Ah of course! I do understand that. It's just that for my players, being previously despicable humans won't work at all. And while we do enjoy the lovecraftian touches in other Paizo APs, we're not experts of the Lovecraft mythos by any stretch of the imagination. As an example, my players have no idea that Denizens of Leng or Hounds of Tindalos come from the Cthulhu Mythos. So they're into this AP without any specific expectations.
OTOH, Mind control and losing one's agency is extremely frightnening to them (well, to anyone, really). Knowing this, I wanted to emphasize the otherwordly power the yellow sign has on people's mind. From what I could gather, just by looking to a Yellow Sign you could be influenced by Hastur. Having a simple symbol be a powerful tool to open one's mind is utterly terryfing. I might even allow for cultist's holy symbols to count... not entirely sure yet.
Also, I had this idea of a sociopathic Lowls that through a strong force of personality, but also some suggestion and even Charm spells, would befriend you, and slowly make you do things you didn't want to. Just like a good sociopath would do...
What I plan to do in my campaign is to establish that they had been manipulated through magic (sugestion/charm and even dominate) and forced to do what they did. Even though Lowls is only Bard 2 in the original AP, IMC he'll probably be of a Higher level (possibly level 10 or 11) to justify his access to those spells. One possible way to hint of their magical manipulation is to slightly modify the reactions of NPCs to them. Since they probably only knew the PCs as they were under compulsion spells, townsfolk might now note that the PCs actually show proper emotions and reactions. If my PCs are clever enough, they might guess that their lack of emotional drive before was the side-effect of domination magic, even before they get back their memories.
Another thing I want to add is that a properly drawn or inscribed Yellow Sign (i.e. Craft DC 25) will give a -2 on Will checks against mind-affecting spells and effects from followers of Hastur. This effect is automatic, as long as the victim is looking to the sign (treating it similar to a gaze monster ability). Lowls probably used an yellow sign to further deepen his control over the PCs.
Thankfully, success rates can be tweaked. It's not a matter of the core design, but just the numbers being a bit out of whack. With a little bit of change, I'm sure Paizo can get the numbers to where players feel powerful but still keep the game challenging.
I'm hopeful that Paizo will fix this. But at the same time, I don't think fixing the success rate is entirely possible without breaking the game, given the current Crit rules.
You just cannot increase the success rate without increasing the crit rate, in the current state of the game. Base 70% hit rate means an base 20% chance to crit. If we use this as a base number for success rate, and then we factor that there's circunstancial bonuses, conditional bonuses and etc., the numbers go even higher.
I agree, and 65% hit chance for a fighter is something achievable only with bonuses, normally it would be around 55%. And don't even begin when you factor that other classes maight have <50% hit chance (sometimes as low as 30-35% chance for a Cleric).
Then again, you can't increase too much the fighter's hit rate, because that would automatically increase crit chance, upping the damage considerably. That's why I'm certain that the current crit mechanic (+10/-10) is the CORE of the problem. It's broken by principle. Criticals (as in 3.5, PF1, 5e) are a fun mechanic that adds a layer of swingness and unpredictability, though sometimes can be problematic. That's why increases in critical range are relatively hard to come by in those games.
On the other hand, if you add a mechanic that dinamically shifts the range of criticals (+10/-10 crit mechanic) look what you get: you now completely lost control over the mechanic. Add in conditional bonuses to that equation. What you get is e level of uncertainty that is virtually impossible to balance.
Think about it. Right now, almost every single decidion on the system must be tuned to acomodate the current state of criticals. To hit bonuses and monster statistics must be extremely tight in order to prevent damage escalation. Conditional bonuses must be tightly controlled in order to prevent damage escalation. AC must increase linearly to prevent damage escalation. Tables with sugested DCs must be used, otherwise is critical success after critical success in skills. Spells must be balanced considering that crit failures are a thing, leading to several spells being extremely underwhelming even after a failed save. The list goes on and on.
There is a mantra in game design that states that if a mechanic only works if you acomodate the entire of your game around it, it probably isn't a good mechanic and needs to be changed or scrapped altogether.
TBH, it would only make crits bland instead of exciting, and IMO wouldn't solve the issue at hand. But still, it's a better alternative to what we have right now.
I think you expressed my concerns much more clearly. While it's very likely that monsters may need fine tuning, it won't solve the core issue - the mechanics of crits.
Off the top of my head, I was thinking that a possible alternative to the current +10/-10 crit system, there could be a system of improved critical range tied to proficiency. It could be something like this:
- Untrained, trained and Expert characters Crit on a 20 (and enemies crit fail spells on a 1).
I'll have to think more thoughrouly on the matter, and try to post something tomorrow.
So, I like a lot of things about PF2. The math is much cleaner, character creation is a breeze....
DMW, I completely agree with everything you said, with one exception. I firmly believe that the core problem of PF2 is, in fact, the +10/-10 crit range paradigm. I'll try to explain my reasoning below.
Firstly, I would like to state that, as a huge fan of World of Darkness games, I really dig the concept of four degrees of sucesses. However, on that game, the degrees are dependent on a specific system: 5 or more successes (for critical successes) and 1 on a chance die (for critical failures). In order to achieve a crit success in WoD, you either have to be lucky (each D10 in your "pool" has about 30-35% to earn you a success, a character particularly good at something might have a pool of 5 or 6 dice) or have a huge pool (a pool around 12-15 D10s is necessary to consistently achieve crits, a huge number even for Ancient Vampires). For crit failures, you had to rely on a chance die, basically when your pool would equal 0 or less (due to circunstancial penalties, for instance), you had the chance to throw a chance D10, on a 10 you would suceed, 2-9 you fail and 1 you crit fail. I like this system because while it's possible to achieve a critical success, specially if you're really good at something, it's not something overwhelmingly present.
In PF2, however, a +10 result above the target DC is not very difficult to achieve, specially against a weaker opponent or with a few bonuses stacked together. The fact of the matter is that it makes the math EXTREMELY tight, and without extreme controle the crit chances just escalates too quickly. This leads to a whole lot of problems, but most notably is the problem of To Hit bonuses vs. AC. In the current state of the game, we have an optimized fighter with 55% hit chance (5% crit chance) against a similar leveled monster. Add flanking and Inspire Courage and suddenly he hits 70% and crits 20%, which is huge! But that means that non-optimized characters like a Cleric with good strength will only hit, at most, 30-40% of the time, and would not benefit from the increased accuracy in their crit chance.
If, on the other hand, Monsters ACs are toned down to fit the regular cleric as the base (around 50-55% hit chance), then the fighter would be criting regularly at 20% and would hit 35% crit chance with small bonus, and would most certainly just ROFLSTOMP the encounters. Then monsters HP would have to UP to compensate, and etc... You get the idea. But the core of the problem is still there.
For me at least, it's plain as day that almost every other decision in design was tweaked to fit the +10/-10 crit paradigm, but given the problems that are constantly arising in the forums, it seems that it's in the detriment to the game experience. From a game design perspective, I think that the current state of crits just doen'st work in practice, and it should be change completely. Maybe reverting to crits on 20/1s is the best alternative, maybe there'se another way. I'll think about it some more and share my thoughts later.
Agreed. Mechanics like Hero Points should be optional.
Automatically confirmed critical hits, expanded critical ranges, and crit-fishable multiple attacks for all creatures add up to combat being too luck-based and Russian-Roulette-like
I have to agree. Having played The Lost Star a few times (I have a write up on the relevant forum), me and my players have all noticed the extreme lethality the palyers are subjected to. Not in a fun way, as other systems may have, but in an extremely frustrating way. Death and Dying rules continue to be too punitive (although, to be fair, in a better state than before). Mobs crit way too often, at least partly because of their inflated statuses (+6 to hit at the very minimum), and their average damage is too high for PCs. This leads to the dreaded 5-minute adventuring day, as our group could handle 2-3 encounters a day before exhausting their resources.
Me and my players, analysing this, think that the core problem may be the 4-degress of success and +10/-10 crit paradigm. Further playtesting may or may not confirm our suspicions, but our preliminary conclusion is that with increased threat ranges intrinsicaly tied to attack bonuses/AC, the system as it's written right now, have a very small window where the math may actually work (i.e: equal or just +1/-1 level above or below the party level). Up the challlenge a little more, the PCs suffer a PTK. lower the Challenge, it's a cakewalk. And that's even considering the monsters are undertuned in the final version.
You say "the ranger was very good" which goes against most other things I've read. Did he actually get to use any ranger class features other than standard martial combat stuff and the good skill list?
You're right, what I actually meant is that the archer (could be any class) could shoot reasonably (wihtout volley 50) and do damage (except against the skeletons).
But the problem is, the animal companion didn't feel worth the action and recall knowledge was never used. The animal companion was actually used to take the brunt of the "sneak attack" from the centipedes, droping in the first round, and was also used to trigger the goblin trap.
Regarding the goblin fight, we were using dim light rules, and the bard casted light right at the fireplace so the druid could co there and use burning hands the next round.
I understand that a week to complete is more than enough to finish the dungeon is a conscious decision from the devs. But when the adventure day manages to be even shorter than in 3rd edition (it's reminding me a lot of my AD&D days...), then we might have a problem.
We had almost exactly the same experience in our playtest night. The party didn't have a Cleric the way DMW's group had, but had 2 healers, a Bard and a Druid. The other two were a Ranger with an animal companion and a Monk with high Dex. All were pretty defensive, with 16 Dex, 17 AC etc. But even then, they were being damaged constantly. And were TPKed at the battle with Drakus btw.
Agreed with The Narration and DMW comments above.
After playing Doosmday Dawn part 1, I think a major side-effect of inflated to hit numbers is that the 5-minute adventure day is even more of a problem. That's even with higher HP at level 1. When even level 0 Monsters just hit PCs too easily, in 2-3 battles the PCs were all hurt, had no more healing spells and you can't even circumvent that by giving healing potions of a wand of healing because most PCs will have just a few (if not 1) RPs to spare.
Comparing to my 3.5 Age of Worms campaign, we finished the whole first dungeon (Huge dungeon with 24 rooms) with 2 rests. At level 1.
When we played this battle, all of us, myself included, just instinctively used the old PF1/3.5 rules for light range (bright-light + double dim light radius). Only after that we noticed the rule change we began to try and test the new light rules. Spoilers: we didn't like it =P.
In any case, they could detect the goblins were at the north end of the room because of all the noise they were making, and they were very silent, and the goblins were distracted so they only noticed the PCs when they got close to them (~20ft or so). Both the monk and the Druid had light sources in them.
But I agree, the light and vision rules are wonky, they should just use PF1 rules instead.
Yeah... I learned that today. That's unfortunate, but one more reason now to replay the last battle. I don't think it would've changed the overall result i(i.e. the TPK), but it's something I really want to test.
We'll go through the boss battle tonight, and I'll make sure to tell how it went!
Now, my impressions.
Firstly, and this is a very positive thing. The game FEELS like a Pathfinder game. One with a custom set of rules, but the feeling is there. That's great.
Also, 3 action economy is great. It's simple and intuitive. I think some actions need to be balanced more (such as being unable to ready spells, recall knowledge taking an action instead of being free action), but overall we thought the combat flowed nice and smoothly.
The Fungus hazard was very fun. I like the idea of hazards being more than traps, and having other specialties (Religion, Nature, Arcana), being used instead of just "disable device, disable device, disable device...".
Monsters were fun to use, specially the quasits. I never used the goblin reactions (Goblin Scuttle i think), as they make seemed too cheesy and gamey to me. Also, it bothered us a lot that even level 0 mobs seem to be arbitrarily strong (they could easily hit every PC, even though they all had decent AC). I get why low level monsters have the numbers they have from a game balance perspective (as Mark have explained in other threads), but nevertheless my players and I couldn't buy the idea that every goblin, centipede, ooze, quasit and skeleton had more To Hit than every PC, and that really detracted from the whole experience. I think Mobs need lower stats overall, one that makes sense in regards to PCs and we need a new category to include previous weaklings monsters (CR 1/3 and 1/4).
A side-effect of monsters with very good bonuses was that even though their damage is rather low, we felt that they Chipped away the party HP WAAAY to quickly. The party exausted their resources very quickly, and had to get back and recover after 2-3 fights every time. Maybe with a cleric it would've been a lesser problem, but having 2 healers (Bard and Druid), we all felt that the adventure day was way too short. Comparatively, in our current campaign, a 3.5 Age of Worms game, we had our party of level 1 PCs go through the whole of Whispering Cairn (a level 1 dungeon with 22 rooms) with just 2 rests. In another Campaign, this one a Curse of the Crimson Throne for PF1, our PCs finished the first dungeon in one go (no rests).
The initiative system is a mess. It either needs a proper rule for surprise rounds or at very least a series of clarifications of when and how to use Stealth as initiative, and how to deal with Unseen creatures at the start of the combat mode, specially if they are seen to some creatures but not others. In 3.5/PF, you just start a surprise round with creatures that are aware of each other, then progress to normal rounds afterwards. IMO, this seems like a much better (and simpler) alternative than we have right now in PF2.
All classes felt very good in combat and outside. My players were specially impressed with how the bard worked so well, although his healing was somewhat subpar (Soothe is way worse than Heal). The druid had burning hands, and it was awesome to see it shine when properly used. The monk was very effective in combat, but we felt that the lack of a way to control the enemy movement undermined his role as a main Warrior. The ranger was very good, but the animal companion was VERY weak. Poor HP, AC (13?? really?), +3 to hit... And costs 1 action of the ranger. For the most part, it just sat there, while the ranger used all his actions for himself.
I think my party had a TPK for a number of reasons: Drakus had significant positional advantage against the PCs as he forced them into the corridor a fought at the entrance. Also, bad rolls for the players and good rolls for the GM was also a factor. I had I think 3 natural 20s during the fight, plus several rolls of 16+. The players had most rolls <10. Also, the dying rules REALLY screwed them over. The recovery save was WAAAY to high (17 for a monk with +2 Fort is ridiculously high), so even though the Monk was almost in full health after the Bard and the Druid healed him, he didn't come back to the fight, and they essentially wasted their actions. The same happened after the ranger fell. Finally, the numbers for Drakus are ridiculously good, and his revert form ability is just lethal. +2 hit and damage is more than +50% damage in a round.
This made me feel that combat in PF2 is more swingy. I know this is 1st level and 1st level characters can always die to bad luck, but I feel that given that crits are way more common in 2E, low level lethality may be a bigger issue now. Also, I know Updated death and dying rules are coming on monday (probably), and that's probably a good thing. Current rules make recovery DCs EXTREMELY unfair, and staying unconscious is REALLY not fun, and moreover, screws the party even more once one of them is downed.
All in all, it was a fun experience. My players and I plan to replay the final battle tomorrow, to see if they can win, since we do have a feeling that luck was a factor in the TPK. Let's see how it goes.
So I wanted to share our group's experience, add some insights from our experiences with the Playtest of Part 1, and tell how it ended in a TPK at the boss fight.
Before we begin, I'd like to say our group is very experienced. We play as the same group since 2000 and we play 3.5 and PF1 regularly. My players are very savvy combat-wise, and in our regular games, I frequently have to wrap my head around to build proper challenges to them.
As to the characters, we had:
All in all, a relatively balanced party. Now, on to the playtest.
The sewer ooze encounter was a piece of cake. The players took a little (2) damage from the trash explosion, but otherwise dealt with it in 1 round.
For the Burial chamber, the players were sneaking, but were spotted because of their light source. The druid acted first and killed 3 of the 4 goblins with a well placed burning hands, and the last goblin was finished by the monk before they could even act.
The Mindfog fungus Hazard was very fun, as the Druid tried to use Survival to disable the fungus, but kept failing the DC19 check, becoming confused and repeatedly hitting himself with the sickle. He finally gave up and just used produce flame to destroy it. He then used his Heal to patch himself up.
In the vermin den room, I divided the 6 centipedes in 2 groups, in order to roll for stealth. 1 group rolled super high and remained hidden, while the other half was easily spotted by the PCs and combat began. This was where the new initiative rules became EXTREMELY confusing. Instead of just having a surprise round for those 3 centipedes that remained hidden (as it would've been in PF1), I used their stealth checks as the initiative roll, but they used their action to position themselves in the edge of the rubble and readied attacks when some PC appreached the other (now spotted) centipedes. The ranger sent his wolf pet to attack a spotted centipede, but the companion was completely demolished by 2 hidden centipedes attack. He dropped the next round. The wolf then almost died because of death rolls. The players could defeat the centipedes, but sustained a lot of damage. Having no other means of healing they went back to the city to rest and heal up.
When they got back, and since they were away for 2 days, I decided to spice things up a bit, and put 4 goblins investigating the burial chamber. This time, the players sucessfully sneaked and hid behind the pillars. The bard, knowing goblins hated dogs, used ghost sound to imitate do barks and lure the goblins to their location. Then again, the stealth as initiative rules are VERY confusing. I rolled perception for each the goblins and stealth for each of the players, to see if they could have become hidden from them. With their stealth results, some players could sucessfully hide from some of the goblins... HOW the hell do you run that? I don't know if I ran it correctly, but I ruled that hidden characters could ready an action to attack a goblin as soon as they got into range, and then used their superior stealth results as their initiative for the rest of the combat. The problem was that hidden PCs would effectively "lose" their action waiting for the enemies to come closer, while the Seen PCs could act normally from the start. It seem counterintuitive, in practice. Anyway, the players sustained minor damage and continued.
They proceeded to the fountain, spotted the idol and tried to remove it, trigerring the Quasit summons. The battle was overall interesting and balanced. The druid suffered a lot of damage even though he had 16 armor (17 with light shield up), but the +7 bonus to hit from the quasits plus poison plus wolf shapechange was savage. Since the quasits could fly, they could reach almost anyone in the room wih impunity. I think the lack of attack of opportunity for the monk really undermined his ability to be an effective frontliner. The Druid used his one Heal to patch himself up, and the rest of the players drinked from the clear fountain to recover.
None of the PCs were good with Thievery, so they couldn't open the locked door to the south. They went east, detecting the alarm trap. Slowly opening the door, they proceded to the cave with the goblins, the commando and the pyro. Failing a stealth check, the Ranger that was scounting ahead was noticed by the goblins. The battle was difficult at the beginning, as the players were cautious to enter a cave full of goblins and with a grease spell at the entrance (the goblin pyro cast it in his first round). As the mobs could attack with ranged weapons and only one or two PC in the corridor could fire back at them, they eventually entered the cave. The goblins set the trap after the druid failed his jump check (to jump over the grease area) and ended in the area of the trap. However, the druid was able to once again cast a well placed burning hands that finished 3 goblins and hurt the commando. The rest was just the PCs finishing the pyro and commando. They finished healing with a Soothe and the Healing potion and set themselves to the skeleton room.
Now this was a very difficult fight. The only way this didn't end poorly for the PCs was because the Monk was blocked the doorway and fough 3-4 skeletons at a time, instead of all 6. The skeletons with their resistances were almost immune from all damage the party could deliver: The monk couldn't enter Tiger stance as its slashing damage and fought in regular unarmed attacks. The ranger only had his longbow (P), and the wolf bite is P as well. The Druid had a sickle and produce flame, but could get some damage through acid splash. The bard sang and attacked with his shortbow. They slowly but surely chipped the skeleton's HP and won the fight. The monk was badly hurt, end they had to get back to rest and recover once again.
Recovered, all PCs but one had drank from the fountain to replenish their HP (they still had some leftover damage from the day before), so only the bard set off the Statue trap. After that, the players deduced the fountain was protecting them, the bard drank from it to recover and then bypassed the trap the second time around.
Now the boss battle against Drakus. The PCs had to spend 3-4 rounds trying to roll open the stuck door. Drakus positioned himself behind the left statue, whereas his dire rat friend was behind the right statue. The PCs opened the door and the fight began.
With his high Perception of +6, Drakus won initiative. He moved to left side of the doorway and readyed an Strike. The monk assumed tiger stance, Stepped into the first square in front of the doorway in order to attack Drakus without the cover of the Wall. Drakus used his readyed action to Strike the monk, hitting him (he needed a 7 on a D20). The monk hit with one attack, missing the second flurry attack. Next, the ranger moved in and attacked Drakus, but missed. He orderer his Wolf to circle around and flank Drakus with the fighter, which it did with a double Stride. The Druid cast Procuce Flame but missed. The bard sang, and tried to hit with his bow, but missed as well. The dire rat attacked the ranger, hitting with 2 attacks and dealing 5 damage (1 hit and a nat 20, crit). Next round, Drakus reverted his form, and with his +2 to hit and damage, easily downed the monk (1 critical with a nat 20 and a regular hit). The ranger attacked Drakus, but hit with only one attack. The wolf missed both attacks now that he wasn't flanking anymore (the monk was dying). The Monk also failed his first Recovery check, and was now at dying 2. The druid (with a potion) and the bard (with soothe) both healed the Monk, but those actions were essentially wasted, as the Monk could not wake up (he had to pass a DC 17 fortitude save - High DC for a level 3 creature). The rat missed both attacks against the ranger. Next round, Drakus moved next to the ranger, hit him with a crit and downed him. Again, the monk failed the recovery save and wouldn't wake up. The bard cast Fear, but Drakus saved, becoming frightened 1. The druid healed the Ranger. Next round Drakus moved in to attack the Bard, and with a crit (not natural 20) downed him. He then moved to the Druid. He tried to escape, but was soon overwhelmed. the monk and the Ranger never woke up (they couldn't pass the DC17 fort save). So that's it. A TPK.
I agree with the above posters. The overall design seems fine. The text is clear, no huge walls of text and the information is easy to find once you know where to look.
The general organization on the other hand, needs improvement (though the current organization is expected, since this is a playtest document). I have the same opinion as Micheal Smith, that the quantity of duplicate text is unecessarily huge. Specially now that feats occupy much more space than in PF1, duplicated feats and rules occupy a large portion of the book. As I have stated in other threads, a consolidation of feats in a single feats chapter, separated by category (Class-restricted feats, general feats, skill feats, metamagic feats, weapon style feats, you get the idea) could help a lot.
I agree that powers and spells should be on the same chapter (called Magic!), but should be on different lists. Also, noting the class(es)/list a spell/power belongs to is something I miss A LOT when perusing the spells chapter.
Also, it seems we need a different organization of chapters. I think a proper combat chapter is needed, together with a more thorough explanation on things that were left out (on purpose or not), but frequently come into play (surprise rounds, coup-de-grace, attacking objects are just some I can think right now).
A more optimized organization could leave more space for the gamemastery chapter.
Finally, I think that while generally I really like the abilites of the classes, I agree the tone and language is WAY TOO MUCH technical, often to a fault. This seemed to me specially true in the Exploration chapter, where were it to be taken literally, it almost makes the game feel like a boardgame and not a RPG. Also, on the skills chapter, while I like the organization as I said before (the individual uses of each skill are really easy to find) we seriously need more flavor and examples of DCs and proficiency gates for each skill. This helps the GM a LOT.
Mark Seifter wrote:
When it should be the same, we can make it the same. But a lot of time it's better for a class to have something a little different. For instance, ranger might do well with something other than Double Strike for TWF that saves actions instead of avoiding multiple attack penalty, based on their mobile fighting style and their Hunt Target ability.
Mark, interesting idea. I was initially na advocate for standardized combat style feats, but I guess that tailoring specific feats to suit a class needs is a good idea, TBH.
I do, however, have a few concerns:
For one, we should get enough options to have a diverse playstyle for each martial class. A Generic feat list with basic functionality for various styles (and for the matter, metamagic and other feats, such as expanded heightening) could be made, while at the same time certain classes could have different versions or specific feats to tailor their needs.
If this leads to a feat (and page count) bloat, maybe consider condensing some of the weapon style feats. That can also free up some space and lower the opportunity cost of some feats at certain levels.
I do fear that tailoring too much for speciic classes can make the game feel cheesy or "gamey". Restricted feats have to make a LOT of sense world-wise to be specific to a certain class but not available to others.
I proposed a similar idea on another thread. I think this may be the best compromise, offering general weapon style feats to martial classes, at the same time you could still offer niche options to specific classes.
I think that monsters don't need to be built as PCs. Not that they were previosuly, as in 3E/PF1 the system in place had several similarities to PC building but was a different beast altogether.
What I think it's important is to have a somewhat loose set of rules to building monster of a given difficulty, to ensure that the system remains consistent. I'll give some examples:
-- Monster abilities (specially humanoid monsters). Just as Half-Orc PCs can have Ferocity or Critical bonus for Orc weapons as ancestry features, I expect that Orc and Half-Orc monsters/NPCs to have similar "features". The same goes for goblin PCs and NPCs. Goblins in the Bestiary have "Goblin Scuttle" reaction, which to my knowledge PCs can't possibly have. This is completely arbitrary and inconsistent. Either make Goblin PCs capable of acquiring this ability (through ancestry feats) or change it to another PC Goblin feature, such as Very Sneaky.
-- Also, I think humanoid monsters should have base racial ability scores and a small subset of abilities to choose from, in case the DM wants to create different NPCs from what's presented by default.
-- Monster Skills, Attack bonuses, Perception and Saves all need to be tailored to fit the overall difficulty to it's level. That I get it. A particular monster might need an absurdly high Stealth modifier for it to work. Just increasing it's dexterity might skew other things (such as Hit bonus and reflex, which might no be ideal) and making it master or Legendary in Stealth might not be enough. So an arbitrary increase in Stealth is ok (call it a +4 "racial bonus" to stealth, or whatever). However, it's very useful for the DM to know when a particular subset of the monster statistic is arbitrarily skewed, so just adding a note at the end of the monster statistic (Bugbears have a +4 bonus to stealth checks) might suffice. This is particularly useful in case he needs to create a similar monster at higher level, or add NPC levels to it. It makes the math much easier and more consistent.
-- Monster Damage: for the most part, monster damage tailored to it's level. That's fine by me, with a note that I think we should have a good range of damage between monsters of the same level. Higher level monsters have higher base damage for their natural attacks, great. However, care must be taken when using monsters that use weapons. They MUST follow the same rules as PCs, for consistency sake, even if that means having them use magical weapons, which they should at higher levels. What I really don't want to see it's monsters like the Gnoll seargent (level 4) which arbitrarily uses a normal Scimitar that does 2d6 of damage. Just give it a +1 scimitar, or increase it's stregnth, it's no a big of a deal.
Agreed with what other have said in this thread. Redundancy seems to take an enormous part of the book. This ties in to an idea of having pools of class feats organized by theme: such as different Weapon style feats for martial classes, Metamagic feats for spellcasters, Evasion/Mettle feats for classes that improve on saves, etc. That could be referenced on a separate chapter for feats.
Also, I think powers should be on different section from spells. And spells should have at least on line to which spell(s) list(s) it belongs to (ie. Primal, Divine 2, instead of just Spell 2). It helps when reading through the spells chapter a lot.
Also, count me in as one person that wants the following formatting:
Alric Rahl wrote:
This has been my experience as well, and I'm creating NPCs using the exact rules for players.
In my conversion of Legacy of Fire for PF2, Dashki (ranger 2 from Howl of the Carrion King), has slightly lower To HIt (+7 vs. +8 from CR 2 monsters), similar HP and damage but much higher AC (19 or 20 with off-hand parry vs 15 to 17 from most CR 2 monsters). His skills have a much lower bonus, but that's probably due to Monster skills being erroneously high (devs have this noted in another thread).
In general, seems simple enough, at least for this level.
On to elaborate my ideas:
As the OP proposed, Combat feats could all be pooled together into a group of feats that could be selected as class feats by all (or almost all, see below) martial classes. For the purpose of this post, I'll call those feats "weapon style feats".
Anytime a martial class (i.e.: Fighter, Ranger, Barbarian, Paladin and maybe even Rogue) could select a class Feat, it can select a "Weapon Style" Feat instead. Some could even be class locked, if so desired. For instance, 2-handed weapon style feat would be restricted to Fighters, Rangers, Barbs and Paladins, but not accessible to Rogues. Barbarians could only access Dual Wielding and 2-Handed Style, etc.
Weapon style feats would be grouped around a theme. The main Groupings of feats could be:
** 1-Handed ("duelist") style (1 hand weapon + free off-hand).
This would increase the versatility of martial classes and open the possibility of non-standard class options (as stated previously, an archer Paladin, Two-handed Ranger, etc.
Interestingly, I was gonna suggest something similar. I really, REALLY like this idea and I think the system would benefit a lot from it. Once I get home I'll try to elaborate my ideas a little better, but just to be clear, I am very on board with this.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Thanks a lot, Vic!
Unfortunately, up to this day, I haven't received my order. Still, that must mean it's already here is Brazil. Some international shipping services stop tracking once it arrives here (for whatever reason)...
Does it say which company/delivery service was used? I'll try and contact them tomorrow.
In today's playtest this did not go over very well. encountering the Goblin Pyro who cast Burning Hands I was imediatly ased if he was a sorcerer or a wizard, since Goblins are a PC race now. I told them: neither. He's just a monster with spellcasting abilities...because.
Dunno, it seems to me as he has 1 level of Sorcerer (no bloodline though, but that can easily interpreted as a mistake).
What I don't like is that all Bestiary goblins have the Goblin Scuttle reaction, which seems to be something goblins apparently have, but no player can have through ancestry feats. But maybe that's some leftover from the earlier version os the system the Beastiary was based upon (as stated by the devs in other threads).
I think a possible solution would be, as stated in other similar threads, is to have a small table with samplse of stactic DCs for each skill use,. Then have the DC by level and difficulty table as an addon to judge things that fall outisde the scope of common DCs or to help judging a particular situation.
Alric Rahl wrote:
I'm planning on converting LoF to 2e as well.
Tha way I see it, just adding X levels to a moster should raise it's CR by the same amount. Seems easy enough, since adding a class level gives HP (class HP + CON mod), increases the prof. bonus by an equal ammount, therefore raising saves, AC and attacks. Consider adding some magical gear appropriate to the CR in case the monster uses weapons, and in case of natural weapons either just increase it's base damage to match or add a handswraps (as magical gear for an NPC as usual).
Maybe not 100% exact, but should work, by my preliminary calculations...
Maybe a solution would have 2 categories of monsters below first level:
Level 0 monsters become “level 1/2” or something similar. Something akin to what we have now in terms of power (ie. little less power than a level 1 mook).
Create a second category to emcompass monsters weaker than current level 0 monsters. Those could be called Level 0 now. They include those 1/3 and 1/4 CRs. That would only be threatening in bigger numbers.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Thanks for the quick response!
As always, great customer service from Paizo.
Now, on to thoroughly read the PDFs!
Vic Wertz wrote:
Thank you for the update, Vic!
I know you are probably very busy, but any chance you could give an expected delivery to Brazil (if possible, of course)?
Humm, interesting take on the Palalin. With the exception of a few details (I'll get on that), I like what I see.
So, LG only. Being fond of AD&D 2e Paladin, I like that Pallys are extremely restricted in alignment. Also, I think it's a good choice to focus e nail the LG aspect of it, then maybe expand to other alignments (ie: CE Blackguards...).
Also, The code. I like how restrictive the code is, but is more aligned to real game-play. I also liked how details in the code change depending on the deity (much like I really liked how Clerics now have specific sets of conducts to follow).
The focus on defense vs. offense (i.e. armor prof. vs weapon prof.), seems like a natural evolution of the class. Also, it helps to set them apart from fighters, the alter being the ultimate weaponmasters.
As far as class abilities go, seems like Pallys are not Vancian casters anymore, and generaly I like it. The litanies are apparently a spellcasting method unique to them, and seems to grasp my imagination, world-building wise.
As far as the only thing I'm not keen on, is the reaction ability. I wouldn't be too much bothered if it only meant as a counter-attack to protect allies. But the fact that it weakens them.... Firstly, it FEELS gamish as hell. Secondly, if a pally can debilitate an opponent with a weapon attack, why can he only do that on a counter? It makes absolutely no sense.
IMOI think they should get Attack of Oppornity and that's it.
Bruno Mares wrote:
I second that completely. We have Domain POWERS, Ki POWERS, Bloodline POWERS, Rage POWERS... You get the idea
I also think the obvious choice of name would be POWER Points, instead of Spell Points. Besides making no sense as a name whatsoever, Spell points gets even more convoluted with spell slots and spell levels and all that jazz.
Just my 2 cp.
Mark Seifter wrote:
That’s great news!
As I wrote in another post, I think that we should have +Con/+Int Gnomes. It reflects so much their inquisitive and curious nature. Besides, that makes them natural wizards and alchemists which seem much more gnomish to me (but then again, my favorite gnome of all time is Jan Jansen from Baldurs Gate 2...)
As for Goblins, I see no reason why they can’t have the same attribute distribution that they already have in PF1, plus the floating +2. I’m referring to +4 dex, -2 str, -2 cha. That way they have a special niche as the ultimate dex race with the disadvantage of having less attributes overall. In a similar way, they would be as half orcs were in 3.0/3.5, where they were the only race to receive a strength bonus but had penalties to int and charisma.
As for halflings, I would imagine they could have cha or wis and bonus. As long as they are different from goblins l, I’m fine.
As others have commented, I'm also against having 3 races with +Cha as their mental atribute boost.
I think at the very least Gnomes should have +2 Con / +2 Int (instead of charisma).
For Halflings, I could Imagine them having either +2 Wis or +2 Cha.
For Goblins, I think they should get +4 Dex, -2 str, -2 Cha (to compensate the +4 Dex), plus the +2 boost to any atribute besides Dex (as standard Ancestries get).
Just my 2cp
Funny thing. In our RotR campaign, we actually had something like that. Our group saved Chief Ripnugget instead of killing him, dunno why, maybe we found it hilarious when he begged for mercy or whatever. In any case, our GM went on with it, and made it so that he wanted to be an adventurer like us. He started following Shalelu Andosana, to learn the ways of the Ranger!!! Several adventurers later, there he was, a level 11 Ranger with his lizard companion! He even formed a rival adventuring party with Shelalu and another NPC (a Pathfinder bard). His adventuring group helped us a lot during Sins of the Saviours!
Needless to say, he quickly became one the most memorable NPCs in our group history. Gotta thank my GM for that!
Thank you for your consideration. I have just received the email with the confirmation.I am unfortunate to live in Brazil and our mailing system here is worse than garbage. For the past year I have been receiving almost all international packages (from both Paizo and Amazon) with clear signs of bad handling, bending and soaking. I filed a complaint a few months ago after serveral AP books came damaged, tried to change the shipping adress, etc. But nonetheless, the books continued to arrive in bad conditions. I am sorry for the long rant, and again thank you for all the awesome work and excellent customer support! I'll keep supporting Paizo, but now only with digital content!
Just sent an email with a response.
I noticed that order #3223792 is marked as suspended and is expected to be sent via Standard Postal Delivery as opposed to USPS Priority Mail (my usual shipping option). Any ideia why it changed? Is it possible to set it back to USPS Priority Mail? Also, it is August 14th and the order is still pending, which also means that I can't download the pdf for the Advanced Class Guide or Iron Gods #1.
I have just sent you an email with pictures from order #3194731.
Thanks again for the support!
I am sad to inform about the terrible quality the USPS has been offering as of late. Almost every single order from my subscriptions for the past 6 months has had some damaged books, with signs of bad handling of the package itself, such as the most recent one (Paizo order #3194731), which came with a corner of the package torn out. This obviosuly resulted in damage to the contents inside, such as cover of the books, signs of bending, sometimes even with shearing of the cover, especially the softcover AP volumes. I do have pictures of the books and the package from this last order, if it would be of any help.
I am aware that, as I live in Brazil and this is an international order, some risks are involved when handling the package over great distances. However, I subscribe to SEVERAL international magazines (including Nature, National Geographic, Neurology, among others) and frequently buy books from Amazon.com, and yet they NEVER arrive in such bad conditions. This for me is a strong sign that the problem does not lie with the Brazilian postal service, and is instead a problem within the USPS, for whatever reason.
I would very much prefer to stay a Pathfinder subscriber, mainly because I want to support you guys in the best way possible. So please, try to find a solution to this. Perhaps using another type of package, one that maybe costs a little more but offers more protection? Maybe offering an alternate shipping company? Whatever the case, I just wanted to add that I want to see these problems solved, because I don't want to be forced to cancel my Pathfinder subscriptions.
Thanks in advance, and sorry for the small rant,