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.
p. 274, under Bulk:
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!
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.
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)
Logan Bonner wrote:
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
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.
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.
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!
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.
Alright, here's Norn, the Goblin bomber.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
OVERALL ALCHEMIST FEEDBACK::
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.
- Mutagen bonuses are still lacking some... oomph, resulting in Perpetual Infusion-made mutagens quite useless.
- 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.
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:
- 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:
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.
- 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.
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.
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
In terms of accuracy, Str-based companions get Str +6, Expert prof, for a total of +27 attack 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Igor Horvat wrote:
Also, would allow a Barbarian to sling cantrips because Somatic Casting doesn’t have the concentrate trait and can be used while Raging
Disclaimer: I don’t know Paizo’s intentions. The following are educated guesses.
Basic and Advanced Maneuvers serve several purposes. They are archetype feats instead of class feats, which means taking them counts towards the 3 feat requirement before you can switch dedication. There are two different feats because the Basic version lets you take a level 1 or 2 class feat from your archetype and is available from level 2, breaking the rule provided in the Advanced version (gaining a feat as if your level in your archetype was half your actual level).
Furthermore, making them archetype feats instead of allowing you to take class feats directly prevents edge cases like a Human taking Natural Ambition to take a level 1 class feat in his or her archetype’s class feat. It’s basically future-proofing.
As for your concern about a Spellcaster who dips into 2 other spellcasting classes gaining too much, it’s basically a non-issue. To get the maximum benefit from a spellcasting archetype, you need to invest 5 feats (1 for dedication, 3 for basic, expert and master spellcasting, and 1 for breadth). Casters only have 8 free feats for archetype use, so even if they invest them all, at most they’ll get 8th level casting in a 2nd class and 6th level casting in a 3rd class, for a total of 20 extra spells per day. In return, they give up on ALL their class feats, including their level 20 feat which can grant them 10th level spells. I think most people would not trade their level 20 feat for the ability to cast level 4, 5 and 6 spells in another class.
As for the amount of tracking such a theoretical character would have to do... while it’s true that’s a lot to keep track of, it’s the player’s choice to do so. They’re not forced into multiclassing 2 other spellcaster classes, because the benefits conferred are not clearly better than the alternatives. So if someone ever decides to take that choice, it’s because they want to and are willing to deal with the extra bookkeeping involved.
Double Slice obviously outperforms Twin Takedown if they're the only attack actions you use during your turn, but Twin Takedown + Strike is better than just Double Slice.
Fun fact: You can now multiclass Fighter to pick up Double Slice. Then you can use Double Slice and Twin Takedown together to get a pseudo-haste effect as early as level 4 (4 attacks in a turn).
I agree that cantrip damage seems a bit low atm. The scaling for cantrips in PF2 is similar to the scaling in 5e. PF2 scales to 4dX + modifier while 5e scales to 5dX, and both systems only allow casting 1 cantrip per turn usually.
1/ 5e round by round damage comparison:
The difference is that in 5e, the martials are attacking 2 to 4 times, dealing 1dX + modifier damage, with no MAP, so the damage between the at-will capabilities of these classes are a bit closer at higher levels.
If we look at a level 5 PC in 5e, a martial character is attacking twice with Extra Attack, their attack bonus is Proficiency + Str = 3+4 = +7, and a mage is using a cantrip with the same attack bonus (Prof + Spellcasting modifier).
The average AC for that level is... hard to say actually. The 5e monster manual has a wide range for Challenge 5 creatures, going from 13 to 19, with a fair amount of 15s. I'll make the comparison easier and say the average AC is 16, so that each class hits 60% of the time.
A vanilla Fighter with a longsword is attacking twice at 60%, dealing 1d8+4 (avg 8.5 dmg) on each swing. Crits in 5e only double the damage dice, not the modifier. His expected damage is:
(0.55 * 8.5 + 0.05 * 13) * 2 = 10.65
A Wizard using Ray of Frost is dealing 2d8 damage. His expected damage is:
0.55 * 9 + 0.05 * 18 = 5.85
The difference is pretty big, but cantrips in 5e also come with bigger damage dice. The standard, Fire Bolt, does 1d10, and Eldritch Bolt is a whopping 1d12. Also, martial damage doesn't scale up as much at higher levels (they only get to 1dX + 5 without magic weapons, and magic items are not assumed in 5e).
So the same characters at level 20 are gonna deal damage pretty differently. The Wizard will be dealing 5d8 damage per Ray of Frost, for an expected damage of:
0.55 * 22.5 + 0.05 * 45 = 14.625
While the martial character only improves his expected damage to 11.85.
Does this mean that in 5e spellcasters eventually catch up in terms of round by round damage to martials?
The answer to that is no, because each martial class gets a different mechanic that lets them deal extra damage. Barbarians have Rage and Reckless Attack, Fighters have 4 attacks/round, Monks have Flurry, Paladins have Divine Smite, Rogues have Sneak Attack and Rangers have... ugh, favoured enemy.
Regardless, these extra features still put martials ahead of Spellcasters in 5e, letting them do quite a bit more damage from round to round.
For example, the Fighter will be doing 4 attacks at 1d8+5 each:
4 * (0.55 * 9 + 0.05 * 14) = 22.6, which is 1.54 times the Wizard's damage.
2/ PF2 round by round damage comparison:
Look at the same level 5 characters in PF2. The caster damage is very similar between editions (1d8+4 vs. 2d8), but the martial damage is different (3 hits with MAP at 2d8+4 per hit).
A level 5 Wizard in PF2 can have 18 Dex, for a total attack bonus of 5+4 = +9. His target is 18, the average TAC for a level 5 creature. His accuracy is 60%.
A level 5 Fighter in PF2 has an attack bonus of 5 + 1 (expert) + 1 (item) + 4 (Str) = +11. His target is 20, the average AC for a level 5 creature. His accuracy is 60%.
Now let's look at per round damage from the two:
0.5 * 8.5 + 0.1 * 17 = 5.95
1st attack: 0.5 * 13 + 0.1 * 26 = 9.1
Total = 16.25
The Fighter in PF2 can do about 50% more damage than his 5e counterpart, while his Wizard friend is doing almost the same damage.
What about level 20?
Wizard: (4d8+7 for Ray of Frost)
0.5 * 25 + 0.1 * 50 = 17.5
Fighter (6d8+7 per hit)
1st attack: 0.5 * 34 + 0.1 * 68 = 23.8
Total = 42.5
The PF2 Fighter is dealing 2.42 times the Wizard's damage, and almost twice the damage a 5e Fighter is doing.
So, in PF2, spellcasters are dealing MUCH less at-will damage than martials, leading to them feeling rightfully frustrated, on top of the lower power level of spells in general.
I knew that spellcaster at-will damage was lower, but I did not expect the difference to be this stark.
I am fully on board with buffing caster cantrips, perhaps by reducing them to 1 action, or by otherwise buffing their damage. I prefer the first option, as it lets casters have more flexibility in combat with their actions. The 2nd one runs the risk of allowing bigger spike damage, which may not be preferable.
If Paizo decides to reduce cantrip action cost to 1 action each, the Wizard's damage at levels 5 and 20 are as follows:
1st Cantrip: 0.5 * 8.5 + 0.1 * 17 = 5.95
Total = 10.625
1st Cantrip: 0.5 * 25 + 0.1 * 50 = 17.5
Total = 31.25
Looking a lot more reasonable, no? Spellcasters have the option of using different elemental cantrips to take advantage of Weakness, so them having slightly lower damage is no problem.
One potential downside I can see is cantrips requiring saving throws don't suffer MAP and may deal undue damage with this change. It's a small problem with an easy solution, though, just convert those cantrips to ones that require an attack roll instead.
The first example of Fireball vs. the Fighter’s Attack doesn’t quite capture the whole nuance of the situation.
Monsters save on a 9, which means they have 50% success rate and 10% critical success rate. They have 35% failure rate and 5% critical failure rate.
This means they take:
In total they’re expected to take: (2.5 + 3.5 + 1)d6 = 7d6 damage per Fireball. That’s 7d6 per target in the burst. Average 24.5 damage.
The Fighter gets to attack up to 3 times, with the following damage:
3d8+4 dmg 50% of the time
In the best case scenario, the Fighter is dealing about...
Which is equivalent to 85+40 = 125% of 3d8+4
Therefore, the Wizard’s Fireball, even if it only hits 1 target, should do more damage than a Fighter attacking 3 times in a round. The Fighter can keep it up all day, but the Wizard still has the potential for much more burst damage.
Or you could just artificially limit the max score like in 5e. Right now PF2 gives out 16 ability score boosts over 20 levels. With an artificial cap at 22 for ability scores, you could assign an ability boost at each level save for 10-15-20, so you end up getting boosts at about the same rate (but earlier by 1 level).
This has several pros and cons.
I actually like this idea overall, if it’s combined with some tweaks to high level combat math. If PCs suddenly hit less often than before through no fault of their own, then it’s not a very fulfilling experience. Overspecialization may also be an issue, as players with 18 16 14 12 10 8 starting scores may end up with 24 22 22 14 10 8 scores. However, I believe the benefits outweigh the costs. In 5e, players can get to max score as early as level 6, so it could definitely work for PF2.
Ki Strike applies only to 1 attack per Ki Point spent, so it's not exactly super strong. You'll use it for an important attack roll, but it's not free to use, so you can't spam it willy nilly.
EDIT: If you just look at the rulebook, then you might think it doesn't cost anything, but one of the errata updates explicitly state that it costs 1 Ki Point.
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. There’s some interesting discussion going on about the Ranger and action economy here. There also seems to be a slight misunderstanding regarding Lethal Hunter, so I’ll address it first.
@dnoisette: Lethal Hunter is not meant to replace Hunt Target, but rather it is an addition meant to work with Hunt Target. I’ve seen players report that Hunt Target doesn’t work well in practice because they would rather do something else than try to use its benefits. Lethal Hunter is a way for players to get the benefit of Hunt Target (a lower MAP) while still getting to do fun things.
I understand your concern that Lethal Hunter does not benefit you if you already get to make 3 Strikes in a turn. However, while those situations may happen (like a Shortbow Ranger who has planted himself in place and let loose 3 arrows in a turn), there are plenty of situations where Lethal Hunter is useful, for all kinds of Rangers.
For Rangers with an Animal Companion, one of your actions is usually to command the animal, leaving you with only 2 actions left. You can make 2 Strikes with them, but because of Lethal Hunter, you basically have an extra action at no cost that can be used to do anything other than Strike. Maybe you could use Favored Aim for your first Strike, maybe you could move into position, perhaps you could even attempt a combat maneuver like Shoving or Grappling.
Speaking of combat maneuvers, because they have the Attack trait but are not Strikes, they work well with Lethal Hunter. You could insert a maneuver like Shove, Trip, Grapple or even Assist somewhere on your turn and still get to Strike up to twice and move or command your animal companion.
Here are some example turns for a Ranger with Hunt Target and Lethal Hunter:
Command -> Move -> Strike -> Strike
Lethal Hunter only doesn’t grant a benefit when you can spend all your actions in a turn to Strike 3 times. However, the Ranger in particular has many ways to spend his actions, and the 3rd Strike, even with Hunt Target, doesn’t add so much to his damage that he couldn’t sacrifice it to do other things.
Any Ranger with an Animal Companion benefits greatly from Lethal Hunter, since he’ll be Commanding his companion most of the time.
Any Ranger who has Favored Aim will get more chances to use it now that he is guaranteed a second Strike on his turn. He could use Favored Aim, Stride, Hide, Sneak or Take Cover and still get a 2nd Strike that turn.
TWF Rangers can use Double Slice and Twin Parry and still not lose out on damage that turn.
A high level Bow Ranger can use Impossible Volley and get the pure benefit of another Strike he would not normally.
Phew, that’s a lot of benefits from 1 ability. Hopefully I’ve addressed some concerns re: Lethal Hunter being of use to only a small subset of Rangers.
The Ranger's mechanics are at odds with each other. Hunt Target wants them to stand still and use all their actions to Strike a target, focusing them down, but it doesn't benefit Crossbow Rangers much, and even TWF Rangers have Double Slice.
Crossbows have the Reload 1 trait, meaning that your turns will go Strike-Reload-Strike into Reload-Strike-Reload. You can only benefit from Hunt Target once every 2 rounds, and you don't benefit on the turn you first use Hunt Target. Rangers have Crossbow Ace and Running Reload to support a Crossbow fighting style, but their main class feature doesn't work well with a Crossbow at all.
Anecdotally, I've heard from several Rangers who use Double Slice that they don't want to waste an action to Hunt Target, because they would rather move up to their main target and use Double Slice, which already uses up all their actions in a turn. If they're next to the target, they would prefer to Double Slice then Strike (or do something else) than waste an action on Hunt Target. I know this isn't enough evidence to support how Hunt Target doesn't work well with TWF, but it's true that Double Slice doesn't interact with Hunt Target unless you can make a 3rd Strike that turn.
My suggestion is twofold: Add another level 1 Feature that takes advantage of Hunt Target, and change up Double Slice to work with this addition. I know the devs have considered changing Double Slice for Rangers, and this is my suggestion on how it could work.
1/ Lethal Hunter:
Lethal Hunter is a level 1 class ability unique to Rangers.
[[Free Action]] Lethal Hunter
What does this ability do for the Ranger? It helps with action economy while not affecting the class' maximum damage potential. It ensures that you can almost always benefit from Hunt Target in a round, making the ability truly the Ranger's bread and butter.
The Crossbow Ranger can now start a combat with the following sequence:
Round 1: Hunt Target -> Strike -> Reload -> Strike with Lethal Hunter
Combined with Running Reload, you have a skirmisher who darts from cover to cover, popping out for brief moments to land a hit. This Ranger is also taking advantage of Hunt Target every round.
What about a Ranger who decides to use 2 Weapons? This brings us to the Ranger's Double Slice replacement.
2/ Two-Weapon Rend:
Two-Weapon Rend is a level 1 Ranger feat that replaces Double Slice.
[[2 Actions]] Two-Weapon Rend
Okay, that looks complicated at first glance, let's break down what the feat does.
Two-Weapon Rend is a single Strike with both an Enhancement and a Failure effect, similar to Combat Grab (Fighter feat 1, page 89). None of the effects are new, and both have precedence in the playtest rules.
The Enhancement adds extra damage, similar to Power Attack and other such feats. The extra damage is half that of your off-hand weapon, meaning it's less than if you had hit with 2 Strikes, but because you're only making 1 Strike, you get the same benefit as Double Slice when it comes to resistances.
The Failure effect is the same as Certain Strike, but you get access to it 9 levels earlier. To compensate for the early access, you need 2 actions to benefit from the same safety net that Fighters get at level 10.
But why does the feat work like that?
The main difference between Two-Weapon Rend and Double Slice is the fact that TWR is one Strike with bonuses. This lets the Ranger use Lethal Hunter the same turn it uses Two-Weapon Rend and no other attacks.
Another difference is the absence of the MAP increase clause that's in Double Slice and other 2-action attacks. I wanted to keep the damage between TWR and Double Slice similar, and that was one of the ways to make the math work out.
The Failure effect was added to keep TWR competitive as an option. Without it, TWR would do less expected damage than just attacking twice.
The main benefit of TWR over Double Slice is the free action you get that can be used to move or do something other than attacking. Even if the raw damage of TWR is lower than Double Slice, the action economy improvement makes it worth it.
A Ranger with Double Slice who has to move and attack can only use Double Slice that turn.
A Ranger with TWR and Lethal Hunter can move and still use TWR and make a Strike at the end of their turn.
The End Result:
Between Lethal Hunter and Two-Weapon Rend, I want to give Rangers the option to skirmish and to grant them a combat advantage that is not just pure numbers. They now benefit from a pseudo-Quick condition against targets they are hunting, and they can zip across the battlefield to find their chosen foe without losing out on damage. This should make them more effective combatants while mostly keeping their current mechanics.
I would appreciate thoughtful criticism and feedback. What could go wrong with this change? Are there any edge cases that can be abused?
Animal Rage and Dragon Transformation are both actions with the Rage trait. That means that you need to spend an action while raging to use them. It's a pretty bad drain on your action economy, but Barbarian's get Mighty Rage at level 10 that lets you use a Rage action as a free action when you enter rage.
Before level 10, if you want to use Animal Rage, you'd go:
Rage -> Animal Rage, costing 2 actions
At level 10 and afterward, you have the option to do:
Rage -> Free action that you can spend to use Animal Rage
Maybe because he’s using the experience gained from houseruling older systems to quickly identify what he wants to change in the new system? Or perhaps because the new system allows for faster access to system mastery, i.e. it’s more user friendly?
Or maybe the OP’s experience with the older systems is different from your assumption, and the reason he’s listing these house rules is to give feedback to the devs and solicit comments about them?
There are a lot of reasons to bother posting on the forums. I’ve talked to the OP, and I think he’s trying to give feedback on how he would like to see some of the playtest rules changed. Which is, you know, the point of a playtest: to gather feedback and use it to improve the game.
I have no idea how to handle starting wealth past 1st level, nobody else seems to be having this problem, and it is driving me crazy; please send help
Colette Brunel wrote:
Problem #5 is simply a problem of access, and that is controlled by the GM. Page 19 of the Doomsday Dawn PDF explicitly states that the default is that PCs have access to common items of their level or lower. Anything other than that is decided by the GM.
If you want them to have access to 7th-level spell scrolls, then they will be able to purchase them. Otherwise, just say no. The power lies with you here, and the rules support that.
This thread started off as an inexperienced GM noting his/her problems with PF1 and praising Paizo for some of the changes they made with PF2, but people are quick to jump in and point out how they hate those same changes.
The OP didn't ask for advice on how to fix their experience with PF1, but rather a guide on how to convert PF1 material to PF2, because they have already invested in some PF1 books. Yet none of the comments in this thread pertain to that. Please, if you need to complain about PF2, do it in other threads that are about pointing out the issues with the playtest, not in an unrelated thread where OP is asking for something completely different.
To the OP: I have never played PF1, so I'm afraid I cannot help you there. However, if you want a quick and dirty way to create PF2 monsters according to CR, you may find the following resources useful:
HERE is a reddit thread that show average monster stats by CR, which you can use as a guideline to transfer monster stats from PF1. You can safely ignore a monsters ability scores and instead focus on the stats that matter, like Hp, Attack, AC, and saves.
THIS is a quick reference for monster stats from 4e's Monster Manual 3. Coincidentally, the AC, saves and to hit bonuses match up really closely to what monster stats are like in PF2. For saves, take the Def stat and subtract 10 to get the monster's save bonus. Ignore the damage portion, because average damage in PF2 is higher than 4e, given the same CR.
I hope you and your playgroup continue to have fun, whichever game you end up playing. If you do play in the playtest, feel free to leave feedback via the forums or Paizo surveys and help the devs improve upon the game. Cheers!
I have no idea how to handle starting wealth past 1st level, nobody else seems to be having this problem, and it is driving me crazy; please send help
Pretty sure a +4 Weapon is one item, because it has its own entry in the treasure section listing it as one item. Mark's example also suggests the same thing.
A +X Weapon is assumed to be the minimum quality needed, so a +4 weapon is automatically a master weapon. If you want a +4 Legendary Weapon, you need to spend 2 level 16 item choices, 1 for the Weapon, and another for the quality increase (or spend 6140 gp for the quality increase).
EDIT: Ninja'd by the man himself.
I'm wary of buffing Power Attack too much, because you have to consider the balance between Power Attack and Double Slice and Dual Handed Assault. Currently DHA is the worst of the bunch, not scaling at all. Power Attack is in the middle and Double Slice is the best.
Right now Power Attacking with a d12 weapon at level 20 does slightly less damage than Double Slice with a d8 and d6 weapon. That's obviously unacceptable, but we don't want Power Attack to do double the damage of Double Slice either.
After doing the math, I've come up with a buff to Power Attack that makes it better than doing 2 Strikes with a d12 weapon at levels 1-3 and 10+, but not so much that it completely overshadows Double Slice.
The solution is:
- Add a 3rd dice to Power Attack at level 15
This would result in the following damage values for Power Attack:
Except for levels 4-9, performing a Power Attack is numerically better than doing 2 Strikes. How much better? Not much. The difference in expected damage when performing a Power Attack vs. performing 2 Strikes (at 60% accuracy) is shown in brackets above.
At level 20, the expected damage of a Power Attack is 52.15, quite a bit better than the current value of 41.3, and better than the damage of Double Slice (43.4).
Until Paizo looks at Power Attack (and they said it's one of the things they're looking at), you can implement this houserule to make Power Attack a more enticing option at your table.
I don't get it, you claim the Rogue does the highest damage among melee characters, someone points out that they don't and gives a counterexample, how can you still claim they are the best damage dealers?
Someone using a d8 weapon is either using a Shield for defense, dueling to apply crowd control via things like Combat Grab, or fighting with two weapons. Aside from the last option (TWF), those using a 1H-weapon are not setting out to be DPR kings or anything. So if a Rogue outdamages them, so what? Rogues are supposed to do damage under the right conditions.
Comparing a Rogue who's trying to maximize damage vs. another character who might not be doing so is disingenuous. Also, you're again ignoring accuracy and how it factors into things. Keep in mind that other melee classes (with the exception of the Barbarian) are more accurate than the Rogue.
Rogues also are stuck with 1 handed Finesse weapons, so they do not have access to weapons with good traits for DPR, such as the Orc Necksplitter or the Falchion, both have Forceful, a great trait for damage.
But hey, maybe next you'll change your goalpost to "the Rogue is better than the average melee character". Well here's a very average Fighter using a Longsword.
Here's the math:
Fighter with Longsword and 70% accuracy:
1st Strike: 0.5 * (34) + 0.2 * (68) = 30.6
4 Strikes damage = 30.6 + 17 + 8.5 + 8.5 = 64.6
Looks like if you move the goalpost far enough, the Rogue is indeed doing more damage per round than another melee character. But if we apply just a bit of optimization:
Fighter with Longsword and 70% accuracy, using Certain Strikes:
1st Strike: 0.5 * (34) + 0.2 * (68) = 30.6
Strike + 3 Certain Strikes damage = 30.6 + 22.85 + 14.35 + 14.35 = 82.15
Hmm, looks like the Rogue can't beat a Fighter whose only optimization trick was taking a level 10 feat. I don't think that bodes very well for the Rogue's claim as the class that can deal the "highest damage".
How about a Fighter with TWF?
I'll skip the formulas, because I believe I've shown my work enough by now. A vanilla TWF Fighter using a Longsword + Shortsword and nothing else does:
65.6 damage with 4 Strikes
That's not accounting for things like Agile Grace or Two-Weapon Flurry, which can affect damage more.
How about another class that supports TWF? Like the Ranger? The Ranger's Hunt Target is basically a better form of Agile Grace, letting you make attacks at 0/-2/-4 instead of 0/-3/-6. For a Ranger, the expected damage is:
27.2+16.8+14+14=72 damage using a Longsword + Shortsword combo. Is that higher than the Rogue? Why yes, yes it is.
Ok, but you can't always expect to be able to full attack each round. On a single swing, the Rogue should do more damage than someone wielding a d8 weapon, right? Not quite. The Rogue, as I said, has lower accuracy than the Fighter and Ranger. If you scroll up a bit, you can compare the expected damage of the first Strike for these characters:
Rogue: 10d6+7, 60% accuracy, expected 1st Strike damage is 31.05
So the Rogue can expected to deal about 3.85 more damage than the ranger and 0.45 more damage than the Fighter on the first Strike of a turn. That's with the other classes using a d8 weapon, the most vanilla of weapons with no additional bells and whistles. That's not a lot, is it? Add another Strike in and apply some light optimization, and suddenly the Rogue is not looking so hot as the highest damage dealing class.
The Rogue's damage does not need to be decreased. It's in a fine spot right now. It's neither the most damaging nor the least damaging class, and occupies a spot somewhere in the middle.
Also, the way you reach your conclusions is faulty since you continue to ignore any accuracy considerations when making those comparisons.
I don't think there's anything more I can do to convince you, since you seem to be convinced you are right. For anyone else reading this thread, you can come to your own conclusions by looking at evidence presented on both sides.
What skill increase do you mean? They get the same number of skills as before: 10 + Int trained skills at level 1. With the 1.2 update, one of those skills must be Stealth or Thievery, but the overall number of skills they get remain the same.
They are nowhere near the highest damaging melee class. I'll just compare a Rogue using Rapier and Shortsword vs. a Fighter using a Greatsword at level 20. Here are the conditions:
Both characters are fully optimized, Rogue has +33 to hit, and Fighter has +35. Both are attacking a Pit Fiend with 44 AC, using as many Strikes as they can in a turn.
The Rogue needs the target to be flat-footed to apply Sneak Attack, so it's only fair the Fighter gets the same benefit. The Fighter can be permanently Quick at level 20, so it's only fair the Rogue gets to do so as well.
Fighter turn is 4 Strikes doing 6d12+7 damage each (avg 46 dmg)
Rogue turn is 4 Strikes doing 10d6+7 damage each (avg 42 dmg), and they deal 3d10 extra damage on the first crit.
Fighter has 70% accuracy, so his damage is:
1st Strike: 0.5 * (46) + 0.2 * (92) = 41.4
Total damage = 41.4 + 23 + 11.5 + 11.5 = 87.4
Rogue has 60% accuracy, so his damage is:
1st Strike: 0.5 * (42) + 0.1 * (84+16.5) = 31.05
Total damage = 31.05 + 18.9 + 10.5 + 10.5 = 70.95
The damage difference is pretty clear, and this is not taking into account that the Fighter can use Certain Strike for more damage on his subsequent attacks, or the fact that they can sacrifice their reaction to make a 5th Strike. The Rogue can use Debilitating Strike to apply Weakness 5 to his future attacks, but that requires hitting on his first attack.
Even if we were to apply the 5 additional damage from weakness right at the start, the Rogue's damage would be 79.2, still not close to the Fighter.
The Rogue did not get a skill bump in Update 1.2, and they are not the most damaging melee class, not by a long shot. Please stop asserting these things, as they are not true.
Red Rabbit wrote:
Right now, it’s pretty close to how this works. You’ll be fighting enemies 1-2 levels below your party most of the time, and an optimized Fighter hits those on a 7 without assistance (optimized just means you start with an 18 in STR and have a level appropriate weapon), with the Ranger/Paladin being 1 behind and Rogues/Barbs being 2 behind.
You can increase your accuracy by easy access conditions like flat-footed, frightened etc. And buffs like Inspire Courage, Bless, Heroism
Tiona Daughtry wrote:
Stop, take a step back, and try to listen. In a good role playing game, a significant part of the actual role playing, is determining *how* the characters approach a given obstacle. By strongly limiting the character variation, you are, also, in fact, sorely limiting the direction any obstacle can be approached from. Having a reasonably wide differences in what characters can do allows for them to modify their approach in ways that reflect character background, goals, etc. If you do not, in fact, allow characters to go 'off-script', you are essentially 'railroading' them, and that has, in my experience, always been considered a very bad thing (not several rulebooks across editions pointing that out). If you do not allow for creative problem solving through the use of character skills, feats, and a potentially 'non-optimal' ability setup, you are, in fact, forcing the characters to solve the problems one way. That is my objection, and why I consider this game to be so mechanics driven to avoid real storytelling. The stories told by my gaming friends almost always consist of ways they've looked at a situation and 'arranged the battlefield' to give them better odds, changed the situation so that it became solvable, rather than a slog-fest. It is clear from what I've seen in the forums that this game attempts to make it outright *impossible* to adjust the odds for overcoming an obstacle more than just a couple of points on a die roll. As players, we are supposed to look at situations, realize that the odds aren't in our favors, and come up with effective ways, based on our individual characters, to change that around. We get a really good feeling at looking at that ambush, and throwing the monkey wrench into it so that the enemies are at a severe disadvantage instead of likely to demolish us. That is what PF1 was really good at, and 3.5. We had options to change the inherent situation so that it was in our favor. This system refutes that entirely. Having options, having many different ways to approach...
I’m sorry, but I get the feeling that you’re the one not listening to counter-arguments.
PF2 definitely allows for many different character variations, even in the same class. Different spell choices, fighting style choices and skill feats allow characters to do very different things. A Rogue may focus on deception, creating diversions in combat and Striking when the enemy is distracted. Another may rely on Stealth, Sneaking and peppering goes with crossbow bolts while remaining unseen. Yet another employs brutal tactics that strike fear into the enemy’s heart, using Intimidation to gain the upper hand. Each Rogue distinguishes himself by the skill and class feats he selects, and none of them can be as good as the others at their own specific thing.
Though the deceiver Rogue and the intimidating Rogue both rely on Charisma based skills to gain the upper hand, their choice of skill feats allow them to differentiate their tactics, and the Rogue who is good at creating diversions will not be as adept at scaring people as his brutal friend.
You mention how you think the game forces you to solve things one way, but there are lots of different approaches made available through the feat system. That harpy giving you trouble in the dungeon? The Fighter can jump off a wall and bring it down to earth with a Felling Strike. Those Gnolls blocking the way to the sewers? Luckily the Paladin has Multilingual and speaks Gnoll, and his Bard friend Inspires Competence in hom, giving him the bonus needed to convince the fierce creatures to grant you passage.
Your party wants to set a trap for an enemy convoy? The Rogue with Quiet Allies help his friends remain hidden, while the Bard Fascinates the enemies for 1 round with his Performance. Then the party leaps out of the shadows, descending on the unsuspecting foes. Combat begins with your team at an advantage from attempting an off-script activity.
These are just some examples using the options given in the RAW, and I haven’t even touched on magic spells yet. I’ve done things like set up a Web Spell and luring enemies into its area, Grease up the floor to hinder foes. PF2 does not suddenly disable these options. If anything, it provides more concrete rules to make the options available.