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moosher12 wrote:

While Justice is typically interpreted as lawful, there are applications to non-lawful classical alignments.

Neutral Good might would of course favor fair treatment to all. A Sarenite

True Neutral would look at all sides of an issue, and try to come to the conclusion that is most objective. Ahem: Pharasma's court.

Neutral Evil would lean to more personal justices, or a more detached and professional view of what justice is, at the cost of others. Like an avenger going along a dark path. An antihero could be this type, attempting to exterminate an evil faction to exact justice on them, but they remain cruel to the citizenry as well, or care not for casualties. Alternatively, a professional agent that metes out what appears as justice to the average citizen, but is absolutely otherwise evil, like Homelander or Omniman.

Chaotic Good wants to bring about justice independent from law, actively righting wrongs that the rule of law could not. Firebrand ideology, basically.

Chaotic Neutral would seek personal interpretations of Justice, independent from law. Calistrians only care for the rule of law if it directly benefits them. Ultimately, they simply meet out revenge whenever they see fit.

And Chaotic Evil would alike seek personal intepretations of Justice, at the expense of others. Lamashtan ideology, for example wants justice for mistreated monsterfolk, but they are willing to exterminite non-monsterfolk to achieve this.

There are of course, other unsaid avenues by how alignments could gravitate toward Justice, but the main point is, Justice as a middle...

Unfortunately, the Edicts and Anathema of the Justice cause in the post contradict many of those interpretations.

Paizo wrote:

Edicts follow the law, respect legitimate authorities or leadership

Anathema take advantage of another, cheat

So the justice they seem to be going for is very much "follow the rules as laid out by an authority." Which since that seems to be really the only defining factor of the cause, the mechanics of it are very likely going to be themed around it to where it'd be difficult to reflavor, much as it's extremely annoying trying to reflavor the current versions of the champion's causes.

That said, because Law and Chaos aren't things anymore, it would be a lot easier to play a character who does believe in those edicts and otherwise acts in stereotypically Chaotic ways since playing to alignment is no longer a concern.

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I was always frustrated by how the mechanics of how Champion works were so overly tied to alignment - and by extension, your character's fundamental personality. The change definitely makes it more 5e-like in that it's just focusing on this one idea with enough wiggle room for interpretation.

The old method of just reflavoring champion causes to not mention alignment felt really bad and awkward as the mehcanics very clearly were signalling which of the nine alignments it's referring to, to the point of distraction like you're just lampshading it. I'm hoping the new material will have flexible enough flavor to really lean into this idea of zealous adherance to a cause as possibly coming from any number of directions, without the mechanics assuming too much about which direction that is.

moosher12 wrote:
Justice by its strictest sense is an interesting middle ground, because all classical alignments, (after reading more, even Neutral Evil), have a reasonable justification for caring about it to some degree or interpretation of "what is Justice".

Justice is a little annoying in that it does seem to be assuming Lawful tendencies, so not justice in that broad a sense. Liberation would probably be closer to the "justice" of the old Chaos alignment, more of the justice of the people weilded against authority rather htan the justice of the paladins that is more about defeating those that oppose a just (and usually, but now not always, benevolent) authoirty.

thenobledrake wrote:

"just don't play with it" isn't at all relevant because the thread isn't about the OP convincing others to adopt this house-rule. It's about analysis of the impact of the house-rule so the OP can decide whether they actually want to use it or not.

If "this rule should probably be avoided" were actually non-useful feedback to the OP that would indicate that the OP shouldn't have bothered posting in the first place because using the rule is a fore-gone conclusion, not a discussion, so they can "just play with it" like is being suggested should stop anyone else at "just don't play with it."

I mean, what you're saying doesn't make sense. That OP wants the thing they state in the OP actually is a given, and trying to convince them otherwise is clearly failing and unwanted. The goal should not be to convince people they don't want the thing they want, it's not about deciding people should not have even posted a thread in the first place, it is much more useful to take their premise and give advice towards that end.

To bring it back on topic, I think talking with people who play a lot of skill monkey classes wpupd be a decemt idea. I would also go with GM fiat to say that all the niche, non-combat relevant feats (and I'm including medicine as combat relevant as its impact on HP is what makes it so valuable) are free and see how many combat skills you actually want floating around. The three action system does limit the feats that grant actions but they're still powerful third actions.

I would also consider some ancestry feats to give out as freebies as well, if they are niche enough. The skeleton feat that lets uou pretend to be the actual, non-undead but just regular dead remains of a person if you lay down and stay still comes to mind of something that is just kind of a mild enhancement that would be fun to just have without it eating up a precious ancestry feat.

This steps on the toes of skill monkey classes but because they get increases more often I think it comes out in the wash.

Again, I would be curious to hear how it turns out in actual play. My guess is that the added versatility abd just having that toolbox of prompts coukd make out of combat stuff more fun.

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Is it really necessary to continuously argue against the premise of a house rule in the house rule forum? It's hard to actually iterate on the rule if people are constantly derailing it saying they don't want to play with the rule and making the OP constantly defend making the thread at all. It's a house role, just don't play with it, and let people who have more constructive things to say discuss the topic for those interested.

I would say the "it would make characters feel the same" comments are only true insofar that many campaigns are being played with this hosue rule, or if several characters are picking the same few skills to put in ranks in (and to the same degree), neitehr of which seems particulalry likely.

Knock on effects: INT becomes a lot more valuable becuase having skill points is esssentailly having more feats, even if they're only trained. INT by itself is already quite weak so I don't think this necessarily breaks the game, it's still not like CHA in how it can bring in effective third actions besides the quesitonable utility of RK and it's not like WIS, CON, or DEX that actually boost your saves. It possibly overtakes STR on non-melee characters, I don't think any of the INT classes stand out as problematically good.

By the same note, rogues get an extreme buff as their many, many skill increases are granting them some absurd utility. That one might actually be problematic, so there might need to be some sort of upper cap.

I would say that for most of the "flavor" skill feats, though, even if there's a lot, because they're often so niche it's not usually going to cause actual balance issues, especially if players are diversifying their skills. Players are more likely ot have something of relevance to the situation, but none of them are really goiung to make it to where problem solving becomes irrelevant.

My bigger concern are the combat relevant skill feats, that are either directly used in a fight or are otehrwise about effectively preparing you fro the next fight. *Especially* the ones that influence combat wihtout being used in combat might be a bit much if the party effectively just has all of them, on multiple characters.

It's possibly worth trying out and seeing how it goes. I think the main pitfall is going to be players even knowing they have stuff, but I don't think it's going to be particularly more unwiedy than rolling up a rogue, who can naturally just run out of relevant skill feats to take. I don't think it'll make the game simpler, as anyone optimization-minded is going to end up pouring over the enitre skill feat list looking for what skills to invest in to best exploit this, and again players will want to keep looking through their many feats to see if they've got a relevant one, but I don't think it's a terrible idea for a home game to try out.

It may be worthwhile to go through and sort the skill feats into the categories I mentioned earlier and only make the niche non-combat influencing ones a gimme, if giving them absolutely everything doesn't work quite how you want . I suspect that mgiht be more manageable, and then give them a preset number of combat-relevant skill feats they can choose from. More work, but I bet that would be an interesting game and take on an interesting tone where PC's are hypercompetent.

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Angwa wrote:

I have played plenty of characters who boosted 2 non-save attributes, mostly int+cha but str+cha as well. My current character, a witch, will also be pushing cha+int. It fits the character concept and that trumps everything else and that's that.

However, let's be honest here, if I could choose the attributes linked to my saves I would _never_ leave one, let alone two, of my saves lagging behind! Those saves _matter_. A lot actually. Especially as dex, con and wis seem to offer just as much as the other three even without the saves attached.

I will have fun with my witch and it will definitely not be unviable, but she will be vulnerable. It is an arbitrary cost you have to pay for some concepts but not others.

That framing might help here, as it seems the arguments against aren't actually contesting that INT and CHA are really really strong actually, but rather quibbling over the exact vernacular. That is ultimately my frustration, a player will want to do something like that and the system math makes them eat shit for it for no real discernable reason.

5e seemed to sorta try to deal with this by having every attribute possibly be a save but that works out poorly. Having some other way to generate saves would probably help people have more wiggle room in chargen.

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Yeah I think the objective/subjective epistomology muddles more than it clarifies, it's seeming to mostly just be about saying X is subjective therefore who can say whether game design is real or not.

For every anecdote about how XYZ 14 STR barbarian played just fine at someone's table, I think the much more common experience has been frustration. 2e is generally designed on the assumption that players care about being effective and that it feels bad to have to choose between what you want to play and what is optimal.

I think a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself that if Paizo were to actually make whatever change is being discussed, would you be willing to sit there and argue that they should change it back? If the answer is no, then I know I don't actually care about the topic, I'm relying entirely on "the game is good and any changes would suggest it's bad" knee jerking.

I fully believe people here actually actively like attributes, and would argue for their return if they didn't come back for PF3e. I find it hard to believe anyone here would sit there and tell Paizo to roll back buffs to INT or complain it got renamed. It doesn't feel like the "it's subjective" posts have a positive argument or a case for why a change would actually be bad, it mostly just seems to be demanding irrefutable scientific proof that this one change will make the game be better than going to heaven for all tablws at all times. It seems like an unreasonable standard to have to personally convince you that your relaxed home game wasn't fun before anyone can discuss balance - something Paizo already acknowledged years ago with its variant rule for alternate attributes, because they know they're highly imbalanced.

So to me, I think since a new edition is only just going to further break from the OGL, might as well not stick with Str Dex Com Wis Int Cha anyways and opt for something more deliberate.

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Bluemagetim wrote:

isn't this threat more about attributes as they relate to how good they are in the game?

Its not really the place for a larger debate on whether an Int attribute in a game is ethical. That would be its own thread.

The reason I see it as relevant is that if we are going to talk about making INT less of a dump stat or attribute balance more generally, it's important to not overlook that angle and spend a bunch of time polishing something that ultimately still ends up being entirely reworked to sidestep historical issues of ableism. It won't be as easy as in Lancer where it's inhuman machines and not people, but things like renmaing attributes and shifting what they do would have balance implications while avoiding the worst associations. Or, obviously, an attributeless system does not necessarily have to have this problem at all. We can walk and chew gum here and talk about solutions to both concerns. Besides, even if I did make a separate thread, it would still get these responses and accusations, but with my name being the first thing people read in the thread. There is no way to talk about social issues without being accused of baiting on this forum, if anything this is a lot safer where we are several pages in and I don't need to worry about people coming in specifically to be mad.

Again, I'm not accusing anyone of ableism. I feel I've been really careful to phrase the criticism itself civilly. But it kimd of sucks that people who side with the status quo on this can make accusations and then get what they want by having the thread locked. I think it's very possible to bring this up productively, but it means we can't constantly debate whether it should ever be discussed at all.

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Gortle wrote:
Helmic wrote:
Well, no. I take the topic of ableism very seriously, and this idea of numerical general intelligence is a particular issue I take to heart. The recent Rules Lawyer video gives me a bit more confidence to push back on this "keep politics out of my fantasy game" reaction. People needed to speak up to get Pathfinder to be better on queerness and race, and it's not going to be any different for neurodivergence and mental disability.
Look I like that there is diversity here, and Paizo do support it strongly. But you are going to get a lot of people off side with evangelising. For myself I'm deliberately not watching that video just so I can ensure I can treat Ronalds content on its merits.

Again, I don't think you could get away with calling someone "evangelizing" for pointing out the problems with Torag's old lore or the issues of how orcs were depicted. Much more ketfuffle is coming from people wanting to pretend it's not there than my simply pointing out an issue that other RPG designers have spelled out as well.

I'm not going to debate whether it should be brought up at all further. I'm going to continue talking about it as it comes up and you'll just have to deal.

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Ravingdork wrote:
Helmic wrote:
I was advocating for their removal in a future game, as it sidesteps a lot of build viability issues and some of the icky bioessentialist roots of the hobby stemming from Gygax.
Let's avoid using volatile buzzwords in forum discussions. They're not conducive to a civil discussion.

Well, no. I take the topic of ableism very seriously, and this idea of numerical general intelligence is a particular issue I take to heart. The recent Rules Lawyer video gives me a bit more confidence to push back on this "keep politics out of my fantasy game" reaction. People needed to speak up to get Pathfinder to be better on queerness and race, and it's not going to be any different for neurodivergence and mental disability.

Now, I'm not saying this to mean you are an ableist for preferrimg an attributes based system. I keep using Lancer as an example as another 4e inspired game that still has attributes that behave differently and do their own interesting things, additionally without bioessentialism (which was an explicitly stated goal). I can understand why the mechanics of attributes can be something someone likes or dislikes. But I absolutely will insist that if we are going to talk about INT as an attribute, that will require us to consider the attitudes it perpetuates, just as Paizo moving away from race as a term and moving away from hardcoded ancestry bonuses and penalties were also politically concious acts. What would be actually ableist would be to deem this less worthy of real discussion than the many other social issues Paizo has put effort into better representing.

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Teridax wrote:

It's certainly hard to communicate this. Like, our point here isn't that we don't want there to be studious barbarians or whatever build concept people here feel emotionally attached to - the point we're both making is that it sucks that that concept has some severe, lopsided tradeoffs and that it would be better if in a new edition that kind of concept was more viable. It's great if any one individual person here wants to say they played that character well and had fun, but in my experience a lot of people have not had fun playing builds with weak attacks and weak saves, they just wanted a particular personality and the system punished them for trying to mechanically represent that.

Like reading some of the arguments, it feels like some are taking this to mean we want the game to only exist as a small number of cookie cutter builds that exactly fit to stereotypes of a class, because we're (correctly) identifying that certain builds and concepts are overall less mechanically useful. But we're wanting the game to *better* permit more varied characters, by not requiring players to be OK with being worse at combat before the system permits them to make a more intellectual barbarian. And there's multiple ways that can be accomplished, such as decoupling vital stats like attack accuracy or saves from attributes or rebalancing them to make choosing between them much harder, or removing attributes and going with a feat-based replacement that buffs particular suites of skills and/or grants abilities that thematically fit with being strong or smart.

And, well, I Just don't like having INT as a stat, at all, coming from a disability justice angle. Poeple can pretend it's not IQ, but the genreal concept of attaching a number of less intelligent to more intelligent as a linear scale has some baggage. I prefer skills as a way to represent a character being well-researched or resourceful, which better reflects reality and I feel would better represent individual personalities of charcters. Finding blueberries in the bush and literal medicine keying off the same attribute is kind of silly, why can't we have a bookworm nerd emoji person be the premier doctor in the party?

To keep making comparisons to Lancer, while its skills work every differently the fact that none of the "triggers" you select actually need to have anything in common results in a lot of interesting personalities, the big tough guy who rips doors off their hinges isn't penalized for also being a hacker. A feat-based replacement for attributes in PF3e could give you a generic "strong" feat that boosts Atheletics and gives you some options for physically ripping apart structures, or a "dextrous" feat that boosts Medicine and Thievery and gives you an option to used ranged attacks to hit stationary but tiny objects from far away. You could group different feats together in different ways that might better fit a particular character concept.

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I use Okular, which has the advantage of being FOSS (so it's not nagging you to buy the paid version or showing ads) and faster than many other PDF readers. It supports Paizo's buttons for its maps and form fillable character sheets just fine. For most PDF documents I prefer Zathura for its minimal, keyboard-driven interface, but for most people I think Okular's about the gold standard for a PDF reader.

I'd have to go digging into its options, but I believe it has the ability to spit out the images embedded in a PDF, I've used that in the past to import character portraits from AP's for use in Foundry, specifically Theatre Inserts as the players getting to see the NPC's face when I'm speaking as them helps a lot with everyone being able to keep track of who is who.

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Pronate11 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Well in any case, I can't imagine the removal of ability attributes as being anything less than a dumbing down of the game, and so am not generally in favor of the idea.

The more mechanical layers you remove, the simpler (and more alike) characters become. Gameplay might flow better, but concepts become more limited and stand out less.

I like the complexity that allows me to play an intelligent or charismatic fighter, while also not being forced into always having herculean strength.

I'd hate to see that disappear.

How many people where calling for their complete removal? From what I could tell, most people were calling for a reduced number and/or a rebalancing. There is a lot of room between "keep ability scores just as they are" and "get rid of them entirely"

In their defense, I was advocating for their removal in a future game, as it sidesteps a lot of build viability issues and some of the icky bioessentialist roots of the hobby stemming from Gygax. But it was part of a larger recommendation to switch to a more feat-based approach to accomplish the same goal, which would likely be just about as complex but permit signifciantly more depth as you would have more meaningful choice and unique effects, especially if they're decoupled from attack accuracy (and just baking attack accuracy into class/subclass as that is effectively how 2e works anyways).

As for why I think this matters, again I find it a super common experience with new players that unless I *require* that they max their attack attribute, they often won't. It's usually not someone like Ravingdork that has a clear emotional investment in having less accuracy, when I ask I typically get an "iunno, is that bad?" or similar response, which makes me believe that it's likely a pure system mastery issue, or at least an issue of being used to systems where you are expected to sandbag if you are good at the game because optimized characters outright break the system.

And since we've already gone over why the system only has very limited wiggle room in its arrays (oustide of simply deciding you don't care about being effective), I think it would be good for general accessibility if something as vital as attack accuracy was just baked into classes. Then whether or not attributes are dropped, it stops being such an issue if a new player doesn't max out their attack stat, becuase that optimization floor is raised without meaningfully impacting the ceiling, and generally improving build variety as we stop needing attributes to align perfectly to even begin to consider a concept.

That's a nice thing about balanced systems, it means that new players have more room to just pick what looks cool or sounds good and they're not actually making things harder for themselves.

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SuperBidi wrote:
Helmic wrote:
That's the thing, there isn't actually depth. For most classes and builds, the array is +4 KAS, +3 or +2 to your save stats favoring your weakest or whatever gets secondary use in the build or class, then pick which of STR, CHA, or INT gets dumped the hardest. It is *complex*, but the depth it offers doesn't at all match up to how long the process takes. It actually punishes you for trying to play against type with a studious barbarian, by making you miss more and do less.

As long as you max your attack attribute and increase your save-attributes every 5 levels, there's really no punishment for playing whatever you want. Depending on your attack stat you have more choice, but you only need Heavy Armor Proficiency for a studious Barbarian to be perfectly playable.

Also, a +2 to a save is not important enough to end up with a one dimensional character. Actually, having more options will largely compensate the penalty to your save.

The discussion there is specifically *not* maxing out your attack stat. The studious barbarian in this case is taking a +3 to STR in order to boost INT, as their example of why my idea of not having attributes would take away depth.

It's a nonsense discussion that again just further illustrates the point that there isn't actually much meaningful choice in attibutes. Their inclusion and the labels they use will bait many players into sandbagging, thinking that maxing out their attack stat is powergaming and not maxing it makes their character more interesting.

To compare to Lancer again, Lancer has no real limitations on attributes other than a hard cap of 6. You can spend all your points on Hull if you want right from the start. Most builds do not do this because HASE, while not perfectly balanced, has each attribute do enough useful things in combat that aren't directly comparable with their own natural diminishing returns that the game does not need to force players to spread out their stats. Players just do that naturally after noticing they need more heat or having +1 Speed would be very useful.

PF2e meanwhile has an extremely involved aytribute distribution process because if you could just pump yiur points into whatever you want we would all put everything into attack. D&D style classes so lopsidedly favor one or two attributes that an chapter of the book is dedicated to obscuring that most attributes are capped, because the only way to get players to put points into most attributes is to force it.

That isn't to say I dislike the boost system, I actually am a big fan of it - but it really is only necessary because of the stark imbalances in value between attributes, that make taking less STR on a barbarian to get more INT just a bad idea rather tham a genuinely interesting tradeoff.

Squiggit wrote:

Reminded that in another tabletop I play (Lancer), the equivalent of RK on a creature just gives your their entire statblock for free with no check and it's still considered a mediocre use of actions and only used by people who tend to specialize in that kind of thing.

Obviously that's another extreme but I feel like in general this trend toward making it difficult for even RK specialists to get useful information is clearly not helpful or necessary.

Honestly I'm just going to give that a shot. Crits give moveset as well or something, fails and crit fails do nothing because f%&@ coming up with believable lies on the spot. Just make RK give as much value as it possibly can for spending an action. I bet it'll still be niche as reasonably experienced players can guess where the important facts are like weak saves.

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Ravingdork wrote:
Helmic wrote:
Which all just further cements in my mind that I'd rather just not have attributes to begin with and avoid this stumbling block altogether.

Reducing the level of customizability by that level of magnitude would make the game a super shallow reflection of its former glory. I prefer the depth it has now.

Not every fighter should be forced to have the equivalent of 18 Strength or rogue the equivalent of 18 Dexterity. If I want a studious barbarian, or a charismatic dwarf, that should be an option.

Let us play the concepts we want, rather than forcing a bunch of cookie cutter templates based on ancestry and class.


That's the thing, there isn't actually depth. For most classes and builds, the array is +4 KAS, +3 or +2 to your save stats favoring your weakest or whatever gets secondary use in the build or class, then pick which of STR, CHA, or INT gets dumped the hardest. It is *complex*, but the depth it offers doesn't at all match up to how long the process takes. It actually punishes you for trying to play against type with a studious barbarian, by making you miss more and do less. You have to actovely sandbag to play that, you are mechanically inventivized to stick to an array that also happens to imply a particular personality.

And claiming a -1 to attack isn't a big deal but that attributes have depth is contradictory. Either the +1 you shiffle around is impactful or it isn't. I think it's very impactful on an attack stat, but I don't see that as depth as there are not many meaningful alternativr choices, the array you need is prefigured by your other buiod choices like weapons, spells, class, and feats.

It coild be replaced by any number of systems that could have far more depth, like again having feats that could make playing a studious barbarian not mean you take a significant penalty to attack, damage, and crits. Lancer sort of does this already with HASE as your attack stat, Grit, scales purely with your level and nothing else - and so as a result there are actual meaningful tradeoffs between the attributes worth considering. And Systems, the weakest attribute, is in a funky spot precisely becuase it breaks this rule to be the attack stat of hacking, making it of questionable utility to non-hackers and like INT being the domain of only those classes that are designed around it.

And so we don't have silly discussions in Lancer about how important for roleplaying reasons it is for your mech pilot to suck ass at piloting their mech and actually hitting things. It doesn't tie up attack accuracy with ephemeral concepts like being smart and likeable so nobody gets brainworms telling them to dumo Grit so that they can play as a sapient nerd emoji. You're just allowed to be smart amd take skills in things that make you smart.

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RE: KAS at +3 instead of +4, the issue I find is more that new players feel pressured to take a +3 because of brainworms around "powergaming" they're bringing in from 5e or older editions. There's the Stormwind Fallacy that has a lot of players thinking that if they max out an attribute that's bad roleplaying, and so they will misinterpret discussions about how a +3 is viable as meaning they should sandbag.

So I think people should be clear what they mean by "+3 is perfectly viable" so as to not confuse players who find these discussion through Google or whatever. It is true that for 95% of builds, you should be putting a +4 in your KAS. If you're not putting a +4 in your KAS, it should be because you're playing a build that doesn't make as much use of your KAS like a Warpriest or somesuch. There are builds that do make good use of a +3.

However, you should probably not put a +3 in your KAS for "roleplaying" reasons, as 2e generally does expect a +4. "You're only behind by -1 for half your career" isn't quite accurate, the "half" is the first half and campaigns generally don't end right at level 10 or 20 on the dot - the toughest levels and your introduction to the game are the ones where you'd be behind. It is not bad roleplaying to be effective at the things your class is supposed to do, numbers are not a substitute for roleplaying and 2e is not a game where maxing out an attribute means actually being a one trick pony.

People sometimes are bringing in expectation that an 18/+4 means you're not "well rounded" because they're used to point buy where having an 18 actually does mean all your other attributes are bad, but in 2e all you get by sacrificing a +1 to your attack stat is a +1 to something else. +4 +3 +2 +1 0 -1 is already a typical 2e array that has a reasonable spread of high, medium, and low attributes, so all sacrificing that +4 is doing is letting you have +3 +3 +3 +1 0 -1. It's not that great a benefit for the tradeoff unless you're using a particularly MAD build, and it's even worse if that boost goes towards removing that -1 from an ancestry when you could've done that by simply using the variant boost rules.

+3 is not literally unplayable if you have no build justification for it, but Courageous Anthem remains extremely powerful because it gives you a +1 - you are absolutely making the game harder for yourself (and by extension all the other players at the table) in a way that isn't the easiest to account for as a GM. It is better to let go of expectations you have from other systems and to embrace that 2e expects you to "minmax" and that it doesn't preclude you from having a well rounded character.

Which all just further cements in my mind that I'd rather just not have attributes to begin with and avoid this stumbling block altogether. If the system expects particular arrays anyways and deviating from it almost always works against you, then it's basically not all that different from having trap feats - the illusion of adding flavor while mostly just mechanically stunting a character. I agree with the earlier post that Lancer does a better job by decoupling attack bonuses from attributes, even if many frames still want to dump particular stats and boost others there's still much more of a justification to have one array or another (ie the person saying to dump AGI on a barbie is just wrong, +1 speed on a frame with only 2 speed is a 50% speed increase and is often heavily felt), but for a fantasy game there's also the baggage of bioessentialism, the weirdness of trying to roleplay when your class demands you dump ephemeral personality and cogntiive traits, and so on. I'd rather lean more into skills and feats to take their place.

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My guess is that "The GM decides based on the narrative" is meant to cover these sorts of edge cases in a way that makes sense. If a reactive strike kills an enemy, whether that enemy is able to do the thing they were trying to do before being killed is going to depend on the narrative. "The enemy pulls the lever by slumping on it" is the kind of stretch I think that the new rule is trying to imply that you *wouldn't* do as GM because the players are obviously trying to prevent the NPC from pulling the lever and killing the guy is typically effective at doing that, with crits simply being a way to do the same without it needing to be a killing blow. Without some sort of storygame "success, with complications" system it can come across as a diablo ex machina; if for whatever reason I *really* wanted that lever pulled I'd at least state up front before dice are rolled that the NPC dying won't be enough to stop them, and ideally I'd be saying this as early as possible, even at the start of combat if it's apparent that this scenario might happen because the goal of the fight is to prevent the NPC from sounding an alarm or letting in reinforcements or what have you.

For a very rules-driven game where the more common scenario is "if I kill this guy when he goes to attack an ally does that prevent them from damaging my ally" I think I'd have preferred a more concrete ruling, *generally* the GM isn't tasked with making a call in this kind of situation and instead trusts the system always has a rule, but personally I would go with the order of operations being that reactions that would incapacitate a character prevent that character from taking the action that triggered the reaction, and then make exceptions as appropriate from there with a bias towards letting the players do the things they're intending to do. If more than one player is involved, I would let the players decide what order their own actions are resolving in, because that is how it generally works in Lancer and it seems to work really well. Leaves nothing to really argue about and it adds some tactical depth and encourages teamplay and the payoff feels like a cool earned moment.

As for quantum lever pulling, I think it's better to understand an action like pulling a lever being more like "the two PC's see the NPC go for the lever and take a swing, knowing the NPC has left themselves vulnerable"; if they kill them, then the NPC being "in the middle" of their action simply means they never actually reached the lever. Same as any other "digital" action being interrupted by a crit or death, they went to go do the thing, another character saw their intentions and sprang into action, and they failed to do the thing.

Weirdness like bodies pulling levers or levers being stuck halfway, to me, feel like mitigating the foresight and positioning players put into intercepting the NPC and denying them their reward, and while I think the rule does allow for that to happen if the GM determines it could make sense in the narrative I think we ought to apply that nebulous concept of common sense and reserve those sorts of contrivances for when it's genuinely the most logical outcome or when it's clearly making the game more fun. If I'm going to have situations where unconscious bodies are pulling levers, it's probably going to be in the PC's favor.

Unicore wrote:
I have long advocated for more proficiencies and no attributes, with perhaps a grab bag of “attribute feats” or “characteristic feats” that characters could get that would work more like backgrounds and give bonuses to a number of linked proficiencies. So if “Strong” was one, it could give a bonus to melee unarmed and weapon attacks, damage with melee and thrown attacks, and athletics checks, and carrying capacity, but there could be variants on it like “scrappy” that do some of that, but not all of it and give some other bonuses instead. Maybe each one gives less and characters start with more or you link a bunch of stuff together and just give one or two. Having some that don’t feel as powerful to metagame analysis wouldn’t be that big a deal because new ones could be released and the types of boons they give could be more varied, like backgrounds can be. That would be a very different game though. And is maybe beyond the scope of this thread.

I mean, it'd be very different in terms of "I don't think there's a reasonable way to make this a variant rule" but I don't think that game would appeal to a completely different audience. 2e's all about feats, and making yet more of the system be feats wouldn't likely alienate anyone who wasn't already on board with a feat heavy system. I maybe wouldn't want something like "you get bonus damage to melee weapons" where it's essentially mandatory depending on class, I think the choice to put your dice bonus to melee weaponry can be simplified into a single decision as part of a subclass feat or archetype without the need to filter through feats to find which ones you absolutely must take to function, but the *gist* I feel is interesting.

I hope the idea keeps floating around long enough that by the time there's talks of a third edition Paizo's willing to make more drastic changes like these, without the same limitations that came with appealing to existing 1e players during 2e's playtest. I think the only real "core" thing to 2e that would have to stay to stay interesting to people would be the feat-centric rules, the focus on balance and tactical team focused combat, and maybe the three action economy so long there's no brilliant alternative.

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exequiel759 wrote:

I wouldn't be surprised an hyphothetic 3rd edition overhauled the amount of stats and how they work since most of the things in the Remater were made to go away from D&D, though at the same time I wouldn't be surprised they didn't because the six stats are an easy way to sell the game as a "D&D-like" (see how many people had an outrage with some Remaster changes because they removed X thing that came from D&D).

Also since it's most likely that if this were to happen Constitution would be merged into Strength, which ironically would kinda be a Dexterity buff since at least in PF2e Dex characters want to increase their Strength already (unless they are thieves) but they also obviously need Con so if you merge both together you'll be benefiting Dex characters a lot. I guess pure Str-based characters would still have both more damage and HP than Dex-based ones so that could compensate itself?

It's not like this system is going to be released tomorrow or anything, so this is literally pure speculation.

Hell, there's a variant rule that actually does this. It's not popular as it makes some very fundamental changes to the system that isn't supported in any VTT's that I know of and whose benefit is mostly "you can shift numbers around different" but I could imagine a 3e that does change out hte attributes.

However, I'm definitely in the camp of "remove attributes entirely." There's already a trend for TTRPG's to try to move away from the D&D bioessentialist roots, and having literal numbers describing exactly how smart or fit you are has some uncomfortable real word parallels.

I don't think it'd be morally bad to keep attributes, mind, it's simply a trend I've observed and I enjoy putzing with stats in many video games, but in Pathfinder attribute arrays tend to not be very interesting decisions to begin with. Especially with KAS, many classes really only want a particular array, give or take a boost in a tertiary attribute, with the "variety" simply being a different ironclad array needed to support a particular build. They're not really build-defining or interesting in themselves, they're simply the numbers you need to shift around to make the actually interesting decisions you made - weapons, archetypes, feats, spells - work.

Having a convoluted rework where we're separating out DEX into two stand and combining STR and CON and all this other stuff seems less interesting than simply having players explicitly state their intentions with a build and then by default making them *good* at the things they've chosen to do. Throw more feats in, those are fun. Fighters that can switch between rapiers and mauls and bows or specialize in one of those depending on feat choice, and then if htey take an archetype to cast spells then the only forethought required there is that they took the archetype and the archetype itself is responsible for making sure it's balanced rather than MAD restrictions. If a bard invests feats into doing melee then they can do melee.

It's likely more complicated than I'm making it out to be, since most TTRPG's use attributes of some kind, but I'd love for a third edition that just assumes you've got a +4 or whatever to your class's schtick, a +3 or +2 to an archetype's schtick, a set amount of HP that only gets modified if you go out of your way to do that, and so on. It seems like it would remove a lot of complexity in the system that isn't providing a porportionate amount of depth, which would make room to add complex stuff (like more feats) that *do* add more depth.

I've used it for portraits to use in Foundry, particularly the Theatre Inserts module, because having faces of *some* sort on screen to correspond with characters does a lot to help everyone keep track of who is who. I don't particularly trust it with actual writing, though. Using it to generate names seems doable, though there's plenty of more tradiional name generators that can actually pull from Golarian lore to get lore-friendly names. Dungeon Alchemy as a program seems interesting as that's probably the only way I'd bother with 3D maps, a way to quickly bullshit battlemaps, but I'm not entirely sure how much of that is "AI" versus having a reasonable handmade algorithm for defining room types and making sure things like food are placed on top of plates. I enjoy making maps in applications like Dungeondraft so I'd rather spend the time to make something that's actually designed to be fun to play in and has a bit more thought put into the visuals, but I can see someone wanting something prettier than older dungeon generation tools.

Basically, it's not great at anything, so its applications are gonna be limited to when the alternative is gonna be even worse, like my shaky hands trying to draw something. That works out pretty well for home games, but obviously nobody wants to pay money for something an "AI artist" made (and then there's the broader issues of companies salivating at the thought of not needing to pay artists, or at least holding AI over their heads to argue for lower compensation).

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If I went with "what sounds better to run the game with" rather than a strict RAW interpretation, I would say that runes ought to be recoverable from destroyed items, for the purposes of not making destruction be essentailly worse than character death. You can roll a new character if your old one died and not be horribly behind in WBL, but if a player invested a ton into an item that then is destroyed then they're so far behind in WBL that they might as well kill off the character and roll a new one. The counterpoint to this would be "well then just make sure they get more treasure to compensate" but then why not just have the runes be salvageable in the first place to avoid the plot contrivances? Old sword got melted, go buy a new one and put the magic into it.

Runes are magic, they can function however we need them to function to make the game fun. They got introduced for the same reason, to make it so players could theoerically use whatever weapon or armor or shield or whatever they wish like a family heirloom and have it grow with them.

For the purposes of destroying evil Macguffins, requiring rituals to actually destroy them (and the magic in their runes) is in keeping with popular fiction and requires enough intent that either the players are doing it to an NPC or hte GM is really out to ruin a PC's day.

Buying a new base item still isn't cheap and you're still unable to use the item until you reach a settlement where you can buy a new one. It also normalizes the cost when running with Automatic Bonus Progression, there's not as wide a gap between ABP and vanilla games for when an item gets destroyed.

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keftiu wrote:
Also: the difference between grabbing a random picture off of deviantArt to serve as a character portrait and having an AI spit one out is that you can still source the former. There's no credit given to the giant bucket of artists whose work is being ripped off by the algorithm - to say nothing of how many chatbot evangelists claim the end result is an original work of art they themselves made.

it's about as sourceable as a de la soul song, which also is grabbing the IP of many artists. lots of songs have very short samples that haven't been identified, lost to time. and that doesn't really change that at many tables, people don't source their portraits because nobody at the table cares. what good is the "theoritcal" ability to source artwork if it's not exercised and nobody bothers to go look it up?

this isn't an objection based on material harm done to artists, it's still just moralizing art, and it still has the same problems of applying NFT logic to home games and ignoring the actual core of the issue which is labor relations to capital. cory doctorow has gone on about this topic in a way that's pretty convincing, adopting this myopic IP-centric argument against AI absolutely will be used against artists as companies simply use their vast, vast troves of IP to train "ethical" AI anyways that, in practice, is basically indistinguishable from the "unethically sourced" AI but still does the same material harm of reducing the wages of artists. a linked list of artists the AI probably drew from doesn't make that any better.

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keftiu wrote:

If you can point me to one that uses an ethically-sourced data set instead of stealing from uncredited artists en masse, I'll be nice about AI stuff.

Until then? I'm not interested in what a blind algorithm spits out by ripping off people. It doesn't help that the folks who like it are some of the loudest evangelicals on the internet today.

sure, but again nabbing character art off of google images has been the norm for decades. iunno why just now suddenly we should all start pretending the neoliberal conception of intellectual property matters for home games, as though the only "ethical" ways to have character art for a game of adult make beleive are to either draw stick figures, go to art school, or comission artwork for hundreds of dollars. being so bold as to run an unauthorized IP as a setting for a game liek Star Wars or Pokémon is right out too because oh no we don't own that intellectual property either.

the issue with AI art comes down to that of labor, of companies using AI generation as a way to discipline labor and drive down the wages of artists. framing it in terms of IP only benefits those same companies, 'cause guess who owns those IP's? even imgur could easily add a "you must affirm you have permission to upload content to our website and consent to its use in AI" or whatever and turn this whole IP-based argument against AI against those same aritsts, just as the moral panic over sampling only benefited record labels instead of protecting any artists.

if we were talking about anything commercial, where artists are actually being screwed over in the name of increasing some company's margins on a product, sure, there's an actual public interest. but when we're morally condeming the use of AI art in literally home games then it ends up boiling down to either moralizing art or reifying the same horrible copyright laws that we would normally recognize as the abusive tools of the wealthy to pretend that it's possible to own ideas for the sake of extracting money out of everyone. like at the least we should be able to say that there exists certain s0paces, like home games, that at least morally exist outside The Market™ and that it's OK to ignore IP law and that it would be bad to introduce such invasive IP standards that it's not OK To pretend your character is Darth Vader or use some shitty facsimile of his likeness. we have all been "stealing art" to use as forum avatars and character portraits and character concepts for decades, don't give up this private space to property law too.

tl;dr don't take up NFT logic trying to argue that it's morally bad to use AI art in private for completley noncommerical purposes

Pathfinder's always kind of made using other settings a bit of a pain in the ass, it's not really made with other settings in mind. The gods all have bespoke benefits for their clerics, including weapon proficiencies, that have reasonably significant build implications which makes homebrewing a whole new pantheon annoyingly involved. So it's often easier to at *least* copy paste those exact gods over. There's also a decent amount of Golarion specific feats, though none of them are particularly vital and are easy enough to just blanket disallow (and you can optionally make your own feats for your own setting's factions both to serve directly as player options and to sneak in some lore dumps they'll actually read).

I don't miss much about 5e but I do miss its assumption that that one system will be used with completely different settings with completely different tones. Golarion sorta is like that, but it ties everything into a kitchen sink setting. It's a very fun, rich kitchen sink setting that has enough variety that you can pull off most campaign concepts without needing to use anotehr setting, but you've got steampunk gun twirlers bordering fantasy Russian peasants under the tsar. It's not quite as great as being able to go for a completely new setting, unattached to over a decade of Golarion lore, with its own history, its own ancestries, its own cosmology, etc. In a future edition I hope some stuff is altered to make homebrewing new settings a bit easier and that maybe Paizo puts out a second setting to go with it.

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I do like the idea of moving away from the tag altogether and focusing more on the actual heuristic Paizo's been using to judge whether something ought to be a monk weapon. Avoids the need to throw "monk" on anything Asian and lets people use weird weapons that represent unorthodox martial art traditions from around the world.

I do think a thing to consider is the ergonomics of actually building a character with such a change. If a more complicated heuristic is needed, tags help people quickly visually filter what is and isn't relevant without leaving too much room for error. But the problem is having a tag literally applies a label. Maybe if the tag is literally applied to *all* weapons that meet whatever heuristic, that would avoid the tag having that orientalist bent... at least so long Asian weapons aren't pigeonholed into being foreign, exotic advanced weapons with lots of traits while European weapons are more straightforward damage dealers (and more often represented on optimized builds as a result) because they're "normal."

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In general I dislike people shutting down discussions with baseless assertions that their feedback does not matter. I'd rather have a thread of people trying to interpret the game and its balance and that maybe not bearing fruit than have a thread spend its first posts arguing about whether to even have the thread in the first place. I know the Roll20 forums used to explicitly disallow this, though they had an upvote system to more organically decide which threads deserved attention without any need for naysaying to weed actually bad ideas out.

It's hard to know what scope of changes are even on the table for the alchemist. It's always been in a rough spot as the first class that did magic without spell slots in this system, and despite its reworks it's still often seen as not quite there. Some of the feats, at hte least, certainly need to be reworked; as mentioned earlier, spending level 18 feat for something that situational that also has a ton of conditions on top of it is just wey out of line with what other classes are able to do with their own level 18 slots. A level 8 feat from another class would probably beat that out, almost regardless of build, that's not a good place for such a top shelf class feat to be.

Ascalaphus wrote:

If I look in the current CRB in the introduction, there's a series of steps to build a character.

Page 22: pick a concept
Page 23-24: overview of ancestries and classes
Page 25: anatomy of the character sheet, followed by select your ancestry.
Page 26: pick background and class

So you've already had a moment to see ancestries and classes together, along with ability modifiers for both of them. So first you review the ABCs, then you actually pick your ABCs.

So for anyone who actually reads all that, they get everything you're asking for. You're worrying about strict handholding the people who didn't read the initial handholding.

The issue is that the advice that everyone simply review the entire system before making any choices isn't going to work for people that prefer to follow a list to learn the process in chunks. "But the first step says you gotta read the whole book first" isn't really a gotcha, it's just not how someone already overwhelmed by the system is going to handle it. It's an option, sure, bit for those specifically coming in without prior TTRPG experience and want to follow a step by steo guide where step 1 isn't "drsw the rest of the owl", there's gonna be an order of choices that'll minimize the need to revisit steps and make sure a new player has a guide in front of them for their character ss soon as possible.

I don't think it's that uncommon to run into people who go through lists in numerical order when trying something new, I'm not entirely sure where all these "they should form thr entire concept on their head first" comments are coming from. If you're doing that then this thread isn't about you, it's about a different set of needs whose accommodation will not harm you.

If someone is claiming ABC is an easier order going into the game for the first time for whatever reason, I might disagree (boiling down to C having good advice that would be hydroxyl to know early on) but like at least that is still actually focusing on accessibility, there it's still an understanding lots of people need an ordered list. It's not dismissing the idea someone might want or need that accessibility tool at all.

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The Raven Black wrote:
I did miss the description of the Holy and Unholy traits in the Remastered Core Preview. Thank you.

I'll certainly be disappointed if the possibility of having morally bad Holy and morally good Unholy characters is written off. Those are reasonably popular tropes in media, bad guys with holy aesthetics or even "good" gods themselves being villains as well as brooding anti-heroes who question the moralizing nature of calling this or that "evil" based on some line drawn or association with a particular thing that has no actual moral weight. At the very least, having options like tieflings or sorcerors that have some sort of Unholy power that makes them a little weak to Holy attacks without that requiring them actually be villainous is the sort of interesting option I'd want on the table, ways to dip into stereotypically evil things without running into the problem of being Henry Kissinger in a party full of Anthony Bourdains.

pixierose wrote:
Not to mention If I recall the first actual step is concept, which would/should vaguely include what kind of stuff you vaguely want to do.

The issue is that, for a player who is reliant on the order of steps because they're reading the book for the first time and don't know anything about Pathfinder, they *can't* really form a meaningful concept because they have no context for what the system will permit. It's still a good first step to alert more experienced players that it's unimportant which you actually do first, but it's not really a relevant step for someone that is trying to, line by line, learn how to make a character for the first time (possibly in any RPG ever) and then play their first game. After all, anyone with enough GM experience has probably ran into new players who do in fact start with a concept only to get really, really frustrated when a system doesn't actually *support* that concept. You can't conceptualize being an angry little cactus person with a tiny wooden battleaxe until you are at least aware Leshys are an option and that Barbarians are a class, and if you conceptualize without browsing any options you might get really attached to an idea of a necromancer summoning an army of undead without realizing that's not an option in this game. For someone that can conceptualize and build along that plan, the order of the steps is irrelevant.

And besides, even if they *do* start with a concept, they're still gonna need to pick one of the three things first - so it's still helpful to suggest picking the class first for the reasons I'm laying out.

Dancing Wind wrote:
It's pretty explicit that there is no one way to develop a character. A 'suggestion' is not a 'rule'.

Sure, but I don't think anyone's implying that it's a rule. I'm talking about making it more ergonomic, changing the suggestion to make the process a bit faster and easier so that from the earliest possible step they've got a build guide helping them make the rest of their choices. A lot of people learn things by going down a list and sticking to it, building their character like one would build a Lego model from the instruction book, so ordering things in a way that makes that easier helps that kind of player.

Ascalaphus wrote:
My main advice would be "you aren't locked into your choices when you flip to the next chapter". Making a character should be a process of going back and forth. After looking at classes you might have a new take on ancestries. After looking at ancestries you might want to revisit your class choice.

That is indeed very good advice and worth reiterating. However, I don't think the issue is that most new players aren't able to intuit they're allowed to do this, my concern is rather that having to redo steps is likely frustrating and annoying to new players, if they even know that they should (because their attribute array ends up being really bad because they picked at random because they didn't know what they all did or have that class guide to inform them of a reasonable build plan).

That is, it's likely faster and easier for a new player, with fewer instances of backtracking, if they start with their class. Think of how many times a new player's got fewer boosts than they're supposed to have because they forgot they didn't add their attributes from the prior step yet but then changed their mind and took them away anyways (basically giving themselves a penalty) to respec it, needing you to spot their mistake. That's easier to avoid if we order things to mitigate the need to go back a step.

Another benefit of starting with class is that if it's the first step, then even during a session zero where everyone is making their characters together where some people will be faster at it than others, it means that class choice is more likely to be a collaborative decision. Everyone is picking their class at the same time, so it's easier for the group to sort of coordinate if they wish - even if they're new to 2e, they likely have the basic idea of what a balanced party in an RPG looks like and can at least avoid stepping on one another's mechanical toes too much. That might not be important for all tables, but I find that most groups I've played with naturally tend to want to do this anyways, or at least one player is really concerned about "being what the party needs" and would benefit from knowing what everyone's picking up front. It's also an opportunity for more experienced players to share information on the available choices when they aren't already busy focusing on their own character.

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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

I argue that for the majority of players they either:

A. Have system knowledge enough to not be hindered.
B. Are so new they are probably better off choosing an ancestry and then background before class, because both help form the idea of a character for a new player.

I mean, I'd say a class also helps form the idea of a character for a new player. It just also has the advantage of working out more smoothly and more naturally resulting in a reasonably functioning character if someone is learning the system step by step, since knowing what a Key Ability is and what yours is more naturally guides even brand new players to getting that 18 in their attack, rather than the kinda common sight of a new player picking attributes that are irrelevant to their class because at the time they didn't know what that class would be.

The class entries in general have useful build advice for novices to know which attributes to prioritize, so then when they go to pick their ancestry they might know to opt for the variant boosts without having to backtrack and redo any steps, and might have a better picture of what ancestry feat will complement their class. And then leaving the background for last lets that step do its job of being flexible, filling in the gaps from the prior two steps rather than a player investing in a lot of INT before they notice their class's advice says that INT isn't very useful for their class.

I'd say that starting with ancestry + background is actually better left as more of an advanced thing, something a player might want to do if they've got a picture in their head already or are already familiar enough with the system to go looking for a class that might work well with it, or are otherwise experienced enough that they can handle their attributes not being quite as optimized as they should be without struggling too much during 2e's more difficult early levels.

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Magus not having INT definitely fails the vibe check. When I think of a magus in the Pathfinder/D&D sense, I'm thinking of a warrior scholar, a sword in one hand and potentially a spellbook in the other. Mechanically, I'm sure there's different ways to either justify having INT be important/at least reasonably optional, but if the Magus class is not actually benefiting from having the highest or one of the highest +INT bonuses to the booksmart skills then it undermines the fantasy of the class. I'd be fine with maybe having different mental attributes for different spellcasting traditions in a rework, like a divine magus to have RAW way to capture that classic 1e divine nuker paladin archetype, but having *something* to make them feel more like they're a legitmate caster that just so happens to also see value in stabbing people and has blended the two practices together I think is important.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, if I'm GMing and someone told me "hey, Arcane Cascade doesn't work" my response would be "sure it does" and I hope we could leave it at that. Please don't argue with me that your stuff doesn't work.

Even if your response was correct - which I really don't think it is, though I'm sure how you assume it works is perfectly fair and functional - not taking the time to explain to a player that is struggling to understand how something works is going to create problems, both in terms of play when they inevitably end up using their abilities incorrectly (if they didn't know after reading it and possibly looking online for an answer, how would they learn the correct interpretation if you were unwilling to share it?) and socially. Responding to genuine concerns, even those you might think are silly, is either going to clarify it for your player or make you aware of something, since just being the GM doesn't mean you know the rules perfectly either or aren't capable of learning something new.

Which makes Arcane Cascade's ambiguity annoying, because it certainly is frustrating for a GM that has assumed the rules function on a basic level to then need to make a call on the mechanical balance of a class with likely zero context. It would be nice if Paizo would pick one of the common interpretations and just said "until the Magus rework comes out, just go with this for now."

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I know it's not quite as cute as having an ABC character system (Ancestry, Background, Class), but virtually anyone with any experience in nearly any RPG will advise their players to pick a class first instead of an ancestry. Sure, ABC makes sense in terms of chronological order of events - you're born, you go through life, and then you become a level 1 adventurer - but in terms of making life much easier for new players, most should be picking a class that looks fun/cool and then]/i] picking an ancestry and background.

This puts the most mechanically impactful decision first and lets a new player use that Key Ability to guide all their other decisions, without needing to go back and redo certain steps because oh it turns out this background doesn't gel with the class I picked or the ancestry feat I picked out like that first step told me to is kinda redundant considering my class or I should have gone for the variant boosts because the ancestry I liked has a penalty to my class's Key Ability.

I know it won't ever really be changed in PF2e, but maybe by PF3e we could make that small change to set players up for success, especially those that really need a step-by-step list to learn. Obviously anyone can do any of the steps out of order, but that requires a certain level of confidence that a player not used to very crunchy RPG's might not yet have, and since they are unlikely to have any set preferences about the "right" way to make a character that's a prime opportunity to nudge them closer to what seems to work for [i]most people.

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I just want more class archetypes, in general. A lot of what attracts someone to the idea of a class is a vibe or mechanic, but then something else about the default assumptions of the class contradicts that. Pf1 had a ton of class archetypes that allowed you to play pretty radically different versions of a class, to the point where they were basically a new class made that just hapoened to share some ideas from the base class. If people insist on having "Wizard" on the tin because they want an INT based nerd that reads so much they learn to do magic, why not make class archetypes to that end that make the class better suited to a simpler playstyle but keeping the basic identity and feat pool? If people don't like the Psychic for having the wrong vibes, I think you can port the mechanical gist of it to a CA to plamt on an arcane class.

For blasters, at least, you can use hueristics to restrict a spell list. Fir a warcaster archetyoe, it could be something like only cantrips that do a minimum of 2d4 damage baseline or 1d6 per spell rank for slotted spells, or thereabouts, with thw intent to permit some level of additional rider effects to still have sufficient spell variety, and them adjust from thete for wonkier spells that are obviously primarily damage but fail that heuristic.

You could then provide a list of spells that you have preconfirmed are OK using that heuristic (so players have an easiwr time browsing) and then say to use the hueristic for any new content.

Harder to do for fuzzier themes, which is probably why the new wizard schools are so wishy-washy with GM fiat.

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The only errata Power Attack might need is a name change, both to avoid potential OGL nonsense (it's such a generic name that I doubt it'd be an issue anyways, but maybe Paizo already changed it out of an abundance of caution) and to better communicate what its purpose is so people don't feel disappointed that it isn't good at things it was never meant to be good at. It's meant to work around resistances or otherwise exploit temporary buffs or opportunities that only impact a single Strike, it's not meant to be (nor does 2e's design goals permit) a general bread-and-butter attack that you try to do as much as possible. The only exception to this general design principle is the Flurry Ranger.

The only "buff" I'd offer to 2h builds is more feat options at level 1 that are maybe generically good to better exploit that they don't really need any feats to work well. Maybe feats that explicitly only work well with 2h non-reach weapons and not 2h reach weapons, since the drop from d12 to d10 damage IMO isn't by itself enough to compensate for the many advantages reach grants you. Reach fighters are really the most visible "OP" end of the current Pathfinder meta whose only real drawback is the very slight damage nerf relative to non-reach weapons and the lack of a martial d10 hammer or flail reach weapon, since stunlocking with that crit effect is so powerful. But since the latter is confirmed as being nerfed into something far more reasonable, I could see an argument that a Fighter feat to make taking a greatsword or greataxe be a bit better would make some sense. Maybe in the form of feats that temporarily grant you Reach that won't stack with existing Reach weapons.

The Raven Black wrote:
Sanctified-only Champions is still my greatest fear as far as Remastered is concerned.

Gorum paladins, who are just really decent people in a way that's unrelated to their religious appreciation of combat. Alignment being shown the door opens up a lot more interesting takes on how people approach religion in the setting.

Also, please, for the ironic love of God, RAW option to not have a god as a champion and that not mechanically matter. Don't make people have to negotiate this with their GM and bring up their reasons why, make it so people can just show up to the first session having never mentioned it and the GM never commenting on it.

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WWHsmackdown wrote:
Unicore wrote:

I will only make this one post in this thread and then leave it for folks who want to homebrew new options for their own tables, but this very much is a homebrew thread.

The remastered wizard is long done at this point. Asking for things like new and more interesting schools, focus spells and class feats is still something that could result in new printed options, and there is a possibility of archetypes like Elementalist, Rune Lord, cathartic mage, and Dragon Disciple being offered as ways to hone in specifically on thematic ideas, but that isn't about remastering the wizard, a process which, for better or worse, was done entirely in house with minimal direct and specific feedback from players.

So I don't really know how to treat this like "something more positive," for players frustrated at the decisions made about the wizard remastery, because nothing anyone posts here possibly could change the wizard remastery, even if it was the best, most universally loved idea possible. The best case scenario for class-based changes to the structure of the wizard here would be a homebrew class that became exceedingly popular amongst players, but it would still need to be homebrew first at this point.

Squaring up like a linebacker towards all dissenting opinion is tiring to watch, Unicore, and that's coming from soneone who agrees with 70 percent of the stuff you say.

In their defense, it is useful context to know Paizo's not going to implement any of this in time for the Remaster so people aren't getting their hopes up, though yeah in general I dislike people trying to shut down/derail discussions others are finding useful.

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With alignment being removed and "good" and "evil" no longer necessarily lining up one-to-one with being holy or unholy, I think a post-Asmodeus conflict in hell could be a lot more interesting and have more nuanced personalities that players could care about. The holy gods could also be less than perfect or have a genuine prick amongst their ranks that's aligned out of cosmic convenience rather than any sense of genuine benevolence towards mortals. Holy gods politcking to make sure their favored ruler of Hell gains power sounds like ripe fodder for drama, or at least Sarenrae cooperating with some sympathetic devils to sneak some souls out of Hell. Or maybe a holy god becomes unholy to fill that power vacuum in what they think at the time is the most expedient way to avoid a bloodbath, suffering the rejection of their old allies and the distrust of the other unholy gods.

Also gotta agree, it'd be disappointing to see Lamashtu go right when alignment's gone. Without being labelled as either good or evil per se, there's a lot more room for nuance with her that I would appreciate.

Blave wrote:
Not a thing right now. Might be a thing in the remaster, though. Always felt weird that fighters and champions in light armor can't use one of their class features.

Melee DEX fighters are already getting some better feat support, so it makes sense for that to be part of shoring up on what's admittedly a somewhat underwhelming playstyle for fighters. I don't think archer fighters/champions would be too strong if they got this and it does avoid that bad feeling of letting a class feature go to waste.

Responding to a criticism of how culture is portrayed in 2e with mechanical advice like "just don't take the clan dagger" is completely missing the point. They're clearly not a player who simply doesn't want a free knife.

Tolkien freely admitted he based his dwarves on (his assumptions about) Jews, so it's a bit like how orcs carry a lot of baggage from Tolkien's (also freely admitted) anti-Asian racism. It's more complicated than the situation with orcs as there's a massive shift in how he portrayed dwarves between writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, 'cause WWII happened and a lot of the passive antisemitism he absorbed as a very British dude was put into a horrific context. He did actually get a lot better in his lifetime and of course he famously told a Nazi publisher to f~$$ off.

So with that context, having a cultural practice that all dwarves do regardless of heritage can be seen as questionable, especially when the specifically Jewish-coded ancestry is the one sticking out with this ancestry-wide practice. Not every criticism about these sorts of things has to be "a sky citadel" to be worth at least talking honestly about, OP is not accusing Paizo of being antisemites and reacting to a fairly tame criticism with this kind of defensiveness is more embarassing for the community than just accepting that untangling TTRPG's from a problematic past is tricky. It's the sort of thing Paizo already prides itself on trying to do, so it's completely unnecessary to try to derail it by calling it bait and responding in bad faith.

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Mathmuse wrote:

Another factor in that as the gap between a character's attack modifier and non-attack modifiers and MAP increases, the more value a character will likely see in spending all three actions on attacking. This would likely reduce the tactical complexity of the game, with fighters and gunslingers in particular getting absolutely absurd crit ranges that make not attacking even more punishing.

With more spread out boosts capped at +5 at 10 and +6 at 20, characters would have stronger defensive stats, namely HP, that would probably still be problematic, just not in the sense that monsters are getting critted into oblivion but rather that they'll struggle much more targeting the no-longer-weak saves of players and needing to deal a chunk more damage to boot to deal with the increased player HP. Not as dramatic an issue, but like maybe monsters would need to be a level higher than normal, at least once you get past level 10 and the extra attribute boosts come into effect.

Feragore wrote:

I like the double-boosting idea, but it was pointed out to me that taking the double-boost at 10 means you can only boost 3 attributes. If you are reasonably MAD that you care about 4 attributes, or have two dump stats, then this system would force you to boost the 5th stat you don't care about.

Consider a heavy-armor champion that decides they have no need for DEX or INT. Starting with a 4-2-2-1-0-0 array, they can boost STR/CON/CHA/WIS, then STR/CON/CHA/WIS again at 10 for a 5-4-4-3-0-0 array at level 10.

With double-boosting, they're forced to take a dump stat as they can't invest in STR. So their boosts look like CON/CHA/WIS/INT and STR/STR/CON/CHA for a 5-4-4-2-1-0 array at 10th.

While they get the extra 5th stat from levels 5-9, it's not something this example cares much for, so they end up with a weaker array at 10-14, losing out on their 4th priority stat.

You normally may not increase an attribute above +4.

Beginning at level 5, you may spend two boosts to boost any one attribute twice, up to a maximum of +4. You may only do this once per level up.

Beginning at level 10, you may spend two boosts to boost your key attribute from +4 to +5.

Beginning at level 15, you may spend two boosts to boost up to a maximum of three attributes from +4 to +5.

Beginning at level 20, you may spend two boosts to boost your key attribute from +4 to +5.


So to show my work:

Level 1
Base starting array: 4 2 2 1 0 0

Level 5
My system: 4 4 3 2 0 0 (legal RAW array, just start with 3 3 2 1 0 0)
RAW: 4* 3 3 2 0 0

Level 10
My system: 5 4 4 3 0 0
RAW: 5 4 4 3 0 0

Level 15
My system: 5 5 5 3 0 0
My system, alternate: 5 5 4 4 1 0
RAW: 5* 4* 4* 4 0 0

Level 20
My system: 6 5 5 4 1 0
RAW: 6 5 5 4 1 0


Now it should be one-to-one With RAW. The restriction on doing it once per level up is necessary to avoid it being possible to have a 4 4 4 1 0 0 array at level 5 with a two free boost ancestry, which RAW isn't possible (and that's one of the things I like about RAW, forcing you to have a reasonable spread of values for attributes). My older restriction that it only be available if you can't otherwise boost four different attributes was more complicated and ultimately unnecessary.

Raiztt wrote:
Here's the question: Will by game explode into a fiery conflagration if I just say all stat boosts are +2, period.

I'm assuming you're referring to ability scores like 14 or 16, not the new modifier only system. It results in some odd behavior as characters can get a higher attack stat earlier if there are no level requirements, and if it isn't capped at all it definitely breaks the existing system with absurd crit ranges, it will likely increase player HP considerably as players have a lot of extra boosts that they can pump into attributed they wouldn't normally prioritize. Medium armor basically loses a decent chunk of its niche as it becomes much harder to avoid levelling DEX, heavy armor still has the +1 AC and Bulwark to justify itself. Certain claases and builds that do not have their key attribute as their attack stat like Alchemist and Ki Monk get a considerable buff to their accuracy. MAD classes in general get a big buff.

Not unworkable, fine as a house rule if you understand the effects or otherwise feel the things it buffs (and by extension relatively nerfs) need the buffs. Free attribute respecs om level ups are a similarly simple to write out houserule that won't disrupt the balance beyond what is possible RAW.

Feragore wrote:

I like the double-boosting idea, but it was pointed out to me that taking the double-boost at 10 means you can only boost 3 attributes. If you are reasonably MAD that you care about 4 attributes, or have two dump stats, then this system would force you to boost the 5th stat you don't care about.

Consider a heavy-armor champion that decides they have no need for DEX or INT. Starting with a 4-2-2-1-0-0 array, they can boost STR/CON/CHA/WIS, then STR/CON/CHA/WIS again at 10 for a 5-4-4-3-0-0 array at level 10.

With double-boosting, they're forced to take a dump stat as they can't invest in STR. So their boosts look like CON/CHA/WIS/INT and STR/STR/CON/CHA for a 5-4-4-2-1-0 array at 10th.

While they get the extra 5th stat from levels 5-9, it's not something this example cares much for, so they end up with a weaker array at 10-14, losing out on their 4th priority stat.

If we dropped the "can't boost four different attributes" requirement and just let you do that at any level, would that fix that? With the cap for double boosting being +4, I don't think this would let you get any array that isn't already legal, so maybe that was an overly cautious restriction to begin with. Maybe restrict it to doing it only once per increase if it's otherwise possible to get four +4's early.

Super Zero wrote:
Helmic wrote:

You normally may not boost any attribute above +4.

At level 10 and any level thereafter, you may spend two boosts to boost your class's key attribute from +4 to +5.

At level 15 and any level thereafter, you may spend two boosts to boost any attribute from +4 to +5. You may only ever have up to three attributes at +5 or higher.

At level 20, you may spend two boosts to boost your class's key attribute from +5 to +6.

If you ever cannot boost four different attributes due to these maximum limits, instead of spending two boosts to boost an attribute to +5 or +6, you may instead spend two boosts to boost one attribute from +2 to +4, +1 to +3, +0 to +2, or -1 to +1.

And what is the gain from using this far more complicated system?

Aside from being a completely new system and not a Remaster of the existing system, a lot of these proposed alternatives are... really complicated. And don't get any benefit out of that complication.

It's not far more complicated. It's the same as has been discussed, except boosting to +5 and +6 still costs two boosts, there's a cap on how many +5's and +6's you can have based on level (matching the current system), and there's an option to double boost a lower attribute. Only the quoted bit here is the actual rules, the rest of it is simply a side by side comparison to show that it gets (almost) the exact same results as RAW but without any dead levels, so it's not doing anything the system cannot currently handle in terms of balance. It's about as simple as the skill rules while eliminating the need to track anything like partial boosts between level ups.

You normally may not boost any attribute above +4.

At level 10 and any level thereafter, you may spend two boosts to boost your class's key attribute from +4 to +5.

At level 15 and any level thereafter, you may spend two boosts to boost any attribute from +4 to +5. You may only ever have up to three attributes at +5 or higher.

At level 20, you may spend two boosts to boost your class's key attribute from +5 to +6.

If you ever cannot boost four different attributes due to these maximum limits, instead of spending two boosts to boost an attribute to +5 or +6, you may instead spend two boosts to boost one attribute from +2 to +4, +1 to +3, +0 to +2, or -1 to +1.


A breakdown of how this compares to various RAW strategies. An asterisk (*) denotes the baseline standard optimization plan for a level 20 character that wants a +6 in their key attribute. Bold compares the "best" arrays at each level, assuming you want the highest key attribute. Italics compares arrays going for 3 +5's at level 15, a more all-round array that's probably the best option for any characters playing from 15-19. Please point out any errors, I rechecked everything but I may have made a typo somewhere.

Level 1
A typical minmaxed array with a 3 boost / 1 penalty ancestry: 4 3 2 1 0 -1
An array arranged for 3 +5's at level 15, RAW: 3 3 3 1 0 -1

Level 5
My system, going for maximum maxed out attributes: 4 4 3 2 1 -1
* RAW, going for as many maxed out attributes as possible: 4* 4 3 2 0 -1
RAW, maximum overall boosts (optimal spread): 4 4 3 2 1 -1
RAW, going for 3 +5's at level 15: 4 4 4 2 0 -1
My system, recreating the above by starting with the same array: 4 4 4 2 0 -1

Level 10
My system: 5 4 4 3 1 -1
* RAW, going for as many maxed out attributes as possible: 5 4* 4 3 0 -1
RAW, maximum overall boosts: 4 4 4 3 2 0
My system, maximum overall boosts: 4 4 4 3 2 0
RAW, boosting to 5 and then no longer using partial boosts (optimal spread): 5 4 4 3 1 -1
RAW, going for 3 +5's at level 15: 4* 4* 4* 3 0 -1
My system, recreating the above by starting with the same array: 5 4 4 3 1 -1

Level 15
My system: 5 5 5 3 1 -1
* RAW, going for as many maxed out attributes as possible: 5* 5 4* 3 0 -1
RAW, maximum overall boosts: 4* 4 4 4 3 1
My system, maximum overall boosts: 4 4 4 4 4 1 or 4 4 4 4 3 2
RAW, no longer using partial boosts: 5 5 4 4 1 0
My system, attempting to recreate the above array: 5 5 4 4 1 0 or 5 5 4 4 2 -1
RAW, going for 3 +5's: 5 5 5 4 0 -1 (not exactly the same)
My system, recreating the above by starting with the same array: 5 5 5 3 1 -1

Level 20
My system: 6 5 5 4 3 -1
* RAW, going for as many maxed out attributes as possible: 6 5 5 4 1 -1
My system, but eschewing a +6: 5 5 5 4 4 0 or 5 5 5 4 3 1
RAW, maximum overall boosts: 5 4* 4 4 4 2
My system, maximum overall boosts: 5 4 4 4 4 3


So you can see that these arrays are very close to RAW, able to use the best option from RAW at each level, no dead levels. Where the arrays differ the most is when going for an extreme all-rounder - my system is able to spread its attributes more evenly and doesn't ever get stuck putting a useless "partial boost" into something at level 20 when you have no possibility of turning it into a "full boost." I'd argue none of this introduces any more power than is already possible in the system, even on the same character if the GM is permitting respecs.

The exception is when going for 3 +5's at level 15. 5 5 5 3 1 -1 is very slightly worse than 5 5 5 4 0 -1, lots of classes will make use of four different attributes. Granted, my system is able to reach those 3 +5's without permanently sacrificing the ability to ever get a +6, but it's still annoying to have a slightly lower save or whatever to accomplish that, and this whole thread is about avoiding that sort of exchange.

I'm trying to think of a simple rule that would make it possible to get that exact same array without overcomplicating it, so if anyone's got an idea lemme know. Of course, if this was made RAW then 5 5 5 3 1 -1 would be the minmax at that level and 5 5 5 4 0 -1 wouldn't exist and I don't think that'd be bad per se (whole point of PF2e's attribute system is to force some diversification after all), but I imagine someone would take issue with losing that specific array.

Unicore wrote:
I am more and more convinced that one of the new classes is going to be the “seneschal” and it is going to be a leadership/mob class. I am not really sure what the mechanics of this class are going to be, but I am imagining a class that has a/+ companion/s and does a lot of aura buffing of allies. My favorite theory for the companion is that it will be a troop to start off with. I think it is entirely possible that one subclass could be “necromancer” and the troup/ally is undead. My personal vision for this class is that the main stat is constitution, and that it does class DC aura effects based on constitution, but it’s secondary attribute would be cha or INT, and I could see the necromancer being an INT subclass that even possibly gets MC spell casting like an eldritch trickster.

I really like the idea of being just a dude with an army. Just regular ass soldiers you commamd who collectively are about on par with a single other member of your party. Just a guy with his homies at all times. Or hell, not even being the guy but just playing as this collective, leaderless mob, going into dungeons and just overwhelming anything inside with sheer numbers.

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Aside from the Holy/Unholy thing, the lowercase e evil part of it is that necromancy in Golarian does not nice things to souls and the fabric of reality that make it a very jerkass thing to do, regardless of your damage resistances, and so it immediately puts one in conflict with most other people. It's the classic problem of most players wanting to play Anthony Bourdain and one player wanting to play Henry Kissinger - the other players can't be Anthony Bourdain anymore because they're not actually Anthony Bourdain if they do not beat Henry Kissinger to death with their bare hands. If you're playing Henry Kissinger, everyone else has to make characters that would tolerate the presence of Henry Kissinger.

Which, as Captain Morgan said, is a big showstopper for something as complicated as an entire class. Their approach of making a troop summoner class that has necromancy as an option sounds like the most viable way to go about it, it's easier to have niche options that can't work in every party or campaign if they're not by themselves taking up pages and pages of rules that took months of design and playtesting to create.

Perpdepog wrote:

I wouldn't mind if resistances became somewhat more common, but I'd be disappointed if immunities started showing up more frequently. Making the game more tactical is fun, but not everyone is looking for that in PF2, and it's never fun to find out the thing you are wanting to do gets shot down. We already have folks grumbling over not being able to sneak attack oozes, and that's been going on for multiple editions.

At least with a resistance the party can bull their way through it if they really, really don't feel like being tactical, and that's a choice they're making. Immunities don't offer that choice and can really hamper some concepts based on what the immunity is; see all the fear over pyrokineticists for another example.

To answer the original question though, no. I don't think we'll be seeing a sudden glut of resistances and immunities cropping up. It's probable that you've seen a bunch because a lot of creatures in Rage of Elements are elementals, and they traditionally have a bunch of resistances and immunities, but the game isn't really built around giving creatures loads of both those things as a matter of course, and I don't see why that'd need to change.

I think the main problem there is that rogues, and martials in general, have limited capacity to change their damage type, and so if a monster resists or is immune to their weapon - and often their one weapon, as Bulk and runes make keeping a backup weapon impractical - there's little recourse, you're expected to just power through it. Slashing/piercing (currently) doesn't count because practically nothing takes more piercing than slashing damage.

But for casters, they can often have multiple damage types at their disposal, and being able to exploit weaknesses is kind of a hallmark of magic users in video games. If the weaknesses, resistances, and immunities are more about magical damage types, then it can help make spells like the new Ignition cantrip have a role as being both a melee damage dealer and a backup ranged option for dealing a damage type your main ranged option doesn't.

Still an issue for themed casters, if you've got a fire sorcerer you don't necessarily want to be resisted constantly, but at least if the class mechanically supports that theming there's often something to help you work around that to deal your damage anyways.

Squiggit wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I do also like more weaknesses for creatures, but I also enjoy some of the incorporeal creatures and the like that feel impossible to fight until you figure out what you need to be doing, or you happen to have a reliable way of doing force damage.

The problem I have with resistance based enemies is that often times you don't really have the tools to "figure out what you need to be doing"

When our barbarian runs into a ghost with high physical resistance, he keeps hitting it and just does less damage, there really isn't much else in his kit.

When our rogue finds an enemy immune to precision damage, there isn't really a new and innovative way for them to fight it... they just do a lot less damage that combat.

When our kineticist bumps into the wrong kind of golem, they just kind of don't exist that fight.

Treating resistances and immunities as puzzles only works if solving the puzzle is an option, and for many characters it isn't.

Alchemists and arcane/primal spellcasters are the only ones who can really do this freely, and the spellcasters need the opportunity to disengage and reset to pull it off.

PF2 characters, especially martials, are just not very versatile by design. So a lot of these 'puzzles' aren't really.

Hmm, yeah I'm starting to see the issue. Cantrips sorta work but unless a class has an option to (quickly) flex to the correct damage type it would be more of a "you have to sit this one out" ordeal, or a forced retreat - and I'm not seeing anything from the "retreating's good actually" arguments that make me think that's really what the role of resistances and immunities should primarily be.

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Unicore wrote:
One possible consequences of making the PF2 and SF2 rules very compatible, is that it will make a much more tempting for a computer game company to develop a solid core system that could be used to make games for either, running entirely alongside the ORC License with no OGL content to worry about.

This is indeed exciting, but I wonder if by the time such an engine would be made that people's interest would have already shifted to a PF/SF3e by then. Like a common take is that we're maybe halfway through PF2e's lifecycle and games take a while to make, especially games being made after a TTRPG that isn't even going to be out until 2025 or later is released. I know my interest in the Owlcat games was diminshed significantly because I just prefer the 2e rules so very much over 1e. Though maybe 2e being so much more robust than 1e means a longer lifecycle, and thus more time for video games to come out while 2e's still all the rage?

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