
Range: 60 feet; Targets one creature or object
Attempt a ranged touch Strike against the target. If you succeed at the attack, you deal fire damage to the target equal to 1d6 plus your spellcasting ability modifier. On a critical success, the target takes double damage and also takes 1d6 persistent fire damage.
Heightened (+1): The ray’s damage increases by 2d6, and the persistent fire damage on a critical hit increases by 1d6.

The Necromancy tag from the revision is an error. While the revised version is clearly superior, I feel it will likely get revised slightly downward again when they inevitably increase the amount of focus points that we get back to current spell point levels. However, I don’t think they’ll want to get rid of having made it more than just a boring one-off blast, and while the original was decent it still wasn’t world beating by any means, so did merit improvement. So I’m thinking the final version will or should look something like this:

FIRE RAY / POWER 1
(Attack, Evocation, Fire)
Casting: Somatic, Verbal
Range: 60 feet; Targets one creature or object
Attempt a ranged touch Strike against the target. If you succeed at the attack, you deal fire damage to the target equal to 1d8 plus your spellcasting ability modifier. On a critical success, the target not only takes double damage but also 1d4 persistent fire damage.
Heightened (+1): The ray’s damage increases by 1d8, and the persistent fire damage on a critical hit increases by 1d4.

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FLAME BARRIER / POWER 2

(Abjuration, Fire)
Casting: Verbal reaction; Trigger: An effect deals fire damage to either you or an ally within range.
Range: 60 feet
You or one ally gains fire resistance from the triggering effect equal to twice your level. The resistance applies only against damage you take from the triggering attack, not to any enhancements or conditions.

This is somewhat solid, especially given the original was 1 SP. The second half of the last sentence is misleading though; per the RAW, enhancements never take effect if all the damage from the primary attack is prevented. So even with the power as written in the playtest book, Flame Barrier DOES in fact stop persistent burn or other such enhancements and conditions if it manages to prevent all the damage of the primary attack. Also, it would still apply to fire damage that is itself an enhancement, e.g., the fire damage from a flaming sword.

Also, we do want to make it worth 2 points for consistency instead of just one. And it’d be nice if it actually helped when being full attacked by fire elementals and the like. So, how about:

FLAME BARRIER / POWER 2
(Abjuration, Fire)
Casting: Verbal reaction; Trigger: An effect deals fire damage to one or more creatures or objects in range.
Range: 60 feet
Duration: 1 round
You grant one target fire resistance equal to twice your level until the end of your next turn, or any number of targets fire resistance equal to your level until the end of your next turn.

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Freedom (Domain)
You can liberate yourself and others from shackles and constraints.

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UNIMPEDED STRIDE / POWER 1

(Transmutation)
Casting: Somatic free action; Trigger: You use a Step or Stride action.
You can ignore magical impediments to your movement as if you benefited from the freedom of movement spell. This doesn’t let you escape being grabbed, restrained, tied up, or bound, from either mundane or magical means.

Strike the word “magical” so this has a chance of ever being used, and suddenly we have a good power.

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WORD OF FREEDOM / POWER 2

(Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range: 30 feet; Targets one creature
You either remove the grabbed condition from the target or suppress one of the following conditions of your choice that’s affecting the target for 1 round: confused, entangled, frightened, or paralyzed. You can Concentrate on the Spell each round to continue to suppress the condition for 1 round, to a maximum of 1 minute. If you don’t remove the effect that provided the condition, the condition returns after you stop Concentrating on the Spell.

Solid, no changes.

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Healing (Domain)
Your healing magic is particularly potent.

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HEALER’S BLESSING / POWER 1

(Necromancy)
Casting: Somatic free action; Trigger: You cast a heal spell to heal a living creature.
The amount healed by the triggering spell increases by 2 points per die. If you’re both healing living creatures and damaging undead, the healing increases by that amount but the damage does not.
Resonance Test wrote:

HEALER’S BLESSING / POWER 1

(Necromancy)
Casting Somatic Casting
Cost 1 Focus Point
Range 30 feet; Targets you or one ally
Duration until the end of your next turn
The next time the target casts a healing spell during this spell’s duration, increase the amount of healing by 4 if the spell has one target, or by 2 if the spell has multiple targets, and healer’s blessing ends. If the target is both healing living creatures and damaging undead with the healing spell, the healing increases but the damage does not.
Heightened (+1) The amount of additional healing increases by 4 for one target or 2 for multiple targets.

The resonance test version fixes one of the complaints I was going to make, namely changing “You cast a heal spell to heal a living creature” to “casts a healing spell” so it works with spells other than just Heal. I’m generally not a huge fan of powers and feats that only interact with a single specific spell, and prefer more open design.

The two versions are significantly different. The first is something that you can lade onto a spell as you cast it for free, while the revised test version is something you have to set up in advance, preventing you from doing a 3 action Heal in the same round that you cast it. The second is given a significantly more powerful effect because of this restriction and can also be used to charge someone else’s healing.

I think my preferred version would be the original, but with the more permissive text of the revision: namely, being able to work with any healing spell. Make this fix, and the original is a great future-proof power.

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HEALING FONT / POWER 2

(Necromancy)
Casting: Somatic free action; Trigger: You use channel energy to cast a heal spell.
You draw power from your pool of Spell Points to cast heal, and thus this casting of heal doesn’t expend a use of channel energy.

See above about my thoughts on triggering off only one specific spell.

HEALING FONT / POWER 2
(Necromancy)
Casting: Somatic free action
Trigger: You cast a spell that restores hit points.
Healing Font negates the expenditure of the spell slot, item charge, use of Channel Energy, or other resource that would otherwise be spent on the triggering spell. Only the 2 Focus used to cast Healing Font are expended.
You cannot cast Healing Font while casting a healing spell that is also simultaneously doing damage or raising the dead. For example, you can use Healing Font to cast an area Heal, but not if undead are also caught in the area.

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Indulgence (Domain)
You feast mightily and can shake off the effects of overindulging.

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ENHANCE VICTUALS / POWER 1

(Transmutation)
Casting: 1 minute (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Range: touch; Targets 1 nonmagical pint of water or pound of food
You transform the target into delicious fare, changing water into wine or another fine beverage or enhancing food’s taste and ingredients to make it a gourmet treat. The transformation also attempts to counteract toxins in the food or water. If you have Spell Points, you can add an additional pint or pound for each additional Spell Point you spend. The feast vanishes if not consumed.
Heightened (+1) Initial and additional pints or pounds increase by 1.

About as narrow as the Cities powers. We can at least give it a minor Heroes Feast effect so it’s useful more than the one time per campaign that the GM poisons your food.

ENHANCE VICTUALS / POWER 1
(Transmutation)
Casting: 1 minute (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Range: touch; Targets 1 nonmagical pint of water and pound of food
Duration: Instantaneous, 1 hour and 12 hours
You transform the target into delicious fare, changing water into wine or another fine beverage while also enhancing an accompanying meal’s taste and ingredients to make it a gourmet delight. The transformation also attempts to counteract toxins in the food or water. The person who partakes of this transformed food and drink receives temporary Hit Points for 12 hours equal to your level plus your casting modifier.
If you have sufficient spell/focus points, you can add an additional pint or pound for each additional Spell Point you spend. The feast vanishes if not consumed within an hour.
Heightened (+1) Initial and additional pints or pounds increase by 1.

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TAKE ITS COURSE / POWER 2

(Necromancy)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range: touch; Targets one diseased or poisoned creature touched
You advance one of the target’s toxins to progress to the point that the target needs to attempt its next saving throw. If the target is affected by more than one toxin, you can choose from among the toxins you are aware of; otherwise choose randomly. Against an unwilling creature, you must hit it with a melee touch Strike. On a willing or unconscious creature or on a critical hit against an unwilling creature, you can grant the creature either a +2 conditional bonus or a –2 conditional penalty to its saving throw against the toxin.

There is quite narrow, but it can be improved.

TAKE ITS COURSE / POWER 2
(Necromancy)
Casting: Somatic and Verbal, OR, Verbal reaction
Range: Touch or You; Targets one diseased or poisoned creature touched
You advance one of the target’s toxins to progress to the point that the target needs to attempt its next saving throw. If the target is affected by more than one toxin, you can choose from among the toxins you are aware of; otherwise choose randomly. Against an unwilling creature, you must hit it with a melee touch Strike. On a willing or unconscious creature or on a critical hit against an unwilling creature, you can grant the creature either a +2 conditional bonus or a –2 conditional penalty to its saving throw against the toxin.
You may cast this spell on yourself as a verbal reaction after you become afflicted with a poison or disease.
Heighten (+2): Increase the save bonus by +1 or the save penalty by -1.

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Knowledge (Domain)
You receive divine insights.

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LOREKEEPER’S FORTUNE / POWER 1

(Divination, Fortune)
Casting: Verbal free action; Trigger: You spend a Seek or Recall Knowledge action.
Roll the Perception or Religion check you attempt as part of that action twice and take the higher result. If you’re trained in Arcana, Nature, or Occult, you can also use this spell on those checks attempted as part of a Recall Knowledge action.

Good, but can be tweaked just a tiny bit!

LOREKEEPER’S FORTUNE / POWER 1
(Divination, Fortune)
Casting: Verbal free action; Trigger: You spend a Seek or Recall Knowledge action.
Roll the Perception or Religion check you attempt as part of that action twice and take the higher result. You can also cast this spell as part of a Recall Knowledge action with any other skill, such as Arcana, Lore, Medicine, Nature, Occult or Society, if you are trained with the skill in question.

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KNOW THE ENEMY / POWER 2

(Divination, Fortune)
Casting: Somatic free action; Trigger: You hit a creature with a melee Strike.
Roll the appropriate skill check to identify the creature’s abilities as if you had spent a Recall Knowledge action. You can use lorekeeper’s fortune on this check.

Mostly solid… just change the Trigger.

Trigger: You hit a creature with a Strike or spell, or a creature fails its save against a spell you cast.

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Light (Domain)
You harness the power of the sun and other light sources and punish undead.

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UNDEAD’S BANE / POWER 1

(Necromancy)
Casting: Verbal free action; Trigger: You cast a heal spell to damage undead creatures.
Increase the amount the amount of damage dealt by your level (apply this increase after halving, if applicable). If you’re healing living creatures and damaging undead, only the damage increases.

Come on, why does Light just share the exact same power with the Death domain? Lazy. They could just downconvert Searing Ray into the power for this domain, or alternately come up with a different power.

SHINING MOTES / POWER 1
(Evocation, Fire, Light)
Casting: Somatic, Verbal
Range: 30 feet; Area: 5 foot radius burst and 30 foot aura
You evoke a burst of searing motes of light. The motes provide bright light in a 30 foot aura for 1 round. Roll two dispel checks against any darkness effect in the aura; the motes suppress such effects for 1 round on one success, but can only actually dispel such effects if both checks are successful.
The motes also deal fire damage to targets in the center 5 foot burst of 1d4 plus your spellcasting ability modifier, plus 1d4 to targets that are undead or vulnerable to sunlight, dependent on a Reflex save.
Success: Half damage.
Critical Success: No damage.
Failure: Full damage.
Critical Failure: Double damage, and dazzled for 1 round.
Heighten (+1): The burst deals 2d4 additional damage, and a like amount of bonus damage to undead and other targets vulnerable to sunlight.

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DAZZLING FLASH / POWER 2

(Evocation, Light)
Casting: Material Casting, Verbal Casting
Area: 20-foot cone
You raise your religious symbol and create a blinding flash. Creatures in the area are dazzled or blinded, depending on their Fortitude save.
Success: The target is dazzled for 1 round.
Critical Success: The target is unaffected.
Failure: Blinded for its next action and dazzled for 1 minute.
Critical Failure: Blinded for 2 rounds and dazzled for 1 hour.

Decidedly better than the Darkness domain power. Though I will comment I have never seen a 20 ft cone before… 15 ft? 30 ft? Sure. But 20… XD

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Luck (Domain)
You’re unnaturally lucky and keep out of harm’s way.

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BIT OF LUCK / POWER 1

(Divination, Fortune)
Casting: Somatic reaction; Trigger: You or an ally within range fails an attack roll, saving throw, or skill check by 1 and did not benefit from a conditional bonus.
Range: 30 feet
You tilt the scales of luck slightly, adding a +1 conditional bonus to the check retroactively, thus making the check a success.

This is obnoxiously fiddly. Also, considering you only get two choices of bonus in this system other than item, and conditional is one of them, this is never going to come up except at the earliest levels. Let’s make it something simple, easy and fun.

BIT OF LUCK / POWER 1
(Divination, Fortune)
Casting: Somatic reaction; Trigger: You or an ally within range fails an attack roll, saving throw, or skill check by 1.
Range: 30 feet
You tilt the scales of luck slightly. The check succeeds.
Heighten (+3): The margin of failure you can turn into a success is increased by 1.

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LUCKY BREAK / POWER 2

(Divination, Fortune)
Casting: Verbal reaction; Trigger: You fail (but don’t critically fail) an attack roll, saving throw, skill check, or Perception check.
Reroll the check and use the better of the two results.

Good.

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Magic (Domain)
You perform the unexpected and inexplicable.

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DIVINE VESSEL / POWER 1

(Enchantment)
Casting: Somatic free action; Trigger: You cast a noncantrip spell that targets a single ally.
Add one Somatic Casting: action to the triggering spell. Its target gains a +1 conditional bonus to saves as long as the spell lasts and as long as you Concentrate on the Spell, to a maximum of 1 minute. If the original spell already requires concentration, you can maintain the conditional bonus with the same action.

So it’s a metamagic feat, except you can only use it a few times a day because it costs spell/focus points, and it gives another fiddly +1 bonus, and it has Concentration duration. :|

DIVINE VESSEL / POWER 1
(Enchantment)
Casting: Somatic free action
Requirements: Your last action this turn was casting a non-cantrip spell on yourself and/or one or more allies.
Targets one of that spell’s targets
You cast the guidance cantrip on the designated target, regardless of range. This use of guidance does not bolster the target and can be performed even if the target is already bolstered against guidance.
Heighten (+2): You can choose one additional target for the guidance, so long as they were also a target of the triggering spell.

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MYSTIC BEACON / POWER 2

(Evocation)
Casting: Somatic Casting
Range: 30 feet; Targets one willing creature
The next damaging or healing spell the target casts before the start of your next turn deals or heals damage as if the spell were heightened 1 level higher than its actual level; the spell otherwise functions at its actual level.

Pretty narrow. As is often my philosophy on stuff like this, where you spent a feat to be able to do this, and that feat had a prerequisite feat, and the ability is only doable a couple times per day – just let it be good.

MYSTIC BEACON / POWER 2
(Evocation)
Casting: Somatic Casting
Range: 30 feet; Targets one willing creature
The next spell the target casts before the start of your next turn is heightened to 1 spell level higher than the actual level at which it would otherwise be cast.

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Might (Domain)
Your physical power is bolstered by divine strength.

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ATHLETIC EXPLOIT / POWER 1

(Transmutation)
Casting: Somatic Casting
Until the end of your turn, you don’t take check penalties or Speed reduction from armor or encumbrance.

Unlike the successor power, this is terrible. Let’s bring in a bit of the old PF1 version and tweak the duration.

ATHLETIC EXPLOIT / POWER 1
(Transmutation)
Casting: Somatic
Until the end of your next turn, your carrying capacity in bulk increases by twice your level, and you don’t take check penalties or Speed reduction from armor or encumbrance.

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ENDURING MIGHT / POWER 2

(Abjuration)
Casting: Somatic reaction; Trigger: An attack or effect would deal you damage.
You gain resistance to all of that attack’s damage equal to your level plus your Strength modifier.

This is actually good.

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Moon (Domain)
You command powers associated with the moon.

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MOONLIGHT GLOW / POWER 1

(Evocation, Light)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Area: 60-foot burst centered on you
Duration: 10 minutes
You cause the area to shimmer with moonlight. This counts as dim light, but any magical script or arcane symbols in the area glow a slightly brighter blue, granting a +1 circumstance bonus to Perception checks to Seek them. Magical ink visible only in moonlight also appears in an area of moonlight glow.

Kinda over-specialized here. Let’s at least loosen it a bit.

MOONLIGHT GLOW / POWER 1
(Evocation, Light)
Casting: Somatic and Verbal, OR Special
Area: 60-foot burst centered on you, OR Special
Duration: 1 hour, OR Special
You cause the area to shimmer with moonlight, which counts as dim light. Any magical script or arcane symbols in the area glow a bright blue, becoming visible without any Perception check required to notice them unless they are concealed behind something else. This effect also reduces the DC to identify spells, magical items and other supernatural phenomena within its bounds by a number equal to the spell tier at which Moonlight Glow was cast. This is true moonlight for all purposes, including revealing magical inks keyed to the light of the moon, but it is too diffuse to force lycanthropic transformation or similar vulnerabilities.

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MOONBEAM / POWER 2

(Attack, Evocation, Fire, Light)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range: 120 feet; Targets one creature or object
You call forth a beam of glowing moonlight. Make a ranged touch attack against the target. On a hit, you deal 1d6 fire damage plus your spellcasting ability modifier and dazzle the target for 1 round. Double the damage on a critical hit. Damage from moonbeam counts as silver for the purposes of weaknesses, resistances, and the like.
Heightened (+1) The ray’s damage increases by 1d6.

Why does a moon laser deal fire damage? It should be mental damage, or at least cold. Otherwise good!

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Nature (Domain)
You hold power over animals and plants.

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SKIN OF THORNS / POWER 1

(Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Duration: 1 minute
Your body sprouts a coat of brambly thorns. Adjacent creatures that hit you with a melee attack, as well as creatures that hit you with unarmed strikes, take 1 piercing damage each time they do.
Heightened (+1) The piercing damage increases by 1.

This should be the second tier power and can also be improved. Also what’s with those traits? I actually don’t have a problem with the 1 minute duration here because it’s specifically combat focused, rather than mixed use.

SKIN OF THORNS / POWER 2
(Abjuration, Transmutation)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Duration: 1 minute
Your body sprouts a coat of brambly thorns. Adjacent creatures that hit you with a melee attack, as well as creatures that hit you with unarmed strikes, take 1d6 piercing damage each time they do.
Heightened (+1) The piercing damage increases by 1.

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NATURE’S BOUNTY / POWER 2

(Conjuration, Plant)
Casting: 10 minutes (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Requirement You can cast this spell only in a natural area that supports significant plant life.
You call forth nature’s bounty, providing enough clean water and fresh fruits and vegetables to sustain one human for a day. If you have a pool of Spell Points, you can spend more Spell Points to sustain an additional human for each additional Spell Point you spend. Most Medium creatures eat the same amount as a human each day. Most Small creatures eat 1/4 as much as a human (1/16 as much for most Tiny creatures, and so on), and most Large creatures eat 10 times as much as a human (100 times as much for Huge creatures and so on).
Heightened (+3) The initial casting and each additional Spell Point produce enough food for an additional human.

Make this the first tier power, fix the crazy unnatural Large+ food requirements that fly in the face of reality, and…

NATURE’S BOUNTY / POWER 1
(Conjuration, Plant)
Casting: 10 minutes (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Requirement: You can cast this spell only in the vicinity of large plants like trees, bushes or large cacti.
You call forth nature’s bounty, providing enough clean water and fresh fruits and vegetables to sustain one human for a day. If you have a pool of Focus, you can spend more Focus to sustain an additional human for each additional Focus you spend. In a natural area with significant plant life, like a forest, oasis or farm, this spell produces twice as much food and water.
Most Medium creatures eat the same amount as a human each day. Most Small creatures eat 1/4 as much as a human (1/16 as much for most Tiny creatures, and so on), and most Large creatures eat 4 times as much as a human (16 times as much for Huge creatures and so on).
Heightened (+1): The initial casting and each additional Focus produce enough food for an additional human, before any doubling for being in a lush environment.

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Nightmares (Domain)
You fill minds with horror and dread.

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WAKING NIGHTMARE / SPELL 1

(Divination, Mental)
Casting: Somatic Casting
Range: touch; Targets one creature
Duration: 1 minute
You fill the creature’s mind with a vision out of a nightmare that might help or hinder it. Before attempting an attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, the target must attempt a DC 11 flat check. They gain a conditional bonus or penalty to the attack roll, saving throw, or skill check depending on the result.
Success: +1 conditional bonus.
Critical Success: +2 conditional bonus.
Failure: –1 conditional penalty.
Critical Failure: –2 conditional penalty.

First off, it's listed as a spell rather than a power. Second, you can’t get a critical success or failure on a flat check, so the power doesn't even work as intended. Third, the thematics are completely off – this isn’t what I expect from a “waking nightmare.” Fourth, no one would ever use this power on anyone whatsoever – you have a 50% chance of helping an enemy or hurting an ally.

WAKING NIGHTMARE / POWER 1
(Emotion, Enchantment, Fear, Mental)
Casting: Somatic Casting
Range: touch; Targets one creature
Duration: 1 round or 1 minute
The target's mind sees a creature or object of your choice as a vision out of a nightmare. They must make a Will save.
Success: The target cannot approach or take actions with or against the target for 1 round.
Critical Success: No effect.
Failure: As success, but 1 minute.
Critical Failure: As failure, but you can designate additional creatures or objects up to your spellcasting ability modifier that the target refuses to have anything to do with.

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ECHOING NIGHTMARE / SPELL 2

(Emotion, Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range: 30 feet; Targets one creature
Duration: see text
You create a nightmare conduit between your mind and the target, ensuring one of you is confused, depending on the target’s Will save.
Success: You are confused until the end of your next turn.
Critical Success: You are confused for 1 minute.
Failure: The target is confused for 3 rounds. It can attempt a new Will save at the end of each of its turns to end the effect.
Critical Failure: The target is confused for 1 minute.

What the heck is it with this domain and screwing over the person who uses it? It’s not the Gambling domain. Also it's listed as a spell again.

It’s a powerful effect for a low level power that you can likely spam multiple times, so I can see some backlash potential. But make the current successful save effect the Critical Success effect (caster confused until end of their next turn), while simple Success just has no effect.

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Pain (Domain)
You punish those who displease you with the sharp sting of pain.

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SAVOR THE STING / POWER 1

(Attack, Enchantment, Mental, Nonlethal)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range: touch; Targets one creature
You revel in your target’s pain. If you succeed at a touch attack, your target takes 1d6 mental damage (double damage on a critical hit) and becomes sick with pain depending on its Will save. As long as the target is sick, you gain a +1 conditional bonus to attack rolls and skill checks against the target.
Success: The target does not become sick.
Failure: The target is sick 1 and takes 1 persistent mental damage as long as it’s sick.
Critical Failure: Per failure, but the target is sick 2.
Heightened (+1) The initial damage increases by 1d6 and the persistent damage increases by 1.

This is actually good. Just add casting ability modifier to the initial damage.

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RETRIBUTIVE PAIN / POWER 2

(Abjuration, Mental, Nonlethal)
Casting: Somatic reaction; Trigger: A creature in retributive pain’s range deals damage to you.
Range: 30 feet; Targets one creature
You vengefully reflect a portion of your pain upon your tormentor. The mental damage you deal is equal to half the damage the target dealt to you with the triggering effect, to a maximum of 10 mental damage. This damage decreases or increases depending on the target’s Fortitude save.
Success: Half damage.
Critical Success: No damage.
Failure: Full damage.
Critical Failure: Double damage (this can exceed 10 mental damage)
Heightened (+1) The maximum mental damage increases by 5.

I’m not sure this needs a save. Looks fine, I guess, except that the attacker is mostly guaranteed to always save and thus take half of what is already half damage, because enemies in PF2 are overtuned. If I took this as a player, I would happily give up the infinitesimal chance of double damage to just have consistency.

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Passion (Domain)
You can evoke passion, whether as love or lust.

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CHARMING TOUCH / POWER 1

(Attack, Emotion, Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic Casting
Range: 30 feet; Targets one humanoid creature
Duration: 10 minutes or until dismissed
You infuse your target with love or lust, causing it to act friendlier. On a successful touch attack roll, the target attempts a Will save, with a +4 circumstance bonus if you or your allies recently threatened or acted hostile to it and a –2 circumstance penalty if you critically succeed on the attack roll or it allows you to touch it. You can dismiss the spell with a Verbal Casting action. If you act hostile to the target, the spell ends. When the spell ends, the target doesn’t necessarily realize it was charmed unless its friendship with you or the actions you convinced it to take clash with its expectations, which could potentially allow you to convince the target to continue being your friend via mundane means. The effects of the Will save are the same effects as charm.
Heightened (4th) You can target any type of creature, not just humanoids, as long as they would find you attractive.

Seems fine. That little bit at the end of the heightening, however, implies quite a lot of things not actually stated in the main power description itself; cut the line at the word “humanoids.” It’s magic, a spellcasting sentient slime mold should be able to make you feel passionate. Alternately, if using this to try to distinguish from just casting charm, move the attractive condition to the main power, give a little bit more of an explanation, and have a higher level heightening effect remove the condition.

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CAPTIVATING ADORATION / POWER 2

(Emotion, Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Area: 15-foot aura
Duration: 1 minute
You become entrancingly beautiful and desirable, and creatures are distracted by their feelings for you as long as they remain within the area. The effect is determined by their Will saves. If a creature leaves and reenters, use the original save results.
Success: The creature takes a –1 conditional penalty to Perception and skill checks not directed at you.
Critical Success: The creature is unaffected.
Failure: The creature is fascinated.
Critical Failure: The creature is fascinated and its attitude toward you improves by one step.

More fiddly +/- 1 modifiers. Just make it -2. Also exclude allies.

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Perfection (Domain)
You strive to perfect your mind, body, and spirit.

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PERFECTED MIND / POWER 1

(Abjuration)
Casting: Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
You meditate upon perfection to remove all distractions from your mind. Attempt another Will save against one mental effect currently affecting you that required a Will save. If the new save would have a worse result than the original save, nothing happens. You can use perfected mind only once against a particular effect.

Might be a little better with text saying you can still do this while dominated, stunned, paralyzed, silenced, etc. Maybe have a special casting condition where it takes mental casting actions, perhaps starting with two or three and then decreasing in number with heightening. But still okay.

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PERFECTED FORM / POWER 2

(Abjuration, Fortune)
Casting: Somatic reaction; Trigger: You fail or critically fail a saving throw against a petrification or polymorph effect.
Reroll the saving throw and use whichever result was better.

This is absurdly narrow to the degree that it will virtually never come up. Just change it to “You fail or critically fail a Fortitude saving throw.”

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Protection (Domain)
You hold the power to ward yourself and others.

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DIVINE WARD / POWER 1

(Abjuration)
Casting: Somatic reaction; Trigger: An ally in range takes damage.
Range: 30 feet
Redirect damage no more than twice your level to you. You take the damage instead of the triggering ally. Your immunities, resistances, weaknesses, and so on do not apply against the redirected damage. If the damaging effect applies enhancements or conditions, you aren’t subject to either; your ally is still subject to enhancements and conditions even if you redirect all damage to you.

Seems good. I would say “Redirect damage up to no more than your casting ability modifier plus twice your level.”

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PROTECTIVE AURA / POWER 2

(Abjuration)
Casting: Material Casting, Somatic Casting,
Verbal Casting
Area: 15-foot aura
Duration: 1 minute
You create a 15-foot-radius protective aura. You gain resistance equal to half your level to all damage. Your allies also gain this resistance while they are within the aura.

Mm. It’s a pretty weak resistance that will get utterly overwhelmed by even weak basic attack damage at high levels, but it’s for a duration and to all nearby allies… bleh.

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Secrecy (Domain)
You protect secrets and keep them hidden.

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FORCED QUIET / POWER 1

(Abjuration)
Casting: Material Casting, Verbal Casting
Range: 30 feet; Targets one creature
Duration: see text
You quiet the target’s voice, preventing it from giving away valuable secrets. This doesn’t prevent the target from talking or performing Verbal Casting actions, but no creature more than 10 feet away can hear its croaking whispers without a successful Perception check against forced quiet’s DC, which might interfere with auditory or lingual effects as well as communication. The duration depends on the target’s Fortitude save, and the target is bolstered against your forced quiet.
Success: The effect’s duration is 1 round
Critical Success: The target is unaffected.
Failure: The effect’s duration is 1 minute
Critical Failure: The effect’s duration is 10 minutes.

Since this doesn’t even prevent the use of spells and powers with verbal components, nor does it entirely prevent communication nor does it bestow a curse, it should not bolster its target. With all the limitations on it, the duration should probably be 1 minute on success, 1 hour on failure and 1 day on critical failure.

Consider allowing it to also target objects, e.g., to quiet a squeaky hinge or shattering window. 1 hour is probably a good duration when used on an object.

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SAFEGUARD SECRET / POWER 2

(Abjuration, Mental)
Casting: 1 minute (Somatic, Verbal)
Range: 10 feet; Targets you and any willing allies
Choose one piece of information that at least some of the targets know; affected allies must remain within range for the full minute during which you cast the spell. This grants those who know the piece of knowledge you have chosen a +4 conditional bonus to skill checks (typically Deception checks) to conceal this knowledge and to saving throws against spells that specifically attempt to obtain this knowledge from them or against effects that would force them to reveal it. These bonuses last until you use this power again.

*just laughs and laughs and laughs*

SAFEGUARD SECRET / POWER 2
(Abjuration, Mental)
Casting: 1 minute (Somatic, Verbal)
Range: 10 feet; Targets you and any willing allies, or up to “one page’s worth” of text or images
If you cast this spell on one or more creatures, choose one piece of information that at least some of the targets know; affected allies must remain within range for the full minute during which you cast the spell. Any attempt to trick or coerce one of the affected targets into revealing the information, or read it from their mind, or even divine by any means that they actually know such information, forces the antagonist to make a Will save against your Safeguard Secret power. If the save fails, the attempt fails, and if the save critically fails, that antagonist can never try again. Even on a successful save, the DC of the check the antagonist must make increases by 5, or the DC of any check the targets must make to resist decreases by 5.
If you cast this spell on text or images, be they on paper, a wall mural, or any other medium, the selected information disappears. It is still there, and you select at the time of casting the condition under which the information can be made to reappear. Such conditions can include things like being bathed in moonlight, being smeared with blood, a spoken password, or any other similarly uncommon action or event. Failing the use of the chosen method, apply the same save to locate the information or divine the condition as mentioned above. One “page’s worth” of information can be up to 300 words of text, or 10 square feet of imagery.
Safeguard Secret has permanent duration. You can keep a number of pieces of information secret at one time up to your casting ability modifier plus the maximum tier of spell that you can cast; going over this limit requires you to let a previous secret lapse.

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Travel (Domain)
You have power over movement and journeys.

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AGILE FEET / POWER 1

(Transmutation)
Casting: Somatic free action; Trigger: You Step or Stride.
For the Stride, you’re accelerated 5 feet and ignore difficult terrain. For the Step, you ignore difficult terrain.

Heighten (+3): You can move 10 ft further on the Stride, or 5 ft further on the Step.

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WANDERER’S GUIDE / POWER 2

(Divination, Mental)
Casting: 1 minute (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Duration: 24 hours
You call upon your deity to guide your route, allowing you and allies who travel overland with you to reduce the distance reduction from difficult terrain by half for the duration, as long as you don’t deviate from the divinely inspired route. This doesn’t have any effect on movement during encounters. If you use this ability again before the duration is over, this effect ends and is replaced by that of the new route.

This is rather specific, and doesn’t help in normal terrain at all. It also falls off in usefulness at higher levels.

WANDERER’S GUIDE / POWER 2
(Divination, Mental)
Casting: 1 minute (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Duration: 8 hours
You call upon your deity to guide your route. You must declare a destination and direction when you use this power, and if you move off the route – such as to meaningfully change directions beyond just circumnavigating an obstacle – the power ends. While it persists, you increase your entire group's travel speed by 25%, and the DCs of any checks rolled for your team's exploration tactics are reduced by 1. If random encounters or events are rolled while under the effect of this power, the GM rolls twice and uses the result more favorable to your party.
If you add 1 minute to the casting time of a teleportation effect, you can also cast Wanderer’s Guide as part of the casting of that effect to take along one additional creature.
Heighten (+2): The speed is increased by another 25%, and the DC of exploration tactics is reduced by an additional 1. If you add Wanderer's Guide to a teleportation effect, you can take along an additional creature.

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Trickery (Domain)
You delight in deceiving others and causing mischief.

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SUDDEN SHIFT / POWER 1

(Abjuration, Move)
Casting: Somatic free action; Trigger: An enemy misses you with a melee attack.
You Step; your new position must remain in that enemy’s reach.

SUDDEN SHIFT / POWER 1

(Abjuration, Move)
Casting: Somatic free action; Trigger: An enemy misses you with a melee attack.
You Step. If the enemy missed, your new position must remain in that enemy’s reach; if the enemy critically missed, you may step beyond its reach.
Heighten (4th): You may also use Sudden Shift in response to a failed ranged attack. If the enemy missed, you must remain in line of effect to the enemy; if the enemy critically missed, you may step into a position that would break line of effect.
Heighten (8th): As 4th, and you may also use Sudden Shift in response to a failed offensive action or activity of any kind, including but not limited to a spell or breath weapon against which you made your save.

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MASTER’S ILLUSION / POWER 2

(Illusion)
Casting: Material Casting, Verbal Casting
Range: 30 feet; Targets up to six willing creatures
Duration: 10 minutes
The targets gain the effects of a 1st-level illusory disguise for the listed duration.

Heighten (4th): This replicates a 2nd-tier illusory disguise.

Heighten (8th): This replicates a 3rd-tier illusory disguise.

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Truth (Domain)
You can pierce lies and discover the truth.

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WORD OF TRUTH / POWER 1

(Divination)
Casting: Verbal Casting
You speak a statement you believe to be true and that is free of any attempt to deceive through twisting words, omission, and so on. The statement must be 25 words or fewer. A symbol of your deity glows above your head, and anyone who sees you and hears your statement knows that you believe it to be true.

I really want to like this. Maybe it can be made to come up more than just a few times in a whole campaign. Maybe also add the following section:

You may also add Somatic and Material casting to cast this spell as you inscribe a sigil or place a seal to which you have valid claim, as you write up to one sentence of text up to 25 words or fewer which is true to the best of your knowledge as described above, or as you quickly sketch an accurate image of something that you have witnessed. Any person who sees this mark, text, or image knows that you believe it to be true, for the duration of a Sigil cantrip of the spell tier to which this power has been heightened.

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GLIMPSE THE TRUTH / POWER 2

(Divination)
Casting: Somatic Casting
Duration: 1 round
You see things within 30 feet as they truly are. The GM attempts a special secret dispel check against any illusion in the area, but only for the purpose of determining whether you see through it (for instance, if the check succeeds against an illusory disguise spell, you see the creature’s true form but it doesn’t end the illusory disguise).

Increase duration to at least 1 minute.

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Tyranny (Domain)
You wield power to rule and enslave others.

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TOUCH OF OBEDIENCE / POWER 1

(Attack, Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Somatic Casting
Range: touch; Targets one living creature
Duration: 1 round
You erode the target’s willpower with a melee touch attack, making it easier to control.
Success: Stupefied 1.
Critical Success: Stupefied 1, and it takes a –2 conditional penalty to Will saves against mental effects.
Failure: The target is unaffected.

This is okay.

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COMMANDING LASH / POWER 2

(Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: Verbal Casting
Requirements: Your last action must have been a Strike that dealt damage to a target.
You issue a command to the target, as the spell command.

This is okay.

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Undeath (Domain)
Your magic carries close ties to the undead.

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UNLIFE’S BLESSING / POWER 1

(Necromancy)
Casting: Somatic free action; Trigger: You cast a harm spell to heal an undead creature.
Increase the amount healed by 2 Hit Points per die. If you’re both healing undead and damaging living creatures, the healing is increased by that amount but the damage is not.

Xteenth verse same as the first, it shouldn’t be based on a specific spell. It should be “You cast a spell that restores hit points to an undead creature.” This is narrow and weaker than its healing cousin as it is due to the undead restriction, so maybe it should grant temporary positive resistance as well.

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TOUCH OF UNDEATH / POWER 2

(Attack, Necromancy, Negative)
Casting: Somatic Casting
Range: touch; Targets one living creature
You attack the target’s life force with the taint of undeath via a melee touch attack, dealing 2d8 negative damage. The effect depends on your attack roll.
Success: The target takes full damage, and positive effects heal the target only half as much as normal for 1 round.
Critical Success: The target takes double damage, and positive effects can’t heal the target for 1 round and heal the target only half as much as normal for 1 minute.
Failure: The target is unaffected.
Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 1d8.

Acceptable because it’s one action to cast.

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Water (Domain)
You control water and bodies of water.

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TIDAL SURGE / POWER 1

(Evocation, Water)
Casting: Somatic Casting
Range: 60 feet; Targets one creature
You call forth a wave to move the target either in a body of water or on the ground. The result depends on the target’s Fortitude save.
Failure: You move the target 5 feet in any direction along the ground or through the body of water.
Critical Failure: You move the target up to 10 feet in any direction along the ground or through the body of water.

Failure effect should be success effect, critical failure effect should be failure effect, and the actual critical failure effect should carry an additional penalty like making the target flat-footed. Moreover, the power should specify that creatures with weakness to water have it triggered by this spell.

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DOWNPOUR / POWER 2

(Evocation, Water)
Casting: Verbal Casting, Somatic Casting
Range: 120 feet; Area: 20-foot burst
Duration: 1 minute
You call a torrential downpour. The rain extinguishes nonmagical flames. Creatures in the area are concealed and dazzled. They gain fire resistance 4. Creatures with weakness to water that end their turns in the area take damage equal to their weakness.
Heightened (+1) The amount of fire resistance increases by 2.

Double edged sword, but the range and area still make it pretty decent. I’d probably add a line about it trying to dispel magical flames.

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Wealth (Domain)
You hold power over wealth, trade, and treasure.

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ACQUISITIVE’S FORTUNE / POWER 1

(Divination, Fortune)
Casting: 10 minutes (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Range: 30 feet; Targets one creature
Duration: 24 hours
You call upon good fortune to protect from brutal calamity in daily work. If your target rolls a critical failure on a Lore check to Practice a Trade, it rerolls the check and takes the second result.

This is the only power in the entire book as bad as the City domain powers. Talk about overspecific…

ACQUISITIVE’S FORTUNE / POWER 1
(Divination, Fortune)
Casting: 10 minutes (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Range: 30 feet; Targets one creature
Duration: 24 hours
You call upon good fortune to protect from brutal calamity in daily work. If your target rolls a critical failure on any skill check during downtime in the duration, it rerolls the check and takes the better result. For example, this might trigger when trying to practice a trade with Lore, when creating goods with Craft, or when gathering information with Diplomacy.
Heighten (+2): The target can reroll one additional critical failure during the duration, or can spend two of its uses of this power to reroll a regular failure.

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MONEY TALKS / POWER 2

(Transmutation)
Casting: Somatic free action; Trigger: You Cast a Spell that has a cost with a value measured in gp.
You can substitute an equal value of gp for the spell’s cost.

So… it’s the handwave seen in most campaigns anyway, making it a dead power half the time. How about something much more interesting?

MONEY TALKS / POWER 2
(Conjuration, Transmutation)
Casting: 1 minute (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
You conduct a transaction with your deity or its servants to transmute any amount of money into a nonmagical item with a listed price. You pay a 10% surcharge for the convenience, and cannot obtain anything above the price of a permanent item of your level on the treasure table. This is a real object and cannot be dispelled. You can conjure spell and ritual components in this way and they work as usual. Once you possess the item, you can enchant it with other spells or feats if you call forth an object of sufficient quality.
You might be able to obtain an uncommon item of a type you are familiar with at the GM’s discretion, but you cannot call forth a unique item in this way.

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Zeal (Domain)
Your inner fire increases your combat prowess.

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WEAPON SURGE / POWER 1

(Evocation)
Casting: Somatic Casting
Your Somatic Casting action for this spell is to hold your weapon aloft and charge it with magical energy, so you can use the Somatic Casting action even if you don’t have a hand free. On your next attack with that weapon before the start of your next turn, increase the item bonus of your weapon by 1 (minimum +1 and maximum +5). This adds an additional die of damage as is normal for magic weapons.

This is great at level 1, but rapidly falls away when compared to attack powers that can do considerably more than one die of damage.

Heighten (+1): The effect lasts for one additional attack, and the maximum duration of the power is extended by 1 round.

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PREPARE FOR BATTLE / POWER 2

(Enchantment, Mental)
Casting: 1 minute (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Range: 10 feet; Targets you and one ally
Duration: 24 hours
You converse with an ally to stoke her zeal for battle, or sing songs of righteous anger to set up a sympathetic bond. The next time you and that ally roll initiative, you both use the higher of your two initiative rolls. If you roll initiative, if you use this boon again, or if either of you rests, the spell ends.

This is pretty good. It’s yet another power that doesn’t really scale though.

Heighten (+2): You can include an additional ally in the effect. You choose which two targets get to use the highest initiative result after initiative is rolled, and assign the remaining results except the lowest to the remaining targets as desired.


There are a couple massive contradictions in what is presented that the PCs can do in this adventure. Also the undead don't really follow the rules with one major thing.

* It's said that everyone yells at you and tells you to get out if you interrupt them in the salon, and they won't talk to you. But the adventure also says you can ask the students and professor about various things, and gives skill bonuses for this purpose. Which is it?

- I went with that they are grumpy at being interrupted, but the PCs could make a Diplomacy check to get them to open up. At this point the PCs could ask them questions. Otherwise the only opportunity to ask questions would be after confronting the professor.

* It's said that the students and professor go to bed at 1 am, and at this time Lucvi is sleeping in the salon and you can search it without interference from the obstructive residents. However, the undead attack only 10 minutes after nightfall on the night the players arrive, and the waves are certainly much less than 30 minutes apart. There is never an opportunity to actually search the salon.

- I went with adding a butler to the house as an extra NPC. When the butler prepares dinner the students and professor break for a meal, and the PCs would then have an opportunity to search the salon.

* The undead can break into the locked basement in 1 round no matter what, despite the majority of them not having the bonuses or damage to actually break a door by the rules on attacking objects short of a crit.

- I know part of this is just for the drama of them dragging the professor away, so I decided to keep this, but extended the time to break in to 3 rounds - the same as breaking through a barricade.


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I know a staff is at least an expert weapon, so can accept a potency and a property rune. But do the "plusses" from a magic staff apply to attack rolls with spells cast through the staff? I can't find any text in the rules on the matter.

In the interim I am ruling that they do not, but would like to know if I'm overlooking something. My inclination is that the staff's plus rating would not increase spell save DCs but should apply to melee and ranged attack rolls with spells you cast through it, just as a bow applies its plusses to ammunition fired from it, but I am not going to allow it for playtest purposes unless I can find more specific information.


Players are explicitly not allowed to pick uncommon or rare spells, items, etc unless they are granted by a class feature, as a drop in an adventure, or by GM fiat. The adventures in Doomsday Dawn have very little in the way of uncommon or rare drops, even for spell scrolls. The guidelines for character creation do not authorize uncommon or rare spells or other options, with like one exception in Pale Mountain for uncommon languages.

How is a group supposed to playtest and give in-play feedback on all the magic etc that has been rendered uncommon and thus off limits? I personally hate the rarity system, but I am actually trying to playtest by the book to the best of my understanding of RAW. Should I let players pick from all options, is that allowed?


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So, as of update 1.3 the results of a recovery save are as follows:

* Critical Success: Reduce dying value by 2.
* Success: Reduce dying value by 1.
* Failure: Increase dying value by 1.
* Critical Failure: Increase dying value by 2.

You still die at Dying 4 as before, but now don't become conscious until you reduce your Dying value to 0.

So... I feel that the failure results SHOULD actually read as follows:

* Failure: Your dying value does not change.
* Critical Failure: Increase dying value by 1.

Let people hang on to life longer, please. Things are brutal enough.


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For future errata documents, please separate out the changes to the playtest adventures into their own document. Stuff the players should not see should not be in the same document as all the rules adjustments. I had to go in and manually chop those pages out of the PDF before sending to my group.

Thank you. :)


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A lot of feats which are or should be shared between classes, like Whirlwind Attack, Double Strike, or any given metamagic feat, should be separated out of the class descriptions into two broader pools. These pools, Combat Feats and Metamagic Feats, could be dipped with class feats by any class.

All or most Combat feats can gain traits as seen in the Fighter versions of those feats, namely Open and Press. Rather than being restrictions (can only be used as a first attack, can not be used as a first attack) as currently worded, these keywords can be things the Fighter interacts with to gain a benefit. So maybe a Fighter who uses an Open move as their first attack can make a free Step before or after the attack. A Fighter who uses a Press move as a second or subsequent attack doesn't increase their Multiple Attack Penalty on a miss. These benefits are exclusive to the Fighter, and are on top of the main benefits of the maneuver.

The Fighter's class feats can be bolstered with more Stances, which definitely should be exclusive to them and the monk. They can get gear boosts which make them better at using different types of weapons and armor; I'm fine with something like Far Shot being Fighter specific because doubling range increment or halving range penalty is not a kind of special action in itself. They can get stuff playing off AoO like taking a free step as part of an AoO, effectively increasing AoO reach. They can get various abilities which trigger on critical hits, making Fighters who go that route the crit specialization class, which seems like a cool thing to be a Fighter bailiwick. They can get abilities drawn from PF1 Fighter archetypes. All of these seem like cool things which can flesh out a Fighter identity even with a lot of combat feats moved into a shared pool, and which I would like seeing being Fighter specific.

And of course, they would get bonus Combat feats like the Rogue gets bonus Skill feats.

Since all classes should get a "path" at 1st level the same way the Druid picks an order or the Bard picks a muse, the Fighter can also get something like the Starfinder Soldier specializations. Maybe this is similar to the Druid, where it gives you a bonus feat of a given "family" (like critical specialization feats), and Fighters with that particular path get a numerical bonus or benefit from feats of that path, but any fighter can still dip into any path.


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We've played a few sessions and created characters a few times now. I've been trying to keep track of and note down my players' feedback so far, positive and negative.

The Book itself

  • People really like the sketch art style!
  • The step-by-step example of determining ability scores on page 19-20 was incredibly helpful. They wish there were more examples / walkthroughs like that for other things.
  • The book reads like a textbook. It is too dry and technical and doesn't convey a sense of energy or adventure. One of the players was in the 5E playtest and noted even their alpha was better at natural language and making it "feel" fun.
  • The book is poorly laid out. Having to constantly flip back and forth to various sections deep in the book while you're just trying to create a character was frustrating for them, especially the first time around while brand new to the system.
  • Corollary to above, the Alchemist requires this a lot and is probably not a good idea to have as the first class players encounter when reading.
  • Also corollary to above, players strongly wish the powers for each class were listed with the class, instead of buried in the magic chapter.
  • Players kept looking for a "base advancement table" with the ancestry feats, skill feats, etc. I had to keep reminding them all of that was printed on each class's individual class table.
  • The index is not comprehensive. There's a lot of stuff missing from it.

Ability Scores, Ancestries and Backgrounds

  • Positive feedback on all scores being even numbers / a full step in ability modifier at character creation.
  • Negative on ability boosts over 18 dropping down to 1 instead of 2. They were meh on this in Starfinder as well.
  • Having some sample arrays of what ability scores you're likely to end up with after character creation might be helpful as a double check.
  • Without exception, every time we've done character creation all of the players have chosen to pick background and class first, and then go back and pick ancestry last for the numbers because it was the least interesting and impactful part. This is a reversal from my PF1 experience where players did spend some time thinking about the races first.
  • Players very strongly preferred the new term Ancestries to the old use of Races, without exception. While I'm indifferent either way, I would call that a win.
  • ENORMOUS frustration with the imbalanced ancestries, the general lack of intrinsic abilities, and only getting one ancestry feat.
  • Strong like for the concept of ancestry feats, but they all thought it was going to be furthering the concept of an ancestry or improving abilities the ancestries come with - the "dwarfier dwarf" concept - and strongly dislike that in actual practice it's spending your career just becoming what was previously a baseline member of the ancestry.
  • Fairly strong gravitation over several rounds of character creation to Human as the clear best ancestry.
  • Halflings are just the worst.
  • Frustration over only getting one ancestry feat especially reared its head with half elf and half orc players.
  • Players otherwise seemed fine with half elf and half orc being feats, but there were a couple comments that half elf and half orc should be presented as their own ancestry sections even as a feat gate, and as able to be attached to non-human ancestries.
  • Calling out the 2 hit points you can pick as a half orc being a trap.
  • Comments on many ancestry feats being way too anemic. There are clear best choices for each ancestry, and the other feats should be brought up to that level.
  • Curiosity why there are only a few level 5 ancestry feats and none above level 5. I suggested there will probably be more in the final book and that satisfied them for now.
  • Players liked the concept of backgrounds but were meh on an uninspiring execution.
  • Desire for backgrounds to give training in a couple skills and then a skill feat of the player's choice from one of those skills.
  • Confusion over how specific did a Lore have to be, and ridicule of some of the worst examples like Circus Lore.
  • The player who came from 5E felt the PF2 backgrounds were anemic by comparison to 5E backgrounds which can give skills, languages, some equipment and a role playing ability.
  • No one likes how few languages you can get now.

Alchemist

  • A player is finally creating an Alchemist for the next adventure so we'll get some more feedback on this later.
  • Have been asked where mutagens went, then after explaining about how the formulas work and such, wondering why there aren't 1st level mutagens.
  • Wondering why the class is mandatory bomb focused.
  • Wondering why there aren't higher level bombs, and that the Alchemist could just get bonus dice with bombs similar to sneak attack dice, instead of the strange multiplier system.
  • Concerns about the resonance dependence of the Alchemist.
  • Concerns that it doesn't get stuff it can do "at will" like the cantrips of other caster classes.
  • Strong concern over limited number of skills.
  • Strong concern over DCs not scaling with your class level like everyone else gets to do.

Barbarian

  • Overall like of the concept, picking a totem, and rage now not being limited to rounds per day.
  • Positive on removed alignment restriction.
  • Concern over slow proficiency advancement.
  • Strong concern over insufficient skills.
  • Ridicule of Superstition totem.
  • Strong concern over the sluggish condition that comes with anything Giant totem does, which is especially punitive with the lack of proficiency advancement and the tighter math.
  • Wishing the anathema were more flexible / could be chosen. However, I haven't heard a complaint about the fact of getting anathema, just the execution.
  • 2nd level Barbarian feats are worthless. Player just picked an extra 1st level feat instead.
  • Desire that the 4th level Barbarian feats were the 2nd level feats, and that the totem feats from 6th level were available at 4th level so they could have been tried out for Pale Mountain, also especially as the 6th level feats don't seem like they're necessarily good enough to belong at 6th level.

Bard

  • General feel that maybe the bard could be an archetype but that as a class it was okay.
  • Overall like of the idea of picking a muse.
  • Conceptually liked that you could go back and pick abilities from other muses, in practice some frustration that it's not productive to do so because of prerequisite chains.
  • Strongly liked that inspire courage is an at will cantrip, and that as written it applies to magic attacks as well.
  • Strongly liked them being a full spellcaster.
  • Back and forth whether Occult fits the "feel" of a bard and maybe it should just be Psychic or Mentalism. This tied into the feel that maybe the bard could be an archetype instead of a class, with a different class being the Occult caster if Occult keeps its current thematics.
  • Curiosity where the various sound-based abilities went.
  • Bard feat prerequisites feel arbitrary.
  • Martial players felt like their classes should get the number of skills the Bard has.
  • While we haven't played high level yet, players aren't happy about spellcaster classes losing feats for casting proficiency at high level.
  • Hate for how heightening works for spontaneous.

Cleric

  • General agreement that the cleric is very solid overall.
  • General agreement that the party probably would have TPKed in Lost Star if not for the cleric. It felt mandatory.
  • Where are philosophy clerics?
  • Players liked spells by deity instead of by domain. Should maybe be one spell per spell tier though instead of only a few scattered spells.
  • Frustration over powers being in the magic chapter instead of the class came to a head with the cleric and its domain powers.
  • Feelings that domains should also come with a passive or secondary ability. Feelings that domains with weak / situational powers should be balanced by getting stronger secondaries.
  • Irritation that Channel wasn't a spell point ability and was instead a separate pool to be tracked.
  • As before, players don't like casters losing feats at high level for casting proficiency.
  • ENORMOUS frustration with old school Vancian casting.

Druid

  • Agreement that the Druid has the best overall structure as a class - as in, pick a path, and you get bonuses for picking abilities in that path, but aren't locked into that path. The specifics need to be ironed out, but had a couple comments agreeing with me that this is how all classes should be designed.
  • Positive on removed alignment restriction.
  • Ridicule of anti-metal restriction.
  • Unhappiness with post errata number of skills.
  • Animal and Storm orders were strongly preferred.
  • Wild order is clear least favorite, especially with it being worthless at low levels and high levels.
  • Too many feat taxes for Animal order and Wild order.
  • Primal spell list may be unsatisfying. In particular, player had trouble finding spells they would actually want to pick at 2nd tier. A lot of this came down to spells which should have been / used to be good, like Flaming Sphere and Web, now inviting disappointment.
  • As before, players don't like casters losing feats at high level for casting proficiency.
  • Confusion why some feats are being reprinted for each class and led to a feeling that there should be some shared feat pools, like metamagic, which can be dipped with class feats.
  • ENORMOUS frustration with old school Vancian casting.

Fighter

  • General agreement that the Fighter is strongly improved overall from PF1.
  • Strong concern over limited number of skills.
  • People were curious why the Fighter advances so much faster in weapons than other martials. General feeling that it's okay for Fighters to be ahead in proficiency but only by a couple levels, not the monumental disparity currently on display.
  • Players wish each fighting style (sword-board, two weapon, etc) got equal amount of feat representation, with ranged maybe getting more because most other feats don't work at all for ranged.
  • As corollary to above, a lot of the feats which specifically say "melee" don't need to say "melee" so that they can be used with ranged. As currently printed, it was generally agreed a ranged Fighter should just multiclass at 2nd level.
  • Confusion why moves shared with the barbarian or etc (e.g., Sudden Charge) are more limited / have more restrictions when used by a Fighter.
  • As corollary to above, this contributed to general feeling there should be some shared feat pools (combat feats, metamagic feats, etc) that classes can dip with their class feats.
  • Why is Point Blank Shot a stance?
  • General feeling that this class needs a "path" you can choose like the Bard's muse or Druid's order. More than just being locked into a chain of feats for a weapon fighting style. We liked the Soldier in Starfinder so something like that would work well.
  • A couple comments that every martial should get AoO and that non-fighters have no ability to control the battlefield at all.

Monk

  • Mixed feelings on Monk but overall felt mostly okay.
  • Positive on removed alignment restriction.
  • Confusion why Monks don't even get simple weapons.
  • Strong concern over limited number of skills.
  • Lack of defensive options made Str based Monk feel like a trap.
  • Confusion why save advancement for Monk is handled differently and why saves don't just automatically get "evasion" etc as an intrinsic feature of Master+ in a save and why that has to be specified as a class ability.
  • Ki Strike was agreed to be worthless.
  • Indifference to monks not coming with Ki abilities baked in, just preference that if you have to feat in to Ki that it actually be good.
  • Felt like a monk should be motivated to have multiple stances and switch according to the situation, but that the current rules do not support this. Giving 1-2 stances for free up front might help this.
  • General feeling that this class needs a "path" you can choose like the Bard's muse or Druid's order.

Paladin

  • General discomfort with the reactive nature of the class, it's not proactive anymore.
  • Speaking of reactive, player didn't like how many things were competing for that one reaction per turn.
  • ENORMOUS ridicule and disdain for the archaic Lawful Good Only restriction.
  • Lay on Hands is extremely weak. Warded Touch should definitely just be baked into the ability.
  • Feeling that Righteous Ally should be moved to 1st level as a counterpart to Druid Orders.
  • Monster type oaths are worthless.

Ranger

  • So far everyone has outright refused to play a Ranger, even for Pale Mountain. :p This class is worthless.
  • Strong dislike for basically everything about the class from beginning to end except the basic abilities / proficiencies sidebar on page 113.
  • Hunt Target should be completely reworked, and if kept in something like its current form should at least become a free action and/or benefit the first attack.
  • Agreement that thematic favored enemy-based abilities should be implemented. Not PF1 style, where you pick a creature type, but rather 5E style, where you get broader abilities that make you good against larger foes, or good against mobs of mooks, or good against flyers, etc.
  • The people who didn't give up on Rangers immediately and instead looked into them more before dropping them like snares in concept but hate them in execution. There should probably be a ranger "order" to get them at 1st level and be really good at them.
  • Where is archery?
  • Why do companions eat basically all of your feats if you go that route?
  • Apparent indifference to lack of spellcasting.

Rogue

  • One of the more favored classes. People generally like this implementation, especially due to the huge number of skills / skill feats.
  • Maybe grant a player chosen weapon group instead of a few specific martial weapons.
  • Surprise Attack should probably be made a general fact of going first in combat again and reworked with a more Rogue-specific ability.
  • Some frustration that this class is the only way to get Dex to damage with Agile / Finesse weapons. This should probably just be a general feature of these weapons rather than a class ability. The monk in particular could benefit from this.
  • Some concern that damage won't keep up at higher levels due to the magic weapon paradigm and how few sneak attack dice you get.
  • General feeling that this class needs a "path" you can choose like the Bard's muse or Druid's order. Even the Starfinder Operative's paths, as somewhat anemic as they are, at least give something over this implementation.
  • Coming from PF1, people were confused why Uncanny Dodge was renamed just for the sake of renaming it.

Sorcerer

  • There is general unhappiness with this class and so far no one has wanted to play it, though one player did begrudgingly agree to try a divine sorcerer for when we get to the Sombrefall Hall adventure.
  • General agreement that the sorcerer should get cleric HP, light armor, a martial weapon group, and maybe absorb the Magus or Kineticist.
  • ENORMOUS hate for the limited number of feats the sorcerer gets and that the worthless bloodline abilities and the spellcasting proficiency come in place of feats.
  • ENORMOUS hate for how Sorcerer spellcasting is less versatile and useful than wizard, being limited to the same number of spells per day but having a locked in number of spells known with nothing to compensate for it.
  • ENORMOUS hate for the restriction on heightening spells.
  • Where are all the class features and powers to make up for all these restrictions?

Wizard

  • Generally agreed to be better than the Sorcerer in every conceivable way other than the limited skills and weapons.
  • Discomfort with the limited number of skills. Should just get all simple weapons already.
  • Generalist widely agreed to be directly superior to specialists in every way.
  • Wide agreement that specialists should get access to all spells of their school regardless of class list.
  • As before, confusion why metamagic feats aren't a general pool that can be dipped with class feats by caster classes.
  • Reach Spell is MVP on the low level feat list and players feel other feats should be brought up to its level.
  • School powers generally agreed to be worthless, another contributing factor to Generalist being better.
  • ENORMOUS frustration with old school Vancian casting.

Skills and Skill/General Feats

  • Players generally liked the skill list but feel a few skills were overcombined (Nature) and/or misthemed (Thievery).
  • My group likes skills and generally feel most classes should get more skills.
  • Several suggestions along the line of posts I've made before, that Handle Animal and Ride should just be together as their own skill.
  • Several players don't like Sense Motive being rolled into Perception, others are fine with it.
  • Several comments that if using non-Perception skills for initiative is made easier and more robust, Perception could just be a skill again.
  • ENORMOUS hate for Take 10 being taken out of the game.
  • Strong preference for example skill DCs to be put into this chapter.
  • Huge displeasure with the way picking locks worked. After the first few times in play I broke my "no houserules for the playtest" vow and agreed to let them bypass a lock with just one success when not in an encounter.
  • Complete ridicule for secret checks. Players want to roll their own skill checks. I as GM also don't want the burden of rolling everyone else's skill checks on top of everything else I already have to do running the game.
  • A general feeling that getting to Expert, Master etc in a skill should do something and not just be +1 and access to more skill feats.
  • ENORMOUS hate for Signature skills in published implementation. Literally every player initially thought Signature skills were bonus Trained skills. A couple people commented that if Signature skills have to be a thing, they should be granted as bonus skills trained and allow you to go one step higher than would otherwise be allowed at your level: Expert at 1st, Master at 3rd-5th, Legendary at 7th-9th.
  • Everyone feels skill feats should be listed with each skill, like how class feats are listed with each class.
  • Multiple comments that General feats should be listed by level and then alphabetically within level, instead of a giant undifferentiated alphabetical list.
  • ENORMOUS hate for how things like Alertness or Iron Will directly set your proficiency to Expert instead of just bumping proficiency by one step.
  • General comments that a lot of skill and general feats are disappointing or over specialized.
  • Why do some skills barely have any feats?
  • General agreement that Cat Fall is the benchmark for what a good skill feat should look like. Everyone liked the feats that followed this model.
  • Recognize Spell should be baked into the relevant skills and should be a free action.
  • Being able to use Recall Knowledge once per turn as a free action a la Automatic Knowledge was agreed that it should be the default. At the very least Automatic Knowledge should not require Assurance.
  • General agreement that Assurance is the worst feat in the game.
  • Several wishes that there were skill feats for Perception / Sense Motive.
  • There needs to be a lot more skill feats, especially mid/high level ones.
  • Several players thought General feats could be used to purchase any feat you had access to (ancestry class etc) and were very disappointed to learn otherwise.

Equipment

  • Players liked the official shift to a silver standard.
  • Players are fine with Bulk in concept, as they were in Starfinder, but feel that bulk limits need to be doubled (up to Str before encumbered), that various items need to be re-examined for their Bulk rating, and that shields etc should not be Light.
  • Wide hate for how punitive medium and especially heavy armor are, and a general feeling that they should be outright better than light armor as well as more accessible with starting money.
  • Any thrown or projectile weapon with anything other than Reload 0 is considered punitive and is avoided.
  • Several comments that d4 weapons should be rare or non-existent and everything should be bumped up a step.
  • Several comments that two handed weapons aren't good enough to give up the off hand.
  • Not a single person likes uncommon weapons and gear.
  • Every weapon group should have a variety of representative weapons from simple to martial to exotic.
  • Classes should probably get a choice of (several in most cases) weapon group proficiencies, rather than just "martial weapons" or several specific martial weapons.
  • Some of the more fiddly weapon abilities like Backswing should be made better or combined with other abilities. Deadly and Fatal should not be separate abilities.
  • Some of the skill kits have way too high a Bulk rating.

Magic

  • Everyone agreed that spells should list what spell lists they're on, and that the lists themselves should list spell school and have a short summary of the spell's effect.
  • ENORMOUS disappointment that magic was completely nerfed into the ground overall. I am concerned I may not be able to get my group to play PF2 after the playtest on this basis alone, even despite other stuff they do like a lot.
  • Multiple comments that they could have just fixed the problematic spells, and tweaked some stuff rather than nerfing almost every spell on every metric.
  • Too many spells do nothing significant when the target saves or even when the target fails their save. There can be a middle ground where failed-saves are more impactful than they currently are without being as impactful as a critfail, while successful saves in many cases should just have the current failed-save effect or a slightly weaker version of the current failed-save effect.
  • Not a single person likes uncommon spells.
  • ENORMOUS hate for the incredibly short spell durations.
  • People do love cantrips in concept. However,
  • Cantrips and spells should always add ability modifier to damage or healing, with actual die heightening not being delayed so much.
  • Calls that cantrips should compare on equal basis to weapons. If a cantrip does roughly the same damage as a weapon, it should only take one action to cast instead of two.
  • Cantrips, and way more spells in general, should take better advantage of the ability some spells have to spend more actions casting them to make them better.
  • Most or all spells should have heightening options and the heightening options should generally be better.
  • Widespread disappointment that basic utility and mobility and quality-of-life magic was severely over-nerfed.
  • General agreement that a lot of basic utility spells like Alarm and Unseen Servant could be 4E style rituals.
  • People generally like the PF2 style rituals for big ticket magic like Resurrection but feel 4E style is better overall for anything that is not big-ticket.
  • Detect Magic is a point of particular confusion.
  • The vast majority of cleric domain powers and sorcerer bloodline powers and wizard school powers are agreed to be basically worthless.

Archetypes

  • Players strongly miss PF1 style Archetypes.
  • Players strongly agree that PF2 style Archetypes work really well as a model for prestige classes.
  • Ridicule for the "locked in" aspect of Archetype dedications, and even more ridicule that they felt the need to reprint this text for every single one instead of just as as a one time header.
  • Pretty big concern that you can't actually get at all the abilities of your multiclass with the multiclass feats.
  • More skill focused archetype / multiclass feats should be able to be purchased with skill feats or general feats instead of class feats.

Companions

  • No one likes how companions work.
  • Several suggestions that maybe players should just have 3 bonus actions per turn that could be used for minions like companions and summons without having to also use the player's actions to command them, and that would in itself be enough to cap summon spam.
  • Companions are made of tissue paper.
  • Some animals are just objectively better than others.
  • No one likes horses having Mount niche protection.
  • Where are tricks and tasks that animals can be trained in? Mount can just be here as an ability you can train an animal with.
  • Classes that get companions have to use almost all their feats to keep the companion up to par and this is very frustrating.
  • Familiars are generally liked but should get some intrinsic abilities by type on top of the selectable abilities. Players miss things like cats and ravens and whatever actually feeling different.

Playing the Game

  • Players are indifferent to the +level paradigm overall. It doesn't increase their enjoyment of the game nor does it harm.
  • Several suggestions though that +1/2 level would allow their own proficiency and ability modifiers to feel more significant. They are concerned that level is washing out everything else even as early as 4th level as seen in Pale Mountain.
  • Players like the crit success/fail system (margin of 10) for skills.
  • Players are less sold on the margin of 10 system for attack rolls and saving throws. Combat seems super swingy because of the crits, especially with how monsters are just directly better than players in every way.
  • Some feeling that the game might be healthier and have more fun and meaningful options if the margin of 10 system was kept for skills but scrapped for combat. No one wants confirmation rolls back though.
  • Alternative suggestions were that the same expansion of better options and higher modifiers might be permissible if instead of scrapping the margin of 10 system in combat, crits maxed damage instead of doubling it.
  • Widespread confusion on what exactly gets doubled on a critical hit.
  • People like Weakness. Some disappointment that after I had said resistances and immunities were less common than PF1, a lot of the monsters in Lost Star and etc just turned out to have a big pile of resistances and immunities!
  • It's too hard to get healing if you don't have a cleric. People think healing should be completely separated from resonance.
  • Not much love for the dying rules, even post errata. One comment that "negative HP up to max HP" would work just fine as a fix for PF1's too few negative HP before death.
  • Indifference to hero points except in how necessary they are to not die, and people aren't willing to spend them on anything else just because of the necessity to hoard them against death. All options or at least reroll should probably only cost one hero point, instead of reroll costing 2 and extra action costing 3.
  • Gaining new hero points should probably officially be on a milestone system, every few encounters.
  • People generally liked me handing out 1 hero point for showing up or 2 for showing up on time.
  • Light rules are confusing and incomplete.
  • No one likes the lack of a surprise round. General agreement with my suggestion that maybe surprise round should just be 1 action, or maybe 2 on a crit success on initiative vs the enemy, to mitigate how swingy and powerful PF1 surprise rounds were.
  • Mild disappointment with the severity of the multiple attack penalty.
  • No one likes how the DC of Assist is the same as just making an attack roll to begin with. This should maybe be a DC of the target's AC minus 5, instead of a DC of the target's AC.
  • No one likes having to raise a shield every turn!
  • No one likes having to spend an action to change grips!
  • Why does Size have basically no effect on anything whatsoever other than Bulk and Reach? This was immersion breaking for multiple players.
  • Multiple comments that Flanking should be its own thing separate from Flat Footed so that they can stack, and that it's just fine if Sneak Attack has a "target is flat-footed or you are flanking them" stipulation.
  • No one wants to deal with the mounted combat rules.
  • Ridicule for the exploration tactics and how if you do basic things like talking to someone and keeping an eye out for deception at the same time you become fatigued.
  • POSITIVE on downtime being called out as more of a thing, with wishes for it to be fleshed out and expanded more.
  • Confusion on whether any conditions can stack, with general feel that applying the same condition again should get a higher number (e.g., Frightened 1 going to Frightened 2) rather than only the more potent one applying.

Treasure

  • The way character wealth by level works has not exactly been a hit with creating higher level characters for the playtest. It should be a lot more flexible.
  • No one likes Resonance, ESPECIALLY for healing, ESPECIALLY after the utter brutality of the playtest campaign and how enemy monsters crit players almost every single round without fail. This might go down better if healing was unrestricted.
  • No one likes heavy armor being more expensive / higher level to enchant than light / medium, especially when heavy armor is just directly worse than light / medium armor.
  • Some concern about the magic weapon paradigm and how it is probably going to warp and break the game at higher levels and make low die weapons useless.
  • Missing lots of old nostalgic items, especially when trying to find items to buy with those item slots at higher level character creation.
  • General feeling that the promise of having less mandatory items so you could go for the more fun and flavorful stuff was an outright lie.
  • Widespread confusion at magic items listing prices in GP when the game is on an SP standard.
  • Widespread disappointment with how expensive consumable items are.
  • Snares are ludicrously weak, expensive and impractical. They are a wonderful idea implemented terribly.
  • Flabbergasted that "non-magical" alchemical items still require resonance, even and especially if someone already paid resonance to make them!
  • Why can't shields have runes?
  • Why are there so few weapon and armor property runes?
  • Why are weapon and armor property runes grouped together?
  • Why do items with charges like wands and staves ALSO require resonance on top of charges? Why are there charges at all if resonance is going to be the limiting resource?
  • Why do staves cost 1 charge per spell level?
  • Why are consumable magic items listed mixed in with the nonconsumable items?
  • Why aren't trinkets their own section?
  • Why do so many trinkets require either high skill ratings? Why do ANY trinkets whatsoever require specific feats?
  • Why are high level consumable magic items so incredibly expensive?
  • Why do so many items require investment when you have to also spend resonance per use to actually use them?

Terminology

  • As mentioned before, all of the players seem to strongly prefer Ancestries instead of Races. The black player especially found this welcoming.
  • Everyone hates the term Spell Points.
  • Players are still meh on the confusing term Spell Level, as they have been for years, and would prefer a term without the word Level in it. People liked Tier in Starfinder.
  • Everyone thinks the names for Hampered and Slow conditions should be swapped.
  • The two-action and three-action symbols are difficult to distinguish.
  • No one likes the Uncommon system at all, but if it's kept it should be called out in text and not solely by color coding the level box.

I hope this is helpful.


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Since the rules on lighting are pretty incomplete - in particular, the rules on dim light don't seem to address dim light actually existing as a state other than via candles and a couple magic effects - I'm going to suggest the following:

* If you're in darkness and don't have Darkvision, or in dim light and don't have Darkvision or Low-Light Vision, the combat miss chance also applies as a failure chance to movement and manipulate skill checks you make.

* A bright light source also produces dim light out to twice its radius, like PF1. So a torch (20 ft bright light) would also produce dim light out to 40 ft.

* Dim light is a spread emanation and moves around corners, but bright light is a burst emanation and does not.

* A creature automatically notices if bright light enters its space.

* A creature does not automatically notice if dim light enters its space or if a light source enters its line of sight at a distance, but does get a Perception check.

There is also confusion about the concealment granted against attacks made vs a creature in bright light. The wording on that needs to be tightened up. I would suggest:

* If you are in dim light or darkness and attack a target in an area of bright light, the target has concealment against your attack. Low-Light vision allows you to ignore this penalty, but Darkvision does not unless you also have Low-light Vision. You can negate this penalty if you have 10 minutes to observe the target for your eyes to adapt.


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Can we have 4E style rituals, instead of the wonky ones we have here that are all a minimum of 8 hours to cast with multiple casters? They were literally the best part of the entire system.

Unseen Servant, Alarm, and on and on and on shouldn't have to compete for your slots with actual useful / life-saving spells. They can just be short 1-10 minute rituals instead. And you can still set them up to scale / heighten pretty easily.

This would go an enormous distance to making up for the much more limited spell slots.


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The Craft skill is pretty weird and unsatisfying as it stands. I thought I'd try rewriting it.

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Craft (Downtime, Manipulate, Trained Only)

You can make an item from raw materials. When you become Trained in Craft and each time you increase your proficiency rank thereafter, choose a broad category of items you are good at crafting, such as armor, art, soft goods (cloth and leather items such as clothing), structures, tools, traps (including locks and snares), vehicles, or weapons. You can still craft other types of items beyond what you picked, but the DC is increased by one step; e.g., from Low to High.

You need the Alchemical Crafting skill feat to create alchemical items, the Magical Crafting skill feat to create magic items, and the Snare Crafting feat to create snares on the fly in the field as opposed to using the time and rules below.

To Craft an item, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You have the proficiency rank appropriate to the item's quality. Someone untrained in Craft can only make Poor quality improvised items that have a -2 penalty on any relevant rolls or traits. A trained character can make normal items. An expert, master, or legendary crafter can make the respective quality of items.
  • You have an appropriate set of tools and, in many cases, a workshop. For example, you need access to a smithy to forge a metal shield. You do not need a workshop to merely repair an item as opposed to crafting one from scratch.
  • You must supply raw materials worth at least half the item's Price. You always expend at least that amount of raw materials when you Craft successfully. If you're in a settlement, you can usually spend currency to get an equal amount of raw materials you need, except in the case of rarer special materials.

You can Craft items with the consumable trait in batches, making up to five of the same item simultaneously. This requires you to include the raw materials for all the items in the batch at the start, and you must complete the batch all at once.

You can Craft items above your level, but must have a Formula to be able to do so, and must make a skill check according to the item's quality as if you didn't have a Formula.

Base Time: The base amount of time to Craft a standard-quality item for which you have the formula is 1 day for a tiny handheld item like a scrollcase or healer's kit, 2 days for a small item like a shield or weapon, 4 days for a roughly person sized item like armor or a cart, 8 days for a large item like a wagon or shop stall, 16 days for a huge item like a house or siege engine, 32 days for a gargantuan item like a town square or guard keep, or 64 days for a colossal item like a galleon or manse. When making huge or larger items, you must have laborers to help with the basics of the task or you double the time again.

Increase the time required by 100% (2x) for an Expert item, 200% (3x) for a Master item or 300% (4x) for a Legendary item. If you do not have the Formula and are thus inventing or re-inventing the item, increase the time required by 100% (2x) if it is Common for you or by 200% (3x) if it is not.

Reduce the time from the previous step by 25% if you have an untrained assistant, by 50% if you have a trained assistant or have two or more untrained assistants, or by 75% if you have two or more trained assistants. You do not benefit from more than two assistants; in the case of huge objects like structures, your assistant for this purpose is the foreperson of the workcrew. For this purpose, a trained assistant is someone trained in any Craft for a standard quality item, trained in that specific category of Craft for an expert item, or expert in that specific category of Craft for a master or legendary item.

Example: You are trying to forge a legendary sword for which you have the Formula, and have two trained assistants. The time is 2 days for a small item, x4 for legendary = 8 days, x0.25 for two trained assistants = a final time of 2 days.

Check DC: Use the Trivial check DC of the desired item's level when making an item up to your Crafting rank in quality for which you have the Formula. Because you have the Formula, the item being Common or otherwise is not relevant for you. If you are trained in Craft and the DC remains at Trivial, you do not have to make a check and automatically Succeed unless you want a better degree of success, or are subject to time pressure or other circumstances as the GM deems appropriate.

If you do not have the item's Formula and so are inventing or re-inventing the item, use the Low DC for a standard quality item, High for an expert item, Severe for a master item, or Extreme for a legendary item. Increase the DC by one step if the item would not be Common for your culture. As noted above, increase the DC by one step if the item is not in one of your areas of specialty. Add +3 to the DC for each step it would increase over Extreme.

You can try to hurry the crafting process to make an item in half the time. In this case, use the DC for an item 5 levels higher. Alternately, you can be cautious and take your time to make the process easier. In this case, lower the DC by 2 but you take 50% longer.

Example: You are trying to invent / craft an uncommon item for which you do not have the formula, but which falls within your area of specialty. You use the High DC for a standard item, Severe for expert, Extreme for master, or Extreme +3 for legendary.

After you expend the required amount of raw materials and base downtime, attempt a Crafting check.

Critical Success: You complete the item in the base downtime at no further cost, meaning the net result is that you Craft the item at 50% the Price of buying it.

Success: Your attempt to create the item is successful. After the base downtime is spent, you can pay the remaining half of the item's Price to finish it immediately. You may instead choose to keep working on the item for a longer period of time to reduce the cost of completion. If you spend the base downtime again you can reduce the remaining Price by half, for a net result of Crafting the item in 2x the time at 75% the Price of buying it. If you spend twice the base downtime again you can negate the remaining Price, for a net result of Crafting the item in 3x the time at 50% the Price of buying it.

Failure: You can elect your choice of one of the following three options:

  • You can receive a Success result for an item one quality tier lower than you were trying to make. For example, if you were trying to make an Expert item you can accept a standard item instead. If you were trying to make a standard item, you can accept a poor item instead that has -2 on traits.
  • You can keep working on the item. You have to spend 50% of the downtime again, but you do not have to pay more money unless you are paying assistants for their time. Make another check.
  • You can give up and salvage all of your materials, getting the cost you fronted back.

Critical Failure: You fail to complete the item. You salvage most of your materials, but 10% of the materials (cost prepaid) are ruined and cannot be recovered. If you want to try again, you have to start from scratch at the full downtime.

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Repair (Manipulate)

You spend an hour attempting to fix a dented or broken item, or a dented or broken section of an item or structure much larger than you. You can't Repair a destroyed item, but if you have the remains of the item and are trained in Crafting, you can use the Craft activity above to recreate the item by supplying the item's remnants in place of the required 50% of the market price.

The DC to repair an item is one step lower than the DC to Craft the same item; e.g., Low if making it from scratch would be High for you. Increase the DC to repair a magical item by one step if you do not have the Magical Crafting skill feat.

Critical Success: You completely restore the item.

Success: You remove 1 Dent from the item. A broken item becomes Dented, and an item with only 1 Dent is fully restored.

Failure: You don't make any progress.

Critical Failure: You dent the item. If the item is magical, this Dent can't destroy it.

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Efficient Batching - Skill Feat 2 (General, Skill)
Prerequisites: expert in Crafting

When you Craft a batch of consumable items, you can make up to 10 items simultaneously instead of 5. You must still supply the cost for all the items you choose to make.

You can alternately make two batches of different consumable items up to a total of 10 items, so long as they are of broadly similar type; e.g., two different kinds of scrolls, or two different kinds of specialty arrows. You make one check at the higher DC for the two different kinds of items.

If you are master in Crafting you can make a batch of 20 items, which can be of up to four separate types. If you are legendary in Crafting you can make a batch of 50 items, which can be of up to ten separate types.

Impeccable Craft - Skill Feat 15 (General, Skill)
Prerequisites: legendary in Crafting

Whenever you succeed at a Crafting check to make an item of one of the types you are good at making, including when you take the automatic success for an item for which you have the Formula, you gain the effect of a critical success instead.

Inventor - Skill Feat 7 (Downtime, General, Skill)
Prerequisites: master in Crafting

When you succeed at Crafting an item for which you do not have the Formula, you now know the Formula.

Moreover, you can use Craft to learn Formulas you do not have, as an activity unto itself separate from actually crafting an item. The DC is as per crafting an item of that type and quality, or one step lower if you have an item of that type for reference in your reverse engineering attempt. The downtime requirement is 1 day for a standard quality item, 2 days for an expert item, 4 days for a master item, or 8 days for a legendary item; as usual, you must have legendary rank in Crafting to invent a legendary formula. The price of this activity is determined the same as a normal Crafting check, supplying at least half the price of the Formula and potentially more if you only succeed instead of critically succeeding.

If you are legendary at Crafting, you ignore an item's rarity when crafting it or inventing a formula.

Jury-Rig - Skill Feat 1 (General, Skill)
Prerequisites: trained in Crafting

You can rapidly create an inferior version of an item when you just need something right away. You make a Poor quality version of a standard item (-2 on traits) at half cost, and at a time requirement of 1 hour for each day that it would normally require, at a check DC one step lower.

If you are expert, you reduce the time to 10 minutes per day it would normally require. If you are master this is 1 minute per day, and if you are legendary this is 1 round per day.

You cannot use Jury-Rig to produce items you require another feat to be able to make, like Magical Crafting.

Quick Repair - Skill Feat 1 (General, Skill)
Prerequisites: trained in Crafting

You take only 10 minutes to Repair an item, rather than 1 hour. If you're an expert, it takes 1 minute; if you're a master, it takes 1 round; and if you're legendary, it takes 1 action.

Rapid Crafting - Skill Feat 7 (General, Skill)
Prerequisites: master in Crafting

It takes you half the time to Craft items, or one-fourth the time if you are legendary in Crafting. If you increase the DC to that of an item 5 levels above the desired item, you can halve the time again.

Specialty Crafting - Skill Feat 1 (General, Skill)
Prerequisites: trained in Crafting

Choose two more categories of items that you are good at Crafting.


Are alchemical items, or at least the ones you have to Activate and spend resonance to use, magic items?

If yes, this means detect magic, dispel etc should work on them, yes?

If not, why do they cost resonance, which is explicitly a resource for magic energy?


... Why does an immobile lump of fungus anchored to the walls and floor have a Reflex of +4...?


One of my players would like to play a blind healer during one of the playtest scenarios. I would happily work something up for him in any other campaign, but I'm loathe to houserule much during the playtest, because playtest. I know we don't have oracle curses and such yet, but is there something else in the PF2 rules I'm overlooking which could help enable that? I'm having trouble finding anything.

The best I can see without too much houseruling would be a handwave, saying that as long as he picks a divination cantrip like Know Direction as flavor justification, I'll let him behave as though not blind as far as knowing where stuff is.


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I would feel a lot more comfortable with the core math, and it would avoid silliness like a level 10 Str 10 untrained-athletics wizard handily outwrestling a level 1 Str 18 barbarian, if the effects of level in proficiency rating were reduced the effect of rank was increased. Being trained in a skill, a weapon, or whatever else should really matter. To wit:

Level: Level contribution is reduced to 1/2 level.

Rank: Add an extra rank tier. The ranks go as follows:

  • Untrained gives -4.
  • Trained gives +0. Any skills, weapons, armor, saves etc signature to a class are automatically trained at 1st without having to spend proficiencies. Anyone else can get them at level 1. Assurance is baked in to proficiency and gives you a 10.
  • Expert gives +2. It can come online at level 1 for signature traits, or level 3 otherwise. Assurance gives you a 15.
  • Specialist gives +4. It can come online at level 3 for signature traits or level 9 otherwise. Assurance gives you a 20.
  • Master gives +6. It can come online at level 9 for signature traits or level 15 otherwise. Assurance gives you a 25.
  • Legendary gives +8. It can come online at level 15 for signature traits, and never comes online otherwise. Assurance gives you a 30.

Signature: Signature just means you get to advance proficiency one step higher than your level would otherwise allow. It's not actually a cap. Things that give you extra signature, like race or background abilities, are still desirable but not necessary unless you're pushing optimization.

Equipment: This is why I kept Trained at +0, to line up with how they did equipment tiers. It means an average, decent but unexceptional item is still +0, lining up with Trained. There is an extra equipment tier to correspond to the extra proficiency tier, but equipment bonuses are half of your proficiency rank gives you: +1 expert, +2 specialist, +3 Master, +4 legendary. Actual artifacts ("mythic" items) are the only way to get a +5 item.

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Being trained, expert etc in a skill actually mean something. While level is still a factor, a level 1 barbarian with Str 18 and expert athletics can now consistently outwrestle the weak untrained wizard until the wizard is at the very highest levels, at which point whatever, the wizard is just innately magicking everything they do.

DCs and monster ACs / saves would have to come down some from what is in the published text, sure... But it's not like the whole math system has to be rejiggered. You just reduce DCs a bit at higher levels; a reduction of 2 at low-mid levels to 5 at high levels, with the enhanced proficiency ratings and extra equipment tier, means they still line up with current success rate expectations. Though they should come down more imo, because a mere 55%-60% chance of success at on-level tasks in a skill or with a weapon you're optimized for is really terrible, but that's a separate design consideration from keeping the math largely the same.

Skill feats with the extra tier can represent a smoother curve of potentiality, instead of meh, good, break reality. A feat for a trained character represents being actually good at a particular thing, increasing to really great at expert, normal peak of human potential at specialist, action movie hero or absurdly good csi cop but still /plausible/ at master, then pushing past accepted notions of reality at legendary.

Proficiency can still apply to AC and saves and it works fine.

If bonus damage dice were to be decoupled from magic weapons, it works well with the revised rank system. Expert, Specialist, Master and Legend give a bonus damage die. A good martial character like a fighter or monk can be doing a bonus damage die from training right from level 1, a barbarian can be given an extra die while in rage, a rogue gets a sneak attack / trick attack that goes off more often instead, the Paladin can get smite back. Training is only a few levels behind for non signature classes, so a barbarian doesn't have to wait until the teens of level advancement to become expert, because it's a consistent progression.


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So, they appear to have done something counter intuitive in writing up the Stealth skill.

Playtest Rulebook wrote:
If you do anything else, you become seen just before you act. For instance, if you attack a creature you're unseen by, that creature is not flat-footed against that attack.

... What? So, it is literally impossible to get the drop on someone. There is no explanation of why. There are no skill feats to get around this. There are not even any Ranger or Rogue feats to get around this, which means a rogue cannot get sneak attack on someone they are hidden from.

Am I missing something?


Having gone through everything now, I am noticing that damage resistance still seems to be way overvalued by the designers. Even at high levels, effects that give resistance only give low amounts of it. You will have people running around dealing 6d8 + bonus dice + high modifier damage per sword swing and even more energy damage per spell casting, but you're lucky if you can get decent amounts of damage resistance as a persistent option. Even high level feat commitments and expensive high level worn items can't do it. Very rarely you can get 15, but mostly it's 5 or 10. That is trivial even at low to mid levels, let alone high levels.

On a semi related note, sonic damage is barely acknowledged by the game. There's, what, one spell (Sound Burst) and one item (Horn of Blasting) that does it? Even old staples like Shout are missing. Most things that give energy resistance or interact with energy damage or do variable damage don't mention sonic. I would have hoped the new version would somewhat normalize the various damage types against each other, so you could have more viable concepts and didn't have some damage types arbitrarily nerfed and kept in the back of the class because nothing resists them.


So both magic armor and magic weapons have the text:

"Runes of +2 armor/weapon potency or stronger require the armor/weapon to already have the listed weaker rune, and etching the new rune increases the existing potency rune to the new value."

As I read this, by RAW, to add a +3 armor rune to light armor doesn't actually cost 730 gp as indicated for the +3 rune, but is actually 730 (+3 rune) + 300 gp (+2 rune) + 25 gp (+1 light armor rune) = 1055 gp?

Why? Just have the actual net cost with each rune and you just apply that rune in place of existing runes~


Can someone check on what's going on with my Playtest corebook and adventure preorder? It's Monday evening, I live only a few miles from Amazon, but I still don't have my books. :/


I got an email last week saying they were going to bill people for the playtest pre-orders on Monday July 9. Well, that didn't happen and still hasn't happened.

Did anyone else's go through and my order is just screwed up, or is everyone else still waiting too?


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We know that it's just 1000 xp per level, which presumably means that the XP of a level appropriate challenge will always be the same at level 15 as at level 10 as at level 5. But I don't think they've actually said what that XP is, or how fast characters are expected to advance. If they have, or if it was in a podcast, I've missed it.

So, do we know how fast characters are expected to advance in PF2? Is the expectation that characters level up faster than PF1? Slower? About the same?


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As a thought experiment, I wanted to try to preserve some of the designer intent behind Resonance while rewriting it into a form I could live with. I think Resonance might make more sense if instead of one universal pool, it was a rating used for several purposes - i.e., making wands etc independent from how many items you can actually wear. Let's take a crack at it.

  • You have a Resonance rating equal to half your Charisma score + half your level.
  • You can wear a number of magic items up to your Resonance. Aeon stones and similar items that attune to and follow you without actually being worn count as worn items for this purpose. If you wear more than this limit, all of your worn items stop functioning until you are back down to your Resonance.
  • A powerful item may say in its description that it counts as two items worn. An item above your level counts as an additional item worn, as does an item with an alignment opposed to yours.
  • Some item activations list an Invoke cost, such as "Reaction (Invoke 2): Reroll a saving throw" or "2 Actions (Invoke 0): Cast the Ghost Sound cantrip." You have a pool of Invocation points each day equal to your Resonance. Invoking an item above your level increases the cost by 1, as does invoking an item with an alignment opposed to yours. For instance, Ghost Sound in the example above is free if the item is not above your level, or 1 point if it is.
  • Consumable items above your level have Invoke 1. Otherwise, consumable items of your level or lower are not Invoked and so do not count against your pool, unless they specifically say otherwise.
  • Some consumable items may allow you to pay Invocation to keep them instead of consuming them. For example, a Trinket may have the cost "(Invoke 2 or Sacrifice)," in which case you may either pay 2 points to invoke it and keep the item for future use, or sacrifice the item to invoke it for free.
  • You can control an intelligent item without having to make Will saves if its Ego is not above your Resonance. An intelligent item pays its own Invoke costs, but in doing so increases its Ego by that amount for 24 hours.

Then you can have feats and stuff that interact with that, the eventual Occultist can interact with that. More powerful items can have higher costs to use. Putting on a pair of boots doesn't diminish how much you can be healed. And you can keep Alchemist separate, instead of awkwardly conjoining it to Resonance: the Alchemist doesn't use Resonance, it just gets an alchemy pool of its own based on Intelligence and class level.


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There is a thing I've been doing in my house rules for my campaigns for some years now to make Charisma more useful to everyone. I allow it to give the players contacts in the world. I'm just going to quote from the latest version of my house rules doc.

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Fuzzy's Rules wrote:

You have a number of friendly contacts equal to half your Charisma score plus half your level. When you meet an NPC in play, and that NPC is not of truly elite rank nor unfriendly or hostile, you may “spend” one of your contacts to designate that this NPC is someone you’ve previously met or corresponded with. When you do so, suggest how you came to know each other. If your story for this is reasonable and the GM does not object, you start on good terms with the NPC and they are more directly useful to you than usual.

If the NPC is important or has valuable and unusual services, like a magistrate or a trader in rare goods, this gives you a starting reaction of friendly. This is the equivalent of a casual or professional acquaintance, a drinking buddy at the pub, a pen pal, a one-time friend who drifted due to time and distance, or the like. This kind of contact will be happy to help you with things that don’t put them too far out of their way and that don’t risk consequences for them, and can put in a good word for you. A friendly contact of this type who offers goods and services won't give you a discount, but they may do things like make sure to get in and set aside an item they know you want, or "find" a slot in their schedule to help you even when booked up with appointments.

If the NPC is of only moderate importance or the services they offer are uncommon rather than rare, such as a blacksmith or guard, they instead have a starting reaction of helpful. This is equivalent to a friend, a long-time colleague, one person being the best customer of the other, or so forth. This kind of contact is willing to go out of their way for you once in a while, offer small discounts (about 10%), and otherwise help you out so long as you aren’t abusing the relationship. They will similarly risk minor trouble for you, and might on very rare occasions be potentially willing to risk serious consequences if the likely benefit to them is correspondingly large and you make a very good case for it.

If the NPC is relatively mundane and unimportant, like a farmer or laborer, they instead have a starting reaction of fanatic. This is equivalent to a beloved family member, someone who owes you their life or looks up to you with hero worship, or similar. They aren’t your slave, and will not leave their family and employment behind without an actual contract or an extremely compelling reason of immediate benefit to them and theirs. However, they’ll otherwise do anything they can for you, as often as they are reasonably able to, even if it is often a bit risky – so long as you are still taking care of them as a friend and they feel they can trust you.

Contacts are finite, and designating one permanently expends that “slot.” You get an additional contact at every even character level. Also, each time you spend two cumulative months of downtime in civilization, you get back one spent contact as a bonus on top of your other activities. Time spent in substantial contact with the public, such as political work or bartending, counts double toward recovering spent contacts.

If you are 6th level or higher, you can spend two contact “slots” to gain a moderate contact as fanatic, an important contact as helpful, or an "elite" contact like a noble or veteran hero as friendly. At 16th level or higher, you can spend three “slots” to gain an important contact as fanatic or an elite contact as helpful.

I think this is a much better way to give Charisma some extra use to everyone. It suits the nature of Charisma. It doesn't take away the "magic" of a magic item by making them just a "magic feather" or other such placebo vessel for a character's own personal power, the way that Resonance seems to do.

Anyway, I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts on this.


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I wanted to keep this separate from the main Archetype blog thread.

I am foreseeing a problem coming down the pike in Pathfinder 2 that other games like Magic the Gathering have had to grapple with in the past. Namely, "wasting" single word or common phrase names on fairly narrow and rarely seen bits of game content. Really good and powerful names get "burned up" early in game development, leaving later design to struggle with a bunch of {adjective}{quality} {noun}{verb}er names.

You see it in the Archetype blog with Sea Legs for a Pirate Archetype feat (that doesn't even really have anything to do with the phenomenon of "sea legs") when that name should be reserved for a broader-access skill feat. You see it even more with the much more "valuable" name Unbreakable, which while at least appropriately powerful is inappropriately thrown away as an ability for a rare prestige class.

Please don't do this. Archetypes and prestige-archetypes, and frankly also Ancestries, are the bits of game design which should get the late-stage MTG names. Save your big guns for stuff in the class feat, skill feat and general feat lists. Plllleeeeeease.


What day are the playtest books expected to be delivered to people who pre-ordered? I'm being dragged on a camping trip for which I have to leave on the morning of Thursday August 2, but if the books were to arrive on or before August 1 that would be awesome, and would give me something to read while away from data...


If Mark or another dev were willing, I had a few questions about the playtest adventure. I don't think these would count as the sort of "spoilers that would bias playtest data." I mean, I could be wrong but if so, just say so. <3
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  • Is the adventure pretty grimdark, or would it be fairly easy to reskin it to a comedy or dark comedy without too much work? I haven't run a comedy game in some years, and I think it would be a nice break from our darker regular Starfinder campaign since we'll be running the Playtest on our off-weeks between our Starfinder sessions.
  • Are players able to build their own characters for the adventure, or is being requested that people just take pregens through it?
  • Assuming players can build their own characters, would playable monster races from the bestiary PDF (orcs, gnolls etc) be viable, or are you just wanting CRB races?
  • Will the data you are most looking for the GM to be mindful of and collect from each segment be listed in the adventure itself, or is the GM going to have to look at the survey for that segment before running the adventure? It's been pretty clear that you don't want players looking at the survey beforehand and biasing the adventure, but it's not entirely clear if you also don't want GMs reading the survey beforehand and if that would be considered a biasing factor.
  • A couple of the devs have talked up the lethality of the adventure. Assuming that isn't just bluster, what is the expectation when a PC dies? Are they able to take up a new character and keep playing like usual in most campaigns, or is one of the playtest goals to whittle the party down and the dead PC's player is just booted out of the game to sit on their hands or go home early?

Hopefully these are answerable. Thanks in advance :)


I kind of expected Paizo to have charged me for the Playtest books by now since the preorder has been closed for a while. Does the fact that they haven't charged me mean my order didn't go through properly and I'm not going to get my books, or have they just not charged people yet?


A number of the design decisions with respect to nerfs, especially re blasting, have been stated to be from concerns of a bunch of enemies (or PCs) ganging up on a single target and murderating them. But maybe it's ganging up itself that is a problem, and that can be addressed without nerfing individual abilities?

Regardless of how on the table the game is turn based, with everyone frozen in time so characters can neatly move around and unload without interference, this is representing a more complex context. You wouldn't actually get to have eight people surrounding a target without them interfering with each other. You wouldn't be able to have eight people use Aid Another without them tripping over each other. And I can easily imagine a bunch of spells cast into the same space causing magical interference with each other, much like multiple music sources clashing and creating a cacophony. There is even some in-game precedent with the rules for making a ranged attack into melee.

So maybe every attacker or caster who picks on a single target in a turn after the first or second starts taking a cumulative -2 penalty to their attack rolls or save DCs, and to each die/unit of damage they do. Maybe each person who Aids a single action after the first takes the same cumulative penalty, increasing the chance they'll critically fail and actually impede the action by getting in the way. So even in the absurdly unlikely scenario where you have 4 high level wizards in an encounter all casting spells at the same targets, or 4 raging barbarians all closing on the same target, they interfere with each other and it isn't instadeath rocket tag.

Something to think about, anyway~


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So we have magical weapons providing extra damage dice and magical armor providing a save bonus. Will there similarly be a universal special benefit for magical tools that enhance skill checks? Things like lockpicking kits, boots that enhance Stealth, crafting tools and so on. Will these just be a flat bonus to skill checks or will they do something more interesting?

One potential universal benefit to go along with the bonus would be allowing you to reroll the associated skill check and take the better result, once per day per "plus" of the item. Another might be dividing the time required for long-form checks like crafting, or giving bonus actions for short-form checks like sneaking.

Or is it instead going to be that each skill item's benefits are unique? I'm good with that, as long as they don't leave any skills behind and EVERY skill gets cool unique things from its magic tools.


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From dev comments late in the Paladin thread, we have some more info about how the Paladin mount works. Instead of summoning a random magic horse out of the ether, it looks like you actually upgrade an existing companion into the special companion. This opens a lot of potential, and room for speculation, re how the druid/ranger companion or wizard/witch familiar might work. Especially in conjunction with all monsters having levels now rather than hit dice and CR.

Maybe you no longer have to have an "approximation" of an animal raked over the coals for balance purposes. I'm guessing for animal companion, you can now just literally designate a fully built beast out of the Bestiary of your level or lower, not some weird puny version of that animal. And if the level is lower than yours, you advance it and give it abilities according to a universal animal companion table.

I'm guessing that at least Improved Familiar will work the same way. You just pick an eligible creature of your level or less, advance it and stack mystic connections on it.

We also now know there are feats in the CRB to improve a paladin mount with stuff like angel wings. I'm guessing similar "mutations" or "teamwork benefits" or the like might show up in the CRB for companions of other stripes as well. So we might not have to wait years for later supplements before we see anything of the sort.

That's all good news to me if I'm guessing everything reasonably correctly. A couple players at my table who favor pet classes will be happy at options both simultaneously streamlining and getting better. As the GM I will no longer be cheating quite so hard if I just give an NPC an animal out of the book because I didn't have time to run it through the companion table. And it would offer much more room for future expansion. :)

Also, in the Bestiary... They could literally just have a tag or icon by a creature's name, indicating it is selectable as a companion!


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So despite not having a single ability tied to Law and Order, and in fact reading more like a NG champion even down to the priorities in its new code, the Paladin is tied to LG yet again. But it doesn't have to end the playtest that way. If we're stuck with core paladin instead of core warpriest or cavalier, it should be Any Good.

And then we can give the other deities their own champions. Similar to but not the same as the Paladin, but with the intent of roughly balancing and being just as strong in their own ways. What I am (re)proposing is champions of the four axis. Not the four corners, not LG CG LE and CE, but the four axis of Good Evil Law and Chaos. For the sake of discussion I'll name them as Paladin, Blackguard, Enforcer and Vindicator respectively, but ultimately the names aren't too important except that the Chaotic one not be named Liberator because that has a very specific and sometimes problematic flavor.

Again, this leaves the Good one as the Paladin, as seen in the blog. So what about the others? They shouldn't just be light reskins of the Paladin; they should have their own feel, and their own focus. They shouldn't necessarily get the same abilities under a different name, except for Smite, but should in many cases get abilities that are /thematically/ similar, or are mirrored in different ways.

Say the Enforcer, as a voice of authority and order, gets abilities similar to the 4E warlord. Instead of Lay on Hands, they shout inspiring commands to grant temporary hit points. Instead of Divine Grace, they can further extend this inspiration to, as a reaction, mitigate incoming damage dealt to themself and their allies. Their answer to mercies is to accumulate abilities to control the battlefield and move, buff and grant extra actions to their allies. If they get auras at all, it's more like bardic inspiration in how it is executed.

Say the Vindicator, as a champion of the alignment of individuality, freedom and contrarianism, is more of a lone wolf. They don't really get abilities which directly help their allies like a paladin or enforcer would. Instead they focus on counterattacks, endurance and mobility. They can challenge foes to draw focus. Like the 3.x Crusader, they can delay damage that would be done to them and use it to empower themselves against their foes. Their answer to mercies lets them delay paying the piper longer, add powerful effects to their reprisal attacks, and stave off conditions as well. Instead of Divine Grace, they can add to AC like the Goodadin does to saves, and proc into an opportunity attack if this causes the opponent to miss.

Say the Blackguard, as the antithesis to the Paladin, has more mirrored talents but not in quite the same lazy way as the original Antipaladin. Instead of Lay on Hands to heal or harm, they can Defile like a Dark Sun wizard to destroy their surroundings and inflict pain to heal themselves. Their answer to Mercies empowers and widens this effect. Instead of Divine Grace for a save bonus, as a reaction they can spend a spell point to add their Cha modifier to the attack roll of a confirmed hit and maybe turn it into a critical, getting the point refunded if it doesn't work. Auras of reversed flavor do work for them, though.

That gives pretty much every deity access to champions who can serve their cause. Some deities can even deploy several different kinds of champions, depending on the need.


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As I mentioned here, I would like to see spellcasters a little more tied to using magical implements or spellcasting foci in PF2. This would give wizards, clerics and the like a kind of "weapon" to buy and upgrade to modify and improve their spellcasting, with an eventual +1 focus and +2 focus and so on; this would help counter the preponderance of enemy save boosters (or player save boosters when the implement is in an enemy's hands). It was one of the best ideas from the Brand's 4th and 5th editions, but they didn't take it as far as it could go, and there was mostly no difference from one kind of focus to the next. That can be fixed. :)

SO, say that a spellcasting focus has traits that modify your spellcasting, and have the foci correspond to weapon size categories. A "light" focus like a holy symbol or medicine bag, that you just wear like an amulet or set into a shield, has maybe 1 trait / trait point. A "one-handed" focus like a rod or orb, that you have to hold in hand to use it (and can of course perform your Somatic component with that hand), has 2 traits. A "two-handed" focus like a staff or tome, which excludes you from also wielding a shield or carrying another magic item in your other hand, has 3 traits.

You can then pick your focus for the traits it offers, and how you envision your caster working his or her magic. Some can be basic elemental traits, like a wand boiled in exotic oils and set with a ruby enhancing fire magic; some can be tied to other descriptors, like a runic skull (a variant "orb" or "medicine bag") enhancing curses and negative energy; some can modify traits like range and duration, like a crystal orb acting as a "metaphysical lens" and projecting your spells out further; one trait might just bluntly add +1 point of damage per die; and so on. It would offer a lot of customization, and help further set one caster of the same class and school / domain / bloodline / etc apart from each other.

Magic implements would of course increase save DCs, but should also have other effects available, much as I really hope there are no "generic" +1 weapons in PF2. These can be everything from absorbing the old Pearl of Power, to acting as a metamagic rod for you to funnel spell points or resonance through, to a magic tome with spells in it allowing you to prepare or spontaneously cast from the tome in addition to the spells you actually know, to every so often allowing you to force an enemy to reroll a save, and so on.

And of course, this would allow "weapliments" too - weapons that serve as a focus. Particularly useful to a magus, paladin or the like.


Can environment effects like cold weather and the like maybe be handled better this time? Someone in normal (not made for cold weather) clothes in -20 weather (or effective -20 after wind chill) won't usually have meaningful Frostbite until after about a half hour, whereas in PF1 the average commoner would be dead 10 times over by then. At -20 it should switch to doing automatic nonlethal every 10 minutes with the Fort save to avoid lethal damage, not automatic lethal every minute with the Fort save to avoid nonlethal... What the heck was with that? At -40 it would be this same process but every minute. At - 60 you can start inflicting automatic lethal and go from there.

Lava should automatically kill you when you fall in if not at least resistant to fire. The 20d6 (really should maybe be 20d20 or at least 20d10) lava bath would only get rolled if you have resistance, with a nonresistant character just dying regardless of HP or Fortitude. Proximity damage just from being near it would also be more of a thing, with that being the 2d per round, and with actual contact being way higher.

Windspeed can be fleshed out and extended more as well. The skill and range penalty actually shouldn't ramp up quite so exponentially that fast, but the table should be extended. At the higher windspeeds, it should be able to do damage even without blowing you away, due to bludgeoning force as well as debris carried on the wind. At the highest windspeeds, even trees and boulders can be uprooted and buildings can be destroyed.

And so on...


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Can drunkenness and the mechanics thereof, and their relation to a character's Constitution score, actually be defined in the CRB this time, please?

Can we have a molotov defined in the CRB game rules? That's not a modern setting trope by any means.

Can holy water not be a weakass waste of money please? Also, can it have more uses, and higher level variants?

Can there be "food and drink" that is so well made it actually confers positive effects, without me having to houserule juryrig a cooking version of Brew Potion? Can we maybe have Craft/Profession (Cooking) listed as a direct alternative to Craft/Profession (Alchemy).

Can potions please have their own distinct flavor from alchemical elixirs? Right now, it sounds like the direction they're going is they're both going to be a grab bag of random effects and the distinction between a potion and an elixir is almost entirely arbitrary. If an elixir can turn you into a cloud of gas, I don't want to have to look up every individual potion. Just let potions have the flavor of being bottled spells, it gives them distinct flavor from elixirs, which can absorb all the old random awesome philtres and oils etc.

Can supposedly non-magical alchemical healing elixirs not cost Resonance? I actually am someone who LIKES resonance but I want it to be 100% consistent in its flavor and applications. It's supposed to be someone's personal magic field and their ability to tap it / load it up. Non-magical crap shouldn't ever touch it. I'll repeat my suggestion that maybe potables and edibles with "effects" should be based on Constitution and separate from Resonance, with a new expanded version of the old Potion Miscibility table for going over your limit.

Can a favorite old 1E/2E trope come back, magical springs with powerful or unique effects? I mean yeah as GM always and forever I can do this, but newer groups should be exposed to this too. <3


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I know we're going to get the official word on domains tomorrow (though probably fragmentary information as usual), but I still want to speculate what they'll be like. :)

Some things are pretty much confirmed...

  • You get one domain at 1st level, not two as before.
  • A domain comes with a spell-like power that you cast with... ugh... "spell points." (I still hate this name.)
  • You can get up to two more domains with feats.
  • You can improve domains with feats.

And unless I'm missing something, that's pretty much all we know.

So, here is what I hope for based on that...

  • I was surprised not to see a mention of obediences, something they added to clerics late in PF1. Maybe these are still around though, and are actually associated to the domains? So a cleric with the Fire domain has different obediences compared to a cleric with the War domain, even if both belong to the same deity. Each domain could likewise come with one additional anathema - a Fire cleric may be compelled not to put out fires that don't immediately threaten sapient life, but a War cleric wouldn't care, again even though they both serve the same deity.
  • I was kind of expecting classes to come with two ability increases at 1st level under their new system, a set stat and a float, not just one as we saw with Cleric getting Wisdom. But what if this is still generally true, and the Cleric's second ability increase is actually based on their first domain? So a cleric who picks the Strength domain gets, well, Strength as their second ability increase. (Of course, there's still the possibility that classes only get the one stat up, or that the cleric does get a float but they just didn't mention it.)
  • I expect domains will probably come with a secondary ability, besides just the spell-like power. For some domains this will be a passive defensive power, for other domains it will be bonus skills or weapon / armor proficiencies, for still other domains it could be dipping a 1st level class feature from another class. There's a lot of potential here. This could also be where +2 to Strength from the Strength domain goes if ability scores aren't usually tied to your domains.
  • I'm still hoping for domains to come with a list of associated spells. Even if the cleric doesn't get bonus spell slots per day in PF2, maybe now they can spontaneously trade out spell slots to cast a spell from their domain. This way a Fire cleric can still get Fireball and Wall of Fire. Additionally or alternatively, perhaps you can even use the "Spell Points" from your domain to cast these spells.
  • I expect the second domain you take still has to be one of the domains associated with your deity. But I'm thinking the third one won't be available until you have at least Expert proficiency in divine magic as a prerequisite. So maybe at that point, you know enough about divine magic as a higher-level divine caster that you can access the broader grab bag of divine powers. So maybe that third domain can be any domain. That way, you can pick a deity you like and whose anathema you can have fun playing, and still get a domain that might otherwise be locked behind deities you wouldn't have fun with. It also just helps improve the versatility of clerics in general.
  • I'm hopeful that rather than having just one or two set higher level abilities from improving a domain you already have, you'll actually get a choice - sort of like how the Oracle's Mysteries allow you to select from a wide variety of abilities. These can be thematic expansions of the domain and tie in to the old subdomains. So maybe you always start as a Fire cleric, but with your feats you can then specialize and become an Ash cleric or Smoke cleric. This also opens space to improve older existing domains with new feats in later splats, stuff that can help existing characters, rather than only always creating new domains that you can't use as an existing character.

Does anyone else have any ideas you think are likely to happen with domains, or that at least you hope will happen?


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One thing I'd like to see from PF2 is for the energy types in spells, items and monsters be more evenly distributed, and for special effects related to them to be more consistently applied. Is that something that can happen, please?

So say each energy type has consistent effects on a critical hit. For example, fire effects like a Fireball or a Flaming Weapon always inflict Burn. It's okay if non-damage effects for a given element are different from each such that they are weaker at lower spell / monster levels and stronger at higher levels, such as a lightning effect causing flat-footed at low levels and stun at high levels, as long as they're consistent about it.

Likewise, are there passive benefits to choosing effects of a given energy type? Does lightning always have a better chance to hit / inflict a penalty to saves when used against someone wearing metal armor? Does sonic/thunder/concussion/whatever damage always do more against constructs and objects? If these are things that always happen, we can build them right into the description of the energy types in the rules, instead of having to constantly remember to spell them out in every spell and monster description and then being inconsistent with all the times we forget.

And like I mentioned, have some more parity in all the non-fire energy types showing up more often this time. You shouldn't have to have sonic damage always being a die step lower and having weaker failed-save effects just because resistance to it is less common. If it's roughly as common as lightning or acid, and resistance to it is also roughly as common as resistance to lightning or acid, then it can operate at full equivalency to these other elements.

On the flip side, let's see less random immunities to elements. Bones get brittle in the cold so why the heck are liches just randomly immune to cold? Why are demons and archons immune to electricity? What about being an angel makes you immune to acid, cold and petrification? Who the heck knows? Let's clean this up and get rid of every random immunity please. Give resistances to individual creatures where appropriate but do not just build them into creature types and subtypes... with the obvious exception of the elemental subtypes like Fire.


I'm curious if the core assumption for player wealth in PF2 is going to be the same as in 3.x, 4E and PF1, namely that most characters will convert most of their money directly and easily into magic items.

I'd rather this wasn't the case. Adventurers who have no connection to the world and carry all their material wealth on their person in the form of bling has always been weird. The assumption that you can just somehow sell all these crazy expensive items for half and buy other crazy expensive items just with a handwave of being near a city is weird.

I am hoping PF2 has other things to spend your money on, not just castles but more, and makes players want to put their money there. In core, not just in some GM supplement years down the line, because by then it's too late and the core bling economy is already set in stone with the rules grounded in it. I fully realize that Red Sonja etc are a different genre than D&D and the game will never function on that level economically without heavy house rules, but there should still be some reason for players to want to put their money elsewhere.

I know getting new bonuses and abilities is exciting, and a primary motivation and reward for adventuring and accomplishment. So, for this to work there has to be actual mechanical character benefits to putting your money elsewhere. Role-playing benefits are great but only fully satisfy a small subset of players; the majority, even those who do enjoy the RP side as opposed to being pure number crunchers, still want their characters to get materially better. So I'm hoping to see a system of boons that can confer actual abilities or bonuses to characters who don't put their money into bling.

This can be represented in a number of ways. The obvious ones are getting blessings from Gods for your tithes or from nature / fey spirits for protecting powerful natural loci, but not every character is religious or nature spiritual. Favors is another one, but not every character has interest in such things, and they're also often not very useful inside a dungeon. So let's say there is a Fisher King effect, where for investing in a home / kingdom, you actually form some kind of abstract connection to the universe that can give you actual abilities, and that can then have RP side effects like your home territory's condition reflecting your own and vice versa. And on the less supernatural side there can be special training, where just from the time you are spending with the peoples you are investing into, you pick up some of their abilities. In this case, it's not money converting into items - it's money converting into bonus skills, proficiencies, feats and class abilities. I know a lot of players who would give up on bling to actually get feats and such out of it, provided a fair way was worked out to make that trade worth it.

I say all this as someone who likes magic item crafting, btw. But even that shouldn't just be direct conversion of money into items. The process should be more involved and flavorful, and it definitely shouldn't be at half price. I want "money converts 1:1 into relic" to be the house rule, not the assumption with which the book goes to print.


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As the perpetual GM, I can allow whatever I want at my table. But I might get to play sometime, and I also sometimes like reading cool stories from other tables. Unfortunately, a lot of groups seem to feel constrained by the flavor of things as presented in the book.

So Paizo: please expressly include your blessing and suggestion for players and GMs to reflavor stuff where it doesn't change the rules mechanics. Point out that you don't need archetypes and feats for this.

I want an alchemist with a cooking background, whose elixirs are pastries and whose bombs are molotovs made from flavorful liquors.

I want an animist druid whose spells are flavored as all kinds of nature spirits coming forth from the environment to enact the effects on their behalf.

I want an "Eastern Medicine" practitioner whose Heal checks are massage and qigong with a healers kit flavored as acupuncture needles and the like.

I want a capoeira "dance fighter" whose martial arts are busting a move to lay down the hurt and who doesn't need an expressly defined fighting style feat to do this.

I want a wizard who uses handpainted ivory tiles as spell foci to evoke magic matching the concept shown on the tile.

I want players to feel free to do all these things without being told they have to be pointy hatted smelly bat guano fireball chucking wizard 12345 off the assembly line.


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All the recent threads and blogs have me thinking about Paladins a lot, and how limiting "heavy armor tank" in core to a supernatural holy warrior is just a weird decision. So I've been leaning towards a completely redone version of the Cavalier to replace the Paladin... an oath-based but not supernatural Warlord/Tank, but one that starting around level 4-5 can start gaining supernatural powers and /become/ a Paladin as part of its development path. Without needing a prestige class.

My thoughts on this have been flowing in the following direction:

  • The first and primary pillar of the class is acting like a 4E Warlord. They direct their team in battle. PF1's often wonky Teamwork feats are cleaned up and become Cavalier class features that they can confer on those they work with.
  • The second pillar of the class is being really good with armor and shields, in contrast to the Fighter focusing on weapons. They develop like some combination of Starfinder's Armor Storm and Guard path Soldiers.
  • The cavalier gets selectable class features that let them get/improve an animal companion and be the best with mounted combat. But this is not baked in as a mandatory feature, because in a lot of campaigns, mounted combat is a suboptimal or frequently unavailable option.
  • The cavalier has oaths, much like in PF1. These are codes of conduct, and come with abilities as they level up. This thus represents their choice of "path," much like a wizard choosing a school or a sorcerer choosing a bloodline.
  • Starting probably a few levels in, the cavalier makes a choice. They can develop supernatural powers, becoming like a Paladin, a Hellknight, an Antipaladin, or the like depending on their oaths and/or alignment. Or they can develop even greater abilities to inspire their allies and demoralize their foes, similar to but different from a bard.
  • The "paladin-like" path develops partial spellcasting, using the Divine list. The alternate path instead gets more skills and greatly improves the scope of their capacity to apply teamwork abilities.

I think this could really work, and would hark back to the original conception of a Paladin in earlier editions of D&D as a mantle you earned rather than one you just had at first level. Without just simply making it a generic prestige class.


Whether or not player rules for things like bugbears and hobgoblins end up in the final Bestiary or a separate PDF, they should at least be in the playtest Bestiary file. After all, those races and their ancestry feats will need to be playtested too.

(And since it sounds like the first Bestiary will be the size of the CRB, space in the published book may not actually be an issue after all. At 500+ pages, you could definitely spare 4 pages each for a number of monsters to be fully ancestried-up.)


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It still looks like no classes are based on Constitution, and no skills are based on Constitution. It's just hit points and fort saves, and there's really not a lot of reason for ranged characters in particular to take it except to spend leftover ability points once their key stats are where they want them. But there's an easy way to both make Constitution more useful, while also cleaning up a lot of fiddly stuff from the character sheet at the same time, as well as making some abilities scale better when multiclassing.

So, there's a lot of feats and class features that give you a certain number of uses per day, pools of points to spend, and so on. These can be folded into a single pool, like Starfinder's Resolve, but instead of implying something about personality like Resolve does this can be called Stamina and based on Constitution. Probably on the order of your level + half your Constitution score. Want to use a Metamagic feat, or Smite a foe as you swing your weapon, or enter / extend Rage for a number of rounds equal to your Berserker class level, or start / maintain a Performance for a number of rounds equal to your Bard class level, or activate a Domain feature, or use a Wizard specialty school power? Spend a point of stamina.

Stamina can carry some stuff intrinsic to itself independent of what class and feats you have. As part of this, it can take some of the load of trivial stuff off Action/Fate Points, so those can be reserved for really impressive stuff like auto-stabilize or maximizing a roll. Want to get a +2 bonus on a saving throw or any other roll on D20 to represent extra effort? Spend a stamina. Want to use a feat for 1 round you don't have but that you do qualify for, like Power Attack, or attempt an action to interact with the surroundings that the GM isn't sure you could /quite/ do but that doesn't rise to the level of superheroics as with a Fate Point? Spend a stamina. Want to reduce a condition like Fear or Shaken by one step for 1 round? Spend a stamina.

It can interact with other systems. Most forms of energy drain can target Stamina and/or Resonance instead of your levels and ability scores, saving people from having to recalculate a bunch of stuff on the fly at the table. A disease can reduce your current and maximum Stamina while your body fights it off. An inspiration effect can give you and your allies temporary Stamina to spend.

People get less tired over time. So when you take a short rest, you get half your expended stamina back; when you take a full rest, you get all your stamina back. This helps extend the adventuring day so it's not over in 15 minutes.

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