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lemeres wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

My opinion is that a Shifter would fill an Unarmed Focused Maneuver Specialist. With at least a focus on feats similar to Brutal Bully, Thrash, Knockback, Furious Grab, Crushing Grab, Guarded Movement, and Shattering Strike.

Shifting should be a focus as well; it's kind of in the class's name. Some suggestions made so far makes me lean into a Main Battleform Flow-State, similar to how Rage or Panache works; and feats and focus spells could lean more into Chimeric Morphing, like freely adding wings, or changing unarmed damage types(S/P/B). Adding flat damage would also seem appropriate so the class could more easily be represented by many different shifting concepts. Precision Damage for animal shifters; Elemental Damage for elemental shifters; and so on.

If we are going with that approach, I feel like EVERY feat (or at least feat line) should actually be its own transformation/pseudo transformation, where the shifter assumes a form/grows a part that does the action.

Grab feats would be growing tentacles. Shove feats would involve bull horns get traction on the target. Trip would be growing a tail and doing a sweep.

Some of that could easily be done with flavor text; but i agree that Thematic Feat-Lines would be more than welcome. The Chimera one, in my mind, would be for concepts like Suneater and Kevin Levin. Overall, partial shifting seems to be a popular choice, and was definitely supported in the base class and archetypes( even if the execution was less than stellar ). Leaning favorably into the Morph trait, and specializing in Polymorph, seems like the way to go IMO.

I like the ideas mentioned about role flexibility, akin to a Feral Druid, and mixing Morph traits to allow for a Nature themed problemsolver. It gives the class a little more breadth to it than just worrying about combat role.

Style Shifter was an Archetype that revolved around Partial Shifting. With how Stances work on Monk, what would some ideas be for that? Should they allow Morphed strikes to just merge with Stances; or give them class specific Stances that make use of Morph traits? The example they give in 1e is with a Style Shifter stacking Boar Style and Boar Aspect. I’m curious what people think.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Archetypes are a whole different kettle of fish. I'm a strong advocate for Master in weapons on Magus, but I'd be completely against an Archetype that gives you that since such an Archetype could go on a Wizard or Bard and really screw up game balance quite a bit.

That is why i said he was addressing Archetypes specifically; and he also mentions that a Class can have whatever it needs to fill its role properly. It has been pointed out that Martial Classes, like Champion and Monk, get up to Master Prof in casting; though this is at the cost of versatility. Looking at Warpriest i would argue that the versatility of a full spell list would come at the cost of a proficiency. That's just speculation on my part with what content we currently have though.

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Giving Magus an easy access to a +2 status bonus, similar to a Druids Wild Shape, seems the simplest way to balance the numbers; and can give more design space to lean into new concepts.

Couple of things: 1, using a spell to patch instead of buff still seems wrong. That was how PF1 got through the day, and it worked for that system, but in PF2 I think we can design better. If the class is expected to act as if it had full martial proficiency in most cases, it is easier and cleaner simply to give the class full proficiency, since you have to balance around that either way.

2 If in the end they are restricted to Expert weaponry, then I would expect instead of a patch that they instead get other class features that makes fighting work without that extra +2. They can hit harder, get to swing twice and take the higher, have feats with some kind of effect on a miss but not critical miss, use Str as their casting ability (mostly kidding on this one), easy access to a debuff that benefit everyone instead of just the Magus, something. Heck you can do different things and have that be your class path (I'd be much more sanguine about a patch-buff if it was an option and not the default, in fact).

3 I don't think the status bonus on Wildshape is intended to make up the proficiency gap as much as keep the spells relevant past their pre-written heightened conditions, but I could be wrong. It will admittedly have that effect, more or less, though the interaction with Inspire Courage is unfortunate.

I guess it's my fault that i didn't really expand on this too much. The way i view it currently is;

1) Master/Master Proficiency with full spell list; but a real lack of new class features

2) Expert/Master Proficiency with full spell list; but with a good amount of new class features to fill the lack of Proficiency

The math buffer i suggested here was indeed to give more room into new and interesting class features, without the worry of Proficiency. Much of which you detailed out rather well.

3) Master/Master Proficiency with no spell list; basically becoming an Arcane Champion

I also stress that this is based off what content we currently have to go on; and i believe, when asked, some Devs said they weren't sure where they'd even start with designing the class for this edition, so technically anything is fair game.


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I believe the Shifter has a similar Class potential as the Swashbuckler did; and i feel most of the forum was just as surprised by how quickly it came out, as well as how solidly the concept was(or at least those are the comments i saw surrounding the PT).

I would start by wondering what role people feel it should/would fill if it was a class. Swashbuckler seemed to be built to fill the role of movement and debuffer; or a nice mix of Rogue and Monk that no class really filled as smoothly at the time.

My opinion is that a Shifter would fill an Unarmed Focused Maneuver Specialist. With at least a focus on feats similar to Brutal Bully, Thrash, Knockback, Furious Grab, Crushing Grab, Guarded Movement, and Shattering Strike.

Shifting should be a focus as well; it's kind of in the class's name. Some suggestions made so far makes me lean into a Main Battleform Flow-State, similar to how Rage or Panache works; and feats and focus spells could lean more into Chimeric Morphing, like freely adding wings, or changing unarmed damage types(S/P/B). Adding flat damage would also seem appropriate so the class could more easily be represented by many different shifting concepts. Precision Damage for animal shifters; Elemental Damage for elemental shifters; and so on.

Being able to use shifting prowess for utility is also a must imo. Weather it's the ability to stay in certain forms for 24 hours, like pest forms; or shifting parts of your limbs for a bonus in things like climbing or swimming.

An initial tie to Primal seems most suited, but you could also tie in Spell Traditions to Shifter Order(for lack of a better term). Animal and Elemental would make most sense as Primal; but Construct or Ooze would make just as much sense with Arcane and Occult.


It seems Proficiency will depend on if the class is designed primarily as a caster or martial first. I would love to see a Master/Master with Bard spell progression; but a comment from PaizoCon made it sound like that might tread too much on Martial's shtick.

Spoiler:

Question: Is Expert proficiency going to be a hard cap for gish-type characters going forward as a design choice, or is there the possibility of archetypes that will allow an 'Arcane Archer' wizard to reach Master proficiency in bows for example?

Mark Seifter: A new class can do whatever it is meant to do, but we would be very unlikely to print a new archetype that gives anyone who takes it master proficiency in weapons because that would not be respecting martial characters.

To be fair, Mark was addressing Archetypes specifically; and said Classes get more wiggle room. Though my take away ends up being that they don't want Gishes to blur the line between Caster and Martial too much. Giving Magus an easy access to a +2 status bonus, similar to a Druids Wild Shape, seems the simplest way to balance the numbers; and can give more design space to lean into new concepts.


Temperans wrote:
Lycar wrote:
Also, it is not just shields with effects that trigger on blocks. Aggressive Block is effectively a class feature that is limited by shield durability. If you want to use your feat, you are also locked into sturdy shields. But again, that is an issue only for classes that actually have the Shield Block (and Aggressive Block) feats. Everybody else just take their +2 to AC and are happy with it.

This part also tells me that there is a problem somewhere.

Shield feats that are low level and/or seem build defining are being limited to a single item that can only be gotten at higher level. Meanwhile, other feats are always useful since the moment you get them, and are not reliant on the GM giving you exactly 1 weapon at the right level.

That is completely reliant on proper context. There are plenty of Feats that rely on specific prerequisites to be fulfilled at early levels; shields are not special in this regard in any way. Plenty of the Shields and materials are Common and Uncommon. You can count on one hand how many are Rare.

In the CRB alone there are 19 weapons that are Uncommon just in the Equipment section alone. The way you are wording it also seems to suggest that builds will come across this issue less often with Weapons or Armor, when nothing really suggests as much.

If we compare Shields to the Weapons and Armor categories respectively, Sturdy Shields can be seen as just Supercharged Potency Runes(which is why some suggest Sturdy Runes). Builds that focus on Specific Shields will come across the same issues as builds that focus on Specific Weapons/Magic Weapons; and this is before getting into the limitations of fighting styles.


Staffan Johansson wrote:

I think the issue is one of presentation.

When we are first introduced to the concept of shields in the CRB, we are told:

1. You can Raise a Shield to get +2 to AC.
2. If your Shield is Raised, and you have the feat in question, you can use it to Shield Block thereby reducing damage.
3. The champion and the fighter have access to several feats focusing on shields in general and blocking in particular.

To me, this says that blocking is supposed to be a Big Thing with shields.

But then we get to the Treasure chapter, where we are presented a number of higher-level shields, all but one of which is nigh useless for blocking. This might be balanced - you either get the survivability of a Sturdy shield, or you sacrifice that for some other ability, but it feels kinda bad.

Compare this to weapons. Weapons are for hitting and damaging things. Any self-respecting high-level weapon will have a potency rune and a striking rune – that's the weapon baseline. In addition, weapons may have property runes giving them neat abilities. But with the shield, you either get abilities that look baseline or neat stuff. That's like saying you can either have a +1 striking sword, or a flaming sword. That's nowhere near as fun.

Now, you might argue that Raise the Shield is the baseline for shields, getting +2 AC, and that blocking is an add-on to that. But that's not how shields are presented when we first get to meet them in the CRB, and that results in people getting disappointed when they read the sweet magic shields.

Presentation seems to be the most common culprit. In the scope of all Magic Items and features supporting it, Shields rank extremely low in numbers when compared to Weapon and Armor, and have a heavier risk/reward expectation than the others. With Precious Materials mostly taking criticism for not being as direct and too the point, as well as lacking in a satisfying example.


Draco18s wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
This is where things get controversial, because I believe you simply craft them out of Precious Materials to make them better. Substituting the original stats with the ones of the new material.
Well, except the steel shields that don't have the stats of the steel shield...

Steel Shields have stats for Steel Shields in the equipment and materials section. Specific Shields have varying stats for requiring a purer form of the common material. This is a designer choice. One that has been criticized for just adding confusion and making the initial Shield seem fragile and underwhelming.

Draco18s wrote:
Quote:

As for why Steel and Wood seem to change for different Specific Shields, there’s an entry under crafting with Precious Materials that says: Using purer forms of common materials is so relatively inexpensive that the Price is included in any magic item.

Since the Precious Material is a substitution it would override the current shield’s stats.

This makes no sense. "The hardness is different from the base steel shield because the cost is inexpensive." What?
Crafting with Precious Materials CRB pg 578 wrote:
Low-grade items can be used in the creation of magic items of up to 8th level, and they can hold runes of up to 8th level. Standard-grade items can be used to create magic items of up to 15th level and can hold runes of up to 15th level. High-grade items use the purest form of the precious material, and can be used to Craft magic items of any level holding any runes. Using purer forms of common materials is so relatively inexpensive that the Price is included in any magic item.

This is not something i am infering. That is the actual quote from the book, and is directly after saying you can use precious materials to replace common materials, such as Wood or Steel, when crafting Magic Items. They could have just made scaling Wood and Steel so that we could compare them with Specific Shields; but not much we can do about that with what we have at the moment.

Draco18s wrote:
That in no way tells us what the stats of an adamantine Spellguard Shield should be. Base, using steel, its hardness is 6 and HP 24 but a common steel shield is 5 and 20. Where'd the extra point come from? Is it a +1 because magic, or is it a +20% because magic? We simply do not have listed details of what stats "high-grade steel" has.

You’re making it more complicated than it actually is. Steel is a common material and doesn’t have a ‘High-Grade’ or ‘Low-Grade’. The paragraph before Precious Materials mentions that the GM typically uses the strongest material involved. A Spellguard Shield would then just be using a higher purity of steel; which can be replaced with a Precious Material. The rules supporting this can be found in the book, mostly under the Materials section.

Draco18s wrote:
Similarly we can't just take adamantine's stats and make an adamantine sturdy shield, adamantine's stats are lower than the base (STEEL) sturdy shield of the same level.

You are absolutely correct. This puts Sturdy Shield in a peculiar spot, and Druid is disproportionately affected by this. Weather this is something that needs to be fixed is a fair critique or discussion point. Even if the rules stay the same in this regard, there is an obviously noticeable hole around wooden shields just being a bit too inferior. This can be solved with additional content.

Draco18s wrote:

On top of that, the reflecting shield is made of "This high-grade silver" and is a buckler with stats of "Hardness 6, HP 24." Lets go look at a high-grade silver buckler, shall we?

Hardness 6, HP 24.

Wait. That's the same. So what's up with the floating shield? Material unknown, Hardness 6, HP 24.

The Floating Shield is a Buckler. Just like the Steel and Wooden Shields we can find more information on the Buckler in the Shields section under Equipment much earlier in the book.

Buckler CRB pg 277 wrote:
This very small shield is a favorite of duelists and quick, lightly armored warriors. It’s typically made of steel and strapped to your forearm. You can Raise a Shield with your buckler as long as you have that hand free or are holding a light object that’s not a weapon in that hand.

So a Buckler is made out of Steel. This would mean the Floating Shield would be a Buckler made typically of Steel.

Draco18s wrote:
Or how about the Force Shield vs. the Spellguard shield? Both are "steel shield"s except the Force shield has "Hardness 8, HP 32" and the spellguard is "Hardness 6, HP 24"

Force and Spellguard are also different item levels, with the former being the higher of the two. If the Force Shield had lesser stats than the Spellguard, then you’d have a fantastic point for the inconsistency; but at the moment it still falls under how the book describes it and doesn’t betray it’s own rules in this regard. One is made out of a purer common material than the other.

Yes, it is certainly a rather convoluted way for the book to describe such a simple and important mechanic.

Draco18s wrote:
Then there's the Lion's Shield, which is also steel, but "Hardness 6, HP 36". Same hardness as every other shield, but more HP. Why?

This one is an actual issue among all the shields. Though the Reflecting Shield description could use better structuring IMO. Lion’s Shield openly goes against the formula for no apparent reason. I personally believe it’s stats are a typo or mistake of some sort, though I have no evidence to support that is the case. I will agree that it is an example against my claim. Though it seems a bit much to say the whole things needs to change because of a couple things that could be cleared up with a little clarification errata and additional examples.

This is mostly why more content needs to be released.


Draco18s wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Using a shield not designed to sustain constant, heavy blows, needing a consumable seems about right. They'll go nicely next to my potions and ammunition.
Explain Forge Warden and Arrow Catching, then.

This is where things get controversial, because I believe you simply craft them out of Precious Materials to make them better. Substituting the original stats with the ones of the new material. As for why Steel and Wood seem to change for different Specific Shields, there’s an entry under crafting with Precious Materials that says: Using purer forms of common materials is so relatively inexpensive that the Price is included in any magic item.

Since the Precious Material is a substitution it would override the current shield’s stats.

Could the book state it much less confusingly and in a less convoluted manner? Absolutely. Currently we only have Nethysian Bulwark and Reflecting Shield as positive examples to show this is a reasonable assumption. Indestructible Shield inherently works differently in its design than other shields do, and thus breaks consistency. Currently waiting to see if examples in the APG proves the same or deviate.

That said, personally speaking, it shores up the main issues being presented; especially with the worst offenders, and seems the likely conclusion. This is, however, just my take on it.

Draco18s wrote:
I don't have an issue with some shields being not-blockers (the Spell Catching shield is a good example, its defensive abilities are elsewhere).

Possible i haven’t said so before, but expecting 2-3 hits with minimal investment sounds perfectly reasonable; and even when taking Precious Materials into account they end up just below that bar. That is something i agree should be addressed with additional content rather than changing the mechanics.

I am also defining minimal investment as Shield Block(Class ability or Feat), a Shield, and a Talisman. As an example, if a Wizard wanted to lessen a blow to the face with his Spellguard Shield because things went south during a normal combat, then i feel that should be achievable with at most the general feat, and the maintenance of upgrading said shield, without expecting it to blow to pieces.

Draco18s wrote:
Or how about why even adamantine isn't as good as magical steel and why we can't have magical adamantine.

Nowhere in the book does it state that you can’t have Magical Adamantine. It actually states that if you want to make a Magic Item out of Adamantine then you need the proper Grade of Material to do so. Again, this could have been placed better and more apparent. As for why Magic is harder than Adamantine? Ask the Developers.

Draco18s wrote:
Or why druids can't use sturdy shields.

You’re absolutely right. This could be alleviated with additional content; as an example, a Primal Spell that adds Hardness and maybe even HP specifically to Wooden shields. Druids also have no feats in their class that support shield use, as opposed to Fighters and Champions which have numerous. This is a problem from lack of content, not an example of Shield Mechanics not working in the slightest.

Draco18s wrote:
Or...

You’re free to continue. This is all pretty easy to fix and still leaves plenty of room to grow without needing massive changes like some have suggested.


Draco18s wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Using the math you presented earlier we can illustrate that, with the inclusion of proper consumables, Shields are not as fragile as they seem to be.
Needing a consumable item (and not just one or two, but literal fistfulls of them) out of a splatbook does not to me say that "things are fine."

The assumption being that because the shield can be less fragile means "things are fine" with shields?

It just means shields aren't the fragile paper shields they're being called.

Using a shield not designed to sustain constant, heavy blows, needing a consumable seems about right. They'll go nicely next to my potions and ammunition.

To each their own when it comes to preference of mechanics; but if it can on average, meet the standard of 2-3 hits, consistently and reliably, through one whole combat, then it seems they're in the right place balance wise.

Shields seem to mostly suffer from severe lack of initial content. They only have 3 talismans and 3 feats that manipulate the shield's stats. This gives a real lack of versatility to such a new mechanic. Druid's illustrate this problem the most.


Draco18s wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
In my opinion, it’s probably the same reason that most conversations don’t involve the use of Talismans. This has been my observation, but the side advocating for better shield’s/shield mechanics would like shields to have a better average standard by themselves.

Talismans are one of those things that I thought were going to be great.

And then they weren't.

There's a couple that are worth it, and the Fortifying Pebble is one, but its sort of like finding a nickle when digging through a pile of trash.

I think that’s the majority opinion on Talismans; that they are generally lackluster. My point wasn’t to say anything on Talismans in particular, but they are a tool that i have yet to see involved in any discussions.

Using the math you presented earlier we can illustrate that, with the inclusion of proper consumables, Shields are not as fragile as they seem to be.

Most comments about fragile shields also don’t seem to include the additional support that is exclusive to shields. Not just Divine Ally, which is exclusive to Champion, but also feats and abilities that allow for multiple Blocks a turn. As you pointed out 20 DR doesn’t seem like it scales as much; but when you combine it with the options to raise its Hardness(i suspect Shield Bearer Archetype will do this) and block multiple times then you’re looking at something closer to 60 DR a turn for Sturdy Shields, and that is an impressive amount.


Temperans wrote:

Btw why does no one talk about the Reforging Shield?

I mean yeah its rare, cost twice as much as a Greater Sturdy shield for the same stats, and is available 2 levels later; but the ability to repair itself in combat seems like something that is incredibly useful.

It really is too bad that its rare.

In my opinion, it’s probably the same reason that most conversations don’t involve the use of Talismans. This has been my observation, but the side advocating for better shield’s/shield mechanics would like shields to have a better average standard by themselves.

Couple this with the rules on making Magic Items out of Precious Metals being indexed into different chapters and paragraphs makes the opinion of an Adamantine Forge Warden become polarized between weather that’s by the book or house ruled.


Draco18s wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
If you look at the level at which a shield becomes effectively a consumable, then look at actuall consumables of that level, I think the prices actually are pretty similar.

Alright, lets see.

Adamantine shield (high grade). The shield has Hardness 13, HP 52, and BT 26. Cost 8,800 gp.

Monster...how about a ghaele, creature 13. Has this attack:
Melee [one-action]: holy greatsword +28 (good, magical, versatile P), Damage: 2d12+13 slashing plus 1d6 good and 1d6 other (see Choose Weakness)

2d12+13 damage is guaranteed to do 2d12 of damage to the shield, after hardness. That works out to an average of 4 hits.

Not quite consumable territory, but certainly not the item-1 steel shield versus a creature-1 decent odds to take actually-zero damage.

How about a Rune Giant, creature 16.
Melee [one-action]: greatsword +33 (magical, reach 20 feet, versatile P), Damage: 3d12+17 slashing

So 3d12+4 after hardness. 23.5 damage on average, so two slightly-above-average hits.

A level 13 creature breaks a level 16 adamantine shield in two hits.

Something something consumable. A level 13 consumable is 600 gp.

Going off of this math a Fortifying Pebble will give you 3 blocks before it’s destroyed for 13g; and Mending Lattice can give you upward to 5 blocks in this scenario without it being destroyed.

If we go with the average fight being 6 rounds, then with the use of consumables you can block between 3-5 times without a Sturdy Shield. Since we can’t always rely on average damage it would be reasonable to take some hits to the face, but you’re still blocking somewhere around 40+ damage reliably.


Barbarian/Witch looks like it will be a promising and interesting combo if Cackle remains the same.

Barbarian for Thrown Weapon builds. Only need Raging Thrower. Best with Ranger i think, but can make some rather interesting combos with any other martial.


Finally able to run some numbers last night.

It seems DMW is right in that, even with the lower accuracy, Rage Damage* seems to give a consistent lead above Feral/Bestial Mutagen. In damage, HP, MAD reliance, and probably a few other areas, Barbarian seems to pull ahead just enough to be the better choice; but not enough to discount a melee Mutagenist as a non-rage alternative.

I did notice something odd with the hit chance though. With how Stat progression now works, the bump in Proficiency and Item boost would place Mutagenist +2 to hit over an optimized Barbarian at levels 5-9 and 15-19. I bring this up mostly to see if OP was aware of it.

I think just a flat +2 to Mutagenic item boosts would be better personally speaking. Right now, even as someone that really likes Mutagens as is, the Level 1 versions just feel like a waste unless they’re free. The +1 that’s being suggested is good and makes them feel better, but a +2 would feel more like their niche. If an early +2 would be too strong early levels then a scaling +2 or +3 could feel rewarding as well.

* - i’m assuming Rage Damage gets doubled on a critical hit.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
The interaction with Master Proficiency and the Buff to Mutagenist stands out most for me. If i’m reading it correctly that means the Mutagenist will get +2 - +5 item bonus from Mutagens, while everyone else gets the standard +1 - +4 item bonus.

That seems correct, yes.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
By level 11 a Mutagenist with the ‘Feral Mutagen’ feat can be getting a +4 Item bonus to hit netting +1 to hit above an optimized Barbarian. With d12 Jaws, and d10 agile claws; all of which also have the Deadly d10 trait, seems to make Mutagenist Alchemist a better Feral Martial than a Animal Totem Barbarian.

This is a potential issue only in combination with Int to attacks (which I'm not a fan of to be honest). Without that, the Barbarian's greater Str makes them even, while their huge damage bonus from Rage more than makes up for the Deadly.

Their HP is also much, much, better of course.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
This wouldn’t be that bad if Barbarian could out scale the Alchemist at level 13 with Master Proficiency, but if the Alchemist gets Master Proficiency as well then this just stays the same.
Yeah, adding Int to attacks pushes this over the top for me, and I'm skeptical of it.

I’ll be fair and say i haven’t had time to read through all of it yet. The Int to attack i didn’t know about. Even so, i believe an optimized Mutagenist is only 2 points behind optimized martials because of their Key Stat. Giving them Master Proficiency closes this gap, and the +1 proposed for the Research Field creates a new gap in the Alchemist’s favor. Animal Barbarians don’t get Agile d8 attacks, let alone agile d10’s. As a side note, Monk is able to get Agile d8’s, but not Agile d10’s.

It is possible that the scaling Rage Damage equals things out more than i’m realizing at the moment, but there’s no question that Alchemist is going to be hitting criticals more often than the Barbarian.

For HP it’s possible that the Juggernaut Mutagen at that level can make up for the difference, but i need to make sure.

Barbarian can still be unique enough with its feat choices, so how much of an issue it might actually be could be more speculative than definitive.

On a positive note; i do like the idea of folding a small amount of feats into the Bomber Field. Weather they end up being considered essential or not it allows most Players to have more floating feats like Fighter does, but specific to the Field.


citricking wrote:
All these changes seem like they make the alchemist too effective in combat. Making charts to show how alchemists would fair with the proposed changes (and compared to other classes and how they were previously) would be really helpful.

The interaction with Master Proficiency and the Buff to Mutagenist stands out most for me. If i’m reading it correctly that means the Mutagenist will get +2 - +5 item bonus from Mutagens, while everyone else gets the standard +1 - +4 item bonus.

By level 11 a Mutagenist with the ‘Feral Mutagen’ feat can be getting a +4 Item bonus to hit netting +1 to hit above an optimized Barbarian. With d12 Jaws, and d10 agile claws; all of which also have the Deadly d10 trait, seems to make Mutagenist Alchemist a better Feral Martial than a Animal Totem Barbarian.

This wouldn’t be that bad if Barbarian could out scale the Alchemist at level 13 with Master Proficiency, but if the Alchemist gets Master Proficiency as well then this just stays the same.


ChibiNyan wrote:

An updated map was the biggest hurdle for me when I tried this. It was very annoying as the GM to have to repost it multiple times per day. And players had to use Chessboard movement (Fighter to F8!) to position properly.

Grid combat may not be the best fit for Play-By-Post unless there's a better solution out there.

This may just be me, but treating grid combat like a chessboard for a PbP sounds amazing.

Ran a few Starfinder sessions where i gave a picture of the map and ran it more theater of the mind style. Distances tend to get fudged, but it was kind of a neat mental exercise.


Castilliano wrote:

PF2 encourages GMs to shut down issues which makes no sense, like this one. Also, it's so obviously a cheesy exploit, why would you expect any GM to capitulate?

There are several "fall after your next action" abilities, so perhaps somebody knows of a general rule here? Maybe even more general, like how metamagic doesn't carry over to your next action if that next action is on your next turn.

Threads have made the argument that Bespell Weapon can work on the subsequent turn if the previous turn ended with a spell action; precisely because of its loose wording and the CRB’s somewhat lack of defining if the triggering prerequisite would, or should, carry over or not. I would say this would work using the very same principle.

You’ll have to define why you feel it’s cheesy though, because I agree with Salamileg that you’re spending a spell slot, and still have to deal with the consequences the following turn. Rounds are somewhat intended to be thought of as all turns happening simultaneously within a theoretical 6 second window; so even if said caster had the first turn in the round and used this tactic before, let’s say, 5 other PC’s/NPC’s, the whole round still theoretically lasts 6 seconds.

To add onto this, i would agree with jdripley that some GM’s may not want to deal with this kind of 3 dimensional shenanigans, so knowing how your GM would rule this would be best.


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Gortle wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


Also, at this level you'd have a striking rune I'd imagine, which helps more on the crossbow's larger damage dice. Comparing the shortbow, that would be 20.5 damage on the first hit vs 25.5 damage. Running Reload also offers a lot of contextual benefits that don't show up in white room DPR, like using the extra movement to remove cover bonuses or sneak once you get the right feats.

The extra die size of the crossbow is significant as the striking runes get better. It is why I dont mind the crossbow as a one shot occasional weapon.

But you are totally over selling Running Reload, a ranged character should not be moving every round. Its one of the advantages of ranged - you pick your spot and make them move. If you are using it a lot you are wasting actions and you probably aren't getting your hunted pery, or command animal in.

Retrograding with a ranged weapon is a specific tactic that requires a party built around it to do it more than once or twice.

He’s not really overselling Running Reload at all. Being able to Hide and Reload as a single action is great, and arguably more effective for crossbows. When combined with other Feats like Hunter’s Aim or Penetrating Shot it becomes even more of a one-hit-wonder that a Bow simply can’t keep up with. All of this on top of the fact that bows have to expend twice the ammunition that a crossbow does just to get ahead kinda shows that bows are meant to be better with flexibility and flurry builds while crossbows are meant to be better as heavy hitters.

Currently playing a Crossbow Ranger with an Animal Companion. Completed Plaguestone and Book 1 of AoA and still don’t have buyer’s remorse for my weapon or build choice. Have yet to come across any issues that couldn’t be chalked up to learning a new system; with the exception of how easily the Heavy Crossbow can be eclipsed by the Alchemical one.


Squiggit wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
The difference that i see with this one in particular is that the effect is described as an active Link to the Caster throughout the duration; somewhat similar to a sustaining spell buff. Other Buffs and Debuffs usually apply a condition/bonus/penalty for a listed duration, but the affects are instantaneous.
I'm not really seeing the distinction you're creating. Ant Haul, Haste and Spirit Link are all spells with a range that apply an effect to a target for a duration. They're definitely not instantaneous either, they all have a listed duration and their magic works over that duration and you can dispel them, etc. Spells like Ray of Enfeeblement have the same sort of parameters too.

Instantaneous affect not effect. Something like Ant Haul changes the target’s carrying capability as soon as the spell is cast; the duration is just how long those changes last.

Spirit Link on the other hand essentially renews its casting effect at the beginning of each players turn.

One thing that i can say that actually leans more in your favor is that most spells that have a duration and a range limitation usually state as much in the spells description. Since Spirit Link doesn’t state a limitation on Range after it’s cast then you could reasonably teleport vast distances or even to different Planes and still have the Spirit Link in tact.

Squiggit wrote:
Quote:
The part about invalid targets also isn’t exclusive to drastic changes like a creature turning into an object; but rather that a target that started as a valid one can become invalid within a spells duration.
Right, but is a target that's 35 feet away a valid target that's out of range, or an invalid target entirely in the same way as if you were trying to cast a spell that only targets Undead and the creature suddenly wasn't Undead anymore? The latter interpretation breaks a ton of spells so I don't think it really makes sense here.

The only reference to Spells and Range says that a target not within the Spells Range is an invalid target. With a spell that activates at the beginning of each participants turn i would imagine is treated similarly to a spell that was restricted to an aura.


Squiggit wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
So if you establish a Spirit Link and then walk 5’ too far it would just end.

That's a pretty significant hit to pretty much any duration based buff or debuff if they all turn off when a target leaves its range.

Not sure that's the correct way to parse the rules you're bolding. The part about invalid targets is in the section talking about the target entry, not ranges. For if a creature can somehow turn itself into an object and spells that can't effect objects fall off of it, not range.

The difference that i see with this one in particular is that the effect is described as an active Link to the Caster throughout the duration; somewhat similar to a sustaining spell buff. Other Buffs and Debuffs usually apply a condition/bonus/penalty for a listed duration, but the affects are instantaneous.

This is at least how i’m interpreting it personally, and why i feel you can end the spell with too much distance. The part about invalid targets also isn’t exclusive to drastic changes like a creature turning into an object; but rather that a target that started as a valid one can become invalid within a spells duration.


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The chapter on Spells is able to answer this. Bold for the relevant parts:

Ranges, Areas and Targets CRB pg 304 wrote:
Spells with a range can affect targets, create areas, or make things appear only within that range. Most spell ranges are measured in feet, though some can stretch over miles, reach anywhere on the planet, or go even farther!
Targets CRB pg 304 wrote:

Some spells allow you to directly target a creature, an object, or something that fits a more specific category. The target must be within the spell’s range, and you must be able to see it (or otherwise perceive it with a precise sense) to target it normally. At the GM’s discretion, you can attempt to target a creature you can’t see, as described in Detecting Creatures on pages 465–467. If you fail to target a particular creature, this doesn’t change how the spell affects any other targets the spell might have.

If you choose a target that isn’t valid, such as if you thought a vampire was a living creature and targeted it with a spell that can target only living creatures, your spell fails to target that creature. If a creature starts out as a valid target but ceases to be one during a spell’s duration, the spell typically ends, but the GM might decide otherwise in certain situations.

So if you establish a Spirit Link and then walk 5’ too far it would just end.

If you used the Reach Spell Metamagic though, i believe you could extend the range to 60ft for the entire duration.


Draco18s wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Though let’s assume we can only use Common Materials like Cold Iron and see what we can do with a Forge Warden.

Standard-Grade Cold Iron Forge Warden
7H 28HP 14BP

Pretty basic and lackluster, but we have Feats and Features that can boost it; Divine Ally, Everstand Stance, Emblazon Armament; to where it now looks like this:

Standard-Grade Cold Iron Forge Warden
12H 42HP 21BP

Ok, so, (1) cold iron is a worse material than steel (sure, you bumped up to "standard grade" but we don't have "standard grade steel" to compare with), so why bother and (2) adding Divine Ally, Everstand Stance, and Emblazon Armament to it to show it being useful is a red herring: we can add those feats to the regular version anyway and (3) not everyone is a Paladin.

And oh yeah, (4) how the **** did you even arrive at those stats? 7 hardness? Forge Warden has +1 hardness and +4 HP compared to a steel shield, yet you seem to have completely disregarded that modifier.

Cold-Iron Shield CRB pg 586 wrote:


Type standard-grade cold iron shield; Level 7; Price 340 gp;
Bulk 1; Craft Requirements cold iron worth at least 425 sp The shield has Hardness 7, HP 28, and BT 14.

1 & 4) It’s literally in the section before the magic shields. Precious Materials on page 577 states that you use the materials as a replacement, thus replacing the stats. A Standard-Grade Cold Iron Shield has 7 hardness. Not really any guess work involved with it.

2 & 3)

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Obviously this doesn’t solve the overall issue of choice since you have to specifically build for this outcome;

___________________________________

graystone wrote:

Yes he made a huge post about how it was super easy to use special materials in specific shields just to sidestep my questions on this ignoring the point 100%. Seems kind of bad faith/disingenuous to do so when I bring up the specific issue:

graystone wrote:
This is especially true as we have non-standard hp and hardness with specific shields and have no rules on how to merge them with special materials hp and hardness: do you take the highest? Remove the added bonuses from given material of the special shield and add that bonus to the special material? So even if we can, how does it work? So it's far too complicated for a simple "can".

All I get is this instead...

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
So i guess we found plenty of those elusive rules you said didn’t exist.
WE clearly have a different definition of "we" as I haven't found anything...
Precious Materials CRB pg 577 wrote:
Materials with the precious trait can be SUBSTITUTED FOR THE BASE MATERIALS. For example, a hammer’s head could be made of adamantine instead of iron. Items made of a precious material cost more than typical items; not only does precious material cost more, but the crafter must invest more time working with it. In addition, more powerful items require precious materials of greater purity.

I’m all ears to hear how this doesn’t answer how it works plain as day unless you want to nit-pick on the details of the elusive Steel and Wood materials.


graystone wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
So the book clearly expects the player to craft magical items out of precious materials. The Precious materials, being placed before the Magical Equipment of their respective section, would imply use in this regard.
It expects items to be made out of them: that doesn't mean that PLAYERS are meant to make them. We have specific/mundane items made out if those items by default and NO rules on how to make specific item with alternate materials so I'm afraid I don't see the inference you're seeing. How does a PC figure out the hardness and HO of an adamantine forge warden? The fact that they can't IMO implies more that they aren't meant to than anything that might make me lean the other way.

No rules on this? Let’s see if that’s actually true.

Item Damage CRB pg 272 wrote:
An item’s Hardness, Hit Points, and Broken Threshold usually depend on the material the item is made of. This information appears on page 577.

So the stats of a Shield depends on what materials it’s made out of? Good thing we have a list of different material shields and their stats.

Precious Materials CRB pg 577 wrote:
Materials with the precious trait can be SUBSTITUTED FOR THE BASE MATERIALS. For example, a hammer’s head could be made of adamantine instead of iron. Items made of a precious material cost more than typical items; not only does precious material cost more, but the crafter must invest more time working with it. In addition, more powerful items require precious materials of greater purity.

You substitute the material; as in full on replace the old stats with the ones of the Precious Material. So we found rules for that.

Crafting with Precious Materials CRB pg 578 wrote:

Only an expert crafter can create a low-grade item, only a master can create a standard-grade item, and only a legendary crafter can create a high-grade item. In addition, to Craft with a precious material, your character level must be equal to or greater than that of the material.

Low-grade items can be used in the creation of magic items of up to 8th level, and they can hold runes of up to 8th level. Standard-grade items can be used to create magic items of up to 15th level and can hold runes of up to 15th level. High-grade items use the purest form of the precious material, and can be used to Craft magic items of any level holding any runes. Using purer forms of common materials is so relatively inexpensive that the Price is included in any magic item.
When you Craft an item that incorporates a precious material, your initial raw materials for the item must include that material; at least 10% of the investment must be of the material for low-grade, at least 25% for standard-grade, and all of it for high-grade. For instance, a low-grade silver object of 1 Bulk costs 20 gp. Of the 10 gp of raw materials you provide when you start to Craft the item, at least 1 gp must be silver. The raw materials you spend to complete the item don’t have to consist of the precious material, though the GM might rule otherwise in certain cases.
After creating an item with a precious material, you can use Craft to improve its grade, paying the Price difference and providing a sufficient amount of the precious material.

The parts that are in bold are talking to the player exclusively here, so much so that it refers to the GM separately, so this section is obviously intended for players more than it is GMs. This part is rich with rules for the player to use on crafting with different materials.

So i guess we found plenty of those elusive rules you said didn’t exist.

Greystone wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
The book brings up how Uncommon should be used, and it can be somewhat expected for a player to ask about their view on it in advanced. You do have a point when pointing out Rarity, but it’s not an overstatement on my part via the default expectations of the book.
Let me quote what you quoted and BOLDED: "By default, a character who tries hard enough might eventually find an uncommon option". Note what I bolded: "MIGHT". The default expectation of the game isn't that a PC is 100% guaranteed to find ANY uncommon+ item, hence the might and that's all I've been saying. As a less than 100% chance of it being available, it's not a reason to have crappy hardness/hp on items with the expectation of materials to overcome it's vulnerabilities. You just can't assume you'll find an adamantine shield to make your forge warden an actual usable shield: you MIGHT be able to, but that's been my point.

I’m pretty sure i answered you on this part.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
While i agree with you that pointing to Adamantine as the Material to go for every time would be somewhat reductionist of myself;

That’s right, i actually agreed with you that pointing to uncommon materials was being somewhat dismissive on my part.

Though let’s assume we can only use Common Materials like Cold Iron and see what we can do with a Forge Warden.

Standard-Grade Cold Iron Forge Warden
7H 28HP 14BP

Pretty basic and lackluster, but we have Feats and Features that can boost it; Divine Ally, Everstand Stance, Emblazon Armament; to where it now looks like this:

Standard-Grade Cold Iron Forge Warden
12H 42HP 21BP

Obviously this doesn’t solve the overall issue of choice since you have to specifically build for this outcome; but with more support and features this can be a more regular sight among Shields all around. This is where my critique for shields is for the time being, and it give a more focused look on where additional support would be welcomed.

Meanwhile, threads like these tend to be up in arms that shields are all around bad, and must be errata’d, or redesigned, or some other such rabble. Personally i’m still on the side that feels shields may still be weak right now, and want to see if they actually are and where they could use additional support rather than just rattle off how bad they are and criticize anyone that may not agree that Shield Warden deserves to be in a burning dumpster along with the Precious Material Shields in the same section.


@Wheldrake - Your Shield Runes idea seemed a little wonky so i tweaked the numbers and staggered it through the levels; but it basically acts as an extension to how Shield stats are currently calculated. I turned it into an item bonus so it doesn’t interfere with Emblazoned Armament and acts like other Runes. . . mostly that is. . .

Shield Runes:
Stalwart | Rune 3+
Usage Etched onto a Shield
____________________________
Stalwart runes imbue shields with additional protective magic. This grants the shield a +1 item bonus to Hardness, a +4 item bonus to HP and a +2 item bonus to BP.
You can upgrade the stalwart rune already etched on a Shield to a stronger version, increasing the values of the existing rune to those of the new rune. You must have the formula of the stronger rune to do so, and the Price of the upgrade is the difference between the two runes’ Prices.
____________________________
Minor - Level 3
+1 Hardness +4 HP +2 BP
Lesser - Level 7
+2 Hardness +8 HP +4 BP
Moderate - Level 11
+3 Hardness +12 HP +6 BP
Greater - Level 15
+4 Hardness +16 HP +8 BP
Major - Level 19
+5 Hardness +20 HP +10 BP

I did allow it to go up to +5, which is unusual for Runes, or Bonuses in general this edition. If you feel they’re still to weak you can multiply the numbers by 2 or 3. I couldn’t think up how to price them though.

Draco18s wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Would you be able to source where it says Adamantine is Rare? I just double checked my CRB and did a search on AoN, and Adamantine comes up as Uncommon, not Rare. The only Adamantine item that’s Rare being the Indestructible Shield itself.
Misremembered. My apologies.

No problem really, it happens.


Draco18s wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
While i agree with you that pointing to Adamantine as the Material to go for every time would be somewhat reductionist of myself; saying that your sole dependency of coming across it is entirely dependent on the whims of your GM is just as reductionist of a side to stand on. The book brings up how Uncommon should be used, and it can be somewhat expected for a player to ask about their view on it in advanced. You do have a point when pointing out Rarity, but it’s not an overstatement on my part via the default expectations of the book.
Adamantine is rare, not uncommon, and by default rare is non-existent.

Would you be able to source where it says Adamantine is Rare? I just double checked my CRB and did a search on AoN, and Adamantine comes up as Uncommon, not Rare. The only Adamantine item that’s Rare being the Indestructible Shield itself.


graystone wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
You can make bucklers and most shields out of any of these precious materials

It doesn't say magic or specific shields, so we have no way to know if it means just non-magic shields or includes magic/specific ones. Note the part you didn't bold "but only darkwood can be used to make tower shields": this makes it seem like it's talking about shield types specifically instead of making a statement on magic/specific items.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
An item can be made with no more than one precious material
This in no way clarifies things as it too could be talking about 100% mundane items: nothing indicates specific items are being talked about.

That’s not a very convincing interpretation personally. Weapons and Armor have the exact same excerpt before it goes on to list the Specific Magical ones. In the Materials section it also has the section called, ‘Crafting with Precious Materials’(CRB pg 578). So the book clearly expects the player to craft magical items out of precious materials. The Precious materials, being placed before the Magical Equipment of their respective section, would imply use in this regard.

Greystone wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
@Greystone - There is no overstatement in saying you can craft it with more durable materials at all.
Can is still an overstatement IMO: you might be able to is you can find the material but that isn't guaranteed. It's more a 'might' be able to. Add to that that it's not even clear if magic or specific items are possible with special materials: specific shields indicate materials needed in their construction. For instance, we have no way of knowing if a Lion's Shield NEEDS to be a steel shield or not for that specific enchantment. This is especially true as we have non-standard hp and hardness with specific shields and have no rules on how to merge them with special materials hp and hardness: do you take the highest? Remove the added bonuses from given material of the special shield and add that bonus to the special material? So even if we can, how does it work? So it's far too complicated for a simple "can".
Using Rarity and Access CRB pg 488 wrote:

The rarity system has two purposes: to convey how common or rare certain spells, creatures, or items are in the game world, and to give you an easy tool to control the complexity of your game. Uncommon and rare options aren’t more powerful than other options of their level, but they introduce complications for certain types of stories, or are less common in the world. For instance, it might be more challenging to run a mystery adventure when a player can cast an uncommon spell such as detect evil.

At the start of the campaign, communicate your preferred expectations on rarity to the players. Unless you decide otherwise, the players can choose from any common options they qualify for, plus any uncommon options granted by their character choices—primarily their ancestry and class. By default, a character who tries hard enough might eventually find an uncommon option, whereas a rare option is always a special reward. Beyond that baseline, you can grant access as freely as you want; some GMs open up all uncommon and rare options universally. If you’re not sure, just look over any uncommon or rare elements before you include them as rewards or otherwise allow a player to acquire them.

While i agree with you that pointing to Adamantine as the Material to go for every time would be somewhat reductionist of myself; saying that your sole dependency of coming across it is entirely dependent on the whims of your GM is just as reductionist of a side to stand on. The book brings up how Uncommon should be used, and it can be somewhat expected for a player to ask about their view on it in advanced. You do have a point when pointing out Rarity, but it’s not an overstatement on my part via the default expectations of the book.


Temperans wrote:
* P.S. why does everyone forget Ranged Magus. Ranged Magi need love too.

Originally i had the idea to split the main foci up into paths and see how it shook out. The third path was focused on being ranged; weather as an Arcane Archer or a Spell Sniper. A Ranged Magus would be really cool though indeed.


Draco18s wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
I also made mention that Druids seem to find the roughest end of this since they can only use Darkwood and Dragonhide Shield materials because of their Anathema. I’ve also said i would like to see more Feats and Abilities that boost Hardness similar to the handful that we currently have available.
Quote:
A dragonslayer’s shield is a steel shield covered with dragonhide...
Unclear if this is a valid choice for druids. The buckler doesn't say what it's made out of. It has lower durability than darkwood, so...

I agree, Dragonslayer could use better wording. When looking at the crafting requirements it’s not using enough material to be considered full Dragonhide; but since it also includes Dragonhide in the crafting process i can see people ruling that using other materials would conflict with the Precious Materials rule of only one per item. The safest bet is probably add the remaining Dragonhide Material and call it a Dragonhide Dragonslayer.


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Fighter’s Reflexive Shield Feat would allow for this exact thing, but under normal circumstances Themetricsystem is right in that you can’t normally block non-physical attacks as per Shield Block’s trigger.

Even in the circumstance of Reflexive Shield, you would calculate the damage like any other Shield Block.

Reflexive Shield E.x.

Fireball: 21 dmg

Standard-Grade Dragonhide: Hardness 4

21 - 4 = 17 dmg to the Shield and the Wielder; though since the Shield is immune in this instance then just the Wielder would take the damage.


Squiggit wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Yes, it’s almost like you can make a Forge Warden out of different and more durable materials.

Can you? There aren't really any provisions in the rules for crafting specific magic shields (or specific items in general) out of special materials. Some specific shields call out explicitly the material they're made out of, which makes it seem a little dubious that you're intended to be able to craft them out of whatever you want.

Even if you could, it makes the item significantly more expensive and doesn't actually make them all that much more durable unless you're using adamantine specifically.

The answer you’re looking for is, ‘yes, you can.

Precious Material Shields CRB pg 586 wrote:
Shields made of precious materials are more expensive and have different durabilities. You can make bucklers and most shields out of any of these precious materials, but only darkwood can be used to make tower shields.

Since it gives us a vague limitation with the terminology ‘most shields’ we must refer to the Materials section:

Materials CRB pg 577 wrote:
Most materials are metals; they can be used to make metal weapons and armor. The GM is the final arbiter of what items can be made using a material. An item can be made with no more than one precious material, and only an expert in Crafting can create it. Some rare and exotic materials require master or even legendary proficiency.

Which means the only Shields this limitation would include, for the CRB, would be the Indestructible and Reflecting Shields. Dragonslayer Shield might fall into this category, but it doesn’t use enough dragonhide to be considered a replacement material; thus why the description calls it a Steel Shield and not a Dragonhide Shield.

@Greystone - There is no overstatement in saying you can craft it with more durable materials at all. I will say it’s a fair critique to say with the uncommon tag a player will be hard pressed to expect said material at the level they may need it, depending on GM. I also made mention that Druids seem to find the roughest end of this since they can only use Darkwood and Dragonhide Shield materials because of their Anathema. I’ve also said i would like to see more Feats and Abilities that boost Hardness similar to the handful that we currently have available.


Draco18s wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
As silly as the Sturdy Shield response was, i find it more baffling that there are some that still use Forge Warden to make a Strawman about Shields in general and then complain about it.
I'll keep making the argument every time someone uses Sturdy Shield as evidence that Shields in general are fine.

Arguing a bad example with a bad example just gives you. . . two bad examples and nothing good.

Draco18s wrote:
Because (1) it exists and is clearly intended to be used to block attacks and (2) doesn't have the hardness and HP to actually survive that usage and (3) see all of the __material__ Shield entries.

*Looks at all the __material__Shield entries*

Yes, it’s almost like you can make a Forge Warden out of different and more durable materials.


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Squiggit wrote:

Honestly a little bit baffled by someone saying "non-sturdy shields that rely on blocking can't keep up, their numbers suck"

and then a couple posts later someone replies "my [Character] loves their sturdy shield, shields are fine!"

over and over and over....

As silly as the Sturdy Shield response was, i find it more baffling that there are some that still use Forge Warden to make a Strawman about Shields in general and then complain about it.

Over and over and over....


Can’t say i have play experience at mid range levels yet. We have a Redeemer Champion testing out shields and we’re keeping a close eye on how ‘fragile’ they may or may not be. Through over half of Plaguestone and almost all of AoA’s 1st book, the Tower Shield has only been destroyed once (not from combat), and has only been Broken by one boss from Plaguestone. Shields at the moment seem rather strong, and i plan to specifically keep an eye out for Forge Warden usage when it becomes available.

Adding Shield stats with Special Materials will put most other shields slightly above Sturdy Shields in Hardness while keeping Sturdy Shields HP much higher, giving players a reasonable option between the two choices if that’s the route a table wants to go down.

I feel Shields are actually in a pretty nice place right now, with the hope that they get additional support in the APG via more Hardness buffing feats and abilities.

As for Druids, Sturdy Shields can be made out of Dragonhide.

Dragonhide CRB pg 579 wrote:
The hide and scales of a dragon can be used to Craft any item normally made of ordinary leather or hide. Dragonhide varies in color from blue to glittering gold, depending on the dragon it came from. Due to the scales’ resiliency, it can also be used to Craft armor usually made out of metal plates (such as a breastplate, half plate, and full plate), allowing such armor to be made without metal. Dragonhide objects are immune to one damage type, depending on the type of dragon.

Dragonhide Materials for Shields are already priced out in the book. Weather it’s fair to force Druids to need this option is another topic entirely, but Druids are able to use Sturdy Shields if they so desire.


Old_Man_Robot wrote:
I wish! Sadly a ranged attack and ranged spell attacks are two distinct game terms, so it won’t help in that regard sadly!

Actually that’s not quite accurate. The section that talks about Ranged Attacks talks about when you’re using a weapon specifically. Fighter’s Point Blank Shot specifies it only works with Ranged Weapons as well, rather than Ranged Attacks. There are a couple of instances of using Ranged Unarmed Attacks as well, which are specifically not included as weapons.

There’s also this section under Spell Attacks:

Spell Attacks CRB pg 305 wrote:
Some spells require you to succeed at a spell attack roll to affect the target. This is usually because they require you to precisely aim a ray or otherwise make an accurate attack. A spell attack roll is compared to the target’s AC. Spell attack rolls benefit from any bonuses or penalties to attack rolls, including your multiple attack penalty, but not any special benefits or penalties that apply only to weapon or unarmed attacks. Spell attacks don’t deal any damage beyond what’s listed in the spell description.

Quicksilver doesn’t say Ranged Weapons specifically, which would mean it should include Thrown, Unarmed and even Spell Attacks that fit the criteria of being Ranged.


Unicore wrote:

I know we are all just brainstorming ideas, and so I don't want anyone to take my suggestions as an attack on anyone else's ideas.

I really don't understand why the default Magus is going to get Medium armor proficiency. If anything, giving it medium armor proficiency is just going to reduce what else the class can have, the druid has medium armor, but can't use metal, so is limited to hide until advanced materials are available. I don't think it is a really great idea for the magus to be the warpriest of the wizard class. The PF1 Magus has light armor proficiency and the class leans heavily on the dex/finesse weapon build.

I think giving up the school feature and the thesis is probably enough to cover for light armor proficiency and whatever the spell combat class feature turns out to be. But the class is desperately going to need some mobility to stay alive.

I would not recommend cutting the magus' casting proficiency to master, especially if their weapon proficiency is going to cap out at Expert. Spell attack roll spells are not very good as is right now. They take up two actions, do nothing on a failure, and the good ones will often still require a save from their enemy. Plus they are spent whether they hit or not. Getting the item bonus is nice, but the reduced MAP is not really that useful because your spells are almost all going to take up two or more actions.

If your vision of the class is that the character strikes first with a sword, and then is able to channels magical energy through the sword for increased damage, I think an innate feature, perhaps focus point driven is better than trying to allow the class to cast spells through the weapon somehow. PF2 spells are too different from each other and have too many unique caveats for how they work for a spell strike feature to function clearly. There just are not enough spells that are spell attack only for a magus who's features only interact with spell attack rolls. If it were to try to include other damaging spells as well, it is...

My mistake,I thought Warpriest got access to Heavy Armor. Throwing in Medium Armor was more meant to not step on Warpriest’s toes because i thought they had higher access. I think you’re right that Light Armor would be the better choice then. What about giving them Shield Block instead?

In the context of it being a Thesis or a Class Archetype, there are still certain things i worry about with it. Mostly with how much content it gets allowed. As a Thesis it might be a one and done thing, like i feel Warpriest is, and not get additional content on it later on. I personally don’t feel they’ll revisit the Warpriest Doctrine to add more features and options except to use it as a requirement for certain feats later on. I can be wrong on this front since it’s too early on to tell definitively one way or the other.

The Proficiencies are rather tricky in this bit, and i’ll admit a personal bias towards Master/Master over Expert/Legendary so long as the balance works in the end. Expert/Master, as you point out, just seems weak.

Vision for the class seems to be the most. . . contested(?) part among the discussions. A number of people like the appeal of flashy, elemental, and additional damage. I tend to like more subtle and utility based builds. Illusion, Abjuration, Necromancy, Conjuration can be equally as valuable in constant combats as Evocation.

I’m curious where the desire or reasoning is to change Spellstrike mechanics to something too different from the examples we have in the CRB with ‘Spellstrike Ammunition’ and ‘Spell Storing Rune’. I don’t think I’ve asked that directly before and am genuinely curious if there’s something I’m missing or if it’s more of a personal preference.


Castilliano wrote:
I suspect level caps on the spells used w/ Spellstrike would be a factor, much like w/ Spell Storing weapons. Note that that's a high-level weapon boost which takes a lull to recharge.

It’s possible to limit the spell levels allowed to be used. Something like:

Levels
1 - 1st level spells
5 - 2nd level spells
11 - 3rd level spells
17 - 4th level spells

Or

1 - 1st level spells
5 - 2nd level spells
9 - 3rd level spells
13 - 4th level spells
17 - 5th level spells

It would contain the level of spells to worry about; and with either limitation it might allow access to Master in Weapons and Spellcasting, if we limit their Armor to light and medium for the base kit.

Admittedly i’m not sure if this method would allow the use of Cantrips for striking. Most likely not Focus Spells though.


Unicore wrote:
I don't think a great class defining ability should be making spells have to add another die roll in order to succeed, even if you get to add an extra weapon attack into the picture with it. Most casters can already make an attack with a weapon and then cast a saving throw targeting spell without penalty, at the advantage that the attack could miss and the spell could still hit hard.

That would be part of the risk/reward involved to balance it out and why Master in Spellcasting would feel justified. Admittedly it’s pure speculation on an ability an NPC uses, so it’s also possible that it’s not designed for players. This is the reason i never found the -4 as unbalancing as many seem to on first glance. Now if we gave that to a Legendary Spellcaster. . .

>.>

<.<

The problem i come across when using Melee Attack rolls for spell saves is, even if we assume this part of the Spellstrike ends up being Magus exclusive, do we use that for Spellstriking Fear, Fireball, Hideous Laughter?

With how Spellstrike Ammunition works, I’m not limited to only damage spells. Should a Magus only be limited to damage spells?


vagrant-poet wrote:

I think a good basis for approaching this should not be, mimic exact mechanics from First Edition.

It should be: What is the fantasy I want to facilitate? How can I facilitate this?

#1 has many answers, its pretty subjective. IMO the answer is someone who fights with weapons in melee enhanced or using flashy elemental magic in a significant measure.

#2 Taking my #1 you could decide how to best do this, can you already do it with existing options? Can you do it with a new option in an existing framework, like a new druid order, etc? Can you do it with an archetype? If none of the above, it's probably time to make a new class. At which point you really need to be setting down what he mechanic niche is, and whether that niche fits and makes sense in the new edition, etc.

I think we agree that mimicking mechanics isn’t going to work. Arcane Pool for instance will probably have to either be redesigned or scrapped. For the most part Spellstrike, and Spell Combat, are agreed as core features; though the exact details are being debated.

My issue comes from replacing the Spell Slots for Focus Spells entirely. I don’t picture the ‘flashy elemental magic’ as its core identity; similarly to how Clerics aren’t simply Heal-Bots because they have channel energy, or Monks aren’t just bare fisted Fighters. I may be in the minority with my viewpoint of it, and i’m okay with that, but if you take away Spell Slots you no longer have a Magus.

@Unicore - We have two published examples with how this will most likely work.

Spellstrike Ammunition CRB pg 560 wrote:


The ammunition affects only the target hit, even if the spell would normally affect more than one target. If the spell requires a spell attack roll, use the result of your ranged attack roll with the ammunition to determine the degree of success of the spell. If the spell requires a saving throw, the target attempts the save against your spell DC.

This seems elegant enough. Hit with attack; if it’s a save spell make the save after the initial attack. The -4 to saves on the other ability that was quoted earlier can be thought of as a unique class feature like Hunter’s Edge, that wouldn’t get passed on via MCD, and doesn’t have to be as strong at beginning levels.


If we’re talking the start of a new campaign, then there doesn’t seem like there’s enough investment for something so dramatic. You could lower the number of assassins down to one or two powerful members that were just being interrupted/delayed by the caster and elementals. That would make it feel less conspiratorial against the players. What’s suppose to keep players interested though?

I wouldn’t blame myself for wrong assumptions; particularly cause the way the scene is written i would be suspicious of the girl for some reason, but that may just be me.


For me it depends on how disruptive an idea it may actually be. Using the ‘dagger-staff spear-wand’ as a loose example; is it unique? Are they okay with the ‘wand’ doing a d4 and the staff being a simple staff damage and trait wise? Is the spear okay as a longspear? Going off the idea that this is more about creative fluff than power than you can add a trait that ‘swaps’ weapon configurations with an interact action that requires a free hand. The Staff can be any listed Magical Staff that gets access to the higher spell levels the more runes they put on it or match it with their spell level; and the wand can just be a wand.

I also inspired a player to make a character concept in a certain way and they were really excited to play it. The problem was it was pretty antithetical to the setting in general and so i was up front with them, ‘i like this idea. It seems really cool, but for this setting it won’t work.’


Unicore wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Unicore wrote:
The real problem in my mind with the magus as Master martial and expert caster, is that the fighter MC caster is just going to be universally better at doing what this class is supposed to be doing as niche.

This is also an issue i see going with the ‘Focus-Caster’ route. A Fighter, or any Martial really, can MCD any caster for spells and Master Spellcasting, and grab ‘Magus’ for Spellstrike and now we just have a better ‘Magus’. A Focus based Martial sounds like a good idea for a reimagined Eldritch Knight rather than a butchered Magus.

As for Caster MCD feeling like a tax; you get Master Spellcasting, Additional Spell slots and whatever other icings the class may get as specific features. Is there a downside? Are these supposed 18th level class feats that good?

Why would spell strike be available through Multiclassing? It seems like that would be locked behind whatever class ability is granted by the Magus Archetype for wizard. Nobody gets wizard theses from MCing. I think that aspect of the class would occupy the same space.

The thread has been a little bit here and there; with one of the things mentioned about being Magus as a Focus-Spell based class in place of Spell Slots.

Spellstrike as a Thesis or Class Archetype i wouldn’t be against; unless it was at the expense of the Magus future. One of the reasons you actually pointed out. With Magus being a Thesis, for example, then no other class would have access to it as far as we know. One of the more popular ideas in each of these threads tends to be using Spellstrike with other classes and/or spell lists; usually in the form of ‘pick your casting tradition’, but also in access via MCD.

Rage; AoO; Focus Spells; Hunt Prey; FoB; Sneak Attack (1d6 cap); Compositions; Divine Ally; Quick Alchemy; all of these can be grabbed via MCD to varying degrees, so it would seem odd to me that Spellstrike wouldn’t be.


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Unicore wrote:
The real problem in my mind with the magus as Master martial and expert caster, is that the fighter MC caster is just going to be universally better at doing what this class is supposed to be doing as niche.

This is also an issue i see going with the ‘Focus-Caster’ route. A Fighter, or any Martial really, can MCD any caster for spells and Master Spellcasting, and grab ‘Magus’ for Spellstrike and now we just have a better ‘Magus’. A Focus based Martial sounds like a good idea for a reimagined Eldritch Knight rather than a butchered Magus.

As for Caster MCD feeling like a tax; you get Master Spellcasting, Additional Spell slots and whatever other icings the class may get as specific features. Is there a downside? Are these supposed 18th level class feats that good?


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I like the idea of merging a Stride action with a Somatic action; have it effectively work like Running Reload. That actually solves most issues i see with the Magus coming to 2e.

As much as i like the idea of Magus having Master in Weapons, i’m thinking more and more that Expert in Arms and Armor with Master Spellcasting is the best way to go. If you have any less than Master then, like Greystone says, MCD feels like a mandatory tax. This also allows the freedom to add abilities that can augment the stats for where they’re needed; such as abilities like Ki Strike giving a temp status bonus to Attack Rolls.


Currently running through Plaguestone as a Gnome Ranger that’s going to specialize in crafting. I’m making a quick reference spreadsheet so i can know what to expect to pay when given a set amount of downtime. Using 7-8 days as the longest i want to spend on a single item, or batch of items. To consider the discount practical it’s looking like you want to be 3-4 levels higher than the item you’re crafting. This is a pretty spitball estimate at the moment though unfortunately.


Squiggit wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:


The thing is, from my perspective, i see the interpretation of lowering the Fatal Die Size as the interpretation that’s ignoring how Fatal works.

And I disagree. Fatal changes your damage die to d12s, but Grasping Reach reduces the damage die by one. This reading allows both abilities to work together and in a way that is consistent with how they work independently of each other.

I feel like that's a lot more compelling than just deciding one ability doesn't work at all in a specific scenario.

Quote:
I also mentioned how Greatpick is the one, of currently three, weapons with Fatal that only has a single Die increase from Fatal.

I feel like, if anything, that's an argument against your interpretation, because it makes Fatal relatively more powerful than normal in the specific situation of being under the effect of Grasping Reach, which again is kind of strange and unintuitive.

Quote:
That’s why i would suggest that if the common opinion here is indeed the correct one, having a line that says something along the lines of, ‘Damage Die Reductions occur after any and all Damage Die Increases,’
This is where I think the big hangup is. There is no 'after' or 'before' as I read it. Grasping Reach, while active, is just a passive modifier on the damage die of your weapons. It's always there unless you turn the ability itself off, rather than being something you can shuffle around or ignore.

I know you disagree, thus why i said ‘from my perspective’. Fatal and Grasping Reach also both say that they alter ‘the Normal Weapon Die Size’. In this instance both abilities are altering the Die Size and in opposing directions at that. This means one of them has to take affect first and the other takes affect second; there’s no two ways around it since even in your example of it being passive and always active you’re still applying it after Fatal takes affect. Fatal not being the normal die size and only being the die size on a critical would reasonably mean it takes affect after Grasping Reach since it has such a specific activation requirement. As for Grasping Reach always being active, i agree; which is why a d8 would be the normal die size while it’s active. Fatal also says it increases to the listed die size instead of the normal die size; this also suggests an ‘order of operations’ of sorts.

So the way i see it either Fatal overrides Grasping Reach, or Grasping Reach overrides Fatal, since with this scenario the decrease in die size would be something other than the listed d12 die size.

I’m not sure how a Greatpick getting a d12 on a critical and a d8 on a normal hit is considered relatively more powerful than normal; slightly more powerful sure, but the Greatpick seems like the worst bang for your buck out of the three; with Lightpick being the best choice. A Lightpick is an Agile Weapon that becomes a d8 on a critical; literally the most powerful Agile weapon at the moment. If Fatal also is intended to be reduced then that just shifts the go to weapon to be ones with the Deadly Trait since we already know that that isn’t affected by changes in die size; which is interestingly one of the issues that keeps cropping up with Fatal possibly overriding Grasping Reach currently.


Squiggit wrote:

I read grasping reach as being an 'always on' effect. It's not about stacking or order of operations, it's just a passive thing you deal with.

So your greatpick swings for d8 and on fatal it gets upgraded to d12 which then gets reduced to d10 by the effect of grasping reach.

This interpretation respects the functionality of both abilities and I think it's more logically consistent to have them both work rather than to selectively ignore one of them.

The thing is, from my perspective, i see the interpretation of lowering the Fatal Die Size as the interpretation that’s ignoring how Fatal works. I also mentioned how Greatpick is the one, of currently three, weapons with Fatal that only has a single Die increase from Fatal. To me it seems obvious that the damage would be d12’s even if you applied the the affect of Grasping Reach.

That’s why i would suggest that if the common opinion here is indeed the correct one, having a line that says something along the lines of, ‘Damage Die Reductions occur after any and all Damage Die Increases,’ would be the best solution and fix any interpretation issues with this and in the future. That or adding the last line of the Deadly Trait to Fatal; since they both act fairly similar.


beowulf99 wrote:


I don't think you are being obstinate or anything. You just have a different point of view. That is not a bad thing.

It is obvious that any increase or decrease to weapon damage die would have to be added prior to a roll, and in any case there can never be a "feedback loop" of effects because generally speaking a bonus or a penalty can only be applied once per "check". I believe the issue comes from increasing and decreasing damage die being a non-standard bonus or penalty. However since you called out the fact that Grasping Reach isn't a penalty at all, at least it isn't called out as such in the rule unlike every other penalty I can find with a quick search, that could mean that it actually subplants any further alteration to the die size.

Consider that as far as I can tell there were no effects that specifically reduced a weapons damage die size prior to the existence of Grasping Reach. This could mean that the intention is that it counts as your one modification you are allowed to a weapons damage die, which would completely negate Fatal.

That is another possible interpretation. I don't like it, and lieu of an official ruling, would rather go with the bonus cancels penalty interpretation as it seems the most fair to all parties. Fatal is still providing you a benefit, the extra damage die, and you ares till being penalized for having the added reach of Grasping Reach.

Normal Weapon Damage Dice is largely irrelevant under my interpretation. I would personally define it as the standard die given by the weapon, so in the case of Greatpick it would be a d10. However Fatal has a specified die size that it changes the "normal" die size to, which means that regardless of any changes to the "normal die size" you end up with the Fatal die size, which again under my interpretation is then reduced by Grasping Reach. I don't see a rule violation happening in that interaction.

As a rule I believe that there are no free lunches. If you are gaining a benefit, like the added 10 foot reach of Grasping Reach, you pay for it. Any rules interpretation that sidesteps that cost in my mind is an exploit, especially if it is not the the one I find to be most logical. That is my mindset for GMing however and I am in no way saying that I am absolutely correct, just providing my thought process for instances like this.

My thoughts and feelings echo most of this to be honest. I do find your interpretation both convincing and a reasonable conclusion to a somewhat vague ruling on an incredibly niche scenario. Personally i like players that come up with ideas like this one, cause it bring novelty and ingenuity to the table, which i hold in exceedingly high regard; and also encourages such behavior. There is a limit to this of course, as cheese can absolutely ruin a gaming or story environment.

My part in the discussion was more putting the explanation to the test and seeing how it holds up; which caused me to find issues in certain parts, and to bring them to attention. If anything i feel we’ve been able to somewhat narrow down where the difference of opinion is originating. Although i don’t feel topic will be that common of an issue, i feel it would be good to have a firm understanding before we end up with a dozen 2h Fatal weapons and half a dozen Grasping Reach type feats.


SuperBidi wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

If we think about what Fatal is actually doing, it becomes pretty clear how it’s suppose to work. When you hit a vulnerable spot it does exponentially more damage and is more effective than the actual swing itself, thus the weapon you are swinging does more damage than it normally does.

Why would this only apply sometimes? If the weapon is able to critically hit, it does the listed damage, full stop.

No one says no to that. What people say is that there's no reason to remove an effect affecting the player because there's an effect giving an opposite bonus.

It's like saying that because you have a bonus to hit, it eliminates all penalties to hit. Nope. Your weapon die is reduced by one size and you have an increased weapon size through Fatal. Both cumulated means d10s and not d12s. It's fair and I don't see anything supporting your ruling. So why applying an unfair rule that is not supported clearly?

That was more an example of why ‘common sense’ is a poor way to support a reasoning for a ruling since it works the other way around. In both instances it’s nothing more than a justification for a decision, not an explanation of the rules working or not working.

One issue with the ‘Penalty’ part is; well, it’s not called out as a penalty, but rather reasonably assumed as a penalty. If we treat it like any other penalty and put it into the Damage Roll formula then we come across the real issue. You are suppose to have rolled for damage before penalties are applied. If we assume that GR is a penalty then it causes us to re-roll our damage from the beginning since penalties are the last thing to take into consideration; but then we have to apply the penalty with the new numbers; and this just causes a loop until it tries to lower it below a d4.

The other issue that hasn’t been addressed is; What is ‘Normal Weapon Damage Dice’? How i’m Understanding your point is that Fatal, in this instance, is being treated as Normal and thus taking the penalty. Okay, let’s be fair and say that’s the case. How do we treat Precision Damage that adds onto a weapon? That can be applied much more consistently than the Fatal Trait, so should we reasonably assume that to be considered Normal as well?

Lastly, it seems i’m being viewed merely as obstinate, or disingenuous; which isn’t actually the case. If it was clarified that the Die Reduction was suppose to happen before Damage was rolled then i would certainly agree with you; regardless of my personal opinion on such a ruling. In this case all i have done is point out the issues i have with each point that has been brought up; much like how beowulf99 critiqued my points, i find a number of issues with the reasoning so far given when actually comparing them to the rules we have at the moment.


theservantsllcleanitup wrote:

If we think about what Grasping Reach is actually doing, it becomes pretty clear how it's supposed to work. Using prehensile vines to control and swing your weapon is not as effective as using your actual arms, thus the weapon you are swinging does less damage than it normally does.

Why would this only apply sometimes? If the weapon is being wielded by 10 foot vines, it does less damage, full stop.

If we think about what Fatal is actually doing, it becomes pretty clear how it’s suppose to work. When you hit a vulnerable spot it does exponentially more damage and is more effective than the actual swing itself, thus the weapon you are swinging does more damage than it normally does.

Why would this only apply sometimes? If the weapon is able to critically hit, it does the listed damage, full stop.

I mean, in the end that just ends up as a justification to a ruling no matter how you look at it. Using the formula as justification also has issues; which is why i don’t feel it works that way.

If we look at all the Weapons with Fatal we also notice another pattern that’s being over looked.

The Pick and Light Pick have Fatal traits that increase their Die size by two sizes; while the Great Pick only increases by a single size. With that in mind, even if we lower the die size of the Great Pick to d8’s via Grasping Reach, and increase it with Fatal to d12’s then it still ends up being more consistent with the rules we have than saying Fatal becomes d10’s.

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