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I've updated the charts with some fixes and incorporation of errata, addition of reviews, and some more classes. Still have the Gunslinger, Magus, and Summoner to do.

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Hello...been away a while after my Pathfinder group fell apart and I guess these charts went away with my group stuff! Sorry about that. John R asked me to put the charts back up, so here you go. Please use this new thread to post requests & error reports. And I'm sure you will find errors! (Archives of Nethys stopped loading http links so I had to change all those to https.)

Pathfinder 2 Class Feat Charts

The idea of these charts is to show at a glance how class feats are related, by dependency and functional area, along with useful notes and keywords.

Most charts include ratings from particular class guides. You can click on any feat to look up its full description at the Archives of Nethys, and the ratings citation at top right to open the cited guide. There are lots more class guides now so I doubt I'll be incorporating them all on the charts themselves, it just gets crazy. I could link to each class's guides on the individual charts, but it might be best to just link to Zenith's Guide to the Guides. If there's a particular guide's ratings you really really want incorporated, feel free to ask.

I could also publish the charts without any guide ratings at all, if you would prefer that. Note that my OmniGraffle Pro source document is in the folder, so if you have that app you can muck with a personal copy of the charts or make your own for particular classes I haven't gotten to yet. (I'm doing new classes as I have time & interest, but I don't expect to cram in every new supplemental feat outside of core books.)

Please do report any errors you find here.

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belgrath9344 wrote:

Two new classes: the clever inventor and the sharpshooting gunslinger

Automaton ancestry for players who want to play a customizable construct

So, I could play an automaton inventor who is his own innovation? :-D

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Yeah, if you can't hit with your main attack, none of the riders based on Int are even relevant.

I went for a dwarf inventor cause it seemed an interesting combo, but could only manage Str 16 / Int 16 (unless there's some way of nabbing Str 18 I missed). Yay for stereotyped ancestries—but that's a whole 'nother kettle o' fish.

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The construct modifications didn't seem that interesting to me, but I still wanted a construct, so for the theorycraft build I made (see the other thread about posting your build), I went with the weapon innovation and the level 1 construct companion feat and upgrades. I doubt I'll get a chance to actually test it though, I don't know anybody who does playtests.

The upgrades to damage aren't that useful if your bigger-damage attacks can't actually hit the target. Based on how I've seen the numbers go in my home group, I'd rather have more to-hit and lower damage for my construct. Or maybe what I need is a good mentor for tactical debuffing, which my home group doesn't really do. :-/

In general though, I think I'd prefer the construct have more utility options than combat options. Spellcasters have so much of the utility ground already covered, but but that would open the option for groups with fewer/no spellcasters. I understand extra gadgets are on the table for after the initial playstest period so we'll ahve to wait on that.

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Not fully detailed but mostly there. Weapon innovation + a regular construct via the level 1 class feat. I detailed a construct innovation as an alternative build. Either way the construct could serve as a mount. Idea is to lean heavily into the crafting aspect and also get some of the tanky benefit of being a dwarf, since this build doesn't take the armor innovation.

Focus skills are Crafting (obviously) and Athletics (because melee), and then I went for Society just because it's INT-based and a little dash of flavor. Haven't even considered dedications, but there might be a good one that I could trade some class feats out for. (Suggestions welcome.)

What do you think?

Anvil Dwarf Inventor

STR 16, DEX 12, CON 14, INT 16, WIS 12, CHA 8

Anvil Dwarf Heritage grants Crafting, Specialized Crafting (blacksmithing, woodworking). - This is the Crafting class par excellence, so I guess I'll push that as far as I can.

Background: Laborer – Athletics, Athletics Lore, Hefty Hauler feat (+2 to bulk limits). - Guess I'm the party mule! (I wanted Tinker for Engineering Lore but it overlaps with the ancestry, losing a skill feat. Inventor gets plenty of skills though so I just take Engineering Lore as one of the free choices.)

Additional skills: Acrobatics, Arcana, Engineering Lore, Occultism, Society, Stealth, Thievery. - Obvious picks are the INT and STR skills, with a bit of room for other useful skills.

Innovation: Weapon
I think a Maul would be fun & thematic, but I'm gonna get a construct companion too (a robo-dino or a robo-bear). Starting with 1d12 damage means I can focus on the more stylish modifications:

Level 1: Modular Head or Razor Prongs - Looks like a Maul obviates a couple modifications right off the bat!

Level 9: Aerodynamic or Manifold Alloy

Level 17: Momentum Retainer or Rune Capacity - Both seem like nice boosts.

The innovation modifications for the construct didn't really grab me but some of the base features are nice. I think I could switch this build to a construct innovation without much fuss.

Or Possibly...Innovation: Construct
I could instead do the construct as the innovation instead and have a plain old 1d12 maul. Default modifications:

Level 1: Accelerated Mobility - Good for when it becomes my mount.

Level 9: Advanced Weaponry - Complex Simplicity (bump damage die size) or Razor Prongs (if its Athletics will be enough)

Level 17: Runic Keystone or Resistant Coating.

The innovation modifications for the construct didn't really grab me but some of the base features are nice, and having Overdrive apply to both the construct and the inventor is very nice. I think I could switch this build to a construct innovation without much fuss.

Ancestry & General Feats
Looks like we're going for combat boosts most of the way here. Toughness + Mountain's Stoutness will mean lots more hit points, but given the lack of a peak stat, Heroes' Call has its appeal. Might be nice to fit Canny Acumen in there.

1a) Dwarven Doughtiness (frightened reduces by 2)
5a) Defy the Darkness (gr. darkvision) - Dwarven Reinforcement is thematic but situational, as is Sheltering Slab. Boulder Roll could be fun?
9a) Heroes' Call (heroism spell) •OR• Mountain's Stoutness (+level HP) - Battleforger sounds nice but everybody will probably have runes by then. Right?
13a) Telluric Power •OR• one of the 9a feats
17a) Stonegate •OR• one of the earlier choices

3g) Fleet •OR• Incredible Initiative •OR• Toughness - The big three; it's a question of what order to take them. But for a dwarf with 20' move, Fleet is probably going to be first.
7g) Fleet •OR• Incredible Initiative •OR• Toughness
11g) Fleet •OR• Incredible Initiative •OR• Toughness
15g) ??? - probably a skill feat (Craft Anything?)
19g) ??? - I have no idea

Class Feats
As with an animal companion, feats to upgrade it are essentially required picks, which leaves a few open choices.

1c) Prototype Companion - If I do a construct innovation, I might go with Tamper here, but I'm really not sure about the level 1 feats.
2c) Searing Restoration - I'm already taking all the companion-upgrading feats, and No! No! seems situational. Searing Restoration is goofy enough and will help me take even more punishment as a front-liner.
4c) Advanced Construct Companion - gonna make it Large so I can ride it
6c) Clockwork Celerity - Lightning bolts (Megavolt) are cool but spellcasters do them better. Then again, at level 12, you get to ricochet them around! Might retrain then. Visual Fidelity is good vs. invisibles, compared to Greater Darkvision via the ancestroy feat, and there are some interesting other ancestry feats.
8c) Incredible Construct Companion
10c) Manifold Modifications - Meddling seems poorly rationalized and just doesn't interest me.
12c) Boost Modulation - I can't see myself throwing gadgets willy-nilly, so mucking with my own weapon it is. Unless I want to ricochet lightning around with Gigavolt! If unstable becomes more usable I'll probably go for that.
14c) Paragon Companion - Unstable Redundancies sure would be nice though.
16c) You Failed to Account for...This! - Haven't actually done the math, but if this feat doesn't pan out, then I will get...Unstable Redundancies!
18c) Devastating Weaponry - Since I'm not interested in Meddling, this is what's left me.
20c) Full Automation - Still not interested in lobbing sprockets at my teammates's weapons.

Notably, without knowing exactly how they're going to fix the whole unstable thing, I'm not tempted to pick many feats with the keyword, which is one of the reasons I'm doing a weapon but taking so many companion feats. Many of the unstable class feats seem a bit underwhelming anyhow.

Skill Training & Feats
Obviously as a class based all around Crafting, I'm going to take a lot of Crafting skill feats. Although I've heard elsewhere that the Crafting rules are a mess, so maybe not? That'll still leave room for some other skill feats later on. I really don't know much about Athletics feats but skimming over then none seemed like must-haves. Maybe Cloud Jump? :-P

3t) Expert Crafting - This is going up first, obviously.
5t) Expert Athletics - Good for melee combat moves.
7t) Master Crafting
9t) Master Athletics
11t) Expert Society - Gotta take something! I'd be happy to hear of a better pick.
13t) Master Society
15t) Legendary Crafting
17t) Legendary Athletics
19t) Legendary Society

1s) Specialty Crafting (blacksmithing, woodworking) - from Anvil Dwarf ancestry
1s) Athletics: Hefty Hauler - from Laborer background
1s) Inventor - free with the class, I'll take it

2s) Assurance (Crafting) - seems like an obvious pick
4s) Quick Repair - faster is better, especially without Unstable Repair
6s) Magical Crafting (?) - I'm not a spellcaster but this still works, right?
8s) Impeccable Crafting - In for a penny....
10s) Trick Magic Item - I don't have the skill training but I'm running out of ideas for skill feat picks.
12s) Society: Streetwise
14s) Society: Underground Network
16s) Craft Anything (will probably take as 15g feat)
18s) ??? - Out of ideas....
20s) ???

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Invictus Novo wrote:
Keraki wrote:
Invictus Novo wrote:
Probably silly question as I'm probably just not seeing something obvious. If I have a construct innovation and am riding it, then use explosion, do I get hit for the damage too since I'm not "wearing or holding" it and thus the emanation is coming from the construct rather than me?
You are in range of the explosion and not in the eye of the storm, so yes. If you have the explosion emanate from it, you are hit with current RAW.

Thanks. My initial thought was that since we effectively occupied the same square, this would mean the explosion's emanation didn't hit me. Unfortunately that means if you want to use your construct as a mount, the explosion class feature is almost unusable.

That really kills my enthusiasm as I was looking forward to having a truly viable character who invented a smart wheelchair to allow for adventuring despite not being able to walk :(

For this alone I think they should make it clear that if you are riding your construct, you are not hit by the explosion.

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You'd think, wouldn't you.

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Each bullet will have to be crafted as an item with the desired spell effect, but you will also have quick crafting to make magic bullets that only last until your next daily prep. Attachments to the gun will allow for metamagic: a scope for Reach Spell, a diffuser for Widen Spell, and the like, but they will require the extra action to take effect as usual. Maybe you can only have one such device on your gun at a time, but you can swap them.

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I guess I can move the free boost from dwarf from INT to STR, for 16 in each. Options are limited there for a dwarf. It's a wonky thing having INT be the class stat when what you do is mostly combat anyhow.

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Ah I missed that. There's always that one sentence off somewhere you aren't reading at the moment.

But it does seem all the class feats that boost a construct companion can be taken even if that isn't your innovation. Unless there's another hidden sentence somewhere I've missed....

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Yeah. I'd even be fine with the DC starting at 17, and coming down a bit as you level up. There's room for a lot of tuning there! I hope they look into that.

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If I had the opportunity to run an Inventor, he would have a Mecha-Dino construct to ride around and look badass on. It's a shame you can't have two innovations. I'd settle for even a minor techno-weapon to shoot more lightning with. Champions get Second Ally at 8th level, why couldn't an Inventor have a Second Innovation class feat?

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They could, but then it would be just another focus pool. Mad scientists are supposed to have their wacky inventions fritz out when the cool experimental feature is overused! A focus pool wouldn't have that.

I mean, I suppose you could say you have a focus pool of 1, but that you can use your focus (that is, unstable) abilities even if you have no focus points, but then you have to roll a DC 17 flat check or it fritzes and you can't use any more focus (that is, unstable) abilities. But you'd only ever have 1 focus point, so what's the, erm, point?

I mean, I suppose you could add more focus points* so that you can use focus (that is, unstable) abilities X number of times before you risk the short-circuit/mechanism jam/minor explosion, but it really is a different thing.

* Actually there's a 14th-level class feat that kinda, sorta, does that, but not really.

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I like that it isn't Focus, and instead involves some randomness over whether your gadget fritzes out. I do think there should be some mid/low-level support to bring the DC down from 17, and not just a high-ish level class feat that lets you completely skip the check (at the cost of losing further unstable actions until you retune your doodad).

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Does an inventor's weapon need to look like what it's based on?

Like if I wanted my character to wield "a one-of-a-kind impossibly complex mechanical self-loading repeating crossbow" nothing in the class lets me reload the thing faster, so can I just base the thing on a weapon without a reload statistic?

Otherwise, I'd really appreciate something that lets me reload faster or lets me have a magazine for my reload weapon.

That's a pretty obvious modification that should be there.

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Midnightoker wrote:


You can be IRONMAN!?!?

Well one of my players this weekend is already sold on that. Guess we will be playtesting!

Haha that's what most of the reviews of the 5e Artificer said. They couldn't have been more obvious about it. The Inventor here manages to have some distinct flavor though.

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What is the point of Valet if you have to use an action to get your familiar to do something that...normally costs you an action?

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You could also just run some very short standalone encounters to get used to the rules before everybody gets all invested in their characters. Your players could try the same scenario several times with different classes/builds and tactics to see what they like, before diving into a full campaign. I wish I'd been able to do that, I was just told to roll up a 7th-level character and join the existing group with little info on who was playing what.

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If you aren't involved in PFS or the like, it should be pretty straightforward to stat up a proper spider companion with your GM.

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The Raven Black wrote:

The Raven Black wrote:
Note : the title of the chart is easy to miss because the eye is attracted to the colored boxes and the title is grey rather than black, on a white background, so nothing eye-catching to it.

I can change those to darker/black on my next big review pass. I wanted the feats themselves to stand out but I see your point.

The Raven Black wrote:

Unless you feel people would be interested in something like Core-Only feats. Then I would propose to have one color for the RPG line, another for the Lost Omens line and a third for what comes from the APs line. I do not remember another line of products that introduce feats right now.

Or maybe the feats boxes' colors might be used for Rarity.


I did not see any comment on this, while I still believe it is a useful info for the reader. If you use the color of the feat box to indicate another info like source or rarity, maybe the color of the font can be used to distinguish between the 2 types of feats, say black font for regular and blue font for skill feats.

Keep in mind that you can't use color alone as an indicator, as enough people are color-blind to make it a problem. There always has to be something else like a gradient or shape/stroke. I'm not a professional designer but I know that tidbit.

The Raven Black wrote:
Good point. Actually, I think now that it would work better with only one file per Class / Dedication : the first page would be free of any ratings and the following pages would be the ones giving the ratings with one page per guide (you are currently doing one PDF file per class / dedication per guide).

I'm not going to get into that level of production workflow. If I do this, it'll be one folder of all files with reviews, and a separate folder without. (Those with OmniGraffle Pro can just toggle the layer's visibiity, of course. I tried exporting to Visio and of course some things got mucked up. I may eventually fiddle with the original so it exports cleanly, but again that's probably a lot of work.)

The Raven Black wrote:

I think I was not clear using the word "stats". I was thinking of whether a feat has an impact on a save, AC, attack, damage, this kind of things.

I believe that might be an interesting info that readers can use as a guide to check in AoN what the feat actually does, rather than checking all feats blindly.

Ah, now I understand. Well, the whole reason I did all the functional groupings was to bring together feats that do similar things. Once you know where all the mobility, or ranged/melee combat feats, or spellcasting feats are, it's a small enough set to choose from you can just read their descriptions to know exactly what each feat does. Picking out what's salient from all these hundreds of feats gets into intrepreting things, and we all know where that puts you!

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Alfa/Polaris wrote:
I think the differentiated outline works really well for showing off source! Sufficiently different colors and/or textures/designs would work fine -- surely OmniGraffle (assuming that's what you're using) has some outline options, right?

Yep, it's OmniGraffle, and it's got lots of options for border outlines & such. I'm already using a gradient for the special Ranger focus spells, and stances.

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The Raven Black wrote:

Very nice and a lot of good ideas for presentation (columns with easy colors, action costs, traits, and of course the levels column and the links for prerequisites, as well as those to AoN). Awesome value you bring us here.

A few modifications I propose :

The Raven Black wrote:
1. We need a way to immediately understand what the Class names mean in, for example, the Archer Dedication. The way it currently reads is confusing at first. Maybe modify the titles to something like "Archer-specific feats", "Fighter feats", "Ranger feats".

Yes this was my first try at a dedication so I just slapped something on the grouping boxes. I don't think I would want to do functional groupings like with the base classes, there aren't enough feats to justify it. I'll think about a compact yet clear way of indicating base class borrowings, though. Maybe even something as simple as "From Fighter" would be clear enough. (Most of the following is about how much info can be crammed in.)

The Raven Black wrote:
2. To indicate the source of the feat, I think you should use an acronym (CRB, APG ...) like they used to in the Player Companion line IIRC. Just put it above the feat to distinguish it from the traits below it. And incorporate it in the legend.

Yeah, this is going to be a serious issue the more books that come out. (And there are already dedications in some of the Lost Omens books, for example.) There's already too much text in and around the feat boxes in my opinion so I'm not sure what to do here. It's also a lot of work to redo what's already done. I relied pretty heavily on the hyperlinks to Archives of Nethys for the additional info—the main goal of the charts is just to lay the basic info out so you can budget your build at each level. Anything beyond "can I meet the prereqs and fit it?" has to really be worth the trouble.

Putting book initials to, say, the upper-left of each box might work, but it's gonna make things mighty busy, and busy is the enemy of useful. Page numbers would add to the busy as well.

The Raven Black wrote:

3. Doing this will allow you to use the format of the feat box itself to show another type of info. I would use it to distinguish between usual Archetype (Class) feats and Archetype Skill feats, as I believe such a distinction to bring good value.

4. When I build a character and check the guides, I would love to be able to compare the ratings for each item (Class feats in this case). I would enjoy having a single Class file with all ratings together (say on the right of the feat) for ease of comparison. And likely another class file with no rating for those who do not want them.

I'm not sure what you're asking for here. The PDFs are currently designed to be one class per file, with all ratings to the right of each feat. Or are you just putting that in contrast to files without?

I can easily generate PDFs with no ratings from the source document (as I have already produced some with ratings from different guides), but any rearranging is, again, a ton of work.

The Raven Black wrote:
5. Maybe indicate in the feat's box which stat it impacts, as a quick reminder / clue. Those who are interested can then go to AoN and check the complete description.

You tell me where the heck I could fit them, and I might consider it. :-D

Actually could you give me some examples of class feats where the stat it impacts is relevant to choosing? This isn't something I ever thought of in choosing feats, myself.

The Raven Black wrote:

Awesome job, really. I hope you can do the Ancestries one of these days. And also the Skill feats :-D

Thank you very much.

Give 'em an inch, they want a mile. ;-)

Ancestries have so few feats I don't think it's worth the trouble. Skill feats might be, for certain skills..

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Added the Archer dedication archetype. Let me know how the format works for you. I'm including the feats duplicated from other classes as grouping named for the class (in italics). I'm wondering if there's some way I could indicate the levels of those feats in their original classes for comparison, and whether that would actually be useful.

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Somebody posted this a few days ago, bookmark it and you will be In The Know:

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Oh, wow, cool. I am not a GM so I didn't even see that. I could ask my GM about using that to come with something new. Thanks!

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Not at all! People do it in real life all the time. Skills and physical conditioning require continual use to stay fresh. If you stop doing something, you kinda forget how to do it. It may be a slower process in real life, but then so is Treat Wounds. Battle Medicine, anyone? :-P

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My storm/animal/leaf druid is almost more versatile than I can stand. I've got blasting, buffing, flanking, vulture vomit, healing. That might be overwhelming for a new player, but then again they can easily focus on whatever they like and switch/add as they get more comfortable. WIth a blastersorcerer you're more likely to be stuck with blasting your whole career.

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That™

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I've got charts showing class feat dependencies, prerequisites, and more on google drive. I've just added mutliclass dedication archetypes today. Formats are PDF (with hyperlinks to Archives of Nethys and select class guides) and the original OmniGraffle source, for you Mac users.

Here is the discussion thread.

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Added multiclass dedication feat charts.

I've grouped them into single files for martials, casters, and others (Alchemist & Investigator). You can really see the similarities & differences between them, as well as how some classes got stiffed a bit. :-)

Let me know if you find any mistakes, or you'd rather they were sliced up a different way. I could do a single class dedication per file (although if I do that they will al go in a subfolder).

Other archetype dedication feats may be a longer time coming, if ever; there are so many...still, I might knock one out every couple days, if there is interest.

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Squiggit wrote:

tbh if I had one complaint about the sorcerer it's that I really wish bloodlines had more to them innately, especially compared to mysteries.

Mysteries by comparison just feel a lot more cohesive overall. I know a lot of people don't like them but just... my Tempest oracle can see through fog and when she channels her magic winds whip around her, deflecting projectiles and dampening fires and making it hard for most creatures to even approach her.

And then my Sorcerer gets +1 to stealth checks for one round if I cast a specific spell.

I know a lot of people don't like mysteries in general and I'm not even saying the sorcerer is bad, but in terms of flavor and theme I don't think there's much contest.

It's true, sorcerer blood magic is by comparison a little...anemic. <ducks>

I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I won't do it again.

(I'll totally do it again.)


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Matthew Downie wrote:

When someone has a problem with a game, it usually means there really is a problem, but often the problem is not what they think it is.

If PF2 seems like a game where you do the same thing every round and it's too hard to survive, the real problem might be that it doesn't teach you how to be good at the tactics required to do well. It just expects you to figure out for yourself when it's a good idea to attack / debuff an enemy / heal an ally / turn into a dinosaur. RPGs are not a very forgiving environment for experimentation, unlike videogames where you can just try something out and reload if it doesn't work out for you. Or you might try something once, the GM says the enemy passed their save, and you decide not to risk it again.

Nothing prevents a group at a table from rewinding and trying a combat over again. This is a cultural problem.

Jumping to a conclusion after trying something once is a separate problem, but I'll freely admit it's one I suffer from more in RPGs than in real life. :)

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Ruzza wrote:
This is potentially something that I would be interested in lending a hand with. I say potentially because it is Christmas and the world is just as busy (if not busier) as it was before Covid. I had done a 1 on 1 session with a player who ran a full group through some of his own experimental ideas, and it seemed to be successful enough. A quick 5 encounter adventure should be good for getting the hang of good habits.

It doesn't have to happen right now. :-)

I'd be happy to try things out with you come the new year!

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Mathmuse wrote:

Some more response videos:

Response to @Taking20 - Optimizers and the Illusion of Choice by Bill Allan, 7 minutes.

This first vid talks—among other things—about how min/maxers (optimizers) get bored, as has been discussed in a couple current topics on the forums. His solution is okay, although it seems those people might be happiest just running their latest new builds in one-shot combat scenarios. :-)

That said, I think that players who just do the same thing over and over, are in fact not optimized, especially if doing so leads to repeated TPKs. What remains a mystery to me is why so, apparently, many who are good at trying new things in terms of character builds can't manage to try something new in at-the-table tactics.

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Ravingdork wrote:
I like sorcerers best. Seems I can cover more character concepts with that one class than I can with many of the other casting classes.

Their core chassis is definitely built with that sort of thing front & center in the bloodlines. Oracle comes close with the curses & mysteries. Bit of a shame some of those packages are considered poor deals mechanically, but they are all dripping, exploding, oozing, or glowing with flavor.

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Stangler wrote:

I think it is important to understand that he has a point even if you don't totally agree with it. Personally I don't think he even really understands the problem. It is not an experience that is unique to pathfinder and is generally tied to the process of learning and figuring out a system with min/max gameplay in mind. In essence I think the problem at his table is an example of the min/max trap. So what is the min/max trap?


I feel like you know me.

As for mid-combat options, I have to say, even after only a few sessions of play, this depends heavily on the whole team coordinating effectively, which I haven't seen happen yet. II think having to play through a VTT is also huge factor here, in the way it limits communication. That is a whole 'nother topic, though.

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UnArcaneElection wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Would you only allow casters to expend spell slots to charge a staff if they were of the same tradition (or even the same school for a Specialist's extra slot) as the staff's spells?

Surprisingly, the rules don't seem to say this explicitly (unless it is hidden in some weird place), but it certainly seems highly reasonable.

Yeah, the only thing I've found the rules say about specialist slots is: "You can prepare only spells of your chosen arcane school in these extra slots." It says nothing about what you do with those slots once you've prepared a spell in them. It might be an oversight, but as the rules are now, it's pretty clear you can dump a specialist slot into a staff to charge it up, regardless of the tradition the staff's spells are from.

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So after reading BlueFrog's Hideously Biased Guide to the (Spell Blending) Wizard, I decided to start building one out. Goals:

  • Spell Blending thesis for more high-level spell slots.
  • Halcyon Speaker for even more spells and slots from all traditions.
  • Heavy investment in Magical Crafting with staves & wands in mind, scrolls to fill in low-level slots, maybe basic alchemy too.
  • Some connection to the criminal element for RP fun.
  • Generally aim for versatility in spells, skills, and such.

This being Pathfinder 2, and me still being pretty new to it, things got complicated, of course. I've got more trained skills than I know what to do with, but I'm not sure what order to take skill rises or secondary ability boosts in; whether to get more (Lore?) skills just at trained; I don't know what to pick for some high-level skill & general feats after I've gotten the essentials; what might I retrain out later; and so on. I'm doing this exercise in a vaccuum, of course, so details would change depending on party, but I would like to have a coherent build regardless to feel I have a grip on the process.

Here are the details, with likely halcyon spell picks based on what looks interesting/effective/useful. Let me know what you think.

b) ability start/boost
a) ancestry/background feature/feat
f) class feature
c) class feat
g) general or skill feet
s) skill feat
t) skill training (master available at 7, legendary at 15)

Versatile Human, Artisan background, Wizard
I might go Half-Elf instead, it's always been my favorite for RP reasons, but I'm not planning on taking any Elf ancestry feats, so all I'd get is low-light vision in exchange for an early general feat. (I actually started this build with a dwarf but when I decided not to dump charisma I abandoned that.)

Build Choices
1b) STR 10, DEX 12, CON 12, INT 18, WIS 14, CHA 12
Secondary abilities not min/maxed, I'd like a bit of breadth for RP, but might need some tuning, or advice on later spell/feat selections to compensate.

1a) Natural Ambition (1st-level class feat) - 1c) Familiar
Feat budget doesn't allow for Enhanced Familiar, but I'd still like to have one.

1a) Versatile Human (general feat) - 1g) Canny Acumen: Expert Perception
Boosting Fortitude, Reflex, or Will might be better.

1a) Languages: Common, Draconic, Goblin, Jotun, Orcish, Sylvan
I went for the languages of folks who often don't speak Common.

1a) Background: Artisan - 1t) Crafting, Guild Lore; 1s) Specialty Crafting (wood)
1t) Arcana, Deception, Diplomacy, Intimidation, Occultism, Religion, Society
1f) Wizard School: Enchantment (probably)
1f) Arcane Thesis: Spell Blending

2c) Magaambyan Attendant Dedication (Cascade Bearers) - primal cantrip: Guidance; 2t) trained in Nature, Primal spell attack & DC
2s) Magical Crafting
Is this worth taking so early?

3g) Incredible Initiative -OR- Fleet -OR- Toughness
These three general feats seem to outshine all others by far, but I don't know about ordering them.

3t) Expert Arcana
4c) Reach Spell
4s) Assurance (Crafting)
I hear this is important at lower levels, might retrain out later.

5b) INT 19, ???
5f) Expert Reflex saves
5a) Clever Improviser
5t) Expert Crafting
6c) Halcyon Speaker Dedication (2 cantrip/1st-level) - halcyon spells: Know Direction, Stabilize, Heal, ???
I could just get more Arcane cantrips here of course.

6s) Society - Streetwise
7f) Expert Arcane spell attack and DC
7g) Incredible Initiative -OR- Fleet -OR- Toughness
7t) Expert Society
I could get Master proficiencies starting now and let Society lag behind.

8f) Expert Fortitude saves
8c) Spell Penetration
8s) Impeccable Crafter
9a) Incredible Improvisation -OR-Multitalented (Alchemist, or Champion if I want armor, req STR 14, CHA 14)
Incredible Improvisation won't make me the party skill monkey, but it might save me in a pinch. Then again, making alchemy could be useful/lucrative. I don't see meeting the reqs for Champion but it's a survivability option.

9t) Master Arcana
10b) INT 20, ???
10c) Cascade Bearer's Spellcasting (all traditions! 1 cantrip/1st-level) - halcyon spells: Join Pasts (or Forbidding Ward), Phantom Pain
10s) Assured Identification
11f) Expert Perception, Expert wizard weapons
11g) Incredible Initiative -OR- Fleet -OR- Toughness
11t) Master Crafting
12c) Halcyon Spellcasting Initiate (2 2nd/3rd level) - halcyon spells: Faerie Fire, Sudden Blight, Heroism, Hypercognition
12s) Society - Criminal Connections (req Streetwise)
13a) Advanced General Training -or- something lower-level
13f) Expert unarmored defense
13f) +2 damage with expert weapons, +3/+4 if master/legendary
13t) Master Society
14c) Halcyon Spellcasting Adept (4th/5th level) - halcyon spells: Chroma Leech, Holy Cascade (maybe Spiritual Anamnesis), Breath of Life, Shadow Blast (or Synesthesia)
14s) ??? - I think I've met my available build goals so far, so what would fit well here?
15b) INT 21, ???
15f) Master Arcane spell attack and DC
15g) Incredible Investiture? (req CHA 16)
Having gobs of invested items seems like a nice thing for a wizard.

15t) Legendary Crafting -OR- Arcana
16c) Flexible Halcyon Spellcasting (additional slots)
Not sure if this takes effect when chosen and freezes there, or if I wil get an additional 6th-level slot when I get the next dedication feat. Not that I would give up my level 20 class feat for it!

16s) Crafting - Craft Anything
Since I'll have access to all spell traditions, I'm not sure I need this.!

17a) Heroic Presence
17f) Master Will saves
17g) Canny Acumen (from level 1): Master Perception
17t) Legendary Crafting -OR- Arcana
18c) Halcyon Spellcasting Sage (6th/7th level) halcyon spells: Blanket of Stars (or Stone Tell), Spirit Blast, Regenerate, Finger of Death (or Retrocognition, or Sunburst)
18s) Arcana - Unified Theory
Oh, I was worried earlier about training some other skills, wasn't I? :-)

19g) ???
19t) Legendary Society
20b) INT 22, ???
20c) Spell Mastery
You can never have too many spell slots!

20s) ???
I have no idea what would be useful at final level.

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Since Staff Nexus doesn't even come online until level 8—over a third of your character's career—you might be better off starting with another thesis, such as Spell Blending, and then retrain in downtime if you're really jonesing for more low-level spells per day. The book does explicitly allow retraining class features, however, it says your GM decides how long it takes, so that might gum up the idea.

Blue_frog has a lot to say about Spell Blending, I don't know if you're interested in the comparison.

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You say that Staff Nexus only lets you trade higher-level spell slots for lower, but actually you can put two (eventually three) spell slots into the staff as charges, and then use them to cast any spells in the staff up to their combined levels plus your highest-level spell slot. That's up to 36 charges total by end-game. And you can spend them up as well as down, for a ton more low-level spells or a few more high-level spells. You can only do this once, of course, and only for spells in the staff.

So Staff Nexus is very versatile—if you're willing to spend the money on a cart full of staves to haul around with you and leave behind while you go delving. Which any thief will be more than happy to lay claim to. Maybe if you craft a staff with spells you know you'll use all the time you can avoid that.

Also, it comes online even later (at level eight!) than Spell Blending (at level three). So, Staff Nexus is okay for getting a few more higher-level spells and a lot more low-level spells—in mid to high-level play only. Spell Blending clearly wins for getting more, higher-level spell slots—throughout your career. If you can retrain your thesis in downtime, I suppose it might make sense for some to switch into it once it's actually useful.

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Uploaded corrections to Wizard class feat chart, and added ratings by Blue Frog for their hideously biased Spell Blending guide, which you can read about here.

Folder also now contains the master OmniGraffle document.

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There is Mage Armor, which, while it does chew up a spell slot, lasts as long as needed and gives bonuses to both AC and saves as you heighten it. How well that tracks with other classes' defenses, I leave as an exercise for somebody else. :-P (Also, Shield looks pretty astoundingly lame with that 10-minute cooldown.)

On the one hand, it's kind of annoying they built a crud chassis that requires those "extra" spells to fill in for, making them just so much more bookwork for wizards. On the other hand, if you're willing to forego filling in for your crud defenses, you can really focus on being the glass cannon many casters have a reputation for.

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Calybos1 wrote:

Uhh, what? What the flying flumph is this? Spontaneous casters can... cast one of their spells using their spell slots, and choose to expend a charge from the staff at the same time. To no apparent effect. Because they get the exact same-level spell and spell effect, just as if they'd cast it without the staff.

So how is this helpful? You're still spending your spell slot, and you're getting nothing in return but lost charges from a staff that hasn't aided you. Why don't we run the AC and the heater with the windows down while we're at it? Please tell...

You're missing the part where you can cast any spell in the staff, regardless of level, by spending your spell slot of that level, but only one charge from the staff, rather than charges equal to the level of the spell.

So, a prepared caster using a staff with, say, fireball and three charges, could cast fireball from that staff once. Period.. A spontaneous caster could cast fireball up to three times, so long as they have the third-level spell slots. I'd guess thatspontaneous casters will want staves containing mostly spells that aren't in their repertoire, to expand that repertoire as much as possible.

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The rulebook clearly, plainly, explicitly states that you cannot cast spells in a battle form. Page 301: "Unless otherwise noted, the battle form prevents you from casting spells, speaking, and using most manipulate actions that require hands."

It also clearly, plainly, explicitly, and separately says that you can't speak. Why can't you speak? Because the rules say so. Full stop, no reason given, tough luck.

Yes but why do the rules say so? You can speculate and argue and kibitz all you want; you can house-rule it for your group to be different. You can't change the fact that this is what the rulebook plainly says and that many groups abide by that.

This horse is dead, deceased, bereft of life. It is an ex-horse. We fellow players can't answer your questions; you'll have to ask the designers.

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Let's not get into one of those side debates on the meanings of various words, one of the many ways of Going Off Topic.

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There's the slippery slope* I stepped on when I started doing these. Next thing folks will be asking for is all the dedication archetypes too!

Not saying I'm not gonna do it, if the itch hits me. :-P

* from the right-hand passage in Tomb of Horrors, of course.

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Gisher wrote:
I was having trouble visualizing the weapon proficiency progressions for the various classes, so I made up some tables. I thought I'd share them in case they can help others.

Pathfinder 2 definitely needs more visualizations like this. Good work!

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Interesting discussion. A lot of it depends on the type of game you're playing, of course, and the types of challenges your GM throws at you. If you're pressured to optimize narrowly, you'll probably do that. If your GM challenges the martials with charisma encounters and such, rather than always pitting the group against super-powerful monsters, you'll want to cover that rather than dumping charisma. It seems more folks do the former, than the latter.

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Yes, Gortle, I have decided on a vulture! I named her Ghrda. If you know how to imitate a raven, you'll be able to pronounce it well.

Thank you for your guide, it's been very helpful. I posted a whole thing on my build a little while ago, in a new thread.

A snake would be interesting, for a non-tengu. Birds and snakes are ancient mortal enemies!

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Nitro~Nina wrote:
Nik Gervae wrote:
Actually the vulture's support benefit is based on the target failing a saving throw, with a critical failure making the effect sickened 2 rather than 1. I don't know how that specifically compares to you making a crit success on a Strike, but it's still a scaling effect, and a pretty good one at that. Plus, it's triggered by your hits, not Strikes, making it great for casters.
...Good point. Jeez, don't know how I missed that one. Nice catch with the hits v strikes thing!

Credit to Gortle Guide to Druids and FedoraFerret's Guide to Animal Companions. They have some specific comments about bears too.

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