Actually everyone that I’ve seen write positive things about Assurance thus far actually has a player using it at the table (MaxAstro, myself, CM) and I’m willing to bet the ones speaking negatively of it haven’t even seen it used for this purpose because you’re saying things like CL-1/2 are meaningless...
I don't recall saying they're meaningless, just that debuffing such enemies makes less sense than damaging them. 'Dying' is a better condition to inflict that 'Prone' or 'Grabbed'.
IME, you fight level- enemies with pure damage and level+ enemies with debuff + damage. Assurance best used against level- enemies, so it still isn't a good strategy.
I find amusing that people are mostly talking statisitcs and hypotheticals when the OP and the thread title asked for Actual Play.
I guess Actual Play experience that level- enemies are better killed than debuffed don't count as Actual Play...
Bill McVey wrote:
What if the pcs fail at the checkpoint and decide to fight the guards there are only 2? There doesnt seem to be any provision for this.
They are imprisoned and need to pay Reputation to escape. Also, the refugees with them are captured, so the PCs might fail the Secondary Objective and receive fewer Treasure Bundles.
It's always a better idea to just bribe the guards, and the Scenario encourages that.
I think the source of your confusion is that you cut off part of my post by accident.
Midnightoker and MaxAstro mistakenly believed (still believe?) that the CRB advised against challenging players with 'Level+' monsters. They had misinterpreted encounter-building guidelines in the 'Different Party Sizes' section on p. 489 to apply to all encounter, not just ones for larger parties.
I pointed out their mistake, and that Plagestone contains numerous encounters with such monsters. DMW added there were also many more such encounters in the Age of Ashes books, and that anywhere from one-third to one-half of encounters have 'Level+' enemies.
Honestly I don't care if people think Assurance is better than I think it is, or if they think it lets them pick locks without Theives' tool,n since there's no real harm. But I do care if otherwise thoughtful people get the wrong idea on how to build encounters and inadvertently spread misinformation.
If you're ever confused by what people have said on forums, it's helpful to look over their old comments ;>)
Thank you, DMW, for your analysis. You're a much more patient man than I.
Hopefully it's enough to put to bed the notion that players shouldn't expect to fight enemies of a higher level than their PCs, or that GMs are advised by the CRB not to use such enemies when building encounters.
Yes, you did.
I believe there is additional information elsewhere on building encounters and not reaching for CR + X creatures to to challenge players
I should say facing a CR + 2 at level 1 should be unlikely.
You seem to think that every time the PCs face an enemy with a higher level, it's a boss encounter, and Assurance's weakness against those enemies doesn't matter because such enemies are infrequent. I'm telling, from Actual Play of an official adventure, those encounters are frequent.
I think your stumbling block is you keep thinking in terms of CR, which doesn't exist in 2E. 2E has XP Budgets, Party Level, and Encounter Threat Level. No CR.
In any case, I hate having to cite quotes from earlier in the discussion. Build encounters your way, I'll build them the developer's way.
I'll take your word for it. My point is that encounters with 'Level+' enemies still happen outside climactic, end-of-book encounters. It's important to keep that in mind when discussing the efficacy of Assurance against leveled DCs and builds that use it.
For context, others were arguing that encounters with 'Level+' monsters are infrequent outside end-of-book combats, and that the CRB specifically says so. I argued against both claims by citing Plaguestone, which is an official adventure written by one of the authors of the CRB, and its frquent combats with solo 'Level+' monsters.
Midnightoker, you keep quoting the 'Diffferent Party Sizes' section as though it applies to ALL party sizes. It doesn't.
'Bosses' can mean 'solo enemies' or 'higher-level enemies'. Think them as mini-bosses, if that helps.
If you want to make Assurance more viable by not using 'Level+' enemies against your your PCs, that's fine. I merely point out that your claim that there is a guideline advising such is false AND that the authors of this supposed guideline don't follow it. Read Plaguestone yourself if you don't believe me.
And it's pretty obvious that you don't send four CR + X against a party of four unless you want the PCs to TPK/Lose.
Yeah, it's so obvious I don't know why you're suggesting the equivalent of at least 2 Severe encounters combined. Did someone else mention it before you or are you using a strawman argument?
It's true that encounters with multiple higher-level monsters are rare (and at least Severe), but again I've seen them in Plaguestone. But my argument was that encounters against tough solo monster are more frequent than others suggested, and Assurance is bad in such encounters.
The guideline under 'Different Party Sizes' apply specifically for building encounters with more than 4 PCs. That guideline isn't repeated elsewhere in the book and, as mentioned, official adventures written by one of the developers, for 4-PC parties don't follow it.
I don't see your point. What does the Fall of Plaguestone being written concurrently with the Core Rulebook have to do with a nonexistent guideline against solo enemies that are higher-level than the PCs?
James Jacobs wrote:
How does each view the other?
The book section you quoted is under the 'Different Party Sizes' section on page 489. It recommends adjusting difficulty for extra players by adding extra monsters. It does not recommend against challenging a party of 4 PCs with 'Level +' monsters.
This bears repeating: Nowhere in the Core Rulebook does it say to avoid challenging players with enemies higher level than the party.
The "unwanted outcomes" you mentioned are part of the intended experience. If you want to make combats easier, just lower the encounter's threat level.
I've looked for this guideline in the book and couldn't find it. What page is it on?
It's strange, though. Fall of Plaguestone, written by one of the CRB's authors, doesn't follow that guideline at all.
A Level + 2 encounter is considered Moderate, and should be expected. So an Animated Statue is a reasonable encounter for a Level 1 party of 4.
And Aratorin is correct. A Level 1 Assurance Athletics will fail even though Reflex is the weak save of an Animated Statue.
Check Reddit for such an index/analysis, someone beat you to it.
One problem I see with using the Bestiary stastics to extrapolate the overall efficacy of Assurance is that many of Paizo's published adventures use bespoke monsters that don't appear in the Bestiary. A recent PFS scenarios had the party attacked by a group of high-Reflex assassins, for instance.
A better source might be the Monster Creation Rules in the GMG.
Captain Morgan wrote:
If you have Assurance, Athletics us pretty great. If you don't I'd favor intimidation. MAP is killer.
Assurance Athletics to Trip isn't reliable against level DCs like Trip. Basically, your enemies need to be lower level or have bad Reflex DCs for it to work. Here's a link to an Assurance Athletics actual play discussion.
I'd go with Intimidation.
Assurance against a leveled DC is bad. In order for it to work, you must:
1) target a low-level enemy (not the best choice for a single-target debuff)
2) target an enemy with a really bad save (requires either a successful Recall Knowledge to know the save or you risk wasting an Assurance attack)
3) target an enemy that has already been debuffed (requires teamwork, time and assumes a successful debuff)
The fewer apply, the less likely Assurance will work. I'd stick to Assurance (Medicine) and different combat actions.
IME, the enemies I most want to debuff are higher level than my PC, so Assurance is no good for me.
Marelt Ekiran wrote:
This is an interesting build, but the Monk Dedication requires 14 STR at 1st level, which is really bad for a Thief Rogue.
In general what might a Sarenite think of Marcon? On the one hand I know Sarenrae is big on redemption. On the other hand, I know that at least in PF1 Sarenrae really did not like undead. I'm considering which version of the boon is more in character for my GM credit sheet.
Sarenrae is all about redemption, so I think a PC follower would work with Macron.
I'm not so sure about what Pharasmin would do.
James Jacobs wrote:
How would you describe the sound of spoken Thassilonian?
Red Griffyn wrote:
The controversial Lore Warden and Dusty Rose Ioun Stone nerfs - Pretty questionable if one of the few options making the very difficult to execute combat maneuvers was really required. It was also one of the few archetypes that helped fix the tragic fighter = no skill points problem.
My favorite PFS 1E character was a Lore Warden that I played even after the nerf.The nerf didn't reduce his skill points or make him worse at combat maneuvers.
The nerf did clarify language and make the archetype less attractive for those who were only dipping, which was good.
it might be time to ask what this conversation about witches spell list (whatever that is going to look like) has do do with the OP. I guess if the witch does not have the arcane list at all, folks will feel like wizard's niche is more protected?
OP here. The discission is fine, although I don't quite follow the exchange between Midnightoker and Rysky.
Denying the Witch access to the arcane spell list in a possible solution to overlap, although I think reducing the witch's number daily spells and boosting their hexes is better. The two are also not mutually exclusive.
As a wizard player, I don't think metamagic is class-defining for wizards because *most* metamagic feats are 1) bad and 2) optional.
Also,the metamagic arcane thesis doles out the bonus metamagic feat too slowly to be a good pick.
My original post pointed out that arcane witches are an INT-based prepared caster that have the benefits of arcane bond + arcane school but with less restrictive spell selection.
I'm sure you already know that sorcerors are CHA-based spontaneous casters with bloodline abilities that are very different than a wizard's class features, so I'm not sure what your point is.
The Wizard being boring is not a Witch problem.
Correct. It's a design problem that I hope the designers solve, but not by releasing a different class that does everything better.
Fantasy has this bad habit of treating different species as monolithic. All lamias are evil. Almost all Avistani orcs are evil. Almost all elves are chaotic good. Humans are the only ones who seem to be molded by their life experiences, as they should, everyone else is seen through an essentialist lens that goes back to Tolkien at the least.
I recko Paizo's moving away from the notion that you can judge someone by their ancestry or 'species' or whatever you want to call that category.
That said, you can always have people of any category serve as antagonists - human bandits, goblin raiders, elf pirates - as well as PCs.
Fall of Plaguestone spoiler:
There are a bunch of orc minions that aren't characterized with any sympathy, so orcs can still serve the role of Tolkienesque 'evil minion' as well as more heroic or complicated narrative roles.
IMO it's the right balance.
I'll be running this in March and heard from a friend that played it that it was extremely deadly. They quit due to a TPK near the end of chapter 2. After his group played it, they discussed afterward that maybe they should've all started at 2nd level. I'm considering starting my group's PCs at 2nd level. Thoughts?
That will effectively reduce all encounters by one step (Severe to Moderate, etc.) That means each encounter would give fewer XP, unless you'd be using milestone leveling.
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
... if my character concept was a mighty wizard, then going with a character whose spells are from some entity and he curses targets with hexes is going away from he's a wizard. The same way a fighter in a green outfit and a bow isn't just stepping on the toes of a ranger even if they share the fighting styles such as archery or dual wielding.
A fighter and ranger have different feats, proficiencies, anf class features that differentiate the two. This isn't as true for witches and wizards since those two will cast mostly the same spells. The witch's hexes are very similar to the arcane school focus spells.
Witches aquire spells differently than wizards, but that's flavor only. Needs crunch.
I think 'Urobian' just refers monitor scions, like aasimar means celestial scion or tiefling means fiend scion.
Ed Reppert wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
All classes should be mechanically distinct from one another; thematic differences, like those between an arcane witch and familiar wizard that you mentioned, are important but not sufficient by themselves.
A strength of 2E is that players have many viable options for creating their character due to class balance and each class having unique features. That advantage is lost when the differences come down to just flavor.
The point of my original post is that the playtest version of the arcane witch overlaps with, and slightly improves upon, the wizard. That's bad and I hope it gets fixed.
Valuing mechanical difference, or achknowledging imbalances, does not mean one is "powergaming."
James Jacobs wrote:
Well, thank goodness for small favors.How would you say Rovagug differs from an Outer God? I know he's ancient, evil and nigh-indestructible even for a deity, traits he shares with that group.
I loved the Windsong Testaments, by the way.
Red Griffyn wrote:
I doubt Paizo would devote time towards building a rebate system. It seems like a lot of effort for the benefit of players who purchased boons before any price decrease.
I don't think such players are disadvantaged at all, since they were able to play their Uncommon ancestry characters for a muvh longer period of time than people who would have waited.
There was also the Regional Support Program every year. If you GM'd a dozen scenarios, you get that year's race boon. Not that the current system isn't an improvement.
Race/Ancestry boons have always been rewards for GMing because the Oranized Play team wants to encourage people to GM, for obvious reasons.
New to PFS2 is the fact 1) you can choose the ancestry boon you want, or even a non-ancestry boon and 2) people are rewarded for playing, not just GMing. Both are great improvements.
People who do not (or cannot) play often or GM ever are rewarded less than those who do. That's the nature of a reward system like the AcP.
@Wei Ji the Learner, if you refuse to participate in PFS2 unless you can immediately start play with an Uncommon ancestry, you'll be waiting a long time. In fact, you won't ever play unless transferable AcP is implemented or tengu are declared Common.
Is playing as another ancestry really worse than not playing PFS at all? I guess you could just GM until you get enough ACP.
This is news to me. Where did you hear it?
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If you haven't used the Familiar and Master Abilities, you're better off switching theses. Although the ones you mentioned are worse, IMO.
Well, IMO INT means learning (as expressed by # of trained skills and esoteric topics like Arcana, Occultism, and Lore). I was suggesting that a leshy might not learn as much over as an elf does over their pre-adventuring lifetime. A leshy has an INT flaw, and elves have an INT boost.
Don't leshies have an INT penalty? Maybe they don't retain 10,000 years worth of information very well.