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Organized Play Member. 324 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 5 Organized Play characters.


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Like everyone else said the effects should stack,but in order to benefit from the ring you need spell specialization, varisian tattoo, or some other CL enhancing effect to combo with.

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theservantsllcleanitup wrote:
Yes but fatal and deadly don't apply to hits, only crits, and the spell specifically goes out if its way to say that you don't treat a crit spell attack as a crit melee attack...

The main point I wanted to make was that non - damage definitely don't apply, since it seems that OP thought they do and no one corrected them.

That being said I do think that reading the spell such that crit traits don't apply is a valid RAW approach, but probably unintended due to the subtlety of the phrasing it hinges on. A good candidate for an FAQ or errata.

The spell says "You deal the weapon's damage as if you had hit with a melee Strike," so traits that affect damage apply, and those that don't don't. So fatal and deadly should apply, but agile and backswing shouldn't.

Old_Man_Robot wrote:

Maybe sorcerer?

Surely this well mannered gentlemanoid doesn’t carry a weapon or get his manicured hands dirty!

Maybe some illusions to help cover his life of crime, a few enchantments to help grease palms and wipe memories. Perhaps ask your GM about getting access to Conceal and Silent spell.

After all, you aren’t an adventurer, just a man of enterprise!

I like this, but I think I'm going to play the gentleman angle straight. Like Watery Soup said it's about defying prejudice, both for humor and impact.

Ventnor wrote:
Fortunately, there's an archetype that should provide a lot of the building blocks for your character!

I wasn't clear enough, I am of course taking the archetype. But one archetype does not a build make, especially with skill feats at every level.

The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Lord Westmire

That seems like a fun character to play! And getting inspiration from Oscar Wilde is an excellent suggestion, definitely the style I'm going for.

A couple weeks ago I got enamored with the concept of a Dandy Goblin. I'm talking full on charismatic, smooth, suave (and maybe a bit sexy *wink*) goblin. Thing is I usually start building PCs with stronger mechanical concepts, planning them out many levels in advance, so I'm kinda unsure what to do next. I'm also not sure about goblin lore and names in general.

I'm thinking about going Scoundrel Rogue for the skill feats and charisma boost, but I'm open to other ideas.

So any fun builds that will fit this description? Funny names/backstories?

Lelomenia wrote:
Kaboogy wrote:

- True strike synergises well with spell strike crit fishing (2 round routine: cast into weapon, stride, true strike, strike)

that sequence seems sub-optimal in general;

Slide caster and Shooting Star aren’t going to need the move action Round 1, which leaves them with an extra action sitting there in Round 1 that could (should) be a 0 MAP Strike. They could do something defensively with it, which is fine but i think holding off until Round 2 for True Strike/Striking Strike will be lower DPR than alternative no-True Strike sequences, at which point viewing True Strike as a design-warping factor seems off.

Suboptimal with a cantrip (which Spell Strike is in general), optimal with a slotted spell. When you have a very limited resource with a powerful crit effect this is what you get. Shooting Star can just add another strike in round 1 before spell striking in order to become more optimal.

I don’t think anybody is suggesting adding the fortune tag while keeping Striking Spell the same. The point is that adding the tag could free up the design space to things more vulnerable to True Strike.

Other than a slight thematic issue, I agree that the Magus having the option to get True Strike from an external source for a reasonable price is fine. I just think at the moment True Strike benefits heavily outweigh the cost.

I think Kalaam was responding to Charon

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Charon Onozuka wrote:
Kalaam wrote:

To answer your concerns:

1: Not necesseraly, Spell Strike could still work with saves (which would be an incentive to raise INT)
2: Depends if you wish to use your spells for other things or if you want to use saves. Some spells also gain damage based on your ability modifier. It should be possible to play a Magus that doesn't rely heavily on INT, their saves would suck and they'd lose some damage on cantrips, and in exchange they'd gain whatever they want. More HP, social abilities or wisdom saves.

Focusing on these two... you've just made the optimal Magus build one that ignores INT (since it's a weak stat otherwise) and limits themselves to attack spells so they can ignore INT in favor of things that affect more of their basic combat - like HP, WIS saves, better perception/initiative, etc.

INT doesn't really do anything else for the class, which makes it seem really counter-intuitive that a (partial) caster could ignore their casting stat to almost no detriment.

I think as is INT is way too important for the Magus. They all ready need STR, CON, DEX probably too. I think there’s nothing wrong with leaving high INT to only some of the Magus builds, letting the rest be front liners.

What about Feature Soup? Everybody loves soup!

Angel Hunter D wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

Once you remove the crit-fishing nature of Spellstrike it becomes significantly less of a problem.

If it remains too powerful to ensure landing spells and an attack (or something along those lines) spellstrike could gain the fortune tag.

I gotta agree, the crit effects is why it's so good. Remove those and the "problem" goes away.

But it makes the magus terrible with spells. Let’s say spell strike will be changed to double slice only with a spell, this will leave the magus with terrible spell proficiency and nothing to shore it up. Going nova against a boss will be almost worthless.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Easiest thing to do is just give the magus a good rider on striking spell that has the fortune tag.

I didn’t even consider the fortune tag, that’s an excellent idea.

I was thinking of changing spell strike into something closer to eldritch shot, that is making it an three action activity (or two action for a one action spell) with one roll and no carrying over to the next round; this way there won’t be any actions left for true strike on big two action spells. Then you can either add some true strike access (I’m fond of a combat font option I presented in a different thread), or just ignore it without risk of every build being decided in order to get it.

I’ve seen true strike brought up in several threads by now, so I thought it should have a dedicated thread.

To summarize, here’s the story with true strike as I see it:
- True strike is an extremely good spell essential for caster hit chances, and is at the base of most pre-magus gish builds
- The magus has no in-built support for true strike due to low spell slots
- True strike synergises well with spell strike crit fishing (2 round routine: cast into weapon, stride, true strike, strike)

As things currently stand the concern is that we’ll see almost all Magi either taking caster MCDs or using shifting divine staff shenanigans, cutting on build variability. On the other hand, giving Magi additional access to true strike might be too strong (not to mention that it might go against paizo’s plans with these new half casters).

So what do you guys think? How can this issue be avoided? Is it even a problem?

My opinion is that it’s a bit weird and anti-thematic that THE gish doesn’t get the gishiest spell. I think they should get good access to it, but make it mostly exclusive to spell strike in some way.

Ah, I see I didn't specify combat utility. I meant 1e things like mirror image and bladed dash, the occasional fly.

Making it part of a synthesis is probably a good idea, helps balance weaker font spell lists with a strong ability.

If the trees are exclusive or have strong prerequisites it would mean taking True Strike could come at the cost of not having Fly for a few level.

Honestly, I'm balancing this against a more melee adjusted Eldritch Shot-like Spell Strike idea (two action activity for one action spell, three action activity for two action spell, doesn't last to next round), meaning having an extra action for True Strike will be rare.

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Midnightoker wrote:

That's more or less how the Warpriest can function now, where a 14 WIS (maybe even a 12) with Heal/Buff spells can function pretty effectively as long as they aren't throwing out save spells on the regular.

A Magus that chooses to go with low INT removes options from themselves (and if you're going DEX based, not exactly a smart choice).

The main contenders are STR, DEX, CON, and INT. And Dex and Str are opposed, so they have options to grab the three they like.

Now how high they go on those 3 depends, but I wouldn't hate the idea of a 14 INT Magus being viable, which honestly as is, not possible.

This is a great point; INT shouldn't be more important for a Magus then WIS for a Warpriest. As things currently stand INT is mandatory in order for a Magus to use their main class feature.

Puna'chong wrote:

I think true strike needs to be taken off the table as much as possible, though, and if a font direction is taken then it shouldn't be available as part of the bonus spells. In most circumstances for a class that has solid proficiencies and (at least right now) scales with the ability to crit fish, it's the best option by far.

True strike is incredibly powerful, but every other gish build has better access to it. I don't want to see all Magi pushed into MC or divine staff shenanigans. The true strike cat is out of the bag, let's at least make sure it doesn't ruin the furniture. Not to mention that the other font in the game is heal, which is also very strong.

I do agree that there is a risk that true strike will eek every other option out, either in feat choices or in font use choices. Feat choices can be solved by giving true strike a big opportunity cost, bundling other options into higher value feats, or by giving it to all Magi by default. How dominant true strike is in point use will greatly depend on the form of striking spell.

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Kitsune Kune wrote:

For those who dislike having both the spell attack roll as well as the normal strike roll. I am fairly certain this exists to make the magus' spell attack modifier matter, while still having an advantage of gaining weapon proficiency faster. If it was just the one roll, the strike roll, then there's very little reason for the average Magus to invest in Intelligence at all. They simply focus spells that don't care about their spell attack/ability mod and flail away.

In fact its also a balance against multi-classing, or gaining innate spells, and not caring about ever getting above trained in that particular spell list.

Even with auto hits Int is still valuable - many of the best spell strike options are save spells (crit fishing for daze comes to mind), bonus damage on cantrips, the occasional AoE. It won't be mandatory anymore, bad the Magus is MAD as hell right now.

In my opinion (which you should feel free to disagree with) there are two parts to a satisfying Magus class:

- Being able to go nova
- Having loads of utility

With these two points Magus play has them doing less damage on a regular round than the other martials while staying relevant thanks to their utility (things like mobility with jump, getting at least one strike in with true strike, tanking with mirror image etc.), and they can really bring the hurt when needed by going nova.

What governs going nova is of course Spell Strike and the small number of high level spells. What about the utility?

One option is to change the way they get slots, but that can cause too many (albeit smaller) nova resources, not to mention that such a slot structure may not fit other "half caster" plans.

My suggestion is not to look to the wizard with their many slots, but to the cleric with their many heals - the Combat Font. The Combat Font is a number of additional slots equal to 1+Int which are reserved to utility spells. These slots can be used to cast a small number of utility spells determined either by some subclass structure or by nonexclusive class feat trees.

For example a "movement Magus" might get Jump at level 1, Spider Climb at 3, nothing at 5 (because of heightened), Fly at 7 etc.

A "defense Magus" might get Mage Armor, Mirror Image, Spell Immunity and so forth.

A "polymorph Magus" can get the shape spells.

True Strike should probably be on its own tree, since it's so good for a martial.

I think this kind of approach can give the Magus a more magical feel while keeping it out of other casters' niches. It also has the added benefit of keeping Int relevant if they remove the spell attack from Spell Strike.

In my two round calculations using spell strike with cantrips was almost never worth it, and when it was it wasn't by much (I ignored things that go off on spell strike like slide since they have nothing to do with the way the ability works). So as things stand spell strike is a good option only four times a day, and even then not by much, and only for single target spells.

I think more lower level slots and a spell strike more like the eldritch archer would work well - you can reliably burn your high level damage spells at the cost of using all your actions (no storing for next turn), and since your spell proficiency is so low you'll use the low level slots for combat utility spells like true strike or jump.

Ressy wrote:

The Magus gets more benefit from to-hit bonuses, and more penalty from to-hit reductions.

They are much more sensitive to enemy AC than any other class so far.

That, and the fact that there is only currently one efficient build for them (sliding and crit-fishing) means that something needs to change. Both to make the rest of the game easier to balance (because bonuses and penalties have inordinate effect on a single class), but also to make the class itself viable across multiple playstyles. Like every other class in the game.


Anyway, thanks for doing the probability trees to calculate this out.

I think this is the biggest issue. Spell striking with slotted spells is often worth it, but really suffers against bosses. Considering one mostly uses slots against bosses this is a big problem. Against mooks it does well, but at that point why not use spells that can target more of them.

And thank you for reading my mathematical ramblings :)

As a case study for striking spell with a cantrip I considered a d8 weapon (since we need one handed for slide) and telekinetic projectile, getting the fundamental runes at their level-1. Weapon specialization was also taken into account. Nothing else was considered. Anything that improves weapon damage will make these numbers worse

In levels 1-4 striking spell under preformed for all to hits.

Levels 5-6 see 1-5% increases in the 50% and over hit chance.

Levels 7-8 improve damage by around 0-5%

Level 9 has a 0-10% improvement

Level 10 is pretty bad, loosing 5% in the low to hits and gaining 5% in the highs.

Levels 11-12 are back at 0-5%

Levels 13-16 are bad again with -5% to 5% (greater weapon spec. is a big hit to 15-16)

Level 17 hurts at the lows(0-5% loss for to hits below 50%), but can get a respectable 10% in the highs.

Level 18 is sees losses in the lows, nothing in the mids, and only 5% in the highs.

Levels 19-20 have double spellstrike, making the tables irrelevant.

In conclusion, spell strike with cantrips is terrible before level 5, and afterwards is only beneficial (or at least worth the castle) for very high hit chances. The slide casting makes it worth it, but that has nothing with the specific design of spell strike.

Using a d6 weapon will improve everything by around 5%, and a higher die weapons will detract by around 5%.

Ressy wrote:

Question: did you use an attack-roll based spell, or a save-based spell?
If the former, did you account for triggering on the 2nd or 3rd attack applying a -5 or 10MAP to the Spell's attack roll?

I did use attack roll spells, and the second round comparison takes the MAP into account.

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I found an error in the crit weapon hit contribution, and recalculated everything both for one round and two rounds.

Using the new calculations for one round routines Striking Spell is sometimes beneficial in weapon to hit >=60% range. In this range you could lose 10% damage output or gain up to 20% in some sweet spots. No damage ratio or to hit in range is always beneficial.

In the two rounds routine I took the second round to always be three strikes. Striking Spell turned out pretty beneficial in this calculation, giving a 5%-15% boost in most situations. There were some with less, and some with more, but overall an improvement.

My conclusions? Striking Spell can be beneficial, but it does so at great cost to action flexibility due to requiring all actions in round one and possibly many in round two; slide casting helps a lot with this issue, but the other syntheses don't.

The next question to answer is how does a base Magus compare with other gishes (either martial classes with caster dedications, casters with martial\combat style dedications, or some focus spell based builds). I'd like to see a comparison with the Eldritch archer in particular. I have to say I doubt the Magus will fare well against any of these, but we will see.

Martialmasters wrote:

In a better position you use spell strike with cantrips. Prime position you burn the spell.

If you'll look at the table you'll see that in a prime position you shouldn't use spell strike with a slotted spell (without accounting for round 2).

Lelomenia wrote:

I'm interested in the value of striking spell as a design, not as a

an option in combat, so I'm not counting any ride along effects. If striking spell is replaced the ride alongs can be applied to whatever replaces it.

I'll try to take round 2 into account if I find the time today.

Ressy wrote:

Question, did you calculate this around standard MAP? Or around agile?

Standard, which is the most favorable option for striking spell (since no MAP is involved). Adding agile will only change spell+strike and three strikes.

Xethik wrote:
This does not match my math. Are you including the fact that - if the Strike misses - you have more chances to hit/crit with the spell on the following round?

That's an interesting point, I guess a fuller comparison will be for six actions options (with at most one cast).

Yes, as does the regular comparison.

Orithilaen wrote:
True strike stuff

So I ran the numbers with true strike, and it's only slightly better. If your spell does more than twice the damage of the weapon then spell striking is pretty much always bad (a few cases give a ~5% boost).

Using spells that do less damage can sometimes give a ~10% damage boost, but why are you spending a true strike on them?

Also these comparisons are only between Magus options; I'm pretty sure any gish multiclass will do much better.

I might share the true strike sheet tomorrow, but for now I need to go to sleep.

Kitsune Kune wrote:
Did you include the (small odds) fun times of the fact. If the strike crits, the spell hits on a "miss" and crits on a "hit" roll for the spell attack. (or the equivalent modification on enemy saves.) Which, when occurs, is a bigger improvement than even getting legendary proficiency.

Yes, this is included.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
The ultimate alpha strike will build toward disintegrate from 6th level on up. Then it's cast that 4 times a day ad nauseum. Before disintegrate will probably be shocking grasp or sudden bolt ad nauseum switching up depending on the creature.

The specific spell doesn't matter, just the damage ratios. Since Disintegrate isn't just an attack roll it isn't covered by my calculations, but a theoretical spell that does 20d10 on a hit is, and it doesn't look good.

Orithilaen wrote:
I think it's likely that Striking Spell damage is balanced around spamming true strike. So if you do your analysis without that, and without accounting for the dramatic improvement that makes to your odds of critting on the Strike (especially when combined with AC debuffs), you won't appreciate how it's supposed to work.

Both AC debuffs and True Strike will also help just using the spell without spell strike, so going by the trend my calculations show I doubt it'll change much. Also the Magus doesn't have the slots to spam true strike; sure they can do the divination staff shtick, but that's a terrible edge case to balance around.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
Is this using all 4 spell slots for a powerful alpha strike 4 times per day?

The calculation is for a two action spell that on a hit does X times the damage that a weapon hit does. I took X to be up to 5, which probably covers all slotted spells, but I didn't check.

If you want to see how bad spell strike is for a specific spell and a specific level you'll need to calculate weapon damage, spell damage, and to hit and then reference the sheet

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I think by this point it's evident that Striking Spell is lackluster, but I didn't see any in depth calculations. I had some time on my hands so I cracked open a spreadsheet, and set out to answer the question: How does spell strike with a damaging attack spell compare to other 3-action combinations?

In short? Badly. In fact, out of all the options I checked, spell strike never improves round damage by more than 5%.

In the linked spreadsheet I calculated the ratio between damage dealt with striking spell and the best of the other three action options the magus has:

  • -Strike then spell
  • -Spell then strike
  • -Strike three times

As parameters I took the chance to hit with a weapon attack (0.3-0.7), difference in hit chance between spells and weapons (0-0.25), and ratio between damage of spell on a success and damage of weapon success (0.5-5). The calculations don't take into account anything else.

Of the 2,484 options I calculated Striking Spell improved damage in only 39 cases, all in the 65%-70% weapon hit range

I've got to say, this is extremely disappointing. Not only is this ability just plain bad, it was an easily avoidable problem; it only took a couple of hours to do this calculation.

I know the team likes to low ball playtest abilities , but this is just sad.

Love the guide, but I think you have an oversight in the school comparisons - a specialist has one highest level spell slot more than a universalist, since they get a bonus spell slot and one Drain Bonded Item. I'm thinking this is an oversight since the table in cascade casting has both the specialist and the universalist with three 10th level slots, while the specialist should have four.

Tarondor wrote:


Again, I'm not saying you explicitly say otherwise, but there is no acknowledgment of this pretty big advantage the specialists have, and in the analysis section you say in both section that the option gives a 25% increase in spell slots. This is a point I think can be missed quite easily, so pointing it out could be really helpful.

I am also of the opinion that this makes specialists better, but I have no issue with your ranking, just my personal opinion.

Tarondor wrote:

Can you indicate where I said differently, so I know what to change? This is exactly why I numbered the paragraphs.

You didn’t explicitly say differently, but you referred to the amount of extra slots in an identical way in 7.1 and 7.2, and I understood from your discussion with SuperBidi in this thread that this is something you’ve missed in your ranking.

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Just started reading through, enjoying it so far.

One correction - the universalist has one less spell slot than the specialists. A universalist has one arcane bond each level. A specialist has one extra spell slot each level and one use of arcane bond.

Shisumo wrote:
rainzax wrote:
Kaboogy wrote:
I’m seeing a lot of cool archetypes, though I can’t say I’m not disappointed there isn’t a two-handed weapon archetype for my great pick wielding wizard (who of course casts true strike almost exclusively).
Mauler is indeed the two-handed weapon archetype, confirmed on the Know Direction interview with Mark Seifter right after the APG panel.

Oh cool! I was thinking that was a bullrusher for some reason.

I’m seeing a lot of cool archetypes, though I can’t say I’m not disappointed there isn’t a two-handed weapon archetype for my great pick wielding wizard (who of course casts true strike almost exclusively).

Everyone else on this thread seems to think the feat doesn't work as you suggest, because the special line isn't a prerequisite, and therefore the shifter/fighter doesn't count as a multiclass druid.

Cavall wrote:

I think the intention is you wouldn't even need the druid level.

Sure, but that doesn't help everyone. At home your GM can rule anyway they want, but in PFS they can't.

*Casts Raise Thread*

So everyone agrees that RAW the shapshifter 4/fighter 4 gains nothing from this feat, but what about shapshifter 4/fighter 3/druid 1? It seems to me this would result in level 8 wild shape.

Mark Seifter wrote:
*no sorc details for good reasons*

Could we maybe get some sorcerer survey goodness? I have some Opinions on the sorcerer, and knowing which ones are in the minority will allow me to let go of them and mourn them earlier, which will help me enjoy the final version more.

Draco18s wrote:

The Fighter's attack of opportunity is also very reactive. You can at least utilize it in a few situations, either by threatening a caster-type or blocking a hallway, etc. But it's also a feature that's less a "defining feature" of the class. I dunno.

I have to disagree here. With AoO you control the situation, you make sure that the enemy either doesn't move/cast/etc. or gets a wallop. Not reactive at all.

Draco18s wrote:

You can do some really fun stuff with reactions. Just saying.

For example:


Kick them While They're Down

Trigger: When an ally you are flanking with attacks the flanked enemy
Action: Make a Strike against the enemy at a -2. The damage of this Strike is Evil damage. If the enemy is also good, additionally deal 2d6 persistent Evil damage.
On a miss: trip the enemy
It might be a reaction, but it's pretty proactive and powerful.

That's a good point, and I think a portion of what annoys is that the reactions are all so... well.. reactive, like you said further down. That said, it being what I consider a main class feature (being one of the two things you get at level 1), cementing it as a reaction cement the paladin as a reactor instead of a proactor (is that a word?), and lay on hands also works in that direction a bit. I mean, it's a valid design choice, just not what I typically think of as a paladin. Tomato tomahto.

Thoughts on the suggested alignment feats?

Edit: just thought that with a change of name and removing the resistance, retributive strike works really well as a proactive evil reaction ><

My problem isn't the lack of smite (well, not my main problem), it's that all paladins have a reactive main class feature. Why limit the design space?

As for the paladin being the complementary defending class to the fighter, I don't see where you're coming from; the fighter can defend just fine, and the paladin has magical powers and entirely different fluff.

As for the alignment feats, I'm not saying all feats should be alignment feats, I'm saying that once all alignments are available it's a good method to distinguish and associate between the different alignments. And I'm only talking about having alignment components as prerequisites, that's only four different types. Much better than different feats for each paladin type (which is what we've seen in 1.6).

So with the 1.6 Paladin we were given conformation of non-LG Paladins, and what those look like. I have some thoughts and opinions I'd like to share.

First of all, I am really happy the alignment has been opened up, and I am especially excited at the prospect of more then 9 Paladins, since more can be created with the same alignments but different value systems, or even independent of alignment.

What I dislike is that it seems that all of the Paladins will have a reaction as their main class feature; just within the domain of LG I want a sword of Right and Justice, that gets basically smite evil instead. This seems overly restrictive, and dismisses many loved and cherished tropes for no reason.

What I suggest (besides opening up the above restriction) is to have class feats with alignment prerequisites (single element only). This will help both to differentiate the different the different Paladins and emphasize the common ground between some of them, all with lower page count than many feats with the various reactions as prerequisites.

What do you folk think?

All in all, great work done, and hopefully great work ahead!

I'm all about choices myself, so I would like something that always allows another round of rage, but doesn't make the choice one sided. Maybe something like a constant benefit but growing cost.
So something like +X to dmg/str/whatever, and an AC penalty equal to the rounds raged. And instead of fatigue the penalty goes down for each round, giving a meaningful lasting cost. I could imagine a feat that gives a 1 action to keep penalty as is for the round.

Guys come on, the core rule book hasn’t even come out and you’re talking about lack of additional classes? There has always been niche overlap in classes and that never stopped the publication of the classes you like (Eldritch Knight and Magus anyone?). I get having a discussion about whether 6th level should come back (I’m cool either way), but I think we can be certain that there will be more classes with unique features in the future.

I think the deal with the lower proficiency is a narrative one: barbarians are unsophisticated unlearned beasts of damage, so they they don’t have any of “thos phansy teknics” with weapons or armor (the proficiencies) but they do hit harder and take more punishment.
This raises 4 questions: is the narrative appropriate, and is the tradoff fair (*2 for attack and defense).
I’m fine with the narrative, and think it’s not too overbearing for those who aren’t, but this is highly subjective.
As for balance, I haven’t played or GMd for barbarians in the playtest, so take my statements with a grain of salt:
I think the ac for temp health is a great and flavorful idea, and just from reading seems balanced (though I might be wrong there).
The attack for damage may or may not be balanced, I haven’t done the math, but I think it has a major issue with criticals. It may be fine to take away some hits from the barb, but lowering the attack bonus also means taking away some of their crits, which seems counter to the point; barbarians are all about swinging wide and hitting hard! They should have more crits, not less!
Here is my suggestion - keep the lower proficiency (or even lower it more!) drop the bonus damage, and give a bonus to crit chance. Maybe at high levels all hits are crits. This way playing a raging barb will be an emotional roller coaster, with great highs and lows. You know, like a rage fit.
It also turns out pretty balanced regarding the various weapons - low damage weapons with agile, deadly, and fatal all get boosts, as do high damage weapons (obviously).

Wow, that’s some strong necro. Nice to see I’ve been here for so long.

Your post isn’t related to the topic of the OP, so you should open a new thread. That being said, I think using an implement with the returning quality and throwing it at a party member with Snatch Arrow works by RAW, though no GM should play it that way.

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