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Lightning Raven wrote:

1. I think that you either declare to be targeting a Darkness' spell source or area (for example, with Searing Light).

2. Here's where tags come in handy. Spells with the [Light] tag will have this property.

3. Since often times Darkness Effects are generated by spells or spell-like effects (with limited range and area) then the whole thing. However, it wouldn't be weird, at my table at least, for me to rule only the surrounding/line/point of light to clear up the darkness in a fully dark place (caused by whatever the dungeon demanded).

4. It's not the casting itself, but the effect of the magic. For example, you cast Light at a stone and chuck it in a globe of Darkness, once the Light's AOE overlaps with the Darkness' AOE, the Counteract check happens and whatever the results are (Light is engulfed by a stronger darkness, or Light dispels darkness).

That's how I rule things, at least.

According to what YuriP has posted, then number 4 above is wrong. You would need to cast the Light cantrip itself on a possible source of Darkness (assuming it was a valid target for the Light cantrip).


YuriP wrote:

This video may help to understand how it's work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdCysHTI-JQ

Great to know. I thought we could just use the Light Spell after the Darkness so that you could try to dispel it (basically a test to see if the Light or Darkness was "stronger").


Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
I personally am very apprehensive with allowing a cantrip to counter a non-cantrip spell.

This is a property of the [Light] Trait, not of a specific spell, here: https://2e.aonprd.com/Traits.aspx?ID=100

You can, however, ignore any rules that you want. But it's good to know that's how the system is set up.


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1. I think that you either declare to be targeting a Darkness' spell source or area (for example, with Searing Light).

2. Here's where tags come in handy. Spells with the [Light] tag will have this property.

3. Since often times Darkness Effects are generated by spells or spell-like effects (with limited range and area) then the whole thing. However, it wouldn't be weird, at my table at least, for me to rule only the surrounding/line/point of light to clear up the darkness in a fully dark place (caused by whatever the dungeon demanded).

4. It's not the casting itself, but the effect of the magic. For example, you cast Light at a stone and chuck it in a globe of Darkness, once the Light's AOE overlaps with the Darkness' AOE, the Counteract check happens and whatever the results are (Light is engulfed by a stronger darkness, or Light dispels darkness).

That's how I rule things, at least.


There as been a paradigm shift between the previous edition (and other d20 systems) and Pathfinder 2e, this has had a direct impact in the spell design. This means that while these spells still exist, they are more limited.

Off the top of my head I can only think of Knock, but I'm sure there are more.

There are, however, other ways of having a lot of skills to cover all your bases, since with the reduction of skill and some classes that gain a lot of them, you can actually be trained in every single skill if you're a Rogue with lots of intelligence, for example (Investigators also can have quite a lot).

A good thing about PF2e is that you don't need to be a particular class in order to be a ritualist, so you can pick any flavor of class you want and advance your character in the Ritualist Archetype


Megistone wrote:
jimthegray wrote:
the numbers are pretty close to linear by level unless the dm chooses it not to be
No... if they were linear, then if a level 1 Fighter can take on a single orc warrior, a level 10 Fighter can take on 10 orc warriors with the same risk. We know it's not true, as the level 10 Fighter will mow down twice that number of orcs while getting no more than a couple scratches. The power increase is not linear.

Absolutely agree with you Megistone.

Even if the characters didn't gain a single feat that would be the case. But when you factor in the huge amount of feats and choices a high level character has, then they're exponentially stronger.


breithauptclan wrote:
Gaulin wrote:
My opinion from my experiences, speaking more for the people I play with than myself, is that the game should have been easier by default. It makes more sense in my mind than to get the gm to adjust things to make them easier, as the gm might also be new to the system or just not dig enough to find the advice to lower enemy levels. A huge amount of people don't go on forums or Reddit and ask for advice.

I'm thinking you are talking more about the published adventures than the game rules.

I have no problems with the idea that a CR= enemy is the baseline for a tough enemy. If you go higher than that, it means that this enemy is going to be really challenging. If you want easier combat, use enemies that are lower than that. This is also what the encounter building guidelines in the rulebooks recommend too.

It makes sense. No reading of Reddit required.

The published modules, especially the earliest ones, are known to have been tuned a bit high.

If a new PF2e GM is doing a homebrewed adventure, more likely than not they will mainly use moderate encounters against the party, which definitely allows everyone to shine. But that's, of course, assuming the GM is being prudent and following the guidelines, instead of assuming they either know better and want to challenge their players (thus doing harder encounters as baseline) or they are veteran GM's trying to apply their previous knowledge to this new system, which is most likely the main driving factor behind posts with titles such as"is Pf2e too hard?", when they are thinking PF2e's system can't be trusted like D&D5e and PF1e (most common previous systems for new PF2e players).


Gortle wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:

...

Which is OK.
But people keep telling us it is Ok if you don't have an 18 in your attack stat etc
What do the odds look like for them?

Because dice variance is a thing, because these numbers are assuming a very specific situation, because the trade-off has its own benefits (often can't be quantifiable) and because you and your party should be working to stack the math in your favor. Also, there's a good chunk of levels when 16 and 18 characters will be at the same +X bonuses.

You're looking at a small part of what comprises combat in PF2e and making assumptions on a sliver of data.

There are so many, many ways that trading off your 18 for a 16 on your main stat can benefit your character in other ways, from avoiding death altogether (DEX or CON) to completely avoiding combats (extra language, crucial skill, etc).

An extra +1 in CHAR instead of your main stat, for example, may give you better odds of feinting/intimidating which nets a benefit to you (compensating your 16) AND to your party.

In short, it's a trade-off you make, PF2e's design made so that it warrants consideration. It's up to you to evaluate it's worth it or not.


SuperBidi wrote:
Temperans wrote:

People expect specialists to be better than regular people. Not just have a 50/50 chance. It doesn't matter if its a team game or not, you either have a unique ability or your have a higher accuracy. Its the same with d6 games, its the same with board games, its the same with tactics games, its the same in video games.

This edition is the first time I hear that specialist should have a 50% chance to fail on something that should be basic. Fighter reaching 80% under ver specific circumstances is the only exception in the game, and its only because they straight up start with a 10% higher chance than everyone else.

But as I've shown, they are at 60% chance to succeed, not 50%. And that's without any kind of buff, which are not uncommon.

Then you add in Flanking and a +1 to hit from spell/ability and you already have a big swing in your favor, since both of these are easy to achieve most of the time. Bless and Bards, early Magic Weapon (probably the best spell of the game at the interval where it's most useful, then it's completely useless).


keftiu wrote:
The underwhelming design of Patrons and the emphasis on (pretty disappointing) Familiars have both put Witch at the bottom of the heap for me. I’m not sure there’s a class I want to play less, and it’s a shame, because the class fantasy of being bound to some otherworldly power is awesome… but the class mechanics feel like “off-brand Wizard.”

It's on the bottom of my spellcaster priority list for sure, but the Alchemist still sits comfortably on the "i won't touch it even with a 10ft pole" category. Witche's base chassis can be as bad as it can be, but it's still a spellcaster that only gets more powerful with levels.


breithauptclan wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
Even the Fighter and Monks have mutually exclusive paths that make each build feel unique even though they're the pathless classes.

Which parts are mutually exclusive? Fighter's weapon type choice is all that I can think of. Not sure which part of Monk is mutually exclusive though.

Charon Onozuka wrote:
They also really hyped up the idea of Wiches having the best familiars - which I don't think is what many were expecting/hoping from the class
And if that was what the point was, they failed at it. Wizard with Familiar Thesis is just as powerful. Familiar Master gives a strictly more powerful familiar since there are unique abilities that you can get from feats from that archetype. Even Druid has Leshy Familiar Secrets that unlocks unique familiar abilities and is therefore more powerful than the Witch familiar.

It's, of course, not a hard-coded thing, but you'll be actively gimping yourself if you try to pick more than one style early on. Some of them even completely define your stat spread (Mountain Stance). The same goes for weapons of choice for Fighters. There are many feats that work with various weapons, but some of them are not even though they don't explicitly say (the reposition feats, for example, are more useful for reach weapons).

What I'm trying to say that even though Monk and Fighters (or Bards) don't have Class-Paths baked into the class, they actually offer pretty distinct experiences with just their feats.


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Even the Fighter and Monks have mutually exclusive paths that make each build feel unique even though they're the pathless classes. Each Monk Style have more flavor attached to them than all the patrons. They completely inform the kind of character you want to play despite just being level 1 feats.

I don't see why Witches couldn't get a inherent Patron benefit and a cantrip to go with it. Just the cantrip feels lackluster.


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Thaumaturges have better Witch Patrons than Witches and it grinds my gears.

The Dark Archive can't come soon enough and hopefully we get some pact feats available to everyone (not just Thaumaturges) so that I can finally have the kind of patron/witch dynamic that I want.


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It's this some PF2e Standard thing that I'm too Automatic Bonus Progression to understand?


Errenor wrote:
Ezekieru wrote:
I know a fair number of people who only need to take 5-10 minutes to build out a character nowadays.
Build a character and make a character are different things. I too can build a character in 20 minutes, but making a character still takes several hours. Even though I'm not a hardcore roleplayer at all.

My standard process is basically:

If I have a good idea I make a build for it and add in bits of information that can help me create the character later. Basically, I build the framework of the character and have it ready, so when I need to use it I create a fitting backstory and add some layers. A build with a fully realized concept is roughly only 50% of my characters.


My rule of thumb, if I would want todo that:

Against many monsters I would remove one creature or more. Against a single or a couple of monsters I would apply the weak template to one creature. In the case of a duo, one of them would be weaker, this can even open up some visual queue descriptors to nudge the party into attacking the weakest and make the fight easier.


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Sandal Fury wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:

Frightened is a penalty to

Saves
Skill checks
AC
Attack rolls
Special power DC's
Spell DC.

Basically anything that you roll or that is derived from something you roll.

So...

AC

is a DC

Huh.

Against mooks grapple is great because it prevents them from running away/targeting the back line, so you can kill them faster with your superior numbers, while against stronger foes, trip is preferable, because they either burn an action or they remain flat-footed and with a -2 penalty on their attacks. Sickened is also valuable because it has an action cost and a DC attached to its removal (unlike Frightened, which goes down naturally at the end of the target's turn).

Assurance (Athletics) can be a great boon for martial characters when fighting mooks, because they can use it as their "last" attack action (which would incur -10MAP) and get rid of all their penalties (and bonuses), which means that against lower level enemies you can trip/grapple/shove them automatically (hit them with your full bonus then -5 MAP, and finish it off by instead of a -10MAP attack you use assurance and apply only your Level+proficiency bonus).

Another tip: AID sucks at early levels, but there will be a time when you'll critically succeed quite easily, turning it from a +1 to a +2/+3 bonus to an attack roll. The action economy cost is high (one action+reaction), but for certain character and situations it's well worth it.


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Sandal Fury wrote:
On a related note, though, dumb question: When Frightened mentions a penalty to checks, that doesn't include attacks, right? My knowledge of 1e says no, but I've learned that 2e is very much not 1e, and similar terms don't carry over.

That's exactly right. Frightened and sickened apply to all checks and DCs (including Attack Rolls, Maneuvers, AC and Spell DCs). Other debuffs are more specific, though.

Frightened also combos with several feats in the game (Dread Striker). If you're flanking and then you apply Frightened 1 on the enemy, you're applying a -3 AC penalty, this means higher chance to hit and crit. If your teammates are aiding you or giving you a buff (Magic Weapon, Inspire Courage, Bless, etc), that's a 4 point swing in your favor.

Against stronger enemies, the chance is slower, but they will be fewer in numbers, which means their actions are more valuable than yours, so spending your round trying to trip/grapple/Demoralize them may be preferable than just attacking once or twice. The numerical bonuses are in their favor, but the action economy is in yours, so failing something is expected against them, but at the same time every little bit helps (if they succeed against a Fear spell, they're still Frightened 1, which means everyone else going after the caster is going to have an easier time).

Of course, Dice rolls will always matter. Some sessions you roll high, others you roll low. That's why using Hero Points proactively is better than hoarding them to stabilize. Point out to your GM that the Gamemaster's Guide suggests giving out one hero point per hour of session. This is a good system to encourage spending and to get the party used to the hero points. It also significantly cuts down the bad morale that comes from subsequent terrible rolls when the players have a chance to shift the outcome.


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Sandal Fury wrote:
In regard to my original point of PCs missing so often, it occurs to me that must be from us doing three attacks per round, so that makes sense.

For the love of all the gods.. Why didn't you say this before?

Going for three attacks per round (or MAP -10) is not what you want to be doing with the vast majority of builds in the game. You have to build around many attacks in order for it to become a reasonable option instead of just a throw away roll.

You guys should be flanking, moving around, using recall knowledge, feinting, sneaking, hiding, taking cover, using Aid, raising shields, using Demoralize, Bon Mot, Metamagic feats, drawing items, using class special actions.

Attacking three times means you're not using the battlefield, which means that stronger monsters are spending all their actions attacking instead of maneuvering, which means lots of hits and critical hits.

This makes the game so much harder, because you're not engaging with the system.

The game encourages (and expects) your players to do that. Giving an enemy Frightened 1 is more valuable than a throwaway attack that only hits on a 19. Using Aid can be a great boon for your ranged friends that can't rely on flanking to benefit from the Flat-Footed Condition, depending on how you propose it, you can even help spellcasters with their Spell Attack Rolls (a great way to enhance Nature/Arcana/Occult/Religion mid-combat).


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Quote:
So I'm just wondering, is this normal? Does the game ever reach a point where you have a decent chance of avoiding damage? Or even a decent chance of *success?* I see people saying 2e lets you play whatever character you want, but it seems like that comes with the caveat that that character must be borderline minmaxed, which is not something I enjoy.

What is decent for you? Because PF2e is meant to be challenging. Your characters are supposed to be hit, that's why you have more HP and means of damaging mitigation than in PF1e. DR 3 or 5 is just a General feat away at level 1, just grab Shield Block if your class doesn't already have it and you get extra endurance, just as an example of the difference (DR in PF1e was premium, often only available at very high levels).

However, challenging doesn't mean unforgiving or impossible. The game is well designed and the encounter challenge rating works, which is something that didn't in PF1e and it might lead PF1e GM's into thinking that their encounter-building know-how still applies. It doesn't. At all. They should adhere 100% to the guidelines at least until they have a pretty solid grasp of the system and the player's performance.

Basically, in PF2e, the enemies will hit often and hard, but your character will be able to withstand this (more so with levels) and won't instantly die (specially at higher levels,). You can't break the difficulty curve like in PF1e (such as having 30AC when enemies only have a +10 to hit), but there are things you can do to improve your math and unless you're actively gimping yourself, you can pick whatever choice you want and still have a functioning character in the end.

As I always say for newcomers: Embrace the critical hits. They are unavoidable.

As for feeling weak? My party faced two separate times encounters worth 240XP (twice the EXTREME challenge) and got out with every single member alive. The first time we had three players up (<15%HP) and one downed, the second time we had 3 players downed and my Monk at 40% health against four mooks. Not gonna lie, I felt like a god after I took all of them down with my Tiger Monk, abusing my mobility, Assurance (Athletics) and Stunning Fist against the lower leveled enemies.


Temperans wrote:

Yeah, that sounds like the burnout mechanics that mana systems tend to have. If you can get players that like that type of thing and play into it, it's great. Otherwise, it's just guaranteeing 15-minute adventuring days as casters are already punished in this edition with low stats. Adding further penalties because they used their spells is just feels bad. Unless you plan to add some type of compensation to casters?

Burnout mechanics are great when you know the magic is worth the cost (Ex: Oracle and Kineticist). But if they aren't... people will sooner not play than suffer through that.

As it's expected, this would require a complete system and class overhaul. Similar to what happened with Alchemists (as an example of the extent of changes not of successful execution).


The-Magic-Sword wrote:

In my experience, Mana Systems get a little degenerate to optimize for various reasons-- like if you have a big spell that does a lot of damage, players end up deciding they can't cast anything else to save up for those big spells, whereas slots take your resources and force some of them to be spent on other things because you almost always have low level slots that aren't worth the action economy in terms of damage. Mana by itself is just one dimensional, whereas spell slots have both volume and level.

Skill based magic is either going to be too vague for the relatively exacting tactical space of Pathfinder, or even less streamlined and more clunky if you have to process a skill roll into a set of potentially complex effects on every cast.

On top of mana I would add some kind of exerting factor, which means that casting big spells would be more tiresome. Thus, if you spend a huge chunk of your pool at once, AKA burning your best spells, you get the penalties (whatever form they take).

Of course, this is just off the top of my head and I don't particularly have a preference for a mana system, just adding to the discussion that mana costs don't have to be the single limiting factor to balance spells.


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siegfriedliner wrote:
Personally I would favour a move to more encounter based abilities, I kind of feel the arbitrary length of an adventuring day means that the value of daily resources massively and do stuff by encounter would make things more consistent.

Wasn't this one of the problems that turned people off from DnD4e? Too many encounter-based abilities?

As for a magical system, I would like to bring back The Dresden Files once again and say that, saying it simply, using magic works a lot like physical exertion. This means that you can use it all day, but you can get tired on short bursts and in intense situations you can get truly fatigued and unable to do anything.

This dynamic creates all kinds of balance levers that can be used to codify a system.

The system as a whole is more complex than that, but pretty much everyone that likes the books praise the magic system. It mixes well hard rules that allows predictability and clear boundaries while being soft enough to maintain the sense of wonder.


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Saedar wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:

The thing I truly wanted was Vancian Casting dead and buried.

Redesigning an entire new magic system would allow for new spell design and spellcaster design. PF2e already had some major paradigm shifts way back then, why not kill that sacred cow as well? Sadly, people voted for it, so the same root strengths and weaknesses remained... Except that they kinda forgot that the strengths were inevitably going to be significantly cut down.

Personally, I would love a something that managed to blend a hard and a soft magic system (my golden standard is from Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files) that managed to bake into fewer spells more applications.

The Dresden Files RPG is excellent. I can't recommend it enough.

I have the books, but no one in my group ever read the novels, so there wasn't enough willingness to try out the system. The book is great and the system seems to be quite interesting indeed.


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The thing I truly wanted was Vancian Casting dead and buried.

Redesigning an entire new magic system would allow for new spell design and spellcaster design. PF2e already had some major paradigm shifts way back then, why not kill that sacred cow as well? Sadly, people voted for it, so the same root strengths and weaknesses remained... Except that they kinda forgot that the strengths were inevitably going to be significantly cut down.

Personally, I would love a something that managed to blend a hard and a soft magic system (my golden standard is from Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files) that managed to bake into fewer spells more applications.


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Squiggit wrote:

I feel like d20 has always really struggled with making themed casters feel themed. Clerics in both PF1 and 2 suffer a lot from this, but so do Wizards and Sorcerers to varying degrees.

The foundations of the magic system encourage generalization to a large degree and kind of discourage themed spellcasting, despite theoretically the fantasy of some of these classes suggesting that you should lean heavily into a theme, while Clerics go beyond that and often don't even have very good access to their themes if their deity's wheelhouse is particularly far away from the Divine spell list.

It was an area where 3.5/PF1 really dropped the ball and it's kind of a shame they didn't do much of anything to address it in Pf2.

This generalization requirement also stems from the stratification of spells created by the Vancian Casting System. Remember the "ivory tower" design that was the basis of DnD3.X and PF1e (with experience the player is supposed to recognize what's good and what's not, instead of having balanced options)? Well, this has been kept in PF2e, because it's a fact that certain spells just don't "cut it". They're either too niche or they simply don't do enough.

Even worse, given PF2e spell's rebalance, even the very niche spells don't do enough to solve their problem. Imagine spending one of your even more precious high level slots - worse now they're greatly reduced compared to PF1e - to prepare a niche spell that has a fairly good chance of not solving the problem is supposed to on top being unlikely to come up in the first place? This paradigm simply pushes out any unusual and interesting spells in favor of broader but less effective spells. This is coming from a player that only used prepared casters (even in PF1e) and made an effort of actually swapping my roster of spells, which is certainly not the norm for most players (and it was never a thing in my group for other players, they at most swapped 1 or 2 once in a blue moon).


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I always interpreted creating a character as a person that lived in that specific world that is an outlier (enough that they decided to risk their lives adventuring) and with a particular goal in mind (with a definite ending or an enduring objective).

You're not a protagonist. You're one of the main cast. But the difference is that the story being told isn't fully controlled by one person, thus the "Chekhov's Gun Rule" don't apply. By that I mean that not everything you have or are will be relevant to the story, unlike what happens with stories in other media.

What makes a TTRPG story good is the moment to moment at the table with everyone dealing with what's happening through their characters. This can be tense, funny, intriguing, scary and above all, most likely unplanned. Approaching TTRPGs and AP's in general as if you're expecting to experience some kind of intricate plotting like Sanderson's works with Joe Abercrombie's level of character work is an exercise in futility.

My suggestion when playing AP's (probably something that every veteran RPG player knows) is: Create a character that interests you within the boundaries suggested by the AP, make the effort of creating a character that wants to engage with the story and that wants or has good reasons to care about what's happening. Ain't nobody got time for grimdark lone wolves trying to hog the spotlight as often as they can.


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I ran a dex monk from 1 to 11th. I picked up Tiger Style and didn't have many problems in combat aside from the usual PF2e difficulty (and a lucky GM that sometimes made my slightly higher AC meaningless).

The thing is, as long as you're not trying to fail with your Monk character, you'll end up with a good build. Which is what PF2e is all about.


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Malk_Content wrote:

Okay the next trick to having characters that work well within an AP without cheating and to have fulfilling character concepts is this.

Do not plan out your entire characters progression beforehand. It's thar simple. The players guide gives you enough info to make an appropriate starting character with a background that links into the opening plot of the AP, ancestries that won't cause major issues and a set of skills that will be useful throughout. Then as the story gets told, pick level up options that fit with what story so far.

You'll spend less time trying to make something perfect (and failing because you don't want something too perfect anyway) in a game that will probably fold before the 8th level feat you are building towards comes online. You actually get to have an organic character thar adapts to not only an unfolding story but (more importantly and this is why I hate people coming to the table with characters planned all the way out) also to your fellow players. You don't have to spend the whole game pretending you don't know the answer to the all its puzzles and paths. You get to actually roleplay instead of playing poor.mans gloomhaven.

That's definitely a good point to make. When I was playing Age of Ashes, I had my monk planned out from level 1 to level 10, but this didn't stop my from tweaking it so it suited the story. One of my pivots included learning elvish, upgrading thievery and swapping a couple of high level feats once I had a better understanding of the challenges I was running into and problems my character had to solve (Winding Flow proved to be a great choice on my Tiger Monk, given that there's a lot of enemies with stronger AoOs in that AP).


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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
The recommendation I got (from AlastarOG, I believe) was a Red Dragon Instinct Barbarian/Flame Oracle combo. Tempting, but I'm not used to playing Barbarians, and I felt like it might be TOO on-the-nose for Age of Ashes, believe it or not.

One of my tips about Age of Ashes is not worrying about exploiting weaknesses. It doesn't come up nowhere near enough, despite what the AP implies.

Also, warn your GM that the Charau-Ka Butchers have higher Hit and Damage bonuses than they're supposed to have, if you check out enemies of the same level, you'll notice that they don't have the same numbers. It was, most likely, a misprint.


Temperans wrote:

Well this is sort of a bad take. Being able to mix and match options while ignoring the default lore is often the only way to create some types of characters. Not to mention that being able to do this type of stuff is a great mark as to how flexible a system is.

Not to mention that the very archetype system in PF2 was created specially to allow that type of mix and matching. But lacks the options for certain type of characters. Ex: The ranged archetypes are extremely specific to either bow or guns, and then randomly you have Drow Shootist for crossbow. Or literally every caster archetype being extremely specific about their lore.

In the end while it may work great for you to make characters only using "lore that matches". Many others make awesome character without being constrained by only using options with "matching lore".

My take was geared more towards those characters that are clearly just a gimmick disguised as a PC. Specially those with clashing tones without any reasonable explanation beyond the fact that it combos well with another feature.

Off beat characters that goes against type are one of my favorite kinds of characters to make, which is what makes Aasimars and Tieflings my favorite ancestries, because of their existence creates all kinds of interesting dynamics.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
PF2e is probably one of the best game to realize your character concepts. Not only you'll not be punished for choosing flavor over mechanic, but the flavorful choices will often offer satisfactory mechanics as well.
Certainly, I for one have always thought so.

I was going to mention your "crazy character emporium", but ended up forgetting. My bad.

You have really interesting characters and I even added a couple of them to my collection (The Black Queen is my favorite).


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Answering the first post...

Here's novelty concept:

How about round concepts with round rules?

PF2e is probably one of the best game to realize your character concepts. Not only you'll not be punished for choosing flavor over mechanic, but the flavorful choices will often offer satisfactory mechanics as well.

Just to clarify, I do not think that picking an assortment of character options that "combo" together mechanically but don't fit thematically at all can be called a character "concept". That's just picking the best mechanical build you can and justifying them later while coming up with a backstory.

Nothing wrong with creating character this way, of course, but this is quite often the kind of creative style that ends up giving people issues with new systems. Because their usual choices are tied to mechanical options of other systems. They won't find the same or similar mechanical options in other systems and will, by extension, feel like they don't "have the same amount of choices".

It's basically like playing Elder complaining that you don't have your Fallout choices available, so you can't build the character you want.

I have 200+ character concepts done in PF2e, aside from the Alchemist, I had no trouble realizing concepts with any class to my satisfaction.


roquepo wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
I really don't understand why people expect errata to bring a redesign of classes. An errata is concerned with correcting egregious mistakes, usually of the Too good to be true variety, and sometimes with giving needed clarifications. Redesign is completely out of an errata's purview.
People were expecting the egregious mistakes of these classes' power budgets to be corrected, and it to be clarified that the designers weren't thinking clearly the first time around.

*looks at the power balance of 3.x*

*looks at what this guy is calling "egregious mistakes" in the power balance of PF2*

Huh.

People really do adjust to improvements in their quality of life with startling speed, don't they?

Anyone who has seen a god wizard in play would know better than saying PF2 designers weren't thinking clearly when writing any of the classes.

I actively paced myself when playing a level 9-13 Conjuration Wizard in PF1e. I picked up Bonded Item and mainly focusing on enabling my friends. One of my mates was always annoyed that I wasn't dealing more damage... While missing the fact that was basically carrying the team with my battlefield control, buffs and utility spells.

I could've been doing a lot more with my spells, picking the cheesy stuff or even summoning a horde, but I didn't.


AceofMoxen wrote:
The undershooting on powerlevel is fine in PFS and maybe in home games, but The APs (at least Age of Ashes and Extinction curse) are too hard. A party needs to optimize to get through an AP, and that feels bad.

Age of Ashes also has some enemies (Charau-ka Butchers) with stats 2 levels higher than they're supposed to have and they're treated as "mooks" in the AP, with lots of them in certain fights (or some fights where multiple encounters can happen at once quite easily).

My party ended up having a really rough time with them (many, many critical hits with their Barbarian damage).


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If there was a common understanding way back then was that the Alchemist would only get better and more interesting with new releases.

Well. I'm still waiting. Aside from the "happy accidents", there has been a drought of interesting and unique alchemical items, specially when you consider that the bulk of said items are just improved versions that only scale the math and increase its duration most of the time.


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HumbleGamer wrote:

Giving the alchemist the possibility to draw and toss ( without a roll )a healing elixir ( no quick alchemy ) on an ally would probably help with the action management.

Making each research field's benefit an action economy enhancer would go a really long way to smooth the class's playstyle and ease up on the need of solving this problem and then picking up flavorful stuff.

It's the same problem that was "solved" in the Gunslinger. That class would be DOA if it was shipped without a smoother action economy.


Gaulin wrote:
I only realized the other day you can't step while flying - this means that someone/thing that can AoO up in your/their grill is going to trigger it, guaranteed. Either they use a move action to stay up, or they fall. Either way, free attack!

They also need acrobatic checks to do maneuvers, including hovering in place (which also trigger reactions like Stand Still). Wanna do a simple 180 like you did while walking? Well, better pass that check, which is not that hard, is true, but depending on the situation and the monster, it may not be trivial.


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Personally, on top of the possibilities mentioned here, I would love to see Spellcasting Unchained. There was a moment way back then during the Playtest when Vancian Casting was put on discussion and I would like to see what a PF2e would look like with a more modern magic system.

This could lay the groundwork for the next edition, like the three actions action economy that started with PF1e Unchained and proved to be the most successful and well regarded feature of PF2e.


Shango wrote:
I recall back in the day there was some rule about the amount of damage a creature could take before it could no longer maintain flight. Does any such rule exist in 2e?

No. But flying creatures can be "tripped" in PF2e. You also need to spend at least one move action per round to keep flying and hovering in place requires a check. This significantly changes flying compared to other editions, since it requires a lot more effort (even with Flying spells) and opens up all kinds of weaknesses since Move Actions often trigger reactions.


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Michael Carpenter from the Dresden Files.

He's pretty much the perfect depiction of a Paladin.


pauljathome wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
You still outdamage a Monk by just keeping your panache on.

In some white room thought experiment, sure. The expected bonus from panache often beats the expected damage from an extra -8 MAP attack.

In practice at the table? Not nearly so much (at least for the levels where swash doesn't have FoB). Its actually fairly rare that just standing there spamming attacks is your best course of action

You're SERIOUSLY underestimating how useful FoB can be. Its quite common that you need to spend 2 actions on something else in which case FoB absolutely rocks. It is incredibly nice to be able to ready a flurry.

A monk just rocks at either hit and run attacks OR at using shields combined with some mobility. Or combined with electric are if you ARE just standing and attacking.

Flurry of Blows basically guarantees that whatever shenanigans you're doing in battle, you'll always be able to hit twice (maybe even land a stun!).


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I don't know what you mean by "underperform". If you pick a Monk, it will perform the tasks you want out of it satisfactorily at your table. Wanna focus on maneuvers? You have flexibility and defenses to do that. Want to deal a lot of damage? You can also do that by picking one of the high damage stances and using Ki Strike to add 2d6 to your d8/d10 damage.

Not only that, but Monk are kings of the action economy. You have free hands to grab items as you desire, if you get downed you don't need to spend actions retrieving your weapons (your base 1d6 stance is quite fine in a pinch and it can be an upgrade if your main stance is a d4 damage like Crane). Your mobility also makes so that tough situations are barely inconveniences to you, such was when I crit failed a Phantasmal Killer but survived the death effect and ended up using three actions to run away... I got back with one action to spare and kill two mooks with a flurry of blows.

If a class manages to satisfy several concepts, offers different flavors with meaningful mechanic differences, has interesting feats on paper and in practice and doesn't have any major issues with its chassis (like Alchemists, Warpriests and Witches, for example), then I consider it a good class. It doesn't need out-damage a Barbarian, hit more frequently a Fighter or have more skills than a rogue. It needs successfully perform the role the player wants it to perform. Which the Monk does. Quite well.

Otherwise, the game would just need to have four classes. Fighter, Rogue, Bard and Cleric. Best DPR, best skills (because of its broke ass chassis on top of good combat prowess), best class in the game and best healer, respectively. Since we're assume that if the class is not being the Top 1 at its one thing, then it doesn't cut it.

Pathfinder doesn't have broken classes, you can pick anything and it will do fine. The only problem classes are those that can't satisfy multiple concepts and offer several interesting mechanical choices like the others.


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I ran a monk from level 1 to level 11 in Age of Ashes, a notoriously hard AP with a GM that doesn't roleplay the monsters, just uses them as unthinking killing machines and with a house rule of "villain points" (monsters get Hero Points if the party rolls a 1, which we did. A lot. Once or twice the GM hit the cap on Villain Points). I probably managed to carry at least one or two fights with my Tiger Monk and we survived some beyond extreme encounters when our GM threw several encounters at us at the same time (a few times with just 1 round between of respite).

The highlight of my character was being the last party member standing after a whooping 14 enemies meat grinder (two or three encounters at the same time, I'm not exactly sure). On the tail end of the fight my monk was the only one up with 70 HP (roughly 40%hp) against 4 enemies. Three Party Level-2 enemies at full health and a hurt Party Level -1 enemy that had a mini-boss template (One-Eyed Armin from Age of Ashes), basically a fighter with Flurry of Blows (with a two handed d12 weapon and a kick) with Barbarian damage. I beat all of them down by outmaneuvering (Winding Flow) and stunning them (Stunning Fists).

I ended the fight with 19HP and managed to save my teammates, we probably would have lost if one of our players hadn't retired their Alchemist and rolled up a Redeemer Champion.

Across all those levels, I felt that my character was mechanically satisfying to play and the options presented to me were interesting, specially after I've got to try them in play (Winding Flow was a pleasant surprise).

Monks are definitely among the best classes to build in PF2e, they have a solid chassis, which allows you to feel satisfied with whatever build route you want to go, full of flavorful feats and even cooler Focus Spells if that's what you're looking for.


Until level 13, Alchemists are mostly fine. The beauty of PF2e is that you can have a to-hit stat at 16 and do quite well. The problem will arise once proficiency goes to master and above, if your character scales with it. For example, two exactly equal level 20 Monks with a -1 over the other will be virtually the same, with one of them sacrificing a bit of accuracy for another benefit that may produce numerical bonuses, such as +20HP, better perception, saves or Recall Knowledge (INT); or less direct stuff like having an extra skill that comes in handy and saves the party from a tougher situation, one extra language that makes uncovering a secret or communicating to avoid a fight more likely, etc.

That's why I think that math-wise, the alchemists are at the bottom, but this doesn't mean that they're unplayable like some critics try to make it out to be. The problem lies in the lack of good feats that enhance their action economy and gives them interesting actions to play with, which is the difference between martial characters and dabblers, they may not always have such a big advantage numbers-wise, but their feats will make all the difference in combat.

Alchemists need that.

Less focus on Quick Alchemy and more focus on Advanced Alchemy would also come a long way.


TwilightKnight wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
"[Y]ou can't Step using a Speed other than your land Speed".
I completely missed that. Interesting that even creatures with natural flight cannot Step and therefore cannot withdraw safely from melee. I will probably amend that in my home games and allow creatures with natural flight to Step while flying. It just "feels" wrong that a bird, who is much more agile in flight than walking, could Step if they are stumbling around on the ground, but not when they are flittering around in your face.

Flying is hard, even if birds do it naturally.

The way that Fly is currently set up also vastly increases the usefulness of a lot of other things already in the game, while in other systems Flight pretty much negates most spells and effects that help with traversal. Flying is still great, specially out of combat, but I think it is a good thing for it require more effort.

I wouldn't suggest making these changes because the creatures that can fly are already balanced around this cost. A Vrock, for example, has a two-strike no-MAP Attack of Opportunity while it's flying, which is insane stuff.


Just worth noticing that Flying also requires to be used once per round (either moving or to hover), making jumping+attack feats more valuable.


HumbleGamer wrote:
An errata giving reload 0 "you can reload as a free action" may help.

It would definitely make things more clear and well defined. I wouldn't have thought we would need any such errata, but this clearly is not the case.


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dmerceless wrote:
Personally I think +X stuff takes away from the wonder of finding a new magic item more than it helps. They barely feel magical at all, just a stat stick, and one you know you're getting just to keep up. Not a fan. Magic stuff should feel... magical, wondrous, do things that mundane items can't do.

As someone that wholeheartedly agrees with you, I can easily see most players loving their +X items because they never stopped to think about them in the context of the game. It may feel great to get that next +X weapon mid adventure and feel powerful, but not stopping to think why this weapon is basically the same as the increase in proficiency your character gets at certain levels or Weapon Specialization.

That's why I like to use the term illusion of choice. Once you see it for what it is, the illusion shatters and it's harder to appreciate these items since they feel like you're just being given what your character is expected to have.

All in all, at least I'm glad that Paizo took it to heart the complaints about magical items not feeling magical and they made a lot of items, specially lower leveled ones, much more interesting than just different routes for extra +X on skills or extra damage.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Cylar Nann wrote:

This is why I really want to play in an automatic bonus progression game so I can feel if it is any different.

My main experience is PFS and I played 2 books of Age of Ashes and Extinction Curse. Overall all pretty much all our gold was spent on Runes for Weapons + Armors. Then we would save gold so we made sure we had enough money for the next level.

We pretty much had no left over money for any items that weren't bonuses. Even then we could barely even afford on level runes.

Your experience is not mine. I'm in book 1 of Age of Ashes and we are overequipped (we are full of armor runes at level 4). In PFS, it's also extremely easy to get all the items you want and buy a lot on the side.

As a side note, I've seen a lot of players hoarding gold that they never use. I think the exponential economy is hard to grasp for some people, so they always have the feeling that they need more gold when they actually just don't because the game gives them the gold just when they need it.

I always say to my players "Gold doesn't give you stats, utility or keep you alive, so you better spend it when you can".

In PF1e this could make sense since most caster players would hoard until they could by the casting stat upgrades as soon as possible so that they could jack up their DC's above the intended curve.

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