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An alternative approach would be to make some area effect spells with undead themes (yeah, I saw a commercial for Zombie Tidal Wave). It seems to me the benefits would be that:

1) you are getting "a lot" of undead but aren't adding to GM headaches by having to keep track of where each of those undead are.

2) since the necromancer isn't micromanaging 30 skeletons, the necromancer's player's turn shouldn't take 45 minutes.

3) an interesting heightening effect could be that the spell leaves behind a zombie/skeleton/whatever appropriate undead when the spell ends.

4) when the party goes to sleep at the end of the day, the necromancer doesn't have to worry about a random group of gnolls or ghouls eating half of his/her zombies (for some reason the "I've got an army of undead" necromancer has never been popular at my table--it is a real mystery).

5) This becomes good precedent for other themed area effect spells (I'm looking at you Impnado or Lantern Archon Thunderstorm).


Watching the medusa fights in both Clash of the Titans movies (the main reason to watch the remake) and the Percy Jackson movie, it doesn't seem like she just sits there hoping someone just happens to catch her gaze. She is doing stuff to draw attention. Admittedly that should take one of her actions, but it does make me think most gaze attack types aren't passive about it (except in the white room, where they are standing still with their eyes closed).


I can't speak for the accuracy of this list (and definitely not for the formatting), but take a look at the last half of http://pf2.d20pfsrd.com/rules/bestiary/.


I think witches will end up parallel to sorcerers with devil/demon/daemon divine patrons, fey primal patrons, Great Old Ones occult patrons, and dragon arcane patrons. Hexes can be focus abilities, so there won't be as much difference between witches of different patrons.


Vali Nepjarson wrote:
Lucas Yew wrote:
On a related note, I would have liked all major outsiders to have their old CR 2 and CR 20 variants in the first Bestiary. The ship has sailed though... (and Proteans never had the 20th variant at all)

Yeah they did. Izfiitars.

I do agree with your statement though. It seems odd that Lawful Neutral, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Neutral, True Neutral and all the Good aligned outsiders are missing their Level 20 counterparts, but we still have Balors, Pit Fiends, and Pleromas.

Plus, where are the Agathions at all? Are Angels replacing them as Neutral Good?

I just kinda want to have a game which heavily revolves around a level 20 lord of all 9 alignments are involved. I feel like that'd be fun.

I was wondering that about the agathions as well. I suspect that they were trying to keep 1 outsider type per alignment, and angels took over the "main NG" spot from the agathions, but that doesn't mean they can't show up later. I think if they were going to have angels absorb agathions (like aeons did to inevitables), there would have been an example in the Bestiary.


How much of a swarm has to be together to remain a swarm? It would be pretty easy to narrate a scenario where Ang-gar the Barbarian tries to grapple a swarm of rats and half (or more) of the rats wiggle free. What percentage counts for actually grappling the swarm? If he holds 40% of the mass of the swarm is he grappling the swarm? 50%?

And since this is the rules forum, I expect a rules-based answer.

If all the rats in one hand don't fit, then you must acquit.


Sorry, I don't have the book in front of me, but what do the grappling rules say about grappling more than one creature at a time? If the rules set any sort of limitation on how many creatures you can grapple, then the definition of swarm (specifically "a mass or cloud of creatures") means you can't grapple the swarm, and you wouldn't need to say that in the swarm definition because it is in the grappling rules.


Sorry, don't have the book in front of me, but are there limits on how many creature you can grapple at a time? "Functions as one monster" is not exactly the same as being one monster (and might have been better to have been stated as "acts as one monster"), so if there is a limit on how many creatures you can grapple in the grappling rules, then by that rule it would be impossible to grapple a swarm, which is "a mass or cloud of creatures."


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Even if the rest of the designers decided that "I'm feeling evil" is how they meant for this to play out, I think they should clarify it, since RAW + unconventional often equals problems at tables.

That being said, I would be fine if Mark changes it. If that is the case, I hope they find something more imaginative than "eventually you will turn evil/good/lawful/chaotic"--maybe every time a nonevil type casts the spell an imp teleports into the vicinity (you don't have to be evil to use this spell, but you are helping evil get a stronger foothold in the world every time you do). Last I heard, imps are still worth xp and have loot, so it is a win-win for the murder hoboes.


As for alignment traits, having the player declare "Bob the sorcerer is feeling evil" (and thus for the time being Bob's alignment is one of the evil ones) solves that. Now, undoubtedly, Bob's player will claim he is over it after the spell is cast (and Bob is back in his previous alignment), but part of being the GM is to notice that Bob has been doing a lot of evil but not a lot of nonevil lately...


I think "My PC is suddenly feeling evil" solves this (followed by "he/she is over the evil feelings"). Not only do you get to use the spells, but temptation is preserved (and documented for when the GM wants to know if the sorcerer's alignment has changed due to all the evil spells he/she has been casting...).


I wonder if there are monster roles rules like in PF Unchained (obviously using different #'s). If so, the Goblin Warrior could be a brute and get some kind of brute bonus....


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In the fulness of time I am sure there will be more options. Still, I imagine the devs "to do" list is pretty big, so official "other good champions" might be a couple of years away (3rd party might be a lot sooner).


In terms of "cosmic goodness, I think the best solution would have been to make the champions more like the Hellknights, focused on a particular kind of celestial/fiend/monitor. There are nine kinds of outsider in the Bestiary with enough info to flesh out the outsider-based champions, and I am sure the other 6 big fiends types and 3 big(ish) celestial types will show up eventually. But that would have started with outsiders, not gods, but wouldn't have worked with the "Power of Love" or whatnot unless the player decided that "angels are Love."


I think if you are getting power from something other than gods, it should look different/get different abilities. It isn't like there is an excess of "magical, but largely non-spell casting" melee classes, so it is an opportunity for a new and interesting class. Ideals or ancestor spirits seem occult to me, so that is what I think they should make the "non-god paladin" (assuming they make one).


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Ed Reppert wrote:
BadHairDay wrote:
Thank god. I hated psionics from the moment it first came into D&D. It always just felt wrong because D&D requires magic and telepathy always seemed much more an element of science fiction.

If you can find a copy of it, read P.E.I. Bonewits' Authentic Thaumaturgy. It explains that the ability to do magic comes from innate psychic abilities, of which telepathy is just one, or actually two, sending and receiving. :-)

AT presents a magic system that could replace the system in just about any RPG. It doesn't provide a lot of spells - the emphasis is on using your innate psychic abilities and the laws of magic to devise your own spells. He does give a couple of examples, like "finger of blowing out of saddle", which requires a cheroot and a serape as materials. :-)

Oh, and "a spell is a process, not a thing." (It's the process of putting yourself in a mental state in which you can access your psychic abilities).

Those are great spell components. That does make me think of those old Weird Tales (and Dune) where psychic powers often involved sniffing something or drinking something (hmmmm, maybe the alchemist is already psychic). Maybe black lotus, hallucinatory mushrooms, Spice, and Granny's Moonshine as archetypes.....


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Pinstripedbarbarian wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
IIRC hags were arcane casters in the playtest bestiary, so I'd assume they will be an arcane bloodline, as much as occult would make sense.
Ah well, I'm a little sad to hear it but thanks for the info. I'd love for classic monsters to really carve their niches into the "new" spell lists to give things more identity. Witches being occult seems to make sense for a lot of people, so Hags following suit would be great.

I agree. It would be nice to account for occult being available on Day 1. On the other hand, in the "why is bard occult" thread, Mark Seifter said: Fey are tricky! It's slightly different metaphysically, but Mechagamera was right on the money that fey were "cheating" and doing weird things with their magic, hacking the essences they have rather than using mental/vital combo, but very similar.

Maybe Hags are good at hacking too....


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Arcaian wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
You mean medium won't be the occult archetype for the oracle (or maybe the oracle will be the divine archetype of the medium)? The gods give visions, the spirits give me visions, six of one, half dozen of the other.
Oracles have always been varied in the abilities available to the class, but not the character - you can have a melee tank oracle, a blasting oracle, a summoning oracle, etc, but you couldn't have one oracle change between all those easily. Medium's mechanical niche is flexibility of the character, not the class, and that doesn't share much with the oracle. Thematically they're not that similar either - oracles are cursed/blessed by gods, whereas mediums channel the spirits of dead mortals. I see far more ground for similarity between a Shaman and a medium than an Oracle :)

You go see the oracle to find out what quest the gods want to go on. You go see the medium to find out what quest your dead aunt wants you to go on. That seems very thematically similar to me. It is basically mad libs.


You mean medium won't be the occult archetype for the oracle (or maybe the oracle will be the divine archetype of the medium)? The gods give visions, the spirits give me visions, six of one, half dozen of the other.


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I think you could think of occult as powered-up hedge magic, which seems very appropriate for bards.


Stone Dog wrote:

Not that you are wrong about Bards and fey being chummy, but fey are more keyed to the Vital essence, which freds both Primal and Divine magic. The Vital essence draws from the First World.

However, fey are also pretty happy with illusions and enchantments, so have a lot of common ground with how Bards do things. It wouldn't be a surprise if some of the Bards tricks come from fey teachings.

I'll buy that with the First World and all, but I wonder if the fey will be focused on just one power source. Maybe mortals can't access vital/mental, but that would help make the fey a little more alien if that was their default. It makes sense for fiends/celestials/monitors to be Spiritual, since getting souls is a big part of their gigs, but it seems like fey have wider interests.


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masda_gib wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
I would like a more transfigural class, like the 4e warden (but not limited to "nature"). I think of it as the martial sorcerer, but instead of a weird connection to magic giving you spell casting, it temporarily turns you into a being of stone, a half-dragon, a half-angel, a humanoid bear, etc. Transformations + being inherently good at hitting things with weapons (like fighters, paladins, barbarians, etc.) is what I am going for.

Isn't this basically the PF2 barbarian? Some of the barbs totems have the Primal, Arcane or Occult trait, meaning they are Powered By Magic (TM) and they do transform you into a dragon etc.

If there is an elemental totem/instinct in the future, it probably will also transform you into a stone being.

No one played a barbarian in my playtest group. I will have to take a look at them. Thank you.


It seems like they could make the fey into an occult thing pretty easily, and bards seem like a good mix with fey, so that would be a good "in" for why bards are occult.


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I would like a more transfigural class, like the 4e warden (but not limited to "nature"). I think of it as the martial sorcerer, but instead of a weird connection to magic giving you spell casting, it temporarily turns you into a being of stone, a half-dragon, a half-angel, a humanoid bear, etc. Transformations + being inherently good at hitting things with weapons (like fighters, paladins, barbarians, etc.) is what I am going for.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, we know what the minion trait does, so the issue is which of these three scenarios is most desirable-

1) Animal Companions have the minion trait.
2) Animal Companions are significantly less puissant and durable than player characters; they are likely to die in fights against same level opposition.
3) Animal Companion focused PCs essentially are twice as many characters as all the other players get.

4) The expected damage and versatility increase from Animal Companions is about the same as a similar feat or feature investment.

Or if we can't believe balance is possible, then outcome 2 isn't all that bad. I don't think ANY option should be viable all the time. If the level 12 Companion user has to be careful when stumbling upon an Adult Green Dragon, thats fine! Just like how a rogue doesn't get to sneak attack all the monsters in the book, or your choice of spells might fail against a monster with particular resistances/immunities etc.

5) There could be a pet class where almost all the power is in the pet (the pet can have 3 actions, and the "owner" gets 1). I call this the Lassie/Little Timmy solution.... The "owner" is pretty much there to talk to people (and interpret Lassie's actions).

If the "owner" dies, Lassie just finds a new one, the same way a ranger finds a new animal companion.

I am both shocked and intrigued by this as a class concept.

I am sure it is too far out for serious consideration, but I think in a case where there are legitimate concerns on both sides of an issue and compromise is failing, sometimes you have to go pretty far out in left field to propose a solution.

It basically flips things so the "animal companion" is really the PC, and the "owner" is the class feature (who talks, carries loot, and gives Lassie belly rubs and rawhide treats, so not an unimportant class feature).

I thought about suggesting "beast races", but that doesn't fit well with existing classes. The Lassie class can have archetypes derived from rogues, barbarians, monks, and maybe even champions (reactive attacks seem pretty reasonable for this class). Actual multiclassing is the biggest hitch, maybe Timmy could be the beneficiary of the multiclass. If the Lassie class multiclasses 7 levels of any combination of other classes, Timmy gets 2 actions which he/she can spend as a member of those other classes (Timmy gets all 3 actions if the Lassie class multiclasses 13 levels of any combination of other classes). Other classes just won't be able to multiclass in levels of Lassie (I admit this is a big drawback).


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Malk_Content wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, we know what the minion trait does, so the issue is which of these three scenarios is most desirable-

1) Animal Companions have the minion trait.
2) Animal Companions are significantly less puissant and durable than player characters; they are likely to die in fights against same level opposition.
3) Animal Companion focused PCs essentially are twice as many characters as all the other players get.

4) The expected damage and versatility increase from Animal Companions is about the same as a similar feat or feature investment.

Or if we can't believe balance is possible, then outcome 2 isn't all that bad. I don't think ANY option should be viable all the time. If the level 12 Companion user has to be careful when stumbling upon an Adult Green Dragon, thats fine! Just like how a rogue doesn't get to sneak attack all the monsters in the book, or your choice of spells might fail against a monster with particular resistances/immunities etc.

5) There could be a pet class where almost all the power is in the pet (the pet can have 3 actions, and the "owner" gets 1). I call this the Lassie/Little Timmy solution.... The "owner" is pretty much there to talk to people (and interpret Lassie's actions).

If the "owner" dies, Lassie just finds a new one, the same way a ranger finds a new animal companion.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Roswynn wrote:
I sure hope not - this is one of the stupidest contrivances I've ever heard of in an rpg... and I had no idea this was the case in 1e. Please devs don't keep this explanation!

Well, per PF1, when you're using a Calling spell (like Planar Binding) you get real creatures. Specific individuals with their own name, history, and desires.

When you're using a spell like Summon Monster, though, you're basically creating a temporary magical construct, the platonic ideal of the creature in question, rather than a specific individual. This is actually almost a necessary explanation given how those spells work (their small duration, the fact that the monster always has precisely generic stats, the fact that it vanishes at 0 HP), with the 'summon specific individuals' thing making much less sense for the Summon Monster spell line than this explanation does.

I've personally always liked this explanation and I suspect they're keeping it.

I always thought the real explanation was: if an evil PC summons an angel, he/she can make it kill orphans, because it isn't a real angel. Of course, the second time one my player's PC's does that, a bunch of real angels will show up (Marketing is Very Important to the cosmic powers in my games....).


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
graystone wrote:
For me, the "game's verisimilitude" really gets torn to shreds when the minion is intelligent [maybe more so that the summoner] and STILL needs consent supervision: they somehow can't understand 'attack that creature/object until I say not to...'. Nope, I summon an elder elemental to destroy a wall and I have to remind it every round of that. :P
To be fair, that Elder Elemental is probably getting on in years and might need the regular reminder :p

Also the Elemental Liberation Front (ELF) has been teaching passive resistance to elementals so as to reduce their value to the slavers who keep grabbing them out of the elemental planes and forcing them to fight in battles they have no interest in.


Eh, you get magic powers from a curse by a divine being vs. getting magic powers from a curse by an occult being vs. getting magic powers from a curse by a primal being all seem about the same. I just can't think of an arcane being (maybe a lich?) to curse someone...

That being said, I don't think the devs are interested in symmetry or filling in a matrix of casting types.


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For summoning in general, I like the "the summoned monster will take actions according to its nature unless the summoner gives it specific directions" model more than the "hangs around waiting for orders" model. So something like: a summoned daemon will attack the closest creature (which can be the summoner) unless the summoner directs it to attack a specific target. The daemon will move to attack the specific target; however, if a creature gets between the daemon and the specific target, the daemon will attack the intervening creature until it kills or drives the intervening creature out of its reach.

So summoning a daemon is a big deal, dangerous to the summoner and the party, but a canny group will be able to get a lot of damage out of one action.

I could see devils trying to make a deal, angels healing humanoids/fey/beasts, elementals trying to leave, etc.


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I think even things like the World Wound closing aren't supposed to be that big, since there are still a bunch of demons running around (they just can't get reinforcements easily)-which may be balanced out by the lessening of support to the crusaders from distant lands who might see less threat to their survival by a finite number of demons a long ways away than from infinite demons (and possibly demon lords) coming out of the Abyss.


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I like the radioactive idea. If dragons didn't get hungry, paranoid, or angry, they might have armies of half-dragon people, cows, dogs, etc., but fortunately dragon behavior tends to limit the number of subjects in their vicinity.


morphail wrote:
Roswynn wrote:
Considering Cha is officially willpower afaik, the save named "Will" should really use that, and not Wis...

I have already shuffled charisma and wisdom around in the playtest:

I call them Willpower and Wisdom/Intuition. Willpower has the will save. Wisdom has perception, deception, diplomacy and other skills it had before. Willpower has Intimidation and an Inspire skill (basically the same as intimidation but without the uses in combat and no negative outcomes).

Another idea was to break dexterity into agility and dexterity. The latter is important for missile weapons and thievery, agility does AC and all the rest. But then you are stuck with 7 ability scores...

You could make constitution a function of class level for PC's and CR for monsters. That would keep it at six (strength, agility, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma).


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I like Truth Vulnerability and Peace Vulnerability a lot. I think I would add that the Glabrezu gets a small regeneration effect (maybe 2) every round that a non-demon makes a deception check or casts an illusion spell in its presence, unless something triggers Truth Vulnerability, just for a little extra nastiness for my players....


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NielsenE wrote:
Ah, I must have missed when they stopped calling them heritage feats.

Me too.


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Canewolfconram wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:

I think D&D/Pathfinder could really use a "martial sorcerer" who hits things better because of "bloodlines", without all those pesky "only human" limitations of the fighter. I think between that type of class and the sorcerer (which covers casting spells because of "bloodlines"), I am not sure we would actually need planetouched races, since by being in one of those two classes (and picking the right bloodlines), your PC was either born that way or were remade that way.

I admit I was a big proponent of planetouched as racial feats, but this thread has opened my eyes on the limitations of that approach.

I disagree, planetouched feel more exact yet bland compared to bloodlines. Bloodlines such as celestial is quite a broad range of ancestry but grow to immense power as you level, but plumekin assimar is more descriptive of one's heritage but never really compares to your class abilities as you grow in levels

I can see that. My thought is that someone who wanted just a touch of otherworldliness could just dip into one of those classes.

It is probably a moot point, though; if half elves end up as a feat, I will be quite surprised if all the other hybrid ancestries don't as well.


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I think D&D/Pathfinder could really use a "martial sorcerer" who hits things better because of "bloodlines", without all those pesky "only human" limitations of the fighter. I think between that type of class and the sorcerer (which covers casting spells because of "bloodlines"), I am not sure we would actually need planetouched races, since by being in one of those two classes (and picking the right bloodlines), your PC was either born that way or were remade that way.

I admit I was a big proponent of planetouched as racial feats, but this thread has opened my eyes on the limitations of that approach.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
It also just, like, hard buffs champion, sorcerer and bard relative to everyone else, and cleric to a lesser extent.
When people complain that the sorcerer is weaker than the wizard, they can say "but the sorcerer has more focus."
I do not wish for Classes using CHA to become less useful/powerful in a game because they have to make up for having more focus.

You don't make cake taste bad because you are going to put frosting on it--frosting is a bonus for good-tasting cake. In case I am too cryptic, the cake is the sorcerer, and the frosting is focus. They didn't say "let's make the sorcerer weak because focus", but more of "let's keep focus cha-based (assuming it still is), because that benefits the sorcerer which is a little weak."


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FedoraFerret wrote:
It also just, like, hard buffs champion, sorcerer and bard relative to everyone else, and cleric to a lesser extent.

When people complain that the sorcerer is weaker than the wizard, they can say "but the sorcerer has more focus."


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Maybe instead of just blank antimagic, each TN champion could have specific areas that they are antimagic to: Pharasma's champion could disrupt undead-creating magic, Gozreh's champion could disrupt any magic that lets you control beasts, plants, or elementals (what, that earth elemental I just summoned wasn't happy about it?), and Nethys' champion (who is probably a bard multiclass) could disrupt magic that disrupts other kinds of magic (he/she is a walking anti-anti-magic field).


A way around the problem of level 1 summoner is to make the eidolon share hitpoints with the summoner, which would support a "there was a cosmic accident or I screwed up some advanced magic, and I got fused with this fiend/celestial/monitor/elemental" storyline. So if you send a monster summoned from a spell at the ancient red dragon, and it gets eaten, that is inconvenient, but if you do the same with the eidolon, you die too....


Since I figure Paizo's seller's remorse over the summoner probably means the PF2 version of that class will be distant in the future (if at all), it seems like you could "borrow" parts of the summoner to enhance the sorcerer, maybe having "bloodline connection" feats that give you some kind of customization benefit when you summon fey/elementals (arcane or primal bloodlines), celestials/fiends/monitors (divine bloodlines), and spirits/undead (occult bloodlines).


I suspect you will see summoner-like feats for the sorcerer (as a way to beef up the divine bloodlines)early in the edition (if not the core rule book then in one of the first splat books).

Something like: Due to your bloodline, you have a special relationship with (pick one) demons/devils/angels, so that if you summon one, the duration of the summoning increases to X, and (2nd feat) you can add one of the following to the summoned......

That being said, I think the Pokémon-style summoner that Jester David suggested is the most likely version to make a full class. I could see some summoner priority spells that do things like "when you cast this spell, your summoned monster (to make it a little more generic) makes a melee attack and does Y extra fire damage."


AnimatedPaper wrote:

Giants are humanoids in Pathfinder. It also doesn't look Iike the "outsider" tag exists anymore, which is interesting (at least, I don't see it in the beastiary). I'll have to read up on how "banish" works now.

BUt the rest of your idea sounds interesting. Mostly because it sounds quite a bit like the monster codex, and I can certainly stand 12 of those.

Thanks. Giants get a surprising number of types across gaming systems, and I skipped a synapse and forgot which one I was talking about....


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MaxAstro wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:

I could see books like "Advanced Humanoid Enemies and Allies" with tables like this:

Estimated Challenge Rating for Adding Levels of Wizard to Humanoid

Worth mentioning that one of the explicit goals of the new math is to not need tables like this.

The devs have said that (for example) a level 8 monster and a level 8 wizard are supposed to be roughly equal in strength, and adding 4 levels of wizard to a level 8 monster should be roughly equal to a level 12 monster.

Obviously that can't be completely accurate, but the closer to accurate it is the better, I think, so hopefully we never need a table like you suggest.

And it certainly seems like it will be better than 1e; since 2e gets rid of "class level" in favor of just level, a level 8 monster with 4 levels of wizard will only have 2nd level spells, but those second level spells will have the save DC of a 12th level wizard.

That would be ideal. I guess I have just seen too many "its going to be too hard to figure out the CR for my orc barbarian 2" posts, so this seemed like something that could be easily manufactured. I definitely like moving from class level to just level.


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If each monster is going to have a special gimmick (which is a good thing in my opinion) and we want the majority of special gimmicks to be worthwhile (the devs are only human and each person's idea of what is worthwhile will vary), then I think it will slow the bestiaries down a bit.

I could see books like "Advanced Humanoid Enemies and Allies" with tables like this:

Estimated Challenge Rating for Adding Levels of Wizard to Humanoid:

Base CR Level 1 Level 2 Level 3.......Level 20
0
1/2
1

With some premade NPC examples

And similar books for dragons and giants, outsiders (maybe two books, one for fiends and one for nonfiends), fey and elementals, and undead. That could fill the first couple of gaps between bestiaries.


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Sorcerer aside, the design of most classes is heavily influenced by the connotation surrounding the classes name. It is why barbarians rage, wizards study, and rogues sneak attack. In an edition where you are focusing on existing players (PF1, for example), you can focus on the connotation internal to the gaming culture. The more you are trying to get new players (which I believe is a goal of PF2), the more you should consider the external connotation (which can be influenced by the gaming one, as seen in paladins).

That means that, in the beginning, clerics and paladins are going to be servants of the gods with mechanics that support that. Over time there will be more alternatives for dedicated players, but they aren't going to confuse the new players with that.


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I could see something like certain kinds of monsters can sense if you are doomed (could also do this for wounded, just different monsters). It would certainly inspire a party to "fix" a doomed member if every undead for 10 miles in all directions (more if you are more doomed) started following the party around.....


Roswynn wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
I will give you Kyonin because "elf society automatically works because elves." I am tempted to give you Nirmathas because "chaotic societies automatically work because Cimmeria", but they are practically Poland right before WWII, and that didn't work out well for the Poles. Give them another century and they will either be conquered again, occupying half (or less) of the real estate they currently do, or be a more lawful society.

Nirmathas has nothing to do with Cimmeria though - that would be the Realms of the Mammoth Lords. Nirmathas is a functional anarchy. And yes, it could become a nation with a politic hierarchy and something like a representative democracy (Andoran did), but they could also find out they're really into anarchism and they're fine like that. Hell, maybe more cities become anarchist communes and it all becomes a big federation, who knows. Depends on a lot of factors - till now they're doing very well against Molthune and no one seems interested in giving up their freedom.

As for Kyonin, it's a Chaotic Good society - so it might not be anarchic, but it probably allows a huge amount of freedom to the people it comprises (and as you'll remember Golarion elves hate to be told what to do), with the queen as a very powerful and respected advisor more than anything, various factions with often conflicting interests, communal raising of children, probably polyamory (elves live too long to marry for life, so why not)... it's not necessarily an anarchist confederation (it appears there is a state in some way, shape or form) but it seems to me it has a lot of anarchist leanings.

I was thinking of Cimmeria in terms of "throwing out the foreign invaders while not having anything resembling central authority" (since that is fairly important part of Conan lore) for Nirmathas.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
In a world where you run a big risk of being eaten by trolls or manticores every time you leave a community (and sometimes even when you are still in the community), I would argue that Joe Human Commoner has a lot of incentive to lean to lawfulness if not actually be lawful, because stronger communities increase your odds of safety, and historically the best method for making stronger communities is to have community members having high levels of buy-in (and lets face it, lawful="tendency to buy in to a social group").

This doesn't necessarily follow. It certainly can, but doesn't always. Chaotic societies clearly exist and can have a whole lot of buy-in from their citizens, they just operate with a greater focus on the individual than more the more Lawful societies tend to.

Look at Nirmathas, for example. That's a good example of a Chaotic society that very much works to defend its citizens, and does a pretty fair job given its circumstances. Kyonin is another such example, though a less overtly Chaotic one.

Now, Alignments will definitely tend to 'cluster' with people who have the same prevailing attitudes as the rest of the community being more common for exactly the reasons you cite, but that doesn't always mean being more Lawful, just being more in-synch with the predominant cultural leanings of the area.

I will give you Kyonin because "elf society automatically works because elves." I am tempted to give you Nirmathas because "chaotic societies automatically work because Cimmeria", but they are practically Poland right before WWII, and that didn't work out well for the Poles. Give them another century and they will either be conquered again, occupying half (or less) of the real estate they currently do, or be a more lawful society.

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