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SuperBidi wrote:
I'm sorry but I strongly disagree. If the GM can't tell you what the campaign is about, if it's just combat and big dungeons all over it or if you can expect investigation, roleplay and other things, there's a big issue. All the GMs I know answer this kind of questions as everyone needs the answers to make a character who fits in. Bringing a Barbarian in a campaign which is all about stealth and urban investigation will be as disappointing as bringing an Alchemist in a dungeon-heavy campaign.

There's a difference between what the campaign is about from a broad sense and the specifics. Its the difference between the setting and the plot. I'll point to abomination vaults and extinction curse here, abomination vaults is very clear its a big long dungeon crawl. Extinction curse follows a travelling circus, but the first book has 2 dungeons and several days worth of high encounter days. I'm not willing to say either is "bad" either, if you spell everything out at the start there's little to surprise the players with, they're different approaches. The types of encounters and enemies you face, as well as the length of adventuring days and number of rests are often not directly connected to the setting of the campaign, but the details of the plot instead. Two people could both write a campaign about crime fighting in a dirty city, and one could have mostly short, one encounter per day adventures, while the other could have long adventuring days trekking through criminal hideouts and being chased and tracked. Neither would need to have more or less intrigue/politics/roleplay than the other either.

There's also more sandboxy homebrew campaigns (which I love the most but haven't done in a while), where the DM isn't really writing more than a session ahead outside of broad plotlines. Generally you start with a setting, and give the players a reason to be together, then feed them plot hooks until they bite and you roll with it.

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SuperBidi wrote:

No, the class is mechanically unique because no other class is similar. It is clunky, but mechanically unique.

I was thinking of all the classes as bikes, I probably should've been a little clearer.

SuperBidi wrote:

I love playing my Alchemists, I'd never play a Bard even with a gun on my temple (the class mechanics are absolutely lame). Don't assume everyone loves the same things as you.

I'm not saying everyone does like the same things as me, I know that. I tend to enjoy playing characters with lots of options and things to do, since I like having a lot of decision points in a game, I'm a bit of a johnny so the concept of alchemist appeals to me. I agree base bard isn't too thrilling, but I think you can make it fun with the right build maybe, but I haven't tried it.

I think its hard to argue that trying to play alchemist isn't an abrasive experience though, which will hurt your enjoyment. Its like a rube goldberg machine where you need to micromanage the steps to get a slightly worse outcome.

SuperBidi wrote:
I don't know what meta-knowledge you're speaking about. I'm speaking of system mastery.

Meta-knowledge is stuff you know, that your character doesn't/wouldn't like knowing enemy weaknesses (among other things). In a lot of scenarios it almost feels like you just need to know what's coming to get the most out of the class, which is why I mentioned meta-knowledge here.

Prepared casters can run into a similar situation, but spells are generally powerful enough that if you prepare a good selection of general use ones you'll be pretty safe, plus you have low cost focus spells and cantrips to feel out an enemy.

IMO this is actually a pretty big issue for alchemist. Sure, yes you do get quick reagents, but the difference in efficiency between quick alchemy and crafting it at the start of the day is ridiculous, which is what makes this a problem. Alchemical items tend to be more like silver bullets than spells too, exacerbating the issue. It gets easier at high levels, as you get more reagents and your quick alchemy ends up creating stronger versions (this is weird and unintuitive btw) so I guess there's a fair trade off then.

SuperBidi wrote:

The only point I agree with you. The Alchemist is strongly limited on resources and playing one in an environment with long adventuring days will clearly be subpar (in every aspect). The Mutagenist can last longer, but still you'll need rather short adventuring days.

That's a part of the system mastery needed to play one: Don't play an Alchemist in an environment that won't be fine for it. Long adventuring days are hard, also environments where your adaptability is not rewarded (like AV which is mostly about combat).
You can say that PFS makes the Alchemist looks good, or just that the Alchemist works fine in PFS. 2 different ways to look at the same thing.

Overall, I'll never say the class is "fine" as is. Just that, with proper system mastery, you can have a blast playing one.

This is a bit of what I'm talking about, sure you want the class to fit into the setting, but needing to ask the DM how long adventuring days are, or if you can take advantage of alchemist's adaptability feels like meta gaming to me. Sometimes this stuff is made intentionally very obvious "this campaign will feature a lot of undead", but a lot of times it isn't. Asking if alchemist would be strong or weak in the campaign really isn't that much different than asking what the strongest class is for the campaign, or if a lot of enemies will have low will saves. Maybe the DM doesn't even know yet either, as they haven't read the future books or its a homebrew they're writing as they go along.

Other classes can be stronger or weaker based on the circumstances too, but I think alchemist is unique in how badly it can make or break the class.

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breithauptclan wrote:
Ganigumo wrote:
Maybe they could get a feature or feat to allow them to sustain all of their sustained spells as a single action too, really push them as a caster who excels in extended fights.

Well... technically Witch already has that... A free action even.

As a level 20 feat that has a prerequisite feat and costs a focus point each time it is used.

So... not sure that really counts for what you are wanting.

nice a level 20 class feat that lets me sustain... only multiple hex spells... for a focus point, if I take a feat that isn't a prerequisite

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Alchemist is already an unplayable mess, I don't see why we need to make it any worse than what it already is.

Short of playing with a Superstition Barbarian (who is just as bad by the way), or some Mortal Healing characters, there is no justification to play an Alchemist over any other character mechanically.

Don't hate on superstition barb. It might be bad, but the class Chassis actually works. Its not like it somehow breaks barbarian by forcing them to use finesse weapons or something.

SuperBidi wrote:

Yes, clearly. The class is quite clunky with a lot of problematic abilities and feats. It is also not the strongest out there.

But on the other hand, it's mechanically unique. There are far more mechanical justifications to play an Alchemist than a Fighter as the second one doesn't have any unique feature.

And in deft hands (with a lot of system mastery) the class is fine and far from unplayable.

I won't argue that its not mechanically unique, but in the way a bicycle with oval wheels is also "unique". From an optimization and from an ease of play/enjoyment of play you're better off just playing a support caster like a bard. If you want to lean into the alchemist flavor you're pretty much better off just grabbing it as an archetype somewhere and crafting alchemical items.

Playing the class just doesn't feel good. You mention system mastery, but how much of that system mastery is actually meta-knowledge?

ottdmk wrote:

In my experience, Alchemist is far from an unplayable mess. I'm playing three of them: L11 Bomber and L9 Mutagenist in PFS, and L5 Bomber in Outlaws of Alkenstar. All three have been a lot of fun to play so far. Maybe I'll change my mind when the PFS Bomber hits 13th, but I kinda doubt it.

That's pretty far off topic for this thread though.

I've never played PFS myself, but from my understanding it is an environment that is extremely kind to alchemists. Lots of enemies with exploitable weaknesses and fairly short adventuring days. Plus being flexible helps in an environment where parties change so much between sessions. It almost feels like the format was made specifically to make alchemists look good.

I am playing outlaws of alkenstar though (as a gnoll witch not an alchemist), and unless the DM is throwing us way more rests than we're supposed to get it feels like it wouldn't be bad for an alchemist. Pretty much all of our adventuring days are fairly short in terms of the number of encounters, and there's plenty of times you know whats coming up a rest or so in advance which would let you take advantage of some of the more niche items.

I played an alchemist in abomination vaults, and dm'd for one in fall of plaguestone and it was a struggle. I also dm'd a bit of extinction curse & the slithering, and am playing through quest for the frozen flame and none of those seem particularly good for alchemist either, they all have some pretty big dungeons and long adventuring days.

Not having something like cantrips or focus spells to fall back on makes any campaign with long adventuring days a slog. Rationing your reagents generally just makes the class feel like dead weight. So many little changes could fix a lot of it. level 1 Mutagens lasting only a single minute, and level 3 ones lasting 10 felt particularly awful though. The only way you get multiple fights out of them is if you don't heal.

I think Witch is pretty close to where it should be powerwise actually. It doesn't feel awful to play like alchemist at least.

Obviously new feats would help, but I think just buffing their focus spells, maybe making their familiar a little stronger with a few more abilities, and giving them light armor training would work. Also getting a feat at level 1, or first lesson for free.

They're the only 3 spell caster without any armor proficiency.

I'd really like if they pushed many of the sustained focus spells to get continually better each time its sustained too, like maybe evil eye increases the frightened condition each time its sustained, or Stoke the Heart increasing the damage bonus each time its sustained.

Maybe they could get a feature or feat to allow them to sustain all of their sustained spells as a single action too, really push them as a caster who excels in extended fights.

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I agree the rules here are ambiguous, although I'd say RAW doesn't cover the scenario at all.

That said the alchemist isn't actually a martial or anything, they're a support class with nothing else to invest into buildwise. They're an item dispenser first. Handing the whole party free poisons isn't really any different than handing them free mutagens to drink before a fight. The only scenario where it might be out of line is with ranged martials since you poison the ammunition instead of the weapon.

I don't have an issue with it, mostly because I think the class is a dumpster fire from the ground up. It fails at every level of its design, and this is something that actually feels powerful (even if saves and immunities prevent it from being so). That said if somebody felt poisoning 100 arrows every morning was a bit much I think it would be pretty reasonable to rule something like only being able to have 1, or loaded ammo be poisoned, because that much poisoned ammo is too dangerous to keep stowed away.

I think we'll still keep some of our champion concepts mostly in tact, but this is a good opportunity to give the class a bit more freedom, and rewrite the feats. Champion has a lot of levels (mostly early) where all the feats feel pretty weak. They're comparable in strength sure, but weak.

One change I could see happening is pulling lay on hands out as a class feature. Its a pretty core feature of the class, but moving it into the subclass/cause gives so much more flexibility. The "Good" champion can still get lay on hands, but something devoted to smiting evil could get something more aggressive.

Having each cause give a unique focus spell AND reaction would be cool, or if we could mix and match with say, the reaction from the cause and focus spell from the oath or something.

It'll be interesting to see if they keep the "defender" role too, champion is the only class that does it, and it has put it in a bit of a weird place.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Yeah, original classes will remain usable. Barbarian will likely require zero adjustments. Neither should any other CRB or APG class. Champions will require a very minimal amount of adjustment to run as outlined above. And hopefully the remaster gives us a final version that's more than just that hate minimum and opens up a lot of character concepts, including "neutral" and more offensive champions.

Dragon barbarian will likely change, and I think barbarian was on the list for a remaster (probably because of dragon).

I'm stoked for the witch and alch ones though. Witch only needs a little love but it'll be nice to see it.

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Things I'd love to see in the reworked alchemist:

1) All math fixer, or math improver feats immediately removed. No sticky bomb, no calculated splash, no feral mutagen. Yeet all of that into the sun. It has no place in pf2.

2)Flatten out reagents, give more at early levels, and less at high levels. i.e change from int+level to 8+int. The actual amount can be moved up or down for balance reasons but the current system is just bad design.
A focus point style system for an extra quick alchemy reagent would be really cool.

3)Rethink alchemical items, bombs are pretty much just martial weapons with elemental damage, but alchemists have a limited supply. If the overall supply goes up this is fine, but if it stays low they need to be more impactful, Some bombs that hit against saves would be great. Also if mutagens need to be better than the alternatives of other classes (like inspiring courage) because of the drawback, if they can't be the drawbacks need to be reined in to be non-impactful. also healing elixirs really need to scale every 2 levels like heal spells.

4) Proficiencies, alchemist is MAD, doesn't get master level weapons. Either give them master level weapons or make their fails more impactful. I like the latter more personally. Stuff like bombs that hit against saves and still debuff on fails (like spells). I do not care about the damage numbers, its about quality of life and playability. "You do about as much damage, but with more variance so over 20-100 turns it'll even out" isn't a good argument. Just lower the damage and fix the hit rate, or lean into the bad hit rates and make their fails feel impactful. Missing ~10-15% more for ~10-15% extra damage doesn't feel good to play.

5) Additive feats are awesome. More of them, with less limitations, and easier to use.

6) Class feature to draw and use an alchemical item in a single action.

7) enduring alchemy, and class DC from level 1 on all alchemical items you use.

8) More fun feats, like mutagenic flashback (I know its a research field bonus at the moment) and mega bomb.

9) Take the safety off of feats like demolition charge (or remove it). If the player is spending 4 bombs and an entire minute setting it up just let it do big damage. The use case is so small.

10) Make 2 Alchemists. An improvement on the current alchemist with a martial bent, and one that follows in the pf1e alchemist's footsteps that combines magic and alchemy.

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I've never been particularly attached to drow, but since Paizo is moving away from "monolithic evil societies" the concept of "evil elves" stops making sense in the setting.

With that said I don't agree that moving away from monolithic evil societies is necessarily a good thing. Its definitely a valid design direction, but I've never been fond of it.

I've always found those types of settings less interesting. Not that I'm saying everything should be black and white, but without anything being good or evil it all becomes a muddled mess and to me something is lost. I know plenty of other people love that kind of setting though.

What tends to bother me the most is that many of these settings are built on top of moral ambiguity, or things that are "morally grey", which I tend to just view as nonsense. Actions are either good or evil, and morality isn't an equation. As an example a serial killer who takes care of orphans isn't morally neutral. Like yeah, they did a lot of good taking care of orphans, but they're also a serial killer. The two things don't cancel each other out. These types of scenarios can add complexity and depth to characters but to me its never as though provoking as it seems to be for others.

There's a whole lot more I could ramble on about, like how moral relativism is bad for fictional settings because you can always invent a hypothetical society or viewpoint that inverts the morality and makes morality pointless (although it clearly isn't), or how any amount of analysis beneath the surface level view should quell the parallel between "monolithic evil societies" and racist views of other societies but I think I've rambled enough.

Errenor wrote:
Ganigumo wrote:
Errenor wrote:

1) the designers got a bit crazy and made all these Activate entries for most/all alchemical ammunition for absolutely no reason (and also several mentions that only activated ammo works)

Or it just got copy/pasted from black powder and it made it through editing.

Its not actually that unreasonable considering they literally all use the same template.

Apart from the problem which graystone mentioned, 'just got copy/pasted from black powder' is still 'got a bit crazy' and made a whole lot of editing mistakes. And I believe them to be much better at their job than that.

More importantly, you ignored essential part of my post: most of alchemical ammo use "activated ammunition <has effect>" language. I hope you won't consider this another bunch of editing mistakes.

I was specifically calling out how the mistake is not at all unbelievable, not making a comment on the topic at large.

Copy pasting templates isn't crazy, its a timesaver, and I would be far more shocked to find out they don't copy templates from other items/abilities/etc. constantly.

When you make a mistake like that though, its with the template you're copying, so it gets replicated across everything its really only a single mistake being made, not many.

When it comes to editing the work its entirely possible the editor didn't see anything wrong. I'm not privy to paizo's editing process but their editors might just be focused on editing the language so its clear, not on combing the rules to make sure the interactions make sense.

When it comes to the actual rules though it looks like you do need to spend an action to activate it, which IMO makes alchemical ammunition as a whole pretty lacklustre (nearly all characters will get more out of doing another action, and that's before factoring in the gold cost for non-alchemists), but it wouldn't be the first time Paizo erred on the side of caution.

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Errenor wrote:

1) the designers got a bit crazy and made all these Activate entries for most/all alchemical ammunition for absolutely no reason (and also several mentions that only activated ammo works)

Or it just got copy/pasted from black powder and it made it through editing.

Its not actually that unreasonable considering they literally all use the same template.

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Mathmuse wrote:
Ganigumo wrote:
I think there's a lot of design space around skalds that might be tough to build into bards. I thought about skald a bit in the past but you could pretty easily push raging song as their primary class feature, and have the archetypes modify it, and possibly even their school of magic similar to barbarian instincts.

I agree. For building a skald from scratch as a new class, their role as a war chanter for a barbarian tribe is foremost in solid flavor. Instead of calling up an eidolon like a Sarkorian God Caller the skald could summon primordial songs that inspire their warriors.

I had to compromise on Skald Muse to keep its power level in PF2 bounds. That messed up the flavor, leading to the criticisms of Pronate11 and YuriP. I thought of a skald's bardic songs are part of their Raging Song, while I guess they thought of it as part of the bardic spellcasting. Instead of trying to argue for my vision, I need a vision that does not lead to such split opinions.

Back to the drawing board for building PF2 skald as its own class.

Ganigumo wrote:

You could have a primal skald with the "Song of elements" that converts the damage bonus to an energy type, and gives energy DR.

You could have a draconic skald with the "Rage of Dragons" thats very similar to the above.

You could have an ancestors Skald with the "Rage of Ancestors" that does positive/negative damage

You could have an animal skald with the "Rage of beasts" that gives allies animal abilities in addition to bonus damage.

etc etc....

Wonderful flavor and opportunity there. However, it leaves open one big question: what do we call this kind of specialty? Barbarians call theirs "instincts." Bards call theirs "muses." Champions call theirs "causes." Druids call theirs "orders." Etc. I need a name that makes people think of a tribal mystic chanter. I will use "totems" in my rough draft. "Myth" or "inspiration" might work. Can anyone suggest a better name?

This will take at least a month. The results...

Skalds are performers, but rather than just musicians as bards can be, they tend to primarily be storytellers, weaving tales of interest and historic importance.

With that in mind maybe literally calling it "Epic Themes". It sounds a bit boring in regular english, but its pretty fitting when you look at it like literature, where an Epic is a story of adventure and heroism told in long form, and the theme is the theme of the story ("Epic Narrative" would also be a good fit).

So in that sense the skald would take great interest in matters concerning his Theme, and center his epics around them. It would also let you build out more abstract themes like Tragedy or Faith which could lean into occult/divine territory.

So the Dragon Skald would tell epics involving Dragons, maybe their stories, or stories of their defeat, and seek out to learn or experience those stories, while an ancestors Skald would tell stories of heroes and their lineages, and help continue those stories.

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I think there's a lot of design space around skalds that might be tough to build into bards. I thought about skald a bit in the past but you could pretty easily push raging song as their primary class feature, and have the archetypes modify it, and possibly even their school of magic similar to barbarian instincts.

You could have a primal skald with the "Song of elements" that converts the damage bonus to an energy type, and gives energy DR.

You could have a draconic skald with the "Rage of Dragons" thats very similar to the above.

You could have an ancestors Skald with the "Rage of Ancestors" that does positive/negative damage

You could have an animal skald with the "Rage of beasts" that gives allies animal abilities in addition to bonus damage.

etc etc....

I think you could make the class work as either a full caster or a wave caster, although I'd be a bit worried they might be too good with full martial proficiency. A gimmick being a full caster, with proper combat feats while performing could be pretty interesting though (i.e AoO).

In regards to the conversation I imagine the skald will appear somehow in a future book, although I'm not sure what form it will take, same with bloodrager who could either be a wavecaster or a barbarian instinct.

There's more than enough interesting design space around a sheathing/drawing tricks to make an archetype around it.
Picking it up could get you quick draw, then there could be feats for:
-Power attack/Cleave/Great Cleave/whirlwind strike equivalent when the weapon is sheathed
-Readying while sheathed to get an attack (maybe its 2 actions to sheathe and ready as opposed to 3)
-A bonus reaction only for the above
-bonuses to readied attacks
-Free sheathe as a reaction on a KO
-combining sheathing with other actions, like demoralize, or even a strike with the sheathe, similar to gunslinger reloads

There's plenty of interesting design space for it.

An issue with the samurai concept is just the game's balance and incentives. The "Ronin" style character wants to be a dex fighter, who is quick and lightly armored (or unarmored), but the weapons you'd want on that character lack finesse. Even the armored style of traditional samurai don't wear what we would consider heavy armor, its medium armor.

The classes that fit the concept best are fighter and champion, and neither want anything to do with medium armor, so they don't want to be doing the traditional samurai build, the same build would just be better in heavy armor. Meanwhile the strength investment to make ronin work is also going to encourage you to take heavy armor.

If we look at what classes have incentives that match up with what the a samurai would want:
Monk: specifically tengu if your DM allows ancestral weaponry to work with anything you get, but you'd be stuck with a wakizashi
Swashbuckler: Maybe a bit too showy, but with forced dex primary and light armor it could work. Finishers can be flaired with anime style if you want. Still stuck with the Wakizashi
Rogue: Wakizashi is basically a deadly dagger.

Inventor & Thaumaturge: The stats line up, but the flavor doesn't.
Barbarian: Strength based & locked to medium armor. Feels like a bit of a flavor miss for the concept (but you could make it work for a specific character)
Ranger: Strength or Dex, Medium armor, Hunt prey works a bit like a challenge especially in outwit, but precision works really well here too, so Ranger is probably the winner overall since a lot of your incentives end up lining up, and you can actually use a katana. Plus as a bonus you can get a horse if that's your vision.

I bring up incentives, because as much as we talk about being able to make concepts work, it often still feels bad to give up effectiveness for flavor. Katanas having finesse would push swashbucklers into a decent enough fit for ronin as well. To make fighters or champions work for these concepts you'd need to somehow incentivize melee finesse weapons and/or medium armor more. A campaign set in those regions would take care of the armor issue, since heavy armor would be basically unavailable.

Part of the problem with building a samurai is the lack of good finesse weapons (if that's your vision of it).
Finesse weapons are all capped at a d8 die, presumably because of rogue.

Dubious Scholar wrote:

Mechanically, I'd assume an Iaijustsu archetype gives bonuses for attacks made while drawing a weapon? Or special attacks that require you to start with your weapon sheathed?

Maybe a free action:
Requirement: Your last action included a weapon strike with the Flourish trait
Effect: You sheathe your weapon

You wouldn't even need the free sheathe I don't think, that could be the action tax for the archetype.

As an example you could get a 1 action power attack that requires your weapon to be sheathed.

Maybe the answer is just better finesse weapons?
Longbows are d8 and there are d10 guns and crossbows.
Just limit rogues to d8 damage dice for sneak attacks (exactly like how ruffian already does it)

Honestly I think that is something I wouldn't mind seeing in the future.
Limit rogue to d8 damage die to trigger sneak attack and introduce some d10, and maybe even d12 finesse weapons, to make melee dex builds more appealing. Also make katana's finesse in the process.

Squiggit wrote:

I think Dex and Ranged get conflated too much here. Ranged is situationally good, but Dex in the absence of that is usually not great and we only see classes specifically choose Dex when their builds demand it.

Dex rogues and swashbucklers are popular because their mechanics are built around Dex.

Ranged Inventors and Magi are somewhat popular and strong, but their melee builds tend toward strength based ones because they're simply better (especially at low levels). You'll see archer fighters and some throwing barbs, but you'll almost never see either of them with a rapier.

If you're optimizing for damage strength is just better. Things start to get muddled when you try to do literally anything else with the character though, since unless you have access to heavy armor you still need dex investment. You can get an 18/16/12/12/10/10 spread, or an 18/14/14/12/10/10 as a human. IF there's an ancestry that fits you can get 18/16/14/10/10/10 or 18/16/14/12/10/8. Obviously you'd need to make sacrifices to be more versatile (which isn't something pf2 rewards often).

These spreads work fine for things like fighters and champions, who can afford to dump dex with basically no penalty. But without it your options are dump defense or dump damage, which is where the decision between dex and str is tougher, and a lot of character concepts will require investing in other stats. Like a ranger who uses snares wants to invest in int.

When it comes to ranged dex vs melee dex, ranged dex is just better unless your class forces you into melee (see swash/rogue). These classes can't afford to invest in both str and dex (unlike fighter), because they're MAD (Inventor, Magi, alch, casters) so they won't get any bonus damage to their melee attacks, and in general finesse weapons have the same damage die as their ranged counterparts.

Part of why you see a bunch of melee strength magus/inventors, especially at low levels is because big damage is way more exciting than a higher AC and reflex save, so a lot of players just throw caution to the wind and go for damage.

The tradeoff for ranged isn't really an issue IMO, its very clear that given the option ranged is better than melee.
Really its the tradeoff between strength and Dex.
Strength gives more damage, since Strength weapons have the best damage dice and you add your strength to damage.
Dexterity gives you less damage but better defense, since it gives you armor and reflex and access to ranged weapons.
Most classes with the option will end up favoring Dex and ranged attacks unless it provides strong extra incentive to be melee, on top of that finesse weapons tend to be unanimously worse than their non-finesse counterparts.

Champion and fighter favor Str because of access to heavy armor, and Bulwark is a huge part of why.
Barbarian, Rogue, & swashbuckler have strong incentives because its tough (or impossible) to get their damage bonuses at range.
Inventor and Alchemist strongly favor dex, with inventor definitely favoring shooting. Toxicologist favors melee, because they get punished for missing ranged attacks, bomber is ranged, and mutagenist only favors strength because bestial isn't finesse. Both of these classes really appreciate being less MAD.
Magus also favors dex, since it reduces MAD, and it favors shooting strongly since the ranged spellstrike option is more action efficient than any of the others, which is a pretty big balance mixup.
I'm not sure where Thaumaturge stands, since I'm not too familiar, but I imagine they're better with dex for similar reasons as inventor.
Ranger can go either way, but I think generally favors dex and shooting. They're not very MAD just like fighters so they can afford to take a bit of both str and dex.

I could see a Dex barbarian working, although I'm not sure how you'd make it compete since finesse weapons are worse, maybe getting rid of the finesse/agile damage penalties. Adding the rage damage to bow attacks seems like a bit of a stretch though.

WRT warpriest I can see why they think its "balanced", they don't want them to be better than martials like in 1e, and clerics still have a ton of utility. Maybe the answer is in giving them better defenses? You could buff up their armor proficiency to master.
A few more warpriest buffs in the form of feat support could work too. Adding a hit bonus to channel smite, or a way to get easier access to true strike could help a lot. Or something that lets you cast a buff spell and strike for 2 actions?

PlantThings wrote:

Two changes that are constantly at the forefront of my mind:

2) Oracles should get one Divine Access feat for free at 1st level. Divine Access should also at least be a level 2 feat.

With the clamor for Oracles getting more spells to better support each mystery, utilizing the already established Divine Access seems to make the most sense. I especially like how it showcases early on how integral and unique the Divine Access feat is to the class, even if some mysteries are more thirsty for it than others.

I'm not sure that Divine Access is a must take, I'm currently playing a cosmos oracle with pretty much no intention of taking it, although that might be the exception to the rule.

Gortle wrote:

I'd like to see more different Champions. But to do it I'd have to get more into their philospohies and Golarion is pretty light weight most of the time. Also the outlook of the character needs to be protective because of the nature of the Champions mechanics. In my opinion there is certainly room for more LG, and LN options.

I don't disagree that we could get multiple types sharing an alignment, but all of the evil paladins are outright selfish, and not really protective at all.

graystone wrote:

Myself, I'd prefer for it to be an opt in for a drawback: I'm 1000% fine with fancy elixirs and mutagenists getting some kind of risk/reward feature for them or something else for the drawback. Having them always having a drawback may reinforce one kind of fantasy, but then cuts off another fantasy for those effects without crippling side effects.

letting them ignore the penalty base, or take it to increase the item bonuses by 1 would be cool. You could also let them ignore the penalty but be under the effects of 2 and take both penalties. You'd probably need to get rid of mutagenic flashback, but that's always felt like it should be a feat to me.

Jacob Jett wrote:

Re: integrating Risky Reload and Running Reload into the class. If these are indeed auto-take feats, I might also be inclined to integrate them into the class's abilities. But. This is a slippery slope. What auto-take feats exist for other classes? Shouldn't those also be integrated? (What's good for the goose is always good for the gander after all.)

A depressingly large number of alchemist feats and first lesson for witch come to mind, but generally most of the pf2e classes don't have feat taxes, which is why players are so sensitive to them when they do show up.

Paizo even manages to make things like Attack of Opportunity not an auto take.

I'm definitely in favor of building feat taxes into the classes.

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Ched Greyfell wrote:

The only reason I feel like the alchemist should have a high proficiency with throwing bombs isn't a power-gamey "all classes should be balanced" reason, it's from the fact that.. in PF1 they threw bombs against Touch AC. Since there is no Touch AC in PF2, they should have a really good proficiency to reflect that all they're doing is smashing a glass vial against something.

Or, at the very least, let them use their INT instead of DEX.

Touch AC existed in the playtest, but they got rid of it and let casters just use their primary attribute to hit with, but alchemist didn't get the same treatment.

Pronate11 wrote:
Ganigumo wrote:

-N is tough, but pushing the champion to do things like trying to remain impartial and mediate conflicts before they escalate too far seems to fit the bill.
Ok, but how does that fit into a party? How do they fight, and how is that different from a redeemer?


in addition to the tenets of neutrality???(Should There even be "Neutral" tenets? Maybe just unique tenets for this three)
-You must seek to mediate conflicts before they escalate to violence when possible (can never "shoot first"), in contrast to the redeemer seeking to redeem those on the wrong path, the mediator is just looking for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, not necessarily a good one. As an example, In a situation in which bandits are raiding farms a redeemer would try to convince the bandits to give up banditry take up gainful employment, but a mediator would work to find a solution that both parties can agree to, which may include things like: paying the bandits protection money, collectively hiring the bandits as guards etc.
-You must remain impartial during negotiations

Appeal to Reason:
Trigger: Someone within 15 feet of you makes an attack against someone else within 15 feet of you.
Make a diplomacy check against the attacker's Will DC. If the attacker is attacking someone who has yet to attack them or one of their allies treat the degree of success one level higher.
Critical Success: The attacker takes a -4 penalty to the attack roll and becomes stupified 2 until the end of their next turn.
Success: The attacker takes a -2 penalty to the attack roll and becomes stupified 1 until the end of their next turn.
Failure: The attacker becomes stupified 1 until the end of their next turn.
Critical Failure: You become stupified 1 until the end of your next turn.

Divine Smite:
In addition to the other effects the target takes persistent mental damage equal to your charisma modifier.

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All this champion discussion reminds me of how much I want neutral champions. My Ideas were:

Lawful Neutral: Judge
-LN is a pretty easy alignment to do, its all about law, order, and contracts regardless of the morality.
True Neutral: Mediator
-N is tough, but pushing the champion to do things like trying to remain impartial and mediate conflicts before they escalate too far seems to fit the bill.
Chaotic Neutral: Truthseeker
-Seeks and shared the truth no matter what. Seems like it could be a "good" cause, but not all truths are good so I feel like it fits into CN

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Things I'd like to see:

As mentioned, an upgraded alchemist. Most importantly get rid of the feat and action economy taxes and please flatten out their resources so they have a relatively static amount at all levels, instead of progressing from starved to flooded. I'm fine with versatility being their thing too, but if they're not getting master offenses give them tools to be better on fails (like tying bomb debuffs to the splash damage). Additionally if we're going master offenses it would be awesome to see a split where we can get a martial alchemist, and a pf1-style caster alchemist.

Buffs to witch: Witch should get either armor or extra spells (like wiz/sorc/cler) they're the only class with neither. Some of the feats need some cleaning up/buffing as well (like the hair ones, super cool but it takes like 3 feats to get going, or the terrible spellstrike ones). Also the focus cantrips are generally quite weak for being their gimmick to make up for all the stuff they don't have, it would be nice if they were a bit better. Personally I like the idea of them getting better every time you sustain the spell, since its a unique niche (I.e Evil Eye would start at frightened 1 and increase by 1 every time its sustained). Witch isn't in nearly as bad a spot as alchemist, but its pretty much always worse than playing a different class with the same tradition.

Something to help out MAD builds a bit: The change to voluntary flaw really hits MAD builds harder than other builds. This could be something that needs investment to work like a feat that lowers multiclassing requirements, but it can be really difficult to make certain builds work now.

More ancestry feats/heritages: Some heritages are blessed with super interesting/useful ancestry feats like Tengu, Gnomes, hobgoblins & Humans, but others tend to have really boring picks It would be cool to spice up some of the less interesting feat lists.

More access to ancestry feats: Its really tough to get extras, I know there's a variant rule for it, but a class archetype that goes all in on ancestry abilities would be pretty interesting. Would be cool to see it have an option to go all in on ancestry casting or combat.

Fixing some narrative dissonance around weapons: Some things regarding weapons are a bit strange like a lack of simple axes or whips being better as a strength weapon (despite the finesse trait, because it doesn't apply to maneuvers). I get that there's some balance concerns around it, but it makes certain character concepts tough to build.

If I had to guess its for balance reasons, not narrative ones.

Almost all axes have the sweep trait, so maybe the designers thought that between sweep and the crit spec it was too good to be simple.

It bothers me that a greatclub isn't simple either, its just a big stick, but it probably got bumped up to martial because of the damage die and backswing, but it still seems pretty weak for a martial weapon.

I didn't even notice the collar of the shifting spider, its a good item, although yet another that could've been an alchemist feat, either as an additive or something that gives your party members an extra action to drink a potion at initiative.

Also for anyone doing multiple attacks you'd only want the siphon on the main-hand weapon.

You could maybe use perpetuals for fill the siphons too? I guess its the exact same issue that was never addressed with toxicologist though, where its unclear if a perpetual poison expires at the end of the turn even if its applied.

Weapon siphon is good on any dual wield build, you can just put it on the main hand weapon if you're something like a ranger.

Its a real shame fury cocktail only comes online at level 4, I think you could combine a weapon siphon and an alchemical gauntlet on a strength alchemist and get some decent results. I suppose you could use energy mutagens or something in the meantime.

For something like weakness or elemental betrayal I assume the weapon siphon/alchemical gauntlet damage is combined with the weapon damage so it only triggers once?

graystone wrote:
Ganigumo wrote:
Alchemical chart
This doesn't really fix as much as it breaks as it takes up a hand: Once you get double brew, holding the chart means 1 item drops to the ground for the average alchemist [requiring an action to pick up] and persists until 15th level with Alchemical Alacrity when you can stow them but still costs an action to draw them to use.

With quick bomber you can use it with bombs, but otherwise I see your point, the hand thing is a pretty heavy tax, although I'd assume they are stowed like with alchemical alacrity instead of dropped.

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shroudb wrote:

I find poison concentrator to be pretty strong myself.

A poisoner doesn't rely on Quick, instead now he's given the option to halve his poison stash of the day for a +1 to the DC.

That's pretty cool given that Fort is universally the strongest monster save, but also that DC increasing is extremely rare.

This plus pinpoint is a 3 point shift all together which is good.

My issue with that isn't the strength of it, as it, bomb coagulant alembic, and the alchemical chart are all strong enough to consider using.

My issue is the design of the items and how they mesh with the class. These are clearly items that are attempting to "fix" alchemist in some way. Bomb coagulant is trying to let you prepare sticky bombs at the start of the day, and poison concentrator is trying to make the math better for poisons that aren't using powerful alchemy. Alchemical chart is a replacement for enduring alchemy.

I'd much rather just see a proper rewrite/revision of the alchemist, with stuff like this it feels like they're designing in a space they shouldn't, because they won't (or can't), fix the problem at its source.

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I've had a chance to go over the items, and while there are some interesting standouts, they really missed the mark on some of them, like really badly in some cases, to the point where its clear even they don't know what's going on with alchemist.

Great stuff:
Bomb gauntlet
Lozenges, poison fizz and crackling bubble gum in particular
Skunk bomb
lodestone bomb (finally a bomb that's usually well suited to fighting humanoids)

Good stuff with power issues:
Fury cocktail: Bestial mutagen for weapons. So you can use a weapon with your alch and give out buffs to your STR party members, its a shame its the same penalty as bestial which has its issues. Edit: Just realized its level 4+, there's no level 1 variant, which is a bit of a buzzkill
Life shot: finally a way to use potions at range, but did they really need to be weaker?

Worst item contender:
Healing vapor: heals 5 hp over 10 minutes, at level 4. This is hilariously bad. Out of combat healing is super plentiful in the system, not sure why this is so weak.

Items that raise serious design questions:
Insight Coffee (this is just a roundabout way of buffing investigator right? probably because they need to wait for a new book printing to make errata)
Poison Concentrator
Bomb Coagulant Alembic
Alchemical chart

The additive items are really weird. Low level alchemists are generally forced to use advanced alchemy and not quick alchemy, so these feel like items aimed at them, but are item level 5+. High level alchemists are pushed pretty hard into using quick alchemy to take advantage of additive feats and tend to have plenty of resources so they don't need the benefits as much. The bomb one is particularly bad too because its way better on non-bombers since it lets you turn off the splash damage.

These all feel like they should be feats, but making them feats puts them in competition with all the math fixer and must take feats alchemists already have, plus the additive ones are dead ends being the only feats that reward you for crafting at the start of the day.

It worth remembering wizard has an entire thesis dedicated to swapping out spells too.
Sure it takes 10 minutes, so alchemist has the edge in a combat situation, but spell substitution wizard is extremely flexible in its out of combat problem solving ability.

Bombs can be useful for sure, but their aoe component feels really lacking to me, at least until you get mega bomb (which would make alchemists way more interesting if it came online at level ~6ish, or at least a lesser version of it). 1-4 splash damage is pretty negligible unless you hit a weakness. They're caught in this weird place where they feel like they should be more comparable to spells, since they're a limited resource, but they scale like martial weapons because alchemists can make so many of them that they would be broken if they didn't.

Persistent damage is also really inconsistent. 25% chance to fall off every turn, and you need to factor in how long the enemy will survive for.

It doesn't help that bomb damage is probably one of the lesser issues alchemists actually face. Sure its the easiest to solve since we can math out the numbers, but stuff like feat taxes, poor progression, and resource issues are bigger hurdles for the class.

I think people would generally be happier with the class, even at the current damage numbers, if the resource issues could be ironed out. limited perpetuals starting at level 1, focus point equivalent for quick alchemy, and a less drastic reagent progression (8+int at all levels?) would make the class feel far better to play.

Also personally I really like the direction of debuff bombs like the new skunk bomb, it makes bombs feel dangerous without needing to pump out crazy damage numbers.

Skunk bomb sounds interesting. I had suggested previously that bombs should debuff in an area rather than only the primary target. items like this push bombers away from dps and into support, but honestly so much of the class' power budget is wrapped up in support that even bombers are supports anyways. If the class is only ever going to get expert proficiency stuff like this is a big help.

IMO alchemist can't really be fixed with just new items though, the class has some design and scaling issues that need to be properly addressed. From what I've heard they're fine in PFS play, but from playing mostly APs its still my experience that alchemists are terrible. Very few enemies with exploitable weaknesses (at this point enemies that resist everything except 'X' seem more common) and adventuring days are often long enough to drain their resources too quickly.

I've been playing an awful witch build for a while (Gnoll grappler Witch, taking the hair feats). We are doing the free archetype variant, of which I took wrestler to double down on my bad decision (I get knocked out pretty much every fight).

Its been fun, and I don't think Witch is bad, but it could really use a boost.

Access to light armor would actually be huge imo, and put it on par defense-wise with the other 3 spell casters (bard and druid both get light armor).

It would be nice if some of the focus cantrips got buffed a little, my DM let me go mosquito witch and buzzing bites is super useful, but its easily one of, if not THE, best focus cantrip for witch.

Letting the class lean a little heavier into sustaining would help too, a low level class feature to sustain multiple spells with a single action would really push witch into a good spot. Maybe 2 spells per sustain at first level, and it upgrades to 3 at a higher level.

Also it would be great if some of the melee witch feats got buffed a little. They're really cool and thematic but needing to invest in strength to get anything out of them, while having no access to armor, makes it a tough build. Letting you use int for attack rolls or athletic checks doesn't feel too out of line (they still have bad weapon proficiency), and it takes 3 feats to make the hair build feel good, and the nails are way too risky with all the requirements.

I'd just roll quick hands into quick bomber, and make it a level 1 class feature, you can draw and "use" an alchemical item in a single action.

Volatile Alchemy is really cool, but just losing the item on a crit fail is probably enough, and the failed action is enough of a cost for a normal fail. Also if you're rolling quick hands into the base class make this include drawing the item if you need it. Maybe the DC should be the DC for the item's modified level too. A feat or ability that lets you do 2 items at the same time would be good, even if it comes online at higher levels.

A fun change to the fizzy blast feats would be to make it a "gas" bomb, changing it to inhaled and being a cloud in a space for the first one, and in an area for the advanced one. If you want to push it you could let it affect enemies with a Fort save to resist if they wanted to.

Master level proficiency on attacks might be a bit much for all alchemists, most of the power isn't in the research fields so in this version a mutagenist or chirurgeon is nearly as good a bomber.

Most of the changes are fine I think, but the biggest gamechanger is volatile alchemy. It means higher level alchemists don't need to rely on quick alchemy as much to get their additives. It might be worth flattening the reagents curve to something like 8+int at all levels with these changes.

I'm playing a gnoll ifrit mosquito witch in outlaws of alkenstar (both geniekin and gnoll are recommended ancestries). I pumped strength and my stats are 16str, 14dex, 12con, 8wis, 18int, 10cha. I plan on going into the hair feats, and taking wrestler archetype so I can do some cool stuff with the hair.

I recognize its pretty suboptimal but its cool so I went for it. The biggest issue is how fragile the character is.

I've also tried to collect abilities that grant me fire damage, so I can trigger elemental betrayal as much as possible when I get it at level 2. The lava spike attack from the ifrit heritage is good for it, and once I hit level 3 I can learn the flame wisp spell which will let the lava spikes trigger elemental betrayal twice (the wisp is a separate source of damage). Alchemist's fire also synergizes well because the persistent damage triggers the bonus as well.
I'm a bit bummed out that the flame wisp familiar I took buffs basically none of the damage outside of fire spells though, but its still pretty thematic.

I wanted to play a dex champion in quest for the frozen flame, but switched to Oracle to role-fill.

Throwing weapons are a bit jank, but once you get a returning rune they become pretty good for a dex champion. Then you can use a shield with a thrown weapon and ranged reprisal.

Other one handed ranged weapons work too, but they tend to be action intensive because of reloading.

In terms of which weapons to use spears and javelins can be good with deific weapon, or tridents. If you can spec into it filcher's forks are very good. Others have mentioned dagger which is still a good option thanks to finesse and agile.

Archer champions can work fine too, as far as I can tell you can use a buckler with a bow, since bows are 1+ hands. You could combo that with a finesse natural attack (like razortooth goblin) to have an option for melee (gauntlets could work too, but are strength based).

another frontliner would be good to set up the rogue. Thief rogue in particular is one of the weaker rogues in terms of setting up their own sneak attacks (they can still do it, but they don't get any special bonuses like scoundrel).

Others have mentioned champion, but I'm going to suggest ruffian rogue. Athletics can set up both you and the thief rogue, and if the bard picks up dirge of doom, and the rogues pick up dread fighter your party can basically make everything flat-footed.
Ruffian can spec into bastion for heavy armor pretty easily, as none of the level 2 feats are particularly important for them.
Some tips if you plan on doing ruffian: Unless you're using a longspear, invest in some gauntlets, they're easily one of the best weapons for them. agile + free-hand means you can make all your MAP attacks with the gauntlet, and the MAPless ones with a "main hand" weapon, while still being able to do combat maneuvers. Assurance athletics is really good, its only 10+proficiency, but its often enough to hit enemies weaker DC, and it ignores the MAP.

If you wanted to do something a but less standard, an animal companion, eidolon, or summoned creatures could fill that frontliner job (note: summoned creatures are generally bad at dealing damage, but are pretty good at utility stuff like athletics). Which opens up ranger, summoner, conjuration wizard, and druid (which can also be a frontliner with a wild form build). As a disclaimer conjuration wizard is a bit complex to play because of managing what to summon and when.

I've been playing through abomination vaults as an alchemist, and I'm not as far as you (we're in the process of clearing out the 4th floor) but I do not recommend it at all. Alchemist is a bad fit for a dungeon crawl.

The new rules lead to silly stuff like foxfire and fire beams being usable underwater anyways.

Elemental betrayal does trigger off of fire or cold damage but not electric/acid (only spells with the air or earth trait). For my character the flame wisp familiar only triggers off of effects with the fire trait, as an example.

There used to be a section in the core rule book called "Damage Types and Traits" (its in my CRB) that seems to have disappeared between printings of the CRB, which stated:


Damage Types and Traits
When an attack deals a type of damage, the attack action gains that trait. For example, the Strikes and attack actions you use wielding a sword when its flaming rune is active gain the fire trait, since the rune gives the weapon the ability to deal fire damage.

Its removal never appeared in the errata.

There was a section in the lost omens ancestry guide that referenced the change indirectly since it said attacks with flaming weapon don't gain the fire trait.

I've been bumping into this rules change a bunch when trying to make my witch for Outlaws of Alkenstar, I'm planning on taking elemental betrayal and a flame wisp familiar, and it turns out there are a lot of feats that give attacks with elemental damage, but don't have the corresponding trait. Stuff like Ifrit's Lavasoul ancestry feat which deals 1 bonus fire damage, Goblins scalding spit, Automaton's energy beam, or Kitsune's foxfire.

I'm not sure why it was changed, since its not like fire immunity gives immunity to everything with the fire trait (the section on immunity explains that for complex effects, like a spell that deals both acid and fire damage, the damage immunity only applies to the fire section).

I'd like to hear community thoughts on it as well? Should stuff like foxfire have the fire trait? Do you houserule it? Was there some edge case I'm not seeing that made it broken?

They probably should've used the degree of success instead of attack roll result then, if for no other reason than making the ability simpler.

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

While I can understand how you came to that conclusion, and it makes sense by RAW, I still disagree with it simply because I view Spellstrike as a Weapon Attack + Spell Attack combined into one effect. If it's combined into a single effect, that means it's still only one damage roll taking place. Otherwise, if I can source damage rolls like that, that means every elemental rune or similar benefit would likewise gain a +1 from Inspire Courage.

Most effects like flaming are additional damage, and additional damage is combined into a single damage roll afaik.

So a flaming weapon would only get an overall +1, but a spellstrike would get a +1 on each part. A strike made with the spell flame wisp active would also double dip, because the wisp isn't additional damage.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

For the record, Inspire Courage double-dipping from a single roll also counts as TGTBT in my opinion, in the same way double-dipping Sneak Attack sounds TGTBT.
Blake's Tiger wrote:

Not exactly. Sneak Attack is not Inspire Courage.

Inspire Courage directly adds bonus damage to the damage, it does not even require an attack roll to do this (e.g., magic missile).

Sneak Attack triggers on a conditional, successful attack roll (or making a successful spell attack roll for Magical Trickster).

Specifically Inspire courage triggers off damage rolls, not attack rolls, so a spellstrike double dips because you do make a damage roll for both the strike and spell.

But since it requires a damage roll it doesn't trigger off of flat damage like bomb splash or elemental betrayal.

My ten cents on the overall discussion is that you don't get to double sneak attack, since only one die is rolled. Its pretty clear the intention is that the two are combined into the same attack (unlike playtest magus) even if the RAW is a bit confusing.
Honestly even the edge case of missing one but hitting with the other because of a specialized AC bonus is questionable. My reading of it is that the "attack roll result" is the degree of success, not the number.

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As Grognard stated spontaneous casters need to know the spell at the level they want to cast it.

So if you picked soothe as one of your first level spells you only have first level soothe in your repertoire. In order to cast a soothe heightened to level 2 you would need to pick a level 2 soothe as one of the second level spells in your repertoire (at which point you would have both soothe level 1, and soothe level 2 in your repertoire).

Signature spells lets you heighten it freely, which means when you pick that level 1 soothe as a signature spell you can cast a higher (or lower) level version of that spell, without knowing it at that level.

another way to think of it is picking a spell as a signature spell adds all possible levels of that spell to your repertoire.

You still need to use the appropriate level's spell slot though, cantrips and focus spells are the only spells that auto-heighten, since they don't use spell slots.

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A Metamagic archetype that gives access to metamagic feats a class might not normally have, in addition to a few brand new ones, or improvements to existing ones. Including possibly being able to combine two (i.e Reach + widen) in a limited manner (1/day? focus spell?)

An archetype that lets you double down on ancestry shenanigans, improving options granted by your ancestry (including innate spellcasting), and possibly giving a way to get extra ancestry feats.

An archetype that lets you develop a signature move, a bit similar to a martial version of spell trickster, but a bit more flexible since it would focus on strikes and skill checks.

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Mana is just endurance/fatigue but for spells.
There are definite problems with pushing mana in place of pf2's spells per day system.
a few implementations for spell costs:
Fibonacci sequence: 1,2,3,5,8,13,21
a 3 slot caster, coverting the spells per day into "mana" at level 10 would have 57 mana. Thats 7 5th level spells, 11 4th level spells, 57 1st level spells, 28 second level spells (or some combination)
This would let you keep high level slots pretty contested, but the spammyness of low level spells could end up being an issue as you'd have nearly an endless amount of the lower level ones, and they can still be very useful. It would be mostly locked to utility though. You'd still inevitably end up with more top level spells.

Things that scale faster would have the same problem with spammyness of lower level spells but worse, as higher levels of spells would also be spammy (max level -1 in particular would be incredibly good), but would limit the number of top level spells pretty significantly.

slowly scaling linear: (i.e cost increases by 1 or 2 each level)
This would limit spamming low level spells, but would instead encourage players to just spend all their mana on high level spells.
If we looked at costs being equal to spell level that same 10th level caster would have 45 mana, and be able to cast 9 max level spells.

Slower than linear costs would increase that trend, making lower level spells generally overcosted mana-wise so you'd rarely ever use them.

In order to make mana work you'd need to rework spells as well, as any of these options completely changes the spellcasting dynamic in (what I view as) an unhealthy way.

If you're reworking spells to make mana work you'd probably remove spell levels, as thats the problematic part, and standardize spell strength relative to their mana costs (or make all spells cost the same mana and be "evenly" balanced). This actually runs the risk of feeling like a martial with extra utility and aoe damage that gets tired after a while which is pretty much the current alchemist, which struggles immensely outside of pfs play, which is partly alchemist design issues, but also partly the problem with this resource design since it works best if you have a static amount of it at all levels, rather than it scaling up (unless it scales incredibly slowly) as there is inevitably a sweetspot where the class has enough resource to feel good, but not so much that they can be reckless with how they use it.

Another massive hurdle is the bookkeeping required, especially if spells don't have the same mana costs.

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I found 4 that might fit:
Besmara (The pirate Queen). Piracy is all about freedom, and while betraying shipmates is anathema, taking what you want is one of her edicts and she might relish the competition.

Count Renalc (The traitor). Literally a deity all about betrayal.

Lubaiko (The spark in the dust). A god of chaos, fire, and change. Summed up: "out with the old, in with the new". Wouldn't be a stretch for it to apply to herself as well.

Azathoth, represents a blind uncaring universe, and treats his devotees in a similar fashion.

breithauptclan wrote:
You mean like Mosquito Witch and Buzzing Bites vs Winter Witch and Clinging Ice?

Yes, but for more of them, although I'm not buzzing bites is enough to save the class, even if its a pretty useful tool.

Poaching spells could be an interesting angle too, like an arcane patron that grants heal/harm/soothe.

Witch is pretty fixable without a full rewrite.

Squiggit wrote:
Rare = better is a paradigm that they're supposed to be avoiding.

I suspect its probably intentional for the witch, since its pretty much agreed upon that its a bit underpowered. I wouldn't be surprised to see new patrons slowly creep up the power a bit until they hit a sweetspot.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
For the one you're building... it would be nice to have feats like Living Hair and Eldritch Nails be actually useful for actual witches, rather than being something that's potentially worth poaching, but not worth taking in the base class.

The witch nails are pretty bad, in order to save them you'd need to do something like being able to apply any hex (cantrip included) with them, which might be a bit much.

When it comes to the hair feats I wonder if the writer thought finesse + maneuver traits let you use dex for maneuvers. I know the Oct 2019 errata made it clear that doesn't work, but before that the rules implied the opposite (with a dev statement from the pf2e playtest confirming thats how it worked). The APG playtest was released a few weeks before the errata. In the playtest the hair had agile, disarm, grapple, parry and trip, while the released version had agile, disarm, finesse and trip traits (so it lost grapple and parry, but gained finesse).
The feat (and the uncommon chain that probably should've been part of the base class) certainly becomes far more interesting for witches if they could use dex on the maneuvers, since dex isn't as much of a stretch for witches to invest in as strength.

The timing of the errata and witch development/playtest (and the fact that the main writer left at some point) may have just led this to fall through the cracks.

Sanityfaerie wrote:

Recharging strike... that's a heck of a lot of damage against the standard block of tofu. Shift energy similarly - you're getting what would normally be a two-action attack for a single reaction, and you get to reuse the charge of spellstrike and the spell (if slotted) to boot. Having it be the same MAP makes it even worse. Between the two of them, this variant as suggested is way overpowered.

Like, starting in base-to-base contact and unleashing is sometimes difficult to set up, but if you pull it off, with this setup...

- You get your spellstrike.
- If you miss, you get to do it again, at the same MAP, at the cost of a reaction and a focus point.
- If you hit either of those, you get a second (third) attack that lets you recharge your spellstrike if you hit - a significant bit of action advantage that doesn't cost you a focus spell.

If anything, I'd make Recharging Strike the conflux spell. "Action efficiency in spellstrike recharging" is kind of the conflux spell thing. If you want to find something shiny for the dual weapon side of things... possibly have a way to mix an offhand attack with starting up Arcane Cascade? That wouldn't give you the same kind of action efficiency as making it a full-on no-resource spellstrike recharger does, but it would still be a nice little bonus.

Maybe I didn't word it properly, but the confluence spell would be at the normal MAP for an attack after a spellstrike (spellstrike counts as 2 attacks, so it would be for 2 attacks, so a -10) I put it there mostly as reminder text.

So if you started base-to-base you could:
Reaction focus spell to spellstrike again at -10 (-8 for agile) if the spellstrike missed
do a recharging strike at -10 (-8 for agile).

So you're making a lot of strikes, but you'll really feel the MAP. I put press on the recharging strike too, so you can either do it at a -10/-8 immediately after a spellstrike, or a -5/-4 and -10/-8 on the next turn after a normal strike, but you won't be able to spellstrike that turn.

HumbleGamer wrote:

For what I care, they might give a 2 weapon hybrid study for the magus, as long as anything like the stuff mentioned before ( which is double slice spellstrike or a focus spell that allow the magus to strike twice + recharge ) is given to the class.

But have to admit that given how paizo works in terms of balance, I can say I feel quite assured.

This gave me an interesting idea, maybe a 2WF magus could get an extra action called Recharging strike.

Recharging strike:
Traits: Press
Requirements: You are holding a weapon in each hand, and have used spellstrike since the start of your last turn.

Make a weapon strike with a weapon that wasn't used as part of your last spellstrike against the target of that spellstrike, if it hits you may siphon some of the residual energy of your spell to recharge your spellstrike as a free action.

I put some weird requirements on it to be a bit more lenient in terms of action economy (this would let you move->spellstrike/ move->strike->recharge or work in an arcane cascade in the middle). You could make it more or less restrictive but this gives the general idea of how it could work. (maybe removing Press would be fine? maybe it only works if the last action was arcane cascade or spellstrike?).

The conflux spell could be something like:
Shift energy:
Trigger: Your last action was a missed spellstrike
Requirements: You are wielding one weapon in each hand
You quickly channel the magic from your missed spellstrike into your offhand weapon in an attempt to save the spell. Make a spellstrike using the weapon you didn't use for the spellstrike, using the same spell and your current MAP.

I'm not sure how powerful this would be overall, a reaction based focus spell seems good, but it would be at a -10 (-8 if agile) so it probably wouldn't do much most of the time.

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