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Yep. Instead of taking a class feat, you can instead take an archetype feat. So at level 2 you're able to take the Red Mantis dedication, and at level 4 you can then decide to take Basic Red Mantis Magic if you wanted. Or you could skip that and at level 6 take Crimson Shroud. Or if you do take Basic Red Mantis Magic, at level 8 you could spend your class feat on taking Mantis Form.

It's also how multiclassing now works in PF2, so if you're a Fighter and want to multiclass into Wizard, you'd simply take the Wizard Dedication feat in place of a class feat when you're at least level 2 and then take as many or as little of the available Wizard archetype feats as you want. You're basically trading away the things that make you a Fighter in exchange for he things that make you more of a Wizard, creating a hybrid class.

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Yeah, XP systems are not meant to be representative of how the universe of Golarian works. It's not like gravity or something, it's not a thing that could theoretically be tested by the people living there and exploited through carefully crafted XP farms. It's a metanarrative tool meant to pace the growing power and stakes of a story. In-universe, experience points don't exist, and neither do hit points or will saves. These are all abstractions meant to allow actual IRL humans to interface with the fantasy world without needing to get bogged down in the minutia of justifying how every little thing works. Most NPC's aren't going to "level up" just because they survived some harrowing ordeals, most aren't going to suddenly start gaining supernatural powers just because they occasionally fight with hostile goblins. Your town guard isn't going to suddenly become more capable of surviving falls from the tops of their watchtowers just because they've spent the past three years driving off invaders. XP only exists when there is some narrative reason for a particular character to grow more powerful over time.

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Rulers aren't level 20 because your personal ability to murder people doesn't necessarily translate into an ability to maintain political power. I bet nearly any one of us here could beat Jeff Bezos in a fist fight, but Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest man in the world and is the CEO of an extremely influential megacorp.

That's not to say some PC's going to go beat up Jeff Bezos in a fistfight couldn't significantly disrupt the geopolitical situation, but that wouldn't necessarily allow them to take Jeff Bezo's place unless that society operates under an extreme idea of might makes right. Any surprise boxing matches with Jeff Bezos would require at least some intrigue and maneuvering for it to result in his assets being forked over to the PC's. Otherwise Jeff Bezos or his beneficiairies would just use his vast wealth to drone strike the PC's or incite the government to send their best fighters to take them down.

PF2 also decouples PC generation rules from NPC generation rules, so Jeff Bezos could have a really high Diplomacy that would easily match a high level PC without that somehow translating to him being able to survive falls from great heights and the ability to beat up poor people through raw physical might, he's not getting a massive HP bar and +level to his attacks.

He could also just not, because there's so many examples of people with outsized influence and authority who have pretty much no merit or ability to justify their power. There's so many politicians who are in power because of a political environment created by someone else that they just so happen to be the beneficiary of, where sheer inertia and a cultural fear of change keep someone utterly unqualified in important decision-making positions. There have been literal children as monarchs in our world, it's not exactly the most robust political system.

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Digital maps, even in person. They're relatively easy to make with some practice, you can create generic ones, and perhaps most importantly they interface with VTT software which can then further automate rolls to speed up the game and reduce errors. Just clicking a button and having things like bonuses already figured out helps tremendously, and visually it's pleasant and draws people in, even if the art isn't 1:1 with my verbal description. Plus I can have the notes for each area on my own screen, so it's just a s~+@laod less crossreferencing.

Dry erase meanwhile requires me to draw during play which eats up precious minutes during the 2-4 hours of play a week I might get. I'd much rather draw the map ahead of time, even if I'm using an obviously symbolic tileset since it's just faster and cleaner visually. Even if I do have to actually draw during play, the rectangle tools and ability to easily erase stuff and not worry about players mucking with it accidentally is just really helpful. No losing markers, no markers s$@~ting out, no need for miniatures which I can't really afford and which wouldn't even be as accurate to what my players want their characters to look like anyways 'cause they can just use art they drew or found online as their token.

It's just no contest for me. It takes more discipline at the table to keep folk from being distracted during the game doing other things, but I trust my players to be entertained by the game. Even someone that is distracted by the digital device is at least going to have their actions resolve faster by clicking or tapping a button, they're not going to spend as much time like a deer in headlights when it's their turn, which is a significant improvement over spending fifteen minutes trying to explain their own character sheet to them.

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Yeah, I think the core problem here is that shields do not upgrade how armor or weapons upgrade. It's needlessly confusing, implies you should be buying a new shield constantly, and leads to this nonsense where a shield whose special power is to catch arrows will actually break if it's ever used to catch an arrow.

I'm thinking the whole thing needs a rewrite to bring it in line with weapons and armor. Even if it was balanced, the whole thing is inconsistent and confusing.

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Castilliano wrote:
I'm somebody who likes hard mode, and has found the story in the modules fun but unchallenging (though easy to beef up). Perhaps Paizo should put difficulty levels on their products?

Maybe, if we got better advice on how to adjust it. "Hey, this particular encounter can be very lethal, here's how you can change it to suit less tactically-oriented groups."

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Gorbacz wrote:
Because to begin with, your quality control on this must be far greater than with a fanmade effort. "Fans for fans out of love" products get mostly away with errors with everyone waiting patiently for the next update, paid products are savaged apart for any errors by entitled nerds demanding fixes, now, immediately, or the book gets a 1-star review.

It's a digital PDF. Paizo doesn't answer to anyone higher up. They literally don't need to do any expensive quality control here, and any QC they may elect to do can just be handled along with the inevitable next update to the PDF that's going to happen anyways because of the sheer amount of errata coming in. Errors can be corrected within minutes of discovery, because none of this goes to a printing press.

Holy crap why do people do this? Roll20's forums have an explicit rule against trying to naysay suggestions based on an erroneous belief that it'll be too much work, and I really wish more forums would do this. Let Paizo make an announcement about how much work is too much work for them.

This is such a relatively low-effort suggestion that I struggle to picture how people in this thread think RPG's get made at all if such small changes are prohibitively expensive. What do you think creating content or commissioning artwork or creating new PDF takes? It's a 600+ page book, I can guarantee you hyperlinking is barely going to to be a rounding error on their overall budget for the system. Years and years of development including an extremely long public playtest with surveys, including a desire to have that extended, and yet somehow hyperlinks of all things are what would cost too much to implement.

At least with all the silliness in this thread, there are online resources that are a bit easier to browse. It's rougher trying to actually read the rules as a whole on 2e.aonprd.com, but you can click on something if you want to learn more.

Elven chain has a +2 bonus to AC. Regular chain shirt has a +2 bonus to AC. Both cap your DEX bonus to AC at +3, for a total of +5 like every other set of light or medium armor. It works with armor runes just fine.

The +2 bonus to AC is not in addition to the +2 bonus from being a chain shirt, it's just a chain shirt that uses mithral as material.

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Joyd wrote:

I'm not sure if OP is updating the guide any longer, but I agree that Assurance (Athletics) and Hefty Hauler are deeply underrated. Hefty Hauler is amazing unless you're flat-out not tracking encumbrance or are a monk or maybe a barbarian.

Entertainer seems like a very poor candidate for being called a "a good option overall." It gives you training in a skill that most characters care about only very marginally, if at all. The feat wants you to continue to invest in this skill that only bards and maybe some goblins actually care about, and if you do, your payoff is that you can, for six seconds, distract one or more creatures, maybe, provided that they're not doing anything important. It feels hard to consider that a "good option overall." I'd call it a maybe option for a character that was already going to invest in performance regardless.

Fascinating Performance is honestly what I'd call a "wipe your ass" feat. Fascinate is a very situational condition that may very well do nothing to a creature that's using martial attacks, so it's a bit surprising why this isn't just a regular Trained action for Performance. You're just making a distraction that only lasts a round, and you have to crit for it to have any effect in combat wherein again it's not going to have much impact because Fascinate doesn't actually do a whole lot to someone already fighting.

Why can't you just make a distraction with Performance? Why does this need a feat? I imagine most GM's would just allow that use of it without the feat, the feat's not adding any supernatural element nor is it just strictly improving rolls.

Any feat as niche as that that a lot of GM's would just let you do anyways are not worth taking.

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Gonna second asking leading questions. Which players are the ones trying to be out of position? Is the backline wizard the one charging forward, or is the Fighter being overly cautious and staying in the back even though they're using a great a big sword they need to close the gap to use?

If the Fighter isn't really cognizant of their role as goalie, when it's their turn you might say, "The orc keeps glancing at your wizard, he's clearly going to attack them next. Are you going to let them do that?" And assuming the Orc survives the inevitable Fighter mauling, you could have them do exactly what you said they'd do, run towards the Wizard - a reminder about Attacks of Opportunity and reactions and your Fighter may notice they get to deal extra damage if they stand in the way of where enemies want to go, which would eventually lead them to understand that they can protect party members so long they've got a reaction ready.

For the Wizard, damage usually helps, but players might not be understanding why they're taking so much damage. If the martials are at least arguing to go in front, there's at least meatshields in between the ranged caster and the presumably mostly melee monsters. Make sure they're cognizant of the range of their spells - most are at least 30 feet and many are functionally "if you can see them on the battle mat, you can hit them."

In both cases, having enemies react to your party even incidentally doing something tactically relevant can help get an idea. If your Wizard starts out far away from enemies, having one spend all three actions just trying to get near the Wizard while getting frustrated and winded might communicate that enemies can't hit you if they have to spend all their actions running to get to you. Sapient enemies yelling to each other what your party is perhaps inadvertently doing can also communicate how well they're doing. "S%$+, we can't kill their wizard, we can't get past their knight!" lets the players know their enemies are panicking because of a thing they did. It's also a reward in itself to have characters in the world react to the tactical prowess of your players - getting the enemy to freak out makes you feel like a badass.

You can also have much weaker enemies (like, say, goblins) use these tactics while verbally coordinating what they're doing. "Archers, get behind the gate and shoot through it!" Seeing a tactic be used against them can help players understand why something's frustratingly good - they can't put a sword into the archers until the gate is back up or destroyed, and while they didn't die they did have a lot of trouble with what they knew were really weak enemies. Having similar gates, but on the players' end of the map, on a later floor gives them an opportunity to try that out for themselves and frustrate their enemies right back.

I would say that PF2 has enough going on with its combat that I wouldn't write off just trying to explain some basic ideas in between sessions. "You generally won't hit with your third strike in a turn because of the -10 MAP, it's better to find something else to do like move," is one that even veteran players don't always wrap their head around. I would wait until they at least have the very basics down, but once they understand some tactical basics I'd say it's OK to help them learn some of the PF2-specific quirks.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, the champion having a bunch of shield feats just means "if you don't want a shield, take feats other than those feats." There are multiple valid choices at each level, after all.

Except doing bog-standard strikes is a poor use of your action economy if you can help it. Champions are martials and will be hitting with their weapons. Without feat support for their weapons, they're actually not a whole lot more lethal with their weapons than a Wizard that took a weapon familiarity ancestry feat. Those shield feats meanwhile give you something to do with your actions when you've used up your focus pool.

Other martials either will be doing special actions that add additional effects to their strikes (Fighter, Ranger) or will have stances or conditional modifiers for their strikes (Barbarian, Rogue, Monk). It's not enough to just hit things.

A good chunk of the Champion's tactical options are tied up in shield use. It's not so much that an MC archetype wouldn't be able to provide some actions to make forgoing a shield worthwhile, but a Champion would have trouble avoiding a shield

Mumble would be the fancy way to do it. It's no harder than Teamspeak, but it's still involves getting a group of people of varying levels of tech literacy to connect to something they 100% are not going to keep running on their computer. But it does make things like voice morphers a lot easier to use if that's what you do.

Discord is probably the best option overall because you can create a link directly into the voice channel and your players will be dropped right in there, either through their browser or their downloaded client. Practically foolproof, and the text system isn't absolute trash garbage like TS3's. Makes it much easier to keep notes, schedule sessions, ping people, and otherwise organize your game when you're not playing. That it's completely free (as in no one has to pay for hosting) just makes it more tempting. For actual applications, Discord also has an overlay which can help clarify who's speaking without being as intrusive as a webcam feed. Discord Bots are also supremely easy to set up or invite to handle mood music, way less involved than for other platforms.

I've never used Hangouts for that purpose and generally dislike using Google stuff. It wants you to use your real name, it wants webcams by default which you're not going to want when you've got limited screen real estate. It's probably fine, but it's not going to be as dead simple as getting people using Discord, which doesn't even require an account to use, assuming you don't configure your server to require an account.

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
I dont think anyone is saying huge swings arent possible. I personally am interested in how its happening though. Goblins (a level-2 creature) deal 1d6 damage. 4 of them is a moderate fight. Unless you are having them all go on the same initiative (which is against the PF2e guidelines) and dogpiling on one person, it seems unlikely your going to get the yoyo effect that you would see in PF1e. So I'm curious how people are experiencing it so I can better understand how the system behaves.

Most characters are going to have 7 + level (+9 if they get expert in their armor) + 10 AC. Characters being built for heavy armor like plate won't have the money to actually buy heavy armor until later, giving them significantly less AC. Casters will start out with lower AC as well or may even sacrifice DEX to meet MAD demands.

That is a lot of room for crits.

Crits just happen more often now. There's no crit confirms and a lot of stuff doesn't need a 20 to crit.

Your bog standard Goblin Warrior hits with a +8. That means anyone with 17 AC will get crit on a 19-20, a 10% chance to deal with 2d6 damage. If they're flanking, which they're goblins so they probably are, you're getting a -2 circumstance penalty to AC - you get crit on a 17, a 20% chance for the initial attack without MAP, and an additional +2 damage because dogslicers have the backstabber trait. And they're not alone, whatever critted you will have another attack they'll usually try, and they'll have friends as well. They don't need to kill you outright in one hit, they just need a crit or two to make their normal hits much scarier.

Should anything stronger than that show up, there's a solid chance it will crit someone and deal real damage. Plague Zombies do 1d8+4 bludgeoning on a regular hit, 17 average damage on a crit which can be followed up with a grab. A good damage roll can really ruin someone, and if someone is in poor positioning or otherwise is getting tactically oumaneuvered they are in real danger of being torn apart by mooks.

A level 2 creature might have something like +11 to their attack roll, versus AC's that are going to be topping out at like 18 or 19. Against our AC 17 example, they crit on a 16, no flanks needed. That's pretty scary. If you get knocked prone or otherwise go flat-footed, it can possibly crit you on a 19 with its second attack. There's real two or even one-shot potential with some frequency.

And once one person goes down there's an increased chance someone else will go down, because now monsters will start naturally focusing their attacks on fewer targets and the players will have lost one of their own turns with which to deal damage. Misfortune can cascade.

This was something I noticed during the playtest as well. For players very used to PF1, they will absolutely eat s%** with goblins of all things because they're not used to the things being that capable of ending their sorry asses, they're not going to use all the new tools to avoid taking that damage.

So now that we understand that elven chain isn't actually more proective than plate, I have to say that I'm kinda bummed with the Champion class as well. I don't like mechanics being tied to specific fluff, and I don't like the reactions being that thematically tied to an alignment. I don't like that Champions are essentially shoehorned into using a shield, I don't like that they're extremely defense/reaction focused, I just don't like how inflexible they are in general. The Ranger was the other martial to really get a big change, but with Rangers mutliclassing seems to actually work pretty well and there's enough in their class feats to build a couple different styles of Ranger.

A lot of the Champion meanwhile feels like it just should have been a type of Fighter. So much of its focus is on a very specific kind of melee combat that isn't really tied to the class's identity.

Like just playing a 2h champion seems overly difficult to set up despite that being a classic. Sure, you COULD dip into Fighter to get a few feats to better enable 2h weapons, but the Fighter dedication is an absolute dumpster fire for other martials. Same for bows, or really anything that isn't a gnome flickmace.

It seems like we'd need a whole new class to really get the sorts of Paladins people think of. I'm fine with them not having "real" spellcasting a la Rangers since MC'ing is so much easier, but anything that doesn't make that hard an assumption of your role in the party would be great.

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Yeah I'm still sort annoyed they went with the ABC ordering for chargen. They really should have bucked tradition and just recommended players choose a class first, the class has a nice grocery list of things you need to do to create your character and it's the choice that's going to influence every other choice you make about your character. Deciding you're a Fighter first makes it much easier to figure out what Ancestry you'll take and where you'll put its bonuses, you can just add your stats together organically as you pick things rather than try to think three steps ahead.

Especially for new players, seeing that 12 in STR on their character sheet gives a great big hint as to what they should be putting their other boosts into, it's a great starting point so it's really strange that the PHB instructs you to worry about that last. It feels like forgoing CAB for ABC is just unnecessarily setting up new players for frustration.

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PF2 I would say is less complex but has more depth than PF1. The rules are much more unified, you're not dedicated headspace to a grappling flowchart anymore nor are you tracking BAB or asking your GM for help figuring out how to multiclass. The rules complexity has undeniably been dialed back, and the end result is a game that you can actually wrap your head around.

But the actual depth of the system seems to have expanded significantly. The 3 action system combined with a host of action-oriented feats and spells has created immense tactical variety. The prevalance of full attacks and generally applicable spells in PF1 meant most turns resembled one another, without even the dimension of positioning mattering much because no one would move unless they absolutely had to. PF2 meanwhile has feats that can purchase actions that can combo into other actions. MAP and the two-action nature of most spells means there's usually a choice every turn where you do something of actual tactical significance, at least repositioning, swapping out weapons, making intimidation checks, what have you. And not making use of these new tactics will utterly crsh a party.

And because there's all this depth in play, there's some amount of depth in chargen. Feat chains are largely gone, instead offering mostly a la carte tactical options rather than straight upgrades to numbers. The number of arguably optimal builds therefore has increased significantly, almost to the point where you have to be sandbagging to create a character that is objectively suboptimal. Chargen is easier overall to understand, sure, but there's far more numerous optimal playstyles and fewer cookie-cutters that aren't sandbagging just to be different.

For those familiar with collectible card games, I'd say PF1's metagame would be like a CCG meta dominated by netdecks that are largely easy to pilot. You could certainly build your own character/deck and there's a huge amount of system mastery that can go into that deck/character building, but someone more clever than you has already posted a build online that is generally better and is almost braindead to pilot. In fact, most characters/decks are braindead to pilot, most of the "skill" in the game is just in the building. Fun for some, not so much others.

With PF2, I would say it's more like a Living Card Game with a small, heavily structured deck size and well-balanced cards and everything is actually hard to pilot. You're not choosing from the whole catalogue of cards/feats when choosing to fill slots in your deck/build, but choosing subsets, and the balance of your choices makes it very hard to make an especially bad or good deck/character. But because you just have way more choices each turn, there's no real autopilot, you have to think during each of your turns and work to alter the conditions of the board/encounter to be more favorable to you.

PF1's playstyle has a certain appeal to it, and more power to folk who prefer that more chargen-focused stuff. But I feel moving the system mastery from chargen to actual play was a good move. Pathfinder is inherently cooperative, so having a "high skill ceiling" relative to the floor is very undesirable, that's where you start overshadowing other players and it gets less fun, there's no matchmaking like in a video game to make sure you're always playing with similarly skilled people. Moving the skill from chargen to actual play is, aside from being more fun in my opinion, allows players to more naturally cooperate and share tactics so that the group as a whole is playing on a similar level, and players can more quickly iterate on what works and what doesn't (they can even respec their build to a limited degree to adapt). A newer player can get better at Pathfinder pretty quickly, and it feels more like victories are actually earned

That's what I mean by "deep but not complex." PF2 is still more complex than 5e because it's hard to be as simple as 5e and still have real character customization or involved tactical combat, but a lot of PF1's complexity added no depth whatsoever or even actively removed depth (like, again, grappling, which could be boiled own to just a flowchart and required such heavy investment that it just never came up for most PC's). Characters were harder to figure out how to build, but feat chains removed the actual variation quite a bit and the competition between combat relevant feats and everything else meant you weren't often making serious decisions between more utility-focused feats. Choice of race/ancestry was essentially automatic due to the wonkier attribute system. CMB to trip attempts did not make PF1 a better game.

PF2's probably not a game I would throw at someone if they're particularly flighty or expect TTRPG's to be very rules light, it's probably the crunchiest TTRPG with mass appeal made in the last decade. It's only really getting outcrunched by clusterf*!@s of systems like Shadowrun, Eclipse Phase, and maybe proper wargames. It's not a game you can just start playing within 5 minutes while barely mentioning the rules, and chargen is next to impossible in that timeframe without pregens.

Aservan wrote:

I agree as written you can't add the Dex modifier. I wouldn't think it'd be a common issue, however.

If you have a high Dex you're really gimping yourself by wearing Full Plate. You'd need an 18 Dex to even need to ignore the Bulwark ability, You'll also need an 18 Str to ignore the heinous -3 armor check penalty and -10 speed. No starting character can manage that; you'll need to be 5th level at least to make it.

Mechanically, a high Dex character, with heavy armor training, is best off in half plate. Same effective AC, but only a 16 Str needed avoid penalties. Pathfinder characters are slow compared to real humans. That -10 speed is really evil.

Also, bulk. Armor is EXTREMELY heavy in this edition, and will completely nullify your STR bonus. Half-plate will at least get you 1 extra bulk versus a 10 STR wizard running around in their robes. Not much at all and you're still going to have trouble carrying everything you need to fight, but it does take at least 5 boosts total between STR and DEX to come out ahead on Bulk so you might as well make use of it.

Joe Wells wrote:
Greater boots of bounding will get you that +10 item bonus

Yep, so that brings us up to 8,000 feat per minute or 90.9 miles per hour. If we can find a source of Quickened that lets us use any action we want, we can get that up to 100 miles per hour even.

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Using Monk instead of Barbarian nets us Incredible Movement. It too starts out as a simple +10 status bonus to movement speed, but it works even when not raging (so it's always on, though we can't wear armor) and it scales up as you level, hitting +30 status bonus at level 19. Doesn't even take a feat, it's just a built-in class feature. Alternatively, Fleet Step is a first level arcane and primal spell that'll also grant that +30 status bonus for a single minute if we want to do this with another class. They're status bonuses, though, so they don't stack, and we don't want to be casting it on ourselves as that takes actions we could be using to go faster.

We'll also want to put on some Boots of Speed, which grant a +5 item bonus to our movement speeds, including swim and climb. They can be activated to grant us quickened, but that would require us to use an action and that's an action not spent going fast.

Multiclass into Barbarian in order to take Furious Sprint at level 20, have an ally cast quickened on us, then use the three-action version of Furious SPrint in order to move 9 times our movement speed in a single round. 75 feet * (8 strides from Furious Sprint + 1 stride more from Quickened) = 675 feet per 6 seconds.

If we just rage ourselves like chumps, the first round you'll only move 6 times your speed, moving 450 feet in the first round and then 675 feet in the following 9 rounds, for a total of 6,525 feet per minute, or roughly 74.1 miles per hour.

However, if a buddy uses Share Rage on us, we can skip needing to Rage ourselves the first round and eke out an extra three Strides, bringing us to a total of 6,750 feet per minute or ~76.7 MPH.

To make this even sillier, let's use the No Escape feat and a chain of evenly spaced volunteers willing to call us mean names and run like the dickens. They will likely need to be high level Monks as well with boots of Speed in order to exhaust all 75 feet of movement we're capable of. Which means we'd be moving at a top speed of 750 feet per round, 7,500 feet per minute, or ~85.2 miles per hour.

I don't think we can get our status bonus any higher than a +30. Item bonus at +5 is the highest I'm finding so far, but I feel like a +10 might be somewhere. I'm not finding anything that lets us use whatever action we want with our extra action from quickened, but if we could then we could use the two-action version of Furious Sprint to Stride 11 times per round for even more speed. Second Wind will allow us to rage immediately after our last Rage ends with no need for downtime, and Raging Athlete makes us able to do all of this while swimming or climbing just to show off some more.

But all of that is moot in the face of the power of anarchist cooperation.

We can further break the action economy with Liberating Stride. A friendly Liberator will react right when our voulnteers finish their Stride, pulling us along with them, and then hit us, triggering the Liberator's reaction granting us an extra Stride up to half our movement speed. This does not require us to spend an action at all, and so theoretically we could just strategically space a bunch of Liberators by their intiative order to create an Anarchist Rail Gun with which to launch barbarian comrades to smash the state.

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breithauptclan wrote:
NemoNoName wrote:

Staff does have an extra trait, it's "Wizard is proficient with it".

Also, you can't go Gandalf with sword&staff because you can't get sword proficiency without multiclassing into Fighter or being an Elf.

No need to multiclass or be locked into a particular ancestry. Just take Weapon Proficiency twice. It won't be great proficiency, but you will at least be adding your level to attack rolls.

None of the options are great because your sword proficiency will only ever be Trained - you'd be better off hitting with the staff which will have Expert. It's pretty annoying.

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Captain Morgan wrote:

I've clearly hit a nerve here, and I apologize. I'm not quite sure how to untangle this particular knot, because I wasn't addressing you with my post and your attributing stuff that mrspaghetti said to me in there. Your previous post also popped up while I was typing my own, and I didn't get a chance to address the points it raised.

I am not trying to say that it is a problem for people to want to play characters like themselves. I do take some issue with the idea that Paizo is failing to live up to their rhetoric on gaming being for all, which is what Watery Soup is saying. "Being welcoming of all players" and "able to make all characters" feel like two pretty different things, and the CRB can do its best on the former but clearly just can't on the latter.

As you yourself mention, there are some pretty intense mechanical difficulties in creating a balanced way to play disabilities. And these mechanical issues bump up against political issues as well. One part of these difficulties is that what is balanced for one character isn't balanced for another. The needs of a blind swordsman vs a blind AoE caster seem very different.

Which is why I think the CRB probably did as past that could be expected from a new system still ironing out the kinks: give some suggestions for ways to respectfully represent disabilities, but ultimately leave it up to the GM and players to work out what makes sense for their table.

I think it would be cool if Paizo commissioned a book with disabled authors to try and figure out ways to do the full blown Dare Devil thing and try to get those mechanical and political balances just right. But I think it feels like reaching to say Paizo has over-promised or under-delivered because they didn't have that solution ready to go in the CRB.

I'm glad at least my frustration got through, it didn't seem like it was being taken that seriously before in my other posts asking people to stop.

The problem is not that people have concerns about what a rules tweak here would look like. The problem is the constant arguments that it's somehow wrong or immoral to ask for better. And because it was argued that it was wrong for Watery Soup to make those argumetns in the first place, we got a thread that mirrors a lot of my own experiences with ableisms in other online spaces.

The problem is that bringing up our concerns is treated as this big burden, something that'll "add bloat" or won't be useful to most players and therefore it should not exist and we should shut up about it. It comes up when GaMERs complain about newer online games having text to speech support, it comes up when people criticize a game's s~&#ty colorblind modes (DOOM 2016 literally had a colorblind filter that just simulated colorblindness, it was useless), it comes up when people criticize a game's subtitles being inaccurate. There's a bunch of people who find our presence an annoynace and will try to shut down our discussions.

Your idea that there's a difference between "being welcoming of all players" an "able to make all players" is very fundamentally flawed, becuase that argument would not hold up for identities involving race, sexual oritentation, gender identity, age, whatever. Being able to sufficiently play a character like yourself is a requirement for the system to be actually welcoming, and so when people comment how playing someone different would be like filling taxes it sends a pretty hostile message. You may not have made the worst comments, but that's the kind of post that was following up your sentiment.

Again, I'm fine if people want to talk about the mechanical difficulties in handling blindness or deafness specifcially. My own first post in this thread talks about just that But it's not OK to try to silence someone by arguing that they're immoral for criticizing Paizo on this, or alluding that they're the "real ableist" because someone has a blind friend that dislikes Daredevil. Disability is not a monolith, and those who would like to play disabled characters while remaining optimized are not wrong to have that desire, and any acommodations that make that possible without disrupting the game as a whole are worth discussing.

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Tender Tendrils wrote:

We will probably get more in the advanced players guide and the lost omens character guides at least.

I think the biggest problem that leads to this sparcity is that the weapon familiarity tree of feats that at first glance is the option for martial characters, at a more in depth look you realise most, if not all of what the tree does, is already covered by the class features of martial classes, which means that the roughly 1 third of current ancestry feats that the weapon tree makes up aren't widely useful.

Well, even for martial characters, the feats that grant access to advanced weapons that scale with your martial proficiency (something even class feats, in particular multiclass archetypes, won't offer - nothing else in the game will give you properly scaling proficiency for weapons or armor) is a bit obnoxiously strong. Advanced weapons have an overall higher power budget, and weapons like the Gnome Flickmace are almost strictly superior to any other 1h weapon. They can represent a real, always-on damage boost using relatively few resources, and that makes them extremely attractive as a combat feat, better than a lot of class feats.

Which makes it strange that they're sharing space with Fey Fellowship, which is yet again a very niche bonus along with a "wipe my ass" feat that requires the GM to actually follow the minutia of the social rules which I've never ever ever seen an actual GM do because it's clunky and gets in the way of actually roleplaying. It's just something you kind of expected to be able to do anyways, but now that there's a feat that details how you're breaking the otherwise overly formalized conversation rules anyone who takes the feat kind of forces everyone else to start using the pain in the ass action system for every little conversation.

Iunno, I feel advanced weapons gained through ancestries are a bit too good for how much investment they take, it feels a bit like you're leaving a lot of power on the table by not taking them which sucks if you really do want to play with a regular 'ole sword. A lot of the appeal of advanced weapons was that they're unusual to have, they're unorthodox. In PF1 the need to invest in them meant real opportunity costs that made most builds stick with martial weapons, but with PF2 Ancestry feats having so much junk it seems very hard to pass up a real boost to your weaponry.

I don't know if just adding more Ancestry feats will quite fix that, and maybe advanced weapons aren't nearly as good as they seem. But a 1h reach weapon dealing d8 damage while also possibly tripping people on a crit if you've got the critical specialization is strong in a way a lot of other feats aren't, it's a bit comparable to MC'ing to get Rage or something in terms of its damage boost over a similar weapon.

Captain Morgan wrote:
I feel like there is a pretty clear difference between being inclusive as far as all players are concerned versus being inclusive as far as all characters are concerned. Watery Soup, you're conflating the two and it feels pretty problematic.

Well, no, actually, it's a desire to see characters like ourselves in fiction, and in TTRPG's being able to play characters who aren't "95% of players" is a pretty important part of getting to play characters who are in some way like ourselves without being asked to just be worse than others.

I'm extremely opposed to this accusation that wanting to play characters like ourselves is somehow a f~%!ing problem. It's not, it's that desire to make sure those who are different know their place to avoid making this "tedius" for those that consider themselves normal that I see as a problem.

It's fair enough if you're uninterested in playing such a character, if you think of it as entertaining as doing your taxes. But don't speak on behalf of those who would like to play such characters. We're not being "problematic" by expecting the same representation other groups get, and while there are mechanical issues that might make that more difficult, the effort to make it more possible shouldn't be treated as a bad thing.

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I think there's a lot of major holes still for all the ancerstries as far as feats go. I was hoping the ancestry feats would be varied and be suited to a variety of different classes to help avoid the pigeonholing problem of all other D&D derivatives. But a lot of stuff is just plain bad.

I think part of the problem is that ancestry feats aren't clearly defined in their power budget. Some ancestry feats are essentially a skill feat, others are on par with class feats. Some literally are class feats, particularly Humans who can get a 1st level class feat with one of their ancestry feats (p damn good) or get a free multiclass dedication while ignoring archetype feat restrictions (REALLY good to the point where I would say it's an automatic choice for virtually all human characters, good enough to dip into Adopted Ancestry just for that).

Meanwhile, [url=https://2e.aonprd.com/Feats.aspx?ID=82[Monstrous Peacemaker[/ul] is just... what? A +1 circumstance bonus to Diplomacy and Sense Motive against giants, goblins, et cetera? A bonus that can't stack with basically anything in the moment? Why would someone give up any of the more useful Human heritages just to take this piece of s%+& feat? It's invalidated by just offering food to whoever you're talking to, anything that'd give you that +1 bonus renders this feat moot and it's already a very small bonus to a pretty niche situation anyways. Why is the player being asked to choose between this and an extra class feat? Why are they even in the same feat bucket?

Yeah, ableism typically isn't "I think blind people don't deserve to exist." It's a refusal to make reasonable accommodations and an assumption that those who are able-bodied are the default to be catered to. Or it might involve someone deciding to be a dick to someone for being "weird" and then it turns out by targeting "weird" people they coincidentally kept giving autistic or otherwise neurodivergent people s#!#.

Anyone saying nonsense like "well actually it's the people complaining about ableism that are the real ableists!" are full of it. You can talk about the mechanical obstacles to making blind PC's just as good, because that's actually a difficult thing to pull off without making it an avenue for cheese, but that's different than attacking the motivation for wanting such a change.

And no, it's not "ableism" to have what are effectively superheroes do superheroic things - your one blind friend saying they dislike it doesn't disqualify everyone who does want to see someone like themselves doing superheroic stuff. If someone doesn't want to play Daredevil, they don't have to, but there's plenty of folk who would like to play a character who is like themselves and also going on cool-ass adventures without feeling like they have to make themselves worse mechanically to do so.

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If what you're doing is causing many people to point out that it's extremely useful for IRL racists trying to normalize hateful ideas in the hobby, then complaining about how people are "calling you racist" comes across as an attempt to just dismiss that serious criticism. Yeah, it sucks to be on the receiving end of that, but it's better to reflect on why that's being brought up than to demand others be "civil" (as in not criticize character concepts that have been known to be problems at other tables and normalizes hateful ideas regardless).

I'm sorry, "you're calling me racist" isn't really a sufficient defense here. Everyone here is being as civil as possible given what's being said, and there's not really been a direct accusation of bigotry. This comes up several times in these discussions because disabling these sorts of character concepts was a motivating factor for the change. There's no need for Golarian to be the setting and PF2 the system where actual racists flock to because it's one of the few that give a reason to justify genocide, and changes that make that less the case are going to be welcome.

There's only so much civility that can be extended here. No one's calling you, personally, a racist, but the idea you're defending has deep racist connotations and that's just unavoidable. And I'm not really interested in watering down my criticism of that idea if that means it will continue in the hobby unchallenged.

As for settings, while it's less on the player for playing a character that assumes all [race] is evil in a setting where that's actually the case, the criticism of the racist overtones doesn't just go away. It then falls on the setting itself, which is why a series like Goblin Slayer gets so much criticism. It invariably falls back on colonialist attitudes used historically to justify genocide, a lot of what the goblins do in that setting have eerie parallels to old racist propaganda. It does not mean that those who consume that media are themselves racist, but the media does make it possible to plant racist ideas in heads that aren't cognizant of its very serious flaws and it invites racists to prop it up as a positive example of their worldview.

I don't blame Paizo at all for getting the f&@~ away from that nonsense. That's not what the system, setting, or company is about, and anything in the system like that is either inherited or unintentional and something Paizo is more than willing to make changes to address.

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Tender Tendrils wrote:

If your character sees goblins minding their own business and thinks that them existing is sufficient justification to attack them, your character is either evil, a murder-hobo, or a racist (or specist?)

I don't know why this is a difficult concept.

You say "or" here when you mean "and."

The less the game gives actual, IRL racists an opportunity to roleplay their bigotry in the game and pass it off as justified, the better. I want PF2 to be actively unwelcoming to those character concepts, and if we need to bring back that long-winded introduction from the playtest to get that message across then so be it. Bigotry is evil, there should be no Good characters whose primary motivation is the genocide of sapients that aren't literally supernaturally driven by hell or something.

I can get complaints about people finding goblins as core annoying or feel that it's a break in continuity (even if I think they're wrong), but I'll never be accepting of those who want an easy justification to play make-believe racism without having to confront the inherent evil of such a position. Paizo has been moving away from universally evil sapients for a while now so it's not even worth debating, always-evil goblins were always a symptom of bad and lazy writing, something even Tolkien himself regretted with his orcs. It is not something that we should be encouraging in this setting or this hobby, it attracts a very bad crowd that will repel others from playing.

For the less utterly nonsense arguments against goblins, it's the same that's been said elsewhere. It's just regular-ass cultural osmosis, it's inevitable that there's going to be goblin societies that aren't going to fit the goblin stereotype. Even Burnt Offerings had goblin babies to rescue, which implies there's at least some goblins being raised outside of evil societies who aren't going to grow up thinking baby eating is a perfectly acceptable practice. Trade, work, a desire to not be wiped out by pissed-off longshanks, there's so many pressures for goblin tribes to at least attempt to be good neighbors.

The "you can't be goblin Drizzt though" argument is... bleh. That's one concept. One concept not working, especially one that's well-used (not that that's bad in itself at all, nothing is original), is not grounds to declare the change boring. There's many, many concepts that are now more possible that weren't before, and you can do your goblin Drizzt thing by just having your goblin come from a still-evil tribe. For those not interested in the Drizzt thing, that's one less thing a goblin PC has to do to justify their existence, leaving more room to focus on other aspects of the character.

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Yo, can we drop the "looking to be excluded" nonsense? Really not productive and it's a meaningless accusation. Talk about it in terms of mechanics, not in terms of whether you think some other group "deserves" to feel excluded or not.

For line-of-sight, for abilities like Magic Missile it's hard to avoid because it's a balance restriction. Magic Missile without the line of sight restriction is just stronger, going around things like solid walls changes the spell in a significant way. It's less about how the creature has observed their target and more about how the spell gets to that target - sorta like how arrows from a bow still generally need a line of sight unless some fancy feats are getting involved for trick shots.

I can get the desire to not overspecify a particular sense, especially in a game where RAW certain creatures are going to have very different precision senses, but we want to avoid making particular spells or abilities stronger or cheesier purely because you have a different precise sense. Using sound to locate enemies seems fine, but something like Magic Missile would probably still need line of sight because that's how the missiles themselves operate.

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This seems like a case of "the rules don't say you fall prone when you sleep" from PF1. The rules don't say that's what happens, but it clearly happens. It's very much a symptom of Exploration mode being so formalized, now if something isn't explicitly permitted Gm's are going to be confused. But not everything that could be possible in Exploration mode is going to be formalized in the rules as an action or activity, so GM's are going to have to be able to draw common sense conclusions.

Common sense: familiars are capable of independent action and the use of actions by their master in encounter mode is more of a gamey balance abstraction necessary to avoid the action economy problems of players being able to control multiple creatures during a fight. Outside of combat that restriction no longer serves a purpose, much like how you no longer really need to be moving in 5-foot squares when you're not in combat.

And so familiars would be able to do things like scout and report back what they saw, without any special ability to identify anything that they wouldn't logically be able to identify. They'd not be able to roll to ID anything exotic, but anything a PC could identify without a roll a familiar should be able to relay. This would require nothing special from the familiar's master and would not be exhausting, though the familiar is vulnerable by itself and isn't going to be able to do all the things a proper PC scout can do like quietly take out a guard.

Same for things like mounts. The time spent steering your horse in combat may be enough to eat up an action, but it's not something that's tiring, it's just distracting to need to do it during combat. You're not going to be exhausted from riding a horse for a few minutes.

Gisher wrote:
Helmic wrote:
A quick meta request for those writing guides - please add something in addition to color coding for your choice rankings! I'm colorblind and reading Pathfinder guides can be hell trying to skim through. Numbers of stars is an easy, universal way to make that visible even to those printing out black and white copies or that can't tell certain colors apart. A colorblind-friendly pallete would be the next best thing, to at least avoid asking readers to differentiate between red and green.
I'd love it if you could take a look at my Proficiency Tables and let me know how I could improve the format for you.

What you've got is actually pretty good. The black lines separate everything out visually. Only change would be to use a colorblind-friendly palette to differentiate between the green/broown(?) and red/orange, just to make it easier to refer to the chart key to see what proficiency is what.

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A quick meta request for those writing guides - please add something in addition to color coding for your choice rankings! I'm colorblind and reading Pathfinder guides can be hell trying to skim through. Numbers of stars is an easy, universal way to make that visible even to those printing out black and white copies or that can't tell certain colors apart. A colorblind-friendly pallete would be the next best thing, to at least avoid asking readers to differentiate between red and green.

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Yeah I'm not buying the "because humans should have this as part of their flavor" schtick. I don't want to go back to the PF1 paradigm where certain ancestries are just optimal for certain builds, and so much of this new edition has been changed in service of making ancestries much more interchangeable, with most ancestry feats serving as sidegrades that could be useful to a variety of classes (and presumably there will be more that will further decouple ancestries from old pigeonholes).

Intentionally recreating the "you need to be human if you're doing a mechanically complicated/feat intensive build" just seems like a bad foundation on which to build a new edition. I really don't want to go back to certain ancestries just being mechanically the default or where optimization means giving up creative flexibility. That just doesn't seem to line up with the goals of PF2.

Giving a general feat at level 1 seems like it'd fix it, but I would like to hear why we don't already get a general feat at level 1, especially if archetype feats are going to be having these sorts of requirements that many class/ancestry combos will need a general feat to pull off.

The retraining rules are more obviously an obstacle here, but they're harder to fix without relying on GM intuition. If it were at my table, I could honestly just eyeball this and declare that I do not give a f*!#, you're swapping out a level 2 slot class feat for another level 2 slot class feat and it's not really doing anything dastardly other than not mechanically punishing a player for having a modicum of creative freedom. But it's harder to make a general rule everyone could follow so that people aren't overcomplicating builds and making these weird retrain-heavy cheese monsters that serve to make the system as inaccessible as PF1 was and raising the optimization ceiling.

This is the sort of tiny problem that I'd like addressed early before lots of these things start to swell up into something that makes the system overly restrictive again for those caring about optimization. And "just stop caring about optimization" isn't really a satisfactory answer here.

The Rot Grub wrote:
Campbell wrote:
One of the fundamental issues with level by level multi-classing from a design perspective is that you cannot grant powerful class defining features at first level. This means you are several levels in before your character really feels like their class.

This is the main issue for me. PF1-style multiclassing would incentivize a whole bunch of one-level dips:

Fighter for expert weapon proficiencies and shield block and attacks of opplrtunity
Ranger for hunter's edge
Rogue for sneak attack and surprise attack and Dex to damage
Champion for shield block and retributive strike
Monk for good saves and flurry of blowz

Avoiding that problem requires removing these abilities at 1st level and making the classes feel less like their respective classes.

I imagine that a homebrew PF1-style MC system would do what 5e did and just not give you literally everything from a class. You don't get all the weapon and armor proficiencies when you MC in 5e, for example. I imagine someone writing homebrew may opt to adjust powerful class feats to be replaced by their weaker archetype feat variants. Classes might be more aggressively readjusted to avoid making dipping worse than it was in earlier editions. Forcing you to take levels a class until it takes up at least 1/3 of your total levels before you may level up another class (existing or new). There's ways to bandage it to sorta work.

I wouldn't use it myself as I think PF2's system is far superior as a framework, but I do see why some would want to continue messing with the older system to see how the different moving parts can be hacked together.

Bandw2 wrote:
right and the fighter/wizard is using all their spells on combat and the wizard/fighter probably has some utility spells and the like. a wizard/fighter is probably rocking mage armor while the fighter/wizard is not, etc. the wizard base is doing more wizard things and less fighting things, but they absolutely can still stab or shoot people semi-regularly.

The thing is that a Wizard already has cantrips that more or less do what their weapon would be doing, and to use that weapon requires taking a lot of risks. Stuff like mage armor are simply spending resources to try to get a bit more parity and are utterly dwarfed by the differences in proficiency, it's really just a +1 AC spell when you're 2-3 AC behind already.

The spells do things a Fighter can't do already. The Fighter MC benefits.. don't really do the same for the Wizard. Melee is dangerous and requires things like HP and AC to not be critted into the dirt, it's not something that can be done as casually as martials can dabble in magic. Like, a Fighter can even just take an Ancestry or Skill feat to pick up a random lone cantrip, and even just that represents a real increase in options and capabilities, you can do magic extremely well without a high spellcasting bonus. Wizards are already capable of dealing some amount of damage, so the ability to do so with a sword at a lower bonus than your cantrips to hit/crit is much hard to justify when it's riskier, there's not really any weapons that ignore your weapon proficiency nor armor that's fantastic even if you're only Trained.

thistledown wrote:

Wow, so much hate on 1st ed MC. I made 26 full characters for PFS, only 4 of them stayed single-class. There's only one reason NOT to, and that's spell progression.

Especially gunslingers. Mechanics aside, unless you dip them into something else they're boring to play. That problem at least is still solved in 2nd ed style.

It's not that no one multiclassed in PF1, it's that the form it took was very... inelegant, and favored extremely exploity/cheesy builds. Like you said, it was more of a "why would you not?" situation where a 1 or 2 level dip was taken because your main class stopped having good things to give you or this other class had some tasty treats in its early levels. It wasn't really done because you wanted the concept of that class, it was very much a matter of optimization. And any MC'ing outside of a heavily optmization-focused mindset was probably going to fail spectacularly.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

One of the main problems with PF1 style MC is that it was actually really bad at accomplishing its main goals. Actually splitting your levels tended to just kind of make you suck at everything rather than feeling like someone with a split focus. So PF1 multiclassing was for the most part relegated to strategic dipping for certain class features... or more likely something you just ignored entirely. Seriously for all the talk about the sanctity of dipping here, if PF1 didn't have multiclassing at all the vast majority of characters I've seen in games or online wouldn't even notice a change.

PF2's feat focused multiclassing then is focused on allowing you better emulate a split-focused character. A fighter who spends feats to become an MC wizard is overall a much more functional character while still managing to capture that battlemage style. You're going to be both a better fighter and a better wizard than your split-level PF1 counterpart.

There are downsides to that change, as it turns feats into an incredibly tight bottleneck for characters and it means things either come online very slowly or restrict your ability to branch out (whereas having both levels AND feats as progression gave you extra layers of customization).

And while overall I think it's better for realizing hybrid concepts, it's not tuned great. My above example of a fighter/wizard is an excellent martial who becomes a good spellcaster over time, but a wizard/fighter remains pretty terrible at swinging a sword no matter how many feats they spend on their fighter MC.

I dunno, the wizard only winds up 2 points behind most martials for accuracy and winds up with a lot more spell slots to buff with than the fighter who multiclassed wizard. Or just blast and bash with.

The two characters feel fairly equal to me. A better example might be comparing fighter/wizard to fighter/sorcerer. The latter lacks heightening or spell choice compared to the former.

Fighters have much more than just accuracy, though. Like armor proficiency that scales all the way up to Master, along with specialization, and HP to go with. A Wizard that's MC'd into Fighter cannot actually keep themselves alive in a fight, at least not at higher levels where their poor progression will get them critted into the dirt for trying.

Fighters also have a host of maritally-oriented class features and some of the best martial actions in the game.

You can get away with having a more ho-hum spellcasting proficiency because there's plenty of spells that either target saves (going for weak saves is an option), don't require a roll at all, or at least provide a tactical benefit that you can't recreate by just swinging your sword harder and is worth taking that risk for.

The same's not really true for physical attacks and armor. Your martial proficiency in a weapon is competing with your cantrips which benefit from your higher % chance to hit. You really need those numbers.

A Fighter dipping into Wizard gets something they'll probably make a lot of use out of. A Wizard dipping into Fighter has to contrive a lot more to get value out of the MC, since it's just so risky to attempt (and requires both a STR and DEX investment because f+@@ you I guess). That's not to say that Wizards suck, because they have spellcasting, it's just that they're so good at spellcasting that being a really s&%!ty Fighter isn't going to mesh. Mediocre or bad spellcasting is a lot easier to work into great martial caapbiltiies than the inverse.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

One of the main problems with PF1 style MC is that it was actually really bad at accomplishing its main goals. Actually splitting your levels tended to just kind of make you suck at everything rather than feeling like someone with a split focus. So PF1 multiclassing was for the most part relegated to strategic dipping for certain class features... or more likely something you just ignored entirely. Seriously for all the talk about the sanctity of dipping here, if PF1 didn't have multiclassing at all the vast majority of characters I've seen in games or online wouldn't even notice a change.

PF2's feat focused multiclassing then is focused on allowing you better emulate a split-focused character. A fighter who spends feats to become an MC wizard is overall a much more functional character while still managing to capture that battlemage style. You're going to be both a better fighter and a better wizard than your split-level PF1 counterpart.

There are downsides to that change, as it turns feats into an incredibly tight bottleneck for characters and it means things either come online very slowly or restrict your ability to branch out (whereas having both levels AND feats as progression gave you extra layers of customization).

And while overall I think it's better for realizing hybrid concepts, it's not tuned great. My above example of a fighter/wizard is an excellent martial who becomes a good spellcaster over time, but a wizard/fighter remains pretty terrible at swinging a sword no matter how many feats they spend on their fighter MC.

I dunno, the wizard only winds up 2 points behind most martials for accuracy and winds up with a lot more spell slots to buff with than the fighter who multiclassed wizard. Or just blast and bash with.

The two characters feel fairly equal to me. A better example might be comparing fighter/wizard to fighter/sorcerer. The latter lacks heightening or spell choice compared to the former.

Fighters have much more than just accuracy, though. Like armor proficiency that scales all the way up to Master, along with specialization, and HP to go with. A Wizard that's MC'd into Fighter cannot actually keep themselves alive in a fight, at least not at higher levels where their poor progression will get them critted into the dirt for trying.

Fighters also have a host of maritally-oriented class features and some of the best martial actions in the game.

You can get away with having a more ho-hum spellcasting proficiency because there's plenty of spells that either target saves (going for weak saves is an option), don't require a roll at all, or at least provide a tactical benefit that you can't recreate by just swinging your sword harder and is worth taking that risk for.

The same's not really true for physical attacks and armor. Your martial proficiency in a weapon is competing with your cantrips which benefit from your higher % chance to hit. You really need those numbers.

A Fighter dipping into Wizard gets something they'll probably make a lot of use out of. A Wizard dipping into Fighter has to contrive a lot more to get value out of the MC, since it's just so risky to attempt (and requires both a STR and DEX investment because f!!& you I guess). That's not to say that Wizards suck, because they have spellcasting, it's just that they're so good at spellcasting that being a really s*$$ty Fighter isn't going to mesh. Mediocre or bad spellcasting is a lot easier to work into great martial caapbiltiies than the inverse.

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Multiclassing in 3.5/PF1/5e has a few major flaws.

First, dipping. Because you progress from the bottom up in the other class, it means anything cool or useful has to be delayed so that it's out of reach of dippers. Otherwise you get people dipping a single level in a class just automatically, because that first level or two of Fighter is way more useful than anything else it can offer. 5e's got this issue in spades, with many classes kind of being a bore until level 3 when the game actually starts.

Second, it's very all or nothing. You're sacrificing an entire level of your base class in order to get an entire level of another class. For a lot of builds and concepts, you only want this particular thing from the other class. AoO's from Fighters, Sneak Attack from Rogues, whatever. But you would be sacrficiing *everything* you'd get next level, your capstones, all the good stuff to get that one thing because you're also paying for all this junk you're not actually going to use.

That's what causes multiclassing to be so godawful by default. It's not enough to just want to multiclass, you have to plan your build so that you make as much use as possible from everything you get out of the other class or you need to have something SUPER cheesy, bordering on an exploit, in order to justify the rest of the class being a dud for you. People didn't play Oradin because they thought the Oracle was a great all-around fit for paladin, it was to exploit a very particular interaction in order to take damage in the place of others and then heal that damage with a swift action from the Paladin, creating a healbot that heals on a swift action and gets to do fun DPR stuff otherwise.

PF2 multiclassing is a lot more surgical. Two characters can have the same MC (Fighter dipping into Rogue) but have very different builds because each class is taking different things. You take just the bits that fit your concept, not sacrificing a ton of your power by default to buy features and feats you aren't going to use.

Granted, some of the dedication feats are trash. Fighter dedications practically provide nothing to other martials wanting to dip, nearly the same with Champions. And neither of their proficiencies sufficiently scale even if you invest into it, so it's not unusual at high levels to start doing worse with the gear you dipped and invested into those classes for. But most classes provide something that's generally useful in their dedications.

Overall I think it's a major step up. It's a lot easier for people to do (no math needed), it has a lot less potential to break the game, you can do it a lot more to fit a concept. PF2's whole ethos is to make it so optimized characters are not imbalancing the game, so things that lower the optimization ceiling and raise the optimization floor while still permitting lots of mechanical variety is desirable for this game. IF you want 10 years of jank, PF1 still exists.

That said, I do hope that there's good guidelines given for those wishing for more classic MC'ing for those that want it. It's not as simple as just adding their numbers together, and even if you do get that far you have to contend with the fact that classes are now a lot more frontloaded and level 1 from a class would be grantin you amazing things that would blow nearly anything else any other class could offer out of the water. But maybe there's something that can be done to mitigate that.

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I remember having a few of these discussions before.

In regards to "this would make the Sorcerer redundant" it's a totally valid option to just roll Sorcerer back into Wizard, just as Half-Orcs are rolled into Humans. Alternatively, we keep Sorcerers as a class, because their bloodlines are enough of distinguishing characteristic that they don't need to have a monopoly on a superior game mechanic. 5e's sorcerers aren't bad because the whole system is spontaneous casters, they're bad because they're not given enough to compensate for fewer spells known.

A lot of 5e's troubles with sorcerers comes from the fact that their magic is innate, and so they naturally should be fairly frontloaded. But because 5e has an inferior MC'ing system, frontloading is a balance issue, so classes can't get their really cool stuff until much later where dippers can't reach them. That's not a problem in PF2, dipping isn't even a thing anymore.

A PF2 with universal Arcanist casting would have sorcerers with a lot more of their power placed in their choice of bloodline, which to me sounds way the hell cooler.

As for "we can just have both" the issue is that the old Vancian casting is really, really bad. It slows down play considerably as players need to spend a lot more time outside of combat or RP agonizing over how many spells to prep. It encourages more boring playstyles where players are more unwilling to prepare fun spells because they want multiple castings of spells they know they'll use.

Moreover, because you can only cast a spell as many times as you prepared them, the power of a caster becomes extremely variable to an undesirable degree, as first level wizards can frequently find themselves not using their spell slots at all for lack of an opportunity. It makes "mistakes" (ie not being psychic) much more punishing.

It also bloats the system as a whole and adds unnecessary complexity. Nearly all the classes have at least some class feature that makes them sorta spontaneous, which just means more text and complexity. It makes the system overall harder to learn for what's ultimately less satisfying gameplay.

Just leaving it as-is creates a slower, more bloated, less fun by default system that confuses the everliving s&$# out of new players unnecessarily. Not even old, returning players necessarily like it - a lot of people who came back for 5e didn't even notice that the neo-Vancian system wasn't how it always worked, I noticed a lot of players just assumed that Arcanist-style casting was how it always worked.

Meanwhile, with Arcanist casting you have a unified casting system that doesn't require a primer on how this particular class's magic works. All the variation can either be more fundamental/interesting or just a matter of changing spells known to equal your spell prepared. A lot of the problems that plague low-level prepared casters melt away as they're more able to reliably actually do relevant magic. It's easier to track on paper sheets, there's less room for mistakes during play, 5e players can transition easier, it's just nicer.

I honestly think that if the poll didn't come out when it came out, we would have gotten a different answer. I bet a considerable portion that wanted "Vancian" casting were more fearful of change as a whole and were apprehensive about having a second edition at all. But now it's the default of the new system, so it's not like there's gonna be a lot of support to redo the whole magic system again. There's still a pretty severe lack of actual "old Vancian is more fun" and a lot more "that's how things were, therefore it should stay that way" which just seems silly when PF2 made so many other big fundamental changes. Even if not Arcanist casting, doing something to improve Vancian casting would have been called for in a new edition.

I'm hoping the GMG or some future optional rules have something in place to convert the system into just Arcanist casting, for the sake of at least my own sanity as a GM.

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I'm really not a fan of it being possible to lose permanent items worth north of 25% of your total wealth ever accumulated, not as part of a simple decision of "do I want to block 6-10 damage." The HP values are certainly borked, but it just leads me to question why we're having shields explode in the first place. Why not just have the shields break and be useless for a bit? For the purposes of a fight, that's about the same.

And it's not like someone using a shield is getting insane benefit here. They're getting fairly significant DR, sure, but it's at the expense of an arm. I'm not sure that really needs to be risk-and-rewarded with the penalty of losing a massive chunk of your character's power in every single fight, in a way that just isn't true of most other martial or magical fighting styles.

I agree with dmerceless that the idea that some shields are "supposed" to risk destruction after a single use as an actual shield is a ludicrous take (a lower hardness is more than suffiicent as a tradeoff, you're literally taking extra damage in exchange for these other abilities), but I'd take it a step further and just say that a shield cannot be destroyed unless it's used to block again while already broken. That at least puts it in the same neighborhood of sacrificing expensive items as overcharging wands, something that might be done in a climactic final battle but otherwise not something that comes up.

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I keep seeing a lot of "4e" here to describe PF2's seemingly more permissive attitudes towards unorthodox ancestries. Is that supposed to be a bad thing? Pathfinder's set apart by its customization, and having ready access to a wide variety of stuff that isn't some boring human seems right up a lot of folks' allies. It's only made better by PF2's unique chargen system that makes it so these ancestries aren't pigeonholed into particular classes right out the game.

Why shouldn't this edition have a bunch of ancestries? Just use the Uncommon or Rare tags, it's a built-in way to let a player know they need to ask permission first. Between a setting that's as intentionally diverse as Golarion and the abandoning of always-evil sapient ancestries, now's really the time to have fun playing races just because they're cool, not because their stat bonuses align perfectly with your class.

It's certainly a lot better than 5e where it can be torture just trying to justify playing a Half-Orc Wizard.

I like the ability to create a Gish without necessarily needing to take a special Gish class - for classes that are conceptually martial spellcasters, I'd like for them to have a stronger identity than just "here's a ranger and druid MC but now you've got your feats back."

Magi (maguses?) having an intelligent weapon that eats up most of their feats to work around is the sort of thing I'd like to see, and it makes it more compelling as a proper class that can contribute something itneresting to other classes that would like to take it as an archetype. As a Fighter, would I want to bother taking a Magus dedication? Would that be balanced? Would the Magus then dipping into Wizard create an imbalance?

It's not helped that a lot of the martial dedications are kinda lame if you're coming from a casting class. It seems to work out much better from the other direction since you only really sacrifice the potential to use directly offensive magic, but you can't really do terribly well with martial attacks if you're only working with Expert proficiency in weapons or armor. So it can be tricky to make something more caster-y.

Part of it is that the Fighter in particular gets a really good chassis but their feats are almost exclusively actions. You can only really use one action at a time, so the more actions you get the more you experience diminishing returns as you run out of useful combos. Right now there's a lot of pressure for even most Fighters to be multiclassing and grabbing abilities that are more dramatically different than the sometimes too-heavily-themed actions for their chosen fighting style. You only really need so many enemy repositioning feats before even just access to a cantrip becomes more practical.

So it at least seems like the baseline is already that a good chunk of "pure" Fighters are going to end up as gishes anyways just for lack of a better option.

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Others are already chiming in, but to talk specifically about the worries about how optimization worked in 3.5/PF1 - this isn't 3.5 or PF1. This is PF2, a radically different system that does a lot to prevent characters from dramatically changing the math. At least so far, you can't overoptimize and you really have to be sandbagging to underoptimize (ie take feats you know you won't use, putting a 14 in STR when you plan on using a lot of melee when you could put in a 16).

This is what's attractive to most optimizers in PF2. We want varied character options like anyone else, and tight math and a optimization floor and ceiling that are so close together they're nearly kissing means we can play practically anything we want without the bad taste in the mouth left by choosing the flavor option over what we know would be more effective.

And if something does actually widen that gap, I hope Paizo's quick to put out errata purely for the sake of balance.

So for PF2, at least, I would rather people chill out about optimizers and maybe not try to derail rules discussions by accusing them of caring too much about minutia or whatever. The game being balanced is not going to hinder your ability to tell interesting stories in the game.

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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Helmic wrote:

I personally, wonder whether anyone in this thread actually plays this game for fun or if they just care about roleplaying.

For some of us those two things are identical.


No disrespect, but personally I find making people happy and solving world hunger more important than pretending to be an elf with other adults.

No disagreement there, which is why I choose my day job and many other aspects of my life accordingly. However keeping myself sane and reasonably happy is a large part of staying optimally able to be productive and positive in those other spheres, and for me roleplaying is a major cheering element in my life.

Playing a bunch of different perspectives, with different moralities, and - perhaps most important to this particular discussion - different degrees of capacity and agency within the RPG universe (referring to that as "viability" seems an over-simplification) and interacting with other people doing the same, is an ongoing contribution to broadening my understanding of and ability to empathise with a broader range of people in the real world. So yeah, I will defend my roleplaying as positive in intent to the broader world, and encourage others towards it on similar grounds. (And that is specifically "encourage", not demand or dictate or anything like that save within the context of negotiating the particular social contract of a game I am personally involved with.)

The maths involved in Pathfinder, on the other hand, is arithmetic and probability on a scale I was reasonably competent in thirty years ago in school and only occasionally have use for since, so there is only so much benefit polishing those skills by min-maxing is to me, even if I did find it fun.

The /s denotes sarcasm. It's a s!!+post meant to illustrate how wording how other people enjoy the game as mutually exclusive with some generally positive quality is essentially just asking, "When did you stop beating your wife?" I roleplay just as much as anyone else here, but the outright hostility towards those who engage with the prominent crunchy bits of the game can seem awfully hypocritical. It comes across as accusing others of "wrongfun" or portraying those who enjoy tinkering with the system as inherently problematic.

It doesn't help that a lot of anti-optimization or anti-crunch discussion can often pick up a lot of anti-neurodivergent baggage in less well-moderated spaces, where someone that's autistic can get s%@& for enjoying a part of the system "too much" for some NT's personal tastes. Considering a lot of problem behavior is unique to those purely trying to "roleplay" while ignoring the rules, treating those engaging with the rules as a problem can feel like it's honing in on those being clocked as autistic.

Not that that's what's happening here, but my experiences with that have colored my view on a lot of "roleplay > rollplay" discussions. I've certainly had been insulted as "autistic" before in these sorts of contexts, so whenever the discussion is about someone having too narrow an interest in the game my guard tends to go up.

tl;dr let people enjoy things on their own terms

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Ravingdork wrote:
Like my friends, I will always prefer the digital format.

I forgot the best part, digital sheets make it trivial to write down the complete rules for any class features, feats, spells, or equipment. No need to go flipping through pages to see what the exact wording is if a question comes up, it's printed right there for everyone to see. If it's on a VTT, you can even click a button and have the rules posted in chat, complete with formatting.

I usually play online, so obviously digital sheets are the only option. More speicfically, the built-in character sheets, that enable things like macros. I absolutely forbid manual rolling and math, it just slows the game down too much and people get confused about rules and it's just this big mess. Nuh-uh, click the attack macro and have the damage and everything handled for me. It also lets me use macros to handle monsters a lot easier, not needing to wait for a player to slowly respond what their AC is before I know whether it hit or not, which is pretty important when dealing with the realities of online play like mic problems, voice delays, and just not being able to look directly at someone to get their specific attention (though FG lets you ring their client like it's a phone).

For real-life play, I similarly demand form-fillable PDF's, with fresh printed copies for new levels, or possibly tablets/phones if people prefer. I don't have that many issues with distractions and quite honestly I'm not interested in policing that. Regardless, being able to have that stuff quickly, accurately, and legibly detailed is extremely useful, and it makes the system MUCH more approachable for new players who don't have to learn the entire system just to play. It's a lot easier to teach people during play where they can see stuff happening, or point them to a number on the sheet, than to hope they filled the sheet out correctly. I can be emailed a sheet, fix the errors quickly, shoot it back, and we're good.

Ideally, those with phones/tablets would use apps that let them roll right from their sheet, but I do know some players really like rolling physical dice (the novelty's worn off for me) and I don't think there's a decent app like that for PF2 yet. Haven't played PF2 in-person so iunno whether Pathbuilder will let you do stuff like that.

Absolutely none of this TXT file or pure pen-and-paper crap, though. Makes it a lot harder on me to track and stuff always gets miscalculated.

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Oof, yeah, the Compendium support for PF2 is really expensive, and it's JUST the Compendium support and some art assets justifying the hike over the cost of the proper PDF from Paizo. PF1 got Compendium support for free and that was pretty instrumental in my groups preferring to use PF1 over D&D. Even 5e has at least its free SRD available. It stings quite a bit to pay so much for what's on pf2.aonprd.com for free. Seems to be the same case with Fantasy Grounds, though for some strange reason I can still drag and drop everything from the PF2 ruleset there despite not having purchased their module. I'm not quite sure what's included with theirs.

I guess here's hoping that OGL means we can get more affordable VTT support for PF2 somewhere.

NA Palm wrote:

The reason why things with saves don't have the attack trait is how would you apply MAP to it?

Like yes you could adjust the DC, or give the monster a bonus to its saves inverse to the penalty, but its not very clean. And if you don't do this adjustment, it just means that if a monster wanted to attack and breath fire in the same round you would be better off attacking, then breathing than breathing then attacking.

As there are no rules to adjust the DC of a spell or effect based on MAP, it is clear that they do not intend for these types of abilities to interact with MAP, hence no Attack trait.

I mean, it could have been avoided by just having you roll against the monster's Reflex DC, but that would require the bonus/penalty system to be adjusted to assume that the attacker always is the one to roll. If you rolled against an enemy's Reflex DC with all spells just as you're expected to roll against their Fortitude DC when making Grapple attempts or their Reflex DC when making Trip attempts, it'd work just the same.

Which is where we are now, it's this weird state where whether something gets MAP is a matter of who's rolling in the actual game. It doesn't quite map onto the "reality" of the game very well.

It's a sorta strange-ish inconsistency with magic.

Some magic, like Acid Arrow, has the attack trait. This seems to be the case for spells that have an attack roll, stuff you fling at someone and there's a chance you might not connect with the hit. Other magic, like Fireball, you also fling from your fingers at someone, but it targets a save (because it's an AoE, you could just target the ground at their feet and still catch them in the blast).

So if you're playing a gish and want to do damage with a spell and follow that up with a physical attack, you'd want to avoid Shocking Grasp and instead use Magic Missile, because the latter doesn't have attack roll. Or you'd opt for Lightning Bolt, because its AoE nature demands a Reflex save and requires the target to roll dice instead of you.

Breath attacks tend to be AoE, and so they're probably not meant to be affected by MAP. It's a bit unintuitive, but I guess dodging someone who's breathing fire is less about their ability to accurately work around your defenses or aim carefully and more about your ability to dodge roll out of the way.

I'm sorta guessing that General is mostly going to be where threads go when there's not an obvious other place for them to be? A junk drawer for threads that don't share enough in common to justify an entire subforum. So stuff like people advertising their podcast series, currently it seems like lore discussions don't have a more specific place to go, stuff addressing the culture surrounding PF2 (how much does the community value roleplaying versus mechancis?), just anything that doesn't seem to yet have a better fit in another subforum.

Which, granted, isn't really a great guideline and is still confusing, but it's not like mods are handing out bans for posting a thread in General because you didn't see a more specific but slower subforum or making passive-aggressive posts about needing to read instructions like it's a mid-aughts tech support forum. So long the mods are understanding that it's confusing to someone that is possibly new to forums conceptually, I don't see some vagueness as too concerning, it's not exactly high stakes to have your thread moved.

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Yeah, to be honest TTRPG's really undersell how effective plate armor is against even bullets and oversell how difficult it is to move in or to use. Plate armor was extremely OP IRL, and it only wasn't ubiquitous because of the absurd cost of creating it.

That's not to say that TTRPG's should be restrained by reality, but plate armor not cancelling out the advantages of having a high STR is kind of the point. If you've got a high STR, you shouldn't have the worst Athletics check.

So long you've got them Popeye arms I say you've earned the right to do backflips in full plate if you can manage the Acrobatics check. A bit of thin metal ain't gonna be what stops you, it's probably going to be your low DEX score.

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