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An anecdote: my party of 4 players consists of a Human Fighter, Human Monk, Human Occult Sorc and Elf Evocation Wizard. Only the Monk is Expert in Medicine (the Sorc is trained), and the group has survived on almost 0 in-combat healing so far. That's not to say they haven't had close calls. There have been tough fights where 3/4 of the party went to 0 hp at some point, and I haven't been pulling any punches, yet they still managed to pull through. I don't think a Cleric is necessary, even in longer fights they have access to Battle Medicine (and with Continuous Recovery, it's not limited to 1/day).

In terms of casting debuff spells not feeling good when they fail, I can't speak to my players' experience when that happens, but when the spells do succeed (and this happens a good amount of the time), they are very significant.

My Sorc's go-to debuff right now is Synesthesia, and if it hits an enemy, it is brutal. -3 AC that stacks with Flat-Footed means a death sentence for most foes, as the Fighter and Monk will proceed to crit them to death in short order. When she's not casting Synesthesia, she's mass Fearing enemies or singling someone out with Phantasmal Killer, or denying everyone's actions with Synaptic Pulse. Seriously, action denial is great in PF2, especially when your party also positions themselves correctly.

So, in my case at least, not having a Cleric in the party is no problemo.

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Unfortunately for you, your opinion is in the minority. Lots of people have played with PF2 and enjoyed it, myself included.

There are a few awkwardness where I would like to see changes (staggered proficiency progression between classes, the missing caster attack/DC increase item, lack of DC increasing options in general), but the game itself is something I can see myself and my group playing for a long time to come.

Math-wise, martial DPR is very consistent, whereas caster damage is far more bursty and situational. That doesn't mean a caster can't change the course of a fight with 1 well placed spell. A well-placed Phantasmal Killer, Tempest Surge or Dominate can and will create a massive advantage vs. a single foe (and those are usually the hardest fights) for a short time, giving the rest of the party a chance to seize victory while their defenses are down (from Frightened or Clumsy or Stunned).

I would not call spells high risk low reward. Is the risk of failure higher than in PF1, especially vs. enemies of higher level? Yes. Does this make spells useless when compared with martial characters? Hell no.

If you're unable to see the merits of the system even after playing with it for a time, then I doubt anything said here will convince you otherwise. I wish you luck in finding a system more suited to yours and your group's needs. There's also always PF1 to switch back to if you're unhappy with the way things are going. Many people chose that option when 4e came out, and PF1 even arose from that same situation.

In this day and age where options are aplenty for tabletop RPGs, I see no reason why you need to force yourself to like one system. If PF2 is not for you, there are always other fish in the ocean. I can only speak for myself when I say that my friends and I found the system to meet our needs and more, and that we really enjoyed playing with it. Whether this anecdote factors into your decision re: PF2 and Paizo going forward is up to you to decide.

Cheers, and happy gaming!

I feel like you're misjudging Bleeding Finisher. The Bleed persistent damage is your Precise Strike dmg, so instead of 2-6, it's actually 2d6 - 6d6. It's quite potent.

You can still Tumble Through targets to gain Panache as a Braggart. Tumble Through is a universal way of gaining Panache.

In the playtest there are currently only 2 Retorts, neither of which can reliably trigger (Opportune Riposte and Cheat Death), yet there are 2 feats that grant you extra Reactions to use Retorts.

I feel like without more Retort options in the final book, there would be very few incentives to pick up Reflexive Riposte and Infinite Retorts, given the lack of retorts available for use.

Thanks for posting empirical data to support your argument!

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Paladin can eke out 3 more to AC (technically Mountain Stance Monks can get the same amount of AC) by Taking Cover behind a Tower Shield and having your Bard critically succeed on Inspire Heroics to raise his Inspire Defense bonus to +3.

Total of AC 54 max and +42 to hit max

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You can't cast spells when Polymorphed (see page 635 for the definition of the Polymorph Trait).

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That 30 is because they forgot to edit the paragraph from the playtest. Given that Dragon Form spell uses a caster's spell DC for the DC of Dragon Breath, it should be at least 40 at that level. RaW, the Barb's Dragon Form doesn't have a DC, but RaI I would say use your class DC.

For a Barb, at level 18 your class DC is:

10 + 18 + 4 (expert) + STR (most likely 6) = 38

Then at level 19, your class DC goes up to Master, meaning the DC will now be 41.

Finally, at level 20, your STR mod goes up to 7, and the DC is now 43.

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p. 274, under Bulk:
"This entry gives the armor’s Bulk, assuming you’re wearing the armor and distributing its weight across your body. A suit of armor that’s carried or worn usually has 1 more Bulk than what’s listed here (or 1 Bulk total for armor of light Bulk). An armor’s Bulk is increased or decreased if it’s sized for creatures that aren’t Small or Medium in size, following the rules on page 295."

The "or worn" is redundant as it directly contradicts the previous sentence.

p.287, not really an error, but a funny rules interpretation:

Bandoliers have negligible weight when worn. A few players have postulated that this should allow them to wear an arbitrary amount of empty bandoliers on their person. (or wear a good amount and stuff some useful items in them, as long as they have enough STR to carry them)

p.86, Barbs get a lot of errors:

Under the Animal Instincts table, Deer's Antler attack has Charge listed as one of the traits, except it's another holdover from the playtest and the trait doesn't exist anywhere in the CRB. OOPS!

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This one's pretty egregious:

* Page 93: Barbarian's Dragon Transformation still has the line "Your breath weapon DC increases to 30" from the playtest, except the Dragon Form spell now uses your spellcasting DC for breath weapon DC. That's not to mention that 30 DC at level 18 is laughable. A normal Spellcaster would be getting a DC of 28 + 6 (master) + 6 (spellcasting mod) = 40 at that level. The feat should have a line prior that lets the Barb use his Class DC for the DC of the breath weapon, and the line that references DC 30 should be cut altogether.

* Page 377: Telekinetic Projectile says "make a ranged attack" but every other spell that requires an attack roll uses "spell attack roll" or "make a spell attack". TP should follow that convention as well.

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There are some slight typos:

Paralyzed: You body is frozen in place

(You is used instead of your)

Stupefied: Your can't access your full mental faculties

(Your is used instead of you)

It seems like the two words got switched.

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MaxAstro wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
situationally it could be an advantage, particularly with fewer overall weapon dice than before meaning the damage gap is smaller for a lower die size.
... Did Mark just confirm that no dice are coming from anywhere else to replace the loss of +4/+5 weapons?

The loss of weapon dice dmg seems to be made up for my class abilities (such as Hunter's Edge which saw an improvement from the playtest or the Barbarian instinct specialization which we haven't seen yet)

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Logan Bonner wrote:
BinbouMiko wrote:
One thing I that interests me about this is if striking takes the same slot as flaming, and if those are still constant d6. If so, then we get to make a choice like in Monster Hunter World, where big raw d12 weapons want striking, but a weak d4 dagger would be better with elemental first.
*pssst* one of the advantages of fundamental runes is that they don't count toward the item's total number of runes.

Thanks for clarifying this. That's how I thought it worked, but it's good to have official word on this mechanic to assuage players

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Goblin learn! Goblin find! Goblin sharpest knives and minds!

One possible way to increase the value of some stats is to tie them to saves.

E.g. either STR and CON may be used for Fort saves
Either DEX or INT may be used for Reflex saves
Either WIS or CHA may be used for Will saves

This does have the downside of not boosting INT’s value by much, since DEX is also tied to AC and initiative, and INT classes generally want to boost DEX a fair amount anyway

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ChibiNyan wrote:

There's that "Spell Substitution" spoilers now. It's essentially the old "Quick Preparation" except it's now a Thesis, so it will not be Universal to all wizards.

Just gonna say it'll be very hard to compete with this thesis since it can be used unlimited times. I liked it when it was free for all wizards since it wasn't going to dictate builds.

When it was a feat it basically was a feat tax that all Wizards took because of how powerful and flexible it was.

I don’t know what the other Wizard theses are like, but chances are players will now have an actual choice to make w.r.t. their Wizardy abilities, and I see that as a good thing

NielsenE wrote:

Just found #46 abandoned in the hotel:

Resolve Cleric Class Feature 9th
You've steeled your mind with resolve. Your proficiency rank for Will saves increases to master. When you roll a success at a Will save, you get a critical success instead.

Spoiler #46 #MyPathfinder Spoiler

Spellmonger wrote:

I am very curious about #45, the "Cloistered Cleric", as a "Cleric Doctrine". I don't remember cleric doctrines from the playtest. I am very curious to learn more about those, which makes me especially curious to learn what #46 might be since we have not seen that one revealed yet.

From earlier in the thread. It's not another doctrine unfortunately.

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It seems Focus points start at 1 for everyone and there are feats that increase your Focus pool. Sorcs have 2 in their class feat list and even have feats that make them recover Focus faster (though I think the speedy recovery is their niche and no other classes get those)

Edge93 wrote:
Is this implication correct that there's no daily limit on Quicken? O_O

The feat lists its frequency as once per day, so there is a limit.

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That part sounded fun in theory but was not so fun in practice, in my experience.

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I gotta add my voice to Edge and Captain Morgan in saying that I'm cautiously pessimistic about these changes.

I felt the emphasis in PF2 on teamwork and eking out small advantages in order to turn the tides of battle makes gameplay a fun experience. Perhaps a few tweaks are needed to get the ideal experience for the average playgroup, but I think these proposed changes, taken in a vacuum, are a bit too drastic.

I disagree heavily with the proficiency changes to untrained. It is my impression that the prevalent argument for this change is that characters shouldn't be automatically good at everything just because of their level, because it breaks immersion. I personally think it's a minor sacrifice to make to ensure everyone has a chance at attempting something, even if they haven't trained in it. A hail Mary try to grab the ledge by the Bard who's never worked out in his life but who's desperate to stay alive makes for a cool story moment, because there's a chance he succeeds. With this new change, his chance of success is 0, and his chance to critically fail is high. The change also doesn't really solve the problem of immersion-breaking. A high-level character previously untrained in a skill could spend a Skill Increase to suddenly get a + Level+2 bonus to that skill? How does it make any sense that a frail old Wizard suddenly becomes decently athletic because he decided this level is the level he finally takes training in Athletics? I don't think it makes more sense than a Wizard who's adventured for 15 levels but who hasn't had any formal training in Athletics being somewhat good at it, just by virtue of his accumulated experience.

The widened gap between proficiency ranks also concerns me, in that it will be more difficult to balance challenges for characters of varying proficiency ranks. I'm sure Paizo is aware of this and will come up with some way to mitigate the effects of proficiency now being +2/4/6/8. I'll withhold further comments until they make this information available.

It's still too early to judge where these changes will lead, but my first impressions of them are below average.

We would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those blasted mind control spells! Ramlock was gonna get so many bombs chucked at him if his ugly appearance didn't confuse everyone.

I had fun throwing bombs all over the place with the Alchemist, but the 2 actions it takes to draw and drink a potion is pretty nasty. It makes the Alchemist not as effective a healer, since I can't pro-actively heal my allies. If they choose not to heal on their turn, then I have no way to help them. I would've liked a way to throw healing potions to my allies like in Final Fantasy Tactics.

Crexis wrote:

Thanks edge, just for clarity, if I go with Filchers Fork I can increase the backstabber precision damage if I can get the weapon quality increased.

How would one get that weapon quality increased? Can you train into it somehow, or buy one in a city?

To increase your weapon quality, you need to pay a certain sum of gold (35gp for Expert, 360gp for Master, 6500gp for Legendary) in order to upgrade your weapon.

If you obtain a magic weapon, it is the minimum quality required to have the potency rune attached to it.

+1-2 Weapon: Expert
+3-4 Weapon: Master
+5 Weapon: Legendary

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That's the problem with magic users being limited by a non-renewable daily resource and martial characters having access to all their toys all the time. An at will resource needs to be weaker than a limited resource to be balanced. Fundamentally, the characters operate on separate systems, so there will always be an inherent imbalance between them.

An easy way to get the balance right would be to make both sides use similar resource systems, but it's much more tricky to do so when the characters are this different. There's a bunch of tuning to do, but I think the playtest made some progress in getting things on the right track.

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Level 1 is more like rocket tag than anything. Both monsters and PCs can die quite quickly. Monsters do die in less than 1 round sometimes. This is true even with PF2's low level characters having a bit more hp than before.

I think it's fine that low level monsters die quickly. They need to, because they can kill you just as quickly. After the first couple of levels, you can employ more abilities and fights can start lasting a bit longer to give you the opportunity to use those abilities. At 1st level, should the fight go on too long, it quickly gets boring because all you can do is move and attack usually.

Looks fine to me. An equal level monster isn't meant to be fought solo anyway, so if 1 person can kill it in ~10 turns at the highest level, that means 4 people will take ~2.5 turns of focus fire to get it (assuming they're all carbon copies of the first character with no special benefits). In reality, they might even kill it earlier by getting bonuses from flanking, class features, buffs, debuffs etc.

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Having to choose just 1 thing I want in the final edition is difficult, but after spending some time in consideration, I'd have to say:

Please continue what you guys are trying to do with removing old RPG traditions that have fallen by the wayside in modern games. In particular, I think Vancian casting is outdated and unfun in practice, and it would not hurt the game to have it removed.

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Ninja in the Rye wrote:

Looks pretty emphatic that they are not considering any changes to magic weapons.

They're considering lowering the bonus from magic weapons. Mark said on stream that they want a PC to be able to pick up a random weapon and still be somewhat effective in combat.

Right now, you lose up to 5 attack bonus and 5dX damage if you lose your magic weapon. They want the loss to be more bearable.

Personally, I disagree with this approach. Even a -2 penalty to attack can make you feel pretty useless in combat, so I'd rather they go all the way and remove the need for magic weapons altogether. However, it seems Paizo wants to try a half-and-half approach, where half your combat effectiveness comes from your level and abilities, and half comes from your magic items.

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citricking wrote:
They want magic weapons to be important, I think they would still be important if they just had cool abilities and property runes. Items giving number bonuses makes them necessary to have to not fall behind.

This is how I'd prefer it as well. 5e made an attempt at this, but in the end they still deferred to a +1-3 hierarchy. If PF2 is bold enough to get rid of numerical bonuses from magic weapons and armour altogether and stuck to interesting powers / property runes, I'll be very happy.

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Some notes from the Q&A session of today's stream. Answers from Mark and Jason are paraphrased:

- What's the data on people's feelings about removing potency runes / automatic bonus progression?

Mark: First time this question was posed, people were not too thrilled. Second time, worded slightly differently (do weapons need to go to +5?), 75% of answers were ok with weapons not contributing all the way to PC accuracy/damage.

This means they're exploring the possibility of having weapons be less influential to a PC's damage, and adding damage/accuracy from elsewhere.

Jason (in chat): Magic weapons aren't going anywhere though. Players like having magic items be important.

- What's the news on future updates?

Mark: Currently no plans for update 1.7. The update schedule was breakneck, and we want to give players time to catch their breath and finish the playtest.

Jason (in chat): We're looking for ways for folks to have fun with the game in the new year while waiting for the final release.

Jason (in chat): Look forward to preview rules pieces after the new year.

- What about the Dinosaur Fort mentioned in a previous stream?


- They talked a bit about monster conversion. Mark said it's easy to convert from PF1 -> PF2. Much harder in reverse, because monster creation in PF1 is more complicated.

- Are there any plans to make buffs last longer?

Mark: PF1 had issues with parties pre-buffing themselves to high heaven. His own party did this often. The party would then steamroll an encounter and it would feel anti-climactic.

Now that Treat Wounds exists, there is incentive to rest for 10 minutes after a fight. Adding back 10 minute buffs would create an interesting choice for parties. Should they rest and recover hp or push ahead while maintaining their buffs?

- Any comments on the non-stackability of Rage/Inspire Courage/Bless?

Mark: Bless and Inspire Courage likely will still not stack. A party without a Bard but with a Cleric will see the Cleric casting Bless. Otherwise, the Cleric can be freed up to cast other stuff (like Bane, which is what the Cleric in his party did).

For Rage, there are tentative Rage changes in development. This ties in to the potency rune changes. No clear details were given here, but conversations are happening about it.

Please keep the discussion to the new information from the stream, thank you!

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If the enemies don't rush the party all at once but trickle in wave by wave, a party of 4 can probably survive against 20+ monsters of their level-4, depending on rolls etc.

This is because enemies won't be able to hit the PCs most of the time, while the PCs will be critting them more often than not. Depending on the optimization level of your party, the fight could even be 1-sided for the PCs.

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Alright, here's Norn, the Goblin bomber.

Key stats:
HP: 194 (244 before Mutagen)
AC: 38
TAC: 37
Speed: 30 ft
Class DC: 32
Fort: 23 (26 before Mutagen)
Ref: 29 (28 before Mutagen)
Will: 25
Perception: 22

Abilities & Tactics:

Norn has 22 reagents, 1 of which he uses each day to craft a batch of 2 True Quicksilver Mutagens. He imbibes one of them and gains +5 item bonus to Acrobatics, Stealth, Thievery, Reflex Saves and Ranged Attacks. He has 50 less max hp and suffers a -3 item penalty to Fortitude saves.

Norn can use Quick Alchemy to make Alchemist's Fire and Bottled Lightning all day long. Thanks to Sticky Bomb and Calculated Splash, they do the same splash and persistent damage as his higher level bombs, making them reliable damage dealers.

Norn can make True Elixirs of Life, which heal for 14d6 hp. He can also make all manners of antidotes, antiplagues, and other utility elixirs as needed.

Norn's Bombs have a 60ft range and ignores screening and concealment. They have a +30 bonus to hit TAC. He can stay safe and chuck bombs with reckless abandon, since his splash damage ignores allies.

If enemies get close, Norn has a Sturdy Adamantine Shield he can use to boost his AC and prevent damage. He can also sic 'em with his +4 Holy Flaming Dogslicer. If his Shield gets damaged, Norn can repair it with just 1 action in the heat of battle.

Norn's weakness is enemies with resistances. Unfortunately, he has to choose between a mutagen that lasts the entire day, or a bomb that can penetrate resistances. He chose the mutagen. Without it, Norn is severely hampered, as his bombs become much less accurate.

If you think you can handle drinking the mutagen before each combat and offset the 50 damage it does to you, then feel free to take Exploitive Bomb instead of Persistent Mutagen. You can also swap out Extend Elixir for Laboratory Safety if you want if you go this route.

I have a level 17 Goblin Bomber Alchemist using the 1.6 update. Is there an online builder where I can put the info in and post a link here? I just built him from notes and input the character details on roll20.

Congratulations on defeating the insane challenge of part 5! Our group gave it a go, but we were thwarted at the Demilich. We had only 4 players, and we didn't manage to exploit the demons' weaknesses all that well. I think having more players to contribute actions and spread damage around is really helpful to ensure success in this adventure.

For more information, our group had:

Human Fighter: With a +3 Holy Falchion, the Fighter did the most damage to the monsters. I had some really lucky crits which did upwards of 70 damage a pop, leading to some enemies being killed in 1 round.

Half-Orc Divine Sorcerer/Paladin/Cleric: Our main healer and support. He helped keep us alive with channels and heal spells, and provided some aoe support with Cone of Cold and Black Tentacles.

Human Barbarian/Wizard/Fighter: Our other frontliner. Outfitted with a shield, he relied on his Shield Boss and Spirit's Wrath to provide additional damage while soaking up the hits.

Dwarven Druid/Rogue: Our Storm Druid likes to shoot Cold Iron arrows and throw cantrips around, but I don't remember him casting many actual spells. There was maybe a Tempest Surge here or there.

Right away, we lacked heavy hitters, and we also didn't have a lot of healing resources to throw around.

Our Barbarian couldn't do too much damage, being restricted to a d6 weapon. Rage being 3 rounds didn't help, and even when it was up, we felt the damage it added wasn't worth sacrificing the round of fatigue. He was also stuck in a Reverse Gravity for most of the fight vs. the Treachery Demons.

Our Sorcerer was swamped with trying to keep people alive, and the Black Tentacles didn't do as much as we had hoped. Not only was the damage not up to par, the lack of accuracy meant it didn't actually hit most of the time. He managed to Dispel the Lich's Mirror Image, which helped immensely in bringing it down. However, he wasn't able to spot the fact that I was Dominated in time, and his counteract check failed when he tried to Dispel it.

Our Druid kind of... was just there. He either shot some arrows that are hit or miss, or he cast a cantrip. The 2 actual spells I remember him casting was Entangle and Cone of Cold (and a Tempest Surge once). Oh, there's some Sneaking around trying to make enemies flat-footed as well.

I was given the holy rune by the group, and the combination of the Forceful property and Certain Strike meant that I almost always did damage. I also had up to 5 attacks in a round, using Potions of Quickness and the feat Desperate Finisher, leading to some big turns. However, when the Lich arrived, I failed to save repeatedly against his Dominate, and we lost a lot of resources trying to kill him while I was disabled.

Once the Demilich came, our party was kind of split. The Druid had been permanently paralyzed by the Lich (by failing to save vs. his paralyzing touch, which critted), and the Sorcerer and Fighter decided we would make our last stand inside the crypt. The Barbarian, however, chose to go out fighting outside, buying us some time. We all quickly fell to the dreadful undead, but we put up a fight before going down.

Joe M. wrote:
D Dog wrote:
One issue keeps coming up: combats are running too long for us.

Apparently you aren't alone in this experience. On Friday's Twitch stream Jason said it's one of the big trends emerging from playtest survey data. So they're looking at it.

(I was a little surprised to hear this. Not my group's experience. But apparently we're in the minority.)

Our group's fights have been slightly on the long side (in terms of rounds), but that depends on the encounter.

- We had an outlier combat that ran for 13 rounds because the monster went invisible and we kept failing Perception checks to sense it, then we did find it, we missed our flat checks to hit it, and it immediately re-positioned, breaking line of sight and starting the tango again.

- We had straightforward fights where the monsters went down in an expected amount of time (3-4 rounds).

- We had tough fights where the monsters were close to our level (sometimes slightly higher) that went on for longer (6-8 rounds) because we did not hit them often enough, and they had more hp.

- We had super tough fights where our main damage dealer was disabled thanks to a key spell (Confusion or Dominate). The rest of the team had to make do, leading to the fight lasting several rounds longer and consuming more resources.

The long fights were more prominent at higher levels (9 and 12 respectively), but we also had a few long fights at level 7 (the aforementioned invisible enemy).

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If anyone from Paizo is reading this thread, here’s my feedback to add to the data: please keep untrained at -2 (or -4 as it currently is). It’s much more important to me that the underlying game system is functional than that it is flavourful or gives a sense of verisimilitude.

Removing the +level to untrained proficiencies requires a lot of work for very little gain. You would need to watch out for abilities that target skill DCs (or require skill checks to pass a DC), and your future design space is constrained because you’ll need to constantly be vigilant of this little snag that screws up the otherwise consistent math of the system.

And what does all this effort achieve? For players to be able to say “I never learned to swim, so I shouldn’t be good at it”? That argument breaks down when you consider how broad skills are in the playtest, as well as in other modern RPGs (5e being one). Athletics governs not just swimming, but climbing and jumping. Someone could be a world class athlete but never learned to swim, and the rules don’t have a way to show a difference between them swimming and someone else who isn’t at all athletic swimming. But that’s not a problem at all, because a player can choose to role play this one weakness (inability to swim) if they so choose.

The game is moving away from arbitrary penalties to players just because they are traditional and how things were always done. Why impose a core rule that brings this back? If you guys see no choice but to make untrained a synonym for “completely unable to contribute in any meaningful manner”, then please make it an optional rule that GMs can implement in their home games, not the standard to which all games are assumed to adopt initially.

I'll add in my vote for an update bringing multiclass archetypes in line with the changes in 1.6. Our playgroup will likely tackle the last part in the coming weeks, and high level play is the perfect time to test out multiclassing.

I'd love to know if MCing Alchemist grants access to Perpetual Infusions, or if there is a feat to grant the Ranger's Hunter's Edge etc.

It seems there are quite a few votes for a shorter but more powerful Rage. If Paizo decides to go this route, my feedback is that the current Rage is both too short and too weak, especially at higher levels.

Too short: Combat at mid-high levels, especially difficult boss fights, tend to last 8+ rounds. I've played through these fights in Affair in Sombrefell Hall, Mirrored Moon and Heroes of Undarin. I've seen encounters last longer than a single Haste spell a few times. Having the Barb spend 25% of the fights fatigued is a bit much.

Please increase the duration of Rage, even if you decide to change it according to the "shorter, but more powerful" guidelines. Start at 3 rounds, but increase the duration as the Barb levels, and perhaps even remove the duration altogether at level 20.

Not powerful enough: +2-7 conditional bonus to damage is not enough to give Barbs the "wow" factor needed while raging. The defensive bonuses are also shoddy (not enough temp hp / DR) right now. I'd like to see both offense and defense boosted, so the Barb feels unstoppable while raging.

SUGGESTION for damage: Instead of a flat bonus to damage, consider adding exploding dice to the Barb's damage (dice that you get to reroll if you get the max value on a roll). That way, you get both power and unreliability.

The progression for damage dice can be 1d4 -> 2d4 -> 3d4 -> 3d6 -> 3d8->3d10. The average damage for exploding dices are:

d4: 3.38
d6: 4.2
d8: 5.14
d10: 6.11

Which would give you an average damage increase of:
3.38 -> 6.76 -> 10.14 -> 12.6 -> 15.42 -> 18.33

With the potential for even greater burst damage.

Gortle wrote:
Pramxnim wrote:
The attack modifiers are much more egregious. A Fighter at level 20 gets +35 to attack, while a spellcaster gets +30 with their attacks vs. AC and +32 for their spell attacks (assuming 20 Dex and the best item bonus for each case).

AFAICT the STR companions will have +8 STR bonus and the DEX companion will have a +9 DEX bonus at level 20, along with expert rank in unarmed attack. That is around about +30 at level 20 which is about what a caster will be doing. I think that is fair. It has to be less than the fighter or why would you play a fighter.

OK maybe they could go another +1

The big problem is the AC for the STR companion, and the lack of options to do things with your companion, as they are immune to almost everything you can do to enhance them.

If we take into account the ability modifier bonus from animal type, we have the following stats for STR and DEX type companions:

Possible STR bonuses:
1 from animal type (Bear, Horse, Snake)
2 from young companion
1 from full-grown companion
2 from savage companion
1 from specialization

Total : 7 STR

Possible DEX bonuses:
1 from animal type (Bird, Cat, Dromaeosaur, Snake, Wolf)
2 from young companion
1 from full-grown companion
2 from nimble companion
2 from specialized companion
1 from specialization

Total: 9 DEX

For a STR-companion, the total AC is:
10 + 20 + 3 (heavy barding) + 6 (DEX) = 39 AC (40 if Snake)

And total attack modifier is:
20 + 1 (expert) + 7 (STR) = +28

Both of these are pretty low. The AC has gone up by 2 (Barding now gives +3 instead of +2, and the young companion DEX bump), but the attack modifier stayed the same. +28 is 2 lower than a spellcaster's attack bonus vs. AC, and a full 7 points behind the Fighter.

For a DEX-companion, the total AC is:
10 + 20 + 2 (master) + 3 (item bonus when not wearing barding) + 9 (DEX) = 44 AC

And total attack modifier is:
20 + 1 (expert) + 9 (DEX) = +30

The DEX-companions AC went up by a whopping 4 (they gain the 3 item bonus to AC when not wearing barding, and the young companion DEX bump), making their AC quite good.

For reference, 42 AC is the baseline for PCs wearing non-heavy armour (10+20+7+5). Rogues and Rangers can get up to 43 by ditching armour and wearing Bracers of Armour. Fighters get up to 44, Paladins up to 45, and Monks get up to 46.

+30 to attack is also respectable. That's the bonus that a spellcaster gets with 20 DEX and a +5 weapon.

All in all, update 1.6 made DEX-companions a viable option, but still leaves STR-companions wanting. Animal companions that have no boost to either STR nor DEX still remain trap options, since their other abilities don't make up for their shortcomings.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Quick poll of folks reading this thread...

Which would you prefer...

1. A rage that lasted the whole fight but was not as powerful.
2. A rage that lasted a variable or shorter amount of time but was more powerful.
3. A rage that lasted as long as you wanted it, but was mostly all about dealing more damage and a bigger cost to accuracy or defense

Not scientific... just kinda curious of the pulse of the folks reading this...

Of the 3 choices, I prefer #1. After having played with a Barbarian in the party, I notice that fights tend to go on the longer side at high levels, and having the rage only last 3 rounds (or 3.38 rounds on average with update 1.6) is too short and leads to the Barbarian being restricted too much by the round of fatigue. Even while raging, the Barb wasn't doing as much as the Fighter, who can constantly perform 2-5 attacks per turn (with the help of Haste and Desperate Finisher to get the 4th and 5th attacks), hit more often and deal just as much, if not more damage.

Personally, I think the bonuses granted by Rage currently are still on the weak side, and does not justify the lower duration.

Outside of the 3 choices, my preferred option for Rage would be like how D&D 4e handled it. A Rage that lasts until the end of the encounter, started by a tremendously powerful attack, which then confers flavourful abilities for the Barbarian. There are also many different kinds of Rages you can go into, further increasing the versatility of the class.

shroudb wrote:

About Alchemist :

1)Actually, 1.6 REMOVED mutagens from everybody except mutagenic.

Mutagens are uncommon, thus you need access. Previously, Alchemist had a level 5 class feature (mutagen discovery or something like that) that gave that access.

Now, that's gone.

2)chirurgeon perpetual

It's not "weaker", it's 100% redundant. It actually gives +0 bonus due to armor bonuses not stacking with it


A) dc14 is useless at 7. Similarly for all other poisons he gets from perpetual.

B) 3 actions for a single attack that 50% (if you use powerful Alchemy feat as you suggest) deals +1d4 is useless. Just wack the enemy twice, for more damage and less actions.

C) Potent poisoner is way better than powerful Alchemy. Due to action limitations of powerful only working the round you make it. Potent can be used for Advanced, which means double doses and can be preapplied in arrows and weapons.

1. I hope this is an oversight. There's no reason to restrict mutagens to only mutagenists, right?

2. The alchemical items themselves are not great anyways, but at the levels you can Perpetually Infuse them, they're not entirely outclassed by magic armour.

At level 7, you should have +1 Magic Armor, an Antidote still gives you a net +1 bonus to Fort saves, and it's free.

At level 11, you should have +2 Magic Armor, a Greater Antidote still gives you a net +2 bonus to Fort saves, and it's free.

At level 15, you should have +3 Magic Armor, a True Antidote still gives you a net +1 bonus to Fort saves, and a free saving throw vs. a lower level poison, and it's free.

3. I've commented on the action economy involving poisons, and I agree that they take too many actions to apply. For point A, the DC is fixed by taking Powerful Alchemy, which is a prerequisite for Potent Poisoner anyways, so even if Potent Poisoner is better, it's a moot point because you'd have powerful Alchemy regardless.

Thanks for pointing out the typo in Monstrosity Form. I did notice it, but forgot to put it in the post.

STR Animal Companions still need some help in the survival department. You're right that I didn't count the companion base stat modifier. 43 AC is already scratching the minimum optimal AC for PCs to have at that level (minimum is 41 for an unarmored PC with 20 Dex and Bracers +6), so having 38 AC is pretty unacceptable, especially since they don't have more hp than their Dex counterparts.

The attack modifiers are much more egregious. A Fighter at level 20 gets +35 to attack, while a spellcaster gets +30 with their attacks vs. AC and +32 for their spell attacks (assuming 20 Dex and the best item bonus for each case).

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Ah, you're right. I looked in the rulebook and the wording remained the same there.

Pretty sure it's a typo though. It makes no sense to restrict mutagens, which were already kinda lacklustre, to the mutagenist only.

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It does not. Under Advanced Alchemy, there's a paragraph that starts with "Each time you gain a new level, you can add formulas for two alchemical items to your formula book. These can be of any level of item you can create."

There's no restriction on rarity for the 2 formulas you add to your book when leveling up. These formulas can therefore be Mutagens. You also have the option of finding or buying uncommon mutagen formulas, or inventing them with the Inventor feat.

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Update 1.6 dropped today, and it's a big one, including changes to all classes, big to small. Here are my feedback on all the changes in today's update, along with my rationale for them.

1. Somatic Casting change:

A relatively small change, but it's a very welcome action economy boost to various classes and builds. This change obsoletes Warded Touch and Emblazon Symbol, and allows for spellcasters wielding 2-handed weapons to be a thing without the song and dance of changing grips. The image of a Sorcerer waving his greatsword around before touching a foe with his hand still holding it is quite amusing, though.

Also makes it so spellcasters can actually contemplate using crossbows as a fallback weapon now, since they can still cast spells while holding it. Overall an excellent change, bravo!

2. Alchemist and Alchemical items:

Acid Flask and Alchemist's Fire got buffed (Acid Flask damage from d4s->d6s, and Alchemist Fire is no longer an auto-recover without outside assistance).

Mutagens now have level 1 versions and can be crafted from the start. If you're a mutagenist, Bestial Mutagen grants the equivalent of Magic Fang for yourself as early as level 1, which is very welcome. I'm still not a big fan of mutagens because of the drawbacks, but I must admit this is largely due to me not having played an Alchemist yet. Mutagens may actually be pretty decent now, if you're a Mutagenist.

Research Fields:

I'll give my initial impressions of each Field, and how I effective I think they will be, theoretically speaking only, of course. I'll look at the initial bonus from Research Field, and the bonuses from Field Discovery and Greater Field Discovery as well. Henceforth, they'll be referred to as FD and GFD

Bomber: The basic, straightforward field for bomb-loving alchemists. The bonus it grants is not completely crucial to an Alchemist, but Bombers can throw their stuff with reckless abandon, which is a very nice quality of life trait, especially when you factor in Calculated Splash.
FD and GFD increases the Alchemist's proficiency with bombs to Expert, then Master. This is an incredibly welcome change, and one that I've requested in the past. However, Bombs still do not benefit from an item bonus to hit, which means Alchemists are STILL less accurate than their spellcaster counterparts who also target TAC and can benefit from Spell Duelist items.

Suggestion: Alchemists can reach up to +27 (22 proficiency + 5 Dex) to hit with bombs, while spellcasters can get to +32 with touch attacks (23 prof + 5 Dex + 4 item). My suggestion is to give Alchemists an item (gloves of throwing or something) that grants them a +1-5 item bonus to attack rolls with bombs. That way, they at least can keep up with monster TAC and can contribute meaningfully in combat. Please do not tie this bonus in with bomb levels, because it would mean perpetual bombs would be less accurate, which defeats the point of them being the Alchemist's damaging cantrip equivalent.

Chirurgeon: For the healers out there. I love the ability to use Crafting instead of Medicine. This allows the Alchemist to Treat Wounds effectively without having to invest in Wisdom. It's a strong ability, and a good incentive for picking this Field. I love it.
FD lets you prepare more elixirs, which brings your healing potential up even more (it also lets you prepare more mutagens). GFD lets your on the fly Elixirs of Life heal for full value, which is great in the heat of battle (also, it's basically Perfect Medicine, which is quite strong 3 to obtain 3 levels earlier).

Suggestion: I don't know if you guys played Final Fantasy Tactics, but the Chemist class there has a unique ability called Throw Potion, which lets them deploy healing items at range. I think it would be very neat if the Chirurgeon can throw elixirs at allies from afar, kind of like a reverse bomber.

Mutagenist: The only way to obtain mutagen formulas at level 1 (normal Alchemists need to wait till level 2 to grab them), being a mutagenist also reduces the onset time of your mutagens on yourself, which is great for the Alchemist who likes to brawl it out with bestial mutagens.
FD lets you ignore the onset times altogether, and GFD gives Expert proficiency in unarmed attacks. A mutagenist that multiclasses Monk can be a pretty effective melee fighter, especially since you effectively have access to a better melee weapon sooner than everyone else in the party (Your weapon scales at levels 1-5-9-13-17 instead of 4-8-12-16-20).

Suggestion: I don't know enough about Mutagens to make any suggestions here. I don't like the drawbacks and the long onset times, but they're a minor annoyance at worst.

Poisoner: Without this ability, it's not worth it to try to specialize in poisons. Applying poison quickly is very welcome, but it's still not enough to cover the action economy of trying to poison your foes mid-combat.
You need an Interact action to take out the poison, an action to apply it, then an action to attack. If you're in melee, this takes up your entire turn and provokes an attack of opportunity. If you're using a crossbow, you will need to reload next turn and won't be able to constantly fire off poisoned bolts.
FD and GFD for the poisoner are a little bit uninspired. It's basically the feats Poison Resistance (with a +2 conditional bonus instead of +1) and Poison Touch) for free.

Suggestion: The Alchemist is still pretty lacking in terms of effective action economy. This applies to all Fields, not just the poisoner. I'll cover this suggestion at the end of the Alchemist section.

Perpetual Infusions:

I absolutely LOVE this feature. I believe I've suggested letting the Alchemist perform free Quick Alchemy once or twice an encounter, but this is just as good (and doesn't require tracking). I disliked the original Alchemist's reliance on Quick Alchemy for his feats (like the excellent Debilitating Bomb line) because QA won't last for the entire adventuring day, but now the Alchemist truly has a fallback for when he runs out of Reagent Batches. This is my favourite change in the new Alchemist. Kudos to Paizo devs for going this route.

Bomber: Lesser bombs are still good for applying status effects via Debilitating Bomb and exploiting weaknesses via splash damage. This is probably the strongest option for Perpetual Infusions, since the actual damage you're losing is not too big. Needs Calculated Splash for maximum effect.

Chirurgeon: The weakest option, but still nice if your party encounters Poison and Disease often. I would suggest creating an Elixir that grants temporary HP that can be created with the Chirurgeon's Perpetual Infusion. This at least lets the Alchemist spend his turns to pre-emptively prevent damage, and doesn't compete with Elixir of Life for actual healing. The amount of temp hp could be the same as Elixir of Life's healing.

Mutagenist: Lower level Mutagens are... incredibly underwhelming due to how item bonuses scale in PF2. If you're making items that grant a bonus 2 lower than expected for your character level, they're pretty much useless.

Suggestion: Mutagens should probably grant a one-shot effect in addition to their static bonuses. That way, even lower level Mutagens can be useful to some degree. As is, Mutagenists benefit the least from Perpetual Infusions.

Poisoner: The low DC of low level poisons can be counteracted by Powerful Alchemy, making even low level poisons kind of effective. However, considering this point brought up 2 more issues with the Alchemist for me:

1. Potent Poisoner (lvl 10 feat) is redundant. Powerful Alchemy (lvl 8 feat) already increases the DC of poisons to your class DC, and Potent Poisoner basically only applies to poisons crafted with Advanced Alchemy. It doesn't even work with lower level poisons. Potent Poisoner is just a very blah feat that should be buffed or removed altogether.

2. The Alchemist's DCs are pretty poor. Class DCs in general do not keep up with monster saves. Even Spell DCs can't keep up, and Class DCs are up to 3 points behind. This is not just a problem with the underlying math, but with the discrepancy between spellcasters and other classes that use DCs for their powers/features. If spellcasters can get up to +3 to their DC, the other classes need a way to compete with that somehow.

Double Brew moved being moved from Level 13 to Level 9 is very nice. Though it does beg the question: when you craft 2-3 items with Double Brew/Alchemical Alacrity, what are you holding them with? Is it possible to hold multiple alchemical items in 1 hand?


Research Fields are a very nice way for Alchemists to specialize and I LOVE Perpetual Infusions (though Mutagens do need some love here). Overall, these Alchemist changes are very good, and extremely welcome. It shows you guys listened to feedback and responded in kind.

Alchemists still have a few remaining issues:

- Bombs are still inaccurate compared to spells. Before, Empower Bombs added +2 item bonus to bomb attacks, but Alchemists are only Trained in bombs. Now, they are Master with Bombs but lose the +2 item bonus to attack. They need at least a +4, if not +5 item bonus to bomb attacks to make them comparable with spell touch attack accuracy.
SUGGESTION: Grant them the bonus somehow, either baked into the class progression (but not with Research Field, so that other alchemists can also use bombs regularly), or by introducing a new magic item that grants this bonus (some kind of magic Gloves, for example)

- Mutagen bonuses are still lacking some... oomph, resulting in Perpetual Infusion-made mutagens quite useless.
SUGGESTION: Give mutagens a one-shot effect that corresponds to the type and that's useful regardless of the item's level, and that is activated by a free action triggering at the start of your turn. For example, Quicksilver Mutagen could grant the imbiber an extra action for 1 turn at early levels, and the Quick condition for 1 minute at higher levels.

- The Alchemist's action economy is lacking. Using Interact to draw an item, then another action to use it is clunky and requires a free hand. Same with using Quick Alchemy to create the item. This is especially true for Poisons.
SUGGESTION: Field Research or Greater Field Research could grant you basically Quick Draw for Alchemical Items. You can either Interact to draw an Alchemical item and use it, or use Quick Alchemy to create an item and use it in 1 action. This should apply regardless of your Research Field and would help tremendously with action economy.

3. Barbarians:

The Rage change is... okay? I think flavourfully, it fits very well. I'm just afraid that mechanically it adds needless complexity and doesn't fix the main issues with the Barbarian.

The proficiency boost from Expert to Master is a good step in the right direction, but the Barbarian is still lacking something. The damage gap between the Barb and Fighter is now much lower. However, the Fighter still has a slight edge, not accounting for feats.

For me, the Barbarian's remaining issues are:
- Damage, not accuracy. Barbs should be doing more burst damage than other classes, but they should be a little bit feast or famine. This is represented in their lower accuracy compared to a Fighter, but the tradeoff is more damage. Currently, the damage bonus the Barb gets is not enough of a tradeoff, even with the 1.6 buff.
SUGGESTION: Either slightly buff the conditional bonus damage from Rage, or implement another way for Barbs to get their fantasy of big numbers without affecting their overall accuracy. It could be as simple as increasing their critical range (a la the Fighter's Savage Critical) while raging, but lock it so that Multiclass characters can't abuse it.

- Resilience. I maintain the the temp hp gained from Raging is too little, and the Barb's damage resistance class feature is too restrictive and minor. In our playtest group's recent foray into Heroes of Undarin, I noticed that our Barbarian player did not get to apply their damage resistance very often, and their temp hp always vanished in a single hit. That's not living up to the fantasy of a berserker ignoring flesh wounds to rampage across the battlefield, slaying foes along the way.

4. Cantrip increase:
A minor buff, but still a nice boost for spellcasters, increasing their versatility.

5. Bard:
At first, I thought locking muse feats to be a weird choice that made no sense, but upon reading more carefully, nothing has changed compared to before, just... the prereqs for feats are more clear, and Multifarious Muse is the same functionally as taking another level 1 feat for a different Muse.

6. Cleric:
Not much to say here. The Channel Energy nerf is warranted, since Clerics used to overshadow other healers in the party.

7. Druid:
Many nice changes here, especially for the Wild Order Druid. Removing prerequisites from higher level Wild Shape feats lets Wild Order Druids be more flexible with their feat choices, which is great. The little bonuses corresponding to each Wild Shape feat (like resistance for Elemental and Dragon Shape) also add a bit of flair to the ability.

Goodberry healing buff brings it in line with other healing spells and relieves some of the burden that Clerics have as the main healer class.

I love Wild Morph. So much more flavourful than Wild Claws. The persistent damage at higher levels is great, basically a souped up version of the Wounding Rune.

The Druid's remaining issues for me are:

- Wild Shape still has low attack modifiers and DCs (for Dragon Form especially). I hope to see this addressed in the final rulebook.

- Animal Companions still have low attack modifiers, even if their AC is now fixed (huzzah for that!)

- Wild Order Druid should have the option of getting Strength as a key ability, since it ties into their order perfectly.

8. Fighter:
Fighters are near-perfect. The stance change is neat, but I think this update missed a few nitpicks I still have with the class:

- Power Attack didn't get buffed. I thought Mark said it needed one?

- Two-handed weapon Fighters don't have a stance.

- Combat Reflexes either has a typo or is out of line compared to similar feats. The feat says "At the start of each turn, you gain an additional reaction that can only be used for Attacks of Opportunity". If it's truly at the start of each turn, then you're gaining 1 reaction for each of your allies' turns, and each of your enemies' turns, basically letting you perform an attack of opportunity multiple times in a round. I think the intention was to let you have only 2 attacks of opportunities a round, and the wording should be "at the start of each of your turns". Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.

9. Monk:
The Ki changes are AWESOME. Ki Strike is now actually worth taking, and Ki Rush is an alternative that boosts the Monk's mobility even further. The Concealment that Ki Rush grants also allows you to Stealth without cover, which can be quite strong. Very good for Monks that MC Rogue.

10. Paladin:
The other big class change other than Alchemist. I don't have any comments on the flavour or the alignment restrictions for each Paladin type, but I will talk about the mechanic changes.

Lay on Hands change is sweet, so is the Somatic Casting change. My level 7 Paladin at Sombrefell Hall had to take both Hospice Knight and Warded Touch, and he appreciates being able to select other feats thanks to these changes.


Shared mechanics: The resistance to damage plays to the Paladin's role as protector very well, and provides additional incentive for enemies to target them over their allies. I like it. Shield of Reckoning working with all 3 variants is also great. Combined with Shield Block, and you could potentially use your Paladin's Reaction twice per round. Finally, the reaction triggering on an attack and not just a hit is my preference for how the ability works. I'm extremely satisfied with these changes!

Quick Block adds reactions to the Paladin, providing them tools that their Fighter counterpart has. It's a most welcome addition, since one of the problems with the Paladin is their lack of available reactions.

Divine Reflexes is similar to Combat Reflexes, but comes a bit late. Plus, it competes with Aura of Vengeance. I think it's similar enough to the Fighter's Combat Reflexes for it to arrive at level 10.

Retributive Strike change is great! Combined with Ranged Reprisal, a Paladin can be more flexible when protecting his allies. It's pretty amusing that the Lawful Good Paladin is the one that can do the most damage though.

Divine Smite is the same as before, but the wording is confusing. The phrase "evil target" in the first sentence seems to imply it works only on evil monsters, but the 2nd sentence shows that anyone you hit with Retributive Strike takes the persistent good damage.

The Mighty Aura ability for RS is quite nice, and a step up from the previous Aura of Justice. Monsters beware when the Paladin is coming at you with 2 other frontliners. Aura of Vengeance boosts this even more by reducing your allies' penalty by a whopping 3!

Smite Evil is... so-so. It's a Power Attack that's more restrictive and applies persistent good damage if it hits. It's only good for exploiting good damage weakness. Thankfully, at high levels, good weakness is more prevalent, but this feat choice really depends on here your adventure takes place. It's situational at best, and the 2 weapon damage dice increase is lackluster at this level.

Glimpse of Redemption is sweet. Both options are bad for the enemy, and no choices are good. It either loses the attack, or is debuffed for 1 round. Divine Smite makes the choice even less appealing, and though normally punisher effects like this are not good, when both options are terrible for the enemy, Glimpse of Redemption ends up being quite decent.

Mighty Aura's intention seems to be to allow the Paladin and his allies to rests aoe attacks like Fireball, but the requirement of the enemy being within 15 feet means this is not possible. Perhaps Mighty Aura can loosen this requirement to make it function as intended?

Weight of Guilt is so-so. Stupefied 2 is great vs. spellcasters, but those are the ones that aren't generally within 15 feet of you when they attack.

Lasting Doubt is pretty good. -1 to attack/damage or -1 to attack/DC are both good debuffs to apply.

Liberating Step is situationally, but it can potentially be the best reaction. Many monsters try to hinder the PCs by grabbing or otherwise immobilizing them.

Divine Smite for Liberators, however, is the worst option. It doesn't trigger often enough to be reliable.

Mighty Aura provides a powerful repositioning tool for you and your allies, and can shift a battlefield in your team's favour. Requires your party to be close-knit to be fully effective though.

Unimpeded Step is again quite situational, and is even less effective if your allies have the feat Nimble (by being Elves or having taken Adopted Ancestry).

Liberating Stride is quite strong. Striding 1/2 speed outside of an ally's turn can get them out of danger or in position to flank.

Overall, I really dig the Paladin changes. I don't really have any issues with the class now.

11. Ranger:

Hunter's Edge is a nice way to distance the Ranger from the singular pew-pew attack spam build. The text isn't clear on if you need to pick 1 Hunter's Edge and stick with it, or if you get the benefit of all 3 Edges. I think it's the former, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

How does Hunter's Edge work with Multiclassing? I assume characters who MC Ranger don't get a Hunter's Edge, like how they didn't get the MAP reduction before.

The Animal Companion changes in 1.6 and the previous one that granted the Ranger's companion a free action on turns where it's not commanded has finally made the class feature viable. Sure, the companions attack modifier could use a little bit of love, but DPR-wise, it's still competitive with someone not using an animal companion.

Rangers who have an Animal Companion will very much appreciate the Precision Hunter's Edge. A Crossbow Ranger with a Cat Companion can add up to +3d6 precision damage per round, and +4d6 at level 17. That's not too shabby, even if the Rogue can still do more precision damage. The Ranger gets higher accuracy and doesn't need their enemy to be flat-footed to apply his precision damage.

12. Animal Companion:

The AC change is much needed, and now brings the Animal Companion's AC to acceptable levels. Here are some AC benchmarks with the 1.6 update:

Level 1: Dex+2, Item bonus +1 (up to +3 from barding) => AC 14-16
Level 4/6: Dex+3, Item bonus +2 (up to +3 from barding) => AC 19-20 or AC 21-22 at lvl 6
Level 8/10:
Nimble Companion gets Dex+5, Item +3, Expert prof => AC 27/29
Savage Companion gets Dex+4, Item +3 => AC 25/27

Level 14/16:
Dex-based Specialization gets Dex+7, Item +3, Master Prof => AC 36/38
Str-based Specialization gets Dex+5, Item +3 => AC 32/34

Level 20:
Dex-based companions get AC 42
Str-based companions get AC 38

In terms of accuracy, Str-based companions get Str +6, Expert prof, for a total of +27 attack at level 20.
Dex-based ones get Dex+7, Expert prof, for +28 at level 20.

These attack modifiers are still too low compared to a PCs (they get 35 max, 32 normally), and with the AC change, suddenly Dex-based companions can hit more often than their Str-based counterparts, while having more AC.

My remaining issue with Animal Companions:

- Companion attack modifiers are still too low

- Str-based companions are even worse off than before, with both their AC and attack modifier being lower than their Dex-based counterparts. It's a pity, because having a bear cavalry is a great image.

13. Rogue:

Brutes get a nice buff in medium armor proficiency and the ability to use Str instead of Dex as a key ability score. This opens them up to MCing Fighter and using Heavy armor, making them less reliant on Dex. A Grey Maiden Brute Rogue is also possible as a fun thought exercise.

Scoundrels getting Cha instead of Dex as a key ability score opens them up to multiclass into Bard or Sorcerer, further emphasizing their social trickery. Unfortunately, Feint is still a poor combat maneuver due to how high monster Perception DCs are (they're consistently higher than Will DCs, which determine the success rate of Demoralize. Demoralize remains the superior combat maneuver).

I'm not a big fan of locking Tactical and Vicious Debilitations behind the Rogue specializations, but I understand wanting to make each one unique. I'm gonna miss those 2 debiliations, though Precise Debilitation is quite good.

2 questions though: Does the enemy take the additional 2d6 precision damage when hit by the attack that applies that debilitation, or does it only apply to future attacks?

e.g. Rogue A hits a flat-footed monster and deals 2d6 sneak attack damage. He also chooses to apply the first option of Precise Debilitations. Does the enemy take a total of 4d6 sneak attack damage for this attack, or will only future attacks benefit from the extra 2d6 precision damage?

And how long does the flat-footed condition last on the enemy? Until the start of your next turn? End of your next turn? 1 minute?

14. Sorcerer:

Bloodline Heightening is an interesting ability that I think should just be included in bloodlines. That would go a long way towards alleviating this heightening restriction that's been put on spontaneous casters.

The Diabolic Bloodline seems fun. Hellfire Plume looks like an absolute blast of a power. There's a typo in the power though, the heightened entry should read "1d4 fire damage and 1d4 evil damage", not good damage.

My issues remaining with the Sorcerer:

- Still not as versatile as I would have liked. Perhaps Sorcerers can get a flexible spell(s) in their repertoire, which they can swap out during each daily preparation. Wizards can get Quick Preparation for free, why can't Sorcerers get a similar option that lets them prepare for the day's adventure?

- Some bloodline powers are still anemic (looking at you, Aberrant Bloodline). Dragon Claws could use a tune-up like the Druid's Wild Morph power.

- Doesn't feel distinct enough from the Wizard. Still feels like its inferior cousin.

15. Wizard:

Quick Preparation being automatic is good, it was pretty much a feat tax, and this increases Wizard versatility.

Spell slot trading can be preeetty powerful. You can get up to 4 more spell slots of your highest spell level, or use your lower level slots to cast higher level spells. I'd gladly trade two 1st-level slots to prepare and cast Haste 1 more time.

These two abilities push the Wizard's power even more, and makes them the definitive spellcaster, while the Sorcerer is still playing around with his 2 auto-heightened spells per day.

My issues with Wizard:

- I only have issues with this class in relation with Sorcerer. Namely, the Wizard puts the Sorcerer to shame in terms of versatility.

- The biggest problem with playing the Wizard and other prepared spellcasters is the fiddly aspect of Vancian spellcasting. I'm in the camp where getting rid of it altogether is preferred to keeping this old, dated system. I'll still play the game if the system remains, I just won't be as happy about it.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Thanks, many of these are on our list (or rarely, maybe already fixed; I swear I thought I increased dragon form's AC in 1.6?) and for those that aren't, I'm adding them to look at. Throughout this process, you and your group have consistently provided solid feedback of what worked and what didn't, with careful analysis. Thank you!

Dragon Form AC has been increased in 1.6. It's still slightly below the average AC of the corresponding levels, however.

Lvl 6 Dragon Form gives: +20 Attack, 29 AC (26 TAC), 2dX +11 damage, Breath Weapon DC 24

Average lvl 11 monster has: +22 Attack 30 AC (28 TAC), avg 25 damage

So Dragon Form is still lagging behind on attack, and very slightly on AC. That's not to mention the poor DC of the Dragon Breath, which wasn't addressed. It should at least be DC 26 to correspond with other lvl 11 monsters (like the Adult Black Dragon).

Lvl 8 Dragon Form gives: +26 Attack, 35 AC (31 TAC), 2dX + 17, Breath Weapon DC 30.

The Heightened version does not increase the damage dice of your attacks (unarmed strikes or breath weapon dice), and the attack bonus and DC are still 2 behind a level 15 monster (like the Ancient White Dragon). The tweaks do help, but the spells are still weaker than a monster of equivalent level.

For the most part, though, I love the changes in 1.6. Nothing that can't be changed by minor tweaks. I'll write a more comprehensive feedback post later.

I wrote this thread 3 months ago, well before Update 1.5 came out. The update managed to address some of my concerns, and I'm happy about it. There's still the AC and attack bonus scaling problem, but I have faith that those issues will be addressed in the final release, if not in the playtest.

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Thanks for posting this thread, it's very helpful to have the information summarized and easily accessible.

To add on a few details I've noticed while watching:

1. Jason said that they really need data on the Resonance test scenario. It's a big departure from the current system, so they need to know how well received it is.

2. Animal Companion durability was mentioned, but data didn't really point in the direction that it's a real issue. I'd note that in my case I noticed the durability problem on paper and specifically stayed away from making a character with an Animal Companion. Others may be doing the same, which means data might not be coming because some players are averse to testing the issue.

3. There are no plans to update the playtest PDF with rules changes because it would take time away from their other projects.

4. Higher level play is mentioned, and Jason said they are concerned about the "Rocket Tag" issue of other games. Data have started coming in, but right now there's not enough information just yet to determine whether they have successfully evaded the issue.

There are several nitpicks I have with the calculations, but I think the idea is sound.

I/ Certain Strike percentages:

The expected failure rate for the 2nd hit and beyond should be 45%, not 50%.

At 40% accuracy, you hit on a 13+
You miss on 4 to 12 (9 numbers, 45% rate)
You crit miss on 1 to 3 (3 numbers, 15% rate)

At 10% accuracy, you hit on a 19 or 20
You miss on 10 to 18 aka 45%
You critically miss on 1 to 9 aka 45%.

Therefore the expected damage from Certain Strike should be slightly less (5% of a minimum hit with the Falchion) on the 2nd attack and beyond. As a general rule of thumb, if the accuracy of the attack is 50% or under, the failure rate is 45%, save for extreme cases where the enemy AC is astronomically high compared to your attack (like AC 21 vs. +0 to hit).

II/ Critical percentages:

On the first attack, if accuracy is 65%, crit chance should be 15%, not 10%, given PF2's critical math.

Speaking of Crits, the Fighter should have Savage Critical, making his minimum crit chance 10%, thus increasing his DPR.

III/ Accuracy:

A fully optimized Fighter with no buffs has +35 to hit (23 from proficiency, 7 from ability, 5 from item), but Titan Mauler makes you sluggish, bringing the bonus to +34.

Vs. AC 44, you hit on a 10, or 55% chance to hit. This reduction in accuracy affects the expected damage of your 1st and 2nd attack quite a bit.

IV/ Multiclassing disadvantages:

MCing Barbarian means you only get Rage damage as a level 10 Barb at most (+4 normally, +8 as Titan Mauler).

Does the +8 bonus to damage offset the attack bonus reduction?

V/ Putting it all together:

All in all, the Fighter MC Giant Totem Barb has a +34 to hit vs. AC 44, and on a hit he does 6d12 + 2d6 + 7 (Str) + 8 (rage) = 55 average damage.

Plug in the numbers and his attack sequence (Strike + 4 Certain Strike) yields 139.5 damage.

A normal Fighter does slightly less damage, but has +35 to hit. His average damage per hit is 47 damage, and his expected damage is 147.05 damage.

So it doesn't pay to MC Barb, since the accuracy loss is not offset by the +8 to damage. You also lose some action economy and some rounds off from fatigue when you rage.

Is there an alternative way to get conditional bonus to damage without going Barbarian?

Yes, there are several:

- Have your Bard cast Inspire Courage to get a +1, with Inspire Heroics, this could go up to +3. The bonus is small without adding in uncertainty into the equation.

- Multiclass Paladin and pick up Righteous Ally (Blade) and Blade of Justice. Only works on evil enemies, and requires an action each round unless the foe attacks your allies.

- Multiclass Cavalier and pick up Challenge. Most reliable way to get +6 conditional bonus to damage vs. a specific foe, but only lasts until the start of your next turn unless your allies don't help you against the foe.

Are any of these worth it? Under specific circumstances, Blade of Justice can last forever, meaning you don't lose actions to use it each turn, and it carries no penalties, so Blade of Justice will result in the best DPR if you're constantly fighting Evil enemies that ignore you and attack your allies each turn.

Challenge takes up an action each turn on average, and attacking with only 4 Strikes means that even with the added damage, you only deal 138.25 expected damage.

Best case is you just have the Bard cast Inspire Courage every turn and reap the benefits. In the absence of other buffs, the +1 to attack and damage spikes your expected damage up to 167.1, or 187.75 if the Bard succeeds on an Inspire Heroics check, or 209 if they critically succeed.

In comparison, a Fighter fully buffed with Heroism but no other conditional bonus to damage does 195.65 damage in a round with his 5 attacks.

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