Helmic's page

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I'm still a bit confused to the logic behind Sneak Attack. Like, let's assume that +d4 is good at level 4 and +d6 is good at level 6 (and it needed the boost to a d6 at level six to keep being good).

Why does this not scale at all past level 6?

Nearly everything else involving damage scales in the game, especially since you don't really attack more times as you level and HP is quite a bit higher. Even if a conditional +d6 is worth considering as a feat at level 6, how is it going to be relevant at level 14, or 20? If it needed to scale up at level 6, why couldn't it continue to scale up to keep it just as useful once you've got magical weapons involved? If having any +damage passive at all was too much of an issue if it's not built into the class, why those numbers? Would increasing it to 2d6 at 12th and 3d6 at 18th really have been too much given the inflation in damage and health by that point? 2d4 and 3d4?

The dual stat requirements are similarly hard to understand. Why only martials? What are these requirements preventing that would be a balance issue?

The Fighter dedication feat seems to grant really nothing to other martial classes which is really annoying, because then it's just a dead level where you didn't get anything from your class feat while you wait until level 4 to then sacrifice yet another class feat to finally get a level 2 Fighter feat.

Like if we're wanting to make a Fighter/Rogue multiclass that uses Combat Grab and/or other dirty fighting tricks to make an opponent flat-footed for Sneak Attack, it seems like that concept is going to have a lot of trouble working past level 6 due to the lack of scaling. If you instead go Rogue/Fighter, you get... basically jack s%*% until fourth level? It's not nearly as bad in the long term because you do get that scaling Sneak Attack and the Fighter does at least have good combat options, but the 1/2 level restriction and the difficulty of getting AoO makes you pay a pretty steep price for something more situational, all the while sacrificing your own class feats which are generally going to be pretty damn good.

I can sorta see the desire to make the dedication feat lopsided towards casters if the worry was that Fighter feats are way more valuable to other martials than to casters, but because of the 1/2 level restriction it seems like it can get difficult to really get decent use out of that unless you *really* have a very particular combination in mind that synergizes with your base class. A lot of the base martial classes already have their own versions of fighter feats and you still only have three actions per round. I don't know if that's really worth just kind of having a dead level where you just get an extra skill proficiency.

I just don't understand the thought processes behind this stuff. I get we need to wait until we get the whole book and play around with it, but it would be nice to know so I can set my expectations more in line with what PF2's trying to do here. Is it because Sneak Attack happens to be good even at level 20 and the reason it's so frontloaded is because to get it that early requires major sacrifices? Are martials classing into other martials too strong otherwise? Is there some sort of math that makes the dual stat requirements prevent a particular kind of cheese?

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I still don't think these alternatives do a lot to make a Smart Fighter in particular a great class, as simply having some Tactician archetype means that a Wizard or what have you that already wants Int is always going to be better suited for it. That is a weakness with the multiclass system, some combinations are out of the gate just going to be better than others and that can feel restrictive in its own right.

I think that having multiple dedication feats for the same archetype can help with this somewhat, by offering different entry points into the same class or archetype. Martial characters might be able to snag something special to bring them more up to par with INT casters so long they meet a Tactician archetype's high INT requirement.

That and I just really like new classes. They're great inspiration and they have the ability to really do something out of the box mechanically rather than just ask the player to spend a few hours trying to think of the bet way to emulate a concept that may very well turn out to be rubbish. A proper Synthesist is just easier to get excited about and get your imagination racing than trying to figure out how you can maaaybe get a Wild Druid to sorta do the same thing but not really.

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I really like the idea of Archetypes providing alternative entry points into the same class. A Zen Archer Dedication feat, then, could maybe grant a Monk a unique path into Fighter or Ranger feats that shapes them towards some of the things PF1 Zen Archers could do. Basically a step between a simple Dedication feat and a "prestige" archetype like Grey Maidens, you're given "half" access to a class by only getting access to the class feats and instead of stuff like Attack of Opportunity and the feat to make it reusable you get feats to combine kicks and punches into the same action as firing a bow. I feel like that's a way to allow for more unique concepts like a Magus to work without necessarily making an entire class for what's essentially just a Fighter/Wizard multiclass with a little something extra.

To touch on armor again, in the Playtest heavy armor was far from on par with medium or light armor, and I even did a long post detailing exactly how heavy armor mathematically loses its relevancy due to nearly all minimally optimized PC's getting at least one stat boost to DEX. In particular, the speed penalties were crippling for characters that obviously need to close the distance to hit their targets.

For gishes, I feel like all three armor types should be viable options with different purposes, and that it shouldn't be entirely determined by whether your classes give you class-specific perks for it. Given how dramatically it looks like armor has changed so far (heavy armor now scales with STR to mitigate its penalties, touch AC no longer exists) it may be that fighters and paladins no longer need specific class features shoehorning them into heavy armor, which I feel is good since armor is a great way to distinguish two otherwise mechanically similar characters. But I also don't want gishes to necessarily *have* to have those two classes to have access to heavy armor and make it work, if someone spends the resources to make their muscle wizard fit into full plate then by dammit they're gonna play a Battlemage.

I think that's best accomplished by making sure at least martial classes have some amount of choice in what armor to wear. Rogues should have meaningful choices between light and medium armor, Barbarians shouldn't be outright prevented from using a class feature because they're in heavy armor, pure monks might traditionally need to be unarmored but classes dipping into monk shouldn't necessarily feel a need to go topless to incorporate some kicks and punches into their routine.

Given the major changes to armor that seem to make heavy armor less godawful, it's possible that at least Fighters and Paladins are bit less shoehorned into one particular type of armor and can instead pick what best fits thematically with their stats, and hopefully that means gishes dipping into those classes can have some meaningful choice in how their character dresses themselves. I just hope it doesn't lurch too far the other way and make nay incidental heavy armor proficiency picked up from a class obligate players to use it or otherwise miss out on a statistically superior option.

I'd maybe go for something even more radical and simplify armor proficiency into either armored or unarmored, or even get rid of it entirely and instead balance the armors such that they're all worth considering even if classes would still be biased towards their traditional looks. It just seems like it would make multiclassing to accomplish a mental image of a character in your mind easier, if you don't have to jump through extra hoops to get the right costume.

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I can only imagine Ron Paul flailing his arms in Enora's robes screaming "IT'S HAPPENING!"

I still feel it odd that Paizo opted for all these complex additions and options to patch classical Vancian casting to sort of be like Arcanist casting to some limited degree, but without the benefit of ditching most of the bookkeeping and having a consistent magic system throughout like if they had just embraced Arcanist casting fully. Running out of relevant slots because you deigned to prepare something that was potentially interesting kind of sucks.

All that said, I'm kind of glad they're tamping down the damage a bit, as the problem I feel was much more the consistency than the raw average value. When you only have so many spell slots and only maybe 1 casting of this spell you really want to show off this session, rolling and accomplishing nothing sucks. When we played, it seemed like wizards in particular had a hard time both having a spell that was relevant and a spell that would actually accomplish something - a level 1 wizard seeing an opportunity to cast their one slot of Grease only to fail to do much other than hinder their own team when they then need to navigate around it is a pretty unhappy wizard.

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The +1/-1 tier of success dealio I definitely like. Automatic successes have a tendency to get players assuming that a 20 gets them anything they want, and I've played at many tables where a player would just immediately roll for something without prompting from the GM. The old systems had rules about not rolling for things in the first place if they're obviously impossible, but then it becomes an argument about whether it'd be possible or not and it still sort of traps a GM who mistakenly allowed a roll without fully understanding what it was the player was trying to accomplish.

With the new system, anything that's obviously a very high DC is just mechanically impossible to succeed at, the best you can hope for is to not critically fail. A player doesn't necessarily know what is and isn't possible in PF2, so being able to read how crits work and not even get the idea in your head that anything is possible with a nat 20 sets the right expectations. If you try to jump over a three-story building and your 20 doesn't even get you up to the windows on the second story, you don't assume that the GM is being arbitrary, you just assume the DC is just too high.

Or, more commonly, a 20 on a social roll doesn't immediately allow you to convince the king to give you the kingdom unless you've actually got the Diplomacy ranks to back that up. The old rule of thumb that something that is literally impossible shouldn't be rolled kind of breaks down in these sorts of scenarios, as people can very easily imagine people behaving irrationally in the presence of a sufficiently charismatic personality without really considering all the factors that have to go into convincing someone to truly act against their own interests in such an extreme manner. A GM stuck in that scenario has a harder time arguing why it's "jump to the moon" impossible, so altering it so the rules don't imply it's possible helps.

Andostre wrote:
it's hard to reference a page number if what you're referring to is in ePub format.

Not at all. Plenty of ePUB readers will hide the page number and page breaks, but others will just show a dotted line between pages and will let you jump to particular page numbers. It can be very easily synced with the official PDF and physical book.

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Roswynn wrote:
Gestures that make sound? I'm all for game balance, but this sounds a bit silly.

You gesture, magical sounds emanate that in turn help you finish the spell. Sounds just fine to me. A loud-ass clap or fingersnap to spring forth a fireball seems perfectly thematic to me as well.

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The game should make an effort to be as mechanically unobtrusive as reasonably possible for blind, deaf, and disabled characters. Sign language for casting seems like it can generally work as a stand-in for verbal compontents.

I would say that generally silent somantic casting is better than noisy verbal casting. Silence may not come up all the time, but when it comes up being able to effectively ignore it is pretty powerful. I know at least PC's tend to use silence to deal with enemy casters, and if hte PC's are just immune to it themselves it kind of precludes similarly tactical enemies doing the same. Being able to cast silently is itself a great boon to a party, magic when NPC's don't know there's magic is extremely powerful.

Somantic casting does trigger reactions, but the list of spells that don't already have a somantic component and are combat relevant is fairly short.

The belief that being mute is a slight advantage would cause the problem of optimizers being a bit obnoxious coming up with excuses for why all their casters are mute.

I think a possible way to work around this without a big overhaul of how magic works is to have a simple free cantrip that magically converts the caster's hand motions into sound, which can in turn be used to cast spells. It provides an easy way for deaf or mute characters to converse with NPC's and it avoids problems with balancing mute characters. The spell could even allow a conscious character to "pre-speak" certain phrases so that no somantic component is required at all, allowing a mute caster to cast spells without somantic components just as well as those who can speak verbally. And since it's still making noise, it doesn't make it overly attractive to players looking to optimize their spellcasters.

Joana wrote:
Helmic wrote:
And because of all this, it's actually very trivial to keep the ePUB version of the rulebooks completely up to date with changes, it could be automatically generated as they update http://2e.aonprd.com/.

A sidenote: Paizo has outsourced the PRD, so "they" won't be the ones updating it.

There is an entry in the FAQ about why Paizo has found the ePUB format unsuitable for their rulebooks.

Yeah, the lack of extraneous formatting is partly the point. A lot of Paizo's weird formatting is why they're so unreadable to begin with on anything other than a computer screen or a physical book. The screenreader-friendly PDF they put out would have worked just fine as an ePUB.

The website at least will hopefully be mobile-friendly, and some helpful soul might scrape the site to make an ePUB if Paizo won't.

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I'm fine with Perception being something of a god skill, as everyone has it and it's mostly determined by your class. It gives classes that generally haven't had the most agency and gives them a bit more.

Perception being able to do what Sense Motive does also makes sense to me, as it's meant to basically be your power of observation. Someone that's aware enough to hear a pin drop is probably perceptive enough to pick up on body language, even if they lack the social finesse to act upon it by themselves.

It gives everyone at least something to do during social encounters, even if they're not the face they can at least understand what's going or even contribute a little. Everyone has some important role in combat, everyone has at least some skills or utility spells, it's really only social encounters that might well and truly see some portion of the table falling asleep because they can't do anything mechanically meaningful.

MaxAstro wrote:

Does ePUB handle images well? I'm not really familiar with the format...

I suspect the main reason PDF is the default is because it's a printing format; I'd guess that the PDF files are basically the same thing Paizo sends to the printers when they want the print copies made, which is why it's so easy for them to provide. :)

It handles it well, just as well as your browser does. You can think of it like a specialized HTML file, which you open in a specialized browser called an ereader.

It's the preferred format for ebooks as it lets the application control how the text is presented, so the same text could even be presented in a wide variety of formats. Blind players can use screen readers much easier (the screen-reader friendly PDF isn't as big an improvement as it could be), specific sections can be printed off a regular printer without murdering your ink, you can have it displayed in an AMOLED friendly format if your phone or tablet supports that, you can adjust the text size so that it's comfortable and readable. And they're absurdly easy to make, certainly easier than a PDF, as you don't need to do much in terms of fancy formatting to get it to work. Pages begin and end basically when you want them to, and are really only dotted lines that a lot of readers wont' show by default anyways, so it won't mess up page references.

And because of all this, it's actually very trivial to keep the ePUB version of the rulebooks completely up to date with changes, it could be automatically generated as they update http://2e.aonprd.com/.

So it's a bit surprising that this wasn't used during the playtest in lieu of making a fancy PDF and print editions that would be immediately outdated and confusing within weeks of publication. Editing a PDF for printing is labor intensive and expensive, but I guess they really wanted feedback on the proposed layout of the physical book as well.

I'd really like to see formats other than PDF. Having stuff in ePUB format or reading right off a website would be fantastic, but it seems like practically no one provides material in those formats despite them being the norm for regular books for well over a decade. It's mobile friendly (important when playing live), screen reader friendly, eyeball friendly (can adjust the text size to something readable, set it to AMOLED mode, whatever), copy/paste friendly. PDF's seem to only be useful for emulating the look and feel of the physical book, which I just don't care about when I'm reading something on a computer or phone.

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Amri, to me, looks like she's dead. I think between the scars, her skin color, and her sunken eyes, she looks like she's literally undead. She's not so much pale like she's from a cold climate (her revealing outfit doesn't really reflect that anyways) but grey like a corpse. I think it'd work better for a more death or necromancy themed character like an assassin or, well, a necromancer than a barbarian that's supposed to be full of piss and vinegar.

I definitely agree that we should be careful not to critique her in terms of beauty or attractiveness, though, and the goal isn't for her to look "good" but rather appropriate for her class. She's going to look like s+!+ because she's a half wild murderhobo.

I'm also not the biggest fan that her f&!&off huge sword isn't quite as imposing or in-focus. Might just be personal preference as I did actually really enjoy all the detail on the doodads in PF1, but between the colors on it, the seemingly smaller size, and it being held more to the side instead of actually being in the foreground to imply it's of significant importance to the character, it just feels a bit less exciting, it doesn't fuel my imagination quite so much. The shape of the tip is a bit more exaggerated, though, and I do like that.

Hard to really say, though, as I remember I made characters a decade ago while looking at the original art - I have much more of an image in my head of what these characters are "supposed" to look like, and even things that people seem to like like their new poses seem "wrong" to me as I liked their unnatural posing that was fantastical, sort of like they'd be on a playing card rather than a picture of a real person. It's hard to tell if my dislike of some of the changes are little more than a generalized aversion to something I liked being changed, because I'm almost certain I'd be less opinionated about them if I was looking at these in isolation or at least saw the new art first.

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I think terms like "washboard" are a bit bodyshame-y and aren't the best way to critique character art. I understand the topic of breasts is going to come up when a character with a very silly boob window has that toned down, but when a character's overall body shape is adjusted in a rework it's to be expected stuff like that will be adjusted too. Talking about a female character's body in those terms isn't exactly welcoming, it's still comes across as sexually objectifying even if that's not the intent.

I am very glad, however, that Sajan finally figured out how the f@$$ shirts work after all these years.

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Malk_Content wrote:
Helmic wrote:
A level 5 Fighter can pick Battlemaster, pick a couple maneuvers from a list, choose their gear from a very short list of A or B choices, pick a background that matches a skill they want or a skill they already have so they can pick a freebie, pick a race, and adjust their stats to fit their build and be done within 20 minutes even if they never read the class before. Don't even have to pick magic items since GP is basically just for mundane expenses, your GM will hand those to you if they think it'll be fun. A PF2 Fighter meanwhile may have not yet finished making their level 1 choices, it's just so absurdly dense with build-critical choices right out the gate with no race or class option that just builds itself for you.

I don't think this is true at all. Making a level 1 character in PF2, if you know what class you want shouldn't take more than 10 minutes (unless spell caster, which slows down all systems.) It's literally pick 6/7 things.

I pick up on this because I think as a community we drive people away making the system seem harder than it really is. When in actual fact you can level someone super easy and fast just by saying "hey what skill do you want to get better at? Okay here are the three choices you could make for that skill?" The silos really have winnowed the choices down to such a manageable degree.

Yes you can get several chains deep of being an adopted human so you can swap your general feat for an ancestry feat to get a level 1 class feat if you really want, but that isn't needed to play the game at all.

I'm dead serious when I say it took my players hours to create level 1 characters for Doomsday Dawn, while I'm consistently able to help rush out level 5 martial characters in 20 minutes or less in 5e. This is with the help of character builders, mind - Roll20 has a fantastic character builder app for 5e that breaks that down into very digestible bits, while the process for PF2 is just way fiddlier even with Hero Labs.

The 6-7 big choices you make at level 1 are about the same number of big choices you make for a much higher level character in 5e, with much more opportunity to pick something bad if you just pick at random. 5e grants you significantly less customization and build variety, but in turn narrows it down to the few builds most people were going to make anyways and makes those class archetypes work very well.

Moreover, of those choices you do make in 5e, they're from a significantly shorter list. You're often chosing from a list of 2-5 options, while 5 is often the lower limit for most of the choices you're making in PF2. It's still a fantastic improvement over PF1 where I'd have groups take an entire week to make a character, but there still takes a lot of reading to understand what your choices are and make a choice.

This isn't helped by the playtest overcommiting to the cutesy "ABC's of character generation" gimmick, making players start with the least helpful choice of Ancestry instead of starting right with Class where the rest of chargen could be much more easily guided with a handy checklist of exactly what you get at each level. 5e does this as well, but at least in 5e if you decide your race isn't quite working with your class you can swap it out pretty easily; in PF1, you're going to have to redo some additional choices if you change your character's ancestry which slows things down even more. Put class first, Paizo!

Not saying that I think chargen needs to be simpler, mind. I enjoy the crunch, but it's undeniably meant to appeal to those who want something more time consuming than 5e. I think the point buy variant of PF2 is vastly superior to that of 5e and eons better than literally rolling dice for campaign-defining stats that'll follow players for months or years, but it's just undeniably more time-consuming than the way 5e goes about it and it takes time to learn in the first place.

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
This whole conversation has helped solidify my view that I think the entire approach to Champions is completely backward. The assumption has been to start with an alignment and than assign a role. That's inevitably going to be arbitrary and limiting, and cause all sorts of passionate disagreements that are completely unnecessary. What makes much more sense is to start with the role and than figure out which alignments fit it. So instead of "The Redeemer is the NG Champion", you'd have "The Redeemer is a Champion who can be NG." If I end up playing PF2, I'll probably suggest a house-rule to try to do that. Redeemers would be Any Good, Paladins would probably be LG or NG (maybe Any Good, I'd have to see the final version and confer with the rest of the group. Maybe even LN, but I'm thinking probably not), Liberators would probably stay CG, but I could potentially see including NG and maybe even CN with a slightly different focus. There would probably be a Lawgiver or whatever that covers any Lawful, some kind of chatotic thing, a Tyrant for LE and possibly NE, Antipaladin for CE and possible NE, maybe a Corrupter or something for any evil, ETC. There's a lot of room for multiple types to overlap on alignment. And this way, there might actually be a way for a TN champion not to be absurd, a role based approach can have roles that don't care about any particular form of morality and instead are focused on a task.

This is probably what I'll be doing as well. I really abhor those sorts of restrictions on RP for those wishing for a particular kind of mechanic. I also don't intend to exclusively use PF2 for the Golarian setting, so it's a major pain in the ass if I have to decouple the mechanics from the specifics of that setting. The examples they gave in the Playtest about gave me a headache, as on paper they shouldn't really ahve anything to do at all with alignment but are juuust barely tied up enough into alignment that it's awkward if you completely ignore it. I hate it, I want my freedom fighter to have the mechanics reserved for the LG variant and now that's just going to be a thing I'll have to argue about at every table from now on.

I would argue this is a lot worse, though, with Clerics, whose choice of god gives them spells and weapon proficiencies. There are literally specific named gods who are optimal, which means minmaxing becomes an obstacle for RP again. It also means adapting Clerics to fit your own pantheon a complete nightmare, as not only do you need to come up with specific spells and weapons for your gods but you also need to be a game designer with an intimate understanding of the meta of PF2 to know whether what you gave your gods is balanced or not.

5e, meanwhile, doesn't give a singular f#%* what your Paladin's alignment is so long their behavior is consistent with their order. Your Cleric's god merely has to have a thematically appropriate Domain, so any Good-aligned god is a perfectly valid choice for a healing-focused cleric, any god that's sufficiently warlike can have War Domain clerics, et cetera which makes it much, much easier to fit that on custom pantheons. You can take a glance at Zeus, figure he's got the Tempest Domain, and not worry one lick about game balance because all that's already been done for you.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

If people are feeling time pressure to pick Feats, I think that's a problem in its own right that should be resolved. When stuff like that crops up in my games, I generally say 'Don't worry about it now, have one picked out by next session and we're good.' and may well help them between sessions to pick out Feats they actually want. That's hardly the only solution, but some solution seems warranted.

I mean, it's not a huge deal for Skill Feats in the playtest, I'll grant you, but it can be a pretty big deal in other circumstances and seems an issue worth solving. Forcing people to make permanent character choices under time pressure just strikes me as deeply unfun and something to be avoided.

I feel like it's important to point out that, RAW, you can swap out most feats now when you level up, so it's OK to pick something for just right now and then substitute it later if it's not to your taste. A GM can of course be more liberal than this and just handwave away a character's build changing significantly from session to session. Knowing a choice isn't permanent and you can go back and change your mind later greatly reduces analysis paralysis.

But I don't think the time problem is a solvable one. PF2's core idea is crunch and customization, to set it apart from 5e. Chargen is a lengthy process and not a whole lot can be done to cut down on it beyond using pregen characters or character builders. If two hour chargen times are too long, PF2's probably not the right system to be using. 5e's fantastic in this regard as its "builds" are baked into the class archetypes themselves, making it super-fast to create an entire character in a relatively crunchy system. You don't even have to pick a single feat at all if you don't want!

A level 5 Fighter can pick Battlemaster, pick a couple maneuvers from a list, choose their gear from a very short list of A or B choices, pick a background that matches a skill they want or a skill they already have so they can pick a freebie, pick a race, and adjust their stats to fit their build and be done within 20 minutes even if they never read the class before. Don't even have to pick magic items since GP is basically just for mundane expenses, your GM will hand those to you if they think it'll be fun. A PF2 Fighter meanwhile may have not yet finished making their level 1 choices, it's just so absurdly dense with build-critical choices right out the gate with no race or class option that just builds itself for you.

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Captain Morgan wrote:

Yeah, changing it to a 1 is one degree worse and a 20 is one degree better does nip the jumping to the moon problem in the bud. I mean, the playtest told you not to bother rolling in those situations anyway, but it is better to have it codified for folks that missed or ignored rhay

It also helps when the GM just didn't realize it was a "jump to the moon" situation to begin with or allowed a persistent player to roll to move things along quicker than explaining the philosophy behind disallowing rolls for "jump to the moon" stuff.

I'd also like to take a moment to point out Norman's The Design of Everyday Things applies to rules as well, and rules that require you to place a sign that says "you cannot roll to jump to the moon" are going to be inferior to rules whose design inherently implies that. It's just natural, you can read how crits work and understand that some actions are just literally impossible even if you didn't read or remember the section on jumping to the moon.

In terms of dice: some players want to roll lots of attacks, and that's fine. A tweak to the rules to make it easier to roll all those attacks simultaneously would be good, but it's hardly that time-consuming so long the player rapidly rerolls their D20 that many times, writes down the results, and then rolls damage the appropriate number of times until they either run out of attacks or the target dies (in which case the player can pretend they didn't roll the last few attacks and can choose to do with their remaining actions as they wish). Colored dice could help as well if you use them to keep track of the attacks' order.

Anything that would make it OK to literally dump a bag of D20's or click a single macro button in Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds and resolve the turn in one fell swoop would be welcome. It's a bit hard to do right now because the order each attack matters due to MAP and the three-acction economy - a feat that gave you lots of attacks at the same reduced MAP but used the rest of your actions that turn, no exceptions, would work well. Dice fall, s%%@ dies, order doesn't matter, turn is now over.

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I like the system. I don't like bits of it, but I like it.

The system can't possibly cater to everyone. I don't think easy backwards compatibility was ever going to be an option for a new edition of anything based on 3.5, 3.5 is just broken at its core. Conversion is certainly still possible, it's just going to take a lot of effort - efforts that I'm sure others will be putting out as they convert their copies of older AP's to the new system.

My take is that if you accept the fundamental goals of the new system, then it's worth paying attention to it. If you don't agree with the goals of the new system, there's not much that can be done to make the game appealing to you without making it incredibly unappealing to those Paizo is trying to reach, and you probably shouldn't expect the system to change in a way you'd prefer.

I like the goals of the new system because they address my problems with PF1, the problems that made me leave that system and go to 5e even though 5e isn't as crunchy as I'd like it to be. How martials play in particular is extremely satisfying, and the action system is incredibly fun and allows for each turn to feel satisfying. I know some people don't seem to quite "get" the system and seem disapointed that you can't do a standard Strike 3 times per turn, but I love that there's a reason to use your third action to do something like move, or if not that then to do something interesting other than a basic Strike. I love that mobility in general isn't a massive loss of damage.

I like how multiclassing works, even if I think certain dedications need rebalancing and that there should be more than one kind of dedication that can give you access to a particular class's feats.

My biggest complaints about PF2 had almost everything to do with the actual formatting of the PDF. The "ABC" system is cute, but by having players pick ancestry first it makes the entire process way more complex and confusing. Class has been picked first for ages, it should be assumed as the default first step because it is the most important decision that has the most influence on how a player will actually play the game and because it gives much easier guidance on how to create your character thanks to its level chart. Being able to have a checklist of things you need to do to create your character right there is so important to keep players from getting lost in such a crunchy system.

Finding information was hell, and it reminded me of the worst experiences playing PF1 and just not wanting to constantly look up the rule for how many times a player needs to wipe before their ass is clean, and how you can't ignore the rule because it's baked in the assumptions of feats and other subsystems so just deciding the player successfully wiped their ass might actually break the entire balance of the game. While PF2 does away with the complicated rules for intimidation and grappling and combat maneuvers in general and better yet makes it reasonable for non-specialists to try those things (being able to tell a player "yes you can do that" without them having taken a feat chain is so, so nice), it's laid out like hot ass so it's very easy to be blindsided with the fact that poison actually a page-long subsystem now. If you didn't read up on how it works beforehand you're going to have to stop everything while you sit and quietly read and try to parse out what the rules are.

Oh, that's if you can find the rules for it, because it's actually called "Afflictions" now and poison is just a subtype of it, so you 100% need to use the index instead of the chapter headers in your PDF reader. Weapons are under equipment, but how to upgrade equipment is under Treasure. Oh, snares are under treasure too for some reason.

The playtest 100% should have had alternative options to a PDF. ePUB at the least, a full-blown Paizo-maintained wiki would have been ideal. Multiple times I had players argue over rules and get confused because they were using the official PDF to look up a rule instead of the fan-made updated PDF on Reddit, forcing me as the GM to stop the game as I go to look up the rule myself to see which version being read is correct.

A wiki would have solved that, and there was something of a wiki that was fan-made that unfortunately didn't stay updated or accurate. A wiki lets me quickly search for a specific rule and get it immediately. A wiki lets me see commentary from Paizo in the sidebar explaining the intent of a rule or why something was changed. A wiki doesn't have to be super constrained in its formatting. A wiki can post a game term as a link, or let you hover over a term to get a quick definition. A wiki can be much more screen reader friendly, it can display properly on mobile devices, it can be always up-to-date with the latest changes, it's just so much more appropriate for a playtest that I wonder why they even bothered making a PDF or printed books given the sheer extent of the errata they'd be putting out. I think most people who bought the physical book would have been fine waiting a year to get the final version that won't be hopelessly outdated within two weeks because the Paladin and Alchemist had massive overhauls.

It's a bit moot to complain about that now, sure, but that has been what I've seen most non-Paizo forum places complaining about, the formatting. If we can get a good wiki, if we can get ePUB's, if we can get a final book that's laid out well and that uses a thesaurus once in a while so that we don't have synonyms like circumstantial and conditional being used to describe two very different things that need distinction, then I think the game will be OK.

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Edge93 wrote:
Helmic wrote:
It is useless when the players then instead decide to scale the building and come down the chimney, and you need to quickly come up with a DC for the climb up or sliding down that chimney without getting stuck.

Useless is a bit strong. I would actually find it quite useful in such a circumstance because it actually gives me a reference point for what different numerical DCs actually MEAN roughly in comparison to a given character's likely abilities.

Like okay, DC 20. Sounds cool. A nice, round number. But who does that number challenge? What character level and/or degree of specialization is that number a challenge or a breeze to?

That's a big reason I like 10-2 and the PPT skill system, it answers that in a way nothing in PF1 can.

Except if you're trying to make numbers that "challenge" your players you're doing that inflating numbers thing. A basic assumption of +1/level is that players should just get better at doing simpler things. That chimney should have the same DC no matter what level your players are at - it just means that sliding down it might literally be an automatic success at level 15 or whatever, and that's fine. At level 15, you should be automatically succeeding at stuff like that a lot.

If you instead use 10-2, your players will notice that suddenly the DC to slide down an ordinary chimney is suddenly extremely high compared to the DC it took to do a similar task three levels ago for no apparent reason other than their own level increased. That causes that treadmill effect that players so very much hate, that ruins the point of even having inflating numbers in the first place. At that point you should be using 5e's system where the DC's never increase, where any obstacles that logically should be challenging are challenging from 1-20.

The point of the chimney isn't to "challenge" your players. Your players already solved the challenge by avoiding the high DC of the barricaded door to instead pursue another solution. That's one of the great things of 5e's system, your players can often very accurately gauge what the DC is and get a rough handle on what their odds are in their head, much like how they can look at someone's armor and their general physiology and make a pretty good guess on what their AC is.

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Desna's Avatar wrote:
We all would do well to remember the differences between fantasy and reality.

Furthermore, standards of respect don’t vanish simply because you’re playing a character in a fantasy game. For example, it’s never acceptable to refer to another person using an offensive term or a slur, and doing so “in character” is just as bad as doing so directly. If your

character’s concept requires you act this way, that’s a good sign your concept is harmful, and you have a responsibility to change it. Sometimes, you might not realize that your character concept or roleplaying style is making others feel unwelcome at the gaming table. If another player tells you that your character concept or roleplaying style makes them uncomfortable, you shouldn’t argue about what they should or shouldn’t find offensive or say that what you’re doing is common (and therefore okay) among players or in other media. Instead, you should simply stop and make sure the game is a fun experience for everyone. After all, that’s what gaming is about!

Fiction, being able to influence people and introduce or reinforce ideas, is subject to criticism. While I'm sure it's annoying to have to change an old habit, that doesn't mean the old habit was perfectly fine. It's OK to say that there wasn't any harm intended, but the message received was still harmful.

Your particular group might not see a need for it, but I'm sure we all understand that tabletop gaming is its own subculture and the norms within it influence who does and does not feel welcome. If you want to continue using race, again that's fine, it's something I'm going to have to say anyways just to be clear to people playing all sorts of different systems, but that's not an argument that a change shouldn't be made for fantasy fiction overall.

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kaisc006 wrote:

Helmic is right in that PF2 skill DCs only make sense for tasks where there is a monster influencing a DC (such as persuading or bluffing your way past guards, etc). But it totally falls flat when used for static DC. For this it has the same legacy problems as PF where if you set static DCs they become trivial at higher level and / or untrained skills become useless... But PF2 has it even worse.

How? Those who defend the terms legendary, master, etc talk about how it lets GMs gate uses of a skill. For instance someone who is legendary at a skill can attempt things that someone who is a master or expert can’t even flat out try. This despite the potential of equal level PCs only having an +2-6 difference in their skill modifier. So on top of deciding a DC (which is a treadmill in the game’s current state) you also have to remember what a legendary/master/expert/trained are capable of attempting. Coming up with tasks only someone with legendary proficiency is easy but it gets more muddled down the line. Also, it varies between skills how easy it is to gate.

See, I"m fine with +1/level for untrained. A wizard eventually learning how to jump gaps through sheer experience adventuring makes fine sense. The party as a whole doing what they can with their experience adventuring to at least be decent at a broad category of skills is OK, with some specific exceptions (Performance isn't really an adventuring skill unless you're a Bard, for example, and so it doesn't make sense for a character to get better at it automatically). For those exceptions, I'd argue that HP is more of a mindf%$!.

I'm not entirely married to that concept, mind, but it depends on what Paizo offers up as an alternative. I'm OK with higher level adventurers maybe not caring so much about a pit trap pat some point just automatically because they all have decent enough reflexes to grab onto a ledge.

What gets f+!*y is the entire concept of a "level appropriate challenge" being applied to things that clearly do not have levels. Levels, conceptually, apply to creatures, not random objects or abstract concepts. Is remembering the name of something possibly plot relevant a level 6 challenge or a level 8?

It makes sense that at a certain level characters will be challenged by climbing a brick wall unassisted, sure, but it's not useful to the GM in the moment. Knowing a DC 18 will be extremely hard for level 1 characters but very easy for level 11 characters is useful information, but it's not something you should be using to figure out what the DC of something is in the moment.

The table is ambiguous and it only really serves a purpose in the planning stages of an adventure, where you're trying to think of somethign that would be a DC 18 challenge rather than trying to find an appropriate DC for a task that just came up. Things mysteriously being level-appropriate will frustrate players who expect their +1's to make them better at stuff, but if the things they're attempting are becoming more and more impressive it doesn't break down quite so much.

Or, to put it another way, 10-2 is useful if you need to know a couple days ahead of the session whether the front door to the baddies' hideout should be made of wood or stone, or whether they should also barricade it, on the assumption that coming in the front door should require a bit of luck and a cool moment for the barbarian. It is useless when the players then instead decide to scale the building and come down the chimney, and you need to quickly come up with a DC for the climb up or sliding down that chimney without getting stuck.

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The issue of using levels to determine DC's is that no one knows what the f+%% a level is supposed to mean devoid of context.

In 5e, "easy" and "hard" can be used because there's no proficiency inflation (or there is but it's very mild). You can picture it, decide for yourself whether it's "hard" or "easy" or whatever, and then you're given an exact DC. It's 10, 15, 20, or if you're feeling really randy, 25.

What the f*!@ is a level 5 gap that needs to be jumped? What is a level 7 attempt to convince an angry mob to go home? It only makes sense if a leveled creature in some way interacts with the task somehow, but even then you get into ludicrious situations like "level 7 masons" making a wall extra unclimbable somehow. They're f!##ing rocks mate, there is no skill involved here. Are buildings made by high level carpenters just universally covered in grease that just so happens to match the levels of the enemies inside?

When you then add descriptors like easy/medium/hard et cetera on top of level, you get something extra nonsensical. What the hell is level supposed to even mean in that context then if it's not difficulty? DC stands for Difficulty Class, why would there be both the actual difficulty as ascertained by the GM then be cross-referenced with a level?

Complexity sometimes is necessary, sure, but for calculating DC's that is the wrong time to be introducing a table you have no hope of memorizing. You need to make that s%@# up on the spot in response to a players doing things you didn't predict, and if multiple GM's can't b&$@%$+& the same reasonable answer to within a reasonable range (5 or so DC off from the median) then what's the point?

Proficiency gating I like a lot more, as it's a lot easier to b+*!~+&$ a simple binary question, "Does this require specialized training?" If not, you don't need to be trained to attempt it. If it does, you do need to be trained. Don't ask whether it requires expert or master or legendary or all that s#&@, all that should be for skill feats only, the only question that matters there is "does it make sense for someone who doesn't know what they're doing to succeed just by winging it?" Can you just wing knowing what these arcane runes mean if you're not trained in Arcana? No, so you need training. Can you just wing knowing something is magical if you aren't trained in Arcana? Sure, so you can attempt without training.

Those sorts of easy to answer questions are what should be factoring into a GM's decision to set a DC or whether someone can roll. Yes or no questions like "is this reasonably possible, or is this as ludicrous as jumping to the moon?" and slightly more involved questions like "Is this easy, normal, hard, or almost impossible?" are far more appropriate than what table 10-2 was asking of you.

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As for ancestry, yeah, race can't come back. It's an extremely charged word that has very unfortunate implications in fantasy fiction. Having an entire "race" that is stupid, weak, and always evil and thus a justifiable target for adventurers to kill with impunity does not conjure up a welcoming image, and while the name change alone will never really pull fantasy fiction away from its roots we can at least try to not burden the next generation of roleplayers with quite as much baggage in their vocabulary.

No one's gonna knock down your door if you keep calling it that, but it's a small and easy change and I wouldn't be surprised to see other RPG's to follow suit and move away from "race."

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I really don't like manual spell heightening. It's extra bookkeeping and I'm not entirely sure what the point of it is. Just let the player make a list of prepared spells, and then they can cast those spells at whatever level they have the slots for. Much simpler, don't see it as being particularly OP as you're spending the resources regardless.

Spontaneous casters just don't get anything universally that makes them better - instead, spontaneous spellcasting is a sacrifice in order to have something else the class itself provides, or they just get more slots. 5e not doing a great job doesn't mean PF2 can't make spontaneous casters exciting. Sorcerers in particular should at least have a fantastic blasting option that maybe limits their spell selection further to just those that deal damage but then makes them a viable damage alternative to a martial, an arcane alternative to playing an archer.

Bloodlines have plenty of potential to be a larger part of a sorcerer's identity, I don't think it's necessary that they get spell heightening as an exclusive is worth complicating the magic system as a whole.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
1) Some of what you are describing is intentional. One of the design goals was to make it so that there was no "best" armor. Each armor is meant to be a valid choice for some type of character or another. There are quite a few advantages to this approach. But it does mean that as long as we have Dex and AC married to each other, your optimal armor is going to change as you increase Dex. I think that's worth what you get by making all the armors viable for certain types of characters, and may be unavoidable unless you reinvent the wheel with positive armor traits or something.

Except there's clearly a lack of balance, as most classes can never ever use heavy armor even if they *try* to invest in it, because the penalties are so massive that even if you spend class resources to get that heavier armor (general feats, archetype feats) it will be worse than what you have already. Which is a problem, if a player is trying to invest in a concept they should generally be getting something out of it. You shouldn't be spending a feat and then become strictly worse.

Captain Morgan wrote:
2) While prioritizing Dex as you described is often (arguably) the optimal choice, not everyone plays optimally. The 9th level paladin in my playtest still had +0 dex, and the barbarian from the same group only had +1. Lots of people have different priorities than optimizing their stat boosts, and heavier armors allow those folks to survive better, albeit with some trade offs.

There's not much point in talking about anti-optimized characters. What I described is like the minimum to be considered reasonably optimized, and PF2 as a whole tends to assume most characters will attempt to be reasonably optimized since optimization actually makes interesting and well-rounded characters now. It's not even strictly optimal, it's just the floor before the GM might notice you've taken trap options and might need to step in to make sure that's what you actually intended and isn't an accident of a new player struggling with an extremely complex system.

Anti-optimizing is no longer necessary for flavor, and taking their considerations too seriously risks derailing balance discussions. If you're anti-optimizing, that's your own deal. You shouldn't have to anti-optimize to justify heavy armor, that just means heavy armor has way too much trouble being optimal for a character concept.

Captain Morgan wrote:
3) Let's actually consider who would want to be using heavy armor in the first place.

And that's exactly the issue. There are only two classes that can ever justify heavy armor, and that's because they have entire class features dedicated to making it at least on par with the other choices (Fighter) or just making it nearly mandatory (Paladin). If your primary class is neither of those, you cannot justify heavy armor, the game goes out of its way to punish you for trying.

Doesn't matter if a Ranger took a Fighter dedication, as you said "it doesn't fit the concept" so they're just not allowed.

Barbarians, not allowed.

Rogues, not allowed even if they don't want to be particularly sneaky but wanted to invest as a Brute STR rogue. A multiclass Brute/Fighter can never justify heavy armor without anti-optimizing.

It's pretty much only gishes that can maybe still justify having heavy armor at all (ie investing to get it doesn't actively punish them for doing so). And that's really on the assumption that they do their damndest to make sure DEX is the second lowest stat - but even then, it only takes 3 boosts to completely eliminate heavy armor altogether, and 2 boosts to eliminate plate armor.

For a system whose whole schtick is customization, it seems like having having heavy armor proficiency as a general feat might as we just be taken out, because if you're not getting it from your primary class it just might as well not exist. It's nothing but a trap option.

Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm not making a comparison to PF1 necessarily, as I already fled that system and heavy armor was pretty trash in it too. However, in PF1, heavy armor's main niche of "you don't have to invest in DEX" was actually valid, because you only ever got a +1 to one stat of your choice when you leveled up. If you put a 12 in your DEX at level 1, you could be reasonably certain that 12 DEX is never ever going to change again, 1-20. And because of that, an investment in heavy armor at least had a niche, anyone with the proficiency that maybe didn't need DEX that much could maybe not dump DEX but at least keep it low.

My comparison is more towards 5e, which doesn't just use DEX to determine your armor and so heavy armor isn't just chump armor. It has a STR and proficiency requirement as well as a steep cost in GP that nets you the best AC in the game, regardless of class. It is a thing that is worth taking that, because of the STR requirement, still is not the best choice for every character concept. In 5e, you have your choice in investing in DEX or STR to improve your defenses; the issue is that PF2 wants to incentivize having both and 5e's system incentivizes pumping one and dumping the other. 5e also has a bad tendency to make one particular iteration of a class of armor strictly the best, just as it does with weapons, and plate armor (something a lot of character concepts would stylistically like to use) isn't available until like level 6-ish depending on how much the party cooperates in funding the armor of their frontliners since gold is otherwise completely useless in that system.

Captain Morgan wrote:
I think that's worth what you get by making all the armors viable for certain types of characters, and may be unavoidable unless you reinvent the wheel with positive armor traits or something.

And this is where I think the system fundamentally fails. It at least avoids making heavy armor never useful, it's very good at forcing a particular class to have to use it, but when people make characters, they generally are going to envision them in a particular costume. If that costume can't be achieved through the rules and be reasonably effective, that's disappointing. If their costume is constantly being forced to change, those players coughing up money for commissions are going to be annoyed that their heavily plated character now actually only wears chainmail.

The system was originally made with the assumption that your DEX is generally fixed for a character unless it's a primary stat, and since that is no longer true then yeah a new system should be made. The old system is complex, clunky, confusing, imbalanced, and limiting for character concepts. It requires system mastery to even understand hte implications of its numbers or to notice that your armor will change in the first place. It is exactly the sort of thing PF2 should make a more drastic change to.

A better system would let a player wear the armor they want from 1-20, much as you can use the same type of weapon 1-20. You might change it at some point if you wish, but if you do so it's because you're making a trade-off rather than going for a strict upgrade. It would give heavy armor its own purpose that isn't reproducible with weaker armors, that justifies the heavier investment it takes to get it (DEX does things other than just AC, so it's not as severe an investment). It would still allow fighters and paladins to justifiably decide to wear medium or light armor for those benefits. If someone wanted to play more against type for their class, that should be a viable choice.

What that system might be, I don't know, I just know the current system isn't really doing the job if there has to be class features that exist purely to make it suck less ass.

Oh, and since the playtest doesn't really give us the opportunity to notice this since we're playing fresh characters for so much, a side effect of the discrepancy between the prices for a +1 potency armor rune between light/medium armor and heavy armor is that either one of two things happen:

A) You can't transfer a potency rune between a medium/light set of armor and a heavy set of armor. They're technically two different types of runes and neither works on the other armor type. +1 medium armor is useless to anyone in heavy armor. This only happens when you get your +1.

B) You can transfer runes, and therefore it's better to pay to have a potency rune etched into an ally's non-heavy armor and pay the transfer fee to add it to your own armor. 25 gp + 10% transfer fee is 27.5 gp versus 50 gp to have the rune etched into your heavy armor directly, a savings of a whopping 225 sp at a level where that actually means a lot, that's a solid third of what you'd need to etch a +1 rune into your weapon! Again, a weird quirk that only happens at level 1.

Why is that necessary? It's magic, it shouldn't give a s$&~ that metal armor is pricier than textiles. I sure don't see a balance reason for it.

DeathQuaker wrote:

I've rarely--not never--been in a case where I had so much encumbrance I had to drop stuff and pick it up again and keep track, even in games where tracking encumbrance is a thing. The one situation where that was the case, I was playing a low Str archeologist who carried buckets of expedition of gear and was always trying to find porters to carry her stuff, and it just became part of her roleplay/schtick, which made it fun. Pathfinder and other systems usually make it fairly easy to carry what you need (unless playing a very extreme build), and by the time you have so much gear you couldn't feasibly carry it all, usually a bag of holding or handy haversack has come into play (indeed as a GM I usually make sure one has shown up by the time the party is level 3 or 4, and most modules and adventure paths I've read also have them show up in treasure hoards by this time). Heck, for the lowest levels, in 1st ed, masterwork backpacks make a huge difference, a potion of ant haul is only 50 gp, and muleback cords cost only 1,000 gp, something a 1st level party may have even just after one lucrative adventure. So I'd have to say based on my experience, the "have to keep dropping stuff and picking it up" is less a system issue and more of a specific player foible. Such a player might need some guidance from their fellow players and GMs about how to better manage such things (until magical solutions become available).

I fully admit and acknowledge I am the person who exists on the side of actually enjoying inventory management. Moreover, I find there is a point to it mechanically (like making sure some genius in my party isn't packing an elephant in his backpack because "the rules don't say I can't"--which I wish could say was hyberbole, but...). But by the same token, we've rarely tracked stuff like food eaten or every tenth of an ounce of gear carried. The only exceptions I can think of specifically related to food are very specific cases where the party is in a difficult survival situation, which...

I mean, that may be your experience, but it's a constant issue in mine and it lead to the decision to just ignore it, which is a story heard from most people I've played RPG's with. And, to be frank, if you're never reaching the limit then you're basically ignoring Encumbrance/Bulk anyways. A rule is only relevant if it actually comes up, and when Bulk/Encumbrance comes up it's a fiddly piece of s!~~. Bulk is less fiddly, sure, it's easier to sub items out when they more neatly fit into round numbers for most items, but you're still measuring the benefit of bringing gear like battering rams versus how much they weigh and whether you'll end up needing to make multiple trips. And then the problem disappears entirely once magic comes into play and it never comes up again.

Which just furthers my point, there's no middle ground where encumbrance mechanics are both relevant and not a pain in the ass, at least not without being in a very different genre where characters don't pick up a significant amount of items or with wildly different mechanics where it's expected to only be able to bring back one or two things per character.

Hell, I think even 5e just by default says to ignore encumbrance unless you really want to track weight for some reason. Clearly it's been enough of an issue for enough groups that WotC felt that making that rule explicitly optional was the best move.

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Nettah wrote:
The DM of said wrote:

As a consumable not currently restricted by the updated PF2 rules, this example is outside of the item limit scope, but pricing-wise it is a good topic at 30gp.

Is it really breaking is my first thought. It takes an action to drink, and depending on what you need to have in your hands, could take several more to pull out, drink, and then re-equip yourself. 1min duration, so you can't have this effect on you for long enough to explore.

I will think of an example. Shield and Sword warrior enters room, attacked by ogres, goblins, baddies.
Turn 1) sheathe sword, draw potion (we'll say it's handy), drink
Turn 2) draw sword, take 3 actions
Turn 3+) Take 4 actions

In this example, it is not until turn 5 that our warrior breaks even on actions and round 6 before he nets 1 more action than never having drank the potion. With MAP not allowing a 4th attack to be very useful, this example would prove to be a very poor magic item use.

I know a 1 handed person with the potion in their second hand does better, but unless you drink this ahead of battle, you are behind the action curve.

What do you think from seeing your players' usage?

If your general fight plan is to utilize this potion it would make more sense to either be carrying it in your hand from the start, or at least keep your weapon sheated while exploring so you have a free hand for a quick drink if needed (if the encounter is low risk enough to not drink it, you can spare the extra action required to draw your sword regardless). The first scenario would net you positive action economy from round 4 and the other from round 5.

But depending on the situation it's also quite likely you would get to drink the potion without it impacting your action economy, since if you are breaking down a door in a dungeon a perception check would likely let you be aware of the enemies before hand. And since it's a potion you don't really risk getting discovered like a verbal action might otherwise do.
There are also plenty...

Also believe that dropping your weapon is a free action, as is switching from a two-handed to one-handed grip on a weapon (which you can do even with two-handed weapons, you just can't then attack with them until you go back to a two-handed grip). So a fighter with a broadsword, even if they were completely unprepared, would spend a free action to release their grip, an interact action to draw the potion, an operate action to drink the potion, and then an interact action to return to a two-handed grip (or to pick up whatever it is you dropped on the ground). Remember that the haste effect is immediate, so you get your extra action on the same turn with which to do whatever you want, like smack someone upside the head or move into position.

That is the worst case scenario, and it would not be until turn 3 that you break even and turn 4 where you start reaping the benefit. Any amount of prebuffing makes it an immediate and massive benefit, and doing as you said and just keeping it in your hand at the ready means you break even on the second turn and start benefiting on the third.

For a one-handed Fighter, drinking the potion and then following it up with Dual-Handed Assault is a pretty potent combo, following that up with a combat grab, dueling parry, or what have you. At that point you break even on the very first turn, and reap the benefits come the second turn.

I don't like that sort of consumable, that you basically must use every combat if you've got the money for it. Health potions generally aren't going to outheal the damage incoming and their effects can be recreated now with the Treat Wounds activity. Most other potions are situationally useful enough such that there's a point where having more than X number of them just means the extras will never be used and aren't even useful as a contigency. This sort of potion that you would want to use for every single combat so long you have the money for it seems excessive, and the only limiting factor is if the party believes they're not going to ultimately profit from it and thus severely fall behind WBL, which just goes back to that "spend every single copper on mechanically useful stuff" I'd rather avoid.

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Captain Morgan wrote:

I feel compelled to point out heavy armor DOES give better AC than light armor until level 10 which is where the majority (probably vast majority) of play takes place. You just can't hit the +5 Dex cap until then, and if you're a Caster you can't hit it until level 15.

Medium armor can technically hit the 7+proficiency mark at level 1 as well, but only if you really pump Dex to the detriment of other stats. If you want to be a strength based gish, heavy armor is great up until level 10 because it let's you keep your casting Stat up. Heck, if you want to have good con on top of strength, you're probably going to want heavy armor.

Now, the penalties to speed and ACP might be a harsher than they need to be, but being able to rock a d12 weapon is a serious advantage. You could definitely make a case that dex's other advantage outweigh them, especially with reflex saves, but with athletics being such a clutch skill and Dex losing initiative its definitely easier to hold off your ABC boosts on Dex thanks to the armors.

I also don't feel like the paradigm has shifted significantly from PF1 until you start getting into stuff like mithral armor, and frankly I'm kind of glad that is gone.

I think my number one complaint about heavy armor is barbarians can't rage in it, and considering they are supposed to push strength and constitution over Dex, get hit with the worst AC penalties in the game, and actually have some mobility enhancers to offset the speed issue... This feels unnecessarily punitive. I'm fine with needing to buy into heavy armor with a feat, and I'm fine with it trading off some ACP and speed. But being told "you can't rage in heavy armor because... Reasons" feels arbitrary and immersion breaking. The fighter will still have better accuracy and AC if you allow the barbarian to rage in full plate.

Not quite.

It might be more accurate to say that Heavy vs Light armor isn't the issue, but rather Heavy vs Medium armor. A DEX of 14 makes Full Plate completely irrelevant, and most characters, martial or otherwise, are going to at least start with a 12 at level 1 with even the barest of optimization. When you get 4 free boosts once every five levels, it is extremely difficult to not pick DEX as one of those four. By level 5, a full third of the heavy armor options is just trash, not even worth considering.

It is only by level 10 that a character that is at least trying to avoid DEX but is still trying to be optimal (as in there's at least two other stats that are more deserving of a dump) that all heavy armor becomes inferior to Medium Armor, which gives you a massive 5 foot smaller speed penalty., a larger TAC, and less bulk. And as you level, you just keep getting lighter and lighter medium armors that further reduce the penalties. At level 15, you're gonna be using either Hide or Scale Mail, and at 20 despite your best efforts you're now going to be wearing Light Armor.

That is for a character that is trying to wear the heaviest armor they can get away with. The old system of basing an armor's utility on your DEX investment breaks down when your DEX is going to increase almost no matter what. There literally is no option to even start with an 8 in DEX except through voluntary flaws. I don't know of any class where DEX is the second least useful stat to boost, so it's just hard to avoid.

Add in the fact that DEX is extremely useful and literally makes you move faster with the same AC, a higher TAC, better reflex saves, and better skill checks (don't forget you can often sub Acrobatics for Athletics checks), and it's more likely that a character isn't going to have just that bare minimum DEX score necessary to make heavy armor last for a little while.

Oh, and you can't even get plate armor until level 2, so there's only four levels where it's useful while also being ridiculously expensive for the levels where it's relevant. F@@* you for trying, I guess. Oh, and the +1 heavy armor potency rune costs twice as much and is one level higher than a light or medium armor potency rune for some reason. Don't know what that reason is, but for at least one level people running medium armor with an appropriate DEX are going to have a higher AC than someone in heavy armor for far cheaper, because that makes perfect sense allegedly.

Now, the argument about using a d12 weapon might be true, but Pathfinder 2 isn't D&D 5e, it actually makes perfect sense to pump up both STR and DEX for martials. My earlier math for minimum optimal DEX is just that, a minimum - that's for a character that's not even trying to be DEX focused, where DEX is the third lowest stat they have for some reason. DEX doesn't even need to be used for offense that often to be worth taking, just having it so you can have a decent range is good enough given it's also your Reflex save and movement speed. It's really hard to take advantage of that d12 weapon if you have to waste more than one action just moving to your enemy to get in range because of your s~#~ty 15 foot movement speed, literally moving three squares per action. It doesn't even have to be a big investment, going STR/DEX in your background or picking a race that just naturally has DEX is gonna force you into medium armor by level 5 even if STR is your highest stat (ignoring the class-specific bonuses).

As you pointed out, this is also s*!*ty for people who want to wear Light armor, since it's impossible to create a character at level 1 who actually benefits from it unless they're a Rogue or whatever trying to pick locks with a GM that isn't nice enough to just say they can take off their gloves and ignore ACP altogether for Thievery checks. By level 5 they will be able to use light armor finally, but it's a bit unacceptable that it takes until level 5 for that to happen. It's really only armor proficiency at that point that keeps Medium Armor from being so overbearing for those wishing for a lightly armored character.

For those who want to wear Medium armor for thematic reasons, needing a 16 in DEX at level 1 to wear it off the bat is pretty restrictive. Armor proficiency gating at least makes it so sticking with Medium early probably makes sense, but it's still icky.

Cyouni wrote:
Helmic wrote:

Couple issues with relying on bulk as a limiting factor for gear:

A) Nobody actually tracks that during play, it's a massive fiddly pain in the ass in video games where it's tracked automatically and it's only worse in pen and paper RPG's where you have to manually calculate whether you ahve enough room to carry that treasure you just found.

I'm not going to try and turn this into a Bulk thread, but Bulk is more than easy enough to track by eye. Unless you're trying to fit every last item into the L section, in the vast majority of cases you should be able to glance at a list and tell generally where you are on Bulk. (Exception for when you're carrying around 9 separate L bulk items and keep trying to push weight to the limit.)

It's really not that hard to look at items of Bulk 2, 1, 1, 1, and < 10 items of L bulk and figure out you're somewhere between 5 and 6.

The issue isn't determining a number for the Bulk of a particular item. It's constantly dropping and picking up stuff because you're at your carry limit. L items are literally just 0.1 Bulk, and that's how it's tracked in several VTT's. The whole thing is just Encumbrance with smaller numbers, and so it runs into the same problems that make people ignore Encumbrance; namely the little inventory shuffle you have to do when your inventory changes for whatever reason, like when trying to haul a bunch of loot back home. It slows the game down, its role is to basically say "no you can't have that", and without a VTT no one is really going to bother writing down and erasing lines on a sheet for its sake alone.

I'd go as far as to guess that Bulk/Encumbrance is the #1 thing houseruled or just completely ignored at tables, and so it should be almost a complete nonfactor in item balance. It's far easier to just handwave it away as "everything fits in your bag of holding" or similar and just not be a dick about it, much like how Quantum Arrows are infinite until you try to build a house out of them, at which point you only have 20.

Turkina_B wrote:
So the D6+2 piercing plus knockdown for the hyena is a free knockdown or does it require an action?

It requires an extra action (which you don't have to spend if you don't want to knock your target down or if you're out of actions), but it succeeds automatically, no save.

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5e got rid of TAC and its casters hit just fine. It's pretty simple, just use your casting stat to hit instead of DEX. DEX is gonna get pumped anyways so it's not really making casters any less SAD, just limiting the possibilities of STR-based casters. Eliminates a lot of complexity.

I think heavy armor has a lot more going against it than just TAC, though. The movement speed penalties, ACP, certain spells and monsters that explicitly f+#~ over those relying on metal armor, the fact that virtually every reasonably optimized character is going to get 16 DEX at some point if they continue playing. I don't see much other than a complete overhaul on the scale of 5e's rework to fix that mess.

Couple issues with relying on bulk as a limiting factor for gear:

A) Nobody actually tracks that during play, it's a massive fiddly pain in the ass in video games where it's tracked automatically and it's only worse in pen and paper RPG's where you have to manually calculate whether you ahve enough room to carry that treasure you just found.

B) Carts and pack animals exist. A lot of adventuring gear like tents, pots and pans, battering rams, shovels, et cetera can be assumed to be stored on the cart until they're needed.

C) Bags of Holding and other magical means of carrying s%@~ exist. Which is like a cart, except you can also dig it out in the middle of a dungeon without much issue, even in the event you got a GM anal enough to track that total.

All reasons that make STR still extremely unattractive.

So when discusisng kits, I think all they need to do in regards to bulk is specify where those items should be stored. If there's a big black iron pot, so long it's specified that it's going to be kept with the cart when exploring a dungeon then it shouldn't matter.

For that matter, carts and animals should be a standard kit option too. Maybe a concept of a "party kit" that includes stuff the entire party would be using, stuff like carts and pack animals or pots or other things the party would reasonably want to share the expenses of. That's a very good candidate for something to just be given for free RAW to the party collectively, so no further player coordination is needed for it.

I'm not entirely opposed to switching to the casting stat to determine chance to hit. Yeah, Paizo really wants most stats to have a use, but given that the vast majority of offensive spells are going to be ranged that means that it's just even more reason for casters to use DEX. Even without DEX to-hit for casting spells, DEX is often going to be the second or third highest stat anyways because most casters don't have access to heavy armor. If some casters end up not taking DEX at all... that's OK.

Using that to remove TAC is more for the sake of removing unnecessary complexity, though. You can remove an entire section on the character sheet with that change, that's one less thing to track and one less way for the players or GM to mess up during play. You can cut out so many keywords through the elimination of that mechanic. The buff to heavy armor at that point is almost secondary.

For heavy armor itself, I really do want it to be better so that I have an excuse to wear full plate, but because of how stats now increase in PF2 (at level 5 and every 5 levels after, you increase 4 different stats) there's only two stats that won't increase. DEX is almost never going to be one of those two stats that don't get increased, it just does so much and the ability to get lighter armor to shore up on TAC while literally moving faster is generally going to be more useful than increasing CHA or INT for many characters. Seriously, +5 movement speed is an entire general feat, it's something you'd pick an Elf for despite the malus to CON, it's something that is important for anyone that has to be able to reach a target first before they can deal damage, the movement speed debuff is just nutty.

The result is that most characters at level 10 are going to have at least 14 DEX. There's no ancestry that lets you take a malus to DEX and DEX isn't the worst or second worst stat to improve for most classes. Most characters that are mildly optimized are going to be looking at having a 14 in DEX by level 5, because again it's very hard to not give DEX one of those four free boosts. By level 10 or 15, it simply stops making sense to wear *any* heavy armor, you'll just naturally bump into having 16 DEX at some point without even really trying.

The only exception to this right now is that some classes get additional expertise only with heavy armor, which is a pretty ugly solution.

I think the core of the issue is that generally when a player makes a character concept, they already envision what their outfit looks like. If I want to make a full plate dude, I want to be a full plate dude from 1-20. I don't want to gradually wear less and less armor, I just want my plate armor to get more and more flashy. The current system, however, forces all characters to change out the type of their armor every time they get free boosts because of how DEX caps work and how TAC and ACP just make heavier armor strictly inferior to lighter armor.

In PF1, this wasn't as obvious an issue because you only ever could get a +1 to one stat as you leveled up. Nothing practically forced you to increase your DEX if you weren't a DEX-based character. If you could get your DEX to an acceptable level for the armor you wanted to wear at level 1 and you weren't a DEX-based character, it could be assumed that you weren't going to put your scarce +1's into DEX and that you'd be wearing the same type of armor forever. This made heavier armor useful as a way to "partially dump" DEX and only suffer some of the consequences.

That's no longer true, so the entire armor system needs to be seriously rethought. 5e's system isn't ideal for what PF is trying to do because it encourages you to dump either STR or DEX, with little benefit for leveling both. A possibility for PF is to give each class of armor different benefits based on whether you have DEX or STR, or to just make heavier armor always better except at stealth and to jealously gate armor profiency, remove armor proficiency altogether and rebalance armor around the assumption that any class can wear whatever armor they want.

Anything that would make armor easier to understand and better enable a player to pick what they like aesthetically while still enabling the armor to do what it should be doing thematically would be good. Think of how weapons currently work - because 2d6 no longer exists, you can actually choose a wide variety of weapons and be generally equal-ish in your performance if you're not doing anything special with the weapon. In practice, the difference between a greataxe and a great sword is almost nonexistent. It's only when more focused and specialized builds that take advantage of the quirks of weapons do their differences shine through. I'd love for a similar system to exist in spirit for armor.

Captain Morgan wrote:

Isn't this basically solved by moving powers into their own separate chapter, which we know they are doing? I can't think of another example whose rarity seems easy to conflate. Like, there are uncommon spells, but they don't intersect with feats at all IIRC. And there are uncommon items that do, but that's mostly pretty obvious-- dwarves can gain access to dwarf stuff with dwarf feats, monks can gain access to monk stuff with monk feats-- and seems fine to just allow for story reasons anyway, largely.

Powers seem to basically be THE class locked rarity system. So having them in a separate chapter makes it pretty clear cut, maybe with a couple sentences at the beginning of the chapter explaining this.

To be more specific, Triple Time is a Bard cantrip that's usually only available through the feat of the same name. Same with Inspire Competence and Inspire Courage.

To make things worse, they don't have a solid box, instead relying on text only which is a lot thinner. It can be difficult for those like myself that can't see red very well to even pick up that the cantrip is uncommon.

Aside from rarity, the only thing marking the spell as something special is the fact that it's not actually specified as part of a spell list.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Yeah, that would be nice, though I'm not entirely sure if its worth the space for each narrative disrupting option. I'd like to think that if a spell is highlighted and a player has to ask the GM, the GM will be forced to think through WHY it can be disruptive in the first place. That might be giving folks too much credit though. I know I've warned GMs about how certain things might feel disruptive and they've still managed to feel surprised by it. (5e is actually really bad about this, especially the Warlock.)

There aren't that many spells marked uncommon for that reason and it'll have to be written down somewhere because a new GM is not necessarily going to know what the big deal about Alter Reality or Wish is, In order to even think about why these spells might be a problem, you have to have at least heard of them being problems or imagined a sceanrio where it could be one - and for you to imagine such a scenario, you must have played at least one game and gotten a grip of what a typical D&D-style adventure is like.

Given that, I think the space spent explaining each Uncommon-because-it's-potentially-disruptive spell is marked as such would be a good use of space, it makes it unmissable so both player and GM understand the reasoning. If not there in the spell list, it would have to be in the GM section separated from it, where it might not be found as it would require the GM to know what the rarity system implies in the first place, something you can't rely on when the rules for the entire system are so complex.

Captain Morgan wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
My biggest problem is just that it already starts to dilute the meaning of Uncommon, since there's an entire class of spells that's only labelled as Uncommon because you have to get them through class features.
That's basically the definition of uncommon though. It is stuff you can either get through taking particular options or by asking your GM. Rare is where you get into stuff that can only be obtained through GM intervention.

Yes, but it's unclear why something is uncommon if uncommon can mean two different things, making it difficult for a GM to know whether they should be saying "yes" to something or not.

Uncommon is the one that requires GM permission, but it's also what gates some class feature stuff, and the power or spell itself won't necessarily tell you that's the case. So the GM is left guessing.

I'd rather class feat stuff have its own rarity, if it is to continue using the rarity system. Or, if not, some other easily spotted marker that lets the player and the GM both know immediately that this spell/power is actually off-limits because you're supposed to pay for it with a feat. Anything that is Uncommon for campaign-disruption reasons like Zone of Truth should also include a note to the GM explaining why, so that newer GM's have some guidance on when to say yes or no.

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BMX Bandit serving a minor role for 20 seconds in a very contrived situation does not make for a satisfying role. It means they got to be mildly useful for not even a minute while still being way less important than Angel Summoner. And it still relies on Angel Summoner not just finding a way to do it by themselves anyways.

I fail to see why that situation is desirable, or how deliberately removing things that prevent that situation will make the game better. It seems kind of like a bit of an unproductive tangent. If you don't think C/MD needed addressing, then the rest of PF2 is very unlikely to be appealing to you in general, and I don't see how arguing about things that are foundational goals of the system is going to make things any better. Paizo found it important to address, explicitly stated that as a goal of the new edition, there's an audience that felt it needed addressing, and I doubt those who felt it wasn't that important to address will mind it that much if they were interested in PF2's other changes to begin with. It's a bit like complaining about how FATE has all these narratively-focused elements; at that point you're just arguing against a popular system's very premise, and the most you'll accomplish is decide that the system isn't for you.

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Wanna take a quick note that GNS theory has been known to be bunk for ages and that terms like "gamist" don't really mean all that much if we're worrying who the system will appeal to. I don't see much merit in trying to discuss the system in those terms. Making big claims about whether "simulationist" systems are more popular is gonna be suspect when, say, 5e exists and goes out of its way to not include fiddly rules just for simulating stuff, instead giving the GM fairly decent tools to b!+~*%&* something quickly.

It's a bit hard to tell what the intent of this feat is, just looking at it. It takes a single action, and the frequency suggests that it can only be cast once per round. Was this intended to be a short-lived self-buff, to allow a Cleric to bash heads a bit better but otherwise not be used by other party members? Even that alone seems like a fairly useful thing to have, so my guess is that that was the intent and that the feat was poorly written.

dmerceless wrote:

I also really dislike having class features attached to a very specific alignment. Basically for two reasons:

One is that some options will be very good, some will be usable, and some will be bad, that's... unavoidable. Attaching them to alignment makes so that, let's say, they release a Lawful Neutral Paladin and their abilities are really bad. So now the entire concept of a Lawful Neutral Paladin will almost not be played, ever.

The second one is that sometimes the player likes the mechanical concept of one alignment and the tenets of another one. Actually I had this happen in one of my games. The player loved the concept of a Liberator, but he really disliked Liberating Step. I don't blame him, it's so situational. I ended up homebrewing that you can choose any one of the reactions (and subsequential upgrades and Feats) regardless of your alignment, as long as it makes sense for the character. I'll probably do the same when the game comes out if it stays that way.

I'd extend that to Clerics with gods. Not that I dislike the idea of certain gods having particular domains, so long that the gods have various appropriate domains and you have a reasonable choice of who your character worships while still having the playstyle you want, but when there's a ranking of various Golarian gods based on who is the most optimal based on the skills, weapon proficiencies, and spell lists they grant, I think there's a problem. It makes it much harder to create reasonable, balanced custom settings if you have to balance your custom pantheon against each other based on what spells you'll be granting them, and if your pantheon maybe doesn't line up exactly with Golarian's pantheon (one god, two gods, no gods and instead having a more philosophical connection to the divine, all gods are evil but most clerics draw power from a divine concept instead, et cetera) then you actually have a balance problem on your hands.

5e did good by putting everything into domains, so that your choice of god only needs to be related to what your cleric does rather than defining precisely what your cleric does. The same concept should be applied to Paladins, I feel.

Yeah, I'm not a fan in the slightest of the mechanical restrictions imposed on alignment. I don't want there to have to be "balance" between Lawful and Chaotic paladins. I want them to have access to the exact same options, with anything involving the Law-Chaos axis being up to the player's interpretation. The only alignment-related thing truly core to the idea of a Paladin is morality, good or evil.

Not that I'd particularly mind if good, neutral, and evil "paladins" are mechanically identical as well in the final version, but in those cases the moral alignment is much more important thematically.

pjrogers wrote:
1) If there are NOT significantly more casters than martials (and mind you I'm using this false binary only for purposes of discussion), this at least suggests that people creating and playing characters don't see the alleged "gap" as an issue.

I played martials, I played with a lot of people who enjoyed martials, we all saw the issue. The typical PF1 fix for this was the tier system, where the GM would specify a tier and give a list sorting all the classes by tier. You only picked classes inside that tier, had to ask for anything a tier below or above, and could right f&#~ off if you tried anything further from that.

Tiers 1 and 2 were known to be disruptive, so generally a Tier 3 class/archetype (which is where you start to see the very best of the marials and some gishes, as well as the better balanced of full casters) is what a lot of groups would agree on. PF1, being the clusterf+@* it is, still will have issues because build options can vary wildly in effectiveness and the prevalence of trap options meant newer players needed supervision from the most skilled optmizers in the group to make sure no one sunk too many resources into something that won't work.

pjrogers wrote:
2) The use of "should" indicates that this is a normative argument not anything that can firmly proved or disproved one way or another. Based on my experiences in face-to-face and online play, I have not seen a "gap" that is "bigger than it should be." Other folks mileage may vary.

The "should" is an assumption that balance is valuable and desirable. Anyone that even vaguely considers balance important in crunchy tabletop RPG's probably points to 3.5/PF1 as the go-to example of how not to go about it. Like if you're questioning the validity of the desire for balance in general, then there's not much that can be said. You'd just have a completely different priority, one that doesn't line up with the goals of PF2, and there's not much that can change about PF2 to accommodate that preference.

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graystone wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Different games make different levels of optimization possible though.

True, but every game will allow optimization if it offers the least bit of customization so it's an inevitable part of games themselves.

Shinigami02 wrote:
So what do you do if, in a party of 4, you have 2 people are only experienced enough for the casual game and 2 are highly experienced and want to do the tooth-and-nail epic?

From my experience, the DM and/or the experienced players help the casual players make characters than can compete. I've personaly done it more times than I can count.

Tridus wrote:
The system mastery power gap in PF1 is massive.
And? Any game with actual options and meaningful choices is going to have a learning curve. When you "reduce the size of the system mastery power gap", you also directly reduce the options and customization of said game. If you have various ways to build something, there are ALWAYS going to be better or worse ways to do so. For a lot of people, most of the fun is in the construction and seeing how various parts fit together and when you remove that to reduce the "power gap", the also reduce their fun.

I'm not sure how the removal of feat chains and +1's removes actual customization and depth, though. A massive chunk of feats in PF1 are of the "in for a penny, in for a pound" variety, they collectively were all one choice to anyone who knew the system. Different flavors of +1 are meaningless.

And in their place, an absolute assload more feats. Your class features are feats, your skills are feats, your race is feats. Every class is getting feats every level, often several. We're back at square one here, like we seem to just fundamentally disagree that bundling stuff you had to take together anyways and removing penalties that were themselves removed by feats is less deep than taking 14 feats before you can wipe your own ass without assistance.

Like it's really word to see complaints like "it's just one feat." That's good! It means you can spend your next feat on doing something wider that you would have to dedicate an entire build to in PF1! You can do two, three PF1 builds at once, and then retrain them when you level up RAW! There's more than one feat relevant to your interests if you want to dual wield, for example, but since none of them give you a +1 or remove a penalty necessary for it to be viable, you don't have to take them all. You can swap between dual wielding and bow feats and have a fun switch hitter build. Or you can dedicate as many feats as possible to one style and be more versatile with it, but not necessarily numerically stronger unless you have a plan for a cool combo.

I just don't see your typical PF1 build as really customized. Most of its feats are things that have to be spent to make it viable, won't come online at a basic level until level 8, and it'll involve a lot of feat chains - count all those chains as one choice and the penalty removals as no choice and you might get why folk are bewildered at your assertion that customization was removed. To us, it was added, we just hardly counted what you considered customization as anything more than an illusion.

Especially traits. God, traits were horrid. Apparently the best way to add flavor and detail to a character is to tour those choices to mechanics so that every single PC is a reactionary. You get two because the system wants you to spend five hours before you confirm that yes, really, nothing listed is going to be more generally helpful than a +1 to initiative so all that time was spent just to realize you never really had a choice. No wonder netbuilds were so popular, you can look at a guide and immediately be told the effect number of choices you should even bitter considering.

Think that last bit is my favorite part of class feats, it filters it to just the feats a sane person would take, that have something to do with your class so you don't waste time reading about sneak attacking people while they're looking straight at you when you're a wizard and can't use that nonsense anyways.

It's just class and con mod past first level. No dice rolling or anything.

I think it would be easier to make it just a ten minute activity, to match up with trap disabling. Much simpler, GM doesn't need to think hard about it, and it doesn't make sense that a knot needs to take ten minutes to tie just to hold someone in place for an equal amount of time. I'd laugh at anyone taking an entire minutev to tie such a knot, it should barely take more than a round.

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graystone wrote:

I don't think the game has the issue with optimization. Whatever game system you take there are better and worse ways to make up characters. What needs to happen is everyone has to be on the same page. If you're playing a casual game, you know you're a jerk if you hyperspecilize. If you know you're playing a tooth and nail epic fight for the universe, you as much a jerk for bringing in a casual character. If you build a character to actually fit your group, it's not an issue. I don't really understand the desire for the game itself to force the issue: it just requires a meeting of the minds at the start of the game.

PS: that said, I guess there might need to be guidelines for games line PFS that accept players without the normal startup but that's not really an issue with the game itself.

That's only really true if you're playing a system where the disparity between optimized and non-optimized characters is problematic, though. There's so many other RPG's where this has never been an issue.

PF2 is fundamentally different, you don't have to have a social contract necessarily. If everyone makes a reasonable effort to not gimp their character deliberately, if you're not being obtuse about your attributes, none of that is necessary.

That entire truism evolved out of a need to cope with the inherent brokenness of many crunchy systems. It might be optimistic to say that that could never become necessary for PF2, Paizo is fully capable of putting out a stinker of a class, some third party is going to have a very dumb feat, but structurally the issues that have misled you to believe that sort of arrangement is necessary in eveitself have been largely addressed.

There's still combat itself, there's still lots of room for an experienced player to set up combos and position themselves way better than someone pissing away actions using ghost sound and failing to actually distract anyone. But as that's not a locked in thing it's much easier for a newer player to learn by watching and figuring out for themselves that spending all three actions attacking over and over is a bad idea.

Like if you don't feel the same thing, it's hard to get across why PF1 was so frustrating and why PF2 and other more modern RPG's feel so damn good. It's not something you can just throw PF1 logic at and expect it to still hold true. It's such a fundamental goal of the new edition that I really don't think anyone who sees that as problematic can ever really enjoy the system, no matter what gets changed. It's just not going to go away.

pjrogers wrote:
Helmic wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I think I would have liked for Sorcerer to be like/have some Kineticist options, being able to spam things and pump themselves up.
Please! Please! No! Knineticists are my absolute least favorite thing in PF1e. I dislike them even more than trip specialists with reach weapons (which is saying a heck of a lot).
What's wrong with Kineticists? They're fun. They'd just be regular Sorcerers who took a certain option. I don't see a structural issue with them.
They have their own unique set of rules that has virtually nothing to do with how any other class operates. They're like something designed for one game system and then dropped into another.

Huh? Isn't that a little desirable, as a class option? It's not that complex, I don't remember it being problematic in play. If you had a specific criticism similar to our issue with revolver chamber spell slots adding complexity and a host of problems inherent to it being the default of the system, I'd be interested in hearing it, but otherwise it seems inconsistent with the position that Vancian casting needs an additional out of place revolver chamber spell slot system.

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