The Raven Black wrote:
A potentially interesting twist to this... The Starstone might be sapient and benevolent, if not necessarily nice about it. Perhaps due to the noble sacrifices of Acavna and Amaznen, it might be prepared to do anything to protect Golarion, up to and including revoking the deific power of its first beneficiary at a crucial moment.
Maybe Aroden's glorious return and the resultant imperial resurgence would have heralded a far darker age for Golarion than the prophetic interpretations had implied... It certainly wouldn't be out of character for The Last Azlanti to make a grave enough mistake that even a good Starstone would have been willing to risk the odd Eye of Abendego to prevent another. Aroden himself might have decided to arrogantly defy the destiny that had made him what he was, breaking prophecy and forcing the Starstone's hand...
This would also explain why, of the three other Ascended, two are uncomplicatedly heroic. Iomedae was truly a Paladin's Paladin and worked her whole life to embody unrelenting Goodness, while Cayden's heart of true gold would have shone through to the Starstone no matter his circumstances (including intoxicating ones).
As for the invisible elephant in the room... Norgorber is, as always, an enigma. A necessary evil to keep more complex dark forces in check, perhaps? I don't quite buy it... But, then, if he wanted to keep his true purpose a secret, I'm sure we wouldn't believe the truth if we found it.
Came for a story and got politics. Disappointing.
Isn't "Poor Person (say, farm boy) defeats Rich Person (evil emperor)" an elevated trope in fantasy storytelling? Robin Hood isn't suddenly a bad story just because it reckons with the fact of life that rich people have more power with which to perform evil and fewer consequences when doing so.
Plus, it's Ustalav. Any monster who isn't eating their way into the halls of power is missing a trick. If the peasants from Dracula had an Iconic among them, I doubt they'd be apolitical.
That said, I'd love to see Mios trying to "uncover" Aric's monstrous secret. "He's some kind of were-crow, I just know it!"
Hm... just an idea, but we do know from the Character Guide that there are rumours that some intelligent undead have taken (and indeed have been liberated from Tar-Baphon by) the Crimson Oath, guided by some mysterious* dark power. Of the two main Knights of Lastwall factions, the Crimson Reclaimers seem paradoxically both the more undead-murdery and the more likely to have undead as part of their ranks as far as I can tell. Plus, yeah, desperation and all that.
This skeleton sounds quite chipper for a Knight Reclaimant, to be fair, but that sounds like a very fun dynamic in itself.
*Potentially a spoiler?:
Not that they have anything at all in common with a similarly conflicted zombie goddess who understands what it's like to feel abandoned against a certain soft-spoken tyrant, of course. It's all Ragathiel, probably.
"I was so young those short seven years ago, when first I arrived in Lastwall..."
Sparrow grew up in the Shelynite faith, never knowing any other family. A loving family it was, but children can be cruel, and she had always felt too big, too unwieldy, her height and might a parody of her name. She was jealous of the elegant devotees of the Bladed Brush that she had always looked up to... Until of course she found herself looking down to them, even as they straightened her form, guided her strikes, and tried to hide their frustration with the clumsy acolyte making a mockery of their art form.
Her great strength, however, did lend itself to her passion, the divine duty of every follower of the Eternal Rose; her craft. Heavy tomes on architecture and sculpture allowed her to channel her frustrations into the one medium that didn't seem to crumble in her hands: Stone. While Sparrow did not hear the kind philosophies of her fellow Shelynites, she resolved that if she could not believe in her own beauty, she could damn well create some.
It was at Lastwall that she met the love of her life, a Desnan follower of the Prismatic Ray from far to the east. Both women had been sent by their respective faiths to aid in the construction of a great temple to the three goddesses Sarenrae, Desna and, of course, Shelyn. It was this elegant artist that first showed Sparrow the beauty of her own strength in a way that she could understand, sitting and sketching the statuesque sculptor as she worked on the most challenging piece of her career. The great gold-and-marble glaive of the statue of Shelyn that would take pride of place in the temple was to be her magnum opus, and she would call that glaive Rosehawk.
But then... Well, this is the story of Lastwall, after all. As Sparrow's temple fell around her, as Shelyn's statue cracked and fell, as the hordes of undead tore at everything that she had seen built by the beautiful artisans she had so loved working alongside... Rosehawk called to her, and she picked up the great stone glaive. For the first time in her life, the weight felt right, the balance steady, and all of that training, all those hours and days of years of frustration... It all clicked into place.
She could do something about this.
And so she did.
One of my very first thoughts on seeing the Giant Instinct Barbarian was of a sculptor that took their weapon from the shattered remains of the statue they themselves had built. This ended up being where the story went, and I absolutely cannot wait to play her. She's also one of my favourite Heroforge figures I've ever designed, which helps.
It's a sci-fi setting. I was expecting disabled characters.
Joe Wells wrote:
As much as I'm most excited for the Occultist/Antiquarian... Lastwall synergises really well with both Inquisitor and Warlord sorta characters.
Also, I'm so very excited. Lastwall has such a cool story to me, and I'm always up for learning more about Arazni. Plus, I'd love a really good excuse to yell some Crimson Couplets at the table.
You don't. You have the option to multiclass Wizard if you want to play a low-casting Magus with a variety of levelled options like you might expect from PF1, but that's not the base assumption of what a Magus is in PF2. The option is there as part of the class, and can be considered when it comes to determining which concepts the PF2 Magus allows you to represent, but being able to cast scaling elemental cantrips through your magicked-up sword is pretty much the core of the theme of the class on its own.
Omega Metroid wrote:
These things probably shouldn't be considered in a vacuum. The wealth of options provided by class feats (including archetypes) is a built-in feature of every class in PF2, while in PF1 your class features were far more defining on their own. Comparing the basic chassis is almost always going to favour the PF1 equivalent, because the basic chassis was a lot more of what you did as a character. Fighters being the obvious exception.
I don't think that the reason that people are mentioning the archetype feats is because they fail to understand you. Rather, it may be because the games have different assumptions, and because those assumptions require a different perspective on what a class is and what its core features provide to you. The full package of the Magus Class in PF1 is simply not equivalent to the featless chassis of the Magus Class in PF2.
This was really engaging and very fun, and I'm very annoyed about that because come on it's Seltiyel; what am I supposed to do, respect him now??
Jokes aside, I genuinely appreciate that you went all-in and took his edgy nature so seriously while showing how awesome he is. This piece really illustrates what makes Seltiyel impressive while also showing just how much it sucks not to have a party. Or a horse. :'(
Oh, also, the art absolutely rocks. Dangit.
I truly love that this horrible edgelord bastard man features in the same book as the adorable pastel-pink dragon girl. (There's an Imagine Dragons joke to be made here, I just know it.) It'd be fun to see them team up too; Seelah might not be able to redeem him, but just watch him try to be evil around that much adorable positivity. They can bond over their shared love of learning!
It's brilliant. I absolutely love the robots-as-monsters, mystical-tech aesthetic of Numeria, and Casandalee is definitely one of my favourite deities in the setting (along with Shelyn, Brigh and Arazni). I can't wait to see where it all goes next, especially with Kevoth-Kul and Kul-Inkit being free to really understand their nation through the guidance of the Iron Goddess. It's only so long until some bright spark from Alkenstar catches a whiff of unexploited technology...
Also, the interplanetary elements? Fantastic. Planetary romance is not really my genre but I really like the way Pathfinder handles it with a lot of references to the way Venus and Mars were once depicted in both science and its fiction. That said, I much prefer the beautiful-and-truly-alien sort of Lashunta we see in Starfinder, as much as I understand that their more awkward PF1 traits are an homage to planetary romance tropes. In fact, I suspect that the naked-elves-on-lizards aesthetic and gender nonsense will turn out to have been some combination of psychic meddling and unreliable reporting, handled similarly to the Mwangi updates.
I'd definitely argue in favour of resistance working (because there's a set order and your weakness would still apply without being itself mitigated) but not immunity because that really does remove the penalty of the curse. I'd be tempted to allow immunity to reduce the damage down to the weakness as PlantThings suggests (because it means that you're never actually immune no matter what you spend) but I can understand table variation there. In any case, the weakness needs to apply at minimum and chucking feats at the problem shouldn't actually reduce it so much as minimize any risk outside of the weakness itself.
Hm. Actually, no, I might be wrong there. That does feel like mitigating the problem as a whole, even if you're not reducing the weakness itself. But then what does that say about having a high Strength score as a Cosmos oracle? It 'mitigates' being enfeebled at the cost of character options in the same way that having resistance 'mitigates' weakness at the cost of character options.
Is there something sacred about ability scores? The fact that they're on a relatively set progression, maybe? Inherent to your character in a way that a resistance isn't? A Stormborn Orc Sylph has +2 to Strength and half-level electricity resistance, and both seem pretty inherent to their Ancestry and Lineage, so why should one option be allowed to partially 'mitigate' a curse while the other can't?
I'm not at all suggesting that we shouldn't allow Cosmos Oracles to be strong, by the way. That seems like an obvious case of mitigation being okay, but I'm struggling to say why it's obvious when the resistance/weakness question isn't.
From Living Graffiti, of all things...
When a creature attempts to Strike a living graffiti and critically misses, the attacker hits the surface (a canvas, wall, or so on) behind the living graffiti. This might damage the surface or the attacker's weapon, at the GM's discretion.
So, we see that striking surfaces isn't something that PCs are incapable of... but that it's not unlikely to damage the weapon as well. Obviously, a Bestiary entry isn't necessarily the best place to find answers to this, but it provides a good common-sense response to the tunnelling suggestion: some surfaces are more likely to damage the weapon than the weapon is to damage the surface. I don't care if that sword has a +1 on it, it's not going to act like a pickaxe and it won't like being used as one for very long.
However, if you have a high-level Barbarian with Shattering Blows wanting to smash their way through a wall with an adamantine warpick, that's probably a thing they can do given time! They're strong, ignore plenty of hardness, are using a nigh-indestructible weapon that's a good shape for breaking rocks, and all in all it seems like a reasonable in-world thing to happen. If you really want to dissuade them, you could point out that some walls are load-bearing, or that the dungeon is something's house and very loudly breaking it might be a bad idea. Also, if the dungeon is filled with traps, hacking one's way into whatever high-tension cabling or superheated piping is powering those traps might be a similarly bad idea.
Of course, by a super strict reading you do actually need to gather some Living Graffiti and critically fail to hit them in order to hit any walls, but that doesn't feel fun or sensible. The fact remains, however, that RAW there is a clear example of hitting the scenery with one's sword in a published book, and it would seem RAI weird if that was the only way to do it.
*scuttles back into the shadows*
In my experience, a lot of disabled people (myself included) tend to prefer representation wherein a disability has some meaningful effect, informing but emphatically not defining the character's abilities. That's going to be a bit of a spectrum from person to person, as people differ on the whole escapism-to-realism ratio, and there will be complete exceptions too, but I do think that's part of why disabled representation can be difficult to write. Not difficult enough to justify not doing it, mind you, but that's a conversation about a different kind of fiction altogether.
My point is, simply having no effect in-game beyond description might be unappealing to some people who want to represent something of their experience in constructive roleplaying. Not to the point of disruption, of course, but something meaningful, and not because they want to suck but because they want to show that this experience exists and can, despite everything, excel in heroic fantasy.
But how? Amongst the most realistic and resonant aspects of disabled life that can be depicted is problem-solving. It can be genuinely fun working out how to hack around a mechanical limitation, whether in the real world, in writing, or in a game, and that I think is part of what people might want out of in-game representation of disability. As a fictional example, both Avatar cartoon series' and the How To Train Your Dragon movies are golden for this, while media too focused on being InSpIrAtIoNaL tend to miss the problem-solving angle entirely.
Overall, while disability is pretty inevitably going to be a downgrade in some sense, it can also be a huge boon to clever roleplay and planning... But it's gotta be practical. We know that being totally unable to use a staircase is not going to work in a classic dungeon-crawler unless, say, there's a Strong Friend in the party willing to help with that on occasion (which can be pretty seamless). However, just because we're very happy with a little touch of escapism/handwaving/springchairs does not mean that we're comfortable being pushed into a situation wherein that's the only option for everything.
I'm not saying that's what's being suggested, but that's the fear; I do really like Michael Sayre's way of handling it. I think it's great for representation and also probably the only solution that will work uncontroversially for players who mean well but don't see the point. It just might leave room for a bit of jerk behaviour if people start getting annoyed at the decisions you make as-informed by your character's disability, as Kalindlara notes. That said, I'm already away-and-beyond impressed with Pathfinder's communicative approach to disability in contrast to certain other, larger tabletop companies that prefer to play it safe.
This is obviously a lot easier with an even slightly permissive GM willing to work with a character concept, but I'm continuing with the discussion prompted by Kalindlara about what is and is not considered appropriate for PFS. Outside of that realm, the Cursed background clearly shows that the game has room for a character with some mechanical disadvantage without everything needing to get all minmaxy. A similar background that replaced "you're cursed, so you got good at getting rid of curse magic" with "you're disabled, so you got good at improvising" could be interesting, and exactly as not-disruptive.
... Just to clarify, I'm not equating disability with an eldritch curse. Even if it feels like that sometimes. The concepts lend themselves to similar background structures.
(Sorry if this is a total mess; I'm not particularly well-rested but thought I should try to contribute nonetheless. I also love the look of the book!)
Making (and encouraging players to make) creative use of weapon traits is an extremely elegant way of making weapons cooler without messing with the gold economy. Damage types too, though I'd also like to see some unique-to-class enhancements that improve upon the traits a weapon already has, or that invent all-new ways for weapons to be interesting.
I'd also very much encourage passing this cool stuff out to the party as a form of pre-buffing, thereby allowing balanced interaction with all sorts of classes from a single character. This could be a fun niche to fill, I think. Of course, they'd need to provide unique benefits in-situation as well, so as to avoid the "stay at home" issue that dedicated crafters may be prone to.
What I'd really love is a non-magic not-tradition based around Society and all that entails. A class that operates through an intricate understanding of how the world actually works, not how Wizards and Clerics tell it to work, nor how Bards and Druids claim it should. No, this class would use well-chosen words and meaningful actions to manipulate the fabric of society, which is the only reality anyone actually cares about* anyway. True, if you dress it up right, this "casting" probably looks even more like magic than magic does, but it ain't, not even at high levels when the world itself starts to believe...
Basically, I'm talking a little bit of the Ranger's mastery of surroundings, a little bit of the Bard's storied lore, and a little bit of the Rogue's "inventive" skill use with a whole heap of unique, flavourful ways to coax, cajole, coerce and clobber the world into shape. This is the magician, the con artist, the soothsayer, even the shrewd old lady with commentary so pointed that it's been known to cow minotaurs, who tells the lich just how disappointed his dear old mum would be, and when was the last time he Called?
...Okay, so I failed my will save vs Pratchett reference. The Headologist, The Sizzle-Seller, The Cop With Thin Boots. If you know, you know, and I'm not sure I can do the concept justice in a single post otherwise. I hope I've at least made a Convincing Attempt. Which is a class feat they get, obviously.
(This could also fulfil the "diplomat" idea mentioned above, without being restricted to that alone.)
* Eagle-eyed readers may have noted that this does imply a dependency on other creatures. As such, you may need to ensure that you do, in fact, play this class as part of some sort of story, ideally one that involves other people.
And this is precisely why gating permanent flight to higher levels can be a good thing for the GM and thus general play experience. It ensures that said GM doesn't have to consider the utility of permanent flight, and can thus spend their energies better when working with the other abilities that players have. Once that's old hat, bring on the flight; the tools to work with it are far more prevalent at high levels anyway.
If permanent flight were prevalent from a low level, a GM would certainly be able to account for that. They would certainly be at fault if they did not do so. I don't think that anybody disputes this. That could still be bad for a game like PF2, because it would put undue stress on every AP designer and GM who now cannot meaningfully use the bulk of low-level monsters without ensuring that every fight against such a monster happens in a low-ceilinged room. They absolutely could use other monsters or homebrew up their own, but that's additional time and effort that could be spent making fun in other ways.
Again, there are the tools to deal with that if need be, and there are interesting stories to be told in an aerial design space, but they are gated in this system for a good reason. Permanent flight opens some doors and closes others (from a design perspective), and the game currently seems to encourage all of those doors to be explored over time. Time that now exists in this edition, since higher levels are no longer assumed to be post-campaign, at least not by the PF2 itself.
Additionally, if APs have to plan for permanent flight, the risk is run that design becomes diluted, as satisfying and distinct pathways have to be constructed both that account for permanent flight and that follow a more terrestrial route. Otherwise, it could force every party to pick up flight, which I'm sure nobody is gunning for.
All that said, I'd still love to play a system wherein innate flight was prevalent from first level, with the entire system built around that premise. I don't really want that system to be Pathfinder by-default, but I wouldn't be surprised if we got an optional ruleset for it at some point... Or an Adventure Path entirely focused around the idea, which sounds super fun, but I'm glad it's not the default assumption.
You had me at "stuff enhancer". I'm not the right kind of sleep-deprived to respond in full, but I think that this is a really, really cool idea. The Occultist in PF1 had some of my favourite ideas and, while I hope that it manages to make the transition properly, a class really specialising in combat-smithing without being tied to the Occultist or Magus would be really nice.
One of the recurring NPCs in my campaign is an elf anthropologist who has been studying a particular goblin family for generations.
So, besides this thread convincing me to give in and get Legends at some point, this is really interesting to me. It's such a cool concept.
How does this anthropologist account for the influences brought about on the family by their own observations? Goblins are so culturally susceptible to change; how does the character ensure that their studies are relevant to more than this one family? Not trying to deconstruct or anything, just super curious.
Now. That's a little harsh. Not every GM has the time to plan that flexibly and it's an extra load on every AP and PFS designer if flight's that easy that early. Regardless, almost any GM is already putting a lot of time and effort into the campaign, so "lazy" surely does not apply often.
"Railroading" can be an issue, but "I work better in two dimensions" isn't a good example of it. A railroading GM would presumably be perfectly fine allowing flight because no ability would be able to change the meticulously-crafted railway, no matter what. A GM who wants to set the players an interesting challenge, however, might reasonably find early-level fliers more difficult to work around than is worth their time.
I'd absolutely love to see more of that style of thing come in throughout the AP. Martial-oriented characters should definitely be supported, though I'm still totally onboard with everyone getting a touch of extra magic just by dint of having studied at a (primarily) magical college. The party aren't going to stay Attendants and Conversants, by the sounds of things, and I'm guessing that there'll be many, many new fun magic toys to play with that maybe wouldn't work as well if the initial assumption didn't involve a little bit for everyone.
Of course, that's up for every GM to GM as they please; I just like that it's a core idea of the campaign.
(Also, if anyone was in any doubt, Spellsplinter itself is already pretty well-represented by the way Attacks of Opportunity work in this edition. Of course, the Fighter's Disruptive Stance class feat is probably the best at acting like the feat we see Roy use, though it working on a bunch of other concentrate/manipulate actions is very cool.)
The Poisoner archetype allows you to take the Rogue feat Poison Weapon at level 6. Note that, in this edition, everyone knows what I mean by "level 6" because it's the level my character is and that always means the same thing unless preceded by the word "spell". Essentially, the whole concept of a class level is a thing of the past... Which is brilliant, except that Poison Weapon mentions your "rogue level" in its Special benefit.
Poison Weapon wrote:
Special During your daily preparations, you can prepare a number of simple injury poisons equal to your rogue level. These poisons deal 1d4 poison damage. Only you can apply these poisons properly, and they expire the next time you prepare.
This poses a problem for the Poisoner archetype, as it doesn't grant a rogue level, because, as above, that's not actually a thing. Nobody has a rogue level, not even members of that class, though a Rogue player obviously knows that the feat means "your level" because it couldn't mean anything else. Even in the case of the Rogue archetype, because the rules are a conversation, one could make an educated guess and assume that, as with qualifying for class feats granted by multiclass archetypes, the effective level is equal to half your level.
However, if you agree with that ruling, no such provision exists for the Poisoner archetype. If you don't, you're left with the same conundrum for both the Rogue archetype and the Poisoner. Either you have a "rogue level" of zero by dint of not being a Rogue, or you just do as the Rogue player does and mentally edit out the word "rogue" entirely. Erring on the side of caution, the former option effectively means that they only gain the primary effects of the feat, which are cool... Except that the archetype also grants the Improved Poison Weapon feat, which has vanishingly little point if not for the Special entry on Poison Weapon. It technically saves you a poison on a critfail, but that being the sole benefit for a tenth-level feat doesn't really make sense intent-wise when you get Sticky Poison two levels earlier.
So the intent was, I think, that you get the full benefit of the feat, using your full level as always because there's no special exception. I don't know if that holds up at all, though I also don't think it'll massively throw off balance for anyone.
Is there anything I've missed or got wrong?
They're nerds, so they're best at nerd magic, but many of them are also drama kids or nature geeks or idol stans so they have access to those magics too. It's a little weird to outsiders, but they don't want to stay within society's constructed roles. I believe that there's a song about this philosophy in the ancient Mwangi song-story "High School Musical".
...What, you think it's a coincidence that half the Magaambyan art features a song and dance? This entire AP is going to be a musical, mark my words.
I'm more prone to do this with spells when I feel like the name doesn't super fit what my character would call it. So, basically, most of the time, since I've never played a super traditional caster. I like coming up with my own incantations too, which might be a rhyming couplet, line from a real-life poem or song, or even just the spells name with a sort of eldritch reverb thing. Or a geeky reference; it's only a matter of time before I cast Ki Rush or Fleet Step by yelling "Retreat of the Rinsing Wind!"
That said, when I finally get to play a
In my opinion, anyone who sits next to an enemy, allowing them to use their most powerful 3-action abilities doesn't have a firm grasp of tactics. Given the opportunity, everyone should be moving all the time (or at the very least, not ending their turn within reach of an enemy), if only to force the enemy to waste their actions closing.
My experience is
For instance, let's say we have "Good Cop", a Marshal Paladin with the Inspiring Marshal feat, and "Bad Cop", a Braggart Swashbuckler with the Antagonise feat, and they've spent some time cornering "Perp", who doesn't have a class but does have a big scary weapon. The buddy cops each want to use their full turn to Use Feat, Strike, and either Strike again or use a defensive action (or even use Bon Mot if GC's up first and wants to make sure Antagonise works). Now, Perp is heavily incentivised to attack the softer-yet-scarier Bad Cop, but any sort of hit will proc GC's Retributive Strike, while a crit-miss will proc BC's Opportune Riposte. This works with flanking too, especially as our buddy cops can remain flexible and mobile as-needed with things like Ranged Reprisal, Attack of Opportunity and Being A Swashbuckler. It's not like this needs to be their tactic in every round of every combat, but it is a situation wherein forgoing movement can result in a more powerful turn without crippling ones' defences.
That's just an example off the top of my head, so I'm sure there are other and/or better ways to do it; Bad Cop could be a 10th level Duelist Thief instead, for instance, using a Scorpowhip to further punish and de-incentivise attacks against Good Cop. That said, it's an example that illustrates my point: there are probably ways to stick to foes without demonstrating a "poor grasp of tactics".
(Also there's probably a party here too, doing other helpful things. Is just a very basic scenario idea. I'm guessing a Cleric would be useful here, especially one that likes targeting Will saves. Call 'em "Chief" or something.)
...This is just wonderful. I really, really like the characterisation here. More Fumbus is always a good thing, especially a Fumbus being smart and analytical in his own way. Ezren too, the puzzle-loving adventure-scholar that he is; he's not absent-minded, just present elsewhere! The pictographic epiphany is definitely fun too; a lesson there for all of us I should think.
I just love how not-different they are. Distinct, for sure, but it's so clear that this isn't just "smart guy reads while chaos guy does comedy". They're both the smart guy, just with slightly different kinds of attention deficit di-shinything. In any case, having a fellow intellectual must be relaxing for them after dealing with the other Iconics for so long. :P Are there any of these featuring Quinn and Fumbus? I have reading to do.
ALSO THE ART IS MAGICAL. Also alchemical, obviously. Just a couple a' nerds bein' dudes.
As much as I love wondering about how they got here... I too would very much enjoy getting more of this story.
Does Friendly Toss add to the tanking potential by yeeting allies out of the front lines as-needed? I have no experience of this in play; I'm just curious and it sounds greatly amusing. Especially if there's a low-hp enemy you can chuck your rogue at to get them out of danger while still being useful.
In fact, this sounds like a fun idea for my eventual Medic Barbarian. I'll save you the wiki-walk; none of it has the concentration trait. I know, right?? Neither does Quick Alchemy, somehow.
I wonder if the Occultist might not use an entirely different system. They can't just break the Focus rule because that'd make the Occultist way better at multiclassing into, say, Bard than anyone else, which is presumably a genuine balance concern.
I'm guessing that it might work a little more like prepped staves, where they convert slots into item charges. I'm guessing that they're going to be a weird full-caster in that respect, where their spells are mostly locked up in those charges rather than being slot-castable, if that makes any sense.
Anyway, I was trying to be good and not turn this into an Occultist thread, but frankly it's kind of likely to be an all-new interpretation of the class in my opinion. There's so much freedom to play with now that it's not locked down to the og focus pool or an action system that hated its guts... assuming of course that they don't lock it down to the newfangled focus pool. Which I would really doubt.
Idk about you folks, but I'm really hoping that "Bone-Feather" translates to "Saurian Protofeathers". By which I mean I think dino people are cool and good. We currently have only one dinosaur Ancestry, and I'm sure that Tengu will be happy sharing the honour. That said, whatever it means, I'm betting it means something very, very cool and thematic.
Also, this revelation that the Conrasu are some sort of bio-mechanical transhumanoid ancestry really combines my kanoka, if you know what I mean. I might actually be more excited for these cocoon bois than I am about the cute spiders, and that's saying a lot for me. It is interesting, of course, that their Destiny seems to be to Unite with planar personifications of Duty...
It GREATLY amuses me that the Alchemist class itself complains about this tendency among "dabbling" Wizards. Always appreciate these handy dandy spreadsheets too!
I'd love an item-focused class; not necessarily The Crafter but more like a true utility-to-combat gadgeteer with a very Pathfinder twist. What the Psychometrist Vigilante was sort of trying to be, but really honed as its own concept... Or more like the Technician, for those familiar with Spheres, with a touch more magic, like the Scroll Trickster. A sort of Wizard-Rogue to the Occultist's Bard, perhaps, though with magic as one tool of many rather than The Point.
In combat, I'm thinking that a cool niche would be using explicitly utility-based abilities to lay down effects and deal damage. Grappling hooks used to grapple, kickin' folks with leaper-boots, thieves' tools for combat tricks and stuff like that. Every tool should have at least three functions, and at least one of those functions should be "ow". Proficiency in Unarmed, Simple, some tool-adjacent Martials and the Polytool. What else could you possibly need? Melee d12s are for people who don't have environmental trickery and a grappling hook. Or Improvised proficiency, which I think they should maybe get as a 1st-level Class Feat.
Basically, I want the Polytool as a class. I think it'd be neat. I haven't thought it through or anything, so this all might be very silly.
I think that this is a really specific thing you're after, but I do think it's possible! As best I can tell, your best shot might indeed be Druid or Monk.
A high-level druid has some truly almighty power and the respect of any number of primal forces. Plus, being able to tell what people want (Wisdom) can often greatly aid in attempts to leverage one's Charisma. Plus... the Influence Nature feat could become creatively quite powerful if you are A: Legendary in Nature, which is but one level above Timeless Nature, and B: established in a single region with a lot of time on your hands, which being immortal helps with. This is a king who has shaped the wildlife of the region to subtly and unsubtly support his rule. The birds sing as he greets his people, wild hogs harry unmarked carriages... and nature riots whenever his daily rounds are disrupted. Hard to depose a king who keeps his beasts free and his enemies marked by-scent, after all. The Animal Druid makes sense here, as does a Leaf Druid with Green Tongue; they say that there are no secrets in The Green Kingdom, for any insect might be a bug, and any plant could be, well, a plant...
The Monk, on the other hand, may be easier to justifiably make Charismatic in the first place. Wisdom makes sense, but it's not strictly required for all that much outside of spellcasting. Especially with Stumbling, Gorilla or Dragon Stance, Charisma can be very useful, and being a paragon of physical perfection helps leverage that over the flawed mortals once counted amongst your peers. Frankly, if you do not age, if you demonstrate such perfect health and unassailable form, it will not be hard to convince the people of your divinity. You do not age, and can easily point to other "god-kings" like Razmir or Walkena, the first hidden away behind a mask and the second seen only in bright, flattering sunlight, as examples of visibly lesser beings. By contrast, you stride tall and proud, rippling with power and responding to challenges first with calm, deceptive wisdom and then with rapid, disabling strikes that leave no room for doubt. Even so, they say that there was once an assassination attempt in the midst of a toast, but that you caught the venom-laden arrow, returned it to the instigator without pause, and then snatched your wine-glass out of the air where you had left it. The only downside, really, is that Irori himself might seek you out if you begin claiming physical perfection and thus divinity; he's sort of the god of "prove it, tough guy".
Anyway, both classes can easily be the stuff of courtly legend. It just requires careful, creative usage of their truly magnificent talents.
I've gotta say, while Mwangi is something I'm glad is up first, the chance to really explore Jalmeray and Alkenstar in one book might just match it. Geb and Nex can tag along if they behave. :P
I'd also be plasma-hyped to get more Numeria in a Broken Lands book, though it'd be difficult talking about such a book under the avalanche of "Does this mean Kingmaker!?" speculation. Which I'd also be participating in.
After those books, I could play my canny Alkenstar industrialist who's finally heard of this newfangled technology stuff and intends to apply some good ol' Alkenstar engineering to its spread. There's nothing around that can't be understood with enough destructive testing, after all, even if the Technic League insists on causing a fuss...
But, still, mostly I'm just excited for More Golarion.
If you want some basis for that and don't mind asking the GM (which you'd have to do for Threefold Aspect anyway), the Blessed Background could also help. It's supposed to have more mechanical relevance, so the GM might still give you the at-will guidance to represent your advanced and slightly-divine experience, especially since living a long time doesn't really do much in a campaign. You'd have to determine why you got that boon and why Pharasma's chill with it, but there are tons of ways to finagle that in the lore so long as you stay in whatever deity's good graces.
If you really wanted to jam some divine intervention up your character's nose, you could even channel that Charisma into the Oracle class. A fun Mystery could be Tempest; even the weather thinks it's uncool that you've lived this long... but, hey, you always have a dramatic wind a'ruffling your cape!
If we speak purely mechanically, however... Threefold Aspect can be foiled with a particularly perceptive Seek action, so I'm not sure it really does much for your innards. Even if it's better than skin-deep, aging is super complex and it doesn't make a lot of sense to me that a third-level Bard spell is going to reverse it forever when that usually requires super-human mastery of one's body (Monk) or an arrangement with the forces of nature (Druid). Could definitely help you seem a lot younger than you are though!
Oh absolutely yeah. An idea I've also had was for an ex-scholar whose brain and body were fried/buffed by a magical accident and now they're trying to re-learn despite their "allergy". Nex just laughed at them, so now they're somewhere a lot more nuanced and understanding.
I was just running with the Superstitious idea mentioned, and came up with a funny story to go along with it. :P
To be fair, I keep reading over the Superstitious Barbarian and there's nothing that says they can't cast so long as they're using Moment of Clarity (or just not raging) and so long as they don't self-cast. Oh, sure, it's all kinds of inconvenient and it doesn't make much sense for them to have learned the magic on purpose, but so long as the magic is happening to other people it doesn't seem to violate the Anathema. Which is weird. But it could genuinely be very cool in this campaign, with the campaign-specific bonus casting being treated as some sort of innate magic. One option could be a Sorcerous awakening that brings about something along the following line of thought:
A Cunning Plan:
AAARGH, WITCHCRAFT IN MY BLOOOOD!
Okay, calmed down now, what do I do with this accursed witchcraft?
I shall get rid of my blood!
okay maybe that was a bad plan also ow
Maybe I can learn how to control it, as I would seek to dominate any foe?
A QUEST FOR KNOWLEDGE COMMENCES!
"HAHAHA, YOU ARE VANQUISHED! SHOW ME TO YOUR KNOWLEDGE HORDE!"
These "Pathfinders" and their tomes speak of a school of witchery!
Apparently, all I have to do is find one of their vagabond witches, convince them to let me attend, and venture harm upon any witch who dares cast upon me!
This is indeed a cunning plan...
Now, I'm not saying that it'd be easy, convenient, or not a massive pain to run or play, but it does sound fun if done well! Gradually growing to accept magic, presumably resulting in a retraining to another, more Magic Warrior-esque Instinct... Or not, and learning only spells that smite one's foes with unholy powers in an attempt to get all of the magic outside one's body by the end of the day. In any case, as keftiu says, the character needs to want to be in the campaign in some way, even if their reasons for wanting that are complex.
At the very least, it's some ranged damage with Moment of Clarity and perhaps even a chance to buff allies who don't mind the accursed spell-taint. Unless casting a spell on an enemy counts as "accepting the effects of a spell", which is an understandable ruling.
That said, I myself will most certainly be taking this opportunity to play a master of the mystic arts who is all-in on that concept in some sense or another. It sounds like there'll be some really, really fun magic-specific stuff that I don't want to squander.
I also really like this synergy because it sounds truly awesome and full of energy in the fiction. Surfing the very wave you're about to smack'em in the face with: an elegant demonstration of conserved momentum.
While your point broadly makes sense, this specific Adventure Path appears to focus on progression through the academy as the thing that binds the party together. I think it'll definitely be possible to play an off-the-wall "snowflake" concept*, but a character who is not in some way magical is presumably going to need a lot of GM wrangling to fit the same story. That story is what everyone else signed up to play so, while it could work, it would need a fair bit of caution. The most reasonable one I could come up with was a truly unique diplomatic prodigy granted special dispensation to work with pupils as a means to better understand their Magaambyan peers. Still probably works better with some minor casting, but at least it doesn't require mechanics shenanigans or tricking the divination geniuses.
That said, this is all speculation. I'm sure they'll try to include as many characters as possible what with the magic-adding rules, but it's a magic academy campaign and, if you don't start with at least a little magic, I'm betting you'll end up with it. We'll all find out when the book drops in any case. I Cannot Wait, to be honest.
Well. If I was happy about getting to play Anadi, I'm overjoyed to be getting to play in the actual academy! Or run the game! I'm super excited for both! Especially since I'll probably be doing so at my (pretty international) uni, so I'm looking forward to the academia jokes. :P
I've also been designing a bunch of Magaambya characters in Heroforge so it'll be fun picking. :P Tempest-Sun(burnt) Jadigwa is tempting for sure, but I also really want to play a proper Cascade Bearer magic-weaver inspired by Nana Anadi. So many ideas!
This could be a good argument for replacing spells on any variant of the Summoner that gets lotsa evolutions. Those Evolutions, combined with the Summoner's buffing abilities, should be what puts the Eidolon on-par with other martial. The entire thing should be at that power level altogether, whether it's Eidolon-heavy, Summoner-heavy or somewhere in-between.
I don't think anyone's genuinely asking for something that's worth more than a single class altogether. I don't like speaking for others (so do correct me if I'm wrong) but Verzen has pretty explicitly said that, if they have a Fighter-ish Eidolon, the Summoner should pale in comparison. I believe the word "slimy" was used, and not in the aberration sort of way.
In my opinion, and I don't think I'm alone, having a fully Fighter-level monsterbeastie should require all of those evolutions AND class feats going into said monsterbeastie. But customisation is the key, so maybe another duo would be more utility-focused, with a lower-powered Eidolon and the Summoner playing a more active role through focus spells and the like. I don't think anyone is suggesting that they get customisation matching a second character On Top Of an entire class. There'd be tradeoff and tuning for sure.
I think that a simplified version of the evolution pool, perhaps a little like Familiars-but-combat, is not necessarily a bad idea. Customisation is good, and Paizo is basically The Team to provide decent customisation alongside a decent balance of power. Of course, that's a difficult thing, and it's a thing that a certain other company is terrified of, but it's also what Paizo spent an entire edition trial-and-erroring their way through. All these feats! Glorious!
Speaking of error, however, I never liked the "big ball of limbs" thing in 1e. It seemed cheap and tiring and I could never get the story square in my head, so it just completely turned me off the class. I love customisation, and I love character design, and I love the whole idea of the Eidolon-Summoner... so I felt it really unfortunate that the PF1 summoner had so many "this is the good one; the flavourful one's over there" options. The PF2 design principles solve some of that straight-up; you can flavour that strike as fifty simultaneous ghost punches but it's still an action and you get exactly three of those. Maybe a bonus shenanigan if you eat your greens. This is good.
What is less good is that the customisation is a little lacking after that point. At some point, I'd like those fifty simultaneous ghost punches to do something slightly different than another Eidolon's big ol' cudgel. I'd like a lateral shift there; maybe the fifty simultaneous ghost punches are Brawling with Sweep while the cudgel is a Club with Forceful, or whatever, but it shouldn't break the class to add a little more customisation than just "describe the thing". I do like "describe the thing", mind you; it's one of my favourite aspects of the new class... but it could use a little more meat.
Being able to tweak the Manifest Eidolon activity with some Summon spells a la Druid Wildshape specific feats could be cool? Depending on what sort of thing you can Summon, you can give your Eidolon different abilities? Maybe difficult to do, however. I'm also not sure I even like the class being a spellcaster. I know people want the Master Summoner, but I'm not sure it's feasible on top of a satisfying Eidolon Summoner, which is sort of The Class to me. A path removing/adding spell-casting entirely seems extreme, but I guess it's not infeasible.
In any case, all of these ideas, along with the classes themselves, are definitely reinventing the wheel. I like that, because this is a new car, with different needs and design specifications. I wouldn't trust Model T spokes on a modern offroader, and I'd expect that modern offroader's wheels to be tested properly before being sold. That's what's happening now, with community assistance. Paizo is letting us take a test drive on the understanding that, if the wheels break, they won't be going on the finished car. While it's important to bring up any criticisms we have about the new wheels for that very reason, pooh-poohing the new ideas as needless "reinvention" isn't all that helpful.
..."Reinvention is good" says the person in the Brigh mask. Predictability at its finest.
Well obviously that's ridiculous, everyone gets-*checks the playtest*
-wait. What?? I'm sure that'll be fixed; I'm pretty sure everyone's supposed to have unarmed proficiency scaling, especially since the Magus can get punchy crit effects at first level. Nevertheless, you're entirely correct as it stands. Maybe try Martial Artist?.. "Multiclass" is the answer to probably too many Magus problems, as much as I do like the class.
That said, Raise Tome taking an action means that you probably wouldn't be doing much sliding. It's more for turns wherein casting a spell into your weapon isn't the plan, which is unfortunate for a Magus who wants to tip the scales.