Madame Ivanja

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Organized Play Member. 63 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.




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It seems like it would be useful for spellcasters to be able to dispel effects like Charm and magic items at character levels lower than 5th. You would think that low level spellcasters would be called upon to counter magic too. It also seems like relegating it to 3rd level limits the number uses quite a bit. In that you need to make a check against a DC, it works a bit like skill. Maybe a better approach would be to make it a spellcaster ability and use spell points or burn spells or daily uses instead. That could let it exist at lower levels and make it easier to have it available more if needed.


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The original introduction of paladin made it a sub-class of fighter with all of the fighter abilities with trade offs being a limit on magic items and alignment restrictions. Then it was made a sub-class of cavalier, which was probably the best match up to the folklore paladin. Paladins in history and folklore were supposed to be the best of the best knights and cavaliers. The PF2 paladin is how someone might create a cleric if they started from scratch with the possible exception of getting a horse that's harder for classes without animal companions to get. The class isn't an offensive knight or cavalier and isn't really able to wield a weapon with the same skill at all, which is far from it's role in literature. In probably the most famous work involving paladins, The Song of Roland, Archbishop Turpin joins them in largely the role that clerics do. Most of the PF2 abilities would be far more appropriate to someone like the Archbishop, with the paladins, instead, serving the role of the weapons to carve through their foes. The PF2 paladin's abilities are more that of a prophet or traveling tent faith healing preacher than the divine weapon that the paladin is in it's place in history and literature. In a game where clerics are already very present, that's a large disservice to what the basis of the paladin is.

If people want options to have characters like the PF2 paladins, that's swell, but there really needs to more at the core be true paladins that are a better match for historical, folklore, and other paladins in literature. The options for a mount are good, as are the abilities to enhance weapons. The class really needs some of the more offensive smite abilities from the past to show that the characters are divine weapons. More importantly, it needs some serious offensive combat skills that show their ability to wield weapons themselves and that they are worthy to be made divine champions and be granted divine enhancement.


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Bonus Language appears to be the only ability that a character can only get at first level that requires a high ability score. That means that Intelligence is the only ability score that makes characters lose out if it isn't high from the start. It pressures players to put points in Intelligence at 1st level when there is no similar pressure to do it for other ability scores. Unlike racial traits that might be genetic that might make some Ancestry feats only make sense at 1st level, languages are learned. I don't see any reason not to grant the bonus language with ability boosts that bring Intelligence up to 14.


The most obvious ability for Leaf order druids to have is to summon plant creatures. Summon Nature's Ally only has three plant related creatures at middle levels, one's a dryad. The spell needs more plant creatures to work better for Leaf order.


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In cultures with familiars, folklore, and mythology, shamans, witches, and other spell casters would go out into the wilderness on quests to encounter spirits that would take various forms, sometimes animals, or possess animals. Some were devils, demons, nature spirits, or ghosts that took forms to avoid attracting attention. These familiars, familiar spirits, or weyekin would become a source of power for the spell casters or guide them on obtaining power and teach them how to cast spells.

In first addition Pathfinder, most familiars had all of the normal animal abilities, and most of them could communicate empathically with their masters, receive any spell that a spell caster could cast on themselves, deliver touch spells at 3rd level, speak with their masters at 5th, speak with animals of it's kind at 7th, get spell resistance at 11th, and be scry'd on at 13th. They had starting intelligences of 6 that progressed to 15, and could have knowledge, and spell crafting skills. They granted an additional ability based on species, and had improved evasion too. Familiars with the Sage archetype could be vastly intelligent with a large number of skill ranks to allow then to guide and advise their "masters". Witches got all of their spells from their familiars.

In the Playtest, all familiars can communicate empathically. If the familiar is a raven or owl that flies faster than a human can move it gets no additional magical related abilities. If it's a rodent or cat with scent that can climb, it gets no additional magical related abilities. If it's a frog that can swim or an animal with just scent like a dog, it maybe gets dark vision, maybe can speak one language that it's master can cast, maybe grants a low level spell, or maybe can deliver a touch spell, but only one of those magic related abilities. Familiars in the Playtest have little in the way of mental traits, no knowledge skills. They can have one or two minor supernatural qualities, but that makes them lose the natural abilities that their animal counterparts would have. Familiars aren't familiars, instead they are basically just pets with a little empathic communication, and they're significantly more diminished than they were in first edition, which is the opposite of the direction to go to fit the folklore equivalent and a significant disappointment to players that loved them as more useful partners in first edition.


In 1st edition Pathfinder, I loved playing Duelist and Swashbuckler characters. Part of what I liked about the prestige class and class was that attack roll vs attack of the parry and riposte mechanics felt more like real fencing than the roll attacks against AC score mechanics for other melee combat in the game.

The new Parry feats for Fighter treat parrying like adding a stiff layer of armor. It streamlines the combat, but it also lost the fencing feel and all the fun of the old parry and riposte mechanics.

It makes me worry that we won't get anything like the old parry and riposte mechanics with future archetypes or classes, which would be disappointing.


Characters can rent riding dogs, but small characters can't bond with the same riding dogs as animal companions and use them as mounts.

The Cavalier Dedication archetype class feat, lets you bond with a wolf (other canine may use the stats), but only with the explicitly stated GM permission, and then the feat goes on to say that it doesn't get Mount special ability, which leaves in question whether you can use it as a mount at all.

If you do go with the Cavalier archetype, unlike a horse which can be large immediately, a wolf is small until you take Knightly Steed, unavailable until 6th level.

If you take Improved Steed with Savage as the adjustment, your "riding dog" wolf becomes large sized, which is ridiculous for a small character. It will be two sizes larger than a halfling, gnome, or goblin. Horses that start large, by the way remain large after the Cavalier gets both Knightly Steed and Impressive Steed with Savage as the adjustment.

I don't see anything in the mounted combat rules about mount and character size combinations creating problems, which means that a heavy half-orc barbarian on a medium sized pony have no penalties. It's possible then that small characters could ride a small dog without penalties, but it seems cruel.


I'm a bit bothered by the decrease in the number of spells per day for spell casting classes like Wizard, Druid, and Cleric. There are a couple of issues that this creates.

I've always had a big problem with once per day abilities. They mimic nothing in real life, nor do they really mimic anything in fantasy literature and other media. In real life, you get fatigued, but with a little rest, your fairly close to doing things at the level that you were before you first exerted yourself. The other issue is that you have to be hyper-strategic with those abilities and players have to meta-game to know which encounter probably needs that ability to be used to not waste it or waste a day not using it.

Spells in Pathfinder and D&D were a bit like this, but as characters advanced in level, they weren't so bad. By reducing the number of spells per day, spell casting is more like the once per day abilities.

One issue is traveling encounters vs dungeon encounters.

In dungeons, some players want to hold everything in their toolbox until they're fairly certain the they're at the final big boss final James Bond movie finale encounter. It makes some sense. That's what's going to be hard. That means that their foregoing their abilities a lot. This is especially the case at low levels. In 1st edition Pathfinder, at high levels, they could loosen up a bit because even at the finale encounter, they'd have crucial spells available. With less spell slots per day, they're never going to loosen up. They may not recognize that the big tough encounter is the one, and so even then they may never use their spells.

Players expect that while traveling there will likely be only one encounter per day, so they use everything in their toolbox for the encounter. That means that the characters shine and are more likely to do the most dramatic and climatic things during the most inconsequential encounters. It's a bit sad. A GM can try and thwart this by creating multiple per day traveling encounters, but that creates work, and delays even further getting to the end of the dungeon.

Another issue is rest. Some players, seemingly no matter how long they've played, want to deal with encounters by using everything up and then resting for the day, making for a tiny number of encounters per day. As a strategy, it makes sense too. Use everything all at once, and you should be able to beat anything that the GM is throwing at you. Random encounters may happen, but you can rest after those too and they aren't going to be as bad as main encounters. Lots of resting means lengthening game play. There will be more random encounters. Managing rest time takes time. Refreshing stats takes time. GMs can try to discourage resting by making lots of consequences, but that's not fun. Reducing the number of spells per day means that even at higher levels, players are going to want to rest even more frequently. It's not good.

I actually would have hoped that things would have gone the other direction. I would have hoped that abilities and spells refreshed over a period of time without sleeping for an 8 hour period, maybe not immediately after an encounter ended, but over less significantly than a day, so that dungeon game play would be sped up and that traveling encounters wouldn't be so different in game play from dungeon encounters. Instead, we got the opposite.


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When talking about nonspecific characters in the rulebook, the pronouns are always gendered, which makes my head explode.

For example, the book will say "your character within 'her' class".

No one that I know of speaks like that in a professional or formal setting.

I do technical writing as a part of my job, and no writes like that either, nor does anyone write like that in most other non-fiction writing, including newspapers and magazines.

A normal way to speak or write anywhere else would be to say "your character within 'their' class".

In contemporary modern writing and speaking 'they', 'them', and 'their' aren't plural if it's known that the subject is singular. We don't need to use (and few people in formal settings do use) gendered pronouns for nonspecific people anymore.

When writing about medical doctors, you'd write something like "a doctor after treating a patient must wash 'their' hands".

When writing about driving, you'd write something like "a driver must always look both ways after 'they' enter an intersection when at a stop sign".

It's not necessary to apply a gender to something or someone when the gender is unknown. Most of the English speaking world doesn't do it. It doesn't need to be in the rulebook either, and it's somewhat ridiculous when people read it.


Lance is listed as a two handed weapon, and I don't see any way to use it with a shield. Since there are both mounted Paladins and Cavaliers using a lance and shield would seem to be a normal thing to do together on a mount.

Mounted lance combat got no significant attention at all even though both mounted Paladins and Cavaliers are in the Playtest Rulebook.

There's no damage advantage for using a lance while mounted, which is what it's made for.

If having extra damage with a lance while mounted seemed unbalanced before, maybe add or consider the following:
* Extra damage should only result from long straight line charge.
* The extra damage should only result when the lancer ends movement past the target's square.
* Setting a spear against a charging lancer should do similar amounts of damage as the lancer does from a mounted charge.
* Someone falling off a charging mount should receive more damage than falling off a stationary mount.
* Charging while mounted though a group of creatures should provoke attacks of opportunity from creatures other than the target.


In the classic battle between Robin Hood and Little John, they duel on a log with quarterstaves. Acrobatics checks are for moving not standing. Reposition specifically doesn't allow moving someone to a space intrinsically dangerous, so as written, it can't be used to reposition your opponent off the log if falling from the log would do them harm. Trip knocks you prone, but not off your square, and making your opponent go prone isn't the goal. A trip seems like more of a leg sweep action, which seems less applicable. Is there anything explicitly that would push an opponent off the log? The goal isn't to do damage. A wild quarterstaff swing might open you up to damage. It seems like a mix of strength, pushing, and dexterity, balance. Do the rules as written handle this neatly or do new rules need to be added? Should the reposition limitation be ignored? Would a general non-specific maneuver check of CMB vs CMD work? How should balance be handled? It would seem that a successful push could topple both opponents instead of just the target. Is there a way to make the duel fun from a rules standpoint and not just a single action quick ending?