Gold Dragon

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(shakes head fervently up and down in agreement with OP)

That chart may have been intended to never make that exact fiasco, but alas, due to its written structure it's extremely easy to be abused as exactly that way. And as DMW pointed out, the very playtest scenario already made such mistakes.

To the OP: I'm sincerely sceptical if any character who depend the bulk of their main class performance on additional attachments are even worth their salt on a team.

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Personally, I'd rather have the so-called Vancian system terminated and replaced by a reversed "charge up and fire (on a earth-shattering-kaboom scale)" type magic system, cast at-will. Spells should take up more time to chant either by being a higher level or potentially able to break niche protection more widely, with proficiency reducing up required actions per casting (up to a minimum of 1 action).

That way, you no longer need to track slot usage, and promoting actual teamwork with martial classes by giving them a definite purpose during combat in protecting the big guns until they successfully bake up a relevant problem solver (which is hopefully not that spotlight-stealing).

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The playtest nerfed spellcasting by three elements;

A) Lower number of slots per day
B) No automatic scaling
C) Individual effects weakened

...which critically shrunk its old cubic power.
If they decide to give back one or two of those elements back, what is your order of preference?

Ah, adopting neo-Vanc... I mean, Arcanist style preparations would make it more comfortable, yes.

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While I was snickering at the crazy awesome number of (mostly useless) attacks, I got a question.

Can you voluntarily choose not to receive benefits from feats you have, such as Agile Grace?

So make Proficiency work somewhat like how in 5E creatures' Size matters in initiating grapples? Hmm... Frankly, I'm extremely tempted by the promise of advancement in PC-NPC transparency, but as others said, it's still much more simpler just to have like all skill feats scale to eye-bulging epic levels.

Ediwir wrote:


Other interesting bits:
-"did you see survey data about decoupling extra dice from magic item bonus to be based on character level?"
"We asked about "inherent martial ability," rather than level per se. But if you consider that close enough, we do. It was... not popular."


Umm, I must be getting old, my English reading comprehension is failing me...

What does that mean? Is it that the playtesters were frustrated with magic item damage dependency, or the opposite (wants the dependency to stay)?

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I very much agree. We need quite a lot more of such "vertical-growth" feats that give new & practical options.

If the concept of "legendary weapons" (that let even a total newbie rip through dragon hide like tofu) and "legendary warrior" (who could dish out similar hurt with a random twig nearby) is to coexist...
I'd have extra weapon damage dice scale off the higher of your proficiency or item bonus. Just like many others proposed before.

And there are extra proposals to help with niche protection, scale of importance between tools / training, and such;

* Damage does not scale with proficiency by default, but the so called "martial" classes (Barbarian, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue) have odd-level class features that explicitly allow this. In case the "caster" classes want it too, multiclass feats give this feature slower than the full "martial" class.

* Proficiency-based damage dice scaling can be not-quite linear. For example, Expert giving +1dx, Master giving +3dx (instead of 2), and Legendary giving +1d5 (catching up with the best potency runes via skill alone).

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Slightly different reason but same conclusion with me. This is really absurd that only spellcasters have an innate feature for truly meaningful damage scaling among the levels, while the noncasters require external help (in the form of magic weapons) to keep up with the rising stakes.

Very interesting. What would you do to solve the niche of the Rogue, though? Would it be better to off it as a class, decapitating one another sacred cow?

PF1 Dwarves were too powerful anyway. Way more baggages of +1's with slightly varying but usually NOT useless, only countered by their physique IF the player is into lookism at its worst...

So, if PF2 Dwarves must have their former plusses return, all other core races must gain new bonuses of equal value to compensate. Yeah, seriously.

First very happy that some simulationist options like Goblin Scuttle makes in, then disappointed that it's for some reason a level 9 feat, THEN relieved by official response that the level 9 prereq is a fluke. What a wild emotional ride... :)

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Garretmander wrote:
Gratz wrote:

Honestly I don't see any, or at worst only minor, problems with these examples, because I (and I'd also say my players) have always accepted that the game, especially magic, isn't always symmetrical. With that I mean that the NPCs, monsters and enemies, and by an extend the GM, has tools at their disposal that the PCs and the players don't get.

That, right there, as a GM and as a player, I completely disagree with.

This applies to NPCs more than monsters, but: The only advantages an NPC should have over the PCs are time, money, and maybe level.

The NPC shouldn't have a better version of dominate person just because they're an NPC. They shouldn't have a better invisibility just so they can spy on the PCs.

Building their stats? Sure, that can come from a table. But their actual abilities, what they can and cannot do in the world. That should never be more than what the PCs are capable of (with the caveat of 'what the PCs are capable of at a higher level)

It just feels wrong to me from a world building perspective. Yes, the wizard should eventually be able to cast the same spells as that great wyrm dragon. Yes, the fighter should be able to strike a mountainside just right and cause a landslide just like that stone giant elder. Yes, the rogue should be able to sneak into a vault holding the riches of the kingdom. Yes, the ranger should be able to track a target across entire continents.

Just at later levels, if an NPC/monster can do it, the PCs should be able to do it eventually as well. It might take them time, they might find the magic ritual required is morally wrong and they decide not to perform it, but that should always be an option.

I want to chant "QFT" more than a googol times on this... It looks like you were inside my wildest dreams and wrote about it.

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Rogues get more than double the others in skill increases. Wish other martials had at least similar starting skills, though (to make up for spells that give totally unique abilities).

As the title, they could make critical hits (at least the double damage part) on a Strike as class features exclusive to martial classes and some advanced monsters, not unlike how they treated AoO's in this playtest.

Would this help solve the deadly monsters? If so, how much?

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Personally, I prefer the "+Level to everything" policy of PF2's playtest (why not play 5E if your 20th level Fighter can't curb-stomp troll warlords ungeared and sleepwalking). However, I also know well that the fact defense and general DCs scaling too also robbed the "feel" of character improvement, since in the end, your "natural X on the d20" either stays the same, or can't catch up and go up.

So I wondered; "If you want the feel of numerical character development, is Rocket Tag inevitable?"

When both sides of a dice rolling contest in game has level scaling, for the proactive side to feel stronger as they level up, they will eventually require lower natural X's, which means their bonuses towering over the reactive side's respective bonuses, eventually. As the GM's side of the table will eventually get similar bonuses too on their own stat blocks, I can only see the rocket tag phenomenon as inevitable, at least in the numerical statistics part of the game...

Huh. Something only slightly related, but... If my lore check is accurate, I thought metagaming was actually encouraged as good roleplaying via Gygaxian philosophies during the 70's, am I right?

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Ronnam wrote:

Balance is nice but as with all things, in moderation.

When you play the board game Dungeon! it’s baked right in that Wizards are stronger than Rogues and Clerics, but hey, we keep having fun playing Rogues and Clerics anyway.

4e was essentially perfectly balanced, but that felt homogenous and un-fun. 5e isn’t perfectly balanced, but people like it.

At least that board game seems to have not lied about class power differences... If the 3E system's developers decided to be frank and like measured non-casters' CRs as much lower than now, I wouldn't have been this livid about that LFQW issue.

And 5E is incredibly fun in-play, yeah. For the first time in forever (snort), Monks can move and whack thrice via ki-charged fists without any accuracy penalties, way more truer to their genre of origin.

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I'd actually rather prefer the entire Spheres series to become its own OGL game. Preferably with all player and NPC rules in one big, sturdy book.

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The OP is way better at putting words together for my wishes on this topic.

P.S. Smurf.

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Many a woes shall be fixed if more and more absolute DCs are defined into the core rules.

Treat wounds should be much better with a fixed DC, with extra healing based on how much you surpassed that one and only target number...

I have this feeling that slots-per-day spellcasting will never be able to shake off the 5MWD problem, especially the spotlight monopoly type...

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As Pathfinder is going the opposite direction of the "Mother May I" style, such questions are vital, yes I agree.

And I'd add one of mine: "Do fire damage spells burn unattended things unless otherwise noted?" Yes, I heard horror stories of 4E when an incompetent D..referee disallowed fire powers from burning stuff because it ain't written so.

What about things not directly dependent on proficiency? Like spells and slots?

That iterative hit penalty for martial characters is an ugly remnant of the early 3.x era, created by the system's original creators for some (probably nefarious) reason. Oddly, unlike common perception, it seems you have to blame one or both of the remaining two other than Monte Cook (who as far as I know doesn't care that much about nerfing martials, instead spending his time on drugging up wizard-esque characters).

Is this as the title, or the new cache system only lets you follow a set number of threads per account?

One thread that I even added one of my own posts stopped tracking new additional ones yesterday, and it's quite baffling.

Aside from their in-combat identity, what can be claimed as the Fighter's definitive out-of-combat identity?

Of 1 and 3, I definitely agree. Of 4, a little (I was furious in PF1 when casters enjoyed free scaling on low level spells while noncasters struggled with iterative attack penalties; of now, as scaling is more about additional weapon dice, well...) The others, I need more evaluation.

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It seems they're really listening carefully to the players. And that's very good.

Well, we do need more solid general feats, so that there's one more definite benchmark which anchors all classes to the same in-game world (other than ability scores).

Wyvaran (or a even more draconic new race), (full-) Orc, Kitsune, Aasimar/Tiefling, in order of priority.

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I just want a 20th level martial actually and practically capable of 20th level things, without outside help of any kind (like required buffs or magic items).
Just on what kind of scale are 20th level things on, then? You should take a look at those 10th-level spells.

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It's not heretical, it's revolutionary. And I feel dumbstruck on why I've never thought up of this...

Requielle wrote:

I haven't seen any response to my drop-dead issue... different rules for PCs vs. the entire rest of the universe. That seems to be a settled design issue (if the silence is any indication). Apparently different rules for creation, dying, initiative, etc. have lurched out of the old-school grave and PF2E is going full retro in that regard. They didn't release the monster creation rules for testing, and none of the playtest survey questions seem like they would shed light on this issue at all - so I don't think it's on the radar as an option to change before release.

If that's how it goes, well... that's Paizo's perogative. I'll be sad, but I won't be moving to 2E. And I'll wish them the best of luck in capturing the attention of whatever they envision their new market to be.

Yes, I couldn't agree more on this. It's heart wrenchingly depressing to see the laws of the in-game universe thrown unto horrible discord as such. But it seems at least some people prefer it that way...

Guess I really have to try making a free, Martial-Caster-balanced, zero-to-demigod game rule that work universally for all in-game entities all by myself...

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Just do away with that per day limit for the Heal skill (or whatever it's called). And make it great for the first time in D&Desque gaming.

By the way, adding too much other things to a formerly dedicated healer might result in another CoDzilla.

Great and sensible ideas, OP. It feels like tackling this question, "Are non-magicals even worth their salt in a party?", from the flip side.

On dice numbers, in short, we need higher levels to require smaller and smaller Natural X's on the d20 roll as you progress. Boom, treadmill solved.

What on Golarion (and the d20 system in general) do Fighters represent as something of its own? Just what is the Figher's class identity?

In the current iteration, every core classes other than the Fighter have a solid character by themselves;


Alchemist: Who learned alchemy(duh) to unleash (al)chemical reactions upon the world

Barbarian: Who bursts into a berserker state reminiscent of a human-sized killing machine

Bard: Who dug into the arts to gain esoteric knowledge of all kinds, including some high magic

Cleric: Who represents the gods (and hopefully some philosophes) as its divine petitioner (but unfortunately shoehorned to healer roles as an original sin)

Druid: Who is backed up by nature to unleash its primal fury as magic

Monk: Who learned Wuxia-style martial arts for extra oomph (and maybe a safe, traditional way to divine ascension)

Paladin: Who is the forceful fist of goodness (and hopefully other alignments) that supernaturally smite things to oblivion

Ranger: Who is the deadly stalker of the wilderness, shredding horrors via blade and arrows

Rogue: Who specializes on all kinds of skills from the professional to the shady ones

Sorcerer: Who were naturally born with spellcasting (but for some reason still relies on tongues and hands to use it)

Wizard: Who learned magic academically for cosmic-scale power


So what should the fighter be? At least, it must never be "that class which represents all other martial arts and fighting styles not yet specialized by other new classes," ever.

Like, Cavaliers took riding and field commander things (and ruined them with bad practice), Gunslingers took all guns (obviously), Magi (plus Inquisitors and other 2/3 casters) took gishing, and Vigilantes combined the Fighter and Rogue then attached some serious social stuff that actually works with minor superhero trappings.

I believe they need some serious examinations on class identity for them to earn their page in the books, other than being in a sacred cow position.

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Wait, I thought the derogatory "Anime" cries originated from caster players who hated martial classes from climbing up tiers... Was I wrong?

Anyway, I feel the old PF1 ultra-magic returning is fine as long as PF2's martials get to enjoy some of its craziness too, without outside assistance (= by own class features & progression, not necessarily reliant on buffs/items).

A remarkable idea. Let me add some more lines, please...

* Untrained: Level/2 + other mods
* Trained: Level*3/4 + other mods
* Expert (and beyond): Level + other mods

* Master & Legendary: as proposed above

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Well, it lessens/prevents awkward situations such as...

* Player vigorously accusing GM of cheating with statistics of a PC-race NPC, that looks and acts like something very similar to a member of PC-classes in flavor but not in practice

* Players getting disappointed when NPC numbers are vastly superior to PC's, and get to see no point in playing with measly digits their characters barely scratched up to play with

Actually, I am perfectly willing to compromise on this topic (NPC-transparency) if the final product version of PF2 ends up with a transparency level that is "as 5E, but with NPC proficiency bonus keyed to Hit Dice instead of CRs," especially for PC-playable races and filler-PC convertable characters. Special abilities that looks exclusive to such NPCs should be allowed by word to word as Uncommon+ feats/spells and such (it's a perfect opportunity to utilize that rarity system). Totally unplayable creatures like true dragons getting GM-friendly arbitrary bonuses, I care about much less.

If they roll back races into front-loaded packages, I think most races will need additional traits of racial-feat level power, to keep up with dwarves, who lost the most number of 0th level traits in the PF1 to Playtest transition; Greed gone, Ancient's Blood split from Hardy, 5 other features scattered as feats. I sincerely have little to no idea how come they ended up this powerful without consequences (but a hunch that this had to their in-lore not-so admirable looks; lookism galore...).

This means that all races will have to start with features worth around 7 feats (not counting ones wiped out for lore-matching, like gnomes).

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I have firm faith in that all in-game units (Creatures, in the d20 ruleset) generated using the same general rules, sprinkled with small unique exceptions as traits of character, is the biggest strength (and point of playing) a pen-and-paper roleplaying game has over a computer-run one.

Here's my choices...

==== PLUS ====

+ Proficiency bonus auto-scaling fits the d20 power fantasy quite well (though maybe LV./2 is fine for untrained creatures).
+ The general feat-based structure of character growth is fine and elegant-feeling.
+ The 3-Action system in general.

==== MINUS ====

- Individual feats of all kinds is usually very unimpressive, particularly the martial/skill feats.
- Damage scaling for martials requiring magic weapons is just awful.
- Monster numbers having unexplained, illegally massive bonuses is so horrible, it's the worst nightmare to me.

I'd rather merge Fighters and Rogues, as they're the only ones traditionally barred from any spellcasting core-rulebook-wise. The one and only "No Extra Subsystem Class" to be exact.

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The old CLW wand problem did make player characters look like drug addicts with track marks all over one's body. But PF2's resonance is definitely not working soundly as of now, just like how the forum experts pointed to in this site alone.

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Stamina is one fantastic solution, as long as NPCs have them, too.

My only big peeve with Sorcs is that they STILL rely on the existence of a tongue and a free hand to control their inborn magical talent. It's just so wrong in feel...

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