Liberator paladins are problematic, and also, Channel Life is one of the strongest feats ever for paladins and paladin-multiclassers
1. The Champion having two layers of anathema (Alignment Code and Religious) can make the class less approachable to new players. It would be simpler to go with one or the other: it's easier to "just play" and lowers the learning curve--which occurs before getting into the mechanics, themselves.
2. If the game wants to reduce the impact of alignment in the game, then making Alignment Champions may entrench it.
3. If Champions are Champions of Alignment, players will look to them to see how alignment will be interpreted. This brings us back to some problematic tropes, as well as re-entrenching alignment rather than loosening it. Yes, there are descriptions of alignment in the front of the book, but these are /mechanics/, and therefore more "impactful/meaningful."
4. A focus on Religious Champion instead of Alignment Champion would make the class less portable to other settings.
5. A focus on Religious Champion instead of Alignment Champion risks stepping on the cleric's toes. Religious-based powers would need generalized to be portable to other settings (ala domains).
Mind, this is more a thought exercise for me rather than anything else.
After reading that question, it seems like the only safe answer IS negative, because it could be read as "you're taking magic items away, entirely" on one end. Plus, it is a number of questions put into one, as others have said.
It's incredibly easy to write leading questions by mistake. or unclear ones. Here are a few:
Q version A: Would you prefer characters to be more powerful on their own, or would you prefer them to rely on magic items for that power?
Q version B: Would you prefer to see less powerful MIs?
Q version C: Would you like to see less reliance on MIs?
Q version D: ...
Perhaps the question could be presented again? How would you phrase it?
Druids being able to shapechange has always been a core part of the class. You could scale the abilities they get from wild shape for balance, but let them have the duration. Flying forms, for example,happening at a later level. Greater fly speed happening at a yet greater level. Having them spend feats to gain overall wildshape abilities is another. Nerfing their spell list is yet another, and I believe Natural Spell is gone, isn't it?
Limit what they can do when transformed, unless they take a feat to do x thing.
There are balances fixes. Let them roleplay. :p
Basically, all they're saying is, "I want to be the spirit of nature, inhabiting the form of an owl, because that is what being a druid means to me." The owl doesn't need all of those abilities at once, and for free--but it should let be to be an owl.
Death by Hummingbird was silly. It's something to learn from, to be sure--but, we don't want to hurt folks in the meantime.
When 2e moved to a model of no or few built-in class features, and instead, "class feats," it meant that the nice yet less interesting stuff you'd get as part of background progression became...unexciting feats. That you had to take.
The previous model, 1e, had some exciting but also "less interesting" (yet important) options built in as part of automatic class features. This let the less exciting options fade "into the class" as background noise. Helpful, but still background noise.
Taking those less interesting options out and making them a forced choice frustrating and less interesting. A player cared about interesting options like wildshape, but perhaps less about "hey, you now get +2 versus fae magic."
That one change alone might make things feel bland, but let's push it further.
In 1e, archetypes offered unique flavoring along a concept. Archetypes (often times) exchanged for "less interesting" options. If the archetype replaced a more interesting feature (like wildshape), then it (the archetype) needed to be more interesting to compete.
In 2e, everything is leveled out. The "boring" options aren't automatic. They're right out there with the cool stuff, so things can feel just...
...I want to like 2e. I really, really do. I'm sure the devs are tired of me at this point. I don't want to be a tiring person, and I have respect for what they do. I appreciate we don't see eye to eye.
PF2e hasn't inspired me to play 2e, and I hate saying that. What it's instead inspired me to do is pick up and play other systems. I just spent about $70 on books for a new RPG, for example, and have subscribed to some of their podcasts.
The change, from "small, piddly-sounding (though not piddly in practice)" abilities from being more in the background to being made into a "forced choice" and brought into the foreground could be part of that feeling.
I'm not sure if it would help, but perhaps if 2e yoinked out several of those less interesting feats and repackaged them as part of a "Class Paths" it might feel more exciting. Yes, this might make a person a little more locked in, but the Path wouldn't need to give abilities every level, and you could still offer choices.
We're essentially talking about what "feels right," here, in the end. The engineer versus the artist. Yes, Model X might be more efficient than Model X.3, but it feels more dull. The two need to get along.
In fact, Paths might solve the "generic flavor" issue that creeps in, in more than one way. Much like how folks have called for 2+ ancestry feats early on to feel as though they have more definition to their character, I'd just have the Paths be an "in addition to" system. You'd need to do some cleanup of the system, but hey.
Anyhow, no. You aren't imagining it.
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
There was a strange feat that I recall from the 3.5-3.75 era days, that let you strike at a giant's hand as it swung at you, or a dragon's head as it sprung forward. It let you wait, and strike something with reach, that came in reach with you.
There was some controversy, as some felt the delay action already let you do this. I'm curious to see how it fills out in 2e.
Poor dwarves. I've always had problems getting people to play them due to looks.
Having more dwarven art could help others visualize how diverse dwarves can be.
Many will make a character also, after being inspired by a particular artwork.
You make a good point for many reasons. Thank you for this analysis.
Silas Hawkwinter wrote:
Mark is there design space for adding PF1 style Smite Evil in PF2?
My theory is they "offloaded" smite damage to the monster.
Instead of the paladin doing a fixed or predictable amount, that amount is now controlled by the GM behind the screen--it's tied invisibly to the monster statistic.
I suspect this was done because of some complaints in PFS of the paladin smite being strong versus BBEGs.
Mind, this does remove player agency. :/
The weakness to Good in the Bestiary stats, then, is effectively the new smite. The GM in PF2 sets how effective they want the paladin to be per creature or challenge.
Paizo Blog wrote:
Designers, by nature, want you to use the items they created in actual play. But adventure designers are often under budgetary constraints to make not the best item for the story, but the one that does the trick while still conforming to the amount of treasure output in the design guides. These factors often created a race to the bottom, design-wise, spawning tons of these little X-per-day buggers that characters could afford, featuring relatively powerful (and always useful) effects that often became more useful as you gained levels. All of this creates a sort of mini-nova during climactic encounters, as characters spend a handful of swift and immediate actions ramping up to their optimal tactics. This is especially true for classes in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, since they typically have fewer class-based options competing for the use of swift and immediate actions.
So I got something a little different out of this blog post.
What I am reading here is that story, effect, designer wish to create something awesome, or so on would require the use of a powerful, but one-off item that lent itself to mini-novas.
For example, a Trinket of Sugerfrosted Chocolatebombs 20d6, but that only worked 1/day during breakfast hours, as to cost lower--but still have a great effect.
Putting forward ideas for Stamina addresses the healing issue side of this, but I am not sure we're addressing all of it.
Beyond CLW wands, PF seems to be wanting to introduce Resonance as a means to balance limited-use-as-to-lower-price items like these. So, is there a way to offer that same "level of cool loot" without Sugarfrosted Chocolatebombs?
Don't forget the Warded feat. It just needs rolled into the base ability.
A player looking to play a LoH focused paladin will naturally gravitate towards LoH feats. These feats don't grant +SP, though. To gain more uses, they need to take non-LoH feats or multiclass. This reminds me of the old monk description versus its mechanics, in a way. It's a little of that.
For Blade of Justice, smite, etc: in general, some "smite" ability that was an effect on the paladin would be nice. If it matters, there's thematic issues with divine wrath being able to be flicked away by a disarm.
Reactive vs active flavor options.
Nice to have: Give the paladin Aura of Courage as a class feature, instead of a feat. This creates a natural launch point for other aura feats to be added in. Auras on paladins have always been popular, and the concept fits the support, tank, team player aspect in the current mechanics.
In PF1e, smite was an effect on the paladin. If the villain flicked away a sword, the paladin was far from defenseless. It switched just as easily to a table leg.
It sounds like this is pretty much resolved. There's some solid ideas and a good A/B test could determine their effectiveness with new and experienced users.
Something I've been wondering: might the Spells chapter be renamed to Spells and Powers? If it was named Spells and Powers, then users would expect to find powers there, as well as spells.
I like this, too.
There seems a fine line to walk here between:
* Saving space
As an example of the last points, a new player looking at the text, unless a proposed keyphrase like "standard save" were bolded in some way, or was unusually enough phrased that it really stood out, the user may read, instead "oh, that's another name for a reflex save" and assign the 6d6 anyway.
There needs to be clue text of some kind.
So, I might suggest: Have a clear indicator that says to the user, "this is an important term; you need to reference it."
Then, present the standard modifications based on x save save result (such as +/- 1/2 dmg) in a table format in the beginning of the spells chapter. A table format would let the data be compared visually, and more easily.
Here are a few ideas for referencing within the text:
A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage to creatures in the area. Damage dealt depends on each creature's Reflex save result. The damage may be modified by this result (see x).
A burst of fire explodes, dealing 6d6 fire damage to creatures in the area. Damage dealt depends on the result of a creature's Reflex Save result (see x).
There needs to be some clear indicator that there is more to know or look up.
I need to think on this, but perhaps some here have an idea.
To a degree, yeah. I don't expect it to go away entirely. I would expect if Paizo fulfilled their promise and kept the community in the loop as the paladin was developed, it would go a long way. Communicating can generally be a good thing, and if your community has faith in you, it's even stronger.
The fighting and putdowns, snarking, and personal attacks, not a favorite part.
A. Smite shouldn't be disarmable. That leads to a villain just being able to flick away divine wrath.
And well, at this point I'd rather have the paladin in a later book. Put Zealot/Alignment Champion in core so that folks stop fighting, each side gets their options, and the flavor of the class gets maintained.
Healing can be themed to be "more fun" depending on the class. Paladin used to have a Paladin's Sacrifice which was thematic, but cool--thing is, the 2e version means none of their immunities apply. So, why is the paladin any better off doing this than another class?
UnBarb had "healing" due to its temp hps. I haven't gotten my players to make a 2e barb, yet, and so have not tested it. But, there are ways to do this that are conceptually thematic and not just "apply hit points bing."
These options need to be available to each class in some way. Perhaps a rogue could spend class feats to gain some sort of "healing alchemy" ability. The anti-poison!
This reduces the reliance on any one character, and reduces forcing someone into a role. Just make it so that everyone's inclined to dip a little into those capabilities...but in a thematic way.
Yeah. :/ Thank you for saying this so well.
...hey. I'm mostly on your side, here, man.
Let's step back a moment. XD
I probably phrased it badly.
The primary concern is that LG, designwise, may be being viewed as reactive. The second concern is that they've suggested a "maybe" for other options in *future* books. Following that, IF that exists, it might craft a second issue of trying to reserve "designspace" by being overly focused/narrow in one concept.
I said it was a fear. I did not say it was /reasonable/. Either way, the first concern is still there, you know?
All in all, my mind is trying to wrestle with why this is so restrictive. It wants some justification. Has anyone gotten RS to fire in a playtest?
I'm glad to see the rogue's SA get some updates in this edition. I may be one of the few who is glad that the total damage dice went down--because overall, it meant that their accuracy could go UP. Previously, it was iffy if the rogue could get SA, and then they were swinging at a penalty. That was two "hits" to being able to use a core class ability.
I'd rather they had more accuracy and, when invested, some interesting rider effects (like a crippling strike, and so on) that spoke to the theme of the class, rather than higher damage and lower accuracy--and therefore lower player agency.
I'm an odd one, though.
Also on board with the update to Precision, if only because SA conjures a specific image of its use. I'd love a version of SA specifically tied to stealth some day.
I just wanted to drop here and add that we may ought to expect the battlefield to be more mobile in this edition of the game, due to the action system. Any class who is tied down on the field may be left behind, or forced to focus on reach weapons. In 1e, everyone fought to FA, which means standing still. 2e, not so much.
Anyhow, it's just a niggling thought.
You've expressed this so well.
I think you unintentionally missed the entire point of my post, and some of the points of this thread. The latter statement also came across as fairly insulting.
Let's please all dial back. It will help us all have a better conversation.
Reactive versus proactive is a different mindset than "wanting damage." There's also issues with RS's mechanics and what it takes away from player agency. SA has had these issues for a long time, and makes a good comparison; I personally don't want the new paladin inherit the 3.x's rogue's old issues. We've learned since then.
Rysky, I think you're saying some important things. I don't think everyone's as far off though, as it appears. Mind, I haven't done this in some time, but I'm going to try.
In the 1970s, a man named Wiess did an experiment involving a user's access to predictability and control, and how that affected their stress response. He took a series of rats and did the following:
The rats who received shocks received the same number of shocks; only their circumstances were different (a warning or no warning).
The results were that the rats that were unable to predict impending electric shock showed significantly greater stomach ulceration. This was opposed to the rats that received exactly the same amount of electric shock but were warned that it was about to be delivered.
The point of this isn't to say that gamers are rats. That would be silly and insulting. It also isn't to argue that a player should have control over their character at all times.
The point is more, for something Highly Important to a player, such as the Signature Ability of their character's class, that it is important for the player to have a little more agency than usual.
This is why we've seen the response, and stress, with Sneak Attack for over a decade. Sneak Attack in 3.x has been poorly designed when it comes to player agency and we've seen frustration from players as a result. That design isn't Paizo's fault; it's just a function of inheritance. They've done what they can to reduce for example, the things that SA is immune to (which importantly, increases player agency).
My wish is more for the paladin not to enter into that space that SA's inhabited; it isn't saying that RS is a bad ability. It's only bad if it's the Signature Ability, if that makes sense.
If RS is the Signature Ability, then a player's agency is removed three and four times. The first is whether they are giving a choice to build their PC around it (their choice/not their choice), the GM's agency and control of the field (whether enemies attack them or their allies, and how the GM chooses their positioning), and their teams' agency (how their teammates choose their positioning).
This is also not saying that D&D/PF/etc. aren't team games. They are. The importance here is the /degree of agency in a key feature/. Removing agency on three separate points, as above, is too much. Removing choice takes us back to the experiment by Weiss and the resulting stress response. (His isn't the only one; I'm mostly quoting it because it's the most familiar.)
It also isn't saying that a GM shouldn't create tension in a story. A GM creates tension by adjusting the amount of control characters have, carefully. They also have the lever of predictability. There may be traps on the stairs, for example. Darkness may be cast over the manor. All of these are in the GM's toolbox.
Managed control vs stress in a scene can lend itself to story. However, for a character's key ability to continually be subject to the shifting grounds made by both GM *and* team mates, it's nigh on frustrating, and shifts fun away from the game.
That isn't fun. It's different, as a Signature Ability, than a one-off or singular choice among many, such as a fireball cast by a mage.
This also isn't to say that abilities shouldn't fail occasionally.
However, contrast RS and classic 3.x SA with something like, for example, the cavalier's Challenge ability. Even though it was usable a limited number of times per day, it can end up feeling more satisfying than the rogue's SA.
The comparison of SA to Challenge shows us also, that the frustration is not as tied to damage (often touted) as it is to player agency. On a normal hit, SA may ultimately deal more damage. However, Challenge gives the player greater agency--while dealing with the other elements the adventure provides.
We can see the results of this frustration in the feat chains surrounding the use of SA, the number of forum posts about 'how to guarantee SA', the anger over creatures being 'flat-out immune' and even Paizo's response in decreasing those immunities. For SA, specifically.
We see nothing like that for Challenge, or at least, we see it much less often.
It comes down to agency. The silence surrounding Challenge speaks just as loudly as the loud, decades-long clamour over a player's access to SA.
Anyhow, I apologize for going on, here. I hope it's helpful in some way. I realize, too, that I didn't bring in playtest data. I'm less sure the point of this is playtest data, though--it's more a discussion of user studies, and what we've seen from the 3.x SA, and I hope at least, it's been done respectfully.
Thank you for reading.
How many years have been spent on rogue players trying to ensure they get control of their SA? The last thing I'd want is to turn the paladin into the new rogue. Not in terms of being sneaky, but in terms of "I don't want whether I can use my core ability to be so much in control of the GM AND my other party members."
Whether that's a fair assessment or not, or whether the rogue (or here, paladin) has other things to bring to the table aside from SA isn't the point. It's the perception and ergo, frustration, surrounding player agency and a core class ability.
I like the concept of RS for some builds, though playtests are showing it needs work, absolutely. My fear is slightly aside to that: I'm afraid if it goes in as a "main," we'll see what happened with Sneak Attack--entire builds focused around "just making sure SA (aka RS) happens."
Players don't like it when you remove agency. For a thematic side ability is one thing. For a core class feature--that will be frustrating to players.
And yeah, I get you.
I share some additional concerns, because in part, it looks like some ideas from the old Alpha ended up coming back. Might be my imagination, though? I'm admittedly kinda depressed and I really, really wanted to love all of this. Given the difference in PFAlpha and PF1 though, I'm hopeful? I'm going to keep watching.
A little history, here.
When it first published, the PF 1e playtest paladin was an update from the 3.5 paladin. However, in comparison to other classes, it engendered similar responses to what we're seeing, now.
(Edit: Here's what it looked like, for historical/comparison purposes.)
The reaction at the time was much like we see, today, though the playtest is being handled by a more experienced team (the 1e playtest was like the wild west, and I felt really sorry for Paizo staff).
At the start of the 1e test, it felt like the paladin was left behind.
It was not like that by the end of the playtest.
But, it was the efforts of the community and Paizo staff together that made the final paladin what it is in 1e. That effort was truly dedicated, and monumental. Please keep speaking up!
PF2e's OGL might solve this issue.
Imagine a site like the Archives of Nethys. Now imagine if in that site, a dedicated gamer(s) went through and tagged each numeric entry involving proficiency or DC. Include a reporting mechanism, so that visitors could report inconsistencies.
Users of the site could then use a coded toggle switch, to switch between versions. This would be something like the E6 of 3.x, just fan maintained and made.
I wouldn't expect Paizo to keep up with something like this, but it's well within the realm of the fandom.
1e PF also has paladins heavily use CHA (smite attack bonus, Divine Grace, Spells, lay on hands uses, and channels). While not everything corresponds to previous editions of the game, it hardly seems like a shocker that a class that started off requiring high CHA, and then used it extensively would continue to want good CHA to power its abilities instead of merely slightly above average CHA.
Thank you for the reply. My concern is that you're able to do things and use your class features regardless, though. It doesn't mean you're as good at them. It just means you can use them to a degree that's enjoyable and modestly effective.
It's more that being able to use a key class feature just 1/day or 0/day until you're level 5 isn't fun at all.
Yes, you could MC as a cleric to gain more uses of your main class feature. Yes, you could choose backgrounds that don't fit your character's story.
None of those sit particularly well with me if they don't fit a character's story.
When building an iconic dwarven paladin, I ran into an issue with spell points. I relayed this story in another thread, though that thread was more focused on builds. I'd like to take this thread to ask about SPs.
My questions are:
The reason that I'm asking is in part, PF2 already removed bonus spells from attributes. Why not decouple further and make spell points an initial number? Say, 3 base + 1 per Powers Feat chosen? This would make access to Spell Points more equal access across the board.
With a -2 on the dwarf, I felt starved in what concepts I could play, and encouraged to make decisions that did not fit the story of my character. This was all so that I could gather enough numbers to make those few points.
Do any of you think, based on this and other PCs you've practiced putting together, that decoupling Spell Points from attributes might help?
The reason that I'm asking is two-fold:
In putting together my own character, I ran into an issue with the dwarven paladin. That -2 to Charisma is killer. It will take 2 investments to correct it--picking a Background and some other thing to bring it up to a positive.
Bringing it up by 4 just gives that character a 12 in Charisma. That means 1 use of LoH per day. If you decide to up that d4 to a d6, then selecting that power option doesn't come with a +1 spell point.
This means if the player wanted LoH to be more useful, they'd be better off selecting any other feat than one related to LoH, just to bring that 1 use to a 2. That feels counter-intuitive.
Some food for thought:
* One of the biggest advantages to summoning in PF1e was increased action economy.
I don't see this as so much of a summoning change as it is controlling how action economy used to balloon. Some of the big issues right now involve ironing out these economy adjustments.
* Are summons' Reactions a thing? That could get hairy.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
10 years ago was 2008. Accessibility wasn't anywhere near as big as it is now. Nor was the technology to support it as advanced as it is now. I'd say in the last 6 years or so there's been a big push, but it is still very much a work in progress (talking generally here and not anything Paizo specific. As a former website developer this is something I have an interest in and so have educated myself more on the issue, at least in Australoa).
These are good points! I just wanted to add that the push for Accessibility started even earlier than that. It's just one of those things that takes time to get the message out.
One of the big pushes within the USA happened at universities. This had to do with how Titles II and III of the ADA affected public/government funding if they did not provide access. The U's began to find that if their pages weren't accessible, they lost public money.
For documentation though, PDFs were/are a nightmare. Adobe's Accessibility features were still an add-on/afterthought at the time, and clumsy besides. Because see: nightmares and the push at the time to digitize old content, this created an issue with existing PDF archives. CIS vs CID scanners contributed to the issue (CIS has a shallower depth of field, so if the paper was bent--say because of a spine, it was goodbye text). Professional archiving is a thing, man.
Some fun history: Some of Cisco's best testers were the blind community. There were conventions in Dallas in the early 2000s/late 1990s and likely before. They discovered that making something accessible just made it easier to use for well, everyone.
In fact, one of the things that made d20srd.org so successful at the time was because it was well laid-out and simple to use. That happened because of its focus on accessibility.
I'm not saying it, but I guess I am, is that potentially one of the biggest, untapped resources for the PF playtest will/would be blind gamers, or those with visual impairments.
So I'm giving this idea of "can you make the document accessible after the fact" a try. I know Paizo is working on it (thank you guys much!) but there's something to be learned from this.
So as my own small project, I'm exploring some ideas to help make a PDF accessible after the fact. I'm pretty new to this, so please bear with me. Maybe my distracted notes will help someone else.
Plus, I own a full version of Tracker's PDF XChange, and it has a lot of features! It's also only around $45, so if I can find something, it may turn into an affordable option for others. This isn't an endorsement for the software. I don't work for them, and have no associations. I just happen to like it quite a bit, though I'm far from an expert (as will become quickly apparent).
1. Open the Content pane (View > Panes > Content).
Other Potential Workarounds
I've found some key features that might help in specific cases:
Anyhow, I know the great folks at Paizo are working on this. Thank you guys so much for that. This post is for anyone who'd like to read in the meantime, or has some old APs that could use some help when it comes to easier reading. Plus, more minds working together are better than the poor one I've got, haha.
* When you select an individual image, the option to OCR it comes up. This does not happen with many images selected. However, you can OCR Pages as a general option. I'm not sure if this does the images as well.
doc the grey wrote:
I am working on something like this, but just for sections of the main book. The tone of the documents is wonderful. Making the text concise, adding "breathing room" and so on is quite difficult and time-consuming, though.
We, as first-time readers, and as an audience interested in the game, are excellent playtesters for document usability.
I'd encourage you to sketch up a sample Bestiary entry in GDocs maybe? It could get the conversation going!
Disclaimer: I have my own, selfish reason for this. Eyestrain is very bad for me. XD
Ale, the 4th level potion wrote:
I figure worst case you can fix it up and throw it at them and see how they take it? I just wish they had it in a format where I could get more access to the function of it. PDF is pretty restricted in how easy it is to alter. I use my pdf reader to add highlights and things, and use a night mode that does a black and white invert, but only so much can be done.
Thank you! They have taken on a huge project. Addressing the text like this is difficult as h*ck.
If you've suggestions, I would love to hear them. Please pin them here--or even better, drop open a GoogleDoc and post some sketches. :D
I've backtracked, and am slowly working through the Chargen section. I love the tone of it. My main idea so far has been to trim down the overview. Then, focus on providing guidance as they read each section. Obviously, the tone is important here, and that I want to keep.
Who knows. This might end up being a very silly project. :)
Is anyone else having trouble maintaining group morale now that the playtest has appeared? (Also, I am recruiting)