Nar'shinddah Sugimar

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My reasoning for upping the cost is because the ranger's animal companion is more limited than other classes, and so the drake is a larger improvement. And the original drake warden took away so little only because it utterly ruined the already weak drake by taking away powers and size increases. In my opinion, a little more trade off was called for.

That said, I will admit, I didn't really weigh the effect it has on stacking archetypes, I was focused on balancing the archetype itself. And when weighing balance, I do try to err on the side of caution, both because it does less harm and because it is too easy go in the opposite direction by accident.

But hey, it's all homebrew, if you want to change it, be my guest. I'm just happy to hear you like it.


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A lot of great comments in here, both for and against my proposals. I am going to try to respond to as many of you guys as I can, but thanks to all of you for your feedback.

MER-c wrote:
If you want my honest opinion, I would not play what you have presented, I think it's just a list of things people want to have so they can play ever more powerful characters and find new ways to subvert the intended goal of telling a story.

It's funny because the other place I posted this, I got accused of trying to take away everyone's super-powered badass characters just for reducing the level bonus.

But I can understand how you would come to that conclusion. Ultimately, I am not trying to make characters more powerful, but I am trying to broaden the sources of character power.

Power that comes solely from your level is boring, particularly when it dwarfs actual character build choices. A reduction in the class bonus makes all other bonuses more significant in the balance of the game, and broadens the range of potential encounters. That range increases just a little more with the health and stamina proposal as well, since you get a bit more durability at level 1 and less increase per level thereafter.

Power that comes from your class is great, but is inherently limited to the theme and role of the class. This was (mostly) fine in 1e, because no matter what class you played, you had feats at every other level which were usually used to increase your combat abilities, and could do so in just about any way you could imagine. Characters of any class could take archery feats, or teamwork feats, not just the ones that had that as part of their planned role. But in 2e, the general feats and skill feats are designed to be less combat oriented, with all that combat focused stuff being rolled back into class feats. Classes no longer feel like a chassis on which to build a character, they feel like a limitation you impose on yourself at level 1. The design of the game is telling you that you are to stay in your lane and play what they tell you to play.

In essence, my feat proposal is saying that instead of taking the combat focus out of general feats and throwing it into your class, we should put it into a separate feat progression. In doing so, you don't increase combat power as much as you increase variety of build options.

Power that comes from ancestry feats also become a restriction when you are forced to take them as you level up, even if they do not really belong in your character concept. This is where the idea of heritages/heritage feats is a good one, but one which should be expanded to make ancestries more meaningful right out of the gate. Since they can represent innate abilities, they don't really clash with character choice in quite the same way. And while some people seem to want ancestry to become little more than a cosmetic choice, I and many others have always liked playing interesting races just as much as interesting classes, and the mechanics are critically important to that kind of enjoyment. That's why many people who dislike the current state of ancestries complain that you basically only get to be an elf/dwarf/gnome/whatever at level 17.

Other than that, the only slight power level increase I think I argued for was reactions for everyone, which isn't really a big boost of any kind, just a better utilization of a lot of wasted design space. Getting a +1 to AC against a single attack because you declared you would use your reaction to dodge, or falling prone to get a bonus against ranged attacks only to have to get up on your next turn, that's hardly the stuff of legends.

As you said, the goal (for many) is telling a story. I firmly believe that the above changes contribute to that goal because they increase the choices players have regarding what kind of characters they will bring to that story.


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Preamble

The playtest has been going on for quite a while, and after months of discussion and several rules updates, I've had a lot of time to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the system. I think there are a lot of good ideas, and even those aspects of the system which I have issues with, I think can be tweaked to make something really good. And it is for that reason that I am sharing with you an outline of how we can make the best of all possible second editions.

Some of these things I have commented on before, and some are things that have evolved over the course of the playtest. But I present it all together now because ultimately, each element affects the others, and thus a big picture approach is useful. That said, obviously many people will agree with some of my ideas while disagreeing with others, and that's fine too. This isn't meant to be a list of demands for what the system must be, but a vision of what the system could be, a template for the kind of changes that could truly elevate it to greatness.

Before we begin I feel it would be worth noting that most of the changes are in service of the following goals:

1. Increasing player choice
2. Supporting a wider variety of playstyles and story types.
3. Better utilizing existing design space and creating more room for growth.
4. Reducing the gulf between game mechanics and in-universe logic.

As you can see, my priorities here are about not just about improving the design to fit my tastes, but also to make the system as a whole more versatile and capable of appealing to a wider variety of people. Part of the problem with the "try the most extreme change first" method employed in the playtest is that those extreme changes tend to leave a lot less flexibility than moderate approaches, and a system ought to be flexible enough to work for people who have different tastes and priorities. That's why, for example, I am not throwing out the ability score boosts at character creation in favor of rolling stats, even though I have no intention of ever giving up rolling for character creation. Since that is something where the system can already support both playstyles, there is no need to comment.

Now, let's get to it.

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Character Creation and Feats

As many people have pointed out, ancestries are damn near empty at level 1, and it is very weird that it will take a dozen or more levels before you can start to actually feel like you are a member of your race. And at the same time, the fact that ancestry feats are mandatory means your character has to develop in a specific way even if you wanted them to be different. While separating feat progressions to better allow flavorful noncombat feats to exist is a good idea, forcing a specific type that players may not want is a mistake. As such, I propose the following changes.

Heritage Feats: Heritages are back to being called heritage feats (for what little difference that makes) and instead of getting a single one at level 1, you now get four. In this way, you can get a fully fleshed out member of your ancestry right at level 1. And because you can mix and match, there is less at stake for each individual selection, and therefore less pressure to pick the optimal choice over flavorful ones.

In addition, the Mixed Heritage general feat allows you to also count as a member of another ancestry, and take up to three of those heritage feats from that other ancestry. This allows for all playable humanoid races to be mixed as half-races. In order to keep half-orcs in core, orc is now a core race.

Ancestry Feats: Ancestry feats are no longer a category. All such feats are now sorted into other feat categories and simply have an ancestry as a prerequisite. You can still make Dwarfy McDwarferson, the Dwarfiest Dwarf who ever Dwarfed™, but you can also play a dwarf that is just a regular guy, or even one who is very un-dwarf-like, an anti-dwarf.

Feat Progression: All those ancestry feats you gained as you leveled up are now replaced with general feats. In addition, we introduce a new category, combat feats. Combat feats are, just as the name suggests, feats that focus on improving combat abilities. This category would not only allow any character to improve their abilities with a bow or sword, but also allows for things like unarmed combat, teamwork feats, and metamagic. It also provides an appropriate place for improving things like armor proficiency and saves for those who don't get them automatically from their class. Anything that is combat focused but not terribly specific to a single class can potentially go here. And by taking the generic combet feats out of class feats, we leave more room for flavorful and unique abilities for each class.

So, you get general feats and combat feats at all odd numbered levels, and class feats and skill feats at all even numbered levels. This creates a nice, smooth progression of 2 feats per level, one of which is largely combat focused, one of which is more likely noncombat.

Backgrounds: You now select three backgrounds, your first, second and third backgrounds. Each background offers three potential benefits, the first being a stat bonus, the second being a skill feat and the third being a lore skill. Effectively, backgrounds remain unchanged except that you get to pick three and choose which gives you the stat boost, which gives you the skill feat and which gives you the lore skill. Again, this allows for more player choice and more flavor, and also prevents the current problem where campaign specific backgrounds eliminate all other options because you only get one.

I also wouldn't mind seeing more variety in the types of things you can get from backgrounds, possibly replacing the skill feat or in the form of a fourth benefit that, like traits in 1e, can be anything.

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Life and Death

The dying system in the playtest is one of my biggest sticking points. By completely separating damage from death, they have turned the entire health system into the kind of save or die effect that the four degrees of success system has been working to eliminate, and also created a recurring problem with consequences since there is no lingering damage to heal. The addition of treat wounds was a step in the right direction, but it has a lot of flaws and easily healing to full renders damage meaningless from the opposite direction as well. All these problems can be eliminated while still getting the best of both worlds if we switch to a health and stamina based system.

Health and Stamina: HP gets replaced with health and stamina. You now start with health equal to your constitution score plus your race bonus (now 3, 4, or 5), and this does not scale with level, though certain things may cause it to increase, such as the toughness feat. Every level you gain stamina equal to your Con modifier plus your class bonus, now 3, 4, 5, or 6. Incoming lethal damage goes through stamina first before targeting health unless otherwise stated by a specific effect, such as a coup de grace. Nonlethal damage goes through stamina before piling up in a separate stack, causing unconsciousness if it ever exceeds your current health.

Healing: The fine details of how healing work could go a number of ways, but the basic concept is rather straightforward. Stamina heals quickly and easily, health heals slowly and at more cost. Leaning towards simplicity, I would suggest that healing magic should affect health at a third the rate it affects stamina, and that the caster can decide which to target first. Stamina heals naturally while resting at an hourly rate, health is restored naturally at a daily rate. Treat wounds can speed up this process, though restoring health require medical supplies by default, and cannot be used repeatedly on the same damage. Medicine comes in varying degrees of quality, giving tools to the GM to make restoring health easier or harder depending on preferred playstyles, and in a way that does not affect the balance of in combat healing.

Dying: Whenever your stamina is at 0, you are fatigued (or something like it). When your health is at 0 or below, you lose consciousness. When your health hits a negative value equal to or greater than your max health, you begin saving against death. If you fail the save you die, if you pass the save you live for another round, and if you crit the save you stabilize and make no more saves until you take damage. The DC for the save is determined by your negative health, so the more damage you take, the more likely you are to die. And because there is a decent size buffer between conscious and dying, you won't see people popping up and down over and over again in a single fight.

This system eliminates the arbitrariness of the current condition based system, and creates a better balance between allowing easy recovery between fights to keep the adventure going, while also allowing for some injuries to have a lingering consequences.

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Rolling the Dice

The math of 2e is both a strength and a weakness. While it is in a way brilliant and elegant, the entire system is kept in a stranglehold by the balancing issue it creates. Because a crit is always +10 or -10, the DCs for everything have be very tightly controlled, and bonuses have to be carefully guarded. Except, for some reason, we still get a level bonus which trumps all other bonuses combined.

Crits and Botches: The crit system gets a much needed overhaul to free up the math a bit and allow for some flexibility in design. As before, exceeding the DC can cause a crit, but now crits come in multiple levels which are triggered in increments of 5. The effects of crits are written out in a format similar to heightening. If you get a bonus for every 5 points by which you beat the DC it would be crit +1, if you get a bonus for every 10 it would be crit +2, and so on. For the sake of clarity, I would call the levels of critical failure botch -1, botch -2 and so on.

So an entry on treat wounds might look something like this:

  • Success: The target regains stamina equal to their level + their con.
  • Crit +1: The target regains additional stamina equal to their level + their con
  • Crit +2 (Max +2): You may expend 1 use of medical supplies to restore health to the target equal to their Con + the quality modifier of the medical supplies used, and the target becomes bolstered against this effect.
  • Failure: The target regains no stamina.
  • Botch -1: That target takes 1 point of nonlethal damage

    Not only would this allow for a tremendous amount of flexibility in the math, it would even allow for multiple crit or botch effects that trigger at different levels of success. And it's simple and takes up no more page space that the rigid 4 degrees we have now.

    1s and 20s: Because of this, we also reduce the extreme swinging of the dice a bit, as 20s and 1s become a flat +5/-5. Still enough to make them special, but not enough to make them routinely do idiotic things.

    Level Bonus: Level bonus is reduced to 1/4 level. This will keep the basic concept around, but reduces it to a much more reasonable progression, where level provides slightly less of a bonus than going from untrained to legendary. It also greatly expands the flexibility GMs have in putting together encounters without murdering the party or boring them to death. Having a 1/4 level bonus still allows for the party to be special, super powered heroes if you want to play that way, but doesn't preclude more down to earth stories for groups who prefer that sort of thing, the way the current system does.

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    Miscellaneous Changes

    The rest of these I would consider to be smaller things, but still too important for me to not mention them.

    Weapon Damage: Damage no longer scales monstrously. Weapon quality gives a flat bonus to attack and damage, while enchantments add cool effects. This not only makes a lot more sense when the quality bonus is nonmagical, it is also necessary to be compatible with the slower rate of stamina gain as described above. Damage scaling from other sources would obviously be affected as well, but that should go without saying.

    Size Modifiers: Size modifiers are back. Let's be honest, this was never hard to keep track of, and it very rarely ever changed. AC and attack go up, weapon damage and carryweight go down, certain specific skill uses are affected. Easy.

    Bulk: Bulk is gone and good riddance to it. This is pretty much the only thing about which I will say I could find no redeeming value. You want a simpler max carryweight calculation? Fine, strength score times X, Y, and Z for light medium and heavy, done. Want to switch to kilos instead of pounds? Fine with me. But this nonsense where nothing resembles a real world weight, and a scimitar is ten times the encumbrance of a short sword and half the encumbrance of a full set of chainmail? No. Just no.

    Resonance: Resonance, at least as it was, is gone. Individual magic items have their own limitations, whether that means that they are consumable or used x times per day. I would also prefer worn equipment be slot based, but I am not going to fight and die for that alone.

    Reactions: We want more of them. Everyone gets a few basic reactions just for being alive, conscious and capable of reacting to their surroundings. Things like hitting the deck, attempting to dodge or parry for a small AC bonus against a single attack, and taking a step can now be done as a reaction by anyone. As you you level up and gain feats, you can get more reactions and improve the ones you already have, but at least these basic things are always available. No more characters going into a vegetative state between turns, and consequently, all the more incentive for players to stay alert as well.

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    Conclusion

    And that's my list. Obviously there are a lot of little things that I could probably nitpick,* but these are the big system-wide things that I feel the need to comment on. Because while there will always be nits to pick, these are the things that will likely change whether my group and others like them decide to move over to 2e, or write it off as 4th edition all over again. And I don't say that lightly or maliciously, but as someone who genuinely sees parallels to the very situation the brought me into Pathfinder.

    2e needs to be a well designed system, and one which can appeal to many types of players and groups. Not only does it have to compete with D&D for the attention of newcomers to the hobby, it also has to compete with many other systems to hold onto existing players, and compete with it's own first edition. If 2e is not an improvement in the eyes of those who have been playing it, most will either stick with the current content and maybe hope for continued support and/or a system reboot from third party devs, or they will migrate to other games. God knows there is no shortage of games that I want to play but haven't had time for.

    Pathfinder has been able to keep me coming back because it is a system where I can play damn near any character I want in damn near any type of story I want. It is that variety that keeps me coming back, and that is the element that I want to make sure 2e retains. Without that, there is nothing to separate it from games like Shadowrun or VtM, which are certainly fun, but too restrictive to be the default option for the next big game your group plays. Even a very well designed 2e would only ever see a little use at my table if it continues down the path of limited story and character choice. If I'm going to be shoehorned into something, I'll choose to be shoehorned into something new that suits my mood at the time, such as Mistborn or Dresden Files.

    And that would be a shame, because I do see great potential in PF2e. I think this could be a great system, which is why I've posted this overly long manifesto on the subject. I want to see the system become the new default game at my table. I want it to be the system that I bring new people into. I want it to be the system that I can master over the next decade. And I want it to become so dear to me that I can have reservations about switching to a third edition.

    What do you guys think? Does this sound like a system you'd want to play or am I butchering an already good system? Are there sweeping changes you think could make 2E better? I'd love to hear it.

    *I could make a pretty big list of things that should be free actions but aren't. It's enough that I think it might be good to bring back swift actions, if only so we have a fifth action per turn reserved for paying these types of action taxes.


  • cap708 wrote:

    Awesome work on this. You've made Drake Companion archetypes a playable thing!

    The Reddit thread is archived now and people can't post further comments there. I highly recommend making a website for it someplace and getting Herolab support for it, similar to what the people at with "The Elephant in the Room" have done regarding their "Feat Tax" home brew, which is now used by a sizable minority of players.

    I... had never considered getting a website, it might be worth looking into. If nothing else, it would give me a place to put all my homebrew in an easy to share and browse format.

    As for Herolab, I'd be all for it. That said, I've never used Herolab, so I'm not terribly familiar with it, and I certainly don't know how to go about getting my stuff on there.

    However, I have now updated the page with a note at the top advising that I do still support and that I would be happy to reply to message, new threads on the topic, or to posts here.


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    Ironeye wrote:
    Igor Horvat wrote:

    I would still prefer if we get lots of ancestry features at 1st level and any feat tied to ancestry should be some kind of upgrade of default features.

    Having run the game for complete newbies before, I'm glad the ancestries are slimmed down. The players got really frustrated with all of the miscellaneous abilities they needed to write down before they got going, the vast majority of which never came up.

    Speed, HP, size, and attribute bonuses/penalties are frequently relevant. An AC bonus against specific enemies, the ability to talk to burrowing animals, and proficiency in specific weapons are all just wastes of character creation time unless the player actively wants them.

    I'm totally in favor of giving one or two decisions at level 1 that let players choose something that THEY find compelling rather than loading people up with several lines of extra, irrelevant text to copy down before they can start playing the game.

    The problem with 1E was that it started with locked in, predefined race traits, and then grafted on a system of alternate traits. This made things complex for new players to follow and put a tremendous strain on system balance.

    2E is in a great position to fix this by building the system from the ground up so that all you have to do is select the racial features you want from a list. Call them heritages, feats, traits, whatever, they are all the same thing. Selecting two to four things from a list is not harder than selecting one. Having more than one to choose actually lowers the stakes a bit, so new player don't have to worry about wasting their one and only choice on something they end up never using.

    It eases balancing pressure as well. Let's be honest, if you only get one to choose, and they aren't all garbage, you're going to see a lot of people taking the optimal choice, a few people taking the next best thing, and everything else was largely a waste of paper. If you have four choices, everyone will take the optimal thing, and maybe the next best one, but there will still be room for the sub-optimal but flavorful things and the situational ones if you want them.


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    Captain Morgan wrote:
    Makeitstop wrote:

    Sounds like a step in the right direction at least.

    I'd still prefer at least two heritage feats selections at first level, if not more. Ancestries just feel so empty compared to 1E races, and combinations of options are far more interesting and satisfying than singular choices. While we obviously have to wait and see the actual rules update before coming to any conclusions, this still sounds like far less than I would have liked.

    I can't think of a good reason to give folks 2 heritages, TBH. At least not when you still get a 1st level ancestry feat and heritages may be mutually exclusive.

    Now, you could argue they should still get more ancestry feats, be it at level 1 or later, but multiple heritages? Nah.

    If heritages are whole collections of features, essentially making them a complete sub-race package, then yes, one would be enough. But if we are talking about essentially one trait? Yeah, that's a waste of design space.

    And it leads to the weird situation where the whole race is either the kind that has low-light vision or the ones with fangs, but no overlap between them. When you can mix and match, the race as a whole feels a lot more organic and plausible.

    And quite frankly, more choices, more mechanics, more flavor, that's all more fun.


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    Sounds like a step in the right direction at least.

    I'd still prefer at least two heritage feats selections at first level, if not more. Ancestries just feel so empty compared to 1E races, and combinations of options are far more interesting and satisfying than singular choices. While we obviously have to wait and see the actual rules update before coming to any conclusions, this still sounds like far less than I would have liked.


    FitzTheRuke wrote:

    When I first started playtesting, I was really in love with the four-tiered-success rules. The more I play, the more I realise that it's a real problem. Enough that I think that it's not going to work long-term. This sounds like a way to solve it, at first, but the big drawback to the system you propose here is that we will *always* need to look up the result-matrix for every check. There's no way I can memorise that. At least with Xdc +/-10 we only have to remember what the *results* are, not also the # the result occurs at and then do the math to see if it occurs.

    But it's true that not every type of check *deserves* a crit success/crit fail result, and certainly not always on +/-10. I'm not sure what the best way to tackle this is going to be. (But I don't think the current system is going to work out long-term).

    This is why I'm arguing for measuring crits in increments of +5 or -5 I mentioned earlier. It keeps things easy to memorize and calculate, while still allowing the added flexibility to have multiple possible crit or botch values, so the math can be appropriate to the context.

    And any threshold you might have wanted other than 1 or 2 is always going to be within 2 points of an increment of 5, so it's certainly precise enough for any situation. It's about as simple as it can be without giving up flexibility or scrapping crits altogether.


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    I've come to similar conclusions about the crit system and its effects on the math of the game. It's too rigid, and has a stranglehold over the system.

    My solution would be to adjust crits to +5/-5, and to express the effect of those crits in a similar format to heightening, with multiple levels of crit being possible. If you get a bonus for every 5 points by which you beat the DC it would be crit +1, if you get a bonus for every 10 it would be crit +2, and so on. For the sake of clarity, I would call the levels of critical failure botch -1, botch -2 and so on.

    So an entry on might look something like this:

    Success: You deal damage normally.
    Crit +2: You deal an additional damage die on top of the normal damage.
    Failure: You deal no damage.
    Botch -4: You drop your weapon and are filled with immense shame at your failure.

    Not only would this allow for a tremendous amount of flexibility in the math, it would even allow for multiple crit or botch effects that trigger at different levels of success. And it's simple and takes up no more page space that the rigid 4 degrees we have now.


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    Yeah, I would be all for things like tiefling and aasimar being half-ancestry feat chains which can be applied to any ancestry, since their other half is something which is unlikely to ever be playable. But doing it that way for things that are already playable seems like an inefficient way of doing things. I mean, I wouldn't object to them making a half-ancestry feat chain for every single playable ancestry they introduce over the life of the system, but I doubt they ever would.


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    Quandary wrote:
    Makeitstop wrote:
    Quandary wrote:
    I don't think they want to return to negative HPs which equate 1:1 with damage...

    It seems pretty apparent that they don't, but I'm going to keep arguing that they should. The dying rules are needlessly complicated and completely rob the game of any sense of reality. They aren't more fun, they aren't easier to run and understand, they are just more random and convoluted.

    Is counting below zero really that hard? Was the possibility of being killed instantly upon being hit for ridiculous amounts of damage so bad that it was worth the chance of dying from a tiny flesh wound because "lol, rolled a 1" and eliminating the possibility of predictably leaving downed characters alive?

    OK, just to clarify this (feel free to have different preference), the REASON I see for not tying CON score or modifier to damage/HPs directly (ala negative HPs) is the numeric relationship doesn't stand. Damage expectation and CON score or modifier don't scale identically from 1st level to 20th level, so even if apply perfect ratio at 1st it won't track damage expectations. It's fine to want some relationship or involvement of CON, but that's why a DIRECT relationship like negative HPs is problematic.

    I fully recognize that negative Constitution being the point at which you die leads to a scaling issue. There are multiple possible solutions to that issue however, which do not require getting rid of negative HP altogether.

    The most basic solution would be to make the death point scale, as Fuzzypaws suggested. It's the simplest and most direct approach.

    Or, you could rebalance damage to not scale, though I imagine that would not be very popular.

    Alternatively, you could keep the concept of saves against death, and initiate them either while in negative hp or while at or past your negative constitution. This can be done with an automatic point of death if you like, or with no hard limit on how far down you can go, as I tried to suggest earlier. This way you still get the save, but it isn't as easy to pop back to 1 hp, and you have an actual number to represent how hurt you are which can be used to determine a DC. A hybrid of the two systems which mitigates some of the issues of both.


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    Quandary wrote:
    Makeitstop wrote:

    Adding a wounded condition is an interesting choice, but it's also one which continues the trend of completely separating damage from consequences. [...] If it at least applies a penalty to all your d20 rolls or something, then it might at least seem like you are actually injured in some way.

    I think this would be better handled by just having a small amount of nonscaling health (possibly equaling your constitution score) and having what is now HP become stamina. Stamina heals easily, health does not. Hit 0 health and you fall unconscious. If we must do away with the "negative constitution score = death rule" and have saves, then have the DC be based on your negative health points, probably half rounding down.

    I don't think they want to return to negative HPs which equate 1:1 with damage...

    It seems pretty apparent that they don't, but I'm going to keep arguing that they should. The dying rules are needlessly complicated and completely rob the game of any sense of reality. They aren't more fun, they aren't easier to run and understand, they are just more random and convoluted.

    Is counting below zero really that hard? Was the possibility of being killed instantly upon being hit for ridiculous amounts of damage so bad that it was worth the chance of dying from a tiny flesh wound because "lol, rolled a 1" and eliminating the possibility of predictably leaving downed characters alive?

    As a player, I like knowing that if I die, it was because it was the logical result of the choices made and actions taken in combat. As a GM, I like being able to know that I can make my PCs feel like they are in danger of dying while still having the ability hold back when appropriate and not turn my campaign into a random and senseless slaughterhouse. As an amateur game designer, I like having a continuous progression from healthy to dead with many layers of gradation, rather than an abrupt switch to a completely different system that makes things binary.

    It's odd that they can recognize that getting hit by a fireball is a lot more fun than getting hit with a save or die spell, but not see how turning everything into that save or die effect could be seen as a mistake.

    I'm not sure to what extent I'm in the minority on this, and I do doubt that Paizo is likely to consider going back to negative hit points without a huge push from the players. But for me, outside the playtest, I wouldn't touch these rules with a ten foot pole. Either it gets homebrewed out or I play something else. It's a deal-breaker.

    Quandary wrote:
    ...but I think relating CON bonus to Wound capacity (e.g. baseline 3 Wound capacity, increases if CON bonus is 4+), and Wound level + Dying state dictating DC (rather than tracking DC from killing blow) is interesting way to go that makes CON more relevant

    If nothing else, basing the DC on your condition rather than on the enemy that put you there is an obvious improvement.

    And part of the reason I like constitution score for health and HD x level for stamina is because it leaves constitution relevant, but also makes the HP difference between wizards and barbarians make a lot more sense. Of course a physical powerhouse that juggles boulders every morning is going to a lot more stamina than a guy who spends his days sitting in a chair reading books. But the difference in their ability to survive a knife to the gut is going to be a lot smaller.


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    Adding a wounded condition is an interesting choice, but it's also one which continues the trend of completely separating damage from consequences. It's just an arbitrary counter for how many times you can cross an arbitrary threshold. If it at least applies a penalty to all your d20 rolls or something, then it might at least seem like you are actually injured in some way. But even then, you are getting the same injury from being pricked with a needle for 1 point of damage as you do for being crushed by a 16 ton weight, as long as it takes your last hit point.

    I think this would be better handled by just having a small amount of nonscaling health (possibly equaling your constitution score) and having what is now HP become stamina. Stamina heals easily, health does not. Hit 0 health and you fall unconscious. If we must do away with the "negative constitution score = death rule" and have saves, then have the DC be based on your negative health points, probably half rounding down. No more meaningless DCs or condition stacks that are completely divorced from the events that caused you to be dying in the first place, and no more popping back up because you are only ever 1 hp away from fighting condition.


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    Mark Seifter wrote:
    Even if it's not "official," we can potentially try to build the half-ancestries in a way that they can be used like Kai wants. For instance, you could get those up and running with a minimum of tweaking and no deep game design necessary with the current version (and that means we could use the paradigm to do just that ourselves for ancestries that have traditionally spread beyond human in Golarion, like aasimar/tiefling/other planar scion).

    The solution I've been pushing would be to have everyone get two (or more) heritage feats at level 1, and then make an ancestry feat called mixed heritage which lets you take one (or more) of those heritage feats from another ancestry and become a half-whatever. That kind of set up would make all the playable races mixable by default, with no need to individually create half-ancestry feat chains. More choice for players, less work for designers/homebrewers, everybody wins.


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    All it would really mean is that when you first add a larger HD class, you gain bonus HP equal to the difference and then roll your old HD size for one level. Which is fair, logical and balanced, but not very intuitive.


    Personally, I wish they would do away with darkvision, at least at level 1. It'd be fine if they kept it out of the reach of characters below 5th level, much like flight, but to give it away so freely makes darkness a non-issue, and that makes the game less interesting.

    But at least a range gives it a limit. Turning it into see in darkness is just obscene. At that point we might as well just eliminate lighting rules altogether.


    You know, the game already has humans reproducing with every humanoid race via the racial heritage feat. And by extension, all of those races can mix with elves and orcs since half-elves and half-orcs can take that feat as well. Let's not pretend like weird combinations of races weren't already part of the game.*

    And quite frankly, I find it far more believable that all humanoid races are genetically compatible with each other than that humans are somehow uniquely capable of reproducing with everything humanoid. Does it really make sense to say that human-goblin mixes are possible, and human-hobgoblin mixes are possible, but somehow goblin-hobgoblin mixes are absurd and unthinkable? Why not just accept that humanoid races can interbreed and make that a defining feature? That would actually make the whole humanoid type make a lot more sense to me.

    *If you really want to get crazy with it, you can already mix any two humanoid races by playing a tiefling or aasimar (which can be made from any humanoid race, even though only the size changes) and take the pass for human or scion of humanity alternate race trait, which allows you to take racial heritage and mix in any other humanoid race. So you can be an angelic ogre-kobold mix, or a rakshasa-spawn tiefling grippli-storm giant. By comparison, playing a half-gnome half-halfling seems rather tame, doesn't it?


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    Asuet wrote:
    Makeitstop wrote:
    You may not be interested in playing a helfling, lizardforc, or Gnobold, and you may choose to disallow them from your table. But if other people want to play them in their games, why is that so bad? Why shouldn't the system provide the tools if it can be done so easily? What's the downside, that it involves giving out the additional feats that you yourself said people are demanding?
    My position is not that half-x shouldn't be represented in the game. You completely misunderstood my position. My point is that any half-race you add later on can be easily implemented under the current ruleset. And you don't need more feats for that. Want to play a lizard-orc? Homebrew a feat into the orc ancestry feats that's called half-lizard and add some characteristics of lizards. Easy. No need for any additional feats.

    If I have to homebrew the feat, that is a new feat needed. One of the advantages of using a standardized system is that the every new ancestry you add comes fully equipped to hybridize. No new content required, official or homebrew.

    I mean, you could also take magic out of the game and say it's ok because you can homebrew it back in. Just because you can homebrew something doesn't mean the system wouldn't benefit from supporting it officially. Otherwise, what is even the point of having a system?

    Asuet wrote:
    Grimcleaver wrote:
    I like this. I think it's a good step toward making Golarion a bigger world with more race combinations--which feels like a win to me.
    It makes the world silly in my opinion. Where do you draw the line? If every race can interbreed, can i have a half-dog half-cat familiar? Having some possibilities of building half-races is fine but it shouldn't be the default.

    You can have official guidelines for what is and isn't common in Golarion, just as we do for other things in the system.

    And the line is drawn at playable races. Do dogs and cats have heritage feats? If not, then you can't mix them.

    Nor would this make them the default, it would make them an option baked into the game.


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    Is there a huge purple guy working at paizo? Because someone there seems to be obsessed with making everything perfectly balanced no matter the cost. Your tiny little goblin has to hit just as hard as the half-orc next to him. Just like they can't have any racial traits to distinguish them from each other. If only they'd apply this same reasoning to classes, we could solve the real balance issues by making everyone a commoner.

    And we can't have size modifiers to AC and attack anymore because the crit system would be skewed by it. But we aren't going to add new bonuses and penalties that do fit in the system, like modifying health or saves or anything like that.

    Hell, speed, one of the few remaining things to separate races, isn't even loosely connected to size anymore. Which begs the question, why are gnomes slower than halflings and goblins?

    All that's left is carrying capacity, and even that only applies indirectly since the capacity doesn't change, just the equipment weight. Which means the goblin is now the pack mule since he has the same carrying capacity, but isn't as weighed down by gear. Assuming you even track weights, as many if not most tables don't. God knows I won't be if Bulk stays in the game after the playtest.

    In short (no pun intended), there might as well not be a small size category anymore. Which makes those characters far less interesting, and does nothing to make the game more fun. It's not even really any simpler to run. And it is another element that completely severs the role-play from the game.


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    Asuet wrote:
    Only humans get access to half races because further down the road the other races will get feats for their subraces. Elves will get feats for aquatic elves, drow, etc. Your proposal is just another thread to plead for more feats to spend at first level. No thanks.

    It's not just a plea for more feats, it's a proposal for how to use those additional feats that people want in order to provide more options to players, and easily cover all the possible combinations of races.

    There is a long history of people wanting to play half-races that aren't currently part of the game. You can find numerous homebrew solutions for individual concepts, but there is simply no way that Paizo is going to be able to design every possible combination for every playable race that comes out over the life of the system. Doing it this way takes care of all the work, it becomes automatic with every race that comes out.

    You may not be interested in playing a helfling, lizardforc, or Gnobold, and you may choose to disallow them from your table. But if other people want to play them in their games, why is that so bad? Why shouldn't the system provide the tools if it can be done so easily? What's the downside, that it involves giving out the additional feats that you yourself said people are demanding?


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    Totally agree. One background is OK, two would be better, three would be great. Combinations of background elements are far more interesting than just one. You could be a nomad, or an orphaned nomad acolyte. One is throw away detail, the other is a series of details which tell a story.

    It's not like it would be hard to do it without changing the game balance either. Right now all backgrounds give a stat boost, feat and lore skill. You could easily divide that into two or three different types of backgrounds and have players pick one of each at character creation.


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    If goblins can be core, I see no reason why Orcs can't. Especially if we are going to have orc feats for half-orcs, why not just go all the way?


    The basic idea of using a unit of weight other than pounds or kilos isn't inherently bad, though it is going to add confusion. However the implementation is terrible. Using light bulk instead of either decimals or just a bulk 1/10 the size just makes it awkward. And because of that, nothing ways 5L, it either ways L or 1.

    We were doing character creation today, and bulk is where the players were going from "a little skeptical but ready to try it" to "laughing out loud at how badly they botched it" like we were getting ready to play FATAL or something. One player in particular was amazed to find that his scimitar weighs half as much as his full suit of chain mail, and ten times as much as a short sword. It adds confusion, skews balance, and has no real advantage over the old system. Was it really that hard for anyone to understand that a short sword weighs 2, a scimitar weighs 4, and chainmail weighs 40?

    Since it's a playtest, I'm sticking with the rules, but outside of the playtest I would never in a million years use the system as presented here. Either I'd bring back the rules and weights from 1E, or I'd just say that there is no encumbrance until the GM calls BS on how much you are carrying.


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    Another version of how this could work, perhaps more conservatively balanced:

    Once again, everyone gets two heritage feats and a regular ancestry feat at level 1. And then add the following feat as an option:

    Dual Ancestry: Either your parents were of different ancestries or one or both were of mixed heritage. With GM approval, you may select one ancestry other than your own. You gain the corresponding trait for that ancestry, must select one of that ancestry's heritage feats at level 1 and may select ancestry feats from either ancestry whenever you gain ancestry feats.
    Special: This feat which can only be taken using your level 1 ancestry feat.

    It's simple, it's universal, and it balances the flexibility of the half-races with a single feat tax, just like the half-race feats now or the adoption feat.


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    I've been saying for a while now that all characters should get two free heritage feats at level 1, in addition to everything else. This would give some much needed flavor and better represent the kind of inherent traits that they are meant to be.

    I'd also let characters take one of those heritage feats from another ancestry (with GM approval) in order be a half-race. That way half-races would actually feel like half-races.


    Obviously with no Multiclassing, the concept of a favored class is nonsensical. But in eliminating it, I think Paizo has eliminated one of their more underutilized design spaces.

    A while back I created an expanded list of favored class bonuses which included new universal bonuses and class-specific ones that could be taken by anyone with the relevant class features. After implementing the system in several games the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

    I think 2E would benefit greatly from having a similar character resource, one with the flexibility to spend on a variety of things, but coming in smaller units than whole feats. For example, you can't simply learn a language as things stand now, you have to spend a feat to learn 2 at once. Languages aren't worth a whole feat, but that's the only unit of character building currency we have to spend. There is clearly a gap in the system that should be filled.

    Skill points are gone, but spell points and resonance are now here. Proficiencies could be purchased. Uncommon spells could be learned. Feats could be saved for. There's no real limit to what you can do with it, and it all expands player choice, customization and the sense of progression.

    A bonus every level, to be spent or saved. That's all I ask.


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    Really all you need to do is have the words GM approval in there to set player expectations properly. And you can have guidelines for Golarion, but the system need not restrict everyone else should Paizo decide to keep the Dorcs and Three-Quarterlings out of the official setting.

    The beauty of this set up is that it would integrate the rules for whole and half-races, so that no additional work is necessary for any given combination. The system can remain open and setting agnostic and support the most possible options without needing to create special content specifically for it.


    charissi wrote:

    i think the sole purpose of this is, that a kobold cannot one-shot you at level one. the different values from 6- 10 are just flavor and completely unconsequential at higher levels.

    i rathter like the change to make level 1 characters a little less squishy

    Yeah, and with negative hit points gone, these make up the difference.

    Personally, I'd rather have less squishy level 1 characters and negative hit points back, but that's a rant for a different thread.


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    I see great potential in the idea of using feats to create half-races. But to fully realize that potential, we need to integrate them into the rules for normal races.

    Currently, only humans get access to half-races, and only half-elf and half-orc, and only by spending their one 1st level ancestry feat. It's unnecessarily restrictive, and it turns iconic core races into feat taxes.

    So, I suggest a slightly different system: Everyone gets two heritage feats at level 1. One of these feats must come from your ancestry, but one can come from any other ancestry with GM approval. If you pick a heritage feat from another ancestry, you get the corresponding trait and are a half-race.

    To balance this, I would also suggest giving those who pick both feats from their own ancestry their choice of some bonus proficiencies (or perhaps even a signature skill) from a list of things associated with their ancestry. The elf who picks a human heritage feat can get access to human stuff, but the one that stays pure elf might get those sweet elven archery skills.

    A system like this would make any combination of playable races possible using the same rules as making normal characters. And it would make half-races actually function like half of one thing and half the other. It would also have the added benefit of giving ancestries more impact and flavor right at level 1, something they are currently sorely lacking.


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    I like the idea of these archetype feats. The flexibility is great. I only have 2 objections:

    I hate the idea of them replacing the type of archetypes we had in PF1 rather than simply being a separate thing with a similar function (which could still happen at some point).

    And I hate the dedication mechanic, particularly if this is going to be the way all archetypes work. One of the great things about archetypes was making them stack, making an even more unusual character that combined concepts. In this otherwise very flexible system, I go from being able to do two things at level 1, to doing two things at level 8 (based on the feats shown so far anyway). And all because you don't want someone dipping those archetype feats one after another, as though they weren't costing you a feat or were somehow just better than regular feats. It's not like we didn't have feat trees before, what would be so bad about letting someone take the entry feat for one archetype at level 2, a different archetype's entry feat at 4, and if they are so inclined, another one at 6?


    Wait, so is resistance formatted like energy resistance or damage reduction? That is, does it reduce the damage for all listed damage types, or does it protect against everything but the listed damage types?


    Fuzzypaws wrote:


    I like more monsters having vulnerabilities. I would prefer if it was a multiplier instead of a static number. I understand that would reduce the two-weapon advantage vs the two-handed weapon, but two-weapon still gets more chances to hit. And this decision affects magic too, mind, not just weapons, so +5 static damage feels even worse when it's a spell. If you want to make two-weapon better, reduce the penalties and give smaller weapons more traits.

    The more I think about it, the more I think that there should be two different types of weakness, 1 that scales with damage and one which is static.

    For a zombie, it makes far more sense to scale the extra damage, because its vulnerability is structural. If a dagger can sever an arm, a greataxe should be able to cut the whole thing in half.

    But for something like fey or werewolves, their weakness is chemical. The relationship between the weapon damage and the bonus damage doesn't really need to be there at all, as long as they are coming into contact with the substance that hurts them. It's no different than how injury poisons don't care how much damage is inflicted, as long as it is able to get the poison in.

    Mark Seifter wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Volkard Abendroth wrote:

    Congradulations, you've just taken my level 1 wizard and effectively told him to pound sand.

    In PF1 he could Magic Missile or Disrupt Undead with meaningful results. Now, only half as effective. You've doubled the hit points and while nearly all of my wizard's spells would have bypassed DR, they now deal a far smaller percentage of the zombies total hp in damage.

    Well, in PF2, you can do 3d4+3 with Magic Missile at 1st level if you like (and invest 3 actions). That's a larger percentage of their HP than the 1d4+1 in PF1 is (10.5 is north of 1/2 the PF2 zombie's HP, while 3.5 is only a bit over 1/3 of a PF1 zombie's). And they probably have Positive Energy vulnerability, which might apply to Disrupt Undead.
    And that's against the unfavorable zombie. Against skeletons, three missiles focus-fired guarantees a kill, and a gambler could take out one skeleton with two missiles and hurt another one significantly with the third. Plus touch attacks against zombies tend to crit those guys for even more damage!

    I take it this means force damage will not be included in resistance, in much the same way that it is basically never resisted in 1E?


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    I like a lot of this. More monster abilities is always a good thing, and I can get behind combining energy resistance with damage reduction.

    While I like the idea of weakness, I do think a single static number on all attacks of the appropriate type is a little too simplified. An attack that deals 1 point of damage with a dagger should not get the same boost as the attack with a greatsword that deals 15.

    A simple solution would be to add a rule that bonus damage from weaknesses cannot exceed the normal damage of the attack. That way the 1 point of slashing damage remains proportional, but there's still a diminishing return which favors multiple attacks over a single gigantic attack.


    Yes, channel energy and lay on hands are both uses per day.

    And the above list is based on the extra [stuff] feats. Extra Inspiration and Extra Arcane Reservoir both give 3 points instead of 2 like so many other things, so keeping the 6 FCB = 1 feat equivalency means they should be 1/2 instead of 1/3. In the case of inspiration, this makes perfect sense, since it is definitely weaker than a lot of those other abilities. Not as experienced with arcane reservoir, but frankly the existing bonuses were laughably bad anyway, requiring two different types of FCB and a total of 21 levels to get the benefit of the feat.

    Anyway, I really wish I could edit posts, because someone helpfully pointed out a few relevant bonuses I missed for the occult classes. Oh well, this should be the last major update, as this is the list which is now being used in my current game.

    Universal Favored Class Options
    The following bonuses are available to all characters, regardless of race or class.

  • +1 HP
  • +1 Skill Point
  • +1/6 feat
  • +1 foot to base speed (has no effect in combat until selected 5 times)
  • Reduce the weapon nonproficiency penalty with a single weapon by 1. When the penalty reaches 0, you gain proficiency with that weapon.
  • Reduce the armor check penalty applied to attack rolls for nonproficiency by 1/2 for one of the following categories: light armor, medium armor, heavy armor, bucklers, light and heavy shields, or tower shields. When you select a single category to benefit from this bonus four times (two for bucklers), you gain proficiency with that category. You cannot select a category of shield or armors if you are not already proficient with all lighter categories.

    Class Specific Bonuses
    The following bonuses may be selected if your favored class grants the applicable feature

  • +1 hit point or skill point to companion creature
  • Add one spell/formula to book/known. This must be at least one level below the highest level you can cast/create.
  • +1 round of Bloodrage
  • +1 round of Performance
  • +1 round of Rage
  • +1 round of Raging song
  • +1/2 daily and maximum Arcane Reservoir points
  • +1/2 Inspiration point
  • +1/2 use of Martial Flexibility
  • +1/3 Arcane Pool point
  • +1/3 Bomb per day
  • +1/3 use of Channel Energy
  • +1/3 Grit/Panache/Luck
  • +1/3 Ki point
  • +1/3 use of Lay on Hands
  • +1/3 Mental Focus point
  • +1/3 Mesmerist Trick per day
  • +1/3 Phrenic point
  • +1/4 use of Spirit Surge without incurring influence when gaining a taboo
  • +1/6 Internal Buffer capacity
  • +1/2 use per day to a single Arcane School power, Bloodline power, or Domain power which is granted at 1st level and normally usable 3 + Ability modifier times per day.

    The above class specific list is balanced around the extra stuff line of feats, so that each bonus is the equivalent of 1/6 of a feat. For the sake of transparency, I have also provided a version below which includes only existing, unaltered bonuses:

    Spoiler:

    +1 hit point or skill point to companion creature
    Add one spell/formula to book/known. This must be at least one level below the highest level you can cast/create.
    +1 round of Bloodrage
    +1 round of Performance
    +1 round of Rage
    +1 round of Raging song
    +1 to Arcane Reservoir maximum
    +1/2 Bomb per day
    +1/2 Mental Focus point
    +1/3 Inspiration point
    +1/3 Mesmerist Trick per day
    +1/3 Phrenic point
    +1/4 Arcane Pool point
    +1/4 Grit/Panache/Luck
    +1/4 Ki point
    +1/4 use of Martial Flexibility
    +1/4 use of Spirit Surge without incurring influence when gaining a taboo
    +1/6 daily Arcane Reservoir points
    +1/6 Internal Buffer capacity
    +1/2 use per day to a single Arcane School power, Bloodline power, or Domain power which is granted at 1st level and normally usable 3 + Ability modifier times per day.


  • Revised the list to cover a few more things, and also rebalanced the class specific bonuses to be consistent with their extra [stuff] feats.

    Universal Favored Class Options
    The following bonuses are available to all characters, regardless of race or class.

  • +1 HP
  • +1 Skill Point
  • 1/6 feat
  • +1 foot to base speed (has no effect in combat until selected 5 times)
  • Reduce the weapon nonproficiency penalty with a single weapon by 1. When the penalty reaches 0, you gain proficiency with that weapon.
  • Reduce the armor check penalty applied to attack rolls for nonproficiency by 1/2 for one of the following categories: light armor, medium armor, heavy armor, bucklers, light and heavy shields, or tower shields. When you select a single category to benefit from this bonus four times (two for bucklers), you gain proficiency with that category. You cannot select a category of shield or armors if you are not already proficient with all lighter categories.

    Class Specific Bonuses
    The following bonuses may be selected if your favored class grants the applicable feature

  • +1 hit point or skill point to companion creature
  • Add one spell/formula to book/known. This must be at least one level below the highest level you can cast/create.
  • +1 round of Bloodrage
  • +1 round of Performance
  • +1 round of Rage
  • +1 round of Raging song
  • +1/2 daily and maximum Arcane Reservoir points
  • +1/2 Inspiration point
  • +1/2 use of Martial Flexibility
  • +1/3 Arcane Pool point
  • +1/3 Bomb per day
  • +1/3 Channel Energy
  • +1/3 Grit/Panache/Luck
  • +1/3 Lay on Hands
  • +1/3 Ki point
  • +1/3 Phrenic point
  • +1/2 use per day to a single Arcane School power, Bloodline power, or Domain power which is granted at 1st level and normally usable 3 + Ability modifier times per day.


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    Xenocrat wrote:
    Makeitstop wrote:
    I'm assuming the lack of a mention of mounts is because there is going to be a blog about companion creatures at some point, and not because the iconic paladin mount has been quietly done away with.

    It's right there in Paladin features.

    Quote:
    Leading up to that, you gain a bunch of fun smite-related boosts, including the righteous ally class feature that you saw mentioned in the code. This is a 3rd-level ability that lets you house a holy spirit in a weapon or a steed, much like before, but also in a shield, like the fan-favorite sacred shield archetype!

    Completely missed that one word. Even ctrl F'ed for mount, animal, and companions before I said anything.

    I may be blind, but at least I know I'll be able to get a seeing eye horse.


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    I'm assuming the lack of a mention of mounts is because there is going to be a blog about companion creatures at some point, and not because the iconic paladin mount has been quietly done away with.


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    Alright, I've put together a short list of universal benefits, as well as class feature things, which are available to anyone whose favored class grants the feature. All of these bonuses are the equivalent of an existing bonus except for the armor one, which I had to make for this, and arguably the feat, though many 1/6 bonuses are interchangeable with feats so I've always seen that as the balance on bonuses anyway.

    Universal Favored Class Options
    The following bonuses are available to all characters, regardless of race or class.

  • +1 HP
  • +1 Skill Point
  • 1/6 feat
  • +1 to base speed (has no effect in combat until selected 5 times)
  • Reduce the weapon nonproficiency penalty with a single weapon by 1. When the penalty reaches 0, you gain proficiency with that weapon.
  • Reduce the armor check penalty applied to attack rolls for nonproficiency by 1/2 for one of the following categories: light armor, medium armor, heavy armor, bucklers, light and heavy shields, or tower shields. When you select a single category to benefit from this bonus four times (two for bucklers), you gain proficiency with that category. You cannot select a category of shield or armors if you are not already proficient with all lighter categories.

    Class Specific Bonuses
    The following bonuses may be selected if your favored class grants the applicable feature

  • +1 hit point to companion creature
  • Add one spell/formula to book/known. This must be at least one level below the highest level you can cast/create.
  • +1 round of Bloodrage
  • +1 round of Performance
  • +1 round of Rage
  • +1 round of Raging song
  • +1 to Arcane Reservoir maximum
  • +1/2 Bomb per day
  • +1/3 Inspiration point
  • +1/3 Phrenic point
  • +1/4 Grit/Panache/Luck
  • +1/4 ki point
  • +1/4 use of Martial Flexibility
  • +1/4 Arcane Pool point
  • +1/6 daily Arcane Reservoir points


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    Voss wrote:
    Hmm. Silver standard sneaking in there at the end.

    I REALLY hope this is the case. I doubt they'll do it, but I would love it if they would make gold valuable again and stop having me become obscenely wealthy by level 2 or 3.

    Also, as others have stated, adjusting your grip should not cost an action, it's unnecessary and punitive.


    After playtesting, I've made a few small updates to some of the mantle abilities. The life mantle focal ability now allows ranged manifestation of touch powers in addition to personal, and I clarified the consumption mantle abilities to explicitly state how they interact with different damage types and abilities.


    While just allowing any race to pick any bonus to their class is a simple way to do it, I do think some race specific bonuses are flavorful enough that I want them to be thematically bound to a race. And some classes have more variety of options than others.

    What I'm interested in is expanding the list of universally available bonuses, things that could apply to any character. HP, skills, weapon proficiencies, maybe armor proficiencies and Base Speed.


    Recent updates: I clarified the silver champion paladin archetype to explicitly state that the smite granted to the drake should function like the smite in the simple celestial template. I also added a new feat for drakes which adds an additional 1d6 damage to the breath weapon and lesser breath weapon.


    From a balance perspective, I am inclined to agree that it should be 3d6. From a rules lawyering perspective, I am inclined to think that empathy demands you roll whatever your inspiration dice are twice, and tenacious inspiration makes your inspiration dice best of 2d6, and thus you should roll a total of 4d6.

    I'm honestly ok with either interpretation, I just wish there was an established rule for such an obvious interaction for two abilities coming from the same source.


    I was arguing about weapon proficiencies recently, and made the point that weapon proficiencies should be available through resources other than feats, since exotic weapon proficiency is rarely worth it. Then it occurred to me that the Hobgoblin rogue favored class bonus does just that, and could easily just be a universally available option:

    Quote:
    "Reduce the penalty for not being proficient with one weapon by 1. When the nonproficiency penalty for a weapon becomes 0 because of this ability, the rogue is treated as having the appropriate Martial or Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat for that weapon."

    And that got me thinking that maybe there should just be more options in general. I'm cool with races having unique bonuses for a given class, but I also feel like there's a lot of potential for expansion of the standard options as well. Such a flexible resource is capable of filling a lot of holes in the game design.

    What do you think, are there other favored class bonus options you guys think should be opened up for everyone to use?


    Just trying to get clarification on how Empathy and Tenacious inspiration interact when rolling inspiration dice on a sense motive check.

    Empathy:

    Spoiler:
    When attempting a Sense Motive check, the investigator makes two d20 rolls and takes the higher result. If an investigator uses inspiration on a Sense Motive check, he rolls the inspiration dice twice and takes the higher result. Once per day, the investigator can expend one use of inspiration to target a single creature that he can see and hear within 30 feet. Upon doing so, the investigator detects the surface thoughts of the target’s mind, as if he concentrated for 3 rounds while using the detect thoughts spell, unless the creature succeeds on a Will saving throw. The DC of this save is 10 + 1/2 the investigator’s level + his Intelligence modifier. If the target fails, the investigator can continue to detect the surface thoughts of the target creature for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 his investigator level.

    Tenacious inspiration:

    Spoiler:
    When an investigator rolls his inspiration die, he can roll an additional inspiration die and take the higher result.

    I couldn't find a general rule on reroll/double-roll stacking, and even the specific wording suffers from an order of operation problem. Do I roll 2d6 because of empathy and then roll an additional die to make it 3d6? Or do I roll an additional die because of Tenacious Inspiration, and roll that twice because of empathy for a total of 4d6?


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    1 splash damage is kind of crap at level 1. At level 11, it's a joke.


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    Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

    I like very much what's previewed here.

    Makeitstop wrote:
    Now if psionics could just officially be part of the rules ecosystem alongside this, I'd be quite happy indeed.
    I'd be fine with Paizo incorporating psychic magic early into PF2E, but based on past statements from Paizo design peeps, I don't think I'd like how they'd change psionics. I much prefer Dreamscarred's psionics over anything Vancian. I like fiddly bits and power points too much.

    Well, I wouldn't consider it to really be psionics as we know it if it wasn't actually implemented with power points and the like. Ideally, I'd like Dreamscarred to make it in partnership with paizo, effectively making it 1st party material.

    Unfortunately, as you said, I'm pretty sure that there's enough resistance to the idea of psionics itself inside paizo that this would never, ever happen. But a man can dream.


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    Flexibility is good, scalable spells are good. Seems sort of like they took a step closer to psionics, but just a step. Overall, it sounds good, though as always, I reserve judgment until I've seen the whole thing and not just a sneak preview.

    Now if psionics could just officially be part of the rules ecosystem alongside this, I'd be quite happy indeed.


    Just wanted to see if I could get some clarity on the fine details of Dissolving Weapon and by extension, Dissolving Touch.

    Spoiler:
    Dissolving Weapon:
    Quote:

    As dissolving touch, except your weapon is charged with acid until you make a successful attack.

    Dissolving Touch:

    Quote:

    Your touch, claw, or bite is corrosive, and sizzling moisture visibly oozes from your natural weapon or hand. You deal 4d6 points of acid damage to any creature or object you touch with your successful melee touch attack. Acid you secrete denatures 1 round after use, losing all efficacy and ability to deal damage. You are immune to your own acid.

    Augment For every 2 additional power points you spend, this power’s damage increases by 1d6 points.

    Does the power crit if the weapon crits?

    Touch attack powers that do damage crit on a 20 for double damage. But this attack is being made with a weapon, and otherwise emulating a touch power. If the weapon crits on an 18, does the power crit, like with a magus using spell strike? If so, would a x3 crit weapon also lead to x3 damage since there is no wording like spellstrike has to rule that out? Or does the power still only crit on a natural 20 even if the weapon crits on an 18, like nothing in the rules I can think of? Or is this extra damage being applied to the weapon which doesn't crit at all, like a flaming weapon?

    I'm leaning toward the spell strike-like version, as that seems like the most reasonable interpretation, but I really have nothing to base that on beyond an unwillingness to to have two separate crit ranges on a single attack.


    Glad you like it.

    Also, quick update: Added two feats. One upgrades a secondary mantle into a third primary mantle, and the other allows you to have two 6th level insights active at once.

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