I do wish eidolons were set up better so that a new eidolon subtype wouldn't end up restricted from a lot of natural attack evolutions by default.
Anyway, the astral eidolons are far and away the most interesting addition- they get slower Str/Dex progression, but improve your summoning! (You can use your summoning SLA while your eidolon is out by merging it with one of the summoned creatures, conveying various benefits.) They also can divert more points to the summoner with aspect/greater aspect.
As for race-locked content, it's providing some material to get those new races quickly caught up to some of the existing races. So now there's a good reason to play Duskwalkers- you can get a thematic familiar for one feat less than other characters. Ganzis make good enchantment Oracles thanks to their FCB, and have a unique Paladin option. Aphorites can build Magus-lite on any casting class using scrolls.
There's some nice non-racial content. The ones that stood out to me the most were the five eidolon subtypes and a feat chain for a planar mentor that you can eventually call 1/week at a 50% discount.
(That player is dropping. I'll be running a GMPC for the fourth PC for the remainder of the playtest.)
Another player described it as like crunchy peanut butter, only the peanuts are hard and stale, so you can't enjoy either part. "It's got a bad mouth-feel."
Another player: "It's like a swimming pool, but there's no steps in. No ladder or anything, you just have to jump in. It's a little hard. It's so dense."
You go to ancestry. No problems. You get to backgrounds, and now you have to jump to half-way through the book to see what each one does.
Feedback from a player:
Assurance is garbage. (It doesn't seem to serve any use, because the result it gives is never helpful.) Several backgrounds give it as a feat, and it makes selecting backgrounds disappointing. More generally, most low-tier skill feats feel like they should just be part of basic proficiency with no feat- Forager or Student of the Canon were given as examples.
There's weirdness like Hunting Lore allowing you to earn a living, while Survival does not.
Also, I think I'll just assume that clerics of Erastil are proficient with shortbows, as well, since I can just about guarantee we'll never see a combat at over 50' distance beyond round one. They don't design adventures that way, since they want you to use battlemaps. I know, I'm being demanding, but it needs to be playable, and if they don't provide that, I'm frankly breaking the rules so that we can get through the rest of it. A -2 in the bounded system is pretty crippling.
What are magical attacks good for? Dealing with things that ignore or resist non-magical attacks. A lot of people will be fine with that just being a thing that animal companions can eventually do. If not, you can:
- Ignore it. There's nothing visible at all about this- the only time you can even tell narratively is when there's a ghost. You can have your companion sit out those ghost fights like they would normally.
Second session! We just plowed through this one, and completed the rest of the scenario.
The group was cautious, carefully checking from outside as much as possible without actually entering them.
Druid: was sad that Wild Shape didn't grant vision to allow her to sneak in the dark, and also felt like the form was constantly giving her the worst of both worlds. She's slow and can't climb because she's not really a mouse, but she can't talk because she's a mouse, but she can't communicate with mice because she's not really a mouse, but she can't can't communicate with other people shapeshifted into mice. She used a transformation to scout ahead, but couldn't actually use it because she'd need a light source. (It turns out she was lucky, she was planning on scouting the centipede den, and would have died very quickly if any of them made their perception checks.) She eventually snuck along a wall to listen in, and reported back with one squeak for yes, two for no.
Combat with the goblins was interesting. Barbarian crit twice with nat 20s, and barely avoided crits twice. Scared them enough to draw attacks, and got dropped to 0. How does using a hero point to stabilize interact with regular healing? How do you administer an elixir? Can you administer to somebody who used a hero point to stabilize? Barbarian picked Int for their main mental stat (14), and didn't have charisma. That was her one resonance point. Once revived, she killed another goblin and hid from the fourth. The strength Bard finally got a decent hit in- everybody else was missing or rolling just 1 damage. (Druid wanted to use a hero point to convince the last goblin to surrender.) The Druid used Heal to bring the Barbarian up another 10 hitpoints, allowing the party to continue.
After the fight, the group checked the three side rooms. Good perception spotted the centipedes and won initiative to retreat back out before they acted. Nothing happened. The fungus was identified from outside the room.
They spotted the idol in the next room, and identified it as Lamashtu. Nobody poked the idol of Lamashtu. They spotted the alarmed door, snuck through, and snuck past the headquarters. The statue was suspicious, and they took turns examining it. It didn't read as triggering from standing in front of it, so somebody eventually recognized it as a trap and the Alchemist trained in Thievery disarmed it.
The Barbarian kicked down the door successfully on the first try. How is that handled in terms of initiative/turns? I just had the Barbarian win initiative automatically, with one action used, finishing up her turn. Everybody else rolled. She entered rage and spent an action snapping off her horns to wield them in her hands, earning her a hero point for awesomeness. (No mechanical benefit/penalty.) Druid missed with Tanglefoot. Alchemist missed with a pre-poisoned dart (and felt that it had been pretty wasteful). Boss went- transform back, draw weapon, move up. (Probably should have used a claw.) Bard moved up and used DC 13 Color Spray- boss made the save, but was dazzled. Barbarian moved to flank, hit, and then crit (nat 20) for most of the boss's health. Alchemist threw an acid flask, splashing the party and doing full damage. (Boss at 2 hp.) Boss attacked the Barbarian- longsword, longsword, claw. All three hit, but the middle attack missed due to Color Spray, and time was wasted trying to look up Grab. (If not for Color Spray's "on a successful save" effect, the Barbarian would have been down again, but fine with 2 hero points.) Alchemist rolled the persistent damage, and got exactly enough to drop the boss.
After the fight, the Barbarian crit-failed the resonance overspend roll for a potion.
The body was used to convince the headquarters goblins to leave. I didn't prep the personalized items rewards in advance, but the Alchemist loved all the books and occult stuff. Alchemist had Aklo due to her background, and so read the journal. She made a complete copy of it before she showed the original to Keleri.
Meanwhile, skills-wise, the Alchemist and Druid shone. Bard's middling charisma (14) didn't matter because no charisma skills showed up. Having invested in Wisdom rather than Int for character reasons, the Bard's bardic lore was behind the Alchemist's untrained lore. If I'd remembered to roll secretly, though, there would have been enough crit fails to make it as much a liability as a help. Barbarian's 14 Int and trained Society were overshadowed by Alchemist's 18 Int and trained Society. Druid made important nature and perception skills very well.
What penalties does Perception take for distance, doors, etc.? I couldn't find that.
Bard player felt that the tradeoff on combat/skills was really unfair to martials. They have to invest in physical stats that don't provide social skills. They felt that strength really got the short end of the stick in this department, and felt it was bad that Fighter, Monk, and Barbarian were getting far too few skills, effectively being penalized twice for playing martials.
How does being small/medium interact with items? I can't find information on if small/medium characters need weapons or armor sized for them, or what the penalties are if they don't.
This search utility was hugely helpful when I remembered to use it. So much easier to look up conditions there. It's hard to find stuff in the PDF. Maybe I need a physical copy open to the index at all times?
Session 1, The Lost Star:
Couple of hours finishing up sheets and waiting for folks to resolve stuff. An hour and a half spent on initial research (asking Talga questions, knowledge checks about vampires, how to aid another on recalling knowledge, could you aid first and then reverse rolls, let’s cast Guidance, how scary is suddenly casting a spell to a traumatized goblin, how do component rules interact with spells like Inspire Courage and Message). Lots of time spent dealing with digital sheet problems and other roll20 issues. Twenty minutes (maybe more) spent deciding on exploration mode activities and trying to figure out what you could do while sneaking. One combat.
Exploration mode entering A1 (where there is a sneaky slime), everybody eventually decides to sneak. Only one person beats the slime’s perception (I missed that blindsight would render this moot). Slime rolls stealth against perception, beats half the party. Bard is assumed to have their weapon out. The stealth rolls are used as initiative all around. (Should perception have been used by the party instead because their stealth attempts weren’t relevant against blindsight?) Druid wins initiative, gets three damage with Ray of Frost. Ooze goes next, moves twice and attacks the Barbarian. Bard moves to flank, uses Inspire Courage, attacks the ooze for ten. Alchemist rolls knowledge and makes it. (How much information to give?) Pulls out a bomb and throws it for five damage with Inspire Courage (splashing allies for one). Confusion over Inspire Courage and splash damage, have to look up the text to see it’s only rolled damage. Barbarian rages, attacks twice, and deals 23 damage to get rid of the remaining 22 hp. Call it for the day.
Mark Seifter wrote:
I'm with you on this- I'd rather have its flexible handedness as something available in martial.
Anyway, the clarifications and fixes are good to have. Thanks, Paizo!
Brew Bird wrote:
One of my least favorite things about Starfinder is how unpleasant player vs. player combat is, and that problem stems largely from the tanky PCs/glass cannon NPCs thing Starfinder does. I thought the devs had mentioned that PC and NPC math wouldn't be different in PF2, it's disappointing to see that this isn't the case.
They didn’t say that- they said you could still build NPCs using the PC rules.
Lamashtu is a demon lord. If you’re not even willing to sacrifice somebody’s baby to her, why is she going to hand you a bunch of power?
I think the reasoning is the underlying essences. Druids are material and vital essences, and so getting spirits to do things for them isn't part of their schtick. Cleaning or dirtying something is material, and Bards cover mental and spiritual essences.
That said, Prestidigitation always felt like as much a Bard spell as a Wizard spell to me. Flesh things out so that Bard can do some as many things with it as Wizard. (Also, I'm a little sad that concentration means the party can't eat flavored things together as a group. My parties have shared a lot of moments together over dwindling trail rations and water that has been magic'd to kinda taste like real food and drink.)
This is a thread for cases where you are presented with two or more options and one is strictly better than the other. (This isn't for apples-to-oranges comparisons like saying demon bloodline powers vs. celestial bloodline powers.)
I noticed that animal totem has the following strictly betters:
Cat also gets 1d10 piercing hands-free, plus scent and 40ft. movement from animal rage, but also gets 1d8 slashing agile claws (using hands). That puts them as strictly better than wolf and bull.
They're not big differences, but it'd be nice to have some mechanical reason for each form.
Any other cases like this?
thievery, religion, arcana, athletics, acrobatics I believe have gotten external class ones, I get its really not the end of the world if it isn't there, just feels a little limiting. It's really the one thing I've seen so far that has came up as a limit so far
Thievery can be followed up at 8th level with making any of Rogue's signature skills a signature skill, increasing it to master-level, and getting a skill feat for it.
Prestidigitation is concentration, so no more flavoring things for the whole party. You're also limited to ten minutes. Occult casters can't flavor stuff, but Primal casters get access to that now.
Unseen Servant lasts up to one minute, concentration. That really smarts. That and Prestidigitation were the two spells that let you be magical. You could wave your hand and have something brought over without having to make a scene by casting something. You could have an umbrella float over you as you walked out in the snow.
Suggestion is a level higher despite some sensible nerfs to suggestions that become unreasonable. The duration was cut and moved to crit-fail only on top of that. (I know it's got plenty of combat applications, but being able to make people do reasonable-sounding things is solidly "quality of life" too.)
Only somewhat related: Most polymorph spells are too short to carry out a social interaction with. (I'm glad to see two ten-minute options. Cutting things close, but a second casting with metamagic to hide it should cover most situations.) (Another note: Shapechange is really bad on a spontaneous caster, and useless on Aberrant Sorcerer.)
I know nobody likes to see their cheese moved, but spells that provide a comfortable living are a big part of the appeal to casters for me. A big part of the appeal to polymorph spells for me was being able to fake being something you weren't with a little judicious Extend Spell. Maybe we could have a fraudulent form spell?
That said, they didn't go after all the utility/comfortable life spells:
Magnificent Mansion is untouched.
The Illusory X spells have good durations and don't generally don't need to be babysat.
Nerfs I can't complain about:
My goodness, it is a hassle to compare/pick anything.
Weighing sorcerer bloodlines? Track down three powers sprinkled throughout the spells.
Want to pick a general feat? Sift through all the skill feats. (I'm guessing this is because some general feats are skill feats without a skill.)
Want to take a feat for Society? Find the table, then individually look up the six trained feats scattered throughout all the general/skill feats.
All in all, I'll be very glad when one of the reference sites gets the contents up.
You can do potions and elixirs in PF1, and after many years, poisons, but not alchemical items like tanglefoot bags and so on.
Nathanael Love wrote:
Alchemist being able to make and distribute alchemical items for free seems pretty legit new to me. For a lot of the other stuff, they need to capture as much of old Pathfinder as possible.
When it comes out, though, I’ll be playing a Rogue with unlimited Bard song.
Does this means just carry several shields?
You can:- Carry several shields. (If they’re available at first level, they’re eventually pretty cheap.)
- Only block one attack per combat and repair after.
- Learn the Shield cantrip as a backup.
- At high levels, use Paladin abilities to regenerate your shield, or buy the very high-level indestructible shield.
Nathanael Love wrote:
Going with a standard of “would at least be a very significant archetype”:- Somebody who makes free alchemical items for the group to use.
- Sword-and-board Paladin with a spirit for both.
- Spontaneous full casting for the Druid list.
- Some people will consider multiclassing options “new” because they were hard to do well before. For instance, a Rogue with divine casting would normally trade away a lot of sneak attack or get very low-level spells, making Norgorber sad. You might not count that, though.
I can definitely understand waiting for more options to come out, though. A lot of what I’m excited for isn’t even in the playtest (Bard multiclass archetype, for instance), and I’ll be impatient for ancestries.
Multiclass ability score prerequisites should be lowered, and level advancement should raise all ability scores
I think it does something to account for that: feat level requirements.
I’m cool with dabbling in every type of armor and martial weapon requiring a pretty good strength score so that it doesn’t take as much effort, or grasping the fundamentals of magic without a year of potentially lethal study requiring you to be really smart. Cantrips are a big deal in PF2!
Multiclass ability score prerequisites should be lowered, and level advancement should raise all ability scores
It is a bit strange you can start play as a Wizard with 8 Intelligence but have to have a 16 if you start as something other than a Wizard....
It’s not as strange as playing a Wizard who dumps Int, though.
Still: if somebody isn’t very bright, they can be a Wizard with enough hard work. You have to be brilliant at a minimum to be learn wizardry on the side, though. Somebody who is focused entirely on being a Fighter can overcome weakness, but if you expect to wear any armor with a little work, you better be pretty strong. And so on.
Cantrip scaling is only a problem if you have other spell slots. You only have other spell slots if you take that feat for spell slots. (If your class has casting, that progresses at the full rate.)
Cantrips always scale to your highest spell level, or half your level rounded up if you don’t have spell slots. (That’s the same as the highest spell level of any of the casters.) because you’re getting spell slots slower, the second feat has to keep your cantrips from getting weaker.
Mark explained that one. (… I just watched The Disaster Artist, and it feels weird talking about Mark.)
Cantrips and powers use half your level rounded up if you don't have any spells. If you do have spells, they use your highest spell level. These have an exception in them so that taking the casting feat doesn't drop your Wizard cantrips.
Would it drop the level of your ancestry cantrips? Sounds like something to look at the actual rules on.
I want to try:
I'll be running the game, though, so I might have to wait until after that.
And, if this is carried to the final book, you can pick instead pick Sorcerer instead with a divine bloodline of your choice for charisma-based divine spontaneous casting.
I like the high stat entry requirements, at least once we get the full class options. (It's a little hard on charisma-based characters and the four represented classes to start with.) You'll be able to grab classes with the same stat with no sweat, but it means that a Wizard who wants to be tanky will need to make a sizable investment in strength, while a Fighter who wants to be casty can choose to go with a Wisdom-based class and shore up their will saves at the same time.
It's at a level where you can get it with your secondary stat in most cases. If not, fifth level is very manageable.