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Ravingdork wrote:
Does the listed heavy armor bulk account for the padded armor and gauntlets, or do I need to add that on top separately?

I am assuming that only becomes relevant when someone opts to sleep in padded armour?

This is my personal take on this: Since heavy armour includes padding and gauntlets, yes, the listed bulk accounts for that.

However, since bulk is in large parts an abstraction, if someone would announce to only wear padded armour and gauntlets, and stuff the rest of their plate mail into a backpack, I would still make the packed up suit of armour count for its full encumbrance. You know, to avoid shenanigans.

If you rule that plate mail minus padding and gauntlets only takes up 3.8 bulk of backpack real estate, that probably works too though.

Also why Step Up is such a feat tax for every would-be Archer/Caster-Killer...

Consider that the MAP on your second attack will only be -2 with an agile weapon. And that 2nd attack will add sneak attack damage on a hit, which it otherwise won't, because presumably you did not use Twin Feint from a position where you could already sneak attack.

Contrast and compare to a Fighter's Double Slice: Both attacks at full attack bonus and damage added before applying resistances. If you start your attack being able to sneak attack, investing two feats into a Fighter dedication might be worth it.

Contrast and Compare to a Ranger's Twin Takedown: Only works on the hunted prey, does not mitigate MAP, but does add both attacks' damage for overcoming resistances.

Fighters just do damage, Rangers rely on their companion for bonus damage to make up for the lost damage potential through MAP, and Rogues rely on adding sneak attack damage. Twin Feint is a surefire way to get that on your second attack, if you have no other means of getting it.

Remember that moving into a flanking position yourself opens you up to becoming the squishy filling in a damage sandwich, when your target's buddies now flank and focus fire on you...

nicholas storm wrote:
yes, but he gets the benefits of blocking with a shield and all other attacks except the double slice will be with the shortsword

I found having a shield and shield block available to my 10 CON Fighter to be... very useful. But comes 5th level, I am torn about what weapon group to master. Swords would mean that my toon could use a bastard sword as the main hand weapon and would be able to chose between attacking twice at +0, -5 for 1d8 damage, or at +0, -4 for 1d8 and 1d6 with Double Slice, which would still mean damage gets added before applying resistances.

Plus, if the shield gets busted, just switch grip and go to town with a d12. The enemy may yet regret having broken my shield...

Also, my guy can use the Shield cantrip to help himself out. Depending on how things work out with the other PCs, maybe he decides to focus on polearms instead. Retraining is a thing after all.

But as long as you prefer to go shield + extra weapon, you will need to live with the fact that the extra +2 AC come at the price of damage potential.

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hyphz wrote:
I'm interested by the claim it doesn't. The idea is that if the PCs are levelling more slowly, they will eventually be facing encounters meant for PCs of higher level (this is assuming they're playing APs) which will be harder, to counter the substantial advantage of having more PCs and more actions per round.

I have never been the GM of our group, but I can tell you that this assumption does not work.

A writer will design encounters with abilities in mind, that a properly levelled party ought to have. An under-levelled party won't have the feats or spells required and the extra man-power isn't going to fix that.

It is much easier to beef up encounters by adding extra mooks and/or making the existing encounter stronger by adding some extra HP. Although that does not make up for the shift in action economy.

hyphz wrote:
Because the interaction of those PCs with the others was much more complex than could be resolved by that. Simply adding extra mooks tended to just result in the party tank going down more often rather than the extra PCs being affected.

There is a limit to how many attackers can pile onto a single combatant, at least if your players are smart about staying in formation. Plus, dealing with large(r) numbers of mooks is what arcane casters excell at. Fireball away!

If the tank goes down, but the extra PCs are not affected, how come? Do the mooks not busy wailing on the tank twiddle their thumbs? Maybe let them throw some spears at the 2nd line casters for a change. Spread the love (and the damage!) around a bit. Also vindicates the casters actually casting Mage Armour and Shield.

hyphz wrote:
... he wasn't necessarily enjoying just ending every encounter anyway.

Yeah but seriously, that guy brought it upon himself. First he totally twinks out his damage, and then he complains that he can just 'end encounters'? Talk about self-defeating optimisation! If he wants fights to be not boring, maybe tune it down with the damage a notch or three. Sounds like a problem player to me, honestly.

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The idea is that this is an action they aren't using on clobbering you. Or pulling off a special move.

I'll link this here too.

Tarondor wrote:

So how important do we think Double Slice is?

If we think it's very important, then we must use an Agile Weapon as our second weapon. It makes using shields as weapons less effective, for one. Is the +2 AC from a shield worth accepting the -2 for double slicing with a non-agile weapon?

Just go with an agile main-hand weapon, the +2 to to-hit about makes up for the lower damage die, at least outside of x2 and x3 striking runes. Someone did the math on that.

Graceful Poise builds on Double Slice, how well this interacts with Two-Weapon-Flurry depends on what your GM counts as a 'weapon'. Because shields in and of themselves are not weapons.

Gortle wrote:

Yep Power Attack is something you need on occasion when you are struggling with resistance. It is comparatively weaker later on when you get striking runes. But earlier in your career you don't run into that much resistance.

Its always something I end up trimming off my build. Its useful, but not that great. There is always another feat that is central to my build that I want to take.

Just remember that Double Slice adds the damage of both attacks (if both hit that is) for the purpose of getting past resistances.

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I am playing a (short)sword & shield Fighter in an Age of Ashes game, and I am very pleased with how well Double Slice works for him. In effect, he shield bashes with the shield boss first, then cuts/stabs with the short sword, so that both attacks are at full attack bonus.

The improved hit chance means he is very likely to do at least some damage, and the smaller damage die of the agile weapon is offset by the higher hit/crit chance.

3rd action is to raise the shield of course (a vital concern for a CON 10 Fighter, I assure you).

HumbleGamer wrote:
Even with "Expert" you will be able to full heal a shield in less than 10 minutes.

Oops, never mind. Quick Repair is available at the Trained level already, and 10 repair attempts are plenty.

So I recant. Repairing shields is almost trivial, as long as you invest but one skill and one 1st level skill feat. And get those 10-minutes breathers of course.

Samurai wrote:
What if anyone can shield block even without the feat/feature, but doing so passes the damage after Hardness on to BOTH the shield and user (basically, the RAW right now).

I'm not liking this idea, since it would diminish the value of the Shield Block feat, which is essentially a Class Feature of certain classes. Let them pay a General feat, it is a fair price to pay for what you get.

Samurai wrote:
However, those with the feat/feature Shield Block means the character is trained specifically in using shield block, such that the damage after Hardness is DIVIDED evenly between the shield and the user, thus passing half the remaining damage on to each, extending the life of the shields and the users.

Yes, that would both help with the 'I will only block low-damage hits, since that gives me the best return on investment on my shield HP' and, since it effectively halves the damage a shield takes in a single hit, also makes the 'self-destructing' shields more survivable. They now may only get broken instead of outright destroyed with a single hit, and if they manage to stay under their BT in damage, so much the better. Still only a once-per-fight use item, but that looks ok.

KrispyXIV wrote:
Shield users are so good as it stands, making them better is a scary prospect to me. Its currently extremely difficult to threaten a shield wielding champion in a balanced encounter - your accuracy suffers to the point that critting is unlikely, and you're missing a lot of non primary attacks. Its hard to throw enough damage at them to make them feel in danger before the monsters are dead and the encounter is over. Which is probably on target for where they're supposed to be.

You do realise that that is what combat spells are for? The ones that ignore AC? Perhaps the Champion needs to eat the odd MAGIC MISSILE to wipe that smug grin off his face... ;)

HumbleGamer wrote:

Also, it has to be said that many people don't get that since fights last 4 rounds ( sometimes 5, but mostly you will find yourself ending a fight withing 4 rounds ), even being able to perform 1 shield block, bringing your shield below the BT ( but not destroyed, which could indeed now happens ), would be without any doubt way too good.

This is what should be fully understood.

Remember though that you still have to repair your shields between fights, and without investment into both the Craft skill AND some skill feats, these 10-minute intervals start adding up fast. Just look at how long it takes to repair 80+ pts. of damage if you never get past Trained. That too is an opportunity cost that should not be underestimated.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
If it's ambiguous, err on the side of "not dead" since this improves the game experience more than any other interpretation.


If in doubt, go with makes the most fun at your table. Games are about having fun, remember?

Loreguard wrote:

Another example:

If in alternate universes the prior versions of our favorite RPG game, the Dagger had not allowed them to be thrown. Now in this new version that comes out, they have a new trait. The trait is Thrown, and it allows them to be thrown, as a ranged weapon. (yay, everyone cheer) People would be exited about the new mechanic, and they would love to adopt character concepts that will use this mechanic.

Now we get down to the thrown trait. Apparently, it has some extra rules on it. Any time you throw a dagger, you roll a flat check and have to get the 'level' of the dagger or higher on the flat check. If you fail, the dagger is destroyed/lost/gone.

But what about my knife throwing concept. Well we have a choice... there is a special magic line of daggers called throwing daggers. They can't have runes, but you don't have to roll to see if you dagger gets destroyed from throwing it. There is a line of these daggers so you can get better ones that do better damage, but you will never get to use property runes or any other special abilities on these daggers.

So in this imaginary case, the designers just made daggers more powerful, so people should of course discount anyone who is upset that people who want to use thrown daggers are kept from using anything but one line of daggers (or they simply don't worry about it and simply have to replace their extremely expensive daggers they want to throw then, as a matter of cost of doing business).

Interesting. So you can use a dagger outside of melee, but at a cost. A potentially dire cost that is.

Ah, but what if instead a line of 'throwing daggers', that whole 'dagger thrower' concept came with its own Archetype? Its own set off class features to eliminate the loss chance, but at the price of not having the ability to get the best runes? Or at all? And instead these class features also bridging the damage gap, but not to the full extend a set of runes would grant. Because, in this case, it is clearly a balance issue. You can't have those class features and runes. And your class features can't quite add up to the same powers as runes in melee either, since you get to be ranged on top of melee already.

But that's the thing, isn't it. Right now we don't have class features or archetypes that make shields sturdy. We have magic items that are sturdy shields. And if we had Archetypes that make shields durable, we could not have sturdy shields too. Quite the conundrum...

If we had class features that make shields sturdy, they would be a feat tax for everybody who want those extra ablative HP. And they would then be able to have interesting and shields. And classes without access to these feats won't. Hard gated.

Right now, everybody can get Shield Block as a feat, and everybody has access to Sturdy Shields. I have no complaints about that.

Only the shields that self-destruct on being used as intended need fixing. And GMs who don't tell players the damage before the shield block, because they are wrong by RAW and RAI.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
So the system mastery answer to this is take feats that don't add to your fighting abilities. Sorry, that is not a system mastery answer. That is self-defeating as it makes you a worse fighter by either severely delaying your ability to take the fighting feats you want or making you take that in lieu of high end feats like the super critical feats or similar combat feats.
This doesn't follow at all. Firstly, defense is as much a part of combat as offense and having solid Saves is part of defense, so acting like putting Feats into Saves is not 'adding to your fighting abilities' is weird and inaccurate. Second, most fighting styles don't have an unlimited number of Feats you can put into them on offense, and arranging things so your Saves are good is very doable.

I can only speak for myself here, but there are two things to keep in mind about PF1:

1) There are Combat feats and General feats. But if you look at the plethora of feats existing (even if more then 90% of that are quite emphatically trash, if only for the other 10%), there is so much you are missing out on if you don't also dedicate your General feats to both combat effectiveness and efficiency.

As a Fighter, your job is one. Thing: Inflict HP damage. That's all. And that's all Fighters can do. Never mind they get beaten at their own game by an even moderately competent CoDzilla. And then at everything else too, because you are a dirty muggle and can't be allowed to have nice things.

2) There were (and still are) people complaining about having Fighters and other classes exist, because if some noob player picks up these trash classes, their god-like caster must waste precious spell-slots on 'propping up the gimp', so these single-minded and weak-willed murder-machines don't get turned against the party, and they have to sacrifice a turn to deal with them. Because gods help you if you make them spend a single spell not focused on them...

So yeah, PF 2 not having that much potential for 'optimisation' is a godsend as far as I'm concerned. Not having the ability to spend General feats on combat stuff also means not having the obligation (implied or otherwise) to do so. Which is absolutely liberating.

For some, it is an adamatine pick.

For others, it is a 'Wand of Bane to Lithic Deposits'*.

*May require multiple applications. Apply as required.

"Mending - A quick fix for your fighter buddy’s broken shield"

Yes, but remember it is also 10 minutes casting time, and what self-respecting shield-user does not have Crafting at least Trained? And seeing that the spell repairs 5 HP per spell level, it will eat a pretty high-level slot if you mean to keep it relevant.

But yes, compared to the 10 HP a normal success on a Trained Crafting check yields, this may be occasionally useful when on a tight time budget.

Yeah, what Kevin said. Negate Aroma is so critters with Scent don't automagically* detect you. Nifty for all kinds of unsavoury types trying to sneak past guard dogs.

Or a Dragon for that matter.

(* You can usually sense a creature automatically with an imprecise sense,...)

rainzax wrote:

One die to roll them all!

edit: sorry not sorry

You are forgiven, brother.

Seisho wrote:
...are d4 REALLY unsatisfying to roll?

Try stepping on one...

But since they don't roll on the table, I suggest just tossing them upwards more then sideways, sliding your hand under them as you make the movement to impart some spin on them. That way, they do the spinning and tumbling in the air, and you can get a bounce out of them on the right surface too.

Given that a 'cry' is definitely not speech, by a strict reading of the RAW, the -4 penalty would always apply. On the other hand, barring legendary Intimidation skills, you can use the feat but once in a given battle.

Therefore, I personally find it reasonable to not apply the -4 penalty (but also see a certain other discussion about scary bears). Likewise, the '[you] Demoralise an observed foe' wording seems to indicate that the 30' distance limit also does not apply.

Basically, while the demoralise action has the language and distance limitations, the Battle Cry feat has not. This is in line with many other skill feats, that remove or mitigate limitations of base skill uses, like Pickpocket.

It is unfortunate, however, that the Battle Cry feat does not call this out explicitly.

Then again, given that the feat provides essentially free actions, maybe it is balanced to have them suffer the -4 penalty. After all, this is the same chance of success a character merely Trained in Intimidation would have with a regular use of the Demoralise action.

The 30' distance limitation also seems to be needlessly punishing for something that does not involve language that needs to actually be understood. But then again, maybe this is supposed to be used in ambush situations only.

Makes sense. Which means that switching a shield will cost your turn, if you still intend to raise the shield.

It also means, if you ever consider allowing your shield to get broken, better invest into an alternative means of defence. For Fighters, Duelling Parry is an option. For Rangers and Fighters, there is Twin Parry.

You know what? That whole 'shield breaking issue' just goes to show how much of an advantage Fighters have in this edition by sheer versatility of fighting styles.

Yeah about that... Quick Draw and shields?

It's just a bit wonky if shields aren't weapons in their own right, but merely have weapons attached to them. By a strict reading, it means you can not quickdraw shields, weapon attachments or not.

I mean, if the actual weapon part is the shield boss, quickdrawing it also means quickdrawing the shield it is attached to. Can you quickdraw a shield boss?

It is just, in those shield threads that are going on, people are wondering about shields as consumables. But if dropping a shield is a free action, and you carry a spare or two, you would hardly lose actions switching shields that way. Could not use a 2-action feat, but quickdraw a shield, attack with weapon and raise shield would work.

Unless, of course, dropping the shield, or rather un-equipping it, is an action of its own. Then it is drop, quickdraw + attack and raise.

Huh, so they aren't. For some reason I was convinced that had changed that in PF 2. Makes Monks taking Fighter dedication and vice versa a tad less synergistic.

In that case, I'm forced to conclude that, by RAW, you can not use shields with Double Slice etc., only shield bosses and spikes.

Edit: Oh I remember. We allowed Magic Weapon to work for the party Monk because we had no Primal caster.

dirtypool wrote:
Nope, my argument is that the bear's stat block does not list the intimidate skill

... So it doesn't. My bad for not actually looking up bears. I was just assuming they did, since the OP explicitly asked about a bear taking a -4 to demoralising player characters.

Assuming that a bear's stat block would list, for example, 'Intimidate +7', would you still insist it takes a -4 to its roll vs. the player characters? Presumably in the absence of a mention of the Intimidating Glare feat in the stat block?

Thankfully they managed to solve the 'one true armour' problem, and weapons are variable enough that greatswords aren't the be-all, end-all of damage dealing either.

For shields, though, there is a lot less variety. If you have the Shield Block feats, it is sturdy shields or nothing. While this is a severe limitation, it is a balancing factor for getting extra damage resistance, and thus 'ablative HP', that non-shield block users simply do not have access to. Compare to armour specialisation, which limits the resistance to 5 for heavy armours with +3 potency runes, but applies to every hit.

Shield hardness, and thus damage mitigation, does not grow lineary with monster damage. Shield HP, and thus how often you even get to use the damage mitigation, also does not keep up.

This is either a design flaw, or deliberate design to emphasise the survivability boost shields offer on the lower levels. The ones where HP are most scarce.

By the way, in one of the other threads, a house rule was proposed that one should split damage, that surpasses shield hardness, evenly between shield and user, the user taking the extra point of damage for odd values. This both improves a shield's durability AND helps with the 'I will only block glancing blows to not wreck my shield' issue.

Shields, that self-destruct upon being used as intended, are broken though.

Okay, but your argument boils down to: The bear's stat block does not list the demoralise action as something a bear can do.

Then, I have to ask, why does the stat block even bother listing an Intimidate skill value?

I say, it is there to inform the GM what modifier to use when performing actions using the Intimidate skill value. Such as the Demoralise action. Which implies that, yes, bears can use the Demoralise action.

I would simply conclude, that word count limitations prevented the stat block from spelling out what the presence of an Intimidate skill value implies.

Okay, if your hang up is about the viability of shields in feats like Double Slice, then you just have to infer things.

Double Slice requires two melee weapons to work. Shields with bosses or spikes attached definitely count as melee weapons, same as your fists, which are listed as the only melee weapon in the 'Unarmed' category, and one of the weapons of the 'Brawling' weapon group.

It is a bit silly, but you could argue that the items listed in the weapons list after Fists are merely 'weapons attached to your fist'.

So a shield boss would be a weapon, which is attached to your shield, which is attached to your fist'.

Now if we consider shields to be 'fist attachments' which improve your fist to dealing 1d4 lethal damage, then you could say that a shield bash is essentially an augmented fist melee attack.

And since fists are melee weapons of the Brawling group, fists, and thus shield bashes, which are augmented fist melee attacks, apply to Double Slice.

dirtypool wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
There is no expectation of parity between players and monsters anyway.

I was talking about parity between you the GM and the players in your game.

See there is this expectation that players play by the rules and SO DOES THE GM. When you, on a whim, decide that a creature should have full access to an action that is incompatible with the creatures stat block and usually requires a PC to have multiple levels of proficiency and a feat to use it in the way you're applying it to the creature that shouldn't be using it - you've violated the expectation

You are approaching this from the wrong point of view. The GM IS playing by the rules when he uses a monster's stat block as written. Monsters, for various reasons, DO NOT play by PC rules, they DO NOT have to to have any PC proficiencies or PC feats to justify their stat block. In fact, they do not have to justify anything at all. They just are what the stat block states they are.

dirtypool wrote:

beowulf99 wrote:
A monster can, and frequently do, have access to abilities they does not necessarily meet the requirements for.
When that happens it's noted in the stat block,...

In the case of a bear as a monster, the stat block tells you which modifier to use for the demoralise roll. So yes, the bear having the ability to demoralise at +X is a monster ability that a bear has - which the stat block dutifully informs you about.

dirtypool wrote:
Giving a bear the ability to use demoralize at the same level as a PC who acquired through XP both the expert proficiency in intimidation and two feats is not you correcting the flawed oversight of the rules, it's you throwing those rules out the window so that you can apply the frightened condition to your players. Use a different monster.

I'm sorry to have to say it so bluntly, but you just don't understand that PCs and monsters (and by extension, NPCs), DO NOT operate under the same rules.

PCs have one set of rules to ensure there is a relative parity between them, so we aren't back in Linear Fighters/Quadratic Wizards territory. PCs have to pay for their every ability with class levels, proficiencies and feats.

Monsters are under no such obligation. Monsters are what their stat block states they are. No more, no less. That is NOT 'throwing out the rules', it is 'playing by the rules as written'.

Bears as animal companions are in a weird space since they are effectively PC class features and thus very much DO fall under PC rules. A bear as an animal companion is an animal companion, not a monster. Monster rules do not apply to animal companions. Therefore you can not use bear animal companion stats to cry foul at bear monster stats.

Megistone wrote:
Between a class of items that is meant for blocking well and often, and another one that offers a special ability only (since blocking with that is counterproductive 99% of the time), there is a whole world that wasn't explored at all. It's not like you can't give the non-sturdy magical shields reasonable stats that allow blocking with them sometimes: not doing that it was either a choice, or an oversight.

As I see it, having unexplored design space means having an opportunity to sell more books. And seeing that that is what Paizo does to earn money...

So I'd wager, we'll see some new things show up in future publications. Especially after they have data from society play to dial in numbers to meet player expectations.

Megistone wrote:
The fact that we have two shields that are problematic by your own admission, makes me think that maybe some of the others' stats were an oversight too.

Possible. But that is just speculation. Whereas considering self-destructing shields that are not priced as consumables as an oversight is probably undisputed.

Also, it is not just shields with effects that trigger on blocks. Aggressive Block is effectively a class feature that is limited by shield durability. If you want to use your feat, you are also locked into sturdy shields. But again, that is an issue only for classes that actually have the Shield Block (and Aggressive Block) feats. Everybody else just take their +2 to AC and are happy with it.

PCs have to adjust their Intimidate score according to the language tag. Monsters just roll their assigned stat and call it a day.

Why do you feel the need to make things needlessly complicated?

HumbleGamer wrote:

Here I am just using logic and binary choices.

Something can be X, and eventually X and Y. But can't be or not be X at the same time.

Oh, it seems that 'shield bash' is actually listed as its own weapon. Doing 1d4 damage instead of 1d6 for an attached weapon.

So correction: Yes, a shield is a weapon, but instead of cluttering the weapon list with bucklers, wooden and steel shields etc., they just list the shield bash as a stand-in. Because you bash with a shield. Hence the name.

Also that means, yes, shields can be used with Double Slice etc. Good to know.

HumbleGamer wrote:
2) Boss and spikes are an example of attached weapon, but not the weapon.

Here I am just using logic and binary choices.

Something can be a weapon, and eventually a weapon and attached. But can't be or not be a weapon at the same time. :p

Either way, seems to me like you already answered your own questions there.

Seriously people? You want to complicate things by going out of your way to apply PC rules to monster stat blocks?

You do you, but I'll be lazy and just assume that the monster's stats already have everything relevant accounted for. So that, you know, I don't have to bother with that kind of nit-picking rules-lawyering and just can play that bear or whatever in peace.

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1) Yes and no. Technically, the shield is not a weapon in and of itself, but attach a shield boss or shield spikes to it, and THEN you can indeed use your shield as an off-hand weapon of the bashing or piercing persuasion.

2) Yes, Shields are a weapon category Fighters can specialise in. Of course, the actual weapon is still the shield boss or the spikes.

3) I'd have to look up the exact page, but it has been clarified that, not only can the weapons be attached or detached with a 10 minutes craft check, they also can be salvaged from a destroyed shield and reused.

Raise from the grave, my thread!

At least the avatar checks out...

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Draco18s wrote:
Lycar wrote:
Sturdy shields are for blocking. But they offer nothing else.
You can still shield bash with them. The exact thing you're worried about.

I'll thank you for actually reading my post and not putting words in my mouth.

Since ALL shields can be used as weapons, I was kinda under the impression that that did not need explicit mentioning. But I'll rephrase just for you:

Sturdy shields are for the +2 AC, the shield bash and blocking. But they have no other functionality.

Draco18s wrote:
...That's exactly the problem I've been pointing at for months:

Yes. I read the threads. I was just reiterating to sort things out.

Draco18s wrote:
Sturdy Shield already fills the niche you claim would "invalidate other fighting styles," by offering a decent amount of damage reduction AND the hitpoints to take more than 2 hits before breaking. No one is really asking to make Sturdy Shield better. Its the baseline of how good we think a shield should be and how the alternatives are objectively worse, despite costing 10 to 100 times more and offering no additional benefits (e.g. Adamantine Shield).

Read my post again, you do not seem to understand it properly. Sturdy shields are good enough to be used for blocking. The price they pay is that they offer no additional functionality ABOVE OTHER SHIELDS.

Some shields DO offer some additional functionality, but they are unsuitable to blocking because only a low-roll hit would not break them on their respective levels. Basically, you trade blocking for that other functionality. Those shields are fine too. If they were too sturdy, they would make sturdy shields pointless.

AND THEN we have shields with functions that only ever work when you actually use them to block. When THESE shields risk breaking, or even destruction by being used as intended, THAT is a problem. But not the other shields.

Draco18s wrote:
I will admit that even I think that the hardness values on Sturdy should go up faster, but I'm taking taking it from 20 (at level 19) to 25 or 30 hardness, enough that it actually has a possibility of taking no damage from what would be a weak hit from a monster of approximately equal level (a level 19 creature does between 4d8+16 and 4d12+18 damage). And I'm willing to see its max HP come down some to compensate. I'm not sure how much is the right number, say... 130 instead of 160? That gives the same number of blocks (at 25 hardness) vs. average hits.

The thing is, as things stand now, shield blocks have the best results at low levels, where PCs also have the least HP. As HP go up, the relative value of the shield block goes down. However, shields gradually getting worse at mitigating damage is not that bad as long as we are talking about levels where PC HP are plenty.

But there must always be a price to be paid for using a shield as a second weapon. Part of it is that shields are d6 weapons that are neither finesseable nor agile. You could instead be sucking up the -4/-5 MAP for your second strike with your primary weapon, because you do not actually strike with the shield though. It could be investing in Doubling Rings to make sure your off-hand defensive weapon is up to snuff (although every two-weapon warrior has to do that). Or, of course, the fact that you are not using a two-handed weapon, thus sacrificing damage.

Just remember that not every class even gets Shield Block out of the gate. But for those classes that do, they have to have to make a trade-off. Double Slice with sword & board is a terrific combo for a Fighter, or anyone who invests 2 dedication feats. But If you get to enjoy +2 AC AND a decent off-hand weapon, then you EITHER get a usable blocking function, OR an extra functionality. Not both.

Only the shields that are SUPPOSED to be used to block attack TO TRIGGER THEIR INTENDED EXTRA FUNCTION are broken and need fixing. The others work well enough as is.

EITHER ablative HP, OR something extra, not both.

Draco18s wrote:
Then the last thing would be rules on how to apply hardness and HP adjustments when making specific shields out of other materials (and maybe high level sturdy shields should already be made out of adamantine!)...

Maybe, maybe not. I hope the APG offers some insight. Looking forward to it.

Sturdy shields are for blocking. But they offer nothing else.

Other shields are for the +2 AC and whatever else effect they offer. Of course, if actually using them for their intended purpose destroys, or even just breaks them in a single hit, that is a problem. But it is a problem mostly because of the gold that potentially goes up in smoke (or splinters) in that case, not so much that they can't provide as many 'ablative HP'.

But that doesn't change the fact that making shields too good would invalidate other fighting styles.

In the end, it's like with the magic. So many people complain that it has been over-nerfed. Arguably. But the point is, it is easier to introduce some power creep (or even errata in extreme cases), then to get the djinn back in the bottle.

I'll reserve judgement until I see the APG and its contents. I'd wager they have something for shield users in there.

People, please take a step back and take a look at the greater picture here:

Shield blocking can't be as good as you wish it should be, otherwise it would blow every other fighting style out of the water!

Remind yourself that shields not only give +2 AC in exchange for an action (and do so right from lv. 1 onward), they are also d6 bashing or piercing weapons in their own right.

Consider a two-handed wielder: D12 weapon is ideal for Power Attack, but you sacrifice that potential +2 AC and block chance.

Now look at a one-hand wielder: +2 to AC for 1 action can be done via Duelling Parry, by a Fighter from lv. 2 onward. That's it. You better have something VERY useful to do with your off hand, even if you ARE a Fighter.

And finally, two-weapon fighters. Either you are stuck with an off-hand weapon with the Parry trait, trading an action for +1 AC, or you are a Fighter or Ranger of 4th level or higher and take Twin Parry. Maybe even do both for +2 AC. Else, no AC bonus for you!

Except, with a shield as an off-hand weapon, you can have your +2 AC cake and still use Double Slice, Twin Takedown or Twin Feint. Sure, a d6 weapon that is neither Finesse nor Agile isn't a terribly good off-hand weapon, but who says you can't let the shield bash be your first attack? Heck, a Fighter who is willing to eat the -2 for non-Agile weapon with his second attack could just use his Master proficiency at lv. 5 to cancel out the penalty on his main weapon... which he uses for the second strike with Double Slice. He'd still be better off the any other class because both strikes in a Double Strike happen without MAP.

So there would be no reason whatsoever to NOT use a shield as your second weapon, if you'd also get a super reliable Shield Block on top of everything else. As it stands now, a Shield Block is some situational damage resistance. Nice to have, but not essential. But upset that balance and what other style but (insert favourite 1-handed weapon here) & board is even still viable (with the exception of two-handed Power Attacking maybe)?

The more I read here, the more I become convinced that the Force Open action is the new 'hack down doors' thing.

Maybe think of it as an abstraction the way Bulk works. Initailly, I was very opposed to it as a 'dumbing down encumbrance' thing, but after making a few characters with it, it kinda grew on me. It just works well enough to get a feel for the 'weight' of your toon's gear without getting bogged down in minutiae. Force Open just abstracts all the hassle with object hardness and HP into one roll.

Of course, if someone wants to cut a rope with a well-placed arrow shot or something, you still have the object HP by thickness as guidelines. Maybe they will present some updated rules when they get another equipment book out, featuring rope-cutting arrows or somethimg.

Remember 'fantasy det-cord'?

breithauptclan wrote:
For Spellcaster primary with Barbarian archetype I don't see this working as much. Not even for an all-in archetype build. That one is a lot harder of a sell for me. You will have so many spells and spell slots and there are a finite amount of utility and pre-buff spells available. Plus the lessened amount of martial ability of the Barbarian archetype compared to the full Barbarian base class indicates to me that there are going to be plenty of times after you trigger rage that you are going to wish that you could fire off a spell.

For this one, you should probably play them as primary casters, who have some very nasty surprises waiting for anyone who gets into their face and expects a squishy target. There is the to-hit issue of course, but that can not be helped (and neither should id IMHO).

Wounded Rage would be very fitting. Too bad it only happens at lv. 8+ though. Furious Finish would be more of a 'Hail Mary' maneuver, but if that strike lands, it may make all the difference. Basically, use the Barbarian's ability to 'flip out and kill people', maybe with your own teeth, to have an emergency boost of martial prowess when your magic won't cut it, so to speak.

Of course that isn't a caster/barbarian multiclass so much as a caster + flavourful extra abilities.

breithauptclan wrote:
But spellcaster/barbarian is actively stepping on your own toes.

Well, I suppose so, but seeing that a Barbarian is a primary melee combatant, he will be hard pressed to find a situation where casting a spell is a better use of their actions then simply using their Barbarian abilities.

However, they, and every other melee-type, will get some mileage out of the buff spells (and utility of course). 2nd level heightened Longstrider last your whole workday for example. So while you can't be barbaric and casty at the same time, being propped up by the right spells makes a Barbarian even more brutal in combat. And you can even focus on that, because you won't be casting spells in a fight. So there is that.

Sure, a Main Gauche is a good off-hand weapon and you can pair it with a d8 main weapon, but the Twin Parry feat doesn't happen before Lv 4. Until then you will be short 1 AC compared to a shield user.

On the other hand, who but the Fighters have the means to completely change combat styles almost on a whim? Double Slice will work from lvs. 1 to 20, as will Power Attack.

Duelling Parry happens as early as 2nd level and is a nice fall-back if your shield gets busted. Tides you over until level 4's Twin Parry.

Or go Bastard Sword from lv. 5 onward, make Swords your Master weapon. As long as you Double Slice, it will be still as good as an agile weapon with Expert proficiency. Enemy busts your shield? Go Duelling Parry and hit 2 points better, or change your grip and dish out d12 Power Attacks. The options are there.

Of course, in my current AoA game, my guy is a total Dragon fanboy, so he'll multiclass Wizard to chase the Dragon Form spell. Or become a Dragon Disciple. Looking forward to the APG.

Aw man, it probably was too good to be true. Now I have to recalibrate damage expectancy for Fighter again. Seeing the kind of attack routines Rogues and Rangers can pull off at higher levels seems to put the Fighter in a slightly worse spot then.

Gotta see how much Two-Weapon Flurry can salvage there.

HammerJack wrote:
No. The extra action from Haste cannot be used in that way. It is limited to specific actions.

"Magic empowers the target to act faster. It gains the quickened condition and can use the extra action each round only for Strike and Stride actions."

Double Slice is a Strike action. Or rather, 2 Strike actions in one package. So this should count?

Remember that a shield can be used as a weapon too. Or rather, the shield boss or shield spike you can attach to one (and enchant as a weapon).

Currently playing a Kelish sword & board Fighter, who uses the shield bash as his first attack and a short sword as his Agile second weapon.

So while that are 2 d6 weapons instead of a single d10 or d12 weapon, the difference is that not taking the -5 MAP on the second attack means the average damage is not that much different between the two options (some guy did the math, can't find the link right now). And you get to use a shield, which you then can raise with your 3rd action and get that sweet +2 AC. Seeing that you can also block some damage for extra staying power, I consider that a good trade.

Of course, once Graceful Poise comes online, you can expect to be Hasted in some combats. If you sacrifice raising your shield, you can use Double Slice twice (it does not have the Flourish trait, unlike Power Attack) for a 0/0/-5/-5 attack routine. It also makes Weapon Supremacy very tempting.

Mark Seifter wrote:
So like the article says, what Pathfinder character are you excited to build, and what stories do you want to tell?

Playing a Kelish sword & board Fighter in an Age of Ashes game. Dragon Scholar background. Because he grew up as the son of a merchant, travelling the deserts of Qadira, dreaming of great things. Like Dragons and gaining some of their power, wealth and prestige for himself.

Of course, not only does a lowly caravan guard hardly make enough money to pay for magic lessons, he would be hard pressed to find a teacher to stoop so low as to teach the son of a mere itinerant merchant.

So, after coming to the conclusion that he has already read all the books about Dragons that cycle around the various merchants, being bought, read, then resold again, he needs to travel to learn more Dragon lore. And if that means he has to walk the path of the Hero, so be it.

And while he is going to multiclass Wizard, becoming a Dragon Disciple is a natural choice for him obviously. Looking forward to it.

Claxon wrote:
For refernce (a CRB fighter would struggle against that fire giant, but with Advanced Weapon Training and the other myriad of tricks I think they'd have a pretty easy time and just use some charges from a CLW wand with a friendly caster to go back to full).

Oh man, that brings back memories... Of all the threads where people complained that the 3.x / PF 1 Fighter is terrible at fighting, precisely because he would struggle in a 1:1 vs. an on-level melee monster.

Of course these discussions happened before Advanced Training. But that was, sadly, too little, too late.

The thing is, right now the treadmill effect is in full force, and I'm not happy about it. But I can see why the devs did it this way. They are so very conservative about giving out boosts because you never get that djinn back into the bottle. On the other hand, handing out some power creep in future publications, potentially in the form of optional rules not only allows an adjustment, it also sells books.

At the end of the day, Paizo pays the paychecks with the money we give them for their books. Publish or perish isn't just for scientists folks. So I don't begrudge the devs for playing it safe and 'keep the ball low'.

thenobledrake wrote:
Lycar wrote:
I do not understand what you are trying to say. The rules on the 'Force Open' action explicitly allow just that:

What I am trying to say is that this piece of text "If it’s especially sturdy, the GM might have it take damage but not be broken." means needing more than 1 successful Force Open action to get the door to be broken, and thus open, because of the bold part of the sentence.

The situation the other poster described in which the door had been damaged, but not broken, but also still effectively be broken because now it will open is not a valid reading of the text and is what I am saying would be "too good to be true."

So you mean, instead of assigning a higher DC for an obstacle, require multiple successes on Force Open checks to bypass it? That works too I guess. Certainly better then a frustratingly high or even impossible DC.

Still doesn't account for a critical success possibly bypassing the obstacle without damaging it at all, but that is for the GM to figure out.

Salamileg wrote:
Lycar wrote:
Why? Because if you improve your main attack stat, you are almost certainly not improving your other attacks stats. What do we have here: Melee wants strength, archers want dexterity and casters their casting stat. So unless you keep increasing all these stats at the same pace, you are going to fall behind. The sword fighter will get worse at shooting things instead of getting better at swording things, for the archer, it is the other way around.
Krispy already addressed the first part of your argument, but I feel like you're forgetting the fact that you increase 4 stats every 5 levels, not one. So the Fighter/Wizard who primarily uses a greatsword but likes to pull out a bow once in a while can increase their Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Intelligence every 5 levels.

Or rather, they have to increase these stats, if they don't want to fall off the treadmill. And that means they are less free to invest into WIS and CHA. But yes, this is still a huge improvement over 3.x and PF1, Tomes and Manuals notwithstanding.

thenobledrake wrote:
Which looking at a basic view of attack bonus progression stacked up against the values on the AC table for building creatures it does appear that to keep the same "I hit on a die roll of X+" you've got to boost your attack-relevant ability score at every opportunity, add on your Apex item for it, and get the maximum item bonus... however, that's not necessarily showing that the game is "max out to keep up, so you don't have a choice" because I haven't evaluated what degree or frequency of temporary bonuses can be utilized, so maybe the game feel actually is that you feel like you get better and better if you max out your attack capabilities by way of having more access to buffs & debuffs to use at higher levels of play than you have at the lower levels.

There is that of course. Maybe my lack of mid-to-high level experience makes me discount the effects Bards and other buffs have on the outcome of fights. Still, it just feels like the 'betterment of the self' that stat increases represent should not be taken for granted by the game and actually result in an improvement.

As I said, it just rubs me the wrong way, but whatever works for you. Now I just have to convince our GM to go with ABP once we pick up our game again.

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