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Bandw2 wrote:
DPR calculatiosn are used to determine how you should build your character, ...

So you are wargaming, not roleplaying, got it. Just remember that some people actually like to roleplay and base their choices on what makes sense for their character, not what is considered 'optimal' by the wargaming crowd.

DPR calculations can be useful to inform your choice between options that make sense for your character. In that case, taking the more effective option makes sense for optimising *for character*.

Oh and before you pull out the Stormwind dead-beat argument again: Stuff. It.

Having math so tight that the difference between 'optimal' and the rest is so small that it doesn't end up 'gimping' your character is a godsend for everyone for whom the rules are a necessary evil to have a game. If you prefer wargaming, that is your problem. You do not get to tell other people how to build their character as much as they get to tell you how to build yours.

So no, DPR calculations determine eff all. They are merely a tool that help weight a decision, nothing more. And you can argue 'but statistics' till the cows come home, I do not care one wit about an extra point of average damage. All I have to make sure is that my toon is good enough, no more, no less. Whatever else character resources are left over after meeting that goal are mine and mine alone to use as I see fit.

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It's cold damage. Apply to properly vulnerable foes and it will do some extra damage compared to Hydraulic Push. But then again, so does RoF. Except that RoF only imparts a speed penalty on a critical success, whereas Snowball only needs a success. So there is that. On the other hand, cantrips are heightened automatically...

So yeah, more of a sidegrade then an upgrade to anything. Which is just fine. Anyone playing Team Fortress 2? There are a lot of weapons you can exchange your standard loadout for, but they are hardly ever strictly better. They are almost always rewarding a certain style of play while being actively worse for a different playstyle. And if you look at the comments, many people will say that the stock weapons are actually solid choices.

And if Paizo can keep spells like that, then that would go a long way to promote both balance and fun. Balance, because there won't be any 'no-brainer' choices, and fun because there will be tools for different approaches to the (combat part of the) game.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Your problem isn't with optimizers, it's with people being dicks.

Absolutely. No disagreement. But...

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Finding people guilty by association makes you the dick, not them, and they have no responsibility to try and cater to the prejudices of others. Also, again speaking as someone who optimizes a fair bit, I have not found this to actually be true. Most people do not do this. People will sometimes get up in your face for daring to...

These message boards are very civil, the mods are seeing to that. But you have to understand that you are arguing from a rational point of view. Yes, in and of itself crunching numbers to make a stat block perform better is not a bad thing, yet you must remember 2 things:

1) Gaming is a social activity where people agree to an usually unspoken agreement: Don't be a dick/ don't spoil the fun for others. If *your* optimisation causes a problem then the onus is on *you* to scale it back, not on the others to engage in a metagame that they may, quite frankly, find disgusting.

2) People are, by and large, not rational beings, but rather emotional. You can argue from your standpoint of logic until the cows come home and even be right about. It will not safe you from the ire of fellow player who just got slapped in the face with the fact that his beloved toon is 'suboptimal', 'not pulling his weight' or 'an XP-mooching gimp'. I assure you, things get rather emotional and logic goes die in a fire.

So, just my little piece of advice: You can keep telling yourselves that optimising is harmless, but if you only ever look at it in the 'clean room' of a message board forum and fail to look at what happens at real life tables, you are not doing yourself any favours.

Yes, the *real* problem is people being dicks to other people, but the first step to becoming the dick is to dismiss another person's *emotions* about a subject because logic.

And yes, I hope Paizo keeps the reins tight. If optimizers, try as they might, can not ruin the fun for others, well, then both sides can coexist peacefully and actually have fun together. That's a good thing, isn't it?

Helmic wrote:
I roleplay just as much as anyone else here, but the outright hostility towards those who engage with the prominent crunchy bits of the game can seem awfully hypocritical. It comes across as accusing others of "wrongfun" or portraying those who enjoy tinkering with the system as inherently problematic.

I can only speak for myself here, but my personal less-then-cordial attitude towards 'optimizers' stems from the experience that these people have an awful tendency to ruin everybody else's fun.

When you build your own Fighter looking towards protecting your Rogue and Cleric fellows, and a few levels into the game the Cleric flat out blows both other characters out of the water without even trying too hard (Divine Metamagic and Nighsticks anyone?) that leaves a sour taste.

And when you then go to some message boards to get some help and are basically told 'only losers play Fighter', well, screw you.

Of course decrying people who like tinkering with the rules as 'bad roleplayers' is just as toxic, just with the polarity reversed.

The problem is just that 3.x is just so abuseable, and the people who commit the worst feats of rules abuse are generally also the ones prone to rubbing it into other people's face. So, if you profess a fondness for number crunching, be prepared to be found guilty by association. Innocent until proven guilty only applies in a court of law, not in the court of public or personal opinion.

Hopefully PF2 will keep the reins short on any potential rules abuses, making it much easier to tolerate min-maxers... simply becaus they can't cause too much damage any more.

I suppose, werewolves would be kinda contained by the fact that communities 'in the wild' tend to be pretty small and isolated. But wererats in a big city may be a different thing.

Besides, Cure Disease wasn't cutting it in PF1 either, lycanthropy is as much a curse as a disease and requires a Remove Curse spell. From a 12th level caster. Those don't grow on trees you know.

At least silver weapons no longer incur a damage penalty. At 440 silver they are not exactly cheap though. That seems to be quite the mark-up from PF1. Maybe it isn't that easy to keep entire hunting squads equipped with silver weapons?

And I guess many a thieve's guild will seek to relieve said hunters from their valuables...

But a single werewolf, if inclined to do so, could easily turn a small hamlet in one night. And then would not need to stick around and just move on to the next and do it again.

Sure, the book explicitly mentions werewolves being very selective about who they bring into the family, but they are also Chaotic Evil, so being an irresponsible maverick is kind par for the course. Or one could argue that a campaign to infect as many humans with lycanthropy would be lawful behaviour I guess.

Still, a dedicated doomsday cult could do a lot of damage.

Then again, seeing how much easier it is to actually fight and kill weres, maybe they need that ability not to go extinct in short order, so there is that.

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QuidEst wrote:
- It's non-trivial training. You can't always ship your young nobles off for years of training. One of the most prestigious academies of the Inner Sea Region requires ten years, and the first three have a 20% fatality rate. All that cuts into time spent being an effective noble.

Silly QuidESt, that is what having multiple offspring is for. You produce one heir to inherit the title, family business or whatever, and then go with the age-old formula of Wizard, Warrior, Priest.

Wizard because divination, as has been discussed. Warrior to be a general for your army, or at least the man-at-arms for your castle, or maybe just the head of security for your business. After that, eh, send the third son off to a cloister to make himself useful. Remember that they are going to be affiliated with some divine power of sorts, so no longer solely loyal to the family alone. But if they make a career in the church, it is still useful to have a 'man inside'.

Daughters are for marrying off. Although there could be some mixing and matching in more egalitarian societies of course.

Uh... can we talk about werebeasts in PF2 for a moment?

I don't mind that weres no longer have any damage resistances (boo, hiss) because frankly, DR is a female doggy to deal with. Now they just get extra hurt by silver.

But the real kicker is: In PF1, only true weres could pass on the Curse of Lycanthropy, but not infected ones. It appears that in PF2, both true AND infected weres can create more weres by biting people.

This... is troublesome. Sure, werebeasts are a lot easier to kill now, what with no resistances and a vulnerability, but runaway infection scenarios are a thing now. Just think wererats and a mayor city with extensive sewer systems.

So... how does the world prevent to be overrun?

And then you train out of it. Same with the Canny Acumen thing: You get ahead the curve, for a while, and you pay an opportunity cost for it.

As for enabling heavy armour wizards and other special snowflakes... Come on, this is the CORE rule book. They are laying down the foundations and thus cater to the traditional stereotypes first and foremost. There will be support for off-colour concepts, they still want to sell boos after all.

Rogues for example don't get Expert fortitude before level 9, so they get more mileage out of it, but they too would want to train out of the feat then. Which the rules explicitly allow.

The point is, for a number of levels you are 10% less likely to fail a potentially live-ending saving throw. That is not nothing...

You know what bothers me about the whole 'Wizards don't get heavy armour Expert proficiency?'

Nobody talks about Mage Armour. People make the case that the DEX Wizard will have a +8 from Unarmoured proficiency at lv. 15, which is about equal with trained heavy armour.

Except... what is the worth of a 1st level spell slot at that level? Heck, if you are willing to sacrifice a 6th level spell slot, you get a +2 Item bonus to AC for a total +10 AC if you go unarmoured. And you can still put runes on your Explorer's Clothing.

So yeah, casters aren't supposed to use armour, big deal. If you want that concept to work, I suppose you have to wait for the APG.

The ShadowShackleton wrote:

I ran into the following situation:

Player had his shield slung on his back and wanted to “ready his shield “ as a single action. Does he have to draw his shield first and then ready it or can he just move straight to a state of readiness?

From my understanding of the rules, moving the shield from 'stowed' to 'wielded' takes one Interact action. Of course, if you want to actually get those +2 to AC, you need to spend another action to 'Raise your Shield'.

If you count in another action to draw a weapon, you need a full turn to get from 'gawking at a crack in the masonry' to 'combat ready'.

As for your combat medic, well, bucklers are a thing. If you don't mind the loss of 1 AC and them sucking at blocking (compared to a real shield), it at least allows you to hold a light non-weapon object in your off-hand and still having your buckler wielded.

There is no such thing as 'shield proficiency' though. Everybody can use a shield to get +2 AC, just not everybody can use one to block an attack. If anything, the Shield Block feat is the new shield proficiency. But as far as I can see, there is no requirement to be trained in any one weapon you may want to quickdraw.

That's the gist of it. Of course, depending on what class you MC into, there may be other options available. For example, Sneak Attacker is available at lv. 4 as a MC feat, vying with Basic Trickery for your second dedication pick. For Cleric it's the choice between getting basic casting or a basic Cleric feat at 4th. You could use your 6th level feat to get both options in these examples.

But of course it means you are not getting what your main class has to offer, and that should always been a tough and well thought out choice.

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Just think of Ancestry HP as the 'racial hit die' of bygone versions. Only, your hapless (demi)human(oid) does not *exchange* his racial hit die for a class hit die upon ascending to PC class status, they *add* it up.

In D&D and Pathfinder, you generally round 1/2-fractions down. Like when you take half of 17 damage it is rounded down to 8 damage.

However, there is no rounding involved here. A 6th lever whatever with Rogue dedication counts as a 3rd level Rogue for the purpose of picking up Rogue feats via Advanced Trickery.

The point is that you can usually pick a single feat only once. Note that Advanced Trickery explicitly states it can be taken multiple times. So if you want, say, both Quickdraw and Minor Magic for example, you can't get both via Basic Trickery because you can take Basic Trickery only once, but can pick up your second choice with Advanced Trickery on 6th level.

Best I can tell, readying a shield and drawing a weapon are both an Interact action, so yes. But usually you should have your shield ready and only use your main hand to carry a light source or something. Unless you start out wielding a bow or crossbow maybe.

Followup question: Does a shield count as a weapon for the purpose of the Quickdraw Rogue feat? While shields aren't weapons *per se*, a shield bash is listed as a martial weapon attack, and adding a shield boss as a weapon of its own is trivial.

In this case, Mad Gene Vane's character could use two actions to ready both the shield and the weapon and attack once with each one, still having an action left over to attack, move or raise the shield with. Which makes a quick jaunt over to the Rogue's ways via MC feats pretty tasty. Also makes Rogues using a shield as their off-hand weapon much more feasible.

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The only question that matters is:

Will casters be able to make martial characters obsolete AGAIN?

Because that is what we kinda want to get away from, isn't it. So if we want casters NEEDING martials around, what exactly DO they need from them?

Right now, THE ONLY THING martials can do is damage. Ergo, casters CAN NOT have a damage potential that allows them to ditch the beatsticks. And limited spell slots mean that you will want all those utility and battlefield control spells, ESPECIALLY when blasting is underwhelming and you inflict more damage upon the enemy by helping out your sword guys.

If you want casters to be able to emancipate themselves from needing bodyguards, then you must also enable the non-casters to be able to function WITHOUT CASTERS.

I would really like to hear how any of you think that is supposed to work...

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Yolande d'Bar wrote:
I’m not saying every class needs to avoid this rules mastery trap, but I do think the Fighter shouldn’t require this for every build.

It is not a requirement. If you don't feel like dumpster-diving for the 'best' feat, just pick one you like and stick with it.

The point is that a HUGE part of 'linear Fighters vs. quadratic Wizards' is that Wizards have potentially hundreds, if not thousands of class features, a.k.a. 'spells' to chose from and nothing that is holding them back from getting ALL of them. It would not be so bad without a certain 'blessed book', that is, if Wizards and their ilk AT LEAST had a limit on how many spells they could carry around in their spellbooks, but as it stands...

Compare to the Fighter, who only has feats as class features. Not only are feats never as powerful as spells and don't scale, once you are stuck with them, you are stuck with them. Why do you think that both the Brawler as a class and the Barroom Brawler feat as so well received? Because they allow the martial classes at least a shadow of the flexibility that casting classes have enjoyed since their inception.

So, complaining about a class feature that gives the martials nice things is not really helping make that caster-martial divide go away...

Hmm... it has always bothered me that stats have such a relatively huge impact on your skills compared to skill ranks, a.k.a. 'actual training'.

Some RPG system uses skill points like so: A skill check is a check vs. an attribute (or rather, 3 checks vs. 3 attributes), and your skill points do 2 things: 1) They work as a buffer for bad rolls, allowing you to miss your roll by a certain amount, and 2), the number of skill points left over after your roll determine the quality of success.

If you need, for example, to climb a wall, that may be a STR check, but you only climb a number of meters according to your left over skill points (possibly divided by 2/3/4). So a stronger climber will have an easier time keeping all his skill points, but only a skilled climber can actually hope to climb fast.

As for PF2, I like the idea of keeping the 'skill values' close together, so basic stuff can be done by (almost) everyone. But they had such a great opportunity to make skill tiers actually matter and wasted it. :(

All it would need would be to have certain skill uses gated by proficiency, with skill feats merely augmenting particular facets of the skill in question. And of course have feats scale like Free Fall. That ought to be the gold standard for feats.

Alas, it appears they got scared of their own courage and did not go far enough...

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ChibiNyan wrote:
Lycar wrote:

Casters can not be allowed to do single-target damage consistent with the fighting classes, at least not without putting a lot of effort into it. Doing HP damage is the core competency of the martial classes. The casters CAN NOT BE ALLOWED to ursurp that one too, AGAIN.
Again? This has never happened ever, I think. In fact, blasters were considered pretty garbage in PF1 unless did super specific exploit builds. Feel free to nerf all the actually good magic, but this wasn't it.

Oh sure, the real problem was that casters could get to a point where they simply did not need a party. Or at least not a party of muggles. How often did we hear/read that a summon is all the Fighter you ever need? And doesn't cost gold to resurrect all the damn time.

But a PF1 caster who WANTS to out-damage everything with blasting can absolutely do so. Do the names Cindy and The Mailman ring any bells?

So yeah, blasting spells are only half of the problem. But it does not help to boost damage spells and leave buffs/debuffs in the lurch. Ideally, a caster is the magical specialist who solves magical problems. Enemy flying? Make the beatsticks fly too. Invisible/incorporeal foes? There are spells for that.

Casters working TOGETHER with others are awesome. Casters making non-casters obsolete are not. However, the only way to ascertain that casters WILL cooperate is making sure they MUST HAVE martial support to survive. Let the martials do the HP damage. That is their ONE JOB. Let them have it. Casters softening up mobs of lesser foes with fireballs is cool (well, fiery hot actually, but you know what I mean...), blowing up the entire encounter, leaving nothing for the other PCs to beat up... not so much.

tldr: Casters dealing more damage then martials isn't 'the' problem, but it is 'part' of the problem. Boosting damage dice is the opposite of helping there.

Casters need help helping the muggles, not making them obsolete.

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Spell falloff absolutely NEEDS to be a thing, or a caters arsenal would just keep growing and growing... What do martials get compared to that? Nothing.

It is ESSENTIAL that only the top casting slots deliver top performance, be it damage or utility. The casters still can use their EVER GROWING number of spell slots to get more and more save-independent utility spells. And casters without a fixed amount of spells known can expand their arsenal exponentially. With ever new book that comes out.

Casters can not be allowed to do single-target damage consistent with the fighting classes, at least not without putting a lot of effort into it. Doing HP damage is the core competency of the martial classes. The casters CAN NOT BE ALLOWED to ursurp that one too, AGAIN.

No, casters struggling to maintain single target spell damage is just as it ought to be. They can do so many things non-casters can't, they MUST have limits!

Of course, now that caster supremacy is being reigned in by making SoD and and SoS spells less of the win buttons they used to be, and apparently overcompensating by making monster saves too high, the devs admitted that boosting blast spell damage is an easy thing to do. But that doesn't fix the issue of lower level spell slots becoming useless for save-depending spells and just hurts the non-casters. That was about the worst fix they could try.

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Draco18s wrote:
I think you are missing the point that myself and Draco made. Fear impacts ALL saving throws. Your suggestion would be more like giving it a failure condition that the creature gets a bonus to its next saving throw against a fear effect, or that it takes a penalty on the next casting of fear. That's fiddly. (Which I should have said instead of finicky TBH.)

My suggestion is that Disarm is currently broken as in that the +2 on a 'success' is actually a -3 on the next attempt and that needs fixing. I do not actually have a problem with a 'fiddly' solution, at least not as long as it is consistent and working. After all, intimidation is also being discussed as problematic...

kpulv wrote:
I'm all for spicing up the options in combat other than "how can I do the most damage" and this sounds like a cool way to do that. I wonder if it could be reined in a little bit maybe by requiring a previous attack to successfully hit (like how monster abilities work.) So you could attack, then next action use a maneuver with no MAP if your previous attack hit, or full MAP if it missed. I'm not sure if an armor check penalty type thing is even necessary without testing first how busted it would be to enable this.

So, basically make it a press maneauver? Heh, I suppose if you make a two action 'combat maneuver' feat that addresses the problems... It would make sure that you only have 1 attempt per combat round, so it could be allowed to have a better chance to succeed. You pay for it with your action economy after all.

So: First make a successful strike, 1 action. Then, use the Combat Maneauver Feat, for 2 actions. In case of Disarm, we can use the PF1 matrix: Success, enemy drops weapon; Success +10, enemy drops everything held in both hands; fail by 10, drop your own weapon.

That... looks like a viable alternative. Nice one.

Weeelll... I suppose THAT is something that could be solved 2 ways:

1) Have a feat for that. Everybody can try to disarm, but you need a feat to not suck at it. Same ol', same ol'...

2) Have the ability scale with your weapon proficiency. Weapon experts/ masters/ legends are just better, not because their to-hit is so high, but because they, like, don't suffer MAPs, get a bonus on their next attempt if they merely 'succeed' etc... But that would make the skill use 'too fiddly/finicky' I suppose?

Of course, having feat support means the classes that never get past 'trained' can try to do that too. Or maybe make the FEAT scale with proficiency instead. Feats are allowed to be finicky, right?

Captain Morgan wrote:

I made a thread calling to give a huge buff to combat maneuvers. Clearly I want martials to have interesting things to do. I would just like those things to run smoothly at the table. They are not mutual exclusive.

Making MAP not apply to combat maneuvers not only buffs them, it makes them easier to run and less fiddly.

Making MAP selectively apply based on the degree of success is not only a weaker buff to combat maneuvers than what I proposed, it makes them harder to run. Therefore, I don't endorse it as a solution.

Ohhh, okay, now I get it. Yes, that would indeed be better. I was just thinking that it might be asking for too much. In essence, combat maneuvers still are attacks after all. So having damage dealing attacks take MAPs and asking for maneuvers not to may be a bit disingenuous.

The problem is, you do not want to make success too easy. But right now there is a roughly 55% chance to success, and there is only another step 10 numbers further out.

Maybe the problem is that we are dealing with 4 things that can happen on a 20 point scale, that are supposed to be 10 numbers apart each. So, if there is an appreciable for either extreme to happen, the other falls off the range (or rather gets stuck at 5%).

I am wondering if we should not have a system with a DC 6 = marginal success, DC 16 full success and 1-5 a simple failure, giving a 'window of success' of 10 numbers. So 25% base chance of failure, 50% chance of doing something and 25% chance to do well. That would be easier to aim for.*

I mean, in 'modern' games, PCs are supposed to succeed (eventually), so why not make 'brass tacks' and build the system accordingly?

*Before mods. If a competent PC is supposed to have a +5 bonus on his core competency, the DCs would be 11 and 21 accordingly. Allow for a deviation of +/-3 in either direction.

**Or maybe make the 'window of success' 5/6 numbers wide maybe.

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Arssanguinus wrote:
Lycar wrote:
...But to have the skill, in theory, and then deciding not to use it for RP reasons? That's different. That is voluntary on your part and doesn't cost anybody else a thing. Unless we talk spending resources to save the PC in question from their self-imposed peril. Again, ask your fellow players if they applaud the dedication to RP or hate the drama queen.
That isn’t maintaining weak points. That’s faking it. It isn’t even remotely close to being the same.

Well duh, of course it is not. But the point is, it is a lot easier to fake incompetence then competence. So it is much better, from a design standpoint, to have forced competence, that you can rule out, then forced incompetence, that is a lot harder to deal with.

So yeah, while it is hardly an ideal solution, but I will gladly take it over what we had before. It is still an improvement.

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Steve Geddes wrote:
The post you quoted was in reply to Albatoonoe's comment that they'd be okay with a "flaws" system of some description provided it wasn't the baseline (ie you could take it if you want, but didn't need to). I replied...

YOU brought up 'the feel' of the whole matter and I merely voiced my own feeling about the choice between forced competence and forced incompetence.

I would prefer that you do not misrepresent my posts, thank you very much.

In the end, the devs have to aim for what makes most people happy. And a system is more likely to do that, if it also happens to be easily house-ruled. As far as that goes, it is always easier to take something away then to add something. Therefore forced competence, that you can simply rule away, beats forced incompetence, that is hard to overcome with house-rules.

And if you are indeed ok with that solution, where is the harm in implementing it for those who want it? It is not ideal, but it is still an improvement over the old situation after all.

Captain Morgan wrote:

The difference is spells work in a vacuum-- the degree of success a spell has doesn't usually impact the rules for you next action. A better example would be the fighter feat Furious Focus, which causes a missed attack to not count towards your MAP. It itself is already more finicky than I'd like, owing mostly to being a press which means it only works when you are doing 3 or more attacks in the round.

The difference...

Draco18s wrote:

Are you sure about that?

Because this is what you're saying spells do:

You cast Fear!
The creature fails its save!
Effects: The next time you cast Fear, the target takes a -2 to its save

Check it out: Pre-errata, Fear DID impose a penalty on saving throws. So yeah.

Blindness also differentiates between affecting the target for a round, a minute, or forever. Although at least the last two might easily mean 'until the end of its life'.

But you know what really gets my goat about Disarm? Look at the PF1 version: "If your attack exceeds the CMD of the target by 10 or more, the target drops the items it is carrying in both hands (maximum two items if the target has more than two hands)."

Does that remind you of anything?

Except now, 'success' isn't. Success +10 does what you set out to do, and what used to be success +10 is now impossible. That. Sucks.

And it isn't even that much of an advantage to disarm a foe now! Taking away a 'mook-blender-build's' full attack was good. Taking away iteratives form a melee brute situationally ok. But in PF2, it takes away the foe's 3rd attack. You know, the one at -10. And on top of that, it no longer creates extra attacks because not everybody has AoO's.

I can understand that the devs are reluctant to let fights devolve into 'stooge fights', where weapons and opponents fall down all the damn time, but not at the price of neutering a combat maneuver into total uselessness!

That it is also mechanically broken is just the insult to the injury at this point.

As far as finicky goes... you sound like you don't want melee to have interesting things to do. Because any kind of 'martial debuffing' will have to be 'finicky' by its very nature. After all, PF2 wants to move away from binary results, which is a laudable goal. But that means you have to deal with 3* potential outcomes on every roll instead of 2. Is that really too much?

*Technically 4, but the extreme end (crit fail or success depending) will only come up 5% of the time.

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Steve Geddes wrote:
As an aside - deliberately failing something (a commonly put forth solution) isnt the same feel as not being able to do it. It’s kind of like running slowly to let the kid win vs going full pelt and being beaten by a child - the suggested approach would be identical mechanics wise, even though it’s modelling two very different events. I would feel comfortable with that solution in a storytelling/narrative based game but in PF2 with its heavy numbers based simulationist approach, such a solution would always feel like a fudge, I suspect (as in, I’d always notice that “the game says I can do this, but I’m going to deliberately overrule the mechanics and fail, because I don’t want to be able to”).

Of course it is not the same feel, that is kinda the point. One thing does NOT ALLOW you to be competent and FORCES you to suck, the other MAKES you competent and ALLOWS you to suck.

They may both not be ideal choices, but I like being allowed to suck better then being forced to.

As for mechanics, sure, DD/PF is rules heavy. That is kinda part of its point. But I do not see how this prevents you from roleplaying. Heck, you can roleplay CHESS if you are so inclined. It is just that your co-player better plays along, or it will be a singularly frustrating experience.

The one nice thing about PF adventure paths being 'easy' compared to what optimization allows is that THEY ALLOW YOU TO NOT OPTIMIZE.

Quite frankly, if someone boosts their character to the limits, they DO NOT GET TO COMPLAIN if they find nothing challenging any more. They brought this upon themselves. But PF2 aims to make it impossible to 'over-optimize'. That makes it necessary to ALSO make it impossible to 'under-optimize'. It's really the flip-side of the same coin.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Lycar wrote:

So success: You get a +2 on your next try and this attempt doesn't count towards the MAP.

Failure: You can try again. At (another) -5. Good luck with that...

While I agree with your assessment of the problem, that solution seems way too finicky.

Soo... are you implying you hate spells now? Because that's how spells work: Different effects for success and failure on the saving throw, depending on criticality. Why not use that same format for combat maneauvers? Especially if that means they are no longer a broken mess?

As for needing a free hand to disarm: I'm okay with needing a feat for that. I imagine an 'untrained' disarm attempt is really going for a weapon with your hand because you simply lack the training to do it with your weapon.

But then 'Improved Disarm' better does A LOT more then just allow disarming with a weapon!

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What Cyouni said.

And yes, +1/lv to everything is no panacea. But I'll take it over PF1's forced incompetence hands down, warts and all.

Now if only we could make more out of those proficiency levels...

What, just numbers? Nothing about new special attacks/defences making certain spell levels necessary to deal with them?

Mekkis wrote:

But Pathfinder skills barely have any "treadmill" to stay on. After spending far too long looking at the tables in the Core Rulebook, I've noticed that there are very few skill uses that have any form of per-level scaling: I can even list them.

  • Acrobatics to avoid AoO (enemy's CMD)
  • Bluff to Feint (enemy's BAB or Sense Motive)
  • Bluff to lie (opposed by Sense Motive)
  • Disguise (opposed by Perception)
  • Escape Artist to escape a grapple (enemy's CMD)
  • Handle animal to rear a wild animal (animal's HD)
  • Intimidate (opponent's HD)
  • Linguistics to create a forgery (opposed by linguistics of opponent)
  • Perception to detect a pickpocket (opposed by opponent's Sleight of Hand)
  • Perception to see someone hiding (opposed by opponent's Stealth)
  • Use Magic Device to use a scroll (DC based on scroll CL)

Aren't you forgetting something? Knowledge skills? The DC to know some information about a monster scales with the CR. Arcana, Local, Nature, Planes, Religion. If I'm not forgetting something.

Plus the Sense Motive DC scaling with enemy Bluff. Stealth scaling with monster Perception. 16 skills.

Now, seeing that it may be of questionable value to max out all of these skills, you may want at least 1 rank in the knowledge skills to 'unlock' them and achieve better results then DC 10.

And there are skill unlocks. Most of them may be of questionable value at best, but still...

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like player characters having max HP is fine, and need not change.

Bestiary Monsters, on the other hand should probably have 3 HP numbers printed- Max, Min, and Avg. Something like "HP: 20-40, Avg 30" lets you adjust monsters on the fly, and some antagonists are just speed bumps anyway.

We already have that, in the PF1 bestiary, every monster is listed with its hit dice and CON bonus, plus average HP.

When was the last time a GM preparing an adventure actually rolled for the HP instead of going with the average for every monster? Outside of, maybe, upping the leader of the gnoll pack to max HP beacuse?

Vic Ferrari wrote:
Lycar wrote:

Hmm okay, that gives just a very narrow space for values for monsters to have. If the best thing we can hope for is a +10 increase or so (+2 stat, +3 proficiency, +3 item, +2 or so buff spells), then monster stats also only can be upped by this margin. Over 20 levels of challenge rating.

The higher power of monsters would then come from what?

I think you are inflating the importance/impact of +Level (as my above example shows), and number inflation is not where the higher power of monsters comes from.

Well? Where DOES the higher power come from then? Your above example doesn't show that.

BryonD wrote:
Lycar wrote:
The adventurer who, after years of travelling the wilderness is no better at survival then when he started out, because 'mechanically' he felt he could not spare skill points to actually reflect that experience in the numbers on the sheet, on the other hand, can either eat crow and suck it, or just complain and whine about it until the GM caves and tosses him a bone. Which is unfair to those players who actually did bite the bullet and put points in survival, for whatever reason, and are now weaker elsewhere.

This is a major example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

You have specifically framed the system to discuss a character whose narrative concept SHOULD have some survival. If the mechanics of a system make it impossible or unreasonable for that character to get better then that system should be criticized for this. 1E does, in places, have this problem. It should be criticized. Improvements can be found.

But what we are looking at now is clanky plate mails dwarves sneaking around for no good reason beyond some people seem to want an "I win" button for sneaking and climbing and diplomacy.

Pointing out a flaw on one side is fair. Implying that a fatal defect on the other side should be ignored due to this flaw is not so much fair.

Uhm... PF1 does have this problem, period. The best thing you can hope to do for skills is being a human rogue with boosted INT, who also puts his favoured class bonus into skills. Oh and a feat or two give you extra skill points too.

Now granted, with 10 skill points, you can already cover a lot of ground, keep your core skills maxed out and have 1 or 2 left over for flavour skills. But even with INT 14 and a feat, you are effectively maxing out at 13 skills. This allows some knowledges and appraise to have ranks that don't gimp your main skills, but that's it. You simply CAN'T get more skill points, no matter how hard you want them (hard enough to put an 18 into INT and invest into Headbands maybe, but that is pushing it).

So, in other words, in PF1 there is no way to be at least competent in many skills. The new system on the other hand gives everybody some basic competence in everything, merely by virtue of levelling up. So in other words, you get things you may not necessarily want.

But what is easier? Getting things you can't have, or ignoring things you already have?

pjrogers wrote:
Lycar wrote:
It is just a very different thing to not have enough skill points - (But my guy is 10th level! He should have learned SOME survival skills! - Did you put skill points into Survival? No? Tough!) - because assuming things you did not pay the price for makes others mad who did. It is just not fair.

Why, and what does "fair" have to do with it? I have an 11th level sorcerer, the Contessa Eyre'hed, and there is no reason what so ever for her to have survival skills. That's for servants and the other "little people." On the other hand, she has a crazy high Diplomacy score, particularly when interacting with aristocrats, nobles, and other "individuals of quality."

My characters do not come from Lake Wobegon and are not above average at everything, and I think that's a good thing.

You misunderstand. The noble lady not bothering with 'commoner skills' is befitting her character.

The adventurer who, after years of travelling the wilderness is no better at survival then when he started out, because 'mechanically' he felt he could not spare skill points to actually reflect that experience in the numbers on the sheet, on the other hand, can either eat crow and suck it, or just complain and whine about it until the GM caves and tosses him a bone. Which is unfair to those players who actually did bite the bullet and put points in survival, for whatever reason, and are now weaker elsewhere.

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My first thought upon reading the Disarm maneuver was 'So... 'success' isn't success at all? It just gives me a +2 to try again? But only until it's the monster's turn? But... my next attempt takes a -5 because it's an attack... so... yay for only having a -3?!'

So if MAP is to stay, at the very least I would hope 'success' means NOT having to eat the -5 on your next attempt.

So success: You get a +2 on your next try and this attempt doesn't count towards the MAP.

Failure: You can try again. At (another) -5. Good luck with that...

Steve Geddes wrote:

I’m hoping the designers can find a way to broaden the play styles PF2 supports. I like my PCs to retain weak points throughout their careers.

I appreciate that everyone doesn’t want to have that style, nonetheless it’s a major sticking point to me and maybe the boffins at Paizo will be able to solve the problems they’re trying to solve without making me lose interest in my PCs as they develop.

But that's the thing. You CAN retain weak points, even though you are basically faking it.

It is just a very different thing to not have enough skill points - (But my guy is 10th level! He should have learned SOME survival skills! - Did you put skill points into Survival? No? Tough!) - because assuming things you did not pay the price for makes others mad who did. It is just not fair.

But to have the skill, in theory, and then deciding not to use it for RP reasons? That's different. That is voluntary on your part and doesn't cost anybody else a thing. Unless we talk spending resources to save the PC in question from their self-imposed peril. Again, ask your fellow players if they applaud the dedication to RP or hate the drama queen.

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The problem with PF1/D&D 3.x is that it has skill points. And you never have enough of them.

Why? Because to stay on the treadmill, you have to put ALL YOUR POINTS into the skills you want to be relevant in. Just relevant, not good. 'Good' requires investing feats. Or being a caster, but that is a problem they are getting at.

However, that means that all your skill points are spoken for, and even putting so much as 1 skill point into a knowledge skill for flavour (mostly being able to roll for more then a 10 and actually know something that isn't 'common knowledge') is basically 'gimping' you character elsewhere. /hyperbole.

The nice thing about the proficiency system is that you get to decide where you want to be BETTER, as automatic progression ensures you are always at least relevant with everything else. Yes, that means you can no longer be mechanically abysmal in anything. But that 10th level desert witch can still have a mental block - 'Oh gods, I can't swim, I never saw that much water in my life, please don't make me go in there'. You know, RP that at the very least the Character believes themselves to be incompetent.

What you do once she falls overboard? Well... I guess you need to talk to your fellow players. If she panics, and thus intentionally fails her rolls so to speak, so the guy with actual proficiency in swim has to jump after her to save her (and be awesome in the process), this is a different thing from her just rolling... and succeeding 'Uh... seems like I actually can swim after all...'.

Hmm okay, that gives just a very narrow space for values for monsters to have. If the best thing we can hope for is a +10 increase or so (+2 stat, +3 proficiency, +3 item, +2 or so buff spells), then monster stats also only can be upped by this margin. Over 20 levels of challenge rating.

The higher power of monsters would then come from what? Having gobs of HP that just outlast anyone with lower HP totals, even if they would not be too bad at hitting? Or maybe magical abilities to debuff the PCs, that make having achieved a certain spell level to field the necessary mitigation spells a must (don't fight Medusae until you rock flesh-to-stone)?

This then would move progression towards 'you must have the right magic' available to play. Which I find problematic.

Unless, I suppose, there are Feats for that and magic merely augments what the PCs can already do themselves. So that the power 'was in them the whole time' etc.

Honestly, I have no good answer for that. But it seems that +1/lv. is the less onerous way to pump up characters. Because ultimately, any tactical wargame is a numbers game.

Of course, for those to whom PF isn't a tactical wargame, well, roleplaying can solve situations in ways no numbers game ever can. So the problem, or maybe 'problem' is muted for them because it only ever matters when diplomacy and clever ideas have failed and it is time for plan B (or C or D depending).

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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
What I find the most interesting about this entire thread is that Starfinder does effectively the same thing. The combat damage output of a character is based entirely off of the weapon that they are using.

It is very fitting for Science Fiction/Science Fantasy...where sidearms can sometimes be the equivalent of modern day weapons of mass destruction. It would be bizarre for Captain Kirk to be able to fight as effectively with a revolver as with a phaser.

Fantasy is a bit different. King Arthur wasn't useless with a non-magical weapon. Aragon's legendary sword was broken for most of Lord of the Rings yet he fought effectively. Alternatively, Luke Skywalker couldn't cut through a metal bulkhead or deflect energy bolts with a mundane sword.

Yeah, that is a thing to remember. (Almost) Nobody bats an eyelid when technology is the source of (most) power in a sci-fi game. Especially the more hard-science ones.

On this side we have classic Traveller for example. Of course, there is also the fact that, at least in the classic variant, characters stop growing outside of character creation. You want more bang? Get a bigger gun. And powered armour to even be able to wield the biggest guns.

However, the further we move into fantastic territory... Shadowrun anyone? Big guns are still a lot better the small ones, but the focus shifts towards making the shooter's skill more important. Of course 'a punk with a gun' can still lay your high-karma PC low with some lucky rolls, but that's cyberpunk for you.

But yes, even though FUNCTIONALLY, technology and magic perform the same in both genres, giving PCs the option to do thing they could not without and make them more powerful overall, the FEELING is different.

I wonder if it has to do with the escapism we seek in our games. In real life, technology is king. Hands down. If you have the better hardware, your chances of victory are disproportionally higher. So maybe it somehow does feel acceptable to have tech be useful in a sci-fi setting.

But on the flipside, when we do fantasy, we want to get away from real life as far as possible. And that includes reliance on technology. We want to be able to be awesome WITHOUT it. And given that magic subs in for technology...

Of course, it also doesn't help if game designers think to be cute and, for example, make a spell that is supposed to make rangers better at archery make a red dot appear on the target... really?

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Also I would like to point out that players hate to lose their stuff *BECAUSE* they are so dependant on it.

Saying that you can have PCs be dependant on gear, because they hate losing it anyway, so this situation will never come up, is circular logic.

LordVanya wrote:

I did a breakdown of all the weapon proficiencies of every class.

No spellcaster class ever gains anything beyond Trained nor does the Rogue.
The Fighter starts off expert in most weapons, and becomes expert in everything by 13.
The Fighter starts to gain mastery at 3, and masters everything by 19.
No martial class except the Fighter can reach Legendary with any weapon.
AFAIK only the Fighter, Barbarian, and Ranger gain access to critical specializations.

... I stand corrected.

I was somehow certain the other classes got increased weapon proficiencies too. My best guess is, I mixed that up with the skill progression.

Welp, that makes proficiency unsuited for applying bonus damage. And seeing how the whole critical system works, a +1 or +2 over other martial classes is actually pretty huge.

Welp, right now I'm stumped. I thoroughly dislike the idea of mandatory magic items, but right now I can't think of a good way to bake damage progression into classes, unless you just tie it to levels or something.

Make it 'wear down'? Take a cumulative penalty to your rolls if you keep targeting the same foe? Because, you know, going 'Boo!' is only every really scary once. If at all.

If we had taunts (Perform skill?), think of it as running out of good insults. That way, while you *can* use intimidate all day long (or insult or maybe even acrobatics and athletics), but you better vary your approach if you have one tough nut to crack (the enemy gets wise to your tricks), and a one-trick-pony will be less effective then a more versed character, at least in the long run.

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I don't really consider being able to use different weapons equally well much of a class feature, as long as the game actively punishes you for trying to make use of that ability.

On the other hand, I was thinking Fighters reach Expert on lv. 3, and had to realize it is Master instead. Well, on the one hand this gives them an early boost, but it also means they no longer improve after lv. 13, whereupon others start catching up to them. That is a bit odd too.

But that leaves the question what the Fighter's hat is supposed to be? 'Hit good' is certainly his core competency, but if that is all, well, if the other martial classes get interesting things to do, what tricky thing does the Fighter get? Bravery is one thing that really helps, and things like Positioning Assault help with the whole battlefield control thing.

I suppose, in the end there needs to be a balance between 'nobody ever uses combat maneuvers because AoOs' and 'martials can't be meat shields because enemies just walk around them'. But at the very least, the ability to perform AoOs ought to be limited to martial classes. I mean, we don't hand out casting to martials either...

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That. Let the weapon do magical things like dealing elemental damage, hit incorporeal creatures, or shoot lightning. Things that non-casters can't do.

But if you require non-casters to wield magic, just to be competent at their core competency, what is the point of playing a non-caster again...?

It helps that to-hit bonus depends on weapon quality, and that that is dependant on the skill of the smith and not his casting ability (or lack thereof). But if 3/4 or 4/5 of your damage potential depends on magic, magical weapons are no longer 'magical', a boon to be cherished, but outright banal, a requirement, a tax to be paid in order to be allowed to play. Personally, I find that rather distasteful...

Well, the thing with Fighter proficiencies is, they don't get more, they get them earlier. So they get to be ahead of others for a few levels, but not all levels.

As for Smite/Retributive Strike, I will have to look at that again, didn't really have much interest in the Paladin so far to be honest.

As for being able to use different kinds of weapons... yeah, the Fighter being the guy who CAN use a 'golfbag of weapons'- A Lich you say? Well, that calls for my warhammer... but those animated plants are resistant to bashing damage... Ah, but of course! My trusty morningstar will vanquish both foes!

Except... yeah... potency runes and all that... also, not being equally proficient in all weapon categories is kind of a drag. That is something where martials are actually worse off nowadays. But yeah, you are supposed to pick one weapon and marry it, so...

As far as Fighter feats go, it is a bit weird. There are many things that do not need to be Fighter exclusive so much, as it should have scaling effects depending on your proficiency. That way, Fighters get ahead in what benefits they receive, but don't gate some basic stuff like Cleave, a.k.a. Swipe behind their class (instead Swipe ought to get better with higher proficiencies).

As much as I personally would like the concept of Fighters being able to utilize multiple weapons and their critical effects to good measure (right tool for the right job etc.), the current rules do not allow for that. So maybe they can find their niche at martial battlefield control. And AoOs are what enables that.

Of course, if one just were to create Fighter exclusive feats that just make Fighters better at using those AoOs, then there would be less harm in opening up AoOs to other classes. Paladins should have the option to be able to protect their allies BEFORE they eat a hit...)

I like that suggestion Leedwashere, but it would probably be 'too fiddly' for the playtest or the basic game.

As Jason Buhlman himself said in the thread about getting proficiency levels for spell schools, they did consider it, but found it 'too fiddly' in actual play. I suppose, they want to keep Fighters simple. Oh well, there are always supplements and, eventually, a PF Unchained 2...

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Personally I had high hopes for the proficiency system. So much to tie to that, scaling effects for feats (we all know non-scaling feats suck, right?), opening up new uses for skills (to be augmented by skill feats, not locked behind them), and of course the martial classes doing damage.

Does anyone remember the casters whining that they now have to jump through loops to do HP damage that begins to compare to fighting classes? There are so many things casters can do that nobody else can, but noo, that isn't good enough for them, is it? Unless they can steal the martial's thunder too, they just won't be satisfied. Or ever for that matter.

No, the core competency of martial classes is inflicting HP damage, so this MUST be an intrinsic quality of the classes themselves. Sure, good quality weapons help with hitting, and thus inflicting damage, but we can't have them be dependent on items.

What can martials do? Hit hard. What can't they do? Deal with resistances, incorporeal foes or inflict elemental damage, fly or burrow or breathe under water. THIS, and only THIS is what they should need magic for: To mitigate these effects and conditions that hinder them at doing their job. Have magical weapons defeat resistances, be Ghost Touch or Flaming, Freezing, what have you, let them allow people to fight under water without hindrance, that sort of thing. But do NOT make a an entire CONCEPT, that of dealing HP damage, slave to having the right bling. It was a thing I personally detest.

Also, saying that a wizard without a spell book can't cast spells is not true. He can cast just fine. He can just not memorize any new spells. Better make those magic bullets he has left count...

And that is just ONE class out of... how many caster classes? Precisely. But ALL martial classes are hosed if their damage potential is chained to a single item. Not cool, not fun. Let the concept of mandatory magic die already. Mandatory magic isn't magical at all, it is mundane, outright banal even. A tax to be paid, not a boon to be enjoyed.

Why not tie extra damage dice to proficiency and level? Power Attack already sets the precedent for getting extra damage at 10th level. No proficiency required (a lost opportunity to make proficiencies matter in this case). So why not get extra dice at 10th level and upon reaching Master and Legendary proficiencies (Expert would be problematic seeing how early Fighters get it...)?

Or how about, if we absolutely must tie extra damage to potency runes, how about they do not offer extra dice, but increase the die size of a weapon by one step? A Dagger +1 gets promoted from 1d4 to 1d6, but the number of d6 would be tied to proficiency still. Everybody would benefit from a magic weapon, but the more skilled and experienced ones would benefit more. At the same time the loss of the weapon would no longer be so catastrophic.

Edit: Ugh, I just realized Fighters get Masters at 3rd level, I was thinking Expert. That is still a wee bit early for an extra damage die...

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