Mechagamera's page

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Maybe for sorcerers, "your deity" picks you instead of the other way around. If you are infused with their power (and maybe you didn't do a single thing to try to get that power), it seems like you are already "picked", regardless of who you pray to. Seems like a good source of Plot to me.....


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Kobolds discover that metallic dragons are also dragons. Some kobolds come to serve their new metallic overlords (undoubtedly a social engineering experiment by one or more gold dragons). Better living conditions produce healthier (and thus better for being a PC) kobolds.


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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.


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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).


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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.


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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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).


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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.....


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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").

Crazy adventurers who willingly go into undead-filled dungeons are another matter all together....


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tapping into fundamental forces for power is very cool and I think we should have more of it rather than less.

I agree, I wonder if we shouldn't have a class (or two) for "tapping into the energy of various planes." Like a class with 9 flavors which is empowered by/can tap the 9 outer planes would effectively replace the Paladin/Champion in my games, assuming it can be built to resemble classic Paladin. Keep a code of conduct as in "in order to draw power from Elysium, your own personal energy has to be compatible with Elysium."

Then we could do the kineticist as "empowered by/can access the inner planes".

You got my vote.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
I don't think it would be too hard to mechanically and fluffwise apply "you are trying to become like a type of outsider" to champions. That solves the TN problem, since you are trying to be like a psychocomp. Want to be LG, be like an archon (unless they are going to be downgraded like Inevitables--it would be kind of funny if angels end up being the big LG types in PF2 like in 5e). Of course, the LN champion might be pretty weird trying to be like an aeon.....

I really wished for something like this when we were in playtest space. I called them Knights : Archon Knights, Devil Knights, Demon Knights ...

Emulating the abilities of a specific kind of outsiders and their alignment and ethos.

I will see how I can build such a character or class in PF2

It seems like it would make coming up with paladin mechanical abilities easier, particularly interesting mechanical abilities. It also seems useful for developing abilities for new outsider types....


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QuidEst wrote:
Roswynn wrote:

Wait, I'm reminded of at least one kind of TN outsider: the aeons. A champion emulating them, for instance, would most of all advocate the cause of preserving the correct functioning of the universe and stop those who try to alter its laws for too long and on too big a scale. Preserving existence, more or less dispassionately, even if that might mean today evil has to win (which neutrals would normally still oppose on the mere basis that good is better than evil).

Aeons are getting promoted to the primary LN outsiders in PF2.

I’d look at the gods. If they can build something that could follow Gozreh, Nethys, or Pharasma, then they’ve got a decent TN Champion. Dunno what that looks like, personally, but we’ll see eventually.

I could see the Pharasma champion being an undead hunter (I wanted to be a ranger with undead favored enemy, but I had better charisma than wisdom).

As for the champion of Nethys:

Aspiring champion: Oh great Nethys, I desire to be your champion.

Nethys: Do paladins...sorry I mean champions even cast spells in 2e? [sudden mood change]. Any "champion" of Mine better be a full caster or ELSE. [sudden mood change again]. A champion of Nethys? Cool, we can always use another wizard.

Aspiring champion: I am not so good at studying, but the ladies love me and I have a strong right arm.

Nethys: Bards are full casters in 2e, and you sound like you would make a good one.


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I did ask Mark on an early playtest thread if they were going to "fill the grid" for the other two combinations of essences. He said "no", but I don't recall if it was just for the playtest or for longer than that. This maybe PF2, but it is still Pathfinder, so I would be surprised if by 2 years in, the grid hadn't been filled at least once.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:


Or if Champions are still stuck in a reactive role and pushed into heavy armor. Are they being kept with any good, or changed to every alignment? If any alignment, what is True Neutral going to be about, champions of Meh? (please don't say balance, I've never seen that idea not lead to nonsensical things).

Clearly TN paladins are Champions of Indecision (and they fall by making a decision, or do they?).

I am not sure how much design space for giving Champions of different alignments different abilities (like armor proficiency), but I do hope they push it as far as they can. Anything to avoid the creatively bankrupt idea of "paladin of alignment X is exactly the same as the LG paladin, but with 'evil' replaced by some other word."


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I am an old timer too, and I would prefer wands help you cast over spells in a stick. Wands/staffs/etc. might be good place for metamagic.


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I think the main goal is to make a system easier to GM. I have to wonder how many new GM's have entered the game in recent years and how many veteran GM's have decided it is too much headache to run PF1(especially since both 4e and 5e are more GM-friendly); and please no one bring up "you don't have to do everything"; we all know the PF culture is very strong into "allow all the options or you are a bad GM." Eventually if you run low enough on GM's, all you are going to have is the charop forums. Likewise, I wonder how many "core only" games were occurring in PFS.

Making it easier on new/casual players is a very important side benefit. The fewer complications a GM has to keep track of for a PC means there are fewer complications for a player to keep track of. So these things feed into each other.


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The paladin could look at it like being undead is inflicting great pain on the soul, and destroying the undead is ending the pain; in general, ending pain is pretty compassionate.

The belief doesn't even have to be objectively right, just right in Pharasma's sight.


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The idea I think that is best to borrow from 4e would be that utility spells have their own spell slots. That way they could keep "utility overload" from complicating game design. Even classes that would have the highest utility to general ratio (probably bards and clerics), could have a ratio of 1:2.

If wizards picked a school, then school spells could count as general or utility for that wizard.


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You are missing the most important reason to be worried: NPC's don't need to be built with PC rules anymore. Just because the Big Bad NPC can send a 100 skeletons to attack the PC's doesn't mean that a PC should ever be able to get 100 skeletons.

If I was masochistic enough to design PF2, I would probably give the necromancer a swarm of undead. The mightier the necromancer, the bigger the swarm (or maybe better quality, like having to decide if you want to move from a large to huge swarm of zombies, or change to a large swarm of ghouls). You control a lot of undead with one action, and you don't waste a lot of game time doing so.


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Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I don’t think the second goal means “you’ll be able to build all your PF1 characters in PF2”.

I think it means that the APs and modules for PF2 will be the same genre as those in PF1.

That isn't what they said. They said: "tell the same stories and share in the same worlds", and if we assume they mean 'the same' when they say 'the same' P2 explicitly can't do that for all games/worlds that P1 supported.

If you are right and they just seriously mis-formulated, it's a very vague and mostly meaningless goal. If they meant, say, "a game where people with pseudo-historical tech and some form of magic can go around and kill things" or something of the sort, then fine, they did it. But there are a LOT of things that could be done with a game and fulfill those criteria, and P2 covers far fewer possibilities than P1 did.
If your interpretation is correct, we need a more detailed and specific formulation of point 5 to determine if they succeeded.

Your post is exactly the reason I think they should not have released the design goals.


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It is probably worth repeating that there are five goals, and that not ever design decision is going to weigh each one equally. So if on a design decision there is a conflict between #3 and #5, they might chose #5 over #3, and on another decision, they might prioritize #3 or #5.

I know it is too much to hope that before people complain about how "this isn't consistent with goal #2" (or which ever goal they obsess over), that they spend two seconds thinking that the decision maybe more about one of the other goals, but I wouldn't mind being pleasantly surprised.


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The same way you can hurt something made of mostly water by stabbing it—maybe the elementals now have “organs” (or the elemental equivalent). Lots of outsiders have skin/scales/feathers, skeletons, eyes, etc. so there is plenty of precedent for outsiders having organs.


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I don’t think current issues are driving Paizo’s decision (even the success of 5e). I think they are looking down the road and seeing a slow death of Pathfinder. I posted more about this on other threads, so I will just summarize:
1) It is harder to GM PF1 than most other games. Even PFS doesn’t solve this. A lack of GM’s=a lack of games.
2) It is harder for a new player to get up to speed and have a PC that is valuable to the group and interesting to play. PF1 strongly rewards system mastery (maybe too much).
I don’t think Paizo is turning its back on PF1, because they don’t like it or anything like that. I think they have just come to the conclusion that there are no internal “fixes” to PF1 that wouldn’t be more painful for fans than a new edition. Between emotional investment in what you have worked on and “a bird in the hand”, I am sure this was a difficult decision and probably one they have been thinking about for a long time.
Playtesting costs revenue, so it is better to do it while you have money in the bank. Right now, their finances are as good as they are likely to be in the near future, so it is best to do it now.


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I can kind of see dex, but I am not sure how str works to aim spells, unless it is like DBZ and the wizard is holding up a big ball of energy ...

On the other hand, anything that makes an orc wizard better is good for me.


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Given all the complaints about how monsters are too powerful, if they gave PC's the ability to mass produce monsters, none of the powergamers would play anything else, and how would they get useful playtest feedback on anything else?

I am pretty sure that the post-playtest material will have create undead, long after monsters have been nerfed.


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I think it will make it more special when you do build a monster like a PC.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Personally, I hope they went the SF route for summons. The templates work pretty well (barring some wonkiness caused by editing), allow for a wide variety of different looking creatures without disrupting the balance, and also future proofing the spell while still allowing for exapndability by completely divorcing it from all but one beastiary entry. The example I came up with is some future splatbook coming up with a custom summoning template for followers of Calistra that had a sting attack and a charm innate magic ability in place of the default abilities; new and interesting, while not game breaking if used by a caster AND not requiring very much page space.

That is a good thought. It might be best if they made a generic critter for each role: spy/scout, defender/meat shield, melee attacker, hunter, support/healbot, ranged attack, and (as a 9th or 10th level spell) battlefield control. That way the defender (for example) is actually good at defending instead of hoping the player cobbled together something good at defending.


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I like it. Any chance you could do something similar to tieflings and aasimar (although I would prefer them to be more universal, so a tiefling whose non-fiend ancestor was an elf is different from a tiefling whose non-fiend ancestor was a dwarf)? Maybe universal racial feats.....


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You explain it the same way you explain hitpoints. Focus on what you want to tell the players, say that's the way it is, and quickly move on to the next topic.


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I think the idea is that the ranger is supposed to stalk his/her prey, and use hunt target the round before the fight actually starts (i.e., when the barbarian and paladin charge in and make as much noise as possible).

Yeah, yeah, I know, let the PC that is good at scouting actually do some scouting? There is no place on the DPR spreadsheet for that.


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If my math is right, there should be six combinations of two essences. Not to get too deep into grid filling, but will we see all six?

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