Liegence's page

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Oh man just found out 3 of my 7 players have written up characters with animal companions - one ranger, one Druid, and one champion with divine steed. This is going downhill fast lol


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While ideally that’s true, even a cursory review of real historic leaders will quickly reveal that’s just not the case... inept leaders abound. Like chronically inept leaders put on their respective thrones for reasons that have nothing to do with their ability, strength, intelligence or charisma.


While I think it’s a fun question to ponder, as a player in the game looking to deal with the death of another players character, I think you are obligated not to meta game the mechanics of cost. As a player, it’s really what your character would do - if you are playing the kind of PC that’s going to tally up the cost and weigh that against the potential ROI on the revived party member more power to you :)


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Glad to hear, OP!

I’ve had a few sessions, but I kick off my PF2 campaign tomorrow and I’m anxious about it. We are transitioning from a very well liked 5E game, and I have a handful of players that are going to be super critical (they even made me promise to go back if they’re, subjectively, not having fun - or they wouldn’t play). I’m hoping everything goes off without a hitch, everyone adapts to the rules quickly and easily and the system plays smoothly and posts like this give me confidence.

I’m prepped and ready to go - hoping this works out well!


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Without getting too deep into politics and ... uhhh ... ability... suffice to say certain powerful world leaders are not the smartest, or the best fighters y’know?

Why would we think levels and magic would change that?


I feel like you’ve missed the point. It seems like you’ve made an attempt to dissect a lot of the games crunch, but instead you probably should have spent more time in the forward. It just sounds like you guys are doing it wrong. The system is there just to facilitate the simulation - it’s not perfect, it doesn’t have to be. What this is really about is a group of friends gathering together to collaborate on a story and have fun in a shared fantasy setting. The rules give us a common set of mechanics, but it’s not the heart of pen and paper RPGs. It sounds like you guys are attempting to play a pen and paper version of an MMO, or a boardless strategy game on a grid map.

Honestly some people like all that crunch and analysis and that’s fine and all but I’d just say don’t lose sight of what’s really important - experiencing a shared story and having fun. If a player thinks attack/attack/move is boring and repetitive, then maybe he should take actions that seem daring, fun or interesting not because of a mathematical advantage, but because you like fun and interesting gameplay. Maybe instead of focusing on how the difference between an 18 and a 16 offer no significant statistical difference, you should have been contemplating your characters goals and motivations, his relationships with gods and kingdoms, his past trials and tribulations - the lessons he’s learned to put him on a path to adventure, and consider how in game triumphs and defeat could alter his perceptions of what is right or unjust, valiant or foolish and how that develops your character instead of trying to plot out what his stats and feats at level 5 are gonna be...

Now it is possible PF2 is not for you - then you might want to try another system. They’re all different. Picking up the 600 page Core behemoth may not have been the best intro for your group.


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Found a nifty combo: Dread Striker Rogue + Dirge of Doom. Unless your opponent is beyond 30ft or immune to fear, enchantment, emotion or precision damage every strike will be a sneak attack. Plus the benefit of enemies at -1 to checks

Comes online late, but rogues already get a lot out of Charisma and all the other discussed benefits are great as well.


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I think of it more as 9 degrees of failure before crit failure, and 9 degrees of success before crit success BUT you also win ties. 9 + you win ties seems like it’s favorable, not unfavorable (really depends who’s rolling).


It’s AoE resist (anything) = level for all allies in 15ft once per turn as a reaction. Not bad. I actually think the Liberator exalt is slightly worse, since the steps only activate if the target ally refuses the free escape. Which is itself pretty restraining (the irony!) - to get a benefit your ally has to be restrained, in 15ft, and refuse the liberating benefit...

Retributive strikes downside is your allies actually have to use their (typically) only reaction - the ability doesn’t grant it for free, and they’re at -5 which might be worse than any reaction abilities they have available from their own character builds. Gang ups are more common, it a -5 strike being the best reaction option may be restrictive.

I think Redeemer may be the Exalt with the most practical application - AoEs happen, and that apart from the 15ft restriction (which applies to them all), an AoE effect is the only requirement.


Definitely needs clarification, but Manipulate is either using an item, or using a gesture. Since nothing indicates that this feat empowers you with Magic (where gestures are provided an exception that you can do it without a free hand), and presumably you have to have an item to “patch”, I’d say the common sense rule applies regardless of whether or not that makes the feat a poor feat.

Look up definition of manipulate: item or gesture. Nothing under the feat accesses gestures, or magic where gestures are given their free hand exception, but the skill (literally every use of the skill apart from Recall Knowledge) uses a healers kit in each instance. Occam’s razor here says use the healers kit. Anything else sounds like a stretch to me.


It has limited uses because it’s really strong. Someone in your group should have it and use it well. Also keep in mind there are some powers that prevent enemies from losing the frightened condition (although stopped at frightened 1) like Dragon Roar and I think Dirge of Doom (although questionably useful in lieu of other comps)


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As a Mondo main in Battle Arena Toshinden, I approve of monks with spears.


The rules on this could be complex; I suggest you take it one piece at a time...


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It bothered me at first, but experience tells me it’s needed. It’s better fantasy than infinite wand pokes, and stretches out rest periods where others are contributing with Medicine, etc. Plus, having a tense hour period of watchful rest and wound tending plays better than having to take 8 hour breaks IMHO.


For the record, I said Jaw and disposable sidearm, meaning like a dagger preloaded for delivery that you drop (thus disposable) unless you mean you can’t wield while you have claws


shroudb wrote:
Liegence wrote:

Well - you do have to compare that with your chance of hitting with a bomb, which in the same encounter will be equally low.

If your GM is going to constantly throw level+ enemies at you and chance to hit or saves are in the 30s it just going to suck to be an alchemist in general. You can add a few points of splash here and there. If the GM only throws +Fort monsters at least the Bard will be happy about his abilities.

Also, you have to consider that poisons actually advance in formula regularly, while bombs stay the same for 8 levels, except for feats you purchase. There’s a poison for every item level. When you’re 10th level you’re still throwing item level 3 bombs (and ofc, you can still do this if you made poison)

You are welcome to ignore poison if you like, but I suggest you actually try it before being critical. You will end many an adventuring day with unused alchemy items and reagents. It’s high risk high reward, it sucks when they save but when they don’t or they crit fail they will fall very rapidly.

actually no, that's the isse:

you have higher chances hitting with a bomb than a monster failing a Fort save,

AND bombs do minimum damage even on a miss, your poisons do nothing on a save.

exactly that's what i'm talking about.

Also, again, poisons aren't "free" each and every one you make means 1 less other item/"ability" you could have made instead.

Reagents are REALLY tight.

Cool. Don’t ever use them then. Option closed. That’s fine.


Hang on here - the mutagenist is the melee alchemist, where poison offers the most benefit to the alchemist (because it doesn’t exhaust on a miss). And using jaws and a disposable sidearm for delivery is viable.

And if you are just drinking 1 mutagen and then going into melee, you’re expending less resources than a bomber and thus having a reagent sink may make more sense


Well - you do have to compare that with your chance of hitting with a bomb, which in the same encounter will be equally low.

If your GM is going to constantly throw level+ enemies at you and chance to hit or saves are in the 30s it just going to suck to be an alchemist in general. You can add a few points of splash here and there. If the GM only throws +Fort monsters at least the Bard will be happy about his abilities.

Also, you have to consider that poisons actually advance in formula regularly, while bombs stay the same for 8 levels, except for feats you purchase. There’s a poison for every item level. When you’re 10th level you’re still throwing item level 3 bombs (and ofc, you can still do this if you made poison)

You are welcome to ignore poison if you like, but I suggest you actually try it before being critical. You will end many an adventuring day with unused alchemy items and reagents. It’s high risk high reward, it sucks when they save but when they don’t or they crit fail they will fall very rapidly.


shroudb wrote:
Liegence wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Liegence wrote:

If there’s one saving grace to Alchemists, it’s that you can make poisons and apply them to the melee weapons of PCs that can actually function in melee. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that can undo applied infused poisons outside of 24 hours, daily prep, or getting a crit fail on an attack - otherwise it should go off. It’s an advance on the action economy, and poisons can be quite nasty.

The irony is not lost to me that there is no poison research field, even though passing out the poison may be your best utility

even that is not that great as it is atm.

due to how monster saving throws are, and due to poisons being like one of the very few fort saves in the game that does absolutely nothing on a pass, it's around 60%-70% of actually spending a very valuable resource to do nothing.

yes, it costs nothing action economy wise, but it costs everything resource wise.

(let alone being relegated to be a peasant with a crossbow in all combats due to spending all your resources in poisons is probably the most unfun concept ever)

You can use infusions to make poisons with Advanced Alchemy - not sure what you mean about being a peasant with a crossbow. You make them two for one infusion.

Poisons are Alchemical Items

reagents (i think you mean reagents, because i have no clue what you're talking if not) has nothing to do with anything i said?

what i meant is that if you're spending your reagents for poisons for the whole group. then during combat, the only thing you are is a peasant with a crossbow.

0 combat feats/abilities, 0 martial expertise, nothing to actually do WHILE in combat.

you are basically a walking npc at this point.

I mean ... I’m talking about literally prepping for combat with 1 reagent. How does that make you a peasant again?


kaid wrote:

I think one thing I forgot to mention that a cloistered cleric is hands down the best combat healer for output. But after them churigons I am pretty sure are in second place. Even if you don't count medicine a chuirgeon is going to have a TON more heals per day than bards/druids/champions in combat. At low level its by a crazy amount. At low levels a bard/druid is only going to be doing at most a couple heals a spell level because it is highly doubtful those are going pure healing mode.

It is pretty easy for a chirugeon at level 1 to have 8 heals and a couple bombs and a couple of buffs each day. Once you get your create 3 per reagent option if you use even half of your reagent supply you are making a LOT of healing potions.

Out of combat, a Champion or any MC with lay on hands can do that every 10 minutes. At first level that’s 36 an hour, multiplied for hours per rest I think he’ll outpace the Chir. No roll necessary.

In combat, when you get 5th the lesser potion is pretty good to pass around. Unfortunately you can’t get perpetual elixirs that would be fun. But keep in mind using those is a free hand + manipulate action so it’s not always easy to use. It’s definitely good heals, because outside of Cleric the heal spell really falls flat without auto heighten and bonus heals/day


kaid wrote:
Liegence wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Liegence wrote:

If there’s one saving grace to Alchemists, it’s that you can make poisons and apply them to the melee weapons of PCs that can actually function in melee. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that can undo applied infused poisons outside of 24 hours, daily prep, or getting a crit fail on an attack - otherwise it should go off. It’s an advance on the action economy, and poisons can be quite nasty.

The irony is not lost to me that there is no poison research field, even though passing out the poison may be your best utility

even that is not that great as it is atm.

due to how monster saving throws are, and due to poisons being like one of the very few fort saves in the game that does absolutely nothing on a pass, it's around 60%-70% of actually spending a very valuable resource to do nothing.

yes, it costs nothing action economy wise, but it costs everything resource wise.

(let alone being relegated to be a peasant with a crossbow in all combats due to spending all your resources in poisons is probably the most unfun concept ever)

You can use infusions to make poisons with Advanced Alchemy - not sure what you mean about being a peasant with a crossbow. You make them two for one infusion.

Poisons are Alchemical Items

I think he is talking about at low levels each poison is basically 1/10th of your daily resources. Given most target fort saves and don't do anything on a save for the most part there is a big chance they just fizzle and wast a half of a reagent for no effect. Bombs at least you are guaranteed to do at least something. That said against targets that are not focused on fort saves poisons can be pretty strong if they land.

Well, the advantage is you can apply them on someone else during exploration/downtime, and rely on them to deliver. The downside is an initial fail ignores, but the upside is massive damage plus conditions. All for none of your encounter actions. I’m not saying go ham on poisons - 1 infusion and now the fighter and rogue have poison blades thats enough, and you still got bombs.

Yeah high forts happen, but low forts happen, too. And sure a bomb does something, but that something is 1 splash damage at level 1


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The weird thing to me about Chirugeon is that a Champion with lay on hands is just a flat better downtime healer - over the course of an hour, a Champion can heal 36, which would be a significant number of infusion uses to match. And those lesser healing elixirs don’t really heal enough to be super useful in combat outside of the guaranteed stabilize. What are you really getting?

And comparing healing elixirs to a cleric - like not even close. Heal, especially at higher levels, is really strong for Clerics


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Liegence wrote:
Pg 157 under Stance “you can only be in a stance in encounter mode”. They end at the end of encounter mode. It definitely hurts Mountains Stance’s utility.
It really doesn't hurt it that much. It leaves you with bad AC for less than one round and you've got the stat points to grab Wisdom and increases initiative to minimize the issue (something to reinforce the Dwarven ancestry of the style).

Yea I wouldn’t say it’s useless. You are quite exposed to Crits, so I agree you really want wisdom and the initiative feat if you are going to rely on Mountain stance


shroudb wrote:
Liegence wrote:

If there’s one saving grace to Alchemists, it’s that you can make poisons and apply them to the melee weapons of PCs that can actually function in melee. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that can undo applied infused poisons outside of 24 hours, daily prep, or getting a crit fail on an attack - otherwise it should go off. It’s an advance on the action economy, and poisons can be quite nasty.

The irony is not lost to me that there is no poison research field, even though passing out the poison may be your best utility

even that is not that great as it is atm.

due to how monster saving throws are, and due to poisons being like one of the very few fort saves in the game that does absolutely nothing on a pass, it's around 60%-70% of actually spending a very valuable resource to do nothing.

yes, it costs nothing action economy wise, but it costs everything resource wise.

(let alone being relegated to be a peasant with a crossbow in all combats due to spending all your resources in poisons is probably the most unfun concept ever)

You can use infusions to make poisons with Advanced Alchemy - not sure what you mean about being a peasant with a crossbow. You make them two for one infusion.

Poisons are Alchemical Items


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If there’s one saving grace to Alchemists, it’s that you can make poisons and apply them to the melee weapons of PCs that can actually function in melee. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that can undo applied infused poisons outside of 24 hours, daily prep, or getting a crit fail on an attack - otherwise it should go off. It’s an advance on the action economy, and poisons can be quite nasty.

The irony is not lost to me that there is no poison research field, even though passing out the poison may be your best utility


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Pg 157 under Stance “you can only be in a stance in encounter mode”. They end at the end of encounter mode. It definitely hurts Mountains Stance’s utility.


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The whole class needs repair, but the mutagenist is really suffering. I’m glad I’m not the only person that noticed that the research field basically gives you nothing.

The chirurgeon is pretty bad too IMHO. Your research is basically Int to Medicine at the price of two skills for one and with limitations.

It’s like the common theme of the class is that you get less than everybody else, and if you get an ability or feat that puts you on par (or just close to it) there’s a penalty.

It’s the only class (other than Warpriest Cleric) that gets nothing at Legendary.

It can’t even use the normal function of craft alchemy better than anyone else, except by a feat that just doubles your potential batch size (at no price discount).

I think there’s some merit to the bomber, but even at its optimal it feels like a poor version of a blast focused caster


Couple of thoughts...

1) I think reach is less powerful in 2E, particularly for shield users because you will have a choice between Shield Block OR AoO/Retribution. You can take slight advantage of forcing opponent to step to get you, but that’s assuming they don’t charge first, don’t have another viable target, and have no ranged options and don’t have reach themselves. While at high levels there are options for multiple reactions under specific conditions, they are still limited and you’re weighing the value of that feat against others. If you are not going to pick up extra reaction feats, say because you want archetype feats, the flickmace is less attractive.
2) it’s less attractive for two wep fighting or multi attack style because it doesn’t have agile. This alone may give a fighter pause before deciding the flickmace is the optimal choice
3) you’re still putting in an upfront feat for it, so even if you think it’s optimal there’s still a premium price tag
4) crit spec is great, no doubt, and I do think it’s the best with that spec. Sort of off topic - if we’re going to give the flickmace high praise for it’s prone ability, can we please give the Wolf animal companion some props for its advanced maneuver? I’ve run a playtest scenario with a ranger with a wolf and I can confirm that reliable source of prone gets pretty absurd
5) I think fighters have options, but for retribution Paladin this is definitely a fun option. I wish starknife wasn’t garbage weapon because I really really really wanted my gnome Paladin to use a returning starknife for his retribution. At least I still have a solid option


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Agree to disagree. I personally find roleplay to be the most important aspect of tabletop role playing games. If a player is unhappy with their build, I will totally help them, but if they want to build something less than optimal for character reasons that’s totally acceptable as well.

You cannot win the game. The outcomes, both positive and negative, are part of the story. Besting every challenge can be as unfun as never winning. Characters can be weak or strong, someone can be Legolas and another player can be Samwise - their contributions to combat are not an indicator of entertainment value to all players.

However, when you demean other players and criticize them for not building meta or making their own design choices based on something other than the mathematically optimal choice - that, to me as a GM, is a problem.

Any character with a comparative -2 to his peers in whatever stay in the Pathfinder 2E RPG is still 100% absolutely completely viable, valid, and can be equally entertaining to play with either as a player or his ally. If you suggest otherwise - in generalities - I humbly disagree.


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I flat disagree. A 1 bonus difference is not crippling. If another player wants to build this character, that is fine. If you, another player, are not ok with that, that is not ok.

5% chance difference is certainly not a game-ending unviable variance.


graystone wrote:
Liegence wrote:
Mechanically, is there any justification for not going Dex animal? Savage seems so much worse than Nimble.
To get a large animal: it's the ONLY way other than horse to ride your animal companion.

Unless you’re a gnome/halfling, right? Because they grow to Medium at mature.

Poor Savage animals I feel they got the shaft. A bear doesn’t even get a higher damage mod to his support feature if he’s savage :(


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
I mean... There is a minimum line that any build has to cross before it's "viable". And being viable is not just about "winning", but about "fun". It's not fun to suck, to get owned by monsters, to miss more than half the time, that your spells never work.
Your notion of what's fun to roleplay seems to exclude a fair amount of things mine do not, and I appreciate the game supporting both parts of that range.
Its easy to play an ineffective combat character. Spread your stats so your highest score is a 14 (or put your highest score in charisma on a non-Sorcerer/bard. The game does support your style of play. What people are checking/complaining about is whether it supports their style of play.
I'd say a 16 Dex/16-18 Cha Scoundrel rogue is pretty viable. Maybe not exactly what one would expect from a Rogue, but it should work pretty well.

That wasn’t what I was saying. I was something more like

STR 14
CON 14
DEX 12
INT 14
WIS 12
CHA 12

Pretty sure with human, right background and rogue such a character is possible. If you want to play an ineffective combat character the above would definitely help achieve it.

Even those stats by level 10 could produce a fairly competent Fighter/ MC Wizard. After two sets of 4 boosts, you’re now:

STR 18
CON 18
DEX 12 (Splint/Halfplate for max item+dex)
INT 18
WIS 16
CHA 12

Not too shabby, actually. By level 20 you’re 20 Str/Con/Int. You have more skills and languages, hearty with good saves across the board, are well rounded in just about anything and you’ve burned less attribute points to +18 boosts. I would consider this more long-term than suboptimal. If you wanted to play this that’s perfectly fine.


Mechanically, is there any justification for not going Dex animal? Savage seems so much worse than Nimble.


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Doompatrol wrote:

I like to crunch the numbers.

There's me playing a bad ass, effortlessly slaying orc commando death knights with every attack, then I place my dice squarely on the table and in a firm clear voice say "turn". Then Mr RPdamagedon'tmatter shakily picks up his dice in his sweaty hands and ineffectively paws at the blind goblin cripple, he drops his dice and whimpers out a turn as the table try not to look at him.

Not doubting, but in 20+ years I’ve never had this experience. Typically the actor type role player is still being entertaining while they’re missing the blind crippled goblin :D. That’s fine not everyone needs to be the badass to find role play fulfilling.

My common issue with Min/Maxers (and not implying this is you) is very often they do not play the character on their sheets. They are that badass above in combat, but they’re that way because their character should be a completely antisocial moron since they dumped Int Wis and/or Cha to 7. The violation occurs when they don’t play that character to the flaws of their stats because the only fantasy they willingly acknowledge is how successful their character is in a fight mechanically.

And yes, I do know people that do play it correctly. I’ve enjoyed the company of every type gamer. However, I would estimate this example is far more common than the RP enthusiast player playing the game like a wimp at the table (which I’ve never actually seen)

In my experience, having a max statted character actually impresses very few


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I personally enjoy concept, backstory and role playing the most, but I do enjoying crunching out optimization as well. Hell I love it all :)

It’s all about fun. I play with plenty of players that just come up with something, select what looks cool or fits, and then go because they want to get in the role play. TBH, PF1 was a pretty harsh system to these characters and more than once I or the other typical DM have pulled players aside to respec because they were simply not contributing.

Looking forward to seeing if this is still as much an issue but my suspicion for PF2, absent comparative experience, is that it’s going to be more difficult to completely brick a character build - at least out of core.

The power level difference between flavor-only, “standard”, optimized, min/maxed, and exploitive/OP was massive in PF1, and it was honestly one of the systems biggest flaws


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Maybe I’m just not looking at it right, but I can’t really think of another single feat that brings more to the table.. even if they are garbage compared to other PCs. If your animal companion does nothing more than absorb a crit it’s probably still worth the feat


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To answer the OP, I definitely don’t think it’s the dumbest rule ever. There have been far dumber rules.

I digress. While I have no practical knowledge on the matter, based on some brief research I can find multiple sources citing longbows were less effective at shorter range than shortbows. Some of the comments (not my thoughts) were 1) the stance and draw would give a close target more time to react as the proper stance requirement is more involved and the draw is longer and more difficult, 2) longbow arrows travel slower (but are more wind resistant and powerful on impact because they were longer, heavier and gravity), 3) longbows were designed to fire at a 45+ degree angle - using a lower angle for a close target interferes with accuracy because it’s not being fired as intended.

I can’t say how that should be accurately reflected in the simulation that is PF2E, but I don’t think it sounds dumb and I’m ok with their interpretation. I like it from a balance and practical perspective. Honestly I’ve always thought the idea of wandering a close quarter dungeon with a longbow as being the optimal range option in prior editions was very weird.


lordcirth wrote:
I don't think the heavy crossbow is great, but the normal crossbow is fine. d12 vs d10 isn't good enough for the extra action a lot of the time.

If there was more range or an added weapon ability maybe, but since there’s not I think you’d only go heavy for sweet flavor. Assuming expected hit is 55%, you’re talking about less than a point of damage for an extra action reload.


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It evens out a bit with running reload. The die increase is not to be dismissed as it multiplies on striking runes. Bows have their drawbacks as well - comp shortbows trade low dice for propulsion, but the dice scale on striking and less so than an Ace’s x-bow. Volley has its own problems as -2 attack is a nasty penalty. If you have to backpedal to avoid the penalty would you have been better off with a d10+2 Light Xbow and running reload?

Deadly is nasty though, but xbows say dump Str and put boosts elsewhere.

I don’t think it’s cut and dry. If you rely on an animal companion attacking (not supporting) and have running reload the xbow is pretty reliable.

Also fighter should consistently out dps a ranger I would think; but the ranger can bring the big fat meatshield


The Rod of Wonder is at least one instance of D% in the core book, so it seems that it’s still a thing


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Colonel Kurtz wrote:

I am happy that Perception is no longer a skill (that everyone takes/wants).

I absolutely LOVE this. Now if there’s something significant enough to warrant a perception roll I can skip the middleman and just say “roll initiative”!


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I suggest before questioning the viability of an entire class you should try it utilizing some of the defensive options readily available. If not, it’d be wise to play that character very cautious.

Also at level one anyone can get one-shotted. It happens, and should not be unexpected in a moderate threat encounter at low level. Any insight into the encounter? Even just two +9 creatures could indicate a severe threat to a level 1 group. Also, only a 20% chance difference between you and a reasonably built character (even another monk) getting critted on that roll.

PF 2E can be very deadly, but this stuff happens in all RPGs. I’ve domed plenty of level 1 characters in PF1 in a single hit, even without crits.


Gaterie wrote:
The ShadowShackleton wrote:
On the subject of other hidden stuff, as far as I can tell the party only gets a chance to detect hidden traps and loot if they are actively searching or have trapfinding. So usually only one or two party members get a secret check. Not sure if I am doing this right.
Yes, in pf2 we can't search for traps while being sneaky. Whatever. In pf1 we often used the frontline barbarian as our trap spotter, I guess we'll do that in pf2. Still, I have no idea how it works when hidden creatures encounter hidden creatures.

There is nuance to this. If the trap can be found untrained the rules say you need not be searching to find it. Rogues get a feat that allows them to find traps even if they are not searching so long as they meet the required proficiency to find. Some magic traps might get picked up on detect magic while the PC is sustaining (and not searching). Even if searching if you don’t meet the proficiency requirement you won’t find it regardless of how high you roll.

Love the trap system it’s a massive improvement to any other system I’ve played with.


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Couple of notes to remember:

1) GM decides when an encounter is triggered. If there’s not going to be an encounter because the stealthed creature isn’t going to act and the party isn’t looking, then he’s unnoticed and call for the encounter when it’s time
2) the quirks of a Pc winning initiative but all creatures passing the perception DC is going to be fairly uncommon. The most likely result is either one of the monsters fails the Stealth check and is immediately detected at the first players initiative, or no monster is detected and that’s because all the rolls were so high that it’s likely they’ll go first. All monsters beating the stealth check but losing initiative is going to be pretty rare
3) initiative is a perception check, and thus the PC winning the initiative against monsters that pass stealth and remain hidden and undetected is still going to react to some stimulus. Up to the Gm what that is - maybe the branches rustling (by the kobolds in the bushes), a small tumbling of pebbles from the rock outcropping to the right (by a bandit readying to spring forth), the sound of a bowstring drawn (by the hobgoblin around the corner) a drop of clear liquid hitting the cavern floor (by the Lurker waiting above). Personally I would always include an indication of where the noticed creature or trap was so they at least have somewhere to Seek, or take cover from

Have fun, be creative, tell a story


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Circumstance bonuses for waiting in ambush totally acceptable. Love the idea that this can be used to bluff encounters - nothing gets players focused like “roll initiative” even if it’s otherwise a standard perception check. Then we can go into a few cautious rounds where I can detail the scenery and the tension of exploring a dark dungeon.

If I don’t beat their perception, maybe they hear the screech of a rusted iron door, or the chittering of a rat. If I pass stealth, maybe it’s just their hair is standing on ends, or maybe this area does actually just look like a great place for an ambush...

Good way to get distracted players to stop messing with their phones and focus for a few rounds on the scene


Up to GM on what the trigger is, but rainzax above has a lot of good suggestions on possible triggers based on what exploration activity is being undertaken.


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The rules don’t specify Avoid Notice is what a creature is doing when it ambushes, but it does expressly give the GM flexibility to interpret actions in Exploration Mode. That’s how I run it, absent any other rule in the book to the contrary.

How I do Complex Hazards, too, which btw is amazing. This is the best system to start a trap room I’ve ever seen in a tabletop RPG because it can have so many various starting triggers and by a single unified system.

Think of it like this - I put them into encounter mode to start the tension. I roll stealth and they see I beat their perception DC, but let’s say they win initiative. They know something is up, they can feel it, but what is it? Is it a monster? Or is it a trap? Is it behind us, or am I standing on it? Do you crouch defensively, or move forward to peek behind the corner? Or am I just f’n with them to get them to focus on a detailed role play moment, and what they perceived was just an echo down the hall?

That’s the good stuff.


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In Exploration Mode, the Kobolds are attempting the avoid notice action. When the encounter starts (GMs discretion), kobolds roll Stealth for initiative - that roll determines both their initiative (result) and their degree of stealth (result vs. PCs perception DC regardless of initiative result). See page 479 under Avoid Notice.

This can lead to all kind of various results. It’s possible the Kobolds bomb the stealth roll but actually win initiative, in which case they attack first but their target isn’t flat foot (unless they have the Rogue class ability). They could best the perception DC but a PC could absolutely school then on an initiative roll - it’s the PCs turn, but the Kobolds are still hidden and undetected, so that PC would need to take a Seek action to pinpoint his ambushers, but based on his Perception roll he knows something is up.


Keep in mind you can’t take the Feat 4 that gives you a 1st or 2nd level class feat multiple times, and it is a pre-req. ie, you can’t take two 2nd level feats without the MC feat 4 and feat 6. True, at 6th level MC feat 6 is essentially MC feat 4, but now it scales with level and can be taken multiple times, and as noted is the only way to get two 2nd level feats.

Seems fine, confusing, but on closer inspection a fine way to setup the rule even if offering up the option of a 3rd level nonexistent class feat is odd.


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The Dwarf pick slinger via True Strike + Hand of Apprentice was my first theorycraft build. I see no by-rules reason why either rune wouldn’t apply; you are attacking with the weapon, just using your spell attack as the roll. The spell literally says damage is as if you hit with a melee strike with the only noted exception is use casting stat to damage. As you’re talking 1-2 attacks per encounter, and it’s not like the damage is high evocation tier, don’t see why it would be a huge balance issue. Just a neato flavorful attack IMHO. It’s the massive upside of crit-fishing the pick with True Strike that can really spike damage.

The only real balance concern I see is that this might actually be the absolute best use of a focus spell in combat (across maybe all classes, even).

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