Janet Kuhlmann's page

FullStarFullStarFullStarFullStar Venture-Lieutenant, New York—Albany 21 posts (24 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 42 Organized Play characters.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is in the vein of a question BEFORE we run a session rather than feedback on what happened during a playtest.

We're getting ready to run "In Pale Mountain's Shadow" and my husband noticed that Zafkar does 2d6 with his scimitar and yet it is not indicated as being a +1 weapon, nor is there a scimitar of any type listed among his items.

Knowing our players, they will see 2d6 being rolled and immediately jump to the conclusion that there should be a +1 scimitar up for grabs (well, they will probably think it's sneak attack and then realize that he shouldn't be getting sneak attack with every hit and protest that they aren't flat-footed and then an extensive rules discussion will follow). Then they will expect a +1 scimitar.

The thing is, the NPC's stat block gives no information that explains the 2d6. Is it a typo and should be 1d6 as per the damage for a plain scimitar, or does he actually have a +1 scimitar, or is he supposed to be using the longspear that is the weapon mentioned in his stat block as one of the items he has? Or are you just proving that the rules do not apply to NPCs in any way shape or form and you can fudge the numbers however you like? Which will also cause some very unhappy players when this all goes down.

We would like some guidance on whether an adjustment to "In Pale Mountain's Shadow should be made to add a +1 scimitar to the items carried by the NPC, the damage for the weapon should be reduced to 1d6 instead of 2d6, the longspear used instead of a scimitar, or how we can explain the discrepancy to players who are much too intelligent not to notice that they didn't get a +1 weapon after killing the NPC. They will expect an explanation that makes sense, instead of "I don't know. That's the way it was written."

Most of the time, I just accept that in PF2, the monster stats will be fudged and there is no way to determine if there is actually an error in anything or not, but this definitely seems in the realm of an error as it deals with equipment and not fudged attack bonuses, excess hps, or the particular deadliness of special abilities.

I haven't read through all 105 posts on this subject, but I can point out right away that there is a fallacy to your calculations. First, a 10th level fighter should never be fighting either a single 5th level orc or a 20th level Balor. It would have been more appropriate to put him up against a CR that was within the range of acceptable challenges. That leads me to the second fallacy. The 10th level fighter would not be alone. He would have 3 other characters contributing. As much as the current rules favor fighters over all other classes, they still should not be a 1-man party (but you seem to be proving they can be). You have completely skewed your whole argument and invalidated your results by ignoring that fact.

I think the real shame here is that you seem to accept that a single fighter should be able to face these challenges, when no other class would be likely to have a chance. THAT is an imbalance that has been built into PF2 which I find unsettling. If a fighter can stand on their own then every other class should have the resources and abilities to do the same (albeit in a different way). Show me how a cleric or a ranger or a wizard would be able to face that challenge.

The thing is, as far as I can see, your method or Paizo's are not much different. Fighters are the obvious choice is both cases because the rules limit everyone else. But as complex as Paizo's rules are, they are still simpler and have fewer exceptions than yours do.

By all means, make your house rules. But I can see no validation for promoting such a change to the PF2 rules. Especially not at this point when playtesting has just begun.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

On page 292, there is a further clarification that is needed about rolling 20 that contradicts or puts a further condition on the text that precedes it.

"If your enemy is far more powerful than you or a task
beyond your abilities, you might roll a natural 20 and
still get a result lower than the DC. In this case, you
succeed instead of critically succeed or fail.
If you lack the
proficiency for a task in the first place, or it’s impossible,
you might still fail on a natural 20.

The first bolded portion implies that rolling a 20 will always allow you to at least succeed even if the task "is beyond your abilities". Then the next bolded portion says exactly the opposite using the terms "lack the proficiency" and "impossible".

It is unclear how the "beyond your abilities" differs from "lack the proficiency" and how "impossible" differs from not having the bonuses needed to succeed on a check.

If there are situations where a roll of a 20 succeeds and a roll of a 20 fails, those situations need to be defined more clearly.

JRutterbush wrote:

I have one major concern with this: why is the difference between Trained and Expert only a +1 bonus? That does not, to me, evoke the idea of an expert at anything, being only 5% better at something than someone who's just had the basic level of training. Especially if, as I suspect, Master and Legend are just +2 and +3 in the same way that they are for weapons. +1 is not a large difference in skill, and having so little difference in skill between these designations just feels very... underwhelming.

You need to consider that +1 for a weapon means it gets to roll an extra dice for damage. Maybe it works the same way with skills? Maybe you an extra 1dn with each level of proficiency to add to your check? This is just speculation on my part, but otherwise, you are right. Why go to any level other than Trained if a +1 is all you get at the next level. But that's speculation too, for what it's worth.

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Wands of CLWs are NOT the problem. They are a symptom of the problem. We need to ask WHY are parties doing this and the obvious answers are:

1. They can't count on a party member healing. Healing is not fun and so a lot of people just won't do it, even if they are playing a "healing" class.
2. Their healer doesn't have enough resources to keep them going when they are being forced by the plotline (or the GM) to push forward.
3. They are taking more damage than they should be (whatever number that is) because of being badly equipped, not designed for defense, or stupid tactics.
4. They don't dare risk going into an encounter damaged because they could die in one hit if they do (based on their previous experience in the game they're playing).
5. Healing is such an glamorous job that the "healer" would rather be doing other things during combat rather than healing (unless a need for healing becomes immediate and even then, it's a hard choice).

The other thing to consider, if you're the GM in a game with this problem, then you or the adventure and not the CLWs wand is probably the problem.

If you are a player in this game, then there is probably a problem with the level of healing you have available in the party.

So before you get all angry at the Wand of CLWs, maybe you should think about how to really remedy the problem.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't care whether healing is reserved for clerics, but healing in general definitely needs an overhaul. Healing spells are seriously underpowered in the context of how much damage is being dealt, how often it is needed (which is why CLW wands are so necessary to keep going). A first level cleric, bard, or oracle isn't going to be able to do enough healing to get a party through 5 or 6 encounters in a day, let alone more than one.

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I have to agree that the new "dying" system seems overly complicated, difficult to understand and counter-intuitive. Death 1, Death 2, Death 3, and Death 4? WTF? Four new conditions each with their own parameters, consequences, and multiple branches on a logic tree to determine what happens next. Trying to decipher this tangle will be giving everyone anxiety attacks.

This is not a simplification. This is not elegant. It also seems to be aimed at making it incredibly difficult to recover from something that is bound to happen often, especially in a game where everyone and everything can now make 3 attacks per round regardless of level.

I'm going to stop here before this devolves into a rant about devaluing healers, the inadequacy of the old Cure spells in PF2e, the increased randomness introduced by the >10< rules (which sounds neat, but adds a ton of additional complexity to the rules and the gameplay). But enough on that.

Why not two spell lists. The division between Arcane and Divine is semantics and a completely arbitrary division that is a holdover from previous versions. The key is the effect. Magic whether from a divine or an Arcane source is about effect. Is it destructive or beneficial? Some classes have affinities for destruction, others for improving. If you want to use spells from the other area, you need to use feats to be proficient. Or maybe just one spell list and each caster is just better at some schools of magic.

Just throwing out ideas, but if all the possible effects of each spell are being multiplied by 4 by the new crit system, either in the amount of damage it deals or the actual severity of the effect, then the number of spells will need to be reduced overall or it becomes a design nightmare. I just happen to think simpler is better. Simpler lets new players pick up the game quickly. Simpler lets kids play and enjoy the game more.

I think we already have these in game, they just aren't happening as obviously as the OP would like or to the degree. If you get close enough to the Troll and your AC sucks, you are going to get rended. The dilemma was in whether to move closer or not. So you picked trying to give the fighter a flank instead of standing back and lobbing arrows.

There are dilemmas. Healers face them all the time. Do I heal person X or try to channel and damage the undead. Do I heal someone or do I do something that might actually make my character more fun to play.

The arcane caster - do I try to get off a damage spell before someone rushes into the room or do I cast a buff spell that will make everyone BUT me more effective?

Maybe the new problem will be that with 3 actions to spend those dilemmas won't exist anymore. Or do some things just break the 3-action rule?

Back to the whole crit success/crit fail with the >10<. This is just really confusing. This alone is going to double the amount of time that it takes to go through any combat round.

Does anyone remember THAC0? That was the last time that confusing math skills were required on the part of the player and the GM. THAT was painful. No one liked it, but they didn't have anything better to use at the time.

This reminds me a lot of THAC0. Lots of additional math to complicate what should really be an easy question to answer.

Clerics, actually, healers of any type are in need of something...anything to make them interesting enough that people want to actually play them. It's like pulling teeth to find a healer for a game. Can we get something to make them a little more fun to play?

Paul Blart: Thread Cop wrote:
96) Is there any chance that the PF2E corebook -- the most powerful roleplaying game in the world -- might blow our heads clean off?

You mean like that ride in Nuka-World?

I'll be honest. I don't think this is a rules question. I don't know why this is even on the forums for the playtest. And I really hate it when people try to impose their personal views of what roleplaying should be on the rest of the community.

This is a GM question. If you don't like your players being able to heal up the damage you deal them and would prefer that they stop, rest for the night, and have to regain spells so they don't die in the next encounter, then do that. Make healing wands rare and impossible to buy. Make them take crafting feats to make them. But making this a rule adjustment is just stupid. That takes the choice away from every player and that kind of mentality will end up driving people away. Do it in your home game, if you like. Your players will have the choice to get up and walk away if they don't like the way you run the game. Make it a game rule and it's not just your table that suffers.

People want to enjoy playing, and while dying a magnificent death in a boss fight is one thing. Mostly death is just frustrating and stupid bad luck and there's nothing that it adds to a player's experience of the game except the desire to just pack it all in and find a different roleplaying game that is more fun.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, New York—Albany

2 people marked this as a favorite.

First of all there are two types of boons that need to be considered. There are the boons that are given away as prizes, rewards, for GM'ing at conventions. Those are on their own piece of paper and generally offer something valuable (like the ability to play a non-playable race). All well and good, but anyone who has those should just go ahead and make up a 1e character because playable races in 2e may be completely different. I have several boons that were made obsolete when playable races changed. It happens and it will continue to happen.

Besides, who's to say that ANY of those races will even have Ancestries defined that will allow them to be played in 2e. Use them or lose them. It's not like you can't continue to play 1e. There's a ton of material out there and there will be a lot of people who will want to play it even if it's not offered at conventions and game days.

To me, the real problem boons are those that appear on chronicles. Most of them are just useless, and especially the faction boons, which, because there are TOO many factions, very few people ever even qualify for the faction boons anyway. I usually play the type of character to will help the party survive and succeed and that's not always a match to the featured faction. Besides those are useless anyway. And chronicle boons that require you to play several scenarios in a line of non-series scenarios are just stupid. I say do away with chronicle boons. 9 times out of 10 you don't know you should have played another character (who may or may not be in the right tier to play the scenario). Almost no one ever qualifies for the boons anyway, so everyone just feels disappointed or cheated out of something cool and the people who do manage to get those kinds of things consistently are probably checking out the chronicle beforehand.

Here's how I would do it. You play a scenario in which a faction figures prominently and you support them, you get a point with that faction. The POINT you earned appears on your chronicle. Then like prestige, you can spend it to buy "boons" that are available from the faction. Different boons might cost different numbers of points. Lower the number of factions so there are maybe 5, so it's easier to manage and publish a free pdf with the boons and the point costs. AND NEVER ATTACH A SPECIFIC BOON TO A CHRONICLE AGAIN, because that's just a waste of time and paper.

If you want to put something on the chronicle or it isn't just lots of white space, put a short recap of the scenario so when the player looks at the chronicle, it means something more than just xp and money. For example, "You helped the (Faction Name) cement their trade agreements in (Place Name) and resolved the problems they were having with slaver raids. (NPC Name) was pleased with the results of your efforts and has spoken on your behalf with his faction. (You receive N faction points with the (Faction Name).)"

I think that fits better with the more fluid way that the rest of the character building works and a character can get a boon that is actually useful to their build/role/ethos instead of a useless thing that you will look at once and forget and never use.

I also think it should be possible to be "factionless" which means you gain less faction points with anyone you "help" and the cost of boons is higher than if you are dedicated to a specific faction.

So while I may not be happy about everything that I've been reading about 2nd Ed., I really appreciate that boons are going to be revamped.

Another thing to keep in mind is that many players use a tablet or a laptop or even their phone to play these days and don't carry the paper around. They aren't concerned about micromanaging their chronicles. They want things they can make note of on their online character sheet. So streamline.

So BRAVO (or BRAVA, as the case may be) for revising boons. I am interested to see how the boons will be implemented though. Maybe my suggestion will be helpful in that regard. The devil is always in the details.

Oh, and I could care less whether any of the boons I got in 1st ed carry over into 2nd. I doubt they would apply anyway since it sounds like the whole game system is being rewritten. Maybe race boons, but that's it. But playable races have been changing every couple of years anyway, so maybe half the boons out there won't be needed any more or even usable until all those races get fleshed out in terms of the new Ancestries.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, New York—Albany

We're running this tomorrow and I anticipate a great deal of trouble with the puzzle on page 8, with most groups either being stopped dead until they figure it out (massive time-waster) or just giving up and hoping they can smash the door down or as truly enterprising PCs sometimes do, cut a path through the wall next to the door. Either way, it has the potential to turn into a big time-sink and will have to be managed carefully, especially as it comes at the very beginning of the scenario when it's harder to gauge how much time spent on something like this is too much time.

Even having read the explanation, it took me a long time to figure out how the author was arriving at the numbers. This puzzle should have had a visual to expedite its solution in real time. They went to the trouble to do a handout, but not one that was actually of much use.

Interesting puzzle, however the execution of it in the scenario is lacking, and as GMs, we'll want to make sure too much game time isn't spent getting past it.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, New York—Albany

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Paizo has just offered everyone a way to get additional bonuses as a way to help the local game stores that support PFS by providing players a location to play. This is not about giving out free PDFs to players or supporting pubs who don't allocate space for your games or public venues who don't give a rat's @$$ what you are doing as long as you are buying food and drinks the whole time, don't cause a disturbance, and they don't need the table for paying customers.

Let's get back to the spirit of the program which is;

Support the venues that allow you to schedule games by giving up retail space and get an in-game benefit.

I would limit it to purchases at FLGSs and vendors at conventions made on the day of the game.

I also run and play in games that start when the store officially opens. Our game store opens the doors early to get ready for the day, but as long as you don't mind dealing with the noise of a vacuum cleaner, you can go in and get your tables set up early. This means players can come early as well and pick out what they want before the game and take a few minutes to pay for them before the game starts. It seems unlikely that you have to start playing the very second the doors open, since the GM will need a few minutes to set up. So there has to be a few minutes to make a quick purchase as long as you aren't looking for the perfect mini and need to examine every mini in the store. If time is really an issue, call the day before and have the store set aside what you want.

I really don't see what everyone is whining about. Personally, I always buy at least several sodas and usually anything else I need because the store is supporting PFS play and I appreciate their support. Now I'll maybe get an in-game boon from it. Why does that make everyone want free PDFs and the boon to work when there is no game store or cooperation from the venue at all?

I noticed a discrepancy in the requirements and the description of the Theurgy feat from Ultimate Magic.

The requirements are:
Prerequisites: Wis 13, Int or Cha 13, able to cast 1st-level arcane spells, able to cast 1st-level divine spells.

The description says:
Benefit: You can augment the power of your divine spells with arcane energy and augment your arcane spells with divine energy.
When casting a divine spell, you may sacrifice an arcane spell slot or arcane prepared spell of that spell's level or higher as a swift action. The caster level for that divine spell increases by +1.
When casting an arcane spell, you may sacrifice a divine spell slot or prepared divine spell of the same or higher level as a swift action. Half the damage dealt by the arcane spell becomes holy (if you channel positive energy) or unholy (if you channel negative energy).

The problem is that the prerequisite only requires the ability to cast 1st-level divine spells, but the determination of the effects (for augmenting arcane spells) is wholly dependent on channeling ability. Perhaps it should instead be dependent on caster alignment or default to holy since all classes that provide divine casting of spells do not also provide the ability to channel.

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I built a Kineticist for the playtest and haven't played it since because it required a rebuild and the Kineticist class has so many confusing rules and omissions that I just didn't have the impetus to be bothered with it for almost 2 years. Let me also say that I play mostly through PFS and so table rules vary widely by GM and only with a non-ambiguous FAQ or errata can I be certain that any of these abilities will be allowed to work as intended.

Anyway, I recently picked up my book and started the rebuild but I noticed 2 glaring issues aside from the tight constraints on the class that just made me want to make another sorcerer. But that's a different discussion. There was also one potential synergy that should work, but since it's from material that predates Occult Adventures, it doesn't call out Kineticist specifically.

1. All the entries for talents are missing vital information. They are supposed to be spell-like but none of the usual information that is provided for spells are provided for talents. This is especially a problem for the utility talents because the lack of duration information is a glaring omission. How long does Earth Walk or Aerial Adaptation last? While it seems that both of these become a class ability and never need to be activated, I know GMs that will argue that all talents are spell-like abilities that require a standard action to use and since no duration is stated it has to be reactivated each round like a blast. Enough of them include words like "constantly", but that only indicates that the ones that are missing such specific wording are not always in effect. Big area for errata here since almost every utility talent is missing duration. Another problem are the ones that say "similar to" and reference a spell. Just how similar. Duration? Target? Range? Casting time? No clue. This needs to be addressed.

2. I decided I wanted to make a Geokineticist. It was a hard decision, but I liked the defensive talent and it seemed a little more versatile in that it wouldn't be shut down by a single elemental resistance or immunity, although things like alignment DR would always be a problem. After I got into it, I realized the selection of Earth talents was less in shear number than any other element. All of them are highly restricted in usefulness and the addition of form and substance infusions add things like save negates and other "benefits" that make them completely undesirable because of the high burn cost . The utility talents at least offer other abilities, but they are not very equitably distributed between the elements either. Water tops the list at 18, followed closely by Aether and Air at 17 talents. Fire and Earth limp along with 14 and 13 respectively, which isn't enough to even give a choice at most levels unless it's to fall back to a lower level ability or to select one of the 8 Universal utility talents that are available. More talents and more evenly distributed talents are required or maybe just more that apply to all elements.

3. I also have a question about the Dwarven ability "Stonesinger" (exact text copied below). It says it works with earth bloodlines, mysteries, domains, but does not list the Kineticist's Elemental Focus. Although the rest of the wording indicates that it should since it specifically calls out spells with the "earth" descriptor which all wild talents get based on an Elemental Focus of Earth. But again it's a gray area that can't be counted on to be accepted in PFS play without a clarification.

Stonesinger: Some dwarves' affinity for the earth grants them greater powers. Dwarves with this racial trait are treated as one level higher when casting spells with the earth descriptor or using granted powers of the Earth domain, the bloodline powers of the deep earth bloodline or earth elemental bloodline, and revelations of the oracle's stone mystery. This ability does not give them early access to level-based powers; it only affects the powers they could use without this ability. This racial trait replaces stonecunning.

If you would flag this post for FAQ, I would really appreciate it.

I see another problem with this build. Improved Natural Attack is a Monster Feat and is not available to player characters in PFS, which is an even more basic constraint on this build. So how would he be getting access to the feat in the first place, especially since Improved Natural Attack is not in the list of Ranger Combat Style Feats?

It sounds to me like there isn't any reason to take the Ranger levels except to prop up BAB. Is there something I'm missing here?

Tanis wrote:
You can not be your own ally.

Not true. The bardic ability Inspire Courage clearly adds a parenthetical clarification of the word "allies" to show that the term does include the originator of the effect.

There are equivalents in spellcasting. Bless says "Bless fills your allies with courage. Each ally gains a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls and on saving throws against fear effects." Bless also says "Area: The caster and all allies within a 50-ft. burst, centered on the caster"

I would rule that you are your own ally unless the wording specifically excludes the caster, as in the case of Inspire Competence.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Uninvited Ghost wrote:

But I don't think those specifics were needed to answer my rule question...

I'm wondering if I'm interpreting it wrong somehow. Does it mean 1 less spell of each spell level per Sorcerer level or just 1 less spell per level? Or something else?

"A crossblooded sorcerer has one fewer spell known at each level (including cantrips) than is presented on Table 3–15: Sorcerer Spells Known on page 73 of the Core Rulebook."

The reference to cantrips should make it clear that you get one less spell known at each spell level, not each sorcerer level (especially as "one spell less at each sorcerer level" wouldn't make sense without a lot of additional clarifying text).

(Remember that you can always use higher-level slots for lower-level spells, so at level 4 you'd have 0 2nd-level spells known, but would still have 2nd-level slots that you could use for 1st-level spells, including metamagicked 1st-level spells.)

I'm wondering WHEN I lose the one spell at each spell level. Let's say at 1st level I lose a spell known, since 0 level spells are included, I lose a cantrip. But I only lose 10 spells known, so it seems they should be done at static intervals. If I lose one at 1st, I should lose the next one at 3rd and that would be a 1st level spell. You can't front-end load this, because at some point I would be due to lose a spell level that I can't cast for 8 more levels.

So my recommendation for implementing this would be,
1st level = only 3 cantrips
3rd level = no new 1st level spell
5th level = no new 2nd level spell
7th level = no new 3rd level spell
9th level = no new 4th level spell
11th level = no new 5th level spell
and so on.

At 20th level,you would have
20th 8 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 2

which seems to be the intent of the penalty.