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Organized Play Member. 62 posts (68 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 5 Organized Play characters.


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Hello, Cul! My username is GM_3826. It's a legacy username that I thought sounded cool, once. I'm not sure if my PFS information is publically visible, but if it's not you can call me Gale. I have several years of experience with TTRPGs, but my experience with Starfinder is limited to a couple of sessions due to some complications surrounding organized play in my area and online. I am quite familiar with Pathfinder 2e, which has a similar ruleset, so it may simply be a matter of adjusting. I enjoy character-driven storylines with a mix of action and roleplaying. As for the type of character I'd like to play in a Starfinder campaign, out of the core races and classes a lashunta technomancer with a doctorate in physics and a polite attitude or a rough and tumble ysoki operative and escaped convict are both very intriguing. If you'll have me, I'll love to play. One thing I'm curious about-what's the posting frequency you anticipate?

I'm just going to abort this thread. No one is seeing eye-to-eye with me on this or agreeing with me that the class I'm looking for is something this game sorely needs.

Assuming that it works like an antimagic field, spells fizzle out in the area, magic items lose their magical properties, and any ability with a tradition trait or the magical trait does not work. Summoned creatures fizzle out because they are a spell-they don't exist prior to the spell being cast and cease to exist once the spell ends. If a creature is magic or created using magic, anything it does works just fine unless it's a spell or has a tradition trait or the magical trait. A basilisk will not wink out of existence in an antimagic zone, but its petrifying gaze will not work. A dragon's flight is not a magical ability, so it can still fly, but if it has spells it can't cast them, and it will be unable to use its breath weapon. Take a look at the creature's statblock. If the ability is magical, it will either be listed as a spell or have a tradition trait or the magical trait. This applies to players, as well. Notably, this means that dragon and spirit instinct barbarians can't use their instinct ability in an antimagic zone, as their instinct ability gives the Rage action a tradition trait. The animal instinct's instinct ability Animal Rage replaces the Rage action entirely, so barbarians of that subclass can't Rage at all in an antimagic zone unless you rule otherwise.

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The Raven Black wrote:
Only if they take Arcane Evolution IIRC.

I did say they had to take the Arcane Evolution feat.

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A bard's muse can easily be something of great importance to them, but with no real material existence. A bard from Andoran's muse could be liberty, for instance. It changes nothing because the muse is actually a relatively minor part of the class, something treated as interchangeable even by the rules given that Multifarious Muse exists. It's important if you want it to be and is meant as a hook for bards to be built around, but is something you can ignore with no real consequence if you don't need one. If you have a fully formed character concept, you can just match your choice of muse to what was already important to the character or just pick whatever you like the most mechanically without worrying about roleplaying it. It doesn't really matter much.

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I'm playing through Extinction Curse right now. I agree that the circus stuff is a literal sideshow and that at the end of book 2 the story would benefit from making someone else the heroes. The only problem is that every AP so far has had some sort of downtime sink, and Extinction Curse's is the circus, so if there's no circus you have to find something else to fill downtime. Other than that it's okay so far. (We're on book 3.) I think that if you wanted to make the circus a bigger part it'd be best to make a 1-10 AP and keep the final threat relatively small, but then you'd have to drop the meat of the story, so it's not ideal.

I have to admit, my words were very forceful and direct. It would have been better if I displayed a bit more tact. That said, I still have my own opinion on the matter.

I want an occult class that is to the witch what the wizard is to the witch. According to the flavor text witches don't "have a tutor". Their magic is forwarded directly to them through their familiar, and while they need to be smart to make use of it they are aren't "supposed" to be picking up the magic itself unless they work for it in downtime. You can play it that way, and it even makes a little more sense if you play it that way, but this is what is actually said of their patron and their connection to them:

You weren't born with the power to cast spells, nor have you spent years in devotion to tomes, deities, or mystical secrets. Your power comes through a potent being that has chosen you as their vessel to carry forth some agenda in the world. This entity is typically mysterious and distant, revealing little of their identity and motivations, and they grant you spells and other magical powers through a familiar, which serves as a conduit for their power.

So, the concept behind the witch is that they are endowed with power, not that they're learning it. Does an occult witch know the occult? Yes. But it's less that they're learning the magic themself and more that they need to be smart to use it effectively. A bard can study mystical secrets, and the enigma muse is all about that, but it still leaves a sore taste in my mouth because a performer is still a bit specialized. Not only that, an arcane sorcerer can learn Arcana too, and that can even manifest in a pseudo-spellbook, which bards with the polymath muse can also have. Witches and bards (and soon, psychics) are also very gimmicky, with a lot of emphasis on class-specific abilities and less on the spell list, and as spontaneous spellcasters bards and psychics want to pick up the best spells rather than prepare spells when they need them. I just want a class that is specifically an occultist.

I don't like how the road least traveled for bards is to pour all their points into Charisma and Performance and never touch Intelligence or Occultism. I also think that the defining class for a spell list should be a prepared spellcasting class because an occult class can make use of the entire list rather than a select subset of spells.

Witch has the right ability spread and spellcasting style, but is an any list caster who derives their power from their patron, not their understanding of or connection to the subject of their tradition. Wizards fall under the former category: clerics and druids the latter. (No, abberations and spirits are not the subject of occultism any more than dragons are the subject of Arcana.)

Psychics are a spontaneous spellcasting class like the bard, and psychic magic is presented as a specialized subset of occult magic common only in select regions, which rubs me the wrong way.

It feels like if I want to play as a seer or a medium I have to take some kind of back door. Either a. become a performer, b. make a pact with some mysterious and powerful entity, or c. become a psychic. D, where you intuitively understand the threads of fate or the world of spirits and are a scholar of the weird and inexplicable is currently not an option, and I wish it were.

Captain Morgan wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Is an arcane Sorcerer at all analytical, though?
They don't necessarily need to be to use their spells, but they do to be any good at the Arcana skill. Sorcerers and oracles can cheat and not actually understand the magic they cast, so they aren't the best example when it comes to their skills.

This is why the bard being presented as the occult class frustrates me. Bards are also cheaters. Give me my Intelligence-based prepared occult spellcasting class that isn't a cheater like the witch.

I mean, an arcane sorcerer can invest moderately in Intelligence, take the Arcane Evolution feat, and start using a "book of arcane spells". How much are they studying then? They still have to study to add spells to their book, right? Sorcerers don't have to study, but that doesn't mean they can't benefit from doing so.

I'm playing as a bard in an Extinction Curse campaign. I'm not expected to back up my character's speeches, which is good. I for the most part ignore the occult part of the class as I found it difficult to work it into the peaceful follower of Shelyn I had in mind, but if you want an idea of how exactly occult=bard Secrets of Magic diagnoses how they tie into each other in the section on occult magic. It's not necessarily what lemeres suggests. The TL:DR is that the bard can have nothing to do with freaky, otherworldly horrors outside their adventuring life, and they can simply piece together how they work a little bit better using their knowledge of horror stories. In fact, the storytelling is really the key part of the class. A bard might bring an enemy to the point of despair using scathing rhymes, put someone to sleep by singing a lullaby, hype up an illusory beast as they shape it, and so on. You can ignore this aspect or play it up, but you should definitely think about what kind of stories your bard is passionate about as expressed in your choice of muse, and think about why they're passionate about that in the first place. Hopefully after that it all clicks together.

Onkonk wrote:
For divine casters, orange prism aeon stone is a good source of +2 religion.

It's uncommon, though, like all aeon stones in this edition.

The Religion skill is still useful for characters that don't worship a deity, by and large. Recalling Knowledge on religious subjects, deciphering scripture, and Identifying Magic is an essential skill for many characters that don't necessarily follow a deity. They could be a member of law enforcement that polices the faithful such as the Graycloaks or the Pure Legion, or they may be followers of a non-deific faith or philosophy that frequently come into conflict with cultists, fiends, and undead. Shoanti of the Skoan-Quah or Skull Clan, Sarkorian followers of the Green Faith, or members of the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye are all examples of characters that would benefit from the Religion skill. Most Religion skill feats don't require worship of a deity. All of the skill feats focused on identifying magic work just as well whether you worship a god or not, Student of the Canon could be useful for characters who hunt down cultists and druids who study standing stones, Exhort the Faithful requires that the character follow a religion, but not a deity, Divine Guidance calls out philosophies in its description, and Pilgrim's Token requires that you've visited a holy site and received a token but doesn't specify that the holy site must be dedicated to a deity. Even Consult the Spirits doesn't mandate that you have to worship the deity the outsider you consult follows. Only Battle Prayer, Sacred Defense, and Sanctify Water require worship of a deity.

When you start looking for a constant item bonus to Religion, you start running into problems. The Thurible of Revelation would work, but is a held item that only provides a bonus to Religion for an hour, and it costs 5 gp to do so each time. The Cassock of Devotion is a high enough level that it must be crafted, and it requires that the crafter be a cleric that worships the deity it's dedicated to. One of its benefits is for clerics alone. The Phylactery of Faithfulness only works for followers of the deity it's dedicated to. You could potentially work around this as an occult or primal spellcaster, an oracle, or divine any list caster, using the Thurible of Revelation to make Decipher Writing and Identify Magic checks and the Staff of Providence to make Recall Knowledge checks, but if you ever have to make a Religion check that isn't one of those three, such as a check to Recognize or Learn a Spell, Trick a Magic Item, or use the Research exploration activity, you're out of luck. You can't use your hand for anything else when it's holding a Staff of Providence, either. And the Sage's Lash provides a +3 item bonus to Religion checks and isn't even divine, but is a 18th level apex item. Everything else is either a consumable or not of common rarity.

If you were a GM and were working with a player who wants their character who doesn't follow a deity to benefit from an item bonus to Religion checks, how would you go about it? Would you let the Phylactery of Faithfulness work with non-deific faiths, or provide access to an item that provides a bonus to Religion checks but doesn't require mandate that you follow a deity?

keftiu wrote:
Do we know anything about who called these places home before the two feuding archmages moved in? It dawned on me that I have no idea about any ancient history or indigenous ancestries and cultures for the region that's now the Impossible Lands.

The whole region was at one point part of Osirion. Geb and Nex arose in the power vacuum after Osirion abandoned it. I don't know much more than that. It's probable the locals were nomads like those that inhabit Thuvia in present Golarion by virtue of no real mention of any sort of preexisting civilization anywhere I can find, but don't quote me on that. Hopefully someone else can fill in more of the details.

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You often hear people talk about how "it's not rocket science" or "it's not brain surgery" as a way of saying "you don't need to be a genius to do well at it." On Golarion, the equivalent phrase is something like "it's not wizardry." Otherwise it's not particularly special. It's hard and takes a lot of effort to become a good wizard, but anyone can. Of course, if you're smart, that's even better, and that's what experienced wizards that are looking for in an apprentice. Otherwise there's nothing to test for. This isn't inherently different from non-magical disciplines, where if you want your student to become a good warrior, you want to make sure they're physically fit.

Where the mechanics come in... You can compensate for weaker attributes by working harder, or alternatively by focusing on tasks that are less difficult, but you're not going to be as broadly and truly skilled as someone who was well-suited for the task. Of course, it's even harder to dabble in a discipline. Anyone can be a good martial artist, but you need to be particularly clever to be a skilled martial artist and a chemist.

breithauptclan wrote:

That is a very questionable ruling.

Transferring a Rune does say that it uses the Craft activity. But there are 4 requirements listed in the Craft an Item rules. Of those, the second one (you have a formula for the item) is clearly not applicable, and the fourth (you pay at least half the cost of the item in raw materials) is very likely not applicable either. So if half of those requirements are already not being used, why would the other two be expected to be enforced? Or the requirement that you have the Magical Crafting feat?

And with all of that being ignored because it is not applicable to the process of transferring a rune, are we sure that the Rune Transfer rule sentence "This also uses the Craft activity." is really referencing the rules for creating an item from scratch, and not just a vague reference to the Downtime activity to 'engage in crafting'?

Er, fair argument? I wasn't really expecting two paragraphs in response to a comment about needing to wait a level to use an item. I still think what I said is rules as written, because it says the Craft activity, and the downtime activity to "engage in crafting" is actually to Earn Income. Not being rules as intended? I'll give you that. I have similar opinions on Acrobatic Performer, and have received just as much pushback for making an overly literal reading.

They're just like other items in terms of how they're acquired. In order to Craft them you need a formula, and you're not supposed to get them at a higher item level than your party level outside one that's a level higher as part of party loot. The main impediment is that the only way to do that would be to either find a runestone (in which case transferring the rune from the stone doesn't circumvent the requirement of only being able to Craft an item of your level or lower) or find a magic weapon with the rune already on it.

Berhagen wrote:
Overly cautious design, resulting in not relevant (or extremely situational) options. A sniper has to effectively move/hide, which is not particularly combinable with the tripod.
aobst128 wrote:
The action cost of tripods is a higher cost than the stats I'd agree. But it's not just snipers that are making the choice. Arquebus is very good for vanguards since they can more easily than most get their strength to 18 to get a more sizable +2. That and their later level abilities specifically call for kickback guns or scatter guns. So it's good that we have 2 different options for snipers without strength and vanguards. I could still see some snipers perching 100+ feet away and using snipers aim when they don't have the actions to set up a tripod.

There's this clause in the description of the tripod:

However, deploying or retrieving a tripod with an Interact action doesn't automatically make you observed, so long as you don't set up or remove the tripod when it's in a spot where creatures can see the tripod itself.

In this case, rules as intended seems to be that in an environment where you can afford to stay in one place, you Avoid Notice during exploration, move to a spot where you can see the enemies but they can't see you, set up the tripod, and then roll initiative. If this was intended to balance out the higher damage die, it would make sense. But jezails have the same damage die. I don't think the intent is for vanguards to be the only characters who want to use arquebuses, I think the intent is for snipers to use arquebuses in situations where they can afford to mount the weapon and otherwise stick to a pistol. This intent is ignored because jezails exist. Otherwise if you're playing as a sniper it is best for you to import guns from Vudra, which doesn't reflect the fiction where several career soldiers in Alkenstar are snipers.

aobst128 wrote:
If you want more range and damage. Can't the intent go both ways? You can still use both but you have to pay with either stat requirements or action cost with tripods.

The range on the arquebus is overkill in many cases and +1 damage is an extremely minor bonus. If I had the choice between using a jezail or an arquebus without investing in Strength, I'd use the jezail. They are not created equal.

aobst128 wrote:
The jezail has it's place. Snipers have options. If you start with 14 str, arquebus is clearly better. If not, you have a gun that does less damage and has less range. It's an interesting option for drifters as well if you plan to punch things.

Give me a good reason for tripods to exist if the intent is that you use an arquebus if you have a +2 Strength modifier or higher or a jezail otherwise.

aobst128 wrote:
I can't help but be sad about the chirurgeon too. Oh boy, infinite antidotes. Only gets a decent niche at 13th with max heals on quick alchemy elixirs. You've got a not bad chance to crit on battle medicine is it's saving grace before then.

It's a shame because I unironically find myself coming back to chirurgeon concepts all the time before going "oh, right, doesn't really come online until level 13."

I concur about the jezail being strangely balanced. Most of the two-handed martial firearms are sidegrades to the flintlock musket (arquebus has higher damage dice, but also has the kickback trait, the double-barreled musket lacks the kickback trait but needs to be loaded twice to receive an extra kick, harmona gun has higher base damage than the arquebus but lacks the fatal trait, mithral tree is a defensive upgrade with a higher range increment) and then there's the jezail, which can be used two-handed with a d8 damage die and fatal d12 but also wielded one-handed without the fatal trait. Only thing the arquebus has over it is range and +1 damage. It's kind of like they decided halfway through writing the weapons list that the kickback trait was largely unnecessary, which to be fair, it is.

That said, I appreciate what they were trying to do with the slide pistol. It took me a minute to figure out that the intended benefit of the capacity trait wasn't any improvement to action economy but to provide an option for dual wielding handguns for characters without any reload hack that allows it.

Well, that's disappointing. From what little I know of the plot, the Knights of the Aeon Star were supposed to play a prominent role in it, and I was liking the idea of getting a chance to see them in action. Oh, well. Not anyone's fault.

I'm not totally up to speed on what's going on with Paizo, but I know that with the establishment of a union that the company is going through some growing pains. I also know that COVID seriously slowed down production and led to a lot of books being delayed, but as we can see given that Absalom: City of Lost Omens has finally been released that doesn't mean they've been shelved. So I was under the mistaken impression that the Dead God's Hand, an adventure I've been thinking about running and looking forward to for a while, would be coming out sometime soon, so I decided to check in and found out that it has no estimated release date. I totally understand that there could be many reasons as to why this would happen, and also understand if those reasons are private, but I'd like to be informed on what is going on if possible. There may be a preexisting thread, but given this website's search engine I wouldn't know where to find it. If someone could update me, that'd be appreciated.

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Errenor wrote:
We don't really need to theorize about monster knowledge and magic identification. The rules for this exist (even if they do give some leeway to GMs)[...]

If you want to get even more specific, the table on page 506 namechecks the skill that would be used to identify each creature type. Arcana can be used to identify beasts, constructs, dragons, and elementals, Occultism can be used to identify abberations, astral creatures, ethereal creatures, oozes, and spirits. The only catch is this line.

For instance, hags are humanoids but have a strong connection to occult spells and live outside society, so you might allow a character to use Occultism to identify them without any DC adjustment, while Society is harder.

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nick1wasd wrote:
  • Some creepy undeath based Witch Patron/Lesson line with negative energy damage and "withering" effects sounds like a thematic hole the present Witch has, since we already have a healer based one to stand opposite it.
  • The witch already has some good options for this. The curse patron theme is very thematic for witches with a ghostly patron and comes with one of the most practical hex cantrips, cackle allows you to sustain spells like animate dead and invoke spirits as a free action at the cost of a focus point, which can free up your action economy and allow you to multitask by pairing these spells with hexes like malicious shadow and curse of death. I have yet to playtest this as I've conceived of this character build for a campaign centering around civil war in Brevoy, but it seems like it'd be good if you wanted to play a necromancer, and it's certainly a decent start if you want to play as a necromancy-focused witch.

    That said, my ideas. A research field centered around drugs, while potentially triggering, could be interesting provided they were given a bit more support. The wonder taster background in the Lost Omens World Guide caught my attention, but currently it's only possible for an alchemist to have drug perpetuals through a loophole in the toxicologist. A back alley doctor or tracker rogue racket would be really neat, as those are personally some of the roguish archetypes I'm most attached to, and either would be a good way of doing a Wisdom-based rogue. I also think that we need more witch patron themes that aren't centered around a specific kind of patron, and more lessons in general. For a DIY any list caster the list is really barebones. Even if you want to leave the patron's identity as vague as possible, there's only one arcane and one divine patron theme, and with only three greater and major lessons it's quite possible there isn't one that matches your patron's concept.

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    Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
    Onkonk wrote:

    Occult is about connection; ideas, art and expression form metaphysical threads that are woven into a tapestry of culture, tradtion and community.

    Occult magic is akin to tugging these threads to invoke emotions such as their greatest fears, memories of a happier time.

    Occult magic represents ideals and intent, the narrative of the spell you cast. This is represented by the essences occult deal with as well, spiritual and mental.

    That's a really fine line there. From my prospective, that's like saying an African and a European Swallow are entirely different based in in their ability to transport coconuts long distances and that is the basis for why one is an animal and the other is recategorizing as something entirely new.

    Probably a better way of looking at it-if arcane magic is physics-based, occult magic isn't. It's mystical and not formulaic or precise. it's to arcane magic what the paranormal is to science. Arcane magic could be like that in first edition, but primal magic was divine magic there.

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    keftiu wrote:
    We’ve also seen an Arcane, a steampunk Martial, and an Occult book, so Divine and Primal are due up for their equivalents.

    This... isn't accurate at all. Secrets of Magic is a book on all forms of magic and isn't focused specifically on arcane magic. One of the two new classes is an any list caster, the spells in that book are of all magic traditions, the archetypes aren't specifically linked to arcane magic and some of them are entirely new forms of magic, the book starts with essays on how each spell tradition functions, and the book also includes many magic items. Dark Archive meanwhile isn't an occult book, the designers stated that it's a book that focuses on paranormal themes, but without an emphasis on any particular tradition. One section of the book is going to be on apocryphal divine magic, there will be a new mystery for oracles, and most notably the thaumaturge uses a little bit of every magic tradition. It's a shame because occult really needed its identity fleshed out, but it seems the intent is for the book to be to PF2e magic what Innistrad was to the colors in Magic: the Gathering, throwing a bit of horror into everything. Time will tell if that bears fruit, but Paizo seems to be avoiding doing books on any specific magic tradition in favor of more a diverse selection of content, and the closest thing (Gods & Magic) was a Lost Omens title.

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    So, Paizo generally lines up the release of Lost Omens books and rulebooks with the publication of APs and adventures, but the latter half of 2022's adventures all have to do with the former half's setting and rules content. There's a similar pattern with Outlaws of Alkenstar being published mid-2022 while Guns & Gears was released in October 2021. So, what I'm getting at is that books on the Lost Omens setting and content updates are generally a greater indication of what's coming next then adventures, so while it's pretty much impossible to say what exactly will be published, it's likely that it is something that doesn't line up with the content from the rest of the year. A high tech book is unlikely because Paizo still has to sell Starfinder, but possible. A book on naval combat or marine life is more plausible. So don't get your hopes up, but it could absolutely happen, at least in my opinion.

    Insectile beastkin are currently the only way to do this right now outside melixies, which is a shame. After thinking about it I decided that a scarab beastkin would be pretty cool and easy to incorporate into a game set in Osirion, but having that be a whole new ancestry would be even better.

    Cori Marie wrote:
    The good news here is that if those are plots you wanted to follow, Paizo offers the Pathfinder Infinite program to either write your own or wait for someone else to write one. I guarantee someone will make an AP of this variety.

    Huh, you're right. I should definitely look into following that program.

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    I'm not a huge critic of the idea of not telling stories about slavery anymore, because I understand it's an uncomfortable topic that writers and players might not be willing to engage with, but I do smell burning plot threads. One of the hooks in Legends was about the rise of abolitionism in the Inner Sea region. It looks like that's going to happen outside of official adventures if it's even acknowledged, although it looked like there was room for players to intervene in some way. I spent some time thinking about how exactly that might shake down. A Firebrands AP set in the Shackles where players raid Cheliaxian and Okeno slave galleys? A Golden Road adventure which starts with convincing Satrap Xerbystes to abolish slavery before everyone gets caught up in a battle against the divs? It's kind of immature to say they weren't planning to tell these stories at all after such a short period in Second Edition's lifespan after they already dedicated some space to do so. It is a rather sudden decision, and I wonder who exactly was invested in such stories in the first place if this choice was made to ensure the safety of both the players and the writers involved. Overall, though, I can't say I'm upset. As Luis Loza said, it's possible to tell stories about oppression while leaving slavery in the background, so my only hope is that I get to kick in Olordaera's slimy maw at some point.

    Ascalaphus wrote:

    Very interesting!

    Another argument for not dumping dexterity is defending against Trip. Tripping isn't as rare as swallow whole and the way NPC skill modifiers scale, even a mook with a whip can reliably trip your fullplate fighter round after round after round.

    Another tactic: provoke them. Often the fight will be about something, like "can you get to the altar". Is it possible to force them to come closer to prevent you from interacting with the dingus?

    Another one: seek shelter. Can you go into the tree cover / cave where the ceilings are lower and they can't use their flight so well anymore? When the battlefield doesn't favor you, sometimes you can pick a different battlefield.

    Good point about trip! I might add that to this guide later.

    I decided to do a guide to offer solutions to a common problem players will encounter in many games. There's one fight midway through book two of Extinction Curse that made me think of this, along with our Mountain Stance monk. (I'm not a big fan of Mountain Stance, for obvious reasons.) It's not an incredibly useful guide, as most games will have a character that can cast fly or levitate, but I don't think it's unwarranted. Feel free to offer constructive criticism, but keep things civil.

    Some D&D 5e players are making the shift to PF2e. Like 5e, characters with proficiency in heavy armor in PF2e are encouraged to dump Dexterity thanks to the existence of the bulwark trait, but there’s a catch. Attack rolls with thrown weapons are based on Dexterity, not Strength. The wielder's full Strength modifier is applied to damage, but that means nothing if they can't land a hit. Martials that dump Dexterity have no built-in way of dealing with enemies they can't run up to and smash. If enemies are flying or located somewhere they can't reach, martials in full plate have to either focus on some other threat or rely on the party’s spellcasters for help. That said, that's only if they have no other way of fighting enemies outside melee range. Ideally, every martial that dumps Dexterity should consider how exactly they're going to deal with enemies outside their reach, as it will come up eventually. As the party level increases, flying enemies will become more common, and it's important that everyone is able to fight them on the same playing field. Note that while this guide is intended for Strength-based heavy armor users that would otherwise dump Dexterity, some of these options are also applicable to characters that cannot use ranged weapons or are restricted to the ground for other reasons. I will name abilities that are useful for builds that currently exist of that type where appropriate.

    • Beat them at their own game: Even if no other options are available, if there’s a spellcaster in the party there's nothing stopping them from casting fly on you. A pair of winged boots or a winged rune is handy for many of the same reasons. You might also have access to flight through your ancestry or heritage. Flight does present some issues in PF2e that it does not in D&D 5e, which makes this a fallback instead of the go-to option. Fliers in this game must spend an action flying each round or fall. You can make an Acrobatics check to hover in place as an action in case you need to stay in a given space for whatever reason, but if you're a martial that’s chosen to dump Dexterity you'll have difficulty making that check reliably until higher levels. Air walk is an alternative, as walking on air does not come with the same restrictions, although you are limited in the angle you can move if your GM keeps track of such things. Notably, while fly is not on the divine spell list, air walk is. If your enemy is simply in a position you can't reach, your party's spellcaster is unlikely to have the right spell prepared outside of a game that leans significantly more vertical than average. That said, spells like 3rd-level jump and levitate are alternatives to fly of a marginally lower level that can help you reach an elevated position. Meanwhile, teleportation spells that aren't specific to the caster are rare, but some like collective transposition exist. Magic items can help out here, too. If you found some slippers of spider climbing, now's the time to use them! The downside to these movement-enhancing abilities is that few of them are at-will or permanent, and not everyone will have them ready, which means that in some cases you may have to fall back on other options.
    • Invest in Dexterity: I know what you're thinking. “Full plate is so strong. If you have proficiency in heavy armor, you don’t need to invest in Dexterity!” And you're right, but the ability to use ranged weapons is just one benefit in doing so. Another is that most kinds of armor don't restrict your stealth capability provided you meet the Strength requirement, meaning that party stealth is possible even if someone is moving around in heavy armor. That said, the biggest reason is that full plate's bonus to Reflex saves only applies to saving throws against damaging effects. That is most Reflex saves, but there are exceptions. Engulf and Swallow Whole are common creature abilities that can be counted as non-damaging effects based on your Reflex save or DC. It's not being swallowed itself that's damaging, it’s what happens afterwards. The party fighter presumably doesn’t want to be digested by a gibbering mouther. And that's just one example! These effects are rare, but not nonexistent, and while most characters with proficiency in heavy armor have trouble justifying Dexterity as a secondary stat, this is absolutely an option for fighters, who have proficiency in heavy armor and no multiple ability dependency. If you end up going this route you’ll want to wear half-plate or splint mail instead of full plate, as the bulwark armor trait replaces your Dexterity bonus. There’s a catch in that in many games players will find it preferable to invest in mental ability scores and skills. Take this idea with a grain of salt. There are advantages in being smart or charismatic, and it’s not fun being the only player around the table who can’t participate in a social scene.
    • Use cantrips: Some ancestry feats allow you to cast a specific cantrip as an innate spell. This is resourceless damage at range. The downside is that innate spells are almost always based on Charisma, making cantrips that allow the target a saving throw or require a spell attack roll undesirable for characters who don't invest in that score. Additionally, innate spells don't scale very well for non-spellcasters, if at all. Still, it's an option, and one that characters that invest in Charisma can lean back on. You can also potentially take an archetype in order to get access to cantrips, and if you pick up spellcasting feats these will scale, albeit more slowly than cantrips do for primary spellcasters. This also allows you to use Intelligence or Wisdom as your spellcasting ability. In any case, electric arc is notable in that it doesn’t suffer as much from scaling issues because it deals damage even if the target succeeds on their saving throw.
    • Take some feats: Some class feats give martials ways to fight enemies in the air. Animal instinct barbarians for instance can't use weapons, but a boulder isn't a weapon. The Oversized Throw feat can help provided your GM doesn't interpret the description literally and treat it as a real weapon, as barbarians almost always invest in Dexterity. So can the Sudden Leap feat, which fighters also get and can combo with Felling Strike. (See the next section for more on that ability and others like it.) Jumping is based on Athletics and Sudden Leap heightens the jump you make as part of the attack to levels comparable to dragoons in Final Fantasy, so it works just fine. Meanwhile monks get an alternative in Flying Kick four levels earlier, in case they use a style that restricts them to a specific kind of unarmed attack such as Crane Stance. There's a limitation to Flying Kick though that makes it more difficult to use effectively, as it doesn’t increase the height of your jump. Some skill feats allow martials to jump up or climb to elevated positions, as well, in case your foe is not in the air.
    • Bring them to you: Self-explanatory, but something that martials can rarely accomplish themselves. It's also difficult to keep enemies on the ground for long. Felling Strike can do that temporarily, but even if you land a critical hit they'll only stay there until the end of your next turn. The threat of an Attack of Opportunity might be enough incentive for a vrock to stay on the ground next to you if it's almost dead at that point and just wants to slow you down. A dragon is unlikely to be impeded. Earthbind similarly only affects the target for a round unless they roll a critical failure on their saving throw, and while immobilizing or paralyzing flying enemies would have much the same effect it’s difficult to manage for much longer. That said, that doesn’t mean that doing so isn’t an option, just that it isn’t one with much longevity. Even gust of wind can knock an enemy onto the ground and give you a chance to knock on them yourself. Just don't expect them to stay there. Make that turn or two count! Meanwhile, if your enemy is simply in a position you can't reach, environmental effects like obscuring mist can smoke them out, and spells like command can summon them to your position, to name two examples. Inventive use of a character’s abilities is one of the most unique parts of the tabletop RPG experience, so make the most of what you have. Some of these options might also work on flying enemies. It depends on the context.

    You're rating troops in the summoning section, but summoning spells can't actually summon troops.

    Because they consist of multiple discrete creatures, they can't be summoned.

    Invictus Novo wrote:
    Level 3 PFS Playtest Feedback

    I added my feedback to this thread as it was largely the same information with a few twists.

    My experiences were very similar to yours! I was also playing as an level 3 inventor with a weapon innovation with the Entangling Form modification, but the rest of my build was slightly different and I have different opinions.

    My inventor didn't use a glaive or work with a construct companion. Rather, I went with a greatsword and took the Explosive Leap feat. I can only think of one PFS society scenario where that would be useful, and it's not this scenario, but if I were to run and play this character outside of that context I would take that feat. I also went with a greatsword because I thought it was the most cool, not necessarily because it was the most effective. I can certainly see the benefits in having a grappling weapon with reach! (It would be even better to use a halberd or ranseur since an inventor with a construct companion and a grappling weapon is going to have poor action economy and won't make full use out of the glaive's weapon traits, but eh.)

    The first battle against the wolves went largely the same way. including the crit on Overdrive, but I didn't get to use Kickback Strike as there were two other melee-focused characters who were dealing with the other wolves. In addition, I focused mostly on attacking.

    Before the second battle we put up some fencing, which was cool since I distinctly recall not doing that on my first playthrough of this scenario. During the battle I went to confront a lion who sneaked up on the goblins in their tents we moved out back. The champion used their reaction to save a goblin's life and the leopard tried dragging it back to the cave it came from, but my character managed to catch it before it could run away. It feebly tried to escape and failed and my allies softened it up enough for me to finish it off. After that, all was left was Pip the halfling druid, and mastermind of this scheme.

    The last encounter was probably the most disappointing, but that wasn't out of any inherent problem with the Inventor itself. Rather it's because I was playing as a half-elf with the Nimble Elf feat, meaning I reached the webs Pip had set up first and was stuck on obstacle clearing duty. The other two melee characters ran up to Pip and killed him before I had the chance to act. That said, if I wasn't stuck clearing those webs and if there was something to back Pip up at high-tier beyond more HP, things would have quickly swung around and I would have felt useful again.

    Input: Inventor seems like more of a "technique"-focused class than fighter! It's not quite as strong, particularly at lower levels, but it's not really supposed to be. The fighter was doing more damage but having a sword that can extend like a whip and be used to grapple enemies is pretty strong and can easily turn what would otherwise be encounters with the enemy escaping or reaching vulnerable objectives around. This also might just be because our casters buffed us and I was wielding a high damage weapon, but Overdrive didn't feel undertuned. It's more limited than the accuracy boost fighters get or the damage boost barbarians get from rage, but it makes sense that the inventor would be more focused on utility and not as much on doing pure damage. The one complaint I have is one that I'm not sure can be solved. The weapon modifications are not created equal. I see little point in taking modifications outside Entangling Form, Modular Head, or Segmented Frame. Entangling Form is going to be the best for characters that plan on using combat maneuvers and Modular Head and Segmented Frame are generally going to be best for characters that want flexible damage types. I think the other weapon modifications are underwhelming at either, as the modular trait is generally best for the fairly situational benefit of changing damage type as it lets you use all three and grappling and tripping are almost certainly the best combat maneuvers outside of demoralizing.

    I'm pretty sure the interpretation that you can take uncommon languages using Multilingual is not RAW, and if not I'd say it isn't RAI. When they say "common languages, uncommon languages, and any others you have access to", the last part is meant to be exclusive. In the case of a non-PFS game, if you don't have access to the uncommon language through the storyline, you can't take it. In the case of Society play, you would NEED a boon like this in order to take the language at all. That said, there definitely does need to be clarification on this from the development team.

    As for Off-Hours Study... there are FAR too many limitations on that boon. Using it to learn a language or Lore skill that would be useful for the current storyline is the ONLY use I can imagine getting out of it. I hate how the two Grand Archive-exclusive boons right now suck. Off-Hours Study grants a common language or a Lore skill. The former is ridiculous-it should at LEAST let you take an uncommon language if your character has access to it. The latter could be useful if it was something like Cyclops Lore, but I took the Loremaster Dedication. Esoteric Wayfinder lets you turn a critical failure on a check to Recall Knowledge into a failure once without any risk of blowing up your wayfinder, and if it turns out what you roll wasn't a critical failure there's nothing saying that use is not expended. It frustrates me that with the shift to Achievement Points the Grand Archive doesn't really have any decent boons anymore. If Fluent in Cyclops lets me take the Cyclops language using Off-Hours Study, that might actually warrant taking it even with the downtime expenditure. I have difficulty justifying spending a skill feat on Multilingual.

    Nefreet wrote:

    Can you quote the whole text?

    That's the problem. That is the whole text.

    I'd like my wizard to be fluent in Cyclops, but I'm a little bit confused as to how the boon of that name works. Do I just get to mark the Cyclops language on my character sheet, or do I need to learn it through taking the Multilingual feat or some other method? The name implies the former, but the description says "your characters can learn the Cyclops language", which implies the latter. In that case, is it correct for me to assume that you can't learn it using the Off-Hours Study boon, since Cyclops is not a common language? Or do I gain access to it and can learn it using that boon as well?

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    It's nice to see some of Fumbus's intelligence. He's an alchemist, so he's got to be pretty smart, if not in a conventional way.

    Why doesn't Enthralling Allure have the same rating as Supernatural Charm, given that it has the same effect?

    Michael Sayre wrote:
    GM_3826 wrote:

    It's great that folks at Paizo are aware of how uncomfortable the concept of an Adventure Path centering around a police force really is, but I'm worried that Edgewatch won't be written with enough nuance.
    Without commenting on anything else you've said at this moment in time, I just want to note that Agents of Edgewatch was written over a year ago. The first two volumes are currently in shipping to our warehouse and printing production began months ago. For good or ill, any nuance, structure, etc. inherent to the adventure was decided and locked in long ago. I expect that when my volume releases I'll have more to say on the matter, but for now I think Erik's said things best and anything I might add regarding my particular contributions is best said in the context of the material.

    Mmm. I didn't fully understand the context. That's good to know. In that case, I agree that it's best to wait until the adventure has been released to comment on it if it had already been written long before recent controversies.

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    It's great that Paizo is aware of the implications and is doing something to correct them. The choice to not play as agents of law enforcement is something that is totally warranted, and I'm glad to hear that they are doing their best to write a positive depiction of law enforcement. It is too easy to not pay enough attention to the kind of things player characters are inclined to do and end up with guards doing things they really shouldn't. That said, I feel I must voice a concern.

    It's great that folks at Paizo are aware of how uncomfortable the concept of an Adventure Path centering around a police force really is, but I'm worried that Edgewatch won't be written with enough nuance. There's a happy median between "Angels with saps and manacles" and "Guards trained to carry out police brutality," and while I'm confident that the writers are able to reach that, I'm worried that they might overcorrect themselves and end up with an organization that can do no wrong. I'd rather have no Adventure Path than one lacking in subtlety, and writing Edgewatch too positively could lead to much the opposite problem where they seem to deny that law enforcement is capable of screwing up in the first place. I'd prefer an organization that is trying to do the right thing, but with some potential for hiccups. Maybe there's a bad egg here and there, or perhaps they handle a situation poorly, but they own up to it and do their best to correct the issue. This is a much more sensitive way to handle the problem, and it is also more engaging from a narrative perspective. If Paizo ends up going this route, I'm sure they will have to warn players ahead of time, but it would lead to a much more enjoyable adventure that also serves as a much better platform for players to explore these issues. I feel that this is more appropriate for the more mature form of D&D that Pathfinder is intended to be as a whole.

    GM Watery Soup wrote:
    GM_3826 wrote:
    I'm not stretching what my character would know too thin, correct? I'm trying to limit what I speak of in character to what my character would definitely be familiar with, but I'm worried about going overboard.

    I tend to use the "rule of fun."

    I will not be demanding your Chronicles or poring through LOWG to see if something is general or specific knowledge. Your character can, broad strokes, know as much as you want.

    As long as you are using information to enhance everyone's experience, I'll look for ways to allow it. If you're using information to make other people miserable, I'll look for ways to disallow it.

    OK, good to know.

    For the record, the spell Adriel just cast is prestidigitation, which is an innate spell granted by the hat of the magi.

    Dorian 'The Hammer' Gravendak wrote:

    interesting that we are all from dif factions ehh? ;)

    Has to be part of the 'design'

    Crunch was accepted and is also Envoy's Alliance. They just haven't showed up yet.

    I'm not stretching what my character would know too thin, correct? I'm trying to limit what I speak of in character to what my character would definitely be familiar with, but I'm worried about going overboard.

    Player Name: Evan F.
    Character Name: Adriel Stargazer
    PFS #: 2376826-2001
    Faction: Grand Archive
    Slow/Normal: Normal
    Downtime: Earn Income (Architecture Lore: Apply River Kingdoms Politician boon)
    School Items: scroll of fear, minor healing potion

    Boons slotted:
    Grand Archive Champion (faction):
    This faction boon represents your developing initial contacts with the Grand Archive faction, allowing you to gain Reputation with the faction. While you have this boon slotted, you gain Reputation with the faction after a successfully completed adventure, as detailed in its Primary and Secondary Objectives.
    Cryptid Scholar (untyped): Your experiences with the Mosquito Witch have inspired you to research strange creatures. When you Recall Knowledge to identify a rare or unique creature, you can use the following reaction.
    reaction (fortune) Uses [][][] Trigger You attempt to Recall Knowledge to identify a creature you can see; Effect You roll the skill check twice and use the better result. (PFS #1-02)
    River Kingdoms Politician (general): You have made yourself, one way or another, a known quantity in the realm of River Kingdoms politics. Upon completing an adventure set in the River Kingdoms or Razmiran, you may check a box next to this boon when using your downtime to Earn Income to participate in the political intrigues of the region, allowing you to find an Earn Income task of up to your level +1. Once all three boxes next to this boon are checked, this boon has a special effect in a future adventure. (PFS #1-08)

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