Rakshasa

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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber. Organized Play Member. 80 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.


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Ah, gotcha. Alrighty, thankee!


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Ah. I thought it was going to ship with the new releases, which it ultimately did not do (I have received those).

I'll just trust they'll get to it when they can, then. Thankee.


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This order for the Condition Cards has been pending for over two weeks.

Also, am I supposed to have received the Pathfinder Society scenarios in my downloads? Don't see them. Did I miss something regarding selecting them or something?


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Are these on backorder or something? Ordered them two weeks ago, showing as pending. That a known problem with this site?


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Know at least one of my players who would love this. They were playable as a low-RP option in PF1, bring them to PF2!

(Seriously, I support bringing in Hobgoblins, but I was surprised to learn we'd get them before gnolls.)


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Ah. Too late to the party to be seen. Oh well. Someone link her to the above post next time she brings this up somewhere else (which she probably will, have noticed she'll reference past threads she considers to have gone unanswered).


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Bumping.


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So I know you don't want anything related to PF1, Colette, but read these articles. They're relevant, promise.

Part 1

Part 2

The lessons in those articles apply to PF2 on an almost 1:1 basis. See the core rulebook for 2e on encounter design using xp (pg 489).

Treat Trivial as CR+0 or lower. So weak it typically won't eat a party's resources unless you're looking at probably 6-8+ encounters of such a difficulty and your party gets wasteful.

Low is CR+1, effectively. Uses 20-25% of the party's resources. These are your rough "4-5/day of these" you're looking for.

Moderate is CR+2. 40-50% of party resources equivalent. A solid boss monster, but if it's going to be the only fight of the day, likely to still get dropped without much issue.

Severe is CR+3. 60-75% of party resources equivalent. Running several of these back to back will be dangerous for an average party, but they may be okay if they get to heal up.

Extreme is CR+4. 80-100% of party resources equivalent. This or Severe is about right for a 1/day fight, though some judging versus your party is required, because as stated, it could be deadly if the PCs also lack an action economy advantage.

You typically aim for something totaling up to CR+4 in a given day. Spacing them out means the PCs are less likely to get overwhelmed in one go from being outclassed, but still strikes a balance between the martials making use of longevity and spellcasters getting to be big and flashy with spells.

This is clearly not going to apply to every party even close to evenly. But there's your guidelines.


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Found the pregens. Was a last-minute addition to the list anyway.


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Planning on running an open table Fall of Plaguestone game at my local game shop to let people try the system. Was making an Alchemist when I ran into some oddities. Feel free to link me to other threads where these have already been answered.

1. I found that the Alchemist kit does not line up with the breakdown of items. Has there been an official correction on the matter? Pretty sure otherwise the Alchemist I made for people to use is going to be permanently over-Bulked (though I'm planning to compensate for that by making the excess into a bag). Alternatively, are the kits supposed to be under-Bulked as a result of good packaging or something? I know the PF1 kits were similarly wonky in terms of not matching up to their breakdown.

2. Does the Basic Crafter's Book give an Alchemist the level 1 alchemical items in that chapter? The book says "any common item in this chapter". Literally two pages later it lists some of the more common level 1 alchemical items, and the distinction seems to be an odd case of stepping on the alchemist's toes. It either grants the level 1 alchemical items mentioned there, or it's basically worthless to alchemists because there are no level 0 alchemical items that I noticed.

3. Where do I find the pre-gen character stat-blocks? I'd been planning on making a character for each class for people to pick up, but it'll save me a lot of trouble if I can just crib the pre-gens.


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Excelsior. Thankee again, folks!


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Gotcha. Thankee all.

And then finally, how many mini booster packs come in the case subscription? I know the brick is 8, but I cannot seem to find a number on a case.

Derp. Found it with slightly different wording. To make sure I'm right, a case is typically four bricks, yes?


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So I put in for four subscriptions, but only one of several future releases show a discount. Do those typically just take a bit to update accordingly?


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Going to take a look at the links when I get home. Still at work. Thankee to both of you, though. One more question, if I may. If you decide you don't want a product, and you cancel the subscription to dodge, are you able to sign back up once the offer has passed?


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Apologies in advance if this isn't quite the right category for this topic, but I figure it is somewhat relevant since subscriptions are being changed a little.

When it comes to the subscriptions, is buying every release required if you are subscribed? Asking because my understanding is that having the right/enough subscriptions can get you discounts, but how does that work versus actually buying the product? Are you just billed and sent everything automatically? Are you alerted that the thing has been released and can elect to buy/not-buy at your leisure? How, in essence, does a subscription work? And while most of my games are online on Roll20, I have been thinking of running some games at my local game shop. So a follow-up question is whether or not any discounts apply to pdfs and the like too?

TL;DR Please explain subscriptions and discount interactions. Maybe also how that interacts with regards to physical vs digital media. Will also accept a link if all this is definitely explained somewhere and I'm being dumb and missing it.


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Hm. Then I look forward to the implementation. Dex to damage isn't what made Swashbucklers so good in PF1, it was adding level to damage. Hopefully they'll see their way clear to not overcorrect.


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lordcirth wrote:


I think that Dex fighters are still viable, even without getting Dex to damage. The fighter has +2 to hit over a rogue just from proficiency, and has better options for things like dual-wielding finesse weapons. Double Slice is better than Twin Feint.

I hadn't considered dual-wielding. Fair, I'd like to see it in action, though I get the sinking feeling going Strength based on a Fighter is going to be the superior option in basically all respects, especially since they increased motive to be Strength-based by making heavy armor less terrible - a change I like, I should add. It also doesn't address the concept of the singleton swashbuckler or duelist. So, valid, but not quite satisfying in terms of covering all character concepts, and having mechanics that don't sync with narrative can be jarring.


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Eltacolibre wrote:

1) some people have been trying to compile the changes but there are way too many to list and they are probably missing many things. Check out general discussion for more information.

2) you mean besides the multiclass archetype? That's it.

1) Gotcha. Will do and thankee.

2) Actually, the rogue multiclass archetype doesn't do it, unless I'm misreading it badly. I'd be satisfied with that solution, otherwise.


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First: has any official changelog as far as rules at large goes been compiled yet? I don't mean specific player options, but more grand scale changes? Asking as the usual GM of my group. Planning to do a full read-through, naturally, but is there a cliffnotes on the noteworthy differences from the playtest?

Second - and serious answers only, thanks: has there been any word on why the design team decided to limit an entire - and rather vast in terms of examples - heroic archetype (the dex fighter) behind one subclass of Rogue? I could see the limitation if the idea is to release future subclasses that grant it for the sake of controlling what has access to it in the name of balance, but I'm otherwise a bit stumped why they didn't release a version of it that's a general feat requiring level 3 and... I dunno, 12 Strength if they're worried about a single ability boost's difference which doesn't make up the damage die size loss anyway. It can't be too powerful or they wouldn't have let the Rogue keep it. And you can't dump Strength to drive up Dex with the way character creation works in PF2. Not that Paizo has any issue with stat dumps evidentally, since my understanding is that they let Charisma go back to being one. Point being, have they said they might playtest it in the Advanced Player's Guide or given an official reasoning for the limitation that holds up under examination?

TL;DR: is there a changelog from the playtest, and what's the word regarding making the Rogue (Thief) ability more generically available?


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Aha! Much thanks, friendly neighborhood T-Rex!


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As per the title. As a xenomorph fan, I'm immensely curious if we know what the thing on the cover of Planar Adventures is? Haven't seen anyone else ask, and I've searched. I'm prepared to feel stupid when someone enlightens me.


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Edge93 wrote:
I think it was one debating if d4 weapons could be useful when we have d12 weapons.

Based on my results, I can answer that handily: a d8 Finesse Striker deals less damage than a d12 with no ability modifier. The potency dice are a little too crazy.

But huh. With two people claiming that's a thing elsewhere, maybe it really does follow through, in which case I have to ask why they'd knee-cap Strength's biggest non-damage strength. I didn't want Dex to be on equal footing there, I just didn't want agile character archetypes to be down five ability boosts just for their concept.


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Sorry for not getting back to this sooner. Lost my taste for it when I learned the extent to which the playtest is a playtest. The final product could see my concern here moot, or it could finalize that an entire class of character concepts are just going to be dead.

For the record, what they did to Monk was abysmal. I'm in favor of all concepts being viable, especially when the system we've seen looks like it could work toward that fairly well. The decision to remove Wisdom (or at least any secondary attribute) from AC is yet another example of way too many systems going out of their way to treat unarmed combatants as red-headed step children. Interesting potential balance point with them and allowing Dex to Damage: what if Monks got to add Strength to AC? Blocking with one's body is a thing, after all. I'd have to run numbers to suggest an actual balance point, but I'm not going to because it's clear all of my work here is meaningless. Though I consider your point about anachronism bizarre and misguided when we consider this to be a setting with pirates, robots, and aliens, in addition to standard western fantasy fare.

Starfox wrote:
Popping in to say that Athletics can be Dex-based when used with a Finesse weapon in a combat maneuver. Thus a Dex fighter can be just as good as a Str fighter at combat maneuver. This was said in the FB group early on, I believe it was Settner.

And if that's the case, that really needed to make it into the book or an errata, as it weighs in on this quite a bit. As it stands, without a link, I'm not unsure you're not accidentally referring to PF1's Unchained skill rules.


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Nettah wrote:

Spoiler:
I still don't want to see dex to damage (except for specific class features like the rogue or maybe a swashbuckler character later on) and overall the math of the weapon damage fails to really convince me that making str a bigger dump stat isn't a problem.

An issue I had with the math overall is that the damage comparison between Rapier and other weapons are all on the to-hit percentage that benefits the rapier the least at first level, but you did give deadly an extra boost by doubling the deadly dice on crits (it doesn't double). At first level the damage output of d8 over a rapier is 97,1% to 123,6% based on the to-hit.

Not including any property runes makes the difference in percentage seem larger at level 20 than it ought to be, so I think that would be a more fair comparison. However rapiers does fall quite behind d8 weapons due to damage dice and how deadly works. One changes that could help the rapier even the damage output a bit at level 20 would be to let deadly scale with potency instead of weapon quality (why doesn't it do that?). If deadly is changed and 3 properties with d6 dmg is added to the weapons, the damage difference scales from 90,3 to 113,8 % for the d8 over the rapier.
Elven Curve Blade seems to be a pretty bad weapon unless you are using Forceful with Certain Strike to get some bigger benefits from it, but it's one of the only finesse two-handed weapon which lets it be useful to certain classes (+elf being able to make it a simple weapon for proficiency purposes allowing non...

The issue with throwing properties and class feats into the mix is that none of them are a guarantee, and the above math is made with only factors that can be strictly guaranteed. If you start allowing situational factors your math gets really complicated really fast.

As for the accuracy point chosen, I'm not sure it will make a huge difference, especially since it turns out I was factoring Deadly wrong (which makes sense in retrospect, since it only activates on a crit). But I'll do an analysis of level 1 and 20 in which a hit is achieved on a 5 (50%) and a crit on a 15 (30%). Playtesting had that degree of hit chance be fairly rare even on primary attacks, but for the sake of the argument I'll allow it. Assuming Finesse Striker is in play we get...

d6 Finesse Striker vs d8 Str (Level 1):

Spoiler:
Dex (Rapier, d6 (average 3.5) damage, deadly d8 (average 4.5)):
0.5x(3.5+4)+0.3x(7+4.5+8)=9.6 average damage
Str (longsword d8(average 4.5) damage):
0.5x(4.5+4)+0.3x(9+8)=9.85 average damage
(9.85/9.6)*100% = 102.6%, aka Vanderhuge deals 2.6% more damage at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a (9.6/9.85=) 2.54% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of having Finesse Striker.
This improves on the previous ratios of 3.03% and 2.94%, respectively.

d6 Finesse Striker vs d8 Str (Level 20):

Spoiler:
Dex (Legendary +5 Rapier, 6d6 (average 21) damage, deadly 3d8 (average 13.5):
0.5x(21+6)+0.3x(42+13.5+12)= 33.75 average damage
Str (Legendary +5 Longsword, 6d8 (average 27) damage):
0.5x(27+6)+0.3x(54+12)=36.3 average damage
(36.3/33.75)*100 = 107.56%, so 7.56% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a 7.02% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of having Finesse Striker.
This improves on the previous ratios of 12.82% and 11.36%, respectively.

My "improves on" ratios are almost certainly off due to learning all my math on the deadly was benefiting from doubling it when it shouldn't be getting that. Which is alarming, because even taking the crit chance to a very nice place for the rapier, it still doesn't make up the difference in die size. This is without factoring that going the other way - only a 15+ hits - probably skews things against Speedchunk, or that a strict RAW reading makes it clear Finesse Striker doesn't work with two-handed Finesse weapons. The actual median measurement for comparison is probably the d6 vs the d10. But I digress. I ran some more math, and I think a real issue now to be addressed has to be potency. I appreciate the idea of making damage dice have as much/more impact than solid modifiers, but they have gone a smidge too far, methinks. I ran a Finesse Striking d8 vs a d12 with no damage modifier, just a +5 potency and got...

Dex d8 Finesse Striker

Spoiler:
(Legendary +5 Elven Curve Blade, 6d8 (average 27) damage, forceful (+0/+6/+12), note: an uncommon weapon):
0.5x(27+6)+0.25x(27+6+6)+0.05x(54+12)+0.05x(54+12+12)+0.05x(54+12+24) = 37.95 average damage on a full attack
vs 36.9 average damage without Finesse Striker.

vs.

A d12, no attr mod

Spoiler:
(Legendary +5 Greatsword, 6d12 (average 39) damage):
0.75x(39)+3*0.05x(78+12)=29.25 +13.5 = 42.75 average damage on a full attack
vs.
47.25 average damage on a full attack benefiting from Strength.

42.75/37.95 = 12.65% more damage for an attribute-less d12 late-game weapon than a Finesse Striker using a weapon of dubious RAI legality. While this does further illustrate that Finesse Striker for all wouldn't be a problem, it does highlight a further issue: potency right now is so... potent... that it completely overrides any other choice regarding weaponry damage.


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Posters: *complain endlessly about +level to things and resonance*
Paizo: *changes them*
Posters: *the Pikachu meme*

Jokes aside, though, feel like if +level to untrained is being taken away, there should be some way to boost numbers, maybe with a hero point? Otherwise you're getting back into PF1 levels of "don't bother" at the upper end. Someone mentioned a character with high proficiency being able to make others temporarily count as trained, and I like that kind of idea. If the untrained proficiency change was made in regards to increasing possible design space, great. If it was made in regards to a vocal group complaining, I'm less sure I applaud it.

For resonance, I have mixed feelings. I like what they were trying to do, but understand if they ultimately felt there was little point in limiting magic item use once they made Treat Wounds a thing. Nonetheless, it'd be nice to see something in the system that prevents Charisma from being the dump stat of choice.

For potency and damage, yeah... I ran some numbers after my most recent post in my Finesse Striker for All thread, and potency becomes so overbearingly powerful by end game that a Finesse-Striking character full attacking with an Elven Curve Blade (including Forceful) will still deal less damage than the raw dice (no attribute mod) on a full attack from a +5 Greatsword (37.95 vs 42.75, for those curious). So if some decoupling or increased relevance in attribute is forthcoming, I'm eager for details, because as it stands d8 one-handers and d12 two-handers overshadow everything else for basically any purpose.

I'm still going to see what the final system result looks like, but I'd say I'm in the same relative boat as Edge93 and Captain Morgan in terms of being concerned but hopeful that Paizo will do things right. I have a reasonable degree of faith that things will be functional after some analysis of the final product.


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Goodness. I'm reminded why I gave up forum roleplaying, less free time for posting these days than I used to have. Been spacing working on this reply out over several days. Not going to get to everyone. Apologies to those I do not specifically reply to. Look for bolded text if you just want to skim, will include a very rough TL;DR at the end.

BerserkOne wrote:

Took your adjusted stats from further down.

Spoiler:
The comparison which has been presented of the relative AC of the strength-based Fighter and the dexterity-based Rogue seems disingenuous. The Fighter's armor class is higher because the Fighter has class features that increase his proficiency with armor, whereas the Rogue gets other features, such as his many extra skill increases. Since we are talking about dex-to-damage as a general feat, it seems only fair to limit AC comparisons to situations where those proficiency differences don't apply. Thus, let's consider two human Fighters, one Str 18/Dex 12, one Str 12/Dex 18, and both level 2 (when full plate first becomes available). I'm going to call these two Fighters Bolt Vanderhuge and Punt Speedchunk, mostly for my own amusement.

Bolt Vanderhuge (full plate)
AC: 19 TAC: 15 Armor Penalty: -5 Reflex Save: +4 Speed: 15ft

Punt Speedchunk (studded leather)
AC: 18 TAC: 17 Armor Penalty: -1 Reflex Save: +7 Speed: 25ft

In this comparison, we see that Vanderhuge indeed has a slight lead in AC, but a -2 deficit in TAC. But when we consider the penalties he's taking on his skill checks, reflex save, and movement speed it's clear that he is still paying a price for not investing in dexterity. Heavy armor is not the equal of the attribute.

Compare this to the versatility of Speedchunk. He is much faster, better at all non-combat uses of athletics, can fight in melee or at range, and has far more survivability against an enemy spell-caster. From a balance perspective, we must ask ourselves what damage output difference is the equivalent of all those advantages.

Huh. I'll confess I hadn't noticed a rogue was being compared to a fighter. The original poster was all like "this proves how bad armor is and shows how OP Dex is" and I was like "I'll gladly crib your numbers that show being dex-based results in lower AC across the board." You are quite right, of course, to switch the comparison to that of a fighter versus a fighter, that's my bad. Your new results are interesting, think I like them better conceptually, though the negatives of heavier armor definitely need to be less negative/more positive. Worth pointing out that if we're talking two fighters, the heavy armor fighter does still benefit from increased proficiency use, but I suspect that you and I both intend to assume class/race neutrality for the sake of reducing outside complexity that introduces too many variable to be measured appropriately, in which case your numbers are correct, and my arguments shall be based on the same (though to my knowledge everything I've stated has already been based around this assumption). Now, to your points:

First off, I must object to some of your framing here. You make valid points, and I thank you for looking at the numbers, but you're doing a bit of double-dipping on some of them here. Saying the Strength Fighter suffers a hit to movement speed and then saying that the Dex Fighter is much faster or better at Athletics strikes me as more of an issue with armor that needs fixing and not something the Dex Fighter inherently gains for having Dexterity. Building Strength is going to ultimately make... Vanderhuge... good at Athletics even in heavy armor, and comparatively phenomenal at the combat uses of it.

And in a practical sense, I never observed much difference in ability to be in combat between my players in heavy armor versus those in light armor, even in Part 2 of the playtest, which was the poster child for large outdoor spaces. I acknowledge this as anecdotal, of course, and I'm sure accounts differ. I actually dislike that point of differentiation; when made properly, heavy armor weight is dispersed such that the wearer barely feels it. It limits range of motion (hence some penalty to dex-based checks might be suitable, but I'm not fond of that solution either), not movement speed or ability to apply raw force in athletics (in fact, one could argue for a bonus on the latter, armor means more weight getting thrown around). Long and short of it, I agree with those voices saying that seeing less negatives and more positives for the heavier armors would be nice, they went too far as written, I think.

As for the increased option presented from ranged combat for ...Speedchunk, you're largely correct. I've got nothing there from a numbers standpoint. My argument there stems more from a thematic issue: you can do ranged combat, but it's not part of the fantasy/concept. It's not what you're there for, and it's unlikely to be backed up by substantial class feat or wealth investment, in which case it's a sub-par option. A better option for Speedchunk than Vanderhuge, sure, but both would be better served mechanically and conceptually in close combat. That said, not liking/using an advantage is different from pretending it is not present, and so I do grant this as a point in favor of Speedchunk.

Regarding the difference in damage versus Reflex saves, sure, Speedchunk might take half damage from an area effect attack, but that only benefits Speedchunk. Vanderhuge could grapple a spellcaster to much more useful effect. Or use the damage difference to just murder the spellcaster, really, but Speedchunk could also theoretically do so, albeit mildly less efficiently. Moreover, Vanderhuge's lack of need to invest heavily in Dex means the opportunity cost isn't terribly high.

We're also forgetting Bulk, which my players found to actually be limiting, as opposed to the weight system, but as that problem is eventually solved by a Bag of Holding, we'll just call this 1 point of Resonance in favor of Vanderhuge instead of discussing the back and forth of Bulk.

So, in summation for what we have so far, expressed in positive attributes versus each other:
In Vanderhuge's favor:
+1 AC (+5%)
+25% Damage
+3 Athletics, +7 on Combat Maneuvers (+15/35%)
+1 point of Resonance (+5%)
+3 damage on ranged attacks (N/A; meaningless at high levels)

In Speedchunk's favor:
+2 TAC (+10%)
+10 movement speed (+40%)
+10 Stealth, Acrobatics, Thievery (+50%)
+6 attack on ranged attacks (+30%)
+3 on Reflex saves (+15%)
+1 ability boosts

So far most of Speedchunk's advantages come from not being saddled with heavy armor. At this juncture, the difference is primarily down to that enormous difference in Vanderhuge's melee damage and combat maneuvers versus Speedchunk's skill checks, movement speed, reflex saves, and ability to switch hit. Keeping up with multiple skill checks means thinner spreading of skill training bumps, though, so it might be easiest to call that point a borderline wash (though still skewed in Speedchunk's direction, I'll grant).

Now, from here argumentation can go a few ways. For instance, I consider lack of movement speed easily circumnavigated in combat, usually in ways that obviate the need to switch-hit while they're at it. I also consider Reflex to be the least important save because all that failing a save means is you take some damage which can be healed (as opposed to being rendered useless or a liability instantly via any of the save-or-suck spells that tend to take specific spells to fix efficiently). That said, these are opinions and they get into the realm of hypotheticals and what-ifs. In a vacuum and on their own merits, the benefits a Dex character gets are not insubstantial, but the question is whether that's a fair trade for 25% less damage and no combat maneuvers. I don't think it is, but again, that's my opinion. Others who value switch-hitting and mobility more than I do would likely disagree. The net result is that Dexterity to Damage being allowed as a feat taxes the Speedchunk character a little further while allowing the character concept to exist competently with some fringe benefits, and is probably the least work versus any of the other solutions proposed here, but as I expressed earlier, I'd be fine with alternative solutions executed well. The issue (and reason this thread exists) is that those other solutions don't currently exist in the system. If they did, I'd likely have no issue with Dex being unable to be added to damage.

BerserkOne wrote:

Spoiler:
The 25% damage difference assumes that both characters are using a two-handed weapon. For Speedchunk, that means an Elven curved blade or a spiked chain, which are d8 weapons, while Vanderhuge gets a d12 greatsword or maul. If we assume that both characters are duelists, the damage difference is slightly less than 15%. A d8 longsword is much closer to the d6 rapier. In fact, that difference gets steadily closer to 14% as they approach level 20 and the modifier accounts for less of the overall damage.

So, again, is 14.5% extra damage worth all the penalties Bolt is receiving from his armor? That is the measure of balance between strength-based and dexterity-based Fighters.

Edit: Just to make clear, those percentages are based on the example submitted above, which assumes dex-to-damage is present. That scenario represents the new balance which is being proposed.

Assuming both fighters are duelists is the most favorable example against Speedchunk, but that could just as easily go the other way (in fact, a strictly RAW reading of Finesse Striker says two-handed finesse weapons like the elven curve blade or spiked chain are not compatible). A d6 finesse weapon vs a d12 two-hander yields... Oh. Coyler's math undershot things. I'll demonstrate how in a bit. But first I'll express things by the metric we've been using.

Level 1:
Dex (Rapier, d6 (average 3.5) damage, deadly d8 (average 4.5)):
0.5x(3.5+3)+0.05x(7+9+6)=4.35 average damage
Str (Greatsword, d12 (average 6.5) damage): 0.5x(6.5+4)+0.05(13+8)=6.3 average damage
(4.35/6.3)*100 = 69.05%, so a 30.95% increase in damage for the str

Level 20:
Dex (Legendary +5 Rapier, 6d6 (average 21) damage, deadly 3d8 (average 13.5):
0.5x(21+5)+0.05x(42+27+10)=16.95 average damage
Str (Legendary +5 Greatsword, 6d12 (average 39) damage):
0.5x(39+6)+0.05x(78+12)=27 average damage
(16.95/27)*100 = 62.78%, so a 37.22% damage increase

Now, I was going to use the above 30 or 37% damage difference to say that 25% was not misleading and more a reasonable median, but then I looked at the way that math was carried out and realized the math was solid but the framing was inordinately kind to Speedchunk. The percentages are an expression of how much less damage Speedchunk deals, not how much more damage Vanderhuge deals. If we use those same numbers, we get..

d6 Dex vs d8 Str (Level 1):

Spoiler:
Dex (Rapier, d6 (average 3.5) damage, deadly d8 (average 4.5)):
0.5x(3.5+3)+0.05x(7+9+6)=4.35 average damage
Str (longsword d8(average 4.5) damage):
0.5x(4.5+4)+0.05(9+8)=5.1 average damage
(5.1/4.35)*100% = 117.24%, aka Vanderhuge deals 17.24% more damage at this juncture.

d6 Dex vs d8 Str (Level 20):

Spoiler:
Dex (Legendary +5 Rapier, 6d6 (average 21) damage, deadly 3d8 (average 13.5):
0.5x(21+5)+0.05x(42+27+10)=16.95 average damage
Str (Legendary +5 Longsword, 6d8 (average 27) damage):
0.5x(27+6)+0.05x(54+12)=19.8 damage
(19.8/16.95)*100 = 116.81%, so 16.81% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture.

That's your best case scenario against Speedchunk. It gets worse.

d6 Dex vs d10 Str (Level 1):

Spoiler:
Dex (Rapier, d6 (average 3.5) damage, deadly d8 (average 4.5)):
0.5x(3.5+3)+0.05x(7+9+6)=4.35 average damage
Str (guisarme d10(average 5.5) damage):
0.5x(5.5+4)+0.05(11+8)=5.7 average damage
(5.7/4.35)*100% = 131.03%, aka Vanderhuge deals 31.03% more damage at this juncture.

d6 Dex vs d10 Str (Level 20):

Spoiler:
Dex (Legendary +5 Rapier, 6d6 (average 21) damage, deadly 3d8 (average 13.5):
0.5x(21+5)+0.05x(42+27+10)=16.95 average damage
Str (Legendary +5 Guisarme, 6d10 (average 33) damage):
0.5x(33+6)+0.05x(66+12)=23.4 damage
(23.4/16.95)*100 = 138.05%, so 38.05% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture.

d6 Dex vs d12 Str (Level 1):

Spoiler:
Dex (Rapier, d6 (average 3.5) damage, deadly d8 (average 4.5)):
0.5x(3.5+3)+0.05x(7+9+6)=4.35 average damage
Str (Greatsword, d12 (average 6.5) damage): 0.5x(6.5+4)+0.05(13+8)=6.3 average damage
(6.3/4.35)*100% = 144.83%, aka Vanderhuge deals 44.83% more damage at this juncture.

d6 Dex vs d12 Str (Level 20):

Spoiler:
Dex (Legendary +5 Rapier, 6d6 (average 21) damage, deadly 3d8 (average 13.5):
0.5x(21+5)+0.05x(42+27+10)=16.95 average damage
Str (Legendary +5 Greatsword, 6d12 (average 39) damage):
0.5x(39+6)+0.05x(78+12)=27 average damage
(27/16.95)*100 = 159.29%, so 59.29% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture.

Yeah. At the upper end, someone trying to use dexterity to hit and strength to damage who manages to deal 100 damage will watch in impotent horror as their Vanderhuge teammate deals 159 damage in the same circumstances. These are the results you get if you do a strict RAW interpretation of Finesse Striker, and we really need some clarification from Paizo on whether spiked chains and elven curve blades can benefit from it. My guess is that people like the non-analytical nay-sayers in this thread are present in sufficient numbers that the game developers meant "one-handed weapons" when they included the script reading "one-handed weapons" in response to that lot, but I digress. For the sake of the argument, I'll do the numbers versus an elven curve blade, the most damaging of the two-handed finesse weapons. Now, the reason it's arguably more damaging is forceful, which someone asked be included in the damage numbers. Now, all previous calculations were based on single-primary attack per round. If you want to factor full-attacks, there are d10 Forceful weapons that might merit measuring against Speedchunk's d6s and possible d8s.

The following measurements are based on full attacks where the first attack hits on a 10, crits on a 20, the second attack hits on a 15, crits on a 20, and the third attack hits on a 20 and - for the sake of maximizing the Forceful damage on the elven curve blade - still crits on a 20, even though the odds of that in gameplay are quite small. If you follow the math, the third attack will have no normal-hit damage factored in, since the only damage it lands is a crit, which is greater anyway)

Dex d8 vs Str d10 (Level 1)

Spoiler:
Dex (Elven Curve Blade, d8 (average 4.5) damage, forceful (+0/+1/+2) damage, note: an uncommon weapon): 0.5x(4.5+3)+0.25x(4.5+3+1)+0.05(9+6)+0.05(9+6+2)+0.05(9+6+4)=8.43 average damage on a full attack.
Str (guisarme d10(average 5.5) damage):
0.5x(5.5+4)+.25x(5.5+4)+3*0.05x(11+8)=9.98 average damage on a full attack.
(9.98/8.43)*100 = 118.39%, so 18.39% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a (8.43/9.98=) 15.53% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of being Dex-based.

Dex d8 vs Str d10 (Level 20)
Dex (Legendary +5 Elven Curve Blade, 6d8 (average 27) damage, forceful (+0/+6/+12), note: an uncommon weapon):
0.5x(27+5)+0.25x(27+5+6)+0.05x(54+10)+0.05x(54+10+12)+0.05x(54+10+24) = 36.9 average damage on a full attack.
Str (Legendary +5 Guisarme, 6d10 (average 33) damage):
0.5x(33+6)+.25x(33+6)+3*0.05x(66+12) = 40.95 damage on a full attack
(40.95/36.9)*100 = 110.98%, so 10.98% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a 9.01% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of being Dex-based.[/spoiler]

So the Forceful trait can work to close the gap in the later game but still falls short of being worth a whole die step of damage. In the early game it's outright worse than Deadly. This comparison is versus a d10 weapon with no effects to boost to-hit or damage further. If we run it versus a Forceful d10 weapon like, say, the Falchion...

Dex d8 vs Str d10 (Level 1)

Spoiler:
Dex (Elven Curve Blade, d8 (average 4.5) damage, forceful (+0/+1/+2) damage, note: an uncommon weapon): 0.5x(4.5+3)+0.25x(4.5+3+1)+0.05(9+6)+0.05(9+6+2)+0.05(9+6+4)=8.43 average damage on a full attack.
Str (Falchion, d10(average 5.5) damage, forceful +0/+1/+2)):
0.5x(5.5+4)+.25x(5.5+4+1)+*0.05x(11+8)+.05x(11+8+2)+.05x(11+8+4)=10.53 average damage on a full attack.
(10.53/8.43)*100 = 124.91%, so 24.91% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a 19.94% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of being Dex-based.

Dex d8 vs Str d10 (Level 20)

Spoiler:
Dex (Legendary +5 Elven Curve Blade, 6d8 (average 27) damage, forceful (+0/+6/+12), note: an uncommon weapon):
0.5x(27+5)+0.25x(27+5+6)+0.05x(54+10)+0.05x(54+10+12)+0.05x(54+10+24) = 36.9 average damage on a full attack.
Str (Legendary +5 Falchion, 6d10 (average 33) damage, forceful(+0/+6/+12)):
0.5x(33+6)+.25x(33+6+6)+0.05x(66+12)+0.05x(66+12+12)+0.05x(66+12+24) = 44.25 damage on a full attack
(44.25/36.9)*100 = 119.92%, so 19.92% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a 16.61% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of being Dex-based.

Forceful being more useful for the curveblade is to be expected; it's a flat damage bonus that doesn't care about base weapon die size, so percentage-wise it's a larger boost to damage. Versus a d12, of which there are no damage-boosted weapons...

Dex d8 vs Str d12 (Level 1)

Spoiler:
Dex (Elven Curve Blade, d8 (average 4.5) damage, forceful (+0/+1/+2) damage, note: an uncommon weapon): 0.5x(4.5+3)+0.25x(4.5+3+1)+0.05x(4.5+3+2)+0.05(9+6)+0.05(9+6+2)+0.05(9+6+4) =8.43 average damage on a full attack.
Str (Greatsword, d12 (average 6.5) damage): 0.75x(6.5+4)+3*0.05(13+8)=11.03 average damage on a full attack.
(11.03/8.43)*100 = 130.84%, so 30.84% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a 23.57% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of being Dex-based.

Dex d8 vs Str d12 (Level 20)

Spoiler:
Dex (Legendary +5 Elven Curve Blade, 6d8 (average 27) damage, forceful (+0/+6/+12), note: an uncommon weapon):
0.5x(27+5)+0.25x(27+5+6)+0.05x(54+10)+0.05x(54+10+12)+0.05x(54+10+24) = 36.9 average damage on a full attack.
Str (Legendary +5 Greatsword, 6d12 (average 39) damage):
0.5x(39+6)+0.25x(39+6)+3*0.05x(78+12)=47.25 average damage on a full attack.
(47.25/36.9)*100 = 128.05%, so 28.05% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a 21.9% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of being Dex-based.

It does possess some relevance, but still is not a serious gap-closer like some seemed to think it could be.

Now for a bit of relevance. None of this math so far has assumed a character has an applicable Finesse Striker ability. All of this is system-current. Everything that you have read so far has been under the assumption Vanderhuge is running a 22 Str, 12 Dex build, whereas Speedchunk has been running a 22 Dex, 20 Str build. See the problem already? Speedchunk is running behind by five ability boosts when forced to use Str for damage. Allowing Dexterity to Damage brings these evenly in line. The one ability boost spent by Vanderhuge on Dexterity that Speedchunk gets to not spend on Strength will likely be spent on Charisma to offset the Bag of Holding Speedchunk will invariably need.

Now, some of you will no doubt have a knee-jerk response along the lines of "But if you allowed Dexterity to Damage, all those numbers change and the gap shrinks, and posting them first is misleading." To which I say that yes, the numbers change, albeit much less in Speedchunk's favor than you all no doubt expect, and posting these numbers first was important for establishing what leaving the system as-is looks like. So, how do things change if we actually allow Finesse Striker on anybody using a Finesse weapon (even if a feat must be spent for it), aka what does a Finesse Striker rogue's damage look like when they can't sneak-attack?

d6 Finesse Striker vs d8 (Level 1)

Spoiler:
Dex (Rapier, d6 (average 3.5) damage, deadly d8 (average 4.5)):
0.5x(3.5+4)+0.05x(7+9+8)= vs. 4.95 average damage
vs. 4.35 average damage without Finesse Striker
Str (longsword d8(average 4.5) damage):
0.5x(4.5+4)+0.05(9+8)=5.1 average damage
(5.1/4.95)*100% = 103.03%, aka Vanderhuge deals 3.03% more damage at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a (4.95/5.1=) 2.94% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of having Finesse Striker.
This improves on the previous ratios of 17.24% and 14.71%, respectively.

d6 Finesse Striker vs d8 (Level 20)

Spoiler:
Dex (Legendary +5 Rapier, 6d6 (average 21) damage, deadly 3d8 (average 13.5):
0.5x(21+6)+0.05x(42+27+12)= 17.55 average damage
vs. 16.95 average damage without Finesse Striker
Str (Legendary +5 Longsword, 6d8 (average 27) damage):
0.5x(27+6)+0.05x(54+12)=19.8 damage
(19.8/17.55)*100 = 112.82%, so 12.82% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a 11.36% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of having Finesse Striker.
This improves on the previous ratios of 16.81% and 14.39%, respectively.

d8 Finesse Striker vs d12 (Level 1)

Spoiler:
Dex (Elven Curve Blade, d8 (average 4.5) damage, note: an uncommon weapon): 0.5x(4.5+4)+0.05(9+8)=5.1 average damage
vs. 4.5 average damage without Finesse Striker
Str (Greatsword, d12 (average 6.5) damage): 0.5x(6.5+4)+0.05(13+8)=6.3 average damage
(6.3/5.1)*100% = 123.53%, aka Vanderhuge deals 23.53% more damage at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a 19.05% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of having Finesse Striker.
This improves on the previous ratios of 40.0% and 28.57%, respectively.

d8 Finesse Striker vs d12 (Level 20)

Spoiler:
Dex (Legendary +5 Elven Curve Blade, 6d8 (average 27) damage):
0.5x(27+6)+0.05x(54+12)=19.8 average damage
vs. 19.2 average damage without Finesse Striker
Str (Legendary +5 Greatsword, 6d12 (average 39) damage):
0.5x(39+6)+0.05x(78+12)=27 average damage
(27/19.8)*100 = 136.36%, so 36.36% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a 26.67% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of having Finesse Striker.
This improves on the previous ratios of 40.62% and 28.89%, respectively.

d8 Finesse Striker, Forceful vs d12 (Level 1 - Full Attack)

Spoiler:
Dex (Elven Curve Blade, d8 (average 4.5) damage, forceful (+0/+1/+2) damage, note: an uncommon weapon): 0.5x(4.5+4)+0.25x(4.5+4+1)+0.05(9+8)+0.05(9+8+2)+0.05(9+8+4)= 9.48 average damage on a full attack
vs. 8.43 average damage without Finesse Striker.
Str (Greatsword, d12 (average 6.5) damage): 0.75x(6.5+4)+3*0.05(13+8)=11.03 average damage on a full attack.
(11.03/9.48)*100 = 116.35%, so 16.35% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a 14.05% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of having Finesse Striker.
This improves on the previous ratios of 30.84% and 23.57%, respectively.

d8 Finesse Striker, Forceful vs d12 (Level 20 - Full Attack)

Spoiler:
Dex (Legendary +5 Elven Curve Blade, 6d8 (average 27) damage, forceful (+0/+6/+12), note: an uncommon weapon):
0.5x(27+6)+0.25x(27+6+6)+0.05x(54+12)+0.05x(54+12+12)+0.05x(54+12+24) = 37.95 average damage on a full attack
vs 36.9 average damage without Finesse Striker.
Str (Legendary +5 Greatsword, 6d12 (average 39) damage):
0.5x(39+6)+0.25x(39+6)+3*0.05x(78+12)=47.25 average damage on a full attack.
(47.25/37.95)*100 = 124.51%, so 24.51% more damage from Vanderhuge at this juncture. Can be alternatively expressed as a 19.68% damage loss on Speedchunk's part as the price paid for the advantages of having Finesse Striker.
This improves on the previous ratios of 28.05% and 21.9%, respectively.

So, what do we learn? Mostly nothing that really comes as a surprise to proponents of Dexterity to Damage. The attribute bonus matters most at level 1 and is largely insignificant by level 20 if you go by percentages. By the raw numbers, it's not worth a full point of damage ever, and a full attack sees it come out to only a single extra point of damage regardless of level. Moreover, even at level 1, when you're talking about a comparison between two one-handed weapons, Dexterity to Damage never outshines Vanderhuge, whose d8 still edges out the d6 with deadly rapier. It comes awfully close though at only a 3% difference and since my thesis here is not that Dexterity should be on par with Strength in terms of damage, but merely a feasible alternative for the sake of relative character concepts, we come back to my suggestion to make it a general feat at 3rd level. That's right around when weapons start getting magical, which means higher weapon damage dice favored by Vanderhuge get another step up, so the boost Speedchunk gets as a result returns to not coming anywhere close to edging out Vanderhuge. It also puts Speedchunk down a general feat, which should put at ease some of those more squeamish about the whole thing.

So, if Dexterity to Damage matters so little over just using Strength, why push for it? The answer lies in the ability boosts. My first set of examples, where Speedchunk uses Strength for damage? As previously pointed out, down five ability boosts versus Vanderhuge to get there, and down on damage. I'm fine with Speedchunk being down on damage, have never advocated otherwise. However, the same people who will bemoan endlessly that a Dex to Damage Speedchunk will have little need for Strength see no issue with Vanderhuge having an extra five ability boosts to their name on top of dealing better damage. Now, you can say that a Vanderhuge generally must put at least one ability boost into Dexterity to benefit from the maximum Dexterity allowed by heavy armor, and this puts him down an ability boost versus a Speedchunk who leaves Strength at 10, and thus Speedchunk with Dex to Damage gains a net of one ability boost. However, this is leaving aside one of the two big strengths of... Well, of Strength. Putting Athletics checks aside - which are incredibly important - Bulk is actually fairly important, and much more limiting when enforced than weight ever was in PF1, at least in my experience. To that end, a Speedchunk who has Dexterity to Damage is almost going to have a mandatory need to pick up a Bag of Holding or equivalent. If they don't want to be down a Resonance Point comparatively, Speedchunk will need to put that extra ability boost into Charisma. Thus, I'd posit that without Finesse Striker Speedchunk is down 5 ability boosts - or Vanderhuge is up 5, however you prefer to think of it - and with Finesse Striker available to all you end up with a more or less even playing field on the ability boost front at net 0 ability boosts either way, and that's putting aside the importance of Athletics checks which would make Speedchunk likely unwise to ignore Strength completely, but such a thing would be a choice as opposed to a requirement, which brings me to my next point.

Allowing Finesse Striker for All opens up some interesting choices both mechanically and from a conceptual standpoint. We've already talked about Vanderhuge and Speedchunk - and those are very amusing names, thank you, BerserkOne - but there's a third some people have brought up: the pinnacle of physical perfection archetype that deliberately chooses to boast an 18 or higher in both Strength and Dexterity. Now, to me, that choice of stat spread says "medium armor, str-based attacking, enjoy a nice middle-ground of both worlds". The concept definitely has its place, but the second note is the part that's especially relevant: a few posters here have pointed out it's easy to have an 18 in Strength and Dexterity by level 10, and they aren't wrong, the system is generous with ability boosts, effectively giving out 16 of them across the scope of the game post level 1. However, these same people making that observation in opposition to Finesse Striker for All do so under the impression that a character with roughly equal levels of Strength and Dexterity will for some reason elect to use a Finesse weapon, and my running the numbers above serve as more than adequate demonstration that unless a character has a considerably higher Dexterity for attack roll bonuses, there is no real incentive to do so. There are solid reasons to push Strength and Dexterity to 18, but Finesse weapons neither are nor should be a reason to do so. Allowing Finesse Striker as a feat enables player choice to favor Strength, Dexterity, or both, and have any of them be viable in their own way.

Now to those who claim that Dexterity to Damage is not realistic: you're right, a certain amount of jumping through logic hoops is required to make it make sense, but the same can be said of using Strength for attack rolls, but nobody has a problem with those. Would you be upset by a proposal that all attack rolls be based on Dexterity, but all damage rolls be derived from Strength? If your answer is no, then fair enough, but be advised that in most systems that stick to such a metric, Strength becomes the dump stat between the two, and I'm not advocating for killing the concept of Strength-based characters, as they're as ubiquitous in media as more agile characters are, if not more so. Now, imagine for the sake of this thought exercise that the system actually were Dex to attack, Str to damage. I'm sure people would say “But brute strength characters can smash their way through defenses, strength to attack rolls should be a thing,” at which point let's say the system responded with “Okay, Barbarians can use Strength for attack rolls.” Then somebody said “allow this for everyone” and ran the numbers, finding it doesn't break the system because of the lost benefits of Dexterity. They backed this up by citing a desire to allow Strength-based characters that don't fly into a rage or shirk civilization. Further argumentation in their favor is that alternatives to the class feature allowing Barbarians to use Strength for attack rolls were promptly released. Is that person being a dirty min-maxer, or just trying to increase the diversity of viable character concepts that can be played in the game? I know that in my case, in arguing for Dexterity to Damage, it's the latter, full stop. If it were about optimizing, I'd only play Strength-based characters, and I'd only tell my players to play Strength-based characters, especially since Rogues are now also in the boat for being able to ignore Finesse weapons. I maintain that Finesse Striker for All does not break the system, and that most of the actual issues people have with it stem not from Dexterity to Damage but with current-system issues with heavy armor and PF1 anecdotes they think revolve around Dexterity to Damage but much more frequently revolved around damage bonuses like level or half-level to damage which currently do not and should not exist in PF2.

TL;DR: Allow access to Finesse Striker as a 3rd level general feat and make heavy armor more appealing.


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Bumping my post to next page for visibility.


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Am working on a reply, folks. Have been for about a week, on and off. About to travel for the holidays, and in the interest of not sacrificing making a complete and solid point in a single post in favor of time, I'm afraid said reply will have to wait until the 25th, at the earliest. I will say this: my jumping off point remains that no one has satisfactorily addressed why the only class to get Finesse Striker - the Rogue - was suddenly desperate for alternatives. It couldn't have been an issue with the smaller weapon dice on Finesse-able weapons being an issue, because loads of people insist Dexterity to Damage for all would be super broken, and therefore it must be broken on the Rogue too, right? Ah, it was concept? People liked the idea of a brutish Rogue? It's almost like the idea of a strongman isn't exclusive to the barbarian concept. Much like how the idea of an agile fighter isn't exclusive to the rogue concept. Goodness.

I'll address personal replies to me at a later point in time, but some of you could really stand to speak to the points I'm making instead of jumping straight to making unflattering assumptions about my motives. Argumentation 101: when you smear the person making an argument as your first resort, you have no counter-argument of actual substance.

For those giving the matter due consideration and willfulness to discuss numbers or actual effect on gameplay within the bounds of PF2, I thank you, and will have more for you when I return from my trip.


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WatersLethe wrote:
Spoiler:
Malkyn wrote:
Well, this exploded in a way I should have anticipated. Would be nice if it felt like half the thread didn't skip reading the post linked to.

Sorry Malkyn, I should clarify. I intentionally worded my post in terms of what "should" be not what "is" because the game is under development and current playtest math is of limited value.

As others have noted, damage dice from magic weapons is a huge factor and may not survive as is into the next edition. You can argue all day about how valuable the ancillary benefits of dexterity are, as well as the other weapon traits on agile weapons, but it's all theoretical right now.

That's why I boil it down to what I think the final outcome should be.

1. Only one stat should be added to any given roll. For damage, that should be strength.

2. There should be a variety of flavorful dexterity based damage boosts that make a pure dex fighter at most on par with a strength one in damage, regardless of how the weapon damage and other effects play out.

3. A character that boosts both dexterity and strength should have the opportunity to be rewarded for those investments, not punished.

Ah. A fair distinction. I would normally disagree with your first point, but given the parameters you establish in points 2 and 3, I would actually be satisfied with your proposed outcome. My issue stems from that not being the case, alas, which is where what I suspect might've been a certain amount of talking past each other came from.


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Themetricsystem wrote:

Spoiler:
I disagree entirely, and personally think if anything Dex needs nerfed more still.

I'd rather see options for a CON or STR based viable build be improved or created, but as it stands DEX is a primary/secondy Stat for literally EVERY Non-Full Plate wearer.

No amount of feat investment should do this, I'm ok with it being a Class Feature in a few instances to allow for different PCs to "feel" different but as for allowing it as a basic General Feat ... no way jose

Str-based builds don't need help being viable, they're already the break-away damage dealing method of choice. Con could stand to be more proactively used, I'll agree, but that isn't really in the here or there of this thread, alas. Will gladly discuss things in that direction if you start up a thread on the matter and I notice it.

That said, in the current system, Dex is nobody's primary stat, and is a secondary stat for those that don't wear armor. It's a tertiary/dump for heavy armor types. Even rogues who might still use a Finesse weapon without Finesse Striker aren't using their dex as their primary means of dealing damage, but their sneak attack dice, and in most of those cases they'll skip the Finesse weapon and start sneak-attacking with a greataxe.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Spoiler:
Malkyn wrote:
Most of the benefits of Dex are scattered into a number of things that don't amount to much anymore, especially taking out of the base roll for initiative (which is fine, honestly).
Armor class and reflex saves matter consistently more than static damage, and stealth is a very good skill. Dex is already a stronger stat than strength even without encroaching on strength's territory.

See my original post. A Str fighter can leave Dex at 12 and have better AC than a Dex fighter. With some penalties, sure, but the trade is not caring about Dex and excessive penalties on armor seems like an issue with armor moreso than allowing Dex to Damage. Besides, Str feeds into Athletics, a skill that is easily on par with Stealth in terms of importance in PF2. That is a somewhat subjective determination, however, so I'm inclined to call that distinction a wash. As for Reflex vs Strength, the thing is this: the static modifier to damage quickly stops mattering. Others have pointed that out, and it's very true. Where being Str-based matters is in the size of the damage dice you're talking about. See my original linked post for how that shakes out; the increased damage dice size on Str weapons is worth about 25% more damage, even allowing for Dex to Damage as a thing. In exchange, on the extreme end, 12 vs 24 Dex for Reflex saves is a difference of +6 modifier, or an additional 30% chance to make a Reflex save. Now I personally think Reflex is way over-valued as a save, but that's an opinion, so instead I'll put it this way: Dex to Damage loses 25% of its damage in exchange for gaining an additional 30% chance to pass a Reflex save.

Considering one frequently takes half damage on save, it is generally more valuable to kill your enemies faster (the +25% more damage) than it is to have a +30% to take 50% damage on a save, especially when damage on PCs can frequently just be healed. That becomes even more apparent when you account for the fact that outside particularly large battles, the PCs tend to have action economy advantage.


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Well, this exploded in a way I should have anticipated. Would be nice if it felt like half the thread didn't skip reading the post linked to.

Secret Wizard wrote:
Spoiler:
let dex to damage die

You got any argument to back that sentiment up? Any numbers? Or did you just come here to nay-say? The latter with nothing to back it up is not conducive to proper debate. I'll agree with you readily if you can use numbers to demonstrate that dex to damage would be inherently unbalanced for the system.

The DM of wrote:
Spoiler:
Malkyn wrote:
The DM of wrote:
I get you want to play a fighter whose dex gives them bonuses to hit, to AC, to damage, and to reflex saves so they can dump str and min/max out the wazoo. I don't agree the inability to do this is limiting the game in an unhealthy way.

You're knocking over a bit of a straw-man there...

<snip>
And yes, a dex fighter could boost strength and dexterity, but then you're behind on damage modifier and dice damage. You're also behind on four ability boosts at that point, if not more.
It's not a straw man argument if you use it yourself. It's hypocritical.

And... What? In the interest of saving time, I'm going presume you don't know what a straw-man is. Here. I provided facts and numbers to support my argument, and I never misconstrued what you've said as something else. You, on the other hand, have seen that I support dex to damage and immediately leapt to "you clearly just want an uber-build," which is actually not the case, and is clearly not something I ever said. In fact, if you actually read what I linked, I do the opposite by saying that dex to damage would deal less damage than strength to damage, and that's actually okay, especially in light of the fact that yeah, getting to ignore Strength is quite good, but the trade is dealing 25% less damage overall, which generally is not going to be worth two ability boosts and being slightly better at reflex saves, which are already the least important save. A failed Reflex saves makes you take damage. A failed Fort or Will save can take you out of a fight outright, if not make you a liability.

TL;DR: Dex to damage would not overshadow Str to damage.

WatersLethe wrote:

Spoiler:
Dexterity to damage is unnecessary, and even Rogues shouldn't get it. If it's critical to boost damage, that boost should come from things like sneak attack, precision damage, or other various flat or scaling modifiers, and it should never replace the strength bonus to damage.

I've said it before and I'll say it again here: a strong, agile person should deal more damage with a weapon than merely an agile person.

If stacking strength *and* dexterity damage options out-damages pure strength options, that's fine since it takes both ability, class feature, and/or feat investiture to get there. Personally, I would prefer if dex-only characters fall a bit behind strength only characters in damage, due to the ancillary benefits of dexterity, but I wouldn't raise hell if it was on-par.

Stacking Str and Dex doesn't cause a Finesse fighter to out-damage a Str fighter. Please read the post I linked to. The Finesse fighter loses on damage by about 29%. Only 25% if the Finesse fighter is allowed Dex to Damage, though they do proceed to gain about two ability boosts over the Str fighter since they can ignore Str. I've actually said that's probably about right since Dex does do some other nice things. I even clarified that I'm not asking for Dex to Damage to be as good as Strength to Damage, I'm making a case that allowing it as an option is not unbalancing and has pros and cons.

WatersLethe wrote:
Spoiler:
If the complaint is then "But I want to deal the most damage possible without dipping into strength" then I say "tough nuts".

Again, not what I'm pushing for. See above on straw-manning. In fact, it almost sounds like if you look at the numbers used, we'd be in agreement.

Igor Horvat wrote:

Spoiler:
I am all for dex to damage, being able to aim better with high dex and ranged/finesse weapons does not mean just hitting the target wherever, it means also hitting more precise into more vulnerable areas.

Personally I would get rid of weapon categories and give each weapon minimum str to use.

And made all melee weapons dex or str for attack and damage.

With minimum str score required str could not be a dump stat unless you want to be sentenced to eternity for 1d4 dagger damage.

Savage Worlds does that, and it's interesting. I have somewhat mixed feelings on the matter, because as somebody who played both a martial and a caster, the caster has to only raise one stat versus the martial's two. Which actually does bring me around to the part where people are strangely okay with casters being Single Attribute Dependent, but if you propose similar for martials the result is, as demonstrated here, a HOW DARE YOU mentality. Someone else in the previous thread proposed rolling Con into Str to give Str more use, and while that's very interesting as well, it won't fly for the same reason str requirements on weapons won't fly, it's just not a thing present in PF1, people would regard it as "not Pathfinder enough." To say nothing of how much better strength would be in PF2 than it already is if it did everything Con does.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

Spoiler:
Dex does enough stuff already without adding to damage.

I'd rather see Int-to-Damage at this point.

Most of the benefits of Dex are scattered into a number of things that don't amount to much anymore, especially taking out of the base roll for initiative (which is fine, honestly).

And Int to hit and damage does have some basis in reality as well. It would make the image of the tactical fighter who exploits openings, for instance, more of a playable reality. Would want to run some numbers to make sure it doesn't strictly out-perform Str by limiting the weapon choices, much like how Dex is limited on weapon choices, but not something I'm inherently opposed to so long as it is mathematically in line with other options that aren't Str for damage (such as Dex for damage).

Megistone wrote:

Spoiler:
I'm totally against dex to damage, without enough investment.

"Being a rogue" is enough; I'm still not sure if anything less than that, like a "Finesse Fighting Dedication", would be.

Using the same stat for everything is not only powerful, it's ugly. And luckily in PF2 we won't have that "killer house cat" madness, anyway.

I propose it as a general feat with the express idea that that is plenty of investment, especially considering general feats are comparatively rare. Locking it behind more than one dedication feat is a step too far, in my opinion, considering you'd be giving up a class feat for still worse damage than the party's barbarian or Str fighter. I halfway support it being free with Finesse weapons, but I'm aware that's step too far for most, and so I propose the aforementioned feat tax.

nick1wasd wrote:
Spoiler:
I think hiding Dex -> Damage behind a feat is a nice idea, but maybe make it an archtype, and have a few other features thrown in that makes tanking Str for Dex less awful for a fighter (Duelist Prestige class anyone?) without making it dominate EVERYTHING.

Giving it other things is not an inherently bad idea in exchange for a few feats, but it is worth noting that people seem a bit stuck on the PF1 idea that tanking Str gets the Dex fighter better Dex at character creation or something, which it distinctly doesn't, since point buy is out the window.


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Bah. Was going to reprint the post linked to in the first post underneath it, but ran out of time to edit. Anyway, here is the other post being referred to, reprinted with minor edits to work more stand-alone. I'm posting it here because I understand flipping to another thread threatens to be a hassle, apologies for not thinking to include it in my original post sooner.

Spoiler:

DataLoreRPG wrote:
Quote:
basic functions like weapon choice and effectiveness should not be one of those things in a game where you are trying to tell people to be diverse and play what you want.
That assumes you can't be a good dex user and not be a rogue. This is flatly false. Its another hyperbolic statement that is flatly not supported by fact.

You... Actually can't. Like, several people have run the numbers already. A dex-based character that has to use strength for damage is not viable. Yeah, some people are like "I've got a level 1 that it works on!" to which I kinda say "That's great, but when level 0 enemies have less than 10 hp, everything works. That won't scale well, I all but guarantee it."

But here, I'll gather the data and show you.

CommanderCoyler wrote:

These are asuming a fighter, starting at 18 str, 16 dex (as that's the max you can do at level 1 with the standard generation, even though the str character doesn't need that high dex) and vice-versa. Also assuming vs an AC that gives a 10 to hit (both have the same accuracy), so 45% of attacks miss, 50% hit and 5% crit

1-handers at level 1:
Dex (Rapier, d6 (average 3.5) damage, deadly d8 (average 4.5)):
0.5x(3.5+3)+0.05x(7+9+6)=4.35 average damage
Str (longsword d8(average 4.5) damage):
0.5x(4.5+4)+0.05(9+8)=5.1 average damage
(4.35/5.1)*100 = 85.29%, so a 14.71% increase in damage for the str

2-handers at level 1:
Dex (Elven Curve Blade, d8 (average 4.5) damage, note: an uncommon weapon): 0.5x(4.5+3)+0.05(9+6)=4.5 average damage
Str (Greatsword, d12 (average 6.5) damage): 0.5x(6.5+4)+0.05(13+8)=6.3 average damage
(4.5/6.3)*100 = 71.43%, so a 28.57% increase for the str (a bigger gap, even with using an uncommon weapon for dex)

Now let's kick this up a notch and go from the opposite end, level 20. These are assuming both characters have raised both str and dex at every opportunity through their carrers (so ending up with 22(+6) in their primary stat and 21(+5) in their secondary) and again assuming vs an AC that gives a 10 to hit (both have the same accuracy), so 45% of attacks miss, 50% hit and 5% crit.

1-handers at level 20:
Dex (Legendary +5 Rapier, 6d6 (average 21) damage, deadly 3d8 (average 13.5):
0.5x(21+5)+0.05x(42+27+10)=16.95 average damage
Str (Legendary +5 Longsword, 6d8 (average 27) damage):
0.5x(27+6)+0.05x(54+12)=19.8 damage
(16.95/19.8)*100 = 85.61%, so a 14.39% increase for the str

2-handers at level 20:
Dex (Legendary +5 Elven Curve Blade, 6d8 (average 27) damage):
0.5x(27+5)+0.05x(54+10)=19.2 average damage
Str (Legendary +5 Greatsword, 6d12 (average 39) damage):
0.5x(39+6)+0.05x(78+12)=27 average damage
(19.2/27)*100 = 71.11%, so a 28.89% damage increase

Coyler had his math right, but he didn't bring it home in a way that paints a complete picture for comparison. But to start, let's be clear: a loss of 14-29% of damage is huge. Of note: his figures assume the strength character maxes dex as much as possible, and it influences the strength character's damage not at all. And it probably doesn't affect his AC much either. As you and others have pointed out, a strength character isn't going to need much more than a 14 in Dex. Case in point:

Raynulf wrote:

1st: Dex 12 Fighter in chainmail (AC 15 / TAC 13); Dex 18 Rogue in studded leather (AC 17 / TAC 15)

2nd: Dex 12 Fighter in fullplate (AC 19 / TAC 15); Dex 18 Rogue in studded leather (AC 18 / TAC 16)
5th: Dex 12 Fighter in fullplate+1 (AC 23 / TAC 19); Dex 19 Rogue in studded leather+1 (AC 22 / TAC 20)
10th: Dex 12 Fighter in fullplate+2 (AC 29 / TAC 25); Dex 20 Rogue in studded leather+2 (AC 29 / TAC 27)
15th: Dex 12 Fighter in fullplate+3 (AC 36 / TAC 32); Dex 21 Rogue in studded leather+3 (AC 35 / TAC 33)
20th: Dex 12 Fighter in fullplate+4 (AC 43 / TAC 39); Dex 22 Rogue in studded leather+4 (AC 41 / TAC 39)

A strength fighter who goes to only 12 dex is consistently going to match if not outperform someone maxing dex. In the AC arena, it's essentially a tie with a slight favor toward the strength fighter.

So a strength fighter beats a dex fighter on damage and AC in the current system. Allowing dex to damage gives Coyle's dex fighter 1 more point of damage, bringing that percentage gap down to, oh... 9-25% more damage in favor of the strength fighter.

But - and this is important - the theoretical 21 dex on Coyle's strength fighter was largely superfluous. Raynulf's example demonstrates that strength fighter could comfortably leave dex at 12... In much the same way a dex-to-damage fighter could comfortably leave strength at 12.

In the current system, the dex-to-hit-but-str-to-damage fighter is actually forced to pump two attributes to the max... Thus making all dex fighters forced to use strength for damage both more homogeneous (that thing you can't stop proclaiming your dread for) and less flexible in terms of their other stats than the strength fighter by 4 ability boosts... All while playing second stringer in combat. Presuming the math is based around the strength fighter's damage, the dex-to-hit-str-to-damage fighter is just outright less useful in essentially every way.

Now, for your inevitable counter-points:

"The strength fighter still needs 12-14 dex, the dex fighter can leave their str at 10." To which I will say "yes, this is true." However, you and others have pointed out the veritable cornucopia of ability boosts the system goes out of its way to hand out. Using one or two of those to round out AC is honestly probably a trade in the strength fighter's favor when you consider they have an upper damage range advantage of an easy 25%. The - at most - two ability boost advantage the dex fighter gains doesn't really outweigh that. Like not even close.

Your next point will be reflex saves. My counter-point is two-fold. First, reflex is the least important save. It protects you from some damage. You can heal that pretty readily, but I will grant it feels nice to just nope a substantial portion of an enemy's AoE damage. But... you know what can prevent the wrong people from taking damage, and thus obviate the need to heal at all? My second counterpoint: battlefield control. Strength characters have a lot of battlefield control in the Athletics skill. Tripping, shoving, grappling... I actually really like the added utility given to strength characters there and consider it far more valuable than a reflex save. One is a number boost, the other is a whole wealth of options.

I have kept my argument purely to PF2, and stated the advantages to both without suggesting each should get what the other has. With that in mind and the above numbers, are you still going to say dex to damage still doesn't deserve to be an option in the playtest? Make it a level 3 general feat, let people see how it fares in the game, take it out of the final product if the sentiment is that it somehow breaks things in practice. The numbers suggest it won't be a problem, however.

P.S.
Before you point out that dex rogues don't seem to under-perform on damage, that's the result of sneak attack. Take it away and watch them sink.

Also, provided playtesting dex to damage as something like a level 3 general feat doesn't demonstrably break the game per feedback, I'd posit they should keep it for the final core rulebook. As a GM, it's easier to say "I don't want this option in my game" than it is to homebrew something balanced that allows that choice.

The end note on sneak attacking was born out in play, by the by, but I'm aware that's anecdotal evidence. I mention it nonetheless due to a strong suspicion a numerical analysis would see me correct.


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The DM of wrote:
I get you want to play a fighter whose dex gives them bonuses to hit, to AC, to damage, and to reflex saves so they can dump str and min/max out the wazoo. I don't agree the inability to do this is limiting the game in an unhealthy way.

You're knocking over a bit of a straw-man there based on assumptions carried over from PF1 and not having read the post I linked to, which discusses essentially all of this.

The DM of wrote:
I don't believe L20 arguments are worth much considering how few games historically have reached that level, but you can have all 18's at L20.

And I agree, hence why the data I used has a level 1 analysis as well. Moreover, one of the stated goals of PF2 is that the math still works at higher levels. The breakdown provided even shows that the math stays consistent across levels, including level 20. Running the data at other levels strikes me as unlikely to turn up a substantial shift.

And yes, a dex fighter could boost strength and dexterity, but then you're behind on damage modifier and dice damage. You're also behind on four ability boosts at that point, if not more.


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Dex to Damage: the option so underwhelming that the only class to get it had people clamoring for an option to get out of it.

Seriously, the numbers have been run, and dex to damage would not break the current system of PF2. I know further playtesting is going private at Paizo, but consider making the rogue "finesse striker" ability a 3rd level general feat and see how it does. In the interest of providing holistic suggestions, maybe keep the base ability as something a rogue can also elect to get as a class option at level 1, granting early access and not eating a general feat slot. In any event, the above link has some solid math that supports this and ties in nicely to the idea that PF2 will be a game with tighter math. As a bonus, enabling it means an entire character concept is not being shut down. Answering "I want to play an agile melee fighter" with "so you're locked into a singular rogue branch" is underwhelming.

And for the record, I'm not asking for dex-to-damage options to receive anything to close the damage gap. I'd just be happy to have the option to play a dex fighter. One of the things I enjoy about PF1 is the ability to have a player bring me a concept and me knowing exactly how to implement it, usually in several different ways depending on what the player wanted.

I very much like some of the ideas behind PF2. I especially look forward to the re-tooled monster math that ideally makes combat feel less like throwing numbers at each other until something dies. What I don't like is the entirely likely scenario of a player asking to play a concept based on any number of sword-wielders in popular media and telling them "Do you like rogues? Because I otherwise have nothing."


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Good to confirm this is possible outside the Paizo staff. Works roughly as I figured, but knowing people are implementing it and seeing success is good to see. Thankee for posting.


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Per the title. Does the Greater Shadow's Shadow Spawn power make another Greater Shadow, or a regular Shadow? Session in like -3 minutes, could use a speedy answer, if possible. Prepped all the stat blocks, was reading through them, didn't catch this question until just now.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean it's pretty simple, from investing in dex rather than strength, you get:
- Better reflex save
- Better skill use (1 skill is str based, 3 are dex-based)
- Armor that doesn't get in your way (no speed reduction, no ACP, no downsides like clumsy or noisy).
- Better armor class at low levels.

Plus, this is PF2 not PF1 so having a 14 str by level 5 is pretty painless (you boost skills 4 at a time), so you're down all of 2 points of damage from lacking dex-to-damage. I have two dex based martials for PF2 (a Dwarf Monk who uses tiger style and an elf rogue who uses a curve blade) neither seems incomplete without dex-to-damage. I mean, the absolute most damage dex-to-damage would add over one's career is 8 per hit (a 8 str gnome or halfling with a 24 dex from 20 levels and a potent magic item), but most people who want to fight in melee are going to be able to manage a 16 or 18 by level 20 so we're talking about 3-4 extra damage on a 20th level character.

You, like many others, are overlooking the reduced damage dice finesse weapons contend with. See above analysis for details. Lacking dex to damage (especially because RAW Finesse Striker doesn't work with an elven-curve blade (and thus the most accurate comparison would really be a d6 vs a d12, which is not even factored into the above)) in addition to dealing with the lower dice is a case of kicking the dex fighter while it's already down.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cyrad wrote:
Spoiler:
Dex-to-damage doesn't feel necessary in Pathfinder 2.0 as it does in 1.0 because much of your damage scaling comes from the bonus damage dice from magic weapons.

And, as stated elsewhere, dex weapons have smaller damage dice, and thus the difference is more pronounced. And that would be fine, the trade is not having to care about strength. Disallowing dex to damage puts a dex fighter behind on damage dice and ability boosts. See the above analysis for how that shakes out.

TL;DR: Read the thread before posting, please, lest you threaten to contribute nothing.

swordchucks wrote:

Spoiler:
This feels like a red herring.

From the analysis, the overwhelming factor is the weapon damage dice. The static modifier is important at the lowest levels but rapidly loses relevance as levels go on.

The extension of this question becomes "what do you get in exchange for having worse damage dice?" That... honestly should probably come from combat options and class feats, not raw damage output.

Strictly speaking, the trade is not caring about Strength. Most people are way overvaluing that. The most a Strength fighter needs to put into Dex is a 14, or even only a 12 (see above analysis). That puts the dex fighter two ability boosts ahead of the strength fighter, but the strength fighter deals an easy 25% more damage. Thus the strength fighter deals more damage, but a dex fighter has small buffs elsewhere, such as two extra trained skills, two more initiative and will saves, two more resonance points, or one instance of any two prior options mentioned in this sentence. And while I'd say that trade is in the strength fighters favor, I can make peace with it in exchange for the option existing to allow the fantasy of the agile fighter.

TL;DR: Better tertiary bonuses in the form of two more ability boosts, and the technical ability to switch-hit, as Unicore points out (although I'm responding to him next). I'd like the trade to be more substantial, but am okay with where it is now otherwise.

Unicore wrote:

Spoiler:
The biggest issue the STR based fighter is going to face in matching the damage output CommanderCoyler lists in his math is when the enemy doesn't stand still and take the damage that the character is dishing out. That is very hard to factor into these kind of theory crafting situations, but the more damage the character does, and the more limited her movement is by heavy armor, the less likely she will be getting those hits in as enemies rightful avoid giving her more than one attack around. Enemies might also fight tactically against a character using a lighter blade, but will be less likely to sacrifice their own opportunities to attack, especially because the light armored character is going to be keeping up.

A fighter is going to be moving 15ft an action in heavy armor until level 17. Even assuming they have sudden charge, that is 45ft of moving and one attack action a turn. But a unencumbered enemy could be covering 50ft with only 2 movement actions. It is pretty reasonable to assume that there is going to be a significant loss in number of attacks for a two-handed fighter in comparison to ranged or more mobile Dex-based fighters. Probably at a rate of atleast to 2 to 1.

This is a huge part of why the short bow (and composite short bow) is a much better weapon then their damage output makes you think.

The problem with what-ifs is that they quickly threaten to spiral out of control and make any and all figures irrelevant. And you can scenario-craft your way into making most things situationally useless. Watch: What if a dex fighter or archer gets grappled? What about entangled? What about tanglefoot bags? All of those have strength-based escapes, and would - as such - hamper the dex fighter far more than the strength fighter.

Point is, being hung up on what-ifs is pointless. In an open, featureless field, your scenario has some merit, but having just run a barbarian and a rogue in the same party through Part 2 of Doomsday Dawn - which was a bit of a poster child at times for outdoor empty spaces - I assure you that the 15ft barbarian had no trouble closing on and murdering enemies like the hyenadon in one round.

Your mention of ranged weaponry is also not without merit - a dex fighter is going to be a more capable switch-hitter. However, this is with regards to discussing melee fighting, and while the agile hero can pull a crossbow and shoot something, it isn't typically in line with the fantasy of playing that type of character, and so a melee-intended dex fighter is pretty unlikely to be supporting their ranged switch-hitting with class feats to support it. And thus it feels less like a bonus to playing a dex fighter and more like an "Oh. Yeah, I guess I can do that too?" It's not what you make that character for, most of the time.

TL;DR: Having the option to switch hit is okay, but it's not what dex fighter enthusiasts are here for, so to speak.


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So. I decided to start a playtest thread. As I write this, my players have just wrapped up Part 2, and this week Sunday we start Affair at Sombrefell Hall.

My next post shall see my write-up of Part 1: The Ashen Ossuary.

About me as a GM: I don't run all my monsters with the most absurdly difficult tactics allowed under the rules. When deciding their actions, I try to take things like morale, intelligence, and aggression into account. If a monster's whole kit reads like the monster favors hit-and-run tactics, I try to run it as using hit-and-run tactics, adjusting its strategy based on what the PCs do. By extension, I try to run my monsters with a measure of self-preservation: my monsters try to flee or fight more defensively when they sense things are going downhill, and depending on the scenario may even surrender. If a module or adventure path calls for a creature to behave a certain way, I try to stick to that within reason.

With regards to players and balance: Balance versus the game is subjective. If my entire group is over-optimized, I can always scale encounters up. If my entire group is playing sub-optimally, I can scale things down. And sometimes, I don't scale things at all (in cases where the enemy is too weak to present any challenge to the party, I tend to just say "you kill them" rather than roll initiative, but I've also run combats where the objective was flee, stall, or alternative in nature). But I digress. I'm running this playtest with an attempt to be faithful to the playtest goals whilst also challenging my players without quite turning things into a meat-grinder (but if things go that way as a result of the playtest being too difficult, so be it; I have yet to encounter this scenario, though).

Experience so far: So far, I haven't particularly pulled my punches with my players, and I can say they have never come exceptionally close to wiping. They have never had a Cleric - though that will naturally change in Part 3 - and I don't particularly hand out Hero Points like candy (if you're ready for session before I am/the appointed time, whichever comes later, you get one more Hero Point at session start. Don't think I've ever handed one out otherwise). Now, my luck with the dice has some renown in our group for being on the terrible side, but law of averages and rolling electronic dice (we play on roll20) should theoretically even that out. This is not to say the PCs have never struggled. The dice having a sudden swing in my favor have boosted the effectiveness of certain encounters immensely. In short, while the monsters do need a balance overhaul regarding level-appropriate skills, combat has mostly felt like luck of the dice is the single biggest factor, and a lot of people have gone into painstaking detail elsewhere as to how the math supports that, so I won't post it here.

But that's enough for tonight, I think. Tomorrow I shall endeavor to post my players' run of Part 1.


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*sigh*

Welp, was working on a big post, it got eaten. Will probably work on it some more this upcoming week. Long and short of it: your Rottweiler would have been Medium under PF1 rules. Black bears should start at Medium and hit Large end-game, other types of bears should hit Large mid-game, and none of that measures up versus the other Small animal companions, like a snake, a bird, or a badger.

Also, giants are notorious for taming all kinds of dangerous thing, the "no culture has ever brought bears to heel" falls flat when you consider the setting.

Wish I hadn't lost my post, gave much better details and defenses on all of this.


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DataLoreRPG wrote:
Quote:
basic functions like weapon choice and effectiveness should not be one of those things in a game where you are trying to tell people to be diverse and play what you want.
That assumes you can't be a good dex user and not be a rogue. This is flatly false. Its another hyperbolic statement that is flatly not supported by fact.

You... Actually can't. Like, several people have run the numbers already. A dex-based character that has to use strength for damage is not viable. Yeah, some people are like "I've got a level 1 that it works on!" to which I kinda say "That's great, but when level 0 enemies have less than 10 hp, everything works. That won't scale well, I all but guarantee it."

But here, I'll gather the data and show you.

CommanderCoyler wrote:

Spoiler:
These are asuming a fighter, starting at 18 str, 16 dex (as that's the max you can do at level 1 with the standard generation, even though the str character doesn't need that high dex) and vice-versa. Also assuming vs an AC that gives a 10 to hit (both have the same accuracy), so 45% of attacks miss, 50% hit and 5% crit

1-handers at level 1:
Dex (Rapier, d6 (average 3.5) damage, deadly d8 (average 4.5)):
0.5x(3.5+3)+0.05x(7+9+6)=4.35 average damage
Str (longsword d8(average 4.5) damage):
0.5x(4.5+4)+0.05(9+8)=5.1 average damage
(4.35/5.1)*100 = 85.29%, so a 14.71% increase in damage for the str

2-handers at level 1:
Dex (Elven Curve Blade, d8 (average 4.5) damage, note: an uncommon weapon): 0.5x(4.5+3)+0.05(9+6)=4.5 average damage
Str (Greatsword, d12 (average 6.5) damage): 0.5x(6.5+4)+0.05(13+8)=6.3 average damage
(4.5/6.3)*100 = 71.43%, so a 28.57% increase for the str (a bigger gap, even with using an uncommon weapon for dex)

Now let's kick this up a notch and go from the opposite end, level 20. These are assuming both characters have raised both str and dex at every opportunity through their carrers (so ending up with 22(+6) in their primary stat and 21(+5) in their secondary) and again assuming vs an AC that gives a 10 to hit (both have the same accuracy), so 45% of attacks miss, 50% hit and 5% crit.

1-handers at level 20:
Dex (Legendary +5 Rapier, 6d6 (average 21) damage, deadly 3d8 (average 13.5):
0.5x(21+5)+0.05x(42+27+10)=16.95 average damage
Str (Legendary +5 Longsword, 6d8 (average 27) damage):
0.5x(27+6)+0.05x(54+12)=19.8 damage
(16.95/19.8)*100 = 85.61%, so a 14.39% increase for the str

2-handers at level 20:
Dex (Legendary +5 Elven Curve Blade, 6d8 (average 27) damage):
0.5x(27+5)+0.05x(54+10)=19.2 average damage
Str (Legendary +5 Greatsword, 6d12 (average 39) damage):
0.5x(39+6)+0.05x(78+12)=27 average damage
(19.2/27)*100 = 71.11%, so a 28.89% damage increase

Coyler had his math right, but he didn't bring it home in a way that paints a complete picture for comparison. But to start, let's be clear: a loss of 14-29% of damage is huge. Of note: his figures assume the strength character maxes dex as much as possible, and it influences the strength character's damage not at all. And it probably doesn't affect his AC much either. As you and others have pointed out, a strength character isn't going to need much more than a 14 in Dex. Case in point:

Raynulf wrote:

Spoiler:
1st: Dex 12 Fighter in chainmail (AC 15 / TAC 13); Dex 18 Rogue in studded leather (AC 17 / TAC 15)

2nd: Dex 12 Fighter in fullplate (AC 19 / TAC 15); Dex 18 Rogue in studded leather (AC 18 / TAC 16)
5th: Dex 12 Fighter in fullplate+1 (AC 23 / TAC 19); Dex 19 Rogue in studded leather+1 (AC 22 / TAC 20)
10th: Dex 12 Fighter in fullplate+2 (AC 29 / TAC 25); Dex 20 Rogue in studded leather+2 (AC 29 / TAC 27)
15th: Dex 12 Fighter in fullplate+3 (AC 36 / TAC 32); Dex 21 Rogue in studded leather+3 (AC 35 / TAC 33)
20th: Dex 12 Fighter in fullplate+4 (AC 43 / TAC 39); Dex 22 Rogue in studded leather+4 (AC 41 / TAC 39)

A strength fighter who goes to only 12 dex is consistently going to match if not outperform someone maxing dex. In the AC arena, it's essentially a tie with a slight favor toward the strength fighter.

So a strength fighter beats a dex fighter on damage and AC in the current system. Allowing dex to damage gives Coyle's dex fighter 1 more point of damage, bringing that percentage gap down to, oh... 9-25% more damage in favor of the strength fighter.

But - and this is important - the theoretical 21 dex on Coyle's strength fighter was largely superfluous. Raynulf's example demonstrates that strength fighter could comfortably leave dex at 12... In much the same way a dex-to-damage fighter could comfortably leave strength at 12.

In the current system, the dex-to-hit-but-str-to-damage fighter is actually forced to pump two attributes to the max... Thus making all dex fighters forced to use strength for damage both more homogeneous (that thing you can't stop proclaiming your dread for) and less flexible in terms of their other stats than the strength fighter by 4 ability boosts... All while playing second stringer in combat. Presuming the math is based around the strength fighter's damage, the dex-to-hit-str-to-damage fighter is just outright less useful in essentially every way.

Spoiler:
To clarify some terminology (and because the above is ridiculous to type), I'm going to use "dex fighter" to refer to the dex-to-damage fighter and "dex-hindered fighter" to refer to the fighter still trying to use strength for damage. "Strength fighter" means a fighter using strength for hit and damage.

Now, for your inevitable counter-points:

"The strength fighter still needs 12-14 dex, the dex fighter can leave their str at 10." To which I will say "yes, this is true." However, you and others have pointed out the veritable cornucopia of ability boosts the system goes out of its way to hand out. Using one or two of those to round out AC is honestly probably a trade in the strength fighter's favor when you consider they have an upper damage range advantage of an easy 25%. The - at most - two ability boost advantage the dex fighter gains doesn't really outweigh that. Like not even close.

Your next point will be reflex saves. My counter-point is two-fold. First, reflex is the least important save. It protects you from some damage. You can heal that pretty readily, but I will grant it feels nice to just nope a substantial portion of an enemy's AoE damage. But... you know what can prevent the wrong people from taking damage, and thus obviate the need to heal at all? My second counterpoint: battlefield control. Strength characters have a lot of battlefield control in the Athletics skill. Tripping, shoving, grappling... I actually really like the added utility given to strength characters there and consider it far more valuable than a reflex save. One is a number boost, the other is a whole wealth of options.

Your last point, specifically, Datalore, will likely be some nonsense about player envy or comparisons to other systems. To that end, I have kept my argument purely to PF2, and stated the advantages to both without suggesting each should get what the other has. With that in mind and the above numbers, are you still going to say dex to damage still doesn't deserve to be an option in the playtest? Make it a level 3 general feat, let people see how it fares in the game, take it out of the final product if the sentiment is that it somehow breaks things in practice. The numbers suggest it won't be a problem, however.

P.S. wrote:

Spoiler:
Before you point out that rogues don't seem to under-perform on damage, that's the result of sneak attack. Take it away and watch them sink.

Also, provided playtesting dex to damage as something like a level 3 general feat doesn't demonstrably break the game per feedback, I'd posit they should keep it for the final core rulebook. As a GM, it's easier to say "I don't want this option in my game" than it is to homebrew something balanced that allows that choice.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think Animal Companion horses already get a Mount tag, which is part 2 of "why are horses special?" I'd have to double check that once I get home. Either way, it's unrealistic when Paizo specifically said they wanted to take more steps for things like this to have rules and reality align. Yeah, I know, magic, but these are supposed to be mundane real world animals, maybe a smidge smarter than natural.

I and my PC agree the bear can start at Medium, so it would be until level 9 that the ranger gets to ride the bear. As it stands, it'll be arbitrarily longer because it starts at Small.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
DataLoreRPG wrote:
Quote:
You haven't answered the question: Str characters already need some dex for AC, how would changing something unrelated make them more MAD?

In comparison to dex builds, obviously

Quote:
Your 'meaningful' choice: 'Do what I say or go home'
Lol, we are done

Question, dude: you played the game at all, or are you an armchair analyst? If the latter, do you have numbers to back up your claims? Because plenty of people are giving data on how the two would be different but competent in their own ways. People are suggesting ways to make certain shortfalls work (heavier armor really does need some adjusting, dex to damage or no). But all I've seen you do is play goal-keeper. So, you got numbers supporting your nay-saying? Have you tried playing a dex-based non-rogue martial? Do you have any empirical evidence that things currently work fine when so many disagree?


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I actually don't advocate for dex to damage dealing as much damage as strength to damage does (and let me assure you, part 2 of Doomsday Dawn proved strength was better at damage when I ran it for my group (giant totem barbarian and rogue multiclassed fighter)). However, the agile hero is definitely a fantasy mainstay, and so letting it be viable, which it currently is not without being a rogue seems a bit remiss. Yeah, it will have a few points of better AC, but when it loses a minimum of 5 damage per attack for that, that's actually a substantial trade.

Imagine a feat that says "your attacks deal 10 less damage, but you gain +3 AC". Dex no longer contributes to initiative, and strength now contributes to a few vital skills itself, including basically all of the combat maneuvers. As a result, skill considerations go out the window and yeah, Reflex saves are important, but so are combat maneuvers. In fact, you could argue that by virtue of the skill and the combat maneuvers being tied behind the same skill - Athletics - Strength actually has a bit of a leg up there versus all the skill splitting needed for the dex skills.


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Raynulf wrote:

Dex to damage is a tough choice in a game. Take 5E for example; In that system the 'norm' is to go Dex based unless you either are playing a barbarian or have access to heavy armor. The reasoning is simple: Dex builds tie their AC, Attack, Damage and one of the most common saves to one ability score, making it vastly more efficient than Strength builds, who require gear (specifically heavy armor) to give decent AC.

In Pathfinder 1, Dex builds struggled to rival Strength builds in effectiveness, simply due to the fact that armor gave so much AC, all armor had a max Dex bonus to AC, and Strength based characters could wield a two-handed weapon to gain more damage from their Strength and Power Attack than a Slashing/Fencing Grace character could. I would argue that Dex to damage was too restricted in Pathfinder 1 (though OP with swashbucklers, who were designed to make Dex builds work without Dex to damage).

Looking at Pathfinder 2, something that is immediately evident is the fact that heavy armor doesn't grant enormous AC bonuses. Indeed, Dex based characters can easily rival their heavily armored compatriots in AC, even without all of the troubles associated with heavy armor. See below

** spoiler omitted **...

I actually do agree with making heavier armors more attractive in exchange for opening up dex to damage. Worth noting your math assumes maxed out dex, which means that number comparison isn't going to get any worse if you do open up dex to damage. And the "rogue - multiclass to something else" is absolutely something I'm already seeing my players do at part 2 (level 4) of Doomsday Dawn. I do think people super worried about dex being tied to so many things are forgetting how easy it is to boost Dex to 18 to make other numbers be comparable. Worth noting that none of the special materials boost max dex anymore, which I feel is a mistake in a system where so many stat boosts are granted every 5 levels. If Paizo wants to charge something for dex to damage, I'm fine with rogue getting it for free, everyone else should be able to snag it as a level 3 general feat.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Answered my own question by reading Doomsday Dawn. The Elite Gnoll Warriors have TAC of 17, basics have 15. Leaving this up for anyone else who has this same question.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Also, during session, this got brought up, and one player mentioned something important: you want to ride a horse for a mount? Buy one.

And there goes the horse's niche of "mount animal companion.

But to get back to other points made here...

Snickersnax wrote:


At one year a young bear cub may weigh as little as 15 lbs, although there is a considerable range

I don't see a problem here.

Horribly inaccurate, actually. And the part that annoys me is that I think you knew better (unless you can include your source that mislead you). It's pretty clear you and I both googled "size of 1 year bear" or something similar and got close to the same page.

http://bearwithus.org/understanding-bears/facts-at-a-glance-north-american- black-bear-ursus-americanus/

Weight range at 1 year is 15 pounds to "more than 100 pounds, depending on food supply."

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_black_bear
"At the age of six weeks, they attain 900 g (2.0 lb), by 8 weeks they reach 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) and by the age of 6 months they weigh 18 to 27 kg (40 to 60 lb). They reach sexual maturity at the age of three years, and attain their full growth at 5 years."

Now, consider a few things:
1) A ranger or druid raises this thing from a cub. Presumably there is no lack of food for the bloody thing. Even if you go somewhat light on something as broad as "more than 100 pounds" and settle on 90 lbs, that is still triple the weight of any of the Small races in PF1 (which technically had an upper bound of something like 37 lbs).

2) This is a black bear. The stats given in the book are supposed to be between black, grizzly, or polar (player's choice). So this problem actually gets worse if you assume anything not a black bear.

3) That's at 1 year. I can accept that, if you want to say that a ranger must raise it from a young age, that's fine. My issue is then that if you actually take a small-sized bear companion into combat, you are taking something clearly less than six months old, a literal cub that no sane person would expect to face down anything dangerous.

4) Then there's the comparison to horses.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foal

Like black bears, horses take 5 years to reach full height. Some people start saddling or working them at 2 years, though this is technically understood to be too young for them and their work must be delicate for fear of not hurting them. So we're expecting a horse to be battle-hardened, carrying Medium creatures and qualifying as Large at 2 years old, then? But the bear you want to bring with you has to be under six months? Neither is ready for combat at that point, but based upon the book, that's the expected ages we're talking here.

5) Part 2 of this issue: if it takes 5 years for both animals to reach full grown size, and Full Grown is a level 5 feat for rangers regardless of animal companion, it is not congruent to say that "yeah, I guess bears are just younger animal companions than horses." There's no narrative backing there on the timeframe in which they age/grow. Now, a full grown horse can - depending on breed - be bigger than a black bear... When fully grown. But if we're allowing different horse breeds, we have to allow different bear species, and the polar bear would like to have a word with you about this Size nonsense.

6) In conclusion, when fully grown, both the black bear and your choice of horse breed so vastly outstrip human weight that they clearly fall closer to each other as Large than either of them do to Medium.

Captain Morgan wrote:


There seem to both be narrative and game balance reasons to justify it being small, and I think "Rides bears" is actually one of the easier things to justify needing a few levels on.

Actually, Size itself offers no mechanical advantage between Small and Medium. I'd be fine with a bear starting at Medium. Even at Large, they gain no advantage other than being mount-able by Medium creatures and gain a substantial disadvantage (being larger = fit less places, easier to flank). The only reason Horses can start Medium or Large whereas all others must start Small is an extremely gamey attempt to protect the horse's niche as "mount." I'd say start bears at Medium, keep horses where they are size-wise, but give them something unique that isn't "mount". High move speed, longer overland endurance for long distances, charging/jousting capabilities (Rideby Attack from PF1, anyone?), etc. I respect the iconic image of a knight on a horse, and to that end they deserve more than "is a mount."


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Gotcha. Teaches me to search for "selling". Thankee.

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