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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
If tiers are a measure of versatility, there's no difference between wizards and sorcerer. A sorcerer is limited by his repertoire, a wizard is limited by his spellbook. A wizard needs scrolls to expand his spellbook; if he can find scrolls, so can the sorcerer.
Not exactly. Scrolls are one way, but a Wizard can also learn new spells from other spellbooks or anyone who knows said spell.

There's no rule to access a spellbook. No rule, no price, etc. Since the spellcasting service of a spell with a casting time of 1 minute costs more than a scroll (... and even more if the spell is uncommon or rare - anyway there isn't any rule to access uncommon or rare spells), any decent GM will set the price for accessing another spellbook to the scroll price (at least).

Anyway, is the tier a function of the class only, or a function of the houserules and the DM ?

If it's a function of the class, the tier shouldn't take into account the fact there's a DM somewhere who gives access to every spell for free to wizards and doesn't give any scroll to sorcerers.

If it's a function of the DM, then the whole concept of tier vanishes to nothingness: I know 1 DM who allows fighters to get a NPC wizard groupie, a fighter with a wizard is better in every conceivable way than a wizard.

And scrolls aren't really that expensive. Being able to spend nominal GP costs and get pretty much every spell of all but your top few spell levels makes Wizards vastly more flexible than Sorcerers in terms of problem solving tools. The Sorcerer can buy scrolls, too, but they can only use them once rather than the infinite times a Wizard can use the spell they've learned.

This is not how it works and you know it.

If you intend to casts the spell an infinite number of time, why isn't it in your repertoire already ? There aren't *that many* spells you intend to cast every time everywhere.

Basically, from a "casting frenquency" standpoint there are 3 kinds of spell:
1/ Spells you want to cast everyday, several times per day. eg ??? I can't see any such spell in PF2. Maybe Invisibility and Fly ? In PF1, it would be Glitterdust, Blindness Haste, etc.
2/ Spells you don't want to cast everyday, but you may need to cast it several time in a short amount of time. eg Teleport (although it isn't a common spell, so there's no rule to get it in PF2).
3/ Spell that are handy in a very precise situation; you won't cast them often, and you don't usually need to cast them several time at once. eg Breath Water, Freedom of movement...

For the first kind of spell, wizard = sorcerer. It was the case in PF1 and it's still the case in PF2. Those spell are cast so frequently, scrolls would be too expansive: both the wizard and the sorcerer rely on slots. The wizard can know Glitterdust and Blindness, but he can't access both at the same time: he has to chose which spell he puts in his slots beforehand. He can change everyday, and decide this day Blindness will more efficient than Glitterdust, in the other hand the sorcerer doesn't have to decide beforehand how many time he'll need Glitterdust and how many time he'll need Invisibility this day.

For the second kind of spell, wizard = sorcerer. Maybe a very small advantage for the wizard, but I'm not even sure. It was the case in PF1 and it's still the case in PF2. If the wizard know he'll need teleport exactly 4 times this day, he can memorize it exactly 4 times and that's awesome. In the other hand, every other day, either he memorizes Teleport once (and lose his slot if he doesn't need it that day), either he relies on scrolls. Sorcerer can either rely on scrolls (as the wizard most of the days), either have it as a spell known, in which case he doesn't lose a slot everyday and he can cast it more time than he though he'd need it in the morning when the situation comes up.

For the third kind of spells, let's look at the scroll economy. The wizard buy a scroll, and copy it in his spellbook. It costs more than just buying a scroll. In the other hand, the sorcerer buys a scroll, it's cheaper (no cost to copy the spell) and can use it whenever he wants (he doesn't need to memorize it at morning). If the spell is useful only once in the whole campaign (and let's be honest, in a typical campaign you need Breath Water only 0-2 times), then Sorcerer >> wizard. Now, let's assume the wizard needs to have access to the spell at any time (if he needs Freedom of movement at one point of the campaign, he'll need it at the moment, not after 10 minute of quick preparation). So he writes two scrolls. He needs a feat for that (but let's be honest, there aren't many useful skill feat), and it's still more expansive than buying two scrolls (copying the spell in his spellbook had a cost). So the sorcerer does that: he buys two scrolls. In the end, if you need the spell 2 times or less during the whole campaign, Sorcerer > Wizard. If you need the spell 3 times or more, Wizard > Sorcerer. On average, Wizard = Sorcerer. It was the case in PF1, it's even more true in PF2 given every nerf on spellcating.

In PF1, the versatility of the Wizard compared to the Sorcerer is mostly a myth, based on the idea the wizard knows exactly every spells he'll need every morning. In actual play, the Sorcerer has versatility thanks to scrolls, sometime the Wizard is better because he knows exactly what will happen in the day and can prepare the right spells, sometime the Sorcerer is better because this day he needed 5 Glitterdust (no wizard prepares 5 times the same spell). The PF1 wizard can cast any spell with his bonded item - doesn't exist in PF2. The PF1 wizard can scribe scroll and change his spell during the day - costs feats in PF2. Fun fact, quick preparation is a feat, any multiclass character can take it at level 8. Ie any multiclass character can fill his spellbook with a lot of spell, and access the right spell at the right moment with this feat. Since quick preparation is especially useful on the third kind of spells, the number of slots per day isn't an issue. A fighter-wizard is infinitely better than a wizard during fight, and can access any spell at any time if needed.

Finally, in PF1, the wizard is far more powerful than the sorcerer at every odd level (ie half of the time): more slots, more powerful slots. The wizard is in a higher tier than the sorcerer because he's more powerful - in term of versatility, he's exactly the same, except in a strange campaign where the wizard get a lot of spellbook while the sorcerer doesn't get any single scroll. In PF2, this advantage vanishes. There's no reason to put the wizard in a higher tier than the sorcerer, except "it was the case in PF1 so I guess it's still the case maybe ?"

Well, first, Fighter is only +1 to hit over most other martial characters.

Didn't they change UTEML to -/0/+2/+4+/6 ? Did they introduce a strange exception for weapon proficiencies ?

Secondly, no, this isn't how Tiers work. Spellcasting remains an excellent problem solving tool, and is only gonna get powered up for the final game. Fighters and other hardcore martial characters reign supreme in their area (doing damage in a straight fight)...but that's a narrow area, not versatility.

What can a level 5 wizard do that a level 5 fighter can't do ? Using only common spells, since tiers shouldn't be a measure of how generous the DM is.

There's at least one area where the fighter contribute while the wizard does nothing: fights. Everytime there's a fight, the turn of the wizard is a waste of everyone's time - especially with the new UTEML.

Even if there are some useful spell, it requires 1 feat to be able to use any scroll. Fighter/Wizard >> Wizard, in term of power and versatility. If you think spellcasting is useful in PF2, you should play a team of fighter/wizard, figther/bard, fighter/druid, and maybe a fighter/paladin (for the canalization), and compare how it perform compared to a more traditional team.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Tier 1 (Wide variety of problem solving tools, capable of changing their problem solving tools easily and readily): Cleric, Druid, Wizard.

Tier 2 (Have lots of problem solving tools, but can't change them very readily): Alchemist, Bard, Rogue, Sorcerer.

If tiers are a measure of versatility, there's no difference between wizards and sorcerer. A sorcerer is limited by his repertoire, a wizard is limited by his spellbook. A wizard needs scrolls to expand his spellbook; if he can find scrolls, so can the sorcerer.

Anyway, in PF2, Tier 1 = fighter. +2 to hit >> everything. Even if spellcasting was useful, any character can get it with a few feats.

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Look at the things that the Thievery skill is used for, and explain it to me how there are ways for those activities to be done in a way that is considered "Good," and then you might have a case. Last I checked, lifting or stealing objects from others' possession is Evil, breaking into a house or sealed container without authority is Chaotic/Unlawful, and messing around with traps generally means you aren't in a very good or trusting neighborhood, either.

Until I start seeing Paladins finding fair and valid uses for the skill, without losing their powers, then this is just an argument in futility.

Have you ever played Pathfinder?

Last time I played, the PCs were supposed to break into a dungeon, murder everyone, and steal everything. And it was an official scenario.

What's the point of the paladin if he isn't supposed to participate to the game?

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Patrick Baldwin wrote:
We have totally been spoiled by the hyperlinked SRDs.

That, or the playtest rules have an awful organization. There are more than 150 pages between the rules for long jump and the rules for a leap. No sane person would put 150 pages the rules for a long jump and the rule for a leap.

Anyway, the rules for long jump are just a waste of space. The DC to jump over a 10 foot chasm is 20. According to table 10-2, this is a level 7 challenge. At level 7, you should have other options to cross a 10-foot chasm - a mundane rope or something. You can just forget about the long jump rules since they aren't meant to be used.

RazarTuk wrote:

Assuming you have a 60% chance to hit, a 10% chance to crit, and do 3d12+4 damage against normal enemies, you can expect to do 4.151 damage against something with resistance 10. Meanwhile, if you remove the +2 weapon, you're down to 50% to-hit, 5% to-crit, and 1d12+4 damage, for a total of 5.775. If we up it to 5d12+6 and 65% to-hit, we get 6.176 with magic or 6.25 without.

The second Strike in the first case would be 35% to-hit, 5% to-crit for 2.372 damage against resistance 10, or 3.15 without magic.

Believe it or not, an appropriate weapon actually is superior to a potency rune.

I don't beleave it since your computation are obviously wrong. The expected damages in your first case are 10.5.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
But as the GM your job is not to "run the antagonists as though they have perfect knowledge of game mechanics, and are trying to win at all costs."

Of course the monsters should try to win at all cost. If they don't win, they die, and nobody wants to die.

After all, the monsters are supposed to lose so logic like having sunder be unattractive for the monsters for the same reason it is for the players (i.e. less loot) is totally valid. I mean, there are not currently rules for sunder at all, from what I can tell.

Why should monsters bother about loot? Any level 5 NPC deals 2d of damages with mundane weapons (or even his bare hands); and the same damages with a PC's magical weapon. Why should he bother about the weapon of the PCs?

Magical weapons is a PC thing. PCs can't afford to sunder enemies weapon, because they need the loot to be somehow relevant in combat. NPCs don't care, they don't need this to be cool.

Fuzzypaws wrote:
However, just like using Sudden Charge, casting a spell is an Activity, not really a bunch of discrete actions. You do an Activity as a single contiguous block and can't break it apart. For example, you can't initiate sudden charge then break it apart to get more actions than you would normally have on a turn.

Casting a spell is actually a bunch of discrete action.

Rule p. 195


You Cast a Spell you know or have prepared. Casting a Spell is a

special activity that takes a variable number of actions depending
on the spell, as listed in each spell’s stat block. You can spend those
actions in any order you wish, provided you do so consecutively
on a single turn. As soon as all spellcasting actions are complete,
the spell effect occurs.


It quite clear: if you don't spend all the actions consecutively, or if you don't do it on a single turn, the spell effect doesn't occur. But you don't have to spent all the actions consecutively or to do so in a single turn. Since specific > general, the general rules about activities aren't relevant: the spellcasting activity require to spend a bunch of discrete action consecutively in a single turn, if you don't the effect doesn't occur.

In other word, you can announce you cast a cantrip, spend the somatic action, get AoOed and disrupted, announce you cast another spell, and spend the somatic action and the verbal action of the second spell. Since you didn't spend the action of your cantrip consecutively, its effect will never occur.

It seems you can as well do what the OP suggest: announce you cast a touch spell, start with the somatic action, make the touch as part as this action, and stop the casting here if you can't touch the target. The only strange thing is the somatic action doesn't have the attack trait, so doing this doesn't increase the MAP.

At higher level, anyone can "assist" the enemy; eg at level 13:
- The expected AC of PCs is 33 (10 + 13 level + 7 armor and dex + 3 item bonus.
- A fighter has +20 to kick people in the nose (13 level + 2 master with everything + 5 Str). Maybe he can add an additional -4 by using poor-quality boots.
With a -10 from MAP, he has 5% chance of assisting his ally and 60% chances of crit failure; if the poor-quality boots are OK, he has 80% of critical failure.

And we can wait for plat. I expect there will be, one day or another, some exotic unarmed weapons - like a spike on the knee or the knife-shoe from Jame Bond. The fighter is only trained with exotic weapons - for an additional -2 to hit - and the poor-quality weapon strategy obviously works now. Maybe it's even possible right now: put a spike on your knee and convince your DM it's an improvised weapon (is the fighter trained with improvised weapons?).

Assist is a very efficient debuff. Do it on your enemies, not your allies.

Parduss wrote:
Acid Splash is tragic.

For some reason Acid Splash doesn't have the Attack tag and doesn't refer to the Strike action, so it isn't subject to MAP and doesn't affect MAP.

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Every DC is scaled by the level of the PCs, this makes every roll a flat check. There are flat check with ability modifier (like treat wound, or any skill check) and flat check without ability modifier (the ones named "flat" in the rules).

This is not a shift in philosophy, this has been like this since the beginning of the playtest. If people weren't complaining about treat wound, I'm sure the rage check would be a Con check with a DC determined by your level.

Fuzzypaws wrote:
Page 321 wrote:
In addition, you treat your level as though it were lowered by your enervated value (to a minimum of 1st level) when determining which spells you can cast and which abilities you can use. This applies only to actions, activities, free actions, and reactions you gained from feats and class features, and only those that have a level prerequisite.
So everything shuts down if enervation drops your level below the level where you can get it, including class features (eg, a sneak attack damage increase) and martial feats and skill feats. This should probably be called out more explicitly.

(I changed the emphasis)

Enervation specifically remove actions (and activities and reaction). A sneak attack increase isn't an action (nor an activity nor a reaction), so this isn't affected by enervation.

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Rycke wrote:
Enemies get all the penalties as players. If they're a 9th level wizard and get enervated 3, they can't cast 4th and 5th level spells.

Let's suppose the ennemy is a night hag. Night hag aren't spellcasters: they have innate spell but this isn't spellcasting per say. Even if it were spellcasting, the hag is level 9 and has access to level 8 spell: at what level did she gain a level 8 slot? At what level did she gain an infinite number of slots for invisibility? At what level did she gain a constant detect magic effect?

Monsters aren't builded as PCs, so you can't tie their abilities to any level. When a night hag is enervated 9, she retains her innate spells, she retains her change shape ability, and she retains her coven spells. In the end she doesn't lose any ability - although she looks like a spellcaster monster, she isn't, and she doesn't have any feat nor class feature.

This is how most of the monsters work.

Now let's look at goblin: can a goblin lose Goblin scuttle? No. Even the level 0 goblin has it. Anyway, goblin scuttle isn't a racial ability (do you see it somewhere in the goblin feats? no? So it isn't a racial ability) nor a class ability: it's a monster ability and those abilities don't fall in the scope of the enervated status.

Now the hobgoblins: the soldier can't lose his attack of opportunity. Even if this hobgoblin was a fighter (hint: monsters don't have classes), the attack of opportunity can't be removed because it doesn't have a level prerequisite.

Now the Fire Giant: can't lose his attack of opportunity, because, again, this isn't a class ability. A level 9 paladin PC can lose his attack of opportunity, but a level 9 monster can't because attack of opportunity is never a class ability for monsters.

Now the drow fighter: can't lose his quick draw. For the same reason a fire giant can't lose his attack of opportunity: because the quick draw isn't a class ability with a level requirement. Even if quick draw looks like a class feat, the drow fighter doesn't have the right class nor the right level for it: hence it isn't a class feat.

To conclude, the masterful rogue: can't lose his sidestep ability. For the same reason the drow fighter can't lose quick draw: even if it looks like a class feat, it is actually a monster ability.

... No, monsters aren't affected by enervation as the PCs. There are a few spellcasters monsters that are, but anything else isn't.

This is not new. It was the case in 3.0, 3.5 and PF1: conditions are written to debuff the PCs as much as possible but to preserve monsters. It's maybe a bit worse in PF2, since disarming a monster doesn't even debuff it (its bonus to hit and its number of damage dice are innate instead of depending on the magic of its weapon: if a level 6 skeleton grab a rotten pointy stick, then it deals 2d6 damages with +15 because a level 6 monster deals 2d of damage with +15 to hit. If a PCs grab the same stick, he deals 1d6 damage and replace the +1 item bonus from his magical sword by a -4 from his poor quality weapon), but this problem is 20-year-old. PF2, like PF1 and 3.5, decided to pretend this problem doesn't exist. The forum of PF2, like the forum of PF1 and 3.5 and 3.0 before, will be filled with DM complaining the PCs don't use combat maneuvers and other debuffs because they don't understand those maneuver don't work on monsters and NPCs as they work on PCs.

Nothing new under the sun.

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voipClock wrote:
Even in original Pathfinder you are not required to baby your players by refusing to use optimal tactics with your monsters. Why should it be the case here? Why should the encounter design depend on the GM intentionally having the enemies make poor decisions?

Because PF1 was based on D&D 3, and D&D 3 is a game about player's decisions. PF2 isn't.

PF2 is designed to remove any agency from the players. This include fights: if the DM allows the PC to win, he plays the monster softly and Team PCs wins. If he doesn't want the PCs to win, he plays the monsters optimally and Team Monsters wins.

PF2 doesn't like players; it likes when the DM tells his story with no interference.

Of course, if the child doesn't set any DC, he can be level 1, level -12 or level 32. Who cares?

If there's at least one DC depending on the child, then this DC is level 14 - implicitly making the child a level 14 child. This is how published material works.

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gwynfrid wrote:
The reduced granularity of Bulk is a vast improvement over the system of pounds, half-pounds, 1 pound for 10 bolts, 3 pounds for 20 arrows, etc that we had in PF1.

Now we have bulk, tenth bulk, 1 bulk for 100 arrows, etc. Awesome.

Edit: and I forgot, now we have 1-bulk-items that can't be stored into a container able to store 4 bulk. Awesome.

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Ninja in the Rye wrote:
The DM of wrote:

I agree. Bulk isn't usable to me. I don't get its relativity between disparate items like dmw's list. The list is taken to the extreme to show the absurdity of bulk.

I use a google spreadsheet for character sheets. It works great and let's everyone share their characters with me the GM. Encumbrance was never an issue for us. I'm sure that's partly because we didn't pay too much attention to it so it didn't get in the way of fun. However, we didn't want it to get out of hand, so players recorded weight in the column next to gear, armor, weapons, and coins which were dynamically calculated by the sheet. This added everything up for us and told us if we were getting ridiculous or not.

I don't know how to rewrite the logic to work with L's and numbers in the same fields, and I'm not interested in trying. Bulk doesn't make enough sense to justify it. What do we do in play now? We still try to keep from carrying ridiculous amounts but without the advantage of a numerical weight. We eyeball loads now but aren't adding L's and #'s.

So the old system you largely ignored and had to use a computer to keep track of to make sure you weren't going crazy with it? Isn't that an indication of a bad system?

And now, the designers aren't able to present a pre-generated version of Fumbus who respect the rules. Isn't that an indication of how bad the new system is?

Siro wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Siro wrote:
Wermut wrote:

I disagree the rule is, if the casters are burned out of spell slots the adventuring day ends

One caveat to that is only if you have a merciful DM. Some DM's when resources are running low (Spells, HP, Items, ect) will give opportunity and allow the party to rest up and regain. For example, if they decide to rest, the DM will forgo rolling any encounters for the night, or during a losing combat, will allow the party to escape without to much effort. Other DM's will not care, you decide to camp a little ways from the road to recover, lets roll to see if there are any bandits and what not coming around, you just blew your last spell in combat and want to rest, the Pit Fiend you were fighting will help with your eternal rest.

Sometimes {depending on DM and situation} you just do not have the opportunity to end the day.

Then everyone dies and you get to play a better game with a better DM. So what?


or if the party dies everyone just walks away from the table?


Yes, obviously.

I don't know the rules you're using, but in the rules I use, players can't play a dead PC. If the party dies, no player can play and this ends the game.

Now, the initial assertion was: "I disagree the rule is, if the casters are burned out of spell slots the adventuring day ends"; and you disagree with that. Let's look at what happens if the casters are out of spells and there's a new encounter.

First, "being out of spells" doesn't mean "being dead". Casters that are out of spells are fine, thanks for them. in the other hand, it means "the fighter (and other martials) can't get healed anymore - nor buffed nor helped in any way". In the other hand, this is the fighter's role to go into melee to protect the party. So "being out of spells" actually means "the fighter has a serious risk to die in any encounter" - ie it doesn't change much for casters, but it put a risk on non-casters.

Now let's assume the party walk 4 kilometers away from the dungeon and rests (as it should because it has no spell left). If the DM doesn't set up a night ambush, then the initial statement is de facto true: "the rule is, if the casters are burned out of spell slots the adventuring day ends". So let's assume there's a night ambush. I can see 2 possibilities:

1/ It's an easy ambush, so easy the fighter (and the other martials) can handle it without heal, without buff, without any enemy debuff, just all alone. The fighters wins all alone and then the night resumes and everyone recover his spells. Why does this fight exists at all? It slows down the game and has no consequence whatsoever. It's just a waste of everyone's time.

2/ The fighter can't handle the fight. In that case, a spell-less wizard won't help. The party can't handle the fight and doesn't have any "fast exit" spell and everyone dies.

3/ The DM is a balance machine and is able to create an encounter that's too hard for a single fighter but is doable for a fighter and a spell-less wizard with a crossbow. lol, no.

So yes, in the end, either the adventuring day ends when all spells are burned out, either there's a TPK and everyone get to play a better game. Maybe there's a third possibility I can't see where the whole party dies but players continue to play their dead PCs.

So when you throw out a comment about, "The adventuring day ends when spells are burned out." and "everyone dies and you get to play a better game with a better DM"

I've never thrown out such a comment. I wrote everyone gets to play a better game. Stop strawmaning.

I didn't even write the party can't die. Obviously the party can die. What I'm saying is in PF2 it's not a big deal - it's only a problem for players who want to play PF2 (this obviously includes the DM).

Siro wrote:
Wermut wrote:

I disagree the rule is, if the casters are burned out of spell slots the adventuring day ends

One caveat to that is only if you have a merciful DM. Some DM's when resources are running low (Spells, HP, Items, ect) will give opportunity and allow the party to rest up and regain. For example, if they decide to rest, the DM will forgo rolling any encounters for the night, or during a losing combat, will allow the party to escape without to much effort. Other DM's will not care, you decide to camp a little ways from the road to recover, lets roll to see if there are any bandits and what not coming around, you just blew your last spell in combat and want to rest, the Pit Fiend you were fighting will help with your eternal rest.

Sometimes {depending on DM and situation} you just do not have the opportunity to end the day.

Then everyone dies and you get to play a better game with a better DM. So what?

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Edge93 wrote:
Also I'd argue against +3 weapons being available at 12th level. They are level 12 items. Going strictly by the party treasure advancement table then yes, only half the party would have a level 12 item and yes weirdly by the individual character starting wealth you wouldn't have one if you started your adventure at level 12. But if we're talking homebrew games since the treasure table encourages GM discretion I feel like most (myself included) would see that a level 12 character has a level 12 item. If we are talking APs, well, the level 12 chapter of Doomsday Dawn grants access to +3 weapons at character creation and that is currently the only PF2 AP that applies here. Not a great sample size admittedly. But that said I think given the above it's not unfair to calculate as if level 12 martial had a +3 weapon.
Agreed that picking the lowest AC monster for that level misrepresents the situation (I would argue that taking one of two exceptions on AC for a given level means less when there are only 6 monsters if that level but I still agree we need to look at the full scope. That's why I put in percentage ranges in my post on this matter). However there is a mistake or two...

There are 17 permanent level 12 items in the treasure table. One is the +3 rune, another one is a +3 weapon. At the start of level 12, the whole party has 2 such items selected by the GM; PCs have no way to chose what item they found.

Why should those two items be a +3 weapon and a +3 rune or two +3 weapon? Why couldn't it be a ring of climbing and a master elven chain? If those two items are supposed to be +3 weapons and nothing else, why is the book filled with a lot of useless level 12 items?

No, seriously, you can't expect a level 12 character to have a +3 weapon. That's not how the rule are written. If the playtest give +3 weapon to every level 12 character, then it isn't playtesting PF2 at all - it is playtesting a hack with different wbl rules. "Let's playtest the rule! Firstly, instead of using the rules, let's give an additional +1 to hit and +1d damages to everyone. We're totally testing the system!"... No, you're not.

Edge93 wrote:
IMO having 50% hit chance on your first attack means your enemy's defense is equal to your offense.


And it shouldn't be the baseline, because it leads to boring fights.

RPG are 40-year-old. And during those 40 year, we learned some stuff. using 50% as the baseline to hit is like going back 40 years in game design. It's like playing the first edition of WHFRPG.

Also, 50% to hit is for an optimized fighter. You don't have Str 20? lol, it drops to 45%. You don't have a +2 sword? lol, it drops. You aren't a fighter? lol, it drops.

In the end, if the party isn't fully optimized, fights look like "I attack. Miss. your turn - I attack. Miss. Your turn. - I attack. Miss. Your turn. - I attack. Hit! 21 damages. How many HP have you again ?"

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The actual question is: why isn't Perception a Save?

Fort vs poison, death effect etc.
Ref vs explosions and dodge-able stuff.
Will vs domination and mind-affecting stuff (based on Cha since it is the "strength of personality" and whatever).
Per vs illusion and to notice stuff (based on Wis).

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breithauptclan wrote:
Alyran wrote:
The point is: if you want to play without rarity, then you just ignore it. If you want to implement rarity for a system without it, that's a gigantic pain.

And it is practically impossible for the Paizo AP authors to implement if it doesn't exist in the core rule set.

That is my understanding for the rarity system at least as far as the spell list goes. There are a bunch of really fun adventure scenarios that get completely wrecked by certain types of spells. Teleport being an easy example. Creating an escort mission to take a senator from one city to another falls apart completely if there is a wizard that can cast Teleport. So we can either restrict the adventure to only be for low level characters that won't have access to the spell, try and come up with various setting shenanigans to try and explain why Teleport won't solve the problem instantly, or remove Teleport from the setting.

So which would you like Paizo to do?

Create actual high-level plot instead of rehashing the same escort mission again and again.

Level 1: escort the diplomat.
Level 3: escort the expert diplomat.
level 7: escort the master diplomat.
Level 15: escort the legendary diplomat.

Maybe there's something more interesting to do at high level than "the same thing as before, but with a different adjective"?

Draco18s wrote:
LordVanya wrote:
It would be like making a new rule set for the vehicles in 2e and deciding they will all be classified as wagons even though they include airships, boats, and chariots.

Someone never saw the 3.5 spell Ice Ship and contemplated non-transport related uses thereof. ;)

** spoiler omitted **

Doesn't work; from the "magic" chapter: "a creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it." This rule apply to any conjuration spell.

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Of course it's easy to add 5 levels to PCs, since they are as boring at level 9 and at level 14. Actually you don't even need to modify any number: just assume the PCs got +N to hit and +X% damages and a bunch of useless feats, while the monsters got +N to AC and +X% HP.

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citricking wrote:
For level 1 an optimized character almost always has 16 or 18 dex.

... With clerics as the only exception: since they can remove one round of damage (or more) in one action, it's a question of choice to have max Dex (so less incoming damages) or Cha (so more heal).

Now look at the level 5 iconics in the focus playtest: Amiri has Dex 16 and it's her second best score, Fumbus has Dex 18 and it's his best score, Merisiel has Dex 18 and it's her best score, Seoni has Dex 16 and it's her second best score, Valeros has Dex 16 and it's his second best score. And finally Kyra has better Cha than Dex (and she has Dex 14 nonetheless; in PF1 she had 10 and it was her lowest score). qed. Even the designers acknowledge Dex is the most important stat (after your classe's main stat).

edit/side note: Dex 16 is at a sweet spot when you can wear medium armor: max AC with limited ACP. So I'm not sure Amiri or Valeros could have a better stat array.

Normal Pathetic Caster wrote:

Although this is only a playtest lets talk about character optimization. With how wonky monster stats currently are this may be an exercise in futility, but it may still provide some insight.

So post your optimized character builds and lets see how big of a difference they are versus say the iconic level 1 pre-generated characters.

Do we have to follow the rules or can we cheat? eg it's easier to optimize an alchemist when we can simply ignore Bulk like Fumbus...

WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
While not fully worthless, I think Lightning Reflexes, Iron Will, and Great Fortitude fall into this weird catch 22 area that makes them far less useful. Each makes you expect in the relevant save, no more, no less. And each requires a 14+ in the associated attribute. So to get Iron Will you need to have a pretty decent will save, but not a good will save.

Those are literally the weakest thing you can imagine as feat. Seriously, what can you imagine weaker than a +1 on one of the 4 defenses?

In practice, this means one of those two thing:
1/ future feats will be balanced against those feats. ie, the most they can do is a +1 in some narrow circumstance. Hooray for waste of space in the future books.
2/ future feats won't be balanced against those feats, making those feat a trap. Yay?

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DM_Blake wrote:
Disarm is a worthless mess. Sorry, but there is no better description for it, except maybe a few words that won't get past the profanity filter.

Let's assume you disarm a NPC. What does it do anyway? NPCs don't need a magic weapon to deal level-appropriate damages, and can't be "untrained" at anything. A level 5 NPC has +13 to hit with any weapon - including improvised weapon - , and deal 2d of damages with any weapon - including improvised weapon.

What does disarm actually do? Why bother at all with this maneuvers when the enemy's weapon are skin with no mechanical effect?

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Cyouni wrote:
Gaterie wrote:

In the other hand, as you explain, level 10 commoners aren't build by PCs rules. Level 10 commoners have +20 to hit (more than an optimized PC with a +3 weapon) and 3d+X damages with any weapon - because that's how level 10 NPCs work. They can't use magic sword at all - their accuracy would become too high, and they have already 3d of damages and there's no rule to apply a magic weapon on that.

So tell me, how does an expert with +17 in his good skills and +13 in his bad skills have trouble killing a level 0 zombie, in this scenario?

(PS: This is a level 7 scenario.)

I don't know why PCs are needed at all, since literally anything else of their level is better than them - and everything they encounter, including rabbits, seems to match exactly their level.

Right now PF2 is a good system to play Rugrats RPG. ie, you can play a bunch of newborns discovering their racial abilities who fantasize they're fighting dragon while they are actually fighting the cat. Every commoner has the same level as them, since every adult downplay his real capability to play fair with a bunch of babies - they use simple language, don't go too fast when trying to catch them for play, etc.

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HWalsh wrote:
You assume that there are level 10 commoners. NPCs aren't built by PC rules.

The way current adventures are designed, every NPC has the same level as the PCs. There's even a PFS adventure with level 10 rabbits - since the PCs are level 10, so are the rabbits. If a level 10 adventure features commoners, they will be level 10 commoners - because "level 10 commoner" doesn't mean "commoner with 10 levels", but "commoner encountered by level 10 PCs". Maybe they won't be called "level 10 commoners", but the DCs to convince or intimidate or deceive them will be level 10 DCs, and their combat abilities will be level 10.

In the other hand, as you explain, level 10 commoners aren't build by PCs rules. Level 10 commoners have +20 to hit (more than an optimized PC with a +3 weapon) and 3d+X damages with any weapon - because that's how level 10 NPCs work. They can't use magic sword at all - their accuracy would become too high, and they have already 3d of damages and there's no rule to apply a magic weapon on that.

In other words, if a level 10 fighter encounters a dirt farmer, the dirt farmer can't grab a magic weapon at all - and he doesn't need it in the first place. This is how the whole system is designed.

This makes your initial point moot. "Being able to deal the same damages as anyone" doesn't feel very "magical".

My only disappointment about the barbarian is that he can't multi-class as a barbarian with another totem to have more 18-second-metamorphosis options. So here is the shoggoth totem, to create the most PF2 barbarian of all PF2 barbarians!

A Shoggoth barbarian must change her form at least once per round while raging.

Bestial metamorphosis rage (totem ability)
The Barbarian get the Bestial Rage power from the Animal totem, with the following exceptions. She doesn't have to chose an animal at level 1; instead, each times she activate her rage, she can chose an from the animal totem list and gain its natural attack. If she does, she lose his ability to use manufactured weapons like swords. This count as a change of form for the purpose of anathema.

She can decide not to activate this power - she doesn't gain the natural attack, she doesn't lose the ability to use manufactured weapon, and she didn't change her form for the purpose of the anathema.

She also gain the following abilities during a rage:

[Free action] Change appendices
[rage, blah, blah]
Trigger: you start your turn, or you end your turn, or you start an action, or you finish an action, or whatever.
Frequency: 1/round.
You change your animal form. Choose a natural attack you have activated, and replace it by a another natural attack from the animal totem list; alternatively, you can chose to gain no natural attack and regain the ability to use manufactured weapon instead. This count as a change of form for the purpose of anathema.

[Action] Grow appendices
[rage, blah, blah]
you grow a new arm with claws, or a new head with horns, or a new jaw on your torso... Choose a natural weapon from the animal totem list: you have access to this natural attack. This doesn't prevent you to use the natural attacks you already had, or a manufactured weapons if you were able to use it. Alternatively, you can grow an arm able to use manufactured weapons. This count as a change of form for the purpose of anathema.

When you activate the rage and at the beginning of each turn while raging, chose a totem and make a DC 10 flat check. Success: you gain the resistances from that totem until the beginning of your next turn; if it isn't the same resistance as the previous round, this count as a change of form for the purpose of anathema. Failure: the DM chose another totem, and you gain the resistances from that totem until the beginning of your next turn; this never count as a change of form for the purpose of anathema.

Special: a shoggoth barbarian can select any feat from any other totem that allow her to change her form. This include, but is not limited to, animal skin, giant's stature, animal rage, dragon totem wings, titan's stature, giant's lunge and dragon transformation. You don't have to respect the prerequisites to select those feats. Obviously, when any of those feats activates, this count as a change of form for the purpose of anathema.

Level 1 feat: persistent form
When your rage ends, you don't automatically lose all the forms you got during the rage. When the rage ends and at the start of each subsequent non raging round, roll a DC 10 flat check for every rage feat and natural attack that's still active. In case of success, it doesn't deactivate until the next roll.

Level 4 feat: [action] double... strike?
[rage, blah, blah]
Chose two attack; at least one of the two must be a natural attack. Make a Strike with each attack.

Level 10 feat: [action] double form
[rage, blah, blah]
Frequency: 1/round
Chose two rage feats changing your form and costing 1 action. Both activate at the same time.

Level 12 feat: [3 actions] shoggoth wrath
[rage, blah, blah]
Frequency: 1/rage
Make a Strike with every attack you have. You don't suffer MAP.

Optional rule
The duration of your rage is 1d6 rounds instead of the normal Duration. The duration of fatigue at rage end is 1d3-1 round instead of the normal duration. Even if you roll 0 rounds of fatigue, the rage stops nonetheless - although you can immediately spend an action to activate a new rage.

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Megistone wrote:

So, how high should the chance of success be?

You are a specialist lockpicker trying to pick a lock that has been made by an equally skilled (equal level), specialized locksmith: how often should you succeed?
You are an expert ranger trying to follow an equal level opponent, who is as skilled at you. How often should you catch it? What if YOU are the one trying to cover your tracks?
You are a fighter, swinging your blade at an enemy. The enemy is your level, and as defensively skilled as you are offensively. How many blows should you land?

Equal level means equal level: to be consistently successful, you should target areas that your opponent is less skilled than you at.


So that's what you understand when you heard "medium" difficulty: "the best expert of that level". What is a "hard" difficulty? A cosmic threat of that level? What about the higher difficulties?

Anyway, per the rule, every creature is the best possible expert of that level. At level 5, monster's written skills are in the range 10-12; when a skill is lower than that, the designer don't even bother to actually write it. A Redcap has Craft +8, his craft DC is 18, so I guess a lock crafted by a redcap is DC 18. And yet, this skill is too weak to warrant a single word in the Redcap's description. Redcap aren't described as "the best possible lock-crafter of level 5" because their craft skill is too low to bother.

Look at perception: the pre-generated PCs have Perception in the range 7-10 (with only one character having more than 8). Level 5 monsters have Perception in the range 10-12. PC's stealth are in the range 1-10. In other words, the [best PC has 55% chance to be undetected from the worst monster. Monsters' stealth is at least +10 when it is written - and usually more than +5 when it isn't. A troll has +6 Stealth - enough to warrant a 50% success rate against Fumbus, Seoni and Valeros. A level 5 fire elemental has +9 Stealth: a giant light-emitting fireball has 50% to hide from the most perceptive PC.

PCs are supposed to fail; except sometime, they are confronted with a trivial task like spotting a troll, or they are doing an normal task in their specialization, and their failure rate drops to 50%.

Other times, the monster is an expert in its field, and the best PCs can't compete. The players just sit, shut up, and listen how the monster is awesome. The system doesn't want the player to do cool stuff, it want them to listen to the cool stuff the monsters do.

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Megistone wrote:

Nothing in the rules say that waking up the same bunnies at level 1 and at level 15 should have different DCs; they state the opposite, actually.

That's just an adventure badly written, or maybe written to test both possible outcomes at the cost of logic and immersion.

Emphasis's mine.

The adventure is written as intended. The bunnies you encounter in a level 15 adventure are level 15 bunnies, they aren't the same bunnies as the one you encountered in a previous lower-level adventure. That's how the system is supposed to work.

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Mary Yamato wrote:
But if the rules were a GM, I wouldn't play with the guy again; I ended up with a very strong feeling that he doesn't like players. Too many bad experiences, I guess, and I can relate to that. But I don't play with GMs who dislike or distrust players, and I would rather not play with a system that leaves me feeling that way either.

... You expressed my exact feeling. This system doesn't like the players. :/

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Seriously, look at the last update. There are pre-generated level 5 characters in it.

At level 5, the "medium" difficulty DC is 18 - upped to 22 if all character can try and only one success is needed. This stands only for unopposed checks - the Perception of a level 5 monster is in the range 10-12, hence a level-appropriate Stealth or Thievery or Deception check will always be in the range 20-22. When a level 5 monster has a skill, it's usually larger than +10 - eg, the yeti has +11 stealth, and an additional +3 in the right circumstances. Finally, Athletics attacks (trip, grapple etc) aren't affected by ACP, but athletics DC (like the dc to escape your grapple) is.

With all that in head, look at the pre-generated characters:

- Amiri has one skill at +8 (Athletics). Everything else is lower. This means, she has 55% chance of succeeding a level-appropriate medium Athletics check (if it's not one of those check that require only one success from the whole party), any other level-appropriate medium check is at best a coin flip. She has a lot of skill at +1, +2, +3 - 20% to 30% to succeed anything level-appropriate, 0% to 10% if only only one success is required for the whole party. She can grapple a monster, but can't maintain the grapple - the monster will likely roll +12 against her DC of 18. And Perception +8 - not able to notice a yeti in summer.

- Fumbus has crafting and two lore +10. So a whopping 65% of success at his specialties. Oh wait, lore is the kind of check than only one character has to succeed, so +4 to the DC: he has only a 45% success rate. He has Stealth +10 (and Thievery +9), but as I explained, the level-appropriate DC for those task is always in the range 20-22. Finally he has Acrobatics, Arcana and Society +9, for awesome 60% success rate at medium stuff - as long he doesn't try to tumble. Perception +7 - not able to notice a yeti in summer. Oh, and he has two level 4 items (a +1 dogslicer and a bag of holding), none of those two items use the new system, but can we stop pretend the alchemist is playable without a bag of holding?

- Kyra is the most awesome at skills. Medicine +10, ie 65% success rate against medium tasks, Diplomacy +9 (success rates undefined since it uses Will DC, but the Will check of level 5 monsters doesn't seem too high), Nature and Religion +9 (60% success rate) and Performance +8 (55% success rate, whatever Performance actually does). That's 5 skills that are better than a flip coin against medium tasks. Then she has a few +5 and everything else is +1. Note: since the medicine DC increase automatically with level, she will never be better at medicine. And finally, Perception +10 - it's a coin flip to notice a yeti in summer, and she's at monsters level.

- Merisiel has +10 Acrobatics, so 65% success rate against level-appropriate medium challenges - as long as she doen't tumble. She has +10 Stealth and Thievery, but again, any level-appropriate task is DC 20-22. Then her best score is +7 - a coin flip against any level-appropriate medium challenge. So in the end, one skill that's better than a coin flip. Hooray for the skill master, I guess? She has a lot of skill feat, there's one that begins with "you may attempt a DC 20 Medicine check" (hint: she won't) and another one that begins with "when you get a critical success with the Lie action" (hint: she won't), and then I think i stopped caring about her skills. She has Perception +8 - not able to notice a yeti in summer.

- Seoni has Diplomacy +10 (success rate undefined, but not bad), Intimidation +9 (idem), Arcana +8 (55% success rate). It's a good thing she has intimidation since spells are useless: she get something useful to do every round. Then she has a lot skill at +7 (a coin flip against anything level-appropriate), one more than Merisiel so she the best "jack-of-all-trade" of all those characters (again, hooray for Merisiel the skill master?). She has Perception +7 - not able to notice a yeti in summer.

- Last... And least, Valeros. No skill at +8 or more at all, so basically, when he rolls something it's at best a coin flip. Like Amiri, he can grapple a monster, but can't maintain the grapple. Perception +7 - not able to notice a yeti in summer.

Those are the characters designed by the same people who created the DC chart and the monsters.

Their best success rate against level appropriate medium challenge is 65%; there are 10 skills where one of the characters can get more than 55% success chances: Acrobatics, Arcana, Althetics, Diplomacy, Intimidation, Medicine, Nature, Religion, Society, as well as Performance (whatever it does). If they have to roll Deception or Stealth or Occultism or another lore, none of them can do better than a coin flip.

In the other hand, everyone of them has several areas where they have less than 30% success chance. If they attempt something that can be rolled by everyone and requires only one success, the success rate of the specialist drops to 45% at best - and some characters may drop to 0% success rate. God helps them if the DM uses the "hard" DC at any point of the adventure.

Again, those are the actual characters designed by the people who created the DC chart and the monsters.

One last thing, none of those character has any stat at 19. We all know the DC chart assumes you get a 20 somewhere at level 10 - and yet none of those character will be able to do that. This means, as weak as they are, they are still better than the character you intend to play until level 15.

PCs are supposed to fail most of the time. They are supposed to suck hard. The only way to make them feel competent is by playing you level 5 character in a level 2 kindergarten adventure.

At level 8 you have a level 7 item, it can be a +2 master-quality armor.

i don't understand why +2 expert-quality armors exist at all, since the wbl work by item level (instead of price) and an increase of quality doesn't increase the item level. I guess there's a super-secret-special rule somewhere.

For me, the event triggering both reaction are the same. So no stack.

If you prefer, the actual event is "you finish casting inspire courage". Since Inspire courage is a cantrip composition with a duration of 1 round, this event can be be used to fill the trigger of lingering; or it can obviously be use to fill the trigger of heroics.

And for me, the actual rule is "only one reaction per event" instead of "only one reaction per trigger". I'm not backed by RAW here, but that's what I feel makes the more sense.

The GM's adjudication is needed when the two events are so similar, we're not actually sure there are two different events; something like "trigger1: the opponent uses an action to move away" and "trigger2: the opponent leaves a square you control": those are very similar triggers, but the event "use an action" is not actually the same as the event "leave a square". In this case, the GM may decide it's actually the same event.

But for lingering and heroics, there's only 1 triggering event, so no question for me, you can't do both reactions.

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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
There's a starting point for discussion. Now, please share what you want from Exploration mode and what you think could improve it?

Wait; what?

You see, that's one of the big problem in PF2: the designers themselves have no idea what they want and why they create a new subsystem. Hence player don't have any idea why the subsystem is there, and in the end, they create threads to ask what a subsystem should accomplish to players who didn't want the subsystem in the first place. And we get surrealist answers like "the game should be like FATE", because no one knows what the game is supposed to look like - not even the designers.

To answer your questions:

What do I want from exploration mode? Nothing. I shouldn't have to define the goal of a subsystem I didn't ask for.

What do I think could improve it? ctrl+a ctrl+x.

MaxAstro wrote:
shroudb wrote:

i've played a monk and gmed a monk, and in both cases it felt really nice.

a feat that boggles me that isn't discussed more, for later levels, is Knockback Strike as well.

Added with flurry, it allows a monk to do a +0/+0/-5 attack routine that also repositions the target, it's brilliantly amazing imo.

That is pretty solid. Shouldn't that be +0/-5/-5 though?

Oh, you mean KS first then flurry. Yeah, that's pretty good.

It's actually: knockback Strike 0/(Shove 0)/flurry -5/flurry -10

The Shove attack isn't counted in the MAP and use MAP of the Strike given by knockback attack; everything else count in the MAP.

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Caladan wrote:
Is it me or is it hard or almost impossible to build a good ranger like Aragorn.

It is indeed.

In the other hand, Path's ranger isn't based on Aragorn, he's based on Gimli. Gimli with a crossbow.

It is hard to build a ranger like the Gimli of the books.

But it's really easy to build him like the Gimli of the films. Take nothing useful, make some joke because you're small and you're a dwarf, done!

Why can't any item have runes? Including potency runes: cloak could grant +stealth, boots could grant +acrobatics, gloves could grant +thievery, wand could grand +to hit with spells... With no resonance cost nor investment, of course: weapons don't cost resonance.

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Gloom wrote:

By level four, just going by table 11-1 [Party Treasure By Level]

Permanent Items

1st: 3
2nd: 4
3rd: 4
4th: 5
5th: 2


1st: 12
2nd: 14
3rd: 12
4th: 8
5th: 4

Party Currency

396 GP

If you add the treasures they find between level 4 and 5, it means the party is level 5.

Even if you were right (you aren't), it would be an argument from the bottom of the barrel. "A character can have the stated success rate in a single skill if he takes every treasure from the party". At that point, when you have to resort to such a weak argument, you should just admit you're plain wrong.

Gloom wrote:
It's definitely a possibility for a DM to throw an extreme challenge boss enemy at a level 4 party, and for that enemy to be a Manticore.

Can you even read the rules?

A single level+2 monster constitute a high difficulty encounter. Not an "extreme" encounter. It's exactly the same 80 xp budget you used for your gnoll encounter. Can you stop moving goalpost? And read the rule instead of throwing random statements in hope one of them will hold? If you can't understand anything in the rules, you should let other people discuss about them.

shroudb wrote:
As for ignoring the barbarian, he still can output really solid damage, and as pointed out, it's not like things don't damage him. So, really, ignore the barbarian and focus on the paladins, the fighters, the rogues. I'm happy when that happens and I don't have to care about survivability but I can go all out.

What is the purpose of your character?

You deal less damage than a fighter, and you don't even protect the other character like he does and you don't bring more skills to the table. You can survive longer with your pseudo-fast-healing, but how do you contribute to the party? Is your goal to finish enemies when everyone else is dead because you weren't able to defend them nor to kill the monster quickly?


shroudb wrote:

The way I see it:

Paladins : the most defensive martial option
Ranger: the most offensive martial option
Barbarian: in between paladin and ranger (more defence but less offence compared to ranger, more offence but less defence compared to paladin)
Fighter: can be built either way, ranging from as defensive as a paladin, to as offensive as a ranger, but will always have an edge in offence. Has literally zero out of combat stuff to do to balance his extreme combat abilities.

wait; what?

The ranger and the barbarian have zero out of combat stuff as well. The main ability of the ranger gives him a +2 to track a monster he can see 100 feet away, it's not very useful out of combat range (and not very useful in combat as well).

The ranger deals less damage than a fighter and doesn't bring much out-of-combat, and the barbarian should do even less damages?

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Gloom wrote:
Wizard: Invisibility (2nd Level Spell). This simply makes you Unseen by all creatures unless they have a method of piercing invisibility. You can still be detected, but provided you're not doing anything crazy you will usually succeed with Invisibility alone.

Oh yes.

The way to succeed at skill checks is to ignore them using magic. I totally forgot it.

Why does the game feature rogues again?

you do have the ability to pick up Boots of Elvenkind, though it would be a bit expensive.

*Look at the wbl table.*

*See the boots cost more than the total wealth of the entire party.*




When it comes to using the Encounter rules for dealing with enemies rather than straight skill challenges, we can look at a High Difficulty challenge for a level 4 Party.

This would involve an XP budget of 80. With this you would have 4 enemies with an XP budget of 20 for a standard party of 4. For this example lets use a party of Gnoll Warriors. Gnoll Warriors have a Perception DC of 17. This is in line with the 16-18 DC that we were looking at previously. That would give the Rogue a 75% chance of success if they were able to obtain those boots, and a 65% chance of success if they were not. The Alchemist we used as an example would have a roll of 1d20 + 7 to +9. That would give them a success rate of 55-65%. Wizards would simply be Invisible in this example.


Look, look, I have even better to make your point! A level 4 extreme encounter can be 500 animated bureaus with 700 000 animated brooms! That's a DC of 11 for the bureaus (and 9 for the brooms)! This totally proves the rogue can succeed at extreme challenge 90% of the time! Even 100% with his greater cloak of elvenkind and dimension door!

Of course, no one would create a level 4 adventure with a manticore (high difficulty encounter, perception DC 23).

Just stop shifting your goalpost. Now. A level 4 Stealth challenge consist in sneaking past a level 4 creature - because obviously that's what level means; even the a encounter guidelines mention a single level 4 monster is a trivial encounter for a level 4 party. This put the level 4 Stealth DC in the range 18-20, period. Even if it's not what the DC table says, it is what actually happens in game. Level 4 characters don't bother if some animated bureau see them - but they bother if a level-appropriate monster see them, or even worth, if a higher-level monster see them.

dnoisette wrote:

Ah, so that's what you were doing. Using an action for Vigor each turn.

You are still losing an attack each round [...]

The attack you're losing has 5% chance to deal regular damage, and 95% chance to do nothing. Seriously, who cares?

In the other hand, I agree with you on your second point: the GM can simply ignore the barbarian. He doesn't have AoO or ret strike or anything, at most he's able to pursue his opponent - if his opponent isn't a fire elemental with $TEXAS land speed or a manticore with fly or a bulette with burrow or...

shroudb wrote:
Bracers are equal to a leather, bracers with animal skin are equal to studded but unlimited Dex bonus.

No, animal skin has a max Dex of +4. it makes it worse than an expert quality studded leather armor (no ACP, +2 AC, max dex +5). The expert quality studded leather armor is level 2, while the feat is level 6. x)

Anyway, i guess animal skin is again some stupidly designed feat, made to punish the player who don't know better, and at the same time to allow some stupid AC shenanigans for the player who knows every magic item and spell.

Because that's a common complaint about PF1. "There aren't enough trap option to punish players who aren't good at math, and there aren't enough stupid shenanigans".

Claxon wrote:
I'm still not sure on your math because you're not using the standard DPR formula.

I am.

Average damages per strike
= probability of regular hit * average damage per regular hit + probability of critical hit * average damage per critical hit
= probability of regular hit * average damage per regular hit + probability of critical hit * 2* average damage per regular hit (assuming no special property increasing damages on crit)
= (probability of regular hit + 2 * probability of critical hit) * (average damage per regular hit)

Again, it's just low-grade maths. I just use a factorisation, and call the first number "average number of hit (counting crit as two hits).

You need more precise formulation ?

P(damage = x)
= P(regular hit)*P(damage = x | regular hit) + P(critical hit)*P(damage = x | critical hit) (because "regular hit" and "critical hit" are disjoint events)

Hence E(damages of a single strike)
= sum_x (x*P(damages = x))
= sum_x (x*(P(regular hit)*P(damage = x | regular hit) + P(critical hit)*P(damage = x | critical hit)))
= P(regular hit)*sum_x (x*P(damage = x | regular hit)) + P(critical hit)*sum_x (x*P(damage = x | critical hit))
= P(regular hit)*E(damage on a regular hit)) + P(critical hit)*E(damage on a critical hit)
= P(regular hit)*E(damage on a regular hit)) + P(critical hit)*E(2*damage on a regular hit)
= P(regular hit)*E(damage on a regular hit)) + P(critical hit)*2*E(damage on a regular hit)
= (P(regular hit) + 2*P(critical hit))*E(damage on a regular hit)

Again, it's low-grade maths using linearity of the E() operator, of the sum_x operator, and some factorizations.

Then you can add this formula several time if you want - again, linearity of the E() operator:

E(Damage Per Round if you strike three times)
= E(Damage of first strike) + E(Damage of second strike) + E(Damage of third strike)
= (using the above formula for a single strike and a factorisation):
(P(regular hit on first strike) + 2*P(critical hit on first strike) + P(regular hit on second strike) + 2*P(critical hit on second strike) + P(regular hit on third strike) + 2*P(critical hit on third strike))*E(damage on a regular hit)

This is an factorization you should do anyway if you want to quickly compute average damages; because the first factor only depends on the number you need to hit on the first strike (and some special properties lake "agile" that don't apply on d12 weapons), so you can quickly tabulate it.

eg, if first strike hit on a 9:
(P(regular hit on first strike) + 2*P(critical hit on first strike) + P(regular hit on second strike) + 2*P(critical hit on second strike) + P(regular hit on third strike) + 2*P(critical hit on third strike))
= (0.5 + 2*0.1 + 0.3 + 2*0.05 + 0.05 + 2*0.05)
= 1.25

and it allows to quickly compute the effect of a small change in AC.

Eg, if you need a 8 to hit instead of 9, the number of hit from the first strike increases by 0.1 (the probability of regular hit doesn't change, but the probability of a crit increases by 0.05) and the number of hits from the second and third strikes increases by 0.05, for a total of +0.2 hit; so 1.45 hit per round. If you need a 9 to hit but your weapon is agile, you get 1.35 hit per round. Etc.

Note: I won't get into the details of how you compute the standard deviation... Because I simply asked a computer to do it without trying to get a simple formula. End results are: when your average number of hit per round is lower than 1, its standard deviation is equal to its average value (actually the standard deviation is a bit higher). when your average number of hit per round is bigger than 1, its standard deviation is equal to 1 (actually it's a bit higher, but it doesn't increase very fast).

That's something you should have in mind when you heard something about barbarian (or any other low-accuracy class)'s average damages: if someone says the average damages are 40, it actually means "during most of the rounds they deal 40 damages, plus or minus 40 damages". To deal 0 damages isn't an unlucky outlier for a barbarian.

You're also not showing what your target AC values your checking against are.

Fighters need a 9+ to hit on his first strike. It can be a level 1 fighter (+6 to hit) vs a level 1 goblin commando (AC 15) or a level 3 fighter (+9 to hit) vs a level 3 hell hound (AC 18), or a level 8 fighter (+15 to hit) vs a level 8 brain collector (AC 24). Seriously, who cares? "Fighters need a 9+" seems to be quite consistent across the levels.

Anyway, I already explained the result of changing AC (modifying it by +3 or -3). You can just tabulate the number of hit per round, and see how the -3 of the GT barb impacts the hits per round (and how many damage he'd need to make normal DPR).

Also, a requiring a 9 to hit is a 55% chance to hit with a 10% chance to crit.


50% chance of rolling 9-18 (regular hit) and 10% chance of rolling 19-20 (crit).

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Gloom wrote:
From the numbers that people have been running, specializing in a skill and having items or magic to support it should be able to get you close to a 70-80% success rate against a 'Difficult' rated encounter. That number does fluctuate depending on how much support you have at varying different levels but it seems reasonable to me.

Wait; what?

Let's look at Stealth at level 4: the max Stealth is +9 (5 prof. +4 Dex), and the hard DC is 18. How do you end up with 70-80% success rate? Is there any level 3 item giving +2-4 to Stealth? since the DC is the same for any skill, is there any level 3 item giving +2-4 to any skill?

And actually Stealth is opposed to Perception; level 4 monsters have a Perception in the range 8-10. This makes the DC of any level appropriate Stealth check to be 18-20. DC 18 is actually the lowest DC you can have on a level 4 Stealth check; the DC for a level 4 creature with good Perception is 20. Where do you find the +4-6 extra bonus needed to achieve a 70%-80% success rate?

Gloom wrote:

This is something that they have shown as example traps. It's actually really neat! When you look at the Complex traps they typically have multiple options to disable them.


Spinning Blade Pillar [Level 4 Hazard]

Stealth: +10 (Trained) or DC 24 (Expert) to notice the control panel.

  • This means that if you're playing a class that has Perception at least at Expert rank you simply need to make a DC 24 perception check to see the Control Panel. Otherwise, the Trap gets a Stealth Roll with a +10 modifier to hide from you.
  • So it's actually harder for an expert in perception to notice the panel.

    Disable: Thievery DC 18 (Trained) twice on the pillar, or Thievery DC 16 (Expert) once on the control panel deactivates the whole trap.


    At that point, i don't even know why Expert gives a +1 bonus. There's no point in giving a bonus and then moving the DC from +4 to -2. That's literally the game moving the goalpost.

    That's just playing a "guess what I'm thinking" game with the author: if you guess right, you increase Thievery and it makes the DC goes down, but if you don't, you increase Perception and it makes the DC goes up. There's no player's agency here, just random decision with random result and no way to guess how your decision will affect the results.

    Edit: the specialist having 50% success rate while the non-specialist can't succeed it is exactly the same as the specialist having a +10 bonus over the non-specialist.

    Tightening the math to ensure the specialist and the non-specialist are only 2 points away, and then moving the goalpost to make sure the specialist has a 50% success rate while the non-specialist has less than 40% success rate makes no sense. It's just the game designers running full circle not knowing what they intend for the specialist and the non-specialist.

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    Claxon wrote:

    I'm not sure you math breaks down. Mostly because I'm not sure how you've calculated your chance to hit values.

    But I can tell you that I built an 11th barbarian and fighter, and the barbarian was in fact 3 below the fighter in to hit. That means 15% less chance to hit or crit, but the question becomes does the character do 15% more damage? I don't actually know because I didn't look at it, but I can't think it's as far off as you seem to indicate.

    As I wrote, I count critical hit as two hit. If a fighter hits on a 9, he has 50% chance of normal hit and 10% chance of critical hit, for a total of 0.5+2*0.1 = 0.7 hit on average on his first strike. Since the crit does damages*2 and I counted crits as two hits, his average damages on this strike is 0.7*F, where F is the average fighter's damages on a hit (10.5 at level 3, 17 at level 5 if using a greatsword).

    The Giant Totem barbarian at the same time hits on a 12, ie 40% chance of normal hit and 5% chance of crit, for a total of 0.5 hits (average) and average damages of 0.5*B on his first strike - where B is the GT barb's average damage on a hit (16.5 at level 3, 23 at level 5, 25 at level 7).

    Then you compute and add the average number of hits on second an third strike, and you obtain 1.25 for a fighter (for 1.25*F average damages) and 0.8 for a barbarian (for 0.8*B average damages).

    This is low-grade maths, really. It's just an easier way to compute the average damages of both (it doesn't help for standard deviation) by separating the computation in easy, understandable steps.

    In the end, since 1.25 = 1.5625*0.8, we need B = 1.5625*F in order to obtain the same result for barb and fighter. That's never the case when magic weapons become available. You can change the numbers a bit (compute against a boss monster with 3 more AC, against a mook with 3 less AC...) and the end result is always the same: more average damages for the fighter when magic weapons are available.

    ... and the fighter has a lower (relative) standard deviation; he has less risk of over-damaging a mook. And he doesn't lose 1 action every 4 rounds to rage. And he doesn't lose his whole 4th round. And he has at least 2 more AC. And he has feats to increase his DPR - if DPR is really what you want.

    Barbarian are a trap for people who can't compute DPR, and GT Barb are a trap inside the trap. I have no problem with people not being able to properly compute DPR - this is why some people are professional mathematicians while others aren't; I have problem with a game-designer not doing his job - which include "doing the math beforehand so people who can't compute DPR aren't trapped in a weak class". I shouldn't have to do those boring DPR computations in the first place - I'm not paid for that, and I though the simple math of the game was intended to allow designers to do the maths.

    Twilight_Arcanum wrote:

    Con is always a trap over raising Ac. The advantage a character that starts with 16 con vs one that starts 14 is a that they will hit +5 con at level 15 rather than 20. The low levels of health offered before that don't outweigh the benefit of higher Dex.

    At level 6 you could build for being level 6 rather than starting at level 1. This build is possible as a dwarf or a Human.
    Str 18
    Dex 16
    Con 18
    Wis 14 (+2 as dwarf)
    Ancestry dex con, background str con, str class, pick the 4 above at level 1 and 5. Also available to either barbarian or fighter so the difference between them is 2hp/level( 16 vs 14) which is 15% more hp and the difference in armor is 5% so they take 20% more damage over a full attack when accounting for crit.

    I agree. The proper way to build a barbarian is to start with Str 18 Dex 16 Con 12, then at level 5 you change your build to get Str 18 Dex 16 Con 18, then at level 10 you change again to get Str 20 Dex 16 Con 18.

    At level 7 you have low defenses and you have nothing to do with your third action, but at level 8 you take a mandatory feat (I don't even know why there are other level 8 feats) and suddenly you become the party tank and have a good third action.

    Now we can throw the other barbarian's sillyness into the mix: the acute vision giving access to scent, and the shoggoth-animal barbarian randomly growing new appendices every 30 seconds. Is there something else i miss? Maybe some way to combine Animal skin with bracers of armor to get the best possible AC, but only at high level so you have to change your build once more?

    Best. Class. Ever.

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    Gloom wrote:
    Skill Proficiency Gating is a method that can be used to differentiate varying levels of skill without having a huge discrepancy on DC's as doing that would muddy the math used.

    One of the big issues with this assumption is that most people that make this argument seem to aim for a 50%- success rate for a 'Specialized' character to succeed against an even level challenge, and 0% chance of success for a non-specialized character.

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    A +2 sword costs as much as a +1 wand of spell duelist. And the wand costs resonance each use because why not?

    Maybe there are cantrips that don't require a wand to be able to hit level-appropriate monsters. At that point (where people are arguing if a fighter has a magic sword when the game obviously assumes so), I'm not sure I still care.

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