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I wish I understood these better. Specifically:

1) The Player's Guide says it's illegal to use positive energy, so does this cover every single thing that has the positive trait (e.g. the Monk Ki spell "wholeness of body") or the Spirit Barbarian's rage damage? It's clearly illegal to cast the spell Heal but are healing potions likewise forbidden? I would assume the bright line standard would be "uses of positive energy that could harm undead."

2) How closely is this monitored? This is clearly a lawful AP, but if players want to skirt around the rules how paranoid should they be about getting caught. Like one of my players wants to play a Paladin of Erecura which is as appropriate as an inappropriate choice could be (since her edicts include "Manipulate dangerous beings and opportunities to your benefit, thrive in hostile conditions" and her portfolio is about espionage.) It's the reanimator's guild that monitors positive energy use, but what sort of forensic methods do they have access to? Like if nobody outside the party ever sees you lay on hands and survives, are you okay?

Sometimes at the start of a turn you will find yourself without an element gathered (for example you used an overflow impulse at the end of your last turn.) Since literally everything you do requires a gathered element (and odds are you're not level 19 yet) that's going to eat one of your three actions.

So that leaves quite a few turns where you have to figure out what to do with two actions. Your three most likely choices now are: use a two-action impulse, blast twice, or move and blast in some order.

If you use a 2 action impulse with overflow that leaves you right back at the top of this post next turn. Almost all of the two-action impulses that aren't overflow don't do damage (notable exception Horrid Ignition) and it's generally not ideal to spend an entire turn in combat not damaging anybody (particularly when "ranged striker" is part of your job description.)

Move and Blast is sometimes ruled out by "you're standing exactly where you want to be". You want to do it when the current combat conditions suggest it, and not otherwise.

Blast twice is a perfectly viable strategy, but it would be nice if something could compete with it. Right now the impulses that can be combined with 1 action to gather, one action to use your elemental blast are: Voice of Elements (not really a combat ability), Stoke Element (something you'd probably rather combine with an impulse that hits more than one target), Cycling Blast (this is just a regular blast with a free element change), Whisper on the Wind (not really a combat ability), Stone Shield (a solid choice), and you can swap your aura to a different aura. For the last option I'm sure this is a good idea sometimes, but from what I've seen you tend to activate the aura you like best and leave it on. Of the other choices, Stone Shield is a solid option to combine with a gather and an elemental blast but the rest really aren't.

You'd get a lot more turn variety if there were a number of different one-action impulses you could use that are beneficial enough that you might want to activate them instead of activating your elemental blast a second time. I know the purpose of activities occupying taking two or more actions is to mandate "you can only do one of this kind of thing per turn" but we've already kind of limited how much you can do in one turn by the need to gather and the desire to minimize turns in which you don't do any damage.

My specific suggestion would be to change kinetic auras to only require one action to activate them if you used Gather Element to gather the element the aura has in the same turn (since that's 2 actions so it keeps you from using a 2-action impulse before level 19.) These are mutually exclusive, and you can already swap between them for one action once you have one up. Thematically this has the effect of "you open your internal gate to gather your element and you just keep it open a little bit longer to let the element flow in a less controlled fashion". Since there's already a lot of things to turn on, you *could* offer a one action credit on a wider range of non-overflow impulses, but the auras seem like the ones that are most appropriate to do this with.

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In Pathfinder 1st edition the class worked via "your kinetic blast simply got more powerful as you leveled up and you got better at manipulating your element." You could put riders on your kinetic blasts that still felt like "your basic blast" (e.g. "now it pushes people away and does damage".) When you gained defensive talents they always had some effect, but they had more effect if you powered them up. We're not going to replace the sheer mathiness of the first edition Kineticist, but I think this feel is missing and it's something we could replicate.

In the playtest your kinetic blast gets better when you buy better handwraps, and through the same weapon specialization everybody gets. Your defensive effects only go into effect when you spend the actions to activate them (and there's a lot of things to activate.) Your mastery of your ability to "throw boulders" or "create earthquakes" doesn't in any way indicate that you are better at basic earth blasts. Your impulses that you don't activate in a given situation don't apply in any way at all.

I'm wondering if we couldn't instead do something like when you learn a defensive/utility impulse you get a weak passive effect which expands to a more useful effect when you spend actions to activate it. Like "Geological Attunement" could give you imprecise tremorsense of 5' when you learn it, which then extends to aura range and creates difficult terrain when you activate it. Learning Fair Winds could give you a +5' speed modifier always, which expands to the aura that helps your party and creates difficult terrain when you activate it. If you learn Wings of Air you never suffer fall damage while conscious, but if you activate it you can fly. Learning Spike Skin gives you a small amount of DR passively, and a larger amount and the thorns damage if you activate it. Just minor stuff like this that makes it feel like you have gained mastery through greater understanding of your elements even when you're not using every trick in your arsenal.

Offensive Impulses could do something like add traits or riders to your basic blast so you appreciate having learned them even if you can't fit them in because, for example, you can't fit in "2-3 actions+gather" in a given scenario. If you learned Rolling Boulder, for example, you could add shove to your melee blasts. This is hypothetically bookkeeping, but since you're using the same blasts for your entire career it's just a thing you can write down on your character sheet.

Not all of these sorts of things need to be available immediately when you take the impulse, but the Level(+n) or Level(x) systems can be used for more interesting things than "more damage". So you can represent "have gained mastery" via "you have a passive minor effect because you've learned this and you've grown accustomed to manipulating this element in this way."

After all, the greatest single influences on this class were Avatars: TLA and LoK, and in that Aang is generally floating off the ground and Toph always has her tremorsense active.

The TL:DR here is "please make impulses do something just because you've learned how to do that, even when you haven't activated them."

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So the thing that really drew me to the class in Pathfinder 1st edition was the Elemental Defense. Where you could, with some elements and taking the "Expanded Defense" wild talent end up with a character who walks away from breakfast with DR, a regenerating temp HP pool, and a 20% miss chance from ranged attacks that would last all day with no upkeep. Moreover due to a quirk in the system there was nothing you needed to spend money on for offense except your Dex/Con belt, so you could put all the rest of your money into defense so you were often ahead of other characters on things like upgrading rings of protection and amulets of natural armor. So you could have a PF1 kineticist that was an incredibly tanky character who would wade into the fray to stand and bang in melee. I liked this kind of character a lot.

Contrast the playtest Kineticist:
- d8 Hit Die, but even if you start with 18 Con (and you're the only person who can do this) you have as much HP as the Ranger or Fighter who started with 14 Con or the Barbarian who started with 12. Since Con doesn't do anything for you except HP, fort saves, and class DC this is pretty underwhelming. If you push your Con all the way it goes to 22 and then get the Apex item you will have as much HP as the Barbarian who stopped at 16.
- You have the same armor proficiencies as a rogue, which is generally understood to be the squishiest martial.
- Your saves are L/M/E which is okay.
- Your defensive talents are temporary and require regular activation. Spike Skin is even awkward with its 10 minute duration that increases when you get hit but has an hour cooldown, since you want to time it based on "how much do you think you're going to get hit in the next 10 minutes" and "do I have an hour free afterwards".

If you wanted to be a Str-based kineticist (which is a thing that's possible and that's very cool) you're best off taking armor proficiency as a general feat, then by the time you get to 13th level get your dex to 16 then retrain out of the feat.

It's even worse when you look at talents like "Assume Earth's Mantle" (which is an incredibly cool mental image) and you notice that it actually decreases both your armor class and your two worst saves compared to the armor you should own at 14th level.

I just want to do okay damage, hit people with rocks so they fall down, and be incredibly tough.

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The text in the playtest:

Though it’s not actually an unarmed attack, an elemental blast uses your proficiency with unarmed attacks, gets any bonuses and penalties that apply to unarmed attacks, and uses weapon damage dice and weapon traits in the same way an unarmed attack does. The blast can benefit from runes granted by handwraps of mighty blows.

So the basic idea here is to avoid the problem with spellcasters being unable to land spell attacks by allowing the Kineticist to get up to +3 to hit through fundamental weapon runes.

I assume that striking runes also apply to your blasts, so a geokineticist with +2 greater striking handwraps would roll 3d8 for their blast damage rather than 1d8.

Do property runes also apply? Like would an aerokineticist with a +3 Major Striking Handwraps with Flaming, Frost, and Corrosive runes roll 4d4 + 1d6 (fire) +1d6 (cold) +1d6 (acid) damage?

In the latter case it feels weird that a significant part of the damage said Aerokineticist does is with elements unrelated to the element of air. 4d4 averages 10 damage, 3d6 averages 10.5.

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At level 14 the Geokineticist gets the really cool impulse "Assume Earth's Mantle" which essentially gives you a mech suit made of rocks, which is comparable to heavy armor with a dex cap of 1 (half-plate with lower penalties), and it gives an item bonus to Str like an Apex item does. Your ranged blasts have propulsive and you can take Flexible Blasts to make them Brutal so you can attack with Strength at Range.

So you can eventually have a Geokineticist who doesn't really use Dex for anything except normal dex things.

- You can't turn your mech suit on in the first turn without haste before the 19th level (you need to gather first)
- Your proficiencies for your first 13 levels are all in light armor and unarmored defense, for which you will want at least 16 Dex to max AC on.

Since you can't have as big numbers as you want in every attribute, how do you make a Kineticist that lives with 12 Dex and wants to stay close to people? I'm going to try to do it, but this seems challenging. There's the Sentinel Archetype and getting medium armor from a general feat, but is there a better way?

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I was just sketching out some Magus ideas, and I realized that I can't make my favorite PF1 Magus in PF2- yet. Through a significant amount of feat taxes to make all the parts work together, in the previous edition I was able to put together a Skirnir magus who was among the Dwarfiest Dwarfs to ever Dwarf wielding a Dorn-Dergar and a heavy shield who specialized in abjuration.

While the PF2 Magus can combine a shield with spellstrike (via Sparking Targe), the only one-handed reach weapons available are the various whips (which lack oomph) and the Gnomish Flickmace. The flickmace is available to everyone via "being adopted by gnomes", but that's hardly a fitting choice for very Dwarfy Dwarves.

Currently the core races get relatively little from the "for purposes of proficiency... treat advanced [Ancestry] weapons as martial" clauses in their level 1 weapon familiarity feat, so are there other PF1 ancestry specific weapons people would like to see come back? This edition does a nice job of making a lot of different weapons viable, not just the one with the best numbers, so some of those weapons from PF1 we were using because their flavor justified their suboptimal numbers would be wonderful to have back.

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So the Lost Omens Mwangi Expanse book has this to say:

Anadi in their true form resemble human-sized spiders with a variety of colorations.
With a 5th level ancestry feat giving:
Mastery of your shapeshifting lets you combine the best features of your humanoid and spider forms.
However, the Toolbox in the most recent AP volume says:
Anadis have three distinct forms—human, spider, and a beautiful but unnerving hybrid shape that is their true form

Now while you could write this off as one of those things where bestiary Strix can all fly real well, but PC ones can't (for balance reasons) this is confusing because of the nature of a "true" shape. Like when Anadi are born (hatched?) are they spiders, are they humanoid spiders, or are they humanoids? Is one of these two books just in error?

Like long ago, before they made contact with other sapient life forms and worked on the transmutation magic that allowed them to shapechange, they must have looked like something so what did they look like?

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Currently a major difference between the core ancestries and (most of) the non-core ones is that there is less feat choice for the latter, specifically that in choosing a non-core ancestry you don't have access to a 17th level ancestry feat because one hasn't been printed yet.

You can always take a lower level ancestry feat, but this doesn't feel amazing when other ancestries get some cool stuff with their 17th level ancestry feat. In general, higher level feats are splashier and more impressive than lower level ones so it feels like a lost opportunity when you take a level 5 feat in a level 17 slot.

In a PF1 paradigm, this doesn't matter much because of how rare high level play was but PF2 APs all go to 20 and high level play is much more manageable. So I have to ask, are we ever going to get 17th level feats for more ancestries? Or more 17th level feats for existing ancestries. In the Ancestry Guide we got 17th level feats for the Iruxi, Leshies, and Hobgoblins so it would be great if we could circle back on some of the other new ancestries later.

I'm not sure how realistic this is, but the toolbox section in Strength of Thousand is a *great* place to put more ancestry feats for the Ancestries introduced in the Mwangi Expanse book.

The Ancestry Guide has a new Heritage for Leshies-the Fruit Leshy which has the following text:

At dawn each day, a new fruit ripens. You or an ally can remove this fruit as an Interact action.

Previously, I had a player who played Leshy (with a different heritage) Druid of the Leaf order who supplied their Goodberry needs by "I'm some sort of temperate fruiting bush animated by a magical spirit, I'm just always growing berries when I can" which seemed fine to me.

But the existence of the fruit leshy seems to imply "once per day for ripe fruit" is a best case scenario. Should I do something about the previous character, or can I just say that what the fruit leshy gets is "fruit that heals without additional magic" and let the current character keep on going? What if a future player proposes a leaf order leshy druid who grows their own goodberries and chooses the "fruit leshy" as the most appropriate choice? Do they get one berry that heals without magic and can still supply more mundane berries as needed"? The availability of "1 ripe berry" was always kind of hand-wavey; I mean sure I could say "you're in Irrisen in the dead of winter, where would you get berries?" but "denying characters access to their class stuff" never sat right with me.

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It seems like the point of comparison is the "Lunge" feat from PF1, which gave you reach for attacks (but not AoOs) for a -2AC penalty, available at BAB +6 so 6th level for fighters, 7th for other martials, and 9th for gishes. The Inventor class doesn't get AoOs without multiclassing, and the ability to make more than one is extremely expensive (it costs a level 20 feat) so we're basically getting Lunge without the AC penalty 6-10 levels later.

I get that some abilities are just assumed to be less available until higher levels than they were in the previous version of the game (notably flight), but reach is less valuable in PF2 because of the aforementioned scarcity of opportunity attacks.

Sure, reach is one of the very best weapon traits but Giant Instinct Barbarians can get +5' reach at 6th level, +10' of reach at 12th level, and +15' of reach with a non-reach weapon at 14th level. It seems like extensibility were a 9th level innovation instead of a 17th level one, you'd at best pull even with the giant barbarian for 3 levels until they get even bigger.

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As it stands, the primary difference between "guns" as a class of weapons and "crossbows" as a different one is "guns suffer misfire chances." But aside form that they're just reload weapons with different stats, traits, and ammunition.

A major difference between "guns" and "things that are not guns" is that guns are very loud. Even if black powder weapons aren't quite as loud as modern centerfire rifles, you're still going to want to wear hearing protection and it's very difficult to be sneaky when you're shooting.

Crossbows tend to be around 80dB when they fire (like a .22 is around 140dB when you fire it), but with enough distance between you and what you're shooting, you should be able to sneak around and have people not find you immediately. But if you're firing an arquebus, if the report doesn't give you away then the big cloud of black smoke should.

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Whether you learned to fight with a cutlass and pistol as a Shackles pirate, mastered the hand cannon and katana in Minkai, or practiced with a clan dagger and dueling pistol in Dongun Hold, movement and flexible use of your weapons help you win battles.

I have stats for all of those weapons except for the cutlass. So if I wanted to make a classic pirate, what weapon should I use? The pirate archetype suggests hatchet, scimitar, and rapier none of which are cutlasses.

So are we going to get stats for a cutlass, and if so is the pirate archetype going to get patched to include them or should I just imagine rapiers and scimitars as cutlasses? (Or a machete, since a cutlass historically was a naval weapon because it was short and wouldn't get tangled in stuff but robust so you could hack through ropes/canvas if you needed to.)

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If I wanted to make an Inventor who was like an amputee, who build themself a clockwork arm, and that's their innovation, how would I make that work? Is such a thing possible from level 1? Does it have to be like "based on a fist or a gauntlet" or can I have it unfold into whirring blades or like "a blade", and then get your manual dexterity back later?

"Inconspicuous appearance" not being available until level 9 suggests that I probably shouldn't just be able to wear long sleeves and gloves to make people not notice my robot arm from level 1, which seems like a shame.

So thus far multiclass archetypes give you things up front like "training in something" and "maybe some cantrips", but I can't imagine that they'd give you the Eidolon for 1 or 2 feats, or really any number of feats.

Is it conceivable that we do not need multiclass archetypes for every class? I don't recall seeing any MC summoners in PF1.

Generally classes that have focus spells as part of their kit get a 10th-12th level feat for a 2 point refocus (e.g. Domain Focus for the Cleric and Devoted Focus for the Champion) and some get an 18th level feat for 3 point refocus (e.g. Primal Wellspring for the Druid or Meditative Wellspring for the Monk).

I think the Magus is the first "focus spells aren't optional" class that doesn't get any sort of refocus feats or class features (c.f. the oracle). Is this deliberate in order to restrict how much the Magus can/should "nova" or an oversight?

Should the Magus have a [foo] Focus and [foo] Wellspring feat?

So you're a Tyrant Champion, so you're primarily a frontline melee person and you're going to get hit. That's good because the reaction you get *at level one* is absurd.

As a reaction, when someone within 15' hits you you force your opponent to either:
- Fall prone
- Take between 1d6 and 6d6 damage depending on level, which can be made persistent with a single level 1 feat.

No other champion gets a reaction this strong, do they?

If a character would have Resistance and Weakness to the same thing, they just cancel out via Resistance - Weakness right?

Like a Stormborn Tengu has electricity resistance of half their level, and a Tempest Oracle who has invoked their moderate curse has weakness to electricity equal to half their level, so these would cancel out right?

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So the APG mentions that Changelings can be any gender. This is a partial retcon where they used to only be of the feminine persuasion, but that's fine... we can just explain away the lack of boy changelings via "mom ate them".

The issue is that the various types of Changelings are called [Foo] May (Callow May, Slag May, Dream May,etc.) But "May" as a noun (not referring to the month) is an archaic term for "Maiden" (as in "Maiden, Mother, and Crone.)

So are the boy Changelings still "Slag May", or whatever, or do we use a different word?

Observation 1: Dwarf Clerics are fairly iconic.
Observation 2: Dwarf Clerics slot neatly into "warpriest" roles as "heavier armor", "a shield", and "bashing you with a hammer" are all on-brand.
Observation 3: Warpriests who want to go in melee need Str and Con (and some dex) in addition to Wisdom.
Observation 4: Clerics of all stripes benefit greatly from high charisma, since Divine Font is a very powerful class feature.
Observation 5: Dwarves (particularly ones who want str or dex) are bad at charisma.

So how do we do the stats for a Warpriest (of Torag or one of his kin)? The obvious thing would be something like Str 16 Dex 12 Con 14 Wis 18 Int 10 Cha 8, but then you'd get basically nothing out of divine font and divine font is a huge class feature for clerics.

Now ideally we could get something like a class archetype that replaces divine font with something which is useful to charisma-deficient clerics. But I can't just will class archetypes into being in order to serve characters.

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It's one of the five non-simple weapons the investigator is proficient in, and since martial (or advanced) weapons are supposed to be more powerful than simple weapons, it would be nice to be able to playtest the investigator with access to one of the class's best weapons.

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One of the issues I'm running into is that wisdom means more than one thing. There's the game mechanical notion of "does well on will saves, perception checks, religion, nature, etc." but there's also the common-language notion of "a wise person" as someone who has common sense, makes measured decisions, possesses self-awareness, is calm under pressure, etc.

What I want to play is an investigator who makes rash decisions, has severe gaps in his knowledge but still insists he's right, is a coward, and doesn't really understand a lot of basic things- all of this screams "low wisdom" but I still want this person to still be observant and effective at "investigating".

So if I wanted to play a Pathfinder version of, say, Shawn Spencer (from Psych; who is a low wis investigator if there ever was one), how do I make this character effective?

Is this just a matter of "you put Wis at 14 or 16 because you need to, and just roleplay a less wise person?" Because that doesn't really seem satisfying.

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The Lost Omens World Guide has two archetypes which require proficiency in an advanced weapon as a prerequisite. All fighters have this at level 1, all classes with martial weapon proficiency can get it at level 1 with an ancestry feat or heritage to gain the general feat "weapon proficiency", all classes with simple weapon proficiency can get it at level 1 with both a heritage and an ancestry feat... that is, if you're human.

If you wanted to play say, an Elf Aldori Duelist who is not a fighter, the earliest you can get proficiency in the Aldori sword is 3rd level when you get your first general feat, or 7th level if you happen to be a rogue.

Theoretically, you could fix this via retraining your second level feat to the Aldori dedication except the retraining rules say

When retraining, you generally can’t make choices you couldn’t make when you selected the original option. For instance, you can’t exchange a 2nd-level skill feat for a 4th-level one, or for one that requires prerequisites you didn’t meet at the time you took the original feat.

So an Elven barbarian is forced to wait until 4th level to take the Aldori dedication, and a Goblin rogue is forced to wait until 8th. I find that any time you take a lower level feat in a higher level feat slot it's unsatisfying, and while you will do this from time to time for class feats (such as if your barbarian wants both AoO and their 6th level instinct feat), starting the dedication late means you're likely to be late on other feats in the archetype, particularly if they have interdependencies.

A basic problem to confront in a high fantasy game is "why should I be human, I have a lot of experience being human already?" for sure, but we should be careful not to end up "forcing" people to play human characters in order to fulfill basic concepts of their characters, particularly since the human ancestry already has multiple things which are near the far extreme of the power curve for their category.

So now that the LOWG is out, we get a sense of what archetypes are going to be like. Since the APG has 60 pages of them, these things are going to be everywhere, and many of them will be very attractive.

What's less attractive is the actual dedication feat for the archetype, which generally feels like a much less exciting boost than the other feats you could select at 2nd level, but you feel obligated to take them because the later feats in the archetype are generally exciting. This can feel like a tax, and feat taxes are not fun.

So to resolve the issue of "dedications are feat taxes" I'm considering the following variant:

All characters receive a bonus feat at 2nd level which can only be used to select a level 2 dedication without the multiclass tag. If a specific dedication has a requirement you haven't yet met, you can choose to use this feat later.

The actual meaty feats in the archetype are going to need to be purchased with class feats, but they are generally comparable to class feats anyway. I'm inclined to leave multiclass feats out of this because I don't want to completely obsolete the ancient elf before it's even printed, but that might change.

Is this potentially a problem? Or is this not going far enough. Thoughts and concerns are welcome.

I was coming up with a character who was a Shelynite Dwarf who had devoted himself towards crafting by attempting to create extremely well-made things which are nonetheless jaw-droppingly beautiful. While a valid concept, the stats are pulling you a bunch of different ways- you need Str to hit, Int for crafting, Wis & Con to stay in the fight, and you're supposed to have Charisma because you're a Champion. With an already Cha deficient Dwarf, I was thinking "would this be better as a fighter?" but then started to wonder what exactly do I need Charisma for?

As best I can tell, aside from the skills everyone uses Charisma for, you use it for DCs for focus spells (which you can avoid taking), and your divine smite at level 9, and not a lot else.

So is Str 18, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 8 a viable stat line for a Champion? If I don't bother increasing charisma much, I won't ever get anything out of smite, but that's the only real loss I can think of.

Should these be read as "unannounced updates" or "transcription errors".

For example, the 12th level Barbarian Feat "Spirit's Wrath" has the tags "Attack", "Barbarian, "Concentrate", "Instinct", and "Rage". The version of the same feat on the Archives of Nethys adds the "Open" tag, which massively changes what the feat does. Specifically this means you can only do this as your first attack action, instead of "whenever you want."

Was this an update that just wasn't disseminated to the people, or did that trait sneak in there somehow?

As it stands, the dedicated casters (Wizard, Bard, Sorcerer, Druid, Cloistered Cleric) get legendary proficiency in spellcasting/class DC. All of the noncasters and also the warpriest cleric top out at master. While "not getting legendary proficiency in spellcasting" is the primary tradeoff of the cloistered vs. war cleric makes this as a general option somewhat problematic, it seems less of an issue to let a monk invest in the maximum chance of landing stunning fists or a rogue in the maximal impact of debilitating strikes. After all "legendary class DC" is much less powerful than "legendary spellcasting" as non-casters use their DC for many fewer things.

What would be an appropriate cost for this? An archetype?

For a multiclass Sorcerer, the Basic Blood Potency feat says

If you don’t already have one, you also gain a focus pool of 1 Focus Point, which you can Refocus without any special effort.
On page 300, the sidebar for Focus Points from Multiple Sources sidebar says
If you have multiple abilities that give you a focus pool, each one adds 1 Focus Point to your pool.

So if I'm a Cleric with a Domain or a Monk with a Ki Spell, and I take Basic Blood Potency I now have a pool of 2 Focus points.

My question is regarding the "which you can refocus without any special effort" clause. Normally a Monk or a Cleric can spend 10 minutes meditating or praying to regain 1 focus. If they also have the basic blood potency feat, can they spend 10 minutes refocusing by praying/meditating to regain 1 focus, and also gain an regain an additional focus because basic bloodline has auto-refocus?

Presumably Basic Blood Potency would let you regain 1 focus if you spend that 10 minutes repairing a shield, identifying an item, or treating wounds. So it works in parallel with other activities, but does it also work in parallel with the "refocus" activity?

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In the PF1 CRB, "Clerics of Philosphies" were an option for compatibility with other settings, but were never a thing which Golarion had. PF2 hews much closer to Golarion lore, so Clerics were obligated to pick a deity. Golarion, however, has religious traditions which are not "worship a god"- there are the Rivethun, ancestor worship is common in the Mwangi expanse and Tian Xia, the pantheism of the Vudrani, Lizardfolk tend to be animists, and many people follow a totemic spirit of some kind, etc. PF1 eventually gave us classes like the Oracle and the Shaman who had full divine spellcasting power, which could represent other religious traditions, and I felt it was important to underline how these systems of belief are not less valid than "worship Pharasma" they are just different, by not having them be less potent or just "variant clerics." One of the fundamental issues with having the metaphysics being written down in books is that it takes a lot of the essential mystery out of religion, which is a thing we can restore via "these people believe something fundamentally different and it also works."

So presumably we're planning on supporting those religious traditions with divine magic (and hopefully not "as sorcerers" since that sets up "we have no shaman, no one has the special blood" as a thing). Which is well and good; these things take time, and I can be patient.

But, in PF1 Paladins had no requirements for "worship a god" so I saw a great number of Animist, Pantheist, Shamanistic, or just "has an idiosyncratic philosophy" Paladins, and I didn't see anything wrong with that. After all, there was no mention of "where a paladin's power came from" merely the requirement that they be worthy of it, which is a thing that could apply to anyone from any culture.

So, if we eventually (and we should) get full spellcasters that represent non-deific religious traditions, we should get Champions to match. Since if a relationship with the spirits, or a spirit, one's ancestors, or whatever is sufficiently potent to invest that person with 10-level spellcasting, it should also be able to invest someone else with martial prowess.

From the latest Player's Companion, the Champion Mythic Power includes this line:

Whenever you use one of your kinetic blasts, you can expend one use of mythic power as a free action to apply one additional infusion to the blast, beyond the normal limit of one form infusion and one substance infusion per blast.

Normally a kinetic blast can have only one form and one substance infusion, so you can have a wall of earth that grapples or a torrent of electricity that magnetizes. It's pretty clear what happens if you were to use mythic power to use two different substance infusions: a blast that trips and entangles is pretty clear to visualize.

But what if I try to use two form infusions, say "Wall" and "Kinetic Whip". Would I get a wall I can whip people with? Would I get a wall in one place and also a whip? Would I get nothing since that's not a valid combination? Some form infusions combine in a way that makes sense (like "Impale" and "Snake") but what about ones that don't? Deadly Earth + torrent with a mud blast, mobile blast and detonation, etc.

I get that mythic is wild and out there, but I honestly don't really understand how this is supposed to work.

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I figured the other thread could use a partner that inspires a little more positivity.

In terms of evaluating "best" let's exclude "most powerful" from consideration, since an archetype which makes an already powerful thing even more powerful probably enhances the game experience for the one person playing it, but because these games are a cooperative endeavor exacerbating preexisting balance problems is not really an overall good.

So let's instead evaluate "best" as in "has the most positive impact on the game" in that it fixes a problem with a class, it expands the set of viable concepts within a class, it is fun to play, or just any other reason to like an archetype which is not solely "it is more powerful."

Some of my favorites:

Scout Rogue: Sneak attacks can be fiddly, and "setting them up" can cause problems if the rogue is relying on other party members for the rogue to be able to use their class feature. So giving the rogue a reliable way to trigger sneak attacks by themselves is good. Also rogues are squishy, so the archetype encouraging them to not stand in one place is a positive.

Fiend Keeper Medium: Flavor for this one is just so cool, and the concept of "you are possessed by an evil thing which can't escape but tempts you with power" is kind of easier to wrap your head around than the regular medium. Having the same entity be who you always channel allows the player and GM to flesh out that being with a personality in a way the normal medium's grab bag of whichever spirits are handy doesn't really.

Urban Barbarian: Fully decouples the Barbarian from "specific cultures", and enables you to build a Barbarian as any sort of person from anywhere at all. Works well too.

Ley Line Guardian Witch: In being able to switch the class from prepared to spontaneous (and also trading away the familiar) we make the witch class much easier to play while still retaining the essential witchiness.

I could go on, but I will yield the floor to others.

Suppose I am a class that does not have martial weapon proficiency, but I want to use a modified version of a martial weapon (a versatile design greatsword, or dual-balanced kukris, say). Adventurer's Armory 2 says:

After being modified, a weapon’s category (simple, martial, or exotic) increases by one step ... modified martial weapons require the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat to use without taking penalties.

So I take "Exotic Weapon Proficiency ([Modified Weapon])", which requires a BAB of +1 and not any kind of pre-existing weapon proficiency, and I'm able to fight with my dual balanced kukri (for example) without penalty.

But what if I want to take weapon focus, which does require proficiency. Is "Modified Kukri" a valid choice for a type of weapon, as far as weapon focus is concerned? If I was proficient with both regular kukris and modified kukris I could just take WF (Kukri) but what about the case where I lack proficiency for the normal version, I simply have proficiency with the modified one?

So I'm currently outlining a campaign that is almost entirely underwater, so the PCs will be restricted to aquatic or amphibious characters. One of my players wants to play a monk.

Aquatic Adventures has this to say about making physical attacks underwater:

Creatures with a natural swim speed from the aquatic or water subtype don’t take these penalties with their inherent natural attacks.

It goes on to explain that this includes a Kraken's tentacle attacks, but not tentacle attacks a Kraken gets from being an ectoplasmatist spiritualist.

So my question- Does an aquatic monk's unarmed strikes made with their natural limbs avoid the penalty? If not, should they?

Like it makes sense that a triton, living underwater as someone with a 5' land speed does, who becomes a fighter would focus on weapons that do piercing damage, since those work better in their environment. But if that same triton goes to the underwater monastery to learn underwater kung fu, wouldn't they also focus on ways to punch people that work best underwater?

I mean, certainly there are ways around this (Hamalatsu, Snake Style, Aquadynamic Focus, use weapons instead, etc.) but I'm afraid this might be a tax, since "learned to fight underwater" is something these characters are going to need right out of the gate.

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So in PF2, one's choice of ancestry does not give much on the front end- you get a heritage feat, an ancestry feat and maybe some intrinsic bonus from your genes like darkvision.

But what about all the PF1 races which get something much more substantial than darkvision from their DNA- Kitsune can shapechange; Astomoi are all telepaths; Strix and Gathlains can fly; Locathah, tritons, merfolk, cecaelias, and a bunch of others are amphibious and have swim speeds, etc.

It's not like we can take a Strix's wings away and have it still be a Strix, and "you can just fly" is a lot better than darkvision, or even darkvision+unburdened (which seemingly was too much.)

Are we going to need to give each of these things big drawbacks? Are we just going to be okay with the idea that these later ancestries are simply more powerful than the core ones? Sure, some of these things you could get away with buying over a few levels with ancestry feats (e.g. a Kitsune gets better at shapechanging) but if you take a Strix's wings or a Merfolk's swimming away they sort of stop being what defines them.

Should all of the core ancestries get more stuff right out of the gate since we're going to have to publish some things that get really desirable stuff automatically? I mean, we already have an issue where a disproportionate number of gnomes are going to be svirfneblin and a disproportionate number of elves are going to be from underground since darkvision is stronger than other heritage feats.

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Current Wording

At the end of each of your turns, you must attempt a flat check to determine whether you keep raging. The DC starts at 0 on the first round and goes up by 5 each following round, to a maximum of DC 20. If you fail, your rage ends immediately. (Because of the flat check rules, you automatically succeed at the DC 0 check without rolling on the first round.)

Suggested revision:

At the end of each of your turns, you must attempt a flat check to determine whether you keep raging. The DC starts at 5 on the first round and goes up by 5 each following round, to a maximum of DC 20. If you fail, your rage ends at the end of your next turn.

Not only is the new version shorter (it avoids the parenthetical for DC 0 checks), and there is a precedent for effects lasting until the end of the next turn (e.g. a rogue with Scoundrel's Feint critically succeeds on their roll to feint), but I see two benefits to this.

-First, in pre-1.6 rage you would always know in advance "I will be fatigued next turn" and it creates a tension between "preparing for the turn you know you will be vulnerable" and "pressing on in the last turn in which you are still hulked up" (e.g. weighing the odds of a third attack at -10 which might drop the enemy versus moving away in anticipation of being vulnerable) which no longer exists in 1.6. Certainly being able to plan for the future isn't the most barbarianey of things but I see it as how an athlete will have a sense of how long they can go at full speed and when they are flagging but can still push a little further. I don't see a reason a barbarian couldn't manage the same.

-Secondly having the DC be 5 x [current count of rounds raged consecutively] is slightly simpler than 5 x [number of rounds you have been raging minus one], in particular since you can put a die on the table when you rage and just have the DC be 5 times the face value of the die, incrementing the die 1 after every successful check. Solutions where you start counting at zero or where you only start counting after your first turn are somewhat less elegant, I feel.

So I know that if one gets spell point powers from multiple sources (e.g. multiclassing cleric and taking domain) your total amount of spell points are calculated based on whichever is attribute has a larger bonus.

But do I maintain two separate Key Spellcasting attributes? Do I use whichever is higher? Or do I use only the one from the first class?

When a Cleric or a Paladin gets an advanced domain, they increase their spell point pool by the amount of points it takes to cast the associated power. In theory this is helpful to ensure "you can actually cast this" but since Power 2s vary from costing 1 spell point to costing 3 spell points, doesn't this serve to effectively encourage some domains (e.g. zeal, travel, freedom which have 3 point powers) and discourage others (e.g. death, air, fate, which are 1 point powers). I mean, presumably everybody with a spell point pool would prefer to have as many spell points as possible.

Like a Paladin of Iomedae can select Zeal twice to get 1 extra spell point from Weapon Surge and 3 extra spell points from Prepare for Battle, and thus be able to Lay on Hands 4 more times, but Pharasma's Clerics are much less fortunate as 3 of their 4 advanced domain powers cost only one point (and the other costs 2). I see this as effectively incentivizing Pharasman clerics to snag the Healing domain over Death, Fate, or Knowledge because it gives an additional spell point if you grab both powers.

So should advanced domains give the same number of spell points no matter what you pick?

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... and I don't want to wait until level 2 (or be human, or have to be deceptive) to do it.

For reference the "Close Match" Feat on page 164, a General Skill Feat 1, requiring you to be trained in deception.

You’re androgynous, look a bit older or younger than you are, or look like you might have an ancestry other than your own. Choose a different gender, an age other than your own, or an ancestry the same size as yours. You can disguise yourself as that sort of person without taking a penalty to your Deception check. At the GM’s discretion, if you are extremely small or big for your size, you can choose an ancestry of a size different from your own

So on base this is a fine feat, it basically lets you pick a specific different person and disguise yourself as them. But this kind of runs into the "10th Amendment Problem" wherein by specifying "you can do this with this particular rules mechanic" you imply that you cannot do it without that particular rules element.

So what if I want to play a character who is just androgynous in who they are (i.e. it's not a disguise), why can't I just do that? It seems especially relevant if I'm playing a character from an unusual species (there aren't rules in PF2 for them, but there will be) like an Astomoi (who, I will note, tend to be wretched at disguise as a species.)

So can we remove the line "you're androgynous" from the feat, so we don't imply you need the feat to be androgynous? We can just let the player explain how they are so good at portraying a fixed, but different-somehow person with their own reasoning.

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So signature skills are sort of the PF2 version of class skills- these are the skills that you can be the best at because they are related to your class, but while PF1 characters had quite a few class skills (as few as 9, I think) PF2 characters have as few as 3. Now some reduction is inevitable since there are fewer skills now, I find there are still a few cases where a class was often tricked out to be exemplary in a skill is nonetheless lacking it as a signature skill in PF1.

A few I can think of, off the top of my head:
Fighter- Intimidation
(Fighters were among the best intimimancers in PF1 due to a surplus of feats, and honestly "really good with weapons" should be scary.)
Barbarian- Survival
(I know we're trying to move the class away from tribal stereotypes, but given the Conan inspiration and the self-sufficiency angle of the class, the class should be good at finding food in the woods)
Monk- Stealth
(the writeup for "playing a monk" even calls out how stealthy you can be, and the monk is never going to jingle when they walk, has exemplary body and breath control, and honestly the whole "can cover yourself in bells and walk across a room without making a noise" seems more like "fantasy martial arts training", than rogue stuff.)

Any other classes that people feel need either "another signature skill" or "relatively simple access to another signature skill"?

I'm not sure if "signature skills are incredibly precious" is a good idea since you only get 9 skill ups period, which is a max 3 legendary skills. So having more lets you at least pick between a few things to be really good at.

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So as it stands, a number of nonhuman characters will be taking heritage feats at level 1, because that's the only time you can get them. Without spending your 3rd level general feat on an ancestry feat, you then won't be able to get things like "Dwarves dislike goblinoids" or "Goblins are fond of fire" or "Elves are nimble" until 5th level."

Putting aside the idea of "this doesn't make sense", let's instead consider how we can make sense of it. How do we explain "I grew up with my people's ancestral weapons, but I didn't know how to use them until a quarter of the way through my career"? Or an Elf or Dwarf suddenly discovering a distaste for Demons or Giants? Some ancestry feats make sense as things you can get later (such as the Elf ones where you have perspective due to a long life) but it's harder to see how an Elf suddenly becomes nimble at 9th level.

Some of this can make sense in the context of "spending time with your people" during downtime, but is this going to be by default built into every campaign? Set aside some time for your Dwarven PCs to go home to their relatives for the holidays so they can be radicalized against Orcs?

I'm really just spitballing here, since I don't want to say "It doesn't make sense" when really this hobby is largely predicated on creative people being able to make sense of darn-near anything.

I was rolling up a character using the Ultimate Campaign system for background generation, and I ended up with a character who was "displaced in time" but "grew up against the backdrop of a great war" and was from "the frontier". So I thought an interesting thing to do with this character would be to have this character be from the contested region in the Nex-Geb war who got displaced in time due to some magical catastrophe that had not even happened yet. Because if anything is going to pick up somebody and drop them like 5000 years in the future, it's the sort of thing that causes something like "the mana wastes" to exist.

But around -900 to -800 AR (so before the region got too messed up) what people were living in these parts? Were they likely Garundi, Keleshite, Vudrani, or something else entirely? I know that the Nex-Geb war got started via Nexian expansionism, but there are always people living at the margins of a civilization in those places that governments don't know they want to invade yet.

She's from near the coast (because her parents were sailors) if that helps.

From the Mutant Player Characters section of "People of the Wastes"

A deformity can’t be chosen if it wouldn’t disadvantage the PC.

How precisely should I read "disadvantage the PC"? Obviously something that would be impossible to come up due to other factors (e.g. taking "Light Blindness" on a character that is already blind from, for example, the Blind Zeal trait) would not disadvantage the player. But would, for example, "Fractured Mind" ("When the mutant fails a Will save, it is confused for 1 round") be a permissible choice for a character that will eventually become immune to confusion?

For example would a Psychic Marauder mutant be allowed to choose fractured mind, even though they will become immune to confusion at level 9? They will be "disadvantaged" when they fail a will save for the first 8 levels, but not thereafter. This, to me, seems reasonable but what if a character gains immunity to their mutant deformity at an earlier level? Would a mutant who gained immunity to the drawback of their deformity at, say, level 2 still count as being "disadvantaged" because they're still paying for it at level 1? What about an Oozemorph mutant who takes "Misshapen" (normal armor doesn't fit you) that would only ever apply in an anti-magic zone (or if they teach someone druidic, I guess), because otherwise their normal form is a blob that will shape itself into something that can wear normal armor?

This is "ask your GM" territory, but if I'm the GM how should I interpret this?

Come to think of it, shouldn't the "Blind" Mutant deformity and the "Blind Zeal" trait stack, since the trait doesn't specify why you're blind just that you've been trained by the followers of Vildeis to deal with it?

First off, obviously a god can, but who else can?

The recent player companion "Blood of the Coven" suggests that Witch Patrons can take many different forms, including highly ranked agathions, angels, archons, demons, daemons, and devils, aeons, kytons, owbs, and nightshades; fey lords, nature spirits, and ancient denizens of the first world; but also the collective unconsciousness of "mortal desire and purpose given direction by the beliefs of countless minds and hearts." Now a patron is really more akin to a teacher than someone who actually gives you power that you didn't already have access to, but I admit something really abstract like "the collective unconsciousness of mortal desire" doesn't seem like anything that would put together a lesson plan.

Certainly one does not need to go through a deity in order to access divine magic- druids cast divine spells just fine and "the Green Faith" venerates things more fundamental than gods. Indeed it seems like the Domains that deities grant to their clerics are themselves more fundamental than the gods- Curchanus has the Beast and Travel Domains, the former was stolen by Lamashtu and the latter given to Desna. A lot of domains are things that the gods themselves experience (e.g. Travel, Madness, Glory) or embody (e.g. Strength, Protection, Magic) rather than things that spring forth from one or more deity with that domain in that portfolio. Some of the mysteries that oracles have appear to be even more fundamental than that. For example every deity experiences Time (or at least causality)- Cayden was not a god and then he was, Aroden was alive and then he wasn't, Asmodeus was not the patron of Chelia and then he was, there were no undead as nobody escaped Pharasma until somebody did and then there were, Desna did not have the Travel domain and then she did, etc.

So can you have an oracle that's cursed/empowered by "time itself" in the same sort of way that a druid may be empowered by "nature itself"? Is all that is needed for an oracle to come into their power to have their eyes opened to their mystery and then they can access divine power that's just lying around? Can high ranking outsiders who are themselves not gods or demigods make oracles? Do oracles sometimes just happen purely by accident and there was no intention behind their curse at all?

So Ultimate Wilderness has a 9th level Druid Spell "Sea of Dust" that causes a 2-mile radius to undergo permanent desertification on a massive scale. Anything other than an completely aquatic environment eventually becomes a "bog of dust" that remains that way until the spell is dispelled, in which case it is subject to the same natural forces that made it what it was before the druid intervened.

Now certainly "controlling nature to this degree" is something a high level druid should be able to do, but is actually doing something like this ever actually in keeping with a class that's supposed to "Revere Nature"?

I mean, sure you could drop it on a city and wipe that city out, but you could do likewise do the same with an earthquake, a tsunami, a terrible storm, wild fires, an army of animated trees, etc. or anything else that wouldn't prevent something from growing there after the buildings all fell down and the people leave.

Is "Casting this spell" the sort of thing that could invoke the "ex-druids" clause if you just up and ruin some 12.5 miles of unspoiled wilderness? Sure, you can dispel it after a while and some new trees can grow, but if you cast it on a copse of truly ancient trees you may have lost something that can never be regained. Could a Neutral Good Druid ever justify casting this spell? It seems like "barren, lifeless, and unnatural terrain" is the sort of thing that should be anathema to druids, and yet they get it as spell.

So if I'm Druid who just became level 17 and learned that they can cast this spell, why in the good name of mother nature would I ever consider casting it?

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For categorization purposes, what are the Oozemorph Shifter's Morphic Weapons?

An oozemorph can create a number of natural weapons to fight with from any portion of her body, regardless of her current form. At 1st level, as a move action, an oozemorph can form two primary natural attacks that each deal 1d6 points of bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, chosen by the oozemorph when she forms them. An oozemorph can change the damage type of any number of her natural weapons as a swift action. An oozemorph gains one additional primary natural attack at 6th level and another at 15th level.

Are these unarmed strikes (for example for the purposes of Pummeling Style) because I can turn my foot into an axe and kickslash with it? Are they their own category of weapons akin to "claws" so I can take Weapon Focus (Morphic Weapons) and apply the feat to my foot axe and my nose spear? Would I need to take WF(foot axe) and WF(nose spear)? Would weapon focus in a specific weapon apply to morphic weapons shaped to look like that weapon?

What fighter weapon group would these belong in?

As of Ultimate Wilderness, the Tumor Familiar is prohibited from taking the Protector Familiar archetype, possibly because Fast Healing 5 and Shield Other on the same body was considered unreasonable.

Is this a terrible change that renders both the tumor familiar and the protector archetype wholly useless? Is this reasonable game balance that now makes other archetypes viable choices for your tumor? What are some other things you can do with a tumor familiar, and what are some other uses for the protector archetype? Let's redirect the discussion from the Errata Thread to here.

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